Pixel Scroll 3/17/18 Several Species Of Small Furry Filers Gathered Together In A Scroll And Grooving With A Pixel

(1) DISNEY EXTRACTS HAND FROM COOKIE JAR. Design Taxi reports “Disney Redesigns ‘Star Wars’ Posters After Getting Called Out For Plagiarism”.

Disney has unveiled a new set of posters for the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story after its previous artworks were called out by a French artist for plagiarism.

In this redesigned collection, Disney has amended the graphics whilst sticking to a similar color scheme.

Each character remains paired with a unique color. For instance, ‘Han’ is matched with an orange-red aesthetic, ‘Lando’ gets a blue hue, while ‘Q’ira’ receives a pink-purple scheme.


(2) SCRYING THE CRYSTAL CLARKE. Ian Mond takes his shot at predicting the Clarke Award shortlist in “Brief Thoughts on the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2018 Submissions List” at The Hysterical Hamster.

Mark Hepworth did the same in a comment here on File 770.

(3) MANO-A-MANO. Steven Barnes, while speculating about which characters will get killed off in the next Avengers movie, added an interesting cultural critique of the martial arts in Black Panther.

this is petty, and a trivial objection, but another missed opportunity was the battle between T’Challa and Killmonger during the ceremony. It relates to a complaint I had about Civil War (which I loved). This is from a life-long martial artist’s perspective, so I’m only partially serious. The problem is this: BP fought like everyone else in Civil War, and his technique looked very Asian. Korean in the kicks. Not what the Prince of Wakanda would use, because African arts are as lethal. But in BP, both T’Challa and Killmonger fought pretty much the same. I find it difficult to believe that Killmonger, never having been in Wakanda, would fight with techniques that look as if he had been trained by the same people who trained T’Challa. They could have had a fascinating clash of styles. But that is really nit-picking.

(4) PANTHER POLITICAL ANALYSIS. At Blog of the APA: In “Black Issues in Philosophy: A Conversation on The Black Panther”, Greg Doukas and Lewis Gordon discuss the politics and ethics of leading characters in the movie.

GREG DOUKAS: I am thoroughly perplexed by the reaction exhibited in some of my friends and colleagues, whose ideas I otherwise ordinarily agree with. The proposition they raise, and which I’ve been troubled by, is this: Over the duration of the film, our hero T’Challa [the Black Panther] makes a transformation from a nativist into a character representing a liberal politics of amelioration and liberalism more generally, while his nemesis Killmonger emerges as a distinctly Fanonian character in his own politics by presenting a radical critique of colonialism and racism. 

LEWIS GORDON: This is far from the case. First, Killmonger is not Fanonian. He is a tyrant. Fanon believed in radical democracy.  Wakanda is clearly a republic and possibly a constitutional monarchy in which each member of the society contributes as counsel and skilled citizen. It’s clearly a city-state or what in ancient Greek is called a polis, in which politeia (the thriving of citizens through activities cultivated by such a social space) is expected to occur. Killmonger is more like the case studies of colonial disorders in the later part of Fanon’s The Damned of the Earth. He is a tyrant because his relationship to everyone was asymmetrical, driven by resentment and hate, and his regard for life was nil. Think of how he killed his loyal girlfriend Linda and how he ultimately aimed to destroy or destabilize Wakanda—a functioning African state—with the now faddish Afropessimistic declaration of “burning it all down.”  His ego was such that he wanted to bar, through destruction of the special vibranium affected plant, the possibility of future Black Panthers emerging. Bear in mind also that T’Challa was not against fighting/violence. His point is that it should be used only when necessary, and he was doing so always on behalf of justice and a people in whose respect rested his legitimacy.  Killmonger didn’t care about respect from the people.  He also didn’t have respect for them. His “legitimacy” was like, say, Donald Trump’s: achieved purely from the strict adherence to the imperfect rules, though unlike Trump he actually defeated his opponent in fair combat. The people revolted against him not because he won the ritualistic battle but because his tyrannical rule defied the virtues the battle was to manifest. They fought against him in fidelity to the spirit of the rules.

