Pixel Scroll 7/29 To Scroll in Italbar

American exceptionalism, Madeleine L’Engle, sci-fi music, and another trailer about a movie you’re likely to skip, all in today’s Scroll.

(1) Did an American manhole cover beat Sputnik into space? While Superman was fictional, a super-manhole-cover may actually have flown “faster than a speeding bullet.”

The next month, in [an underground nuclear bomb] test codenamed Pascal B, the team wanted to experiment with reducing the air pressure in the explosives chamber to see how that affected the explosion and radiation spread. A four-inch-thick concrete and metal cap weighing at least half a ton was placed over a 400ft-deep borehole after the bomb was installed below. The lid was then welded shut to seal in the equipment.

Before the experiment, Dr Brownlee had calculated the force that would be exerted on the cap, and knew that it would pop off from the pressure of the detonation. As a result, the team installed a high-speed camera to see exactly what happened to the plug.

The camera was set up to record one frame every millisecond. When the nuke blew, the lid was caught in the first frame and then disappeared from view. Judging from the yield and the pressure, Dr Brownlee estimated that it left the ground at more than 60 kilometres per second, or more than five times the escape velocity of our planet. It may not have made it that far, though – in fact the boffin, who retired in 1992, believes it never made it into space, but the legend of Pascal B lives on.

“I have no idea what happened to the cap, but I always assumed that it was probably vaporized before it went into space. It is conceivable that it made it,” he told us.

(2) And after reading that story, I’m certain everyone can see why the Mutual UFO Network’s “Track UFOs” tool is indispensable. 😉

(3) SF Signal’s always-interesting Mind Meld feature asks “What Books Surprised You the Most and Exceeded Your Expectations?” of Renay from Lady Business, Marc Turner, Ilana C. Myer, Kenny Soward, Marion Deeds, Eric Christensen, and Delilah S. Dawson.

One of the books singled out as a pleasant surprise is a Hugo nominee. Ahh – but which one?

(4) Today’s birthday boy – Ray Harryhausen!

Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Forrest J Ackerman and Diana Harryhausen.

Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Forrest J Ackerman and Diana Harryhausen.

(5) Madeleine L’Engle deserves the accolades paid by the writer in the body of this post for Mental Floss. Not so much the editor’s headline “How ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Changed Sci-Fi Forever” – because it didn’t.

The book, published at the beginning of the second wave of feminism, also carried a groundbreaking message: Girls could do anything boys could do, and better. A year later, The Feminine Mystique, written by L’Engle’s former classmate Betty Friedan, would emerge as a platform for the frustrated American housewife, and Congress would pass the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal to pay a woman less than what a man would earn for the same job. To some extent, Mrs. Murry in A Wrinkle in Time is already living the future: She’s a brilliant scientist who works alongside her husband and in his absence, too; later in the series, she wins a Nobel Prize. (Math whiz Meg would grow up to follow similar pursuits.) And Meg, a girl, is able to succeed where the men and boys—Calvin, Charles Wallace, and her father—cannot.

With that character so like herself, L’Engle struck back against the 1950s ideal of the woman whose duty was to home and family (the same expectations that conflicted the author in her thirties). Instead of staying at home, Meg goes out into the universe, exploring uncharted territories and unheard-of planets.

At the time, science fiction for and by women was a rarity. There was no one like Meg Murry before Meg Murry, though she left a legacy to be picked up by contemporary young adult heroines like The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen and the Harry Potter series’ Hermione Granger. Beyond creating this new type of heroine, A Wrinkle in Time, along with Norton Juster’s 1961 book The Phantom Tollbooth, changed science fiction itself, opening “the American juvenile tradition to the literature of ‘What if?’ as a rewarding and honorable alternative to realism in storytelling,” writes Marcus. This shift, in turn, opened doors for writers like Lloyd Alexander and Ursula K. Le Guin. In these fantasy worlds, as in the real world, things can’t always be tied up neatly. Evil can never be truly conquered; indeed, a key to fighting it is knowing that. It’s a sophisticated lesson children thrill to, and one in which adults continue to find meaning.

