Pixel Scroll 4/1/17 The Ones That Mike Rates As A 5 Get Used Twice

(1) APRIL FOOL. First in our cavalcade of April Fools stunts is George R.R. Martin’s announcement “WILD CARDS Comes to Broadway!!”

Perhaps most critically, Lin-Manuel and I are still looking for our Jetboy… or should be it be Jetgirl? No, we haven’t made that change yet, but it is under serious consideration… along with the notion of replacing the JB-1 with a jetpack… but why don’t we let you folks decide? Let us know: which Jet-person would you prefer to see on stage?

(2) APRIL NON-FOOL. Did Mary Robinette Kowal plan to confess she is Chuck Tingle today? She says she ran out of time to execute her planned joke, despite having cleared it with Tingle —

I even wrote to him to ask if it were okay for me to pretend to be him. (Because otherwise, I would be taking credit for someone else’s work, which is something only devilmen would do.) He said, “hello TRUE BUCKAROO name of mary, you make books real you make books kiss the sky! this is a good way for all who like to read and i am happy that you write with love. this funny prank (HAHAHAHAHA) is a WAY of love and that is okay”

So there you go. Groundwork laid. Time non-existent. I guess you could say that my plans were pounded in the butt by my own scheduling conflicts.

(3) APRIL PRIMARY FOOL. The Daily Buzz ran a story today about George Takei’s plan to establish residency and run against a pro-Trump congressman.

(4) WHATEVER THE OPPOSITE OF COMIC RELIEF IS. Lou Antonelli is yukking it up today, too, in “Strange Bedfellows”.

I am proud to announce that, as a result of a long period of reconciliation as well as a practical need on the part of a distinguished author, I am collaborating with David Gerrold on a Star Trek tie-in original novel, “The Tribbles of Texas”…

(5) A VOX ON ALL YOUR HOUSES. Meantime, the editor of Cirsova marked the day by declaring “I Disavow Everyone”.

Alt-Furry, the Pulp Revolution, Vox Day, the Sad Puppies, the Rabid Puppies, our readers and subscribers, all them. I disavow everyone.

2018 will feature both a special Elves issue and an Engineers Troubleshooting Spaceship Circuitry issue, so get writing!

Details forthcoming in a File770 exclusive.

(6) ROBOSCREED. Harking back to Camestros Felapton’s cover generator (linked by Whatever as its April Fools celebration), and someone’s suggestion there needs to be a complementary text generator, Steve Wright said in comments he suddenly remembered one already exists

Actually, now I think on, there’s always this thing of Langford’s which actually will write something approximating SF (or whatever else you plug into it)…

Amazingly, A.I.Q. can still be persuaded to work on my Win10 laptop, albeit with many, many security popups.

A sample of its output is included in his comment. He closed by saying —

Camestros? Have Timothy’s people call Langford’s people. I’m thinking at least six Dragon Awards for this one….

(7) THE PROCRAPSING EMPIRE. Meanwhile, E. Reagan Wright, another Scalzi detractor, has been trying to jump onto the gravy train with his 6,400-word lump The Prolapsing Empire: An On-Schedule Story. It’s on Amazon, but oops, I forgot to include a link.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • Born April 1, 1883 – Lon Chaney, Sr., “Man of a Thousand Faces”
  • Born April 1, 1978 — Fred & George Weasley, characters in the Harry Potter series.

(9) SHOULD BE AN APRIL FOOL BUT ISN’T. A publisher with far more inflated ideas about the value of its editions is Routledge, which is offering J.R.R. Tolkien edited by Stuart Lee for $1,485, which works out to be about a buck a page.

J.R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973) is widely regarded as one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. His popularity began with the publication in 1937 of The Hobbit, and was cemented by the appearance of The Lord of the Rings in the early 1950s. However, engagement with his work was until relatively recently sidelined by literary and other scholars. Consequently, many foundational analyses of his fiction, and his work as a medievalist, are dispersed in hard-to-find monographs and obscure journals (often produced by dedicated amateurs). In contrast, over the last decade or so, academic interest in Tolkien has risen dramatically. Indeed, interpretative and critical commentary is now being generated on a bewildering scale, in part aided by the continuing posthumous publication of his work (most recently, his Beowulf translation which appeared in 2014). The dizzying quantity—and variable quality—of this later criticism makes it difficult to discriminate the useful from the tendentious, superficial, and otiose.

(10) FOOD FOR THOUGHT. John King Tarpinian asks, “Can you even imagine how long the CarFax report is on the Batmobile?”

