Pixel Scroll 11/10/17 As I Was Pixelating Over Barsoom, I Saw Dejah Thoris On A Coup DeScroll

(1) STAR WARS TV SERIES COMING. Inverse was paying attention — “So, There’s a Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Television Show on the Way”. But it will only be available on Disney’s standalone streaming service.

Hidden in the weeds of Lucasfilm’s official announcement that Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will be developing a new standalone Star Wars trilogy was news of a live-action Star Wars television show.

… The only thing we do know about the as-yet-unnamed live-action Star Wars television show is that it’s a part of Disney’s upcoming streaming service. In 2019, Disney will pull all of its titles from Netflix and other streaming services to launch its own streaming platform, which will include this live-action Star Wars series as well as “four to five original movies a year.”

(2) SHE CAN AFFORD TO SCINTILLATE. That didn’t take long. Jo Walton’s Kickstarter to launch a new Montreal convention fully funded in nine hours and since then has blown past several stretch goals. Scintillation will be held in Montreal from October 5-7, 2018, with program by Walton, and takes the place of another con she used to do:

I stopped doing Farthing Party because every year I suffered agonies of anxiety that we wouldn’t have enough members to break even and I’d go into debt to the hotel. It also ate a lot of my time, and in 2014 I decided to stop and concentrate on writing and organizing smaller events with friends. Scintillation is going to be different. For one thing, it’s going to be funded (or not) by this Kickstarter. We’ll know how much money we have. If there isn’t enough interest and it doesn’t fund, we’ll know now and give up. For another, I have more help. I’ll still be doing program, but other people are going to be doing everything else, including the dreaded badge printing. So we can all have more fun.

Walton set a goal of $2,366 and has already raised $4,457.

(3) BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTER F. Kristine Kathryn Rusch, in “Business Musings: The People in Your Office”, says doing this is bad for a writer’s business – not that you had any doubts.

So, it happened again. A big name fantasy writer made his fans angry because the next book in his series hasn’t appeared in years. And, in a passing remark, he compared the comments fans make on his overdue book to those comments people make to their unemployed adult child about getting a job or to their single grandkid about getting married.

Patrick Rothfuss made the foolhardy decision to let a reporter shadow him all day and of course Rothfuss had an unguarded moment. He said, on the record,

“[The fans] don’t realize this is so wearying,” he said with a sigh when we spoke a few weeks ago. “It’s like asking, ‘When are you going to get married? When are you going to go to law school?’ It’s like, just fuck off. Just die. I don’t need any more of that in my life.”

It’s not a good plan to tell your fans to fuck off and die. Nor is it a good idea to tell them that their favorite author “is not your bitch” the way Neil Gaiman did for George R.R. Martin several years ago.

It’s especially not a good plan to tell the reporter who is also covering the fact that The Kingkiller Chronicle superfan Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton fame) will be the executive producer on a version of your series that’s going to be aired on Showtime in the next year or two.

But writers are who writers are. And most of them (most of us) spend our time alone in a room, making things up. Writers tend not to realize that their fans are people. Nor do some writers—especially newer writers who have fast success—realize that the only reason they’re going to be remembered as artists is if they have fans of their work.

(4) SEE ORIGNAL RUSS TEXT. This weekend at the Boston Book Fair Lloyd Currey and John Knott will be at booth 426 with several unique items will be on display, including an important manuscript by Joanna Russ.

Russ, Joanna. HOW TO SUPPRESS WOMEN’S WRITING [Nonfiction]. AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT (AMs). Rough draft handwritten on lined notebook paper, except for the three-page “Authors Note” which is typewritten (carbon copy), with Russ’s handwritten corrections. 245 leaves, most with footnotes written on the versos. The manuscript includes material that was not included in the published book. The book is a high point of feminist literary criticism, a witty and rigorous examination of the arguments used to marginalize and suppress writing by women historically and in the present, arguments that might easily be (and have been) adapted to any body of writing a dominant group might wish to marginalize. It is a work of enduring interest and application that might outlast even the best of this fine writer’s fiction. “A book of the most profound and original clarity. Like all clear-sighted people who look and see what has been much mystified and much lied about, Russ is quite excitingly subversive. The study of literature should never be the same again …” – Marge Piercy.” The book was published in 1983 by the University of Texas Press and remains in print, although the author did not live to grant permission for an electronic edition.

