Pixel Scroll 6/20/19 Mamas, Don’t Let Your Pixels Grow Up To Be Scrollers

(1) SHE MAKES TOR LOOK GOOD. Congratulations! “Irene Gallo Promoted to Vice President, Publisher of Tor.com”.

…Irene joined Tor Books twenty-six years ago and quickly rose to head the Art Department. She has won the World Fantasy Award, the Richard Gangel Award for Art Direction from the Society of Illustrators, thirteen Chesley Awards, and numerous gold and silver medals from Spectrum and the Society of Illustrators.

Irene was also one of the founding members of the Tor.com website. In its first decade Tor.com has become a must-read site for science fiction and fantasy fans, and one of the most frequented publishing websites. Tor.com has won numerous awards for its original fiction, nonfiction, and art, including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Locus Awards….

(2) GOVERNING SPACE. Future Tense, a partnership ofSlate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society, is going to be holding a symposium on July 10 addressing the question “How Will We Govern Ourselves in Space?” They’re planning to livestream the event. The complete schedule is here.

(3) MARVEL SALE. Through 6/23 11 PM EDT,Marvel Digital Comics Shop is holding a storewide Buy One Get One Free Sale.

With the purchase of a comic or collection, you’ll get another digital title — for FREE! Use code MARVEL2019 at checkout for this unbeatable offer! [See site for details.]

Looking for prelude reading to Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Far From Home? Try the classic collection SPIDER-MAN VS. MYSTERIO, and read a curated handful of the Wall-Crawler’s best battles against the Master of Illusion! Or, try best-selling horror mag IMMORTAL HULK! Seeking a high stakes blockbuster? Try the ongoing event WAR OF THE REALMS today, and see Avengers, X-Men, street-level heroes and more, unite against Malekith’s global siege of Midgard! And it’s by MIGHTY THOR maestros Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson!

Our Buy One Get One Free Sale is a perfect opportunity to discover a new series that piques your interest! Explore top-sellers from our STAR WARS lineup, or pick up the ongoing alt-universe X-Men arc AGE OF X-MAN! Or, check out the return of Cimmerian barbarian CONAN in his current series! New to comics and looking for a place to dive in? Visit the Digital Comics Shop’s READING LIST Section, and explore themed lists based off your favorite characters, creators, events and more! Get inspired by our favorite Spider-Man starter stories here!

(4) THE DEVIL MADE THEM DO IT. The Guardian reports“Thousands petition Netflix to cancel Amazon Prime’s Good Omens”.

More than 20,000 Christians have signed a petition calling for the cancellation of Good Omens, the television series adapted from Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s 1990 fantasy novel – unfortunately addressing their petition to Netflix when the series is made by Amazon Prime.

… they say that Good Omens is “another step to make satanism appear normal, light and acceptable”, and “mocks God’s wisdom”.

(5) STICK A FORKY IN IT. Leonard Maltin pronounces Toy Story 4 a Summertime Treat”.

I was dubious about the first sequel to Pixar’s wonderful Toy Story, which turned out to be terrific. But a fourth go-round for Woody, Buzz and company? I harbored doubts but I should have had more faith in the Pixar team. This is a highly enjoyable film with laugh-out-loud gags, ingenious plotting, and endearing new characters. By the closing scene I found myself marveling at how my emotions were stirred by these innately inanimate objects.

(6) ON THE AUDIO. Natalie Zutter points the way to “8 Sweet, Funny, Thrilling Queer Fiction Podcasts” in a post for Tor.com.

Seven years on, queer characters are found in every corner of the expanding audio drama world. So this list of recommendations is by no means exhaustive; it is simply one starting point based on the SFF series I’ve laughed, gasped, and teared up at. From radio-show hosts caught up in romantic fanfic tropes to stories that aren’t about ships but just about being a queer person in the world, these eight fiction podcasts are something to be proud of.

(7) THEY HAD BAD CHEMISTRY. Lila Shapiro on Vulture spent three days with Sherilynn Kenyon in order to profile the author and explicate her many, many problems: “‘I Really Thought He Was Going to Kill Me and Bury My Body’ A romance author accused her husband of poisoning her. Was it her wildest fiction yet?”

