Pixel Scroll 4/21/17 Pass The Pixel On The Left Hand Side

(1) MYSTERY SOLVED. Yesterday’s Scroll reported the episode of Fargo where someone picked up a rocket-shaped trophy as a weapon, which several people identified (incorrectly) as a Hugo. Today Movie Pilot ran a story about the episode’s Easter eggs and repeated the Hugo Award identification – illustrated with photos for comparison — in item #5.

When the sheriff drives back to her step-dad’s house to get the statue he’d made for her son, Nathan, she discovers the door ajar and the place a mess. Before heading up the stairs to investigate, she grabs something that looks very much like a Hugo Award, in case she needs to defend herself.

A Hugo trophy is awarded to the best sci-fi and fantasy writer of the year, meaning Ennis Stussy might have at one point won the award. Could he have been a witness to the alien encounter all the way back in 1979, inspiring him to write sci-fi?

The Fargo award is not a physical Hugo (whatever may be intended). Movie Pilot’s comparative Hugo photo is, and I was vain enough to hope it was one of mine (several have been photographed for archival purposes). After searching I found they used Michael Benveniste’s photo of a 1987 Hugo, and I definitely did not win in Brighton (although I won the year before and after), and the 1990 Worldcon bid I chaired was also annihilated in the voting…..

Whose Hugo is it? The plaque in the photo is hard to make out, but the phrase “edited by” is there, which narrows it the Hugo for Best Semiprozine or Best Fanzine, and there being an initial in the middle of the person’s name, it must be the 1987 Hugo given to Locus, edited by Charles N. Brown.

(2) NOTICING A TREND. JJ says at some point “Hugo award” entered the popular lexicon as “that’s some far-fetched confabulation you’ve got going on there.”









(3) ROAD WARRIOR. John Scalzi did a LA Times Q&A in which he shared “10 things you don’t know about authors on book tour”

  1. You have to be “on”

When people show up to your event, they expect to be entertained — yes, even at an author event, when technically all you’re doing is reading from your book and maybe answering some questions. As the author, you have to be up and appear happy and be glad people showed up, and you have to do that from the moment you enter the event space to the moment you get in a car to go back to the hotel, which can be several hours. It’s tiring even for extroverts and, well, most authors aren’t extroverts. Being “on” for several hours a day, several days in a row, is one of the hardest things you’ll ask an introverted author used to working alone to do. And speaking of work …

(4) IF I HAD A HAMMER. An advance ruling from @AskTSA.



(5) A VISIT FROM THE TARDIS. The Register claims “Doctor Who-inspired proxy transmogrifies politically sensitive web to avoid gov censorship” – a headline almost as badly in need of deciphering as HIX NIX STIX PIX.

Computer boffins in Canada are working on anti-censorship software called Slitheen that disguises disallowed web content as government-sanctioned pablum. They intend for it to be used in countries where network connections get scrutinized for forbidden thought.

Slitheen – named after Doctor Who aliens capable of mimicking humans to avoid detection – could thus make reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights look like a lengthy refresher course in North Korean juche ideology or a politically acceptable celebration of cats.

In a presentation last October, Cecylia Bocovich, a University of Waterloo PhD student developing the technology in conjunction with computer science professor Ian Goldberg, said that governments in countries such as China, Iran, and Pakistan have used a variety of techniques to censor internet access, including filtering by IP address, filtering by hostname, protocol-specific throttling, URL keyword filtering, active probing, and application layer deep packet inspection.

(6) NAFF WINNER. Fe Waters has been voted the 2017 National Australian Fan Fund (NAFF) delegate and will attend Natcon at Continuum in Melbourne in June.

Waters got into fandom in 1990, started attending Swancon in 1995, and after being inspired by the kids’ programming at AussieCon IV took on organizing the Family Programme for Swancon 2011–2013. For her Family Programme work she was awarded the Mumfan (Marge Hughes) Award in 2013. In 2016 she was the Fan Guest of Honour at Swancon.

The National Australian Fan Fund (NAFF) was founded in 2001 to assist fans to travel across Australia to attend the Australian National Convention (Natcon).

(7) NEIL GAIMAN, BOX CHECKER. Superversive SF’s Anthony M, who liked Neil Gaiman’s 17th-century vision of the Marvel universe — Marvel: 1602 (published in 2012) – nevertheless was displeased by its revelation of a gay character: “Marvel: 1602” and the Wet Fish Slap.

….Or even, if you are really, really incapable of not virtue signaling, if it’s truly so very important to you that people know you’re Totally Not Homophobic, why on earth would you have this character tell Cyclops he’s gay?

