Pixel Scroll 1/3 The Man from P.I.X.E.L.

coverWARP932 Keith Braithwaite

(1) BRAITHWAITE RESTORES CLASSIC ARTWORK. Gracing the cover of Warp #93, the Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association clubzine, is this superlative painting —

The Doctor and his Companion, by Claude Monet (oil on canvas, 1875), a painting dating from a most fertile phase of the renowned French Impressionist’s career, was recently discovered in the attic of a house in Argenteuil in which Monet lived in the 1870s. Little is known of the subjects depicted as the artist left no notes as to their identity or relationship to him. No particulars on the gentleman or lady are to be found, either, in the local historical records of the time and the odd structure beside which the gentleman is standing remains a puzzle. Civic records offer no indication that such a structure ever existed, as if this curious blue box simply appeared out of thin air, and then disappeared just as mysteriously. The title of the work gives us our only clue as to the two subjects, suggesting that the gentleman was, perhaps, a medical doctor travelling with a female relative, Fiancée, or mistress. MonSFFA’s own Keith Braithwaite worked on the restoration of the painting.

(2) BLUE PEOPLE BEWARE. Yahoo! Movies reports “’The Force Awakens’ Barreling Toward ‘Avatar’Record”.

The space opera sequel is moving up the all-time domestic box office charts at a record clip and now is poised to overtake those pointy eared blue aliens as the top grossing film in history. Avatar earned $760.5 million during its stateside run and Star Wars: The Force Awakens has generated $740.4 million domestically after picking up $88.3 million over New Year’s weekend. It should take the crown from Avatar early next week.

(3) AXANAR DECONSTRUCTED. (There’s that word again. I hope I know what it means…) John Seavey at Mightygodking has created a FAQ about the Paramount/CBS lawsuit against Axanar Productions:

Q: Then why are they being sued? Paramount allows lots of these things, don’t they?

A: Oh, yeah. “Star Trek Renegades”, “Star Trek: Of Gods and Men”, “Star Trek Continues”…basically, it seems like as long as nobody’s making any money, Paramount turns a blind eye to these fan films.

Q: But this one they wouldn’t? Why?

A: Well, there is the fact that, in an update on Axanar’s Indigogo campaign, they said, “EVERYTHING costs more when you are a professional production and not a fan film. All of this and more is explained, along with our budget of how we spent the money in the Axanar Annual Report.”

And in that latest annual budget report, they said, “First and foremost, it is important to remember that what started out as a glorified fan film is now a fully professional production. That means we do things like a studio would. And of course, that means things cost more. We don’t cut corners. We don’t ask people to work full time for no pay. And the results speak for themselves.”

And:

“Please note that we are a professional production and thus RUN like a professional production. That means our full time employees get paid. Not much honestly, but everyone has bills to pay and if you work full time for Axanar, you get paid.

Also, no other fan film has production insurance like we do. We pay $ 12,000 a year for that. Again, a professional production.”

Also, in their Indiegogo FAQ, they had this little gem:

“Q: What is Axanar Productions?

Axanar is not just an independent Star Trek film; it is the beginning of a whole new way that fans can get the content they want, by funding it themselves. Why dump hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on 400 cable channels, when what you really want is a few good sci-fi shows? Hollywood is changing. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other providers are redefining content delivery, and Axanar Productions/Ares Studios hopes to be part of that movement.”

Which kind of contradicts the “fan film” statement.

(4) WILL SMITH’S CHARACTER IS LATE. John King Tarpinian imagines the conversation went like this: “You want how much?  Sorry but your character just died.” In a Yahoo! News interview,  “Will Smith Says It Was Terrible When He Found Out His Independence Day Character Died”.

Will Smith found it unpleasant to learn that the fat lady had sung on Steven Hiller, the character he played in 1996’s Independence Day. “It was terrible when I found out my character died,” Smith told Yahoo.

Hiller’s death was revealed on a viral site for Independence Day: Resurgence. “While test piloting the ESD’s first alien hybrid fighter, an unknown malfunction causes the untimely death of Col. Hiller,” the site’s timeline reads. “Hiller’s valor in the War of ’96 made him a beloved global icon whose selfless assault against the alien mothership lead directly to the enemy’s defeat. He is survived by his wife Jasmine and his son Dylan.” You can see an image of Hiller’s fiery death by clicking here.

(5) ALL KNIGHT. Admiring Fred Kiesche’s Damon Knight quote in a comment here, Damien G. Walter tweeted —

(6) HE FIGURES. Camestros Felapton forays into toy design with his new “Hugo” brand “Stage Your Own Kerfuffle”  figures….

(7) JEFFRO MOVES UP. Vox Day is delegating management of the Castalia House blog to “The new sheriff in town”, Jeffro Johnson:

As Castalia House has grown, it has become increasingly difficult to balance my responsibilities as Lead Editor and as the manager of this blog. Because Castalia House shoots for excellence across the board, I have decided that it is time to step back and hand over my responsibilities for this blog to someone else.