Kenyon had her blood, hair, and nails tested for 21 different heavy metals. The results, which she shared with me, appeared to show elevated levels of chromium, beryllium, manganese, nickel, cadmium, antimony, platinum, mercury, lithium, selenium, tin, barium, thorium, and arsenic. These tests are the basis of her claim that she was poisoned. But when I spoke with Dr. Ernest Lykissa, the lead scientist of the lab that performed the tests, he said the concentrations of heavy metals in her system weren’t high enough to support her theory. “In this case,” he said, “the only thing I see is environmental exposure.” He thought she’d probably absorbed the metals from her surroundings — from the paint in her home, for example, or the exhaust from her car.

Kenyon never had any direct contact with Lykissa. To get tested, she stopped into Any Lab Test Now, a strip-mall operation that promises to have patients “in and out in 15 minutes.” It collected the samples of her blood, hair, and nails and forwarded them to Lykissa’s company, ExperTox, which then produced a list of the toxins found in the samples and their concentrations. In order to have those results interpreted by a scientist at ExperTox, Kenyon would have had to pay extra — a step she didn’t take, according to Lykissa. When I mentioned this to Bruce Goldberger, the president of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology and the director of forensic medicine at the University of Florida, he found it troubling. At my request, Goldberger had reviewed Kenyon’s test results and had come to the same conclusion as Lykissa — that she hadn’t been poisoned. But he felt that Lykissa’s company had failed her. “She’s convinced herself that her illness is associated with poisoning,” he said; by giving her results without any analysis, he continued, ExperTox allowed that belief to endure.

(8) HEINLEIN NOVEL MAKES SLOW PROGRESS. Arc Manor / Phoenix Pick admitted to folks on their mailing list that they are “having some issues with the title of the new Heinlein novel, Six-Six-Six” – one being that it won’t be published with that title.

All parties have now agreed on the final title for the book and we want our readers to be the first ones to know.

The new Heinlein novel is going to be titled:

The Pursuit of the Pankera 

With a sub-title that will go on both The Pursuit of the Pankera as well as the republished edition of The Number of the Beast.

Subtitle: A Parallel Novel about Parallel Universes.

The Pankeran reference is directly from the book.

We will be announcing the release date soon. As for the status of the book; Pat LoBrutto has completed his overall editorial review of the book and it is about to go to a copy-editor.

The publisher says they’re going to attempt to defray some of their costs through a Kickstarter campaign.

The really cool part about this is that the Kickstarter will offer a presale of the book at less than the launch price of the book, which we figure is a win-win for all. Fans get to purchase the book at a lower price, and we can get some funds to help us pay for our production costs moving forward.

They haven’t set a release date yet.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 20, 1897 Donald Keyhoe. Early pulp writer whose works included the entire contents of all three published issues of the Dr. Yen Sin zine. The novels were The Mystery of the Dragon’s Shadow, The Mystery of the Golden Skull and The Mystery of the Singing Mummies. He would create two pulp characters, one with ESP who was a daredevil pilot and one who was blind that could see none-the-less in the dark. He’s best remembered today for being one of the early believers in UFOs and being very active in that community. (Died 1988.) 
  • Born June 20, 1913 Lilian Jackson Braun. Author of The Cat Who… series which really may or may not be genre. The two cats in it are delightful and one, Koko, certainly has a sixth sense, but the author never suggests this is psychic. Good popcorn reading. (Died 2011.)
  • Born June 20, 1928 Martin Landau. I’ve got his first genre role as being on The Twilight Zone as Dan Hotaling in  “Mr. Denton on Doomsday” episode. Of course, his longest running genre role was as Rollin Hand on Mission Impossible though he had a good run also on Space: 1999 as Commander John Koenig. His last role was in Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie voicing Mr. Rzykruski. (Died 2017.)
  • Born June 20, 1951 Tress MacNeille, 68. Voice artist extraordinaire. Favorite roles? Dot Warner on The Animaniacs, herself as the angry anchorwoman in Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Babs Bunny on Tiny Toons and Hello Nurse on Pinky and The Brain
  • Born June 20, 1952 John Goodman, 67. Some may know him as the TV husband of a certain obnoxious comedienne but I’ve never watched that show. So I picture him as Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones, a role perfect for him. Mind you he’s had a lot of genre roles: voicing James P. “Sulley” Sullivan in the Monsters franchise, a cop in the diner in C.H.U.D., and he’ll even be the voice of Spike in the Tom and Jerry due out two years hence. 
  • Born June 20, 1957 Candy Clark, 71. Mary Lou in The Man Who Fell to Earth which of course featured Bowie. She also was in Amityville 3-DStephen King’s Cat’s Eye and The Blob the role of Francine Hewitt. That’s the remake obviously, not the original. Oh, and she’s Buffy’s mom in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Wiki being Wiki lists that as non-canon. 
  • Born June 20, 1967 Nicole Kidman, 52. Batman Forever was her first foray into the genre but she has done a number of genre films down the years: Practical Magic, The Stepford WivesBewitched (I liked it), The Invasion (never heard of it), The Golden Compass (not nearly as good as the novel was), Paddington (anyone see this?) and her latest was as Queen Atlanna in the rather good Aquaman
  • Born June 20, 1968 Robert Rodriguez, 51. I’ll single out the vastly different Sin City and Spy Kids franchises as his best work, though the From Dusk till Dawn has considerable charms as well. ISFDB notes that he’s written two novels with Chris Roberson riffing off his The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D film, The Day Dreamer and Return to Planet Droll

