Pixel Scroll 9/19/20 Dudley Pixel And His No-Fans Club

(1) VIRTUAL BENEFITS. An A.V. Club roundtable agrees, “For disabled and other marginalized fans, online events aren’t a compromise—they’re a lifeline”.

[Shannon Miller] …It made me think of all my fellow disabled NCTzens who experience similar barriers with live performances. How many got to see their first NCT 127 concert (or live-ish K-pop performance, in general) because of this? How many fans with hearing loss were relieved to see the lyrics flash in time to the music, as brief as it may have been? To be clear, this performance was hardly the gold standard of accessibility—things like proper, consistent closed captioning still proved to be a challenge. But I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a potential watershed moment for the music and touring industries. With some fine-tuning and proper consultation with disabled advocates, maybe there’s a shot for more acts to adopt this method of performance on a wider scale. Would I have liked for this pivotal industry change to come at the hands of literally anything other than a pandemic? Absolutely, and I certainly don’t want to see the end of live performances. But as we prepare for a long-gestating (if not permanent, for some) change in how we navigate the world, I think it’s interesting to consider.

(2) HAP AND LEONARD, EVOLVED. In “The Evolution Of Joe Lansdale’s Hapand Leonard” on CrimeReads, Scott Montgomery profiles Joe R. Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard  crime fiction series partnering “East Teas liberal redneck” Hap Collins with “gay, black, republican, and lethal” Leonard Pine.

Montgomery: Do you think when you look at a subject in a genre novel it allows you to do it differently?

Lansdale: With genre you have that hard driving engine of a story to move those ideas forward. Literary fiction often tackles those subjects and genre rarely does it, but that is mainly because the idea of what genre fiction is. In the eighties, I was in a group of writers that mixed the two. A large percentage of what I write is driven by social issues.

Montgomery: What makes Hap and Leonard a good vehicle to go through these issues?

Lansdale: The characters seem simple, but they’re not. Both Michael K. Williams and James Purefoy find more layers when they’re playing them. They’re not always absolutely consistent. They’re these everyday working class guys, like I was and I still think of myself as a blue collar writer at least from a class perspective. They prove that all southerners don’t fit the stereotype and are contradictory in a lot of ways. One is black and one’s white, one is black and gay. Hap, I don’t know if he was really a hippie, works against those ideals to gets justice. I don’t think they really completely succeed. They keep trying to do the right thing and it often leads to Hap questioning his morals. And both of them have killed people and so it’s a very interesting contrast. You read about some horrible person and you think that’s someone for the devil, then you read about their circumstances then you think maybe they’re not for the devil. So they’re dealing with all that and trying to pay the bills.

(3) OUT OF THE BOTTLE. In the Yahoo! Entertainment story “‘I Dream of Jeannie’ at 55: How the popular sitcom captured ‘women’s increasing restlessness'”, Rachel Shewfelt interviews University of Michigan communications professor Susan J. Douglas, who says that I Dream of Jeannie, first broadcast in September 1965, navigated “between these pre-feminist rumblings and still very much wanting to represent women in traditional roles.”

Jeannie hit American screens not long after publication of Betty Friedan’s groundbreaking book The Feminine Mystique, which noted the many ways that women — as critics have since acknowledged, a very specific type of white, middle-class women — were shut out of the world. They were, for example, unable to obtain a credit card without a man as a co-signer and many jobs were off limits to them. They were encouraged and expected to abandon their own hopes and dreams in exchange for a life dedicated solely to taking care of their families. And they were supposed to wear heels, lipstick and a big smile while doing it. The nonfiction page-turner became a bestseller and helped spark the feminist movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

I Dream of Jeannie also came along on the heels of Bewitched, a sitcom about a witch who marries an ordinary man and, much to his dismay, has the ability to make magic with the twitch of her nose. That show had been a big hit with audiences, which was no surprise considering what was happening at the time.

(4) KENT FAMLY REUNION. “Smallville cast set to reunite for virtual New York Comic-Con” promises Yahoo! News.

