Pixel Scroll 11/20/17 I’ll Be Over Here Eating My Lunch Alone On The Pixelground

(1) TURKEY FIRST. ULTRAGOTHA chastized me for yesterday’s Scroll title:

Mike, Mike, Mike. Please. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet! Can’t we have our Pixellated Turkey with Scrollbean Casserole and all the fixins before being subject to Scrollnuts Roasting on an Open Glyer?

(2) ATTENTION REDWOMBAT READERS. T. Kingfisher’s Clockwork Boys is available for pre-order.

For those following along at home, this is the Thing With The Paladin And The Ninja Accountant. And it is Book One! It is not a standalone! Book Two will be out, hopefully February-ish! (It is, however, a duology, not a trilogy or whatever.)

(3) LINE UP AND SIGN UP. The makers of Pacific Rim Uprising are offering someone a chance to be in the movie – sign up at Jaeger Academy.

Do you have what it takes to become a Jaeger Pilot? Welcome to Jaeger Academy, where you will learn to pilot the most powerful machines to ever walk the Earth, and become the most heroic version of yourself. Enlist now to test yourself in Pan Pacific Defense Corps missions for the chance to become immortalized in the Hall of Heroes, have your name in the film credits, name a Jaeger from the film, and more! Join the Uprising now to stand tall for all humanity.

 

(4) A LIST OF THE BEST. The B&N Sci-FI & Fantasy Blog calls these 25 books “The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2017”. I’m surprised that this is the first time I’ve heard of a third of these titles. And their runner-up list has several titles I expect to be award nominees.

Which brings us to the books below—25 titles that stood out in a particularly strong year for SFF, a year during which many of us looked to the speculative to help us grapple with the strangeness around us—or to offer us an escape from it. Taken collectively, they are: provoking, thoughtful, compelling, challenging, unique. And, most certainly, they are all so very 2017. These are the best science fiction and fantasy books of the year. (Never fear, short fiction fans: we’re covering anthologies and collections in a separate list—horror too.) 

(5) ELEVENFOX. The B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog also has the cover reveal for Elevenfox Gambit, actually titled Revanant Gun.

Yoon Ha Lee Answers 5 Questions About Revenant Gun

What are we looking at on the cover of Revenant Gun?
The cover shows my protagonist Jedao’s flagship (“command moth,” in the parlance of the books), called the Revenant, and the Fortress of Pearled Hopes.

(6) LE GUIN, MOTHERHOOD, AND WRITING. David Streitfeld does the asking in “Writing Nameless Things: An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin” at the LA Review of Books.

When did you write?

After the kids were put to bed, or left in their bed with a book. My kids went to bed much earlier than most kids do now. I was appalled to learn my grandchildren were staying up to 11:00. That would have driven me up the wall. We kept old-fashioned hours — 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. I would go up to the attic, and work 9:00 to midnight. If I was tired, it was a little tough. But I was kind of gung-ho to do it. I like to write. It’s exciting, something I’m really happy doing.

Does being in the Library of America make you feel you’ve joined the immortals? You’re now up there with all the greats — Twain, Poe, Wharton.

I grew up with a set of Mark Twain in the house. Collections of authors’ work were not such a big deal. And my agent was hesitant about the contract, since the pay upfront was less than she’s used to settling for. She’s a good agent. Her job is to make money. What I did not realize is that being published in the Library of America is a real and enduring honor. Especially while you’re still alive. Philip Roth and I make a peculiar but exclusive club.

(7) MWA AWARDS. Mystery Writers of America announced the recipients of its 2018 Special Edgar Awards – Grand Master, Raven and Ellery Queen:

Jane Langton, William Link, and Peter Lovesey have been chosen as the 2018 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA’s Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality.  Ms. Langton, Mr. Link, and Mr. Lovesey will receive their awards at the 72nd Annual Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on April 26, 2018.

…The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing.  The Raven Bookstore and Kristopher Zgorski will receive the 2018 Raven Award.

The Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017. The store was opened in 1987 by co-owners Pat Kehde and Mary Lou Wright. Kehde kept the store for 28 years, weathering the Borders storm with a plan to “stay the same size and cultivate [the] clients.” Heidi Raak took over the store in 2008. Current owner and poet Danny Caine took over in August of 2017; he is a longtime employee of the shop. The Raven has two store cats, Dashiell and Ngiao.

The Ellery Queen Award was established in 1983 to honor “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry.” This year the Board chose to honor Robert Pépin. Mr. Pépin began his literary career in 1964 as a translator of English-language novels. Since then he has been a translator, editor, and publisher of some of the most important authors of the past century including Lawrence Block, Alex Berenson, C.J. Box, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, James Church, Miles Corwin, Martin Cruz Smith, and Robert Crais.

[Hat tip to Locus Online.]

(8) MORE ON TOLKIEN SAINTHOOD. Here is an initiative of the Student Association of Roman pontifical universities and sponsored by the Conference of rectors of Roman pontifical universities.

(9) DENISE DUMARS. The SPECPO blog interviewed a veteran sf poet who’ll be at Loscon this weekend: “From Sheet Lightning to Paranormal Writing: An interview with Denise Dumars”.

Looking back at your first poetry collection Sheet Lightning to now, what’s changed most about your process in putting a manuscript together?
I rarely think in terms of “putting together a manuscript” when it comes to poetry and short fiction. The poems come one at a time, and rarely do I have a theme for a collection. My most recent collection is an exception to that rule: Paranormal Romance: Poems Romancing the Paranormal was a themed volume; more than half the poems dealt with paranormal research of the type that I find really funny—you know, the ghost hunters and all their gadgets. But the other half of the book is more serious as it deals with New Orleans and the paranormal. Every collection is different. Right now I have a collection of haiku that I’m trying to figure out where to send—it’s call the Punk Rock Picnic Haiku, as it was written over time as I went to punk rock concerts with the rest of my elderly punk set at Liquid Kitty, a club that was recently bought by someone who turned it into a rich businessman’s lounge. The haiku series is a memorial to a time and place. I keep meaning to create a collection of specifically science fiction poems and a collection specifically of horror and dark fantasy poems.

(10) COMICS SECTION.

(11) PRIME TIME. GeekWire says the Electric Dreams release date has been set:

Amazon today announced that its new anthology series “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams” will premiere on Jan. 12, exclusively on Prime Video. The much-anticipated streaming series will be comprised of 10 standalone episodes, each set in different worlds — five to 5,000 years in the future…

 

(12) MOON MEN. Bad Astronomer Phil Plait enjoys himself while demolishing another conspiracy theory in “No, that’s not a stagehand in an Apollo astronaut photo”.

I was checking Facebook Sunday, and saw I was tagged in a post by Evan Bernstein, from Skeptics Guide to the Universe. Dreading what I’d see if I went to the page, I clicked the link anyway. I can’t help it. Bad astronomy is like catnip to me.

I wasn’t disappointed. Evan had a link to an article in NewsweekNewsweek — that is a credulous account of a guy on YouTube who calls himself Streetcap1. This particular video shows an image from the Apollo 17 mission, which landed two astronauts on the Moon in December 1972.

… That’s clearly the figure of a human. I think we’d all agree on that. Where I part ways with Streetcap1 is that he is guessing that’s a stagehand or someone else standing there when this photo was taken. In his video he points out features he thinks he sees on the figure, including — and I swear I’m not making this up — long hair. Because this was “back in the early ’70s.”

Yes. He said that.

(13) LET ‘ER RIP. Camestros Felapton is decompressing from the first season of Star Trek: Discovery by launching a weekly review of older Trek TV episodes — “Trek Tuesday* – Errand of Mercy”.

The obvious pretext for including this episode as background for Discovery is that it is the first Klingon episode. Like Discovery, Starfleet finds itself rapidly falling into war with the Klingons. However, my main reason for picking on it is as an example of what Discovery is failing to do, which is to examine some of the assumptions of Star Trek that arise out of its post-WW2 and US hegemonic roots.

