Pixel Scroll 9/12 Vouching Tiger

(1) The Register is running a poll for the worst Doctor Who of all.

Was Colin Baker, dressed in his multi-coloured dreamcoat, simply taking a wrong turn on his way to a rehearsal for an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical – falling instead into some weird space-time continuum from which no audience member could escape?

Or maybe, just maybe, it was William Hartnell who ruined it for everyone with his curmudgeonly adventures on the TARDIS.

Although Peter Capaldi is not leading, he should be worried about his job security.

(2) I don’t think anyone is genuinely confused, however, Andrew Porter has worked out a scenario to show why people ought to be confused by the reappearance of a well-known pen name.

At Drop Dead Perfect we read,

“Idris Seabright is one demented dame. A 1950’s Florida gargoyle with a penchant for painting still lifes, no matter how her subjects must be stilled, she’s as handy with a hachet as a brush and as rich as she is ruthless. ‘Drop Dead Perfect,’ written by Erasmus Fenn and directed by Joe Brancato, finds Idris torn between her ingenuous ward who has artistic aspirations, a well-endowed Cuban ex-con who may be her nephew, and her pill-pushing lawyer. Idris and ‘Drop Dead Perfect’ are back after last year’s sold-out run for a strictly limited eight week engagement.”

Also, at Vanishing New York,

“Everett Quinton, former lead actor and artistic director of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, is famous for his cross-dressing performances, and he’s currently starring in one of the juiciest of his career with Drop Dead Perfect at the Theatre of St. Clements in Hell’s Kitchen. As Idris Seabright, a 1950s Key West housewife with artistic aspirations…”

“Drop Dead Perfect”  is playing now through October 11 at Theater at St. Clements, 423 West 46th Street, NYC.  Porter continues —

Except we know that “Iris Seabright” was a pseudonym used by science fiction author Margaret St. Clair, who died in 1995. Is it coincidence that St. Clair was from Maine, and this character is from the opposite place on the East Coast? I called the theater, and they were totally unaware of the previous use of the name.

For more about Margaret St. Clair see her Wikipedia entry.

(3) George R.R. Martin will make an appearance on Zombie Nation reports Entertainment Weekly.

zombie george COMP

Nothing is going to stop George R.R. Martin from finishing his Game of Thrones novels!

The bestselling author will have a cameo during the second season of Syfy’s post-apocalyptic thriller Z Nation playing himself as a zombie, EW has exclusively learned.

And as you can see from the photo above and the two others below, Martin is quite undead while signing his own books (and even tries to munch on one brainy copy). The title of Zombie Martin’s book is a fun tease — “A Promise of Spring,” which plays off A Dream of Spring — the expected title of his eventual seventh (and presumably conclusive) novel in his epic A Song of Ice and Fire saga. Currently Martin is working on Book 6, The Winds of Winter.

Declared Martin: “I just want to prove to my fans that even in the Zombie Apocalypse, the Song of Ice and Fire books will still come out!”

Martin will appear in the eighth epsiode of this year’s Z Nation, which returns to Syfy on Friday at 10 p.m. In the show, Martin has been imprisoned by a character called the Collector, who captures celebrity zombies and keeps George chained to a desk for his own nefarious purposes.

(4) DB in a comment on “One Alfie, Two Hugos” at Not A Blog

I have a theory, or maybe a hypothesis, as to why there was no Best Novel Hugo in 1957. The International Fantasy Award, which was a juried award that was also shaped like a rocketship, was being presented at a banquet elsewhere in London the day after the Worldcon. It was an invitational event, not officially part of the Worldcon, but many Worldcon members attended.

My theory is that the Worldcon committee, knowing this, didn’t feel that a Best Novel Hugo was necessary. That would be an odd decision today, but remember that at that time the Hugos were not firmly established, they had much less prestige than the IFA, and awards were few and the overlap and duplication we’re used to today were unknown.

The book that received the IFA that year? Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

(5) Pip R. Lagenta invites you to come see a snippet of LASFS history on his website while you still can. He says Comcast is getting rid of personal webpages (like his) in October.

