Pixel Scroll 10/2/19 Many That Scroll Deserve Pixels. And Some That File Deserve Titles. Can You Give It To Them?

(1) TERMINATOR TERMINATED? The Hollywood Reporter’s Eriq Gardner tracks a major development in copyright litigation: “Real-Life ‘Terminator’: Major Studios Face Sweeping Loss of Iconic ’80s Film Franchise Rights”.

Since its 1984 bow, The Terminator has spawned five sequels grossing $1.8 billion globally. The latest, Terminator: Dark Fate (Nov. 1), again will have the future messing with the past. And that plot extends into real life as Gale Anne Hurd, the original’s writer, has moved to terminate a copyright grant made 35 years ago, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. 

As a result, per records filed at the U.S. Copyright Office, David Ellison’s Skydance Media — which acquired the rights from his sister, Megan Ellison, who bought them for $20 million in 2011 at an auction — could lose rights to make Terminator movies starting in November 2020.

Terminator isn’t an anomaly, it’s a preview of what’s to come. In the late 1970s, Congress amended the law to allow authors to grab back rights from studios after waiting a few decades. Until now, the termination provision has largely been exploited by musicians, not screenwriters. But records show a flurry of termination notices in the past year — under law, they can come 35 years after publication — which threatens to unsettle who owns the ability to make sequels and reboots of iconic films from the mid- to late-’80s.

More works that could change hands: Gary K. Wolf is looking to terminate Disney’s rights to the book that became Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The heirs of Beetlejuice screenwriter Michael McDowell aim to do the same for the script to the 1998 Warner Bros. film. The family of novelist Roderick Thorp is terminating Fox’s grip on Nothing Lasts Forever, aka Die Hard. Other works subject to termination include Predator and Nightmare on Elm Street, with authors like Stephen King and David Mamet also on the warpath.

Why now is probably best explained by the statutory clock (termination notices must be sent at precise time during the copyright term), though a judge’s decision last year confirming the validity of a termination notice sent by Friday the 13th screenwriter Victor Miller certainly raised awareness among authors. (The producer of that film is appealing on grounds that Miller’s script was penned as a work-for-hire with no termination rights.)

(2) URRPP! I thought this kind of thing only happened in space opera — ScienceFiction.com reports an entire fantasy universe has been eaten alive: “Floo The Coup: J.K.Rowling’s ‘Pottermore’ Site Moves to ‘Wizarding World’”

Harry Potter fans have some adjusting to do, as it was recently announced that J.K. Rowling’s ‘Pottermore’ site would be shutting down, and moving over to the new ‘Wizarding World’ site, claiming that with new site enhancements and expansions, Pottermore could not longer sustain the needs of the fans of ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ and WizardingWorld.com would be an upgrade. Check out the full news release from the website itself below:

Engorgio Pottermore… We’re moving to WizardingWorld.com – our new, bigger home for all of the magic you love. Here’s everything you need to know….

(3) SHOULD CLARKE’S NAME STAY ON AN AWARD? Jason Sanford’s post “Yes, Arthur C. Clarke was likely a pedophile” reviews two decades of press coverage about the issue. His closing lines are:

Now that we’re finally examining the issues around people like John W. Campbell, James Tiptree Jr., and Marion Zimmer Bradley, we should do the same for Clarke. Especially since a major genre award is named for him.

None of this changes how important Clarke’s stories were to my development as a writer or his impact on the field of science fiction. This doesn’t mean you can’t still love his books.

But the SF/F genre simply can’t ignore this issue any longer.

(4) HYPE OR WISE PRECAUTION? “The NYPD Will Be Stationed At All NY City Theaters Screening ‘Joker’ This Weekend”ScienceFiction.com supplies the details:  

…In New York City, the police department is taking a “precautionary measure” by positioning uniformed officers at every theater in the city that is screening ‘Joker’.  These officers will not be stalking up and down the aisles.  In fact, they won’t be in the theaters at all.  They will simply be patrolling in front of the theaters.  It should be stressed that there have been no “credible threats” made that anyone is planning to shoot up screenings of ‘Joker’, but just in case…

Elsewhere, ‘Joker’ won’t screen in the Aurora, CO theater where the 2012 mass shooting occurred.  Landmark Theaters has banned any Joker cosplay, masks, face paint, etc. for the weekend….

