Pixel Scroll 2/27/19 A Pixel Traveling At 0.72C Is Approving a Rotating Scroll Travelling At 0.4C. Where’s The Best Place To Get Souvenir Turtles?

(1) HOLLYWOOD ACCOUNTING. Bones isn’t a sff show (most of the time) but the litigation will send ripples throughout all the media empires: “Fox hit with $179-million judgment in dispute over profits from ‘Bones’ TV show” (LA Times).

In a stunning decision that could have widespread repercussions in the TV industry, Fox has been hit with a $178.7-million judgment in its profit participation dispute with the team behind the hit series “Bones.”

The ruling, which was decided in arbitration, excoriated senior Fox executives and criticized the studio and network for its conduct. The decision has also rattled other studios, including the highest echelons of the Walt Disney Co., which is bringing aboard some of the same executives in its $71 billion acquisition of Fox.

Hulu is also at the center of the storm, with accusations that Fox withheld revenues from “Bones” when the series became available for streaming on the digital platform. Fox owns a 30% stake in Hulu, along with other major studios.

… “The Arbitrator is convinced that perjury was committed by the Fox witnesses,” the ruling stated. “Accordingly, if perjury is not reprehensible then reprehensibility has taken on a new meaning.”

(2) STAND AND DELIVER. It’s Facebook’s ambition to supplant Patreon, but how greedy can you get? Very. See ComicsBeat’s roundup on the topic: “Shocker: Details of Facebook’s version of Patreon reveal very creator unfriendly terms”.

Despite some bumps, it’s obvious that Patreon’s subcription model for crowdfunding is a success, to the tune of $500 million in creat or payouts in 2019. With that kind of money floating around, it’s no wonder that some other giant entities – including YouTube and Facebook –  want to tap into the cash stream and launch their own subcription models to support creators.

Facebook’s version, “Fan Subscriptions,” rolled out last year in a very private test, offering to charge fans $4.99 a month for access to exclusive content by their favorite creators.

The program just expanded to offer its services to more content creators. And as Tech Crunch reports, reading the terms reveals, to the surprise of no one, that they are vastly less favorable to content creators than Patreon.

The Tech Crunch article says:

Facebook  will drive a hard bargain with influencers and artists judging by the terms of service for the social network’s Patreon-like Fan Subscriptions feature that lets people pay a monthly fee for access to a creator’s exclusive content. The policy document attained by TechCrunch shows Facebook plans to take up to a 30 percent cut of subscription revenue minus fees, compared to 5 percent by Patreon,  30 percent by YouTube, which covers fees and 50 percent by Twitch.

Facebook also reserves the right to offer free trials to subscriptions that won’t compensate creators. And Facebook demands a “non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use” creators’ content and “This license survives even if you stop using Fan Subscriptions.”

(3) NUMBER NINE. [Item by Greg Hullender.] Mike Brown just presented a paper with new results that significantly narrow down the parameters for a hypothetical Planet Nine beyond Neptune. He wrote a few blog posts about it, the most useful of which is probably this one: “version 2.X”.

The upshot is that this should make it easier to find, but it also seems more likely than ever that it’s really out there. Looking at that projected orbit, it’s way, way beyond Neptune. And, yes, it’s massive enough to have “cleared its orbit,” so it’s still a planet, even by the new definition.

In principle, there is so much more that I would like to say, but at this point I think it’s becoming progressively clearer that my coffee supply ran out a couple paragraphs ago, and in an effort to prevent further degradation of the text, I will get straight to the final point: if Planet Nine is smaller, does that mean it’s harder to find with a telescope? Counterintuitively, it’s the opposite. The smaller distance from the sun more than makes up for the diminished surface area. Indeed, if we make naive baseline assumptions about P9’s albedo and adopt the interpolated exoplanet mass-radius relation to estimate P9’s size, Planet Nine turns out to be about one magnitude brighter than we previously thought. Annoyingly, though, the aphelion is very close to (in?) the galactic plane, where confusion due to background stars can readily impede detection. Still, unless we are unlucky and P9 is unexpectedly small and/or dark, it should be within the reach of LSST and comparable telescopes like Subaru. The good news is that in the case of Planet Nine hypothesis, time truly will tell.

