Pixel Scroll 5/24/17 Hives And Filers Were Spawned To be Released

(1) COLLATERAL DAMAGE. This week’s terrorist bombing in the U.K. has quashed Wonder Woman’s London premiere.

Warner Bros. has canceled its Wonder Woman premiere in London, following Monday’s terrorist attack following an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

“Our thoughts are with those affected by the recent tragedy in the U.K.,” the studio said in a statement. “In light of the current situation, we will not be proceeding with our plans for the Wonder Woman premiere and junket activities in London.”

The red carpet event had been scheduled for May 31…

(2) STAR POWER AHEAD. Vanity Fair’s “Cover Story: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Definitive Preview” includes great cast photos.

The first trip to Skellig Michael was wondrous: an hour-long boat ride to a craggy, green island off the coast of Ireland’s County Kerry, and then a hike up hundreds of stone steps to a scenic cliff where, a thousand years earlier, medieval Christian monks had paced and prayed. This is where Mark Hamill reprised his role as Luke Skywalker for the first time since 1983, standing opposite Daisy Ridley, whose character, Rey, was the protagonist of The Force Awakens, J. J. Abrams’s resumption of George Lucas’s Star Wars movie saga….

“When I read the script for Episode VIII, I went, “Oh my God, we’re going back?’ Because I said I was never going back,” Hamill told me when I sat down with him recently at his home in Malibu. He wondered, in vain, if they could drop him in by chopper this time, “which is so clueless of me, because there’s no landing pad, and it would mar the beauty of it all,” he said. Hamill is a youthful 65 but a sexagenarian nevertheless; whereas the fit young members of the crew were given 45 minutes to get up to the now iconic Rey-Luke meeting spot — carrying heavy equipment — Hamill was allotted an hour and a half, “and I had to stop every 10, 15 minutes to rest.”

None of this was offered up in the form of complaint. Hamill just happens to be a rambling, expansive talker — in his own way, as endearingly offbeat a character as his friend and on-screen twin sister, Carrie Fisher, who passed away suddenly and tragically last December. Like Fisher, Hamill was put on a diet-and-exercise regimen after he was reconscripted into the Star Wars franchise. (Harrison Ford was under less obligation, having retained his leading-man shape because he never stopped being a leading man.) Over a spartan snack plate of carrot sticks and hummus, the man behind Luke held forth at length on this subject.

(3)WHY HE USES THE OXFORD COMMIE. James Davis Nicoll wants your suggestions for book to review in his new series Reds Under the Bed.

Subversives! They lurk everywhere! They could be anyone, from the kindly couple next door to the innocent seeming nuclear researcher mailing thick bundles to Moscow every week, from your child’s teacher to the President himself! Even you could be an unsuspecting brainwashed puppet of the enemy!

There have been many noteworthy works about the hidden enemy. Some were even readable. Many will be reviewed.

(4) A TIE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR. Love this art — and shouldn’t they be able to make a tie that actually animates the way it does in the ad? Think how many of those they could sell this Father’s Day. “Coffee & Donuts DIY Coloring Book Tie”.

Colorfully formal

The fun part about getting a tie that you can color is that you can choose how formal you get to be. Casual Friday? Draw some some chocolate sprinkles on those donuts. Wearing a tux? We mean, you could just color the whole thing black – we aren’t stopping you. Although, we wouldn’t say drawing a vibrant rainbow donut is a bad idea either. Hint hint. Color in your perfect neck-wear with the Coffee & Donuts DIY Coloring Book Tie. Get those creativity wheels turning for you to unleash on the world. The only thing we don’t encourage is spilling actual coffee on it. Save the impressionist art for another day.

(5) OLD FAVES. At Tor.com Natalie Zutter explains “Why I Stopped Reading The Queen’s Thief Series”. The answer is surprisingly simple.

My best friend handed me Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief probably shortly after its publication in 1996, at a point where we had read through all of Tamora Pierce’s then-current body of work and were slowly going mad waiting for the next installment. The Thief was the logical recommendation for a next read: Gen was small and sassy like Alanna, stubbornly self-reliant even when the gods decided to take an interest in his business, and as creative an interpretation of the thief archetype as Alanna is with knighthood. It was also, I think, the first fantasy novel that actually bowled me over with its twist. The stuff I had read before then — ”The Song of the Lioness, The Blue Sword, etc. — kept me enthralled simply exploring every inch of their lush worlds, but The Thief set up expectations and then swiftly subverted them.

