Pixel Scroll 7/16/16 Pixels, Scrolls, Roddenberry And Time

(1) POETRY DESTROYED. A sampling of Stoic Cynic’s satirical genius.

A fragmented excerpt from The Filer and the Astronaut by Louise Carol:

‘The time has come,’ the Filer said,
‘To talk of many things:
Of pups — and picks — and palimpsests —
Of Cadigan — and King —
And why this movie, cult is not —
And whether trolls believe.’

‘But scroll a bit,’ the Pixels cried,
‘Before you have your chat;
For some of us are full of links,
Oh do not rush so fast!’
‘No hurry!’ said the Astronaut.
They thanked him much for that.

‘A post of fifth,’ the Filer said
‘Is what we chiefly need:
Filking and Punnery besides
Are very good indeed —
Now, if you’re ready, Pixels dear,
We can begin to read.’

‘Pixels,’ said the Astronaut,
‘You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be posting here again?’
But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d scrolled up every one.

(2) GHOSTBUSTERS REVIEW. Rachael Acks get the first word about “[Movie] Ghostbusters (2016)”. BEWARE SPOILERS.

Ghostbusters (2016) comes to us in a world saturated with sequels and remakes and reboots that no one wanted, needed, or asked for—and finally, we get a reboot we actually deserve.

I have a lot of love in my heart for 1984’s original Ghostbusters, which came out in theaters when I was way too young to see it. I remember my parents showing me the movie when I was a bit older, and recall that I thought the first ghost in the library was absolutely fucking terrifying, and that Egon was my favorite ghostbuster. I have a moderate little wad of affection for the at-times cringe-worthy sequel, Ghostbusters 2. I got up extra early on Saturday mornings for years so I could watch The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series. I owned action figures. My Ghostbusters love is not a matter for debate.

Two years ago, for the thirtieth anniversary of the movie, I got to watch Ghostbusters (1984) properly in a movie theater. It was still funny, and fun, and I still loved it to pieces. But it broke my heart a little when adult me noticed the incredibly creepy sexism of Venkman that child me skated around and just thought was at worst an endearing quirk.

And now today, I rode my bike over to a movie theater so I could eat some overpriced popcorn and watch a new Ghostbusters that made it all better.

(3) BEST OF 2016. Patrick St. Denis of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist names the five best speculative fiction novels he read in the first half of 2016. Number one on the list —

  1. Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay (Canada, USA, Europe) Here’s the blurb:

The bestselling author of the groundbreaking novels Under Heaven and River of Stars, Guy Gavriel Kay is back with a new novel, Children of Earth and Sky, set in a world inspired by the conflicts and dramas of Renaissance Europe. Against this tumultuous backdrop the lives of men and women unfold on the borderlands—where empires and faiths collide….

(4) CLASSIC SF OR COMFORT FICTION? James Wallace Harris finds there are many answers to the question “Who Still Reads 1950s Science Fiction?”

When I was growing up, the Golden Age of Science Fiction was considered 1938-1946,  mostly due to the editorship of Astounding Science Fiction by John W. Campbell. Certainly many of the classic science fiction short stories I read in the early 1960s were reprints from that era. Then Peter Graham said, “The Golden Age of science fiction is 12.” That felt so right that no other age has ever usurped it. The science fiction that imprinted on me at age 12 is the atomic clock by which I’ve measured all science fiction since.

My favorite SF novel in 2015 was Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. I admire it for great intellectual speculation. But, it’s no match emotionally for my favorite generation ship story, Orphans of the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein. Orphans first appeared in book form in 1963, reprinting two novellas from 1941, “Universe” and “Common Sense” that were originally published in Astounding Science Fiction.  I turned 12 in 1963. Aurora is a much more ambitious and sophisticated novel than Orphans in the Sky. Aurora had more to say about science and science fiction, but it’s the Heinlein story that resonates with my heart.

(5) 2016 CURT SIODMAK AWARDS. Voting has opened for the Curt Siodmak Preis, given for the best movie and TV program shown in the German language during the previous year. Fans will have until August 4 to cast an online vote.

