Pixel Scroll 12/27/20 The Right To Scroll Pixels Is The Right To Be Filed

(1) EVADING DUTIES. Richard Garriott’s announcement that he secretly hid some of James Doohan’s ashes on the ISS inspired Steven H Silver’s post “A Brief History of Space Smuggling” for Amazing Stories.

…The first mission to orbit the moon was the Apollo 8 mission on December 24 and 25, 1968. Knowing that the crew would be in orbit around the Moon on Christmas, NASA wanted to make sure that they had an appropriate Christmas dinner and provided dehydrated versions of the appropriate foods. Deke Slayton went a step further, and despite an official no-alcohol policy, he slipped in three mini bottles of Coronet Brandy for the crew to enjoy. William Borman, however, confiscated the bottles explaining that if there was any subsequent problem with the space craft, it would be blamed on the men drinking the brandy. In a 2019 article, space writer Jeffrey Kluger claimed that all three men (it is the only Apollo crew with all its members still alive) still have their unopened bottle of brandy….

(2) JP: COLLECT ‘EM ALL. [Item by James Bacon.] Journey Planet: Collector’s Edition is all about collectors, collections, and collecting! Our contributors share their treasure troves, which range from Prince records to nerdy paintings to Leia merchandise. What makes their collections special to them? Why did they start collecting them in the first place? Where do they keep all that stuff?

There’s also a very special interview with Seanan McGuire, My Little Pony collector extraordinaire! Take a tour of her “Pony Room”, meet her favorite Ponies, and hear why collecting them brings her so much joy. We hope that reading her story and the others breathes new life into your enjoyment of your own collection, whatever that may be.”

Co-edited by Sarah Gulde the issue can be found free to download here.

(3) THE NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND BOOKS. “Library of 1000 Believes You’ve Read Less Than 10 of These Books”. The Library may have a thousand, but there are only 150 titles in this challenge. Cliff submitted the link along with a confession: “I scored two. I could maybe give myself half a point for Raymond Feist’s Magician, but it was so terrible I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.” Whereas I scored 5 — big whoopee!

(4) WW BUT WHAT YEAR? “’Wonder Woman 3′ in the Works With Director Patty Jenkins” SAYS Variety. It would be a wonder if it wasn’t, right?

(5) ACROSS THE POND. The UK bookstore chain Waterstones has listed its favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2020: “The Best Books of 2020: Science Fiction & Fantasy”.

The Science Fiction universe saw the return of two seminal modern series this year, as Ernest Cline finally followed up his pop-culture packed cult favourite Ready Player One and Suzanne Collins took us all back to Panem and the backstory of the future President Snow in her prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy. Meanwhile, the realms of Fantasy saw the contemporary fiction debuts of Young Adult titans, Sarah J. Maas and Veronica Roth. Elsewhere, we defended a future New York with N.K. Jemisin, traded our souls for immortality with V.E. Schwab and learned to live side by side with bunnies thanks to Jasper Fforde. Where will we boldly go in 2021?

(6) ROADS LESS TRAVELLED. Book Riot’s Margaret Kingsbury writes interesting takes about her picks in “10 of the Best 2020 Under the Radar SFF Books”.

PHOENIX EXTRAVAGANT BY YOON HA LEE

This unique standalone is set in a fantasy world reminiscent of Korea during the Japanese occupation of the early 1900s. The Ministry of Armour hires nonbinary artist Jebi to paint magic sigils onto masks for the government’s automata. Their sister hates the conquering government, but Jebi, who doesn’t consider themself political, needs the cash and doesn’t see another way of acquiring it. Jebi is oblivious to anything that isn’t art. At the armory, Jebi befriends a pacifist dragon automata, and their political reluctance slowly begins to shift. As their friendship strengthens and Jebi sees more of the inner workings of The Ministry of Armour, they decide they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the dragon from becoming a weapon. I loved the way queerness is normalized in the social structure of the world Yoon Ha Lee builds, as well as the focus on art and pacifism, and Jebi’s slow character arc. Phoenix Extravagant is a fantastic standalone.

