Pixel Scroll 6/28/22 The Mirror Grok’d

(1) F&SF COVER REVEAL. Gordon Van Gelder has shared the July/August 2022 cover for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.  The cover art by Mondolithic Studios illustrates “Starblind, Booklost, and Hearing the Songs of True Birds” by Rudi Dornemann.

(2) MACMILLAN REMAINS SHUTTERED. “Macmillan Closed Tuesday As Well As They Address Security Incident” reports Shelf Awareness.

Macmillan, which closed yesterday because of “a security incident” on Saturday that involved its servers and internal system, is remaining closed “virtually and physically” today, Tuesday, June 28. The company said it is “making progress,” but it is still unable to process, receive, place or ship orders.

Details of the incident have not been publicized. Publisher’s Lunch (behind a paywall) commented:

…Network “security incidents” — generally some kind of hacking and/or ransomware — have become all too commonplace in recent years, and each one serves as a cautionary tale to all of us. Some are handled quietly and never acknowledged, but among the known incidents with publishing-related companies in recent years, the Barnes & Noble ransomware hack was the most prominent and had the biggest effect on customers, ultimately taking weeks to fully resolve….

(3) 69 IS NOT DIVINE? Amazing Stories’ Steve Davidson recommends some changes in “The Hugo Awards At 69”.

… At the time of its establishment and for the first few years of its existence, the award categories clearly reflected the interests and aspects of SF Fandom that were considered important to its future existence:  fiction, the “raison d’etre” of the culture, the magazines that published the fiction and/or the editor’s who managed them, the artists who realized its visions and the people who made and reinforced that culture, the Fans.

Seven categories were initially offered.  That’s now expanded to 17 and I’ll submit that the reason(s) some categories may be under-represented and might be eliminated is not because they’ve lost importance over the years, but because the awards themselves have focused on becoming more commercially appealing, rather than on focusing on serving their original purpose, that of self-congratulation and recognition within a fan community.

The Hugo Awards need to reduce the number of categories it covers and refocus its efforts on the writing and Fan categories.  (Why Fan categories?  Two primary reasons:  The body of critical analysis offered by Fans through reviews and essays, commentary and yes, even ridicule and sarcasm, is what continuously redefines and elucidates the field.  These efforts sustain the genre and the community that engages with it and should therefore be supported….

(4) ANYTHING YOU CAN DO I CAN DO BETTER. “Aldous Huxley to George Orwell: My Hellish Vision of the Future is Better Than Yours (1949)” at Open Culture.

In 1949, George Orwell received a curious letter from his former high school French teacher.

Orwell had just published his groundbreaking book Nineteen Eighty-Four, which received glowing reviews from just about every corner of the English-speaking world. His French teacher, as it happens, was none other than Aldous Huxley who taught at Eton for a spell before writing Brave New World (1931), the other great 20th century dystopian novel.

Huxley starts off the letter praising the book, describing it as “profoundly important.” He continues, “The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it.”

Then Huxley switches gears and criticizes the book, writing, “Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World.”… 

(5) PRIDE Q&A’S. The Horror Writers Association blog continues their “Point of Pride” theme in these interviews with Crystal Romero and Damian Serbu.

Do you make a conscious effort to include LGBTQ material in your writing and if so, what do you want to portray?

Yes, inclusion or lack of it, is what encouraged me to begin writing. I’ve always wanted to see more people who were like me. So when I began to write original work, I made a conscious effort to include characters of all orientations, but especially lesbians. Not only do I make an effort to include LGBTQ characters in my work, but I also include people of color. In an upcoming short story, I’m including a female bi-racial lesbian and Filipino gay male character. In the story that will follow this one, I’ll be introducing a transgender female character.

What was it about the horror genre that drew you to it?

