Pixel Scroll 2/15/22 The Silver Mithril Playbook

(1) OSCAR FAN VOTING OPENS. “Oscars to recognize fan favorite film at 2022 ceremony” reports Entertainment Weekly.

…AMPAS announced Monday that beginning now through March 3, audiences can vote on Twitter for their favorite movie of 2021 using the #OscarsFanFavorite hashtag or by casting a ballot on the Oscars Fan Favorite website. The winning fan-favorite film of the year will then be announced live during the 2022 Oscars ceremony….

In addition to the fan-favorite vote, the Academy is asking audiences to use Twitter to vote for an #OscarsCheerMoment spotlighting moments that made them “erupt into cheers in theaters” while watching. Five winners selected from the pool of participants will win a package, including tickets to a full year of free movies in a theater of their choice, streaming subscriptions, and exclusive items from the Academy Museum shop.

(2) TRUNK MUSIC. And in relation to the previous announcement, CBR.com says the logrolling has begun in earnest: “Snyder Cut Fans Mobilize to Win Justice League an Oscar in the Fan-Voted Category”.

… The passionate fanbase surrounding Zack Snyder’s Justice League is back at it again, this time calling for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to give an Oscar to Snyder’s film.

… Following the film’s release, Justice League formed a wide and vocal fanbase, who spent years demanding Warner Bros. to allow Snyder to complete his version of the film. Some of the film’s stars joined in on the #ReleasetheSnyderCut movement, confirming that his version was already near completion and only needed visual effects work to be completed.

(3) 2022 RHYSLING AWARD CHAIR UPDATE: The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association today announced that due to unexpected medical reasons, Kimberly Nugent has had to step down from serving as the 2022 Rhysling Award Chair.

In her absence, SFPA President Bryan Thao Worra has appointed Webmaster F.J. Bergmann and Secretary Brian Garrison to finish out the Chair duties this year.

(4) BATTLING AMAZON KDP. Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki has written a long catch-up post for Facebook readers, published yesterday, which covers many topics, including news that Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing restored his royalties, and that The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction (2021) anthology has consequently been turned into a free download. Here is a brief excerpt:

…Amazon KDP did eventually pay my complete royalties, about $1500 which I got using Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s US account. Jason Sanford helped send the Gofundme money & I finished paying all the authors with it & donated all the Amazon royalties to the African Speculative Fiction Society as I promised. The money is being used to help set up a fund that will help African writers navigate institutional barriers to entry & participating in international SFF activities like the ones Amazon & other bodies have thrown up.

I withdrew the book from Amazon completely cuz the evil they’ve done is enough. & I just can’t trust em as a platform anymore.

…I have made the anthology, which is the first ever Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction anthology entirely free in all formats as I promised.

You can download the file at Jembefola: The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction (2021) by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

(5) ERIC FLINT MEDICAL UPDATE. Eric Flint told his Facebook followers yesterday that he’s in the midst of a long hospital stay for a staph infection.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and the reason is simple: I’ve been in the hospital for the past three weeks, sicker than the proverbial dog. I came down with a staph infection that caused me to collapse getting out of bed — and then I couldn’t get up, I was so weak. (Trust me, this is a a really scary experience.)

I’d always known staph infections could be rough, but I had no idea just how bad they could be. Happily, I’m over the worst of it and my recovery is coining along well. I’ll probably be released from the hospital in ten days, although I’ll still have to do home rehab for a while longer.

(6) BUTLER Q&A REVISITED. “Octavia Butler imagines a world without racism” on NPR’s Book of the Day podcast.

During Black History month, Book of the Day is bringing you some interviews from the archives, including this one with author Octavia Butler. Butler wrote many sci-fi classics, like the Parable series and Kindred, so she’s accustomed to imagining different worlds. NPR’s Scott Simon asked her back in 2001 to imagine a world without racism. Butler believed that in racism’s place we would have to have absolute empathy. But she told Simon that this would most certainly present its own challenges – and we would probably just find something else to fight about.

