Pixel Scroll 1/5/16 A Fine and Pixeled Place

Note: I’m going to start putting the year in the header, too.

(1) SNODGRASS ON AXANAR. Melinda Snodgrass commented about the suit against Axanar on Facebook.

So far a cease and desist order has only been issued and a lawsuit filed against Axanar, but speaking as a former attorney I see no way for CBS and Paramount to turn a blind eye to the other fan efforts. As it is they have an “unclean hands” issue because they allowed the fan productions to go forward for so many years without reacting. Now that they are taking notice they will have to take notice across the board — no exceptions. That’s my best prediction based on training and education.

Because I am a professional screenwriter and also as a trained attorney I feel I have to step away from any involvement with any Star Trek fan funded project. Out of love for Star Trek, and the chance to write for two wonderful actors from the original series I was excited to write a new Trek script. And at the time I agreed to do this CBS was giving everyone tacit approval, a sort of wink and a nod. That is no longer the case.

Am I disappointed? Of course. Having met Walter I would love to have written for him, but it’s not to be. Look, I don’t blame the network or the studio. Bottom line the intellectual property that is Star Trek belongs to them. They have an obligation and a right to protect their asset.

(2) BIG BUCKS BUT SMALL FOOTPRINT. Forbes writer Scott Mendelson ponders why “Five Years Ago, ‘Avatar’ Grossed $2.7 Billion But Left No Pop Culture Footprint”. Why does the film Avatar have no great fannish following (ala Star Wars)?

Despite a pretty swift case of blockbuster backlash, whereby pundits quickly attributed the film’s box office success entirely to the 3D effects, I still think it’s a pretty fantastic adventure film. The characters are simple but primal, and the storytelling is lean and efficient even while running nearly three hours. Avatar was arguably the right film at the right time, with a potent anti-imperialism message that came about just as America was waking up from its post-9/11 stupor and the rest of the world was more-than-ready to cheer a film where murderous private armies were violently defeated and driven away by impassioned indigenous people.

But it was basically a historical cinematic footnote not a year later, with no real pop culture footprint beyond its record-setting box office and groundbreaking 3D.

(3) ADVISED BY C3PU? Hasbro responded to complaints about not including a Rey figure in Monopoly.

https://twitter.com/HasbroNews/status/684205970248089600/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Few bought the explanation.

(4) GALLIFREY CONUNDRUM. LA’s Doctor Who-themed convention Gallifrey One has posted a “Program & Guest Update: Early Schedule, Fan Panels and More!” Here’s a panel devoted to a question I’ve wondered about myself.

Life and Death in the Moffat Era — These days it doesn’t seem like anybody who’s dead stays dead… it’s merely a setback! From Clara to Rory to Missy to Osgood to Davros and even the Time Lords — and you have to through the increasingly complicated history of River Song in there somewhere — has Steven Moffat’s decision to bring back multiple characters made death in Doctor Who anti-climactic? Or is it just another example of the wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey fun that keeps the show fresh?

(5) USED BOOKSTORES. Mad Genius Club’s Amanda S. Green, in “Bookstores: Friend or Enemy”, a commentary on Kristen Lamb’s post about the publishing industry (also linked here the other day), makes an interesting point about used book sales.

When I started this post, I did so figuring I’d be flaying Lamb over how she viewed used bookstores. Why? Because some of the comments I’ve seen around the internet claimed she denounced used bookstores as bad for authors. She doesn’t, not really. She points out something a lot of readers don’t understand. When you buy a book from a used bookstore, the author gets nothing from that sale. Also, she rightly points out that the books you will find in such stores are, by the vast majority, traditionally published books. So, used bookstores aren’t much help for indie authors.

However, for authors whose books are found there, used bookstores do serve a purpose. In fact, it is much akin to the same purpose libraries serve. A person is more likely to pay a percentage of the price of a new book for an author they have never read before than they are to pay full price. So, even though that author doesn’t get a royalty from that particular sale, if the buyer likes the book, there is the possibility of a royalty sale down the road. Even if the reader doesn’t buy a new book later, they will discuss the book with others who might. To me, it is promotion and a good thing. Word of mouth is the best sort of promotion an author can have.

