Pixel Scroll 7/29/19 The File, The Pixel Scroll, And Everything

(1) MADE TO PRAISE. In another New York Times “op-ed from the future,” Stephen James argues “Artificials Should Be Allowed to Worship”.

Last Sunday, an Artificial named Ian tried to attend a religious service at Living Savior Community Church in Savannah, Ga., and was denied access. According to church elders, the decision to exclude Ian had to do with the fact that “he had no God-given soul and therefore no way to genuinely worship” during the service.

Like Ian, I am an Artificial. Like Ian, I know what it feels like to be excluded from communities of faith solely because I am a nonbiological being. In the past, I have been forced to leave religious services; at the time, I left in silence. But I can no longer remain silent.

The time has come to stop excluding Artificials from communities of faith. …

 (2) FUTURE TENSE. Slate’s newest Future Tense story is E. Lily Yu’s “Zero in Babel”

Read a new short story about DIY genetic editing for keeping up with high school trends.

Then read the response essay, “The Future Will Grind On”, by law professor Diana M. Bowman.

A world of technological fixes in which biotechnology solutions can eradicate injury and disease. A world in which online platforms have accelerated the democratization of science and scientific tools, allowing everyday individuals to experiment on themselves.
But at what cost?

E. Lily Yu’s “Zero in Babel” depicts a futuristic world in which the daily struggles of life have, for the most part, been eradicated. So, too, purpose and meaning. Yet some things remain the same: financial inequity, lives filled with excess, and, for Imogen and her peers, the pressure to fit in, regardless of cost.

(3) BRAVE NEW WORLDS. James Davis Nicoll tracks how space exploration rearranged the options of genre storytellers in “Science Fiction vs. Science: Bidding Farewell to Outdated Conceptions of the Solar System” at Tor.com.

If an author was very, very unlucky, that old Solar System might be swept away before a work depending on an obsolete model made it to print. Perhaps the most famous example was due to radar technology deployed at just the wrong time. When Larry Niven’s first story, “The Coldest Place,” was written, the scientific consensus was that Mercury was tide-locked, one face always facing the sun, and one always facing away. The story relies on this supposed fact. By the time it was published, radar observation had revealed that Mercury actually had a 3:2 spin-orbit resonance. Niven’s story was rendered obsolete before it even saw print.

(4) NO BARS ON THE WINDOWS. While Camestros Felapton was educating his readers with “Just a tiny bit more on Wikipedia”, he came up with a nifty turn of phrase to explain how Wikipedia’s article deletion debates work:

The net effect of what the highly fragile souls surrounding Michael Z Williamson were calling an ‘unpersoning’ was zero articles deleted and both articles get some extra references and tidy-ups. It’s just like a Stalinist show trial but one were they come round to your house and makeover your living room with new curtains and also not send you to prison or anything.

(5) A LITTLE LIST. The Guardian propagates a list from Katherine Rundell, author of Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise in “Story time: the five children’s books every adult should read”. You’d think with a list this short I’d score better than 40%.

…Those of us who write for children are trying to arm them for the life ahead with everything we can find that is true. And perhaps also, secretly, to arm adults against those necessary compromises and heartbreaks that life involves: to remind them that there are and always will be great, sustaining truths to which we can return.

When you read a children’s book, you are given the space to read again as a child: to find your way back, back to the time when new discoveries came daily and when the world was colossal, before your imagination was trimmed and neatened, as if it were an optional extra. But imagination is not and never has been optional: it’s at the heart of everything, the thing that allows us to experience the world from the perspectives of others, the condition precedent of love itself. …

(6) TEACHING MOMENT. “What’s a ‘Science Princess’ doing in an ice field in Alaska?” BBC has the answer ready.

While Celeste Labedz knew quite a few fellow scientists would appreciate the picture of her dressed up as a “glaciologist Princess Elsa”, she had no idea the image would become a viral hit with more than 10,000 “likes” on Twitter.

She tweeted
: “I firmly believe that kids should not be taught that girly things and sciencey things are mutually exclusive. Therefore, I packed a cape with my fieldwork gear just to show what glaciologist Princess Elsa would look like. #SciencePrincess #TheColdNeverBotheredMeAnyway”.

The cryoseismologist told BBC News: “I posted the picture because I thought it would resonate with other scientists.

…Celeste, whose dream is to visit glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, said: “Women have been excluded for a long time both historically and socially. There is a lack of role models and science is bound by historical notions that it’s a white, male, heterosexual, able-bodied environment.