I love the creative expression of horror writing. I find horror liberating in a way other genres don’t allow. With horror, there are no rules about what can or cannot happen! The notion of generating a unique monster, plague, demon, or source of evil fascinates me. I wonder what caused the horror to exist. And I ponder how people can over come it. I also think horror writing prompts a writer to get into the raw emotion of being human and in community. Fear is such a base human emotion and at the center of so much of what we think and do. Horror digs into that feeling to reveal the soul of a person.

(6) MIXING HIS INKS. Eddie Robson explains that he loves noir and paranoid Phil Dickian sf so much he decided to combine them! “On Nightmare Noir, Science Fiction, and the Lure of the Gothic” at CrimeReads.

…Meanwhile in SF we can look to the work of Philip K Dick, so often marked by ambiguity and uncertainty, calling into question the nature of reality. Technology’s increasing ability to create artificial things not only returns us to the territory of Frankenstein, it also brings back the essential Gothic quality of the uncanny. This became a familiar mode of SF in the wake of works like Neuromancer and Blade Runner—both of which, incidentally, also draw heavily on crime tropes. (Perhaps the most obvious, and successful, combination of all three is The X Files, which itself draws on key Gothic crime texts like The Silence of the Lambs and Twin Peaks.)…

(7) SQUARING THE CIRCLE. In the Washington Post, Dave Eggers discusses how the Rapid City, South Dakota school system had removed his sf novel The Circle and four other books, including Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home from the high school curriculum and were threatening to destroy the books.  He talks about how he worked with an independent bookstore in that city to make the books available and to have the school system do something with the books rather than pulp them. “South Dakota schools banned Dave Eggers’s novel. He investigated why.”

… When the book ban made national news, I talked with Amanda Uhle, my colleague at the publishing company McSweeney’s, about making the banned books available to Rapid City high school seniors.We called Mitzi’s Books, an independent bookseller in Rapid City, and we made an arrangement whereby we would buy books for any seniors who had been deprived access to them. So far more than 400 copies of the five banned books have been provided free to these students….

(8) FROM BABIES TO THE BEATLES. Kay Dee tells what it was like to witness the first worldwide live TV linkup at Galactic Journey. “[June 28, 1967] Around the World in Two Seconds (Our World Global Satellite Broadcast)”

I love how our world is drawing closer every day to some of the amazing futures that science fiction has spread before us. I’ve written before about the importance of satellite communications in connecting this divided planet. Just two days ago, 24 countries around the globe were linked together in the first world-spanning live satellite broadcast, titled – appropriately enough – Our World….

(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY

2015 [By Cat Eldridge.] In the usual manner that such things happen, the Humans series debuted here two weeks after it first aired seven years ago on BBC. It was based on the Swedish SF series Real Humans which involved the creation of synths. (Yes, Picard would later use that term.) Channel 4 and Kudos in the United Kingdom, and AMC in the United States were the companies that underwrote it.

It was created by Sam Vincent, largely a voice actor, and Jonathan Brackley who had nothing to his name previous to this. I suspect a ghost writing staff was definitely involved but I cannot prove it. It was produced by Chris Fry who has executive produced a lot of Spooks so it had an experienced hand there. 

It had a huge cast including Carrie-Anne Moss and William Hurt. Seriously it did. 

It had three seasons of eight episodes each. It did not get a proper conclusion as it was simply cancelled. Ahhh welll.

Too bad, as the British critics really liked it. Mind you the ratings kept slip sliding away. 

The Guardian said, “Humans itself won’t compete with Westworld on wild ambition or imagination, and certainly not on budget. But I like it better; it’s more pressingly relevant. And more human.” 

And the London Evening Standard said that it provides “a smart and stylish exploration of the joys and perils of putting your very existence into the hands of artificial intelligence… If episode one delivers on its promise, then the journey into the unknown will be a profoundly interesting one.”

Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it a brainy eighty-five percent rating. 

