Pixel Scroll 1/14/22 Do Starros Work As Facemasks? What About Tribbles?

(1) SLF ILLUSTRATION OF THE YEAR. Michelle Feng is the winner of the Speculative Literature Foundation’s search for their 2022 Illustration of the Year.

Michelle Feng

Hoping to translate theory into policy and practice, Michelle’s experience revolves around working directly with traditionally underserved individuals and communities of color to bridge the gap between lived experiences and policy that fails to reflect the complexities of society on a universal scale. Through her dedication to public service, where she traveled around the country working in dedicated pursuit of localized projects with focuses on urban development, environmental conservation, disaster relief, and food insecurity in rural areas. Michelle has also spent time in Human Resources at the Department of Defense and has experience in social work at a small non-profit, which subsequently trained her in crisis de-escalation, conflict mediation, and trauma-informed care.

Feng commented that she found inspiration for her illustration through wanting to combine visual elements from traditional village living structures with futuristic elements of a modern city. Feng used a mix of mediums and textures to build a piece with collage-like elements that illustrated a layered approach to world-building: “imbuing realities that are grounded in something familiar, but still continue to live outside of our surface-level understanding of the world, define speculative fiction to me. As a first generation Chinese-American daughter of immigrants, I grew up hearing stories of my mother’s experience traveling to the rural village her mother grew up in, who always emphasized the importance of balancing education, literacy, and imagination as the key to upward mobility.”

The person climbing the wall of books on the left hand side of the image was inspired by her grandfather, a professor of contemplative literature who taught her mother that art is the highest form of expression. Her hope is that those who see the piece can connect to both of its real & imagined worlds while exploring intersections between the built and natural environment.

You can find more of her work on instagram: @michellef.arts

(2) SQUEECORE. Raquel S. Benedict’s Rite Gud podcast offer “A Guide to Squeecore”, their term for sff’s current favorite flavor.

In 1936, anthropologist Ralph Linton said, “The last thing a fish would ever notice would be water.” It’s difficult to see the medium that encompasses everything around you, especially when you’ve never known anything else. Well, if fish were contemporary sci-fi/fantasy readers, the last thing they would notice is squeecore. What is squeecore? You’re soaking in it! Squeecore is the dominant literary movement in contemporary SFF, a movement so ubiquitous it’s nearly invisible. But in this episode, we are taking notice of how speculative fiction got watered down.

(3) UNWRAPPING THE PRESENT. Camestros Felapton catches the conversational ball thrown by Raquel S. Benedict in that Rite Gud podcast – “Is there a dominant mode of current science fiction?”

…Again, I think that idea (if not the name) that there are common aesthetic elements in notable science fiction (ie what gets critical attention and award nominations) makes some sense. Historically, in the Hugo Awards, I think what we see is overlapping time periods of popularity of some authors, publishers and outlets (5 to 10 year periods, with some figures having much longer spans of relevance). Pick any snapshot of time though, you are likely to find works that reflect elements that are going out of fashion, works that are currently most fashionable and works that reflect newer fashions. That is reflected in the kind of names (some coined contemporaneously and some retrospectively) given to works from particular times. The podcast picks up on that element and the need for a name for the current state of affairs….

(4) ENCOURAGING INTENTIONALITY. Maurice Broaddus urges conventions to move beyond checking the “diversity box” and work on building community. Thread starts here.

(5) ADAPTING STATION ELEVEN. Esquire’s Adrienne Westenfeld analyzes “How HBO Max’s Station Eleven Reimagines the Novel”.

…. Readers of the novel will remember its unique structure: nonlinear and multi-perspective, arcing across time, space, and characters to tell its poignant story about survival and the human spirit. We sense some of that looping structure in the television show, particularly in Episode One’s flash-forward glimpses of Chicago (for the purposes of this adaptation, HBOMax has transplanted the story from Toronto to Chicago). In these shots, we glimpse an unrecognizable world: today’s driveway becomes an overgrown wilderness, years after the pandemic. Today’s theater, where Arthur performs King Lear to a packed audience, is later overrun by feral hogs. The visual style hints at a narrative omniscience….

