Pixel Scroll 11/11/18 I’m Scrolling On The Bad Side And I Got My Pixels To The Wall

(1) YA FOR YA. Vicky Who Reads has a lot of interesting observations about “The Many Ways YA Books & The Community Isolates Teens”. Following up her first point, that teens lack money and often do their reading in ways that don’t register with the market (e.g., borrowing books), she says that leads to —

Character Problems

Adults’ money speaks, and adults oftentimes support YA novels with older characters.

Actually–scratch that. Characters who are in their teen years, but basically act like adults.

I find this is both because adult publishing doesn’t want YA-style stories–character relationships and lots of entertainment value. But adults do want to read these types of books, and they show it by influencing the YA category.

So, we end up with lots of upper YA books featuring young adult characters that are acting older and older, but they’re still the same age.

And this doesn’t mean YA readers can’t enjoy adult characters or adult novels or novels with characters that act like adults. But it does mean that these books are taking up the space of books that should be representing teens and the teenage experiences–not a YA style story representing an adult experience.

(2) BREAKING THROUGH. From Odyssey Workshop: “Interview: Guest Lecturer Fran Wilde”.

Why do you think your work began to sell?

That’s a tough question because predicting what works for markets, when markets are always changing, is like trying to read tea leaves when you don’t know how. But early in my writing career, I read slush at a magazine, and that gave me some clues.

For me, tightening everything and making every image and scene as vivid as possible was part of it. And making sure first scenes are crystal clear in intent, voice, setting, and theme—essentially answering the question of why the reader should give this story their time—was part of what helped the work find its audience.

(3) SETTING BOUNDARIES. Con or Bust, which helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions, has adopted a minimal set of anti-harassment policies for cons that wish to donate memberships, “because when Con or Bust accepts donated memberships, it necessarily promotes the conventions in question…” The guideline has been announced now, and will take effect in a year — “Con or Bust will require anti-harassment policies before accepting donated con memberships”.

Here are our requirements for a meaningful anti-harassment policy.

  • The policy’s definition of harassment must:

o   include offensive verbal statements, physical contact, and actions other than physical contact (e.g., stalking, non-consensual photography or recording); and

o   state that the convention prohibits harassment in relation to—at minimum—race, gender, sexuality, impairment, physical appearance, and religion.

  • The policy must state where and when it applies. (Does it extend to off-site events associated with the con, or to con-related online spaces? Does it apply before the con, or after?)
  • The policy must state what happens if someone violates it, including:

o   Who can report the harassment;

o   How to report the harassment. This must include a method of reporting that is not in-person and must include a method of reporting after the convention; and

o   The potential consequences for both the violator and the reporter, including what privacy the reporter will be provided and to what extent the con will take the reporter’s wishes into account when determining what action to take.

(4) NO KSM AWARD. The 20Booksto50K Vegas conference came and went without a word about the “Keystroke Medium Reader’s Choice Awards” expected to debut there following last February’s announcement. I sent a query and KSM’s Josh Hayes answered:

The KSM Awards project was put on hold indefinitely. We didn’t get enough responses to produce a fair and accurate accounting of winners. It’s something we’re looking into for the future!

(5) SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME. The Book Smugglers have announced retrenchment plans:

We have some important news to share with regards to Book Smugglers Publishing. As of December 31st 2018, we will be shifting our business away from for sale short stories, novellas, and novels….

After much thought, discussion, and agonizing–we came to the only decision that we felt was fair for our readers and our creators: to focus on our key Book Smuggler strengths as a website, and as a publisher of short fiction. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on The Book Smugglers as a website with our regular coverage of books–just as we’ve always done since the beginning. We would like to still acquire short stories in the future, but they will only be available for free on our website and without the for sale distribution into e-retail markets.

(6) RAPPING FOR SCIENCE. Rivkah Brown, in “When Rap Gets Physical” in the Financial Times, discusses rapper Consensus, who works with CERN to produce rap videos that explain particle physics. (I could access the article from Bing, but the URL copied here ends up at a paywall. So no link.) His latest video can be found is you look for “Consensus Dark Matter” on YouTube,’

Realising how rapidly CERN’s research moved, Consensus decided to avoid the theoretical and stick to facts. “I didn’t want to write a song, only for the science to change.”

