Pixel Scroll 8/16/19 Scrolls From Topographic Pixels

(1) CSF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS. David L. Ulin goes “Inside the archives — and mind — of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick” for the LA Times. CSF’s sff collection originated with the work of Professor Willis McNelly.

…“The Man in the High Castle,” perhaps his most accomplished novel, is one of many works at Cal State Fullerton. The collection includes a “production manuscript” (a typescript with notes on fonts and chapter headings), as well as two sets of uncorrected galley proofs in long, loose sheets. “He was thirty-eight years old,” Dick writes of a character early on, “and he could remember the prewar days, the other times. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the World’s Fair; the former better world.”

To read those lines is like coming upon a precognition, a message to the present from the past. One of the clichés of science fiction is that it’s predictive, and yet, isn’t that the point of an archive such as this?

“We’re always collecting in the present for the future,” says Patricia Prestinary, Cal State Fullerton’s special collections librarian and archivist. “We look for connections. Philip K. Dick was a California writer, and late in his life, an Orange County writer. We’re preserving history in the making here.”

… In an essay written during the early 1990s, McNelly remembers receiving the manuscript of “Fahrenheit 451” from Ray Bradbury, as well as the Frank Herbert papers, which remain among the library’s most significant holdings.

(2) DUBLIN 2019 BUSINESS MEETING. “Dublin 2019 — WSFS Business Meeting Day 1” has a synopsis of the day’s machinations.

(3) AS IT HAPPENS. The Hugo Awards site has a post showing where to find August 18’s live text-based coverage of the 2019 Hugo Awards.

(4) THE NAME OF THE GAME. Did you wonder? “Why Are They Called the Hugo Awards?” At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Andrew Liptak explains it all to you:

The Hugo is the oldest and, by some measures, most prestigious award in the genre, and more often than not, the book that walks away with Best Novel honors will go on to withstand the test of time. (This year’s slate is certainly a promising one in that regard.)

(5) AO3. NPR’s All Things Considered ran a 4+-minute story: “‘Archive Of Our Own’ Fanfiction Website Is Up For A Hugo Award”.

The fanfiction website Archive of Our Own — where people post stories about their favorite movies, books and TV shows — is up for a Hugo Award, one of the highest awards in sci-fi and fantasy.

(6) IRISH FANDOM BACK IN THE DAY. David Langford has posted Hyphen 37 edited by Walt Willis as a free download at his Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund website (but feel free to contribute to TAFF while you’re there!)

The 1987 revival issue of the long-dormant classic fanzine Hyphen. With new and reprinted material by John Berry, Chuck Harris, Eric Mayer, Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Bob Shaw (twice), Bill Temple, Arthur Thomson, James White (with the famous “The Exorcists of IF”) and Walt Willis himself, plus further fannish luminaries including Robert Bloch, Chris Priest and Bob Tucker in a catch-up letter column whose contents date back to the 1960s.

Hyphen 37 is also available as a web page at eFanzines.com and page scans at Fanac.org.

(7) MY LITTLE FANDOM. 11,000 people come to bid farewell to the BronyCon series: “The Friends We Made Along The Way: After 9 Years, BronyCon Calls It Quits” at NPR.

On a sweltering Saturday in Baltimore, 11,000 bronies have claimed downtown. These are the fans of the TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, their name a mashup of “bro” and “pony” because many of the show’s earliest — and unanticipated — adherents were young men.

For nine years they’ve evangelized the show, and for nine years they’ve been targets of scorn. But they’ve come here for BronyCon — the biggest My Little Pony convention in the world — heedless of what that world may think of them.

That’s what brought me here, too. I’ve dodged the brony label for years, but I can’t deny my love for the show. It’s helped me out in dark times, and I wasn’t about to pass up my last chance to join fans at BronyCon. Friendship may be magic, but the magic is fading; the show has entered its ninth and final season, and after several years of dwindling attendance, the convention’s organizers decided it was time for a last hurrah.

The promise of a final party drew record crowds much as it attracted me. “Honestly, I’m shocked that we got to this point. We were not expecting to have such a banner year,” says current convention chair Shir Goldberg. “We were expecting the fandom to be excited and maybe we would double our attendance from last year, clocking at the seven- or eight-thousand range, but we did not expect 11,000 people to show up.”

