Pixel Scroll 5/23/16 Ralph 124C41Pixel

(1) EMMA WATSON IS BELLE. The new Beauty and the Beast teaser trailer conveys the faintest hint of the movie’s remarkable cast.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.


(2) POUNDED IN THE POUND. “Chuck Tingle” has registered therabidpuppies domain and put up a website.

Hello my name is CHUCK TINGLE (worlds greatest author).

sometimes devilmen are so busy planning scoundrel attacks they forget to REGISTER important website names. this is a SOFT WAY of the antibuckaroo agenda but is also good because it makes it easy for BUDS WHO KNOW LOVE IS REAL to prove love (all). please understand this is website to take DARK MAGIC and replace with REAL LOVE for all who kiss the sky.  here are some links that make bad dogs blue very upset (as angry NORMAL men)

(3) FUTURE OF TREK FAN FILMS STILL CLOUDY. ScienceFiction.com feels that despite J.J. Abrams’ announcement that the Axanar lawsuit is “going away” it may not be that simple – and it may not clear the way for other fan films.

For CBS and Paramount, the issue seems to be far from over.  Per reports from Tommy Kraft, creator of the ‘Star Trek: Horizon’ fan film, made on the project’s Facebook page, CBS has contacted him within the last 30 days with a cease and desist on a sequel project that he was preparing to launch.

Kraft’s statement on the Star Trek: Horizon FB page begins:

Yesterday it was announced by JJ Abrams and Justin Lin that the lawsuit over the Axanar project would be “going away.” I’ve had many people ask if Federation Rising, the sequel to Horizon, will now happen. As some of you may know, we had plans to launch a Kickstarter for Federation Rising on April 23rd, but just days after announcing our plans, CBS informed us that we could not continue. After fact-checking the phone number and email address, I can confirm that it was absolutely CBS I spoke to.

Repeated attempts to communicate with CBS via phone and email since that incident have gone unanswered. As of this time, we’ve received no indication that we would be allowed to legally continue our plans to create Federation Rising and the poor reception to our original science fiction space film, Project Discovery, has indicated a decline in interest for crowdfunded films. This whole experience has left me disenchanted with the Star Trek fan film genre and uninterested in moving forward on Federation Rising even if we were told it would now be okay. So the question is: why?

Quite frankly, I’ve been quiet on this for some time but feel the need to speak out. The Axanar case caused a rift in the community and has led to many folks feeling wary of new projects. With the announcement that the lawsuit was going to “go away”, I became quite frustrated, much moreso than when CBS told me I could not move forward with Federation Rising. The reason is two-fold: Axanar should not get off so easy and it has come to my attention that CBS/Paramount had plans to drop the lawsuit for sometime but still told me not to continue with my sequel due to the legal troubles with Axanar.

Kraft seems far more angry at Axanar’s Alec Peters than CBS, for his post continues with a detailed history of Kraft’s involvement with the earlier Axanar movie in which Peters is heavily criticized.

(4) SWIRSKY CONFOUNDS BULLIES. You can too. “Guest Post by Rachel Swirsky: Confounding Bullies by Raising Money for LGBTQ HealthCare” on Ann Leckie’s blog.

Since I’m here on Ann’s blog, I’ll point out that if we reach our $600 stretch goal, she and I, along with writers John Chu, Adam-Troy Castro, Ken Liu, Juliette Wade, and Alyssa Wong, will write a story together about dinosaurs. I really want this to happen, so I hope we reach the goal. We’ve got about a week left to go!

(The $600 goal was met today. Check the following link to learn what the $700 stretch goal is….)

If you want the whole story behind the fundraiser, you can read it here– https://www.patreon.com/posts/posteriors-for-5477113. But here’s what I have to say today:

There’s advice I’ve heard all my life. You’ve probably heard it, too.

In elementary school, it was “ignore the bullies.” It never seemed to work…..

