Pixel Scroll 4/15/22 Is That A Real Pixel, Or Is That A Sears Pixel

(1) WISCON NEWS. Today’s “#SaveWisCon Update” has its ups and downs:

We are making AMAZING progress on our work to #SaveWisCon, thanks to your help!

      • We have now raised just over $32,000 in donations of which $30,000 will be matched, for a total of $62,000 raised to support WisCon! This is absolutely incredible, and we are so grateful for everyone who contributed and helped spread the word.
      • 70 people have completed our Volunteer Interest Form to help out with pre-con volunteering. Thank you all!
      • We’ve gained 252 new email newsletter subscribers since November, which is helping us make sure everyone gets the latest con news and updates. Not getting the newsletter? You can sign up here.
      • We have a total of 418 registrations (in-person and online). Our goal is 1,000! Please registerand tell your friends about WisCon, too.

PLUS we are receiving a total of $5,500 in grants from:

We deeply appreciate their support and encourage everyone to learn more about these excellent organizations.

Thanks to your donations and these grants, we’re at roughly $67,000 in total funds raised!

Is this the end of #SaveWisCon fundraising? Are we just done now, forever?

Well…probably not, y’all, for a couple of reasons…

The two main reasons are: (1) It’s “basically impossible” for them to book enough rooms to meet their contract so they will owe a big penalty. That’s an effect of the pandemic and people’s assessment of the risk of in-person events. (2) They have sold only a fraction of the 500 online memberships that are an expected revenue source.

(2) NOT A SWEET SOUND IN THEIR EARS. Appropriate to April 15, the usual income tax filing day in the U.S. (although not in 2022, when it’s April 18), the SFWA Blog posted this: “SFWA Alert: Tax Guidance for Audible/ACX Royalties Reporting”.

…Audible/ACX’s New Tax Reporting Policy: What Authors Should Know

As of January 1, 2021, authors who publish their own audiobooks on ACX and use ACX producers must now declare the producers’ portion of the royalties as income and then deduct those payments as business expenses when they file their taxes.  This is because Audible/ACX now reports all of the net earnings from ACX audiobooks on the authors’ 1099-MISC forms, including the earnings it paid over to producers, as the authors’ royalty earning. It has also stopped issuing 1099-MISCs to producers and instead now issues 1099-Ks to producers that meet the income threshold.

With these new accounting practices, Audible/ACX is treating the payments it makes to voice actors, audiobook producers, and studio pros (collectively referred to as Producers in the agreements) as part of the royalties payable to the authors (referred to as Rights Holders in the agreements)—on the notion that it is the authors, not Audible/ACX, who hire the Producers and owe the Producers a share of their own royalties as compensation for recording the book. The new structure makes clear that Audible/ACX is limiting its role to that of a third-party payment settlement service, even though it makes the Producers’ services available to their authors, sets the terms of that engagement (a 50/50 royalty split), and is the one to send payment to the Producers….

(3) MOURNING STAR. [Item by Andrew Porter.] Last night’s episode of Young Sheldon starts with the momentous news, related by the young version of Sheldon Cooper, that Isaac Asimov has died. (Which happened in 1992.) His parents are monumentally dismissive, but others not as much. I can honestly state that more Asimov works are mentioned there than on any other TV show, ever.

All I can say is, hilarity ensues!

It’s Series 5, Episode 18, “Babies, Lies and a resplendent Cannoli,” with the description on my TV, “Sheldon copes with the death of a hero; Missy wants to babysit; Georgie struggles with a big secret.”

Likely available On Demand.

(4) THE ANSWER IS 47. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Financial Times behind a paywall, Sarah Hemming reviews The 47th, a Shakespearean pastiche by Mike Bartlett about the 2024 presidential election which is playing at the Old Vic Theatre (oldvictheatre.com) through May 28. (I reviewed Bartlett’s previous near-future Shakespearean pastiche, King Charles III, here in 2017 “King Charles III”: A Review”.)

(5) RINGO AWARDS 2022 NOMINATIONS OPEN. The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards return for their sixth year on Saturday, October 29, 2022 as part of The Baltimore Comic-Con. The Ringo Awards include fan participation in the nomination process along with a jury of comics professionals. Fans are welcome to nominate until June 30 at the website here.

