Pixel Scroll 2/12/18 One Night In Genre And Worlds Are Your Oyster

(1) FIVE FAVORITES. Uncanny Magazine released its 2017 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll Results. Six stories made the Top Five – now that’s uncanny!

1- And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinsker

2- Fandom for Robots by Vina Jie-Min Prasad

3- IS A TIE!!!

Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time by K.M. Szpara

Sun, Moon, Dust by Ursula Vernon

4- Monster Girls Don’t Cry by A. Merc Rustad

5- Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand by Fran Wilde

(2) BANKS ART BOOK COMING. Did you know Iain M. Banks could draw, too? “Orbit announces the publication of original Culture drawings from the Estate of Iain M. Banks”.

Original drawings by Iain M. Banks, author of the hugely popular Culture novels, will be included in a book that celebrates the author’s vision of the Culture universe. The previously unseen drawings, most of which are annotated by the author, and many of which predate the writing of the novels themselves, will be curated by the Estate of Iain M. Banks and Iain’s life-long friend and science fiction writer Ken MacLeod. With additional commentary by MacLeod, further notes on the Culture, and extracts from the Culture novels, the book will provide a unique insight into the Culture, including its history, language, technology, philosophy and values.

(3) KEEP THE HONOR IN GOH. Seanan McGuire has spot-on advice for conrunners about GoH invitations and etiquette. Jump on the thread here —

(4) WOMBAT IN DEMAND. A gig at Anthrocon is in her future.

(5) THE WAY TO SAN JOSE. John Picacio revealed more recipients of Mexicanx Initiative sponsored Worldcon memberships.

(6) THE SCHOOL OF BAD EXAMPLES. Diana Pharaoh Francis tells how to learn craftsmanship in “The Classroom of Dissatisfaction” at Book View Café.

Likewise, he’s never noticed her and suddenly she’s his ‘mate.’ (This is a shifter story). He’s apparently been dreaming about her and even though he’s known her previously, never paid attention to her. But what bothers me is that when he realizes he has to work to win her affections, he doesn’t stop to consider what their relationship has been, how they’ve interacted before, and why she might not like him.

The more I read, the less I’m convinced that their attraction is real instead of shoehorned into a situation without enough attention to actually building a believable foundation.

So what do I learn from this? Well, stuff I already knew. The motivations have to be believable. The character interactions have to be genuine and real. That readers want to stick with the story but won’t waste their time if there are significant cracks in it. But I also learned that you can have things in the story that will pull a reader along despite problems. That a reader *wants* to like the characters and will be fairly forgiving if you just smooth out the road a little.

I’ve read books that I wanted to put down because of the problems, but I kept getting dragged along because *something* in the book demanded it. But then I get to the end and I have regrets that the book wasn’t executed better. And those regrets make me sad.

(7) STAR TREK DISCOVERY WITH SPOILERS. Looking ahead: “‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Producers on Season 1 Finale, and How Season 2 Will Be ‘What Trek Does Really Well’”.

According to “Star Trek: Discovery” co-showrunner Gretchen Berg, legendary TV producer Aaron Spelling is the reason why no major character dies in the season finale of “Star Trek: Discovery.”

“We worked on the original ‘Beverly Hills 90210,’” she told IndieWire, “And somebody was going to die or not going to die, and his attitude came back down that he didn’t want the person to die and I was like, ‘Why? Come on, that’s life!’”

Added Aaron Harberts, her co-showrunner, “The Mr. Spelling in me is always like, ‘You don’t kill a character! You just don’t. Because it’s good to be able to bring them back.’”

(8) CRIDER OBIT. Crime fiction writer Bill Crider died February 12 at the age of 72. Crider, who also won a 2015 Sidewise Award for his story “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” had entered hospice care in December.


  • February 12, 1931 — Bela Lugosi’s famous role of Dracula hit the silver screen in New York
  • February 12, 1940The Invisible Man Returns premiered theatrically.


  • Born February 12, 1915 — Lorne Greene, Commander Adama (or Pa Cartwright, if you prefer.)

