Pixel Scroll 5/28/16 The Boy Who Cried Woof

(1) WISCON GOHS. Justine Larbalestier, Sofia Samatar, and Nalo Hopkinson.

(2) AMERICAN SNARKER. John Z. Upjohn is at WisCon, too.

(3) FIVE-OH. Meanwhile, Peter S. Beagle was signing at Balticon 50.

(4) WHAT IT IS. George R.R. Martin made something clear during his Balticon 50 appearance.

(5) 1980 HUGOS. Nicholas Whyte has located a copy of the 1980 Hugo Awards voting statistics. He discusses the competition in a post for From the Heart of Europe.

The earliest Hugos for which I have been able to find full voting numbers are the 1980 Hugo awards given at Noreascon Two.  The details were release in December 1980, some months after the convention was over, and are available in a seven-page PDF here (the last two pages of the scan are in the wrong order).

563 nomination votes were received, which was a record at the time but was exceeded four times in the rest of the 1980s.  (See George Flynn’s records.)  Nominations seem to have then dipped again until the recent rise.

The 1788 votes for the final ballot were also a record at the time, and a record which as far as I can tell stood for over thirty years until 2100 voted for the 2011 Hugos at Renovation.

(Incidentally I find it fascinating that participation in Site Selection was well ahead of the Hugos for most of the 1980s and 1990s, peaking at 2509 in 1992, a tight-fought campaign between the eventual 1995 Intersection in Glasgow and a rival bid from Atlanta.)

The closest result in 1980 was for the Gandalf Grand Master Award for life achievement in fantasy writing, won by Ray Bradbury by a single vote,mailed in late from England, ahead of Anne McCaffrey, 747 to 746….

The next closest result was the Hugo for Best Novel, which went to Arthur C. Clarke’s The Fountains of Paradiseby 19 votes, 671 to 652 for John Varley’s Titan.  I have to feel that the Hugo voters got it right (even if Jo Walton disagrees – see also excellent comments); it’s a long time since I read Titan but I feel it was really a book of its time, whereas the Clarke is a satisfying capstone to a crucially important career in the genre. The Fountains of Paradise won the Nebula as well that year, but was only third in the Locus poll behind Titan (which won) and Frederik Pohl’s Jem.  It was also nominated for the 1979 BSFA Award but lost to J.G. Ballard’s The Unlimited Dream Company.

(6) ANIMATED ROD SERLING INTERVIEW. Blank on Blank, the PBS video series that creates animated videos from old audio-only interviews with celebrities, writers, and pop culture icons, has given the treatment to a recording of Rod Serling taking questions from Australian radio personality Binny Lum in 1963.

Well, it’s a very beautiful day, and it’s made infinitely more pleasant for me by the fact that I am going to talk to Rod Serling. So many of you have enjoyed his television shows. The Twilight Zone I think is the one that everybody talks about. I’ve just confessed to Rod that I haven’t seen it.

Believe me, Binny, some of my best friends are quite unaware of this program back in the States, including relatives, I might add….

(7) ROLLING A 770 CHARACTER. Kind words from Tim Atkinson who launches his series of Hugo nominee review posts with a look at File 770.

It helps that – occasional op ed articles aside – the blog not only links back to the original stories but quotes liberally from the sources themselves. Glyer and other contributors usually confine themselves to introducing each item rather than responding to it, although occasionally a little mild frustration can be detected.

In short – if File 770’s had an DnD alignment, it would be Lawful Neutral, or at least trying to live up to it. Which is really what you need from a news service.

The File 770 community, on the other hand, existing in a ecosystem of comments on individual blog posts, is all about opinions plural. Whether it’s taking a position on the stories of the day, swapping book or recipe recommendations or engaging in an epic comic riff about what to say to the Balrog in Moria (archived here), the threads are always insightful. Occasionally a little hot-tempered, but by comparison to Twitter (say) they’re a paragon of civility. 🙂

(8) NOT ENOUGH SPACE. Ashley Pollard steps up at Galactic Journey with “[May 27, 1961] Red Star, Blue Star (May 1961 UK Fandom Report)”

….To summarize Great Britain’s role in space, we lag far behind both United States and the Soviet Union, our government having cancelled Blue Streak early last year, which was a medium-range ballistic missile that would’ve made a good basis for a British rocket.  It was being tested at the Woomera Rocket Range in Australia (named, aptly, after an Aboriginal spear throwing aid).  Woomera has plenty of room to fire rockets into space, unlike the Home Counties or anywhere else for that matter on the British Isles…..

