Pixel Scroll 3/5/17 I Could Not Scroll Thee (Dear) So Much, Scroll’d I Not Pixels More

(1) WEIN SCHEDULED FOR SURGERY. Wolverine co-creator Len Wein has made a public appeal for your good thoughts when he’s in surgery on Tuesday:

Hey, Gang–

I am about to impose on our online friendship for what I pray will be the final time. Then I can go back to posting endless videos of cute Golden Retriever puppies, of which there can never be too many.

Okay, so here’s the deal: About six weeks ago, I took a header while leaving my foot doctor’s office and bounced my head off the floor, which I may have talked about here. At first, they thought the damage was minimal, but further testing revealed I had fractured/broken my upper neck in several places, which need repair immediately or I run the risk of becoming a planter with a head on it. I’m going into the hospital tomorrow morning (March 6) for prep, with major all-day surgery scheduled for Tuesday (March 7) at 11AM PST.

So here’s where you come in. At that time on Tuesday morning, I’d really appreciate it if you just think good healing thoughts about me. I asked the same of you two years ago when I had my quintuple bypass heart surgery, and I believe to this day that’s a major reason I survived it.

So, if you think you can, please do. On the other hand, if you think I drink runny eggs through a straw, I’d rather you not think of me at all. After that, the rest is up to my talented surgeons and whatever Higher Powers That Be.

Thanks for listening, and I hope to see you on the other side.

(2) SPACEMAN SPIFF’S FRIEND. On The Verge, Andrew Liptak introduces readers to Brian Kesinger’s Tea Girls, which includes a series of  Calvin and Hobbes-style Star Wars cartoons.

(3) GANYMEDE BORNE ALOFT BY DEVELOPERS. “Tolkien’s favourite watering hole in line for a makeover: St Giles pub The Eagle and Child in major redevelopment bid”. The Oxford Mail has the story.

HISTORIC Oxford pub The Eagle and Child is in line for a major revamp.

Pub company Young’s and St John’s College plans to redevelop the Grade-II listed watering hole in St Giles.

Known as ‘The Bird and Baby’, it was the favourite meeting place of the 1930’s Inklings’ writers group, which included Lord of the Rings and Hobbit author JRR Tolkien and Narnia creator CS Lewis.

The makeover will span numbers 49-51, including Greens café next door and space above, which is vacant.

Under proposals submitted to Oxford City Council, the Eagle and Child will be expanded and upgraded, with distinctive eating and drinking zones created.

The two upper floors will be converted into seven hotel rooms, with en-suite bathrooms.

Leaseholder Young’s is working with St John’s College, which owns the building and both say they expect the redevelopment to be completed by 2018.

Young’s chief executive Patrick Dardis said: “The Eagle & Child is an iconic pub with huge potential and we are very excited to be working with St John’s on its redevelopment.

(4) THE HOME STRETCH. Radio Times says these three stars have a shot at becoming the next Doctor Who.

Former Death in Paradise star Kris Marshall may be the clear favourite to be the next Doctor – but he still has competition from two women according to one firm of bookies.

William Hill says money is still being taken on Tilda Swinton and Olivia Colman suggesting that the battle for the keys to the Tardis could now be a three-horse race.

(5) SUGGESTED READING. The SFWA Blog has posted the “2016 Andre Norton Award Jury Recommended Reading List” of young adult and middle grade fiction recommended by jurors Ellen Klages, Leah Bobet, Eugene Myers, Jei D. Marcade, and Fran Wilde. I have indicated 2016 award finalist with as asterisk (*).