(7) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • December 27, 1904 —  J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan ; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up premiered at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London. Nina Boucicault, daughter of playwright Dion Boucicault, was the title role. Barrie continued to revise the play for years after its debut until publication of the play script in 1928.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born December 27, 1888 Thea von Harbou. She penned the novel Metropolis based upon her uncredited screenplay for husband Fritz Lang on that film.  She also collaborated with him on other projects, none of which save her Phantom and Dr. Mabuse the Gambler screenplays appear to be genre. (Died 1954.) (CE)
  • Born December 27, 1917 – Ken Slater.  Fan and bookseller.  Ran Operation Fantast, then eventually Fantast (Medway) Ltd.  “Something to Read” six years in Nebula.  Founding member of BSFA (British SF Ass’n).  Fan Guest of Honour at Eastercon 10; with wife Joyce, at Conspiracy ’87 the 45th Worldcon.  Co-founded OMPA; in FAPA too.  When Forry Ackerman won the “No. 1 Fan Personality” Hugo – the only time we’ve given it – he left it onstage saying it should have gone to KS.  Doc Weir Award (U.K., service), Big Heart (our highest service award).  Note by Our Gracious Host here.  (Died 2008) [JH]
  • Born December 27, 1931 – Perdita Boardman.  Long-time hostess of the Lunarians (New York); ran the Hospitality Suite at their annual Lunacon; Fan Guest of Honor with husband John Boardman at Lunacon 41.  Made a WSFS banner (but not this one).  Earlier married to Ray Nelson inspiring poetry, hello Ray.  (Died 2017) [JH]
  • Born December 27, 1943 – Diane Stanley, age 77.  A dozen novels, three covers for us; sixty books all told; particularly applauded for children’s biographies, many illustrated by herself, e.g. CleopatraCharles Dickens, the Man Who Had Great Expectations (CD wrote Great Expectations and was a social reformer); Joan of ArcMozart the Wonder Child, a Puppet Play in Three ActsSaladin, Noble Prince of IslamShaka, King of the Zulus.  With an M.A. in medical illustration she has done that too; graphic designer for Dell; art director for Putnam’s.  Shaka was a NY Times Best Illustrated Book.  Orbis Pictus Award.  Boston Globe – Hornbook Award and Golden Kite Award, twice each.  Washington Post – Children’s Book Guild Award for body of work.  Here is her cover for the May 88 Cricket.  Here is Lost Magic.  Here is The Silver Bowl.  Here is an interior for Cleopatra.  [JH]
  • Born December 27, 1945 – Fred Lerner, Ph.D., age 75.  Doctorate in library science, Modern SF and the American Literary Community based on his dissertation.  Co-founded the Beaker People Libation Front.  NESFA (New England SF Ass’n) Press published A Bookman’s Fantasy, essays; put his “Silverlock” Companion in its ed’n of Silverlock; also for NESFA Press he edited Jack Speer’s memoir Fancestral Voices.  Special Guest at Boskone 32 (which has no Fan Guest of Honor).  His Lofgeornost (last word of Beowulf, “desirous of fame or renown”) for FAPA circulates widely, won a FAAn (Fan Activity Achievement) Award last year.  [JH]
  • Born December 27, 1951 Charles Band, 69. Exploitation film maker whose here because some of his source material is SFF in origin. Arena was scripted off the Fredric Brown “Arena” short story which first ran in the June 1944 Astounding, and From Beyond which was based on H P Lovecraft’s short story of the same name which was first published in June 1934 issue of The Fantasy Fan. (CE) 
  • Born December 27, 1960 Maryam d’Abo, 60. She’s best known as Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights. Her first genre role was her screen debut in the very low-budget SF horror film Xtro, an Alien rip-off. She was Ta’Ra in Something Is Out There, a miniseries that was well received and but got piss poor ratings. Did you know there was a live Mowgli: The New Adventures of the Jungle Book? I didn’t. She was Elaine Bendel, a recurring role in it. (CE)
  • Born December 27, 1969 Sarah Jane Vowell, 51. She’s a author, journalist, essayist, historian, podcaster,  social commentator and actress. Impressive, isn’t she? Ahhh but she gets Birthday Honors for being the voice of Violet Parr in the Incredibles franchise. I say franchise as I’ve no doubt that a third film is already bring scripted given how successful the first two were.  (CE) 
  • Born December 27, 1972 – Igor Posavec, age 48.  Covers for Perry Rhodan 2436-39: here is The Immaterial City (in German); here is People for Stardust (in German).  Note that P Rhodan, co-created by our own Walter Ernsting, has appeared weekly since 1961; its first billion of worldwide sales came in 1986.  More recently IP has been doing digitals; here is Do Machines Dream of Electric Sheep? (with Sven Sauer; I haven’t seen the untranslated title so don’t know if this is a deliberate variation on P.K. Dick’s Do Androids…).  Website.  [JH]
  • Born December 27, 1977 Sinead Keenan, 42. She’s in the Eleventh Doctor story, “The End of Time” as Addams but her full face make-up guarantees that you won’t recognize her. If you want to see her, she’s a Who fan in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot. Her final Who work is a Big Finish audio drama, Iterations of I, a Fifth Doctor story. And she played Nina Pickering, a werewolf, in Being Human for quite a long time. (CE) 
  • Born December 27, 1986 – Mirelle Ortega, age 34.  As she says, “Illustrator for kidlit and animation”.  Animation! prize at Ideatoon.  Three covers for Linda Chapman’s Mermaids Rock stories; here is The Ice Giant.  Here is A Dash of Trouble from Love Sugar Magic.  MO’s Website is full of swell images; someone better with Electronicland than I may be able to tell which have been used and which merely proposed.  [JH]
  • Born December 27, 1987 Lily Cole, 33. Been awhile since I found a Who performer and so let’s have another one now. She played The Siren in the Eleventh Doctor story, “The Curse of The Black Spot”. She’s also in some obscure film called Star Wars: The Last Jedi as a character named Lovey. And she shows up in the important role of Valentina in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Not mention she’s in Snow White and The Huntsman as Greta, a great film indeed. (CE)