(5) IMPRESSIVE. Rich Lynch actually came up with video of the Octavia Butler clue from Friday’s episode of game show Jeopardy! Click here: Jeopardy! Butler clue

(6) WHO AGAINST GUNS. Comics Beat updates readers: “Who Against Guns raises $16,000”.

We’ve been reporting on the fan-led effort known as Who Against Guns for several weeks now. Today, just over two weeks after the start of the campaign which launched February 26, organizers have announced that they’ve raised $16,000 for these gun violence prevention charities:  Community Justice Reform CoalitionMarch For Our Lives, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Moms Demand Action.

(7) TOLKIEN’S DOG STORY. Middle-Earth Reflections takes up J.R.R. Tolkien’s Roverandom.

Originally Roverandom was conceived in 1925 when the Tolkiens — Ronald and Edith with their sons John, Michael and Christopher — went on a family holiday to Filey, Yorkshire. They rented a cottage with the view of the sea and the beach to spend a big part of September there. At that time the Tolkiens’ second boy Michael, who was about five years old, had a small, black-and-white toy dog. The boy  was extremely fond of it to the extent that he never parted with it. It was an unfortunate loss of that beloved toy during a walk on the beach one day and unavailing search for it that led Tolkien to make up a story about the dog’s adventures to explain its disappearance to the saddened boy.

In 1936, when The Hobbit was accepted for publication by Allen & Unwin, Tolkien was asked for more children’s stories, so he sent in Roverandom together with  Mr Bliss and Farmer Giles of Ham. However, Roverandom was not published then: in 1937 The Hobbit came out, proved a tremendous success and the publishers demanded more Hobbit stories from the author. It was only in 1998 that Rover’s tale finally saw the light of day.

Just like some other stories written by Tolkien, Roverandom began as something told to the amusement (or, in this case, consolation was the initial motive) of his own family. But as the story began to grow, it inevitably drew in more aspects of Tolkien’s background and interests. From a simple children’s story it established connections with Tolkien’s own Legendarium, Norse mythology, Arthurian legends, folklore, history and real events which took place at the time when the story was being created and written down.

(8) SPOILER WARNING. In Zhaoyun’s “Microreview [TV series]: The Frankenstein Chronicles” for Nerds of a Feather, the spoiler isn’t what you think.

It’s one of the longest-running gags in show business: cast Sean Bean in your TV series and there is an extremely high chance his character will perish by the end of season one. If in a movie, he’ll probably die heroically, indeed motivationally, spurring the surviving heroes on to greater successes; in TV series, his specter looms over the remainder of the show, meaning everything that happens from then on occurs in the shadow of his sacrifice (since he is usually innocent of any wrongdoing but is executed/killed anyway). So when I finally watched The Frankenstein Chronicles, I knew to expect a gruesome end for Bean’s “John Marlott” at the end of season one. I don’t even feel the need to issue a spoiler alert so far, because Sean Bean’s near-inevitable death early in projects is a truth universally acknowledged.

(9) TENTH ANNIVERSARY. Kasma editor Alex Korovessis offers 10 Years of SF as a free download:

10 Years of SF! is an anthology featuring some of the best stories I have had the privilege to publish over the past 10 years, since Kasma’s inception in 2009. It is available freely by clicking the appropriate button below.

(10) THE MORE THINGS CHANGE. A fan lamented:

In the few months I have been an active member of fandom, I have found knit into its fabric a conglomeration of ego, hate, progressiveness, overbearing acts, belligerence, perversities, totalitarianism, crack-pot ideas and every good and bad thing that goes to make up the outside world.

Today on Facebook? No, these are the words of Clarence “Sully” Roberds, an Illinois fan writing in November of 1939. Think about that the next time you read a complaint that fandom isn’t what it used to be.


  • John King Tarpinian passes along Drabble’s stfnal St. Paddy’s joke.
  • And Bizarro’s tribute to the Sasquatch.

(12) 2019 HUGO RECOMMENDATIONS. Coffee break’s over – back to work!

Click to see Renay’s 2019 Hugo Sheet (at Google Docs).

(13) OFTEN IMITATED. Inverse celebrated the release of Forbidden Planet on March 15 in “62 Years Ago Today, the Template for All Sci-Fi Movies Was Born”.

