Pixel Scroll 9/10/18 I Get Scrolled Down, I Pixel Up Again, You’re Never Gonna Click Me Down

(1) MESSAGE FROM THE RESISTANCE. Sometimes you need an inter-dimensional perspective to put things into their proper focus, like what Andrew Paul provides in “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside Nyarlathotep’s Death Cult” at McSweeney’s.

Nyarlathotep is now facing one of the greatest threats in Its presidency so far. I should know, I clock in to kneel at Its feet upon the Altar of Despair every day.

In the year-and-a-half since the Black Pharaoh replaced the Oval Office with a literal blood fountain throne, I’ve watched as the hits keep on coming. The executive cabinet is wracked with scandal, ordinary citizens who signed the cultist oath are making good on their grave pacts, and, of course, the entirety of the country’s water supply is now teeming with pulsating eggs from some kind of inter-dimensional parasite. It’s easy to look at these kinds of headlines, to read these sorts of leaked stories from the desiccated Capitol Hill, and see an unsustainable administration. Rumors of reversal incantations are beginning to make the rounds, and if our Commander-in-Chief is not careful, It could find Itself cast back among the stars beyond the universe. The past few weeks, in particular, have seen our President certainly live up to our campaign slogan “I See All, and It Shall Burn.”…

(2) FOR THE RECORD. On the second night of the 2018 Creative Arts Awards no Emmys were given for works of genre interest, which made it hard to do a post about them….

(3) TREK ON EMMYS. On the Academy’s website you can watch a 12-minute video of Saturday’s “2018 Creative Arts Emmys: Tribute To Star Trek”, introduced by Bill Nye.

Eighty cast and crew members came together as William Shatner accepted the 2018 Governors Award for the Star Trek franchise.

(4) DUBLIN 2019 PROGRAM. Don’t be shy!

(5) DARRELL AWARDS. Nominations are open for the 2019 Darrell Awards in the following categories:

  • Best Midsouth SF/F/H Novel, Novella, or Short Story on a one year basis (works published between November 1, 2017, and October 31, 2018);
  • Best Midsouth SF/F/H Other Media on a two year basis (works that were published or first shown to the public between November 1, 2016, and October 31, 2018); and
  • The Coger Memorial Hall of Fame on an ongoing basis (for works that were not considered during their year of eligibility and were qualified at the time they were published).

Works must be published by October 31st (Halloween) of this year (2018) in order to qualify.  Please see the Rules for the other qualifications.

(6) RECOMMENDATIONS. Bryan Cebulski poses the question “How Do We Establish Speculative Fiction’s LGBTQ+ Canon?” at Tor.com.

Like many SF/F fans across the intersections of LGBTQ+ identities, I’m constantly on the lookout for good fiction that reflects something of my own experience. In seeking lists that recommend or simply catalogue such works, I’ve found many that, while well-intended, tend to mash an enormous body of work together without considering how authors actually deal with the content. This means that quite often, bigoted portrayals are set right next to works that feature positive representation, or else work that is as gay as possible will be set next to work with only the briefest passing mention of “non-normative” sexuality.

This raises some potentially thorny questions: How should we approach the idea of canon, in this particular set of circumstances? What should we look for when we compile lists of LGBTQ+ speculative fiction? What are we compiling for? Do we consider any mention at all? Focus mainly on positive representation? What about historical context and works by authors who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community?

(7) WRITING CLASS HIGHLIGHTS. Connect with Cat Rambo’s livetweeted highlights from last weekend’s classes at the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers:

  • Rachel Swirsky talking about Breaking the Rules: thread starts here.
  • Rachel Swirsky’s Ideas Are Everywhere class: thread starts here.
  • Fran Wilde’s Fantastic Worldbuilding class: thread starts here.

(8) DAVID R. BUNCH. AV Club’s Alex McLevy cheers that “An obscure but enduring science fiction author finally gets his due” in a collection with an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer.

