Pixel Scroll 7/31 Happy Hour at Paulk’s Tavern

Lions roar, kittens tweet, and other animals make noise in today’s Scroll.

(1) Recommended – Gregory Benford reviews Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora in “Envision Starflight Failing”.

Aurora depicts a starship on a long voyage to Tau Ceti four centuries from now. It is shaped like a car axle, with two large wheels turning for centrifugal gravity. The biomes along their rims support many Earthly lifezones which need constant tending to be stable. They’re voyaging to Tau Ceti, so the ship’s name is a reference to Isaac Asimov’s The Naked Sun, which takes place on a world orbiting Tau Ceti named Aurora. Arrival at the Earthlike moon of a super-Earth primary brings celebration, exploration, and we see just how complex an interstellar expedition four centuries from now can be, in both technology and society.

In 2012, Robinson declared in a Scientific American interview that “It’s a joke and a waste of time to think about starships or inhabiting the galaxy. It’s a systemic lie that science fiction tells the world that the galaxy is within our reach.” Aurora spells this out through unlikely plot devices. Robinson loads the dice quite obviously against interstellar exploration. A brooding pessimism dominates the novel.

There are scientific issues that look quite unlikely, but not central to the novel’s theme. A “magnetic scissors” method of launching a starship seems plagued with problems, for example. But the intent is clear through its staging and plot.

I’ll discuss the quality of the argument Aurora attempts, with spoilers.

 

 

(2) Spacefaring Kitten is one of many people posting their Hugo ballot today, but one of the few who has an interesting analysis of my favorite category.

Best Fanzine

  1. Journey Planet
  2. Tangent SF Online
  3. Elitist Book Reviews
  4. No Award
  5. The Revenge of Hump Day

Journey Planet is easily the most interesting of these publications. Black Gate would have been able to put up a fight here, but they chose to withdraw because of Puppy-related embarrassment.

Tangent SF Online and The Revenge of Hump Day were probably on the Puppy ballots as a sort of payback for, respectively, the public outcry following Tangent’s umm… let us say fatherly review of the Women Destroy Science Fiction issue of Lightspeed and the disinvitation of Tim Bolgeo (the guy behind The Revenge of Hump Day) as a Fan Guest of Honor in Archon after accusations of racism. However, I chose to place Tangent second and well above No Award, because I think all venues in which short SFF fiction is discussed are important.

As far as I can see, Tangent’s short fiction reviews are quite good, even if the editor’s attitudes smell a bit aged. Take a look at their 2014 Recommended Reading List, for example. Tangent lists noteworthy stories in four categories (0, 1, 2 and 3 stars), and I couldn’t resist counting that together all the 14 Puppy finalists get four mentions and one star. In contrast, the five short story nominations I made myself (none of which made the final ballot, obviously) collect three mentions and eight stars. The Tangent seems like a useful resource for finding the sort of fiction I’d enjoy, and I plan to take a look at some of the three-star stories I haven’t read yet.

There was nothing terribly amiss with Elitist Book Reviews either, even though they seem to generally like books that I don’t and I found their practice of discussing recommended age and levels of offensive language, violence and sex amusingly over-protective. You don’t really have to be 16 to be able to read a curse word, do you? However, they’re number three.

 

(3) By now I think everybody has seen Adam Roberts’ cheery thoughts about the Hugos in the Guardian:

What the Puppies have done is within the rules of the awards, and key figures in the movement have already declared their intention to repeat the process next year. But this is larger than one set of awards. It is about the direction of science-fiction as a whole, and it poses larger cultural questions.

The truth is that this year’s Hugo awards are wrecked. Can you imagine anyone saying that of the Pulitzer, Man Booker, or Nobel? Yet here we are, and if the Puppies succeed in gaming the awards again in 2016 we may as well give up on the Hugos forever.

This is what is so frustrating about the Puppies’ campaign. Not that it has resulted in a bunch of frankly inferior works being shortlisted – although it has. And not that it values old-fashioned SF over more experimental, literary and progressive writing – that’s a matter of taste. What is so annoying is that it so ostentatiously turns its back on the global context out of which the best writing is happening today.