(8) REASONS TO READ. James Davis Nicoll supplies “A Brief Introduction to Sarah Tolmie’s Speculative Fiction” at Tor.com.

I was a bit surprised when in a comment someone mentioned not having heard of Sarah Tolmie. In the spirit of XKCD’s Ten Thousand, let me explain at least a little about who Sarah Tolmie is, and why you should be reading her fiction.

An Associate Professor of English at the University of Waterloo, Tolmie won a 2019 Rhysling Award for “Ursula Le Guin in the Underworld”; the poem was also nominated for an Aurora. Her The Art of Dying was shortlisted for the 2019 Griffin Poetry Award. Unfortunately, poetry isn’t my thing, so let’s move on to prose…

(9) FONDA OBIT. Peter Fonda (1940-2019), US actor/producer/director, died August 16, aged 79. Genre appearances include Spirits of the Dead (1968), Future World (1976), Spasms (1983), Escape from L.A. (1996), Supernova (2005), Ghost Rider (2007), The Gathering (both episodes, 2007), Journey to the Centre of the Earth (2008).

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 16, 1884 Hugo Gernsback. Publisher of the first SF magazine, Amazing Stories in 1926. Also helped create fandom through the Science Fiction League. Writer of the Ralph 124C 41+ novel which most critics think is utterly dreadful but Westfahl considers “essential text for all studies of science fiction.” (Died 1967.)
  • Born August 16, 1901 Earle K. Bergey. Illustrator whose work graced Strange StoriesThrilling Wonder Stories, Startling Stories, Captain Future, and  Fantastic Story Magazine. It is said that his art inspired the look of illustrations of scantily-clad women served as an inspiration for Princess Leia’s slave-girl outfit in Return of the Jedi. And it is Madonna was inspired by his brass bras for stage outfit of the same look. (Died 1952.)

Startling Stories, Fall 1945 

  • Born August 16, 1930 Robert Culp. He’d make the Birthday Honors solely for being the lead in Outer Limits’ “Demon with a Glass Hand” which Ellison wrote specifically with him in mind. He would do two more appearances on the show, “Corpus Earthling” and “The Architects of Fear”. Around this time, he makes one-offs on Get Smart! and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. before being Special FBI Agent Bill Maxwell in The Greatest American Hero. Did you know there was a Conan the Adventurer series in the Nineties? Well he was King Vog in one episode. (Died 2010.)
  • Born August 16, 1933 Julie Newmar, 86. Catwoman in Batman. Her recent voice work includes the animated Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs. Two-Face, both done in the style of the Sixties show. They feature the last voice work by Adam West. Shatner btw plays Harvey Dent aka Two Face.  She was on the original Trek in the “Friday’s Child” episode as Eleen. She also has one-offs on Get Smart!, Twilight Zone, Fantasy IslandBionic WomanBuck Rogers in the 25th Century, Bewitched and Monster Squad
  • Born August 16, 1934 Diana Wynne Jones. If there’s essential reading for her, it’d be The Tough Guide to Fantasyland with a playful look at the genre. Then I’d toss in Deep Secret for its setting, and Fire and Hemlock for her artful merging of the Scottish ballads Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer. (Died 2011.)
  • Born August 16, 1934 Andrew J. Offutt. I know him through his stories in the Thieves’ World anthologies though I also enjoyed the Swords Against Darkness anthologies that he edited. I don’t think I’ve read any of his novels. (Died 2013.)
  • Born August 16, 1946 Lesley Ann Warren, 73. Miss Scarlett, a stock femme fatal, in Clue. She’s Dana Lambert in the fifth season of Mission Impossible. And she’s got one-offs on Twilight Zone, The Muppet Show, DaredevilFaerie Tale Theatre and Community.
  • Born August 16, 1952 Edie Stern, 67. Fancyclopedia 3 says about her that she is  “a well-known SF club, con, filker, collector and fanzine fan.” Well it actually goes on at impressive length about her. So I’m going to just link to their bio for her: Edie Stern.
  • Born August 16, 1954 James Cameron, 65. Let’s see… TerminatorAliensTerminator 2True LiesStrange Days… And The Abyss as well. Did you know he was interested in doing a Spider-man film? It never happened but the Dark Angel series with Jessica Alba did. And then there’s his Avatar  franchise… 
  • Born August 16, 1958 Angela Bassett, 61. Queen Ramonda in Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame. On the DC side of things, she played Amanda Waller in the dreadful Green Lantern film. 
  • Born August 16, 1971 Alan Tudyk, 48. Hoban “Wash” Washburne  in the Firefly universe whose death I’m still pissed about. Wat in A Knight’s Tale. (Chortle. Is it genre? Who cares, it’s a great film.)  He’s K-2SO in Rogue One and yes, he does both the voice and motion capture. Impressive. He also had a recurring role on Dollhose as Alpha, and he’s currently voicing a number of characters in the Young Justice series streaming on DC Universe.