And who is better suited to take it over than one of the very best bloggers in science fiction and gaming? I am absolutely delighted to announce that the Castalia House blogger, author of the epic Chapter N series, and 2015 Hugo nominee for Best Fan Writer, Jeffro Johnson, has agreed to accept the position of Blog Editor at Castalia House.

(8) ARISTOTLE. That leaves Vox Day more time to orchestrate his winter offensive. His first target is File 770 commenter Lis Carey.

Even I occasionally forget how fragile these psychologically decrepit specimens are. Anyhow, it’s a good reminder to ALWAYS USE RHETORIC on them. They’re vulnerable to it; they can’t take it. That’s why they resort to it even when it doesn’t make sense in the context of a discussion, because they are trying to make you feel the emotional pain that they feel whenever they are criticized.

Day is developing a Goodreads author page, and Carey mentioned yesterday she had already seen early signs of activity:

Ah, this may explain a recent comment on one of my reviews of last year’s Hugo nominees–and means maybe I can expect more.

The particular comments were on her review of Castalia House’s Riding The Red Horse.

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • January 3, 1841 — Herman Melville ships out on the whaler Acushnet to the South Seas.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born January 3, 1892 – J.R.R. Tolkien, honored by Emily Asher-Perrin at Tor.com:

But of course, the world remembers Tolkien for changing the fantasy genre forever. By penning The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien set a framework for fantasy literature that countless authors have attempted to recapture over the years. The creation of Middle-earth, from its languages to its poetry to its rich cultural history and varied peoples, was an astounding feat of imagination that no one had managed before with such detail and ardent care.

(11) SEMIPROZINES. Camestros Felapton continues moving through the alphabet in his “Semiprozine Round-Up: Cs and Ds”.

Keeping on going in the Cs and Ds of semiprozines.

  • The Cascadia Subduction Zone
  • The Colored Lens
  • Crossed Genres Magazine
  • Daily Science Fiction
  • The Dark Magazine
  • Diabolical Plots

(12) PARTS NOT TAKEN. “Leonardo DiCaprio Reflects On Turning Down Anakin Skywalker And Two SuperHero Roles” at ScienceFiction.com:

And it’s a philosophy that has led to him turning down parts in some guaranteed smashes and lots of cha-ching.  He recently revealed that he actually met with George Lucas, but ultimately passed on playing Anakin Skywalker in the ‘Star Wars’ prequels.

“I did have a meeting with George Lucas about that, yes.  I just didn’t feel ready to take that dive. At that point.”

Around this time, DiCaprio instead chose to make ‘Gangs of New York’ and ‘Catch Me If You Can’, the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

Still he must be kicking himself.  The role instead went to Hayden Christiansen and look at how his career took… oh, ahem.  Nevermind.

(13) REMEMBERING BAEN. While researching another post, I rediscovered David Drake’s 2006 tribute to the late Jim Baen, who had just recently passed. Shortly before Baen’s death the two were on the phone and Baen asked, “You seem to like me. Why?” The answer is rather touching.

And then I thought further and said that when I was sure my career was tanking–

You thought that? When was that?”

In the mid ’90s, I explained, when Military SF was going down the tubes with the downsizing of the military. But when I was at my lowest point, which was very low, I thought, “I can write two books a year. And Jim will pay me $20K apiece for them–”

“I’d have paid a lot more than that!”

And I explained that this wasn’t about reality: this was me in the irrational depths of real depression. And even when I was most depressed and most irrational, I knew in my heart that Jim Baen would pay me enough to keep me alive, because he was that sort of person. He’d done that for Keith Laumer whom he disliked, because Laumer had been an author Jim looked for when he was starting to read SF.

I could not get so crazy and depressed that I didn’t trust Jim Baen to stand by me if I needed him. I don’t know a better statement than that to sum up what was important about Jim, as a man and as a friend.

(14) PEACE IN OUR TIME. In “The Stormbunnies and Crybullies”, John C. Wright devotes over 2,000 words to making his closing offer irresistible in that special way only he knows how.

But I am a forgiving man, jovial and magnanimous. I make the following peace offer: Go your way. Cease to interfere with me and my livelihood, do your work, cease to libel me and meddle with my affairs, withhold your tongue from venom and your works from wickedness, and we shall all get along famously.

Otherwise, it is against my self interest to seek peace with you. Peace is a two sided affair: both parties must agree. So far only Mr. Martin has even expressed a desire for it.

(15) WHAT KEEPS YOU FROM WRITING? Nandini Balial at Pacific Standard helps writers name their fears — “Gremlins and Satyrs of Rejection: A Taxonomy of Writers’ Foes”

THE SATYRS OF MOUNT OUTLET: Like its cousin Olympus, Mount Outlet stretches far beyond human sight into luxurious billowy clouds. The work its satyrs produce is sharp and daring. Vast networks of bloggers, freelancers, and even reporters churn out viral but self-aware listicles, personal essays that make me cry more than they should, and short stories so good I’m inclined to simply put my pen away. On Twitter, their satyrs (editors) trade barbs and witticisms with the speed of a Gatling gun. A poor peasant like me may approach the foot of the mountain, but my tattered, unworthy scrolls and I will soon turn around and head home.

