Pixel Scroll 8/30/19 The Past Is Long And Full Of Writers

(1) BACK IN THE SHED. The tower for Artemis is being hauled under cover: “Kennedy Space Center bracing for Hurricane Dorian”.

NASA civil servants and contractors at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida are bracing for high winds and rain from Hurricane Dorian. Ahead of the storm, they are securing rocket stages, spacecraft assembly areas and even hauling a 6.7-million-pound mobile launch tower, designed for the huge rocket being built for the Artemis moon program, back to the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building for safekeeping.

The 355-foot-tall gantry structure, carried atop a squat Apollo-era crawler-transporter, is scheduled to begin the 4.2-mile trip from launch complex 39B back to the protection of the VAB at dawn Friday — a journey that’s expected to take more than eight hours to complete.

(2) DUBLIN UP. Two more Worldcon write-ups.

Noelle Ameijenda, in “The Fantastic comes Home”, tells how she juggled attending and working the con:

Thursday (15th August) was the first full day – I spent a while in the morning doing some running for the Chair’s office  – up and down the elevator with bits and pieces – highly important bits and pieces, of course! Then I got to attend two brilliant panels –  ‘Invasions and the Irish Imagination’ and ‘When scientists write science fiction’ – before a quick bite for lunch with my friend Karina, and then a 3-hour Writers’ Workshop with the amazing Diane Duane. What was great about this workshop was the amazing DD, and the other fantastic participants – I made 2 lovely new friends  – Eliana all the way from Paraguay, and Caoilfhionn from Kilkenny – we hung out at the bar lots together. There was an ‘interesting’ bit in the middle of the workshop when I was terribly rude and had to answer a phone call from my Featured Artist, Jim, who was having technical difficulties at his presentation – SO SO sorry to interrupt the flow of the workshop, but we got it sorted.  The opening ceremony then was great, including the Retro Hugos. And seeing 3 members of my (real-life, work) company onstage with the rousing choir at the close : ‘where the strawberry fields…’.

Sara at Not Another Book Blogger penned one of the sweetest conreports I ever saw: “Dublin 2019 My First WorldCon”. Lots of photos of her and her kids.

GRRM The Irish Connection with Colm Lundberg (Moderator) William Simpson, Peadar O’Guilin and Parris McBride Martin. It was a really enjoyable panel on their Irish Connections and great to have it confirmed that Westeros is indeed a map of Ireland upside down!

Afterwards he walked right by me and I said hello which is probably the closest I’ll ever get to him! We got chatting with William Simpson who is absolutely lovely, very passionate about climate change as is Abigail. William drew all of the storyboards for Game of Thrones and while we were chatting he drew a dragon for Abigail in her notebook! So very cool.

(3) NEXT YEAR’S WORLDCON. CoNZealand invites everyone to view their promotional video from the Dublin 2019 closing ceremony, featuring their Author Guests of Honour, Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, NZ Artist Guest of Honour, Greg Broadmore, and special guests, Tania Taylor, Sir Richard Taylor, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern.

(4) KEEP COOL WITH THE CREW. Don’t we all need one of these for Christmas? — “Star Stre V Auto Sun Shades”.

(5) THANK YOU. Mike Resnick posted another update to his GoFundMe “Help Mike Resnick pay off a near-death experience”.

“I just want to thank all the people who have contributed to my GoFundMe appeal. I’m still weak, but I can walk about 50 feet without a cane or a walker. Carol and I have been overwhelmed by your numbers, and by the absolute love we read in your messages. I’m back to work — not as fast as I’d wish — but I did sell 3 short stories in the last two weeks, so at least you know your good wishes and outporing of affection aren’t going into a black hole. I have been moved beyond belief.”

The donations passed $19,000 today.

(6) ROBOTS AND KNIGHTS. Jewish in Seattle recently published two items of interest to Filers. The first is a short story entitled “Next Year In” by Merridawn Duckler. It won the magazine’s short story competition.