(10) THE INSIDE STORY. Technology writer and programmer Paul Ford has posted a SF story idea inspired by the tireless forces of heroic keyboard warriors on the front lines of Twitfacegram:

The protagonist is always the last to know.

(11) THE NEW NEIGHBORS. Science diagrams ancient waves of migration in “Closest-known ancestor of today’s Native Americans found in Siberia”.

In the first study, researchers led by Eske Willerslev, a geneticist at the University of Copenhagen, sequenced the whole genomes of 34 individuals who lived in Siberia, the land bridge Beringia, and Alaska from 600 to nearly 32,000 years ago. The oldest individuals in the sample—two men who lived in far northern Siberia—represent the earliest known humans from that part of the world. There are no direct genetic traces of these men in any of the other groups the team surveyed, suggesting their culture likely died out about 23,000 years ago when the region became too cold to be inhabitable.

Elsewhere on the Eurasian continent, however, a group arose that would eventually move into Siberia, splinter, and cross Beringia into North America, the DNA analysis reveals. A woman known as Kolyma1, who lived in northeastern Siberia about 10,000 years ago, shares about two-thirds of her genome with living Native Americans. “It’s the closest we have ever gotten to a Native American ancestor outside the Americas,” Willerslev says. Still, notes Ben Potter, an archaeologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks who was not involved with the work, the relation is nevertheless distant.

Based on the time it would have taken for key mutations to pop up, the ancestors of today’s Native Americans splintered off from these ancient Siberians about 24,000 years ago, roughly matching up with previous archaeological and genetic evidence for when the peopling of the Americas occurred, the team reports today in Nature.

Additional DNA evidence suggests a third wave of migrants, the Neo-Siberians, moved into northeastern Siberia from the south sometime after 10,000 years ago. These migrants mixed with the ancient Siberians, planting the genetic roots of many of the area’s present-day populations.

(12) BDP. Bonnie McDaniel has posted her assessment of the Dramatic Presentation Short Form Hugo Finalists. The list begins with an item that ranks behind No Award on her ballot –

7) The Good Place, “Jeremy Bearimy”

I simply cannot comprehend many Hugo nominators’ and voters’ continued affection for this mess. This show grates on me like coarse sandpaper. In the interest of fairness, even though I hated the two episodes that were nominated last year, I tried to watch this and had to turn it off fifteen minutes in. The only good thing about this episode was the title, which provides a fairly witty, rhyming new name for “looping time-travel shenanigans.”

(13) WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. Steve J. Wright has completed his Hugo Graphic Story Finalist reviews:

(14) RETRO REVIEWS. Click here for Evelyn C. Leeper’s Retro Hugo Novelette Reviews.

This week I will cover the Retro Hugo Best Novelette category. (It may be a mistake to start with the longest items first; as the works grow shorter they start seeming–and being–less complex and thought-provoking.)

“Citadel of Lost Ships” by Leigh Brackett is one of those stories that was based on the planetary knowledge of the time, particularly of Venus, but now is woefully outdated. However, that aspect of it is not the main story, merely the background for the characters, so it doesn’t intrude enough to cause problems. What is more problematic is the lack of subtlety in its essentially libertarian message dressed up in science fiction trappings.

