Pixel Scroll 9/27/19 Pixel, Pixel, In The Scroll, Who’s The Blogger That’s A Troll?

(1) CHANGES TO NY TIMES BESTSELLER LISTS. Publishers Weekly reports “‘NYT’ Shifts Its Lists Again”. Mass market paperbacks and graphic books will be tracked again, and middle grade paperback and YA paperback lists will debut.

The New York Times Book Review has announced a new slate of changes to its bestseller lists, both in print and online.

After cutting the mass market paperback and graphic novel/manga lists in 2017, the TimesBest Sellers team will again track mass market paperback sales, as well as debut a combined list for graphic books, which will include fiction, nonfiction, children’s, adults, and manga. Two new monthly children’s lists, middle grade paperback and young adult paperback, will debut as well. (The Times retired its middle grade e-book and young adult e-book lists in 2017.) In addition, the Times will cut its science and sports lists, explaining that “the titles on those lists are frequently represented on current nonfiction lists.” The changes are effective October 2 online and October 20 in print.

The Times has already cut back its print lists on the combined print/e-book and print hardcover lists to 10 titles, from 15, although the online lists will continue to show 15 titles. A representative of the paper said that the change “was made for design reasons, specifically to improve the readability of the lists in print.”

(2) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Barbara Krasnoff and Nicole Kornher-Stace on Wednesday, October 16.

Barbara Krasnoff

Barbara Krasnoff is the author of over 35 short stories, including “Sabbath Wine,” which was a finalist for the Nebula Award, and recently published a mosaic novel titled The History of Soul 2065. She’s also responsible for a series of captioned photos that can be found under the hashtag #TheirBackstories.

Nicole Kornher-Stace

Nicole Kornher-Stace is the author of the Norton Award finalist Archivist Wasp and its sequel, Latchkey. Her next novel, Firebreak, is due out from Saga in 2020. She can be found online at nicolekornherstace.com or on Twitter @wirewalking.

The event begins 7 p.m. at the KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs.)
New York, NY.

(3) SUNDAY IN THE PARK. Last Sunday at the Brooklyn Book Festival, Andrew Porter took this photo of the Dell Magazines booth which was hosted by Asimov’s editor Sheila Williams and her daughter.

(4) NEW AWARD PROMOTES DIVERSE SFF. Gollancz and author Ben Aaronovitch are launching a writing prize championing under-represented voices in science fiction, fantasy and horror after stats showed less than 1% of the genres’ books come from British BAME authors. (BAME is used in the UK to refer to black, Asian and minority ethnic people.)

Submissions for the Gollancz and Rivers of London BAME SFF Award will be taken from October 1, 2019 until January 31, 2020 — 5,000 to 10,000 words consisting of either a self-contained short story or the opening of a novel that fits into the scifi, fantasy or horror genres

The prizes include:

  • £4,000 for the overall winner alongside a critique and year-long mentoring programme with Gollancz commissioning editor Rachel Winterbottom.
  • Second place: £2,000 and a critique of their work
  • Five runners-up will receive £800 and a Gollancz goodie bag.

Gollancz publisher Anne Clarke said:

The current lack of representation in science fiction and fantasy is no secret and it has to change. As modern speculative fiction publishers, we at Gollancz have a responsibility not just to say our doors are open, but to actively seek out and support writers whose backgrounds and experience have historically been – and still are – under-represented in our genre. I hope this award will encourage writers who have perhaps not always felt welcome in the world of science fiction and fantasy publishing and I’m looking forward to discovering exciting new writing talent within the submissions.

[Via Locus Online.]

(5) CINEMA’S SPINOFF STINKERS. ScreenRant offers these titles as “10 Of The Worst Spin-Off Movies Of All Time According To IMDB”.  Most are sff.

It’s Hollywood logic to try bleed more money from a stone. Whenever there’s a successful franchise, it’s natural for studios to stay safe and invest in more of the same product and produce as many sequels, prequels, TV shows, and reboots of the property. However, every so often, Tinseltown fails to catch lighting in a bottle a second time. Not every movie deserves 815 more iterations of the same story.

