Pixel Scroll 3/4/21 And All The Scrolls Are Full Of Pix

(1) SPACE OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY. The virtual Tucson Festival of Books will include a panel “Galactic Empires, Murderbots and More!” with Tochi Onyebuchi, John Scalzi, and Martha Wells on Saturday March 6 at 11:00 a.m. Mountain time. Registration info here.

(2) GUEST WHO? “Star Trek: The Next Generation Almost Featured Robin Williams” at CBR.com.

…One actor the show never snagged, however, was Robin Williams, despite the fact that an episode was written specifically for him and the actor’s passion for the series.

The episode written for Robin Williams was Season 5, Episode 9, “A Matter of Time.” The episode focuses on the time-traveler Berlinghoff Rasmussen, a 26th century historian who traveled back in time to observe Picard and the crew of the Enterprise during a crucial moment. Except Rasmussen didn’t come from the future — he came from the past. He had stolen his time machine and was visiting The Next Generation‘s 24th century in order to steal as much technology as he could and become rich back in his own time….

(3) THE WONDER OF THUNDER. Netflix dropped a trailer for Thunder Force, a superhero comedy with Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer.

(4) HARD SF LAUGHS. “Weir(d) Science: PW Talks with Andy Weir” is a Q&A at Publishers Weekly about the author’s neaw book Project Hail Mary.

How did you decide on the level of humor?

I’m a smartass myself, so smartass comments come naturally to me. For me, humor is like the secret weapon of exposition. If you make exposition funny, the reader will forgive any amount of it. And in science fiction—especially with my self-imposed restriction that I want to be as scientifically accurate as possible—you end up spending a lot of time doing exposition.

(5) FIRST STEP INTO SPACE. In the “ESA – Parastronaut feasibility project”, the European Space Agency will try to develop people with physical disabilities as astronauts. (Click for larger image.)

For the first time in over a decade, ESA is looking for new astronauts. These recruits will work alongside ESA’s existing astronauts as Europe enters a new era of space exploration.

In a first for ESA and human spaceflight worldwide, ESA is looking for individual(s) who are psychologically, cognitively, technically and professionally qualified to be an astronaut, but have a physical disability that would normally prevent them from being selected due to the requirements imposed by the use of current space hardware.

ESA is ready to invest in defining the necessary adaptations of space hardware in an effort to enable these otherwise excellently qualified professionals to serve as professional crew members on a safe and useful space mission.

… Because we believe that exploration is the matter of a collective effort, we need to extend the pool of talents we can rely on in order to continue progressing in our endeavour. One effective way of doing this is to include more gifted people of different genders, ages and backgrounds, but also people with special needs, people living with physical disabilities.

Right now we are at step zero. The door is closed to persons with disabilities. With this pilot project we have the ambition to open this door and make a leap, to go from zero to one.

…There are many unknowns ahead of us, the only promise we can make today is one of a serious, dedicated and honest attempt to clear the path to space for a professional astronaut with disability.

(6) AN INCREDIBLE CAREER. Sunday Profile: LeVar Burton on YouTube is an interview of Burton (he’s now a grandfather!) by Mo Rocca that aired on CBS Sunday Morning on February 28.

(7) #ILOOKLIKEANENGINEER . S.B. Divya, in “Hard Science Fiction Is Still Overwhelmingly White—But It’s Getting Better” at CrimeReads, says hard sf is becoming more welcoming to women and people of color as engineering and technology become more diverse professions.

…I didn’t start my adult life as a writer. First, I wanted to be a scientist. I went to Caltech to major in astrophysics, got sideswiped by computational neuroscience, and ended up working in electrical and computer engineering. From the moment I set foot on the Caltech campus, to the most recent tech job I held, I found myself and my fellow female engineers vastly outnumbered by our male cohort. Over almost 25 years in the industry, I have not seen these ratios improve. If anything, they’re getting worse.

The same phenomenon appears in so-called “hard science fiction,” which is another label that people attach to Michael Crichton’s novels. This subgenre encompasses stories whose speculative science and technology elements do not put a strain on credibility. (In contrast, see any fiction involving faster-than-light spacecraft, anti-gravity, or time travel.) Here, too, is a domain whose bestsellers are dominated by white men.

