Pixel Scroll 6/23/21 Second Stage Lesnerizer

(1) STARTING A STORY. This compelling thread starts here.

(2) BUTLER BIO ON THE WAY. Yesterday’s Oprah Daily acknowledged the author’s birthday with an excerpt from a new biography: “Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler: Excerpt”.

…But the Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author who explored themes of gender fluidity, climate change, authoritarianism, and the rise of Big Pharma is perhaps more widely read now than ever, and that phenomenon is destined to grow with the publication Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler by Ibi Zoboi, due out in January of 2022.

Zoboi, who was a National Book Award finalist for her young adult novel American Street, is not just a Butler devotee, but was mentored by the writer. Now, she has written an ode to her told in poems and prose. Here, Oprah Daily shares an exclusive sneak peak of the forthcoming volume, just in time to say: Happy Birthday Octavia Butler.

(3) THE PLAY’S THE THING. (Except she’s talking about a different play than Hamlet.) Connie Willis shared “Some Midsummer Night’s Dreams for Midsummer Night” on Facebook.

…The first night of our film festival, we watched GET OVER IT, the teen movie with Ben Foster, Kristen Dunst, and Martin Short. Berke, played by Ben Foster, has been dumped by Allison for another guy, so he tries out for the school musical DeFores-Oates (Martin Short) is directing, to try to get her back. He’s helped by Kelly (Kirsten Dunst) who really likes him, but he doesn’t even see her because he’s completely obsessed with getting Hermia back. Sound familiar?

The movie doesn’t do the whole play–there’s no Pyramus and Thisbe and Bottom’s just a walk-on, but there are fairies (including the rapper Sisqo), and a stoned stage crew who double as Puck, and the movie’s surprisingly faithful to the play, except for the ending, when Berke takes things into his own hands. GET OVER IT captures even better than Shakespeare the agony you go through when you’re in love with someone who doesn’t even know you exist.

The second night we watched the 1999 A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM (or as I call it, the Ally McBeal version,) starring Calista Flockhart and Christian Bale, with Kevin Kline as Bottom and Stanley Tucci as Puck. It’s a good movie overall and lots of stuff I loved–the lovers flee to the woods on bicycles, Puck is very funny and as much of an annoyance to his boss Oberon, Michelle Pfeiffer makes a sexy and funny Titania, and Max Wright is beyond wonderful as the reluctant actor dragged into the play at the last minute to be the Man in the Moon, with a cigarette dangling from his lip and a dog getting into the act.

But there are three moments of true genius in the play…

(4) GOODBYE TO AMAZON. Amanda S. Greene continues her step-by-step explanation of everything involved in shifting her books away from the Amazon platform in “Moving Forward or Onward or Whatever” at Mad Genius Club. There are a lot of issues that require thoughtful decisions.

 …I knew when I started it more would be involved than just uploading my books to the various storefronts or 3rd party aggregator. I hadn’t anticipated having to retrain myself to think in ways I haven’t since going exclusively with Amazon. 

Without going into too much detail, I had to look at how to get my books into the various storefronts, which storefronts I wanted to go with, etc. Initially, I decided to upload direct to BN, Kobo and Apple. I’d use Draft2Digital for the rest. I’ve changed my mind. The time saved alone by using D2D for everything is worth the few pennies per sale I pay to D2D to handle things for me. All I have to do is upload a generic ePub of the book, fill in the blanks and they do the rest. 

There is an added benefit of allowing them to handle it. Draft2Digital has a “sister” site called Books2Read. I’ve mentioned the site before but I am really starting to appreciate how powerful of a tool it can be for a writer. For example, here’s the landing page for Witchfire Burning. It shows the cover, gives the description and below lists other books (showing covers) I’ve written. It’s a much more attractive landing page than the product page at Amazon. If you click on the “get it now” button, it will take you to a new page where you can choose which storefront you want to visit (and I need to update it to pull in the Amazon link). 

