Pixel Scroll 4/6/24 On (Eclipse) Monday, Smart Electronic Sheep Won’t Look Up

(1) MOOGS, WOULD YOU BUY IT FOR A QUARTER? “Nobody Wants to Buy The Future: Why Science Fiction Literature is Vanishing” — according to Simon MacNeil at Typebar Magazine.

A recent Washington Post article indicated that only 12% of the reading public were interested in reading science fiction.  A perusal of bestseller lists for science fiction shows an even more alarming truth: the science fiction books that do sell are a shrinkingly small number of reprints, classics and novels that had been adapted into movies. 

The December 2023 bestseller list on Publisher’s Weekly contained only two novels published originally in 2023: Pestilence by Laura Thalassa (an odd addition to the Science Fiction list as it is marketed as fantasy / romance) and Starter Villain by John Scalzi. The bestselling SF novel in that time period, Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, sold almost 17,000 copies. This puts it far below the bottom of the top 10 overall fiction bestseller list where Sarah J. Maas’ romantasy novel A Court of Mist and Fury sits at 19,097 copies sold. 

Science fiction is not selling…

… But there’s something else at play here that has reduced the public’s general taste for science fiction. 

We got to one of the futures Science Fiction proposed, and it sucked.

An oft-cited Tweet from The Onion’s Alex Blechman summarizes it perfectly: 

“Sci-Fi Author: In my book I invented the Torment Nexus as a cautionary tale.
“Tech Company: At long last, we created the Torment Nexus from the classic sci-fi novel Don’t Create The Torment Nexus.”

We are living in the world John Brunner predicted in Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up—one of corporate dominance, political instability and environmental collapse. We are, all of us, in the Torment Nexus. So why would we want to read what future horrors Silicon Valley merchants of human misery are trying to produce next….

(2) DID HE EVER RETURN? NO, HE NEVER RETURNED. “’Quantum Leap’ Canceled at NBC After Season 2” notes The Hollywood Reporter.

The network has canceled the reboot of the 1989 series after a two-season run, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

The series starring Raymond Lee wrapped its sophomore season in February and ranked as one of the broadcast network’s lowest-rated scripted originals.

Quantum Leap, which was produced in-house at Universal Television, earned a speedy season two renewal as NBC kept production going in a bid to have scripted originals during the writers and actors strikes….

(3) MIRRORSHADES. “NASA says you shouldn’t use your phone to photograph the solar eclipse” warns XDA.

Everyone knows you shouldn’t stare at the sun during an eclipse. However, as it turns out, your phone’s “eyes” aren’t a suitable substitute. NASA has posted that, if you intend to look at the eclipse, pointing your phone at it in hopes to capture it on camera will likely fry its internal circuits, but don’t fret; there is a solution if you want to snap a photo to remember the occasion by…

…If you want to take a snap of the eclipse, there’s still a solution. NASA recommends using the same trick that protects your own eyeballs from the solar rays; with a pair of eclipse glasses. And the same rules apply for your phone as they do for your eyes; use the glasses to protect the device when it’s looking at the sun, and don’t keep pointing at it for too long. If you abide by the rules, you’ll be able to remember the eclipse with a nice photo instead of a hefty phone repair bill.

(4) THREEQUEL. You heard it here last. Entertainment Weekly reports “Denis Villeneuve’s third ‘Dune’ movie is officially happening”.

Sometimes, dreams do come true. That’s as true for Paul Atreides as it is for Denis Villeneuve, who now gets to make his third Dune movie. Legendary confirmed on Thursday that they are currently developing a third movie in the sci-fi franchise based on Frank Herbert’s original novels and are also in talks with Villeneuve to adapt Annie Jacobsen’s nonfiction book Nuclear War: A Scenario after that.

Villeneuve first told EW in 2021 that his goal all along was to make three Dune movies. Dune: Part Two completed the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s original 1965 sci-fi novel, but Herbert wrote five sequels before his death in 1986 (his son Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson have since added to the franchise with many additional books). The first of Herbert’s sequels, 1969’s Dune Messiah, is what Villeneuve wants to adapt for his third movie in this series.

“I always envisioned three movies,” Villeneuve told EW then. “It’s not that I want to do a franchise, but this is Dune, and Dune is a huge story. In order to honor it, I think you would need at least three movies. That would be the dream. To follow Paul Atreides and his full arc would be nice.”…

(5) FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH GLASGOW. [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] SF2 Concatenation has advance posted ahead of its next seasonal edition an article on Glasgow: “Glasgow as a venue for the Worldcon”.