(5) FAN-FIC. Julie Beck investigates “What Fan Fiction Teaches That the Classroom Doesn’t” at The Atlantic.

N. K. Jemisin, the only author to win the prestigious Hugo Award for best science-fiction or fantasy novel three years in a row, partly credits fan fiction for her ability to draw in readers.

Jemisin started writing fan fiction, in which authors imagine new stories based on preexisting fictional works, while in grad school for counseling. “I was miserable and lonely. I didn’t have a lot of friends, or stress relief,” she told me. “Around then was when I became internetted, and one of the first communities I discovered was a fan-fic community.” Through talking  with other authors and writing her own stories about Dragon Ball Z (among other things), she found friends, got feedback, and, as she put it, “blew the cobwebs off writing abilities I hadn’t used since college.”

For instance, this writing helped her hone her ability to hold readers’ interest. “Fan fiction tends to have a built-in hook because it’s written in a world you’re a fan of; you’re predisposed to like it,” she said. “You have to find a way to make it not just the world that people are tuning in to read, so they are interested in your story.” To this day, Jemisin said, she still writes fan fiction, and treats it as a way to try out new genres and skills, such as using the second person, which she does in the Broken Earth trilogy, which earned her the three Hugos.

(6) DACRE STOKER TO APPEAR. The Rancho Mirage Writers Festival (January 29-31, 2020) has a lineup of writers including Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, and Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great-grand-nephew.

(7) ANGRY ROBOT PUBLISHES SHORT FICTION. Angry Robot’s “first foray into short-form fiction” will be released October 8.

The first novelette being produced by Angry Robot, Duchamp Versus Einsteinwhich is releasing in a few weeks’ time on the 8th October. This science fiction tale depicts a surreal chess match between two of the twentieth century’s greatest minds that could change the course of history. Within its 100 pages, several questions are posed – is science greater than art? Or is art an extension of science? And if this epic game could ever take place, would you be Team Einstein or Team Duchamp?

(8) HOLMES IS FRAMED. In “18 Best Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novels To Read Now: 2019 Edition” at Mystery Tribune there’s news of graphc novels where Holmes battles the Phantom of the Opera and Harry Houdini, as well as Sherlock Frankenstein and adaptations of the BBC Sherlock series.

(9) THE FUTURE IS NOW. Andrew Liptak’s October book list is now on Polygon. At the front of the line is –

Future Tense Fiction: Stories of Tomorrow edited by Kirsten Berg, Torie Bosch, Joey Eschrich, Edd Finn, Andres Martinez, and Juliet Ulman

Over the last couple of years, some of the best short science fiction has emerged from a joint project between Slate, New America, and Arizona University. The Future Tense brings together some of the best science fiction authors writing right now, and this book collects a number of those stories in one volume. Authors here include the likes of Charlie Jane Anders, Paolo Bacigalupi, Madeline Ashby, Hannu Rajaniemi, Annalee Newitz, Nnedi Okorafor, and more. This is an essential book for those wanting cutting-edge fiction about our near future. Kirkus Reviews gave the book a starred review, saying that it’s full of “Provocative, challenging stories that project the tech innovations of today onto the moral framework of tomorrow.”


