Pixel Scroll 7/10/17 Humor Is A Thing With Feathers, Or Maybe Pixels

(1) HEATING UP AND COOLING OFF. The current edition of WNYC’s On the Media talks extensively on SF and climate change:

Science fiction has always been an outlet for our greatest anxieties. This week, we delve into how the genre is exploring the reality of climate change. Plus: new words to describe the indescribable.

  1. Jeff VanderMeer @jeffvandermeer, author of the Southern Reach Trilogyand Borne, on writing about the relationships between people and nature.
  2. Claire Vaye Watkins @clairevayetalks about Gold Fame Citrus, her work of speculative fiction in which an enormous sand dune threatens to engulf the southwest.
  3. Kim Stanley Robinson discusses his latest work, New York 2140. The seas have risen 50 feet and lower Manhattan is submerged. And yet, there’s hope.
  4. British writer Robert Macfarlane @RobGMacfarlaneon new language for our changing world.

Throughout the show: listeners offer their own new vocabulary for the Anthropocene era. Many thanks to everyone who left us voice memos!

(2) ECONOMIC IMPACT. Some businessman are paying attention: “How climate change will transform business and the workforce”.

Right now, the top 10 most-desired skills for getting hired, according to LinkedIn’s data analysis, all have to do with tech: think cloud computing, SEO marketing and web architecture. In the same way tech has transformed today’s workforce, some say that climate change could transform tomorrow’s.

One industry that already shows some of that evolution is energy. According to data provided by job listings search engine Indeed, in the first quarter of 2014 in the UK, job postings in the renewable energy sector – made up of bioenergy, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind – accounted for a third (32.9%) of all energy-sector job postings in the first quarter of 2014. In 2017, that had risen to over half of all energy sector job postings, or 51.5%.

(3) MORE ON BUTLER MUSEUM EXHIBIT. In “Octavia Butler: Writing Herself Into The Story”, NPR goes behind the scenes of the Butler exhibit at the Huntington.

“Octavia Butler: Telling My Stories” is an exhibit currently at the Huntington Library, in the Pasadena suburb of San Marino, Calif. Curator Natalie Russell went through some “8,000 manuscripts, letters and photographs, and an additional 80 boxes of ephemera” to create an exhibition that shows, in chronological order, how Butler’s career was born and evolved, and what influenced her.

Large glass cases hold early notebooks and drawings, report cards from her days at Pasadena City College and notes to herself about character development. Early copies of her first editions are here. So is the one-page letter from the MacArthur Foundation notifying Butler she’d been chosen as a fellow in 1995.

…She often made them up while sitting on the porch at her grandmother’s chicken farm, in the High Desert town of Victorville, Calif., where she dreamed about animals. The drawings of horses that illustrated one of her early stories are on the walls at the Huntington. After Devil Girl, though, Butler switched to science fiction, determined to make that her career.

Creating her own path

That was astonishing, because the world was not full of well-paid science fiction writers, and with very few exceptions, all of those were male and white. No one like Butler existed in the genre. And that didn’t seem to hold Butler back one bit. “I don’t recall every having wanted desperately to be a black woman fiction writer,” she told Rose. “I wanted to be a writer.”

(4) SHUFFLING INTO HISTORY. Here’s what Magic fans can look forward to at San Diego Comic-Con: “Magic the Gathering Reveal Their SDCC Exclusive”.

  • “Magic: The Gathering 2017 Planeswalker Pack”  – $180.00

Includes a 24” x 36” screen print of Nicol Bolas illustrated by Brandon Holt. Produced in collaboration with Mondo. Printed by D&L on Magic: The Gathering card stock. Nicol Bolas is an iconic Magic character who first made an appearance in the game in 1994 and has been a powerful fan favorite since.

  • 6 Planeswalker cards with exclusive artwork by illustrator, Vincent Proce

Characters include Gideon Jura™, Jace Beleren®, Liliana Vess®, Chandra Nalaar®, Nissa Revane™ & Nicol Bolas™


(5) FUTURAMA GAME. SyFy beats everyone to the story: “Neat! Futurama returns as a game and we’ve got the scoop”.

It’s been a painfully long four years since the last original Futurama episode graced our screens (insert Kif shudder), but good news everyone, the Planet Express-less universe is no more with the launch of the Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow game available now on iOS and Android.


(6) WANTING MORE. At The Book Smugglers, Thea James advises readers “Where to Start with the Star Wars Expanded Universe”.

