Pixel Scroll 3/4/22 24 Views Of Mt. Tsundoku By Hokufile

(1) WHO IS NUMBER ONE. The “Surprise! Four Secret Novels by Brandon Sanderson” Kickstarter was almost at $22 million when I looked earlier today. It’s now the Most Funded Kickstarter in history.

Yesterday the New York Times talked to Sanderson about his success in “Fantasy Author Raises $15.4 Million in 24 Hours to Self-Publish”.

…“If Amazon’s grip on the industry is weakened, that’s good for the publishers — they are very much under Amazon’s thumb right now,” Sanderson said. “I don’t want to present this as ‘Brandon versus Amazon.’ Amazon’s great. But I think that in the long run, Amazon being a monopoly is actually bad for Amazon. If they don’t have competition, they will stop innovating.”

He also wanted to play around with bundling and upselling. Traditional publishers, he said, offer few products and few options. The array of packages on Kickstarter range from $40 for four e-books to $500 for the four books in all formats, plus eight boxes of “swag.”

“What I can do with the Kickstarter,” he said, “is I can say, ‘hey, if you really want to have more, we will give you more.’”

(2) FIRESIDE WILL STOP PUBLISHING IN 2022. Brian J. White, Executive Editor and Owner of Fireside, announced yesterday that the magazine will stop publishing later this year.

… When I stepped back in as owner last year, I had big hopes of taking Fireside forward for years to come. But unfortunately life had other ideas, between major increases last fall to my responsibilities at my day job and a series of difficult life events that have made it impossible for me to continue Fireside while maintaining any semblance of mental and physical health. Compounding that, even though we made progress in adding subscribers, Fireside is still losing a lot of money each month, and the circumstances described above also got in the way of implementing additional plans to bring in more funds.

This was a really difficult decision to make, but between the time and financial considerations, I can’t find a path forward. Fireside has an incredible legacy, and I don’t want that to be marred by a slow, struggling death. The best thing for the magazine is to allow it to close with grace and dignity once we’ve published all the stories and poems we currently have under contract, as well as two books that have been in the works for a long time….

…While Fireside Magazine will no longer be accepting submissions, we have enough content under contract to continue publishing into September, both through our usual ebooks and weekly stories released online. Everything we’ve published in the magazine will remain available online….

(3) LETTER FROM UKRAINE. Charles Stross posted an open letter from his Ukranian translator: “A letter from Ukrainian artists to the world artists”.

… We believe that not all Russian citizens are fans of Putin’s regime and not all of them justify this war. We know that plenty of Russians feel scared to use their voices and speak up against Putin’s regime. Many believe it is none of their business. Yet, there are also many who believe in the righteousness of Putin and his propaganda.

So, we plead with you — writers and visual content creators that have big audiences of readers and followers in Russia. To them, your opinion and your words matter. Your stand on the war in Ukraine matters. Please, stand by us as we fight for our values, our democracy, and our freedom. For the simple right to be Ukrainians and live in Ukraine. Your powerful voices can influence these Russian readers and followers. To encourage them to be brave, connect with their values, and take a stand on ending this ruthless war.

Please, take to your platforms and address your Russian and Ukrainian audiences. The first ones need your encouragement to believe in the power of their voices against Putin’s regime. The second ones are in desperate need of support and kindness….

(4) MEANWHILE, IN MOSCOW. Repression is ramping up in Moscow – and every other Idaho town. Boise State Public Radio reports “Idaho librarians could face jail time for lending “harmful” books”.

…House lawmakers could soon consider whether prosecutors could criminally charge librarians for allowing minors to check out sexually explicit materials.

Giving explicit material to kids has been a crime in Idaho since at least 1972, but public libraries, including those at colleges and universities, are exempted from that law.

Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) wants to cut that exemption, meaning librarians could face up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine any time they lend explicit materials to someone under 18….

(5) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman encourages listeners to eat enchiladas with Bram Stoker Award-winning writer Paul Tremblay in episode 166 of his Eating the Fantastic podcast.

