Pixel Scroll 9/16/20 Let Us Pixelate It In Glorious Scrollovision

(1) THE EXPANSE REACHES ITS LIMIT. “Leviathan Falls Will Be The Final Installment of The Expanse” – Andrew Liptak has the story at Tor.com.

During a live stream today, Orbit Books officially announced the title and cover for the final installment of James S.A. Corey’s science fiction series, The ExpanseLeviathan Falls, which will hit stores sometime in 2021 .

…Orbit didn’t release any synopsis for the book, but Abraham and Franck did explain that the novel will provide a definitive ending for the series.

During the live stream, Abraham and Franck answered a handful of reader questions. In addition to Leviathan Falls, they plan to have another novella that’ll come out after that final book, which will provide a “nice grace note” to some hanging threads from the series. Abraham noted that he’s been waiting to write the story for “years.”

Franck explained that they don’t plan to write any novels in the world, but that Alcon could always put together another Expanse-related project for television.

(2) RSR UPDATE. Rocket Stack Rank’s Greg Hullender announced today in “Taking a Break” that he’ll be on hiatus as a short fiction reviewer —

After five years of writing reviews for Rocket Stack Rank, I’m going to take an indefinite break. This month marks five years since we started the site, and so it seemed like a good time to pause.

Eric Wong says he will continue to update RSR with monthly lists of stories that readers can flag and rate and find reviews for, as well as aggregate recommendations from various sources (currently 6 reviewers, 16 awards, 7 year’s best anthologies) for the Year-To-Date and Year’s Best lists. 

Hullender adds:

Five years ago, in September 2015, Eric and I started Rocket Stack Rank as a response to the Sad/Rabid Puppy episode that ruined the 2015 Hugo Awards. As we said at the time, we wanted “to create a website to encourage readers of science fiction and fantasy to read and nominate more short fiction.”

The response was very positive, and we’ve enjoyed steady support from readers. We quickly ramped up to a few thousand unique monthly users, with 20-30,000 monthly page views (we recently passed 1,000,000 total page views), and we’re currently the #1 Google result for “short science fiction story reviews.” Best of all, we were finalists for the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine three times (2017, 2018, 2019). Thank you for supporting us!

(3) ANOTHER VIEW OF ROWLING’S CONTROVERSIAL LATEST. Alison Flood, in “JK Rowling’s Troubled Blood: don’t judge a book by a single review” in The Guardian, says she’s read Rowling’s Troubled Blood and although there are parts she says are “tone-deaf” that she doesn’t consider the novel “transphobic” since the cross-dressing character is not the main villain and is not described as trans or even a transvestite.

…Perhaps some will still consider this depiction transphobic, given Rowling’s rightly widely criticised views on trans people. It is, at best, an utterly tone-deaf decision to include an evil man who cross-dresses after months of pain among trans people and their allies. But there is also reason to be wary of any moral outrage stoked by the Telegraph, a paper that generally doesn’t shy away from publishing jeering at the “woke crowd”, or claims that children are “put at risk by transgender books”, or attacks on “the trans lobby”. And we should also be wary of how one review has been reproduced without question by countless newspapers and websites, by journalists who have shown no indication of having read the book themselves.

(4) GREETINGS GATES. “‘Star Trek’ Alum Gates McFadden To Host Nacelle Company’s First Podcast” reports Yahoo! Entertainment. The title: Who Do You Think You Are?

…The McFadden-fronted podcast will be the first one from the Nacelle Company and serves as a stepping stone for its NacelleCast Studios, the company’s neighboring podcast studio in Burbank. The new podcast studio will serve as the main production space for all NacelleCast productions.

The Nacelle Company has created a number of pop history-focused titles including Netflix’s The Movies That Made UsThe Toys That Made Us and the CW’s Discontinued. Branching into the podcast space is a step in the company’s efforts to broaden its reach of pop history-focused content.

(5) STATUS QUO VADIS. Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron will probe “Is Science Fiction Really the Literature of Change?” in its September 19 program. Register at the link.

