Pixel Scroll 5/26/19 Scrollman vs the Click

(1) SEND YOUR NAME TO MARS. NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover is heading to the red planet. Submit your name by September 30, 2019, and fly along! Full details on the NASA website. Over five million names have been sent in – two million of them from Turkey?

Your email is used only to give you “Frequent Flyer” points and to allow you to send your name on future Mars missions.

(2) MALCOLM EDWARDS LEAVES GOLLANCZ. The Bookseller reports “‘Publishing legend’ Edwards steps down from Orion and Gollancz roles”. (Via Ansible Links.)

Orion consultant publisher and Gollancz chair Malcolm Edwards is stepping down from his roles after first joining the SFF imprint 43 years ago.

Hachette UK c.e.o. David Shelley said Edwards, who will work his last day at Orion on 31st May, is a “true publishing legend”.

…Edwards started his publishing career as a sci fi editor at Gollancz in 1976, quickly rising up the ranks to become publishing director. He established a stellar list of authors including Brian Aldiss, Octavia Butler, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, Ursula Le Guin and Terry Pratchett. One landmark month in 1984 saw him publish J.G. Ballard’s Empire of the Sun, William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood.

He went on to join HarperCollins in 1989, becoming fiction publishing director and editing Stephen Baxter, Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, David Eddings, Alan Furst, James Herbert and Peter Straub.  He edited and published both Michael Dobbs’s House of Cards novels and George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, going on to release Stephen King’s The Green Mile in serial paperback parts.

Edwards moved to Orion in 1998 as manging director of Orion Books before promotion to deputy c.e.o. and publisher in 2003. … In 2015 it was announced he would leave his roles to become chairman of Gollancz and consultant publisher, allowing him to work on “fewer projects closer to his heart”.

(3) READY TO AIR. The Verges’s Andrew Liptak has some advice for TV programmers in “These eight short story collections would make excellent sci-fi anthology shows “.

It’s easy to see why anthology shows based on short stories are appealing: they don’t represent a whole lot of commitment from viewers, and provide a lot of variety. A science fiction writer’s collection of short stories can provide both: self-contained, bite-sized narratives that can play out in 20-40 minutes. Don’t like one? Skip to the next. With word that Ballingrud’s debut collection is in the works, we had some ideas for other single-author collections that might make for a good anthology series in their own right….

(4) THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE NOSTROMO. BBC’s Nicholar Barber explains “What Ridley Scott’s Alien can tell us about office life”.

It’s the 40th anniversary of the ground-breaking sci-fi. HR Giger’s nightmarish demon aside, the 1979 film is about a group of interstellar wage slaves doing ordinary, unglamorous jobs, writes Nicholas Barber.

Forty years ago, a little-known director and a little-known cast made a small-scale slasher movie set on a spaceship. It was a masterpiece. Ridley Scott’s Alien would go on to spawn three sequels, two prequels and two Alien v Predator mash-ups, not to mention a slew of comics and video games. But even after all this time, and all those spin-offs, the first film is unique.

A significant factor, naturally, is the title character: the sleekly nightmarish biomechanical demon designed by HR Giger. But another, under-rated, ingredient is everyone in the film who is not an alien. While James Cameron’s sequel revolved around a squad of hard-bitten marines, Scott’s 1979 original features ordinary, unglamorous people doing what are, for them, ordinary, unglamorous jobs. We never hear their full names, and they never talk about their past experiences or their future plans. Nonetheless, we get to know all seven of them, which is one reason why their deaths hit us with the force of a chest-bursting xenomorph….

(5) HIGH SCORE. WIRED lists “12 of the best science fiction books everyone should read”. Hey, the best I’ve ever done on a list – 8 out of 12. But two by Atwood, neither of which is The Handmaid’s Tale?

Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood (2003)

While The Handmaid’s Tale describes a world that seems more plausible by the day, in Oryx and Crake Atwood spins a genetically-modified circus of current trends taken to their absolute extreme – a “bio-engineered apocalypse,” is how one reviewer put it. A number of television adaptations have been mooted, including a now-defunct HBO project with Darren Aronofsky, but this might be one to place alongside The Stars My Destination in the impossible-to-adapt file. The world of the book is vibrant, surreal and disturbing enough.

