Pixel Scroll 6/4/20 You Put The File In The Pixel Scroll And Drank It All Up? And Pinged The Glyer And Woke Him Up?

(1) ANOTHER AGENCY MELTDOWN. After Marisa Corvisiero’s tweet provoked several agents to resign from her agency — Corvisiero fired the rest. Book & Film Globe supplies the background:

Literary Twitter has responded in all manner of ways to the death of George Floyd and to the subsequent nationwide outrage. Anti-racist book lists abound, black-owned bookstores get great press, and people continue to call out the publishing industry for racism. Most recent is Marisa Corvisiero, founder and agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency, an NYC-based boutique agency whose clients include Maze Runner author James Dashner, who publisher Penguin Randomhouse dropped in 2018 over allegations of sexual misconduct.

“Make your point, take a stand, and don’t hurt other people or damage property in the process,” said Corvisiero yesterday in a now-deleted tweet. “No violence is acceptable ever. The whole point is to be heard and seen to help make things better.”

In response to this statement and to the agency’s representation of Dashner, many members of Corvisiero’s staff resigned this week. And if things ended there, this wouldn’t be news. Instead, Corvisiero doubled down by firing her remaining staffers. 

Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware tweeted a screencap of Corvisiero’s message telling her agents they were fired:

Here are some tweets from the agents who resigned.

Erik Thurman is assembling a “List of Former Clients of Corvisiero Literary Agency with Orphaned Work” (Google Docs).

Due to facing criticism from tweets sent out by the owner of CLA, many clients discovered that their literary agents were fired en masse and now have their livelihoods thrown in disarray during a pandemic. This directory is meant for literary agents and editors to help ease the blow and economic hardship this has placed on these writers by finding them home for new work.

(2) HUGO VOTER PACKET TABLE OF CONTENTS. Laura’s Library has made a list of what’s in the “2020 Hugo Voters Packet”. There are also detailed comments citing problems with some documents.

In the following breakdown, I have put an asterisk (*) next to the file types where I noticed formatting issues.  In most cases, these issues only affect the EPUB and MOBI formats, and the PDF version of the same book looks fine….

(3) SFWA ANNOUNCES A STRATEGY. From the SFWA Blog: “A Statement from SFWA on Black Lives Matter and Protests”.

…We support Black Lives Matter and the protesters who are seeking justice for centuries of white supremacy and police brutality.

We acknowledge that SFWA has historically ignored and, in too many instances, reinforced the injustices, systemic barriers, and unaddressed racism, particularly toward Black people, that have contributed to this moment. We have allowed those who spoke for change in SFWA to be drowned out by those who clung to the status quo. We have a responsibility to admit our failings and to continually commit to dismantling these oppressive and harmful systems, both within this organization and ourselves.

These are the actions that SFWA is taking as first steps to clean our own house and work towards making our community safer for Black writers.

  • For the month of June, 100% of registrations for the 2020 Nebula Convention Online content will go directly to the Carl Brandon Society and the Black Speculative Fiction Society.
  • We are creating a matching program for the 2020 Nebula Convention Online so that each registration purchased this month creates a seat for a Black writer.
  • For the next year, we are waiving fees for SFWA membership for Black writers.
  • We are waiving registration fees for next year’s Nebula conference attendance for Black writers.
  • We are creating a travel fund to help defer the costs of Black writers attending the Nebula conference.
  • We are committing to reaching out to Black-led science fiction and fantasy organizations about applying for the additional grant money that we have available.

(4) NYT ON CHARLIE LIPPINCOTT. The New York Times tribute went up yesterday: “Charles Lippincott, Who Hyped ‘Star Wars,’ Is Dead at 80”.

(5) FINANCIAL TIMES NOTES CHINESE WORLDCON BID. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Behind a paywall in the May 30 Financial Times, Jing Tsu, John M Schiff professor of East Asian languages and literatures at Yale University, discusses the Chinese 2023 Worldcon bid as part of her survey of current Chinese sf.

