Pixel Scroll 2/6/19 Pixels In The Hands Of An Angry Scroll

(1) BETTER WORLDS. Latest in the Better Worlds series on The Verge is “Skin City” by Kelly Robson.

Listen to the audio adaptation of “Skin City” in Apple PodcastsPocket Casts, or Spotify.

Andrew Liptak’s Q&A with author Robson: “Kelly Robson on burlesque and privacy in a futuristic Toronto”.

Tell me a bit about how you came up with the idea for “Skin City.”

One of my big fandoms here in Toronto is Nerd Girls Burlesque. They are a wonderful troupe of nerdy burlesque dancers who recently put on a Game of Thrones burlesque show, two fantastic and incredibly well-attended the Harry Potter burlesque nights, and a Doctor Who burlesque show. I love them. I think they’re fantastic. They’re so witty and so delightful. So when I think about Toronto or when I think about a better world in Toronto, it definitely includes them. I wanted to write about a nerdy burlesque dancer, and I wanted to put her front and center in the city, and I wanted Toronto to be known for that kind of thing.

(2) BEST PRACTICE. It’s just good manners:

(3) WHAT IT IS. Jeff VanderMeer reviewed the book for the LA Times: “Marlon James’ ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’ unleashes an immersive African myth-inspired fantasy world”.

James certainly makes his own unique contribution to the process of decentralizing the white European experience in fantasy fiction, although it’s important to recognize that this process has been underway for some time — and in so many different ways that it’s just plain lazy to compare this novel with, say, works from the last decade by Nnedi Okorafor or David Anthony Durham or Nora Jemisin or Minister Faust or Nisi Shawl or Kai Ashante Wilson (perhaps even beyond lazy). Neither is “Black Leopard, Red Wolf” Afrofuturism or even, really, “the African Game of Thrones,” as many – including James – have called it.

What it is … is the latest Marlon James novel.

(4) GOT CHARACTERS WHO ARE STILL WITH US. As the next and final season of Game of Thrones approaches, publicity is cranking up (Mashable:New ‘Game of Thrones’ pics tease Varys’ return and more surprises”). A dozen new still photos have been released.

We’re just months from Game of Thrones’ final season, and HBO has released the first stills of Season 8 to get this hype train moving.

Though mostly character shots, it’s thrilling to see our favorite characters again – alive, for the time being, and moving around Westeros with the speed and urgency established in Season 7. Most surprising is the return of Varys (Conleth Hill) to the North…or does that snow mean winter is spreading south with the White Walkers?

(5) PROTIP. Myke Cole was yanking peoples’ chains:

Of course, one person actually went looking for the list. (See Twitter thread.)

(6) VORLICEK OBIT. [Apologies for substituting certain letters in his Czech name which WordPress won’t reproduce.] Vaclav Vorlicek, a Czech director of fantasy films that are greatly beloved throughout Europe, died February 6. Cora Buhlert says he’s “definitely one of the greats of our genre who deserves to be remembered” and has written an appreciation:

