Pixel Scroll 4/30/19 Pixel My Blue Suede Scrolls

(1) WEIGHING IN ON THE TOLKIEN MOVIE. In the Catholic Herald, Fr. Michael Ward’s verdict is that “This Tolkien biopic is woefully unconvincing”.

…This handsome, earnest, yet overstuffed and poorly paced film deviates frequently from the historical record. Most seriously, it ignores Tolkien’s devout Christian faith: there is no indication that he served Mass daily as a boy or ever even entered a Catholic church. His punch-ups with Wiseman and drunken night-time profanities are, in comparison, unimportant inventions.

But departures from reality are inevitable in dramatisations, and enumerating them can quickly devolve into captiousness. What’s more relevant is whether the artistic licence results in a successful story. One expects a biopic to sit somewhat loose to the facts, yet one hopes it will also hold the attention and make one care about the characters, however far from real life they may diverge.

A helpful comparison is Richard Attenborough’s Shadowlands, the story of CS Lewis’s late marriage. It’s worthless as an account of actual events, but works brilliantly as a movie: engaging, well-structured, powerful and poignant.

Here, with Lewis’s friend Tolkien, it’s a different story. Incidents come thick and fast, but are strangely uninvolving….

Ward is the co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to CS Lewis.

(2) A MODEST PROPOSAL. Daniel Dern is making an offer –

Our dead tree edition of the Sunday New York Times this week (here in the year 2019 – April 28) included a special 12-page section, consisting of (a version of) Ted Chiang’s story, “Better Versions of You,” adapted from his story “Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom” from Chiang’s new (coming out May 7) collection Exhalation. Illustrations by Daehyun Kim/Moonassi.

According to social media, “The piece is PRINT ONLY.” (My brief searches don’t show otherwise; I’d been looking for it before I found this tweet.)

Once we’re done reading the story, I don’t feel the need to keep it. So I’m happy to pass it along to the first Filer who asks for it, via a comment to this post. (We’ll sort out snail addresses, etc. off-list. If need be, I’ll ask OGH to be the email-address intermediary.)

Beyond possibly the minor cost of mailing it, I’m not asking any $ for it.

OTOH, I’m happy if the recipient will in turn, once it’s arrived, make a modest (say, $10-$25) donation to some sf/fan related fund/fundraiser or other Good Cause (of their choice, e.g., the Gahan Wilson GoFundMe, or some WorldCon-related fundraiser — your choice, I don’t need to know what/who, how much, or whether). But this is an optional follow-through.

(I don’t see Chiang listed in the current ReaderCon Guests list, so you’d be on your own for trying to get it autographed.)

Let the clicking begin!

(3) BORDERLANDS CAFÉ CLOSES, BOOKSTORE STAYS OPEN. “After 10 years, Valencia Street’s Borderlands Cafe to shutter” reports Mission Local.

Owner Alan Beatts, also the owner of Borderlands Books — which will remain open on Valencia Street at least for the next year — said that the decision to shutter the cafe was, by and large, voluntary. He attributed the move to a confluence of factors, including staff retention, slumping sales, and his personal desire to focus on the bookstore….

(4) BLAME HIM FOR THANOS! Entertainment Weekly’s Christian Holub, in “Thanos Creator Jim Starlin Discusses His Avengers: Endgame Cameo And The Journey From Page To Screen”, has a profile of Jim Starlin, who created Thanos for Invincible Iron Man #55 in 1972, and says he enjoyed his cameo in the film and says the Thanos on screen is true to “the spirit of the character” he created.

“It’s more of a full circle than you realize,” Starlin says. “I got the assignment to draw Invincible Iron Man #55-56 because the regular penciller on it, George Tuska, had to go in for some elective surgery. So I did the first issue, which I plotted out with Mike Friedrich, and then the second one I worked with this writer Steve Gerber. We did a funny Iron Man issue, and Stan Lee hated it so much he fired both of us.”

