Pixel Scroll 4/16/21 I Am Just A Filer, Though My Pixel’s Seldom Scrolled

(1) CONTRACT GUIDES NOW OPEN ACCESS. The Authors Guild has released its Model Book Contract to the public for the first time. They have also produced a separate Literary Translation Model Contract for U.S. translators and literary agents.

“We updated the Model Trade Book Contract last year right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. We never could have predicted just how deleterious the crisis would be on working writers, with 71.4 percent of authors reporting losing, on average, 49 percent of their regular pre-pandemic income, based on our latest member survey,” said Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild. “Given this situation, we have been exploring various ways to help ease the lives and careers of professional writers, which is why the Authors Guild Council recently voted to remove the Model Trade Book Contract from behind our member paywall and make it freely accessible for all writers, publishers and anyone interested in book contracts. We hope that publishers will look to its terms in creating their own or adopt it, and we want authors around the globe to have access to it so they can understand what terms and issues they should be aware of before signing any book deal.”

(2) THEY’RE BACK. “Wakandans Featurette/Marvel Studio’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” on YouTube is a trailer from Disney+ that announces that Wakandans have shown up in The Falcon And The Winter Soldier.

(3) SPFBO. Mark Lawrence has announced that he will be starting the next Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off on June 1st.  They need another blogger/reviewer.

(4) FINALS EXAM. Cora Buhlert has 2,000 well-chosen words to share on the subject: “Some Thoughts on the 2021 Hugo Finalists”.

… When the Best Series Hugo was proposed, the argument was that a lot of popular and long-running series are overlooked by the Hugos – or the Nebulas for that matter – because the individual novels don’t stand alone very well and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

However in practice, such series, no matter how popular, are rarely nominated. Particularly The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher is notable by its absence, even though the Best Series Hugo seems tailor-made for this series.

Instead, the Best Series ballot tends to consist of trilogies by authors Hugo voters like and where individual volumes have often made the ballot before as well as of works set in the same wold that form a series if you squint really hard. I guess most Hugo voters simply aren’t series readers.

That said, the actual Best Series ballot looks pretty good this year. The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells is a hugely popular series where prettty much every installment has either been a finalist or would have been, if Martha Wells hadn’t withdrawn two Murderbot novellas from consideration in 2019. It’s also a great series….

(5) HAVE YOU RED IT TOO? The Heinlein Society has a good reason for suggesting that you watch this trailer and note what books the kids are reading at about 28 seconds.

(6) IT’S JUST TAKING A KIP. Meanwhile, back at the Red Planet, NASA’s InSight lander is “in crisis”: “NASA’s InSight Mars Lander to Hibernate so Batteries Don’t Die” at Business Insider.

… Unlike other sites where NASA has sent rovers and landers — including the landing spot of the new Perseverance rover and its Mars helicopter — powerful gusts of wind have not been sweeping Elysium Planitia. These winds, called “cleaning events,” are needed to blow the red Martian dust off the solar panels of NASA’s robots. Without their help, a thick layer of dust has accumulated on InSight, and it’s struggling to absorb sunlight.InSight’s solar panels were producing just 27% of their energy capacity in February, when winter was arriving in Elysium Planitia. So NASA decided to start incrementally turning off different instruments on the lander. Soon the robot will go into “hibernation mode,” shutting down all functions that aren’t necessary for its survival.

By pausing its scientific operations, the lander should be able to save enough power to keep its systems warm through the frigid Martian nights, when temperatures can drop to negative-130 degrees Fahrenheit.

“The amount of power available over the next few months will really be driven by the weather,” Chuck Scott, InSight’s project manager, said in a statement.

InSight is still in good condition — it’s even using its robotic arm — but an out-of-season storm could cause a power failure. If the lander’s batteries die, it might never recover.

“We would be hopeful that we’d be able to bring it back to life, especially if it’s not asleep or dead for a long period of time,” Bruce Banerdt, InSight’s principal investigator, told Insider. “But that would be a dicey situation.”