The great thing about something like this is you can use it as your landing page for the book on your website…. 

(5) WE INTERRUPT THIS KERFUFFLE. Michael Swanwick offered “A Few Quiet Words of Thanks for the People Putting on Discon III” at Flogging Babel.

Yesterday, I reserved my hotel room for Discon III. And that put me in mind of the first and only time I was on a con committee.

This was in the 1970s, before I made my first sale. I’d only been to a few science fiction conventions but I knew the guy in charge of putting on a con whose name I conveniently forget and, doubtless for reasons of fannish politics, he filled the committee with his friends, despite the fact we none of us had any experience at the tasks we were assigned.

Long story, short. I did a terrible job. And I’ve never volunteered to serve again. Because even if everything goes perfectly, your reward for putting on a convention is not getting to experience it.

So I’d like to express my gratitude to the Discon III staff, both present and past. That includes everybody who quit for reasons of principle and everybody who decided to tough it out, also for reasons of principle.

This has been a star-crossed year for the Worldcon. I won’t bother to list all the problems: Acts of God, acts of Man, acts of Fans. We all know them. It must have been maddening to be at the white-hot center of them all.

Which makes this a good time to say: Thank you.

(6) FINE DISTINCTION. And one of John Scalzi’s comments:

(7) VISIT FROM THE DOCTOR. Jo Martin will be a guest at Gallifrey One: Thirty Second to Midnight, to be held in LA in February 2022.

It’s with great pleasure that we can now announce that JO MARTIN will be joining us next February as a confirmed guest, for her very first Doctor Who convention appearance in North America!

Jo Martin became an immediately beloved part of Doctor Who mythology when she appeared as Ruth Clayton in series 12’s “Fugitive of the Judoon” opposite Jodie Whittaker… a woman who was, in fact, a previously unknown earlier incarnation of the Doctor herself!  As the landmark first Doctor of color to be shown in the long-running series, she also appeared in the season finale “The Timeless Children.”…

(8) ONLINE PROMETHEUS AWARDS TO INCLUDE LFS-REASON PANEL. The Libertarian Futurist Society couch plans for their online award ceremony in these terms:

In 2021, LFS members will have a rare opportunity to watch and enjoy the annual Prometheus Awards ceremony and an interesting related panel discussion for free online – without having to register for a Worldcon.

Reason magazine will be the media sponsor of the hour-plus panel discussion, which will immediately follow the online half-hour Prometheus Awards ceremony for Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame). Reason editor Katherine Mangu-Ward and Reason’s book editor Jesse Walker will join LFS leaders, including board president William H. Stoddard, on the hour-plus panel discussion along with, we hope, the 2021 Prometheus Award-winning novelist (tba).

(9) VETERAN COMICS READER. James Bacon was interviewed by Football Comics Podcast Champ/We are United, as hosts Rab and Gull take a little break from all the footie and have a look at War Comics, covering classic titles like Battle, Commando, Victor, Warlord, and many more. “Champ/We Are United Episode 13: War Comics”.

(10) COSPLAY DATING. Yahoo! says “Singles Dress Up as Creatures for Blind Dates” is the premise of Sexy Beasts.

Given the popularity of The Masked Singer, we can ascertain that viewers enjoy watching people dressed up in strange costumes. And given the general state of reality television over the past two decades, we can also conclude that people enjoy watching people go on bizarre dates. Netflix has endeavored to combine these two irrefutable tenets in one convenient package. Thus, we have Sexy Beasts, in which elaborate-prosthetic-laden singles meet for a night of “nonjudgmental” romance. At least that’s how they’re touting it. Take a look at the trailer, which features dolphins, demons, canids, scarecrows, insects, bovines, and a handful of uncategorizables….

(11) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • June 23, 1976 — On this date in 1976, Logan’s Run premiered. It was directed by Michael Anderson and produced by Saud David. The screenplay by David Zelag Goodman is based on the 1967 Logan’s Run novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. It starred Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett, and Peter Ustinov. Though critical reception was at best mixed, it was a box success and is considered to have MGM from financial ruin. It was nominated at SunCon, a year in which no film was awarded a Hugo. Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently give it an excellent sixty-seven percent rating. 

