Pixel Scroll 11/25/18 The Oldest Established Permanent Floating (Pixel Scroll) In A City With Two Names Twice

(1) BOOKSHELF ART. An amazing idea – “Clever Wooden Bookends Mimic Tokyo’s Narrow Back Alleys Lit Up at Night” at My Modern Met.

Based in Tokyo, Japanese designer monde has created a new category of art and design—bookshelf dioramas. His wood inserts transform ordinary bookshelves into something magical and bring the feel of a Japanese back alley into your home. Monde’s “back alley bookshelves” first caused a stir when the designer debuted them at the arts and crafts event Design Festa.

…Inspired by Tokyo, his work carefully mirrors the dizzying feeling of wandering the city’s back alleys. Monde has been working on the project for two years, using different materials to create the look and feel of the city. He’s even added lights to some models, which give a soft glow that emanates from the bookshelf. This newer model is also sized perfectly to sit between paperback novels.


(2) KGB. Ellen Datlow has posted her photos from the Fantastic Fiction at KGB Readings for November 19:

Cat Rambo and Leanna Renee Hieber read from their recent or forthcoming novels to a surprisingly almost full house (surprisingly, because it was Thanksgiving Eve and we were worried no one would show up).

(3) DIVE INTO FANZINES. The Science Fiction Fanzine Reader: Focal Points 1930-1960 edited by Luis Ortiz includes more than fifty articles and many illustrations by most of the major fan writers of the period. It’s available from Nonstop Press. The Table of Contents is in the Fancyclopedia. I pre-ordered a copy today.

(4) BRACKETT. Cinephilia prefaces “Leigh Brackett: A Terrific Writer Ahead of Her Time just as She Was Ahead of Her Colleagues”, its repost of Starlog’s 1974 interview, with this introduction:

The name Leigh Brackett, already surely familiar to every true fan of the literary genre of science fiction, is a name that should be celebrated by every film lover as well. Born exactly 101 years ago and often referred to as The Queen of Space Opera, she started writing and publishing her stories in various science ficiton pulp magazines at the beginning of the 1940s and soon established herself as one of the leading representatives of the space opera subgenre, but continued to work in various different genres with equal skill and success. Her 1944 novel ‘No Good from a Corpse,’ a hard-boiled mystery novel in the style of Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett, not only introduced her to a wider audience, but steered her career towards the movie business, another field where she would become a prominent figure. Howard Hawks was so impressed by this novel that he asked his assistant to call “this guy Brackett.” In fact, this statement basically sums up the challenges and obstacles Brackett had to face on her way to becoming one of the most important writers of the century. She succeeded at distinguishing herself as a highly competent, original and strong voice in a field practically reserved for men, and in the early stages of her career she had to put up with a lot of skepticism and outright criticism for being a female writer of science fiction. Moreover, the nickname The Queen of Space Opera was mostly used as a degrading term, not a compliment: the subgenre she found most interesting and inspiring was then regarded as a lesser form of writing, some sort of an ugly child of science fiction and fantasy. But she stuck with it, defended it, becoming its champion and claiming science fiction should never be put into drawers and confined with labels.

(5) WFC GOHS. Jim C. Hines, in “World Fantasy Con Guest of Honor Policies”, presents data and analysis that show an inconsistent record when it comes to certain criteria that supposedly govern WFC GoH choices, criteria used to explain the lack of PoC among them.

There’s a lot to unpack in the full letter, but I wanted to focus on this particular idea, that guests of honor had to have decades of experience in the field. So I went through the list of WFC guests of honor and pulled together the year of the con and the year of the guest’s first published book. It’s not a perfect way to measure years in the field, but I think it works pretty well….

…The WFC Board said, “Convention committees select Special Guests and especially Guests of Honor in order to recognize and pay tribute to their body of work within the genre over a significant period of time, usually consisting of decades in the field.” I’ve seen others, people not necessarily affiliated with the con, argue that WFC author guests of honor should have at least 30 years in the field.

The latter is obviously untrue. Only a quarter of all guests have been active SF/F professionals for three decades or more.

(6) MY GOD, IT’S FULL OF FLOPPIES. The Verge reminds us what we probably should have already known had we thought about it, “The International Space Station is full of floppy disks”.

The International Space Station is apparently in need of a garage sale. European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, currently in residence up in, well, space, discovered a treasure trove of floppy disks tucked away in one of the lockers on-board.

