Pixel Scroll 4/24/18 I Should’ve Never Rolled Those Hypercubical Dice

(1) MEXICANX INITIATIVE. John Picacio tells how Constellation 9 helped him hit the Assistance Fund’s $15,000 goal.

Picacio gave a play-by-play on his blog:

I was the Artist Guest of Honor at Constellation 9 in Lincoln, Nebraska this past weekend. It’s a small sf/f convention — the kind that pulls a modest 350-person attendance and serves a ‘big tent’ approach to fandom, celebrating art, books, films, TV, anime, gaming, cosplay and more. However, in all of my years of attending conventions, I’ve never seen a show with bigger heart. How big are we talking here?

Big enough to take The Mexicanx Initiative‘s $4333 remaining distance toward its $15,000 Assistance Fund goal and CRUSH IT in a single, unrelenting, hellacious Saturday Night Charity Auction.

That’s right.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED for The Mexicanx Initiative’s Assistance Fund — we reached our $15,000 goal this past Saturday night, thanks to everyone who gave in recent weeks and finished off by the incredible sf/f fandom of Constellation Nebraska, who believe in an American dream where all cultures are represented and welcomed. Shoutouts to Nanci H., Sam S., Nate W., Theron, Brian H., and the greatness of Dylan N. of NebrasKon (pictured upper right), who offered to shave his head AND his beard in order to raise money for The Initiative, generating a thunderous roar from the approving mob, reportedly causing onlookers to pass out. It was an epic night, hosted by John Pershing and Richard Graham, and by the end of the three-hour fever dream, Constellation Nebraska generated a whopping, record-setting $4,444, which brought the Mexicanx Initiative’s Assistance Fund total to $15,121!

And Nebraska wasn’t done — on Sunday, more contributions arrived, bringing The Mexicanx Initiative’s Assistance Fund total to $15,304.19 — $4,627.19 of that coming from the hearts, souls, and hairlines of the legendary Nebraskan people. Every dollar of that will benefit the 50 Mexicanx all-star pros and fans attending Worldcon 76 this summer.

(2) LAMBDA VISIONARY AND TRUSTEE AWARDS. Lambda Literary announced the winners today.

Lambda Literary, the nation’s oldest and largest literary arts organization advancing LGBTQ literature, is pleased to announce that Edmund White will receive Lambda’s Visionary Award and Roxane Gay will receive the Trustee Award at the 30th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (“Lammys”).

White and Gay will be honored along with the winning authors of 23 separate LGBTQ literary categories determined by over 65 judges. The Lammys bring together over 500 attendees, sponsors, and celebrities to celebrate excellence in LGBTQ publishing, making it the most glamorous and prestigious LGBTQ literary event in the world.

The awards will be hosted by Kate Clinton on Monday, June 4 in New York City

[Via Locus Online.]

(3) TED TABLE TALK. The Periodic Videos team, using the TED-Ed platform, has created a video lesson about every single element on the periodic table. (And with no help from Tom Lehrer.)

Take your old pal Beryllium, for example —

(4) POUL’S PRONUNCIATION LESSON. John Hertz remembers –

I believe it was while Poul Anderson was a Guest of Honor at Lunacon that he told an eager group “I’ll teach you all how to pronounce my name.” We bated our breath. He said, “AN-der-son.”

(5) BROUGHT TO YOU BY. James Davis Nicoll reaches names that start with the letter K in “Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part V”.

Lee Killough first appeared under the Del Rey imprint. I suspect editors Lester and Judy-Lynn may have been searching for authors like Larry Niven at the time. Yes, there’s a faint resemblance, but Killough has greater talent than Niven for crafting memorable characters. I quite liked her re-contact novel A Voice Out of Ramah, which is out of print, and her collection Aventine, which is also out of print. The Killough novel that first caught my eye was 1979’s The Doppelgänger Gambit, an engaging police procedural that followed a desperate killer’s attempts to evade a panopticon state. Doppelgänger, happily, is available in a new edition, which sadly lacks the eye-catching Michael Herring cover of the original edition³, but which is definitely worth your time.

(6) STAR WARS AND OTHERS. In 2016, Sarah Ellison, writing for Vanity Fair, profiled Kathleen Kennedy: “Meet the Most Powerful Woman in Hollywood”.

