Pixel Scroll 1/10/19 We Built this City on Pixel Scroll

(1) A VALID GRIEVANCE. A message from Marko Kloos — “This post brought to you by the Superhero Writers Union.”

I love writing for Wild Cards. It’s an amazingly detailed world that has been expanded by thirty-plus writers over thirty years, and it’s a ton of fun to be a part of that. I mean, I get to make up my own super-powered characters and then let them loose in a playground that has been constantly expanded and improved for three decades. And the Wild Cards consortium is just stacked with super-nice and super-talented people.

That said, there’s one thing that annoys me about being a Wild Cards writer, and that’s entitled Game of Thrones fans.

Every time GRRM posts something on social media about Wild Cards, it takes about five seconds before someone responds with a dismissive one-liner that totally shits on whatever it is he’s trying to promote or announce. And it’s always a variation of the same boring, unoriginal garbage. Finish Winds of Winter. Nobody cares about Wild Cards. WHERE’S THE BOOK, GEORGE? NOT BUYING ANYTHING FROM YOU UNTIL YOU FINISH WINDS OF WINTER. Etcetera, etcetera. Yawn.

GRRM is the editor of Wild Cards (along with Melinda Snodgrass). He edits the books, he doesn’t write them…

(2) CON OR BUST SEEKS NEW DIRECTORS. Kate Nepveu, who started Con or Bust ten years ago, is stepping down from its board, and thus they are seeking up to four new director: “Help shape Con or Bust’s future: join the Board of Directors!”

What does being on the Board involve?

That’s up to the new Board members to decide. In the past, I handled all the day-to-day business, and the rest of the Board reviewed and approved requests for assistance quarterly, and provided advice, suggestions, and approvals regarding policy changes as-needed. The day-to-day business consisted of: the auction, yearly; administering requests for monetary assistance, quarterly; balancing the books, monthly; and general question-answering and email-fielding, weekly-ish.

However, that state of affairs was the result of (1) Con or Bust’s origin as a single-person project and (2) my control-freak tendencies. Since I’m stepping down, the new Board will determine what works best for its members.

Board members are elected for a term of three years.

(3) EXPLAINING THE POPULARITY OF HORROR. An article in the January 4 Financial TImes by Tom Faber contends horror films have become more popular because women are given more roles to play than “victims, sex objects, and she-devils.”

In 2018, however, women in horror were scientist-explorers, dancers, witches, avengers, webcam girls, and mothers both fiercely protective and provocatively ambivalent toward their children.  Meanwhile male characters in the Halloween reboot, (Lucas) Guadagnino’s Suspira and Hereditary were passive and useless.  In one of Suspira’s memorable scenes, witches hypnotise two policemen, laugh at them, and laugh at their genitals.  Could there be a more pointed example of the genre’s gender shift?

As female roles change, the horror audience only grows.  Last year’s Halloween broke the (admittedly specialised) box office record for a film with a female lead over the age of 55.  FrightFest reports more women attending every year.  And more women are getting behind the camera. The Babadook, Raw, and Revenge all offer a thoughtful female perspective  on the genre tropes, exploring motherhood, awakening sexuality and the aftermath of sexual violence without skimping on the gore. This could be a lasting change in the world of horror, even if the genre does end up creeping back into the shadows.

(4) LASSETER BACK IN INDUSTRY. Variety published the explanatory memo: “Skydance CEO Addresses John Lasseter Hire in Memo to Staff: ‘We Have Not Entered Into This Lightly’”

On Wednesday, Skydance announced that it hired Pixar veteran John Lasseter to head its animation division. The decision is bound to come under scrutiny, given the fact that Lasseter was ousted from Pixar in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal. In a memo to staff, CEO David Ellison attempted to explain the decision, and noted that Skydance employed a third-party counsel to investigate the allegations. Read the full memo below.

