Pixel Scroll 3/13/22 In Five Years, The Pixel Will Be Obsolete

(1) I’M JUST A POE BOY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Washington Post, Andrea Sachs writes about the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, which opened in April 1922.  The museum has as official greeters two black cats, Edgar and Pluto. The museum will celebrate its centennial on April 28 with an UnHappy Hour, where guests will cosplay characters from the 1920s, with music by “local surfrock band The Embalmers.”  And if your kids are bored, they can leap into a coffin! “Why you should visit the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond”.

… From “The Raven,” Edgar Allan Poe’s acclaimed poem, we know that birds can speak. If the Enchanted Garden at the Poe Museum in Richmond, which celebrates its centennial this year, had a voice, it might have a choice word to say as well.

“Evermore,” the bricks from the Southern Literary Messenger building, the writer’s former office, would utter. “Evermore,” the ivy clipped from his mother’s grave would whisper. “Evermore,” the copy of the bust of Poe would intone, before asking after the original plaster statue of his head. (Rest easy, Mr. Poe. After police recovered the stolen object from the bar at the Raven Inn in 1987, it has been living safely and soberly inside the museum’s reading room.)To be sure, 100 years is not forever, but for a museum dedicated to a 19th-century American author who wades in the dark recesses of the human psyche, it comes close….

There’s a website: The Poe Museum – Illuminating Poe for everyone, evermore.

(2) VASTER THAN EMPIRES AND MORE SLOW. Robert J. Sawyer greeted the announcement of SFWA’s name change by reminding Facebook readers he’s advocated the idea since 1988:

It only took THIRTY-FOUR YEARS, but SFWA is FINALLY changing its name to The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (instead of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America). Text of a letter I sent to the SFWA FORUM on February 25, 1988:

Dear FORUM:

At the SFWA meeting during the Brighton WorldCon [in August 1987), Charles Sheffield proposed changing the name of our organization from the Science Fiction Writers of America to the Science Fiction Writers Association. Why? He said the current name was insulting to overseas members. I agree, but, as I pointed out at that meeting, you don’t have to be separated from the United States by an ocean to feel excluded by the present name.

Now Joel Rosenberg has written to the FORUM (Number 104, page 33), again talking about American vs. overseas members. Let’s put this to rest. Canadians do not live overseas from the States, and they certainly do not consider themselves Americans, any more than the other non-U.S.-residents of North and South America do.

There are 21 Canadians in SFWA, making us by far the largest non-American nationality. I can’t speak for my compatriots, but I dislike SFWA’s current name and I object to having my country fall between the cracks of this debate….

(3) UNMET TWAIN. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] Here’s a very good article on Ukraine and Russia and why both countries are different by Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov: “Ukranians Will Never Be Russians” in The Sunday Times.

 … Ukrainians are individualists, egoists, anarchists who do not like government or authority. They think they know how to organise their lives, regardless of which party or force is in power in the country. If they do not like the actions of the authorities, they go out to protest. Therefore, any government in Ukraine is afraid of the street; afraid of its people.

Russians loyal to their authority are afraid to protest and are willing to obey any rules the Kremlin creates. Now they are cut off from information, from Facebook and Twitter. But even before they believed the official TV channels more than the news from the internet.

In Ukraine, about 400 political parties are registered with the Ministry of Justice. This only once again proves the individualism of Ukrainians. Not a single nationalist party is represented in the Ukrainian parliament. Ukrainians do not like to vote for either the extreme left or the extreme right. Basically, they are liberals at heart.

In the 1920s and 1930s peasants were sent to Siberia and the Far East as a punishment for not wanting to join collective farms. Ukrainians are not collective, everyone wants to be the owner of his own land, his own cow, his own crop. Looking at this history, they can safely say: “We and the Russians are two different peoples!”…

(4) MOORCOCK. “Dangerous Visions: Final Programmes and New Fixes: A conversation with Michael Moorcock” is a conversation between Michael Moorcock and Mike Stax from the symposium presented by City Lights in conjunction with PM Press on February 26 and 27, exploring the radical currents of sf. It happened during the celebration of the US launch of the book Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950 to 1985 edited by Andrew Nette and Iain McIntyre.

