Pixel Scroll 2/1/17 We Had Scrolls, We Had Fun, We Had Pixels In The Sun

(1) TRUE GRIT. The director of Arrival has signed on make another adaptation of Dune.

Denis Villeneuve, best known for his directorial work on Arrival, Sicario and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, is set to tackle the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s celebrated sci-fi epic, Dune.

Villeneuve was first rumored to be in the running for the role in December, but it wasn’t until yesterday the confirmation was announced. Brian Herbert, son of Frank Herbert and a celebrated science-fiction author in his own right, made the announcement on Twitter.

(2) PETER WESTON EULOGY. This month, Ansible has an extra issue — #355-1/2 — with Tom Shippey’s funeral tribute to Peter Weston. Shippey illustrates Peter’s personality with anecdotes about his business.

What powered that success was not government assistance but reason number two, Peter’s complete lack of pretence. The success of Weston Body Hardware was not based on cunning marketing or managerial tricks, it was based on Peter’s 150-page catalogue of door locks, and unlike many managers Peter knew everything about his product. He took every picture in his catalogue himself, and in each one you could tell left-hand from right-hand.

He usually had a screwdriver in his pocket as well, for removing interesting locks from derelict vehicles, and he could tell a Hillman Minx lock from a Ford Capri blindfolded. I recall one occasion in Texas, 1988, when his attention was caught by a beautifully-refurbished sports car in a car-park. He stepped smartly over to it, looked down, shook his head and remarked (to himself, not the yuppie owner who was standing proudly by), ‘How very disappointing! An Austin-Healey 3000, and all they’ve found to put on the boot is a left-over lock from a Singer Vogue!’ It sounded absolutely apocalyptic.

(3) STICKY FINGERS. Bleeding Cool has the rundown on “The New York Comic Con Organiser Barred From Attending New York Comic Con” after he looted another dealer’s display.

Frank Patz, organiser of the neighbouring comic con, Eternalcon in Long Island, New York, attending NYCC as part of Michael Carbonaro‘s Vintage Movie Posters booth, was arrested by NYPD Special Forces on charges of grand larceny and possession of stolen goods….

It is common practice at shows for the trash at the end of the shows to be raided by some vendors to find things that other vendors have left behind. However Eaglemoss representatives told me they were still in the process of breaking down their space, and the items in question were still inside the booth, and not considered trash.

Most of the items were returned after the arrest, and the charges are pending dismissal if Patz keeps a clean record for the next six months.

…However NYCC and the Javitz Center do not seem to hold with the “innocent until proven guilty” thesis. And so while Frank Patz will have no marks on his official police record as a result of this, he and all the individuals named, have been barred from entering the Javits Center, and show organisers Reed POP have barred them for life from attending any of their events, including the New York Comic Con, C2E2, ECCC and more.

(4) NEW PRESCRIPTION. Alasdair Stuart contends “It’s Time for Doctor Who to Change Television History for the Better” at Tor.com.

A Doctor who isn’t a white man is not a destination, it’s the start of a conversation. If the character worked—and it would—that would be an unmistakable turning point in how POC and female characters are portrayed on screen. It would also empower a generation of writers and actors, crew and producers to make their own work, with their own voices—work that, in the wake of a successful Doctor Who run with a woman or a POC in the lead role, would almost certainly find itself in a far more open and welcoming production environment.

That conversation is long and complicated and years overdue. It’s one that has to include bringing more and more women and POC into the fold as scriptwriters and showrunners and directors. It’s also one that needs to be years long in order for the changes it would catalyse to take effect. Most of all, it’s simply one that needs to happen, and there is no better time than now, and no better place to start than with Doctor Who.

(5) YOUR INVITATION TO A CONSPIRACY. John Scalzi shows us the way to make lemonade after he discovers an author has fallen for Vox Day’s insinuations about his bestseller status. (I argued in 2014 that Vox’s gambit was dubious because it equally undermined Larry Correia, then his ally).

