Pixel Scroll 12/15/18 Here Comes A Pixel To Light You To Bed, Here Comes A Scroller To Scroll Off Your Head

(1) AWFUL COMIC BOOK MOVIES. Comicbook.com calls these “The 36 Worst Comic Book Movies of All Time”. How many of these stinkers have you sniffed?

…But when you look back at comic book movie history, the genre has had more than its share of critical stinkers and box-office bombs….

32. Watchmen

Based on the DC Comics series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen is set in an alternate version of the year 1985, where heroes exist and Nixon is still president. The comic gained acclaim, but movie critics were more divided.

(2) FRESH PEANUTS. The Hollywood Reporter predicts you’ll get Peanuts from Apple in the future: “Apple Lands Rights to Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Co. in New Peanuts Deal”.

DHX Media will produce the new content based on Charles M. Schulz’s beloved comic characters.

Goodgrief. After what’s being described as a highly competitive bidding situation, Apple and its forthcoming originals operation has landed the rights to new Peanuts content.

The tech giant, which has not-so-quietly been amassing a strong roster of talent and original productions that is said to start rolling out in 2019, has completed a deal with DHX Media to create series, specials and shorts featuring iconic Charles M. Schulz characters such as Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the entire Peanuts gang. DHX, the Canadian-based kids programming giant that acquired a stake in the Peanuts franchise in 2017, will produce all of the projects.

As part of the partnership, DHX Media is also going to produce original short-form STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) content that will be exclusive to Apple and feature astronaut Snoopy. DHX Media will be working closely with subsidiary Peanuts Worldwide on all efforts.

(3) WHICH WHO IS NEW WHO? It’s so easy to lose track of time when you’re dealing with the Doctor. Here Season 11 has just ended, while for Galactic Journey, tracking in 1963, Season 1 has barely begun! (And I mean the first Season 1….) “[December15, 1963] Our First Outing Into Time And Space (Dr. Who: THE FIREMAKERS)”.

So, after the first installment I was rather looking forward to this one. I curled up with a nice cup of tea and a guinea pig – the best viewing partner.

The episode picks up where it left off in An Unearthly Child, with the shot of a shadow looming over the T.A.R.D.I.S. We cut away, and get to see who’s casting the shadow: a rather grubby looking chap in desperate need of a good haircut. This is Kal, a Palaeolithic man, and contender for the leader of his tribe. Winter is fast approaching, their old firemaker is dead, and his son, Za, has no more idea of how to make a fire than any of the others. Control of the tribe will go to whomever becomes the new firemaker.

(4) THROUGH KILLYBEGS, KILKERRY, AND KILDARE. The Irish Times lists the 35 best independent bookshops in Ireland – something of interest to anyone bound for Dublin 2019 next year — “35 of the best independent bookshops in Ireland”. Cora Buhlert sent the link with a note, “I was surprised that Hodges Figgis in Dublin, which was even mentioned by James Joyce in Ulysses, isn’t on the list, but turns out they’re owned by Waterstone’s these days and no longer independent.”

(5) BRUBAKER INTERVIEW. Alex Segura on “Tales of Junkies. Fade-outs, Super-heroes, and Criminals” on Crimereads, profiles Ed Brubaker, because “when you think crime comics, Brubaker is the one of the first ones that come to mind,” not only for his work on Captain America and Batman, but also his own projects, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies and Kill Or Be Killed.

..Aside from sheer creative control, can you talk a bit about the differences that come with writing your own characters and those that are owned by Marvel or DC, and the pros and cons of either approach?

I mean, the con is they can take something you co-create, like the Winter Soldier, and make hundreds of millions of dollars on toys and hoodies and cartoons and movies, and basically give you nothing—or nothing’s next door neighbor, if you’re lucky.

The pro is that you can have fun and make a good living as a writer while you’re doing it.

I worked really hard on stuff like DD and Cap, and I’m really proud of what me and my collaborators accomplished on those books. Stuff like Gotham Central and Catwoman was where I built some of my readership, by doing crime comics with superhero stuff in them, but ultimately, I always wanted to just write my own stories, I think, regardless of the fucked-up contracts in the superhero field.

(6) 3BELOW TRAILER. Guillermo del Toro’s 3Below:Tales of Arcadia launches on Netflix December 21.

From visionary director Guillermo del Toro and the team behind DreamWorks Trollhunters comes an epic, hilarious tale of alien royalty who must escape intergalactic bounty hunters by blending in on a primitive junk heap known as Earth.