(7) THE HOLE NINE YARDS. Let James Davis Nicoll tell you about “Five Books That Use Wormholes to Plug Plot Holes” at Tor.com. First on the list –

Starman Jones by Robert Heinlein (1953)

This novel long predates the heyday of wormholes; it doesn’t even use the phrase. But it uses spacetime anomalies, which are just like wormholes. With one exception: they don’t just have an entrance and an exit. They can take you all sorts of interesting places if you enter the anomaly with the wrong approach vector. A small error calculating the vector and a hapless ship could find itself light-millennia off-course, with no clear idea how to get home. No prizes for guessing if this happens to the Asgard, the very ship on which the eponymous Starman Jones is serving. Nor is this worst that will happen to the unfortunate castaways.

(8) MCCRORY OBIT. Actress Helen McCrory, OBE, (1968-2021) died April 16 reports GEEKchocolate.

We are hugely saddened to hear of the death of the wonderful Helen McCrory, known to us as Rosanna Calvierri’s in Doctor Who’s Vampires of Venice, but with a resume which stretched from Interview with the Vampire, Charlotte Gray, The Count of Monte Cristo, Skyfall, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death, a recurring role in Harry Potter as Narcissa Malfoy, and a long stint as Polly Grey on Peaky Blinders, as well as two appearances as Cherie Blair in The Queen and The Special Relationship.

(9) FELIX SILLIA OBIT. The actor who played Cousin Itt on The Addams Family, Felix Sillia, has died at the age of 84 reports SYFY Wire.

In addition to playing Cousin Itt, Silla’s other best-known roles include playing the robot Twiki / Odee-x on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and an evil miniature “Hitler” in 1975’s The Black Bird. He also had smaller parts in much-loved movies, such as playing an Ewok on Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Dink in Spaceballs. He also worked as a stuntman on E.T. the Extra-TerrestrialPoltergeistIndiana Jones and the Temple of DoomHoward the Duck, and Batman Returns.

