Pixel Scroll 6/4/19 De Scrollus Non Est Disputpixelum

(1) CAT RAMBO. In “So Long, And Thanks for All the Fish”, Cat Rambo begins a seven-part series about her time on the SFWA board.

As I’m composing them, I’m asking you for a favor. If there is some SFWA moment that has been particularly meaningful for you in the past five years, I’d love to hear about it. I’d also love to know if there is a SFWA volunteer or volunteers that have helped make your experiences with SFWA positive. This is YOUR chance to give them a shout-out; drop me an e-mail about it!

And Cat asked me:

Would you pass this along to the Filers?

I really very much would like to hear from the F&SF community at large about how they think SFWA is doing, if there’s been highlights for them, and what they’d like in the future from the organization. 

File 770 has been one of the places I’ve gotten a lot of feedback and suggestions from during my time with SFWA and it’s been the source of so many titles that I added to the recommended reading lists each year. I’m doing a lot of writing up thank yous this final month and I definitely owe them one.

(2) STRANGE HORIZONS ROUND TABLE. Participating in The Strange Horizons Book Club discussion of  Kingdoms of Elfin by Sylvia Townsend Warner are Zen Cho, the award-winning author; Charlotte Geater, a poet and editor at the Emma Press; and Abigail Nussbaum, blogger, critic and columnist. The discussion is moderated by Aishwarya Subramanian.

…Kingdoms of Elfin was first published as a collection in 1977 and comprises sixteen stories by Sylvia Townsend Warner; all but two of these had originally been published in The New Yorker earlier in that decade. Set in and around various, predominantly European, fairy courts, the stories were a consequence of Warner’s desire to write “about something entirely different [than the human heart]” following the death of her partner, Valentine Ackland, in 1969. The result is a set of stories that, Greer Gilman notes in her foreword to this new edition (Handheld Press, 2018, with an introduction by Ingrid Hotz-Davies), return constantly to images of “captivity and flight. The cages here are courts, Gormenghastly in their etiquette; but glittering.”

Abigail Nussbaum: Well, I’ll take the easy answers and mention Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, for the way that it attaches class so strongly to the fairy realm, and Gormenghast, for the way that it stresses ossified rituals that govern the lives of even the most elevated members of the court (I thought the similarity was particularly notable in “The Five Black Swans”). And, of course, if you mention Clarke, you have to assume that Mirrlees and Dunsany are not far behind. They both see fairies as fundamentally irrational beings and tell stories about humans getting caught in their webs. One thing that I found interesting about the Elfland stories was how rarely humans figured into them at all, and how the arrow of irrationality tended to point the other way when they did—it’s the fairies who find humans bizarre and hard to parse.

Another connection that I made while reading and that I’ve been mulling over since then is to Tove Jansson’s Moomin books. There’s something about the way the fairy courts are constructed—hidden in the wilderness but so comfortable and hypercivilized (in a way that can be stifling as well as comfortable once you’re allowed in)—that reminds me of the Moomin house, and of the way the books, especially the later ones, reveal an undertone of wildness and danger that is only just held at bay by the Moomins’ fundamental goodness….

(3) PAY RAPT(OR) ATTENTION. Check in to Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, an all-new animated series coming to Netflix in 2020. According to ScienceFiction.com:

Little is known about the series so far, but it will be set within the timeline from the 2015 release of ‘Jurassic World.’ The plot will have the show follow “a group of six teenagers chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at a new adventure camp on the opposite side of Isla Nublar. But when dinosaurs wreak havoc across the island, the campers are stranded. Unable to reach the outside world, they’ll need to go from strangers to friends to family if they’re going to survive.”

(4) POLISHING THE BELLE. Erik Nelson argues that “Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used to Be” at Talkhouse.

The Cold Blue‘s director on his new doc, restoring William Wyler’s The Memphis Belle and propaganda and “fake news,” then and now.

“Of all the liars, the smoothest and most convincing is memory.” My pal Harlan Ellison used to say that all of the time (and he would also want you to know that that line wasn’t his. Harlan was picky about giving credit where due). How then is it possible to tell the truth about our shared past? We have recently seen the emergence of three documentaries that revolve around the restoration of archival footage to depict a forensic kind of truth. They Shall Not Grow Old takes us back to the devastating British experience of World War 1, Apollo 11 recreates a moment of technological triumph and the last call of American “can-do” optimism, and my film The Cold Blue celebrates the “last of the best,” the young men who flew suicidally dangerous combat missions in B-17s over Germany in World War II. All of these films spraying Windex onto the murky window of the past – and give it a good big-screen, immersive-sound-design wipe.

