Pixel Scroll 12/7/17 Pixel, It’s Scrolled Outside

(1) SOCIETY PAGE. Cat Valente and Heath Miller shared their news on Twitter. Jump onto the thread about the romantic proposal here —

Part of the announcement:

(2) A GOOD COUNTRY FOR OLD MAN. Deadline started with an Exclusive story, but now we all know — “Netflix Grabs Hold Of John Scalzi’s Sci-Fi Novel ‘Old Man’s War’ For Jon Shestack, Madhouse”.

Netflix has acquired John Scalzi’s modern sci-fi classic Old Man’s War to develop as an original film. The novel is the first in a bestselling six-book series and is considered to be one of the best of the genre over the past two decades, nominated for a Hugo Award. Jon Shestack Productions and Madhouse Entertainment will produce.

John Scalzi goes into a little more detail in his FAQ about the news: “Old Man’s War in Development at Netflix”.

Are you excited?

Hell, yes. One, because I would love to see an OMW movie. But also, two, Netflix is a place where a lot of fantastic entertainment is happening these days. It’s trying a lot of things and taking a lot of chances, and most people I know who are working with Netflix are thrilled about being there right now. It really seems like it could be a great place for the OMW universe.

So is this a movie or TV series?

It’s a movie. On your television!

(Or computer or phone or monitor or wherever you choose to watch Netflix, I don’t judge.)

(3) GODSTALKER. James Davis Nicoll brings you his list of “Twenty Core Works of Religious Speculative Fiction Every True SF Fan Should Have on Their Shelves”. Here are four examples –

  • High Deryni by Katherine Kurtz
  • A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller

(4) ROWLING CHALLENGED ON SUPPORT OF DEPP. Amy Zimmerman of The Daily Beast calls it “J.K. Rowling’s Cowardly Defense of Alleged Abuser Johnny Depp in ‘Fantastic Beasts’”.

… In May 2016, actress Amber Heard filed for divorce from Johnny Depp, declaring at the time, “During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me…I endured excessive emotional, verbal, and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating, and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him.” In the wake of these explosive allegations, The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon wrote a piece titled “Amber Heard Says Johnny Depp Beat Her. It Will Ruin His Career. Just Kidding!”, in which he argued that Depp, like so many accused A-listers before him, was destined to emerge from this scandal professionally unscathed.

…On the one hand, Rowling has inarguably found herself in a difficult position, and it’s hard to watch as female creators are asked to answer for the alleged misconduct and immorality of their male collaborators. In her statement, Rowling acknowledges the seriousness of the allegations against Depp, and appears to have taken the pressure to potentially recast seriously. But, make no mistake: she is supporting and defending Johnny Depp. And, in doing so, she is calling his accuser’s testimony into question.

The most damning sentence here is when Rowling cites “our understanding of the circumstances” to justify the fact that she is “genuinely happy” with Depp’s starring role; it sounds like she’s implying that, if we knew what she knew, we would feel comfortable dismissing Heard’s story too. Rowling is, finally, saying “I believe you”—but the person she’s acknowledging in this scenario is Johnny Depp, not Amber Heard

Here is J.K. Rowling’s complete statement on “Grindelwald casting”:

When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise.

Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.

The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected.  Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.

I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.

(5) QUICK SIP SHORT FIC RECS. I think I missed Charles Payseur’s “Quick Sip Reviews 2017 Recommended Reading List”, posted last month.

This comes courtesy of my monthly recommendation column, The Monthly Round. The rules are fairly easy, in that the stories must come from publications I regularly read. It’s the single greatest limiting factor for the list, because I do not read everything, but this prevents me from essentially cherry-picking stories from other publications. So there are my favorite stories published at the places I read regularly and have reviewed. There’s a whole wide world of other stories out there, but I did dearly love these. So I hope that, even with that limitation in mind, the list is helpful for finding some truly awesome short SFF. If you want more info on any of the stories, there are links to each or you can do a search of this blog to find my more in-depth reviews.

(6) BLACK SF HONORED. The Root has named “The 16 Best Books of the Year by Black Authors”. Three of these books are of genre interest.

