Pixel Scroll 4/28/19 Heck Has No Fury Like A Woman Scorned

(1) GOOGLE GAG. Google “Thanos.” There will be a Infinity Gauntlet image on the right side. Click on it. No spoilers involved.

(2) AVENGERS BREAKS THE BANK. Yahoo! Entertainment has the numbers as “World turns out for record ‘Avengers: Endgame’ movie debut”.

Fans around the globe packed movie theaters for the debut of “Avengers: Endgame” over the weekend, pushing total ticket sales for the Walt Disney Co superhero spectacle to a stunning $1.2 billion and crushing records in dozens of countries.

“Endgame” generated an unprecedented $350 million in the United States and Canada from Thursday night through Sunday, according to Disney estimates. The three-hour action spectacle that revealed the fates of Iron Man, Thor and other popular comic-book heroes also made history in China, Brazil, France, Egypt, South Africa and 38 other markets….

(3) LIFE OF TOLKIEN. Historian John Garth’s Daily Mail article has some spoilers for the Tolkien biopic — “The forbidden love that saved JRR Tolkien from the horrors of war: A controversial new film reveals the extraordinary true story behind The Lord Of The Rings”

…It was more than three weeks before he had a chance to think. Tolkien sat out at night in a Somme wood as dark and tangled as his thoughts, then wrote to the other two survivors. ‘Something has gone crack,’ he said. ‘I feel just the same to both of you – nearer if anything and very much in need of you. But I don’t feel a member of a little complete body now.’

The four had dreamed that with God’s help they would change the world through a grand creative collaboration. They must have been mistaken, Tolkien said.

Though none of them could know it, Gilson’s death had actually put Tolkien on the road to changing the world singlehandedly….

(4) CONTROVERSY STALKS CIA PRESENCE AT CON. “Awesome Con Opens With Fans Questioning CIA Involvement”ScienceFiction.com has extensive coverage.

Awesome Con opened the doors at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, for its seventh year on Friday. Every year, Awesome Con gets bigger – more celebrities, more artists, more fans. Now, it seems like there’s also more controversy.

As first reported by the website ComicsBeat, the CIA has a large presence at this year’s con, from logos on various signage, to a large exhibit booth, to several CIA-inspired panels.

…At the convention, the CIA booth is in an area surrounded by other science, technology, and government bodies, including NASA. The messaging around the agency’s booth is clear – they are there to recruit those who are interested.

Talking to some of the attendees at the convention, the reactions to the CIA being there were mixed. Some who spoke about their displeasure would only provide their first names, citing fear of retribution.

“I think it’s just messed up, man,” said Peter, who would only say he lived somewhere ‘up north.’ “These are the same people who’ve killed and tortured innocent people, but you got them here recruiting? There are kids around here! I thought this show was supposed to be about the fans?”

“I’m not going anywhere near that area,” said Sara, who travelled with her young son from Pennsylvania. “It’s sad, too, because I wanted my son to see some of the space stuff over there. Maybe somebody will realize they made a mistake and not do this again.”

(5) BRADBURY STATUE. “Dedication planned for August as work starts on Waukegan’s Ray Bradbury statue” reports the Chicago Tribune.

Work on a Ray Bradbury statue in downtown Waukegan has begun as the final stretch of fundraising continues, a Waukegan Public Library official said.

The 12-foot-tall statue — which will feature the late Waukegan native, book in hand, on a rocket ship — will be placed outside the library once complete, with a dedication planned for Bradbury’s birthday on Aug. 22.

The statue, inspired by Bradbury’s poem “If Only We Had Taller Been,” is being created in stainless steel by acclaimed artist Zachary Oxman, who agreed to a contract a few months ago so he could start buying material and lining up a foundry, said Richard Lee, who saw the project begin as a conversation four years ago when he was the library’s executive director.

The Ray Bradbury Statue Committee is still $20,000 shy of the $125,000 needed to cover the statue’s cost, but the hope is that seeing the finished product will help spark the last fundraising push, library spokeswoman Amanda Civitello said.