 

Can it be true that Roberts values rhetoric about diversity over rules changes that preserve it as a possibility?

(4) The Guardian article sure revived Larry Correia! Yesterday’s limp “fisking” of The New Yorker’s Delany interview has been succeeded his vibrant smackdown “Fisking the Guardian’s Latest Sad Puppy Article of the Week”. Correia’s remarks in boldface, Guardian text in regular text.

Considering that the Hugo awards hadn’t even ever nominated a single work of media tie in fiction until Sad Puppies came along, I don’t know where the hell you’re getting this idea that the insular little inbred cliques were combing the whole world for worthy new talent before. Hell, I believe the first ever INDY PUBLISHED novel nomination came from Sad Puppies, and you expect that little cliquish circle jerk of friends who’ve been taking turns giving each other awards, to suddenly teach themselves Spanish in order to check out the best sci-fi from Uruguay? 

This whole train of thought is just a stupid diversion. The Guardian is just being its normal snooty self. Look at us, we read MOAR GLOBALLY (no, actually, they probably don’t. From inaccuracies in previous articles about various classics we’re already pretty sure Damien skates by reading Wikipedia synopsis of books and then pretending to be well read). 

Science fiction, if it is about anything, is about hospitality to otherness,

Just not conservatives or libertarians, because screw those guys.

 to the alien and the unusual, about freeing one’s mind and boldly going where no one has been before. It is, centrally, about diversity. Locking out women writers, writers of colour, gay and trans writers does a violence to the heart of the genre.

That concluding paragraph is just regurgitated tripe.  We’re not the ones trying to lock out anyone. Female, “writers of colour” (oh how I hate that stupid racist term), gay, trans, left handed ginger pygmy wolf-riding garden squirrels, WE DON’T CARE. Write books. Entertain people. Fans get to judge books by the content of their pages rather than the author’s bio. Then give the really good ones awards.

This isn’t exactly rocket science, not that you jackasses didn’t literally try to make actual fucking rocket science all about sexism too.

If the Puppies win, nobody wins.

No. The Puppies would win. That’s sort of what the word win means, dumbass.

 

 

(5) Sasquan guest astronaut Kjell Lindgren is at the International Space Station.

 

(6) Mark your calendars. Vox Day has announced the release date for his next project:

This is interesting. Apparently the SJWs are more than a little worried about my upcoming book, SJWS ALWAYS LIE: Taking Down the Thought Police….

Just wait until August 27th, the one-year anniversary of #GamerGate, which I plan to celebrate by publishing the book.

You read it here first. Or possibly second. But more likely first. Maybe you can leave town that day – does Kjell Lindgren have a spare cot?

(7) The Final Interview of C. S. Lewis, conducted by Sherwood Eliot Wirt, appeared in Decision magazine in September 1963.

From Part I —

Wirt: How can we foster the encounter of people with Jesus Christ?

Lewis: “You can’t lay down any pattern for God. There are many different ways of bringing people into his Kingdom, even some ways that I specially dislike! I have therefore learned to be cautious in my judgment.

“But we can block it in many ways. As Christians we are tempted to make unnecessary concessions to those outside the faith. We give in too much. Now, I don’t mean that we should run the risk of making a nuisance of ourselves by witnessing at improper times, but there comes a time when we must show that we disagree. We must show our Christian colors, if we are to be true to Jesus Christ. We cannot remain silent or concede everything away.

“There is a character in one of my children’s stories named Aslan, who says, ‘I never tell anyone any story except his own.’ I cannot speak for the way God deals with others; I only know how he deals with me personally. Of course, we are to pray for spiritual awakening, and in various ways we can do something toward it. But we must remember that neither Paul nor Apollos gives the increase. As Charles Williams once said, ‘The altar must often be built in one place so that the fire may come down in another place.’”

In Part II, Lewis answers questions about Heaven, Earth and Outer Space.

Wirt: Do you think there will be widespread travel in space?

