Pixel Scroll 5/23/18 Admit It – You Woulda Done The Same!

(1) HUNDRED BEST. Unbound Worlds knows there’s nothing like a “best” list to get everyone riled up. To that end they present “The 100 Best Fantasy Novels of All Time”. I’ve read a solid 15 of these, which tells you I’m not a big fantasy fan, but even I know they should have picked a different Pratchett book.

It was daunting, but we did it: a list of the one hundred best fantasy books of all time. What was our criteria? Well, we loved these these books and thought they deserved to be on the list. That’s pretty much it. This list is totally subjective, and with a cut-off of one hundred books, we couldn’t include all of the amazing fantasy tales out there. We hope you look through this list and agree with a lot of our picks, and that you also find some new stories to pick up. If there’s anything we left out, please add it to the comments below — we’d love to see what books would be on your list!

So without further ado, here’s what makes our list of best fantasy books of all time (arranged alphabetically)! Fair warning: your TBR pile is about to get a lot bigger…

(2) NEW GROENING SERIES. The Verge’s Andrew Liptak reports “Matt Groening’s new animated fantasy show will premiere on Netflix in August”.

Matt Groening’s animated epic fantasy series has a release date: Netflix has revealed that Disenchantment will premiere on August 17th. The company also shared a handful of pictures that show off an art style that will be familiar to anyone who’s watched Futurama or The Simpsons.

Netflix officially announced the series last year. It’ll follow a “hard-drinking young princess” named Bean, an elf companion named Elfo, and her personal demon named Luci as they encounter all manner of fantasy creatures in a magical kingdom known as Dreamland. Netflix ordered 20 episodes of the show; the first 10 will premiere this year.

 

(3) HELP FRANKENSTEIN AUTHOR GET BUSTED. Sculptor Bryan Moore hopes to crowdfund the rest of the expenses of the Mary Shelley Bronze Bust Project. So far people have contributed $3,546 of the $16,000 goal.

To celebrate the 200th publication anniversary of the legendary novel “Frankenstein”, we’re donating a life size, bronze bust of Mary Shelley to the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, WA on August 30, 2018!!!!

While I’ve donated the last six months of my time sculpting Mary, I can’t get her across the finish line without your help to pay for the considerable costs at the bronze foundry to mold, cast, finish and fire the patina on the bust itself.

Mary Shelley is the second of three busts that MoPOP has graciously agreed to accept in my horror author bronze bust series; “Dracula” author Bram Stoker was unveiled in October, 2017, Mary Shelley will be installed on her birthday on August 30, 2018 and Rod Serling will be unveiled in 2019 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of “The Twilight Zone”. As you’ll see in the video, I’ve also sculpted and donated bronze busts of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe.

 

(4) SEEMS LIKE FOREVER. It was another busy day at the Romance Writers of America.

(5) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • May 23, 1969 Destroy All Monsters premiered.

(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born May 23, 1933 — Joan Collins, who won genre fame as “City on the Edge of Forever’s” Edith Keeler.
  • Born May 23, 1986  — Black Panther director Ryan Coogler

(7) COMICS SECTION.

  • John King Tarpinian witnessed the first book tour at Non Sequitur.
  • And Lio seems to have the wrong idea about The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

(8) PERSISTENT BELIEVERS. Did you think this was a settled question? Oh, such a silly person you are… “Loch Ness Monster’s Existence Could Be Proven With eDNA”.

Is the Loch Ness real? We may soon have an answer.

A team of scientists have proposed using actual science to figure out if the mythical creature allegedly lurking in Scotland’s River Ness is actually real.

Their proposal? Using environmental DNA, or eDNA, a sampling method already used to track movements in marine life. When an animal moves through an environment, it leaves behind residual crumbs of its genetics by shedding skin or scales, leaving behind feathers or tufts of fur, perhaps some feces and urine.

Scientists think those residual clues left behind by a monster like that of the Loch Ness could be collected by eDNA and subsequently used to prove its existence.

“This DNA can be captured, sequenced and then used to identify that creature by comparing the sequence obtained to large databases of known genetic sequences from hundreds of thousands of different organisms,” team spokesman Professor Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago in New Zealand told Reuters.