In the middle of the list is —

5. CATWOMAN

Long before DCEU fans bemoaned the current DC movies, they were (rightfully) bailing on another one. Somehow, DC was able to zap all of the fun and sultriness out of Selina Kyle for the long-gestating Catwoman movie, which starred Oscar winner Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, and Benjamin Bratt. All in all, not a bad trio. So what went wrong?

First, the entire origins of a cat burglar/vixen are heaved out the window and replaced with an Egyptian Cat Mythology. That mythology would have worked if it was a little more thought out and the movie itself wasn’t just an excuse to feature the gorgeous Berry in as little clothing as possible.

(6) STEAMFEST. Cora Buhlert shares lots of photos in her report “Steampunk in East Frisia: Steamfest Papenburg 2019”. (Before I read Cora’s post, Papenburg was, for me, only an obscure reference in a Patrick O’Brien novel.)

…Steampunk is not exactly something you would associate with Papenburg, even though the steamship MV Liemba a.k.a. Graf Goetzen, which starred in The African Queen as the German gunboat Königin Luise, was built here in 1913. Therefore, I was very surprised to learn that Papenburg not only has an active Steampunk community, but also hosts Steamfest, a Steampunk festival which took place for the second time in 2019. And since Papenburg is only about 114 kilometres away, I of course decided to pay Steamfest a visit.

(7) SHORT SFF FOR YOUR TBR PILE. Alex Brown monthly picks are listed on Tor.com: “Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: September 2019”.

Magic as revenge, retaliation, or retribution is the theme of many of September’s best short speculative fiction stories. There are some new authors on this list alongside some very well-known names, yet no matter where they are career-wise, the stories they’ve written have left a mark on this world. Here are some of the ten best science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories I read in September.

(8) FUTURE TECH CRIMINALS. Editors Eric Bosarge and Joe McDermott have launched a Kickstarter to fund their The Way of the Laser: Future Crime Stories anthology from VernacularBooks.

The contributing authors include Kameron Hurley, Mur Lafferty Patrice Sarath, Wendy Wagner, Julie C Day, Paul Jessup, Jamie Mason, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Ross Lockhart, Karen Bovenmyer, with open submissions to new authors.

It used to be if someone wanted to mug you, they had to look you in the face and make a threat. Not anymore. Hackers can wipe a bank account without ever having to risk drawing blood. Bad people use technology for personal gain. Nothing’s new about that. What is new is the ways technology opens up opportunities for exploitation.

New technology is coming on-line all the time, creating new opportunities for creative criminals and dissidents. Stolen elections, companies held hostage by hackers, and acts of terror have all been committed with technology that didn’t exist a few short years ago. 

Join leading edge speculative fiction authors on an exciting walk into darkness where people and machines plunder, cheat, kill, and steal in ways we can’t even imagine with tools that may not even exist, yet. But, they’re coming. 

(9) SATIRE ON TWO WHEELS. Remember Knight Rider? Well, here’s David Hasselhoff in Moped Rider…