The award is administered by Science Fiction Club Deutschland. The winners will be announced at MediaKon One over the August 12-14 weekend. [Via Europa SF.]

(6) BEYOND STAR TREK BEYOND. AV Club brings word that Kirk’s dad played by Chris Hemsworth will appear in the next Star Trek film to enter production.

Apparently figuring that it’s never too soon to start stoking the fires for a franchise’s next installment—even if the previous film hasn’t actually, y’know, come out—Star Trek reboot mastermind J.J. Abrams has announced that Chris Hemsworth will be returning to the franchise for the follow-up to Star Trek Beyond. For those of you with hazy memories of Star Trek (2009), Hemsworth briefly appeared in the movie as George Kirk, father of James, who lasted just long enough to pass on his “Handsome Chris” genetics to his son (Chris Pine) before Eric Bana could blow him to bits….

(7) THIRD PARTY. Speaking of bringing back the dead, what about Kirk’s running mate for President…?

kirk spock

(8) POTTERMORE TRAFFIC SPIKE. Word that J.K. Rowling had written a new Sorting Quiz helped her Pottermore site blow up one day in June.

J.K. Rowling now writes algorithms, too.

When the author released new details in June about America’s wizarding school – including a quiz in which fans could be sorted into one of the school’s houses — millions of Muggles flocked to her website, Pottermore.com.

This was the second sorting quiz Pottermore has offered since its beta launch in 2011. The first one sorted fans into one of four houses at Hogwarts.

“Of course, both quizzes are written by Jo,” Pottermore CEO Susan Jurevics said in an interview. “So it’s content that came directly from her. And she’s also been involved in the behind-the-scenes algorithm of it.”

….The quiz sent Potterheads into a frenzy. Traffic spiked on June 28, with 1.4 million visitors that day and 1.5 million the following day, according to data firm SimilarWeb. Some 9.2 million visitors came to the site over the 28 days ending July 11.

(9) BOOKS SPIKE, TOO. The Wall Street Journal’s Jennifer Maloney calls it “The Second Coming of Harry Potter”

“Cursed Child” has hovered between No. 1 and No. 2 on Amazon.com since it was announced in February. It’s Amazon’s top preorder this year in print and e-book, an Amazon spokeswoman said. Scholastic is printing 4.5 million copies of the play in the U.S. and Canada. While that’s far lower than the 12 million advance U.S. print run for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in 2007, it’s considered a massive launch for a book, let alone a play. Last year’s top-selling book, Harper Lee’s “Go Set A Watchman,” has sold 3.3 million hardcovers in the U.S. and Canada, according to HarperCollins. A typical first print run for a new play by a prominent playwright is around 5,000.

Also news is that Rowling now has script control over anything developed from her books, which she didn’t have in the Harry Potter movies.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • July 16, 1969 Apollo 11, the first moon-landing mission, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • July 16, 1928 – Robert Sheckley

(12) REJECTION SLIP. Arlan Andrews, Sr. reports that Analog rejected “Fight”, the latest episode of his “Rist” series. Episode #2, “Flow,” was on both the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies slates for the 2015 Hugos. Greg Hullender opines, “Since Analog published the previous three episodes (‘Thaw,’ ‘Flow,’ and ‘Fall’) I’m a bit surprised that they rejected ‘Fight.’”

(13) PRO TIP. The way you get to be President of SFWA is by forcing yourself to exercise an even wilder imagination by constantly raising the bar on what you do in real life. It’s a theory, anyway.

(14) KEEP LOOKING. The Traveler at Galactic Journey found a “saving grace” in the August 1961 issue of Analog – but it’s not Mack Reynolds’ story.

For instance, almost half the issue is taken up by Mack Reynold’s novella, Status Quo.  It’s another of his future cold-war pieces, most of which have been pretty good.  This one, about a revolutionary group of “weirds,” who plan to topple an increasingly conformist American government by destroying all of our computerized records, isn’t.  It’s too preachy to entertain; its protagonist, an FBI agent, is too unintelligent to enjoy (even if his dullness is intentional); the tale is too long for its pay-off.  Two stars.