Anil Menon is joining Gadi as co-host for a one-hour discussion on science fiction and change, bringing along friends and colleagues Christopher Brown, Claude Lalumière, Geoff Ryman, Nisi Shawl, and Vandana Singh. This Saturday, 19 September.

Arguably, science fiction has had a focus on working out the consequences of a change (what-if scenarios) rather than how a certain change comes to be. This seems to be especially true in the case of social or political change. The distinguished panelists will discuss the possibilities and limitations of (science) fiction for representing a changing world.

(6) GENUINE PIXEL NEWS. Plans for a Japanese adaptation of The Door Into Summer were unveiled on Twitter. Thread starts here.

(7) UNDERTALE CONCERT. Beginning at the 45-minute mark in this YouTube video, you can listen to the full orchestral concert that was staged for the 5th anniversary of the video game Undertale.

Polygon’s Patricia Hernandez tells why “Undertale’s surprise concert got the internet in its feelings”

This is probably why many folks who watched the concert last night absolutely got in their feelings about the game. The top comment on the YouTube video says, “I cried like twice through the whole thing.” I saw the same sentiment unfold across my Twitter timeline, where folks reminisced on the game’s highlights and what it meant to them when they played it. It was a total mood shift from the general depressing and terrifying tenor of the year. Undertale is, at its heart, an optimistic game about friendship and love. 

(8) LOOKING FOR SIGNS. In a Washington Post opinion piece, “Venus may hold the answers about life we’ve been looking for”, Cornell University astronomer Jonathan Lunine says that the discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus might mean that Venus had, and possibly has, life.

…How would we know such organisms might exist? Many chemical compounds that simple microbes produce are also made by non-biological processes. But one, phosphine or PH3, is difficult to produce on Earth abiotically (without life) and, as argued by Seager and her colleagues in another paper, could be a good “biosignature” or sign of life on planets around other stars. This isn’t always the case: The compound is found in the dense hydrogen-rich atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, where it is understood to be an abiotic product of simple chemistry, and will likely be found on gas giants around other stars using the James Webb Space Telescope, planned for launch next year. But Venus — which has an atmosphere in which hydrogen is extremely scarce — is a place where phosphine is a plausible biosignature.

The detection of sufficient quantities of phosphine in Venus’s atmosphere would be an intriguing pointer to the possibility of life in the sulfuric-acid clouds of our sister planet, but many questions would remain. Is it possible that planetary chemists have overlooked ways to produce phosphine on Venus in the absence of life? And if phosphine is produced by biology, where did that life originate? It is one thing to imagine life adapting to and hanging out opportunistically in the clouds of Venus. It is quite another to imagine that life could have originated there, sandwiched between the hell of the surface and the frozen realms of the thin upper atmosphere….

(9) MEDIA ANNIVERSARY.

  • September 1995 — Twenty five years ago this month at Intersection, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Mirror Dance won the Hugo for Best Novel. Other finalists were John Barnes’ Mother of Storms, Nancy Kress‘s Beggars and Choosers, Michael Bishop‘s Brittle Innings and James Morrow’s Towing Jehovah.  It would be the third Hugo winner of the Vorkosigan saga, and Bujold’s third Hugo award-winning novel in a row. It’s  the direct sequel to Brothers in Arms. The Vorkosigan saga would win the Best Series Hugo at Worldcon 75. (CE)

