Pixel Scroll 2/4/21 It Is Too Late For The Pixels To Vote, The Scroll Has Already Begun

(1) OSCAR CHANCES. “Is Chadwick Boseman Headed for a Posthumous Best-Actor Oscar Win?” asks Vogue. Fans remember him as the Black Panther, King of Wakanda, and there may be other pages still to be added to his memory book:

With rave reviews for his performance as Levee, a blues trumpeter in 1920s Chicago, in the film adaptation of the August Wilson play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom—and now with a Screen Actors Guild nomination to go along with the Golden Globes nod he received on Wednesday—Chadwick Boseman may be inching ahead of his competitors in this year’s Oscars race for best actor.

Many award prognosticators are already predicting that Boseman, who died of cancer in August at the age of 43, could become the third actor—following Peter Finch in Network and Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight—to win a posthumous Oscar for his performance. (At this point, his chief rival appears to be Riz Ahmed, who plays a punk-metal drummer beginning to go deaf in Sound of Metal. Ahmed has won several critics’ awards as well as the best-actor citation from the National Board of Review.)…

(2) MURDER, HE WROTE. Mark Lawrence took a poll. The result, he says, is that “7.4% of you are monsters”.

(3) O TEMPORAO MORES! How the classics are neglected. The Washington Post needed to add this correction to the end of an article today —

Correction: A previous version of this story implied that a planet blows up in “The Empire Strikes Back.” No planets blow up in that particular Star Wars film. This story has been updated.

(From the article “Kroger closes Ralphs, Food 4 Less stores over pandemic pay mandate”.)

(4) ARGUMENT CLINIC. David Gerrold offered a new service on Facebook. This could be the coming thing.

At the suggestion of a friend, I am now charging $50 for 30 minutes of online argument.

Subject must be agreed on beforehand. (I reserve the right to decline.) Sources of data must also be agreed on before. (Fox News and other farce right sources will not be accepted. In return, I will forego CNN, NYT, Huffpost, Washington Post, and MSNBC)

No personal attacks aloud or allowed.

Only one argument per week please.

(5) ALPHABET SOUP IS BLUE. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] YInMn has now been approved for commercial use: “Meet YInMn, the First New Blue Pigment in Two Centuries” at Hyperallergic.

Cerulean, azure, navy, royal … Much has been written about the color blue, the first human-made pigment. “Because blue contracts, retreats, it is the color of transcendence, leading us away in pursuit of the infinite,” wrote William Gass in his book On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry. Wassily Kandinsky once mused: “The power of profound meaning is found in blue, and first in its physical movements of retreat from the spectator, of turning in upon its own center […] Blue is the typical heavenly color.”

And now, for the first time in two centuries, a new chemically-made pigment of the celebrated color is available for artists — YInMn Blue. It’s named after its components — Yttrium, Indium, and Manganese — and its luminous, vivid pigment never fades, even if mixed with oil and water.

Like all good discoveries, the new inorganic pigment was identified by coincidence….

(6) THE GAME’S AFOOT. The Guardian covers the many reimaginations of Sherlock Holmes, including a few that are clearly genre, as well as the ongoing conflicts with the litigious Arthur Conan Doyle estate: “’I think I’ve written more Sherlock Holmes than even Conan Doyle’: the ongoing fight to reimagine Holmes”.

…. “My step-grandmother, Dame Jean Conan Doyle, tried hard to stop the world doing what it liked with her father’s fictional characters. In the end she realised this was a fruitless exercise,” says Richard Pooley, director of the Conan Doyle estate and step- great-grandson of the author. “Instead she focused on giving her approval to those Holmes pastiches which were well-written and did not stray too far from Doyle’s characterisation. We have tried to do the same.”

The estate has authorised Horowitz’s sequels and Lane’s stories, but most Holmes adaptations come without the estate’s stamp of approval – not that that appears to put readers off. Pooley says that its approval comes down to the quality of the writing, and if the writer stays “true to Doyle’s depiction of Holmes’s and Watson’s characters” – meaning they don’t mind if Cumberbatch’s Holmes lives in modern London, or if Holmes and Watson are women, as in HBO Asia’s Miss Sherlock….

