Pixel Scroll 3/13/17 Do Androids Dream Of Crottled Greeps?

(1) UNENDING DANGER. Jared takes a look back at Ellison’s never-published “The Last Dangerous Visions” at Pornokitsch.

The Last Dangerous Visions might be the most famous science fiction book to never exist. ‘TLDV’ was the long-mooted and nearly-almost-published sequel to Dangerous Visions (1967) and Again, Dangerous Visions (1972) – two vastly important and influential publication in modern speculative fiction.

This ambitious anthology, seemingly intended to be the final word in contemporary SF, was delayed for numerous reasons, documented elsewhere by both Ellison and many others. The anticipation, the delays, and the numerous authors it affected made for, to put it mildly, a great deal of drama….

(2) THE BIRDMAN OF AL-LAWZ. John Ringo’s “The Raptor God Incident” has its rough spots but the last four lines are sweet. (This is an excerpt from the middle).

One day as I was preparing to come off night guard duty I noticed some big birds flying by. It was dawn (another pretty time) and there were three of them in a group just beginning to catch the thermals. They ended up going by right at eye level and no more than fifty meters away. I identified them as goshawks, large black and white raptors. They were involved in their annual migration from Africa up to Northern Europe.

I sat and watched as more and more of the groups came by. They were one of the first signs of beauty I’d seen in a long time. And it was clear the migration was just starting.

I thought about that for a while that day and I thought about how much I hated to be woken up at O Dark Thirty to go freeze my ass off in the shack.

So I made a deal with the other guys. I’d take ALL the day duty. Every day. Seven days a week. IF I didn’t have to take a night watch.

‘The Deal was made in Sinai, on a hot and cloudless day…’ (Hmmm… That even scans…)

(3) CARD TRICK. Cat Rambo advises pros about “Working Comic Conventions” at the SFWA Blog. First on the list —

Make sure you have a business card. This should have your contact information, your social media presence (you’ll see why in the at the convention tips) and at least one way to find your books. You will also use it for networking; make sure there is enough blank space on it for you to jot a note down on it before handing it to someone. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on cards but I would also suggest not cheaping out. The lowest rate cards are often flimsy and can look unprofessional….

(4) CAMPBELL AWARD ANTHOLOGY. Jonathan Edelstein, in a comment here, let everyone know that this year’s Campbell anthology, “heroically thrown together at the last minute” by Jake Kerr, is now available. It has stories from over six dozen writers, including Edelstein. Get the free download here.

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer is presented annually at WorldCon to an outstanding author whose first professional work of science fiction or fantasy was published within the previous two years. This anthology includes over 75 authors and nearly 400,000 words of fiction. A resource of amazing new writers for both Hugo Award voters and those interested in seeing the brightest new lights of fantasy and science fiction, Event Horizon is exclusively available via this page until July 15, 2017.

(5) CONS THAT WISH THEY WERE FOR-PROFIT. Trae Dorn at Nerd & Tie posted about two more cons with financial problems.

Effectively, organizer Ben Fritzsching told the event’s guests that there was no money to pay them at the event. Fritzsching then, at several guests’ request, gave them written IOU’s with the promise that the money would be paid by the end of 2016. Agent Nery Nolan Lemus posted a copy of one of the IOUs to the group Rate that Comic Con on Facebook…

As it’s now March of 2017, and we’re writing about this, you can imagine how well those IOUs held up.

No reasons were given for the event’s cancellation beyond “complications with the facility,” though we can speculate it’s likely for the normal reasons any con cancels — no one is buying. Frankly, we’ve heard reports of sub par experiences from their 2016 event, so there’s been a distinct lack of surprise. The event organizers did go on to say in the comments that they were unsure of their plans for the con in 2018 as well.

(6) RESISTANCE RADIO. Sometimes it’s hard to keep the resistors separated from the transistors. “Amazon launched a fake radio station to promote ‘The Man in the High Castle.’ Angry Trump supporters thought it was real.” The Washington Post has the story.

An ad campaign for a dystopian television show has some Trump supporters seeing red.

Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle,” loosely based on a Philip K. Dick novel, is ramping up for its third season. The thriller, set in 1962, imagines a world in which the Axis powers won World War II and America is controlled by fascist leaders. The East Coast belongs to Nazi Germany; the West Coast is in the clutches of Imperial Japan.

