Pixel Scroll 4/10/20 A Tribble Standing On Top Of A Roomba Isn’t Meaningfully Taller Than A Tribble Laying On The Floor

(1) LIBERTYCON CANCELLED. The Chattanooga, Tennessee convention has been called off for this year. They announced on their website:

Sadly, we recieved the news from the convention center that we will be unable to have LibertyCon this year.

Brandy, LC Chairman, posted a video on Facebook explaining the situation and the sad message we have to give you all. It can be seen by clicking on this link.

LibertyCon 33 will be held June 25-27, 2021

(2) SAVE THE INDIES. George R.R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema tells how to buy a ticket to a virtual showing of Extra Ordinary to support them

The staff of the Jean Cocteau Cinema would like to thank you for your support during the COVID-19 crisis. Your participation in this and other virtual screenings gives us an invaluable revenue stream to help us stay afloat until the quarantine is over and in-person screenings can resume. We owe everything to you, our patrons, and we look forward to the return of normalcy and to continuing to provide a cozy community-focused local cinema and performance space to Santa Feans for years to come! Stay safe, stay sane, and above all be excellent to each other!

(3) NASA AT WORK. Are your SJW Credentials in on this conspiracy?

(4) MEANWHILE, BACK AT BAIKONUR. Then there’s the cosmonaut program. An Ars Technica writer declares, “I was bored, so I watched the movie that astronauts must view before launch”.

…This Soviet-era building in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, is where astronauts spend their final days before launching into space on board the Russian Soyuz vehicle. Cassidy’s crew is due to launch on Thursday afternoon, at 1:05pm local time. (This is 4:05am ET Thursday, and 8:05am UTC.) They will spend about six hours catching up to and docking with the International Space Station.

The Russians have the oldest space program in the world and by far the most traditions and superstitions related to launch, including peeing on the wheel of the bus that takes the crew to the launch pad—a tradition that dates back to Yuri Gagarin’s first human spaceflight in 1961.

Among those traditions is watching a movie the day before launch in the Cosmonaut Hotel. It’s always the same movie, White Sun of the Desert. No one is quite sure why this Soviet-era film, which came out in 1970, is always watched (yes, it’s mandatory). But it likely dates to Soyuz 12, in 1973, when cosmonauts Vasily Lazarev and Oleg Makarov watched the movie before their mission. This return-to-flight mission followed the disastrous Soyuz 11 flight two years earlier, when the spacecraft depressurized as the crew prepared to reenter Earth’s atmosphere, killing all three men. Soyuz 12 proved a success, and the movie came to be seen as a good luck charm. Since then, over the course of five decades, the Soyuz has never lost a crew….

(5) TENTACLE TIME. Camestros Felapton presents “The Being Not Human Awards” – a highly amusing ceremony.

… I’d like to discuss with you all what it is to be you. Now I must apologise in advance. There are many you in the audience, people I love dearly, who may take offence at what I am going to say next. Yes, yes, I am looking at you Mr Spock and yes, you C3PO and there’s no point waving that screwdriver at me Doctor, nor hiding behind Gimli’s axe Legolas. I love you all but I’m sorry, this really is not about you. Yes each of you is distinctly not human in deep and notable ways as explained in great detail in the backstory section of your Wikipedia pages. However, for our purposes tonight while you may be the big stars, this is not your turn in the spotlight. We love you but we love you because you have to admit that your are not exactly not-human….

(6) INTERVIEWED IN ISOLATION. Scott Edelman invites listeners to shelter in place as he answers the questions in Episode 113 of the Eating the Fantastic podcast.

Scott Edelman

It’s been exactly one month since I joined Michael Dirda for lunch to record an episode of Eating the Fantastic, and the way things are going in this age of social distancing, it will likely be many more months before I’ll be able to sit down at a restaurant with a guest to record another. The three episodes I’d planned to harvest for you during the final days of March all had to be cancelled. So what’s a podcast predicated on breaking bread to do when bread can no longer be broken?