I remember enjoying L’Engle’s book – which I heard read aloud a chapter a day by a teacher in elementary school. A Wrinkle in Time, published in 1963, was received as a children’s book. Women who did groundbreaking work in the adult science fiction genre like Judith Merril and Andre Norton had already been writing for years by then. And when Ursula Le Guin and Anne McCaffrey first appeared in the late 1960s, their emergence was facilitated by the New Wave.

(8) There will be a live showing of 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Hollywood Bowl in LA on August 18 with the musical soundtrack performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Recognized as one of the greatest works of science fiction cinema, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 is acclaimed for its technological realism, creative audacity and inspired use of music. Behold the film’s visual grandeur on the Bowl’s big screen while the soundtrack is performed live, including Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, music by György Ligeti, and the “Blue Danube” Waltz.

The Hollywood Bowl will give E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial the same treatment on Saturday, September 5, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing John Williams’ entire Academy Award-winning score.

(9) H.P. in his post “On the Hugo Awards controversy” on Every Day Should Be Tuesday draws this conclusion  —

The big difference comes down to matters of style and subject preference. The Puppy nominees show a pretty heavy thumbprint of Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, and Vox Day’s tastes. They run heavy to kaiju, superficial noir elements, and religious themes. They don’t align well with my own tastes, but then neither do the tastes of the recent Hugo electorate. If the Hugos are to be the sort of elite fan award that they purport to be, and once were, then they shouldn’t display such narrow tastes, whether of Puppies or anyone else. To that end, my hope is that all of this will draw more people into the process and lead to a more diverse electorate; my fear is of that electorate being dominated by factions. We will see (always end with a super strong closing line).

Yes! The solution is — fire the voters!

(10) “Do you believe in miracles?” This time it’s not Al Michaels asking the question but Jason Sanford.

All of which brings up an interesting coincidence — the 2016 DeepSouthCon has been cancelled. According to an announcement on their website, the people running the con “decided that it was no longer feasible to host the convention.”

I have no proof the selection of Wright as guest of honor and the cancelling of the convention six months later are in any way related. These facts may simply be two isolated events swirling in the chaos we delightfully call existence.

But this is still an interesting coincidence. Or miracle, depending on your worldview.

Some say that Outlanta picking the same May 13-15, 2016 weekend weighed heavily in the decision. If so, I agree it’s logical that a con with Wright as GoH would have trouble competing for Outlanta’s fan base….

cat calendar

(11) Samuel Delany, interviewed in The New Yorker, was even asked about the topic du jour —

In the contemporary science-fiction scene, Delany’s race and sexuality do not set him apart as starkly as they once did. I suggested to him that it was particularly disappointing to see the kind of division represented by the Sad Puppies movement within a culture where marginalized people have often found acceptance. Delany countered that the current Hugo debacle has nothing to do with science fiction at all. “It’s socio-economic,” he said. In 1967, as the only black writer among the Hugo nominees, he didn’t represent the same kind of threat. But Delany believes that, as women and people of color start to have “economic heft,” there is a fear that what is “normal” will cease to enjoy the same position of power. “There are a lot of black women writers, and some of them are gay, and they are writing about their own historical moment, and the result is that white male writers find themselves wondering if this is a reverse kind of racism. But when it gets to fifty per cent,” he said, then “we can talk about that.” It has nothing to do with science fiction, he reiterated. “It has to do with the rest of society where science fiction exists.”

The interview is behind a paywall, nevertheless the Google cache file revealed all.

(12) American Ultra comes to theaters August 21. With luck, you’ll have something better to do that evening.

[Thanks to David K.M. Klaus and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to Brian Z.]

195 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/29 To Scroll in Italbar

  1. While I was wandering around the internet, I discovered that out of all of Stephen King’s work, Cujo actually won the British Fantasy Award. Now, I am not exactly a stickler for this sort of thing and am not sure what range of work that the British Fantasy Award considers, Cujo is the story of a woman who cheats on her husband and who then gets trapped in a car that won’t start by a rabid dog. There is a ton of intensity and a variety of different threats in Cujo – heatstroke, dehydration, being mauled by the dog, etc – but Cujo is probably about as far away from a fantasy as King has ever written. There is a complete dearth of any supernatural element altogether.

