Pixel Scroll 3/24/19 For Work Or For Pleasure, It’s A Triumph, It’s A Treasure, Oh, There’s Nothing That A Pixel Cannot Do

(1) COSPLAY. SYFY Wire shares a photo gallery: “Pokémon and Spider-Verse cosplay highlight Day 1 at C2E2 2019”.

Video games were well represented with Halo and Detective Pikachu complimenting the various Mario Bros. sticking up for the nostalgic. Various superheroines ran around with plenty of well-costumed anime heroes and it was all as exciting (and packed) as an Avengers film.

(2) FEAR ITSELF. Ethan Mills reveals his “Non-Spoilery Impressions of Jordan Peele’s Us” at Examined Worlds.

Is Us scary?  Sure, but not as much in a straightforward horror sense as you might think. There aren’t a lot of jump scares.  There are no scary clowns or zombies or vampires or ghosts or whatever.  But it’s horror in a deeper sense.  It’s supposed to communicate directly with something deep inside the viewer and stay there, lurking in both your conscious and unconscious mind.  It’s a mirror that allows you to see that you’ve been there staring at yourself the whole time.

(3) SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT. Ellen Datlow responded to S.T. Joshi on Facebook.

This is very tiresome. I know I should let sleeping dogs lie, but I don’t like being called a liar, especially in print, and even more especially by someone who seems ignorant of how things actually work.

S. T. Joshi claims I was the “prime mover” behind the change in the WFA bust. I was not. I was/am a member of the Awards Administration that decided it was time for a change.

He further claims he was told by “a member of the committee” that there was no vote taken to change the award.

#1 there is no such thing as the World Fantasy Committee. There is a World Fantasy Convention Board and there is an Awards Administration. Perhaps he is confusing the two.

#2 I am a member of the Awards Administration and a voting member–only of the AA. At the time there were six of us.

#3 I am on the overall WFC board board itself as a non-voting member.

#4 The entire WFC board under David Hartwell voted unanimously to change the award. There were no nays and as far as I can remember there were no abstentions.

I would be happy to know who the person is that claims there was no vote taken because there is likely a record recording (or at least acknowledging) the vote.

(4) GRAVITY INDUSTRIES DEMO. The Chicago Tribune posted video of “Jet suit flight at Museum of Science and Industry”.

In the future, we have been promised, there will be jet packs. Usually this is said with disappointment. But on the front steps and lawn of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry this week, there actually was a working jet suit, and a man brave enough to get in and buzz around. Inventor Richard Browning, a British former oil trader, was showing off his invention to promote the museum show, “Wired to Wear,” that features the suit from his Gravity Industries and scores of other examples of cutting-edge wearable tech.

(5) FIREFLY. More on the Disney/Fox merger’s princess implications for the women in Firefly.

(6) A HEAP OF GLORY. Gizmodo has discovered “Where Movies Get Their Vintage Electronics”.

Have you ever watched a show like Mad Men and wondered where they found those early Xerox machines? Or where The Americans got their hands on all the Reagan-era IBMs that you thought would be piled in a landfill? Well, there’s a good chance these historically-accurate gadgets came from a massive warehouse in Brooklyn with a specific mission: to preserve some of the world’s oldest, most cherished electronics.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 24, 1834 William Morris. Credited with creating the modern fantasy literature genre, he certainly wrote some of it its earlier works, to note his epic poem The Earthly ParadiseThe Wood Beyond the World and The Well at the World’s End, plus his entire artistic motif fits nearly within a fantasy literature as it looks as if it was created by the Fey Themselves. (Died 1896.)
  • Born March 24, 1874 Harry Houdini. Yes, him. He wrote “The Spirit Fakers of Hermannstadt” which had its first half published in March 1924 issue of Weird Tales. An issue of that sold at an auction aimed at Houdini collectors for $2,500 on eBay fetching 43 bids. (Died 1926.)
  • Born March 24, 1897 Theodora Kroeber. Another one of those women with an amazing full name, to wit Theodora Covel Kracaw Kroeber Quinn, she’s the mother of Ursula Kroeber Le Guin. She’s here because ISFDB insists that she wrote a genre novel by the name of Carrousel. Well it’s a novella actually at ninety-one pages and might or might not be genre. If anyone’s read it, they can tell me what it is. (Died 1979.)
  • Born March 24, 1946 Gary K. Wolfe, 73. Monthly reviewer for Locus for 27 years now and, yes, I enjoy his column a lot. His brief marriage to Ellen R. Weil which ended with her tragic early death resulted in them co-writing Harlan Ellison: The Edge of Forever.  Old Earth Books has reprinted many of his reviews done between 1992 and 2006. He’s also written several critical looks at the genre, Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy and The Known and the Unknown: The Iconography of Science Fiction.
  • Born March 24, 1949 Tabitha King, 70. Wife of Stephen, mother of that writing brood. I met her but once on the lot of the original Pet Sematary a very long time ago. ISFDB to my surprise lists only two novels she’s written solely by herself, Small World and Wolves at the Door, and one with Michael McDowell, Candles Burning. None with her husband.

