Pixel Scroll 3/2/19 Eating Soylent Green And Watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Now Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Go Back In Time

(1) TRASH TALKER. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Maybe Denver got jealous of the Stargate made of luggage at the San Antonio airport and wanted to one-up them.

San Antonio airport sculpture. Photo by Mike Kennedy.

More likely, it would seem, they just decided to lean in to the unfounded conspiracy theories surrounding DEN. To whatever end, they recently installed their own fully-interactive talking gargoyle (SYFY Wire:There’s now a gargoyle talking trash to guests at Denver’s airport”).

Ever since its opening in the mid-1990s, the Denver International Airport (DIA) has spawned countless conspiracy theories as to its dark and sinister nature. Now, there’s a gargoyle inside the terminal to confirm it’s all true. 

Yesterday, to celebrate its 24th birthday, DIA gave all of the air travelers who wander its halls a gift: a Chatty Gargoyle.[…]

This is part of a larger campaign by the Denver Airport, dubbed #TheDenFiles, that gleefully invites any and all talk of mysterious goings-on in the catacombs that lie beneath. Or in some cases — right in plain sight. 

(2) CHATTY SHATTY. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Have you ever had a set of refrigerator poetry magnets? If so you may be ready for Shatoetry  which is free on the Apple iOS App Store as this is being typed. William Shatner recorded individual words, which you can put together in any order. Each word has three levels of emphasis available, and you can also add pauses of three different lengths. When you’re ready, click a button and you will create a video with a selectable still-frame Shatner background and audio of Shat “reading” your “poem.” Once you click, you can send the video by email or post it on any of several social media sites.

The basic app doesn’t have a huge selection of words available, but there are in-app purchases available for more bundles of words and those are also free as this is being typed. If you want the app, be sure to grab the extra word bundles before they start charging for them again—there’s no telling how long these free offers will last.

(3) FUTURE TENSE. This month’s entry in the Future Tense fiction series is “Mpendulo: The Answer,” by the South African film writer-director Nosipho Dumisa.

I know I’m right, but the class seems unhappy with my reasoning. How could these people create other humans with the sole purpose of killing them later for their organs? We all know people walking around with 3D-printed organs inside of them. We can’t conceive of one person letting themselves be sliced open and their organs given to another, let alone a whole government being party to it.

Well, I can conceive of things that the rest of them can’t. But I wouldn’t dare let them know that.

It was published along with a response essay, “Why Are We So Afraid of Each New Advance in Reproductive Technology?” by Sarah Elizabeth Richards, a journalist who covers genomics and reproductive technology.

(4) GETTING BETTER. Glad to hear Mike Resnick is out of the hospital and rehab after having a close call, as he explained in a public Facebook post:

OK, back home and working on being healthy again.

It was the strangest thing. I was having breakfast (3 PM, but breakfast time for me), I started to get up out of my chair, slipped, and while I was in no pain I couldn’t get up. After about 15 minutes Carol called an ambulance, they drove me 5 miles to the local hospital.

I was feeling no pain, but all the medics seemed concerned. They knocked me out, and when I woke up in the emergency room I had half a dozen catheters attached to me, draining what seemed like gallons of fluids out of me. When I’d seen the doctor for my regular check-up a month earlier I weighed 255, about 30 more than usual. When I arrived at the hospital I was 256. And three days later, after draining
all these fluids, I was 208 — which I am tonight, a month after this whole thing began.

Anyway, I did 9 days in the emergency room and 10 days in rehab. Been home for a few days, feeling pretty good, but sleeping about 12-15 hours a day while I get my strength back…which means I am not quite keeping up with the writing and editing (tho I’m getting closer), and I’m probably not keeping up with e-mails. I thank those of you who sent your best wishes, and if I didn’t reply it really wasn’t bad manners.

Almost certainly gonna miss Writers of the Future in 4 or 5 weeks, but we should make Midwestcon and DragonCon, where you can see the new improved skinny (well, skinnier) me.