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born September 16, 1898 Hans Augusto Rey. German-born American illustrator and author best remembered for the beloved  Curious George children’s book series that he and his wife Margret Rey created from 1939 to 1966. (An Eighties series of five-minute short cartoons starring him was produced by Alan Shalleck, along with Rey. Ken Sobol, scriptwriter of Fantastic Voyage, was the scriptwriter here.) His interest in astronomy led to him drawing star maps which are still use in such publications as Donald H. Menzel’s A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets. A simpler version for children called Find the Constellations, is still in print as well. (Died 1977.) (CE) 
  • Born September 16, 1917 – Art Widner.  Pioneer in earliest days, he left for a few decades to teach school, beget children, other mundane matters, then returned, resuming his fanzine YHOS (“Your Humble Obedient Servant”, pronounced ee-hoss though I said it should rhyme with dose), the Eo-Neo.  See here.  Here is his cover for the Mar 40 Spaceways.  On his board game Interplanetary see here.  DUFF (Down Under Fan Fund) delegate.  Big Heart (our highest service award).  First Fandom Hall of Fame.  YHOS first took my note on The Glass Bead Game.  As of his passing he may have been Oldest of All; rooming with him at a few cons, I promised not to call him “Woody” (see Mary Sperling in Methuselah’s Children).  Our Gracious Host’s appreciation here.  (Died 2015) [JH]
  • Born September 16, 1916 Mary, Lady Stewart (born Mary Florence Elinor Rainbow, lovely name that). Yes, you know her better as just Mary Stewart. Genre wise, she’s probably best known for her Merlin series which walks along the boundary between the historical novel and fantasy. Explicitly fantasy is her children’s novel A Walk in Wolf Wood: A Tale of Fantasy and Magic. (Died 2014.) (CE)
  • Born September 16, 1930 — Anne Francis. You’ll remember her best as Altaira “Alta” Morbius on Forbidden Planet. She also appeared twice in The Twilight Zone (“The After Hours” and “Jess-Belle”). She also appeared in multiple episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. She’d even appear twice in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and played several roles on Fantasy Island as well. (Died 2011.) (CE)
  • Born September 16, 1932 Peter Falk. His best remembered role genre is in The Princess Bride as the Grandfather who narrates the Story. The person who replaced him in the full cast reading of The Princess Bride for the Wisconsin Democratic Party fundraiser, Director Rob Reiner, wasn’t nearly as good as he was in that role. He also plays Ramos Clemente in “The Mirror”,  an episode of The Twilight Zone. And he’s Reverend Theo Kerr in the 2001 version of The Lost World. (Died 2011.) (CE) 
  • Born September 16, 1932 – Karen Anderson.  Fan and pro herself, wife of another, mother of a third, mother-in-law of a fourth.  While still Karen Kruse she was WSFA (Washington, DC, SF Ass’n) secretary and joined SAPS (Spectator Amateur Press Society) and The Cult.  Marrying Poul Anderson she moved to the San Francisco Bay area, bore Astrid, and thus was mother by marriage to Greg Bear.  Stellar quality also in filk, costuming, and our neighbor the Society for Creative Anachronism.  At an SF con party a few decades ago I arrived in English Regency clothes having just taught Regency dancing; she sang “How much is that Dukie in the window?”  See here; appreciation by OGH here.  (Died 2018) [JH]
  • Born September 16, 1938 – Owen Hannifen, 82.  How he found the LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Soc.; “LASFS” pronounced as if rhyming with a Spanish-English hybrid “mas fuss”, unless you were Len Moffatt, who rhymed it with “sass mass” and had earned the right to do it his way) minutes, then and now known as The Menace of the LASFS, I’ve never learned; with a good Secretary – Jack Harness, Mike Glyer, John DeChancie – they’ve been swell; anyway they lured OH to L.A. (from Vermont?), where he roomed with Harness and others in a series of apartments, the Labyrinth, Labyrinth 3, Labyrinth of Valeron, Labyrinth DuQuesne (see here).  He was in N’APAOMPA, SAPS, and The Cult.  Dungeons & Dragons was fire-new then; he and his wife Hilda (also “Eclaré”) did that.  They moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, Sampo Productions (named for the magic sampo in “Why the Sea Is Salt”), and incidentally the SCA.  [JH]
  • Born September 16, 1948 – Julia Donaldson, C.B.E., 72.  Author, playwright, performer; almost two hundred books.  Famous for The Gruffalo.  Half a dozen stories of Princess Mirror-Belle.  Busked in America, England, France, Italy.  Bristol Street Theatre, British Broadcasting Corp., Edinburgh Book Festival.  Honorary doctorates from Univ. Bristol, Univ. Glasgow.  Children’s Laureate of the United Kingdom 2011-2013.  Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  Website here.  [JH]
  • Born September 16, 1952 Lisa Tuttle, 68. Tuttle won the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, received a Nebula Award for Best Short Story for “The Bone Flute”, which she refused, and a BSFA Award for Short Fiction for “In Translation”. My favorite works by her include CatwitchThe Silver Bough and her Ghosts and Other Lovers collection. Her latest novel is The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross. (CE) 
  • Born September 16, 1960 – Kurt Busiek, 60. Writer for Dark Horse, DC, Dynamite, Eclipse, Harris, Image, Marvel, Topps.  Known particularly for Astro City, Marvels, the Thunderbolts.  Nine Eisners, six Harveys; two Comics Buyer’s Guide Awards for Favorite Writer.  Here he’s interviewed about Conan.  Alex Ross put KB and wife Ann into Marvels 3 reacting to the arrival of the Silver Surfer and Galactus.  I’ll leave out Page 33.  What jewels these Filers be.  [JH]
  • Born September 16, 1960 Mike Mignola, 60. The Hellboy stories, of course, are definitely worth reading, particularly the early ones. His Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is an amazing What-If story which isn’t at all the same as the animated film of that name which is superb on its own footing, and the B.P.R.D. stories  are quite excellent too.  I’m very fond of the first Hellboy film, not so much of the second, though the animated films are excellent. (CE) 
  • Born September 6, 1982 – María Zaragoza, 38.  Three short stories for us; novels, poetry, film scripts, graphic novels.  Post-human, anthology of Spanish SF authors.  Atheneum of Valladolid Award, Young Atheneum of Seville Novel Prize.  Part of Fernando Marías Amando’s storytelling collective “Children of Mary Shelley”; of “The Cabin” collective of mutant artists (painters, poets, writers, sculptors, photographers), Ciudad Real.  [JH]

