Pixel Scroll 1/8/17 There Is No Joy In Pixelville – Mighty Casey Has Scrolled Out

(1) MOORCOCK REMEMBERS CLARKE, In New Statesman Michael Moorcock writes a wide-ranging memoir of Arthur C. Clarke which the publication rather myopically captions “’Close to tears, he left at the intermission’: how Stanley Kubrick upset Arthur C Clarke” – although, of course, that is one of Moorcock’s anecdotes.

Based primarily on his short story “The Sentinel”, together with other published fact and fiction, the film was very much a joint effort, although Arthur was overly modest about his contribution. For his part, Kubrick seemed unable to come up with an ending that suited him. When I visited the set, the film was already about two years behind schedule and well over budget. I saw several alternative finale scenes constructed that were later abandoned. In one version, the monolith turned out to be some kind of alien spaceship. I also knew something that I don’t think Arthur ever did: Kubrick was at some point dissatisfied with the collaboration, approaching other writers (including J G Ballard and myself) to work on the film. He knew neither Ballard nor me personally. We refused for several reasons. I felt it would be disloyal to accept.

I guessed the problem was a difference in personality….

Without consulting or confronting his co-creator, Kubrick cut a huge amount of Arthur’s voice-over explanation during the final edit. This decision probably contributed significantly to the film’s success but Arthur was unprepared for it. When he addressed MGM executives at a dinner in his honour before the premiere, he spoke warmly of Kubrick, declaring that there had been no serious disagreements between them in all the years they had worked together, but he had yet to see the final cut.

My own guess at the time was that Kubrick wasn’t at ease with any proposed resolution but had nothing better to offer in place of his co-writer’s “Star Child” ending. We know now that the long final sequence, offered without explanation, was probably what helped turn the film into the success it became, but the rather unresponsive expressions on the faces of the MGM executives whom Arthur had addressed in his speech showed that they were by no means convinced they had a winner….

As it turned out, Arthur did not get to see the completed film until the US private premiere. He was shocked by the transformation. Almost every element of explanation had been removed. Reams of voice-over narration had been cut. Far from being a pseudo-documentary, the film was now elusive, ambiguous and thoroughly unclear.

Close to tears, he left at the intermission, having watched an 11-minute sequence in which an astronaut did nothing but jog around the centrifuge in a scene intended to show the boredom of space travel. This scene was considerably cut in the version put out on general release

(2) CONGRATULATIONS! Pat Cadigan marks her ”Two-year Chemo-versary”.

Last year at this time, I was so…moved by the fact that I was going to live that it was a few weeks before I could think straight enough to get any work done. I think I was more affected by the news that I was going to live than I was by the news that I had terminal cancer. Even now––I mean, I’m getting things done but every so often I still have a sudden moment of clarity, of being surprised by joy.

(3) AWARD PICKERS. Horror Writers Association President Lisa Morton has named the members of HWA’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Committee:

Ramsey Campbell

Erinn Kemper

Monica Kuebler

John Little (chair)

Joseph Nassise

The Committee will immediately begin discussions to determine 2016’s recipient(s).

(4) OLDER VISITS THE BAY AREA. Daniel Jose Older will do a reading and signing at the main San Francisco Public Library on January 24.

Author, Daniel Jose Older, will read from his second book, entitled Shadowshaper, about a young Afro-Latina girl named Sierra who discovers her family’s history of supernatural powers and her ability to interact with the spirit world.

(5) FINAL RESTING PLACE. I might not do it. You might not do it. All that matters is – WWCD? “Carrie Fisher’s ashes carried in Prozac-shaped urn”.

Carrie Fisher has been laid to rest alongside her mother Debbie Reynolds at a private service where her ashes were carried in an urn in the form of an outsize Prozac pill.

The US actress, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, was frequently open about her experience of mental health issues.

“I felt it was where she would want to be,” her brother Todd Fisher said.

Following the joint funeral service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, Todd Fisher said the giant pill in the shape of the anti-depressant drug was chosen as the urn for his sister’s ashes because it was one of Carrie’s “favourite possessions”.

(6) IN TIMES TO COME. Entertainment Weekly writer Rachel DeSantis says these are the most anticipated movies of 2017:

Star Wars: Episode VIII, Blade Runner 2049, and Alien: Covenant topped Rotten Tomatoes’ survey of the most anticipated movies of the year.