(7) BLACK HISTORY MONTH CONTINUES. The Horror Writers Association blog continues its “Black Heritage HWA interview series” –

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always been a writer. One of my earliest memories is folding white paper in half, drawing stick figures and captions, and titling the book “Baby Bobby.” On the back, I wrote “Baby Bobby is a book about a baby. The author is Tananarive Due.” I spelled a bunch of the words wrong, but BOOM. I came into this world understanding that I was a writer.

Do you make a conscious effort to include African diaspora characters and themes in your writing and if so, what do you want to portray?

I do. I have several projects with my agent and every one of them has an African American protagonist. Each character has obstacles to overcome, which they do despite the deck being stacked against them. All of these are based on real life people. My intent is to put forth to the African American Community, especially the younger generation, that it is possible to overcome obstacles and not to be deterred from their final objective, goals, and dreams in life.

What has writing horror taught you about the world and yourself?

You know, I didn’t tend to think of a lot of it has horror going in, but certainly see how the label fits. I believe that we get through things, not over them. Sometimes the way through involves terror and tribulation—also that hope can be a twisted thing and at times you find flecks of it in the most unexpected places.

What inspired you to start writing?

Hands down, it was my father, Chris Acemandese Hall. He was a songwriter, artist, activist and author. As a songwriter, he penned the jazz classics, “So What” and “Bitches Brew” sung by vocalese great, Eddie Jefferson. As an artist, you may have seen his works from Let’s Celebrate Kwanza, Melanin and Me, the Lost Books of the Bible and Budweiser’s Great Kings of Africa promo where he did the Hannibal poster, the Ethiopian who led a Carthaginian army and a team of elephants against Rome in the Second Punic War. As an author, he was responsible for creating Little Zeng, a character I’m now developing in my new horror novel. Little Zeng was the first published African Griot superhero. He was published three years before Black Panther who Marvel introduced in July, 1966.

Dad also co-founded an activist group called AJASS (African Jazz Art Society & Studio), along with Elombe Brath and others. Among starting the Black is Beautiful ideology with the Black Arts Movement, featuring the Grandassa Models, AJASS’s influence in the African-American diaspora not only affected civil rights leaders, as well as poets, musicians, photographers, models, artists and singers, it influenced every cell in my body.

What is one piece of advice you would give horror authors today?

Bring your personal brand of weirdness to the page. I want to meet your demons. I want to be made to feel uncomfortable about how much you love vampires and werewolves. I want to see the monsters that frightened your great grandparents and the cultural superstitions that haven’t been white washed by American society. Tell me about the thing that scared you the most when you were a kid and why it still haunts you to this day. Write about race and sex and class and trauma and politics and religion and don’t pull any punches. I want to laugh, cry and clutch my pearls while you’re trying to scare me.

(8) HWA ON MAUS. The Horror Writer Association’s Officers and Board of Trustees issued a statement on a Tennessee school district’s decision about Maus.

The Horror Writers Association condemns banning books in no uncertain terms. We believe authors need to be able to tell their stories without fear of reprisal.
 
The banning of “Maus” in a Tennessee school district, which was done on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is nothing less than censorship and anti-Semitism.
 
“Maus” is not the first text to be excluded from school libraries. Recently, LGBTQ+ texts have been banned in a Washington state school district, and many other books by authors of color have been censored in districts across America. These are chilling examples of censorship, racism, anti-Semitism, and white washing. We all need to be more vocal each and every time this happens.

These actions set a dangerous precedent in a free society. They cannot and should not be tolerated. The HWA condemns all attempts at censorship, particularly these obvious attempts of the establishment to silence marginalized voices. We urge you to speak out in your local communities against such autocratic tactics that not only threaten our creative community but also make our world less safe.

(9) CALL ME UNRELIABLE. A guest feature by S. A. Barnes – “The Curse of Being an Unreliable Narrator” at Sarah Gailey’s Stone Soup.