(11) MUSIC TO WRITE BY. Neil Gaiman has written an essay about ex-Pixies guitarist Kim Deal’s band The Breeders to celebrate their new album All Nerve:

The first time I heard of Kim Deal, it was because the co-owner of Dark Carnival, the bookstore in San Francisco I was signing in had been mistaken for her the night before by a waiter, who had taken her protestations that she was a bookshop person as a cover story and brought her and the people she was with, bookstore people whom he believed to be the rest of the Pixies, free drinks all night. I now knew a band called the Pixies existed.

I owned a tiny black and white television that sat on the corner of my desk, and kept me company when I wrote, all alone, too late at night, playing badly dubbed European Detective shows, late night rock shows, cheap television. Somewhere in 1989 it played a Pixies video. A week later I had every Pixies CD you could find in London record shops. I loved the aesthetic as much as the music: the Vaughn Oliver art and typefaces.

Information scarcity. I didn’t know who these people were. I was 29 years old, writing Sandman, in England, with two small children. I bought the CD of Pod, and I wrote Sandman to the jangly Breeders music.

(12) PRO TIP. From Sarah Gailey:

(13) SEVENTIES WOMEN SFF WRITERS. James Davis Nicoll is back with “Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part II” at Tor.com. First up —

Sally Miller Gearhart

Gearhart may be best known now for her political activism and her decades of scholarly work. The Sally Miller Gearhart Chair in Lesbian Studies at the University of Oregon is named for her. SF fans unacquainted with her work might do well start with The Wanderground, a novel about feminist separatism set in a near future. Any of you planning to write a feminist separatist novel (or found a separatist feminist community) might want to explore prior art, including Gearhart’s contributions.

(14) SCRIPTER AWARDS.  SyFy Wire reports “Under His Eye The Handmaid’s Tale wins yet another award”.

On Saturday night, the 30th annual Scripter Awards were hosted at the University of Southern California. The Scripter Awards are given out annually honoring adaptations of “printed word into film” and are awarded to both the original author and writer of the screenplay. The pilot episode of Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale won in the television category with writer Bruce Miller, who is also the creator and executive producer of the show, picking up the award.

(15) OPEN FIELD. Diane Duane is one writer unaffected by last year’s version of Best Series, as she explains in “2018 Hugo Award eligibility: for those who were asking”.

First of all: the 2017 e-publication* of Interim Errantry 2: On Ordeal means that the Young Wizards series is once again eligible for Hugo consideration. In 2017 this would have been because of the 2016 publication of Games Wizards Play, which made the series eligible for the Best Series one-time “special” Hugo awarded by Worldcon 75 in Helsinki. That, however, was a different award from the new Best Series Hugo. (A distinction that apparently may make a difference for last year’s award finalists, if this year’s Hugo Administrator decides to rule out their nomination this year. But that’s hardly an issue for me.)

So — as confirmed here on the list of Best Series Hugo eligibles at File 770 — the Young Wizards series is eligible for nomination for the 2018 Best Series Hugo. Yay! …And if (as someone eligible to nominate) you feel inclined to nominate it, then I encourage you to do so.

(16) SECRET SFWA OPERATION CODENAMES REVEALED. The leak came right from the top!

(17) LIFE PRESERVER. The BBC, in “UK team set for giant Antarctic iceberg expedition”, tells about a team looking at life hidden over 100K years, now exposed by calving.

Scientists will set out in the next week to study an Antarctic realm that has been hidden for thousands of years.

A British Antarctic Survey-led team will explore the seabed ecosystem exposed when a giant iceberg broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula in 2017.

The organisation has also released the first video of the berg, which covers almost 6,000 sq km.

(18) USA TODAY’S TOP 100 SELLERS OF 2017. Here are the works of genre interest that made the top 100 books of the year, according to data from USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list.

5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
12. It by Stephen King
15. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
19. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
31. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
32. 1984 by George Orwell
41. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
54. Goodnight Moon Board Book by Margaret Wise Brown, art by Clement Hurd
55. Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss
57. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPré
59. The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
63. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling; art by Jim Kay
65. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board Book by Eric Carle
66. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany
70. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
76. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
80. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
86. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
92. The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
93. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
94. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

(19) THEY CAME FROM SPACE. SFF is the latest fashion — “Philipp Plein takes NY Fashion Week on snowy spaceship ride”.

