Pixel Scroll 9/5/17 For Sale: Baby Pixels. Never Scrolled

(1) GAME OF TINGLES. Zoe Quinn has posted a new trailer for Tingle, her dating simulator game based on the works of Chuck Tingle. Dual Shockers has the story — “Tingle Gets a New Pre-Alpha Trailer Featuring a Ton of Actors and Personalities”. May not be safe for work. Unless your boss is a unicorn.

The dating simulator looks incredibly strange. The trailer features a moving butt plaque, horse masks, terribly drawn male genitalia, puzzles, mini-games, and lots more. You can check it out down below. While the game could definitely be considered not safe for work, Quinn is including options that’ll make Tingle less raunchy.
 

(2) PRATCHETT ON DISPLAY. This is the event publicized by running over Pratchett’s hard drive with a steam roller… The “Terry Pratchett: HisWorld” exhibit at the Salisbury Museum (in Salisbury, England) runs from September 15 until January 13.

This is an exclusive major exhibition based on the extraordinary life of Sir Terry Pratchett, the creative genius behind the Discworld series. Follow his journey to becoming one of our best known and best loved writers. This unique exhibition will include artwork by the man himself and treasured items owned by Sir Terry which have never previously been on public display. Also featured will be over forty original illustrations by Paul Kidby, Sir Terry’s artist of choice.?

(3) HEAR SF IN PHILLY. When the new SFWA-sponsored Galactic Philadelphia reading series begins October 24 the readers will be –

Gardner Dozois was the editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine for almost twenty years, and also edits the annual anthology series The Year’s Best Science Fiction, which has won the Locus Award for Best Anthology more than any other anthology series in history, and which is now up to its href=”http://amzn.to/2xLXXFN”>Thirty-Fourth Annual Collection. He’s won the Hugo Award fifteen times as the year’s Best Editor, won the Locus Award thirty-one times, including an unprecedented sixteen times in a row as Best Editor, and has won the Nebula Award twice, as well as a Sidewise Award, for his own short fiction, which has been most recently collected in When the Great Days Come. He is the author or editor of more than a hundred books, including a novel written in collaboration with George R.R. Martin and Daniel Abraham, Hunter’s Run, and, in addition to many solo anthologies, the anthologies, Songs of the Dying Earth, Warriors, Dangerous Women, and Rogues, all co-edited with George R.R. Martin, the last two of which were New York Times bestsellers. Coming up is a major solo fantasy anthology, The Book of Swords. He has been inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and won the Skylark Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Fiction. Born in Salem, Massachusettes, he now lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Lara Elena Donnelly is the author of the glam spy thriller Amberlough, and its upcoming sequels Armistice and Amnesty. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Mythic Delirium, Nightmare, and Uncanny. She is a graduate of the Alpha and Clarion workshops, and a past winner of the Dell Magazine Award. In the summer, Lara is onsite staff at the Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers. She lives in Harlem, but exists virtually on most social media platforms as @larazontally, and on her website at laradonnelly.com

The venue will be the Irish Pub, located at 2007 Walnut Street, Philadelphia 19103, a block west of Rittenhouse Square, and start at 7:30 p.m. [H/T to SF Site News.]

(4) THE END OF CINEMATIC HISTORY. In Washington, D.C., people are invited to watch “My Favorite Movie with Francis Fukuyama: Children of Men”.

Join Francis Fukuyama for a screening and discussion of Children of Men, the haunting 2006 adaptation of PD James’ dystopian novel (directed by Alfonso Cuarón) set in 2027, when all women have become infertile and humanity is facing extinction.

This is the latest installment of our “My Favorite Movie” series featuring thought leaders hosting their favorite movies, and short conversations about them. Professor Fukuyama is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute and the author of The Origins of Political Order and The End of History and the Last Man.

The screening of Children of Men will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, September 19th at Washington, D.C.’s Landmark E Street Cinema at 555 11th Street NW.  If you would like to attend, please RSVP to futuretensedc@gmail.com with your name, email address, and any affiliation you’d like to share. You may RSVP for yourself and up to one guest. Please include your guest’s name in your response. Seating is limited.

(5) FILER ON PODCASTLE. Congratulations to Heather Rose Jones, who has a brand new original short story out from Podcastle.org today, “Hyddwen.” Check it out.

Morvyth, the daughter of Rys, had no desire for a husband because of the passion and the love she had for Elin, the Lady of Madrunion. And after what we spoke of above–sending the gull as love-messenger to her, and the trick with the sack at the wedding feast, and sending the Irishman away empty-handed–Morvyth came to live at Llyswen. And there they spent three years in happiness and joy.

(6) ANN LECKIE, CHEESE EVANGELIST. There’s an uptick in interviews with Ann Leckie’s next book coming out this month: “Hugo Award–winner Ann Leckie talks new book, sci-fi politics, and Provel cheese” in St. Louis Magazine. Lots in here about the Imperial Radch series, and women winning all the Hugos this year – but no tea recommendations! Firm opinions about cheese, though….