I remember clearly the first time someone else referred to Claire Kovalik, the main character in Dead Silence, as an unreliable narrator. My emotional response took me aback—first, surprise and then a sudden surge of defensiveness.

She’s doing the best she can, I wanted to say. I mean, come on, she’s locked up in what amounts to a mental institution at the start of the story, after a head injury and a traumatic incident that she doesn’t quite remember involving her crew and a mysterious ghost ship. What do you want from her???

The funny thing is, the statement wasn’t meant as a critique, not at all. It was simply a fact—Claire Kovalik is an unreliable narrator. Of course she is. She must be, for all the reasons listed above and more. And I’d done those things very intentionally, so why the strange and powerful reaction?

It took me a bit to step back from that moment and deconstruct what was going on in my mind….

(10) SF AUTHORS ANTICIPATE GENE EDITING. Fanac.org has posted video of the Tropicon 6 (1987) panel “Future Evolution” with Joe Green, Jack Haldeman II, Vincent Miranda and Tom Maddox.

Tropicon 6 was a small local convention, held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1987. This panel discussion about gene editing and the Future of Future Evolution is worth watching for several reasons. Thanks to author Joe Green, the panel focuses in very quickly on gene editing, and the issues it brings to confront humanity, both technically and ethically. The insightful comments by the panelists, and the issues and choices discussed are still very much with us, despite the panel having been recorded in 1987. One warning – there is loud background air conditioning noise for the first 15 minutes or so, but the sound is perfect for the remainder of the recording. The recording also provides a view into the dynamics of small, local conventions, where the writers are part of the community, know each other, and are not adverse to arguing with the audience. Everyone knows everyone, and no one is shy about asking questions. This panel was held at 10PM on Friday night, and there is silliness in the beginning. Some of the audience questions have been cut due to sound issues. Joe Siclari, now Chairman of the Fan History project, introduces the panel and the panel ending is signalled by me, Edie Stern, now FANAC.org webmaster.

(11) EASTERCON MEMBERSHIPS. Reclamation 2022 is this year’s Eastercon, the annual British national science fiction convention, being held April 15-18 at Radisson London Heathrow.

Membership is £70 until the end of February, after which it will £80. (And it will cost more on the door). Book here.

(12) HORROR WORKSHOPS. HWA’s Horror University Online is offering a series of workshops. Registration is $65 for non-HWA-members, $55 for HWA members, and four- and ten-course bundles are available. Here are the next few —

Jason Henderson, host of the Castle of Horror Podcast, publisher at Castle Bridge Media and best-selling writer of Night of the Book Man and the Alex Van Helsing and Young Captain Nemo series gives you a two-hour course in getting from idea to launchable manuscript in six weeks, covering: Choosing your sub-genre; Making Your Familiar Monsters Different; Outlining your novel; Forcing Yourself to Draft; Editing; and The Basics of Publishing- Traditional and Non-Traditional.

  • March 7: A Writer Prepares: Techniques for Character Development for Fiction Writing with John Palisano.

How does one develop compelling characters? What happens when you hit a wall in a scene and you’re not sure what to do or where to go? What if you just can’t hear the character’s voice? How do you create several characters within a story that all seem to be distinct and memorable?

In my class A Writer Prepares: Character development for fiction writing attendees will gain several useful tools as well as handouts they can use into the future for developing characters for their stories.

Using experience I gained while in Acting and Drama school, as well as real world experience in putting on plays, working on big Hollywood feature films with A-level talent, as well as in multi-award winning fiction of my own, this class A Writer Prepares: Character development for fiction writing is a riff on the famous Konstantin Stanislavsky book and method … but taken into the here and now! Get ready to have some fun!

What makes an agent, editor, or publisher interested in a pitch and how do you prepare to give one? What are the things a pitch should cover and how can you avoid basic mistakes in the process? This workshop is all about the pitches (two verbal, two written) you will need as a writer and the different times when you will use them. This workshop will include hands-on verbal and written pitching of stories with immediate feedback in a safe environment.