(8) COMIC SECTION.

  • Pearls Before Swine today has a questionable solution to our country’s problems.
  • Evidently JDA spent the most recent St. Patrick’s Day communing with The Little People. He hopes they’ll give him lots of green.

(9) FOLLOW THE YELLOWING PAGE ROAD. That pulp fiction we’ve all been talking about? Open Culture says you can find a lot of it here: “Enter the Pulp Magazine Archive, Featuring Over 11,000 Digitized Issues of Classic Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Detective Fiction”.

There’s great science fiction, no small amount of creepy teen boy wish-fulfillment, and lots of lurid, noir appeals to fantasies of sex and violence. Swords and sorcery, guns and trussed-up pin-ups, and plenty of creature features. The pulps were once mass culture’s id, we might say, and they have now become its ego.

(10) BOOK VS. MOVIE. Steve Fahnestalk digs deep into the DVD bin for his “’Historic’ Film Review: King Solomon’s Mines (1937)” – at Amazing Stories.

Quatermain’s companions (Commander Good—Roland Young; and Sir Henry Curtis—John Loder), who have paid him to be a guide on their African hunting trip, tell him they want to pursue O’Brien; Umbopo tells them he knows the country because he was from there originally. They end up in a desert region and have to abandon the wagon because the oxen can drink up all their water in no time at all. So they head off, following the map, onto the “burning sands” on foot. (In the book, Quatermain, who’s been an elephant hunter for years, knows better, and they go only at night in the desert.) Umbopo sings them on their way (Robeson was, at this point, an international star—his “Old Man River” was the hit of the British version of Showboat—and he’s actually got the biggest credit; this film is a vehicle for him, rather than just an attempt to film Haggard’s book.)

(11) XO4K. BBC reports “Exoplanet tally set to pass 4,000 mark”.

The number of planets detected around other stars – or exoplanets – is set to hit the 4,000 mark.

The huge haul is a sign of the explosion of findings from searches with telescopes on the ground and in space over the last 25 years.

It’s also an indication of just how common planets are – with most stars in the Milky Way hosting at least one world in orbit around them.

That’s something astronomers couldn’t be certain of just 30 years ago.

(12) PRESERVED JELLIES. Rare finds near the Danshui river: “Huge fossil discovery made in China’s Hubei province”.

Scientists say they have discovered a “stunning” trove of thousands of fossils on a river bank in China.

The fossils are estimated to be about 518 million years old, and are particularly unusual because the soft body tissue of many creatures, including their skin, eyes, and internal organs, have been “exquisitely” well preserved.

Palaeontologists have called the findings “mind-blowing” – especially because more than half the fossils are previously undiscovered species.

The fossils, known as the Qingjiang biota, were collected near Danshui river in Hubei province.

(13) GOAL MODELS. “The greatest strong female characters of all time” is another list/opinion piece from SYFY Wire’s Fangrrls.

In the entirety of its existence, the majority of sci-fi, fantasy and horror works have centered men — usually straight, white ones. It is then perhaps all the more impressive that the most powerful, inspirational characters across genre are women. While there is still a long way to go to make genre less white, less cis and less able-bodied, we are grateful for the women who showed us that genre isn’t just for “boys” and that not all heroes are male. 