If you’ve read David R. Bunch, there’s a good chance it’s because of Harlan Ellison. The famed author (and renowned grouch of popular culture) selected not one, but two short stories by the little-known writer for his landmark 1967 New Wave sci-fi collection, Dangerous Visions—the only contributor to have more than one piece included. As a result, “Incident In Moderan” and “The Escaping” are where most people’s awareness of Bunch begins—and ends. He published hundreds of short stories in his life, but mostly in small digests, obscure literary magazines, and even fanzines. No definitive bibliography exists; his last published work (a book of poetry) was from 18 years ago, and neither of his two collections of fiction have been in print for decades.

That changes with the publication of Moderan, the latest entry in NYRB Classics’ series, and a fascinating testament to Bunch’s strange talent….

(9) TODAY’S TRIVIA

Andre Delambre, The Fly, 1958 —

“Take television.  What happens?  A string of electrons  –  sound and picture impulses  –  are transmitted through wires into the air.  The TV camera is the disintegrater.  Your set [the reintegrater] unscrambles or integrates the electrons back into pictures and sound…the disintegrator/will completely change life as we know it.  Think what it’ll mean.  Food.  Anything.  Even humans will go through one of these devices.  No need for cars or railways or airplanes, even spaceships. We’ll just set up matter transcieving devices throughout the world, and later the universe.  They will never be a need or famine.  Surpluses can be sent instantaneously at almost no cost anywhere.   Humanity need never fear or want again.”

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • September 10, 1993The X-Files premiered

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 10 – Thelma J. Shinn, 76. Author of Worlds Within Women, Myth and Mythmaking in Fantastic Literature by Women and Women Shapeshifters: Transforming the Contemporary Novel.
  • Born September 10 — Nancy A. Collins, 59. Ok, I consider her Sonja Blue punk vampire series which ran I think to nearly a baker’s dozen works starting in the early 90s to be one of the best of that genre, easily the equal of the Blade comic series. She also did more than a smattering of short fiction, essays and reviews as well.
  • Born September 10 – Victoria Strauss, 63. An author of nine fantasy novels largely in the Stone and the Way of Arata series. Has written myriad reviews for both print and website venues.
  • Born September 10 – Pat Cadigan, 65. Writer whose work has been described as cyberpunkish. Won a Hugo for “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi” in the Novelette category. Garnered the Arthur C. Clarke Award for her novels Synners and Fools.  Tea from an Empty Cup is my favorite work by her.

Pat Cadigan herself celebrated with this post: “The Second Birthday I Wasn’t Supposed To See”.

I wanted to write something profound and wise about life, the universe, all the fish, and everything else. However, when I woke up this morning, the party in my head was already in full swing.

I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive! Everybody conga!

Steven H Silver joined in saluting the day at Black Gate with “Birthday Reviews: Pat Cadigan’s ‘New Life for Old’”.

Cadigan won a Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2013 for “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi.,” which has also won a Seiun Award. She had previously won a World Fantasy Award in the Non-Professional category for co-editing the fanzine Shayol with Arnie Fenner. She won two Arthur C. Clarke Awards for her novels Synners and Fools. In 1979, her story “Death from Exposure” won the coveted Balrog Award. In 2006, Cadigan received the third (and most recent) Richard Evans Memorial Prize, given to genre authors who were considered insufficiently recognized for their excellence. Cadigan served as the Toastmaster for MidAmericon II, the 2016 Worldcon in Kansas City.

(12) COMICS SECTION.

(13) HATERS LOSE. Marketing analysts report “Nike sales defy Kaepernick ad campaign backlash”.

Nike sales appear to have increased in the wake of its controversial advertising campaign, using Colin Kaepernick as the face of the brand.

Online sales grew by 31% in the bank holiday weekend after the ad launched, according to researcher Edison Trends.

The rise will confound critics, who encouraged people to destroy Nike goods in protest at the use of Mr Kaepernick.

(14) HOT TIME IN THE OLD TOWN. These farms look like moon bases: “Are hot springs the future of farming?”