(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • April 16, 1955 –On this day in 1955, Science Fiction Theatre aired “Time Is Just A Place” as the second episode of the first season.  It’s from Jack Finey’s “Such Interesting Neighbors” (published in Collier’s, 1951) which would later form the basis of the March 20, 1987 adaptation of the story under its original title for Amazing Stories. The story is that neighbors are increasingly suspicious of the inventions of Mr. Heller, who claims to be an inventor, who uses a robotic vacuum cleaner and a flashlight that beams x-rays. It starred Don DeFore, Warren Stevens and Marie Windsor.  You can watch it here.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born April 16, 1891 – Dorothy Lathrop.  Illustrator and author.  Historically a lot of good fantasy has been written for children; folks who appreciate fantasy know to look there.  DL illustrated twoscore books, writing nine herself, also nonfiction.  Rachel Field’s Hitty, illustrated by DL, won RF a Newbery Medal; DL’s illustrations for Helen Fish’s Animals of the Bible won DL a Caldecott Medal.  Here is DL’s cover for an ed’n of The Little Mermaid.  Here is a dandelion soldier.  Here is an interior for Mopsa the Fairy.  This is from DL’s Fairy Circus.  Here is Across the Night Sky.  Here is a 2011 appreciation with another score of pictures.  (Died 1980) [JH]
  • Born April 16, 1921 Peter Ustinov. He had a number of genre appearances such as being in Blackbeard’s Ghost as Captain Blackbeard, in the animated Robin Hood by voicing both  Prince John and King Richard, as simply The Old Man In Logan’s Run, Truck Driver In The Great Muppet Caper, and in Alice in Wonderland as The Walrus. He wrote The Old Man and Mr. Smith: A Fable which is clearly genre. Genre adjacent (well sort of), he played Hercule Poirot twice. (Died 2004.) (CE) 
  • Born April 16, 1922 Kingsley Amis. So have you read The Green Man? I’m still not convinced that anything actually happened, or that rather everything including the hauntings were really in Maurice Allington’s decayed brain. I’m not seeing that he did much else for genre work other outside of The Anti-Death League and The Alteration but he did write Colonel Sun: A James Bond Adventure under the pseudonym of Robert Markham and his New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction which was published in the late Fifties sounds fascinating as he shares his views on the genre and makes some predictions as there’ll never be a SF series on the boob tube despite there already being some. (Died 1995.) (CE) 
  • Born April 16, 1922 John Christopher. Author of The Tripods, an alien invasion series which was adapted into both an excellent radio and a superb television series. He wrote a lot of genre fiction including the Fireball series in which Rome never fell, and The Death of Grass which I mention because it was one of the many YA post-apocalyptic novels that he wrote in the Fifties and Sixties that sold extremely well in the U.K. The film version would be nominated for a Hugo finishing sixth in the balloting at Noreascon I, a year where No Award was given. (Died 2012.) (CE) 
  • Born April 16, 1953 – J. Neil Schulman.  Four novels, half a dozen shorter stories; collection Nasty, Brutish, and Short Stories (speaking of Hobbes’ Leviathan, I used to joke that the tiger should have been Calvin, and the boy Hobbes because he was nasty, brutish, and short); “Profiles in Silver” for The Twilight Zone; two Prometheus Awards.  I can’t remember ever agreeing with him, but I miss him.  (Died 2019) [JH]
  • Born April 16, 1954 Ellen Barkin, 65. Usually I don’t do a birthday listing for just a few genre appearances but I make an exception for those performers who appeared in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Barking played Penny Priddy in that film and that was her only genre appearance other than playing Kathleen in the Into The West film about Irish Travellers and a very special horse named Tír na nÓg. (CE)
  • Born April 16, 1962 Kathryn Cramer, 59. Writer, editor, and literary critic. She co-founded The New York Review of Science Fiction in 1988 with David G. Hartwell and others, and was its co-editor until 1991 and again since 1996. She edited with her husband David G. Hartwell Year’s Best Fantasy one through nine and Year’s Best SF seven through seventeen with him as well.  They did a number of anthologies of which I’ll single out The Hard SF Renaissance and The Space Opera Renaissance as particularly superb. She has a most excellent website — Kathryncramer.com. (CE)
  • Born April 16, 1970 – Brandon McKinney, age 51.  Here is a fine cover for John Whitman’s novelization Star Wars.  Here is a cover for JW’s Phantom Menace.  Interiors for both.  Here is Batman, here is Robin.  Here is Spider-Man.  Here is Bruce Lee in The Dragon Rises.  Also Elfquest; see here.  [JH]
  • Born April 16, 1975 Sean Maher, 46. Doctor Simon Tam In the Firefly verse. And Dick Grayson (Nightwing) in a staggering number of  animated DAC films, to wit  Son of BatmanBatman vs. Robin,,Batman: Bad Blood, Justice League vs. Teen TitansTeen Titans: The Judas Contract and Batman: Hush. He showed up on Arrow as Shrapnel in the “Blast Radius” and “Suicide Squad” episodes. (CE)
  • Born April 16, 1978 – Amy Ruttan, age 43.  Four novels for us; two dozen others.  “Half the fun of writing historicals and being swept away in a different time period is the research….  let someone else you trust have a look over your work.  You’ll be surprised what you as an author won’t pick out.”  [JH]
  • Born April 16, 1983 – Thomas Olde Heuvelt, age 38.  Too little (say I) of his work has been translated from Dutch into English.  “The Day the World Turned Upside Down” was and won a Hugo, which may be some encouragement.  Six novels, sixteen shorter stories; one novel, five shorter stories in English so far.  Three Paul Harland prizes.  [JH]
  • Born April 16, 1990 – Kusano Gengen, age 31.  (Personal name last, Japanese style.)  Only three stories yet translated into English; one is “Last and First Idol” – yes, alluding to Olaf Stapledon – which won a Seiun, and is the lead story in a 2018 collection with the other two.  KG drew a thousand words from Jonathan Clements, of which I’ll quote a few about “Idol”: “Described by one of the Hayakawa Sci-Fi Contest [which “Idol” won – JH] panelists as ‘stupid’, and by an employee of his own publisher as ‘abysmal’, Kusano’s work of recursive SF provocatively combines the breathless, vapid prose of a teenage school story with the portentous, epic concerns of Space Opera, turning each into a wry commentary on the pomposity of the other.”  Meanwhile Kusano-san went off to Hokkaidô University for a Ph.D.  [JH]

(12) COMICS SECTION.

(13) IMAGINARY PAPERS ON YOUR DOORSTEP. The Arizona State University Center for Science and the Imagination today published the 6th issue of Imaginary Papers, their quarterly newsletter on science fiction worldbuilding, futures thinking, and imagination.  