(16) PUBLISHING STINKS. Kristen Lamb, in “The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers”, says don’t bother reviewing her books on Goodreads, because that’s where the trolls are:

Tweet a picture of our book. Put it on Facebook. People in your network ARE noticing. Peer review and approval is paramount in the digital age. And don’t support your favorite author on Goodreads as a first choice (AMAZON reviews are better). The only people hanging out on Goodreads for the most part are other writers and book trolls.

Support us on your regular Facebook page or Instagram or Twitter. Because when you post a great new book you LOVED your regular friends see that. When they get stranded in an Urgent Care or an airport? What will they remember? THAT BOOK. They won’t be on Goodreads. Trust me.

(17) DISSONANCE. After reading Kristen Lamb’s discouraging words, I encountered M. L. Brennan calling for everyone to get up and dance because Generation V earned out and what that means”. That’s not the next post I’d have expected to see, straight from leaving Lamb’s black-crepe-draped explanation of the publishing industry.

One thing to bear in mind, because it’s easy to lose sight of it when you look at that last paragraph — if I hadn’t received an advance, I wouldn’t have made more money on this book. I would still have earned $7615.78 on the series — except earning that first $7500 would have taken me two years, rather than being entirely in my pocket on the day that Generation V hit the bookstores. And that $7500 paid my mortgage, my electric bill, and other bills, which made it substantially easier for me to write. Without that advance, it would’ve taken me longer to write Iron Night, Tainted Blood, and even Dark Ascension, because I would’ve been having to hustle other work elsewhere and spend less time writing.

(18) NONE DARE CALL IT SF. Whether Joshua Adam Anderson styles himself an sf fan I couldn’t say (though he did take a course from Professor James Gunn), but his LA Review of Books article “Toward a New Fantastic: Stop Calling It Science Fiction” is a deep dive into the abyss of genre. His attempt to define (redefine?) science fiction is precisely what fans love.

LAST JULY, Pakistani science fiction writer Usman Malik published a clarion call for his home country. In it, he made the claim that “[e]ncouraging science fiction, fantasy, and horror readership has the potential to alleviate or fix many of Pakistan’s problems.” While it would be difficult to disagree with the idea that science fiction is a positive force in the world, many of Malik’s reasons for championing the genre are problematic. To begin with, Malik — along with just about everyone else — still, for some reason, calls “science fiction” science fiction. His essay actually contains a handful of reasons why we should stop calling it “science fiction,” and it also inadvertently addresses how and why we need to liberate ourselves from genre itself — and how “science fiction” can help us do just that.

(19) PLANNING BEGINS: Paul Johnson’s early word is that the event to honor his father, the late George Clayton Johnson, might be in February at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

P Johnson snip Egyptian

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Will R., Paul Weimer, Brian Z., and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

413 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/3 The Man from P.I.X.E.L.

  1. Wow – just went and looked at the reviews and comments. Little Teddy is getting his teeth kicked in.

    But still – fires up the wingnuts and helps sell books which is all he really doing.

  2. @TinTinaus: One of the reasons I like early Pratchett is the hit after hit comedy with just the right elements of slapstick and goofyness alongside the breaking of genre conventions.

    Well, slapstick is not my favorite type of comedy, and some kinds of goofyness are just….not funny. There are huge elements of subjective response to comedy, after all.

    When I’m reading the Pratchetts I love, there are often loud guffaws of laughter resounding through the house (or wherever we are–we used to go out for dinner on Fridays with new books to read, and according to my housemate, my loud laughter in public as I was reading would draw looks from across the restaurant.

    I do like some of the Rincewind novels (mostly the parts with the Librarian), and I like Susan’s appearance in Soul Music.

    But the earliest ones are just not that fun for me.

    Later ones are.

    My pretentious pronouncement on his work is that he started out spoofing the conventions of genre fantasy, but ended up using the conventions of fantasy to comment on the human condition through a satiric narrative persona that (strikes me as one) who loves the best that humans can be while acknowledging the worst that we so often do.

    And I love the footnotes, sidelines, digressions, puns, and various commentaries throughout–I’ve only seen one adaptation (Hogfather), and I didn’t find it all that good because the narrative voice is missing.

  3. @Tintinaus–

    I am not sure why so many people here dislike Pure Unadulterated Fun. One of the reasons I like early Pratchett is the hit after hit comedy with just the right elements of slapstick and goofyness alongside the breaking of genre conventions.

    I love pure unadulterated fun.

    What I don’t like are the early Pratchett books. I don’t get “pure unadulterated fun” from them. I get slapstick, which I’m not a fan of, and a kind of goofiness that doesn’t work for me. His later books are much more fun, after his writing skill developed some more.

  4. @Lis Carey: I love pure unadulterated fun.

    What I don’t like are the early Pratchett books.