Nearly every science fiction story you know and love today owes it all to one movie that came out in 1956, a film that set the standard for how sci-fi stories work for the modern audience. Franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek might have defined sci-fi for generations, but Fred McLeod Wilcox’s Forbidden Planet basically created sci-fi as we know it.

There’s even an opening scrawl with yellow text more than 20 years before the first Star Wars movie.

(14) BALLS. “Ikea Is Developing The Meatball Of The Future” – no, it’s not made from ground-up Billy bookcases.

Ikea is the largest furniture retailer in the world. But did you know that it’s also likely the largest meatball retailer in the world? Across its 340 stores worldwide, Ikea feeds people 2 million meatballs each day. Which is why Ikea’s high-concept Space10 lab is experimenting with a meatball of the future–one that uses zero actual meat. They call it the Neatball.

…The Space10 team is careful to clarify that none of these items are coming to market, but it’s interesting to see Ikea’s thought process on the future of food all the same. After all, Ikea has already given us a veggie version of its famous meatballs that people seem to like. And Space10 released meatball concepts not long ago that have since gone from art project to fully cooked concept here–because that’s what Space10 does: It prototypes the future for Ikea.

(15) AMAZON VS. CONSERVATIVES. Vox Day finds that Amazon’s alleged massacre of conservative authors’ book reviews is highly exaggerated [Internet Archive].

Of course, the mere fact that there is a closed alliance of authors with personal relationships who pay very close attention to reviews may explain at least a reasonable percentage of these deletions, given the terms of service. I checked out my reviews and it looks like ten or fewer reviews were deleted across all my various book listings. Not only that, but several of the reviews were one-star fake reviews, so two of my average ratings actually increased. This made me suspect that the deleted reviews were likely in open violation of Amazon’s terms of service, which Amanda Green’s investigation appears to have generally confirmed.

He also says in a comment:

Don’t get Clintonian. It’s not tricky at all. Are they family? Are they close friends? Did they work on your book?

If so, then don’t review their books.

That being said, I think Amazon would be well advised to limit reviews to Verified Purchases in addition to whatever conflict-of-interest limitations they see fitting.

Let’s face it, the world doesn’t need any more reviews on the lines of “I am so-and-so’s mother and I can’t believe he wrote a whole book! It’s really good!”

(16) COMICS RANT. The comics artist Colleen Doran went on an epic Twitter rant about “diversity hires.”

It implies things about race, it implies things about sex, it implies things about sexuality. And because I can’t read your mind, I don’t really know what “diversity hire” means to you. But I know what it means to me. So tread that ground with care.

Start the thread here —

(17) THE FORCE IS WITH THEM. Pacific Standard profiles “The Jedi Faithful”.

Disambiguating real-world practices from the traditions that the Star Wars franchise established is not so much a passing curiosity as one of the central reasons the group of Jedi has assembled here for the weekend. Belief in the Force here on Earth is ultimately simple enough, a matter of faith that requires no greater suspension of disbelief than praying to any other life-force or deity. However, the practical extension of that belief, as demonstrated in the Star Wars canon—namely, that one can use the Force to exert mental influence on the external world—poses a larger problem: The cosmos, absent green screens, doesn’t so easily succumb to the will.

And so, for those following the Gospel of Lucas, life can often seem a battle of approximations. Lightsabers here on Earth aren’t in fact shafts of light, but an alloy of plastic and LEDs. Jedi on Earth have downgraded telekinesis for noetic sciences and a belief that collective thought can influence external change. And, as their possession of DVD box sets, plastic lightsabers, and Star Wars kitsch indicates, they, unlike their fictional counterparts, haven’t quite subscribed to an ascetic’s denial of worldly attachments

(18) MAGIC SCHOOLS. L. Jagi Lamplighter says Superversive SF’s Fantastic Schools and Where to Find Them blog is “just a fun thing a couple of us are doing–covering magic schools and schooling in general. We are open to posts from anyone who writes about Magic Schools. It’s just a labor of love kind of thing. Nothing big. (Or anyone who has an opinion on either magic schools or schools in general.)”

She penned their most recent post: “Which Magic School Is For You: Roke”.

How many of you ever wished you could attend Roke? I bet many readers don’t even know what Roke is.