Provocateur Philipp Plein descended on New York Fashion Week with a giant spaceship, silvery rock formations and Migos lighting up the crowd Saturday night as fake snow fell and covered the floor of a huge industrial space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

And there were clothes. Skiwear mostly, lots emblazoned with Plein’s name, skulls and crossbones and some Playboy logos.

The show roared to life with a couple of motorcycle riders and a space utility vehicle that plowed through Plein’s fake wall of rocks. Later came a schmoozy transformer (big person in costume) who greeted Irina Shayk as she slinked out of the ship in a black bodysuit emblazoned with “I Love You Philipp Plein.”

(20) HUMANS EVOLVED. The Titan Official Trailer.

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth, JJ, Joel Zakem, Martin Morse Wooster, Rob Thornton, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Chip Hitchcock, Soon Lee, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Matthew Johnson.]

50 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/12/18 One Night In Genre And Worlds Are Your Oyster

  1. (3) Invitations and etiquette —

    I remember one convention chair (in my time zone) years ago called me at home, at 10:30pm at night (anything after 9pm, I expect the call to be (a) important and (b) only someone close to me), and as soon as I picked up, launched into a prepared speech about the con–talking VERY rapidly, perhaps due to nerves.

    Completely perplexed by who was calling me and what they were talking about, I interrupted to ask, “Who is this? Why are you calling?”

    The person got rattled… and went back to the beginning of their prepared speech, racing through it again.

    I still had no idea what was going on and said so.

    The person interpreted this as me rejecting the invitation. (It wasn’t even clear to me that there -was- an invitation. I still had no idea what the call was about.)

    We eventually got it sorted out, and I was a guest of the con that year. But, yeah, there are effective ways and not-so-effective ways to invite a writer to a convention.

    I think almost every invited guest of a con wants to know up front, in the first communication, and in brief (and preferably in writing, not a late-night phone call): What is the convention (size, focus, history), when it is, what will be expected, required, or requested of the writer at the event, and what the monetary compensation is (all expenses covered? some? none? an honorarium?).

    Same thing with anthology invitations. I like an invitation that describes the book briefly, names the publisher, states the preferred word count, the deadline, and the pay rate. In fact, experience has taught me by now not to waste my time following up and asking the necessary questions of an editor who does NOT include that information in the invitational letter, because someone who doesn’t realize that a writer needs that information in order to make a decision about how to answer an anthology invitation…is someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

  2. 8) A sad night here, as my friend Bill Crider has died. Bill and his wife Judy (died Thanksgiving 2014) were two of my favorite people in the world, and now they’re both gone.

    Bill started out as a fan, then became a mystery writer. He was a regular at cons, especially ArmadilloCon and Bouchercon. I met him at the 1980 Bouchercon, the first Bouchercon for both of us. He had such a great time he brought several friends with him to the 1981 con, including the then-unknown Joe Lansdale.

    Along with the mysteries, and the westerns, he wrote several horror novels in the late 80s, for Zebra under the name “Jack MacLane.” He did some children’s books that were all sff; he won a Golden Duck Award for Mike Gonzo and the UFO Terror (even though Wikipedia lists someone else as the winner). He also had a book in the Cody’s Law series by “Matthew S. Hart” called The Prisoners, a horror western. He loved sf, though he loved mysteries a little bit more.

    Mostly he loved his friends, and we loved him.

    Ah, I don’t know why I’m writing this. Just thinking of him, I guess. I’ll really miss him. Hell, I’ve been missing him since he told us in early December that the cancer had won. We thought he’d been doing well…

    On a lighter note, 13):

    On one of my trips to the University of Oregon to arrange the transfer of James Tiptree’s papers from my basement to their library, and they were treating me like a VIP, I attended a dinner with other VIPs, and ended up seated next to Sally Miller Gearhart. As a fake VIP, I was vaguely terrified by this, but she turned out to be an excellent dinner companion and we had a nice conversation. But she was a true VIP. When the dinner was being arranged, we were offered a choice of salmon or stuffed portobello mushroom. Neither was to my liking, but I chose the mushroom (and it turned out to be very good). When the servers delivered our plates, I was surprised to see that Ms. Gearhart had chicken. VIP.