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • January 5, 1889 — The word hamburger first appeared in print in the Walla Walla Union, Walla Walla, Washington.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • Born January 5, 1914 — George Reeves, of Adventures of Superman fame. (He was also one of Scarlett O’Hara’s suitors in Gone With The Wind.)
  • Born January 5, 1929 — Russ Manning, artist of the comic strip Tarzan, whose credits include Magus Robot Fighter.
  • Born January 5, 1941 Hayao Miyazaki,  Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, and manga artist.

(8) DIRTY PICTURES. Settle down, they’re only pictures of dirt. NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now sending back close-ups of tall, ripple-ridden Martian sand dunes. Lots of photos here.

(9) GOTHAM. Formerly known as Pee Wee Herman — “Gotham: First Look At Paul Reubens As Penguin’s Father”.

Cobblepot is in need of a parental figure on Gotham, after his mother was killed toward the end of the first half of the season, by Theo “Dumas” Galavan. What role daddy dearest will play in that story is unclear, but from this image it looks like Penguin may have gotten his more vengeful side from his paternal parent.

While we don’t know exactly when Penguin’s Papa will show up, Gotham returns February 29, 2016, so we can expect him soon after.

(10) LEAPIN’ LITTERS. Not every dog has his day.

(11) THE CERTAINTY UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE. T. C. McCarthy can’t explain it.

(12) QUIDDITCH PONG. Combining the elements of Harry Potter’s favorite sport with beer pong, the Unofficial Quidditch Pong tabletop game assigns the player representing each house three unique spells. For example —

Slytherin:

Avada Kedavra– Once per game, choose a cup and remove it from the table. (can be used on Resurrection Stone)

Crucio– All of your opponents must make trick shots for one round

Imperio– Dictate which cup your opponents must make for one round

 

Quidditch Pong slide_2

(13) WETFOOT. Past LASFS President, actor Ed Green, plays one of the hundreds of faux lawyers and bankers fording the Rio Grande to illustrate a talking point in this Ted Cruz campaign ad. (If there’s a problem with the embedded video below, it can also be played at the Ted Cruz website Fix Our Border Yeah, like you would do that…)

Ed appears at in all his glory at :14, :25 and :35.

[Thanks to Dave Doering, John King Tarpinian, and David K.M. Klaus for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

540 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/5/16 A Fine and Pixeled Place

  1. @RedWombat

    Also, too:

    My favorites for 2016 so far are Uprooted, Ancillary Mercy, Interim Errantry (Lifeboats) and Library at Mt. Char.

    Now that’s interesting. I could not handle the gore and brutality in The Library at Mount Char. But on the other hand, two of my favorites are The Traitor Baru Cormorant and The Fifth Season, which are arguably just as brutal–in different ways.

    So what’s the difference? In the case of Baru vs. Char, I think it’s characterization. Baru Cormorant is, to me, a far better written character, layered and tormented. Carolyn, the protagonist of Char, strikes me as being just a nasty sociopath (among many other nasty and nastier sociopaths), and that’s why I couldn’t warm to the book, despite the interesting mythology.

    As far as The Fifth Season, I think its worldbuilding is superior to Char’s (and well-thought-out worldbuilding is a serious must for me to say I love a book). The structure of the book also impressed me (trying not to spoil too much here)–for instance, I just loved Essun’s chapters being written in second person. I’ve written a story in second person, and it’s damned hard to do well. N.K. Jemisin did so many things so well with this book, and it just knocked my socks into orbit.

    But I can appreciate people loving Char, now that I’ve got some distance from it. I’m not one of them, unfortunately.

  2. Meredith: And I’ve only ever (mostly) jokingly (ish) menaced people for voting against dragons in the brackets a few times! Hardly counts.

