Pixel Scroll 3/28/19 Old Rossum’s Book Of Pixelated SJW Credentials

(1) APOLLO REUNION. Forbes tells how the picture came to be: “Buzz Aldrin Dazzles In Photo Of Apollo Astronauts”. John A Arkansawyer, who sent the link, says, “But gosh, I love the suit Buzz Aldrin is wearing! It makes me want to go out and punch a goddam liar right in the face.”

The only man between here and the moon capable of pulling off a rocket ship patterned suit, four gold rings, American flag socks, and a double watch combo is Buzz Aldrin, 89. Aldrin was one of eight Apollo astronauts to attend the 115th Explorers Club Annual Dinner March 16. The dinner also celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the moon landing on July 20, 1969, by Aldrin and the late Neil Armstrong who died in 2012. Aldrin and his astronaut brethren were photographed in New York by Felix Kunze whose composite image rocketed to the top of Reddit Sunday evening.

(2) MY TYPE. That item in a recent Scroll about getting your cat its own keyboard? Kalimac sounds like his cat is overdue for one:

I came home from a quick visit to the library to find that a reply, fortunately unsent, had been opened to the e-mail that happened to have been sitting on my desktop at the time I left. The text read:

5v44444444444444444444444jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk kkkkkkkkkkumuuuuuuu

Just so you know.

(3) FUNEREAL POSTER. SYFY Wire makes an observation as “All those dusted heroes return(?!) in latest poster for Avengers: Endgame “.

Walt Disney Studios marketing president Asad Ayaz tweeted out the new Chinese poster for Endgame, and aside from giving us some new looks at the living heroes the post-Infinty War team will have to rely on, it also features 14 of the ones who are no longer with us. As with all the rest of Endgame’s intentionally mysterious marketing teases, though, there’s a catch to the way the two groups are presented:

(4) VISA CATASTROPHE ENDS MALAYSIAN CON. Eleven cosplayers from four Asian countries plus the con organizer were taken into custody: “A Dozen Cosplayers Arrested During Immigration Raid at Cosplay Convention”.  

Twelve people without proper work visas were arrested during an immigration raid at a cosplay convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on its first day over the weekend.

The event, Cosplay Festival 4, had a line-up of performances on March 23 when officers from the Immigration Department of Malaysia (Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia/JIM) stormed its venue at the Sunway Putra Hotel around 2 p.m. after receiving a tip.

(5) AMAZON DEVELOPING BUTLER BOOK FOR TV. “‘Wild Seed’: Viola Davis Developing Adaptation Of Octavia Butler Novel At Amazon, Scripted By Nnedi Okorafor And Wanuri Kahiu”: Shadow and Act has the story.

“We love Octavia Butler and her work and have for decades. But Wild Seed is our favorite. It’s expansive, disturbing, and unique. Wild Seed stays with you. It’s a love/hate story of African immortals that connects people on the African continent to the Diaspora. It merges the mystical and the scientific seamlessly. You’re going to see shape-shifting, body jumping, telepaths, people born with the ability to defy the laws of physics, all in the context of our past, present and future world,” said Kahiu and Okorafor.

(6) THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. Leonard Maltin says “‘Dumbo’ Begs the Question: Why?”

Disney’s new live-action Dumbo isn’t awful….but it isn’t very good, either. Why waste so much money and talent on a film that is foredoomed to take second place to a classic? I know it’s all about making money, yet surely there are new ideas to pursue instead of constantly reproducing past successes. In this case the bar is set impossibly high. Dumbo is my favorite animated Disney feature. It’s got heart, humor, and originality. What’s more, it tells its story in just over an hour’s time. It’s a perfect movie.

Why Tim Burton would devote himself to a mediocre remake with a bloated script I can’t imagine….