(4) OR HE COULD PHONE IT IN. A.V. Club reports “George R.R. Martin turned down a Game Of Thrones cameo for a very good reason”.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Martin revealed that series showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss asked him to travel all the way from his house in New Mexico to Ireland to film a cameo in one of the final season eight episodes, which, he says, he was “tempted to do.” Unfortunately, he’s a little too busy working on The Winds Of Winter, the next novel in the A Song Of Ice And Fire series–or so he says.

Anyway, if everyone wants this badly enough they can find a studio with a green screen in New Mexico, have Martin perform his bit, and fill in the rest with CGI.

(5) STORYBUNDLE. Cat Rambo has put together another Women’s History Month bundle, The 2019 Feminist Futures Bundle. She says –

This one has a great range of stuff in it, with some terrific indie and small press reads. One book I am particularly pleased to have there is K.C. Ball’s collection, which I edited. K.C. was a dear friend whose passing I wrote about here.

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of four books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE.

  • Snapshots from a Black Hole and Other Oddities by K.C. Ball
  • Sunspot Jungle by Bill Campbell
  • Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett
  • Queen of Roses by Elizabeth McCoy

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular books, plus SIX more!

  • Albatross by R.A. MacAvoy and Nancy L. Palmer
  • Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories by Naomi Kritzer
  • The Child Goddess by Louise Marley
  • Exile by Lisa M. Bradley
  • The Goodall Mutiny by Gretchen Rix
  • Mindscape by Andrea Hairston

(6) MEET THE CAST. SciFiNow has packaged them in one post — The Twilight Zone teaser videos: meet the cast of the West End stage show”.

Reprising their highly praised performances from the Almeida run are Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Adrianna Bertola and Neil Haigh, who will be joined for the West End premiere by Alisha Bailey, Natasha J Barnes, Nicholas Karimi, Dan Crossley, Dyfan Dwyfor, Lauren O’Neill and Matthew Steer.

Here they are, talking about it…

(7) GET YOUR KICKS. Take a break and enjoy Genevieve Valentine’s lively and humorous “Red Carpet Rundown: The 2019 Oscars”.