Bullies can hurt people. That’s what “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” is about, and perhaps why it makes bullies howl. But you know what else it’s done? It’s inspired hundreds of people to come to me and tell me about their experiences being bullied as kids or being hated as adults, being pummeled or harassed, and how they’ve moved past it. How “Dinosaur” has been cathartic for them, has helped them realize they aren’t alone.

Bullies aren’t the only ones who can travel in groups. We have our bonding and our strength. And at its best, it can be fun, and silly. It can destroy hatred with humor and positive energy. It can emphasize kindness and compassion. I believe in the power of humor, and I believe in the power of people clasping hands to help other people.

Don’t get me wrong. Humor won’t stop the bullies either. We’re always going to have to spend our time walking carefully around some amount of crap on the carpet. But humor reveals that the emperor is not only naked, but not even an emperor—as often as not, he’s some poor, pathetic exiled criminal, dreaming of ruling the world with an army of poltergeists and toddlers.

(5) SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WRITING CLASSES. Cat Rambo is creating “New Plunkett Scholarships for my online classes”.

Going forward, each class has one slot that is the Plunkett slot, which is reserved for someone who couldn’t otherwise pay for the class. To apply for a Plunkett, mail me at catrambo AT gmail.com with the subject line Plunkett Application (class name/date). In the email, provide a brief statement regarding you want to take the class. Plunkett eligibility is self-determined and covers the cost of the class in full; it is based on whether or not you can afford to take the class otherwise. If you can’t but feel it would be helpful to you, I encourage you to apply. The name of the recipient remains private. I particularly welcome QUILTBAG and PoC participants. The Plunkett scholarships are named for Edward Plunkett, who wrote as Lord Dunsany.

Why am I calling them the Plunkett scholarships? Because it amuses me, and because that’s the name I gave the little press I’m using to self-publish some story collections. There’s some interesting class-based tensions coiled inside the Plunkett/Dunsany name and I figured that made it a good name for a scholarship whose criteria are economic.

Why am I doing it? Recently Keffy R.M. Kehrli paid for one of my classes for a student and it got me to thinking about it. F&SF has a rich tradition of paying it forward, and while I’m trying to do some of that with the SFWA Presidency, this is another way to help ensure a rich range of new voices in the field. I want these folks around to write wonderful fiction for me to read. So yep, this is a purely selfish move on my part.

(6) CATCH. There seems to be an extra page in Joe Hill’s encyclopedic knowledge of cinema.

(7) DESERT ISLAND BOOK. The question of the day from Baen.

(8) ALTERNATIVE HISTORY. Editor Glenn Hauman has launched an Indiegogo appeal to fund the Altered States of the Union anthology filled with stories that ask questions like these —

What if

  • New Amsterdam was merged into New Jersey instead of becoming New York?
  • Freed slaves were given the state of Mississippi after the Civil War?
  • Aaron Burr succeeded in invading Mexico?
  • Joseph Smith and his religious followers settled in Jackson County, Missouri?

The authors who will supply the answers are Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald, Brendan DuBois, Malon Edwards, G.D. Falksen, Michael Jan Friedman, David Gerrold, Alisa Kwitney, Gordon Linzner, Sarah McGill, Mackenzie Reide, Ian Randal Strock, and Ramón Terrell.

The goal is $5,000

(9) TWO MISTAKES. Steve Davidson takes on Jim Henley and George R.R. Martin in “Hugo Gloom & Doom” at Amazing Stories.

The second mistake is in thinking that the Hugo Awards are a thing that is defined by its individual parts – the voting methodology, the ceremony, the lists, the shape of the award itself.

The Hugo Awards are a concept.  A self-referential celebration of Fannishness.  Changing how, or when, the awards are determined doesn’t negatively effect its character, so long as well-meaning Fans continue to participate in good faith – and despite the actions of those who have negative intentions.  The Hugo Awards are a belief in the rightness and goodness of Fanishness;  if, at the end of time, there are only two Fans left in the universe and they decide to host a Worldcon and vote for Hugo Awards, it will still be Worldcon, the awards will still reflect the traditions and history of Fandom and they will still retain their Fannish character.  (And it doesn’t take two Fans.  It only takes ONE fan to make something Fannish.)