Welcome to Glasgow the largest city in Scotland, a place often referred to as “the second city of the Empire”, meaning the second city of the British Empire because of its shipbuilding prowess on the banks of the River Clyde, and its industrial base.   But other cities in the United Kingdom also lay claim to the title, so better not say “I’ve just been to the Worldcon in the second city of the Empire” if heading down south.

(6) GLANCING TOWARD THE FUTURE. If you want to be in, respond to the Glasgow 2024 Academic Programme Call For Papers by April 30.

Glasgow 2024’s Academic Programme will bring together a diverse set of scholars from the humanities, social sciences, and adjacent disciplines to launch an exploration of SF/F/H’s concern for our futures. Through a combination of panels of three (3) 15-minute presentations each and hour-long roundtable discussions with scholars, we’ll discuss themes of futurity as they manifest in genre fiction and media past and present, as well as speculate on the genre’s own potential futures and capacity for shaping the future, encompassing film, literature, comics, games, new media, and art and/or the fan communities that celebrate them.

(7) DETECTING FAKE LITERARY AGENCIES. Patrick Carter enhances your scam detection skills in a thread that starts here. Here are some examples:


[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born April 6, 1937 Billy Dee Williams, 87. Rather obviously, Billy Dee Williams’ best-known role is as — and no I did know this was his full name — Landonis Balthazar “Lando” Calrissian III. He was introduced in The Empire Strikes Back as a longtime friend of Han Solo and the administrator of the floating Cloud City on the gas planet Bespin. 

Billy Dee Williams

(So have I mentioned, I’ve only watched the original trilogy, and this is my favorite film of that trilogy? If anyone cares to convince me I’ve missed something by not watching the later films, go ahead.) 

He is Lando in the original trilogy, as well in as the sequel, The Rise of Skywalker, thirty-six years later. The Star Wars thinks this might be the longest interval between first playing a character and later playing the same character, being a thirty-six year gap.

He returned to the role within the continuity in the animated Star Wars Rebels series, voicing the role in “Idiot’s Array” and “The Siege of Lothal” episodes. 

Now this is where it gets silly, really silly. The most times he’s been involved with the character is in the Lego ‘verse. Between 2024 with The Lego Movie to Billy Dee Williams returned to the role in the Star Wars: Summer Vacation in 2022, he has voiced Lando in eight Lego films, mostly made as television specials.

Going from hero to villain, he was Harvey Dent in Batman, and yes in The Lego Batman Movie. Really they made it. I’d like to say I remember him here but than they would admitting this film made an impression on me which it decidedly didn’t. None of the Batman Films did in the Eightes.

He’s in Mission Impossible as Hank Benton, an enforcer for a monster, in “The Miracle” episode; he’s Ferguson in  Epoch: Evolution, the sequel to Epoch, a what looks like quite silly, and I’m using this term deliberately, sci-film, and finally he voiced himself on Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?,  the thirteenth television series in the Scooby-Doo franchise. 


  • Tom Gauld has two for us.

(10) TAXONOMY SEASON. Richard Ngo has put together a grid about types of conflict in a certain species of sff story. It’s followed by several posts with commentary. Thread starts here. (Ngo credits Grant Snider’s 2014 Incidental Comics “Conflict in Literature” as the inspiration.)

(11) JEOPARDY! [Item by David Goldfarb.] The April 5 episode of Jeopardy! was the first game of the tournament finals. In the Jeopardy round:

Alliterative Lit, $200:
Chapters in this book include “The Departure of Boromir” & “Shelob’s Lair”
Andrew He buzzed in but dried up. Victoria Groce responded with, “What is The Two Towers?”

The Double Jeopardy round had a category “Horror Music”. The contestants started at the bottom and worked their way up:

“Putting Out the Fire with Gasoline” is from the theme song to this beastly film starring Nastassja Kinski
Victoria tried, “What is Species?” but this was wrong. Amy Schneider tried “La Femme Nikita” but seemed to know that wasn’t right. Andrew didn’t try it. The answer was Cat People.

In a song by the goth rock band Bauhaus, this horror movie legend is “dead, undead, undead, undead”
Victoria got this: “Who is Bela Lugosi?”

