Pixel Scroll 4/28/17 Never Mind the Scrollocks, Here’s the Sex Pixels

(1) FARGO/HUGO. On Fargo, the Hugo Award-look-alike turned out to be a “Golden Planet” won by Thaddeus Mobley. Observer’s episode roundup covers it at the end:

But Gloria is on to…something, definitely, something strange. At least as strange as the title Space Elephants Never Forget, one of many cheap pulp-fiction paperbacks written by a Thaddeus Mobley that Gloria found in a safe inside her murdered father-in-law’s house. Or were Thaddeus Mobley and Ennis Stussy one and the same? It appears so, just another way specters from the past–be it a former life as a famed sci-fi writer, or a murderous Cossack with the name Yuri Gulka–continue to materialize in, of all places, Minnesota. But I guess that makes Gloria Burgle uniquely qualified to take this case on; if you’re fighting the past, you may as well employ someone who is stuck there.

Mobley’s books were shown:

  • The Planet Wyh
  • The Dungeon Lurk
  • Space Elephants Never Forget
  • Toronto Cain Psychic Ranger
  • Organ Fish of Kleus-9
  • The Plague Monkeys
  • A Quantum Vark

(2) I WONDER. Syfy asks “Where is the Wonder Woman movie advertising?” — and starts me wondering is the movie is being “John Carter-ed”?

Wonder Woman finally gets her own movie and the movie marketing machines for DC and Warner Bros. haven’t seemed to have chugged to life.

We’re less than six weeks out. There’s been more advertising for Justice League than the movie that’s supposed to kick off the whole JLU film arc. On Warner Bros.’ YouTube Channel, Wonder Woman has only three trailers to Justice League‘s six. Where are the TV commercials and product tie-ins (yes, I know about Dr. Pepper, other ones please)? Batman and Supes both had their own breakfast cereal, so where’s my Wonder Woman cereal, General Mills? I’ve seen toys but no toy commercials.

It’s been pretty quiet out there, regardless of the fact that people have reacted positively to the little advertising that’s been released. The few trailers Wonder Woman has have garnered close to 60 million views. Imagine what would happen if the trailer were embedded on major entertainment sites and there were stories out there about the film?

(3) DOC OF THE BAY. Cat Rambo doubles back to cover a book in the series she missed — “Reading Doc Savage: Land of Always-Night”:

The man menacing poor Beery, who Beery calls Ool, is odd in many ways, including being skeleton thin and having enormous, pale eyes. He wants something back, something Beery has stolen to take to Doc Savage and is currently carrying on a money belt around his waist

Beery is standing in front of a candy store; when the inevitable happens, he reels back and smashes into the plate glass. After a struggle, he dies, “becoming as inert as the chocolate creams crushed beneath him.”

Ool takes his possession back from Beery, which turns out to be a peculiar pair of goggles with black glass lenses. He tastes one of the scattered chocolates, smacks his lips, and gathers as many chocolates as he can into his hat. As he departs, he eats the candy “avidly, as if it were some exquisite delicacy with which he had just become acquainted.”

(4) THE CULTURE ON RADIO. Available for the next 28 days: a BBC audio adaptation of Iain Banks’s story “State of the Art”, adapted by Paul Cornell.

The Culture ship Arbitrary arrives on Earth in 1977 and finds a planet obsessed with alien concepts like ‘property’ and ‘money’ and on the edge of self-destruction. When Agent Dervley Linter, decides to go native can Diziet Sma change his mind?

(5) GUARDIANS REVIEW. BBC reviewer Caryn James says too many explosions in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2. BEWARE SPOILERS.

…The film’s spindly plot is just an excuse, a peg on which to hang action scenes. When the team is hired to retrieve some valuable battery-sized energy sources, Rocket slips a few in his pocket. Soon the Guardians are being pursued all over the cartoonish universe.

Many antics ensue, but like so many other space movies this is essentially a father-son story. As the last film ended, Peter learned he was only half-human, on his mother’s side. The sequel adds a vivid new character, Peter’s long-lost father. He is played by Kurt Russell with a twinkle in his eye and a swagger that reveals where his son got that roguish attitude.

(6) SILVER CHAIR. ScienceFiction.com has a progress report on the next C.S. Lewis movie adaptation – “Joe Johnston To Helm ‘Chronicles Of Narnia: The Silver Chair’”.

Director Joe Johnston (‘Jurassic Park III’,’The Wolfman’) sure likes shields! Having worked with ‘Captain America: The First Avenger,’ he now has a more fantasy based movie to helm where characters will wield shields in in ‘Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair.’ Disney and Fox were only able to bring three of the novels to the big screen previously, and now we’re getting a fresh look into the iconic C.S. Lewis classics through Sony. Apparently, the studio wants to make sure someone with blockbuster experience to bring this film to life.