(6) TALES OF URSINIA. The Hollywood Reporter’s review (‘The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily’: Film Review) of the Cannes-screened film The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily tries to sum it up with a “Bottom Line” of “A folkloristic work of the imagination for under-14s.” The short official trailer (with English subtitles) would seem to partly belie that, in that the film could easily appeal to fantasy fans of any age.

Thematically, the film spins around the eternal clash between humans and other members of the animal kingdom. When the bear cub Tonino is captured by hunters, his father Leonzio, the king of the bears, leads his thousands of brave subjects into the city to search for him, and also to rustle up some food. The encounter between Leonzio’s easy-going bears and the army of the evil Duke who rules the city highlights the naïveté of the bears in thinking they would get a fair shake out of humans.

The story is framed by the wandering storyteller Gedeone (Antonio Albanese in the Italian voice cast) who takes shelter in a big cave one inclement day with his young daughter and assistant, Almerina (Leila Bekhti). They are surprised to wake up a huge old bear (Andrea Camilleri in the Italian version; Jean-Claude Carriere in the French), who listens to their tale about the bears’ invasion of Sicily. The storyteller reappears several times in the film, keeping the tone light.

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • May 26, 1897 – The first sale of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in London.
  • May 26, 1961The Twilight Zone aired “Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?” One of the lines in this Rod Serling penned script pays homage to his friend, Ray Bradbury. “It’s a regular Ray Bradbury.”

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born May 26, 1865 Robert W. Chambers. He best known for his book of short stories titled The King in Yellow, published in 1895. I see that it has been described by such illuminaries as Joshi and Klein as a classic in the field of the supernatural. (Died 1933.)
  • Born May 26, 1913 Peter Cushing. Best known for his roles in the Hammer Productions horror films of the Fifties to the Seventies, as well as his performance as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars. He also played Holmes many times, and though not considered canon, he was the Doctor in Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. and Dr. Who and the Daleks. He even made appearances in both The Avengers and The New Avengers as well as Space: 1999. There’s a CGI recreation of Grand Moff Tarkin used for his likeness in Rogue One. (Died 1994.)
  • Born May 26, 1921 Mordecai Roshwald. His best known work is Level 7 written in the Fifties. He is also the author of A Small Armageddon and Dreams and Nightmares: Science and Technology in Myth and Fiction. (Died 2015.)
  • Born May 26, 1923 James Arness. He appeared in three Fifties SF films, Two Lost Worlds, Them! and The Thing from Another World. The latter is based on the 1938 novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell (writing under the pseudonym of Don A. Stuart). The novella would be the basis of John Carpenter’s The Thing thirty years later. (Died 2011.)
  • Born May 26, 1923 Roy Dotrice. I’ll always think of him first and foremost as Jacob “Father” Wells on Beauty and the Beast. He was Commissioner Simmonds in two episodes of Space: 1999. He also appeared in recurring role on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys as Zeus. He’s on A Game of Thrones in the second season playing “Wisdom Hallyne the Pyromancer” in “The Ghost of Harrenhal” and “Blackwater” episodes. (Died 2017.)
  • Born May 26, 1925 Howard DeVore. He was according to all sources, an expert on pulp magazines who dealt in them and collected them, an APA writer, con-runner and otherwise all-around volunteer in First Fandom. He wrote two fascinating-sounding publications all with Don Franson, A History of the Hugo, Nebula, and International Fantasy Awards, Listing Nominees & Winners, 1951-1970 and A History of the Hugo, Nebula, and International Fantasy Awards. (Died 2005.)
  • Born May 26, 1964 Caitlín R. Kiernan, 55. She’s an impressive two-time recipient of both the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker awards. As for novels, I’d single out Low Red MoonBlood Oranges (writing as Kathleen Tierney) and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir as being particularly worth reading. She also fronted a band, Death’s Little Sister, named for Neil Gaiman’s character, Delirium.

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • Lio knows all about green power.  

(10) TANKS FOR THE MEMORY. These fans may belong to Starfleet, but don’t let them near the Enterprise: “Paint job mystery solved: Local college club explains purchase of incorrect color”.

A tank’s mysterious transformation from olive drab to lemon-lime green was solved Wednesday when the sponsor of a Bluefield State College club came forward and said some paint that was ordered turned out to be the wrong color.