It’s certainly not the first time that people, scientifically minded or not, have attempted to track the legendary monster’s existence. A sixth century document chronicles the tale of an Irish monk named St. Columba, who banished a “water beast” to the bottom of the River Ness.

(9) JDA WILL PROVE LOVE. Since his lawsuit won’t even get its first hearing til October, Jon Del Arroz came up with a new plan to make people pay attention to him: “Announcement: Rally For Freedom And Anti-Discrimination Demonstration At Worldcon 76 San Jose” [Internet Archive].

Civil rights activist Erin Sith, trans for Trump, and I talked about this briefly on our livestream last Thursday. As we are both minorities on the right, we’ve both had a lot of shared similar experiences where those of privilege on the left have treated us inhumanly because we left the proverbial slave plantation they set up for us. 2018 is the year we will let our message be heard, in unity, in love, and for tolerance and diversity.

We are planning a gathering outside Worldcon 76 in San Jose, on Saturday, August 18th, 2018. I’ve talked with the city of San Jose and the convention center and we are cleared to go on their end. We cannot allow these institutions to willfully discriminate and spew hatred just because someone is an outspoken political personality. With Worldcon’s actions emboldening ConCarolinas and Origins to similarly attempt to harm and discredit other popular conservative authors because of politics, enough is enough….

(10) ANTIMATTER. Gizmodo swears it happened in 2015: “A Recent Hurricane Shot a Bolt of Antimatter Toward Earth”.

The detector onboard the plane measured a phenomenon that scientists have been interested in for decades: terrestrial gamma-ray flashes. It’s unclear exactly how it happens, but lightning in storms seems to accelerate electrons to nearly light speed. These electrons collide with the particles in the atmosphere, resulting in high-energy x-rays and gamma rays that scientists have measured in satellites and on the ground. The rays could also result from collisions between electrons and their antimatter partners, positrons.

The team behind the newest paper had a tool called the Airborne Detector for Energetic Lightning Emissions (ADELE) on board a hurricane-hunting WP-3D plane, according to the paper published recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

(11) UNDERGROUND. “New whisky distillery in Moray ‘like nothing else'”. It blends in with the landscape, but visits expected to double. Chip Hitchcock asks, “A side trip for next year’s Worldcon?”

The new distillery, on the Easter Elchies estate near Craigellachie in Moray, has been camouflaged under a vast turf roof, to blend in with the rolling hillside.

It is believed to be the most expensive in the country, going 40% over budget, with a total cost for the production facility and visitor centre of £140m.

The roof, with 10cm (4in) depth of turf and meadow flowers, covers 14,000 sq m.

Underneath are ventilation, vapour control, flexible waterproofing and irrigation systems.

Under those is a complex ceiling structure comprising 2,500 panels, few of them the same.

(12) HEAVY DEW. “GRACE mission launches to weigh Earth’s water” – BBC has the story. This is a replacement/upgrade for applauded 15-year-old satellites which will track icecaps, and sea/land exchanges.

A joint US-German mission has gone into orbit to weigh the water on Earth.

The Grace satellites are replacing a pair of highly successful spacecraft that stopped working last year.

Like their predecessors, the new duo will circle the globe and sense tiny variations in the pull of gravity that result from movements in mass.

These could be a signal of the land swelling after prolonged rains, or of ice draining from the poles as they melt in a warming climate.

The satellites were launched on Tuesday aboard a SpaceX rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force base in California.

(13) SUMMA WHAT? Bakers are more activist in some parts of the country: “US student’s ‘Summa cum laude’ graduation cake censored”.

The South Carolina student’s mother had asked a local grocery store to print the term “Summa Cum Laude” (with the highest distinction) on her son’s cake.

The store censored the term “cum” deeming it offensive and put three hyphens in its place.

(14) TODAY’S CLICKBAIT. Frog in a Well asks “Was Hirata Atsutane Japan’s first Science Fiction writer?”

Maybe. Well, sort of. It kind of depends on how you define things.

Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843) was one of the key thinkers and popularizers of Japanese Nativism. He was a prolific writer, and most of what he wrote was aimed at proving that Japan was the center of the universe. In particular, he argued against Chinese learning, which was pointless, and to the extent it was any good, the Japanese had done it first. He argued against Indian (Buddhist) learning, which was pointless, and to the extent it was any good, the Japanese had done it first. He argued against European (Dutch) learning, which was pointless, and to the extent it was any good, the Japanese had done it first. As you may guess, he was a bit polemical. He was also pretty important in the creation and popularization of a specifically Japanese identity.

One of his important works is Senkyo Ibun (Strange tidings from the realm of the Immortals), 1822. This is an account of his interviews with the teenage tengu Kozo Torakichi. Tengu are the trickster/mountain goblin figures of Japanese folklore. Torakichi claimed to have been raised by them, and to have learned all the secrets of true Japanese-ness in the process.

(15) PERSONAL 451. Mr. Sci-Fi delivers “Ray Bradbury & Fahrenheit 451 – The Untold Story.”

Sci-fi whiz Marc Zicree shares stories his dear friend and mentor Ray Bradbury told him about the genesis of Fahrenheit 451 and gives a history of the work that includes first editions, plays, radio versions and movies.

 

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Alan Baumler, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Kendall, Andrew Porter, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rev. Bob.]

225 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/23/18 Admit It – You Woulda Done The Same!

  1. Charles Einstein’s “Willie’s Time” (which I like; it’s about baseball, mostly in the 50s and 60s, but it’s especially about Willie Mays) describes baseball as “it comes in the springtime, there’s no clock, and the scoring is done by the team that doesn’t have the ball”.

  2. Baseball in Canada goes way back. Famous baseball fantasist W. P. Kinsella was from western Canada.

  3. @Judge Magney: Pringle’s list is not only limited to “modern” fantasy (1946-1987) but ignores a number of major women authors published during that time, so it strikes me (like *all* such lists) as reflecting an individual’s subjective tastes.

    Of the 100 books, only 15 are by women (three of those by the same writer, Angela Carter). Off the top of my head, for that time period, I’d expect to see:

    Diana Wynne Jones

    Tanith Lee

    C. L. Moore

    Jane Yolen

    While Googling to check dates, I found this nifty list of sf, fantasy, and horror women writers at Worlds Without End

    One of the best examples of how work by women is not reprinted because, well, women, is probably the 1926 novel, Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees.

  4. @Judge Magney: I miss Baird as well – his review column in Asimov’s was my lifeline back in the early 1980s, and led me to read Julian May, Gene Wolfe, and many others.

  5. Exhausted.

    Just catching up after a sleep test last night. Yes, another sleep test. They might let me have my BiPAP machine after this.

    Note for the future: If I have to do another one, I need to just take the aspirin first.

    Haven’t looked at the list yet, but Judge Magney’s ranting is giving me warm feelings toward it, so I’ll have to go take a look.

  6. @robinareid: re Lud-in-the-Mist, how many 1926 books by male genre authors are reprinted? The editions listed in ISFDB do cluster some, but it’s hardly unreprinted.

  7. Mike Glyer: If James Earl Jones can’t convince you, I certainly can’t

    Despite having been an outfielder in high school, I’m in all sorts of the wrong various demographic groups for baseball to have any nostalgia or appeal for me. And without getting into specifics, I will just say that the whole Field of Dreams frenzy gave me reason to dislike baseball even more. (My response to the movie was, “That’s it? That’s what all the fuss is about???” 🙄 )

  8. There’s an absolutely wonderful baseball themed fantasy from Michael Chabon called Summerland. One of my most favorite books.

  9. JJ: Hmm. Let me ask you a tangential question — are there parts of Casablanca that make you laugh out loud?

  10. Mike Glyer: are there parts of Casablanca that make you laugh out loud?

    No, I have a real appreciation for Casablanca. Especially since the Epsteins left baseball out of it.

  11. JJ: That blows a private theory all to hell, but in a reassuring way!

    I never got to meet Julius Epstein, even though he once spent an hour in the work cubical next to mine — with a coworker who’d never heard of him, even after he gave her an autographed picture.