Star Wars fans got an extra dose of the galaxy far, far away in 2016’s most anticipated movie, Rogue One, which has brought in more than $800 million at the worldwide box office following its Dec. 16 release. Episode VIII will serve as the follow-up to 2015’s smash hit Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That film will pick up where The Force Awakens left off and features Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, and the late Carrie Fisher, who completed filming before she died last month.


  • January 8, 1958 — Teenage Monster, aka Meteor Monster, opens in theaters.


  • January 8, 1935 – Elvis Presley
  • January 8, 1942 – Stephen Hawking. A thought for the day: “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. ” — Stephen Hawking

(9) HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’VE MADE IT? W.E.B. Griffin gave a tagline to characters in his series The Corps: “The true test of another man’s intelligence is how much he agrees with you.”  When I read Brad R. Torgersen’s “What is ‘legitimate’ in the 21st century publishing environment?” I thought his answers were very intelligent…. Everyone would like Scalzi-size or even Milo-size book contracts, but that’s not a requirement of success.

My suggestion is to wholly ignore outside factors, and consider your specific situation alone. How much income — directly from prose writing — would it take to pay a single bill? How about several bills? The monthly rent, lease, or mortgage? Pay off the car loan? Wipe out college debt? Pay for a home remodel? Buy a new home entirely? These are scalable, individual goals which are within your individual grasp to quantify, and they don’t place you in competition with your peers. You are never keeping up with the Joneses, to use an old phrase. Your success is not determined by matching or “beating” anyone else in the business. It’s wholly dependent on how much progress you can make, and in what form, according to financial circumstances which are uniquely your own.

For example, I live in fly-over country. The cost of living, for my specific area of Utah, is rather modest. Especially compared to where I used to live in Seattle, Washington. It won’t take millions of dollars to pay off my home, or my auto loan, or to add a second floor onto my rambler, or to accomplish any other dozen things which I’d like to accomplish with my writing income. Better yet, these things can be accomplished without having to look at either Larry Correia to my northeast, or Brandon Sanderson to the south. I don’t have to “catch up” to feel like I am winning at the game of life. I am alone, on my own chess board, and I define my own conditions for victory. They can be reasonable. More importantly, they can be reachable. And I know for a fact that Larry, or Brandon, or any four dozen other successful Utah authors — we’ve got a lot of them out here — will understand completely. Because they’re all doing the same thing, too.

And so can you.

Once more, for emphasis: production, followed by readership, followed by income….

(10) SUCCESS BY ANYONE’S MEASURE. Adam Poots has a load of money he can to make the next edition of his game: “Board game raises over $10 million, becomes one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever”.

The crowdfunding campaign for Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 launched strong on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. It set Kickstarter records by raising its first million in only 19 minutes , faster than any project ever before on the popular crowdfunding platform.

Currently, with more than $10 million raised and a bit over a day left in the campaign, the game is thefifth most funded project ever to run on Kickstarter. The other top ten highest earning products include Pebble smartwatches, the “coolest cooler,” a deluxe travel jacket and a tiny desk toy called a Fidget Cube.

New York City-based game designer and founder of Kingdom Death Adam Poots is, unsurprisingly, excited. …

Just don’t plan on playing it very soon. “Poots expects to be able to deliver all elements of the game by December 2020.”

(11) TRIBUTE ANTHOLOGY. If, on the other hand, you don’t need to get paid for your writing…. Zoetic Press is seeking fiction and nonfiction submissions for an anthology memorializing dead cultural icons.

We invite writers to eulogize the fallen icons who have profoundly shaped your relationship to yourself and your place in the world. We are more interested pieces which memorialize public figures who have recently passed, but all in memoriams submitted will be given equal attention.

We regret that we cannot consider In Memoriam pieces for Dearly Beloved which are not about public figures. We cannot consider pieces about family members, pets, friends, or figures that are not public for Dearly Beloved– this anthology is a memorial for the artists and public personalities that shape each of us differently.

(12) WE’RE A LITTLE LATE. From October, Alison Flood of The Guardian reports: “Stephen King pens children’s picture book about train that comes alive”.