…Meanwhile, even as they opened their doors, the organisers of the Chengdu gathering (AsiaCon) were also thinking, on a more global scale, eyeing a bid to host the World Science Fiction Convention in 2023.  For those outside the sci-fi world, ‘Worldcon’–an annual affair that has been running for over 80 years and draws from a mainly North American and European fan base of sci-fi enthusiasts–might not mean very much.

But for those in the know, it is, according to Yao Haijun, editor of Chengdu-based magazine Science Fiction World, which helped organise AsiaCon, like bidding to host the Olympics.  Landing WorldCon would confirm China’s position as a global centre in sci-fi. not just an ordinary participant.  ‘It would be a true landmark,’ says Han Song, a widely respected voice in the Chinese science-fiction world, ‘to bring writers and fans from disparate worlds together to learn and share one another’s visions for the future.’

A concerted effort is now under way to secure the necessary support among the 6,000 or so WorldCon fan members who will vote on the location for the 2023 event.  The Chinese sci-fi community has been diligently lobbying for the idea, dispatching representatives to staff booths at recent world conventions in London, Helsinki, San Jose, and Dublin to spread the slogan of Chengdu–‘Panda Wants a WorldCon.’

As such, China’s sci-fi scene is emerging as an unexpected element in a broader initiative of cultural diplomacy aimed at projecting a positive and engaging impression of the country abroad.  Yet unlike Beijing’s ‘panda’ or ‘ping-pong’ initiatives of the past, it is driven by popular grassroots enthusiasm–which has made Chinese officials sit up and take notice.

Tsu interviewed Discon III co-chair Bill Lawhorn, who said he visited Chengdu and found a “city pushing to be on the cutting edge.’

(6) BILL AND TED GREET THE GRADS. John Scalzi could tell you where San Dimas is – he lived there once. (Actually, so did I.) “Bill & Ted: Reeves And Winter Deliver A Short (But Most Excellent) Address To The Class Of 2020” at SYFY Wire.

Last night, the San Dimas High School seniors graduated in a virtual ceremony attended by the school’s most famous alumni: Bill Preston and Ted Logan, the time-traveling, air guitar-playing heroes of the Bill & Ted movies. Appearing in a short video message, actors Keanu Reeves (Ted) and Alex Winter (Bill) offered their hearty congratulations to the class of 2020.

“We know that it’s a tough time right now and that you’re having to do this virtual graduation,” Winter said. “We wanna wish you the best of luck moving forward.”

“Well done,” added Reeves.

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • June 4, 1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan premiered. Directed by Nicholas Meyer and produced by Robert Sallin, the screenplay was by Jack B. Sowards off a story by Harve Bennett and Jack B. Sowards. It starred the entire original Trek cast plus guest stars of Bibi Besch, Merritt Butrick, Paul Winfield, Kirstie Alley and Ricardo Montalbán. Gene Roddenberry was not involved in its production. It was a box office success and critics really, really liked it. It’s generally considered the best of all the Trek films ever produced. It would finish second to Bladerunner at ConStellation for Best Dramatic Presentation. Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it a stellar 90% rating. 

