Pixel Scroll 9/24/19 Scroll If You Must This Old Great Head, But Dare Not Say Aught Bad About Cheesecake

(1) LE GUIN FELLOWSHIP. Shelley Streeby is the 2019 winner of the Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship sponsored by UO Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Oregon. [Via Locus Online.]

The intention of the Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship is to encourage research within collections in the area of feminist science fiction. The UO Libraries Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) houses the papers of authors Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, James Tiptree, Jr., Kate Wilhelm, Suzette Haden Elgin, Sally Miller Gearhart, Kate Elliot, Molly Gloss, Laurie Marks, and Jessica Salmonson, along with Damon Knight…

This award supports travel for the purpose of research on, and work with, the papers of feminist science fiction authors housed in SCUA. These short-term research fellowships are open to undergraduates, master’s and doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars, college and university faculty at every rank, and independent scholars working in feminist science fiction. In 2019, $2,000 will be awarded to conduct research within these collections.

(2) FOR THE COOKIE MONSTER WHO LIVES WITH YOU. Bustle tells how Trader Joe’s Haunted House Chocolate Cookie Kit bridges the holidays.

Just in case you missed it, all of Trader Joe’s Halloween and pumpkin products have officially hit shelves for 2019, so autumn is finally in full delicious swing. Joining all of our spooky favorites in this year’s lineup is the Trader Joe’s Haunted House Chocolate Cookie Kit, a crowd-pleaser and returner from last year that will tide you over until gingerbread house season finally arrives. (Although this is arguably much better — what gingerbread house can also boast that it’s haunted?)

As usual, Joe is nothing if not prepared — the kit comes ready with everything your spooky little HGTV-loving heart desires. It contains six different chocolate cookie pieces to make up the house, plus an extra cookie ghost for spooky ambiance.

(3) BAD CHECK TREK. John G. Hertzler, who played Martok on Star Trek: Deep Space 9, has written a Facebook post about his bad experience with Jerry Silber of NE Trek Con in Albany, NY in 2016.

…Just as he did with Aron [Eisenberg] and Bob [O’Reilly], at the conclusion of the convention, Mr. Silber looked me straight in the eye and handed me a bad check that he not only failed to write a number that agreed with the alphabetical amount but he post dated it for nearly a week in the future. He knew what he was doing! I didn’t notice because I trusted him. Bob trusted him. Aron trusted him. Mike Friedman trusted him. Garrett Wang, Max Grodenchik, Chris Abbott trusted him. All were handed bad checks. All were stiffed at the end of the weekend during which we all gave 110% of our ability to entertain and inspire the fans of Star Trek. Aron gave perhaps a little more…like 150%…but he always did. It’s not the money….it’s the betrayal of trust and then the dishonesty. Because I live in New York state, it was fairly simple for me to sue Mr. Silber in small claims court to make good on his check. The judge listened to both sides of the issue and found in my favor in approximately 5 minutes. A judgement was made against Mr. Silber that would follow him about for 20 years or until paid. In two days, it was paid. Somehow he found the money! That was great for me but there were my friends and colleagues who were still left with nothing….

(4) SUPERSTINKERS. James Davis Nicoll makes it sound like you want to be careful not to create any gaps in your urban ecology, because who knows what will move into it: “The Care and Feeding of Supervillains” at Tor.com.

…After all, it’s a lot easier to track down people in bright, garish costumes whose mental quirks compel them to leave riddles, jokes, maps, and large billboards hinting at crimes to come. This is the moment where our roof-runner should stop and think.

Mishandling these eccentrics means the difference between living somewhere like the Silver Age Central City, where rogues were willing to follow rules of engagement, or living somewhere more like the Punisher’s New York, where every encounter is going to end with a corpse….

(5) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • September 24, 1956 — The world’s first transatlantic telephone cable, from Clarenville, Newfoundland, to Oban, Scotland, began operation.
  • September 24, 1995Space: Above and Beyond with debut the first two episodes, “Pilot” and “Omega Squadron” airing as a single film. It would last a single season.
  • September 24, 2007 — The Journeyman series debuted. Marketed as a “time travel science fiction romance” series, NBC didn’t renew it after the run of its first thirteen episodes was done.
  • Septembr 24, 2009 FlashForward first aired.  Adapted for television by Brannon Braga and David S. Goyer, it was based on the novel Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer. It lasted for one season. 
  • September 24, 2013 — Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. first aired on the ABC Network.  Six seasons later, it’s still going strong. 