At SXSW in Austin last week, as part of a marketing campaign for “The Man in the High Castle,” Amazon launched “Resistance Radio,” a fake Internet-based radio station broadcast by the fictional American “Resistance” from the show.

“Hijacking the airwaves, a secret network of DJs broadcast messages of hope to keep the memory of a former America alive,” the website said. Click through, and an interactive image of an antique, dual-knob radio appears while mod tunes drift through your computer’s speakers. In between songs, DJs on three different stations speak about how to fight the “Reich” in America.

Soon #ResistanceRadio, the campaign’s sponsored hashtag, spread like wildfire on Twitter. Some Trump supporters seemingly mistook it for an anti-Trump radio station and expressed their displeasure. (Amazon founder Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

….It’s important to note that well before Amazon launched this campaign, #ResistanceRadio had been used, however sparingly, on social media while promoting certain anti-Trump podcasts.

 

(7) FAREWELL. Gardner Dozois, in a public Facebook post, told about Saturday’s memorial service for his wife, Susan Casper.

We had people who came in from New York City, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, Delaware, and England, and celebrities in attendance included Samuel Delany, Michael Swanwick, Pat Cadigan, Ellen Datlow, artists Bob Walters and Tess Kissinger, Scott Edelman, Sheila Williams, Ginjer Bucanan, John Douglas, Moshe Feder, Tom Purdom, and Greg Frost. After the speaking part of the function, everyone fell on a huge fish-and-coldcuts platter from Famous Deli, one of the last traditional Jewish Delis left in the city, and devoured nearly all of it.

This half-hour video slideshow of Casper played in the background. (YouTube has muted its soundtrack, which contains copyrighted music.)

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • March 13, 1942 The Ghost of Frankenstein was released, starring Lon Chaney Jr as the Monster and Bela Lugosi as Ygor.
  • March 13, 1969 The Love Bug, a Walt Disney movie about the adventures of a Volkswagen Beetle named Herbie, opens in theaters.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • Born March 13, 1855 — Percival Lowell (astronomer)
  • Born March 13, 1911 – L. Ron Hubbard

(10) TODAY’S COINCIDENCE

  • March 13, 1930 — The discovery of Pluto, formerly known as the ninth planet, was officially announced on this date, which was Percival Lowell’s birthday. Lowell was founder of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, where Clyde W. Tombaugh discovered Pluto on February 18, 1930.

(11) STUFF THEY DON’T KNOW YOU ALREADY KNOW. ScreenRant offers “Lord Of The Rings: 15 Things You Never Knew About Galadriel”. Titles like this are one of the recurring motifs of the internet, so don’t take offense when you find how many of these things you already know. I can say there were a couple I’d never thought about before.

  1. SHE’S MARRIED

It speaks to Galadriel’s significance that her husband hardly figures into the picture. Still, it’s important to acknowledge his existence, even if it doesn’t have a huge impact on the overall story of Lord of the Rings. Galadriel actually rules over the land of Lothlórien alongside Celeborn. While all elves are relatively old, Galadriel is older than Celeborn. Galadriel was born before the first age began, and Celeborn was born in Doriath before it fell, which suggests that he’s at least 500 years younger than his wife.

While this age difference probably isn’t all that significant in the extended lives that elves live, it’s still interesting to consider, especially alongside the fact that Galadriel is much more well-known than her husband. He may not be as wise as his wife, but Celeborn is still considered one of the wisest elves in Middle Earth, and stayed in Middle Earth for a time into the Fourth Age before joining his wife in the Undying Lands.

(12) 2017 PRIX BOB MORANE. Locus Online has reported the winners of the 2017 Prix Bob Morane, awarded by a jury of French-speaking writers, journalists, critics, and collections directors.

Romans francophones (French Novels)

Manhattan Marilyn, Philippe Laguerre (Éditions Critic)

Romans traduits (Translated Novels)

Les enfermés [Lock In], John Scalzi, translated by Mikael Cabon (L’Atalante)

Nouvelles (Short Stories)

Il sera une fois, Southeast Jones (Éditions Séma)

Coup de coeur (Favorites)

L’exégèse de Philip K. Dick (J’ai Lu)

Rae Armantrout

(13) WELL VERSED. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Human Imagination presents Entanglements: Rae Armantrout & the Poetry of Physics on April 13 at 6 p.m. in Atkinson Hall Auditorium on the UC San Diego campus. It is free to the public.