Glenn Close. This is why some people who can reasonably expect a win still dress simply rather than go for something Fashiony; there’s no shame in seeming surprised you won, but the biggest shared glance-and-nod on this entire red carpet was Glenn Close dressing like the Oscar she was here to collect, and of course she was, because she had it in the bag, because she’d spent the entire red-carpet season in toned-down suits and gowns that looked extremely Career Oscar and reserved and dignified while she collected awards, and she threw it all out the window at the very last turn for this cape with four million beads (four MILLION beads!) to show up and get her statue, and then she didn’t get it.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 27, 1934 Van Williams. He teamed for one season with the late Bruce Lee as his partner Kato on The Green Hornet and three Batman cross-over episodes. He would voice President Lyndon B. Johnson on the Batman series, show up in an episode of Mission Impossible, do a one-off Quinn Martin’s Tales of the Unexpected and that’s it. (Died 2016.)
  • Born February 27, 1938 T.A. Waters. A professional magician and magic author. He appears not terribly well disguised as Sir Thomas Leseaux, an expert on theoretical magic as a character in Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy fantasy series and in Michael Kurland’s The Unicorn Girl in which he also appears as Tom Waters. He himself wrote The Probability Pad which is a sequel to The Unicorn Girl. Together with Chester Anderson’s earlier The Butterfly Kid , they make up Greenwich Village trilogy. (Died 1998.)
  • Born February 27, 1944 Ken Grimwood. Another writer who died way too young, damn it.  Writer of several impressive genre novels including Breakthrough and Replay which I’ve encountered and Into the Deep and Elise which are listed in ISFDB but which I’m not familiar with. (Died 2003.)
  • Born February 27, 1957 Timothy Spall, 62. Before his more famous roles, he started off in late Sixties horror film Demon Dream as Peck Much later he’ll appear as Rosencrantz In Hamlet. And then we came to him as Mr. Poe in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events which I’ve yet to see. And of course he’s Peter Pettigrew, nicknamed Wormtail, in the Harry Potter franchise.  And yes, he’s done much, much more than that for genre roles, so do feel free to chastize me for not listing what you think is his best role. 
  • Born February 27, 1960 Jeff Smith, 59. Creator and illustrator of Bone, the now complete series that he readily admits has “a notable influence being Walt Kelly’s Pogo”. Smith also worked for DC on a Captain Marvel series titled Mister Mind and the Monster Society of Evil.
  • Born February 27, 1962 Adam Baldwin, 57. Genre roles include Firefly and its continuation in Serenity as Jayne Cobb. Colonel John Casey in Chuck, Independence Day as Major Mitchell and Mike Slattery in The Last Ship. He’s also done voice work such as Hal Jordan and Jonah Hex on Justice League Unlimited, and Metamorpho on Beware the Batman
  • Born February 27, 1964 John Pyper-Ferguson, 55. I certainly remember him best as the villain Peter Hutter on The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. but I see that he got he got his start in Canadian horror films such as Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and Pin: A Plastic Nightmare. His first major SF role was in Space Marines as Col. Fraser. And though he has an extensive one-off career in genre series, his occurrence as a repeated cast member is not uncommon, ie. he’s Agent Bernard Fainon the new Night Stalker for some episodes, shows up as Tomas Vergis on Caprica for six episodes and I see he’s had a recurring role on The Last Ship asTex Nolan. 
  • Born February 27, 1966 Peter Swirski, 53. He’s a academic specialist on the late SF writer and philosopher Stanis?aw Lem. As such, he’s written the usual treatises on him with such titles as Stanislaw Lem: Philosopher of the FutureLemography: Stanislaw Lem in the Eyes of the World and From Literature to Biterature: Lem, Turing, Darwin, and Explorations in Computer Literature, Philosophy of Mind, and Cultural Evolution


  • Monty & Doc visit the past to find out how the Egyptian pyramids were constructed only to be surprised…
  • …but Monty still needs to be careful with his eggplant emoji; the Pharaoh might get the wrong idea.

(10) MAINTAIN AN EVEN STRAIN. Another dead author gets his name on a book above the title, though at least they acknowledge he didn’t write it (AP News: “Sequel to Michael Crichton’s ‘Andromeda Strain’ due in fall”). An authorized sequel to The Andromeda StrainThe Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson—is due for a November 12 release by HarperCollins.

Its publication marks the 50th anniversary of “The Andromeda Strain,” Crichton’s techno-thriller about scientists fighting a lethal extraterrestrial microorganism. Released when Crichton was just 27, it was later adapted into a feature film and television miniseries, with Ridley Scott among the producers.

“It’s exciting to be shining a spotlight on the world that Michael so brilliantly created and to collaborate with Daniel Wilson,” [his widow,] Sherri Crichton[,] said in a statement. “This novel is for Crichton fans; it’s a celebration of Michael’s universe and a way to introduce him to new generations, and to those discovering his worlds for the first time.”

[…] “As a lifelong fan of Michael Crichton, it’s been an unbelievable honor to revisit the iconic world that he created and to continue this adventure,” Wilson said in a statement.

(11) MARS NEEDS LEGS. Wired UK says that, “Astronauts arriving on Mars won’t be able to walk. VR may save them.” It sounds a bit odd, but (re)training the brain to pay attention to signals from your inner ear is important after a long period of weightlessness.

It lasts around 23 minutes and feels “like going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, on fire, then crashing really hard.”

That’s how retired Nasa astronaut Ron Garan describes the return from space, strapped into the tight confines of a Soyuz capsule plummeting through the atmosphere back to Earth. The touchdown, slowed by a parachute and – at the very end – six small rockets, is called “soft,” but in reality it’s extremely rough.