  12. @JJ, Chip: I know. It was a funny, about the traditional/stereotypical con attendee. A lot of people won’t. But almost everyone’s going to be going back and forth from the party hotel, whether they’re staying there or not. And there are a lot of swell (and cheaper) eateries nearby.

    Now, the Chicago Worldcon, with all the connected hotels and shops, you really *can* spend the entire weekend in the facility, though I go out b/c Chicago.

    @Vicki: I don’t know how things are going to be set up. Yes, the light rail is right outside the main entrance to the center, but depending on where stuff is, people might be coming in other doors. There are LOTS of ways in and out from both the outside and the connected hotels, on different levels. The one with the Peet’s Coffee is particularly popular.

    @Kevin: I don’t remember that at all, but I mostly wasn’t using the main entrance. I do suggest to our visitors who want sugary gourmet goodness and are up for some traveling go to Psycho Donuts. Oh, man, those are good. I had only one at Comic Con. They even have gluten-free and vegan.

    @Lee: Censure vs. censor! Perfect. One is what free people should be allowed to do; one is the opposite.

    Also, kudos for “the Fred Phelps of SF”! Good analogy. Fred had a large extended family helping, though. Not himself and a self-hating friend.

    @Kip W: BBC version? I didn’t know there was one. I taped the NPR version off the radio every week; they had a few of the original voices, ISTR Hamill and Daniels. They came out on CD too.

    @Anonymous Bard: Good job! Stick around and talk to us about books.

    @Cmm: What a terrible story. I’m glad it ended well. I cannot imagine hot flashes in polyester and a vest. Those aren’t comfortable at any time.

    @Jim Parish: Dominicans and Canadians too.

    @OGH: I’d have prairie dogged over the cubicle wall in that case.

    Chuck Tingle’s a nice guy. Don’t ask him to write a book about SF’s Fred Phelps. Not the least b/c it would increase Jon-boy’s already overinflated sense of importance.

    Hugo reading: I’m about 2/3 through “In Other Lands” and am so far delighted. I read last night till I dozed off and dropped the Kindle on my face.

    Baycon! Which has inevitably scheduled my friends’ panels opposite each other. Including one married couple. I can’t make Heather Rose Jones’ first one b/c of this, but I do have her penciled in for later. Along with other kewl sounding panels, the Masquerade, burlesque show, and parties. There are read-alouds of Dr. Tingle’s work and “Eye of Argon” in the same timeslot; bah. Chuck it is.

  13. I like baseball, myself, but I have no interest in horse racing, and I’m still a Dick Francis fan — because he makes racing come alive as a context for crime stories, not because he makes me want to go to the track.

    And BRITTLE INNINGS is a masterpiece of a book. It’s not FIELD OF DREAMS or THE NATURAL…it belongs next to LITTLE, BIG and THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY, I’d say.

    It’s a Southern Gothic World War Two baseball coming-of-age novel, and brings a time and place (and its characters) alive in a way few books manage. It’s unsettling and painful and rich and human and joyful and memorable.

    And if that intrigues anyone who isn’t put off by the baseball, it’s only four bucks for the Kindle edition.

  14. Judge Magney:

    .

    “Snarkery in defense of ignorance is not an attractive activity.”

    Then perhaps you should stop with the snarking? Or snarling might be a better word.

    Not impressed by the Pringle-list. What is Glory Road doing on a list of good fantasy? Why is Rosemary’s Baby there or The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag? The Haunting of Hill House? Salem’s Lot? The Shinging? The Vampire Tapestries? Clearly horror stories.

    It is a mix of really good books and books that have gone out of fashion and sometimes totally forgotten. I do prefer the Unbound Worlds list because that is about what is still being read by newer generations.

    And that is not Charles de Lint or John Crowley.

  15. @Soon Lee
    Re: “Little, Big”: I know, right!? The male ‘hero’ of the first generation was such a douche for no good reason that I kind of lost interest in what happened to his offspring.

  16. Lurkertype: We are talking about the same thing, apparently. I found it by googling BBC Star Wars Radio Drama and never noticed that that wasn’t exactly what it was. Turns out the BBC let them use some production facilities and this got them the right to play it for their audience (per Wikipedia).

