Pixel Scroll 12/6/21 A Pixel Is About The Most Massively Useful Thing An Interscroller Hitchfiler Can Have

(1) SPECTRUM FANTASTIC ART QUARTERLY. Cathy and Arnie Fenner have finished the first volume: “Spectrum Fantastic Art Quarterly *Update*” at Muddy Colors. It will be released December 20. Meantime, Arnie explains they are still at work on changes to the Spectrum competition and annual:

Remember awhile back when I mentioned that Cathy and I were planning to do a quarterly Spectrum bookazine? Guess what: the first volume is done. And what do I mean by “bookazine?” Well, I guess it’s something of a marriage of design, editorial, and graphics in a format that reads like a magazine but sits happily with the books on your shelf. It’s not exactly a new concept: if you hop in the way-back machine and take a look at Herb Lubalin’s Avant Garde or at Ralph Ginzburg’s hardcover Eros (which was also designed by Lubalin) you’ll see just how neat the idea is.

So while we’ve been figuring out all the minutia that goes into reorganizing the Spectrum competition and annual (and, lemme tell you, there are some cool discussions going on…if we can only figure out the logistics) and preparing to open #28 for entries, we put our heads together with some friends and decided to create the Spectrum Fantastic Art Quarterly to stay engaged with the community while the competition/book gets rebuilt—and have some fun in the process. And “fun” is the key word here: as we mention in the introduction to Vol 1, it’s sort of a throw-back to my days publishing fanzines (or “semiprozines” or “boutique magazines” or whatever you want to call them), that are produced out of love with making a buck, though important, secondary. SFAQ is a 12?x12?, perfect-bound, full-color softcover; it’s about and for fantastic artists of all sensibilities—and that includes illustrators, gallery painters, sculptors, art directors, calligraphers, comics artists, and more—and for everyone interested in the people and history of our field. Is it perfect? Nope. Did we probably make some dumb mistakes or let some typos slip by us? Undoubtedly. But it was most certainly fun to put together and we’ve got all kinds of ideas for features and designs percolating in our noggins—all ideas that work better for a “bookazine” rather than a traditional magazine or book, if you know what I mean. If it works, it works; if it doesn’t, we’ll at least have had a good time trying.

Anyway, Spectrum Fantastic Art Quarterly Vol. 1 will be released (according to the printer) December 20th—yes, this year. Merry Christmas! If you’re interested, here’s where you can order your copy. It’ll probably still be a week or so before they have them listed, but…you heard it here first.

STUART NG BOOKS https://stuartngbooks.com / https://www.facebook.com/stuart.ng.73

BUD PLANT’S ART BOOKS – https://www.budsartbooks.com / https://www.facebook.com/budsartbooks

(2) WINNIPEG IN 2023 WORLDCON BID QUESTIONNAIRE. Jannie Shea reports that Winnipeg in 2023’s response to the Smofcon questionnaire is posted at the bid’s website: “Fannish Question Time_Smofcon – Winnipeg 2023 Worldcon Bid”.

Several of the bid committee also practiced in an informal Q&A session on their YouTube channel earlier this year. The raw unedited session, held back in July, can be viewed here.

(3) FREE READ. Issue 4 of Whetstone: Amateur Magazine of Pulp Sword and Sorcery (which actually is a semiprozine according to Hugo rules) is out: Cora Buhlert says, “Good modern sword and sorcery fiction and it’s free, too.”

(4) TURNAROUND. Neon Hemlock Press launched a Kickstarter to fund the anthology Luminiscent Machinations: Queer Tales of Monumental Invention edited by Rhiannon Rasmussen and dave ring, “a speculative anthology exploring the limits of machinery, the fragility and power of queer bodies, and mecha in all their forms.” Social media controversy has arisen because one of the contributors to the anthology is Neon Yang, who criticized Isabel Fall’s “Helicopter Story” (originally titled “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter.”) Some defenders of Isabel Fall are condemning Yang’s promotion of their own queer mech story.