(5) BE ON THE LOOKOUT. Cedar Sanderson shares how pros evaluate opportunities to contribute work to an anthology in “Relationships and Anthologies” at Mad Genius Club.

Warning Flag #2: No transparency about payment or royalties. Not all anthologies will pay up front. Some will pay up front but no royalties, and some will only pay royalties. You should know what to expect going into it. You should not be told ‘we’ll pay royalties after our costs are met’ unless you are also given some idea of what those costs are, and an accounting (and no, anthologies that are proudly using public domain art for covers should not be costing much to produce). Yes, I realize this isn’t ‘how the publishing business works’ which is bullshit, and the inherent corruption it opens up by playing along will only end when the authors stop allowing themselves to be milked without feed. I’ve taken part in ‘paid up front’ and one ‘paid plus royalties’ anthology, and they left me feeling happy and like I’d do it again. My friends who were told ‘we’ll pay you when we meet our costs’ are still waiting, years later. They’ll never see money.

(6) DOC WEIR AWARD. Attention Eastercon members! Ytterbium’s Progress Report 3 has this note:

The Doc Weir Award

Regular Eastercon attendees will know that the members of the convention annually vote on who should receive the Doc Weir Award for making a significant but largely unsung contribution to fandom. Sadly, many of the earlier winners were so unsung that fans today know little or nothing about them or their fannish activities. To remind people of their contributions, a brief biography of the winners is being compiled. It will be available online but if you would like to request a printed copy then please email docweir@ytterbium.org.uk before Sunday, March 17th.

Bill Burns of eFanzines has more info on the Doc Weir Award, and a list of all winners from 1963 to 2018 here.

(7) PETER PORKER. SYFY Wire explores “Why Spider-Ham might be the most powerful Spider-Man of all (no, really)”.

When you were tasked with creating “Spider-Ham: Caught in a Ham,” was the original idea that it be a “backdoor prequel,” or was that something you decided to reverse engineer into a companion piece to Spider-Verse?

Miguel Jiron: From the beginning, we were like, we would love for this classic cartoon to open up our movie like how they used to do back in the day. And pretty early on we were like, if it’s going to screen in front of the movie, it would be cool to see Ham’s last moments in his world before he comes to the [Spider-Verse]. So pretty early on we brainstormed something we thought would be a perfect way to connect to the film and see them together.

(8) WORKS FOR ME. This was Sarah Gailey’s latest appeal for readers to sign up for their newsletter:

(9) SIGNED, YOUR CREDENTIAL. Tabitha King made a serious point, but the not-so-serious reply was clever:

(10) KRAMER UPDATE. Ed Kramer was in court on Thursday for his first appearance hearing since his arrest last Tuesday. Fox5 Atlanta covered the proceedings: “DragonCon co-founder appears in court following arrest”.

…Kramer was wheeled into his first appearance hearing with his breathing tank. He claimed he hasn’t been allowed to talk to his lawyer and said he wasn’t sure what was going on. 

At the hearing, the judge granted Kramer a $22,200 bond; however, even if he posts bond, he’ll remain behind bars because he’s also being held on a probation violation. As part of the probation violation, he’ll appear in court on March 22 at 8:30 a.m. 

… He was under monitored house arrest since late 2013 when he was convicted of child molestation.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter told FOX 5 News when house arrest ended in December of last year Kramer was put on probation.

One of the conditions was no contact with children.

“He’s being held without bond because there’s a probation warrant. That’s why he’s being held without bond,” said Porter.

Porter said Kramer is facing a misdemeanor charge of a sexual offender photographing a minor without consent.

The DA told FOX 5 News he’s moving forward with revocation of probation for Kramer which could mean a lengthy stay behind bars.

“We need to go back and revoke his first offender and incarcerate him. He faces up to 60 years in prison,” said Porter.

