Pixel Scroll 11/7/19 Filer Scrollflake, Pixelman

(1) OVERCOMING GRIEF. Dan Grossman profiles “Maurice Broaddus: Afrofuturist Author, Conversation Guy, and Mentor” at Nuvo.

Broaddus, who lives near Eagle Creek Reservoir on the northwest side of Indianapolis with his wife and two sons, is a busy guy. This past spring he scored a $175,000 three-book deal with TOR Books for a forthcoming fantasy series titled All the Stars. Tor Books, a subsidiary of Macmillan, is the largest publisher of science fiction and fantasy in the United States. 

Broaddus, 49, also was coping with the death of his father the previous week, but this wasn’t slowing him down.

“One of the ways I tend to cope with grief,” he said, “is to go into high production mode.”

To contain that grief, he wrote a short story, figuring that the word count would be around 5,000. 

“But it turned out to be 20,000 words by the time I was done,” he said. The story, “Bound by Sorrow,” will soon appear in the online sci-fi/fantasy magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies.   

(2) POP INTO 1964 GERMANY. Cora Buhlert’s latest article at Galactic Journey is about Perry Rhodan, but there is also a bit about East-West German relations, bad German pop music and fairground rides: “[November 5, 1964] The State of the Solar Empire: Perry Rhodan in 1964”

Since the Heftroman issues of Perry Rhodan are published weekly now, the plot moves at a brisk clip. Furthermore, a monthly companion series of so-called Planetenromane (planet novels), 158 page paperback novels, premiered in September. The third issue just came out. Many Heftromane have paperback companion series, but most of them just republish old material, occasionally by literally stapling unsold issues together and adding a new cover. The Planetenromane, on the other hand, offer all-new stories, often side stories, which don’t quite fit into the main series.

(3) LAUGH TRACK. Ethan Alter, in the Yahoo! Entertaiment story “‘WandaVision’: Everything we know about Marvel’s ‘first sitcom'” profiles WandaVision, a sitcom featuring Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, and Paul Bettany as Vision which will begin streaming on DisneyPlus in the spring of 2021 but which is reportedly shooting now.

WandaVision’s sitcom status was confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment by no less an authority than the Scarlet Witch herself. Catching up with Olsen and Bettany at Disney’s D23 event in August, the actress told us, “We can confidently say it is [a sitcom].” Her co-star quickly added, “That’s how it begins and it moves into more familiar epic territory later. But it’s absolutely a mash-up of sitcoms.” Based on our interviews and concept art unveiled at D23, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Father Knows Best seem to be some of the sitcoms that are being mashed-up. The teaser image shows Bettany and Olsen in a ’50s suburban setting, dressed more like the Cleavers than the Avengers. All that’s missing is the laugh track — and Olsen revealed that may not change, “That’s to be decided.”

(4) IN TECH TO COME. The November 7 issue of Nature includes Andrew Robinson’s reviews of works like Reality Ahead of Schedule by Joel Levy Smithsonian (2019).

This picture-packed volume by science journalist Joel Levy tours scientific advances sparked by ideas in science fiction. The title comes from a definition of sci-fi by Syd Mead, an industrial designer behind the look of futuristic movies such as Blade Runner (1982). But how prescient is sci-fi? Levy shows how H. G. Wells’s 1903 story ‘The Land Ironclads’ inspired Winston Churchill to promote the development of the military tank in 1915. But Wells did not envisage its key technical idea: caterpillar tracks, for added grip.

(5) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • November 7, 1951Flight To Mars debuted in theaters.
  • November 7, 1954 Target Earth premiered.
  • November 7, 1997 — Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers premiered. Starring Casper Van Dien Dina Meyer and Denise Richards, this adaption of Heinlein’s novel wasn’t well received by critics or SF fans in general but currently garners 70% at Rotten Tomatoes and long since earned back its modest budget. 