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 28, 1918 Robert J. Serling . Brother of that Serling. Author of several associational works including Something’s Alive on the Titanic. He wrote “Ghost Writer” published in Twilight Zone: 19 Original Stories on the 50th Anniversary. (Died 2010.)
  • Born March 28, 1922 A. Bertram Chandler. Did you ever hear of popcorn literature? Well the Australian tinged space opera that was the universe that of the Rim World and John Grimes was such. A very good starting place is the Baen Books omnibus To The Galactic Rim which contains three novels and seven stories. If there’s a counterpart to him, it’d be I think Dominic Flandry who appeared in Anderson’s Technic History series. Oh, and I’ve revisited both to see if the Suck Fairy had dropped by. She hadn’t.  (Died 1984.)
  • Born March 28, 1942 Mike Newell, 77. Director whose genre work Includes The AwakeningPhotographing Fairies (amazing story, stellar film), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (popcorn film — less filling, mostly tasty), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and two episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, to wit “Masks of Evil” and “The Perils of Cupid”.
  • Born March 28, 1981 Gareth David-Lloyd, 48. Best known for playing as Ianto Jones on Doctor Who and Torchwood. John Watson in (what is referred to as a steampunk version by Wiki) of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, also known simply as Sherlock Holmes. I also see him in Dark Signal, a supernatural thriller.
  • Born March 28, 1983 Natalie Lander, 36. I adore the amount of characterization that a performer brings to an animated character in the voice work they do. So it is with her work as Stargirl in the Justice League Action series of short animated works done recently. She created a smart and stubborn character who wasn’t going to be second to anyone. 

(8) REDDIT REELING AFTER MCDONALD SMEAR. A moderator of Reddit’s r/Fantasy group was one of the individuals engaged in the character assassination of Ed McDonald. The other moderators, trying to find a way forward, have posted a timeline of what they knew when, plus an apology. Here are excerpts.

WEDNESDAY

All hell broke loose within r/Fantasy. Up became down.

The r/Fantasy mods received information from multiple sources that there appeared to be a smear campaign against Ed McDonald. Retractions were posted from those who had put things out there involving Ed.

Later on Wednesday, we received information that one of the two individuals involved was a longstanding r/Fantasy moderator. WTF.

The r/Fantasy mod team shifted communications to remove that moderator from conversations and, during that process, that mod appears to have deleted his account. No information or other from that former mod.

TODAY – THURSDAY MORNING

We took time to try and sort things out. Again – looking to people across the industry and reputable sources. At this time there are retractions related to Ed McDonald across the internet from those who posted and information building that indicates mis-information was put out there against Ed McDonald. It also appears that one of those individuals was (a former) moderator of r/Fantasy.

The remaining r/Fantasy mods are reeling a bit with this crazy information.

NEXT STEPS

We would like to issue a formal apology to Ed McDonald for what has transpired. Go buy his books and give him a virtual hug. The information out there is incomplete but, at the very least, Ed is owed an apology for the call to ban him for 2019. Of course, he has been reinstated as an active r/Fantasy member.

Ed McDonald

No ill will should be borne towards those that were brought to be a part of something unwittingly. The level and scale of deception used to influence and coerce those that were used against me was extraordinary. And when I say that, unless you have seen the evidence, what you’re imagining by ‘extraordinary’ probably does not even begin to cover it. I’m going to go on stating this because even describing it that way does not begin to explain the lengths, depths and time investment that were put into this. The people who were coerced have been abused and they are also survivors of online stalking. Some of them have posted publicly to say that the perpetrator has groomed them for an entire year.

It is not right to be angry towards those whose trust has been abused. Those that have come forward and publicly apologised must not be blamed or attacked. Not in my name. Not because of this incident.

While I was the target, and the consequences of that targeting would have been life altering and devastating for me if not for the actions of those who believed in me and brought the truth to light, I am not the only survivor of online abuse. The people now discovering that they have spent months, or years, talking to and confiding in someone they believed to be a friend, only to discover that they have been played, are survivors as well.

Secondly, this has nothing to do with gender. I was not targeted because I was male. Due to the nature of the campaign, and because I have never met or spoken to the perpetrator, I do not know whether the person responsible is male or female. Please do not make this a platform for unrelated issues. The issue is entirely one of online harassment and falsification, which could happen to anybody irrespective of who they are.

Be kind to one another. If there’s at least one lesson we can all agree on, it’s surely that.

Author Mark Lawrence, creator of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, shared his own experience with being attacked.