While Johnston hasn’t been too busy since working with Steve Rogers, the type of work he’s done in films ranging from this to ‘Jumanji’ to ‘The Rocketeer’ seem perfect for the action-adventure portion of this epic fantasy.

As ‘The Silver Chair’ doesn’t follow the original Pevensie children but their cousin Eustace Scrubb it is the perfect way for them to reboot the universe and not have to really dwell on the first movies and move forward at the same time.

(7) THE FEDERALIST POOPERS. Bill Nye was a big hit at the March for Science.  Not surprisingly, The Federalist came out with a dissenting view of Nye a few days later — “Bill Nye’s View Of Humanity Is Repulsive”.

Although many thousands of incredibly smart and talented people engage in real scientific inquiry and discovery, “science” is often used as a cudgel to browbeat people into accepting progressive policies. Just look at the coverage of the March for Science last week. The biggest clue that it was nothing more than another political event is that Nye was a keynote speaker.

“We are marching today to remind people everywhere, our lawmakers especially,” he told the crowd, “of the significance of science for our health and prosperity.” Fortunately, our health and prosperity has blossomed, despite the work of Nye and his ideological ancestors

(8) ACTRESS PRAISED. A Yahoo! Movies critic recognizes “Alexis Bledel As Ofglen in The Handmaid’s Tale Is the Role She Was Born to Play”.

In the Handmaid’s pilot, Bledel’s character, Ofglen, makes a 180 in the eyes of Elisabeth Moss’s Offred. The two characters, who shop together but are the de facto property of two different men, suspect each other of being enthusiastic participants in Gilead’s totalitarian state. “I sincerely believe that Ofglen is a pious little shit with a broomstick up her ass,” Offred says in voice-over as she approaches her companion with a smile. “She’s my spy and I’m hers.” With Bledel as Ofglen, you instinctively believe Offred’s assessment. Hasn’t she always seemed too perfect? Too brittle? Too willing to be a snitch? (Or was that Rory Gilmore?)

(9) MORE OF OFFRED’S VOICE. Refinery interviews Elizabeth Moss about Handmaid’s Tale, feminism, and the Trump election — “Elisabeth Moss Talks The Handmaid’s Tale — & How It’s Definitely A Feminist Show”.

“I welcome any time feminism enters a conversation. I would firstly say, obviously, it is a feminist work. This is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve been filming it for six months, I’ve been involved with it for a year, I’ve read the book nine million times. It is a feminist show, it is a feminist book, and as a card-carrying feminist, I am proud of that. [Regarding the controversy at the TriBeca Film Festival panel], I think there is a very important word, which is ‘also.’ I think that it is a feminist work, and it is also a humanist work, which is what I believe Margaret says as well, so I’ll defer to the author of the book on that one.  Women’s rights are human rights, hence how it becomes a humanist work.”

(10) THE FUTURE IN A BAG. The Verge reports: “An artificial womb successfully grew baby sheep — and humans could be next”. There are lots of “don’t celebrate yet” caveats, but many fans say it sounds like an important first step towards the “uterine replicators” in Bujold’s Vorkosigan series.

Inside what look like oversized ziplock bags strewn with tubes of blood and fluid, eight fetal lambs continued to develop — much like they would have inside their mothers. Over four weeks, their lungs and brains grew, they sprouted wool, opened their eyes, wriggled around, and learned to swallow, according to a new study that takes the first step toward an artificial womb. One day, this device could help to bring premature human babies to term outside the uterus — but right now, it has only been tested on sheep.

It’s appealing to imagine a world where artificial wombs grow babies, eliminating the health risk of pregnancy. But it’s important not to get ahead of the data, says Alan Flake, fetal surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author of today’s study. “It’s complete science fiction to think that you can take an embryo and get it through the early developmental process and put it on our machine without the mother being the critical element there,” he says.

(11) STAR POWER. An interview with the Astronomer Royal tests his ability to envision the limits of the universe: “Astronomer Royal Martin Rees on aliens, parallel universes and the biggest threats to mankind”.

Q: How big is the universe … and is it the only one?

Our cosmic horizons have grown enormously over the last century, but there is a definite limit to the size of the observable universe. It contains all the things from which light has been able to reach us since the Big Bang, about 14 billion years ago. But the new realisation is that the observable universe may not be all of reality. There may be more beyond the horizon, just as there’s more beyond the horizon when you’re observing the ocean from a boat.