It was stupid, it was pointless, and it was insulting that Gaiman decided to make his story worse in order to tell the world that he was Totally Cool With Being Gay. It was a way of telling the reader that he cared less about them than about making himself look good to the right people….

(7-1/2) SEVEN DEADLY WORDS. Paul Weimer watched Mazes and Monsters for his Skiffy and Fanty podcast. You can listen to what he thought about it here, but wear your asbestos earbuds because Paul warned, “That episode is most definitely not safe for work, because I ranted rather hard, and with language not suitable for children….”

(8) AROUND THE SUBWAY IN 25 HOURS. “50 Years Ago, a Computer Pioneer Got a New York Subway Race Rolling” is a fascinating article about a Vernian proposition, and may even involve a couple of fans from M.I.T. in supporting roles, if those named (Mitchell, Anderson) are the same people.

A six-man party (Mr. Samson, George Mitchell, Andy Jennings, Jeff Dwork, Dave Anderson and Dick Gruen) began at 6:30 a.m. from the Pacific Street station in Brooklyn. But when they finally pulled into the platform at Pelham Bay Park after a little more than 25 hours and 57 minutes, reporters confronted them with an unexpected question: How come they hadn’t done as well as Geoffrey Arnold had?

They had never heard of Mr. Arnold, but apparently in 1963 he completed his version of the circuit faster (variously reported as 24 or 25 hours and 56 minutes). Worse, he was from Harvard.

“I decided to take it on a little more seriously,” Mr. Samson recalled.

With his competitive juices fired up, he got serious. He collaborated with Mr. Arnold on official rules and prepared for a full-fledged computer-driven record-breaking attempt with 15 volunteers on April 19, 1967.


  • April 21, 1989 — Mary Lambert’s Stephen King adaptation Pet Cemetery opens


  • April 21, 753 BC – Rome is founded.

(11) SAD ANNIVERSARY. An interview by his local paper — “Pine Mountain author Michael Bishop to release book of short stories” – notes it’s been 10 years since his son was killed is a mass shooting at Virginia Tech.

Q: What led you to write “Other Arms Reach Out to Me: Georgia Stories” as a collection?

A: First, this book gathers almost (but not quite) all my mainstream stories set in Georgia or featuring characters from Georgia in foreign settings (see “Andalusia Triptych, 1962” and “Baby Love”) in a single volume. So, in that regard, it represents the culmination of a career-long project that I did not fully realize that I had embarked upon, but that I did always have in the back of my mind as an important project.

You will notice that “Other Arms” opens with a hommage to and an affectionate parody of the short fiction of Georgia’s own Flannery O’Connor (called “The Road Leads Back”) and that it concludes with a controversially satirical take on gun politics in Georgia set in an alternate time line (“Rattlesnakes and Men”).

I might add that this last story grows out of our lifelong desire to see the United States adopt sensible nationwide gun legislation that mandates background checks in every setting. We also are advocates for the banning of sales to private citizens of military-style weapons, high-capacity magazines, and certain excessive kinds of body-maiming ammunition without extremely good reasons for them to own such armament, which is totally unnecessary for protecting one’s home and hunting.

(12) MERGE WITH TV. The Into The Unknown exhibit at The Barbican in London runs June 3 to September 1. Visitors will be able to “Step Into A Black Mirror Episode”.

Walking into a Black Mirror.

Is that something you can see yourself doing?

Because if so, we have some good news for you: as part of their new show exploring the history of sci-fi, Into The Unknown, The Barbican are going to turn their huge Silk Screen entrance hall into an immersive take on the oh-so-gloriously bleak episode 15 Million Merits.

Quite how they’re doing this is still under wraps, but we do know that moments from the episode will be re-edited, mashed-up, and displayed on huge six-foot video installations surrounding you. We’re assuming that there will also be exercise bikes….

(13) ALWAYS NEWS TO SOMEONE. How did I miss this Klingon parody of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” at the height of the craze in 2012?

(14) WOZ SPEAKS. Steve Wozniak’s convention starts today. CNET made it the occasion for an interview — “Woz on Comic Con, iPhones and the Galaxy S8”.

Wozniak, commonly known as “Woz,” sat down with CNET a week before the second annual Silicon Valley Comic Con to talk about the geek conference he helped start in San Jose, California; what superhero he’d like to be; what features he’d like to see in the next iPhone; and why he’s excited to get his Galaxy S8.

Even though California already has a Comic Con — the massive event in San Diego — Wozniak said there’s plenty of room for more. “We’re going to have a big announcement at the end of this one,” he said. “We’re different and better, and we don’t want to be linked in with just being another.”

Last year marked the first time Silicon Valley hosted its own Comic Con, and this year it expands into areas like virtual reality and a science fair. The show kicks off Friday and ends Sunday.