(13) FORBES OBIT. Author Lani Forbes died February 3 at the age of 35 reports Rediscovered Books, which invites fans to join them for Lani’s Book Birthday and a Celebration of Life and Literature on February 17. Full details and registration here.

 Young adult author Lani Forbes, whose critically acclaimed Age of the Seventh Sun series won multiple Realm Awards, died on February 3, 2022, in Boise, Idaho, after a nine-month battle with neuroendocrine cancer. She was 35….  

Lani Forbes was the daughter of a librarian and a surfer, which explained her passionate love of the ocean and books. Forbes was born May 6, 1987, in Huntington Beach, California. She grew up in California, and attended high school at Huntington Beach High School. In 2009, Forbes received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Hope International University. She then received her teaching credentials from Cal State University. After 10 years of teaching, Forbes went on to become a trauma counselor, serving women who had been abused by their spouses through addiction.

Her young adult book series, the Age of the Seventh Sun, premiered in 2020 with the release of The Seventh Sun, followed by The Jade Bones in 2021 and The Obsidian Butterfly in 2022. The Seventh Sun was a finalist for the Realm Awards Book of the Year and won Best Debut, Best Young Adult, and Best Epic Fantasy. Forbes’s passion was showing readers the transformative and encouraging power of story on the human experience….

(14) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1988 [Item by Cat Eldridge] Thirty-four years ago, the Red Dwarf series first aired on BBC Two. It was created by Doug Grant and Rob Naylor who based it off their Dave Hollins: Space Cadet that aired in the BBC Radio 4 series Son of Cliché show also produced by them.

As of two years ago, seventy-four  episodes of the series have aired, including one special, concluding the twelfth series. The cost has had myriad changes with only Chris Barrie as Rimmer, Craig Charles as Lister, Danny John-Julesas as Cat and Robert Llewellyn as Kryten being there for the entire series. 

Because Grant and Naylor not only directed the series but wrote the material and frequently changed everything as the series went along, critics came to be sharply divided on the series. The changes often caused them to loathe Grant and Naylor. Or love them. No middle ground at all. Grant and Naylor didn’t care one fuck. That’s a direct quote. 

BBC gave them two hundred fifty thousand pounds per episode, about three hundred thirty thousand dollars currently. Not a big budget but enough. It’s now broadcasting on Dave which is a British free-to-air television channel owned by UKTV, a joint venture of the BBC and Thames TV.