One of the favorite subjects of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rae Armantrout (Professor Emerita, UCSD) is physics–from the big ideas of cosmology to the infinitesimally small wonders of the quantum world. To celebrate the publication of Entanglements, a chapbook selection of her science-minded poems, Brian Keating (Astrophysics, UCSD) and the Clarke Center are hosting an evening with Rae Armantrout, who will read selections and discuss the creative process behind her work. Keating, along with Brandon Som (Creative Writing, UCSD) and Amelia Glaser (Literature, UCSD), will join her in a conversation about how these poems mix the personal with the scientific and speculative, the process of interdisciplinary creativity, and what her poetic engagement with physics can teach those working in the physical sciences.

(14) SOLVING FOR X. Melissa Leon’s really thoughtful and well-written review of Logan appears in The Daily Beast.

Logan, Hugh Jackman’s ninth and final outing as the Wolverine, is really a profoundly hopeful film. It loves and deeply understands its characters and the fraught, familial relationships between them. Its action scenes—brutal, bloody, and thrillingly inventive in a way comic book beat-em-ups rarely are—are as character-driven and impactful as its story. (Like, really impactful: You feel each punch, stab and dismemberment. Bless that R-rating.) This is a Western that happens to star superheroes; a road movie grounded in quiet, tender moments. It’s an elegy, wholly unconcerned with franchise-building or connecting distant universes. And with the introduction of Laura, a young mutant with powers similar to Wolverine’s, it becomes a portrait of makeshift families, empathy, and finding normalcy, too. That’s what the best X-Men stories are usually about. Turns out no one knows this better than her.

(15) TANGLED TECH. At SWSW, Disney showed plans to add AI to animatronics.

It’s rare that the company delves too far into how the “magic” – as they call it – works. Their logic is a magic trick doesn’t get better if you know how it’s done.

On Saturday, Disney – quite uncharacteristically – gave us a bit of an insight into how they plan to use technology to bring their much-loved brand of storytelling to new forms, by using robotics and artificial intelligence.

Jon Snoddy, the company’s senior Vice President for research and development, explained how soon you’ll be able to interact with story-telling robots at Disney parks.

“I think AI [artificial intelligence] and machine learning is going to be very important for what we do,” he told the BBC.

“Things like characters that can move around among our guests. They’re going to need to understand where they’re going, have goals, and they’re going to have to know how to navigate in a world with humans….

During a panel discussion, the company shared footage – which unfortunately we’re not able to republish here – of a robotic Pascal, the cute lizard from 2010 movie Tangled.

It’s a terrific recreation of the digital character, but the real challenge for Disney will be to avoid the so-called “uncanny valley” – the theory that if something is very lifelike, but not exactly right, it can be slightly creepy or disturbing.

“Obviously we’re not the business of scaring kids!” Mr Snoddy said….

(16) THE PEN FROM OUTER SPACE. The perfect placeholder while you’re waiting to win your Hugo — the Astrograph.

….As you first encounter it, the Astrograph is an elongated teardrop, with window-like depressions picked out in black lacquer at the narrow end. The wider end has three curved metal elements ending in sharp points, and there’s a miniature ladder going up one side of the barrel that ends in a tiny door.

The door is actually a hidden lever that, when pulled, deploys those curved elements, which are the landing gear – and suddenly the pen is a miniature spaceship.

The spaceship illusion is underscored by touches like a red “thruster” at the pen’s base. The landing gear has actual working shock-absorbing struts, and with the gear down, the bottom half of the pen acts as a pen-holder.  The pen itself is housed in the upper half of the Astrograph, which you release simply by unscrewing it (it’s available either as a fountain pen or rollerball pen, but both work the same way)….

The Astrograph, in keeping with its philosophy of taking a toy to its logical extreme, also comes with, naturally, a tiny astronaut figurine with a magnet in its chest that lets you pretend the little guy’s climbing up or down the ladder, the better to explore strange new worlds; it also comes with a landing pad base that doubles as the pen’s box. Did you really expect anything less? I didn’t think so.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Jonathan Edelstein, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

70 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/13/17 Do Androids Dream Of Crottled Greeps?

  1. Sorry for not having as much playtime recently. For the curious, I published my Hugo noms.

    As always, don’t nominate it if you didn’t read/watch/hear it.

    Also, a plug for JR Handley who I found via Hall & Beaulieu who I think I found due to Nick Cole. JR writes MilSF and seems to have a promising start in The Legion Awakes.