(6) IN DEMAND. WorldCat’s The Library 100 lists the top novels available in libraries worldwide. Plenty of sff! I’ve read 41 of these, but lots of you can beat that score.

What makes a novel “great”? At OCLC, we believe literary greatness can be measured by how many libraries have a copy on their shelves.

Yes, libraries offer access to trendy and popular books. But, they don’t keep them on the shelf if they’re not repeatedly requested by their communities over the years. We’ve identified 100 timeless, top novels—those found in thousands of libraries around the world—using WorldCat, the world’s largest database of library materials.

So, check out The Library 100, head to your nearest library, and enjoy the read!

(7) TIME FOR A REFILL. In his latest The Full Lid, Alasdair Stuart says he “takes a look at the excellent narrative build of Discovery season 2 and what it shares with classic stage magic. I also listen to Monkeyman Productions’ remarkable Moonbase Theta, Out, find a lot to be optimistic about at Ytterbium and contrast that with one of my very few con horror stories. Thanks for reading.” Here’s a brief excerpt from the Eastercon report —

…Four years ago, volunteering at a convention, I had to explain to a decades-in-the-business, award winning creative you’ve probably heard of that a harassment policy was not a needless frippery but rather the equivalent of putting a roof on a house. Sooner or later, you always end up needing it. That wasn’t the only complaint we had about the policy, but it was the one that left the nastiest taste in my mouth. A taste, I notice four years later, has gone. Harassment policies are now the norm. The Overton Window of tradition has shifted and shifted, FOR ONCE, to the left.

That doesn’t just apply to cultural changes either. I’m seeing the ragged leading edge of the singularity hitting at multiple places across the industry and improving what came before it every time it does. Ten years ago I explained that I worked for a podcast and was greeted with the polite, confused expression of a relative who’s pretty certain they’ve been told a joke but have no idea whether or not to laugh. This year, I was part of the best podcast panel I’ve seen, or been on, at a convention to date….

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 28, 1840 Palmer Cox. He was known for The Brownies, his series of humorous books and comic strips about the troublesome but generally well-meaning sprites. The cartoons were published in several books, such as The Brownies, Their Book for some forty years starting in the 1870s. Due to the immense popularity of his Brownies, one of the first popular handheld cameras was named after them, the Eastman Kodak Brownie camera. (Died 1924.)
  • Born April 28, 1910 Sam Merwin Jr. He was most influential in the Forties  and Fifties as the editor of Startling Stories,  Fantastic Story Quarterly, Wonder Stories Annual, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Fantastic Universe. He wrote a few stories for DC’s Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space but otherwise wasn’t known as a genre writer. (Died 1996.)
  • Born April 28, 1914 Philip E. High. Made his name first in the Fifties by being published in Authentic Science Fiction, New Worlds Science Fiction and Nebula Science Fiction, and was voted “top discovery” in the Nebula readers’ poll for 1956.  A collection of his short stories, The Best of Philip E. High, was published in 2002. He wrote fourteen novels but I can’t remember that I’ve read any of them, so can y’all say how he was as a novelist? (Died 2006.)
  • Born April 28, 1917 Robert Cornthwaite. Actor in such Fifties films as The Thing From Another WorldThe War of the WorldsMen Into Space and Destination Space. He would be active well into the Twentieth Century in such productions as The Twilight Zone, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Colossus: The Forbin Project , The Six Million Dollar Man, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and White Dwarf. (Died 2006.)
  • Born April 28, 1929 Charles Bailey. Co-writer writer with Fletcher Knebel of Seven Days In May, a story of an attempted coup against the President.  Rod Serling wrote the screenplay for the film. ISFDB says it got one review in the trade, in Analog Science Fact & Science Fiction, February 1963 by P. Schuyler Miller. (Died 2012.)
  • Born April 28, 1930 Carolyn Jones. She began played the role of Morticia Addams (as well as her sister Ophelia and the feminine counterpart of Thing, Lady Fingers) in The Addams Family. Though she had an uncredited role in the original The War of the Worlds which be her first genre role as a Blonde Party Guest, and she was Theodora ‘Teddy’ Belicec in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. She had a recurring role as Marsha, Queen of Diamonds on Batman. (Died 1983.)
  • Born April 28, 1948 Terry Pratchett. Did you know that Steeleye Span did a superb job of turning his Wintersmith novel into a recording? You can read the Green Man review here (Wintersmith) by Kage’s sister Kathleen. My favorite Pratchett? Well pretty much any of the Watch novels will do for a read for a night when I want something English and really fantastic. (Died 2015.)
  • Born April 28, 1953 Will Murray, 66. Obviously MMPs still live as he’s writing them currently in the Doc Savage Universe to the tune of eighteen under the house name of Kenneth Robeson since 1993. He’s also written in the King Kong, Julie de Grandin, Mars Attacks, Reanimator Universe, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.,Tarzan, Destroyer and The Spider media franchises. So how many do you recognize? 
  • Born April 28, 1967 Kari Wuhrer, 52. Best known for her roles as Maggie Beckett in Sliders and as Sheriff Samantha Parker in Eight Legged Freaks. Her first genre role was as Jackie Trent in Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time. She also played Amy Klein in Hellraiser VII: Deader (There was that many films in that franchise? Really? Why?) She voiced Barbara Keane and Pamela Isley in the most excellent Batman: Gotham by Gaslight and earlier in her career she was Abigail in the first live action Swamp Thing series. 
  • Born April 28, 1971 Chris Young, 48. Bryce Lynch in the Max Headroom series which I still hold is of the best SF series ever done. The only other genre I think he’s are two horror films, The Runestone andWarlock: The Armageddon. Unless you call voice roles in The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars and The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue genre…