(7) CREATIVITY BY THE HANDFUL. Another opportunity to hear from Octavia Butler researcher Lynelle George “about how a writer looks, listens, and breathes—how to be in the world.” “A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler: A Conversation with Author Lynell George”. Register here.

George will be in conversation with Los Angeles artist Connie Samaras, an avid admirer of Butler’s prose which served as the inspiration for her 2019 project “The Past is Another Planet”, an illustrious depiction of the Huntington Library, home to Butler’s archive. 

(8) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • February 4, 1983 Videodrome premiered. It was written and directed by David Cronenberg, with a cast of James Woods, Sonja Smits, and Debbie Harry. It was the first film by Cronenberg to get Hollywood backing and it bombed earning back only two million dollars of its nearly six million budget. In spite of that, critics and audience goers alike found it to a good film. Today it is considered his best film by many, and it holds a sterling seventy-eight percent rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes. 

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born February 4, 1889 – Dorothea Faulkner.  Two short stories, half a dozen poems, in If and Slant (there’s a range for you) and like that, under variations of “Rory Faulkner”, “Rory Magill”, “Dorothea M. Faulkner”.  Active in the LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society), serving a term as Secretary, and the Outlanders, also the N3F (Nat’l Fantasy Fan Fed’n).  Often seen in Now & Then.  With that and Slant you won’t be surprised to hear she attended Loncon I the 15th Worldcon (at age 68) and was made a Knight of St. Fantony.  (Died 1999) [JH]
  • Born February 4, 1915 – Harry Whittington.  For us, one Man from U.N.C.L.E. novel and four novellas, and an essay on Fredric Brown for this collection; outside our field, note first HW’s One Deadly Dawn was published as an Ace Double with Tucker’s Hired Target; HW wrote two hundred novels – fourscore in one twelve-year span – under a score of names; quite possibly King of the Pulps; see here.  (Died 1989) [JH]
  • Born February 4, 1938 – Ted White, age 83.  Perhaps our most been-everywhere-done-everything fan alive.  A dozen novels, thirty shorter stories; assistant editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, then edited Amazing and Fantastic (concurrently!), Stardate; columnist for Algol and Thrust; “Uffish Thots” and “The Trenchant Bludgeon” in SF Review; active beyond measure there, in IzzardNew FrontiersRaucous CaucusRiverside QuarterlyYandro, and indeed File 770.  Interviewed by Schweitzer in SF Voices.  One Hugo (as Best Fanwriter; often a finalist as a pro), three FAAn (Fan Activity Achievement) Awards.  Chaired Lunacon 11-13.  Organized FanHistoricon 9 but couldn’t attend.  Variously Pro and Fan Guest of Honor at Bubonicon 4, DeepSouthCon 18, RavenCon 11, Aussiecon Two the 43rd Worldcon.  Also musician and music critic (plays keyboards, saxophone).  British Fantasy Award for Heavy Metal.  Acidulous, enthusiastic, skeptical, strong; it would be a miracle not to think him sometimes wrong.  [JH]
  • Born February 4, 1940 John Schuck, 81. My favorite SF role by him is as the second Draal, Keeper of the Great Machine, on the Babylon 5 series. I know it was only two episodes but it was a fun role. He’s also played the role of Klingon ambassador Kamarag in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.  He guest starred in Deep Space Nine as Legate Parn In “The Maquis: Part II”, on Star Trek: Voyager as Chorus #3 in the “Muse” episode, and on Enterprise as Antaak in the “Divergence” and “Affliction” episodes.  Oh, and he was Herman Munster in The Munsters Today.  Now that was a silly role! Did you know his makeup was the Universal International Frankenstein-monster makeup format whose copyright NBCUniversal still owns? (CE) 
  • Born February 4, 1940 George A. Romero. Is horror genre or genre adjacent? Either way, he’s got an impressive listing form the Dead films, I count seven of them, to Knightriders, which is truly genre adjacent at best, and one of my favorites of him, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie. Oh, and he wasn’t quite as ubiquitous as Stan Lee, but he did show up in at least seven of his films. (Died 2017.) (CE) 
  • Born February 4, 1941 Stephen J. Cannell. Creator of The Greatest American Hero. That gets him Birthday Honors. The only other genre series he was involved with was The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage which I never heard of, but you can see the premiere episode here. (Died 2010.) (CE)
  • Born February 4, 1959 Pamelyn Ferdin, 62. She was in the “And the Children Shall Lead” episode of Trek. She’ll show up in The Flying Nun (as two different characters),  voicing a role in The Cat in The Hat short, Night GallerySealab 2020 (another voice acting gig), Shazam! and Project UFO. She’d have a main role in Space Academy, the Jonathan Harris failed series as well. (CE) 
  • Born February 4, 1961 Neal Asher, 60. I’m been reading and enjoying his Polity series since he started it nearly twenty years ago. Listing all of his works here would drive OGH to a nervous tick as I think there’s now close to thirty works in total. I last listened to The Line War and it’s typically filled with a mix of outrageous SF concepts (Dyson spheres in the middle of hundred thousand year construction cycles) and humans who might not be human (Ian Cormac is back again).  (CE)
  • Born February 4, 1962 Thomas Scott Winnett. Locus magazine editorial assistant and reviewer from 1989 to 1994. He worked on Locus looks at books and Books received as well. In addition, he wrote well over a hundred review reviews for Locus. He died of AIDS related pneumonia. (Died 2004.) (CE) 
  • Born February 4, 1968 – Neve Maslakovic, Ph.D., age 53.  From Belgrade to Stanford’s STAR Lab (Space, Telecommunications, And Radioscience) to writing fiction.  Four novels, another due next month.  Likes the Twin Cities winters.  Has read Time and AgainA History of [Greek letter “pi”], Three Men in a Boat, nine by Wodehouse, five by Sayers, a Complete Sherlock HolmesA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.  [JH]
  • Born February 4, 1968 – David Speakman, age 53.  Until recently very active in the N3F, serving as Chair of the Directorate, editor of The Nat’l Fantasy Fan and Tightbeam; two Franson Awards, Kaymar Award, awarded a Life Membership.  As to “recently”, he explains here.  [JH]
  • Born February 4, 1990 – Zach King, age 31.  Actor, author, digital-video illusionist.  Three novels for us.  Two London Film Festival first-place awards.  A video of him apparently flying on a broomstick had two billion views in four days.  “They rejected my application to Hogwarts but I still found a way to be a wizard.”  Does he do it all with mirrors?  Website. [JH]