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 23, 1945 — Eileen Gunn, 76. Her story “Coming to Terms” based on her friendship with Avram Davidson won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. Her stories are in Stable Strategies and OthersSteampunk Quartet and Questionable Practices. With L. Timmel Duchamp, she penned The WisCon Chronicles, Vol. 2: Provocative Essays on Feminism, Race, Revolution, and the Future. She’s well stocked at the usual digital suspects. 
  • Born June 23, 1951 — Greg Bear, 70. Blood Music which won both a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award is an amazing read. I’m also very fond of the Songs of Earth and Power duology, The Infinity Concerto and The Serpent Mage, and found his Queen of Angels a fascinating mystery. He’s deeply stocked at the usual suspects. 
  • Born June 23, 1953 — Russell Mulcahy, 68. You’ll likely remember him as directing Highlander, but he was responsible also for Highlander II: The Quickening, but disowned it after the completion-bond company really messed with production. He would later released this film in Highlander II: The Renegade Version. He also directed episodes of The HungerOn The BeachPerversions of Science and Tales from The Crypt
  • Born June 23, 1957 — Frances McDormand, 64. She’s God. Well at least The Voice of God in Good Omens. Which in on Amazon y’all. Her first genre role was in the “Need to Know” episode of Twilight Zone followed shortly thereafter by being Julie Hastings in Sam Raimi’s excellent Dark Man. She’s The Handler in Æon Flux and that’s pretty much everything genre worth noting. 
  • Born June 23, 1963 — Cixin Liu, 58. He’s a winner of a Hugo Award  for The Three-Body Problem and a Locus Award for Death’s End. He also a nine-time recipient of the Galaxy Award, the Chinese State sponsored SFF Awards. Anyone got a clue what’s going on with the alleged Amazon production of The Three-Body Problem as a film? Is it still on? 
  • Born June 23, 1964 — Joss Whedon, 57. I think I first encounter him with the Buffy tv series. And I hold that Angel was far better told. Firefly was a lovely series that ended far too soon. And don’t get me started on the Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Born June 23, 1972 — Selma Blair, 49. Liz Sherman in Hellboy, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army. She voiced the character also in the animated Hellboy: Sword of Storms and Hellboy: Blood and Iron as well. She’s Stevie Wayne in The Fog, a slasher film a few years later and was Cyane on the “Lifeblood” episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. Later on, she’d be Jessica Harris in the “Infestation” episode of Lost in Space. 
  • Born June 23, 2000 — Caitlin Blackwood, 21. She was the young Amelia Pond in these Doctor Who episodes; “The Eleventh Hour”, “The Big Bang”, “Let’s Kill Hitler”, and “The God Complex”, and had a cameo in “The Angels Take Manhattan”.  She’s the cousin of Karen Gillan who plays the adult Pond. No idea how she was cast in the role but it was brilliantly inspired casting!

(13) COMICS SECTION.

  • Tom Gauld’s cartoon for New Scientist.

(14) WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD. CrimeReads excerpts a new history of comic books by Paul S. Hirsch: “The Early, Wild, Exploited, and Sometimes Radical Days of the Comic Book Industry in America”.

The American comic book is inseparable from foreign policy, the great twentieth-century battles between capitalism and totalitarianism, and the political goals of the world’s preeminent military and cultural power. The history of the American comic book is a story of visual culture, commerce, race, and policy. These four fields are analogous to the four colors used to print comic books: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. They lie atop one another, smearing, blending, and bleeding to create a complete image. To separate them is to disassemble a coherent whole and to shatter a picture that in its entirety shows us how culture and diplomacy were entangled during the mid-twentieth century.