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • With geometric logic, Candorville proves that Star Trek:Discovery is a big deal.
  • Speed Bump reveals something you didn’t know about those Little Libraries.
  • Speed Bump has a cute phone joke, too.

(10) ROUGH JUSTICE. Yahoo! Entertainment says “‘Avengers: Endgame’ Spoiler Man Beaten Outside Hong Kong Cinema”.

A man who obviously didn’t get the memo on Avengers: Endgame – or chose to ignore it – was beaten outside a Hong Kong cinema for shouting out spoilers to fans waiting in line to see the film.

(11) BACK IN TIME. Intercot documents EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth attraction, which was created with the help of Ray Bradbury and many others.

Spaceship Earth opened on October 1, 1982 and “celebrates communication as the key to human progress and survival.” (Walt Disney World – A Pictorial Souvenir © 1984 Disney) “For EPCOT’s signature structure, the Imagineers needed an image as unique as the Magic Kingdom’s castle. Something that would say, ‘Here’s a place that’s global in scope and futuristic in design.’ They made an inspired choice, Spaceship Earth.”

You can read and listen to recordings of the Spaceship Earth narrative, too.

Passing directly beneath the remarkable structure, we proceed up a short ramp passing two posters, a sign, and a large mural before entering the pavilion. The two posters on either side of the entrance queue show a painting of Spaceship Earth with stars in the distance behind it. Both say “Ride the Time Machine from the Dawn of Civilization to the Beginning of Our Tomorrow. SPACESHIP EARTH.” The sign which is along the right side of the ramp reads “Spaceship Earth is a slow moving attraction that explores the history of human communications. Since travelers will be transported to the furthest regions of our solar system, the attraction is not recommended for those who experience anxiety in dark, narrow or enclosed spaces.” The mural depicts astronauts working on a satellite with Earth in the distance. Surrounding them are smaller images of cavemen, the Egyptians, the Romans, Gutenburg and his printing press, and modern day people. These announcements are heard as we near the entranceway:

(12) YOUR MPH MAY VARY. According to Gizmodo, “Hubble Measurements Confirm There’s Something Weird About How the Universe Is Expanding”.

…But other measurements don’t agree. Scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope recalculated the Hubble constant with the help of a recent high-accuracy measurement of the distance to a nearby satellite galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud, as well as new observations of 70 Cepheid variables, a kind of pulsating star. Cepheids’ pulsation rate and brightness are closely enough related that their distance can be calculated. Combined with other improvements, they calculated the Universe’s expansion at 74 kilometers per second per megaparsec.