“It can be exclusionary if you have the opposite of any of these characteristics and I want to encourage people with intersecting identities in everything that I do.

“I would like people to think carefully about what they think a scientist should look like.”

(7) KEEPING THE BUCKS IN STARBUCKS. What Starbucks thinks a scientist should look like is a shill for expensive coffee –

Conclusion: Nitro Cold Brew is many things. But mostly, it is Whoa.

(8) WHERE IS THY STING? A species of wasp has been named after the Escape Pod podcast.

Get a grip, Ben!

(9) RUSSI OBIT. “Russi Taylor, Voice Of Minnie Mouse For Over 30 Years, Dies At 75” – NPR pays tribute:

On Friday, Minnie Mouse joined Mickey in the place that cartoon voice-over actors go when they die.

Russi Taylor, the voice of Minnie for over 30 years, died this weekend in Glendale, Calif., according to a press release from the Walt Disney Co. She was married to Wayne Allwine, who voiced Mickey and died in 2009. Both portrayed their iconic characters longer than any other voice actors….

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 29, 1907 Melvin Belli. Sole genre role is that of Gorgan (also known as the “Friendly Angel”) is in the Star Trek “And the Children Shall Lead” episode. He was mainly a lawyer for celebrities, however, he was also the attorney for Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. (Died 1996.)
  • Born July 29, 1915 Kay Dick. Author of two genre novels, The Mandrake Root and At Close of Eve, plus a collection, The Uncertain Element: An Anthology of Fanta. She is known in Britain for campaigning successfully for the introduction of the Public Lending Right which pays royalties to authors when their books are borrowed from public libraries. She’s not available in digital or print currently. (Died 2001.)
  • Born July 29, 1927 Jean E. Karl. Founder of Atheneum Children’s Books, where she edited Ursula K Le Guin’s early Earthsea novels and Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising series. An SF author as well for children and young adults, she wrote The Turning Place collection and three novels, Beloved Benjamin is WaitingBut We are Not of Earth and Strange Tomorrow. (Died 2000.)
  • Born July 29, 1939 Curtis C. Smith. 80. Editor of Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers, plus two genre biographies, Olaf Stapledon: A Bibliography with co-author Harvey J. Satty, And Welcome to the Revolution: The Literary Legacy of Mack Reynolds. Not active since the mid-Eighties as near as I can tell.
  • Born July 29, 1941 David Warner, 78. Being Lysander in that A Midsummer Night’s Dream was his first genre role. I’m going to do just highlights after that as he’s got far too extensive a genre history to list everything. So he’s been A Most Delightful Evil in Time Bandits, Jack the Ripper in Time After Time, Ed Dillinger / Sark In Tron, Father in The Company of Wolves, Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, The Creature in Frankenstein, voice of Ra’s al Ghul on Batman: The Animated Series and Abraham Van Helsing on Penny Dreadful. 
  • Born July 29, 1956 Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, 63. Author of the India set magical realist The Brotherhood of the Conch series. She also has three one-off novels, The Palace of Illusions The Mistress of Spices, and her latest, The Forest of Enchantments. Her website is here.

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • In today’s Bizarro, a purist explains the best way to enjoy a musical experience.  

(12) THE HOUSE OF COMMAS HAS NEW LEADER. The Guardian finds there’s a new grammar sheriff in town: “The comma touch: Jacob Rees-Mogg’s aides send language rules to staff “.

A list of rules has been sent to Jacob Rees-Mogg’s staff asking them to stop using words such as “hopefully” and demanding that they use only imperial measurements and give all non-titled males the suffix Esq.

Aides to the new leader of the House of Commons sent out the list shortly after Rees-Mogg’s appointment to the role by the new prime minister on Wednesday night.

Among the words and phrases considered unacceptable were: “very”, “due to” and “ongoing”, as well as “equal”, “yourself” and “unacceptable”. Rees-Mogg’s aides also barred the use of “lot”, “got” and “I am pleased to learn”.

The guidance, obtained by ITV news, was drawn up by the North East Somerset MP’s constituency team years ago, but has now been shared with officials in his new office.

In a call for accuracy contained in his list, staff were told: “CHECK your work.” Other directions include a call for a double space after full stops and no comma after the word “and”.