    Brilliantly summing up what took me manymanymore words to say!

    Yes!

    Also–I was sorry to see that Beale was targeting you and your work in the way he has been.

  5. Looks like Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies just got kicked off Goodreads. Check out his blog. Vox himself has been permanently banned.

  6. For once, I’m with the majority, I don’t care for the Rincewind books much and think Small Gods is one of the best. (My overall favorite varies from week to week)

  7. The Red, Cuckoo Song and Guards Guards may not have a lot in common other than being well worth reading.

  8. Ironically, I learned about Terry Pratchett from Jerry Pournelle, who recommended him in his Byte magazine column back in the day. So one night I was in the Urbana Free Library with the future Dr. Mrs. Acoustic Rob, browsing the Science Fiction/Fantasy shelves, and I saw this little mud-colored book called “The Color of Magic” and decided to take a chance on it. I’m very glad I did, because I’m convinced that reading his books made me a better person.

    One thing that comes through in his writing is his belief that everybody has, as he put it, the right to redefine themselves. This shows up most strongly in the character of Cheery/Cheri Littlebottom, the dwarf who ‘comes out’ as female in Feet of Clay, but it’s there in a lot of his books. “You are who you want to be,” he says, over and over, “and nobody has the right to say otherwise.” I’ve had friends who have switched jobs, or names, or genders on me, and in all the cases where I’ve kept that in mind it’s made everything much smoother than it otherwise could have been.

    My favorite book of his is probably Reaper Man. I’ve read the last forty or so pages over and over again, because the way the various threads of the story come together and resolve at the end is very satisfying. It stands on its own pretty well, too–I’ve given it out as a first Pratchett book to friends, and it’s hooked several of them.

  9. Thanks to those of you who mentioned Cuckoo Song! I meant to read it when it first came out and then promptly forgot about it. I checked it out from the library this evening and added it to my stack.

  10. Kurt Busiek

    I don’t think “hideous, garish and vulgar” is really the best brand identity to go for

    It seems to be working out just fine for a certain presidential contender sharing a first name with a Disney character.

  11. Bryan Young

    Looks like Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies just got kicked off Goodreads.

    I’m sure VD will insist that he’s still a lifetime member of Goodreads.

  12. I was first introduced to Pratchett circa 1990. His latest at the time, Moving Pictures, mostly got a shrug from me, as did the other 3 or 4 I tried, except that I really liked Wyrd Sisters. That wasn’t enough, and I put him aside. About 5 years ago I finally had heard enough of other people’s enthusiasm to say “Why don’t I read Wyrd Sisters again?”, and Tiffany Aching, and the hook was sunk.

  13. Looks like Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies just got kicked off Goodreads. Check out his blog. Vox himself has been permanently banned.

    Heh. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer Sooper Genius.

  14. @Kevin Standlee:

    I can find nothing else in Section 180 that requires a vote of the membership to expel a member, and therefore the Bylaws (old, Massachusetts) appear to apply per (e) above.

    He’s apparently been citing Section 180, Chapter 18:

    Section 18. No member of such corporation shall be expelled by vote of less than a majority of all the members thereof, nor by vote of less than three quarters of the members present and voting upon such expulsion. Every member of such corporation and every person who has an interest in its funds shall be entitled to examine its books and records.

    Without knowing the relevant case law, I have no idea how applicable that section would have been, had the SFWA not reincorporated in a different state and altered its membership structure and requirements. The fact that the SFWA did do all those things, however, seems to render the question moot. That they rolled over memberships that met their new requirements doesn’t require them to roll over memberships that didn’t.

    Moreover, if Beale had a legal case, I suspect he’d be spending more time suing and less time making . . . other plans:

    Once it is publicly confirmed by a future SFWA President that I remain a member in good standing, I intend to run for a single term as President on a platform of cleaning out the pedophiles from the organization.

    Hmm. I wonder why Beale assumes that a future SFWA President will do this for him? It’s almost as if his new Unbeatable Plan involves getting a sympathetic person to run for, and win, President of the SFWA, then expecting that person to unilaterally get the SFWA to declare that Beale was never kicked out in the first place.

    Is that his plan? He’d have to be a blithering idiot to try it. (And to announce it!) The only person associated with him that even looks partway plausible as a candidate is Jerry Pournelle, who served as SFWA president in the early 1970s (well before I was even born), but would be 84 when Cat Rambo’s term ends, and whose views and association with Beale are not exactly secrets. Literally everyone else publicly associated with Beale is laughably un-electable. If not Pournelle, he’d need to find someone well-known in the community, amenable to doing Beale’s dirty work, and capable of actually being elected. That person does not actually exist. And even if the stars aligned and he somehow, magically got a SFWA President willing to do what he wants . . . I’m pretty sure the SFWA President doesn’t have the authority to do what Beale wants in the first place.

    Either way, it’ll be interesting to see who stands for election in 2017, and if Beale is actually stupid enough to try this.

    Little Teddy Beale has his storm troopers harassing Lis Carey in comments to her review of “Riding the Red Horse” by Tom Kratman.