(11) LIBRARY EBOOKS. At Publishers Weekly, Joseph Janes ponders, “Do Publishers Suddenly Hate Libraries?”

… In the wake of Toni Morrison’s passing, her story about why she was fired from a library job as a teenager has been making the rounds. To summarize: instead of reshelving all the returned books, she read them. “That experience opened my eyes and shaped my future,” Morrison said. “That’s what libraries do.”

Yes. That’s what libraries do. So why is it now seen as a good strategy for publishers to choke off digital access to reading in libraries? Especially at a moment when so many diverse, fresh new voices are emerging in popular literature, and when so many other digital (often free) mediums are competing for the attention of readers and would-be authors, à la the teenage Toni Morrison?

Part of the problem, of course, is that the library e-book market is still fairly new. It’s been just over eight years since HarperCollins announced its 26-loan limit on library e-books, a halting attempt at thinking through the library e-book market that initially raised hackles among many librarians before cooler heads largely prevailed. And it took until the end of 2014 for the other major publishers, using a variety of models, to jump into the library e-book market. But whatever market equilibrium libraries and publishers had reached a few years ago now looks more like a fragile armistice than peace. And whatever it was, it appears to be ending, leaving us all to wonder, What happens now? How do we move forward?

(12) LET JUSTICE BE DONE. Ohio Needs A Train registers some last-minute opinions about who The Rightful Winners of “The 2019 Hugo Awards” should be. And the Campbell Award, too –

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Everyone here has done pretty good work and, it seems, is destined to do even more. Jeannette Ng is perhaps the least to my taste 2 of these folks, but she’s still not undeserving. Katherine Arden certainly earns full marks for showing up fully-formed and remarkably prolific. While I haven’t read all of the Winternight books, I liked The Bear and the Nightingale just fine. She also writes young people books, which I have not read but am told are excellent. R.F. Kuang is previously covered in this space 3, and I maintain the opinion that The Poppy War is a tremendous display of talent that I absolutely did not like, although I do look forward to what she writes in the future, given that she’s as good as she is already. Rivers Solomon wrote An Unkindness of Ghosts which is a terrific generation ship novel, and I’m super-excited about what happens next from her. It must be noted, however, that I thought Vina Jie-Min Prasad was the rightful choice last year, and her work this year has only gotten better, so I still think it should be Vina Jie-Min Prasad.

THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Vina Jie-Min Prasad

(13) RETRO FIRE. Cora Buhlert delivers a trenchant appraisal of the winners in “Some Comments about the 1944 Retro Hugo Awards Winners” – though this paragraph seems a bit paradoxical:

…“R is for Rocket” by Ray Bradbury takes home a highly deserved Retro Hugo, because it is a great story that still holds up in spite of dated tech, though I’m a bit sad that “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper” by Robert Bloch, which is not just a great story, but also the start of the modern fascination of serial killers in general and Jack the Ripper in particular, only finished in fourth place behind two lesser works by big names. I also wonder why “Death Sentence” by Isaac Asimov finished in second place, because – and I’m saying this as an Asimov fan – it is a weak story, which hasn’t even been reprinted in ages. Did anybody except for me actually read the Retro Hugo finalists or do they just vote by name recognition?

(14) FIRST DRAFT. “Leonardo da Vinci’s abandoned and hidden artwork reveals its secrets” (with overlays showing the original design).

New research into one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous works has revealed fresh information about an abandoned composition hidden under the painting.