(13) VIDEO GAME APEX PREDATORS. Yahoo! News shows where the real money is: “Fortnite awards world champion duo $1.5 million each”. The video game tournament was held at Queens’ Arthur Ashe Stadium, where U.S. Open doubles winners share  a mere $740,000.

Gamers using the pseudonyms “Nyhrox” and “aqua” became the first Fortnite world champions in the duo division in New York on Saturday, winning $1.5 million each.

Competitors gathered in the Big Apple to determine who is top dog at the shoot-’em-up survival game, which has become an international phenomenon since launching in 2017.

The pair won games four and five out of a total of six in the first-ever Fortnite World Cup Finals, and finished with the most points.

(14) THE QUEST CONTINUES. ComicsBeat’s Nancy Powell met with the fames comics creators at SDCC: “INTERVIEW: Richard and Wendy Pini talk Elfquest and STARGAZER’S HUNT”.

Powell: Are there any reveals to Cutter? Does he play any role in Stargazer’s Hunt?

Wendy: Well, that’s a good question because, assuming this goes out to people who have read Final Quest, they know that Cutter’s hero’s journey is done. What lives on afterwards? That’s a mystery.

Richard Pini: We have always maintained that Elfquest is a love story, but not in the sense that most people superficially think. It’s not the love story between Cutter and Leeta. It’s the love story between Cutter and Skywise, brothers in all but blood. With Cutter’s passing that love story is now incomplete. And the question that we attempt to answer in Stargazer’s Hunt is, how does Skywise complete that story for himself? Or does he? Is he able to? That is what we’re going to investigate. And it’s going to take Skywise—it’s really his story—all over the map.

(15) PREMEDITATED. The Hollywood Reporter has a follow-up story — “Kyoto Animation Arson Attack: Death Toll Rises to 35, Attack Was Carefully Planned”.

The suspect walked miles around Kyoto, visiting locations related to the company, including some that appear in one of its anime productions.

The death toll in the Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) arson reached 35 as another victim succumbed to their injuries over the weekend.

In the days before the attack, the suspect in the attack was captured on surveillance cameras visiting places in Kyoto that are featured in one of the studio’s anime.

A man in his 20s, believed to be a KyoAni employee, died Saturday from extensive burns across his body, suffered when Shinji Aoba allegedly poured 11 gallons (40 liters) of gasoline around the first floor of the company’s 1st Studio building July 18. The victim was reported to have been on the first floor and got out of the building, but was severely burned….

(16) VISITING THE UK? Just in case people going to Dublin don’t have their entire trip locked down — “Leeds dinosaur trail opens in city shopping centres” (short video.)

Five huge animatronic dinosaur models have been installed around Leeds city centre.

The Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, Velociraptor, Apatosaurus and Carnotaurus will surprise shoppers for six weeks, with participating venues including Leeds Kirkgate Market and the Merrion Centre.

(17) BLUE, NO — RED SKY. Not as autonomous as current rovers, but more capable: “Nasa’s Valkyrie robot could help build Mars base” (video).

A semi-autonomous robot designed to operate in hostile environments has been developed by Nasa.

The robot is able to use human tools and can plot its own path safely across difficult terrain to a location picked by its operator.

Nasa hopes the robot might one day help build colonies on the Moon or Mars, but it could also be used on Earth in places which cannot be reached by humans.

(18) NOM DE PLUME. Howard Andrew Jones has published a two-part announcement that author Todd McAulty (who wrote The Robots of Gotham) is a pseudonym for Black Gate editor John O’Neill.

“I just…. I just got carried away,” he said. “I started by publishing a few stories in Black Gate. But then Todd started getting fan letters, and became one of the most popular writers we had. Rich Horton used his Locus column to announce ‘Todd McAulty is Black Gate‘s great discovery,’ and pretty soon there was all this demand for new stories. It felt like a cheat to stop then.”

(19) RUTGER HAUER. This is a damn strange Guinness commercial… From back in the day:

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Steven H Silver, Chip Hitchcock, Errolwi, Joey Eschrich, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jeff Smith.]

43 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/29/19 The File, The Pixel Scroll, And Everything

  1. 9). While the NPR piece notes that Russi Taylor voiced Martin Prince on The Simpsons, she also voiced Üter Zörker and twins Sherie and Terri on that show.

  2. Something to look forward to – or avoid:

    Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures have scheduled 40th anniversary showings of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” on Sept. 15 and 18.