(15) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 15, 1883 Sax Rohmer. Though doubtless best remembered for his series of novels featuring the arch-fiend Fu Manchu, I’ll also single out The Romance of Sorcery, as he based his mystery-solving magician character Bazarada on Houdini who he was friends with. The Fourth Doctor story, “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” had a lead villain who looked a lot like most depictions of Fu Manchu. (Died 1959.)
  • Born February 15, 1907 Cesar Romero. Joker in the classic Sixties Batman TV series and film. I think that Lost Continent as Major Joe Nolan was his first SF film, with Around the World in 80 Days as Abdullah’s henchman being his other one. He had assorted genre series appearances on series such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Get SmartFantasy Island and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. (Died 1994.)
  • Born February 15, 1939 Jo Clayton. Best remembered for the Diadem universe saga which I’m reasonably sure spanned twenty novels before it wrapped up. Damned good reading there. Actually all of her fiction in my opinion is well worth reading. Her only award is the Phoenix Award given annually to a Lifetime achievement award for a science fiction professional who has done a great deal for Southern Fandom. (Died 1998.)
  • Born February 15, 1945 Douglas  Hofstadter, 77. Author of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Though it’s not genre, ISFDB notes he wrote “The Tale of Happiton “, a short story included in the Rudy Rucker-edited Mathenauts: Tales of Mathematical Wonder
  • Born February 15, 1945 Jack Dann, 77. Dreaming Down-Under which he co-edited with Janeen Webb is an amazing anthology of Australian genre fiction. It won a Ditmar Award and was the first Australian fiction book ever to win the World Fantasy Award. If you’ve not read it, go do so. As for his novels, I’m fond of High Steel written with Jack C. Haldeman II, and The Man Who Melted. He’s not that well-stocked digitally speaking though Dreaming Down-Under is available at the usual suspects.
  • Born February 15, 1948 Art Spiegelman, 74. Author and illustrator of Maus which if you’ve not read, you really should. He also wrote MetaMaus which goes into great detail how he created that work. (Discussed here at Green Man Review.) And yes, I know he had a long and interesting career in underground comics but I’ll be damned if I can find any that are either genre or genre adjacent. I know if I’m wrong that you’ll correct me. 
  • Born February 15, 1958 Cat Eldridge, 64. He’s the publisher of Green Man Review. He’s retconned into Jane Yolen’s The One-Armed Queen as an enthomusicologist in exchange for finding her a rare volume of fairy tales.
  • Born February 15, 1971 Renee O’Connor, 51. Gabrielle on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. I’m reasonably sure that I watched every damn episode of both series when they aired originally. Quite fun stuff. Her first genre role was first as a waitress in Tales from the Crypt and she’s had some genre film work such as Monster Ark and Alien Apocalypse. She’s also played Lady Macbeth in the Shakespeare by the Sea’s production of Macbeth

(16) FROM DEEP POCKETS TO DEEP SPACE. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Washington Post, Christian Davenport interviews billionaire Jared Isaacman, who went into space last year on the first private spaceflight.  Isaacman says he is launching another four-person private spacelight later this year, and the Polaris Dawn mission will have the first private astronaut performing a spacewalk. “Jared Isaacman to fund 3 SpaceX flights, including first crewed launch of Starship”.

…In addition to the first commercial spacewalk, Isaacman said the first Polaris mission would endeavor “to go farther than anyone’s gone since we last walked on the moon — in the highest Earth orbit that anyone’s ever flown.” The record was set in 1966 by the Gemini 11 crew, which flew to 853 miles, the highest altitude for any non-lunar crewed mission, according to NASA.

The flight, which would take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, would require a license from the Federal Aviation Administration. But the FAA considers only the safety of people and property on the ground in granting such approval and not the risks their activities in space might pose to the crew.

The crew would also test SpaceX’s Starlink laser-based satellite communications technology in space. While Starlink satellites now beam Internet signals to rural areas on Earth, SpaceX is hoping to use the system for human spaceflight missions to the moon and Mars. 

(17) ENTERPRISE: SKELETON WAR. [Item by Ben Bird Person.] Fan artist Marieke (@Spacelizart) did this piece based on Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005) and the 2013 meme Skeleton War:

(18) HASBRO MAKES THE RUN TO MARKET IN 13 PARSECS. That Hashtag Show turns thumbs down on this action figure: “Hasbro Fails Miserably With Star Wars Black Series Krrsantan”.

Well folks, The Book of Boba Fett Season 1 is in the books. One of its unquestionable highlights was Black Krrsantan leaping from the comic book page to live-action. Carey Jones perfectly brought the gladiator-turned-bounty-hunter to life, ably joining the late Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo as Star Wars Wookiee mainstays. Hasbro, of course, is now looking to seize on Krrsantan’s popularity. The toy maker just announced a Black Series figure for the character, and frankly, it couldn’t be a bigger fail.

… Sorry, Hasbro, but the “new” Black Series Krrsantan is, in a word, awful. As many across social media have pointed out, the figure is nothing more than a repainted retread of an old Chewbacca figure from almost a decade ago. The only difference is the head sculpt. That, at least, features the Wookiee’s braids and scars. Unfortunately, the differences pretty much end there. Even the bowcaster weapon is the same. You can’t look at the Black Series figure and not think “black Chewbacca.” Plus, the monochrome accessories (while true to the comics) just look, well, cheap….