… Kirk and Spock beam down to the planet, leaving Sulu in charge of the Enterprise with strict others to skedaddle if the Klingon fleet turns up. Kirk and Spock find the Organians to be a technologically primitive people, with little in the way of government. The Organians lsiten politely to Kirk’s offer of Federation membership and help against the Klingons but they politely decline. Shortly thereafter the Klingon fleet arrives and invades Organia.

It needs to be said that the Klingons are both comical and appalling. The Klingon army is a few guys marching across the set. The makeup manages to be racist in a way that is insulting both to black people and Chinese people – apparently they literally used shoe polish. The Klingon commander, Kor, is perhaps the most urbane Klingon in the Trek canon beating even Christopher Plummer’s Shakespeare quoting Klingon from the movies. At this point in Trek, the Klingons are just a generic military dictatoship, more 1984 than the syncretic mix of Viking-Samurai from later versions.

(14) DEADER THAN A SUPER DOORNAIL. The Hollywood Reporter’s Ciara Wardlow asks the question n“Has ‘Justice League’ Killed the Superhero Origin Story?” and argues that the answer is “Yes.”

At first glance, this may appear like the Warner Bros.’ DC universe taking shortcuts in order to try to catch up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there is something else important to be considered. Namely, that the MCU’s Phase One strategy to build up to The Avengers is no longer an option. It’s too reliant on solo origin stories. Even within Phase One, audiences were getting a little restless with the formula by the time Captain America: The First Avenger rolled around only two months after Thor.

There’s nothing wrong with origin stories, and even just this year we got a great one with Wonder Woman. But the cinematic reboot craze jumpstarted by 2005′ Batman Begins lead to such an explosion of origin stories that the market has grown saturated. There is still a niche or two left available here and there. “Quality female superhero origin story” was still wide open for Wonder Woman, and can probably fit a few more entries before things start getting too crowded. But origin stories revolving around one Great Big Hero are naturally going to end up hitting the same narrative beats and plot points. Switching up various elements can keep things interesting for a while, there are limits that the superhero genre is inching very close to surpassing — a boundary where pleasantly or at least tolerably familiar crosses into the territory of boringly repetitive.

(15) LIFE IMITATES ART. “Finally, You Can Have Breakfast at Tiffany” – the New York Times has the story.

There are certain movie scenes that are so iconic that they still retain their importance in the pop-culture lexicon, even decades later. When Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, stepped out of a yellow cab and sauntered to the window of Tiffany & Co. in the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” with Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s “Moon River” playing in the background, such a scene was created.

As Holly ate a croissant and carried a cup of coffee, she was still, unfortunately, on the outside of the building. Since 1837, Tiffany’s has been a preeminent luxury jeweler and not a place where you could actually have breakfast. However, that changed on Friday, with the opening of the Blue Box Café, at the company’s venerable flagship store at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in New York City. Menu items will be seasonal and reflect a sophisticated take on a variety of New York dishes.

Located on the fourth floor of the building, which houses a recently renovated home and accessories section, the café is a bright, airy space, with the “Breakfast at Tiffany” breakfast starting at $29….

(16) SKILLZ. Finally, a school that teaches something students believe will be useful after they graduate…. The BBC explains “Why Singapore is training professional gamers”.  (Video preceded by obnoxious ad)

 A career in gaming would once have been unthinkable in Asia. But with the global e-sports market forecast to hit $1.5bn in three years, Singapore wants to help train new gamers how to go professional.

(17) PIG BELLY. Why this one won’t melt as quick as expected: “Antarctic glacier’s rough belly exposed”.

The melting Antarctic ice stream that is currently adding most to sea-level rise may be more resilient to change than previously recognised.

New radar images reveal the mighty Pine Island Glacier (PIG) to be sitting on a rugged rock bed populated by big hills, tall cliffs and deep scour marks.

Such features are likely to slow the ice body’s retreat as the climate warms, researchers say.

(18) CUISINE ALCHEMY. Carrots in blackberry yogurt? “The surprising ingredients behind common foods” (video).