2016 Andre Norton Award Jury Recommended Reading List

(in alphabetical order by author)

  • Kelly Barnhill – The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Algonquin) (*)
  • Frances Hardinge – The Lie Tree (Macmillan) (*)
  • A. J. Hartley – Steeplejack(Tor Teen)
  • Heidi Helig – The Girl From Everywhere (Greenwillow)
  • David D. Levine – Arabella of Mars (Tor) (*)
  • Katharine McGee – The Thousandth Floor (Harper Collins)
  • Philip Reeve – Railhead (Switch Press) (*)
  • Lindsay Ribar – Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies (Kathy Dawson Books) (*)
  • Patrick Samphire –  Secrets of the Dragon’s Tomb (Henry Holt)
  • Delia Sherman – The Evil Wizard Smallbone (Candlewick) (*)
  • April Genevieve Tucholke – Wink, Poppy, Midnight (Dial Books)
  • Diane Zahler – Baker’s Magic (Capstone Young Readers)

(6) NEWSWEEK TOLKIEN TRIBUTE. “The Road Goes On – The Making of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Silmarillion’” is an article from Newsweek’s Special Edition: J.R.R. Tolkien—The Mind of a Genius.

The story of Bilbo Baggins and his quest to the Lonely Mountain was originally conceived with no connection with his vast and epic mythology. The Lord of the Rings, which began as a simple sequel to the immensely successful The Hobbit, also lacked concrete ties to The Silmarillion (at least in the book’s early stages). But the grip of Tolkien’s earliest tales on the rest of his oeuvre proved inescapable, and the author found himself adding references to his myths within The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, especially because several characters from the latter work, such as Galadriel, hailed from the time period described in The Silmarillion. Tolkien added these characters into his larger legendarium, and in doing so couldn’t resist the temptation to delve deeper into the myths he created and their implication for his world.

“He became more and more interested in what you might call the metaphysical aspects of his secondary invention,” Christopher Tolkien said. “Above all with the nature of the Elves.” The result was that Tolkien died with what he regarded as his most important work, the urtext of a universe loved by millions, in a state of frozen transformation.

Fortunately, Christopher Tolkien was intimately familiar with his father’s vision for Middle-earth’s mythology and proved capable of sorting through the reams of notes and journals the professor left, containing everything from the genealogy of Elf kings to poems to the details of life in Aman. Working with Guy Gavriel Kay (who later went on to become an accomplished fantasy writer in his own right), the younger Tolkien crafted the final version of The Silmarillion for publication in 1977. For the first time, fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings learned of the titanic clashes between good and evil and feats of heroism only hinted at in their favorite fiction.

(7) TOLKIEN, THE PSYCHIC PAPER EDITION. And for those of you with no intention of ever reading the book, eBay is offering the perfect collector’s first edition of The Silmarillion – a publisher’s pre-sale dummy copy – for a mere $945.  It has everything but that bothersome text.

TOLKIEN, J.R.R. The Silmarillion. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1977. First Edition. Publisher saleman’s dummy copy used in advance of the book’s publication. This sample book prints the half-title, title pages, copyright page and the first 32 pages of the text followed by a couple of hundred blank pages to fill out the book. With a long blank folded sheet at the rear as a mockup for the map that would be in the finished book. Bound in blue cloth with the stamping and decoration the same as that of eventually used in the finished book. Fine copy in a fine proof state dust jacket.


  • March 5, 1943 Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is released.

(9) THE FROZEN CHOSEN. As I reported earlier today, Vox Day released the Rabid Puppies 2017 slate. The slate comes with a brand-new logo.

Matt Y accepted the challenge of interpreting the new art.


And could someone decode that logo?

I’ll try:

What you have is a title using a Heavy Metal font, giving it the look of a Def Leppard concert T-shirt. There’s a lot of ice, obviously a clear signal refuting climate change. There’s the castle from Frozen ironically in that they’ll never let it go. There are three puppies. The one on the left is sporting a ladies fur lined parka which might be seasonal however would seem odd to be wearing fur over fur. Not just in a PETA way but just in general. That puppy appears to be playing fetch with Mjolnir and is on it’s way to return it. The husky in the middle has it’s head cocked in stupefied confusion in a mirror image of how most people look when someone tries to explain Rabid Puppies to them. The one on the right didn’t get the melee weapons memo and is trying not to show the others how much that hurt it’s feelings.

The three of them will defend Elsa against the Duke’s evil plans, while desperately seeking a participation trophy once again.

(10) MAGICAL THINKING. Camestros Felapton, in “Tired Puppies 2017”, deconstructs Brad Torgersen’s latest column for Mad Genius Club.

