Pixel Scroll 8/4/17 Is This A File Which I See Before Me, The Pixel Toward My Hand?

(1) THE YOUTH ARE BACK. James Davis Nicoll kicks off Phase II of Young People Review Old SFF with a 1909 tale.

In the hope of selecting more accessible works, I crowd-sourced my selections and now provide my readers with more (well, any) background information on the pieces.

The first Phase II story comes from an author not generally thought of as an SFF author. E. M. Forster is perhaps best known for mainstream works like Howard’s End, A Passage to India and A Room with a View. Forster did write fantastic fiction, however. 1909’s “The Machine Stops” is the one Sfnal work of his many who rarely venture outside SF have read, thanks to all the genre anthologies that featured it. Set in a wired world not too dissimilar to our own, it hides its age well. Or so it seems to me.

(2) MUSICAL INTERLUDE. The band Clppng, whose album Splendor & Misery is a Best Dramatic: Short Form Hugo nominee, will perform in Helsinki at Worldcon 75.

(3) INSIDE LOOK. Dominic Parisien tells Black Gate readers “The Strategy Behind Disabled Stories: The What, Why, and How (but Mostly How) of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction”.

When I started writing this article my face was spotted with burst blood cells. Earlier in the day I’d had one of my violent convulsive episodes. I was exhausted and aching but I meant to write, because it felt appropriate, topical. I’m here, after all, to write about Uncanny Magazine’s Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction issue.

But I couldn’t muster the energy for more than a few lines. I lacked the spoons.

The project description goes like this: Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction is a continuation of the Destroy series in which we, disabled members of the science fiction community, will put ourselves where we belong: at the center of the story. Often, disabled people are an afterthought, a punchline, or simply forgotten in the face of new horizons, scientific discovery, or magical invention. We intend to destroy ableism and bring forth voices, narratives, and truths most important to disabled writers, editors, and creators with this special issue.

My colleagues will have guest posts and blog posts going up across a number of venues, and many of them will focus on the importance of representation, of disabled people placing ourselves at the centre of the narrative, of telling our own stories. For my part, I want to discuss the creative process for our project.

(4) ONGOING ACCESS PROBLEMS. Nicola Griffith has issued “An open letter to all writing programmes, workshops, and retreats”.

Everything you do—classes, retreats, workshops—should be accessible. Many of you are not.

I’ve heard all your excuses: But we love the quaint/rustic/boho vibe, and that will be ruined if we have to change! But we can’t have our woods/private chef/coziness if we move to an accessible space! But it’s important we give the students an inexpensive experience, and access costs money!

I have no sympathy for your excuses. To disabled writers like me it does not matter how beautiful/cosy/inexpensive your traditional/sorority/in-the-woods space is because we can’t access it. If we can’t visit, to teach or write, then it’s not beautiful or welcoming or inexpensive, it is a fenced enclosure with a huge red sign on the gate saying CRIPPLES KEEP OUT.

(5) BOMBS AWAY. Ann Hornaday’s story in the Washington Post, “Are movie reviews just more ‘fake news’? Some studios want you to think so.”, covers about Sony’s effort to suppress reviews for The Emoji Movie, which only got a score of 8 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and is sinking at the box office.  She notes that efforts by studios to produce “critic-proof” films have led to John Carter, The Mummy, Battleship, and other “high-profile bombs.”

“What other wide release with a [Tomatometer] score under 8 percent has opened north of $20 million? I don’t think there is one,” said Josh Greenstein, president of worldwide marketing and distribution at Sony, when McClintock interviewed him. He sounded as proud as a farmer who had just sold a poke full of pigs to an unsuspecting butcher.

Greenstein may not have taken into full account the hair-tearing desperation of parents eager to distract kids whose last PG-rated animated movie was “Despicable Me 3” in late June. And he might find that his enthusiasm has dropped just as vertiginously as “The Emoji Movie’s” box office numbers, which by Monday had already plunged by more than 50 percent, indicating cataclysmic word of mouth. No matter: Sony’s following a similar playbook this week with another late-screener, “The Dark Tower,” hoping to beat discouraging reviews to the punch with the brand names of Stephen King, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. (As of this writing, with 20 critics reporting, the sci-fi fantasy had earned a 20 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a prominent green splat.)