Fan and Pro Nominations: Fan and pro-jury voting are tallied independently, and the combined nomination ballot is compiled by the Ringo Awards Committee. The top two fan choices become nominees, and the jury’s selections fill the remaining three slots for five total nominees per category. Ties may result in more than five nominees in a single category. Nominees will be listed on the ballot alphabetically. Nomination ballot voting is open to the public (fans and pros) between April 15, 2022 and June 30, 2022.

Final Ballot Voting: After processing by the Ringo Awards Committee and Jury, the Final Ballots are targeted to be available to comic creative professionals for voting on August 31, 2022 and will be due by September 28, 2022 for final tallying. Presentation of the winners will occur at the Baltimore Comic-Con on the evening of Saturday, October 29, 2022.

(6) NO VIVIAN IN 2022. The Romance Writers of America have postponed the next Vivian Award to 2023. The announcement was made last October – but it was news to me. The decision came in the aftermath of RWA rebranding its annual award (formerly the Rita), and the organization’s decision to rescind one of the inaugural Vivian Awards.

In an effort to provide the VIVIAN Task Force the time needed to thoroughly examine the 2021 VIVIAN contest, the RWA Board has approved the task force’s recommendation to postpone the 2022 VIVIAN Contest. This postponement will give the task force time to conduct a thorough analysis of the inaugural contest and make recommendations for changes to be implemented for the 2023 contest period. Under normal circumstances, our contest period begins in October with marketing and advertising campaigns followed by the recruitment and training of judges and accepting contest entries. However, the Board recognizes that the VIVIAN Task Force needs more than a couple of weeks to break down all aspects of the contest to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses outside of those revealed this year.

(7) LANGELLA OUT OF USHER. Yahoo! reports“Frank Langella Fired From ‘Fall of the House of Usher’ After Netflix Investigation”.

Veteran actor Frank Langella has been fired from Mike Flanagan’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” following a Netflix investigation that found Langella acted inappropriately on set, a source close to the production confirmed to TheWrap on Wednesday evening.

Netflix had no comment on the situation and a rep for Flanagan did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

TMZ reported on Tuesday that Netflix was looking into allegations that the 84-year-old had been accused of sexual harassment, including making inappropriate comments to a female co-star on the set of the limited series….

(8) OH GIVE ME A HOME, WHERE THE PORTAL HAS COME. A new sf western begins today on Amazon Prime: Outer Range.

Outer Range centers on Royal Abbott (Josh Brolin), a rancher fighting for his land and family, who discovers an unfathomable mystery at the edge of Wyoming’s wilderness. A thrilling fable with hints of wry humor and supernatural mystery, Outer Range examines how we grapple with the unknown. At the onset of the series, the Abbotts are coping with the disappearance of daughter-in-law Rebecca. They are pushed further to the brink when the Tillersons (the gaudy owners of the neighboring profit-driven ranch) make a play for their land. An untimely death in the community sets off a chain of tension-filled events, and seemingly small-town, soil-bound troubles come to a head with the arrival of a mysterious black void in the Abbotts’ west pasture. Wild revelations unfold as Royal fights to protect his family; through his eyes, we begin to see how time contains secrets held in the past and unsettling mysteries foreshadowed.

(9) CHRISTINE ASHBY OBIT. Australian fan Christine Ashby, the 1976 Down Under Fan Fund delegate, died at her home on March 29. She was 70 years of age. In 1976 DUFF she attended that year’s Worldcon, MidAmeriCon. Her trip report, The Flight of the Kangaroo, was published about a decade later.

(10) ESSAY: JO WALTON’S SMALL CHANGE TRILOGY. [By Cat Eldridge,] Doing alternate history right is always hard work, but Jo Walton’s  the Small Change books consisting of  Farthing, Ha’penny and Half a Crown get it perfectly spot on. Set as you know in Britain that settled for an uneasy peace with Hitler’s Germany, they are mysteries, one of my favorite genres. And these are among my all-time favorite mysteries of this sort. 