  • #1 — Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward, which Amazon currently lists as the top-selling book in Magical Realism.
  • #4 — Akata Warrior by World Fantasy/Hugo/Nebula Award winner Nnedi Okorafor.
  • #9 — What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky, by Lesley Nneka Arimah, a debut short-story collection from an award-winning Nigerian-American writer whose short stories hit fantasy, magical realism, science fiction, and horror.

(7) THERE ARE NO OLD, BOLD EQUATIONS. RedWombat mashes up a classic poem with a Hall of Fame story. The first tweet in response by Tim Chase is brilliant, too,

(8) JOIN THE VAMPIRE LODGE. An io9 exclusive! “Vampire Veronica Descends on Riverdale in a New Archie Horror Series”.

Between Afterlife with Archie, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and the recent addition of Jughead: The Hunger, Archie Comics’ horror imprint is flying higher than Sabrina’s broomstick ever thought possible. But there’s already another series coming to Archie Horror, and it’s got a bit of a bite to it….

Veronica Lodge, Riverdale’s socialite encounters a centuries-old creature of the night, who transforms her into a bloodthirsty vampire. Now she must descend on her unsuspecting hometown to quench her newfound hunger. Veronica now has to contend with this new transformation However, she is still the Veronica we all know and love.

(9) GULP FICTION. Fainting cloths have been in much demand since news broke that “Quentin Tarantino Might Direct a Star Trek Movie”io9 has the story.

Apparently Tarantino recently pitched an idea for a Trek movie to producer J.J. Abrams, who loved it, and they’ll soon begin to assembling a writer’s room to flesh it out. If everything falls into place, Tarantino could be interested in directing with Abrams producing.

This isn’t something that’ll be happening soon, though. Next up for the iconic director is his still-untitled 1969-set movie, which Sony Pictures just picked up. That already has a release date of August 9, 2019, so there’s no doubt that’s next for him. That leaves almost two years of time for a script to get written that could woo Tarantino into doing several things he’s never done before.

He’s never directed a feature he didn’t write. He’s never done a scifi film. He’s never done a major franchise film.

(10) EARLY BIRDS. Worldcon 76 and Dublin 2019 announced their Retro Hugo plans a few days ago and the Hugo Awards Book Club wasted no time coming up with the first set of recommendations: “Retro Hugos 1943: Novels”

It was with no small degree of excitement that we greeted the news that there would be Retro Hugo awards presented at next summer’s Worldcon. Just on principle, we love Retro Hugos, and will take any opportunity to do a deep dive into the science fiction published in a particular year. The Hugo year of 1943 (which would cover works published in 1942) has some excellent novels to choose from. We will explore other fiction categories for these awards in later posts.

Legendary science fiction pioneer Olaf Stapledon has never been nominated for a Hugo

Award in any category. The author of Last and First Men, Star Maker, and Odd John had published most of his major works prior to the first Worldcon, so even with Retro Hugos, there hasn’t been much opportunity to honour his works with the genre’s top award. Although Darkness And The Light is not one of his most well-remembered works, and although it has some flaws, it is still one that should be considered for the award.

(11) CRIDER IN HOSPICE. Crime fiction writer Bill Crider, who also won a 2015 Sidewise Award for his story “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” has entered hospice care. He signed off from his blog saying –

Things could change, but I suspect this will be my final post on the blog. I met with some doctors at M. D. Anderson today, and they suggested that I enter hospice care. A few weeks, a few months is about all I have left. The blog has been a tremendous source of pleasure to me over the years, and I’ve made a lot of friends here. My only regret is that I have several unreviewed books, including Lawrence Block’ fine new anthology, Alive in Shape and Color, and Max Allan Collins’ latest collaboration with Mickey Spillane, The Last Stand, which is a collection of two novellas, “A Bullet for Satisfaction,” an early Spillane manuscript with an interesting history, and “The Last Stand,” the last thing that Spillane completed. It saddens me to think of all the great books by many writers that I’ll never read. But I’ve had a great life, and my readers have been a big part of it. Much love to you all.*


  • December 7, 1972 — The crew of Apollo 17, while on their way to the Moon, took a photo of Earth from about 28,000 miles.


  • Born December 7, 1915 — Leigh Brackett, well-known sf author and screenwriter. George Lucas hired Brackett to write the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back, which she completed shortly before she died in March of 1978.

(14) ALL BRADBURY. Courtesy of Cora Buhlert, here’s a brief clip from a German cultural TV program  presenting a new illustrated German edition of Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. (Video.)