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 28, 1926 — Mel Brooks, 96. Young Frankenstein (1974) (Hugo and Nebula winner) and Spaceballs (1987) would get him listed even without The 2000 Year Old ManGet Smart and others. Here is an appreciation of Mel on YouTube.  (Alan Baumler)
  • Born June 28, 1946 — Robert Lynn Asprin. I first encountered him as one of the co-editors along with Lynn Abbey of the most stellar Thieves’ World Series for which he wrote the superb “The Price of Doing Business” for the first volume. I’m also very fond of The Cold Cash War novel. His Griffen McCandles (Dragons) series is quite excellent. I’m please to say that he’s well stocked on both at the usual suspects. (Died 2008.)
  • Born June 28, 1947 — Mark Helprin, 75. Author of three works of significance to the genre, Winter’s TaleA City in Winter which won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella and The Veil of Snows. The latter two are tastefully illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. I know Winter’s Tale was turned into a film but color me very disinterested in seeing it as I love the novel. 
  • Born June 28, 1951 — Lalla Ward, 71. She is known for her role as the second actress to play Romana (or Romanadvoratrelundar in full) on Doctor Who during the time of the Fourth Doctor. She has reprised the character in Dimensions in Time, the webcast version of Shada, and in several Doctor Who Big Finish productions. In addition, she played Ophelia to Derek Jacobi’s Hamlet in the BBC television production.  And she was Helga in an early horror film called Vampire Circus
  • Born June 28, 1954 — Deborah Grabien, 68. She makes the Birthday list for her most excellent Haunted Ballads series in which a folk musician and his lover tackle the matter of actual haunted spaces. It’s coming out in trade paper and ebook editions soon. It leads off with The Weaver and the Factory Maid. You can read the first chapter here. Oh, and she makes truly great dark chocolate fudge. And she sent me miniature palm tree seeds which are growing here now. 
  • Born June 28, 1954 — Alice Krige, 68. I think her first genre role was in the full dual of Eva Galli and Alma Mobley in Ghost Story. From there, she plays Mary Shelley (née Godwin) in Haunted Summer before going onto being Mary Brady in Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers. Now it’s in Star Trek: First Contact in which she first plays the Borg Queen, a role she’ll repeat in the finale of Star Trek: Voyager, “Endgame”. She’s had a number of other genre roles but I will only note that she was Eir in Thor: The Dark World
  • Born June 28, 1979 — Felicia Day, 43. She was Vi in  Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a rather fascinating Dr. Holly Marten in Eureka, and had a recurring role as Charles Bradbury on Supernatural. She also appears  as Kinga Forrester in Mystery Science Theater 3000.

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Baldo might be considered a biography instead of a punchline by the average Filer!

(12) AHMED’S NEW PROJECT. “Saladin Ahmed, Shaka King & Travon Free Team On Webcomic ‘Drac: Son of Dante’”Deadline has the details.

Saladin Ahmed (Miles Morales: Spider-Man) has partnered with filmmakers Shaka King (Judas and the Black Messiah) and Travon Free (Two Distant Strangers) to create Drac: Son of Dante—a new, 15-part webcomic series for Tapas Media and Endeavor Content, which is now free to read exclusively via the former company’s website and mobile app. The series’ first two episodes have already launched, with more to come weekly on Fridays.

Drac is said to introduce a new and contemporary mythology around the origins of the iconic goth villain Dracula that will resonate with multicultural and youth audiences alike. The narrative follows Dante, an eerie, flute-playing immortal who finds himself drawn to the human condition against the natural order and better judgment of his species. Dante follows this obsession no matter how much trouble it gets him into — but a conflict for the ages erupts when his monstrous son Drac chooses a human bride….

(13) THE WITCHING HOUR. Hocus Pocus 2 comes to Disney+ on September 30.

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy reunite for the highly anticipated Disney+ Original Movie “Hocus Pocus 2.” The live-action, long awaited sequel to the perennial Halloween classic, which brings back the delightfully wicked Sanderson sisters for more comedic mayhem, will debut on Disney+ on September 30. It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve.

(14) TRADING OLD TROUBLES FOR NEW. Fantasy author and podcaster Richard H. Stephens continues his work within the Soul Forge Universe with Dragon Sect: Highcliff Guardians Series Book Two.

