Pixel Scroll 4/28/21 SecUnit Said “Stop It. Don’t Tempt Fate So Soon. We Have Five More Segments Of Sanctu’ry Moon.”

(1) CONVINCING DISNEY TO PAY. In“DisneyMustPay: authors form task force to fight for missing payments”, The Guardian’s Alison Flood tells how pressure is being applied to Disney.

A task force made up of science fiction and fantasy, romance, crime and horror authors has been formed in an attempt to persuade Disney into paying authors outstanding royalties for novelisations and comics relating to their properties, including Star Wars, Alien and Indiana Jones.

The so-called DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force includes major writers Neil Gaiman, Tess Gerritsen, Mary Robinette Kowal and Chuck Wendig among its members. It has been formed by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in partnership with the Author’s Guild, Horror Writers Association, National Writers Union, Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

The author organisations came together after the SFWA became involved in the author Alan Dean Foster’s battle to get Disney to pay him royalties for his bestselling novelisations of Star Wars and Alien. Foster was asked to write his novelisation of Star Wars: A New Hope by George Lucas himself, which was published in 1976. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, it bought the rights to the Star Wars novel, while Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019 meant it also bought rights to Foster’s novelisations of Alien, Aliens and Alien 3….

But despite the books still being in print, Foster claimed that Disney was not paying him royalties for them and that he’d had to go public after the company ignored multiple queries from his agents, legal representatives and the SFWA. The latter claimed that Disney had argued that it had purchased the rights, but not the obligations of the contract.

(2) SLF OLDER WRITERS GRANT. The Speculative Literature Foundation will be taking applications for the SLF $1000 Older Writers Grant from May 1-31. Complete guidelines here.

The SLF $1000 Older Writers Grant is awarded annually, since 2004, to a writer who is fifty years of age or older at the time of grant application, and is intended to assist such writers who are just starting to work at a professional level. We are currently offering a $1000 grant annually, to be used as each writer determines will best assist his or her work.

This grant will be awarded by a committee of SLF staff members on the basis of merit. If awarded the grant, the recipient agrees to provide a brief excerpt from their work, and an autobiographical statement describing themselves and their writing (500-1000 words) for our files, and for possible public dissemination on our website.

This grant, as with all SLF grants, is intended to help writers working with speculative literature. Speculative literature is a catch-all term meant to inclusively span the breadth of fantastic literature, encompassing literature ranging from hard science fiction to epic fantasy to ghost stories to horror to folk and fairy tales to slipstream to magical realism to modern myth-making — and more. Any piece of literature containing a fabulist or speculative element would fall under our aegis, and would potentially be work that we would be interested in supporting.

(3) IT’S ABOUT TO HATCH. Melinda Snodgrass invites readers to look over her shoulder as she explains “How I Plot”.

I mentioned on Twitter that I was getting ready to outline or break two new novels, and a follower asked if I could describe my process. It ended up being a really looong Tweet thread so I thought I would pull it all together here for folks who might not be on Twitter. I always outlined from the time I first started writing, I think it was a function of having been a lawyer and knowing that a brief has to take a judge or a jury to a certain conclusion so structure is important. I’m also the type of person who likes to have an itinerary when I travel and hotels booked in advance. But it wasn’t until I got my first job in Hollywood that I truly learned how to “break a story”. Ira Behr, Rick Manning and Hans Beimler were my teachers and they were very good ones. So without further ado….

First, I never start anything unless I know the ending. I don’t mean the wrap up, falling action, but the actual exciting climax. The next thing I ask myself is “What is the theme of this book?” What is it I want to impart about the human condition? The human heart in conflict with itself as William Faulkner wrote.

My short hand for this is “Plot is the shit that happens. Theme is why it matters.”…

(4) CHRIS GARCIA’S SFF FILM PODCASTS. Chris Garcia says he’s rediscovered a ton of episodes of his old podcasts and has started posting them on a new series of feeds.

  • Fantasy Film 101 is available from Pinecast or Apple. Its 16 episodes cover fantasy film history, emphasizing short films, foreign works, and the super-artsy.

(5) JOHN HODGMAN WEIGHS IN ON TIME TRAVEL CONTROVERSY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] This is John Hodgman’s column from the April 18 New York Times Magazine.