The audiobooks are fascinating as befitting that there being shifting narrators with Peter Carmichael whose presence in all three novels is voiced by John Keating, and Bianco Amato voicing David Kahn’s wife in Farthing, but Viola Lark being played by Heather O’Neil in Ha’penny and yet a third female narrator, Elvira, is brought to life by Terry Donnelly in Half a Crown

Now I’m fascinated by what awards they won (and didn’t) and what they got nominated for. It would win but one award, the Prometheus Award for Best Libertarian SF Novel for Ha’Penny which is I find a bit odd indeed given there’s nothing libertarian about that novel. 

Now Half a Crown wracked an impressive number of nominations: the Sidewise Award for Best Long Form Alternate History, Locus for Best SF Novel, Sunburst award for a Canadian novel, and this time deservedly so given the themes of the final novel a Prometheus Award for Best Libertarian SF Novel.

Farthing had picked up nominations for a Sidewise, a Nebula, Campbell Memorial, Quill where Ha’Penny only picked a Sidewise and Lambda.

Not a single Hugo nomination which really, really surprised me. 

There is one short story set in this series, “Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction” which you can read in her Starlings colllection that Tachyon published. It is is a fantastic collection of her stories, poems and cool stuff! 

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 15, 1918 Denis McLoughlin. No, he didn’t do any genre work that you’d know of. (And I’m not interested in it anyways. This is not about a genre artist.) His greatest fame came from work doing hard-boiled detective book covers produced for the London publishing house of Boardman Books spanning a career that lasted nearly eight decades with other work as well. And oh what covers they were!  Here’s is his cover for Adam Knight’s Stone Cold Blonde, and this is Henry Kanes’…Until You’re Dead. Finally let’s look at his cover for Fredric Brown’s We All Killed Grandma.  He was in perfect health when he took a revolver from his extensive collection of weapons and committed suicide. No note was left behind. (Died 2002.)
  • Born April 15, 1922 Michael Ansara. Commander Kang  in Trek’s “The Day of The Dove” as well as a lot of other genre work including a recurring role as Kane on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, multiple roles on I Dream of Jeannie andmyriad voicings of Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze in the Batman series. (Died 2013.)
  • Born April 15, 1926 Jerry Grandenetti. In my opinion, his greatest work was as the illustrator who helped defined the look of The Spirit that Will Eisner created. He also worked at DC, mostly on war comics of which there apparently way more than I knew (All-American Men of WarG.I. CombatOur Army at War, Our Fighting Forces and Star Spangled War Stories) though he did work on the House of Mystery and Strange Adventures series as well. (Died 2010.)
  • Born April 15, 1933 Elizabeth Montgomery. She’s best remembered as Samantha Stephens on Bewitched. Other genre roles included being Lili in One Step Beyond’s “The Death Waltz” which you can watch here. She also had one-offs in The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and voicing a Barmaid in the “Showdown” episode of Batman: The Animated Series. (Died 1995.)
  • Born April 15, 1959 Emma Thompson, 63. Professor Sybill Trelawney, Harry Potter franchise. Men in Black 3 and Men in Black: International as Agent O, I am LegendNanny McPhee and the Big BangThe Voyage of Doctor Dolittle as Polynesia, the extraordinary Tony Kushner derived HBO series Angels in AmericaBeauty and the Beast as Mrs. Potts, the castle’s motherly head housekeeper who has been transformed into a teapot, BraveBeautiful Creatures and Treasure Planet voicing Captain Amelia. 
  • Born April 15, 1974 Jim C. Hines, 48. [Item by Paul Weimer.] Writer, and blogger. Jim C. Hines’ first published novel was Goblin Quest, the tale of a nearsighted goblin runt and his pet fire-spider. Jim went on to write the Princess series, four books often described as a blend of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with Charlie’s Angels. He’s also the author of the Magic ex Libris books, my personal favorite, which follow the adventures of a magic-wielding librarian from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, who happens to have the same pet fire-spider lifted from the Goblin novels as his best friend. He has two novels in his Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse series. Jim’s novels usually have the fun and humor dials set on medium to high. Jim is also an active blogger on a variety of topics and won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer at Chicon 7.
  • Born April 15, 1997 Maisie Williams, 25. She made her professional acting debut as Arya Stark of Winterfell in Game of Thrones. She was Ashildr, an immortal Viking woman of unique skills, the principal character of “The Girl Who Died”, “The Woman Who Lived”, “Face the Raven” and “Hell Bent” during the time of Twelfth Doctor. She was also Lucy in the Netflix SF iBoy. She is set to star as Wolfsbane in the forthcoming Marvel film New Mutants, due for release sometime, well who knows, as it keeps getting delayed. 