(7) LIPPI OBIT. Urania editor Giuseppi Lippi (1953-2018) died December 14. Silvio Sosio of Delos Digital kindly granted his permission for File 770 to reproduce in English the appreciation he wrote for Italian sff site Fanascienza:

Giuseppi Lippi

Giuseppe Lippi, editor of the famous Italian magazine Urania, passed Friday, December 14. He had been hospitalized since the end of November for respiratory problems. A few days ago he was transferred in a bigger hospital in Pavia; Friday his condition worsened, and he died in the night.

Lippi was 65. Born in Stella Cilento, near Salerno, grew up in Naples. Then he studied in Trieste, where he worked with the local fandom. Later he went in Milan to work in the staff of the magazine Robot with Vittorio Curtoni.

In 1990 Mondadori hired him as editor of Urania, the monthly magazine published since 1952. He kept that position until the first months of 2018. He also wrote books and articles about the history of Urania.

He was a fine translator (notably of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard). He recently edited complete collections of Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith stories. He never stopped writing columns for Robot since the first issue of the new series (2003). 

He is survived by his wife Sebastiana. The funeral ceremony will be held in Pavia December 17.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • December 15, 1958 Frankenstein’s Daughter showed up at your local drive-in…if you lived somewhere you wouldn’t freeze to death in the cold weather.
  • December 15, 1961The Twilight Zone aired “Once Upon A Time,” which featured the legendary Buster Keaton.
  • December 15, 1978 — Alexander Salkind’s Superman – The Movie flew into theatres.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born December 15, 1923Freeman Dyson, 95. Physicist best known in genre circles for the concept he theorized of a Dyson Sphere which would be built by a sufficiently technologically advanced species around a sun to harvest all solar energy. He credited Olaf Stapledon in Star Maker (1937), in which he described “every solar system… surrounded by a gauze of light traps, which focused the escaping solar energy for intelligent use,” with first coming up with the concept. 
  • Born December 15, 1953Alex Cox, 65. Ahhh, the Director who back in the early Eighties gave us Repo Man. And that he got a co-writer credit for the screenplay of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas before it was completely rewritten by Gilliam. No, what interests me is that he’s listed as directing a student film version of Harry Harrison’s Bill, the Galactic Hero at University of Colorado Boulder just four years ago! Anyone know anything about this?
  • Born December 15, 1963Helen Slater, 55. She was Supergirl in the film of that name,  and returned to the 2015 TV series of the same name as Supergirl’s adoptive mother. Also within the DC Universe, she voiced Talia al Ghulin in Batman: The Animated Series. Recently she also voiced Martha Kent in  DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year. And Lara in Smallville…And Eliza Danvers on the Supergirl series. Me? I’m not obsessed at all by the DC Universe… other genre appearance include being on SupernaturalEleventh HourToothlessDrop Dead Diva and Agent X.
  • Born December 15, 1970 Michael Shanks, 48. Best known for playing Dr. Daniel Jackson in the vey long-running Stargate SG-1 franchise. His first genre appearance was in the Highlander series and he’s been in a lot of genre properties including the Outer LimitsEscape from MarsAndromeda (formally titled Gene Roddenberry’s Andromedaand there’s a juicy story there), SwarmedMega SnakeEurekaSanctuary, Smallville, Supernatural and Elysium.

(10) WAIT WAIT. On this episode of NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,The Captain arrives around the 30-minute mark: “‘Wait Wait’ For Dec. 15, 2018 With Not My Job Guest William Shatner”.

Recorded in Chicago with Not My Job guest William Shatner and panelists Roy Blount Jr., Helen Hong and Luke Burbank.

One of the greatest moments in all of cinema is William Shatner yelling “KHAAN!” in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan… so we’ve invited him to answer three questions about a different Cannes …the Cannes Film Festival.

Click the audio link above to find out how he does. (Or read the transcript, since there is one.)

(11) PERFECT HINDSIGHT. IndieWire recalls the reboot got a cool reception: “‘Battlestar Galactica’ Is Now a Classic — 15 Years Ago, Fans Thought It Was a Mistake”.

In 2003, the San Diego Comic-Con was a much less intense event than it is today, but networks and studios still saw the value of promoting new TV shows to fans. So, a few months before the premiere of the miniseries that re-launched “Battlestar Galactica,” creator Ronald D. Moore and cast members Edward James Olmos, Jamie Bamber, and Katee Sackhoff, sat on a raised platform in one of the venue’s smaller conference rooms.