Right now, well-meaning Fans, for whom there is no question of the character of the awards, are exhibiting true Fannishness by voluntarily working on methods designed to address the issues that have arisen over the past couple of years.  They do this out of love for the awards and, by extension, love for Fandom.  NOTHING can change or diminish that.  As long as that love remains, the Hugo Awards will retain their character.

You’ll need to read the post to find out what the first mistake is….

(10) SAY IT AIN’T SO. Can it be that some movie superheroes don’t look exactly as they do in comic books? Where is my forehead cloth?

The outfit featured in Deadpool set the new standard, and both Black Panther and Spider-Man’s costumes in Captain America: Civil War look fantastic. But for every comic-accurate costume, there are plenty more page-to-screen adaptations that are just…wrong.


(11) FINDING LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE. Frontiers of Science and Science Fiction plans a live online panel May 27.

How will we discover life in the universe? What are the cosmos’ biggest unknowns? How do scientific discoveries inspire and transform the stories we tell? Join sci-fi authors Larry Niven, Kim Stanley Robinson, Connie Willis, Allen Steele, Charlie Stross, Joe Haldeman and Harry Turtledove and a panel of the scientists and engineers of the Hubble and Webb space telescopes as they explore the places where their worlds collide.

Get insight into the scientific and creative processes as they discuss topics ranging from why we can’t seem to find evidence of intelligent aliens to the ways that science happens in real life.

The panel will be livestreamed May 27 at 11:15 a.m. ET on Frontiers of Science and Science Fiction (YouTube), and archived for viewing later on the HubbleSite YouTube channel.

(12) YAY PLUTO. Continuing insights from flyby data: “Scientists make huge discoveries on Pluto”.

It’s been nearly a year since New Horizons blasted past Pluto and sent back incredible images and groundbreaking data, but because of its incredible distance from the Earth, data is still coming in at a trickle, and it’s leading to new discoveries about the planet on a regular basis.

For example, a new study published earlier this month in the Journal of Geophysical Research — Space Physics found that Pluto behaves less like a comet and more like a planet in the way it interacts with solar wind — a big deal considering the fact that just a few years ago Pluto was demoted from its former status as the ninth planet in our solar system.

(13) CLARKE CENTER. The La Jolla Light has a recap of the first lecture in the Clarke Center’s “Science Fiction Meets Architecture” series, which featured Kim Stanley Robinson and Usman Haque — “Sci-fi meets architecture in the Clarke Center. What would it be like to live in 2080 London?”

Robinson warned those gathered that sea levels are rising even faster than scientists thought they would. “This is one of the greatest problems that humanity faces,” he said, noting America might end up with some of its major cities — like New York and Miami — halfway under water, becoming a “Super Venice, Italy.”

Robinson explained that the problem stems from melting ice in western Antarctica and Greenland, an unstoppable process once it gets going.

He is also worried that the ice from eastern Antarctica will also begin to melt to compound the problem.

Robinson mentioned one possible solution; building 60 huge pumping stations that would pump the melting ice water back up onto the Antarctic bedrock for refreezing.

His presentation was followed by a “Telesmatic” lecture slideshow by architect Haque that came over the Internet from London in real time. Haque is a founding partner of Umbrellium and Thingful, and has won awards from the Design Museum UK, World Technology, Japan Arts Festival, and Asia Digital Art Association.

Haque prefaced his talk with the statement, “I tend to work in the here and now. I don’t usually speculate about many years into the future,” and went on to clarify that he doesn’t consider his work to be “speculative,” which typically produces ironic, tongue-in-cheek designs. He calls his type of futuristic architecture “participatory design,” because “it has no final images or outcomes, but rather designs a system that enables others to produce outcomes.”