(6) DOES ALL MEAN ‘ALL’? Variety’s Gene Maddaus, in “Judge Allows Lawsuit Claiming James Bond Box Set Was Incomplete”, says a judge in the state of Washington has ruled that Mary L. Johnson’s lawsuit against MGM can proceed to a jury trial.  Johnson said MGM violated the state of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act because she ordered a “Complete James Bond” boxed set from Amazon for $106 and didn’t get the 1967 Casino Royale or Never Say Never Again.

In his opinion, Martinez declined to dismiss the claim at this stage, and said a jury would have to decide whether the term was misleading.

“A jury must determine whether a reasonable person would expect ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘Never Say Never Again’ to be included in a complete set of James Bond films,” Martinez wrote. “From the Defendants’ perspective, this claim will have to ‘Die Another Day.’”

(7) THE BIG BUCKS. Forbes has updated their annual guesstimates about what the top authors earned for the 12 months ending May 31, 2017. With new books, a play and more movies, J.K. Rowling returns to the top of their list –

  1. JK Rowling $95 million
  2. James Patterson $87 million
  3. Jeff Kinney $21 million
  4. Dan Brown $20 million
  5. Stephen King $15 million
  6. John Grisham $14 million
  7. Nora Roberts $14 million
  8. Paula Hawkins $13 million
  9. EL James $11.5 million
  10. Danielle Steel $11 million
  11. Rick Riordan $11million

(8) GOODREADS. It’s the heart of the awards season, so no wonder the Goodreads Blog has decided to celebrate this as “Science Fiction & Fantasy Week”.

  • Readers’ Top 50 Sci-Fi Novels From Ender to the hapless Arthur Dent, to returning to beloved worlds created by Ursula K. Le Guin, Isaac Asimov, Octavia Butler, and many more.

The bar needed to be high. Every book on our list has at least a 4.0 average rating from Goodreads members. Unfortunately, this means that dinosaur king himself Michael Crichton failed to make the cut, along with other big names in the genre like Kim Stanley Robinson, William Gibson, and H.G. Wells. But while some classics may be missing, recent favorites from Emily St. John Mandel, Nnedi Okorafor, and Pierce Brown round out the list.

  • Readers’ Top 50 Fantasy Novels Go there and back again with novels full of legends, heroes, myths, and magic. From J. R. R. Tolkien to George R.R. Martin, these epic fantasies await readers.

These titles were chosen based on reader reviews, so every single book had to meet at least a 4.0 average rating from the Goodreads community. Then, for good measure, we looked at how many ratings each book has received. We also decided to select the first book in a series (although it’s worth noting that the entirety of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings as well as George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire have the rare distinction of being above a 4.0 rating).

Our hunt for the best YA sci-fi books on Goodreads reflects this partiality to the post-apocalypse. We set the bar high, only including books with at least a 4.0 average rating. The result? A sometimes grim, always thrilling peek into the future—where young women and men have the power to change their fates.

As we searched for the best YA fantasy on Goodreads, we stuck to books with at least a 4.0 average rating. This meant that popular titles with big film adaptations like Twilight, Eragon, and The Golden Compass missed the cut. While The Boy Who Lived made it in, surprising no one, the list is dominated by powerful girls with no time for evil royals or rampaging monsters.


  • August 4, 1932 — Victor Halperin’s White Zombie is released theatrically.

(10) THE COMIC SECTION. Chip Hitchcock calls it “today’s cultural acknowledgment” – Pooch Cafe.

(11) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites you to “Share shawarma with Brooke Bolander in Episode 44 of Eating the Fantastic”.

Brooke Bolander

Brooke Bolander was on Nebula ballot that weekend in the short story category for “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” and is also on the current Hugo Awards ballot for that same story, one of the most talked-about tales of 2016. Her fiction, which has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Nightmare, Uncanny, and other venues, has been honored by nominations for the Locus and the Theodore Sturgeon awards as well. The Only Harmless Great Thing will be published by Tor in 2018.

We discussed how she ended up as a writer rather than a paleontologist, why the videogame Ecco the Dolphin terrified her but taught her to love science fiction, her early days writing fan fiction, how anger over the electrocution of Topsy the elephant and the deaths of the “radium girls” inspired her newest novella, why she avoids rereading her own writing, what broke the writers block that had gripped her for several years, and more.

(12) V’GER. “As the Voyager mission is winding down, so, too, are the careers of the aging explorers who expanded our sense of home in the galaxy.” The New York Times has the story: “The Loyal Engineers Steering NASA’s Voyager Probes Across the Universe”. (May be behind a payroll, though I didn’t have any trouble gaining access, by feeding the URL through a Google search.)