  17. Soon:

    I’ve bounced off “Little, Big” twice already…

    I bogged down in it twice, but was interested enough that I went for a third try, and clicked into it. Wonderful book. Now that I’ve read it once and know where it goes, I’m looking forward to reading it again.

    In any case, BRITTLE INNINGS is shorter and written in plainer English.

    Doesn’t mean it’s for you, but who knows?

    Hampus:

    And that is not Charles de Lint or John Crowley.

    Geez, they’re still publishing.

    I realize Judge M is coming off as a cranky sumbitch, but that doesn’t mean that all the authors he’d stick on the list are somehow bad.

    Emma Bull isn’t exactly tearing up the current bestseller lists either, but I wouldn’t argue that WAR FOR THE OAKS didn’t belong on a list like that.

  18. @Lee: I’ve never read a Regency, though I’ve read some same-sex romances and one old opposite-sex romance (Helen MacInnes’s Friends and Lovers). Oh and the “Winterfair Gifts” I got was the audiobook. 🙂 So, no typos that I know of (speak-o’s???).

  19. @StephenfromOttawa: “. . . obviously this isn’t a list for someone who wants to explore older roots of the modern genre.”

    Exactly! If only everyone read the intro and got this. 😉

    @Judge Magney: You either didn’t read the Unbound Worlds intro or just keep missing the point (see above; Stephen put it well). Anyway, thanks for the Pringle list, as I like all kinds of “best” lists, even survey-style lists. His definition of fantasy is a bit flexible and it has a lot of what seem to me like obscure books (though I recognize many/most of the authors). It’s clear from the description that it’s really a “critical summary of the field,” so, not really a 100 best so much as an Important, Meaningful Survey. Which is fine and interesting in a different way. 🙂

    Hmm, I’ve read 18 (not much lower than the other list, huh, though I have only 5 or 6 others in-house. I see a few things that I feel like I ought-to-have read or should-at-some-point read, due to their fame. Even a couple that’s on my list to look into or buy.

    @JJ: Thanks for that list. I’ve only read 4-5 ofthem, though I’ve got around 10ish others. I’ve read plenty of of SFF by women, but not the same ones as that list creator favors. 😉 I see some titles I’ve heard good things about and should consider, plus some that’re already on my “list.”

    @Soon Lee & @Jayn: For bouncing off/not liking Little, Big, you are hereby banned form making lists of any sort. Even shopping lists – one can’t be too carful! 😛 (I haven’t read it, though IIRC I own it.)

    @Various: I don’t quite get comments like “why include that book from author X,” as if someone couldn’t have a different favorite or couldn’t have not read all the author’s books. “I’d’ve picked X” sounds totes reasonable! But as with Hugo voting, it bugs me to see people say they picked the “wrong” book, when as with every such list, it’s highly subjective. As they said: “What was our criteria? Well, we loved these these books and thought they deserved to be on the list. That’s pretty much it. This list is totally subjective, and with a cut-off of one hundred books, we couldn’t include all of the amazing fantasy tales out there.”

    I mean, except that one entry on the list (you know which one I mean!), which was a total mistake! OMG how could they be so wrong as to pick that book. 😉

    Anyway sorry to be so late in catching up (I’ve been catching up on and off during the day) and it’s fun to see reactions and suggestions and other lists.

  20. Damn, I posted a long comment and after I tried to make an edit to fix an autocorrect typo, it suddenly said I couldn’t edit it and it removed the comment?! WTH. 🙁 DISAPPOINT.

  21. Kendall: Did you like your other version better? It landed in the spam. I could swap them out.

  22. Re baseball: My last experience with going to a baseball game was enough to give me a lasting dislike for the game, although it mostly manifests as “ignore at all costs”. The outing was sprung on me during an out-of-town visit with friends, in weather too cold to be sitting outside for hours without appropriate clothing, which I had not packed. What I mostly remember is (1) there seemed to be about 20 seconds of something actually happening every 5 minutes or so, and (2) after close to an hour, I begged the car keys and went back to wait for them in a location that was out of the wind and where there was a new issue of one of my APAs to read. If other people want to watch the game, that’s fine — just don’t expect me to.