Smallville may have ended in 2011, but thanks to its huge popularity and The CW’s Arrowverse – Supergirl, in particular – the DC-inspired outing has never really left fans’ hearts. So it’s pretty exciting that some of the cast will be reuniting for a panel at New York Comic Con later this year.

To commemorate the fact that it’s been almost 20 years since the Superman series premiered, NYFF is set to host Davis Bloome actor Sam Witwer, Erica Durance (who played Lois Lane), Laura Vandervoort (who starred as Clark Kent’s Kryptonian cousin Kara), Lex Luthor’s Michael Rosenbaum and the Man of Steel himself Tom Welling, as they look back on their time on the show.

(5) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • September 1995 – Twenty-five years ago, Minneapolis based Boiled in Lead band released their sixth album, Songs from the Gypsy. It was based upon The Gypsy novel Steve Brust and Megan Lindholm wrote. This 1992 urban fantasy novel was adapted into a song cycle based on a Hungarian folk tale for this recording. The songs were written largely by Stemple, vocalist here, and his fellow Cats Laughing member Steven Brust, the latter being steeped in Hungarian myth and legend.  It would have a multimedia format including both the music and the full text of the novel, as well as eighty short sound clips of songs referenced in the novel’s text. Neither the novel nor the music is currently available in a digital format. 

(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born September 19, 1922 – Damon Knight.  Sarcasm is in anger, satire is with love; was he a satirist?  He was so brilliant we never ask.  His “Unite or Fie!” in Fanfare sparked the N3F (Nat’l Fantasy Fan Fed’n), which he scorned; he joined the Futurians, but said he always wanted to be a pro.  A dozen novels, a hundred shorter stories; one Hugo for reviewing, a Retro-Hugo for a story so sour it’s superb; never a Nebula, though he founded SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) their administrator – later saying SFWA too was a mistake.  Pilgrim Award, Pro Guest of Honor (with wife Kate Wilhelm) at Noreascon Two the 38th Worldcon, SFWA Grand Master.  (Died 2002) [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1928 Adam West. Best known as Batman on that classic Sixties series, he also a short role in 1964’s Robinson Crusoe on Mars as Colonel Dan McReady. He last played the role of of Batman by voicing him in two animated films, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs. Two-Face. He also played The Gray Ghost in an episode of the Kevin Conroy voiced B:TAS, “Beware the Gray Ghost”. (Died 2017.) (CE)
  • Born September 19, 1933 David McCallum, 87. His longest running, though not genre, role is pathologist  Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS where he appeared in every episode of the first fifteen seasons. Genre wise, he was Illya Nickovitch Kuryakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and the British series Sapphire & Steel where he was Steel and Joanna Lumley was Sapphire.  He play the lead he played in a short-lived U.S. version of The Invisible Man. He was Dr. Vance Hendricks on Babylon 5’s “Infection” episode.  (CE) 
  • Born September 19, 1935 – Sheena Porter, 85.  Carnegie Medal for Nordy Bank, her novel for us; here is Annette Macarthur-Onslaw’s cover.  Eight other novels; all addressed to children, a great question in fantasy.  Librarian; landscapist; lives in Ludlow.  [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1947 – Robert LoGrippo, 73.  A dozen covers, a few interiors, for us; also The New York Times Sunday Magazine and Celestial Seasonings Tea.  Here is The Three Impostors.  Here is The Singer Enigma.  I’m in awe of The Night Land; his cover is a wonder, but I think it must illustrate something else, you’ll have to find it without me.  [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1947 Tanith Lee. I hadn’t realized that she wrote more than ninety novels and three hundred short stories in her career. She even wrote two of the Blake’s 7 episodes as well. I am more fond of her work for children such as The Dragon Hoard and The Unicorn Series than I was of her adult work. (Died 2015.) (CE)
  • Born September 19, 1948 – George “Lan” Laskowski.  He came to cons in a coonskin cap; his fanzine being Lan’s Lantern, he wore T-shirts with DC Comics’ Green Lantern logograph.  The Lantern won two Hugos; it was famed for special issues appreciating particular pros.  James Gunn praised Lan’s vigor; Mike Resnick, who was both pro and fan, praised Lan’s decency.  Fan Guest of Honor at Marcon XVIII, MileHiCon 26, Minicon 24; Listener Guest of Honor at 11th Ohio Valley Filk Fest.  (Died 1999) [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1952 – Guy Consolmagno, Ph.D., S.J., 68.  After his doctorate, served in the Peace Corps; entered the Society of Jesus, took vows; active friend of the SF community; Director of the Vatican Observatory.  Frequent Guest of Honor at our conventions, e.g. Boskone 44, Minicon 52, the 12th NASFiC (N. America SF Con, since 1975 held when the Worldcon is overseas).  Eight books.  Carl Sagan Medal.  It would be unlike him to say whether he thinks science needs religion, but he has often said religion needs science.  [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1952 Laurie R. King, 68. She’s on the Birthday Honors list for the Mary Russell series of historical mysteries, featuring Sherlock Holmes as her mentor and later partner. Hey it’s at least genre adjacent.  She’s also written at least one genre novel, Califia’s Daughters. (CE) 
  • Born September 19, 1960 – Randy Byers.  Hugo (with Geri Sullivan, Lee Hoffman) for Science Fiction Five-Yearly, LeeH’s fanzine published on time, with various co-editors, for sixty years.  Eight FAAn (Fan Activity Achievement) Awards.  TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund) delegate, his report Alternative Pants.  Chaired Corflu 26 (fanziners’ con; corflu = mimeograph correction fluid, long indispensable), Guest of Honor at C34.  Co-editor (with Andy Hooper, carl juarez) of Chunga.  Tribute zine after his death, Thy Life’s a Miracle.  Our Gracious Host’s appreciation here, mine here.  (Died 2017) [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1972 N. K. Jemisin, 48. Her most excellent Broken Earth series has made her the only author to have won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in three consecutive years. Her “Non-Zero Probabilities” was a finalist for the Hugo Best Short Story Award losing out to Will McIntosh‘s “Bridesicle.” “Emergency Skin,” I’m pleased to note, won the Best Novelette Hugo at CoNZealand this year. Yeah, I voted for it. (CE) 
  • Born September 19, 1987 Danielle Panabaker, 33. She’s best known as Caitlin Snow aka Killer Frost in the Arrowverse where she’s been on FlashSupergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. Her first genre role was as Layla Williams in Sky High, and she’s in Friday the 13thTime Lapse and both the Medium and Grimm series. (CE) 