(5) CAPTAIN AMERICA. “MIT students deck out dome with Captain America shield” – the Portland (ME) Press-Herald has the story.

MIT students over the weekend draped the university’s signature Great Dome with a giant cloth version of Captain America’s red, white and blue shield.

Their efforts drew a Twitter “Very cool!” from actor Chris Evans, the Massachusetts native who plays Captain America in “Avengers: Endgame.”

(6) HELP WANTED. Westercon bid chair Kevin Standlee posted the Tonopah [in 2021] Committee List. And they’re hoping to add more workers.

The Tonopah Westercon committee is a standing committee of San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. answerable to the corporation’s Board of Directors. Our organizing committee consists of the following people, with others helping on an ad hoc basis.

Chair: Kevin Standlee (Co-chair, 2002 Worldcon, San José CA)
Assistant to Chair/Hospitality Lead : Lisa Hayes
Treasurer: Bruce Farr (Chair, Westercon 45 (1992), Phoenix AZ)
Facilities: Mike Willmoth (Chair, Westercon 62 (2009), Tempe AZ)
Website Planning: Cheryl Morgan
Travel Coordinator: Sandra Childress

Other Committee Members Without Portfolio:
David W. Clark (Chair, 1993 Worldcon, San Francisco CA)
Lisa Detusch Harrigan (Chair, Westercon 40 (1987), Oakland CA)
Kevin Roche (Co-Chair, Westercon 66 (2013), Sacramento CA and Chair, 2018 Worldcon, San José CA)
Andy Trembley (Co-Chair, Westercon 66 (2013), Sacramento CA)

(7) IT’S HISTORY. “And she’s not only merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead.” At Gizmodo/io9, last Thursday’s Morning Spoilers column drops the news that “At Least One of the Game of Thrones Spinoff Series Is Truly Dead” and the creator is done, at least for now, at HBO. Tidbits for a dozen or so shows are shared in the column.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Bryan Cogman confirmed that his time with the franchise is over for now—because the spinoff series he was attached to is officially scrubbed…

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 30, 1926 Cloris Leachman, 93. I’ve got grist in the genre in Young Frankenstein as Frau Blücher. (Strange film.) she does her obligatory mouse role when she voices Euterpe in The Mouse and His Child. Next up is being The Lord’s Secretary in The Muppet Movie. (Always a fun time.) Hmmm… she’s Millie Crown in Shadow Play, a horror film that I don’t plan on seeing. Not my cup of tea. Lots of voice work from there out and I will only note her as Mrs. Tensedge in The Iron Giant, a great film indeed. She in the live action and I assume disgusting Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse as Ms. Fielder. 
  • Born April 30, 1934 Baird Searles. Best- known for his long running review columns in Asimov’sAmazing Stories and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. For a time, he managed a genre bookstore in New York City’s Greenwich Village, the Science Fiction Shop, which is no longer in business. With Brian Thomsen, he edited Halflings, Hobbits, Warrows & Weefolk: A Collection of Tales of Heroes Short in Stature, and among other publication that he wrote was the Cliff Notes on Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. (Died 1993.)
  • Born April 30, 1938 Larry Niven, 81. One of my favourites author to read, be Ringworld, The Mote in God’s Eye with Jerry Pournelle, or the the Rainbow Mars stories, there’s always good reading there. What’s your favourite Niven story? 
  • Born April 30, 1968 Adam Stemple, 51. Son of Jane Yolen. One-time vocalist of Boiled in Lead. With Yolen, he’s written the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fairy TalesPay the Piper and Troll Bridge which are worth reading, plus the Seelie Wars trilogy which I’ve not read. He’s also written two Singer of Souls urban fantasies which I remember as engaging. 
  • Born April 30, 1973 Naomi Novik, 46. She wrote the Temeraire series which runs nine novels so far. Her first book, His Majesty’s Dragon, won the Compton Crook Award for best first novel in the science fiction and fantasy category. She most deservedly won the Nebula Award for Best Novel for Uprooted which is a most excellent read. I’ve not yet her Spinning Silver, so opinions are welcome.
  • Born April 30, 1982 Kirsten Dunst, 37. Her first genre role was as Claudio in Interview with the Vampire. Later genre roles include Judy Shepherd in Jumanji, voicing Christy Fimple in Small Soldiers, voicing Becky Thatcher in The Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man franchise,  voicing Kaena in Kaena: The Prophecy, and showing up on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Hedrilin in the “Dark Page” episode. She would have been nine years old in that episode! 
  • Born April 30, 1985 Gal Gadot, 34. Wonder Woman, of course, in the DC film universe. Other genre work, well, other than voicing Shank on Ralph Breaks the Internet, there really isn’t any. She did play Linnet Ridgeway Doyle in the Kenneth Branagh of Murder on the Orient Express which is quite lovely but hardly genre… 

