Pixel Scroll 6/18/20 On And On They Filed Until They Reached The Sea Of Pixelbilities, Where They Could Scroll No Further

(1) GLORIOUS. Benford and Niven’s third and final book in their Bowl of Heaven series is out, and they’ll be doing a Powell’s Books Zoom event on June 30, 6:00 p.m. Pacific. Register here.

Written by acclaimed, multi-award-winning authors, Gregory Benford (Timescape) and Larry Niven’s (Ringworld), GLORIOUS (Tor Books) concludes the Bowl of Heaven series praised by Booklist as “a solid adventure and entertaining speculation on the lives of alien creatures.”

In the journey that began with the New York Times bestseller, Bowl of Heaven and its sequel, Shipstar, audacious astronauts encounter bizarre, sometimes deadly life forms, and strange, exotic, cosmic phenomena, including miniature black holes, dense fields of interstellar plasma, powerful gravity-emitters, and spectacularly massive space-based, alien-built labyrinths. The alien civilization is far more advanced than our own, and difficult for our astronauts to comprehend. The astronauts must explore and document this brave, new, highly dangerous world, while also dealing with their own personal triumphs and conflicts — their loves and jealousies, joys and disappointments.

Benford and Niven are masters of the science fiction genre and a sci-fi power duo. Together they have combined their talents and expertise to create an unforgettable series for science-fiction fans everywhere.

(2) MY PRECIOUS. Michael Dirda’s resolve to get rid of some of his books has been sorely tried — as happens to so many of us — “By day, I’ve been trying to cull my book collection. But at night, eBay beckons” in the Washington Post.

… Alas, my plan to sort and cull my thousands of books — described last week in my Zippy Shell column — failed to make allowance for human nature. For even as I was straining my back by carrying boxes up the stairs to donate or sell to the noble used book dealers of Washington, come bedtime I would go online to take a quick peek at the current offerings from L.W. Currey, John W. Knott, Richard Dalby’s Library, Type Punch Matrix, Wonder Book and Video or Capitol Hill Books. It didn’t matter that I ached like a stevedore at the end of a double shift. During daylight hours, the world applauded a crusading Dr. Jekyll energetically focused on discarding and recycling printed matter, but once night fell Mr. Hyde would emerge and, while fiendishly cackling, type arcane titles into the search engines of viaLibri, eBay and Addall. Typically, when a friend recently recommended H.B. Marriott Watson’s “The Adventurers” (1898), there was suddenly nothing I wanted more in the world than a copy of this forgotten piece of swashbuckling Victoriana….

(3) GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. UK publication Infinity Magazine subsequently deleted the public post screencapped below.

(4) GENESIS. Although Mark Lawrence takes J.K. Rowling and Ursula Le Guin as texts, more than anything his post “Influence” is a warning to readers who want to infer the source of a writer’s ideas based on similarities to other works.

One of the questions I’m most often asked in the gazillion blog interviews I’ve done is (second only to “Where do you get your ideas?“):

What are your influences?

It’s a question I’ve always had difficulty answering and am saved from mainly by being able to point at two very clear influences for my first two trilogies.

Let’s note that influence comes in many forms, not least: writing style, characters, ideas/topics, and book structure.

(5) COMING IN 2021. HBO Max dropped this sneak peek at Zack Snyder’s Justice League today.

(6) WE WON? The BBC reports “Six movies resuming production after coronavirus”; 5 are genre.

While lockdown may have provided us with the chance to catch up on some old movies, there’s only so many you can watch before you crave something new.

Agreed? Agreed.

Well, fear not, because around the world some of the big-hitters are starting to re-commence production – which was of course halted by Covid-19 – in a variety of socially-distanced ways.

Here are just six of the films to keep your fingers crossed for then in 2021, when the cinemas are hopefully back in business.

Avatar 2

The long-awaited sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi blockbuster was able to re-start filming in New Zealand this week, because the country is almost coronavirus free.