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • September 27, 1958 — In Italy, The Day the Sky Exploded (Italian: La morte viene dallo spazio, “Death Comes From Space”. It is known as the first Italian SF film, predating even the SF films of Antonio Margheriti.
  • September 27, 1979 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century began its regular first season (after the airing of the film) with an episode called “Planet of the Slave Girls”.
  • September 27, 2002 — Joss Whedon’s Firefly premiered on Fox TV. It was cancelled after eleven of the fourteen produced episodes were aired. Eventually it concluded in a film called Serenity which Will Shetterly reviewed here.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 27, 1902 Henry Farrell. Novelist and screenwriter, best known as the author of the “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” story which was made into a film of the same name starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. (Died 2006.)
  • Born September 27, 1932 Roger Charles Carmel. The original Harcourt Fenton “Harry” Mudd as he appeared in two episodes of the original Star Trek, “Mudd’s Women” and “I, Mudd”” and one episode of the animated series as well, “Mudd’s Passion”. I say original because Discovery has decided that they have a Harry Mudd. He also had one-offs on I-Spy, Munsters, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Batman. It is rumored but not confirmed he was going to reprise his role as Harry Mudd in a first-season episode of Next Gen but died before filming could start. (Died 1986.)
  • Born September 27, 1934 Wilford Brimley, 85. His first genre role is as Dr. Blair in John Carpenter’s The Thing. He’s Benjamin ‘Ben’ Luckett in the Cacoon films, and Agency Director Harold Smith in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. He made a rather splendid President Grover Cleveland in The Wild Wild West Revisted. And finally I note that he was Noa in Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
  • Born September 27, 1947 Meat Loaf, 72. He has a tasty role as Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And I’d argue some of his music videos are genre stories in their own right. He also has film roles in Wishcraft (horror), Stage Fright (horror) and Urban Decay (yes, more horror). He’s also in BloodRayne which is yes, horror. He’s had one-offs on Tales from the Crypt, The Outer Limits, Monsters, Masters of Horror and was Doug Rennie, a main cast member of Ghost Wars
  • Born September 27, 1950 Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, 69. He’d be on the Birthday Honors list if he’d only been Zylyn in Space Rangers which lasted only six episodes. Damn. But he’s also shown up on Babylon 5, the premier of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Superboy, Alien Nation, the Australian version of Mission: ImpossibleSabrina the Teenage WitchStargate SG-1Poltergeist: The LegacyThe Librarians, voicing characters on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Wars Rebels. He’s currently got two main roles going, the first being Nobusuke Tagomi in The Man in The High Castle, the other being Hiroki Watanabe in Lost in Space
  • Born September 27, 1956 Sheila Williams, 63. Editor, Asimov’s Science Fiction last fifteen years. She won the Hugo Award for Best Short Form Editor in 2011 and 2012. With the late Gardner Dozois, she co-edited a bonnie bunch of anthologies such as Isaac Asimov’s RobotsIsaac Asimov’s Christmas and Isaac Asimov’s Cyberdreams. She was also responsible for the Isaac Asimov Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy writing being renamed the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. 
  • Born September 27, 1972 Gwyneth Paltrow, 47. Yes, she is Pepper Potts in the Marvel Universe film franchise but her first genre role was as a young Wendy Darling in Hook. And she shows up in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow asPolly Perkins, a reporter for The Chronicle

(12) ROCKET ROYALTY. In Olav Rokne’s post “Many Princes; One Crown” at the Hugo Book Club Blog, readers are reminded of the challenges in voting on works translated to English, beginning with a recent Retro-Hugo winner.

…But the case of The Little Prince is more comparable to that of the first translated work to appear on a Hugo Ballot: the 1963 novel Sylva, which was written by French war hero Vercors (A.K.A. Jean Bruller). No translator is mentioned on the dust jacket of the book. And until this summer, when the record was updated at our request, the official Hugo Awards site did not list the name of the translator, Rita Barisse. The Wikipedia entry for the Hugo Awards, and several other publications continue to neglect Barisse’s contribution to the work….

(13) LAFFERTY AWARENESS. Shelf Awareness checks in with the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me in “Reading with… James W. Loewen”. R.A. Lafferty gets a big shout-out:  

Book you’re an evangelist for:

The only historical novel I recommend without reservation: Okla Hannali by R.A. Lafferty. Even though by a white author, I credit it as a Choctaw history of the 19th century, in the form of a biography of a fictional Choctaw leader who was born in Mississippi around 1801 and died in Oklahoma in 1900. I realize such a statement creates all sorts of problems for me–expropriation of Native knowledge, white arrogance, etc. My only defense is the work itself. I have no idea how Lafferty, otherwise known for science fiction, learned so much about Choctaws (and white folks), but every time I have checked out any fact in Okla Hannali, no matter how small, Lafferty got it right. And what a read! Only a little over 200 pages long, but an epic, nevertheless.

(14) ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT THINGS. David Gerrold contends art and the artist should be regarded separately in his public Facebook post:

So let’s say that I point out that the owners of a specific fast-food chain have donated a lot of money to anti-LGBTQ+ causes.