Paul Tremblay

Paul Tremblay is the author of the award-winning novels novels A Head Full of Ghosts (2015), which won the Bram Stoker Award and the Massachusetts Book Award, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock (2016), which won the British Fantasy Award, and The Cabin at the End of the World (2018), which won the Bram Stoker Award and Locus Award. His most recent novel is Survivor Song, published in 2020, with The Pallbearer’s Club due out later this year. He’s also the author of the novels The Little SleepNo Sleep till WonderlandSwallowing a Donkey’s Eye, and writing as P. T,. Jones along with Stephen Graham Jones, Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly. His short story collection Growing Things and Other Stories was published in 2019. He is the co-editor of four anthologies including Creatures: Thirty Years of Monster Stories (with John Langan), and is on the board of directors and is one of the jurors for the Shirley Jackson Awards.

We discussed his legendary hatred of pickles, what it was like writing a pandemic novel before a pandemic only to see it published in the middle of one, if reviewers would have reacted differently to his zombies had Survivor Song been published any other year, his feelings about the description of him as a postmodernist, our shared love of ambiguity in fiction, whether horror having a moment means horror will also have an end, the one passage in his most recent novel which caused an argument with his editor, what’s up with the movie adaptations of his books, and much more.

(6) THE CALCULATION IS IN. Mary Robinette Kowal’s gala commemorating the 70th Anniversary of The Meteor (the event which precipitates The Calculating Stars) did more than $8,000 in gross sales as part of her effort to support HIAS in Ukraine for the crisis response work that they are doing.

(7) GUARDIANS OF JUSTICE. BGR promises “Netflix’s new superhero show might be the weirdest thing you ever watch”.

…People have no definitive idea what to make of Netflix’s newly released superhero series, The Guardians of Justice. That’s the only conclusion I can draw from the fact that reviews and user reaction is absolutely all over the place — to say nothing of the fact that the trailer for this streaming series, which is about a group of superheroes who confront evil after “their fearless leader self-destructs” — left me utterly speechless. In an “I have no idea what to even think” or “what is going on here” sort of way.

First of all, the show switches between animation and live-action, which takes some getting used to. The voice cast includes Diamond Dallas Page, Sharni Vinson, Denise Richards, and RJ Mitte. And there’s a kind of Adult Swim aesthetic that people either love or can’t stand….

(8) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Leanna Renee Hieber and John C. Foster on March 16 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. This will be an in-person event at the KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003 (Just off 2nd Ave, upstairs).

Leanna Renee Hieber

Leanna Renee Hieber is an actress, playwright, narrator and award-winning author of Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy novels for Tor and Kensington Books such as the Strangely Beautiful, Eterna Files, Spectral City series and A Haunted History of Invisible Women: True Stories of America’s Ghosts. Featured on TV shows like Mysteries at the Museum and Beyond the Unknown discussing Victorian Spiritualism, Leanna lectures around the country on paranormal and 19th century subjects.

John C. Foster

John C. Foster is the author of the forthcoming horror novel, Leech, the recent crime thriller Rooster and four other horror novels, the most recent of which is Mister White. His stories have been collected in Baby Powder and Other Terrifying Substances. He lives in Brooklyn with the actress Linda Jones and their dog Coraline.

(9) FANAC.ORG FANHISTORY ZOOM PART 2. The LASFS family reunion continues in the second part of Fanac.org’s latest fanhistory Zoom: “Death Does Not Release You – LASFS (Pt 2 of 2)”.

