Pixel Scroll 6/24/17 The Love of Pixels Is The Root Of All Scrolls

(1) SIXTY MINUTES. Here’s video of what happened during “Seanan McGuire’s Continuum 13 Guest of Honour Hour.”

On Sunday 11th June, 2017, Seanan McGuire hosted a Guest of Honour hour in which she answered questions at Continuum 13. Unfortunately, not every person waited for a microphone to ask their question. Seanan’s answers are still amazing and you can get the context from the answer. Continuum 13 was the 56th Australian National Science Fiction Convention.


(2) MORE CONTINUUM 13 GOODNESS. There was a special cake at the launch party for Seanan McGuire’s Down Among the Sticks and Bones, but since the Wayward Children series it’s part of is not a zombie series, the cake imagery was probably a callout to her Newsflesh series.

(3) OVERHEARD ON THE INTERNET. More McGuire advice.

(4) WORKSHOP HUMOR. Walter Jon Williams posted a photo of the Taos Toolbox participants and speakers posed “Beneath the Sign of the Bear”.

I realized too late that I should have got a photo of us all lying dead at George [R.R. Martin]’s feet, and titled it “The Red Workshop.”

He also quoted Nancy Kress’ notes from the critiques, specifically the funny parts. Here are a few examples:

* “She got off too easy for eating the child.”

* “This could be cool, if I knew what was going on.”

* “If she had proper self-control, she wouldn’t be blue.” (Color, not mood)

* “We’ve got prehistoric parasites living in people’s brains, and volunteers are going ‘Yes!’?”

* How does dodging bullets qualify you as a good bride?”

* “I admired the multi-purposing of the rabbits.”‘

* “If editors are trolls, are publishers dragons?”

(5) EXPANSE AUTHORS AMA. Here’s the link to Reddit’s Ask Me Anything with Expanse writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

“Can you name a story element that NEEDED to change for TV in order for the show to work?”

Miller had to become much more active in the show. Losing the internal monologue of prose always means finding ways to make the same points in a way that a camera can see them.

“An unforeseen change?”

I hadn’t realized how important it was going to be to pull Drummer forward, or how much that was going to pay off.

“A change that met the most resistance from yourselves or the TV writers?”

There’s a moment in the book when Muss explains to Miller that he’s a joke to the other cops. It’s a gut-punch in the books, and we all fought to find a place for it in the show, but it just didn’t fir anywhere.

“A change that you wish had been made in the books if you had the chance to go back?”

Nope. The books are the books and the show is the show. There are some places in the book where I’d make things a little clearer than I think we left them. Why Ashford acts the way he does, what exactly the timeline of Julie Mao was. It’s all in the books, but sometimes I think I’ve made things clear that are still a little smokey.

(6) REVIVAL. If they weren’t about to bring it back, I might never have heard of it: “‘The League of Gentlemen’ is officially returning”.

Cult TV show ‘The League of Gentlemen’ is set to officially return after writer Reece Shearsmith announced that he was working on a script for the warped sitcom’s revival.

The show, which follows the lives of residents in the bizarre village of Royston Vasey, originally aired on BBC 2 between 1999 and 2002, before a full-length film was released in 2005.

Now, the show’s revival has been confirmed, after talk emerged of an anniversary special earlier this year.

(7) TAXONOMY TIME. In “Municipal Fantasy”, Danny Sichel advocates for a subgenre distinct from urban fantasy,

There’s urban, and there’s fantasy… and there’s the space between them. An enforced separation between the modern world – the urban environment – and the magic.*  They’ve developed separately over the years (which is typically shown as leading to a certain degree of stagnation in the magic). The magic is hidden from the science and technology, and so it does not advance while they do.

But what if this weren’t so?

If we undo those justifications… if we assume their opposite… we get fantasy where magic has openly come back into the modern world, or been revealed to the general public to have been here all along. Or, alternately, magic has openly been around long enough that an equivalent to our modern technological society has developed. And, perhaps most importantly, that magic is an issue of public policy.

I propose that this subgenre be called: “MUNICIPAL FANTASY”.