This is not an invitation to say:

“The food is terrible.”

Let’s say that I point out that a particular actor has said some unsavory things about politics. This is not an invitation to say,

“She can’t act anyway.”

Or maybe a well-known author has said something egregiously stupid. That’s not an invitation to say,

“I never liked his writing in the first place.” …

(15) ETERNAL QUESTIONS. Meantime, Michael A. Burstein invited his FB friends to study a different moral dilemma:

You are on a runaway trolley. On one track are five people who have not yet seen The Good Place and don’t intend to, and who will die if you don’t move the lever. On the other track is one person who, like you, is caught up and can discuss the show with you. What do you do?

(16) PENN AND POURNELLE. There’s a pair of names you wouldn’t put in the same sentence – unless you’re Tedium’s Ernie Smith. In “All Penn, No Teller” he recalls when Penn Jillette was “a sometimes-rebellious big-name computer magazine columnist in the ’90s.”

…Now, tech writing of this era doesn’t have the pedigree of, say, good music journalism in the 1970s. Certainly, there were good tech writers during this time, particularly free-wheeling voices like fellow moonlighter Jerry Pournelle of Byte, hard-nosed insiders like journeyman scribe John C. Dvorak and the long-anonymous Robert X. Cringely, and well-considered newspaper voices of reason like syndicated columnist Kim Komando and the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg.

But Jillette was something different. He was already famous—certainly more famous than Pournelle, an established science-fiction author, thanks to being a regular fixture on television during much of his career and starring in a legendary Run-DMC music video—and he likely did not need a nationally distributed computer magazine column to make a living. Jillette simply liked computers and knew a lot about them, which meant that he could rant about the details of an Autoexec.bat file just as easily as he can about politics. He gave the tech writing form something of an edge, while maintaining the freewheeling nature established by fellow pre-blogging voices like Pournelle….

(17) EARLY WORMS. Science Daily reports “Otherworldly worms with three sexes discovered in Mono Lake”. The lede reads:

“Caltech scientists have discovered a new species of worm thriving in the extreme environment of Mono Lake. This new species, temporarily dubbed Auanema sp., has three different sexes, can survive 500 times the lethal human dose of arsenic, and carries its young inside its body like a kangaroo.”

Terry Hunt sent the link in with a note: “I was irresistibly reminded of Vonda N. McIntyre’s story ‘Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand’ and its novel expansion Dreamsnake.”

(18) LOOKING FOR ET IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD. The Beyond Center presented the 2019 Eugene Shoemaker Memorial Lecture with James Benford on September 5.

Abstract: A recently discovered group of nearby co-orbital objects is an attractive location for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) to locate for observing Earth. Near-Earth objects provide an ideal way to watching our world from a secure natural object that provides resources an ETI might need: materials, a firm anchor, concealment. These co-orbital objects have been little studied by astronomy and not at all by SETI or planetary radar observations. I describe the objects found thus far and propose both passive and active observations of them by optical and radio listening, radar imaging and launching probes. We might also broadcast to them.

(19) SMACK DAB ON THE MOON. “Chandrayaan-2: India Moon probe made ‘hard landing’, says Nasa” – BBC has the story.

India’s Moon rover, which lost contact moments before it was to touch down on the lunar surface earlier this month, had a “hard landing”, Nasa has said.

New pictures from a Nasa spacecraft show the targeted landing site of the Vikram rover, but its precise location “has yet to be determined”.

The images were taken at dusk, and were not able to locate the lander.

India would have been the fourth nation to make a soft landing on the Moon.

Chandrayaan-2 was due to touch down at the lunar South Pole on 7 September, over a month after it first took off.

It approached the Moon as normal until an error occurred about 2.1km (1.3 miles) from the surface, Indian space officials said.

On Friday, Nasa tweeted the images of the targeted landing site of the Indian module.

(20) STAR WARS AT DISNEYLAND. Good Morning America shared an advance look at the “Rise of the Resistance” attraction that will be part of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area of the Disney parks,

(21) TITAN PROBE. According to the MIT Technology Review “NASA is testing a shape-shifting robot that could explore Saturn’s moon Titan”. NASA’s Shapeshifter would change its configuration to meet the demands of the mission.