These three documentaries have all generated a surprising amount of critical attention and box-office success, clearly speaking to modern audiences in a way that has surprised many. Nostalgia for a lost past has never seemed so vital, which perhaps says more about the dysfunction and demoralization of our current life and times than we might care to admit.

As for myself, I have long been fascinated with the secret history of the 20th century. Not what is in the books, but what really happened behind the scenes and in the margins. All too often, history has been reduced to cliché, or black-and-white images that immediately distance us from the past, with the quotidian details that bring history to life obscured.

The Cold Blue was a chance for me to attend to those details, as well as pay homage to a generation that became inadvertently great, along with a filmmaker who worked very hard at staying great, William Wyler.

It started with a chance discovery of all 34 reels of the source material for Wyler’s classic documentary The Memphis Belle — filmed during the spring and summer of 1943 on 8th Air Force bases in England, and on bombing missions over Nazi occupied Europe. During production, one of Wyler’s cameramen, Harold Tannenbaum, was lost along with his plane over France. Since The Memphis Belle’s original release, all copies have deteriorated, and laboratory scratches inflicted on the original footage in 1943 remained. When I learned about the existence of the 15 hours of Wyler’s raw footage, in radiant color, that captured, home-movie style, the insanely risky missions flown by the 8th Air Force, I knew there was a new story that demanded to be told. But first, we replaced 500 individual shots of this raw footage over the 1944 The Memphis Belle’s existing soundtrack, and fully restored that film to pristine condition….

(5) COLLABORATION. Neil Gaiman was interviewed by Pasadena radio station KPCC’s The Frame today about Good Omens.

Novelist and comic book creator Neil Gaiman is no stranger to writing for television — from episodes of “Babylon 5” and “Doctor Who” to bringing his own book, “American Gods,” to the Starz network. But for his latest mini-series for Amazon, “Good Omens,” starring Michael Seen and David Tennant, Gaiman had the added task of honoring the memory of the late Terry Pratchett. In 1990, Gaiman and Pratchett co- wrote the novel, “Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnus Nutter, Witch.” Before Pratchett’s death in 2015, the two had hoped to bring the story to the screen but a production never came to light. In an interview at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, Gaiman told John Horn what it’s like to finally bring “Good Omens” to television all these years later without Pratchett as a writing partner. 

(6) ON THE SHELF. Kim Huett analyzes what it takes to be “The Next Big Thing” at Doctor Strangemind.

… I’m not sure that even book series such as Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern or Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga would work (even though I’m sure many people would be excited if they did, I’d certainly like to see the latter)….

(7) RAISED BY WOLVES. This game was played before there was a throne: “Sky Italia to Explore Birth of Rome in New Series ‘Romulus'”The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

The show will be shot in archaic Latin and feature 700 stunt people and thousands of extras occupying meticulously recreated historic locations.

Sky Italia is going back in history — way back to the eighth century B.C., and the creation of Rome — in its new series Romulus. Sky is producing the new 10-episode original with ITV Studio’s Cattleya and Groenlandia.

Director Matteo Rovere (Italian Race, Drifters) will serve as showrunner for the series, which will be shot in archaic Latin. His latest film, Romulus & Remus: The First King, debuted earlier this year in Italy, revealing the mythology of the two twin brothers whose turbulent story led to the founding of Rome. Michele Alhaique and Enrico Maria Artale are also slated to direct episodes.

(8) HE BLAMES THE TROLLS. “‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Director Ron Howard Says Trolls Contributed To Poor Box Office Performance” – that’s what he told ET Canada.

…Howard believes the core fan base was interested in the product but it failed to spark the mainstream’s attention. “Whatever millions [‘Solo’] made worldwide, those were the core fans, but it didn’t hit that zeitgeist point, for whatever reason,” he told the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast. “Timing, young Han Solo, pushback from the previous movie, which I kept hearing was maybe something.”

And of course, “some trolling, definitely some trolling. Some actual aggressive… It was pretty interesting,” he shared. “It was especially noticeable prior to the release of the movie. Several of the algorithms, whether it was Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, there was an inordinate push down on the ‘want to see’ and on the fan voting.”