Local residents and officials were puzzled Tuesday when Daily Telegraph photographer Eric DiNovo shot a picture of the tank parked near Bowen Field. DiNovo had noticed that the tank had been painted a bright lemon-lime color….

The mystery was solved Wednesday when Jerry Conner, sponsor of the U.S.S. Yeager Chapter of Starfleet International, a science fiction club at Bluefield State, sent a letter to the Daily Telegraph describing how the color change had happened.

Conner said that the U.S.S. Yeager club had been cleaning and painting the M-41 Bulldog tank near the entrance to Lotito Park for about 20 years. The tank needed a new coat of paint, and the club had made plans to get “the proper shade of olive drab for a World War II-period tank.”

“We took a sample of the color to a Bluefield merchant and purchased two gallons which was supposed to match our sample,” Conner said in the letter. “We were worried when we opened the containers and found something nowhere near our sample. ‘Surely it will dry the right color,’ we thought, and proceeded with the prep and painting. Imagine our chagrin when it dried, not green-brown olive, but instead, bright mustard yellow!”

…Rideout said the city obtained a copy of the paint receipt from the local retailer that sold it to the club. On the receipt, the color is called “tank green.”

(11) DRAWN THAT WAY. NPR considers “How Disney Princesses Influence Girls Around The World”.

Many academics and parents have said that Disney princesses are “bad for girls” because they are defined by their appearance – and they often must be rescued by men rather than act on their own (see: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White).

Sociologist Charu Uppal in Sweden has another concern – the fact that many classic Disney princesses are white and Western.

Uppal has been studying the effects of Disney princesses on girls internationally since 2009. In a world where Disney’s TV channels are broadcast in 133 countries, and its films and merchandise pervade even more, she wanted to see how girls of different nationalities perceived the idea of a princess.

…Her latest study, published in March in the journal Social Sciences, analyzed 63 princess drawings from girls in Fiji, India and Sweden. In this sample, nearly every drawing — 61 out of 63 — depicted a light-skinned princess, many of those resembling Disney characters. Fijian girls drew multiple Ariels; Indian girls drew Belles and Sleeping Beauties. Not one girl drew a princess in her country’s traditional garb.

(12) BOOM BOOM HA HA. “He Led A Platoon Of Artists Who Fooled The Germans: ‘Imagination Is Unbelievable'” – NPR profiles a veteran member of the unit.

After World War II broke out, 26-year-old Gilbert Seltzer enlisted into the Army.

Soon after, he was told he was being put on a secret mission — and an unconventional one at that.

Seltzer, then an architectural draftsman, was selected to lead a platoon of men within a unit dubbed the “Ghost Army.” Made up mostly of artists, creatives and engineers, the unit would go on to play an instrumental role in securing victory in Europe for the U.S. and its allies.

Their mission was deception. From inflatable tanks, to phony convoys, to scripted conversations in bars intended to spread disinformation, they used any and all possible trick to fool the enemy….

(13) THEY’LL PUT A STOP TO THAT. “Google thwarts Baltimore ransomware fightback” – BBC has the story.

Google has inadvertently thwarted attempts by Baltimore’s city government to fight off crippling ransomware.

The cyber-attack struck civil computers in Baltimore on 7 May, blocking email accounts and online payment systems.

City officials set up GMail accounts to restore communications between citizens and staff.

The mass creation of the accounts triggered Google’s GMail defences which shut them down, believing they were being used by spammers….

(14) MAKING THE MOVE. BBC investigates how Norway encourages electric cars: “‘I drive in the bus lane'”.

“I drive in the bus lane because I have an electric car. It saves me 30 minutes on every journey to work.”

Dagfinn Hiehe was smiling ear-to-ear as he told me his favourite thing about having an electric car.

…Driving in the bus lane is just one of the incentives the Norwegian government is offering its citizens, in exchange for dumping their petrol or diesel and switching to electric.

Like many big cities, Oslo’s roads are crowded, and saving time on the commute is hugely appealing. Another big benefit is the discount on road tolls, which you are largely exempt from in an electric vehicle.

(15) YOUR PRINTABLE MARTIAN HOME. Popular Mechanics is there when “NASA Crowns Winner in Mars Habitat Competition”.