(14) SOMEWHERE OVER. This installment of What If by xkcd starts with a Star Wars-related question — “Tatooine Rainbow”.

Since rainbows are caused by the refraction of the sunlight by tiny droplets of rainwater, what would rainbow look like on Earth if we had two suns like Tatooine?

(15) SADDLE UP. Fast work by Camestros Felapton. Mere minutes after Castalia House announced its new Peter Grant western novel, Camestros was pitching a parody cover to Timothy the Talking Cat.

[Camestros] Look what I made you! [Timothy] Not interested.

[Camestros] But it is the new old-genre. The happening place for aspiring alt-right cat-based publishers.

[Timothy] It’s just not my thing….

[Camestros] Vox is doing one. See https://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/brings-lightning-by-peter-grant.html The Boycott-Tor-Books guy is writing it. Manly men with guns!  Manly American men with guns!

[Timothy] (sigh) What’s that thing on the cover.

[Camestros] A walrus – you LIKE walruses. They’ve got whiskers.

(16) PETER GRANT. On the other hand, Peter Grant is delighted with Vox Day as his editor: “Why did I publish through Castalia House?” at Bayou Renaissance Man.

Lightning_480 COMP

Vox was my editor in getting the book ready for publication.  He stated up front that he wanted to ‘make a good book better’, not try to remake it in his image, or make it into something it wasn’t.  I found him a very effective editor indeed.  He went through my manuscript and made many proposed changes, averaging two or three per page, but did so on the basis that these were his suggestions rather than his demands.  I was free to accept or reject each of his proposed changes.  In about two-thirds of cases, I went along with his proposals.  They did, indeed, make the book better.  In the remaining third of cases, I went with what I’d originally written, or re-wrote a few lines, because I felt it fitted in better with my vision for the book and what I hope will be the series into which it will grow.  Vox accepted that with aplomb.  The man’s a gentleman.

There will doubtless be those who’ll be disappointed that I’ve chosen to publish with a man, and a publishing house, that they regard with the same revulsion as the Devil regards holy water.  To them I can only say, go read what my friend Larry Correia had to say about Vox last year.  I endorse his sentiments.  I don’t share all – or possibly even most – of Vox’s opinions, but then he’s never asked me to share or support them in any way, shape or form.  He’s merely tried to be the best editor he can be, and help me be the best writer I can be.  I’ll be damned if I condemn him because of past history or exchanges to which I wasn’t a party, and in which I had no involvement at allNot my circus, not my monkeys.  I certainly won’t demand that he embrace political correctness.  As you’ve probably noted from my blog header, that’s not exactly a position I embrace myself!

(17) MORE BOOM, MORE DOOM. Here’s the Independence Day: Resurgence official International Extended Trailer #1.

(18) RETRO RACHEL. Here’s Rachel Bloom at the 2011 Worldcon singing “Season’s of Love” …in Klingon!

Rachel Bloom’s performance at Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention. She was at the convention because her song “F*** Me Ray Bradbury” was nominated for a Hugo award.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Will R., Vox Day, and Tracy Vogel for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

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211 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/23/16 Ralph 124C41Pixel

  1. Let us also not forget Barbarian Cote: a heartwarming tale of a Hyborian sword swinger retired to a life of pigeon keeping. 😛

  2. I liked Shatner’s Burberry Coat more than his later outer garment, TJ Duster.

    (Still without laptop. Control button in wrong spot. Being driven slowly mad.)

  3. I’ve never understood the friendzone thing. I was listening to Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield* earlier and the song is all about doing the right things to get the girl – trying to steal your best friend’s girl. The sense of entitlement, lack of integrity, and treating the girl as a thing you get rather than a person struck me again as I was reading comments here.