What it means for this episode is that it’s time for the interviewer to become the interviewee, as you join me for lunch in my kitchen while I continue to shelter in place. Last episode, I asked listeners to send in questions for things which might not have been revealed about my life as a writer, editor, publisher, podcaster, and fan during the previous 118 episodes. I also reached out to my former guests to see if they’d like to turn the tables and ask questions instead of just answering them.

I ended up with 93 questions, which I knew was far more than I’d be able to answer in a single episode. But I printed them, folded them up, tossed them inside the head of a Roswell alien, and then pulled them out randomly one at a time and tried to answer as many as I could over the course of my meal.

(7) HELP IS ON THE WAY FOR UK WRITERS. “ALCS Offers Additional Financial Support To Writers Through The Society Of Authors’ Emergency Fund”.

ALCS – alongside the Royal Literary Fund, TS Eliot Foundation, English PEN, Amazon UK and, as of 7 April, Arts Council England – has contributed to the Society of Authors’ fund that will be paid out in grants to writers who have found themselves financially affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak.

ALCS is a collecting society set up by writers, for writers. Paying money to writers through licensing when their works have been used is at the core of what we do. Later this week, we will pay £24 million to over 89,000 writers – and since 1977 we’ve paid over £500 million to writers – but these are difficult and unique times, so we wanted to see what else we could do to support all writers….

Applicants do not need to be ALCS or SoA members; the fund is open to all professional authors who are resident in the UK or British subjects for whom author-related activity makes up a substantial amount of their annual income. The SoA have run this fund since 1960, so they have a great deal of experience in assessing applications and their approach is broad, agile and fast; aiming to turn around applications within weeks.

(8) DO YOU KNOW YOUR WHO? RadioTimes reports “Doctor Who fans plan massive virtual pub quiz over Easter Weekend”.

Now, though, they can finally engage in every Doctor Who fan’s favourite activity – proving how much arcane trivia they know – because long-running real-life pub quiz The Quiz of Rassilon (which has hosted Doctor Who trivia nights since 2010) has announced that it’ll be hosting an online version of the event over the Easter Weekend.

“The Quiz has always been a place where fans from all corners of the fandom can come together for a bit of fun and to talk about their favourite show,” Quiz of Rassilon co-creator Michael Williams told RadioTimes.com.

… During the quiz itself most participants (who are expected to number in the hundreds) will have their microphones muted in the main hosting room, with each team given their own “private TARDIS” (in other words a separate videocall meeting) where they can confer, chat and screen share, before they’re pulled back to the main call after a few minutes.

“We’ve designed this Quiz using Zoom’s ‘breakout rooms’ feature which gives teams the opportunity to have their usual table at the Pub where they can discuss between themselves and enjoy some time with their friends,” explained Williams.