(15) ON TONIGHT’S JEOPARDY! Andrew Porter monitored the game —

Category: “Books of Mystery”

Answer: “This detective featured in 4 novels & 56 short stories was killed of in 1893, but that didn’t stop him for long.”

Wrong question: “Who is Poirot?”

(16) I DUB THEE. Ars Technica: “NASA reveals funding needed for Moon program, says it will be named Artemis”.

NASA revealed Monday that it needs an additional $1.6 billion in funding for fiscal year 2020 to stay on track for a human return to the Moon by 2024. The space agency’s budget amendment comes in addition to the $21 billion the Trump administration asked Congress for in March.

In a teleconference with reporters on Monday evening, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the budget amendment was a “down payment” on what will be needed in future years to fund the program. “In the coming years, we will need additional funds,” he said. “This is a good amount that gets us out of the gate.” He and the other NASA officials on the call would not say how much that would be.

Two people familiar with NASA’s internal deliberations say the agency has estimated that it needs as much as $6 billion to $8 billion a year for a lunar return by 2024.

[…] Bridenstine noted that, 50 years ago, the human program to land on the Moon was named after Apollo, the son of Zeus and Leto. Because the return to the Moon will include women, Bridenstine said the new program would be named Artemis, after Apollo’s twin sister.

“Our goal here is to build a program that gets us to the Moon as soon as possible that all of America can be proud of,” he said. […]

(17) MEET THE NEW BOSS. Mashable: “Women are now in charge of NASA’s science missions”.

When the next car-sized rover lands on Mars in 2020, the ultimate head of this extraterrestrial endeavor will be physicist Lori Glaze. She’s leads NASA’s Planetary Science Division. 

And she’s not alone. For the first time in history, three of NASA’s four science divisions are now run by women, a milestone announced by NASA on Friday. 

“I am proud to say that for the 1st time in #NASA’s history, women are in charge of 3 out of 4 #NASAScience divisions. They are inspiring the next generation of women to become leaders in space exploration as we move forward to put the 1st woman on the Moon,” NASA’s associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen tweeted Friday.

(18) QUICK SIPS. Charles Payseur callas all aboard for “Quick Sips – Uncanny #28 [June stuff]”.

June’s Uncanny Magazine brings a bit of heartbreak, a bit of horror, but also a bit of romance. At least, two of the stories feature some rich romantic themes, and develop characters reaching out in compassion even as the world around them seems to descend into some very dark waters. The works explore worlds dominated in many ways by cruelty, and seek to find compassion and empathy, sometimes rather forcibly. Throw in a pair of poems taking on some different meta-fictional lenses, and it’s an issue that will make you think even as it entertains. So let’s get to the reviews!

(19) PRIORITIES. “Poll: Americans Want NASA To Focus More On Asteroid Impacts, Less On Getting To Mars”NPR has the story.

Americans are less interested in NASA sending humans to the moon or Mars than they are in the U.S. space agency focusing on potential asteroid impacts and using robots for space exploration. That’s according to a poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released Thursday, one month before the 50th anniversary of the first walk on the moon.

Two-thirds of respondents said monitoring asteroids, comets and “other events in space that could impact Earth” was “very or extremely important.” According to NASA, which watches for objects falling from space, about once a year an “automobile-sized [a]steroid hits Earth’s atmosphere,” but it usually burns up before it hits the surface. And the instances of larger objects actually making it past Earth’s atmosphere and causing any damage happen thousands of years apart, NASA says.

(20) ICE SPY. NPR tells how formerly classified photos help track change:“I Spy, Via Spy Satellite: Melting Himalayan Glaciers”.

The world’s glaciers are melting faster than before, but it still takes decades to see changes that are happening at a glacial pace.

To look back in time, researchers are turning to a once-secret source: spy satellite imagery from the 1970s and 1980s, now declassified. “The actual imagery is freely available for download on the USGS website, and people can use it,” says Josh Maurer, a doctoral student at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Maurer is the lead author of a study using satellite imagery to show that in the past 20 years, Himalayan glaciers melted twice as fast as they did in the 1980s and ’90s. The work was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

The spy satellite images come from KH-9 Hexagon military satellites, launched during the Cold War to help the U.S. peer over the Iron Curtain, says Summer Rupper, a co-author of the study. Each satellite was about the size of a school bus and carried miles of film. Packaged in buckets equipped with parachutes, the film was later ejected into the upper atmosphere and plucked out of the air over the Pacific Ocean by Air Force pilots. Most Hexagon images were declassified in 2011 as a continuation of a 1995 executive order by President Bill Clinton to release spy satellite footage that was “scientifically or environmentally useful.”

