Pixel Scroll 3/13/23 I’m Gonna Send You Back To Wherever The Hell It Was You Came, And Then I’m Gonna Get This Pixel Scrolled To Another File’s Name

(1) OSCARS IN MEMORIAM VIDEO. The 95th Oscars In Memoriam tribute aired last night included Albert Brenner, Robbie Coltrane, Kirstie Alley, Gregory Jein, Christopher Tucker, Nichelle Nichols, Clayton Pinney, Angela Lansbury, Wolfgang Petersen, Carl Bell, James Caan, and Raquel Welch, and doubtless many more who worked on genre films at some time in their careers.

(2) THEY’LL MEET AGAIN. “Ke Huy Quan, Harrison Ford get Indiana Jones reunion at Oscars”. “Indy and Short Round were together again on Hollywood’s biggest night. How could you not cry?” asks Entertainment Weekly. Photos at the link.

… Meanwhile, both Quan and Ford are set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the near future, with Quan playing an as-yet-undisclosed role in Loki season 2 and Ford taking over the role of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross in Captain America: New World Order and Thunderbolts. That means there’s a possibility viewers could see them together on screen again.

“It would be freakin’ awesome if we get to do one scene together,” Quan told EW about the possibility….

(3) LE GUIN REVISIONS. Speaking of changing the texts of authors who are late: Theo Downes-Le Guin explains “Why I Decided to Update the Language in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Children’s Books” at Literary Hub.

In a 1973 letter to the editor of The Horn Book Magazinemy mother, Ursula K. Le Guin, took Roald Dahl’s books to task. While acknowledging her own “feelings of unease” about Dahl’s work, she remarked that “…kids are very tough. What they find for themselves they should be able to read for themselves.” I had this in mind as I read about wording changes in new editions of Dahl.

As Ursula’s literary executor, I recently faced a similar decision. My mother, known for her young adult and adult novels, also wrote several children’s books. A multigenerational fan base has kept her Catwings books in print in the US since the 1980s. I was excited to move the books to a new publisher last year.

As we began work on the new editions, I received an unexpected note from the editor: “I’m writing to propose several minor changes to the language… to remove words that now have a different connotation than when the books were originally published.” The words in question were “lame,” “queer,” “dumb,” and “stupid,” a total of seven instances across three books.

… After deep breaths, and with Ursula’s own revisionism in mind, I contacted a disability rights attorney, a youth literature consultant, a racial educator, and some kids. My advisory group leaned toward change but was not in consensus. I genuinely didn’t know what my mother would have decided. But she left me a clue: a note over her desk asking, “Is it true? Is it necessary or at least useful? Is it compassionate or at least unharmful?”…

(4) SMALL WONDER POSTS STORIES. The Small Wonders Magazine: Year One Kickstarter has reached the half-funded point (of their $16,500 goal). Therefore, this week they’re releasing new pieces on the schedule they will follow when the flash fiction and poetry magazine commences publishing.

Monday they published Wendy Nikel’s new story, “The Watching Astronaut”. Wednesday they will publish “The Empress Chides the Hermit,” a new poem from Ali Trotta, and Friday they will release Charles Payseur’s “A Lumberjack’s Guide to Dryad Spotting.”

(5) HORROR WRITER’S GENESIS. With “Women in Horror: Interview with Jo Kaplan”, the Horror Writers Association blog continues its theme for March.

What inspired you to start writing?

When I was a child of the ‘90s, I was obsessed with the Goosebumps books—and before I even really knew how to write, I wanted to make my own stories emulating them. So, at about six years old, I would create my own versions of Goosebumps by coming up with a title for a story, drawing a cover, and then scribbling over a bunch of paper in imitation of writing. Then I would staple it all together into a book and “read” it to people—but since it was just scribbles, I would make up the story anew each time. I guess this was my proto-writing phase, because the itch to tell stories has never left me.

(6) ATWOOD ON BBC RADIO. This weekend’s Open Book on BBC Radio 4 features Margret Atwood.

She has a new collection of shorts out that includes an article she did for Inque magazine imagining her interviews George Orwell. She also spoke to the importance of writers supporting young reader as without young readers there will be no old readers.