Once upon a time, in the long-ago dream time of the 1970s and 80s, there were three fantasy series everyone read: Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis’s Narnia Chronicles, and Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea Trilogy. Everyone who read fantasy had read all three, and they were considered equally great.

I remember the day, some years ago now, when I realized that while Narnia and Lord of the Rings had made the grade, Earthsea had been basically forgotten. Many modern fantasy fans had never heard of the books. They didn’t even know that LeGuin had invented one of their favorite concepts: the magic school.

But Ursula Leguin’s magic school in Wizard of Earth Sea was the first time a fantasy writer thought “Gee, we see so many wizards in stories. Who trains them? Where do they go to school?”

And what she gave us was Roke.

(19) MUPPETS. Gwynne Watkins, in the Yahoo Entertainment story “Miss Piggy’s ‘a mess inside’: Frank Oz and puppeteer pals reveal Muppet secrets”, interviews several associates of Jim Henson who are promoting Frank Oz’s HBO documentary Muppet Guys Talking.

If I were thinking about, from a viewer’s perspective, which Muppet changed the most over time, I would say Miss Piggy

Oz: Yeah, probably so. But Piggy is a different situation. I’ve said this before: Her beginnings were in the women’s liberation movement, just by accident. And I don’t consciously change things, but the characters don’t interact with the world — I interact with my world. And I don’t interact in such a way where I say, “Oh, I’ve got to put that in my character.” I think because of the zeitgeist, it just kind of happens without me knowing it. But Piggy’s a little different. Piggy is such a mess inside, that I think as the years go on, she gets more and more emotional baggage. And that’s mainly why she changes. She keeps being rejected by the frog. She keeps trying and cannot do the things that she wants to, like tell jokes or dance. So I think she has this emotional baggage that hurts her more and more and more, and as a result she covers more and more and more. That’s what I think. 

[Thanks to JJ, Mark Hepworth, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, rcade, Cat Eldridge, David Doering, Carl Slaughter, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ken Richards.]

98 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/17/18 Several Species Of Small Furry Filers Gathered Together In A Scroll And Grooving With A Pixel

  1. @Contrarius: #14 made me lose a little of my appetite. Mealworms for the protein – nope, I wouldn’t be able to get past my admittedly-knee-jerk reaction to try it.

    @Rose Embolism: I don’t know what “single-term memory deficity” is, but if you actually are interested in a story with a dyslexic wizard in a world where proper spelling is an important part of getting magic right, check out Black Charlton’s “Spellwright” series.

  2. @Sylvia, thanks for the recs – I picked up the first to try. Keeping a note about the rest.

  3. (1) DISNEY EXTRACTS HAND FROM COOKIE JAR. Who’da think it, eh? 😉 BTW I still like the revised posters (unsurprising, since it’s basically the previous artwork minus the mask, rearranged, even keeping a faux treatment of the white).

    (2) SCRYING THE CRYSTAL CLARKE. Ooh but what will the “Shadow Clarke” people pick? 😛

    In re. #3 and #4, we finally saw “Black Panther” last night. It was very good!

    (9) TENTH ANNIVERSARY. Surely this should’ve been item #10. 😉 I’m unfamiliar with Kasma; I’ll check it out. (I recognize at least 3-4 of the authors in the anthology.) It’s odd they have no “about” pages explaining the magazine, when it started, who staffs it, what they publish, etc., given they’ve been around 10 years. Regardless, thanks to them for the 10-year anthology.

    (10) THE MORE THINGS CHANGE. Heh, cute. Odd to see “progressiveness” listed with all the negatives, but yeah, some from today complain about the same.

    (15) AMAZON VS. CONSERVATIVES. A stopped clock is right twice a day. Kudos to him and Amanda Green (I meant to give props to her the other day when her item was Scroll’d; sorry, Amanda) for approaching this logically and reasonably. But it is a scary day when I find myself nodding in agreement with Beale.

    (16) COMICS RANT. LOL! I’ve always loved Colleen Doran and her work. She’s a wonderful person and super-talented. “A Distant Soil” is awesome, as is her other work, of course. Anyway, great rant and I love the “A hooker is cheaper, idiots” comment. I’ve read her blog and she’s talked about some of the crazy B.S. she’s had to put up with there.