(15) THE GOLD RUSH IS OVER. In “Business Musings: Sustainability”, Kristine Katherine Rusch argues that the market for independently published books has “matured” and that authors should expect much slower growth and lower incomes from here on.

I’m talking about the changes in income to writers who were not rushing to every new way of doing something, writers who were not gaming algorithms, writers who were producing a lot, interacting professionally with their fans, and doing everything right.

Those writers received major rewards, both in sales and in income, in the early years of indie publishing. Those rewards have diminished, because we are entering into a mature market.

What does that mean, exactly?

In business, markets respond to things in similar ways, whether we’re talking markets for shoes or markets for books.

When something is new, everyone wants it. When something is new, the growth is usually exponential. We see that in all kinds of new markets over the years, from desktop computers twenty-five years ago to smart phones ten years ago. There’s always something cool, and consumers flock to it, sometimes in very large numbers.

In publishing, we went through a shift, from traditional only to anyone-can-do-it indie, because of the rise of the neat-o ereader, the Kindle, from Amazon, which gave that ereader a platform and an ecosystem.

Year to year, the number of people who joined the new ecosystem was huge. Other players created viable ereaders and ebook ecosystems. You didn’t just have to use Amazon to publish a book. You could do it on other platforms.

(16) SEVENTIES SF RARITY. The British Film Institute tells “How lost British TV sci-fi Thwum was rediscovered”.

On 16 December 2017, BFI Southbank is offering the first opportunity for over 40 years to see Thwum, a sci-fi-themed 1970s rarity that had long been thought lost forever – and Pete Postlethwaite’s first TV appearance with it.

At the time of Thwum’s broadcast in 1975, it was still common practice for TV companies to wipe much of their output, meaning that many television programmes from the era are now sadly missing. Since 1993, it’s been the mission of the BFI’s Missing Believed Wiped initiative to track down and screen material long AWOL from the official TV archives. Finds over the years have included material from television programmes such as The Avengers, Till Death Us Do Part, Dad’s Army, Armchair Theatre and Top of the Pops.

The case of Thwum provides an interesting example of how missing UK TV material can be recovered….

(17) THE KING IS DEAD. Google’s general-purpose AI beats chess specialist: “Google’s ‘superhuman’ DeepMind AI claims chess crown”. It won or drew 100 games 4 hours after being given the rules of chess.

Even so, one human chess grandmaster was still hugely impressed by DeepMind’s victory.

“I always wondered how it would be if a superior species landed on earth and showed us how they played chess,” Peter Heine Nielsen told the BBC.

“Now I know.”

(18) WHERE YOUR PIZZA DELIVERS ITSELF. There are limits: “San Francisco to restrict goods delivery robots”.

Opponents are concerned about the safety of pedestrians, particularly elderly people and children.

Walk San Francisco, a group that campaigns for pedestrian safety, wanted a complete ban.

A range of companies have begun trialling small robots that can deliver food and other goods.

They use sensors and lasers in a similar way to self-driving cars in order to navigate their routes.

(19) ON A HOLE FAR AWAY. BBC tells where “Farthest monster black hole found”.

The matter-munching sinkhole is a whopping 13 billion light-years away, so far that we see it as it was a mere 690 million years after the Big Bang.

But at about 800 million times the mass of our Sun, it managed to grow to a surprisingly large size in just a short time after the origin of the Universe.

The find is described in the journal Nature.

The newly discovered black hole is busily devouring material at the centre of a galaxy – marking it out as a so-called quasar.

(20) PETRIFEYED. They say it may not be possible to find one any earlier: “Researchers find ‘oldest ever eye’ in fossil”.

An “exceptional” 530-million-year-old fossil contains what could be the oldest eye ever discovered, according to scientists.

The remains of the extinct sea creature include an early form of the eye seen in many of today’s animals, including crabs, bees and dragonflies.

Scientists made the find while looking at the well-preserved trilobite fossil.

These ancestors of spiders and crabs lived in seas during the Palaeozoic era, between 541-251 million years ago.

(21) FTFY. They’re not riotously funny, though some are clever or wonderfully bitter: “These Parody Book Covers Of Famous Classics Will Make Any True Literary Nerd Laugh Out Loud”. Here’s a sample:

(22) SHOULD THAT BE PETREON? Another Patreon critic heard from.