They screened the trailer. And then they ate a lot of crap. Although the original “Battlestar Galactica” premiered in 1978 for just one season, the audience was rooted in debating the old version, and why the Sci-Fi Channel (as it was then known) wanted to reboot the show.

The mood did lighten a bit when Sackhoff, cast as the gender-swapped character of Starbuck, addressed how much her role would resemble the one originally played by Dirk Benedict as a womanizing, gambling, and hard-drinking rascal. She said her Starbuck was definitely not afraid of drinking, gambling, or rebelling — and, when it came to the last thing, “as long as I’m involved in the casting…” It went better than another panel held at a “Galactica” fan convention where Moore was booed.

(12) SUGGESTED REVISIONS. In a post on Facebook, David Gerrold expressed his dissatisfaction with an unnamed encyclopedia’s coverage of his career:

…That encyclopedia — well, hell, the ISFDB database will list what an author has written and that’s the original purpose of an encyclopedia, to provide facts — but the aforementioned encyclopedia is a collation of opinions, and opinions are … well, subjective.

There’s no encyclopedic entry that has the necessary understanding of an author’s process, not his mindset, not his history, not his personal experience. There’s no encyclopedia that mentions that [REDACTED] was a drunk, that [REDACTED] was an unlikable bully, that [REDACTED] was a sexual libertine who broke up marriages, that [REDACTED] was wildly inappropriate with women, that [REDACTED] was somewhere on the spectrum … etc. etc.

See, if an encyclopedic effort is supposed to be truly encyclopedic, then it should be an in-depth article about the individual as well as a survey of the work — and the survey of the work should provide more than just a casual description, it should be an attempt to discover recurring themes and ideas.

For instance, one could possibly annotate such an article with the observation that “the influence of Star Trek on Gerrold’s work is evident in that the Star Wolf trilogy can be seen as an anti-Trek, with a more recognizable military construction” or one can say, “the Dingilliad trilogy is Gerrold’s attempt to write a Heinlein juvenile, but going places that Heinlein couldn’t,” or one can say, “The Man Who Folded Himself” (still in print 45 years later) is a reworking of multiple time-travel ideas.” Therefore, “one can get the sense that Gerrold is reworking classic SF themes, updating them so he can explore the deeper possibilities.” See, that would be insightful enough to be useful to a reader trying to understand the writer as well as the work….

Not that anyone is unaware he’s speaking of John Clute’s entry about “Gerrold, David” in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction:

…In the 1980s – a decade during which he did extensive work for television – Gerrold’s writings lost some of their freshness, and his dependency on earlier sf models for inspiration became more burdensome. The War Against the Chtorr sequence – A Matter for Men (1983; rev 1989), A Day for Damnation (1984; exp 1989), A Rage for Revenge (1989) and A Season for Slaughter (1992), with the first versions of the first two titles assembled as The War Against the Chtorr: Invasion (omni 1984) – mixes countercultural personal empowerment riffs à la Robert A Heinlein with violent action scenes as the worm-like Chtorr continue to assault Earth, with no end in sight; the Starsiders/Chigger sequence – comprising Jumping Off the Planet (2000), Bouncing Off the Moon (2001) and Leaping to the Stars (2002), all three assembled as The Far Side of the Sky (omni 2002) – is a Young Adult Space Opera whose young sibling protagonists have issues with their mysterious father, which are resolved excitedly. Other novels, like The Galactic Whirlpool (1980) and Enemy Mine (1985) with Barry B Longyear – the novelization of Enemy Mine, a film based on a Longyear story – show a rapid-fire competence but are not innovative. Chess with a Dragon (1987) is an amusing but conceptually flimsy juvenile. There is a growing sense that Gerrold might never write the major novel he once seemed capable of – not because he has lost the knack, but because he is disinclined to take the fantastic very seriously….

(13) KEVIN SMITH EXPLAINS IT ALL TO YOU. From WIRED, “Every Spider-Man in Film & TV Explained.”

Kevin Smith takes us through the history of Spider-Man in film and television, from 1978’s “Spider-Man Strikes Back” to 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, CatE ldridge, JJ. Martin Morse Wooster, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna Nimmhaus.]