(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born November 7, 1910 Pearl Argyle. Catherine CabalI in the 1936 Things to Come as written by H.G. Wells based off his “The Shape of Things to Come” story. Being a dancer, she also appeared in 1926 The Fairy Queen opera by Henry Purcell, with dances by Marie Rambert and Frederick Ashton. Her roles were Dance of the Followers of Night, an attendant on Summer, and Chaconne. (Died 1946.)
  • Born November 7, 1914 R. A. Lafferty. Writer known for somewhat eccentric usage of language.  His first novel Past Master would set a lifelong pattern of seeing his works nominated for Hugo and Nebula Awards as novels but not winning either though he won a Hugo short story for “Eurema’s Dam”. He had received a World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award, he received the Cordwainer Smith Foundation’s Rediscovery award. (Died 2002.)
  • Born November 7, 1943 Peter Straker, 76. He was Commander Sharrel in “The Destiny of The Daleks” a Fourth Doctor story. He’s also the Lead Choir Singer in, I kid you not, Morons from Outer Space.
  • Born November 7, 1950 Lindsay Duncan, 69. Adelaide Brooke in the Tenth Doctor‘s “The Waters of Mars” story and the recurring role Lady Smallwood  on Sherlock in “His Last Vow”, “The Six Thatchers” and “The Lying Detective”. She’s also been in Black Mirror, A Discovery of Witches, Frankenstein, The Storyteller: Greek Myths, Mission: 2110 and one of my favorite series, The New Avengers.
  • Born November 7, 1954 Guy Gavriel Kay, 65. So the story goes that when Christopher Tolkien needed an assistant to edit his father J. R. R. Tolkien’s unpublished work, he chose Kay who was then a student of philosophy at the University of Manitoba. And Kay moved to Oxford in 1974 to assist Tolkien in editing The Silmarillion. Cool, eh? Kay’s own Finovar trilogy is the retelling of the legends of King Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere which is why much of his fiction is considered historical fantasy. Tigana likewise somewhat resembles Renaissance Italy . My favorite work by him is Ysabel which strangely enough is called am urban fantasy when it isn’t. It won a World Fantasy Award. 
  • Born November 7, 1960 Linda Nagata, 59. Her novella “Goddesses” was the first online publication to win the Nebula Award. She writes largely in the Nanopunk genre which is not be confused with the Biopunk genre. To date, she has three series out, to wit The Nanotech SuccessionStories of the Puzzle Lands (as Trey Shiels) and The Red. She has won a Locus Award for Best First Novel for The Bohr Maker which the first novel in The Nanotech Succession. Her 2013 story “Nahiku West” was runner-up for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and The Red: First Light was nominated for both the Nebula Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Her site is here.
  • Born November 7, 1934 Wendy Williams, 85. You know I’ll work a Doctor Who reference in and she was in a Fourth Doctor story, “The Ark in Space” as Vira. Other genre appearances include Jack the Ripper and The Further Adventures of the Musketeers. 

(7) VOTING NEIGH. Jill Hughes, candidate for the Brexit Party for the UK general elections, has been dropped by her party, because she publicly claimed to be an alien from Sirius who has come to Earth to raise humanity’s consciousness. Apparently, that was too much even by the standards of the Brexit Party: “Brexit Party general election candidate dropped after claiming she’s from a distant star” in The New European.

In the acknowledgements for her novel “Spirit of Prophecy”, which is about a psychic detective in rural England, Hughes also said that extraterrestrials (ETs) are working with world governments in a “hush-hush” arrangement.

“The E.T’s, some of them less than apple pie wholesome or positive pumpkins, are already here working with our world governments, but that’s all hush-hush for now,” she said.

Hughes’ author bio tells of how she came to believe in reincarnation “when her old horse Red made a re-appearance, this time as a palomino called Hooray Henry”.

(8) WHAT’S THE BUZZ? Inverse: “Researchers have developed a durable robot bee”. Video at the link.