[–]MarkLawrenceStabby Winner, AMA Author Mark Lawrence 136 points 2 hours ago 

It’s remarkably easy to raise a reddit lynch mob.

It happened to me (on a vastly smaller scale) in one thread. Half a dozen accounts – all started that day and all sharing the same word in their title – started calling me a cancer and accusing me of unspecified crimes against new authors.

Most people looking at the thread just saw lots of names saying I was the bad guy and me not lying down and taking my lumps. The one guy with many accounts got lots of upvotes and I was down in negative double digits.

Mods removed my replies.

It was unfortunate but not malicious on anyone’s part but the instigator. Modding a group is hard and there is often a lot going on at once.

The developments of the past few days have actually helped some people discover the author’s work for the first time, while others are trying to counter the toxicity with positive attention, such as Mark Timmony’s review of McDonald’s Blackwing.

(9) SJWC CRISIS. Not all cats live up to their reputation as companions in the quest for social justice…. BBC asks: “Should cats be culled to stop extinctions?”

Scientists are calling for a widespread cull of feral cats and dogs, pigs, goats, and rats and mice to save the endangered species they prey upon.

Their eradication on more than 100 islands could save some of the rarest animals on Earth, says an international team.

Islands have seen 75% of known bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile extinctions over the past 500 years.

Many of the losses are caused by animals introduced by humans.

Not naturally present on islands, they can threaten native wildlife.

“Eradicating invasive mammals from islands is a powerful way to remove a key threat to island species and prevent extinctions and conserve biodiversity,” said Dr Nick Holmes, from the group Island Conservation.

(10) SPACESUITS AREN’T THE ONLY PROBLEM. BBC finds way too much science gear is available only in large sizes: “One small step for man, but women still have to leap”.

Nasa has cancelled plans for its first all-female spacewalk this Friday, citing a lack of available spacesuits in the right size.

There are not enough suits configured on the International Space Station for both Christina Koch and Anne McClain to go out at the same time, so male astronaut Nick Hague will replace Lt Col McClain.

Last week, Lt Col McClain went on a spacewalk with Col Hague and learned that a medium-sized spacesuit fitted her best.

However, Nasa said in a statement: “Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday 29 March, Koch will wear it.”

For many women working in science, a choice between using equipment designed for men or missing out altogether is all too familiar.

(11) BITS BECOME BITERS. Or something like that: “Britain’s ‘bullied’ chatbots fight back”.

UK chatbot companies are programming their creations to deal with messages containing swearing, rudeness and sexism, BBC News has learned.

Chatbots have received thousands of antisocial messages over the past year.

One financial chatbot has been asked out on a date nearly 2,000 times and to “send nude [picture]s” more than 1,000, according to its makers, Cleo AI.

The chatbot now responds to the request by sending an image of a circuit board.

(12) MORE INTERNET TOXICITY. Apparently it far exceeds the ratio predicted by Sturgeon’s Law: “‘The biggest, strangest problem I could find to study'”.

Businesses are under siege every second of every day, bombarded by a “grey noise” of potentially harmful web traffic seeking access to their networks. But IT staff often can’t tell the malicious traffic from the benign. Why?

If your office building were visited thousands of times a day by criminals peering through the windows seeking a way in, you’d be understandably nervous about hanging around.

Yet any organisation with an online presence gets exactly this type of unwelcome attention all the time.

Security researcher Andrew Morris calls this constant barrage “grey noise” and has started a company of the same name with a mission of logging, analysing and understanding it.

…In 2018, Mr Morris’s network was hit by up to four million attacks a day. His honey-pot computers process between 750 and 2,000 connection requests per second – the exact rate depends on how busy the bad guys are at any given moment.

His analysis shows that only a small percentage of the traffic is benign.

That fraction comes from search engines indexing websites or organisations such as the Internet Archive scraping sites. Some comes from security companies and other researchers.

The rest of the internet’s background noise – about 95% – is malicious.

(13) MAKING A SPECTRE OF HERSELF. TIME Magazine dutifully published the official disclaimer. But the truth is out there! “‘As Far As We Know All Our Stores Are Ghost-Free.’ Supermarket Responds to Frozen Aisle Haunting Post”.