(21) THOSE WACKY KIWIS. The New Zealand Herald article “Random swordfight breaks out in New Plymouth intersection” really doesn’t have that much to say — it’s easier just to watch the video on Facebook.

On last Sunday afternoon, New Plymouth resident, Michael Atkinson, was driving up Devon St when he spotted four knights in armour sword fighting in the middle of the street.

He pulled over and filmed the tournament on his mobile.

In the video, Atkinson can be heard laughing in the background, repeatedly saying the whole thing was “random as” while the knights ran into the middle of the intersection and fought each other.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Nina, Mike Kennedy, Michael Toman, Paul Weimer, Harold Osler, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, rcade, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day C.A. Collins.]

47 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/20/19 Mamas, Don’t Let Your Pixels Grow Up To Be Scrollers

  1. (8) I still find myself interested in reading this.

    (1) Congratulations to Irene Gallo!

  2. (9) John Goodman was also in 10 Cloverfield Lane,, which I thought was an excellent and rather underrated alien-invasion film. His performance was creepy and obsessive and mesmerizing.

  3. @4: what a bunch of nimrods. I’m no fan of any organized religion, but these people seem to be making an effort to make theirs look foolish.

  4. @Bonnie McDaniel — Yeah, I also quite liked 10 Cloverfield Lane, which I’d describe as a film-length version of the weird basement cultists scene from the Tom Cruise War of the Worlds. (Now there’s a movie I don’t ever need to see again.

    Reading: Having finished my detour down the Dragon’s Path, I’m back to Hugo reading, currently with Artificial Condition. I love Murderbot!

    (I’m also having … doubts … as to how many of the novels I’ll actually finish before the deadline. This year I hadn’t read any of the novel nominees before they were announced. Oh, well.)

  5. Yay, Midsummer today! Herring, potatoes, barbecue and schnapps, here I come. Haven’t yet seen the new horror movie where a Swedish Midsummer party looks like something out of Wickerman, but will have to try it later on.

  6. 9) Nicole Kidman plays the main villain in Paddington, and she is pretty good too, and it’s a good movie all around. (The sequel, Paddington 2, is damn near a perfect movie in my opinion.)

    The earliest genre thing I saw Martin Landau in was The Outer Limits, covered in grotesque prosthetics as “The Man Who Was Never Born” – dunno if that’s before or after his Twilight Zone stint.

  7. I think Landau’s best performance was almost certainly as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood, a film which is about a genre-adjacent as it is possible to be without actually being genre.

  8. Steve Wright says The earliest genre thing I saw Martin Landau in was The Outer Limits, covered in grotesque prosthetics as “The Man Who Was Never Born” – dunno if that’s before or after his Twilight Zone stint.

    That’d be four years later. I always use the first genre appearance by a performer whenever possible. The only time that gets iffy is if the actor starts out performing in a foreign country where the citations are such that I can’t tell if something is indeed genre.

  9. And one of Donald Keyhoe’s early books on UFOs was the basis of the film EARTH VERSUS FLYING SAUCERS.

  10. (9) The Invasion is the fourth movie adaptation of Jack Finney’s invasion of the Body Snatchers.

  11. 9) I, too have a soft spot for Bewitched.

    8) Yeah, I wonder when and if it will ever be released. I am increasingly skeptical.

    Reading: Just finished Max Gladstone’s Empress of Forever, which really is excellent. It’s Guardians of the Galaxy (both 1 and 2) meets Jupiter Ascending with probably a whole lot of anime DNA that I don’t grok.

  12. Paul Weimer: Empress of Forever [is] Guardians of the Galaxy (both 1 and 2) meets Jupiter Ascending with probably a whole lot of anime DNA that I don’t grok.

    Oh, no, really? I was really looking forward to it, based on the synopsis, but that doesn’t sound appealing at all. 🙁

  13. @Paul Weimer It’s Guardians of the Galaxy (both 1 and 2) meets Jupiter Ascending with probably a whole lot of anime DNA that I don’t grok.