Emily VanDer Werff’s Vox article “How Twitter can ruin a life: Isabel Fall’s complicated story” published in summer 2021 refreshed memories about Neon Yang’s stance on Twitter 18 months earlier when “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter” first appeared:

“When the story was first published, we knew nothing about Isabel Fall’s identity, and there was a smattering of strange behavior around the comments and who was linking to it that led people to suspect right-wing trolls were involved in this,” says science fiction author Neon Yang. They were publicly critical of the story on Twitter…. 

Publisher Neon Hemlock has made this statement:

Meanwhile, Neon Yang’s Twitter account is labeled “temporarily restricted” with a message that says, “You’re seeing this warning because there has been some unusual activity from this account. Do you still want to view it?” although one can still click through the warning and access it.

Doris V. Sutherland’s post “On Neon Yang’s Toxic Reputation” reviews the original 2020 controversy in some detail, searching for an explanation why Yang is experiencing this backlash:

…Yet, despite the flimsiness of the accusation, Neon Yang retains a reputation as the person who did the most to bring down Isabel Fall. As far as I can tell, the misconception can be traced back to the aforementioned Vox article, in which Yang is the only person quoted as justifying the backlash against the story. Nowhere does the article state, or even imply, that Yang was the main aggressor; yet nonetheless, it seems to have established Yang as the face of the anti-Fall movement….

Those that live by the censor’s scissors are liable to end up being snipped at themselves. There is, perhaps, a degree of karma in a person who rolled along with the erasure of Isabel Fall’s story — simply because it made some of the readers uncomfortable — being placed in a position where their own presence in an anthology is deemed uncomfortable, to the extent where at least one collaborator has decided to pull out….

(5) ALL HAIL. AudioFile Magazine’s latest “Behind the Mic Podcast” interviews Ray Porter, who narrated the Project Hail Mary audiobook.

Narrator Ray Porter joins AudioFile’s Michele Cobb to tell listeners about his experience narrating PROJECT HAIL MARY, Andy Weir’s newest sci-fi bestseller. PROJECT HAIL MARY is one of AudioFile’s 2021 Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Audiobooks, and it’s a thrilling interstellar adventure. Ray gives Michele an inside glimpse into preparing the many voices deployed in this space opera and tells her what has stayed with him about bringing it to life. Read the full review of the audiobook at audiofilemagazine.com. Published by Audible, Inc. Curious listeners can take a peek into Ray’s recording studio in his narrator video on PROJECT HAIL MARY.

(6) OUT OF THE PAN AND INTO THE… Cora Buhlert’s review of the latest (in 1966) Space Patrol Orion episode is up at Galactic Journey“[December 6, 1966] Welcome to the Space Prison: Space Patrol Orion, Episode 6: ‘The Space Trap’”

The episode starts with Commander Cliff Alister McLane (Dietmar Schönherr) receiving his latest orders from General Wamsler (Benno Sterzenbach). It’s yet another routine mission (and we all know how well those tend to go for the Orion 8): Collect space dust in order to investigate the panspermia theory, which causes Wamsler’s aide Spring-Brauner (Thomas Reiner) to drone on and on about the panspermia theory, i.e. the theory that life did not originate on Earth, but is distributed through the universe via spores hitching a ride with space dust, asteroids, meteorites, etc… The theory is the brainchild of Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius, who also developed the theory of a global greenhouse caused by industrial carbon dioxide emissions, which played a role in the Orion episode “The Battle for the Sun”. One of the writers is apparently a fan….

(7) KGB SCHEDULE CHANGE. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series in New York has changed the lineup for their December 15 event.

This month, Mercurio D. Rivera will be reading with David Leo Rice. N.K. Jemisin will be reading for them in February.

David Leo Rice’s info was part of the original announcement. The brief bio for Mercurio D. Rivera follows.

Mercurio D. Rivera

Mercurio D. Rivera’s short fiction has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award and has won the annual readers’ award for Asimov’s and Interzone magazines, respectively. His work has also appeared in venues such as Analog, Lightspeed, io9, Nature, Black Static, and numerous anthologies and Year’s Best collections.