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born June 4, 1894 – Patricia Lynch.  Interwove Irish rural life and fantasy.  In The Turf-Cutter’s Donkey (here’s a Jack Yeats illustration) and 3 sequels, children meet the Salmon of Knowledge and Fionn mac Cumhaill (pronounced roughly “fin m’cool”), are replaced by mischievous changelings, and like that; in Brogeen of the Stepping Stones and 11 sequels the leprechaun Brogeen keeps running away from home, with his elephant companion Trud.  Fifty novels, two hundred shorter stories.  (Died 1972) [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1897 Robert J. Hogan. Starting in 1933 and lasting for 115 issues, his G-8 and His Battle Aces (both the name of the superhero here and the pulp itself), battled mad scientists, vampires, weirdly advanced technology and the like. He also wrote The Secret 6: The Complete Adventures, more pulp adventures which had an even stronger SF bent. The latter is available at the usual digital suspects for a very reasonable price. (Died 1963.) (CE) 
  • Born June 4, 1916 – Ozma Baum Mantele.  First granddaughter of L. Frank Baum (1856-1919).  The Lost Princess of Oz was dedicated to her.  It was one of her last wishes that Baum’s manuscript of his last Oz book (Glinda of Oz) be donated to the Library of Congress; done, the year after her death.  “Memories of My Grandmother Baum”, “Ozcot, My Second Home”, and “Fairy Tales Can Come True If You’re Young At Heart” in The Baum Bugle; see also its “Baum Family Questionnaire”.  (Died 1999) [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1930 – Steve Schultheis.  Coined “Beastley’s on the Bayou” when Beatley’s hotel on Indian Lake, Ohio, wouldn’t admit African-American Bev Clark to Midwestcon IV.  Wrote (with Virginia Schultheis) the song “Captain Future Meets Gilbert & Sullivan”.  Retrieved the 15th Worldcon’s gavel for the Goon Defective Agency, in what proved to be as true to life as the Agency itself (John Berry wrote up the Agency, satirizing himself as Goon Bleary).  Instrumental in composing the World Science Fiction Society constitution adopted by the 21st Worldcon.  [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1936 Bruce Dern, 84. Here for Silent Running, a film I’d completely forgotten I’d seen until compiling this Birthday but which I thought was awesome when I saw in-theatre. It’s the directorial debut of Douglas Trumbull who went on to much more famous projects. He also shows up in a number of other genre films such as The Incredible 2-Headed TransplantThe HauntingThe Astronaut Farmer and Freaks. Needless to say, you’ll find him on series such as The Outer LimitsAlfred Hitchcock Presents and Land of the Giants. (CE)
  • Born June 4, 1951 Wendi Pini, 69. With husband Richard, responsible for Elfquest which won them a BalrogOver the years Elfquest has been self-published by the Pinis through their own company Warp Graphics, then Marvel Comics, then the Pinis again, more recently DC Comics and then Dark Horse Comics. Everything prior to 2013 is free online. Be prepared to spend hours lost in great reading! (CE)
  • Born June 4, 1953 – Pam Fremon, F.N.  Chaired two Boskones; worked on 47th, 62nd, 66th Worldcons (maybe more if I remembered better).  Elected a Fellow of NESFA (New England SF Ass’n; for service).  Here’s a photo of some watermelon art for the Orlando in 2001 Worldcon bid.  (Died 2012) [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1960 Kristine Kathryn Rusch, 60. If you’ve not discovered the amazements of her Diving Universe series, you’re in for a treat — it’s that good. Her Retrieval Artist series is one that can be read in no particular order so is a great deal of fun no matter where you start. Other than those two series, I’ve not read deeply of her, so recommendations are welcome. Oh, and she won the Astounding Award for Best New Writer for “Sing”. Her Website is here; don’t miss her appreciation of A.J. Budrys.  (CE)
  • Born June 4, 1969 – Ralph Voltz.  German-born illustrator now of North Carolina.  Four hundred fifty covers, and much else, in and out of our field.  Here is This Is My Funniesthere is The Nakk and the Cat (Nakks are in the Perry Rhodan universe); here is “Star Wars” on Trial.  [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1972 Joe Hill, 48. I’ve met him once or twice down the years as he shows up here in Portland for signings at both book shops and comic shops. Nice guy like his father. Actually, the whole family is amazingly nice. Locke & Key is a superb graphic novel series and I’m fond of all of his short stories, particularly those collected in 20th Century Ghosts. I’ve got Full Throttle, his latest collection in my digital reading pile. I notice that though he’s not yet won a Hugo, he’s won a fistful of Stokers, many BFAs, a World Fantasy Award and even an International Horror Guild Award.  (CE)
  • Born June 4, 1975 Angelina Jolie, 45. I really liked her two Tomb Raider films and thought Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was a really cool film with her role quite magnificent. I never saw her early Cyborg 2 undertaking but think Hackers and her role as Kate “Acid Burn” Libby was rather good. I’ve not seen, nor have any desire to see, her two Maleficent films. (CE)
  • Born June 4, 1984 – Xia Jia.  A dozen short stories so far; under the name by which she earned a Ph.D. she is a university lecturer in China.  In “The Demon-Enslaving Flask” James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) meets a demon, with footnotes. “A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight” shows what at first seems a haunted keep, as in millennia of Chinese stories, but proves to be a decayed far-future theme park with cyborgs.  Translated into Czech, English, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Romanian, Spanish.  [JH]

(9) COMICS SECTION.