    I remember reading a complaint, not that long ago, that reviewers could delete comments to their Goodreads reviews. I’ve never done it myself, but it looks like the option is there. (Not that Lis Carey should have to, obviously. Just that it’s a helpful tool.)

  15. Day still seems to be showing up on the site to me, but I don’t really know what “banned from Goodreads” means. If they have, it’s good to know that (after the horror stories I’ve heard about GR’s moderation, or lack thereof) they are being responsive to abuse reports.

    If so, I look forward to the Sooper Genius Manly Man whinging to no end about censorship and oppression, and how he should somehow be immune to the consequences of his actions, as well as how a private organisation is obligated to give him a platform.

  16. Emma: With all due respect, you say you don’t know the case law, so how do you support the conclusion “That they rolled over memberships that met their new requirements doesn’t require them to roll over memberships that didn’t”? If a court decided his expulsion wasn’t valid, what is left to set his Life Membership apart from the rest?

  17. drift store
    I picture a used-book store with the books categorized, but as you move along the shelf, gardening books give way seamlessly to cookbooks, which give way to books about cats, which give way to books about favorite poems, which lead to histories, which…

    @lurkertype
    I’ve just finished Kliph Nesteroff’s The Comedians, which is an engrossing account of stand-up comedy from Vaudeville (pre-standup) to about 2013. Nesteroff wrote a lot of essays (60, if my search mission through the WFMU blog back numbers was complete) about show biz and its intersection with criminals, and the book uses that as a start, though it’s organized completely differently. I counted the essays because I wanted to copy out all of them to read later. Or sooner. I’m a few chapters into How Green Was My Valley and it’s evocative as all getout, though not as autobiographical as the author initially let on (he interviewed miners, and the result certainly feels authentic). Other than that, no profound reading lately. Much of the time when I can do that is spent at the gym, on exercise machines (the Futile Cycle and the Trudgemaster), which is now up to a solid hour in which I move my legs and read, and I’ve been reading Doc Savage, The Shadow, and The Thinking Machine—enjoyable and diverting, but not profound.

    @Mary Frances
    There was a used-book store in Norfolk, VA, called (if memory) Lighthouse Books. It was, contrariwise, a dark place. The second time I went, I brought a mag light to look at spines. The owner was talking to someone about how the city wanted him to put in more light, so he thought he’d put in candles, haw haw. It had back rooms that were just a bit scary, with bits of broken junk (I think I saw an actual stereopticon (slide projector with dual lenses for quick switching), which would have been lighted by some kind of carbon arc flame, in pieces in one room). The front room had a pile of books that was something like five feet high, six wide, and fifteen or more deep. It was a parallelepiped, more or less, not a heap, but the books inside were just as inaccessible as if buried under sand. My friends and I just called it Dark, Scary Book Store.

    @Lis Carey
    Your review seems pretty solid to me, and you have done your utmost to be fair and not unkind.

  18. FWIW, I also have Strata as the first Pratchett I read, on account of how I thought it was the first Discworld book (a not-too-incomprehensible mistake, I think, given that it is about a flat, disc-shaped world). I thought it couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be a real book or a Ringworld parody, but eventually, once I discovered my mistake, I decided to give the actual Discworld books a chance.

  19. It seems to be working out just fine for a certain presidential contender sharing a first name with a Disney character.

    You can clearly get an audience that way.

    But, well, if this all ends up with his supporters fulminating that other people shouldn’t have voted against him and it’s so unfair, I won’t gripe about that either.

    *

    I think my first Pratchett was GOOD OMENS, which I liked so much that I then read THE COLOUR OF MAGIC and subsequent books in order (though I may have missed a few here and there).

    I didn’t know there was a thing about the first few both being that good until I was well past them. They didn’t stop me reading, and I liked how they kept getting better.

  20. Microtherion —

    It seems to be working out just fine for a certain presidential contender sharing a first name with a Disney character.

    Trump’s first name is “Goofy”? I thought that was just his modus operandi.

  21. Tintinaus on January 4, 2016 at 6:16 pm said:

    I am not sure why so many people here dislike Pure Unadulterated Fun.

    I didn’t read Pratchett for a long time, because I had gotten the idea from the rest of the SF club that he was a humorous fantasist in the manner of Robert Lynn Asprin and Piers Anthony, and at the time Pratchett was first brought to my attention, I was getting a little tired of that. I could be mixing up the timeline, but I think I might have read the first two books, which would have done nothing to change my mind about that impression.

    I gave him a try again after reading Good Omens, because I loved that book so much it was actually nipping at the heels of The Lord of the Rings in my personal canon. So I went ahead to Mort, because I had been told that the Good Omens Death was basically the Discworld Death.

    Mort hooked me, and I read a bunch of the others. I liked-to-loved most of them. But I noticed that even much later in the series, I don’t like the Rincewind books. They seem lacking in the rich humanistic comedy of his other works.

