Pixel Scroll 6/18/19 I Started A Pixel, Which Started The Whole World Scrolling

(1) KLOOS SIGNS OFF TWITTER. Marko Kloos left Facebook seven months ago, and today deleted his Twitter account, too. He explains why in “Writing and the Internet”.

I have to come to realize that over the last few years, the Internet has had a profoundly corrosive effect on my professional output and occasionally even my emotional health.

This effect has been especially severe in two areas: social media and email, both of which basically constituted my consent to being easily and directly available to contact by anyone with an Internet connection. In Twitter’s case, that contact has also been fully public, which means that anyone with a Twitter account has been able to see and share any conversation I’ve had with people outside of direct messages.

As of today, I am withdrawing that consent by getting off social media and curtailing my availability via email.

Late last year, I got so tired of the constant necessity to curate my Facebook feed and the drama resulting from pruning my Friends list that I pulled the plug for good and deleted my account. In the seven months since then, I have not missed it, and beyond a few concerned messages from long-time Facebook acquaintances, my absence has been inconsequential to the world and a lot less aggravation and anxiety in my life. Last night, I deleted my Twitter account as well, for slightly different reasons that boil down to the strong feeling that it will have a similar life-improving consequence….

… To put it bluntly: I can no longer allow anyone with a smartphone and a data plan the potential ability to darken my day or interrupt my work by trying to pick an argument or fill my Twitter feed with aggravating stuff. Most emails and Twitter interactions with fans have been fun and positive, but there have been exceptions. And even the well-meaning emails from happy readers take a slice out of my writing time.

(2) FORTY WHACKS. Autopsies are so fun. Vulture’s Abraham Riesman wonders: “Marvel on Netflix: What Went Wrong?”

… And hoo boy, their expectations were met. That inaugural installment of Jessica Jones was a true humdinger. It was distinctive without being flashy, mature without being ponderous, ambitious without being self-satisfied, sexy without being exploitative, and just … good. I can’t tell you how much of a revelation a good superhero show was at that time. We were used to spandex outings that were inane, formulaic, and utterly uninterested in pushing a single envelope. But here was a tale that seemed like it was going to grapple with everything from PTSD to queerness and do it all with style. Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg and star Krysten Ritter genuinely seemed to be elevating the game. As soon as the screening was done, I rushed to the lobby to get reception and email my editor like an old-timey reporter clamoring for a pay phone just after getting a hot scoop. I have seen the future of superheroes, I thought, and it is Marvel Netflix.

If it ever was the future, it is now the past. This week sees the barely ballyhooed release of the third and final season of Jessica Jones, which is itself the final season of Marvel’s four-year Netflix experiment. Its death has been agonizingly and humiliatingly gradual: Over the course of the past few months, each of the five ongoing series that made it up has been given the ax, one after another. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher; their fans saw them all go the way of the dodo — without fanfare….

(3) ENDS WITH A BANG. Fast Company’s article “The most expensive hyphen in history” unpacks an historic incident in the U.S. space program (that inspired a scene in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Calculating Stars.)

Mariner 1 was launched atop a 103-foot-tall Atlas-Agena rocket at 5:21 a.m. EDT. For 3 minutes and 32 seconds, it rose perfectly, accelerating to the edge of space, nearly 100 miles up.

But at that moment, Mariner 1 started to veer in odd, unplanned ways, first aiming northwest, then pointing nose down. The rocket was out of control and headed for the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic. Four minutes and 50 seconds into flight, a range safety officer at Cape Canaveral—in an effort to prevent the rocket from hitting people or land—flipped two switches, and explosives in the Atlas blew the rocket apart in a spectacular cascade of fireworks visible back in Florida.

… A single handwritten line, the length of a hyphen, doomed the most elaborate spaceship the U.S. had until then designed, along with its launch rocket. Or rather, the absence of that bar doomed it. The error cost $18.5 million ($156 million today).

(4) BATMAN AT 80. The Society of Illustrators is opening several momentous Batman exhibits at its New York museum.

Join us for a celebration of three momentous exhibits:

(5) DON’T PANIC. Now available on the Internet at the Strange Texts blog (after no small delay) is Lee Whiteside’s “A report on DON’T PANIC and DIRK GENTLY and their relation to Doctor Who”, written in 1988 to mark the US release of the Neil Gaiman / Douglas Adams book Don’t Panic and originally posted on the Magrathea BBS.