    And of course, a stereotypical troll pops up to spam the replies with claims #1 specific people never had those problems (without proof, but dissing anyone who points out that’s not true) and #2 that this magically means no one else has dealt with sexist/racist/etc. stuff. ::eyeroll::

    (18) MAGIC SCHOOLS. That’s a delightful idea for a series; I skimmed several of the posts, so thanks for linking to it. I’m glad they did one on Roke! (I’m not sure it’s as forgotten as she said, but it’s definitely possible it’s not as well known among young people today compared to “Lord of the Rings” – no idea whether young people are familiar with “Chronicles of Narnia” these days or not.)

  4. 9) Obviously they needed a female cover model to balance the male-dominated cover author list.

  5. 10) Wizard of Earthsea 1968. Patricia McKillip’s Riddle-Master of Hed 1976. Jane Yolen’s Wizard’s Hall 1991. I remember Roke, but I also remember McKillip’s take on a wizard’s school fondly.

  6. In other news, I went to see the new Tomb Raider on the IMAX screen, and while Alicia Vikander is a pleasure to watch, and I really appreciate that the director avoided making the movie a tits-and-ass-fest, her English accent is atrociously, irredeemably bad — even worse than Angelina Jolie’s — and the plot is… poor.

    Even though she has access to a shit-ton of money, she instead sells something precious for not nearly enough money and goes, woefully underfunded, to a foreign land where the lack of money presents a huge problem.

    And you know the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where instead of the usual trope of the hero and villain squaring off against each other in an extended bout of nail-biting personal combat, Indy just pulls out a gun and shoots the guy who is threatening him with a scimitar?

    Well, there is none of that wisdom here. No, there are several extended scenes of combat — including the climactic scene — where the hero could have ended the fight early with a given move or act, but instead makes the dumb choice to continue engaging. To the point where I wanted to pull out a gun and shoot the villain — or possibly the hero — myself, just to get the excruciating scene over and move on.

    I mean, I wasn’t expecting an Oscar-worthy movie, but come on.

  7. 10) Caroline Stevermer also has wizard schools in “A Scholar of Magics” and “A College of Magics”. So does Diana Wynne Jones, in the sequel to “The Dark Lord of Derkholm”, “Year of the Griffin”.

  8. Even though she has access to a shit-ton of money, she instead sells something precious for not nearly enough money and goes, woefully underfunded, to a foreign land where the lack of money presents a huge problem.

    While this is true, she only has access to that money if she finishes signing the papers, which for strongly-held emotional reasons she doesn’t want to do.

    It does mean that her father’s an idiot, having made no preparations for his child’s continued support in his absence. But, well, let’s just keep moving!

    I saw it last night, and thought it was functional but shallow. It seems unfair to criticize a movie based on a video game for being dumb, but it wasn’t aiming for “smart,” that’s for sure.

  9. My review of Maggie Stiefvater’s All The Crooked Saints: Mixed.

    On the one hand, it’s definitely Stiefvater’s best work stylistically. It’s full of excellent sentences and turns of phrase, in an overall style that’s a homage to (the translation of) One Hundred Years of Solitude. MS acknowledges the help of a number of Latinx readers, including two sensitivity readers, and I see that Latinx reviewers haven’t called her out (much) for being insensitive or offensive.

    On the other hand, when I compare it to an #ownvoices work like Shadowhouse Fall, I can see that MS didn’t put in enough work for it to not be inauthentic in crucial ways. The Latinx characters in Bicho Raro are not conscious of moving in a White-dominated world, there are very few references to code- or language-switching, there’s isn’t enough tension and wariness between them and the White pilgrims. And this is set in the early 60s! Speaking as someone who was alive then: not so much.

    For an example of a White author Writing the Other & doing it well, see Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Ruff is White, but he writes about African-American characters in a way Black reviewers find authentic. (They seem that way to me, too, but I’m not going to be the best judge.) This is because Ruff’s commitment to understanding African-American culture and experience goes back to college at least, and involves friendshp, thought, conversation, and academic study. He’s put in a *lot* of work to Writing the Other, and it shows.