However, that still leaves us with Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, which I haven’t mentioned before.  He is the eponymous hero of the Eagle comic’s lead strip.  Dan Dare is the lead test pilot of the “Interplanet Space Fleet”, whose adventures in space are still delighting its readers after ten years of weekly installments.  The series was created by Frank Hampson who consulted Arthur C. Clarke on the comic strips’ science.  While lots of spaceships have been lost, favourites like Dan Dare’s own Anastasia fly around the Solar system rescuing those in need of help, and defeating the various nefarious plans of enemies like the Mekon: large headed green alien overlords from Venus (and I expect you thought I would say Mars – still green though).

(9) BUT MORE SPACE THAN BEFORE. They finally succeeded in inflating the new room at the ISS.

NASA on Saturday successfully expanded and pressurized an add-on room at the International Space Station two days after aborting the first attempt when it ran into problems.

The flexible habitat, known as the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), slowly extended 67 inches (170 centimeters) soon after 4 pm (2000 GMT) following more than seven hours during which astronaut Jeff Williams released short blasts of air into the pod’s walls from the orbiting lab using a manual valve.


  • Born May 28, 1908 — Ian Fleming, creator of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which I borrowed from the library while in junior high, assuming from the title it naturally would be another spy adventure like his James Bond.

(11) THE FUNNY PAGES. Will R. recommends this Hobotopia cartoon for a laugh.

And John King Tarpinian appreciates the references in today’s Brevity.

(12) STAY ON THE ISLAND. It’s the place to be, next time you’re in New York — “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ lair listed on AirBNB”.

An AirBNB listing is offering fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the opportunity to spend a night in the reptilian crime fighters’ secret lair.

The listing posted by the group’s very own Leonardo allows up to six guests to rent the Turtles’ three bedroom lair in Manhattan for just $10 a night.

“This high-tech dojo is fully loaded…a glow in the dark basketball court, a retro arcade, more video games with a pretty sweet tv wall…anything for hanging ninja-style,” the listing states.

While guests will get the opportunity to take full advantage of the lair and possibly even grab a bite of pizza, the Turtles themselves will not be present on the property due to their commitment to protecting the city.

(13) COMING TO VIMEO. A Neil Gaiman documentary will soon be posted online. The trailer says it can be pre-ordered for $12.99.

The documentary Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously will be exclusively shown on Vimeo, starting on July 8th. The film chronicles Gaiman’s childhood in Portsmouth UK to his initial success in writing The Sandman comic series to his more recent work with novels such as Coraline and The Graveyard Bookwhere he became the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work. His novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.


(14) ANCIENT BOMB. Entertainment Weekly tells us “Mel Brooks was ‘ready to jump off a roof’ over sci-fi fiasco Solarbabies”.

How Did This Get Made? …recruited SlashFilm writer Blake Harris to speak with the makers — or, perhaps, “perpetrators” would be a better word — of the films featured in the podcast.

Harris can now claim to have struck bona fide gold with an interview in which comedy legend Mel Brooks talks about his backing of 1986’s Solarbabies, a sci-fi movie starring Jason Patric, Jami Gertz, and Lukas Haas. Don’t remember the film? Doesn’t matter. The always entertaining Blazing Saddles director, who exec-produced the movie through his Brooksfilms production company, remembers it like it was yesterday. In particular, Brooks has excellent recall of how the budget ballooned from a modest $5 million to a jaw-dropping $23 million…

(15) IT’S ABOUT TIME. Southern California Public Radio’s “Off-Ramp” segment delivers “DIY Film Fest: 6 time-travel flicks you’ll go back to (sorry) time after time” by Tim Cogshell, of CinemaInMind.

Off-Ramp has been after me asking me to do another DIY film festival, and I’ve been asked to talk sci-fi flicks with the sci-fi nerds over at the DigiGods podcast.  They have a great audience and I know they are going to want to talk time-travel movies. Sci-fi nerds always want to talk time travel movies. So let’s kill two birds with one stone.

1. “Looper” (2012)

Let’s start with a modern film that’s fast becoming a cult classic. The nerds love Director Rian Johnson’s 2012 time-travel thriller “Looper,” and so do I.  It stars Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt as the same guy from different moments in time. What I like most about Looper is that it’s a love story wrapped in a thriller hidden in a time-travel movie.  And that it’s Johnson’s own original script. He worked it all out beat-by-beat in his head and “Looper” is tight as a drum.