In part 2 of this FANAC Fan History Zoom Session (Feb 2022), the LASFS family reunion continues. Craig Miller (TV writer and producer, Worldcon chair, and LASFS member), Ken Rudolph (filmmaker, fanzine editor, former LASFS officer), Tim Kirk (professional artist, awarded many Fan Artist and Professional Artist Hugo Awards), and Bobbi Armbruster (professional and fan meeting and convention organizer) continue their conversation. Despite some early audio problems, the talk ranges from other Los Angeles fan subgroups like the Bixel Street Irregulars (40s), the Petards (late 60s-80s) and the Blackguards (60s), to well-known fans and professionals of the Los Angeles area to untimely deaths. Tim Kirk tells the wonderful story of how his Master’s Thesis and a little luck resulted in his breaking through to the professional art field. There are even some convention stories, including the surprising origin of Loscon. If you’re interested in the first big Heinlein blood drive, plans for the Last Dangerous Visions, or how many people could fit in the clubhouse kitchen, settle back and enjoy the recording.

(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

2011 [Item by Cat Eldridge] Eleven years ago, The Adjustment Bureau film premiered. It is based off the Philip K. Dick “Adjustment Team” short story that was first published in Orbit Science Fiction (No. 4, September–October 1954). (It’s available in The Adjustment Team and Other Selected Stories from the usual suspects for just a buck ninety nine.)  

Written and directed by George Nolfi, who previously wrote the genre film Timeline, it had a lot of producers — Bill Carraro, Michael Hackett, Chris Moore, plus George Nolfi in his third role in the film. It had an absolutely amazing cast: Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Michael Kelly, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery and Terence Stamp. 

It did exceedingly well at the box office making nearly one hundred thirty million against just fifty million in total costs. Rather great I’d say. 

So how was the reception for it? Mostly excellent really though a few reviewers I admit were really puzzled by it as romance and SF is a combination they don’t grok. The reviewer at the Washington Examiner said that it “is that rare thing, an intelligent romance” while 7M Pictures stated of it that is “a fantastic piece of science fiction told in the flavor of a classic Twilight Zone episode.” And the Examiner summed it up nicely this way: “It’s rare when a film is able to blend together two different genres so well, especially when they are two genres that you don’t normally see together, in this case, science-fiction and romance.”

It does not get that a great rating at Rotten Tomatoes among audience reviewers garnering just sixty-seven percent. Not bad, but not overwhelming. 

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 4, 1905 Frank Utpatel. Artist who may have done some interior illustrations for Weird Tales, he’s remembered for his Arkham House book covers that began with Lovecraft’s The Shadow over Innsmouth novel in 1936. He would do covers for Ashton, Howard, Derleth, and Lovecraft. One of my favorite covers by him is for Derleth’s The Casebook of Solar Pons but then I like all of his Solar Pons covers and their obviously Holmesian riff. (Died 1980.)
  • Born March 4, 1914 Ward Kimball. He was part of Walt Disney’s original team of animators, known as the Nine Old Men. Keep in mind that he did not create characters but animated them, which he did to great ability — Jiminy Cricket, the Mad Hatter, Mickey Mouse, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. He eventually became an animation director at Disney starting with Fantasia, and he worked on Mary Poppins. (Died 2002.)
  • Born March 4, 1923 Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore CBE HonFRS FRAS. Astronomer who liked Trek and Who early on but said later that he stopped watching when “they went PC – making women commanders.” Despite that, he’s here because he shows up in the debut Eleventh Doctor story, “The Eleventh Hour“. And he was also in the radio version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (Died 2012.)
  • Born March 4, 1923 Patrick Moore. He held the record as the presenter of the world’s longest-running television series with the same original presenter, BBC’s The Sky at Night.  He was a genre writer with six such novels to his name, one co-written, and a lot of related non-fiction, one that garnered him a Hugo nomination at Interaction, Futures: 50 Years in Space: The Challenge of the Stars, that was co-written with David A. Hardy. (Died 2012.)
  • Born March 4, 1965 Paul W. S. Anderson, 57. If there be modern pulp films, he’s the director of them. He’s responsible for the Resident Evil franchise plus Event HorizonAlien V. PredatorPandorum and even Monster Hunter
  • Born March 4, 1966 Paul Malmont, 56. Author of the comic strips The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril and Jack London in Paradise which blends pulp tropes and SF elements including using as protagonists Heinlein and Asimov. He wrote the first four issues of DC’s excellent Doc Savage series with artist Howard Porter. While a marketing executive at DC he created the DC Daily video series, now over four hundred and fifty episodes long. 
  • Born March 4, 1973 Len Wiseman, 49. Producer or Director of the Underworld franchise. Director of the Total Recall remake. Also involved in StargateIndependence DayMen in Black and Godzilla in the Property Department end of things. He is the Sleepy Hollow series creator and producer for much of it, wrote the pilot as well. (Is it worth watching? I’ve not seen any of it.) Producer for much of the Lucifer seriesas well and is the producer for the entire series of the rebooted Swamp Thing. Also produced The Gifted