Star Wars inspires passion. Everyone has a different experience with the franchise, especially when it comes to opinions regarding touchy subjects like the prequel era, and the subsequent novels and shows to come out of said era.

My experience with Star Wars is probably very similar to many others of my generation: I grew up watching the original trilogy, which I loved very dearly. I watched the prequels when they were released in theaters starting with The Phantom Menace when I was fifteen, and… I enjoyed them. Sure, the writing was horrible and the acting not much better, but I ate it all up because it was more Star Wars. I bought into the prequel era, even as I felt it was falwed and lacking the emotional gravitas I so desperately wanted. I collected Pepsi bottles featuring different members of the galactic senate and other key characters, I obsessively played Rogue Squadron and, yes, Episode I: Racer, among others.

I bought into all of this because I was hungry for more of the universe I loved, and I wanted answers. I wanted to learn more about Dooku’s fall from grace and the rise of the Sith. I wanted to understand the corruption in the Senate beyond a cursory few scenes across three movies; I wanted to feel the cameraderie between Obi-Wan and Anakin, and understand how the Jedi could have been so blind to Palpatine’s machinations.

(7) ON TOP OF THE PILE. Nerds of a Feather finds out what the author is reading in “6 Books with Yoon Ha Lee”.

Yoon Ha Lee’s first novel NINEFOX GAMBIT was shortlisted for the Nebula, Hugo, and Clarke awards. He lives in Louisiana with his family and an extremely lazy cat, and has not yet been eaten by gators.   Today he shares his 6 books with us…

What book are you currently reading? 

I’m rereading John Wick’s PLAY DIRTY 2, which is by a game designer and features a collection of tips for tabletop roleplaying and game masters. I find a lot of the narrative tricks and discussions really useful for thinking about how to construct a narrative even in a non-game format. I don’t always agree with Wick, but he’s thought-provoking, intelligent, and interesting.

(8) BEASTLY TV. Echo Ishii excavates another ancient TV series in “SF/Horror Obscure: Beasts”.

Beasts is a short run anthology horror show by Nigel Kneale, the creator of Qatermass.

(If you don’t know Qatermass it was one of the first serious SF TV serials and inspired Doctor Who among other things.) Nigel Kneale has a long and distinguished career in SF and horror.

Beasts originally ran in 1976 on ITV, as six episodes (50min). They are connected by a loose them of strange creatures and horrific circumstances, but the real power lies in the often unsympathetic but completely compelling characters. There are many recognizable actors in the series including Martin Shaw (Inspector George Gently!!!) and Micheal Kitchen (Inspector Foyle!!). I’m a huge fan of British TV mysteries-I’ve watched more of Midsomer Murders than is healthy.

(9) J.K. ROWLING’S LOST MANUSCRIPT. In an interview with CNN, Rowling revealed that she has written yet another fairy tale — but this one may never be published.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: I read that you were considering writing a political book for children, young people?

J.K. ROWLING: Oh, that was a fairy tale …

But I — I will tell you this. On my 50th — the theme of my 50th birthday, which I held at Halloween, even though that’s not really my birthday, was come as your own private nightmare. And I went as a lost manuscript. And I wrote over a dress most of that book. So that book, I don’t know whether it will ever be published, but it’s actually hanging in a wardrobe currently.

(10) MORE REVELATIONS. In “The Potter Family” on Pottermore J.K. Rowling looks at the history of the Potter family going back to the 12th century and reveals that Harry Potter is actually the second person in his family named “Harry Potter” since his great-grandfather also had the same name.

Potter is a not uncommon Muggle surname, and the family did not make the so-called ‘Sacred Twenty-Eight’ for this reason; the anonymous compiler of that supposedly definitive list of pure-bloods suspected that they had sprung from what he considered to be tainted blood. The wizarding Potter family had illustrious beginnings, however, some of which was hinted at in Deathly Hallows.

In the Muggle world ‘Potter’ is an occupational surname, meaning a man who creates pottery. The wizarding family of Potters descends from the twelfth-century wizard Linfred of Stinchcombe, a locally well-beloved and eccentric man, whose nickname, ‘the Potterer’, became corrupted in time to ‘Potter’. Linfred was a vague and absent-minded fellow whose Muggle neighbours often called upon his medicinal services. None of them realised that Linfred’s wonderful cures for pox and ague were magical; they all thought him a harmless and lovable old chap, pottering about in his garden with all his funny plants.