  3. Very sorry for your loss, @Jeff Smith.

    13. I normally haven’t read even the more well known works from a JDN roundup, but unusually I *have* read the Wanderground! It was very intriguing and weird and it kind of made me wish that separatist feminism was still a significant thing.

  4. I’m sorry for your loss, Jeff Smith.

    2) There are supposed to be maps in the book too, which ramps up my interest in the book by several orders of magnitude.

    11) I seem to write best with music and songs without lyrics.

  5. (18) By my quick count, two-thirds (14/21) of the genre or genre-adjacent titles from the 2017 USA Today bestseller list are reissues, many inspired by TV/movie adaptations. I think this says something troubling about modern publishing.

  6. I am sorry for your loss, Jeff Smith. (My grandmother passed away this past Saturday morning – aged 98, and her passing was hardly unexpected, but still just as sad.)

  7. Jeff, my condolences.

    In book news, I just finished Ann Leckie’s Provenance and enjoyed it muchly. It was nice to see more of the Ancillary universe from other viewpoints than the Radchaai. The three-bean and quinoa (vegan) chili I cooked this weekend was very good–using Gebhardt’s chili powder (the first commercial chili powder circa 1894) was probably one reason and the quinoa’s ability to soak up the liquid and improve the texture was definitely another.

  8. 20) I was so much more interested in this during the first half of the trailer when I thought they were going to colonise Titan. Oh well.

    Currently reading Grand Canyon by Vita Sackville-West for retro hugos, and wondering where the heck it’s going too.

  9. Vita Sackville-West wrote genre? Is it good so far?

    Sorry about your loss, Jeff Smith.

    13) Does anyone else have a problem reading the comments on Tor’s articles?

  10. I’m sorry for your loss, Jeff.

    Heh—speaking of con invites, Anthrocon is the one con in the world where the con chair can email me and say “You’re the GoH now. You want the suite with the amazing view or the one with the hot tub?”

    This is not recommended for anyone who has not slept on my couch and been menaced by my cat. (Also since I work security at this con now, he knows I’ll be there.)

    …I took the view. Hot tubs are nice but at a standard con, you never get enough time to use them.

  11. I’m sorry for your loss, Jeff. Your love for your friends shines through in your comment.

    In SFnal reading notes – I finished The Power last night (this cold is doing wonders for my reading time). I loved it except for one huge problem – gur fjvsg syvccvat bs flfgrzvp zvfbtlal -> flfgrzvp zvfnaqel (yrff guna bar trarengvba) guerj zr bhg bs gur fgbel. Vg frrzf gb zr zvfbtlal vf rzorqqrq va bhe phygher, va bhe hcoevatvat. Enzcnag nagv-znyr ivbyrapr znxrf cresrpg frafr va gur pbagrkg bs gur fgbel, ohg jbzra fhqqrayl bowrpgvslvat zra jvgu gur “srznyr tnmr” gb gur cbvag jurer n oner purfg vf n znffvir qvfgenpgvba sbe n jbzna jub jnf na nqhyg naq cnerag bs n grrantre ng gur ortvaavat bs gur fgbel… gung’f abg ernyvfgvp. Nf nalbar jub’f sbhtug gurve hcoevatvat vf njner, gurfr ner vatenvarq erfcbafrf jr jrer gnhtug bire bhe ragver yvirf. V pna frr jul fur znqr gur qrpvfvba gb nppryrengr gur cebprff – bgurejvfr, fur’q unir unq gb rvgure jevgr n gevybtl be fxvccrq dhvpxyl bire n pbhcyr trarengvbaf bs punenpgref – ohg vg erdhverq n znffvir rssbeg gb whfg yrg gung tb.

    I’m debating whether this goes on my Hugo noms ballot. There was a lot to love about it, but that one big flaw is tough.