(6) DAVE WOLVERTON (1952-2022). Dave Wolverton, aka Dave Farland, died the day after sustaining a head injury due to a fall, his son Spencer announced this morning:  

Again this Dave’s son Spencer.

Dave has officially passed. He held on till all his children could say goodbye, then faded swiftly without pain. Thank you for all the kind words, messages, and memories.

After reading the countless messages and reflecting on my own experience, it is safe to say that my dad had a special way of seeing the potential in people. He will surely be missed.

Words can’t express the emotions of losing a loved one.

Eric Flint is among the many paying tribute, here on Facebook:

…Dave was part of my writing career from the very beginning. In fact, he’s the person whom you could say started it. He was the coordinator of the Writers of the Future contest in 1992. I submitted a story which he liked well enough to include in the finalists from whom the judges chose the winners, and I won first place in the winter quarter of that year. Winning that award is what kicked off my writing career. I stayed in touch with Dave after the contest and he was a help to me in many ways, from giving me excellent editing advice to connecting me with the person who became (and still is) my literary agent.

Some years later, Dave and I were two of the five founders of the Superstars Writing Seminar. (The other three were Kevin Anderson, Rebecca Moesta and Brandon Sanderson.) As a result of that association, we met every year at the four-day event, which is held in Colorado Springs in February. I was expecting to see him next month and looking forward to it.

David Doering’s appreciation about him will appear shortly on File 770.

(7) RICK COOK (1944-2022). Rick Cook, author of the Wizardry series (starting with Wizard’s Bane in 1989), died January 13. He wrote a total of nine sff novels, and much short fiction. His short story “Symphony for Skyfall,” co-written with Peter L. Manly, was shortlisted for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award in 1995. His fact article “The Long Stern Case: A Speculative Exercise” won the Analog Readers Poll in 1987 (and between 1995-1998, three more short stories co-authored with Manly placed second or third in the poll.)

Sir Richard Ironsteed.

He was a co-founder of the Society for Creative Anachronism’s Kingdom of Atenveldt, which encompasses the state of Arizona. In the SCA he was known as Sir Richard Ironsteed. Recalling the early days of the Kingdom of Atenveldt, Cook wrote:

We made it up as we went along. In 1968 I went to Worldcon in San Francisco. The SCA appeared there for the first time. It was then I was introduced to the SCA. I picked up the Known World Handbook and brought it back to the Valley of the Sun. I couldn’t build up much interest, but shared the information with Mike Reynolds. In 1969, he suggested we start a branch. We were the first group that wasn’t started by people who had lived in the Kingdom of the West.

I was part of building the initial group, martial activities, including the administrative duties of marshalling. As first king of Atenveldt, I enjoyed making up the fun as we went along. Those things of great tradition from the early days were really just having a good time. I was also the first herald of Atenveldt, long before we were a kingdom. I tried my hand at many things from helping make our first (infamous) trebuchet to making jewelry.

He became the First King of Atenveldt in 1971.

Heather Jeffcott shared warm memories of him on Facebook:

…He used words like swordplay. Strong and persuasive, nimble and light when needed, then *SMACK*! There came the pun that would lighten the tenor of the conversation. He could be blunt without being rude. (Which is not to say he couldn’t descend into crudity, it just wasn’t his first choice. He was selective in how and when to apply such words for he had plenty of others in his arsenal.) He had a talent for telling you a truth and making it seem like a tall tale. And if he told you a Tall Tale, it took on the manner of a LEGEND….

(8) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1977 [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Forty-five years ago, the first version of Fantasy Island aired its first episode this evening on ABC. The series starred Ricardo Montalbán who was previously known for his Chrysler Cordoba commercials, with their tagline of “Fine Corinthian Leather”, as Mr. Roarke, the Host, and Hervé Villechaize as his dwarf assistant, Tattoo. It was created by Gene Levitt who had very little previous genre experience. 

The critics were unanimous in their utter loathing of it. Newsday was typical of the comments about: “Given the premise, the [pilot] movie could have been fun, but it’s not. It drips with Meaning, but there is none. Actually, it’s quite dumb.”