(9) POOH INSPIRATION BURNS. CNN brings word that “Winnie the Pooh’s real-life Hundred Acre Wood hit by forest fire”. Authorities do not think it was deliberately set.

An overnight fire ripped through a forest in England that provided the setting for the Winnie the Pooh children’s stories.

The blaze at Ashdown Forest, in East Sussex, started at around 9.30 p.m. on Sunday and affected an area of more than 35 acres, according to the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Six fire crews were on the scene as flames fed on dry undergrowth in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne, who lived in nearby Cotchford Farm, Hartfield, drew inspiration from Ashdown Forest to write the popular series of children’s books in the 1920s….

(10) PACHYDERM IN FLIGHT. “Dumbo: How we made the visual effects” – BBC has a video.

Moving Picture (MPC) company’s Richard Stammers, the Overall VFX Supervisor for the Walt Disney film Dumbo, tells BBC Click how the digital effects for the movie were put together.

(11) SPOILER ALERT. “Game of Thones: Secrets behind Winterfell battle episode” – the secrets apparently include “11 weeks of night shooting,” “Too cold to snow.”

It’s taken eight years, 70 episodes and thousands of deaths to get us to this moment.

The epic fight between the living and the dead in Game of Thrones was shown in the UK on Monday.

The episode, called The Long Night, lasted 82 minutes and took viewers on a rollercoaster journey featuring our favourite characters…

HBO, makers of the fantasy drama, have also released a behind-the-scenes video giving some of the secrets of how it all came together.

(12) RETRO REVIEWS. Steven J. Wright has completed his Retro Hugo Novel finalist reviews:

Retro Novel

(13) BEAUTIFUL BOOK. Look at the gorgeous endpapers in the Russian edition of Goss’ novel:

(14) CELEBRATING THE RONDO WINNERS. Steve Vertlieb sends his regards:

I want to take a moment this morning to wish hearty congratulations to all of this year’s most worthy Rondo Award winners. As always, the nominated films, television shows, writers, and artists were strong and worthy contenders, and each winner was deservedly voted the absolute best in his or her field of endeavor. In particular, however, I’d like to pay respect and homage to Veronica Carlson, Caroline Munro, and Martine Beswick whose long overdue recognition by The Rondo Hall of Fame was enthusiastically welcomed, and for my lifelong friend and brother, Wes Shank, whose loss late last Summer shattered us all, and whose entry last night into “The Monster Kid Hall of Fame” was a most fitting tribute to a beloved friend and fan. My personal remembrance of Wes was posted on File 770. Congratulations once again to all of this year’s most deserving Rondo Award winners. 

(15) WHERE NO CAT HAS GONE BEFORE. Well, cremated cat, says Space.com: “RIP Pikachu: Ashes of Beloved Cat Will Launch to Space in Cosmic Burial”.

A cat lover and space fan is about to make history by launching the remains of a cat named Pikachu into orbit around the Earth. 