The employee, Christiana Bush, who works in the store’s bakery department, posted about the ghost sighting in a local, private Facebook group. ”This is going to sound really strange….but has anyone seen a ghost in the Wilmington market basket?” she wrote according to the Boston Globe. Adding that after she saw the woman, she looked to see if anyone else was catching a glimpse of the apparition and when she looked back she was gone.

“She looked kind of like melancholy and a little angry. So it was kind of a creepy kind of sense, but it was something,” Bush said Monday, according to the local NBC affiliate. She believes the woman was a ghost and asked the Facebook group whether anyone else had a paranormal experience in her store. The modern day ghost story has since gone viral with people across the country weighing in on the likelihood of a Victorian era ghost choosing to haunt a Market Basket.

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

66 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/28/19 Old Rossum’s Book Of Pixelated SJW Credentials

  1. >For many women working in science, a choice between using equipment designed for men or missing out altogether is all too familiar.

    ??

    Is the writer pretending there was no space suit there to fit McClain? Whose job was it to make sure a spacesuit that would fit was prepped and ready for use? If I was doing this, I’d have checked and staged my equipment ahead of time.

  2. First!

    Thanks for the link to Leonard Maltin. I’ll see DUMBO and I’ll probably enjoy it but Maltin knows his Disney and I take everything he says about the film very seriously.

  3. (1) One of those men shook my hand. It was the author of a favorite quote of mine, “I was the first man to pee his pants on the Moon.”

    (6) Leonard, I expected better from an old Apatooner! It doesn’t beg the question, it raises the question!

  4. Lela E Buis: Whose job was it to make sure a spacesuit that would fit was prepped and ready for use? If I was doing this, I’d have checked and staged my equipment ahead of time.

    It was Mission Control’s job.

    The duties the astronauts perform on the ISS are scripted by Mission Control. For an astronaut to take it upon themselves to do something like that without the express direction and approval of the Mission Director would be a serious breach of protocol.

  5. (1) I recognize Aldrin (by the jacket and the beard) and Collins (who hasn’t changed that much).

    (10) I understand that there is another suit that would fit, but it’s stored at a different lock (the one in the Russian area). Maybe they need to rethink some of their policies. (Part of the problem is that people gain height in zero-G, and what fits them on Earth doesn’t fit them in space.)

  6. @7: I read all of the shorter Grimes works (to assemble a book for his Worldcon GoHship) and many of the ~novels. IMO, “popcorn literature” is a bit cruel to the earlier Grimes stories, and may be generous to the ones following The Big Black Mark. ISTM that Flandry corresponds only to the later-written Grimes, when he was an independent between his gigs in the survey service and as a portmaster-etc. (I’ve wondered occasionally whether Chandler had any wrapup in mind that would have established Grimes on the Rim, or was just planning to write occasionally-torrid adventures forever.) Did you know that one of those earlier works crosses universes, such that Grimes ends up meeting Flandry (who IIRC comes off less debonair and more vicious than Anderson would have us see him) and his own creator before finally getting home? Kelly Country (alternate history in which Ned Kelly actually won, thanks to using tech that was starting to come in at the time (said Chandler)) is also interesting.

    @8: another reason why I have no contact with mass social media.

    @13: I shop at that chain occasionally; they’re not nearly the size of this area’s Big Two but are often convenient and always cheaper (and the owner is a (non-sardonic) SJW). I wonder whether that was one of their older stores; the story got a bit of play locally but didn’t go into detail.

    @Lela E. Buis: @JJ is correct that the ISS stocks are not controlled by the occupants, who have immediate tasks to plot; at some point, anybody on the front line has to rely on support personnel — they can’t do it all themselves. (Not even astronauts, with a high ratio of planning to in-space time; they’re planning how to get a Sagan of work done.) I saw some discussion of this on another medium, by someone who said they were involved; significant factors were:
    * the spacesuits are old (and some were lost when two shuttles went up in smoke); the numbers I remember are that only 4 are on the ISS at any one time, while the other 7 survivors are being rehabbed on Earth. (It wasn’t clear whether there was room for more on the ISS or whether that would short the maintenance process.)
    * the suits aren’t rotated frequently. (It wasn’t clear why — maybe increasing useful payload to orbit?)
    * Mission Control makes its best guess about how much people will grow in space; apparently McClain didn’t grow quite as much as expected, making a size-large suit a poor fit. It’s possible that they would have had to short someone else if they had 2 M and either 2 L or 1 L and one XL.
    The writer said there’s a new design that will be more flexible (and fix the fact that a Small can’t be made because there wouldn’t be room for all the ?controls? ?support?), but it won’t be available until 2025. Whether that will help the ISS, which I’ve read will go out of service in 2024, was not discussed.