(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 24, 1922 Bert Gordon, 97. Film director most famous for such science fiction and horror films as The Amazing Colossal ManVillage of the Giants and The Food of the Gods (based of course on the H.G. Wells’ novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth).  His nickname “Mister B.I.G.” was a reference both to his initials and to his preference for directing movies featuring super-sized creatures.
  • Born September 24, 1930 Jack Gaughan. Artist and illustrator who won the Hugo several times including once for Best Professional Artist and Best Fan Artist in the same year. Most of his from 1970 onward was for Ace and DAW. He illustrated the covers and hand-lettered title pages for the unauthorized first paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings which Ace released in 1965. (Died 1985.)
  • Born September 24, 1934 John Brunner. Favorite works? The Shockwave Rider, the Hugo Award winning Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up. That was easy. What’s your favorite works by him? (Died 1995.)
  • Born September 24, 1936 —  Jim Henson. As much as I love The Muppet Show, I think The Storyteller is his best work. That’s not to overlook Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal which are also excellent.  (Died 1990.)
  • Born September 24, 1945 Ian Stewart, 74. Mathematician and writer. He makes the Birthday Honors for the four volumes in The Science of Discworld series he wrote with Jack Cohen and Terry Pratchett. Each segment of the book alternates between the usually absurd Discworld story and serious scientific exposition. He did write two novels with Jack Cohen, Wheelers and Heaven
  • Born September 24, 1951 David Banks, 68. During the Eighties, he was the Cyberleader on Doctor Who in all stories featuring the Cybermen — Earthshock, The Five Doctors, Attack of the Cybermen and Silver Nemesis. In 1989, he played the part of Karl the Mercenary in the Doctor Who: The Ultimate Adventure stage play. There were two performances where he appeared as The Doctor as he replaced Jon Pertwee who had fallen ill.
  • Born September 24, 1957 Brad Bird, 62. Animator, director, screenwriter, producer, and occasionally even a voice actor whom I’m going praise directing for The Iron Giant, The IncrediblesIncredibles 2 and Tomorrowland. He’s the voice of Edna Mode in both the Incredibles films. 
  • Born September 24, 1965 Richard K. Morgan, 54. The Takeshi Kovacs novels are an awesome series  which is why I haven’t watch the video series. His fantasy series, A Land Fit For Heroes, is on my TBR, well, my To Be Listened To pile now. 
  • Born September 24, 1979 Justin Bruening, 40. Seriously who really thought did we needed a reboot of the Knight Rider series? I know it was one where he played Mike Traceur, the son of character Michael Knight, but still… it lasted a pilot film plus eighteen episodes. He went one to to cast as Benjamin Price in  Ravenswood, a supernatural drama that got cancelled after one season. And intriguingly he was cast as Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman, a never-broadcast television pilot. 

(7) COMICS SECTION.

  • Maria Scrivan delivers a Star Wars chicken joke.
  • The Flying McCoys matches up Bigfoot with another well-known reference and winds up with a pretty funny cartoon.

(8) SCI-FI STANDBY. Titan Comics is reissuing the first two years of adventures from the iconic, British classic Dan Dare written and drawn by David Motton and Keith Watson — reprinted for the first time ever.

(9) HARD-WORKING BIDDER. Hampus Eckerman was amazed at what he received from the Glasgow in 2024 bid chair: “They’re sending out handwritten letters and pins!!”

(10) NO MATTER WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD. “Cats are just as loyal to their owners as dogs, study finds” – an article in the Independent.

…Dr Kristyn Vitale, lead author of the study, said: “Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof.

“There’s long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave in this way but the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security.”

Vitale continued: “Your cat is depending on you to feel secure when they are stressed.”

For the study, the team of researchers replicated situation tests that were originally designed in the 1970s to help evaluate the parent-infant bond.

But, instead of parents and infants, the scientists tested the relationship between 108 cats – including 70 kittens and 38 adult felines – and their owners.