You may never have heard Vaclav Vorlicek’s name until today, but if you were a kid in Eastern and/or Western Europe in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, you have almost certainly watched his films at some point. Because Vaclav Vorlicek was the man behind many of those Czech fairytale movies that were afternoon television staples for children all over Europe in the 1970s and 1980s. Because – uncommon for the time – Vorlicek’s films crossed the iron curtain and entertained children on both sides.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 6, 1923 Patrick Macnee. He was best known as the secret agent John Steed in The Avengers, a tole he reprised in the New Avengers. He made his genre debut as Young Jacob Marley in Scrooge. He then starred as Derek Longbow in Incense for the Damned (also released as Bloodsuckers, Freedom Seeker Incense for the Damned and Bloodsuckers, Freedom Seeker and Doctors Wear Scarlet). Next up is an uncredited role voicing Imperious Leader on the original Battlestar Galactica.  He played Captain John Good R.N. in King Solomon’s Treasure based rather loosely on the H. Rider Haggard source material. What else? Let’s see… he shows up in The Howling as Dr. George Waggner, as Dr. Stark in a film as alternative title is, I kid you not, Naked Space and Spaceship. It’s a parody apparently of Alien. Next up for him is another toff named Sir Wilfred in Waxwork and its sequel. Yes he wears a suit rather nicely. At least being Professor Plocostomos in Lobster Man from Mars is an open farce.  Yes let me note that he had a voice only role in the absolutely shitty remake of The Avengers as Invisible Jones, a Ministry Agent. I do hope they paid him well. His last film work was genre as well, The Low Budget Time Machine, in which he started as Dr. Bernard. (Died 2015.)
  • Born February 6, 1925 Patricia S. Warrick, 94. Academic who did a lot of Seventies anthologies with Martin Greenberg and Joseph D. Olander with such such titles as Social Problems Through Science FictionAmerican Government Through Science Fiction and Run to Starlight, Sports Through Science Fiction. She did write two books of a more serious nature by herself, The Cybernetic Imagination in Science Fiction and Mind in Motion: The Fiction of Philip K. Dick.
  • Born February 6, 1927 Gerard O’Neill. Author, The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space and though lesser known, 2081: A Hopeful View of the Human Future. Conceptualized ideas of permanent space habitats and mass drivers. (Died 1992.)
  • Born February 6, 1931 Rip Torn, 88. First genre work that comes to mind is of course RoboCop 3 and his Men in Black films. His first dip into our world comes as Dr. Nathan Bryce In The Man Who Fell to Earth. Yeah that film. Actually if you count Alfred Hitchcock Presents, he’s been a member of our community since his Twenties. He also shows up on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as well.

(8) COMICS SECTION.

  • The Questionable Content comic strip’s workplace is the Coffee of Doom coffeehouse. One of the baristas is highly educated.

(9) SIGNPOSTS. Wim Crusio says you should avoid The Road to Hell. No, he’s not talking theology, he’s reviewing a novel: “Recent Reads: David Weber & Joelle Presby, The Road to Hell”.

However, there are serious problems with this series, which I am afraid is symptomatic for Weber’s recent work. Like the Safehold series, this one moves at a glacial pace. In 1009 pages, we advance from November 29, 1928 CE to May 3, 1929 CE. Barely three months… And this in a multiverse where it takes months even to send a message from one end of a chain of universes to another. The use of CE dates (in addition to the calendars used by the two opposing universes) makes me fear the worst: is the story at some point going to add a gate to our own universe? Which, of course, should be at some point in our future? Meaning that at a pace of 3 months per 1000 pages we have something like 400,000 pages to look forward to? Please no!

In fact, I’m not even sure that I will by the next installment in this series, because the glacial pace with which the narrative advances is not even the worst part of this book. No, those are the endless discussions of military logistics….

(10) THANKS FOR THE PRIVILEGE. This went badly. Anand Giridharadas accepted a speaking engagement at a club for wealthy progressives. Thread starts here.

(11) SPIKE-O-SAURS. These dinos look very punk: “Newly Discovered Spiked Dinosaurs From South America Look Like Creatures From ‘No Man’s Sky’”.

Paleontologists in Argentina have uncovered a dinosaur unlike anything ever seen before. Alive some 140 million years ago, these majestic herbivores featured long, forward-pointing spikes running along their necks and backs. These spikes may have served a defensive role, but their exact purpose now presents a fascinating new mystery.

(12) CLIMATE’S INFLUENCE ON JAPANESE HISTORY. “How Japan’s ancient trees could tell the future”.

Locked inside the wood of Japan’s hinoki trees is an unprecedented 2,600 year-long record of rainfall patterns that are helping to piece together how weather shapes society.

At his laboratory in a wooded grove in northern Kyoto, Takeishi Nakatsuka holds up a vacuum sealed bag. Inside, bobbing in a bath of brown water, is a glistening disk the size of a dinner plate and the color of rich gravy. This soggy circle is the remnants of a 2,800-3,000-year-old tree, recovered from a wetland – water included, so the spongy wood does not deform – in Japan’s Shimane Prefecture, just north of Hiroshima. Within this ancient trunk lie secrets that can help us prepare for the future.

Nakatsuka, a palaeoclimatologist at Japan’s Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, along with a diverse team of 68 collaborators, has spent the last decade developing a novel method to reveal bygone precipitation patterns and interpret their effect on society. The results offer unprecedented insight into 2,600 years of Japanese rainfall patterns. By teasing out information locked inside the preserved wood of ancient forests, they are able to reveal just how much rain fell around the country over the past two and half millennia. It is an extraordinary record.