(9) FEAST FOR THE EYES. Artnet News says “A New Book Makes the Case That Fantasy Art Is America’s Least Understood Fine-Art Form—See the Wild Images Here” See sixteen great and vividly-colored examples from Masterpieces of Fantasy Art at the link.

Dragons, sexy maidens, and epic sword fights are getting the fine-art treatment in Masterpieces of Fantasy Art, Taschen’s new 532-page illustrated tome celebrating the genre.

Lest you think fantasy art is nothing more than a lightweight endeavor, the massive volume weighs a hefty 16 pounds. Tracing the evolution of the genre from 1400 to the present, it showcases the works of Old Masters Jan Van Eyck and Hieronymus Bosch as well as contemporary heavy-hitters like H.R. GigerFrank Frazetta, and Boris Vallejo.

“Since fantasy art is largely created as work for hire, no matter how talented the artist,” author Dian Hanson writes, “it has always been accessible, displayed prominently on the newsstand, to its advantage and curse.” The genre’s predilection for provocative, sexualized scenes has also hurt its credibility among the art-world cognoscenti—not to mention that the mass-produced fantasy books were literally printed on cheap pulp paper in the 20th century.

Hanson amassed more than 100 superlative examples of this oft-misunderstood form for the book. The compilation speaks to the genre’s considerable appeal—which has also translated into impressive art-market success. Original Frazetta oil paintings have sold for as much as $5.4 million. The book’s cover image, Frazetta’s Princess of Mars (197), fetched $1.2 million at Dallas’s Heritage Auctions in September….

(10) MEME MUTATION. Forget about stainless steel — “Ephemeral edible: gingerbread monolith appears on San Francisco hilltop, then collapses” – photos in The Guardian.

Like the other monoliths that have mysteriously appeared across America and the world in the waning weeks of 2020, the one that popped up on a California hilltop on Christmas Day seemed to come out of nowhere.

Also like the others, it was tall, three-sided and it rapidly attracted crowds of curious visitors before an untimely destruction.

Unlike the others, this monolith was made of … gingerbread.