We’ve all seen the scenes once the capsule has landed – astronauts and cosmonauts being carried away from Soyuz and carefully lowered into chairs. This is not a precaution; people returning from space literally cannot walk. The reason, however, is not the rough re-entry, but the fact that while in space, they have kind of lost their legs – albeit temporarily.

(12) DON’T YOU WANT SHORT FICTION TO LOVE: Continuing to read with cupidity,  Jason once again points to some February fiction he enjoyed including a possibly odd combination of horror and a Valentine’s Day tale in “Month in Review: February 2019”.

Counting a few stories from the late-breaking Tor.com Short Fiction and the last BCS and Terraform stories from January, February produced 48 stories of 210K words. It also produced the odd results of two recommended dark fantasy/horror stories with no SF or general fantasy and five otherwise noted SF stories with no fantasy (though one could easily be considered yet another sort of dark fantasy/horror). Three of the five come from my two February Tangent reviews of Constellary Tales and InterGalactic Medicine Show, which have some oddness of their own. The former was born recently and I reviewed the second issue. The latter contained the surprising announcement of its death in the editorial. So the gods of short fiction giveth and taketh away.

(13) MORE ON NEBULAS. J.A. Sutherland shines light on sff’s major awards and their different goals. Thread starts here.

Efforts to cast the kerfuffle over the 20BooksTo50K Nebula list as tradpub vs. indie civil war are tripped up by some of the facts.

It has come to our attention that one of our books, THE CONTINUUM by Wendy Nikel, was included in the 20booksto50K “slate” Nebula recommendation list. Neither the author nor anyone involved with World Weaver Press was aware of this list until yesterday, nor do we endorse it. While we would be thrilled to see this novella nominated for any of the major SFF awards, it needs to be nominated on its own merits, not as some sort of statement regarding “indie” vs. “trad pub.” Besides, we are actually a traditional publisher. Just a small one.

And JDA didn’t pay attention to Yudhanjaya Wijeratne saying he has a five book contract with HarperCollins.

Meanwhile, Wijeratne and his co-author are keeping the nomination but considering turning down the award if they win.

Cora Buhlert has an extensive review of what all parties have been saying in “Some Reactions to the 2018 Nebula Award Finalists”. She concludes:

As for the whole “indie versus traditional” rhetoric, honestly, that debate is so 2012. The stigma against self-publishing has long since evaporated. Can’t we move on and accept that indies, traditionally published authors and hybrids are all part of the same genre? The Nebulas aren’t hostile to indie works – the 2014 Best Novel finalist The Red: First Light by Linda Nagata was self-published, at a time when SFWA wasn’t even open to indie writers yet. The Hugos aren’t hostile to indie works  – the novelette “In Sea-Salt Tears” by Seanan McGuire in 2013 was the first self-published finalist and there have been several since.

Besides, most people were initially willing to give 20Booksto50K the benefit of a doubt. The reaction was mostly along the lines of, “Well, they’re new and don’t know the culture and etiquette. They’ll learn and maybe some of the stories are good.” But the huffy responses from some 20Booksto50K Nebula finalists and other members of the group (Lawsuits? Really?) have destroyed a lot of good will, not just towards this group, but also towards indie writers in general. And I really doubt that was the intent.

(14) IF THIS GOES ON. Bernard Lee’s cover art for Parvus Press’ forthcoming collection of original science fiction, IF THIS GOES ON: A Science Fiction Look at the Politics of Our Future, has been accepted into the exhibitions for both the Society of Illustrators East and West annual exhibitions.

Bernard is a California artist and illustrator and painted this cover as oil on canvas. It pictures the Lincoln Memorial lost to the waters of the Chesapeake following rampant, unchecked global warming. Underwater flora rise ominously behind the statue of the Great Emancipator and sandbar sharks, native to the Chesapeake, have taken residence inside the Memorial’s remains.

Said Colin Coyle, Publisher at Parvus Press, “It was nearly impossible to provide clear direction for the cover of a collection this diverse. But Bernard Lee rose to the challenge and produced a beautiful work of art that’s really a stand-alone contribution to the collection in its own right.”