Starting out with Dirk Gently, Adams breaks away from the science-fiction/comedy genre a bit, creating a “ghost-horror-detective-time travel-romantic comedy epic” as the promotional copy on the hardback release claims.  It does combine several divergent plotlines that mostly come together at the end.  The main characters include a computer programmer, a mysterious detective, and an eccentric professor along with an Electric Monk, and an ancient ghost (as well as a more recent one).  Part of the plot line of the book is similar to the Doctor Who story “City Of Death” with the main characters involved with an alien being from the past and using a time travel machine to defeat it.  The time travelling done in Dirk Gently seems to be done by TARDIS.  The professor in the book is Professor Chronotis from the Doctor Who story Shada that was written by Douglas Adams but was never completed.  The setting of Cambridge, is also the same.  Overall, it is an enjoyable book, although a bit hard to follow at times.

With the release of the HHG Companion book, even more links with Doctor Who are made known.  Neil Gaiman has done a good job chronicling the history of the Hitchhiker’s Guide along with the rest of Douglas Adams career to date.

(6) CHANDLER AWARD. This is what the 2019 A. Bertram Chandler Award looks like – Edwina Harvey posted the photo.

(7) TREE OBIT. “The tree thought to have inspired Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Lorax’ has fallen”CNN has before and after photos:

The Lorax would be devastated to hear that the tree that inspired Dr. Seuss’ 1971 children’s book has fallen.

The Monterey Cypress tree was at Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla, California, the seaside community where author Theodor Seuss Geisel lived from 1948 until his death in 1991.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • June 18, 1964 — The Twilight Zone aired its series finale: “The Bewitchin’ Pool”.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 18, 1908 Bud Collyer. He was voiced both the Man of Steel and Clark Kent on The Adventures Of Superman radio show in the Forties on the Mutual Broadcasting System. He also voiced them in the animated The New Adventures of Superman which was a Filmation production. Joan Alexander voiced Lois Lane in both shows. (Died 1969.)
  • Born June 18, 1917 Richard Boone. You likely know him as Paladin on Have Gun – Will Travel, but he does have some genre appearances including on The Last Dinosaur as Maston Thrust Jr. and in Rankin Bass’s The Hobbit the voice of Smaug. He also played Robert Kraft in I Bury the Living, a horror flick that I think has zombies and more zombies. (Died 1981.)
  • Born June 18, 1931 Dick Spelman. He was a fan who was a legendary book dealer that really hated being called a huckster. He was active at SF conventions from the late 1970s through the early 1990s. He was guest of honor at ICON (Iowa) 12. Fancyclopedia 3 says it was themed “money-grubbing capitalist con” in his honor. (Died 2012.)
  • Born June 18, 1942 Paul McCartney, 77. Well, I could include him for the Magical Mystery Tour which might be genre, but I’m not. He actually has a cameo in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales as a character named Uncle Jack in a cell playing poker singing “Maggie May”. A shortened version of the song is on the Let It Be album. 
  • Born June 18, 1945 Redmond Simonsen. Coined term ‘games designer’. Best remembered for his design of the Seventies games Starforce: Alpha Centauri, Battlefleet Mars and Sorcerer. He cofounded Simulations Publications Inc (SPI) with James Dunnigan. (Died 2005.)
  • Born June 18, 1947 Linda Thorson, 72. Best known for playing Tara King in The Avengers.  For her role in that series, she received a special BAFTA at the 2000 BAFTA TV Awards along with the other three actresses from the series, Honor Blackman, Joanna Lumley and Diana Rigg. She’s also been in Return of the SaintTales from the DarksideStar Trek: The Next GenerationKung Fu: The Legend ContinuesF/X: The Series and Monsters
  • Born June 18, 1949 Chris Van Allsburg, 70. He won two Caldecott Medals for U.S. picture book illustration, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, both of which were made into films. Guess which one I like? He illustrated A City in Winter by Mark Helprin which won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella.
  • Born June 18, 1958 Jody Lee, 61. Illustrator with a long career in genre work. Her first cover art was Jo Clayton’s Changer’s Moon for Daw Books in 1985. Her latest was Michelle West’s First Born that came out this year on Daw Books which seems to be her primary client. Her rather excellent website is here.

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • Close To Home is there when diplomas are handed out at the Academy of Paranormal Studies.

(11) POP CULTURE ERASURE. NPR examines the trend in “chauvinist cuts” — misogynist, homophobic and racist cuts of blockbuster films :“‘Avengers,’ But Make It Without Women, Or Men Hugging, Or Levity In General”.