(11) ASIMOV OBIT. Janet Jeppson Asimov (1926-2019) died February 25. The SF Encyclopedia has her full genre biography. The New York Times obituary notes —

A psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, she was the beloved widow of Isaac Asimov, as well as the former director of training at the William Alanson White Institute, author of around two dozen books, and a former syndicated science columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

Janet Jeppson Asimov and Isaac Asimov. Photo (c) Andrew Porter


  • March 1, 1933King Kong has its world premiere in New York.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 2, 1904 Theodor Seuss Geisel. Ahhh, Dr. Seuss. I confess that the only books I’ve read by him are How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Green Eggs and Ham, an exercise that took maybe fifteen minutes. Did you know that Horton Hears a Who! was animatedat a running time of a half hour? Who thought it was a good idea to make a two-hour live film of The Grinch?  (Died 1991.)
  • Born March 2, 1939 jan howard finder. No, I’m not going to be do him justice here. He was a SF writer, filker, cosplayer, and of course fan. He was nicknamed The Wombat as a sign of affection and ConFrancisco (1993 Worldcon) was only one of at least eight cons that he was fan guest of honor at. Finder has even been tuckerized when Anne McCaffrey named a character for him. (Died 2013.)
  • Born March 2, 1943 Peter Straub, 76. Horror writer who won the World Fantasy Award for Koko and the August Derleth Award for Floating Dragon. He’s co-authored several novels with Stephen King, The Talisman which itself won a World Fantasy Award, and Black House. Both  The Throat and In the Night Roomwon Bram Stoker Awards as did 5 Stories, a short collection by him. Ok you know I’m impressed by Awards, but fuck this is impressed! 
  • Born March 2, 1949 Gates McFadden, 70. Best known obviously for playing Dr. Beverly Crusher in the Star Trek: The Next Generation and in the four films spawned out of the series. More interestingly for me is she was involved in the production of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal as Henson’s choreographer which is her second profession under the name of Cheryl McFadden.
  • Born March 2, 1960 Peter F. Hamilton, 59. I read and quite enjoyed his Night’s Dawn Trilogy when it came out and I’m fairly sure that I’ve read Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained as they sound familiar. (Too much genre fiction read over the years to remember everything…) What else have y’all read by him?
  • Born March 2, 1966 Ann Leckie, 53. Ancillary Justice won the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Nebula Award, Kitschies Award Golden Tentacle, Locus Award for Best First Novel, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the BSFA Award. Shit man. Her sequels Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy did not win awards but are no less impressive. 
  • Born March 2, 1968 Daniel Craig, 51. Obviously Bond in the present-day series of films which I like a lot, but also  in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider as Alex West, Lord Asriel In the film adaptation of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, in SF horror film The Invasion as Ben Driscoll, in the very weird Cowboys & Aliens as Jake Lonergan, voicing Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine / Red Rackham  in The Adventures of Tintin and an uncredited appearence as Stormtrooper FN-1824 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • Born March 2, 1981 Bryce Dallas Howard, 38. Started her genre career in How the Grinch Stole Christmas as a Surprised Who. I’d like to stay it got better but her next two roles were in The Village as Ivy Elizabeth Walker and in Lady in the Water as Story. She finally scored a good role in Spider-Man 3 as Gwen Stacy before landing roles in The Twilight Saga franchise as Victoria and in the Jurassic World franchise as Claire Dearing. 


(15) OHH, MOM! [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Really, what 7 year old hasn’t been embarrassed by their parents? People tells about a celebrity example as, “Jennifer Garner Embarrasses Her Son at His 7th Birthday Party By Dressing Up as Movie Character.” Given where you’re reading this, you can guess that the movie in question is genre.

The party may have been How to Train Your Dragon-themed, but Jennifer Garner is now learning how not to embarrass your child!

[…] In honor of [her son’s birthday] bash, Garner, 46, dressed up as Astrid from the animated film, wearing blue and orange face paint, a fur shawl, arm sleeves, a pointy, leather skirt with leggings underneath, and fur boots.

But as she went to present her son with a chocolate cake featuring the dragon Toothless’ eyes around the edges, Garner found out the hard way that her son was already becoming embarrassed.

“Well, guess what. It turns out 7 is the age my kid stops thinking it’s cool when I dress up for the party,” she captioned the happy photo.

The Instagram post in question is here.