  2. I guess I don’t find the castle necessarily fantastical when considering that, say, the fortress of Carcasonne is surrounded by two miles of walls, and that Peake went to school nearish to a structure that had close to 400 rooms … but it’s not a hill I’m invested in enough to have a nap on, much less die on, so if it gets the votes, then the votes it gets.

    I’ll have a nap on any hill, or, really, who needs a hill. But I’m not dying on this one either. Just, for noodling’s sake, let me unpack what I meant by “past the merely Ruritanian”. It’s not just exaggeration: the size of the castle (though ISTR it was over a mile long, not just around), its extravagant and contradictory decor (and the weight of description), or the weight of its immense age. Its the way the inhabitants are both familiar (and, again, exagerated) and foreign, rituals and customs medieval and “oriental-ish” and just plain made-up all at once. Ruritanian seems to not be a particular time but “historic” sometimes, but Gormenghast is all sorts of particular times and none at all.

    OTOH most people call that thing Kay does where he puts an extra moon up in the sky and switches some consonants around (as in Lions of Al-Rassan) “fantasy”, and, yes, they’re probably wrong to do so. But there it is.

    I’d rather have a picnic on a hill than a battle, though.

  3. > “I’d rather have a picnic on a hill than a battle, though.”

    I’ll bring the lembas and butterbeer if you bring the deeper ‘n ever pie!

  4. 50’s AND BEFORE

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE

    Abstain: I have not had time to read Phantastes since I downloaded it the other day.

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS

    Abstain. This is embarrassing; I have a copy of The King of Elfland’s Daughter which I can’t find but haven’t gotten around to reading.

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker

    This was a tough call. Lovecraft was both brilliant and problematic.

    As a side note, I have a friend who’s never read a lot in the genre and never read Lovecraft who has both a Cthulu plushy and may have just sold a story based (obliquely) on the mythos.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance

    This is in pure violation of my rule to abstain where I haven’t read both books. YOU MADE ME DO IT, KYRA.

    The Cabell book is available for free and legal download, though.

    Anybody read the recent Dying Earth tribute compilation? I really enjoyed that, and I have to confess that I usually don’t like that sort of thing. I think there was even a Wright story which I must have liked.

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard

    I never could get through the Eddison book. I should probably try again.

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!

    More egg on my face: I’ve dragged a copy of Jirel of Joiry to two continents but haven’t gotten around to actually starting it yet.

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV

    Abstain. Just a little egg on my face here; I’ve been meaning to read Bulgakov for a few years now. Thanks to Ginger for advice on the translation.

  5. 1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    Phantastes, George MacDonald

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    abstain. I’ve read half of Dunsany at best

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    abstain

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    abstain

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    abstain

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    abstain
    I know I read some Lieber, even some Fafhrd ad the Grey Mouser. But not enough.

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

    And I should add a few more to TBR…

  6. Just curious, but wondering if anyone here has read the fourth Gormenghast book, Titus Awakes, written by Peake’s widow Maeve Gilmore from Peake’s fragmentary (and in large part illegible) notes?

    I’ve read the first two Gormenghast books, but not the third, Titus Alone. The first two books were amazing, like living in someone’s dream, but so many people reported disappointment in the third book, a sense of trepidation kept me from it. I didn’t want to be disappointed myself; I suppose I should really give it a sincere shot someday.

  7. 50’s AND BEFORE

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    Abstain

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    Abstain

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Puck of Pook’s Hill, Rudyard Kipling

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    A Night on Bald Mountain — Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky

  8. 50’s AND BEFORE

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Phantastes, George MacDonald
    The Once and Future King
    Although I wasn’t crazy about the women

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe
    I think Poe’s short fiction is much better. The King of Elfland’s Daughter

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft
    Dracula is the gorilla in this case.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Jurgen, James Branch Cabell
    Tricky. The Dying Earth

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard
    The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison
    Abstain, haven’t read the Eddison.

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees
    Land of Unreason, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
    Lud-in-the-Mist

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore
    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber
    A tough one but I’ll give it to Two Sought Adventure

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
    The Metamorphosis even though I’m cheating, not having read the other one.

    I’m tempted to write-in The King Must Die although it’s only borderline fantasy.