De Profundis is the club newsletter of The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society.   Around about May of 1988 the De Profundis newsletter contained its first, last and only Photo Supplement.   This four page supplement is now, here, being republished for the first time (in any form) since the May, 1988, newsletter distribution.

I’m in there a couple of times. Which is either an incentive or a warning.

(6) Cedar Sanderson in “A Dog’s Breakfast” at Mad Genius Club.

When you confront your reader with, in the first paragraphs, sentences that don’t make sense, you are doing the worst thing to readers an author can do. Mislectorism. Betrayal. You’re showing your readers you hate them, and they will respond to it. “This particular ship has seen action: plasma scarring across the wings and tail fins; a crumpled dent in the front end as if it was kicked by an Imperial walker.” Look at that sentence. Consider that it is not alone. I don’t think I have ever seen as many colons in one passage in all the thirty-some years I have been reading. Nor have I seen this many sentence fragments in once place. I shudder to think of how many dashes and hyphens met their ends here. If I had to name this style I’d call it post-Modern chop suey, because everything is minced and mixed together until it resembles a dog’s breakfast.

Snowcrash in a comment on “A Dog’s Breakfast” at Mad Genius Club.

I think the issue may be somewhat overstated – the Amazon reviews broadly break down into 4 areas – people unhappy that an ebook is priced at so high (USD 17?); people sad to have lost the Expanded Universe; people taking umbrage at the existence of a gay protagonist; and people who take issue with the writing. Down-rating the book for the first 3 seems a bit immature to me, but hey, whatever they want in the cut-throat world of Amazon…

Personally, given it’s sales figures, it seems to be doing fine so far. Let’s see if it has legs though.

Amanda S. Green in a comment on “A Dog’s Breakfast” at Mad Genius Club.

Very broadly break down into that. I’ve taken the time to read the reviews not only on Amazon but on B&N as well. Let’s look at the B&N reviews to start. There are 17 reviews there for a 3.5 star cumulative review. 6 of those 17 reviews are 5 stars. However, and this is a big however, of those 6 reviews 4 are one line back and forth comments between reviewers that have nothing to do with the book. Another has no comment at all. So let’s toss them out. The final five star review is a true review by someone who liked the book. The rest of the reviews deal with the plot or writing style. One review, one of the more supportive ones, does say that the inclusion of a gay character felt forced. Over all, the complaint, even among those giving good reviews, was that the writing was not at the level it should be and that Wendig did not appear to love the universe he was writing in.

If you look closely at the Amazon reviews, you see much the same thing. Yes, there are those upset with the fact the EU was tossed out. But most of the reviews concern the writing style or the story structure. Sure, there are a few who object to having a gay lead character, there always will be someone who doesn’t approve of something. But the overall message is that the book is poorly written.

The key thing here is to look at the author’s behavior and how he is alienating a fan base. He has basically called all those who don’t like his work homophobes simply because they don’t like his work. That is not a way to win friends or influence people, at least not in a good way.

As for the sales figures, eh. We haven’t seen the returns yet and we probably never will. As for his Amazon rankings, those don’t always equate into huge sales. The best sellers lists such as the NYT one are based on pre-orders and then continued orders. As you said, we will have to see if it has legs and, judging from the reviews, I’m not sure it will.

(7) Teresa Nielsen Hayden now denies the episode happened. Brust says that’s not what he was asking about, but that’s irrelevant for purposes of this history.

(8) He said it, not me…

(9) Oops. Somebody poked a hibernating bear. Part of “Today’s Twitter Rant, 9/12/15” which goes on at length on Whatever.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Pip R. Lagenta, both Marks, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

338 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/12 Vouching Tiger

  1. > “Are you archiving these? I’d like to use them as general recommendation lists.”

    Mike has started linking the original posts up at the top, and Doctor Science has also been working on something interesting with them that I’m looking forward to seeing …

  2. [ticky box]

    Well, I finally get to vote. I’ve read a few of these.