(12) HEROS AND STINKERS. Here’s a research project that will amuse (or bemuse) you: “All The Hobbits From Lord Of The Rings Ranked Worst To Best”. Looper ranks 18 of them.

… There are a lot of hobbits in “Lord of the Rings.” So many, in fact, that we’ve decided to round them all up into a good ol’ worst-to-best ranking. After all, what good is this iconic race of hole-dwellers if we can’t subjectively compare them to each other? Here are all of the hobbits who play at least a minor role in the story, ranked by a general conglomeration of heroics, accomplishments, humor, toughness, and overall importance to Tolkien’s world….

16. Ted Sandyman is a pathetic excuse for a Hobbit

…While he plays a similar part in the book, Sandyman’s role is a bit bigger on-page. He’s in a lengthy scene in “The Fellowship of the Ring” where he verbally spars with Sam, rebutting his romantic notions of the world. Then he reappears at the end of “The Return of the King,” where it’s revealed that he’s gone over to the dark side, helping Saruman’s minions overrun the Shire and turn it into an industrialized police state….

Ted Sandyman is eventually put in his place, but during his time in the story he proves to be nothing more than a troublemaking bully who runs at the first site of trouble. To the bottom of the list he goes…

(13) WE’RE DOOMED, DOOMED! [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] An analysis announced by Nature this week reveals that even if all the agreed actions from last November’s COP26 UN climate change summit were implemented global temperatures could not be kept below the target 1.5°C warming.

The researchers say that to meet this target we are going to have to actively remove carbon dioxide from the air.

Personally, having studied climate change for some decades now, I am all too aware of the difficulties. Indeed, back in 2009 I posted an online essay that concluded it would be difficult to keep warming below 2°C.

Since 2009, there has been a growing body of research pointing in the same direction, of which this Nature paper is but the latest.

Quantifications of the pledges before the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) suggested a less than 50 per cent chance of keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius…

Limiting warming not only to ‘just below’ but to ‘well below’ 2 degrees Celsius or 1.5 degrees Celsius urgently requires policies and actions to bring about steep emission reductions this decade, aligned with mid-century global net-zero CO2 emissions.

(14) REPEAT AFTER ME. If you have eight minutes to spare you can watch a “Giant ‘Live Long and Prosper’ Supercut” with every appearance of the Vulcan phrase in every Star Trek series. Nerdist gives a rundown —

…This montage (which we first saw at Laughing Squid) includes all the times someone said that phrase, from the franchise’s first days to right now. Characters first told others to “live long and prosper” on the original cast’s show, animated series, and movies. Since then Star Trek characters in The Next Generation, First Contact, Voyager, Enterprise, Lower Decks, and Prodigy have said the phrase, too.

(Uh, can we go back and edit one into Deep Space Nine? Now that we know zero characters ever said the Vulcan salute, it seems weird, right?)

(15) MIXED MEDIA. Daniel Greene’s “Best of the Year 2021” rankings are unusual in that he includes written as well as filmed media, so there’s some nice shout-outs for several notable SF/Fantasy printed works in here.

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] The How It Should Have Ended gang takes on the Snyder cut in this video, which dropped Thursday. “How The Snyder Cut Should Have Ended”.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Jennifer Hawthorne, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Irwin Hirsh, Joyce Scrivner, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jeff Smith.]

37 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/15/22 Is That A Real Pixel, Or Is That A Sears Pixel

  1. First!

    I claim this position in the name of Marvin the Martian for the glory of all Mars. And I mean all the Mars that exist across the Multiverse.