The Dragon Witch Wraith has returned.

With the Grim Duke in his place, and a tentative pact with the wizard’s guild, the Queen of the Elves’ only real concern is for her rebellious daughter. Or so she is led to believe.

Buoyed by the news of unrest in the land’s largest city of Urdanya, Duke Orlythe’s new wizard attempts to convince him that a path to the coveted Willow Throne lies within reach of someone bold enough to seize the opportunity.

The return of the Dragon Witch Wraith prompts the ailing high wizard to find a way to thwart his arch nemesis before everything South March has fought for is lost.

Oblivious to the dangers of the world, Princess Ouderling sets out on a quest to locate an ancient dragon, in a desperate attempt to save her mother from an inevitable fate.

Should she fail, the Grim Duke will ascend the throne.

Available from Amazon and Amazon.ca.

At age 17 author Richard H. Stephens left high school and for the next twenty-two years worked as a shipper at a local bakery. At the age of 36, he went back to high school and graduated with honors. He became a member of the local Police Service, and worked for 12 years in a Canadian provincial court system. In early 2017, he left the Police Service to write full-time. Learn more about Richard H. Stephens at his website.

(15) WHAT IS YOUR QUEST? Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy enthusiastically recommends “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”.

How can a film as disarmingly simple as this inspire deep feelings about loss, connection, and the meaning of family? I’m not sure I have the answer; all I know is that I was fighting back tears at the end of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. My daughter Jessie got to see the movie at the Telluride Film Festival last year and has been a proud proselytizer ever since.

I wouldn’t want to burden this charming film with descriptors like “existential” but it’s not misapplied here. At a time when so many of us are feeling disoriented—or disconnected—a movie like this is especially welcome….

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Trailers: Obi-Wan Kenobi,” the Screen Junkies say that Disney, having brought back Han Solo as a “broke, divorced dad,” and Luke Skywalker as a “gross recluse,” they brought back Obi-Wan Kenobi as a “sad fishmonger whose new mission is to stare at a ten-year-old boy all day.” While they liked Vivian Blair’s work as a young Princess Leia, the series becomes “another round of ‘grumpy man brings a cute, sassy kid to safety’: just like The Mandalorian, Terminator 2, and Aliens.

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Andrew Porter, Daniel Dern, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

25 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/28/22 The Mirror Grok’d

  1. (10) I also like Felicia in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog as Penny*.

    *Penny is a surprisingly common name in SF (I can think of three of the top of my head without even trying)

  2. Andrew said:

    *Penny is a surprisingly common name in SF (I can think of three of the top of my head without even trying)”

    Probably any more and that sound you hear is of [the] penny dropping… that said, you’ve got me beat by one so far. (I’ve got a Heinlein and a Lev Grossman. Would you, ahem, count a Millicent?)

  3. 10) Robert Lynn Asprin was long known to the members of the Society for Creative Anachronisms (anda and chagua alike) as Yang the Nauseating, co-founder of the Great Dark Horde, before he became a published novelist.

  4. (3) Some of the suggestions in this article… aren’t great. Eliminating Best Dramatic Presentation Long & Short Form diminishes the contributions to SF from film and television and cutting it down to just “Script” also ignores the contributions from people other than screenwriters – not just in terms of actors and directors, but also people involved in production design as well. And that’s without getting into the issues of whether we want to base it on the “shooting script” assuming we even have access to it in the first place (oh, and and that also disregards some of the dynamics when it comes to animated series, where the pure text script works alongside storyboards…).

    As far as the fan award feedback goes – eliminating best fancast or changing to “script” – most of the best podcasts I’ve listened to aren’t scripted. People may have notes or outlines about what they want to talk about, but they aren’t “scripted” in any sense of the imagination. The ones that are have scripts – (because, for example, they’re audio dramas) would be a better fit for Best Dramatic Presentation.

    The advice does nothing to reclassify the fan categories at all.