(10) NOT STAR VEHICLES. ScreenRant assures you these are “The 10 Most Hilariously Bad Sci-Fi Vehicles In Movies, Ranked”.

But not all sci-fi vehicles are fondly remembered like the USS Enterprise or Mad Max’s Interceptor. Some of these haven’t aged well while others are just hilariously lame in general. In this list, we will rank 10 such hilariously bad vehicles in sci-fi films….

8. Total Recall – Johnny Cab

Total Recall‘s chaotic future seems to be annoying on purpose with all sorts of flashy, over-the-top technology, and space creatures. No wonder that leading man Arnold Schwarzenneger spends most of the movie in a cranky mood. The cherry on the top is the Johnny Cab.

Johnny Cabs are the taxis of the year 2084 that are driven by robotic drivers that look more like a creepy human-size ventriloquist dummy. And these drivers can be really annoying, making small talk with the passengers at every instance. Further, the cabs are pretty grotesque in themselves. In fact, the Tesla trucks pretty much look like Johnny Cabs!

(11) GRANDMA THEFT AUTO. Behind a paywall in The Week:

“A 90-year-old Japanese woman has developed an online following for her skill in playing video games. Hamako Mori, known as the ‘Gaming Grandma,’ said she acquired her passion for gaming 39 years ago while watching children play.  ‘It looked like so much fun,’ she said, adding it wasn’t ‘fair if only children’ got to play. Today, 150,000 YouTube followers log in to watch her play her favorite game:  the violent Grand Theft Auto 5, where a carjacker kills people with an assortment of weapons.  ‘I am truly enjoying my life,’ she said.  ‘It’s rosy.'” 

(12) THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE. Camestros Felapton explained the true origins of his prowess.

(13) DUDS ON JEOPARDY! [Item by Andrew Porter.] First day of the Teacher’s Tournament Final on Jeopardy!

Not science fiction or fantasy, but still stunningly wrong questions.

Answer: On this man’s death in a 1935 motorcycle accident, Churchill said, his “pace of life was faster & more intense than the ordinary.”

All three got it wrong:

  • “Who is Chamberlain?”
  • “Who is Astin-Martin?”
  • “Who is Davidson?”

Correct question: “Who is T.E. Lawrence?”

I am pondering a world in which Neville Chamberlain died in a motorcycle accident — who knew he had it in him? — and never got to be PM, or met Herr Hitler, or wave that piece of paper in the air….

(14) BANK HOLIDAY ENDS. BBC is there when “Jodrell Bank Observatory ‘switched on’ after longest shutdown”.

The Jodrell Bank Observatory is being “switched back on” after the longest shutdown in its history.

The first set of telescopes have resumed operations at the Cheshire site after it was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, said a spokesman.

During lockdown, staffing at the University of Manchester facility was cut from about 60 to a “skeleton crew”.

Scientists have dubbed the switch-on the biggest “reboot” in the history of astrophysics.

Research, including a study into how planets form around stars, has continued at home since on-site research ended on 17 March.

The world famous site will remain closed to visitors until the government changes its guidelines on visiting public places such as museums, said a spokesman.

‘Positive signal’


Jodrell Bank, which opened in 1957, is known as the birthplace of radio astronomy and is one of the earliest radio telescopes in the world.

(15) CRUNCHABLY SOFT. Oor Wombat risks all for science. And cleans up after. Thread starts here.

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Ryan George’s “If The News Was A Person.”

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

41 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/4/20 You Put The File In The Pixel Scroll And Drank It All Up? And Pinged The Glyer And Woke Him Up?