Basically—when scientists look farther away, the Universe seems to be expanding more slowly than when they look at the local Universe….

(13) STARBIRTH. Jonathan Cowie says of Gaia DR2 reveals a star formation burst in the disc 2–3 Gyr ago” – “It’s a bit technical for non-science types but they in Gaia DR2 data an imprint of a star formation burst 2–3 Gyr ago in the Galactic thin disc domain, and a present star formation rate.” Nature summarizes it thus:

…A burst of star formation that peaked two billion to three billion years ago spangled the Milky Way with a new generation of stars.

To understand how the Galaxy formed and evolved, astronomers need to know the rate at which its stars are born and how that rate has changed over time. But there is no way to measure the age of individual stars directly.

Roger Mor at the University of Barcelona in Spain and his colleagues turned to data from the Gaia satellite, which precisely measures the distance from Earth to millions of stars. These measurements allow researchers to calculate a star’s true brightness and size, which can be fed into models to infer its age.

The team simulated star formation in the Milky Way over time, and found it was in steady decline until roughly five billion years ago, when production suddenly ramped up. The researchers estimate that half the total mass of all the stars ever created in the Milky Way’s thin disk — which contains most of the Galaxy’s stars — was produced during this period.

(14) RADIO 4. FutureProofing episode “The Apocalypse” is a 40-minute programme on BBC Radio 4 which is not your usual prepper fare as it touches a number of SF tropes including the singularity, post humanism, AI as well as the basics such as asteroids.

Will 21st century technology avert or accelerate the Apocalypse? FutureProofing discovers the dangers and risks of existential disaster in the 21st century.

(15) COULDA BEEN A CONTENDER. Core Ideas explains how the Heroes TV show was on the verge of becoming classic sci fi and then didn’t.

[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Carl Slaughter, Daniel Dern, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Lisa Goldstein.]

60 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/28/19 Heck Has No Fury Like A Woman Scorned

  1. (1) That’s cute. Funny, too.

    (6) My count is around 46. (My parents had a lot of those in their library, but I didn’t get around to reading all of them. And I can’t remember whether I read some of them.)

    Here in 1490, we have a long wait to get to them, anyway.

  2. (10) leaves me with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I don’t approve of physical violence because of movie spoilers. On the other hand, what other reaction did the guy think he would get?

    UNRELATED: Many thank yous to everyone who responded to my Goblin Emperor question a few days ago.. I’ll dive back in tonight.

  3. (8) Sam Merwin, Jr., certainly was known (to a degree) as an SF writer. His best SF novel is almost certainly The House of Many Worlds (at least I liked it!). I didn’t like the sequel, The Three Faces of Time, nearly as much, but I reviewed it here: The 3 Faces of Time/The Stars are Ours!

    As for Philip E. High, novelist, I've covered a few of his Ace Doubles, for example, Reality Forbidden .

    I’ve reviewed Pratchett, too, but so has everyone! The Wee Free Men.

  4. P.S. This was some weeks ago – I don’t recall what my score was for the top 100 – but my wife (an English major) had more than 200 out of the top 500.

  5. 6) I counted 48 I’ve read for sure, plus several that I just can’t quite remember whether I read them or not back in the mists of yesteryear.

    And there was at least one book on the list that I don’t think I’ve ever heard of before!

  6. (6)
    58 1/2. I admit a lot of them were due to required reading in school, and a Steinbeck and Hemingway class I took in Junior High.

  7. (6) I’ve read at least 51 of the top 100 (still own at least 40 of them) and at least 117 of the 500 (although a few of them I read close to 60 years ago and haven’t touched them since–like The Little Prince.)

  8. I’ve read 107 of the 500.

    Considering how much sff is on the list, I was surprised there isn’t a proportionate showing of mystery novels.

  9. 46/100, 138/500. At least as far as I recall. As usual, some of them I’ve read only once, and so long ago that I remember basically nothing beyond that I did read it.