What’s more, the galaxies are likely to go on and on beyond this horizon, but more interestingly, there is a possibility that our Big Bang was not the only one. There may have been others, spawning other universes, disconnected from ours and therefore not observable, and possibly even governed by different physical laws. Physical reality on this vast scale could therefore be much more varied and interesting than what we can observe.

(12) BAXENDALE OBIT. Passing of a famed comic-strip maker: “Leo Baxendale: Bash Street Kids and Minnie the Minx comic legend dies”

He was regarded by aficionados as one of Britain’s greatest and most influential cartoonists.

His creations also included The Three Bears, Little Plum and the comic Wham!.

Baxendale’s son Martin, also a cartoonist, said his father died at the age of 86 after a long fight with cancer.

(13) SUSAN WOOD REMEMBERED. Carleton University is still awarding the Susan Joan Wood Memorial Scholarship.

Awarded annually on the recommendation of the Department of English Language and Literature. Preference will be given to a student proceeding from the Third to Fourth year of an Honours program in English with an emphasis on Canadian literature. Donor: Friends and colleagues of Susan Joan Wood. Endowed 1982.

Andrew Porter recalls, “It was folded into Carleton’s general scholarship funds, after an initial funding period during which I and many other individuals and conventions provided funds.”


  • April 28, 1930 — Best known as Morticia Addams, Carolyn Jones is born in Texas.

(15) STREAKING ACROSS THE STORIED SKY: Webwatcher Jason of Featured Futures reports on the brightest lights seen this month with the “Summation of Online Fiction: April 2017”:

I thought ralan.com might have been hasty in declaring Terraform dead but I’m calling it, too. Leaving aside comic strips, after four stories in January, there’ve only been two in each of February and March and none in April. The remaining dozen prozines brought us forty-two stories of 199K words.

In one of Dozois’ Annuals (I forget which) he says something about the industry going in streaks with some years producing no anthologies about wombats and others producing ten of them. The same is true of webzines on a monthly basis. As March was Horror and Tor/Nightmare Month, so April was Fantasy, BCS/Lightspeed, and Novella Month….

(16) LONG HIDDEN CONTRIBUTOR’S FIRST NOVEL. Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey was a 2016 release from Thomas Dunne.

In her extraordinary debut, Spells of Blood and Kin, Claire Humphrey deftly weaves her paranormal world with vivid emotional depth and gritty violence. Bringing together themes of death, addiction, and grief, Claire takes readers on a human journey that goes beyond fantasy.

When her beloved grandmother dies suddenly, 22-year-old Lissa Nevsky is left with no choice but to take over her grandmother’s magical position in their small folk community. That includes honoring a debt owed to the dangerous stranger who appears at Lissa’s door.

Maksim Volkov needs magic to keep his brutal nature leashed, but he’s already lost control once: his blood-borne lust for violence infects Nick Kaisaris, a charming slacker out celebrating the end of finals. Now Nick is somewhere else in Toronto, going slowly mad, and Maksim must find him before he hurts more people.

Lissa must uncover forbidden secrets and mend family rifts in order to prevent Maksim from hurting more people, including himself. If she fails, Maksim will have no choice but to destroy both himself and Nick.

  • Bio: Claire Humphrey’s short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, Crossed Genres, Fantasy Magazine, and Podcastle. Her short story ”Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All-Female Production of Waiting for Godot” appeared in the Lambda Award-nominated collection Beyond Binary, and her short story “The Witch Of Tarup” was published in the critically acclaimed anthology Long Hidden. Spells of Blood and Kin is her first novel.

(17) DON’T BLAME DIVERSITY. Martin Wisse responds pungently to the question: “Is diversity killing Marvel sales?”

Short answer: no. Long answer:


Good gods do I hate most of what Marvel has been doing in the 21st century, from the debased widescreen storytelling to the shitting on everything its characters stand for, but what it has done right is providing space for more diverse superhero comics, both character and creator-wise. I stopped being a regular comics buyer, let alone a superhero floppies buyer since, well, the start of this century and getting a view of what the industry is like a decade and a half later I’m glad I did. Everything this dude listed as being more of a problem than Marvel pushing diversity is shit I’ve already seen in the nineties, then secondhand in the naughties, just more chaotically and more intensive. Pushing more titles, an obsession with events, an overwhelmingly short term focus at the cost of a long term vision: we’ve seen that all before. It’s just the speed that’s different….

(18) DIAGNOSIS MARVEL. ComicsBeat has a few ideas to add: “Tilting at Windmills #259: What the hell is wrong with Marvel Comics anyway?!?!”