  7. (12) Grey noise on the net

    I’m always daunted when I do spot-checks of the log messages for my website and see the constant barrage of attempts to penetrate its defenses in some fashion. And that’s apart from the bombardment of link-spam “comments” that either get caught by my filter or that I manually delete. (Nothing gets onto the site without my manual ok, which no doubt would be a problem if I actually got real comments regularly.) By rough estimate, only 3% of the comments that make it as far as manual review are “real” and the number caught before that stage is roughly double what I have to review in person.

    When it isn’t simply being depressing, it makes me contemplate all the bandwidth being chewed up in the process. And that’s just the automated stuff with uncertain (but probably nefarious) purpose. Think about what the internet could be if we had robust defenses against the more personal and deliberate “noise”. We have this almost unimaginably wonderful communication tool and it’s like a dog so covered in ticks there’s scarcely any blood left.

  8. (8) As someone who has an identity thief currently doing time for being me, all my sympathies go to those who encountered the fiend. It’s easy to say “just stay away from all forms of electronic communication and you’ll be fine,” but I’m leaning more towards hoping everybody’s outrage button will eventually break down from overuse and a more jaded public will be less likely to form angry mobs (until after the trial anyway).

    (9) Coincidentally, today I was running around in my shirt from the Lanai Cat Sanctuary. The small island of Lanai had a problem with feral cats eating native birds.

    Instead of shooting and trapping them as had been done in the past, they tried something new: they built a cat sanctuary in the middle of nowhere, far from the birds, and about 600-odd cats live there. All are neutered/spayed, and they get basic vet care. They can be adopted, but there’s no pressure to find homes, the cats are welcome to live out their lives in the sanctuary. Some are friendly and love visitors but others just chill in the background avoiding humanity, and it’s all good. It’s volunteer-run and has turned into quite an income-generating tourist trap, with people taking day trips during their Hawaiian vacation so they can get swarmed by cats. People even get married there.

    Seems to me like a pretty enlightened way to deal with excess feral cats.

  9. At this point I think I’ll throw in my own recommendation for Blackwing. It’s not a book for everyone, but if you like Glen Cook’s Black Company I think you’ll appreciate it. There are touches which remind me of Clive Barker, too. It’s even got a bittersweet love story in it. It’s undeniably dark, but I thought it an impressive first novel.

    (The second book in the series is out, and I expect I will get it soon – and there’s a third due in June)

  10. Chip Hitchcock says I read all of the shorter Grimes works (to assemble a book for his Worldcon GoHship) and many of the ~novels. IMO, “popcorn literature” is a bit cruel to the earlier Grimes stories, and may be generous to the ones following The Big Black Mark. ISTM that Flandry corresponds only to the later-written Grimes, when he was an independent between his gigs in the survey service and as a portmaster-etc. (I’ve wondered occasionally whether Chandler had any wrapup in mind that would have established Grimes on the Rim, or was just planning to write occasionally-torrid adventures forever.) Did you know that one of those earlier works crosses universes, such that Grimes ends up meeting Flandry (who IIRC comes off less debonair and more vicious than Anderson would have us see him) and his own creator before finally getting home? Kelly Country (alternate history in which Ned Kelly actually won, thanks to using tech that was starting to come in at the time (said Chandler)) is also interesting.

    Oh for pity’s sake lighten up. I use popcorn literature as It fits very nicely that group of works. Cruel? Hardly. It’s not well- crafted, HUGO level worthy writing by any stretch but it is entertaining reading. And that’s what popcorn literature is.

  11. “If I was doing this, I’d have……………””

    …… made sure that the other two back-up suits were ready to go.