    Part of why he penetrated my “done with humorous fantasy” cynicism is that he wrote real characters I cared about who were also involved in these hilarious situations. I loved his tendency to seriously think through things like “what kind of culture do vampires or zombies or werewolves have?” and “what biological differences would explain this broad, but inaccurate, cultural stereotype?” And the Rincewind books don’t really have so much of that. Plus, I think Rincewind just isn’t a very compelling character. I mean, I guess a self-serving coward is kinda funny in circumstances where you want a hero, but… I just don’t identify.

    Do the Rincewind books still provide PUF? Maybe for others, not for me. But I still really like that he wrote more than one kind of book. One of my favorites, Monstrous Regiment, is probably the most common “nah, I really didn’t like that one,” when I converse with other Pratchett fans.

  22. I’m in the club who’s read The Colour of Magic in the eighties and wasn’t impressed. I did enjoy Good Omens and plan to give it another go.

  23. Replying late, again, sorry.

    @Various: I’m confused; when did Beale “take on” GRRM?

    @Hampus Eckerman: Re. the Sir Dominic Flandry cover, just, wow! That’s certainly an impressive . . . tool the guy on the cover needs two hands to hold. Also, the Young Flandry cover seems to be in the Time Enough for Love mode (with even less clothing).

    @NickPheas: ROFL! I’d forgotten that parody with Kowal, Rothfuss, etc. reenacting the Young Flandry cover. Awesome!

    @Tony Cullen: “So this isn’t you in 2013?” ::snort:: 🙂

    @Genial and/or Jovial People: The dictionary built into my Mac says jovial means “cheerful and friendly,” while genial means “friendly and cheerful.” I kid you not! But then the thesaurus part lists genial under jovial, but not the other way around. Uh, okay?! I think of jovial as being more energetic and genial as being more laid back, but essentially closely related words.

    @John M. Cowan: Thanks for the comments about Darkship Thieves. I got it from Hoyt at a panel (free, as I recall – I asked a good question, or the first question, or something) at Gaylaxicon some years back. It got buried in the TBR shelves somewhere and never made it out. The Puppy Years make it less likely to escape the shelves, but your comments may change that one day, so thanks.

  24. I’ve never understood the appeal of Rincewind. Least likable character in Discworld for me. But my husband loves him, so, eh, different strokes.

    I loved Monstrous Regiment, though.

  25. redheadedfemme seems to have the straight dope. Seems Vox is banned and the rabid puppy group deleted at Goodreads. I went looking for it and it is nowhere to be seen.

    However, that in itself will be more SJW fodder for the rabble rousing machine. Per Vox, Goodreads will not be “Fox Newsed” by a competitor and go the way of CNN.

    In the meantime, I am sure his minions will continue to uprate and harass as directed. Don’t you wonder how a Vox Day could have minions?

  26. If Theodore Beale doesn’t have solid evidence that there are pedophiliacs in SFWA, he is (a.) getting desperate; (b.) being grossly irresponsible; and (c.) blowing hot air again.

    If Beale does have solid evidence that there are pedophiliacs in SFWA, why isn’t he sending it to the police? It’s their job to investigate crime and enforce the law, not SFWA’s.

    Also, sending it to the police would mean the investigation could get going immediately, instead of letting the supposed victims continue to be tormented until such time as SFWA reinstates Beale and elects him president.

    Like hell freezing over, that could take a while.

  27. I seem to recall liking Darkship Thieves when I read it many years ago. But it’s been so long I would have to dig it up from the pile of doom – assuming it’s not gone to an used bookstore by now.

    The pile of doom grows constantly with attempted efforts to prune it back with used book selling. Right now I think some major pruning is required.

    I hesitate to ask, but what do book lovers do for storage ? I have favorite shelves and cycling shelves whose contents get resold but I am constantly accreting books at a faster rate.

    I am at the point where Measures Must Be Taken.

  28. (3) I’m glad there’s someone out there as cynical about the Axanar production as I am. It’s also one of those things where the more one knows the details, the more cynical one gets- unless one starts clapping their hands and saying “I DO believe in Axanar!”

    Honestly, I’m kind of glad Kickstarter wasn’t around back when my flaky filmmaker friend was roping me into making movies…

  29. I forgot to add that my favourite line is from Reaper Man

    LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?

  30. @Peace Is My Middle Name: This may not describe you, but I feel like folks love to hate on Sweet’s artwork. I generally like it! It’s not perfect, and sure, he’s not an all-time fave of mine. But I like it, and probably like a few of his pieces a LOT. Anyway, your, uh, strong words plus a few others’ comments prompted me to reveal my dirty little secret. 😉 Don’t hold it against me that I like his stuff.

    Some of this may be nostalgia; I grew up reading plenty of books with his covers. Or maybe I just have horrible taste. (shrug) De gustibus, etc.

    He had a distinctive style (presumably why he was hired, and presumably it worked). IMHO he was way overused back in the day; or maybe I just bought too many books from certain publishers?