I was pointed this morning to a blog post by an author not previously of my acquaintance who was making a bit of noise about the UK cover of The Collapsing Empire; the June 2016 cover reveal of the UK cover featured the strapline “The New York Times Bestselling Series”…

A little further digging revealed that this author almost certainly got this idea from one of my usual suspects (i.e., the same poor wee racist lad whose adorable mancrush on me has gone unabated for a dozen years now), who trumpeted the strapline as evidence that Tor is planning to fake a position for me and TCE on the New York Times bestseller list. As apparently they have done with all my work, because as you know I don’t actually sell books; Tor and Tor UK and Audible and a couple dozen publishers across the planet give me lots of money strictly because I am the world’s best virtue signaller, and therefore worth propping up with byzantine schemes to fake my standing on bestseller lists, because who doesn’t like virtue.

…(P.S.: If you would actually like to see me get on the New York Times bestseller list with The Collapsing Empire — or in the UK, the Times bestseller list (that’s the Times in the UK, that is, these newspapers with the same names are confusing) — then be part of the vast conspiracy of people who pre-order the book, either from your local bookseller, or via your favorite online retailer. Sadly, my publishers don’t actually prop me up. I really do have to sell books for a living. Again: Sooooooooo unfair!)

(6) BALANCING THE BOOKS. Tolkien once was a customer of a shop now closed and auctioning off its business archives: “These boots were made for Tolkien: Ledgers from iconic Oxford shoe shop Duckers go under the hammer”.

Famous names feature in the ledgers of shoemakers Ducker & Son which are about to be offered for sale by Oxford auction house Mallams, writes Richard Lofthouse…

They range from little-known Oxford academics and wealthy undergraduates with a taste in bespoke footwear to local luminaries such Tolkien, Brideshead Revisited author Evelyn Waugh and publisher Sir Basil Blackwell (who insisted his shoes were always rubber-soled).

First World War flying ace Baron von Richthofen, European aristocratic families and several maharajahs also shopped at Duckers. More recent patrons have included Olympic rower Matthew Pinsent, comedian Rowan Atkinson, former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and Formula One boss Eddie Jordan.

Tolkien’s first order at the start of Michaelmas term 1913 is for a pair of black rugby boots for 14s 6d, a pair of porpoise laces for 8d, and a pair of ordinary laces for 2d. He was then an undergraduate at Exeter College, just up the street from Duckers’. The year had been a landmark one for Tolkien: he had changed his course from the Classics to English literature and, on the turn of his 21st birthday, had proposed to his childhood sweetheart Edith Bratt. Standing (above) in his pale jersey in the middle of the beefy athletes of Exeter College’s Rugby and Boat Clubs in 1914, Tolkien looks rather small; but he said that what he lacked in weight, he made up by extra ferocity.

A later page shows two orders by Tolkien in the 1950s, when he was Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and shoe prices had risen considerably: he bought three pairs for around £6 apiece. Fortunately his professorial income was supplemented by royalties from The Hobbit and, by the time of the last order, The Lord of the Rings, published in 1954–5.

(7) SNAKES, IT HAD TO BE SNAKES! I am told February 1 is Serpent Day. Not sure why that precedes Groundhog Day, but there you have it.

Serpents deserve a day dedicated to them; its presence is somehow necessary, what with all of the fables and stories abound with snake-inspired situations and wise or evil serpents, that have filled our culture for as long as any of our ancestors could remember.

(8) WHO FATIGUE. Are you tired of watching Doctor Who? I’m not, but if you are, CheatSheet offers four reasons that might explain why. (More likely, you’re tired of clickbait articles like this that drag you through multiple ad-saturated screens to see the complete post.)

  1. The Doctor got meaner

Fans familiar with the progression of the Doctor are familiar with the defining personality traits of each modern doctor. Christopher Eccelston was a stripped-down version of a previously flamboyant character, beginning a walk down a decidedly grimmer path for the Doctor’s personality. David Tennant after him was kind yet stern, with sharp features to match. He always carried with him a certain guilt over the burden of being the last of the Time Lords, leading into the reactively younger and more carefree Matt Smith iteration.

Finally, we were left with Peter Capaldi, the more mature and notably older version of the Doctor. It was more than a little jarring to go from the warm, goofy demeanor of Smith to the crotchety and sometimes mean-spirited Capaldi version. This in turn made it hard to adjust for fans, leading many to jump ship mere episodes in to the latest season.