This issue features writing from media scholar Lisa Yin Han, experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats, and learning sciences researcher Ruth Wylie.

Here is a link for subscribing to future issues.

 (14) ZOOMING THROUGH FANHISTORY. Fanac.org has scheduled three more FanHistory Project Zoom Sessions. To attend, send an RSVP to fanac@fanac.org in order to receive a link. 

  • April 17, Saturday – 2pm EDT, 11AM PDT, 7PM London –  Early Star Trek Fandom, with Ruth Berman and Devra Langsam.  

Stories and anecdotes from Ruth and Devra about their entry into fandom, about the origins of Star Trek fandom, and how they came to publish T-Negative and  Spockanallia. For those of us that came into fandom later, here’s a chance to hear how Star Trek was received in general fandom, how Trek fandom got started, who the BNFs were and what they were they like.  How did the first Trek fanzines and Trek conventions affect fandom, and how did Trek fandom grow  and become its own thing. 

  • April 27, Tuesday – 4pm EDT, 1pm PDT,  9PM London. An Interview with Erle Korshak by Joe Siclari. 

Erle Korshak is one of our remaining FIrst Fans (inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 1996) and a Guest of Honor at Chicon 8 (2022 Worldcon). Erle was an organizer of the first Chicon,  the 1940 Worldcon, and was one of the Worldcon auctioneers for many years. He started Shasta Publishers, one of the first successful specialty SF publishers.  He was also involved with early SF movies. In this session, fan historian Joe Siclari  will interview Erle and his son Steve about early fandom, early conventions (including Worldcons), Shasta, and both Erle and Steve’s continuing interest in illustration art. Note: this is a midweek session. 

  • May 22, Saturday – 2pm EDT, 11AM PDT, 7PM London – An Interview with Bjo and John Trimble. 

Bjo and John Trimble have had an enormous impact on fandom from the 1950s onward. They’ve pubbed their ish, and some of the zines are available on FANAC.org. Bjo created the convention art show as we know it today (pre-pandemic) with Project Art Show, and published PAS-tell to share info with interested fans everywhere. In LASFS,  Bjo had a large role in reviving a flagging LASFS in the late 50s. Her most famous contribution was the successful Save Star Trek campaign which resulted in a 3rd year of the original series. Bjo was one of the organziers of Los Angeles fandom’s film making endeavors.  John is a co-founder of the LASFS clubzine, De Profundis and an editor of Shangri-L’Affaires. Bjo and John were Fan Guests of Honor at ConJose (2002), and were nominated twice for Best Fanzine Hugos. Bjo was nominated for Best Fan Artist Hugo. In this interview, expect stories and anecdotes of Los Angeles fandom, how the art show came to be, Save Star Trek and more. 

(15) BEAMING INTO YOUR HOME. Stay tuned as Galactic Journey boldly goes through 1966!

(16) BIG BUCKS. Smaug’s dead, so they can’t borrow it from him.“Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Costs $465 Million for Just Season 1” says The Hollywood Reporter.

Amazon Studios’ The Lord of the Rings television show is going to cost all the gold in the Lonely Mountain.

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Amazon will spend roughly NZ$650 million — $465 million in U.S. dollars — for just the first season of the show.

That’s far above previous reported estimates that pegged the fantasy drama as costing an already record-breaking $500 million for multiple seasons of the show.

“What I can tell you is Amazon is going to spend about $650 million in season one alone,” Stuart Nash, New Zealand minister for economic development and tourism, told Morning Report“This is fantastic, it really is … this will be the largest television series ever made.”

The figures were released as part of as part of the New Zealand government’s Official Information Act and initially reported by the New Zealand outlet Stuff. The documents also confirmed the studio’s plan to film potentially five seasons in New Zealand — as well as possible, as-yet-unannounced spinoff series.

By comparison, HBO’s Game of Thrones cost roughly $100 million to produce per season, with its per-episode cost starting at around $6 million for season one and eventually rising to around $15 million per episode in season eight….

(17) THE TRAIN TO NOWHERE. Mashable’s reviewer Belen Edwards says “’Infinity Train’ Season 4 is a strong end to a show that deserved more”.