…The day of Team meeting for the spring robot fashion launch, it was raining hard. Other protectorates have man-made precipitation but here in New Cascadia we still have the real thing, from little eyelash dusters, to the full, sideways sliding downpour. I like real rain. I’ve experienced the human-made stuff and it’s just not the same; too uniform, each drop perfect, dries too fast. Plus, it stops. Still, I complain about the rain like everyone else. The last thing we need is for more people to emigrate here…. 

The second is “How Yiddish Writers Influenced Arthurian Legend” by Emily Boynton, a non-fiction article.

…And Yiddish? One Arthurian figure, Wigalois, has piqued the interest of Annegret Oehme, a University of Washington assistant professor of Germanics who specializes in pre-modern literatures and languages. She argues that the story of Wigalois (pronounced vee-gah-loy) is an intercultural production between medieval German and Jewish societies. Not only does Wigalois appear in Yiddish, but Oehme argues that it interacted with and influenced Germanic versions of the story.

“It’s really important to see that the Jewish community was familiar with courtly literature, they participated with transmission, and didn’t just read and produce religious texts,” Oehme says.

The son of prominent Arthurian knight Gawain, Wigalois grows up in a fairylike land with his mother before setting off to find his father in Camelot. While at court, he accepts the quest of a maiden seeking aid for her kingdom, which is under siege. Battling dragons and giants along the way, Wigalois successfully defeats the usurper and frees the kingdom, becomes a knight, and marries a princess.

The tale packs enough action for an HBO series, yet Oehme argues the real stakes of the story lie in what it tells us about early modern Yiddish culture….

(7) HINES’ SAD ANNOUNCEMENT. Jim C. Hines told Facebook readers that his wife, Amy, died yesterday after a nine-month fight with cancer. Read more on Facebook.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 30, 1797 Mary Shelley. Author of the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus which I’ll admit that I’ve not read. Who here has read it? It certainly has spawned a multiverse of novels and films since it came, some quite good, some quite bad. (Died 1851.)
  • Born August 30, 1896 Raymond Massey. In 1936, he starred in Things to Come, a film adaptation by H.G. Wells of his own novel The Shape of Things to Come. Other than several appearances on Night Gallery forty years later, that’s it for genre appearances. (Died 1983.)
  • Born August 30, 1942 Judith Moffett, 77. She won the first Theodore Sturgeon Award  with her story “Surviving” and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at the Nolacon II for her Pennterra novel. Asimov wrote an introduction for the book and published it under his Isaac Asimov Presents series. 
  • Born August 30, 1943 Robert Crumb, 76. He’s here because ISFDB lists him as the illustrator of The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick which is likely they say an interview that Dick did with Gregg Rickman and published in Rickman’s The Last Testament. They’re also listing the cover art for Edward Abby’s The Monkey Wrench Gang as genre but that’s a very generous definition of genre.
  • Born August 30, 1955 Jeannette Holloman. She was one of the founding members of the Greater Columbia Costumers Guild and she was a participant at masquerades at Worldcon, CostumeCon, and other conventions. Her costumes were featured in The Costume Makers Art and Thread magazine. (Died 2019.)
  • Born August 30, 1963 Michael Chiklis, 56. He was The Thing in two first Fantastic Four films, and Jim Powell on the the No Ordinary Family series which I’ve never heard of.  He was on American Horror Story for its fourth season, American Horror Story: Freak Show as Dell Toledo. The following year he was cast as Nathaniel Barnes, in the second season of Gotham, in a recurring role. And he voiced Lt. Jan Agusta in Heavy Gear: The Animated Series
  • Born August 30, 1965 Laeta Kalogridis, 54. She was an executive producer of the short-lived excellent Birds of Prey series and she co-wrote the screenplays for Terminator Genisys and Alita: Battle Angel. She recently was the creator and executive producer of Altered Carbon. She also has a screenwriting credit for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, a film the fanboys hate but which I really like.
  • Born August 30, 1967 Frederique van der Wal, 52. She appeared in exactly one genre film — Wild Wild West as Amazonia. Oh well. 
  • Born August 30, 1972 Cameron Diaz, 47. She first shows as Tina Carlyle in The Mask, an amazing film. She voices Princess Fiona in the Shrek franchise. While dating Tom Cruise, she’s an uncredited Bus passengers in Minority Report. Oh and she’s Lenore Case in the cringingly awful Green Hornet.
  • Born August 30, 1980 Angel Coulby, 39. She is best known as Gwen (Guinevere) in the BBC’s Merlin. She also shows up in Doctor Who as Katherine in the “The Girl in the Fireplace”, a Tenth Doctor story. She also voices Tanusha ‘Kayo’ Kyrano in the revived Thunderbirds Are Go.