The harder you make it to collect “Marvel comics”, the fewer people will do so. And that audience fracturing has finally come home to roost.

One personal stat that I always try to get across is that at my main store, most mainstream superhero style books, because of mismanagement of the brands by the publishers, have dropped down to “preorders plus 1-2 rack copies”. Generally speaking, this yields sell-ins that are sub-20 copies for most titles, and a truly depressing number of books are sub-5.

Sell-through is, thus, what matters for retailers as a class, and it is virtually impossible to sell comics profitably if your initial orders are so low. Even a book like “Amazing Spider-Man”, we now are down to a bare eleven preorders, and we’re selling just three or four more additional rack copies of current issues. There’s no room to “go long” here – I really only have a two copy tolerance for unsold goods before what should be a flagship book of the line becomes an issue-by-issue break-even proposition, at best. It’s just math.

(19) MORE RESOURCES. Here are some of the news reports that set the Marvel discussion in motion.

“What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity.”

“I don’t see much evidence of a sales slump at all,” Millers says. “In fact, the comics industry has seen its best stretch it’s seen in many decades over these last five years — we’ve seen five consecutive years of growth in the comics shop market.”

(20) DOWN FOR THE COUNT. Drunk gets into fight with a Knightscope robot on the copany’s premises: “Silicon Valley security robot attacked by drunk man – police”.

One local man told ABC News it was not a fair fight.

“I think this is a pretty pathetic incident because it shows how spineless the drunk guys in Silicon Valley really are because they attack a victim who doesn’t even have any arms.”

(21) ONLINE INTERNATIONAL. Around the world, lots of connectivity used for play: “Unlocking the potential of technology”. A captioned photo gallery at the link.

[Thanks to rcade, Cat Rambo, amk, Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, Bruce D. Arthurs, Hampus Eckerman, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Clack and Bonnie McDaniel, and alternate universe contributing editor Kip. W because he actually said it a month earlier.]

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140 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/28/17 Never Mind the Scrollocks, Here’s the Sex Pixels

  1. There are those who believe teal tastes like B above middle C but all true believers know it’s actually flavored like C flat. We don’t support the enharmonic heresy in these parts…

    At least one question I’ve seen with artificial wombs, via Legacy of Heorot, is the impact on children’s emotional development. Niven, Pournelle, and Barnes speculated that the stable environment of an artificial womb contrasted with the dietary and hormonal variation of a real womb might have an impact. Anyone with a biological sciences background have thoughts on whether that might actually be a valid concern or just a convenient macguffin for a story?

  2. These metaphors are poetically satisfying, but hardly useful as absolute indicators.

    Teal smells (and, presumably, tastes) like the first smoke from a burning number 3. Some say 3.1, but they are widely believed to be reaching for some comparison to pi which the figures hardly support. The vigor of their despair can only be compared to the vague pressure one gets behind the knee when bisecting the concept of leftness.

    [eta: Ghaa! The temptation to poetry is downright ineluctable!

  3. @Oneiros

    Did you see the Woman in Black at the Fortune in London? If so it’s excellent. I assume touring versions are great as well, but the one at the Fortune as been playing for close to 30 years.


    I skipped book 1 but am looking forward to your reviews of the later ones.

    (2) I WONDER

    I’ve seen the trailer in several movies but they are right that the wider advertising seems a bit muted for a putative major blockbuster. The trailer certainly makes it look good enough for me to see in the cinema (yes, I know you can make a good trailer for anything coughSuicideSquadcough but I’m a sucker).

    (3) DOC OF THE BAY


    (Also bravo to Mike for that subtitle!)


    Just been to see this, early in the hope of avoiding crowds but it was still packed. No spoilers but Soon Lee is exactly right – they did the first movie again but bigger. There are some issues around that, but it was popcorn worthy.
    My daughter saw it the night before with a friend, and I picked them up from the cinema with a stern admonition not to spoiler me. So obviously they spent the entire journey saying “I am Groot” to each other and giggling instead.




    An appertainment opportunity! “copany’s”

    I couldn’t work out what that robot was actually for, so here’s its wikipedia entry. It seems to basically be a mobile CCTV and sensor unit, which I guess helps fill in gaps in fixed security etc. Given the likelihood of more drunks, maybe they should design it more like a weeble.

  4. (10) Even though it’s not quite a uterine replicator, it promises to make survival at 22 weeks routine. Currently, babies born at 22 weeks have a 5% survival rate. That’s pretty exciting.

    @airboy It’s always discouraging when one believes a source, posts from it, and then discovers it was dishonest. To avoid that, when I read something that seems to be too good to be true (in terms of what I already believe), I make an extra big effort to research it. If possible, I want to find confirmation in sources that represent the other side.