Some of our daily staples are made of strange things that enhance their taste or their looks, or make them cost-effective.

(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Goodbye Uncanny Valley” in Vimeo, Alan Warburton looks at the state of computer graphics today, including a look at edgy projects that are on the verge of development in the future.

[Thanks to Nancy Sauer, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

51 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/20/17 I’ll Be Over Here Eating My Lunch Alone On The Pixelground

  1. (5) I really need to read Tenfox and Elevenfox. I love the names in those books — the Fortress of Pearled Hopes, e.g.

    Edit: Firstfox!

  2. Thirdfox.

    18) I thought this was pretty well known. Regarding fruit juice, in Germany companies are only allowed to use the word “juice”, if the product is 100% juice of the respective fruit. Fruit beverages containing 20 to 50% of fruit juice are labelled as “nectar”, e.g. banana or cherry juice is almost always nectar as the juice/sparkling water mixes like Apfelschorle. If the juice content is under 20%, the product must be labelled as a fruit juice drink.

  3. I’d like to read Tenfox, and then Elevensiesfox, but I just started Song for the Basilisk and I kind of want to just steep myself in mythic fantasy for a while.

    (8) I know there are some believer Filers. Maybe they can give insights? I was raised in a fundamentalist church, so I just don’t get it. How does canonizing Tolkien make sense at all? Aren’t saints supposed to have miracles to their names? Is this some sort of Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame for Christians?

  4. (14) Deadpool took care of my need to see any further origin stories, honestly. But I think I’ve been conditioned by the fact that the only Marvel comic I ever purchased consisted of nothing but parodistic superhero origin stories: Not Brand Echh #7, April 1968.

  5. (2) It’s not just preorder anymore – it’s already on my Kindle!

    (And thus Hill TBRRSN continues to wax and vane, while Mount TBR lies unconquered in the distance.)

  6. kathodus: The miracles generally come after the cause of the person’s sainthood has been proposed. They are done in response to people seeking the saint’s intercession, which they wouldn’t be doing unless the person already had some recognition as saintly.

  7. 1: this got me thinking about the ship the “first pilgrims” arrived in. The “Mayflower”.

    I’m now wondering if that ship was named for a plant, or for a supposition.

  8. [14] One of my favorite side bits from Donald Simpson’s “Megaton Man” series (apart from Yarn Man’s repeated tendency to suddenly break down, weeping, “I’m a hideous, ugly FREAK!!”) was the “Legion of Origins,” a place where heroes just sit around and tell each other their origin stories. So right.

    I saw Mike G. filing “Santa Claus” underneath the Pixel Scroll last night.

  9. 3) Will whoever is finally in the movie get paid?

    Saw three episodes of ‘The Orville’ and I have to give it a thumbs down – its too silly to be thought-provoking and too serious to be funny. And I didn’t like any of the characters, except for maybe the doctor – if I had to work with the rest of them on a daily basis, I would be strongly tempted to crash the ship.

  10. bookworm1398: My assessment of “The Orville” was exactly the same, except I only lasted two episodes. All my Facebook friends seem to be watching it and insisting it gets really good, but I don’t have the time to invest in getting to the good part. There are many excellent shows I’d rather be watching.

  11. Kaboobie: Deja vu! When “Family Guy” came on, I watched an episode and concluded that they didn’t know how to tell a joke, and if they accidentally found something funny, they’d repeat it until I regretted chuckling the first time.

    I was on an animation newsgroup at the time, and was assured that it got better, so I watched two more episodes, and it didn’t. “Oh, it gets better after that,” they said. After a handful of shows, I gave myself permission to never even look into any more projects by the show’s creator, and have never regretted it.

  12. Darn! Too late to get fifth or second fifth and pick up a trifecta!

    (13) I wonder how much of the evolution of Klingons in the Trek franchise comes from John M. Ford’s The Final Reflection (I know much fan cannon does).

    My spell checker has Klingon in it.

  13. Oneiros:

    Damn I’m too late to use the secondfifth gambit.