(5) THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES. Doctor Science explains “Why I need maps in fantasy novels”:

For me, a map is a type of memory palace, linking up all kinds of information for easy retrieval. Without one, I don’t just feel lost, I feel *dumb* — because my memories are disorganized and harder to recall.

The novel that started me toward this realization is The Ruin of Angels, the sixth book in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence. Set in a complex world in which both gods and capitalism are real, the books have been mostly set in different cities, each with its own culture and gods/capitalism balance, where history, human minds, and the fabric of reality keep being re-written under pressure.

(6) ALSO KNOWN AS. Kim Huett tries to psyche out why the author picked that particular name: “Paul Linebarger – Cordwainer Smith: Pondering the Pseudonym”.

However Paul Linebarger chose his own pseudonym and given the care with which he wrote his stories I can’t imagine him applying anything less than the same degree of care to choosing a pen-name. In which case I think it reasonable to assume Linebarger chose Cordwainer Smith because it had some sort of significance to him. He wouldn’t be the first to do so, Robert Heinlein for example constructed the pen-name Lyle Monroe from his mother’s maiden name and a surname taken from one branch of her family.

In Linebarger’s case however just what that significance his chosen pen-name might have isn’t immediately apparent. As far as I’m aware Paul Linebarger never explained why he chose Cordwainer Smith and those words have no obvious connection to the man. But that’s alright because I have a theory (actually, I always have a theory, it’s my least endearing trait people tell me)….

(7) TOYS IN THE HALL. The 2017 National Toy Hall of Fame inductees were announced today:

The mystery has been solved! The simple, soaring paper airplane; game-changing Wiffle Ball; and murder-mystery favorite Clue today became the latest inductees to The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame. The honorees were selected from a field of 12 finalists that also included: Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, PEZ Candy Dispenser, play food, Risk, sand, Transformers, and Uno.

About paper airplane: Artist and inventor Leonardo DaVinci sketched and designed flying creations using parchment in the 15th century. Later, in the early 19th century, Sir George Cayley identified four primary forces—lift, drag, weight, and thrust—which eventually helped the Wright Brothers first take flight in 1903. These defining moments helped lead to the purported invention of the paper airplane in 1909—but its exact origin is unclear. Experts can agree that the principles that make an airplane fly are the same that govern paper versions. Paper’s high strength and density make it similar, scale wise, to the materials out of which actual airplanes are constructed.

“Where some toys require financial investment, paper airplanes start with a simple sheet of paper, coupled with creativity and dexterity, to produce a toy with infinite aeronautical possibilities,” says Christopher Bensch, The Strong’s vice president for collections. “They allow the imagination to takeoff and soar!”

About Wiffle Ball: A retired semi-pro baseball player in 1950s suburban Connecticut noticed that his son and friend could not play a game of baseball in the cramped space of their backyard (especially without breaking any windows). He began cutting holes in spherical plastic containers and gave them to his son for testing, eventually developing a ball with eight oblong slots that allowed the ball to grab air, thus diverting its trajectory. With it, a pitcher could easily throw a curve, a slider, or a knuckle ball. The Wiffle Ball slowed the game, shrunk the playing field, and made it conducive to post World War II-suburbia. The family-owned Wiffle Ball Inc. opened in Connecticut and established rules for the game of Wiffle Ball. Soon, it was producing millions of Wiffle Balls each year and it continues to do so.

“The Wiffle Ball changed the outdoor play landscape, taking the basics of backyard baseball and transforming it into something easier for neighborhood kids to negotiate. In the more than 60 years since its introduction, generations of Little League, high school, college, and pro sluggers have begun their baseball careers swinging at a Wiffle Ball,” says Curator Michelle Parnett-Dwyer.

About Clue: A British couple designed Clue during World War II and based it on the murder-mystery dinner parties popular around that time. They patented the game in 1944 and successfully pitched it to Waddington Games, but material shortages kept it out of production for several years. Then, in 1949, Waddingtons released it under the name “Cluedo.” Gaming giant Parker Brothers purchased the rights and released it in America under the name “Clue” shortly thereafter. The game—in which players must deduce with available evidence the murderer of the luckless Mr. Boddy—became a quick success. It remains one of the top 10 best-selling games of all time.