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • Incidental Comics by Grant Snider – “Reader’s Block”

(10) TIPTREE AWARD NAME CHALLENGED. According to the award’s Motherboard, they’ve taken under advisement a request to drop the name because in her last acts the author shot her invalid husband before killing herself.

(11) SUPERREALISM. In “Review: The Boys (Amazon)”, Camestros Felapton indicates the show suffers from certain inconsistencies in storytelling.

…Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) is a young man whose girlfriend is brutally killed accidentally by the superhero A-Train — a Flash like superhero whose superspeed essentially explodes Campbell’s girlfriend in front of him. This early scene sets the confused tone of the series: gory, comical and shocking, with events often set up like jokes but then played out for emotional impact.

A distraught Hughie is recruited by Billy Butcher — Karl Urban sporting the accent he used as Skurge in Thor: Ragnarok. Butcher is a foul-mouthed cockney rogue CIA agent on his own personal mission of revenge against the seven….

(12) WAVING HELLO. NPR reports “After Months In A Dish, Lab-Grown Minibrains Start Making ‘Brain Waves'”

By the time a fetus is 6 months old, it is producing electrical signals recognizable as brain waves.

And clusters of lab-grown human brain cells known as organoids seem to follow a similar schedule, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

“After these organoids are in that six-to-nine-months range, that’s when [the electrical patterns] start to look a lot like what you’d see with a preterm infant,” says Alysson Muotri, director of the stem cell program at the University of California, San Diego.

The finding suggests that organoids can help scientists study the earliest phase of human brain development and perhaps reveal the earliest biological beginnings of conditions such as schizophrenia and autism.

But the presence of humanlike brain waves in a dish is also likely to focus attention on the ethical questions surrounding this sort of research.

(13) SAUCE FOR THE GANDER. “Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey has account hacked” – BBC has the story.

The co-founder and chief executive of Twitter had his own account on the service briefly taken over by hackers.

A group referring to itself as the Chuckling Squad said it was behind the breach of Jack Dorsey’s account.

The profile, which has more than four million followers, tweeted out a flurry of highly offensive and racist remarks for about 15 minutes.

Twitter said its own systems were not compromised, instead blaming an unnamed mobile operator.

(14) SHERLOCKIAN FALLACY. BBC details “The two illusions that tricked Arthur Conan Doyle”.

Two real-life hoaxes managed to fool the creator of Sherlock Holmes – and they help to reveal our own ‘metacognitive illusions’ that influence our memory and perception.

On 21 March 1919, a committee including a paranormal investigator, a viscountess, a mind reader, a Scotland Yard detective, and a coroner were all assembled in a small flat in Bloomsbury, London. “I have spent years performing with fake mediums all over the world in order to disprove spiritualism,” declared their host. “Now at last, I have come across a genuine medium.”

The woman who entered the room was wearing a veil that concealed the lower half of her face. She began with a séance which involved a demonstration of “clairvoyance”. Each member of the committee had been instructed to bring with them a small personal item or written letter. Before the medium arrived all the objects were placed into a bag, which was then locked inside a box.

The medium held the locked box in her lap, and while the committee watched carefully, she proceeded to not only name the objects within, but to describe them in vivid detail. She divined that one of the objects was a ring belonging to the deceased son of the paranormal investigator, and even read the faded inscription.