    @ Kurt: I tried reading a Dick Francis book once because racing, but I bounced off it pretty hard due to the lovingly detailed descriptions of people being beaten up. No, I don’t remember which one it was, that was over 20 years ago. I’ll take Walter Farley for books set in a horse-racing milieu.

  23. Unrelated to lists, FYI Sebastien de Castell has a new series starting in July and that link shows the first four covers, which are quite attractive. IIRC, @Dann and a few others are fans, so this may not be news to them. There’s a short bit about the book at the link, along with the cover reveals. Apparently 4 coming out in this year, then 2 more next year, wow.

  24. @Mike Glyer: Thanks! Yes, mostly because I was trying to re-edit with this version and wasn’t sure I got it right. I mean, probably not a lot of big differences, though, but if you don’t mind, that’d be marvy, thanks. The only things I was trying to do to the spam (?!) version were fix a couple of typos, but it’s fine as is if you swap it. 🙂

    ::bows::

  25. 51, and credit to them for putting on Wildwood Dancing which deserved about a thousand times more love than it got. Damn fine book. Best talking frog for a long time.

    That said, at least five of those were DNF.

    JDA, As always, meh. I’ll worry about it when he actually shows up and not before. (Actually, I have face blindness, so I won’t even worry about it then. Hopefully he’ll wear a name tag.)

  26. I tried reading a Dick Francis book once because racing, but I bounced off it pretty hard due to the lovingly detailed descriptions of people being beaten up.

    That’s probably one of the things I like about them — not the beating-ups, specifically, but the fact that his heroes aren’t supermen; they endure and survive to reach a victory (which he knew a lot about due to his jockeying experience), rather than being mighty badass heroes.

    I saw it surmised somewhere that this might be one of the reasons his books were so popular with women readers — where men like the macho heroics of an Alistair Maclean hero, women liked the vulnerability and tenacity. Naturally, that’d be only a tendency, if it’s even true, but I have no idea what his sales patterns were like to begin with.

    But it made me think of Will Eisner’s THE SPIRIT, where the hero was pretty good in a fight, but managed to get beaten up and battered a whole lot in his adventures; it made me wonder if that (plus the comedy and the humanity) worked better for a mass newspaper audience than the Spirit’s comic-book brethren’s physical superiority and bulletproofiness.

  27. Medieval cosplay! Zendaya, with whom I was unfamiliar but she seems to be an actress on a Disney Channel show, showed up at the Met Gala wearing a look inspired by paintings of Joan of Arc. Yeah, it’s closer to Bronze Bra than functional armor, but I still thought it was pretty cool.

  28. Kendall:

    “Unrelated to lists, FYI Sebastien de Castell has a new series starting in July and that link shows the first four covers, which are quite attractive.”

    I read Spellslinger, and it was a bit too YA for me. An ok read, but it felt a bit like de Castell was checking boxes of what should be included.

  29. Kurt Busiek:

    “I realize Judge M is coming off as a cranky sumbitch, but that doesn’t mean that all the authors he’d stick on the list are somehow bad.”

    No, but some are perhaps past their heyday? I’m not impressed when someone says that a better list is one with no works from the last 30 years.

    I haven’t read War of the Oaks yet, it is on my TBR-pile, but I don’t see a problem with older books being on a list (as several are). But that is again one difference. You mentioned a book, not an author. If someone wants to argue for something to be included, they should say what book or series.

  30. One of the best examples of how work by women is not reprinted because, well, women, is probably the 1926 novel, Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees.

    …which is currently in print.

    And also only four bucks for the Kindle, and recommended strongly!

  31. I don’t see a problem with older books being on a list (as several are).

    I didn’t suggest you did; I reacted to your declaring that current generations aren’t reading authors such as John Crowley, who had a new novel come out six months ago, to what looks like pretty good reception.