(8) NO SPACE MARINES. CNN reports “Lawmakers scrap ‘Space Corps’ proposal”.

Congressional negotiators have rejected the House’s plan to create a new “Space Corps” — omitting the proposal for a new military branch under the umbrella of the Air Force from the final version of a nearly $700 billion bipartisan defense policy bill called the National Defense Authorization Act.

Despite support from House Armed Services Committee leaders — including chairman Mac Thornberry — the Space Corps proposal will not be included in the final NDAA for fiscal year 2018. Though the bill does contain language directing further long-term study of the issue, according to senior staff for both armed service committees, who briefed reporters on the contents of the bill Wednesday.

The proposal, which was included in the House’s National Defense Authorization Act, would have set up a Space Corps in the mold of the Marine Corps, which is a separate military branch that’s housed within the Navy.


  • November 10, 1969 Sesame Street premiered.
  • November 10, 1973 Slaughterhouse Five is burned in North Dakota. “Some found the book’s pessimistic outlook and black humor unsuitable for school children.”
  • November 10, 1989 Communion premieres in theaters.

(10) CASTLES IN THE TEAR. Jamie Hannigan keeps busy in a way that might make some booklovers cringe: “I Make Game Of Thrones Sculptures Using The Books From The Series”.

I make sculptures out of the pages of used books. Each piece depicts what the book is about in some way. I decided to do a series of places in the Game of Thrones universe, as shown on the show’s intro sequence. Each sculpture takes somewhere from 10- 20 hours to make.

The series is not yet complete. I’m working on another piece now (Dorne) and I have several more planned out. You can see additional views of the GoT pieces, as well as my other work on my website.

More info: jamiebhannigan.com

Here’s Winterfell.

The artist also has a series of paper sculptures of Harry Potter, Moby Dick and Don Quixote.

(11) THANKS. Entertainment Weekly describes how “Deadpool 2 poster brings the family (and Cable) back together”.

The foulmouthed, R-rated, unicorn-loving, Francis-stalking, fourth wall-breaking Marvel family is getting back together in the new poster for Deadpool 2. After debuting on Collider, franchise star Ryan Reynolds released the one-sheet, which spoofs the famous “Freedom From Want” painting by Norman Rockwell.

Our favorite Merc with the Mouth, presenting a Thanksgiving turkey, is seen standing beside Josh Brolin’s time-traveling psychic mutant Cable, while Dopinder (Karan Soni), Vanessa (Morena Boccarin), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), newcomer mutant Domino (Zazie Beetz), Weasel (T.J. Miller), and Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) sit around the dinner table.

(12) CATCH OF THE DAY. As it says in the photo caption, “Nasty big pointy teeth.” — “Portuguese trawler nets ‘prehistoric shark'”.

Portuguese scientists have captured a “shark from the age of the dinosaurs” off the Algarve coast.

Researchers caught the rare frilled shark aboard a trawler, where they were working on a European Union project to “minimise unwanted catches in commercial fishing”, Sic Noticias TV reports.

The scientists from the country’s Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere dubbed the shark a “living fossil” because remains have been dated back 80 million years, making it one of very few species of such antiquity still around today.

The Institute said the male fish measured 1.5 metres (5ft) in length and was caught at a depth of 700 metres (2,300 ft) in waters off the resort of Portimao.

…It is rarely caught, and even then examples do not often make it to research laboratories. There is also little footage of the shark in its natural habitat.

(13) HERE KITTY KITTY. Roman SJW credentials under threat: “The cats who rule Rome”. (video)

It’s well known that the Romans love their cats – so much so that they have designated the felines as a biocultural heritage of the city. But how much longer will this last?

