Pixel Scroll 11/12/23 Baby Pixels Are Ever So Adorable Wrapped In Their Scrolls While Being Loved By Filers One And All

(1) PLAY ALONG AT HOME. [Item by Dann.] One of those question/surveys was running around on X the other day.  This one seemed a bit more interesting to me.  Filers might find this an interesting game to play as well.

Omitting collected works, who are the top 5 authors in your library by number of books on your shelves?

Stephen King ~15
E.E. Knight ~12
Christopher Nuttall 11
Dave Duncan 11
Miles Cameron 9

I included both physical and ebooks in my count.  Most of my Stephen King and E.E. Knight books were physical, so I don’t have an accurate count close to hand.

After considering it a little longer, I would probably have to include Piers Anthony on the list.  I owned a whole stack of his books before I figured out that some of his content was a little…erm…troubling.  And I wouldn’t want to drop Miles Cameron off of the list in favor of Piers.

If shared universes with multiple authors are included, then Dragonlance would easily make it into the top five.  Sorry, Miles.  That one would bump you off.

What are your top 5 authors of books you own?

(2) EYEWITNESS TO THE ENDEAVOUR AWARD. Thanks to Ruth Sachter for sharing this photo of Sara A. Mueller accepting the Endeavour Award at OryCon on November 10.

Sara A. Mueller

(3) THE SHAPE OF WESTERCON TO COME. Kevin Standlee has written up two very different proposals for dealing with “The Future of Westercon” – one is a clean death, the other continues the con in a changed format.

As I hope most people following me know, Westercon has fallen on hard times. While Tonopah was successful and fun for most of the 158 people who attended, it was affected by COVID and by BayCon moving its dates onto the 4th of July Weekend, apparently just ignoring that Tonopah’s Westercon existing. The 2021 SeaTac and 2023 Anaheim Westercons dissolved, handing in their franchises to LASFS (which owns the Westercon service mark), and LASFS held both Westercons 73 and 75 in conjunction with Loscon. We once again this year have no bids filed to host the two-years-hence Westercon, although anyone could show up before the voting ends on the Friday evening of Loscon 49/Westercon 75. Assuming that doesn’t happen, the Westercon 75 Business Meeting at Loscon 49 will have to decide what to do about site selection. However, I tend to think that before that, the meeting needs to give some thought to the future of Westercon.

It appears to me that there are two scenarios: Retire Westercon or make some changes to given a chance to restart, perhaps in a different form. I therefore have prepared a Google doc with two scenarios. You should be able to read this document without needing a Google account.

Scenario 1 is to Retire Westercon, and is simply a motion to repeal the Westercon bylaws.

Scenario 2 makes five separate changes to the Westercon Bylaws to disconnect it from the US Independence Day Weekend (even loosely), removes the Westercon zone restrictions (but retains the 104°W longitude eastern boundary in North America), and changes all of the hard-coded dates to dates relative to the date of the administering Westercon. This would at least allow in theory Westercon to be awarded to various conventions in Western North America who wanted to host it, or also allow “independent” Westercons to be organized.

(4) ZOOMING INTO FANHISTORY. Fanac.org has announced four upcoming Fan History Zoom sessions coordinated by webmaster Edie Stern. The first session on the list is:

APAs Everywhere

Fred Lerner, Christina Lake, Amy Thomson and Tom Whitmore

December 9, 2023 – 2PM EST, 11AM PST and 7PM London GMT

Since the first FAPA mailing in 1937, APAs have been a part of fannish life. There are topic specific apas, local apas, general interest apas, convention committee apas, letter substitutes and doubtless many more. Our panelists, all long time APA members, talk about their experiences with APA life: Why did you join the APA(s)? Did you APA live up to your expectations and why? Tell us about the APAs you’ve been part of, and tell us what makes them unique. (You can tell us about APAs you weren’t part of too!) Talk about the way the members of the APA related to each other, and the nature of that community. Compare the experience of an online community like LiveJournal or Facebook with your APA experience. The Cult was called the “13 Nastiest Bastards in Fandom”. Was it? What feels different about womens’ APAs? Are APAs now obsolete? Would you join a new APA today?