(5) STAR WARS BLOWS UP PRICES AT DISNEYLAND. At Fatherly, Ryan Britt says “Blame ‘Star Wars’ For Huge Price Increase of Disneyland Parks Tickets”. Disney has increased ticket prices by 25 percent to a minimum of $100/day to pay for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge where you can ride the Millennium Falcon and have a drink at the Mos Eisley cantina. The post includes a Disney video called “Fly Through Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.”

Sadly, there aren’t a lot of hacks to get around this, and the reason for the increase almost certainly has to do with the new Star Wars attraction. Touted as an immersive experience, Galaxy’s Edge will allow visitors to ride the Millennium Falcon and drink real alcohol at a simulacrum of the famous Mos Eisley cantina first glimpsed in the 1977 Star Wars movie, A New Hope. For those of us who remember StarTours from the ’80s and ’90s, this is supposed to be way better than that, though clearly, way more expensive.

(6) GOLDEN AGE SFF ART. Alec Nevala-Lee tells “How Astounding Saw the Future” with an accompanying gallery at the New York Times.

Science fiction has become so central to our culture that it can be easy to take it for granted, but its modern form arose at a specific historical moment. During the genre’s golden age, which is conventionally dated from 1939 to 1950, its ideas were refined by a relative handful of authors, editors and artists — and its most immediate impact came through its illustrations. Out of the pulps emerged an entire visual language that relied on striking painted covers to attract newsstand buyers, and while it took years for the stories inside to live up to readers’ dreams, the pictures were often unforgettable from the beginning.

This evolution is clearly visible in the magazine best known as Astounding Science Fiction, the most influential title in the history of the field, and in its sister publication, Unknown, which played much the same role for fantasy. Most of the art was produced by commercial freelancers in New York who collaborated closely with editors. The interior drawings tended to strictly follow the text, but cover artists could let their imaginations run wild. Thanks in large part to their work, science fiction in the midcentury achieved its enduring sense of wonder, and its images from this period may turn out to be the genre’s most lasting contribution to our collective vision of the future.


  • January 10, 1927 — Fritz Lang’s Metropolis had its world premiere in his native Germany.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 10, 1904Ray Bolger. The Scarecrow In The Wizard of Oz, the villainous Barnaby in Babes in Toyland, two appearances on Fantasy Island, and Vector In “Greetings from Earth” on the seventies version of Battlestar Galactica. (Died 1987.)
  • Born January 10, 1937 Elizabeth Anne Hull, 82. She has served as the President of the Science Fiction Research Association and editor of its newsletter. She has been a member of the panel for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel since 1986. With her husband Frederik Pohl, Hull edited the Tales from the Planet Earth anthology. She is also the editor of the Gateways: Original New Stories Inspired by Frederik Pohl anthology. She has co-authored three short stories with him, “Author Plus”, “The Middle Kingdom” and “Second Best Friend”.
  • Born January 10, 1942 Walter Hill, 77. Film director, screenwriter producer of such genre fare as the Alien franchise, Streets of Fire (it’s genre, it’s it?), several espies odes of the Tales from the Crypt series, Tales from the CryptDemon KnightPerversions of Science, an episode of Deadwood and Prometheus. 
  • Born January 10, 1944 William Sanderson, 75. I remember him best as J. F. Sebastian, the possibly insane genetic designer working for Tyrell in Blade Runner but he’s had a career obviously after that film including appearing as Skeets in The Rocketeer, voicing Dr. Karl Rossum on Batman: The Animated Series, playing the character Deuce on Babylon 5 (a series I’ve watched through at least three times), E. B. Farnum on Deadwood (ok, it’s not genre, but it’s Will and Emma’s favorite show so let’s let it slide) and Sheriff Bud Dearborne on True Blood
  • Born January 10, 1944Jeffrey Catherine Jones. She was an artist providing more than a hundred and fifty covers for many different types of genre books through mid seventies including the Ace paperback editions of the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series. Among her work was also Flash Gordon for Charlton Comics in the Sixties and the  Conan Saga for Marvel Comics in the late Eighties. (Died 2011.)
  • Born January 10, 1947 George Alec Effinger. I’ve read his Marîd Audran series at least twice as it’s an amazing series in both the characters and the setting. I never read the short stories set in this setting until Golden Gryphon Press sent me Budayeen Nights for Green Man to review.  I don’t think I’ve ever encountered any of his other works — was he on presses that would’ve been in general bookstores that carried SF (Died 2002.)