“What’s the difference between ‘municipal’ and ‘urban’?”, you might be wondering. “Don’t they mean essentially the same thing?” And in a way, they do, but synonyms are never exact. They both refer to cities… but ‘urban’ is a general feeling, an environment, a mood. ‘Municipal’, conversely, implies more of a system, with regulations and public services. ‘Urban wildlife’ is raccoons eating your garbage and ‘urban legends’ are just stories you heard about a friend of a friend of a friend, but “municipal wildlife” feels like the raccoons are only eating the garbage because it’s their job, and “municipal legends” feels the story won’t be told outside city limits.


  • June 24, 1983 Twilight Zone – The Movie premiered theatrically.
  • June 24, 1987 Spaceballs opened in theatres.
  • June 24, 1997 — U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier.

(9) I SEE BY YOUR OUTFIT. The four-minute mile. The twelve-minute spacewalk. Records are made to be broken — “600 students dress as Harry Potter to celebrate 20th anniversary of ‘The Sorcerer’s Stone'”

A group of more than 600 students gathered in one place and dressed as Harry Potter to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first book in the series.

England book publishers Bloomsbury Books shared a photo of the hundreds of students as they set the Guinness World Record for most people dressed as Harry Potter in one gathering in celebration of the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.


(10) COLD FACTS. Space.com’s article “Pew Pew Pew! Why Scientists Are Fired Up About Futuristic Space Lasers” is most excited about the peaceful use of lasers in satellites to monitor vast areas of the Earth.

Another NASA mission using lasers to peer at Earth is named Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2). Scheduled to launch in 2018, ICESat-2 will use an array of six lasers — three paired beams — to track ice-sheet thickness and changes across Greenland and Antarctica, so that scientists can better estimate the risks posed by melting ice due to climate change, panel member Brooke Medley, a research associate with Earth Sciences Remote Sensing at the Goddard Space Flight Center, told the Future Con audience. ICESat-2 is continuing the work started by an earlier mission, ICESat-1, which was the first satellite to deploy lasers from space to measure surface elevation in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, according to NASA. The amount of ice cover in those two regions is enormous: Greenland’s area is about three times the size of Texas, while Antarctica is roughly twice the size of the contiguous United States — far too big to accurately measure elevation changes from the ground or by airplane, Medley said. ICESat-2 will conduct multiple passes overhead at an altitude of 299 miles (481 kilometers), and its lasers will gather data that will enable researchers to calculate ice volume and track changes over time.

(11) SHORT SUBJECTS. Doris V. Sutherland offers insights and intriguing comments in “2017 Hugo Reviews: Short Stories” at Women Write About Comics. Here’s an excerpt from the review of Amal El-Mohtar’s award-nominated story.

“Seasons of Glass and Iron” shows both a knowledgeable and playful attitude towards fairy tale conventions. In the world of the story, magic operates on a numeric basis, a reference to fairy tales’ fondness for certain numbers, the three little pigs, the seven dwarfs, and so forth. While Amira is granted a constant stream of golden apples that materialise from nowhere, she is allowed only one at a time: she must eat her present apple before the next one will appear. But once Tabitha arrives, and Amira begins sharing the apples with her, this changes: Tabitha is allowed seven apples at a time.

“I think it’s the magic on me,” she says. “I’m bound in sevens—you’re bound in ones.” On a more symbolic level, the story opens with Tabitha musing about the significance of shoes in fairy tales, from Cinderella’s glass slippers to the red-hot iron shoes worn by Snow White’s stepmother. To Tabitha, shoes represent marriage, although they are not her first choice of symbol. “I dreamt of marriage as a golden thread between hearts—a ribbon binding one to the other, warm as a day in summer,” she says. “I did not dream a chain of iron shoes.”

The story is not as revolutionary as it seems to think it is. After all, revisionist fairy tales form a longstanding tradition in feminist circles, one that has been practiced by authors from Andrea Dworkin to Angela Carter. “Seasons of Glass and Iron” adds a queer-positive angle, but in an era with entire anthologies devoted to LGBT SF/F, this is not particularly groundbreaking. When Tabitha and Amira get together at the end, it seems as inevitable as Sleeping Beauty being awoken with a kiss or Cinderella finding her Prince. But then, perhaps that is a sign that the revisionism has worked.