Experts have found initial designs for the angel and infant Christ beneath the surface of the Virgin of the Rocks.

The designs are significantly different to how they look in the final painting, which hangs in the National Gallery.

The hidden designs were revealed using macro X-ray fluorescence maps and infrared and hyperspectral imaging.

(15) SUBTEXT. Can you imagine? (Of course you can.) Let BBC tell you about “The subversive messages hidden in The Wizard of Oz”.

It’s easy to mistake the 1939 classic as traditional family entertainment – but 80 years on from its release, the musical is more radical and surreal than ever.

In December 1937, Walt Disney Productions released its first feature-length cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It went on to be cinema’s biggest hit of 1938, a success that not only encouraged Disney to make other fairy-tale cartoons for decades to come, but also encouraged another studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, to try its own fantasy musical about an orphaned girl and a wicked witch: The Wizard of Oz.

But for all of its similarities to the Disney film, MGM’s version was more of an anti-fairy tale than a fairy tale. Just look at the trio of frightened and feeble misfits that accompanies its heroine along the yellow brick road. None of them is what you’d call a handsome prince. In the clanking of the Tin Man’s rusty limbs, you can hear echoes of Don Quixote’s home-made armour. In the trio’s moaning and blubbing as they prepare to sneak into the witch’s castle, you can see a foreshadowing of Westley, Inigo and Fezzik invading Humperdinck’s castle in The Princess Bride. The pig-tailed Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) is so wholesome, the Harburg and Arlen songs are so delightful, and the Technicolor adventures are so exciting that it’s still easy to mistake The Wizard of Oz for traditional family entertainment, 80 years on from its release in August 1939. But it upends the conventions of good-v-evil storytelling in ways that would have had Walt Disney fuming….

In the sepia opening scenes, we are warned that the magic we’re about to see might not be wholly magical. Having run away from her home in Kansas to stop her pet dog Toto being put down, Dorothy meets a travelling clairvoyant named Professor Marvel (Frank Morgan) – a character who isn’t in L Frank Baum’s source novel, but was created by screenwriters Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf. As kindly as he is, the professor is a con artist who pretends to be psychic by peeking at a photo Dorothy is carrying. Another film might have contrasted this earthbound huckster with the genuine marvels performed by the wonderful Wizard of Oz, but in this one the wizard is played by the same actor as Professor Marvel, and he turns out to be much the same character: a fast-talking fairground showman who hides behind a curtain, waggling levers, and using mechanical trickery to keep his subjects loyal and afraid.

(16) RISING TIDE. Naragansett Beer is the creepiest!

“That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.” -HP Lovecraft

After years of sleeping beneath the surface, Lovecraft Honey Ale has risen from the depths of R’lyeh to bring chaos and madness to Rhode Island – just in time for NecronomiCon Providence.

 [Thanks to Lis Riba, Steve Green, Daniel Dern, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian Chip Hitchcock, Michael Toman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jeff Smith.]

52 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/16/19 Scrolls From Topographic Pixels

  1. Actually, I remember Robert Culp from the 1960s cold war TV show “I Spy” which co-starred Bill Cosby (but given Cosby’s more recent history, maybe that’s why you didn’t mention it).

  2. James Pyles says Actually, I remember Robert Culp from the 1960s cold war TV show “I Spy” which co-starred Bill Cosby (but given Cosby’s more recent history, maybe that’s why you didn’t mention it).

    Nah I was just undecided on it being a genre series.

  3. (10) re: Robert Culp – those were Outer Limits episodes, not Twilight Zone episodes; I don’t think Culp ever appeared in the latter.

  4. @P J: I nearly made the same mistake, but Elaan was from Troyius. In Friday’s Child, Kirk and McCoy deliver a baby.

  5. +1 for the YES reference in the scroll Title, Jeff 🙂

    9) Oh man, missed the news about Fonda. Rest in peace.

  6. Major omissions on Julie Newmar. She played the title character/android in the 1964 st sitcom “My Living Doll.” In the 1950s she played Stupefyin’ Jones in both the Broadway and movie versions of “Li’l Abner,” a production with significant fantasy elements. And c. 1960 she played Lola in the national touring company of “Damn Yankees,” a bigger deal than such things are now.