A man sees a ghostly version of himself in Schubert’s Lied (song) with this German title
Amy seemed uncertain with “What is Doppelgänger?” but it was correct.

“What ever happened to my Transylvania Twist?” is a lyric from this novelty horror song
Amy was more sure of this one: “What’s the Monster Mash?”

Ray Parker Jr. wrote & performed the theme song to “Ghostbusters” that went to no. 1 on the charts & asked this musical question
Amy said, “What is ‘Who they gonna call?’” but this was not accepted. Andrew He got the right phrasing: “What is ‘Who you gonna call?’”

(12) CALL ME. “How ‘Bambi’ & Horatio Hornblower Helped Launch William Shatner & Captain Kirk: The Film That Lit My Fuse” – the headline of Deadline’s mini-review of You Can Call Me Bill is really the best part. You can skip the rest.

(13) WHEN MAY THE FOURTH IS WITH YOU. We reported Disney+’s upcoming Star Wars: Tales of the Empire series yesterday. Here’s the trailer. Arrives May 4.

(14) DIRECT FROM 1997. Hear the author’s musical selections on BBC Radio 4’s “Desert Island Discs, Iain Banks.

This week’s castaway is an author. In his book The Wasp Factory, the teenage protagonist tortures insects, experiments with bombs and kills a brother and a cousin. But, says Iain Banks, that was “just a phase he was going through”. He tells Sue Lawley how, as a writer, he has not developed the filters that most adults do and so views the world with childlike eyes, describing what he sees. And this world, he feels, is very often a violent and terrifying one.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Mohammed’s Radio by Warren Zevon
Book: The Complete Monty Python Television Scripts by Monty Python
Luxury: Front Seat Of A Porsche

(15) FIRST QUARTER. JustWatch has released their latest data report on market shares in the US for the first quarter of 2024. The report is based on the JustWatch users in the US selecting their streaming services, clicking out to streaming offers and marking titles as seen. 

  • SVOD market shares in Q1 2024: Global streaming giant: Prime Video took the lead in the US streaming market with shares more than the combined size of Disney-owned companies: Hulu and Disney+. Meanwhile, Netflix maintains its stronghold with more than 2x the shares than that of Apple TV+.
  • Market share development in 2024: Leading streaming growth into 2024 are Apple TV+, Netflix, and Paramount+, each adding +1% to their shares. On the other hand, Hulu, Disney+, and Max struggled to keep up, individually suffering through a -1% decline since January.

(16) CHIP OFF THE VERY OLD BLOCK. Live Science is there when “NASA engineers discover why Voyager 1 is sending a stream of gibberish from outside our solar system”.

…In March, NASA engineers sent a command prompt, or “poke,” to the craft to get a readout from its flight data subsystem (FDS) — which packages Voyager 1’s science and engineering data before beaming it back to Earth. 

After decoding the spacecraft’s response, the engineers have found the source of the problem: The FDS’s memory has been corrupted.

“The team suspects that a single chip responsible for storing part of the affected portion of the FDS memory isn’t working,” NASA said in a blog post Wednesday (March 13). “Engineers can’t determine with certainty what caused the issue. Two possibilities are that the chip could have been hit by an energetic particle from space or that it simply may have worn out after 46 years.”…

[Thanks to Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Lise Andreasen, David Goldfarb, Steven French, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

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35 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/6/24 On (Eclipse) Monday, Smart Electronic Sheep Won’t Look Up

  1. (1) sigh As I’ve said before, I liked cyberpunk… but didn’t sign up to live in the cyberpunk dystopia we’re living in, right now. And a lot of what I read – the short fiction tends to lean heavily to “character driven”, which don’t tend to have a positive outcome, and when it does, it’s maybe for one person. A lot of the longer fiction are heavily laced with antiheroes, and it’s stillnot offering something to hope for. Really – how many folks here would like to live in the universe they’re reading?

    Geez, this long a post, and I’m still first?

    I see horror has gotten really popular, because it’s a sugar coating on the real world. Fantasy is getting worn down, tropes used over and over.

    Where’s something better (other than what I’m writing, like Becoming Terran)? Can someone here suggest stories with positive outcomes, without forever wars, without “a hobnailed boot, stamping on a human face, forever” (O’Brien to Winston in 1984)?

    Birthday: CatE, consider watching episode III. As far as I’m concerned, that was the prequel I wanted, complete with the tragedy of Obi Wan’s failure.


