Pixel Scroll 3/2/21 What Is Pixel, But Scroll Persevering

(1) A PEEK AT APEX. Apex Magazine Issue 122 has been released. The link below takes you to the new issue page where you’ll find fiction by Sam J. Miller, Sheree Renée Thomas, A.C. Wise, Annie Neugebauer, Barton Aikman, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Jason Sanford, and Khaalida Muhammad-Ali, plus essays by ZZ Claybourne and Wendy N. Wagner. The cover art is by Thomas Tan.

(2) ON “READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY” OBJECTIONS TO SEUSS IMAGERY PROMPT WITHDRAWAL OF SIX BOOKS. The National Education Association founded “Read Across America Day” in 1998 and deliberately aligned it with Dr. Seuss/Ted Geisel’s birthday, March 2. However, the NEA has been deemphasizing Seuss, and today President Biden’s proclamation for “Read Across America Day” — in contrast to his predecessors Obama and Trump — omitted all mention of Dr. Seuss reports the New York Post.

President Biden removed mentions of Dr. Seuss from Read Across America Day amid accusations of “racial undertones” in the classic, whimsical tales for children.

Read Across America Day, started by the National Educational Association in 1998 as a way to promote children’s reading, is even celebrated on the author’s March 2 birthday.

In his presidential proclamation, Biden noted that “for many Americans, the path to literacy begins with story time in their school classroom,” USA Today reported.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises, rightsholder to his books, also picked today to announce they’ll stop licensing six of his books: “Statement from Dr. Seuss Enterprises”.

Today, on Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises celebrates reading and also our mission of supporting all children and families with messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship.

We are committed to action.  To that end, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles:  And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry StreetIf I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.  These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.

The New York Times article “6 Dr. Seuss Books Will No Longer Be Published Over Offensive Images” describes two examples of images that have inspired the objections:

…In “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” a character described as “a Chinaman” has lines for eyes, wears a pointed hat, and carries chopsticks and a bowl of rice. (Editions published in the 1970s changed the reference from “a Chinaman” to “a Chinese man.”) In “If I Ran the Zoo,” two characters from “the African island of Yerka” are depicted as shirtless, shoeless and resembling monkeys. A school district in Virginia said over the weekend that it had advised schools to de-emphasize Dr. Seuss books on “Read Across America Day,” a national literacy program that takes place each year on March 2, the anniversary of Mr. Geisel’s birth….

Loudoun County, Virginia, schools just outside Washington, D.C. have joined the move away from Seuss — and as a result needed to douse rumors last month that they were banning the books entirely. CNN reports: “Dr. Seuss books: This Virginia school district says it isn’t banning his books. On the annual Read Across America Day, it’s just no longer emphasizing them”.

A school district in Virginia recently made headlines for allegedly banning books by Dr. Seuss.

But Loudoun County Public Schools(LCPS), located in Ashburn, said it is not banning books by the famous children’s author. It’s just discouraging a connection between “Read Across America Day,” which was created to get kids excited about reading, and Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Both fall on March 2, and have often been “historically connected” to each other, the district said in a statement.

“Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss,” LCPS said in its statement, which links to School Library Journal article from 2018 about the National Education Association focusing its Read Across America efforts “on Diversity Not Dr. Seuss.”

…Dr. Seuss had a long history of publishing racist and anti-Semitic work, spanning back to the 1920s when he was a student at Dartmouth College. There, Dr. Seuss once drew Black boxers as gorillas, as well as perpetuating Jewish stereotypes as financially stingy, according to a study published in the journal “Research on Diversity in Youth Literature.”

That study, published in 2019, examined 50 books by Dr. Seuss and found 43 out of the 45 characters of color have “characteristics aligning with the definition of Orientalism.” The two “African” characters, the study says, both have anti-Black characteristics.