In the comments, Brad even manages to have his cake and eat it by complaining about more ‘literary’ SF *not* having traditional SF covers (his specific example is All the Birds in the Sky) because that is a bad thing too for some reason. Yes, yes, you’d think that he would WANT non-nuggety SF to have non-nuggety covers but that would be applying far too much logical consistency to what is a fundamental objection to wrongbooks having wrongfun in the bookshop.

I think the best, most recent example of this, is All The Birds In The Sky. It’s packaged deliberately as a lit book. It desperately wants to escape the SF/F shelves and go live on the mainstream shelves where the “important” books live. (chuckle) I blame Irene Gallo, who is very much responsible for this trend at TOR. She wants the field as a whole to stop looking like it did during the high period. Because making all that amazing money with space art that actually looks like space art, and swords’n’sorcery art that actually looks like swords’n’sorcery art, was just so gauche.

Note how there is no ground for compromise here. If publisher market SF to a less-SF audience then for Brad this is bad, if they market the same SF to a SF audience then to Brad this is also bad. Would Brad *seriously* be happy if ALl the Birds in the SKy had a cover featuring space rockets (in the book), people descending from ropes from helicopters (in the book) and magical people casting spells (in the book)? Goodness no! That would be the other evil of somehow tricking the honest-SF-reader into reading a book with cooties.

We are back to the unspoken logic of much of what has consumed the right for decades. It is unspoken and avoided, an incomplete argument leads people to a conclusion that they would reject if spoken. By not following the logic they can retain a belief that they are moderate and reasonable. However, their argument always leads to the same spot. Brad would just rather these wrong books DID NOT EXIST. He doesn’t want to ban them or burn them or imprison their authors (although how else can his wish come true?) he just wants them to magically not be there.

(11) THUMBS DOWN. BBC calls live Beauty and the Beast overlong and pointless.

There are two obvious differences between the two versions, however. The first difference is that the current film is live-action, so there are lots of rococo sets and intricate digital creations to look at. And yet, despite the zillions of dollars that must have been spent on the Hogwarts-ish production design, the sad fact is that neither of the showstopping numbers, the title song and Be Our Guest, is as magical or imaginative as it was in a cartoon which came out over a quarter of a century ago.

Few of the actors live up to their predecessors, either. Buried as he is under layers of computer-generated imagery, Dan Stevens manages to make the Beast his own by finding the pathos in his aristocratic awkwardness. Ewan McGregor puts some oomph and ooh-la-la into Lumiere the candelabra. As for the rest of the cast, Emma Watson is prim and petulant as Belle; Emma Thompson’s Mrs Potts is no match for Angela Lansbury’s, who was as warm and soothing as the tea she brewed; and Kevin Kline is painfully mannered as Belle’s wittering father. In many cases, what it comes down to is that the voices in the cartoon were provided by musical and opera veterans who could really sing, whereas the same characters in the live-action film are played by movie stars who really can’t.

(12) DON’T BUILD THIS IN YOUR BASEMENT. The UK military misplaced what?

A north Wales town has a cold war thriller on its hands after nuclear submarine plans were found in a charity shop suitcase.

Staff at a Barnardo’s store in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, were amazed to discover the document showing details of the former £200m HMS Trafalgar.

“Someone said that if the phone rang and it was someone with a Russian accent, I should put it down,” joked manager, Stella Parker.

The plans will be auctioned off.

Charity store staff say the suitcase was donated anonymously and filled with books.

But hidden in the lining of the luggage was the impressive 6ft (1.8m) drawings of the former Royal Navy vessel.

Chip Hitchcock suggests, “Dave Langford is probably snickering at anyone who foolishly thought The Leaky Establishment was fiction….”

(13) VIRTUAL EXHIBITS. Twilight Zone Museum is celebrating 15 years online by hawking video from two TZ conventions held at the beginning of the century. (Remember when the 21st Century was the future?)