The future: The fully realized version of Shapeshifter would be a “mothercraft” lander that carries a collection of 12 mini robots (“cobots”) to the surface, acts as the main power source, and uses a suite of scientific instruments that can directly analyze samples. The cobots could work together to carry and move the mothercraft to different areas. They would be able to operate individually or as one cohesive unit, in order to adapt to a variety of terrains and environments. 

For example, the cobots would be able to separate and fly out in different directions or together as a flock, link up together like a barrel of monkeys in order to explore narrow caves and caverns, or even float on or swim in liquid.

(22) SURVIVE BY A WHISKER. Gato Roboto is a video game designed to let you channel your inner feline.

Pounce inside of your cozy armored mech and set off on a dangerous trek through an alien underworld full of irritable creatures and treacherous obstacles in a valiant effort to save your stranded captain and his crashed spaceship. Tiptoe outside the friendly confines of your technological marvel and follow your feline instincts through tight tunnels and mysterious waterways to scavenge for new weapons and gear. Adventure awaits the most curious of cats in Gato Roboto!

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Terry Hunt, Nina Shepardson,Cliff, Rob Thornton, Michael J. Walsh, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna NImmhaus.]

56 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/27/19 Pixel, Pixel, In The Scroll, Who’s The Blogger That’s A Troll?

  1. (11)
    I think Carmel died in 1982, not 1932. Otherwise he’d be an extremely precocious actor!

  2. 7) Evidently the author and whoever copy edited the Tor.com piece didn’t know how Dozois spelled his name.

  3. Like Bonnie, I see no moral dilemma in letting the one The Good Place watcher die, to save the five people who won’t harass me about needing to watch it.

  4. 6) Thanks for the link, Mike. I had no idea that Patrick O’Brien ever mentioned Papenburg in his books, though it does make sense.

    12) I have to admit that my Retro-Hugo vote was based on the Greta and Josef Leitgreb translation of Le Petit Prince, which is the most common German edition, though there are others, including a couple of versions translated into regional dialects.

    And for the Klingon speakers among us, a German Klingon speaker translated Le Petit Prince into Klingon last year.

    15) I hate The Good Place, too, but I don’t believe that a questionable taste in TV shows is a crime worthy of the death penalty, so I’d pull the lever to save the five people and then find a way to warn the Good Place watcher or push them out of the way.

  5. 15) I hate The Good Place, too, but I don’t believe that a questionable taste in TV shows is a crime worthy of the death penalty, so I’d pull the lever to save the five people and then find a way to warn the Good Place watcher or push them out of the way.

    Thank you Cora! You just saved me from the trolley, since it seems like I’m the Good Place fan around here 😀

    And sorry if I’ve annoyed Lis or Bonnie by evangelizing about the show too much.

    (And I love the fact that The Little Prince is available in Klingon. 😀 )

  6. 11) I am actually older now than Wilford Brimley was when he filmed Cocoon, but arguably that’s because he was unexpectedly young for the role he was playing.

    15) I’ll be another trolley-dodging Good Place fan.

  7. Jeff Jones: (11) The Henry Farrell dates are a bit problematic, I think (but I’m too lazy to google).

    How many of my mistakes have I fixed now? Everybody appertain yourself your favorite beverage!

  8. 15: If you’re on the runaway trolley, how are you going to be able to pull a trackside lever to alter the points? I’d be wondering about the suspicious production crew members who were hanging around the last stop and are probably trying to increase their audience viewing percentage…..

  9. Another Good Place fan here.

    We read Le Petit Prince in French class for a year. The sort of reading where everybody takes turns reading out loud to the rest of the class. We were so slow that we didn’t finish it. I still don’t know how it ends.

  10. Just so everyone knows, the dates being wrong are my fault and not that of our OGH. My brain injury was having a particularly bad day that morning number wise and it showed here.

    I added medication number thirteen yesterday, an anti-nausea drug, I had my osteopathic manipulation therapist prescribe it. It actually worked very nicely. The catch is I can only take it sparingly (it actually says that on the container!) because overuse can cause very serious cardiac problems.