Tony; “My son read that the director James Gunn’s favorite time-travel movie is A Christmas Carol.  That isn’t time travel!  Please find against Scrooge, my son, and James Gunn, just to be sure.  (P.S.  I was mistaken.  Apparently, it was Robert Zemeckis who said this.”

Hodgman:  “I had never thought of Scrooge’s big night as time travel!  And for that reason I find against you.  Back To The Future is wonderful but only one template for time travel in movies.  There’s the multiple timelines concept, as in Avengers:  Endgame, which would account, say, for an alternate universe in which Robert Zemeckis, director of Back To The Future, could be wrong about time travel.  But as with all these stories, they are designed to inspire imagination, not stamp it out as you seek to do with your own Tiny Tim.  G Buy your son the biggest goose in town as damages.”

(6) AND THAT’S NOT ALL! [Item by Daniel Dern.] The new season (starts May 2) of DC Legends Of Tomorrow looks like a wild whacky ride! Watch the trailer even if you currently don’t plan to watch the show! And io9’s post “Legends of Tomorrow Season 6 Trailer: Aliens, Disney, Reality TV” says that beyond what the trailer shows, the season will include other references —

… And that’s not all! Entertainment Weekly confirms there will also be a Clue episode, an ALF episode (because of course there is), and, according to showrunner Phil Klemmer, “another episode that’s virtually all Constantine (Matt Ryan) in the Spanish Civil War, and that could just as well be from the Constantine TV show,” which sounds completely awesome….

(7) FIRM GRASP ON THE CATNIP. In“Timothy Reviews The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin” at Camestros Felapton, Timothy the Talking Cat propounds literary truths about a great classic that were previously unsuspected by any human being. But fairly obvious to a cat, evidently.

Greetings, salutations and the assorted lyrics of Hello, Goodbye by the mop-headed foursome from Liverpool to you all. I am, once again, your inimitable host and master of ceremonies, Timothy the Talking Cat esquire, who shall be taking you on a journey into the foundational texts of modern scientifiction….

(8) IMMERSIVE WHO. From a Digital Spy report: “Doctor Who – John Barrowman and David Bradley for Time Fracture”.

Doctor Who‘s John Barrowman and David Bradley are set to reprise their roles for the theatrical event Time Fracture.

The pair, who play Captain Jack Harkness and the First Doctor on the BBC sci-fi series respectively, have recorded cameo appearances for the Immersive Everywhere event.

Time Fracture is set to take place at Immersive | LDN in London and will put fans in the middle of a new Doctor Who story set at the time of the Blitz.

(9) COLLINS OBIT. Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins died April 28. Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk had this to say:

“Today the nation lost a true pioneer and lifelong advocate for exploration in astronaut Michael Collins. As pilot of the Apollo 11 command module – some called him ‘the loneliest man in history’ – while his colleagues walked on the Moon for the first time, he helped our nation achieve a defining milestone. He also distinguished himself in the Gemini Program and as an Air Force pilot.

“Michael remained a tireless promoter of space. ‘Exploration is not a choice, really, it’s an imperative,’ he said. Intensely thoughtful about his experience in orbit, he added, ‘What would be worth recording is what kind of civilization we Earthlings created and whether or not we ventured out into other parts of the galaxy.’…”

(10) TODAY’S DAY.

  • April 28 National Superhero Day. Marvel, naturally, celebrated by advertising a forthcoming production.

(11) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • April 28, 1946 — On this night in 1946, The Shadow’s “Dreams of Death” episode first aired. It starred Lloyd Lamble (of Quatermass fame) as Lamont Cranston and The Shadow with Lyndall Barbour as Margot Lane and Lloyd Berrill as The Announcer. The Shadow in the radio series was quite different from the printed version as he was given the power to “cloud men’s minds so they cannot see him”. This was at odds with the pulp novel character who relied solely on stealth and his guns to get the job done. Likewise Margo Lane was a radio creation that would later be added to the pulps. You can hear the episode here.