(10) FANZINE SPOTLIGHT. The newest installment of Cora Buhlert’s Fanzine Spotlight series is a Q&A with Star Trek Quarterly editor Sarah Gulde: “Fanzine Spotlight: Star Trek Quarterly”.

Why did you decide to start your site or zine?

I’ve been a Trekkie since TNG started in 1987, so when Chris Garcia and James Bacon asked me to guest edit an issue of Journey Planet, I did a whole Star Trek-themed issue. I reached out to people I know in the Trek community and asked them to write about how Star Trek had impacted their lives. I ended up receiving some really impactful stories, from a friend who had immigrated to the US finding a family, to another friend finding the courage to come out of the closet, all through Star Trek.

It was a game-changing experience for me to edit other people’s stories. Everyone has a story to tell, but everyone is at a different writing level. Some pieces I didn’t have to touch, while I spent hours editing others. I loved helping people tell their stories, and making sure those stories were heard.

I loved it so much I didn’t want to stop with one issue! After some careful thought, I decided to create my own Star Trek-themed fanzine. Monthly was too much for me to take on by myself, so I went with quarterly. I asked Women At Warp, a feminist Trek podcast, to write a regular column. (Since then I’ve joined the show as a co-host.) I passed out flyers at the big annual convention in Las Vegas soliciting submissions for the first issue. And I posted to various Star Trek Facebook groups looking for more….

