Pixel Scroll 9/15/18 It’s The Wrong Pixel, Gromit, And It’s Scrolled Wrong

(1) WHAT GEEZERS SAY. James Davis Nicoll’s twist on his previous series theme, Old People Read New SFF, finds the panel assigned “Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim.

This month’s installment of Old People Read New SFF is Caroline M. Yoachim’s award nominated Carnival 9, an endearing tale of clockwork people second cousin to children’s toys and inevitable, implacable mortality. The Hugo nominated it garnered suggests reader appeal and the fact that it was also nominated for a Nebula means professionals enjoyed (or at least appreciated) it was well. But will my Old People find it worth reading?

Carnival 9 can be read here.

(2) CSI MARS. The Atlantic is already worried about “How Will Police Solve Murders on Mars?”

Christyann Darwent is an archaeologist at the University of California at Davis. Darwent does her fieldwork in the Canadian High Arctic, a place so frigid and remote that it has been used as a training ground to prepare astronauts for future missions to Mars. Darwent’s expertise in how organic materials break down in extreme environmental conditions gives her unique insights into how corpses might age on the Red Planet.

As we speculated about the future of Martian law enforcement, Darwent emphasized that her expertise remains firmly terrestrial; her husband, she joked, is the one who reads science fiction. Nevertheless, Darwent brought a forensic angle to the subject, noting that nearly everything about a criminal investigation would be different on the Red Planet. She described how animal carcasses age in the Arctic, for example: One side of the body, exposed to high winds and extreme weather, will be reduced to a bleached, unrecognizable labyrinth of bones, while the other, pressed into the earth, can often be almost perfectly preserved. Think of Ötzi, she said, the so-called “Iceman,” discovered in a European glacier 5,300 years after his murder. Ötzi’s body was so well preserved that his tattoos were still visible. Murderers on Mars might have their hands full: The bodies of their victims, abandoned in remote canyons or unmapped caves, could persist in the Martian landscape “in perpetuity,” Darwent suggested.

(3) TAKING THE INITIATIVE. The Hugo Award Book Club reviews a book delivered at Worldcon 76 in “Showcasing the strength of Mexicanx Science Fiction”.

In a time where the American government separates and imprisons migrant families, hearing from those who live and engage with the Mexico-US borderlands on a personal level couldn’t be more relevant.

Fresh off the presses in time for WorldCon76, the Mexicanx Initiative’s bilingual anthology Una Realidad más Amplia: Historias desde la Periferia Bicultural/A Larger Reality: Speculative Fiction from the Bicultural Margins celebrates the diversity of Mexicanx writers who create science fiction, fantasy and horror. Born of a Kickstarter project, the book includes twelve short stories and one comic in both Spanish and English, with an ebook version on the way.

(4) POWER OF WORDS. Simini Blocker’s site includes a series of posters about reading that use quotes from George R.R. Martin, C.S. Lewis, Lemony Snicket, Albert Einstein, Annie Dillard, Anna Quindlen, Cassandra Clare, etc.

(5) LALLY IN CHINA. At Vector, a photo gallery of Dave Lally’s visit to Chengdu, China: “Dave in Chengdu”.

This July, our roving Membership Officer Dave Lally spent four days Chengdu, Sichuan province, China, participating in the Science Fiction Sharing Conference. Here are just a few snaps from the trip.

(6) LISTENING TO THE GOLDS. LASFSians and renowned filkers Lee and Barry Gold were intereviewed by Edie Stern for Fanac.org. Hear the audio and see illustrative photos at YouTube.

Lee and Barry Gold tell stories about Los Angeles fandom and filking in the 1960s. In this audio recording enhanced with images, there are charming anecdotes about Poul and Karen Anderson, LASFS, and a great story about Bruce Pelz and Ted Johnstone obtaining permission from John Myers Myers to print the “Silverlock” songs. Lee and Barry tell how they got into fandom, and the interview also includes snatches of song from filks of the time as well as a discussion on where the word “filk” came from. The audio was captured in San Jose at Worldcon 76, and is enhanced with 35 images.

 

(7) ASHES SCATTERED. Martin Tays posted a photo of the moment on Facebook.

A final farewell to Poul Anderson and Karen Anderson. Their ashes were scattered today in Puget Sound from on board the Schooner Zodiac, sailing out of Bellingham, Washington.

(8) MERTON OBIT. Actress Zienia Merton (1945-2018) passed away September 13. She memorably played Space: 1999’s Sandra Benes, Data Analyst on Moonbase Alpha. See photos at Moonbase Central.