(16) YARNSPINNER. The Raksura Colony Tree Project, a collective art/craft project will be displayed at WorldCon 77. Cora Buhlert says, “I already got out my crochet hooks and searched my yarn stash and it’s probably of interest to other Filers as well.”

If you’re coming to Dublin to join in the fun and are interested in creating things with needle and thread, this is your chance to be an active part in a community art project.

Martha Wells’ “Books of the Raksura”-Series was nominated for a Best Series Hugo in 2018. One of the things that drew me into the series was the world-building – a colony living in a giant mountain tree that’s studded with platforms all around that are used by the inhabitants for all kinds of different things – hunting, gardening, fishing, outlooks for the guards … a whole ecosystem – so how might that actually look like? I made a start, just to try things out…

(17) TRAPPED IN ASPIC. Andrew Porter copied this to his list: “Where do you get your weird ideas from (Cover artwork division).”

(18) REBUTTAL. Yudhanjaya Wijeratne’s post “’Incidentally, there is support for Wijeratne’s story’: a response to file770 and a record of the Nebula Award madness” tells how he would like readers to visualize the history of his Nebula Awards nominated story, and his confusion about fan and sff politics as a whole.

I’m going to tell you a story. This is about being nominated for the Nebula Awards [1], and accusations, and fury. I’m going to tell it slow and in much detail as I can, because I want to, and because context is important. I have seen much slinging of words but no context.

When I started writing this, it was 8PM. I had intended to use the writing of this piece as a piece of string, to re-order my own thoughts and try to figure out what the hell I’m doing here [2].  But in the writing of this I’ve gone from trying to figure out this madness to just being jaded. My inboxes are inundated with legions, my notifications toss up numbers like a slot machine, and I am absolutely done with explaining myself to random asshats on Twitter who demand answers under fake names and profile pictures.

So I’m going to chronicle this.

And at the end of it you may judge whether I have acted with the best information available to me, or not.

(19) THE GAMBLE. My friend who bought a Tesla in December should probably skip this item. “Tesla cuts price of Model 3 to $35,000 and moves sales online”.

Tesla has announced it will start selling a version of its Model 3 in the US at a price of $35,000 (£26,400), finally delivering on a promise it made more than two years ago.

To help lower the price the firm plans to close showrooms and is switching to an online-only sales model.

The electric car company announced the Model 3 car in 2016 as an alternative to its luxury offerings.

However, as recently as September, the average selling price exceeded $50,000.

Closing physical stores will allow the firm to cut costs by about 5%, savings it is using to reduce prices across its line-up of vehicles, chief executive Elon Musk said.

…In a blog post, Tesla said a test drive was not needed because you can return a car within seven days, or after driving 1,000 miles, and get a full refund.

“Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free,” the blog said.

(20) UP, UP, AND AWAY. Video of countdown, launch, and 1st-stage recovery at NPR: “SpaceX Launches Capsule Bound For International Space Station”. Chip Hitchcock sent the link with a comment, “I’m sure it’s happened before, but this is the first launch I remember where voice doing the countdown was female. Step by step….”

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on schedule at 2:49 a.m. Saturday.

It’s a test flight without crew aboard, designed to demonstrate the potential for carrying astronauts into orbit on a commercial spacecraft.

A crowd cheered as the rocket blasted off in a ball of fire and smoke and flash of light early Saturday, within minutes reaching speeds upwards of 4,000 mph as it gained altitude.

The rocket and capsule separated about 11 minutes after launch. Crew Dragon will go on to autonomously dock with the International Space Station at about 6 a.m. ET Sunday. Plans call for it to remain docked with the station for five days. On March 8, it will undock and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean around 8:45 a.m. ET.

Incidentally, the test flight carried a passenger:

…For the latest test, another mannequin will be on board. This one is named Ripley, for the heroine in the Alien movies, and it will have all kinds of sensors to see how a real human would experience the trip. “We measure the responses on the human body, obviously, and measure the environment,” Koenigsmann says. “We want to make sure that everything is perfect.”