In 2012, after more than three decades producing hits such as E.T., Jurassic Park, and Schindler’s List, Kathleen Kennedy was handpicked by George Lucas to head Lucasfilm. Now, with the smash success of The Force Awakens behind her, Kennedy sits down with Sarah Ellison to talk about her mentors, her sense of equality, and her vision for the Star Wars franchise.

(7) GAMING NEWSLETTER. James Davis Nicoll is giving this a signal boost: “More Seats at the Table: a newsletter featuring awesome games by underloved designers”

We’re so pleased to be able to announce More Seats at the Table – an email newsletter designed to highlight games made by designers and creators who don’t fit neatly into the gender binary, femmes, and women.

More Seats at the Table came about as a result of a conversation between Kira Magrann and Anna Kreider about the problem of games by and about not-cismen being perceived as only for not-cismen – and they decided a good way to address this challenge would be an email newsletter highlighting the work of marginalized designers. To that end, they enlisted the organizational aid of Misha Bushyager of New Agenda Publishing and Kimberley Lam.

But we don’t just want this email list to be subscribed to by marginalized designers. Cismen, we’d very much like you to subscribe, and if you find work that excites you – then we hope you’ll consider either buying or using your platform to signal boost work by marginalized designers that you find exciting!

If you’d like to subscribe to the email list, please fill out our sign-up here. Our first issue will be sent out this Friday, April 27th!

“Cismen” sounds like something Flash Gordon fought, not a way I’d describe myself.

(8) NANCY. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna says that Olivia Jaimes, after taking over Nancy from Guy Gilchrist on April 9, has caused the hits on this ancient strip on GoComics to 5,000  per dayto 390,000 as Nancy and Sluggo now encounter earbuds, social media, and Snapchat: “How the new ‘Nancy’ creator is handling divided fans and sudden fame”.

“Olivia must be channeling her inner Bushmiller,” wrote one positive commenter on the syndicate’s website, referring to longtime “Nancy” creator Ernie Bushmiller, around whom a cult of top comics professionals has formed. Another commenter noted how Jaimes nods to the comic’s tradition even while including modern touches, writing: “It is refreshing to see a return to its original style and humor.” And wrote another: “Nancy Goes Millennial.”

Others have not been as pleased. One commenter wrote on April 16: “This is ridiculous. You’d never catch Ernie Bushmiller doing a joke about Snap Chat. Bring back, Ernie!” And a reader expressed to The Washington Post, “Since the characters have not aged in 85 years I don’t think it’s necessary to change them now.”

Some friend of mine used to revere Nancy – was that you, Penguin Dave Feldman?

(9) VENOM. Venom Official Trailer:

(10) ABOUT THOSE TROLLS. J.K Rowling says this —

(11) DON’T GET PURGED. Amanda S. Green suggests this solution to those who are going to follow Amazon’s rules about reviews:

However, a number of those who claim to be innocent victims of Amazon purges really aren’t. Oh, they might not have set out to violate Amazon’s ToS but they did. Every time an author says, “If you review my book, I’ll review yours,” they violate the ToS. Every time someone receives a free book and gives a review without also noting they received the book without buying it, they violate the ToS.

So how do we get around this? I want to be able to review books my friends write and I know they want to review mine. But we have hesitated because we don’t want to violate the ToS — or get caught up in the latest ‘bot review even though we didn’t trade reviews.

The answer is simple: review the book on your blog. Link your blog to Facebook and Twitter and other social media platforms. But don’t review it on Amazon. Yes, there are negatives (mainly, by not reviewing it on Amazon, the author doesn’t get a review that counts to that magic number that starts the “if you bought this, you might enjoy that” sort of recommendation). However, a number of readers really don’t read Amazon reviews. They might look at the number of reviews a book has, or at least the overall number of stars, but they don’t read the reviews.

(12) STAN LEE. Here’s something else that probably won’t make it into Stan Lee’s biography.

A massage therapist says Stan Lee of Marvel Comics fondled himself and inappropriately grabbed her during arranged massages at a Chicago hotel in 2017, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County circuit court.

The massage therapist, Maria Carballo, also filed a complaint with Chicago police on March 16, said her attorney, Alexandra Reed-Lopez. A Chicago police spokeswoman confirmed a complaint was filed that date against Lee, under his legal name, Stanley Lieber. The case is still under investigation, police said.

The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000, punitive damages and attorney fees from Lee.

“He is a high-profile public figure and I think it’s a shakedown,” said Jonathan Freund, an attorney for Lee. “The guy is 95, I don’t think he would do that.”