“We’ll have the popular culture side of Comic Con, but we’ll mix in a lot of the science and technology that’s local here in Silicon Valley,” he said. “It seems like [tech and geek culture are] made for each other in a lot of ways.”

(15) THE TRUTH WILL BE OUT THERE AGAIN. Another season of X-Files is on the way says ScienceFiction.com.

You can’t keep a good TV series down – well, unless you’re Fox with ‘Firefly,’ I guess.  But hey, maybe Fox feels some remorse over this too-soon axing, so they are making up for it by giving 1990s hit sci-fi/conspiracy show ‘The X-Files‘ another go!

Originally, ‘The X-Files’ ran from 1993-2002 on TV, with two theatrical films in the mix as well.  Off the air but never truly forgotten, the show reached a sort of “cult status,” enough so that Fox made the call to bring the show back for a limited 6-episode revival in early 2016.  Based on the success of that experiment, Fox has rewarded series creator Chris Carter with a 10-episode order for this new season to debut either this Fall or early 2018 on the network.

(16) CELL DIVISION. A news item on Vox, “The new Oprah movie about Henrietta Lacks reopens a big scientific debate”, reminds Cat Eldridge of an sf novel: “There’s a scene in Mona Lisa Overdrive where Gibson hints strongly that one of the characters is a runaway cancer that’s contained within a number of shipping containers…”

This practice went on for decades without much controversy — until the bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot came along in 2010. The story sparked a debate among the public, researchers, and bioethicists about whether this practice is ethical — and whether the benefits to science truly outweigh the potential harms to individuals whose donations may come back to haunt them.

On Saturday, a new HBO movie starring Oprah based on the book will surely reignite that debate. The movie strongly suggests the practice of using anonymous tissues in research can be nefarious and deeply disturbing for families — while at the same time great for science. And so the research community is bracing for a backlash once again….

(17) WORKING. “Analogue Loaders” by Rafael Vangelis explains what would happen if real-life objects had to “load” the way computers do when we boot them up.

[Thanks to JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Hampus Eckerman, Mark-kitteh, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Clack.]

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204 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/21/17 Pass The Pixel On The Left Hand Side

  1. @kathodus (with @Kendall in agreement): “(7) NEIL GAIMAN, BOX CHECKER. I haven’t been reading comic books regularly in a long time, and particularly not superhero books, but I have read a lot of Gaiman, comics and prose, and I can say with some confidence that Gaiman’s LGBTQ-friendly stance comes through even in the Sandman series of (oh mercyful fate) a generation ago. I don’t see why he would have felt the need to let people know he’s down with The Gays in 2012.”

    Yeah, that weird accusation sent me over to Wikipedia to remind myself when Sandman: A Doll’s House came out. Looks like that story wrapped up in 1990. A Game of You wrapped up in 1992–that’s the story arc in response to which Concerned Mothers of America announced their boycott of him in 1991. Even realizing that Marvel 1602 came out in 2003, and not 2012, we’re still talking about Gaiman establishing his pro-gay creds at least a decade earlier.

    If there’s one thing I suspect Gaiman is utterly comfortable assuming the world knows about him, it’s that he is Totally Down With Teh Gay.

    Anecdote: Back in high school, couldn’t have been earlier than 1993 I think, I argued with a friend–well, soon to be ex-friend, as evidence for his being an asshole was piling up, and this was only one small brick in that wall–over the pronunciation of Gaiman’s name. He insisted it was “GUY-man” because, and I quote, “I’m sure he wouldn’t like being called a gay man, ha ha ha, right?” I couldn’t decide how to respond–both “What exactly is your major malfunction regarding gay people, and why do you assume that I share it?” and “Why would you assume Neil Gaiman shares your distaste for The Gay? I know you’ve read all of Sandman released thus far. Were you even paying attention?” As so often happens, the indecision rendered me speechless and I was unable to do much more than shake my head.

  2. @Mike: “I’m concerned that it scares people off the place”

    It’s definitely put me off of RSR.

  3. Dawn Incognito: It’s several weeks following the announcement of the finalists, and I haven’t seen any updates. (And a voting packet maybe? *hopes*) Maybe I missed something. Anyone know an ETA?

    Last year Hugo voting opened May 16, and the packet was released on June 14. Granted, the voting deadline was 2 weeks later last year than this year (July 31 vs July 15), but there’s still plenty of time for this year’s Hugo voting and packet to make the same number of weeks in advance. Worldcon75 has said that there will indeed be a packet.