    MS put in some work, but not enough. She would have to steep herself in Mexican and Mexican-American culture, enough to have a bibliography to go with this novel. It’s really a pity, because the writing is *so* good and reflective of the Hispanic roots of magical realism.

  10. “Really??? 2018, dozens of massively-talented artists available, and that’s the cover you can manage to come up with? ?”

    I do think that is a talented artist, but perhaps not for a magazine cover (looks more like a single pane of a comic book) and a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y not with those horrible fonts.

  11. @Lenore Jones: Another blog post (or more than one) mentioned Stevermer (and maybe ones mentions Jones; I just skimmed a few the posts). This is just the latest in a series of posts.

  12. @Kendall —

    Yeah, intellectually I’m all for eating bugs. Viscerally, not so much!

    Incidentally, I’m probably much more familiar with mealworms than most folks here, having raised them and been around them for many years. They are not bad critters as insects go, and they certainly are hardy and thrifty suckers — but still, yeccccch.

  13. To those who listed magic schools, THANKS!

    I know about most of these and hope to get to them, but there were one two here I had forgotten or not known about.

    Hopefully, with time, we’ll get to most or all of them! 😉

  14. Kurt Busiek: It does mean that her father’s an idiot, having made no preparations for his child’s continued support in his absence. But, well, let’s just keep moving!

    Yes, that’s one of the things which really beggars belief: that he would go off on a long, dangerous trip, and not make sure that she is adequately financially provided for during the interim.

  15. I’m currently reading The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt, I’m on p110, and something is bugging me.

    Gur oynpx obk vf gur zbfg inyhnoyr vgrz va gur fbyne flfgrz. Ner gurl ernyyl tbvat gb whfg gnxr bss jvgu vg? Jvgubhg fcraqvat nal gvzr jbaqrevat r.t. vs nyy gur Yvnef ner ehaavat njnl sbe n tbbq ernfba?

    I’m sure it will all work out OK, but I get the feeling it will be for Plot Reasons, not because it makes a lick of sense.

    We have higher standards here in 2857.

  16. I can’t answer the specific issue (that was 30+ books ago) but my notes say that the book was unimpressive enough that I’m ignoring sequels; I think he just threw up something flashy to distract from plot problems. A pity as he references good precedents — apparently he didn’t learn enough from them.

  17. Chip Hitchcock: I can’t answer the specific issue (that was 30+ books ago) but my notes say that the book was unimpressive enough that I’m ignoring sequels

    Oh thank the gods; for a second there, I thought you meant it was the 30-somethingth book in a series, and I was thinking, I still haven’t read past the first 3 Cherryhs, there’s no way I’m going to commit to that!

    Several copies were ordered by my library months ago and I’m first on the wait list, but they haven’t arrived yet. I’ll probably still read it, but I appreciate the heads-up from both of you.

  18. 14) The daughter and I would try them and like them. But my wife would run away, or at least give the stink eye like she did in Mexico City when her cousin brought us chapulines. I thought they were delicious and reminded him I only don’t eat central nervous system tissue. One day cousin Tony will realize I mean it.

    Then my daughter pinched me for eating most of them. Fortunately, the local market had plenty and the family crisis was averted.

  19. Contrarius on March 18, 2018 at 5:18 pm said:

    @Kendall —

    Yeah, intellectually I’m all for eating bugs. Viscerally, not so much!

    If you’re going to Worldcon in San Jose this year, check out the chapulinas at Mezcal – stripped of head, exoskeleton, and limbs and marinated in a chile/lime mixture before being fried, they’re delicious (at least the ones my companion left me after declaring “You’re going to have to eat all those” and then “I’ll try one” and then “Maybe a few more” and then “Maybe we should have ordered more”)

  20. @Lin —

    Thaaaaaat’s okay. More for you!

    And yes, it’s entirely irrational. I’ll eat just about anything that comes out of the ocean (non-mammalian), raw or cooked — squid, octopus, sea cucumber, sea urchin, jellyfish (never tried one, but I wouldn’t hesitate if offered), any sort of roe, whatever — but my hindbrain goes “nope-nope-nope” at bugs.

    Maybe after the Apocalypse when I’m standing around starving!

  21. The only thing I couldn’t eat was tarantellas from a street kitchen in Cambodia. And that’s when I actually tried to find the place so I could try them. So it seems I have limits.