…The creator of Sherlock Holmes declared that he was highly impressed with the clairvoyant demonstration, although he said he would need to see the ghost again before he would attest to its paranormality.

Today, Conan Doyle is best known for his detective stories, but the good doctor was also an illustrious paranormal investigator who often failed to see the frauds in front of his eyes. He famously fell for the photographs of the Cottingley Fairies, for instance, faked by two children – Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright. He attended séances, too. As a spiritualist, Conan Doyle also asserted that he witnessed mediums make direct contact with the spirits of the dead.

…Conan Doyle’s reactions to these hoaxes are clearly problematic, but they are also an illustration of psychological phenomena known as “metacognitive illusions”.

“Metacognition” is the idea of thinking about thinking. By extension, metacognitive illusions occur when people hold mistaken beliefs about their own cognitive systems. We all tend to feel like we are experts about the nature of our own perceptions and memories. After all, we generally perceive things and remember things successfully throughout most of our day-to-day lives. However, in many cases our intuitions about our own cognitive systems can be surprisingly unreliable – we are not always nearly as observant as we think we are and our memories can be surprisingly malleable.

(15) TERMINATOR, BUT NEVER THE END. Yahoo! Entertainment: “Linda Hamilton delivers a classic ‘Terminator’ line in new ‘Dark Fate’ trailer”.

In case there were any lingering doubts, Sarah Connor is most definitely back. Reprising her signature role for the first time in nearly 30 years, Linda Hamilton asserts her authority in the latest trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate by delivering the franchise’s most famous line … you know the one. (Watch the trailer.)

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Danny Sichel, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Michael Tolan, Jerry Kaufman, and Chip Hitchcock, for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Nigel.]

39 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/30/19 The Past Is Long And Full Of Writers

  1. @NickPheas

    Had the Tiptree thing come up on Mastodon once, a while back, and they did at least seem to be sincere about it. Seems a bit lacking in compassion to me, but euthanasia is a touchy subject for some people with disabilities.

  2. @3: so what’s the meaning of the captions “Chair: Business” and “Chair: Experience”? How they’re dividing the divisions, maybe?

    @4 ?typo?: shouldn’t that be “Star Trek V”?

    @8: I read Frankenstein so long ago (preparation for using it in a class) that I remember little about it beyond the ornate prose and structure; I’m not sure I twigged until later discussion that Victor rather than his creation is the real monster.

  3. Sophie Jane notes Had the Tiptree thing come up on Mastodon once, a while back, and they did at least seem to be sincere about it. Seems a bit lacking in compassion to me, but euthanasia is a touchy subject for some people with disabilities.

    Since we no idea of what was spoken of between her and her husband, I say let it be. These matters are always intensely private.

  4. 10) This is an interesting case. I wouldn’t want an Alice Sheldon Award but the only thing Tiptree did was write stories. Is this an award named after a person or a type of story?
    I wouldn’t object to decision either way, this just seems different from others.

  5. apparently there’s a passage in Julie Phillips’ 2007 biography of Tiptree – an interview with her lawyer(?) talking about the night that Sheldon called to explain what she was about to do.

    “I had seen Mr. Sheldon recently and he did not appear to me to be depressed; he was not, in my opinion, in the mood to leave the world at that time. I said, ‘Does Mr. Sheldon agree with this?’ and she said, ‘No, he’s asleep.'”

    also, in 1976 (eleven years before) she wrote a letter to Robert Silverberg in which she said that suicide was not an option, because it would mean leaving her husband alone, “and I can’t bring myself to put a bullet through that sleeping head — to take him too, when he doesn’t want to go”.

    (quoted in https://www.upi.com/Archives/1987/05/20/Writer-kills-husband-then-self/4618548481600 )

    I draw no conclusions.

  6. Born August 30, 1797 — Mary Shelley. Author of the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus which I’ll admit that I’ve not read. Who here has read it?

    Oh sure, and watched the stage version twice on HD broadcast (once with Benedict Cumberbatch as the monster, once with Jonny Lee Miller as the monster). I highly recommend the version with Cumberbatch as the monster and Miller as the doctor.