(21) GOING THEIR OWN WAY. “Warner Bros. boss confirms the DCEU is over as we know it, thanks to ‘Wonder Woman'”Yahoo! Entertainment has the story.

It’s official, the DCEU is dead, with Warner Bros’ chief Kevin Tsujihara confirming the studio has moved away from the idea of a connected universe for its DC superhero properties – otherwise known as the DC Extended Universe.

“The universe isn’t as connected as we thought it was going to be five years ago,” Tsujihara told The LA Times. “You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters. That’s not to say we won’t at some point come back to that notion of a more connected universe. But it feels like that’s the right strategy for us right now.”

And who’s responsible for the death of the interconnected DCEU? Wonder Woman.

“What Patty Jenkins did on Wonder Woman illustrated to us what you could do with these characters who are not Batman and Superman. Obviously, we want to get those two in the right place, and we want strong movies around Batman and Superman. But Aquaman is a perfect example of what we can do. They’re each unique and the tone’s different in each movie.”

(22) TICKING AWAY. Amazon Prime Video launches The Tick Season 2 on April 5.

Tick and Arthur have freed the City from The Terror — now they must defend it from new villains and old enemies. That is if they can convince AEGIS, the government agency in charge of superhero regulation, that they deserve the job. But now that the City is ‘safe enough to protect’ Tick and Arthur begin to see they’ve got competition…

(23) ON THE THRONE. These are some butt-ugly posters, but don’t take my word for it, see for yourself: “HBO Just Released New ‘Game of Thrones’ Posters and Your Fave Ended Up on the Iron Throne” at Cosmopolitan.

So far, HBO‘s posters have left basically everything to the imagination, and all we really know is that it’s about to be super cold in Westeros. Like, now would be the time for everyone to break out their Canada Goose jackets. But HBO just dropped all these posters of your faves on the Iron Throne, so we have to wonder if this means the underdogs actually have a shot at winning it all.

(24) THIS IS THE CITY. The second trailer for Pokémon Detective Pikachu dropped a few days ago —

The story begins when ace private eye Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.

[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Joey Eschrich, Nancy Collins, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Matthew Johnson.]

63 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/2/19 Eating Soylent Green And Watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Now Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Go Back In Time

  1. (17) Mmmmm greenish jello. Going to be enjoying a lot of that later this week as I prepare for some Tests.

    (1) Clearly a minion of Bluecifer, the gigantic blue stallion with blazing red eyes who stands outside the Denver airport.

  2. (13) Horton Hatches the Egg was animated much better at a length of under ten minutes, back in 1942:


    No Seuss animation since has remotely measured up to this, gagged up and in-joked as it is. The first time I watched “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” I was disappointed at all the padding, and no subsequent attempt at adaptation of Seuss has even measured up to that. It’s like “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” in that I am glad there is at least one faithful adaptation out there (in the case of Mitty, it’s the 20-minute radio play with Robert Benchley as Mitty):

    There was a Broadway adaptation of Mitty that may have been content to base itself upon the story and not add a bunch of filler, but I’ve never seen it. I used to listen to the songs on a tape at the CSU library, though.

    (17) I’m still curious about the vegetable flavors of Jell-o (e.g., celery) that I see in old ads. On a related story, I’ve found a recipe for the fake cheesecake Mom used to make, with lemon Jell-o, cottage cheese, and graham cracker crust. I never could adjust to what they call real cheesecake, and have been separated from this childhood treat far too long now.

  3. I have to say that I kinda like the Mad Gebius Club. Has a nice ring to it without any of the icky aftertaste.

  4. (1) TRASH TALKER.

    Following some of the links to explorations of the various conspiracy theories was really interesting. I usually have a stopover in DEN once a year, but I didn’t know about any of this. Now I’m going to have to go looking.

  5. 13) Peter F. Hamilton – I started with the “Greg Mandel” near-future-psychic-mercenary-detective stories, which I’d actually recommend – they are long, but not so wrist-breakingly long as some of his later stuff (seriously, holding The Neutronium Alchemist in one hand made me think it really was neutronium), and they hold up pretty well. The middle book of this sort-of trilogy, A Quantum Murder, sticks in my mind as a genuinely clever SFnal murder mystery. (The other two are Mindstar Rising and The Nano Flower.)