(9) DUBLIN 2019 DAY PASSES. Available soon.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 4, 1936 Bruce Dern, 83. Here for Silent Running, a film I’d completely forgotten I’d seen until compiling this Birthday. It’s the directorial debut of Douglas Trumbull who went on to much more famous projects. He also shows up in a number of other genre films such as The Incredible 2-Headed TransplantThe HauntingThe Astronaut Farmer and Freaks. Needless to say, you’ll find him on series such as The Outer LimitsAlfred Hitchcock Presents and Land of the Giants
  • Born June 4, 1951 Wendi Pini, 68. With husband Richard, responsible for ElfquestOver the years Elfquest has been self-published by the Pinis through their own company Warp Graphics, then Marvel Comics, then the Pinis again, more recently DC Comics and then Dark Horse Comics. Everything prior to 2013 is free online. Be prepared to spend hours lost in great reading! 
  • Born June 4, 1953 Kathleen Kennedy, 66. Film producer and current president of Lucasfilm. In 1981, she co-founded the production company Amblin Entertainment with Spielberg and husband Frank Marshall. If you’ve liked a major genre film, be it Raiders of the Lost ArkWho Framed Roger Rabbit or The Secret World of Arrietty to give three very random examples, she most likely had a hand in it.
  • Born June 4, 1960 Kristine Kathryn Rusch, 59. If you’ve not discovered the amazements of her Diving Universe series, you’re in for a treat — it’s that good. Her Retrieval Artist series is one that IIRC can be read in no particular order but is great deal of fun no matter where you start. Other than those two series, I’ve not read deeply of her, so recommendations are welcome. 
  • Born June 4, 1964 Sean Pertwee, 55. Let’s see, where did I see him first? Oh, of course playing Sheriff Hugh Beringar on Cadfael but that’s not really genre, is it? Captain Heinz in “Trenches of Hell, Part 2 “, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was his first genre role followed being Pilot Smith on Event Horizon and Macbeth in a UK film the same year. He did a bit of low budget horror playing Bradley Cortese in Tale of the Mummy and likewise in being Sergeant Harry G. Wells in Dog Soldiers. There were some fairly low budget SF as well, say Father in Equilibrium. Not to mention Brother Proteus in Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie! All of which gets redeemed by his Inspector Lestrade in Elementary, a stunning take on that character. And then there’s his Alfred in Gotham. 
  • Born June 4, 1972 Joe Hill, 47. I’ve met him once or twice down the years as he shows up here in Portland for signings. Nice guy. Locke & Key is an amazing series and I’m fond of all of his short stories, particularly those collected in 20th Century Ghosts
  • Born June 4, 1975 Angelina Jolie, 44. I really liked her two Tomb Raider films and thought Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was a really cool film. I never saw her early Cyborg 2 undertakingbut think Hackers and her role as Kate “Acid Burn” Libby was rather good. I’ve not seen, nor have any desire to see, her two Maleficent films. 

(11) CARL BRANDON ON BRADBURY. This is from the pastiche “The Cacher In The Rye” by Carl Brandon (Terry Carr with Bhob Stewart), first published in 1956, and available again in Jeanne Gomoll’s collection Carl Brandon, recently published through Lulu.

Who the hell wants to see the program of a stfcon?  But anyway, we went and heard goddam Bradbury.

Bradbury’s talk wasn’t as bad as some I’ve heard.  I mean he wasn’t like old Ackerman with that toastmaster gag he pulls every convention. Bradbury just read one of his stories.  It was kind of on the cruddy side.  I know lots of fans think Bradbury is great and all, but I don’t.  He writes real smooth and all, and he’s got good characterization and lots of goddam emotion in his stories…the only trouble is he writes too good.  I mean, you don’t pay attention to what’s happening.  You just notice how good he writes.  But he was different, anyway.  A hell of a lot better than old Ackerman pulling his toastmaster gig.

(12) BIG THREE. In contrast, Charlton Comics was much kinder toward Ray in this quick bio from Haunted #61 (published in 1971).

(13) YOUNG ERB. According to True West, a magazine that covers the history of America’s Old West, Edgar Rice Burroughs’s stories were influenced by his two-year stint in the 7th U.S. Calvary as they hunted for an elusive outlaw: “Edgar Rice Burroughs Hunted the Apache Kid”.