    But I also remember being terribly impressed by the old TV version, from 1973, with Michael Sarrazin as a beautiful monster. It also had Jane Seymour, but I don’t remember her!

  7. @Cat Eldridge

    Since we no idea of what was spoken of between her and her husband, I say let it be. These matters are always intensely private.

    Even if we knew that he had specifically asked her to do it, I”m okay with being critical of the idea of someone shooting her spouse to death. It is not to be encouraged.

  8. Born August 30, 1797 — Mary Shelley. Author of the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus which I’ll admit that I’ve not read. Who here has read it?

    I know I’ve read it at some point in adulthood because I clearly remember being surprised at some of the aspects that don’t make it into the Hollywood versions. But my most interesting consumption of the story was listening to Tansy Rayner Roberts’ gender-flipped reading (via podcast) as part of the Mother of Invention kickstarter. It was, of course, fun to imagine the adventurous story of female inventors and their all-female circles of associates and colleagues. But the most intriguing aspect was realizing how homoromantic the original narrative was in parts, because I’m very attuned to noticing that when the interactions are between women, but not so much when they’re between men.

  9. I am appreciative of all the concerns about Sheldon’s actions and how they might taint her posterity. And I especially appreciate the concerns of those who identify with her husband on the basis of disability. I also appreciate the horrific position that caregivers can find themselves in when a society provides no realistic levels of practical, medical, and emotional support for disability care, and yet blames failures of caregiving (or even just caregiving fatigue) as a moral defect. I don’t know the specifics of what Sheldon believed she had available as resources and options, but I think it’s one part of the equation.

  10. Tweeted, Replying to
    @TiptreeAward
    Personally speaking, my answer would be, NO (!), do not change the name. Alice Sheldon should not be judged on one desperate action after a lifetime of love & devotion. Let it be…

  11. I really don’t know where I am on the Tiptree thing. I feel for her for all the reasons Heather said, and I feel for those who are disturbed by the possibility (likelihood?) of her husband not having consented.

  12. My aunt, SF writer Melisa C. Michaels, just succumbed to complications from treatment for what we thought was very treatable stage four cancer. I’m still in shock, but I know she has a fan or two here, so I wanted to pass the word along.

    Just a few days ago, she asked me to look into the possibility of putting her books on Project Gutenberg after she was gone, as a final thank you to her fans. The unexpected speed of events has complicated matters, but after we have some time to process and grieve, I’ll discuss this with her daughter, my cousin.

  13. John Hertz replies by carrier pigeon:

    I’ve been encouraging attention to Frankenstein for years.

    It may be one of those that, as Vladimir Nabokov said, “Everyone talks about but no one has read.” He was referring to Don Quixote, but the bubble Reputation would soon so soap his own Lolita.

    I always question statements that a book is about something. I’m not sure a work of art can be about anything. But among the things most outstanding to me in Frankenstein is that it’s an irresponsibility contest – and between two males.

    Let us men – particularly us heterosexual men, since I am one – blush that it’s by a woman.

    It was one of the Classics of SF we discussed at Westercon LV. You can see my note in File 770 #142 (PDF).

    It’s a wonderful, wonderful book.

  14. There is a person on Twitter who is quite vehemently denouncing Tiptree, claiming that she was at fault for not making arrangements for her husband’s care if she died.

    My understanding is that they were broke. “Arrangements for his care” would have amounted to him being committed to a publicly-funded, state-run institution with no family members to look in on him or ensure that he was being properly cared for. Given the appalling state of healthcare in the U.S. and the deplorable conditions which elderly disabled people who actually have family looking out for them and paying for their care often face, I can imagine what sort of “care” her husband would have received after her death. I suspect that she had a pretty good idea, too, and that this worsened her depression and despair.

    As Sophie Jane says, I would expect people to have a little more empathy and compassion for someone in the depths of mental illness, in an untenable position with no good options.