It was obviously critic-proof as it had an amazing run lasting seven seasons of one hundred fifty-two episodes, plus two films called Fantasy Island and Return to Fantasy Island

A one-season revival of the series with Malcolm McDowell and Mädchen Amick in the two roles aired fourteen years later while a re-imagined horror film version was released two years ago. I’ve seen neither of those versions. I do remember the original series and remember rather liking it.

Chrysler Cordoba commercial (proof nothing vanishes on the net) here.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 14, 1924 Guy Williams. Most remembered as Professor John Robinson on Lost in Space though some of you may remember him as Don Diego de la Vega and his masked alter ego Zorro in the earlier Zorro series. (Is it genre? You decide. I think it is.) He filmed two European genre films, Il tiranno di Siracusa (Damon and Pythias) and Captain Sinbad as well. (Died 1989.)
  • Born January 14, 1943 Beverly Zuk. Ardent fan of Trek: TOS who wrote three Trek fanfics, two of them on specific characters: The Honorable Sacrifice (McCoy) and The Third Verdict (Scotty). Let’s just say that based on her artwork that I found I’d not say these are anything less than R rated in places. She was a founding member of the Trek Mafia though I’m not sure what that was, but I’m betting one of y’all can tell me. (Died 2009.)
  • Born January 14, 1948 Carl Weathers, 74. Most likely best remembered among genre fans as Al Dillon in Predator, but he has some other genre creds as well. He was a MP officer in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, General Skyler in Alien Siege, Dr. Artimus Snodgrass in the very silly The Sasquatch Gang comedy and he voiced Combat Carl in Toy Story 4. And no, I’m not forgetting he’s currently playing Greef Karga on The Mandalorian series. I still think his best role ever was Adam Beaudreaux on Street Justice but that’s very, very not genre. 
  • Born January 14, 1949 Lawrence Kasdan, 73. Director, screenwriter, and producer. He’s best known early on as co-writer of The Empire Strikes BackRaiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. He also wrote The Art of Return of the Jedi with George Lucas which is quite superb. He’s also one of the writers lately of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Born January 14, 1957 Suzanne Danielle, 65. A Whovian as she showed up as Agella in “The Destiny if The Daleks “ a Fourth Doctor story. She was on the Hammer House of Horror series in the Carpathian Eagle” episode, and she’s also in Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected multiple times in different roles. To my knowledge, her only other SFF appearance was on the Eighties Flash Gordon film.
  • Born January 14, 1962 Jemma Redgrave, 60. Her first genre role was as Violette Charbonneau in the “A Time to Die” episode of  Tales of the Unexpected which was also her first acting role. Later genre roles are scant but include a memorable turn as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, daughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart on Doctor Who. Not at all surprisingly,she has also appeared as Stewart as the lead in myriad UNIT adventures for Big Finish Productions.
  • Born January 14, 1967 Emily Watson, 55. Her first genre appearance is in Equilibrium as Mary O’Brien before voicing Victoria Everglot in Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. Next is she’s Anne MacMorrow in the Celtic fantasy The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep. She apparently also was in a Nineties radio production of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase but I’ve no information on it. 
  • Born January 14, 1990 Grant Gustin, 32. The actor, known as Barry Allen aka the Flash in the Arrowverse. I’ve got him as a boyfriend on an episode on A Haunting, one of those ghost hunter shows early in his career. Later on, well, the Arrowverse has kept him rather busy.

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • Frank and Ernest meet some genetic engineers whose experiments result in terrible puns.

(11) SPRING HAS SPRUNG AT SF2 CONCATENATION. SF² Concatenation has just posted its seasonal edition of news, articles, conreps, genre film analysis, and over 40 standalone book reviews. Vol. 32 (1) contains:

v32(1) 2022.1.15 — Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews

v32(1) 2022.1.15 — Non-Fiction SF & Science Fact Book Reviews

(12) FOUNDRY EVENT. Flights of Foundry, a virtual convention for speculative creators and their fans, will be held online from April 8-10. Programming is now being organized, and registrations taken, at the link.

The world’s biggest multi-disciplinary, round the clock, international virtual convention is returning for its third year, and it’s going to be even better than ever. With stellar guests of honor such as L. D. Lewis and Jana Bianchi, an intensive workshops series, and activities to fill the whole weekend, there’s something for everyone and more than you’ll make it to. Donation-based registration means everyone can attend, and you’ll have a rare opportunity to meet people you’ll never see on the regular con circuit. Join us to learn about craft and business from creatives in your field and those you’ll collaborate with over the course of your career. Talk about your favorite works with people who love them, and love to dissect them, too!