(16) FANCY MEETING YOU HERE. Washington State Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison’s Unity Speech includes video clips of various pundits – including a brief excerpt from a YouTube conversation between Vox Day and Stefan Molyneux. Their snippet appears at the 2:00:10 mark.

As Cally observed, “He’s one of the few people in the video who’s actually got his name displayed; most are either anonymous people or, I suppose, people who you’re supposed to recognize on sight.”

(17) HARD SELL. Originally for those who GET HARD, this shirt is now HARD TO GET. Teespring lists the “Legends of Science Fiction” t-shirt as sold out two days ago. If you click the “I still want one” button they’ll take your e-mail address.

Tingle t shirt

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, David K.M. Klaus, Andrew Porter, and Will R., for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

125 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/28/16 The Boy Who Cried Woof

  1. I agree with the Nero Wolfe roasted corn on the cob; it’s excellent. We also do it on the grill, which is less uniform but much more comfortable when it’s stupidly hot out. We try to use farmstand corn where the corn was at least picked that morning; not the instant farm-to-table that Wolfe requires, but then again, sweet corn has changed since his time to become sweeter, too.

    The scrambled eggs are delicious (as they should be; they’re half fat!) but finicky and very time-consuming. Haven’t made them in years.

  2. Am I the only one who wishes they’d make a movie version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a bit more faithful to the book? I’ve always hated the Dick Van Dyke movie and still have strong childhood memories of the book.

    Maybe they could just make a James Bond movie based around the book. (Stranger things have happened.) Change the title to Bang Bang Die Die or something grittier. Just keep the fudge. No doubt Bond is also an expert on fudge.

    And I also remember the recipe in American Flagg, but never got around to try cooking it. Proving again that Busiek is a much more improved version of a geek than I am.

  3. @Jack Lint

    Which raises the question: James Bond fudge mix: shaken or stirred?

  4. Stoic Cynic: Which raises the question: James Bond fudge mix: shaken or stirred?

    You’re on fire today.

    Well, maybe not literally.

  5. @Jack Lint:

    Am I the only one who wishes they’d make a movie version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a bit more faithful to the book?

    I don’t know. (Man, the Logicians Joke never gets old.)

  6. But remember that Nero Wolfe had the corn picked and delivered immediately to Fritz for preparation.

  7. Jack Lint on May 29, 2016 at 10:25 am said:

    Am I the only one who wishes they’d make a movie version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a bit more faithful to the book? I’ve always hated the Dick Van Dyke movie and still have strong childhood memories of the book.

    Maybe they could just make a James Bond movie based around the book. (Stranger things have happened.)

    I haven’t read the book but is the film not already essentially a James Bond movie? Roald Dahl script, Goldfinger as the baddy, Q turns up at one bit etc.

  8. Started reading the Hugo packet.

    Couldn’t help starting with Space Raptor Butt Invasion. Competent prose, some chuckleworthy moments

    I mean, it’s not gay if it’s a dude raptor and a dude human, right?” I ask.

    but overall, fairly bland. I’m tempted to vote it above No Award as some form of Vice SIgnalling, but not sure yet.

    I liked The Aeronaut’s Windlass much better than last year’s Butcher novel. Enjoyed the excerpt and eventually probably would like to read the whole novel. I wouldn’t rate it higher than the two novel nominees I already read last year (Seveneves and Ancillary Mercy), but I’d definitely place it above No Award. The talking cats practically make this a SJW work.

  9. I haven’t read the book but is the film not already essentially a James Bond movie? Roald Dahl script, Goldfinger as the baddy, Q turns up at one bit etc.

    Hmmm. Anna Quayle (Baroness Bomburst) was in Casino Royale. Benny Hill (The Toymaker) has The Italian Job connection. Lionel Jeffries (Grandpa Potts) was in The Spy with a Cold Nose, which I recommend if you get a chance to see it. Phil Collins, who apparently played a Vulgarian child, seems like he should have written/performed a James Bond theme even though he didn’t.

    You might have a case. There were some really weak Bond films towards the end of the Moore run.

  10. “Couldn’t help starting with Space Raptor Butt Invasion. Competent prose, some chuckleworthy moments, but overall, fairly bland. I’m tempted to vote it above No Award as some form of Vice SIgnalling, but not sure yet.”

    I voted Space Raptor Butt Invasion in top position, because I found it better than the rest. Not that it was good, but the others were so horribly uninteresting that I found myself looking forward to dinosaur erotica to at least have something.