  1. (16) His “First Guy to Ever” series of videos are amusing as well (check out “First Guy to Run a Restaurant” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy1vDjxwbpM)

    (3) Heartened by SFWA’s response.

    (5) Worldcon has been running for 90 years? I wish to appertain beverage from the Financial Times…

  2. Andrew notes Worldcon has been running for 90 years? I wish to appertain beverage from the Financial Times…

    Well they only rounded up by nine years which isn’t that much.

  3. @Cat: True. The back cover of my copy of Niven’s “Tales of Known Space” says “The next 10,000 years” – the book ends with a story in the year 3101. So rounding 1100 years or so up to 10,000.

    P.S. Regarding @3. The Arcanist weekly web story is simply “I Can’t Breathe” https://thearcanist.io/i-cant-breathe/

  4. Andrew says True. The back cover of my copy of Niven’s “Tales of Known Space” says “The next 10,000 years” – the book ends with a story in the year 3101. So rounding 1100 years or so up to 10,000.

    Huh. I hadn’t noticed that and I had a first paper edition of it. Everyone rounds up or down — it’s human nature. We don’t do well with precise numbers most of the time.

  5. @8 (Schultheis): Captain Future Meets Gilbert and Sullivan is a musical, not just a song. I didn’t see it — I’d been in town half a year at that point but I was building a show that weekend (as I dodged student riots), but certain people were hung over from it for several years after the Boskone production.

    @8 (Fremon): she’s in the far left/background of the linked photo. A wonderful person who kept her head when all about her were losing theirs — an example of Midwest Nice in the sometimes abrasive world of northeast fandom.

    edit: Fifthed again! (since we’re making G&S references)

    @15: and I thought 1960’s European TP was bad….

  6. Andrew: Thanks for catching that. I looked at the article and the FT does say Worldcon is “over 80 years” old, not 90. This was a mistake I made in typing it.

  7. Re. Kristine Rusch: Diving Universe and Retrieval Artist are my favorites of her works, but The Fey series was pretty good–leave it to a former editor to carefully avoid the obvious cliches–and I liked Traitors and Alien Influences as well.

  8. Martin Wooster: I threw in a vowel for American for you while I was at it.

  9. (7) A few months after I’d first seen Wrath of Khan on opening day, probably in the late summer of 1982, I happened to drive by the (since closed) Esquire theater in north Philadelphia, at the corner of Broad and Olney. The only names accompanying Star Trek II on the marquee – I wish I’d taken a photo – were those of Paul Winfield and Bibi Besch.

    Readers of Leonard Maltin’s (sadly defunct) annual movie guide were routinely asked to send in corrections/clarifications, and around 1990 I successfully got him or his staff to add “Originally released without the ‘II’ in its title.” (Their editorial philosophy included adhering to the title on the film prints, no matter what the advertising said.)

  10. John Hertz asks me to forward this reply:

    @Chip Hitchcock

    Thanks for catching my error about Captain Future Meets Gilbert & Sullivan.

  11. (6) Another thing I have in common with OGH! I also lived in San Dimas for a while. Early 60’s. I went to Holy Name of Mary school for about half of fourth grade and all of fifth grade.

  12. Bruce Dern plays a major character in 2018’s FREAKS, a nicely done Canadian SF film in a near-future where people with ultrahuman abilities are hunted by the government.

    (I found out about the film from one of Adam-Troy Castro’s “Movie Still of the Day” posts on Twitter, linking to brief comments or reviews of a wide variety of films, some classic, some obscure. It’s a good reason to follow ATC there.)

    10) Surprised the “Landmaster” from DAMNATION ALLEY wasn’t listed among the worst sci-fi cars. But I suppose that’s a movie best forgotten as completely as possible.

  13. @Bruce Arthurs: a lot of people seem to think that the Landmaster was the best thing–possibly the only good thing–from Damnation Alley. And honestly, I’m not sure they’re wrong. Anyway, it appears to have a bit of a cult following. It also reportedly has a cameo in the not-at-all bad, but very weird low-budget movie, The Wizard of Speed and Time. Among other things.