    I’ve been avoiding Max Gladstone’s stuff because I found the first couple of Craft Sequence novels annoying – but as one of very few people who enjoyed Jupiter Ascending, this encourages me to give him another chance.

  14. Martin Landau. He played Bela Lugosi in ED WOOD.

    Did you forget?

  15. @mlex: well to be fair Artemis as a goddess is associated with the moon. A good name for fictional and real moon missions alike.

  16. I kept seeing so many glowing recommendations of Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers by Filers that it moved to the top of the pile.

    I just finished the book and and can be added to the list of admirers after Xtifr, Kendall, Cora, Mark-kitteh, JJ and Cat Eldridge.

    Here’s my low- to no-spoiler review on GoodReads.

    This book was highly recommended by six avid readers on File 770 and they were right. Hailimi Mercedes Jaya Bristol, a gunrunner who left her family 20 years ago and never looked back, is brought home when the assassinations of her sisters and niece leave her heir to the empire. The story mixes palace intrigue with well-spun action as Haili struggles to survive long enough to figure out who’s behind the attempted coup. The India-inspired, far-future society Wagers has created is richly drawn and contains surprises too good to spoil. A lot of the charm comes from the fact that Haili’s accomplished criminal life made her a fish out of water as a potential empress. She’s always clashing with her ever-present bodyguards over her desire to carry her own weapons and is sometimes less the protected than the protector. One minor criticism is that the large cast of characters around Haili made it tough to remember them all when they showed up again. The novel is a fantastic opener to a trilogy.

  17. Books read:
    Dreaming Death and In Dreaming Bound – Kathleen Cheney
    Have you ever wondered how emphatic openness would complicate consent in relationships? Cheney has. That’s one element of the interesting world building in these books. The murder mystery plot in book one is also well done. Book Two is more of a setup for the future book which ends without things being resolved. Hoping for book three soon – looks like its planned publication has already been pushed back a couple of years.

    Zero Sum Game – SL Huang
    I recently reread the original and flipped through the Tor Reissue. Seems like the main change is a substantial decrease in body count, which I can’t argue with. Love these books with a protagonist somewhat reminiscent of Murderbot.

    Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik
    When I describe the characters and events, I realize that its very similar to Uprooted. But I liked this one much more, I suppose its better written?

    Breach – Eliot Peper
    This is the third book in the series set in the near future. The ‘good guys’ try to influence politics by showing politicians the ‘correct’ links on social media, while the bad guys stick to bribes and threats. A creepy possibility, can you make a person fall in love with someone by repeatedly showing them the person’s picture on social media in positive contexts?

    4) A highly successful campaign – Netflix won’t have anything to do with Good Omens.

  18. rcade says I kept seeing so many glowing recommendations of Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers by Filers that it moved to the top of the pile.

    I just finished the book and and can be added to the list of admirers after Xtifr, Kendall, Cora, Mark-kitteh, JJ and Cat Eldridge.

    Here’s my low- to no-spoiler review on GoodReads.

    Your review is spot on about the number of characters being confusing and it’s a minor problem in the first trilogy as well. It’s somewhat better when listening to the audiobooks as the narrator, Angele Masters, does an excellent job of creating distinct voices for each character.

  19. Robert Whitaker Sirignano asks
    Martin Landau. He played Bela Lugosi in ED WOOD.

    Did you forget?

    Looks around to see who he’s talking to… Are you asking me? No. I never list everything a performer has done, just what I find interesting. Y’all then list what you find of interest. I’ve not seen Ed Wood therefore this is not a role that I’d find of interest.

  20. Born June 20, 1913 — Lilian Jackson Braun. Author of The Cat Who… series

    I have to put in a plug for the marvelous narration in the audio versions, performed by George Guidall. He’s one of the best in the business, and he makes these books a lot of fun to listen to.

    (21) Flash mob swordfighting! I love it! 😀

    As for current reading:

    I think I’ve done all the listening-reading I’m going to do for Hugos (I may still re-listen to a few things), though I still have a lot of short stuff to read-read. So in my listening time, I’m currently listening to the second book in Brent Weeks’ Lightbringer series. I’m enjoying it, especially the character Kip. Good character work, interesting magic.