  11. OK, so just to make sure I’m not missing something obvious … The only novel that’s included in full in the voter packet is Seveneves, and it’s only provided in PDF form?

    (Which isn’t to say it’s the end of the world or anything; I’ve already read Uprooted and Ancillary, and don’t mind shelling out for Fifth Season and maybe Windlass. But really? PDF?)

  12. Joe H: Samuel Lubbell and Andrew M are confirming the packet has the complete novel of Fifth Season. (Even though it’s not so labeled.)

  13. Where I live, we have the option of pretty darn fresh corn. The nearby farm stand’s corn comes right from the field. (It’s also the farm that gave its name to our subdivision and neighborhood, still in the hands of the family.) Their other produce comes from some place that exists to supply farm stands.

  14. Come to think of it, my problem with both “Asymmetrical Warfare” and “Cat Pictures Please” is the same. No dialogue, no environment, no real interaction. Only thoughts. For me, it is like they are huge infodumps and nothing more. I almost never like stories like that.

    I guess someone else likes them, so won’t No Award them, but if I put them above No Award, I have to do the same with Space Raptor.

  15. @microtherion:

    I liked The Aeronaut’s Windlass much better than last year’s Butcher novel. …. The talking cats practically make this a SJW work.

    You may be onto something. We’ve been wondering why they haven’t been pushing David Weber.


  16. Sigh, now I want to re-read Nero Wolfe just for the descriptions of the food.

    I have just finished Roses and Rot by Kat Howard. Someone here recommended it, and so do I. It’s a very twisted mix of Urban (well, suburban) Fantasy, fairy stories, and a tale of two sisters. There’s the qlfshapgvbany zbgure jub gheaf rirelguvat gb fuvg, and it turns out that’s not the only one.
    The book is very well written — I cared about all the characters, and found some of them infuriating, none the less. The story is well-paced — none of it dragged for me, and the ending was not what I expected (but worked and felt right).
    As a debut novel, it was great; I’m looking forward to more work from Kat Howard.

  17. @Rail

    @microtherion: The talking cats practically make [Aeronaut’s Windlass] a SJW work.

    You may be onto something. We’ve been wondering why they haven’t been pushing David Weber.


    On the other hand, JCW proved last year that even a talking cat could not save The Parliament of Beasts and Birds. His talking cat was basically a puppy.

  18. As long as we’re talking about Science Fictional cookbooks, there’s the one that SFWA released recently… (https://amzn.com/B011YM8874 )

    One of the editors was Fran Wilde, who I was happy to meet this weekend at Balticon!

    I have mixed thoughts about Balticon. It’s my hometown con, and I generally enjoy myself while there. The Masquerade is always a trip ( the adult beverage themed group was a riot), and I enjoy the authors I get to hang out with there, but it’s not the best run of conventions.

    Quite a few issues with scheduling, where authors had (to quote Mur Lafferty) “temporally impossible” schedules. And as much as I love the auction at the midpoint, I have yet to be able to pick up and pay for my goods without being given the run around.
    I’m also not that big of a fan of the new location. Driving in means paying inner city parking prices, to the point where I wasted the price of a ticket on just parking my vehicle the three days I was there. And being on the 5th floor of a hotel/mall has it’s own issues. I know that some of it is being there for the first time, but it seems like there was a heckuva lot more congestion while trying to get places, and the elevator situation was ridiculous.

    I think my favorite parts were the masquerade, the Dangerous Voices variety hour, and the fact that the bar there was packed with comfy chairs so you could sit down and enjoy reading.

    I unfortunately, didn’t meet any filers (that I know of) but it was cool to meet Natalie Luhrs, Fran Wilde, Lawrence Watt Evans, and Mur Lafferty.

    @microtherion , I don’t know that putting Tingle above NA is really a good form of vice/virtue signaling. THe majority of people I talked to about it this weekend had the “It’s gotten hilarious, and I’ll probably put him on the ballot, but still under NA” plan.

  19. I used to own the Dr Who cookbook as a child and found it quite disappointing. Much better was the Winnie-the-Pooh cookbook, which had the best recipe for gingerbread men ever.

  20. @Kip W
    I actually own the Nero Wolf Cookbook (which I’m sure is now long out of print). My impression was that the recipes were very nice, but needed more expensive ingredients and more finicky procedures than I usually bothered with when cooking for myself. Some of them might have been nice for a special occasion.

    The sweet corn one does work when REALLY fresh ears are available.