THE EARLY YEARS, 1935–1945

The period from 1935 to 1945 was defined by images of darkness and light. The comic industry itself—populated by otherwise unemployable immigrants, racial minorities, and political radicals—emerged from the shadows of the New York publishing world….

(15) BOOK RESURRECTION. “’Most of Australia’s literary heritage is out of print’: the fight to rescue a nation’s lost books” in The Guardian.

…This is the unfortunate fate of most books, even literary prize-winners. In fact, of the 62 books that won Australia’s Miles Franklin Award between 1957 and 2019, 23 are currently not available as ebooks, 40 are not available as audiobooks, and 10 are not available anywhere, in any format whatsoever. They’re officially out of print. This is something that Untapped: The Australian Literary Heritage Project is trying to rectify.

“Untapped is a collaboration between authors, libraries and researchers, and it came about because most of Australia’s literary heritage is out of print. You can’t find it anywhere,” says project lead, Associate Professor Rebecca Giblin from Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne. “Think about it. If so many Miles Franklin winners are out of print, you can imagine how bad availability must be for memoir, and histories, and other local stories.”

Untapped’s mission is to digitise 200 of Australia’s most important lost books, preserving them for future generations and making them available through a national network of libraries. They include books such as Anita Heiss’s I’m Not Racist, But … (2007) and Frank Hardy’s The Unlucky Australians (1968). “One exciting thing is that all these books will now be part of the National E-deposit scheme,” Giblin says, referring to the legal requirement for all publishers to provide copies of published works to libraries – a framework only recently extended to electronic publishing. “This means they’ll be preserved forever. These books will now be around as long as we have libraries.”

(16) WEIR Q&A. Suspense Radio, a thriller podcast, interviews Andy Weir: “LaunchpadOne: Interview with Andy Weir”.

Andy Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.

(17) ROY HOWARD GOH SPEECH. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] The Cromcast has a recording of Roy Thomas’ guest of honor speech at the 2021 Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains. Lots of interesting stuff about working at Marvel in the 1960s and 1970s, not just Conan related, though there is a lot of that, too. “Howard Days 2021 – When Conan Went Public!”

(18) BUILDING UP THEIR INVENTORY. James Davis Nicoll knows where the cargo in their holds came from — “Risky Business: Five Books About Interplanetary Trade” at Tor.com.

Humans have, starting in prehistoric times (with obsidian, red ochre, etc.), established vast trade networks that cross mountains, deserts, and oceans. Presumably, this will be true in the future as well, even as humanity expands out into SPAAACE. While there are reasons why larger concerns will tend to dominate, the little guys will often provide more engaging narratives. Thus, these five heartwarming tales of working traders enthusiastically engaging in commerce among the stars…

The Trouble Twisters by Poul Anderson (1966)

Hyperdrive gave humans the stars…also vast fortunes to Polesotechnic League merchant princes like Nicolas van Rijn. Great men cannot be everywhere, however, which is why this collection of short pieces focuses not on van Rijn but his employee, David Falkayn (don’t worry! David eventually gets into management by marrying the boss’s beautiful daughter). Whether upending religious prohibitions, obtaining state secrets, or intervening in bitter ethnic strife, Falkayn and his co-workers always find the solution that delivers profit.

Long after the events in this book, Falkayn would become disenchanted with the League’s conscience-blind focus on immediate profits. This would have regrettable implications for Falkayn’s relationship with van Rijn, but without actually saving the League or humanity from the consequences of the League’s short-sighted policies. But at least they generated lots of profit for the shareholders before the League-armed space barbarians descended from the skies….

(19) SPIDER-MAN BEYOND. A Marvel press release tells me – “Stay tuned tomorrow for information on this exciting new Amazing Spider-Man era from Kelly Thompson, Saladin Ahmed, Cody Ziglar, Patrick Gleason, and Zeb Wells!”