    Even so, I still get caught sometimes. (More on Facebook than here.) It’s just so easy to believe something that’s saying things you want to believe are true. When that happens, I thank the people who researched it, apologize for believing it uncritically, and curse the publication that bamboozled me.

    In this case, I think the Federalist has earned a place on my list of known dishonest publications, in that they clearly sought to mislead people on purpose; this was not an accident.

  5. @Cheryl S.: I would not be shocked to find the Daily Forward had a great sports section, but the Daily Worker did okay, too. I’d forgotten what I once knew about Lester Rodney, but a little research (*cough* I Googled it after I Wikipediaed it *cough*) brought up this excerpt from his biography. It goes into the reasoning behind the CP’s decision to add a sports section, says a bit about their failed early efforts, and tells of Rodney’s elevation of their game and his pivotal role in desegregating baseball.

    It’s very human to see things in the good/bad dichotomy, which blinds people to things like the CP’s steadfast dedication to the defense of black Americans at a time when very few white people cared. That was a great paradox of the Soviet Union years, that a nation so oppressive at home usually picked the right side in away games.

  6. A brief career note about Joe Johnston: I’m happy at the thought of him directing a Narnia movie in large part because he does charming. He came to my attention with The Rocketeer, which had charming in large, economy-sized buckets, and most of his movies since then have had a lot of it too. Yeah, he does action and all that, but he’s willing to work at conveying the niceness of people who are nice and the fun of their interactions with each other and the world.

  7. This was a Pixel. I’m scrolling a note here: Yuge Success!

    Speaking of Doc Savage, April 28th is also James Bama’s birthday. While I may prefer the original Doc Savage pulps cover illustrations, there’s no doubt that Bama’s iconic covers for the Bantam reprints, all 62 of them, have become the way Doc is perceived by most fans.

  8. Given the likelihood of more drunks, maybe they should design it more like a weeble.

    Scrolls roll but they don’t fall down…

  9. @Chip Hitchcock
    Speaking of outgrowing (successfully?) has anyone seen Daniel Redcliffe in any adult role?

    I saw DR in THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN by Martin McDonough in 2014. He absolutely nailed the physicality of the character and vibrated tension throughout the whole play. It must have been exhausting. Though the character is treated like a child by many of the other characters in the play, he was definitely an adult.

  10. @Dawn Incognito

    Oh good one.

    That inspires:

    Oh no, not I
    I will be five
    But as long as I know how to read
    I know I will stay alive
    I’ve lotsa pixels to scroll
    And I’ve got all those pups to troll
    And I’ll be five
    I will be five

  11. Can I live in the alternate universe where not only did the 2016 election turn out differently, but the Rocketeer movie was a success that spawned a franchise? (And, in the same movie, the fourth Indiana Jones movie was good?)

  12. @ Andrew Hickey & Andrew
    Thanks, your memories are better than mine. Yes, that adaptation was pretty bad, but Baker was excellent, voice particularly.

  13. Oh and that reminds me that Jonathan Coulton’s new album Solid State is out.

    Why yes, it IS a concept album about the internet, trolls, artificial intelligence, and how love and empathy will save humanity!

  14. Greetings from autocratic Turkey, where today Wikipedia has been banned.

    This is a terrible handicap for internet arguments.

    Maybe I should start using Infogalactic?

  15. @Jack Lint — Yes, a pony and a Banzai sequel, and also The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities, as long as I’m dreaming.

  16. Re: the scent of teal

    I had to bring in the boring biological argument, but…

    “Teal” the color name is metonymic for the color of the iridescent wing stripe (in both sexes) and head coloration (in males) of certain species of the genus Anas (which also includes mallards, pintails, widgeons, and shovellers), including specifically the Common or Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca). Therefore teal smells like duck. Specifically, like wild duck.

  17. Nye believes in Eugenics – I took the source as accurate. Several pointed out the source deceptively quoted out of context. I apologize to Mr. Nye for that.

    @Aaron said: “The answer to the conundrum about Nye and eugenics is simple: airboy is a liar.” Being wrong is not a liar. But you are an obnoxious bully. Hope your ego got a boost from bullying. “This isn’t his first rodeo.” You regularly participate in the bully rodeo.

    @Techgrrl1972 – I think killing unborn children for economic convenience is wrong. Most abortions are for convenience according to the Guttmacher institute. https://www.guttmacher.org You disagree. I’m glad we agree that the ChiCom policy was wretched.