To attend, please send a note to [email protected]

The following three sessions will be:

  • January 20, 2024 – 2PM EST, 11AM PST and 7PM London GMT – An Interview with Joe Green
  • February 17, 2024 – 7PM EST, 11 AM Feb 18 Melbourne AEDT – Wrong Turns on the Wallaby Track Part 2, with Leigh Edmonds and Perry Middlemiss
  • March 16, 2024 – 3PM EDT, 2PM CDT, 7PM London (GMT) – The Women Fen Don’t See – Claire Brialey, Kate Heffner, and Leah Zeldes Smith

(5) WHEN SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN. Deadline has the quotes: “’Coyote vs Acme’ Composer Slams Warner Bros Over Pic’s Axing; Director ‘Devastated’”.

Coyote vs. Acme composer Steven Price has blasted the David Zaslav cost-cutting Warner Bros Discovery administration for axing the Looney Tunes hybrid live-action animated film.

Price, who won an original score Oscar for Warner Bros. tentpole Gravity in 2014 took to X to say “Had a lot of fun scoring Coyote Vs Acme. As no-one will be able to hear it now, due to bizarre anti-art studio financial shenanigans I will never understand, here is a bit of behind the scenes footage of our “Meep Meep” Roadrunner choir, with apologies to Tchaikovsky…

(6) PICK SIX. Guardian critic Lisa Tuttle’s “The best recent science fiction, fantasy and horror – reviews roundup” is devoted to The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub; Mothtown by Caroline Hardaker; Saturnalia by Stephanie Feldman; Writing the Future, edited by Dan Coxon and Richard V Hirst; and She’s a Killer by Kirsten McDougall.

(7) GOLDSMITHS PRIZE. The winner of the 2023 Goldsmiths Prize is Benjamin Myers’ Cuddy, a novel that incorporates poetry, prose, play, diary and real historical accounts, to retell the story of the hermit St. Cuthbert, the unofficial patron saint of the North of England. The Goldsmiths Prize “celebrates fiction at its most novel.”

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born November 12, 1917 Dahlov Ipcar. Though primarily an artist and you really should go visit her website, she wrote three amazing young adult novels between 1969 and 1978 which are The Warlock of Night, The Queen of Spells and A Dark Horn Blowing. She lived but thirty miles north of here and I was privileged to meet her a few times. Lovely lady! (Died 2017.)
  • Born November 12, 1929 Michael Ende. German author best known for The Neverending Story which is far better than the film. Momo, or the strange story of the time-thieves is a charming if strange novel worth your time. The rest of his children’s literature has been translated from German into English mostly by small specialist presses down the years. Unlike The Neverending Story and Momo, which I’ve encountered, I’ve not read any of these. (Died 1995.)
  • Born November 12, 1943 Wallace Shawn, 80. Probably best remembered as the ferengi Grand Nagus Zek on Deep Space Nine, a role he only played seven times. He was also Vizzini in the beloved Princess Bride, and he played Dr. Elliott Coleye in the My Favorite Martian film. He also was the voice of Rex in the Toy Story franchise. SFE notes that all of his plays were at least loosely genre and one of them, “The Fever”, was filmed. So yes, he’s a writer as well. 
  • Born November 12, 1945 Michael Bishop, 78 . David Pringle included his Who Made Stevie Crye? novel in Modern Fantasy: The 100 Best Novels, An English-Language Selection, 1946-1987, high praise indeed. Though slightly dated feeling now, I’m fond of his Urban Nucleus of Atlanta series. And Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas is simply amazing.
  • Born November 12, 1964 Eric Nylund, 59. His best work I think is  Jack Potter/Signal sequence of  Signal to Noise and A Signal Shattered, though the Gods Quintet in my humble opinion tries but fails to venture into Amber Chronicles greatness. 
  • Born November 12, 1976 Richelle Mead, 47. Best known for her Georgina Kincaid series, the Vampire Academy franchise and its spin-off series Bloodlines, and the Dark Swan series. I’ve only read Succubus Blues by her but it’s a truly great read and I recommend it strongly. Spirit Bound won a Good Reads Award.  

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • PHD Comics is a Star Wars crossover.

(10) THERE WAS A PLAN, IT JUST DIDN’T WORK. Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro’s article “Box Office: The Marvels $47M Lowest for MCU – What Went Wrong” has a long list of things that broke down, and this is one item on it:

…No, The Marvels meltdown isn’t about superhero fatigue. It’s about Disney’s overexposure of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brand on Disney+, and those moth holes are beginning to show: Keep what’s meant for the cinema in cinemas, and keep what’s meant for in-homes in the home. Meaning, this whole crossover streaming-into-film master plan isn’t working, nor is it really connected in a jaw-dropping way, and with Ms. Marvel not being one of the OTT services better series (ala WandaVision and Loki season one), there’s a whole quad of fans who either didn’t catch Ms Marvel, or who were too turned off by it that they sure as heck don’t want to see The Marvels.