Remember those scary bees from Black Mirror? This ain’t that. Researchers at Harvard have developed a “RoboBee” that has soft artificial muscles, which allow it to crash into walls and the ground without breaking. The soft actuators, mechanisms that operate the robot’s wings, were made with a type of electroactive polymer that has elastic qualities.

(9) SKIFFY. A pigeon has made itself at home inside a war memorial in Australia and has taken poppies from wreaths to build its nest. Photo at the link. The article goes on to discuss the use of pigeons in war.

The Hall of Memory has become host to a pigeon, which has stolen poppies from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to make its nest.

Photos show the pigeon nestling by the stained glass window of a wounded Australian soldier in a corner of the revered, mosaic-covered hall.

… Pigeons came back into use in the Second World War, a conflict that at face value appeared to involve only modern technology.

“We’ve got our trucks instead of horses, and wireless radio, and sophisticated radar signals, and all those sorts of things,” Dr Hampton said.

“But particularly in the Pacific, the mountains and the humidity meant that the wireless radios didn’t work very well,” she said.

Pigeons were the most effective way of getting messages up and over ranges, and throughout the islands.

(10) STEM STYLE. FastCompany briefs the fashion conscious that “You can now wear the work of Ada Lovelace, Rachel Carson, and Mae Jemison”.

To those of us who aren’t well-versed in data or computer science, data can seem foreign and intimidating. But Giorgia Lupi has devoted her career to making statistics accessible to everyone by transforming them into visually stunning patterns that tell engaging stories about the knowledge and the people behind the data. In the past, she’s run a data visualization company, and most recently, she joined the design firm Pentagram as a partner. But in her spare time, she’s been moonlighting as a fashion designer.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Cora Buhlert, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ingvar, who gets a star.]

40 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/7/19 Filer Scrollflake, Pixelman

  1. It is the birthday of my father (named Robert Thornton, curiously enough, but he usually goes by Bob), who turns 84 today. When he was a lawyer at the Library of Congress, he did extensive research into the history of impeachment as Congress prepared to impeach Nixon. Yes, he was working with Hillary Rodham on the very same report for the very same committee and they didn’t get along at all.

  2. Oh Filers, I come asking for book recommendations.

    My workplace is having a gift drive for Christmas on behalf of a local charity. There is a suggestion list provided, and for Girls, Tween (4th-6th Grade), one of the suggestions is YA fiction.

    I know nothing about YA fiction. Does anyone have suggestions? I would love genre-related books, but honestly as long as it is a book that will be read and enjoyed I don’t care. Thank you.

  3. 6) Morons from Outer Space is a better movie than one would think. It would make a good double feature with Earth Girls Are Easy.

    Just got into Tucson for Tuscon (say that five times fast) and I am fried. Not from the long drive, but from the traffic once I got into town. I did stop in Benson, Arizona to take a picture of a street sign on Dark Star Road.

    (Why yes, I do like bad movies.)

  4. Re: Pigeon

    Awww.

    Actually, the pigeon would come back to the same nest if they left it alone, so they’re causing extra work by removing it. Next year they should just provide better nesting material.

  5. @Nancy

    For tweens and/or early teens (the protagonist is 13) I liked Yoon Ha Lee’s Dragon Pearl. It’s a nice mashup of space opera and Korean myth/fox spirits.

  6. 5) Starship Troopers: I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE this adaptation of Heinlein’s novel.

  7. 5) Starship Troopers: I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE this adaptation of Starship Troopers. If there’s ever a remake, I can only hope it is placed in more competent hands than Paul Veerhoven and Edward Neumeier…

  8. @Chris Barkley: I have never seen it and am in no hurry to. I like bad movies, but only if they’re good.

  9. I loved Verhoeven’s take on Starship Troopers, because it showcased the hypocrisy and stupidity of war, rabid nationalism, and supposed “meritocracies” in a way that the book did not.