    Regards,
    Dann

  2. Does anybody know the legal status of the stories in The Last Dangerous Visions? Sorry for the morbid thought, but when Harlan passes on will these stories become available?

  3. I haven’t seen this noted elsewhere, but Harlan Ellison’s web site has been in “can’t be found” status for a few weeks now.

  4. Noooo, it can’t be nom time already! Only four more days to stuff books into my eyeballs …. Lovecraft Country and Spiderlight are the two standouts so far. I have jury duty tomorrow so I should be able to get to at least one more novel during the recesses.

    For shorter writings, I have some manically scribbled lists that I’ll organize on Thursday.

    For Short Form Drama, Westworld ep 5, Contrapasso (for the NIN song).

    For Long Form Drama, Moana (for the aloha).

    For fan writer: Chuck Tingle, although I’m going to need some brain bleach to deal with that NC17 T-Rex photo.

  5. gottacook — Steven Barber reported this on Facebook on February 28. If I hear anything more I’ll post it.

    THE HARLAN ELLISON WEBSITE IS TEMPORARILY DOWN
    Rick Wyatt, the webmaster and site creator/guru, is recovering from a hospital stay. [When] he is confirmed to be better and capable of checking into this, I will let him know.
    Please pass the word that the shutdown is — to my knowledge — accidental and temporary.
    Please forward this as you think necessary.

  6. Thanks for the Pen post. That was amusing.

    Not $19,900 for purchase amusing – but fun to look at.

  7. (16) Darn it, I want that Astros Raphael, and at that price, I can go on wanting it till the cows,come home.

    (1) @Alan Ziebarth–Their legal status varies. Not all the contracts for them had the same terms. Some had reversion dates; others didn’t. Some authors were willing to sue to get their rights back. In some cases this was so they could publish the story they sold for The Last Dangerous Visions, and in other cases it was so they could ensure that an early story that wasn’t up to their later standards would never be published.

  8. @5: after the last election, I shouldn’t be surprised about people whose egos not only write checks they can’t cash but convince others to go along with the self-inflation — but it’s generally not fun to watch them swirling around the drain, because even if they’re swine (rather than self-deluding) they drag other people with them.

    @15: that’s S\X/SW. My typo when I forwarded, so I guess you save a drink.

    @Alan Ziebarth: In 1993, NESFA published a hitherto-unseen Cordwainer Smith story that was originally supposed to appear in LDV on the grounds that the contract with the estate gave Ellison the rights for a limited term (10 years IIRC). I don’t know whether living authors got the same contract. It’s not clear how many authors would care to have something they wrote over 40 years ago presented with fanfare now.

    @Charon D: make sure you do stretches periodically; I was called 7 weeks ago and my back is still not over a twist from trying to find a comfortable reading spot in the pool room’s chairs; I was paying too much attention to the book and not enough to where the stylish-looking devices didn’t provide support. With luck, YMWV.

  9. (4) CAMPBELL AWARD ANTHOLOGY.

    Ugh, forcing me to give out my e-mail address and subscribe to something in order to get this is just so not cool. 🙁

  10. @JJ: It’s pretty much impossible to pick up any freebies these days without also subscribing to a list. I suspect that at least part of the reason for the publisher picking up the Campbell anthology was precisely to use it as a lead magnet and build up an email list. Email marketing is still absolutely one of the most valuable tools in the digital marketing world, although people will try to tell you it’s dead and being replaced Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram/Periscope… In my opinion, the only thing that stands a chance of actually replacing rather than just supplementing email is push notifications, but how many sites do you see asking permission to send you push notifications via a service like PushCrew vs how many ask you for your email?

    ETA: I’m generally cool with giving out one of my email addresses for things like this because it’s basically a spamtrap anyway.

  11. @JJ

    It’s kinda inevitable with these things, but I wish they’d be a bit clearer about it. It told me I was signing up for a newsletter from someone without a link to see who they were, and then at the end of the process it said I’d signed up to the mailing list of someone different. I just have a throwaway email for this sort of stuff, but it’s quite tedious.
    If you didn’t sign up and just want me to email it to you, let me know.

  12. @Mark: huh, somehow I missed that. Dodgy practises to sign you up for a list they didn’t say anything about. I hope it’s an honest mistake, but still, it has potential to cause both them and their email provider some serious headaches if they’re not 100% clear about things like this.