We live in the year 2021, and yet we persist in associating certain jobs—and certain types of stories—with specific groups of people. Engineers are Asian; startup CEOs are white. School teachers are women, and academics are men. Unfortunately, many times the statistics bear these out in reality, too. Why do we struggle to break free of these narratives and associations? Because we have so few counterexamples that are publicized. It’s not that they don’t exist, but they do not permeate our popular consciousness. It takes effort to overcome these associations, whether you fit in the stereotyped demographic or not. Without that struggle, the associations become self-fulling prophecies.

(8) ECHO WIFE NEWS. Sarah Gailey’s new book has been optioned – Deadline has the story: “Annapurna To Adapt Sarah Gailey’s Novel ‘The Echo Wife’ For Film”.

After a competitive situation, Annapurna has successfully optioned the rights to bestselling author Sarah Gailey’s most recent novel The Echo Wife and is adapting the book as a feature film.

Gailey will executive produce the project alongside Annapurna….

Hugo Award-winning and bestselling author Gailey is an internationally published writer of fiction and nonfiction. Gailey’s nonfiction has been published by Mashable and The Boston Globe, and won a Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. Gailey’s fiction credits also include Vice and The Atlantic. The author’s debut novella, River of Teeth, was a 2018 finalist for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. Their bestselling adult novel debut, Magic For Liars, published in 2019.

The Echo Wife was published on Feb. 16 by Tor Books, the science fiction and fantasy division of Macmillan Publishers….


  • March 4, 1977 — On this day in 1977,  Man From Atlantis premiered. Created by Mayo Simon and Herbert Solow, the pilot was written by Leo Katzin. It starred Patrick Duffy, Belinda Montgomery, Alan Fudge and Victor Bruno. It ran for thirteen episodes that followed four TV movies. It was not renewed for a full season. We cannot offer you a look at it as it’s behind a paywall at YouTube. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born March 4, 1923 Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore CBE HonFRS FRAS. Astronomer who liked Trek and Who early on but said later that he stopped watching when “they went PC – making women commanders.” Despite that, he’s here because he shows up in the debut Eleventh Doctor story, “The Eleventh Hour“. And he was also in the radio version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as well. (Died 2012.) (CE)
  • Born March 4, 1933 – Bernie Zuber.  Original vice-president of the Mythopoeic Society.  Early editor of Mythlore.  Founded the Tolkien Fellowships, edited The Westmarch Chronicle.  Guest of Mythcon XIII.  Active in local (Los Angeles) fandom.  (Died 2005) [JH]
  • Born March 4, 1938 Gary Gygax. Game designer and author best known for co-creating  Dungeons & Dragons with Dave Arneson. In addition to the almost beyond counting gaming modules he wrote, he wrote the Greyhawk Adventure series and the Dangerous Journeys novels, none of which is currently in print. (Died 2008.) (CE)
  • Born March 4, 1952 – Richard Stevenson, age 69.  College English teacher of Canada, has also taught in Nigeria, musician with Sasquatch and Naked Ear.  A score of poetry books, memoir Riding on a Magpie Riff.  Six dozen poems for us.  Stephansson Award (Writers Guild of Alberta).  Has published haikusenryu (two Japanese short-poetry forms, unrhymed 5-7-5-syllable lines), tanka (Japanese short-poetry form, unrhymed 5-7-5-7-7-syllable lines).  [JH]
  • Born March 4, 1954 Catherine Anne O’Hara, 67. First genre role role was in the most excellent Beetlejuice filmas artist Delia Deetz followed by being Texie Garcia in Dick Tracy, a film I’ll be damn if I know what I think about. She voices most excellently Sally / Shock bringing her fully to, errr, life in The Nightmare Before Christmas. I see she’s in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events as Justice Strauss. Lastly, and no this is by no means a complete listing of what she has done, she was on Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events as Dr. Georgina Orwell. (CE) 
  • Born March 4, 1965 Paul W. S. Anderson, 55. If there be modern pulp films, he’s the director of them. He’s responsible for the Resident Evil franchise plus Event HorizonAlien V. PredatorPandorum and even Monster Hunter which no, isn’t based off the work of a certain Sad Puppy. (CE) 
  • Born March 4, 1966 Paul Malmont, 55. Author of the comic strips, The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril and Jack London in Paradise which blends pulp tropes and SF elements including using as protagonists Heinlein and Asimov. He wrote the first four issues of DC Comics’ Doc Savage series with artist Howard Porter. (CE) 
  • Born March 4, 1969 – Sarah Bernard, age 52.  Half a dozen books for us.  Did her own cover for this one.  Has read a Complete Sherlock Holmes, three by Julian May, a dozen by Anne McCaffrey.  [JH]
  • Born March 4, 1973 – Marco Zaffino, age 48.  Author, filmmaker, musician; some for us e.g. Pure Bred Chihuahua.  Things can be unclear at borders (perhaps why those bookshops closed); see this Website.  These Sentries might be ours.  [JH]
  • Born March 4, 1973 Len Wiseman, 48. Producer or Director on the Underworld franchise. Also involved in StargateIndependence DayMen in Black and Godzilla in the Property Department. Sleepy Hollow series creator and producer for much of it, wrote pilot as well. Producer for much of the Lucifer seriesas well and is the producer for the entire series of Swamp Thing. Also produced The Gifted. (CE)
  • Born March 4, 1982 – Maggie Lehrman, age 39.  One novel for us; another outside our field, reviewed by Kirkus as “An earnest high school romp” which I guess leaves ML feeling as I did when someone – who as I’ve said is still my friend – described me as an earnest man in a propeller beanie, I mean what do you want?  Anyway, Website here. [JH]
  • Born March 4, 1982 – Lauren Miller, age 39.  Two novels for us, one other; now working on another as L. McBrayer.  She says “writing and seeing and being.  I have come to believe that there is magic to be found if we can learn to do all three at the same time.”  [JH]