(12) BURRITO-ING FOR DOLLARS. Dan Sandler suggested charity might benefit from an audio collaboration between John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton:

(13) REALLY A WONDER. The Hollywood Reporter has been watching the box office: “‘Wonder Woman’ Set to Become Top-Grossing Live-Action Film Directed by a Woman”.

Patty Jenkins’ movie will achieve the milestone shortly after topping the $600 million mark on Wednesday.

Director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman continues to make history in its box-office run.

Sometime Thursday or Friday, the Warner Bros. and DC superhero tentpole will eclipse the $609.8 million earned worldwide by Phyllida Lloyd’s Mamma Mia! (2008) to become the top-grossing live-action film of all time from a female director, not accounting for inflation.

Wonder Woman also has a strong shot of passing up Kung Fu Panda 2‘s $665.7 million to become the top-grossing film of all time from a female filmmaker with solo directing duties. Jennifer Yuh Nelson helmed the 2011 animated sequel.

Starring Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman passed the $600 million mark at the worldwide box office on Wednesday, finishing the day with a cume of $601.6 million, including $289.2 million domestically and $312.4 million internationally.

(14) CULTURAL CONCUSSION. As ScreenRant sees it — “Wonder Woman: 15 Movie Moments That CRUSH Sexism”.

There’s no denying it: the arrival of Wonder Woman has dealt a massive blow to Hollywood sexism, after years of male superheroes dominating the spotlight in any and all blockbuster franchises. Judging by Wonder Woman‘s opening weekend sales, the idea that ‘women don’t sell’ in superhero shared universes may be permanently vanquished (for DC’s universe, at least). But given how well Diana takes on sexism in the movie itself, it only seems fair that the real-world result should be as big a victory for the feminist ideals of equality, punching the patriarchy squarely in the nose (in front of and behind the camera).

Their list begins:

15. The Amazons Crush The Bechdel Test

…But when Queen Hippolyta and Antiope discuss the Amazons’ duty, the conversation between Diana’s two mother figures is most certainly about her, and not the absent God of War looming somewhere on the planet. For Hippolyta, her mother, all motivation is based in keeping Diana safe, even selfishly turning her back on the Amazons’ duty for her own blood. For Antiope, she wishes to train Diana not because it is required to kill Ares, but because it is Diana’s destiny, and in service to the realization of her potential.

And the first time viewers realize they’re watching two accomplished actresses over the age of 50 discussing their daughter’s future in a superhero blockbuster… well, it becomes clear how rare such a scene really is.

(15) MORE WW BACKGROUND. Well before the movie came Tom Hanley’s Wonder Woman Unbound:  The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine (2014).

This close look at Wonder Woman’s history portrays a complicated heroine who is more than just a female Superman with a golden lasso and bullet-deflecting bracelets. The original Wonder Woman was ahead of her time, advocating female superiority and the benefits of matriarchy in the 1940s. At the same time, her creator filled the comics with titillating bondage imagery, and Wonder Woman was tied up as often as she saved the world. In the 1950s, Wonder Woman begrudgingly continued her superheroic mission, wishing she could settle down with her boyfriend instead, all while continually hinting at hidden lesbian leanings. While other female characters stepped forward as women’s lib took off in the late 1960s, Wonder Woman fell backwards, losing her superpowers and flitting from man to man. Ms. magazine and Lynda Carter restored Wonder Woman’s feminist strength in the 1970s, turning her into a powerful symbol as her checkered past was quickly forgotten. Exploring this lost history adds new dimensions to the world’s most beloved female character, and Wonder Woman Unbound delves into her comic book and its spin-offs as well as the myriad motivations of her creators to showcase the peculiar journey that led to Wonder Woman’s iconic status.