(7) COMICS SECTION.

(8) OOPS. H&I points out “10 Minor Goofs You Never Noticed In ‘Star Trek'”.

Spock had the ultimate analytical mind. But even a Vulcan can overlook some minor details. Or, to be fair, the Vulcan’s creators can….

Still, some errors inevitably made it onto the screen. There was no hiding the stunt doubles with computer technology, and the shadow of the boom microphone appears in too many shots to list here. Here are 10 of our favorite minor mistakes. In a way, they somehow make the entire series more impressive, once you realize the materials they were working with.

For example —

5. SHOULDN’T YOU BE MEDITATING, SPOCK?

“Amok Time” 

In the middle of this classic season two opener, Spock enters a meditative state called plak tow. We see close up shots of him deep in the trance, with his hands clutched before his face as his eyes practically roll back into his skull. However, after T’Pring chooses Kirk as her champion, there is a cut to a wide shot. In the background, you can see Leonard Nimoy waiting around with his hands behind his back.

(9) KEEP THE LID ON. Wonder which sci-fi movie/program this will show-up in first? “This $199 acrylic helmet with HEPA filters powered by fans designed to wear instead of a mask is being compared to sci-fi movies” says Yahoo! News.

…MicroClimate seems to be marketing itself to young, tech-savvy professionals, with copy reading “from Uber to airline, AIR by MicroClimate™ will keep you comfortable the whole trip,” and promotional photos of wearers in suits.

(10) TODAY’S 10,000. I don’t remember running across this highly scientific organization before: Australian Research & Space Exploration. All kinds of merchandise bearing their logo ready to order. And here’s a page devoted to telling you about Australia’s unique position.

[Thanks to John Hertz, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Lise Andreasen, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

75 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/19/20 Dudley Pixel And His No-Fans Club

  1. Another lover of the Island Stallion, here. My two main reading loves were anything sf/f, and anything with horse. In The Island Stallion Races, my two reading loves came together.