St. Louis is home to a not-small number of award-winning creators—and BookFest St. Louis plans to gather them, along with writers from around the nation, in September.

Not least among those authors is space opera writer Ann Leckie, whose Ancillary Justice is the first novel to win the “triple crown” of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke science fiction awards. The book’s Imperial Radch trilogy went on to grab additional Locus awards and prestigious nominations. Leckie will speak at a science fiction panel with fellow writers Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, and Mark Tiedemann.

The September 23 event precedes the following Tuesday’s release of her fourth novel, Provenance, a standalone that’s set several years after the Imperial Radch trilogy and will feature new characters and star systems….

Is there anything around here that you’re a big fan of?

…I find myself often, when I’m travelling and talking to other writers from other places, telling them that they absolutely have to try St. Louis–style pizza. I don’t know what’s wrong with the people who are like, “That’s not even pizza!” Well it is; it’s just not the pizza that you’re used to, right? So I’ve been trying to spread the word about St. Louis–style pizza.

Spread the Provel gospel.

Yes. It’s made in Wisconsin only for the St. Louis pizza market. That’s what Wikipedia said. It’s only—there’s no other use for Provel cheese except us. It’s made almost exclusively for the St. Louis pizza market.

Writer’s note: NPR confirms Wikipedia’s story.

Nowhere else?

Nobody else knows what Provel is. Isn’t that kind of amazing? Which is I think part of why when people encounter that, and it doesn’t act like the cheese that they’re used to—not only is it not the cheese they’re used to on pizza; it’s a completely foreign cheese. So it’s like… [She pulls a face.] But they’re just wrong. It’s wonderful.

I thought you’re one of few who have that opinion. But a decent enough number, apparently.

I mean, it’s our pizza. You have to take it on its own terms. You can’t say, “This isn’t New York style, this isn’t Chicago style,” because it’s not. It is what it is.

(7) ROBBY ON THE BLOCK. William Malone has announced he’s selling Robby the Robot.

ROBBY GOES OFF to COLLEGE. I’m sure this will come as a shock to some of you. I just wanted to let all my friends know that after much thought and consideration, I have decided to put the Original Robby the Robot and his Car up for auction. This is not a hasty decision by any means. It’s actually something I’ve been thinking about for some time. I’ve had Robby for over 37 years and have enjoyed seeing him everyday and having coffee with him every morning (though he always preferred an STP Daiquiri to espresso). While I’ve tried to make Robby available to be seen and enjoyed as much as possible, I’ve come to realize his proper place is in a museum. I’m hoping this is where he’ll wind up. Robby is an icon and a star and just a plain good guy (err robot). Over the years, I’ve always tried to look after his best interests and he certainly has been good to me. I feel like I’ve never really owned Robby, I’m just his caretaker. It’s time for the next part of his journey. He will outlive us all.

Robby will be on sale at the New York Bonhams/TCM auction in November.

(8) SMOKE YOU CAN SEE FOR LIGHTYEARS. TV Line warns “The Orville Review: Seth MacFarlane’s Somber Sci-Fi Dud Crashes and Burns”.

Consider this a red alert to TV fans everywhere: Are you expecting Seth MacFarlane’s new Fox series The Orville to be a fun Star Trek parody packed with wall-to-wall jokes? Two words of advice: Abandon ship.

Despite what Fox’s official site claims, The Orville — premiering this Sunday at 8/7c — is not a “hilarious comedy.” It’s not even a comedy. Yes, there are a few Family Guy-esque punchlines scattered throughout, but as bafflingly as this sounds, The Orville is mostly a straightforward drama… and not a very good one, at that. Riddled with sci-fi clichés and paralyzed by a grim self-importance, MacFarlane’s shiny new vessel ends up being a colossal dud that not only fails to take flight, it short-circuits before it even gets out of the docking bay.

(9) HISTORY FROM ANOTHER PLANET. Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow has been cut loose:

Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.

The Hollywood Reporter heard this from unnamed sources:

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that script issues have continued to be a sore spot throughout Episode IX’s development, with Trevorrow having repeated stabs at multiple drafts. In August, Jack Thorne, the British scribe who wrote the upcoming Julia Roberts-Jacob Tremblay movie Wonder, was tapped to work on the script.

Sources say that the working relationship between Trevorrow and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy became unmanageable. Kennedy, who had already been through one director firing/replacement on the Han Solo spinoff movie, was not eager for a sequel and tried to avoid this decision.

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • There is a school of thought that if you need to use a bookmark, you don’t have a first-rate mind. Today’s Drabble shows the down side of that. Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the laugh.
  • He also recommends today’s installment of Brevity, a terrible pun which made me laugh (don’t they all?)

(11) WATCHING STINKERS. List Challenges says these are “100 of the Worst Movies Ever” and gives you a chance to add up how many you’ve seen. Apparently I’ve done a pretty good job of sparing my eyeballs, having seen only 15 out of 100. (Was Down Periscope really that awful? I wouldn’t tell you to hurry and see it, but I know I didn’t throw my popcorn box at the screen either.)