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • 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.) (CE) 
  • Born April 28, 1910 – Sam Merwin.  Edited FantasticStartlingThrillingWonder, later Fantastic Universe; for a while editor of Satellite, associate editor of Galaxy; his letter columns were lively; he generally improved our field.  Six novels, six dozen shorter stories for us; also romance and detective fiction, under various names.  (Died 1996) [JH]
  • Born April 28, 1914 – Phil High.  Working thirty years as a bus driver did not prevent,  may have helped, his writing a dozen novels, fourscore shorter stories.  See here.  (Died 2006) [JH]
  • 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 in the Twentieth Century in such productions as The Twilight ZoneVoyage to the Bottom of the SeaColossus: The Forbin Project The Six Million Dollar ManBuck Rogers in the 25th Century and White Dwarf. (Died 2006.) (CE) 
  • Born April 28, 1926 – Jim Bama, age 95.  Fourscore covers, a few interiors for us; interviewed by Vincent Di Fate in SF Chronicle.  Outside our field, Westerns, sports, commercial art.  Here is The 480.  Here is V.  Here is He Could Stop the World.  Illustrators Hall of Fame.  Artbooks The Art of JBThe Western Art of JBJB, American Realist with introduction by Harlan Ellison.  [JH]
  • Born April 28, 1926 – Bill Blackbeard.  One short story that I know of; correspondent of AmazingFantasy TimesRiverside QuarterlyWeird Tales; fanziner, in various apas including The Cult.  Extraordinary collector of comics in newspapers and otherwise, eventually 75 tons; he produced 200 books, and that ain’t the half of it.  See here (note by Our Gracious Host), here (Fancyclopedia 3), here (The Comics Journal).  (Died 2011) [JH]
  • 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 was 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.) (CE)
  • 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 as reviewed 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.) (CE) 
  • Born April 28, 1959 – Fran Dowd, age 62.  Chaired Eastercon 49; with husband John Dowd active in Eastercons and Novacons; F & J both Fan Guests of Honour at Eastercon 61.  Sofa, i.e. chair when we need one, of the Sheffield Science Fiction and Fantasy Society.  Posted her Books Read in 2020 here.  [JH]
  • Born April 28, 1970 – Danielle Ackley-McPhail, age 51.  Nine novels, five dozen shorter stories, a dozen poems; a score of anthologies with various co-editors. Member and supporter of Broad Universe.  Was at the last known Lunacon in 2017, then in 2019 HELIOsphere.  She and husband Mike McPhail publish ESpec Books.  [JH]
  • Born April 28, 1971 Chris Young, 50. 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 and Warlock: The Armageddon. Unless you call voice roles in The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars and The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue genre… (CE) 
  • Born April 28, 1982 Samantha Lockwood, 39. Daughter of Gary Lockwood of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame. And she apparently was in yet another video Trek fanfic though this may not have ever gotten done before Paramount squashed them, Star Trek Equinox: The Night Of Time. There’s a trailer but no actual episode that I can find, so her role in Sci-Fighters which as Girlfriend is her only genre role. (CE)

(13) COMICS SECTION.

  • The Far Side involves what happens when aliens are the ones posing a familiar nature question.
  • Dracula said, “I never drink…wine.” The zombies in Bliss say something else.

(14) SUPER PRESSURE. “’What if Superman was your dad?’ Comics legend Mark Millar on Jupiter’s Legacy” – a profile in The Guardian.

… Jupiter’s Legacy is based on Millar and artist Frank Quitely’s 2013 cross-generational saga about rifts in a super-powered family, whose conflicting politics and ideologies manifest themselves as a global power struggle, causing significant collateral damage. “People expected it to be like Kick-Ass or Kingsman,” he says, “which are quite nihilistic, really violent and ironic, whereas this show is very sincere. Kick-Ass is a pastiche of superheroes, but Jupiter’s Legacy is a love letter. The big question is: is it ethically correct, if you have the power to save the world, to stand back and do nothing?”

… The series contains what Millar calls a “boomer versus millennial argument”. This is reflected mostly through the Sampson family: Sheldon (AKA The Utopian) and Grace (AKA Lady Liberty) are the elder, age-defying leaders of The Union, a paramilitary team that has symbolised the American ideal ever since they gained their superpowers during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Cut to the present day and we find their children, Chloe and Brandon, are increasingly disillusioned by their parents’ code and expectations. “Superman is the best guy you could possibly have,” says Millar, “but imagine if he was your dad? That’s the idea with The Utopian, who the whole world loves. But what does that mean for your children? Because the pressures are incredible.”

Daniel P. Dern adds:

Like many-to-most supercapes these days, the issues of power/authority along with “hard to have a life when you’re a cape” fuel this. It’s not as extreme as The Boys.