Brie Larson has vanished.

A star of Avengers: Endgame, one of the biggest movies of all time, was completely excised from a modified pirated version of the film — along with everything else in the film seen as feminist or gay.

An anonymous fan edited out shots, scenes and characters in a “defeminized” version circulating now on an illegal streaming site. As well as losing Larson’s character, Captain Marvel, the defeminized edit is missing a scene where Hawkeye teaches his daughter to shoot. (“Young women should learn skills to become good wives and mothers and leave the fighting to men,” the editor opined in an accompanying document.) The role of Black Panther is minimized. (“He’s really not that important.”) Spider-Man doesn’t get rescued by women characters anymore. (“No need to.”) And male characters no longer hug.

(12) FULL FATHOM FIVE. In case you wondered what became of the craft: “‘Boaty McBoatface’ maps deep ocean water”.

Intrepid submarine Boaty McBoatface has made its first significant discovery, say UK scientists.

The autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) has built a 3D map of deep ocean waters as they move away from Antarctica.

Researchers previously had limited data to show these currents were warming.

Boaty’s investigations can now confirm that turbulence is causing warm water at mid-depths to mix down and raise the temperature of the colder, denser water running along the ocean floor.

Scientists say they can link this behaviour to changing wind patterns.

…Boaty’s insights are important because they can now be used to fine-tune the models that describe the climate system and how it may change in the future.

(13) MONK-Y BUSINESS. BBC explains why “Belgium monks forced to sell prized beer online to beat resellers”.

Belgian monks who brew one of the world’s most coveted beers are launching a website to prevent unauthorised resellers profiting from their product.

St Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren, Flanders, is one of the world’s 14 official Trappist beer producers.

Buyers can purchase a crate of its Westvleteren beer for around €45 (£40), around €1.80 per bottle.

As a rule, the monks ask customers not to sell their product to third parties.

The abbey’s sales have traditionally been limited to private customers who order by phone before collecting a maximum of two crates in person.

But profiteers have been ignoring their “ethical values” for selling the brew, forcing them to go online to dampen demand on the black market.

The monks were dismayed to find bottles of their beer being resold at an inflated price in a Dutch supermarket last year.

…Now the abbey is turning to an online reservation system, designed to better enforce the limit of two crates per 60 days.

(14) RETRO REVIEWS. Steve J. Wright has completed his Retro Hugo Graphic Story Finalist reviews:

Retro Hugo Best Graphic Story

(15) PITCH MEETING. Step inside the pitch meeting that led to the final season of Game of Thrones!

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

38 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/18/19 I Started A Pixel, Which Started The Whole World Scrolling

  1. 9) Things I Found On The Internet about Paul McCartney:

    —In 1970, McCartney (who was a big Trek fan) hired Gene Roddenberry to write a screenplay in which Wings would participate in an intergalactic battle of the bands. Roddenberry declined once it became possible that Trek would be picked up again after it got cancelled in 1969.

    http://www.beatlesradio.com/paul-mccartney-hired-star-trek-creator-to-make-wings-sci-fi-film

    —in 1974, McCartney asked Isaac Asimov to write a screenplay for a science fiction movie musical. McCartney rejected the screenplay.

    https://blog.bookstellyouwhy.com/bid/230020/isaac-asimov-pioneer-of-science-fiction

  2. (9) You have Paul as born more recently than George. Paul is 77(!) as of today.

  3. Kloos is a good egg. I’ll miss his presence on Twitter, and hope I get to shake his hand at a convention to tell him how much I’ve enjoyed his books.

  4. Four scroll and seven files ago our pixels brought forth on this internet…

    Sorry to hear about Kloos.

  5. gottacook says You have Paul as born more recently than George. Paul is 77(!) as of today.

    Errr no. If I ask Siri, what 57 and 19 is, she’ll say 76. So it’s 76. My digital assistant, my math.

  6. 2) A depressingly accurate autopsy. I’ve always loved the more street-level heroes, like Luke Cage, and was really happy with how Netflix presented them. But yeah, the stories dragged on and on, leaving me watching more to see something advance the plot than out of any concern on where it was going.

    Oddly, I think the biggest loss is Iron Fist. After a terrible first season and much better but still in need work second, the teaser for the third season promised us Danny and his friend Wade traveling in Asia searching for K’un-Lun, while back in NYC Coleen Wing has taken up the mantle of Iron Fist. That would have been a great season, splitting both stories and slowly bringing them to a climax.