The ISS recently celebrated its 20th anniversary on November 20th. As spotted by CNET,Gerst tweeted a picture of his ancient tech find, adding “I found a locker on the @Space_Station that probably hasn’t been opened for a while.” In addition to a Norton’s Utilities for Windows 95 / 98, the folder also includes a few disks labeled “Crew Personal Support Data Disk.” The most likely candidates for who they refer to are former astronauts William Shepherd and Sergei Krikalev, who were notable crew members in 2000 during the first manned ISS mission, Expedition 1.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]

  • November 25, 1920 – Ricardo Montalban, Actor who became famous to genre fans for reprising his original Star Trek series role as the “genetically-superior” Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. But do you remember that he played the circus owner Armando, who saves Corneilius and Zira’s son Caesar, in the Escape and Conquest versions of Planet of the Apes? He also played two different characters in episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., had a part in an episode of Mission: Impossible, and appeared in the pilot episode for Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman series in 1974. His last roles included playing the grandfather in Spy Kids 2 and 3, and as character voices in animated series, among them the villain Vartkes on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and as a cow on Family Guy. (Died 2009.)
  • November 25, 1926 – Poul Anderson, Writer whose first genre works were published in Astounding while he was at university. After getting a degree in physics – with honors – instead of pursuing that profession, he continued to write stories for the early magazines, and later standalone novels. My favorite ones by him? Orion Shall Rise, for the mix of personal scale story with his usual grand political themes, and all of the Flandry stories, though they can often be sexist, are quite fun. His works won numerous Hugo and Nebula Awards, he was Guest of Honor at the 1959 Worldcon, and he was named SFWA Grand Master and inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. (Died 2001.)
  • November 25, 1926 – Jeffrey Hunter, Actor best known for his 1965 role as Captain Christopher Pike in the original pilot episode of Star Trek, which was later framed into the Hugo Award-winning two-part episode “The Menagerie”. Other genre work included Dimension 5, A Witch Without A Broom, Strange Portrait (never released, and no print exists), The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Journey into Fear, and The Green Hornet. On the afternoon of May 26, 1969, he fell and suffered a skull fracture while at home and, despite surgical intervention, died the following morning at age 42.
  • November 25, 1930 – Jacqueline Simpson, 88, Writer and Research of folklore and legends. Consider that any reasonably-long fiction series creates its own history and folklore over the time that series unfolds. Now consider Jacqueline Simpson, a British folklorist who met Terry Pratchett at a book signing one day, and was able to answer at length his query about how many magpie rhymes she knew. This started a friendship which led to The Folklore of Discworld: Legends, Myths and Customs from the Discworld with Helpful Hints from Planet Earth. It lovingly details the folklore of the Discworld novels, and draws parallels with Earth’s folklore, particularly the British folklore Pratchett used. Nice!
  • November 25, 1951 – Charlaine Harris, 67, Writer of more than 30 novels in her interlinked metaverse, the most well-known probably being the massively-popular Sookie Stackhouse series, which was made into the TV series True Blood, and the Midnight, Texas trilogy, which is currently a TV series of the same name. She received a Compton Crook Award nomination for her debut novel, the first in the Stackhouse series, and the first volume of the Cemetery Girl graphic novel series, The Pretenders, earned her and co-author Christopher Golden a World Fantasy Award nomination.
  • November 25, 1953Michael J. “Orange Mike” Lowrey, 65, Bookseller, Civil Service Employee, Writer, Editor, Fan, and Filer, who is best known in fandom for always appearing in ensembles which are entirely in shades of orange. He has been a member of Nashville and Milwaukee fandom clubs and the Society for Creative Anachronism, as well as producing his own fanzine, Vojo de Vivo, and participating in APAs. He has attended every single Chattacon – 43 at last count! – and more than 40 Wiscons, and was Fan Guest of Honor at ICon 25. He was a TAFF candidate in 2003, and is a candidate again this year to travel to the Dublin Worldcon. He and fan C. Kay Hinchliffe were married at X-Con 5 in 1981, and their child Kelly is a fan writer and artist as well.
  • November 25, 1974 – Sarah Monette, 44, Writer who was a Campbell finalist two years in a row, based on the strength of the first two novels in her Doctrine of Labyrinths series, Mélusine and The Virtu, which are quite wonderful and feature a magician and a thief in magical realism setting. I’m hard to impress, but this impressed me: under the pen name of Katherine Addison, she published The Goblin Emperor, which garnered the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel and was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. Damn, that’s good! She won the Spectrum Award in 2003 for her short story “Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland”. I also highly recommend the Iskryne series, which she co-wrote with Elizabeth Bear. The Bone Key is a collection of all but the most recent short works in The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth, about a paranormal investigator.