  • April 10, 1966 Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter premiered. It was directed by William Beaudine and produced  by Caroll Case. It was written by Carl K. Hittleman. It starred John Lupton, Narda Onyx,  Estelita Rodriguez, Cal Bolder and Jim Davis.  The film was first released as part of a double feature along with Billy the Kid Versus Dracula. It was not treated well by critics at the time with one saying “it sucks”, and currently the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it an eleven percent rating. We cannot determine if it’s in the public domain so we’re not providing a link. 
  • April 10, 1987 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home enjoyed its first theatrical release which was in the United Kingdom. Starring the entire original cast, the story was by Harve Bennett and Leonard Nimoy with the screenplay by Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes, Nicholas Meyer and  Harve Bennett.  It was a box office success making far, far more than it cost to produce. The critics loved it for the most part, and  it currently has a stellar rating of eighty-one percent at Rotten Tomatoes among audience reviewers.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 10, 1897 Eric Knight. Decidedly better known for his 1940 Lassie Come-Home novel which introduced Lassie, but he had one genre undertaking according to ISFDB, the Sam Small series. I’ve never heard of them, nor are they available in digital form though Lassie Come-Home of course is. Anyone read them? (Died 1943.)
  • Born April 10, 1921 Chuck Connors. His first genre role was as Senator Robert Fraser in Captain Nemo and the Underwater City followed by being Tab Fielding in Soylent Green. He’s Captain McCloud in Virus, a Japanese horror film, and he one-offs in The Adventures of SupermanThe Six Million Dollar ManFantasy Island and a recurring role as Captain Janos Skorzenyn in Werewolf. (Died 1992.)
  • Born April 10, 1929 Max von Sydow. He played  Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the Never Say Never Again and Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon. He shows up in the Exorcist II: The Heretic as Father Lankester Merrin while being King Osric in Conan the Barbarian. Dreamscape sees him being Doctor Paul Novotny while he’s Liet-Kynes the Imperial Planetologist in Dune. He was Judge Fargo in Judge Dredd (and yes, I still like it), in Minority Report as Director Lamar Burgess, Sir Walter Loxley in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and finally in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Lor San Tekka. (Died 2020.)
  • Born April 10, 1940 Raul Julia. If we count Sesame Street as genre, his appearance as Rafael there was his first genre role. Yeah, I’m stretching it. Ok, how about as Aram Fingal In Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, a RSL production off the John Varley short story? That better?  He later starred in Frankenstein Unbound as Victor Frankenstein as well. His last role released while he was still living was in the superb Addams Family Values as Gomez Addams reprising the role he’d had in The Addams Family. (Died 1994.)
  • Born April 10, 1953 David Langford, 67. And how long have you been reading Ansible? If he’s not noted for that singular enterprise, he should be noted for assisting in producing the second edition of the EoSF, not to mention some 629,000 words as a principal editor of the third (online) edition of the Encyclopedia of SF, and contributed some eighty thousand words of articles to EoF as well. And let’s not forget his genre writing as well that earned him a Short Story Hugo at the Millennium Philcon for “Different Kinds of Darkness”.  
  • Born April 10, 1955 Pat Murphy, 65. I think her most brilliant work is The City, Not Long After. If you’ve not read this novel, do so now. The Max Merriwell series is excellent and Murphy’s ‘explanation’ of the authorial attributions is fascinating. And The Falling Woman by her is an amazing read as well. She’s reasonably well stocked at the usual digital suspects.
  • Born April 10, 1957 John M. Ford. Popular at Minicon and other cons where he would be Dr. Mike and give silly answers to questions posed to him while wearing  a lab coat before a whiteboard. His most interesting novel I think is The Last Hot Time, an urban fantasy set in Chicago that might have been part of Terri Windling’s Bordertown series but wasn’t. Possibly. (Did 2006.)
  • Born April 10, 1978 Hannu Rajaniemi, 42. Author of the Jean le Flambeur series which consists of The Quantum ThiefThe Fractal Prince and The Causal Angel. Damn if I can summarize them. They remind me a bit of Alastair Reynolds and his Prefect novels, somewhat of Ian Mcdonald’s Mars novels as well. Layers of weirdness upon weirdness. Quite fascinating. 
  • Born April 10, 1992 Daisy Ridley, 28. Obviously she played the role of Rey in The Force AwakensThe Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. She was also in Scrawl, a horror film as well as voicing Cotton Rabbit in Peter Rabbit. Though stretching to even call it genre adjacent even, she was Mary Debenham in Murder on The Orient Express.


(12) RINGO AWARDS 2020 NOMINATIONS OPEN. The public can vote until June 25 – click here to participate.

The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards is an annual celebration of the creativity, skill, and fun of comics. The awards return for their third year on Saturday, October 24, 2020 as part of the fan- and pro-favorite convention, The Baltimore Comic-Con.

Unlike other professional industry awards, the Ringo Awards include fan participation in the nomination process along with an esteemed jury of comics professionals. 

More than 20 categories will be celebrated with top honors being given at the awards ceremony in October.

Click here to see the 2019 winners and nominees.

(13) TRAILBLAZERS. James Davis Nicoll salutes that Promethean resource — “All Hail The Science Fiction Encyclopedia, Bringer of Knowledge!” – at Tor.com.

Imagine, if you will, a dark age in which information was not at the tip of one’s fingertips, in which acquiring it required a trip to the library or the bookstore, in which tidbits of useful information might be limited to brief introductions and afterwords, in which there was no guarantee that the information would exist in an accessible form anywhere at all.  Imagine further that one was a snoopy highly inquisitive young reader, curious about the authors whose works he was consuming and eager to know more about the works themselves. Imagine the frustration….