The Society of Illustrators Exhibition in New York runs through March 9, 2019 as part of “Illustration 61” at the Society of Illustrations Museum in New York, located on 128 East 63rd Street. “Illustration West 57”, the annual exhibition of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles will be exhibiting the artwork in March. IF THIS GOES ON releases on March 5.

(15) NETFLIX. The OA Part II airs March 22.

No one survives alone.

(16) OPEN THE BOOK BOMB BAY DOORS. Following last week’s avalnche of posts by romance writers calling foul on people’s unscrupulous exploitation of Amazon’s business model comes one from Larry Correia defending himself for doing something no one has complained about: “A Note About Book Bombs” [Internet Archive link.] Isn’t there’s a Bible verse “The wicked flee where no man pursueth”?

A Book Bomb is when you get as many people as possible to buy a specific book on a specific day, with the goal of pushing it as high up in the sales rankings as possible on Amazon, with the goal of getting it onto some bestseller lists, so that more new eyeballs see it. This is a great way to expose an author to new readers.

Lots of people do this, but the ones we do here on Monster Hunter Nation tend to work better than average….

I’ve had bitter cranks whine about how this is “gaming the system” because apparently authors are supposed to sit quietly while tastemakers and critics decide what should be popular. No thanks. I’ll game that system then, and appointed myself a tastemaking critic. But a BB ain’t cheating because these are all legit sales using actual money, being purchased by actual human beings, who will hopefully enjoy the book enough to leave a review and purchase the author’s other books…. 

An altruistic effort to share his platform – what’s to complain about that?

(17) DREAM BIG. “OneWeb satellite internet mega-constellation set to fly” – BBC has the story.

London-based start-up OneWeb is set to launch the first six satellites in its multi-billion-pound project to take the internet to every corner of the globe.

The plans could eventually see some 2,000 spacecraft orbiting overhead.

Other companies are also promising so-called mega-constellations, but OneWeb believes it has first-mover advantage with an operational system.

…Assuming these pathfinders perform as expected, OneWeb will then begin the mass rollout of the rest of the constellation towards the end of the year.

This will see Soyuz rockets launching every month, lofting up to 36 satellites at a time.

To provide global internet coverage, there will need to be 648 units in orbit.

(18) SNEAK PREVIEW. “Sir Philip Pullman’s second Book of Dust out in October”. Here a clip from the top of the story; also has author commentary.

Sir Philip Pullman’s second instalment in his Book of Dust series, where he returns to the world of His Dark Materials, will be released in October.

Heroine Lyra Silvertongue is back as an adult in The Secret Commonwealth.

Lyra was a baby in the first book in the Book of Dust trilogy, La Belle Sauvage, which was critically acclaimed when it was released in 2017.

The new book is set 20 years after that, and seven years after the end of the His Dark Materials series.

Sir Philip’s publishers have released an extract from the start of the new book which sees Lyra at odds with her daemon Pantalaimon after they unwittingly witness a murder.

The book sees Lyra, now an independent young woman, “forced to navigate a complex and dangerous new world as she searches for an elusive town said to be haunted by daemons.”

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

70 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/27/19 A Pixel Traveling At 0.72C Is Approving a Rotating Scroll Travelling At 0.4C. Where’s The Best Place To Get Souvenir Turtles?

  1. (8) “Replay” was awesome.

    “Rotating PixelScrolls and the Possibility of Global File Violation”

  2. I should mention that the Jeff Smith who posts here is not the Jeff Smith who wrote and illustrated Bone, although the Jeff Smith who posts here thoroughly enjoyed Bone as it was published, issue by issue, and while reading about the Great.Cow Race in bed had to stifle his laughter to avoid waking his wife.

  3. (13) MORE ON NEBULAS.

    Wijeratne’s faux offer to withdraw from the category is hilariously transparent.

  4. (16) I think is fair to say Larry’s book bombs are gaming the system but aren’t inherently unethical or problematic. He is picking out books his readers probably will like, other authors aren’t really losing out and it’s not one of those practices that ruin everything for everybody else.