(10b) BELATED BIRTHDAY. Worldcon 76 chair Kevin Roche turned 60 on September 15 — we wish him a cake-full of candles for the occasion!

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Thatababy calls it a “new Mary Worth” storyline. Daniel Dern says, “I had to convince myself I hadn’t dreamed it.”
  • Lio discovers what happens when horror movies take over your yard. 
  • Argyle Sweater carves a Pinocchio joke.

(12) CLAREMONT ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL. Marvel Comics will honor the extraordinary career of writer Chris Claremont in December with the Chris Claremont Anniversary Special.

For the past 50 years, Claremont has graced the Marvel Universe with his brilliant storytelling—creating and defining some of its most iconic heroes and building the framework for one of its most treasured franchises.

In the Chris Claremont Anniversary Special, the acclaimed writer returns to the world of the X-Men with a brand-new story. Dani Moonstar is drafted for a mission across time and space for an incredible psychic showdown against the Shadow King—joining forces with other characters created and defined by the pen of Chris Claremont! In this extra-sized milestone issue, Claremont will team up with a host of iconic artists including Brett Booth and reunite with his classic New Mutants collaborator, Bill Sienkiewicz.

…Chris Claremont’s influential run on X-Men changed the comic book landscape forever. As the architect behind the epic tapestry that makes up the world of mutants, Claremont’s contributions went far beyond the creation of characters but to the very themes, concepts, and allegories that are ingrained in the X-Men today. Claremont’s work catapulted the X-Men into unprecedented success with now classic stories such as Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past as well as series like New Mutants and Wolverine’s first solo series. In addition to his groundbreaking work on X-Men titles, Claremont also had memorable runs on books such as Ms. Marvel and Fantastic Four.

(13) SFF IN TIMES TO COME. In “Noah Hawley on ‘Fargo’ Season 4, His ‘Star Trek’ Film and ‘Lucy in the Sky’” at Variety, Hawley says that his Star Trek film would be a new cast, and “we’re not doing Kirk and we’re not doing Picard” but there would be some sort of connection to the original Star Trek series.  He also says that Lucy In The Sky was his “magical-realist astronaut movie.”