(3) YOUNG PEOPLE. James Davis Nicoll’s Young People Read Old SFF is actually Young People Read Old Hugo Finalists this go-round. And he’s asked the panelists what they thing about “The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke

Kit leads off the discussion:

…[It’s] still kind of on that spectrum of ?“Why does a benevolent God do these things?” and so it’s interesting to think about ?“What, exactly, is the point where you’re pushed over the edge in terms of thinking the world is too cruel to have a controlling power?”… 

(4) FASHIONISTA. Suzanne Palmer makes a convincing argument.

(5) THE FUTURE OF THE WARDMAN PARK. In the Washington Post, Paul Schwartzman profiles activists who want to increase affordable housing in the largely white areas west of Rock Creek Park.  He interviews Rebecca Barson, who wants to turn the bankrupt Wardman Park Hotel into “a mix of retail and affordable housing.  She has embraced the cause even as she contemplates the risk to her property value.” The Wardman Park is still listed on the DisCon III website as the venue of this year’s Worldcon.   “D.C. affordable housing push linked to racial justice after George Floyd’s death”.

… As she drives around the city, Rebecca Barson, a health-care advocate, finds herself noticing encampments of people sleeping in tents in Dupont Circle and under highway overpasses.

“It just feels unconscionable that this is happening in a city like ours,” she said.

Barson, 43, joined a grass-roots campaign seeking city support for converting a recently bankrupt hotel near her Woodley Park condominium — the Marriott Wardman Park — into a mix of retail and affordable housing. She has embraced the cause even as she contemplates the potential risk to her property value.

“I’m not saying I’m not grappling with it. There could be a financial cost — personally, my apartment may not be worth as much,” she said. “I also think I have benefited as a White person from systems I didn’t create, and this is an important moment to do what’s right for the greater good.”

(6) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel will livestream readings by Jeffrey Ford and Kaaron Warren on March 17 at 7 p.m. Eastern. The link will be posted later.

Jeffrey Ford

Jeffrey Ford is the author of several novels and novellas including The Physiognomy, Memoranda, The BeyondThe Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, The Girl in the Glass, The Cosmology of the Wider World, The Shadow Year, The Twilight Pariah, Ahab’s Return, and Out of Body. His short fiction has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies and in six collections. His work has won the World Fantasy, Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, Nebula, and other awards. His most recent collection Big Dark Hole will be out from Small Beer Press this July

Kaaron Warren

Shirley Jackson award-winner Kaaron Warren published her first short story in 1993 and has had fiction in print every year since. She has published five multi-award winning novels including The Grief Hole, currently under development, and seven short story collections. Her most recent books are the novella Into Bones Like Oil and the chapbook Tool Tales (with Ellen Datlow!) She was recently given the Peter McNamara Lifetime Achievement Award.

(7) THE GOLDEN AGE, WHEN YODA WAS YOUNG(ER). In the Washington Post, David Betancourt interviews authors Charles Soule, Claudia Gray, Cavan Scott, Daniel José Older, and Justina Ireland about their forthcoming Star Wars tie-in novels set in the High Republic (formerly the Old Republic). “The future of Star Wars has arrived, and it takes place hundreds of years in the past”.

In the Star Wars universe, the High Republic is the stuff of legend. But someone had to write the story.

It all started with a vague reference from Obi-Wan Kenobi. “For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic,” Obi-Wan explained in 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope.” “Before the dark times. Before the Empire.”

In the decades since those words were uttered, movies, books and television have explored nearly every imaginable facet of the Star Wars universe. But this particular period in the galaxy’s past remained in the realm of conjecture. Now, that abstract golden age — a time of tranquility but also expansion, hundreds of years before the Skywalker saga — is finally coming into focus. Five writers, all with previous Star Wars books on their résumés, have been tapped to usher in a new era for the franchise by exploring one of the most storied.

In the coming years, Charles Soule, Claudia Gray, Cavan Scott, Daniel José Older and Justina Ireland will release books in the High Republic series, including comics and novels targeting various age groups. They will introduce new heroes — including the inspirational Jedi Avar Kriss — and villains, such as the Nihil, “space marauders,” who threaten the peace of the galaxy.