(14) DIVERSE COMICS. And speaking of…. Barry Deutsch criticizes those who seem to believe in insisting that everyone else enjoy things in the same way as they do. The Twitter thread begins here —

(15) FORGOTTEN EARLY MAN. Can’t remember if I ran this already, so let’s err on the side of not missing it –

(16) NEXT PIXAR FLICK. Disney’s Coco, final official trailer. The movie hits theaters November 22.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mark Hepworth, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

65 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/10/17 As I Was Pixelating Over Barsoom, I Saw Dejah Thoris On A Coup DeScroll

  1. 2) Yep, pondering giving it a go. I am not in Jo’s circles, but I AM friends with Marissa Lingen and Fran Wilde…

    5) As I said elsewhere, totally agree with Doctor Science on maps. The book I am reading now (JADE CITY) has a map of the city and of the island, and they both immensely useful thereby. I’m also in favor of dramatis personae if the cast is large.

  2. Title credit! Woohoo!

    Have we done ship titles?

    From “Learning the World “But the Scroll, My Lady! The Scroll!”

    and Iain Banks would provide many options.

  3. Darren Garrison: For today in history, you missed the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Oh noes! (26 times)

  4. Clickity

    Here in 4617, I’m recovering from a week of illness, inertness, and stressing out. On the other hand, I’m listening to Mother Go by James Patrick Kelly, and have just started reading Stranger Magics by Ash Fitzsimmons, and h o.oiw can that be bad? Also, there has been sun, although not right now, it being 2:21am

  5. @Paul Weimer: I went to the Farthing Parties, back when those were happening, and I had a great time at all of them. In addition, Montreal is a charming city. (When it isn’t -40 out, that is.)

  6. (2) That’s one way to solve the issue of people not buying memberships early. Though I do think a con like this can need a membership cap.

    (3) There is also the corollary that that readers needs to be aware that writers are people too.

    In any case, voluntarily letting a dirt-digger or gossiper follow you around for an extended period of time is likely a bad idea, no matter what.

    (14) Good thread, and I very much agree that all art has a political or moral element that can and should be examined (though not necessarily by everyone at every time).

    I think one explanation might be that many of the Puppies carry with them a lot of unexamined political attitudes (political here used in the broadest possible sense), and that anything that counters those are felt as a personal attack on their values. There is also a streak of taught anti-illectualism here, that any kind of critical examination or discussion is bad. At its worst, it ends up with that peak human civilisation has been reached, and it can only go downhill from here. Things can certainly not be improved.


    While I agree with Rusch that letting a reporter follow you around and assuming that you can speak unguardedly in front of them is not a good idea, I still sympathize wholeheartedly with Rothfuss and GRRM and every other author who has had fans with an unjustified sense of entitlement make irrational demands of them.

    The only thing an author “owes” a fan is the book that they’ve just bought — which can frequently be returned in case of dissatisfaction, and which can be reviewed negatively if it does not live up to the reader’s expectations.

    I support Rusch on her Patreon. Even though I find her business posts interesting and usually read them, and they are what her Patreon is there to support, and she doesn’t provide any fiction for her Patrons, I could live just fine without those posts — but I support her Patreon anyway as a way of thanking her for her fiction and making it a tiny bit easier for her to write it. I had to wait a hell of a long time between Diving Universe book #4 Skirmishes (2013) and #5 The Falls (2016). Sure, a wait is always a bit of a disappointment, but in the meantime I was able to read a bunch of other fantastic books, including the Anniversary Day sub-series of Rusch’s Retrieval Artist series.

    So it’s pretty hard for me to sympathize with fans who think that the author of their favorite works “owes” them something. I think that they need to get a sense of perspective, and recognize that there are a lot more things they can love than just the one thing upon which they are so fixated.

    I strongly suspect that the Song of Ice and Fire book series will never get finished — because GRRM’s got a ton of other things going on now, including 5 GoT spinoffs, the Jean Cocteau Theatre and its marvelous programs, and additional fantastic Meow Wolf installations in numerous other cities, all of which he’s massively enjoying. It’s going to be harder than hell for him to finish writing the books — which have already diverged massively from the TV series canon — in a way that will satisfy fans (who will no doubt complain ceaselessly about the inconsistencies between the two). And if he doesn’t write them, I think that’s okay. GRRM labored for years to get where he is today, and he should be able to spend the rest of his life doing what he enjoys and not feeling beholden to anyone.