    I also find it interesting that no one is commenting on the way that she was doxxed, that this obviously would have changed her relationships with correspondents whom she might have considered friends, and that it clearly had a long-lasting, devastating effect on her.

  15. JJ: In no way were the Sheldons broke. They were not among the super-rich, but they were well off. They left most of their estate to the Quakers, who did quite well by them.

  16. Jeff Smith: In no way were the Sheldons broke. They were not among the super-rich, but they were well off.

    Thanks for the correction. In that case, no, there really was no excuse for the two of them not having made arrangements for care, should one or both them become incapacitated. I can’t understand why their friends, in whom Sheldon confided, wouldn’t have persuaded them to make such arrangements. But that would have required her being willing to take that advice and do so. 😐

  17. Xtifr, my thoughts are with you and your family. What a lovely generosity of spirit your aunt had, to ensure that we would all continue to have access to her works.

    My thoughts are also with Jim Hines and his family. What a sad, sad loss.

  18. @JJ
    Care like that is quite expensive. Most people can’t afford long-term care, even with insurance. (My grandmother got something like $30K when she sold her house, in 1974. That, with Medicare and Social Security, paid for about five years in a hospital geriatric unit. That was before it became a profitable business. Now, you’d pay more than that per year and probably get minimal care.)

  19. @Xtifr – Condolences. I hope the literary arrangements, when y’all are ready to address them, turn out not to be insurmountably complicated. I had not heard of her SF before, but now I have some additions to my TBR pile.

    Re: Tiptree Awards – It’s really a shame that the timing of this demand to rename the award makes it so hard to separate out the good-faith discussion online from the bad-faith, tit-for-tat, sauce-for-the-gander “If you’re going to rename the Campbell, you have to rename the Tiptree!” crap.

    Because no, the complaints aren’t at all parallel. On the one hand, there’s Campbell’s lifelong and unrepentant bigotry that was considered extreme even by his peers; on the other, you have a shocking act of suicide/murder inextricably linked with the author’s depression at the end of an otherwise blameless (right?) life.

    At the very least, things really aren’t cut-and-dried here, when on the one hand it’s awful to think Sheldon might have believed her husband better dead than disabled, which can absolutely taint the honor of the award for a recipient who thinks Sheldon would have shot them too; and on the other, Sheldon’s last act sounds a lot like her basically losing her lifelong war against depression.

    And I question my own instinctive feeling that Sheldon’s crime doesn’t taint her life’s work the way Campbell’s does, because I’m one of the people Campbell would have suppressed, and I’m not (at this time) one of the people Sheldon arguably might have considered better off dead. I think that Campbell’s problematicness seems a lot more relevant to the thing he’s being honored for (“He gave so many new writers their start!” “Yeah, if they were the right kind of new writer…”) than Sheldon’s is? Maybe?

    Stuff’s hard. I don’t know. I guess I’m mostly being loudly ignorant and confused with this post. I don’t have more to add, but I have a lot to learn, so I’ll be following this conversation silently and attentively going forward.

  20. @Nicole
    As one of the people who has hardwired depression, it’s hard to deal with everything when you’re in the depths; being dead starts looking like a reasonable option, as I said to my primary-care guy. (I’m lucky; one of the generic SSRIs works for me with relatively few side-effects.)

  21. As a physically disabled person who requires care and someone with an extensive history of suicidal depression that has left me with a marked indifference to ongoing survival and is currently facing the very real possibility of extreme poverty and medical neglect should no-deal go through and the tories use it as an excuse to cut disability benefits and the NHS even further (so if people could drop the whole “you just don’t understand how she felt” or “have some compassion” arguments now, that would be great, thanks), Tiptree’s last act fills me with revulsion.

    One of the things which disability curtails very thoroughly for some of us is the sense (and often reality) of personal choice, about your life, your dreams, your hobbies, your day-to-day activities. Making a choice as final as that, with no apparent input from the disabled person in question? No. Terribly wrong, and terribly cruel.

    (Last time this discussion happened here someone mentioned a discussion he had shortly before, where he said he was afraid of it.) If he chose death over whatever care would have been available, acceptable. If she chose it for him, deeply, deeply unacceptable.