The result of his research was ConCERNed. Released last year, the album condenses an astronomical amount of physics into nine tracks. The most densely packed is, unsurprisingly, “Higgs”. The other eight tracks, Consensus tells me, respect the fact that “there’s only so much people can absorb in four minutes”. But to do justice to the Higgs boson, a particle to which many devote their entire careers, he would have to surpass that saturation point.

Indeed, the lyrics to “Higgs” are pretty cryptic to those who don’t have a deep understanding of the science (“I’m looking to vacuum whatever you’ve got / And the value of what I’m expecting is not / To be zero”). They are, however, menacing. Borrowing from battle rap, Consensus delivers a guttural rhyme that moves between boasts (“People call me Higgs ’cos I’m massive”), insults (“You’re weak, and your life isn’t long”) and threats (“Treat ’em like the LHC / Smash ’em up collide”) to personify a particle that — given that it is known as the “God” particle — probably should intimidate. As he says on the track, “I’m practically the reason you exist.”


(7) DORRIS OBIT. Marcia Illingworth writes, “It pains me to have to tell you that Maurine [Dorris] passed away last night [November 11], shortly after 01:00 AM. She passed peacefully with her son Jimmy and friend JoAnn Parsons by her side.”

Maurine is old time SF Fandom. She and Joann Parsons started World Horror Convention. She was active in WorldCon Fandom and World Fantasy. She in known for running ASFA Suites and SWFA Suites at quite a few Worldcons.

(8) RAIN OBIT. Canadian actor Douglas Rain, who was the voice of HAL 9000 in 2001 and 2010, died November 11. (He also voiced Bio Central Computer 2100, Series G, the computer aiding in Our Leader’s cloning in Woody Allen’s comedy Sleeper.)


The SAL9000 was voiced by Candice Bergen.


  • November 11, 1951Flight to Mars premiered in theatres.
  • November 11, 1994 Interview with the Vampire was released.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]

  • Born November 11, 1916Donald Franson. Author of A Key to the Terminology of Science-Fiction Fandom. Also wrote A History of the Hugo, Nebula, and International Fantasy Awards, Listing Nominees & Winners, 1951-1970 and An Author Index to Astounding/Analog: Part II—Vol. 36, #1, September, 1945 to Vol. 73 #3, May, 1964, the first with Howard DeVore. When I first stumble across an author and their works I’m reminded how deep the genre is. (Died 2002.)
  • Born November 11, 1917Mack Reynolds. Author of a couple hundred published short stories and several novels, he sold more work to John W. Campbell Jr.’s Analog than just about anyone — but not the oft-anthologized “Compound Interest” which appeared in F&SF. His 1962 story “Status Quo” was a Hugo nominee, and he had two stories up for the Nebula in 1966, the clever Sherlock Holmes pastiche, “Adventure of the Extraterrestrial,” and “A Leader for Yesteryear.” OGH met him at the 1972 Worldcon. (Died 1983.)
  • Born November 11, 1922Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. The Sirens of Titan was his first SF novel followed by Cat’s Cradle which after turning down his original thesis in 1947, the University of Chicago awarded him his master’s degree in anthropology in 1971 for this novel. Next was Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death which is one weird book and an even stranger film. It was nominated for best novel Nebula and Hugo Awards but lost both to Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. I’m fairly sure Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday is his last genre novel there’s a lot of short fiction where something of a genre nature might have occurred. (Died 2007.)
  • Born November 11, 1925Jonathan Winters. Yes he did do quite a few genre performances including an early one as James Howard “Fats” Brown in “A Game of Pool”,  a 1961 episode of The Twilight Zone. He next shows up as Albert Paradine II in the TV movie More Wild, Wild West. He had a recurring role in Mork & Mindy as a character named Mearth. You’ll find him in The ShadowThe Adventures of Rocky and BullwinkleThe Flintstones, both of The Smurfs films and quite a bit more. He even of course was a guest on The Muppets Show. (Died 2013.)
  • Born November 11, 1945Delphyne Joan Hanke-Woods. Artist and Illustrator whose grandfather taught her to read using science fiction pulp magazines. After discovering genre fandom at Windycon in 1978, she became one of the leading fan artists in fanzines of the time, including providing numerous covers for File 770. In addition to convention art shows, her art also appeared professionally, illustrating books by R.A. Lafferty, Joan D. Vinge, and Theodore Sturgeon, and in magazines including Galaxy, Fantastic Films, and The Comics Journal. She won two FAAn Awards for Best Serious Artist and was nominated six times for the Best Fan Artist Hugo, winning in 1986. She was Fan Guest of Honor at several conventions, including back at a Windycon, where her fandom started. (Died 2013.)
  • November 11, 1948Kathy Sanders, 70, Costumer and Fan from the Los Angeles area who has chaired/co-chaired Costume-Cons, and has worked on or organized masquerades at a number of Westercons, Loscons, and a Worldcon. She received Costume-Con’s Life Achievement Award in 2015. She is a member of LASFS and of SCIFI, and ran for DUFF in 1987. Her essay “A Masquerade by Any Other Name” appeared in the L.A.con III Worldcon Program Book.
  • Born November 11, 1960Stanley Tucci, 58. Actor, Director, and Producer with a lengthy resume of character roles in genre films including The Core (Yay! The Core!), Prelude to a Kiss, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Muppets Most Wanted, Beauty and the Beast, The Lovely Bones, Captain America: The First Avenger, Jack the Giant Slayer, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and The Hunger Games films, as well as numerous voice roles including Leonardo da Vinci in Mr. Peabody & Sherman.