  5. Camestros Felapton: I think is fair to say Larry’s book bombs are gaming the system but aren’t inherently unethical or problematic.

    I don’t see anything wrong with the book bombs, the people who participate in those are being mutually supportive. It gives the author a chance to grab a screenshot of when, for an hour, their Amazon rating was briefly higher than it will ever be again. Using those screenshots to then post claims that they’re a “bestselling author” is pretty scummy, but I guess if readers are clueless enough to accept that without checking, then that’s their lookout.

  6. 16) It is not cheating, it is merely manipulation. As the amazon rating has no value whatsoever, I can’t really see it as unethical. Problematic is if you would claim it had a value.

  7. 15) Fantastic! The first season of this really knocked my socks off. I was beginning to worry there wasn’t going to be a second coming.

    1) and 2) Disgusting. Not sure though why I’m still surprised at this sort of stuff.

  8. 13) Short story finalist Richard Fox was interviewed and “the controversy with the SFWA” was mentioned. He doesn’t address that, but goes on about Big 5 publishers, sensitivity readers, and “the Twitter outrage brigade”.

    The IndieGogo for the comic adaptation of one of his novels also gets plugged, but the adapter (JdA) and publisher (VD/CH) aren’t mentioned.


  9. @ JJ (in re: 13):

    The ethical thing would be to withdraw from consideration before knowing if you win or not.

    Gaming the system? Probably.

    Unethical? I have a REAL hard time seeing it as unethical. I could probably construct hypothetical scenarios where it might be, but I sincerely hope none of those are close to reality.

    Cheating? No.

  10. There were a good handful of stories on “Bones” that were borderline SF and fantasy. One was told from the viewpoint of a skull.

  11. 8) While intending no chastisement whatsoever, I’ll say that Timothy Spall was also in an episode of Red Dwarf and did a voice in Chicken Run.

  12. I agree saying “I’m a bestselling author!” after a book bomb puts someone at the top of one category or another at Amazon is not for me, but I do see how people do want to grab whatever success they can get, even if it is fleeting. So Gaming the system, but understandable. Unethical? I don’t think so, YMMV.

  13. I do think saying, “I’m a best-selling author!” when what you really did was coordinate the sale of, like, 20 books at specific time to target a very specific metric is HELLA shady. You know it’s a hollow victory, so why brag about it?

  14. PhilRM says The magical databases in Bones put it firmly in the SFF camp.

    And they had a cross-over episode in which Ichabod Crane from the Sleepy Hollow series consulted on a murder case. That clearly puts the series in the fantasy realm.

  15. Timothy Spall also played the lead role in “The Commuter”, one of the recent adaptations – and one of the better ones – in the Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams series.

    There is (IMO) an endemic structural problem with adapting short stories (in any genre) for the screen, and that is that a story which might take as little as a quarter of an hour to read… has to be fitted to an hour-long time slot. As with classic series like the Jeremy Brett “Sherlock Holmes” or the Kenneth More “Father Brown”, some of those short punchy stories in Electric Dreams were turned into hour-long episodes at a pace that made funerals look frisky. But “The Commuter” is one that didn’t fall into that trap, and Spall’s performance, I think, is one factor in that.

  16. 1) “Hollywood accounting” (AKA “creative accounting”) was an old story when I first ran across it, maybe in William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade. In any case, the advice has long been to be wary of any deal in which you’re promised a percentage of the net rather than the gross. (See also John Gregory Dunne’s Monster.)

  17. Also in the cartoon Freakazoid!, where Freakazoid is giving a monster advice on how to fit in with society, one thing he tells him, “Always take a cut of the gross, not the net. The net’s not real.”

  18. @8: I liked that Spall was able to redeem his villainy in Enchanted, which had effective sendups of some of Disney’s most saccharine tropes.

  19. @Steve Wright:

    There is (IMO) an endemic structural problem with adapting short stories (in any genre) for the screen, and that is that a story which might take as little as a quarter of an hour to read… has to be fitted to an hour-long time slot.