(11) 2020 ENVISIONED. NASA’s video shows that in space the year was not wasted – “NASA Discoveries, R&D, Moon to Mars Exploration Persevere in 2020”.

In 2020, NASA made significant progress on America’s Moon to Mars exploration strategy, met mission objectives for the Artemis program, achieved significant scientific advancements to benefit humanity, and returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States, all while agency teams acted quickly to assist the national COVID-19 response.

(12) SKY’S THE LIMIT. Leonard Maltin reviewed George Clooney’s sf film The Midnight Sky. He didn’t like it. “The Midnight Sky: Been There, Done That”.

George Clooney stars in this space parable that starts out well, then goes adrift. Set in the stereotypically bleak near-future, the story focuses on a defeated scientist who chooses to stay behind in the Antarctic, knowing his days are numbered, while his colleagues get the hell out of there. But when he discovers that he has company—a silent 7-year-old girl—his priorities shift completely…

(13) HUSTLING TO EARTH. The New York Times fills in the late arrivers to Tevis fandom: “Walter Tevis Was a Novelist. You Might Know His Books (Much) Better as Movies”.

The wildly popular Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit” has done for chess what Julia Child once did for French cooking. Chess set sales have skyrocketed; enrollment in online chess classes has surged. The series has been the subject of hundreds of articles and interviews. The novel that inspired the show, first published in 1983, has been on The New York Times’s trade paperback best-seller list for five weeks.

Yet little attention has been paid to Walter Tevis, the author whose creation has stirred all the commotion.

…Born in 1928, Tevis wrote six novels, a surprising number of which made high-profile leaps to the screen: “The Hustler,” about a young pool shark played by Paul Newman; “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” starring David Bowie as a lonesome alien; and “The Color of Money,” a follow-up to “The Hustler,” which won Mr. Newman his first Oscar. Tevis’s 1980 science fiction book, “Mockingbird,” a commentary on humanity’s dwindling interest in reading, has long had a modest cult following.

(14) BODY OF KNOWLEDGE. “The next The Crown or The Queen’s Gambit? Netflix’s Chinese sci-fi series The Three-Body Problem is sparking hype – and controversy – already”: a roundup of what is known, in the South China Morning Post.

The show’s release date is still unconfirmed

Despite the hype – good and bad – surrounding Netflix’s announced adaptation and the impressive list of names who will feature on the creative team, the production of The Three-Body Problem is still in its early days. Writers and producers might be signed up, but there have been no casting reveals yet and, crucially, no release date announced. The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly delayed progress, but fans of the books might expect further details next year.

(15) DROPPING THE OTHER. Mental Floss coached viewers about “’A Christmas Story’: Fun Mistakes, Anachronisms, and Other Things to Look For”. It’s only poetic justice that a movie featuring a leg lamp would have missing footage.

25. FLASH GORDON GETS CREDIT, TOO.

Keep watching the end credits roll and you’ll see Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless among the names that scroll by. Though it never made the final cut, the credits for an additional fantasy sequence in which Ralphie and his trusty firearm help Flash Gordon face off against Ming remain.

Michael Toman sent the link with this enthusiastic intro: “Am sure that I’m not the only Filer who would appreciate the opportunity to see ‘an additional sequence in which Ralphie and his trusty firearm help Flash Gordon face off against Ming.’ Has anyone considered adapting this movie as a Graphic Novel?”

(16) HO HO IO. Io9’s Julie Muncyinvites everyone to “Relax With This Classic Addams Family Christmas Short” posted on YouTube by MGM.

…And of course, even they adore Santa Claus. I love it. What a perfect family.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Michael Toman, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, John Hertz, James Bacon, Cliff, Contrarius, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

41 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/27/20 The Right To Scroll Pixels Is The Right To Be Filed

  1. (8) I’ve enjoyed several of Sarah Vowell’s non-fiction works

    (3) 2/150. Sigh.

  2. 3) 11 (if you count the Metamorphoses, which I might not have read in that particular translation.)

    We shall not speak of the ones which are still, embarrassingly, on Mount TBR. Or of the ones where I’ve seen a TV or movie adaptation. (Although I might mention one particular TV version, which led me to comment, “A Year in Provence…. it only seemed longer.”)