(9) SUTTON OBIT. Dudley Sutton (1933-2018): British actor, died September 15, aged 85. Genre appearances include The Avengers (one episode, 1968), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (two episodes, 1970 and 2000), The Devils (1971), The Glitterball (1977), The Island (1980), Brimstone & Treacle (1982), The Comic Strip Presents… (‘Slags’, 1984), The House (1984), A State of Emergency (1986), Screen One (‘1996’, 1989), Orlando (1992), Delta Wave (two episodes, 1996), Highlander (one episode, 1997), The Door (2011), Ripper Tour (2018), Steven Berkoff’s Tell Tale Heart (completed 2017, but not yet released), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and When the Devil Rides Out (both currently in post-production).

(10) BLAY OBIT. The New York Times says the creator of the videocassette movie industry has died:

Andre Blay, 81, whose innovative idea of marketing Hollywood movies on videocassettes sparked an entertainment industry bonanza and a revolution in television viewing, died on Aug. 24 in Bonita Springs, Fla. He was 81….

But in 1977 Mr. Blay was able to persuade Fox to make a deal under which he would duplicate and distribute 50 of the studio’s most successful films, including “M*A*S*H” and “The French Connection.” The relatively high initial retail price of movies on videocassettes prompted an unexpected proliferation of video rental stores, from neighborhood businesses to sprawling chains like Blockbuster. As the price of recorders plummeted to about $500 from about $1,000, sales boomed, and so, to some people’s surprise, did rentals. By 1987 home video was generating more revenue than movie-theater ticket sales.

(11) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • September 15, 1949The Lone Ranger TV series debuted.
  • September 15, 1965 — The original Lost in Space premiered on television – theme by ”Johnny Williams.”

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 15, 1890 – Agatha Christie. Ok, according to Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction –

Christie wrote several short stories with supernatural elements – some collected, together with orthodox nonseries detections, in The Hound of Death (coll 1933) – and created a kind of sentimental Occult Detective [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] for The Mysterious Mr. Quin (coll 1930). In these stories the shadowy and elusive Harley Quin (the “harlequin” pun is deliberate and explicit) does not so much detect as use his presumably occult information to steer a mundane friend, Mr Satterthwaite, towards the insight required to explain a crime; the misleadingly titled The Complete Quin & Satterthwaite: Love Detectives (omni 2004) includes two long Hercule Poirot investigations featuring Satterthwaite but not Quin. Christie was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1971.

  • Born September 15, 1943 – John M. Faucette. Harlem born and raised genre writer who published four novels in the Sixties, two apparently as Ace Doubles. I wish I could tell you more about him but scant information now exists about him alas.
  • Born September 15 – Norman Spinrad, 78. Writer of many genre novels including Bug Jack BarronGreenhouse Summer and The People’s Police.  Wrote the script for “The Doomsday Machine” for Star Trek: The Original Series; also wrote episodes for Land of the Lost and Werewolf. His very early reviews are collected in Science Fiction in the Real World which was published in 1990.
  • Born September 15 – Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, 76. Writer, composer, demographic cartographer. Genre works include the very long running Count Saint-Germain vampire series, the Vildecaz Talents series and a number of other works listed as genre but which I’m not familiar with so I’m not certain that they are. Her site notes that she’s ‘Divorced, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area – with two cats: the irrepressible Butterscotch and Crumpet, the Gang of Two.’
  • Born September 15 – Howard Waldrop, 74. Primarily a short story writer so much of his work is unfortunately out of print though iBooks lists ePubs for Horse of a Different Color right now along with two other Small Beer published collections. I rather like The Texas-Israeli War: 1999 novel he co-wrote with Jake Saunders. His “The Ugly Chickens” amusingly enough won a Nebula for Best Novelette and a World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction.
  • Born September 15 – Loren D. Estleman, 66. You’ll have noticed that I’ve an expansive definition of genre and so I’m including a trilogy of  novels by this writer who’s better known for his mainstream mysteries featuring Amos Walker which are set in the  Sherlock Holmes Metaverse, Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes and The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. I think it was Titan Book that maybe a decade ago republished a lot of these Holmesian pastiches of which there are more than I want to think about.
  • Born September 15 – Jane Lindskold, 56. Let’s see… I see a number of genre undertakings including Artemis, Athanor, Breaking the Wall and the Firekeeeper series. She’s done a lot of excellent stand-alone fiction novels including Child of a Rainless Year, Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls and The Buried Pyramid. She either edited or greatly expanded (depending on your viewpoint) two novels by Roger Zelazny, Donnerjack which I love and Lord Demon which thrills me less. Her latest I believe is Asphodel which she sent me an ebook to read and it is quite good.