  7. I think the Wizard of Oz article’s link is missing its last letter. The article can be found here.

  8. @10: the vast majority of Offutt’s novels are porn, quite a bit of it genre going by the pseudonyms and publishers in ISFDB. Of the genre work published by … non-specialists … , I remember the dystopias Evil Is Live Spelled Backwards (further future, religious tyranny-of-ignorance (owing something to “If This Goes On…”) lasting long enough that a lifespan of ?50? is respectable) and The Castle Keeps (near future falling apart rather like in I Will Fear No Evil) — neither a great work, but both reasonable SF. His son wrote a closeup ~bio, My Father the Pornographer, describing the systematic way he wrote one-handers and the difference between the hip convention persona and the way he was at home.

  9. (9) I omitted one of the strings on Mr Fonda’s bow — that of screenwriter, as demonstrated on Easy Rider.

  10. (10) Also on DC Universe, Alan Tudyk plays the main villain in Doom Patrol, Mr. Nobody.

  11. 13) Thanks for the link, Mike.

    To clarify (sorry, I’m at WorldCon and was a tad tired when I wrote that), with “two lesser works by great authors” I was referring not to “R is for Rocket” by Ray Bradbury, which is still a great and resonant story, but to “Death Sentence” by Isaac Asimov and “Doorway into Time” by C.L. Moore, which are weak stories by authors i normally like. “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper” on the other hand, is a very good story which still holds up.

  12. Judge Magney says
    Major omissions on Julie Newmar. She played the title character/android in the 1964 st sitcom “My Living Doll.” In the 1950s she played Stupefyin’ Jones in both the Broadway and movie versions of “Li’l Abner,” a production with significant fantasy elements. And c. 1960 she played Lola in the national touring company of “Damn Yankees,” a bigger deal than such things are now.

    Not major omissions as I get to choose what goes in and what doesn’t. If I included everything that a given performer has done, a given Birthday note could be very long. And I for one don’t consider Li’l Abner to be genre unless we’ve decided hillbillies are fantastic creatures.

  13. 13) Given that “Death Sentence” can be read at the Internet Archive and that there’s a link therein the Wikipedia article on the story, the fact that it hasn’t been “reprinted in ages” isn’t entirely relevant at this point.

    I read the finalists, I didn’t rate the Asimov highly and preferred the Bloch. But I put its finish down to the majority’s tastes differing from mine, rather than ask if they actually, you know, read the story and supported it because they liked it, as opposed to voting for it because it was by Asimov.

  14. @Andrew
    So much for 50-year-old memories…. (McCoy baby-talking from that one is a Thing on Tumblr.)

  15. (11)

    Part of the problem, of course, is that the library e-book market is still fairly new. It’s been just over eight years since HarperCollins announced its 26-loan limit on library e-books, a halting attempt at thinking through the library e-book market that initially raised hackles among many librarians before cooler heads largely prevailed.

    No. Not “cooler heads,” at least not in that the 26-loan model isn’t fundamentally flawed, stupid, counter to reality, and hostile to the idea of public libraries as an institution.

    Only in the sense that public libraries can’t mobilize the leverage to give the industry the whack upside the head it deserves, for a loan policy grounded in the lie that hardcover books fall apart and need to be purchased anew after 26 loans.

    Publishing companies got bought up by the entertainment industry, which fundamentally believes in a pay-per-view model and tried to kill home video recorders and blank tape when that technology was new. Public libraries are regarded by the beancounters as an outrage that should not exist, that unfortunately have too much public support to be attacked directly and openly.

    The sensible, sane, reality-based model would be that a library can loan as many ebook copies at any one time as it has licenses for, and any give copy can’t be loaned again until it has been “returned,” i.e., is no longer available for the previous borrower. This actually was the default model until HarperCollins decided to try to kill it.

  16. It seems fitting that the electronic version of Hyphen 37 is free–the hardcopy was “free to friends old and new,” and Walt Willis meant it: he had no idea who this “Vick Rosenzweig” who had asked for a copy was, but generously sent it (and I wrote a loc, which I think Walt printed part of).