  14. Maybe the hapless Jeopardy contestant who named “Chamberlain” meant Neville’s brother Austen (former Foreign Secretary and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize), who did indeed die, of old age, a couple years later, so history would not have been horribly mangled if he’d died on a motorcycle a couple years earlier, though the thought of the stiff and formal Austen Chamberlain riding a motorcycle is even more amusing than the thought of Neville doing it.

  15. 14) As a former Bell System guy, I have to point out that if radio astronomy was born at Jodrell Bank in the 1950s, it was conceived at Holmdel in the 1930s.

  16. Xtifr saysa lot of people seem to think that the Landmaster was the best thing–possibly the only good thing–from Damnation Alley. And honestly, I’m not sure they’re wrong. Anyway, it appears to have a bit of a cult following. It also reportedly has a cameo in the not-at-all bad, but very weird low-budget movie, The Wizard of Speed and Time. Among other things.

    It shows up about seventeen minutes parked alongside a road according to a site devoted to that vehicle. Last I heard the actual vehicle was in Las Vegas.

    The film itself is just plain awful but then I wouldn’t call that novel one of his better efforts. I’ve read it once a long time ago and have no desire to dpo so again; the film itself I’ve deliberately not seen.

  17. Cat Eldridge: In the early 80s, when I used to commute to Hollywood on the 101 freeway, you could see the vehicle from Damnation Alley parked in a storage yard near the Cahuenga Pass. I don’t know what company owned the yard. They presumably were showing it off, even if it was left out in the open.

  18. I always preferred the way Zelazny described the armored vehicle in the story as resembling (iirc) as a low-slung thing more resembling a giant cockroach than a standard vehicle, and Jack Gaughan’s interior illos for the story’s appearance in Galaxy magazine. Couldn’t find an image of the actual interiors, but I believe the cover for the Index To The Science Fiction Magazines 1968 reused one of Gaughan’s illustrations.

  19. It seems I missed this scroll.

    I’m not doing well today. Dropping things. Looking at what people typed, wondering why they used the wrong word, looking again and seeing that they didn’t. I just read the wrong word.

    If radioastronomy was born in 1957, radioastronomy and I share a birth year. No idea why this seems significant to me at the moment. Remember: not functioning well.

    Reading the Hugo finalists. Enjoying things I wouldn’t have expected to.

  20. @Martin Wooster: No problem. Glad I saw your note before I reported FT to David Langford.

    @Lis: Hope you feel better soon.

  21. @Lis —

    If radioastronomy was born in 1957, radioastronomy and I share a birth year. No idea why this seems significant to me at the moment. Remember: not functioning well.

    Things that happen in our birth year are always significant, because, of course, we are each the center of the universe. 😉

    Hope you feel more functional by tomorrow!

  22. @Andrew: Thanks. Without burdening anyone with TMI, this is familiar, enough so that I have a decent idea how long it will last–and expect it to recur from time to time while we have a global pandemic, and/or widespread civil unrest.

    It’s my body’s preferred method of responding to stress, settled upon when I was a young child.

  23. I have to admit I didn’t spring for the supporting membership this year, but I did just finish Memory Called Empire and if I were going to be voting, it’d be very high on my ballot.

  24. Joe H. says I have to admit I didn’t spring for the supporting membership this year, but I did just finish Memory Called Empire and if I were going to be voting, it’d be very high on my ballot

    I did spring for a full attending virtual membership and right now A Memory Called Empire is very likely to be my Best Novel.

    I’m really having a lot of fun going through the membership packet. Enough so, that I’m quite likely to do it again next year by buying a me,bership. It’d be nice post-pandemic if they could figure a way to keep streaming WorldCon.

  25. Just a quick note: Jing Tsu is not an “Asian language professor at Yale” (that makes her sound like a language teacher). She is a professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture.

  26. David S.: Thanks for the pointer. I have changed the reference to follow the way the professor self-identifies in the Financial Times: “John M Schiff professor of East Asian languages and literatures at Yale University”

  27. Count me among those impressed by Memory. I thought it was like a Cherryh book but not as disorientating.

  28. Patrick Morris Miller: Count me among those impressed by Memory. I thought it was like a Cherryh book but not as disorientating.