(11) REPRESENTATION CONTROVERSY. In the Washington Post, Lindsey Beyer says that there is a conflict between Autism Speaks and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network over the character of Julia, an autistic character who has been part of the Muppet cast since 2017. “How a ‘Sesame Street’ Muppet became embroiled in a controversy over autism”.

… An autistic “Sesame Street” Muppet is caught in a conflict between the most prominent autism organization in the United States advocating for early intervention, and autistic adults who see the condition as a difference, not a disease needing to be cured….

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), an organization run by and for autistic people, announced it had cut ties with “Sesame Street” after the children’s program partnered with Autism Speaks to make the Muppet the face of a public service campaign encouraging early screening and diagnosis of autism. ASAN has accused Autism Speaks of using “language of acceptance and understanding to push resources that further stigmatize and treat autistic people as burdens on our families.” It contends that resource materials from Autism Speaks encourage parents “to view autism as a terrible disease from which their child can ‘get better.’ ”

(12) LIPS ARE SEALED, EVEN IF ISS ISN’T. Newsweek reports that “Russia Refuses to Tell NASA What Caused Mystery Leak on ISS”.

Russia has said it knows what caused the air leak on board the International Space Station in 2018 but intends to keep it a secret, with its space agency head Dmitry Rogozin stating: “We won’t tell you anything.”

The leak, which caused a drop in pressure, took place on 29 August, 2018. After investigating the cause, the crew found a small hole—0.07 inches in diameter—and fixed it using heat-resistant tape. It was in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked at the ISS and it posed no threat to any of the astronauts on board.

(13) DESSERT TOPPING? FLOOR WAX? BBC tells how “Nasa’s IceSat space laser tracks water depths from orbit”.

Scientists say one of the US space agency’s (Nasa) new Earth observers is going to have a transformative impact in an unexpected area.

The IceSat-2 laser mission was launched a year ago to measure the shape of Antarctica and Greenland, and to track the thickness of Arctic sea-ice.

But early results show a remarkable capability also to sense water depths.

IceSat’s laser light penetrates up to 40m in the clearest conditions, opening up a raft of new applications.

“As much as people think all areas on Earth have been reasonably well mapped, it’s really not true when you start looking at shallow water areas,” said Dr Christopher Parrish from Oregon State University.

“We’ve got huge data voids from the shoreline out to about 5m water depth.

“This hinders our ability to study things like inundation, the effects of major storms, and the changes to coral reef habitat.”

A project has already started to map the seafloor around low-lying Pacific islands and atolls, which will assist tsunami preparedness for example.

The capability should also enable scientists to work out the volumes of inland water bodies to help quantify Earth’s global freshwater reserves.

(14) NO BALONEY SHORTAGE. “Snopes: How do you survive 25 years debunking fake news?”

…Snopes began as a forum for sharing and investigating urban legends and cool folklore.

But in a world where “fake news” dominates, where disinformation is a part of the political sphere and misinformation touches every single corner of the internet, what is it about this online encyclopaedia which has made it become the go-to bible for many fact-checkers?

And how is it evolving to deal with the current landscape?

…David Mikkelson, the co-founder of Snopes, says: “People come to look up things they’ve encountered on the internet and find out whether they are true or not.

…”The standards we use for fact-checking are about going after what most people are questioning or asking about.

“We don’t make any judgments about what’s too silly or obvious or frivolous or not important enough.”

However he added that sometimes he found it disconcerting what the audience considered to be important and how it was sometimes very different to what his team would consider reporting.

“There may be rumours of a chemical attack against civilians in Syria and all sorts of rumours about whether that happened and who was involved. There are questions around did the government do it; was it an outside force etc and that doesn’t get much interest.

“But then you might have a ridiculous story about something like a woman giving birth in an elevator and it gets millions of views.”

(15) STORM SNOOPERS. An amusing account of the mass storming of Area 51 in the Guardian: “I ‘stormed’ Area 51 and it was even weirder than I imagined”.

…My neighbors at the parking lot-slash-campsite were a punk band called Foreign Life Form. They weren’t part of the planned music lineup, one Life Form explained as he ate Chef Boyardee room-temperature from a can, but when they heard about Alienstock, it seemed like fate.