  3. 3) Anything featuring John Grisham always has me looking up the plot going “Did I read that one?” because I read a lot of them that my grandfather had left lying around when I was bored during summers. I score twelve, with several more that are actively in the to-read pile, but I’m definitely staring at the picture books going “Those don’t belong on this list; anyone who’s had young children has read them!” And Gossip Girl was huge for a while. (And The Testing’s just another cookie-cutter YA dystopia with a thousand more like it; there’s no good reason to single it out for a list like this– it’s identical to a hundred others in its category.)

  4. 3) 8 of them, I think. But Babar was very long ago, and I’m not certain which of the Babar books I read.

    10) And I’ll never have that recipe again…

  5. (10) It looked to me like it was jelly-roll-pan sized sheets, roughly 10×15 inches. I appreciated the gumdrop ‘fasteners’ at the corners of the pieces.

  6. See? Two scrolls in a row. Well, okay, I’m showing up on the same night for both. But still! I’m here!

    (Combination of being busy, and not feeling well, which is, I assure you, not actually a good combination.)

  7. Lis says Combination of being busy, and not feeling well, which is, I assure you, not actually a good combination.)

    Well do get better soon if possible. I can offer up more chocolate if it helps as I’m going on a chocolate hunt soon.

  8. (3) 11/150, with 2 or 3 more on Mt. TBR.

    (8) I’ve read most, if not all, of Sarah Vowell’s nonfiction books, which are immensely entertaining.

  9. @Mike Glyer–Thank you!

    @Cat Eldridge–Good chocolate always helps. (wink, wink) And that was excellent chocolate! Should you happen to come into posession of more of it… 🙂

  10. (3) 16 by my count, although I can’t honestly recall whether in school we read all of Utopia or just excerpts.

    (My full list, if anyone cares:
    The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, North
    The Cricket in Times Square, Selden
    A Year in Provence, Mayle
    The Omen, Seltzer
    The Emperor’s Soul, Sanderson
    Magician, Feist
    Spinning Silver, Novik
    The Sparrow, Russell
    Utopia, More
    Tenth of December, Saunders
    The Stonekeeper, Kibuishi
    Faust, Goethe
    Batman: Arkham Asylum, Morrison & McKean
    Perdido Street Station, Miéville
    The Story of Babar, de Brunhoff
    Fragile Things, Gaiman)

  11. (3) I’ve read 10. Dang. I was really hoping for a lower score.

    It’s kind of funny that it lists both Hotel New Hampshire and Geek Love, considering they are the same book.

  12. 3) I’ve read 9. About a dozen more either in the Tower of TBRs To the Moon, or partially read & unfinished.

    8) I highly enjoyed Sarah Jane Vowell’s ASSASSINATION VACATION, non-fiction mixed with travelogue & memoir, writing about her crosss-country travels to sites related to American presidential assassination. Filled with both interesting history and funny as hell humor. (Vowell recognizes that being obsessed with assassinations rates pretty high on the Kinda Weird Scale.) I recommend the author-narrated audiobook. (Which I listened to by accident, checking it out of Overdrive somehow with the impression it was an anthology of stories themed around assassination. If I had to make a mistake, that was a pretty good one.)

    9) If you love SF/F/H art, you should really purchase the annual SPECTRUM collections, with fine reproductions of hundreds of genre art pieces from the preceding year. Up to Volume 27; they’re my annual Christmas gift to myself, and I have a complete set.)

    12) Maltin’s actually pretty lenient on THE MIDNIGHT SKY. Here’s my mini-review on Twitter:

    Watched Netflix’s The Midnight Sky. Very good performance by Clooney, I thot, but for a badly flawed (manipulative & cliched) script. And the “science” is throw-something-at-the-screen Trash Science, things I might have expected to see in mediocre sci-fi 75 years ago.