Cameron and producer Jon Landau told the press Down Under that part two of the planned five-part film series; rumoured to be called The Way of Water (oh yeah, it’s set under water this time, by the way) would bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars back into the country following the pandemic.

Landau shared a photo on Instagram earlier this week as the production got under way.

It will also bring some more big names including Kate Winslet and Vin Diesel to add to returning original stars Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington.

Avatar 2, which is intended to work as a standalone feature (you won’t need to have seen the first one, in other words), will focus on the children of Sully and Neytiri, who are by now leaders of their clan.

The film is now slated for a December 2021 release, with film five in the diary already for 2027 – for those of you who like to plan ahead.

(7) CLOCKING IN. The Root spreads the word: “Tick Tock: Watchmen Will Be Free on HBO for a Few Days Starting on Juneteenth—You Must Watch It”.

…But, you only have a limited time—This offer will only be available Friday June 19 through Sunday June 21. You have 3 days to watch the debut season, which is a total of 9 episodes. Since everyone should be binging experts by now, that’s light work!

…In addition to its groundbreaking portrayal of the Tulsa Race Massacre, Watchmen is a must-watch due to its timely thesis on white supremacy. In fact, it’s worth a revisit or two to truly reflect on its themes in a critical way. I certainly plan to revisit it.

So go ahead and watch Watchmen and discuss the episodes thoroughly. View the show for free online via HBO.com and via On Demand.

(8) HEAR FROM HUGO FINALISTS. Saturday’s episode of Essence of Wonder will have the “Hugo finalists for Short Story and Editors”. June 20 at 3p.m. Eastern. Register at the link.

Nibedita Sen, Fran Wilde, Alix E. Harrow, SL Huang, and Shiv Ramdas will join Karen Castelletti to discuss their nominations for Best Short Story.

That panel will be followed by “A Mini Show With Lior Manor, Mentalist.”

Then, at 4:40p.m. Eastern will follow a “Panel Discussion With Hugo Awards Finalists in the Best Editor Short Form Category” —

Ellen Datlow, Lynne Thomas, Neil Clarke, Lynne M Thomas, and Michael Thomas will join Gadi to discuss their nomination and work.

(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • June 1971 — Larry Niven’s All the Myriad Ways, his third collection, was published by Ballantine Books. Costing $.95 and having 181 pages, it included a number of stories of interest such as the first Gil the ARM story, “The Jigsaw Man”, “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” and “What Can You Say About Chocolate Covered Manhole Covers?“. It is currently available from all the usual digital suspects. 