…Freund said Lee “will defend his rights vigorously.”

(13) ROBOT HELPS GRANT A WISH. Through telepresence, “Robot helps Jack McLinden, 14, to be Everton mascot”.

Jack McLinden, who has multiple health conditions, experienced joining his heroes on the pitch before their game against Newcastle United on Monday.

Everton captain Phil Jagielka carried the robot, which fed panoramic live images and sound back to Jack’s tablet.

…The company has worked with UK charity WellChild to give Liverpool teenager Jack, who has much-reduced mobility, an unforgettable experience.

Jack needs oxygen 24 hours a day which means he can never attend a match at Goodison Park, even though he lives just under two miles away.

His mother Michelle Wignall said it was a “once in a lifetime experience” for her son.

(14) QUBITS. Popular Science peeks inside: “In photos: a rare glimpse inside the heart of a quantum computer”.

Qubits rely on many components. A wall of microwave generators create electromagnetic pulses that travel through a maze of coaxial cables and send the qubits—deep in the 5-foot-tall blue fridge pictured at the top of this article—into action. To create a climate colder than outer space, external pumps drive helium-3 refrigerant into copper tubing. As the helium circulates, it compresses, liquefies, and chills. It takes a day to hit the lowest low: 0.01 degrees Kelvin, or minus 459 degrees F.

(15) TIME TO FEUD. I’m Filmy brings you “Avengers: Infinity War Cast Play Family Feud.”

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

52 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/24/18 I Should’ve Never Rolled Those Hypercubical Dice

  1. Dangit, my browser barfed and I couldn’t get back to the page inside the edit window. So —

    3) “And with no help from Tom Leher.)”

    Yer missing another “r” in Lehrer, big guy. 🙂

  2. Aaaaaaaand now with the duplicate posts and no “edit” option.


    Sorry, guys, and Mike, I’d love it if you get a chance to delete one of those. Thanks!

  3. 5) Lee Killough was also an early example of urban fantasy as a supernatural hardboiled detective novel. It’s sad that her books are so difficult to find, though I will have to seek out that new edition of The Doppelgänger Gambit.

  4. Contrarius: Let’s see if WordPress will let me post a comment. It won’t let me edit the latest Scroll — keeps timing out.

  5. Contrarius: WordPress hasn’t been letting me do anything since I posted the Scroll. Let’s see if this comment goes up.

  6. #2 Is “hannouncing” different? 🙂 (Perhaps that means Harrison Ford is doing it?)

  7. Quick note before I dive into the Pixel Scroll above:

    Tor.com (no DRM) has a generous* 11-chapter sample of Witchmark by C.L. Polk on various platforms for free. This book’s on my watch list and FYI it comes out June 19. Ooh, 11 tasty (I hope) chapters!

    * Okay, I say generous, but I’m not sure if it’s a 20-chapter book overall or a 200-chapter book. 😉 11 chapters sure sounds like a large sample compared to the usual from various publishers.

    Note: The iBooks link gave me a “not available in the U.S. store error. [ETA: I believe it’s just not there yet, as I don’t find it via search, either.] Anyway, the Kobo link takes me to a working page, and of course there’s a Kindle (Amazon) link, and others.

  8. (8) a reader expressed to The Washington Post, “Since the characters have not aged in 85 years I don’t think it’s necessary to change them now.”


  9. Kendall: The iBooks link gave me a “not available in the U.S. store error. [ETA: I believe it’s just not there yet, as I don’t find it via search, either.] Anyway, the Kobo link takes me to a working page, and of course there’s a Kindle (Amazon) link, and others.

    The Ebooks.com site will allow you to download a non-DRM .epub just by providing an e-mail address, which they don’t even require you to confirm first. Yay for “gifts” which don’t require the recipient to give up a bunch of personal information and be auto-subscribed to an unwanted spam list.

  10. (2) LAMBDA VISIONARY AND TRUSTEE AWARDS. Kate Clinton – that takes me back. I saw her stand-up show once, many years ago (at which point I already had a live album of hers I liked a lot). /tangent

    (5) BROUGHT TO YOU BY. I like this series, but never remember to watch for new ones, so I appreciate you linking to it, @Mike Glyer!

  11. 1) Woo-hoo! It’s a big deal to them, but 50 extra Mexicans in San Jose isn’t even going to be noticed. 🙂 We got us plenty of Hispanics. I urge everyone at the con to absorb a little Latin American culture while they’re there (And not just churros and burritos, MR. SCALZI). At least leave the center and check out the Quetzalcoatl sculpture…

    Very impressive fund raising for such a small con.