(11) MAGIC IS TURNING MUGGLES INTO MONEY. Behind a paywall in the Financial Times, Emma Jacobs has a lot more info about Rowling’s business activities.  The news includes:

  • If you try to find Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross station, you won’t find the Hogwarts Express, but there is a Potter gift shop and Potter fans from around the world
  • One of the rules Rowling has imposed is that there are to be no Harry Potter tie ins with fast food.
  • “The challenge is to stretch the franchise without breaking it.”  Jacobs spoke to children’s marketing consultant Gary Pope, who says the Toklien movies–particularly the three Hobbit films– was a franchise “that got too complicated and grown up, and you can’t sell merchandising to adults.”


  • July 10, 1981 — John Carpenter’s Escape from New York premiered.
  • July 10, 1985 Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome opened in theatres.


  • Born July 10, 1923 Earl Hamner Jr., of The Twilight Zone (“You Drive”) and The Waltons.
  • Born July 10, 1926 — Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster).
  • Born July 10, 1929 – George Clayton Johnson

(14) COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian recommends Brevity’s “cool” Star Wars joke.

(15) SCALZI COLLECTION. Subterranean Press has announced a new collection of John Scalzi’s nonfiction, Don’t Live For Your Obituary.

Between 2008 and 2017, author John Scalzi wrote fifteen books, became a New York Times bestselling author, and won numerous awards, including the Hugo, the Locus and the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio. He also had book deals crater, lost more awards than he won, worried about his mortgage and health insurance, flubbed a few deadlines, tried to be a decent parent and husband, and got into some arguments on the Internet, because, after all, that’s what the Internet is for.

Scalzi wrote about it all—the highs and lows in the life of a working writer—and gave his readers, and other writers, a glimpse of the day-to-day business of navigating a writing life in today’s world. Sometimes these essays offered advice. Sometimes they commented on the practical business of publishing and selling books. Sometimes they focused on the writing issues, arguments and personalities of the day. And sometimes, Scalzi reflected on his own writing life and career, and what both meant in the larger scheme of things….

(16) CONVERGENCE PLAUDITS. Here’s a couple of highly complimentary threads about the just completed CONvergence:

As Standback says, “It’s really nice to see people highlighting a convention that knocks it out of the park.”

(17) THE FELAPTON FILE. Here’s Camestros Felapton’s take on the Hugo-nominated novellas:

  1. Every Heart a Doorway: Weird – I didn’t think this would be my number one when I read it. It has sort of got the spot by default. The novellas were a struggle between the familiar and the experimental and sometimes a struggle with making the experimental familiar or making the familiar experimental. None of them quite manged the achievements of the others but Every Heart came closest.

(18) HUGO REVIEWS. Edmonton’s Hugo Award Book Club has reached the short stuff: “Hugos 2017 — Short Stories”.  They say Wong and Wright are at the bottom of their ballot.

The most perplexing nominee — A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong — is a frenetic time-hopping story about a girl and her sister who have magical (electrical?) powers. The story may be about suicide, or it may be about the end of the world. There’s very little overall narrative thread to hold onto. In portions of the text, it feels like Wong is stringing words together into paragraphs without the traditional intermediary step of sentences. We can appreciate the artfulness of this style of writing, but it is not to our tastes…..

An Unimaginable Light is probably the best John C. Wright story that we’ve read — in no small part because it’s based around a couple of interesting notions about the ability of robots to interpret Asimov’s Three Laws in ways that their creators never intended. Although the ‘twist’ ending seems to come out of nowhere, that ending is at least built around an interesting idea concerning what it means to be human.

That being said, Wright’s slightly didactic prose and aggressive thesaurus use isn’t to our taste, nor is the way he seems to delight in the sexual degradation of one of the characters. This won’t be at the top of our ballot, but we can understand why some fans chose to nominate it.

(19) SPINE OUT OF ALIGNMENT. I wonder how often this happens? The collaboration by Larry Correia and John Ringo titled Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge came out this month, unfortunately, on the spine it read: “Larry Correia – Monster Hunter Nemesis.” B&N College HQ distributed a warning: “Simon & Schuster has issued a “return in place” for the following book due to a production error – the spine has a different title listed than the front cover of the book. Ooops! Please destroy all inventory as soon as possible.”

Correia also blogged about it: “Monster Hunter Grunge came out while I was away. Apparently the cover and interior are fine, but they had the spine of Monster Hunter Nemesis. Publishing screw ups happen, so this print run is being destroyed and replaced.”