(9) BUDRYS. Yesterday, Rich Horton posted “Birthday Review: Early Short Stories (and one obscure novel) by Algis Budrys”. He says, “I always think Algis Budrys needs to be better remembered, so on what would have been his 88th birthday, I put together a set of reviews of some of his 1950s stories.”

Algis Budrys was just a couple of months older than my father, and he’d have turned 88 today. He was one of my favorite SF writers. His best work, in my opinion, came mostly in the 1960s — the remarkable novel Rogue Moon, the underappreciated novel The Amsirs and the Iron Thorn, and such stories as “For Love”, “Wall of Crystal Eye of Night”, “Be Merry”, and a non-SF story, “The Master of the Hounds”. He also did excellent later work: “The Silent Eyes of Time”, “A Scraping at the Bones”, and the novels Michaelmas and Hard Landing. Late in his life he edited the interesting small press magaine tomorrow (which became one of the first magazines to transition online), before an unfortunate final act working for Writers of the Future.

(10) DC COLLECTIBLES. “Important Toy News: DC’s Hot Properties Village is the best fictional real estate”SYFY News has the story.

…Up for pre-order starting this week, Enesco’s Hot Properties Village follows in line with the well-known Department 56 “Village” brand. Instead of Swiss chalets and winter-themed Americana, Enesco is turning its attention to the major landmarks of the DC Universe. The company has already been putting out Christmas ornaments featuring some DC characters, but this new direction for the license opens up all kinds of possibilities, beginning with Wayne Manor, the Daily Planet, and the Batcave.

All three ceramic replicas include light-up elements, a key feature for display purposes. The scales are a little off between the various buildings, but that helps to keep all the various entries shelf-sized. Still, the Superman flying around the Daily Planet is comically oversized compared to the building, and the same could be said for the Bruce and Alfred that accompany Wayne Manor. At least the Batmobile looks like it could actually fit through the Batcave entrance. Sadly, the ’66 Batman and Robin to go with that cave entrance are sold separately….

(11) NONBREAKING NEWS. John Scalzi takes stock of his detractors in “And Now, the Dickhead Report”.

… Beyond that, it does seem that most of the dickheads who used to rail about me have either moved on or sunk themselves into obscurity or both. The fellow most enthusiastic about being a jackass in my direction over the years has recently fixated on someone else, which is nice for me and apparently harmless enough for the fellow he’s fixed himself upon. The object of his affections doesn’t seem to be suffering any real negative effect from the jackass’ constant need to attach himself, lamprey-like, to someone else’s career in the hope of gobbling up leftover crumbs. He’ll occasionally still snark in my direction, and mutter something to his sockpuppets about my blog visits, which, fine. But I don’t think his heart’s much into it anymore. He’s found a new crush, and I wish him joy.

Outside that dude, there’s a small group of indie writers (and their fans) who have used me as a fetish object in their never-ending war against the SJW-ing of science fiction, but that’s mostly just, like, six dudes reminding each other they’re in the “I Hate Scalzi” club over and over. Again, it’s not done me any harm, so let them have their whine circle if it makes them happy. But they seem to do it less now, as far as I can see. Among the former Sad Puppies, a couple of them will still hitch the strawman version of me to their chariot and drag it around the walls of their compound, to desultory cheers. But honestly, that was soooo long ago now. In the here and now, most of them are busy trying to build (or rebuild, as the case may be) their careers, and that’s probably a better use of their time. Good luck to them….

(12) DEEP BEEP. “Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected” according to the BBC.