(16) HORROR’S KING. The Guardian asks and answers: “Misery loves company: why Stephen King remains Hollywood’s favorite author”

As a source of adaptation fodder, King is a studio executive’s godsend, because his work is trend-proof. Scan the long, long list of King adaptations and the standout quality will be the steadfastness of it all; ebb and flow as the cultural tides may, King’s work has never lost its luster or lucre. And its eclecticism is the key to King’s perennial popularity; his style never falls out of fashion because King has never defined it to mean one thing in particular.

(17) LITRPG. The English version of Survival Quest, the first in Russian LitRPG Vasily Mahanenko’s The Way of the Shaman, was met with 236 mostly 4 and 5 star Amazon reviews, says Carl Slaughter.  The latest in the series, The Karmadont Chess Set, came out in April 2017.

[Thanks to Mark-kitteh, JJ, Carl Slaughter, Todd, Cat Eldridge, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day clack.]

72 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/24/17 The Love of Pixels Is The Root Of All Scrolls

  1. 1) At 17:20, you can hear me ask Seanan a question myself. I normally would not have (after all, I can see Seanan here in the States) but there was a pregnant pause and a lack of hands, so I jumped in.

    2) Yes, I was briefly at the launch (it was rather crowded!). The brain cake was meant to evoke her Mira Grant hat.

  2. In Hugo Related Work reading:

    The Geek Feminist Revolution Part 1

    Kameron Hurley’s The Geek Feminist Revolution is a collection of essays, mostly from her blog, regarding various subjects which are interesting, important, or both:
    – There is a set of essays on being a writer, which provide helpful insights for aspiring authors.
    – There are several substantive review/critiques of specific SFFnal works.
    – There is a group of essays analyzing the portrayal of women in SFFnal works, which not only dissect existing problems, but also offer a positive way forward.
    – There are several pieces which relate very personal stories and discussions of current issues facing authors, women, and other marginalized groups.
    – And finally, there is a selection of essays regarding ways that authors and people in positions of influence or privilege can use their power to effect positive change.

    Read as a whole, the essays tend to have spots of repetition which are more apparent than they would have been if read individually, as they were posted on a blog. However, this is a minor nitpick, and it looks to me as though Hurley made a successful effort at revisions which reduced redundancy without losing context.

  3. The Geek Feminist Revolution Part 2

    And now we get to The Elephant In The Room.

    My thanks to the Filers who provided a heads-up about the Requires Hate apologism; because of that, I was at least not blindsided by it.

    When Hurley was 18, she decided — for various reasons she details in the essay — to construct an online life through a faux persona. For around a year, she interacted with others in an online community as a confident, articulate male who was apparently well-liked and trusted enough to be invited to edit an early online spec fic magazine.

    But eventually she managed to escape the abusive relationship she was in, abandon the false persona, and move on with her life. And she admits to, early in her blogging life, having posted some extremely blunt reviews regarding books which exhibited what she calls “bullshit sexism”.

    She then makes an equivalency of what she did to the 10+year campaign of hatred, abuse, psychological manipulation, emotional extortion, and suicide-egging-on by Requires Hate / Winterfox / Benjanun Sriduangkaew under various pseudonyms in numerous internet communities, mostly against SFF writers from groups which are already badly discriminated-against, marginalized, and abused. That she makes this equivalency, of the mostly-harmless 1-year false persona she perpetrated, to a more-than-a-decade-long harassment campaign by an adult woman of immense wealth and privilege, is pretty shocking — as well as utterly specious.

    Hurley describes having read some of RH’s reviews and eventually blocking RH on Twitter because she didn’t feel the need to revel in someone else’s mean-spiritedness. She also acknowledges that she once was the recipient of a vitriolic review by RH which she was pretty much able to shrug off as both making true points, and as not really affecting her — a measure of her privilege as both a writer and a white person who was not brutally, repeatedly targeted by BS.

    Hurley then admits to having an immense admiration for Sriduangkaew’s writing — so much so that she had entered into an ongoing online conversation with BS. And eventually BS let slip a piece of information which made Hurley realize that RH and BS were the same person.