(20) MARVEL MARKETING. Did that previous item come from this guy? This video from Screen Rant, which dropped today, features Ryan George as master marketer Normantula McMan, who says, “I get butts in seats.  I influence butts in ways you can’t imagine.”  And McMan knows butts, because his grandpa came up with the idea that four out of five doctors recommended a particular smoke!

(21) ASTRONAUTS TO EXPERIENCE TIDE EFEFCT. Yep, here’s the science entry in today’s Scroll courtesy of the AP: “Dirty laundry in space? NASA, Tide tackle cleaning challenge”. It turns out there’s a simple reason why the International Space Station smells like an old gym sock.

How do astronauts do laundry in space? They don’t.

They wear their underwear, gym clothes and everything else until they can’t take the filth and stink anymore, then junk them.

NASA wants to change that — if not at the International Space Station, then the moon and Mars — and stop throwing away tons of dirty clothes every year, stuffing them in the trash to burn up in the atmosphere aboard discarded cargo ships. So it’s teamed up with Procter & Gamble Co. to figure out how best to clean astronauts’ clothes in space so they can be reused for months or even years, just like on Earth.

The Cincinnati company announced Tuesday that it will send a pair of Tide detergent and stain removal experiments to the space station later this year and next, all part of the galactic battle against soiled and sweaty clothes….

(22) RETURN TO SENDER. Yahoo! draws our attention to a remarkable working model: “Fan-Made Captain America Shield Actually Bounces Back”.

…We have to give big props to the YouTuber here. Unlike other “make your own Cap shield” videos, he didn’t go the drone route. Which is kind of cheating. The MCU shield bounces after all, it doesn’t fly. According to their own description, the shield they made was created with carbon fiber with a fiberglass ring, to provide bounce while keeping maximum strength. The shield also magnetically connects to the user’s wrist, and can be thrown overhand just like Cap. We think the final results are pretty darn impressive….

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Hampus Eckerman, Cora Buhlert, James Davis Nicoll, Olav Rokne, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Michael Toman, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

48 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/23/21 Second Stage Lesnerizer

  1. Second Stage Lesnerizer! It’s Over 9000!

    (too much crossing the streams?)

    I can’t fathom why the Hugo voters voted No Award over Logan’s Run.

    1) this is great. It really shows the power of listening to a story and how the rhythms are universal and yet not.

  2. Paul Weimer says I can’t fathom why the Hugo voters voted No Award over Logan’s Run.

    Indeed. The other films that year were Carrie, The Man Who Fell to Earth and Futureworld, so it would’ve been the favorite in my viewpoint to win the Hugo. It’s odd that they voted No Award that year.

  3. I think it was Mike who explained to me awhile back that by the time everyone was voting everyone had just seen Star Wars, at which point the finalists seemed a little… less than exciting.

  4. Stressing out badly for no reason. Well, except that I’m stranded in 5550, with no dog, no cat, and not sure there are any here.

  5. Meredith says I think it was Mike who explained to me awhile back that by the time everyone was voting everyone had just seen Star Wars, at which point the finalists seemed a little… less than exciting.

    Ok but they nominated those films. So everybody decided that didn’t like them after doing so? And Star Wars came out in 1977, so why wasn’t it nominated? Did it just miss the nomination deadline?

  6. @Cat Eldridge

    Star Wars wasn’t eligible until the year after. As I understood it, the timeline went

    People watch 1976 films
    People nominate 1976 films for 1977 Hugos
    Star Wars comes out in 1977 and everyone watches it
    People vote on 1976 films for 1977 Hugo and select No Award

    So they hadn’t seen it before nominating but had seen it before voting.

    ETA: (But Star Wars did win the next year.)

  7. Cat Eldridge: Logan’s Run came out in 1976, and was nominated for a 1977 Hugo.

    Star Wars came out in 1977 and won a 1978 Hugo.

  8. OGH corrects me: Cat Eldridge: Logan’s Run came out in 1976, and was nominated for a 1977 Hugo.

    Star Wars came out in 1977 and won a 1978 Hugo.

    You know by that I’m often chronologically challenged?