    2. Magic Bites, Ilona Andrews

    3. His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    Abstain on others.

    Also: re John C Wright: I saw that excerpt–it might’ve been the whole first chapter or a portion thereof, and believe me, it does not get any better–up on Tor. com quite a while ago, just after the Puppy thing started. I posted a comment something to the effect of “that’s awful.” (For the metalheads among us, my Blackie would be Blackie Lawless, the lead singer of the 80’s metal band WASP. I’m sure Mr Wright would throw an apocalyptic fit at this thought.) That excerpt did at least give me warning of what was to come.

  3. 1. YOU’RE IN THE ARMY NOW
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    2. THE CONCRETE JUNGLE
    The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross

    3. THIS IS NOT WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    14. THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS
    Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist

    16. DARK DOINGS DOWN AT THE MINISTRY
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling

  4. Not surprisingly, this hardcore SF fan has only read 4 of 32 in this bracke (7/64 total so far).

    I’m waiting for the quarterfinal. Maybe I will have read some pairs in that one. Or surely at least by the semifinal!

    Just wait for the 21st century SF bracket. I will get to vote a lot then! I will! 😉

  5. @Cally: If you are already a fan of Lindskold, you will not be sorry you read Child of a Rainless Year. For those who are not yet Lindskold fans, Rainless Year will make you one. Kaleidoscopes, teleiodoscopes, folly houses, artistic re-awakenings, and a vividly rendered picture of New Mexico… So much so love in that book.

  6. 1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    2. The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross

    3. Pass

    4. Pass

    5. The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

    6. The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    7. Pass

    8. Pass

    9. Pass

    10. Pass

    11. In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente

    12. Pass

    13. Pass

    14. Pass

    15. Pass

    16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling

  7. @LunarG – loved that book. Had forgotten who wrote it and then I was a dinner with her at a con and she mentioned it and I did a terrible fangirl OMG THAT WAS YOU

  8. Regarding #6, I’m currently about two-thirds of the way through Seveneves and would kill for some tightly packed sentences like that.

  9. 1.. YOU’RE IN THE ARMY NOW
    The Sun Sword, Michelle West

    3. THIS IS NOT WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    4. THIS IS PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner

    9. SWORN TO PROTECT A WORLD THAT FEARS AND HATES THEM
    Graceling, Kristin Cashore

  10. Delighted to see there are some other The Devil You Know voters! Not enough to win, but enough to keep me from looking like a complete oddball…

  11. Oh gods so many that I havent read

    1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    3.His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    5.The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

    6. Nope. Have read both, but am abstaining. They just didn’t work for me.

    16. Snake Agent, Liz Williams

  12. HEAT TWO – MASTERS OF THE MIDDLE-AUGHTS

    1. YOU’RE IN THE ARMY NOW
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    Hard to imagine a book going up against Strange & Norrell and winning. Until it inevitably comes up against one of my other favourites, and then I might just go cry in the corner for a while.

    5. WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY
    The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

    I really enjoyed this one, still think it’s a great start to a very good series and the Gentleman Bastards are some of my very favourite characters in fantasy.

    6. MASTERING THE GREATEST MAGIC
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    I really hope he publishes the third book some day, and that it’s at least better than the second one.

    12. WOMEN WHO KILL GODS
    Priestess of the White, Trudi Canavan

    I had something of an obsession with Canavan’s books when I was younger, until I realised they all basically seemed to be the same thing over and over again. So, this, until it comes up against any of the much, much better books in these brackets…

    14. THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS
    Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist
    Dead Witch Walking, Kim Harrison

    Abstaining here because while I’ve read Let the Right One In, I thought it was an absolute snoozefest that could’ve used a decent editor to hack away all the unnecessary parts. Dead Witch Walking almost has to be better than it, but I’ve never heard of it, let alone read it.