Jenna Busch picked –

Lessa

Lessa from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series embodies the true strong female character. Even better? It was written back in the late ’60s when SFCs were few and far between. Lessa survived in awful conditions as a child, was chosen as the last Dragonrider of a Queen, ensuring the survival of the creatures. She defied conventions and helped prepared for the return of the deadly Threadfall, traveled 400 years back in time to bring forward other Dragonriders to help and stood strong against the very male-dominated society she lived in. OK, maybe her time travel did sort of form a paradox that caused the deficit in Dragonriders to begin with, but hey, she couldn’t know that, could she? Lessa took no crap from anyone, was proud of her no bull policy and is the perfect example of someone defined by the Shakespeare quote, “And though she be but little, she is fierce.” –

(14) THINK UP, PLEASE! Around 75% accuracy is claimed: “Neuroscientists Have Converted Brain Waves Into Verbal Speech”Smithsonian has the story.

The team’s research, published in Scientific Reports, involves a somewhat unconventional approach. Rather than directly tracking thoughts to produce speech, the researchers recorded neurological patterns generated by test subjects listening to others speak. These brain waves were fed into a vocoder—an artificial intelligence algorithm that synthesizes speech—and then converted into comprehensible, albeit robotic-sounding, speech mirroring the phrases heard by participants.

(15) A KINGDOM OF ONE. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] At the top level, life is divided into three domains  bacteria, archae, and eukaryotes—the latter having cells in which the genetic material is DNA in the form of chromosomes contained within a distinct nucleus. Eukaryotes are divided into several kingdoms, typically Animalia (animals), Plantae (plants), Fungi, and Protista—the latter of which is something of a catch-all category. (It should be noted that a number of other division schemes exist.)

A new DNA analysis of  creature called hemimastigotes—firmly in the domain of eukaryotes given their cellular structure—says they are so different from the four eukaryote kingdoms (even the catch-all Protista) that they should be their own kingdom (CBC News: “Rare microbes lead scientists to discover new branch on the tree of life”). The original source (Nature: “Hemimastigophora is a novel supra-kingdom-level lineage of eukaryotes”) is behind a paywall, but the CBC News article notes:

Two species of the microscopic organisms, called hemimastigotes, were found in dirt collected on a whim during a hike in Nova Scotia by Dalhousie University graduate student Yana Eglit.

A genetic analysis shows they’re more different from other organisms than animals and fungi (which are in different kingdoms) are from each other, representing a completely new part of the tree of life, Eglit and her colleagues report this week in the journal Nature.

“They represent a major branch… that we didn’t know we were missing,” said Dalhousie biology professor Alastair Simpson, Eglit’s supervisor and co-author of the new study. 

“There’s nothing we know that’s closely related to them.”

In fact, he estimates you’d have to go back a billion years — about 500 million years before the first animals arose — before you could find a common ancestor of hemimastigotes and any other known living things.

(16) ONCE AND FUTURE. VickyWhoReads praises this reworking of the Arthurian legend: “Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy: An Underhyped, Genderbent King Arthur Retelling in Space!”

I think something that I forget to think about with books is just how much they appeal to readers outside of pure entertainment. The cast of characters is so diverse—and in a futuristic space setting, it’s just a big bundle of inclusivity. (Except for the bad corporations, but even then, there’s not really discrimination based on sex/religion/race/etc., it’s “oh look people rebelling, let’s kill them.”)

And, frankly, it was a really refreshing read in the way that I didn’t have to watch people suffer based on who they were, we got to watch them suffer because they were fighting evil corporations. (Not to say that books that do show this are bad, but this was a nice moment where I could just bury myself under all the openly queer characters and accepting nature of everyone in the novel.)

Ari & Gwen are bi or pan, Lam is fluid, Merlin is gay, and Jordan is ace so we get to see a whole giant cast of queer characters, and no one suffering because of their queerness! It was wonderful and just really refreshing.

(17) ICONIC MOMENTS. About half the scenes in Vanity Fair’s collection of “The 25 Most Influential Movie Scenes of the Last 25 Years” are from genre/adjacent movies.

Sometimes, all it takes is a single scene to change moviemaking for good. (“Rosebud . . .” comes to mind.) And while many of the last quarter-century’s films have awed, inspired, and offered up iconic entries into the cultural canon, only some—and particularly, only a few individual moments—have genuinely influenced how future films were made. So, what makes that list? To mark the 25th edition of the Hollywood Issue, Vanity Fair’s film critics pinpointed 25 film scenes since 1995 that changed the industry, the art form, and even the culture, and our reporters spoke to the performers and filmmakers who made them happen.