(5) LISTEN UP. Cora Buhlert’s new Fancast Spotlight is for the sword and sorcery podcast Rogues in the House, one of her personal favorites: “Fancast Spotlight: Rogues in the House”.

Tell us about your podcast or channel.

Rogues in the House, as the title may suggest, is a sword-and-sorcery focused podcast. We explore everything from Conan the Cimmerian to Elric of Melnibone, and we aren’t afraid to dive into adjacent genres and topics. Masters of the Universe, Willow, and the Witcher tend to simmer in our soup as well.

We call ourselves half-baked experts and usually place fun in front of fidelity, though we do do our homework.

(6) HIGH SCORE. Delia Derbyshire discusses how she and her colleagues developed the Doctor Who theme in this 1965 clip from BBC’s Tomorrow’s World.

Tomorrow’s World visits the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, a studio dedicated to the production of cutting edge electronic sound effects, soundscapes and electronic music for use in BBC television and radio programmes. Pioneering sound engineer Delia Derbyshire – who, along with colleague Dick Mills, realised Ron Grainer’s famous Doctor Who Theme at the Radiophonic Workshop – shows how electronic sounds are produced, and demonstrates some of the processes and techniques used in the workshop to build these sounds into otherworldly scores for the likes of Quatermass and the Pit

(7) END OF AN ERA. The Tellers of Weird Tales blog pays tribute to the late Marvin Kaye, who edited the magazine from 2012 to 2019: “Marvin Kaye (1938-2021)”.

…Marvin Kaye was certainly multitalented. He had an admirable career, the kind that few men or women born in later decades have been able to attain. We should be thankful to him–and his wife–for bringing so much back from the past and placing it before us so that we might all enjoy it once again.…

(8) WILLIAM HURT (1950-2022) Actor William Hurt, whose first film was Altered States, and who gained fame in non-genre roles such as his Oscar-winning performance in Kiss of the Spider Woman, died March 13. Variety’s tribute includes Hurt’s late-career genre work.

…More recently, Hurt became well known to a younger generation of movie lovers with his portrayal of the no-nonsense General Thaddeus Ross in 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk.” He later reprised the role in “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Avengers: Endgame” and “Black Widow.”

…After appearing on stage, Hurt secured a lead role in “Altered States,” playing a troubled scientist in Ken Russell’s offbeat film, a notable entry in the body horror genre. 

… A rare attempt at popcorn entertainment with 1998’s big-screen adaptation of “Lost in Space” was a modest hit, but didn’t earn enough money to spawn a franchise and Hurt looked miserable throughout the movie.

He also appeared in the TV mini-series version of “Dune,” in Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” and in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village.”…

(9) MEMORY LANE.

1987 [Item by Cat Eldridge] The history of Roger Zelazny’s Hugos is quite fascinating, both ones he actually won and the ones that he got nominated for but didn’t win.

His first was a nomination at Pacificon II at “A Rose for Ecclesiastes” which was followed by a nomination at Tricon for “The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth” and a win for …And Call Me Conrad (also known as This Immortal) in a tie with Dune.  

At NyCon 3 the next year, two of his novelettes woulde to get nominated, “For a Breath I Tarry” and “This Moment of the Storm” as did his “Comes Now the Power” short story. 

Baycon would see him win the Hugo for Best Novel for Lord of Light and get a nomination for the “Damnation Alley” novella. The novel version of Damnation Alley would come after Baycon.

Jack of Shadows would get nominated at the first L.A. Con. Doorways in the Sand got that honor in MidAmeriCon where his “Home is The Hangman” novella won a Hugo. 

At Chicon IV, “Unicorn Variation” wins the Best Novelette and at ConFederation, “24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai” would win Best Novella. The next year at Conspiracy ’87, “Permafrost” would get a Hugo for Best Novelette, his final Hugo. 