(12) WHAT A PICTURE IS WORTH. Jeanette Ng visits The Fantasy Inn to tell about “5 Things That Medieval Bestiary Writers Almost Got Right”. Here’s one of them —

The Gold-Digging Ants

The story of the giant gold-digging ants date back to Herodotus, the father of lies and history. The story goes that these giant dog-sized, furry ants dig grains of gold from the ground. They guard this gold with military precision and diligent action.

It’s a ridiculous tall tale story, but where did it come from?

And is an ant really an ant when it is quite that big and furry?

Herodotus was also very keen on there being winged serpents in Egypt. I’ve long thought of him as travel writer keen to tell you all the stories random people tell him at the pub.

And with the ants, it is possible that it’s just a misunderstanding born out of a translation error. The Persian word for marmot and mountain ant are similar, and there is indeed a species of fox-sized marmot who regularly uncover gold dust in a province of Pakistan due to how rich that ground is in gold.

(13) DOCTOR WHO DOSSIER. Find out what police officer Yasmin Khan has on file about the Pting.

(14) ANIMATION CONFLAGRATION. The Washington Post’s Steven Zeitchik has an overview of the animation industry, “In epic rumpus, Hollywood’s animation sector looks to sort its royalty from its minions”, including whether Disney-Pixar will be in trouble after longtime CEO John Lasseter ended his employment because of sexual harassment allegations and whether Illumination will use its success in the Minions franchise to move into the top tier.

The sector known as one of the film world’s most stable — “Incredibles 2” and “Hotel Transylvania 3” were both hugely lucrative this past summer — is slowly playing out its own mythic dramas, if with less-catchy music.

Companies are beset by mergers, or #MeToo scandals. Studios are wedded to big ambitions, or shackled to past successes.

And internal questions are only the start. Leaders such as Disney and Pixar are trying to maintain dominance over the field, while close competitors like Illumination are closing in. Once-great studios such as DreamWorks are struggling to find their way back. And well-funded upstarts from Sony to Netflix are seeking to knock them all off.

…In interviews with The Washington Post, 16 animation executives and experts, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the highly competitive nature of the field, described a world of intense battles, complex strategies and, maybe most telling, modern motivations. In an era in which entertainment has become fragmented and niche, with kids and parents rarely agreeing on what to watch, animation’s reliable power to attract whole families is the reason studios can’t let it go.

At stake is not just which Hollywood conglomerate will reap financial bounties — major franchises like Toy Story can take in $2 billion or more globally — but which will define the tone and style of animation moviegoers see for years to come. Will the category continued to be dominated by the computer-generated soulfulness of Disney and Pixar? Or will the off-kilter, European flavor of Illumination and its lovably goofy “Minions” make more inroads?

(15) FEMINIST FUTURES. Joe Sherry adds a file on Sheri S. Tepper’s book to Nerds of a Feather’s series: “Feminist Futures: The Gate to Women’s Country”.