Dateline: Fort Grant, Arizona Territory, Saturday, May 23, 1896.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, age 20, arrived here today to begin a harrowing ten-month tour of duty with the 7th U.S. Cavalry. A graduate of Michigan Military Academy, Burroughs had recently failed the entrance exam to West Point. Yet youthful optimism led him to believe a commission might still be attained from the ranks. Enlisted at Detroit with consent of his father (former Civil War Maj. George Tyler Burroughs), underage Ed had now achieved his rather perverse but expressed desire to be sent to “the worst post in the United States.” At Fort Grant his high hopes for rapid advancement would soon be crushed upon hard Arizona rocks.

Unknown to Burroughs, those same jagged rocks concealed a living legend—the Apache Kid. Kid roamed ghost-like through the remote mountain vastness, a $5,000 bounty on his head on both sides of the border. Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose own legend was still unlit, would soon join the hunt for this famed phantom outlaw—thus tying his name forever to the Apache Kid saga.”

Rob Thornton sent the link with a note of warning: “Some sexism here, including the use of the term ‘soiled dove’ when the article refers to prostitutes).”

(14) NOT SO FAST, ROBIN HOOD. NPR tells why “Astronomers Worry That Elon Musk’s New Satellites Will Ruin The View”.

Victoria Girgis was leading a public outreach session at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., when one of her guests noticed a string of lights moving high overhead.

“Occasionally, you’ll see satellites, and they look kind of like shooting stars moving through the sky,” Girgis says. “But this was a whole line of them all moving together.”

The guest hadn’t spotted a UFO invasion. Rather, it was the first installment of billionaire Elon Musk’s vision for the future: a constellation of satellites known as Starlink that’s meant to provide Internet to the entire planet.

On May 23, Musk’s company SpaceX launched a rocket that carried 60 Starlink satellites into orbit. The 500-pound satellites fanned out like a deck of cards. From the ground, they looked like a glittering string whizzing across the arc of the sky.

The crowd watched as the satellites moved in front of the small telescope Girgis had trained on some distant galaxies. The bright satellites created over two dozen streaks across an image she was taking.

“My first immediate reaction was, ‘That’s visually kind of cool,'” she says. “But my second reaction was, ‘Man you can’t see a single galaxy.’ “

The picture was useless.

(15) THE TELLTALE CURE. BBC says “‘Pumping heart patch’ ready for human use”.

A “pumping” patch containing millions of living, beating stem cells could help repair the damage caused by a heart attack, according to researchers.

Sewn on to the heart, the 3cm (1in) by 2cm patch, grown in a lab from a sample of the patient’s own cells, then turns itself into healthy working muscle.

It also releases chemicals that repair and regenerate existing heart cells.

Tests in rabbits show it appears safe, Imperial College London experts told a leading heart conference in Manchester.

Patient trials should start in the next two years, the British Cardiovascular Society meeting heard.

(16) FEAST ON THAT. And heart health is going to become important if you take up Chowhound’s offer to teach you “How to Make the Food You See in ‘Game of Thrones’”—or at least some reasonable substitutes for them.

Winter may have arrived in Westeros, but that’s not going to stop our favorite “Game of Thrones” characters—the ones who are left, anyway—from indulging in their favorite sweets, meats, and goblets upon goblets of various boozes. (Or at least that’s what we assume. Not even a White Walker seems like it’d stand in the way of a Lannister, Stark, or Targaryen and his or her meal.)

[…] While waiting to see what the final episode has in store, we’ve rounded up some of the most notable dishes below, along with recipes that you can try for yourself.

Recipes are offered for Lemon Cakes; Kidney Pie; Purple Wedding Pie; Pork Sausage, Oysters, Clams, and Cockles; Roast Boar; Whole Roasted Chicken; and Mulled Wine.

(17) 2020 BOOK FAIR. The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) returns to the Pasadena Convention Center on February 7-9, 2020 for the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair

The world’s largest rare book fair, this biennial event features more than 200 exhibitors from across the globe.

In 2020, we are celebrating the 100 years of national women’s suffrage with special exhibits, lectures, and panel discussions. 

There will also be an additional exhibit and seminar in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ray Bradbury’s birth.

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

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42 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/4/19 De Scrollus Non Est Disputpixelum

  1. (14) “I saw two shooting stars last night; I wished on them, but they were only satellites”

  2. 15) so many of these promising treatments never get to general patients and I always wonder what happened to them. There was something five years ago about some Canadian researchers having figured out how to regrow teeth that I’m really curious about. Anyway, I hope this one works out.