  6. (15) Kid has no idea how lucky he’s going to feel, in thirty or forty years. When he’s over the embarrassment.

    In 3870, of course, we work hard to avoid embarrassing our credentials, because they don’t tolerate that at all.

  7. 18) I am super confused the talk of being voted onto the recommended reading list? That’s…misrepresenting how the SFWA Nebula reading work, and whoever explained it to this author apparently did them a disservice.

  8. (5) “Mad Gebius Club”? That makes more sense than the real name. 🙂

    (17) Good heavens, that salad is creepy.

  9. (23) I guess it’s just me, but when I read the description of the GoT posters (“butt-ugly”) I naturally assumed the artwork would be from the point of view of the throne’s seat.

  10. 23) What? No Hot Pie?

    (It’s always been my opinion that Hot Pie is the smartest Westeros character. He just stays as much out of sight as possible, and when every other character is laying dead in the Red Keep with each other’s swords and daggers in their backs, he’ll drive into King’s Landing with a wagonload of bread, toss it to the hungry peasants, step over the corpses, and take the Iron Throne for himself.)

  11. 1)
    I also followed some links regarding conspiracy theories about Denver Airport and am now sad that even if Berlin Brandenburg Airport a.k.a. Willy Brandt Airport will ever be finished, it will also have gone massively over budget, but it won’t have anything remotely as cool as creepy monster horses, talking gargoyles, weird murals and secret underground bunkers. Which is a pity.

  12. (18) REBUTTAL.
    Brad Torgersen chimes in with his version of events in the comments. I have a feeling of deja vu.

    Guess who’s back, back again
    Brad is back, tell a friend…

  13. Soon Lee: Brad Torgersen chimes in with his version of events in the comments.

    Poor Brad Torgersen. Stil scrabbling desperately at relevance, still failing miserably.

  14. Team White Walker! Sure, the Night King may be ugly, and his followers even uglier, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad people!

    “But he killed all those people!”

    They’re pretty ambulatory for dead folks! I prefer to think they’ve simply been converted to a form which is better suited to handle Winter. That’s right. I’m claiming the White Walkers are there to save Westeros! 🙂

  15. (13) The message of Green Eggs and Ham, it seems to me, is “If you nag someone hard enough and long enough, you can get them to do what you want.” I’ve never understood why this is a good message for a book for pre-schoolers.

  16. (18) Rebuttal

    *sigh* I see Brad’s still living in his alternate universe.

  17. (19) Can you imaging having to adjust the car seat manually on this entry level Tesla? How inconvenient can you get?

  18. (9)

    Stephen King made a serious point,

    As it happens, that was Tabitha King making that serious point, using her husband’s Twitter account.

    Whoever he is.

  19. Kurt Busiek: “The thoughts I’d be thinkin’ if I only had a —” Appertain yourself your favorite beverage!

  20. Her sequels Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy did not win awards but are no less impressive.

    Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy both won the Locus for best novel.

  21. @1: well, somebody’s having fun with that — but I wonder how long it will be before whoever is voicing it runs out of smart remarks. (And I’d like to know where SAN got the pieces for that Stargate from — I thought long-unclaimed bags were batched and sold blind.)

    @13: I’ve almost given up on Peter Hamilton after a couple of unpleasantly male-wish-fulfillment stories (making his sharing a birthday with Ann Leckie distinctly weird); has anyone read and liked his latest?
    @13 ctd: speaking of distinctly weird, has anyone else read The Raven Tower? I’m still chewing over how highly I’d rate it, but ISTM she took a slant that could easily be trivial or trite and made something substantial out of it.

    @18: this is me being absolutely out of !@#$%^&*()!s to give; if he wanted the high ground, he should have deleted a few more things before publishing them.