    8) Despite their flaws, I like the sequels. They are worth watching especially because Adam Driver makes Kylo Ren a real struggling and breathing character throughout, Mark Hamill manages an excellent exit in Last Jedi, and the sheer pulp-ness of the final chapter made me a believer despite some real goofiness and Abrams’ awful decision to jettison half the cast there.

    PS. Rey is definitely not a Mary Sue. Ask me why!

  3. (16) And they sent it a workaround, which was working the last I heard, although they haven’t had it send anything but engineering data. Yet.
    It’s 22.5 light-hours out, and engineering mode runs at 40bps, so fixes are not speedy.

  4. 1) There are several reasons that SF is waning. One is dystopian SF. Why would people want to read what is already happening in reality? Another is, and I hate to say this, lack of imagination in the mainstream SF. Much has been done over, and over….. A lot of it has been turned into video games. People tire. Some are also too busy working to be reading.

    3) Under NO circumstances aim either a cellphone or a camera at the sun. You’ll burn out your photosensors. Let the pros do their thing. Save your cameras and cellphones for holiday snaps and birthday parties (okay, and SF conventions!).

  5. Robert Thornton – definitely not big on episode VII and VIII, but the last one works for me, and Rey’s defeat of Palpentine works for me. I found the ending satisfying.

  6. @ mark – The final destiny of Kylo in IX always makes me shed tears.

  7. Dystopian SF can be interesting, but I’d rather have some hope for the future. Same with grimdark films. We don’t need that; we need something to look forward to. (That’s one reason why Trek mostly worked so well.)
    The other thing is that a lot of us don’t have the space for physical books. We buy ebooks instead.

  8. I’ve been catching up on old-fashioned science fiction from the late 20th century.
    Still good.

  9. Robert Thornton – it was set up. I mean, he killed his father, so this is Greek tragedy.

    PJ: Ok, how do I do this? I don’t want to be obnoxious, and use File 770 for advertising my Becoming Terran, but in this thread… if people nominate it for a Hugo/Nebula, if I’m a finalist even, maybe it’ll send a message, bring back sf where we can succeed.

  10. I was on rollingstone.com reading about romantasy (nothing new, but the article did give me some plot summaries that I hadn’t cared enough to look up on my own) and there was an article about how bad Kevin Spacey’s new comeback film is, and it mentioned how Spacey had been replaced in a film with Christopher Plummer after all of Spacey’s scenes had been filmed. That reminded me of my all-time favorite email, when the Netflix dvd service told me they had mailed me that movie from my queue:

    “Netflix has sent you All the Money in the World.”

  11. (1) This is actually a somewhat interesting if not entirely coherent and occasionally self-contradictory piece that kicks off with a wildly overblown interpretation of the Washington Post and Publishers Weekly pieces it cites. (Although I’m deducting quite a few points for McNeil believing that “squeecore” is (a) an actual thing, and (b) describes the tastes of Hugo voters.)

    For starters: Only 12% of the reading public were interested in reading science fiction. That’s true of every genre (fiction and non-fiction) on that list, which are pretty much tied at 10-12%, with the exceptions of history and mystery/crime, which both come in at 20%. (Fantasy does slightly better than SF, at 15%.) Has more than 12% of the adult reading public ever been interested in reading SF?

    And while it’s true that Project Hail Mary doesn’t make it into the top ten overall, that list is entirely dominated by children’s books (7/10); Kristen Hannah’s The Women and Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Mist and Roses are the only two adult novels on the list. (Note that the list has changed since McNeil’s original post.) Project Hail Mary would sit comfortably in fourth place on the hardcover frontlist fiction list, which is arguably a better comparison than the overall bestseller list.

    Secondly, his “We got to one of the futures Science Fiction proposed, and it sucked” has little to do with the main thrust of his argument. To quote again: “…Science Fiction is struggling as a literary genre because of a combination of the shift towards blockbusters-as-adaptation impacting the tie-in market, having caught up with the grim future predicted in lauded sci-fi of decades past, and the rise of new genres and subgenres drawing away the educated, persistent, high-volume readers who constitute Science Fiction’s core readership…” For the first of these, I’m not aware of any evidence that reading movie tie-in novels ever lead people to read more general SF; just more movie tie-ins. For the third, there is nothing new about this: genres have always waxed and waned in popularity. McNeil doesn’t present any evidence that this has had much more of an impact on SF recently than at any earlier time period. Every genre is competing for the small subset of the public who read a lot, and always has.