(9) TAKING FLIGHT. Nerds of a Feather rounds out its Hugo recommendations with two more posts:

Best Graphic Story, Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form, Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form

Editor – Short Form, Editor – Long Form, Professional Artist, Fan Artist, Fan Writer.

(10) FURTHER THOUGHTS. Rich Horton ranges widely in his “Hugo Nomination Thoughts: Long Fiction (and some notes on Dramatic Presentation)”. And he compliments one of JJ’s posts, too.

Best Series

Considering this brand new category reminds me of one novel that I have just read, Impersonations, by Walter Jon Williams, a new pendant to his Praxis (or Dread Empire’s Fall) series. It’s a fun story, and I’m glad I read it, but I don’t think it’s Hugo-worthy by itself. I am strongly considering nominating the entire series for a Hugo, however.

And, indeed, that hints at one of my misgivings about the Hugo for Best Series. The most recent entry in a series may not be particularly representative of the series as a whole, nor as good as the rest of the series. The same comment, obviously, applies to Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, represented in 2016 by the rather pedestrian Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen. I would say personally that both Bujold’s Vorkosigan series and Williams’ Praxis book are worthy, over all, of a Best Series Hugo, but that the best time to award them that Hugo has passed. (Which, to be sure, is primarily a function of this being a brand new award.)

At any rate, I was wondering what the possible candidates for Best Series, eligible in 2016, might be, and I was delighted to find that JJ, over at File 770, had done the heavy lifting, producing this page with a good long list of potential eligible series: https://file770.com/?p=30940.

(11) TRUE LOVE. With Valentine’s Day on the calendar this month, Seattle’s MoPOP Museum has sent those on its email list a set of Fictional Flames: A Lovesick List of #MoPOPCULTURE Power Couples.

In honor of cupid’s return, here are our picks for the fictional couples who remind us why we love to fall in love.

Uhura + Spock : Star Trek – This futuristic couple showed the world how to love long and prosper.

Clark Kent + Lois Lane: Superman – The most unique story of journalistic love. Ever.

Hermione + Ron: Harry Potter – These longtime friends fell hard with no love potion required.

Buttercup + Westley: The Princess Bride – True love has never been more adventurous.

Elizabeth + Mr. Darcy: Pride and Prejudice – This enduring duo have been charming readers and viewers since 1813!

Kermit + Miss Piggy: The Muppets –  The most sensational, inspirational, celebrational muppet couple.

Gomez + Morticia: The Addams Family – “Till death do us part” takes on a whole new meaning.

Mitch + CamModern Family – These loving family men are the perfect suburban couple.

Rick + Ilsa: Casablanca – This bittersweet, war-torn romance will have you reaching for the tissues.

Willow + Tara: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The couple that slays together stays together.

Han + Leia: Star Wars – She loves him. He knows. (He loves her too.)

(12) TRIBBLES AT THE UNIVERSITY. “The Trouble With Tribbles” episode of Star Trek will be screened at UCLA in the Billy Wilder Theater on February 5 as part of the “Family Flicks Film Series.” Details about price and schedule are at the link,

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of a classic television episode from a landmark series! Watch as Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) deal with an infestation of cute, fuzzy tribbles aboard the Enterprise. Soothing to the crew and annoying to the Klingons, the furry nuisances nonetheless hold the key to a mystery on board. Trekkie suits and transporters optional!

(13) BRAND ‘EM. Rawle Nyanzi, in “Fear of a Pulp Planet”, calls it a “Pulp Revolution” —

Bloggers Jeffro Johnson — whose Appendix N book I spotlighted here — and Jon Mollison, both of whom I’m acquainted with online, have made much of the “Pulp Revolution,” a nascent literary movement intended to turn modern sci-fi and fantasy away from a perceived focus on deconstruction and embrace its heritage as a literature of the heroic and wondrous. It also seeks to bring the works of long ignored pulp authors back into the limelight.

I find “Pulp Revolution” a more appealing label than Sad Puppies, if anyone wants to know. (Like that’s going to happen….)

(14) RINGS. I still haven’t forgotten the first film in the series. This is the third.

First you watch it. Then you die. Rings hits theatres Friday!

A new chapter in the beloved RING horror franchise. A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before…

The film is being promoted by a pranks like this —

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, and Dave Langford for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Robert Whitaker Sirignano.]