(13) A JAR FULL OF MONEY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Washington Post, Michael Cavna notes that now that Winnie-the-Pooh is in the public domain, artists and writers will have a field day as long as they don’t make the bear wear a shirt (Disney owns that shirt!), don’t mention Tigger (not introduced until the still-under-copyright The House At Pooh Corner) and they should probably put a disclaimer in saying Disney has nothing to do with their work. “’Winnie-the-Pooh’ just entered the public domain. Here’s what that means for fans.”

He notes that Ryan Reynolds has used Winnie the Pooh’s public domain status to promote his cellphone company.

(14) SPIDER-MAN IS THE HOTTEST PROPERTY ON THE BLOCK. The auction block, that is: “Spider-Man comic page sells for record $3.36M bidding”.

Mike Zeck’s artwork for page 25 from Marvel Comics’ “Secret Wars No. 8” brings the first appearance of Spidey’s black suit. The symbiote suit would eventually lead to the emergence of the character Venom.

The record bidding, which started at $330,000 and soared past $3 million, came on the first day of Heritage Auctions’ four-day comic event in Dallas.

(15) THE HORTHMAH. [Item by Hampus Eckerman.] I saw that a new movie has been released, but the title is a bit weird. It mixes existing nordic runes with some that are made up from our ordinary latin alphabet. The closest I come when translating it is “The Horthmah”, but perhaps it is more than two alphabets in there. Is there any filers that are better at runes than me and can help out here? Anyway, I have no idea of what a Horthmah is, but I guess I’ll have to see the movie to find out.

(16) TRAILER TIME. Dance along to the opening credits of James Gunn’s Peacemaker, starring John Cena. Peacemaker is now streaming on HBO Max.

(17) CREDENTIALS IN SPACE. Adventures in Purradise entices viewers to watch “Fur Trek: Tribble Troubles”.

Are you a Star Trek fan? Do you like funny cats? Then this episode is right up your alley. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley, move over! Fur Trek is coming at warp speed. Capt. James T. Purrk of the UFS Kittyprise responds to a distress call from the planet Tribbiani, home of the adorable indigenous creatures known as Tribbles. Ambassador Barker suspects the warlike Klingoffs plan to steal his cargo of the life-saving grain, quadrokittycale, so he enlists Purrk’s help. Will the innocent Tribbles get caught up in a war between the Furderation and the Klingoff empire? Get ready to travel at warp speed on Jan. 1st to find out.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Hampus Eckerman, Bruce D. Arthurs, Chris Barkley, Daniel Dern, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

66 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/14/22 Do Starros Work As Facemasks? What About Tribbles?

  1. May I note that HBO Max may be about to get it a lot richer as the home of all things DC as it appears that Warner Bro. is selling the present home of the Flash et al off and moving all of those DC series exclusively to HBO Max.

  2. Soon Lee: It was a good string white it lasted, but somebody asked me to edit his “first” out. No names please.

  3. (3) As a joke I said on Camestros’ blog that the dominant mode of SFF is obviously “Wokecore”.

    I don’t think there is a dominant mode given how diverse SFF has become, both in terms of the sorts of stories told & the backgrounds of the storytellers.

  4. 2-3 I am reminded of “Nutty Nuggets” back in the days of the Puppies.

    SF and SF tastes evolve and are in a continual froth. And as Camestros notes, “Squeecore” does seem in the end devolve to “stuff we don’t like”. Although it should be noted my friend Jesse of SFF Audio agrees wholeheartedly with the Rite Gud Podcast.

    “this is the most important podcast of 2022 (thus far) – it gives name to and explaining the ideology of the dominant SFF subgenre – why it is the way it is and why it is so very horrible ”
    https://twitter.com/SFFAudio/status/1482107745205567488

    His tastes in SF are not Puppy-ish, though they are, like the Puppies, are from a different Era, they aren’t the same sort of Nutty Nuggets the Puppies were after, generally.