… However, part of the beauty of Infinity Train has always been its conciseness. The animated series takes on an anthology format. Each season follows a different passenger on the titular train, where each car holds a new world. Passengers are assigned a glowing green number that goes down as they learn more lessons and work to resolve the problems in their life. When their numbers reach zero, they can exit the train. Each season is only 10 episodes long, and at 11 minutes each they pack in an astounding amount of character development and heart. …

(18) KING OF THE MOVIES. There will be an online “Dollar Baby film festival” hosted by Vancouver’s Baker Street Cinema of unreleased Stephen King movies from April 23-25. Full details at the link.  

Hosted by Canadian film production company Barker Street Cinema, the virtual festival, called STEPHEN KING RULES, will screen 25 submissions by filmmakers from all over the world, many of which have never been seen by a global audience before.

Since 1977, the Master of Horror – Stephen King – has allowed emerging filmmakers to adapt his previously unproduced short stories into films that may help launch their careers through what is called the Dollar Baby Deal. Barker Street’s STEPHEN KING RULES Dollar Baby Film Festival will showcase an exciting line-up of these independent movies, including interviews and panel discussions with the filmmakers themselves….

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Dann, John Hertz, John King Tarpinian, N., Mike Kennedy, Michael Toman, Cora Buhlert, James Davis Nicoll, Bill, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day MixMat and Cliff with an assist from Jack Lint and Anna Nimmhaus.]

52 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/16/21 I Am Just A Filer, Though My Pixel’s Seldom Scrolled

  1. First!

    I’m enjoying Charles de Lint’s first Newford novel in fifteen years, Junniper Wiles, the last being Widdershins. And I’m listening to his Jump at the Sun album, Dining Room Rehearsal, a most excellent Celtic affair.

  2. Second up!
    Enjoying Cat’s chocolate and just watched a movie for the next Torture Cinema recording on the Hugo Finalist SKIFFY AND FANTY podcast.

    (it was Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter)

  3. Re 11) Peter Ustinov, I count 6 portrayals of Poirot: Death on the Nile 1978, Evil Under the Sun 1982, Appointment with Death 1988 for theatrical films and for TV Movies 13 At Dinner 1985, Dead Man’s Folly 1986 and Murder in Three Acts 1986

    Physically Ustinov was nothing like the description of Poirot, but his portrayal is nonetheless indelible

  4. 11) John Christopher is one of my foundational authors (I came to the Tripods trilogy right around the same time as I came to Heinlein’s juvies). For a change of pace, I’ll call out his singleton book The Lotus Caves, which, amongst other things, introduced me to the concept of an author.

  5. Thomas the Red says Peter Ustinov, I count 6 portrayals of Poirot: Death on the Nile 1978, Evil Under the Sun 1982, Appointment with Death 1988 for theatrical films and for TV Movies 13 At Dinner 1985, Dead Man’s Folly 1986 and Murder in Three Acts 1986

    A much more impressive list than I thought. Thanks much.

    Physically Ustinov was nothing like the description of Poirot, but his portrayal is nonetheless indelible

    True. Peter Ustinov is nowhere near how the the Little Detective is described by Christie. David Suchet I think is the best representation of how Christie described him.

  6. 4) For me, the Dresden books post-Changes have been sub-par. Ghost Story, Peace Talks and Battleground being particularly excretable.

    Hard to nominate something for the best as the quality of the parts goes down.

  7. Kingsley Amis also has this contribution to the genre: a five book anthology series co-edited with Robert Conquest titled Spectrum.

    http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pe.cgi?8741

    Robert Conquest, in addition to being co-editor contributed this bit of verse:

    “Sf’s no good,” they bellow till we’re deaf.
    “But this looks good.” – “Well then, it’s not sf.”

  8. gottacook: Iphinome: Do you perhaps intend “execrable”?

    I dunno, I could see why shitty books would be “excretable”. 😀

  9. 11) Ustinov also was the voice for the Devil in the 1962 recording of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Story). Which I count as genre since the plot centers around a deal with the devil. The recording also features Jean Cocteau as the narrator and a host of other famous names.

  10. @JJ That’s what I was going for, yes.

    My attempts at humor often fall flat but–much to everyone’s regret–it doesn’t stop me from trying.