(20) CORREIA RECUSAL. The same post also reminded people to vote for the Dragon Awards, with this request:

So please, participate, go an nominate whatever you think was awesome. Except don’t nominate me for anything. I won one last year, so I’m recusing myself from now on. Share the love!

(21) GRACE HOPPER COLLEGE GETS SUITABLE ARMS. Following up the Scroll item some months ago about one of Yale’s colleges replacing John C. Calhoun’s name with a modern one: “Grace Hopper coat of arms”.

The Grace Hopper College coat of arms became official on July 1, 2017.

Grace Murray Hopper’s accomplishments and qualities of character offer rich opportunities for visualization, and for representing the College’s transformation. The blue of the shield reflects the colors of Yale and of the U.S. Navy, where Hopper rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. The dolphin – thought of in the early days of heraldry as the ‘sovereign’ and ‘guiding light of the sea’ – represents Hopper’s exemplary personal and professional record of leadership. The ‘semé’ of white circles and vertical rectangles – evoking zeros and ones in this case – recognizes her contributions to mathematics and computer science. The scalloped bar at the top of the design gestures at waves or horizon, and links the College’s visual history to the patterns and colors of a new time.

(22) STORMS AHEAD. BBC News has been highlighting the images the Juno probe has been taking of Jupiter. The images of the polar regions showing a multitude of storms, each larger than Earth, all pressed up against each other are spectacular.

(23) VIDEO OF THE DAY. SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival 2017 Trailer previews, in two minutes, 19 animated films that will be shown at the SIGGRAPH convention in Los Angeles later this month.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Bill Burns, Dann Todd, Harold Osler, IanP, Michael J. Walsh, Chip Hitchcock, and Standback for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day lauowolf.]

85 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/10/17 Humor Is A Thing With Feathers, Or Maybe Pixels

  1. (19): I recently picked up a copy of the latest book (Night of Fire) by Colin Thubron, who in addition to being one of the great writers of nonfiction in the English language is also a fine novelist. On the spine his name is printed as ‘Colin Thurbon’.

  2. (11) MAGIC IS TURNING MUGGLES INTO MONEY. children’s marketing consultant Gary Pope… says the Toklien movies – particularly the three Hobbit films – was a franchise “that got too complicated and grown up, and you can’t sell merchandising to adults.”

    Somebody better tell the Star Trek and Star Wars fans that they have turn in their phasers, light sabers, action figures, and Lego sets. 🙄

  3. (11) MAGIC IS TURNING MUGGLES INTO MONEY. children’s marketing consultant Gary Pope… says the Toklien movies – particularly the three Hobbit films – was a franchise “that got too complicated and grown up, and you can’t sell merchandising to adults.”

    Toklien movies is a transparent way of creatively stretching the LotR/Hobbit franchise. Coming soon to a reilway station near you, merch shops for “Start Wreck” & “Star Warts”.

    Inspired by today’s title (so I am totally blaming Mike):
    “Kinky is using a Pixel, Perverted is using the whole Scroll.”

  4. (11)
    looks around house purchased with own earned money
    sees lots of toys and merchandise
    is confused about adult-ness
    checks ID
    decides guy in this item is stupid and possibly bad at his job

    Ooh, Fifth!

  5. (11) Gary Pope:
    “[Tolkien/Hobbit movies] got too complicated and grown up…”
    um, like Star Trek TOS?
    “…and you can’t sell merchandising to adults.”
    Mr Pope will need a real, working phaser to pry my real, working Communicator from my cold dead (vaporized?) hands.

    (i prefer to think of buying a Communicator as prodding along the Future i want with my money)
    And, lurkertype is right.



  6. re: “you can’t sell merchandise to adults”
    But but but — that’s where the MONEY is!
    When I was young, I had very little discretionary money to spend.
    Now I have lots and can indulge in impulse buys of cool stuff.

  7. I have a copy of Hyperion which is just Hyerion on the spine. It was mysteriously cheap, I wonder if it fell off the back of a returns lorry.

  8. It was mysteriously cheap

    Surely it should only be 1p less than a regular edition.

  9. 8) There’s a lot to be said for Nigel Kneale, but Beasts might not be the best entry point to his oeuvre – the format makes it very uneven; my own opinion was that two of the stories (“During Barty’s Party” and “Special Offer”) worked very well, one (“The Dummy”) was OK, two (“Baby” and “What Big Teeth…”) had interesting concepts and lots of atmosphere, but were very slow in the execution, and one (“Buddyboy”, where Martin Shaw plays an enterprising young pornographer who is pursued by the vengeful spirit of a performing dolphin) is just plain bizarre. YMMV.