(11) COSMOLOGY AND THEOLOGY. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination in Episode 5 of its Into the Impossible podcast looks at “The Limits of Understanding.”

On this episode, we’re touching up against the outer limits of cosmology, and through that bringing up questions of limits on the imagination, the role of theology, and the end (and ends) of the universe. First, we’ll hear Paul Steinhardt on developing the inflationary model of the universe—and then casting that model aside in favor of the radically different cyclic model that replaces the Big Bang with a neverending series of Big Bounces. Then David Brin, science fiction author and futurist, shares his perspective on understanding religion, enabling discussion, and how nice it would be if we were all reborn in computronium as the universe collapses in on itself.

(12) A NEW COMPANION. Now the Good Doctor has a companion, Who, you ask? Aaron Pound tells all about it in his review of An Asimov Companion: Characters, Places, and Terms in the Robot/Empire/Foundation Metaseries by Donald E. Palumbo at Dreaming of Other Worlds.

Full review: An Asimov Companion: Characters, Places, and Terms in the Robot/Empire/Foundation Metaseries is, for the most part, a reference work. The bulk of its length is taken up with what amounts to an encyclopedia covering essentially every notable character, location, object, and event found in Isaac Asimov’s extended metaseries (and pretty much every non-notable character, location,, object, and event as well). Every entry gives a brief description of the subject, offering at least a sentence or two outlining who or what the entry is, and an explanation of how the subject fits into the larger body of Asimov’s work. These entries are informative, but like Asimov’s actual writing, have a tendency to be a little dry.

(13) BRING IN THE PANEL. Stephen King treated Guardian readers to a an interview of six fictional Trump voters to help understand how he became President: “Stephen King on Donald Trump: ‘How do such men rise? First as a joke’”.

…Trump’s negatives didn’t drag him down; on the contrary, they helped get him elected.

I decided to convene six Trump voters to discover how and why all this happened. Because I selected them from the scores of make-believe people always bouncing around in my head (sometimes their chatter is enough to drive me bugshit), I felt perfectly OK feeding them powerful truth serum before officially convening the round table. And because they are fictional – my creatures – they all agreed to this. They gulped the serum down in Snapple iced tea, and half an hour later we began.

(14) BATGIRL ORIGINS. Graeme McMillan, in a Hollywood Reporter article called “Where Should Joss Whedon’s ‘Batgirl’ Find Inspiration?”, looks at all the version of Batgirl that DC has used, beginning with the original appearance of Barbara Gordon in Detective Comics 359 (which the comics did after the TV show announced plans to add Batgirl) to her role as a hacker in the 1980s to today’s version as “Batgirl From Burnside,” as a graduate student living in Gotham City;s hipster suburb.

Barbara Gordon took on the role in 1967’s Detective Comics No. 359, in a story called “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!” The cover for the issue made a big deal of her debut; she ran toward the reader in the center of the page while excited cover lines read “Meet the new Batgirl! Is she heroine or villainess? What is her startling secret identity?” The reason for this push wasn’t just an attempt to introduce a comic book character — plans were already afoot to introduce this second Batgirl into the popular Adam West TV show in its third season. She was played by Yvonne Craig.

The new Batgirl was a hit, graduating into her own stories in the back of Detective Comics as well as appearances across the DC line, including Superman, Justice League of America and World’s Finest Comics. She’d form temporary teams with both Robin — “the Dynamite Duo!” — and Supergirl and enjoy a loyal fan following throughout her crime-fighting career until it was cut short in the mid-80s by the combination of the Joker and writer Alan Moore.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, rcade, Johan P., Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, and Michael J. Walsh for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peter J.]

61 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/1/17 The Ones That Mike Rates As A 5 Get Used Twice

  1. 10) Who would fill out all that data for CARFAX? I can’t imagine Bruce or Alfred giving away all the batmobile’s secrets…

    14)

    …until it was cut short in the mid-80s by the combination of the Joker and writer Alan Moore…

    Well, Alan Moore was a jerk. Every comic collector has a point where they just stop buying comics, and Alan Moore was one of my reasons for stopping.

  2. Soon Lee: It’s already been April 2 here for nearly eighteen hours. I don’t know what to believe online anymore…

    You can believe the Scroll is late today!

  3. The Scroll is always late! 🙂
    But we are used to everyone else celebrating stuff late.
    So long as the scroll keeps scrolling!