    On the other hand, you were right on time for the ninecomment gambit. That’s got to count for something?

  14. Cora: In Canada, my understanding is that juice has to be 100% *some kind of* juice to be labeled juice and not drink/nectar/cocktail. A lot of the multi-fruit juice mixes do tend to have a lot of apple as the base, though some swap it out for pear or white grape juice – even though those can be harder to find as solo juices.

    I still miss the days of my childhood when apricot and applecot nectars were staple juices and not fancy brand rarities.

  15. @Cora: some variants are known or obvious; e.g. “cranberry juice cocktail” because it needs too much sugar to be palatable. However, carrots in yogurt was a new one on me.

    @ULTRAGOTHA: Considering that the first Klingon who wasn’t a mindless militarist came after the Ford, I’ve always figured the book was significant. How significant is a guess; I doubt anyone in the Trek empire is willing to credit a work-for-hire writer, but Klingon ?fandom? looked to him (e.g., he was adopted into ?one of their clans?, and there was a full-dress Klingon at the tribute panel at the Montreal Worldcon. Sorry to be inspecific, but he’s not around to get the exact data from…).

  16. (3) You get a better hat if you appear in the Jägermonster Academy.

    I am a poor pixel scrolling filer/I’m traveling through this year of woe

  17. Carrots didn’t surprise me; I knew it used to be the food coloring of choice to make homemade butter yellow.

    First try on the Orville: two characters walking around a generation ship. OK, they’re female, that’s a good start, they’re… talking about a boyfriend. Yeesh. The locals show up, they’re taken out pretty quickly. Double-yeesh. I’m out.

    Second try, Captain Dudebro is earning his name by his behavior around a female guest on the ship. Am I supposed to like this dude? It’s more cringeworthy than the worst of a 60s sitcom.

    There are bits of book canon that slipped into the movieverse – Sulu’s first name, for one. I wish we’d got more of Duane’s Romulans, though. Never got the idea that the TV shows knew what to do with them, and I avoided the TNG movie that used them.

  18. @Lenora Rose

    Cora: In Canada, my understanding is that juice has to be 100% *some kind of* juice to be labeled juice and not drink/nectar/cocktail. A lot of the multi-fruit juice mixes do tend to have a lot of apple as the base, though some swap it out for pear or white grape juice – even though those can be harder to find as solo juices.

    I still miss the days of my childhood when apricot and applecot nectars were staple juices and not fancy brand rarities.

    A family holiday recipe handed down from my grandma and maybe further calls for raspberry juice, which apparently used to be quite common. Nowadays, it’s impossible to get raspberry juice, so I have to use raspberry syrup for cocktails and Berliner Weisse, a special type of beer mixed with raspberry or woodruff syrup.

    Coincidentally, woodruff flavoured candy, sherbet powder, ice cream, etc… was very common, when I was a kid. Nowadays, it’s not easy to find, though I gave someone (Ingvar, I think) woodruff candy at WorldCon 75.

  19. Kathodus, I too am sincerely puzzled at why some are pushing for Tolkien to become a Catholic saint. I would love to see some sort of rationale or explanation. I have been reading all the posts and articles I can find about it, and I still have no idea why the advocates for sainthood for Tolkien think he should be a saint. But I would love to know the answer to that question.

    RE: Ursula Le Guin. I adore her so much and every interview I read with her makes me adore her more. Her books are life changing and her interviews and essays are awesome. I admire her THIS MUCH.

  20. Yeah, miracles come after someone has enough recognition that people start seeking their intercession, so this isn’t quite as weird as it probably seems from the outside.

    But it still seems a bit odd. There’s no doubt in my mind that Tolkien was a very good person, but canonization is about, not just having been a very virtuous person, but about having lived a life of heroic virtue. And with all respect for Tolkien, I’m not seeing it. Not every person who lives a good and virtuois life needs to be canonized.