What would life on Mars look like? NASA thinks it’s getting one step closer to figuring it out. The Agency has awarded a combined $700,000 to the first and second-place teams in its 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge

Self-described “multi-planetary architectural and technology design agency” AI SpaceFactory, based in New York, took first place with $500,000. A team of professors from Penn State finished in second with $200,000.

AI SpaceFactory beat over 60 other teams in the finale of an ongoing competition that began in 2015. NASA ran the contest in conjunction with Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois, where the final challenges were held.

For the On-Site Habitat Competition, teams had to autonomously print a one-third-scale habitat. This habitat had to be built from recyclables and materials that could be found on deep-space destinations, like the Moon and Mars.

(16) ANOTHER DAY IN COURT. The first one went so well *coff* let’s see how a “Real Lawyer Reacts to Game of Thrones: Trial of Tyrion Lannister.”

Tyrion is put on trial for the murder of Joffrey. Does he get a fair trial?

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

45 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/26/19 Scrollman vs the Click

  1. (8) Chambers also wrote In Search of the Unknown which features the adventures of what we’d now call a cryptozoologist – his adventures always begin with the promise of fame, fortune and romance and generally end with some sort of amusing failure. In addition Chambers wrote Tracer of Lost Persons which inspired a popular radio program “Mr. Kean, Tracer of Lost Persons”

    (5) I got 7 out of 12

    (3) “advice” not “advise”

  2. (16) ANOTHER DAY IN COURT.

    Yeah, I already gave my 25 minutes. Someone else is going to have throw themselves on this grenade. 🤪

  3. *) Re: Chambers. His work is retroactively thought of as Lovecraft-adjacent. The Repairer of Reputations, particularly, is a very weird and disturbing story. I also have the yellow king RPG recently sent out to kickstarter backers in PDF, which takes that unsettling nature and runs with it.

    5) I got 7.or 12.

  4. (8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS. such illuminaries as Joshi

    I’m pretty sure that’s a typo. Possibly you meant “illusionaries”, or maybe “delusionaries”. 😉

  5. (3) I like the idea although I found it a little odd that the article included I, Robot, as I wouldn’t really consider a series with that many recurring characters truly an anthology series. (Mind you, I’d still be interested in watching it.)

    (5) 8/12. It occurs to me that the component stories of Foundation have roughly the same number of recurring characters as those of I, Robot.

  6. @5: You beat me — I’m sure of only 7 (1 of which I intensely regret wasting time on and wouldn’t foist on anyone I wanted to stay on speaking terms with), at least 1 I do not intend to ever read.

    @8: weird fact: I once fetched whole smoked trout for Dotrice, for one of his mundane roles. He and Cushing make an interesting pair — one of these days I’ll dig up the earliest thing I can find to see whether they were both born old, or had some youth obscured by their most famous roles.

    also @8: Does anyone have the latest issue of DeVore’s history-of-awards? I wonder whether it still has the falsehood about the 1989 Hugo mess. I get the impression he did a lot of good and don’t expect anyone to be infallible, but that one rankled

    @10: I wonder what it looked like when wet, that they thought it would dry to the right color. I suppose they hadn’t seen the various columns about the bizarrely random names given to colors these days. One hopes they’ll take a sample of the original color to a place up-to-date enough to have a color matcher — I recall a handheld device that spat out a code for the exact match for our siding when an installer couldn’t paint a hatch.

    edit: I’m also baffled by Turkey in @1 — I don’t associate them with bulk spam, unlike some other places in that part of the world. It will be interesting to see what the numbers end up at.

  7. (3): … a new anthology series based on horror author Nathan Ballingrud’s fantastic collection, North American Lake Monsters.

    That should be extremely disturbing.

    (5): 8/12.

  8. Chip Hitchcock: Does anyone have the latest issue of DeVore’s history-of-awards?

    Not me. I bought my copy from Howard when I visited his garage in the mid Seventies! Damn I’m old.

    I didn’t realize he carried on so long.

  9. Got 5 from #5, so…second 5th?

    The Bears Famous Invasion of Sicily was my sons first favorite book. Bought it in early ’00’s when it was published by NYRB. He was too young to read it at the time but it looked like such a beautiful book I had to get it. The Bear’s name in the book is Leander, which is german for Lion (I think), not Tonino.