Johny Pitts talks to the giant of contemporary literature Margaret Atwood about returning to short fiction following the death of her husband Graeme, imagining the future and what she would say to George Orwell.

Margaret Atwood

(7) RACHEL POLLACK. There was a premature report in social media that Rachel Pollack had died, however, she was still alive today. Carrie Loveland posted this status on Facebook and asked that it be shared.

…Spoke to Rachel Pollack’s wife, Judith Zoe Matoff, just now and she asked me to please post on her behalf that RACHEL IS STILL ALIVE. I think Neil Gaiman’s social media post yesterday caused some confusion and some people have misinterpreted it. Zoe said that she is “transitioning,” but she is still alive in home hospice….

(8) SUZY MCKEE CHARNAS. The passing of author Suzy McKee Charnas in January was reported by media at the time. However, you might be interested in the extended obituary notice published today in “Shelf Awareness for Monday, March 13, 2023”.

… “Suzy, to me, was a lot like David Bowie,” said Jane Lindskold, a science fiction and fantasy writer who knew Charnas from a writers’ group in Albuquerque, N.Mex. “She followed her own muse. She could have just written only vampire books, but she did what she wanted to do.”…

(9) SANDRA LEVY OBITUARY. Longtime Windycon attendee and volunteer Sandy Levy died this morning from ALS Steven H Silver reported on Facebook.

Sandy was also involved in Capricon and the two most recent Chicons, as well as other conventions.

In 2019, when Sandy retired from her job as a librarian at the University of Chicago, a commemorative book of articles was published in her honor. [“In Honor of Sandra Levy: festschrift”.]  

The Chicon 8 Facebook page invited people to post their memories. Chair Helen Montgomery wrote:

Sandy was one of the best people. She had been involved with Chicago fandom for a very long time. She was on the Bid Committees for both Chicon 7 and Chicon 8. She was so generous with her time and such an important part of our team. Many of you would have spoken to her at our fan tables or parties.

She loved working the Info Desk – everyone got to stop by and say hi to her, and she loved welcoming new fans to the community at conventions. She was Chicon 8’s pre-con Info Desk person, responding to many of your emailed questions until her ALS reached the point where she could no longer do so.

She was not able to attend Chicon 8, but I (Helen) got to go see her two weeks later. We hung out in the garden of her apartment building, and I was able to present her Hero of the Convention medal to her in person, and I am so glad I could do that.

She was a warm, funny, smart, and joyous person. I/We have no words to express how much she will be missed.


2016[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

Our Beginning this Scroll is Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station which was published seven years ago by Tachyon. It won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award as well as the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award and the Xingyun Award. 

I’ve really enjoyed pretty much everything Tidhar has done with the Bookman series with its riff with an alternate Britain being my favorite and the Unholy Land with its take on a Jewish home land that never was being absolutely fascinating. 

Central Station, without giving away anything that’s not in the Beginning, is well-worth your time to read if you like SF set in a believable future that’s both familiar and alien at the same time. 

Oh, and it has a sequel in Neom which is also published by Tachyon. It too is brilliantly executed.

So now our Beginning… 


I came first to Central Station on a day in winter. African refugees sat on the green, expressionless. They were waiting, but for what, I didn’t know. Outside a butchery, two Filipino children played at being airplanes: arms spread wide they zoomed and circled, firing from imaginary under-wing machine guns. Behind the butcher’s counter, a Filipino man was hitting a ribcage with his cleaver, separating meat and bones into individual chops. A little farther from it stood the Rosh Ha’ir shawarma stand, twice blown up by suicide bombers in the past but open for business as usual. The smell of lamb fat and cumin wafted across the noisy street and made me hungry.

Traffic lights blinked green, yellow, and red. Across the road a furniture store sprawled out onto the pavement in a profusion of garish sofas and chairs. A small gaggle of junkies sat on the burnt foundations of what had been the old bus station, chatting. I wore dark shades. The sun was high in the sky and though it was cold it was a Mediterranean winter, bright and at that moment dry. 

I walked down the Neve Sha’anan pedestrian street. I found shelter in a small shebeen, a few wooden tables and chairs, a small counter serving Maccabee Beer and little else. A Nigerian man behind the counter regarded me without expression. I asked for a beer. I sat down and brought out my notebook and a pen and stared at the page. 