    @19: I still want to know how they’re going to put those cars on the road legally; do would-be owners have to register, then unregister if they decide not to keep the car? That may seem like a sales ploy to reduce returns, but ISTM that it will blow up in the company’s face.

    @20: and this morning’s news says the spacecraft has safely connected to the ISS. Is the US back in the game? Will US astronauts still learn Russian?

  22. bill, re:(13)
    Some young kids are very cautious and have to be cajoled and nagged into trying anything novel. I know, because that was me. Some of my favorite activities are things I never would have tried if my parents hadn’t basically forced me to “try it once.”

    Assuming Geisel wasn’t just being goofy for its own sake, he may have been thinking of kids like me.

  23. @20: and this morning’s news says the spacecraft has safely connected to the ISS. Is the US back in the game? Will US astronauts still learn Russian?

    Hatches open and stuff being unloaded. The blue blob is bouncing around happily but The Stig still hasn’t twitched.

    Crew rotation flights will continue to be mixed nationality (Russians taking seats on Dragon/Starliner and NASA on Soyuz plus ESA, Canada, Japan, etc on all three) but on an exchange basis rather than bought seats. All crew still need to be fluent in Russian and English as they need to be able to talk to both Mission Control Centres.

  24. @Chip
    I was awake most of the night after reading “The Raven Tower”, thinking about it. (As I said, it doesn’t go where you think it’s going to go.)

  25. (21) Crossovers were a continual pain in the source comics, especially when Marvel or DC would run one storyline across an entire month’s releases, so it’s probably a wise move to ditch the movie cameos.

  26. Chip Hitchcock on March 3, 2019 at 5:38 am said:

    @13: I’ve almost given up on Peter Hamilton after a couple of unpleasantly male-wish-fulfillment stories (making his sharing a birthday with Ann Leckie distinctly weird); has anyone read and liked his latest?

    As I mentioned in a recent thread, I’m a big fan of the stories in his
    Commonwealth universe (7 novels so far.) But then again, I have no problem with someone being a male who has wishes.

  27. 18) All I’ll say is, if his fiction is as filled with unnecessary backstory and exposition, I’m not interested.

  28. Bill: I had the same thought at first, but I also have two picky kids who need some cajoling to eat even a bite of a new food, even if they have no reason to hate it. There’s a kind of consent that needs to be respected for everyone, even small children (“No, grandma, he says he doesn’t want to hug”), and a kind of boundary pushing that is actively good for small children. Combine that with kids’ fondness for exaggeration, and you have a story which looks horribly boundary breaking and non-consensual to adults.

    I also measured by Elder son’s reaction to the story. He enjoyed it all the way to the end the first couple of times (It was also technically the first book he read alone that he hadn’t had read to him first), then got upset because the unnamed character being pressured by Sam-I-Am liked it — not because he tried it under pressure but because it broke the word patterns. So the third try, I changed the ending to one where he says “I tried it and I still don’t like and leave me alone” (except with all the obvious rhymes and patterns) And he giggled a lot — but also took back the book, and insisted on reading the ending as written himself. And has read it that way since.

    The Cat In the Hat bothers me MORE, because there is no kid friendly moral even possible to extract from it with some thought. A stranger invades your house, does stuff he thinks is fun to you and yours, which you generally don’t find fun, cleans all trace of his presence, and when Mom comes home, it’s left as an open question whether to even tell her. I always add to tell Mommy as she would love to hear your stories. And try to listen to their stories when they tell them now.

  29. @Lenora, Nickp — Re: Green Eggs and Ham. I was being tongue-in-cheek. Should have made it more obvious. It’s a fine book, and one I read to my son. Lenora — you mentioned the first book that your youngun read. My son had several of Sandra Boynton’s board books, including Blue Hat Green Hat. The text is short and straightforward enough that, by using the pictures as prompts, he was able to essentially memorize it at a very young age (three or so?). So my mother was visiting, and we got the book out and I said, “Hey Mom, check this out.” And my son opened the page and started “reading” the book all the way through. Mom was amazed that he could read at such a young age.