… Readers with Star Wars knowledge will find at least one familiar face, though: Yoda’s. (Forget you must not that Yoda lived to be 900 years old.) In the new series, he’s younger (kind of) and does a lot more than dispense wisdom, especially in the IDW comic books written by Older, “Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures,” illustrated by Harvey Tolibao.

“We see Yoda really out in the galaxy,” Older said. “He’s not stuck on Coruscant. He’s not in a library somewhere studying. .?.?. We get to see him in action, in the thick of battle doing all these Jedi master Yoda things.”

(8) WOLTMAN OBIT. Pilot and Mercury 13 trainee Rhea Woltman (1928-2021) died on February 15. The family obituary, here, has this to say about her efforts to become an astronaut:

…In 1960, Rhea was invited to participate in the secret Mercury project, where she underwent grueling physical examinations and a battery of tests with 12 other female pilots to become the First Lady Astronaut Trainees (FLATS), now known as the Mercury 13. Rhea passed all of the tests and advanced as one of five to meet the requirements. The U.S. government shut down the women’s program before they were ever allowed to fly a space mission….

The Mercury 13 were thirteen American women who, as part of a privately funded program, successfully underwent the same physiological screening tests as had the astronauts selected by NASA on April 9, 1959, for Project Mercury. (They were not part of NASA‘s astronaut program.)

(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • March 2, 1984 — On this date in 1984, Repo Man premiered. It was written and directed by Alex Cox. It was produced by Jonathan Wacks and Peter McCarthy with the executive producer being Michael Nesmith. It starred Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez. It is widely considered to be one of the best films of 1984, genre or otherwise. Ebert in his review said that “Repo Man comes out of left field, has no big stars, didn’t cost much, takes chances, dares to be unconventional, is funny, and works. There is a lesson here.” It currently holds a 98% rating among the Rotten Tomatoes audience. You can watch it here. (CE)