  • October 2, 1950Peanuts comic debuted.
  • October 2, 1959 — Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone aired its first episode, “Where Is Everybody?”.  Starring cast for this episode is Earl Holliman, James Gregory and Garry Walberg. 
  • October 2, 2000  — Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda took flight in television syndication. Starring Kevin Sorbo, it would run for five seasons. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry is listed as executive-producer. 
  • October 2, 2009 Stargate Universe debuted. The third series in the Stargate series franchise, it lasted two seasons and forty episodes before ending on a sort of cliffhanger. Robert Carlye, the lead in the Hamish Macbeth series, was Nicholas Rush here. 
  • October 2, 2016 — HBO aired the much more adult Westworld as created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.  Based on the nearly fifty year old film of the same name which was a Michael Crichton endeavour, it counts J. J. Abrams among its executive-producers. It’s still going strong.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born October 2, 1897 Bud Abbott. Abbott and Costello did genre films, to wit Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer Boris Karloff, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man and Abbott and Costello Go to Mars just to list a few of them. (Died 1974.)
  • Born October 2, 1906Willy  Ley. He was a science writer who designed the rocket used with Fritz Lang’s 1929 film Die Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon). It was so accurate that in 1937 that the Gestapo confiscated not only all models of the spaceship but also all foreign prints of the picture. The crater Ley on the far side of the Moon is named in his honor. (Died 1969.)
  • Born October 2, 1909 Alex Raymond. Cartoonist, generally only known for creating Flash Gordon for King Features in 1934. The strip was has been adapted into many media, from a series of movie serials in the Thirties and Forties to a Seventies TV series and the Eighties feature film not to be confused with the American-Canadian tv series of the same vintage. Radio serials, myriad films, comic books, novels — any medium that exists has seen Flash Gordon fiction. There are at least fifteen authorized strips and a number of bootleg strips as well. Needless to say there are bootleg films and serials too. (Died 1956.)
  • Born October 2, 1911John Finney. Author of The Body Snatchers and Time and Again, two truly great novels. Of course there’s also the awesome Fifties Invasion of the Body Snatchers film too. (Died 1995.)
  • Born October 2, 1931Edmund Crispin. He’s well remembered and definitely still read for his most excellent Gervase Fen mystery series. It turns out that he was the editor of the Best SF anthology series that ran off and on between 1955 and 1972. Writers such as Kuttner, Moore, Blish, Bradbury and Von Vogt had stories there. These anthologies alas are not available digitally or in hard copy. (Died 1978.)
  • Born October 2, 1944Vernor Vinge, 75. Winner of five Hugo Awards, none for what I consider his best series which is the Realtime/Bobble series. I’m also very fond of his short fiction, much of which is collected in The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge, though the eighteen years worth of his work remain uncollected.
  • Born October 2, 1948 Avery Brooks, 71. Obviously he’s got his Birthday Honor for being Benjamin Sisko on Deep Space Nine, but I’m going to note his superb work also as Hawk on Spenser: For Hire and its spinoff A Man Called Hawk. He retired from video acting sixteen years ago but is an active tenured Theatre professor at Rutgers. 
  • Born October 2, 1948 Persis Khambatta. Indian model and actress who played Lieutenant Ilia in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. She made mostly low-budget films, some genre (Warrior of the Lost WorldShe-Wolves of the Wasteland) and even showed up in the pilot of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. She died of a massive attack at the age of 49. (Died 1998.)
  • Born October 2, 1950Ian McNeice, 69. Prime Minister Churchill / Emperor Winston Churchill on Doctor Who in “The Beast Below,” “Victory of the Daleks,”  “The Pandorica Opens,” and “The Wedding of River Song,” all Eleventh Doctor stories. He was an absolutely perfect Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in Frank Herbert’s Dune and Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune series. And he voiced Kwaltz in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 
  • Born October 2, 1951 Sting, 68. Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in the Dune film. Far, far too old for the character who was supposed to be sixteen years old. He worked as a Heroic Officer in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. And he’s Martin Taylor in the horrific Brimstone & Treacle.
  • Born October 2, 1953 Walter Jon Williams, 66. The last thing I read by him was his most excellent Dagmar Shaw series which I highly recommend. I also like his Metropolitan novels, be that Sf or fantasy, as well as his Hardwired series. What else by him is worth my time? 
  • Born October 2, 1972Graham Sleight, 47. Editor of Foundation: The Review of Science Fiction between 2007 and 2011, and was a Locus reviewer 2005 to 2012. He is the Managing Editor of the 3rd edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and was so when the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Related Work was given to it. He oft times writes about Doctor Who. He co-edited (along with Simon Bradshaw and Antony Keen) The Unsilent Library, a book of essays about the Russell T Davies era. His other Doctor Who work, The Doctor’s Monsters: Meanings of the Monstrous in Doctor Who, is now available in a trade paperback edition. 