His new novel Wergen: The Alien Love War tells stories of unrequited love set against the backdrop of humanity’s complicated relationship with enigmatic aliens afflicted with a biochemical infatuation for humanity. His story “Beyond the Tattered Veil of Stars,” was recently podcast by Dust Studios, and features Gillian Jacobs (Community) and Justin Kirk (Weeds). 

The readings are Wednesday, December 15 starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern in the KGB Bar. (Address at the link.)

(8) GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT. A month ago the Scroll linked to NPR’s coverage of the Maryland Renaissance Faire (item #16). Red Barn Productions and Kevin Patterson also run the “Great Dickens Christmas Fair” in the Bay Area of California, similar to a Ren Faire but with a theme of Christmas in Charles Dickens’s time.  They are getting pushback from attendees and participants for what is said to be failure to provide a safe space for marginalized people: “’Not a safe space’: Black cast members boycott Dickens Christmas Fair over failure to prevent racist, sexist behavior” in the San Francisco Chronicle.

… “I met some of my greatest friends at the Dickens Fair,” says Tooles, who went on to join the event’s volunteer cast, taking on bigger roles and more responsibility each year. 

Her history with the tight-knit fair community is what makes the past two years so heartbreaking for Tooles, who is one of a small number of Black cast members at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. What started as a goodwill effort to help rectify what is seen as the event’s failure to protect its volunteers and guests from racist and sexist behavior has turned ugly. Now, more than 200 cast members and thousands of guests have pledged to boycott this year’s fair, which is set to return to the Cow Palace on Saturday, Dec. 4, in a scaled-down, drive-through experience for the next three weekends. 

“I want people to recognize what their values are and decide if the Dickens Fair aligns with them,” says Tooles, founder of an affinity group for the fair’s Black performers called Londoners of the African Diaspora, or LoAD…. 

There’s a related petition at Change.org, “End Racism and Injustice at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair”.


1979 [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Forty-two years ago on this date, Star Trek: The Motion Picture had an exclusive premiere in Washington, D.C. It is directed by Robert Wise from the screenplay by Harold Livingston which in turn is based on the story by Alan Dean Foster and I’m surprised he didn’t novelize it. You know who was in the movie so I won’t detail the cast here. Reception was decidedly mixed though Roger Ebert called it “a good time”. The box office was exceedingly good as it made one hundred forty million against forty million in production costs. Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently give it a so-so rating of just forty-two percent. It was nominated for a Hugo at Noreascon Two, the year that Alien was chosen as the Best Film. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born December 6, 1893Sylvia Townsend Warner. Do yourself a favor and look up a bio of her as she’s a fascinating person. This site is a good place to do that. Her first novel, Lolly Willowes or, The Loving Huntsman, is definitely genre. ISFDB lists four genre collections by her, but Kingdoms of Elfin and Lolly Willowes are available on the usual suspects. (Died 1973.)
  • Born December 6, 1911Ejler Jakobsson, Finnish-born Editor who worked on Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories butbriefly as they were shut down due to paper shortages. When Super Science Stories was revived in 1949, Jakobsson was named editor until it ceased publication two years later. Twenty years later, he took over Galaxy and If, succeeding Frederik Pohl.  His first credited publications were The Octopus and The Scorpion in 1939, co-edited with his wife, Edith Jakobsson. (Died 1984.)
  • Born December 6, 1918William P. McGivern. Once in a while, I run across an author I’ve never heard of. So it is with McGivern. He was a prolific writer of SFF stories for twenty years starting from the early Forties. ISFDB only lists one genre novel by him, The Seeing, that he wrote with his wife Maureen McGivern. The digital has been good for him with the usual suspects having pretty much everything by him that he did except oddly enough the long out of print The Seeing. (Died 1982.)
  • Born December 6, 1923Wally Cox. Ok, who can resist the voice of the Underdog series which ran from 1964 to1967? I certainly can’t. He was in Babes in ToylandThe Twilight ZoneMission: Impossible, Lost in SpaceGet SmartThe Girl from U.N.C.L.E.QuarantinedNight Gallery and Once Upon a Mattress. (Died 1974.)
  • Born December 6, 1953Tom Hulce, 68. Oscar-nominated screen and stage actor and producer. His first genre role was in a highly-praised performance as the lead in the American Playhouse broadcast of The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket, about a young boy who discovers that he can fly. Although the bulk of his career has been in the theater, his most notable genre film role was as Henry Clerval in Kenneth Branagh’s Saturn-nominated Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. He was nominated for an Annie Award for his voice performance of Quasimodo in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and appeared in the films Stranger than Fiction and Jumper.
  • Born December 6, 1957Arabella Weir, 64. A performer with two Who appearances, the first being as Billis in “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”, a superb Eleventh Doctor story, before being The Doctor Herself in “Exile”, a Big Audio production. She’s had one-offs on genre and genre adjacent series such as Shades of DarknessGenie in the HouseRandall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and even a genre adjacent Midsomer Murders
  • Born December 6, 1962Colin Salmon, 59. Definitely best known for his role as Charles Robinson in the Bond films Tomorrow Never DiesThe World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. He played Dr. Moon in “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead”, Tenth Doctor stories, and was Walter Steele on Arrow. He most recently played General Zod on Krypton He was, alas, Ben in that clunker of films, Mortal Engines.
  • Born December 6, 1969Torri Higginson, 52. I had forgotten that she had a role in the TekWar movies and series as Beth Kittridge. I like that series a lot. Of course, she portrayed Dr. Elizabeth Weir in one episode of Stargate SG-1 and the entire Stargate Atlantis series. Her most recent genre roles was as Dr. Michelle Kessler in Inhuman Condition, where she plays a therapist who focuses on supernatural patients, and Commander Delaney Truffault in the Dark Matter series. 