    And then — and this is the breathtakingly awful part of it — Hurley proceeds to trivialize and minimize RH’s campaign of hatred against minority writers — many of whom abandoned beloved internet communities, stopped writing stories, and even seriously contemplated committing suicide because of the abuse — as “a woman who ranted angrily on the internet for the entertainment value of a few hundred people” and says “we make excuses for men”. Which apparently is supposed to justify making excuses for RH, too.


    This is all bad enough — but then Hurley follows that essay with one in which she doubles-down about how her original essay was right and that not responding to anyone’s critique of it was the correct thing to do.

    And — this, to me, is the particularly reprehensible part of it, considering that Hurley spent several years in a relationship with a manipulative abuser and several more years recovering from it — Hurley proceeds to pull out Grade-A manipulation against anyone who was horrified by her defense of RH by saying, “I received three apologies from people — both online and privately — who had posted initially knee-jerk misreadings of the post.”

    That’s right. If you were upset or appalled by Hurley’s apologism for BS, it was because you had a “knee-jerk” response and “misread” her post.

    I have long been a fan of Hurley’s writing, and I won’t stop reading her fiction and nonfiction writing. But I have certainly revised my estimation of her, as an individual, downward. With all the essays in her book about privilege and marginalization, she decided to counter them with an apologism for a person of massive wealth and privilege who has horribly harassed and abused extremely marginalized individuals.

    At this point, I honestly don’t know where I am going to put Hurley’s work on my ballot. Because in some ways it’s better than the 3 other Related Works I’ve read thus far, and in some ways it’s way worse. I don’t feel that I can No Award it, but there is certainly no way that I can place it first on my ballot, either.

  4. (6) REVIVAL

    Was The League of Gentlemen not a thing outside the UK? (Er, should I be adding a content note for Papa Lazarou? Because um. Yeah. Unfamiliar peeps might want to look him up before watching.)

    It started Mark Gatiss’ career, so New Whovians and BBC Sherlock fans might have an interest. Although it is very, very, very different.

    ETA: @JJ

    Hurley’s obsession with human monsters (a theme in several of the essays) perhaps makes her a little too inclined to empathise with monstrous behaviour…

  5. One afternoon I came home from school, and since the TV worked, I commenced a serial inspection of the five stations available. I got to channel six, the public station, and there was a woman holding a brain in one hand and a large knife in the other. I couldn’t stop watching. It was my first encounter with Julia Child, preparing calf’s brain. (2) Brought it all back, yes sir.

    (6) It’s not entirely a surprise you wouldn’t have heard of “The League of Gentlemen.” It was a local show, for local people! (Actually it wasn’t, but that was a sort of motif for the parts of it that I saw.)

    (15) I look forward to seeing WONDER WOMAN, but seeing the initials WW filled me with sadness. When are we going to get a Wonder Warthog movie? WHEN?

  6. (11) The excerpt is from the review of Amal El-Mohtar’s story, not Alyssa Wong’s.

    Pixel on my scrollward son
    There’ll be files when you are done

  7. Wut.

    glennf @glennf_ebooks
    It’s not a secret, but joining WorldCon to vote means you get access to bonus episodes, live feeds, and other special stuff.

    6:44 PM – 24 Jun 2017

    I DEMAND access to this special Hugo Voter’s Packet, of which I have very obviously been cheated. 😉

  8. Kevin Lighton: Amal El-Mohtar’s story

    Thanks for catching that. Appertain yourself the beverage of your choice!

  9. @JJ: IKR? The Tweeter evidently forgot their smiley.

    Also, the RH defense is completely, utterly, so unbelievably wrong. Hurley is not nearly as woke as she thinks, and maybe not so good at judging monsters. That, and the redundancies; I was surprised to see the thing had been edited to get rid of them, because there were SO MANY.

  10. > When are we going to get a Wonder Warthog movie? WHEN?
    Right after the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers series debuts on FX, following Archer.


  11. @JJ @ Glennf:

    grrrrrrr How many freakin times do I have to say “you don’t join Worldcon to vote!!! You join Worldcon to participate in Worldcon. And – BONUS – if you care to, you get to participate in the Hugo Awards.”