(12) SEUSS ON THE LOOSE. The New York Times’ coverage — “Dr. Seuss Books Are Pulled, and a ‘Cancel Culture’ Controversy Erupts” – includes these interesting sales figures.

…Classic children’s books are perennial best sellers and an important revenue stream for publishers. Last year, more than 338,000 copies of “Green Eggs and Ham” were sold across the United States, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks the sale of physical books at most retailers. “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” sold more than 311,000 copies, and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” — always popular as a high school graduation gift — sold more than 513,000 copies.

“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” one of the six books pulled by the estate, sold about 5,000 copies last year, according to BookScan. “McElligot’s Pool” and “The Cat’s Quizzer” haven’t sold in years through the retailers BookScan tracks. Putting the merits of the books aside, removing “Green Eggs and Ham” would be a completely different business proposition from doing away with new printings of “McElligot’s Pool.” (Though the news that the books would be pulled caused a burst of demand, and copies of “Mulberry Street” were listed on eBay and Amazon for hundreds or thousands of dollars on Wednesday.)

(13) MISSION UNPOSSIBLE. Science Fiction 101 is a new podcast by Phil Nichols and Colin Kuskie: “It’s Alive: Science Fiction 101 first episode!” Their first mission, should they choose to accept it, is to define the term!

In this debut episode, your friendly hosts Phil Nichols and Colin Kuskie first attempt to define “science fiction”. If you want to know more about this thorny subject, check out Wikipedia’s attempt to do the very same thing. Or, for a more in-depth discussion, check out what the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction has to say on the subject.

(14) PIECES OF EIGHT. The latest episode of Octothorpe is now available – “26: I’m Not Even a Single-Tasker”

John [Coxon] is an annoying prick, Alison [Scott] is not sure she’s staying sane, and Liz [Batty] is going to a beach. We discuss all the news from Eastercon, going to Picocon, and then look back on Punctuation before staying sane in the apocalypse.

(15) NOT ULTRAVIOLENCE BUT HYPERVIOLENCE. In the Washington Post, Michael Cavna interviews Keanu Reeves, who co-created with Matt Kindt and artist Ron Garney BRZRKR, a 12-issue comic published by Boom! Studios. “Keanu Reeves on the joy of writing his first comic book: ‘Why not? That sounds amazing!’”