  • Toy Story
  • Scream
  • The Matrix
  • The Blair Witch Project
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith
  • Children of Men
  • Iron Man
  • The Dark Knight
  • Twilight
  • Get Out

(18) SIBLINGS. Paul Weimer tells why he largely enjoyed this fantasy novel: “Microreview [book]: The Sisters Mederos by Patrice Sarath” at Nerds of a Feather.

House Mederos has seen better times. Much better times. After the sinking of a fleet, that may have been secretly the doing of the younger of the Mederos sisters, the family is impoverished and cast out of the society of Port Saint Frey. Yvienne and Tesara spent years in a horrid boarding school for the impoverished. But now they have returned, and now have the opportunity, as they try to help their family recover their fortunes. House Mederos has been reduced to near penury, but that status will not remain forever if the sisters have anything to do about it. Even if it takes questionable acts, in ballrooms and nightly doings alike, to accomplish the feat.

(19) THREE DIMENSIONS. The Weatherwax Report’s Esme, Coffee, and Kristen collaborate on areview of another indie fantasy work — “SPFBO Finalist: Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe”. Esme begins —

The main characters are young, but they aren’t whiny or angsty which is why I think this one clicked. I liked seeing diversity in the characters with both an LGBT side character and a Hispanic main character – I don’t see either of those represented often in fantasy. This was a quick book that I read in a sitting, the writing was straight forward and sped the story along, so it earned high marks in pacing.

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

[Update 03/26/19: Removed Andrew Porter’s birthday listing.]

60 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/24/19 For Work Or For Pleasure, It’s A Triumph, It’s A Treasure, Oh, There’s Nothing That A Pixel Cannot Do

  1. (7) Gary K. Wolfe shouldn’t be confused with Gary K. Wolf who wrote the Roger Rabbit novels (not that Cat made this mistake; I’m just saying). At least there’s only one Isaac Asimov, though (as all of you know), there was a Martin Greenberg and a Martin H. Greenberg, and a Hank Stine and a G. Harry Stine (and for the longest time, I thought that Curt Siodmak was the same person as Cliff Simak).

  2. (4) The Army Transportation Museum at Fort Stewart, VA, has a video of a jet pack (and I think the pack itself), along with a flying wing, some hovercrafts, and other coolness. What made me stand and stare was a deadly-looking platform with a six-foot wooden propellor under it that you stand on and grab some handlebars, and either fly or get cut to ribbons. The museum’s a terrific place to kill an afternoon, if things haven’t fallen to rust yet. They didn’t have a big budget, alas. Steve Stiles was stationed at Ft. Stewart, and says Ned Brooks saved his sanity by coming to get him and take him away from there for a few hours each week.

  3. I have had quite a bit of trouble telling people with names that are only somewhat similar apart.

    I have confused Elizabeth Hand and Elizabeth Moon for years. I have only realized recently that (American football coaches) Butch Jones and Butch Davis are not the same person, and even more recently that David Drake and David Weber are in fact different authors.

  4. Michael Eochaidh: …David Drake and David Weber are in fact different authors.

    You, too?

  5. (12) see also National Geographic here and Science News here. The fossil of the jellyfish, in particular, is amazing – and very unusual.

  6. Oh yeah. I do have the excuse that I haven’t read either of them–which doesn’t hold for Elizabeth Hand and Elizabeth Moon, though.

  7. @7: I don’t know how many total cons Silverberg has gone to — I have a vague impression that for a while he has only done WFC, Worldcon, some locals, and whatever he’s GoH at — but I expect he’s at least gotten to more Worldcons than Andy; I recall hearing that he’s been to every Hugo ceremony. Fancyclopedia says his fanac started in 1949; he got a retro-Hugo for 1950 fanwriting.

    @8: Oh dear, somebody’s been rereading “The Marching Morons”.

  8. “[Andrew I. Porter] has attended hundreds of science fiction conventions and nearly forty Worldcons since his first in ‘63. Is this more than anyone else?”