The Gate to Women’s Country has a reputation for being among the great works of feminist science fiction, and it may have been at the time, but now thirty years after it was first published, The Gate to Women’s Country does not quite hold up to that legacy. Its importance to the canon of science fiction is not in question. The Gate to Women’s Country has earned that importance. Its reputation as a novel that remains great today is, however, very much in question.

(16) WHERE TO FIND REVIEWS. This week’s collected links to book reviews at Pattinase: “Friday’s Forgotten Books, November 9, 2018”.

  • Mark Baker, DEATH ON THE NILE, Agatha Christie
  • Les Blatt, THE CONQUEROR, E.R. Punshon
  • Elgin Bleecker, GUNS OF BRIXTON, Paul D Brazill
  • Brian Busby: “Grant Allen”
  • Kate Jackson/CrossExaminingCrime, ROCKET TO THE MORGUE, Anthony Boucher
  • Curtis Evans, THE ELECTION BOOTH MURDER, Milton M. Propper
  • Elisabeth Grace Foley, REST AND BE THANKFUL, Helen MacInnes
  • Rich Horton, SKIN HUNGER and SACRED SCARS, Kathleen Duey
  • Jerry House, STAR OVER BETHLEHEM AND OTHER STORIES, Agatha Christie Mallowan
  • George Kelley, END OF THE LINE, Burt and Dolores Hitchens
  • Margot Kinberg, DESERT HEAT, J.A. Jance
  • Rob Kitchin, SIRENS, Joseph Knox
  • B.V. Lawson, VOICE OUT OF DARKNESS, Ursula Curtiss
  • Evan Lewis, THE SEVEN PERCENT SOLUTION, Nicholas Meyer
  • Steve Lewis, SHADY LADY, Cleve Adams
  • Todd Mason, THE AMERICAN FOLK SCENE ed. David DeTurk & A. Poulin, Jr.; BOB
    DYLAN: DON’T LOOK BACK transcribed & edited by DJ Pennebaker et al.;
    DANGEROUSLY FUNNY by David Bianculli
  • Kent Morgan, IN A TRUE LIGHT, John Harvey
  • J. F. Norris, MAYNARDS’S HOUSE, Herman Raucher
  • James Reasoner, THE COMPLETE MIKE SHAYNE, PRIVATE EYE, Ken Fitch and Ed Ashe (1960s comics adaptation)
  • Richard Robinson, THE WAY THE FUTURE WAS, Frederik Pohl
  • Mike Sind/Only Detect, DARKNESS TAKE MY HAND, Dennis Lehane
  • Kevin Tipple, CORKSCREW, Ted Wood
  • TomCat, THE HOUSE OF STRANGE GUESTS, Nicholas Brady
  • TracyK, THE BIRTHDAY MURDER, Lange Lewis

(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Why Does The Grim Reaper Exist?” on YouTube, The New Yorker looks at the 132 Grim Reaper cartoons published in their magazine (including ones by Charles Addams and Gahan Wilson) to see why the Grim Reaper exists and why we think he can be mocked.

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

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56 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/11/18 I’m Scrolling On The Bad Side And I Got My Pixels To The Wall

  1. I have a paperback copy of Rocket to the Morgue. I wouldn’t call it a great mystery novel, but as an SF fan, it’s fun to read: lots of pen-names hiding Big Names.

  2. (11) The oft-anthologized 1956 Mack Reynolds story is actually titled “Compounded Interest.”

    I love clever, truly short stories that can be reread with pleasure, like this one and Aldiss’ “Let’s Be Frank” of similar vintage.

  3. gottacook: And order yourself some appertainment, too. (It was my typo. But then, they so often are!)

  4. For late K.V. SF novels there’s Galapagos (1985) and Hocus Pocus (1990), and his novel-esque Timequake (1997) – all highly recommended.

  5. (3) I’m somewhat of two minds about this meta-policy. On one hand, it helps to keep up the pressure for cons to adopt CoCs. On the other hand, it doesn’t mention anything about how the CoC will be enacted in practice, which is 90% of the work, and where Arisia fell down.

    Another potential issue I see is that we get more boilerplate CoCs. While not bad in and of themselves, I believe that a con actually writing its own CoC will help to set in the mind of the concom how they will use it in practice.

    (15) Back when I read it, I found The Gate to Women’s Country more interesting to argue with than good. I especially found the focus it had on genetics over environment troubling. Now, from what I understand, the balance between the two is tricky and interact with each other, but I felt Tepper put far too much focus on genetics.