In the centre of the small downtown, on the banks of the San Juan River, sit three conspicuous, geodesic greenhouses, each 42ft (13m) in diameter. They stand in stark contrast to the old-timey buildings on the road above. All will house gardens, but each has a different mission.

(15) AM. Ryan Hollinger puts an intriguing Cold War frame around his video commentary “The Bleakest Sci-Fi World Ever Created: ‘I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream'”.

(16) GET READY TO CLICK. Kevin Canfield, in “The FBI’s Spying On Writers Was Literary Criticism at Its Worst”, in The Daily Beast, is a review of Writers Under Surveillance: The FBI Files.  It only has one paragraph on Ray Bradbury’s FBI file but that paragraph is a doozy!

(17) POWER OF THE MIND. Defense One’s story “It’s Now Possible To Telepathically Communicate with a Drone Swarm” tells how a communication interface directly connected to a human brain can control up to three drones. The serious implications extend well beyond the defense industry to potential help for the locationally challenged as well as those with artificial limbs.

Dann appreciated that the above link was followed in his RSS feed by a Dilbert comic that suggests there are some folks who might be beyond help.

(18) PAYING ATTENTION, In “The stunning artworks made of light”, the BBC reports on an interactive digital museum where each display of chandelieresque lights etc. changes according to the people in the room.

“The museum itself is one artwork,” Takashi Kudo of teamLab tells BBC Culture. The Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless is a 10,000 sq m (107,639 sq ft) digital art space in Tokyo, Japan, where everything is controlled by computers, right down to the electronic tickets. The museum is made up of 60 individual artworks, but as the name, Borderless, suggests, the place is meant to be experienced as a whole, rather than as a series of individual pieces.

Made up of 520 computers and 470 projectors, the museum is inspired by the concept of interactivity and the art responds to movement as visitors walk through the space. In this piece, Forest of Lamps, the lights react to a person’s presence. If there is more than one person in the room, the lights will change based on both of their movements, and the process continues the more people you add. Kudo explains that having multiple people experiencing an artwork at one time, and becoming a part of it, means the experience is enhanced for all.

(19) DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS? [Item by Mike Kennedy.] In a new scientific paper in Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences (“Universal method for robust detection of circadian state from gene expression”) Dr Rosemary Braun, et al., claim to have developed a new and simpler method to measure a person’s circadian rhythm. The paper is broken down in simpler terms in Popular Science (“This new blood test can figure out what time it is inside your cells”). The existing method requires numerous blood draws so that melatonin in the blood can be measured over time. The new method requires only two blood draws—a number of different markers are measured to determine the level of expression of different genes. Popular Science author Kat Eschner writes:

…To create this test, researchers trained [an] algorithm to look for chemical evidence of about 40 specific genes in the blood samples. They picked those 40 by analyzing a much larger dataset and finding the ones that express at specific times.

According to the research, the algorithm works regardless of whether the patient is sick or well. That’s significant because gene expression—the way your genes activate, prompting the production of chemicals and helping your body to function—is changed by things as simple as how much sleep you get.

…The researchers found something unexpected—the genes that are the best predictors of body clock aren’t all “what we could call the core clock genes,” Braun says. “A lot of them are genes that are related to other biological processes, but they’re regulated by the clock. They’re regulated so tightly by the clock that observing them becomes a good marker for the clock itself.”

(20) BATTLE BOTS. Well, what would you make a battle robot look like? CNET reports that “Kalashnikov battle robot concept looks like a Star Wars AT-ST”. (Maybe they’ll go for the full AT-AT experience next time.)

Kalashnikov Concern, a Russian manufacturer known for the AK-47 assault rifle, is thinking pretty big these days when it comes to new defense machines. The company unveiled a concept for a bipedal battle robot this week and all I can think about are the two-legged AT-STs from Star Wars.

The Kalashnikov creation seems to be solidly in the concept realm right now. It looks like its main job is to just stand there and look cool.