  11. My attempts at humor often fall flat but–much to everyone’s regret–it doesn’t stop me from trying.

    Not everyone’s. 😉

    4) I still remember the delight with which I read the first Dresden Files novels, but trying to keep up with the series after some point was just disappointing and there are too many good books out there.

  12. To be fair, MixMat did the heavy lifting and I only adjusted the title to better fit some common site conventions.

    (11) Ellen Barkin could also be said to have played Peggy Banzai (nee Simpson) though I think there’s just the one photo.

    She was also in Mad Dog Time which is a strange mobster movie a little like if you updated “A Piece of the Action” and took out the Enterprise. Not quite genre, but maybe genre adjacent. Worth it to see Jeff Goldblum as a mob enforcer.

  13. Woot, partial (originator of this) title credit. However, (since i missed reading following comments after mine, (is Anna Nimmhaus the final revision/draft elucidator?) Thank you all, Jack Lint, Cliff & Anna Nimmhaus for contributing to only my second Title Credit.

    Cliff on April 16, 2021 at 7:46 am said:
    Perhaps: I am just a filer, though my title’s seldom scrolled?

    Jack Lint on April 16, 2021 at 10:06 pm said:
    To be fair, MixMat did the heavy lifting and I only adjusted the title to better fit some common site conventions.

    I checked the Scroll for 4/15 (weird how it’s reversed from where i’m from), and couldn’t find Anna Nimmhaus commenting(afaict) but i did see Cliff’s comment/draft barrelling towards the final version. I think he should be co-credited too if at all possible(though now i might ask of Cliff if he is the same/only Cliff who comments here?)

    Thanks also to OGH for hosting us and thus giving me a wonderful few minutes reading the suggested title scrolls/lyric variations in the 4/15 scroll (of whom too many to mention here), thanks to you all too!

  14. MixMat: Anna’s modus operandi is to notice phrases people drop in comments that had not been Scroll title suggestions but could be with a little work. This time several people lent a hand — Anna by email.

  15. See that pixel over there? I scrolled it, but do they call me Bob Pixelscroller?

  16. Hilde and I have been watching old Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies, via DVDs from Netflix. Not all were available, but we’ve watched TARZAN AND HIS MATE, TARZAN FINDS A SON, TARZAN’S SECRET TREASURE, and TARZAN’S NEW YORK ADVENTURE.

    These…are not great movies. There’s a nostalgia factor in re-watching them. (I saw a lot as part of Saturday morning tv-watching growing up; it was cartoons in the early morning, then adventure and monster movies on the local channel in later morning.) With modern eyes, I can’t help noticing the many faults. Even overlooking the “of their time” ethnic stereotypes, the writing, acting, direction, etc. are, for the most part, pretty damn stiff and unimpressive. And there are a lot of plot elements recycled from movie to movie.

    Some takeaways:

    -The greatest dangers in the jungle are from stock footage.
    -Never trust a man with a thin mustache.
    -If you’re an old man with a sense of decency, make sure your life insurance is paid up.
    -Pretty sure Boy grew up to become The Professor on GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, where he recreated many of the devices in Tarzan’s treehouse.
    -Where the hell did Tumbo go?
    -Cheeta is an asshole.

  17. Yep, same Cliff :). Thanks for the partial credit but I don’t believe me suggestion was used in the end.

  18. Cliff on April 17, 2021 at 3:04 am said:
    Yep, same Cliff :). Thanks for the partial credit but I don’t believe me suggestion was used in the end.

    Mike Glyer on April 16, 2021 at 11:25 pm said:
    MixMat: Anna’s modus operandi is to notice phrases people drop in comments that had not been Scroll title suggestions but could be with a little work. This time several people lent a hand — Anna by email.

    Aah, i guessed it was something like that, but just wanted to ask for confirmation.

    To Cliff, i appreciate the assist, even if you are being too modest to accept partial credit. As OGH wrote, i believe the evolution went, me then Jack Lint, then you and finally Anna Nimmhaus. So everyone contributed to the final Title, in my opinion. And not forgetting Paul Simon, of course without whom…

    Again, i enjoyed reading the 15/4 scroll comments. Thanks everyone. Makes me glad i commented my suggestion.

  19. @Joe H.: Count me as another fan of The Lotus Caves (and the Tripods of course, too).