  8. @ JJ

    So it’s pretty hard for me to sympathize with fans who think that the author of their favorite works “owes” them something. I think that they need to get a sense of perspective, and recognize that there are a lot more things they can love than just the one thing upon which they are so fixated.

    This is true. But when an author starts a story of any length, I think they are making an implied promise to the reader that they will get to find out how the story ends. That’s how stories work, right?

  9. Rob Thornton: But when an author starts a story of any length, I think they are making an implied promise to the reader that they will get to find out how the story ends. That’s how stories work, right?

    I can’t say that I agree with that. Most novels which are part of a series say so on their jackets (and when I say “most”, I’m looking at you, Too Like The Lightning, which did not bother to tell readers that they were getting only half a book, never mind one book of a series 🙄 ).

    And a reader understands (or should understand) that they may or may not get any more books in that series, since none of us knows whether we, or the author of that series, will still be alive tomorrow.

    So no, I don’t agree that because a book in a series has been published, that the author has promised the reader that they will get to read the end of the story. They have promised the reader that they will get to read the part of the story which is in that book.

  10. Writers need to work at their own pace, true enough, and fans need to let them. However, I do think if you’re saying to people “I want to tell you a story”, you’ve got some sort of obligation – if only that of good manners – to get to the end of it, or at least to a reasonable stopping point. If someone’s writing an inordinately long series of books, and each book is a reasonably complete story in itself, then, well, fine. I waited patiently for the last two books of Jack Vance’s “Demon Princes” series; it doesn’t look like Alexei Panshin’s ever going to give us The Universal Pantograph, but that’s OK, I’m happy enough with what I’ve got.

    But if you’ve got something which is clearly building up to an enormous dramatic climax, and then you never get round to delivering it… well, your readers can be forgiven, I think, for chafing under a sense of plottus interruptus.

  11. 3: Oh boo hoo. Have a little freakin patience. The guy who commissioned Notre Dame had to wait 200 years for the finish. The authors I’m impatient with are the ones hanging out on the Riverworld, smoking cigars with Clemons and laughing over the fact that no one has managed to start making paper yet!

    14: (What, I wasn’t going to comment on something that mentions SPs?)

    Ignorant of the genre and of fandom – absolutely. I’ve been saying as much since the beginning.

  12. FWIW, I don’t think any author is going, “Well, I should finish that, but I don’t feel like it right now.” There’s always STUFF in the way and when someone asks, “When is X going to be out?” the first feeling is “Oh crap” because that’s the same question that is waking one up in the small hours.

    To be an author behind on a book — and I’ve talked to people who have been, literally, half a decade or more behind — is not to be a happy author, usually. (I just turned in the second Tabat book much later than I wanted, because the SFWA Presidency does affect my output in a significant way.) The author wants it finished much more than the fans do.

    GRRM has enough money that he never has to finish his side, and that’s fine. I’d like to read the end but there’s no moral imperative to finish writing, and it wouldn’t be the first series that left me hanging.(Architect of Sleep, anyone?) He doesn’t owe me anything.

  13. (Architect of Sleep, anyone?)
    I still wonder where he was going to take that one. It was an interesting story.

  14. P J Evans: I still wonder where he was going to take [Architect of Sleep]. It was an interesting story.

    I hadn’t heard of this book, so I just did some reading about it. The second book exists, but it sounds as though the fans who wrote him demanding that he publish it pissed him off enough that he has declared that he will never do so. 🙁

  15. 6) I don’t have a source to hand, but I thought it was pretty well established that “Cordwainer Smith” was from the Mandarin transliteration of Linebarger, which translates as “the forest of incandescent bliss”?

  16. The legend scrolls on from the pixelers on down
    Of the big File they called “Seven Sev’nty.”

  17. The Architect of Sleep! Haven’t thought about that one in years. Picked it up on a whim and remember being very pleasantly surprised (if somewhat frustrated by the ending, like everyone else).

    Sounds more like corporate limbo than authorial pique, if the Internet is to be believed:


  18. From the FAQ on Boyett’s website as of October 2007:

    Where’s the rest of THE ARCHITECT OF SLEEP?
    In a box in my closet. For the longest time I’ve had every intention of finishing it, but thanks to the existence of (and the kind of mail I get from) furries, I’ve changed my mind.