    @Chip Hitchcock @19: I still want to know how they’re going to put those cars on the road legally; do would-be owners have to register, then unregister if they decide not to keep the car?
    Dunno about your jurisdiction, but in mine you’ve got 30 days to register a new vehicle. Until then the dealer issues you a temp license plate, and you have to keep the sales paperwork in the vehicle in lieu of proper registration. I’d bet most states have similar procedures.

  30. rcade says Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy both won the Locus for best novel.

    Oppps! I didn’t catch those Awatds, so I stand corrected.

  31. As a resident of Denver, I can confirm both that our airport is cursed and that our public art installations are super weird. (The kidneys light up at night, even.)

  32. Her sequels Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy did not win awards but are no less impressive.

    rcade: Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy both won the Locus for best novel.

    Ancillary Sword also won the BSFA and the Prix Imaginaire, and was a Hugo and Nebula finalist.

    Ancillary Mercy also won the Prix Imaginaire, and was a Hugo and Nebula finalist.

    That series was seriously epic and deserved all its recognition. I do almost no re-reading anymore, but I’m looking forward to re-reading it at some point in the future when it’s faded enough in my memory for me to be able to rediscover parts that I’ve forgotten.

    ETA: In addition to the Hugo, Nebula, Clarke, BSFA, BFA, and the Locus, Ancillary Justice also won the the Seiun and the Prix Imaginaire.

  33. Becca: Denver’s convention center also has a lovable piece of art — the blue bear:

    Blue bear

  34. @Mike: The blue bear is the best! But I figured a lot of people here might know him, since sci fi nerds often spend time in convention centers.

    There’s also giant bronze cows on the other side of the Denver Art Museum, and a pony on a chair in front of the Central branch of the library, and a….climbing wall penis thing? near the dust pan. The University of Denver has a set of benches that are shaped like lips that sometimes talk to passersby (it’s a prerecorded thing, though, unlike the DIA gargoyle), but DU is private so I don’t think we can put them in quite the same public art bucket as Bear And Friends.

    I don’t understand how we got such art, but I kind of love it.

  35. Marshall Ryan Maresca: 18) All I’ll say is, if his fiction is as filled with unnecessary backstory and exposition, I’m not interested.

    Since half of what he’s put in that post is fiction, I’d say you’ve already experienced what his fiction is like.

  36. Ok Awards to Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy . Point made. I screwed up on my research. It happens. Depending on the time of day when I do these, I’ll admit that sometimes double checking facts isn’t done if my headache isn’t at its best.

  37. Cat, the additional info I posted was not intended as a correction, it was intended as additional information, because look how awesome those books are! 😀

  38. JJ notes Cat, the additional info I posted was not intended as a correction, it was intended as additional information, because look how awesome those books are! ?

    Yeah you I’ll believe that from. Others are more nitpicking at times. Sorry it’s been a very bad week.

    I finally got my follow-up on that damn elbow scheduled with the orthopaedic surgeon who’s going to do the surgery to fix it.

    Absolutely panicked the staffer who did screening questions who insisted I get myself to Emergency as I was obviously, well, in acute condition. I told her I had neither a severe infection nor fluid build up as I had seen a physician that Monday and everything was well, not fine, but reasonably stable. I had to remind her that this was a referral not a primary care visit which she had obviously forgotten.

    Mind having the elbow rebuilt isn’t going to be any fun…

  39. Cat Eldridge: I finally got my follow-up on that damn elbow scheduled with the orthopaedic surgeon who’s going to do the surgery to fix it.

    I’m glad to hear that. That needs to be fixed ASAP. I hope you can get a good result from the surgery first time out.

  40. JJ says I’m glad to hear that. That needs to be fixed ASAP. I hope you can get a good result from the surgery first time out.

    Fixing it should be easy. It’ll just be a matter of how much damage that’s been done to the surrounding tendon and muscles that might or might not be permanent. The pain has been bad enough that my Primary Care Provider has me on a low dose of OxyContin at night for pain relief in order to sleep. (I’ve been seeing her for ten years, she’s wonderful, and she’s very careful with me as I do have severe head trauma but sleep is required.)

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