A fleet of JPL trucks made the trip under armored guard to the same destination. Their cargo was unwrapped inside the hangar high bay, a gleaming silo stocked with tool racks and ladder trucks. Engineers began to assemble the various pieces. Gradually, two identical spacecraft took shape. They were dubbed Voyager I and II, and their mission was to make the first color photographs and close-up measurements of Jupiter, Saturn and their moons. Then, if all went well, they might press onward — into uncharted territory.

It took six months, working in shifts around the clock, for the NASA crew to reassemble and test the spacecraft. As the first launch date, Aug. 20, drew near, they folded the camera and instrument boom down against the spacecraft’s spindly body like a bird’s wing; gingerly they pushed it, satellite dish first, up inside a metal capsule hanging from the high bay ceiling. Once ‘‘mated,’’ the capsule and its cargo — a probe no bigger than a Volkswagen Beetle that, along with its twin, had nevertheless taken 1,500 engineers five years and more than $200 million to build — were towed to the launchpad.

(13) KING/KELLEY. Reason.com’s Glenn Garvin, in “Mr. Mercedes and Comrade Detective Breathe Life into Cop Genre Shows”, reviews Mr. Mercedes, an adaptation of a Stephen King novel available on DirecTV.  He says seeing Kelley “work with the characters devised by King is a religious experience, even if the church is Out Lady of Psychos and Degenerates.”

Even the bit players in Mr. Mercedes cannot be left unwatched for a moment; you never know when something querulous quirky or malificently malign is about to erupt.

But Kelley and his director Jack Bender (who worked on Lost as well as another King television adaptation, Under the Dome) are equally adept at the action sequences. The staging of the parking lot mayhem is a marvel of underlit suggestion and squishy sound effects that leverages a Grand Guignol impression from gore that’s actually rather petit. That’s the only thing small about Mr. Mercedes; this is big-time entertainment.

(14) ADAPTIVE LIFEFORM. PJ Media picked “The 5 Best Stephen King Book Adaptations”. Dann Todd notes, “As always, these things are pretty subjective.  This author leaves out The Green Mile.  Relative to the rest of the list I think it could supplant It as a film adaptation.”

(15) ARMENIA’S BESTSELLERS. What are the best-selling books in Yerevan, Armenia? Once a week Armenpress publishes the top 10. Would you believe that Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is #7, and Dandelion Wine is #10?

(16) THE LAMPREY STRATEGY. Brian Niemeier celebrates his Dragon Award nomination the way every true culture warrior does – by spending half his wordage insulting John Scalzi — “2017 Dragon Award FInalist The Secret Kings”. Because when your award-nominated novel has been out for eight months and has accumulated only 12 Goodreads ratings, trying to pick a fight with somebody people have heard of makes a certain nutty kind of sense.

(17) THE RIGHT WAY TO HACK. In “Why can’t films and TV accurately portray hackers?”, Mr. Robot’s Kor Adana explains how the show does it, and why others get it wrong.

Why does Hollywood get hacking so wrong?

There’s an easy explanation for this trend. Most writers, directors, and producers believe that it’s impossible to portray real hacking on screen and still have it be entertaining. (That’s why you see the cheesy game-like graphics, skulls, and expository messages on screen.) I couldn’t disagree more with this mindset.

If a scene needs flashy or inaccurate graphics on a computer in order to increase the drama or explain a plot point, there’s an issue with the writing. On Mr Robot, we work hard to ensure that the stakes of the scene and the character motivations are clear even if you have no idea how the technology works. If you do understand the technology, you have the added bonus of recognising real vulnerabilities, real desktop environments, and authentic dialogue that fits the context of the hack.

Back in the Eighties, the TV detective show Riptide used to make me laugh, as their hacker character regularly broke into IRS systems to get information that, in real life, they didn’t maintain.

(18) GENRE BENDING. Martha Wells wrote an article on eight works that blend science and magic minus typical fantasy tropes for the Barnes and Noble SF/F blog — “8 Books That Blend Science and Magic, Minus the Fantasy Tropes”. Her list includes novels (or novellas) from N.K. Jemisin, Sharon Shinn, J.Y. Yang, Kate Elliott, J. Kathleen Cheney, Emily Foster, Aliette de Bodard, and Kai Ashante Wilson.