It has a couple of grabby arms and hands reminiscent of the Power Loader suit from Aliens and a large cabin at the top where presumably a human driver would sit to control the machine. It looks a bit top-heavy and not quite as lithe as an AT-ST.

(21) NPR HORROR POLL. “Click If You Dare: 100 Favorite Horror Stories” carries the results of a poll of NPR followers. 7000 responses — over 1000 for King, but many others.

…And this year, we’re celebrating the 200th birthday of one of the most famous scary stories of all time: Frankenstein — so a few months ago, we asked you to nominate your favorite horror novels and stories, and then we assembled an expert panel of judges to take your 7000 nominations and turn them into a final, curated list of 100 spine-tingling favorites for all kinds of readers. Want to scar your children for life? We can help. Want to dig into the dark, slimy roots of horror? We’ve got you covered.

As with our other reader polls, this isn’t meant to be a ranked or comprehensive list — there are a few books you won’t see on it despite their popularity — some didn’t stand the test of time, some just didn’t catch our readers’ interest, and in some cases our judges would prefer you see the movie instead. (So no Jaws, sorry.) And there are a few titles that aren’t strictly horror, but at least have a toe in the dark water, or are commenting about horrific things, so our judges felt they deserved a place on the list.

One thing you won’t see on the list is any work from this year’s judges, Stephen Graham Jones, Ruthanna Emrys, Tananarive Due and Grady Hendrix….

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, Dann, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Lee.]

55 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/10/18 I Get Scrolled Down, I Pixel Up Again, You’re Never Gonna Click Me Down

  1. 1) HAH!!

    13) HAH!!!

    Both of these should be sent to Mr. Trump. Immediately.

    17) The serious implications extend well beyond the defense industry to potential help for the locationally challenged as well as those with artificial limbs.
    Yes, but which do we expect to happen first?

  2. (13) Nike owns Converse, which means that 90% of my shoes have already made Nike just a little bit richer, but I couldn’t resist buying myself a couple new pairs last week, just as a symbolic finger to all those bigots who want to make Colin stand up. Especially since there are now Hello Kitty edition Chuck Taylors.

    (21) I went in skeptical but this is a pretty good list.

  3. [the post-following system still doesn’t work and it hadn’t worked for a while. any suggestions?]

  4. 2) There’s no problem, we can fume about how genre works always get overlooked. And which ones really should have won.

    13) I wish Nike the best but I wonder why this report is using online sales rather than total sales?

  5. 11) Oh yes, I loved the Sonya Blue books, the first two were fantastic. The third a bit more confusing.

    If I remember correctly, the fourth was a try to place the story of Yojimbo into the White Wolf-world. Didn’t like it very much, was too impersonal with Sonya always called “The Stranger” for some reason. Or am I misremembering?

  6. Hampus: You’re remembering correctly.

    And I mostly agree with your assessment, except that I didn’t find the third book all that confusing. It was, I admit, trying to do a lot, but I thought it pulled it off pretty well.

    The first one, though, still knocks my socks off. It’s easily in my top 10 horror novels. (And I’m not one to commit to favorites easily–I love to hem and haw and hedge.)

    But yeah, the fourth was a bit of a disappointment. But mostly in comparison to the others. My initial reaction was dislike, but re-reading it several years later, I realized it was actually pretty decent for what it was. Which was not-exactly a Sonya Blue novel, even though it ostensibly starred Sonya Blue.

    I mean, for novels based on games, it’s better than most I’ve read. 🙂

  7. @bookworm1398:

    13) I wish Nike the best but I wonder why this report is using online sales rather than total sales?

    Presumably because those are the only numbers likely to be available this soon?

  8. An excited scientist talking fast. I think Andre Delambre “fear of want” instead of “fear or want.” Also, I forgot to add reintegrater after that /. And I don’t know if it’s o-r or e-r. I spelled it both ways.

  9. Nancy Collins was also an early and strong mover against pedophile Dragon*Con chairman Ed Kramer, back when almost everyone — notably including Harlan Ellison — believed and supported Kramer. She took a lot of hits back then for it, and she was right.