(9) FIRST SCOTTISH SFF BOOK FESTIVAL. Happens in June, and The Herald says there hasn’t been one before — “Scotland’s first book festival dedicated to fantasy, science fiction and horror is launched”.

The Cymera festival is to launch next year in Edinburgh, and will run for three days in June.

Scotland already has successful book festivals that feature various genres, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Glasgow‘s Aye Write! and the Wigtown Book Festival, while Bloody Scotland, in Stirling, is firmly established as a leading crime writing festival.

Cymera, to be staged at the Pleasance venue in Edinburgh, hopes to do the same for the popular fantastical genres.

The full line up for the festival is to be announced in the new year, but so far writers inlcuding Samantha Shannon, author of the Bone Season series, Ken MacLeod, the noted Scottish sci-fi writer, Charles Stross, the prolific horror writer, and Claire McFall and Cassandra Khaw have been confirmed as attendees.

(10) BACK TO MEOW. George R.R. Martin wears his braces of death for the photo that adorns the print edition of his LA Times interview, unfortunately they didn’t use it in the online version — “Why ‘Game of Thrones’ scribe George R.R. Martin took a chance on Meow Wolf”.

What led famed “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin to invest millions of dollars in the Santa Fe-based art collective Meow Wolf was his intuition….

Investing in Meow Wolf was a generous gesture, but while money can be a great facilitator, it can also have a corrosive effect on art.

There’s a danger that you can lose your soul or you can lose the thing that inspired you to start. But Meow Wolf hasn’t done that. What’s it going to be 20 years from now? I don’t know. We’ll have to see. You can go online and you’ll read a lot of good press about Meow Wolf, but you will also come across certain sites or reviews that are basically, “Well, it’s OK. It’s fun, but it’s not art,” from people who have a very narrow view of what art is.

(11) THE BLACK SCREEN OF DEATH. At Galactic Journey, Cora Buhlert tells about the West German reaction to the Kennedy assassination in “[November 24, 1963] Mourning on two continents”.

Like most West Germans, news of the terrible events in Dallas reached me at home, just settling onto the sofa for an evening of TV. Like some ninety percent of West German television owners, I had my set tuned to the eight o’clock evening news tagesschau. But instead of the familiar tagesschau fanfare, the screen remained dark for a minute or two, something which has never happened before in the eleven years the program has been on the air. When the image finally returned, the visibly shaken news anchor Karl-Heinz Köpcke reported that John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas, and was rushed to hospital. By the end of the program, we knew that Kennedy had not survived….

(12) PROVENANCE. Somebody reading this would probably like to own an autographed copy of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 that used to belong to Hugh Hefner. Here’s your chance.

A signed and inscribed copy of the 40th Anniversary Edition of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993). Together with an illustrated edition from 1982 in a slipcover case.

Larger, 11 by 7 1/4 inches

PROVENANCE From the Collection of Hugh M. Hefner

(13) THAT’S SOME JOHNSON. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] The DorkSideOfTheForce wonders, “Obi-Wan spin-off movie is apparently happening?” Well, according to a speech by British politician Boris Johnson to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, it is. In one snippet, he said:

We have more Nobel prizes from one Cambridge college than from Russia and china combined. By far the most dynamic creative culture and media industries. Which was the biggest grossing movie last year? Star Wars and where does George Lucas propose to make a follow up about Obi-Wan Kenobi? Northern Ireland.

But what is the name of the weapon wielded by Obi-Wan. The glowing throbbing rod with its enigmatic hum. A light sabre – and where did they make the first light sabre?

Apparently this is somehow part of his anti-Theresa May but pro-Brexit reasoning.