  9. 1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Phantastes, George MacDonald

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe

    Dunsany deserves to advance.

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft

    I found Dracula rather dull as a book (arguably the largest part of the influence derives ultimately from the stage play adaptation) but it advances as being culturally significant.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Jurgen, James Branch Cabell

    Doesn’t Vance’s “clever fellow” only make his appearance in the sequel? A very tough choice here.

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard
    The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees
    Land of Unreason, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

    De Camp and Pratt should have been represented by The Incomplete Enchanter. But I think Mirrlees still wins.

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore
    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber

    The Leiber is both more fun and more influential.

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

  10. 1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    I prefer Lovecraft inspired horrors to actual Lovecraft prose.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees
    I’m not actually sure I’ve read the other, but there isn’t a de Camp/Pratt collaboration I have tried that I haven’t thrown at a wall.

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore
    Jirel forever!

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
    I even like the graphic novel interpretation. It’s far too abridged to be of any value to someone who hasn’t read the book, but the illustrations are pretty great.

  11. 3. Dracula, Stoker

    4. Write-in: The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton

    6. Seconding The Picture of Dorian Grey, Oscar Wilde

  12. Not only did Dunsany write plays, from what I’ve read there was a time when he had several running on Broadway at once.

    I own a slim volume of five one-act plays by him, imaginatively titled Five Plays.

  13. 1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    I can’t not vote for Archimedes. He would look so pitiful!

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    Since I didn’t read either of these, I’m voting for Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. And, albums are close enough to movies, right?

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Abstain

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    Since I didn’t read either of these, I’m voting for Silverlock by John Myers Myers.

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    Abstain

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Land of Unreason, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore
    I just have to vote for this because of the filk by Heather Alexander.

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    Abstain

  14. RedWombat —

    I licked the hotel so no one else would want it.

    I’m never playing Monopoly with you.

  15. Ok, an interesting collection, and I mean that in the nastiest possible way…

    1. The Sword in the Stone, light years ahead of its rival.

    2. The King of Elfland’s Daughter, though nothing like the distance of the first.

    3. Dracula, pre-eminent in creating a vast legacy.

    4. The Dying Earth, because Jack Vance was enormously gifted and could write just about everything really well.

    5. Conan, because without him we would never have had Pratchett’s Cohen the Barbarian + Silver Horde.

    6. I loathe Lud with a passion which could boil a kettle for tea, if not uncap a volcano, and the alternative isn’t much better. I shall add my vote to the write in candidate, Oscar Wilde, for the Portrait of Dorian Grey.

    7. It has to be Jiriel, who never wore a steel bra notwithstanding the cover on the book.

    8. Meh. I don’t care.

    I do care about saying thank you to Kyra for her hard work in providing these delightful distractions; I’m very grateful.

  16. Are Borges’s Ficciones and Thurber’s The Thirteen Clocks not eligible?

    1. The Once and Future King
    2. The King of Elfland’s Daughter
    3. Dracula (going by its influence even though I don’t like it)
    4. Jurgen — never has been, never will be, anyone quite like Cabell.
    5. abstain
    6. Lud-in-the-Mist
    7. Jirel of Joiry
    8. abstain

  17. Fantasy bracket, pre-1960s, my choices:

    1)-The Once and Future King, because I like it slightly better.

    2)-The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym, because I like it a LOT more.

    3)-Dracula, because it’s a better book and I actually like Clark Ashton Smith (purpler prose notwithstanding) more that I do HPL.

    4)-The Dying Earth, because it’s VANCE.

    5)-The Worm Ouroboros, because I like it more. Howard will probably win in the end, but I like Ouroboros more.

    6)-Haven’t read Lud, so I’m writing in The Wind in the Willows here.

    7)-You are MEAN!!!! Two Sought Adventure just barely because I’ve re-read it more times.

    8-Haven’t read the Bulgakov, so Silverlock as a write-in.

  18. Clyto on July 30, 2015 at 8:03 am said:

    Titus Groan and Gormenghast = fantasy.
    (Seriously – if not fantasy, then what on earth are they?)
    Titus Alone, however = SF.

    I second that motion.