(12) HARASSMENT SURVEY. Jess Nevins has published the results of his “Sexual Harassment in the Science Fiction & Fantasy Communities Survey”.

The science fiction and fantasy community has a problem: sexual harassment and sexual predation by men.

I put up a survey recently on the subject. The results, while not surprising, were nonetheless sobering. Of 802 respondents:

  • 24% had been sexually harassed at a convention.
  • 35% had witnessed sexual harassment at a convention.
  • 40% had a family member, friend, or colleague who had been sexually harassed at a convention.

In addition to overall numbers, he collected anecdotal information.

… Some of the victims of harassment refuse to go to specific conventions any more, whether because of that convention’s weak anti-harassment policies, the weak response by the convention’s staff to complaints about harassment, or because a harasser is a regular participant of that convention. Some of the victims refuse to go to any conventions now, because of their negative experiences. Some of the victims are no longer comfortable at conventions unless they are in the presence of a male partner or friend or group of friends. Some of the victims have developed PTSD as a result of being harassed.

(13) MULTITUDES ATTEND DRAGON AWARDS. They may be blurry photos taken with a phone, but they are clear enough to show the number of fans present for the Dragon Awards.

View post on imgur.com

(14) CLOSEUP OF THE EUGIE AWARD. This is a much better picture than I was able to find the other day.

(15) WHO CROSSES THE POND. Hold it, that sounds like an episode plot, not geography. The news story is: ATB Publishing has started shipping copies of Red, White and Who: The Story of Doctor Who in America by Steven Warren Hill, Jennifer Adams Kelley, Nicholas Seidler, Robert Warnock,  Janine Fennick and John Lavalie.

In this book you’ll find the rich history of everything DOCTOR WHO in the USA—from American TV Guide listings of Canadian broadcasts in 1965, through the Dalek movies, the early struggles of the Public Broadcasting System, the BBC sales attempts, the official debut on American television in 1972, the explosion in popularity among US viewers in 1979, the twentieth anniversary celebration in 1983, the conventions, the books, the merchandise, the fan clubs, the video releases, the games, the USA Tour, and every imaginable fan activity including cosplay, fan films and audios, PBS pledge drive volunteering, websites, podcasts, and much more, to the new heights of success, popularity, and fandom participation in the 21st century. It’s an enlightening and entertaining journey for everyone who admires DOCTOR WHO…and not just for American fans, but devotees around the globe.

(16) THEY KEPT WATCHING THE SKIES. Now they know which star they were looking at: “Scientists recover nova first spotted 600 years ago by Korean astrologers”.

On a cold March night in Seoul almost 600 years ago, Korean astrologers spotted a bright new star in the tail of the constellation Scorpius. It was seen for just 14 days before fading from view. From these ancient records, modern astronomers determined that what the Royal Imperial Astrologers saw was a nova explosion, but they had been unable to find the binary star system that caused it—until now. A new study published today by the journal Nature pinpoints the location of the old nova, which now undergoes smaller-scale “dwarf nova” eruptions. The work supports that idea that novae go through a very long-term life cycle after erupting, fading to obscurity for thousands of years, and then building back up to become full-fledged novae once more.

“This is the first nova that’s ever been recovered with certainty based on the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese records of almost 2,500 years,” said the study’s lead author Michael Shara, a curator in the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Astrophysics.

(17) FANTASTIC FICTION AT KGB. Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel will present Katherine Vaz and Chris Sharp at the next gathering of Fantastic Fiction at KGB on September 20.

Katherine Vaz

Katherine Vaz is best known for her fictional chronicling of the stories of the Portuguese in America, often with a magical-realism twist. Her novels include Saudade, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and Mariana, selected by the Library of Congress as one of the Top Thirty International Books of 1998. Her collections Fado & Other Stories and Our Lady of the Artichokes & Other Portuguese-American Stories have won, respectively, a Drue Heinz Literature Award and a Prairie Schooner Book Prize. She’s taught fiction as a Briggs-Copeland Fellow at Harvard and was a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She’s a frequent contributor to the anthologies of Ellen Datlow (and Terri Windling)plus a story in the upcoming Mad Hatters and March Hares.

Chris Sharp

Chris Sharp is the author of Cold Counsel, a human-free, post-Ragnarok, dark fantasy romp and The Elementalists, a YA epic about dragons and climate change—with new installments coming soon to both series. His articles have appeared in Tor.com, and he also writes extensively for feature films and episodic television. Prior to moving to MA and committing full time to writing, he worked as an independent film/commercial producer in NYC. His photography has appeared in New York Times Magazine, his drawing in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and some of the films he produced have won awards at festivals around the world.

The readings begin 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20th, 7pm at KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs.) in New York.

(18) SEASONAL BREW. It’s the right time of year for New Belgium Brewing to send its Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale to market.