Central Station, Tel Aviv. The present. Or a present. Another attack on Gaza, elections coming up, down south in the Arava desert they were building a massive separation wall to stop the refugees from coming in. The refugees were in Tel Aviv now, centred around the old bus station neighbourhood in the south of the city, some quarter million of them and the economic migrants here on sufferance, the Thai and Filipinos and Chinese. I sipped my beer. It was bad. I stared at the page. Rain fell.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 13, 1931 Richard Lawrence Purtill. He’s here as the author of Murdercon, a 1982 novel where a murder is discovered at a SF Convention. I’ve not heard of it but was wondering if y’all had heard of this work. (Died 2016.)
  • Born March 13, 1950 William H. Macy Jr., 73. I’ll start his Birthday note by recalling that he was in the superb Pleasantville as George Parker. He’s shown up in a lot of genre works including but limited to Somewhere in Time, EvolverThe Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the RescueThe Night of the Headless HorsemanJurassic Park IIISahara and The Tale of Despereaux.
  • Born March 13, 1951 William F. Wu, 72. 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, 67. 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.
  • Born March 13, 1966 Alastair Reynolds, 57. As depressing as they are given what they lead up to, the Prefect Dreyfus novels are my favorite novels by him. (The third is out this autumn.) That said, Chasm City is fascinating. His next novel in the Revelation Space series, Inhibitor Phase, came out in 2022. 
  • Born March 13, 1967 Lou Anders, 56. A Hugo-winning editor. He’s has been editorial director of Prometheus Books’ SF imprint Pyr since its launch fifteen years ago. He’s a crack editor of anthologies. I’ve very fond of his Live Without a Net, Sideways in Time and FutureShocks anthologies. I note that he has a fantasy trilogy, Thrones and Bones, but I’ve not heard of it til now. 
  • Born March 13, 1968 Jen Gunnels, 55. 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


  • Barney & Clyde shows elementary school students with mature literary opinions.

(13) VI SCREAM, YOU SCREAM. The Hollywood Reporter checked the bottom line and learned, “Scream VI scared up a franchise-best $44.5 million opening from 3,675 theaters at the domestic box office, easily enough to win Oscar weekend.” 

(14) VONNEGUT AS FICTIONAL CHARACTER. Variety has learned “Oscar Isaac in Talks to Play Kurt Vonnegut in Amazon’s ‘Helltown’”.

According to the logline, the hour-long, 8-episode crime thriller follows the life of Kurt Vonnegut before he became known to the world as a renowned author. Per Amazon, “In 1969 Kurt was a struggling novelist and car salesman living life with his wife and five children on Cape Cod. When two women disappear and are later discovered murdered underneath the sand dunes on the outskirts of Provincetown, Kurt becomes obsessed and embroiled in the chilling hunt for a serial killer and forms a dangerous bond with the prime suspect.”

Based on the book of the same name written by Casey Sherman, the series comes from “Severance” co-EP Mohamad El Masri, who will also serve as showrunner and writer. “All Quiet on the Western Front” director Ed Berger will helm the series and executive produce….

(15) TODAY’S THING TO WORRY ABOUT. From Fox News: “Giant blob of seaweed twice the width of US taking aim at Florida, scientists say (msn.com) Yes, but is it a howling giant blob of seaweed, pace “Cordwainer Bird’s” script for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea?

Drifting between the Atlantic coast of Africa and the Gulf of Mexico, the thick mat of algae can provide a habitat for marine life and absorb carbon dioxide. 

However, the giant bloom can have disastrous consequences as it gets closer to the shore. Coral, for instance, can be deprived of sunlight. As the seaweed decomposes it can release hydrogen sulfide, negatively impact the air and water and causing respiratory problems for people in the surrounding area. 

“What we’re seeing in the satellite imagery does not bode well for a clean beach year,” Brian LaPointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute told NBC News…. 

(16) FLATIRON GOING UNDER THE HAMMER. “The famous Flatiron Building to go up for auction” reports MSN.com. It formerly housed Tor’s editorial offices before the publisher moved out several years ago.

As the result of an ongoing disagreement among the current owners of an iconic Manhattan building, the property will soon be available to the highest bidder.