(11) FOOTS THE BILL. [Item by Olav Rokne.] Turns out Aziraphale might be a bit of an Angel in real life too … “Michael Sheen turns himself into a ‘not-for-profit’ actor” reports BBC News.

…Speaking to The Big Issue, Sheen described how he stepped in to bankroll the Homeless World Cup when funding for the £2m project fell through at the last moment.

“I had committed to helping to organise that and then suddenly, with not long to go, there was no money,” he said.

“I had to make a decision – I could walk away from it and it wouldn’t happen.

“I thought, I’m not going to let that happen. So, I put all my money into keeping it going.

“I had a house in America and a house here and I put those up and just did whatever it took.

“It was scary and incredibly stressful. I’ll be paying for it for a long time.

“But when I came out the other side, I realised I could do this kind of thing and, if I can keep earning money, it’s not going to ruin me.”

(12) GREYSKULL SESSION. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] On my own blog, I wrote a lengthy rumination of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, which does some really interesting things and was so much better than a sequel to a cartoon designed to sell toys has any right to be: “The Power of Greyskull – Some Reflections on Part 2 of Masters of the Universe: Revelation” This one will go on my Hugo ballot, which I for one did not expect at all.

 The second half of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Kevin Smith’s continuation of the original cartoon from the 1980s, just became available and I opted to watch that over the new Hawkeye show (which I will watch eventually) and Star Trek Discovery (which is apparently available in Europe now, though I still haven’t figured out how), because I enjoyed the first half a lot more than I expected. Besides, part 1 ended on one hell of a cliffhanger, so of course I wanted to know how Teela, Andra, Duncan and the rest of gang are going to get out of that one….

(13) RECOMMENDED KICKSTARTERS. Cora Buhlert also sent links to a pair of Kickstarters worthy of attention: 

Changa and the Jade Obelisk 2, a sword and soul comic, is looking for funding: “Changa and the Jade Obelisk #2 by 133art Publishing”

 Changa #2 Cover by: Matteo Illuminati and Loris Ravina

Blazing Blade of Frankenstein 1, a comic featuring Frankenstein’s monster as a wandering sword and sorcery hero, is also looking for funding. I had never heard of these people before, but the concept is simply too cool to ignore: “Blazing Blade of Frankenstein #1 by FRIED Comics”.