    My eyebrows still haven’t grown back after that dragonet you sent to my door, just because I said I thought Eifelheim should have taken the Hugo in 2007. 😡

  3. @redheadedfemme – See, I can’t handle…ah…futility? Not sure if that’s the word I’m after. Maybe tragedy, in the old Greek sense, where you can see it coming and there is no turning it aside. It hits the same cues as sympathetic embarrassment, oddly enough, but I can’t bear it. (My husband howled through the movie Bridesmaids and my spine nearly went through the back of the chair. It is probably odd to compare Bridesmaids to Baru Cormorant, but there you are. Could not finish Baru–didn’t get past the sample, actually, I think I read too many reviews. Which is not to say it was bad, but I can’t read things I know will end badly.)

    Archivist Wasp was close for me, but fell down–good world set up and then it didn’t DO anything with it. I wanted to know more about ghost collection and it just all went to supersoldiers. Enjoyable, but I would have done it differently, if that makes any sense. (I still might. There’s great inspiration in other people doing something in a way you wouldn’t–your fingers start to twitch.)

  4. RedWombat: My husband howled through the movie Bridesmaids and my spine nearly went through the back of the chair.

    I thought that movie was incredibly mean-spirited and horrible, like the school bully who mocks you relentlessly and then, when you object, tells you that “it’s all in good fun” and “you need to get a sense of humor”.

  5. @RedWombat I’m with you I don’t care what little gems @Dann is afraid to mention.

    I spent a portion of today updating my wishlist of SFF books coming out this year. Amazon can be an amazing time sink as each book your pointed to points you to other books and authors to check out. I added some stuff I know is not to my taste because I’m trying to widen my reading. I had no idea how much MilSF is out there. Trying to figure out what to pick up when none has been published yet and a number are 1st/2nd books is tough – do you put it all on the wishlist just to keep track of it or toss a coin on each one?

  6. @Bruce Baugh: “RedWombat, you rock, once again.”

    Yes, but paper covers rock… which I think may mean we should make sure she hasn’t been buried by her TBR stack. 😉

  7. I think I might have a bad case of cranky pants due to David Bowie’s untimely death. If I’ve sounded snarly, I apologize.

    @JJ – I don’t think there’s a secret conspiracy to nominate and award trophies to WrongBooks because PoliticalAgenda. I believe that, despite my opinion of those books, the people who made them finalists and winners did so out of genuine appreciation.

    Yeah, well, the logical conclusion to Hugo finalists and winners that don’t personally appeal is Tastes Vary, but if you have some sort of emotional investment in your things being The Right Things, then it’s clearly incorrect when others don’t agree. I’m not sure it’s even possible to argue anyone out of that.

    @Meredith

    – Historical fantasy (of manners)
    – with dragons (but not the best dragons, imo, they felt more like generic faeries)
    – addresses the inequalities of the time but doesn’t focus on it
    – interesting and sciencey magical system

    The first two were where the book fell short for me. Perhaps if some of the reviews hadn’t referenced Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer my expectations would have been lower. Also, I really thought the dragons represented a missed opportunity to inject wonder, because I was not impressed. I hope you have better luck with Uprooted.

    I’m spoiled for choice in both novellas and short stories, but I currently have only three candidates for Novel: The Trials, by Linda Nagata, Bryony and Roses, by T. Kingfisher, and Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. I remember loving The Invisible Library, but I can’t remember why and I’ll probably have to reread it. I’m just getting ready to start Updraft.

  8. @Nicole

    I never said that I liked “Skin Game”. Actually I said that I made the huge mistake of focusing on the sub-novel categories.

    I general, folks please let this go. I fully appreciate that others play games with these kinds of things.

    I am not. It isn’t in my character to do that.

    I genuinely enjoy other comment threads and will continue to be around. But for the moment, I’m just not going to mention any specific titles here.

    Regards
    Dann

  9. For novels I currently have:
    Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
    Mechanica by Betsy Cromwell
    Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older
    Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

  10. @Tasha:

    I seldom buy new releases as soon as they come out, although I track them as if I will. More commonly, I’ll use release day to move them from this month’s list to one of a few “now available” lists, according to urgency and a few other factors.