  32. Kendall on May 24, 2018 at 9:37 pm said:
    Unrelated to lists, FYI Sebastien de Castell has a new series starting in July and that link shows the first four covers, which are quite attractive. IIRC, @Dann and a few others are fans, so this may not be news to them. There’s a short bit about the book at the link, along with the cover reveals. Apparently 4 coming out in this year, then 2 more next year, wow.

    You guys are playing catch up, as this series has been out elsewhere for a while. The first book at least has even been translated into Turkish already.

  33. “I didn’t suggest you did; I reacted to your declaring that current generations aren’t reading authors such as John Crowley, who had a new novel come out six months ago, to what looks like pretty good reception.”

    Gah, sorry, one of my habitual exaggerations that I seem to never be able to get rid of. 🙁 What I meant – and should have written – is that they aren’t read on the same level as the authors on the list and that their books/series aren’t as hyped or spoken about.

  34. @rob_matic: It’s in Turkish already?! Wow, we are behind the times! 😉

    I need to get around to reading the first in his previous series, which is on my other hard drive. . . .

  35. What I meant – and should have written – is that they aren’t read on the same level as the authors on the list and that their books/series aren’t as hyped or spoken about.

    I dunno, I like Sherwood Smith’s work, to pick an example, but I don’t think it’s more hyped and spoken about than John Crowley’s.

    But to each their own.

  36. When counting down the great baseball novels, one should not forget Robert Coover’s The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.

    I don’t love sports, but I find two things fascinating on long drives: Sports talk radio and baseball games. The games are so slow and empty–so old weird American–that the space inside them just fills up with detritus. I understand why that might not appeal to everyone. Neither does Dhalgren.

  37. @Lis Carey: I just failed a BiPAP test. The doctor has to figure out what to try next.

  38. My favorite baseball book is The Last Magic Summer by Peter Gent. It is a beautiful book about a father and son growing up together. Gent captures all of the wonderful moments and emotions of coaching his son. He expresses so many of the thoughts and emotions I had while coaching my son that I gave copies of the book to two if my fellow coaches.

  39. On Dick Francis, if you haven’t read any, don’t just pick one at random to try. He wrote a ton, and the early ones are about racing and light aircraft, two things Francis knew about from personal experience.

    Later, the novels branch out into random settings – the protagonist is a wine merchant, a computer programmer, a photographer. These are more obviously researched, and even aged 16, I knew more about computers than Mary Francis learned.

    Yes, there is violence, but again it is from Francis’s experience as a jockey. The hero does not get a beating and then splash his face and shake it off – he ends up in plaster, on crutches, on painkillers, in hospital talking to doctors.

  40. Zendaya, with whom I was unfamiliar but she seems to be an actress on a Disney Channel show

    She’s also in the most recent Spider-Man film, playing a character who sort of isn’t Mary Jane Watson.

  41. Lud-in-the-Mist was reprinted in the Ballantyne Adult Fantasy series back in the 60s/70s. The cover of that edition is shown as an illustration in the Jo Walton article. For some reason I remember reading a review of it back then, though I never read the book.

    Dick Francis is an interesting case. I really liked most of his stuff myself, but it does change quite a bit over his decades-long career, possibly related to the role of his wife who is said to have participated to some extent in the writing. I think there is a sort of arc. The last few I read were not as good imo.

  42. @rob_matic

    Funnily enough I also visited the Aberlour visitor centre when I was walking the Speyside Way.

  43. @John A Arkansawyer

    I don’t love sports, but I find two things fascinating on long drives: Sports talk radio and baseball games. The games are so slow and empty–so old weird American–that the space inside them just fills up with detritus.

    Baseball games on the radio are one of the last great radio arts of the late 30s to survive to modern day. I’m not going to get into baseball being slow – you might as well be arguing with a dedicated mystery reader who things fantasy is kids stuff about made up creatures that they’re wrong – but it has a unique pace and structure, and like a species inside of a rare ecology, the radio play by play and colour has grown and evolved in order to accommodate it. It shares very little in common with any other type of sports commentary and those differences are kind of universal. When you listen to a Japanese or Spanish language broadcast, you find the mannerisms far more inline with an old American style broadcast than you do with Japanese and Spanish broadcasts for other types of popular and regional sports.

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