    I think that problem is specific rather than endemic; some short works are too short or too thin (or have too much description that can be replaced by a single set/shot), others aren’t. A metric I recall seeing ~50 years ago was that an average page of a standard book takes at least a minute of average screen time. (Standard paperbacks at the time ran, by my count, ~400 words per page, so a story heavy on dialog could take more — or a page of snappy dialog could be a lot less than 400 words; I’d expect to read ~30 of those pages in your 15-minute metric.) This was around the time of Goodbye, Columbus, a 90-page novella (in the paperback edition) which IMDB tells me runs 102 minutes and my recollection has leaving out at least one interesting subplot. There are obvious cases of padding at any length — e.g., my copy of The Hobbit is 312 pages and looks a bit less dense than 1960’s paperbacks, but it was made into movies running almost 500 minutes even after compacting at least one good bit in the book — but ISTM that padding can’t be assumed in putting a short work in an hour slot.

  20. I agree that claiming to be a bestseller based on a book bomb is sleazy, but to me the interesting part is whether or not book bombing has any effect on sales. Presumably most of the book bombers were going to buy the book anyway, and whatever time and effort is spent on organizing the book bomb could have been spent on some other form of promotion which may or may not have been just as effective.

    When buying a book, I’m more likely to buy a book from an author who *doesn’t* have great sales than an author who does. I’m more likely to be able to get the best-selling author’s books at the library, and the author with poor sales probably needs the money more than the best-selling author.

    (Now the question is if I used the right email address….)

  21. Meredith Moment: “Karen Memory”, US$2.99 at Kobo and probably the other Usual Suspects.

  22. Finished Cherryh’s Finity’s End last night and started Cyteen. I actually ended up enjoying Finity’s End more than I remembered the first time around — at times it almost felt like Cherryh’s version of a Heinlein juvenile or something, with a seventeen year old thrown into a fish-out-of-water situation on the most famous merchanter in the entire Alliance.

    (And there was one point midway through book where, in a couple of sentences, she seemed to have sketched out the entire arc of Alliance Rising and any subsequent Hinder Stars books.)

    I’ve only read about the first dozen pages of Cyteen and my initial reaction is: I really, really, really wish this book was available on my Kindle.

    Also, I love the fact that Cherryh’s Alliance/Union setting is so well-realized and richly-textured that she can write books from the sympathetic POV of pretty much faction (Earth Company, merchanters, stationers, Union, heck, even the hani and the rest of Compact Space).

  23. Michael Eochaidh: It’s unlikely that all the people who buy based on Larry’s book bombs were going to buy those books anyway — or even very many of them. He’s not bombing well known writers most of the time.

  24. Chip Hitchcock:

    When a kid’s book like THE CAT IN THE HAT becomes a two hour film…

  25. (1) I recall hearing Max Brooks sharing how Alan Alda went through something similar with FOX in regards to getting royalties from sales of M*A*S*H on home video. I don’t remember the exact details,* it was more than a few years ago, but I do remember Brooks chuckling as he paraphrased one of Alda’s disgusted rants about FOX, ending with: “Come on! They sold the rights back to themselves!”

    *I think FOX tried to explain they had sold the video rights to a company that, not having produced the series, was therefore not bound by the original contracts. Something “creative accounting” like that.

  26. Robert Whitaker Sirignano says When a kid’s book like THE CAT IN THE HAT becomes a two hour film…

    The problem is the film stink, stank, stunk from beginning to end. Nothing about it worked from the insipid set design to the terrible acting by every performer involved to a script that never, ever should’ve been written. Yes I watched it, so I can review it.

  27. If you ignore the amazon ranking, I find it kind of nice of Correia to use his name to promote lesser known writers.

  28. @Steve Wright:

    a story which might take as little as a quarter of an hour to read… has to be fitted to an hour-long time slot

    Of course some people read faster than others, but I don’t think comparing reading time to live-action drama time makes much sense. It’s almost always possible to (silently) read dialogue much faster than an actor would speak it, and narration can convey pretty large amounts of action in a few sentences, which a screenwrite must then decide to either omit, dramatize at greater length, or find some excuse for characters to describe it.