(11) SHOCKED, I TELL YOU. Delish reports “This Chocolate Easter Egg Features A Marshmallow Baby Yoda Inside”. Eat Baby Yoda? And the Galerie Candy site is already sold out! What kind of barbarians are at the gates?

…The Mandalorian Egg-Shaped Magic Hot Chocolate Melt from Galerie Candy is very similar to a hot cocoa bomb—but without the hot chocolate mix. Made of milk chocolate, it’s meant to be dissolved in a cup of hot milk to reveal the green Baby Yoda marshmallow inside. While it’s intended use is to make hot chocolate, you can easily eat the Baby Yoda treat as is.

(12) DEEP WATERS. In Two Chairs Talking podcast Episode 45, “Not Waving but Drowning”

David Grigg and Perry Middlemiss talk about the books they’ve been reading lately, ranging in length from novellas to a nine-volume, almost million-word opus written entirely in the form of letters. And a rather damp theme emerges…

(13) LIGHTEN UP. Frostbeard Studio adds a brand new bookish scent every month to its line of Book Lovers’ Soy Candles and Bookish Goods.

Here’s the description of their scented “Through the Wardrobe” candle:

Follow your nose through the woods to a mysterious lamppost where you’ll embark on a magical adventure into wintry realms. You might be cozied up with blankets and a book, but you’ll feel like you’re being whisked away to a snowy, enchanted forest in another world.

(14) GET IN ON THE GROUND FLOOR. Camestros Felapton recommends this adaptation of a comic: “Review: Sweet Home”.

…The monsters feel like a cross between The Thing and Attack on Titan but that weirdness aside, the story gradually drifts into a more conventional zombie-apocalypse survival narrative. The small number of survivors trapped on the ground floor of the Green Home apartment bloc, must find ways to band together to protect themselves from the surrounding nightmare. In later episodes they have to deal with an intruding human gang, as well as the secret agenda of the army which (as per usual) knows more about the plague than they are letting on. Luckily, by this point the viewer is more invested in the fate of the ensemble of characters who range from shop keepers to an improbable combination of people with bad-ass backstories.

(15) SUICIDE SQUAD. [Item by Mike Kennedy.]Warner Bros. has announced the official plot synopsis for Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. Now let the betting begin on who gets Gunned down first. “The Suicide Squad Synopsis Teases a ‘Search and Destroy’ Mission” at CBR.com.

… Some of the DC villains and antiheroes called out in the synopsis include Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and “everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn.” Part of the Suicide Squad’s mission will see them dropped off “on theremote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.”

(16) CONTRAPTIONS WITH PERSONALITY. These imaginative illos are a lot of fun: “Boris Artzybasheff’s living machines / part one” and  “Boris Artzybasheff’s living machines / part two” at PastPrint.

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cora Buhlert, Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, John Hertz, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ingvar.]

45 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/4/21 It Is Too Late For The Pixels To Vote, The Scroll Has Already Begun

  1. 2) What’s wrong with reading the last page first? And who are all these people who consider it a war crime?

    4) An interesting idea. I wonder if he will get any takers? Might be more successful if he dropped the no personal insults rule.

  2. 2) I am not a monster. No one is harmed by my reading the last page.

    (I’m not surprised that people have strong feelings on the topic, however. I remember how my best friend flipped out when she found out I did it. That was decades ago; I wonder if she still remembers?)

  3. (2) If it doesn’t grab me in the first few pages, I’m not likely to even look at the last page. (I may look at it after I’ve bought it, just to see where it’s going. But it isn’t a habit.)

  4. Regarding reading the last page first of a mystery. There’s an early Ellery Queen novel where the name of the killer is revealed not just on the last page, but last two words.

    No need to rip out the last page to annoy the reader, just blot out those two words.