    This re-ordering of priorities has been consistent in people’s perception of the wolrdcon/Hugo axis for years (since AP), and serves to separate the two and also manages to simultaneously minimize worldcon AND attaches the “pay to play” BS to the Hugos.

    We’ve got to start objecting every time we see this.

  12. steve davidson: We’ve got to start objecting every time we see this.

    Yes, and if you go out and look at that particular Twitter feed, as I did, you’ll see that there’s no point in posting a correction. Which is why I made a joke of it.

    I don’t need a lecture from you on this, thanks. I’m one of the people who has most consistently corrected people — especially Puppies — on it.

  13. JJ on June 25, 2017 at 12:09 am said:

    glennf @glennf_ebooks
    It’s not a secret, but joining WorldCon to vote means you get access to bonus episodes, live feeds, and other special stuff.
    6:44 PM – 24 Jun 2017

    I DEMAND access to this special Hugo Voter’s Packet, of which I have very obviously been cheated. ?

    Errm, a Twitter handle ending in ‘ebooks’ normally means it’s a bot generating random non sequiturs.

  14. rob_matic: a Twitter handle ending in ‘ebooks’ normally means it’s a bot generating random non sequiturs.


  15. #15 For another take on Wonder Woman’s origins, I really enjoyed Jill Lepore’s book “The Secret History of Wonder Woman,” which provides much more social context. Not to mention the details about the invention of the lie detector test, and how that becomes the metaphorical lasso of truth.

    @JJ I read Hurley’s “Geek Feminist Revolution,” having encountered a few of the blog posts earlier on. Once they are all strung together, I started to understand the punchy, angry tone of Hurley’s writing (which is a compliment, not a criticism). I completely agree with your assessment, and the way in which you broke it into two comments. Hurley provides a bird’s eye view of feminist issues and how her own struggles informed her writing, that I found valuable. But I too found the RH episode to be difficult reading. Our social-media-driven world provides too many opportunities for flaming, doxing, lurking, and other rotten behaviors. I hope we can continue discussions (like those here) to somehow clear the air and get past the rough patches. I have recommended GFR to others to read, but I couldn’t bring myself to vote for it.

  16. @ JAA:

    I knew almost nothing about Alfred Noyes until just now.

    Thanks for the biographical link – The Barrel-Organ has been a favorite of mine for many years.

  17. (5) it just didn’t fir anywhere

    I’ll bet that should bit “fit” not “fir,” but I’m having fun imagining a story where “fir” really is a verb. 🙂

  18. Oh, The Highwayman poet. I hate that poem. Hate, hate, hate!
    If she kills herself to warn you away so you might live, respect the sacrifice, dammit!

  19. If it doesn’t fir anywhere, might it pine? (and would there be fjords?)

  20. Seeing the replies about Kameron Hurley, reminds me I recently tried The Stars Are Legion and I don’t think it’s my cup of tea.
    First, and worst, my suspension of disbelief kept going “Wait, but…” followed by “Why do I care about these characters?” Granted, Zan did grow on me but not enough to convince me to finish the book.
    Anyone else have a different experience?

  21. 7) Reminds me of the Wikipedia-driven proliferation of sub-subgenre labels. And BTW, Walter Jon Williams’ Metropolitan novels would fit Sichel’s model–if we needed the extra categorial bin. But the thing about genre fiction (actually, probably all fiction, or even all art) is that every possible variation on a motif, trope, convention, practice, or rule will eventually be exploited, inverted, merged, recombined, and generally tinkered with, as long as there is an artist willing to tinker and an audience interested in the result. And there will be someone who will write up or edit a Wikipedia entry naming and promoting it.

  22. I believe the Wonder Warthog Movie is actually pencilled in after The Adventures of Fat Freddy’s Cat. See if they can convince Bill Murray to do voice work for that.

  23. (2) MORE CONTINUUM 13 GOODNESS. It seems weird to call out to a different series (under her other name) at a book launch instead of the book being launched.