About every 400 years, the researchers found, the amount of rain falling on Japan would suddenly become extremely variable for a period. The nation would toggle between multi-decadal bouts of flood-inducing wetness and warmer, drier years that were favorable for rice cultivation. As the rains came and went, Japanese society prospered or suffered accordingly.

As weather patterns today increasingly defy expectations and extreme events become more frequent and severe, this window into past climate variability hints at what may be in store for us in the coming years. “Today is not different than 1,000 or 2,000 years ago,” Nakatsuka says. “We still have the same lifespans and we are still facing large, stressful multi-decadal variation.”

(13) IT’S A HIT! “Cosmic pile-up gives glimpse of how planets are made”.

Astronomers say they have the first evidence of a head-on collision between two planets in a distant star system.

They believe two objects smacked into each other to produce an iron-rich world, with nearly 10 times the mass of Earth.

A similar collision much closer to home may have led to the formation of the Moon 4.5 billion years ago.

The discovery was made by astronomers in the Canary Islands observing a star system 1,600 light years away.

One planet – called Kepler 107c – is thought to have an iron core that makes up 70% of its mass, with the rest potentially consisting of rocky mantle.

Another planet further towards the star – known as Kepler 107b – is also about 1.5 times the size of Earth, but half as dense.

(14) UPDATING KIPLING. Did you wonder? “When did the kangaroo hop? Scientists have the answer”.

Scientists have discovered when the kangaroo learned to hop – and it’s a lot earlier than previously thought.

According to new fossils, the origin of the famous kangaroo gait goes back 20 million years.

Living kangaroos are the only large mammal to use hopping on two legs as their main form of locomotion.

The extinct cousins of modern kangaroos could also hop, according to a study of their fossilised foot bones, as well as moving on four legs and climbing trees.

The rare kangaroo fossils were found at Riversleigh in the north-west of Queensland in Australia.

(15) HISTORY-MAKING DUDS. BBC takes you “Inside the museum dedicated to failure” – video.

Welcome to the home of the biggest product flops of all time, including Sony Betamax, an electrocuting face mask and a Swedish alternative to marshmallows.

(16) MOTHER COMPLEX. “Netflix Acquires Rights to Sci-Fi Thriller I Am MotherComingSoon.net has the story. The flick was mentioned in the January 27 Pixel Scroll.

(17) NEW DUMBO TRAILER. Opens in the UK March 29.

From Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, the all-new grand live-action adventure “Dumbo” expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Daniel Dern, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip WIlliams.]

49 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/6/19 Pixels In The Hands Of An Angry Scroll

  1. 6) Thanks for the link, Mike. I had problems with Vaclav Vorlicek’s name, too, and eventually had to HTML handcode the characters that wouldn’t display, which is also why I stopped listing the Czech titles of his films after the first one.

  2. (7) Rip Torn was defense attorney Bob Diamond in Defending Your Life (1991), in my opinion the best-realized Albert Brooks film.

  3. Also, I took up PNH’s recommendation on Twitter for Astounding, nonfiction by Alec Nevala-Lee following John W. Campbell and the dynamics of working closely with Asimov, Heinlein and Hubbard. It’s such a fantastic topic for close examination — I’m a few hours into the audiobook, and I’m deeply enjoying.

    Plus it’s a 2018 release eligible as Best Related Work, which is part of why I bumped it to the top of my TBR. I’m happy with my decisions right now 🙂

  4. 7) Patrick Macnee also showed his face in the original Battlestar Galactica, appearing as the sinister Count Iblis (I think it was a minor plot point, in fact, that he had the same voice as Imperious Leader.)

  5. Counting pixels on the scroll, that don’t bother me at all
    Playing D&D ’til dawn, with my twenty-sideds gone
    Eating soylent green and watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    Now don’t tell me I can’t go back in time

  6. To every scroll, turn, turn, turn,
    There is a pixel, turn, turn, turn,
    And a time for every comment under heaven

  7. 7) I had not realized that Patrick Macnee also did the original BSG intro (“There are those here who believe that life began out there …”).