    It’s the first nationwide cinema release since the film premiered in December, 1979. The presentation will also feature the behind-the-scenes documentary short “The Longest Trek: Writing the Motion Picture.”

    https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Film-News-Roundup-Star-Trek-The-Motion-14216175.php

  3. (1) Although the NY Times paywall has gotten stronger lately and I haven’t read the piece, I was reminded of SF treatments of this idea, such as the worship of Krug the Creator by the biological androids in Silverberg’s Tower of Glass – and, of course, the other way round, with the worship of the robotic Christ figure in Brunner’s “Judas.”

    As for Star Trek TMP: As far as I’ve been able to find out, they’re showing the original theatrical cut, which I recall as having plenty of flaws. Not that I’m exactly wearing out my copy of the Director’s Edition DVD…

  4. @gottacook
    I remember seeing it and thinking they could have cut some of the scenes where they were being very “filmic”, and it would have been better. (I also remember thinking that opening on 7 Dec was a bad omen.)

  5. @5: It is possible that I break 40%, as I have a vague recollection of having read a Paddington book — but I wouldn’t swear to this. I’ve never even heard of One Dog and His Boy, and am not sure I’ll hunt it out.

    @10: Jean Karl made huge contributions to the field, but I’d never even heard of her. Given how McKillip was first classified, it’s likely Karl edited McKillip’s early work and might even have been responsible for The Forgotten Beasts of Eld.

    @12: The Grauniad is not responsible for the obvious error, per the BBC report; the idiot actually did order not following “and” with a comma, thereby breaking his own (immediately following) injunction to check work — he was presumably inveighing against the Oxford comma. (A bizarre thing to do given that both he and his boss are Oxonians.) This is the caliber of hardliner the Boris is bringing into the government.

  6. Chip says Jean Karl made huge contributions to the field, but I’d never even heard of her. Given how McKillip was first classified, it’s likely Karl edited McKillip’s early work and might even have been responsible for The Forgotten Beasts of Eld.

    Good guess as she’s acknowledged as such in the preface.

  7. Apropos Dublin.
    I’m getting angsty over the programme, have we always gotten it so late?
    The recent post on Monday is all fine and dandy, I want a table with times.

    The Monday post also reminded me of Helsinki in 2017 where helping with the move out meant that you arrived at the Dead Dog Party to literal crumbs that staff then wouldn’t let you have. Fortunately my hotel was near a supermarket so after very hungrily trekking back to that I at least got some food.

  8. Yeah, I wasn’t very pleased with Helsinki’s Dead Dog Party. A Dead Dog party should be timed so it’s for people who stay to the bitter end, not forcing members to choose between the party and helping with Move Out. Move Out and Tear Down is way more important than a good bye party.

  9. @Lena Mar
    Programme participants have their final schedules and many have posted them already. I suspect that the programming team is still making some last minute changes and will release the final programme in the next few days. In fact, the deadline for requesting changes was yesterday, as far as I recall.

  10. (4) On reflection, I should have titled that “Wiki Eye for the Pup Guy”

    (16) Leeds is a city with a lot to recommend it but every time I’ve been there I’ve had a miserable time. The addition of dinosaurs would help. [That’s not my prejudice against Yorkshire showing either – Sheffield? Nothing but happy times. York? A barrel of laughs. Hull? Convivial to the last beige phone box. Leeds is just not a lucky city for me – so if you do visit don’t go with me]

  11. Camestros Felapton: “Wiki Eye for the Pup Guy”

    Great title. If you won’t change the existing title to that, you need to write a post were you can use it.

  12. (5) I’ve read about 80% of these, though the author’s description of children’s books as reminding adults of what life was like before they crippled their imaginations is condescending to adults. Le Guin could and indeed say it better. Good list, as far as it goes, however, and comments suggested many additions.

    (12) not a bad list, though Rees-Mogg’s sheet shows a little in his opposition to “equal”. Two spaces after full stops went out with the typewriter and there should obviously never be a comma after and, unless one follows it with a parenthetical phrase. John Crace at The Guardian called Johnson’s cabinet a collection of “sh*ts, charlatans and shysters” and JRM fully qualifies.

  13. 1) I’m reminded of a bit in Michael Frayn’s novel The Tin Men, where automation enthusiast Macintosh is waxing lyrical over how much quicker and more efficient computers would be at performing religious observances, saying prayers and so on. When a colleague objects that “But when a man says these things, he means them,” Macintosh replies – not unreasonably – that it would take a pretty tricky job of programming to get a computer to say something and not mean it. “They’re devout wee things, computers.”