The 121-year-old Flatiron Building, which is currently empty, will hit the auction block in what is known as a partition sale on March 22 — stemming from a ruling in the contentious legal fight between its multiple landlords.

In January, a New York state judge issued an order allowing the auction to move forward following a 2021 suit by Sorgente Group, Jeffrey Gural’s GFP Real Estate and ABS Real Estate Partners, who together own 75% of the building, the Real Deal first reported.

The co-owners sued after reaching a stalemate with Nathan Silverstein, who owns 25% of the steel-framed 175 Fifth Ave. building, which was completed in 1902 and is the namesake for the surrounding neighborhood….

(17) RANDALL MUNROE ON RADIO. [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] The Museum of Curiosity on BBC Radio 4 this weekend featured the Hugo Award winner Randall Munroe. He said that one of the most interesting questions he’d been asked is what would happen if the Solar System was filled up with soup to the orbit of Jupiter. (The answer, of course, is the formation of a black hole.) “The Museum of Curiosity, Series 17, Episode 3”.

(18) IT’S THE WATER – AND A LOT MORE. The Little Mermaid comes to theatres on May 26.

“The Little Mermaid” is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s daughters and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and, while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy.

(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Someone has said that RRR is “alternate history” — not that an excuse is really needed to post this Oscar-winning song:

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Joyce Scrivner, Jayn, Stephen Granade, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day MF.]

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46 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/13/23 I’m Gonna Send You Back To Wherever The Hell It Was You Came, And Then I’m Gonna Get This Pixel Scrolled To Another File’s Name

  1. (11) Century Rain is the first Reynolds I read and it led me to read many more.

  2. (3) LeGuin revisions: no. Changing the language of the book – what next, all older literature? Shakespeare? Mark Twain? And doing so means that children would be unable to understand, say, 19th and a lot of 20th century writing as much as the would Chaucer. Explain the definition of the word when it was written, and go on.
    (15) Well, there’s only one thing to do: calling Mr. Bunny, B. Bunny. Please come to the north end of Florida with your saw.

  3. Andrew (not Werdna) says Century Rain is the first Reynolds I read and it led me to read many more.

    Thanks for reminding me of that splendid work. Century Rain is one of his odder works but well-worth reading.

  4. Moving! On the iconic date of April 15th.

    To a much more accessible building.

    My current landlord, after asking if everything was okay, said both he and the handyman knew I’d been struggling with the dread staircase (that has features that wouldn’t survive a serious code inspection), and congratulated me on getting into an accessible building. He also said he’d been waiting for one of his few first floor apartments to become available for me, but no one in those apartments is moving.

    Saw the apartment this morning. Then bought food and filled the gas tank before the start of this week’s storm, which is expected to be bad even in the places that won’t get much accumulation.

    Yes, I’m kind of babbling. Tired. Achy. Can’t concentrate to read.

  5. So in the last eight days, I avidly consumed five Mary Robinette Kowal books. I think that’s all her SF. Should I read her other books now, or move on to something else?

  6. (11) Murdercon was fun. Dick Purtill also led, along with Mildred Downey “Bubbles” Broxon, a small group Writer’s Tour of Greece in 1985 (I went). Dick knew a lot about ancient Greece and was a great tour lecturer and quite professorial (well, he was an actual professor, too).

  7. 3) Okay, I understand the first three, but what’s wrong with ‘stupid’ in the right context? And what am I supposed to use instead?

  8. John A Arkansawyer says So in the last eight days, I avidly consumed five Mary Robinette Kowal books. I think that’s all her SF. Should I read her other books now, or move on to something else?

    There are actually seven novels by her, five in the Glamourist History series, plus The Spare Man and Ghost Talkers.

  9. @mark
    Some of it is due to changes in language since they were first published. which can be fixed. (D Duane fixed her “Wizard” books because of that.)

  10. John A Arkansawyer say to me I didn’t know the Glamourist History books were SF! I’m going to reserve the first one at the library now. In fact, I just did. She’s got Voice.

    I’m using the broader sense of genre here. If I tried to figure out what was SF snd what isn’t, I’d get tangled up in, well, in something but I don’tknow what but it’d be messy.