(19) GAME TO MOVIE. “’BioShock’ Movie in the Works at Netflix” says The Hollywood Reporter.

…The streaming giant [Netflix] has partnered with Take-Two Interactive, the game’s parent company, to develop a potential cinematic universe. Vertigo Entertainment and Take-Two will serve as producers.

No writer or filmmaker is on board at this time. The partnership deal has been in the works for almost a year.

Released in 2007 from 2K Games, a subsidiary of Take-Two, the first-person shooter game featured a crumbling underwater city named Rapture, its society fragmented in a civil war with many inhabitants addicted or using a genetically enhancing serum that gives people powers while also living in fear of Big Daddies, mutated humans who have been merged with diving suits. Into this world is dropped the game’s protagonist, Jack, a survivor of a mysterious plane crash in the Atlantic Ocean….

(20) FOR THOSE OF YOU KEEPING SCORE AT HOME. The New York Times has an update: “China, Not SpaceX, May Be Source of Rocket Part Crashing Into Moon”.

The developer of astronomy software who said that Elon Musk’s company would cause a new crater on the moon says that he “had really gotten it wrong.”

…Part of a rocket is expected to crash into the far side of the moon on March 4. Initially thought to be a SpaceX rocket stage, the object may actually be part of a Long March 3C rocket that launched in 2014….

(21) SITH OF ONE, HALF A DOZEN OF THE OTHER. Lucasfilm Games dropped this trailer today: “Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Legacy of the Sith”.

Legacy of the Sith will send players to the darkest depths and farthest reaches of the galaxy and unlock the ability to choose your personal combat style.

(22) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Trailers: Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” the Screen Junkies say that the newest Ghostbusters movie “invites you to remember how great the original was and — that’s it. That’s the whole movie.”  The film “gives the loudest people what they want…Easter eggs the size of Denver omelets.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Ed Fortune, Rob Thornton, Chris Barkley, Ben Bird Person, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

36 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/15/22 The Silver Mithril Playbook

  1. 15) Cat Eldridge also records genre birthdays for Mike Glyer’s site File 770.

    (first! I cannot stand all of the fannish attention and I die. O the embarrassment.)

  2. (4) I think I understand that it will be really difficult (but I hope someone better informed can tell me I’m wrong), but I hope he can put things together to do future volumes.

  3. (5) Get well soon, Eric Flint.

    (13) That is a horribly sad story. Cancer sucks. I lost a coworker to neuroendocrine cancer — and it wasn’t detected until it was way too late. Her doctors had been treating her for diabetes and couldn’t figure out why the treatment didn’t work. A scan finally found the reason.

    (15) Happy birthday, Cat!

    Although it’s unfashionable to say so, as a pulp fan, happy birthday to Sax Rhomer. On the other hand, I really wish we could see more modern “reboots” of pulp tales that turn the tenets of Yellow Peril stories on their heads.

  4. 10) I wish somebody had recorded the panel at a WisCon some 25 years or so ago, where a panel of an epidemiologist, a bacteriologist, an SF writer and a public health worker [me] discussed “The Next Pandemic” and concluded that 1) It would be a respiratory infection (flu or related, such as corona-virus); and 2) public health staffs and budgets would proved to be grossly inadequate. Ah, the escapist things we silly skiffy people preoccupy ourselves with!

  5. Fifth? Are we still doing that?

    15) Jo Clayton is another one of those authors that I wish was much more widely known and available. I have I think all of her DAW paperbacks, and they take up at least an entire shelf.

  6. Happy birthday, Cat.

    @Anne Marble

    Although it’s unfashionable to say so, as a pulp fan, happy birthday to Sax Rhomer. On the other hand, I really wish we could see more modern “reboots” of pulp tales that turn the tenets of Yellow Peril stories on their heads.