Fantasy tropes can be great—that’s why they become tropes. But sometimes you want to read something you feel like you’ve never read before. I love secondary world fantasy books in which standard and well-known tropes are either in short supply, or have been transformed into something new and special by wildly original worldbuilding. I’ve always loved books that combine SF-nal technology and magic (I’ve done it in my own Books of the Raksura, in which technology is usually both biological and magical, and in the Ile Rien series, in which the magic often has mechanical components), and the one thing the eight books below have in common is that each uses different forms of technology combined with magic to build a fresh, fabulous fantasy world.

The Broken Earth trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin These are probably the first recent books that come to mind when someone mentions magical manipulation of science—it’s a key part of this brilliantly original setting. The Orogenes have a hereditary ability to manipulate energy in a world that has been destroyed over and over again. The main character deals with devastating losses as she explores the extent of her abilities and tries to uncover the deliberately erased history that may explain why all this is happening.

(19) NOT ENOUGH SPOONS. Milky Shot by Roy Kafri on Vimeo is a strange film about what happens when a giant alien spoon comes to Earth and tries to steal the world’s spoons!

[Thanks to Rob Thornton, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Scott Edelman, James Davis Nicoll, Andrew Porter, Darrah Chavey, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day GSLamb.]

88 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/4/17 Is This A File Which I See Before Me, The Pixel Toward My Hand?

  1. “I must not Scroll. Scrolls are the Pixel-killer. Scrolls are the little-death that bring total tick-boxing”

  2. 2) Good on them! Clippng sounded so enthusiastic about going to Worldcon once the idea of a Hugo nomination was broached, so I’m very glad they’re going to make it.

  3. 4):

    I hope she succeeds, though life experience tells me she’s howling into gale force winds.

    The sad and unfortunate truth is, to most people, we don’t matter.

    I served for two years on a City disability access panel more than 25 years ago. It was a challenge to get the city to even tell people with brand new construction that they couldn’t have waivers with regard to accessibility, let alone get them to enforce code on remodeling which required people meet code with pre-existing buildings. Things haven’t improved since then. For every restaurant or other public venue I can actually function in, there are probably a dozen I can’t, usually because I can’t use the bathroom. Sometimes I can’t even get in the building.

    The physical world is designed by the majority for the comfort and ease of the majority-most often not because they’re malicious, but because it doesn’t even impinge on their consciousness.

  4. Aristotlean first!

    (13) I suspect the Out in “Out Lady of Psychos and Degenerates” should be Our.

    (17) I was shocked to to see an actual unix-like prompt and commands in “Mr. Robot,” let alone real-looking crackery. Worlds above the horrors of “Hackers.”

    Thanks for the particularly interesting roundup today. Off to read articles…

    ETA Neimier is almost funny in his trolling sometimes. Disparaging Scalzi’s tacky logrolling while taking it to new lows… and that’s just the trollish bit that stuck out to me.

  5. (18) GENE BENDING

    Although, gene bending could be a futuristic Avatar (Last Airbender, there is no other one) element.

  6. (16) Good heavens, don’t these people ever get tired of looking for CHORFs behind every bush? That must be exhausting.


    He claims that Hugo voters are flocking to the Dragon Awards after last year’s sad joke of results “showed them that they need to bring their A game.” He also claims that VD’s faux novel copy outsold Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire.

    Oh, that’s priceless. (wipes away tears of laughter)

    It will be amusing in years to come, to watch Niemeier stomp his feet when he finds out that his Dragon Awards obtained through ballot-stuffing give him no credibility in the larger non-Puppy SFF world, among either publishers or readers.

  8. Robert Reynolds on August 4, 2017 at 6:17 pm said:
    The building where I worked was not bad on accessibility – the problems were the doors. Not the width, but getting them open. The outside doors could be hard even for the healthy. (I think they need to be counterweighted so they’re balanced properly, but they seem to think they’re fine.)

  9. “1967 Casino Royale or Never Say Never Again.”

    I’d be as annoyed to think any of my money was going to the 67 Casino Royale as I would be if a “Complete Star Wars” included the holiday special. And since I know my Bond history, I wouldn’t expect NSNA.

    @PJ Evans: My friend the Wonder Admin invoked the power of the ADA on my office building when I discovered that the 5 second timeout on the door lock was insufficient time to hobble on crutches from the badge reader to the door.

  10. 16) Judging from his tweets at me, Jon Del Arroz is also delighted by his Dragon Award nominations.