  8. To follow up on an earlier discussion, there was a question about whether Gregory Benford wrote the sarcastic letter signed “Gregory (but sometimes ‘Georgina’) Benford” in a story about Loscon in the fanzine Challenger.

    I heard back from fanzine author Guy Lillian: “My understanding is that the ‘Georgina’ letter was written by an anonymous friend of Benford’s and sent to him as part of a larger supportive message. Greg might tell you the author.”

    I’d like to offer some unsolicited advice to my fellow over-50 white males. You might clash with some of the efforts to make SF events more inclusive, tolerant and free from abuse and harassment. When you do, if you are tempted to attempt an “I self-identify as” joke (or spread one), never give in to this temptation. It’s not funny and will make you look like a bigot. It also will grow worse in perception over time, a principle recently discovered by those who thought it hilarious to wear blackface at a frat kegger in the 1980s.

  9. @rcade

    Wow. I’ve not been paying attention so I wasn’t prepared for how genuinely embarrassing that letter is.

  10. Meredith Moment: William Gibson’s Virtual Light is $1.99.

    (As is, for anyone who might be interested, Greg Keyes’ The Infernal City, a novel set in the world of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls (Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind) games.)

  11. @Kip
    “What are you in for?”
    “Littering…”
    “And they all moved away from me…”
    “And making a nuisance…”

  12. “…twenty-seven 8-by-10 color glossy pictures with pixels and scrolls and a file on the back of each one explaining what each one was, to be used as evidence against us”

  13. And I finally got my new Kindle Oasis tuned to my satisfaction, and I’m unregistering & boxing up my old Paperwhite to send back for trade-in credit, and remember that bit at the end of the movie when they take Ol’ Yeller out behind the barn? That’s kind of how I’m feeling at the moment …

  14. @5: very cute — although I’ve seen so many items on old dust jackets that I wonder whether anything can be forbidden. Bulldozer operator? Cost accountant? Guard of a deserted building site belonging to the mob?

    @6: have any of those been subtitled or dubbed in English? I can get around bits of religious German but am hopeless at conversational — and these look interesting.

    @7: shame on me for not recognizing Warrick until reading into the context; I remember that trio well. However, I’m pretty sure that Cybernetic Imagination… was the cause of an indignant rebuttal-by-bibliography from hjjh@utexas[.edu?], on the grounds that the book cherrypicked in favor of the thesis that computers were portrayed negatively.

    @10: Fun story — and particular kudos to Giridharadas for turning what was probably a very unpleasant experience into entertainment for the rest of us. I’m not sure why a club founded by JWBooth’s brother should automatically be suspect; from what I’ve read, JW did not represent the family. OTOH, the Wikipedia description sounds like the club began as leverage for upper-level actors into high society rather than any sort of general group — it has never been about the journeyman needing help. I’d love to know why one person said the club had no choice but to invite Giridharadas. OTGH, I’d also like to know whether Giridharadas thinks that waiting for the millennium when all desirable buildings can be publicly funded is better than getting a building now and having to label it after the detestable principal donor. (MIT caused some uproar about this recently, with the Koch Childcare Center; OTOGH, MIT hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory this week either, wrt dealing with Saudi Arabia.)

    @17: This looks like it has gotten rid of all the Disney schmaltz (judging by Wikipedia summary — I’ve never been moved to watch the film), but (as someone here has pointed out) getting enough good bits to make a trailer is easy. I would like to see this soar but will wait for reviews of the full picture.

    @rcade: with friends like those, Benford doesn’t need enemies.

    @all: Thanksgiving was months ago, so why is everyone coming up with “Alice’s Restaurant” jokes now? Answer: the fannish mind is not bound by normal limits of space and time. I’m still occasionally amused by having seen Guthrie do this in Symphony Hall (Boston) the night before Thanksgiving.

  15. I’m not sure why a club founded by JWBooth’s brother should automatically be suspect; from what I’ve read, JW did not represent the family.

    Edwin Booth supported the Union and was one of the most prominent Shakespearean actors in the country. I think Anand was making a joke with the ambush reference.