    For example, a series that looks interesting, but which I haven’t invested in yet, usually goes to Moratorium, reflecting my desire to keep track of it without being ready to take the plunge. Books I can use reward points for go to a separate Viggle list. Things I really want either get bought immediately – I don’t do preorders often – or go to an A-List Wants list. Most of the rest go to an Available Books list, which I fiddle with according to what I’m jonesing for at any given time. (I try to keep series together and put more urgent books near the top. Currently, I appear to be in an indie superhero mood.) Graphic novels usually get shunted over to a Comics list. Some things that are temporarily Kindle-exclusive go onto a dedicated list, so I can check other retailers. (I prefer to buy EPUBs where possible.) Then there’s the “I bought this, but I need to add it to Goodreads or do something else with its data” list…

    Looking forward, I usually have a list for the current month set as my default, plus one for next month and one for the rest of next month’s quarter. Right now, that means “2016 01” / “2016 02” / “2016 03” (since there’s no point in calling that Q1). Books and media slated later than that go on quarterly lists, created as needed; at the end of January, this month’s empty list will probably get repurposed as a Q4 list.

    But at least I’m not obsessive about it. That would be weird. 🙂

  11. For novels I currently have Uprooted, Bryony and Roses, and Ancillary Mercy. I’m dithering about The Just City. I still have quite a few books on my to-read pile, though, so the final ballot is still very much in flux. If nothing better comes along, I might add the Watchmaker, though it’s very much on the cusp.

  12. Cheryl S.: I remember loving The Invisible Library, but I can’t remember why and I’ll probably have to reread it.

    I loved The Invisible Library (and its sequel The Masked City). Right now it’s on my Hugo longlist, along with Uprooted (which I did not in a million years expect to love as much as I did), Dark Orbit, Castle Hangnail, Touch, Planetfall, The Trials, and of course Ancillary Mercy.

    I’m struggling more this year than usual for books I find worthy. I expected to love Seveneves, Baru Cormorant, Persona, and Watchmaker, but found them very disappointing.

    I enjoyed Karen Memory, Corsair, Lightless, and The Affinities but just didn’t think they were outstanding enough. This Gulf of Time and Stars and Nemesis Games do not stand well on their own, no matter how much I like their series.

    But I still have Barsk and quite a few books I want to get through, so I’m hoping there’ll be a few more gems in there.

  13. @JJ – I loved The Invisible Library (and its sequel The Masked City).

    I have The Masked City, but I’m saving it until I’ve finished the (even writing this makes me twitch a little) 18 novels left in my 2015 queue. That number includes Ancillary Mercy, Karen Memory, The Buried Giant and The Fifth Season, so chances are good I’ll find at least one more book to love.

  14. So far my longlist is(in order from least likely to nominate to most likely):
    Karen Memory
    Unbound (which has both third in a series and released in the first week of January last year against it)
    Castle Hangnail / Bryony and Roses (I feel like I should nominate only one, but I’ve vacillated a couple of times over which. Castle I liked better quicker, but Bryony I think went a lot further by the time it was done.)
    Shadow Scale (amazing but I still don’t know if it would work sans Seraphina or if they need to be nominated as a set)

    but this may change quickly, as I am 2/3 through Ancillary Mercy and 1/3 through Uprooted, both of which are leaving me eager to keep reading NAOW – not so easy when one had kids, but I’m trying, oh yes I am. I had to return Last First Snow to the library partly read but do Want It Back, and the TBR pile includes The Fifth Season, An Inheritance of Ashes, The Grace of Kings and Signal to Noise.

    I clearly need more SF: Radiance and Lagoon are on the Library Hunt list. I was considering Robert Charles Wilson’s latest, as Spin left me impressed enough to read more of him, even as a part of me felt it was really not my usual cuppa. But that’s about it for non-steampunk SF. Any other suggestions?