… To dramatize this “Highlander”-meets-“Logan” fighter during the Boom! introductions, Reeves stood and acted out potential scenes, even flashing some fighting moves — pitch meeting as full-body immersion. The approach was similar to when Reeves first met with Pixar for “Toy Story 4,” striking action poses to play Duke Caboom. “I’ll get in touch with a feeling or thought — or a feeling-thought,” says the bearded Reeves, wearing a black Levi’s jacket and starkly backdropped by a near-white wall — Zoom room as Zen room. “I’ll express it and it tends to come out through the filter of the character.”

“BRZRKR” opens with maximum carnage and minimal verbiage. The creative team promises more textured themes are on the horizon. Discussing the comic’s scope, Reeves riffs until he’s in full mellifluous monologue: “We do want to take on morality, ethics, peacetime, war, violence, whose side, what’s right, what’s wrong, truth, fiction, memory, what do we believe in, who are we, with not only violence but also love — and then our own identities and who we are as humans.” Whoa.

(16) STARSHIP EXPLODES AFTER LANDING. “SpaceX Starship appears to ace touchdown, then explodes in Texas test flight”KTLA has the story.

SpaceX’s futuristic Starship looked like it aced a touchdown Wednesday, but then exploded on the landing pad with so much force that it was hurled into the air.

The failure occurred just minutes after SpaceX declared success. Two previous test flights crash-landed in fireballs.

The full-scale prototype of Elon Musk’s envisioned Mars ship soared more than 6 miles after lifting off from the southern tip of Texas on Wednesday. It descended horizontally over the Gulf of Mexico and then flipped upright just in time to land.

The shiny bullet-shaped rocketship remained intact this time at touchdown, prompting SpaceX commentator John Insprucker to declare, “third time’s a charm as the saying goes” before SpaceX ended its webcast of the test.

But then the Starship exploded and was tossed in the air, before slamming down into the ground in flames.

(17) BY THE SEA. You can read the introductory paragraphs to an article about mermaids here — “Splash by Marina Warner – the rest of the article is behind a paywall at the New York Review of Books.

In l819 the French inventor Cagniard de La Tour gave the name sirène to the alarm he had devised to help evacuate factories and mines in case of accident—in those days all too frequent. The siren, or mermaid, came to his mind as a portent, a signal of danger, although it might seem a contradiction, since the sirens’ song was fatal to mortals: in the famous scene in the Odyssey, Odysseus ties himself to the ship’s mast to hear it, and orders his men to plug their ears with wax and ignore him when he pleads to be set free to join the singers on the shore. Homer does not describe these irresistible singers’ appearance—only their flowery meadow, which is strewn with the rotting corpses of their victims—but he tells us that their song promises omniscience: “We know whatever happens anywhere on earth.” This prescience inspired Cagniard: he inverted the sirens’ connection to fatality to name a device that gives forewarning.

In Greek iconography, the sirens are bird-bodied, and aren’t instantly seductive in appearance but rather, according to the historian Vaughn Scribner in Merpeople, “hideous beasts.” A famous fifth-century-BCE pot in the British Museum shows Odysseus standing stiffly lashed to the mast, head tilted skyward, his crew plying the oars while these bird-women perch around them, as if stalking their prey: one of them is dive-bombing the ship like a sea eagle. An imposing pair of nearly life-size standing terracotta figures from the fourth century BCE, in the collection of the Getty Museum, have birds’ bodies and tails, legs and claws, and women’s faces; they too have been identified as sirens… 

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. It’s “FallonVision” with Elizabeth Olsen on The Tonight Show. “Jimmy Fallon’s ‘WandaVision’ spoof with Elizabeth Olsen alters our pandemic reality”.

Jimmy Fallon took viewers on a journey through the decades of talk-show history while spoofing “WandaVision” this week. Because after all, what is “The Tonight Show” if not the tradition of late-night TV persevering?

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

109 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/4/21 And All The Scrolls Are Full Of Pix

  1. (2) If you asked me to guess which role had been intended for Williams, that’s the one I would have guessed. But Matt Frewer was great in the part anyway.