  21. My two cents on Tolkien canonization: I saw one of Mike’s earlier posts on it while swamped with grading, and bookmarked the crowdfunding appeal:

    Cause for Canonisation of J. R. R. Tolkien

    I have to admit my first thought (as an atheist academic!) was, wow, discussion of Tolkien’s status re: the literary canon! Cool! Yes, literary studies tends to steal from all sorts of other disciplines, and we stole the concept of “canon” (meaning holy books) to use as shorthand for “great” literature.

    Then I read a bit more and was horrified.

    This was the part of the appeal that caught my attention, and I don’t think I’ve seen this part discussed on File 770 though I may have missed it:

    The purpose of the Conference would be to provide a cultural dialogue to advocate for the sanctity of Tolkien’s personal life, as well as how this was mediated through his artistic works. I have already secured as a keynote speaker Robert Colquhoun, the Vatican backed International Director of 40 Days for Life to speak on the theme of “The Conversion of England – Hobbits and grassroots activism: Fellowship will overcome the evil of abortion.” Linking Tolkien to the new evangelisation and the conversion of England in this way, I hope to situate Tolkien’s own faith as a creative response to the joys and sorrows of this generation and use the conference as means to seeing how Tolkien’s own faith can provide solutions.

    OK, now I have been watching with dismay the ongoing collaboration between anti-Catholic evangelical/fundamentalists and more conservative Catholics to remove women’s access to reproductive health care in the US for decades (and this crowd defines ‘contraception’ as ‘abortion’ so keep that in mind). So when I read the bolded text above, I went to check out this 40 Days for Life group.

    I won’t link to their site, but you can Google it, apparently began in Texas (SO not surprised) and bills itself as a “peaceful pro-life advocacy group” (well, at least they’re not openly advocating killing health providers so that puts them a cut above some of the terrorists in the US) who work through prayers and vigils outside clinics (hmmmm).

    So this attempt to canonize Tolkien seems to be tied to anti-choice ideology and possibly bringing England back to the Catholic church (unless the “conversion” mentioned above is converting people to the anti-choice position–which sort of seems the same thing).

    He says his goal is “I hope to situate Tolkien’s own faith as a creative response to the joys and sorrows of this generation and use the conference as means to seeing how Tolkien’s own faith can provide solutions.” I see this as a whole lot less about Tolkien specifically than an attempt to leverage the popularity of his works to specific ideological goals.

    And knowing how many atheists, agnostics, pagans, and Christians of all political spectra are in Tolkien fandom (and in my Tolkien classes), I’m hoping that the whole thing falls flat. (Heck, I attribute my reading Tolkien at age 10 as one of the reasons I ended up an animistic pagan for a couple of decades.)

  22. I was under the impression most people listed as saints had done something in their *lives* that either looked miraculous, was miraculous, or was simply so utterly good and right it made people want to pray to them. (Indeed, some had lives so utterly fantastical they probably didn’t exist at all.) Even by the concept of “was so utterly good and right…”, no, Tolkien doesn’t qualify. Mother Teresa seemed like she would make the cut on the final front when they applied for her sainthood (though others have pointed out her moral failings as well). Tolkien was a remarkable man, but a healer of lepers he wasn’t.

    And yes, the anti-choice connection makes this even more cringe-worthy.

    (Am now United Church of Canada, but I was raised Roman Catholic.)

  23. @Lis Carey: puzzles me too. First – what would prompt someone to request the intercession of Tolkein in the first place? Feeling the eye of sauron upon them? hearing orcs in the basement?

    Second, what is the shade of Tolkein to do? write them an elvish poem?

    I did some googling and this piece may be a good clue:

    I answered because he baptized the imagination of so many by introducing them to a world that was structured according to a Catholic worldview. The moral universe of the Lord of the Rings is a Catholic universe. The plot line and development of characters follows the inner dynamic of the gospel.
    Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2013/10/my-conversation-with-tolkiens-daughter.html#Fp3JcpQoDeugJvGr.99

    from here

  24. robinareid:

    This was the part of the appeal that caught my attention, and I don’t think I’ve seen this part discussed on File 770 though I may have missed it:

    That part was included in the Pixel Scroll 11/13/17. It was mentioned in the comments, but didn’t spark much discussion. I agree it sounds more like someone starting with a pet cause and pasting Tolkien on it, than reading Tolkien and focusing on whatever lessons they find in the text.