(13) COMIC SECTION.

  • Over the Hedge explains how to get people interested in the space program.

(14) QUANTUM LEAP. That’s right, there could be a perfectly sensible explanation for a friend’s strange behavior, like this —

(15) BEHIND THE CURTAIN. Cora Buhlert visited 1963 to report on a recent East German/Polish movie based on one of Stanislaw Lem’s novels for Galactic Journey: “[September 15, 1963] The Silent Star: A cinematic extravaganza from beyond the Iron Curtain”.

Kurt Maetzig is not a natural choice for East Germany’s first science fiction movie, since he is mostly known for realist fare and even outright propaganda films. Though the fact that Maetzig is a staunch Communist helped him overcome the reservations of DEFA political director Herbert Volkmann, who doesn’t like science fiction, since it does not advance the Communist project and who shot down eleven script drafts as well as Maetzig’s plan to hire West European stars.

(16) IT’S A STRETCH. Marko Kloos’ post for the Wild Cards blog, “Coming Up Aces”, tells how hard it is to do something new in “a world with an established canon spanning 70 years, where hundreds of aces and jokers have already been put on the page by dozens of other writers.”

Wild Cards is up to twenty-six volumes now, and the Trust has more than forty members. Each of those writers has created multiple characters, so there are hundreds of aces, joker-aces, and jokers out in the Wild Cards world, each with their own distinct physical characteristics and abilities. And once they are on the page, they’re canon. Try coming up with an original ace who doesn’t duplicate something that’s already been done by someone else—I can assure you it’s not easy, especially if you’re new to the team and haven’t had your head in that world for the last few decades. The first few ideas I had were roundly shot down at the start because they had been used in some form already, or they brought abilities to the table that had been done too often.

For my first character that truly stuck, I came up with Khan, who makes his first appearance in LOW CHICAGO. Khan is a joker-ace, a 300-pound underworld bodyguard whose left body half is that of a Bengal tiger….

(17) STREE. In the Washington Post, Vidhi Doshi discusses the new Bollywood film Stree (“Woman”). a horror comedy about a vengeful female ghost where “the real fear is hidden in the jokes about the realities of being a woman in India.” — “In India’s new hit film, men — not women — are afraid to roam the streets”.

The success of “Stree” is due in part to how it flips Bollywood’s norms. The male protagonist is the opposite of Bollywood’s muscly, macho heroes — he spends most of the film trying to see things from the female ghost’s point of view. The women, on the other hand, are bold, educated and fearless.

The movie breaks rules of the horror genre: The scares and jolts are funny, while the real fear is hidden in the jokes about the realities of being a woman in India.

(18) MORE BROKEN CONVENTIONS. At Black Gate, Derek Kunsken recommends a YouTube podcast about comics — “Analyzing the Comics Story-Telling Process with Panel x Panel”.

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of the Youtube channel Strip Panel Naked, by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. In this extraordinary video podcast, Hassan analyses different techniques of pacing, page layout, color, positive and negative space, genre conventions and how they’ve been broken, stylistic choices and so on. I have lots of favourites, including the analysis of the use of time in Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye.

(19) THESE AREN’T THE SPOTS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. Nobody’s getting excited about this. Everyone please remain calm. “The director of the Sunspot Observatory isn’t sure why the feds shut it down”.

The saga began to unfold on September 6, when authorities unexpectedly closed and evacuated Sunspot  Solar Observatory. Sunspot Solar Observatory is managed by a consortium of universities that provide funding to operate the telescope and adjoining visitor’s center. AURA (The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy) is a big site, tens to hundreds of acres, McAteer explained, and the observatory is used to study the sun in very specific ways.

McAteer said while the reason behind the closure is still unknown, he does not believe it is as strange as some believe.

“AURA deciding to close it is not an unusual event to me and I’m not going to jump to any unnecessary speculation,”  McAteer told Salon. “They [AURA] made the decision to close the site based on an internal decision, based on whatever they make their decisions on, and as they often make decisions to close remote sites this is not an uncommon thing to do.”