Lewis: “I look forward with horror to contact with the other inhabited planets, if there are such. We would only transport to them all of our sin and our acquisitiveness, and establish a new colonialism. I can’t bear to think of it. But if we on earth were to get right with God, of course, all would be changed. Once we find ourselves spiritually awakened, we can go to outer space and take the good things with us. That is quite a different matter.”

[Thanks to JJ, Gregory Benford, and John King Tarpinian for some of these links. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day JJ.]

230 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/31 Happy Hour at Paulk’s Tavern

  1. Waiting for family to arrive any minute now. So short and sweet:

    4. Adams

    5. Zelazny

  2. Stevie,

    My mum, who lived through what for her was the dark days of Australian politics(no Labour wins for ~30 years) has a grudging respect for the pre-nineties conservative leadership. While they had a born-to-rule mentality there was also the sense of noblesse oblige to go along side.

    The modern conservative though has struggled to the top and for them only their well being matters. Everyone else can rot.

  3. 1. REBEL AGAINST THE SYSTEM
    The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula K. Le Guin

    2. RENEWAL AND DECAY
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance

    3. THE CONVOLUTED SCHEMES OF PLOTTING NOBLES
    The Dragon Waiting, John M. Ford

    5. MUCH MORE THAN I SEEM
    Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny

    6. PRETTY GOOD MOVIES, TOO
    The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle

    7. ASCENDING TO OTHER REALMS
    Bridge of Birds, Barry Hughart

    8. HEAD TO THE NORTH!
    The Riddle-Master of Hed, Patricia McKillip

    9. LEARNING PHILOSOPHY ON THE ROAD
    Small Gods, Terry Pratchett

    10. GROWING UP TO BECOME A HERO
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White

  4. Been so crazy busy today I’ve barely looked at this thread. 🙁 And I know there’s another bracket to vote on. Soon, soon, as long as I don’t fall asleep…

  5. Kyra — I wish to change my vote on choice 7 from abstain to Little, Big, if I can.

  6. I have to admit, as a lifelong Red Sox fan, it’s hard not to laugh when someone defines “Wait ’til next year!” as a victory condition.

  7. 1. REBEL AGAINST THE SYSTEM
    The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula K. Le Guin

    2. RENEWAL AND DECAY
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

    6. PRETTY GOOD MOVIES, TOO
    The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle

    8. HEAD TO THE NORTH!
    The Riddle-Master of Hed, Patricia McKillip

    Kyra – I adored Biting the Sun and think it was Tanith Lee’s best novel (and that’s saying something for an author who wrote 90 books or so). I think it’s a crying shame that in the last years of her life she was mostly ignored by mainstream publishers.

  8. With regard to the “need” for media tie-in fiction to be nominated, I think it’s neither a mystery nor the result of a “conspiracy” that it doesn’t happen.

    Hugo nominators and voters tend to reward innovative plots and worldbuilding. Media tie-in books start with most, if not all, of the worldbuilding already done, and such books would have to be absolutely spectacular to make up for the fact that the author hasn’t had to do it themselves.

    What’s more, media tie-in books often have the same feature as books in a series: if the reader hasn’t partaken of the other entries in the book, film, or TV series, a lot of the background knowledge needed for sufficient context isn’t in the new book. Such an entry has an uphill battle getting nominated, much less winning, in comparison to books which stand well on their own.

    I certainly found this to be the case with last year’s nominee The Butcher of Khardov, which is a tie-in to the tabletop game Warmachine. After the first dozen pages or so, I finally gave up in disgust with a “WTF???”. The book started in medias res, and there was no character development or explanation of the world, just a bunch of fighting. While a Warmachine player might have enjoyed the book massively (and clearly many did), it’s hardly surprising that non-players would not find the book worthy of a Hugo.

    It’s hard for me to understand why the Puppies think such works have been criminally neglected by not being nominated for the Hugos — unless media tie-ins comprise the majority of their reading, and they assume that media tie-ins should be the majority of everyone else’s reading as well.