    At this remove, the other thing about that zine that comes immediately to mind is the service editorial at the front, with something like “this is where I explain why the issue is late…thing, and other thing, and other thing, ‘and then we had a small civil war,’ and…”

  17. Re today’s birthdays, you’re of course entitled to your own favorites but I’d argue that Diana Wynne Jones was primarily a children’s / YA author so singling out three of her very few adult books to some extent misses the point.

    Props for Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Dogsbody, Power of Three, Year of the Griffin, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc., etc.

  18. Dan B. says Re today’s birthdays, you’re of course entitled to your own favorites but I’d argue that Diana Wynne Jones was primarily a children’s / YA author so singling out three of her very few adult books to some extent misses the point.

    As I wasn’t making a point, I hardly could be saying to be missing a point. I really don’t like the distinction between children’s / YA and adult fiction anyways so I read whatever I like. Wasn’t Cooper’s The Dark is Rising considered YA originally as were Lewis’ Narnia series but adults in legions read them. So what’s your point?

  19. Cora Buhlert: with “two lesser works by great authors” I was referring not to “R is for Rocket” by Ray Bradbury,

    No problem about that part, you were clear that you liked the Bradbury story. However, these days Bradbury is the best known name, so your rhetorical question in respect to Asimov about people voting on name recognition was what seemed paradoxical. (Not that you’re supposed to think better of the Asimov nominee.)

  20. But… none of the DWJ books mentioned are adult books. I read all of them as a child and none of them stood out as Not For Me.

  21. Meredith says But… none of the DWJ books mentioned are adult books. I read all of them as a child and none of them stood out as Not For Me.

    Precisely. I don’t consider books in terms of their target audiences, only if I liked them.

  22. Cat Eldridge says So what’s your point? I’m saying that those books aren’t particularly representative of Diana Wynne Jones’s writing. As one of the legions of readers who love her, I wanted to put out some of the books which are representative of her writing.

    @Meredith- The DWJ books I listed were children’s/YA. The ones in Cat Eldridge’s item (10) were adult.

  23. @Dan B: Fire and Hemlock was published by a children’s book publisher and won a childrens book award.

  24. @Dan B: I wouldn’t give Fire and Hemlock to a random middle-grader (who might find it emotionally beyond them), but I certainly wouldn’t have listed it as an adult book even before I found a copy in the kids-books section of Harrod’s. (Wikepedia describes the lead as age 10 to start; IIRC she’s nine years older at the end, or just about the age of the leads in Year of the Griffin.) The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is IMO appreciable by readers not long after catching onto Santa Claus and/or the Tooth Fairy, and is the removed source for Year of the Griffin.

  25. Sounds like we all like Diana Wynne Jones’s work, whether we think them adult’s or children’s. I certainly do. My favorites are Deep Secret, the Chrestomanci series, the Howl’s Moving Castle series, and The Dark Lord of Dernholm/Year of the Griffin.

    Edited to add that I didn’t read these as a child – one of my Scottish cousins-in-law sent me Deep Secret to try, and after I read that I bought all the rest.

  26. Cat Eldridge said
    “. . . unless we’ve decided hillbillies are fantastic creatures.”

    Well, I think “hillbillies” or other backwoods folks who can cast hexes with immediate physical effect qualify as genre; otherwise we should write much of Manly Wade Wellman out of the genre as well. Even if Evil Eye Fleagle isn’t the pop culture figure he was in the 1950s. And I do think that omitting the entire stage career of a Tony-winning actress is a bad call, too.

  27. @Lenore: the first Jones I read was Archer’s Goon, which I read in college (it got a great review in Asimovs) – at the time I was doing some babysitting so I read passages from Goon to the kids (8 and 10) I was sitting for, too, and read all the Jones I could get my hands on. I liked Howl’s Moving Castle and Deep Secret too, as well as A Tale of Time City and others I’m probably blanking on (I should go off and read ones I’ve missed – in fact, let me check some library websites right now).

  28. In re: the birthday listings —

    Guys, guys. I wish we could find a less antagonistic way to add, subtract, or comment on items in the birthday lists. I mean, cmon. Cat puts these together, so Cat gets to include or not include whatever she wants, or comment on them however she likes. If you want to add someone or something else, or comment on what she’s said, great — but can we all keep in mind that she’s allowed to have her own opinions, and her own judgments about what is or is not important? Can we maybe try to comment more as collaborators than as scolds?