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 13, 1928 Douglas Rain. Though most of his work was as a stage actor, he was the voice of the HAL 9000 for 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel. He’s in Sleeper a few years later as the voices of the Evil Computer and Various Robot Butlers. (Died 2018.)
  • Born March 13, 1933 Diane Dillon, 89. With husband Leo Dillon (1933 – 2012), illustrators of children’s books, and paperback book and magazine covers. Over fifty years they created more than a hundred genre book and magazine covers together as well as considerable interior art. They were nominated for Best Professional Artist at St.Louis Con and Heicon ’70 before winning it at the first Noreascon, and The Art of Leo & Diane Dillon was nominated at Chicon IV for Best Related Non-Fiction Book. She and her husband would get a much deserved World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. 
  • Born March 13, 1951 William F. Wu, 71. Nominated for two Hugos, the first being at L.A. Con II for his short story, “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium”; the second two years later at ConFederation for another short story, “Hong’s Bluff”.  The former work was adapted into a Twilight Zone episode of the same name. He’s contributed more than once to the Wild Card universe, the latest being a story in the most excellent Texas Hold’Em anthology five years back. Though definitely not genre in general, The Yellow Peril: Chinese Americans in American Fiction, 1850-1940 is decidedly worth reading.
  • Born March 13, 1956 Dana Delany, 66. I’ve come today to praise her work as a voice actress. She was in a number of DCU animated films, first as Andrea Beaumont in Batman: The Mask of The Phantasm, then as Lois Lane in Superman: The Animated SeriesSuperman: Brainiac Attacks and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. (That’s not a complete listing.) Remember that Wing Commander film? Well there was an animated series, Wing Commander Academy, in which she was Gwen Archer Bowman. And though definitely not genre or even genre related, I must single out her role in Tombstone as it is a most excellent film indeed. 
  • Born March 13, 1966 Alastair Reynolds, 56, As depressing as they are given what they lead up to, the Prefect Dreyfus novels are my favorites of his novels. That said, Chasm City is absolutely fascinating. His present novel in the Revelation Space series, Inhibitor Phase, was damn great. 
  • Born March 13, 1968 Jen Gunnels, 54. Writer and genre theater critic, the latter a rare thing indeed. She does her reviews for Journal of the Fantastic in the ArtsFoundation: The Review of Science Fiction and New York Review of Science Fiction. With Erin Underwood, she has edited Geek Theater: Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy Plays. She’s also an editor at Tor these days where her writers are L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Richard Baker, Kit Reed, Emily Devenport, and F. Paul Wilson.

(11) IT’S A WONDERFUL GENRE. Brian Murphy explains what the fantasy genre would look like, if Tolkien had never written The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings“Fantasy Without Tolkien? Yes That Happened, and Yes It Matters” at DMR Books.

… But I also believe what he said implies that fantasy would not have mattered without Tolkien. If so, this deserves rebuttal. So here goes.

The modern fantasy genre does NOT all come from Tolkien, and it would have arrived even without him. In fact, it already had. And pre-Tolkien fantasy matters.

To set the stage, early fantasists Lord Dunsany, William Morris, George MacDonald, and H. Rider Haggard were writing long before Tolkien. Tolkien himself read and loved many of these authors and his work bears their influence. As it should; much of their work is great.

Sword-and-sorcery existed long before The Lord of the Rings (1954) and even The Hobbit (1939). Starting in the late 20s and early 30s, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, C.L. Moore, and Fritz Leiber produced an amazing body of work that attracted fanbases in pulp magazines Weird Tales and Unknown….

(12) ABOUT OUR PARTNERS. In the Washington Post, Homer Hickam says we will have to work with the Russians at the International Space Station for now, but we should “proceed on our own to carefully resolutely work to decommission” the station. “Our space partnership with Russia can’t go on”.

…In nearly every arena, the Biden administration has imposed harsh sanctions on Russia. The space station should not be immune. It’s time to end our well-intentioned partnership with Russia — even if, as seems almost certain, it would mean the early closing and decommissioning of the space station.

The realpolitik of the International Space Station is that it is not only a symbol of cooperation between us and the Russians, but it also provides a certain amount of diplomatic leverage. The fact is, Russia needs the ISS a lot more than we do.

When the space station began continuous occupancy in 2000, we wanted to learn how to build large structures in space and get experience with lengthy spaceflight. These goals have been accomplished, and now the station is approaching obsolescence, its recently planned life extension to 2030 notwithstanding. With our flourishing commercial space companies, who are already cutting metal on their own future space stations, plus our federal government’s Artemis moon program, the United States is entering a new golden age of space exploration. The Russians, meanwhile, are stuck in the past with antiquated spacecraft and nowhere to go except the ISS.