    The Scribe Awards do a great job of comparing apples to apples with regard to media tie-in novels.

  9. I absolutely loved How Much For Just the Planet? by John M. Ford. I would never in a million years have thought it should be nominated for a Hugo. It’s the best media tie-in I’ve ever read. If I wouldn’t have nominated that, I doubt I’d ever consider doing so for anything else.

    I suspect a lot of other people feel the same way, which is why media tie-ins don’t get nominated for the Hugo too often.

  10. I wonder how many nominations John M. Ford got for How Much for Just the Planet?” or The Final Reflection. (IIRC, the first of those led to the new rule “Star Trek tie-ins may not be musical comedies.”)

  11. All right, all right. I’ll play, too.

    1. REBEL AGAINST THE SYSTEM

    Abstain. Haven’t read the Kay, don’t remember the LeGuin very well.

    2. RENEWAL AND DECAY

    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

    But only because I purely hate Jack Vance. Yes, I know that’s heresy. I hate him, anyway.

    3. THE CONVOLUTED SCHEMES OF PLOTTING NOBLES

    The Princess Bride, William Goldman

    I’m so sorry, Mike. But I loved the Princess Bride when I still believed in S. Morgenstern, and I love it now that I know it’s really an anti-Vietnam War book. Also, I hate hate hate the movie.

    4. THE PHOUKA AND THE HLESSIL

    War for the Oaks, Emma Bull

    I did love Watership Down, but about a tenth as much as I like War for the Oaks. And I liked Watership Down a lot.

    5. MUCH MORE THAN I SEEM

    Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny

    This one’s easy.

    6. PRETTY GOOD MOVIES, TOO
    The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle

    I debate that the movie is any good, but the book is one of the best books ever written, in or out of the genre.

    7. ASCENDING TO OTHER REALMS

    Abstention on the grounds of not being well enough read.

    8. HEAD TO THE NORTH!

    Abstention on the grounds that I hated both books.

    9. LEARNING PHILOSOPHY ON THE ROAD
    Taran Wanderer, Lloyd Alexander

    I read the Prydain series five times in a row, one summer, not sure what it was that I needed, but sure that those books had it. My parents were concerned that I wasn’t reading anything else.

    10. GROWING UP TO BECOME A HERO

    Fire and Hemlock, Diana Wynne Jones

    Also easy, as I hate The Once and Future King, but Fire and Hemlock is an amazing book.

  12. Have you heard James Taylor’s “Angels of Fenway” on his latest album.

    I hadn’t.

    That was very nice. Thanks.

  13. Ford’s The Final Reflection strikes me as a tie-in novel worth nominating as an excellent work of sf in its own right.

    So that’s one….

  14. As I understand it, The Final Reflection did a bunch of worldbuilding that the source material hadn’t (yet) bothered with (and, i have heard ALSO created a “future tie-ins don’t get to do that”addition to the rules about some aspects, though not quite as blatantly as “How Much…”

    Of course, the Final Reflection is somewhere in the tbr pile so this is hearsay. (I have read How much for just the Planet, though).

  15. I’d put Diane Duane’s The Wounded Sky up there. And Kagan’s Uhura’s Song is a superb first contact story, although I am badly biased.

  16. 1. REBEL AGAINST THE SYSTEM
    The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula K. Le Guin

    3. THE CONVOLUTED SCHEMES OF PLOTTING NOBLES
    The Princess Bride, William Goldman

    5. MUCH MORE THAN I SEEM
    Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny

    6. PRETTY GOOD MOVIES, TOO
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling

    7. ASCENDING TO OTHER REALMS
    Bridge of Birds, Barry Hughart

    9. LEARNING PHILOSOPHY ON THE ROAD
    Small Gods, Terry Pratchett

    10. GROWING UP TO BECOME A HERO
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White

    I would like to pout and write in a vote for Silverlock in every category not currently occupied by a vote.