(12) COMICS SECTION.

  • The Argyle Sweater probably should be spelled “Aaarggghyle” after this bad superhero-themed pun.
  • Bizarro makes an okay joke in the foreground, but studying the gags in the background is even more entertaining.  

(13) CLICK AND LEARN. What writer whose initials are Ray Bradbury helped inspire lyricist Bernie Taupin? Far Out Magazine knows: “The story behind Elton John song ‘Rocket Man’”.

…The opening lines, which read: “She packed my bags last night, pre-flight. Zero hour: 9am. And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then,” was conceived by Taupin while he was driving to his parents in Lincolnshire, England. Anxious that he’ll forget the lines, he drove some back roads as fast as he could to put it down on paper. Until he reached their house he had to “repeat it to himself for two hours,” which was “unfortunate” but also worthwhile given the magnanimous status the song achieved….

(14) AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. SYFY Wire assures us that John DiMaggio will voice Bender in the forthcoming Futurama revival. A bit of closure to a “crisis” that might have gone completely unnoticed had it happened this week.

Good news… again… everyone! Bendergate is finally over. Actor John DiMaggio has officially settled his pay dispute with 20th Century Studios and will return as the voice of Bender for Hulu’s upcoming revival of Futurama. To quote the booze and cigar-loving robot specifically programed for bending girders (and partying): “It’s gonna be fun on a bun!”…

(15) CONREP IN THE WIND. SF2 Concatenation has just tweeted the link to an advance-post of a Windycon con report. This is ahead of their full seasonal edition slated for April 15 (but which may be held till April 20 if the Hugo short-lists are announced Easter weekend).

By Sue Burke: “The 2021 Windycon in Chicago, USA”.

In some ways, Windycon 47 unfolded normally, with panels, music, theatre, gaming, an anime track, art show, dealer’s room, and even the season’s first snowfall, right on time. It happened in the usual place, the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center. But the 47th annual Windycon should have taken place two years earlier in 2020. Instead, due to CoVID-19, a pared-down Zoom event 13th-15th November 2020, called Breezycon, offered a taste of the “family” feeling of the convention’s long history….

(16) BUSTED. Got to love the New York Times headline: “‘After Yang’ Review: Do Androids Dream of Sheep, Babysitting, Being?”

…Repairing Yang proves unsurprisingly more challenging than poking around under the hood of a car. Yang is a secondhand model, “certified refurbished,” yet used nevertheless. And while his warranty is still valid, the store where he was procured, Second Siblings, is out of business. “I told you we should have just bought a new one,” Kyra chides Jake with the old I-told-you-so sigh. In the future, men still take care of the big household chores; wives berate their husbands for making foolish decisions; and some families live in swoon-worthy houses with floor-to-ceiling windows and open-floor plans….

(17) THE NEXT BIG THING IS STILL PRETTY SMALL. “Two pillars of biological dogma upended by discovery of huge bacteria with nuclei”Daily Kos analyzes the impact.

…The proposed new species, Thiomargarita magnifica, is about 50 times larger than any other known bacterium, and it’s also the only bacterium we know of to keep its DNA inside a membrane-bound structure.  Either of those discoveries by itself would be very significant, so this double whammy really is a rare find.  Game changer!  Paradigm shift!  And all that jazz!  Microbiologists sure seem impressed

(18) MADAM I’M ADAM. A time-traveling pilot teams up with his younger self and his late father to come to terms with his past while saving the future. Comes to Netflix on March 11.