Enough with the run-of-the-mill pumpkin beers. I’m not interested in an ale that takes cues from a frozen coffee drink, and neither are you. That’s why I made Atomic Pumpkin. Does it really feature Habanero peppers? Yep! What about Saigon Cinnamon? Ding! I round it all out with a hearty malt bill that makes for a spicy brew that puts the “Fun” back in Pumpkin. (Spelling was never my strength). — Voodoo Ranger

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, DMS, Carl Slaughter, Mark-kitteh, Rebecca Hill, Craig Glassner, Michael J. Walsh, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]</a<>

141 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/5/17 For Sale: Baby Pixels. Never Scrolled

  1. I also contend that the first Twilight movie is actually pretty good, if not stunningly original, and only gets a bad rep 1. Because of the teenage girl association and ensuing stereotypes and 2. Because it started a series which then descends into a mess of icky stalking and abuse, love triangles that somehow manage to involve people who haven’t been born, chronically unfinished sentences, Catholic vampires vs Mormon vampires etc and isn’t really good enough to rise above that association.

    Another thing I just realised about Spice World: for me, and probably many other children of the Doctor Who-free ’90s, the Spice Bus was the original bigger-on-the-inside vehicle. Gateway media is a wonderful thing!

  2. I am one of today’s 10,000 for St. Louis pizza. I am not outraged, but I’m also not a fan of pizza. Also, I’m super excited about the new novel.

    11) I’ve seen seven, which surprised me because I grew up in the Bay Area, where we had Bob Wilkins, Creature Features, and a weekly chance at seeing a really bad movie (Plan 9 for the win, but Zsa Zsa Gabor in Queen of Outer Space was a close contender). I didn’t hate any of the movies I did see and didn’t bitterly wish for my two hours back, which isn’t true for three critically acclaimed darlings that I hated. Plus, I liked Red Sonja.

    I don’t really get the hate for Twilight. I didn’t see the movies, but I did read the first two books and while the writing was clumsy to bad, I could see why there was such a devoted fandom. Without thinking too much about it, I’ve just figured it was girl cooties that garnered the scorn (and, no, Buffy isn’t an answer to that).

  3. The film FOOD FIGHT, which seems to be like one of those old Warner Brothers cartoons where the products come to life after midnight.. Only the reviews on Amazon say it is very bad. One reviewer couldn’t stand it and gave up watching it. That’s three minutes of his life he’ll never get back again.

  4. Meredith Moments: The first books in Jennifer Roberson’s Swords and Cheysuli series (Sword-Dancer and Shapechangers, respectively) are $2.99. C’mon, kids, the first taste is cheap …

    I admit that I’ve seen all of the Resident Evil movies in theaters and own them on Blu-ray, but I’d never claim that they’re good movies by any stretch of the imagination.

  5. Arifel – Yeah out of any of the Twilight movies you’d think the 4th one would be on there instead of the first for all those reasons.

  6. TWILIGHT and the sequels are vampire romance novels–dating bad men–without the gore that the traditional vampires of legend inflicted. My TWILIGHT loving daugther had no mood or use for, say, LAST MAN ON EARTH, or YOUNG BLOOD. The Hammer films she found curious. I’m not inclined to watch vampires that sparkle.

  7. Worst Movies: Depends on if you mean “truly bad” or “lazy, unoriginal” or “Doesnt make any sense”.
    Truly Bad: Plan 9 or The Humanoid which manages to be even worse than Plan 9, mainly because its longer. Its so bad it really is funny. And it features Richard Kiel (Jaws from James Bond).
    Unwatchable bad: These movies are just painful to watch. Batman & Robin is like that, but there is another campy Batman movie with Adam West that is not much better (but at least was in the tradition of the series). Higlander 2.
    Most movies on the list are just bland or uninspired.
    FWIW The worst movie I saw in the cinema was The Knowing with Nicholas Cage. Interesting premise, but the story just didnt make any sense. And the ending was on par with the ending of AI.

    Re: Trwilight Movies: I guess they reflect te source material pretty well. Definitly worse is the spoof “Vampires suck”.

  8. Re: “S for Second”

    I seem to recall DragonCon having a dedicated app. I would be rather shocked if it lacked a search function…

    I mean, sure, burying the ceremony under “S” is boneheaded, but have you guys SEEN their “pocket” program? It’s been a couple of years for me, but it’s not much of an exaggeration to say that I’ve seen smaller phone books. Unless you go digging, pretty much EVERY panel is “buried” simply due to the crushing mass of programming. Get the app, use the app, use the search feature to find people and panels.

  9. Oh, and upon further consideration I reject any “worst movies” list that doesn’t include the Dungeons & Dragons movie, which continues to be the worst thing I’ve seen in the theater, and I saw both Valerian and The Gunslinger in the theater.

  10. Oh the D&D movie was the worst cinema watched movie, until I saw the Knowing…
    The brst part was that it was a movie about a classical RPG party… that went to great pains that the main always was separated from the rest of the group, so he could be the hero All By Himself… 🙂

  11. Sorry, but “House of the Dead” still gets my nod for worst movie seen in a theater. I still remember the still frames from the arcade game – complete with health bars and scores – that popped up during the fight scenes. What were they thinking?