    That said, there is one thing in the fan categories that I think needs to be changed when it comes to Hugo Award qualifications and rules. The rules for Best Fanzine need some tweaks. Back when I was doing a Fanzine, before I put it on hiatus, one of the issues I found myself running into was when I went looking for specific fan-art that reflected the topic of my particular issue, I was not able to get the time of day from fan artists when asking about reprinting existing work without talking about some form, any form, of monetary compensation. A lot of fan artists have recognized that their art takes work, and if someone wants to use it, they would like some form of compensation for their efforts, because, as the saying goes, “People die from exposure.”

    Now, I’ve had fan-art submitted to me that I could use on my fanzine, but because my ‘zine tended to focus on particular topics on an issue-by-issue basis (and outside of LoCs I was writing everything in the fanzine), I generally preferred to have something on my cover that reflected the topic. For example, when I wrote a fanzine with a focus on the Fate/Stay Night franchise and related works, I’d want to have fanart of Saber from Fate/Stay Night on the cover, and I’d want to have permission from the artist to use it. Occasionally I’d get around this by using officially produced promotional pieces for the franchise in question under the auspices of fair use, but even there that felt… questionable.

    The problem being with all of this and financially compensating the artist is, if I do that, my fanzine isn’t a fanzine anymore – it’s a Semiprozine. Now I’m working in the same weight class (so to speak) as StarshipSofa, Escape Pod, Clarkesworld, and so on. Cue clip of Daffy Duck saying “Mother” before getting clobbered by some gigantic behemoth.

    I realize this is not, exactly, a competition, and that we’re doing this for the love of fandom and SF, but if I want to also help get recognition fan-artists who do art for, say, SF Anime, and who might only be known in anime fandom circles but who I think people here might like, I wouldn’t be able to help them by showcasing them in my fanzine.

    Also, it’d put the rules for Best Fanzine more in line with the rules for Best Fan Artist, where Fan Artists can have work that they received compensation for considered, so long as it was for a semiprozine.

    The TL;DR: The suggestions in the article are kinda bad, Hugo Award for Best Fanzine should have the rules tweaked where you can pay artists, but not writers and it’s still distributed for free.

    (My apologies for the rambling).

  5. @Daniel Dern: There’s Penny Priddy, the leading lady in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

  6. 3) ” (It would likely reduce overall interest and participation, but that’s desirable as the Hugo Awards were never and should never become “popularity” awards”
    Uh, no. Nope. Wrong . That is exactly what they always were. Aiming to reduce participation seems crazy to me, but heh, introduce the motion at the Business Meeting and go for it

  7. @Patrick/@World Weary/@Daniel:

    The three Pennys (Pennies?) I was thinking of were Penny Priddy, Penny Robinson and the Penny from Dr. Horrible.

    Would you, ahem, count a Millicent?

    The first fictional Millicent to come to mind is Melissa Sue Anderson’s character from the Brady Bunch – which isn’t genre (though skyrockets are mentioned)
    https://bradybunch.fandom.com/wiki/Never_Too_Young

  8. Not to mention the one from the Odyssey. Was Lost in Space possibly alluding to that?

  9. (7) Eggers’ article has a lot to unpack. Teachers (ideally) should be responsive to what they perceive is best for students, and administrators are responsive to voters. In an election where only 13% of the electorate voted, a motivated minority can win (like Woody Allen says, 80% of life is just showing up). To the extent that there is a problem here to be solved, a solution will come from getting more parents involved in School Board elections, not in a San Franciso McSweeney’s editor saying that that his outlook on literature is appropriate for 17 year olds in middle America.

    Eggers says “In the age of ubiquitous online pornography, book bans are antiquated and odd, in that the instigators of such bans purport to shield young people from inappropriate material, while doing nothing to restrict students’ access to the web.”

    This is simply not true. The Rapid City School District has internet filtering software in place, to block sexual and other content.