    *I had a crush on him in high school when he was on one of the soaps I watched so a few of his songs are on one my long playlists. Nostalgia

  4. Kip:
    It’s a matter of prep. Bottom Ramen tastes okay, but you have to pound the hell out of it.

    I see what you did there, and I’m only annoyed I didn’t get there first.

    I hear the recipe is improved if you add some ground chuck.

  5. StephenfromOttawa

    I have “The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard” on my Kindle and have slowly read about 80% of them. Excellent suspenseful stories mainly set in the desert southwest, most originally published in magazines in the ’50s. They don’t have the humour and amusing dialogue of Leonard’s later crime novels but they are very readable

    If it has Blood Money in there that has one of my favorite line of all time. When thieves are holed up by a posse and trying to screw each other over for the money figuring anyone the posse kills just makes their cut larger, one guy wants to leave and they tell him the posse will cut him down he says something like “I die in here or at home, it’ll be the same distance to hell.”

    Elmer Kelton is a good time. Max Brand will always be one of my favorites because the way his narratives just wandered all over the place. One book a significant portion of the text is from the POV of a wild horse.

    Lansdale’s Paradise Sky was just awesome. And his Ned The Seal books could find a home alongside There Will Be Walrus. The Winter Family was also a good recent one with non-traditional storytelling in it.

  6. Tasha Turner on May 24, 2016 at 4:15 pm said:
    I’ve never understood the friendzone thing. I was listening to Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield* earlier and the song is all about doing the right things to get the girl – trying to steal your best friend’s girl. The sense of entitlement, lack of integrity, and treating the girl as a thing you get rather than a person struck me again as I was reading comments here.

    *I had a crush on him in high school when he was on one of the soaps I watched so a few of his songs are on one my long playlists. Nostalgia

    ObSF: Rick Springfield played Zac in the first episode of the original Battlestar Galactica…

  7. Says TYP:

    Indeed; the museum at the University of Chicago that contains the (extensive) collection of artifacts from ancient Iran, Mesopotamia, and Egypt is called the Oriental Institute, because back when ships sank more often, that was the Far East.

    The University of Chicago is where Barbara Mertz, AKA Barbara Michaels AKA Elizabeth Peters, earned her BA, MA and PhD, focusing on Egyptology, supposedly inspired by a love for the Oriental Institute.

    I believe that part of the disdain for “Oriental” as a term for an Asian person stems from Said’s discussions of “Orientalism” (in the 70s) as a kind of exoticizing and othering of — and condescension towards — Asian people. I knew it from the film studies side, where the Dragon Lady and Ming the Merciless and Fu Manchu and all those Hollywood stereotypes were in play (and making life miserable for actors of Asian descent), but I seem to recall that Said was tying Orientalism into Colonialism in a broader sense, with all of the superior/inferior, advanced/backward and civilized/uncivilized stereotypes that spring from that.

  8. Re Leonard and Westerns: I was amused to realise that the overall plot arcs of each season of the Leonard-based Justified were the plot arcs of classic Western films – including one that was based on one of Leonard’s own Westerns…

  9. @Simon Bisson:

    Re Leonard and Westerns: I was amused to realise that the overall plot arcs of each season of the Leonard-based Justified were the plot arcs of classic Western films – including one that was based on one of Leonard’s own Westerns…

    Say more!

  10. Although it’s not reflected in most of the ways the term “Orientalism” has grown to be used lately, Edward Said’s book Orientalism for the most part was a critique of the scholarly discipline that used to be called by that name: it concerned itself with how scholars define their object of study, whise voices are considered authoritative, what methodologies would be accepted… and how all that fit into the context of defining an other and how scolarship was inextricably interwoven with colonialism. So the term has broadened and shifted since that first, extremely influential book. But this does explain why it is named after the field of study of people who used to call themselves “orientalists” (my former university had a department called Area Studies that concerned itself with much the same parts of the world that orientalists used to.)