But more to the point, Marvel Studios, The Marvels — with its crossover streaming series blah-blah — looks like it was built to be seen in homes, not to get audiences off the couch….

(11) AND YET… No matter what happened to the latest movie, Gizmodo remembers “How Carol Danvers Became Marvel Comics’ Flagship Hero”.

Captain Marvel was dead, to begin with. More than one Captain Marvel, if we want to be perfectly accurate about it. By 2012, the Marvel Comics hero that bore the company name had been relaunched in no fewer than six different series, and seen a total of three separate characters take on the name. More than three decades in, it seemed increasingly that Captain Marvel was the flagship character who just couldn’t manage to hoist a flag—and the Marvel powers that be were determined to change things once and for all.

What followed was a strange saga of missteps, false starts, and roads not taken, that finally landed on one of the most unexpected heroes of all: a neglected, half-appreciated, and similarly unsuccessful character called Carol Danvers. This is the inside story of how an ambitious first-time writer, a bullheaded editor, and a stylish designer created the most unexpected Marvel success of their era.

To understand why Captain Marvel was in need of saving, we need to understand something about why the character existed in the first place. Put indelicately, Captain Marvel was born as a trademark in need of a character. In 1967, Marvel Comics and its owner, a company called Magazine Management, realized that the name Captain Marvel—once held by the venerable Fawcett Comics character now known as Shazam!—had lapsed into disuse over the course of the decade. Fearing that another enterprising publisher would scoop up a name that should, by all rights, be identified with Marvel, a character was hastily rushed out by management fiat. Cobbled together by Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan (the latter of whom hated the character, and claimed no involvement in his conception), the good Captain was an alien spy of the Kree race, creatively named Mar-Vell, who turned traitor to his people to fight as a costumed defender of Earth. In such ways are great ideas born….

(12) BRONTË BIRTHPLACE CROWDFUNDING SUCCESS. “Campaigners save Bradford birthplace of Brontë sisters” reports the Guardian.

Campaigners have saved the birthplace of the Brontë sisters and are now fundraising to turn the building into a cultural and education centre – helped by a man with a link to the literary family.

Nigel West, who traces a family connection to Charlotte Brontë’s husband, made a “significant donation” to the crowdfunding appeal, which aims to transform 72-74 Market Street in Thornton, Bradford, into a tourist destination.

Around a million visitors a year travel to Haworth, to visit the house that writers Charlotte, Anne and Emily shared with their father, church minister Patrick, and their wayward brother, Branwell, and campaigners hope to transform the Thornton house, which went on sale this year, into a similar attraction….

(13) FROM BARBIE TO ASLAN? The Guardian’s Ben Childs wonders “Can Greta Gerwig bring a new kind of magic to Netflix’s Narnia Chronicles?”

You might think Greta Gerwig an unusual choice to take on CS Lewis’s Narnia stories for Netflix. And at first glance, few would argue with you. Beginning her career as an actor in mumblecore movies such as Baghead, Hannah Takes the Stairs and Greenberg before transitioning into indie cinema as a film-maker with Lady Bird, Gerwig became a household name with this year’s $1.4bn-grossing, conservative-baiting, slyly subversive comedy fantasy Barbie, a movie that will be remembered as the most topically adroit cinematic event of 2023, despite ostensibly being about a child’s plastic toy.

So what on earth might Gerwig do with Aslan, Eustace Grubb and Mr Tumnus the faun? Gerwig is down to make at least two from Lewis’s seven-book series for Netflix, and the streamer’s chairman Scott Stuber hinted to Variety this week that the films might be more traditional than we might think. “She grew up in a Christian background,” Stuber said. “The CS Lewis books are very much based in Christianity. And so we just started talking about it. We don’t have IP, so when we had the opportunity [to license] those books or the [Roald Dahl stories] we’ve jumped at it, to have stories that people recognise and the ability to tell those stories.” Stuber said Gerwig was currently working out the “narrative arc” of the films, but implied heavily that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe would be a central focus.

This is pretty much expected, but the idea that Gerwig might zero in on the traditional religious imagery, when she’s known for a movie that went against the grain with such impish if warm-hearted attitude, is less predictable….

(14) FAN CONCEPT TRAILER. From Darth Trailer, Andor Season 2.

[Thanks to SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Ruth Sachter, Lise Andreasen, Dann, Steven French, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cat Eldridge.]