  16. Chip says @7: shame on me for not recognizing Warrick until reading into the context; I remember that trio well. However, I’m pretty sure that Cybernetic Imagination… was the cause of an indignant rebuttal-by-bibliography from hjjh@utexas[.edu?], on the grounds that the book cherrypicked in favor of the thesis that computers were portrayed negatively.

    All academics cherrypick their material to get what they want for a given argument. So if she did, that’s not an argument against her thesis.

  17. (17) I’d read stories about how Christian Bale would gain and lose weight for roles and be impressed at his dedication to his craft. Now I see that Colin Farrell has cut off an arm to do Dumbo, and I realize that Bale is a pipsqueak.

  18. @Chip Hitchcock
    Three Wishes for Cinderella definitely had an English language release, probably some of the other fairytale films as well. As for the comedies, Who Wants To Kill Jessie? apparently had a DVD release in the US and was shown at a couple of festivals, as were some of Vorlicek’s other films such as Would You Care For Some Spinach? (SF, in spite of the title), How To Drown Dr. Mracek, the Lawyer or the James Bond parody The End of Agent W4C.

    Arabela, however, has never had an English language release, probably because Disney, the Conan Doyle estate and the ERB estate would come down like a ton of bricks on whoever tried to release it.

  19. rcade: I heard back from fanzine author Guy Lillian: “My understanding is that the ‘Georgina’ letter was written by an anonymous friend of Benford’s and sent to him as part of a larger supportive message.”

    Imagine being the person in question, and pointing everyone to that message which is “supportive” of you because you mistakenly think it actually makes you look better. 😐

  20. One useful thing I learned once while waiting at a Genius Bar is that if you’re using a Mac, you can get the tricky characters by holding down a key until a small menu pops up with the letter with different accent marks. This is useful for typing up Czech names. Václav Vorlícek. (Of course WordPress may just ignore what I just typed. Yup. Didn’t like the c with accent over it.)

    And I started jumpin up and down yelling, “SCROLL, SCROLL,” and
    he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
    yelling, “SCROLL, SCROLL.” And the Mike Glyer came over, pinned a pixel on me,
    set me down in the file, said, “You’re our contributing editor.”

  21. The Scroll’ll come out
    Tomorrow
    Bet your bottom Pixel
    That tomorrow
    There’ll be Scroll.

    In other news, I think I have finally (finally!) caught up. We’ve been in Australia to spend Chinese New Year with family, but also to do a bit of sightseeing. Tasmania was lovely, and Cradle Mountain was a breathtaking experience. We even saw an echidna in the wild.

    I also discovered that since a recent update,my phone no longer wants to load the FIle770 webpage, so while I could read comments delivered to my email, I couldn’t read the full Pixel Scrolls. So what did I miss?

  22. Two books recently read:

    Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri: Read this at a gallop because I found both characters and setting so gripping. Based on Mughal India the same way a lot of conventional high fantasy is based on Medieval Europe. HEAPS of atmosphere, with a heroine caught between two cultures and not completely at home in either.

    Mehr (our heroine) and the other characters all have multiple conflicts: between vows and choices, blood family and found family, the needs of the many and the needs of the few. No-one is simple, but it’s not grimdark, either (the cover had me worried about that: a single weapon on a fantasy novel usually means grimdark). And the het romance was believable and didn’t involve tropes I hate!

    (Fans of Derek Hale may find the hero to be the kind of tough-on-the-outside, soft-marshmellow-center guy they like. just sayin’.)

    Looking at other Goodreads reviews, I see a number of people found the book slow-moving. I honestly have no idea where that’s coming from, I read it in about 2 sittings and stayed up WAY too late.

    Elysium Fire by Alistair Reynolds: This is the first Revelation Space novel I’ve read, but I picked up everything I needed as I went along. The world-building reminds me of old-school Doctor Who: everyone is white, all the space habitats seem to feature rocks and trees, and the robots are large and creepy-looking.

    I could roll with that, but after about the half-way point the plot started making less and less sense, and the revelation at the end was just a maze of WTF for me. Only part of it, I think, is because I started speed-reading. Jul qvq gur fhcre-evpu & cbjreshy pbhcyr hfr gurve bja bssfcevat va gur perrcl cflpub rkcrevzrag? Jrer NYY gur rkcrevzragny xvqf gurve bssfcevat? Vs gur rkcrevzrag jnf ernyyl n tnzoyvat tnzr, jurer’f gur zbarl?