    Eggers also says “How all this happened . . .might be a blueprint for how any school district can be overtaken by the narrow interests of people and groups without a direct stake in the schools”, and lists several school board members who do not have kids who are active students in the system.

    I disagree strongly with the implication that legitimacy comes from having kids who are public school students. Taken to its logical end, this would suggest that the childless and parents of adult children have no interest in how the schools are run — if that’s the case, why would they have an obligation to pay property taxes to fund public schools? Public schools are for the education of the electorate, to provide a better citizenry. All citizens have “a direct stake in the schools.”

  10. @bill:
    “I disagree strongly with the implication that legitimacy comes from having kids who are public school students. Taken to its logical end, this would suggest that the childless and parents of adult children have no interest in how the schools are run — if that’s the case, why would they have an obligation to pay property taxes to fund public schools? Public schools are for the education of the electorate, to provide a better citizenry. All citizens have “a direct stake in the schools.””

    Your are mixing several things. First what Eggers is referring to, is mainly that adults without kids in a school age usually dont really know much about students – not what they need, nor what they have. It is possible to find these things out, but its harder than people think. Education is a Science after all and no one would claim they know best whats good for a -say- bridge, if they dont know the principles of bridge building.
    Second the tax argument: I have news for you: NOTHING the state spends anything on, is for everyone. Not everyone uses the same roads – and people from San francisco probalbly wont vote on roads in San Diego. Not everyone uses prisons or even benefits from one. Etc. There is not a single thing that is for all citizens., Thats why its called a community – or a state.

  11. Penny-wise (sorry, no, don’t mean to cite King’s clown), right, Lost in Space, FYI FWIW IMHO I liked the recent 3-season Netflix reboot, except for Parker Posey’s performance as Dr Smith. (She did a remarkable job, and I’m not criticizing any part of it, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who nearly stopped watching, or stopped but did come back to) the series because of how creepy her character was. Same way I felt about Purple Man in (Marvel via Netflix)’s JESSICA JONES.
    Millicent-wise, I was thinking of “‘Cent ,” the daughter in (several volumes of) Steven Gould’s JUMPER series.

  12. @Peer
    “First what Eggers is referring to, is mainly that adults without kids in a school age usually dont really know much about students”

    Maybe that’s what he means. But I think he’s probably wrong here — of the bloc of four members that he’s most critical of, one (Doney) has kids in the school district; one (Thomas) has had kids recently (since she became a board member) in the district, and also home-schooled her kids (are you saying that a home-schooling parent doesn’t know about student needs?); and one has school age kids (Funke — I can’t find where her kids go to school).

    “NOTHING the state spends anything on, is for everyone. ” Well, we disagree. I may not use the roads in California, but I do use roads that the same system of taxes pay for. I benefit from prisons every time my house doesn’t get broken into because the burglar is in prison.

    Regardless, though, if Eggers is saying that the only people who have a stake in public schools are public school students and their parents, and not society as a whole, that’s an argument for not having broad-based public funding for schools. I don’t want that, and I doubt you do.

  13. While theoretically electing lower tier administrative bodies like school boards is a good idea, because more democracy is good, in practice it often doesn’t work (and clearly doesn’t work here), a) because not enough people bother to vote, so small coordinated interest groups can take over, and b) most regular people, whether parents or not, don’t know a lot about schools and education. In general, some of the worst proposals and policies with regard to schools have come from parents and politicians catering to a certain demographic of over-invested middle class parents.Teachers, who actually know their job, often disagree, but they have no power.

    Furthermore, there is no right that education must reflect the worldview of parents, especially since parents are not a monolith. Education should ideally expose students to a spectrum of knowledge and worldviews, so they can form their own opinions. I was exposed to worldviews in school that my parents very much disagreed with. Some I adopted, others I discarded.

    As for books, we are talking about older teenagers (15 to 18) here and mild sexual content in books is certainly appropriate for that age group. In the books I read for school at that age, there were definitely occasional sex scenes and also prostitution and even incest. There was also at least one book which mentioned abortion and two which mentioned suicide. Because these things are part of life.