For those who missed our two Los Angeles-based TZ Conventions, you’re in luck! We have the 3 panel discussions done in 2002 available on DVD. The actor panel featured actors Cliff Robertson, Jean Carson, Jonathan Harris, Arlene Martel, Wright King, William Windom, Suzanne Lloyd, Kevin McCarthy, James Best, Anne Francis, and Suzanne Lloyd. The writer panel featured George Clayton Johnson, Earl Hamner, John Tomerlin (“Number 12 Looks Just Like You”), and Marc Zicree. The directors panel featured James Sheldon and Eliot Silverstein plus actors Susan Gordon and Ben Cooper (who appeared in their episodes). George Clayton Johnson’s historic keynote address at the VIP Dinner Celebration, which can be viewed for free right here on this page, is also available on DVD. The 2004 panels: Actor panel with George Takei, H.M. Wynant, Shelley Berman, Gail Kobe, Bill Mumy, and Lloyd Bochner. Director/Producer panel with Ted Post and Del Reisman (both of these panels were hosted by Tony Albarella). Writer panel hosted by Andrew Ramage, with Gloria Pall (TZ actor and writer of her own TZ scrapbook plus 14 other books), Sandra Grabman (author of “The Albert Salmi Story”), Chris Beaumont (son of Charles Beaumont, TZ writer extraordinaire), Roger Anker (biographer of Beaumont), and George Clayton Johnson. There was a fourth panel of folks involved with “The New Twilight Zone” (from the 80s), led by Alan Brennert and including Harlan Ellison, Rockne O’Bannon, and others. The charge is $60 for all four of the 2002 panels and the charge for all five of the 2004 panels is also $60. Shipping cost is $6 within USA; if you buy both sets, it’s still $6 total for shipping. Outside USA shipping – please inquire for cost, as we will have to look it up online. These are high quality Region 1 DVDs. Payment methods accepted are Paypal, cash, or USPS money order ONLY! If paying by Paypal, there is a surcharge of $6 if purchasing both sets, or $3 if purchasing only one set, due to Paypal’s processing fees. Note: it costs you nothing to send money by Paypal, but there is a fee for us to receive your money and a 2-3 day waiting period before it hits our bank account. Please email [email protected] to place your order or if you have further questions!

(14) DEADPOOL 2. A teaser for the next Deadpool movie is making the rounds.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat Eldridge and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]

101 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/5/17 I Could Not Scroll Thee (Dear) So Much, Scroll’d I Not Pixels More

  1. Lee: You’d never get them to acknowledge it, but the Evangelical style of “making a joyful noise” owes a great deal to the heritage of black gospel services.

    I suppose that would depend on who you were asking. The megachurch I went to in the Nineties both taught about the Azusa Street Revival, and started its own gospel choir. But I’ve been other places where your comment would hold true.

  2. @10 – I read Brad’s entire post. I read Camestros’ post. Brad’s main point is right.

    Go back to the data that Brad referenced.

    At this point in time, the Big 5 publishers only have 50% of the SF market. Ebooks are also becoming a larger proportion of total sales. Compared to some other genres, the “big 5” is poorly serving the market based on their aggregate poor market share. Independents are gobbling more and more of the market. Part of this is due to price with the “big 5” pricing everything, including ebooks, at a significant price premium.

    Jemsin’s whine that the “big 5” don’t “market current SF very well” is the excuse that everyone gives when their market share and sales numbers tank in every industry.

    The sales numbers are what they are. The “big 5” have shrinking market share in SF. Independents continue to grow. This could be a pricing issue, a product issue (poor product for the market by the big 5), an environmental issue (fewer people reading books) or a combination of all three. Interpretations will vary. But I strongly doubt Jemsin’s opinion that this is due to “poor marketing” is correct.

  3. Personally, I think both the Big 5 and the Indies have it wrong, but in different ways. The Big 5 are too restrictive, and they’re too inefficient in terms of authors, by which I mean their barrier to entry is so high that the effort to even get noticed by them places a heavy burden on authors.

    But the Indies put too heavy a burden on readers, who have to sift through a growing amount of work, most of which isn’t very good.

    In the future, I suspect we’ll have a system that separates the functions of writing, editing, and marketing in a way that benefits authors and readers alike. Whoever develops that first will run everyone else off the board.

  4. airboy: I read Brad’s entire post. I read Camestros’ post. Brad’s main point is right. Go back to the data that Brad referenced.