  5. 2). Clarification, because for some reason I can’t edit my post: I don’t read the last page FIRST. Generally at some point between a half and three-quarters in is when I will read the last page. I do it less often now because it’s kind of awkward to do it on a kindle.

  6. 2) I have never felt the urge to read the last page first. Surely, in most cases it won’t make a lot of sense. The last page of a book doesn’t reveal a great deal. I’m not sure many books would be even spoiled. The last page of 1984 (skipping before the afterword about Newspeak) has Winston apparently alive & sort of happy.

  7. 2) I have to agree with Camestros, I’ve never had the slightest urge to skip to the last page in any story. Indeed I never skip forward in any story.

  8. On occasion, when I have already made the decision to DNF a novel because it’s so bad that I don’t want to waste any more time on it, I’ve read the last chapter/several pages before hurling it with great force. Sometimes this is to confirm that it’s going exactly where I figured out it was going (and it almost always is). Sometimes this is just so I can consider it “finished”.

    But if I’m enjoying a novel, I don’t want to spoil the ending for myself.

  9. I finally seem to be breathing normally, two days after the asthma attack that sent me to the ER.

    Where, after failing to find any other cause for my asthma symptoms, and seeing no reason to do a lung capacity test to determine if I might really, after six decades of asthma, be right about what was happening, finally gave me a nebulizer treatment. To placate me, as far as I could tell. Cause of my symptoms remains, officially, “undetermined.”

  10. I generally don’t give up on fiction once I’ve started it because I was trained early in the mindset that I shouldn’t review things I haven’t fully read. I don’t like to spend the time writing negative reviews anymore, nevertheless, when a book lets me down I always think I’m going to, so it’s my duty to have the complete experience.

    Nonfiction books are a little different case. While I usually finish them, too, I rarely begin with a review in mind, so I can do whatever I want.

  11. It had ever occurred to me to read the last page first, and I’m not sure I understand the point, but I certainly don’t understand the urge to criticize the way others read books. (Especially when we’re not talking about destructive reading methods, like the tear-pages-out-as-you-finish-them technique.) Reading should be fun–if you enjoy reading the last page first, then by all means, read the last page first! Fill yer boots!

    Not that you needed my permission! 🙂

  12. 2) I have a friend who reads books in… sort of an interlaced fashion. Makes my brain hurt thinking about it.

    9) Is horror genre or genre adjacent?

    I think of it as an adjacent genre.

  13. Reading the last page first isn’t a crime, but it’s not something that makes sense to me – I assume (perhaps charitably) that a book is in the order it’s in because the writer planned it that way, so the last page isn’t going to mean very much unless you’ve read the preceding ones.

  14. No one is harmed by my reading the last page

    (Patents spring-loaded book.)

    I don’t make a practice of reading the last page first, but I do tend to sneak a peek at it at some random point, when my curiosity about where this is all going gets strong enough.

  15. 2) I recall Harry Burns in “When Harry Met Sally” confessed he did this, much to the confusion of Sally. We later in the movie see him actually do it, which I thought was a nice little touch.

  16. I used to be of the “well, I have started, so I will finish” mindset.

    IIRC, the first book that I did not finish was when I (much after it was age-appropriate) found a until-then unread copy of “Max och gammelgäddan” (Max and the old pike) [pike the elder?]. Which, at age well over 30 was not a book I could force myself to finish.

    Then, for a few more years, I went “well, I did not finish that book, but let it stay at one…”. And a decade or so after that, I eventually reached the point that if reading a book feels like an unpleasant struggle[1], it may just be better for everyone if I stop right then and there. I can always come back to it later, should I want to.

    [1] There are books I have read, and occasionally come back to, that I would characterise as “a struggle”. Among them “Concrete Mathematics” and “The Art of Computer Programming”. But, the struggle is less each time, and it isn’t an unpleasant struggle.

  17. (8) I watched “Videodrome” at a friend’s house late at night when I was in college – not a movie I would have selected for myself, but I ended up enjoying it (though not sleeping very well afterward).