Astronomers have revealed details of mysterious signals emanating from a distant galaxy, picked up by a telescope in Canada.

The precise nature and origin of the blasts of radio waves is unknown.

Among the 13 fast radio bursts, known as FRBs, was a very unusual repeating signal, coming from the same source about 1.5 billion light years away.

Such an event has only been reported once before, by a different telescope.

“Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there,” said Ingrid Stairs, an astrophysicist from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

“And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles – where they’re from and what causes them.”

(13) THE NEXT BIG BUSINESS. The Verge tells how “Fixing broken satellites in space could save companies big money”.

When your satellite breaks in space, as DigitalGlobe’s did on Monday, there isn’t an easy way to repair it. Technology that’s currently on the horizon may change that, however, allowing satellite providers to staunch their financial losses and get more out of their investments.

For DigitalGlobe, the loss was brutal: an Earth-imaging satellite called WorldView-4, which had clients that include Google Maps. A critical instrument needed to stabilize the spacecraft has stopped working properly. Now, the satellite can’t take decent pictures of Earth for DigitalGlobe’s customers, and there seems to be no way to fix the damage. 

WorldView-4 generated $85 million in revenue for Maxar, DigitalGlobe’s parent company, in fiscal year 2018, and the spacecraft is insured for $183 million. (Maxar says it intends to seek all of that money.) But if a servicing company offered a way to repair the satellite in orbit, for tens of millions of dollars, Maxar wouldn’t be facing as big of a financial hole. WorldView-4 just needs a new working gyroscope to get things up and running again.

(14) WINTERPROOF. Wired assures readers that “Snow can’t stop the Edward Scissorhands of Flying Cars”.

Plattsburgh, New York, is a tough place to be outside in early January. The small city sits on the western shore of Lake Champlain, 20 miles south of the Canadian border. I’ve just arrived with Kyle Clark and a few of his colleagues, after a quick flight in a 40-year-old Cessna from Burlington, Vermont, on the other side of the lake. It’s snowing, and as we shuffle across the mostly abandoned former Air Force base toward a secluded hangar, I ask Clark if the weather might ice today’s flight plans.

He looks at me and laughs, opening the hangar door. “Not a chance.”

…Clark will have none of such worries. He bounds into the cavernous building that once housed B-52 bombers and introduces me to the Ava XC. The gleaming white contraption, with stilt-like landing gear and eight propellers jutting out in every direction, looks like what Tony Stark would build if he had an Edward Scissorhands phase.

(15) STAND UP FOR READING. In Illinois there’s a school using giant book murals to encourage reading.

For many students, this week saw the end of the Christmas break and a return to school.

However, one school in Illinois, US, has taken a novel and eye-catching approach to motivating its students in the new year.

Students of Mundelein High returned to find six floor-to-ceiling book covers lining the corridor of the school’s English department.

The vinyl prints, which wrap around sections of wall like the jackets of giant books, flank the doorways of three of the school’s English classrooms.

The school explained in a post on Facebook that a “routine hallway has been transformed into a giant motivational tableau to encourage reading”.

Lockers done over as Harry Potter book covers.

(16) ALLEGED VAMPIRES. Fox’s The Passage kicks off Season 1 on Monday — Preview: There’s No Such Thing As Vampires.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Carl Slaughter, ULTRAGOTHA, Karl-Johan Norén, Olav Rokne, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

140 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/10/19 We Built this City on Pixel Scroll

  1. Laura: Decline in blog views? Blogs in general have declined. Have you heard of Twitter? I don’t think Scalzi’s internet presence is in danger of fading into obscurity anytime soon.

    I get posts at John Scalzi’s, Camestros Felapton’s, Cora Buhlert’s, and several other blogs delivered straight to my e-mail box, and much of the time I never click through to their blog, I just read the post in my e-mail. A lot of people read blog posts that way, or through aggregators and feeds which don’t register as blog clicks. That’s the way of the internet world today. Blog views give a part of the picture, but only a part.