  13. 1. YOU’RE IN THE ARMY NOW
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    2. THE CONCRETE JUNGLE
    Magic Bites, Ilona Andrews

    3. THIS IS NOT WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    Moon Called, Patricia Briggs

    4. THIS IS PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    The Anvil of the World, Kage Baker

    5. WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY
    The Devil You Know, Mike Carey

    6. MASTERING THE GREATEST MAGIC
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    7. CATS AND DOGS
    Lonely Werewolf Girl, Martin Millar

    8. GOT WINGS, GOING TO FLY
    Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot

    9. SWORN TO PROTECT A WORLD THAT FEARS AND HATES THEM
    The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint

    10. MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS
    Child of a Rainless Year, Jane Lindskold

    11. STORIES WITHIN STORIES WITHIN STORIES
    In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente

    12. WOMEN WHO KILL GODS
    To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell

    13. THE WORLD IS BIGGER THAN I KNEW
    Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin

    14. THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS
    Dead Witch Walking, Kim Harrison

    15. STATELY BRITISH MANSES
    Conrad’s Fate, Diana Wynne Jones

    16. DARK DOINGS DOWN AT THE MINISTRY
    Snake Agent, Liz Williams

  14. @Lost Sailor

    For your information, I read Mr Wright”s nominees in the Hugo packet. Have you? And yes, they were every bit as bad as the page above. I’ve never seen as many unnecessary adjectives, convoluted sentences, and pretentious language in my life.

    Most of us here are the same way. We’ve read more than a single page of his work, and we do know what we’re talking about.

  15. Wow, Torgersen is SO lacking in self-awareness, one wonders if he recognizes himself when he looks in a mirror:

    Likewise, mocking the audience [by, say, SITTING AROUND AND THINKING UP NEW INSULTS TO CALL THEM] will not convince them that they’ve had a better experience with your work, it will merely convince them that you’re a dick.

    (Fixed that for him. Except please note that when *I* edit *his* words, I make it obvious that it’s happened.)

  16. @LostSailor: Yeah, quite a few of us slogged through the Hugo packet this year, which was chock-full of JCW. It’s not just a one-page deal. But regardless, aren’t you supposed to be able to look at the first page of any novel and make a decision there and then on whether you will read it? Isn’t that what those poor souls slogging through the slush-piles have to do? And if the first page is crap, it doesn’t bode well for any of the pages that follow.

    * * *

    And now, bracketage! More books I’ve read, yay!
    HEAT TWO – MASTERS OF THE MIDDLE-AUGHTS

    1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke
    2. Magic Bites, Ilona Andrews
    3. Moon Called, Patricia Briggs

    6. The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
    7. Lonely Werewolf Girl, Martin Millar

    9. The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint
    10. Child of a Rainless Year, Jane Lindskold
    11. In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente
    12. To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell

    14. Dead Witch Walking, Kim Harrison
    15. Conrad’s Fate, Diana Wynne Jones
    16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling

  17. LostSailor on September 13, 2015 at 5:19 pm said:
    I love that so many here are slagging John Wright’s fourth novel in a series they haven’t read based on on one page and getting nearly everything wrong. You prove the puppies points. Pre-disposed to dislike Wright’s work based on dislike of him, y’all nit-pick a single short page to gloatingly trash a writer’s work.

    Y’all stay classy as always…

    Wow, you could say almost exactly the same thing about Puppies and Ancillary Justice, or Cedar Sanderson and her opinion of Chuck Wendig. I actually find it completely bizarre how utterly un-self-aware you Puppies are.

    And for the record, we’re not gloatingly nit-picking a single short page; most of us were unfortunate enough to have read through his short fiction on the Hugo shortlist this year, and found it similarly terrible.

  18. And yet, I still like Orphans of Chaos (while acknowledging the problematic bits as problematic, of course). I went back and re-read the beginning (I have a free HTML copy from when Tor.com was giving away books to beta testers), and it’s clean, compelling prose that makes me want to know more:

    The estate grounds were, at once, our home, our academy, and our prison. We were outnumbered by campus staff, and by the imposing old Georgian and Edwardian edifices. There were more mares in the stables than there were students in the classrooms. It was only the five of us.

    The estate was bound to the North by the Barrows, to the West by the sea cliff, to the East by the low, gray hills of the Downs. What bound us to the South is a matter of dispute.