    (4) Poul did that more than once b/c I’ve never been to Lunacon yet I heard him say that. Luckily he answered to anything pretty close — “pool” usually did the trick.

    (5) That was the first book of hers I read, too. Still have the copy with the eye-catching cover. It’s survived several moves, even more purges (particularly of things I bought as a young’un), and all. Only one I have, though I read and enjoyed several others. Sadly almost forgotten.

    (8) So it’s no longer boring and stupid? Good for the new writer.

    (10) So obvious it shouldn’t need to be said, but hopefully some people will take note now that someone with as big a microphone as hers has.

    (11) Bwuh? Who goes around reading random blog entries hither and yon when the Amazon reviews are right there where you’re gonna buy the thing? I was under the impression These Kids Today don’t follow blogs except maybe on Tumblr. I guess one could search for reviews, but still. I read the 1 and 2 star Amazon reviews so I know what to avoid.

    I guess it does help if you and your author pals have a big overlap in followers, but that’s still fewer than the number of eyeballs on even not-much-read Amazon reviews.

    (12) Being 95 doesn’t mean you still don’t have an eye for the ladies in reach.

    (13) That’s very sweet of the team. (Although, why can’t he use portable oxygen to go to the matches?)

    (15) Must watch later — the credential wants bedtime noms.

  12. 7) “Cismen” sounds like something Flash Gordon fought, not a way I’d describe myself.

    I have to say, “Flash Gordon in Menace of the Cismen” sounds like something I’d want to see.

    If it helps, the commonly accepted form is “cis men” – “trans” and “cis” are adjectives. And I’m wryly amused to report that this now has a political dimension – some transphobic feminists have taken to using “women and transwomen” (without the all-important space) because they don’t accept that trans women are women.

  13. 10) Amanda Marcotte had something to say about this too:

    “Every time a man condescendingly tells me, “You are giving them attention! Just ignore and block them!”, I hear, “Being exposed to the brutal misogyny you get aimed at you every day is uncomfortable. It would be so much better for me if I didn’t have to know this is what’s going on.” This phenomenon is not unique to the internet. Kids who get bullied get “don’t be a tattletale” from adults. Women who get street harassed end up having to apologize for making men in their lives uncomfortable by bringing it up. The intention is almost never to tell someone they are to suffer this in silence, but the effect is that you are telling them just that.”

  14. Looks like we’ve got the same issue with comments not posting as yesterday, but thankfully without the part where the whole site went down. Yay progress?

  15. These duplicates must be a result of the foul shoggoth, messing with the time machine again. Can’t be pure chance it started working again at the same time.

    Do not cross the the time streams, or I shall be very pixeled out!!

  16. 15. I’m actually kind of heartened to see that that Marvel crew aren’t familiar with the rules of “Family Feud”. I’d be really impressed if they showed just as much ignorance of Wheel of Fortune….

    11. Usually, when I want a title, I already want the title, so reviews mean nothing. On the other hand, I do check, sometimes, the proportionality of good to bad and read through a sampling (starting with 3 star if there are any) to see what, if any, unanimity exists.
    But mostly not, because most Amazon reviews are not critiques, but more like after action reports.

  17. @Steven Schwartz: Hin certain varieties of British Upper Class Henglish, many vowel-starting words are given an hinitial ‘h’. Maybe Mike’s hinting at an hupcoming knighthood?

    7) Now there’s a question, does “The Cismen” sound more like villains or heroes? “The Cismen and the Venus lagoon monster” could be a stirring tale of derring-do.

    (In the Infinity Library, where unwritten books can be found, there is a well-loved copy of G.A. Effinger’s “Maureen Birnbaum and the Cismen”, which all who’ve read it agrees is the definitive work on the subject, though none can agree what Muffy the Barbarian Swordperson really meant by her closing comment “We make do with what we have, Bitsy, and if what we have is a sword, so much the better.”.)

  18. Hin certain varieties of British Upper Class Henglish, many vowel-starting words are given an hinitial ‘h’.

    Don’t think it’s upper-class — it’s stereotypically a sign of someone aspiring to higher status and displaying ‘ypercorrection.

  19. @lurkertype: I might read the Amazon reviews if I’m already looking up one book and Amazon does the “customers who bought this also bought…” or “picked for you in $category” thing, but that’s not the main way I find books. More often, I read reviews by friends and acquaintances whose tastes usefully overlap mine, and who say enough about a book to be useful to me.