    And that’s where you went wrong. The point you seem to have missed is that the data Brad is referencing is only a small segment of the actual data set required to make the sort of judgments Brad is making. And that’s where he went wrong.

    None of his conclusions are genuinely reachable without referring to data to which he does not have access. He’s just making shit up.

  5. @JJ – Read the deck. Go to the slides that break it up by genre. Read the graphs. Read all of them referring to SF.

    I’m not referring to the specific slide Brad talked about.

    Assuming the source itself is correct, what I wrote was accurate. You might ask Greg to check since he has math training.

    And I’m not drawing the specific conclusions that Brad drew. His conclusion is one of 3 easy possibilities. And even with the full data it would not be possible to discern if price, product, or a decline in book purchases in general is responsible for aggregate SF sales or SF sales by the big 5.

    Brad is not “making shit up.” Brad drew a more logical inference from the data than Jemsin did.

  6. airboy on March 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm said:

    @10 – I read Brad’s entire post. I read Camestros’ post. Brad’s main point is right.

    Go back to the data that Brad referenced.

    Several things. First that data shows a general trend regarding print v ebooks. The reason people are buying more indie ebooks IN GENERAL cannot be because of one corner of one genre. The claim is absurd on the face of it.

    But maybe the issue is bigger in SF?
    According to that data (adult) SF lies as part of the general trend. The big shift is in Romance but even horror is further ahead. There’s no indication of a particular issue one way or the other with SF.

    So, Brad has to make two leaps – one that there is a special crisis/problem in SF (for which there is no evidence) and that the cause is somehow one kind of SF books causing that problem.

    I say he makes ‘two leaps’ but that is treating the argument as if it was constructed as a diagnosis of a problem. This is also false. He is actually starting with the premise that books like the Fifth Season are bad for the genre. We know this because he and other notable Puppies have been making arguments about this for some time. The truth is that the basic premise is ‘these books are bad and shouldn’t exist’ AND THEN they go looking for a reason why. That’s why the reasons keep changing but the conclusion stays the same.

  7. airboy on March 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm said:

    @10 – I read Brad’s entire post. I read Camestros’ post. Brad’s main point is right.

    Go back to the data that Brad referenced.

    But let’s imagine that we are some sort of Vladimir Putin strongman leader of all that is Sfnal publishing and ready to be the saviour of SF that Brad needs. Looking at that data and other data in general, you know which half of humanity is more likely to read a book? Did you guess ‘women’? Well done.

    Yup not only does studies of readers e.g http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/01/16/a-snapshot-of-reading-in-america-in-2013/ show women are more likely to be reading, data regarding genres traditionally targetted at women (e.g. Romance*) sell more.

    College educated people tend to read more (again this does not mean people without a college education don’t read – they do). Notably in the US black people are more likely to read.

    Now for me all that means is that SF should expand into all the available space regardless – I don’t see a reason why we can’t have books of many stripes. But Brad wants one flavour of Coke – and on that basis, if SF had to go in only ONE direction (perish the thought) it wouldn’t be a backward turn to books that were popular with past demographics but rather books that will be popular with the demographics that READ MORE.

    *[that does not mean only women read romance or that women don’t read genres that are coded/marketed as masculine]

  8. @Lee
    @ Cora: You’d never get them to acknowledge it, but the Evangelical style of “making a joyful noise” owes a great deal to the heritage of black gospel services. White folks didn’t used to do that.

    White folks have been making noise at church for a long time. “Holy Rollers” were a thing in the 1840s.

  9. airboy on March 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm said:

    @10 – I read Brad’s entire post. I read Camestros’ post. Brad’s main point is right.

    Go back to the data that Brad referenced.

    I’m while I am here, a piece in today’s Scroll reminded me of three heavy hitters in SF/F over the past few years:
    *The Hunger Games
    *Harry Potter

    Do you notice how none of them fit Brad’s mould? I’m not saying he’d show the same antipathy to them as he would the 5th Season but if, the departed spirits of Asimov & Heinlein forbid, Brad did get to be grand dictator of SF/F, those books wouldn’t have escaped the slushpile of the Ministry of Nuggets.