  • Foxtrot recommends Dungeons & Dragons to motivate your studying.

(13) SOUNDS FAMILIAR. Nobody would tease someone about this, would they? “Harry Potter and the famous name”.

“It’s probably a good thing overall, a light-hearted conversation starter,” says Harry Potter.

Far from being a wizard, Harry is a neuroscientist from the University of Manchester.

When he responded to a question on Twitter asking, “What piece of pop culture has ruined your first name?” he didn’t expect the reaction he got.

“I take your ‘first name’ and raise you my full name,” has conjured up more than 267,000 likes and 33,000 retweets.

…At work Harry’s research looks at how a woman’s immune system during pregnancy affects the development of a baby’s nervous system later in life.

But some people online have suggested some other academic papers he might have written had he branched out of his field of research.

The article includes a graphic of a real paper titled “Fantastic yeasts and where to find them”.

(14) SHORE THING. “Tsunamis linked to spread of deadly fungal disease” – BBC has the story.

A major earthquake in Alaska in 1964 triggered tsunamis that washed ashore a deadly tropical fungus, scientists say.

Researchers believe it then evolved to survive in the coasts and forest of the Pacific Northwest.

More than 300 people have been infected with the pneumonia-like cryptococcosis since the first case was discovered in the region in 1999, about 10% fatally.

If true the theory, published in the journal mBio, has implications for other areas hit by tsunamis.

(15) THOUGHT EXPERIMENT. BBC says science is learning “How to weigh a whale without a scale”. Which is important, because whales don’t have scales.

How do you weigh the largest animals on the planet?

Until now it has only been possible to weigh whales once they have washed up dead on beaches.

Now scientists have solved the conundrum, with the help of aerial photographs taken by drones.

Their model accurately calculated the body volume and mass of wild southern right whales. Already being used to assess the survival of calves, it has many potential uses in conservation.

Body mass is a key factor in the success of whales as a group, determining their energy uses, food requirements and growth rates.

Yet most of what we know about the body size of whales comes from old whaling literature or from animals that end up stranded on the beach or caught in fishing gear.

“It is very difficult to measure a whale on a scale – I mean you have to kill it to do it and that’s exactly what we’re avoiding here,” said study researcher Fredrik Christiansen from the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies in Denmark.

(16) HALLOWEEN SUPPLIES. While out shopping, John King Tarpinian encountered Audrey’s offspring:

(17) VERY SLOW FACT CHECKING. Somebody has far too much time on their hands: “The Signature Dish in Disney’s ‘Ratatouille’ Wasn’t Actually Ratatouille” at MyRecipes.

In the climactic scene of the 2007 Disney film Ratatouille—during which the movie’s main characters, Remy the rat and Linguine the human chef, attempt to impress an important culinary critic—Remy and his animal pals diligently prepare a mouthwatering dish of sauce and vegetables that reminds the tough food commentator of his mother’s homemade meals. The delectable-looking animated spread is presented in the film as ratatouille, a Provençal recipe that originated from Nice, France. But while we can’t fault Disney for the use of a clever pun, the beautifully arranged vegetarian dish shown during the movie isn’t, in all technicality, ratatouille. Rather, it’s a variation on another, very similar Provençal dish: tian

(18) ABOUT A MASTER OF MODERN SF. Hear a “Special Report: D. Harlan Wilson on J.G. Ballard” in this podcast at The Projection Booth.

D. Harlan Wilson discusses his book from the University of Illinois Press, J.G. Ballard. Part of the Masters of Modern Science Fiction series, Prof. Wilson provides a look at Ballard’s literary career as well as some of the adaptations of his work for the cinema.

(19) TRICK OR TREAT? Delish tells you “How To Order An Oogie Boogie Frappuccino Off The Starbucks Secret Menu”. That is, if you still want to after reading the description.

If you haven’t noticed, fall seems to be when Starbucks fans let their freak flags fly and come up with all sorts of amazing Halloween-inspired creations. Recently, we had the Jack Skellington Frappuccino, but now another Nightmare Before Christmas character is getting his (its?) time to shine with the Oogie Boogie Frappuccino.