    Personally, I don’t think that older students should exclusively be assigned contemporary YA novels, because there is value in reading literary classics of another time, though a contemporary YA novel can make a nice palate cleanser. Also, I’m pretty sure the reason The Circle was assigned is because it has things to say about social media, privacy and internet companies. The sex scenes are so minor I didn’t even remember they were there until reminded by the article.

  14. Maybe that’s what he means. But I think he’s probably wrong here — of the bloc of four members that he’s most critical of, one (Doney) has kids in the school district; one (Thomas) has had kids recently (since she became a board member) in the district, and also home-schooled her kids (are you saying that a home-schooling parent doesn’t know about student needs?); and one has school age kids (Funke — I can’t find where her kids go to school).

    I don’t see why homeschooling parents or parents with kids in private schools should have any say in what the public schools which they opted not to use teach or which books they assign. I’m certainly not going to try to tell the local Catholic school or the local Waldorff School what they should teach or which books they should assign, because that’s none of my business.

  15. Cora Buhlert says I don’t see why homeschooling parents or parents with kids in private schools should have any say in what the public schools which they opted not to use teach or which books they assign. I’m certainly not going to try to tell the local Catholic school or the local Waldorff School what they should teach or which books they should assign, because that’s none of my business.

    We actually had an interesting Court case just prior to the Pandemic in this regard. A women homeschooling her children went to Court arguing that since she paid taxes as a homeowner in a local school district that her children should be allowed the use of the resources of the local school and, here’s where it gets really interesting, be allowed to be members of the sports teams.

    The Court ruled that by taking her children out that school district she had explicitly foregone any rights to the resources of the district saying those resources were only for children attending those schools. She appealed all the way to SCOTUS but that Court refused to hear it.

    Yes she was representing by one of those groups that does these cases.

  16. @Daniel Dern:

    Oh, yes, Cent from the Jumper books. I wish for more books about her.

  17. I am greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Dorothy Jones Heydt.

    I first met her through music. She appeared at the SCA as part of the Consortium Antiquum, a Period music group with which she sang. She had a pure soprano that could readily inspire one to see her as an angel, and she inspired me to actually do some singing with the group before I settled into the study of dance. But Dorothy’s interest in music ranged way beyond Period music. We had a shared love of Karl Birger-Blomdahl’s opera “Aniara,” of which she had a copy of the piano score, and which she could sing. At one point I built two lap harps, one for her, one for me. Mine took forever to finish, but Dorothy wore hers out with making music.

    In the first season of Star Trek, we all gathered at the Hodgehead house to watch the show, as they were the only people in the group with a color television. Dorothy (who was a linguistics major and who had been working in Wyoming transcribing stories in the Native American language of an old man who had those stories) sat patiently with a notebook and notated every word spoken in Vulcan and, I think, every other alien tongue that was spoken on the show. If memory serves, Dorothy’s work was made available to the producers of the show (I think by Bjo Trimble) and was used in the second season. I think of her as the progenitrix of all the interest in alien languages that later sprang from Star Trek fandom.

    I also remember the wry little smile she had when she sold Marion a Darkover story in which, she proudly noted, nobody had red hair and nobody had an laran powers.

    Last, I remember the story of someone snatching her purse, and how she pursued the thief through the street using the full Wagnerian power of her voice to alert the people in the street until the thief was apprehended by the populace.

    I am happy that she had Hal to share her life, and her wonderful children who inherited some of her talent. (Every person is so unique that nobody can inherit all of what might be passed on. It is wonderful that any of each individual survives to carry the torch.)

  18. @Andrew (not Werdna)

    Oh, yes, Cent from the Jumper books. I wish for more books about her.

    Yes, it’s been a while since Steven Gould has written anything. Which is a shame, as he’s very good.
    At one point on his blog he said he was working on novelizations of the James Cameron Abyss movies, but that was a number of years ago.

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