  5. (8) there is also the new (2021) series with Roselyn Sanchez playing Elena Roarke, the niece of the original Mr Roarke. It is written as a sequel to and in continuity with the original series. My husband and I found it engaging and charming.

  6. Kevin Roche says there is also the new (2021) series with Roselyn Sanchez playing Elena Roarke, the niece of the original Mr Roarke. It is written as a sequel to and in continuity with the original series. My husband and I found it engaging and charming.

    So where is that streaming? I’d like to check it out.

    Mike, I’ll be making a change to the Anniversary in the morning to add this in. I’m off for a few hours sleep now.

  7. (9) While Wikipedia says Guy Williams’ (aka Armando Catalano) father was in insurance salesman, I’ve read in several other sources that his father was also an Italian fencing master, who taught him to fence. If you look at his footwork in swordfights, you see the strong fencing training. The only other actor I’ve seen that good was Cornel Wilde, who trained in saber with the US Olympic team. Besides Zorro, he managed to fence a few times in Lost in Space and was in the fine Disney remake of Prince and the Pauper playing Miles Hendon.

  8. 8) My wife Cicatrice wrote for that show for a while (under a pen name), but left Hollywood for the saner atmosphere of rural Iowa. She tells me that Herve was quite a nice guy.

  9. 7) I remember Rick Cook from my long-ago days in Phoenix fandom (1973-1978). Didn’t actually see much of him, but his name kept coming up in conversation with friends who were in the SCA Kingdom of Atenveldt. The Atenveldters were a frequent positive presence in the cons we hosted back then; their combat and arts demos were a fun addition to the programming.

    Sorry to hear that he’s gone.

  10. I knew Rick Cook in a number of aspects: As a writer (The “Wizard’s Bane” series and other works); as an SCA early enthusiast, participant and organizer; and as a computer geek and journalist.

    (I remember one evening, when fellow computer pro Paul Schauble was living with us, Rick and Paul spent an evening with one of the earliest laser printers, trying to see how well it worked –with mixed success, iirc– for purposes of review. And his home office usually had at least a half dozen computers or related devices sitting about for testing and review.)

    He was also a Jeopardy! contestant at one time, and was in San Francisco during the 1986 earthquake.

    But as Heather Jeffcott noted, the strongest impression Rick gave people was that he was…nice. A good person to spend time with.

    (Though he had an angry side, too, especially for, not the regular run of group-politics, but for stupid and destructive politics that left hurt and damaged organizations and individuals in their wake. Not so much expressed as direct anger, but as disgust.)

    Going to miss him.

  11. P J Evans:

    “(15) Try “The Northman”.”

    That’s not what the runes are spelling out. It’s clearly the rune for “H” being used.

  12. (2-3) ‘Squeecore’ is… such a derogatory term. I immensely dislike it, but it is so damn ear-wormy. I wish for an immediate replacement.

    Frivolitypunk? Capercore? The New Whimsy?

    I find myself at a loss for how to properly label with respect, because they are referring to some very fine work whether or not it’s to my personal taste. (Some of it is, a lot of it isn’t, but the audience for it deserves respect.)

  13. (7) Rick Cook’s Wizardry series is a personal favourite and a comfort read of mine. Sad 🙁

  14. (8) I remember watching Fantasy Island evolve a bit – initially, there would be a few indications of how the staff was faking various effects for the benefit of the customers (with a staff member playing the role of (say) a cell mate for a customer who wanted the Monte Cristo experience), but later, it became much more of a “Mr. Roark used magic” kind of thing (All my memories of the show are decades old and their validity may have expired).

  15. @David Shallcross

    “In five years, the pixel will be obsolete,” said the salesman.

    As I recall, that line was part of a pitch for a product called Ultratingle – which makes me want a Chuck Tingle/John Varley collaboration.

  16. (7) As an F/SF fan and computer programmer, you couldn’t have targeted my reading sweet spot any more precisely in the 80s than Rick Cook did with the Wizardry Compiled series.
    And bonus: he was an active participant on BIX (Byte Information eXchange), one of the early online forums. I believe he was the first author who’d ever responded to a comment I posted about enjoying one of their books.
    RIP

  17. (2) Squeecore?! Oh dear cod… Really?! How can I take criticism seriously if they refer to stories (particularly ones they don’t like) as “squeecore”? And we do not have to add “-core” to every term, OK? It makes sense with “cottagecore” and stuff like that because it’s an aesthetic, and so many aesthetics are labeled as “-core” (this week). But squeecore? Not so much. Nor would “squeepunk.”