    Warning: Do not attempt to go back to those books for a nostalgia read. In memory, they <are perfect and wonderful. In real life, the Suck Fairy got them, and bad.

    I think I discovered The Wonderful Trip to the Mushroom Planet when I was a bit past the intended reading for it, but I didn’t hold that against it.

    I’m not sure exactly when I found Andre Norton, but fairly young, and she joined Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein as one of my must-reads. And it’s fair to say that she scratched an itch that none of the Big Three ever did, for me.

  2. I’m also reasonably sure that I read The Lord of The Rings early on in the illicit American printing. That’s be early Seventies. Now that was fascinating reading.

    Now listening to: Lavie Tidhar’s The Great Game, book three of The Bookman trilogy.

  3. I’m impressed that anyone can come up with these “my first” memories, because for me, my childhood is just like a blur of books. And of course people have different ideas about how to define fantasy so by some definitions any of a million children’s books could be “my first” (the Oz books maybe more likely than others, but I don’t really know). But I do know one thing: the first short story I read that was “science fiction” in the sense of having space travel in it was almost certainly the Stephen King SF-horror story “I Am the Doorway”, in Night Shift. That anthology was published in paperback in 1978, so I couldn’t have been younger than five, but based on the house I was living in when I read it, I couldn’t have been older than six or seven. I wouldn’t really say that reading Night Shift at age six or seven is a great idea, it’s probably one of the worst things a precocious reader could do, but…….. I kind of loved it.

  4. My first SFF book was a children’s picture book called “The Stone Age Kids Discover America” by Bertil Almquist, published in 1962. (I know the details because I still have it, pics if people are interested.) I’d guess it was either alternate (pre)history or perhaps Woodpunk. ? The stone age family built all sorts of modern inventions out of wood – including a jet airplane out of a sequoia tree in order to fly home.

    After that, it was Narnia, Chronicles of Prydain and The Hobbit, and on to my father’s SF bookshelf of mostly short story collections which were easier on young me to get through; although it also had, and I read, Heinlein juveniles, the LOTR trilogy and Asimov novels.

  5. I’m not sure about fantasy, since so many kid’s books qualify, but the first science fiction I read was Miss Pickerel Goes to Mars. Which I distinctly remember because my parents made such a big deal about how I was finally reading sf! 🙂

    My first grown-up SFF was something by Andre Norton which I’ve forgotten the name of, but it had wolverines, and I chose it because it had an animal on the cover. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t that much more difficult that the juveniles I’d been reading, and I quickly dove head first into the rest of my parents’ library.

  6. @Andrew (not Werdna): I remember Finches’ Fabulous Furnace!

    And I suppose technically my FIRST was an epic masterpiece, now lost to the ages, called “My Trip to Mars”, written and illustrated by me sometime in first grade.

    (I remember Mom trying to explain that Martians were traditionally depicted as green, but mine were red because, well, red planet and all.)

  7. @Lis Cary,
    I read Island Stallion to my kids. It was painful for me, but the idea of a hidden valley inside the island still seemed cool to the kids. Mushroom Planet, which I found in a used bookshop while on vacation in Maine, went over better and had a brief period of frequent rereads before they outgrew it.

    Heinlein was early for me (why did the school librarian shelve Friday next to Red Planet?), but I think Asimov was earlier. Pebble in the Sky may have been my first–or maybe John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids.

  8. At this distance in time I’m just making an educated guess, but it was probably Asimov’s robot stories – my mother and oldest brother were both SF fans, so there were quite a few SF books around the house. Ray Bradbury was certainly another very early discovery, as was Andre Norton; Clarke and Heinlein would have been just a little bit later.

  9. I’m also reasonably sure that I read The Lord of The Rings early on in the illicit American printing. That’s be early Seventies. Now that was fascinating reading.

    Cat – Do you mean that, despite the authorized Ballantine paperback edition of 1965, the edition you happened to read in the early 1970s was the unauthorized Ace one?

