Pixel Scroll 5/20/18 I Know What You’re Thinking: Did He Scroll Six Pixels Or Only Five?

(1) SAFE AT HOME. Adweek tells about an Incredibles 2 movie product tie-in: “Why The Incredibles Needed an ADT Home Security System”.

Even superheroes need a good home security system, says a fun new ad from ADT and Disney, themed around the upcoming premiere of The Incredibles 2.

In the 30-second spot, animated by Pixar, the film’s titular super-family gets a tour of their new alarm system from superhero costume designer Edna Mode.

There are, for example, water level sensors—to safeguard against “surprise attacks” if a villain is hiding, for some reason, in a full bathtub, wielding a rubber ducking, waiting to pounce. There are motion sensors with live video—useful for tracking Mr. and Mrs. Incredible’s super-fast middle child, Dash. Intrusion detection can warn of invaders—and also help keep their teen daughter, Violet, gifted with invisibility, from sneaking out.


(2) CONSUMMATE PROFESSIONAL. Want to know how to tank your writing career before it starts? Tony Perez offers his advice:

(3) DO GIANTS SHRINK? John Scalzi tackled a question about Robert A. Heinlein’s residual influence in “Reader Request Week 2018 #6: The Fall(?!?!?) of Heinlein”.

But the question wasn’t whether Heinlein is going to disappear; it’s whether he’s declined as an influence. I think it’s fair to say he has, if for no other reason than that in the last 30 years, the scene in SF/F has changed. For one thing, fantasy and fantasy writers are much more influential in the field and on emerging writers than they were when Heinlein was alive; there’s an entire generation now edging into their 30s who grew up at Hogwarts, and for whom people like Robert Jordan (with an assist from Brandon Sanderson) and George RR Martin loom large in their landscape. Over on the SF side William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and Lois McMaster Bujold (not to mention Suzanne Collins) are much nearer influences, to name just three.

Also, as hinted above, YA authors are much more significant influences now than they were three decades ago. I can’t tell you how many younger authors count people like Tamora Pierce and Scott Westerfeld as significant in their development, and why wouldn’t they? And, yes, Heinlein wrote juvies, but the fact he wrote them is not the same as them currently being widely read and being influential. They’re not, which is not entirely surprising, as almost all of them are now sixty years old and the world they were written in doesn’t exist any more.

(4) DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS. Comics fans won’t be surprised at the wide variety of results, I suspect: “Image Comics Had Seven Different Artists Color a Black & White Todd McFarlane ‘Spawn’ Drawing”.

While we wait for more news on Blumhouse’s Spawn feature film, creator Todd McFarlane is finishing up issue #286 of the Image Comics series, which is going to printers today. For this one, Image did something pretty awesome, enlisting seven different artists to interpret a cover McFarlane drew for issue #286, in their own personal style.

The result? Seven vastly different pieces of art… which all began as the same piece.

McFarlane wrote on Facebook, “Here’s the list of AWESOME people who lent their coloring skills to Spawn issue 286 this month (in order of the covers below):

  • Jean-Francois Beaulieu
  • Nikos Koutsis
  • Moreno Dinisio
  • Frank Martin
  • Matthew Wilson
  • Owen Gieni
  • Annalisa Leoni

Pretty wild to see how much color can completely change the entire feel of a drawing…

(5) RUNNER-UP. Usually the winner gets all the publicity. Kevin Polowy, in the Yahoo! Entertainment story, “Emilia Clarke calls Brad Pitt’s $120K bid to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ with her the ‘weirdest experience of my entire life'”, says she can’t talk about the anonymous bidder who donated $160,000 to watch an episode of Game of Thrones with her to benefit Haitian relief because the bidder was anonymous.  But she says that Brad Pitt bidding $120,000 was quite strange.

Clarke clearly did not want to get into details — perhaps because the bidder from Sean Penn’s fundraiser for relief in Haiti chose to remain anonymous.