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95 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/1/17 We Had Scrolls, We Had Fun, We Had Pixels In The Sun

  1. Have we done Kenneth Robeson yet? The house name used for the author of the Doc Savage and Avenger stories. Most of the Doc Savage stories were written by Lester Dent, but some were written as collaborations between Dent and other authors and some were written completely by other writers. Wikipedia says Paul Ernst wrote The Avenger stories.

    Not sure if the Dwayne Johnson version of Doc Savage is still in the works. As much as I like Johnson, I don’t really think he’s right for the part. Ron Ely was a good (enough) Doc Savage even if the movie he was in wasn’t quite so good.

    You are my pixel/My only pixel/You make me happy when files are gray/You’ll never know dear/How I Godstalked you/Please don’t scroll my pixel away.

  2. @airboy: “I agree that Baen grabbed a good chunk of the market that was not being filled years ago. In terms of total releases they do not seem to be growing.”

    I’m not sure you grasp that when I say I was picking up Baen’s Heinlein reissues in high school, I’m talking about 1986-7. That’s not just “years ago” – that’s three decades ago. I was buying Baen’s reissues in paperback as Heinlein’s new books came out in hardback – because he was still alive and publishing new work at the time, y’see. (Not, notably, with Baen.)

    The reason I doubt that you truly grok the time frame involved is that you said this:

    Several of their authors seem to be doing very well in terms of profitable books (Ringo, Correia, Weber, Flint, etc….) and they have a number of newer authors who also seem to be profitable.

    By my reckoning, the four authors you name are all “newer authors.” On Basilisk Station was published in 1993, Mother of Demons in 1997, A Hymn Before Battle‘s from 2000, and Monster Hunter International was self-published in late 2007.

    Original Baen was stuff like the Heroes in Hell series (1986-1989), the Keith Laumer original Bolo books (1986-1990), and Timothy Zahn’s Cobra books. Trust me if you want, check it out for yourself if you wish, but Baen wasn’t “filling a gap” back then. There wasn’t one. Signet and Ace and Del Rey and Ballantine – ever heard of them? Those were some of Heinlein’s final first-MMPB-printing imprints.

  3. “Those who would give up essential Pixels, to scroll a little temporary File, deserve neither Pixels nor Files.”

    (Identified the e-ddress typo that caused my comment in the other thread to fall into moderation.)

  4. Baen also, in the 1980s, published a couple of books that remain amongst my favorites to this day: Michael Reaves’ Shattered World and Burning Realm.

  5. Robert Whitaker Sirignano
    I really enjoyed that one, and I would have mentioned it, except that I sometimes convince myself I have it confused with the Charteris/Sturgeon and was afraid of stepping on myself.

    Jack Lint
    Considering the talent involved (George Pal!), the Doc Savage movie with Ely was a big disappoint for me. Particularly as I had always been given to understand that Ron Ely is a distant relative (distant as in, he never heard of us). Dent wrote a couple of things under his own name that made me want to read more. Much as I loved Doc Savage around 9th grade and after, they seem a lot like chewing gum now, and give the impression the author is trying not to write very well on purpose.

    I picked up an autobiography by the fellow who wrote the bulk of the Hardy Boys series, called The Ghost of the Hardy Boys. For some reason, I put it aside and never finished it. I also read several entries in an aviation series, back in the day, partly because of the Franklin W. Dixon byline. They weren’t by the same author, though.

    We had to destroy the pixel in order to scroll it.

  6. Robert Whitaker Sirignano: Avram Davidson’s was And on the Eighth Day. (Which, though not speculative in any formal sense, has a definite ‘not of this world’ feel to it.)

  7. 10): Horton seems to think that the YA not-Hugo is already in place. (I’m right in thinking it isn’t, aren’t I?)

  8. OMG I love Doc Savage so much. Thank you for invoking that series. It was the side characters that really made the books for me. I remember spending a summer in Kansas reading through my uncle’s books from childhood in a box that held a few dozen of them. After that I always picked them up when I could find them, but they didn’t survive a purge at one point, which I now deeply regret.

    Are Murphy and Sapir still churning out the Destroyer books? I believe I read over a hundred of those.

  9. @ Niall
    Josette Simon would be a great Doctor!