  13. @Oneiros

    I just went back and checked. The signup page says “the Quanta mailing list” and then the email confirmation says “future communication from Shirtsleeve Press”. You still have the option not to download and not get signed up, but I bet a lot of people won’t notice the changed name between the two points.
    I don’t mind this sort of thing, provided they’re clear, e.g. “We’d like to send you a quarterly newsletter, there will be an unsubscribe option, we won’t use your address for any other marketing” is a reasonable offer that I can take or leave.

  14. @Mark

    Interestingly my email confirmation said “future communications from Jake Kerr”.

  15. (6) I remember something about ticking off duck similarities.

    (12) Very nice review. It hits home my need to see a new trailer cut to make it look as a “Man connects with the daughter he never knew he had, thanks to a cantankerous professor” film (trailer set to “Solsbury Hill”, of course).

  16. Dann on March 13, 2017 at 6:37 pm said:

    Sorry for not having as much playtime recently. For the curious, I published my Hugo noms.

    I like the idea of The Passage for best series. I liked it overall better than each of its parts.

  17. I am so behindhand it’s not funny. The benevolent Weather Goddess Stella has decided I take a day off today to organize my Hugo nominations; is someone keeping a list of people’s posted noms, for memory-jogging purposes?

  18. Doctor Science: I am so behindhand it’s not funny. The benevolent Weather Goddess Stella has decided I take a day off today to organize my Hugo nominations; is someone keeping a list of people’s posted noms, for memory-jogging purposes?

    There are lots of good recs at the links in the 2016 Recommended SF/F Page (permalinked in the File 770 header).

    Some good Dramatic Short Form noms on the last page of comments here.

    Also some suggestions here.

    And some good suggestions on this page.

  19. Wikipedia has a list of LDV stories that have seen publication elsewhere.

    In trying to obtain a copy of A. Bertram Chandler’s The True Believer story (for a Chandler concordance project – it is the last known unpublished piece by Jack), I spoke with folks who worked on the project and it is entirely possible that the manuscripts themselves have gone missing (I was also informed at the time that evidence of Harlan’s work on the project was next to nil at the time; many of the publication delays were purportedly owing to Ellison’s never finishing the interstitial material surrounding each story; one individual even suggested that it was unlikely that Harlan had even read many of the manuscripts…)

    I live in fear of Harlan’s previously stated request that “all his papers be burned” upon his death; I sure hope those ms can be found moldering away somewhere and that they aren’t immolated.

  20. Mark, if that offer is still open for the (free) Campbell book, my email, rot13, is pnffl@obbxjlezr.pbz

    Thanks! (And JJ, I’m nearly through with Monstrous Little Voices, and it’s wonderful; thanks for the loan!)

  21. 1) “The Last Dangerous Visions”: Has Ellison given serious thought to just getting the doorstop out as an e-book-only publication? (Maybe he doesn’t have the electronic rights, because such a concept didn’t exist in the mid-70s, and going back and getting those rights now might be impossible, as so many of the contributors are no longer here.)

  22. @Camestros

    I agree that City of Mirrors was the weakest of the three in that series. I had an open slot on my ballot and thought Cronin’s work last year to be good enough in comparison with past winners/nominees, but didn’t have any real expectation that it would win.**

    My reading habits are what they are. Sometimes that means the process of catching up on a series displaces time that could be spent on something current. If I find a good series, then I’ll read the entire thing. I devoured all of James A. Moore’s Seven Forges series last year. I also thoroughly enjoyed Emma Newman’s Split World series last year. But reading installments in a series in succession leaves less time for other 2016 books. Mount To-Be-Read isn’t much help either.

    The other works that I can recall from 2016 that I read just didn’t quite measure up; Dinosaur Lords and The Vagrant. (Although The Vagrant was a very close thing. It was very good.)

    Thanks for dropping the comment on my blog as well.

    @JJ

    Regarding email lists, Microsoft offers sub-addresses. As I have an “old” Hotmail address, all my new sub-addresses end up being Outlook.com addresses. I just generate a new one every time I sign up for a new list. If they sell my address or otherwise engage in abuse, I can shut them down by simply canceling the address.

    FWIW.

    But I didn’t get that volume for the same reason. The sign-up process seemed a little sketchy.