  12. 7 and @chip hitchcock: ‘popcorn’ is a near insult is what I’d say. Chandler was suffuciently influential to get one if the Ditmar awards named for him, and as Chip pointed out, was a Workdcon GoH.
    He consistently placed in the top 5 Astounding reader survey. At least two story themes/tropes are his (intelligent rats taking over and humans in an alien zoo), created three different FTL drives, addressed homosexuality in an SF novel in the 60s (not well but pioneering), wrote a consistent future history with more individual works than anyone else I can think of, regularly treated with the multiverse concept, including not one but several encounters between author and character, was a favorite of Ellisons and had a story scheduled for LDV, (so far as we know his only unpublished, completed work) with a total of 20+ novels and over 200 shorts spanning a 40 year career, while conducting a full time career as a merchant seaman, eventually becoming captain of Australia’s last aircraft carrier (while it sat in port, awaiting the scrapyard). Says the compiler of the Rim Worlds Concordance, a work in progress already consisting of over 20,000 entries.
    Popcorn? More like baked salmon. Nothing fancy, but spiced properly, a fine meal.

  13. @Cat Eldridge. maybe no Hugos, but two Ditmars for best novel, plus, as I said earlier, he consistently placed in the top 5 of Astounding reader surveys, and usually 2nd. Your defense of your dismissal is groundless. Ellison said that his novella/novel Frontier of the Dark is one of the best things he ever read.
    I could go on, but the fact is, if Chandler had not devoted himself to his sea-going career but instead had pursued his literary one as primary, he would have won a Hugo or Nebula or two and his name would be uttered in the same breath as Pohl and Clarke and C. Smith and those upper ranks of the pyramid.

  14. Not backing down. Still saying that they are popcorn literature no matter how many Awards he got that I didn’t know about. Poul Anderson’s Flandry writing was popcorn literature as well.

    What you if of his career is an interesting one but holds no bearing here as it didn’t happen.

    Btw aren’t the Ditmars Australian SF Awards? And isn’t he Australian? Did he he get any Award outside of his home country? Australia from what I’ve seen is an SF fandom community unto itself and therefore an example of localism in action.

  15. (7) One little-remarked thing about Chandler is that he was also indirectly responsible for the creation of one of the best-known, most influential Japanese manga, Dirty Pair.

    And as an aside to my aside, I consider Adam Warren’s American Dirty Pair comics to be some of the best just-this-side-of-Singularity SF out there.

  16. 10) You will remember that in “Delilah and the Space-Rigger” G. Brooks McNye uses the small automatic spacesuit remover.

    Heinlein was ahead of them in that, it seems.

  17. Submitted for your approval. A hugo winning fanzine turned blog destination for matters genre. You will find second fifths, godstalking, book recommendations and conversation beyond the imaginary hill over the border…

    …in the File 770 zone.

  18. Ray Radlein says One little-remarked thing about Chandler is that he was also indirectly responsible for the creation of one of the best-known, most influential Japanese manga, Dirty Pair.

    That Chandler created a manga even indirectly validates my popcorn literature contention as manga is by and large all popcorn lit.

  19. @Cat Eldrige: oh, so now the argument is since you don’t know about it, its invalid?

    Twice now I have mentioned that his stories were frequently chosen by readers of Astounding as being the best in an issue, with his overall ranking coming in between 2nd and 5th, competing with the likes of Heinlien, Clarke, Anderson, etc.

    No, he was not Australian. He became Australian. We recognize Australian SF as being SF; there’ve been a couple of Worldcons held there and the Ditmars are as important as the Seiuns and other Not a Hugo, Not a Nebula awards.

    His connected history of stories about John Grimes and the Rim Worlds are as varied, rich and non-popcorn as any of Heinlen’s Future History shorts.

    Your unfamiliarity does not get to set the bar. It would be fair to say that what little you’ve read was popcorn for you, but it would also be fair to say that your unfamiliarity with the author’s work makes one wonder why you bothered to render a judgement.