If you’re not familiar with the film, Oogie Boogie is described as a “burlap sack filled with insects, spiders and a snake for a tongue,” which…same.


(20) ATTENTION CHURRO LOVERS. Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge attraction features thematic food: “Disney World is launching new ‘Star Wars’ treats for the opening of ‘Galaxy’s Edge’ including lightsaber churros”.

Disney is launching “Star Wars” treats for the opening of “Galaxy’s Edge,” a new 14-acre immersive “land”  based on the “Star Wars” universe and located within Hollywood Studios in Disney World.

The offerings at the Florida park include dishes such as churros that look like lightsabers, Millennium Falcon-shaped Chocolate Pops, and Chewbacca-inspired cupcakes. 

(21) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Dead End” on Vimeo is a cartoon by Victoria Vincent about a depressed high school guidance counselor.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Michael Toman, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Darrah Chavey, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

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65 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/2/19 Many That Scroll Deserve Pixels. And Some That File Deserve Titles. Can You Give It To Them?

  1. Thanks for the title credit!

    Walter Jon Williams’ Days of Atonement is good present day SF.

    I’m currently rereading Vinge’s Marooned in Realtime – holds up pretty well.

  2. (3) I did not expect to be convinced by Peter Troyer’s account of his — incident, encounter, words like that are too weak; the only word that seems right is “assault” — his assault at the hands of Clarke and his own grandfather. But I was convinced. And while I’m a member neither of the SF community nor of fandom, I find I’m totally in sympathy with those who wish to cease honoring Clarke by putting his name on a prestigious award.

  3. @11: wrt Time and Again, tastes vary; I found that Finney’s brand of unmitigated nostalgia works better at shorter lengths (e.g., the collection-heading “The Third Level”, with its grabbing first line), where his inability to do a plot (instead of a bunch of sepia-toned scenes) doesn’t show.

    @11bis: Khambatta’s heart surgery was at 35 (in 1983), per Wikipedia.

    AlsoAlso @11: In my recollection, most of the early Williams was good; I liked the Majistral books (but they’re somewhat specific humor that others may have bounced hard off of), and Aristoi in particular had some interesting ideas. More recently, Quillifer‘s endless skill at improvising was mildly amusing, although the very conventional gender roles may grate; I read the first of the Praxis space operas and have no interest in reading more.

    @14: I guess Bedevere wasn’t there in time to quell the quake with a sheep’s bladder….

    @16: so do those do anything, or just look like feeble imitations? And does Corman still hold the copyright on the image?

    @19: that actually sounds vaguely tolerable for those who like elaborated coffees — not like the avocado sorbet that a local ice-cream shop did just to prove it could.

  4. @Chip: How could I have forgotten “Aristoi” – great book (and probably the first Williams I read)

    For Finney, I’ve only read shorter works – I’m fond of “I’m Scared” and “Of Missing Persons.”

  5. Time and Again is an enjoyable read, but Finney’s attitude toward the Victorian era goes beyond nostalgia into a kind of hallucinatory fan-propaganda that really bugged me. I mean, he all but literally says that the USA, and NYC, were just great until World War I and World War II ruined everything, at which point we suddenly had things like dangerous slums; I couldn’t tell if Finney had never heard of the degree of poverty and violence in late-19th-century New York, or if he just didn’t care because it didn’t affect the kind of people he was writing about. Maybe I’m misremembering, it’s been a while, but while I loved The Body Snatchers I can’t imagine revisiting this one.

  6. 3) I was wondering when this would happen..

    Williams – I’ve enjoyed a number of his books and I’m impressed at him being able to write well in a variety of styles.

  7. Chip Hitchcock: @11bis: Khambatta’s heart surgery was at 35 (in 1983), per Wikipedia.

    Thanks — and I see that’s not what caused her death, so I have dropped the surgery and gone to the final heart attack.

  8. Big fan of Walter Jon Williams. He’s got such a wide range that I suspect he has something for almost anyone. Of his standalone books, Angel Station and Implied Spaces are probably my favorites. The former is one of the punkest first contact novels ever written, and the latter is–I don’t know. Imagine if Roger Zelazny had tried to write a post-singularity novel…. 🙂

    I also really liked both the Dagmar Shaw and Drake Maijstral series.