  10. Brad’s argument makes a lot more sense if you just pretend that YA doesn’t exist and that the market is entirely suburban American.

  11. Kendall on March 7, 2017 at 12:06 am said:

    (catching up)

    Brad’s still judging books by their covers?!?!?!

    No, no, he’s become more sophisticated than that – he’s judging them by whether they are Classic Coke or New Coke 😉

  12. That Princess of Mars cover! That book, with that cover, was the first SF I ever bought. (Second hand at the school fete, when I was 9 or so). Oddly enough, it grabbed me because it looked unlike anything I’d ever read, rather than because I knew exactly what to expect…Funny, that.

  13. @Niall: That’s an, um, interesting arrangement of spaceship engines on the Space Beagle cover.

  14. @PhilRM

    @Niall: That’s an, um, interesting arrangement of spaceship engines on the Space Beagle cover.

    Never buy a spaceship that was built by dogs.

  15. @Camestros

    Well Coke Classic was and remains better than New Coke. At least they killed the New Coke recipe and just went back to calling Coke, “Coke”.

    That opinion being completely separate from discussions about flavors of SF/F.


    Regarding the RP logo, all I can think of is that the perception of snowflakes apparently is based one’s personal perspective.


  16. Greg Hullender> “Never buy a spaceship that was built by dogs.”

    a spaceship that can run around to catch its own tail!


    i’m cautiously optimistic about this: the E&C has been getting increasingly grubby (and not in a good way). it’s also uncomfortably cramped a lot of the time. so long as they don’t do anything too drastic with the little rooms around the bar, it can probably only be an improvement!

  18. Those aren’t engines, they are, um, banana ice-cream plasma dispensers.

  19. I thought no two snowflakes were supposed to be identical? Lazy work, there.

  20. Greg Hullender> “Never buy a spaceship that was built by dogs.”

    Fortunately there are very few squirrels in deep space, else spaceships would never get to where ever it was they were going.

  21. @Dann

    Regarding the RP logo, all I can think of is that the perception of snowflakes apparently is based one’s personal perspective.

    There’s a lot of cleverness in the logo. As others have noted, Worldcon is in Finland, so the ice and snow make sense. White and blue are the colors of Finland’s flag, and those colors dominate. Note also that the puppies seem to be attacking the snowflakes–something even real puppies will do.

    Look at the evolution of the logo compared with last year’s logo. The three dogs are still (left to right) brown, dark gray, and red. The castle’s asterisk flag is replaced with snowflakes, some of which actually look like asterisks. The dog on the left has a two-handed weapon both years, but this year he’s more normal-looking, and his hammer has the fireball symbol that dominated last year’s logo. The middle dog looks like a greeter both years, but this year he’s in far better condition and looks positively welcoming. Both years there’s a Donald-Trump-inspired quote, although this year’s is a triumphant one. The pudendal doorway in the castle is harder to figure out, but the digit 1 is probably a reference to the strategy of nominating just one work per category.

    And no one is trying to destroy the castle this year.

    Taken all together, the total effect makes it seem as though someone neutered the puppies between last year and this year. Who knows, maybe housetraining isn’t out of the question eventually.

  22. Hi Greg,

    I saw a lot of cleverness in the logo as well. I started doing a deconstruction of the image but stopped, thinking that I would miss a few things. I was right! But I caught a lot of what has already been offered.

    I just find the “let it go” and “snowflake” inspired comments to be mildly amusing as I am reasonably certain that the RP would have similar comments to offer in the other direction. Perhaps I should have said “all I can add to the discussion” rather than “all I can think of”.

    Everyone else has covered it pretty nicely.


  23. Dann: I just find the “let it go” and “snowflake” inspired comments to be mildly amusing as I am reasonably certain that the RP would have similar comments to offer in the other direction.

    Well, they might claim that the “let it go” works in the other direction — but they’d be lying. I’m quite sure that if the Puppies stopped Pupping the Hugos, Worldcon voters would be happy to forget about them and let them fade into obscurity.

  24. @Dann

    I just find the “let it go” and “snowflake” inspired comments to be mildly amusing as I am reasonably certain that the RP would have similar comments to offer in the other direction.