  12. I bonded with a couple of good friends at a midnight showing of Showgirls featuring a pool-scene-reenactment in an inflatable kiddie pool, so based on that I don’t see how it could possibly be a bad movie. In the Verhoeven expanded universe, this is the world Johnny Rico was saving from the bugs, and Robocop was built to fight deranged criminals like Nomi Malone (and Catherine Trammel from Basic Instinct).

    Same deal for Spice World and Twilight; agree with Cheryl S. about the girl cooties. They’re no worse than hundreds of other movies but they happen to be pitched toward girls – the horror, the horror.

  13. Cheryl S. on September 6, 2017 at 10:53 am said:

    Without thinking too much about it, I’ve just figured it was girl cooties that garnered the scorn

    I may be being naive to think so, but there’s a sort of against the flavor of the moment attitude that work against it only because it became so widely known / mainstream whiplash effect. You can see that with Ready Player One recently and backlash against what is an okay book but neither the worst but not the greatest either. Like the first couple of Twilight books are pretty typical YA vampire books though the dialogue of ‘make me a vampire’ and ‘no I’m worried how it might affect you’ repeated too much, but if you find time to kill at an airport the 4th it just goes completely off of the rails, making it simultaneously the worst one and one I thought was the most entertaining.

    But it was popular and features sparkle vampires, which led to people reacting to how could something like Twilight make so much money, and now there’s a fairly large sub-genre of paranormal romance (of which existed before but Twilight was more PG-rated than many) and CW TV shows.

    Then again maybe it’s routine for the mainstream to lash out against something marketed toward women, before people realize that 50%+ of the population is a pretty big market then everyone starts trying to figure out how they too can get in on it.

    Rev. Bob on September 6, 2017 at 11:55 am said:

    Sorry, but “House of the Dead” still gets my nod for worst movie seen in a theater. I still remember the still frames from the arcade game – complete with health bars and scores – that popped up during the fight scenes. What were they thinking?

    My favorite bit of that movie was the mid-firefight flashback that served no purpose and the character dies right after. Did you know there was a second version of that movie meant to be slapstick comedy where the guns are replaced with water pistols? I own both.

    Not even Boll’s worse movie though.

  14. Charon D: Thinking back, I skipped the Twilight movies in the theaters because the advertising felt pitched to YA, with a heavy romance component. When they came on TV, I happened to be traveling on business with time on my hands, gave them a look and found I enjoyed them.

  15. I have only seen three and a half of the movies (I have seen very few movies in general), but I would be defensive of Zardoz and Spice World, for rather different reasons.

    On the other hand, I got half way through Plan 9 from Outer Space, and have no intention of watching the other half.

    As for Highlander II – there should have been only one!!!

  16. (11) I remember having seen 8 on the list, if I saw any of the others they must have been very forgettable
    @Cheryl S, did you see that Bob Wilkins is going to be Ghost of Honor at WorldCon next year?

  17. I think my problem with the one Twilght book I read part of was, apart from the terrible writing, the message that sex is literally death, which isn’t even new.

    As to terrible writing however, the bits of 50 Shades that I saw in newspapers attained hitherto unsscaled heights of ineptitude, plus the funniest example of a dangling participle that I’ve ever encountered.

    And I’ve seen 6 of the 100, but all on TV. There were things I really liked in Catwoman.

  18. And of course, the book “50 Shades of Gray” started life as “Twilight” fanfiction, so there’s that.

  19. I saw They Saved Hitler’s Brain in a movie theater so most of these wouldn’t even make my meh list.

    Of course I paid to see (The Super) Inframan twice, so my taste in movies may be in question.

    Incidentally, Inframan was set in 2015. I wish I had known that two years ago.

  20. If this is Jupiter Ascending Anonymous, I’d like to add that I just watched it on a plane and it wasn’t that awful, I’ve seen a lot worse. At least the Goombas from Super Mario Brothers had a job after that movie.

  21. @BGrandrath – @Cheryl S, did you see that Bob Wilkins is going to be Ghost of Honor at WorldCon next year?

    I did and I’m pretty excited over it. I routinely turned down other offers to stay home and watch Creature Features. His commentary was often the highlight of my week.

    Matt Y – Then again maybe it’s routine for the mainstream to lash out against something marketed toward women, before people realize that 50%+ of the population is a pretty big market then everyone starts trying to figure out how they too can get in on it.

    I’ve never cared enough to suss out where exactly the disdain comes from, but nobody has ever felt the need to tell me I was reading trash if it was Conan, Mack Bolan, or Tarzan. Get on a bus* with a romance novel and it’s 50/50 odds that someone would at the very least tell me they can’t understand why anyone would ever read, etc. Apologies to fellow readers of Conan, Mack Bolan, and Tarzan, but we’re not talking great literature and scornful people could easily (but never have in my experience) call it trash.

    In genre writing, mystery writers haven’t had much trouble being taken seriously as writers. That has become true for SFF writers as well. The best writers of Westerns get academic attention. Romance and YA writers? Not so much. I seriously doubt those genres are where bad writers congregate, but they do appeal largely to women and girls.