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth, Paul Weimer, JJ, Carl Slaughter, Cora Buhlert, Cat Eldridge, rcade, Greg Hullender, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Allan Maurer, Chip Hitchccock, Darrah Chavey, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Chris S.]

88 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/7/17 Pixel, It’s Scrolled Outside

  1. (18) Speaking as a San Franciscan with (a) multiple scary staircases; (b) a bad back; (c) a SJW credential that goes through kitty litter at an alarming rate; and (d) a lingering desire for vengeance against the mean and argumentative grocery delivery guys who shouldn’t have signed up for a job being grocery delivery guys if they’re staircase-phobic, I welcome our robot overlords with open arms and a fresh mug of Mom’s Old-Fashioned Robot Oil. Especially if they can figure out how to climb stairs.

  2. 16)
    I actually found some “missing, believed wiped” programming once in the form of some old film rolls in a closet at the university. When I asked about the film rolls, the professor in charge of the closet told me, “Oh, that’s just some ancient black and white stuff of no interest to anybody. I should probably get rid of it, but I feel bad just throwing them away.”

    So I told the professor that lots of British TV programming from the 1960s and 70s had gone missing and that there was an active effort to recover it (which I knew because I was a Doctor Who fan) and gave him the address of the people to contact at the BBC who were very happy to get some of their lost vintage programming back. So I did my part in recovering Britain’s lost TV heritage. Though the programming I rescued wasn’t anything cool like The Avengers or Doctor Who, but a couple of documentaries. One of them was about farmers in Yorkshire as far as I remember.

  3. 9
    The reaction in Star Trek fandom is not at all favorable. Tarantino’s films are about as far from Trek as you can get…and Trek’s market has a much higher percentage of women than he thinks.

  4. (1) Good for them! And I hope the GAFilk people have noticed!

    (2) I’d have thought OMW, especially given the sequels, would have been a better fit for a TV series.

    (4) We live in changing times, though I think it is sad that the spotlight is turned against Rowling rather than the people and the system which protected Depp and others for so long, or be aware that Rowling is only one of many who are trying to handle a landscape where abuse made by people of power is starting to matter, if only in spots.

    (21) When will we get “21 Clickbaity Headlines that Made Readers Roll their Eyes”?


    They use sensors and lasers in a similar way to self-driving cars in order to navigate their routes.

    I really hope those lasers are sensors too.
    Or do I?

  6. Especially if they can figure out how to climb stairs.

    (Loud noises of falling metal from staircase)

    “Human Unit, your pizza is now a calzone.”

  7. Hey, all. A while ago, I wrote the first couple of verses of this on this site. I decided to make a full version in honor of the upcoming 200th anniversary of science fiction (Frankenstein was published on January 1, 2018). I thought since this piece originated here, it’d be fun to throw the draft up for comments, and a day with a Cold Equations poem in the scroll seemed apropos, so … comments and feedback welcome! Anyway, here goes …

    A long, long time ago –
    I can still recall the scene
    Where Frankenstein created Life.
    But then he left it to its fate,
    A grave mistake, he learned too late;
    And he refused to build his child a wife.

    The narrative turned grim and gory
    With each new chapter of the story –
    Tragic and cathartic,
    They fled into the arctic.

    I can’t remember if I shook
    When he vanished with no backwards look,
    But something touched me, and it took,
    The day I read the book.

    It’s sci-fi, asking how, asking why,
    Innovation, exploration, FTL and AI,
    We’ll live forever, or we’ll horribly die,
    Saying that we’ll do it reading sci-fi,
    That we’ll do it reading sci-fi.

    Then Verne said, hey, let’s look around,
    Beneath the sea, below the ground,
    Even into outer space.
    We’ll cross earth with flag unfurled,
    We’ll take it all around the world,
    And so we’ll gain the time to win the race!

    But Wells said, you’re an optimist,
    There’s dangers we don’t know exist.
    To them we’d be like fleas.
    Our only hope would be disease!

    But here is why we keep Wells on our shelves:
    Our human flaws are truly where he delves –
    Go far enough, we’ll meet ourselves
    The day we read the book.