    As she said yesterday, I’m a complex patient. They’re trying right now to figure why my brain has switched off my appetite and is causing me to lose three pounds a week for the past ten weeks.

  11. 12) Claiming any particular translation of a work to be the (Retro-)Hugo winner, as Rokne tries to do, seems wrong to me. And I’m in the throng of people who read “Le Petit Prince” in French class, and never in English.

  12. While I am not a Marvel person, I have been hearing that the new X-men reboot (Powers of X/House of X) has some SF ideas that are worthy of Olaf Stapleton. It’s nice that the sensawunder tradition is being carried on in comics.

  13. (14) All true and useful examples, and yet …

    Sure, people can say sour grapes that are irrelevant to the misbehavior – that restaurant’s food is bad, that actor can’t act – but there are plenty of valid arguments to be made that the artist and the artwork are not that easily separable.

    There have been a number of authors who have been revealed to be skeevy abusers. Going back and taking a closer look at their writings you can find them trying to insinuate abusive behavior as normal, unremarkable, maybe even desirable. One can find little digs here and there in the writings; enthusiastic participants in the place of what in real life would be soul-seared abuse victims; sometimes, sickeningly, obvious attacks on their victims that the victims would recognize while everyone else in the room is oblivious.

    Art does not erupt magically out of the ground. People make it. And the more complex the art, the more the marks of those people’s minds, their thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, politics, and desires, will be there.

  14. 14) I just assume that when people tell me an artist’s work is of poor quality when they are trying to tell me the author is a bad person that they are biased by their opinion of the author and ignore them. I’ve read too much good writing by bad people to think anything else.

    And this led to a brand-new (to me, at least) thought: At the same time I am told the author is dead, I am also told I can’t separate the author from the work. I’m often told that by the same people, depending on the context in which they make the argument. I’m going to give that further thought.

  15. David Shallcross on September 28, 2019 at 5:39 am said:
    12) Claiming any particular translation of a work to be the (Retro-)Hugo winner, as Rokne tries to do, seems wrong to me. And I’m in the throng of people who read “Le Petit Prince” in French class, and never in English.

    Huh. I didn’t think this would be that controversial an opinion, given that the publisher is mentioned, (Reynal & Hitchcock) which leads one to believe that is the specific edition that gets recognized.

    Did it win as a translated work? The fact that it was on the ballot under its English name suggests so.

    Translators are credited in other cases of Translated works on the ballot.

  16. Meredith Moment: R.A. Salvatore’s Child of a Mad God is available on Amazon (and perhaps elsewhere) for $2.99. Note that this novel is set in an original universe; it’s not one of his Forgotten Realms tie-ins.

  17. I’m not convinced “as a translated work” is a meaningful phrase in terms of the current Hugo rules. There is an extra shot at eligibility when works first appear in English, but there’s also an extra shot when works are first published in the United States, and an option for an extra shot in other cases of limited availability to the voters. In the specific case of The Little Prince, the French and English versions were both first published in the same year, in the US, by the same publisher (France being under occupation hostile to the author), so none of these extra shots would have applied (if there were a Worldcon applying current rules back in 1944).

    I have always seen the rules as treating translations as just additional ways of accessing the original work. I won’t speculate on why The Little Prince had an English-language title, while others had titles in the original languages. I don’t claim to be an authority, however, and the rules are a patchwork assembled over decades by various Business Meeting votes.

    I suppose there might be an issue of differing word counts between versions in different languages, but the boundaries between categories are flexible..

  18. Oh Come all ye Pixels,
    Scroll-filed and Triumphant

    (11) It’s not genre, but in “Absence of Malice” Wilford Brimley said “But, come sundown, there’s gonna be two things true that ain’t true now. One is that the United States Department of Justice is goin’ to know what in the good Christ – e’scuse me, Angie – is goin’ on around here. And the other’s I’m gonna have somebody’s ass in my briefcase.”

    And for that line delivery alone he should be remembered.