    What would it mean for the fans to “let it go” though? Vox Day is open that the purpose of the RP is to destroy the awards “leaving a big smoking hole in the ground,” or words to that effect. Every year, he mounts a new attack. It’s clear that for him to let it go would mean stop attacking the Hugo Awards and go do something else.

    But what would it mean for the victims to “let it go?”

  25. But what would it mean for the victims to “let it go?”

    I don’t think of the Hugos and Hugo voters as victims in this context, but rather as targets. Calling the group victims implies more success than the Pups have ever had.

  26. Hi Greg,

    I think there is a difference between claims being “blown out of proportion” and being “completely baseless”. And given some of the conversations within fandom that I have read while lurking*, “completely baseless” is off the table, IMHO.

    “Blown out of proportion” was demonstrated to my satisfaction some time ago.


    *sometimes here, sometimes not

  27. I just looked at the upcoming Hugo deadline and I realized that I need last-minute novelette recommendations to fill out my Hugo ballot. I only have a couple so far, and I’d like to nominate more. (Also, selfishly, I’d like to READ more…) Anyone have links to any stories that knocked their socks into orbit? I also have an excellent public library if you want to recommend works in the major SF print magazines.

    (I also need novella recommendations, but at this point I’m not sure I’ll have the time to read many…)

    (Putting on rain slicker in anticipation of firehose of recs coming my way…)

  28. @Cassy B

    What have you got so far? I have a longlist but just unloading the lot might be a bit much.
    Myself and several other filers have been very taken with The Dancer on the Stairs and I’ve been beating the drum for it. A very strange and haunting version of a portal fantasy.

    If you can get Monstrous Little Voices from the library then it provides a handy mix of novellettes and novellas. Everyone who’s read it seems to have found a favorite or two in there, but they tend to be totally different ones!

  29. @Cassy B.: If you’ve read any of Matt Wallace’s “Sin du Jour” novellas, there’s a novelette that you may like – “Small Wars” at Tor.com. I can’t speak to how well it stands alone, since I’d read the novellas already when I read “Small Wars.” But I liked it a lot and it may work fine by itself, even if you haven’t read any of his Sin du Jour stuff.

    I co-recommend Sarah Tolmie’s “The Dancer on the Stairs” (rec’d/linked above) although initially (while reading), I wasn’t sure what I thought of it. But overall I decided I liked it a lot.

    Finally, I highly recommend Carolyn Ives Gilman’s “Touring With the Alien” at Clarkesworld. I liked it better than Tolmie’s story. It’s a sort of first-contact SF story about alien visitors with human translators; one of their translators wants to see some of the U.S. Not everything’s as it appears, though (when is it ever?).

    Novella-wise, despite your lack of time, I’ll highly recommend McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway, Scalzi’s The Dispatcher, LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom, Matt Wallace’s “Sin du Jour” novellas (2016: Lustlocked and, not quite as good but still good, Pride’s Spell), and Parker’s The Devil You Know. Most are Tor.com publications (but not free like their short stories are). Scalzi’s was an Audible.com release only (so far) and it was free initially, but I forget if they left it free or not.

  30. Paul, not yet, and thanks!

    Mark, I have so far:
    Novella – Bushwork by Aliya Whiteley
    Novella – The Snow of Jinyang, by Zhang Ran
    Novella – Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

    For Novelette, I have… nothing? That can’t be right. I know I jotted down notes for Novelette somewhere, but apparently not on my work computer.

    I have, but have not yet started reading, “Some of the Best from Tor.com 2016” — it’s enormous. If anyone wants to point me to specific stories that’d be great…

    My personal taste is for… well, pretty much anything SFNAL, although I have a fairly low tolerance for grimdark or horror unless it’s done exceptionally well. I like fantasy, hard sf, space opera, quirky oddball things…

  31. Forgot to mention McGuire’s “Every Heart a Doorway”; I’ve edited my reply.

    Kendell, it’s possible some or all of your Tor recommendations are in the massive ebook I have from them of 2016 short fiction; I’ll check. Thank you.