    I’m not sure how those two paragraphs could also come out of the author of all the overwritten dreck that “graced” the most recent Hugos ballot. (Have not clicked through to the Tweeted excerpt; seemed unnecessary.)

    While I can intellectually acknowledge that it is possible to read Let the Right One In and not love it, I can’t in my heart understand it. Loved that book. Loved the movie (the original, with English subtitles; haven’t seen the U.S. remake). Rather liked Handling the Undead by the same author, as well.

    I’ll say this though: Like it or loathe it, It’s a mistake, I think, to lump LtROI in with “yawn, yet another vampire novel.”

  19. After reading the crap that was in the Packet, I reserve the right to mock any and all of Wright’s writing that I’m further subjected to in future.

  20. Kyra, I love these brackets even if I haven’t read most of the work on them. They’re definitely growing the size of my TBR pile. And this time I’ve actually read a few of these.

    5. The Devil You Know, Mike Carey

    6. The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    14. Dead Witch Walking, Kim Harrison

    Speaking of Kim Harrison, I just recently finished the first book of her new series, The Drafter, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I particularly liked the exploration of the effects of memory loss on the main character after she uses her drafting power to rewrite time.

    One of these days, I really need to finish the last 4 books of the Hollows.

  21. I just realized that somehow I’d missed voting for #9. So I’m posting this to let you know that I’m abstaining in that category because Graceling is on my to-read-mountain and I haven’t gotten to it yet.

  22. The estate was bound to the North by the Barrows, to the West by the sea cliff, to the East by the low, gray hills of the Downs.

    The estate was tied to the cardinal directions? He seems to be confused about the verbs bind/bound and bound/bounded (as in boundary). I expect better from someone who’s a professional.

  23. P J Evans: The estate was tied to the cardinal directions? He seems to be confused about the verbs bind/bound and bound/bounded (as in boundary). I expect better from someone who’s a professional.

    Yeah, that’s a pretty glaring error for a “professional” writer — not to mention the contradiction in tenses: “was” vs “is”. The sentence should read:

    The estate was bounded on the North by the Barrows, on the West by the sea cliff, on the East by the low, gray hills of the Downs. The boundary on the South was a matter of dispute.

  24. Meredith: After reading the crap that was in the Packet, I reserve the right to mock any and all of Wright’s writing that I’m further subjected to in future.

    After slogging through the crap the Puppies put on the ballot this year, I will no longer feel constrained to read a writer gamed onto the ballot by a Puppy slate if I’ve read previous work by them which I considered mediocre or execrable. They wasted a huge amount of my precious reading time this year, and as far as I’m concerned, any reading I might choose to do in the future of their entries is a gift from me, not an obligation on my part.

    You abuse it, you lose it. The Puppies no longer get any benefit of the doubt from me.

  25. I have to say that for years friends had been promoting participation in Hugo voting by waving the reader packet at me.
    “Lookit all the good stuff we get!”
    So I finally get on my act together, and end up receiving the 2015 packet.
    Still grouchy.

  26. @Cally, but at least we are trying to kill you with an excess of love!

    @Lis Carey, speaking of which, hope you feel better soon.

    @RedWombat, if even you fall victim to overenthusiastic fangirling, I think I must give up all hope of ever outgrowing the condition myself, and comfort myself with the observation that the victims are usually gracious, amused, and bemused in some mixture, and not one has yet run screaming in the other direction, overwhelmed by by the flood of awkward enthusiasm.

  27. welp
    I was going to lay down an outraged rant about Kim Stanley Robinson and Shaman because I heard him on the radio tonight reading a passage from it, and then I decided to check the date because everything on NPR is reruns right now, and it was 2013.

    Anyway, in the passage he read, the kid refers to the Neanderthals as “Old Ones,” and I would be happy to bet my sweet bippy that no damned homo sapiens contemporary with Neanderthals is going to think of them that way. And that just makes the whole book a nopeness for me.

  28. @Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little:

    I thought the American remake of Let the Right One In was almost as good as the original. If I’d seen the American one first, I might have liked it better.