    @mark: I guess you didn’t read the part where he says: This shouldn’t be taken as some sort of call for optimistic genre fiction. Or what he thinks SF should do: …we should recover the critical lens of Science Fiction, the power of tethering unbridled imagination to a knife that cuts the present.

    (14) I miss Banks, too.

  12. 8)

    The Star Wars thinks this might be the longest interval between first playing a character and later playing the same character, being a thirty-six year gap.

    :: harrumphs in Whovian ::

    William Russell came back to play Ian Chesterton in 2022, having last played the role in 1965.

    1) As PhilRM points out, all genres are minorities, it’s kind of intrinsic with them being subsets of fiction as a whole. And this stuff about depressing dystopias comes around every so often, and I think it’s just selection bias, I really do. Lots of YA stuff tends towards the dystopian, true, because this resonates with younger, more energetic people who are out to change the world – pictures of young, energetic people in worlds that seriously need changing are bound to appeal. I’m not getting a pervasive feeling of gloom and oppression from the field as a whole, though.

    The sub-genre of military SF, I suppose, features a lot of interminable wars, possibly because milSF set in peacetime would be kind of pointless – worth noting, though, that e.g. Marko Kloos’s “Frontlines” series ended on a positive note. And I’ve always had a soft spot for Peter Newman’s The Vagrant and sequels, which looks like it’s set in an endless genocidal conflict, but then has the people involved working out other solutions.

    Outside the YA and milSF sub-genres, well, you will certainly find dystopic fiction if you go looking for it, but there’s plenty of stuff that goes in other directions. Heck, even my own modest contributions to the genre aren’t notably pessimistic. And I miss Iain M. Banks too, and who wouldn’t want to live in the Culture?

  13. Currently reading Growing Up Weightless by John M Ford, a cheerful SF novel from the late 20cen – the kids are all right

  14. (8) Williams was on Michael Rosenbaum’s (Smallville’s Lex Luthor) You Tube interview show “Inside of You”. Rosenbaum does introspective interviews with his guest which I find interesting.


  15. As for SF, let’s look at the Hugo novels. Half of the novels are fantasy rather than SF. Only one of the long form movies is true SF unless you count Poor Things since it does involve science and is set in a steam punk world. I suppose Spiderman is also a SF but not hardcore SF with scientific ideas being brought forth. Definitely Wondering Earth II is a SF movie.

  16. 1.) McNeil lost me when he associated fandom with squeecore and then went on to essentially consider the large regional, national, and somewhat international conventions as reflective of fandom. A little poking around revealed that yeah, he’s somewhat aligned with the Rite Gud side of things so, nope, not gonna take him with anything more than a huge shaker of salt. And genres rise and fall–as anyone connected with horror can tell you.

    The real tension in current SF publishing is between the desire for hard systems with gadgets described in loving detail/milSF and the desire for soft systems which focus on people and relationships. If SF is the literature of ideas, then the ideas should also cover the interaction and reaction of people to gadgets and the impact of such gadgetry upon individuals, communities, and society at large. While reviewers and the authorities in SF don’t necessarily take notice of such works, they exist and have a readership.

    Yes, people do like to read about the dreaded characters and like the horrific character-driven stories (sarcasm mode OFF).

    For myself, I’ve lost patience with the gadget-driven stories, the milSF stories, and if the characters aren’t somewhat relatable and three-dimensional, then the book becomes DNF. I’ve always wanted to see more of the family saga type of story common in literary Westerns (think Willa Cather and Ivan Doig for example) pop up in SF because those stories can cross over very well to the SF setting.

    In fact, that’s what I write. Unlike certain folx here, I don’t feel the need to promote my books with every post, but the foundations of a literary Western family saga can be found most explicitly in my Martiniere series, and the current work in progress (to be released this fall/winter) fits solidly into that mold.

  17. 1) Some of us went round and round on that piece on Facebook not long after it appeared, and the consensus seemed to be “What? Really?” My own reaction to the proposition that “science fiction is not selling” was to re-check the number of books I don’t have the time to read for review, which is a small fraction of the books available for review. Now, it’s possible that sales are not Real Big (which is, I suspect, what everybody in the book biz would like), but they must be sufficient to keep the presses in operation. Unless, of course, it’s all a big bubble that’s about to burst.