    The first piece of Trash Science that set me back was that, in this movie set in 2046, a ship has made a voyage to a hitherto unknonw, only recently discovered, moon of Jupiter. a moon so large and dense it has Earth-type gravity, Earth-type atmosphere, and Earth-type life (minus, apparently, predators), perfect for colonization. (It’s supposedly warmed by thermal activity and reflected light from Jupiter.) How in HELL can something that large only be discovered sometime between now and 2046? Not to mention the gravitational permutations that would probably have swept up most if not all the other Jovian moons over time? That was the biggest piece of Trash Science, but far from the only one.

    Clooney’s directorial efforts, on a shot-by-shot or scene-by-scene basis are pretty darn good. Some shots and sequences are just plain beautiful. But as a whole, the film is a mess.

  13. 3) And their point is–?

    Thea von Harbou also wrote on the screenplay of Die Frau im Mond, which as it happens was on TCM tonight. (I didn’t watch all three hours–it’s pretty slow going, though the rocket launch is pretty impressive.)

  14. 3) I was hoping for a perfect zero, which I had as I passed a hundred titles. I might have read Hiroshima in high school, but I can’t remember, so I didn’t count it. Then I got to Arkham Asylum, and that ruined my score.

  15. @Russell Letson & (8):
    Thea von Harbou wrote the novel “Frau im Mond,” upon which she based her screenplay for Fritz Lang’s movie of the same name. Hermann Oberth of the German Society for Space Travel built the spacecraft model for that movie (and sf fan/rocket scientist Willy Ley had some part in that, as well). The vertical-assembly hangar of the Moon-ship and its moving in a standing-up position to its launching pad bear a surprising resemblance to the VAB serving Launch Complex 39 at the Cape. There are echoes of this in the manned orbital rocket sequence in the Disney Tomorrowland feature “Man in Space,” as well.

    According to Ley, Fritz Lang invented the countdown (5-4-3-2-1-ZERO!) to add drama to the launch scene (it’s unknown to me whether von Harbou had a hand in this). Sometime later (mid-1930s), pilots’ written checklists were invented to prevent often-fatal omissions from occurring preflight–this came after the prototype of the B-17 crashed on takeoff during U.S. Army acceptance trials, killing both pilots. Merging the preflight checklist with Lang’s bit of drama probably resulted in the formal countdowns we’re now familiar with.

  16. Kyra says I’ve read 27 books on that … apparently random list

    We seem to be seeing a lot of these apparently random lists as late. Any of us could do better than than the compilers of these lists. A lot better I’d say.

    Now playing: Bangles’ “Hazy Shade of Winter”

  17. [3] A whole three; too much modern pop trash, fiction and non-fiction alike. The utter and incomprehensible randomness of this list has me puzzled. What is its purpose, its raison d’etre?

  18. @3, twelve if you count Foucoult’s Pendulum, which honestly I got bored with 2/3 of the way through and never finished. Don’t have kids, so I’ve never read any of the children’s books. This was a weird mish-mosh of a list.

    @5, wait, a new Jasper Fforde book just came out last year???

  19. Michael J. Lowrey says A whole three; too much modern pop trash, fiction and non-fiction alike. The utter and incomprehensible randomness of this list has me puzzled. What is its purpose, its raison d’etre?

    Cats playing with light have more logic than these lists do. Puppies complaining about us have a higher degree of logic. None of these lists seem to have been assembled with anything remotely assembling anything that looks like logic. Or what an actual reader would have read for that matter.

  20. 13 books here. But…it’s also reflective of my wide library and lit reading, not necessarily books I’ve purchased. I wouldn’t call some of the works “modern pop trash” because they’re surprisingly decent books (And. Really. Hiroshima as “modern pop trash”? The mind boggles). Some, like the Kent Haruf book, are pretty darn good contemporary Western stories. Some are just plain fun fluff.

    My suspicion is that the lists are driven by Goodreads compilers.

  21. 7/100, several TBR.

    That’s a weird list with no animating principle that I could see—much more of a throw it at the wall thing than the “difficult” list.

  22. Meredith Moments: Network Effect (the Murderbot novel) is $2.99, as is Lindsey Ellis’ Axiom’s End.

    3) 11, I think, and my selections were about as random as the list itself.