  11. Richard Purtill also wrote insightful fantasy criticism. See his LORD OF THE ELVES AND ELDILS: FANTASY AND PHILOSOPHY IN C.S. LEWIS AND JR.R. TOLKIEN.

  12. 3) I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I figured out that words can have more than one meaning, and that older books sometimes use them in different ways, but it was probably sometime in grade school. We aren’t giving younger readers enough credit.

  13. (14) I had been looking forward to seeing the promised adaptation of Mark Vonnegut’s fictionalized autobiography EDEN EXPRESS. Does anyone know if that came and went, is still coming, or is dead in the water?

  14. Richard Purtill also had a set of three books inspired by Greek myth published by DAW (The Golden Gryphon Feather, The Stolen Goddess, The Mirror of Helen; overall title The Kapthu Trilogy though they can be read independently) between 1979-1983. As I recall, our friend Anne Braude held them in fairly high regard. Unfortunately they didn’t sell well enough to continue from DAW.

    It wasn’t until I check ISFDB just now that I learned Purtill did another three fantasy books set in the Kapthu universe, published 2005-2008 by AuthorHouse. (Which meant Purtill probably paid a lot of money to AH, a “self-publishing” service that pressured a lot of clients into paying for expensive additional services, and probably never got all that much back.)

  15. @cat There are actually seven novels by her, five in the Glamourist History series, plus The Spare Man and Ghost Talkers.

    You’re missing the three Lady Astronaut novels which are most assuredly science fiction.

  16. Quick show of hands for how many people currently denouncing editing the language in books for children have made anything like the same amount of fuss about straight-up book bans in schools and libraries?

  17. (Quick show of hands for how many of you live in a US state where they’re passing laws that will kill trans kids and have lifted a single finger to prevent it)

  18. (3) I admire a lot of things about Le Guin and her work, but especially notable is her public revision of Is Gender Necessary?. That’s why I got a second copy of The Language of the Night.

    @ mark
    Shakespeare isn’t next – directors have been making small changes to the language to assist audience understanding for years. I dislike this, and prefer the practice of using surtitles, like those one sees at the opera. On the one hand, the plays are over 400 years old and some language has dated badly. On the other hand, I find that, when seeing a play, the language goes through me like music, and an understanding of every single word isn’t necessary (even though understanding every word adds to my enjoyment). Here’s a linguistic change: in Shakespeare’s day, one went to “hear a play”.

    @ Sophie Jane
    More noise about book bans would be excellent.

  19. I cover a lot more book ban and censorship news than book revision news. Should I raise my hand?

  20. ArbysMom: That’s very good to know. (With my bad hearing I hadn’t tried to listen. I experience most videos via closed captioning, or the adventuresome YouTube computerized captions.)

  21. rochrist says You’re missing the three Lady Astronaut novels which are most assuredly science fiction.

    No, no. Those are history. Just not our history. Somewhere in the multiverse, they actually happened. That’s my belief and I’m sticking with it.

  22. No, no. Those are history. Just not our history. Somewhere in the multiverse, they actually happened. That’s my belief and I’m sticking with it.

    I get that. She’s a very convincing writer, even when I think she’s palming a card. That’s what I mean when I say she’s got Voice. She’s compelling.

    The other thing I’ve noticed is that it seems to me all her books I’ve read so far–those three, Ghost Talkers, and The Spare Man–are about marriage, in the good way. For that reason, given what little I know about them, I’m looking forward to the Glamourist History books.

  23. @mike

    I’d say your approach is closer to the American idea of journalistic objectivity, which I can respect even if I don’t wholly believe in it.

    I find the current editing discourse frustrating because given its origins in the right wing press it seems to me to be an exercise in “maybe conservatives want to eliminate LGBTQ+ people as even an abstract concept but progressives think it’s a bad idea to make fun of people’s disabilities”. Which, as couple of the abstract concepts to be eliminated, fails to delight me

  24. Sophie Jane:

    “Quick show of hands for how many people currently denouncing editing the language in books for children have made anything like the same amount of fuss about straight-up book bans in schools and libraries?”