    We’ll be reading sci-fi, looking up to the sky,
    See it clearer – it’s a mirror showing you your own I.
    We’ll live forever, or we’ll horribly die,
    Saying that we’ll do it reading sci-fi,
    That we’ll do it reading sci-fi.

    Then across the sea, they turned the page
    And ushered in a new golden age
    With writing from the great Big Three.
    The foundation for all that came next,
    They filled the pulps up with the text
    Of robots, rebels, r for rocketry.

    But while the kings were looking up
    A new wave came and took the cup
    And when the old guard scoffed
    They turned the hard more soft

    And as the strange land got more strange
    The voices heard got rearranged
    Le Guin and Russ were when it changed
    The day they wrote the book.

    They were writing sci-fi, see how high they can fly,
    Watch them suture up our future with a neat little tie.
    We’ll live forever, or we’ll horribly die,
    Saying that we’ll do it reading sci-fi,
    That we’ll do it reading sci-fi.

    Quite long ago, and very far
    A battle fought among the stars
    Made the trickle the main stream.
    In rainy, dreary east LA
    The androids all came out to play
    And we began to dream electric dreams.

    Now we watched the shows and bought the toys
    And the movies made a lot of noise,
    But while the wars trekked by,
    We were still reading on the sly.

    The writing style grew grim and dark,
    They neuromanced us in the park,
    But we learned to pronounce Hellspark
    The day we read the book.

    We were reading sci-fi, truth disguised as a lie.
    There’s no topic too dystopic or entropic to try.
    We’ll live forever, or we’ll horribly die,
    Saying that we’ll do it reading sci-fi,
    That we’ll do it reading sci-fi.

    Soon everyone got up to dance;
    From those who’d never had the chance
    New parables were being sown.
    Like a slow river to the sea
    They wore away the boundary
    And said, your chilly math has been outgrown.

    When everybody wrote YA
    We volunteered on tribute day.
    They said, you don’t belong here,
    But we said, we’re the throng here.

    The series stretched out long and far,
    Mere trilogies soon seemed subpar,
    And we’ll return to Barrayar
    The day she writes the book.

    We’ll be reading sci-fi, where the rules don’t apply.
    Psychic powers, sentient flowers, all baked into a pi.
    We’ll live forever, or we’ll horribly die,
    Saying that we’ll do it reading sci-fi,
    That we’ll do it reading sci-fi.

    I met a ship who sang the blues
    And I asked her for some happy news;
    She smiled in an ancillary way.
    Time is an engine, slow and vast.
    2001 somehow slipped past,
    And the weather’s getting warmer day by day.

    Two hundred years since sci-fi’s birth
    And we’re still here on planet Earth.
    But this will be our byword –
    We’ll all keep looking swyward.

    And the writers I admire most,
    The Mother, Child, and Holy Ghost,
    They’ll walk the last man to the coast
    The day we read the book.

    We’ll be reading sci-fi, and we’ll laugh ‘til we cry,
    Since the universe is loony, curse the void and reply.
    We’ll live forever, or we’ll horribly die,
    Saying that we’ll do it reading sci-fi,
    That we’ll do it reading sci-fi.

    It’s sci-fi, asking how, asking why,
    Innovation, exploration, FTL and AI,
    We’ll live forever, or we’ll horribly die,
    Saying that we’ll do it reading sci-fi,
    That we’ll do it reading sci-fi.

  8. (3) wow, I’ve read 7, and the list includes a couple of my favorite books ever. Nice, as my usual score, especially embarrassing in this terrifically well read group, is about 3.

    great song, Kyra!

  9. Yay, item credit! And again, pleased for Mr. Scalzi.

    1) Happy for Cat and Heath.

    :applauds Kyra for her song:

  10. 3) Personally, I would add James Blish’s A Case of Conscience, C.S. Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet, Stapledon’s Star Maker, Dick’s The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, possibly this year’s Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng, Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow… hmm, OK, this might be a topic on which I have Views.

    (I would also drop The Sea Priestess on the grounds of Dion Fortune’s unspeakably turgid prose… it’s worrying, really, that she is one of the more readable occultists out there – quite easy going compared to Aleister Crowley or S.L. MacGregor Mathers….)

    Now I’m wondering if books like Julian May’s “Galactic Milieu” series (which is pretty strongly based on the loopier branches of Catholicism) would count, or Zelazny’s Lord of Light, or Brian Stableford’s “Lydyard” trilogy, or even Asimov’s Foundation.