    9) Redmond Simonsen had his hand in everything for a time, getting development credits in most of SPI’s output. Like so many of SPI’s employees, he was memorialized as a character in Freedom in the Galaxy as the scheming Senator Dermond

  7. Darn. Thought it was mine, for a minute.

    (9) My favorite Richard Boone moment on TV was in a Maverick episode, where James Garner as Brett Maverick is in a saloon somewhere, and he seems to feel eyeballs on his back, and turns to see Boone (looking not unlike his Paladin character, currently in Have Gun, Will Travel) sitting and silently staring at him. This happens a couple of times, and Maverick gets a little more irked by it each time. As far as I can recall, Boone never says a word, there’s no explanation, and no resolution to the situation. He’s there, he stares, and we’d better get used to it.

    (also 9) Linda Thorson, who is no Diana Rigg, nonetheless features in my favorite Avengers episode, where the romance publishing company (which uses a computer to write its books) bends important political figures to its bidding with the power of Love: specifically, microdots inside the books that cause the beholder to fall in love with the first person they see. There’s a marvelous scene near the end that breaks me up every time, and if you ever see it, you’ll enjoy it more without me ruining it for you ahead of time.

    (still 9) I was at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA, at an exhibit of children’s book art that was positively encyclopedic and had something by just about every single illustrator I’d ever loved or respected, from Sir John Tenniel to Maxfield Parrish to Dr. Seuss to Robert McCloskey. I was working my way slowly along one wall when I came to the Polar Express steaming into the North Pole, and it just filled up my brain and I couldn’t stop looking at it. Such a perfect illustration. I finally had to leave because it was getting to be closing time, but I came back another day to look at it some more. I’d never heard of the book before I stumbled on that painting, a slice of alternate reality worthy of Winsor McCay.

    (11) And they call SJWs “snowflakes.”

    99 pixels in scrolls on the file
    99 pixels in scrolls…

  8. @Cat Eldridge: I think that McCartney was born in 1942, not 1943, so he is 77, not 76, as gottacook says.

  9. @Cat Eldridge: Errr no. If I ask Siri, what 57 and 19 is, she’ll say 76. So it’s 76. My digital assistant, my math. I don’t know what relevance those numbers have, but Wikipedia says McCartney was born in 1942, which makes him 77.

  10. 9) My favorite Chris Van Allsburg book is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, which consists of 14 unrelated, surreal illustrations, each with an ambiguous caption. I know Stephen King later wrote a story to accompany one of the illustrations, at least — was there ever a book in which different authors wrote stories for all of the illustrations, or am I just hallucinating again?

    I love Jody Lee’s covers, and they’re one of the things that first sold me on Jo Clayton.

  11. 11) One smart opinion I’ve seen elsewhere on the internet is that if you can cut out all the women and still have a coherent movie then they were never more than tokens in the first place.

  12. 2) I’m currently midway through the first season of The Punisher and while I’m generally enjoying it, I think one problem with the Marvel Netflix series was their insistence on going with mostly 13-episode seasons, which tended to sag in the middle — it probably would have been to their advantage to go with maybe 8-10 episodes and tighten things up considerably.

  13. (9) McCartney also wrote the song “Magneto and the Titanium Man,” which I suppose must be genre as it contains three Marvel villains (Crimson Dynamo is the one who didn’t make the title.)

  14. Joe H. Says I’m currently midway through the first season of The Punisher and while I’m generally enjoying it, I think one problem with the Marvel Netflix series was their insistence on going with mostly 13-episode seasons, which tended to sag in the middle — it probably would have been to their advantage to go with maybe 8-10 episodes and tighten things up considerably.

    The thirteen episode season isn’t something limited to Netflix or these Marvel series as it’s long been a convention of television, ie the now cancelled Swamp Thing series was slated for thirteen episodes before it was cut to ten episodes. And it’s not a recent phenomenon as it goes back quite some years now.

  15. @Cat Eldridge — Yeah, I’ve also seen 13-episode seasons (plus or minus) with, e.g., Sons of Anarchy or Justified or Mad Men, to better or worse effect. I just wish Netflix in particular, since they’re not making the shows to fill a weekly timeslot, would have been more willing to prune things back to a length that felt less padded.

  16. Joe H. asks hopefully My favorite Chris Van Allsburg book is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, which consists of 14 unrelated, surreal illustrations, each with an ambiguous caption. I know Stephen King later wrote a story to accompany one of the illustrations, at least — was there ever a book in which different authors wrote stories for all of the illustrations, or am I just hallucinating again?