  18. 9) Some Horror is Fantastic or Science Fictional, some isn’t. Zombies are almost certainly genre, with the possible exception of attempts at recreating classical Caribbean zombies using known drugs.

    @Ingvar: Last I checked, The Art of Computer Programming was a multi-volume project that wasn’t yet completed, but that was quite some time ago. Is it complete now?

  19. It’s very liberating to realize you don’t need to finish a book just because you started it. It’s a thing I do rarely, but sometimes, when I’ve given a book a fair chance, and it’s doing nothing for me, I see no reason to waste more time on it.

    What’s the point of reading the last page first? I’ll read a random page in the middle first, to see if I care who these people are and what they’re doing, if I don’t otherwise have enough basis to decide if I want to start it.

  20. (9) – Reading the Harry Whittington bio at the link, it says “85 novels in twelve years”. That’s not fourscore in one year, which would be a novel every four and a half days, give or take. Or is my math wrong?

    John Schuck was also in the TV series “Holmes and Yoyo”, about a robot policeman. That series aired the same year as “Future Cop”, which was the show that was sued by Harlan for stealing the rights to his story with Ben Bova (RIP), “Brillo”.

  21. @Todd Dashoff: That’s probably why I keep thinking Schuck was in “Get Smart” – I’m confusing “Holmes and Yoyo”‘s robot with Dick Gautier’s Hymie the Robot

  22. Meredith moment: the Earthseed series, Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler is available today from the usual digital suspects for $3.99. The latter won a Nebula, and the former was withdrawn for a Hugo.

  23. @David Shallcross

    I suspect the answer is “no” (take my TAOCP comment to apply to any specific volume in the work).

    @Cat Eldridge
    Up until I reached “Octavia”, I had parsed “Earthseed” as “Eartsea” and it all still somehow worked. Then I had to go back and check why my reading comprehension module started emitting a strained screech.

  24. I finally seem to be breathing normally, two days after the asthma attack that sent me to the ER.

    Glad you’re doing better. Asthma is frightening. Because of our experiences with it, we have a nebulizer in our home that’s used to keep colds from getting into the chest as they worsen. It’s a godsend, though during the pandemic using one in the house would be a concern since it would likely spread the virus if the person being treated had it.

  25. Ingvar comments Up until I reached “Octavia”, I had parsed “Earthseed” as “Eartsea” and it all still somehow worked. Then I had to go back and check why my reading comprehension module started emitting a strained screech.

    Fortunately that was a copy and paste, so WordPress didn’t have a opportunity to mangle it as it’s won’t to do. It would so would’ve. Le Guin does come up for these deals quite occasionally, so I’ll keep an eye out for the Earthsea trilogy.

  26. Patrick Morris Miller: 9) Is horror genre or genre adjacent?

    I think of it as an adjacent genre.

    I see it the same way — and it makes sense to me when people sometimes refer to “sff&h” because the topic deals with overlapping fan interests.

    There’s also plenty of sff with horror elements woven into it, or even the dominant trait. I used to find Doctor Who hard to take because “bad science!” “terrible internal consistency!” until I read an article that analyzed why Doctor Who is really horror. Thinking of it as part of a different genre completely changed my expectations and now I enjoy Doctor Who as much as everyone else.

  27. Meredith Moment: THE STORIES OF RAY BRADBURY, a 100-story, 1000+ pages collection across Bradbury’s career, is available for Kindle and Nook for $2.99 today. (Regular ebook price $17.99.)

    (This is the 2020 RosettaBooks collection. Not sure how much overlap there is with the 2013 Harper Collins 100-story collection; “six additional stories available only in this collection”, description says.)

  28. That’s probably why I keep thinking Schuck was in “Get Smart” – I’m confusing “Holmes and Yoyo”‘s robot with Dick Gautier’s Hymie the Robot

    I’ve had the same problem.