It was such a perfect standalone novel that I remember initially being leery of the sequel. But then 2000’s The Queen of Attolia, true to the brutal ruler after which it’s named, upped the ante with a devastating act of violence early on that forever alters Gen’s identity. Suddenly, instead of a thief or trickster he is neither, simply a beloved protagonist coping with the unimaginable. By the end of the book, our worldview — both as readers and as participants in the ongoing conflict among Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia — has radically shifted. So why didn’t I continue on with The King of Attolia, published in 2006? For one, I didn’t even know that a third installment existed. Around that time, I met new fantasy heroines in Rani Trader (from Mindy Klasky’s The Glasswrights’ Apprentice) and Mel Astiar (from Sherwood Smith’s Crown Duel) and forgot all about Gen.

But twenty years after I read The Thief, Turner’s series has stolen my attention back….

(6) HELP BAEN DESIGN CHALLENGE COINS. Baen Books is calling on their fans for suggestions about a planned set of souvenir coins.

Challenge coins, which began as a military tradition, have become a widely recognized way of showing membership and boosting morale. Collectors have spent thousands of dollars tracking down coins but now you can get a full set of Baen coins for free!

We’ve commissioned artist Jack Wylder (of Monster Hunter Nation fame) to design a set of 12 Baen Challenge Coins, and we’d like your input on designs! What do you think should go on coins representing the following four series?

Tom Kratman’s Carreraverse

John Ringo’s Posleen Wars

Travis S. Taylor’s Tau Ceti Agenda

Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold

Please email your design ideas to PR@baen.com with “Baen Challenge Coin Design”in the subject line. Submissions must be in by Memorial Day (May 29th). If your design is selected, you will win a free coin when they’re minted, so be sure to include a mailing address in your idea submissions. The winning design across all four series (as voted on by the Baen team and our authors) will receive a full set of all 12 coins–and the exclusive Baen bonus coin! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

(7) WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE COMIC? NPR has opened the digital voting booths — “It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane … It’s Our Comics And Graphic Novels Reader Poll!”

Here at NPR headquarters in DC, MARVELous IMAGEs and FANTAstic GRAPHICS are dancing in our heads as we contemplate this year’s edition of our famous Summer Reader Poll — who will make the cut? Will it be packed with old favorites or BOOM! Will a DARK HORSE muscle in?

Oh god, we can’t keep this up anymore. Let’s just come right out and say it: This summer, we’re celebrating comics and graphic novels, and we need your help! Whether it’s a dogeared childhood treasure, the latest Eisner award winner or the webcomic you binge-read last week, tell us about it using the form on this page.

Based on what you tell us, our expert panel of comics creators, reviewers — and geeks — will curate a final list of 100 favorite comics…

(8) HIGHLY SPECIALIZED. Enjoy Atlas Obscura’s “Ultimate List of Wonderfully Specific Museums”. Cat Eldridge sends the link with a note: “There is here in this city a museum devoted to umbrella covers. And of course we have the world famous International Cryptozoological Museum…”

A lot of them seem really interesting, despite a few doubtful-sounding entries like The Museum of Celebrity Leftovers

(9) WORLD FANTASY CON MEMBERSHIPS TO RISE. World Fantasy 2017 will be held in San Antonio, Texas from November 2-5.

WFC2017 attending membership rates will be go up on June 1 to $275. Supporting memberships will remain at $50. Currently attending memberships are $225 and have been held at this rate for over 6 months. Memberships are available for immediate purchase at various conventions, online at http://www.wfc2017.org, and by postal mail. Attending memberships will be transferable until either September 1, 2017, or when 850 memberships are sold, whichever comes first.

The guests of honor of World Fantasy 2017 are David Mitchell, Karen Joy Fowler, Greg Manchess, and Gordon Van Gelder, with Martha Wells as the Toastmaster.


  • May 24, 1985 — H.P. Lovecraft’s classic tale comes to the big screen in Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator, first seen on this day.
  • May 24, 2003 — Crop circle discovered in Haysville, Kansas.

(11) SHUT UP AND DEAL. The Spinoff invites us to follow along: “Let’s play — Legendary: the Marvel Deck Building Game”.

…There will be Marvel-themed poetry slams by 2020. Until then, Marvel Legendary is here to perform a hostile takeover in the board game scene — and it’s eerily addictive. My board game dealer, Douglas Moore, opened up his trench coat and gave me a free hit.

