Spent Thursday escorting DUFF delegate Clare McDonald to the Huntington Library and the LASFS meeting, so there needs to be a short Scroll today….Short but charmingly illustrated, thanks to Camestros Felapton.
(1) MENTAL RIVALRY. Kameron Hurley says she has not yet achieved a state of Zen consciousness about her career in “What About Me? Dealing with Professional Jealousy”
Oh, you published a bestselling book that critics thought was crap? Oh you’ve won awards but not sold millions, oh, you sold millions, but didn’t win awards? Oh, you’ve sold well but never got a movie deal. Oh, you’ve sold well and got a movie deal but the movie tanked? Oh, you sold well and got a movie deal and the movie did well but didn’t win Best Picture. Boo-hoo.
You see how your measure of “success” can keep going up and up and up until you’re just never happy, ever. My spouse often shakes his head at me because I move my bar for success all the time. What I have is never enough. For me, this works, because if I was satisfied in my professional life I wouldn’t be inspired to do anything. But for my own sanity I did have to make my own definition of success. I had to create my own career goals so that when I did turn down opportunities or choose to do one project instead of another, I would stop second-guessing myself.
(2) DIFFERENT VIEW OF HOMER. M. Harold Page has an intriguing review at Black Gate: “Was Homer a Historian After All? A Look at The Trojan War: A New History”.
Better yet, modern archaeology has found a much larger Troy — Schliemann only discovered the citadel — and also uncovered a general collapse consistent with foreign invasion. Finally, recent finds have dissolved away Homer’s apparent anachronisms in military equipment.
So Homer could be true. Not as true as, say, Froissart, but truer than Malory. Think how Saving Private Ryan or The Longest Day treated the Normandy landings, and you have a sense of how accurate we’re talking about.
All that said and done, Strauss settles in to tell us the story as it might/could/probably/should have happened.
(3) THAT’S A BIG RELIEF.
It's OK, dudes. You can still do Ghostbusters cosplay this year. Here are your choices. pic.twitter.com/AS7o0IS5zG
— Tree Lobsters! (@treelobsters) July 19, 2016
(4) FOR PEACE OF MIND. James Davis Nicoll is doing a fundraiser sale at his book review site to help with a recently-deceased fan’s final expenses.
I’ve known Stephanie Clarkson since she was a young teen hanging around my game store. I saw her grow up and find her place as an adult. Recently, she struggled with major health problems. Just as she seemed to have turned the corner on that, she was diagnosed with cancer. Stephanie died on July 19th, 2016.
Patricia Washburn is raising funds for Stephanie’s final expenses. To help her in this, I am running a seventy-two hour sales: commissions are half off ($50 a review) and all funds raised from reviews commissioned between now and 10 AM, July 24rd will be forwarded to Patricia.
(5) THE HORROR.
— Chronicle Books (@ChronicleBooks) July 13, 2016
(6) TODAY IN HISTORY
- July 21, 2007 — The seventh and final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is released, with an initial print run of 12 million copies in the United States alone.
(7) PAULK ON HUGO NOMINEES. Kate Paulk reached The Big One in her survey: “Hugo Finalist Highlights – Best Novella and Best Novel”. I picked this excerpt because it marks an occasion where I had pretty much the same thoughts about the story, although I thought the author achieved what he set out to do.
The Builders by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com) – This offering nearly broke me in the first sentence. Note to authors: you will not go far when you give a character with no discernable Spanish or Portuguese traits the name “Reconquista”. Especially when someone with more than zero historical literacy reads your work. The second-rate knockoff of the Brian Jacques Redwall-style stories does not help the cause.
(8) ANTICIPATION. Doris V. Sutherland predicts the 2016 Hugo winning novella after reviewing all five nominees. She begins with —
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Mankind has spread to the stars and encountered alien races, but not all of humanity is eager to explore space. The Himba of Southern Africa remain a close-knit and traditional people, one that prefers to remain on Earth. Binti, a sixteen-year-old Himba girl, is an exception: when she is granted a scholarship at a university on another planet, she eagerly hops on board a spaceship and begins the journey.
Binti finds herself travelling alongside members of another ethnic group, the Khoush, who mock her Himba adornments: she smears her skin with a mixture of oil and red clay, wears heavy anklets and has her hair elaborately braided….
(9) THESE ARE THE SNORES YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. The Daily Telegraph headline claims “Evil doll’s sleeping secrets unmasked”.
SLEEP-deprived parents are paying triple the price of a best-selling doll which puts babies to sleep using a heartbeat and breathing “like Darth Vader”.
A bidding war pushed the price of one Lulla doll on eBay to $350, while thousands of parents are on a waiting list.
Developed by a group of Icelandic mums, the soft doll plays a recording of a yoga guru in a deep meditative state wired up to a heart monitor.
Despite a shipment arriving last week, Australian distributor Michelle Green predicted she would be sold out of the $99 doll within days. “It’s crazy,” Ms Green said. “I’m packing and they’re going out the door as fast as I can get them.”
“It does sound like Darth Vader but, as I tell mums, most toddlers and babies haven’t seen Star Wars.”
(10) WHEN YOUR CHURCH BECOMES A POKESTOP. In “Popular Mobile App Brings Visitors to Church Facilities”, The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints Church News recommends a response to Pokémon Go players who come to its sites:
- View any visit as an opportunity.
Recognize that it is good for people to want to visit Church buildings and sites, even if it’s just part of playing a game. Signs in front of our buildings clearly state, “Visitors welcome.” Consider any visit as an opportunity to improve relationships with members of the community and help others feel positively about the Church.
- Be friendly and welcoming.
The visit to a meetinghouse may be someone’s first and only contact with the Church, so remember to be friendly and welcoming. Hosts and missionaries serving at visitors’ centers, Church historic sites, temple grounds could welcome and invite game players—as they do all visitors—to enjoy the displays, learn about the site, and perhaps even listen to a simple gospel message….
(11) BUT YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY’VE BEEN. The LA Times knows what you should be eating at the Orange County fair: Nutella, Game of Thrones-inspired hot dogs.
[Thanks to Camestros Felapton, Dave Doering, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day JohnFromGR.]