Just before “Fargo” returned to production in August, Noah Hawley — the writer who somehow adapted an eccentric and beloved Coen brothers film into one of the most decorated television series of the past decade — sent a letter to the show’s cast and crew. He wrote about the importance of safety. He wrote about mutual responsibility. He wrote about Tom Cruise.

“Someday in the not too distant future Tom Cruise will go to space,” the message began. “He will bring a film crew with him. He will bring a director and actors. They will shoot a film. Now space, as we know, is an airless vacuum where nothing can live. A hostile void where a suit breach or airlock malfunction can kill, where even the simplest tasks must be done methodically, deliberately. Astronauts train for years to prepare. They drill protocols and procedures into their heads. They know that surviving in space will require their full concentration. Now imagine doing all that AND making a movie.”

The “Fargo” crew is rather more earthbound, but Hawley likened its experience to that of Cruise, who is indeed planning a trip to the International Space Station to shoot an action movie. (It was reported in May that he will do this with the help, of course, of Elon Musk.) But before Tom Cruise ascends into space, the cast and crew of “Fargo” are gathering in Chicago to film the final two episodes of the show’s fourth season in a 13-day stretch — five months after being forced to break camp by the coronavirus pandemic.

(14) FIRE BELLS. LAist points out a local science landmark in jeopardy: “What We’ll Lose If The Mt. Wilson Observatory Burns”.

You may not have realized it, but sitting atop one of the highest points in the San Gabriel mountains, looming 5,700 feet over L.A., is arguably one of the world’s most important spots for scientific discovery: the Mount Wilson Observatory.

The 114-year-old site is covered in equipment that not only helped mankind discover the universe and cement Southern California as an astronomy hub, but still connects normal people to wonders beyond our own world.

Worryingly, the Bobcat Fire is charging right for it. Only 500 feet away as of Tuesday afternoon.

(15) GREAT PUMPKINS. Los Angeles County’s Descanso Gardens plans a “Pumpkin-Filled Halloween Event”We Like LA has the story.

Descanso Gardens has announced a month-long fall exhibit for those of you who get really into decorative gourd season. “Halloween at Descanso” is a socially distant, “pumpkin-filled extravaganza” that takes place October 1-31. 

The exhibit is suitable for all ages, so don’t worry about this Halloween event being too scary. Instead, expect a winding hay maze, a house built entirely out of pumpkins, a pumpkin arch that leads to a forest filled with pumpkin-headed scarecrows, and colorful pumpkin mandalas. The pathways that lead to the Hilltop Gardens, the Japanese Garden, and the main promenade will feature hand-carved jack-o-lantern boxes. 

(16) JEOPARDY! Andrew Porter says tonight’s Jeopardy! contestants struck out on this one.

Category: Summarizing the novel.

Answer: Utopia (not); I ain’t goin’ nowhere; the butler did it (in 1872).

No one got: What is Erewhon.

(17) PRESAGED BY ASIMOV. In the Washington Post article “School, but an ‘undead version’: Students, parents and teachers in Northern Virginia adjust to online learning”, Hannah Natanson interviewed middle school math teacher Jay Bradley, who thinks virtual teaching reminds him of the Asimov story “The Fun They Had.”

Margie went into the schoolroom…and the mechanical teacher was on and waiting for her,’ the passage (from Asimov) read,  ‘The screen was lit up, and it said, ‘Today’s arithmetic lesson is on the addition of proper fractions.  Please insert yesterday’s homework in the proper slot.’  Margie did so with a sigh.”

These days, Bradley–who teaches middle school in Fairfax County Public Schools–feels a lot like the ‘mechanical teacher.’  He spends ever morning huddled ina spare room in his Northern Virginia home staring at his computer screen. The monitor is filled with small rectangles:  Each one depicts an anonymous, identical silhouette.

(19) BORDER, BREED, NOR BIRTH. “Star children: can humans be fruitful and multiply off-planet?”The Space Review weeks the answer.