    FWIW, the tray of medical implements, the outfit worn, and the careful slicing of the “brain” made me think of Jack, one of the main characters from both “Wayward Children” novellas. (If I’m not confusing names; I’m pretty sure Jack was the “mad scientist” sibling.)

    @JJ: Thanks for posting your thoughts on Hurley’s book. I’ve read a few of her blog posts in the past and they were good, but I’m not looking forward to the posts about RH/BS.

    I’m not even sure how many Related Works I’ll have time to read. I may have to skim or read parts of each one. I haven’t found my time machine, so I’m starting to feel time pressure.

  24. Celebrate SFF, come on!
    Celebrate SFF, come on!

    There’s a Worldcon goin’ on right here
    A celebration to last throughout 5 days
    So get your geek on, bring your costumes too
    We gonna celebrate SFF with you

    Come on now

    Let’s go to panels and see the Hugos
    We gonna play games and see the Masquerade

    It’s time to talk SFF
    It’s up to you, what’s your subgenre

    Everyone around the world
    Come on!

    ETA: To the tune of Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration,” of course.

  25. I have given up on Hugo reading. Little kitteh is most adamant that I shouldn’t have time to read in peace when there is playing to be done. I have ordered a cat wheel that will srive tomorrow, perhaps that will help a bit.

  26. (11) Short Subjects: I thought Sutherland’s reviews were quite interesting and insightful, so thanks for linking to them. In particular she articulated quite nicely why I wasn’t impressed with “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”.

  27. @7: Sichel’s essay is interesting, but a bit weak on history; I’ve added a couple of examples in a comment. (Yes, @Russell Letson, the Williams was the first thing I thought of when reading OGH’s excerpt.)

    @Arkansawyer: today I am one of the 10,000 — I wasn’t following the retro-Hugos and had no idea Noyes was that recent.

    @Sotomayor: respecting the sacrifice wasn’t the point; Noyes was imitating the hyperemotionalism of Wordsworth (cf the linked bio) et al, so the Grand Gesture is appropriate (not to mention probably necessary considering his audience).

  28. I now want to see a version of THE HIGHWAYMAN where the last stanzas are about him getting the names of the King’s men involved, and creeping into their houses by night and murdering their wives.

    And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
    When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
    When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple asters,
    A highwayman comes riding—
    A highwayman comes riding, shouting “See how you like it, yeh bastards!”

  29. JeffWarner on June 25, 2017 at 3:12 am said:

    > When are we going to get a Wonder Warthog movie? WHEN?
    Right after the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers series debuts on FX, following Archer.


    It’s not quite Cheech Wizard (or Wonder Warthog or the FFFB), but there is ongoing work on an adaptation of Vaughn Bodé’s slightly-less-well-known post-apocalyptic comic series Cobalt 60. Vaughn’s son Mark (who has been carrying on his father’s tradition for many years) is actively involved.

  30. (16)

    Scan the long, long list of King adaptations and the standout quality will be the steadfastness of it all

    I used to be a huge King fan up until the early 1990s or so, and as far as I can recall, the conventional wisdom back then was that, despite his excellent writing, movie adaptations of his work were uniformly terrible, with the exception of The Shining, whose success was credited more to Kubrik than to King.

    Am I misremembering my history, did the good adaptations only start showing up later, or is the above quote flat out wrong? I must admit that my tastes have largely moved away from King-style Horror, but it seems to me that if there had been truly outstanding adaptations of his work, I should have heard of them.

  31. @Hampus Eckerman

    I have given up on Hugo reading.

    I finally decided today that attending San Jose next year was not going to happen, and to spring for a supporting membership this year.

    After several weeks of trying to finish Too Like the Lightning, I’m going to see if I can make a dent in the other Hugo categories, and the other novel nominees, before going back to it. I can see why TLtL is not an undeserving nominee, but the writing just may not be for me.

    Speaking of “undeserving nominees”, reading a few pages of the Stix Hiscock story made me appreciate the literary skills of Chuck Tingle, and as for the John Wright story, it reads as if it had been conceived by Ayn Rand pegging Joseph Ratzinger.