    In the meantime, don’t forget that you can get a head start on your Hugo finalist reading here: 😀
    Where to Find the 2017 Hugo Finalists For Free Online
    (this is permalinked at the top of the File770 blog under “2016 Recommended SF/F Page”)

  4. (16) CELL DIVISION. A news item on Vox, “The new Oprah movie about Henrietta Lacks reopens a big scientific debate”, reminds Cat Eldridge of an sf novel: “There’s a scene in Mona Lisa Overdrive where Gibson hints strongly that one of the characters is a runaway cancer that’s contained within a number of shipping containers…”

    Wasn’t that Count Zero, not Mona Lisa Overdrive?

  5. Greg:

    You both have been sniping at each other for quite awhile, but the last three instances, you have been the instigator.

    Please, do ignore each other. I know I’m not the one to speak as I’ve got quite the temper myself and also can get lost in feelings, but this is not working.

  6. Neil was also a contributor to Mad Love’s Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia a response to the then Conservative government’s Clause 28, preventing “promotion” of homosexuality. That was back about 1988.

  7. Lorcan Nagle asks Wasn’t that Count Zero, not Mona Lisa Overdrive?

    Could well be. It’s been at least a decade since I read them and I don’t have them in my library. I do remember liking Mona Lisa Overdrive much better than either of the first two volumes.

  8. @Mike Glyer

    JJ & Greg: I allow a lot of leeway in comments. But this go-round between you is never going to sort itself out through a frank exchange of comments here, and I’m concerned that it scares people off the place. Please do whatever you need to do to stop tangling with each other, whether it’s one of Tasha’s ideas, or your own.

    I’m perfectly happy to leave her alone. I just want her to leave me alone. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask.

    As a gesture in that direction, I won’t reply to any of the earlier comments in this thread. And if I think she’s harassing me in the future, I’ll send you a private e-mail. Fair enough?

  9. @Tasha Turner, hi. I’m sorry to hear of your upheavals and hope life is not too taxing.

    @Kendall – Speaking of which, I explained UF to my mom an hour or two ago (the way it tends to be used these days, I mean; not just “fantasy in a city”). I’m not sure I did a great job, but I believe she got it. She reads cozy mysteries and some general fiction and maybe a little lit fic – not SFF (though she read the Harry Potter novels), so she’s not familiar with SFF subgenres and marketing categories.

    How cozy does your mom like her mysteries? If the answer is “very,” there might be too much sex in Darynda Jones’s Charley Davidson series (which I bailed on in book eight, because it was too much Perils of Pauline, but I liked it fine up until then). The same goes for Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series (there’s always a central mystery) and Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, but all three of them would otherwise fit right into fantasy with a mystery element. That’s if your mom is interested in trying UF.

  10. Kurt Busiek> “Scroll White and the Seven Pixels”.

    Scroll White and the Seven Hundred and Seventy Files?

  11. @Mike: “I’m concerned that it scares people off the place”

    Link to Aan’s Stylish script here and following, so that you don’t have to see all of them. (I have the opacity set to 0.91, which is enough to make it really hard to read.)

  12. I hadn’t heard “Gangnam Style” nor even knew of it when I first saw “Klingon Style” on YouTube. I knew it had to a parody of something, but I no idea of what until I finally encountered the original, also as a YouTube video.

    That wasn’t the first time I’ve seen a parody before the original. If you don’t have the background when you first see a parody, it can seem more than a little bit weird.

  13. @P J Evans, pointing people toward a CSS tool to use as a killfile is all well and good, but… 1. some of us may still be interested to know what those commenters have to say, at any time when they’re not engaged in a flamewar with each other, and 2. it doesn’t address what I thought was Mike’s concern, that readers who aren’t already regulars will be driven away because they think “Oh, it’s one of those places that’s always having flamewars, too bad, I’ll just move on.” (The latter is why I don’t think killfiling is a good substitute for active moderation: unless the site is very up-front about telling everyone “there’s a way to ignore specific people, and many of us are using it”, to an outside observer it just looks like everyone either is totally cool with someone’s constant asshole behavior, or has inhuman self-restraint to avoid ever mentioning it.)

  14. @JJ:

    Thanks! I’m already plugging away at the Hugo reading thanks to the free short fiction and my local library (today I think I’m going to start “Penric and the Shaman”). I’m curious about the packet for the categories I know nothing about. I figure a curated selection will be a lot less overwhelming an introduction 🙂

  15. @Eli

    Possibly the filers being asked to stop sniping at each other might take advantage of the killfile and reminding them where it is and how to use it as well as other filers and lurkers doesn’t hurt.

    In my experience many lurkers feel like members of the blog they read regularly. I felt like a filer months before I commented here. They might take advantage of tools to avoid reading certain posters just as active members do.