  20. @JJ, like a lot of people, I’ve spent a year discovering the limits of my own resilience. I’ve often lurked, but apparently it took being vaccinated to unlock my fingers. 😉 Hope you’re well!

    @Kit Harding – I’ve always been willing to let new authors find their footing and can remain intrigued by their process over multiple books, but at some point give up. Dresden Files was like that, intriguing, but ultimately not quite good enough for me to stay invested.

  21. I’ve got two tins of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate wedges, one plain and one with caramel, that are looking for good homes. First two Filers that have not already gotten chocolate that send me an email with their postal addresses here will get them.

  22. Cheryl S. says I’ve always been willing to let new authors find their footing and can remain intrigued by their process over multiple books, but at some point give up. Dresden Files was like that, intriguing, but ultimately not quite good enough for me to stay invested.

    I’m reasonably sure I read at least through Summer Knight before giving up on the series as a lost cause. Like the Merry Gentry novels by Linda Hamilton, they just weren’t original enough to hold my interest long-term. Fantasy series I tend to give up on quicker than SF ones.

  23. Lis Carey says I have definitely survived my second Moderna shot. Still not a lot of energy, but feeling much better.

    Good for you! I’ll be chocolate hunting this afternoon, so I’ll look for a milk chocolate treat for you in consolation for your second jab.

  24. @Lis Carey, congratulations!

    Cat Eldridge:

    I’m reasonably sure I read at least through Summer Knight before giving up on the series as a lost cause. Like the Merry Gentry novels by Linda Hamilton, they just weren’t original enough to hold my interest long-term. Fantasy series I tend to give up on quicker than SF ones.

    I hung on past Summer Knight, but not much past. Urban fantasy has an advantage over other sub-genres for me in that I’ve always liked plausible twists on familiar settings, which adds to my fondness for newer writers who are writing series. I started the first Merry Gentry novel after I’d given up on the Anita Blake books, so there was no real motivation to finish it when it bogged down.

  25. I read the first four Dresdens — I think that includes Summer Knight? Not totally sure — and just sort of lost interest. Too much else out there that’s more interesting.

  26. I’ll just say that I find the October Daye series noticeably better than Dresden. Even though I’m not especially a fan of Seanan McGuire’s work. It’s urban fantasy,
    It’s a long-running series (14 novels plus some shorter works). So I think that having Dresden as well would be a bit redundant.

  27. Last year, I had to make some decisions on where to place series nominees on the basis of two books or less, This year, I’ve read three nominees in their entirety and am only behind on the October Daye series by three or four books. Which is the long way of saying that this is the one year I wouldn’t actually need that extra four months of reading.

    I’m sort of a fan of Seanan McGuire’s fiction. I think her work is very readable, buy many of her books, and sometimes find that having many of her characters sound exactly the same wears on me.

  28. Cheryl S. says I’m sort of a fan of Seanan McGuire’s fiction. I think her work is very readable, buy many of her books, and sometimes find that having many of her characters sound exactly the same wears on me.

    It won’t be this year as it’s not out for a few more months but I fully expect next year to nominate her Ghost Roads series in that category as the first two novels have been outstanding and I’m betting she’ll wrap up the series quite well.

    And Rose Marshall the Ghost Girl doesn’t sound like any other character that she has done.

  29. David Goldfarb says I read the first four Dresdens — I think that includes Summer Knight? Not totally sure — and just sort of lost interest. Too much else out there that’s more interesting.

    I start a lot of series. I used to give them three or so novels before I gave up on them. Now that was a few decades back. These days, I rarely give a new series the benefit of the doubt beyond the first novel before moving onto something else as there’s just way too much fiction out there beyond the review galleys I get and what I accumulate otherwise.

    Now reading: Charles de Lint’s Juniper Wiles, his newest Newford novel while eating Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Life is good.

  30. Anybody got a review blog that wants to review Charles de Lint’s new Newford novel, Juniper Wiles? If so, send me an email here and I’ll have de Lint get the novel in your preferred digital format to you.

  31. When I discovered Dresden, there were about a dozen novels out and I slammed through them all as fast as I could manage; but I’m at least one or two books behind now. I’ll probably get to them eventually.