Charlie the Choo-Choo, written under the pseudonym Beryl Evans, steams out out of the pages of King’s Dark Tower fantasy series and into bookshops – with a warning for Thomas fans

“As he looked down at the cover, Jake found that he did not trust the smile on Charlie the Choo-Choo’s face. You look happy, but I think that’s just the mask you wear, he thought. I don’t think you’re happy at all. And I don’t think Charlie’s your real name, either.”

Now, King has written a real-life version of Charlie the Choo-Choo: out on 22 November from Simon & Schuster, under the pseudonym Beryl Evans, and illustrated by Ned Dameron.

(13) THE COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian notes that online comic Brevity has a very amusing Star Trek reference today.

Meanwhile, Martin Morse Wooster points out that the latest installment of Pearls Before Swine might be seen as complementary to John Scalzi’s 10-point advice post linked in yesterdays Scroll.

(14) ANIMAL CINEMATOGRAPHY. In the Washington Post, Michael Cavna looks at how Illumination Entertainment’s fomula of talking animals and many, many jokes has proven highly profitable, leading to the green-lighting of Despicable Me 3, The Secret Life of Pets 2, and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.

Before 2016, Illumination had scored a modest hit with 2011’s “Hop” and, a year later, did well with “Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.” But the studio had a single go-to franchise: 2010’s “Despicable Me” grossed $543 million globally — just about equal to Illumination’s total reported production budget to date — and spawned the monster hits “Despicable Me 2? in 2013 ($970.8 million worldwide) and 2015’s “Minions” ($1.159 billion). Add in the sales of all cute yellow Minion merchandising, and Illumination had one property it could bank on. (“Despicable Me 3? is set to land this June.)

But “Despicable Me” writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul then brought their deft skills with spinning family-friendly adventures to “The Secret Life of Pets,” which grossed more than $875 million worldwide last year — making it the highest-grossing non-Disney film in 2016 (no small feat).

(15) GRANDMASTER INTERVIEWS PAST MASTER. A rare interview with Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery) at the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, conducted by James Gunn in 1970.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael J. Walsh, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer Sylvester.]

51 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/8/17 There Is No Joy In Pixelville – Mighty Casey Has Scrolled Out

  1. 10) And we’ll see how it actually pans out. Consider the story of “The Doom that Came to Atlantic City”. Although this kickstarter was a couple of magnitudes more successful than that one.

  2. 10) I expect that he’ll deliver, this is the second edition. The first was also kickstarted successfully.

  3. We went to a train museum in York once. They had a full-size engine with a Thomas face on it. Luckily, it did not change expressions, talk, or look around. It was eldritch, but not that eldritch.

    From the File of Hell, I scroll at thee!

  4. @2: Cheers for Pat; I’m old enough to have watched several friends go through cancer, with widely varying results (including one current) and am always glad to hear success stories.

    @Kip Williams: I remember that museum fondly — including the admission that they’d had to use a crane to put the Shinkansen into place (where everything else just rolled), and George VI’s private car where the bathtub had a do-not-overfill line 3″ from the floor…

  5. The royal cars were pretty nifty, all right.

    When we got into York, I looked out the window of the bus and saw the Museum of Automata, which I hadn’t realized was there. We immediately set aside a time to go and spend an afternoon there, and when we arrived, learned that it had been closed for three months. Missed by that much!

  6. Pingback: McGregor’s Miscellany (2017-01-08) | Featured Futures

  7. (11) TRIBUTE ANTHOLOGY. If, on the other hand, you don’t to get paid for your writing…

    Don’t WANT to get paid, perhaps….?

    (I’ll just appertain myself a slice of birthday cake. Still valid for the next hour and a half….)

  8. @Rob Thornton: If at first you don’t godstalk . . . Scroll, Scroll again! 😉

    @Cassy B.: Happy (belated, by this point) Birthday! ::eyeing the cake::

    ETA: Wow, 12 million bucks backing a game that won’t be out for 3-4 years. Yipes.

  9. (10) oh goody, more Kickstarter ridiculousness…

    Checking the page, it looks like the actual main part of the package (the 1.5 update) will be shipped later this year, with additional expansions etc following sort-of-regularly after that, which makes a lot more sense than having to wait 3 years for the whole thing.