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born March 2, 1904 Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel. My favorite books by him are Horton Hears a Who!Green Eggs and Ham, and The Cat and The Hat. I adored the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas, can’t stand the Jim Carrey one and haven’t seen the most recent version. Oh, and let’s not forget the splendid The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. For which he wrote the story, screenplay and lyrics. (Died 1991.) (CE) 
  • Bon March 2, 1933 – Leo Dillon.   A hundred sixty covers, two hundred twenty interiors, with his wife Diane Dillon, working so fluently and intimately they sometimes called their joint work the product of a third artist; much else outside our field.  Artbook The Art of Leo & Diane Dillon.  Here is Some Will Not Die.  Here is Dangerous Visions.  Here is Fourth Mansions.  Here is The Phoenix and the Mirror.  Here is The Left Hand of Darkness.  Here is Ashanti to Zulu.  Here is the Winter 2002 On Spec.  Here is Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears.  Here is my note of an exhibit at Chicon 7 the 70th Worldcon.  Here is an on-line archive.  (Died 2012) [JH]
  • Born March 2, 1939 – jan howard finder.  Known as the Wombat.  Co-founder of Albacon; Fan Guest of Honor at Albacon 2000, also BYOB-Con 8, Maplecon 3, LepreCon 8, Ad Astra 12, Arisia ’01, Archon 30, ConFrancisco the 51st Worldcon.  One story, one anthology that I know of.  Often a judge of our on-stage costume competition the Masquerade.  Led tours e.g. of New Zealand sites where Tolkien films were shot.  Fanzines The Spang Blah and Il Vombato.  Susan Batho’s reminiscence here.  (Died 2013) [JH]
  • Born March 2, 1943 Peter Straub, 78. Horror writer who won the World Fantasy Award for Koko and the August Derleth Award for Floating Dragon. He’s co-authored several novels with Stephen King, The Talisman which itself won a World Fantasy Award, and Black House. Both The Throat and In the Night Room won Bram Stoker Awards as did 5 Stories, a short collection by him. OK, you know not that I’m that impressed by Awards, but this is reallyimpressive! (CE)
  • Born March 2, 1952 – Mark Evanier, age 69.  Writer for comics, television, both: BlackhawkGroo the WandererGarfield and Friends and The Garfield Show (animated); outside our field e.g. Welcome Back, Kotter.  Has attended every San Diego Comic-Con since the first (1970).  Won an Eisner and a Harvey for Kirby: King of Comics.  Three more Eisners; Inkpot; Clampett; Lifetime Achievement Award from Animation Writers’ Caucus, Writers Guild of America West.  Started Fantagraphics’ reprints of Pogo.  Administers the Bill Finger Award.  Weblog NEWS FROM me. [JH]
  • Born March 2, 1960 – Jeff Beeler, age 61.  Hardworking Michigan fan, e.g. on ConFusion, Detcon the 11th NASFiC (N. Amer. SF Con, since 1975 held when the Worldcon is overseas), Anticipation the 67th Worldcon.  Member of the Stilyagi Air Corps.  Having been a librarian, is now a bookseller.  [JH]
  • Born March 2, 1960 Peter F. Hamilton, 61. I read and quite enjoyed his Night’s Dawn trilogy when it first came out and I’m fairly sure that I’ve read Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained as they sound really familiar. (Too much genre fiction read over the years to remember everything…) What else have y’all read by him? (CE) 
  • Born March 2, 1966 Ann Leckie, 55. Ancillary Justice won the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Nebula Award, the Kitschies Award Golden Tentacle, Locus Award for Best First Novel, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the BSFA Award. The Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy also won awards and were no less impressive experiences. I’ve not yet read The Raven Tower, so opinions in it are welcome. (CE)
  • Born March 2, 1968 Daniel Craig, 53. Obviously Bond in the present-day series of films which I like a lot, but also  in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider as Alex West, Lord Asriel In the film adaptation of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, in SF horror film The Invasion as Ben Driscoll, in the very weird Cowboys & Aliens as Jake Lonergan,voicing Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine / Red Rackham  in The Adventures of Tintin and an uncredited appearence as Stormtrooper FN-1824 In Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (CE)
  • Born March 2, 1974 – Marianne Mancusi, age 47.  Two dozen novels, two shorter stories.  I’ve not yet read A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur’s Court.  Won two Emmys producing television.  Loves pineapple pizza and marshmallow Peeps – she says so herself.  [JH]
  • Born March 2, 1982 – Chelsea Campbell, age 39.  Eight novels, three shorter stories.  Fiber artist e.g. knitting & crocheting.  Collects glass grapes.  As a kid & teen, used to read adults’ books; now reads kids’ & teens’.  Degree in Latin & Ancient Greek; “humanity … honestly hasn’t changed that much in the last couple thousand years, and that isn’t useless.  (Plus even when people look at you funny for being ‘useless,’ you know Latin and they don’t.)”  [JH]
  • Born March 2, 1992 Maisie Richardson-Sellers, 29. A most believable Vixen on Legends of Tomorrow for the first three seasons, in my opinion, as I’ve always liked that DC character. (Season four onward, she’s been Clotho.) Prior to that role, she was recurring role as Rebekah Mikaelson / Eva Sinclair on The Originals, andshe had a cameo asKorr Sella in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (CE) 

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Yesterday, xkcd explained Leap Year 2021.

(12) THERE WAS SCIENCE BEHIND KING KONG? March 2, 1933 is the date of the world premiere of King Kong. And Mental Floss assures us “’King Kong’ Was Inspired By a Komodo Dragon-Hunting Expedition”.

…According to Slate, a 1926 expedition to the East Indies funded by the American Museum of Natural History planted the seeds for King Kong. The party, led by museum trustee William Douglas Burden, set off with the goal of recording footage of Komodo dragons and bringing specimens back to the U.S. for the first time.

In addition to the many lizards that were hunted and shot, the expedition brought back two live Komodo dragons that ended up at the Bronx Zoo. Tens of thousands of spectators went to see the living dinosaurs in person. In a pre-King Kong world, the exhibit was the closest people could get to seeing a monster with their own eyes….