If we are truly determined to stop Putin’s brutal war, we have to use every lever we’ve got. Unhappily, that includes the space station….

However, a comment from “BilTheGalacticHero” challenges some of Hickam’s facts:

This is a shockingly ignorant and contradictory opinion piece by Homer Hickam. The US commercial spaceflight industry is almost wholly dependent on the ISS for business. No companies are “cutting metal” on commercial space stations. Studies are just now starting. Axiom is creating a module for the ISS but obviously that’s different. On one hand Hickam says we should ditch the station and on the other he says we should keep the station and ditch the Russians. Which is it? Ditching the station is the worst option by far. With proper planning the other ISS partners could operate the station without the Russian segment but that’s not something that can happen overnight. In addition, the Cygness rebost hasn’t happened yet and Cygness alone cannot maintain long term ISS attitude control.

(13) HELLO MY BABY. Saturday Night Live explains why The Princess and the Frog was so bad it ended up on Disney Minus.

(14) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Amber Ruffin says “Marvel’s New Comic Princess Is Racist As Hell”.

Native women have been hyper-sexualized throughout American history, and the consequences have been devastating. Recently, Marvel Comics introduced a new character named Princess Matoaka. Instead of taking the opportunity to show a brave strong Native women, they really let us all down.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Cora Buhlert, John A Arkansawyer, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day David Shallcross.]

48 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/13/22 In Five Years, The Pixel Will Be Obsolete

  1. He springs — First!

    Zelazny is wonderful. I’ve rarely been disappointed by his writing. Well the second set of Amber stories I only read once, but otherwise I’ve pretty much enjoyed everything by him.

  2. (14) It’s standard comic-book female character, meaning as much exposed skin as possible (and an improbable figure) and as little else as they think they can get away with. In short, food for “Escher Girls“.

  3. oh dear

    it’s “in five years, the pixel will be obsolete, said the Glyer

  4. @Cat: If you don’t already have it, the six-volume NESFA Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny is worth every penny.

  5. (1j The Poe Museum is well worth a visit. I was there in 2019 and got to meet both Edgar and Pluto. One of them seemed a bit shy but the other’s ego filled whatever room he was in.

  6. If you want to drink a toast in memory of Roger Zelazny, do it with a glass of wine: a rosé for Ecclesiastes.

  7. 10) After reading the section on Alistair Reynolds, I suddenly realized that he doesn’t have any Hugos or Nebulas. Other authors who are on my “shoudas” list include Paul Park, Lisa Goldstein, R.A. MacAvoy, and Karl Schroeder.

  8. @gottacook: I haven’t read it since I was a kid, but I do remember it–from Worlds of Tomorrow, I think.

  9. (2) VASTER THAN EMPIRES AND MORE SLOW. Robert J. Sawyer greeted the announcement of SFWA’s name change by reminding Facebook readers he’s advocated the idea since 1988:

    As a Canadian, I am as happy as Robert J. Sawyer is about the name change. And I’m happy to see that he is not indisposed. I really thought he might be ill or something considering he hasn’t made any statement, that I’ve seen, about his GOH role in Chengdu where he is to appear with Ukrainophobe and Putin fanboy Sergey Lukyanenko.

  10. (3) UNMET TWAIN. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] Here’s a very good article on Ukraine and Russia and why both countries are different by Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov: “Ukranians Will Never Be Russians” in The Sunday Times.

    One only has to juxtapose scenes of Ukrainians resisting the invading Russians with that of protesters in Moscow or St. Petersburg. There they are easily led away, like sheep, to the police vans. And those are the ‘brave’ ones.

  11. 9) I was fortunate, while Zelazny was alive, to hear him relate both the story of meeting Philip K. Dick at a French sf convention (told as part of his GoH speech at the 1977 Milehicon) and the “The Chicken Effect” speech (at a Bubonicon several years later). Both speeches had his audience gasping with laughter. Zelazny was a wonderful storyteller verbally as well as with the printed word.

    (The Dick anecdote was related, I believe, in the supplemental material in the NESFA multi-volume Zelazny collection. I also wrote a transcript of the story as best I could recall for my own fanzine shortly after that Milehicon.)