    (Curiously enough, one of my neighbours was the sound man on “Special Offer”, and once described how much fun they’d had with the special effects, as an invisible cartoon hamster rampages through a supermarket. Yes, you did read that right, and yes, it’s still way less bizarre than “Buddyboy”.)

  10. Toklien? Tolkein? Took-lien? Maybe even a lien on Bagginses. We hatesss the Bagginsess, we does. Don’t we, my preciousssssss?

  11. 4) Its clearly been way too long since I’ve played any Magic. I don’t know what those white numbers in the black shields refer to.

    16) Convergence tries to do a good job with panel diversity, too. Panels where there isn’t gender parity are the exception, not the rule.
    Oh, and Convergence’s 20th Anniversary is next year (July 5-8 2018). Come on up to Minnesota. 🙂
    (Just as a warning, attendance this year was 6500 members, if you really don’t like crowds of that size…)

  12. @Mark: I get that typos happen like in your example, but I just can’t get my head around how they managed to put entirely the wrong spine on the book, a la Monster Hunter Grunge. It seems like an organisational fuckup at the most basic level to do a print run with the wrong files.

  13. I have a copy of one of R. A. Lafferty’s novels, which the cover and spine titles identify as “The 13th Voyage of Sinbad” (one) and “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” (the other). One or both may have said “Sindbad”.

  14. Pretty much agree with the Novella assessment, though the pdfery means I’ve not read the Mieville (yet).

    Really not grokking Too Like The Lightning. Others seem to.

  15. @Oneiros

    In my imagination, some poor cover designer started by loading up the file from the last Correia book they did, and it just all went horribly wrong from there…..

  16. Steve Wright: “Buddyboy”, where Martin Shaw plays an enterprising young pornographer who is pursued by the vengeful spirit of a performing dolphin


  17. @JJ: well, you see, he has this plan to buy up a disused dolphinarium and convert it to a sex club (with films, live performances, and an in-house restaurant serving aphrodisiac hamburgers), but when he takes over the building he also takes ownership of the dolphin’s curse, and don’t look at me like that, I didn’t make this stuff up.

  18. @Mark: that really has to be it. It fits in with Baen’s usual editing ethos too, unfortunately.

  19. Steve Wright: well, you see, he has this plan to buy up a disused dolphinarium and convert it to a sex club with films, live performances, and an in-house restaurant serving aphrodisiac hamburgers


  20. @11 is even more wrong than several Filers have pointed out; who does the author think is buying solid silver time turners? Maybe there are a lot of very rich children in the UK? (There are certainly some very old children in the UK, such as the Viscount St. Davids.)

    @oneiros: It seems like an organisational fuckup at the most basic level to do a print run with the wrong files. Not clear it was at the file level. Printing is still a mechanical process, in which several parts have to be put together. (cf the YA paperback(?) ~20 years ago in which a signature was replaced by one from a one-handed book(*).) From what I’ve heard, this is true even of MMPBs; the error could have just been an operator putting the wrong pallet of covers by the ~binding ~machine.

    * No, I don’t remember details; I just remember Larry Smith being very snarky about it.

    @Jim Parish: @supergee’s cite is older, but not by much (1986 vs 1989.) Fascinating to know of screwups going that far back. I wonder whether Lafferty noticed.

  21. Recusing yourself from a literary award you’ve won is a laudable thing to do.

    I said something nice about Larry Correia. It’s over now and I’d prefer we all just move on.

  22. (21) There actually is a way to get a wavy line, in heraldry. IIRC, it’s a bar undée (undy? let’s not go there). But they may not have been aware of it.
    The rest is pretty good.
    At one time I had a ‘nanosecond’ that I got for real from Grace Murray Hopper. (It was a 30cm length of wire.)

  23. There actually is a way to get a wavy line, in heraldry

    In that case, “Argent, a bar engrailed Sable”, cf my employers blazon “Argent, a bend engrailed sable, impaling Or, a pheon azure”

  24. That’s a much prettier coat of arms than my old residential college has. (Berkeley, lots of Maltese crosses on bright red, which they copied from the coat of arms of the eponymous bishop.)

  25. I’m rusty about blazons, but it would be something on the lines of

    azure semé of roundels and billets argent, a dolphin or, on a chief argent a bar engrailed sable

    with a hat tip to Antony for engrailed, which had escaped my recollection.