  25. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTGHA.

    ^^Typo alert

  26. Oh, there’s no question that Tolkien’s universe is steeped in Catholic moral theology. That is one of the things I like about it, and the chair of the theology department at the Catholic college I attended was absolutely delighted by The Silmarillion when I gave her a copy.

    But neither of us thought it was a miracle.

    St. Elizabeth Seton, the first American-born person to be canonized, founded the Sisters of Charity and the Catholic parochial school system. Founding the Catholic parochial system is counted as one of her miracles. But, and for all that I love The Lord of the Rings, that’s something that had a much bigger impact on the world, especially for Catholics in America, who in the early 19th century, were more than a century and a half away from not having to say Protestant prayers in public school.

    I think the idea that it’s an attempt to hijack Tolkien’s legacy for anti-choice politics is, sadly, much more likely.

  27. I was under the impression most people listed as saints had done something in their *lives* that either looked miraculous, was miraculous, or was simply so utterly good and right it made people want to pray to them.

    Yes and no. St Theresa of Lisieux is one of the most beloved modern saints, but she lived and died an obscure cloistered nun–even most of her fellow nuns didn’t think she was remarkable. It was only when her writings started circulating after her death that her theological insight was recognized by the world. I’m not claiming that LOTR is in the same class as The Story of a Soul, but I do think it’s worth noting sometimes the good of a person’s life isn’t immediately obvious.

    As for who would pray to Tolkien–how about people who feel oppressed by materialism? Or people who suffer PTSD? (I don’t know if he had it himself, but he surely knew fellow-soldiers who did.). Or people who struggle fitting their creative lives around the need to have a day job?

    As for the cause itself…*shrug*. I’m not convince that there is enough theological depth in Tolkien’s work (as much as I love it) to support it, but I’d enjoy reading a good, solid attempt to prove me wrong. And I’m not looking for much to happen anyitime soon–causes can take anywhere from years to decades to get through the various steps. The cause for Servant of God Dorothy Day, a founder of the Catholic Worker movement, was opened in 1983 and it’s gotten to the point of being approved by the conference of American Catholic bishops. Speed is not the Catholic Church’s strong point.

  28. JJ on November 22, 2017 at 2:02 pm said:

    File 770’s SuperTroll: ULTRAGOTCHA ?

    If I ever get hit by a bus: ULTRAGONNER

    If I’m trapped in a mountain pass with no other food: ULTRADONNER

    If I become incandescent: ULTRAGLIMMER

  29. (2) ATTENTION REDWOMBAT READERS. The Clocktaur War???

    (4) A LIST OF THE BEST. I’d heard of everything except one in the runner-up list and maybe one on the main list (one that looks YA and has a familiar cover). Several are my favorites, too, and some others are at various places on Mount TBR.

  30. Misread Ingvar’s for a moment as “Caught the Mall” which led me to wonder if and how the mall would need catching.

    (I suppose a city could “Catch” Terry Pratchett’s version of the mall, which is an urban disease, but I don’t think ULTRAGOTHA could.)

  31. @Lenora Rose,

    I wouldn’t underestimate the MIGHTY POWERS OF ULTRAGOTHA!!!

    (I though catching Malls too. And I’m a Level40 Pokemon GO player…)

  32. “A LIST OF THE BEST. The B&N Sci-FI & Fantasy Blog calls these 25 books “The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2017”. I’m surprised that this is the first time I’ve heard of a third of these titles.”

    Come on. A full third of them? None of them are the least bit obscure.

  33. Ninefawks: Come on. A full third of them? None of them are the least bit obscure.

    Which means what? Perhaps you think I was criticizing their choice? No, but I could see how someone might take it that way. I was just surprised on my own account, because I see information about hundreds of books in the course of a year.

Comments are closed.