  15. @Rev. Bob: I bow to your superior, yet not obsessive, system. 😉

    @Lenora Rose: Since you’re looking for SF and didn’t mention Planetfall, I’ll put in a plug for that. If you’ve read it or aren’t interested in it, sorry and never mind. It’s come up various times here, but not everyone loves it, and I don’t recall off-hand whether you weighed in on it, ‘cuz my memory bites. Anyway, I loved it and it kept me up late reading to the end. 🙂

    I haven’t read Zero World by Jason Hough yet, so I can’t exactly recommend it. But I can say the good-sized sample hooked me thoroughly enough to buy this massive tome, and I’m very much looking forward to picking up where I left off (probably re-reading the first bit again to get back into it). You could do worse than to check out the description to see if it sounds interesting. 😉

    Unrelated: Hey, a U.S. ebook deal, whatdya know! $2.99 for Sword of the Bright Lady by M.C. Planck from Pyr (DRM), which sounds like an interesting “portal fantasy” as the kids say these dayz. Kelly Jensen’s review was where I first heard about this, and she made it sound pretty cool. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s in the “very tempting” mental bucket, and if the prices drops a buck, I’ll probably snap it up. I haven’t read any Planck yet.

  16. @Dann: I never said that I liked “Skin Game”. Actually I said that I made the huge mistake of focusing on the sub-novel categories.

    Then honestly I am at a loss as to what motivated your assertion that it was “inexcusable” to vote it (well, you said Butcher, but the award is for a work, not an author) below No Award. “I don’t like it myself, but how DARE so many other people NOT think it’s Hugo-worthy? That’s INEXCUSABLE!” Seriously, what the hell is that?

    For what it’s worth, I posted my long post earlier today not because I deeply need you to reveal what book titles you *could* recommend but *won’t*, neener neener, but because, like others, I resent the implied accusation in your–hell, there was nothing implied about it. I resent the explicit accusation that the regulars here are so damn politically obsessed that they wouldn’t touch a book you mentioned with a ten-foot pole, precisely because the wrong sort of person mentioned it. That’s right up there with the whole Puppytastic hue and cry that “No one REALLY liked Ancillary Justice/If You Were a Dinosaur/The Water That Falls On You, they just voted for it because AFFIRMATIVE ACTION and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.”

    Basically, you accused everyone here of bad faith engagement, and I know I’m not the only person who thought that was damn crappy of you. Yeah, I’m done with this particular line of inquiry, but for the record, your “Everyone, just let this go” is a lot less welcome than “I’m sorry I insinuated such a nasty thing about you all” would have been.

  17. I found “Uprooted” to be over-hyped and thus a bit disappointing. It was very very good but not Hugo-worthy — and not even as good as “Bryony and Roses”, which is in the same sub-genre. It certainly hasn’t stuck in my memory as well.

    Was super-disappointed in “Barsk”. I was really looking forward to it and then was all “meh”. Good set up, mediocre follow-through, and I had rather more sympathy for the antagonists over the protagonist than I suspect I was meant to. However, another novel set in that same universe might be more interesting. I’m saying, if it’s at the top of your Hugo TBR list, don’t rush right out to read it before “Radiance”, “Karen Memory”, or anything else mentioned favorably in the last few comments.

  18. @Tasha, Kendall:

    I realize now that I didn’t even mention the Suspended list (“I’ve bought into the series, and there are more books, but I need to read some of what I have before buying deeper”) or the step of date-sorting the monthly lists. Mea culpa. 😉

    The really frustrating thing is that I have $375 in credit at my local used-media store, and almost nothing to spend it on. I was in there over the weekend, multiple lists in hand because they don’t have wi-fi, and left with half a dozen CDs, a concert DVD, and three movies – one of which was a Blu-ray upgrade to a DVD I already own, so the next trip’s Pile has already started accumulating. I wanted to go back into the Ent graveyard to look for a couple of older books, but I wasn’t up to the task. Maybe I should use a chunk of the credit on a game console or something like that, but I don’t have any time to play as it is.