    Crickets, bugs, scorpions, snakes, jellyfish, worms… No problem. Just not tarantellas.

  22. @Hampus: Correcting to be polite: you mean ‘tarantula’. (English uses different words for the spider and the dance.)

  23. @Contrarius – That’s my attitude too. Marine invertebrates, some I like, others not so much, but I’m willing to try any. Terrestrial bugs, nope.

  24. @Kurt Busiek: It seems unfair to criticize a movie based on a video game for being dumb, but it wasn’t aiming for “smart,” that’s for sure. The reviews I’ve read say the previous script was better — not great, but better than the current mess — so criticism is reasonable.

  25. @Hampus —

    Crickets, bugs, scorpions, snakes, jellyfish, worms… No problem. Just not tarantellas.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to eat snake, and I’ve enjoyed alligator and love frog legs. I’ve eaten snail (didn’t like the taste much), and I would probably eat cooked (not live, that’s a bridge too far) earthworms. Bugs are just — special.

    And I don’t mind live bugs for the most part. Not afraid of having spiders or hissing cockroaches or pillbugs or whatever crawling on me. You want a wasp or a daddy long-legs removed safely and without hysterics, I’m your gal. But they have liquid insides rather like oozing pus…. and just no.

    @Anne — fistbump. 😉

  26. But they have liquid insides rather like oozing pus…. and just no.

    *puts down his lunch with a sigh*

  27. Well, we all eat bugs anyway, and worse.

    Every plant gets fertilized. Some animal eats that.
    No matter where we store food, it’s no challenge to a rat.
    So whether you’re a vegan or your preference is meat,
    There’s a little bit of excrement in everything we eat.

    The molecules and atoms in our atmosphere collide
    And fly around to mix with other gases far and wide
    Although homeopathic, it’s true, for heaven’s sake:
    There’s a little bit of cyanide in every breath we take.

    Opinions, facts, and fancies swirl around in our discourse.
    You can’t go far enough back to examine every source.
    And while there may be facts behind the meanest, rankest smear
    There’s a little bit of bullshit back of everything we hear.

    ©2010 by Kip Williams

    I expect that if we ever get around to using the food potential of insects, it will be as an additive ingredient, ground up, disguised, and given a name that doesn’t have words like “bug” or “insect” or “horrible ground up worm paste” anywhere in it, and deployed in regular old frozen meals and entrees and such. Hey, maybe it already is!

  28. I suspect I could eat mealworm meal far more readily than mealworms, so if they want to grind up and disguise bugs in my food, no complaint. Someone even once told me (I can’t go back to the source, so take with a bit of Kip’s poem) that some vegetarian Indian families, when moving from North America, would eat the same cuisine they ate at home, and suffer from protein deficiency here because there was less insect life ground in with the rest.

    Intellectually, I am okay with these things being food. Visually, I nope out of it, both on the slimy and the leggy scales. So if you can remove the visual cues, I’m probably okay. I can handle delegged and deveined and headless shrimp even when I do the shelling and deveining and head-chopping myself — and while they’re not as viscerally gross as insect, it is a similar kind of feeling.

    Of course I appear to the in the year 650 – so I probably eat whatever means my family won’t starve.

  29. @Kendall, I didn’t realize that. @Jagi, you’re welcome. (And I see I referenced the wrong item in the scroll. I must have been sleepy, because I kept forgetting the Wynne Jones story, and having to go back to her bibliography to remind myself.)

    Re bugs, I might manage fried crickets, but the idea of eating grubs makes me feel queasy. I don’t want to eat eyeballs, either, whether they’re from fish or sheep. On the other hand, I will eat fish eggs, some of which are just as gooey.

  30. “But they have liquid insides rather like oozing pus…. and just no.”

    That was my problem with scorpions. Small ones, sugar-coated, are ok. Mostly crunchy. But large ones? Their body is like eating mud. I’ll stick to small scorpions.

  31. But large ones? Their body is like eating mud.

    *puts down his dinner with another sigh*

  32. @Various: The icky so-called “food” comments are reminding me of a particular scene in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

    @Mark (Kitteh): “*puts down his dinner with another sigh*”

    File 770: NSFM. (Not Safe For Mealtime.) Whodathunkit! Sorry?