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born June 18, 1862 – Carolyn Wells.  A hundred seventy books, many for children, many more mystery fiction, also poetry, plays.For us, Folly in Fairyland – reprinted 2016 – no, not that, “Folly” is a nickname for Florinda; anyway, see here.  And here is A-L of her Animal Alphabet; when you look at the rest of this Ink-Slinger’s Profile you’ll recognize Mark Twain, but you should know Skippy was a popular 1923-1945 comic strip.  There’s more, but I’ll stop now.  (Died 1942) [JH]
  • Born June 18, 1889 – Elisabeth Holding.  More mystery fiction; no less than Tony Boucher applauded its “subtlety, realistic conviction, incredible economy”.  For us, he praised Miss Kelly too, about a cat who learns to speak with humans: “one of those too-rare juvenile fantasies with delightful appeal to the adult connoisseur.”  We can also claim three shorter stories, translated into Dutch, French, Italian.  (Died 1955) [JH]
  • Born June 18, 1908 Bud Collyer. So far as genre is concerned, he’s best-remembered from radio, starring in the dual role of Clark Kent and Superman beginning in early 1940 on The Adventures of Superman on the Mutual Broadcasting System, a role he also would do in the later Superman and other cartoons such as Aquaman and the Batman/Superman Hour. He was posthumously named as one of the honorees by DC Comics in the company’s 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great. (Died 1969.) (CE)
  • Born June 18, 1917 Richard Boone. He did only two genre roles, one of which — playing Maston Thrust Jr. in The Last Dinosaur — I’m willing to bet you’ve never seen. The other however is one that nearly everyone here has heard, yes, heard, as he voiced Smaug in the Rankin/Bass animated The Hobbit. (Died 1981.) (CE)
  • Born June 18, 1926 – Allan Sandage, Ph.D.  Important next-door neighbor: an astronomer, possibly a great one.  Regarded for thirty years as the pre-eminent observational cosmologist.  Published two atlases of galaxies; five hundred papers.  Warner, Crafoord, Gruber Prizes; Eddington, Cresson, Bruce Medals; Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.  See here.  (Died 2010) [JH]
  • Born June 18, 1931 Dick Spelman. A fan and a legendary book dealer who was active at SF conventions from the late Seventies  through the early Nineties. He chaired Windycon IX in 1982. He was a member of the board of directors of Chicon IV, and ran the Dealers’ Room at many Worldcons. In 1991 he sold his book business to Larry Smith and retired to Orlando, where he was active in local fannish affairs. (Died 2012.) (CE)
  • Born June 18, 1942 Roger Ebert. He got his start as a fanzine writer while in high school, publishing the Stymie zine and having his writing appear in Xero, Yandro and many other zines such as KippleParsection and Psi-Phi. In university, he was a member of the Champaign-Urbana Science Fiction Association. His fannish autobiography is How Propellor-Heads, BNFs, Sercon Geeks, Newbies, Recovering GAFIAtors and Kids in Basements Invented the World Wide Web, All Except for the Delivery System. Mike has much to say about him here. (Died 2013.) (CE)
  • Born June 18, 1942 – Redmond Simonsen.  Game designer; indeed credited with coining that phrase, and “physical system design”.  Founding editor of Ares magazine.  Charles Roberts Awards Hall of Fame.  King of Clubs in Flying Buffalo’s 2008 Origins Poker Deck.  (Died 2005) [JH]
  • Born June 18, 1947 Linda Thorson, 73. Though Diana Rigg as Emma Peel was John Steed’s best-known partner on The Avengers, she was not his first nor his last. His last one would be Tara King played by this actress. She was the only one to be a real spy. Interesting that other than an appearance on Tales from The Darkside, her only other genre performance was on The Next Gen as Gul Ocett in “The Chase” episode”. (CE)
  • Born June 18, 1949 Chris Van Allsburg, 71. For some twenty years now, the local Narrow Gauge Railroad has ran a Polar Express every Christmas season compete with cars decorated in high Victorian fashion and steaming cups of hot chocolate. It always sells out for the entire month. Allsburg‘s Polar Express book is just magical for me and I enjoy his Jumanji every bit as much. He illustrated A City in Winter which was written by Mark Helprin — highly recommended. (CE)
  • Born June 18, 1951 – Vivian Vande Velde 69.  Fiction for children and young adults.  Two dozen novels, five dozen shorter stories.  Edgar Award for Never Trust a Dead Man, also School Library Journal Book of the Year.  Anne Spencer Lindbergh Prize.  Paterson Prize. “When our daughter was born, I quit my job….  Since I was home all day, I had to either take housework more seriously or come up with a good excuse why I couldn’t…. Writing turned out to be harder work than I thought…. getting published was even harder…. 32 different publishers … before number 33 said yes.”  [JH]
  • Born June 18, 1971 – Sarah Hines Stephens 49.  Two Wonder Woman stories, here’s one; two about a girl (I mean really a girl, she’s in 6th Grade) whose study of insects grosses out her friends, but then invaders invade and she develops insectile powers (not all insects are bugs, but I can’t help that, the title wouldn’t have been as cool if it had been Bugged Girl); four dozen in all, some with co-authors, some re-tellings, some non-fiction.  [JH]

(11) COMICS SECTION.