    “For a new British writer to take third place in a “Best Stories of the Year” poll by American science fiction readers, and to rate seventh among the most popular magazine authors of 1945, is enough to give A. Bertram Chandler a fair claim to fame in the sphere of fantasy fiction. At least, he’ll admit it’s a good start.” http://www.bertramchandler.com/interviews.aspx

  20. From my perspective, popcorn is a barely edible, inexplicably popular snack food. Others regard it as a fun, unpretentious treat. How you feel about the term “popcorn literature” may depend partly on how you feel about popcorn.

  21. (1) If Forbes thinks that these were the last 8 Apollo astronauts, what the hell are Frank Borman and Jim Lovell doing? They might or might not be too fragile to travel, but these 8 are not the last by any means.

  22. “The period 1938 to 1946, often referred to as the Golden Age of science fiction, marks the transition of the genre from facile adventure to rather more carefully thought out speculation. Like many of the authors of that time, Chandler brought his own specialist knowledge to SF, and was very popular as a late Golden Age writer. Very popular? The mythology does not support that idea, so bring on the facts. Chandler’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th stories in Astounding came 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st respectively in readers’ polls. Moreover, out of his first 20 SF stories in magazines that ran polls, half polled 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Say what you will, this is popularity.

    So what were some of his best? His well known “Giant Killer” (Astounding, 10/45) polled 2nd. “Special Knowledge” (Astounding, 2/46) and “Position Line” (New Worlds, #4 1949) both polled first, and both involve the imaginative use of contemporary maritime skills in new environments – in the former, the distant future and in the latter, on Mars. The readers of the time gave heavy weight to technical skill and imagination when voting, and Chandler provided just that. ”

    Chandler on the Scoreboard – Sean McMullen

    “So what were some of his best? His well known “Giant Killer” (Astounding, 10/45) polled 2nd. “Special Knowledge” (Astounding, 2/46) and “Position Line” (New Worlds, #4 1949) both polled first”

    (Giant Killer is up there in terms of anthology reprints)

    “In the last fifteen years of his life Chandler wrote a mixture of Rimworlds SF and Australian historical SF – and combined both in The Anarch Lords (Daw, 1981). In this period he won the Australian fans’ Ditmar Award four times out of a record fourteen fiction nominations, won Japan’s Seiun Sho Award, was guest of honour at the Chicago World SF Convention and even won an Australian Literature Board Fellowship. He did not receive any Nebula or Hugo nominations, but then these are given for the sort of SF that Chandler was winning readers’ polls with in the first decade of his career – before the Hugos or Nebulas began. Even then, such later short SF as “The Bitter Pill” (Vision of Tomorrow, 6/70) was probably good enough for such awards, yet when it was published the fashion was for New Wave styles, as typified by Ellison and Farmer.”

    And now I’ll shut up because the only real resolve is to go and read his stuff and make your own determination of what food best describes his work

  23. (7) Born March 28, 1981 — Gareth David-Lloyd, 48.

    I think that’s a typo for the age.

  24. (11) Our state DMV recently replaced the perfectly functional online form used to renew automobile registration with a chatbot that walks you through the renewal process. I hate it so much.

    I can totally relate to people who shower chatbots with abuse. Just give me a simple form that clearly indicates the required information.

  25. I’d not been aware of Chandler’s work before. Just grabbed a collection on eBay, popcorn or otherwise. Thanks everyone!

  26. Beth Says I think that’s a typo for the age.

    Yeah it could be.

    Mike, he’s ten years younger, so if you could fix it to be accurate, do so.

  27. @Paul King Sold! I’m a big fan of The Black Company, and I want to show my admiration for Ed McDonald.

  28. I’m a bit bemused by the sight of someone being so angry and defensive that other people knew and enjoyed Chandler’s Grimes stories more than they did. Or thinks that having created a well-known and well-regarded manga, or being Australian, somehow validates that dismissal.

    The Grimes stories were interesting, enjoyable, and of their time. Which is to say, they had weaknesses one can perhaps easily imagine, but they also had real virtues, and were a lot of fun, and I don’t understand someone who read only a few getting upset that others who read more disagree with the dismissal of them as “popcorn.”

    Market Basket is my preferred supermarket chain, convenient for me and good prices. And yes, the CEO is an actual SJW. History and logic says that if there is a Victorian ghost in their Wilmington store, she was there first, and I can’t imagine MB trying to evict her if she isn’t creating problems.