    *Something I haven’t done since 2006, so maybe things have changed, but that covers a few decades of experience.

  22. First time I went through that bad-movie list, I thought I’d only seen 8 of them.

    I checked again, and I’ve seen 10 — I didn’t recognize from the titles that REVENGE OF THE FALLEN was TRANSFORMERS 2, or that ANNIHILATION was MORTAL KOMBAT 2.

    I saw ANNIHILATION because the first MK movie was a lot of fun. The second one really, really wasn’t.

    And I saw TRANSFORMERS 2 on video because a movie producer told me to as part of a job. I did not learn anything valuable from it.

    I also saw part of ISHTAR, and I want to see the whole thing someday, mainly because I liked the comedy songs.

  23. Cheryl S –

    In genre writing, mystery writers haven’t had much trouble being taken seriously as writers. That has become true for SFF writers as well. The best writers of Westerns get academic attention. Romance and YA writers? Not so much. I seriously doubt those genres are where bad writers congregate, but they do appeal largely to women and girls.

    Kind of lame weren’t all genre works labelled romances at some point? I’d bet though that at the best romance writers probably have more authors who can live off of their royalties than all others. Romance isn’t my cup of tea but I don’t see why it’d be judged more than reading about dwarves or laser swords. Romance movies I don’t care for though because nearly all revolve around the concept of one person having lied to the other for most of the movie only to get caught out then have to make a gesture to make up for it. At least what books I’ve read in the genre don’t seem to do that.

    When I read Twilight on the bus (I read them, my wife wanted to talk to me about them and she’s put up with my horror movie crap) as I guy I got far more women starting conversations with me and were cool. I didn’t mind that part because I rarely read something on the bus someone gets excited over and wants to talk about it with someone right then. I did once have a woman try to grab the Da Vinci Code out of my hand and try to explain to me that it was fiction, just in case I wasn’t aware. I usually get the kind of crap for horror books.

  24. @ Techgrrl1972
    Very true!

    @ Cheryl S
    Yes, indeed. A friend once told me that both mysteries and SFF were trash, and I told her I hoped she’d reconsider her prejudices some day.

    No stranger has ever commented on what I was reading, but an acquaintance once complimented me on being a “vociferous” reader. Honestly, I wasn’t rustling pages or even moving my lips.

  25. I’ve seen an appropriately unlucky 13 of the bad-movies list. Could have been 14; but I don’t think I ever managed to sit thru a complete showing of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE.

    Some of the movies I remember that I did watch, but that’s the only thing I remember about the experience. Possible proof that traumatic amnesia is a real thing.

  26. As something of a connoisseur of trash cinema I’ve seen 45 of those films. Few of them are all that bad. Too many of them are bad but competently made or good but ineptly crafted. Eegah!, Hobgoblins, Birdemic, Manos, The Room, Zaat… truly horrible films but I love them. The worst movie I’ve ever seen (part of, long before I came to embrace the suck) in theater: Freejack. Not on there. The worst oeuvre of films I’ve seen: The Coleman Francis trilogy. None of them on there. Nothing from Jess Franco, Bill Rebane or Andy Sirkis. There’s whole swaths of Eurotash, low-budget blacksploitation, Kung-Fu failures and Japanese schlock unrepresented. Entire film industries in places like Turkey, India and Indonesia untapped.

  27. I’ve only seen 2 of the supposed 100 worst movies. I thought both were fairly dull, but not a fraction as bad as the 4 or 5 genuinely worst movies I’ve ever seen, none of which are on the list. The #1 worst movie of all time in my book is The Phantom Menace. Not only did it make me never want to see a Star Wars movie again, it made me want to go back and unsee all the earlier Star Wars movies.

  28. Andrew Porter: I keep up with lots of SF/F news, and I never knew about the harassment survey. I wonder how many literary SF conventions versus media and comics conventions were involved.

    Mike included it in the August 22 Scroll (Item #12).

    But otherwise, I don’t know that it was widely promoted anywhere but on Twitter.

  29. I refer people who scorn genre fiction to Sturgeon’s Law. It’s still surprisingly effective, even after all these years.

    @Matt Y: the meaning of the word “romance” has shifted greatly over the centuries. It originally had no association with love at all. (Now, of course, that’s its primary meaning.) “Romance” originally meant a fictional tale in the vernacular (rather than Latin). Then it became close to a synonym for what we now call fantasy: epic tales of heroes and chivalry. The medieval boom in tales of “courtly love” are probably what started the word being associated with love in general, but it was regularly used to describe tales of the fantastic and mysterious up through the 19th c., and is still (albeit more rarely) used in that sense today.

  30. I’ve seen 20 of the movies.

    I’ve only walked out of a movie theater once; it was in the first 5 minutes, from a B-movie featuring William Shatner called Visiting Hours. It was appallingly bad.