    My dad got me the Ballantine box set of mass-market paperbacks plus The Hobbit, and his knowledge of them was such that, until he bought them, he thought the title The Lord of the Rings was coequal with the others. My other 12-year-old reading was the usual Heinlein juveniles – back when they were available only as hardcovers in libraries – plus an early Silverberg collection, The Calibrated Alligator, which contained the rather funny story “MUgwump 4,” and Clarke’s novel of 2001, a must because I’d seen the movie first-run. I also read very early Jack Vance’s To Live Forever (known more lately as Clarges), another Ballantine paperback.

  10. I read Danny Dunn and The Mushroom planet books and assorted other SFFnal children books from before I really have memories, but the first SF story that really sent my socks orbiting with sensa-wunder was “A Pail of Air”, by Leiber. That’s the first time I remember actually going back to look at and REMEMBER the name of the author. I was, I dunno, seven? Eight?

  11. gottacook asks Cat – Do you mean that, despite the authorized Ballantine paperback edition of 1965, the edition you happened to read in the early 1970s was the unauthorized Ace one?

    If I’m remembering the artwork on the covers correctly, yes. I think they came from a local library at the time. I didn’t read the trilogy again as another twenty years as I’ve always liked The Hobbit more.

    Now playing: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” live

  12. I’m guessing my first sf was a Tom Swift, Jr., book. I read a lot of those.

    Anyone else here read the wonderful David and the Phoenix by Eugene Ormondroyd? A tough ending for a kid to take, but I adored that book. In college, a friend found a copy for me so I own it again. When I read it in college it was still good, so with luck the Suck Fairy hasn’t found it yet.

  13. I am reasonably sure my first SF novel was one of the Heinlein juveniles. I’m not sure which one, but I read them all.

    My first adult SF novel was definitely Clarke’s Rendezvous With Rama, which I more or less stole from my mother from her pile of Christmas presents.

  14. The earliest “novel” I remember reading on my own was “The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald”. (The idea of a chapter book was new enough to me that when I looked at the table of contents, I went to the chapter with the most interesting-sounding title, only realizing later that it continued the story told in earlier chapters.) It’s not really SFF, but I suppose you could call it genre-adjacent, in that it does have inventions and a supposedly haunted house.

    Other SFF books I remember reading in early grades include “The Space Ship Returns to the Apple Tree” (from the same Slobodkin series that’s been mentioned above a few times– it’s not the first book in the series, but it was the one that was in my elementary school classroom), and “A Wrinkle in Time”, which has also been mentioned above. I found out about “A Wrinkle in Time” from Children’s Digest, which published an excerpt from the book. That’s also the magazine that introduced me to “The Hobbit” when it published the “Riddles in the Dark” chapter as an illustrated two-part serial. It took me a little while to get to reading the whole book– the number of unillustrated pages in the actual book was at first daunting at my age– but eventually I read it and went on to the Lord of the Rings some time afterwards.

  15. First SF? A box set of Heinlein juvies. Lessee, Citizen of the Galaxy, The Starbeast, Tunnel In The Sky, Have Spacesuit Will Travel and Red Planet.

    I read the words off the pages of those. Some more than others (Citizen of the Galaxy, Tunnel In The Sky, Have Spacesuit Will Travel).

    Then an aunt and uncle gave me Uller Uprising that same Christmas. I read that one repeatedly up into my teens.

  16. This thread inspired me to get up to the top of the cabinet where I have my books from childhood kept and it turns out I still have some of my Dad’s SF books I read as a child (and apparently stole for my own book collection – sorry, Dad!). Some of the ones I found are: SFWA’s The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume 1 (1970); Tales of Time and Space from 1972, I think; Way Out, edited by Roger Elwood, 1973; and Earthman, Come Home by James Blish, 1955.

    I also read The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald but I remember going all in on Encyclopedia Brown and Hitchcock’s Three Investigators. They’re mysteries rather than SFF, but I also have a plethora of kid’s books with ghosts/magic, etc. I remember loving The Ghosts by Antonia Barber, for example. And there was one where a ghost cat helped a girl solve a mystery in a museum, but I can’t seem to find it. It would be easier if I could remember the name of it, but alas…

  17. @Nickp–

    @Lis Carey,
    I read Island Stallion to my kids. It was painful for me, but the idea of a hidden valley inside the island still seemed cool to the kids.