  12. Oh, forgot to report my current reading – Oor* Wombat’s Clockwork Boys. It took me a couple pages to get into it – I was distracted by an email I’d just read, and wasn’t sure what was going on – but I’m now thoroughly immersed, nearly half-way through, and enjoying it immensely. Maybe it’s because I follow Kingfisher’s Twitter, but I get not-so-subtle hints of D&D and feel that the author occasionally had chickens on her mind while writing the novel.

    * Pardon me if I’m misusing “oor.” I assume it means “our?” I’ve seen people using it here.

  13. I seem to have torn a tendon in my foot so I am pretty much immobile and in pain. Unfortunately this has not meant an increase in reading time. I can’t seem to concentrate on anything new and can only follow comfort reads at this point.

  14. I tried to buy books from Diane Duane’s store, but the shopping cart is misbehaving badly. Tweeted to her, then gave up for now.

  15. Reading: I finished a revisit of Good Omens (and please, please, please let the TV adaptation be good!) and, because a recent Black Gate article put it into my head, started The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane. After which it’ll probably be time for something I haven’t read before — maybe go back and pick up the last two books in the Broken Earth trilogy? Or the second Ninefox Gambit? Decisions, decisions.

  16. @jayn: She wrote an alternate history of WWII, that from description is somewhat like Farthing by Jo Walton, except she wrote it during the war. So far a bunch of people are hanging out in Nevada and not really doing very much, as of about twenty pages though. The prose itself is very good.

    It’s free on Canadian Project Gutenberg, if anyone’s interested. Our copyright is post mortem + 50.

    Edit: I got the first 9 or so Young Wizard books last time Duane had a sale like this. I hope it IS up for best series so I’ll finally have the push to read them. My wife loves that series.

  17. I did pick up a few Diane Duane titles that I didn’t already have.

    Helpful reminder: Also now available (finally!) is The Big Meow, third in her Feline Wizardry series (following Book of Night with Moon and To Visit the Queen, both of which are, conveniently, also available on the website).

  18. @Lenore Jones / jonesnori,

    Thank you.

    With a very very slight genre connection: an absolutely beautiful song about loss and memory is Ian Bairnson‘s “The Very Last Time” on Alan Parsons’ album The Time Machine.

    (I’m not the only one who likes it; a few people have uploaded videos to youtube in memory of their own loved ones, with this song playing.)

    // Christian

  19. I have not seen many (or any?) folks talking about Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruins of Ymr by John Crowley. I just finished it yesterday.

    It’s an interesting blend of post-breakdown-of-society (not exactly apocalypse) with History-of-Western-Civilization-Through-a-Crow’s-Eyes with Watership-Crow plus Land-of-the-Dead. There’s a framing story of Dar Oakley (a crow) telling the stories of his many lives (he keeps getting reincarnated) to a dying man, and then what happens after all the tales are told.

    This was the first Crowley I’ve ever read (listened to), and I enjoyed it. It is perhaps about grief and how death is different for every culture — sort of the “reality is all subjective” idea — but I’m sure there are many depths I didn’t even notice. 😉

    The audio version is read by Crowley himself. Fortunately, he’s an appealing reader — the sort who makes you want to hear more — so, good for him!

    (Oh, and unlike the pup who was trying to get his book nominated for an Ursa award, this one would truly be eligible for it!)

  20. 20) My “aw come on” alarm was blaring continuously while I was watching the trailer. As Gravity so aptly demonstrated, you can take stupid science and make it look glitzy, but in the end it’s still stupid science.

  21. @Kathodus – Glad you’re enjoying it!

    …these days I pretty much always have chickens on my mind, when I don’t have them on my porch.

  22. @RedWombat:
    Speaking as someone who has been to Anthrocon in Albany, King of Prussia, Philadelphia (*twitch* Adams Mark), and Pittsburgh, all I have to say is that when I read

    Anthrocon is the one con in the world where the con chair can email me and say “You’re the GoH now. You want the suite with the amazing view or the one with the hot tub?”

    I definitely heard that last part in Uncle Kage’s voice in my head. I can so easily imagine him saying pretty much exactly that, at least to someone he already knows fairly well.