  10. Title credit, woo-hoo!

    13) Well, think about it. If they’re burning Nike stuff, either (1) it’s stuff they’ve already bought and therefore doesn’t affect Nike’s bottom line at all, or (2) they’re having to buy stuff for the specific purpose of burning it*, which increases Nike’s bottom line. Add that to people who are buying Nike stuff specifically to protest against these creeps, and, well…

    * Unlikely, but I swear to ghod there are people out there whose cognitive dissonance is so far advanced that they’d never notice the problem.

    14) Cool idea! I hope it works out.

    21) Rather to my surprise, I find that I’ve read 10 of these. I even wrote a filk based on “The Lottery”.

  11. 20) Sure, it looks cool… but is there any actual advantage to a bipedal robot on the battlefield? Bipedal stance and gait are complicated, so complicated that it’s only quite recently that robots capable of human-style walking have been built… and things that stand up tall are easier to a) see, and b) knock over. Is there anything this thing could do that a robotic tank couldn’t do for about a tenth of the development cost?

    I’m reminded of the early Thunderbirds episode featuring the “Sidewinder”, a walking military death machine of awesome power… which, on its first field trial, steps in a pothole and falls over, requiring International Rescue to fly out and drag it to safety before it explodes.

    21) Well, it’s a list. I’ve read 37 of them, and some more of the newer ones are on my TBR pile. (And at least one is on my “want to read it but there are no UK editions list”, which is annoying.) There’s a couple there I wouldn’t personally touch with the proverbial ten foot pole, but never mind. It’s a list.

  12. Is there anything this thing could do that a robotic tank couldn’t do for about a tenth of the development cost?

    Making battlefields look more like episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam counts as a worthwhile goal, right?

  13. 13) well duh! after the nimrods burn or otherwise render their sneakers useless, they need to go out and buy another pair and what with the engendered discomfort from breaking brand loyalty, of course they are buying new Nikes….

  14. @13 – Time will tell on the impact of this on the brand. Some brands which became overtly political ultimately started a sales and market share decline (Starbucks).

  15. @21, I’ve read twenty-one. Huh. Synergy. (I’m honestly surprised; I don’t generally like horror. The only Stephen King I’ve ever read was Firestarter….)

  16. @Steve Davidson:

    In Space Merchants, when a character swears he’ll quit buying products from Mitch’s company (Starrzelius Verily), Mitch replies:

    “It means more business for Starrzelius. Tell you what you’re going to do: you’ll get your complete set of Universal luggage and apparel. You’ll use the luggage and wear the apparel for a while with a vague, submerged discontent. It’s going to work on your libido, because our ads for Starrzelius – even though you say you don’t read them – have convinced you that it isn’t quite virile to trade with any other firm. Your self-esteem will suffer; deep down you’ll know that you’re not wearing the best. Your subconscious won’t stand up under much of that. You’ll find yourself ‘losing’ bits of universal apparel. You’ll find yourself ‘accidentally’ putting your foot through the cuff of your universal pants. You’ll find yourself overpacking the Universal luggage and damning it for not being roomier. You’ll walk into stores and in a fit of momentary amnesia regarding this conversation you’ll buy Starrzelius. Bless you.”

  17. Hey, did everyone else already know that “Jackalope Wives” by Oor Wombat was a pick for LeVar Burton Reads or is this a (pleasant) surprise to everyone else too?

  18. (20) The Army Transportation Museum at Ft. Eustis, VA, has what looks like a walking exoskeleton among their holdings (which also include hovercrafts, a flying flapjack, a jet pack, and other delights). It was outside when I saw it. I recall it as being green.

    I did not scroll that pixel; it merely followed me home.

  19. @1: [snortle].

    @13: I’ve been buying New Balance on the grounds that at least some of their shoes are made in the US instead of with debatable labor — not to mention that there’s a huge factory outlet half a mile from home — but considering how their boss kissed up to Trump, I’m going to have to look at what Nikes cost the next time I go shoe shopping.