Alamogordo Daily News first reported the news on Sept. 7, when the observatory closed citing a “security issue” at the facility. Shari Lifson, a spokeswoman for AURA, said the closure was their decision.

“The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy who manages the facility is addressing a security issue at this time,” Lifson told the local newspaper. “We have decided to vacate the facility at this time as precautionary measure. It was our decision to evacuate the facility.”

(20) VIRTUAL HALLOWEEN. The LAist gets ready for the holiday at a SoCal mall: “We Tried Out 2 Halloween VR Experiences And Survived (After Some Screaming)”.

The Void’s trying to change that by throwing you into a real physical environment, which you can check out locally at the Glendale Galleria.

In the Void’s games, if you pick up a gun, you’re holding a physical weapon — if you sit on a bench, there’s an actual physical bench for you to sit on. We went to a demo of the Void’s new Halloween experiences and talked with the creators behind them — here’s what we learned, and what went down.

When you’re about to go into the Void, you’re fitted with a vest and a VR helmet. The vest vibrates when you get shot or attacked — or in the case of one of their new experiences, slimed. (Ew.)

The two new experiences are Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment, and an enhanced version of one they’d previously released, Ghostbusters: Dimension.

 

(21) HIMMELSKIBET. Karl-Johan Norén has another sff link to in Denmark: “Himmelskibet is a Danish 1918 silent movie about a trip to Mars, 81 minutes long, that has been restored by the Danish Film Institute.”

Photos from the film and additional info are available via a Facebook photo archive.

[Thanks to Danny Sichel, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, Steve Green, Karl-Johan Norén, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

36 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/15/18 It’s The Wrong Pixel, Gromit, And It’s Scrolled Wrong

  1. Thanks for the title credit!

    (19) The true story is going to be a lot duller than anything we can imagine. However, it does remind me a bit of the beginning of “The Puppet Masters” though, in which a supposedly fake “flying saucer” story turns out to be a lot bigger problem than expected.

  2. 19
    They’re still closed. The FBI refers everyone to the consortium that runs that observatory, and the consortium only says it wasn’t connected to the observatory’s work. (Making it more interesting, the telescopes that are half a mile away were neither evacuated nor shut down. So whatever it was, was really local.) Most of the speculation I’ve seen is about hacking – but why, and why this location, they never suggest.

  3. 19) Probably a dull actual answer, but nonetheless, the gentleman’s response still makes me go…”A LIKELY STORY!”

  4. @1: is there a link for Nicoll’s results? (Does that count as a typo?)

    @12: His “The Ugly Chickens” amusingly enough won a Nebula for Best Novelette and a World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction. How is that amusing? WFAs include only 3 sizes for fiction, not 4 — and before 1982 there were only two sizes, “Novel” and “Short Fiction”. (“Ugly Chickens” won in 1981; I can’t find history of the dividing line, but the story doesn’t seem nearly big enough to be a novel under even (e.g.) Ace Double guidelines.) This year’s nomination ballot says the middle category (“Novella”) is for 10-40Kwords; I’m not sure which side of the line the story would fall if it were up today.

  5. If I am not on my way to the library,
    I am on my way to the bookstore.

    If I am not on my way to the bookstore,
    I am on my way to the library.

    If I am not on my way to the library or bookstore,
    I am on my way from the library or the bookstore.

  6. (3) Thank you for the link.

    Have updated the blog post to address the eligibility question that JJ and @illegibscrib brought to my attention. Sorry that I didn’t double-check that before posting.

  7. 1) There were two comments that jumped out at me as I was reading:
    If there is an author I really really like, I will read their short stories, but the whole time I am annoyed that these each aren’t a full book.
    Some concepts don’t merit a “full book”. This is something that’s maybe easier to see with filk, where there are a lot of concepts which are “one-verse ponies”, clever and funny for a single verse but hard to sustain through a longer song. This person seems to be wanting every concept to be developed to novel length, without regard to whether or not it holds up that way. That’s an unrealistic viewpoint, and suggests that they should recuse themselves from both this kind of reviewing of short stories and Hugo voting on anything below novel length.

    This is a nice story that could have filled a fantasy slot in any issue of F&SF ever. I have no idea why it comes to me labelled as SF, and am slightly boggled that it warrants Hugo and Nebula Awards nominations.
    Now that’s an Old Phart Phan, someone who wants to draw a bright-line distinction between “fantasy” and “science fiction” and who also thinks of both the Hugos and the Nebulas as being for SCIENCE FICTION only, no fantasy allowed, TYVM. Too bad that the world has moved on and left them behind.