    I don’t care if the award is renamed or not. I wouldn’t like to receive something with her name on, but I think (I could be wrong) that I’d be more pleased by the honour to me than disgusted by the honour to her. That being said, the idea of having it in my house… Urgh. I would have to very determinedly consider it a victory as a thriving disabled person over the preconceptions of people like her. It wouldn’t be an uncomplicated joy, that’s for sure.

    Like others here I also don’t trust the timing. But, this isn’t the first time that the unsuitability of Tiptree has been discussed, any more than it was the first time people questioned the suitability of Campbell.

    ETA: The main difference is that while Lovecraft and Campbell’s flaws are inextricable from their work, Tiptree’s last act had nothing to do wih hers (so far as I’m aware – someone more familiar, I’m assuming there weren’t any positive depictions of involuntary euthanasia..?). But I’m not sure that really changes how I feel about it.

  22. John Hertz:

    “I’ve been encouraging attention to Frankenstein for years.”

    I did read it when I was young, but I think too young. I found it mostly confusing and skipped parts. I think I’ll have to get me an annotated version and try again.

    As a bonus, I’d like to recommend two comic versions of Frankenstein, both made by the masters of horror comics. One is drawn by Bernie Wrightson of Swampthing and The Shadow fame. One of those artists that is instantly recognizable. The other one by Junjo Ito, known for the enormously scary Uzumaki and Gyo. Just yesterday, there was news that Uzumaki is being made into a TV series.

  23. This doesn’t make it any better, but they were both disabled. Mental illness is also a disability. My depression affects my life far more than my hearing loss, though neither is a cakewalk.

  24. Severe depression causes a distorted view of things. Unlike many people today, Sheldon lacked the fortune to get adequate treatment. I’m sure she did the best she could under the circumstances.

  25. Depression lies. It tells you that you are worth nothing, that no one will help, that you are not worth helping, that the world will be better off without you. And as limited as treatment options are now, they were far worse then.

    And they’d have needed to be very rich, to arrange quality longterm care for her husband.

    That doesn’t mean anyone needs to be okay with the awful result, or with the name staying on the award. The more I think on it, the more I lean toward removing it.

    But maybe a little bit more recognition that there were two disabled people involved, and this was a great tragedy, more than it was a crime.

  26. Can anyone point me to something I saw in the last few months? It was a picture of the last page of a paperback copy of Frankenstein, with the following (paraphrased) handwritten after the last paragraph:

    As the Creature floated away, I heard him call out, “It’s okay if you want to call me Frankenstein. I really don’t mind.”

  27. @Andrew: I’ve seen that XKCD strip too, but what I’m thinking of was different. The item I’m referring to was definitely a picture of the last page of the novel with a handwritten addition at the end of the text. I think somebody posted it on Twitter, although that doesn’t provide much of a clue in tracking it down.

  28. Taking my cue from the people who consider vat-grown meat a way to get an “ethical hamburger”, will vat-grown brains in jars be an “ethical” alternative to brains in jars taken from humans by the Mi-Go?

  29. Historical Meredith Moment:The ebook version of The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes: The Ancient World Economy & the Empires of Parthia, Central Asia & Han China is available for $1.99 at the usual suspects. This talks about the Roman Empire’s connections to the East (which IMHO has been SF/F fodder in the past).

  30. A thought on the Tiptree award controversy: “Tiptree” was a manufactured persona (named after a jar of marmalade, IIRC). This persona handed in a substantial share of the fiction that moved the genre forward from Campbell’s vision, and probably was aided in doing so by a deliberately masculine first name[1]; is it reasonable to distinguish the persona whose name is on the award from the acts of the person behind it?

    This is arguably obsoleted by the facts being offered in response to the interestingly-timed furor, but ISTM it’s another factor against renaming.

    [1] The first name is part of the official award name, but ISTM it’s used about as often as “Science Fiction Achievement Award” is used in place of “Hugo”.

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