70 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/12/23 Baby Pixels Are Ever So Adorable Wrapped In Their Scrolls While Being Loved By Filers One And All

  1. PhilRM says <‘em>Ah, how could I overlook Tony Hillerman? (Well, his books are in a different set of bookcases.) I count 18, which I believe is all of his novels.

    Yes eighteen are all he did.

    Have you read the continuation of the series that ihis daughter, Anne Hillerman, did? She added officer Bernadette Manuelito as a full partner. I think there are to date eight books. I have not listened to all of them but the ones I have are quite excellent.

  2. (1) A lot of my books are currently packed away, but I’m fairly certain that Pratchett, Cherryh, and Wodehouse, in no particular order, top my list. (Agatha Christie and Rex Stout used to be serious contenders too, but my ex ended up with most of those.) Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant is probably high on my list as well. Beyond that, I’m much less certain, but I know I have a lot of Poul Anderson, Steven Brust, Lois Bujold, Glen Cook, Lindsey Davis, Jack McDevitt, Patricia McKillip, Naomi Novik, Charles Stross, and Jack Vance. And I’m probably forgetting a couple of names.

    (8) Another birthday on the 12th (which I didn’t submit because she’s really only got one notable genre credit) is Evelyne Brochu. On Orphan Black, she played scientist Delphine Cormier, a protégé of Dr. Leekie (Matt Frewer), and half of the fan-favorite relationship known as “Cophine”, with fellow scientist Cosima, one of the main clones played by series star Tatiana Maslany.

  3. I got interested and checked number of books read per author (as opposed to number of books on shelves). There’s only a little overlap.

    Most read:
    Roger Zelazny, Barbara Hambly, Terry Pratchett, Patricia McKillip, Michael Moorcock

    Most on shelves:
    Catherynne M. Valente, Patricia McKillip, Martha Wells, Holly Black, Ursula Vernon

    Much of the difference is that the first is dominated by authors I read devotedly during my childhood, while the second has ones accumulated mostly after leaving my childhood home, moving across multiple continents, etc., each time with associated library downsizing. Although, clearly, I never left behind, gave away, or stopped acquiring more Patricia McKillip books, which… yeah, that tracks.

    My most-read faves still have a solid presence on my shelves — I count 9 Zelaznys, 14 Hamblys, 10 Pratchetts, and 8 Moorcocks along with the 23 McKillips. But there clearly came a point where I was willing to leave, say, The Walls of Air behind, even if The Silent Tower has been hopping from shelf to shelf and home to home with me since the mid-80’s.

  4. (1) Figures fromn my database of physical books. It doesn’t include e-books, if it did the counts may well double.

    Terance Dicks 78
    Michael Moorcock 69
    Terry Pratchett 63
    Stephen Baxter 48
    Isaac Asimov 47

  5. @Cat: No, I haven’t gotten to those; it sounds like I should.
    Bernadette has a much more significant role in the first two seasons of the excellent AMC television adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s novels (Dark Winds) than she generally does in the original stories; hopefully that will continue. I would very happily watch seventeen seasons of it (Hillerman’s first novel, Fly on the Wall, is not a Chee/Leaphorn novel).

  6. 1) For physical books, counting co-authored books but not graphic novels/comics, I’ve got:
    Terry Pratchett, 33
    Stephen King, 22
    Neil Gaiman, 10
    Iain Pears and J.K. Rowling, 7 each
    If I were including ebooks, Martha Wells, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, and Marie Brennan would probably make it onto the list as well.

  7. 1) All with at least 20…
    Terry Pratchett
    Ursula Le Guin
    Iain (M) Banks
    Michael Moorcock
    Neal Asher

  8. At one point I had bookshelves 3-deep, until I decided that was ridiculous, since I live in an apartment and there is a library one block away. So if I open up the field to “owned at some point” (which makes it impossible to achieve an accurate tally since my memory is involved) the winner is Stephen King, whom I have been keeping up with ever since Carrie. Except for Cell (put it down after the first chapter, wasn’t in the mood).

    After that there are tons of authors in the “approximately 10 books” section, and major amounts of kids/YA series, plus a whole lot of underground comix, so Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, and Peter Bagge might be in the running.

    I did have a lot of Xanth and other Piers Anthony books, right up until he published Firefly and I purged his creepy ass right out of my shelves. I still have a first edition of the initial Xanth trilogy, in a boxed set, which I am using for a keyboard rest right now. I kind of want to throw it away but then I tell myself it might be worth something to someone with bad taste, and until then it makes a good keyboard rest.