(12) TERRAN PRIZE. George R.R. Martin announced that Maurice Haeems will receive the scholarship he funds to bring a writer to the Taos Toolbox:  “Haeems Wins Terran Prize”.

…With that in mind, back in 2018 I established THE TERRAN PRIZE,  to bring an aspiring SF writer from abroad to the Taos Toolbox, the graduate level writing workshop that Walter Jon Williams runs every summer in the mountains of northern New Mexico.  The Prize is given annually and covers all tuition and fees to the Toolbox (but not travel).

…Maurice was born in Mumbai and has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Mumbai and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Over the last 30 years, he has lived in Mumbai, London, Hong Kong, Taipei, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Dubai while pursuing professional careers in mechanical engineering, investment banking, and software entrepreneurship.

(13) WILL THIS CHOPPER GET IN THE AIR? In the Washington Post, Christian Davenport discusses the Mars mission to be launched in July and how the Mars rover Perseverance has a helicopter attached, nicknamed “Ingenuity,” which will be the first aircraft to flit on another planet. “NASA rushing to complete Mars launch before planet moves out of range. Mission to include first-ever helicopter exploration.”

… In addition to probing for signs of ancient life on and below the Martian surface, the Perseverance mission would also take to the skies. The Ingenuity helicopter would attempt to fly — an exceedingly difficult task given that the “atmosphere on Mars is only one percent the density that we have here on Earth,” Wallace said. “Trying to control a system like this under those conditions is not easy.”

NASA said it hopes to get at least three flights from the helicopter, but it stressed that it was purely a technology demonstration mission and that it would take each one as they come.

(14) DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT. Count on Jon Del Arroz to bring you yesterday’s 770 content today!

(15) HALLOWEEN TREE. But here’s today’s Bradbury news, via Deadline:“Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Halloween Tree’ In The Works As Movie At Warner Bros With Will Dunn Adapting”.

We have learned that Will Dunn has been tapped by Warner Bros to adapt Ray Bradbury’s 1972 fantasy novel The Halloween Tree

…Bradbury wrote and narrated Hanna-Barbera’s 1993 feature-length animated version of the novel for television, for which he won the 1994 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program.

(16) NOT-QUITE-THE-NEXT-GENERATION. On the other hand, here’s some much older Roddenberry news — JDA might like that even better! From TrekMovie in 2018: “Unearthed: Pre-Roddenberry ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Pitch Was A Wildly Different Show”.

…The 8-page concept pitch, entitled “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” was conceived by producer Greg Strangis (War of the Worlds, Falcon Crest) over the summer of 1986 and is set during a 10-year war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. It tells the story of the U.S.S. Odyssey, a ship ferrying a group of cadets on their first deep space assignment and tasked with delivering a document to Organia that could ultimately change the course of the war.

While some of the ideas in this concept can be seen in what ultimately became Star Trek: The Next Generation (such as a young Klingon officer as part of the crew), this original pitch bears little resemblance to the show that went on to have seven successful seasons. One of the more creative ideas was how the original captain dies in the pilot, but “continues to ‘live’ in the ship’s computer” as a hologram who can be summoned for advice….

So would this character have turned into the Emergency Holographic Captain?

[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, Daniel Dern, John Hertz, Jeffrey Smith, Will R., Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, Mike Kennedy, Steve Wagner, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jayn.]

46 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/18/20 On And On They Filed Until They Reached The Sea Of Pixelbilities, Where They Could Scroll No Further

  1. (16) Interesting – I knew that the actual version of TNG went back to ST: Phase II, but didn’t know about this abortive incarnation.

  2. (8) Ellen Datlow, Lynne Thomas, Neil Clarke, Lynne M Thomas, and Michael Thomas will join Gadi to discuss their nomination and work.

    Will part of the panel be guessing which Lynne Thomas is the real Lynne Thomas?