  9. (12) Eon blew my mind back in 198?; I ignored everything around me while I was reading it (sorry guys who were around me).

  10. (22) – Wow, that’s a pretty impressive working Cap America shield. First, I really hope he did go get a patent for the first, frisbee-like toy he designed, and second – I hope he licenses his fully designed shield to whoever has the Marvel merch license so the rest of us can get these.

  11. Andrew (not Werdna) says Eon blew my mind back in 198?; I ignored everything around me while I was reading it (sorry guys who were around me).

    Bear far more often that really amazes me. For a delightful romp, I recommend his Dinosaur Summer novel written as a sort of sequel to Doyle’s Lost World novel.

  12. @Cat: I’ll have to give Dinosaur Summer a try. I also remember seeing the graphic version of his “Petra” in Omni, I think.

  13. In my opinion Logan’s Run would have been judged as inferior by voters even before Star Wars was released. The opening-text cheat, where the audience is told something as fact that turns out to be a lie (“…unless reborn in the fiery ritual of carrousel”), would have left a bad taste, even for viewers who hadn’t read the novel first (as I had). And so much of the movie was laughably bad on its own terms. Those of us who recognized the Bang & Olufsen radial-tracking record player mounted on the wall of the laser surgery parlor got an extra laugh.

  14. Andrew (not Werdna) says I’ll have to give Dinosaur Summer a try. I also remember seeing the graphic version of his “Petra” in Omni, I think.

    Right now, it is a buck ninety nine over at the usual places.

  15. (15) I don’t think this is unique to Australia. Most of American literary history is just as inaccessible.

  16. I think Logan’s Run, with its whole “kill everyone over 30” premise, may have been a bit politically fraught at the time, what with the tail end of the whole sixties “youth culture” wars still ongoing. Though I’m honestly not sure which side of that divide it would fall on–if you squint, you can probably see it either way. But in any case, that probably didn’t help its chances.

    I, personally, would not have ranked it above either of Carrie or The Man Who Fell to Earth. Though none of those movies is a particular favorite of mine or anything. I haven’t seen Futureworld.

  17. 21) I’m trying to think of a sci-fi book that addresses this issue. Some far future ones mention material that cleans itself, but mostly clean clothes just appear. The Martian doesn’t mention this either, I wonder if just hanging clothes outside would remove odor like it does on Earth?

  18. A lot of SF books refer to a “recycler” or “refresher”, where crew members put clothes into a sort of laundry chute and later get back either new, perfectly-sized-for-them or freshly-cleaned and folded clothes. And I have a vague memory of reading something not too long ago where one of the scutwork assignments crew members had to do was in what was essentially a spaceship laundry (but with futuristic cleaning methods).

  19. Xtifr: I saw Futureworld again when it played on one of those free online TV channels recently, and the movie still doesn’t look like anything that urgently needed a Hugo award.

    Carrie seemed to me the best-made of the movies that finished behind No Award, but I think horror was a non-starter for some voters then (it was for me, even though I paid to see Carrie when it came out, so it’s not as if I didn’t care for it at all.)

    Ironically, it was reading an article that explained Doctor Who in terms of the horror genre that made it possible for me to love the series, instead of being distracted by the show’s scientific implausibilities.

  20. Heinlein’s extremely early story “Misfit” had a spaceship crew exposing their clothes to vacuum in order to launder them.

  21. @Mike Glyer: Oh yeah, I hadn’t thought about the fact that Carrie was horror. Yes, that definitely would have been a factor at the time. (Possibly even for me, though I was a bit too gafiated at the time to be voting. And a bit too still-in-high-school.)

    As for Futureworld, your report is close to what I’ve heard from others–there’s a reason I haven’t seen it. 🙂

    Yes, I think I can definitely see why Noah won.

  22. gottacook on June 23, 2021 at 8:54 pm said:
    “Heinlein’s extremely early story “Misfit” had a spaceship crew exposing their clothes to vacuum in order to launder them.”