    (9) As a 1970s fan of all SF TV (and there wasn’t that much of it), I watched the heck out of “The Man from Atlantis”

  2. Andrew (not Werdna) says As a 1970s fan of all SF TV (and there wasn’t that much of it), I watched the heck out of “The Man from Atlantis”

    I hadn’t realised that it only lasted that short a time, but I’ll admit that remembering a series from a half century ago is stretch. I’m watching CSI Miami right now and I remember almost nothing of it so far and that was only a little over a decade ago.

  3. Oh I don’t remember much about it in specific (though I suspect if I rewatched it, much would come back) – but I remember trying to master Patrick Duffy’s odd swimming technique, Victor Buono’s villainy, and the computer that instantly deduced that Duffy was (in all caps – the mark of a 1970s computer) “LAST CITIZEN OF ATLANTIS ? ? ?” (yes, with 3 question marks).

  4. Andrew (not Werdna) says Oh I don’t remember much about it in specific (though I suspect if I rewatched it, much would come back) – but I remember trying to master Patrick Duffy’s odd swimming technique, Victor Buono’s villainy, and the computer that instantly deduced that Duffy was (in all caps – the mark of a 1970s computer) “LAST CITIZEN OF ATLANTIS ? ? ?” (yes, with 3 question marks).

    The only thing I remember clearly from the show was the actors Belinda Montgomery who was a regular cast member and Victor Bruno who had a recurring role in the series. I can’t say that Patrick Duffy as a character ever made much of an impression on me.

  5. (16) It did have flames coming out one side as it landed. But it actually lande upright, unlike last time.

  6. (10) Sir Patrick Caldwell-Moore also wrote several SF novels in the 1950s. I’ve never seen copies of them; they were published in the UK. Once his books about astronomy began selling well, and he started an astronomical TV show with BBC (“The Sky at Night”), he left off writing SF. “The Sky at Night” ran from the late 1950s until his death in 2012–it had a longer run than “Monday Night Football.”

  7. Playing the Man from Atlantis was good practice for when Duffy had to spend an entire season of Dallas taking a shower.

  8. @ P J Evans–

    (16) It did have flames coming out one side as it landed. But it actually lande upright, unlike last time.

    So, progress?

  9. the computer that instantly deduced that Duffy was (in all caps – the mark of a 1970s computer) “LAST CITIZEN OF ATLANTIS ? ? ?” (yes, with 3 question marks).

    After a system upgrade, it added “CHEAPER OWN-BRAND NAMOR/AQUAMAN ? ? ?”

  10. 16) Turns out that when Musk’s engineers have to innovate instead of building on exiting 60s knowledge, that those government employed scientists at NASA weren’t so dumb after all: rocket science is hard.

  11. 16) One of my oldest friend’s father was a rocket scientist. His thoughts on the difficulty were recorded in his obituary in the times: “In 1964 he was appointed Head of Applied Physics at the Wyle Laboratories, Huntsville, Alabama. While in the US he worked on the Saturn V rocket for the Apollo programme; this experience led him in future years to reply to anyone saying, “It isn’t rocket science, you know” with the pithy, “Actually, rocket science is quite simple”. “

  12. “The Sky at Night” ran from the late 1950s until his death in 2012

    The Sky At Night is still running with Chris Lintott and Maggie Aderin-Pocock presenting.

  13. Meredith moment: Clifford D. Simak’s Hugo Award winning Way Station Is available now for two dollars and ninety nine cents from the usual digital suspects.

  14. Paul Weimer says In Re The Man from Atlantis–I was a tad too young to remember it.

    It’s widely available these days for a reasonable price. I think it’s well worth watching once. It’s not the best of the SF series ever done but it has a certain cheesy charm to it. It didn’t last long enough to outlast its rather thin premise.

  15. (12) Did Dr Seuss decree that none of his works may be edited in any way? I looked up McEligot’s Pool (1947) and gather the biggest issue is the “Eskimo Fish” with what looks like a fur hood and a comical arctic figure with igloo and spear. So, the fluffy “Eskimo Dog” turns out to have been a circus thing that kids knew all about in the 40s. Folks are proud of the traditional fishing culture up there. There’s a five-star igloo hotel in Finland. The conceit of the book is that all the fish are anthropomorphic, or have other animals’ traits, etc.