    On the other paw, some of my all-time favorite artists (not SFF-specific) have stood the test of time: Dalí, Mucha, and Klimt, for example. My SFF favorites include generally well-regarded luminaries such as Picacio, Whelan, Martiniere, Vallejo, and Bell, to name a few. I don’t always know artist names (blush), or I’d name more. I feel like I see so much incredible art on the ‘net these days, I can’t keep up.

    I love SFF art so much! 😀 And I have zero artistic talent, and greatly admire those of you who do. We own too much art to display it all (need a bigger house for all the books & all the art). I especially treasure the originals and 3-D pieces. The watercolor of centaurs frolicking on a beach is amazing, sigh (got it at Worldcon).

    As far as people seeing what books I carry, while I don’t really care, I admit I’d probably prefer a Sweet cover to one of the more lurid Baen covers, given the option. 😉

    Anyway, sorry to ramble. And sorry if I sound defensive of my taste in art. I like good stuff, too – honest! 😉

  31. I did wonder at that phrasing from TB, normally when one sees a serious situation like that the best thing to do is to report it immediately to the authorities who have the experience to investigate it properly.

    As stated above that would be the matter for the police not the SFWA.

  32. @Kendall
    I like DKS covers on the Sterling Lanier Hiero’s Journey books. I don’t like all of his stuff but some pieces I am fond of on a cover by cover basis.

  33. Teresa — As you are no doubt aware, the Scalzi-Tor-SFWA-Nielsen Hayden* conspiracy is so powerful that you’ve bought off the Feds so that they won’t investigate the clear evidence (in Beale’s head) that Chip Delany is a practicing pederast, so Beale’s only option is to journey into the heart of darkness himself to bring forth the Truth.

    *Should that have another hyphen?

  34. @Shambles: We have a lot of shelves. Occasionally we squeeze in another, and occasionally a few books take over a small area they shouldn’t. When the centaurs inevitably retake the big display shelves separating our living and dining rooms, I’m sure the books I put on one part of the unit will have to move. 😉

    I’ve been saying for a while that I should do another big run through our books, finding books to dispose of. We did it 11 years ago before moving here, and it’s past time to do it again. “I read it, but I might re-read it!” isn’t a good excuse for me (YMMV), and there maaaaaay be a few books I should just admit I won’t get around to reading. (blushing furiously)

    I try to buy more ebooks these days, within my parameters of preferring no DRM unless it’s very low priced.

    So, yeah, I don’t have much: Be creative/sneaky, cull the herd periodically (which you’re already doing), and buy more ebooks!

  35. TNH

    Failing to notify the police that you have identified a paedophile is just about the worst thing one can do, short of failing to notify the police that you have identified a mass murderer. Anyone trying that, whether it be VD or some other person, has discovered an excellent way of ensuring that s/he will spend time in jail…

  36. @Shambles: Cool! 😀

    I believe a lot of folks don’t care for them, but I like Sweet’s covers for Donaldson’s “Thomas Covenant” books from Del Rey. The one for the second book (The Illearth War) is the weakest of the bunch, methinks, while the third and fourth (The Power That Preserves and The Wounded Land*) may be the strongest.

    * Unrelated: I’ve always loved that book title.

  37. @Kendall – You don’t have to feel guilty, Sweet was actually very good at what he was hired to do, and he put a lot of thought into it. There was an era when people were asking rather unrealistic things of their stable of artists, and I think he got a lot of work because he could fit a really ridiculous number of things into a composition. (Also I’ll guess he was fast, but I don’t know that for sure.)

    I’m not saying he was deathless, but he had a really solid grip on composition, and when art director want you to fit every character and an army and oh, yeah, also a monkey! into a scene, it does take a lot of skill to make it work even semi-gracefully.

  38. No substantive comment, but I want to join the chorus of support and appreciation for Lis. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this annoyance.

    I did snicker at Anyhow, it’s a good reminder to ALWAYS USE RHETORIC on them.

  39. @Kendall
    I would agree with you on the Wounded Land books. He did do a good job of representing what a book was about (constrast to discussion of Foss earlier who did not but painted beautiful spaceships)

  40. redheadedfemme seems to have the straight dope. Seems Vox is banned and the rabid puppy group deleted at Goodreads. I went looking for it and it is nowhere to be seen.

    It would be great if GR has banned him this quickly. Groups can be made secret so unless you are a member you have no way of knowing they exist.

    I belong to one secret/hidden group – it keeps the trolls out. Invitation only. It’s my favorite group. Very few interpersonal problems crop up. Frequent apologies if someone upsets/offends someone.

    Unfortunately secret/hidden groups can be used for bad behavior. Here’s to hoping GR deleted VDs bullying group.

  41. Getting rid of books. Gifting – think of friends, family, organizations which would appreciate your books. We pass many books on to the next generation of family and friends. Then it becomes their problem what to do with too many books.

    If the books are out of print there are a couple organizations working on collecting, working with rights holders, and turning into ebooks. Also a number of universities have SFF library societies (I.e. MIT) willing to take books in good shape.