    I think there’s only been one case of the latter here in Sweden, but I think more or less everyone went mad over it. The responsible party has been kicked out from that municipality now. So my guess is that I have been more critical of editing books. I would prefer they went out of fashion instead when the author died. And to have copyright laws reformed so new authors can write new versions.

  25. Housekeeping note: File 770 was down for several hours because I needed to update a DNS address at Cloudflare.

    The behind-the-scenes change occurred March 1 however there was no interruption in site visibility until today — so I had (mistakenly) decided Cloudflare must have stored the change somewhere besides my control panel.

    It was a very easy fix once it was explained to me.

  26. 3.) Four words. Seven instances across three books. That does not seem like a horrendously awful degree of change, especially when performed by the literary trustee and son of the author.

    Some people consider publication to be the equivalent of engraved on stone tablets. They tend to forget that even early luminaries in the field would go back and make tweaks, adaptations, updates, etc to their work. My objection is to massive and obnoxious changes that significantly affect the tone of the work.

    As a former middle school teacher, let me tell you this–it can be a right royal pain to deal with certain words that have acquired a less-than-positive tone in current usage. It really depends on the cohort of students that year whether it can be dealt with in a positive educational manner or if it becomes a significant distraction that means the particular book is put aside because it’s become too difficult to teach to a problematic class.

    Furthermore, am I the only one here who grew up around Reader’s Digest Condensed Books and/or Reader’s Digest Condensed Books for Young Readers? Who would look up the non-abridged version to see what was changed/omitted? Boy howdy, some of the modern-day yelpers about “cancel culture” and “changing our heritage” would have a field day about those versions! Remember the outcry about those–oh wait, there WAS no outcry.

    Fact is, abridged/condensed/adapted versions of books for young readers is NOT a new thing. It’s pretty common, as any teacher of k-8 could tell you. And there was as much ideology driving those adaptations in earlier days as there is now. We just have the howling monkeys on the fringes who want to blow it up as part of being “cancel culture.”

    (PS. My introduction to Shakespeare came from reading them recast in story form, in a small book from Scholastic. Didn’t defray my interest in reading the originals later. So there.)

  27. @Jan-Erik Zandersson–

    (3) He’s wrong.

    Well, of course you’d know better about what Ursula Le Guin would want or approve of, than her son and literary executor, no question.

    @Sophie Jane–I live in a state where we aren’t trying to endanger or kill trans kids or adults, or ban books in schools or public libraries, and where we don’t have meltdowns at the idea of drag queen story hour. We’re not trying to outlaw medical care for anyone.

    And, it’s not happening because we don’t elect politicians like that.

    We’re frequently appalled by what gets elected in other states.

    What about your state?

  28. Included in the on-air In Memorium list from the Oscars is someone with very strong genre credentials. Gregory Jein. Greg was a friend for over 50 years, was involved with conventions, and was the model builder of countless vehicles, props, robots, etc. for movies and television. Most notably perhaps, the Mother Ship from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

  29. @Joyce Reynolds-Ward
    I know that one of the stories I read when I was pre-teen was sanitized then (they removed the bits about alcohol consumption). I assume others were, also. I only found out because I found the original version.

  30. Writers often rewrite their works as James Stoddard noted in the preface to the latest edition of The False House, the second book of his Evenmere trilogy: “Every writer occasionally gets the urge to tinker with one of his older works. In the case of this book, I felt justified in doing so. When I originally wrote it, I was under contract to deliver the manuscript by a specific deadline, and as a result have always thought it needed more time for refinement. This version is my attempt to do so. For those who have read and liked its previous incarnation, I can only hope the new edition will fare as well. Little has been changed as far as the general plot, though much has been rearranged in the details, particularly in the later chapters; and at least one character has been given a greater role. Overall, I, at least, am more happy with it now.”

  31. @Joyce Reynolds-Ward: “Furthermore, am I the only one here who grew up around Reader’s Digest Condensed Books and/or Reader’s Digest Condensed Books for Young Readers? Who would look up the non-abridged version to see what was changed/omitted?”

    There were a number of RD Condensed Books I read, back in the day, and then went on to read the unabridged version (sometimes years later). Among them: THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX (Elleston Trevor), THE MAN (Irving Wallace), MISS ONE THOUSAND SPRING BLOSSOMS (John Ball), UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE (Bel Kaufman), and TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY (John Steinbeck).