    (I don’t think anyone’s ever recreated the “Chicken Effect” speech, though I’ve seen it mentioned now and again. Very rough synopsis, without Zelazny’s delivery skills and mannerisms: Spinning off from the Teela Brown character from Niven’s Ringworld, suppose you took a crate of fertilized chicken eggs, threw it up into the air, and incubated the eggs lucky enough to survive the crash to the ground. Take fertilized eggs from the new generation and repeat the experiment. Do this multiple times, with each generation becoming slightly luckier. Eventually, though, the experiment reaches a dead end, when the eggs become lucky enough that no experimenter can find them to put into the crate.)

    10) entry for Jen Gunnels: “her writers are L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Richard Baker, Kit Reed, Emily Davenport, and F. Paul Wilson.” Emily Devenport, please.

    unrelated) Just had a new short story published: “The Return of Dodge Tombstone, Outlaw” in BLACK CAT WEEKLY #28. If you have a hankering for pulp-style action in the Old West, when a young teen obsessed with “Dodge Tombstone” dime-novels faces a real-life threat to farm and family, I’ve gotcha covered. Available direct from https://bcmystery.com/black-cat-weekly-28-1/ , or at Amazon (B&N page should be up soon).

  12. The Zelazny entry mentions his Hugo for “Unicorn Variations”: I think the genesis of that story is worth mentioning. In the ’80s there was a fad for themed reprint anthologies, and Zelazny at a con heard about three upcoming ones: Unicorns!, one about chess stories called Pawn to Infinity, and Tales From the Spaceport Bar…so he thought to himself, “Why not write a story about a unicorn playing chess in a bar, and sell it to everybody?”

  13. Rob Thornton,

    Iain M. Banks is the first writer who I think of who never won a Hugo or a Nebula, who I think should have. Doubtless more will come to mind once I post this…

  14. PhilRM on says If you don’t already have it, the six-volume NESFA Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny is worth every penny.

    I have them as NESFA sent Green Man them for review. And yes, they’re worth every penny of their cost which isn’t that high considering what you get.

    I never consider the cost of a book too high. You either pay it or don’t. Same for anything tangible. That’s your choice. The most I’ve ever paid fir a book was one hundred and eighty dollars for the Morrow edition of Neverwhere and it was worth every penny of that cost. Brilliant edition.

  15. @David I know that story is mentioned in one of the collections (maybe Unicorn Variations itself) that it appeared in. I was quite impressed by the feat.

    I also had to look up the game and its exact moves afterwards. (just like I did with Brunner’s Squares of the City)

  16. @David Goldfarb: in the intro to “Unicorn Variations” in the collection of the same name, Zelazny credits George R.R. Martin with the suggestion that he write a story involving a unicorn and a chess game set in a bar and sell it to all three editors.

  17. “….and now the station is approaching obsolescence…”
    Whenever I hear this, i always think of how expensive it still is, per pound, to boost anything to orbit, even with the new generatation of reusable boosters. There is NOTHING on that structure that can’t be re-used, and so must be de-orbited and burned up? None of those solar panels will function past the middle or end of the decade? None of those modules couldn’t be re-outfitted with new equipment brought up, or at least be re-used for storage-closet space?

  18. My recollection of the lucky chicken speech, which can hardly be considered reliable at this point, includes two other things. First, that even if you succeeded in killing a lucky chicken, that only meant that you had found one that wasn’t quite as lucky as the others, so you were actually improving the breed. And second, in some manner I can’t remember now, he tied lucky chickens together with science fiction writers who got their stories accepted by editors.

    Also, maybe, something about a professor who graded papers by tossing them down a staircase and seeing how far they went. On the theory that the ones with weighter intellectual content would travel further.

  19. A wonderful Meredith moment is upon us: my favorite Pat Murphy novel, The City, Not Long After, is available from the usual suspects for just a buck ninety nine!

  20. I am proud to have an autographed Zelazny on my last remaining bookshelf. The Amber series is one of the rare family sagas I can relate to.

  21. @Rob Thornton, @Soon Lee: Andre Norton, the first woman to be named a SFWA Grand Master, never won a Hugo or Nebula, an oversight I find a little shocking.