    (6) Rats! 🙁 Too young. I remember buying the first “Runelords” book, and I hope I still have it because I really did mean to read that series… (And the Kindle edition is $11.99?! I’d rather donate that to the family’s GoFundMe.)

    (7) Sigh. 🙁 I still have pleasant memories of meeting a fellow geek in the SF/fantasy section at a used bookstore in Cockeysville, Maryland. He recommended “Wizard’s Bane” as a book that “will make you feel good.” (Sadly, I never caught the fellow geek’s name. Or I caught it, and it fell through my net.)

    So if you were a visitor at the Book Rack in Cockeysville who once recommended Wizard’s Bane to a fellow reader and brought up the Star Wars blooper where Luke yells “Carrie! Carrie!” … Hi again! 🙂

  18. @Hampus
    They’re using runes the same way that Cyrillic characters are used: based on what they look like, not what they really are.
    I looked at that cover, and it’s obvious what it says.

  19. P J Evans: I believe Hampus was hoping we’d respond to the pseudo-Rune thing more playfully. Because no sooner did he send me the item than I “explained” it to him myself. And he told me not only did he really know what it said — I could see that the name of the poster image file he sent was “Northman”. I’d taken the whole thing far too literally.

  20. (2) So they decided to create a name for a literary movement, but they’re reluctant to say the names of any authors or stories within that movement?

  21. @ Malcolm Cross: I like the sound of “the New Whimsey” if we can have New Wave and The New Weird, I’m all in favor of New Whimsey.

    @ Kevin Roche – I enjoyed the episodes I saw of the new Fantasy Island, although I’m embarrassed to admit it took me quite a while to catch on to the tattoo = Tattoo thing.

  22. (2) They won’t name any examples, and they insist it’s the dominant mode, so dominant no one else but them can see it, and they mean the term to be disparaging.

    Which might explain why they’re afraid to name names.

    Also, no, I’m not interested on sf criticism from people who are so certain they are smarter than everyone else and entitled to look down on everyone.

    (15) There is no way to read that cover except as The Northman. Hampus’ write-up didn’t read playful to me, leaving me not responding to it that way, unfortunately.

    (8) I loved Fantasy Island. That is all.

  23. Lis Carey says I loved Fantasy Island. That is all.

    To me, it’s like The Wild Wild West, a series that I remember so fondly that any criticism of it I will not hear. And I like the rebooted series with Malcolm Mcdowell just as well. I’ll need to write its Anniversary up as well.

  24. Meredith moment: Jeffrey Ford‘s The Well-Built City Trilogy is available from the usual suspects for two dollars and ninety nine cents. The first in the series, The Physiognomy, won a World Fantasy Award.

  25. @Hampus
    I liked the snark, but unfortunately, using other languages’ characters by shape is so common in English as to be the water the fish don’t notice. (Snarky ref to #2.)

  26. (7) I was always sad that the sixth book in the Wizards Bane series was never finished – it was interrupted by medical issues that also significantly impaired Rick Cook’s ability to write fiction.. But! he did post what he had of The Wizardry Capitalized, though it is fragmented, scenes are missing, and there is not a complete ending. Anyone who is interested might want to have a read.

  27. “Squeecore” sounds awesome, and I hope to read lots more of it, even though I have no idea what it is! 😀

    But honestly, if it’s the dominant form of SF lately, well, I’m pretty sure I like it, because a lot of the recent SF I’ve read has been among the best SF I’ve ever read. Without any overt “movements” or anything, I think we’ve been quietly entering a new golden age of SF, driven by, well, becoming somewhat mainstream, and less “ghetto-y”, which in turn, has given us a wealth of new ideas and new voices! And I suspect–nay, I know–that some older fans are resentful of mainstream acceptance, which undermines their desire to feel like some sort of “special” outsider, but this older fan is loving it!