  19. Ray at 1:22 am:
    I Have No Mouth, and I Must scroll
    surely
    I Have No Mouse, and I Must Scroll

    But of course!

    RedWombat on July 30, 2015 at 7:42 am said:
    Oh, Gord, can we expect another frothing missive from Wright accusing the SJWs of killing, slaying, murdering, foully assassinating the con at which he was GoH? This will do nothing good for his martyr complex.

    It was me. I licked the hotel so no one else would want it.

    I snorted. (Thanks)

    Susana S.P. on July 30, 2015 at 7:20 am said:
    And I nominate Bowie’s Diamond Dogs for greatest failed sfnal concept album ever.

    Is there such a thing as an inverse concept album? Alastair Reynold’s novella “Diamond Dogs” would surely figure somewhere.

  20. And if we disallow Titus Groan/Gormenghast as fantasy, then we may also have to throw out Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint and most of K.J. Parker, and that’s not a world in which I want to live.

  21. @Soon Lee:

    Howard Waldrop wrote “Flying Saucer Rock & Roll,” a great short story which was named after a ’50s rock tune by Billy Lee Riley and the Green Men. “Flying Saucer” featured doo-wop. Does this count? 🙂

  22. 1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Phantastes, George MacDonald

    Abstain

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe

    Poe

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft

    Curse the dice. Curse them! Abstain.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Jurgen, James Branch Cabell

    Vance

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard
    The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison

    Conan

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees
    Land of Unreason, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

    Abstain

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore
    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber

    Leiber

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

    Kafka.

  23. MaxL:

    Is this the appropriate time to mention that New Yorker piece about the ruinous and inevitable quake/tsunami combo that’s going to wreck the PNW?

    I aten’t in any danger from a tsunami whatsoever. And if the quake endangers what they say it might, my house could see damage but my land would skyrocket in value.

    But mainly, East Coast summers are awful now. Quaknamis are a someday food.

  24. Soon Lee

    Re Beale

    Could you unpack that for me, please? My brain is even fuzzier than usual, thanks to the joys of neurological pain medications, and the prospect of bearding Beale in his den does not appeal…

  25. 50’s AND BEFORE
    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Phantastes, George MacDonald
    Has to be White. Hugely influential, and a great conception of Merlin to boot.

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe
    Jo Walton said of The King: “is probably best described as good but odd.” Meanwhile, Poe still terrifies 160 years later.

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft
    The hardest call in the set, but I have to go with Dracula, for combination of influence and writing style. The “letters” are forgivable as a grounding device, given that it was 1890.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    Haven’t read either, so I’m following Brian Z’s lead and writing in Goethe’s Faust.

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
    Despite the fact that my very first pro-submitted story was called “Franz Kafka’s Last Metamorphosis,” I vote Bulgakov–he just seems to be having way more fun.

  26. 1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

    Sorry, Harold, but you know it’s true.

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber

  27. Soon Lee on July 30, 2015 at 12:20 pm said:

    From Beale: “No Award was the original objective for Rabid Puppies, and with the exception of Best Novel, that is now the worst case scenario for us.”

    So there’s that.

    Little does he realize that MY victory condition is that VD posts a reaction to the final Hugo award announcement that uses the letter ‘e’ more than once in the body of his message!

    Checkmate Mr Day. [followed by evil laugh]

  28. 50’s AND BEFORE

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White

    I treasure the White, not so much the MacDonald

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe

    Gotta stand with Poe.

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker

    A much better book, and much more impact.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison

    Though I agree we’d be poorer without Cohen the Barbarian, and Conan the Librarian, I can’t muster much love for Conan himself.

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

    Lud is sadly neglected these days.

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore

    There’s a question here? Really?

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

    Abstain.

  29. Did anyone have a victory condition where a regular SFF fan like me is turned off the works of a clique of conservative writers who behave obnoxiously, and has instead been lumbered with a massive TBR pile courtesy of the good commenters of this fair parish?

    Because that’s what has happened.

  30. There’s also the fact that I appear to have mislaid an entire decade of fantasy reading; I think it may be down to all those power suits I was wearing at the time…

  31. 1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Land of Unreason, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    Neither read.