My other neighbor, an erudite, joint-smoking history podcaster from Oregon, wore a T-shirt that said “Take me to your dealer”. He and his son had had the shirts custom-made; the Life Forms were disappointed they couldn’t buy some….

(16) BOT TO TROT. On eBay, bidding is up to $50,100 for this “15-Ton 2-Story Tall Gasoline Powered Car-Smashing Piloted Giant Battle Robot”. Or is that 12 tons? Opinions differ. “This giant 12-ton fighting robot is on sale for $1” says the New York Post.

One man’s 12-ton, 16-foot-tall fighting robot is another man’s treasure.

Eagle Prime, the crown jewel of MegaBots Inc.’s fleet of sci-fi-inspired piloted robots, is being sold on eBay with bids starting at a single dollar. Founded by Gui Cavalcanti, Matt Oehrlein and Andrew Stroup, the company is shuttering operations amid money trouble. Their latest high jinks, a futuristic bot battle between the US and Canada, drew thin crowds online.

“It was meant to be monster trucks meets UFC with a hint of WWE,” Oehrlein tells The Post. “The goal was to build a multibillion-dollar sports league of robots fighting in stadiums.”

(17) GETTING IN THE MOOD FOR HALLOWEEN. The Valley Relic Museum in Los Angeles has lined up a scary panel event.

“For the last twenty years, I have been fascinated with the ghost stories of Los Angeles. One of my favorite pastimes is to explore historical and haunted locations in the area. This past year I’ve turned my hobby into a podcast and I have been interviewing people about their personal ghost stories as well as exploring haunted locations in Los Angeles and beyond for my podcast Ghost Magnet, from the Playboy Mansion to the house on Cielo Drive (associated with the Sharon Tate Murder) there is no shortage of ghost stories or paranormal activity,” says Bridget Marquardt.

[Thanks to Hampus Eckerman, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, JJ, bill, James Davis Nicoll, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, mlex, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

47 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/24/19 Scroll If You Must This Old Great Head, But Dare Not Say Aught Bad About Cheesecake

  1. 9) that’s a lovely letter you got, Hampus

    6) Re Brunner: I have a weakness for SQUARES OF THE CITY as well as STAND and SHOCKWAVE.

  2. @6: I like those Brunners, but I also like The Stone That Never Came Down (IMO a complement to The Shockwave Rider), The Traveler in Black, Timescoop, The Whole Man, and let’s not forgot Castaways’ World, which a bibliographer considered the first science fiction novel with a female lead. (Ignore the lying cover and be kind to the clumsy prose. No, I don’t know whether the bibliographer had read Gilman — this was 35 years ago — or whether she was deliberately restricting to works published as genre.)

    Does anyone else see a serious genre reference in this?

  3. Thanks for the title credit (though I think I had it as “grey head” (based on the story of Barbara Frietchie)).

  4. Lots of good memories in Today in History and the birthday list.

    I really liked both Journeyman and FlashForward, and am still thoroughly enjoying Agents of SHIELD.

    Jack Gaughan did a lot of great work. (I recently saved from a stack of magazines I was disposing of the March 1970 issue of Galaxy, with Harlan Ellison’s novella “The Region Between,* with page designs and many many illustrations by Gaughan.)

    And John Brunner. Stand on Zanzibar blew me away, and like Paul Weimer I really liked The Squares of the City — I was fascinated by the city planning aspects, though the chess game aspect zipped right by me. I remember liking Quicksand, but I don’t remember why. There were others, as well.

    I’m with Cat in loving Henson’s The Storyteller. We watched them live, and bought the DVDs and watched them again. So good.

  5. 6) I admit the only Brunner I’ve read is the Compleat Traveller in Black, but that was a pretty outstanding book.

    As for Brad Bird, I rewatched Ratatouille a couple nights ago, and I think it’s cemented its place as my favorite Pixar film.

  6. I just finished Delta-V by Daniel Suarez, a near-ish-future hard SF novel, which was a present for my birthday a couple of months ago. I believe it’s a stand-alone. This was a great book! I stayed up late several nights reading it.