  28. I read a lot of SFF, and I’ll be damned if I noticed any dominant movement at all. Nor any movements for that matter. Lots of authors writing damn good fictions, be it Kristine Rusch, N.K. Jemisin, Jo Walton or Charlie Jane Anders to list a few I’ve read of later.

    Are authors really writing within movements?

  29. I mean, I think there may still be movements (does “New Weird” count?), but I’m pretty sure SF is too big these days for one to be “dominant” any more. But that’s just a guess.

  30. Xtifr says I mean, I think there may still be movements (does “New Weird” count?), but I’m pretty sure SF is too big these days for one to be “dominant” any more. But that’s just a guess.

    I don’t doubt that are movements, I’m just curious if writers actually write to them. I mean Jane Yolen, Steven Brust and Emma Bull joked about being members of the Pre-Joycean Fellowship which was their literary movement but I never got the feeling they took it seriously.

  31. @Cat & others re “squeecore”–

    I queried Google re that term, but I got few results. All I can figure out is that “squeecore” means something somebody out there doesn’t like much. If it’s supposed to be the “dominant mode” in sf/f, I’d expect a lot more information to be available. Way back when, some fen (including critics such as James Blish (“William Atheling”) and Damon Knight) complained of “gadget stories” and “space opera” as being dominant modes. However, those terms got thrown around a lot, pro and con. Debate over the “New Wave” dominated the fanzines during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    But “squeecore?” Never heard of it before, and it appears that precious few people on the Internet have, either.

  32. When I was hanging out on the Usenet group rec.arts.sf.written back in 1996, Rick Cook once got so mad at me during a discussion that he emailed me to ask if I was a simpleton. I got a big laugh out of that.

    The thing I said that drew his ire was this comment I posted:

    I’m always amazed when a writer I’ve been introduced to in school or elsewhere turns out to be a hateful anti-Semite, racist or sexist in his or her personal life. I’m toying with the idea of putting online a web page devoted to “outing” the classic authors of the past whose beliefs were less than classic, figuring that other readers would like to know things of this kind.

    Who should top the list?

    I wish I’d had the chance to meet him at a signing or convention to see if he remembered it.

  33. But “squeecore?” Never heard of it before, and it appears that precious few people on the Internet have, either.

    Because it’s a term the podcast is trying to coin. It doesn’t exist outside that context, and most everyone else who’s even talking about it is either A. inside the circle of friends-of-the-podcast or B. trying to decipher what the heck they’re talking about.

  34. Sounds like an elevator pitch: “THE HORTHMAH: Return To Jack Vance’s Planet of Adventure. Adam Reith returns to the planet Tschai, encountering yet more strange and ancient alien civilizations.”

    The wordplay just struck me as sounding similar to Vancian names like the Dirdir, the Pnume, etc. Though I wouldn’t mind seeing someone like, say, Matt Hughes taking a crack at PoA sequels.

  35. @Bruce Arthurs: I feel that Vance wrapped up the Planet of Adventure series conclusively. Big Planet has a lot of room for more stories, and there’s always the Alastor Cluster. But I’d be hesitant to ask Matthew Hughes to take a crack at a sequel. Hughes’ original work is most excellent crack on its own.

  36. Either I missed the moment or B&N wasn’t part of it, but the Jeffrey Ford trilogy was like $13.99 when I snagged it just now – which I did, because I’ve never met anything by Ford I haven’t enjoyed, and something by him I haven’t read it seemed a good use of a B&N gift card. So I appreciate your putting it on my radar!

  37. Well, it seems like culturally appropriating other peoples alphabets to mean something else is so common that it can’t even be joked about. At least we are having fun here in Sweden about the truly ridiculous spelling, but that’s us I guess.

    It’s a bit like when the game Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla named their hero “Eivor”, pretending the very female name from the 19:th century was gender neutral. Very fun here in Sweden, most likely never noticed in US.

  38. For a joke to work, it has to be understood.

    A joke that has to be explained, has failed.

    You look at that cover and see runes used incorrectly. I look at it and see letters in a rather stylized, spiky font. And I keep seeing that, because it reads perfectly sensibly that way, and to my eyes, nothing about it cries out for explanation.

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