  3. (9) Larry Niven’s first collection was Neutron Star; his second was The Shape of Space. All the Myriad Ways is no better than third.

  4. Will part of the panel be guessing which Lynne Thomas is the real Lynne Thomas?

    One of them is from the mirror universe. You can tell by her taste for gold armour and black leather.

  5. Also, the Days of German Language Literature are currently going on. It’s a writing competition, where authors read live and then the jury subsequently discusses and dissects the text, also live and on TV.

    This year, one of the jurors – the one who always interrupts everybody else – is called Tingler. I find that highly amusing.

  6. Cora Buhlert: One of them is from the mirror universe. You can tell by her taste for gold armour and black leather.

    For a second, I thought you were going to say I could tell by her moustache. 😀

  7. @2: interesting that his list of booksellers includes fan L. W. (Lloyd) Currey — but not surprising given how long Dirda has been a public supporter of SF. I just hope he has time to bite the bullet if infirmity forces him to move to housing with less storage space.

    @3: It’s possible there are some people who actually believe the tosh about “erasing history”, rather than supporting now-despised monuments as constituting long-standing erasures that they want to see continued. Some erasures may be relatively negligent (e.g., Bristol), but others (e.g. Belgium) are worse and many (e.g. most of the U.S. South) are outright malicious, erected decades after the traitors lost in order to deny their treason and terrify the formerly-enslaved. I’d love to see a full acknowledgment of history, e.g. “On this pedestal was erected a statue of Robert E. Lee — traitor, oathbreaker, slaveholder — to ensure the continued subjection of a people freed by his defeat.” “On this plinth stood an image of Nathan Bedford Forrest, founder of a terrorist organization that still endangers the country he betrayed.”

    @10 (Collyer): are Kent and Superman really a dual role, since one is merely an alias of the other? Has there been any case where the two ~sides were performed by different people?

    @10 (Spelman): the year after the Boskone from Hell nearly flooded his table, he was gracefully amused at the shower head hung above his new space. Was he not the first to in effect carry a bookstore from con to con? There are often local vendors at cons, but he brought loads of copies of new releases and at least one copy of practically everything findable to dozens of cons each year.

  8. Judge Magney says Larry Niven’s first collection was Neutron Star; his second was The Shape of Space. All the Myriad Ways is no better than third.

    ISFDB says it is his first. And that’s what I used. Go tell them they’re wrong.

  9. (9) And as long as I’m here, the first Gil the ARM story, “Death By Ecstasy,” was collected in The Shape of Space. As I recall, there is no story in that series in All The Myriad Ways.

  10. Judge Magney: Larry Niven’s first collection was Neutron Star; his second was The Shape of Space. All the Myriad Ways is no better than third.

    Cat Eldridge: ISFDB says it is his first.

    That’s because if the stories in a collection are all set in the same universe, ISFDB will list the collection under that universe rather than under the header “Collections”. So if you want to refer to someone’s first Collection, you need to do a page Find for
    [C]
    and check the years on everything that shows next to that versus what’s under the header “Collections”.

    With a hugely-prolific author, it’s probably not worth the effort, and easier to say “One of their earliest collections was…”.

  11. Judge Magney: Now that you remind us, All the Myriad Ways would have to be the third, because I owned copies of the other two before it came out. And one can extract that info from the SF Encyclopedia, though they don’t have a chronological list. ISFDB does, but they omit some of the collections entirely.

  12. Chip enquiringly asks Collyer): are Kent and Superman really a dual role, since one is merely an alias of the other? Has there been any case where the two ~sides were performed by different people?

    Damn good question. I never run across it happening but I suppose it’s a possibility. None of the dozen or so animated undertakings that I know of split the voice acting and that would be where it likely happen. I listed it that way because it’s always Listed that way.