  32. @Stevie,
    Initially I thought, “Aha, so that’s why they nominated such dreck.” But on consideration, it’s more evidence of Beale being the Mastermind in his own mind.

  33. @idontknow
    There is a ton of intensity and a variety of different threats in Cujo – heatstroke, dehydration, being mauled by the dog, etc – but Cujo is probably about as far away from a fantasy as King has ever written. There is a complete dearth of any supernatural element altogether.

    Cujo does actually have fleeting moments suggesting a supernatural element, or at least a paranormal one, but it’s true they don’t alter the arc of the narrative.

  34. 50’s AND BEFORE

    1. The Once and Future King, T. H. White

    2. The King of Elfland’s Daughter

    This pained me.

    3. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft. This should be Mountains of Madness.

    If you like RPGs, check out Dracula Unredacted, by Kenneth Hite. Which reimagines the novel with annotations to tell the true tale of Britain’s spy agency trying to recruit a vampire in 1894 bringing Dracula to London.

    4. The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    ARGH. This was hard.

    5. The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison

    WHAT. THIS. IS. EVIL. I am afraid to go on. Apologies REH.

    6. Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

    Whew. This one was easy.

    7. Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber

    KYRA. MUST. BE. STOPPED. I want to say both but I will choose. Sorry CL Moore.

    8. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

  35. Oddly enough, neither TB’s announcement of the Rabid Puppies slate or his announcement of the Hugo nominees ever so much as mentions the phrase “No Award.” Well, at least not until you get down into the comments section of the latter and comments like AmyJ’s “The SJW puling on Twitter is hilarious. The crybabies will be voting ‘No Award’ in record numbers like the intolerant, dishonest, pouty children we all know they are.”

  36. Camestros Felapton said

    Little does he realize that MY victory condition is that VD posts a reaction to the final Hugo award announcement that uses the letter ‘e’ more than once in the body of his message!

    Checkmate Mr Day. [followed by evil laugh]

    I think RedWombat already licked that.

  37. Yes, Stoic Cynic. For the love of God.

    @idontknow: “Cujo is the story of a woman who cheats on her husband and who then gets trapped in a car that won’t start by a rabid dog. There is a ton of intensity and a variety of different threats in Cujo – heatstroke, dehydration, being mauled by the dog, etc – but Cujo is probably about as far away from a fantasy as King has ever written. There is a complete dearth of any supernatural element altogether.”

    Perhaps you missed that Cujo is possessed.

    @Richard Brandt: “Cujo does actually have fleeting moments suggesting a supernatural element, or at least a paranormal one, but it’s true they don’t alter the arc of the narrative.”

    I must disagree. Cujo is driven by the possessing spirit of a murderer to act in a bizarrely threatening fashion. That is the arc of the narrative. Without that factor, the story falls apart.

    @rob_matic: “Did anyone have a victory condition where a regular SFF fan like me is turned off the works of a clique of conservative writers who behave obnoxiously, and has instead been lumbered with a massive TBR pile courtesy of the good commenters of this fair parish?”

    That was mine. 🙂

    Honestly, I consider any “victory condition” that doesn’t include “the Hugos will be awarded to the very best stuff in the field” to be prima facie evidence that the person/group with that preferred outcome is operating in bad faith.

  38. @Rev. Bob
    Perhaps you missed that Cujo is possessed.

    Frankly, yes. I just remember rabies being blamed for everything.

    I was thinking more of the scene where his owner is found sleepwalking and remarking sadly, “Cujo ain’t hungry no more, no more.” Or the father who dreams that his wife and child are being attacked by a monster, although that could be chalked up to anxiety.

  39. 50’s AND BEFORE

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Phantastes, George MacDonald

    At the Back of the North Wind, MacDonald

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    Abstain (haven’t read either!)

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    Abstain

  40. @Richard Brandt:

    It’s right there on the teaser page in my ebook:

    It happens innocently enough, but doesn’t it always. A big, friendly dog chases a rabbit into a hidden underground cave—and stirs a sleeping evil crueler than death itself.

    A terrified four-year-old boy sees his bedroom closet door swing open untouched by human hands, and screams at the unholy red eyes gleaming in the darkness.