As you are my guest, dear Liam, I’ll let you pick the heroes we will play with. Given the three sets I have crammed in here, I should be able to pick them ou-

I like Dr. Strange. Can I be Dr. Strange?

*sigh* OK, I don’t have Dr Strange. He’s from the Secret Wars Expansion… I think. Try again.

Can I be Wolverine?

Will that be X-Men Wolverine or X-Force Wolverine?

Oooooh, X-force please!

So what I have here are the hero cards for just one hero. We need to shuffle them in with four others to form the hero deck we will be recruiting from.

…can I choose Nightcrawler?

Yes, ya can.

…and Storm? …and Spider-Man? …and Groot?

Yes, yes, and yeeesssssss. I’ll go ahead and set up the rest of the game….

(12) ALIEN TOUCH. GeekTyrant says “Ridley Scott Working on a Sci-Fi Series Lineup for TNT”.

With the release of Alien: Covenant this past weekend comes news that the movie’s director, Ridley Scott, is developing a Science Fiction block of programming for the cable network TNT. Scott will develop one night of original sci-fi programming that will showcase several formats including an hour long series, short form programs and other formats in collaboration with TNT.

(13) JEOPARDY. An answer from last night’s Jeopardy!

The correct question is what is Andy Weir’s book, The Martian?

(14) A LATE-HATCHING EASTER EGG. PopSugar has been hitting the books: “Here’s Another Harry Potter Detail We Can’t Believe We Never Noticed Before”.

J.K. Rowling always surprises us with the amount of detail she poured into Harry Potter, and it feels like every day we learn something new about the series. Reddit user SunshineallDay’s fan theory provides more evidence of how much Rowling hid in her books.

It might be hard to catch when you’re first reading, but look a little closer and you’ll see it. The fun Easter egg shows how Hermione’s character learned Wizard Baruffio wasn’t the most intelligent in The Sorcerer’s Stone from Professor Flitwick. Later in The Order of the Phoenix, Harry and Ron are tempted to drink Baruffio’s Brain Elixir before their O.W.L.s, but Hermione clearly recalls their lesson and pours the drink down the toilet. An image from the books highlighting these two passages is below….

(15) THIS FELL OUT OF THE WRINKLE IN TIME. An item old enough to be new. Cynthia Zarin’s 2004 New Yorker profile about Madeleine L’Engle, “The Storyteller”.

I once asked L’Engle to define “science fiction.”She replied, “Isn’t everything?”On another occasion, in the vast, sunny apartment in a building on West End Avenue where she has lived since 1960, and where she and her late husband, the actor Hugh Franklin, brought up their three children, she offered an example. “I was standing right there, carrying a plate of cold cuts,”she said, pointing at a swinging door between the dining room and the pantry. “And I swooped into the pantry, bang, and got a black eye. It was exactly as if someone pushed me.”At eighty-five, L’Engle is a formidable figure. She is five feet nine in her stocking feet, and uses a wheelchair owing to a broken hip. She has a birdlike head, a sharp nose, and an air of helpless innocence that is almost entirely put on. She wore a loose-fitting dress in one of her favorite colors, peacock blue. “Most likely,”she continued firmly, “it was a poltergeist. There must have been a teen-age girl in the house. All that energy! They create the best atmosphere for them, you know. We don’t know how to catch and harness it.”She nodded. “Too true of most things.”

(16) INCONCEIVABLE! Aussiecon II guest of honor Gene Wolfe, joking about his out-of-print books, said that the difference between a fanzine editor and a professional publisher is that if a faned sells all the copies of his fanzine, he’ll print more.

— So can this Marvel Comics news item really be true?

An alliance for the ages — Amadeus Cho joining forces with Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Domino, Warpath, and Lady Deathstrike to battle the new Weapon X. Now, this Hulk-sized team-up is about to get even bigger, as Marvel is pleased to announce that TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #19 has sold out and will immediately return for a second printing.

A mysterious new director of the Weapon X program is creating soldiers who threaten the lives of some of the most powerful and deadly heroes the Marvel Universe has ever seen. But the man behind the curtain has now set his sights on a new target: the fearless, gamma-imbued Amadeus Cho. What will become of the Hulk when he is forced to partner with some of Marvel’s deadliest killers and hunters? One thing is for sure — this is a story not to be missed!

(17) WORDS FROM A MASTER. Fantasy-Faction scored an interview with Bernard Cornwell.


FF: Sean Bean is renowned for his repeated and progressively messier mortality on both the large and the small screen.

Surely this means there is one book at least still to write: “Sharpe’s Death“?