  10. Nah. When you have a gang of soldiers surround a bug in a circle and all shoot inwards, that isn’t showcasing anything other than your own abject stupidity.

  11. @3: I might be able to come up with less-likely MCU characters for a sitcom, but I’d have to think hard to do so.

    @6: I’d say Lafferty was known less for eccentric language than for characteristic language (that Gaiman imitated perfectly in “The Sunbird”) and beyond-eccentric ideas. One of these days I’ll try again to read one of his novels; I found the short works much more digestible, which may indicate the weakness of my digestion. My first Lafferty was “Narrow Valley”, which I still remember with great fondness for bending my mind in interesting directions — a little like After Bathing at Baxter’s.

    @6 bis typo: ISFDB confirms my recollection that Kay wrote The Fionavar Tapestry. Whether Isabel is urban fantasy is a question of just how big the urbs in urban fantasy needs to be; this one takes place mostly in smaller towns (and ends in a remote area), but it certainly has the intrusion-of-the-fantastic-into-the-present-day that I think of as being essential. (Yes, the fantastic can intrude into the countryside, as in Cooper or Garner, who I would not call urban fantasists — but both of those are also writing country people, where the characters in Isabel are New York City types with NYC reactions.) I do like the book a lot, although some may find the adolescent-male-gaze of the endings a bit much — but ISTM that Kay has kept growing since then; I grab everything new of his.

    @7: nice to know that at least one Brexiteer has irretrievably exposed their loonacy[sic]. IIRC, that happened to a teabagger back in 2010 — IIRC they didn’t have to stand down but got trounced at the polls.

    @Nancy Sauer: I’m not sure Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching sideline to Discworld would fit that age group, but I’m not sure they don’t — IIRC she starts out not much older, which ISTM can be a useful marker. (I’d recommend just the first book or two.) There’s also some Diana Wynne Jones that would fit; A Tale of Time City for sure, Howl’s Moving Castle probably, and maybe a couple of others. (Just don’t give them Fire and Hemlock; I love it but it has a hell of a punch. And a lot of her stuff has male leads and female tagalongs, which you probably don’t want.) And what about Gaiman’s Coraline?

  12. Cora Buhlert: I enjoyed your piece on Perry Rhodan. How popular is Perry Rhodan with Gen X and Millennial fans? Or is it mostly read by older people? Do cosplayers make Perry Rhodan costumes at cons?

    A more basic question: if I were to go to a German newsstand today how many Heftroman would be on the shelves? Perry Rhodan would be the only sf title, right? Are most of the other ones Westerns?

  13. Guy Gavriel Kay’s output isn’t considered historical because of the Fionavar books – it’s because most of his other books have settings that are very much based on history. Names are changed – for places, people, religions – but the matches are often very close.

    (And I notice that the first ‘a’ was accidentally missed from “Fionavar”)

  14. (5) The Starship Troopers movie was not well-received by SS fans? Who polled SS fans on their response to the movie? Too early for Breitbart, I would have thought?

    (7) I want to know why she’s dissing pumpkins, who are generally well-regarded squashes, and popular at this time of year.

    Just finished The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow. Ought to fit the YA category. Also, really good.

  15. 6). R.A. Lafferty birthday: His mentioned novel PAST MASTER is freshly reissued by the Library of America, either as a stand-alone book, or as part of the omnibus FOUR SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS OF THE 1960s: 1968-1969. Both e-book and print.

    I’m loving my re-read.

    The other novels in the omnibus package are: Delany/NOVA, Russ/PICNIC ON PARADISE, Vance/EMPHYRIO.

  16. Just finished The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow. Ought to fit the YA category. Also, really good.

    I liked it a lot, too.

    Yesterday I finished How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason and loved the characters. It also fits the YA category.

  17. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, and I’ve never read the book (it’s on my list, but more compelling books keep pushing it down), but I thought the movie adaptation of Starship Troopers was a pretty fun poke at nationalistic jingoism. I’ve heard it basically turned Heinlein’s messaging upside down, but I can’t see how that could possibly be a bad thing.