    @21: I walk away from most work labeled horror, but I’ve read ~20 of these (~ because some I think I read when they came out, but that was a long time ago) — possibly because a lot were not so labeled.

    @bookworm1398 re @13 (expanding on @Ray Radlein): my guess is that total sales are a weaker measure just now; wholesale doesn’t answer how actual consumers are reacting, and AFAIK retail sales aren’t reported — ISTM that books are unique among carryable purchases in this regard, a system having been built up over time to support weekly bestseller lists.

    @Steve Wright re @20: I wonder whether the raised view and guns would be worth something; this probably has much more firepower than a drone, and a clearer view (although not as elevated). Or Kalashnikov may just be trying to seem forward-looking without being practical; that does happen….

  20. @ Avery: Or not.

    I did find some articles about Starbucks losing market share in the US, but citing reasons related to stiffer competition, not politics. Remember, correlation is not causation. And given the chart above, I don’t think they have much reason to worry.

  21. #4: Tried to fill out the program form on the Dublin website, but except for the first line, nothing was visible, and there was no way to scroll down. I’ve contacted programming for help.

  22. 1) I saw an amazing parody along the same lines (but can’t seem to find it right now) that purported to be an article by Saruman, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Sauron Regime”. The article just reprints his speech to Gandalf from ‘Fellowship’. 🙂

    17) Holy freaking cow. Don’t really have much to add to that.

    20) A bipedal robot would be good for urban combat, where it would have to navigate stairs and doorways and other human-oriented pathways, as well as for combat in forests, mountainous or uneven terrain… pretty much anywhere that you’d expect a tracked or wheeled vehicle to have difficulties, which is a lot of places. They’ve made great strides with the suspensions on tanks, but they still need relatively level terrain to operate in. A bipedal robot doesn’t have to worry about that. That’s why the military continues to pursue the idea despite the technical hurdles.

  23. @Lee – Starbucks share declines in the US can be attributed to many things (price, market saturation, etc…). But they have alienated some customer blocks in the US and this is commonly attributed as a factor in their US problems. In most circumstances, one cannot draw clear lines of what proportion of business problems are due to which logical factors.

    For example, the NFL has had a hit in brand image and viewership. This has continued for many years and is continuing in early season games this year. You can insert whatever factor and factor weighting you wish – but the decline in viewership is real. Common reasons I’ve seen in the Sports Business Press have been:
    a] too many games are televised
    b] Patriots cheating in the SuperBowl was not punished
    c] Political protests by players.
    d] The concussion health data
    e] total number of TV viewing options

    One can weight this however one wishes. But it is dangerous for a broad-based entertainment form to actively engage in activities which are not core to the business which may infuriate buyers.

  24. Well, Starbucks has lost me as a customer by joining ranks with Nestle, if a datapoint helps. That might not be the politics you were insinuating, though.

    I was amused after the fact to realize that the shirt my elder son wore to school on his first day back had a Nike swoop on it. (My husband did that a bit more consciously; he sets out 3 shirts for J. to choose from most mornings, and he did choose that as one option on purpose, but wouldn’t have tried to change his mind if he picked another.) TBH, I’m fairly sure J’s shirt was bought used by his grandma because it’s not one of the ones I remember buying; I tend not to do that kind of branding. (Characters from his favourite movies are more my speed…)

  25. avery abernethy on September 11, 2018 at 9:29 am said:

    But it is dangerous for a broad-based entertainment form to actively engage in activities which may infuriate buyers.

    Like nationalistic flag-worshipping ceremonies?

  26. 20) but why bipedal instead of the FAR more stable quadrupedal? the centaur look seems the best combo of stability, speed, and ability to see around & manipulate objects

  27. 13

    There are plenty of things to dislike about Nike, like any global clothing brand, but I will continue to buy their trail-running shoes. Nothing to do with this advertising campaign though, I just happen to really like the shoes.

  28. 2. That was a lovely tribute.