BC: There is another Sharpe book to be written, maybe more than one, but none of them will be called Sharpe’s Death!

He’s immortal.

(18) SUMMER IS COMING. Another season of Game of Thrones begins July 16.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Phil Nichols, Cat Eldridge, Mark-kitteh, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day IanP.]

58 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/24/17 Hives And Filers Were Spawned To be Released

  1. First?

    How’s your cold, Mike? I can upload more virtual chicken soup if you need it….

  2. Cassy B: How’s your cold, Mike? I can upload more virtual chicken soup if you need it….

    That virtual chicken soup, or my sister-in-law’s prayers, or something was effective. Flu gone. Cold probably about a day away from being over. Thanks for asking.

  3. (2) So many FEELS.

    (6) My immediate thought was “Baen artwork? It’ll be hideous… but at least coins won’t have the day glo colors that the covers do, nor 5 different fonts…”

    (9) Will the kerfuffles still be free? 😉

  4. (3) I first mis-read “Oxford Commie” as “Oxford Comma”, making the entire following paragraph delightfully nonsensical and subversive. Though I’d gladly read a review category of books where the Oxford comma is the enemy (or the hero).

    (14) While amusing, to me it falls under bog-standard references to earlier works. Technically, the passage also makes Hermione a thief, but then we know she’s a pirate queen.

  5. Meredith moment, UK edition – Amazon have quite a few good SF books at 99p today, but I particularly noticed The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and The Seventh Bride by T Kingfisher.


    This is a great piece, but somewhat spoiler-y. The cast photos are really good, and of course the Carrie Fisher ones are very poignant.


    I’m not sure I have any suggestions, but I liked this subtitle 🙂


    I suspect Cornwall is far too canny to kill off the golden goose.

    I don’t think I’ve read the last half-dozen Sharpe books though – once an author starts casting about in his character’s timeline for more events to jam in then that tends to indicate the stories are going past their natural conclusion.


    At this point I’m finding the GoT series to be more an event to comment on – what are they going to do worth the plot, what disappointing misstep are they going to make this season, etc. I have to acknowledge it’s power in helping to make big SF series credible for TV adaptations though.

    Sorta-related, because I doubt American Gods would have got made without GoT showing the way for quality adaptations, the latest episode of AG was excellent, if unsettling. After a few weeks of fairly slow introductions and languid side-scenes, this was 100% plot, albeit filling in rather than moving forward.

  6. Mike, glad to hear about the flu subsiding.

    I agree with Mark AGOT has paved the way for The Expanse, American Gods, and hopefully much more in the future.

    I think that the series has now outstripped the novels and its own thing means that its inherently less interesting in some ways–less “how will they adapt THAT” and “what will Martin write NEXT” to much more of a standard “Where is the series going?”, a more basic and pedestrian Hollywood question.

    @Aaron I really liked THE JEWEL AND HER LAPIDARY, too. The Bone novels are her “big thing”, this was a small unexpected treasure from Wilde.

    6) Hmm. As far as I am aware, Myke Cole was the first to think of using challenge coins in conjunction with his books, he was using them for promotional purposes back when his first trilogy came out. Anyone have an earlier example?

  7. I thought it was here that I’d seen a link to this article: The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 21st Century. I can’t find it now. What struck me about this list was how little I wanted to see any movie on it.

    Seriously. Nothing on it appealed to me. Is something wrong with me? If so, what? And can it be fixed? Should it be?

    Or is it just that I’m not a big moviegoer?

    (I can’t watch my TV either. Literally. I can’t find the remote for the digital converter box, which selects the channels. So I don’t watch TV. It’s me, isn’t it?)

  8. John A Arkansawyer:

    Having quickly skimmed through the list, I’d say that the descriptions really don’t do (many) of the films justice. Some of them I’d happily watch again Arrival can probably stand multiple watch-throughs, I’ve seen Wall-E multiple times, …) some of them I onestly don’t understand why they’re on there, I stopped watching Looper (as an example) 20-30 minutes into the film, because it really did nothing for me.

    As to if there’s anything wrong, no, I don’t think “does not like film or TV” is a bad thing, it’s basically down to taste, which is varied from person to person (and over time, for individuals).

  9. @Ingvar: I wish I’d re-read that list before reading your comment, because after I read your comment, I realized that Wall-E and Arrival do sound appealing. Or maybe I just want to agree with someone for a change. I suppose I’ll have to watch one of them and find out what I really think.