  10. Chip Hitchcock & Mike Glyer:

    I typeset at least three of three of the Franson and DeVore Awards books. I have copies dated 1981 (gold cover), 1985 (blue cover), and 1987 (orange cover). I thought those were the last ones he had printed. I find however on https://www.sciencefictionsales.com/collection.cfm (the website for selling his collection) that he published The Hugo-Winning Novels 1953-1991 which I do not have (but am just about to order). Maybe this latter book is where the “Hugo mess” is to be found. Or maybe I typeset a later edition of the awards book, and I have to go spelunking for it.

    Enjoy!
    Frank.

  11. I’ve read 9 on the list. Which percentagewise is definitely the highest I’ve gotten on any of these lists.

  12. SEND YOUR NAME TO MARS

    I’ve been seeing this go round Turkish Twitter recently, so I’m not surprised at that number. It’s perhaps symbolic of the desire to escape that a fair proportion of the population here have.

  13. 9 on the list if you count Oryx and Crake which I failed to finish. I also haven’t read the other Atwood or The Power or Ready Player One. (I have read quite a bit of Atwood’s other work.)

  14. (5) HIGH SCORE.

    Oryx and Crake is one of my favorite books ever. Sadly, book 2 of the trilogy is a step down in quality from book 1, and book 3 is another step down from book 2.

    Also, 7/12 for me.

    (8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
    Born May 26, 1923 — Roy Dotrice.

    Dotrice also narrated the ASOIAF audiobooks — and he’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for doing the highest number of distinct characters in any single audiobook.

  15. 4) I once talked to an agent, who worked through Penhouse Magtazine and represented H.R.Giger. I did have one question: what did they do to the sets of ALIEN when the film was over ? “The sets were bulldozed when the film ended shooting.”

    Ouch.

  16. Mike Glyer: there’s a copy of the de Vore on Amazon book for sale. It is dated 1987.

    I’d once found an autographed R.W.Chambers book for sale. It was one of his romance novels, which he wrote far too many. The price of $1, was nice, and I resold it to someone who reset the page into a copy of THE KING IN YELLOW.

  17. (5) A TRUE fan has read EXACTLY 7 of these. Not more, no less. So I say, because I have,
    QED.

    The once and future scroll

  18. (16) I tried looking up the guy who does those videos to see when he passed the bar and what his courtroom experience is like. He calls himself Legal Eagle but I couldn’t find anything more specific, and he has a whole YouTube channel about pop culture and law, plus he has a channel for law students, and when I found that I found a whole subculture of law ‘splaining videos. Aiee!

    (5) While I am in total agreement that Ready Player One belongs on a short list of the finest science fiction ever written, I’m not sure if two servings of Atwood plus a side of Atwood-mentee should take up all that room. You’d think we could carve out some space for books about talking space squids going ten times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots instead of all this grim litfic.

  19. Contrarius says Dotrice also narrated the ASOIAF audiobooks — and he’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for doing the highest number of distinct characters in any single audiobook.

    He did. I made it maybe an hour into the first novel he narrated before giving up. His pronunciation of names drove me absolutely nuts. I hadn’t read the novels yet so I did so and found that I like them enough that I’ve read the first three to date.

  20. Howard DeVore would update his guide to the Hugo, Nebula and IFAs by adding new pages, (printed in his garage), thus the various editions. His final The Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards (note the title change) was professionally published by Advent in 1998. Any plans to update this edition passed with Howard and the Advent publisher. I worked with Howard on the Advent edition to correct past errors, and especially to add the World Fantasy Awards. (I had nothing to do with the 1989 Hugo commentary that irritates Chip so much.) There are several editions of this book on Amazon, the Advent edition is dated 1998 and has the World Fantasy Awards in the title.

  21. @Chip Hitchcock: If you don’t mind talking about it, what was the 1989 mess about (at that point I’d been reading the stuff for over a decade, but was not tied into fandom very much).

  22. @JJ: Thank you. Now that I read this I recall hearing about it – don’t know why I was blanking on it.

  23. Charon Dunn: You’d think we could carve out some space for books about talking space squids going ten times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots instead of all this grim litfic.

    I see what you did there.