    (The condensed Steinbeck actually appeared in RD magazine, not in the bound volumes, but I’ve always remembered it because it was such a drastically cut book. Once you subtracted the ads on the magazine pages, there was about 8 or 10 pages worth from the book. The actual book was a lot more enjoyable and interesting.)

    Side note: Looking over the list of RDCBs on Wikipedia, I noticed a fair number of undeniably science-fiction books among the offerings: TOMORROW! (Philip Wylie), THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (Shirley Jackson), A FALL OF MOONDUST (Arthur C. Clarke), TIME AND AGAIN (Jack Finney), THE TERMINAL MAN (Michael Crichton), THE STEPFORD WIVES (Ira Levin), MALEVIL (Robert Merle), and widely scattered others.

    (My wife Hilde read MALEVIL first in the Condensed Books version, and enjoyed it enough to seek out the much larger unabridged novel… which she found extremely verbose, unpleasant, and unreadable. So, MALEVIL, possibly an instance of a RD condensation being the better version.)

  32. @Sophie Jane–I live in a state where we aren’t trying to endanger or kill trans kids or adults, or ban books in schools or public libraries, and where we don’t have meltdowns at the idea of drag queen story hour. We’re not trying to outlaw medical care for anyone.
    And, it’s not happening because we don’t elect politicians like that.
    We’re frequently appalled by what gets elected in other states.
    What about your state?

    Some people consider publication to be the equivalent of engraved on stone tablets.

    Sorry, there’s some absolutist binary thinking stuck in my throat…

  33. 3) I think I’m on the record as being generally opposed to these kinds of changes, but I don’t think that record adequately documents my perspective. It’s complicated.

    The LeGuin edits seem to be minor and performed by someone with a personal connection to LeGuin that informed the suitability of the edits. I doubt the changes will change the tone of the books. I don’t have any huge issues with them.

    The changes to the Agatha Christie book title were needed and at least partially informed by the author, so again, OK.

    Dahl himself modified the basis of the Oompa Loompas. I would argue that the change didn’t really modify the tone of the book. So again, not a big deal.

    The recent changes to Dahl’s works are (mostly) significant adjustments that fully impact the tone and messages of those books. Which is where it crosses my personal line.

    If a 50-year-old book experiences declining sales (and eventually goes out of print) because the culture has shifted, then I think it would be better for people to discover new “classics” rather than turn old works into some sort of Frankenstein that lose what made them classics in the first place. The reverse of that is if a book experiences enough sales to justify keeping it in print, then I’d generally lean against the trend of editing to fit the supposed ideals of modern culture.

    I read a worn copy of “Little Black Sambo” a long, long, long time ago and don’t regret that it isn’t widely available today. (checked – it is probably still in print. I haven’t seen a copy in a bookstore or library as an adult. Again, a long, long, long time.)

    When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser – Someone ~2008

  34. I find myself in agreement with Dann, mostly, at least as far as thinking that I don’t think I have an absolute stance on this issue. That actually manages to manifest itself directly with the Le Guin changes, oddly. None of them are needed to avoid anachronism (like you would get if you changed what Twain had Huck call Jim, for example), so it comes down to the terms themselves, assuming an author not inclined to offense:

    “Lame” is now offensive to those to whom it would apply and has no polite uses these days outside of veterinary circumstances.
    “Queer” has now been reclaimed by those whom it use to offend and still has other, legitimate meanings.
    “Dumb” is offensive to the mute or non-speaking but does have legitimate other meanings (see below), so it depends on the context in the work.
    “Stupid” may be offensive, but only to those in dire need of being offended. Examples abound.

    In short, the Le Guin changes strike me as well-intentioned but in need of a more coherent philosophy to guide them.