    My take on the story in question was that it was well-written, but slanted too far in the direction of horror for my taste; I did not rank it on my Hugo ballot.

    4) I couldn’t find those posters on the site in the link.

  8. @Lee
    Sadly, you’ll find quite a few people, including writers, who declare that they don’t like short stories and complain that the author didn’t write a “real book”. Apparently, these folks have no idea that not every idea is novel length or maybe they like reading padded novels.

    I also suspect that whether you like short stories or not depends on how familiar you are with the form. I came along after the heyday of the magazines, but a lot of my early SF reading were fix-ups or outright collections. Plus, a lot of German magazines still carried short stories (mysteries mostly, but also romances) when I was a kid and we had a thriving market for novellas and novelettes in the form of pulp dime novels, so I grew up with short form fiction. Someone who grew up reading only doorstoppers will have a different experience.

  9. @Cat, (13): “I think it was Titan Book that maybe a decade ago republished a lot of these Holmesian pastiches”

    It was indeed Titan; their printing of Fred Saberhagen’s Séance for a Vampire (a sequel to his The Holmes-Dracula File, which they curiously did not reprint as part of the same collection) is dated December 2010. I still have about six to eight of those books on Mt. Tsundoku.

  10. (1) WHAT GEEZERS SAY.

    JDN doesn’t tell us the ages (or the genders) of his readers, but I thought it was really interesting that — with the exception of one person who sort of vaguely touched on it — none of them mentioned the way that each time the main character in “Carnival 9” dared to do something for herself, she was punished for it, and that all of the characters just assumed that it was her job to take care of everyone else (things which really rankled several Filers, including me). And given that a large number of the readers’ names appear to be female, I was rather surprised by that.

    (And one of them claims that the story won the Hugo, which is just bizarre.)

  11. Rev. Bob saysbIt was indeed Titan; their printing of Fred Saberhagen’s Séance for a Vampire (a sequel to his The Holmes-Dracula File, which they curiously did not reprint as part of the same collection) is dated December 2010. I still have about six to eight of those books on Mt. Tsundoku.

    A local bookshop very obviously had a fan of the series as they had nearly every one of them in their mystery section. They sold well too which surprised given they were very much pulp and sometimes terribly weird pulp at that. I don’t at a decade on and post-severe head trauma remember which which ones I read but they were fun and fast entertainment.

    Titan Books has emerged as a major source of pop culture material from action figures to source books for tv shows and tie-in products such as Torchwood novels.

  12. @ JJ: I suspect that there may be a generational issue here; the people in the “Older Fans” pool grew up in an era where women being required to put themselves on the bottom of the priority list was just how things were, so perhaps they notice it less. Which is not to say that all older fen still accept, or fail to notice, that sort of thing, but it’s a possible explanation. The claim that it won the Hugo I’m inclined to ascribe to careless reading of the assignment description — although I will note that there are still a number of people who will insist that “that dinosaur story” won the Hugo too.

    ETA: Huh, that’s weird. I noticed after I’d already clicked Post that the “notify me of follow-up comments by e-mail” box was pre-checked. That could explain some of the mysterious “I didn’t check that box, why am I getting this?” stuff that’s happening to other Filers.

  13. Hmm, doesn’t the “greying of fandom” sort of suggest that by choosing Hugo-winning stories, JDN is pre-selecting for stories that old folks will tend to like? (I’m less sure about the demographics of SFWA, though I suspect it skews older as well.)

    Also, as far as Caroline’s comment goes, fantasy has always been eligible for the Hugos. Admittedly, it rarely won in the early days, but Avram Davidson’s clearly-fantasy story “Or All the Seas with Oysters” did win in 1959. So it’s not really anything new.

    (And yes, the boundaries between the two genres are blurry, but we do have awards which are specifically for one genre or the other. The World Fantasy Award, most notably. Which, I believe, uses a “you’ll know it when you see it” rule.

    (And I do think it’s a bit too bad that there isn’t really an equivalently-notable SF-only award–most of the other awards for SF also have an award for fantasy, like the Locus. The anti-fantasy prejudice which prompted the creation of the WFA seems to be mostly a thing of the past at this point.)

  14. I’m feeling very stupid here, but I can’t find a place to buy the Mexicanx Anthology Una Realidad Mas Amplia/ A Larger Reality. Amazon doesn’t seem to have it.