From his home in Cape Canaveral, Air Force pilot Alex Layendecker explained how he had been drawn to the study of sex and reproduction in space. “I had been immersed in the space environment in the Air Force, assigned to launch duty, and was simultaneously pursuing an M.A. in public health, and then at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, and I was looking for a dissertation topic,” he recalled. “I decided that sex and reproduction in space had not received the attention they deserved—if we’re serious about discussions of colonization, having babies in microgravity—on Mars or other outposts of the Earth, then more needs to be learned.” His general recommendation was that because of the squeamishness of NASA to study sex in space, a private nonprofit organization, or Astrosexological Research Institute, should be founded for this research critical to human settlement of outer space.

What were the prospects for space-based sex lives? Layendecker’s study of the literature yielded both good and bad news. Sex should be possible, even lively, but reproduction, critical for space colonization, could entail severe health consequences… 

(20) BE SEATED. In Two Chairs Talking Episode 36 – “Marrying the genre next door” — Perry Middlemiss and David Grigg talk about novels which blur the boundaries between genres: literary novels with strong elements of fantasy or science fiction. Call them “genre adjacent” fiction. And David interviews Matthew Hughes, author of the historical fiction novel “What the Wind Brings.”

(21) SHARP, POINTY. The final trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Antlers has dropped.

A small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, become entwined with a young student harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences.

[Thanks to Darrah Chavey, Daniel Dern, N.,  John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John Hertz, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Michael Toman, Gadi Evron, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ingvar.]

88 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/16/20 Let Us Pixelate It In Glorious Scrollovision

  1. (2) Hoping for a restful break and renewed return for Greg.

    (9) Mirror Dance! I don’t think I started reading the Virkosigan books until after MD existed, so I had several books to binge through before I had to wait like everyone else for the next one.

  2. Mirror Dance was the one that really convinced me the series was more than just good.

    Pre-pre-pre-fifth?

  3. (6) I was terribly disappointed when 1970 came and went with no robot vacuums scurrying around. Even now Roombas don’t quite measure up.

  4. @Jim Janney: On the other hand, nobody in the 1970s really predicted how much our cats would enjoy riding around on our first robotic vacuum cleaners! 🙂

  5. “Glorious Pixelcolor, Breathtaking Cinema Scroll, and Godstalkophonic Sound”

    @Xtifr: A miss by Heinlein, who had a cat in the book but missed that connection between Hired Girl and Petronius Arbiter

    Fifth?

  6. (10) Addendum for Peter Falk: Wings of Desire, in which he (as himself) not only gives career advice to an angel, but… well, you know.

    Rob Reiner in the Princess Bride reading was pretty clearly doing a Falk impersonation, and it was OK, but the replacement casting that really worked for me and made me weepy was not in that reading but in the home movie version— when Carl Reiner took that role at the end, with the adult Rob playing the kid.

  7. (1) All hail those who bring a long series to an actual end, not just a stop.

    (6) Am I a bad person for thinking “Door Into Summer… Japan… lolicon…”?

    (11)(a) That explains a LOT.

    (15) I like “We Like LA” for the obligatory seasonal McSweeney’s link.

    @Xtifr: There is no one with enough imagination to have predicted a cat wearing a shark costume riding a robot vacuum. Truth is stranger than fiction.

  8. (3) I’m not really interested in a “just tone-deaf” defense of the questionable bits of a book by someone with such an explicit record of transphobia.

    (9) I must respectfully decline to believe that it has been more than two decades since the publication of Mirror Dance.

  9. (9) I never saw this Mirror Dance cover art before, but how is it not a ripoff of the poster for Enemy Mine (the 1985 SF movie with Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr.)?

  10. Addendum: I see that I’m not the first to notice this; a commenter to a piece by Jo Walton about Bujold’s work at Tor.com did so back in 2012.

  11. (10) In addition to Forbidden Planet and The Twilight Zone, the thing I remember Anne Francis best for is Honey West.

    And my best friend in 8th grade was a huge Rocky Horror Picture Show fan and played the soundtrack tape all the time, so I also remember Anne Francis as a line from Science Fiction Double Feature.

  12. P J Evans: And they say as of this evening the fire has burned past on its way to more fuel in the west.

  13. Mike, I think the county fire department updates less often than they maybe should. But the cameras are worth checking. (The one on the solar telescope has been “down for maintenance” since early February.)