    Actually, a Fu Manchu reboot (or Fu Manchu with the serial numbers filed off) from the POV of Fu Manchu is something I would love to see. The Shang Chi movie sort of did this – for those who don’t know, Shang Chi was originally the son of Fu Manchu in the comics – but there’s always room for more. And while I’m all for getting rid of the racism that is found in many old pulps, there were also a lot of good stories there that deserve to be rediscovered.

    I’ve recently been reading “Sword Woman and Other Historical Tales”, which collects the straight historical fiction of Robert E. Howard such as the Dark Agnes stories and the original Red Sonya, who is very different from her comics counterpart. There are also a lot of stories about the Crusades collected in that volume, which Howard wrote for Weird Tales’ shortlived sister magazine Oriental Stories. Not only are those stories very good, all of them also feature positive Muslim characters (and quite a few have villainous or treacherous Christians) and several actually feature Crusaders and Muslims teaming up against Muslim or Christian villains.

    It’s not just Howard either. A lot of 19th and early 20th century popular historical and adventure fiction (Harold Lamb, H.R. Haggard, Karl May) manages to be less islamophobic than late 20th and early 21st century adventure fiction, which surprised me. The change seems to have happened sometime in the 1970s.

  7. I got the first of the new Elric omnibuses from Saga Press today. Nice looking book. It has the text of the 2013 Gollancz editions, but the three-book series will contain only the eleven Elric novels and collections, not all the extra fiction and non-fiction from the Gollancz series.

    Sadly, right at the beginning of the book, on the map endpapers, Melnibone is spelled with a grave accent over the final e, not an acute one. Shame nobody noticed that, not that it’s a big deal.

    Happy birthday, Cat.

  8. @Joe H: Completely agree about Jo Clayton.

    And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day walkin’ in, talkin’ about a Jo Clayton book and walkin’ out? Friends, they may think it’s a Movement.

  9. (15) Happy birthday to Cat Eldridge, with thanks for all you do here.
    Happy birthday also to Art Spiegelman. While it must be nice to have Maus selling like hot cakes again, I wish it was for a less alarming reason.

    @ Cora Buhlert
    Indeed – my first encounter with Saladin was in a Classic Comics version of Scott’s The Talisman (1825), where he’s a chivalrous hero.

  10. @Joe H and to quote Tom Becker: Completely agree about Jo Clayton.

    I would be one of the fifty to walk into that restaurant and talk about Jo Clayton books

  11. 4) Following up on the details, I keep being surprised how often kiwifarms targets SF writers. Legacy of the puppies, I guess

  12. 14: Kryten was not a Red Dwarf regular from the start. He first appeared as a one-off in the opening episode of series 2 (Episode title ‘Kryten’) the started as a regular with series 3.

  13. 15: Jack followed up with Dreaming Again, a second volume from the same source. If you read forwards and afterwords as well as stories, you’ll find my name in that one.

  14. Steve Davidson says Jack followed up with Dreaming Again, a second volume from the same source. If you read forwards and afterwords as well as stories, you’ll find my name in that one.

    Thanks. Checking the bibliographic sources, that volume is not available in the States as far as I can determine. Apparently the publisher declined to print Dreaming Again here and it’s not available from the usual suspects nor is the first. You can copies of the first in hard copy at reasonable prices from almost all vendors.

  15. Meredith moment: Poul Anderson’s The Makeshift Rocket which was originally published in Astouding Science Fiction as A Bicycle Built for Brew is available from the usual suspects for a buck ninety nine.

  16. @Cora

    Actually, a Fu Manchu reboot (or Fu Manchu with the serial numbers filed off) from the POV of Fu Manchu is something I would love to see. The Shang Chi movie sort of did this – for those who don’t know, Shang Chi was originally the son of Fu Manchu in the comics – but there’s always room for more. And while I’m all for getting rid of the racism that is found in many old pulps, there were also a lot of good stories there that deserve to be rediscovered.