That said, there are some interesting ideas in there.  The speculation that we will soon become over-reliant on social titles rather than individual merit, while Campbellian in its libertarian sentiment, is plausible.  There is already an “old boy’s club” and it matters what degrees you have and from which school you got them.  It doesn’t take much to imagine a future where the meritocracy is dead and nepotism rules.

And, while it’s hard to imagine a paperless society, should we ever get to the point where the majority of our records only exist within the core memories of a few computers, a few revolutionaries hacking away at our central repositories of knowledge could have quite an impact, indeed!

(15) BIG BUSINESS. The BBC found someone is “Rescuing America’s Roadside Giants”.

Anyone making a road trip across America will sooner or later run across a giant statue – a cowboy, an American Indian chief or a lumberjack, perhaps. Many, now half a century old, are falling apart, but one man and his friends are tracking them down and bringing them back to life.

,,, The founding father was James V Lafferty, who built a six-storey elephant on a strip of undeveloped coastal land just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1881.

Lucy the Elephant was intended to attract property buyers and visitors and still stands as a tourist attraction today, having survived Hurricane Sandy in 2012. In 1882, Lafferty filed a patent on giant buildings “of the form of any other animal than an elephant, as that of a fish, fowl, etc.”, which he claimed was his invention.

 

giant

(16) USE THE CHARGE CARD LUKE. “Mark Hamill says Episode VIII lines will make fans ‘forget all about May the Force be with you’”. Does he means the lines in the script, or the lines to buy the toys?

He compared the avalanche of merchandise to the endless marching brooms from Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. “The toys just start coming to your house. Bum-bah-bump, bah-bump…,” he sang. “Every day, more toys.”

Hamill said one of the earliest words his kids said was “Kenner!”

“I gave all those toys to the kids, and they grew up later and said, ‘Oh my God, Princess Leia in the box is $1,400 in mint condition! Why’d you let us give her a Sinead O’Connor haircut with cuticle scissors?’ I said, ‘They were your toys!’”

(17) LINEUP. BBC Radio Four’s consumer program You and Yours featured Star Wars Celebration Europe. Specifically, as part of the problems with selling tickets to pop events.

Today a new campaign group called Fan Fair Alliance is launched by big players in the music industry to tackle the problem of ticket touts. The manager of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and PJ Harvey tells You & Yours what the promoters and musicians are trying to do to stop so many tickets ending up on resale websites.

Sci-fi fans going to a Star Wars Convention this weekend are worried they’ve only bought a ticket which gives them the right to queue for a ticket to see the main events.

(18) YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN MACII. I enjoyed this.

(19) POKÉMON GO STILL GOING. Washington Post editors must be letting all of their writers fill their quotas with stories about the newly released game.

The Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Philip Kennicott spent a week wandering art museums trying to catch Pokémon.

I successfully bag my first creature, a Charmander, while walking the dog. Charmanders emit no detectable odor, so my dog is bored out of his mind as I jerk him around the neighborhood. The Charmander’s bad luck is my good fortune, advancing me to the point that some hipster professor figure who runs the game insists that I create a screen name. I choose Karl Kraus, because I’ve always admired the great Austrian satirist and social critic who died in 1936; but someone has already picked that name. Next, I try Susan Sontag, the American essayist and author, but that name is also taken. Is every pretentious twit on the planet playing this game?

Post humorist Alexandra Petri is excited by Pokémon Go because “I love any excuse to bump into things while walking around staring at my phone, and Pokemon really delivers there.”

She’s decided —

People are praising Pokemon Go as a rare activity that gets you to talk to strangers and go outdoors. Well, we used to have a hobby like that.  It was called smoking.  I’m thinking about taking that up instead.  It might get my mind off Pokemon Go.

(20) ANIMAL MAGNETISM. Lisa Goldstein reviews another Hugo nominee — Novella: “The Builders” – at inferior4+1.