But she did speak a little more about the runner-up, Brad Pitt. The actor fell short in his attempt to spend some QT with the GoT star who plays Dragon Queen Daenerys Targaryen. Pitt bid only $120K at the Sotheby’s event.

“It was the weirdest experience of my entire life,” Clarke, 31, said of the auction. “I thought my head was going to explode. I went bright red and couldn’t stop smiling. It was amazing. I texted everyone I knew.”

(6) DEEP CUT. Shadow And Act reports “Laura Harrier’s Role As Millie Montag Cut From Fahrenheit 451”.

Laura Harrier’s role in Fahrenheit 451 was cut from the final version of the HBO film. Harrier, who is in Cannes for Black KkKlansman, revealed the fate of her role to The Wrap.

The actress, who starred last in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, would have had the rare distinction of starring in two Cannes films in one year.

Harrier was supposed to play the wife of Michael B. Jordan’s character Guy Montag, but the character was trimmed from the adaptation due to time.

“The character definitely has a big part in the book, but because of the length of the film, (director Ramin Bahrani) decided they needed to change the storyline and the structure of the film,” she said. “And unfortunately my character didn’t fit with the storyline. It’s something you always hope doesn’t happen, but I’m not the first it’s happened to, and I definitely won’t be the last.”

(7) ISS CARGO RATES. I thought there was a popular joke among hard sf writers that Newton’s fourth law tells us “Everything costs more and works less,” but Google says I misremember…. Ars Technica headline: “NASA to pay more for less cargo delivery to the space station”. A large price increase by SpaceX will overcome a smaller price cut by Orbital ATK.

A new analysis finds that NASA will pay significantly more for commercial cargo delivery to the International Space Station in the 2020s rather than enjoying cost savings from maturing systems. According to a report by the space agency’s inspector general, Paul Martin, NASA will likely pay $400 million more for its second round of delivery contracts from 2020 to 2024 even though the agency will be moving six fewer tons of cargo. On a cost per kilogram basis, this represents a 14-percent increase.

One of the main reasons for this increase, the report says, is a 50-percent increase in prices from SpaceX, which has thus far flown the bulk of missions for NASA’s commercial cargo program with its Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket.

This is somewhat surprising because, during the first round of supply missions, which began in 2012, SpaceX had substantially lower costs than NASA’s other partner, Orbital ATK. SpaceX and Orbital ATK are expected to fly 31 supply missions between 2012 and 2020, the first phase of the supply contract. Of those, the new report states, SpaceX is scheduled to complete 20 flights at an average cost of $152.1 million per mission. Orbital ATK is scheduled to complete 11 missions at an average cost of $262.6 million per mission.

But that cost differential will largely evaporate in the second round of cargo supply contracts. For flights from 2020 to 2024, SpaceX will increase its price while Orbital ATK cuts its own by 15 percent. The new report provides unprecedented public detail about the second phase of commercial resupply contracts, known as CRS-2, which NASA awarded in a competitively bid process in 2016. SpaceX and Orbital ATK again won contracts (for a minimum of six flights), along with a new provider, Sierra Nevada Corp. and its Dream Chaser vehicle. Bids by Boeing and Lockheed Martin were not accepted.

(8) DEADPOOL ROUNDUP. The Mary Sue’s Kaila Hale-Stern claims Deadpool 2 Has Trolled the Critics into Liking It” while scanning reviews of the movie.

There’s a personality divide where some people are just never going to like a main character like Deadpool or a movie like Deadpool 2, and that’s okay! It is, however, refreshing to hear that there’s fun to be had here for those who want to have it. If one of the worst things you can say is that a movie is “too hip” for its own good, our curiosity is piqued.

(9) JOE KUBERT STORYTELLER AWARD. The inaugural award was given this weekend. “‘Usagi Yojimbo’ Creator Wins First Joe Kubert Storyteller Award”The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

The first Joe Kubert Distinguished Storyteller Award was presented Saturday at Ontario’s Comic Con Revolution, and the recipient is a comic book veteran whose career has lasted for more than 30 years and multiple publishers. Stan Sakai, the creator of epic anthropomorphic historical series Usagi Yojimbo, was tapped for the honor, although he was unable to attend the ceremony.