    Since Mike began reporting on the SP and RP kerfluffle his moderating style has gotten more active but File770 has been a big part social pressure in changing behavior among regulars. Sometimes we’ve been successful and sometimes not so much. I believe the killfile has been quite successful at ending bickering between regulars. I wish it worked on Safari on my iPhone.

  16. @Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little – I was also told to pronounce Gaiman’s name as guy-man, back in the early 90s when I first discovered him, but it was more of a “because he’s British and the British are so-phisticated” thing. Took me years to find out that was not the case.


    Oh, her book covers! So bad. Almost Baenian.

    I like McGrath’s art a lot, but these aren’t super-inspired and there’s very much a saminess to them. They seem (from my limited exposure) fairy run-of-the-mill Urban Fantasy, though.

    I really don’t like covers that are comprised of actual photographs (or what look like actual photographs). Totally a visceral thing for me, nothing thought out. Yeah, they’re not really Baen-ish, though – those covers look like screenshots from cheap 3D video games from the late 90s.

    Hugo Reading
    Finished His Majesty’s Dragon last night. If the series keeps up in quality, it’s a strong contender for a high vote from me.

    I guess I’ll move on to the last series I haven’t read anything in – October Daye. I also have the recently reduced in price Too Like the Lightning, but I’ll put that one off. I have yet to pick up the Chambers, but am hoping the price goes down to what my old-man grumbly self feels is appropriate for a novel ($6-$8).

  17. @David K. M. Klaus: I saw the video for Weird Al’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” before I saw the Nirvana original, and it took me a minute to realize it was not Nirvana. When I eventually saw the Nirvana video, I think it took me even longer to realize it was not Weird Al.

    I think there’s a serious case for putting Weird Al in the R&RHoF.

  18. @David K. M. Klaus: I grew up on MAD Magazine in the ’80s, so there were lots of movies that I knew first (or only) from their parodies. I usually could at least tell what they were supposed to be parodies of, if it was something that I remembered seeing ads for. But then I was also reading all of the “best of MAD” books from previous decades, where I had no context for who these people might be or why the jokes were supposed to be funny… still loved them though and remember bits of them to this day, mostly because of the insanely skillful cartooning of Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, and Angelo Torres.

  19. @John A.A.:

    Al absolutely belongs in the RRHoF, if for no other reason than his sheer versatility.

  20. @Tasha Turner:

    Hi! *waves* I was wondering how you were doing the other day. Sorry to hear there’s been upheaval, hopefully things will get less hectic for you soon.

  21. I grew up on MAD Magazine in the ’80s, so there were lots of movies that I knew first (or only) from their parodies.

    I remember sitting in the big lecture hall at UCSB (IIRC for Art 1) and seeing the person in front and just to my right reading Mad’s “201 Minutes of a Space Idiocy”, in late 1968. They’ve been doing that kind of thing for a long time.

  22. Heck, I grew up on Allan Sherman’s parody records, so for me, “Dance of the Hours” and “English Country Garden” will always stir in me recognition as “Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda” and “Here’s to the Crabgrass.”

    And thanks to MAD Magazine, “Edelweiss” will regularly conjure the lyrics of “Abel Weiss.”

    “Agents we know
    Don’t win you big dough
    That’s a no-no with Abie
    If he’s sent
    Ten per cent
    You’ll be his sweetie baby…”

  23. I was familiar with a ton of Simpsons references to various movies long before I ever watched the original. Citizen Kane in particular.

    In many cases I still haven’t seen the originals, come to think of it.

    I’m also embarrassed to admit that I first heard “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” as performed by the friggin’ California Raisins. (I am listening to the Gladys Knight and the Pips version as atonement.)

  24. I like Gladys Knight’s version better than Marvin Gaye’s. Marvin is mopey. Gladys is pissed. (They’re back to back on my Motown: The Classic Years album.)

  25. @Dawn & others who’ve said hi & wished me well

    *waves back*. Thanks. Hopefully we’ll come to a separation agreement soon and I can move out of what was supposed to be a 3-month temp apartment while I had ear surgery and recovered. It went well although I need to get my hearing aids fixed and readjusted. I’m looking forward to move to a longer term apartment where I can put pictures and curtains up and do other things to make it feel like a home.

    Divorce is even less fun at 50 than it was at 30 due to my poor health, having assets, and the men being very different. I don’t recommend it as a way to celebrate major birthday milestones. 😉

    I’m back in MA near me family and friends and enjoying seeing them a bit more frequently. It’s good to be back in my home state.

    Disappointed I won’t be attending Helsinki after all. Haven’t been well enough to attend local cons – missed seeing RedWombat and other filers at Arisia 🙁 as I had to skip my planned attendance due to health and soon-to-be-ex.