“Pikachu will have a final send-off like no cat has ever had before,” Steve Munt, Pikachu’s owner, wrote on a GoFundMe page dedicated to raising funds for Pikachu’s space memorial. Thanks to a company called Celestis — which also offers memorial spaceflights for humans — the orange tabby’s cremated remains will hitch a ride to space as a small secondary payload on a satellite launch sometime in the next 18 months, Munt told Space.com

(16) MICE IN SPACE. These mice, however, made it to orbit while still alive. Ben Guarino in “Up in space, mice found a new way to play” in the Washington Post, says a paper in Scientific Reports discusses what happened to mice that spent a month in the International Space Station on the NASA Rodent Habitat.

After more than a week in space, young mice began to psrint and glide, as though they were zooming inside invisible hamster wheels.  The scientists called this circling behavior, which they hadn’t seen before, ‘racetracking.’  Within a few days, other mice joined the fray.  As a group, they ran laps around the habitats, reaching speeds of about a mile an hour.  It’s strange to watch.

(17) HEDGEHOGGING THE ROAD. Sonic The Hedgehog is fast enough to create a blue shift.

He’s a whole new speed of hero. Watch the new trailer for Sonic The Hedgehog, in theatres this November

[Thanks Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Daniel Dern, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Hampus Eckerman and/or Daniel Dern. It’s complicated.]

46 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/30/19 Pixel My Blue Suede Scrolls

  1. (8) Baird Searles was the reviewer at Asimov’s when I first subscribed, and he introduced me to a number of books that I loved (the Pliocene Exile, The Book of the Long Sun, Fool on the Hill, etc.). Here’s to him!

    (P.S. I love Niven’s works too).

    The Pixel that can be Scrolled is not the True Pixel.

  2. Already did a heads up on yesterday’s Scroll, but to catch anyone who misses it there — UK Filers:

    The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss is currently 99p on Amazon. Characters from gothic literature, a conspiracy, and a funny framing device — one of the characters is in-universe writing the novel, and her companions have Opinions about what she writes (or doesn’t write). Very entertaining, highly recommend.

    Other stuff that’s 99p on Amazon UK today:

    The Wrong Stars, by Tim Pratt
    Ironclads, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
    Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams
    The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K Dick
    Enemy, by K. Eason
    The Mermaid, by Christina Henry
    Fireblood, by Jeff Wheeler
    Aurora Rising (previously published as The Prefect), by Alastair Reynolds.

    No summaries, sorry, been having a dizzy week. If any of you like any of these, feel free to add a rec!

    ——

    Birthday girl Naomi Novik has also made huge contributions to transformative works fandom under her fannish nym, co-founding the Organization of Transformative Works and this year’s Related Work finalist the Archive of Our Own, founding the massive annual Yuletide rare fandom gift exchange fanfic challenge, developing the software that powered several earlier fandom-specific archives, founding Vividcon, and also a prolific fanfiction writer and (less prolific) vidder.

  3. 8) Young Frankenstein is far & away my favorite Mel Brooks film, in no small part due to Cloris Leachman. I didn’t realize it until fairly recently, but I think the specific film it’s parodying most directly is actually Son of Frankenstein, although it certainly riffs on bits from the original Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.

    My own acquaintance with Brad Searles was via his Reader’s Guide to Fantasy, which I remember checking out from the library, and which steered me to a number of great authors.

    Last but not least, my personal favorite Niven might be World Out of Time, just because the first time I read it, the whole notion of a heavily reconstructed solar system blew my mind.

  4. (2) A MODEST PROPOSAL

    While trying to find an online version of the story, I saw the reference to a new Ted Chiang collection, “Exhalation” which I mentioned in this comment the other day.

    So I am now happy to wait for the print version, though it does appear that the version in NYT is modified.

  5. @5: normally pranksters decorate the lesser dome, which is visible from the street; e.g., the giant Ring (suitably inscribed) when the Jackson LotR came out. But since they were only doing the top of the dome, being central is cool.