This is such a weird story, you guys.  A captain brings together his old companions for one final battle, an attack on the usurpers who took over the town.  But in this version of the story everyone is a small animal: mouse, stoat, opossum, salamander, and so on….

(21) CHUCK TINGLE. Hugo nominee Chuck Tingle continues to entertain at a frantic pace. He released a work taking advantage of the Pokemon Go craze, with a predictable title. Earlier in the month he posted this silly warning —

(22) OOPS, TOO LATE. A Monster Calls comes to theaters in October.

A visually spectacular drama from acclaimed director Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Impossible”), based on the award-winning children’s fantasy novel. 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) attempts to deal with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss, and faith.

 

[Thanks to James Bacon, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Greg Hullender, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cath.]

69 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/16/16 Pixels, Scrolls, Roddenberry And Time

  1. (1) Somehow I didn’t see this in the other thread. Thanks for reprinting it.

    I also watched 10 Cloverfield Lane, which is a tense, creepy, claustrophobic SF thriller. Surprisingly good performance from John Goodman as a paranoid survivalist who may also be a murderer…but isn’t wrong about the alien invasion. This went straight to my longlist.

    EDIT: Ha. And first!

  2. First! Godstalk! (I must finish reading that some day.) Here I plant my flag and stake my claim!

    ETA: I see I’m too late. If I spend enough time editing this, will I miss second? Let’s see . . .

  3. Second fifth.

    And I will get back to reviewing Hugo finalists once the avalanche of work that dropped onto me over the last week and a half passes by.

  4. If the Golden Age of SF is 12, I should still nostalgically enjoy stuff from 1965. And damn, I sure don’t.

  5. (7) Kirk/Spock is cute, but the best political bumper sticker of the year goes to “Giant Meteor 2016: Just get it over with.”

    Maybe it’s time to read the last volume of the Last Policeman trilogy.

  6. (1) POETRY DESTROYED. Bravo/a! 😀

    (22) OOPS, TOO LATE. The trailer wasn’t quite what I expected from the description, and it seems a little too mushy. Yet I kinda want to see it!

    @Pixel Suggestions: Dead Sea Pixel Scrolls – this seems likely to have been suggested or used before, but I did a quick search and didn’t find it.

    In other news, I’m catching up on the past month (posts only, for the most part); I’m almost up (er, back) to the Pixel Scroll 7/2!

  7. (15) BIG BUSINESS.

    I really hate seeing fan events turned into cash-cow-cattle-car-money-gouging profit centers. But I guess that, unless and until fans say “Enough! I refuse to pay $150 just for the chance to line up overnight in hopes of getting a wristband to see the main events”, this is not going to change. 😐

  8. (11) Hooray, I share a birthday with one of my favorite writers.
    (15) I recall a Simpsons episode where the giants came to life and ran amok.

  9. @Charon D.

    I believe you’re thinking of “Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores”, which I think was from a “Treehouse of Horror” episode.

    So in poking around Crunchyroll, I have discovered a wee show called Bananya, about the secret lives of cats who live inside of bananas. Whaaaaaaaat.

  10. i’m near the end of Stiletto (the sequel to the Rook), and there’s something which seems to me to be a reference (already seen references to Frankenstein and Dr Moreau’s Island), but I can’t place it :

    drunk individual whom no one seemed to know but who kept muttering about some goddamn beekeper and the dynamics of rocs in space

    (context (not sure it’s important) : people meeting for social chitchat in Paris ine the 1930)

  11. Iphinome: (18) I got BINGO in the first line.

    Yeah, I ticked 29 out of 42, so I guess it’s a good thing I’m going to MAC II. 😀

  12. Guillaume on July 16, 2016 at 11:41 pm said:

    drunk individual whom no one seemed to know but who kept muttering about some goddamn beekeper and the dynamics of rocs in space

    Doesn’t ring a bell but ‘some goddamn beekeeper’ could be a Sherlock Holmes reference.