(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Superman and Batman kibitz in this latest video from How It Should Have Ended that dropped today. “How Spider-Man No Way Home Should Have Ended”.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Daniel Dern, Chris Barkley, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

38 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/4/22 24 Views Of Mt. Tsundoku By Hokufile

  1. (11) I liked Paul Malmont’s The Amazing, The Astounding, and the Unknown

  2. (9) I don’t know how many could fit in the kitchen, but one evening there were at least five in there watching “Duck Dodgers” projected on the wall opposite the sink.

  3. 4) There’s a bill in the Iowa legislature that could send teachers and school admins to jail if a parent decides to charge them with giving a child “indecent” works (which includes Maus, in some folks’ eyes).

  4. (4) I tend to think that people proposing this aren’t aware of what kids already have read/seen/heard, and think it’s still the Olden Days like they watched on TV when they were young. (Hint: it was never that way.)

  5. 1) Did I tell you that my Aunt Mabel was a close acquaintance of Brandon Sanderson’s upstairs neighbor?

  6. Sleepy Hollow started out great the first season, but went downhill after that (IMNSHO). They set up certain concepts that they never did much with, and misused some characters. But the first season was quite fun.

  7. (1) WHO IS NUMBER ONE.
    Whoa… Congratulations to Brandon Sanderson. That is huge (literally).

    And thank you for title credit.

    (I deliberately chose 24 views after the Zelazny short story, instead of 36 views, which is the title of Hokusai’s print series.)

  8. WHO IS NUMBER ONE

    The numbers are fascinating. It’s roughly eighty thousand individuals with a median contribution of two hundred and fifty dollars apiece. It’s a good indication of just how many dedicated fans that he is.

    I’ve spent nearly that much on a single work, the Morrow edition of Neverwhere, so I’m not really surprised that his fans plunked that much down for these goodies as we all have our passions.

  9. 4) I always assumed that all kids read some things they weren’t supposed to. I definitely did and I expected my kids to, it’s why I didn’t go in when I saw their bedroom lights on in the middle of the night.
    I’m having a hard time with the idea that some people think they can actually control what their kids are exposed to. I can only suggest home schooling

  10. @bookworm1398
    My parents certainly were aware that I read (under the covers, with a flashlight) at night. They figured as long as I got enough sleep, it didn’t matter. (I usually did that because I had, and still have, a hard time getting to sleep.)

  11. @bookworm1398
    Without expressing any opinion on the law in question — the fact that you can’t be 100% successful in preventing kids from seeing stuff which you believe is bad for them doesn’t mean that attempts to try are misguided. (said as a parent of a teenager, and as a former teenager who sought out Playboys and the like).

    I don’t expect I can control what he sees. I do expect that by setting limits, I can help him learn that there is a time and a place for things like adult media, a context for when adult language may or may not be appropriate, etc.

    (11)

    Frank Utpatel. Artist who may have done some interior illustrations for Weird Tales

    He definitely did this illustration for Weird Tales (see credits on p. 768).

    Ward Kimball

    Not only an animator, but a huge railroad enthusiast, so much so that he built a track in his back yard for his own steam locomotive.

  12. 11) Interesting that Patrick Moore has two entries. I own and have read Martin Mobberley’s biography of him, “It Came from Outer Space, Wearing an RAF Blazer,” which is a fascinating read, if you enjoy descriptions of traditional English eccentrics. He was a hero of mine in youth, when half the books about amateur astronomy seemed to be written by him. All excellent books, even if he was as fond of promoting the theory of the volcanic origin of lunar craters as Sir Fred Hoyle was of promoting the Steady State theory of cosmology.