    @Chip Hitchcock:

    an average page of a standard book takes at least a minute of average screen time

    I’ve never heard such a thing, and it doesn’t seem to me like a very useful rule of thumb, due to the very wide range of information density in prose as described above. What is definitely a common rule of thumb in film is that one page of a screenplay is a minute on average.

  29. @Chip HItchcock
    A metric I recall seeing ~50 years ago was that an average page of a standard book takes at least a minute of average screen time.

    I’ve heard/read many times that an average page of film/tv script takes, on average, a minute of screen time. I’ve never heard that rule of thumb applied to any other form of prose, and certainly not to generic fiction.

  30. @Joe H.

    I’ve only read about the first dozen pages of Cyteen and my initial reaction is: I really, really, really wish this book was available on my Kindle.

    Be sure to find the link on Amazon to signal that you’d like to read this on a Kindle. I know it feels like an exercise in futility, but I think it does make a difference.

  31. Greg Hullender says Be sure to find the link on Amazon to signal that you’d like to read this on a Kindle. I know it feels like an exercise in futility, but I think it does make a difference.

    H’h. Almost nothing by her is available in any digital format. I just checked iBooks and just three titles are to be had, Kindle shows just three as well. This is unusually low number for an SF writer currently publishing.

  32. My state’s electronic interlibrary loan system has one Cherryh, and is aware of 4 others it doesn’t have. Pretty small fraction of her total oeuvre.

  33. @Cat Eldridge — Where are you looking? Just about all of her DAW titles are available on US Kindle (that’s where I started my reread), plus the Fortress in the Eye of Time books and a few others. The big hole that I’m aware of (and which, for me, will be ending with Cyteen) is the non-DAW Alliance/Union books she published back in the late 1980s/early 1990s — Cyteen, Rimrunners, Tripoint and Finity’s End.

    (Also, Cyteen is available on Audible; but for whatever reason I’ve never really gotten into audiobooks; I prefer to spend my listening time with podcasts.)

    And what’s really frustrating is that in the US Kindle store I can see links for German-language editions of some of the titles that don’t currently have a US eBook edition.

  34. I think the manuscript for Cyteen was pre-computer, so it would have to be scanned (and poorfwritten, which many scanned e-books are not).
    Kobo has nearly 4 pages of books; some of the older novels are in collections of two or three.

  35. Joe H. asks me Where are you looking? Just about all of her DAW titles are available on US Kindle (that’s where I started my reread), plus the Fortress in the Eye of Time books and a few others. The big hole that I’m aware of (and which, for me, will be ending with Cyteen) is the non-DAW Alliance/Union books she published back in the late 1980s/early 1990s — Cyteen, Rimrunners, Tripoint and Finity’s End.

    I was actually using the Amazon app as that was what I had at hand. It should list what’s available for the Kindle but apparently not. The iBooks listings are definitely what I noted.

  36. @P J Evans: Yeah, I’m sure that’s part of the problem (and I assume that’s why some of the other early DAW titles — Brothers of Earth, Hunter of Worlds, Hestia and Angel with the Sword are missing). I wonder if for the non-DAW books in particular there might also be rights issues.

    Cherryh did release eBook versions of Heavy Time, Hellburner and the Rusalka trilogy directly on her own website.

  37. @Joe H.
    I just asked her, and she confirmed she has the rights to “Cyteen” now; she just hasn’t made an eBook version, although she might in the future.

    There’s an audiobook version though.

  38. Ah. I should have tried Kobo. I try to avoid DAW because they use DRM, but the books are there.

  39. @Joe H
    I think that “Angel” might be a special case – it was (IIRC) part of the “Merovingen Nights” series by several authors.

  40. @P J Evans — Yes, that may well be the case although I think Angel proper was a solo Cherryh novel.

    (I remember enjoying the novel but never read any of the subsequent short story collections — has anybody else read them and, if so, what’s the verdict?)

    Oh, the other one that’s missing from eBook format — the Collected Short Fiction.

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