(14) THE CLASS OF 2021. The New York Times is there when “NASA Introduces Class of 10 New Astronaut Candidates”. Their names: Nichole Ayers, Christopher Williams, Luke Delaney, Jessica Wittner, Anil Menon, Marcos Berríos, Jack Hathaway, Christina Birch, Deniz Burnham and Andre Douglas.

NASA on Monday inaugurated 10 new astronaut candidates who could walk on the moon within the next decade, or carry out research on the International Space Station.

The new astronaut candidate class is NASA’s 23rd since 1959, when seven astronauts were picked by the military for Project Mercury, the first American human spaceflight program. The latest astronaut candidate group comes as NASA prepares for its most daunting challenges in space since Americans landed on the moon during the Apollo program of the 1960s and ’70s. The agency’s growing focus is on Artemis, its program to return astronauts to the moon….

(15) BUT NOT ROCK CANDY. BBC News reports “Stonehenge builders had a sweet tooth, artefacts suggest”.

The builders of Stonehenge ate sweet treats including foraged fruit and nuts, English Heritage has revealed.

Previously it was thought they had consumed pork, beef and dairy.

But excavations of the Durrington Walls settlement, inhabited by the builders of the monument in about 2,500 BC, suggest they collected and cooked hazelnuts, sloes and crab apples too.

Researchers said evidence of charred plant remains suggest they might have followed recipes to preserve the food….

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Cora Buhlert, Meredith, Bill, Olav Rokne, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jayn. Update: The excerpts of Doris V. Sutherland’s comments were added a couple hours after the Scroll was posted.]

45 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/6/21 A Pixel Is About The Most Massively Useful Thing An Interscroller Hitchfiler Can Have

  1. Ben Bird Person says in engines of the night (1982), when asked if he liked star trek: the movie, barry malzberg found it “a little—ah—attenuated, I thought.”

    Attenuated? It ran over two hours and ten minutes? I personally thought it was one of the slowest moving genre films that I’ve watched. By the Queen of Air and Darkness, I did not want it to be a minute a longer!

  2. Ok, I have a a Niven question for y’all. Having recently re-listened to Ringworld and the Suck Fairy mostly not having effected it, I was thinking about what my favorite work by him. And that work is without doubt Rainbow Mars. I thought that Niven was having the time of his life writing those stories. So what Niven work is your favorite?

  3. @Cat
    If you consider action per unit of time…it was really attenuated that way.
    I saw it. Once. Maybe the director’s cut is better, but I kind of doubt it.

  4. @Cat: Flight of the Horse, which collects the Svetz stories and (IIRC, my copy is presently in a box somewhere among a very large pile of boxes filled with books) “What Good is a Glass Dagger?”

  5. P J Evans says If you consider action per unit of time…it was really attenuated that way.

    Ahhh, very good point. I’ve had cats that when sleeping had more of a storyline than that film did.

    I saw it. Once. Maybe the director’s cut is better, but I kind of doubt it.

    Yeah I saw it once. That was quite enough. There were later films such as Wrath of Khan that I’ve watched over and over.

    And I too doubt the director’s cut is any better.

  6. PhilRM says Flight of the Horse, which collects the Svetz stories and (IIRC, my copy is presently in a box somewhere among a very large pile of boxes filled with books) “What Good is a Glass Dagger?”

    Rainbow Mars is essentially Flight of the Horse without several unrelated stories plus the long Rainbow Mars novel that’s original to the Rainbow Mars collection and Niven’s “Svetz’s and the Beanstalk” essay.

  7. @PhilRM
    That’s where mine is, if I still have it. (I’ve moved a few times, and can’t remember if I kept it.)

  8. Favorite Niven is actually probably his essay “Bigger Than Worlds”, in which he describes any number of theoretical megastructures from relatively small-scale (blown-up, hollowed out asteroid spun for gravity) to galactic (a Dyson sphere big enough to encompass the entirety of a galactic core).