  13. JJ: Ah, I see. The 1968 Neutron Star collection is under Known Space, but not repeated in the Collection list (except as a 1998 Dutch translation). That’s fucked up.

  14. JJ correctly says With a hugely-prolific author, it’s probably not worth the effort, and easier to say “One of their earliest collections was…”.

    Yeah I’ll do that in the future if only to avoid the obsessives who want to correct every minor mistake. That’s one of my favorite collections by him. I think I re-read it just last month.

  15. (10) Richard Boone. He did only two genre roles, one of which — playing Maston Thrust Jr. in The Last Dinosaur — I’m willing to bet you’ve never seen.
    You lose! What did I win?

  16. Mike Glyer: The 1968 Neutron Star collection is under Known Space, but not repeated in the Collection list (except as a 1998 Dutch translation). That’s fucked up.

    One of the other things I really dislike is the way that Novellas which get a separate publication are listed under “Chapbooks”, as well as under “Short Fiction”.

    Unless they’re part of a series, of course, and then they’re just all over the place. 🙄

  17. PhilRM says re seeing a The Last Dinosaur that You lose! What did I win?

    A genre galley from the pile here when I get out of confinement sometime no less than four months down the road. Or dark chocolate which ever you prefer.

  18. If you see the Tingler, Scream! Scream for you life!

    (10) It was Keye Luke’s birthday. We probably remember him as blind Master Po in Kung Fu, but he had a long career which included playing Kato in two Green Hornet serials and Number One son Lee Chan in a bunch of Charlie Chan movies. He was in both Gremlins movies and provided uncredited voice work for several kaiju movies.

    And it’s Carol Kane’s birthday. Lots of crazy characters to choose from: Granny in Addams Family Values, Valerie in Princess Bride, The Ghost of Christmas Present in Scrooged, and Gertrude Kapelput in Gotham.

    Pixel Scroll – I was deleted you won the war
    Pixel Scroll – Promise to read you for ever more

  19. Medical update. I did not after all tear the rotator cuff in my right shoulder. I had an MRI on it Monday and I simply fractured it. Good news of a sorts.

    The knee continues to be painful at a level requiring ten milligrams of oxycodone every six hours. It may or may not be healing right — we’ll know within a month if the surgeon needs to re-do everything. And I’m still looking at least four more months of confinement. More if a second surgery is needed.

    I got approved by MaineCare for a Personal Care Assistant to do laundry, shopping, house cleaning and help me bathe. She’ll also transport me to medical appointments. That’ll help a lot.

    I voted by absentee ballot in the June primary yesterday. My nursing care manager posted it after she did blood work here.

  20. Mike writes, regarding Larry Niven’s collections:

    Now that you remind us, All the Myriad Ways would have to be the third, because I owned copies of the other two before it came out. And one can extract that info from the SF Encyclopedia, though they don’t have a chronological list. ISFDB does, but they omit some of the collections entirely.

    The SFE gives a chronological list if you click the Chron button at the top of the entry. Or the Chronological button at the top of the book checklist (where there’s room to spell it out).

  21. David Langford: That was educational. Thanks for the pointer. I honestly never paid attention to those buttons before.

  22. 10) I’m pretty sure my first encounter with Chris Van Allsburg was when I was taking a children’s lit course in library school. His illustrations are just lovely; my personal favorite book of his is almost certainly The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, a collection of surreal illustrations with evocative titles.

  23. 13) First heaver-than-air aircraft on another planet. The Soviets had two Venus probes that included helium balloons that lasted a couple of (Earth) days each in the atmosphere of that planet.

  24. @3
    Otherwise ordinary people’s attachment to dumb old statues is deeply weird, folks. It deserves a Elizabeth Bear or Tanith Lee novella.

  25. Paul Weimer on June 19, 2020 at 6:46 am said:
    1) @Olav, how did you find the first two? What kind of readers would best like them?

    I enjoyed them quite a bit.