  13. (1) Cheered it in the last scroll, still love it.

    These poetry attacks, filk, reviews, and comments really show that this is still a fanzine, just not on paper. We got filk, poetry, reviews, con write-ups, art, lettercol equivalent, everything what they had back in hectograph days.

    (7) I have a Kirk-Spock button from the late 70s/early 80s, and a Picard-Riker one from when that was on. Giant Meteor is THE one of this year, and apparently finished in double-digits in one poll.

    (12) Could actions have consequences? Or is it maybe just not so goodly wrote? It’s not like they’re legally required to pick up every story in that series; maybe this one sucked, or maybe they already had plenty of that sub-genre purchased already this year, or maybe the “ratings” for those have been going down.

    (15) I love these. So glad someone’s preserving them.

    (18) Does Brother Guy know he’s being set up this way? I suppose he can forgive them, that’s the other part of his job. 🙂

  14. Guillaume: and if it was in fact “rocks” in space, that’s Prof. Moriarty’s seminal paper, about asteroids, which would fit in with the Holmes/beekeeper reference.

  15. drunk individual whom no one seemed to know but who kept muttering about some goddamn beekeper and the dynamics of rocs in space

    Doesn’t ring a bell but ‘some goddamn beekeeper’ could be a Sherlock Holmes reference.

    That would make the speaker Professor Moriarty who – according to wikipedia – wrote a book “The Dynamics of an Asteroid”.

    Edit: Too slow!

  16. Yes, it was rocks 🙂 (I moved it to french while transcribing it, I should have made a note in the kindle :))

    Thanks to everyone !

  17. Today’s read — Mr. Splitfoot, by Samatha Hunt

    Literary fantasy about religions, death, birth, and life, told through two alternating narratives. In one narrative, a young con artist in the making leaves her foster home; in the other, many years later, she leads her niece on a strange journey through upstate New York. Really, really good. Beautiful prose. At this point in the year, it is easily in my top five favorite 2016 SFF novels, and I’ll note it on the 2016 recommended list as well. Will other works knock it off in the coming months? We shall see …

  18. Guillaume on July 17, 2016 at 1:26 am said:

    Yes, it was rocks ? (I moved it to french while transcribing it, I should have made a note in the kindle :))

    Rocs in space sound cool though.

    Surely there must have been a space/futuristic version of Sinbad at some point?

  19. Third Seventh!

    I had a photo up at Roadside America for a while. I’m not sure why it went away, but it happened when I looked away for a few years. We lived in Newport News at the time, and there was not only a muffler man there (who inspired a cartoon I drew of two guys walking past a monstrous “SAVE WITH THE KING OF CRANKSHAFTS” statue, and one is saying, “Makes you feel small and insignificant, doesn’t it?”), but a curious and unique adjunct to it. Let’s see if I can dig that out.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/kipw/1464698616/in/photolist-3eqXSq-3emzp6

    It’s a flickr link, and they’re wonky, so I’ll just tell you it’s a decorative iron grille on a side window of the place, and it’s in the shape of the Auto Muffler King himself, and it’s not enough that he’s tall, he’s also elevated.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/kipw/1463842575/in/photolist-3eqXSq-3emzp6/

    Pretty sure he’s still there. The giant “Indian Chief” I see when I drive through the Seneca reservation west of here is still there, too, and they’ve built a new structure to support him. There’s a duty-free tobacco outlet there, which he may or may not advertise. I would rather associate him with the plaintive banner that hasn’t been there the last couple of times: “THE WATER STILL FLOWS / THE GRASS STILL GROWS / HONOR YOUR INDIAN TREATIES.” In that role, he transcended the stereotype and became an emblem of resistance and a reminder of our failure to even make it right by the very first time we… gah, you know the rest. Might not be so galling but for the movie version, which is still accepted too widely.

  20. @3: I found the early setup in the latest Kay implausible — but he asserts that’s true to history. The rest is vintage Kay (although I felt a little manipulated that rirel sbpny punenpgre fheivirq juvyr gurer jrer urpngbzof bs qrnq frpbaqnevrf); watch for the references making clear this is in the same history as prior Kay works, which I don’t recall seeing in his other books.