    Fiction-wise, probably World Out of Time and Protector top my personal list.

  9. Bonnie McDaniel: Thanks for the Doris V. Sutherland link. I have added that to the coverage.

  10. I remember Wally Cox playing against type as professional hitman “Little” John Doe in that GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E. episode (though I’d somehow misremembered it as a MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. episode). In his secret identity as businesman John Doe, Cox was his usual meek persona, but became very cold and professional and even kind of scary when actively hunting his targets. Predated Kevin Spacey’s Roger “Verbal” Kint in THE USUAL SUSPECTS, even down to having a nickname and clubfoot, by a lot of years.

    I remember that episode had an unusual ending, where John Doe, ruthless killer, has April Dancer at point blank range, no way or time to dodge or react… and Doe then surrenders and gives his gun to Dancer. I looked up a few reviews to refresh my memory, and some people thought this highly unbelievable. But as I recall thru the misty decades of time, Doe’s employers had grown increasingly angry with him over the delays in finishing off his target, and intimated that if the job wasn’t finished quickly, Doe’s wife and children would be at risk. (There’s an amusing scene, as I recall, of Doe, newly arrived in town and settling into his hotel room, chatting on the phone with his wife while assembling his weapon.) “I will not work for the monsters anymore,” Doe says. Don’t remember if protection for his family was specifically asked for. So I felt the sudden change of heart had been foreshadowed and justified. It’s the only episode of the series I remember anything much of at all.

  11. 9) The nightmares the transporter scene gave me didn’t last long… fortunately.

    Does a collection count as a work? Vintage Niven wrote some damn good short fiction.

  12. I don’t know how to even describe this, but this is undeniably genius.

    (OK, I’ll try. It’s a matrix table with on the x-axis the categories: Gun, Dog, Razor, Law, Monster, World, Believe it or not!. And on the y-axis the categories: Chekov’s, Pavlov’s, Occam’s, Moore’s, Frankenstein’s, Wayne’s, Ripleys. At the intersecting cell is a short description. So Chekov’s Gun is “If you see a gun mounted on the wall in the first act, it must be fired by the third act”. And Chekov’s Dog reads: “If you see a dog mounted on the wall in the first act, it must bark by the third act”. And so on… )


  13. (8) It’s sad to see the discord within the San Francisco Dickens Christmas Faire. The stripped-down version I have seen mentioned on the TV news is just a (COVID-limited) drive-through series of set pieces of some carol singing and dancing, from what I could see (along with some order-from-your-car food trucks).

    It seems to me that some cast members are being too sensitive and others are not sensitive enough. Certainly the “portrait casting” (trying to choose an actor to match the original person’s look) could go by the wayside; virtually all potential cast members are, as typical residents of 21st-century America, too, uh…plump to look like the 19th-century folks they represent, anyway, with the exception of a few portly rich gents. OTOH, people who sing and dance should in fact be cast by people who can actually sing and dance. (That’s a skill, not an appearance or a physical state.) As for people playing roles of their chosen gender, that seems fine as long as cast members are aware that the cast needs X men and Y women, and they will have to come up with that ratio somehow, possibly by some players being flexible in the roles they accept.

    Likewise, it should be easy enough to find some small, quiet space on the premises for de-stressing purposes for folks who need that from time to time, such as those on the autistic spectrum.

    There should obviously be a policy against any Dickens player making any other Dickens player feel hurt or inferior, and that should be codified. As far as the audience goes, that’s a lot less under the Faire’s control; they can state a code of conduct for spectators and expel those who don’t follow it, but there may still be some unpleasant heckling or other comments, because some paying customers will be jerks. This can be dealt with by expulsion and amplified by comments from other cast members defending the one being put upon.

    Since it has clearly become such a sensitive issue, hiring a professional consultant or HR person to manage policies and procedures is probably not a bad idea.

    I know people who participate in this Faire regularly, and I hope this gets ironed out to everyone’s satisfaction, as so many of these types of events are on hold these days.