  4. I think April Fool’s runs for 24 hours now, International Dateline and all the way around again. It’s still April 1 on the West Coast of North America, as well as Alaska and Hawaii, as I write. I mean, the Ms. Pac-Man thing hit when it was still daylight of March 31st here.

    Puppies just don’t quite understand this “hyoo-mor” thing, do they? Particularly satire.

    (9) For that kind of money, I want it printed on gold leaves or illustrated by monks or something.

    (13) This King fella might be good at writing books. That’s some very naturalistic dialogue. Couple of chuckles in there, too.

  5. Say, thanks for the mention of “The Prolapsing Empire: An On-Time Schedule Story”, even if you didn’t include a link. That’s probably for the best, the cover is tasteless, and the story itself is even worse. I mean, it’s a hilarious story with like rising action, a climax, and a resolution and everything, but it’s also petty and mean spirited. Also, low hanging fruit. Like picking on the class retarded kid. I’m kind of ashamed to have written it, to be honest with you. I don’t know even what I’m doing with my life any more. I think I’m just lashing out because my wife’s boyfriend’s son doesn’t respect me and my boss just walks all over me and the whole world is changing and Twitter won’t even let me post there anymore because I like the wrong kind of Dungeons and/or Dragons. It’s just so hard, you know? So you try and express yourself through your writing and sometimes what comes out is just so visceral and like, real, that you feel drained when you’re done, and then you throw your baby out into the world, and hope that the latent homosexual tendencies that you clamp down on like Hulk Hogan putting a fool in a headlock don’t spill out into your work, but you never really know until it all comes out in the AA meeting.

    I mean, I’m just saying that I’m broken on the inside, and need some healing. And maybe if sometimes that comes out in my writing, then that’s just part of the muse messing with you. You freaks out there know what I’m talking about.

    So don’t judge, man.

    Also, I wrote Shitlord: The Triggering, which is the funniest role-playing game to come since like, 1937 or something. But that’s only available on Lulu, and it’s way worse than The Prolapsing Empire, so totally don’t check that out.

  6. (7) I’m shocked, shocked OGH didn’t include a link, and I totally didn’t read that comment I read up there, allegedly from the author of the thing OGH didn’t link to.

  7. (7) The rip-off count is up to 3, as far as I saw on Amazon yesterday. Amazing how people like to perpetuate tacky behavior.

    To my complete lack of surprise, Camestros’ cover generator was great.

  8. msb: Amazing how people like to perpetuate tacky behavior.

    Amazing how they don’t realize what fools they are making of themselves, or that they’re totally getting pwned by Scalzi. I have to say that it’s great entertainment to watch them doing so, though. 😀

  9. 6) I started to put together a PUPPYPOO.AIQ lexicon, based on SFCOMP but inserting proper nutty-nuggets style vocabulary (new weapons such as “hypervelocity molybdenum shards”, “coaxially mounted electrically driven kinetic kill cannon” and “one-star Amazon review”, villains such as “Morlocks” and “lying SJWs”, and so forth.)

    I was just figuring out how to make the text vary randomly between past and present tense, to give it that authentic (Rolf) Nelson touch, when it occurred to me that I was devoting more time to this project than any sane person should.

  10. @Camestros

    surely this guys book can’t be worse than ‘Corrosion’.

    Your optimism does you credit.

  11. (7) I didn’t even look for it; Amazon sent me a promotional email about it. Mind, they send me many, many promotional emails, most which mainly cause me to question the current state of AI.

  12. (7) I actually started listening to the Scalzi version yesterday. It is nice enough, but nothing is saying HUGO WORTHY to me so far.

    I would love to say that I am baffled as to why the petty asshattery regarding this book, but it is rather obvious. Or, at least a new Tingler: Pounded in the Butt by the Success of an Author We Dislike.

  13. Mark on April 2, 2017 at 2:28 am said:

    @Camestros

    surely this guys book can’t be worse than ‘Corrosion’.

    Your optimism does you credit.

    I don’t believe in bottomless pits. Rock bottom has to be somewhere.

    [Hmm, that is sounding like a British Chuck Tingle.]

  14. Steve Wright on April 2, 2017 at 2:21 am said: 6) I started to put together a PUPPYPOO.AIQ lexicon, based on SFCOMP but inserting proper nutty-nuggets style vocabulary

    I had similar thoughts, but after reading this am even gladder that I never actually started. SFCOMP has a long history, by the way. Its first incarnation was a Basic program running on the PDP-10 mainframe in the Oxford University Nuclear Physics department in the early 1970s. Some of its output was ripped off without credit by a short-lived student magazine whose editor(s) must have been pretty desperate. The computer operating system had no security — anyone could run anyone’s programs — and SFCOMP became the victim of its own success because too many people ran the damned thing, the use of processor time was noticed, and the sysadmin banned me. Banned for being too popular! I practically became a Sad Puppy on the spot.