(14) BEHIND THE MASK. ScreenRant’s Mike Jones says “Alien Facehugger Inspired Face Mask Is Creepy & Effective”. Mike Kennedy admits, “Not sure I could wear this, no matter how effective it is are.” See it here. 

 … In addition to preventative measures such as social distancing and lockdown/quarantining, many people around the world have taken to wearing masks when out in public. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for citizens to get their hands on masks. Fortunately, people can make their own adequate replacements, and some have even gotten very creative with this practice.

To add a little levity to the issue of wearing a mask, Facebook user Lady Frankenstein added images of an extraordinary homemade mask. By taking a cue from Alien, the mask in question was made to resemble the classic film’s dreaded facehugger. Victims of the facehugger later experienced the slightly uncomfortable arrival of an alien, but thankfully, Lady Frankenstein’s mask will ultimately keep its wearer far safer than the facehugger’s victims.

(15) TWISTING THE ROPE. “The Oldest String Ever Found May Have Been Made By Neanderthals”.

Tiny bits of twisted plant fibers found on an ancient stone tool suggest that Neanderthals were able to make and use sophisticated cords like string and rope.

Cords made from twisted fibers are so ubiquitous today that it’s easy to take them for granted. But they’re a key survival technology that can be used to make everything from clothes to bags to shelters.

This prehistoric piece of string, described in the journal Scientific Reports, was preserved on a flint tool that dates back to around 41,000 to 52,000 years ago. It came from a cave-like rock shelter in southern France that was once inhabited by Neanderthals.

(16) WHERE FANS ONCE TROD. The BBC shows us how the exhibits hall of the 1995 Worldcon is being repurposed: “Look inside Glasgow’s temporary NHS hospital”.

More images have been released of a temporary hospital which is being built at he Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in Glasgow.

The emergency facility, called NHS Louisa Jordan, will take up a 10,000 sq m hall and will have capacity for 516 beds.

Since construction started on 31 March, nearly 800 contractors and NHS staff have been working on site.

…So far, partitions between beds have been erected, 8,000 pieces of medical equipment have been ordered and the flooring has started to be laid.

A new bespoke system which will deliver an oxygen supply to every bed has also been put in place.

The NHS Louisa Jordan is named after a nurse who died from typhus while serving in Serbia during the height of an outbreak.

(17) THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE. “Coronavirus Turns Urban Life’s Roar to Whisper on World’s Seismographs”.

Geoscientists are getting a clearer picture of what’s going on beneath our feet as lockdowns keep many of us at home.

Seismometers may be built to detect earthquakes, but their mechanical ears hear so much more: hurricanes thundering hundreds of miles away and meteoroids exploding in the skies on the other side of the planet. Even the everyday hum of humanity — people moving about on cars, trains and planes — has a seismically detectable heartbeat.

But coronavirus has upended our lives. Hoping to curtail the pandemic’s spread, nations have closed their borders, cities have been shut down and billions of people have been instructed to stay home. Today, in cities large and small, the thumping pulse of civilization is now barely detectable on many seismograms.

“It did make the scale of the shutdowns a bit more real to me,” said Celeste Labedz, a graduate student in geophysics at the California Institute of Technology.

In person, you can see only your neighborhood’s dedication to remaining home. With seismometers, Ms. Labedz said, you can see the collective willingness of millions of the world’s urban dwellers to hunker down. As a result, the planet’s natural quavering is being recorded with remarkable clarity.

This seismological experiment began with Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels. He wanted to see what happened to his city’s anthropogenic hiss after its lockdown began in mid-March. His finding, that it had declined precipitously, was shared on Twitter and via news organizations, prompting seismologists elsewhere to look at their own city’s lack of shakes. Many used Dr. Lecocq’s bespoke coding to eke out the human noise in their seismic data.

…A cleaner and more frequent detection of Earth’s seismic activity grants seismologists a less filtered look into the planet’s interior. Although many seismometers are purposefully located far from cities, plenty of urban areas — especially those in seismically hyperactive parts of the planet — are peppered with seismometers. In this time of human quiescence, the creaking of some potentially dangerous faults may be detected better than ever.