    I’m also disappointed that Pat’s list contains two works marked “part three [of unknown number]”; I need something more than a blurb (all he provides) to make me read two doorstops so I can understand a recommended third, especially when I can’t even tell whether third time pays all.

    @19: a friend into exercise notes the purported advantage of PG getting people outside involves people who clearly don’t know how to be outside, such as the pair who walked off a 75′ cliff. (Haven’t they heard of tag-teaming?)

  21. re: The Golden Age of SF is 12.

    For me, it may be the SF I read when I was 12, but I was not yet reading contemporary SF at that point. Thanks to an older brother introducing me to HIS Science fiction, I was reading for the most part slightly older science fiction than the contemporary at the beginning.

    The 1984 Hugo novel nominees, for novels in 1983, when I was 12:

    Startide Rising by David Brin [Bantam, 1983]
    Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy [Bantam, 1983]
    Millennium by John Varley [Berkley, 1983]
    Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern by Anne McCaffrey [Ballantine Del Rey, 1983]
    The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov [Doubleday, 1983]

    I read none of these in 1983 or 1984. It would take me a couple of years to discover Brin, Varley, McCaffrey. It was a long time before I hit on MacAvoy. I was reading Asimov at that point, Asimov was one of my first authors but I was reading used paperbacks, not new ones. So I didn’t get to this one for a while.

    Similarly, I hit Cyberpunk and Neuromancer a few years after its Annus mirabilis of 1984. I wanted to “catch up” with all the back history of the field, you see.

    Zelazny’s Merlin novels were the first novels I was eagerly trying to read “in real time”. As time went on, I slowly started to shift toward new or recently published SF. It was the mid to late 90’s when I started reading Hugo and Nebula nominees in the year they came out, as a way of staying abreast of the field.

  22. It’s a flickr link, and they’re wonky,

    “Adult content. You must be signed in to view this content.”

    What sort of sick muffler man porn are you posting?

  23. re: Paul Weimer’s comments on the Golden Age

    I am, apparently, two years older and had just started buying contemporary SF instead of relying on the school library and my Dad’s bookshelf. I read all of those nominees except the Varley. I still have never read a Varley–not sure why.

    My one memory of “Moreta” is of asking if I could use it for an English class book report (books had to be pre-approved). The teacher peered down her nose at the book with its slightly goofy title and colorful Michael Whelan cover, sighed, and said “I think you can do better.” I chose a Rosemary Sutcliff book instead. The Lantern Bearers, IIRC.

    My own personal golden age consisted of equal parts Heinlein juveniles, John Wyndham, and John Christopher, leavened with lots of Rosemary Sutcliff.

  24. Well, this is completely unexpected. (Oh, wait–did I say “completely unexpected?” I meant “easily predictable and inevitable.”)

  25. “Adult content. You must be signed in to view this content.”

    Outside Trees of Mystery in California they have giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trees_of_Mystery#/media/File:Klamath-Paul-and-Babe.jpg

    Babe is anatomically correct. Somewhere in the photo album we have a shot of stepson, aged about 5, standing under Babe pointing at said ox-ish boy part and giggling hysterically. 🙂

    Thank you everyone for the kind comments on The Filer and the Astronaut. Full credit to Camestros for inspiration from his excellent Edward Lear pastiche.

    @Nickp

    Varley can be be hit or miss. If you ever get the urge to check him out, I think The Golden Globe is probably his best novel so far. On the other hand I recently found a copy of Steel Beach and ugh! It’s like all his worst tics in one concentrated volume.

  26. Rocs in space sound cool though.

    There’s a Sector General story about one. They find one in deep space encrsuted with barnacles…

  27. Let’s see, what was going on in sf/f in 1977, when I was 12….

    Fascinating to see the mix. Some stuff I loved then, some I love now but didn’t then, some I loved then but am now repelled by, and so on.