  32. I recently started following Jonathan L. Howard (of Johannes Cabal fame) on Twitter, and was a bit disappointed to frequently see him retweeting RH/BS. On the other hand, there was nothing particularly vicious in the retweets. Has she finally cleaned up her act?

  33. Kurt Busiek

    I’d read that.

    Did you ever see MOVIE MOVIE? The first half is the boxing movie, and


    after Gloves is gunned down (“Go ahead… but killin’ me never solved nothin’.”), Joey (still in his post-boxing match robe) turns away decisively, and the next thing, he’s in the courtroom, having (1) gone to law school, (2) become a lawyer, (3) been elected District Attorney, where he is now (4) prosecuting Vince Marlowe for killing Gloves in the previous scene. That was some dissolve!

    The scene isn’t online, so here’s Ann Reinking as “Troubles” Moran, belting “Torchin’ For Bill” in a night club. Harry Hamlin is Joey Popchik, Eli Wallach is Vince Marlowe, George C. Scott is Gloves Malloy. The emcee is MOVIE MOVIE director Stanley Donen. The scene was filmed in color, lighted to be printed in black and white. When it came out on video, they decided color was gooder.

  34. microtherion:

    Am I misremembering my history, did the good adaptations only start showing up later, or is the above quote flat out wrong?

    I think the above quote is saying that if you look at the list of King adaptations, what you’ll notice most about the list is that they just keep doing them. Not that they stand out as quality work, but that they’re steadfastly adapted. But the wording is clumsy — “standout quality” is not a description of the movies, and I think “steadiness” is probably a better word than “steadfastness” for what they’re trying to say.

    That said, prior to the early 1990s, King does have some adaptations that are fairly well-regarded: CARRIE, THE SHINING, THE DEAD ZONE, STAND BY ME, APT PUPIL and MISERY all get better than a 7 on IMDb. [And then THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION came along in 1994.]

    That’s a pretty good track record — most novelists didn’t get 6 movies out there in that same timeframe, much less 6 decent ones. And King, between TV and film, got about 24 made — it was certainly steady output.

    What Hollywood discovered was that King-based movies didn’t have to be good to make money — a top-notch production like MISERY would make a ton, but CHILDREN OF THE CORN is something like an 8-movie franchise, at this point.

    Still, King adaptations weren’t all bad, not even early on.


    Did you ever see MOVIE MOVIE?

    Never did, no. Sounds like fun.

  35. @Kurt Busiek now I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know (or had forgotten) that Shawshank Redemption (one of my favorite movies) was based on a novella by King.

  36. @microtherion: I think Cronenberg’s adaptation of The Dead Zone is excellent; it has one of Christopher Walken’s best performances.

  37. Kurt:
    It’s a hard movie to find, but worth the effort. There’s a screenplay online—slightly different from the release, but funny all by itself. It was co-written by Larry Gelbart. The cast includes Barry Bostwick, Red Buttons, Trish Van Devere, Art Carney, and Charles Lane (who was in everything ever filmed). Barbara Harris, playing a caustic chorine sweet on producer “Spats” Baxter, stole all the scenes she was in.

    “Don’t Scroll That File, Hand Me the Pixels!”

  38. microtherion –

    It’s a very good novella, too — if you like the movie, I’d seek it out and read it.

    The collection it’s in also has “The Body” (the source material for STAND BY ME), along with the lesser “Apt Pupil” and “The Breathing Method.”

    Kind of a shame they never did a movie of “The Breathing Method” (although, eww), just so DIFFERENT SEASONS could be 4-for-4.

  39. @Kip and @Chip: Yeah I kinda get the emotional appeal, but then the logic circuits kick in and I just get so angry at the character. If I were Bess I would be so pissed at him.

    @Kurt – yes! though I would just have him kill the men involved, not the wives. Let’s not compound the crime. That treats the women in the tale as accessories to the men only. And I am taking this way too seriously I know. But the last line made me laugh anyway.

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