    I’m still singing “Radio SFWA” to myself. All day long. Every damn day. Despite listening to a bunch of other songs in an attempt to rid myself of it. 😡

  12. Not going to filk Jessie’s Girl with “Shatner’s Rug” lyrics. Not going to filk Jessie’s Girl with “Shatner’s Rug” lyrics. Not going to filk Jessie’s Girl with “Shatner’s Rug” lyrics. Get it together, Will.

  13. @Jim Henley and JJ

    I’ve found there’s a universal cure for ear worms: just start reciting the Gilligan’s Island lyrics to yourself. Soon enough it will replace the original ear worm. Of course some might find the cure worse than the disease…

    Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…

  14. @Jim Henley
    I’m sorry although it’s nice having company

    I’ve only watched without sound so I haven’t been hit with the SFWA ear worm 🙂

    @Will R & Stoic Cynic
    Join me in the corner 😉

  15. OK, speaking of westerns and Roger Zelazny (no, I’m sure someone mentioned Zelazny …), is anyone familiar with Wilderness?


    At least part of it is apparently about Hugh Glass, as made famous most recently in the movie The Revenant. I haven’t read it myself yet, but it’s probably going onto the list.

  16. I’m glad you all liked my Vogon idea. And indeed, why didn’t any of us think of it before? I’d intended to toss it off as a flip SF reference, but the more you think about it… it explains so much. Like the prolixity, and the “filing cabinet in the basement with a leopard” being so accessible attitude. @cubist’s question I leave as an exercise for someone else to answer.

    @Vivien: It is considered racist in the US to describe people. It used to refer to people of East Asian descent. Who are now logically called “Asians”. Nowadays the only acceptable use of the word is to describe rugs and other such inanimate objects, generally Middle Eastern; fancy carpets from Iran. Not culture. Only the cheapest of food. It’s the sort of word your grandfather (or older) might use and you cringe a little. Anyone who’s younger using it is either clueless or racist.

    @Jack Lint: As a small child, the oriental/occidental thing confused me greatly. I could look at a globe and see which was east and which was west of me!

    (4) “Walrus” V really is worth reading. There’s many delightful turns of phrase and lots of giggles. I’m serious about it being on my Hugo longlist for next year.

    (7) For reading purposes, probably the Cordelia N-V stories omnibus. Because her stories of survival and bad-ass-itude would be inspirational in that case.

    @Matt Y, maybe he’s complaining that the romance is sometimes from the woman’s POV. That her feelings are taken into account nowadays, and she doesn’t just serve as a reward for the hero. And the manly man cowboy also thinks about her feelings and her worth as a person. But yes, settling down at the end with his best girl is one of the classic Western plots, so romance has always been there.

    @Lowell: Same here. I like Joe Hill (have read some comics and shorter work) but I don’t like horror. I wish he’d write something not-horror. Fantastical but not so much with the scary/gross. I think he could do it.

    @Aaron sez

    Grant organized a boycott in support of Beale’s ideological aims, and then offered Grant a book contract. That seems an awful lot like a quid pro quo is going on.

    Well of course it is. Puppy projection. They’re always doing what they accuse their “opponents” of doing. They only think one way and simply can’t conceive that other people think differently — including not being so craven and doctrinaire. They don’t believe that people do stuff without promise of personal gain (odd how so many of them claim to be Christian; I believe Jesus was big on selflessness). They don’t believe most people spend basically no time studying “enemies” and strategizing. And they don’t believe LOVE IS REAL.

    Also earwormed. “why can’t I find a woman like that?” Because you’re an entitled, petulant neckbeard? (The song character, not Rick, who probably got all the ladies he wanted in those days)

  17. Barbary COAST. Coast, coast, coast. Arrgh. Always reread before you post.

    That sort of rhymes, at least.

    ETA: Like I’m doing right now.

  18. I see Chuck Tingle Hodor’d the rabid puppies…

    If this was reddit this would a classic karma pimp post. File770 needs add a karma button for upvotes.

  19. @guess I swear, I was loading this page to type “Votedor” when I saw your post.