  17. @RedWombat:

    perennial nominee Schlock Mercenary was Indy

    Not only that, but Schlock Mercenary was originally part of an earlier Sad Puppy slate, until Howard declined their nomination, diplomatically pointing out that his work was not, in his opinion, eligible for that year, as it did not include a completed book during the time in question.

  18. Agreed on Kagan. I reread that within the last 12 months and it is excellent.

    All this bracket stff has actually caused me to re-look at my Desert Island book stack, and at my shelves, and a second SF thing slipped on, one that is not arguably mingled with trappings of maqic. And from SF shelves that include Bujold*, Card, Bester, Buckell, Vinge (Joan), Leckie, Scalzi, and Wilson… I ended up plucking James Alan Gardner’s Expendable.

    Also added Heyer’s Frederica. That’s ONE not in genre.

    *Bujold’s in, but with Paladin of Souls

  19. @Kurt Busiek:

    I have to admit, as a lifelong Red Sox fan, it’s hard not to laugh when someone defines “Wait ’til next year!” as a victory condition.

    I am a lifelong Cubs fan, and mock your invocation of “Wait ’til next year!”

    And then I sob quietly in the corner.

  20. Nigel,

    Brian, they love fighting fake culture wars more. They’re hucksters and huckster’s rubes. They hate the Hugos, and at best they don’t give a shit about WorldCon and the people running it.

    Nigel, I’m sincerely trying to understand what planet you are coming from. Why would Correia and Torgersen have tried to stop Vox from burning the Hugos to the ground if they didn’t care about them? Why would he agree to hold his fire if he didn’t think that they had a point? Do you ever read their blogs? Right now, John C and his fellow “dickweeds” are busy gushing over Gormenghast and haunted manors. Back at Xanatos central, where they are supposed to be dancing on the smoldering embers of the genre, minion #58 just said:

    The only magic that actually takes place before the reader’s eyes in The Goblin Emperor is the bright flash of a death spell being cast on a would-be assassin by the emperor’s mage bodyguard. This could easily have been replaced by a mundane ranged attack of some sort. For that matter, the “mage” could have been using flash powder for all the difference it would have made to the plotline.

    Two other instances of magic occur off-camera. We are told that another bodyguard was put out of action by means of a sleep spell (a drugged drink would have done the trick just as well, or a cosh over the head), and, very early in the book, a priest investigating the airship’s explosion reports to the emperor that he has spoken with the spirits of the deceased victims but that they could not identify the saboteur. Of course, since no information is learned thereby, it is immaterial to the plot, though not to his characterization, whether he really did speak with their spirits or not. He could have been lying or mistaken.

    There is also a prestigious magical college adjacent to the court, but its members might as well be learning to pull rabbits out of hats for all the magic we ever see them perform.

    Sounds like they care to me.

  21. Why would Correia and Torgersen have tried to stop Vox from burning the Hugos to the ground if they didn’t care about them?

    Evidence not found to back this statement.

  22. @Kurt Busiek

    I have to admit, as a lifelong Red Sox fan, it’s hard not to laugh when someone defines “Wait ’til next year!” as a victory condition.

    And another idol destroyed by too much information… (actually, Jays fan here. As long as you have Farrell, our hate and glee at your failing will know no bounds.)

    @Ray Radlein

    I am a lifelong Cubs fan, and mock your invocation of “Wait ’til next year!”

    And then I sob quietly in the corner.

    You have my sympathy since the last Cubs WS win, they had Veterans Day at the park. Veterans of the Civil War.

  23. If one doesn’t cherry pick the comment thread the way Brian just did, the conclusion that “they care” is not terribly well supported. Even if one only sticks to comments on THE GOBLIN EMPEROR.

  24. P J, since Mike roused himself from the painful slumber of ages to make a couple pointed remarks, I’m more wary than I was earlier of responding to every challenge individually. But:

    http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/04/14/george-r-r-martin-responds/

    Abrasive? Sure. Needlessly offensive to certain people? Sure. He clearly doesn’t care if you like him or not. But through my rose-tinted glasses, which I apparently can’t see without, Larry Correia was giving you guys some very timely advice to stop falling on your swords and proclaiming the sky was falling, let everyone acknowledge that mistakes were made, and try to salvage the Hugos before it gets even worse.