  26. Wasn’t there a Bishop of Eponymous who wrote a famous Tractacus contra Catelli Miseri?

  27. @Oneiros: You beat me to it. I was thinking “Typical Baen editing”. It had to have been at the layout level, since the front of the book and the spine differ.

    @Bonnie: OMG, you were reading my mind on “Taste of Honey” in your rot13’d part. As I said over at Cam’s blog, “You never go full Shamalyan, Kai.” I think you might even have the same rankings on Novella as me.

    Also, totally digging the heraldry talk. Mine’s rusty too, but it’s so fun.
    @Anthony: oo-er, a Cantabrigian!

  28. Convergence has some great posters about disabilities, too.

    My sister volunteered for MCM Expo for several years and I know she had several conversations with disgruntled vendors over the customer-base shifting from an older, (mostly) Star Trek-focused group who would spend lots of money to a much younger, anime-focused group who didn’t have the money to spend even if they wanted to.

    Children are more likely to end up with cheap crap that can be manufactured for next to nothing and sold with a large profit, I suppose.

    @Steve Wright

    … Wow.

  29. On second thoughts this is the days of google – one can just look the blazon up.

    Azure semé of Plates and Billets Argent a Dolphin embowed Or; on a Chief Argent a Fess engrailed Sable

    I missed the description of the curve on the dolphin (embowed), didn’t use the shorter form of plate for roundel argent, and wrote bar when I should have written fess. (As I said I’m rusty.)

  30. Wasn’t that exciting? I just approved 20 spam messages by accident but they’re gone now.

  31. @Stewart: you were close. I mean, a plate *is* a roundel argent.

    I think it’s a great idea for Yale to rename that college after a distinguished alumna/professor who did so many important things, as opposed to its previous name which honored a guy who thought slavery was “a positive good”. The engrailed Sable on Argent bit comes from his coat of arms, where they were Saltire.

    But they really should have put in “a moth, proper”.

  32. @ lurkertype
    It must be a layout error, as covers are printed in one piece and wrapped around the bound pages. Somebody recycled an old spine with the new front and back covers.

  33. @Bonnie McDaniel

    Have a Vellit Boe high-five from me 🙂

    I think my money’s on Bujold or McGuire to actually win that category, but I’m crossing my fingers for Kij Johnson. SFADB have the full Locus rankings now, and I notice that Vellit Boe actually came in second there, which might bode well.

  34. @Anthony: oo-er, a Cantabrigian

    By employment and residence, tertiary education was Cambrensis which is good for the occasional wind-up by styling myself “B.Sc. (Cambs)” and waiting for the double incorrect correction attempts…

  35. Today’s Jeopardy! had two categories in the Double Jeopardy round: Shaka, and When the Walls Fell. Sadly, neither category had a question about Captain Picard. And also my friend next to me at the bar, when I explained how brilliant this was, didn’t care.

    I did win on Final Jeopardy, though. And I bet it all!

  36. I really like “Vellitt Boe” too.

    “Every Heart a Doorway” struck me as a sort of horror story, quite original and engaging but also pretty dark. I haven’t read much McGuire; this is the best so far.

  37. It must be a layout error, as covers are printed in one piece and wrapped around the bound pages. Somebody recycled an old spine with the new front and back covers.

    …and then no one spotted it because Baen doesn’t bother with the “careful proofreading” stage, which sometimes includes the “giant obvious error no one sees because no one looks at because it’s not their job.”

    This is one of the reasons I don’t bother with Baen books unless there’s some reason to ignore the fact that they will almost assuredly be ugly and poorly edited.

    They don’t see the value in putting in the effort (and money) that it costs, and apparently that works for their audience. Some of us, though, it actively chases away.

    Which is cool, since it’s their choice. And it cuts down on my potential purchases, so it works out for me, too.

  38. I remain grateful that Baen keeps P.C. Hodgell in print. Other than that …

    I loved both Vellit Boe and Every Heart a Doorway — I’d need to revisit my ballot to remember which one took the top spot.

  39. Mike Glyer on July 11, 2017 at 1:22 pm said:
    Wasn’t that exciting? I just approved 20 spam messages by accident but they’re gone now.

    Damn, missed them
    Mais où sont les spam d’antan?

  40. @lurkertype: turns out I was nearer than I thought – having refreshed my memory one horizontal strip if a fess (or chief if at the top of the shield), two or more are bars.

  41. A couple of questions for the Filers:

    1. Has anyone read and finished Greg Benford’s The Berlin Project?
    2. I’m 70 pages in and my eyes keep closing. Does it pick up the pace at all at some point?

    Thank you!

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