    As for Vinge, I confess I was rather underwhelmed by the Realtime series, especially by comparison with most of his later work, which I love. On the other hand, his very early (1982) Hugo-nominated novella “True Names” is absolutely brilliant!

  9. Mister Dalliard: (6) Surely a great-grand-nephew is not a descendant of Bram Stoker but of one of his siblings.

    Now that you mention it. Appertain yourself your grandpa’s favorite beverage!

  10. @Mister Dalliard: I would agree that Metropolitan is fantasy even if Williams hadn’t said so himself. Are some folks confused by the fact that it’s set in a made-up world that isn’t even slightly medieval? I don’t know if it actually counts as urban fantasy, since it’s not set in our modern world, but it still has magicians running around magicianing amidst its subways and skyscrapers.

  11. I’m trying to think of anything I’ve read by Walter Jon Williams that I haven’t enjoyed. Maybe “The Boolean Gate”?

    Loved the “Dread Empire’s Fall” trilogy, Aristoi, bunches and bunches of his short stories, etc. Just about an auto-buy for anything new from him.

  12. I read WJW’s Implied Spaces and thought it was incredibly inventive. I got back to his work when I discovered the second Praxis trilogy, liked it so much I read the first trilogy, then read all the Dagmar Shaw books, and a couple of others. Really, I only slowed down because I couldn’t afford to buy a WJW book every three days….

  13. (11) Of course Metropolitan is fantasy. All that superficially techie infrastructure is powered by geomancy.

    Also, at 66, Williams does not disorient me the way Vernor Vinge (75) and Avery Brooks (71) do. I think of them all as comparatively young and in their prime–just like when they first impinged on my consciousness. Which is of course silly, but there you are.

    (3) Sadly, yes, love his stories still, but don’t honor a pedophile.

  14. reWJW, Angel Station is one of my favorites. And the Drake Majistral books are wonderful, I think about them when I see a news channel drone covering a story.

  15. Walter Jon Williams has spent much time putting out ebook editions of as much of his work as he retains the digital rights to. You can find them via the usual suspects and at his Smashwords store (where I believe a larger share of the price finds its way into his pocket).

    Maybe still not affordable at a rate of one every three days but cheaper than dead trees.

  16. 17) Since I also fnd myself with too much time on my hands…. No, it’s a variation on ratatouille. For a start, it doesn’t have the bread crumbs of that other recipe. In fact it’s called confit biyaldi, as featured in Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Cookbook. Pixar got Keller, based nearby in Napa, to consult for the show.

  17. 11) I think we had this discussion last year, but Alex Raymond is remembered for lots more than Flash Gordon in Europe. He is one of the all time greats, one of those who was an inspiration for a whole generation. One of the most copied artists.

  18. (3) The other Clarke story I read hinges on his being an early scuba diver. And underwater photographer. I read that on at least one occasion he would he lurking at the bottom of a pool with naked teenage boys swimming in it (apparently that was the practice in that pool) while testing his equipment and camera. This was presented as “gosh, how embarrassing for the great man” but who knows.

  19. @Chip: I tried beetroot and ginger ice cream at a place in London recently and didn’t care for it–the staffer said she, and about half the people who had tried it, agreed with me. However, I am an eager customer for the cucumber ice cream at JP Licks every summer.

    I wouldn’t try avocado sorbet, because I don’t generally like avocado, but it doesn’t sound inherently implausible.

    ObFantasy: I just read and enjoyed Our Wombat’s Minor Mage

  20. 11) (subcategory Walter Jon Williams): I am quite fond of Aristoi. And the Praxis books (that I’ve read). But I have also been known to say that I haven’t read a book by him that wasn’t worth the time it took me to read it.

    Although some of them, I’ve only read twice.

  21. Vicki Rosenzweig says I wouldn’t try avocado sorbet, because I don’t generally like avocado, but it doesn’t sound inherently implausible.

    Somehow this dessert sounds Seussian, like it belongs in Green Ham and Eggs.