    There are also a couple organizations, if you can bear it, who will convert your physical book to an ebook, and then destroy the physical book so it’s all legal.

  42. @Shambles – One of us does not ever get rid of books. Never. Ever. And prefers real books to ebooks. So, every flat wall becomes an opportunity to erect a bookcase. I think the newest one will hold about 300 more books when it’s done.

    Also, we have a big finished basement.

    Also, if I read something and know I won’t read it again, I donate it.

    Also, I gave more than half my books away a decade ago, so there’s that.

    I still worry that if we keep collecting books, our house will sink until it hits bedrock.

  43. @Mike Glyer

    If a court decided his expulsion wasn’t valid, what is left to set his Life Membership apart from the rest?

    The fact that the Board voted to expel him.

    Not that he was actually legally expelled (as in, actually, literally kicked out from the SFWA in 2013). That the Board voted to expel him. That’s not necessarily describing the same thing.

    The Board sets membership requirements for the SFWA, and the new Bylaws appear to reserve wide latitude for the Board to make membership eligibility decisions. The new Bylaws give great weight to the term “in good standing”. Gaining and retaining active membership in the SFWA requires a person to be “in good standing”. Membership criteria cannot be altered “retroactively to any member in good standing.” (But to members not in good standing? An interesting thought.) “Good standing” is an intrinsic requirement for active membership in the SFWA, and it’s being applied, as far as I can tell, across the board. If you don’t have it, you can’t be an Active member of the SFWA in 2015.

    The former Bylaws also required “good standing”, though for only certain activities:

    Section 6. Powers of Members. Only active members in good standing shall be eligible to run for office, make nominations, vote on awards, or vote in elections.

    But the former Bylaws did not formally define “good standing”. The closest definition there is dues-related:

    Section 2. Delinquency. In order to be considered a member in good standing, a member must have paid dues in full within sixty days of the start of the fiscal year.

    For a court to find that the SFWA didn’t legally kick Beale out in 2013 (at least, in the sense that he should have retained the enumerated “active member” rights), they’d have to find that the Board’s vote did not strip Beale of his “good standing” under the former Bylaws. And he might be able to make that argument for the MA Bylaws, as the term seemed to be defined there as dues-related. However, the current Bylaws explicitly define “good standing” thusly (in addition to dues):

    c. Members who have been expelled or suspended from the Corporation shall not be considered in good-standing.

    Ah, but you say, the whole question is whether Beale was properly expelled from the SFWA, and this exercise posits that he was not! To that I would reply: we’re using the word “expel” differently. You’re using it as synonymous with “legally kicked out”. I’m using it as a term defined in the SFWA Bylaws as being synonymous with “someone whom the Board voted to expel from the SFWA”.

    Both sets of Bylaws envision a definition of “expulsion” requiring a unanimous vote of the Board, but not of the general membership. Say, for the sake of argument, that the SFWA could not, in MA, remove Beale from their roster without a vote of the entire membership. The Board’s unanimous vote for removal still occurred, though. Did it have no effects whatsoever? If we were still operating in MA, it might be irrelevant . . . but the SFWA then reincorporated in CA, made explicit in its bylaws that an active member must have “good standing”, defined a person whom the Board has voted unanimously to kick out as being “expelled”, and defined a person who has been expelled as lacking the “good standing” membership requirement. That the person actually have literally and legally been kicked out upon that vote occurring would be irrelevant; the term “expelled”, as defined by the new Bylaws, requires only the actions that the Board took. Therefore, the vote that could not strip Beale of his membership in MA would, nevertheless, bar him from rolling that membership over into the CA incorporation, because it stripped him of the “good standing” requirement of the CA Bylaws that all the other, non-Board-expelled Life Members automatically maintained.

    (Were there other Life Members, or other categories of members, whose memberships were automatically rolled over despite having been “expelled” as defined under the terms of the MA Bylaws, Beale might have a case. But there weren’t.)

    So the question, for our purposes, is not “was Beale legally kicked out of the SFWA in 2013”. The question is “did Beale have the proper criteria for SFWA membership, as defined in the CA SFWA Bylaws, to be automatically rolled over as a member in the new SFWA corporation along with everyone else in his membership category”? Thanks to the Board’s vote, he did not have the “good standing” required for active membership when the new Bylaws came into effect. Upon the new incorporation, his membership, even if still valid in MA, would have been automatically barred in CA, pursuant to the SFWA’s membership eligibility requirements. And he can’t claim that he’s being treated differently than everyone else, because nobody else has a a Board vote weighing against their “good standing” membership requirement.

  44. You can hide behind technicalities

    Hang on a mo….

    I thought part of the point of good rhetoric was….

    Oh never mind, I thought he’d flounced? I assume he will again.

    I am coming to imagine him as some kind of Scooby Doo villain.

    ——–

    On Pratchett, I read them all from The Colour of Magic on, but I agree that it really kicked up a gear with Guards Guards, His Excellency Commander Sir Samuel Vimes the Duke of Ankh is one of my fictional heroes…

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