  20. They already made this movie, some time ago. Is this the A.A. Abrams reboot, where the monster is actually W.C. Fields, Belle is butch and it all takes place in 1930’s Philadelphia?

  21. Joe H. on May 24, 2016 at 5:52 pm said:

    OK, speaking of westerns and Roger Zelazny (no, I’m sure someone mentioned Zelazny …), is anyone familiar with Wilderness?

    Wow, no, I somehow have managed to completely miss that one, despite being a big enough fan that I bought his long-unpublished non-SF mystery/thriller, The Dead Man’s Brother, solely on the strength of his name.

    (It was ok, but probably not worth rushing out to buy unless you’re a huge fan, like me.)

    Checking the bibliography on Wikipedia, it seems that Wilderness is one of only two Zelazny works I’ve managed to miss. I’m definitely going to have to hunt them both down now. So thanks for the heads up, and sorry I don’t have any answers for you.

    Regarding Westerns in general: I’m not a huge fan. In fact, that’s one of the problems I had with Firefly. But I did read a whole bunch of my grandmother’s Lone Ranger books when I was young, and found them quite enjoyable. Much better (even when I was young) than the radio/tv/etc. version. If you are a Western fan, I’d recommend checking these out. (Though I can’t say whether the suck fairy has visited in the intervening years.)

  22. Xtifr on May 24, 2016 at 6:29 pm said:

    Checking the bibliography on Wikipedia, it seems that Wilderness is one of only two Zelazny works I’ve managed to miss

    Out of curiosity, what was the other?

  23. Richard Matheson was also a western author and wrote some weird west tales who is worth checking out. While influential in several other genres his Westerns are pretty fun as well.

  24. @Hampus Eckerman

    Westerns… I read Karl Mays books about Old Shatterhand as a kid. They were great then. No idea how they would be now.

    I picked up Karl May’s collected works on the iBooks store a few days ago. At 27000 pages (not a typo!) for a few dollars, this was a steal.

    Every now and then, I’m reading some of his works to my older son. They definitely have not aged well, between the enthusiasm of the narrator for encountering fellow Germans everywhere, the Christian kitsch (Winnetou dying, literally, to the accompaniment of a choir singing Schubert’s “Ave Maria”), the blatant racism (The oriental cycle I enjoyed so much as a boy features Herrenmensch May directing his servant to use his hippopotamus-skin whip to bring effete orientals into line), but there is still some fine adventure yarn to be had in between.

  25. @Matt Y

    No clue where [Peter Grant is] getting the erotica stuff. He must be looking in the back part of the bookstore instead of what’s on the Western shelf.

    Maybe Chuck Tingle’s Buffalo Buffalo buffaloed my Butt?

    As for good Westerns to read, I love McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove saga.

  26. @Xtifr — Flare is one of those [where “those” = “late-period collaborations”] that I remember seeing on the shelf, but never actually picked up. I need to reread Zelazny, but I keep hoping more of his classic stuff will pop up on Kindle.

  27. John M. Cowan on May 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm said:

    Daniel Dern: Let’s not forget Shatner’s sorta western TV series, Barbary Coat, where he played a secret agent in 19th-century San Francisco.

    I see your Shatner and raise you one Bruce Campbell, as the title character in THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY, JR., SciFi channel’s western/steampunk series.

  28. Aaron: Okay, why did my Stylish white-out modifier stop working for File 770?

    You forgot to send Mike Nesmith his royalty payment?

  29. Okay, this is a silly thing to base a first (real) comment on, but I have got to disagree with those of you saying that “Oriental” as a word seems harsh or angular or whatnot. It has two liquids and a nice selection of vowels, and in my (West Coast American) accent the plosive is not very aspirated at all. Also, reading Kipling’s phrase “more-than-Oriental splendour” at a young age pretty much guaranteed that the word would sound mysterious and beautiful, even if I didn’t quite know what it meant then. (I did know the word “splendor.”)