(14) WATER WORLD? A new paper in The Astrophysical Journal (“Evolved Climates and Observational Discriminants for the TRAPPIST-1 Planetary System”) strikes a more optimistic tone than several past articles about the chances for liquid water on at least one of the TRAPPIST-1 planets. As the popsci review at BGR.com (“One of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets might have an ocean, researchers now say”) puts it:

Ever since astronomers announced the discovery of seven exoplanets around the star called TRAPPIST-1, researchers have been diving into the data in an attempt to determine what the planets are like. Early on, the prospects for potentially habitable worlds seemed good, but subsequent models suggested that the star at the heart of the system may have burned off any atmosphere the planets once had.

Now, a new study claims to offer a slightly more optimistic scenario that gives at least one of the planets, TRAPPIST-1e, the chance at sustaining an ocean on its surface. The research was published in The Astrophysical Journal.

The TRAPPIST-1 system is incredibly special because it’s packed with seven planets, and three of them are near what we consider to be the habitable zone of the central star. However, scientists think the star had an extremely intense early phase that would likely have scorched the planets, stripping their atmosphere and moisture away long ago.

In studying each of the individual planets, the fourth most distant from the star caught the attention of scientists. Using advanced models to predict the fate of each world, the research team arrived at the conclusion that TRAPPIST-1e may have escaped the fate of its peers and could still support an ocean on its surface.

(15) FREE READ. Motherboard.com has posted a short story (“In the Forests of Memory,” E. Lily Yu) free on their site. A note from the editor says:

Especially after a week given to celebrating a holiday of thanks and remembrance, perhaps it is worth thinking about who gets remembered and why. Here, the great E. Lily Yu imagines a future where cemeteries have been upgraded, but so many other things have not. Enjoy

(16) FOCUS ON THE WILD. BBC brings you the winners of “The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2018”.

A shocked squirrel has scooped the overall prize in this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

Out of thousands of entries from around the world, Mary McGowan, from Tampa, Florida, won the overall prize with her photo titled Caught in the Act.

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

41 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/25/18 The Oldest Established Permanent Floating (Pixel Scroll) In A City With Two Names Twice

  1. Kip Williams: Is Orange Mike a candidate for TAFF this year as well?

    He is, Kip, thanks. It’s now been added. 😀

  2. I’m more than a little surprised (and humbled) to be included in that august company!

  3. Ricky Jay died Saturday. He was primarily a magician/sleight of hand artist (his off Broadway show “Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants” won an Obie), but also an historian of magic and author, a “student of deception in all its forms”, and a character actor, starting with parts in films by his friend David Mamet.

    Some of his roles were in genre-ish productions: X-Files, The Prestige, Mystery Men, Flashforward, Tomorrow Never Dies.

    I first became aware of him when a shortened version of his show “52 Assistants” started running on HBO in 1996 or so. That revived a childhood interest in magic for me, which has continued, and eventually I started meeting some of his friends. My own interests gravitated away from performing and towards the history of conjuring, and I gained some (very minor) notoriety from some research projects I was a part of. A mutual friend emailed me one day and said “Ricky Jay has a project he wants to talk to you about — can I give him your number?” and I ended up making a small contribution to one of his books. We met face to face only once, at a magic history conference, but spent a couple of wonderful hours in the hotel bar talking about conjurors of old.

    If you’ve seen the movie about him, “Deceptive Practices,” then you know that there will never be another like him.

    Washington Post obit

  4. 1. I want
    13. I wrote a set of alternative lyrics to Elton John’s Nikita about Boris Johnson and then lost the file where I wrote them and regret nothing as that just meant less Boris Johnson in the world

  5. (7) I’ve recently been re-reading a lot of Poul Anderson’s work, and while it does contain some of the sexism that was prevalent at that time, I find it less offensive than many of his contemporaries. I think this is because Anderson actually liked women. I especially like his “Operation Chaos” fantasy, where the narrator is a not-specially-intelligent werewolf, very much in love with, and in awe of, his much cleverer wife. It is a funny book which treats magic as just another science with rules that must be followed.
    His heroes do sometimes treat women as sexual opportunities, but they are often given very pivotal roles in the plots. I find that one of his worst faults is that he over-idealizes women, but maybe that is not a bad fault!

  6. Niall:

    (1)The bookends are lovely things, but who has room for bookends on bookshelves?

    That was my thought too. But they’re nice enough that I could find space.

    (And they’re not really bookends. They need to stand between tightly packed books like they do on the pics above, not at the end of a row of books.)

    ETA: Tokyo alleys are nice, but I expect some Potter-fans to now make Diagonalley bookends.