    The little Maine town of Castle Rock is about to be invaded by the most hideous menace ever to savage the flesh and devour the mind.

    That ain’t simple rabies, and the very first section of the book tells you exactly who that “sleeping evil” is:

    The monster was gone, the monster was dead. Frank Dodd moldered inside his coffin.

    Except that the monster never dies. Werewolf, vampire, ghoul, unnameable creature from the wastes. The monster never dies.

    It came to Castle Rock again in the summer of 1980.

    In that respect, Cujo is the sequel to The Dead Zone. Yes, Cujo was rabid… but Dodd’s influence made him a menace, and that connection reverberates throughout the book.

  41. 50’s AND BEFORE

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE

    I know I managed about five pages of White, once, but then I saw a butterfly and got distracted.

    I think here I will put my obligatory Gormenghast vote.

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker

    Hmm…one writer hysterical about foreign types vs another writer hysterical about foreign types. Well, I preferred playing Vampire the Masquerade to Call of Cthulhu. And Drac, while not the first vamp, is the one that all others are measured by.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance

    Because without Vance, we wouldn’t have D&D, and THEN where would I be? (Probably possessing a better degree and a more prestigious job. But much less entertained)

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard

    At least I could get through the Conan. Ah well, they’re pretty influential and entertaining.

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK

    Can I put more Gormenghast here? No? OK, abstain.

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore

    Jirel is an interesting, proud and flawed character I like a lot. On the other hand, there’s something about Lieber that leaves me cold, completely apart from the way he fridged what looked like two interesting female characters.

    Also, honestly who would you want to invite to dinner? Jirel would assume I’m a demon and negotiate for a little gleaming bauble that would…Anyway, the important thing is she would have basic manners. Fafhard and the Grey Mower would steal me blind and probably accidentally destroy my house. Point to the noblewoman.

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

    Because I work in a government bureaucracy.

  42. 4. Write-in: The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton. It may or may not be fantasy, but I gotta. And Monstrous Clever Fellows feels like the correct category.

    7. Nnngh. Jirel of Joiry? Urg.

    8. I can’t even. I abstain, because the cat requested it. He’s playing the long game.

  43. In the case of hidden victory conditions, usually they have to be recorded somewhere permanent before the start of play. Who has the secret victory conditions envelope? Please don’t say someone gave it to David Xanatos again for safekeeping.

  44. @Kevin Hogan:

    It’s okay if the Chesterton (or Gormenghast) isn’t fantasy. Neither is Lovecraft; he’s SF.

  45. Some Lovecraft is sf. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath really, really isn’t.

  46. Checkmate Mr Day. [followed by evil laugh]

    I think RedWombat already licked that.

    Ewww. I don’t lick anything with Beale’s name on it. It’s…pre-licked. He’s like an icky little lnternet tongue.

  47. Soon Lee

    Thank you; I wondered if I was missing multiple levels of subtle nuance, and am relieved to discover otherwise.

    Greg

    The tricky bit with Goethe’s Faust is that it is two plays, published with a massive interval in between, and whilst both are billed as tragedies they do, in fact, both end in redemption with Faust going to Heaven. I appreciate that theologically this is A Good Thing but I vastly prefer Marlowe’s version which not only put bums on seats, or at least a lot of litter in the standing area, but also has some of the most heart/soul gripping moments in the history of theatre.

    In Goethe, on the other hand, we are grappling with a language which has more than it’s fair share of completely untranslatable words and phrases.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing; my three hour, single essay, finals exam in ‘Advanced Sociological Theories and Models’ included half a page in German with the single word ‘discuss’ below it, and I fell upon it with great joy, because Weber’s definition of sociology contains a number of completely untranslatable terms which were good for at least an hour before I had to engage my brain.

    This doesn’t work well in the theatre for non-German speakers, since translation is so difficult, and in reality it doesn’t work very well for German speakers either, since 21 hours performance time stretches dedication beyond practical limits. All in all, Goethe’s epic work doesn’t actually tell a story, though it’s framed as one; it’s fascinating to the sociology part of my mind, but the theatre bit says ‘this is non-fiction clothed as plays which aren’t very good plays”…

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