  10. Mike, I got about 107 of the 500 also. (Not so much of the current stuff, either – more 19th century than you’d think, due to my parents’ library, some of which I’d dearly love to have.)

  11. About 45/100, with about 30 more falling in the category of “didn’t I read a summary of that? Movie? Classic comic? Skimmed it for a book report? I sort of recall the basic plot but not the details.” The older I get, the more books fall into that category.

    About 1/4 of the remaining 400, mainly in the YA corral … I lost count after I stopped taking the list seriously but I’m not going to tell you where that happened.

  12. 35/100, 97/500. Kind of satisfied with that, we were forced to read more swedish books in school and had swedish alternatives to Grisham.

    But plenty more of them are at my Tsundoku.

  13. @6: 41/100 and 100/500 that I’m sure of, omitting some things that I skimmed for school.

    @8: I’ve got the recording of Wintersmith on my find-it-sometime list; I should make room for it. My favorite book varies depending on mood or what I’m looking for, e.g. I like the climaxes of Lords and Ladies and Witches Abroad

    @OGH re @6:

    Considering how much sff is on the list, I was surprised there isn’t a proportionate showing of mystery novels.

    I wonder whether libraries find that mysteries aren’t taken out when they’re not new and deaccession them, where SF gets demanded for longer? It’s certainly my impression that the local library gets a lot more new mysteries than SF, so the inversion here is puzzling. I’m also puzzled that one random Grafton was on the list, and no others — does anyone know whether ‘P’ was especially commendable? I gave up on them fairly early as they just weren’t my cup of tea; I still read Paretsky, who I don’t see on the list at all.

  14. (6) 49/100 (including, to my shame, The Da Vinci Code) and 157/500. On the latter, I did really badly in pre-1950 adult literature, and really well in children’s books and Stephen King.

  15. (6) 60 1/10 (tried and failed three times to get beyond p. 50 in War and Peace).

    Happy birthday, Terry Pratchett, still missing you.

  16. 6) 19/100, mostly from required reading at school. Though I could easily double that if I included books I started but never finished.

    8) I’ve read one-and-a-half novels by Philip E High. I enjoyed “The Time Mercenaries” at the age of eleven but I wouldn’t go back to it now. (C20 humans revived from stasis help their peaceful descendants defeat an alien invasion in classic if unremarkable pulp fashion.) And I picked up a second hand copy of “Sold – for a Spaceship” some years ago but it wasn’t very coherent or well-written and I didn’t manage to finish it. So… probably not essential reading.

  17. 46/100, 129/500, and an embarrassing number of classics that are on Mount TBR but, err, well, somehow I haven’t got around to them yet…

    (Couple of duplicates on that list – The Hound of the Baskervilles appears in its own right, some way after The Complete Sherlock Holmes, and Trollope’s The Warden appears both by itself and bundled with Barchester Towers.)

  18. Approx 20/100 and 80/500. I’m frankly surprised that the original Wizard of Oz is so close to the top of the list — I don’t know how many people even realize the movie was based on a book. Also, for series it’s kind of funny how many have multiple volumes scattered wildly across the list — especially Lord of the Rings, where Fellowship is quite a bit higher than Return of the King, and Two Towers isn’t even in the top 100.

    And I was a bit amused that the two Ayn Rand volumes were immediately adjacent to each other.

  19. I’m actually wondering–where are the Romances? It’s the most popular and lucrative genre. Are there just sooooo many Romance books that there’s no librarian consensus of which to stock, so no one set of boos or authors is universal? Or do Romance readers buy their own more than check them out?

  20. Meredith Moments in a Classical Mode: Poul Anderson’s Tau Zero is currently $1.99, as is The Adventures of Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser, vol. 1 (an omnibus containing the first three collections: Swords and Deviltry, Swords Against Death, and Swords in the Mist).

  21. 6) 18/100, but there were a few more that I might have read a loongg time ago.

    I’m not sure which is more personally troubling….that The Davinci Code made the list or that The Picture of Dorian Gray did.

    Here in 8942, the kids are reading the craziest things!