    @John A Arkansawer – “Those are two and a half things rightists hate (they’re ambivalent about technology) because they allow people to control their lives, including their reproduction.” If you think most conservatives are against contraception, then you are ignorant of what conservatives believe. If you think abortion should be used as birth control, then I could not disagree more strongly. If you believe that most conservatives want to force people to have large families, you live in an alternate universe. PS – I understood the Military SF list reasoning, just disagreed with it.

    @Camesteros – “It is, in short, an ingrained view that the great and the good are somehow that way because of breeding. It’s why the GOP don’t bat an eyelid at nepotism from those they approve of and don’t care if poor people die early, or don’t even survive child birth.” I’m afraid that you are wrong and blind to the beliefs of others. I give substantial amounts to the poor every year, especially the local poor in my State. Your other comments are fine. You pointed out I was wrong and had a laugh about it. But what I quoted is loathsome. If you believe this of me, I pity you.

    @Kurt Busiek – “When Airboy is proven wrong, he just doesn’t acknowledge it.” Funny, just yesterday I apologized for getting a name wrong. Perhaps you wish to rethink? I’ve acknowledged errors before. Perhaps you could start now?

    “His view of the world comes from believing what he’s told and then insisting on it, rather than thinking about it or examining any evidence.” Funny, that is one of the lefty snowflake means of demeaning people they disagree with. Since I’m a scientist, publish a lot, and am on 6 editorial review boards, I guess you are either “lying” as Aaron would put it or just mistaken. I’m guessing mistaken. But you could take the high road in the future.

    @Cheryl S – “Also, I hope your wife is weathering things well.” Thank you for your thoughts. She is not. It is horrible. Thanks again for your thoughts. She comes home today for a bit. It is a six hour drive and I’m worried about her lack of sleep making the drive. It is so bad the nephew and I are sending her pictures of the dogs every day to bring some joy to her life.

    @Xtifr – “As far as Bill Nye goes, even if I believed some of the wild accusations, I don’t think it would matter much. He’s an educator and TV presenter, not a scientist.” Point taken.

    @Hampus Eckerman – Familiar with the midwife story. Forcing someone who wants to deliver babies to participate in abortions is barbaric to me. You disagree.

    @Greg – “It’s always discouraging when one believes a source, posts from it, and then discovers it was dishonest.” Agreed. Then you apologize for being wrong. I don’t have time to research everything in the world. I read one outstanding source daily (Wall St. Journal) and a middling source daily (Associated Press from my local paper). And Greg, I appreciate your giving me the benefit of the doubt, unlike some who enjoy piling on.

    @ Bruce Baugh – My wife and I loved the Rocketeer movie and the comic by Dave Stevens. I have a signed original artwork from the Rocketeer on my home office wall and a metal promotional sign from the movie on my work office wall.

  18. Is Guardians of the Galaxy released abroad already? One person said they had seen it and enjoyed it? Industry insider or outside the USA?

  19. Meredith Moment – Barbara Hambly’s Dragonsbane is going for $1.99 on Amazon.

  20. @airboy Earlier release for Europe and parts of Asia. The release date for Australia and Italy was the 25th. Much of Europe got it the 26-28th. Albania gets it on the 4th of May.

  21. @Paul Weimar: For comfort re-reading, I am going through the Bujold series (already know where I’m voting it!), and I completely agree with you: And the Betans treatment of Cordelia now comes off as much more creepy than it did the first time around

    It reminds me of the whole “false memory” scandals that occurred in past year, and certainly would be deemed an abuse of medical power (pointing out that her entire future career depended on her ‘consenting’ to the treatment was horrifying). To be fair, perhaps it would not have occurred except for being in the aftermath of a war–but yes, it was one of a number of indications Beta Colony was no utopia. (I loved Emperor Ezar’s comment later on about how much Negri admired that psychologist’s mind and wanted to hire her as a consultant!). (And that comment now that I think of it proved that yes in fact the espionage was still going on and Barrayar def. had operatives on Beta!)

  22. Wonder Woman is a movie I intend to see quite early in its run, ideally first week. If my husband and I can’t manage to arrange a date night (or afternoon; until he gets a job or my ex-workplace stops spinning its wheels, afternoons work), I’m going alone and have said as much aloud.

    I really hope I’m not alone.


    I’m shamelessly optimistic about more Narnia movies, and it sounds like they put the right person in charge. Of the original three, TLTW&TW was a good but almost straight take off the book, Prince Caspian, despite the fact that I was kind of longing for some of the great romping lion parade, improved on its book about tenfold (Prince Caspian is easily the second weakest book of the series, only beaten by the Last Battle — and actually, the Last Battle is mostly messed up by prioritizing ideology over story. PC gives its story in a nonsensical order with even less reason.) VotDT was the weakest movie, but it managed to build a through-plot out of what had originally been disconnected episodes, and fixed some of Lewis’s worst stuff along the way (the slavery-and-stripping-of-the-government subplot is abysmal when you think about it), and had a lot more sympathy for Eustace than Lewis ever did.