  22. I read “Time And Again” when I was very young, but even then the 1890s USA-as-paradise thing seemed off to me.

  23. 11) Camestros Felapton reviewed Walter Jon Williams’ short story “Dinosaurs” on his blog a while back. It is one of those stories that indelibly burns itself into your brain–or at least, it did into mine.

  24. #3: I have a 128K MS Word file about Clarke—the allegations came up when he was about to be knighted, with Prince Charles to fly out to Sri Lanka to do the deed—and I’d be happy to send it to you, Mike, or anyone else.

    These were not anonymous internet posts, but rather articles in newspapers at the time.

  25. @StephenfromOttawa I dunno – Trump (or his 19th century doppelgänger) could never have been elected in 1890s America. So… silver lining?

  26. 11) Vernor Vinge – I just ordered a couple of prints of Stephan Maertiniere’s covers of Peace War and Marooned In Realtime to finish off my living-room redesign. That said, I still think A Fire Upon The Deep is his best work.

    Ian McNeice – Also the “Real Roman bread for real Romans!” guy in HBO’s Rome which I maintain is genre since one character was a time traveler (or the poor woman was pregnant for like a decade).

  27. @Miles Carter:

    Trump (or his 19th century doppelgänger) could never have been elected in 1890s America.

    [citation needed]. Politics was a lot more closed then, and lot of second-raters and outright fools (and even some with good reputations but the wrong skill set, e.g. Grant) got nominated — and playing to prejudices is frequently a winning strategy. It’s possible Trump’s methods are so uncollegial that he wouldn’t have been able to get banks to back his projects even before the multiple bankruptcies that have driven him overseas, and that he therefore wouldn’t have had the connections to get nominated — but I wouldn’t assume this.

    @Vicki Rosenzweig: cutting beetroot with ginger (rather than, e.g., sweet-and-souring it) sounds like a worthwhile experiment, but I can see the result being a limited taste. I haven’t been going to ice cream shops much recently but I’ll have to keep an eye out for the cucumber next summer as it sounds interesting. IIRC, Toscanini’s did only one batch of the avocado, and I don’t know whether it even sold out; it happened long enough ago to get comparisons to The Exorcist, and while I like avocado I’d had enough bad experiences with oily UK icecream to be unwilling even to taste-test this. Tx for the Kingfisher ref; unfortunately the BPL only has an e-pub, it’s not elsewhere-in-reach yet, and my new network isn’t yet letting my old tablet talk to it, so this is going on the TBR list.

  28. @Jeff Jones:

    But was there basil in the ratatouille?

    That would be a Fawlty recipe.

    Regarding Walter Jon Williams: House of Shards was the first book I read by him. As others have noted, WJW is rather a literary chameleon, very good at working within an existing style while giving it his own unique twist.

  29. @Chip
    One of the items that shows up in the produce section at the market I go to is sliced brussels sprouts with carrot coins and diced beets, and orange-based sauce over all. (The beets don’t bleed until you put the sauce on.) It’s surprisingly good – I’d be willing to try a beet/ginger/orange ice cream.

  30. I’m not sure about avocado sorbet, but avocado ice cream is a common Japanese flavor, and I think I’ve tried it once or twice and liked it. But I am so fond of avocados I should be a Millennial (A taste I got from my Dad, who wasn’t just a Boomer but a full-on Yuppie. Mom, in whose house I lived, only used avocados to make guacamole, which while no doubt a totally-not-traditional recipe, she made very well.)

    I can see cucumber and its particular kind of cool flavor going fairly well as an iced treat.

    I can well imagine a ginger ice cream OR sorbet, and at least wouldn’t automatically dismiss a beetroot flavor as implausible, but beetroot AND ginger? Sounds like a bridge too far to me.

  31. I think Alton Brown did avocado ice cream on an episode of Good Eats?

    I’d probably try it if it was presented to me, but wouldn’t necessarily go to a lot of trouble to seek it out. I can confirm, however, that ginger ice cream can be excellent.

    My favorite flavor (which sadly doesn’t seem to be available any more) was chai ice cream.