  29. I’ve read more of these than in the previous bracket, but have fewer opinions. And only one book added to my TBR edifice, so yay.

    2. THE CONCRETE JUNGLE
    Magic Bites, Ilona Andrews

    3. THIS IS NOT WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    9. SWORN TO PROTECT A WORLD THAT FEARS AND HATES THEM
    The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint

  30. And some more.

    HEAT TWO – MASTERS OF THE MIDDLE-AUGHTS

    1. YOU’RE IN THE ARMY NOW
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    2. THE CONCRETE JUNGLE
    The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross

    3. THIS IS NOT WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik
    (a series I just keep liking, instead of tiring of)

    4. THIS IS PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner

    5. WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY
    The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

    6. MASTERING THE GREATEST MAGIC
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    7. CATS AND DOGS
    pass

    8. GOT WINGS, GOING TO FLY
    Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot

    9. SWORN TO PROTECT A WORLD THAT FEARS AND HATES THEM
    pass
    (how did I miss these?)

    10. MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS
    pass
    (on the kindle doesn’t count until I read it)

    11. STORIES WITHIN STORIES WITHIN STORIES
    In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente

    12. WOMEN WHO KILL GODS
    To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell

    13. THE WORLD IS BIGGER THAN I KNEW
    Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin

    14. THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS
    Pass
    (haven’t read the Harrison, didn’t warm to the other)

  31. Lucy Kemnitzer: Anyway, in the passage [from Shaman that KSR] read, the kid refers to the Neanderthals as “Old Ones,” and I would be happy to bet my sweet bippy that no damned homo sapiens contemporary with Neanderthals is going to think of them that way. And that just makes the whole book a nopeness for me.

    Oh, it’s far, far worse than that. The entire book is the sort of thing you’d expect to be written by, and appeal to, adolescent boys: extended, loving and detailed descriptions of peeing and pee, pooping and shit, masturbating and spoo, fondling of genital parts, and sex.

    It’s neither science fiction OR fantasy; it’s just prehistoric fiction. Bad prehistoric fiction.

  32. not to mention the contradiction in tenses: “was” vs “is”

    Wouldn’t it be correct if the description is referring to the way the estate was back then, but the dispute regarding the South is still unsettled at the time of writing?

  33. 1. YOU’RE IN THE ARMY NOW
    Abstain – only read part of JSMN and bounced off it, didn’t read the other at all.
    2. THE CONCRETE JUNGLE
    Abstain – I have got to put some Stress on my TBR list.

    3. THIS IS NOT WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    4. THIS IS PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY WHAT I TRAINED FOR

    5. WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY
    The Devil You Know, Mike Carey
    I bounced off Lies.

    6. MASTERING THE GREATEST MAGIC
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    7. CATS AND DOGS

    8. GOT WINGS, GOING TO FLY

    9. SWORN TO PROTECT A WORLD THAT FEARS AND HATES THEM

    10. MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS

    11. STORIES WITHIN STORIES WITHIN STORIES

    12. WOMEN WHO KILL GODS
    To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell
    Curse your sudden yet inevitable GOD STALK!

    13. THE WORLD IS BIGGER THAN I KNEW

    14. THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS

    15. STATELY BRITISH MANSES

    16. DARK DOINGS DOWN AT THE MINISTRY
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling
    I don’t expect to keep voting for Potter in the next round, but it takes this bracket.

  34. HEAT TWO – MASTERS OF THE MIDDLE-AUGHTS

    1. I hate Kyra’s dice!
    The Sun Sword, Michelle West
    although I am very fond of JSMN.

    2.The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross

    4. The Anvil of the World, Kage Baker
    (A tough one, Kushner will probably win anyway

    6. The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    8. Spirit Gate, Kate Elliott
    (although I do like Swainston and the totally original world she created)