    Note that Bromfield is claiming that Scalzi is now unquestionably a “failure” because his blog “only” got 2.82 million direct visits in 2018, and he has “only” sold well over a million books. 🙄

  2. Mark: With failure like that, who needs success?

    I know, right? When Mike e-mails me and says, “Your post at File 770 got more than 100 views in the first hour!” I’m like “Woo-hoo!”. 😀

  3. JJ:

    *sigh* I never called Scalzi a failure. One could argue he’s a creative failure but not commercially. I said I thought he was DECLINING in popularity, sales and influence. My conclusion from his blog traffic and Amazon book rankings. Do you have data on Scalzi’s actual book sales? If so, please share.

  4. Jon Bromfield: Do you have data on Scalzi’s actual book sales?

    I’ve seen Bookscan data showing that numerous of his novels have sold in excess of 100,000 copies — Old Man’s War is far higher than that. Given that Bookscan data is only a small snapshot of the actual book market — it does not include all bookstores, nor books and e-books from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes — it’s pretty easy to extrapolate from there. I’m guessing that a million is way lowballing it; it’s probably at least 2 or 3 million, if not far more.

  5. JJ:
    Very true. I’m a regular reader of Scalzi’s blog through RSS, but I couldn’t tell you how long it’s been since I actually visited the site.

    And really, his blog is 20 years old, I think. I’d call the fact that he’s kept it up this long and still has quite a following there a success.

  6. @Jon —

    I said I thought he was DECLINING in popularity, sales and influence. My conclusion from his blog traffic and Amazon book rankings.

    Except that, unfortunately for your argument, his Amazon sales rankings are actually sky-high. As I’ve already shown you.

    And incidentally, so are his author rankings.

    Today’s author rankings:

    #33 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction
    #49 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure
    #80 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy
    #99 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy

    Larry Correia? He doesn’t even make the top 100 in **any** of those categories.

    Funny how reality keeps bitch-slapping your fantasy right in the face.

  7. JJ:

    I’m dubious. Numbers like that would have had those novels on the NYT Bestseller List in the top 10, for weeks. I don’t believe The Collapsing Empire ever made the list. The Consuming Fire did, for a week or two, and no higher than 15th.

    And if he was actually selling two to three million books he would be in James Patterson territory and we’d have heard about it. And he would be re-negotiating his contract with Tor.

    But let’s ask Patrick at Tor and John: How many copies of The Consuming Fire, The Collapsing Empire, and the the Lock On books have been sold? Inquiring minds want to know!

  8. Thank you, Jayn! As I mentioned when she first went into the hospital in November, it was not entirely a surprise, although the event itself was sudden. I’m not sure how to feel about it yet — it’s still soaking in. And she died almost exactly two years after my brother did, which makes the resonances harder for us. But it’s one of those things that most families go through eventually, in one form or other.

  9. @Contrarius

    So sorry for your loss. No matter how prepared we think we are…we never are. 🙁

  10. Jon Bromfield: I’m dubious.

    Let’s be honest: your comments here and elsewhere have made it clear that you don’t have a clue, and are completely lacking in credibility. It doesn’t matter what you believe.

    That comment you just directed at another Filer was absolutely disgusting and contemptible. Piss off. 🙁

  11. @jon While you busy ignoring facts, how about you lets us in on your feelings about climate change.

  12. Contrarius:

    You do know those rankings are hourly and highly volatile, don’t you? As of 9pm Central Time, Scalzi is not in the top 100 for Science Fiction.

    Even so, do you really think 33 is a good number for Scalzi, supposedly one of the most popular SF writers?

    I have no idea why you bring Larry Correia into this. Whatever he’s doing, he’s doing it well, with a magnificent new home going up on a huge property.

    But thanks for playing!

  13. @Contrarius–I’m so sorry about your mother.

    @Jon Bromfield–

    But let’s ask Patrick at Tor and John: How many copies of The Consuming Fire, The Collapsing Empire, and the the Lock On books have been sold? Inquiring minds want to know!