Sakai, who was born in Kyoto, Japan, and raised in Hawaii, got his start in comics as a letterer in the early 1980s on a number of independent comic book series, including cult classic Groo the Wanderer by MAD Magazine cartoonist Sergio Aragones and Mark Evainer. He was soon writing and illustrating his own characters, beginning with The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy in the debut issue of the anthology title Albedo. Usagi Yojimbo followed in the very next issue, setting Sakai’s career path for years to come….

(10) HOSHI OBIT. Japanese monster movie actress Yuriko Hoshi (1943-2018) has died.

Actress Yuriko Hoshi, who was nominated for the Award of the Japanese Academy in 1997 for her supporting performance in Night Trains to the Stars, was perhaps most known for being a staple of Toho’s Kaiju films, appearing in Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and, most recently, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.

Today we’re sad to report, via Toho Kingdom, that Yuriko Hoshi passed away this week after a battle with lung cancer. Hoshi, born in December 1943, was 74 years old.

(11) SUBSEQUENT ARRIVAL. Jeb Kinnison, after reading Filers’ comments, has added a few hundred words to his article “Why ‘Arrival’ is Bad Science Fiction”, linked here yesterday.

(12) DESTINATION MOON. “Aiming for the Moon, Literally: One Foundation’s Plan for a Lunar Library” – but who’ll be there to check it out?

The Arch Mission Foundation has plans to put the entirety of Wikipedia, among other things, into an elaborate microfiche archive, then send it to the moon. And it’s not even the first time they’ve done something like this.

Wikipedia it seems, is everywhere on Earth—on smartphones and dumb phones, in countries with great internet access and in places with less.  But on the moon? It’ll be there soon, too, thanks to a nonprofit group with a mission to share knowledge across time and space.

(13) TRESPASSERS WILL BE VIOLATED. The colors on these Roman stone slabs faded long ago, but scientists have figured out what they were: “Ancient Romans Painted Horrifying Blood-Red Warnings on Wall Across Scotland” at LiveScience.

Ancient Romans used blood red, bright yellow and stunning white paints to illustrate dire warnings on the wall that separated them from the rebellious tribespeople of Scotland, a new study shows.

The painted warnings — including Roman eagles with blood-stained beaks, and the slain and decapitated bodies of the defeated victims of the victorious Roman legions — were shown alongside Latin inscriptions on carved stone slabs placed along a Roman rampart in Scotland.

Archaeologist Louisa Campbell from the University of Glasgow says the carved and painted stone slabs would have served as “Roman propaganda” to local tribespeople north of the Antonine Wall, a fortified wall built across Scotland by the Roman legions during the reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius in the second century A.D.

(14) SCI-FI TRAILER. 2036 Origin Unknown with Katee Sackhoff – here’s the official trailer.

(15) ARCHIE MCPHEE. A cultural icon finally gets its due in the Rubber Chicken Museum.

If you make your way to our Seattle Archie McPhee store, you’re in for a treat. Last week we premiered our new Rubber Chicken Museum! You can see the world’s largest rubber chicken and the world’s smallest rubber chicken, as well as everything in between. Our museum is dedicated to the history, cultural zeitgeist and general hilariousness of the rubber chicken. It is a must see! Plus, you can also see our new “Room 6” collection of historical novelties. You’ll get your PhD in LOL!

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day J-grizz.]

138 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/20/18 I Know What You’re Thinking: Did He Scroll Six Pixels Or Only Five?

  1. @Rev. Bob:

    Aw, shucks. Yer just sayin’ that ’cause I managed to fit your names in there. ?

    You didn’t fit in my name, and I think you did quite the fine work.

    (There’s not much to decode, seeing as how it’s the chorus and I could ID it just by word lengths and punctuation and repeated letters. But I did check at Rot13 to be sure I was right. So… if someone were to sing it aloud do they have to try and pronounce the Rot13 version?)