    On a different subject (or is it?), this was interesting: Dark Futures: What happens when literary novelists experiment with science fiction. I thought this was as well-stated as I’ve ever seen the difference between dystopia and post-apocalyptica expressed: “Dystopian fiction is animated by fear, but postapocalyptic stories almost always harbor a kernel of desire.” Fear and wish-fullfillment is a thing (one thing) so many of my friends–and myself–experience now, in so many different ways.

  10. @John A Arkansawyer It’s me, isn’t it?

    I’ve only seen two films on that list, which suggests it may not just be you. (I’d call myself a medium moviegoer, but I’m bigger on art-house and festival films than mainstream first run.) On the other hand, I liked both the films I did see.

    I remember Looper as an odd combination of action movie and extended Twilight Zone episode. It’s not great art and the specific worldbuilding details don’t often make sense, but it’s all in the service of a really nice tightly-constructed plot that comes together right at the end. Lots of Chekhov’s Guns on display, and they all get fired. (Kameron Hurley has a good review on her blog, but with [MASSIVE SPOILERS].) And – although it’s not foregrounded – I liked the portrait of an America ruined by climate change and inequality.

    Paprika isn’t my favourite Satoshi Kon (that would be Tokyo Godfathers or Millennium Actress) but it is a good one. It’s a gentle character-centred film and not very “Sci-Fi” – the whacky surrealism that always appears in the publicity stills is only a few short sequences.

  11. I thought it was here that I’d seen a link to this article: The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 21st Century. I can’t find it now. What struck me about this list was how little I wanted to see any movie on it.

    Before looking at the list I assumed that I would have seen almost none of them (I don’t watch much of what is called SF these days) but I’ve actually seen 10 of them. Out of those 10, I like The Host, District 9, and Attack the Block the most.

    Seriously. Nothing on it appealed to me. Is something wrong with me?

    Yes. Yes there is.

  12. John A Arkansawyer:

    I found several of the films on that list worthwhile. Of special note, I’d definitely recommend Arrival and Wall-E. Sunshine is flawed, but still well worth seeing. And Moon is really, really good — it won the Hugo that year for a very good reason.

    If you’re willing to drop $4 for a 16-minute movie, World of Tomorrow is really enjoyable. And I’m not a fan of Tom Cruise, but Minority Report does justice to the PKD story, and Edge of Tomorrow is worth watching just for Emily Blunt.

  13. Matthew Johnson
    If I’m not misreading these search results, this is a favorite of mine. I apparently suggested, “If I could scroll that way, I wouldn’t need the talcum pixels” last month, and also last November, and also also last September also. I’m thinking I should buy some talcum powder and just see what happens.

    Roses are red, violets are blue. Pixel scroll.

  14. Haven’t seen Edge of Tomorrow, but surprised that it hasn’t been accused of “white-washing” like Ghost in the Shell and Death Note have, given that all 3 are based on Japanese originals. Probably the source light novel was obscure enough to fly under the radar. Here is a mangalazation of the light novel.

  15. Is something wrong with me? If so, what? And can it be fixed? Should it be?

    Yes. You are paying for cable and not using it. That should be fixed immediately.

  16. I guess the problem with the Kratman and Ringo coins is which one gets the reichsadler and which one gets the totenkopf.

  17. @2: What a change from forty (or much fewer?) years ago; I suspect VF didn’t even bother ignoring the original movies. And interesting to read that Ridley had the same kind of unintentional method acting as Ford in the not-a-duel scene in the first Raiders.

    @15: fascinating. I do wonder how accurate it is — I get the impression that New Yorker writers sometimes prefer art to simple facts — but it certainly puts an interesting dimension on her books.

    @3: There doesn’t seem to be any way to make suggestions, and it’s not clear he’s actually looking; in case he is, I’ll recommend The Anti-Death League (Amis), as it’s old enough he may not have heard of it.

    Arkansawyer: as a quasi-official Oldphart, I welcome you to oldphartdom. I’ve seen 6 of the list and regret missing at least a couple of others (although I deliberately skipped Snowpiercer due to reliable-to-me reports that it privileged ~radicalism over anything resembling plausibility), but the lister is definitely leaning toward the weird (except for Wall-E, which I liked — once). And I can watch TV, but got pushed out of the habit almost 50 years ago so I generally don’t.
    The Slate article is interestingly balanced, although I doubt the premise that apocalyptic stories are hopeful.

  18. @bookworm1398:

    Is something wrong with me? If so, what? And can it be fixed? Should it be?