  14. [10] I am gratefully glad to report from the land of cheese and beer that the Princess Bride reading was to benefit the Wisconsin Democratic Party, not the Minnesota, .

  15. (19) “A Reconsideration of Anatomical Docking Maneuvers in a Zero Gravity Environment”–Diana Gallagher. Filk song from the late 1980s, on at least two old Off Centaur tapes.

  16. (10) Let’s not re-write history, okay? If you were to look at Lisa Tuttle’s award for Best New Writer, you’d see that it’s a John W. Campbell Award, not an Astounding Award. A better (and accurate) way of stating it would be that she won a John W. Campbell Award (which is now known as the Astounding Award) for Best New Writer.

  17. @ Rick Lynch

    Personally, I see nothing wrong in backfilling the name of the now-known-as-the Astounding Award for its old name from now on. It’s easier on everyone involved and anyone looking backwards should know or can find out.

  18. (1) Yay for good, long series getting proper endings!

    (9) Point of pedantry—Mirror Dance was actually the Vorkosigan Saga’s fourth Hugo, if only the third for a novel. (“The Mountains of Mourning” is really, really good!)

    (10) Happy birthday, Kurt!

    (14) The Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton had a close call with the Lightning Complex fires up here, but, after some heroic work by firefighters, survived. Here’s hoping that Mt. Wilson shares the same fate.

  19. I love this, but I can’t take credit for it. It was a suggestion from my iPad.

    Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home Depot

    I’m sure I could fix this, if only I weren’t…

  20. 1) Leviathan Falls! Slowly I turned, scroll by scroll, pixel by pixel…

    10) Rey also wrote The Stars: A New Way to See Them, aimed at a higher grade level than Find the Constellations.

    17) Shades of SEELE board meetings from Neon Genesis Evangelion, where the members almost always used 2001-esque monoliths as avatars.

    18) You might very well think so. I couldn’t possibly comment.

  21. Re. The Expanse: I have a hard time imagining how they’re going to wrap things up in only one more book, but if they say they are, I’m willing to believe them. And yes, I’m happy to know that another series will have an actual conclusion.

    @Rich Lynch: If anything, it would be re-writing history to insist that the award hasn’t been renamed!

  22. @gottacook: I don’t know the commenter. I think my fannish OCD got out of control last night, compelling me to provide a link when you mentioned an interesting comment. Sorry about that.

  23. (10) When the Campbell award was renamed to Astounding, some said “this is erasing Campbell” and they were denounced and told, “no it isn’t, we’re just changing it going forward”. But to say that someone who won a Campbell award won an Astounding award is actual erasure.

  24. (10a) Happy birthday Kurt! Secret Identity is still my favorite Superman story.

    (10b) I choose to believe that everything Peter Falk said in Wings of Desire was 100% true in real life. He was playing himself, right? So there you go.

  25. I saw LUCY IN THE SKY because I watch movies with astronauts in them. There wasn’t anything “magical-realist” about it. It was loosely based on the Lisa Nowak story except she headed west instead of east, she had her daughter with her and I don’t think there were any “adult diaper” scenes. Natalie Portman, who I think was an executive producer, tried to stretch herself with a Southern accent. There were some good training scenes although I don’t think they had NASA cooperation. I rate the film average, neither bad nor good.

  26. @bill:
    So if we’re playing the semantics game, should Wings’ Academy Award win in 1927 only be referred as the “Academy Award for Outstanding Picture” instead of “Best Picture”, or does it suddenly not matter in that scenario? Anybody who doesn’t call Casablanca’s win the “Outstanding Motion Picture” might be erasing history.

  27. P J Evans: And they say as of this evening the fire has burned past on its way to more fuel in the west.

    A lesson that observatories need to maintain robust firebreaks around their perimeter.

  28. (3) I’m not really interested in a “just tone-deaf” defense of the questionable bits of a book by someone with such an explicit record of transphobia.

    Who do you mean? Flood? Rowling? What comments have they made that are transphobic?