  21. Am I the only one who wishes they’d make a movie version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a bit more faithful to the book?

    Jon Hamm as Caractacus!

    I’ve always hated the Dick Van Dyke movie and still have strong childhood memories of the book.

    I never liked the movie, either, and it’d be fun to have a faithful movie (especially with the snarky-ass Chitty), but not terribly necessary — I have such a good visual sense of the book’s story that I don’t actually need a movie. Although a more faithful version would probably be pretty commercial today; in keeping with the Marvel superhero movies and the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes stuff.

    The one I’d rather have is a more faithful-to-the-book MARY POPPINS. She’s got a creepy side. Get Emma Thompson to write it and star…

  22. Hampus:

    I liked “Cat Pictures Please” enough to nominate it, but in a normal year “No Award” means something like “I know other people liked this enough to nominate it, but I don’t think it deserves a Hugo” (or, less often, “I don’t think this category should exist, therefore nothing should be given a Hugo in this category”).

    The “I don’t like this” can be because you don’t like that kind of story, as well as “I like a good space opera as well as the next fan, but why on earth does anyone think this is a good one?”

  23. If we’re talking food in books, I still want to know what was in the deeper’n’ever pie the moles always made in the Redwall books.

    And meadowcream. I know meadowcream was a workaround for the fact that there were no mammals you could milk without it being weird, but dammit, WHAT WAS IT!?

  24. My mom made us Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang fudge several times. Once she left it on the back porch to cool AND THE NEIGHBOR’S DOG ATE IT. AND SHE WOULDN’T MAKE ANY MORE.

    I am still traumatized.

  25. My better half loves cookbooks (if only he’d use them more, sigh), so I like to get him unusual ones like SFF-themed ones, celebrity ones (within reason), et al. He likes historical ones and ones from all over the world. So we’ve got things like a few famous people’s cooks cookbooks, sports stars, and Miss Piggy; many historical and quasi- or faux historical ones and many from other countries; my mom’s cookbook (her recipes & other family recipes); and things like Trekker, Star Wars, Doctor Who, A Dwarven Cookbook (what?!), one of the Tiptree themed ones (sniff, I need to get the other one), The Centaur’s Kitchen ;-), Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine! (not genre, but very wacky!), two from Anne McCaffrey, the Song of Ice & Fire one, the N3F one, the Discworld one (despite not having read the books), two Dragonlance ones, a couple of spoof/parody ones like The Pet Cookbook: Have your best Friend for dinner and The Endangered Species Cookbook, and, of course, the best cookbook . . .

    . . . To Serve Man!

    Sorry to explode with this list. I just love giving weird, SFF, and fiction cookbooks, so ya got me in ramble/list mode! BTW suggestions based on the above are welcome. 😀

    ETA: We own too many cookbooks. 😉

  26. And really, after posting that, shouldn’t I have done a /recipe-stalk? Yes, I should have. (sigh)

  27. Not SF, but one of the most interesting literary-themed cookbooks I ever owned was one based on Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey-Maturin novels. It ran the full gamut from “ship’s biscuit and boiled beef” to incredibly complicated Georgian banquet meals. I think it was called “Lobscouse and Spotted Dog”.

  28. I love literary-association cookbooks as a concept, though I tend to collect cookbooks more as literature than as practical reference manuals. (I’m more of a “throw random ingredients at a pan” sort of cook.) But I’ve been collecting up recipes for the various specific dishes mentioned in my own books just in case some day I want to produce one…

  29. M.F.K. Fisher’s HOW TO COOK A WOLF was written from a background of being an impoverished college student, and is about eating cheaply. Really, really cheaply. More essay collection than cookbook, but around subjects like hunting for edible weeds to use in salads, it contains directions for making “sludge”, sort of an early version of NutraLoaf.

  30. The one literary cookbook I cannot abide is The Sherlock Holmes Cookbook. Then again, I am not its target audience – I despise Tinned Peach and Cold Tongue Sandwiches.

  31. @BGHilton

    Aubrey… Maturin… Cook… Book???

    But, Mount Cook Book had stabilized!!!


  32. In my Star Trek head canon, people cook as a hobby. When you create a new interesting combination, you reverse-run it through your replicator. Celebrity chefs have 23rd century blogs announcing new creations so their Twitter-equivalent followers can enjoy the new creations. In this post-scarcity world, people only work for fun.