    With Worldcons … to the best of my knowledge Robert Silverberg has attended every Hugo Ceremony since they started in 1953.

  9. (7) Wolfe should also be acknowledged for editing the Library of America anthologies American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s (2012) and the recent American Science Fiction: Eight Classic Novels of the 1960s. The first of these has the most carefully edited and endnoted The Stars My Destination I’ve ever seen, which alone makes the set worthwhile in my opinion.

    As for William Morris, I can’t read his name without immediately recalling the R. A. Lafferty story “The World as Will and Wallpaper” – which I discovered in one of those marvelously varied paperback anthologies that Ballantine and others published in the first half of the 1970s.

  10. (2) I liked Us very much. It’s been extremely divisive among commenters in various forums I’ve seen, and most of the division comes down to whether or not you’re bothered by having a mysterious premise turn into a fairly thoroughly explained premise, if the latter still doesn’t make much literal sense and serves mostly to provide more metaphorical angles (and also doesn’t exactly clarify whether this is a supernatural story or SF). Fortunately for me, that’s a kind of thing I’m fine with! But I would say that even if I hadn’t liked the third act, I would’ve found the film well worth seeing. And I agree with Mills that Lupita Nyong’o does some really great work in it. More here.

  11. Thanks for the title credit, so soon after the last one. I really was just chiming in in response to the title of that particular day…

    But, uh — it seems churlish to mention it, but the first word should be “For” rather than “Or.”

    Not to seem unappreciative or anything…

  12. Oh, the file at the heart of the pixel
    Wins more rocketships than Asimov or Clarke
    There’s a box, if you tick it
    You’ll receive a comments thicket
    And it glows so you can read it in the dark

  13. @Michael Eochaidh David Drake and David Weber are in fact different authors.

    Now I’m imagining the whiplash if you went directly from one to the other thinking that – especially with early Drake 🙂

  14. Houdini also starred in at least one genre film serial: The Master Mystery (1918) pitted Houdini against a cheesy giant robot. This was the first of several attempts he made to add “Hollywood Star” to his already-impressive resume, but it’s the only one I’m sure is genre.

  15. Xtifr notes Houdini also starred in at least one genre film serial: The Master Mystery (1918) pitted Houdini against a cheesy giant robot. This was the first of several attempts he made to add “Hollywood Star” to his already-impressive resume, but it’s the only one I’m sure is genre.

    I didn’t think to look fit him as an actor but I should’ve given it seems everyone who thinks they could have acted did at least briefly. in those days. He only did five films but there is also The Man from Beyond with its premise of cryogenic aided time that makes it SF as well.

  16. Anyone else watching season 2 of The OA? I was hugely smitten with the first and am very happy to say that what I’ve seen so far of the second is living up to expectations.

  17. @Ingvar: For some reason I’ve never had any trouble confusing any of the Bears, Greg or Elizabeth. I don’t know why; it might be easier to visualize their last name than it is the others. Although “Moon” and “Hand” should be easy, too.

    Bear and Benford don’t have the same number of letters, which I’m pretty sure is why I don’t confuse those two.

  18. (5) I would think swallowing a bug should enhance River’s Princess standing.

    (12) Woohoo! Could get very, very interesting.

    (13) I love Pern so much.

    And it is so problematic, in so many ways.

    (15) Okay, so, biologists are going to be very busy.

  19. (7) One footnote to Cat Eldridge’s lengthy profile of Andy Porter: his arches aren’t so much collapsed as non-existent, a fact he pointed out to me after climbing out of a swimming pool in New York during my 2009 TAFF trip.

  20. Steve Green notes One footnote to Cat Eldridge’s lengthy profile of Andy Porter: his arches aren’t so much collapsed as non-existent, a fact he pointed out to me after climbing out of a swimming pool in New York during my 2009 TAFF trip.

    That does surprise me in the least. I’m still curious as to has attended the most WorkldCons. And by attended, I mean being active for for the entire Con where fans can interact with them.

  21. Random Book commentary:

    So between Murderbot Novellas (literally, I had to wait for the library hold system to fetch me the next), I finally started reading the True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex.

    Another filer has been vocal in his (I think that’s the right pronoun, though I am blanking on the actual personage) love for this book, and subsequent utter loathing for the movie Home, theoretically based on it.