(13) DEADLIER THAN. CrimeReads knows you think you know who’s number one on this list — “The Most Murderous Mammals: Adventures From the Dark Side of Science”.

Picture the most murderous mammal in the world. Not the best predator, taking down prey with a single swipe of a great talon or claw, but the one that excels in slaying its own kind.

Are you picturing a human being? Well, you would be wrong. But you might be surprised to know Homo sapiens actually falls at number 30 out of more than a thousand species on the list of animals that most often kill members of their own kind. Humans, it turns out, are just average members of a particularly violent lot, the primates. And the most prolific murderers* in the animal world are a different species altogether.

Which, you might ask? Believe it or not, it’s the meerkat, a cute little African mammal belonging to the mongoose family and immortalized in the wisecracking character Timon in The Lion King

(14) GRRM STORY IN DEVELOPMENT. Director Paul W.S. Anderson is teaming with Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich and Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) for the movie In the Lost Lands, based on the short story by George R.R. Martin, Deadline reported. Anderson has written the script. “’Resident Evil’ Duo Set For George R.R. Martin Adaptation ‘Lost Lands’” at Deadline.

…The movie will follow a queen, desperate to obtain the gift of shape shifting, who makes a daring play: She hires the sorceress Gray Alys (Jovovich), a woman as feared as she is powerful. Sent to the ghostly wilderness of the “Lost Lands,” Alys and her guide, the drifter Boyce (Bautista), must outwit and outfight man and demon in a fable that explores the nature of good and evil, debt and fulfillment, love and loss.

(15) THE HECK YOU SAY. Gizmodo’s eye-catching headline declares: “A 1990s iMac Processor Powers NASA’s Perseverance Rover”.

…However, there’s a major difference between the iMac’s CPU and the one inside the Perseverance rover. BAE Systems manufactures the radiation-hardened version of the PowerPC 750, dubbed RAD750, which can withstand 200,000 to 1,000,000 Rads and temperatures between ?55 and 125 degrees Celsius (-67 and 257 degrees Fahrenheit). Mars doesn’t have the same type of atmosphere as Earth, which protects us from the the sun’s rays, so one flash of sunlight and it’s all over for the Mars rover before its adventure can begin. Each one costs more than $200,000, so some extra protection is necessary.

(16) JEOPARDY! Andrew Porter continues to monitor Jeopardy! contestants’ struggles with genre topics. From tonight’s episode —

Category: Alternate History Novels

Answer: In “Ruled Britannia”, the Spanish Armada was victorious & this Spaniard rules England alongside Bloody Mary Tudor.

Wrong question: Who is Francis Drake?

No one got, Who is Phillip II?

All the other questions, including Philip K. Dick, and Charles Lindbergh, were correct.

(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Honest Game Trailers: Little Nightmares II” on YouTube, Fandom Games says Little Nightmares II portrays “a disgusting, but adorable world” where “twee Tim Burton knockoffs try to kill you.”

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, John Hertz, Michael Toman, Steven H Silver, Andrew Porter, JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Dann, James Davis Nicoll, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Olav Rokne.]

73 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/2/21 What Is Pixel, But Scroll Persevering

  1. 16 Ah yes the notable Spainard Francis Drake.

    RE: Hamilton: enjoyed Fallen Dragon as a standalone, currently enjoying his newest series, the Salvation Sequence

  2. (10) Hamilton’s Great North Road was an interesting SF/horror/police procedural/lots of other genres 1000-pager.

  3. (16) why would anyone think Drake ruled as a Spanish king? He was very English! (Also, in that universe, likely very dead.)

    (4) My headcanon is gray denim. Maybe dark gray to start, but being denim, it fades. Non-military spacers wear blue denim.

  4. (10) A favorite Seuss story was Bartholomew and the Oobleck but whenever someone asks me about a weather forecast and I say “20 percent chance oobleck” people just look at me.

  5. Paul Weimer: 16 Ah yes the notable Spainard Francis Drake.

    He’s never been to Spain but he kinda likes the music.