    “Asian”, on the other hand, while having a gentle sound to it, undeniably looks angular in most common fonts. The formative childhood book establishing that was Alphabets and Images, which my mother and I checked out very frequently from the library. It makes a case for why “A” is not for apple, lacking the roundness so central to appleness, but “a” is.

    All of this is not to disagree with the cultural implications already discussed. Just the words’ appearances and sounds.

  30. I loved “Shane,” both the book and the movie. But over time, I combined them into a single experience in my head which unfortunately puts the actual book and actual movie to shame. Gotta be careful about that…
    Also, for a more modern take on the western, I love Craig Johnson’s “Longmire” series. I caught the TV version on Netflix, which led me to the books. Trying not to do to them what I did to “Shane.”

  31. Well, I just got done reading the Stephen King novelette “Obits”, and I can see why it was nominated by the Puppies.

    1) it’s an unremarkable horror story
    2) about a thirty-something asshole loser who is still living in his parents’ basement
    3) who gets a job writing viciously nasty and snarky obituaries for a TMZ-like celebrity gossip website
    4) and then by accident discovers that when he writes a nasty obit for a live person, [you know exactly what goes here, which is why the story is utterly unremarkable]
    5) who then has the absolutely drop-dead gorgeous woman editor falling all over him to shag him repeatedly despite his constant sexist objectification of her
    6) with a callous dismissal of the trauma of rape thrown in for a bonus.

    This story will be going below No Award on my ballot.

  32. I now want to do an alien invasion story which isn’t so much a concerted invasion, as a swarm of aliens picking out valuable places to homestead, and killing any human who protests. If national armies try to remove them, a troop of blue-suited aliens show up to defend the homestead and kill any dangerously savage humans.

    Naturally settlements should spring up to serve the rough independent-minded aliens who are mining our cities, or grazing their creatures on our farmland…

  33. JJ on May 24, 2016 at 11:53 pm said:
    Well, I just got done reading the Stephen King novelette “Obits”, and I can see why it was nominated by the Puppies.

    I imagined Stephen King was nominated by the Puppies solely due to who he is – a respected and commercially successful author – and that the content of the actual story was irrelevant. You know, because it will be an OUTRAGE if the SJWs don’t give him an award.

  34. Tasha Turner: Thank you for throwing yourself on the sacrificial altar and saving me a PTSD triggering read.

    If it were an utterly amazing story, it might be worth working past that — there is a rape victim advocacy element to it (but also a vicious revenge element tied to that).

    But it just reads like King phoned the story in.

    I was trying to figure out what the story reminded me of when I was reading it — and then it hit me: “The Day the World Turned Upside Down”. Both of these stories feature a main character who thinks he’s a hero, but doesn’t realize that, actually, he’s an asshole. I will say that King’s character does show a bit of personal growth by the end — but he’s still pretty much blithely un-self-aware. 😐

  35. You know, because it will be an OUTRAGE if the SJWs don’t give him an award.

    Of course, many Worldcons have failed to Hugo up Mr. King. If memory serves, only one managed to overcome this tendency.

  36. Yeah, that is a DEATH NOTE idea but the story idea dates back to a Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith. And a movie titled IT HAPPENED TOMORROW. From the 1940’s.

    Earworm: The Morthra Song is far worse.

  37. Feck it everyone knows King wrote a story about an embittered expatriate in a socialist European hellhole with decent health care who discovers when he writes snarky parody accounts of every year’s Hugo awards ceremony they turn out to come true! Because he writes them after the ceremonies. With this extraordinary new power he embarks on a bloody and brutal campaign of revenge and claws himself to the pinnacle of a sort of middle place where everyone hates him and his books and really wishes he would just go away. Then, in a devastating twist, a proposed reform of the Hugo voting procedures is so potent it writes him out of reality completely the end. It’s called EPHerything’s EPHentual. It’s in a collection called The Night Filer.

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