  19. Currently, my top picks are:
    Cuckoo Song, by Frances Hardinge
    Shadow Scale, by Rachel Hartman
    The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin
    Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie

    Other potential nominees are:
    Half The World, by Joe Abercrombie
    The Mystic Marriage, by Heather Rose Jones
    Cold Iron, by Stina Leicht
    The Gracekeepers, by Kirsty Logan

    Ones that I think are good enough to be nominees and might have been in a different year include:
    The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson
    Last First Snow, by Max Gladstone
    The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge
    The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness

    Plus there’s a bunch I’m still planning to read, including much-admired works like Uprooted, Radiance, The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet, Carry On, The Scorpion Rules, and others …

  20. Sword of the Bright Lady was STG£2.06 on Amazon UK for me. Price might be a few pence different for UK residents, I think they adjust for national VAT rates, but obviously it’s on sale there too.

  21. my novel picks so far are
    The Rest of Us Just Live Here
    Ancillary Mercy
    Mother of Eden

    but I have a few more 2015 books to buy and read. I’ve read five eligible books, which is four or five more than I would usually have by now…

  22. Oh, I just remembered. A Succession of Bad Days knocks Watchmaker off the list.

    And I clearly have to get around to reading Cuckoo Song.

  23. @brightglance: Groovy! I haven’t picked it up yet (and I’m in the middle of a couple of other books), but please comment here if/when you read it. 🙂

  24. I do have a bunch more novels and shorter works for 2015 to read while trying to turn towards 2016 works.

    @Rev. Bob suspended list are beyond me – if it’s on sale and I have part of the series bought it is. DNFing a series is possibly harder than DNFing a book. Good luck on your next used media store trip.

  25. @Tasha:

    My Suspended and Moratorium lists are attempts to get my book-buying under control. Moratorium translates to “your TBR pile is already HOW big again?” while Suspended amounts to “you’ve bought some of the series, but READ ONE before buying more.”

    I can think of one series that I’ve bought six books of and not reached the first page of book one. There’s just no good reason for me to buy the next half-dozen volumes yet; it’s not a DNF problem so much as a Did Not Start one. OTOH, there’s a set of four books by an author who’s been mentioned here. I liked one series and bought the first two of this one “on spec,” only to find out that the second book in it felt a lot like a retread of the first. I feel no urge to continue reading the series.

    At the same time, once I’ve read and enjoyed the first book in a series, the rest usually come off the Suspended list and either get bought right away or (more commonly) move to the Available list where I can keep a closer eye on ’em, usually watching for bargains. Even with the measures I’ve got in place, I still buy books not only faster than I can read them, but significantly faster. I’ve got about 550 ebooks on my “process into the library” Goodreads list as we speak; I could tackle two of those a day and spend most of the year just getting them ready to read! (“Processing” covers everything from smoothing out metadata to fixing formatting. It is not always a simple process.)

    Long story short: Ya gotta do somethin’ about the fire hose if you don’t wanna drown, and I’m already splutterin’. Setting the “to process” stack aside (because some of those are books I’ve read on paper and rebought in pixels), I’ve got over 1200 books in my TBR pile. Over two dozen of them are flagged “OMG Right Now!” If I set aside my editing/writing/formatting gig to return to my more usual rates of reading, that’s a solid nine years of material. The “to process” is another two, at least. Then there are the bundles that haven’t even made it into my Goodreads lists yet, like the big Angry Robot “100 for £100” deal from a couple of years ago…

    *glub*

  26. @Rev. Bob

    What’s life without a TBR that you know you can’t outlive? I can take the ebooks with me when I die right? Right? They’re electrons, I’ll be electrons, we’ll live happily ever after…

  27. @Tasha:

    I can deal with my TBR outliving me, but I draw the line at the point where it gains sentience and decides to do away with its creator. 😉

  28. @ kendall: I will definitely take further suggestions for SF, so thanks!

    @ Rev. Bob: I don’t know if this will help, but one suggestion I heard (and briefly tried) for winnowing down a TBR list is to read the first chapters of each book – being explicitly forbidden from pressing on at the time. and take quick note. It only really cut 4 books for me out of around 30/40 I made it through, but it also gave me a bit more idea which books were on the “definitely read this soon” part of the list, which might be just as useful when you have a library’s worth. (One example, which I know has been praised by someone here: I got a free copy of Daryl Gregory’s Afterparty form a convention. It was on my “probably won’t be my thing” list, and it moved to the “read sooner” stack instead.)