    I don’t envy whoever’s trying to sort out the logistics of it all though.

  10. Currently reading…

    Somehow it feels appropriate to read The Apocalypse Triptych between now and January 20th. It’s three anthologies – The End Is Nigh, The End Is Now, and The End Has Come – edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey, dealing with the end of the world: right before, during, and after.

    Most (but not all) of the contributions are also triptychs, one part appearing in each volume. This leaves me with a minor quandary in how to read them. Should I read each book separately, maintaining the theme, or read them in parallel to follow each mini-saga? I’m leaning toward the latter option, which leaves me mildly irked that the authors are presented in differing sequence with each book.

    I suppose I could customize my own omnibus volume and resequence everything… 🙂

  11. Rev. Bob: Should I read each book separately, maintaining the theme, or read them in parallel to follow each mini-saga?

    Having tried it both ways, I recommend reading the stories as trilogies rather than reading the books in sequence.

  12. Hugo nominations are open! Deadline is 17th March…

    (And me not even a little bit finished with all the great things that came out in 2016…)

  13. Whew, Hugo nominations… Very busy time of the year (for me) and so much still to read… Got my nomination link as well. I guess, it’s time to buckle up.

  14. Got my Hugo Nominations email! I’m super low on short stories, so I will be going through my F&SFs and Rocket Stack Rank for works I have read but neglected to write down throughout the year.


    Did all right with the novels–I feel like I’ve read a good cross section through the year. But the rest? meep?

  15. Also got my link.
    The new site looks quite slick but I had to switch from Firefox to chrome on android to get past the first floating box. (Firefox sometimes chokes on those sort of things so I’m not unduly bothered).
    I’ve ceremonially added a single nom in Novel just to see if it works.

  16. I’ve filled out my ballot as far as I can. I’ve still got a bunch of novel reading to do, so that final list may change. Novellas probably won’t. I still have some holes in Fan Artist, Short DP, Long Editor, and Graphic Story, as well as Novelette and Short Story, and I will probably wait until the beginning of March to really look hard at short fiction.

  17. @Mark: “ I had to switch from Firefox to chrome on android to get past the first floating box.”

    Same problem here, but with Safari on OSX. The OK button is below the bottom of the browser window and inaccessible. Works fine with Firefox and OSX however.

  18. Also got my nominations link. Rather than do anything with it just yet, I’m snuggling in bed with my two little dogs, after having taken them outside to potty. We need to snuggle in bed for warmth after that, because it’s 3° Fahrenheit, feels like -6°.

    We were not happy, but now we are.

  19. Apropos of nothing, really, but the Irish library system recently revamped and integrated their system and I discovered there’s a nice range of graphic novels scattered all over the country, so I’ve been ordering them by the truckload and reading them, roughly one a day, depending on how big they are. My Goodreads reviews are here if anyone’s interested:


    Includes some current ongoing darlings like The Wicked And The Divine that people might be considering for the Hugos, but there’s probably too much lag for it to be of a great deal of awards use. I give everything I don’t dislike five stars because I hate the star system as arbitrary and inexact but it does affect how people look at the books so I may as well give them the support. It’s also impossible to deny the enormous gender imbalance in my choices, even allowing that some of the artists, like Fiona Staples on Saga, are female and don’t get listed as primary authors. Eesh.

  20. I have a pixel and Im not afraid to scroll it!

    Just finished Matt Ruffs “The Mirage”. Its rare that I enjoy a book where I see so many shortcomings, but “enjoyment” is not always logical.
    Mirage is set in a mirror-universe, where christian fundamentalists hijack 4 jetliners on november 9, 2001. Two fly into the World Trade Towers in Bagdag and 1 into the Arab Defense ministry. You get the idea . The obvious reference is “The man in the high castle”, but that is a too high bar to cross for Ruff. For one his mirror universe is often too much mirror and too little world building (the best parts of the book are the ones that are not just 1:1 reversals of our reality) and some of these transitions made me groan – often instead of laugh, because Ruff clearly intended some of them as clever winks for the reader (I found these annoying because they are counter-production for the world building). The second strike against Mirage is the actual story, which Ruff clearly struggled with. The main problem is that the characters cannot believe in “our reality” but they try to figure it out anyway. Which doesnt make sense all the time.
    But still.
    The characters are very well thought out and the story, if not the most logical, has some nice pacing and is gripping for the most part. Ruff is no hack and he can write and it shows. Yes, it would have been better, if he would have just set a “normal” novel in that universe. But despite all these shortcomings I enjoyed the book. Probably its just that Ive read so much of “more of the same” last year, that its refreshing to read on something new. And you can give Ruff credit for having done exactly that. So I enjoyed my time with this book and would recommended – at least if you dont mind its shortcomings.