  24. 5) This just reads like the results of an email someone sent out
    “Hey, I need to churn out a filler article and want to know what you think is a ‘must-read sci-fi book everyone should read.’ Thanks.”
    So some people ignored it.
    Some tossed off the first thing they could think of.
    Some gave it serious thought.
    And I’ll bet “A Scanner Darkly” was because someone read the graphic novel.
    But then, I only got 4/12 with a couple I couldn’t finish.

  25. 5) I get seven out of twelve.

    14) This is also true elsewhere. I have a hybrid and can drive in the bus lane. In some cities, there are also special parking lots reserved for electrical and hybrid cars. Plus, there are tax breaks and the like.

  26. 5) I got five out of twelve only because I listened to The Stars My Destination one summer when Audible offered it to be for free. It was a very interesting listen.

  27. (5) About 7 years ago I learned from http://antickmusings.blogspot.com/ (the blog of a former SFBC editor) that the Library of America two-volume American SF Novels of the 1950s set was in preparation and was to include The Stars My Destination (a novel I already owned in three early versions – Galaxy serial, Signet 1957 paperback, and 1959 Treasury of Great Science Fiction edited by Boucher – but not the British alternate-title version that supposedly was published first). When I contacted LoA, it turned out the novel was already typeset; they decided I had the credentials to be given a look at the page proofs, and it was immediately apparent that this was going to be the definitive edition, with endnotes succinctly explaining the differences among the early versions and several later editions, listing corrections and reasons for them, defining obscure terms, etc. I recommend the LoA edition unreservedly.

  28. Meredith Moment: The ebook version of The Infinity Concerto by Greg Bear (which I am very fond of along with its sequel The Serpent Mage) is available for $3.99 from the usual suspects.

  29. 5) Representing Atwood twice is odd when there are so many great novels out there. However, if the list had two Le Guin novels—replace one Atwood with The Dispossessed, say—that would have been fine by me. (7/12)

  30. @Cat —

    I made it maybe an hour into the first novel he narrated before giving up. His pronunciation of names drove me absolutely nuts.

    It took me THREE TRIES to get very far into book 1, because I just couldn’t stand his narration. But I finally got into it, and by the end of the book I had gotten used to the way he was reading. But — perhaps tellingly — I still haven’t listened to the rest of the series (the rest that exists so far, that is).

    IMHO his narration was very accomplished in an actorly sort of way — many convincing accents, distinct voices, emotive delivery — but also very formal and studied.

  31. @Cat Eldridge: ISTM that even a brilliant narrator would lose some of the effect of the climax of The Stars My Destination, which comes with a wide variety of typographical effects. Did you find the story itself interesting to listen to, or were the audio effects especially notable?

    @gottacook: I wish I’d known about the LoA edition a few months ago, when I reread the Bester for a book-club discussion. Thanks anyway for the pointer; I’d reserve the LoA volume right now anyway (the variations sound fascinating, especially after some of Langford’s comments on ?British? ~censorship), but the local library has had some sort of major hassle with an upgrade that was supposed to run from Saturday evening to Monday morning and is now projected to be done Tuesday night. (I hope there is something useful to be learned from the huhu, but given the traditional underfunding of libraries the only lesson may be that there are only so many layers of paint that can be put on a problem before the whole mess collapses.)

  32. John A Arkansawyer: It is pretty much a nightmare, in whatever colour you want to paint it.

  33. 10) At least the college students seem to have a sense of humor about it, while not taking the error too lightly. I liked this quote from the club sponsor in the article: ““At least the yellow of the tank is a nice match for the red of our faces.” And it looks like they’re planning on fixing it ASAP, with the help of the local National Guard.

  34. 5) Six, including one I wish I could unread, along with the rest of its trilogy, and have the time back. Three I haven’t read are by authors on my Do Not Read list.

    8) The only Kiernan I’ve read is the unaccountably hard to find “The Dry Salvages”, which hit my “cosmic horror IN SPACE!” fancy in dead center. And speaking of which-

    @John A Arkansawyer: If “Missile Gap” isn’t a worse case than “A Colder War”, it certainly gives it a run for its money. <rot13>Ng yrnfg gur crefbaf va “Tnc” jub qvr fgnl qrnq… be ng yrnfg rnpu vgrengvba bs gurz qbrf.</rot13>

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