  19. Cat Eldridge: Just so everyone knows, the dates being wrong are my fault and not that of our OGH.

    That’s kind of you, but in these two cases where the mistake is that I typed in “Died XXXX” and XXXX was their birth year — that’s on me.

  20. @Cat Eldridge: causing me to lose three pounds a week for the past ten weeks. Yikes! I’ve seen a number of friends go through slow (but net substantial) or even catastrophic weight gain on new meds; an appetite-killer is much less common. From scattered readings (especially of cancer-chemotherapy cases), a simpler case having nausea-and-appetite issues might look at a cannabis derivative instead of something that is dangerous if not used sparingly, but with twelve meds and counting I expect your doctors are burning up the literature trying to find something that isn’t known to interact dangerously with what you’re already taking. At least it sounds like you’ve got their attention (which I’ve read can be half the battle in hard cases).

    @John A Arkansawyer: “good writing” is a very … flexible … term, as @Peace Is My Middle Name notes. Card is the obvious case; I’ve seen him go from apparently gripping to overinflated spinoffs to outright repulsive (the girls-are-naturally-dreadful/submissive line in the second Mither Mage book was way too close to John Norman), but I’ve also seen cogent analyses of his earlier works discussing the creepiness that was always there.

    @William Burns, re @5: a superior writer can sometimes make something worthwhile out of inferior ingredients. Only sometimes — Friesner couldn’t fix MIB2 — but it does happen. I may have read that adaptation, or only heard discussed that Hand came up with enough additional material to make a good story; this is something an author can do if asked to make a full-length novel from a movie.

  21. OGH says That’s kind of you, but in these two cases where the mistake is that I typed in “Died XXXX” and XXXX was their birth year — that’s on me.

    H’h. You mean my memory was actually working right? That’s reassuring.

  22. @Cat Eldridge: I don’t know what meds you’re on, and I’m not a doctor (I don’t even play one on TV), but: so many people assume that weight loss is desirable that they may not think of that as a side effect, in a medication that sometimes causes it.

    Also, brains are complicated and people vary a lot (as you know). For (particular) example: hunger is a well-known side effect of prednisone, but my brain once interpreted it as a stimulant. I lost weight without trying, and quickly enough that I was worried that the weight loss was a symptom of something unrelated to why I was taking the prednisone. (It wasn’t: when I finished the prednisone, the weight loss also stopped.)

  23. Oh, wait…

    Come friends, who scroll the files!
    Truce to pixelation
    Take another station,
    Let’s read our TBR piles
    And travel mental gigamiles!

    …wait, it seems ‘gigamile’ may not actually be a word. Oh well.

  24. Vicki Rosenzweig says: I don’t know what meds you’re on, and I’m not a doctor (I don’t even play one on TV), but: so many people assume that weight loss is desirable that they may not think of that as a side effect, in a medication that sometimes causes it.

    It’s not a medication as I’m monitored very, carefully on my drug interactions. I see my NP weekly and she adjusts my cornucopia of meds pretty much every week based on BP and pulse reading I take thrice daily plus general notes I keep on my health status, and all the blood work we do.

    My head trauma isn’t stabilising even two years on, so it does pretty what it wants. And this time it’s decided that it’ll makes me have no appetite, have stomach cramps and strong nausea. (One time it kept me week up to a hundred hours at a stretch.) And it’s wrecking havoc on my blood pressure which still isn’t stable.

  25. “This title is too hot” said Glyerlocks.
    “And this one is too long!”

    Well, we know how that one worked out; astronomers never did find an earth-sized planet in its star’s so-called habitable zone.

    On the other hand, it was suggested that a title I submitted earlier today would be better placed in the comments and so –

    Who’s the Leader of the File
    what’s wrote for you and me?
    P-I-X-E-L-S C-R-O-L-L!
    Go there Go There Go There!
    We’re as fifthy as can be
    P-I-X-E-L-S C-R-O-L-L!
    Pixel Scroll (S-J-W!)
    Pixel Scroll (S-J-W!)
    Forever let us hold our appertainments high
    smooth! smooth! smooth!
    Comment now, filk along
    Credential posts with glee
    P-I-X-E-L-S C-R-O-L-L!