    See, Kendall? You can read a book, if you just focus and don’t spend all your time on your computer!

    Ahem. Anyway, read my mini-reivew at the 2019 rec post. Or maybe maxi-review; I kinda rambled.

    I skimmed the descriptions of Daniel Suarez’s other novels, but the only one that intrigued me was Influx. It’s too bad none of the others interest me, so I’m very curious if anyone here has read Influx. If you did, please let me know what you thought of it.

  7. I once read through The Squares of the City, annotating the moves of the chess game as marginalia.

    I need to re-read Stand on Zanzibar, but my favorite Brunner is always going to be The Traveller in Black.

    “By your favor, sir,” said a boy of ten or twelve years, hunting a hedgerow near the village Wyve, “are such plants poisonous or wholesome?”
    Offering for inspection a glabrous brown fungus.
    “Wholesome,” replied the traveller. “They may be fried.”
    With a moue the boy tossed the toadstool aside.
    “Are you not glad to have learned that it’s edible?” asked the traveller. “I took it you were gathering food.”
    “No, sir,” said the boy. His voice and eyes were older than his years. “I seek a poison to give to my mother. She rules me unkindly, and will not let me have my way in anything.”
    He sighed enormously. “Ah, that I might recognize instanter what may be relied on to entrain death!”
    “As you wish, so be it,” said the traveller, and went on, leaving the boy weeping because he realized: no matter what diet is chosen, sooner or later death ensues.

  8. 6) I loved Brunner’s “Stand on Zanzibar” and “The Sheep Look Up”. I think I stumbled on them in high school. But not sure how.
    They’re on my shelves in hardback along with “The Jagged Orbit” and “The Stone that Never Came Down”.
    Time to get them down and read again.

  9. (5) The first transatlantic phone cable was in ’56!? I guess that makes sense, but it somehow seems surprisingly late.

    (8) I’m afraid that the main thing I know about Dan Dare is that one of my favorite obscure cult bands, the Mekons, is named after a Dan Dare villain. Which kinda makes me want to root against him, but whatevs… 😀

    (Birthdays)

    Stand on Zanzibar was in my top 10 favorites for several times longer than any other book ever has been. Traveller in Black and Jagged Orbit are excellent as well.

    I have both of the Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen novels, and I thought they were both wonderful, and deserve to be better known. Very imaginative and inventive. Am I the only one? Been a few years since I read them, but I don’t think it’s been quite long enough for the suck fairy to visit–but long enough for the details to get blurry, so I should really re-read them.

  10. 6) I’m fond of “The Traveller in Black” but the Brunner I re-read most often is “Times Without Number”. It’s a fixup and definitely one of his lighter books, but it’s fun and has some nice think-y treatment of time travel and alternate history.

  11. Two shows I have opinions on, sharing a birthday? Incroyable!

    I really, really wanted to like FlashForward. Especially afte hte first episode. But, roughly, by episode 3, I had decided to watch no moer.

    I was ambivalent to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but decided that it wouldn’t hurt watching a few eps. I have not, yet, seen Season 6, but I have seen all previous seasons.

  12. (8) SCI-FI STANDBY. Titan Comics is reissuing the first two years of adventures from the iconic, British classic Dan Dare— reprinted for the first time ever!

    I think you mean the final two years, based on the illustration anyhow. I have two separate collections of the stories from the first two years, and I think there are probably others.

  13. Ingvar: I really, really wanted to like FlashForward. Especially afte hte first episode. But, roughly, by episode 3, I had decided to watch no moer.

    My reaction was the same. I thought that the book was really good. Their mistake was in trying to make it into a serial, when they should have made it into a one-off movie.

  14. (8) OK, I dug out the press release. https://titan-comics.com/c/1394-dan-dare-the-evil-one/

    You’ve omitted a crucial final clause:

    This latest volume reprints, for the first time ever, the first two years worth of Dan Dare strips written and drawn by David Motton and Keith Watson.

    These strips are actually from 1963 or thereabouts, not as implied the original stories from 1950. First stories from a new team.

  15. @ JJ:

    I haven’t actually read the book, but I think the main problem I had with the TV series was “we are treated to a constant stream of New Things And People, and not a single thing, arc-relevant or not, is resolved”.