  6. He’s never been to Spain but he kinda likes the music.

    Technically he was in Spain as part of the Cadiz raid. At least he was in the Cadiz harbor, which probably counts.

  7. (2) As a true lover of Dr. Seuss’s work, I have no problem at all with retiring six of his most problematic children’s books, and not making his work the focus of Read Across America. It’s delightful and fun and engages children in reading, but yeah, we’re going back seventy years, roughly, for most of his children’s books, and while they were great improvements on many early readers, some of them do reflect attitudes that aren’t what we want to teach children today.

    Times changes. We can still enjoy lots of his work.

  8. Aaron: I thought so and went to look that up in the Wikipedia where it did not jump off the page at me. Still, probably so.

  9. Acoustic Rob on March 2, 2021 at 6:56 pm said:

    (10) A favorite Seuss story was Bartholomew and the Oobleck but whenever someone asks me about a weather forecast and I say “20 percent chance oobleck” people just look at me.

    I got you, buddy.

    I was always fascinated by the Bartholomew books because they were Dr. Seuss books that didn’t rhyme. That made them weirdly different to my young eyes and ears, though for the longest time I failed, oddly, to identify why. I remember being infuriated with that King, though, and how reckless he was with the well-being of his whole country!

    On Beyond Zebra is one of those I remember fondly for its concept without having looked on its actual illustrations in some years. I believe I’ve already commented on how, as a very young girl growing up fully equipped with all the white privilege in the world, I would totally have missed the racist characterizations I encountered in my children’s books, but that doesn’t keep me being disappointed in little-kid me, or in a teenage me who started to Get It but said things like, “Well, of course the pictures of Black characters aren’t realistic, neither are the pictures of anyone or anything else! It’s Dr. Seuss!” (Or even college-me saying–in class, in front of Black classmates–pretty much the same thing about the caricatures of Black jazz musicians and cooks in the nostalgic New Orleans posters that could be found on the walls of the kitchens and living rooms and hallways of the houses of pretty much any [white] family on the block.)

    I was a very late bloomer when it came to checking my privilege, I’m afraid.

  10. (3) “The Star” is a good science fiction story but certainly not A.C. Clarke’s best. For that I point you toward his 1951 short story “The Sentinel” (originally published as “The Sentinel of Eternity”).

    It’s not only Clarke’s best, it gets my vote as the best science fiction story ever written. (And it’s aged pretty damn well for a story written more than 70 years ago.)

  11. 2) We have had Pippi Longstocking edited to remove offending passages with author Astrid Lindgren’s blessing, so this isn’t really surprising. Quite a loot of children’s books I inherited from my parents would be unsellable now.

  12. The Seuss reevaluation made me think of a related case that occurred some years ago, when a well-known children’s book was revised — Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the original edition with the great illustrations by Joseph Schindelman. In that case, both the text describing the Oompa-Loompas (and how they came to work at the factory) and the accompanying illustration were redone, and later illustrators followed Schindelman’s lead. See https://philnel.com/2010/09/19/censoring-ideology/. (I have the first printing, which my parents bought for me, and apparently it’s worth something.)

    Obviously when the illustrator is the writer, and also deceased, the decision not to alter the book and just withdraw it is easiest. There are a lot of copies already out there.

    (3) I agree about “The Sentinel” — without which there would be no Kubrick’s 2001. (I saw the film years before reading the story.)

  13. The thing that gets me with the Seuss—leaving aside that “going out of print” is not remotely the same as “banned,” which I have been fighting all day on Twitter—is that the only one of these five I’ve even heard of is Mulberry Street. I’d bet you a nickel that these weren’t exactly tearing up the charts anyway.

  14. I loved The Raven Tower – I nominated it for the Hugo, and so did many other people (the nomination was declined). It may be the only recent book I’ve reread shortly after completing – I have too big a Mount TBR to do that or want to do that much these days.

  15. I’ve still got a soft spot for Peter Hamilton’s early “Greg Mandel” trilogy – Mindstar Rising, A Quantum Murder and The Nano Flower. Mind you, that might just be because that was before he started writing Tomes with four-figure page counts… I’m getting old and frail, I like books that are easier to lift….