    Regards,
    Dann

    **a 10,000-word essay on why Sebastien de Castell’s Saints Blood should be the only nominee on everyone’s ballot unless they filthy, scum-sucking, barely literate, faux intelligentsia, poopy-headed bottom dwellers has been cheerfully deleted.

  23. Dann – How does The Magicians show compare to the books? I loath the books but sometimes TV series can take things in a new an interesting direction and the commercials seem interesting.

  24. Matt – I cannot offer an informed opinion on the TV series vs the books. I’ve not read the books. The TV series is quite good, IMHO. Worthy of being noticed/discussed.

  25. @Matt Y — Myself, I liked the Magicians TV series. It does make some pretty significant deviations from the books — for one thing, the characters are all aged up (Brakebills is a graduate school, not undergrad), and they move some of the plotlines around, add & subtract characters, etc.

    I did like the books, but I didn’t read them until after watching the first season of the TV series. Having said that, in most cases, where they changed characters I prefer the TV interpretations.

    I think you can stream the first season on Netflix these days, so that might be one way to check out the first few episodes, which should give you a sense of whether you might like it more than the books.

  26. Joe & Dann – Thanks! I might give it a shot. There’s so much available now though it’s hard to want to add too many more series to the list. In the books the main character was the most unrepentant whiny douchebag that I couldn’t stand him. I thought if the series took it in a different direction, or a different format with the right actors maybe I’d be able to see a different side of it.

    Hadn’t heard of the Greatcoats trilogy, sounds interesting. Added to the TBR mountain.

  27. @Peer

    The moon is a hard mattress

    *Snort*

    I’ve got my own domain so generate email addresses as needed. Besides being useful for spam trapping it also makes predicting what my username is for an account much harder to predict.

    ETA: and if I start getting spam to a e-commerce specific address that’s not from the site in question, boy are they in trouble…

  28. @Ken Josenhans: Has Ellison given serious thought to just getting the doorstop out as an e-book-only publication? Harlan is by common report somewhat … stubborn? … about tech (e.g., using a manual typewriter instead of a computer), so he may have nixed this idea. However, as I’ve watched this (over at least 42 years) a major issue (perhaps the issue) has been not the physical difficulty (of putting so many words into a plausible number of deadtree books) but the impossibility of getting Harlan to either write all the interstitial material he wanted to or just declare that he wasn’t going to write any more.

  29. The snow has obviously affected my proofreading skills….

    @Kendall: At a not-too-recent Wiscon there was a panel looking over all the Tiptree winners and shortlisters; it was interesting to hear that nobody had read all of them (one panelist had read maybe three quarters?) and that everybody had works they felt shouldn’t have been shortlisted. I don’t recall much discussion of mechanics or of how a specific set of judges came up with their lists (long, short, and winner(s)).

  30. Matt – I’m not sure how whiny the main character is in the books, but in the series, he does have a whiny quality to him. It wasn’t too much, but in reading your perspective I think that aspect is present in the TV version to some extent.

    IMHO, he seems to grow out of it as the series goes on.

    The TV series has a nice balance of drama, suspense, fantasy, and humor….or humour, depending on one’s tastes.

  31. Yes, Quintin in the TV series is pretty whiny, but he does have more of a reason for it; and the secondary characters (Eliot and Margo(Janet) and Julia and Alice and Penny) more than make up for it, IMO. Eliot’s casting in particular is kind of perfect; and they do good things with Penny, who’s had the most radical transformation from the character in the books.

  32. Just read that Christopher Priest thing on The Last Dangerous Visions. Very interesting.

  33. 6) This is what happens when real life becomes indistinguishable from noir satire.

    16) Yes, it’s gorgeous and it’s a fine piece of functional art as well. Still, if I had $19,000 lying around, I’d have better uses for it than buying a pen. I’ll just admire it from a distance.

    @ Chip: My partner ran across an interview with one of the actors who got stiffed by the last Space City Comic Con, in which he had this to say: (1) that this was the second time he’d been stiffed by comic-cons that hadn’t been around for very long, (2) that there are too many comic-cons right now for the market to support, and (3) that he was going to be extremely selective in the future about which cons he would appear at as a guest. Unstated but easily inferred was that he was likely to give newer, unestablished cons a pass.

  34. IIRC, The Magicians TV series does a pretty serious reorganisation of the plotlines from the first two books to interleave them. It’s a sensible choice, as otherwise they’d have a character disappear for the first season.