    I don’t necessarily expect anything to have been resolved by the end of ep 1. And if I know it’s a “short number of episodes mini series” (which it did not give an impression of being), I have a slightly different set of expectations. But, as was, (I was treated to what seemed to be a seasonful of “new stuff, no resolution” and, well, that’s not what I was looking for.

  16. @Kendall – I read Suarez’ Daemon and Freedom and liked both a lot! If you watched and liked Person of Interest you will probably appreciate these.

    Kill Decision was pretty good. I was lukewarm on Influx. Good story but there were a few scenes which stretched my suspension of disbelief almost to the breaking point.

  17. 9) I had to delete the tweet, because I had failed to notice that it included address. Extremely embarrassing. 🙁

  18. AH!!!!!!!!! I was never familiar with Dan Dare other than as a C64 game that I had when I was a kid. Now, every so often I recall that game as one of my favorites from my elementary school years, but I could never remember the name, or many other details, other than I enjoyed it immensely and they called a flashlight a “torch” for some reason, which I thought was really weird at the time…

    This post brought it back!

  19. Thanks for bringing up Brunner’s Squares of the City. I’ll definitely try it!

    Meredith Moment: The ebook version of Simak’s Way Station (soon to be a Netflix movie) is available for $2.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, and Google.

  20. Is Suarez a Hispanic author? Always looking for new authors for the Friday series.

    (Even though each week I review one book for that series, while noticing three or four candidates)

  21. When Jim Henson died it was as though I had lost my father. It hit me that hard.

  22. Same here. I was packing to drive home from college when I heard the news and I was just gutted.

    Oh but I was so much scroller then, I’m pixel than that now

  23. @John Winkelman: Thanks for the feedback! Bummer re. Influx. BTW I never saw “Person of Interest,” but my spouse may have; I’ll mention the other two to him. 🙂

    @James Davis Nicoll: No idea, though obviously the last name is, implying (to me) “sure.”

    But now you’ve made me visit his web site, where I see he did a TED Talk. And in addition to some art at the back of the book of the various spacecraft/etc., he’s got a lot more on his web site. ::bookmarks for later::

  24. @Sophie Jane: Times Without Number has IMO one of the most plausible solutions to the whole mess of time-travel paradox issues. (The other one I point to is de Camp’s, in “A Gun for Dinosaur”.)

  25. Meredith Ebook Moment:

    David Mogo Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa is on sale for 99 cents in the U.S. from Abaddon Books (uses DRM). This book’s on my list. Gods run rampant on earth (it sounds like), and in Lagos, “David Mogo, demigod and godhunter, has one task: capture two of the most powerful gods in the city and deliver them to the wizard gangster Lukmon Ajala. No problem, right?” Filer @Arifel reviewed this for “nerds of a feather, flock together” and gave it a 7/10. I believe it’s sample-reading time for me.

    (BTW I recommend @Arifel’s reviews, @Paul Weimer’s reviews, and really just everything at “nerds…”!)

    Meredith Audio Moment:

    Fantasy novel Promise of Blood (Powder Mage #1) by Brian McClellan is the Audidible.com “Member Daily Deal” today, so it’s $5.95 until 11:59 PM PT (so, almost 15 hours longer). The narrator is Christian Rodska, who has a strong-if-gravelly voice with a U.K. accent of some sort. This was on my list and I bought the ebook in a deal quite some time ago (but haven’t read it yet).

  26. Bonus Meredith Moment:

    Suzanne Palmer’s first novel, Finder (Finder Chronicles #1), is $1.99 from DAW books (uses DRM); apparently she’s working on book 3 already. DAW says it’s an “action-packed sci-fi caper starring Fergus Ferguson, interstellar repo man and professional finder.”

    My notes say it sounds like non-stop action and fun. I read the sample of Finder a while back and enjoyed it; I also liked the audio sample, but we’re talking ebook deal here. I believe I have a purchase to make.