(18) UNMANNED MISSIONS ANNOUNCED. “NASA Selects Four Possible Missions to Study the Secrets of the Solar System”. More details at the link.

The selected proposals are:

DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus)

DAVINCI+ will analyze Venus’ atmosphere to understand how it formed, evolved and determine whether Venus ever had an ocean….

Io Volcano Observer (IVO)

IVO would explore Jupiter’s moon, Io, to learn how tidal forces shape planetary bodies….


Trident would explore Triton, a unique and highly active icy moon of Neptune, to understand pathways to habitable worlds at tremendous distances from the Sun….

VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy)

VERITAS would map Venus’ surface to determine the planet’s geologic history and understand why Venus developed so differently than the Earth…..

(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Terry Gilliam’s Closet Pick” on YouTube is a video about how Gilliam paid a visit to the Criterion Collection in 2019 and shared anecdotes about Brazil and The Brothers Grimm as he loaded a bag with free DVDs.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, James Davis Nicoll, Scott Edelman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

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50 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/10/20 A Tribble Standing On Top Of A Roomba Isn’t Meaningfully Taller Than A Tribble Laying On The Floor

  1. (3) You can’t fool me – I’ve seen the Disney documentary “The Cat from Outer Space”

  2. @10 (Ford): The Last Hot Time uses at least two Borderlands characters (the police) but plays merry hell with many of the premises and has too much sex for the YA intentions of the series; Terri Windling was visibly annoyed when I asked about one of its conclusions during a panel on borders. OTOH, it’s terrific work, like practically everything Mike did; if I were restricted to novels I’d opine that this is tied with Growing Up Weightless for best, although “The Illusionist” would give them both a hard run if novellas were included. And then there’s How Much for Just the Planet. And the fact that he won his first two WFA nominations, one for a book that deliberately plays merry hell with history and the other for a holiday card. (I don’t think I need to babble about his work here, but I’ve been rereading his Making Light contributions and missing him.) Just in case anyone hasn’t heard, most of his work will be electronically re-available from Tor over the next few years.

  3. 4) Maybe we should all watch the movie. Find out if it’s effective only against exploding spaceships or all disasters.

    15) Or they might have acquired the string through trade with Homo sapiens. This was the time of co existence and inter marriage I believe.

  4. 10) Yeah I heard that Tor had acquired the rights to his books. Though why they were unable for so long is a matter of considerable contention. I’ve head various tales, none of which bear repeating here. I see the only works up now at the usual digital suspects are three of his Trek novels.

  5. 15) But if they got the rope through trade with Sapiens, not an unreasonable theory in itself, you expect to find rope in Sapiens dwellings, and likely somewhat older. I doubt the first piece of string got traded to a nearby Neanderthal settlement. Not impossible, but it doesn’t seem likely. Far more likely whoever invented it first found nifty uses for it, shared the skill in their own community, and it would only get traded to another community when visitors saw lots of evidence of how useful it was.

  6. 4) I think I’ve actually heard of that movie as a classic of Soviet cinema. Which I imagine it is.

    10) Max von Sydow was born in 1929, not 1939.

    13) As a young fan, I perused a bookstore’s copy of the Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction to find new books and authors to check out, jotting down everything of interest in a notebook. I’m amazed that the bookstore let me do it, since I couldn’t afford to actually buy the book. I usually couldn’t even afford to buy the paperbacks of the books and authors I had just discovered via the Encyclopaedia – imported books were horrendously expensive in the 1980s. By the time, I could actually afford to buy my own copy, it was a later edition.

    Neither the copy I perused at the bookstore nor my own have the cover in James’ post, though. The bookstore edition had the cityscape from Metropolis on the cover. My edition has Encyclopaedia of SF in a big circle on the cover.

  7. Hannu Rajaniemi might be my favorite writer who began appearing in this century, which is quite a claim, as there have been a number of awfully interesting and talented writers who have shown up since 1999. His short fiction is marvellous, his novels dense and breakneck.

    John M Ford’s Growing Up Weightless is totally worth checking out, if you have not already read it.

    Pat Murphy wrote some of my favorite short stories of the 80s. She has some good stuff since too. I made a point of finally reading The City, Not Long After while living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it hit the spot.