  19. @Bloodstone75: Thanks for that link; very interesting reading (though a bummer).

    @JJ: Thanks for the info. From what he wrote in 1988, though, his 2007 (or whenever it was written) FAQ answer seems misleading (whether or not it’s also accurate; a lot can change in 19 years, for sure!).

    @Meredith Moment Fans: Twisting the Rope by R. A. MacAvoy (who has some fans around here) is $1.99 in the U.S., at least at some places, from Open Road Media (uses DRM, despite their name). This is the sequel to Tea With the Black Dragon.

  20. @Bloodstone75

    The legend scrolls on from the pixelers on down
    Of the big File they called “Seven Sev’nty.

    Very nice!

    Regarding books I’d love to see finally arrive: John Varley’s Irontown Blues, Walter Jon Williams’ sequel to Metropolitan and City on Fire, and Gerrold’s A Method for Madness – but I’m not holding my breath for any of them.

  21. 3) Well, I waited 20+ years for Glen Cook to finish the Dread Empire series, so I can be patient with Martin & Rothfuss.

  22. @Ghostbird:

    I thought it was pretty well established that “Cordwainer Smith” was from the Mandarin transliteration of Linebarger, which translates as “the forest of incandescent bliss”?

    The Mandarin sound-match (per recollection and Wikipedia) is “Lin Bai-lo”; I don’t see how you get from either this or its meaning (which memory and W confirm) to this pseudonym. Possibly you’re thinking of “Felix [happy] C. Forrest” (used for two mundane novels)?

  23. Anyone who’s a fan of fanfiction gets used to the idea of things being incomplete. Sometimes you see a “12/?” tag with “last updated 2013”, and you know what you’re getting into. Other times it’s a gamble.

  24. @Chip Hitchcock

    “Cordwainer” (woodcutter) from “forest” and “smith” from “incandescent” (white-hot metal). It’s more allusive than literal, but the connection’s there. Which still leaves room to speculate about the precise choice of words, of course.

  25. Ghostbird: When I look up “cordwainer” it says that means shoemaker. Where did you see woodcutter?

  26. @John A Arkansawyer: “…First Law of Robotics…” – Heh, great comic; thanks for linking to it.

    In the year 4596 (yay, finally I get the time machine!), humans must follow the Three Laws of Humanity, to protect robots.

  27. The legend comes down from the APAs of old
    Of the fanzine become a webjournal
    The pixel, we’re told, never gives up its scrolls
    In the winds of September eternal.

    With a full load of links and a hold full of thinks
    And Ray Bradbury stories remembered
    With two fifths of scotch and a God that they’d stalked
    Through the winds of eternal September.

  28. Did someone else already mention that Friday night’s Jeopardy had a Science Fiction category that was treated like the plague? It went untouched until it was all that was left and then they only got one correct answer out of the five.

  29. JJ:

    Most novels which are part of a series say so on their jackets (and when I say “most”, I’m looking at you, Too Like The Lightning, which did not bother to tell readers that they were getting only half a book, never mind one book of a series ).

    Usually the publisher’s choice, not the author’s. Sarah Monette attributes a part of her need to publish the Goblin Emperor as Katherine Addison to her first publisher doing just that to her Melusine series. (Also allowing early volumes to lapse entirely out of print – not just bookstores not ordering it, which is a common plague on series’, but none existing outright – before the last one was released.)

    Apparently some marketing people are more concerned about readers being put off by reading “Book 3 of the Y series” (Possibly a legit problem when 1 and 2 are nowhere near, but it doesn’t seem to slow down Manga fans hunting for book 13 of 42) than they are about people picking up a book with no indication it’s the third part of a closed story that makes a ton less sense when started in the middle. (which may not stop the sale cold in the store, but will probably guarantee no further sales of that series…)

  30. @Joe H.: Thanks for the info on Winter Tide. Hopefully it goes on sale outside Kindle, but if it doesn’t in a day or two, I may get the Kindle version – not my preferred format, but it’s DRM-free (yay, Tor!), so it’s easy to convert & shift to my preferred app. 🙂

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