    Yes. You are paying for cable and not using it. That should be fixed immediately.

    Actually, no. In fact, AT&T (who I’m thinking about firing) recently lowered my DSL bill because (they said) I can’t use all the bandwidth they’d been providing. They also lowered my speed. That was just a few days before I swapped out my modem and router for a slightly newer modem/router combo. I got lucky!

    @Jake: I think that’s unfair to Ringo.

    @Chip Hitchcock:

    Arkansawyer: as a quasi-official Oldphart, I welcome you to oldphartdom.

    I aspire to wear it well, as I flipped from young to old awful fast and didn’t even notice middle age in between. I guess my Clever Plan worked: When I was in my early forties and heard I might have a mid-life crisis coming, I decided to fortify myself against it. I bought a red convertible, married a younger woman, and had a kid. I’ve been waiting on the crisis for nearly two decades now, and it looks like I dodged it. Straight into the busy traffic of being old I dodged it, but at least that’s a nice, fast end, which probably won’t take me but another thirty or forty years to meet.

    I doubt the premise that apocalyptic stories are hopeful.

    I’d call them wishful rather than hopeful.

    @OGH: I updated my blog this morning. I’m sure you’ll be interested. More to come.

  19. @3: There doesn’t seem to be any way to make suggestions, and it’s not clear he’s actually looking

    I am. I’ve added a link to my Dreamwidth account. Lifefyre (which was never a great commenting system) closed down and I still need a replacement.

    in case he is, I’ll recommend The Anti-Death League (Amis), as it’s old enough he may not have heard of it.

    Thank you.

  20. John A Arkansawyer:

    I’ve seen eight of those movies and find them from ok to highly recommended. Only Paprika that was too surrealist to me.

  21. John A Arkansawyer on May 25, 2017 at 3:26 am said:

    I thought it was here that I’d seen a link to this article: The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 21st Century. I can’t find it now. What struck me about this list was how little I wanted to see any movie on it.

    Seriously. Nothing on it appealed to me. Is something wrong with me? If so, what? And can it be fixed? Should it be?

    Or is it just that I’m not a big moviegoer?

    Might just be that you’re not a big moviegoer. That’s a pretty good list that covers everything from big to small budgets and runs the gambit of romance, action, mystery, thriller, and so on. Then again I’m on the opposite side of the fence, I found those movies appealing enough to have seen 20 out of 25 of the list!

  22. @ John A Arkansawyer I don’t think it’s unfair at all, he signed his name to ‘Watch on the Rhine’.

    I guess the alternative is just a big “NO”.

  23. @Aaron: Very good review of aa Jewel and her Lapidary: I personally found that story very intense and sad, and you captured a lot of the reason why.

    I actually really like stories that are put into ahistorucal context- The Spellcoats for example- and in this car the historical asides really enhance the poignancy of the situation.

    The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 21st Century

    The title of that collection is rather ominous, given it’s only 2017. What do they know that they’re not telling us?

    I doubt the premise that apocalyptic stories are hopeful.

    I think they are generally wish fulfillment though: “If we just got rid of the constraints of civilization holding us down, just think of what I could do!” For the vast majority of them, mourning over what had been lost, in favor of deminstrating the main character’s superiority, whether it’s general vigorous aliveness, or building a new, better society where there’s no bureaucrats and women know their place. In that respect, they are hopeful.

  24. (6) My first thought was to wonder why a company in the business of selling…and presumably profiting from….art, one that understands that art creators need to be compensated for their effort, are asking for free….or at least grossly under compensated….artwork?

    The second thought was that they needed to include “Hammers Slammers”.


  25. @John A Arkensawyer

    For what’s it worth I’ve either seen or have copies of ready to be watched ~20 of those and of the ones I’ve watched only the Planet of the Apes one really left me going meh.

  26. (14) When I read the first Harry Potter book long ago, I felt like it was lazy but fun. I think I got through the first three before I decided it wasn’t worth continuing on (I particularly didn’t like the sports bits). I eventually re-read them because a couple friends told me the books get better and darker as the series goes on, and I realized that what I thought was lazy and pedestrian was much more nuanced and interesting. I may have to re-read the entire series at some point, if I get to a place where I have the time.