    Or Dune, of course.

    Or… or… or I’d better stop now, really.

  11. Scalzi tweeted yesterday:
    No joke, last night Netflix asked me to fill out an online survey and one of the questions was along the lines of whether their making original programming made me like them more.
    I was, like, “yeeeeesssssss.”‘

    I was scrolling through the snark one day
    All in the month of Second May

  12. @3: 10/20 that I’m sure of, and a few I’d have to check in my database. Slightly higher score than typical; ISTM that this list averages older works than some of the others.

    @Doire: I really hope those lasers are sensors too. Lasers are emitters; they don’t receive data AFAIK. (I can imagine a laser accumulating power and being triggered by a weak signal, like an SCR dimmer, but I don’t know whether it would flip at a useful speed — or at all; my best knowledge of lasers is half a century out of date.) I expect this is like a barcode scanner, where laser beam is hose-waved over an area with a sensor to pick up the reflected beam.

    @James Moar: [snicker]. OTOH, after seeing the video of an unsupported robot doing a back flip, I wonder how much more effective those droids would be if they had legs.

    @Kyra: wow.

    @steve davidson: Dune may be disqualified for use in a previous list. OTOH, there’s still God-Emperor of Dune.

  13. @21: definitely worth a look — and a 2nd look if you’re reading on a reasonable-size screen, as all the penguins have been … adapted … to their subjects. In case anyone doesn’t want to page through the blog, here’s the direct link to the covers. I’m feeling smug about getting 34/49 (not counting the one above), but I’ll bet some Filer who reads more outside genre will get more.

  14. Kyra, <whistles><cheers><applause><stamps feet>

    Bravo! (and I think I caught all the references!)

  15. 9: recycling my post from the 9/15/2017 Pixel Scroll (where one item is about Tarantino wishing that he could remake City on the Edge of Forever):

    “Is there a hologram on my shuttlecraft that says ‘dead Klingon storage’?”

  16. 5. Over the years I’ve found it increasingly problematic that for award nominations free online fiction has a much greater advantage over anthologies and the three remaining magazines that you have to purchase to read. Of course, that’s understandable. But everybody should check what their public library or university databases have to offer. Currently, the general magazine database the Chicago Public Library offers (EBSCO) has Analog for free. The previous general magazine database they used (Proquest) offered FS&F. And some public libraries may also subscribe to the print magazines.

    9. Hmmm. Tarantino directing a Star Trek film? I see a Ferengi tied to a chair with a Klingon carrying a bat’leth dancing around him while listening to a pop song version of the original TV Star Trek theme song with the lyrics being sung.

  17. 3) The Sparrow was formerly featured on “Twenty Core Problematic Speculative Fiction Works Every True SF Fan Should Have On Their Shelves” otherwise it seems a certainty for this list.

  18. Forecastle Postman
    Karma Punches Me
    Edible Cinnamon
    Dean Videos TVs
    Stealing Idols
    Messier Bloom
    Solo Earner
    Meek Girly
    Mesa Major
    Icy Laser

  19. Also, Kirk Douglas just died, just a few days short of his 100th birthday.

    Do believe I’ll be needing to rewatch this soon.

  20. 1) Congrats to Cat — and why the matchboxes?

    3) Really, that list has gotta have The Sparrow, even if it was on a previous list. What was supposed to be problematic about it? And Steve, thanks for your added recs — it’s an sff topic I especially enjoy!

  21. Contrarius: Start with “People don’t work that way”. Move on to how it handles the sensitive topic of sexual assault.


    A friend of mine has made a request online. I expect if I forward this here, they will get deluged.

    in one of my writer groups, a novelist is starting a science fantasy novel. The problem is, they are much more familiar with fantasy than with sci-fi. What books would you recommend they read to get “up to speed” on the genre? (Since a spaceship is a big part of their MS, I’m going to recommend “The Void Captain’s Tale” by Spinrad.

    Suggested so far: Asimov, Sawyer, McCaffrey, Doyle and Macdonald, Gini Koch, Ann Leckie, Sandra McDonald, and John Scalzi with a caveat. And checking under “space opera” in general. And Lois McMaster Bujold.