    Hope you’re doing ok.

  26. Tasha Turner: Divorce is even less fun at 50 than it was at 30

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. As a friend of mine commented, “No matter how bad things are at the end, everyone thinks, when they’re saying ‘I do’, that it will be forever — and you’re grieving for that, as well as dealing with all the rest of it.” It took about a month on my own, but when I realized that I was no longer walking on eggshells all the time, waiting for the most innocuous thing to trigger a huge drama, the feeling of serenity was wonderful.

    I wish you strength to get through this hard part, and a happy and peaceful future.

  27. @JJ: Is Split Worlds now considered within the bounds of UF? I would have said (from starting reading with early de Lint) that it’s more intrusive and less immersive than SW, but I get the sense the term has … stretched. And I’m envious that you’ve gotten book 5 — Amazon says it’s not available until 6 Jun, and I’ve decided partway through that #4 is setting up too many cliffhangers so I’ve put it aside.

  28. @JJ

    I’ve started getting a little but healthier just being away from the house. Over the last couple weeks I realized I no longer need to fear his anger – wow was it freeing.

    I know when the divorce is over both of us will be happier and I suspect healthier than we have in years. In many ways I’m more at peace than I’ve been in years. The health is going to take years recovering from all the various toxins I’ve been exposed to over 18 years together but I’m seeing small signs already.

    I’ve looked forward to being 50 & finally an adult> since I was 8 where I could let go & be myself instead of conforming to society’s expectations (or my mom’s). I’m enjoying everything about the 2nd half of my life. The divorce is for the best.

    The divorce process this time around is more painful and is reminding me why I didn’t report my rapes. I feel like the judicial system is violating me and is set up against women who frequently don’t have an equal status regarding power, money, rights, even knowledge of their financial situation. I’m learning a lot about what was withheld from me & is still being withheld while I’m having to share my life in great detail.

  29. @Tasha
    Sorry to hear about your troubles.


    Interesting point! I’m not sure she’s looking to expand her horizons, but also, I wonder if I could find suitable UF. She likes the world building & descriptions in Harry Potter better than the plots, heh, but she’s in her 80s and would not like the adult content in most UF. I don’t mean just sex, but for example, I believe the casual nudity in Midnight Riot/Rivers of London in one place would turn her off the book. Hmm, is there G-rated UF out there, like a cozy mystery UF? (G is the General Audiences movie rating in the U.S.; it means all ages – no minimum age recommendation.) ?

    Heck, she doesn’t like cussing, even. (Though I figure even a cozy mystery must have the occasional “bad word”???)

    I’m normally not a good person to ask about stuff like this, because due to cultural differences I often have a hard time understanding what might be considered offensive by more conservative Americans. For example, my Mom is 75 and reads quite a bit of UF, but she doesn’t mind sex, nudity and swearing. She likes the usual suspects, Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant, Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson, Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels and Innkeeper Chronicles, Simon R. Green’s Nightside and Ishmael Jones Mysteries, Rob Thurman’s Leandros Brothers series, Rachel Caine’s Weather Wardens series, Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse, etc…

    For lighter UF, the Willow Tate, Pepper Martin and Charlie Davidson books recommended above are good choices. Shanna Swendson’s Katie Chandler/Enchanted Inc. series, which is basically a chick lit type workplace comedy set in an UF world, would be another good pick. No overt sex and swearing. The Sookie Stackhouse books might also fit the bill, since they are a lot milder than the HBO series allegedly based on them, though there is some sex and swearing. Charlaine Harris also started out as a cozy mystery author before turning to UF. Amanda M. Lee, an indie author, writes witch cozies, which are extremely successful and follow the no overt sex and swearing rule for cozy mysteries.

    Approx. 8 to 10 years ago, there used to be quite a few lighter UF series by authors such as Mary Janice Davidson, Katie MacAllister, Molly Harper, Michelle Bardsley, Angie Fox, etc… But most of those books did have sex (quite a bit in the case of Katie MacAllister) and probably swearing as well.

  30. Chip Hitchcock: Is Split Worlds now considered within the bounds of UF? I would have said (from starting reading with early de Lint) that it’s more intrusive and less immersive than SW, but I get the sense the term has … stretched. And I’m envious that you’ve gotten book 5 — Amazon says it’s not available until 6 Jun, and I’ve decided partway through that #4 is setting up too many cliffhangers so I’ve put it aside.

    My take on Split Worlds is that it’s Urban Fantasy because while most of it is set in the Nether World — populated by humans who do not age while they remain there — with a little bit in Exilium, where the fae live, the Mundane world (our real-life present-day world) is still quite involved in the events as they occur.