    @avery abernathy
    I have to admit that I don’t pay much attention to these things, but I don’t recall any political statements by Starbucks, unless this is about Starbucks offering plain cups instead of holiday cups, which some people viewed as “Starbucks hates Christians”.

    That said, I do tend to avoid Starbucks and patronise local and independent cafés (or European coffeeshop chains, if no independent cafés can be found), whenever possible, but that’s because I don’t like Starbucks waltzing into European cities and driving established cafés out of business.

  29. Finished “Foundryside”. Steampunk, and like most of the genre (to me) one keeps accidentally putting a foot through the paper-thin scenery, since the world-building looks better than it functions. (Who is paying the policeman, if there’s no city government? why do pests & diseases respect the walls of the campos? how does sleeping in her clothes keep out lice?) And then there’s using “gypsy” as a generic term for nomadic people, in a fantasy no less.

    But toward the end the world-building started to get actually interesting to me, and I look forward to reading the next part. I just don’t plan on paying money for it.

  30. @Rob Thornton – re the post-following system: I don’t use it, but I remember people saying there’s a max number of posts you can follow so you have to go un-clicky some old ones after a while.

  31. I thought it was agreed that when any business has a downturn we blame the millennials.

    Wild, wild pixels couldn’t scroll me away

  32. @avery abernethy: A lot of people I know are giving up on the NFL because of the way they treated Kaepernick and others who tried to join his protests. That’s certainly the main reason I’ve stopped watching.

    If they had ignored his politics and judged him as a player (a decent if not great QB who could at least improve the backup position at nearly any team in the league), I might not have cared. But they not only blacklisted him, they banned kneeling. That’s the league “actively engag[ing] in activities which are not core to the business which may infuriate buyers.” It certainly infuriated me.

    It used to be that this sort of thing was dealt with on a team-by-team basis. Tom Landry in Dallas might fire you for appearing “unpatriotic” (not that I think Kaepernick is or does), but Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders wouldn’t give a hoot, and would likely snap you up if you were any good at all. (His habit of hiring “bad boys” was, in my opinion, one of his few redeeming aspects.) Now, the owners have circled the wagons, and are forcing anyone with a less-than-extremely-right-wing viewpoint to sit down and shut up. That’s just not acceptable in my book.

    I mean, c’mon. Kaepernick was a member of the San Francisco 49ers! Do you honestly think San Francisco is going to suddenly throw all their existing politics out the door and line up to support Trump!? No. If viewership is down the Bay Area, it’s because the league is backing Trump’s nonsense, not because they didn’t back it hard enough!

    I know I may just be feeding the trolls here, but I think this was worth saying in any case.

  33. Darn. I came here to talk about books, but then I got distracted. Where was I?

    Oh yes. So, I just read a book, called Medusa Uploaded by Emily Devenport, and liked it enough that I came here to recommend it. I stumbled on it basically at random, and thought the author’s name sounded vaguely familiar, but it wasn’t till I got it home that I was able to verify that I’ve read and enjoyed other works by her. Though not for quite a while.

    This one is set on a generation ship. But it isn’t the usual plot. People haven’t forgotten where they are or what they’re doing. However society has metastasized a bit. Well, more than a bit. It’s gotten quite ugly. And Oichi Angelis is someone who has ended up at the bottom, with her family dead and her choices near nil. Then she stumbles across a strange bit of technology that looks like it may help her even up the odds a bit.

    The thing I liked about this book was that Devenport subverted my expectations along the way. It started out looking like we were going to get a reasonably entertaining Roaring Rampage of Revenge. But then our protagonist discovers that things are more complex than they seem on the surface, that there are more sides involved in the game than it looks like, and that nothing is exactly black-and-white. I don’t want to spoil things–and there’s a lot to spoil–but I really enjoyed this book’s twists and unexpected turns.

    As I mentioned before, I’ve read some of Devenports’ earlier works and enjoyed them. But this is her first novel in two decades, and it shows a lot more maturity. I don’t know why she took all that time off, but I’m glad she’s back.