    9. Graceling, Kristin Cashore

    10. Child of a Rainless Year, Jane Lindskold

    12.To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell

    13. I liked the Berg a lot, but it still has to be
    Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin

    15. Conrad’s Fate, Diana Wynne Jones

    16. Snake Agent, Liz Williams

  35. Lyrics from a song in progress, for no reason at all. None.

    Now you have put
    His armor on
    and called it good
    His will be done

    The miracle?
    You’re very sure
    That small and still
    voice sounds like yours

    CHORUS:
    Everyone’s everyone except you
    You’re gonna be somebody too
    Everyone has to be who they are
    Under their bushel’s a great big star

  36. 1 Strange and Norrell
    2 Atrocity Archives
    3 Temeraire
    5 Locke Lamora
    6 Name of the Wind

    Followed by ten brackets of mute embarrassment.

  37. (Getting my voting in so I don’t end up parenting my way past deadline.)

    1. YOU’RE IN THE ARMY NOW
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke, although I haven’t read the other. I wouldn’t do this, but I like footnotes that much. Also, thx for earworm.

    4. THIS IS PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner: if we’re letting the ruritanian in, this is the book that would make that a good call.

    6. MASTERING THE GREATEST MAGIC
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
    Hoping the third book will be like this one.

    (lookit all the books I haven’t read)

    10. MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS
    The Limits of Enchantment, Graham Joyce
    Always and forever. Liminally fantastic in all the best ways. Damn. Damn. Fuck cancer.

    12. WOMEN WHO KILL GODS
    To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell
    GODSTALK!

    13. THE WORLD IS BIGGER THAN I KNEW
    Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin
    Shocking that I would vote this, innit? Seriously, I feel like this series didn’t get nearly enough love. Fun, smart, resonant, beautifully, sparely written. I prefer Gifts, the first book, but this one is great too.

  38. @Cubist

    I like it. There’s always room for a new space drive, especially one involving imaginary mass. (Used to get happily lost on the Argand plane from time to time, imaginary numbers are fab.)

    But here’s a thing. You’re sort of describing tachyons: tachyonic field:

    A tachyonic field, or simply tachyon, is a quantum field with an imaginary mass.[1] Although tachyons (particles that move faster than light) are a purely hypothetical concept, fields with imaginary mass have come to play an important role in modern physics[2][3][4] and are discussed in popular books on physics.[1][5] Under no circumstances do any excitations ever propagate faster than light in such theories — the presence or absence of a tachyonic mass has no effect whatsoever on the maximum velocity of signals (there is no violation of causality).

    (Of course, physicists are, as ever, being their usual joyless selves by forbidding us our ansibles and tachyon drives here. And always with the causality hangup. We need to find a way to sneak past them. Someone create a distraction.)

    I think we need more weird matter: imaginary matter; negative matter; dark matter (several variants); mirror matter; strange matter; charmed matter, whatever, who knows what we might be able to do with it? Anyway, I’m sick of the usual baryonic stuff, it’s everywhere. Heck, I’m made out of it, how boring is that?

  39. 2. THE CONCRETE JUNGLE
    The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross

    3. THIS IS NOT WHAT I TRAINED FOR
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    5. WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY
    The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

    8. GOT WINGS, GOING TO FLY
    Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot

    9. SWORN TO PROTECT A WORLD THAT FEARS AND HATES THEM
    The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint

    11. STORIES WITHIN STORIES WITHIN STORIES
    Vellum, Hal Duncan

    13. THE WORLD IS BIGGER THAN I KNEW
    Flesh and Spirit, Carol Berg

    14. THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS
    Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist

    15. STATELY BRITISH MANSES
    The Beasts of Clawstone Castle, Eva Ibbotson

    16. DARK DOINGS DOWN AT THE MINISTRY
    Snake Agent, Liz Williams

  40. @Fin Fahey: “I think we need more weird matter: imaginary matter; negative matter; dark matter (several variants); mirror matter; strange matter; charmed matter, whatever, who knows what we might be able to do with it?”

    I’m holding out for dark phlogiston, myself.

  41. @Rev. Bob

    I’m holding out for dark phlogiston, myself.

    Now you’re talking. Reverses the polarity, most refreshing. And, for me, a side portion of luminiferous aether, if you please…

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