    Then again, the most likely reason I’m at Amazon these days is that when I borrow an ebook from the library and ask for kindle format, the software sends me to Amazon, which likes to suggest similar things while I’m there. Sorry, Amazon, but when I’m checking out a library book is the least likely time for me to be looking for books to buy. If this is volume 1 in a series, I don’t know yet if I want volume 2. (I’ve also been borrowing ebooks of things that I have in hardcopy, especially if the paper versions are in a box somewhere; I often already have lots of the author’s other works on paper, and am unlikely to want to to pay for those ebooks either.)

  20. I didn’t get notification of the post itself, and learned of it when the system told me there were new comments in it.

    (8) I’ve been following Nancy and the comments at GoComics (you’ll see mine there as well). 15% are about the skin tones, which have now been changed, but they still go on about it. 20% think Guy Gilchrist’s smarmy 20-year crapfest was better and we should force him to go back to doing cute, happy strips about wholesomeness and blubbering about dead pop stars. 10% are flouncing out right now and not coming back, which they do daily. 5% just can’t wait for Fritzi to come back, hubba hubba. (15% are slowly edging away from them. Another 5% are edging slightly faster.)

    Pixels are a scroll’s best friend.

  21. I’m sure someone in 1933 was furious that Ernie Bushmiller had ruined Fritzi Ritz by putting a child in the strip.

  22. (8) Back in my grad school days (1980s), a friend of mine used to read Nancy religiously, just to see if the strip could maintain its unbroken streak of never being funny.
    @Ghostbird: Now I want to see Flash Gordon and the War for the Planet of the Cismen and Flash Gordon and the Battle Beneath the Planet of the Cismen.

  23. Meredith Moment:

    The Great Alta Saga by Jane Yolen is on sale at The Usual Suspects for $3.99.

  24. Greg:

    “Hey, I discovered that Wiktionary actually lists an IPA pronunciation for the Danish name Poul.”

    For danish pronounciation, check around 10 seconds in for Poul Henningsen.

    It is about the same pronounciation as for swedish Pål or Paul.

  25. Recent Non-Hugo Reading:
    Borderline by Mishell Baker. I had been reading great things about this series, and I’ve been slowly getting into urban fantasy over the last year (favorites being the Mercy Thompson series and Tad Williams’ Bobby Dollar series). I really enjoyed this book and liked the different take on fey and how everyone has their fey match. I liked the characters and the treatment of mental and physical disorders, it felt very true (I hope it is, I don’t suffer from anything like any of the characters). I’ll definitely work through the other two books in the series.

    Recent Hugo reading:
    All Systems Red by Martha Wells. This is the first thing I’ve read from Wells (I also recently started the first Raksura book, but am only 10% through) and I enjoyed it. It was funny and clever, good characters, tightly plotted. I appreciate that it was a shorter story and not a full novel; although it felt like it could’ve easily been expanded. However, based on other reviews and comments I was thinking I was going to like it more than I did. Everyone talks about Murderbot’s voice and how original and funny and indifferent they are; but I found it kinda lacking. Were there funny bits? Sure. Did they come off flippant, irritable, and indifferent? Sure. But was it really overt and original and tickle me like I was expecting? No.
    Not sure where this one will end up on my ranking. Definitely in the top half, but a lot left to read in this category.

    The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi. I’ve read most Scalzi books (excited for Head On) and this one definitely has his style and voice. It’s tight, it’s funny, it’s interesting; I flew through this book and I eagerly await the sequel(s). However, it shouldn’t be on the Hugo list; there is nothing remarkable about it other than how fun it is. It was very, very much a first book in a series where it was all just a setup for things to come. This one will be very low, if not the bottom, of my ballot. It irks me that The Moon and the Other wasn’t nominated and Collapsing Empire was. Again, no knocks against this book or Scalzi and I really enjoyed it, but I’d rather something else made the shortlist.

    Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty. This one took me way by surprise; I absolutely loved it. It was gripping, intelligent, well thought out. I loved all of the small details in the future here that were dropped throughout (things like the water wars) that felt very prescient. The clones and cloning technology were fascinating. While there were a few plot elements I have just had to accept and get over (you really think a ship controlled by 6 criminals will be OK for 400 years?), it didn’t make much of an issue for me. Right now this book is easily at the top of my ballot.