    @Niall McAuley: Very very few books on Earth would be worth reading behind that cover.

  2. @Ferret Bueller

    +1 for your comments on To Build a Fire. Of interest, perhaps, there’s an earlier version that has a happy-ish (or at least less fatal) ending. Somehow it doesn’t have the same impact though.

    As an aside: Jack London Historic Park in California is well worth a visit for anyone that’s ever out that way (or, at least so for someone who loves London’s work or has a strong interest in history).

  3. @Stoic Having just read the Earle Labor bio of London…I do want to go to the Historic Park sometime and see the ruins of the house he never quite finished enough to move in before it burned down.

  4. @Lenora: “So… if someone were to sing it aloud do they have to try and pronounce the Rot13 version?”

    No… although it might be funny if they made a show of trying, glared at the lyrics sheet as if betrayed, gave the audience a theatrical “I give up” expression, and “substituted” the regular chorus.

    That’s how I’d do it, anyway. I doubt there’d be anyone left in the room by the time I got that far, though. 😀

    (And now I’m kicking myself for using “just arrived” as its own rhyme in the “still rolling” stanza. My only defense is that I was tired, trying to wedge as many names as I could fit into those lines*, and simply didn’t notice the duplication. I was trying to express that feeling of the discussion really getting active about the time the next scroll showed up. Maybe I can think of a patch later. And dammit, I forgot the shoggoth and the time machine!)

    * Speaking of which: I formally apologize to Timothy for shortening his name to Tim, but I think he’d be more upset if I’d implied that Camestros had left him at home.

  5. rcade: Kinnison’s site promotes his Substrate Wars book series, and his blog is an adjunct to it. There’s the implicit hope, anyway, that people are reading it.

  6. @Paul Weimer

    Don’t think I was aware of that bio. I’ll have to check it out! The park is huge and has multiple sites to visit. If I could only do one the Wolf House ( the house you mentioned) would be it. Otherwise I’d allow a whole day. We did it in pieces but had the luxury of repeat visits when we lived in Sonoma County.

  7. @Stoic. It really is the definitive bio of London and having consumed in audio now, I really recommend it to anyone interested ib the man. I learned a ton about him.

  8. Nobody show Trump that wall decoration story–it might give him ideas.

  9. My 8th grade English teacher recommended Glory Road under the condition that we never admit that she recommended it. I don’t remember the cover, but I’m sure that it didn’t have a naked woman on it.

  10. Niall McAuley:

    The copy I read as a preteen had a naked woman with ginormous knockers on the cover (being followed by a baldy dwarf, if I recall correctly), which my older brothers teased me about unmercifully. I did not think the novel was worth it.

    I had a similar experience with another author. When I went through a bit of a vampire kick in my teens, I caught wind of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, and I took advantage of the interlibrary loan system to check out a copy of Guilty Pleasures. I’m a firstborn, so I didn’t have any older siblings to tease me about it (and the younger ones didn’t care), but oh, the teasing that I got from my dad about that title… That copy’s cover featured a couple of roses against a deep purple background, which didn’t help matters.

    I recall thinking that the novel was serviceable, but I wasn’t blown away enough to make a point of ever reading the rest of the series. Given what I’ve heard about where Hamilton eventually went with it, I think that I made the right call.

  11. Kinnison’s site promotes his Substrate Wars book series, and his blog is an adjunct to it. There’s the implicit hope, anyway, that people are reading it.

    Hoping and expecting are two different things. My personal blog, which once got 10-30 comments per post, usually gets none today. If I write there I’m not expecting wide circulation.

    What you have here at File 770 is special. It’s one of the rare places with good traffic and a boisterous commentariat.

  12. What you have here at File 770 is special.

    What we have here is a community.

  13. Translation: Those other kinds of stories are not just poor but in some way evil, because their insidious worldview will seep into your soul and sap your purity of essence…er, vital fluids…er, callow, untried youthfulness…er, pro-human optimism. It’s a very weak view of the world if it can be corrupted by merely reading something different.