  16. (1) Oh hey, I’m slow on the uptake, but I just noticed that Apex Magazine #122 features a reprinted short story by Jason Sanford! “The Eight-Thousanders” first appeared in Asimov’s, and on the occasion of that story’s publication (and its winning an award), a Q&A with Sanford appeared in The Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine Author & Editor Blog. It’s a good one!

    https://fromearthtothestars.com/2020/09/10/qa-with-jason-sanford/

    It’s just really good to have good news about and for Sanford right now, I think.

  17. @3
    The Star never shone for me the way it seems to for others. It’s an illogical logic puzzle. My fave Clarke is Meeting with Medusa, and I feel about it the way Rich Lynch feels about the Sentinel.

    @4
    Royal blue jumpsuits for uniforms,.surely. that color of the upper atmosphere from LEO, you know the one.

    Ah, Repo Man. It fits perfectly with the sf stuff I loved best about the 1980s.

    I struggled with Hamiltons Great North Road. Long, long, long, yet didn’t seem to resolve anything. There’s a kitchen sink buried in there somewhere. Not my cuppa, but if you like all-consuming fiction, it might be right up your alley.

    Many people suggested to me when I was young that I should try out for jeopardy, but I was certain I’d pull a trick neuron like that on national teevee, so I never bothered. Under those lights, money on the line… everyone is a Spaniard.

  18. I really liked Great North Road but yes, it is very long, and has a very complicated structure, there are plot threads in about 5 different years and there are quite a few “Hang on, so if the woman called X is calling herself Y twenty five years later then actually what she’s doing makes perfect sense” moments.

    I rather bounced off the Void series, which was itself part of an 8 book sequence of doorstops. Must read Salvation at some point, I’ve picked them up in Kidle sales.

  19. Interesting thought: Was Repo Man influenced by cyberpunk? They’re both in the same time period (early 80s).

  20. Meredith moment: Octavia E. Butler’s Unexpected Stories which consists of the “Childfinder” short story and “A Necessary Being” novelette is available today from the usual digital suspects for a buck ninety nine.

  21. There are a lot of books out there, indeed a lot of children’s books. Many many things are neither compulsory nor forbidden, including reading to your children at all, much less any specific books.

    Also, I would hope that as adults we can at least consider the possibility that “I loved that book, even though it was racist” or “I loved that book, and as a four-year-old I had no idea that some of the pictures were racist,” rather than “I loved that book, and I’m a good person, therefore there can’t be anything wrong with the book [which I have fond but vague memories of].”

  22. Honestly, though this may be a controversial opinion, I think decommissioning those Seuss works is the right choice. I am not moved by arguments that we need to see the errors of the past in order to learn from the past. It’s like having your cake and eating it too for racists. The depictions are hurtful, what good comes from promulgating them?

  23. Re: Hamilton: I first discovered him when the cover of a first-edition “Mindstar Rising” (his debut) caught my eye in a second-hand bookshop. Competently written near-future detective fiction.

    I started following him and buying almost everything, and I like him a lot, but it must be said, he is a pulp writer. Competent for sure, it is not bad writing, but in a food analogy sense it verges between snack food (his short works) and a solid well-cooked home-cooked meal (his doorstops, erm, novels).

    About the only thing that does not sit well with me is his obvious 70s SF sensibilities: humanity will conquer space in a mirror of what a white male bourgeois would see as ideal: plenty of resources, the lower classes either stowed out of sight or full of plucky go-getters wanting to rise to the bourgeoisie, and women as a reward for good behaviour.

    I can have that in small doses, and Hamilton does not belabour those points too much, but it’s there in the background (or not so background when he starts writing sex scenes. Fast forward, please!).

  24. “Voxel Scroll – Now in the Third Dimension!”

    For those who may care, there’s more shenanigans afoot around Fort Corallium, and Trigger is told ALL about it.

  25. Repo Man has a Ruckerish feel, maybe some Lew Shiner, a Cadiganesque insouciance. More phildickian than cyberpunk to my neurons.