  33. I am not sure this was the thread in which people admitted to filling out a preliminary ballot in case of lightning strike, but (whether it is or not) I just did a preliminary trip through the ballot to account for the places where I’ve read almost everything (Novel) and the category where I’ve dipped a toe and that’s plenty, thank you (Related Work).

    On the issue of Cat Pictures, Please — I loved it and I don’t feel that way that often when it comes to short stories because they so often don’t have the time to really knock my socks off in terms of character and plot in such a short space. (Well, Katherine Ann Porter and William Faulkner were pretty good at it, weren’t they? It can be done.) When it comes to things I love, I’m not above bribery except… Well, I am above bribery, apparently. But I thought the character development was lovely, in my book there is no need for dialogue when the narrative is so thoughtful and well done, and I guess I just don’t have any hard and fast rules about what does or doesn’t qualify as good when it comes to writing. But when it comes to not being appreciative of first-person narrators… I remember a contest for romance novels in which one prominent judge said she couldn’t bear first-person narration and she was going to put a particular book at the bottom of her list no matter what and I was quite shocked. I thought we were supposed to be judging the merits of the book in terms of how well it did its job overall, how well it told its story, with the emphasis on ITS. Someone was talking about not being willing to read mystery novels with more than one murder and my thought was, well, then I wouldn’t get to read Ten Little Indians (under whatever name you’d like — its titles have generally been horrifying in every incarnation, but the mystery plot is certainly a dandy, as well as setting a standard for mysteries), would I? And if everything with a first-person narrator is chucked out, there goes Rebecca and Life of Pi and To Kill a Mockingbird. Or everything without dialogue, then we have to lose epistolary works like Flowers for Algernon and Carrie and The Documents in the Case.

    I completely understand if one piece of literature is simply not someone’s cup of tea, but I guess I don’t find blanket dismissals all that useful in my own reading.

  34. @BigelowT

    I happen to love first-person narration. That constitutes the majority of my book buying. I do not like books with multiple third-person POV casts of thousands (which is one reason I’ve never really gotten into epic fantasy) because, to me, a reader can’t really get to know the characters that way. When you get a unique character paired with a memorable voice–which is one reason I loved Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory–the book just sings.

  35. OK, yes, having checked, it does look like Fifth Season is the full novel, not just an excerpt. But still: PDF?!?

  36. In fairness, PDF – greater than nothing! 😉 But if I can really focus on it while I go to/from work this week, I think I’m glad I have the audiobook. 😉

    Yours in pear port (kinda yummy!),
    Kendall (the eternal debate, should I click Post Comment or not) 😉

    ETA: Wow, way too many smiles in my comment.

  37. Joe H.: But still: PDF?!?

    The novel PDFs may be an attempt to reduce piracy, since it’s not going to be the most readable format. Though for excerpts, I can’t see why epub and mobi formats would be a problem.

    It may have been a compromise the packet Admins offered in order to get the publishers to participate.

  38. @BigelowT: I haven’t gotten to short stories yet, but I have to say, while I like first person and third person just fine – seriously, no preference – one time I rolled my eyes a bit when I realized I was reading third person that was really just first person with the person changed from “she” to “I.” It really was written very much, I felt, in first person mode, except it was technically using third person. IIRC, this was Rachel Caine; it was third person, but the “third person” description really had too strong a voice, like someone was really just speaking the lines. I liked the books fine, but I did wonder why the author didn’t just use first person, since the voice of the character was very strong and felt like the character was actually speaking, in her own voice, not just being talked about. by a neutral narrator or whatever.

    /ramble, I guess

  39. The Doctor Who Cookbook was edited by Gary Downie, the long-term partner of the show’s producer in the 1980s, John Nathan Turner. I must admit that when I tried the recipe for cauliflower cheese ostensibly submitted by Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), it ruined my saucepan.

    “Cat Pictures Please” didn’t work for me, but it’s exactly the kind of story that would likely win a Hugo even in a normal year.

  40. As for PDFs: I email them to my Kindle account with the word CONVERT in the subject line, and they appear magically in my devices a few minutes later.

  41. I have no problem with first person narrative. That is not my kryptonite. My real kryptonite is present tense. There are extremely few works written in present tense that I can read. I only lasted half a page of Charles Stross “Rule 34”. The exception was Envy of Angels.

    But first person narrative where the first person has no direct interaction with anybody, there is no dialogue, no environment? I gave up on reading Cat Pictures, Please first time I tried. When it was a finalist, I had to start 3-4 times before I could finish. Clearly not my thing at all.

    I have more patience when it is the start of a longer book.

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