    I also remember paying for a video rental of Iron Eagle II, which I’d gotten because I’d enjoyed the first one. That one lasted about 5 minutes, too. (And criminy, I see that they later made Iron Eagle III and IV; never let it be said that Hollywood won’t beat a franchise horse to death.)

  31. DB: The #1 worst movie of all time in my book is The Phantom Menace. Not only did it make me never want to see a Star Wars movie again, it made me want to go back and unsee all the earlier Star Wars movies.

    Right before The Force Awakens was released, a friend did a marathon showing of all 6 of the previous movies. Episodes I – III were so much worse than I remembered; it was actually excruciating to sit through them before finally getting to A New Hope. I will never watch any of those movies again. They are definitely in the “so bad that they’re awful” category.

  32. @Cheryl S.

    In genre writing, mystery writers haven’t had much trouble being taken seriously as writers. That has become true for SFF writers as well. The best writers of Westerns get academic attention. Romance and YA writers? Not so much. I seriously doubt those genres are where bad writers congregate, but they do appeal largely to women and girls.

    Yes, this. The reason the fairly middle of the road Twilight movies get to take up two spots on that list, while other much worse movies are omitted is because of girl cooties. For while the Twilight movies are not high art and will never win Oscars, they’re perfectly okay for what they are. Regarding the books, I only read the first one. I’m not the target audience, but I can see why teenaged girls would love them. I probably would have loved them, too, if I’d read them at 14 rather than at 34.

    Of course there are people who dismiss any kind of genre fiction as trash and who sneer at Conan, James Bond, Nora Roberts and Twilight equally. A lot of my German teachers were like that, due to an intense anti-popular-literature bias in teacher training in the 1970s, and all they achieved was instill a deep-seated and hard to dislodge dislike of those authors they deemed important in me.

    However, among people who take at least some genre fiction seriously, there still is a strong bias against romance and YA. Romance is still the genre it’s safe to kick down at (Well, we might be SFF fans, but at least we don’t read that trash). And even within our genre, authors working on the romancier ends of SFF are often ignored or dismissed outright. Diana Gabaldon, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Nora Roberts in her J.D. Robb guise (and sometimes in her own as well), Charlaine Harris, J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, etc… are all huge sellers comparable to the likes of Jim Butcher, but I don’t see them discussed a whole lot.

    The worst movie I ever saw in the theatre (and I saw some pretty bad ones in the 1990s) was a 1994 Charlie Sheen movie called Terminal Velocity. I good friend of mine had a crush on Charlie Sheen, so I’ve probably every movie he made before approx. 2000 and damn, there were a lot of really bad ones. Terminal Velocity stands out among such gems as Courage Mountain and Beyond the Law, because it was not even funny bad, just dull bad.

  33. Xtifr – Huh interesting how that term evolved. I still have some magazines bought at an antique store advertising western romances within and were the bar fight type not the finding love in cowboy boots type.

    JJ –

    I will never watch any of those movies again. They are definitely in the “so bad that they’re awful” category.

    Ditto, they were on TV and I started watching them again and was embarrassed I paid to see them in the theater, they were straight up brutal to watch now.

  34. @Cora —

    Romance is still the genre it’s safe to kick down at (Well, we might be SFF fans, but at least we don’t read that trash).

    I used to feel that way — and I still do, to some extent. I used to sneer at all romance. These days I read a lot of romance — roughly as many romance novels per year as sff novels (this year so far I’ve read 61 sff and 47 romance, according to Goodreads). I still say that **as a whole** the romance genre is more worthy of sneers than the sff genre, because there is a LOT of crap in romance, but there’s also a lot of entertaining stuff in there.

    Diana Gabaldon, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Nora Roberts in her J.D. Robb guise (and sometimes in her own as well), Charlaine Harris, J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, etc… are all huge sellers comparable to the likes of Jim Butcher, but I don’t see them discussed a whole lot.

    Diana Gabaldon is (to me and me only) crap because I despise rape fantasies and cheap time travel gimmicks (with or without romance); nonetheless, I plan to try her Lord John books one of these days. Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Charlaine Harris I have no serious problems with, though I got tired of all their series; JD Robb was just bad, no matter how many zillions she sells — I made it through one and never have plans to try another. JR Ward is truly awful yet also somehow quite addictive, so I understand why she sells; I’ve read most of her BDB series, I’m embarrassed to say. I’ve never read Kenyon. One you left out, whom I absolutely despise: Nalini Singh.

    But definitely yes — the puppies need to watch their language about awarding only the most popular works, because they probably wouldn’t like the results if that proposed rule was actually followed.

  35. @Xtifr: In German, “Roman” simply means “novel” (and I think in French as well), by the way.

    I’ve seen a few of the movies on the list (some of them in MST3K form); I like “Down Periscope” – it’s now where near as bad as “Santa Claus vs. the Martians” (which I used to watch each year round Christmas time or as bad as the worst movie I saw in the theatre: “Spaced Invaders” (which, if I recall correctly, had a trailer with amusing dialogue that was not in the movie).