    You may recall Palmer won the Hugo for Best Novelette in 2018 for “The Secret Life of Bots” (Clarkesworld). I loved that story and also loved “Thirty-Three Percent Joe” (also Clarkesworld). It looks like she’s written a ton of short fiction! Based on just those two stories, I – not much of a short fiction reader – would buy and read a collection by her, if one ever showed up. 😉

    Apparently she’s also an artist; the drawing on her home page is adorable, of a robot reading to a young girl.

  27. @Kendall, re Palmer’s Finder: I read it and can highly recommend it! Although Suarez’ Delta V did not work for me so our tastes may differ.

  28. nickpheas: I think you mean the final two years, based on the illustration anyhow.

    What I mean may be wrong, but it came from Titan’s press release. 🙂

  29. If we’re talking Daniel Suarez, I’ll recommend a piece of his short fiction: “All The Childhood You Can Afford.”

    It’s about intellectual property rights, education, labour unions, workers, social class, and social stratification. So … it falls right into my wheelhouse for the type of social SF I love. He’s quite clever.

  30. @Kendall

    Unfortunately Suzanne Palmer’s Finder isn’t available as an ebook in the UK, in fact there is no UK edition at all. You can get the DAW hardcover but it is pretty expensive.

    David Mogo Godhunter is available at 99p in the UK as is Cassandra Khaw’s The Last Supper Before Ragnarok

  31. For Brunner, definitely the ‘big three’ and Jagged Orbit.

    Though one I wouldn’t recommend is Total Eclipse. It was a perfectly good novel, and that was part of the problem, since it has to have been the most devastating and depressing ending of any book I’ve ever read… =)

  32. I just got a Kindle copy of “The City in the Middle of the Night” by Charlie Jane Anders for C$2.65. Not sure how long the deal will last.

  33. About Dan Dare…. I took another look at the press release. Maybe I just can’t read.

    I guess what they really meant was the first two years BY THESE NEW GUYS — David Motton and Keith Watson — not the original creator.

    I have made changes now.

  34. @ Stephen from Ottawa

    I just got a Kindle copy of “The City in the Middle of the Night” by Charlie Jane Anders for C$2.65. Not sure how long the deal will last.

    It’s on sale for $2.99 in the States.

  35. @Kendall: I read Finder in dead-tree; my notes say “unlikely setup and thrown-away ideas, but not boring” — which sounds kinder than my recollections of incoherent implausibility. May keep you away from the TV, or may not.

    @Ryan McNeil: from ancient memories, Quicksand is just as grim as Total Eclipse; ISTM that every now and then Brunner had to purge himself by writing something in which everything goes downhill until it hits bottom, then keeps going.

    OTOH, on the fun side I’ll point to his three swinging-London novels (he mentioned, during a GoH stint, having been influenced by that period). Looking back over ~45 years, I see that The Gaudy Shadows, Black Is the Color, and The Productions of Time all give Brunner’s typical-of-the-time sexism free rein, so they may not read well today; however, they were well-paced, worked with some interesting ideas, and had little patience with some of the posturing of that period — think of the slant of Patience, reset with mostly-real people.

  36. @Ryan: I read “Total Eclipse” in the early 1980s and found it fascinating enough to compensate for the bleakness; my own mileage might vary if I were to read it today.

  37. I recently read and enjoyed Brunner’s “To Conquer Chaos”, an entertaining and well written minor novel that I thought was flawed by a too-abrupt ending. The copy I read was a ‘70s (?) DAW reprint with cover art that I found irresistible when I saw it in a store last year. I believe the novel was originally published in the early 1960s.

  38. @Lorien Gray: I bought Finder while waiting on dinner tonight. 🙂 My tastes probably don’t overlap 100% with anyone.

    @Andy Leighton: That’s a bummer, but yay that “Mogo” is on sale on both sides of the Atlantic! I’m trying out the sample tonight.

    @Chip Hitchcock: “but not boring” – Well, not boring is good, but still, ouch! 😉 I watch almost no TV; will it keep me up late and/or keep me away from File 770, though? That’s the true test of a book, methinks, though it sound like heresy. We’ll see.

    @Olav Rokne: Thanks for the short fiction rec for Suarez.

    @Mike Glyer: “I have made changes now.”

    Don’t go editing to try to please us
    . . . We like you just the way you Scroll.

    (Apologies to Billy Joel and everyone.)

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