    I feel like the SF Encyclopedia gets taken for granted a bit. No similar work could ever be complete, but it has to be the most exhaustively authoritative reference on the very big box that is sf. Between that and the isfdb, I have to say that all my ideas for a definitive sf reference that I planned or attempted in my youth pale in comparison to those two “volumes.”

    Speaking of which, happy birthday David Langford, thanks for all your efforts over the decades. Where would we be without As Others See Us? It keeps us humble.

    I’m sorry, but Von Sydow’s performance in Strange Brew is the high point of his film career. He is the PERFECT villain for that movie. God, what an underrated classic, and performance. Oscar worthy, without a doubt. Also, a movie at least genre-adjacent.

  8. Huh.

    I bet there are not many instances in which the word “bespoke” gets used twice in one scroll.

  9. @Cat Eldridge: I’m with you on The Last Hot Time. And thinking about replacing my Infernokrusher mug.

    And I didn’t realize this–John Prine played at least one great genre song:

  10. My favourite John M Ford is The Dragon Waiting – but why pick and choose?

    Meredith Moment: there’s a sale on Tim Powers ebooks. Amazon UK have Three Days to Never, Medusa’s Web and The Stress of Her Regard at 98p
    Declare and Hide Me Among the Graves are at £2:48

  11. Joe H. says In case anybody missed it, here’s the story of how John M. Ford’s books will be coming back into print; at least based on this, it sounds like their unavailability wasn’t so much sinister as just due to a lot of confusion and miscommunication.

    They might’ve been coming back into print but a search of Amazon just now shows that they’re no longer so slated to be so by Tor with the exception of The Dragon Waiting which is due out in September of this year.

  12. Cat Eldridge: They might’ve been coming back into print but a search of Amazon just now shows that they’re no longer so slated to be so by Tor with the exception of The Dragon Waiting which is due out in September of this year.

    The Dragon Waiting is the first one to be released. The others will follow after — probably over the course of 2 or 3 years — which is probably why they don’t show on Amazon yet.

    They aren’t going to publish them all at once; they’ll give each one its own release cycle and promotion, to try to maximize sales.

  13. JJ says The Dragon Waiting is the first one to be released. The others will follow after — probably over the course of 2 or 3 years — which is probably why they don’t show on Amazon yet.

    They aren’t going to publish them all at once; they’ll give each one its own release cycle and promotion, to try to maximize sales.

    Well that’s spreading them out. The Slate article suggested the unpublished novel was going to be the first work published which obviously isn’t going to happen.

  14. @Cat: The unpublished novel is also unfinished. People who are already fans of Mike’s work might be most eager for Aspects because we haven’t read it yet, but it’s less likely to interest new readers.

  15. 13) I remember the CD Rom version. it was the first time I got to hear some SF authors speak, on video (I jhad not yet gone to many cons). I was delighted by this.

  16. Actually, the Slate article says

    First up, in fall 2020, is the book that introduced me to Ford, The Dragon Waiting. Then, in 2021, Tor will publish—at long last—the unfinished Aspects, with an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

    so tDW being the only thing on Amazon is plausible. I will be interested to see what the sonnet cycle says about the unwritten parts of Aspects.

    NB: my statement above that the works will be available electronically should not be taken as exclusive; I see that Amazon says tDW will also come out in trade paperback, and that Heat of Fusion (Tor collection) and The Last Hot Time are still available. (I don’t know whether Tor has even decided what else will come out in physical books.) I wish a second printing of NESFA’s collection, From the End of the Twentieth Century, had been considered worth the risk — it has a lot of fascinating side bits of the type not found in HoF — but it was a slow-enough seller that there was no reprinting before the rights lapsed.

  17. Ford also wrote a lot of the Laivek series that Emma Bull and Will Shetterly edited. All of those can be purchased in ePub form now. You can get them at the usual digital suspects.

  18. 10) Eric Knight. Yes, I believe I read one or more Sam Small’s, including the retired The Flying Yorkshireman

  19. Camestros Felapton on April 10, 2020 at 9:11 pm said:
    (5) All the participants thank you for the link

    I have to ask, at least in some cases… how?