    Nods. Authoritarian mindset. Exposure to Dangerous Ideas will weaken the purity of our young man and debase them. And from there to sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll it’s just a hop and a skip.

    Enough snark. There’s his basic problem right there: Chiang didn’t write the story to get you to accept that position, he wrote it to get you to entertain it (and, presumably, be entertained by it).

    I am not sure writers write to entertain – I certainly don’t, exactly. I don’t mind entertaining, but mostly I write because I can’t help it. Sometimes both the act of writing and the product are not exactly pleasant, although obviously we get something even from grim dark stuff or we wouldn’t go on writing and reading it.

    At any rate, the fact that something is not entertaining is a constant gripe of conservatives.

  14. 11) He complains about what he calls “the anti-human aspect of the plot (“everything is predestined, you can’t save your child or avoid the pain of her death”)”

    Speaking from a Buddhist perspective… well, yeah? That’s what the Five Remembrances (the Upajjhatthana Sutta) describe. This is Thich Nhat Hanh’s version:

    I am of the nature to grow old.
    There is no way to escape growing old.

    I am of the nature to have ill health.
    There is no way to escape ill health.

    I am of the nature to die.
    There is no way to escape death.

    All that is dear to me and everyone I love
    are the nature to change.

    There is no way to escape
    being separated from them.

    My actions are my only true belongings.
    I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.

    My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

    As I’ve expressed elsewhere, for me the movie was in part about the Buddhist idea that “the glass was already broken.” Realistically, although we don’t generally confront and acknowledge it, every relationship we have will end in sadness and parting, one way or another. We just don’t usually know when and how it will happen. The question of whether perfect knowledge would lead to paralysis or acceptance is an interesting one, I think.

  15. When I was a juvenile, in the seventies, my two favorite SF writers were Heinlein and Norton. When I revisited both authors’ juveniles about a decade later, my conclusion was that Norton held up a whole lot better.

    I think it’s really too bad her name doesn’t come up more often when the discussion turns to “classic SF juveniles” (which I think is more-or-less the same as what the kids call “YA” these days).

  16. I had the Berkley edition of Glory Road with this uninteresting Paul Lehr cover:


    At that point all it really needed, for me, was Heinlein’s name.

    However as far as I know Glory Road isn’t normally considered very good Heinlein by most people. I haven’ t read it since I was a kid. I used to love the juveniles and still have a couple in ‘70s paperback editions, which may get reread sooner or later.

  17. There once was a man named Paul Weimer
    A charming and talented dreamer
    I’m too tired to rhyme
    Cuz it’s BayCon crunch time
    And it’s silly to speak of his femur.

  18. @Xtifr
    Judith Tarr is currently doing a reread of various Andre Norton juveniles over at Tor.com, which will hopefully tilt the balance a little bit.

  19. @Lexica I’ve always thought the reason that The Story of Your Life is so poignant is that the protagonist conceives her daughter knowing that her daughter will die … just like every other parent in all of human history.

    Of course most parents don’t know how and when their children will die, and most hope and expect that their children will outlive them – but I doubt there are many people who make it to puberty without knowing that all life ends in death eventually. So in that sense Louise Banks is just in a more specific version of the situation that our whole species is in anyway.

  20. rcade: Hoping and expecting are two different things. My personal blog, which once got 10-30 comments per post, usually gets none today. If I write there I’m not expecting wide circulation.

    He shouldn’t have been shocked. Jeb Kinnison has been covered here many times before. It was his financial contribution that put the Heinlein bust fund over the top (and it wasn’t getting anywhere near without his help), and I’ve continued to read his social media postings since then.

    I do appreciate your point about the community that has grown up around here in the past few years. Prior to that, the traffic at File 770 wasn’t a lot different from what you get at your personal blog. Most of my posts got zero comments. Three hundred hits was a good day.