    I adore the Rocketeer. I need to watch that again. I’m pretty sure we have a copy.

  23. @airboy:

    @Cheryl S – “Also, I hope your wife is weathering things well.” Thank you for your thoughts. She is not. It is horrible. Thanks again for your thoughts. She comes home today for a bit. It is a six hour drive and I’m worried about her lack of sleep making the drive. It is so bad the nephew and I are sending her pictures of the dogs every day to bring some joy to her life.

    I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m sure the dog pictures are helping. I hope her drive is safe, and I know you’ll give her lots of comfort when she gets home. My thoughts are with you all.

  24. @Kathodus : and Dragonsbane is in fact the first Hambly I ever read in fact. (Dog Wizard was the first one in english).
    Dragonsbane taught me that fantasy can … how do you say doux-amer in english.. oh, of course bittersweet. choices must be made, a full and clean victory happens only in fairy tales, and magic has a cost.
    The next book in the trilogy is if I remember just a bit too dark.

  25. When Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe first hit theaters, I reread the Narnia books for the first time in many years. I had forgotten (or never noticed) how … abbreviated they were; most of the major action set-pieces in the movie were tossed off with just a paragraph or two (or, in some cases, just a couple of sentences) in the book.

  26. @airboy: I appreciate your integrity in copping to passing on false information. Thank you for that. I’ve done it myself. It’s a sucky thing to admit to. When I have the heart, I’ll tell a story about my feelings regarding the rest of your comment. I’m not offended by it–you’ll know that if and when I tell it–I just don’t have the emotional energy for it.

    I will note that I said “rightists” and not “conservatives”. That was a deliberate choice of words. Those are very different things. Some folks are both. Some are one or the other.

  27. @Guillaume – Well, I hadn’t bought it even though I posted about it, because I’ve been buying too many books lately, but now I have another one for Mt. Tsundoku.

    @Airboy – best of wishes for you and your wife.

  28. airboy on April 29, 2017 at 9:01 am said:

    Is Guardians of the Galaxy released abroad already? One person said they had seen it and enjoyed it? Industry insider or outside the USA?

    It came out earlier this week In Australia.

  29. @Techgrrl1972 – I think killing unborn children for economic convenience is wrong. Most abortions are for convenience according to the Guttmacher institute. https://www.guttmacher.org You disagree. I’m glad we agree that the ChiCom policy was wretched.

    First things first: I sincerely hope that things improve for your wife.

    If by ‘econonomic convenience’ you mean ‘having food on the table’ or ‘being able to pay the rent with a shitty minimum wage job’ or ‘scraping by to finish enough education to get a better paying job’, then maybe you have a point.

    The Guttmacher Institute seems genuinely concerned about the shredding of reproductive freedom of choice for women. I skimmed more than one article and they seem more pro-choice than I would have figured from your quoting them. What I could not find (there is a LOT of data there) is a statement that “most abortions are done for economic convenience”. A link to the actual article would be nice.

    And your statement about ‘conservatives are not anti-contraception’ may be true of a majority of conservatives. However, the activist pro-forced-birthers are doing their damdest to define most forms of hormonal birth control, including Plan B, as abortifacients, which they are scientifically proven to NOT be.

    We will never agree on the question of abortion, but I will restate my position: reproductive choice is a critical freedom and is not something that the government should be involved in. Nor should fundamentalists of any religion get a vote on what people who are not members of their religion get to do.

  30. @John A Arkansawyer, Yes it was and yes I am! I made a belated thanks post in that thread, but I’m sure anyone who wasn’t still subscribed missed it.

    V guvax gur Fbheonyyf jvyy or sne zber npprcgvat bs Ubarl guna gur Pnaql Urnegf bs Ghecf. Pbpb jvyy or wryyl naq Pureel jvyy or fhcre whqtl. (V guvax Mreb jvyy or pbby.) Jurernf V frr Sbkl fnlvat “oernx ure urneg naq V’yy oernx lbhe snpr”, Qbzzr jvyy yraq fbzr Fnccuvp obbxf, naq Avpx jvyy bssre uvtu-svirf.