  15. The massively overrated Joss Whedon should stay the hell away from Batgirl and just let it go. Maybe he can do a Batmite movie.

  16. @Doire

    (7) I didn’t even look for it; Amazon sent me a promotional email about it. Mind, they send me many, many promotional emails, most which mainly cause me to question the current state of AI.

    And I thought Amazon’s algorithms had it in for me, since they keep sending me promotional e-mails about Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series.

  17. The aprilfools that Mike linked too:

    Most funny: the Wild Card Musical

    The one that I would probably fallen for: Mary Robinette Kowal is Chuck Tingle.

  18. Today’s birthdays in the SFF world include Shanna Germain (the Numenera verse) and Scott Lynch!

    7) :eyeroll:

    12) The Asimov book looks intriguing. Might have to pick this up.

    Another OT: Went to see the Del Toro exhibit at the MIA. If this comes to a city near you, you really want to go see this. I will be working on pictures I took today.

  19. Meanwhile, for April Fools’ Day, the Star Trek Online game implemented its “Artisanal Sonification” system, in which the game’s sound effects are overlaid by the developers actually saying intelligent things like “beep”, “borp” and “ping”.

    It makes the space battles distinctly surreal, with the sounds of phasers and explosions (I know, I know) replaced by a bored US programmer going “pew pew pew, whoosh, kapow, explosion”.

  20. Good Grief, More Pixels!

    (Can of worms.)

    Jet Boy, Jet Girl reminds me that “Plastic Betrand”‘s “Ça Plane pour Moi” is really one of the great covers, far outshining Elton Motello’s original. (Motello does fine till he comes to the ‘hoo hoo hoo hoo’ refrain and loses all credibility.)

  21. @Doire: Amazon’s email suggestions have started including books I’ve already bought from Amazon.

  22. A pixel is never late, nor is it early. It scrolls precisely when it means to.

  23. I don’t get promotional emails for books from Amazon. I’m wavering between feeling lucky or left out.

  24. I get them nothing to strange, witch is strange (Perry Rhodan is not strange but nothing for the new Perry-Terminus-Mini yet)

  25. I love that King piece so much. You can tell exactly how he feels about these characters but he never stoops to ridicule or stereotype. Plus he withstood the temptation to have an evil clown sneak in through the plumbing and gank them all.

  26. @Steve Wright: “It makes the space battles distinctly surreal, with the sounds of phasers and explosions (I know, I know) replaced by a bored US programmer going “pew pew pew, whoosh, kapow, explosion”.”

    LOL. You make me want to play online games, which is no mean feat, BTW.

    @Nancy Sauer: You can sign up for Amazon e-mails, but I recommend against it. 😉

  27. @ Jake

    Amazon’s email suggestions have started including books I’ve already bought from Amazon.

    Well, you can’t say their algorithm doesn’t have you pegged!

  28. Re: The Tolkien behemoth.

    Thanks, Mike: I hadn’t heard even a whisper about this project from the Tolkienists I hang out with.

    Erm, I may have had to rant a bit (I posted this on my fb page, but thought I’d share over here).

    *waves at all the filers* Still way too swamped with work and health and elder/parental care problems to comment much (I blush to admit I didn’t even do my Hugo ballot because it came due at the time I was sick with bronchitis for two weeks). But still read over here for fun and relaxation and book recs!

    Rant:

    Before starting this rant, I want first to congratulate the scholars whose work was chosen for the four-volume Routledge collection of scholarship on Tolkien (edited by Stuart Lee). This publication marks a milestone of sorts: Tolkien scholarship being included in a “Critical Series” by a major academic publisher is, arguably, another indicator of rising canonical status. But since the collection costs $1485, I have to note that the milestone also means that Tolkien studies is considered worth milking for the big bucks that are associated with canonical status/publishing.

    The series also seems to be a fairly short one with irregular publication dates: from what I can find on the Routledge site, the 2017 Tolkien edition is added to previously published collections on James Joyce (2012), Ernest Hemingway (2011), and Nathanial Hawthorne (1998). It might be interesting to track down reviews of those series by scholars in the field to see what they think (prices seem to range from $1200-1600). Just looking over what I can find on the Routledge website, I am not impressed.