  21. @ Beth in MA:

    I’m super low on short stories

    If I may, I’d like to put in a good word for Polyglossia by Tamara Vardomskaya, which was published in GigaNotoSaurus (which usually doesn’t get the attention of the review sites) but is easily one of the best stories I’ve read all year. It’s a story of linguistics, family and resistance to oppression, and the lingustic themes are woven into the story in a manner that is both erudite and fascinating. It’s on my short list for both the Hugo and the Nebula.

    Also, the rest of my list so far:

    Short Story:

    1. Margaret Ronald, “And Then, One Day, The Air was Full of Voices”
    2. An Owomoyela and Rachel Swirsky, “Between Dragons and Their Wrath”
    3. Betsy James, “Touch Me All Over”
    4. Jose Pablo Iriarte, “Life in Stone, Glass and Plastic”
    5. Seth Dickinson, “Laws of Night and Silk”


    1. Tamara Vardomskaya, “Polyglossia”
    2. P. Djeli Clark, “A Dead Djinn at Cairo”
    3. Sarah Pinsker, “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea”


    1. S.B. Divya, “Runtime”
    2. Victor LaValle, “The Ballad of Black Tom”
    3. Kai Ashante Wilson, “A Taste of Honey”

  22. I’m catching up on some of Strange Horizons, and would moderately rec a short “Applied Cenotaphics in the Long, Long Longitudes” by Vajra Chandrasekera, which is an interview with the AI memory of a famous artist. It’s perhaps a bit short on plot, being more about revealing the situation than anything happening, but it hits my liking for stories that play with format.
    Additionally I would strongly rec a novelette “The Dancer on the Stairs” by Sarah Tolmie which I spotted via the BSFA longlist and is really good – a portal fantasy where a woman arrives in the enormous stone stairs of a palace-like structure, inhabited by a set of clans with a labyrinthine social structure (ok, maybe the metaphor is a bit obvious, but it’s good!) for who the stairs are a sort of liminal space. She has to learn their language and society just to have a chance of getting off the stairs. I found it all quite fascinating.

  23. Taking JJ’s advice and reading the stories in sequence.

    Upside: Easier to keep track of the settings.
    Downside: Author sequence varies between books, some people only contributed to one or two books.

    So I’ve decided to use the first book as my “key,” reading the follow-ups as I finish each story and then picking up where I left off in book one. As far as the oddball stories go, I’ve made a list and will probably read those in between sets, like quick bites.

  24. Congrats to Pat! 😀

    (10) It’s interesting how people are getting upset about the three-four year window for delivering all the different elements, I actually find it refreshing when the norm for Kickstarter is to have the project estimate only six months or a year and very often go over that deadline which gets everyone anxious. (Happened to me with a cutting machine Kickstarter I pledged to where I think they figured once the hardware was manufactured that the software would be easier and quicker to develop – HA HA!) Given the sheer amount of figures and artwork they are coordinating, four years sounds pretty accurate and good on them for being upfront about it rather than telling people what they would rather hear to get their money.

    Ok serious comment aside, that is one fanservice-y board game, omg so many pinups, so many unrealistic boobs all over the place! LOL

    That is the most ambitious board game I’ve ever seen, goodness. But I’m not a regular table top gamer with only superficial knowledge of the genre, maybe that’s normal!

  25. (10) Yes, that game looks absolutely ridiculous, in both the good & bad senses of the word. I’ve backed some big box-o’-miniatures games on Kickstarter (Conan, Dark Souls, Evil Dead) but this one seems a bridge too far for me personally.