Mark Millar has written bunches of superhero comics (including an entire publishing brand of his own creations).

Frank Quitely is one of my favorite comic artists. For example, All-Star Superman (1-12), Flex Mentallo (1-4), a great run on New X-Men.

Jupiter’s Legacy is based on a manageable-to-read # of comics — 24 issues across 5 books/volumes, plus 10 issues of JUPITER’S CIRCLE, a prequel series.

Wanna read before, after or during watching:

  • Library-e-borrow LEGACY books 1-4 via HooplaDigital
  • Buy the individual comic issues or the collected-into-books
  • Borrow the books from your library
  • Buy & e-read via Kindle, ComiXology.

I enjoyed the comics; I’m ready to watch the show and see how it goes.

(15) STRETCH RUN. [Item by Michael Kennedy.] After achieving all the basic goals on flights 1–3, Ingenuity is now ready for a little stretch. Stretch goal, that is. Flight 4 will go further, faster, and take more photos than ever before. As for what might happen on flight 5, project Chief Engineer Bob Balaram said, “We have been kicking around several options regarding what a flight five could look like. But ask me about what they entail after a successful flight four.” “With Goals Met, NASA to Push Envelope with Ingenuity Mars Helicopter”.

… The fourth Ingenuity flight from Wright Brothers Field, the name for the Martian airfield on which the flight took place, is scheduled to take off Thursday, April 29, at 10:12 a.m. EDT (7:12 a.m. PDT, 12:30 p.m. local Mars time), with the first data expected back at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 1:21 p.m. EDT (10:21 a.m. PDT).

“From millions of miles away, Ingenuity checked all the technical boxes we had at NASA about the possibility of powered, controlled flight at the Red Planet,” said Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division. “Future Mars exploration missions can now confidently consider the added capability an aerial exploration may bring to a science mission.”

The Ingenuity team had three objectives to accomplish to declare the technology demo a complete success: They completed the first objective about six years ago when the team demonstrated in the 25-foot-diameter space simulator chamber of JPL that powered, controlled flight in the thin atmosphere of Mars was more than a theoretical exercise. The second objective – to fly on Mars – was met when Ingenuity flew for the first time on April 19. The team surpassed the last major objective with the third flight, when Ingenuity rose 16 feet (5 meters), flying downrange 164 feet (50 meters) and back at a top speed of 6.6 feet per second (2 meters per second), augmenting the rich collection of knowledge the team has gained during its test flight campaign.

“When Ingenuity’s landing legs touched down after that third flight, we knew we had accumulated more than enough data to help engineers design future generations of Mars helicopters,” said J. “Bob” Balaram, Ingenuity chief engineer at JPL. “Now we plan to extend our range, speed, and duration to gain further performance insight.”…

(16) THE HOLE MOON CATALOG. The New York Times echoes an artist’s question: “Why Aren’t More Moon Craters Named for Women?” Illustrations at the link.

The moon’s surface is pockmarked with craters, the relics of violent impacts over cosmic time. A few of the largest are visible to the naked eye, and a backyard telescope reveals hundreds more. But turn astronomical observatories or even a space probe on our nearest celestial neighbor, and suddenly millions appear.

Bettina Forget, an artist and researcher at Concordia University in Montreal, has been drawing lunar craters for years. Ms. Forget is an amateur astronomer, and the practice combines her interests in art and science. “I come from a family of artists,” she said. “I had to fight for a chemistry set.”

Moon craters are named, according to convention, for scientists, engineers and explorers. Some that Ms. Forget draws have familiar names: Newton, Copernicus, Einstein. But many do not. Drawing craters with unfamiliar names prompted Ms. Forget to wonder: Who were these people? And how many were women?

“Once this question embeds itself in your mind, then you’ve got to know,” she said.

Ms. Forget pored over records of the International Astronomical Union, the organization charged with awarding official names to moon craters and other features on worlds around the solar system. She started underlining craters named for women.

“There was not much to underline,” Ms. Forget said.

Of the 1,578 moon craters that had been named at that time, only 32 honored women (a 33rd was named in February)….

(17) EIGHTIES FLICKS. “80s Sci-Fi Films Explored in Trailer For The Nostalgic Documentary In Search Of Tomorrow”GeekTyrant tells why it’s worth watching.