    First: as Mike Glyer noted, at $1485, the cost is nearly a dollar a page, and I know none of the academics whose work is featured in this collection received any payment or will receive any royalties due to the economics of academic publishing. The money went to the publishers for the permissions (I don’t particularly want to cast blame on those publishers either since academic publishers are strapped for money these days). I wonder if the included academics were asked or knew about this in advance (I know one of my essays ended up in Harold Bloom’s extruded pieces of for-profit-for-him collections while the work was done mostly by graduate students, and I didn’t know about it until I stumbled over it).

    Here’s the blurb that led to the rant:

    “Now, in four volumes, a new collection from Routledge’s Critical Assessments of Major Writers series meets the need for an authoritative reference work to collect early evaluations and to make sense of the more recent explosion in research output. Users are now able easily and rapidly to locate the best and most influential critical assessments. With material gathered into one easy-to-use set, Tolkien researchers and students can now spend more of their time with the key journal articles, book chapters, and other pieces, rather than on time-consuming (and sometimes fruitless) archival searches.”

    Marketing claims are always so inflated. There are 84 selections, and the majority were published since 2000: I count nine from the 1990s, none from the 1980s, five from the 1970s, and two from the 1960s (two by Auden, one by Neil Isaacs), and one from the 1950s (Wilson’s “Evil Orcs” which is available online). The claim that these are “early evaluations” doesn’t fly (in terms of when the scholarship did start appearing on Tolkien which was the 1960s), and the claim that it is the “best and most influential” scholarship is a dubious one at best. Yes, the collection includes a piece or two by all the most important Tolkienists, but “researchers and students” who only read a chapter from a major Tolkienist won’t get very far if they really want to do scholarship on Tolkien.

    Not only that, but it’s a very generalist overview, skimming the surface: sections are biographical, medieval, invented languages, source studies, mythology, a few essays on each of the major works, and a handful of themes (war, spirituality/religion/philosophy [represented by three whole essays!] good and evil, heroism (three), gender (two), modernism, critical reaction, fantasy, and the films (two). Anybody doing work beyond an undergraduate class wouldn’t be able to rely on this collection. And nobody teaching an undergraduate course would assign a book that cost this much!

    If I had more time (there’s this essay on queer phenomenology and Ann Leckie’s Radch trilogy I’m behind on!), I’d be tempted to go to amazon or Powell’s online and see just how many of the books and collections I could buy for $1500 especially given how many textbooks/academic books are now available through second-hand sellers. (I bought some of the earliest academic collections for a dollar and the price of shipping—and got what appeared to be remaindered library copies.) The authors wouldn’t get any money from royalties, but they’re not getting any from Routledge, and our hypothetical scholar would have a pretty good start at a Tolkien library of scholarship.

    Routledge marketing is right about one thing: the amount of scholarship on Tolkien is growing (YAY!). I do bibliographic essays, so here’s a footnote from my essay in Janet Croft’s and Leslie Donovan’s Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J. R. R. Tolkien: “A June 12, 2014 search (“Tolkien: Subjects” “not: film”) in the MLA International Bibliography resulted in a total of 1,897 sources: 1,268 Academic Journal Articles; 457 Book Articles; 83 Books; 47 Dissertation Abstracts; 37 Book Collections; 4 editions, and one website. There is good reason to believe that there is published scholarship on Tolkien’s work not indexed in MLA. The MLA Bibliography indexes 249 publications from January 1960-December 1980. From January 2000 to December 2013 (excluding the film citations), the MLA indexes 909 publications (June 12, 2014).”

    This was in 2014: those numbers would be larger now: I cannot check because we’re having major thunderstorms, severe weather warning, and that affects our internet access which means I cannot get to my university’s databases from home (*twitches*)

    Not all of that published work is equally “good” (in quotation marks because I teach graduate courses on research and methods and know that “good” depends a whole lot on what specific topic and context a scholar is working from). Yes, it can be hard to track down scholarship, but the difficulty is primarily caused by monetization and corporate control of the databases and publications: putting out at $1500 collections of selections (however the decisions were made in terms of what was included) won’t solve the problem. I cannot even imagine an academic library (at least not at my university) buying this since their book-buying budgets have been slashed for years. It cannot be assigned to students to buy; independent scholars, at least the ones I know, who don’t have access to the university resources aren’t likely to have that amount of money lying around to spend.