    This whole idea that that the Hugos, like the State, are going to wither away, is hilarious, though.

  11. Jamoche on August 4, 2017 at 7:36 pm said:
    Ours were about a foot from the door, so you usually had time to get through. If you could push it open…. (It was possible for taller people to wave theirs past the reader while standing in front of the door.)

  12. Re:accessibility.

    I am gaining first-hand experience as I learn to use crutches. I’m one of the lucky ones in that it’s not permanent, though the knee will be completely immobilised for at least six weeks. I knew people with disability had it harder, but knowing it intellectually vs experiencing it first hand are two different things.

    I can get about our place (it’s compact), but everything is taking many times longer to do. I expect to get faster & more efficient over time, it’s a learning process.

  13. Yeah, I also wish Nicola Griffith all the luck and success in the world, and don’t really expect anything to change. Access is pretty terrible, for the most part, for pretty much everything. Too many people don’t realise how bad it is and therefore make no effort to do anything about it.

  14. I took a VIA train to the border back in 2013 and was astounded at how hard it was for me to get me and my luggage up the steep access steps. And I am in no way seriously impaired. They have the most absurd looking, slow looking elevator for people in wheelchairs who want to use the train and it used to be that spaces for wheelchairs that did get on were very limited.

  15. I’ve read 34 of the SF list and 26 of the fantasy list — but given the ones I recognize (by author or category) and haven’t read, I think I’ll give the rest of their list a miss. (e.g.: I suppose a SW tie-in might be good — there were some good OST tie-ins — but not by Zahn.)

  16. Today’s Meredith Moment:

    Paul Weimer’s DUFF Report, at 306 pages, is a fantastic bargain for $7 USD. It contains tons of stunningly-gorgeous photos of New Zealand and Australia, as well as a diary of his travels and sightseeing in those two countries, and summaries of numerous panels at the NZ and AUS National SFF conventions he attended.

    And all the proceeds of sales go to fund the Down Under Fan Fund, which provides financial assistance for North American and Australasian SFF fans to visit the National conventions and Worldcons in the opposite hemisphere.

    The photography is so amazing that I’m going to show it to my parents when I visit them in a few weeks. Paul’s travelogue is fantastic, and I encourage you all to obtain a copy (supporting DUFF in the process).

  17. JJ on August 4, 2017 at 9:25 pm said:

    Today’s Meredith Moment:

    Paul Weimer’s DUFF Report, at 306 pages, is a fantastic bargain for $7 USD.

    I feel it could have more waterfalls in it 😉

  18. Camestros Felapton: I feel it could have more waterfalls in it.

    I know! What has Prince Jvstin got against waterfalls, anyway??!!! 😀

  19. (1) Hey, the kids understood this one.

    (3) SO looking forward to this.

    (4) Somebody’s gotta start. Her catapult line is great. But not enough people care.

    (7) Nora Roberts ought to be higher — that woman works HARD and is prolific. Plus she’s talented and does all her own writing, which are things you can’t say about all the people on that list.

    (13) I shall tune in to “Mr. Mercedes”.

    (16) HahaHAHAHAHA deep breath ahahahahaha cough, snicker

    @James: Wow. Even Amtrak is better than that.

  20. @Paul
    Sorry JdA is still harrassing you.

    Nora Roberts ought to be higher — that woman works HARD and is prolific. Plus she’s talented and does all her own writing, which are things you can’t say about all the people on that list.

    I totally agree with that. I often say that the In Death books written Nora Roberts’ J.D. Robb identity is the best SFF series you aren’t reading.

  21. (7) another Nora Roberts fan here. Other than JKR, not many other people on this list whose work I like. If I have to read “Langdon quickly explained” One More Time, I would not be answerable for the consequences.

    (8) I’ve read fewer than 20 of both top 50s, mostly the older books. Some choices seem a bit odd, though the books chosen are good: Ancillary Sword, not Justice? Mort, not Small Gods or anything with Sam Vimes or Granny Weatherwax?

  22. Mort is probably the earliest one that could reasonably be picked – it has a very good reputation in its own right, and while the Death books get overshadowed by the Watch and Witch books now they used to be considered amongst the very best. Of the earlier books, the Rincewind’s haven’t got nearly the reputation and Equal Rites is the least well-loved of the Witch books. Wyrd Sisters and Guards! Guards! are both later, and so are all the stand-alones.