  29. @Ingvar: I participate in an online trivia league called Learned League (as does Rich Horton, for those who know him). There was a question about Octavia Butler in the not too distant past, that mentioned the Earthseed series. The most common wrong answer was Le Guin, which I found hard to understand (“why would anyone think that Le Guin was the mother of Afrofuturism?”) until someone on the message board said they’d had confusion with Earthsea.

  30. Meredith moment: The Winterlong Trilogy by Elizabeth Hand is available today at the usual digital suspects for $3.99. The novels are Winterlong, Aestival Tide and Icarus Descending.

  31. Paul Weimer says I often seen Horror as a Mode applied to other genres–from literary through space opera, more than a genre in and of itself.

    Which is precisely how I always thought of the the Alien film franchise.

  32. I recentlyish Sunk Cost Fallacy’d my way through a piece of best selling true crime which I absolutely hated by the end (it’s now known solely as That Fucking Book) and I don’t precisely regret it, but I’m not sure I would’ve regretted stopping, either.

    Still. Now I can complain about it in detail! And with the comfort of knowing that I’m not unfairly maligning a work that really pulled it out of the bag at the end! I suppose there’s a kind of value in that, if not to anyone forced to sit still long enough to listen to the resulting extremely long rant.

  33. There’s a lot to be said for occasionally being able to malign a work entirely fairly.,

  34. I was a fully grown adult before I discovered that there are people who think you have to finish a book just because you start it.

    As for whether Horror is genre-adjacent…I’m not sure that’s even a meaningful question for something as broad and vaguely defined as another genre. I mean, there’s plenty of horror that is clearly genre, and there’s also plenty of horror that is clearly not

    Are mysteries SFF-adjacent, simply because people have written SFF mysteries? Is romance SFF-adjacent just because people have written SFF romances? I admit that horror overlaps with SFF more frequently than those other two genres, but SFF is not a necessary element of any of the three.

    Genres are funny (and fuzzy) things.

    @Paul Weimer: I agree that horror can be a mode applied to other genres–but so can SFF…or mystery…or romance…or western. In fact, I’m having a hard time thinking of a genre that’s not true of.

    Possibly-useful example: I tend to think of Alien as being horror in an SF mode, but its sequel seems more like SF in a horror mode.

  35. Joe H. Says There’s a lot to be said for occasionally being able to malign a work entirely fairly.

    I once reviewed for Green Man Steven Brust’s Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grill. Trust me when I say i maligned it entirely fairly. Brust once told me that even he didn’t like it. It’s one of the few truly negative reviews that I ever wrote. And I so wanted to like that work.

  36. @Xtifr

    Are mysteries SFF-adjacent, simply because people have written SFF mysteries? Is romance SFF-adjacent just because people have written SFF romances? I admit that horror overlaps with SFF more frequently than those other two genres, but SFF is not a necessary element of any of the three.

    I’m not a big fan of definitions of “genre” so expansive that they include Robin Hood, or Magnum PI, or some of the other things that get captured by it. But I can at least follow the argument for horror: so much of it is based on the supernatural that it falls out as a subcategory of fantasy.

  37. @bill

    But I can at least follow the argument for horror: so much of it is based on the supernatural that it falls out as a subcategory of fantasy.

    Perhaps because we are afraid mostly not of real dangers, but of things that we imagine.

  38. @bill: I understand the argument, but at the same time, there are entire sub-genres of horror that have no fantastic elements at all. Arguably, science-fiction horror falls into that category, and that’s a pretty big sub-genre. But even if you lump that in, you still have slasher flicks and psychological horror and other similar groups. Heck, horror loosely based on/inspired by Ed Gein alone is very nearly its own subgenre, and, while some versions contain fantastic elements, most do not.

    Ultimately, though, strict genre boundary definitions are not something I have a great deal of interest in, so…I dunno. [shrug]

  39. @xtifr — Agreed, and I wouldn’t include those non-fantastika works of horror in “genre”.
    FWIW, my own definition of “genre” is synonymous with SF. That’s all. Fantasy is another thing altogether. I know it gets lumped in with SF and has been for decades. But I’m not one of those lumpers.

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