    And oh, hey! Newman’s own site calls it “Urban Fantasy Immersion”.

    Book 5 is available from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Registration is free; taking time to fill out your profile is recommended, because it’s how publishers decide whether to grant you access to a requested book. You’re not guaranteed to be given the ability to read the books to which you request access, but I suspect that they’re a lot more open to requests for this one than for, say, the latest Scalzi, which I am sure is in high demand, so I didn’t even bother requesting because I don’t have my own review blog and I only review on File770 and Amazon.

    As it happened, I was just in the process of reading the first 4 books, which I had gotten from my library on Overdrive, when I saw the 5th book appear on NetGalley. Serendipity! (There are 200+ short stories set in that universe on her website, which I’d love to read, but I don’t think it’s a possibility right now.)

  31. @Tasha–I seem to have missed or not absorbed the previous mention of your current troubles. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I hope everything does work out so that you’re healthier and happier.

    Currently listening to Mutineer: Kris Longknife #1, by Mike Shepherd. I’m enjoying it, but at the halfway point, I’m still waiting for the first suggestion that there’s anything important that Kris isn’t the best at.

    Reading CosmicPowers, anthology edited by John Joseph Adams, which you should absolutely go grab a copy of.

  32. @Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little: Ouch, well, some people are clueless about what they read. This “Sandman” sidebar is making me want to #1 re-read the whole thing, and #2 shell out the bucks for the Absolute or Omnibus “Sandman” and then re-read it. If I weren’t out of town, I’d spend the next hour leafing through my issues right now. 🙂

    @kathodus: I’m not super into photos on covers, though McGrath’s stuff’s artistic enough they never struck me like that. But I hear ya! The visceral-NONONO thing for me is usually poorly-computer-rendered stuff that looks like … uh, hmm, like a cheap 3D video game! LOL. I dislike a different variation from you, but that is the same phrase that sprang to mind. 😉

    Re. Hugo Reading: I’m a lot deeper into Rosemary and Ruethan I thought (starting chapter 8). 🙂

    @John A Arkansawyer: I totally approve of putting “Weird Al” into the R&RHoF! 😀 He, ahem, rocks!

  33. @JJ: Thanks, I have the first “Split Worlds” novel. I should read it and if it’s G(ish) enough, suggest it to my mom.

    @Rev. Bob: Thanks, I’ll take a peek at those two!

    @Cheryl S.: Thanks, I’ll take a look! BTW I’d say “pretty darned cozy,” though I admit, I don’t know her reading habits as well as it sounds (but I know in general she doesn’t like sex, violence cuss words). The first “Charley Davidson” descripion sounds a tad-bit steamy. Hey, “Kate Daniels” sounds like it may be up my alley! Heh, I’m not opposed to picking up recs for me, even though I’m not much of a UF reader. 😉

    Of course, I’m presuming here that she may like a little UF – sparked by what @Cora said – but I’m liking the idea of suggesting a couple of things to her to see what she thinks (shrug) and if she says “uh, no” then that’s that.

    @Cora: Thanks for the ideas! (BTW she’s very liberal, but in polite society people shouldn’t cuss, talk about sex, rip off their clothes at the drop of a hat, etc. I know, weird, right? Hehehe.) I’m sure she’d put up with a little swearing, actually; I doubt I’m over-estimating her prudishness, though (she’d be quick to say “I’m not a prude!”).

    I don’t believe I knew Harris started as a cozy mystery author. This may be a good starting point, actually – “here’s a book” … “oh you liked her? she also does urban fantasy like I told you about….” Also Amanda M. Lee sounds promising! If you have a particular rec for her books (good starting point or especially good one), please let me know.

    BTW I’ve thought this before and forget if I ever said it – your mom sounds very cool. 🙂

    ETA: I’ve heard of some of the names you mentioned from 8-10 years ago, BTW. Groovy.

  34. @Kendall – I don’t believe I knew Harris started as a cozy mystery author.

    She didn’t, but her first two books didn’t get much traction, so she came up with the Aurora Teagarden series, which hit the market at the right time.

    I had two other ideas in UF for your mom. The first is light on mystery but heavy on the cozy; it’s Debora Geary’s Witch series, a bunch of interlocking stories that have as much heft as duck down but they’re fun to read and your mom might like them. The second is the first few Kitty and the… books by Carrie Vaughn. They weren’t my jam, but I thought they were likable and pretty well written. I don’t think I read past book three though, so they may have gone off the rails like the Anita Blake series, with orgies every other page, so there’s that.

  35. @Lis — Yes, I ran across that while hunting for the Deutsch story.

    Side note: my intramural College Bowl team was called the Kingston Trio (there were four of us).