    (I stopped because I started reading only classic SF and 2015 books for the Hugos for a while.)

  29. @Lenora:

    Interesting idea, but getting through books isn’t really my problem. It’s more of a “which tantalizing thing do I choose first” issue; once I pick one, finishing it is straightforward… if I can defeat my other nemesis, the fiend who stole six hours from what was supposed to be a thirty-hour day. 😉

    I also keep my reader organized with three “to-read” levels, to help me focus. The top level started out as a “first five” – what I’m reading now, plus the next four. That’s now closer to two dozen, but it’s still a tiny list. Next is the “shortlist,” meaning anything I can just pick up and read. That means standalones, first/next book in a series, anthologies, anything like that. Under that is the nebulous “to read” pile, which is stuff I have to go through at least one other book to get to.

    Thus, I’ve read the first book in one series, the ISFIC trilogy. That book’s done; it’s off the device but stored on my PC. Book two is in the “first five” list, right behind Chimera. Book three is in “to read,” and will get promoted once I finish book two – according to how I felt about book two.

    The books are also divvied up by category, so I can prowl for a superhero book if that’s what I feel like. It’s very structured, but in a way that allows me to take a freeform approach to reading.

  30. Yes. As I noted, the original intent was pure culling, getting down into the deeps to the “I really don’t even know why I bought this” books.

  31. “Well, technically, it’s not Rev. Bob. It’s Rev. Bob’s TBR. But lots of people get it wrong.”

  32. @Jack Lint:

    Thankfully, I’ve already built it a bride, in the form of a massive to-be-watched stack. I still remember dedicating one August to watching all of MASH, and it looks like The West Wing might require the same kind of investment. Man from UNCLE, the back half of Get Smart, Farscape, Batman ’66, Quantum Leap*, Incredible Hulk*, Knight Rider*, the first two runs of Twilight Zone*, MacGyver*+, Alias, Dark Angel…

    And that’s just TV series off the top of my head. There’s a lot of movie content, too.

    * Okay, I’ve already seen some of these from broadcast, but not the whole run. I need to watch the full series for proper context.
    + I still think MacGuyver would be way more fun.

  33. @Rev. Bob Did you get a visit from Dr. Pretorius, too? Kept saying I really needed to see all of Night Gallery (but not the Sixth Sense episodes they added in syndication), Time Tunnel, Search, and anything with Supermarionation. (Where the hell am I going to find all 13 episodes of The Secret Service?)

  34. @Jack:

    I see your bid and raise you Friday the 13th: The Series (no relation to the guy in the hockey mask), Tales from the Crypt and Tales from the Darkside, Thriller, Dracula: The Series, and an embarrassing number of Hanna-Barbera cartoons (including, but certainly not limited to, Drak Pack and Penelope Pitstop).

    I did, however, buy every season of Night Court on release day and watch them as soon as they arrived. I’ve also seen every episode of House.

  35. @Rev. Bob. Whatever you do, don’t buy that cursed VCR player from that particular antique shop. He may promise you every episode of Dastardly and Muttley and Their Flying Machines, but the operating instructions are a bit disturbing.

  36. Jack Lint on January 13, 2016 at 2:58 pm said:

    (Where the hell am I going to find all 13 episodes of The Secret Service?)

    Is this a good or bad time to mention it came out on DVD in Region 1 in 2006, and Region 2 in 2005?

  37. @Lorcan Nagle:

    Those who have karaoke machines have no need of regions…

  38. I was just including regions for completion’s sake. While I’m fairly sure I region-hacked my most recent DVD player, I generally just use VLC on my computer, which ignores all region coding.

  39. My provisional list so far is

    Ancillary Mercy
    Watchmaker of Filigree Street
    Europe at Midnight

    I’m sure I have forgotten something, haven’t I.

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