  29. Andrew saysI’m going to pick up some Chandler books, too.

    Good choice. He’s a lot of fun to read which is what I mean by popcorn literature. Like the great mystery writers like Christie and Sayers, many of us are interested in series that are are not too challenging for reading on occasion. Chandler fits that nicely.

  30. Re: Chandler
    I’d not read any Chandler until recently, whereupon his work entered into the SFF Audio readalong podcasting schedule. I’ve done FAREWELL MY LOVELY., and they’ve done a bunch of other books of his as well. We’ve also done Hammett’s RED HARVEST as well.

    Not my usual genre, but it is good to branch out.

  31. (6) I can see why they might want to remake Dumbo. They’ve made a mint off of other non-cartoon versions of Disney classics which will alway be compared unfavorably to the originals. (I’m curious if they’ll make animated versions of live action Disney classics. Can’t wait for the animated Scarecrow of Romney Marsh and all those Medfield movies.) They also get to leave out elements like those crows in the original.

    My comment on twitter was that if this new Dumbo is bad, I don’t want to see it. And if it’s good, then I also don’t want to see it. Don’t need another episode like the Big Fish matinee episode.

    The Computer Scrolled Pixel Files (with Kurt Russell as Fifth)

  32. Has some change been made to the site software in the past couple of days? On my phone now (in both Firefox and Chrome) the site no longer fits the screen width and instead fills only around 80 percent or so on the left side, leaving a wide empty margin on the right.

  33. 6) Why Tim Burton would devote himself to a mediocre remake with a bloated script I can’t imagine….

    I believe mediocre remarks with bloated scripts are what he’s doing these days.

  34. Darren Garrison: The two programs that determine how posts and comments appear, WordPress and Jetpack, roll out updates from time to time and it’s possible they might have unintended consequences, but I have not selected any changes.

  35. (8) Wow, lots of dimensions to this.
    It appears a lot of effort went into this campaign to frame the writer and that effort paid off…for a few days before it all fell to pieces. Interesting.

  36. Mary Robinette Kowal has a quite useful explanatory thread as to what was going on with the EMUs, people don’t have to speculate what is and isn’t feasible to know/prep beforehand or how this works.

    twitter thread version.

    Thread Reader version. Covers the most salient points, and is more readable than twitter, but some extra salient stuff comes up in the comments on twitter – along with a few idiots, but thankfully few.

  37. If Chandler is popcorn (or salmon) I will take an extra large portion please.

    This is File 770 you can scroll on the file and call the cat a pixel

  38. Darren: That happens to me all the time with both File 770 and Camestros’ blog. I can just use the “Spread screen by moving two fingers” to expand it, but it can still be annoying. Especially as the margin is still there, just offscreen, so if I scroll down at an angle, I see the comment split in half vertically and a big white space…

  39. I often use “good fluff” as a term of praise, and read “popcorn literature” as something similar. There’s a lot of craft and room for a fair amount of art in basically lightweight but engaging and entertaining stories, and I really respect those who do it well.

  40. @Bruce Baugh

    Same. Some of my favourite things are fluffy/popcorn/crack/light entertainment. Fun/warmth/entertainment being the primary goal doesn’t seem like an insult to me.

  41. Meredith says Same. Some of my favourite things are fluffy/popcorn/crack/light entertainment. Fun/warmth/entertainment being the primary goal doesn’t seem like an insult to me.

    I could’ve compared his work to a particularly fine box of chocolates. Wonder what reaction that would have drawn. Or ice cream bonbons..

  42. Lenora Rose on March 29, 2019 at 1:07 pm said:

    Darren: That happens to me all the time with both File 770 and Camestros’ blog. I can just use the “Spread screen by moving two fingers” to expand it, but it can still be annoying. Especially as the margin is still there, just offscreen, so if I scroll down at an angle, I see the comment split in half vertically and a big white space…

    Yes, that is exactly what I’m getting. It stated only a couple of days ago.

    BTW, it is your fault that I’m rereading Smekday (and have the sequel Smek For President–which I’ve never read–lined up next.)

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