  36. @Kurt: THANK YOU for being a professional comics person who doesn’t care for the artwork of the Rivers of London comics! Everyone looks exactly the same age, build, and fashion. I should not have to squint and rely on dialogue to tell apart the older extremely white Nightingale (who dresses like the 30’s never ended) from the young mixed-race Peter. Maybe someone will novelize the comics. 🙂

    @Tasha: Sorry to hear about your troubles — but from just the things you said here, I’m kinda glad you’re away from him. Don’t get married again, you’ll be happier. 🙂

    @Greg: never “speaking for the group in this regard”?

    A couple days ago, you claimed that no gay person could believe books where the story wasn’t all about the gayness and the trauma caused by that, and that ESPECIALLY trans* people would feel that way even more so. I popped in to say that my trans* friends were completely the opposite — they hate and are bored by books where being trans is all horrible and that trans characters are only in books to be all about their trans-ness.** Ditto my gay friends, who are so over it.

    Now, as I understand it, you’re not trans, so you pontificating authoritatively about What All The Transfolk Think is pretty much the definition of cis-splaining. And saying All The Gays Want to Read About Gay Trauma is speaking for a group.

    If I was to claim based on only my own experience and that of my close friends that ALL women abhor badly-written BDSM books, a glance at the sales figures for “50 Shades” would show that I was completely wrong.

    ** Ironically, isn’t this exactly what our latest flouncing Puppy was claiming?

  37. Kendall – following up on Cheryl S.’s mention of Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series, it doesn’t go into Laurell-Hamilton-esque orgies. Early on Kitty feels attraction to both the bounty hunter and the lawyer; when she makes up her mind, she marries the one she picks and they stay faithful to each other. There’s mention of sex, but I don’t recall any explicit description.

  38. @Anne, Kendall:

    Like a lot of werewolf fiction, I recall the Kitty books being rather casual about the nudity. I mean, it makes sense, but Kendall did mention that nudity was an issue.

  39. @Bill (re #8): unfortunately, the author of “A Subway Named Moebius” appears not to have looked at a Boston subway map; the interconnections he posits are even more improbable (due to the difference between topology and the real world) than some of the … optimistic … proposals that have been noised around (e.g., a tunnel between the two rail stations). A rail fan I knew decades ago once tried to map the alleged connections; the result was strange.

    @Lis Carey: a native (Greater?) Bostonian referring to that political campaign song as belonging to the Kingston Trio? What is the world coming to?

  40. @Lis
    Thanks. Me too

    2 marriages & 2 divorces feels like enough for one lifetime. Ironclad legal documents for anyone I live with in the future for our relationship (finances) & eventual breakup but no marriage or mingling of finances. Or maybe be single for the rest of my life. Men are… LOL

    #NotAllMen #YesAllWomen

  41. @Tasha–‘2 marriages & 2 divorces feels like enough for one lifetime. Ironclad legal documents for anyone I live with in the future for our relationship (finances) & eventual breakup but no marriage or mingling of finances
    I have a sister with the same situation and same attitude now. She’s in a realtionship with a new guy we all like(but then we all liked the last one) but not falling for the marriage trap again. Especially the financial part since her scum of an ex decided to go after her retirement after he originally said he wouldn’t. Doesn’t stop me from asking when she’s getting married again, though. What are big brothers for?
    She can’t even plan to work until the ex dies(that was the original plan)–he named a beneficiary. And not his two kids who we still consider family and who come to family stuff with their kids. His current girlfriend gets that honor–the fifth one or so since they split. Or sixth one-they don’t seem to last.

  42. Regarding the issue of “signalling”, a recent comment on MetaFilter broke out why it’s not a neutral thing to accuse somebody of:

    I think that there would actually be (at least) 4 ways of reading it:

    true signalling/unintentional: We really are into these things and just can’t help coming across as snobby.

    true signalling/intentional: We really are into these things, but we’re making a point of showing off.

    false signalling/unintentional: We aren’t nearly as into books and authors that we have been talking about as we try to convince people we are, but we can’t help but be this way.

    false signalling/intentional: We aren’t nearly as into the books and authors that we have been talking about, yet we are intentionally pseudo-intellectual and full of it.

    I think that all 4 of those are kind of ugly and incendiary things to say to someone out of the blue (or in it). I’ve been accused of fs/i and ts/i (using other words) since I was in 3rd grade or so by people who seemed to think that I was a pretentious jerk for voluntarily reading.

    (Hi, all. Been trying to do more book reading and less forum-and-blog reading, which is why I’ve been scarce. Lately I’ve been bingeing on Drew Hayes’s books, including the Fred the Vampire Accountant series and the first book in his new Villains’ Code series.)

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