    @ Darren Garrison
    Rowling can pack an awful lot into less than 150 characters. Also, Ursula K. LeGuin wrote a letter to the editor of her local paper, explaining the difference between SF and “alternative facts”. She remains The Greatest.

    (5) Not a Conspiracy,
    Thanks for the links, both to Scalzi’s piece on the arcana of cover building and to Mike Glyer’s earlier piece, which I had missed.

  10. I like the concept of Doc Savage more than the actual books. For a bunch of geniuses and leaders in their fields, most of the time they acted like a bunch of maroons.

    The series also has the problem with a world that is always too eager to blame them for anything that goes wrong no matter how many times Doc and the boys* have saved them from disaster.

    Maybe it’s time to read Roadmarks again.

    * ETA: Doc and the boys & girl. Can’t forget Pat Savage.

  11. I was totally obsessed with Doc Savage in middle school and high school, which was probably the target age for readers. Loved the aides (Ham with the sword cane especially) but they did act like children most of the time (Ham and Monk for sure).

    Cat Rambo: I’m not sure if the Destroyer series is still going on. Sapir died years ago, and there have been ghostwriters with mixed success. Last one I knew about was Jim Mullaney, but I haven’t read any in years. I loved those too.

  12. Cat Rambo
    I had to do a purge of my own, in the course of moving over and over and over in the late 70s. I had such a nice set of Doc Savage books. I still have some of them, but the majority had to go away. I’ve been re-reading them as ebooks at the gym, when I’m on the Futile Cycle or the Trudgemaster.

    Jack Lint
    Both modes of Doc Savage are faintly odd to modern eyes: either everyone takes for granted that he’s equal to (or better than) the cops, or they all assume he’s guilty of things. I think Superman has since outdone him at both, though, with any number of stories where Superman saves the world nineteen times, then picks a flower at a National Park and suddenly HE’S SCUM GET HIM.

  13. 3) “Innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t really apply here. They were caught on tape, and caught with the goods. While they can’t be thrown in jail without a trial and a conviction, the con is within its rights to ban them as it would any other shoplifter under such circumstances.

    10) Something similar could be argued for S.M. Stirling’s “Changed World” series. The series overall is stellar, but the 2016 release seems to be largely setting up an arc, plus it ends on a cliffhanger; it’s not the book I’d choose to introduce someone to the series as a whole. Nonetheless, I’ll probably nominate the series.

    @ P J Evans: I’ll second Dame Judi as a good choice.

    @ Doctor Science: I’ve been doing quite a bit of comfort reading lately, not all of it SF; for example, I’ve been re-reading some of my favorite Heyers. And have two more cued up because someone I know just mentioned that characters from Regency Buck show up in An Infamous Army, and I haven’t read either of those in quite a long time.

    @ Darren: There was another great Rowling response to someone who described her books as being “about a nerd who turns people into frogs”. It came in two parts; the first tweet was a nice polite FOAD, and the second one was “I love you guys. My feed is lit up with people pointing out that Harry never turned anyone into a frog and Hermione was the nerd.”

    @ Chip: That’s one of the things Galactic Journey makes a point of noting — which bylines in the magazines are pseudonyms, and who they’re for.

  14. @ Lee

    I’ve been re-reading some of my favorite Heyers. And have two more cued up because someone I know just mentioned that characters from Regency Buck show up in An Infamous Army, and I haven’t read either of those in quite a long time.

    Not the only carry-over characters to show up in An Infamous Army. (Though I confess I found AIA nearly unfinishable and the carry-over characters were the only thing that kept me going.)

  15. Cat Rambo, if it survived the basement flood of last year, I have a box of dozens and dozens of Doc Savage novels. Assuming they’re intact, do you want them? email me at (rot13) [email protected]

  16. @ HRJ: True, but I already knew about the other ones — the Regency Buck connection was new to me. And I agree that An Infamous Army is among her worst books; if I want to read a Regency set around Waterloo, my go-to is Prior Betrothal by Elsie Lee.

  17. “Innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t really apply here. They were caught on tape, and caught with the goods. While they can’t be thrown in jail without a trial and a conviction, the con is within its rights to ban them as it would any other shoplifter under such circumstances.