    (My minority report here being simply I think you should have listened, and I really hope it is not too late.)

  25. Brian Z.: Why would Correia and Torgersen have tried to stop Vox from burning the Hugos to the ground if they didn’t care about them?

    As this negotiation was part of their pre-slate-announcement collusion with VD — the one which BT has since repeatedly lied and claimed did not happen — they certainly don’t deserve any good-faith credit for it.

    Brian Z.: Larry Correia was giving you guys some very timely advice to stop falling on your swords and proclaiming the sky was falling, let everyone acknowledge that mistakes were made, and try to salvage the Hugos before it gets even worse.

    1) No one (or almost no one) fell on their sword or proclaimed the sky was falling. A lot of people were incredibly pissed off — and justifiably so.

    2) “Letting everyone acknowledge that mistakes were made” would require the Puppies to acknowledge that they made mistakes — something which they have never done. Puppies clearly didn’t follow Correia’s advice; and I can’t imagine why you think non-Puppies should feel obligated to listen to any “advice” that he gives.

    3) If things “get any worse”, it will be because the Puppies have chosen to make it so. That’s on them. They were the ones who chose to game the Hugo ballot with crap this year. They are the ones upon whom it is incumbent to stop.

  26. 1. REBEL AGAINST THE SYSTEM
    Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
    The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula K. Le Guin

    2. RENEWAL AND DECAY
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

    3. THE CONVOLUTED SCHEMES OF PLOTTING NOBLES
    The Dragon Waiting, John M. Ford
    The Princess Bride, William Goldman

    4. THE PHOUKA AND THE HLESSIL
    Watership Down, Richard Adams
    War for the Oaks, Emma Bull

    5. MUCH MORE THAN I SEEM
    Tea with the Black Dragon, R. A. MacAvoy
    Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny

    6. PRETTY GOOD MOVIES, TOO
    The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling

    Bad, Kyra. Very bad. Why do you do such mean thing?

    7. ASCENDING TO OTHER REALMS
    Little, Big, John Crowley
    Bridge of Birds, Barry Hughart

    8. HEAD TO THE NORTH!
    The Riddle-Master of Hed, Patricia McKillip
    The Golden Compass/Northern Lights, Phillip Pullman

    9. LEARNING PHILOSOPHY ON THE ROAD
    Taran Wanderer, Lloyd Alexander
    Small Gods, Terry Pratchett

    I can’t vote against Pratchett twice.

    10. GROWING UP TO BECOME A HERO
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Fire and Hemlock, Diana Wynne Jones

    And I am biting my tongue, and my fingers, on the comment I was going to direct at Brian.

  27. Lis: I can understand voting against The Dying Earth (barely) or choosing Pratt over Alexander, and I always thought Pullman was overrated. But MacAvoy over Zelazny? Are you out of your mind?

  28. Reading Brian’s latest(and dude I think you need to take your meds. You are all over the shop today), I couldn’t think of anything other than Parson Nathaniel from War of the Worlds. The Jeff Wayne version has him screaming

    “They wouldn’t listen. I could have saved the world, Now it’s too late, too late”

    But Brian’s solution after seeing the Martians sucking the blood from people is to still go out and offer to shake their hands.

  29. Tintinaus, um… that’s my point. It’s not the end of the world. Fandom has had more serious conflicts before, and Adam Roberts was overselling the case for World War P. But I don’t want to drag y’all down so I’d better flounce. Looking forward to the bracket result.

  30. The Puppies have it in their power to deal with the rest of us as equals. And if they wish to do that, a bunch of us will be willing to do so – not as anyone we would easily like or respect, but as fellow participants in fandom, including Hugo nominating and voting.

    But as I’ve remarked before, a bunch of right-wingers don’t think there are any equal relationships in nature. Every dyad has a superior and an inferior: God and man, man and woman, husband and wife, boss and employee, rich person and poor person, customer and service provider, and so on. When people who think that hear others say “I will not acknowledge you as my superior”, they interpret as the others saying “I demand you acknowledge me as your superior”.