  32. I suspect you’ll have seen Red Wombat’s novelette, but if not…

    For your Tor.com selection, I’ll +1 Dead Djinn in Cairo, and add Finnegan’s Field (both in the sampler iirc).

    Some other thoughts: Foxfire Foxfire by Yoon Ha Lee – a fantasy with kitsune and mecha! Do you like any of Cat Valente, Rachel Swirsky, or Maria Dahvana Headley? They all have good novelettes out this year, but obviously more in the literary vein.

  33. Mark, I erroneously through that “The Tomato Thief” was from 2015. Thanks for reminding me that it was published in January and is thus eligible this year!

    I love Cat Valente and Rachel Swirsky; I have to say I’ve not encountered Maria Dahvana Headley. Any pointers to their work…?

  34. Swirsky has Love is Never Still this year, which retells Greek myths so that the love makes sense (even if that sense is that it’s messy as hell). A Swirsky that I didn’t really get into but have seen praise for elsewhere was this collaboration with An Owomoyela.
    Valente had The Limitless Perspective of Master Peek, or, the Luminescence of Debauchery whose title defies further description, and I also loved her The Future is Blue in Drowned Worlds, despite it being a really miserable story (Content Note for quite a lot of physical abuse of the main character). You can also find another Swirsky story in Drowned Worlds.


  35. Maria Dahvana Headley is an author that Vasha got me interested in. She writes stories with frustratingly dreamlike qualities. Sometimes I absolutely hate them, and sometimes I love them. I usually just have to dive into them and go with the flow. The Virgin Played Bass is a reworked fairytale reset in some sort of post-war european landscape, through which wanders a band of musicians led by a talking cat (I did say dreamlike qualities!)
    Alternatively, The Thule Stowaway is a “secret history” style story about what really happened in Edgar Allen Poe’s last days.

    (All these and the ones above are novelettes. I’m going to stop now as otherwise I’ll just be posting my entire longlist)

  36. Mark, I really appreciate it. I’m *not* looking for a slate, so lots of options is a good thing! I should have some reading time available this weekend, and I plan to binge-read and decide.

    I probably should have put my request in the current pixel scroll. Hadn’t realized until just now that it was an old one. Everyone who has replied, please disregard my cross-posting to the new scroll….

  37. @CassyB:
    Fran Wilde “The Jewel and her Lapidary” is novelette length (16798 words according to Word). I’d also second Finnegan’s Field.

  38. Cassy, I picked up the Monstrous Little Voices e-book on sale for Kindle, and it’s loanable if you’re interested. It includes:
    • “Coral Bones” novelette by Foz Meadows
    • “The Course of True Love” novelette by Kate Heartfield
    • “The Unkindest Cut” novelette by Emma Newman
    • “Even in the Cannon’s Mouth” novelette by Adrian Tchaikovsky
    • “On the Twelfth Night” novelette by Jonathan Barnes

  39. @Cassy B

    Glad to be of help. You’ve inspired me to get on and start making some hard decisions on the actual voting form. I’m leaving most of my fifth slots open for now to allow for some last minute reads (and also to avoid that painful last-slot decision!)

  40. JJ, I’d love to borrow “Monstrous Little Voices”, but I have no idea how to do so. (I have Kindle For PC, but not an actual Kindle).

  41. @Cassy B: No problem! Okay, quick breakdown of generes, especially since you said horror/dark isn’t really your thing:

    LaValle’s horror – a modern inversion/reimagining of a Lovecraft story – so, maybe not up your alley. Dispatcher is UF of a sort – really a world with one interesting fantasy twist to it, not really UF in the modern marketing sense. Parker’s is fantasy about someone making a deal with the devil in ancient times, half from the demon’s point of view. The “Sin du Jour” stuff is UF but different (I don’t read much UF) and fun.

  42. I’ve only heard people mention Parker’s The Devil You Know, but I actually thought that his Downfall of the Gods was by far the better book of the two this year.

  43. JJ, Friday evening. Which would be about 19 hours from when I post this message.

  44. It has been sent to your caterpillar e-mail address. If you have questions on how to access it with Kindle for PC, e-mail me. 😀

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