  23. @kathodus, re: The Power

    V nterr gung va Gur Cbjre gur punatr va gur onynapr bs cbjre jnf sne gbb flzzrgevpny gb or oryvrinoyr. V jvyy gbgnyyl npxabjyrqtr gung jbzra ner nf pncnoyr bs orvat ivbyrag naq nohfvat cbjre nf zra ner, ohg vg whfg frrzf gbb hayvxryl gung n jbeyq jurer jbzra unir cbjre bs zra jbhyq or n grqvbhf zveebe vzntr bs bhe jbeyq, qbja gb cngebavmvat srznyr obffrf frkhnyyl unenffvat gurve fhobeqvangrf jvgu vanccebcevngr pbzr-baf naq fhttrfgvat gurl’q qb orggre gb choyvfu haqre srznyr cfrhqbalzf. Lrf, jbzra jbhyq nohfr cbjre, ohg V guvax gurl jbhyq ng yrnfg nohfr vg QVSSRERAGYL.

  24. Bill Crider wasn’t 72. ISFDB reports he was 76. His website, billcrider.com, says he went to Aggiecon every year and I think he read a lot of sf along with other genres.

    The 1980 Bouchercon was my first one, too, and my periodic encounters with Bill Crider at Bouchercons convinced me he was a very kind and decent man.

  25. @kathodus I just finished Clockwork Boys too! It was during her book tour, so I didn’t come in here yelling “Wombat, Wombat, Wombat!” and burbling about the book.

    My strongest impression of the characters wasn’t about a commentary on RPGs, it was wondering whether Caliban and his handkerchiefs was an intentional riff on the kind of Georgette Heyer hero ‘who can always be relied on to procure one an umbrella of it comes to rain, or a seat when one is tired’ (as I misquote badly from memory).

  26. Concur on Titan. Looked really cool at the beginning and I could ignore the issues, then it turned into, “but what if… science could be bad?!?!?”


  27. kathodus: Clockwork Boys. It took me a couple pages to get into it – I was distracted by an email I’d just read, and wasn’t sure what was going on – but I’m now thoroughly immersed, nearly half-way through, and enjoying it immensely.

    I just read this last night. It’s hugely enjoyable, and features a main character who very much resembles what I would expect Oor Wombat to be like in person based on her tweets, blog posts, and File 770 comments. The main character is also very much not a Mary Sue, with flaws, weaknesses, and doubts — but is nevertheless very likeable (and frequently exasperating!). 😀

    My only quibble is that it very much ends on a cliffhanger, and the next book doesn’t come out for 2 more weeks.

  28. Re: 20: So that’s where Sam Worthington went.

    Also, I am now older than Tom Wilkinson was when he appeared in The Full Monty, and I think I need to go have a lie-down.

  29. If we’re talking about Clockwork Boys I need to {tick} this.

    I was even impressed by Brenner! Thought he was going to be Fantasy Assassin 1.0 and then he got very interesting and turned into a living character of his own.

  30. I Got 99 Problems but an Unscrolled Pixel Ain’t One of Them

    There is a File in New Orleans they call the Pixel Scroll

  31. (1) FIVE FAVORITES. I spy with my little eye . . . a @RedWombat in the top five! And also . . .

    (4) WOMBAT IN DEMAND. . . . GoH at the one furry con I ever went to. Congrats!

    (5) THE WAY TO SAN JOSE. Oh, cool, Mario Acevedo! He’s an actual published author and I’ve read a couple of his books. Congrats, sir.

    (20) HUMANS EVOLVED. Uh, okay, that looks pretty weird. Not sure that’s really for me, hmm.

  32. @Jeff Smith & @Christian Brunschen: My sympathies on your losses. 🙁

    @Rob Thornton: I’m reading Provenance this week! (Isn’t it cute how I sound all hopeful like that. “This week.” As if the odds were good of me finishing a book in a week.) So far, so good! It’s more clearly in the same universe as the Ancillary books than I’d expected. I must have misunderstood something about it; I thought there’d just be one passing mention of something I’d recognize, but it’s a bit more than that. Anyway, I’m enjoying it so far.

    Unrelated: My current audiobook listen is The Spirit Thief (“The Legend of Eli Monpress” #1) by Rachel Aaron, which is fun and amusing so far. The audio sample sold me on it, and so far the book’s delivering.