    And that’s their problem.

  31. @Tintinaus

    But Brian’s solution after seeing the Martians sucking the blood from people is to still go out and offer to shake their hands.

    Maybe he sneezed into his hand first?

  32. Mark,

    Sneezing into your hand is the EPH solution. Brian might be in favour of negotiations that has humanity farmed instead of annihilated, but anything that upsets the Martian/Puppies is a no go.

  33. Since he’s continuing to make utterly unsubstantiated claims and accusations, I’ll drop this in on behalf of Soon Lee and others:

    [RUBBER STAMP BRIAN Z RESPONSE]

    Hey Brian, are you going to reply to Oneiros’ question or are you going to keep hand-wringing and trying to spread FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt)?

    [/RUBBER STAMP BRIAN Z RESPONSE]

  34. @Tintinaus: I have never heard “You are al over the shop today.” As a person with ADHD – got a prescription and everything – I am going to start using this phrase all the time.

  35. @Brian — As shocking as you Puppies find any disagreement with your tastes, yes, as much as I love Nine Princes in Amber, I love Tea With the Black Dragon more.

    The reason for this appalling departure from your obviously correct tastes is that you and I are different people, with different personalities, and different life experiences. You’ll enjoy life far more if you give up the idea that a divergence in tastes means automatically that someone is wrong. Truly. I promise you. It makes life much more fun, and opens up the possibility of discovering new things that you might find you enjoy after all.

    Heck, even my mother, who was in her lates seventies when Massachusetts legalized gay marriage just over a decade ago, when asked said that of course she didn’t approve of gay marriage, but she didn’t understand why she was supposed to upset about it; she couldn’t see how other people making marriages she didn’t agree with hurt her in any way. (Leading, as you may imagine, to a very confused canvasser, who’d been trying to stir up support for an amendment to the state constitution.)

    So, yes, I prefer this particular MacAvoy to this particular Zelazny. Go make yourself a soothing cup of tea, lie down for a while, and you’ll find you feel much calmer.

  36. 1. REBEL AGAINST THE SYSTEM
    Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
    The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula K. Le Guin

    I asked my wife whether she would hate me if I voted against Le Guin, and she said yes. So that determines that one. There are works in this bracket that would make me risk that, but Tigana isn’t one of them.

    2. RENEWAL AND DECAY
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

    3. THE CONVOLUTED SCHEMES OF PLOTTING NOBLES
    The Dragon Waiting, John M. Ford
    The Princess Bride, William Goldman

    Probably a futile gesture, but….

    4. THE PHOUKA AND THE HLESSIL
    Watership Down, Richard Adams
    War for the Oaks, Emma Bull

    Very tough one.

    5. MUCH MORE THAN I SEEM
    Tea with the Black Dragon, R. A. MacAvoy
    Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny

    6. PRETTY GOOD MOVIES, TOO
    The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling

    7. ASCENDING TO OTHER REALMS
    Little, Big, John Crowley
    Bridge of Birds, Barry Hughart

    Last two were very easy.

    8. HEAD TO THE NORTH!
    The Riddle-Master of Hed, Patricia McKillip
    The Golden Compass/Northern Lights, Phillip Pullman

    McKillip was more original and wrote better.

    9. LEARNING PHILOSOPHY ON THE ROAD
    Taran Wanderer, Lloyd Alexander
    Small Gods, Terry Pratchett

    Still can’t vote against Sir Pterry.

    10. GROWING UP TO BECOME A HERO
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Fire and Hemlock, Diana Wynne Jones

  37. Oh, Lis, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to criticize – just thought you were giving me a subtle hint to get back to discussing books. I loved Tea with the Black Dragon too.

  38. Maybe he sneezed into his hand first?

    Wouldn’t help. His solution to the Martian kerfuffle is, after all, for someone else to go out and offer to shake their hands.

Comments are closed.