    Regards,
    Dann
    Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome. – Isaac Asimov

  22. #4: “the CIA booth is in an area surrounded by other science, technology, and government bodies, including NASA”.

    That woman better keep her son away from the NASA booth, because of guilt by association. While she’s at it, she should keep away from the Post Office, Medicare, and any other Federal agency because you never know when public schools, and roads, and every other branch of the US Gummint might be doing something nasty to you.

    Or, as we used to say, Maybe Not.

  23. 42 / 100 on the short list, ~100 / 500 on the long (I did lose count and had to try to re-establish the count, but “about 100” is probably right, I reckon it’s in the 95-120 range, so “100” is one digit of accuracy…).

  24. (6) 60 of the top 100 for me; 156 of the top 500. Give or take; I was skimming the lists pretty rapidly.

  25. @ULTRAGOTHA: how many romances are published in durable format? What I see in glancing at retail bookshelves is hordes of mass-market paperbacks; US libraries sometimes don’t stock these at all because they survive so few lendings, and sometimes “deaccession” (sell or toss or …) MMPBs because they have failed to survive their last lending.

  26. (8) Carolyn Jones also had a substantial role in HOUSE OF WAX (the 3D version with Vincent Price and the guy with the paddleball). She was the heroine’s friend, with all that that entails.

  27. I have to wonder how much ePub lending has changed what libraries stock for physical books. Do they really need as many copies of a certain mystery on the shelf if much of the lending will be done in digital form? And certainly audiobooks have also changed the lending patterns as well.

  28. @Chip Hitchcock: I suspect you’re right. Romance and mystery survive long-term in the library in the form of those lucky few that become classics (Jane Austen for romance and Sherlock Holmes for mystery). Even the SFF on the long list tend to be that type (1984, Frankenstein, etc.) with a few enormously popular recent works (Harry Potter) added in (the only Heinlein in the top 500 is Stranger – his crossover work).

  29. My library has a significant set of bookshelves with mass market paperback Romance books. Some other libraries I’ve been in also do. I don’t know how universal that is. They certainly don’t last as long as hardbacks.

  30. The Library 100 list finally addresses the question of “greatness” or “classic” in statistical/historical terms by estimating what I learned to call the longitudinal audience. Of course, this does not address the question that people are really asking about great art, which is, “What is it about a work that makes us call it ‘great’?” But at least a list like this offers a starting-point by eliminating subjective/presumptive value-judgment filters and simply looking at what persists over time.

    I do wonder about the rigor of the methodology, though: Are the first 100 really titles that have remained in library holdings for a substantial period? How long? If it’s not at least 40-50 years (two full generations), then we’re not looking at a really longitudinal audience.

    And only five of the 100 (Decameron, Quixote, Pilgrim’s Progress, Candide, Vicar of Wakefield) precede 1800–though one can argue that the great age of the novel only begins in the mid-18th century–and Tom Jones sits just over the line at #102. This suggests a certain amount of skewing away from challenges of reading historically-distant books. And of course limiting the list to novels (or at least extended prose narratives) eliminates drama and narrative poetry: Homer, Aeschylus, Euripides, Ovid, Chaucer, Shakespeare).

    21 of the 100 are aimed at/appropriate for “young people” of various ages–four of the top six are clearly young-reader perennials–and a quick scroll through the longer list shows a similar skewing toward YA/children’s lit, which might say more about library-patron demographics and the strength of the YA publishing segment than about greatness.

  31. The list is worldwide. I wonder if romance and mystery books are more country specific.

  32. I counted them three ways:
    1) I read the book completely (no matter how long ago)
    2) I attempted the book but didn’t finish (merely buying it counts)
    3) I have at least heard of the book. (Just knowing the series didn’t count.)

    For the top hundred, that gives me 70/100 read, 78/100 attempted, 96/100 known.

    For the top 500, I’ve got 164/500 read, 189/500 attempted 334/500 known.