62 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/15/18 Here Comes A Pixel To Light You To Bed, Here Comes A Scroller To Scroll Off Your Head

  1. Head all spinny. On the other hand, not in yesterday’s deep funk. Third hand, still got the rental, no car shopping accomplished yet.

  2. 1) I’ve seen 26 of them, but nah, those aren’t the worst. Worse are:

    Barb Wire (1996)
    Captain America (1979)
    Lucky Luke (1991)
    Nick Fury (1998)
    R.I.P.D (2013)
    Spider-Man (1977)
    Swamp Thing (1982)
    The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)

    And most likely a few others.

  3. Just goes to show that if you want these things done the way you like, you have to do them yourself!

  4. 9) Helen Slater was also a regular in the Poltergeist: The Legacy TV series in the 1990s.

    11) I’ll always have a soft spot for the original, but I don’t like the new Battlestar Galactica and never will, though many/most of the actors have done good work elsewhere and even Ron D. Moore has aquitted himself with making a very good adaptation of Outlander.

    Back when the new Galactica aired, I said that with its thinly veiled commentary on US political events of the early 2000s (the Iraq war, the legitimacy of torture, the legitimacy of the George W. Bush presidency) the new Galactica would seem more dated than the original in a couple of years. I don’t think I was wrong either, because for something that was once hailed as “the best show on television(TM)”, very few people are even talking about the new Galactica these days. That article is the big exception.

    12) Like pretty much every SF fan, I have a print edition of Clute’s Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction on my shelves. Though this isn’t the first time I’ve noticed that his tone isn’t always as quite objective. It’s far from the worst example either.

  5. “Like pretty much every SF fan, I have a print edition of Clute’s Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction on my shelves.”

    This is something fans have? I didn’t even know there was a print edition.

  6. “Gerrold’s writings lost some of their freshness, and his dependency on earlier sf models for inspiration became more burdensome…show a rapid-fire competence but are not innovative…There is a growing sense that Gerrold might never write the major novel he once seemed capable of – not because he has lost the knack, but because he is disinclined to take the fantastic very seriously.”

    This is the type of commentary you would expect to find in a column. This is the type of commentary you would expect to find in a review. This is not the type of commentary you would expect to find in an encyclopedia article.

  7. (12) SUGGESTED REVISIONS.

    I find the SFE a reasonably good reference for authors from many years ago, but for contemporary authors, I’ve found it really lacking. For pete’s sake, he’s got an entry which treats Armin Shimerman, with his ghostwritten Star Trek books, as a serious author.

    The fact that he doesn’t even discuss Gerrold’s Star Wolf series does not enhance the credibility of what he’s written about Gerrold. I highly recommend this excellent series; it’s a grittier, more realistic — and in many ways, more interesting — version of Star Trek which greatly benefits from not chafing under the bonds of Roddenberry’s rigid story limitations.

  8. 12) There’s no such thing as objectivity, of course, so I think I’m happier with an SF Encyclopedia that has distinct voices and opinions I can argue with if I like. The alternative is a dry repetition of facts (concealing the subjective choice of which facts to report) or an equally dry passive-voice pretence of neutrality. But then, I wasn’t grabbed by “War Against the Chtorr” either.

    (I read my print copy of the SF Encyclopedia from end to end when I got it back in the day, though mostly because I was temporarily stuck in a small Midlands town with nothing better to do.)

  9. 11) The entitlement of fans is something I just don’t get. Booing someone on stage because they’re making a new version of something!?

    I didn’t see the reboot until I started dating my now-wife around three years ago. I was very resistant, since I really didn’t like the original. But I relented and I was utterly captivated. I lapped it up, even and/or especially the metaphysical overtones, despite being an atheist myself.

  10. Cora says Like pretty much every SF fan, I have a print edition of Clute’s Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction on my shelves. Though this isn’t the first time I’ve noticed that his tone isn’t always as quite objective. It’s far from the worst example either.

    Well you’re suggesting that they’ve aren’t many SF fans as I doubt the print run on this was much above several thousand. These books weren’t printed in large numbers. Suggesting that a true a fan is measured by having a copy of this is, well, pretentious.

  11. (1) Created by trawling a review-collation site (Metacritic): automatically generated journalism.

    (12) @Hampus: Yes, there is a print edition of the SF encyclopedia. I even think there are two of them. I have the second one, and its companion volume The Fantasy Encyclopedia.