    Later on, I found that in 1954 he perpetrated a UFO hoax, posing as one “Cedric Allingham,” a UFO contactee in the mold of George Adamski and Truman Bethurum. He wrote a book titled “Flying Saucer from Mars,” which told of “his” experience of being contacted by a UFO occupant. “Allingham” was supposed to be an amateur astronomer, and the photo of “him” in the book was really of a close friend, posing with a large reflector telescope. That the scope looked just like the custom-built one belonging to Moore (which was depicted in more than one of his astronomy books), coupled with the impossibility of tracking down “Allingham,” led two skeptical UFO researchers in the UK to other clues which pinned down Patrick Moore as the real “Cedric Allingham.”

    He never admitted to this; however, he’d made a habit in lecture and in print of debunking UFOs by bringing up the Allingham case as an obvious fraud, beginning shortly after “Flying Saucer from Mars” was published. After 1986, when the hoax was exposed, he never breathed a word about Allingham in public again.

    One thing that was very clear from his biography was that he was almost as fond of his cats as he was of studying the stars.

  13. (3) LETTER FROM UKRAINE. Charles Stross posted an open letter from his Ukranian translator: “A letter from Ukrainian artists to the world artists”.

    I know several of the people who wrote/signed the letter very well. I vouch for its contents and veracity. I urge everyone to circulate that letter as widely as you can.

  14. 7) The Guardiands of Justice is seven half-hour-timeslot episodes, easy to binge-watch in one evening, so what the heck, I binged.

    It’s… uneven, I think. Supposedly set in 1987, with a very late-80s videogame aesthetic. The starting point is that in 1947, Superman expy Marvelous Man comes to earth, ends World War III by defeating cyborg mecha-Hitler and his armies in a single day, and ushers in an era of world piece. Then, in his annual broadcast from his Citadel of Justice, he commemorates the fortieth anniversary by blowing his brains out. How will the world cope without him? What drove him to this act? And how did he get hold of the single special bullet that could kill him, supposedly locked safely away in a vault after his enemy Logan Lennox created it? Under the leadership of ageing and bitter Batman expy Knight Hawk, the remaining Guardians of Justice set out to uncover the truth. And a lot of skeletons come out of closets, and a lot of sordid details and secret agendas are revealed along the way.

    Pros: it moves along at a rapid pace, there’s a lot of action on the screen (often in blocky pixellated animation that would just about be within the capacities of your old Atari console). It really commits to the video game thing, with it bleeding out of the animation and into the live-action sequences – things like visible health bars over enemy mooks’ heads, and on-screen graphics announcing “Boss Battle!” and “FATALITY”. There are obvious shout-outs to shows like the Adam West Batman, films like Tron, and of course video games like Mortal Kombat. Most of the heavy lifting in terms of the plot is done by Diamond Dallas Page as Knight Hawk and Sharni Vinson as The Speed, and they’re both at least passable in the roles.

    Cons: if visual clutter and flashing lights give you a headache, you are not going to enjoy this – it is very much Not Subtle. A lot of work’s clearly gone into those animations, but the live-action stuff is visibly less successful – the locations are unconvincing sets and Whatever Disused Basement We Could Get Keys For Today (the establishing shots of “exteriors” are obvious models that reminded me of The Starlost or, at best, the hospital in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace),and while Page and Vinson may be OK, some of the other cast sound as though they’ve just set eyes on the script and are being forced to read it at gunpoint. With the exception of Vinson’s simple, sleek bodysuit, the superhero costumes are ill-fitting and unconvincing. Of course, you could argue that it’s deliberately aiming for a naff look… but it’s not so easy to tell the difference between that and, well, just being naff.

    Also, this is the fourth super-team I’ve seen this week that’s a thinly disguised rip-off of the Justice League of America, and, frankly, by now this just seems lazy to me. I suppose the casting is reasonably diverse, at least.

    I think this is going to be very much a Marmite sort of a show. It’s got flashy visuals, plenty of black humour, a fair amount of gore (“FATALITY”), and it comes with a downer ending, to boot. Personally, I like some of these things and can at least cope with the rest, but some or all of them will be turn-offs for some. (Then, there’s that diverse casting, and some open references to homosexuality, which will make the Nutty Nuggets crowd switch off. You can’t please everyone,)

  15. I am fairly sure that Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore CBE HonFRS FRAS and Patrick Moore are the same person.