    Yeah, a private organization doesn’t have to follow criminal procedure. In any event, in a civil suit over conversion of property, the standard would be “preponderance of the evidence”, which I think we pretty clearly have here.

  18. I didn’t click on the whole link, but “The Doctor got meaner”? I assume we’re talking about the same character who steered an entire Ice Warrior fleet into the sun with a cheerful “Good riddance” back in the mid-sixties? Or trapped Sutekh in a time corridor in the 70s and watched him die? Or who snapped out, “Good bye Davros, it hasn’t been pleasant” while his enemy begged him for mercy? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love the series, but the Doctor has always had a very deep mean streak.

    (Also: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single fan in possession of a good pixel, must be in want of a scroll”?)

  19. JJ notes that The Tor.com Book Club Free Book for February is The Bloodline Feud by Charles Stross, an omnibus version of the first two books in The Merchant Princes: The Family Trade and The Hidden Family.

    Except it isn’t an omnibus of those two books but rather an extensive reworking of the first novel in his Merchant Princes trilogy which Ace tore asunder into two novels because they thought they were too long. So when a new publisher picked the paperback rights, he substantially revised them — no plot changes, just needed rewriting.

    Ace turned three roughly six hundred page novels into six roughly three hundred page novels. I read the original six and then read The Bloodline Feud when it came out and I can say The Bloodline Feud is a much better read than the two Ace published novels were.

    Given how much wordage Stross has devoted to tell this tale, somebody at that shop was being sloppy.

    Oh and Empire Games, the first novel in the new trilogy, is just over three hundred pages and change…

  20. @Robert Whitaker Sirignano Avram Davidson also wrote The Fourth Side of the Triangle and The House of Brass, both based on outlines by Frederic Dannay. Neither is particularly good, certainly nowhere near And On the Eighth Day in quality.

  21. @Andrew M: fascinating anecdote about Orwell; I guess Silverberg didn’t invent being massively wrong parsing the style(s) of another writer. And an interesting point on EQ etc; I’m not as familiar with mystery magazines as I am with SF (which isn’t hugely). OTOH, this discussion bubbles up Doc Savage, which (like EQ?) had one main author and a number of others and certainly leans toward SF, so I was probably being too specific.

    @Rose Embolism: you must stamp the cane and wave the foot; otherwise we won’t get the full impact….

  22. @JJ – thanks – I only read the first Merchant Prince book, it was my least favorite Stross by far. Maybe the fixed up version is a better read. I’ll give this one a go.

    He seems to have gone off the boil with the Laundry series for me – the joyful inventiveness seems to have bled away, for me, with only flashes remaining. The Nightmare Stacks was a bit too gunpr0n. Needs more Bob, but I do understand why Charlie things he’s too overpowered now.

  23. @Rev. Bob: James Baen was much involved in the creation of Heinlein’s mostly-nonfiction omnibus Expanded Universe and was responsible for its first publication in 1980 (together with Spider Robinson’s apologia/defense “Robert A. Heinlein: A Sermon” a.k.a. “Rah Rah R.A.H.”) in the mass-market paperback “magazine” Destinies several years before there was a Baen imprint.

    (I note this without implying any endorsement of Heinlein’s or Baen’s thinking, or of the offerings of Baen the publishing company; I don’t believe I own a Baen book, although I do own the Destinies issue with the Robinson essay and the first half of Expanded Universe.)

  24. Cat Eldridge: [The Bloodline Feud] isn’t an omnibus of those two books but rather an extensive reworking of the first novel in his Merchant Princes trilogy which Ace tore asunder into two novels because they thought they were too long. So when a new publisher picked the paperback rights, he substantially revised them — no plot changes, just needed rewriting… I read the original six and then read The Bloodline Feud when it came out and I can say The Bloodline Feud is a much better read than the two Ace published novels were.

    Thanks for that info, Cat! I’m looking forward to reading it even more now. And Empire Games is already on the list. 🙂

  25. 10) Andrew — you’re completely right, the new YA “not a Hugo” will not be awarded until next year (assuming it is ratified in Helsinki). I apologize for the silly mistake. (I’m correcting my original post.)

  26. Rich, I tried to post this comment on your blog post, but for some reason it wouldn’t accept my WordPress ID:

    Impersonations is indeed well into short Novel territory, rather than Novella, which I did not know at the time (I will ask Mike to correct that item).