    I think the SF Encyclopedia occupies sort of a weird taxonomic space. It is part an encyclopedia, discussing facts and categories and events. But it is also a work on serious literary criticism in the field of sf, and when it was written there were very few such, and an attempt to make a general overview of the field.

    There are more articles than Gerrold’s where I have noticed leakage from the subjective criticism to the encyclopedic entries, but I have also seen similar leakage in some similar works, eg John-Henri Holmberg’s two-volume overview of science fiction, written for the Swedish library services publisher.

  12. 12) I bought that book a long time ago. It’s currently with a friend in Seattle, along with all my others, eventually to be shipped back to the UK. I always read it as a very subjective take, which was one of the reasons it was enjoyable to read (the ‘encyclopaedia’ in the title). Rather like Aldiss’ Billion Year Spree.

    And speaking of Brits with strong opinions of SF, I started reading The Gradual by Priest, intrigued partly by the grumpy quotes of his I’ve read claiming everybody is doing it wrong. I must say I’m struggling a bit. It’s told in a very unornamented style and I’m struggling to keep my interest up. Anyone else have any thoughts on this one?

  13. Cliff: I started reading The Gradual by Priest, intrigued partly by the grumpy quotes of his I’ve read claiming everybody is doing it wrong. I must say I’m struggling a bit. It’s told in a very unornamented style and I’m struggling to keep my interest up. Anyone else have any thoughts on this one?

    My thoughts on both that book and The Adjacent are that they are fantasy, not science fiction (which of course makes Priest’s snooty “doing it wrong” diatribes all the more ironic).

    The Gradual contains some hints at science-fiction, but they are never fleshed out, so what remains is interesting but vague worldbuilding which does not qualify as SF. I thought that book had a lot of potential, but that sadly most of it was never realized — and for me that was frustrating, because I was wanting that potential book which was hinted at by the worldbuilding.

    It does not help that the main character is pretty much cardboard (and he gets more character development than anyone else in the book).

  14. Suggesting that a true a fan is measured by having a copy of this is, well, pretentious.

    Cora did no such thing. She said that many fans have a print edition of the Nicholls-Clute (I am another), she did not say anything about “to be a true fan you have to have it”.

    And by the way, a) Clute is not an amateur, he is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable critics in the field; b) the fact that it is not a dry recitation of facts is precisely the reason why I read the Encyclopaedia back to back and finally c) it doesn’t strike me as terribly professional to take issue with what critics write about your work and rewrite it so that it’s more laudatory.

  15. Back in the 1980s, I persuaded my high school librarian to allow me to withdraw the SF Encyclopedia over the Christmas break (imagine, taking a reference book out of the library). Over that break I read it cover to cover, and was able to return it on the first school day in January. Good times.

  16. 11) The Battlestar Galactica reboot is the series that says not only do we repeat the same things all over again, but that all of human history, all those individual independant human cultures? They exist so that “All Along the Watchtower” can come into existence again.

    Seriously, my thoughts on this level of white Baby Boomer arrogance and entitlement cannot be printed. The original may have had problems, but it didn’t have that level of ethnocentrism.

  17. “She said that many fans have a print edition of the Nicholls-Clute (I am another), she did not say anything about “to be a true fan you have to have it”.

    No. She didn’t say “many fans”. She said “pretty much every fan”.

    Me, I only have encyclopedias on Vampires.

  18. I don’t have Clute’s Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, but I do have a copy of his Encyclopedia of Fantasy.

  19. Joe H. notes I don’t have Clute’s Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, but I do have a copy of his Encyclopedia of Fantasy.

    I’ve got Encyclopedia of Science Fiction here and am seeking out a copy of Encyclopedia of Fantasy. as I find them interesting reading even if they are rather dated at this point.

  20. Finished (quickly) In Plain Sight – Dan Willis

    The protagonist is a rune-maker, a flexible but generally not a terribly powerful mage. He is a detective and there are multiple mysteries going on simultaneously:
    a] A disease constructed through magic killed everyone at a soup kitchen
    b] A man is missing and his sister hires our detective to look for him
    c] A murder investigation of a guy who works for a major import/export warehouse
    d] Then two more mysteries branch out from this.

    This was a very tightly written book. Parts of this I could figure out, but other parts I could not until revealed by the author. The clues were mostly there but were not obviously related.

    Six super powerful sorcers are in New York. They use their powers for money (one makes things which broadcasts power, another makes tiny bits of metal that operate as refigeration/cooling devices, etc…..