    You’d have to actually ask them, not pretend-ask on a blog where they don’t comment, if you wanted to find out. I think you know the truth; Tor is a for-profit business, and doesn’t give out multi-million dollar contracts to writers, trying to get a lock on much of their output for years, if those writers’ books aren’t selling hand over fist.

    And then, to have any possibility of them bothering to answer, you’d have to not out yourself as the kind of little shit that would make the comment you did about Contrarius’ mom that you then edited out. Do you realize everyone who gets the comments in email will see it?

  14. Thanks again to all for your sympathies — but seriously, let’s talk about sff instead. I need more distraction.

    P.S. I just finished Soulbinder, the fourth book in Sebastien de Castell’s Spellslinger series. I am so glad that his Greatcoats books finally came out in audio — I finally go to try them, which got me addicted, which led me to the Spellslinger books, which have been tons of fun. De Castell is a definite auto-buy for me now — can’t wait for the next Spellslinger. 🙂

  15. Contrarius: You have my deepest sympathies, because I literally know how you feel right now: My dad died in the beginning of October, and while it wasn’t a surprise it was still a shock. I have benefited from massive support from my friends and my extended family, and I pray you receive the same support in the time to come.

    Science fiction talk: For Christmas my best friend gave me all the Murderbot books currently in print! She’s the bestest! I’d read the first one this summer and so I devoured the second novella in one session will soaking in a bathtub. ( I recommend this highly.). I haven’t gone on to the next one yet because I want to make them last as long as I can. Murderbot. <3

  16. @Jon

    I had hoped Mike had deleted that, but apparently you realized what a terrible thing that was to say. Rather too late, since everyone subscribed to this thread–including Contrarius–has seen it. You are contemptible. You owe Contrarius an apology.

  17. @Jon —

    You do know those rankings are hourly and highly volatile, don’t you? As of 9pm Central Time, Scalzi is not in the top 100 for Science Fiction.

    Ummm, Jon, I’m in Central Time — and it isn’t 9PM here yet. Are you trying to look into the future? 😉

    Here are Scalzi’s author rankings right now:

    #31 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction
    #50 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure
    #79 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy
    #96 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy

    Even so, do you really think 33 is a good number for Scalzi, supposedly one of the most popular SF writers?


    He *is* one of the most popular SF writers. Currently one of the top 100, in fact. You do realize there are thousands upon thousands of SF writers out there, right?

    I have no idea why you bring Larry Correia into this.

    For perspective, of course. You can’t denigrate Scalzi’s success without implying much worse about Correia — because Scalzi outsells Correia by a long shot, and does it consistently. You claim that Amazon sales rankings are volatile, and in the short term they can be; but I have data going back months and months, and the trends are consistent. Scalzi is, and has been, a much bigger seller than Correia over a substantial period of time.

    But thanks for playing!

    You’re welcome! I do so enjoy smacking dedicated fantasists with a little reality every now and then!

  18. I’m so sorry, Contrarius. I hope you have many lovely memories of her.



    Jon that was horrible. I hope you go away and don’t come back.

  19. @Ultragotha —

    I hope you have many lovely memories of her.

    I do! She was a lovely person, and everyone here will be gratified to know that she was a big sff fan. I got her into listening to audiobooks several years ago, and actually her enthusiasm for MacAvoy’s Lens of the World trilogy was what made me finally get around to reading it — and, of course, now it’s one of my all-time favorites. 🙂

  20. Jon Bromfield: You’re right, I don’t post everything you leave here. I’m not here to host your insults or abuse of other commenters, like telling a woman to “grow a pair.”

  21. Buy you’re here to host their insults and abuse of me and the Puppies, right?

    Double standard. Got it.

  22. Jon Bromfield on January 12, 2019 at 8:04 pm said:
    Please let the door hit you when you leave. You’ve demonstrated you have no respect for either truth or people who don’t agree with your opinions.