    Why not call it, oh, Arctic Fish? Redraw the character to be sitting on a comical snowmobile? They can’t, for some reason, or don’t want to?

  16. @Cliff — your friend’s father was correct. Rocket science is easy:

    delta v = Specific Impulse * accel of gravity * ln (initial mass/final mass)

    Rocket engineering is hard.

  17. @Andrew I do indeed.

    I SO wanted to get my chance. (but I wanted the space one if I did not football, because the space one seemed to be just saying Pix over and over fast enough to shoot the enemy ships)

  18. (12) Ebay is banning the sale of the six Seuss books.
    Ebay carries listings for Mein Kampf, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and the writings and speeches of Louis Farrakhan.

    We live in strange times.

  19. Bill, if I might venture a guess, it is less “Ebay is participating in cancel culture and banning Dr. Seuss!” and more trying to avoid feeding into the frenzy of hoarding and selling these books that the Right has precipitated with their pearl clutching.

    If you can show me where ANYONE on the Right actually engages with why the Seuss family are no longer publishing these books instead of using the fact as a culture war bat against the supposed perfidy of the left, I’d appreciate it.

    Or, maybe, you can do you and just chalk this up to the fact that the Left is evil and trying to destroy America and its values and culture and the only good Americans are on the Right. I am SUCH a terrible person for agreeing that these books should quietly just go out of print.

  20. Why would eBay want to discourage sellers from taking advantage of Seuss panic on the six books the estate is taking out of print? If Fox News viewers want to buy those books at enormous markup during the short period of time when anybody actually cares, let them fork over hundreds or thousands of dollars.

    No one ever protected me from all the dumb things I’ve acquired on eBay.

  21. @rcade I suspect Ebay doesn’t want to deal with all the hassle of buyer’s regret and related issues once this latest Two Minutes of Hate is done. Buying Frenzies lead to a lot of actors being tempted to engage in fraud and Ebay just doesn’t want to have to deal with that.

  22. Once upon a time a stranger walked into a local bookstore that was owned by a Jew and a lapsed Catholic. He wanted to purchase a copy of Mein Kamph. When told that they would not order a copy for him, he told them that they were violating his free speech rights. “Not at all,” replied the Jew, “as you can get a copy elsewhere. Now get out of my store and never come back.”

  23. @Anthony–
    Thanks for the info; I’m glad it’s still running, and beating “Monday Night Football” for longevity. For the oldest running scheduled network show, however, we have to dip into radio. The New York Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcasts have been running every Saturday during opera season since March 1933. My mother listened to them with her mother and sisters in the mid-1930s, and I listen to them now on my local classical radio station. I don’t know of anything older; this antedates such soap operas as “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light,” which moved to television later on (and are now no longer produced).

  24. The oldest running radio entertainment show is the USA is the Grand Ole Opry which started in 1925 on November 28 by George D. Hay as a one-hour barn dance on WSM.

  25. rcade says No one ever protected me from all the dumb things I’ve acquired on eBay.

    I’ll have you know that eBay is my source for really cool things like Doctor Who t-shirts and Spider-Gwen spider-verse statues from Hong Kong!

  26. @Paul Weimer:

    Do the words “The most important person in the whole wide world is you and you hardly even know you” mean anything to you?

  27. @Paul Weimer

    if I might venture a guess, it is less “Ebay is participating in cancel culture and banning Dr. Seuss!” and more trying to avoid feeding into the frenzy of hoarding and selling these books

    No need to guess. The article explicitly says why — they judge the books to be in violation of ebay’s “Offensive Materials” policy: “Listings that promote or glorify hatred, violence, or discrimination aren’t allowed.” A policy that, apparently and with respect to anti-Semitic material, is very unevenly enforced.

    If you can show me where ANYONE on the Right actually engages with why the Seuss family are no longer publishing these book

    “Seuss Enterprises” made the decision. They are a division of Random House. Seuss/Geisel has two living stepdaughters (he had no kids of his own), and both of his wives are deceased. Seuss Enterprises informed one of the stepdaughters Monday that they would no longer issue the books. So the family doesn’t seem to be involved.