    I finished this in a couple of days. It was a very fun read.

    https://www.amazon.com/Plain-Sight-Arcane-Casebook-Book-ebook/dp/B07KVP3DN2/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

  21. There are more articles than Gerrold’s where I have noticed leakage from the subjective criticism to the encyclopedic entries,

    The SFE entry on population is … interesting. By Stableford, iirc.

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  23. @1: I’ve seen just 4; I’ve found the local reviewers fairly reliable, and a lot of these got notices very little kinder than CFQ‘s summary of Logan’s Run. I won’t argue about 3 of them, but am not sure Iron Man 2 belongs on a list of bombs, even one this long (especially since it has so many films that I didn’t even remember existed…).

    @2: Humph — I thought Schulz had managed to lock up the rights so there wouldn’t be any more work with his characters. I wonder what Apple will do to “update” them — or do they think new readers will be charmed by a world that feels like 1950’s suburban USA with a few updates pasted in?

    @4: cute obscure reference there….

    @10: I hadn’t realized Shatner was so good-natured about his goofs — and he got an answer that I missed.

    @12: I suppose it would be too much for Gerrold to understand the difference between what he intended and what he produced….

  24. 1) Any movie list that includes Constantine as a “worst of” anything is complete BS. Constantine was great!

  25. 1) I’ve seen, well, most of them, and while there are some stinkers (Spider-Man 3, X-Men 3, Green Lantern, any Fantastic Four, etc.), there are some movies on there that I genuinely liked — both Thors and the first two Blades, for example.

  26. I don’t have print-run figures, but I can testify that the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction was a very big deal when it appeared, that there were UK and US editions, a very expanded second edition, a trade paper edition, and a CD-ROM version of the second edition. Somebody must have been buying all those.

    Before the Nicholls & Clute, there was the three-volume Tuck Encyclopedia from Advent, which was much less widely distributed. I strongly suspect that more fans and researchers had access to Nicholls & Clute than to Tuck simply because the latter was published by a small press rather than a major commercial publisher. (I don’t recall ever seeing Advent titles in non-specialist bookstores. Interestingly, all three volumes of Tuck are still listed as available on Advent’s website.)

  27. (1) I totally agree with applying the term “automatically generated journalism.” There are a lot of “superior” candidates (for a “worst” list) that aren’t on Metacritic, and even the famous-reviewer quotes are mostly more “meh” than damning. If the list had stuck to 10, it would be more meaningful, but that’s probably not enough photos for clickbait “journalism.”

  28. Publishers’ figures were not fully given to us, but print run of the 1993 edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction seems to have exceeded 50,000 in all editions, in the UK and the US, and in book club.

  29. John Clute says Publishers’ figures were not fully given to us, but print run of the 1993 edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction seems to have exceeded 50,000 in all editions, in the UK and the US, and in book club.

    Fifty thousand?!? That’s amazing! How many printings was that?

  30. Anna Feruglio Dal Dan on December 16, 2018 at 3:33 am said:

    Cora did no such thing. She said that many fans have a print edition of the Nicholls-Clute (I am another), she did not say anything about “to be a true fan you have to have it”.

    She said “pretty much every SF fan”. That’s about as close as you can come to saying “to be a ‘true fan’ you have to have it” as you can come without actually saying it.

    I’m sure she didn’t intend any offense, but I can also easily understand why people might be offended. I’m struggling not to be myself. There are nearly a dozen SF fans in my direct family (three generations of fans), and as far as I know, none of them own a copy.

    Personally, I think SF fans are marked by liking SF. Being interested in the history of the field is something else entirely.

  31. How many printings of the SFE? I figure I’m the barber with a bad haircut. Pretty sure the trade editions from Orbit and St Martins may have gone fast into second printings, but couldn’t swear that they both did so before the 1995 reprint-with-addenda. Also a 1999 reprint with further addenda. The book club print-run was large, but the contract was so inimical I could never bear to look at it carefully. I do remember we got royalties…

  32. To clarify, I didn’t mean to imply that anybody who does not own the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is not a true fan. But it’s the one SF reference book you can find in pretty much every university library and on the shelves of many fans and also people who are not that open about their fandom, i.e. college professors. Spotting a copy on someone’s shelf often led to good conversations about SF.

    My own edition is the 1995 edition, bought in London around the time it came out and lugged home through half of central London, because there was a tube failure, so I had to walk quite a bit to find a station from where I could go home. And that book is very heavy.