    @8: I vigorously recommend Spinning Silver; other(s?) were unhappy about the ending.

    @16: and the mice never get stuck away from all walls, as in the SF trope for rookies? Impressive.

    edit: Fifth!

  6. That Russian version of Theodora Goss’s novel does look beautiful.

    It’s good to see that MIT students continue the great tradition of massive pranks.

    It looks like Jim Carrey’s got a reservation for the Razzies!

  7. Amazon UK, why you do this to me? In an attempt, I assume, to victimise me personally, they added more sales after I got done with the list (either 99p or £1.99):

    Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee (first in the Machineries of Empire series, which is nominated in Best Series along with the last of the trilogy being nominated in Best Novel)
    Temeraire, by Naomi Novik
    Head On, by John Scalzi (sequel to the most excellent Lock In)
    Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (Clarke Award winner)
    The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, by Terry Pratchett
    The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham
    The Kraken Wakes, by John Wyndham
    A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, by Alex White
    The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, by Meg Elison
    Nod, by Adrian Barnes
    The Last Girl, by Joe Hart
    A Darkness Forged in Fire, by Chris Evans
    The Woodcutter, by Kate Danley
    Half a King, by Joe Abercrombie
    The Axe and the Throne, by M. D. Ireman
    An Easy Death, by Charlaine Harris

    There might be more later! Who knows! Certainly not me!

  8. Re (my) modest proposal. – Ah/oops, I see that the dead-tree story was mentioned in a prior scroll.
    @Soon Lee – if you want (my) copy, the judges are happy to rule that your comment above includes an implicit request, making you the first and thus winning one. Up to you.

  9. (8) My favorite Nivens are several of the early-1970s novellas (e.g., “Rammer,” “The Fourth Profession”) and the first three or four chapters of Ringworld. [I only ever owned a first-edition Ballantine coverless paperback of Ringworld; therefore, for me Louis’ home is in Greenwich (UK), he first appears in a transfer booth in Munich, and the last city he dials (just before meeting Nessus) is Tehran – that is, Louis lives on an Earth that rotates in the wrong direction and therefore makes hourly jumps to the east to extend his 200th birthday. This was quickly revised, but the newer city names sound all wrong to me.]

  10. Chloris Leachman was also Zorya Vechernyaya the evening star in American Gods.

    Niven: If you mean favorite short story: “The Soft Weapon” will always be my favorite of the Known Space stories partly because it’s the first one I read as a kid, and partly because it’s a really well-constructed suspenseful adventure story that makes you feel like there’s this whole huge weight of mythology even though it’s only sketched in a few details… but then there are like a dozen others in second place. “Inconstant Moon” is my favorite of the one-offs, even though I find it deeply unnerving.

  11. For clarity, in The Muppet Movie, Cloris Leachman plays Lew Lord’s secretary, not The Lord’s Secretary. (Lew Lord was the producer portrayed by Orson Welles — a character inspired by Lew Grade, who was a major financier of “The Muppet Show” and a British lord.)

  12. (8) add me to those who love Spinning Silver. I enjoyed everything about it: drawing on Eastern European culture, the serious consideration of Anti-Semitism, the multiple viewpoints – but especially how Novik treats a couple of classic fairytales (Rumplestiltskin and the monster prince (Lindorm)) in a way that gives value to all the characters, even the evil ones.
    Nitpicking on birthdays: I think Dunst played Claudia (not the hero of the “main” plot in Much Ado). And Gal Gadot is in Murder on the Nile, not Orient Express. (sorry to nitpick, as I enjoy the birthdays so much, and doing them must be a lot of work.)

    @Meredith
    Argh, I already have the first 2 Theodora Goss adventuress books. Looking forward to the third, as I think each book is better than the last.