    I’ve read that pulp magazines published in Asia used to feature “Yellow Peril in Reverse” tales — stories where the white Europeans and Americans were the villains, and brave Asian heroes stood up against them.

    Unfortunately, they are even rarer than American and European pulps, particularly as they were rarely collected. Also, the tales would have to be translated before most fans could read them.

    It’s not just Howard either. A lot of 19th and early 20th century popular historical and adventure fiction (Harold Lamb, H.R. Haggard, Karl May) manages to be less islamophobic than late 20th and early 21st century adventure fiction, which surprised me. The change seems to have happened sometime in the 1970s.

    Having read some 1980s men’s adventure stories, plus some newer stuff, it doesn’t take much to be less islamophobic than certain modern writers. 🙁 Some writers used the Iran Hostage Crisis and other issues as an excuse to go bonkers and never looked back. That might be why The Executioner books switched from the original “War against the Mafia” theme to more international tales (KGB, anti-terrorism, etc.) — but IIRC they managed to show a variety of types of villains. On the other hand, many of the imitators were worse. And it hasn’t gotten better.

    It’s sad and terrifying to know that some Victorian or Edwardian guy writing pro-colonial adventure stories in the late 1800s and early 1900s was less islamophobic than alleged “modern” folks.

  17. Upon seeing the title of the scroll, I thought it was a reference to Tanith Lee’s well-known novel, “The Silver Mithril Lover.”

  18. (8)

    The banning of “Maus” in a Tennessee school district . . . is nothing less than . . . anti-Semitism.

    They are really reaching here.

  19. @Jeff Smith

    I got the first of the new Elric omnibuses from Saga Press today. Nice looking book. It has the text of the 2013 Gollancz editions, but the three-book series will contain only the eleven Elric novels and collections, not all the extra fiction and non-fiction from the Gollancz series.

    Sadly, right at the beginning of the book, on the map endpapers, Melnibone is spelled with a grave accent over the final e, not an acute one. Shame nobody noticed that, not that it’s a big deal.

    I’ll probably break down and get those, because they look really lovely and a comprehensive Elric collection was sorely needed.

    It’s sad and terrifying to know that some Victorian or Edwardian guy writing pro-colonial adventure stories in the late 1800s and early 1900s was less islamophobic than alleged “modern” folks.

    It is indeed sad, though not surprising. History doesn’t inevitably move forward.

    The shift seems to have happened sometime around 1970, because the Lawrence of Arabia movie and Dune, both of which feature positive portrayals of Muslims/Muslim stand-ins came out in the mid 1960s.

    Meanwhile,. by the 1980s even supposedly progressive works like the 1988 West German movie Yasemin about a Turkish young woman who gets in trouble with her family over falling in love with a German man were still islamophobic.

  20. (8) this minor story has really gotten blown absurdly out of proportion. No one banned anything. Maus is freely available in all parts of Tennessee. All the school board did was say that, hey, since we think this graphic novel is inappropriate for eighth graders we aren’t going to make them read it and also aren’t going to provide it for free at the taxpayers expense. That is not a ban. It is not censorship.

  21. 13) Remember when you were a kid and 35 seemed “grown up”? Now, it seems so young. RIP.

  22. @ Miles Carter,

    This issue has been argued and argued to the point of exhaustion. All I will say is I feel strongly about this and I don’t agree with you or your portrayal of the situation. I won’t argue with you or bill about it. Please go ahead without me.

  23. Meredith moment Lisa Goldstein‘s Summer King, Winter Fool is available from the usual suspects for a buck ninety nine. I’ve never heard of this novel, so could y’all who read it tell me about it.

  24. @ Cat Eldridge

    It is a really good book and I enjoyed it much, but then again I am all in on anything Lisa Goldstein writes. Definitely worth $1.99 in my mind.

  25. Robert Llewelyn (Kryten) runs what is quite the best anti-fossil-fuel news service, the amazing Fully Charged show. One of the very few worthwhile things on YouTube.

    And best of luck to Eric Flint on his recovery.

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