    Remembering (misremembering?) this well, it was vomit (resulting from free-fall nausea) that dried instantly in vacuum after which offending dehydrated stomach contents were then just brushed off.

  23. I like Logan’s Run along the same axis as I like Zardoz, but not quite as much. Yes, the opening card is a lie, but it is a lie that is (initially) believed by the protagonist. There are times when lying is the proper thing to do and this is one of them.

    Refresher puts me in mind of ‘fresher, which Heinlein used for, apparently, a sybaritic, high-tech, full service john, and Traveller just uses for a head on a spaceship – and Mongoose Traveller specifies it is a spartan water- and space-efficient affair.

  24. Re: the adaptation of Three Body Problem: Amazon had been interested, but never formally signed up for it. It’s since moved to Netflix, with the Game of Thrones producers. Whether it happens is still up in the air: one of the key folks on the Chinese side was murdered not long ago — it’s unclear what impact that might have.

  25. Andrew Liptak: Re: the adaptation of Three Body Problem

    An adaptation would have to make substantial changes for sexism and political dogma, changes which I can’t see the Chinese government approving… but whether Liu would give a US company rights to do that anyway despite the Chinese government, who knows.

  26. @JJ — The rights are already signed off on: Netflix has already announced it, so that part is squared away. Whether or not it happens is now down to development and how that progresses.

  27. It’s not as obvious now, but at the time I think Carrie, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Logan’s Run would all have felt like outsiders to genre SF in a way that Star Wars, with its heavy use of classic pulp tropes, didn’t. So I’d read the “no award” at least partly as fandom closing ranks against them. But I was a kid at the time and I may just be projecting my own youthful genre snobbery

    (And I’d read Logan’s run as one of those fundamentally conservative works that accidentally end up overlapping with hippy romanticism, like The Prisoner. But I’d have to read the book to be sure and life is probably too short.)

  28. As the lurking Shakespeare enthusiast, I thank you for the link on #3. I’d agree with all of Willis’ assessments of Midsummer, especially Kevin Kline’s perf as Bottom in 1999 & the amazing, bizarre, extravagant 1934 film.

    And it’s fascinating to hear the inside baseball about Logan’s Run. Personally I’d have voted for The Man Who Fell to Earth but I love 1970s European art films as a genre.

  29. I do have a certain amount of affection for Logan’s Run just because it was an SF movie I persuaded my parents to let me watch on TV at a time when I was starved for SF TV & movies. (And then I started watching the short-lived TV series but was incensed because I didn’t know why you’d make a TV series based on a movie and get a bunch of new actors to take over the roles.)

  30. Question.

    There are supposed to be NetGalley links for some titles in the Hugo packet, and I am not finding them. They’re probably in some really obvious place, a place I can’t find with no dog to assist.

    Help?

  31. bookworm1398:
    Mark Watney was smelling when he was picked up (book and movie), so whatever he tried didn’t quite work.

  32. @Liz: I know of two.
    One is is the Lodestar where you can find a link for Raybearer in the fiels that look like ebooks.
    The other is even better hidden on the beginning of Vanished Birds in the Astounding Award. (Don’t know which page)
    If there are more please tell me.

  33. @Bartimaus: If you read Jo Waltons articleseries she is not a big fan of Best Dramatic presentation and would like the votters to let no award win here more often. (Not sure if she feels the same way about today or only about the past)
    So it is unsuprising that she was pro no-awardwin.

  34. @StefanB–Also in the Astounding finalists, for Micaiah Johnson, at the start of The Space Between Worlds, there’s a link to request the complete novel for review.

    Continuing to poke around.

  35. P. M. Miller: “Yes, the opening card is a lie, but it is a lie that is (initially) believed by the protagonist. There are times when lying is the proper thing to do and this is one of them.”