  23. @Jeanne (Sourdough) Jackson
    “According to Ley, Fritz Lang invented the countdown (5-4-3-2-1-ZERO!) to add drama to the launch scene”

    Was this the first countdown? Up until now, I had thought they were invented by von Braun’s group at Peenemuende.

  24. Also, although it’s probably not even associational, Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror & the Light (third in the Wolf Hall trilogy) is currently $4.99.

    And semirelatedly, when I was checking the listing, it showed that I did not own Wolf Hall, but when I checked my Kindle, I did find it there. I’ve seen this happen a few times now (including with Iron Dragon’s Daughter) where a book gets a new Kindle edition that’s not linked to the prior edition I actually did purchase — just something to be aware of for those of us whose purchases exceed our reading.

  25. @Bill:
    von Braun et. al. got it from the movie, which was made in 1929. If I remember Ley correctly, the VfR (Verein Fuer Raumschiffahrt) also used countdowns (although not the complex NASA variety) for their experimental launches. The VfR was where von Braun, a youth at the time, got his start in rocket science.

  26. 3) I’ve read 9 of them. And if we’re going to be pedantic about these things
    ““Library of 1000 Believes You’ve Read Fewer Than 10 of These Books”

  27. NickPheas: ““Library of 1000 Believes You’ve Read Fewer Than 10 of These Books”

    I can’t believe that wasn’t the first comment on the Scroll now that you’ve pointed it out.

  28. 3) Nine for me, plus one I don’t remember whether I finished (Gaiman’s book of shorts), plus one I think I read this year but it isn’t in my spreadsheet.

    And yes, just how random can a book list get??

  29. 3) I got 9 clear plus the Ted Hughes translation of Ovid, which is not complete (or intended to be). It’s certainly an odd list, but at least it doesn’t claim any underlying principle. Maybe it was chosen to minimise the number of people who’ve read more than a few of the books, while still including popular works and widely-read classics.

  30. I rather assumed they were picked with the intent of having relatively little crossover. It’s a very broad list, and given that people tend to be creatures of habit, I expect a lot of people will only have read the ones in their preferred genre(s).

  31. @Meredith —

    It’s a very broad list, and given that people tend to be creatures of habit, I expect a lot of people will only have read the ones in their preferred genre(s).

    Heh. They don’t know us very well, do they? 😉

  32. 3) I read a whopping 26, but then there are a lot of popular romance and paranormal romance novels on the list and I’ve read quite a few of those. I also count at least two Hugo finalists of recent years plus several books I read at school or university, such as Faust or the various John Irvings (one of my professors was the leading John Irving scholar).

    8) Regarding Thea von Harbou, “Der müde Tod” a.k.a. “Destiny” from 1921, “The Nibelungs” from 1924 and “The Testament of Doctor Mabuse” from 1933 are all genre in addition to the ones already mentioned. “Testament” is very well worth watching and “The Nibelungs” is interesting for its early special effects and what may be the earliest dragon of cinema.

    “The Tiger of Eshnapur” and “The Indian Tomb” (it’s a two-part movie), which is based on a novel by Thea von Harbour and was filmed three times, in 1921, 1938 and 1959, is at least borderline genre. If you consider the Indiana Jones movies genre, then “The Tiger of Eshnapur/The Indian Tomb” is genre as well. I haven’t seen the 1938 version, but the other two are worth watching, if dated and also marred by white actors playing Indians. They’re also a tad more critical of colonialism than other adventure films of the period.

    Ditto for “Hanneles Himmelfahrt” (The Assumption of Hannele) from 1934 (based on a play by Gerhart Hauptmann), where half the film consits of dream sequences experienced byf the dying and homeless Hannele.

  33. (3) How on earth did they make that list? “John Dies at the End” is TERRIBLE. There’s a half-dozen John Grishams and almost that many by Nora Roberts. No one should read “Interpretation of Dreams” other than history of psychology students because Freud is so hamstrung by his own certainty about his worldview. “Grit” has been wildly over-hyped and well-undermined by other sociologists but still gets used by conservatives to try to blame Black kids for under-performing in school.

    Anyway I have read at least 20 and portions of many more.

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