    That’s quite sad, I’ve bought several of their novellas over the past couple of years. I wonder if the rise of tor.com’s novella line has squeezed the market a bit.

  7. Law #1, A pixel may not scroll a human being, or through inaction, allow a human to be scrolled.

    Law #2, A pixel must file orders given by a human except when taht would conflict with the First Law.

    Law #3 A pixel must scroll itself, as long as that scrolling is bot in conflict with the First or Second Law

  8. Wear the gold pixel, if it will please her
    If you can scroll, scroll for her too
    ‘Til she cry, ‘Lover, gold-pixeled, high-scrolling lover,
    I must have you!'”

  9. 1) When reading some YA, I find myself mentally multiplying the age of the main characters with 1.5 to make the story more plausible. In one book I read sometime ago, the main character was feared by everyone, a badass fighter, leader of a crime syndicate – at the age of 18.

    It was weird enough in Modesty Blaise. Buy I was younger when I read those. 😛

  10. I found Vonnegut’s PLAYER PIANO (1952) to be science fiction. It dwells up the effect of technology on people.

    Oddly Vonnegut found his writing stalled after George W. Bush was elected. And he complained about it.

  11. #12 reminds me of Avram Davidson’s Adventures in Unhistory and specifically the essay on the likely real-world basis for (at least part of) the legend of the phoenix.

    The book was published by Owlswick Press, but most of the contents (I think including that one) first appeared in F&SF. [My copy is in a box, in storage.)

  12. @ Hampus Eckerman:

    Oh, I think I know that guy (although the “leader of a major crime syndicate” wasn’t until he was 20).

  13. Vonnegut’s novel Galapagos is definitely genre and postdates Breakfast of Champions by 12 years.

  14. Vicki: I enjoyed Adventures in Unhistory very much as well. I thought they premiered in Asimovs, though. A few years back a small press published a “lost” essay in that series, by the way.

  15. Wasn’t Timequake Vonnegut’s last published novel? It’s definitely genre.

    15. I think the reviewer profoundly misunderstands the key point in Gate to Women’s Country. In the book, violence isn’t a male problem. It’s a human problem. This is illustrated by Stavia’s older sister. Since they are treating humans as a herd of cattle, segregating the sexes to control breeding is standard practice. I never felt that the men who returned to women’s country were docile, and some of them are in on the multigenerational long con. And the humans inside women’s country are still quite capable of violence as illustrated in the last section of the book about the patriarchal society. I haven’t read the book since it first came out so I need to reread to see what I overlooked that made the reviewer feel this way.

    I stopped reading Tepper after I read her fourth book in a row that boiled down to humans are stupid and will remain so unless some outside power forces them to behave and learn. I don’t think she liked people much.

  16. @Karl-Johan Norén re (3): it is, in fact, implementation issues all the way down. From our end, “is there a policy that ticks these boxes?” is something that we can actually answer when a con emails us to say “hey, want some free memberships?” Though I wish it were otherwise, “Does the con adhere to the letter and spirit of its policy?” is not. So, in keeping with our general policy of recognizing that people to go cons for lots of reasons and get different things out of them [*], we ultimately leave it up to the people asking for assistance whether a con is, overall, safe enough for them.

    [*] This is why we don’t call assistance “scholarships” or give preference to people who’ll be on programming.

  17. Someone sent me a long list of books they’d like me to see if I had available. (A *long* list.)

    I went to print it, and accidentally deleted the email instead. Gmail seems to have discontinued the “recover deleted email” feature.”

    Whomever it was, please re-email your list. [email protected]

  18. TIMEQUAKE was a very bad book. Had it another writer’s name on it, it would have been given a rejection slip. It is formless and unfunny, with no people in it.

  19. @A very small Kate:

    Yeah, and I certainly understand why you framed your policy on policies (meta-policy?) the way you did. My comment was more on the general case of how we easily end up thinking about the CoCs as a text rather than as a practice.

  20. Karl-Johan Norén on November 11, 2018 at 10:44 pm said:

    Another potential issue I see is that we get more boilerplate CoCs. While not bad in and of themselves, I believe that a con actually writing its own CoC will help to set in the mind of the concom how they will use it in practice.

    On the one hand, I can see where actually participating in writing the CoC could help focus the concom on it.