    I gather from other GR reviews that Britreaders saw heavy-handed parallels to Brexit, but as a USan I don’t see how that works if there’s no racism and/or waves of competing propaganda.

    And all this in the year 4144!

  23. Doctor Science: Elysium Fire by Alistair Reynolds: I could roll with that, but after about the half-way point the plot started making less and less sense, and the revelation at the end was just a maze of WTF for me.

    It’s been a year since I read the book, but I remember really enjoying it — enough to put it on my Hugo longlist — and not having read the other Revelation Space novels either, I agree that it stands alone well.

    My take on it (without getting the book back and refreshing my memory) was that gurfr jrer abg pbafvqrerq “erny” puvyqera ol gur cneragf, gurl jrer puvyqera jub jrer rffragvnyyl “ungpurq” va beqre gb pbaqhpg rkcrevzragf. Naq gung gur crbcyr jrer fb jrnygul naq oberq gung znxvat gurve gubhtug rkcrevzragf erny jnf n svar jnl gb ragregnva gurzfryirf. Fbeg bs yvxr ubj gur Xbpu Qhxr Oebguref cynlrq jvgu naq qrfgeblrq bgure crbcyrf’ yvirf sbe n $1 org va gur svyz Genqvat Cynprf.

    As far as Brexit references, I probably wouldn’t recognize one unless it was actually labeled “Brexit”, because I always forget to take in the author’s home country and how that might have influenced the work when evaluating the books I read.

    Now I’m curious and I’m probably going to have to request the book again, so I can refresh my memory and find those Brexit references. As if I didn’t have enough first-time reading on my plate. <sigh>

  24. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 2/7/19 “What Are You In For?” “Littering.” And They All Moved Away From Me. “And Making A Nuisance.” | File 770

  25. At Foolscap, I picked up a copy of Permanence, a large 2002 novel by Karl Schroeder. I think it epitomizes what a core hard SF novel should be: well thought out science and philosophical-political-economic themes as well as the necessary fictional elements. I think it’s been neglected, possibly due to other notable SF novels of the same year.

  26. Just finished watching the first Fantastic Beast movie and now I want a full series of Boardwalk Empire mixed with urban fantasy.

    (And I really do need to read Ari Marmell’s Mick Oberon books, don’t I?)

  27. Imagine being the person in question, and pointing everyone to that message which is “supportive” of you because you mistakenly think it actually makes you look better.

    The Georgina letter is cringeworthy. I can’t believe Benford thought it helped his cause.

    I wish I could persuade longtime SF luminaries to put more thought into how they respond to issues like these. Instead they sound equal parts smug and uninformed, as if subjects like inclusiveness, anti-harassment and codes of conduct aren’t worth the time required to acquaint themselves with their importance to other people.

    I’ve idolized Robert Silverberg going back 30 years and thought his presence at each year’s Hugo Awards lent support to the increasingly diverse group of nominees and winners. I thought he rejected the malicious nonsense of the Puppies.

    But then he was caught on Fictionmags making a sneering dismissal of N. K. Jemisin’s best-novel win, suggesting it was “identity politics” even though he admits to reading none of her winning books, and that her speech was “vulgar” even though he used the same stage two years earlier to tell an extended dick joke.

    That was an eye opener for me. No more telling myself that the old guard of SF will try to be contemporary any more in their attitudes. They’d rather stand on their lawn yelling at kids.

    Give me the enthusiasm, vitality and fierce passion of writers like Jemisin over the bitter bleatings of ossified cranks any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  28. rcade: That was an eye opener for me.

    The last few years have been very sadly revelatory to me on how some of the authors whose works I’ve enjoyed and admired are perhaps not the best exemplars of human beings. It grieves me that the ability to imagine more varied, imaginative, and better futures in their works doesn’t translate to themselves.

    I long for the days when the only thing I knew about some authors was that they had written books I had enjoyed. 🙁

  29. testing cut-and-paste directly from the headline of Cora’s writeup: Václav Vorlí?ek
    and from an OpenOffice-on-Windows doc: Václav Vorlí?ek
    and using HTML (“‘&’ccaron’;’, as shown on the Foxfire tab of Cora’s writeup): Václav Vorlí&ccaron;ek

    They all display correctly in the edit window; what happens when I post?