  14. My history as an SF fan essentially goes:

    unconnected and informal engagement with largely juvenile-focused materials (Fireball XL5, Jonny Quest, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, Scholastic Books offerings like Lost City of Mars, Runaway Robot, Heinlein juvies);

    Star Trek fandom (1973)

    Tru Fandom (1974)

    Star Wars nerd

    Trek Disenfranchisement after watching Star Trek The Movie

    Star Wars Disenfranchisement after listening to Lucas re-write the past

    I just couldn’t take one more alien machine intelligence finds solace in the arms of a biological alien trope anymore.

    (And worse, that storyline was telegraphed from ten miles away and every inch of the journey was painful. (I wanted to leave the theater the minute we saw the new uniforms!))

    Back to Tru Fandom

    Paintball Gafiation

    Back to Tru Fandom (where we are now and not happy with every new development, but it is what it is)

  15. … it doesn’t get much more authoritative than that.

    (And this seems like a good time to tell the story of the time in December, 1979, when I took money I’d earned on my paper route, went downtown to Nemitz’s Book & Tobacco, and bought novelizations of both ST:TMP and The Black Hole; and then when I came home with them, Mom made me take them back to the store and return them because there were already wrapped copies of both sitting under the Christmas tree.)

    (Both of which, once Christmas had passed and I owned them legitimately, I read repeatedly in my youth.)

  16. (8) If you look at the Dickens Fair as a for-profit con run by the Patterson family, it’s easy to see why they would be resistant to things like hiring an HR/diversity consultant — those are new expenses that come straight off the bottom line, and thus out of Patterson’s pocket. Likewise, why give control to a board, instead of keeping control yourself?

  17. @Joe H.

    there were already wrapped copies of both sitting under the Christmas tree.

    I remember getting, in the mid-1970s, a set of the James Blish adaptations of the original series.

  18. I never owned any of the Blish Star Trek Logs, but I checked them out incessantly from the library — at the time, none of the local stations were showing Star Trek reruns, so the Logs were my only way to experience the show aside from possibly seeing a random episode or two when visiting my grandparents in the summer.

  19. Alan Dean Foster says I didn’t write the novelization of ST:TMP because Roddenberry wanted to do it himself.

    Huh. Thanks fir the explanation.

    Let me just say as a fan of yours since the days of of Pip and Flinx that I think that if you had written it that it would’ve been a far better novelisation.

  20. I really dug the the Star Wars novelization and Splinter In The Mind’s Eye when they came out a long time ago. Coincidentally, I happen to be in the middle of a leisurely Pip and Flinx reread (among other things) and am enjoying myself muchly.

  21. My favorite Niven is early-novel Niven— a toss-up between World of Ptavvs, Protector, and A Gift from Earth. They’re relatively rough-edged compared to both the earlier stories and the later novels— he was still deploying the shared-universe stuff more sparsely, and using the extra space less for world-building or science exposition than for amping up the plot energy, and also letting the ideas sink in better during the quiet parts. Protector works the best all around as long as you can suspend disbelief for the hand-waviest parts of the premise, but the other two are weird and distinctive pulp novels that have peaks of being more entertaining, more disturbing, and funnier than anything else I’ve read by him. Gift suffers the most from the Suck Fairy in terms of sexist assumptions, but in other ways it’s the closest Niven came to avoiding libertarian political smugness and acknowledging that everyone has massive social blind spots.

    Also, I’m a sucker for a really well-executed “big plot point has been hiding in plain sight all along and a penny drops for the protagonist just half a second sooner than it does for the reader” moment, and Ptavvs and Protector both have memorable ones of those. The one in Ptavvs is especially enjoyable for me because the plot point is literally a big button that has been front and center throughout most of the book, but the characters who knew what it was didn’t have any reason to call our attention to it.