  13. @Meredith

    Also

    Ravencry by Ed McDonald (book 2 of a grimdark fantasy series)
    The Long Utopia by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (book 4 of a series)
    The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson (book 6 of a series – most of which have previously been some kind of deal or other)

  14. Joshua K. says For clarity, in The Muppet Movie, Cloris Leachman plays Lew Lord’s secretary, not The Lord’s Secretary. (Lew Lord was the producer portrayed by Orson Welles — a character inspired by Lew Grade, who was a major financier of “The Muppet Show” and a British lord.)

    Where does it say Lew Lord’s secretary? Even the quotes on Imdb refer to the character as to the Lord’s Secretary, hence my use of that name.

  15. 8) Favorite Niven

    Tricky question. Niven was relatively early in my SFF reading and has been in there quite a bit. I can certainly tell you the co-written book of his I hate the most.

    Leaving that aside, RINGWORLD is a classic, I recently listened to an audio of THE MAGIC GOES AWAY…”Inconstant Moon” is a wonderful story. PROTECTOR, Maybe? “Neutron Star” is a nice physics problem…

  16. 8) Since you asked, Spinning Silver is a most worthy Hugo nominee. There is a high probability that it will be at the top of my ballot.

    Regards,
    Dann
    The most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its power. – John Stuart Mill

  17. I enjoyed “Uprooted” very much, and read all the Temeraire books too, but “Spinning Silver” is really wonderful on a whole ‘nother level — complex and unpredictable, several intertwining plots, gorgeous writing. I think she knocked it out of the park with this one. By far the best book from Novik so far.

  18. @gottacook
    I agree with you on the original opening of “Ringworld” reading better than the revised/corrected version. The newer one is just off, somehow.

  19. @Cat: The cast listing and quotes on IMDb just refer to Leachman’s character as “Lord’s Secretary,” as in the following:

    …Lord’s Secretary: [closes the door] And where do you think you’re going?
    Kermit: Oh, hi there. We’re here to audition for Lew Lord. …

    Calling Leachman’s character “The Lord’s Secretary” instead of “Lord’s Secretary” would make it sound like she was supposed to be the administrative assistant for God.

    (The closing credits of The Muppet Movie didn’t provide character names for most of the celebrities making cameo appearances; the character names for them as listed in IMDb are mostly descriptions of their roles as supplied by IMDb users.)

  20. In a weird twist of fate, April 30 is the birthday of both Kunal Nayyar and Johnny Galecki and it’s the day they shot the last episode of The Big Bang Theory.

    It’s also the birthday of Bill Plympton. I used to love his short cartoons, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of his movies.

    Also Gary Collins who I remember from The Sixth Sense TV series. He was also an uncredited cast member in King Kong vs. Godzilla and appeared in Houston, We’ve got a Problem all the way back in 1974.

    London Scrolling to the faraway towns.

  21. Many years back David Hartwell told me the Braid Searles attended a Lunacon and didn’t enjoy it. I had talked to him when I was in the city, often being taken by Giani Siri when I visited the city. He knew his material.

    My favorite Niven stories tend to be most of his material before 1989. There’s a sharp decline of quality in his output after that.

  22. And on an entirely unrelated note, Diane Duane just sent out a newsletter with information about progress on Door into Starlight (there has been … some progress) and, more importantly, with news that she’s completed the second associated Tales of the Five story (75,000 words, so it’s actually a novel, not a novella).

    https://ebooks.direct/products/the-landlady-tales-of-the-five-2

  23. 13) You say “Look at the gorgeous endpapers” and then show us what appear to be the covers. They are lovely covers. What do the endpapers look like?

  24. I didn’t mind the ending of Spinning Silver–though I understand those who do–but I did think it suffered a bit from lack of focus, and I found it a bit uneven overall. I didn’t like it as much as Uprooted. It was, nevertheless, pretty good. Won’t be my top pick, but I definitely won’t mind seeing it on the short list.