  15. @Lisa
    It was a Kickstarter project; they may be doing a dead-tree book later, via Fireside. (I’m not able to sort that part out myself.)

  16. @JJ: We don’t know the exact ages of all the reviewers, but we do know that they are all 50 or older.

    @Xtifr: Don’t forget Robert Bloch’s “That Hell-Bound Train”, also.

  17. (9) I’m surprised you didn’t list Dudley Sutton’s most famous role as a genre one, given that Lovejoy was clearly presented as a genuine psychic with regards to antiques.

  18. @Cora Sadly, you’ll find quite a few people, including writers, who declare that they don’t like short stories and complain that the author didn’t write a “real book”. Apparently, these folks have no idea that not every idea is novel length or maybe they like reading padded novels.

    I’m one of those people who isn’t big on short stories, but it certainly isn’t because I think that there are no ideas that aren’t novel length or that I particularly enjoy reading padded novels. That’s a bit insulting. In any art form, there are things one person may enjoy that aren’t another person’s cup of tea. It’s pretty much the ultimate subjective.

    In my case, when I enjoy something I’m reading and it’s over in half an hour, I’m sad. I don’t want to be sad. My tastes run to investing myself in full-length fiction. That certainly doesn’t mean that I’ve never read a short story or appreciate the craft involved in writing a good one.

  19. @rochrist
    I was responding to Lee who was responding to a comment made by one of James’ old people reading new SF. And that comment specifically complained about authors not writing a full book, an attitude which is not exactly uncommon.

    Of course, there are people who don’t particularly like short fiction, but don’t feel that every idea should be expounded at novel length. I wasn’t talking about them, only about those who complain that the author didn’t write a full book.

    @JJ
    I was also surprised that hardly anyone of the old people reading new SFF noticed the problematic implications of “Carnival 9” that we discussed here. Coincidentally, my Mom is an older fan and also disliked the story for exactly that reason.

  20. @Xtifr:

    Hmm, doesn’t the “greying of fandom” sort of suggest that by choosing Hugo-winning stories, JDN is pre-selecting for stories that old folks will tend to like? (I’m less sure about the demographics of SFWA, though I suspect it skews older as well.)

    I raised that issue recently, specifically suggesting that the oldpharts should be given stories picked by JDN’s younger readers (if such a varied set of tastes could agree on some stories); the idea got a mixed reaction.

  21. rochrist: I’m one of those people who isn’t big on short stories, but it certainly isn’t because I think that there are no ideas that aren’t novel length or that I particularly enjoy reading padded novels… when I enjoy something I’m reading and it’s over in half an hour, I’m sad. I don’t want to be sad. My tastes run to investing myself in full-length fiction. That certainly doesn’t mean that I’ve never read a short story or appreciate the craft involved in writing a good one.

    This is a pretty good summary of my tastes. I generally find short fiction unsatisfying: either I don’t enjoy the story, or I enjoy the story and am disappointed when it ends all too soon. For this reason, reading short fiction will never be a favorite pastime for me. I think that I have benefited from pushing myself to read more short fiction for Hugo nomination purposes, but a lot of the time it still seems like a chore to me. Filer recommendations have helped reduce that feeling, at least.

    That said, I don’t think that every idea is capable of sustaining a novel-length story. The world in “Carnival 9” might be one of them; however, the author would have to come up with a more compelling plot and resolve some worldbuilding inconsistencies and holes — as it exists, the plot is not sufficient to support even a novella length, and I think that JDN’s reader is reaching badly to claim that it can.

  22. I think Cora Buhlert’s historical articles are interesting and have information that English-speaking readers and viewers don’t know, so I enjoyed her report on FRIST SPACESHIP TO VENUS and the photos.

  23. That Ghostbusters VR game seems sort of interesting BUT would it be worth paying $20 or $25 for 15 minutes of ghost busting?

  24. Xtifr: After JDN chose Hall of Fame/ “Best-of” stories for his “young people” project, he pretty much required that the new set for “older people” also be based on stories already lauded in some way by fandom. A skew towards stuff already commended as quality pretty much requires that it be praised by *someone*, and it’s really hard to find an award with a base demographic of award-deciders under 30.

  25. Perhaps a jury would do almost as well as a mass judgment — enough to at least test whether there’s the same gulf as found in the original series.

  26. It would also be interesting to see whether the young panel finds the new award-winners interesting….

  27. Well, he got the young people who read old SF to read at least one newer story before… if we want a straight comparison we could have two separate review panels.

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