    But I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Bowl Of Heaven & Shipstar are for irredeemable technocrats like me. These are books for people who occasionally like their meal of science fiction to include a healthy serving of info-dumps.

    If you’re a grumpy middle-aged fan who has a membership in the Heinlein Society and have a pile of dusty “There Will Be War” tomes in a box in your basement, then I’d highly recommend this trilogy.

  26. I haven’t tried to reproduce anyone else’s search tactics, but I’ve known for a while a simple procedure: when I retrieve any author in ISFDB the 2nd row below the bio frame is a set of “Other views” buttons including “Chronological”. If I pull up Larry Niven, click this button, and Search (browser function, not ISFDB) or scroll for “collections” it confirms @Judge Magney’s report. ISTM that 3 collections in ~3 years is an uncommon number even by the standards of 50 years ago, and that the number of collections/anthologies from big publishers started dropping by the end of the 1970’s.

    @Cat Eldridge: I don’t know whether a break is better or worse than a damaged rotator cuff; I remember needing several months of rehab to get back to ~100% after the stupid rotator damage I’ve mentioned vs 6 weeks for a broken ankle (also a stupid accident) but I don’t know how long shoulder bones take to heal — here’s hoping it’s not protracted.

  27. @Olav Rokne: I will cop to grumpy and will claim “middle-aged” (per the slogan that sixty is the new forty), but I found the first far too fascinated by a big ?dumb? object, almost as if SF had said “Evolution? Who needs it!” after Rendezvous with Rama, so I skipped the second one. (I don’t claim this is an entirely fair judgment, but it’s mine.) I’m not sure either Heinlein Society membership or willingness to buy There Will Be War at any price aligns with ~geek-fandom, although maybe if those fit me I’d have a different opinion; it would be a duller genre if we didn’t have mostly-harmless re-representations of some of the older strains.

  28. I’m not sure either Heinlein Society membership or willingness to buy There Will Be War at any price aligns with ~geek-fandom

    They don’t. But they’re kind of emblematic of a certain sort of fan.

    mostly-harmless re-representations of some of the older strains.

    That pretty much describes the Bowl of Heaven books.

    And I completely cop to being exactly the target audience for them.

  29. I haven’t read the Bowl of Heaven books, but I’m reminded that possibly my favorite Niven is actually his essay Bigger Than Worlds where he talked about megastructures ranging in size from the merely really big to the utterly ridiculous (Ringworld falling somewhere in the middle of the scale; the Bowl would presumably be a couple notches above that).

  30. I’m pretty sure that something like “The Bowl” shows up in Bigger Than Worlds

  31. I’d have to double check but I think it went straight from Ringworld to a full-on Dyson sphere; although he did suggest putting magnets on the Ringworld and using them to make the central star act like a fusion rocket (and eventually turn itself into a REALLY, REALLY BIG Bussard ramjet, back when those were still a thing).

  32. I remember one of the Star Trek tie-in novels featuring a pretty cool megastructure: The sun of an alien empire’s homeworld was reaching the end of its lifespan, so the aliens built a framework around it that would act like a transporter. They built a similar one around a younger star in an uninhabited system within their territory, and the idea was to swap the two stars.

  33. @Joe H: I checked (online – I couldn’t put my hand on my copy) and you’re right. Dyson, double-Dyson, but no Bowl.

  34. I am getting tempted here. Is there an audiobook of Bowl…but now, its not on audible. Not on downpour either. Boo.

  35. I nearly threw Bowl against a wall in a late chapter where reference is made to a recently received transmission from Earth – presented as something unremarkable, yet half a book earlier it is stated that there have been no signals from Earth in a long time and people are concerned about that.

  36. Paul Weimer says i am getting tempted here. Is there an audiobook of Bowl…but now, its not on audible. Not on downpour either. Boo.

    Paul, I don’t see after checking multiple sources that the first two novels were done as audiobooks either. So no, it’s not going to happen.

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