    I had already read Provenance (thought it was OK) and The Stone Sky (good, but I was ultimately disappointed and really didn’t like the Stone Eater chapters) and am partway through New York 2140. That leaves Raven Strategem which I’m not particularly looking forward to reading. I read Ninefox Gambit last year and thought it was interesting, but way too much wasn’t explained and I thought the characters were pretty boring and not fleshed out and all of the battles felt meaningless and inconsequential; I never got a sense of scale, or dread, or consequence.

    I also started reading the first novel for the Retro Hugos. I started with The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle. I am nearing 2/3s of the way through it and loving it. Besides the relative small amount of the paranormal that is actually in the book, I’m finding it a lovely read. It took me until something like a quarter through it to even see the connection to why it would be eligible to nominate for a Hugo. While there is a lot of backstory that, so far and it might be explained later, IDK, isn’t fleshed out for a lot of the characters and you have to figure out the social norms of that time and place, it is a really great book. The prose is excellent and the slowly unfolding mystery has held my interest. I’m not sure how the other retro Hugo novels will stand up, but it’ll be interesting if they’re half as good as this one.

    (Interesting note, that if I were to include The Uninvited with all of the 2018 nominees, only Six Wakes would be ahead of it.

  26. @Nickpheas —

    New Humble Bundle is of interest


    Audio?? Did someone say “audio”?? 🙂

  27. Audio?? Did someone say “audio”??

    Has it really taken me this long to pun that several of you are AudioFilers?

  28. In case anyone is interested:

    There are two GoFundMe pages set up related to the Antioch/Nashville Waffle House shooting a few days ago.

    One is for the victims of the shooting — it was set up by James Shaw, who is the guy who wrestled the gun away from the shooter:


    And the other is for James Shaw himself, set up by someone else to benefit James. This kid seems like a sterling character, from everything that’s been seen so far.


    My brother lived in Antioch for about 20 years, and his widow still lives there. This is all very close to home — not to mention the church shooting in Antioch last year and the theater ax attack, also in Antioch, back in 2015.

    I’d love to see as much support as possible for this guy, who not only stood up for himself and the other restaurant patrons but also for his whole community.

  29. Is that Humble Bundle only audiobooks? Because I’d truly love me some eBook versions of Sleep of Stone and Child of an Ancient City …

  30. Joe H. on April 25, 2018 at 12:10 pm said:
    Some are both, a couple are audio-only, but the two you mention are ebook only.

  31. Thanks! I do believe I’ll be purchasing, then (since those two are not currently available as eBooks from Amazon).

  32. I lived near the Andersons as a kid, and they were good friends with my parents. They were regular guests at our house, and vice versa, and my brothers and I were regularly hired to parrot-sit when the Andersons were out of town. And even I can’t tell you for sure how he pronounced “Poul”.

    But yeah, he wasn’t picky about how others pronounced it. Not only was he an extremely nice guy, but he was also rather hard of hearing. So as long as he could tell you were talking to/about him, that was good enough.

    I ended up with a pronunciation somewhere between “pole” and “pull”. Can’t swear it’s correct, but it worked. Although “pole” or “pull” would have probably worked too. 🙂

  33. Not directly about genre, but about writing in general: Writing is a difficult pursuit – but more so for some than for others.

    Though one could argue that the writing implements in this case are a bit of science-fiction-come-true. Or one could note John Scalzi’s book that features characters in a similar situation.

  34. @Peer:
    I used to have a friend who was a fan of The Smiths, so I recognized ‘Girlfriend in a Coma’ fairly quickly.

  35. 8) Even if every single one of the 5,000 people who had been following the strip gets their knickers in a twist and stops following because of the changes… the strip, and Jaimes, still come out way ahead. Relevance is good.

    10) Exactly. This is why “ignore the bullies and they’ll go away” just doesn’t work. If everyone ignores them, they get to feel like they’re winning.

    12) Bush I is still capable of behaving inappropriately to women, and he’s in a lot worse shape than Stan Lee. The “he’s 95, I don’t think he’d do this sort of thing” argument doesn’t fly.

    @ Vicki: The two most useful sources of review-type information for me are (1) a couple of friends whose tastes and mine are extremely similar (though not perfectly so); and (2) communities like File 770, where I can hear a variety of opinions about a book from other book-lovers — who also generally provide enough incidental detail that I can get a good idea whether or not I’ll like the book, without spoilers.

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