    That’d be The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales . Here’s the contents :

    The Chronicles of Harris Burdick (Introduction) • short story by Lemony Snicket
    Archie Smith, Boy Wonder • short story by Tabitha King
    Under the Rug • short story by Jon Scieszka
    A Strange Day in July • short story by Sherman Alexie
    Missing in Venice • short story by Gregory Maguire
    Another Place, Another Time • short story by Cory Doctorow
    Uninvited Guests • short story by Jules Feiffer
    The Harp • short story by Linda Sue Park
    Mr. Linden’s Library • short story by Walter Dean Myers
    The Seven Chairs • short story by Lois Lowry
    The Third-Floor Bedroom • short story by Kate DiCamillo
    Just Desert • short story by M. T. Anderson
    Captain Tory • short story by Louis Sachar
    Oscar and Alphonse • short story by Chris Van Allsburg
    The House on Maple Street • (1993) • novelette by Stephen King
    Original Introduction to The Mysteries of Harris Burdick • short story by Chris Van Allsburg

  17. Joe H. Says to me: Yeah, I’ve also seen 13-episode seasons (plus or minus) with, e.g., Sons of Anarchy or Justified or Mad Men, to better or worse effect. I just wish Netflix in particular, since they’re not making the shows to fill a weekly timeslot, would have been more willing to prune things back to a length that felt less padded.

    Given it’s an industry wide practice, there has to be a reason for it. Could it be that Union rules are why it exists? Or that costs are figured over thirteen episodes for accounting purposes? The shows you mention weren’t being slotted into schedules that demanded thirteen episodes as that really is something from the Networks and their Autumn schedules.

  18. @Cat Eldridge, Joe H.: Netflix has said that they went with 13 originally just because that was common for shows on cable. As for why that was common, there’s some background here (short version: it’s a convenient length for scheduling and budgeting, if you’re not a broadcast network where there are various incentives to go longer).

  19. Nearly done with Tess of the Road. Yes, Tess gets lots better. Unfortunately, the flashbacks to Willfully Stupid Tess continue far too long.

    Which is really too bad.

  20. 13) Ah, The Market. Years ago, I interviewed a guitar builder whose instruments had seen a big, big spike in demand after some prominent performers started playing them. He’s a modest and seriously ethical guy, and his guitars carried a moderately (for the time) high price tag that he thought appropriate. (The guitars, by the way, are quite fine, which is why the prominent performers chose them.)

    His wait list got pretty long (as in a year or more), and his fame continued to grow, and he found that some customers were flipping their long-awaited guitars for two or three times the list price. He had already increased his asking price–modestly–a couple times, mostly to reduce the wait-list time, but the flipping continued. I think he finally gave in and priced to market (as some of his competitors had long since done). You can now have one of his instruments for the price of a very reliable not-very-used car.

  21. 1) Honestly, I admire that Kloos made this choice. I cut off FB over a year ago and haven’t look back. Lately, I’ve also been mulling over leaving Twitter. While I’m nowhere near as successful as him, removing the noise and distraction of social media seems like a much more relaxing way to live.

  22. 13 episode series have been standard in the UK almost since the start of broadcast TV as it’s a quarter of the year. There’s no equivalent of syndication to push for 100 episodes as soon as possible, nor the expectation that all new series will start at the same time of year on all channels. A series that wants fewer episodes will usually run to 6 as that allows for two in the quarter plus a gap for christmas or bank holiday one-offs.

  23. @sophie jane 11) One smart opinion I’ve seen elsewhere on the internet is that if you can cut out all the women and still have a coherent movie then they were never more than tokens in the first place.

    I think as a general rule, that’s fine. For a movie like Avengers: Endgame, I don’t think it really applies. Or at least not as much. There are just too many characters

  24. @Russell – interesting. I actually heard a very similar story about Dumble electric guitar amps. According to Wiikipedia the top-of-the-line model goes used for $70k to 150k.

  25. Joe H. on June 19, 2019 at 3:57 am said:

    2) I’m currently midway through the first season of The Punisher and while I’m generally enjoying it, I think one problem with the Marvel Netflix series was their insistence on going with mostly 13-episode seasons, which tended to sag in the middle — it probably would have been to their advantage to go with maybe 8-10 episodes and tighten things up considerably.

    Definitely. I think most of them has had at least one episode that you can more or less just skip and more than one that would have been better edited down so there were fewer episodes in total.