    I find Niven to suffer a bit from the depredations of the Suck Fairy. Not as bad as many early favorites of mine–I still find most of his stuff at least readable–but somehow, his flaws stand out a lot more than they did when I was younger, and I confess I struggled with Ringworld the last time I tried it. All of which I sort of hate to say, because he’s a hell of a nice guy, but I want to be honest.

    Count me as another huge, huge fan of Young Frankenstein. It and Galaxy Quest are probably my two favorite genre parody films.

  25. Aprile 30th is also Camerone Day, celebrated by infantrymen all over the world.

    8) Favrotite Niven? Hands down, A World Out of Time. It’s one of his few novels I can go back to over and over again and really enjoy without finding problematic issues (I’m looking at you, Lucifer’s Hammer!)

    16) Not only did the mice adapt, but it also looks like they invented was to enjoy microgravity.

    17) OK, one thing in this trailer killed what little interest I had in seeing the movie. Early on, Sonic is hit by a tranq dart. Later, while dozens of missiles are just a few feet from him, he has time to check his Fit Bit, remark on his step count, and then move.

    Why didn’t he dodge the tranq dart? It’s not like he didn’t have time, or not see the gun! That much bad writing in the trailer puts me off the movie.

  26. Robert Whitaker Sirignano says My favorite Niven stories tend to be most of his material before 1989. There’s a sharp decline of quality in his output after that.

    I don’t think anything on the list I picked dates past that date if memory serves me. One of the only things I’ve really liked past that time is the Ringworld related novels that were co-written with Edward Lerner, the Fleet of Worlds series. Otherwise the only novels in any series written solely by him that has matched that early writing has been the Ringworld sequels.

  27. Dann665 on May 1, 2019 at 6:21 am said:

    8) Since you asked, Spinning Silver is a most worthy Hugo nominee. There is a high probability that it will be at the top of my ballot.

    I’m only 20% of the way into it so far but the complexity + readability of the story is really impressive so far. Everything feels familiar and yet I haven’t a clue where it is going.

  28. @Jack Lynt — I love Plympton’s shorts too. Recently I was unsuccessfully trying to find one on YouTube about an argument between two talking heads that keep morphing into various outlandish weapons and exchanging fire. Maybe you or another Filer recalls that one, I’ve been having a devil of a time locating it.

  29. David Shallcross: 13) You say “Look at the gorgeous endpapers” and then show us what appear to be the covers. They are lovely covers. What do the endpapers look like?

    Ya got me, brother. A self-induced optical illusion. I was sure she was holding the cover open (i.e., not easily seen because it would have been photoed end-on.) However, endpapers wouldn’t have all that cover info on them, would they?

  30. @Charon Dunn My problem with the Plymptoons is that I would see most of them in small block (like 3 or 4) in between longer cartoons at various animation festivals. So I have vague memories of them, but no idea of titles and where you might find them.

    That said, you might be thinking of Push Comes to Shove (1991) (Listed here as The Tune on YouTube)

  31. @Soon Lee – The NYTimes story is adapted from one in the collection, rather than simply re (or pre-) printed from what’s in the collection. Plus it’s, if not quite an ephemera (ephemeron, in the singular, it looks like, rather than ephemerum, which was my guess), it’s something. While presumably more copies of the NYTimes insert were printed than the likely book collection run), likely only a fraction will have been (read and) saved.
    That said, any other takers? Absent that, I’ll squirrel it away, for possible autographing and then donating to some at-con or other fundraiser.

  32. More on Plymptoons. Maybe this one? It’s starts out as a kiss and then turns more confrontational around the 30 second mark.

  33. @Camestros

    Get used to that feeling. It never changes all the way to the end. I was always waiting for another nod to an existing faery tale that never quite happened. Eventually, I gave up on trying to relate Spinning Silver to old faery tales and just enjoyed the wonder that Ms. Novik has created for us.

    That improved my experience by a non-trivial amount. It is an impressively deft display of authorial skill.