  23. @Jon —

    Buy you’re here to host their insults and abuse of me and the Puppies, right?

    No, he’s here to host the facts as they wipe the floor with the baseless fantasies of folks like you and the other pups. If you don’t like reality, by all means go somewhere else.

  24. @Jon Bromfield

    Buy you’re here to host their insults and abuse of me

    That sentence takes a lot of gall, after what you said.

  25. Nancy Sauer, Contrarius: Sorry for your losses. I hope you both have the support you need.

  26. 1. Head On is not the first novel. Lock In is. And Unlocked is a prequel, so at present there is only one sequel.

    2. Scalzi has responded re: book sales here. Suffice to say, his sales are doing just fine. (Also, keep an eye out for Ursula’s reply…)

    3. I realise Puppies like to think they’re super influential either as consumers or boycotters, but I have yet to see any evidence that they are. They were thoroughly outnumbered by Worldcon voters — a group that the Puppies have repeatedly derided as a tiny minority — the Tor boycott went nowhere, authors they targeted have had successful careers… Where’s the influence? Why would Puppy attention (or lack thereof) make a difference to Scalzi’s sales?


    I’m sorry for your loss. My great aunt (in truth, she was more of an aunt than most of my actual aunts) died this week. It wasn’t unexpected — she was in her late nineties and was always a bit fragile — but it’s still upsetting. What was your mother’s favourite book(s)?

    @Mike Glyer

    Thank you for putting our visitor on modwatch. If he’s going to say shit like that, he deserves it.

  27. Bonnie:

    Like Julius Caesar, gall is not something I lack. 😉


    Of course, the author can always be relied on to tell us the unvarnished truth about his book sales. Thanks for the insight.

  28. @Meredith —

    My great aunt (in truth, she was more of an aunt than most of my actual aunts) died this week.

    I’m sorry to hear that! Both my parents were only children, so I’ve never had “real” aunts or uncles or cousins and such — and I only had one sibling, my brother who died a couple of years ago, so it’s always been a small family. My grandparents had siblings, so I did have multiple relatives at more of a remove, but they have always been in other states.

    What was your mother’s favourite book(s)?

    I have to admit that I have no idea — but I can’t tell you what my favorite book is, either! She read in a pretty wide range — sff, mysteries, biographies, general nonfiction — and I was always looking for books on Audible that I thought she might like. In recent listening, she loved Murderbot — how could she not? ;-D

    Oddly enough, I think her favorite *author* — at least for a good while — was Elmore Leonard, whom I’ve never especially cared for. She read a lot more mystery/thrillers than I ever have, and our tastes didn’t always match up. But she was always willing to try something new!

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  30. Contrarius and Meredith, sincere condolences on your losses. May their memories be a blessing.

    And I suspect I’m very glad I was NOT subscribed to this thread and therefore didn’t see what people upthread are reacting to. This is a civil place, where even people who disagree with each other can do so politely. I’m very thankful Mike works so hard to keep it that way. (Thanks, Mike!)

  31. @Contrarius

    I’ve not got around to reading any Elmore Leonard, but I love and adore the tv show Justified and I’m told it’s a reasonably faithful adaptation as far as style goes, so I thoroughly approve. 🙂

    I have an absurd amount of family. Both of my parents had three siblings each and that’s not a terribly unusual number of children in my family, especially on my mother’s side. Mostly it just means you get pretty good at mentally mapping cousins via their grandparents or great grandparents.

  32. @Jon Bromfield

    Like Julius Caesar, gall is not something I lack.

    And shame, apparently.

    After reading that 12-year-old Scalzi thread, it’s apparent you haven’t learned a thing.

    For anybody still using the Plonk script, here’s his number:


  33. @Jon —

    Of course, the author can always be relied on to tell us the unvarnished truth about his book sales. Thanks for the insight.

    As compared to puppy types, who can always be relied on to tell us the unvarnished truth about very, very little.

    Give it up, Jon. Reality is not on your side.

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