    Ancillary Sword rather than Justice, however, makes no sense at all… ETA: Ah, Justice doesn’t have 4.0+ so it doesn’t meet the criteria. ETA2: And Mort is the first one to get above 4.0, too. ETA3: They’ve misfiled Dragonflight in fantasy.

  23. Meredith: Ancillary Sword rather than Justice, however, makes no sense at all… ETA: Ah, Justice doesn’t have 4.0+ so it doesn’t meet the criteria. ETA2: And Mort is the first one to get above 4.0, too. ETA3: They’ve misfiled Dragonflight in fantasy.

    Yeah, it’s clear from some of the bizarre choices for series entries that they’re looking only at statistics and not making decisions based on actual knowledge of the books.

    I’ve read 32/50 in SF, and a few of the others are definite “nope”s — but was surprised that I’ve actually read 20 of the Fantasy (but yes, one of them was the McCaffrey).

  24. 8) Weird how they mix in comics. I’ve read 28/50 of SF and 32/50 of the Fantasy ones. I’m mostly satisfied with the picks in SF, but find some books in the Fantasy-category to be really lousy. And what is The Stand doing there?

  25. 12:

    May be behind a payroll

    So definitely in the professional category then!
    Appertains a nice mug of tea.

    their mission was to make the first color photographs and close-up measurements of Jupiter, Saturn and their moons

    First apart from Pioneers 10 and 11 that is…

  26. 32/50 on SF, only 24/50 on fantasy. And, yes, there are weird edge cases. Dragonflight has dragons so it must be fantasy… but they are genetically engineered dragons in space so it must be SF. The Stand is an apocalyptic horror novel with overt SFnal content (the plague) and overt fantasy content (Randall Flagg). Good luck finding a clear dividing line between F and SF, folks!

    I suspect a lot of the more recent stuff tends to get rated higher because the readership splits more evenly between “people who have read it and liked it” and “people who have never heard of it, so haven’t rated it”. As time goes by, the actual classics of the genre(s) get noticed by people who, for one reason or another, don’t like them and say so – sometimes for sensible reasons, sometimes not (“This book does not accord with my literary/political sensibilities, so it must be WRONG and BAD” or “This 19th century classic fails to take account of the issues of the 21st century” or even just “I was made to read this Nobel Prize winner in high school and I hated it, so I’m going to mark it down for that.”)

  27. JJ on August 4, 2017 at 10:02 pm said:

    Camestros Felapton: I feel it could have more waterfalls in it.

    I know! What has Prince Jvstin got against waterfalls, anyway??!!! ?

    Well I checked and I think he missed Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains even though he went very near them. I think he needs to come back.

  28. @jj @cam


    First thank you for your “Meredith Moment” kindness. I tried hard to give value for money.

    Cam: re: Wentworth Falls. I DID see it on the Valley of the Waters hike. You are right, I did not include it in the report. I didn’t t take many pictures on that final day because, well, I was just about out of pictures and I wasn’t entirely happy with the shot of Wentworth Falls I did take.

    See for yourself:


  29. I’ve read 40 of the sci-fi list, 22 of the fantasy. Overall, the sci-fi books I’ve read from thus list have been ones I’ve really liked, while fantasy has a lot of “why did I waste my time reading this” books.

  30. It will be amusing in years to come, to watch Niemeier stomp his feet when he finds out that his Dragon Awards obtained through ballot-stuffing give him no credibility in the larger non-Puppy SFF world, among either publishers or readers.

    It will be akin to someone who won an AVN Award getting upset that no one treats them like they won an Oscar.

  31. Goodreads: 30/50 in science fiction, 20/50 in fantasy – but the latter has too many Cloaked Bros Posing for me to take it seriously as a “Best of” list.

  32. (4) My workplace has an elevator and automated doors. These are helpful, but I still have a 1/4mile walk to my desk. I damn near need a nap once I get in.

    Huzzah! My second title credit!

  33. Most of the Meredith Moments posted here are for ebooks, but the tpb edition of Dianna Wynne Jones THE TOUGH GUIDE TO FANTASYLAND is heavily discounted by both Amazon and B&N right now. $5.04 at Amazon (50% discount); $6.44 at B&N (36% discount).

    If you don’t have a copy already, get one. If you already have a copy, TTGTF makes a great gift for any fantasy fans among your friends or family..