  7. @Allan: Operation Chaos is one of my favorites; I probably read it for rte he first time over 35 years ago.

  8. Someone was in a previous post was asking about the Titan Comics edition of the Book of Ballads by Charlrs Vess. I just got an email from the press officer there who said that, ‘Thanks for your message about Book of Ballads. Good to hear from you. The new collection (out tomorrow) includes new sketches gallery, plus an additional 10 pages of artwork that has never been published before.’

    I’ve not yet looked at the review pdf he sent via Dropbox but I will soon.

  9. “What city has two names twice?”

    Wow, that’s an impressively obscure reference. Kudos. (I still go back and re-read Cities in Flight every year or two.)

    (7) My personal Poul Anderson story had to do with one of the books I wrote for Steve Jackson Games back in the day. The book was, among other things, a manual for world-building in a space opera setting, exactly the kind of thing for which Mr. Anderson was famous. I prevailed upon my editor to permit me to make a small dedication to him on the title page, something that wasn’t normally done for that line of books. After the book was released, I’m told a fan caught up with him at a California convention, showed him a copy, and got a reaction not far short of “kid in a candy store.”

    This was just a few months before Mr. Anderson passed away; I had always wanted to meet him in person, but that bit of indirect contact isn’t a bad memory to have instead. I still re-read a lot of his stories at least once a year too.

  10. Given the low storage capacity of floppy disks, there isn’t much porn you could fit on there. Maybe a few low res images or some text-only erotic fiction.

    Alexander Gerst’s Twitter feed from the ISS is great BTW.

  11. @Jon: Sufficiently obscure in that sense that I didn’t even think to look for a genre reference; there are other cultural references to the name, like “the city so nice, they named it twice,” and it jumps out to everyone who has given their address as “name, street, New York, New York,” which is how it’s pronounced* even if the post office wants “Nw York, NY”. Yes, that’s fewer people than you might think–for postal purposes, “New York, NY” is only Manhattan, and most city addresses are supposed to be given as, say, “Jamaica, NY” or “Staten Island, NY”–but that “fewer” is still in the millions.

  12. Meredith Moment(s):

    There’s a LOT on sale today in the US (naturally) but two jumped out at me-Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory for $2.99 at Amazon US and It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis for $1.99 at Amazon US. I suspect that both of these are probably on sale more widely, though I only know of Amazon’s listing.

  13. @6: the question that display brings up is whether they found some equipment that could read the floppy disks.
    ISTR that 2000 is kind of late for data on stiffies instead of CDs — but the ISS is not a place where upgrades that might affect compatibility are desirable.

    @7: you liked Orion Shall Rise? I remember it felt to me like one long screed against all of Anderson’s pet peeves; people react differently to various bait.

    @7 ctd: I remember being struck by a line in Brackett’s People of the Talisman, in which the ~antagonist (a Genghis Khan – class warlord who is revealed to be female midway through) says she accomplished what she could ~”jvgu gurfr gjb unaqf, naq jvgu jung V nz — abg jung V pbhyq gevpx naq jurrqyr naq juber bhg bs zra guebhtu gur napvrag hfntrf bs gur orqpunzore.” That was an uncommon outburst for SF in 1964; I suspect it had some of her own bitter experience behind it.

    @13: the Great British Windbag strikes again….

    @Niall McAuley: (1)The bookends are lovely things, but who has room for bookends on bookshelves? What do you do when you get a new bookcase?

    @Johan P: couldn’t the sculptures be attached to heavy bases? Or do they seem too fragile?

  14. @Chip What do you do when you get a new bookcase?

    Fill it with all the books that have been accumulating in stacks on tables, of course.

    And as far as floppy disks go: my government office did not stop using them as a primary means of file transmission until 2010.

  15. @ambyr:

    Fill it with all the books that have been accumulating in stacks on tables, of course.

    And be disappointed that the stacks have been diminished but not eliminated, in my experience.

  16. @Chip
    I’d be looking for a USB floppy drive, in one of the cabinets/drawers. They’re not large. (Yes, I have one.)

    @Niall, Johan
    More shelf dividers than bookends, then – but dividers are useful, especially on long shelves.

  17. @Chip

    couldn’t the sculptures be attached to heavy bases? Or do they seem too fragile?