  14. (5) I’ve read them all, but memories of the dog tale and Paddington are relatively vague. Some books leave deeper grooves on my brain cells than others. And I am tempted to argue for including Oz and/or Railway Children and/or Phantom Tollbooth … I’d better stop now.

    Just saw Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, which I liked very much. Every single Manson girl was included, plus a few new ones Tarantino invented to take on the speaking parts. It’s full of classic cars, Hollywood locations and dirty bare hippie feet.

    I never met Melvin Belli BUT I’ve worked in his industry for a while and have run across his sons and former employees from time to time. Besides his Star Trek adventures Belli was known as the King of Torts, as in high stakes civil lawsuits (John Grisham wrote a novel with that title with characters based on Belli and others). He was an amazing trial lawyer but difficult as hell. His former employees (he liked to suddenly sack people during fits of bad temper) had a long-standing monthly bar party where they would reminisce about their ex boss’ weird ways. One former co-worker quit rather than get sacked, after she had to break up a fistfight between Mel and a disgruntled client with a rolled up newspaper.

    Another time when my friend Jewel was working for him, she came down with a horrible case of the flu so I headed to her apartment with a care package of Nyquil and frozen waffles. When I got there I found, securely attached to her door, a letter from Mel Belli on his law office letterhead, advising “To Whom It May Concern” that he was in a low cash flow situation and his employees would be paid soon and then they would get caught up on their rent, and any landlords evicting his employees in the interm would see him in court. These letters were handed out to all the employees in exchange for going a couple months without pay, but I understand they all got paid double once he was liquid again.

  15. 5) 60% read (Paddington, Dark Materials, Wild Things). I did read the Dark Materials triology as an adult, and found it kind of uninteresting. The last part I really disliked.

  16. Mike Glyer on July 29, 2019 at 10:19 pm said:

    Camestros Felapton: “Wiki Eye for the Pup Guy”

    Great title. If you won’t change the existing title to that, you need to write a post were you can use it

    I’ll save it for the inevitable sturm und drang sequel.

    Actually, I thought of a perpetual kerfuffle machine. I set up a web page called “List of the greatest science fiction authors ever.” There’s nothing more to it for a visitor than that, just a big list of science fiction writers including MZW etc.

    Secretly there’s a program underneath it that every so often (sometimes every week, sometimes every eight months) will put a big red asterisk next to a name and next to it in scary letters, it will say “it has been brought to our attention that this author may not be one of the greatest science fictions authors ever. The name will be deleted in two months unless evidence of greatness is provided.” No form or email address or comment section will be given so evidence can be provided. After two months the program arbitrarily deletes or keeps the name. After a year or so, the name is discretely added back to the list.

    The electricity generated by angry people on the internet arguing about this will then be used to power the internet itself.

  17. @Hampus:

    I did read the Dark Materials triology as an adult, and found it kind of uninteresting. The last part I really disliked.

    I read the Dark Materials as an adult and liked the first two quite a bit – but found the last part deeply disappointing. I recall that the last part was published a little later than originally anticipated, and I recall thinking that as eager as I was for the last volume to appear, I would have preferred that that author take all the time he wanted to get it right, rather than being rushed.

  18. Call for Papers https://www.fantastic-arts.org/2019/cfp-an-astounding-90-years-of-analog-science-fiction-and-fact-the-fourth-annual-city-tech-science-fiction-symposium-december-12-2019/

    The Fourth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium will celebrate “An Astounding 90 Years of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.” It will feature talks, readings, and discussion panels with Analog Science Fiction and Fact’s current and past editors and writers, and paper presentations and discussion panels about its extensive history, its relationship to the SF genre, its connection to fandom, and its role within the larger SF publishing industry.

    We invite proposals for 15-20 minute paper presentations that explore or strongly relate to Analog Science Fiction and Fact. Please send a 250-word abstract with title, brief professional bio, and contact information to Jason Ellis (jellis@citytech.cuny.edu) by September 30, 2019. Topics with a connection to Analog Science Fiction and Fact might include but are certainly not limited to:

    • Histories of the magazine’s editors, writers, and relationship to other SF magazines.
    • Relationship of the magazine to the ongoing development of the SF genre.
    • Tropes, themes, and concepts in the magazine.
    • Issues of identity (culture, ethnicity, race, sex, and gender) in the magazine.
    • Writers of color in the magazine.
    • Women writers in the magazine.
    • Fandom and the magazine.
    • Visual studies of cover and interior artwork.
    • Hard SF and the magazine.
    • Interdisciplinary approaches to studying the magazine.
    • STEM and the Humanities bridged in the magazine.
    • Pedagogical approaches to teaching SF and/or STEM with the magazine.