  9. Read most often? Charles de Lint, Charles Stross, Kathryn Rusch. Neal Asher, Neil Gaiman, Emma Bull, Iain Banks, Simon R. Green, Catherynne Valente and Poul Anderson.

  10. I’m not home at the moment and my bookshelves are not very well organized, but I’d guess Niven, Heinlein, McCaffery, Brin and Pratchett are at the top. Non-genre has to include Christie and Helen Wells (my wife is a collector of 20th century “career books).

  11. Charon Dunn – The thing about relying on libraries is that they ruthlessly discard books. At one point in an earlier era, I ended up buying a lot of Heyer (much fortunately found in a now-defunct Central Florida used bookstore) just to be able to reread novels I’d originally read from the library. (That was then. Local library has now reacquired Heyer.) But I find I don’t want to reread all that many books, and if I need specific ones for a research project or something, there is ILL and the internet (the latter both for downloading and for ordering specific used print books, which used to be difficultor expensive). I’m not doing all that well on disposing of books, but at least I buy them much more slowly now, and usually in ebook form, sparing my shelves.

  12. Michael J. “Orange Mike” Lowrey on November 13, 2023 at 3:19 am said:
    Peter DeVries has one strong SF connection, in that he was a friend of Frank Herbert, and the character in Dune was named after DeVries with his permission.

    I did not know that. Thank you.

  13. Books – this is a really rough guess – I’ve got close to 4k paperbacks (all on shelves, in order, thank you), but
    Poul Anderson
    Edgar Rice Burroughs
    CJ Cherryh
    Eric Flint
    Andre Norton
    Charlie Stross
    Zelazny

  14. @Patrick yes, they discard them at the Friends of the Library shop three blocks away, that’s part of how my shelves got to be three-deep for a while. I don’t want to give shelf space to books that are pretty much guaranteed to live in the SF library system for the rest of my lifetime though, especially since the library has lots of digital. I am not that big on re-reading when there are all kinds of great books I haven’t touched yet, so I might as well fill my apartment with houseplants and weird art instead.

  15. 1) Well…by just looking around the bedroom and office, I think my list breaks down as follows:

    Harlan Ellison
    Rex Stout
    Robert A. Heinlein
    F. Paul Wilson
    Roger Zelazny
    Samuel R. Delany
    Stephen King
    Robert J. Sawyer
    Jack Vance
    Alice Sheldon
    Dashiell Hammett
    Iain Banks
    Chester Himes
    Elmore Leonard
    Theodore Sturgeon
    Fritz Lieber

    I know my list skews towards older writers but hey, A) I’m 67 years old and I KNOW what I like and B) I have been TRYING to keep up over the decades but I haven’t won the lottery. Yet.

    Chris B.

  16. Enough of my books are in boxes (or piled up on the spare bed, or stacked in a spare room (I have two)) that counting just isn’t an option, but owning the Virginia Edition probably puts Heinlein in first place for me.

    Next, if you count corporate authorship, would be Mongoose Publications, on account of me having all the 2016 epoch Traveller books that have yet hit hard copy. (Yes, they have credited individual authors.)

    Third could easily be Cherryh, as I’ve been accreting as much of her Compact/Alliance/Union work as possible, in hopes of doing a Big Read someday.

  17. 1) A quick list by jamming my Goodreads export into almoturg.com/bookstats/:

    Author # Books? Total # Pages
    Brandon Sanderson 44 21968
    John Scalzi 23 6373
    Ma Boyong 17 6707
    Neal Stephenson 12 9433
    James S.A. Corey 11 5227
    Adrian Tchaikovsky 10 4254
    Liu Cixin 9 3798
    Robert J. Sawyer 9 3001

  18. Using my LibraryThing catalog and not counting manga/graphic novels/comics, artbooks, or role-playing games, my top authors seem to be:

    Mercedes Lackey: 66 (several in collaboration)
    Isaac Asimov: 23
    Dave Barry: 12
    Arthur C. Clarke, N. K. Jemisin, Roger Zelazny: 11 each
    Robert A. Heinlein: 10

    I might have miscounted in the first two, since both also have edited a number of anthologies.

  19. For me, most-read has a decent correlation with most-owned, because I generally only keep books I think I’ll want to re-read. This is why my collection only has a couple of thousand books, and why it’s not more dominated by older writers.

    (I will say that Zelazny didn’t make my list only because of the rule of counting omnibus editions as one book. That dropped his count by nine.)

  20. Pingback: Top 10 Stories for November 2023 - File 770

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.