  2. (3) I don’t usually watch YS but may make an exception to catch this one on streaming.

  3. 11 – That New Mutants movie came out in 2020. Obviously, it didn’t make much of an impact. I really do mean to watch it, though. Someday.

  4. Speaking of Mars, what your favorite piece of fiction set there? I have four, Larry Niven’s Rainbow Mars, Kage Baker’s The Empress of Mars and Ian Macdonald’s linked novels Desolation Road and Ares Express.

  5. Jodoc says That New Mutants movie came out in 2020. Obviously, it didn’t make much of an impact. I really do mean to watch it, though. Someday.

    So little that the source I used didn’t notice that it came out. I’ll have OGH update that note. Thanks much.

    Actually I see OGH already has done so.

  6. Mars stories: As a kid, The Chessmen of Mars was my favorite of ERB’s Barsoom novels. It’ll be a while before I get there on my current reread, but I am curious as to how much I’ll like it now.

    My favorite contemporary is Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Green Mars,” the mountain-climbing novella.

  7. The Martian is probably my favorite Mars novel. I also liked Retrograde by Peter Cawdron although the pacing in that novel was weird. While people are literally running for their lives, there’s a little digression on what the surface of Mars looks like. Still a good book though.

  8. If we’re doing favourite Mars stories/novels, I’ll go with Leigh Brackett’s Sword of Rhiannon and Brackett’s Martian tales in general. Yes, I know that Mars doesn’t really look like that, but they’re still excellent stories.

  9. @Cora Buhlert

    You got there before me! I’d maybe choose The People of the Talisman as my favourite, but Sword of Rhiannon is much easier to find and also very good. I’ve always thought Brackett wrote the definitive version of Pulp Mars

  10. The best hobbits… about Frodo and Gollum: there’s one thing that I’ve personally not ever seen anyone mention… (I’m talking the books, here) – the scene where Gollum tells Frodo that he’d be glad to take the Ring, and Frodo tells him that it will never be his, and if he ever tries to get it again, he will command Gollum to cast himself into the fires of Mt. Doom. Which he does… was it really an accident? I’ve never thought so.

    On the other hand, Rosie waiting? What, have people never read about women waiting while the guy they’re going to marry goes whaling for years?

  11. 13) Interesting piece on local KJZZ radio about Arizona State University’s work on developing mechanical trees to absorb carbon dioxide. Print version: “ASU’s mechanical trees could make a dent in climate change

    Some 35 million mechanical trees would be needed to start making a significant dent in recapturing CO2. Doing some back of the envelope calculations, the article’s illustration of a mechanical tree farm looks like there’s about fifty square meters for each tree and space to access it. I come up with about 675 square miles for the 35 million trees.

    In reality, there’d be a bunch of smaller mech-tree farms scattered across the globe. But that 675 square miles doesn’t include ancillary systems, such as access roads to the site, convenient housing (or barracks?) for workers maintaining the farms, service equipment, warehouses for huge amounts of the sorbent material (14,000 bags per tree; the article doesn’t say how often they’d need to be refreshed), plus the infrastructure to manufacture the trees and produce sorbent. Lots more complicated than the article makes it seem at first glance. So if it ever becomes real to any degree, it’s probably going to be decades in the future.

    (The article also doesn’t say what particular sorbent, or sorbent mix, the mechanical trees would use. There’s an interesting Wikipedia page for “Solid sorbents for carbon capture“, though I will admit much of it is at the farther borders of my chemical or technical knowledge.)

  12. (8) I watched the first episode of Outer Range tonight. It was suitably mysterious, and creepy, enough that I think I’ll continue on with it. (And it also has a good soundtrack.)

  13. Favorite Martian fiction for me is the trifecta: Burroughs’ Barsoom (if I had to choose just one, probably A Fighting Man of Mars — I think Gods of Mars is his best, but it’s not a standalone); Brackett’s Mars (Sword of Rhiannon, to pick just one) or Heinlein’s Red Planet.

  14. 0) Or is it but a pixel of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the scroll-oppressed brain?

    8) About halfway through the second episode I found myself suspecting that Nhghza naq Nzl ner gur fnzr crefba.