    I just finished T. Kingfisher’s horror novel and Joe Abercrombie’s latest. Loved them both, and between the two of them, my appetite for reading is roaring. It’s been a rough year for me in more than one way, and reading-wise is one of ’em, so it’s nice to be inspired to read again. Currently reading Ramsey Campbell’s “Demons by Daylight.”

  18. @Martin Wooster

    Cora Buhlert: I enjoyed your piece on Perry Rhodan. How popular is Perry Rhodan with Gen X and Millennial fans? Or is it mostly read by older people? Do cosplayers make Perry Rhodan costumes at cons?

    Glad you liked the article. Perry Rhodan fandom is aging, but there are plenty of Gen X fans (and many/most of the writers these days are Gen X), if only because Perry Rhodan was the most reliable way for a West German science fiction fan to get your regular fix in the 1970s and 1980s, because you could buy the Heftroman at every newsstand and in every supermarket, even in small villages, and many libraries carried the hardcover collections (which is how I read the early Perry Rhodan stories). Plus, Heftromane were cheap enough that kids could buy them with their allowance, though you might have to hide them from parents and teachers.

    I’d estimate that there are fewer Millennial Perry Rhodan fans, because the range of science fiction on offer is much bigger now and Heftromane are declining in importance. For the 50th anniversary in 2011, there was a reboot called Perry Rhodan Neo, which was an updated retelling of the old stories from the 1960s in paperback form. Neo was obviously intended to bring in younger readers intimidated by decades of series mythology. Neo also has more women and Thora is much more prominent than she ever was in the originals and also hasn’t been killed off yet. These days, she is Crest’s daughter rather than his sister, though she still marries Perry Rhodan. Perry and Thora also manage to be better parents this time around and have an adoptive son and a daughter in addition to Thomas. The Neo line is still running alongside the original series.

    You can see Perry Rhodan cosplayers at Perry Rhodan cons and also at general cons. Perry himself isn’t that popular as cosplay, but Thora, Atlan and Gucky the mouse beaver are.

    A more basic question: if I were to go to a German newsstand today how many Heftroman would be on the shelves? Perry Rhodan would be the only sf title, right? Are most of the other ones Westerns?

    It really depends on the newsstand. The magazine section in a grocery store would maybe give you ten to twenty Heftromane, while a big newsstand in a train station or a tobbacoist with a large magazine section will carry pretty much everything. Heftromane also have a big secondhand market either via comic shops or in so-called Heftroman exchanges.

    I’d estimate that there are maybe 80 Heftroman series currently publishing, some weekly, some biweekly, some monthly, some quarterly. The vast majority are various flavours of romance – medical, alpine, aristocracy, family oriented, etc… – but there are also a lot of westerns. Westerns and romances by popular authors are also steadily reprinted. There is one romance series centered on a large and happy family living on a farm written by a now deceased author, which pretty much starts over again from number 1 whenever they reach the end of the original run from the 1970s. The works of romance authors Hedwig Courths-Mahler (died in 1950) and Leni Behrendt (died in 1968) are also still in print.

    Crime fiction used to be huge as well, but has shrunken to G-Man Jerry Cotton, a hardboiled series published since the 1950s, Butler Parker, a humorous series which is available again after many years, and Cherringham, a cozyish series. There are still several horror series being published, most notably Ghost Hunter John Sinclair, whose main author Jason Dark a.k.a. Helmut Rellergerd is one of the most prolific SFF authors of all time and has written most of the stories since 1973. Other horror series are Professor Zamorra, Dorian Hunter as well as the gothic romance anthology series Irrlicht and Gaslicht.