  35. RE Sophie Jane:
    I LIFTED A FINGER, SWUNG AN AXE, AND LET THEM HAVE IT BETWEEN THE EYES when they try to take away rights from American Citizens for healthcare or any other reason (Transgender or otherwise). The fact these misbegotten politicians are targeting kids is appalling, as without supportive care, they have no psychological support, and are forced by their own bodies to go through puberty resulting in a body that they will later have to get, if male to female, a tracheal shave, electrolysis, and numerous other procedures that will still leave them less well adapted, even if they get the genital surgery. For female to male, forcing them to endure the growth of breasts which will later have to be removed, leaving sometimes substantial scars, the widening of the hips, which makes it harder to adapt, and the worst, having periods when they know they shouldn’t have to have them, all is designed by the lawmakers, not to save kids from themselves, or prevent unwanted surgery (which doesn’t happen until they’re over 18 and legally anyway, have gone through intense psychological exams to be sure there are no underlying psychological issues, and can make their own decisions by the standards of care established by the medical and psychological professions) BUT TO PUNISH THEM FOR EXISTING AND MAKE IT FAR EASIER FOR THEM TO COMMIT SUICIDE THAN TO CONTINUE LIVING! This is about the most reprehensible legislation to have come about in the last 50 years. (I’ve studied this issue in my college years in the 1970’s and on).

    The worst thing to come of this, if they succeed, is that they will not stop there. They will target other groups for elimination using the same tactics (which, in this case are pretty close to what Black people went through in the 1930’s-1960’s) with regard to refusing the use of “white’s only” bathrooms, denial of health care (“whites only” hospitals, etc.) If no one stands up to it, then any one of us may be next! (imagine, SF or Fantasy writer = subversive! We have to eliminate them!)

    Same prejudices, different times. Sadly, there are a lot of people falling for it.

    We have to be the voices for those who are helpless in this matter!

    With regard to changing words around, Shakespeare did it to his own works, tweaking them, updating them, improving them. Various folios came out after his death, these were further changed by editions from Oxford University, Cambridge University, the Folger editions, Charles and Mary Lamb (a children’s simple telling of the stories) and on to be morphed into “West Side Story,” among many other plays and films.

    I’m currently editing a book at the behest of my editor, so you’re not getting the original story I wrote, and that’s before it even comes out!

    With regard to removing books from libraries (if they want to eliminate one of the biggest offenders, full of murder, rape, unorthodox sexual practices, and other offending material, they would do well to burn the Bible!)

    Ambros Bierce, in his “Devil’s Dictionary,” wrote: “CENSOR, n. An officer of certain governments, employed to suppress the works of genius. Among the Romans the censor was an inspector of public morals, but the public morals of modern nations will not bear inspection.

    The only constant is change!

  36. @JeffWarner–

    We’re frequently appalled by what gets elected in other states.
    What about your state?

    You quoted most if not all of my post, without attribution, but apparently with some point. I’m just a little confused what it is.

    I was responding to Sophie Jane’s rather confrontational comment, not issuing a general combative demand that everyone not me justify themselves.

    The mention of Vermont especially puzzles me. It’s not where I live. Is it where you live? What was your point?

  37. Lis,
    My apologies. Your statement was succinct and complete enough that i couldn’t add anything more… so i stole it. That i was agreeing and echoing your sentiment was not made clear on my part. Again, my apologies.
    Sophie Jane seems to be missing the important point that many people in Blue States are helpless to change the results of elections in Red States. There are now places in the United States that i as a native-born American don’t feel safe despite my ability to “Pass”. Indeed, Passing may make the punishment for being found out even worse. So i hide out in Vermont, limit my travel to blue areas, and of my country i sadly quote Lin YuTang: “When Small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.”

  38. @JeffWarner–I wholeheartedly agree. There are places in this country I just do not want to visit, or travel through, again. Not for a long time, anyway, because if they are going to change, well, it’s not going to happen next week.

  39. @LisCarey, @JeffWarner, I completely agree with both of you. We have cancelled travel plans to various places because (besides assorted old people aches and pains) we just don’t want to give money to certain areas. Florida is off the list, for example, and that’s just the start of it.

    Between unsafe areas and Covid exposures, I’m looking very hard at increasing my virtual participation and doing what I can to promote virtual activities. While virtual activities started as a safety response for Covid, I think they also need to become a tool to keep marginalized people and those who support them safe.

    (Then again, the way things are going, about half of us are going to end up being marginalized due to reproductive status or lack thereof soon enough. And once more I keep muttering “my books are supposed to be a cautionary tale, not the actual thing, damn it!”)

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