  31. Oh, I love the smell of teal in the morning!

    Its a scent, full of pixels, against a backdrop of scroll, with just a hint of Gods, stalked. A scent of wonder, of pride, of things archieved. A scent like Military SF from Mievielle, like Fantasy from Heinlein, like new weird by Adams. A scent that can wake you up, punch you in the face and then makes sweet love to you and helps you with your homework. Everything can be archieved with the right scent of teal! With teal like these, who needs enemies?

  32. (2) I’ve heard similar sentiments in other circles regarding the forthcoming Dark Tower movie. The poster was released last month, and there was the “Last Time Around” teaser image last year, but many people are concerned at the lack of trailers and the repeatedly pushed-back release date. I sometimes forget that they’re even making that one.

    Granted, I haven’t been going out of my way to gather news about it (mostly because I haven’t yet finished reading the books), but I keep my ear to the ground via resources like File 770 and others, so I’m sure that I’d have gotten wind of any big announcements.

  33. @John A Arkansawyer – “I appreciate your integrity in copping to passing on false information. Thank you for that. I’ve done it myself. It’s a sucky thing to admit to.”

    If you make a mistake you should admit it. It is not hard for me to do. But many people find it difficult. I have all of my sales students (200+ annually) read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and write a paper on a difficult relationship they have and a follow up paper at the end of the semester on how they applied the book and how the relationship improved (or failed to improve). Admitting fault is one of the biggest issues students discuss and changing that often improves a relationship. My students range from undergraduates to executive education. Successful salespeople and executives have usually learned this lesson.

    We are all human and make mistakes. If you are religious, you believe that we are all sinners. I admit in public every Mass that “I have sinned through my own fault. By what I have done and what I have failed to do.” If you really mean this and make a public admission of it, then admitting personal failures is not as hard as it might be otherwise.

  34. On an entirely different note, I really enjoyed “Those Who Stalk the Night” by Barbara Hambly. I’ve read quite a few of her books, and I liked this one the best.

    Her books seem to be coming up on ebook sales pretty regularly on Amazon over the last couple of years. I picked up all of the Dog Wizard books and others. Her vampire books are the ones that are seldom (if ever) discounted.

  35. @airboy Yeah, her books are in the Open Road group, and they are pretty good in getting rotating bits of their catalog on sale frequently. Been patching up my Poul Anderson collection, for instance, when he pops up…

  36. Airboy:

    “@Hampus Eckerman – Familiar with the midwife story. Forcing someone who wants to deliver babies to participate in abortions is barbaric to me. You disagree.”

    No one is forcing her. If she doesn’t want to participate, she can work at a place that does not perform abortions. Or she could have stated her opinions before seeking employement to see if her employer could accomodate her.

  37. There is a big difference in not wanting to perform an action, because that could easily have been avoided while she still could have remained a midwife, and to try to force religious exceptions into the healthcare system.

  38. @Paul – what is the “Open Road Group?” When I google it I get automobile businesses.

  39. @airboy – UK release was yesterday (but no, I haven’t seen it). And I’m sorry about your wife – hopefully home & dogs will help.

  40. @airboy – Open Road is a publisher. They’ve published a lot of Hambly and Simak and some others. A few months back they had a massive $0.00 sale on a bunch of books. There was a feeding frenzy on File770. I think I picked up 35 or so books. Anyway…

    Hugo-reading question: I’m on TLTL now, and I’m wondering if anyone’s seen a chapter-by-chapter read-through of it anywhere? I tried finding one and almost immediately stumbled onto a Wired article that gave out a major spoiler in the first paragraph. I’m only on chapter 3, so I assume it gets less confusing soon, but the writing style is allowing my attention to wander a bit more than I like. It’d be cool to go through a chapter synopsis now and then.

  41. @kathodus / Paul – That was interesting. I’ve picked up quite a few books from them in the past without knowing the connection. All Creatures Great & Small books and the Lord histories. Lord wrote very good books on Pearl Harbor, Midway, The Coastwatchers and a general US history of 1900 – 1917. None of these fit 770, but the histories I recommended to many wargamers when they were on sale.

    I picked up a couple of inexpensive Toby Peter’s mysteries this trip. That was not expected.


  42. Is this a pixel that I see before me?

    The Betans’ treatment of Cordelia creeped me out badly the first time I read it, many years ago.

    I’ve decided that I’m not doing politics today here, because of stress and depression. However, I do wish to note their indications that my practical circumstances may be about to improve. We’ll see.

  43. @Greg Hullender

    I’m planning to use Camestros’s notes on Too Like the Lightening, once I get started. Or was that not what you were looking for?

    That looks to be exactly what I’m looking for. Thanks! I avoid reading essays, articles, reviews, etc., about a book until I’ve read it, and then I forget about those essays. articles, etc. once I’m reading for them.

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