A new trailer has been released for the upcoming documentary In Search of Tomorrow, which taps into the nostalgia of the sci-fi films of the 80s. For any of you who grew up in the 80s and enjoyed these films, this is the kind of doc that you can truly appreciate.

The film comes from journalist and filmmaker David A. Weiner and it’s a “four-hour-plus retrospective of ’80s sci-fi movies featuring interviews with actors, directors, writers, SFX experts, and composers.” They have over 75+ interviews and there are a lot of stories and revelations that come to light….

(18) SPOILERS MAYBE? Anthony Mackie was on Colbert last night to discuss being the new Captain America and to marvel at a piece of The Falcon swag Colbert acquired. “’Humbling And Exciting’ – Anthony Mackie On Becoming Captain America”.

(19) COLBERT (ON FRESH AIR) TALKS ABOUT HIS INTRO TO SF & F. [Item by Daniel Dern.] Among other things. The SF stuff starts around minute 30, where he names a handful of authors that many Filers will know, including a few that you rarely hear in mainstream conversations, like A.E. Van Vogt  Also, how Joe Biden is arguably (my word not his or Terri’s) part of his “origin” story going from playing a character to being a (night show) host as himself. “Stephen Colbert On Missing His Live Audience And Making Comedy A Family Business” on NPR.

On why he turned to sci-fi and fantasy in his grief when his brothers and father were killed in a plane crash when he was a kid

Anything is possible [in fantasy stories]. Often it’s a young man who finds himself with extraordinary powers that he didn’t have at the beginning of the story. There’s a “chosen one” in fantasy stories. Often there’s a missing father figure — if they’re not just orphans outright. … I think being able to make  an alternate world where there are new rules, or the character who you identify with can make his own rules, maybe even bring back the dead or make things impossible possible … I think that’s related to being in a constant state of grief and anxiety and needing a place to be able to escape to.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, JJ, BravoLimaPoppa, Martin Morse Wooster, IanP, Andrew Porter, Cat Eldridge, John Hertz, Daniel Dern, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Lenora Rose.]

30 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/28/21 SecUnit Said “Stop It. Don’t Tempt Fate So Soon. We Have Five More Segments Of Sanctu’ry Moon.”

  1. Reading: Limping to the finish line on three flat tires and one mixed metaphor.

    Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James. Genre-adjacent historical fiction.
    Imagine that I’ve inserted a gif of Mermista groaning. This is awful, I don’t know who these people are, it isn’t Jane Austen’s beloved characters.

    The plot? Lydia shows up uninvited to Pemberly. Her husband–intending to drive on and meet her the next day–gets out of the coach to have an argument with Mr. Denny. There’s a gunshot and we have a murder mystery.

    One that isn’t solved by any of the viewpoint characters. One that isn’t solved by a clever sleuth. No, in the end, we’re merely told what happened.

    One Star, you’re better off watching the TV adaption, this blew.

    Perception by Terri Fleming. Genre-adjacent romance.

    A young rich man returns home to take over his late father’s estate just on the other side of Merryton from Longbourn. It’s a contrived setup. Does anyone think if such an heir existed Mrs. Bennet wouldn’t have complained about his absence constantly in Pride and Prejudice?

    He’s wealthy, he’s bookish, he makes friends with Mary Bennet.

    This is another one like The Other Bennet Sister and The Pursuit of Mary Bennet wherein Mary gets to let her Nerd flag fly and be loved for it.

    And I’m so here for it.

    Solid there stars.

    Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur which I hope is a pen name because pretty flower is an unkind name to pass on to children. Genre-adjacent romance.

    Billed as a modern-day lesbian Pride and Prejudice, it is not. The characters don’t share even a superficial resemblance to Elizabeth and Darcy. Instead, this is the pretend to be dating and then actually fall for each other plot with a contrived oh no she really doesn’t like me at the necessary moment.

    It’s completely paint by numbers but still okay for all that, I don’t ask for much from a cheesy romance.

    Two and a half stars rounded up to three.

    The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough. Genre-adjacent, romance maaaaaaybe kinda, I guess?

    Know the phrase exactly what it says on the tin? This is the opposite.

    Independence? Mary is captured and held prisoner in a cage by fanatical light-hating wackadoodle. Then she escapes and gets married. In between, Elizabeth Darcy learns to clean up wees and poos. Joy.