  26. Finally done with Tess of the Road.

    Not a fan. Takes too long for Tess to be interesting, and too many people in it I would have preferred to drop into a volcano.

    And no, that’s not a criticism of the quality of the writing, and yes, people will like it for reasons inexplicable to me. Honest to God, there’s something wrong when I’m liking the zombie book a lot better.

  27. @Lis —

    Honest to God, there’s something wrong when I’m liking the zombie book a lot better.

    Heh. I’m not generally a big fan of zombies, but ya gotta admit that’s a pretty good zombie book. 😉

  28. Eli say Netflix has said that they went with 13 originally just because that was common for shows on cable. As for why that was common, there’s some background here (short version: it’s a convenient length for scheduling and budgeting, if you’re not a broadcast network where there are various incentives to go longer).

    A network season is essentially two thirteen series, so the pattern holds even when they renew a show after the first thirteen episodes have run. (Renewal is usually decided upon after a handful of episodes has aired.) One of the reasons I like print fiction is that any series has no such restrictions, so it can run as long, or as short, as need be.

  29. @Contrarius–

    Heh. I’m not generally a big fan of zombies, but ya gotta admit that’s a pretty good zombie book. ?

    It is indeed!

  30. @Rochrist:

    @sophie jane 11) One smart opinion I’ve seen elsewhere on the internet is that if you can cut out all the women and still have a coherent movie then they were never more than tokens in the first place.

    I think as a general rule, that’s fine. For a movie like Avengers: Endgame, I don’t think it really applies. Or at least not as much. There are just too many characters

    Well, Captain Marvel was painfully underused, but her few actions were significant. I mean, did they edit out Iron Man’s entire “I am dying almost alone in space” too? Well, maybe. it featured a man having feelings and addressing a woman, and besides that, the only other person on the ship is a woman.

    I do note it doesn’t say they edited out Black Widow. I don’t think you could have even a pale shadow of Endgame without her.

    I suspect the end result is still an incoherent mess (It was when they tried it with the Last Jedi) but if they like their movies too macho for women to exist, then clearly it’s also too macho for stuff like plot.

  31. 1) Agree on Kloos being a good egg–got to interview him in Helsinki, and that was a good time.

  32. This article from TV Tropes goes into detail on the Front 13, Back 9 production model generally used for US network TV (with some interesting examples):

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Front13Back9

    In my tracking of SFTV series in the 90s and aughts, there were lots of one season shows with 13 episodes, such as The Gates, The Visitor, Brimstone, Fantasy Island, Strange World, Dead Last, Freakylinks, Level 9, Lone Gunmen, Greg The Bunny, Point Pleasant, etc. Of course, in some cases not all of the thirteen episodes aired and weren’t seen until later. There were also plenty that got the plug pulled early such that they didn’t complete the initial order, such as The Bionic Woman and Wolf Lake.

  33. (1) Yeah, I’m not surprised Mr. Kloos would reach that point.

    I killed off my own active Facebook and Twitter accounts a couple of years ago, and I can’t say I’ve ever missed them. Not that I’ve got a significant number of fans, or a lot of people likely to seek me out and pick a fight, but the cost-benefit analysis for social media was never a positive even for a very-low-presence writer like me. I’m also not fond of some of the effects social media are having on public discourse in general.

    These days I keep a blog that I restrict only to my creative work, I watch a very few other blogs like this one, I post on Reddit occasionally, and that’s it. Does wonders for my spoons budget and creative output.

  34. @Russell Letson: I see no reason why the luthier should not have raised his prices earlier; a really fine guitar is not exactly a consumer good. However, the story says that the monks make/sell only enough to cover the monastery’s expenses; it doesn’t say whether their rules forbid raising money for Good Works, which would be an obvious thing to do if they satisfied demand (by either price or quantity).

    @Lis / @Contrarius: I’ve lost track; which zombie book were you talking about?

    @Paul Weimer: 1) Agree on Kloos being a good egg–got to interview him in Helsinki, and that was a good time. Kloos made clear that he had principles four years ago, when he resigned a nomination that he found came from Puppies pooing on the process. The descriptions on his books haven’t appealed to me, but that’s no mark against his character. My answer to why I’m not on the Facebook/Twitter/… line of social media (as opposed to commenting on a couple of blogs like this) is that I went cold turkey twice on what passed for social media ~35 years ago, because it was eating my life (even though toxicity was very rare); I probably missed some good things years ago, but the level of noise I hear of now does not encourage me to revisit that decision.

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