  32. (1) Oh, i better get Popcorn

    (3) Seems like a good time for a new name, I agree

    While the whole herd of pixels is scrolling across the planes in search of boxes to tick, one injured pixel is left behind. The more dangerous filers are already closing in, ready to comment. Will the small pixel survive? Then just in time, a wild Glyer appears, scaring the predators away and the pixel finds safe shelter beneath an old scroll.

    Blue File 2

  33. 11) I liked Time and Again, but yes, the rose-colored nostalgia was ridiculously off-the-charts in it.

    The sequel to Time and Again that Jack Finney penned late in life was inferior in most ways, but I DID like that Finney acknowledged (by having his protagonist go back into our present and look at it again) that things in our time were not necessarily as uniformly inferior to the past as the 1950’s era author looking at things in the 70’s had originally pictured them to be.

  34. Joe H. says My favorite flavor (which sadly doesn’t seem to be available any more) was chai ice cream.

    Mount Desert Island Ice Cream on Exchange Street, just a block from where I’m sitting right now, has a most excellent chai ice cream. Their other store, on Mount Desert Island which is three hours north of here, was visited by President Obama and his wife. They rather enjoyed that ice cream.

  35. Avocado ice cream can be quite good. I had basil ice cream as well which was great: Not sweet, but refreshing. Beetroot is probably to earthy for ice fream, but what do I know? I recently had a beetroot schnaps and while the first taste was just „strong alcohol „ the aftertaste was definitely beetrooty, which was interesting. So I can see that as an icecream, provided they manage to make it subtle, not boring (sorry, icecreammaking is one of my hobbies)

  36. I don’t know about avocado ice cream, though I love avocado.

    Once upon a time I went to Vegas with a girlfriend and we decided to splurge on a fancy dinner at Jaleo (? Jose Andres’ restaurant in the Cosmopolitan). The dessert course was Olive Oil ice cream (which sounds awful) with a grapefruit sauce (I’m OK with grapefruit, though it is usually too astringent for me). It was divine. Somehow it just worked.

  37. John Hertz responds by carrier pigeon:

    Birthdays 2 Oct – Walter Jon Williams

    In one of WJW’s finer moments, he arriving at Regency dancing in a modern jacket and tie – after meeting with an agent, or a publisher, or something – said “But I’ve come in costume”, taking from his inside breast pocket a handsome fan.

  38. Chai ice cream… Rancatore’s makes some, often, but given that it’s a local Boston store (well, several stores), that sounds like it would be too long a drive for you. They also do a mean Guinness ice cream.

  39. Yes, it was a local place that did the chai ice cream I miss so much. (They also did lemongrass, ginger and green tea (three separate flavors), of which I also liked the lemongrass and the ginger — never tried the green tea.)

  40. “On and on they filed until they reached the Sea of Pixelbilities, where they could scroll no further.”

  41. 8) It’s a little more Holmes-adjacent, but there’s a comic series called The Baker Street Four that’s pretty good, if at least partly aimed for a more YA crowd. I think it was first published in French.

    19) If somebody came up to me when I worked at Starbucks and ordered something that started with “First you put whipped cream in the bottom of the cup” and then continued on for 6 more steps, I would have done it, but I also would have cursed them and their children from now until seven generations hence. You know where you can make Oogie Boogie frappuccinos? At. Your. House.

  42. I spent most of Time and Again goggling over the older NYC, since I grew up there…

  43. 3) Given the history of pedophilia accusations against gay men, and the fact that Clarke has been investigated by police before and cleared, and that this is a single accusation against an unnamed writer of painting the accused naked in the presence of his grandfather, I am hesitant to accept the pedophilia story as confirmed. He may very well have preferred young adult partners, but that is not uncommon, however much I may dislike the concept of such a large age gap. The sources for a lot of the older stories are also sensationalist newspapers.

  44. I’m very fond of ginger ice cream. When I lived in New York, I got it at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

    Lizzy’s (Waltham, Mass., and part of the year a small shop in Harvard Square) also makes very good ginger ice cream; I am most of the way through the pint I bought recently. They’re also my source for cinnamon ice cream.

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