  26. “Now it’s time to Scroll goodbye
    To all our Pixelry
    P-I-X (xtra puns now) E-L Scroll (Scroll you real soon)
    G-L-Y-E-R”

  27. @Chip Hitchcock: My feelings about Card were finalized by a grotesque book called Treasure Box. It’s very good writing deployed in the service of something very bad. If the writing weren’t good, the message of the book wouldn’t be so bad; it’s the very quality of the writing that puts the poison on his blade.

  28. @Cat Eldridge,
    My sympathies. It sucks when your body/brain don’t work like they are supposed to.

    14)
    Re: separation of artist from their art
    For me it is not that easy. Art is supposed to elicit some sort of emotional response right? Emotional responses to art are subjective & personal: it’s awesome, moving, evocative.

    So on the one hand, we are supposed to respond emotionally to the Art. But on the other, we are supposed to dispassionately separate the Artist from the Art?

    To some extent I can do that. But if I discover the artist had been a terrible person, I am less able to separate the artist from their art.

  29. Soon Lee says to me My sympathies. It sucks when your body/brain don’t work like they are supposed to.

    Thanks. The hardest part is the days when I feel very fragile. And there are days I’m terribly uncertain if my mind is really going to function well enough. Some days it doesn’t, most days it does.

  30. Wheesh, am I the only one without strong feelings about The Good Place? I mean, it’s pleasant enough in its way, but certainly doesn’t make me want to kill—or die—for it.

    As for separating the art from the artist, I prefer to, but, well, there’s a lot of factors there. I mean, I can appreciate that the art is good, and still not want to hand my hard-earned dollars over to a reprehensible person. But in that case, I’m not going to claim the art is bad. (That’s where I finally ended up with Card.) However, it’s hard for the artist not to show through the art, too. I can only think of one case where I discovered a writer I loved was somewhat of a turd (though not a public turd, generally), and when I went back and looked at their works, I didn’t find any sign of it. In that case, I definitely managed to shrug and ignore the artist in favor of the art.

  31. @jayn: gigamiles also works for me — AFAICT “giga” is a standard prefix, rather than being limited to words from a particular language. And kudos for pastiching something else from Pirates, from someone who learned chunks of G&S (complete with occasional mondegreens) before he could read text, let alone music.

  32. Re. The art/artist divide or lack of same: All the examples noted (and all that come to my mind) are negative: Bad artist=Bad art.
    Does it work in the opposite direction? Can we/Should we/Do we forgive poor artistic work because the creator was such a nice person? ( “He means well!” )

  33. @Steve Leavell: The Puppies would certainly like people to believe that that’s all we do! And, judging by the works they forced onto the Hugo ballot, I think a lot of us here think that was total projection! 🙂

  34. From Silk Stockings:

    “Peter Boroff? Do you not know that the great Peter Boroff may not come back from Paris, and if he does not, he no longer has any talent? ”

    Obviously the character who makes this argument in the movie is being silly (and is meant to be taken as being foolish).

    But the idea that people can see hints to an author’s character in earlier works, and that now that the issues previously hinted at have come into full bloom, it’s hard to look at the earlier works in same way – that is a much more reasonable notion*. People will disagree about which aspects of earlier works are show-stoppers for them, but people already disagree about the quality of works, anyway.

    *I’m reminded of a passage from C. S. Lewis’s “The Great Divorce” in which the narrator learns that for people who end up in Heaven, their time on Earth and in the half-realm of the book grows to be colored by their ultimate fate, and they will feel those times to have been part of Heaven, while the reverse is true for those who ultimately end up in Hell (their happiest times on Earth will feel like part of their Hell experience).

  35. Building on @Joe H. –

    All the pixels e’er I scrolled,
    I scrolled them in good company;
    And all the files that e’er were trolled,
    Alas, the troll was none but me.

    And all the boxes that I ticked,
    My inbox now cannot recall;
    So fill for me a second fifth:
    Godstalk, and joy be with you all!

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