    As for the other set of propositions about dystopias and such, I suspect that MacNeil is feeling a different part of the elephant than I am.

  18. Joyce Reynolds-Ward: McNeil lost me when he associated fandom with squeecore and then went on to essentially consider the large regional, national, and somewhat international conventions as reflective of fandom.

    McNeil is well known to have an industrial-strength hate-on for the Hugo Awards, Worldcon, and fan-run conventions. If his commentary was rational, fact-driven, and well-thought-out, that would be one thing — but it’s not. His writing on the subject is irrational and full of errors and inaccuracies, and I stopped reading anything he writes a long time ago because of that.

  19. JJ: McNeil is well known to have an industrial-strength hate-on for the Hugo Awards, Worldcon, and fan-run conventions. If his commentary was rational, fact-driven, and well-thought-out, that would be one thing — but it’s not. His writing on the subject is irrational and full of errors and inaccuracies, and I stopped reading anything he writes a long time ago because of that.

    Yeah, I poked around looking him up and saw that, which just added to my premise that his opinions weren’t worth the pixels that made up his words. A lot of that sort of critique falls into the “woe is me, no one likes MY little niche of the genre so it’s all horrible. Except MY little niche.” Tastes differ, and that’s what makes the world great.

    There’s some amazing stuff out there…just finished Premee Mohamed’s Void Trilogy and what’s not to like about that? A marriage of Lovecraftian imagery with SF? Loved it.

  20. @Joyce Reynolds-Ward: I was mostly with you right up until your barbaric use of “folx” for “folks”. We are now sworn enemies until the end of time! (Or Tuesday, whichever comes first.)

    The real tension in current SF publishing is between the desire for hard systems with gadgets described in loving detail/milSF and the desire for soft systems which focus on people and relationships. I’m not sure I agree with that. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a high-profile example of the former (as in, has received a lot of attention and acclaim). Admittedly, that kind of fiction isn’t at all to my taste, either, so I could easily have overlooked it.

    @Russell Letson: One of the many inconsistencies in that piece is that Kristin Hannah’s novel is by a wide margin the best-selling adult novel in the top 10 overall, and yet literary fiction is of interest to “only” 12% of readers, just like SF. So which metric are we supposed to believe?

  21. PhilRM: well, I did declare a new literary movement, the Future Perfectable, but he hasn’t seen that…

  22. I’ll most likely scroll you in the morning.

    (1) Tell me you don’t read much SF without saying you don’t read much SF. 🙂

  23. I managed to get a bit further into McNeil. “Science fiction literature has always depended on an ecosystem of non-literary media”.

    Really? So, it barely was anything before Star Wars? Really? It was never about readers and their children?

    And “squeecore”? Geez, guy, that is so last year’s chainyanking.

  24. McNeil must never have seen an SF magazine or book before discovering films. I mean, that’s where I started, with books. Before 1960!

  25. There is a line missing there, it should be:
    “Sci-Fi Author: In my book I invented the Torment Nexus as a cautionary tale.
    Tech user/buyer: I want the Torment Nexus and I am ready to pay for it!
    “Tech Company: At long last, we created the Torment Nexus from the classic sci-fi novel Don’t Create The Torment Nexus.”

    Tech companies are in it for the profit, remember… They only fulfill somebody’s dream if it brings a dime.

  26. @Jeff Smith

    “Netflix has sent you All the Money in the World.”

    I once received an e-mail announcing that “Amazon has shipped The Bloody Crown of Conan” and couldn’t help but think that I hope they wrapped it properly.

    BTW, would you mind posting a link to that romantasy article?

    As Simon McNeil, I don’t take anything he says seriously.

  27. @Joyce Reynolds-Ward:

    The real tension in current SF publishing is between the desire for hard systems with gadgets described in loving detail/milSF and the desire for soft systems which focus on people and relationships.

    I mean, always has been. As we all know, good writing is about finding the appropriate balance of dinosaurs and sodomy.

  28. Eclipse over. Had beautiful sunny weather in Ohio (drove from Illinois) despite the long-range forecasts that had us worried. Absolutely perfect day; amazing experience, no notes.

  29. In Kerrville, Texas, it was looking promising around 11 AM but then around 12:30 the clouds started rolling back in. Four minutes of darkness under clouds was eerie, but not the same as being able to see the corona.

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