    There are ways to make them do the physical job of a bookend, but it seems to me they work best as a clever recreation of an alley if they stand like they do on the picture in the tweet, with books (i.e. “buildings”) on both sides.

  18. @JFZ:

    I met Poul at a LibertyCon a few years ago. Turns out he was also ordained through ULC, which I discovered when he asked about my badge name (the same one I use here).

    I also recall organizing some of the web pages for your books, since we’re on the subject of connections…

  19. Chip asks me: you liked Orion Shall Rise? I remember it felt to me like one long screed against all of Anderson’s pet peeves; people react differently to various bait.

    I like it. It’s prolly the only work I re-read by him other various Flandry novels from time to time. I’m not saying it’s perfect but it’s fun. And yes it’s a screed but so’s a lot of SF.

  20. (14) Ooh, my research area! We’re observing Trappist-1 with Hubble next week to characterize the X-ray and UV irradiance on the planets to understand how much the stellar flux and flare rates affect the exoplanet atmospheres. Even if you survive the runaway greenhouse phase, the habitable zone around a low mass star like Trappist-1 is an inhospitable environment, to put it mildly.

  21. Folks, I’m looking for some new reviewers in the States. I know y’all can write, so do contact me if you’re interested. The Queen of Air and Darkness knows that we’ve got enough stuff here awaiting review that we could use you! Most of the books will come directly from the publishers, either as galleys or as the actual published editions.

    If you’re into comics and live outside the States, Titan Comics in the UK will providing us with pdf review copies of their products so I’ll gladly send them anywhere.

  22. @Chip–Yeah, Orion Shall Rise has some very screedy bits and they annoyed me. Yet overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Not enough to reread it, though, knowing the screedy bits were there, and the story, being already known, wouldn’t hold the same level of distraction.

  23. Bill,
    Sad to see news of Ricky’s passing. He was one of the great ones.

    Apologies I didn’t see Bill’s comment about the news until after I emailed you

  24. @P J Evans: I’d be looking for a USB floppy drive, in one of the cabinets/drawers. Good point — I’d been thinking of devices with built-in drives, rather than standalone drives, which are enough smaller than that album that they could have been missed. Whether they find one may depend on how thorough the housecleaning is; the science-lab mockup traveling the US (recently in the Museum of Science in Boston) looked like all of the storage had depths in which small things could hide — probably expectable since all the modules had to be compact.

  25. ::performs thread necromancy ritual::

    (7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS. I always enjoy scanning this information, especially seeing things like Montalban being in the “Wonder Woman” pilot, which I didn’t remember (but it’s been umpteen years since I watched that).

    Keeping in mind the following is just my take on things – NOT intended as criticism:

    A. I think of “Fantasy Island” as SFF for Ricardo Montalban. Reading Wikipedia (that bastion of unreliable knowledge), apparently there was a lot more supernatural and outright magic stuff in the series than I remembered, huh.

    B. Sarah Monette’s “Doctrine of the Labyrinths” series was awesome, wasn’t it? 😀 I wouldn’t call it magical realism, though, just straight fantasy. There are multiple order of wizards and many, many other hallmarks of regular fantasy. It takes place in a dark secondary world. Etc. But hey, we all draw genre boundaries in different places. 🙂

    @Kip Williams: “SCROFLMAO!” That made me grin, thanks. Also, I LOL’d at that comic. 🙂

    @Cat Eldridge: Thanks for the follow-up info on the Titan Comics edition of Vess’s book. I don’t make a habit of buying things I have in whole or in part (I have his original comic books!), but I love Vess’s work and will probably put this on my Xmas wish list, now that I know about the additional art!

    I am a bit confused, though. Last year, there was a hardback “The Book of Ballads (Original Art Edition)” from Titan. They don’t list the new book on their web site; I’m unclear on whether it’s the same thing in a smaller paperback and a new cover (reflowed, so it takes more pages), or not. I contacted them via their contact form, but if you or anyone knows for sure, I’m curious.

    Warning: Since WordPress e-mails me sporadically, I’m just bookmarking this to watch for comments. So, apologies in advance if I’m slow to reply to any replies.

  26. re: Fantasy Island as SFF

    Well, the short lived remake (lament!) which clearly took place in the same universe, was very explicitly SFF. Thus, the original was too.

  27. Odd coincidence: my wife, C. Kay Hinchliffe (already mentioned on this page) was a writer for Fantasy Island!

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