  21. Bravo, Rev. Bob!

    As for whether people SHOULD read Heinlein…they should if they want to, and if they don’t, they shouldn’t bother, says I. (Mind you, I say that about pretty much every book ever.) I fear Heinlein has never blown my mind, even though I read him at prime sensawunda age. I was also reading stuff like C.S. Friedman’s The Madness Season which had aliens being really magnificently ALIEN–nothing of Heinlein’s I ever read did anything close to that for me. I mean, his Martian was just a dude who re-discovered group sex, whoop de doo. The Raayat-Tyr were getting disconnected from their hive mind and going berserk!

    (Apologies for different icon, different computer)

  22. @Soon Lee: “Thank you! (That brought a much needed smile to my face)”

    I was rather hoping you’d like the way I put your name into that line. 😉

  23. @Cora: Norton’s “The Last Planet”/”Star Rangers” was one of those formative SF books for me – I remembered bits of it for years, long after I had forgotten its name, and when I reread it, it all came back, in a wonderful way.

  24. @Xtifr: I agree wrt Norton, though I don’t think of the books she wrote in the 50s and 60s (and onward) as juveniles. For me, her juveniles are the “Magic” series (Steel Magic, Fur Magic, Dragon Magic, Lavender Green Magic, Red Hart Magic), Ten Mile Treasure, And Seven Spells to Sunday.

  25. @Andrew: Agreed on Star Rangers. That book, and Clarke’s The City and the Stars, brought home to me the idea of deep time, when I was about nine. (I recently acquired e-copies of both; the Norton held up better than the Clarke, but both remain excellent.)

  26. I remember a number of things from Star Rangers quite vividly, though I have never reread it as an adult. I should do so. I read Witch World a few months ago and found it readable but not outstanding.

  27. Re: Embarassing book covers / titles: I was always a bit wary about being seen reading Mykle Hansen’s Rampaging Fuckers of Everything on the Crazy Shitting Planet of the Vomit Atmosphere, although I did consider it an entertaining read.

  28. Speaking of embarrassment I got a certain amount of teasing from 7th grade classmates for the title of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (gosh, that was 40 years ago).

  29. @ Andrew: Once again, a suggested slight modification – “It’s a File o’Clock world when the whistle Scrolls (no one owns a Pixel my time).” Always keep as much of the original as you can.

    @ RevBob: Bravo!

    @ Paul: He doesn’t rise to the level of meriting hostility.

  30. (11) I finally figured out what Jeb’s prescriptivist view of SF reminded me of: the Mundane SF movement. It’s a similar Procrustrean bed, placing SF works in it and lopping off bits of it if it doesn’t fit.

  31. I do appreciate your point about the community that has grown up around here in the past few years. Prior to that, the traffic at File 770 wasn’t a lot different from what you get at your personal blog. Most of my posts got zero comments. Three hundred hits was a good day.

    Anyone else now suspect that OGH was the secret puppet-master behind Sad Puppies in a dastardly plot to gain traffic?

  32. @ rcade / P J Evans: Precisely. There’s a difference between a blog, even a very popular one like, say… Cake Wrecks, and a blog with a community like this one or Whatever or Making Light or Slacktivist. The latter takes a lot more work to maintain.

    OTOH, you never know when even something you put in an obscure personal blog will get picked up and quoted elsewhere. I once discovered that one of my LiveJournal posts had been cited in a Pew Report! That *still* boggles me.

    @ Susie: Heh. I recognize that “Oh shit, what’s another rhyme for X?” feeling.

    @ RedWombat: OMG yes. That book has what I consider the best final line ever written — but you have to have read the whole thing to understand why it’s so perfect. Friedman is a master of weaving together a dozen or more seemingly-unrelated plot lines in such a way that if even one of them isn’t there the ending wouldn’t work.

  33. I didn’t have access to a lot of Andre Norton in my formative years (no Witch World in the library) but I remember reading & enjoying at least some of the Magic books, and Forerunner Foray. (Quag Keep was a bit of a puzzler, though.)

    I also remember having a discussion with my parents in which I insisted that Andre Norton was a woman, but that was mostly because I didn’t realize Andre was actually a man’s name.