    Likewise, Penric’s Mission at 45,300 words is over the threshold for Hugo nomination into Novel territory, as well.

  27. *Spoiler I guess*

    William Preston has written a few stories, originally published in Asimov’s that make no overt references to Doc Savage but is more than a nod in that direction. The first (and the one I enjoyed most) is the outstanding “Helping them take the Old Man down” and is available on kindle as part of a two(?) story bundle.

  28. the Keith Laumer original Bolo books (1986-1990)

    I seem to recall noticing that after Laumer had his stroke, which had an immediate and noticable effect on his writing, pretty much the editor most willing to buy Laumer’s new stuff (and thus keep a roof over his head) was Jim Baen, at various publishers. In retrospect, it is shame it took so long for Baen to apply the idea of shared universes to Laumer’s worlds.

  29. @Darren Garrison: ROFLMAO! I loved this tweet of Rowling’s especially: “Guess it’s true what they say: you can lead a girl to books about the rise and fall of an autocrat, but you still can’t make her think.”

    @JJ: Oh goody, I have the original first book in print, but IIRC someone mentioned hereabouts that things were somewhat revamped in the omnibus, for the better, aaaand yup, I see @Cat Eldridge confirming that above. BTW, you’re faster at letting me know about the Tor.com Book Club new book than Tor.com is (I have no e-mail from them yet, though I’m subscribed). 😉 So thanks! ::downloading::

  30. @JDN: “(and thus keep a roof over his head)”

    Yes, I’ve heard many similar good things about Baen-the-man. The lionized ideal of Baen-the-publishing-company as Saviour of SF, though… nope, not buying that narrative.

  31. @Linda S
    I think it is a short story. I threw it into Word and came up with something around 6,200 words.

  32. JJ, thanks for all the updates on word count, etc.

    I’ve had weirdness on my blog getting it to let me do edits based, as far as I can tell, simply on which computer I log in on.

  33. I tweeted at Naomi yesterday to find the word length of “Zombies in Winter” because I wanted to stick it on the Nebula Recommended Reading list – it’s short story.

  34. Hi Cat,

    I PDF’d it to send it to my Kindle. From my count, it comes in at 5889 words. That does not include the title or the copyright info at the end.


  35. 3) It may sound outraegous for someone to just walk away from a table with a big sculpture like that but I’ve witnessed stuff like that happen, like a friend’s dragon sculpture that was equally large and a teenage boy tried to just pick up and walk away with it DURING the con. My friend noticed and asked me to watch her table for a minute before she bolted after him, which was confusing until she returned with the dragon in her hands and explained why she’d had to flee without explanation so quickly. Some people have no shame about doing stuff like stuff like that at cons, it’s unreal.

  36. S.M. Stirling’s “Changed World” series

    What always strikes me about these books is that they have massive amounts of what Jo Walton calls “I want to read it-osity”.

    They may or may not be somebody’s thing but when I compare these books to Stirling’s early works, there’s a much higher degree of mastery in achieving exactly what he wants to; much less “bumpy”.

    When the series award was first being seriously mooted, this was one of the first possibles I thought of. No individual volume is likely to win an award but the series as a whole has built up a massively detailed world.

    My main gripes: no ebooks, each book has too much recapping at the beginning.

  37. Thanks to k_choll, Cat Rambo, and Dann for the wordcounts on “Zombies in Winter.” Now I definitely know where to put it on my Hugo ballot, if I can stop crying long enough to fill it out. 🙂

  38. Cat Eldridge on February 2, 2017 at 3:13 pm said:

    JJ notes that The Tor.com Book Club Free Book for February is The Bloodline Feud by Charles Stross, an omnibus version of the first two books in The Merchant Princes: The Family Trade and The Hidden Family.

    Except it isn’t an omnibus of those two books but rather an extensive reworking of the first novel in his Merchant Princes trilogy which Ace tore asunder into two novels because they thought they were too long. So when a new publisher picked the paperback rights, he substantially revised them — no plot changes, just needed rewriting.

    Not Ace, but a different 3 lettered skiffy publisher … Tor.

  39. Pingback: Top 10 Posts For February 2017 | File 770

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