    War fiction is something of the seedy underbelly of the Heftroman world, but steadily popular mostly with the far right. The long-running WWII series Der Landser regularly got under fire for its focus on heroic German soldiers during WWII. Der Landser and Perry Rhodan were published by the same company and were the only of their many Heftroman series to survive a mass cancellation in the early 1990s, which explains how popular it was. Der Landser was finally cancelled after complaints by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 2013, whereupon the series quickly reappeared under the new title World War, now published by a far right publisher from Switzerland. It apparently has several spin-offs by now, e.g. there is one about the foreign legion. I have never felt bad about walking to the cash register with a stack of Heftromane (and you do get weird looks), but I did feel dirty the handful of times I bought Der Lander for research purposes. And nowdays, I would never buy a new copy of World War and its spin-off series, because I’m not lining the pockets of Neo-Nazis.

    Regarding science fiction, the main titles are Perry Rhodan and Maddrax, a post-apocalyptic series. In the 2000s, there also was Sternenfaust (Star Fist), a military SF series which stopped a couple of years ago, and Bad Earth, a short-lived alien invasion series. Perry Rhodan’s alien best friend Atlan got his own series again a few years ago, after having had his own series for twenty years from the late 1960s into the 1980s, though I don’t think the new Atlan series is still publishing. At any rate, I haven’t seen a copy in ages.

    My local grocery store used to carry Perry Rhodan, Ghost Hunter John Sinclair and G-Man Jerry Cotton along with the romances and westerns, but since they refurbished their magazine section last year, I have to go to the large newsstand at a supermarket approx. 5 kilometres away or the train station newsstand to get Perry Rhodan or John Sinclair or Jerry Cotton for that matter, though I can still get romances and westerns locally.

    So in short, if you go to a newssstand in a German train station, you will find plenty of Heftromane in many genres on offer, probably because Heftromane make great train reading. For some reason, the airport newsstands don’t have nearly as many. These days, you can also get e-book editions, e.g. all 3000+ issues of Perry Rhodan to date are available as e-books.

  19. @Nancy Sauer, my niece absolutely adored Ursula Vernon’s Harriet The Invincible and its sequels in the “Hamster Princess” series. Strong (VERY strong) female agency, a really good ironic sense of humor that doesn’t talk down to the reader but invites them to laugh along, and lots of illustrations for less-confident readers while not being a picture book. I’d say they’re ideal books for tween-aged girls, honestly.

    (When I told my niece I’d met Oor Wombat at an SF convention, she went all fan-girl; her squeal could have broken glass…..)

  20. Meredith Moments:

    –The Hellconia Trilogy by Brian Aldiss is available from the Usual Suspects for $2.99.
    The Female Man by Joanna Russ is available for $2.99.
    Black Thorn, White Rose, which is one of the fairy tale anthologies from Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, is available for $1.99.
    Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin is available for $1.99.

  21. Book read:
    The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons. A decent epic fantasy. Information management is good, a complex world with lots of characters is explained without getting confusing.
    The Accidental War by Walter Jon Williams. On sale for all of November. This is the start of a new trilogy in the Praxis universe and had a little too much setup for me – may be different if you are new to the world. Looking forward to the next one as the action picks up.
    Temper – Nicky Drayden. I loved the first 3/4 of this book. Amazing world building and characters. But the ending didn’t work for me.
    Again, Dangerous Vision by Harlan Ellison. The stories were well-written but I didn’t see much that was ‘dangerous’ or particularly controversial. I don’t know if that is due to changes in society since publication or if it was mostly marketing hype to begin with.

  22. @bookworm1398 I don’t know if that is due to changes in society since publication or if it was mostly marketing hype to begin with.

    Bit of both, I think. The American New Wave was much tamer than the British New Wave and both were on the way out by 1973. I think I last read it back in the early 90s but the James Sallis stories still stick with me, at least, and “With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama” for the title and voice, even though I’m not sure it’s objectively very good.

  23. @ bookworm1398 and Sophie Jane:

    The Dangerous Visions story that I remember best is Riders of the Purple Wage by Farmer. It really evoked a future world (which is why I guess it won the Best Novella Hugo in 1968 with McCaffrey’s Weyr Search).The rest of them all tended to blur except the Piers Anthony, which was not worth the time I spent reading it.