  15. Three Martian favorites:

    I agree with Jeff Smith on the greatness of Green Mars (novella). It is very much about Mars, in a direct physical way. But whenever I think of Mars, the images in my head are from the first part of Icehenge.

    The Quantum Thief features a post-singularity city on Mars that is charmingly French. It is the Mars I’d like to live on.

    The Mars in A Martian Odyssey is the Mars I’d like to explore.

  16. Bonnie McDaniel on April 15, 2022 at 9:35 pm said:

    (8) I watched the first episode of Outer Range tonight. It was suitably mysterious, and creepy, enough that I think I’ll continue on with it. (And it also has a good soundtrack.)

    Noted. I was thinking of checking it out.

  17. 11) Montgomery, I believe, played her entire role on The Twilight Zone episode TWO without a word of dialogue. Quite a good job.

    13) There’s been one consistency in all of the climate change/global warming discussion and that has been that reality always seems to be sooner and hotter than the models predict: ice shelves breaking off decades before anticipated, PPM of CO2 climbing higher and faster than modelled.

    14) Right before the end we’re going to discover that we originally came from Venus and did the same things there we are now doing here….
    So what do you say to a Vulcan that is on its deathbed or in that moment right before they are executed? Live short and, uh, see ya later?

    @Cat Eldridge: I’m particularly fond of H. Beam Piper’s “Omnilingual”, which I first read in the anthology edited by Jane Hipolito – Mars, We Love You

  18. In the Halls of the Martian Kings by S M Stirling, which tries to rationalize the idea of a Burroughsian Mars, is a favorite Mars set work for me.

    I like the original Total Recall, even if the science is terrible. Fun fact: The first ever novelization of a movie I ever read was of that…it was done by, of all people, Piers Anthony. I did NOT like the novelization at all, it took pains to demystify the “is it a dream?” question raised in the movie at every chance.

    Also, a bit of dlalogue from Event Horizon, as the crew is told they are going to Neptune

    Smitty: “Why can’t we go to Mars, Captain? Mars has got…women.”

  19. Ah Mars! The red planet draws us in like moths to the flame… Days of Perky Pat is a good read (even if you you don’t want to go full-bore Palmer Eldritch). Sirens of Titan, always a favorite. +1 for Quantum Thief, and Brunner’s Born Under Mars. KSR’s trilogy never really clicked for me, and Mick Farren’s Mars the Red Planet is a dog, though it has a few touches of The Expanse in the setting. Another forgotten Mars adventure is Lester del Rey’s action pulp Police Your Planet. So much more, but these came to mind first.

  20. Favorite Mars-set fiction: Zelazny’s A Rose for Ecclesiastes, Piper’s Omnilingual, Alastair Reynolds’ Great Wall of Mars, and Brackett’s Martian stories.

    @Steve Davidson: Not quite true: Montgomery says one word, “Prekrasny”, supposedly a Russian word for “pretty”, while looking at the dress in the store window. Which does not detract in any way from her stellar, otherwise wordless performance.

  21. @Steve Davidson — Agnes Moorehead does the same thing in the Twilight Zone episode “The Invaders” — she lives alone in a cabin and aliens in a tiny spaceship land and attack her. She defends herself and ends up killing them, but it turns out they are from Earth and are normal size, and she is a giant. But she never speaks a word.

  22. In the Halls of the Martian Kings by S M Stirling. Love the human from Earth being cast as the damoiseau.
    In the Hall of the Martian King by John Barnes (and the Jak Jinaka series in general).
    The Godel Operation is partially set on Mars. Still a favorite book of mine.
    The Martian, of course.
    Red Dust by Paul J. McAuley. Another Monkey adaptation in SF drag.
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. ‘Nuf said.
    Red Planet by Robert Heinlein. I think it and the Martian Chronicles were some of my first introductions to F.

  23. Meredith moment: the first three of the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser collectiions (Swords in the Mist, Swords against Death and Swords and Deviltry) are available from the usual suspects for just five dollars and ninety nine cents. Quite a deal I’d say.