    One Star.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, I didn’t take any notes while reading this next group.

    The Wolf Hall Trilogy by Hilary Mantel. Historical Fiction.

    Little to say. I read this because Camestos talked about it. The prose style bounced me in and out of the narrative constantly and yeah, that happened more or less. Maybe sorta? Those people totally got their heads chopped off in real life.

    No star rating, I don’t read enough historical non-romance to rate it.

    A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

    Liked it better than the first one, the ending felt more natural.

    Four stars.

    Unconquerable Sun by Kate Eliot

    Fast-paced, hardly had time to take a breath and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

    Four stars.

  2. 12) I hadn’t heard about Steeleye Span’s interpretation of that Pratchett novel! Will definitely take a look.

    In other SF/F music news, my second mailbox store finally opened and I finally got to look at the swag I got for donating to last year’s WFMU Marathon. Turns out I won a CD copy of Le Guin and Todd Barton’s Music and Poetry of the Kesh! Woot!

    BTW, you can still get a digital copy on Bandcamp:

    https://ursulakleguintoddbarton.bandcamp.com/album/music-and-poetry-of-the-kesh

  3. Rob Thornton says I hadn’t heard about Steeleye Span’s interpretation of that Pratchett novel! Will definitely take a look.

    I think you’ll find it very entertaining. Steeleye obviously loves Pratchett and it shows in the music that they created here. It’s one of their best works to date and that’s says a lot.

    Now reading Neal Asher’s “Skin”, a Polity story in the London Centric anthology

  4. I think DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is the most entertaining CW adventure series, so I’m looking forward to the new season!

  5. 1) Well, there’s more of a chance of getting Disney to pay with the professional organizations involved than without them, but there’s still a good chance they bank on having enough money to outwait them.

    @Iphinome: I see you’re having a Pride and Prejudice week! I read Death Comes to Pemberley some years back; it is indeed awful. But I will look up Perception.

  6. @Kit Harding

    I’ve somehow developed a weakness for books about Mary Bennet, turns out it’s a whole sub-genre.

  7. Lis Carey on April 28, 2021 at 10:05 pm said:
    Austen treats Mary Bennet very unfairly.

    So much this, hence my weakness.

  8. We didn’t start the file… well, that’s true for a very large percentage of we

    Did everyone have a good Ed Balls Day? Can’t believe it’s been ten years.

  9. (12) Jim Bama’s covers likely had a lot to do with the success of the Doc Savage reprints… even though his version of the main character didn’t much resemble the guy described in the stories. It’s a shame that He Could Stop the World has such a wonderfully evocative title, as it’s actually one of the worst novels in the series, and I’m sure a lot of people who picked it up out of curiosity put it down vowing never to repeat their mistake. Someone once quipped it should have been retitled He Could Stop the World from Reading Doc Savage.

  10. Regarding Iphinome’s book choices that I haven’t read:

    Mary is captured and held prisoner in a cage

    … what.

    And regarding those I have:

    The Wolf Hall Trilogy by Hilary Mantel

    I’ve read the first two of these, and found them … a little bit slow. I didn’t have as much trouble with the stylistic choices as some did (although the idiosyncratic use of pronouns confused me sometimes, the same way it confused everyone else), but I did think the books were sometimes repetitive or badly paced. Not bad by any means, solid three stars, but the great adoration for these so far eludes me.

    A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

    I liked this one a great deal, too. Loved the examination of identity from many angles. I didn’t like Eight Antidote’s storyline as much as the rest, but most people seem to disagree with me on that. I gave it 4.5, rounded up to 5.

    Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott

    Slight disagreement here — I gave it 3 stars to your 4. I thought the plot hinged too much on coincidence, and was annoyed by the use of “as-you-know” dialogue (at one point, a character literally starts a sentence with, “As you know …”!) I did, however, like the page-turning action sequences and it had some nice twisty plots-within-plots.

  11. Eee, title credit! That never happens.

    Not much to say otherwise, so just going to go back in my corner and be content.

  12. @Kyra

    … what.

    Just remember that you asked.

    After Mr. Bennet dies, Darcy and Bingly rent a house and keep Mrs. Bennet and Mary there. Some few years later Mrs. Bennet dies and after the burial, Darcy explains that his cheap-ass and Bingly had each placed 250 pounds per annum into a bank account as payment to Mary for keeping Mrs. Bennet company and out of their hair.