  22. (9) Am I the only one who thinks Wes Anderson would be a better director for Star Trek?

    (10) Two of us had already been working on a blog post about science fiction from the years between ’41-45. So we were a bit ahead of the curve in having done a lot of the reading. 😀

  23. To Scroll Them All My Days
    All Pixels Great and Small
    The Great Pixel Scroll-Off

    Ivan Bromke – I’d watch that movie. I’m also a big fan of The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.

    (8) I don’t remember all the details, but there was a Vampironica cartoon in the back of (one of) the first issue of the adult Cherry Poptart comic book. Basically, Vampirella but drawn like a Dan DeCarlo Archie Comic. The Archie people sued and so it was removed from later printings. So can whoever did that comic now turn around and sue Archie for stealing their idea?

  24. I remember Vampironica (and that was the first issue) as being by Larry (“Dr. Atomic”) Todd. Those Archie guys like to keep the lawyers busy. I guess this was something to do while they waited to see if they could sue Harvey Kurtzman again.

    (Archetypal Archie behavior, too: Suing someone for a story and later doing their own version of it.)

  25. I’m happy that I was hoaxed re: Kirk Douglas’ passing, and sorry for posting bogus info.

    And I still need to rewatch 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. (Which, as a child, it took me the longest time to realize that 20,000 leagues was a measure of distance, not depth.)

  26. My friends and I also looked up how deep parts of the ocean were – trying to find that 20,000 league deep spot.

    Also had to look up how long a league was.

    When I re-watched it as an adult, I found that I now see Kirk Douglas’s character as a real jerk.

    I wonder why Captain Nemo hasn’t become a hero of the resistance. Seems his tech savvy and his sticking it to the establishment would make him totally suitable.

  27. @Lenora — hmph. The Sparrow + Children of God is one of my favorite stories ever (you don’t get the full effect unless you read both). I’ll defend them to the death!

  28. (3) Religous science fiction:

    R.A. Lafferty, Past Master

    (What’s happening with the Lafferty literary estate, BTW? All I have seen so far is a collectible series of anthologies?)

  29. Hm, IIRC Tarantino wrote and directed a very good CSI episode, so he does understand source materials. I dont know if his style really improves StarTrak though. If he wants to do franchise, Id like him to do a Marvel movie.

    The pixel with the laser eyes

  30. With respect to Lafferty, a note at https://ralafferty.com/ says

    “The Locus SF Foundation is currently working to bring the novels of Lafferty plus his abundant short fiction back into print and ebook production in 2017. A Best of volume is also in the works, and a volume collecting his previously unpublished short fiction.”

  31. Steve Wright: is Under the Pendulum Sun any good? It looked attractive to me, but I wondered if I was responding to the cover.

  32. 3) I’ve been reading SF and about religion for a very long time (and have undergrad theology and philosophy minors, but then so did every other Catholic at my college), and even so I, um, scored only one of books on the list. One cause of that is Nicholl’s filtering rules, which guarantee a constantly narrowing field of candidates for any list. It makes for a challenging parlor game (note how we respond to the implicit challenge by posting our scores) but a less-than-optimal way of offering reading suggestions–which is what the “core works” part of the series title suggests is its point.

  33. Lenora Rose on December 8, 2017 at 9:15 am said:

    A friend of mine has made a request online. I expect if I forward this here, they will get deluged.

    in one of my writer groups, a novelist is starting a science fantasy novel. The problem is, they are much more familiar with fantasy than with sci-fi. What books would you recommend they read to get “up to speed” on the genre? (Since a spaceship is a big part of their MS, I’m going to recommend “The Void Captain’s Tale” by Spinrad.

    Suggested so far: Asimov, Sawyer, McCaffrey, Doyle and Macdonald, Gini Koch, Ann Leckie, Sandra McDonald, and John Scalzi with a caveat. And checking under “space opera” in general. And Lois McMaster Bujold.

    Early Weber, say up to book 8 in the Honor Harrington universe.
    Travis S. Taylor
    Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
    Gregory Benford
    Robert J. Sawyer

    Amazon lets you sort on “hard science fiction” and other topics, plus there are some “how to” writing books, which of course may or may not be of use.

  34. @Lenora Rose — Maybe also some Cherryh? Specifically Merchanter’s Luck and maybe Downbelow Station?

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