    Oh, yeah, I would never say don’t give those books to kids! Especially (cough, cough), girls of the horse-crazy age. They’re wonderful–for kids of the right age.

    And a marvelous example of books being fun, engaging, downright inspirational for kids of the right age, and unreadable for adults. I salute your fortitude and dedication in reading Island Stallion to your kids.

    Heinlein was early for me (why did the school librarian shelve Friday next to Red Planet?),…

    Two theories:
    1. Library funding was tight enough that they did no original cataloging that they didn’t need to, and didn’t check the decision made by whoever they bought cataloging from on putting Friday with all the other Heinlein, so much of which was by the standards of the day unexceptionable for tween/younger teen readers.
    2. They did do cataloging in-house, but nobody on staff was really an sf reader, and didn’t realize that Friday is, um, not one of the Heinlein juveniles.

  18. @Joe H: Glad to meet another Furnace fan. My draft Star Trek episode, written on the backs of a page a day calendar is likewise lost to history.

  19. As a kid in the mid-1960s,I think I read some things like the Slobodkin, Danny Dunn, Mushroom Planet, etc. and then by the age of 8 or 9 I was reading Narnia, the Andrew Lang Fairy Books, and various “juveniles” and anthologies in the children’s section of the local library. A friend had a couple of Donald A. Wollheim ‘60s kids’ books about teenage astronauts that I read as well. Tom Swift Jr. somewhere in there. I don’t believe I got to Heinlein until after reading a number of Andre Norton novels, including “Star Rangers” and “The Stars Are Ours!”, and some 1950s Winston books. In particular I remember “Rocket Jockey” by Philip St. John (a Del Rey pseudonym I believe) and a generation ship story called “The Star Seekers” by Milton Lesser, both of which I’ve reread in recent years. Some time around then I actually purchased a copy of “Earth’s Last Citadel” by Kuttner and Moore, which I still have, probably the first “adult” sf book I bought, unless you count Tarzan, which I was also reading around the same time.

  20. My first was an anthology called Tales of Time and Space. It was an odd little mix of stories pulled from the pulps. I remember being confused by the editor’s use of the word “hero” to mean “protagonist”, something I’d never run across before — to me, “hero” was someone like Superman or Batman. I still have it.

  21. Also, not my first, but I’d be very, very remiss in not mentioning D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths and also their Norse Gods and Giants (since retitled D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths, much to my dismay). I had those out from the public library about a million times back in the day.

  22. Pretty sure the first two chapter books I read were Have Space Suit – Will Travel and Rocket Ship Galileo. Not sure which order. This would have been third grade, from the school library. Oddly enough, I was a heavy user of school libraries from the ground up except for eighth grade, when I hardly went in the room at all, and second grade, which I cannot ever remember going to the library during.

  23. Do Dr. Suess’s books count as fantasy? The Mushroom Planet books, the Oz books, Miss Pickerell all came pretty early. The Narnia books, A Wrinkle in Time, The Gammage Cup too. First adult SF would be whatever was in If and Galaxy in the summer of 1962 – we had moved to Pomona CA and my parent’s bedroom was the only well-airconditioned room in the house, so on hot afternoons the whole family might be in there. My parents encouraged us to read or read to the younger ones; I started to look at the magazines my father subscribed to.

  24. @rcade: Thanks for finding that! Wow, that series was older than I thought–the first book was published in 1952.

  25. The earliest books I remember were the ones I checked out when I biked to the Ventura library on my own: Norton’s Jargoon Pard, and Heinlein’s The Star Beast. I’m certain I read SF before: we had a Tom Swift novel hanging around, and I’m pretty sure I read others, given that my mother had to be called to school to help remove all the overdue library books from my desk. The teacher noticed when the lid wouldn’t go all the way down.

    In fact, I dont remember which books gave me the ideas about traveling between parallel dimensions, but it was definitely before age 10, because when we moved to Ventura from my childhood home, I was certain I had slipped between dimensions into one where things had gone all wrong. It took me years to shake that idea.

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