  33. @Mark —

    Poor Mark!


    For no particular reason, I was thinking abot how individual the triggers for nausea can be. For example, I absolutely can not be made nauseous by sights or smells that other people would start barfing over — I used to eat pizza in the anatomy lab, I have spent hours washing and picking yvir znttbgf bss bs (naq bhg bs) n yvivat qbt, and so on.

    BUT — if I see or hear someone else barfing, I’m in huge danger of joining in myself — just like joining in with someone yawning. “Sympathetic” ralfing is a big problem for me, where it might not be for other people.

    More than you ever wanted to know, I’m sure! ;-D

  34. @Contrarius

    Imma gonna have breakfast soon, mmkay? ?

    I’m with you on the ‘sympathetic’ sickness. If I hear someone being sick – or even worse smell it – then I get quite a strong reaction. It seems to be entirely mental because I can fight my way through it, and once I’ve beaten the initial reaction it goes away and I can deal.

  35. Lenore Jones / jonesnori on March 18, 2018 at 3:31 pm said:

    10) Caroline Stevermer also has wizard schools in “A Scholar of Magics” and “A College of Magics”. So does Diana Wynne Jones, in the sequel to “The Dark Lord of Derkholm”, “Year of the Griffin”.

    I wuv you. Those are some of my favorite books, too.

    Here in 1920 I am in a FABULOUS dress.

  36. Sympathies, Mark. My mom worked in a hospital (as a physio, but you still get to see the messes…) and I was dealing with infant messes directly, so she and I could have conversations at the dinner table without blinking which would make my brother beg for us to stop so he could eat. We never did it to him on purpose, but sometimes it’s easy to lose track of when a conversation might pass someone *else’s* more finicky meter.

    Contrarius: I think sympathetic stomach reactions are distressingly common — my own is weak and easy to suppress, and had grown blunted by regular contact with small children…

    A College of Magics was the favourite and consolation read of a friend of mine. I managed to get her copy signed when I was going to a World Fantasy Con; which she reacted to with a bit of chagrin as it was a bit battered by then.

    (Tiny nitpick for those who want to seek them out: A College of Magics comes before A Scholar of Magics.)

  37. I have read that sympathetic nausea is at least partly olfactory. (This makes a sort of evolutionary sense: if everyone in the pack is eating the same thing, someone’s sensitive stomach may save the rest of the group from worse side effects.) There may be more hardwiring involved (since IIRC it’s a response to a specific chemical) than in dislike of strange-looking things (which may be more of a learned response). And no, I’m not feeling adventurous; the strangest thing I’ve eaten was crocodile, which didn’t taste like much of anything — it was on an assorted plate in a rather loud Australian joint and was probably covered with flavorings.

  38. @Lenora —

    I managed to get her copy signed when I was going to a World Fantasy Con; which she reacted to with a bit of chagrin as it was a bit battered by then.

    But I bet the author LOVED that it was battered — like a well-loved stuffed toy. 🙂

  39. the strangest thing I’ve eaten was crocodile, which didn’t taste like much of anything

    Though at least it was served quickly.

  40. Re: eating strange things.

    When I was a teenager, I said something about not wanting to eat some gross food (don’t recall what it was.)

    My dad asked, “You like eggs, don’t you?”
    Me: “Yes.”
    Dad: “Anyone who’ll eat something that came out of a chicken’s ass has no business complaining about food being ‘gross’ “.

    Recall also Jonathan Swift’s line: “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”

  41. Contrarius: Well, she (Stevermer) was definitely pleased to hear one of her books was a favourite, and she didn’t even bat an eye at the condition, which really wasn’t *that* bad for a paperback read 10 times. All the cover was intact…

  42. @Chip —

    I have read that sympathetic nausea is at least partly olfactory.

    Not for me. Well, let me be more precise: I get the same impulse if I hear or see an actor ralfing on TV — obviously no olfactory input there. But I’m absolutely with you on the evolutionary bit.

    Human stomachs are weird!

  43. @ULTRAGOTHA – fist bump.

    @Lenora Rose – you’re quite right. I was very sleepy!

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