    Answer: they all fail. Hmph. Looks like this software has half-assed support for characters outside of 8-bit (“extended”) ASCII — or maybe it just doesn’t like my browser. Do any of the above display correctly for other Filers?

  30. I’ve found that WordPress will support some html/unicode strings and not others. It’s really annoying.

    č
    &#x010D;

    Ah, well that worked in the comments.

  31. Interesting comments on Elysium Fire. My notes say I found it interesting but a bit long — and an AI acting almost like a vatch, which could have been a cute way to throw an irrational spanner in the works when the plot might be flagging.

    I’ve added Empire of Sand to Mt. TBR, but will read it with a grain of salt as Suri’s bio says “born in the U.K., but toured India during childhood holidays” — I like to read takes on non-Western cultures done ~from-the-inside, but will wonder how much of this work is fusion rather than assimilation.

  32. So, just as with the italic and bold markers, this interface recognizes some HTML markers and not others. Who got to pick and choose?

    @Cat Eldridge:

    All academics cherrypick their material to get what they want for a given argument. So if she did, that’s not an argument against her thesis.

    Really? IME, in science that would be called dishonesty (at best); there are sharper names for arguments that ignore part of a human population.

    @bill: just an arm? Bruce Pelz went farther 45 years ago, showing up at a Worldcon masquerade apparently missing a leg. (And the weight Bale moves probably amounts to much more than an arm…)

    @Jack Lint: I wonder whether the Mac facility is the reason why the special-characters menu line on Windows begins with a Mac command key symbol (the looped square, aka “propeller”, etc.)

  33. rcade on February 7, 2019 at 7:15 pm said:

    I’ve idolized Robert Silverberg going back 30 years and thought his presence at each year’s Hugo Awards lent support to the increasingly diverse group of nominees and winners. I thought he rejected the malicious nonsense of the Puppies.

    But then he was caught on Fictionmags making a sneering dismissal of N. K. Jemisin’s best-novel win, suggesting it was “identity politics” even though he admits to reading none of her winning books, and that her speech was “vulgar” even though he used the same stage two years earlier to tell an extended dick joke.

    Mine started at the 2015 Hugo Ceremony when he mocked a religion. That was uncomfortable to me. The dick joke just confirmed what I felt about him. When his comments on Jemisin came out I figured it was par for the course that someone who could make those religiously bigoted comments in such a public forum–and invite the whole audience to mock along with him–would have misogynist and racist views in “private” as well.

  34. @Chip Hitchcock, @JJ
    Using the named character entity &ccaron; worked for me in my original post, though I have no idea if it will work in the comments here.

    I now also feel very sorry for Czech WordPress users.

  35. I tried it in a draft main WordPress post here and it worked with

    V&#x00E1;clav Vorl&#x00ED;&ccaron;ek
    which does not work in comments

    but not with
    V&#x00E1;clav Vorl&#x00ED;&#x010D;ek
    which does work in comments.

    What a pain.

  36. One thing that may have put this in my head as a scroll title is that, back in 2009, when I haunted the Comics Curmudgeon as [Old Man] Muffaroo (the part in brackets became necessary when people assumed ‘Muffaroo’ was the name of a female preppy), fellow Mudge “Uncle Lumpy” started a series he called

    Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Jumble

    in which he would take the daily clue words and solution word(s) for the day’s Jumble and concoct an edifying quatrain from the clues with a sententious couplet at the end that used the solution of the day to wrap it up. The first example of this seems to be the only one I saved, not suspecting that all the comments would vanish one day when Josh Fruhlinger changed to a new platform. It goes thusly, with the Jumble words in all caps, just as Uncle L. used to do:

    In LIMBO ’til Creation’s ebb
    (Where OXIDE takes what insect leaves)
    It’s KOSHER to regret the web
    Of sin that EGOISM weaves.

    Pursue GOOD LOOKS in this life and be vexed –
    Amass instead good graces for the next!

    I’ve actually sent off a missive to U.L., hoping the address is still good, to see if he has any others.

    If not, well, there’s another example of data rot. Here today, gone forever. It’s just a bunch of ones and zeroes, as surely are we all.

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