    They expect Mary to live in a cottage and use the interest to support herself, she has other plans. After renting a house for a few months she sets off to research a book about the plight of the poor.

    As an upper-class woman, Mary’s been sheltered, she doesn’t really understand banking or publishing or Regency-era public transit. She manages to get robbed and abducted and then rescued by someone else who wants to abduct her.

    This is a strange cultist who lives in a cave with a bunch of children, he keeps Mary in a cage in the cave and makes her take dictation while he outlines his religious belief that the sun is the devil. Lucifer means Lightbringer and everyone should live in the dark.

    Do I need to go on? The book is awful and not in the so-bad-it’s-good sort of way.

    I didn’t like Eight Antidote’s storyline as much as the rest, but most people seem to disagree with me on that.

    I agree with you on that. I think we just have different opinions on where to draw the line between three and four stars, not that we felt all that different about some of these books.

  13. And while my list of finished books is now exhausted, in the past 24 hours my library holds of The Galaxy and the Ground Within, Fugitive Telemetry, and Persphone Station have come up so, I’ll probably have more pretty soon.

  14. Iphinome says And while my list of finished books is now exhausted, in the past 24 hours my library holds of The Galaxy and the Ground Within, Fugitive Telemetry, and Persphone Station have come up so, I’ll probably have more pretty soon.

    I started Persphone Station a month or so back. I bounced hard off it for reasons I can’t quite figure out, so I’ll need to go back to it eventually. Unfortunately for it the To Be Finished list is deep right now and getting ever deeper so it won’t be for sometime yet.

  15. 5) Is there a distinction between “time viewing” and “time travel”? If so, is it clear which takes place in “A Christmas Carol”? Does the answer differ among the many filmed versions there are of that story?

  16. I’m currently listening to Arkady Martine’s A Desolation of Peace, Becky Chamber’s The Galaxy, and The Ground Within and Simon R. Green’s The Best Thing You Can Steal. It’s been a most excellent month for genre fiction.

    In addition, A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clarki is out soon as is Seanan McGuire’s Angel of the Overpass.

  17. (5) Some adaptations of A Christmas Carol feature “real” time travel. Dickens’ version does seem to be mere “time viewing” – though time viewing of the future including the ability to change the future is an element that is “ahead of its time” (heh) when Dickens wrote it.

  18. “What if Superman was your dad?” is the main plot of the “Superman and Lois” TV show, over on the CW with all the good superhero TV shows.

    Clark and Lois’ teenage boys finally find out exactly what Dad’s been up to all these years. They also have basic teen angst about moving from Metropolis to Smallville, and Lois is hot on a story about the evil small-town plots of Morgan Edge.

  19. “I didn’t like Eight Antidote’s storyline as much as the rest, but most people seem to disagree with me on that.”

    I liked all of the POV’s in A Desolation Called Peace, but Eight Antidote might be my favorite. His storyline would have been so tragic if the end of A Memory Called Empire had went a different way.

  20. @lurkertype: I’ve watched the existing episodes but would like a bit more superhero action and a great deal less teenage whining. It went on hiatus and Supergirl started back up and Supergirl is just so much more fun to watch.

  21. I very much liked Desolation.

    I didn’t entirely like Eight Antidote’s narrative voice, so his was not the head I preferred to ride around in. (Kid POVs can be difficult to do, royal kids doubly so.) But the things I learned via his point of view were super important and the story couldn’t have done without them.

    I kept getting this jarring feeling that Three Seagrass had undergone a personality change between the two books, but I think that was due to actually getting to see the inside of her head rather than only Mahit’s impression of her, so.

    I recently finished the audiobook of Memory, which was – OK, I guess? I did not fall in love with the narrator to the extent I have with others; she has some quirks of voicing and emphasis, especially in Three Seagrass’s voice, that don’t exactly work for me, but seem like a good fit for the “version” of Three Seagrass we meet in Desolation. In any case, I’ll be giving it a listen soon.

    (I can, unfortunately for my own prospects of enjoyment, be very picky about narrators.)

    In other audiobook news, I’m several chapters into Soulstar and really, really loving both the POV character (finally! Yay!) and the narrator.

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