    Speaking of which… Hugo-reading-wise: Finished Moon Over Soho in three days, basically only reading it for two of those. A quick, fun read. Someone here (JJ?) brought up how annoying/stupid it is that Tenag qbrfa’g ernyvmr gur jbzna jub frqhprq uvz vf n (gurl hfrq gur grez fhpphohf, ohg gung vfa’g yvgrenyyl gehr, nf fhpphov ner zragvbarq yngre va gur abiry va n jnl gung rkpyhqrf Fvzbar). Jura V ernq gur obbx naq fnj gung unccravat V gubhtug ‘Nu-un! Jung (WW?) qbrfa’g ernyvmr vf gung Tenag vf haqre Fvzbar’f fcryy. Fur’f xrrcvat pybfr gnof ba uvz naq gelvat gb qvfgenpg uvz sebz ure pnfr. Gura V tbg gb gur pyvznk naq ernyvmrq… bu, abcr. Ur’f whfg orvat vafnaryl fghcvq. Ernyyl onq gjvfg, gurer. Pbhyq’ir znlor jbexrq vs vg’q orra znqr rkcyvpvg gung Tenag jnf gbb rtbgvfgvpny gb cbaqre uvf fhqqra yhpx jvgu gur ynqvrf, be… V qhaab, fbzrguvat yvxr gung. Ohg vg qbrfa’g. Not enough to throw me off the book, but I book two is not nearly as good as the first. I’m glad to read people saying book 4 is very good.

    Now starting book two of the October Daye series. So far, of the three UF series in the series, I’m not seeing how any of them are particularly Hugo-worthy, despite all of them being fun reads, but I’m expecting that to change as the series progress.

    ETA @Aaron – excellent review of The Jewel and Her Lapidary. Thanks for posting!

  27. I will delurk to squee briefly about news that my very-small-press novel Kismet got a positive review in Analog from Don Sakers…or will, apparently, as he has a six-month lead time and the review won’t appear until the Nov/Dec issue. 🙂

    (I suspect it’s a novel some Filers will like, but I haven’t had a good excuse to wedge it into a thread until now.)

  28. My first thought was to wonder why a company in the business of selling…and presumably profiting from….art, one that understands that art creators need to be compensated for their effort, are asking for free….or at least grossly under compensated….artwork?

    Grossly under-compensated? Do you have any idea how much challenge coins are worth? Okay, I didn’t know, having never heard of them before, but I see that they are worth anywhere from $2.50 to $7.00! And for their efforts, they get a full set of them! Uh… I mean, they get one of them!

  29. (6) My first thought was to wonder why a company in the business of selling…and presumably profiting from….art, one that understands that art creators need to be compensated for their effort, are asking for free….or at least grossly under compensated….artwork?

    To save money? At least they aren’t charging the candidates to submit their artwork.

  30. A modest correction.

    It looks like Baen hired an artist to do the coin design. They are just looking for ideas for the coins rather than sketches or other artwork.

    Their announcement isn’t crystal clear on that issue, but the Baen Facebook page…and a couple other spots….seem to be suggesting this is more of a “what do you want to see” thing than a “give us free artwork” thing.


  31. Regarding the framing narrative in The Jewel and Her Lapidary (which I may or may not find time to write up in an actual review), my experience has been that such historicizing framing narratives can strike me one of two ways. The first is, “Here is a significant contrast, I wonder how they got from point A to point B?” The second is, “Here’s how this is all going to turn out and now you’re left with a gnawing sense of dread watching it happen.” For me, Lapidary felt like the latter, although I wasn’t going into the story entirely unspoiled which may have affected how it felt to me.

  32. kathodus: …rot13…

    That was exactly what I’d been thinking, and I was expecting the same thing. If that part of it had been brought out, “so this is why [unlikely occurrence was occurring]”, and having him learn a lesson from it, it would have helped; as it was, it was all just sort of glossed over, without any introspection about what had happened and how to keep it from happening again in the future.

    I’m in the middle of book 6 (The Hanging Tree) now. Book 5 (Foxglove Summer) was well done, but not in my opinion as good as Book 4 (Broken Homes).

    It will definitely be above No Award on my ballot, but whether it will be higher than that remains to be seen — I haven’t read The Craft Sequence yet — though it seems unlikely. It will be below the 4 series I have already read, just because I really enjoyed all those series and the first 3 novels in this one have so many “I want to throw this book against the wall” moments.

  33. Looks like Doctor Who was also very slightly affected by the Manchester bombing:

    Imagine how it could have affected last week’s episode…

  34. @Rose Embolism: good point on the “hopefulness” of post-apocalyptic fiction.

  35. @Dann: Exactly. The press release names the artist who’s going to be um, art-ing them; the fans are to suggest what’s in the art. Baen covers are always so visually busy and lurid* but the coins will have to be pretty simple.