    @Anyone: I can’t recommend Diane Duane’s “The Tale of the Five” omnibus enough. I love love love these books! (Yes, I already own the ebook omnibus.) There are some editing glitches, granted, but the books are wonderful! If you’ve ever thought about buying them – do so now. 😀

    @Elisa: Yipes, I’m sorry about your foot! 🙁

    @Various: Thanks for the reminder re. Clockwork Boys!

  33. Thanks for the links to Diane Duane’s sale – I now have 9 Young Wizards ebooks and am also going to hope the series ends up on the shortlist so I have good cause to read them!

    Last minute Hugo reading is probably not going to happen for me this year, as I instead need to prioritise finishing my physical TBR (currently 18 books) in advance of a big move in April. I feel bad about missing out, and I know I’m going to get All the Guilt when I inevitably find nomination-worthy 2017 books I had to put off, but it’s also a relief to know I don’t have to heap extra stress on myself reading outside my usual comfort zone (especially novelette/short story) for fear that I’m otherwise complicit in puppy domination. I’ll trust other nominators to put in the legwork and make a great shortlist for me to enjoy in a few months time – and hopefully a good longlist anthology after that.

    (Also there’s the fact I’ve already read almost 60 novels and 25+ novellas from 2017, which are not the numbers of someone who can moan about slacking on their SFF reading…)

  34. All: Thank you for the condolences.

    Jayn: My eye was caught by a phrase in your rot-13 text, and you are now Guvax Gurl.

  35. @Arifel: Guilt-free reading. Guilt-free reading! 😉 You got me curious what I read in 2017 and how much of it was published in 2017. This is a little confusing, since I’ve read some 2017 content in 2018, which probably explains why some of my info looks wrong when I check at my Hugo nom shortlists. Plus I seem to have a few recording and/or tallying errors.

    Anyway, I only read 30+ novels, 17+ novellas, 1 anthology, and 1 collection, and only some of that was from 2017. (Some was Hugo-voting reading, of course.) Granted, the anthology & collection bump up the novella count.

    Of those, 19+ were audiobooks (including 12 “Vorkosigan Saga” & “Rivers of London” novels [thanks, Hugo Best Series nominees last year!], a collection, and an anthology), 7+ were print novels, and the rest (the majority) were ebooks.

    Thanks to the Hugos having a couple of Best Series nominees I got totally hooked on, I listened to a lot of older novels in 2017, so pre-2017 audiobooks were over half my listening; I regret nothing – it was great stuff! 😀 But now that I’m done with “Rivers of London” (till there’s a new one) and halfway through the “Vorkosigan Saga,” I’ll probably listen to more recent stuff than I did in 2017. Plus two things will help me listen to more audiobooks, period. #1 Hopefully I won’t have more technical glitches (which ate up several days), and #2 I’ll be visiting my parents more (the solo drives [maybe half the trips?] will be mostly audiobook time).

    [ETA: Of course, as I write this, my in-progress book is The Spirit Thief from 2010. . . .]

    I added a field to my book database to track length (Novel, Novella, Anthology, Collection, etc.; I know, those last two aren’t length), so I can have better stats next year. 🙂

    @Arifel: My take-away is that you read a ton, and read a ton of 2017 content. And that I should spend less time on the computer and more time reading. 😉 And write fewer long comments like this, LOL.

  36. I decided I really need to support Diane Duane, not least because I’ve been wanting to pick up the e-book of A Wizard Alone since I read how she changed it in response to autistic people telling her she screwed up. (There’s pandering to audience demand, and there’s making token changes to stifle critics, and there’s listening and responding with heart and consideration. All reports indicate this was a case of actually doing the last, and doing it right.)

    Of course, I also realized I need to pay off the credit card I use exclusively for online purchasing first (I intentionally ignore offers to increase the credit limit for a reason but it does mean that in the month or so after Christmas it’s a bit tight.) So very soon, but not as soon as I would like.

  37. @Jeff Smith

    Jayn: My eye was caught by a phrase in your rot-13 text, and you are now Guvax Gurl.

    Huh. Hey, that’s not bad.

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