  34. I suppose it’s not surprising that the Goodreads list is heavily slanted toward newer work (or work revived due to media productions) as it’s (AFAICT) recommendations on material that’s recently available to buy. But ISTM that the populist nature leaves some interesting holes, e.g. no McKillip in the best-fantasy list.

  35. (8) The numbers don’t lie, I really do read more from the SF side of SFF. I have read 14/50 of the SF and DNF about that many of them ( I am a picky reader) but I was surprised to find that I have only read 5/50 of the Fantasy. Do I get word count credit for LOTR and TSOIAF?

  36. My disability story… although I had knee problems and had to walk with a cane for awhile, that was *nothing* compared to what a friend went through in college.

    He was in a wheelchair and those awful retrofitted stairclimbers were both scary and slow. He wanted to get internet access (this was *way* back in the day when you had to get official permission from a teacher and THEN get permission from the school to use the computer labs) but the office was on the top floor of a building without elevators. I offered to accompany him, since I’d already gone through the process, but when he found out he had to go up four flights on those awful things he said it just wasn’t that important. I carried his application up for him and explained things at the office, and one of the student workers came down and had him fill out the application on the first floor.

    Then I decided to “shadow” him for a day, with his permission, and was outraged at the difficulties he had getting around campus. He literally had to schedule his classes just so he had time to get from one building to another and up the stairs with those horrible devices. He was less angry at them than I was – he pointed out that without them he couldn’t get upstairs at all in most buildings.

    He also had difficulties with motion sensor lights in some of the rooms. He would be studying in a room and the lights would go off because he didn’t fidget and move around like other people.

  37. I’ve read 25 of the science fiction and 16 of the fantasy on the Goodreads lists, probably more of the older “classic” works than more recent ones. I don’t know why they picked Ancillary Sword but my own experience was that it was the volume that got me really excited about the trilogy. while I was reading it I went out and bought my own copy of Ancillary Justice , having previously read a library copy.

  38. Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag on August 5, 2017 at 10:16 am said:
    One of my college professors was wheelchair-bound (broke his neck in his late teens, and he Had Stories about his year in the hospital). At the time his office was on the third floor of the building; he generally used the regular elevator, but sometimes the freight elevator.

  39. The UW building I work in dates to … 1968? I think? It has one very slow [1] elevator. They added a big new section a few years back but not a new elevator, which means all handicapped traffic has to go through that one choke point. If the elevator breaks down, people in wheelchairs are SOL.

    When they added a new section called the Hub, they included a new, shiny elevator! Yay! Whch is actually pretty close to the old one near the core of the complex of buildings. More importantly, some issue has prevented the elevator from being finished, so it does not in fact work. But it is very pretty.

    1: Not the slowest on campus. There’s one in engineering that’s so slow once when it broke down with me in it, it took me a while to realize it was not actually moving.

  40. It doesn’t surprise me at all that Ancillary Sword has a higher rating than Ancillary Justice: the population that rated Justice is the population at large, while the population that rated Sword is that population…with a filter applied – those who enjoyed Justice.

  41. Am back from visiting Glacier National Park, where spotty internet kept me from Scrolling. Did I miss anything?

    (I spent much of the trip — an entire day on the train getting out there, then several days in the park, then the first part of the train ride back, rereading Tad Williams’ To Green Angel Tower for the first time since oh, 1994-ish. A good trilogy, all told, and I can definitely draw connecting lines between Tolkien, Williams and Martin.)

  42. A possibly silly question. Worldcon approaches, and I will be there (my first Worldcon). I’ve not been keeping up with reading the pixel scrolls and commentary; where should I look for information regarding possible Filer meets or similar?

    // Christian

  43. Paul Weimer on August 5, 2017 at 5:32 am said:

    Cam: re: Wentworth Falls. I DID see it on the Valley of the Waters hike. You are right, I did not include it in the report. I didn’t t take many pictures on that final day because, well, I was just about out of pictures and I wasn’t entirely happy with the shot of Wentworth Falls I did take.

    But now you don’t have an excuse to come back! I was just trying to set you up with a pretext for a sequel!

    Anyway – everybody else: read Paul’s DUFF report. It is great all round and has sufficient waterfalls plus many other things.

  44. @Camestros
    Oh I have plenty of reasons to return to Australia. Uluru alone is a reason to return…and I didn’t see everything to see even in the Blue Mountains. Courtney told me about the Ruined Castle, which we could only ever see in the distance on these hikes. That looked like fun…

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