  16. 4) I think it goes without saying that the actual point of this proposal is to intimidate library workers and make them reluctant to stock books that might attract the ire of conservatives, not to protect children.

  17. (1) Those numbers are amazing. Somewhere (Twitter? Here?), I read a post pointing out that the actual numbers of pledgers weren’t that high considering Sanderson’s popularity — but the fact that so many opted for the highest pledge was.

    I wish more authors had the wherewithal, support staff, and fans required to offer swag at this level — or like the swag he sells on his website. Heck, I wish more authors offered items on Redbubble or similar sites.

    (5) I knew pickles would be mentioned there!

    (13) That song always gave me a huge Ray Bradbury vibe, even before I read it was inspired by Bradbury.

  18. 4) We’ve also seen plenty of evidence that the sort of people who sponsor these laws have definitions of “explicit” that include books that even mention the existence of gay or trans people of any age engaging in any kind of activity, no matter how innocuous.

  19. (11) No “may have” about Weird Tales interior illustrations by Frank Utpatel. He clearly signed the illustration for “In the Left Wing” on page 772 of the June 1932 issue of Weird Tales. Page 772, you ask? Page numbers for Weird Tales were carried over by volume and issue number.

  20. (2) I’m sad that Fireside is closing because they did some remarkable things but I really don’t want people exhausting themselves or hurting their own mental health to put out magazines.

  21. (3) LETTER FROM UKRAINE: The letter requests fans to boycott the Russian book market until the war is over. That seems like the right thing to do. What about conventions? The letter doesn’t say. I think fans should boycott literary events featuring persons who openly support the war and spread pro-war propaganda.

    Specifically this means boycotting Chengdu in 2023. My apologies to the many wonderful Chinese SF fans that I will miss seeing. This is not about you. I just will not attend or work on an event that has an odious warmonger as a guest of honor.

  22. I agree with @Troyce. The first season is fantastic. My roommate and I loved it even though we were deeply skeptical about the premise but tuned in anyway. We were entirely won over halfway through the pilot!

    The problem is that in 2nd season they sideline one of the two stars and the series goes off in a direction that no one cares about. It’s made worse that the actress who has to carry the plot of the 2nd season just isn’t up to the job.

    We didn’t even make it halfway through third season before we noped out, in spite of the considerable charms of Tom Mison. I can’t believe the show continued on without her, as that pretty much destroys the entire premise and underlying mythology of the show.

    Nicole Beharie deserved better!

    Whether you are able to enjoy the show after the first season depends entirely on your feelings for Tom Mison.

  23. World Weary says Whether you are able to enjoy the show after the first season depends entirely on your feelings for Tom Mison.

    The only time I’ve seen him was when his Sleepy Hollow character showed up on Bones. Very weird episode.

    Thanks all for the comments about the series. I’ll likely watch the first season at some point.

  24. (4)

    The statute outlaws anyone from making available “any other material harmful to minors” on top of pornography, nude art or books that include descriptions of sexual excitement.

    Yep, no reason bill would see any reason to express an opinion against a really vague law that sets librarians up for a felony conviction for allowing anyone under the age of 18 to check out something someone else decides to claim is “harmful” to “children.” Such as, to take a random example, middle schoolers who want to know more about the Holocaust than morally stunted politicians think they should know, and check out Maus. Which certain politicians have claimed to find “obscene” due to an image which shows a nude dead woman, and can see–absolutely nothing titillating, because she’s in a bathtub and mostly under the water.

    God forbid librarians do their jobs according to their professional standards rather than the most mentally and morally stunted standards of mentally and morally stunted politicians who think democracy, and women getting the vote, are both terrible mistakes.

    Sophie Jane is right. Protecting children is no part of the purpose of these laws. It’s designed to intimidate librarians out of stocking anything in public libraries, or college libraries, that might offend those mental midgets who right them. Mental midgets who are, at root, deeply offended that anyone is allowed to read what they don’t approve of.