  35. FWIW: I didnt enjoy the Magicians (TV-Series) enough to finish the first season. The reason was that I hated most characters…
    I did like the first season of Dark Matter, but the second season was too much hit and miss (and it seems the makers didnt really have a big plan for it) to nominate it for something.

  36. Myself, I liked the Magicians TV series. It does make some pretty significant deviations from the books — for one thing, the characters are all aged up (Brakebills is a graduate school, not undergrad)

    Huh. That sounds like it would be a poor choice, since the main character is pretty much only forgivable because he’s the kind of dumbshit a lot of people are in their late teens / early twenties. But not having seen the show, I can’t judge whether or not they made it work.

  37. Re The Magicians TV vs. books. I think I’ve been enjoying the TV series more than the books. Both of them feature (to me at least) intensely unlikable characters, but the actors in the TV show brought a little more depth and humanity to them. I’m a little disappointed that gur Nfyna nfcrpg bs gur furrc oebguref vf qbjacynlrq, though.

    Readingwise, I’m still working on the Malcolm X autobiography. I may have to put it down for a while soon, though, and pick up a Penric novella or something. The autobiography is good but it’s intensely claustrophobic in multiple ways.

  38. Mark: If you didn’t sign up and just want me to email it to you, let me know.

    Oh, I went ahead and gave it an e-mail address I use for stuff on the web where I don’t want to use my real name. It’d be a bit of a pain to have to cancel it and go to use of a different one, but not a crisis.

    But it definitely does make me give the publisher the side-eye, especially since I did notice that the initial notification said “Quanta”, the after-acknowledgement said “Shirtsleeve Press”, and the e-mail confirmation said “Jake Kerr” — it’s all very dodgy-looking.

    I do applaud the decision to limit each author to one eligible story — requiring them to submit only what they think is their one best eligible work, instead of swamping nominators with a pile of stories to wade through (much of which is dreck), which I thought was a real problem with the anthology the last couple of years.

  39. Meredith moment: Mythic Delirium have a 99 cent/pence sale on Clockwork Phoenix 5, which is up there among the best anthologies of the year. If you’re looking for some last minute reading material then this might be fertile ground. If you want to try before you buy they have some stories online, including my favourite The Souls of Horses by Beth Cato, plus Nebula finalist Sabbath Wine.

    @JJ

    I did find out that the two company names were the publisher and the imprint, suggesting disorganisation rather than anything else. No idea who Jake is though!

    I agree with you that the single story rule has helped concentrate the authors on their best story. I’ve found it to be quite a good quality selection so far.

  40. Mark: Mythic Delirium have a 99 cent/pence sale on Clockwork Phoenix 5, which is up there among the best anthologies of the year.

    Just an FYI for those who care, this anthology purchased a story from Benjanun Sriduangkaew/ Requires Hate/ Winterfox. I was a bit pissed off at myself a couple of months ago for buying it first without noticing that.

  41. @JJ

    I’m suddenly struck (since he was in on the scroll recently) by the difference in how Orson Scott Card and BS – both hateful people who also write well – are treated and regarded. I certainly don’t think BS deserves better, but… it’s interesting.

  42. OSC had invested a lot of time and effort in building up goodwill in the community before his hateful views became widely known. BS on the other hand,spent years spend hate, slander, and vitriol attempting personal destruction of people before the writer was exposed as the person doing these things.

    So, yeah, OSC got a lot of backlash–please don’t try to tell me he didn’t–but not the same kind of “you must never do business with this person again.”

    That’s because,sustained efforts at personal destruction of individuals elicits a more personal response than “just” having reprehensible and dangerous political views.

    So now people have negative feelings about Card, many having their feelings about work of his that they loved permanently affected. Many won’t attend a con where he’s a guest. Many won’t read his work anymore.

    But no, it’s not as intense as the response BS got, because sustained efforts at personal destruction do elicit a more intense response.

  43. I frankly think that the backlash against OSC has been worse than it has for BS in some ways. She’s still getting her stories published, people are still buying them, giving her work reviews and inviting her to participate in roundtables — people who claim to be liberal and supportive of minorities and other vulnerable writers, but who don’t seem to have much problem associating with her and supporting her despite the incredible amount of damage she has done (and from what I’ve seen, is still trying to do) to those vulnerable people.

    At least the people who still support OSC are doing so with consistency to their claimed value systems (leaving aside the subject of what their value systems actually are); the people who support BS seem to me to be quite hypocritical.

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