    Also, Bookscan shows sales of 300,000 to 500,000 paper copies in 2020 for popular titles like “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”. “If I Ran the Zoo” was the most popular of the banned books, and it sold only 7000 copies. “Mulberry Street” sold 5000 copies, and “McElligot’s Pool” and “Cat’s Quizzer” sold no copies — they were already out of print in paper.

  28. I just checked Amazon, which lists used 30+ copies of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street for prices ranging between $284 and $2000. I do wonder why there are no new copies listed.

  29. Russell Letson says I just checked Amazon, which lists used 30+ copies of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street for prices ranging between $284 and $2000. I do wonder why there are no new copies listed.

    I looked it up on ABE Books. I think the last time it was published in hardcover was in the Seventies though there was a more recent softcover edition. It looks like there might’ve been only sporadic copies done in hardcover. And yes it’s going for ridiculous prices there too with the highest copy listing at nine thousand dollars.

  30. I was actually on eBay last night — on a whim, I decided I needed all five of Jane Gaskell’s Atlan books in the 1970s St. Martin’s Press hardcover editions that I remember checking out from the public library — the ones where the covers were all just a photograph of a flame on a black background.

  31. @Cat Eldridge

    And yes it’s going for ridiculous prices there too with the highest copy listing at nine thousand dollars.

    “Going for” and “listing for” are not at all synonyms.

  32. Some have speculated that eBay (is the cap B still canon?) is more likely to cancel your withdrawn Seuss for sale if you include an ISBN in your item description. (With book listings, there’s a specific field where you can include the ISBN.) I haven’t seen that tested.

    There are certainly plenty of the six Seuss books still up. Maybe there’s a lag between when they’re posted and when they’re removed as eBay attempts to keep up with the bullish market.

    I wonder what they do with the compilation volumes that include one of the six withdrawn titles.

    eBay really does thrive on items of perceived scarcity. Recently there was an issue of George magazine from 1997 that some group decided had accurately predicted the future and so was going for huge bucks. In January single copies were selling for four figures.

    Mr. Pixel can Scroll! Can you?

  33. @Brian,
    Curious thing about the “Eskimo dog” connected with circuses. They never had anything to do with Arctic Natives. The American Eskimo dog, which has been popular in circuses because they are smart and agile, were developed over a hundred years ago by a breeder named American Eskimo Kennels. They’re a variety of the Spitz, and were named for the kennel company during World War I when anything sounding German got renamed a lot. Prior to that, they were called “White Spitz.”

  34. 5) YES!!!! If someone is otherwise well-qualified for the duties, a physical disability which can be accommodated should not be a disqualifier!

    As to the Seuss books, this isn’t even a tempest in a teapot. It’s a non-issue. A business decision was made. More artificial outrage.

    Meredith Moment: Robots vs. Fairies is on sale for $1.99 at Amazon US and possibly elsewhere.

  35. Honestly, most people don’t know these six Seuss titles. That’s why Tucker Carlson talked about the Sneetches and Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) appeared with a big cover for the Grinch when he talked about Seuss on the House floor. (I don’t suppose either has read the Lorax or the Butter Battle Book.) On the plus side, this move has increased the sales of all Seuss books probably because people don’t know which titles were being withdrawn.

    I was also going to point out that one of the Seuss books, If I Ran the Zoo, is the first appearance of the word “nerd” in print. Used differently than its current meaning.


    Mr. Pixel, Can Scroll! How Droll!

    would have been better.

  36. Now NASA has declared the site on Mars where Perseverance has landed to be the “Octavia E. Butler Memorial Landing Site”, just as they had earlier named the Curiosity site for Ray Bradbury.

  37. @Brian Z

    (12) Did Dr Seuss decree that none of his works may be edited in any way?

    Given that a character in “Mulberry Street” was renamed from “Chinaman” to “a Chinese man”, and his yellow coloration was removed in 1978 while Seuss was still alive, I’d guess not.
    (OTOH, there were calls to withdraw some of his books based on their outdated depictions while he was still alive, and he never did that.)

  38. David Shallcross: Thanks for the head’s up! I’ve written a front-page post about this now.

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