  20. Audio Meredith Moment:

    For anyone who does Audible, City of Brass by SA Chakraborty is currently available as the Audible Daily Deal for $5.95. It’s a very good opener to an Arabian Nights-flavored trilogy, with excellent narration by Soneela Nankani.

  21. Traditional Meredith Moment:

    Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning is available at Amazon US for $2.99 today. Terrific book! (Even better in audio, but that is sadly not marked down today!)

  22. @Cat Eldredge: do the e-pubbed Liaveks include all of the side work, such as “The Illusionist” (probably excluded because it was way too long)? (I can see them omitting C. J. Cherryh’s “Of Law and Magic” as it filed the names off of Liavek’s particular magic system.)

    Another thing we don’t know is how much of the side matter Tor will publish; Mike spun off parodies and pastiches (“Harry of Five Points”, a Wodehouse/Tolkien mashup, …) at an amazing rate. For a sample of him taking on Eliot-the-twee, scroll a few screens down in section 7 of his collected Making Light comments

  23. @Contrarius: Yay, I came here to mention Chakraborty’s audiobook being the Audible Daily Deal, but you beat me to it. 😀

    Folks, I can’t recommend it highly enough! Nahri, con artist and sometime healer, accidentally summons a mysterious djinn warrior. She’s swept into danger, magic, schemes, mystery, and politics and travels to the centuries-old hidden city of djinn: Daevabad. ETA: Don’t let my “swept into” romantic phrase fool you; there’s a lot outside Nahri’s control, but she’s strong-willed and doesn’t take crap from anyone. 🙂

    So here’s another Meredith Moment (U.S., as far as I know):

    David Gemmell’s White Wolf (Drenai Saga: The Damned #1), a novel of Druss the Legend, is on sale for $1.99 from Del Rey (uses DRM). Combining Starlog and Booklist reviews from back in the day: This fantasy has nonstop action and the flair of classic 30s and 40s sword and sorcery! 🙂

  24. And yet another Meredith Moment:

    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell is available for $1.99 at Amazon US today.

    To tell you the truth, this one bored me on my first read…. But I keep thinking I might appreciate it more on a reread.

  25. I bounced off Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell the first time, but tackled it again later and liked it very much.

  26. Another birthday for April 10: David A Hardy, space artist.

    More stuff about Dave Langford: He was a TAFF winner and multiple Hugo winner as Best Fanwriter. He published the wonderful fanzine Twll Ddu (Welsh for Black Hole), among others. He’s published numerous collections of his articles and book reviews. He’s also published numerous collections of the works of John Sladek. His novel The Leaky Establishment is funny/scary satire about the British nuclear energy program. And very much else still.

  27. Langford’s The Spear of the Sun is a delightful Father Brown pastiche (from an alternate universe in which Brian Stableford, SJ writes columns for GK Chesterton’s Science Fiction Magazine.

  28. That Scalzi interview was amusing, especially when apologizing for the evil laugh

  29. Chip asks do the e-pubbed Liaveks include all of the side work, such as “The Illusionist” (probably excluded because it was way too long)? (I can see them omitting C. J. Cherryh’s “Of Law and Magic” as it filed the names off of Liavek’s particular magic system.)

    I just asked Will if hat was why it was excluded and he says you’re right. I’ll need to look at my ePub copies of the epubs to see if Cherryh’s “Of Law and Magic” is there. One sec… no, I don’t see it there. Which volume was it originally in?

  30. Camestros Felapton on April 11, 2020 at 3:08 pm said:

    Only Timothy knows, I take it?

  31. (14) Behind the Mask:

    Last week a crochet designer I follow on FB posted a photo of the crochet version of a face hugger mask. In the comment section it was generally agreed that while it would do nothing to filter out the virus, it would probably keep people at least six feet away from you.

  32. Was the Cherryh story in #4? (Spells of Binding, maybe?) I was just checking my Liavek books and I didn’t see her name anywhere, but I also only have 1, 2, 3 and 5.