    I’m not just referring to this scroll in particular, but to previous scrolls as well. I like to read the birthday lists, but the lecturing tone of some of the comments on it makes me very uncomfortable — and sometimes make me wonder why Cat continues to write them!

    /soapbox

    @Cat —

    And I for one don’t consider Li’l Abner to be genre unless we’ve decided hillbillies are fantastic creatures.

    Don’t forget the shmoos — they are definitely fantastical!

  29. @John Winkelman,

    I am saddened to read of Barry Hughart’s passing. “Loved his Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox”.

  30. (8) REASONS TO READ: I haven’t seen Tolmie’s name bandied about much — but her story “The Dancer on the Stairs” I remember vividly. Bizarre and magical.
    Strange Horizons reprinted the story over here; I recommend it highly.
    Short story club discussion: here

  31. @Mike Glyer
    Well, it’s quite possible that many Retro Hugo voters voted more on name recognition for both Bradbury and Asimov, but at least the Bradbury story is actually good. The Asimov story isn’t.

  32. In the graphic story category, there are two stories on the longlist – the Phantom and Mandrake stories – with two votes a piece, which must have been mine and my Mom’s, because we’re both big fans and nominated them.

    But yes, I like having this data.

  33. Is there a retro-eligible Exit Strategy by an author with the surname Wells or did someone’s standard Hugo Novella nomination go astray?

    @Goobergunch

    Thanks for the link!

    @Contrarius

    Apparently it’s very hard to phrase things as, I don’t know, “I also liked [stuff]”.

    @Dan B.

    I said all, and I meant all. 🙂 As far as I’m aware, the only novel of DWJ’s which I would consider to be an adult novel is her first: Changeover. All of the others I read as a child, and none of them felt like adult books – and I was reading (carefully chosen for me) adult books at the time, so I knew the difference.

  34. Meredith on August 17, 2019 at 6:23 pm said:

    Is there a retro-eligible Exit Strategy by an author with the surname Wells or did someone’s standard Hugo Novella nomination go astray?

    Time travelling Murderbot!

  35. Meredith notes I said all, and I meant all. ? As far as I’m aware, the only novel of DWJ’s which I would consider to be an adult novel is her first: Changeover. All of the others I read as a child, and none of them felt like adult books – and I was reading (carefully chosen for me) adult books at the time, so I knew the difference.

    I’d argue that Deep Secret Is an adult novel in large part because its setting, a SF convention is that of an adult universe.

  36. M is for Murderbot?

    @Cat Eldridge

    I’d argue that wars are in large part (or should be) adult settings, but I’ve read an awful lot of children’s books and YA that are set in the middle of them. I wouldn’t consider that to be an automatic qualifying feature for adultbookishness.

    Deep Secret was actually one of my very favourite works of hers when I was a child (and still is). And the sequel was rightly published in the children’s section. Ones I struggled with at the same age: Fire and Hemlock (YA imo, which I was still a bit young for) and Witch Week (which I really liked a couple of years later).

  37. For I Have No Murderbot and I Must Scream.

    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Murderbot

    Ancillary Murderbot

  38. The Murderbot Who Shouted Please Don’t Bother Me at the Heart of the World

  39. in re Li’l Abner: AFAICT from the Wikipedia summary of the plot, the shmoos do not appear in the musical; however, Evil-Eye Fleagle does, and one of the plot drivers is a tonic that not only has made the title character grow up big and strong but also does an instant Charles Atlas on a minor character. Sounds to me at least as much like fantasy as Finian’s Rainbow, although perhaps not as much as Damn Yankees.

  40. The musical “Li’l Abner” definitely fantasy elements.
    Perhaps there is a less pejorative term than “hillbillies” available to refer to mountain folk.

  41. @bill —

    The musical “Li’l Abner” definitely fantasy elements.
    Perhaps there is a less pejorative term than “hillbillies” available to refer to mountain folk.

    Within the context of the comic, I think hillbilly fits best. The comic itself leaned heavily into the stereotypes.

  42. My mom’s side of the family is from the county in which Dogpatch is located. I like hillbilly unless it’s said with a sneer. Which is how I feel about most words.

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