  34. OTOH, you never know when even something you put in an obscure personal blog will get picked up and quoted elsewhere. I once discovered that one of my LiveJournal posts had been cited in a Pew Report! That *still* boggles me.

    Aw man, Pew! Best I got was a phone call out of the blue because a reporter in Louisiana doing an article on lawn crayfish found my LiveJournal post about finding one and I ended up getting interviewed for an article about our neighborhood nightmare crustaceans.

  35. Joe H, so you got her gender right by accident? Funny!

    I loved Norton’s juveniles. Ursula Le Guin had some great juveniles and children’s books, too. I saw Le Guin’s book “A Visit from Dr. Katz” when I was visiting cousins in Edinburgh, and loved it so much I bought a copy when I got home to the States, even though I don’t have children. And I’ve bought her Catwings series three times, giving two sets away as gifts.

  36. I didn’t read a lot of Andre Norton as a youth, but the ones that I remember, like The Crossroads of Time, could have gone either way for YA or adult SF.

  37. @Cora: Norton’s “The Last Planet”/”Star Rangers” was one of those formative SF books for me – I remembered bits of it for years, long after I had forgotten its name, and when I reread it, it all came back, in a wonderful way.

    That was literally the first SF book I remember from very young childhood. The cover mesmerized me.


  38. @Cora: Cool, thanks, I’ll look for it.

    @Ahrelia: I have no idea which of Norton’s works were officially classified as juvenile, but my middle school had a bunch which they seemed to think were in that category. And I believed ’em.

    I did generally prefer her SF to her fantasy, but both were good. (I was, I confess, a bit of an SF snob when I was a sprat.)

    @James: Thanks, I skimmed a few of those. Will definitely be going back to check out more. It’s been too long since I read more than a few of my favorites by her, so this looks like a great way to find some others to check out. (Or rediscover, in some cases.) Between those and the Tarr reviews that Cora mentioned, I’m pretty happy. 🙂

  39. Rev. Bob: I take it this means you’re not mad about being blamed for the ROT13 stanza?

    Given that I always caution people to use rot13 on the SFF Recommendations and Novellapalloza threads, I thought that it was eminently a propos. 😀

  40. @Rev. Bob: wild applause, holds up lighter, sings “la da da dee dee da, da da”

    I want us to sing it at a Filer get-together. Maybe not the rot13 part. Aah, what the heck, we could all try to mumble it phonetically.

    Mike, is there anywhere this could be saved? I should think we have an entire File 770 Songbook by now.

    @Bruce A: I dimly remember that. Mostly that I was confused by it (I probably tried to read it too young).

    People who want to visit Jack London State Ranch can note it’s not that far from Worldcon this year. Could do it in a day trip if you get up early for the drive.

    (11) Is this the first time he came across the startling idea that everyone’s going to die, no matter how much you love them? I found this very disturbing as a small child when I realized it, but now I’m grown up and accept it.

    This is the utterly dull “Glory Road” cover I read:

    None of them beat the original Emsh magazine cover, of course.

    What’s Susie Rodriguez know about Paul’s femur that we don’t? (See ya next weekend — eek, must do some laundry)

    Everything I know about lawn crawdads, I learned from RedWombat.

    My junior high sure thought Norton was juvenile, having a ton of them and even allowing “Star Man’s Son” to be read for book reports (multiple copies, then). But they didn’t have any “Witch World”; that waited till high school.

  41. As for blog posts getting picked up in unexpected places, when French actor Pierre Brice died in 2015, I wrote a blog post about it, because like pretty much everybody who was young in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s Germany Pierre Brice was very much an iconic figure for me in his role as the heroic Apache chief Winnetou.

    The next day, I got a phone call (“Someone’s speaking English on the phone. Must be for you.”) from a lady who worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Apparently, they were covering the death of Pierre Brice on their culture program and mine was the only English language text they found on the internet that explained why he was important to so many people. And so I wound up getting interviewed on Canadian radio.

Comments are closed.