    But you are spot on about the complexity and readability. She also has managed to give it a unique voice that is just familiar enough to invite the reader into the rest of the story and then trapping their eyeballs until slumber of “The End” is reached.

    Not sure how much of a Meredith moment this might be…

    Humble Bundle has a graphic novel bundle that includes Gideon Falls; a nominee for this year’s Eisner Awards. It includes Descender which is of note due to the introduction this year of the Ascender series. Those three properties make up most of the bundle, but there are a few other stories included at each level.

    I enjoyed Gideon Falls, Vol. 1, a great deal. Ascender, Issue 1, is in my unread pile as it looked interesting.

    There is also a pulp fiction bundle that is mostly crime stories including a few from Mickey Spillane. Everything in the bundle appears to come from the Hard Case Crime imprint…with all that is entailed from that publisher.

    Regards,
    Dann
    “Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. I think it’s in my basement… let me go upstairs and check.” – M. C. Escher

  34. (3) Alan Beatts was interviewed on KCBS radio (sister station to KNX, both news stations) for a story about closing the cafe that I heard this morning while getting ready for work.

  35. David Shallcross: You say “Look at the gorgeous endpapers” and then show us what appear to be the covers. They are lovely covers. What do the endpapers look like?

    They’re in her Facebook post, not in her tweet. And they are indeed gorgeous.

  36. @Dann (and everyone else who has ever written anything like)

    Not sure how much of a Meredith moment this might be…

    First rule of Meredith Moments, as, I suppose, the closest thing to an authority: It counts! Seriously, even if I was inclined to police it — I’m really not — I have yet to see anyone put forward something that made me go ??? at it. So: It Counts. It Always Counts. Be Free and Share Sales.

  37. Thanks, Jack! It was definitely When Push Comes to Shove I was trying to locate. The Kiss is also delightfully weird, I remember it from way back.

  38. Wow, mice in space are extremely cute! I’m sure the long term effects aren’t that much better for them than they are for us, but the short term effects are marvelous! 🙂

  39. @Meredith

    Thanks very much. My concern was that Humble Bundle doesn’t look much like discrete Amazon (or Kobo or….) sales.

    Regards,
    Dann
    We’re born with success. It is only others who point out our failures, and what they attribute to us as failure. – Whoopi Goldberg

  40. (4) Thanos is, in any case, a shameless rip-off of Jack Kirby’s Darkseid. Maybe that’s why Stan fired them.

    (8) Kirsten Dunst was also in Lars von Trier’s depressing fable Melancholia.

  41. That Humble bundle looks genuinely tempting even though the only thing in it I have read is Descender vol 1. My only issue is that I have sometimes felt disappointed or frustrated reading graphic novels on screen (sadly this has included some webcomics). I guess my laptop does also double as a tablet and could re-orient…

  42. @Lenora Rose

    I’m conflicted by e-comics.

    The ones I read via Amazon usually have this amazing feature where you will be guided from view to view by a touch of the screen. So you can see a larger piece of art and then follow the progression of speech/text just with a succession of taps. Or you can just progress from frame to frame. On pages where the placement of the text might not lead one to read them in the correct order, it is a great tool.

    But my iPad mini is my primary e-reader. So I end up never getting to see the full-sized images at the correct scale. Kind of a bummer that.

    Maybe that utility will be available if you put your laptop into tablet mode?

    HTH….

    Regards,
    Dann
    I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. – Isaac Asimov

  43. John Hertz responds by carrier pigeon:

    I’m ecstatic to see Hesse’s masterwork The Glass Bead Game on the Retro-Hugo ballot for Best Novel.

    I place it among the greatest SF novels. One of few from outside our field.

    It was one of the SF Classics we discussed at Renovation (69th Worldcon).

    Theodore Sturgeon in a fine pun said “Science fiction is knowledge fiction” (the Latin root of “science” means knowledge).

    You can see a note by me here.

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