    I and my kids and their auntie actually really liked Home, which gets fairly common play on our TV. It’s an odd quirky movie, weirdly cute when it involves two possibly separate alien invasions, and a tweener girl separated from her mother. Go to it without any idea (what the book is like) and would probably think it a perfectly decent bit of children’s animation, with a Rihanna/J.Lo soundtrack that’s fairly catchy.

    I can now see why, if you approached the movie assuming you would get anything remotely resembling the book, you would hate the film. The book is brilliant, and it’s more eccentric and thoughtful rather than quirky and cute (especially cute) and there’s a HELL of a lot more depth even to the silly bits. It’s pretty clear that while it doesn’t look like a traditional post-apocalypse, that is exactly what being invaded even by weird little aliens who talk funny and wear oranges like shoes would be to the survivors. It piles adventures and insanity and jokes on top of a core of bitterness at being colonized. I am loving what it does throughout.

    Very glad I encountered those two pieces of art in that order, though. They barely compare in what they’re trying to be.

    Also currently reading:
    Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (set aside to get through library books before the due date, but very good so far, and really tempting to get back to).
    A Princess in Theory, Alyssa Cole. My book to read in locales where I don’t risk library books. A fluffy romance, but pretty smart and a fine representative of its genre (includes a slightly problematic, albeit common, “lying about who you are to get closer to the other person” trope.) Author has already shot well up on my list of people to look for when seeking a light and non-sfnal romance.

    About to Read: Rogue Protocol, Martha Wells. Down Among the Sticks and Bones and Beneath the Sugar Sky, Seanan McGuire.

  22. Lis Carey:

    I would think swallowing a bug should enhance River’s Princess standing.

    No princess is supposed to eat her adorable animal companion…

  23. 5) — I also saw a post on Twitter pointing out that Disney now owns Rocky Horror Picture Show and therefore Dr. Frank-N-Furter is by extension a Disney princess.

    My own reading update: I finished Regenesis, which I liked well enough although it wasn’t as good as Cyteen (and it read pretty much like a direct continuation of Cyteen; I think its weakness was that it was just another six months in the life of Ariane Emory Two, for better or worse). Next up, Pride of Chanur and the rest of the Chanur books, which should be considerably more fun. (Which isn’t always a word that can be applied to Cherryh’s works, much as I love them.)

  24. No princess is supposed to eat her adorable animal companion…

    How do you think Snow White got the raw ingredients for meals way out in the forest?

  25. @ingvar: “Not to mention the Greg cluster”

    In indie comics, there’s an even more confusing “Jason cluster”: Jason Little, Jason Lutes, Jason Martin, Jason Shiga, Jason Thompson—and, just so that you can’t even get around this if you are actually good at remembering last names, there’s a frequently translated Norwegian cartoonist who goes by simply “Jason”.

  26. James Moar on March 25, 2019 at 8:45 am said:

    No princess is supposed to eat her adorable animal companion…

    How do you think Snow White got the raw ingredients for meals way out in the forest?

    Snerk!
    That puts a whole new spin on Cinderella, Pocahontas and the Little Mermaid. Gets right into Rejected Princesses territory with that.

  27. @Joe H —

    Next up, Pride of Chanur and the rest of the Chanur books, which should be considerably more fun.

    Oh, I liked those — especially the first.

    I need to get back to working my way through the Foreigner books. I’ve read the first two trilogies so far. And I REALLY want to reread the Faded Sun books before long — I loved those way back when I was in high school.

  28. @Cat Eldredge: given Mikey’s confirmation, Silverberg is probably the one who has attended the most Worldcons; I suspect he spends a fair amount of time in the SFWA suite, but AFAICT he’s also been around on the floor, signing at autograph sessions, and in program items. For recent observations this is cursory — I’ve been to few of the last 13 Worldcons and was working hard on the last two I went to — but plausible: Silverberg was a fiction machine early-on and made smart/lucky investments, so he’s had money to go where he wants for several decades, while other would-be attendees have probably had to miss some off-their-continent Worldcons (e.g., you say Andy has attended “nearly 40” out of 47 possible). Robin Johnson seems to have enough money to get to every non-Australian Worldcon I’ve noticed (see annual pictures of past chairs), but Fancy says he only got into fandom in 1968. Unlike a lot of older fen, Silverberg has also kept in reasonable health, making travel even at his age (mid-80’s) less difficult. Yes, a lot of this is circumstantial — but I figure circumstantial is the best we can do, because attendance records for older Worldcons are spotty at best.