  34. To boldly scroll where no file has scrolled before…

    @21 I was shocked to see that I’d read 40 of these…and I always thought I didn’t care for horror.

  35. 21) — I’ve read probably 25 from the list; someday, when I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll set aside enough time to actually read The Weird. (I’m actually surprised it’s not a bit higher — I had a fair amount of horror in my reading mix at one point, but I guess I didn’t get many of the classics.)

    (Currently, I’m still rereading Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane books; when I finish those, Glen Cook’s Black Company, at least the first trilogy plus the new Port of Shadows that slots in between the first & second books.)

  36. Xtifr – your review is convincing me to pick it back up again. My objection was there seemed to be an awful lot of coincidences to no good end. I was glad it wasn’t the roaring revenge rampage, but the plot seemed to wander a bit.
    Perhaps I stopped to soon.

  37. @BravoLimaPoppa3 : Well, I can’t say those are totally unreasonable criticisms. But I can say that in at least a couple of cases, things which looked to be coincidences turned out later not to be.

    The plot is indeed a bit tangled, but for me that was part of the fun. Still, I realize that sort of thing isn’t for everyone.

  38. @Xfitr – agreed, but as I said, I think I stopped too soon (the party and faked identity plot was where I stopped – it felt like a coincidence collision there). Tangled plots can be a plus, but I guess I was wanting more subversion of the machineries of oppression up front than I was given.
    Still, it’s now on hold for me at the library again – you got me interested enough to try it again.

  39. @ Oneiros re: Jackalope Wives

    Not until she tweeted about it this afternoon. But it’s queued up on my iPod now. (I subscribe to the show, but don’t have it automatically add episodes to my queue, so I hadn’t seen it yet.)

  40. I enjoyed Medusa Uploaded, so I am glad that you are giving it another try, BravoLimaPoppa3.

    I also enjoyed Foundryside as well; it did not hit me as OMG THIS IS FANTASTIC the way that the Divine Cities trilogy did, but I am looking forward to the next in the series.

    I read the two Andrea Cort novels by Adam-Troy Castro during my Worldcon vacation, and I am now catching up on the novellas. (Sadly, a couple of works in the series are only available as audiobook or expensive hardcover.) I really enjoy this series, and would like to see more works in it.

  41. (21) It’s a gross injustice that Graham Joyce’s Some Kind of Fairy Tale didn’t make the list. One of the better books I’ve read in the last 10 years.

  42. Cora Buhlert:

    That said, I do tend to avoid Starbucks and patronise local and independent cafés (or European coffeeshop chains, if no independent cafés can be found), whenever possible, but that’s because I don’t like Starbucks waltzing into European cities and driving established cafés out of business.

    I actively avoid Starbucks with a passion because their coffee is nasty.

  43. Seems to me the NFL had to make a choice that was bound to tick someone off. They did and some people got ticked off. avery abernathy’s point that businesses are taking risks along with take political positions isn’t wrong. But what would the risks have been of not taking a position, especially when the choice was thrust on them in public?

    Of the possible causes he lists for the NFL’s not-so-recent decline, I find a & e most convincing, because they cover the most time and have the most direct causal link. Both are about glut in supply, a problem for lots of legacy entertainment. I myself am getting tired of listening to Bob Dylan bootlegs. Words I never could have imagined saying.

    I’d like to think it’s d, the damage done to players’ brains. I know that’s why I have my bristles up over a local effort to put in a college team. But I am a weirdo.

  44. @John A. Arkanswayer–I am plausibly informed that, if you are anywhere in the south, your neighbors believe not supporting the local college team is a felony offense. 😉

    Brain injury and the league’s indifference to it, indeed active efforts to suppress the evidence, is a major reason I can’t support football anymore, either.

  45. @Lis Carey: You are mostly correct. For first offenses, it’s a misdemeanor.

    But thanks to the “no ex posto facto” clause in the constitution, I can walk around and say, “Don’t let’s have a football team, m’kay?” and stay a free man.

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