    Plus, when did spending time on research become useless? I’ve done little archive work myself (most people in literary studies doing more modern periods aren’t trained in it), but I doubt that I’d need to go to an archive to get most of the essays and books in this collection. The earliest work on Tolkien done by fans and in fanzines (including those that became academic journals later on) isn’t in the full-text databases, but a fair amount is, and given the elitism in academia, most scholarship on Tolkien wouldn’t need to use the work in the fanzines unless they were interested in that cultural studies/new historicist approach (which I actually am—the Marquette Tolkien collection is SUPERB by the way.) But this collection doesn’t *have* that sort of work.

    Routledge’s marketing people are right in one respect: Tolkien scholarship has grown immensely in the last few years, arguably since Jackson’s films were released. But the growth isn’t all on the same topics: there is a proliferation of work from a variety of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives which is going to draw on different types of scholarship and the array of different topics and approaches. Yes, I know, the ongoing problem of people not checking before writing essays on Tolkien is a real problem—but this behemoth doesn’t seem likely to solve that problem! In fact, it might worsen it. For example, I work in feminist criticism: this collection has two essays on “Gender” (which is code for “wimmin cooties” instead of those universal transcendent themes like, heroism): they’re both good essays, but of course they’re both available in the Croft and Donovan anthology, along with twelve others including my bibliographic essay on “The History of Scholarship on Female Characters in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Legendarium.” Any essay that used only the Donovan and Rawls essays (both excellent, but from two very different theoretical approaches dealing with very different topics) would be one I’d recommend to reject if I read it as a submission to an academic journal, and it would never be approved to be written in a class I was teaching (even an undergraduate one).

  29. @robinareid

    *waves at all the filers* Still way too swamped with work and health and elder/parental care problems to comment much (I blush to admit I didn’t even do my Hugo ballot because it came due at the time I was sick with bronchitis for two weeks). But still read over here for fun and relaxation and book recs!

    Good to have you back. I sympathise, since I’ve been busy with work and elderly parent care these past few months as well. Though I did get my Hugo ballot in.

    I also hear you an academic publishing. I can’t imagine any but the very biggest university libraries buying this, considering how cash-strapped most of them are.

  30. Kip W on April 2, 2017 at 7:13 am said:

    Good Grief, More Pixels!

    (Can of worms.)

    Jet Boy, Jet Girl reminds me that “Plastic Betrand”‘s “Ça Plane pour Moi” is really one of the great covers, far outshining Elton Motello’s original. (Motello does fine till he comes to the ‘hoo hoo hoo hoo’ refrain and loses all credibility.)

    I concur.

  31. robinareid: Thanks for adding your highly-interesting comment to the discussion here, too.

  32. (13) I was just telling a friend who doesn’t read Stephen King about The Dead Zone and how it basically predicted Trump’s rise (though King’s version is a lot more realistic, since his Trump character had to make his way to the top incrementally).

  33. (13) A real King interview with real Trump voters from Maine would have been worth reading. You’d think that the guy that wrote Firestarter would understand the hazards of stacking so many persons of hay so close together!

    Regards,
    Dann

  34. @robinareid: Hi! Keep your head down literally and figuratively.

    Thanks for the analysis of the Tolkien book. I was thinking along those lines but had no concrete data to back it up. I bet you could get ALL the essays contained therein, plus lots of good stuff from online or databases for substantially less than that. And no individual and few institutions are going to pay that much for one book. For that kind of money, you could probably also visit some archives in person.

    I do not get email from Amazon, and for this I’m grateful. Heck, I’ve even turned off my browsing history so it won’t use that for suggestions.

    @Steve Wright: Glad you stopped yourself from going completely mad.

    @David Langford: That’s another feather in your cap: Too successful for Oxford!

    I suspect the dumbass comment here has inadvertently revealed rather more about the dumbass’ psyche than he’s willing to admit. Their self-pwnage is at least good for amusing the rest of us.

    @Paul A: I would pay cash money to see a Bat-Mite movie.

  35. @Dann – I’m surprised, myself. He wrote an interesting article, and I suspect his assessments are somewhat accurate, but I don’t see the point in that writing exercise, outside of it being a writing exercise.

  36. @kathodus – Well, I found it about as interesting as if a right-leaning author had interviewed a series of imaginary left-leaning folks that ended up presenting all of the worst stereotypes that get ascribed to that corner of the political pool.

    Even John Scalzi knows better that to assume that level of mal-intent.

    Regards,
    Dann

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