  29. Perhaps Warhol was wrong. Perhaps in the future we will all be Disney Princesses.

    You don’t scroll on Pixelman’s cape.

  30. Ingvar on March 25, 2019 at 2:41 am said:

    Not to mention the Greg cluster: Egan, Bear, and (ory) Benford.

    The Bear/Egan confusion is one I’ve been guilty of to my shame.

  31. I am going to legally change my name to Egan Bear Benford and begin writing hard SF novels.

  32. Among authors, I tend to confuse Alistair Reynolds and Peter Hamilton. Even though their names sound nothing alike, my brain has placed them both in the same category and I constantly have to look up who wrote which book.

  33. I have trouble keeping Alistair Reynold and Ian Banks straight for some reason, and I’m still confused by which genre Banks belongs to depending on whether he’s using his middle initial M.

  34. Lenora Rose on March 25, 2019 at 7:42 am said:

    Another filer has been vocal in his (I think that’s the right pronoun, though I am blanking on the actual personage) love for this book, and subsequent utter loathing for the movie Home, theoretically based on it.

    I think that was me, in a thread kvetching about bad screen translations of books. But despite some pretty heavy searching I haven’t been able to find it again.

  35. @bookworm1398: Me, too. I have a similar issue with R. A. Lafferty and Avram Davidson, for some reason.

  36. Lis Carey on March 25, 2019 at 7:03 am said:

    (13) I love Pern so much.
    And it is so problematic, in so many ways.

    In case you aren’t watching SyFy’s THE MAGICIANS or at least didn’t see the most recent episode, Home Improvement” (Episode 408), I’ll note that one of the polot items in it included a book, “The Dragon Riders of Porn.” Had I been quaffing an appertained beverage at the time, I would no doubt have done a spit take.

  37. re Silverberg interacting at cons:

    At MidAmericaCon II I was walking through the hotel wearing a green Kiss Me I’m Elvish t-shirt. Silverberg came over and said “Oh, I thought it said Kiss Me I’m Jewish…not that I was going to kiss you.” We chatted for a few minutes, shook hands and parted.

  38. Darren Garrison on March 25, 2019 at 12:40 pm said:

    I think that was me, in a thread kvetching about bad screen translations of books. But despite some pretty heavy searching I haven’t been able to find it again.

    And now that I think of it, the mention might have been in a thread discussing alien species with only one sex/gender.

  39. @Daniel Dern–

    In case you aren’t watching SyFy’s THE MAGICIANS or at least didn’t see the most recent episode, Home Improvement” (Episode 408), I’ll note that one of the polot items in it included a book, “The Dragon Riders of Porn.” Had I been quaffing an appertained beverage at the time, I would no doubt have done a spit take.

    You are a bad man, and it is only through pure luck that I had already swallowed and put my drink down.

  40. Darren Garrison: I think that was me, in a thread kvetching about bad screen translations of books. But despite some pretty heavy searching I haven’t been able to find it again.

    Here ya go.

  41. John M. Cowan asks I have trouble keeping Alistair Reynold and Ian Banks straight for some reason, and I’m still confused by which genre Banks belongs to depending on whether he’s using his middle initial

    That’s easy. He only used Iain M. Banks for his genre novels. Iain Banks meant it was everything else, ie his Raw Sprit: In Search of The Perfect Dram would’ve been published under Iain Banks, but Use of Weapons would be Iain M. Banks as would Against a Dark Background.

  42. And (this has been bugging me) I finally found a post I made after seeing the movie:

    Darren Garrison on March 9, 2016 at 2:18 pm said:

    BTW, on the subject of teleportation and verboten technologies, believe it or not, an innovative use of borrowed teleportation technology was a main plot point in the children’s book The True Meaning of Smeckday, the book the craptastic movie Home was “based on.” (The primary similarity between the two was that they both were forms of media that used words to convey ideas.) The book, I recommend. The movie, I don’t.

    (I wasn’t finding it because I had misspelled “Smekday.”)

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