    I also recall seeing an earlier edition from the 1980s (the one with a still from Metropolis on the cover) in a Rotterdam bookstore, which carried quite a few SF reference works. At the time, I couldn’t afford to buy a copy, but I read parts of it in the store. The booksellers knew me, since I often hung out at that store and read books I couldn’t afford, and left me alone. Besides, I occasionally bought a book, when I had managed to save up enough money.

  33. @Andrew: Upon further consideration, I think the book I read over Christmas break in high school was “Science Fiction Writers: Critical Studies of the Major Authors from the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present Day” (the 1982 edition) (I remembered the crack about “oxygen brothers” in the article about Murray Leinster). Either way, good times…

  34. I have the 1979 version, a thoughtful gift from a friend. It has wonderful cover art of a planetoid crashing into the sea and what looks like the Titanic ramming the Empire State Building.

  35. Lis Carey on December 15, 2018 at 7:33 pm said:
    Head all spinny. On the other hand, not in yesterday’s deep funk. Third hand, still got the rental, no car shopping accomplished yet.

    Lis, are you using the internet to car shop? The information available now makes it almost painless. Once you’ve located a good deal in your neighborhood, you can email the dealer to make an appointment.
    Also, the information makes it easy to bargain because it gives lots of pricing evaluations. And accident reports, for used cars. My nephew passed on what looked like a good deal because the car history showed the dealer had to buy it back under a lemon law provision.

  36. My copy of the second edition of the Encyclopedia says first published 1993, and the reprint (that I have) is 1994. It cost £50 – I think it may have been my Christmas present that year…

    I will note that the other reason to be glad for it, is that it led to the Encyclopedia of Fantasy, and that led to Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide To Fantasyland (which I believe came out of research she did for the EoF.) And that’s the volume that I think should be on every true fan’s shelf… 🙂

  37. Xtifr on December 16, 2018 at 12:19 pm said:
    Anna Feruglio Dal Dan on December 16, 2018 at 3:33 am said:

    Cora did no such thing. She said that many fans have a print edition of the Nicholls-Clute (I am another), she did not say anything about “to be a true fan you have to have it”.

    She said “pretty much every SF fan”. That’s about as close as you can come to saying “to be a ‘true fan’ you have to have it” as you can come without actually saying it.

    Sorry, but in my book, “pretty much everybody had a copy” is not equivalent to “if you haven’t got a copy you’re a fake fan”. Pretty much everybody has seen Star Wars: that is simply a statement of fact, reflecting the wide penetration of the film in the population; “you can’t be a real fan if you haven’t seen Star Wars”: that is a judgement, a condition to be considered a real fan.

    Pretty much everybody in fandom in the UK (over a certain age) has a copy of the Encyclopedia: it sold a lot of copies and it was more than a reference work, it was a cracking good read. Hence lot of people invested in buying it, especially since there was a paperback version available. Hell, a lot of people in ITALIAN fandom owned a copy. I tresured my copy and would heartily reccomend it: but I am perplexed about how “it was great and a lot of people bought it” somehow morphed into a snotty “Nyah nyah nyah you’re not a real fa-an! You haven’t read the Ecyclopedia!”

    I dare say that pretty much every SF fan has a book by Lovecraft on their shelves: I happen not to. I’m not nervous about my status as a fan.

  38. Coming to you from a pile of used tissues.

    I picked up Latchkey tho I didn’t finish Archivist Wasp (for reasons I can’t now recall). I’m in the very first chapter where the rules of the magic are being explained, and the teenage girl ninja warriors are being warned that, whatever they do, they must not shed blood lest it attract ghosts.

    Is anyone else seeing the problem I’m seeing? Is the problem (aka “shark week”) ever addressed? whut?

  39. Anna Feruglio Dal Dan:

    Well, most fans I know are not really part of fandom (have only visited perhaps a few conventions in their youth) and I have never seen that book on anyones shelves.

    The encyclopedias over SFF published in Sweden though… Well, I used to habe one myself and I never defined myself as part of fandom at that time.

  40. @Doctor Science et al: possibly the author means “shed blood” in the way original(*) D&D clerics were forbidden to do (i.e., in quantity, by deliberate use of a cutting weapon), rather than simply ?emitting? it? This seems in line with the sort of thing one would have to warn a performer of covert violence about.

    (*) for values of “original” that may include “current”; I played for a few months 43 years ago and haven’t tracked rules since.

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