  24. @ Cat Eldridge

    I saw that. Also I noticed the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser deal ends tonight. Since the collection normally costs $39.95, it might be best to move quickly. 🙂

  25. Rob Thornton says I saw that. Also I noticed the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser deal ends tonight. Since the collection normally costs $39.95, it might be best to move quickly. ?

    Yeah I should’ve noted that.

    And there’s a pirated set of all the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser collections on Apple Books which I just called Apple support about to see if I could get them removed. That was a very interesting conversation.

    My latest bromeliad arrived today. It was a neoregelia and easily three times larger than I was expecting. Magnificent plant indeed!

  26. If anyone wants to hear it, Green Man has Kage reading her Empress of Mars story here. It’s a delightful tale that she told me that actually links into her Company series.

    We were supposed to develop a Concordance to the Company series but she became too ill before that became a reality alas. I was going to interview the characters in the series.

    I miss her a lot.

  27. Having a tough time with the Mars question. A chunk of The Scavenger Door by Susanne Palmer is set on Mars; I wonder if it’s enough to count? Meh, I probably have to go with The Martian, though it somehow seems like a pedestrian answer. I might add The Martian Chronicles, except that it’s been too many years since I actually read it.

    I’ll probably wake up tomorrow going “oh my god, such-and-such is set on Mars–how could I forget?” But for now, I’ll have to leave it at that.

  28. PhilRM:
    Favorite Mars-set fiction: Zelazny’s A Rose for Ecclesiastes, Piper’s Omnilingual, Alastair Reynolds’ Great Wall of Mars, and Brackett’s Martian stories.

    That might be my list, except I’d add Heinlein’s Double Star (more so than Red Planet) and Sturgeon’s “The Man Who Lost the Sea.” And probably others not coming to mind.

    Montgomery says one word, “Prekrasny”, supposedly a Russian word for “pretty”, while looking at the dress in the store window. Which does not detract in any way from her stellar, otherwise wordless performance.

    It’s the word for “beautiful, fine, splendid, excellent,” but the masculine form. When looking at a dress, a Russian would probably say the neuter prekrasnoyo since platyyo “dress” (the double y’s preserve the distinction in the Russian spelling–hard to hear if you’re not listening for it) is neuter (or would use the short form prekrasno); and because of the stress placement (second syllable) and schwas that result, that would be homophonous with the feminine prekrasnaya that the man would then, given the events of the story, have said to her the next day. (Though for a woman you’d be more likely to use the adjective krasivaya; it’s from the same root as prekrasny and the word for “red,” krasny, which originally meant “beautiful”–and still has that sense in krasna(ya) devitsa “beautiful girl,” which is antiquated but culturally loaded; or you’d use the noun krasavitsa “beautiful woman, a beauty.”)

  29. Obviously the LFS didn’t agree that there was NOTHING libertarian about Ha’penny. Of course we’ve said for decades that we give the award to the book, not the author; we don’t even attempt to test whether an author is libertarian. But as for this book, it shows the evils of fascism, and more broadly of authoritarianism, and it does this in an unusually subtle way, emphasizing not the external brutality but the moral corruption of decent people living under such a regime. Why wouldn’t libertarians share that concern?

  30. @Ferret Bueller: Double Star would certainly go on my honorable mention list. And if I’d thought about it for longer, there are at least a couple of stories from The Martian Chronicles that would have gone on my list.

    Thanks for the detailed Russian explication!

  31. PhilRM:
    Thanks for the detailed Russian explication!

    Sure, glad to oblige.

    A note here though: because of the stress placement (second syllable) and schwas that result, that would be homophonous with the feminine prekrasnaya that the man would then, given the events of the story, have said to her the next day.

    That came out badly. What I meant to say is that if she’d said prekrasnoyo, then when he copied it the next day, it would work to describe her as well. In other words, a note to keep in mind for a remake, I guess.

  32. @William H. Stoddard: When one first learns about Prometheus Award winners it can be confusing, because it is incredible for a political society to be so open-minded. But it’s also delightful. There is no doubt of the excellence of the winners and the appropriateness of the award. I hope the LFS goes on to confound and delight SF fans of all political stripes for a long time.

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