    @Paul, Mark-kitteh: GOT is basically a generator of “now what?” for me at this point too. And it’ll be nice to have an ending without having to wait umpty-more years or not at all. If it lead to AG and Expanse, then yay — Expanse is SF, not fantasy, and we haven’t had enough of that. Plus, no sexposition.

    I don’t recall anyone before Cole doing challenge coins either.

    @JAA: A number of them look like pretentious crap to me. But “Arrival” is the pure-quill SF, and I really liked “WALL-E” and “Moon”.

    I can’t get past my dislike of Tom Cruise to see a couple of them, no matter how good they might be. I always expect him to jump on a couch, laugh manically, and proclaim that psychology is evil. To me, he’s not a good enough actor to disappear into a role. He’s always himself in a different outfit.

    @Rose Embolism: Couldn’t possibly agree with you more about post-apoc fiction. Far too much of it is “We MANLY preppers with guns will RUUULE, the women will know their place, and the smarty-pants people won’t be around to ruin our fun from the Id! Who needs civilization?” If it’s for teens, it’s “Only us kids can save humanity from the evil grown-ups.” Pure wish-fulfillment.

    @Greg: I think it quit instead of ending. But I think Ansel literally jnyxrq vagb gur yvtug (nyyrl = ghaary), naq ur’f ab ybatre va bhe jbeyq, be gur tnzr jbeyq. Uvf fvfgre jnfa’g va rvgure, fb ur’f tbvat gb tb bhg gur bar rkvg gb svaq ure. Maybe the author couldn’t decide which way to go.

    *overly so for my taste, and that of many others, as you can see by going to
    http://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/ and clicking the Baen link in the sidebar. Good fun to read as long as you’re not the art director.

  36. (3) WHY HE USES THE OXFORD COMMIE. Is it too obvious to mention Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters?

    (8) HIGHLY SPECIALIZED. Quite a weird list there, though some seem more like “person has a weird collection” than really a museum. I forwarded the one in a freight elevator in NYC to friends of ours there – hey, the museum fits three at a time!

    (11) SHUT UP AND DEAL. We’ve owned this game (and several expansions) for a while, though we haven’t played it super-recently. It works fine two-person and we both like superheroes and cooperative games (me: especially without a traitor), so we like this game a lot! 🙂 Hmm, I should pull it out this weekend.

    (12) ALIEN TOUCH. I’m guessing they’ll mostly be SF horror, not regular SF – given it’s Scott. 🙁

    Unfortunately, I saw a spoiler on this site when reading about a movie? series? based on a book series I haven’t read yet. It’s not a new series, so I’m only a little annoyed; I should’ve read it eons ago (“Chaos Walking”). Still, that teaches me to read articles about things based book series I haven’t gotten around to reading yet! Sigh.

    (18) SUMMER IS COMING. Heh, LOL, @Mike Glyer.

  37. John A. Arkansawyer – what movies should be on the list but aren’t? I find that question more interesting.

  38. @John A Arkansawyer: I’ve seen like 2 of those, regret missing a few (ones I’m familiar with), and haven’t heard of a bunch of them. I didn’t read descriptions of the ones I’m unfamiliar with because I’m a Bad Person; I was just curious whether I’d even know any of the movies, let alone have seen them. It’s not just you, but FWIW, I don’t go to the movies a lot and when I do, I usually don’t run across foreign or indie films. The TV thing is just you, though – find the remote or replace it!

    @kathodus & @JJ: ROT-13 for spoilers. We read this differently; I wonder what the author intended. JJ, sorry, I’d meant to say something about it when you mentioned it recently, but forgot when I had time.

    Vg frrzrq gb zr sebz gur pbasebagngvba fprar naq ubj ur npgrq orsber gung, gung lrnu, Tenag jnf haqre n yvggyr zntvpny vasyhrapr sebz Fvzbar (gubhtu havagragvbany, nf fur qvqa’g pbafpvbhfyl erzrzore ure bja uvfgbel). OGJ, V qvqa’g frr vg nf n gjvfg, rknpgyl. Gur aba-fgbc frk naq abg vagebqhpvat ure gb nalbar ur xabjf (be VVEP rira zragvbavat ure rkvfgrapr) hagvy irel yngr va gur obbx nyfb pbagevohgrq gb vg abg srryvat yvxr n gjvfg naq srryvat yvxr fbzrguvat uvaxl jnf tbvat ba.

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