    @bill–I’d bet you weren’t harmed in the slightest by finding your dad’s Playboys, any more than I was by finding my dad’s. It’s perfectly natural that parents try to keep their teens away from Playboy–and also perfectly natural that the teens will find them.

    Teens actually do need to do some rule-breaking, for their normal development at that stage, and Playboy is simultaneously nicely shocking for a kid that age, and pretty harmless.

    Is it worth noting that they’re normally not going to find it in the library anyway? There was a time when the Playboy interviews were a real reason to have it available in the library, but I don’t think that’s still true. Pr0n magazines are not routinely stocked in, especially, small town libraries who don’t really have the budget to stock something that almost no one wants walk into the public library, and check out from Madam Librarian, or teenage or early 20s, typically female, library clerk. That’s not what these laws are about. They’re about things like Maus, or reality-based, fairly objective, sex ed materials. Or teen reading materials that include issues teens are actually experiencing in their lives.

    And bill thinks there’s some valid concern being expressed in such laws. Of course he does.

  25. @Lis Carey

    And bill thinks there’s some valid concern being expressed in such laws.

    I specifically did not say what I think about the law. First thing in the post, because I didn’t want to get into this again, particularly with you. Can you even read?

    Or do you just delight in mischaracterizing what people say just so you can cast aspersions?

    (After all, it was you who said the Maus controversy was about a nude mouse, when it was about Spiegelman’s mother (who was a human, not a mouse, fyi). So at a minimum, you don’t read.)

  26. And, btw, “harmful to minors” is defined in Idaho law (18-1514) to clearly mean legally obscene material. So, your “random example” of Maus doesn’t count, and you are making a mountain of a fantasy molehill.

    Once again, read up on what is being discussed, and you won’t look so much like you don’t know what you are talking about. (Ignorance is a bad look for a librarian, wouldn’t you say?)

  27. @bill–Yes, I can read. And think, and remember.

    This isn’t the first law of its type. They always get used to try to restrict what libraries can carry and circulate, that don’t meet the normal legal definition of “obscene.”

    Things like reality-based sex ed materials, and YA fiction that addresses real issues real teens are dealing with because they’re teens, and don’t live in some imaginary world where they don’t have to deal with them.

    You have a history, too, most recently, of course, of trying to pretend that rational people could plausibly find Maus harmful to children based on a couple of swear words and a drawing of a naked woman in a tub–almost completely submerged in the water. Which, yeah, is why I used the Maus example, you having been so very determined on that point.

    A law that makes giving a book to a minor, in a library, that someone subsequently decides to claim is “harmful to children,” a felony, is not an attempt at setting reasonable limits. It’s an attempt at censorship and intimidation, and librarians, as well as most other adults who aren’t willfully ignorant, know exactly how these laws get used, based on the history of how these laws have been used.

  28. is defined in Idaho law (18-1514) to clearly mean legally obscene material. So, your “random example” of Maus doesn’t count

    and check out Maus. Which certain politicians have claimed to find “obscene”

    Hmm.

  29. And also, in many states the age of consent is 16. So teens having consensual s-x would not be able to check out books about it, because someone else thinks they aren’t ready for it.

  30. And, btw, “harmful to minors” is defined in Idaho law (18-1514) to clearly mean legally obscene material. So, your “random example” of Maus doesn’t count, and you are making a mountain of a fantasy molehill.

    Because “legally obscene material” is always easy to define objectively and not at ALL an endlessly subjective quality that led a judge attempting to define it as recently as 1964 to say, “I know it when I see it.”

  31. @ billl
    That’s good. But it seems to have upset the people making comments. You’d think they’d be happy that a vaguely worded law that did not define what was objectionable was killed. That would be … reasonable. Nope. The sentiment of some is: How dare libraries and librarians be supported by public funds while they promote their “agendas”? Ewwww. (I know the link was on the Reason magazine website, but still…)

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