  29. @Lela E Buis

    Google is your friend. Or Duck Duck Go. Or Bing. Any search engine, really. I don’t really want to fill Mike’s comment section with quoted transphobia.

  30. @Lela
    It’s pretty hard when you’re in a forest on top of a mountain, and not very accessible by road. (That fire is mostly going north right now – they’re worried about people in Juniper Hills, on the desert side of the ridge.)

  31. @Lela E. Buis–If you don’t know what Rowling has said that’s transphobic, you’ve either been willfully avoiding it, or are determinedly refusing to acknowledge it. Im not going to waste my time or try Mike’s patience repeating here what you could easily find on Google, if you cared.

  32. (1) It’s nice to have a title, but a date less vague than 2021 would have been nice, too. Not that I’m complaining, I can name all too many series that have lacked penultimate or ultimate releases for decades. Given that these guys have been pretty consistent at around a book a year, I wasn’t particularly concerned. But an announcement like this, especially after a big announcement that there will be an announcement, is kind of a wet firecracker. Oh well.

  33. (3) The single biggest thing that changed my attitude on trans folks was getting out and meeting trans folks. I hate words like homophobia or transphobia when the real problem for most is simple homo-ignorance or trans-ignorance. I’ve seen many folks modify their stance on LGBT issues shortly after their own family members come out to them.

  34. (5) I’d watch a Japanese film adaptation of “Door Into Summer.”

    If it’s at all successful Hollywood will jump in with a US remake, and one that will undoubtedly be inferior. Not that I don’t have faith in Hollywood . . . but sadly, but good remakes like La Cage Aux Folles into The Bird Cage are the exception, not the rule. And for the record, I still wish they’d put in the “walk like John Wayne” scene.

  35. (16) Even if you don’t care for their squash exhibit, any afternoon at Descanso Gardens is time well-spent.

  36. Xtifr wrote “I have a hard time imagining how they’re going to wrap things up in only one more book, but if they say they are, I’m willing to believe them.”
    I’d be shocked if they were able to tie up every loose end, and will frankly be quite happy if they tie up most of the character’s fates but leave a lot of the backstory unexplained.

    Jeff Smith wrote “Ten Thousand Light Years from Home Depot” which sounds very much like the question to a Jeopardy answer.

    So Kurt B and Mike Mignola were both born On September 16, 1960. I’d like to say that explains a lot, but it doesnt.

    In re all the west coast wildfires: Yesterday afternoon and into last night the skies were kind of oddly murky, reminding me of fire season when we lived in California. I checked, and according to the local weather pundits, here in southern Michigan we’re getting a bit of smoke and hazy skies from the fires out west. For the geographically challenged, we’re 2,300 miles east of the Pacific.

  37. Google is your friend. Or Duck Duck Go. Or Bing. Any search engine, really. I don’t really want to fill Mike’s comment section with quoted transphobia.

    Actually, I already did a (admittedly cursory) search and everything I came up with was either 1) vague reports of her transphobia or 2) fairly positive comments from her on trans persons. Could you point me to some specifics?

  38. 10) Peter Falk also was in Wings of Desire in 1987. It’s got to be a rare treat to play a version of yourself in a fantasy film.

  39. One might note that Rowling seems be utterly incapable of accepting any suggestion that she might be transphobic. For example, she returned an award because she could not accept being called out on her transphobia.

    She also tweeted her love for Stephen King, but deleted that tweet after Stephen King tweeted “Trans women are women”.

    This medium post goes through and rather dissects Rowling’s blog post.

  40. @N
    There are so many differences (motives, what is being recognized, what is being unmemorialized, the reasons for changing names, the way by which renaming happened, etc.) between “Outstanding Picture” -> “Best Picture” and “Campbell Award” -> “Astounding Award” that, if you don’t already recognize these differences, then we don’t have enough common ground to usefully discuss it (but I suspect that you are in fact aware of these differences, and are willfully ignoring them).

  41. 9) As I recall “Mother of Storms” is also an interesting novel and I mean to reread it one of these days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.