    Having said which, I can certainly see the appeal. If you search YouTube, you can find any number of reviews or playthroughs of the first edition, which should at least give a sense of what the fuss is all about.

  26. Sad fannish news in the UK. Via Geoff Ryman: Peter Weston died on January the 5th, aged 72. A long-time British fan and anthologist, he was probably best known for being the man who made the Hugos. He will be missed by all who knew him, and there are many of them indeed…


  27. I’m a street scrolling pixel with heart full of lip balm

    Kept hearing about Iggy Pop turning 70. That seems next to impossible. Certainly improbable. At least he has the sense to say he can’t keep up with Keith Richards.

  28. And speaking of Kickstarted games: I got my copy of Tak (the boardgame from the Patrick Rothfuss books). Hope to give it a try maybe this weekend.

  29. Sad fannish news in the UK. Via Geoff Ryman: Peter Weston died on January the 5th, aged 72. A long-time British fan and anthologist, he was probably best known for being the man who made the Hugos. He will be missed by all who knew him, and there are many of them indeed…


    I never had the chance to meet him, but as a four-time Hugo administrator, a lot of his rockets have passed through my hands…

  30. a lot of his rockets have passed through my hands…
    And fine rockets they were, too.

  31. There’s a steam railroad preservation society not far from where I live that used to do Thomas themed children’s days, though sadly, not at the moment, because they’re recovering from some disasterous fires.

  32. I’m partway into “Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch, and I don’t know if I’ll finish. (Mr Dr Science’s motto is “I’ll finish the book if I finish the 1st chapter, no matter what”; my motto is “Life is too short”.) Feeling frustrated with the protag’s ability to overlook what I felt was the obvious, I looked at the Acknowledgements and saw

    I couldn’t ask for a stronger groups trying to make Dark Matter, the movie, a reality.

    Aha. So, this is not so much a novel as a treatment. That explains why some of the description seems kind of thin, and why exposition is done the way it is, and why Our Protag, Super-Smart Physicist, doesn’t put the physics clues together as fast as I did.

    I’ve had this issue with a couple of “novels” recently — I think maybe “Sleeping Giants” by Sylvain Neuvel, for instance — and it bugs the heck out of me. The conventions and limitations of novels and video are NOT the same, and it cripples a text to force it into the video mold.

    I think I’m going to drop this one and read “The Winged Histories” by Sofia Samatar. Can someone point me to a good summary of what I’ve forgotten in “A Stranger in Olondria”, which I read but can’t find right now?

  33. Sigh. James Christensen the artist, who did a fair number of fantasy book covers back in the day (I remember Tepper’s true game books specifically) has passed away.

    He was an immense influence on my art, and probably many other people’s as well.

  34. I was under the impression The Winged Histories isn’t a direct sequel so much as “another story in the same world”. If that helps.

    (Reading A Stranger in Olondria right now.)

  35. @Doctor Science: Thanks for the Dark Matter comments; bummer.

    @RedWombat: Sorry to hear about James Christensen’s passing and thanks for mentioning Tepper’s “True Game” series covers specifically. I Google’d and yup, he’s the artist I thought you meant – I like his artwork a lot.

  36. @Lenora Rose:

    (Reading A Stranger in Olondria right now.)

    Me too me too me too!

    …but slowly.

    I’m enjoying the heck out of it, but somehow it’s less one of those “sucks me in to read 100 pages a sitting” books, and more one I find myself taking in small doses.

    I really want to read Winged Histories before the nom deadline; but I’ve been dragging this out to an unseemly duration…

  37. I honestly haven’t rushed out to read Winged Histories, because A Stranger in Olondria was a book that I should have absolutely LOVED… and yet, somehow, I just couldn’t connect with it. It had beautiful lyrical language, interesting characters, really good worldbuilding, and poetry… and I kept putting it down and forgetting to pick it back up. Very odd. I suspect it’s my fault, not the fault of the story.

  38. When I read A Stranger in Olondria I described it as ‘rich as a cake is rich’ – it demands to be taken slowly. (I still think it was the best thing in the 2014 Hugo packet. It’s sad it didn’t reach the Hugo ballot – without either Puppies or Jordanians it might have done. Though then again, if Neil Gaiman had accepted his nomination… And all this assumes an absence of butterflies.)

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