    Reynolds and Banks were, I think, a little handicapped by being British; it took them longer than it should have to build up an American audience, which, unfortunately, is still a major factor with the Hugo and Nebula. But there’s no such excuse with Norton.

  22. Xtifr says Andre Norton, the first woman to be named a SFWA Grand Master, never won a Hugo or Nebula, an oversight I find a little shocking.

    It’s not quite correct to say Norton didn’t win a Nebula as she did get their Grand Master Award, a high honor indeed. And she also got a World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement as well. Not to mention being a member of First Fandom.

    Now listening to The Big Time, the version narrated by Suzanne Toren.

  23. So what’s going on with the birthday list? Excising writers like Hubbard, Hughart, and Purtill would seem to do no one a service.

  24. @Judge Magney–Who gets mentioned in the birthday list gets rotated, not all the same every single year. This has been mentioned before.

    Your use of “excised” suggests you are assuming Motives.

  25. It also serves as a conversation launch-point (it’s a curated list & everyone has a different opinion on who is noteworthy). Frequently people add additional birthdays in comments.

    So what are your favourite works/memories of Hubbard, Hughart, and Purtill?

    I loved the first two of Hughart’s Master Li & Number Ten Ox books. I only know Hubbard on account of Scientology; I tried to read Battlefield Earth but failed. Richard Purtill (had to look it up) is completely new to me.

  26. Judge Magney: Jeeze, Judge, haven’t we been making enough ordinary mistakes lately to give you something to complain about that now you have to make stuff up? Back to your courtroom.

  27. Soon Lee: I even owned a copy of Richard Purtill’s Murdercon, belonging to that sub-sub-genre of novels set at science fiction conventions. Oddly, the Internet Science Fiction Database classifies it as non-genre though it was reviewed by Terry Carr for Science Fiction Review and Tom Easton for Analog, among others.

  28. Re: Hubbard

    As a young lad, I tried Battlefield Earth and bounced SO hard that I should have escaped Earth’s gravity well.

  29. @Bruce Arthurs: I was probably still in high school at the time, but that speech must have made an impression on everyone who heard it. It’s a pity there isn’t a transcript, even though the delivery was half the fun.

  30. Judge Magney says So what’s going on with the birthday list? Excising writers like Hubbard, Hughart, and Purtill would seem to do no one a service.

    Don’t recognise Hughart and Purtill, but I wrote Hubbard for his Birthday recently and there was quite a conversation around his pulp stories if my memory serves me right.

    Judge, I and I alone get to decide who gets written up here. My list, my choices. I do consult Mike on if we should include the more controversial individuals and the answer is always NO! Hubbard isn’t that controversial in my opinion as most of his fiction was just pulp fiction.

  31. Rob Thornton says As a young lad, I tried Battlefield Earth and bounced SO hard that I should have escaped Earth’s gravity well.

    It really is a neusea inducing bad novel. If it was the only thing he ever wrote, I would never have written him up for a Birthday but I actually like his other writings.

  32. mike – a) i felt it’d be a better version of the line, but as far as I’m aware you don’t like to repeat titles and thus that version will likely go forever unused, b) that said, ‘oh dear’ is a bit of an overreaction on my part, granted.

  33. Not to suggest what you should do with your list that you obviously work extremely hard on, just to say if you aren’t familiar with Barry Hughart’s work, he was a wonderful writer, and the Number 10 Ox books are truly magical.

  34. @ Soon Lee

    Agree with rochrist. You should definitely give Hughart a try. Start with “Bridge of Birds”.

    Funny that this comes up. Last weekend, I bought a paperback edition of Bridge of Birds from a local Barnes and Noble. I was going through the stacks, mostly out of habit than anything else, when this old-style paperback book was staring up at me from a shelf of huge trade paperbacks. I felt like I had to rescue this lost little book, which really belonged on a old-school wire carosel instead of where it was, and take it home. So I did.

  35. rochrist: I’m sure I read a Number 10 Ox book decades ago while on jury duty. Perhaps it was the first one, because I didn’t chase down a series after I read it. I’m overdue to catch up!

  36. I always say that Bridge of Birds is the best humorous fantasy not written by Terry Pratchett (and even that qualification is tentative). Really, I can’t recommend it too much

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