  33. AFAICT the Cherryh was not in any of the Liavek collections; it just uses the exact same very-individual magic system and elements of the society built around it. I don’t know whether Cherryh simply borrowed the idea, or wrote a story that was found to stretch the world too much so she changed the names for make it usable in a Susan Shwartz anthology.

  34. Contrarius: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell… To tell you the truth, this one bored me on my first read…. But I keep thinking I might appreciate it more on a reread.

    Mike Glyer: I bounced off Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell the first time, but tackled it again later and liked it very much.

    I tried and bounced off it twice. I’ve always had too many other things that I knew I wanted to read to try it again. Maybe lockdown will run the TBR down far enough that I’ll be willing to do so, but that will take a while yet.

  35. Chip says AFAICT the Cherryh was not in any of the Liavek collections; it just uses the exact same very-individual magic system and elements of the society built around it. I don’t know whether Cherryh simply borrowed the idea, or wrote a story that was found to stretch the world too much so she changed the names for make it usable in a Susan Shwartz anthology.

    Ok that would explain why I can’t find it listed as being part of the Liavek anthologies. BTW, Will in a follow-up email to me says that “The Illusionist“ is as far as he was told was supposed to be one of the pieces that Tor is re-publishing.

  36. JJ says I tried and bounced off it twice. I’ve always had too many other things that I knew I wanted to read to try it again. Maybe lockdown will run the TBR down far enough that I’ll be willing to do so, but that will take a while yet.

    I got a hundred pages or so in and gave up. I’ll note that the footnotes proved far too distracting but the story itself wasn’t holding my attention either. Of course I’ll admit I gave up on the Potter books after the same point in the first novel as well.

  37. I’m another one who didn’t enjoy JS&MR. So many people were raving about it that I kept waiting for it to get better, to suck me in… and it never did. I’d put it down and forget to pick it up for a week. I think I eventually finished it… and I couldn’t tell you one single thing that happened in the novel. Not one.

    It seems to be a marmite novel; it really, really works for those for whom it works, and it really really doesn’t for those for whom it doesn’t.

  38. I liked JS&MN though I did get bogged down the first time I tried to read it (the second time it went down just fine). Mr. Norrell hiding away from a party being held in his own honor so he can read a book instead made me fall for the character.

  39. @Joe H: I’d never heard of Ithkar; according to ISFDB it was coming out around the same time, but the only Cherryh story listed in the series is called “To Take a Thief”, not “Of Law and Magic”. The latter was first published in Moonsinger’s Friends, which says on the cover image that it’s in honor of Andre Norton.

    I finished JS&MN, and IIRC did not put it last on the Hugo ballot, but that was long enough ago that I can’t give detailed reactions. I did recently read a collection of her short stories, of which a few are definitely in the same universe and others might be, and found them interesting; she makes the “good neighbors” grungy, egotistical, and untrustworthy without being grimdark (which I usually find pointless).

  40. @JJ et al —

    I tried and bounced off it twice. I’ve always had too many other things that I knew I wanted to read to try it again. Maybe lockdown will run the TBR down far enough that I’ll be willing to do so, but that will take a while yet.

    I have the feeling I’d be better able to relax into the slow pace of the novel on a second read, since I wouldn’t have any expectations to the contrary. But since I’ve now started into Hugo-short-list reading, it’ll be a while before there’s even a small chance of me finding out if I’m right!

  41. And yes, Leaky is a lot of fun even if you cringe at many of the characters being so likely. (One point @OGH’s review misses: ISTM that Dave was very deft at the kind of piling-up of strangeness, not unlike What’s the Worst That Could Happen?” or No Sex, Please — We’re British; a reader handed the later part of any of these would not believe it without the setups.) I got my copy when he was GoH at Minicon in 1998 rather than pay ridiculous transoceanic shipping rates, but ansible.uk now has it as an ebook.

  42. @Chip Hitchcock — Sorry! I missed that you had actually included the story title. Did some poking about, and the NESFA Press edition of Glass & Amber (1987 commemorative collection of Cherryh’s short fiction), at least, does explicitly list it as a Liavek story.


    It’s included in Cherryh’s Collected Short Fiction, but that might be a revised version? I haven’t read it in several years, and wouldn’t have recognized Liavek references even if they were explicit.

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