  24. 3) That ‘WandaVision’ sitcom sounds like ‘Henry Danger’ or ‘Lab Rats’ or ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ except ironically!

    Ugh.

  25. @bookworm1398: think about it in terms of what the magazines were publishing at the time: hardly even a mention of sex, let along direct engagements with it.

  26. Nancy Sauer:
    My daughter (12 y.o.) loves Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. She also enjoys the Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger.
    Then there’s the Aru Shah series by Roshani Chokshi.
    The Third Coin by J.A. Howard.
    Bone by Jeff Smith
    Longbow Girl by Linda Davies.
    The Zita the Space Girl and Mighty Jack books by Ben Hatke.
    Mango Shaped Space
    Fish In A Tree
    Mysterious Benedict Society (series)
    Hope these help.

  27. Cora Buhlert: Thank you for that very informative answer. One question I should have asked: How much do Heftromans cost and how would this cost compare to the cost of a paperback book?

  28. A regular 64 page Heftroman costs 1.99 EUR. Perry Rhodan is a tad more expensive and costs 2.20 EUR. A Perry Rhodan Neo paperback costs 4.50 EUR. These are the print editions, the e-books are cheaper.

    A regular trade paperback novel costs approx. 9.99 EUR.

    So Heftromane are still cheap entertainment, though no longer quite as cheap as they used to be. A 64-page issue costs about as much as a regular gossip, TV or women’s issues magazine and offers more reading.

  29. I loved the Perry Rhodan books as a teenager, but when I went back and started to reread them from the beginning as few years back, it seemed like Perry was a complete asshole, especially to Thora. I guess he improved, since they obviously got married. I’d started reading them in the 1970s starting with about book 10, and remember liking them at that point, so maybe they got better.

  30. I liked the Perry Rhodan books as a teenager in the 1970s. A few years back I bought a collection of 20 or so and started reading from the first book, and I was annoyed by how much of a dick Perry seemed at first, particularly to Thora. I guess he improved, because when I originally started reading them around book #10 or so, he was better, and I know they eventually got married. I may have to give them another try.

  31. Starship Troopers the movie could have been worse: it could have been based on the book! 😀

  32. Xtifr notes Starship Troopers the movie could have been worse: it could have been based on the book! ?

    Ok it wasn’t that bad a novel. It had a political bent that many folks didn’t like but it was reasonably well written. He would, and by god, did write far worse novels.

  33. @John M. Cowan
    Yes, Perry often behaves like a dick in the beginning, both to Thora and later towards their son Thomas. Though Thora gave as good as she got. There’s one scene where Perry tells his pal Reginald Bull, “Oops, I think I just may have proposed to her”, whereupon Thora informs him in no unclear terms that she will never marry a primitive Earthling like him. Of course, she eventually changed her mind.

    I also had forgotten how relatively quickly Thora was written out of the series, which was a huge waste of a great character. Luckily, the Perry Rhodan Neo reboot is doing better by Thora (and Thomas, for that matter), but then the series has several woman writers by now.

  34. Nancy Sauer, if “Harriet the Invincible” isn’t too young, you might also look at Oor Wombat’s “Castle Anthrax”. I’m in my 60s and enjoyed it enough to reread it twice at least.

  35. Lenore Jones / jonesnori: you might also look at Oor Wombat’s “Castle Anthrax”

    That was her collaboration with the Monty Python gents. 😀

    Her standalone novel was Castle Hangnail and I loved it, thought it was just as good for adults as it was for kids (but perhaps in different ways). As is Summer in Orcus.

  36. Thanks for all the great suggestions! I’ll be making a list and seeing what the local independent bookstore downtown has.

  37. Thanks, Cora. Sorry for the duplicate post, btw. I thought my first one had been eaten up by the internet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.