  33. I really liked Philip E. High’s books years old. I see ten books on my shelf, several as Ace Doubles – Sold – For A Spaceship, The Mad Metropolis, The Prodigal Sun, Invader On My Back, No Truce With Terra, Twin Planets, Come Hunt an Earthman, Reality Forbidden, The Time Mercenaries, and These Savage Futurians. Haven’t reread them since the late ’80s, though.

  34. 6) 54/100 and 146/500, mostly by reading almost every kids’ book in the list, either for myself or to nieces/nephews.

  35. Worldwide, yes, but about 3/4 of the 100 were written in English. I wonder, does this mean that these books are readily available in, say, Brazilian libraries, or that the set of libraries on WorldCat is heavily weighted to anglophones?

    (French and Russian seem to be the next most common languages on the list.)

  36. About 55 in the Top 100 for me.

    @David – As someone who uses Worldcat a lot for work, my impression (not empirically verified) is that in the US, it thoroughly indexes local libraries, but that’s less true in non-Anglophone countries, where it’s mostly just major university research libraries.

    It’s weird to me and doesn’t seem right that P is for Peril–book 16 in a 25-book series–is in the Top 500 but none of the other installments are.

  37. (6): 45/100, 118/500. A number of the top 100 are on my to-be-read list, and a number are on my not-with-a-ten-foot-pole list. The proportion actually seemed to improve as I went thru the top 500, but I didn’t actually count.

    (15): Re Heroes: I gave up in anger part-way thru season two, and nothing I’ve seen about the rest of the run could induce me to finish it nor try the new series. The presentation about it might be interesting, but it’s more likely to just piss me off again. The SciFi channel managed a similar failure on a smaller scale with Alphas but managed to save us from the same fate by cancelling early.

  38. 6) Amazingly, I’ve read 99/100 (I haven’t read The De Vinci Code, which I’m okay with) and I own 95 of them (ebooks are the primary reason). Spending weeks immobile during childhood and libraries being a chief source of reading material explains why I’ve read so many.

    Here in 8331, our feline overlords don’t care about these lists, puny humans, scratch our ears.

  39. April 28th is James Bama’s birthday. He’s mainly remembered as the artist who gave us all those Doc Savage covers (62!) from the Bantam reprints. I prefer the old pulp covers, but there’s no denying Bama’s covers really determined how a lot of modern readers imagine Savage.

    It’s also the birthday of Lee Falk, creator of Mandrake the Magician and The Phantom, and Dick Ayers, comic artist and one of Kirby’s inkers. Plus Jessica Alba who was in Dark Angel and the Fantastic Four and Sin City movies. (Able was I ere I saw Alba?)

    Doc Pixel, Scroll of Bronze

  40. (6) Another list and again it looks like I’m not a reader. 18/100 and 36/500. But of the school assigned ones I didn’t read I’m sure I passed the tests, I had read enough to B.S. most English teachers. And I have always avoided Bestsellers and “The Classics”. Of the one’s I didn’t read I think I can safely say they didn’t have spaceships on the cover

  41. Jack Lint says April 28th is James Bama’s birthday. He’s mainly remembered as the artist who gave us all those Doc Savage covers (62!) from the Bantam reprints. I prefer the old pulp covers, but there’s no denying Bama’s covers really determined how a lot of modern readers imagine Savage.

    Are all of those Bantams reprints? A lot of new Savage stories were being written in that time period, so it wouldn’t surprise me if some of them got published by Bantam.

  42. 15) I think Heroes was one of the series that got hit hard by the writers’ strike. Also, I hated their decision to bring Sylar back. And pretty much everything else I saw from S2 onwards was a weird combination of flailing and treading water.

  43. @Cat Eldridge I think they’re all reprints, but could be wrong. The last of the original story is “Up from Earth’s Center” from 1949. (Doc goes to Hell!) That’s the final story in Doc Savage Omnibus 13 which is the last of the reprint volumes and it came out in 1990. They started printing new stories in 1991 with Escape from Loki.

    There’s one odd ball which is The Red Spider from 1979 which never appeared in the pulps. Its original title was In Hell, Madonna and had been written by Lester Dent in 1948 and rediscovered in 1975.

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