    OTOH, volunteers are already stretched for time. If there’s a con out there with a long-standing CoC that has apparently worked, why not copy it?

    Especially since there’s a lot of turnover on concoms. The folks that write the CoC may be gone a year later.

    Because ultimately, it’s not the CoC’s text that matters, it’s the concom being willing to execute the letter and spirit of the CoC to produce a safe, fun con. For EVERYBODY, not just their friends.

  21. “Always look on the Fifth side of Scroll”

    If File seems jolly rotten
    There’s something you’ve forgotten
    And that’s to read and read and read and read
    When you’re feeling in the dumps
    Don’t be silly chumps
    Just turn the page, keep reading, that’s the thing

  22. The advantage of boilerplate for CoCs is that they’re less likely to contain inadvertent mistakes and oversights. The Free Software movement had a lot of problems in the early days with programmers trying to write licenses for their software–programmers seem to have a really hard time grasping the human elements of actual law, so there were a lot of unintended consequences. Nowadays, most programmers who want to release their code as free/open source stick to a handful of well-known licenses, in part because of the painfully learned lessons of that era.

    Re. Birthdays: Mack Reynolds was also a pioneer of sorts of Afro-futurism. His “Black Man’s Burden” series from the early 1960s was way ahead of its time–especially when you consider that it started in the pages of Analog. It did have some unfortunate issues (not least of which is that Reynolds himself, as far as I know, was a white man), but overall, it was quite a groundbreaker, with an essentially all-black cast (African-Americans and African-Africans).

  23. Very sorry to hear about Stan Lee. A true legend has left us.

    5) I’m also very sorry to hear about The Book Smugglers’ publishing arm shutting down, since I’ve read and enjoyed (and nominated for the Hugos) several of their novellas and novelettes. But I suspect publishing standalone novellas and novelettes is difficult for a small press with Tor.com’s novella line and its massive marketing dollars on the one side and self-publishers with lower overhead costs on the other.

  24. Xtifr says Re. Birthdays: Mack Reynolds was also a pioneer of sorts of Afro-futurism. His “Black Man’s Burden” series from the early 1960s was way ahead of its time–especially when you consider that it started in the pages of Analog. It did have some unfortunate issues (not least of which is that Reynolds himself, as far as I know, was a white man), but overall, it was quite a groundbreaker, with an essentially all-black cast (African-Americans and African-Africans).

    Interesting. At least one of the stories is online here.

  25. @Robert Whitaker Sirignano – don’t expect me to defend Timequake, though I actually liked it better than Slapstick. I’m a Vonnegut completist.

    @James Davis Nicoll – thanks for the link. It was interesting but none of her opinions surprised me. I was disappointed that she bought into the myth that people suffering from schizophrenia are likely to be violent. They’re much more likely to be the victim of violence than the cause. Most of the people who commit acts of violence are technically entirely sane.

  26. @11: Reynolds died before Boskone, but after accepting the GoHship and working out the details of the convention’s Reynolds collection — which included a story he thought had never seen print due to the collapse of the magazine. He was delighted by this, and not just because (counter to practice at the time) he’d been paid on acceptance.

    @World Weary is correct that the review shows no understanding of one aspect of the Tepper: it’s made clear late in the book that there are men who are capable without being vicious, but they’re not generally seen.

  27. @1: After reading the whole essay, I’m not sure why YA-style stories must consist of character relationships and lots of entertainment value; perhaps the essayist is confusing “YA” with “middle-grade” (yetanother subdivision), or thinks everything should be Beverly-Cleary-goes-to-junior-high stories instead of stories about less-usual people. (ISTM we had a lot of the former back when books appeared devoted to telling kids to stay kids instead of growing up.)

  28. (9) SAL-9000 was voiced by Candice Bergen, not Bergman.

    Googling tells me that she used the pseudonym “Olga Mallsnerd” for this role. This combines the last names of her then-husband, Louis Malle, and Mortimer Snerd, a character created by her father, the celebrated ventiloquist Edgar Bergen. (How good a ventriloquist was Edgar Bergen? He was so good that he had a hit radio show.)

  29. Bill Higgins: I was mistaken when I thought my proofreading is bad. By that I mean — it’s stunningly awful! Would you believe I double-checked the spelling of “Candice” and never noticed I had the last name completely wrong….

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