  22. About the Blish Trek Logs: I read all the ones I could find as a kid— mostly before having seen the corresponding episodes, since my ability to see those was subject to the whims of syndication scheduling, and I was sometimes confused when I did see them since Blish had been working from early script drafts. I didn’t hang onto any of them, but a while back I ran across this copy of volume 5 in a thrift store, and I felt the owner must have had a similarly compulsive and literal-minded spirit to me as a kid due to how they wrote these one-line summaries for their own reference.


    (For those who can’t read the pencil scrawl: “Whom Gods Destroy” = “crazy asylum”; “The Tholian Web” = “Kirk disappear + assumed dead he ghost”; “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” = “black/white”; “This Side of Paradise” = “plants that ‘highs’ people”; “Turnabout Intruder” = “Janice Lester/Kirk”; “Requiem for Methuselah” = “waltz + robot girl classic beauty + man who live 6 thousand years”; “The Way to Eden” = “hippies”)

  23. Just want to note that the Star Trek “Log” collections were not James Blish’s, as suggested above; they were Alan Dean Foster’s adaptations of the 1973-75 animated episodes. Blish’s stories were short, whereas Foster’s were quite long and elaborate.

    (Because of conflicts with evening piano lessons, I read the first volume of Blish stories long before seeing the episodes they were adapted from. Finally saw those episodes when weekday reruns of the syndication cuts began, around 1971.)

  24. That (Bantam) cover of Blish’s Star Trek 4 is, I now realize, the very first piece of Trek artwork I’d seen that wasn’t just a photo from the TV series. It was accordingly impressive; remember that Star Trek 4, and especially its cover art, constituted new Trek content at that time, Spock Must Die! having been published the year before.

    (I discount the cover art for the first volume of stories, also shown at the link above, because that artwork is clearly based on “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and not the series per se, plus it has those stupid combustion flames coming out of the nacelles and, I suppose, the shuttlecraft deck.)

  25. I’ve recently been revisiting some of the old Gold Key Star Trek comics so yes, rocket flames coming out of the nacelles is par for the course.

    (Also, amusingly, the colorist of the Gold Key comics apparently didn’t understand Yeoman Rand’s beehive hairdo — the top part is consistently colored red, presumably because the colorist thought it was some kind of stocking cap.)

  26. For anyone who may be as excited about this as I am: More of Tanith Lee’s back catalog just showed up for preorder on Amazon in eBook format, including Cyrion, Volkhavaar and Tamastara.

  27. I read the Star Wars adaptation and Splinter before I actually saw the movie (my parents’ move to a very rural area occurred at an awkward time relative to movie-going).

  28. I still quite frequently use a line from Splinter: “There’s many things I can do with a light saber if you will just cooperate by not passing out.” 🙂

  29. Folks, I need a bit of help. I need to find a short story for an alternate history of the Scopes Monkey trial, specifically, Einstein was put on trial and he used relativity to reconcile it all.
    Anyone got a pointer for me?

  30. Description of the story “Frame of Reference

    “Kraus, Stephen. “Frame of Reference”
    Divergence: 1925 CE
    What if: Albert Einstein accepted an invitation to visit CalTech in 1925 and while in transit was arrested after delivering a lecture in Louisville, KY.
    Summary: Clarence Darrow humiliates William Jennings Bryant at a trial to decide whether Einstein violated a law against contradicting the Bible.
    Published: In Analog, May 1988″

  31. Now if we could just get Louise Cooper’s back catalog available in eBook; and the rest of Jo Clayton’s, as long as I’m dreaming.

  32. Joe H. says Now if we could just get Louise Cooper’s back catalog available in eBook; and the rest of Jo Clayton’s, as long as I’m dreaming.

    Apple Books has eighteen books up by Jo Clayton right now which is not too shabby and a half dozen works by Louise Cooper.

  33. Mmm. Whoever did the Winnipeg questionnaire was playing it a bit too safe and brief and not enthusiastic enough. For example, Winnipeg has one of the highest restaurants per capita numbers in the country, and several decent (and not necessarily expensive) ones are next door to the convention or in the hotels.

  34. @BravoLimaPoppa: No problem. AKICIF (Alternate Knowledge is Contained in File770)

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