    No, the proper sort of opening-text lie is the one at the beginning of Fargo claiming that the story was true. All those circa-1986 killings (including the two in Minneapolis) surely would have become known to some proportion of the real 1996 movie audience during the intervening years. In effect, the lie is a component of the movie’s very distinctive sense of humor.

    By contrast, the Logan’s Run opening lie text need not have been fed to the audience at all; the characters could simply have discovered that they’d been duped about Carrousel. (I thought at the time, and still do, that the Carrousel effect was created first and the story shaped around it.)

  36. I have a lot of fondness for Logan’s Run, which was the very first movie I saw without an accompanying grownup. I was definitely of an age that would approve of deleting everyone over thirty, plus I loved the sets and the good-looking actors. I was inspired to read the book, which was very different from the movie, and probably counts as my first SF novel that wasn’t required reading like 1984 and Earth Abides. I also remember being alternately crushed and furious at some snide gatekeeper’s review of how horrible Logan’s Run was. And the accompanying realization that I didn’t really dislike science fiction … I just only seemed to like unpopular science fiction.

  37. The Logan Run’s opening card and explanation reminds me of the narration at the beginning of the theatrical version of DARK CITY. (Note that the extended version does away with it completely)

    I read the book before seeing the movie–although the version of the book I had was a paperback that had images from the film. I wanted to see the film, thereafter but it was a few years until I did.

  38. I first saw Logan’s Run sometime in the mid to late 1980s, when it was the “Wunschfilm” of the week, where German TV audiences could call in to vote for one of two movies on offer which would then run on a Saturday night in summer. I’m not sure if I called in, but I was so happy that Logan’s Run won over whatever the other film was, because here was a proper science fiction film.

    I enjoyed it, too, in spite of my parents keeping up a steady background noise about how awful the film was and why couldn’t we change the channel? I suspected, quite rightly, that the reason they hated the film was because in the world of Logan’s Run, they’d have been dead.

    The TV station also caught flak for airing Logan’s Run in a prominent prime time slot, because the film was deemed overly violent and ageist, plus it violated human disgnity. I guess someone did not get the point.

    As an adult, I still have a soft spot for Logan’s Run, though I see its flaws. But it still looks good, probably my favourite of the early to mid 1970s string of dystopian SF movies. I’ve actually stayed at one of the filming locations, the Hyatt Regency in Houston.

    Carrie is probably the best of the 1977 Best Dramatic Presentation finalists and still holds up well. Futureworld is okay and I remember liking it quite a bit, when I first saw it around the same time I saw Logan’s Run. I have seen The Man Who Fell to Earth, but I remember very little about it. I didn’t much care for it, but then I was probably too young to appreciate it.

    None of these four would have been unworthy Hugo winners IMO. It’s also not their fault that none of them were Star Wars, which would go on to win the following year.

    But frankly, I find most of the “No Awards” in the Best Dramatic Presentation category baffling, because there usually was at least one or two worthy movies. Ditto for the years when Best Dramatic Presentation was not on the ballot at all, even though there were worthy movies and TV shows around.

  39. Cora Buhlert: I had other things I wanted to quiz veteran fans about when I got interested in fanhistory, so I never made a systematic study of the question, just the same I feel the answer is some people were voting against the existence of the category. Sometimes in those days they outnumbered the people who wanted to vote for a winner. Or even in the Seventies, as college-age fans, and people who watched Star Trek in syndication, joined the ranks of Hugo voters, sometimes if the nominees weren’t strong enough there still wouldn’t be sufficient support to push a winner to the top.

  40. What I remember of Logan’s Run is that both Michael York and Jenny Agutter were quite beautiful and that Peter Ustinov was (as usual) a hoot. As SF, though, I thought it pretty dumb. I’d read the book, because I read nearly everything that came out in the ’60s–its dumbness followed perfectly predictable paths.

  41. Daniel Dern observed:

    Being a 2nd Stage Lesnerizer is, of course, nothing to sneeze at.

    But being a 3rd Stage Lesnerizer really gets you into orbit.

    Sero sed serio (stalk)

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