  36. #11
    14/100

    I saw Howard the Duck in the theater, and Wicker Man at a special preview showing! Others I mostly caught on cable looking for something to watch while folding laundry. I thought Spice World was funny, and it was a good one for cameos!

    Definitely an interesting discussion

  37. For me, one of the worst movies I recall seeing was Matrix 2. (Or was it Matrix 3? I no longer remember) I literally fell asleep during a pointless fight scene and woke up some ten or fifteen minutes later… and the fight scene was still going on.

    Oh, and Aeon Flux. That’s two hours of my life I’m never getting back.

  38. In re: Twilight: IDK, I thought the abuse/stalking shows up pretty early in the first book–and as a romance writer/reader, I’d be ashamed to write any character, much less a protagonist, as flat and hapless as Bella. Thus, hatred.

    JR Ward…I don’t know how the quality of writing is, but I saw that she has heroes called, like, Rhage and Zsadist, and I just could not.

  39. @Isabel —

    “JR Ward…I don’t know how the quality of writing is, but I saw that she has heroes called, like, Rhage and Zsadist, and I just could not.”

    Yeah, she’s awful in just about every way. Still addictive.

    btw, I hated it when Michael J. Sullivan came out with his Riyria prequels and started using words like Fhrey and Rhune and so on, because they are so much like the names Ward uses — Rhage and Dhestroyer and Vishous and Phury and etc. For heaven’s sake, couldn’t Sullivan have picked some other random letter to stick into his words??

  40. I thought everybody knew — just add random apostrophes. F’rey and R’une and Vi’cious, and everybody will be happy.

    (Seriously: This is the reason I could never bring myself to even pick up the Wi’tch books — just reading the title on the cover was like rubbing lemon juice in my eyes.)

  41. I’ve only seen one on the list (plus parts of a couple or three on television). Mostly because of the time period covered, and the fact that I just don’t generally enjoy watching bad stuff just to watch bad stuff. Now if they had included a bunch of beach movies from the 60s, it might be a different matter.

    Plus, they didn’t include the worst movie I ever saw in a theatre (at a Saturday children’s matinee), the absolutely worst Christmas movie ever made (I will hear no argument’s about this), Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

  42. @Contrarius: Right–and, in general, I have zero patience with the sf/fantasy naming practices that involve randomly sticking letters and/or punctuation into words. It’s a sign that the author a) isn’t confident in their ability to convey a foreign world through writing, and b) cares more about Hey Lookit How SF This Is than about telling a good story.

  43. @Joe H: Seriously. I tried–my ex owned a bunch of them (which should probably have indicated things about that relationships) and I, lacking other reading material, picked one up. Got as far as someone drinking “ko’koa” and then decided life was too short.

  44. Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets belongs on their bad movie list. Oh yes. It was unbearably tedious and terribly long, so I wouldn’t even recommend it to the bad movie aficionados.

    [godstalk]

  45. (6) made me think that there seems to be an awful lack of cheese in Science Fiction.

    * The entire Imperial Radch series has a single, derogatory reference to cheese:

    “Probably cheese,” I said.
    She grimaced. “Why can’t these people eat real food? Don’t they know better?”
    “Cheese is real food. So is cabbage.”

    * Death’s End and Ninefox Gambit are utterly cheese free (but maybe the authors can be excused on the grounds of lactose intolerance?).
    * Too Like The Lightning has a single reference to cheese.
    * And lest one think that the absence of cishet caucasian men is causing the cheese deficiency, neither Seveneves nor Aurora mention cheese in any way.

    What’s going on? Is there a massive Cheese Extinction Event in our near future?

  46. @ Ingvar Numbers are slippery things – I can’t tell you what page I was on, but I can open a physical book pretty close to where I left off. I once impressed a job interviewer in 1992 by saying “I don’t know the answer, but it’s in the manual on a right-hand page, about 1/3 of the way in – give me one and I can find it.” And I did.

    @ Ghostbird A bad action movie could still have decent F/X and stunts – though that isn’t saving Transformers. A bad feelings movie has nothing to fall back on.

  47. @Cora – Of course there are people who dismiss any kind of genre fiction as trash and who sneer at Conan, James Bond, Nora Roberts and Twilight equally. A lot of my German teachers were like that, due to an intense anti-popular-literature bias in teacher training in the 1970s, and all they achieved was instill a deep-seated and hard to dislodge dislike of those authors they deemed important in me.

    I think I had better teachers. One high school English teacher introduced me to Tolkein and another to Golden Age mysteries. A couple of them tried to ruin Dickens and poetry, but that was kind of their job.

    @Contrarius – JD Robb was just bad, no matter how many zillions she sells…

    I don’t remember how or why (a contest seems unlikely, but maybe?), but a few years ago I got a large box of books from a publisher, including volume 20-something of JD Robb’s series, so I bought the first book. I liked it and have been reading two or three a year. I think she’s a pretty effective writer and given that her fans will buy anything she writes, takes way more care than she needs to. I think she’s particularly strong with secondary characters. The books she writes as Nora Roberts are perfect for those nights when I want something new but I do not want surprises.

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