  19. I’m enjoying Valente’s Space Opera a lot more than I expected to. For me it’s a real contender.

  20. (18) I loved that book, no matter who wrote it. I hope it gets a sequel.

  21. The last part of His Dark Materials suffers badly from Too Big To Edit syndrome. It could really have done with cutting by about a third, including probably all of the Mary Malone and the Elephant Bicycles material.

  22. (5) The list of 5 books includes a trilogy, a set of more than 20 related books, and a play. I suppose you can get copies of the script for Peter Pan. Or maybe they mean “Peter and Wendy”, the novelized version.

  23. Of all the windows all over the multiverse in His Dark Materials, and how long it would take the Angels to close them all up, they could have left the one connecting the two Oxfords until last.

    And I may never forgive Pullman for that.

  24. #3: Yes, the Niven story is obsolete in the same way that Moby Dick is obsolete. Wooden ships hunting whales, how 19th century! The science may be off, but the drama, the characters are still valid.

    Andrew’s (not me) long call-for-papers post was something that went out to various a while ago. I’m sure I forwarded it to Mike at the time. The venue, fwiw, is about a 10 minute walk from where I live. I’ve always intended to head over there and check out their SF collection.

  25. @Hampus Eckerman, @Andrew: I recall comment when The Amber Spyglass came out to the effect that whatever the opposite of “stick the landing” is, Pullman did it. I don’t know whether that ending was what he was aiming at or just a way of crashing out of a corner he’d written himself into. contra @nickpheas, I don’t remember thinking it needed to be cut, just that the conclusion was broken.

  26. I was lucky enough to get to meet Mel Belli a few times towards the end of his life. He was a funny guy, and I basically grilled him about Star Trek. As I’ve grown up, and started digging more and more into the Zodiac Killer, I wish I had asked him so much more. One of the greatest moments I ever saw was Mel and Armistead Maupin exchanging greetings at an event while Ann Calvello looked on!
    Chris

  27. Apropos Dublin: My copy of the Grenadine app just downloaded a schedule update. Now, instead of saying ‘No items available’, it says ‘No items available’.

  28. 19: Apparently Rutger Hauer was allergic to something in Guinness so during shooting of the commercials he would immediately spit out anything he drank and rinse his mouth thoroughly. The money made it worthwhile…

  29. @Andrew I. Porter: that analogy is defective (at best). Moby-Dick is mimetic fiction; it belongs in the period when it was written. (IMO it should stay there — I gave up maybe a third of the way through — but that’s a matter of taste.) Niven’s work, on the other hand, was about what we would find when we got farther out than we’ve yet gotten in person; it’s not deliberately counterfactual so it can’t be dismissed as steampunk but it’s broken in a way that mimetic fiction never will be.

  30. 5) I’m a huge fan of Ibbotson but I don’t know that One Dog And His Boy is really her best—still any of them are solid. (Paddington formed no part of my childhood—may be more of a British thing? Winnie the Pooh, sure, Frog and Toad definitely, but Paddington kinda passed me by.)

    Pullman set up a great world and then…well. That ending was certainly…err…made of words. Yes.

    The big problem, I think, is that “children’s book” covers such a massive range that such lists are really a bit pointless. The Amber Spyglass and Where The Wild Things Are might both technically be kid books, but it’s like the time I found Watership Down and Full Metal Jacket both under “Adventure.” The two just don’t have a lot to say to each other in any meaningful sense.

  31. Gotta give Rees-Mogg points for consistency: his politics are stuck in the 19th c., and so are his measurements and his grammar! 😀

    (I have to say that the imperial measurements thing seems particularly boggling!)

  32. I have pretty much forgotten everything about the Amber Spyglass series except for the Polar Bears! IN ARMOR! I don’t see any reason to remember anything else about it.

  33. @ Xtifr – Rees-Mogg is a monarchist and anti-European, so in that context the imperial measurements thing is understandable, if eccentric. He’s sometimes referred to as ‘the honourable member for the 18th century’. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rees-Mogg also believes that Britain should still be ruling an empire.

  34. Warner also did the voice of Jon Irenicus in the game Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows Of Amn.

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