    Gateway. Yes. I re-read it every so often and like it each time.
    Lucifer’s Hammer. The quintessential “growing up and learning about racism and such has ruined this book for me” book.
    “The Screwfly Solution”. Hated it then; have grown into an abiding…not delight, but admiring appreciation of it.
    “Ender’s Game”. Loved it then; do not now.
    “Air Raid”. Been a while since I read this, or any Varley short fiction other than “Press Enter”. But I’m up for doing so, which I guess is a testament of its own.
    In the Ocean of Night. Still one of my favorite Benford works.

    …and that’s just off the Hugo and Nebula lists. So yeah, 12 was a good year for me, but it genuinely isn’t the kind of miracle year that I got several of in the ’80s, or some this century.

  28. When I was 12, I was still working through my fathers library. But I do not agree that the golden age of SF was at 12 for me. It was later, when I got better at English. I would say it was between 14 and 20.

  29. When I was 12, I was still working through my fathers library. But I do not agree that the golden age of SF was at 12 for me. It was later, when I got better at English. I would say it was between 14 and 20.

    I was 12 when my folks gave me a copy of of the Jan 1965 issue Fantasy & Science Fiction for Christmas 1964 (have not missed an issue since then for more than 50 years now), and 13 when I joined the SF Book Club (thanks to an ad in F&SF). Books I bought in the initial offer were The Foundation Trilogy and Heinlein’s collection The Past Through Tomorrow (still have both of them–the Foundation Trilogy now signed by Asimov).

    The first regular monthly book I bought through the book club was Sheckley’s Mindswap.

    So I think 12 works for me.

  30. Let’s see … When I was 12, I was almost certainly reading lots of Tolkien, lots of Heinlein, and the Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back novelizations. And more than my share of AD&D and Traveller rulebooks and modules. (Never really played, but I loved to read them.) I know I’d read some Burroughs — whatever Tarzan paperbacks I could score at the library; not sure if I’d gotten into Barsoom or not. Plus whatever else I was finding at the public library. So I’m not prepared to not call that a Golden Age for me, at least.

  31. I’ll just tell you it’s a decorative iron grille on a side window of the place, and it’s in the shape of the Auto Muffler King himself, and it’s not enough that he’s tall, he’s also elevated.

    That is the sort of thing that Tim Powers would spin into the symbolic centerpiece of a novel about the occult underpinnings of America.

  32. Anyone else here read Black Magic by Ruka? I ended up buying it reading two pages. Loving Scott’s art, and Arena’s colors.

  33. flickr is really screwy about sharing. I used to be able to put a URL from the page in, and people could view the image and (this is important to flickr) know where it was from. Now they’ve closed that loophole, and gone so far as to wall off various normal technical ways of linking to an image.

    Damn them.

  34. Perhaps the real truth is that the Golden Age of Golden Age SF is 12! For that was indeed when I most loved the Campbellian style. Within a few years, I’d graduated to stuff like Delaney and Ellison and Brunner and Russ, who had mostly confused me when I’d tried them at a younger age. (We are talking the seventies here.)

  35. @CACollins – yes it’s great. Awful pity there’s a hiatus while the team work on Wonder Woman, but on the upside we get that team on Wonder Woman.

  36. Woohoo! I go away from the internet for a week, and come back to a title credit? Mike, you just made my day.

    Gosh, this is the second time I’ve been rewarded for delurking in a fannish venue. The prior one was organizing the ML meetup at Sasquan last year, where in fact I was fortunate enough to meet a few of you lovely people in the flesh.

  37. Stoic Cynic, you are brilliant and I loved that. Thank you ever so much!

    Kyra, Mr. Splitfoot sounds lovely and just my cuppa I am going to add it to Mount TBR. And speaking of a book that came down from the mountain… I am currently reading The Lie Tree and I couldn’t love it more. I. ADORE. IT. Thank you to everyone who recommended it. I’d say more but I have more to read and I CAN’T WAIT. Did I say I adore it?

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