    I loved A Memory Called Empire and it’s first on my Hugo ballot. I only started reading Cherryh’s Foreigner series afterward, and you’re right, Memory is very much its spiritual successor. I’m currently waiting for Foreigner Book 7 to arrive at the library for me.

  29. JJ says I loved A Memory Called Empire and it’s first on my Hugo ballot. I only started reading Cherryh’s Foreigner series afterward, and you’re right, Memory is very much its spiritual successor. I’m currently waiting for Foreigner Book 7 to arrive at the library for me.

    I’ve not read Cherryh’s Foreigner series.where should I start?

  30. Cat Eldridge: I’ve not read Cherryh’s Foreigner series. where should I start?

    I’m no expert, because I’ve only read the first 6, and it’s up to 20 books now. But I would recommend #1, Foreigner, because it provides all of the basic setup and worldbuilding for the series, which takes place in a solar system which is not the one for which the colony ship was aiming, but in which they end up anyway, having to negotiate a co-existence with the intelligent, advanced species which already lives on the one habitable planet.

  31. I also loved A Memory Called Empire, and it will be high on my ballot, but I think Middlegame is my number one pick. As of now, anyway; I’ve not read all the novels yet….

  32. Cat Eldridge, the Foreigner books are wonderful but intricate and the worldbuilding is complex. If you can manage the time, I’d honestly recommend starting at Foreigner rather than later in the series. There are long slow arcs of character development that makes this series the perfect raison d’etre for a Best Series Hugo….

  33. @Cat Eldridge: I second (third?) the recommendations of @JJ and @Cassie B; Cherryh doesn’t do much recapitulation of what happened in previous books, although we do keep getting bits and pieces of further-backstory to help understand why so-and-so is behaving a certain way now, and events in the later books are direct consequences of earlier books — this is not like a conventional series. One warning: ISFDB does not partition the later books correctly; in terms of what you want to read as close together as possible, there are 5 trilogies followed by two sets of two. (ISFDB doesn’t break down the later sets, but the divisions are clear when you read the books; ISFDB also doesn’t note that #1 (and to some extent #4) feel standalone — until you pick up the next book.) (Yes, the previous adds up to 19; I haven’t seen any clear report as to whether #20 is a standalone or part of a larger set, and as I’ve said previously I hate having to stop a story in the middle.)

    @Cassy B: I entirely agree that Foreigner should be up for Best Series; maybe the way to rules require a break before renomination will give it a chance against flashier work in the 2021 nominations, or later if she keeps going.

  34. Hmm. Overall, I prefer Alliance/Union to Foreigner, and was deeply saddened that A/U didn’t even make the ballot this year. But I’m hoping it will be eligible next year, if the sequel to Alliance Rising comes out.

    On the other hand, Foreigner is more the sort of thing that Best Series was (sort of) intended for: a series where the individual volumes are less likely to win awards, but the overall quality is of the highest rank. A/U has several awards for individual volumes.

  35. @Cat —

    I’ve not read Cherryh’s Foreigner series.where should I start?

    Just to add to what everyone else already said — start at the beginning. BUT I would also add: don’t be put off by the very beginning of the first book if it doesn’t grab you. The opening section put me off in a pretty big way, but once we got over the hump of the prelude, as it were, everything moved along swimmingly. The first book is still my favorite of the series so far (I’ve only read the first three trilogies).

  36. Hmm. I, on the other hand, really liked the first part of the first book, and was somewhat put off when it abruptly changed direction and tone (and slowed way down) about a third of the way through. But I’ll offer similar advice: stick with it. The payoff is very good, even if you don’t care for…one part or another.

    (Me, I wasn’t totally convinced till maybe midway through the second book. But since, I’ve been firmly on the hook.)

  37. Just to back up what @Contrarius said the first time I read Foreigner I bounced quite hard off it (I did finish but it didn’t impress). Some years later I re-read it and thought it was great and have read all the volumes (in paperback) since.

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