    But at the moment, I’m reading Atlan, the third (well, in my case, since I’m reading an edition where the first book was split into two books) of Jane Gaskell’s Atlan books. This is the first time I’ve read them probably in 30 years, and they’re actually pretty fun in a very 1960s perils and romance sort of way.

  32. Cheryl S.: I’m sort of a fan of Seanan McGuire’s fiction. I think her work is very readable, buy many of her books, and sometimes find that having many of her characters sound exactly the same wears on me.

    I agree that her work tends to be very readable. I really enjoy the October Daye books – I read every one that comes out – and have read all of the Wayward Children novellas even though they’re not really my thing. But I read the first two Incryptid novels and noped right out of the series; they’re very different from October Daye, they seemed to me to be almost like an urban fantasy version of Ready Player One where the goal seems to be “see how many pop culture references you can drop which will trigger feelings of fondness in the reader”. And I just found all of the pop culture references tedious.

  33. I thought I was the only one to notice the little kid reading a Heinlein book when I watched Earwig and the Witch with my kids. I guess not. I’ll have to check out the Dollar Baby Film Festival – hadn’t heard of it until now, so thanks for sharing it. Speaking of sharing, I retweeted Mark Lawrence’s post about the #SPFBO looking for another blogger. It’d be nice to see a lesser-known blogger get an opportunity there.

  34. JJ says I agree that her work tends to be very readable. I really enjoy the October Daye books – I read every one that comes out – and have read all of the Wayward Children novellas even though they’re not really my thing. But I read the first two Incryptid novels and noped right out of the series; they’re very different from October Daye, they seemed to me to be almost like an urban fantasy version of Ready Player One where the goal seems to be “see how many pop culture references you can drop which will trigger feelings of fondness in the reader”. And I just found all of the pop culture references tedious.

    I found the main problem with the Incryptid series is that all the characters tend to blur together after a while. And there’s way too many of them too so that’s a problem as well.

    My favorite series by her are the Ghost Roads and Indexing series which are redeemed by mercifully short so they’re tight in execution.

  35. I’m speculating whether I could nominate the entire Fast & Furious film series for Dramatic Presentation Long Form based on its never explicitly admitted to but definitely there fantasy elements. And also for my own personal amusement and love for the series.

  36. Meredith:

    I’m speculating whether I could nominate the entire Fast & Furious film series…

    Hear, hear for the Fast & Furious series. I won’t defend my love for it, but will freely admit it in all circumstances.

    JJ:

    But I read the first two Incryptid novels and noped right out of the series; they’re very different from October Daye, they seemed to me to be almost like an urban fantasy version of Ready Player One where the goal seems to be “see how many pop culture references you can drop which will trigger feelings of fondness in the reader”. And I just found all of the pop culture references tedious.

    There are books in the October Daye series that I love and others that I don’t, but I mostly read it for the secondary characters. The Incryptid books are a prime example of what I mean by characters sounding alike, but I have read them all anyway.

    Cat Eldridge:

    My favorite series by her are the Ghost Roads and Indexing series which are redeemed by mercifully short so they’re tight in execution.

    I was smitten by the the Indexing series, which I read as it was being serialized. The combination of form and content seemed like a happy one.

  37. I like the Wayward Children stories, and adored Middlegame, but the first Toby Daye book didn’t really grab me. I read the first InCryptid novel last year and enjoyed that, but haven’t gotten around to reading the rest of them. Meanwhile, my wife has strongly recommended Sparrowhill Road to me, so I’ll be reading that too, sometime (after Hugo season?)

  38. Andrew (not Werdna) says I like the Wayward Children stories, and adored Middlegame, but the first Toby Daye book didn’t really grab me. I read the first InCryptid novel last year and enjoyed that, but haven’t gotten around to reading the rest of them. Meanwhile, my wife has strongly recommended Sparrowhill Road to me, so I’ll be reading that too, sometime (after Hugo season?)

    If you like it, all three of the Ghost Roads novels will be out by the time you get around to reading it.

  39. Cheryl says I was smitten by the the Indexing series, which I read as it was being serialized. The combination of form and content seemed like a happy one.

    Yeah I agree. And I though she did a great job of carrying the narrative across the two novels. I know she stitched the serials together into each of the novels but the seams don’t really show in my opinion.

Comments are closed.