    You know what, Paul di Filippo.

    It feels like Alphaville, if anybody remembers that. Certainly godardian.

  26. @Brown Robin: “I think decommissioning those Seuss works is the right choice.”

    It’s a reasonable choice, but I”m not sure it’s the best choice. I’d rather see the books tweaked, especially To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street. The others aren’t terribly popular, but that one has legs. There are a jillion copies of it out there, and now, the version with that one bad illustration is the only version. Better to revise that one.

  27. 2) I haven’t looked at Library Twitter yet but I’m sure there’s going to be an argument about whether we should withdraw these books or not. Stephen Colbert had a very cute segment on The Late Show where he read a Dr. Seuss-style poem suggesting recent children’s books to try instead.

    3) Hey, I’m in a scroll!

  28. I thought I’d try Peter Hamilton fairly recently and got a copy of “The Abyss Beyond Dreams”. I don’t think I got more than about 30 pages in; it didn’t seem to be my kind of thing at all. I’m assuming it’s fairly typical of the author’s work.

  29. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little: It’s just really good to have good news about and for Sanford right now, I think.

    Quite so!

  30. smacks forehead

    Of course Locus always reports the Crawford Award winner first. Gary K. Wolfe is the award administrator.

    How many years has it taken me to figure that out?

    Just like I almost never get scooped on the Rotsler Award winner. (Yes, I actually did, once. Somebody posted my press release — which I sent them — before I got it done.)

  31. RE: AWard scooping, that reminds me of trying to frantically tell Mike the results of the 2017 Vogel Awards in real time so he could be first 🙂

    I was less successful with the Ditmars, too much competition for getting the results out there.

  32. Paul Weimer:

    The Pixels are due on Scroll Street

    I see you live on Scroll Street
    There’s this Pixel where the creatures meet
    I wonder what they comment in there
    World Con and a year
    I guess I like it fine, so far

  33. Vicki Rosenzweig and Kit Harding:

    Yes, just like with old skiffy, I really feel like emphasising newer work is the perfect solution. Adulation of someone like Geisel is fine, I guess, but it’s an exercise in nostalgia for the olds to present the kids with their own favorites. Which is fine…unless the old stuff has problematic material in it. Also, the heirs and trusts of older authors benefit, but those authors have passed. So pushing new work not only avoids some of the problems of society’s past, it rewards current creators, many more of whom are POC and QUILTBAG, tbh. Seems like a copacetic arrangement to me.

    Also, yes good news for Sanford is good news. I’m buying his collections. I hope someone is keeping an eye on the Amazon reviews of his works.

  34. I’ve reported the obvious hatchet reviews of Sanford’s collections on amazon. I didn’t find any on his individual short works. Least I can do, probably literally. I wish him strength.

  35. After looking at them all, I can understand the argument with a couple of the Seuss books, even if I wouldn’t make the same decision (2 of them are Caldecott runners-up, for pete’s sake). But I can’t see the problem with McElligot’s Pool, for example. How is it “hurtful”? What’s wrong with On Beyond Zebra?

  36. Meredith moment: Poul Anderson’s splendid The Broken Sword, his second novel after Vault of Ages, is available from the usual digital sources for a buck ninety nine.

  37. “Sing a scroll of pixels, a rocket full of files…”

    Or maybe “Scroll a song of pixels….?” Hm.

  38. @Aaron: Singeing the King of Spain’s beard, I believe.

    @Rich: Not only a great sf story, but massively influential on genre cinema as the kickoff point for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  39. Matthew Johnson said:

    Between that and the thagomizer, I wonder if we need a word for “scientific phenomena whose name was taken from pop culture.”

    Accenting the even syllables, how about “phenomena-mahna” ?(If you flip the accent on the last two syll’s, you get a word for “the magical energy power behind strange events/occurences.”)

  40. @jayn:

    “Sing a scroll of pixels, a rocket full of files…”

    “Forty and twenty novels added to the to-read piles”

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