  21. I will add my recommendation to the tacit recommendations already posted. ED WOOD delighted me no end, and gave my sense of wonder a good tickle, and Landau’s Lugosi was a large part of it (though everybody in the cast deserves credit for their total commitment).

    (I salute the great line-up of birthday names Cat brings to my attention every day. Once I got over my ingrained “Oh no! This person just died!” reflex, this became my favorite continuing feature, and one I can never bring myself to skip, no matter what sort of time crunch I’m in at any given moment. The serendipitous nature of the names is often a prod to revisit someone’s output.)

  22. Kip says (I salute the great line-up of birthday names Cat brings to my attention every day. Once I got over my ingrained “Oh no! This person just died!” reflex, this became my favorite continuing feature, and one I can never bring myself to skip, no matter what sort of time crunch I’m in at any given moment. The serendipitous nature of the names is often a prod to revisit someone’s output.)

    Thank you for that. I too have that ‘Oh, no! feeling when putting the listing together especially when an individual is younger than me and I thought they were alive.

    Depending on how many individuals are in the first grouping befor culling, it takes about three hours to do the Birthday list, but that’s usually fine as it’s early morning time when my TBI has woken me up far too early anyways. ( Look it’s three o’clock in the morning!) Jenner, my NP who I see every week, says my brain doesn’t believe in anything that passes for normality anymore so I might get used to it.

    I’m listening to Simon R. Green’s Nightfall which wraps up both his Nightside and Secret History series. It’s a huge novel which I swear crams in every character he’s done including the early Owen Deathstalker. Entertaining if more than slightly incoherent at times.

  23. Aww, (blush.) I’m a contributor!
    @Kat: And slightly incoherent differs from Mr. Green’s normal modus?

  24. 15) Yes, “Poirot” is a funny answer, but fair’s fair – it’s the Teen Tournament.

  25. C.A.Collins And slightly incoherent differs from Mr. Green’s normal modus?

    Good point. It’s worse than usual here. I can actually, even with my brain injury that has short term memory limitations, spot where he contradicts himself in an open and unashamed manner. Reminds of later Heinlein novels that seemed to lacked proper editing.

    There was a post on his website by Green that stated that he had serious kidney disease from really bad diabetes that had he said had gone undiagnosed and he believed that he had not long to live, so he wanted to wrap both these series up. His website archives no longer exist so I can’t point you to that comment.

    So it’s a stone soup with a bit of everything in it. Entertaining but more than a little bit intent on noting everything that’s gone before on both series. Amazingly enough I’m half way through the novel and only one character, minor at that, from either series has been killed so far. All other deaths are essentiallly even less than Red Shirts.

  26. Martin Landau also had a semi-major role in the 2008 film adaptation of Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember, also starring Saoirse Ronan and Tim Robbins, which was unfortunately a disappointment; they built the most amazing set (an underground city) and then showed it only in brief glimpses onscreen.

  27. Jupiter Ascending is the reason I think we need a Glorious Trainwreck subcategory of BDP-LF.

    Must watch it again soon, although I think tonight Dragonslayer is on the agenda.

  28. Joe H. says Must watch it again soon, although I think tonight Dragonslayer is on the agenda.

    I just watched Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse again. I really can’t wait to see the promised all female movie the producers say is forthcoming!

  29. Cat Eldridge said: I just watched Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse again. I really can’t wait to see the promised all female movie the producers say is forthcoming!

    Just hook it to my veins!

  30. Joe H. exclaims excitedly Just hook it to my veins!

    If I remember correctly, there’s that plus the sequel. And a series with Myles as the sequel doesn’t have Myles in it as the sequel focuses on another aspect of the Spider-verse. And there’s talk of a spider-noir film with Nick Cage reprising his role.

    I just purchased a Spider-Gwen figure, one with her hood on, today and I’ve got my eye on a Myles figure I’ll be picking up soon.

  31. @Cat–I’m listening to Simon R. Green’s Nightfall which wraps up both his Nightside and Secret History series. It’s a huge novel which I swear crams in every character he’s done including the early Owen Deathstalker. Entertaining if more than slightly incoherent at times.

    I’ve read the book and not sure if I’d like the audiobook. But I’ve never enjoyed being read to.
    I found it a little forced in a couple of places but also surprised at what happened to some characters. It did seem darker than previous ones.
    But I’ve enjoyed both the Secret History and the Nightside series. Especially the whimsical aspects.

  32. (7) THEY HAD BAD CHEMISTRY. Bizarre and sad.

    (8) HEINLEIN NOVEL MAKES SLOW PROGRESS. Ah, I’ve been searching periodically – but with the wrong title! Thanks for the info.

    (9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS. Re. John Goodman, one of his probably more obscure roles was as the husband in the first episode of “Now and Again” – basically he’s killed by a train and his brain’s put into a studly young bio-engineered body, so pretty much that’s all you see of him (maybe a flashback once more). Very brief role!

    (21) THOSE WACKY KIWIS. LOL, okay, that was silly and weird and fun. 🙂

  33. @Paul Weimer in re. Gladstone’s new book: Yay, good to hear you liked it. I’ve been wanting to read it since I heard him read a sample at World Fantasy.

    @rcade in re. Wagers’s books: One of us. ONE OF US! More seriously, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    @Cat Eldridge: Your mention of Wagers audiobooks got me over to Audible, where I stumbled across her new book coming out next March. It sounds like a new, unrelated series, kinda thriller-action in Earth orbit. I’m not sure it’s my thing, but I like her work, so I’ll try a sample in March.

    @Hugo Listening/Reading: Clark’s novella was pretty good, but I was distracted or something; I wasn’t as into it as I thought I was at first. But I liked the ideas and the story and worldbuilding. The narrator was good, though I felt a little inconsistent in her accent for the protagonist. Now I’m listning to some older Xuya stories from BCS and Clarkesworld (not ones mentioned in the Hugo packet), and OMG they’re depressing! But good. I look forward to listening to and reading more in this universe.

  34. rcade: I kept seeing so many glowing recommendations of Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers by Filers that it moved to the top of the pile. I just finished the book and and can be added to the list of admirers

    Yay! 😀

  35. @Cat Eldridge, @C.A. Collins
    Even though he is incoherent at times, I’ve always enjoyed Simon R. Green’s books a lot, so I must pick up Nightfall.

    @Sophie Jane

    I’ve been avoiding Max Gladstone’s stuff because I found the first couple of Craft Sequence novels annoying – but as one of very few people who enjoyed Jupiter Ascending, this encourages me to give him another chance.

    Same here. I didn’t like the Craft Sequence at all, but I loved both Guardians of the Galaxy and Jupiter Ascending, so this make me willing to give Gladstone another try.

    7) I don’t know who’s right or wrong in this case and it’s very possible that Sherilyn Kenyon is both physically and mentally ill. It’s also possible that her husband is a huge jerk at the very least. But that article is pretty damn condescending and I wonder if it had been as condescending if Sherilyn Kenyon had written a genre other than paranormal romance.

  36. bookworm1398: Dreaming Death and In Dreaming Bound – Kathleen Cheney

    AH! I had no idea a second book had been published, thanks!

    I rated Dreaming Death really highly, which is a big thing coming from someone who much prefers science fiction to fantasy (or perhaps a clear warning, if you’ve disagreed with my other reading preferences 😉 ).

  37. Cora Buhlert says Even though he is incoherent at times, I’ve always enjoyed Simon R. Green’s books a lot, so I must pick up Nightfall.

    It’s certainly worth reading. His new Ishmael Jones series is quite superb, especially by the the third book when he has the story he wants to tell truly in place. It’s quite unique in that the stories he tells so far don’t have any connection whatsoever to the multiverse his other series inhabit.

  38. @Jerry Kaufman: what does it being the Teen Tournament have to do with that Jeopardy error? I was reading Holmes stories before I was out of elementary school; if all they know is the media versions, they should still have some idea of the difference between late-19th-century and post-WWI. (Yes, the average teen may not — but the average teen doesn’t pass the auditions for Jeopardy.)

  39. @Cat Eldridge

    It’s certainly worth reading. His new Ishmael Jones series is quite superb, especially by the the third book when he has the story he wants to tell truly in place. It’s quite unique in that the stories he tells so far don’t have any connection whatsoever to the multiverse his other series inhabit.

    Thanks for the tip. I liked the first two Ishmael Jones books, but I’m way behind on that series.

  40. Cora Buhlert says Thanks for the tip. I liked the first two Ishmael Jones books, but I’m way behind on that series.

    I see on Amazon UK that he’s up to seven novels in that series. Do read them in order as there is a story that develops over the books.

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