  3. 4) Sorry, but that article is wrong. There are some movies from the Third Reich, which can only be publicly shown in Germany in educational context. Mostly propaganda feature films as welll as a few documentaries. However, newsreels from the Third Reich are not banned from public exhibition and have never been. Back in the 1980s, there was a history program which ran entire newsreels, both German and foreign ones, interspersed with eyewitness interviews. It was a popular program and ran for years. And they showed plenty of Nazi era newsreels. There’s even an online archive of German newsreels, including those from the Nazi era. And yes, those newsreels were propaganda, but so is the US documentary glorifying the bombing of civilians he’s restoring.

  4. (1) CAT RAMBO.

    Under Cat’s leadership, SFWA became more transparent and open to the fan community than I’d ever seen it be. I thank Cat and her team members for all of their hard work, and the sacrifices they made in their careers to help SFWA become a better institution. I hope that MRK and her team will continue in that fine tradition.

  5. 7) This gives off an uncomfortable fascist vibe to me – and the director selling it as a story of “war, brotherhood, courage and fear” and “the profound meaning of power in the West” doesn’t help. (I’m not very thrilled to hear the film it’s spun off from ends with an animated map of the growth of the Roman Empire either – that’s not a neutral image in an Italian context.) But I’d be happy to hear I’m wrong from anyone who knows more about the director, or Italian politics?

  6. 1) Opening SFWA to self-published authors was a big step forward and happened during Cat’s tenure. Plus, as JJ said, SFWA has become a lot more transparent to non-members. Finally, the SFWA YouTube channel has a lot of useful content.

    @Sophie Jane
    Given the rise of the Far Right in Italy, your worries aren’t unfounded. Though I don’t know anything about the director either.

  7. 8) While the prior SW installment certainly hampered things a bit, maybe the larger problem with Solo was that it wasn’t on par with the superior work done in prior installments.

    I saw it. Thought it was OK. Have no desire to see it again.

    Unlike other installments. FTR, I can slip into the first three installments (i.e. Phantom Menace, etc.) pretty easily and enjoy myself. All of the movies, except maybe Empire Strikes Back which is almost perfect, have questionable features/issues/facets. But they are mostly enjoyable.

    Freedom works…each and every time it is tried.

  8. The illustrator of that Ray Bradbury bio in Charlton Comics from 1971 is still around. Frank Bolle, best known for drawing the comic strips Winnie Winkle and The Heart of Juliet Jones, is 94.

    I liked his drawing of Bradbury, but the subject matter of the panel is curious. It makes Bradbury look like a crime fiction writer.

  9. 14) An an amateur astronomer, I cringe to think what this is doing to the night sky. Already, I have to drive 2 hours at least to get a reasonably dark sky. It’s going to be especially hard on photographers who need long exposure times.
    OTOH, I know people who cannot access Internet in their regions, and it’s hard on their kids whose schools/universities increasingly require that their students use the net for assignments.

  10. A couple of decades ago, there was a big meteor shower—I don’t recall if it was Leonids or Perseids—and Cathy and I were driving around with our friend Mike trying to find a place in Hampton Roads with no light spill masking the sky. There just wasn’t anywhere! Finally, we had the bright dark idea of taking the ferry across the James River, and our luck was good: We had landed on the one boat (out of three possible) that had a spot on the upper deck that was around the corner from all the lights on the craft, and enjoyed several good minutes of looking at trails in the sky. We had to work for it, but the river’s good and wide at that point, which helped.

  11. (1) I remain deeply, deeply disappointed that SFWA continues to reject my proposal for a Secret Volcano Lair Exploratory Committee, despite it being cogent, cost-effective, and absolutely not insane.

    (Thank you to Cat and the Board for all of their time and energy.)

  12. If anyone has read Kelly Barnhill’s novelette “Thirty-Three Wicked Daughters” in the May/June 2019 F&SF, I’m curious to hear other opinions on who the barons in the story are meant to satirize.

    Jura gur onebaf fnvq “Jryy, npghnyyl” gb gur tvnagf naq jrer cebzcgyl rngra, vg jnf gur shaavrfg guvat V’ir ernq va FS/S nyy lrne.

    It’s a wonderful story I’ve added to my list for Hugo consideration next year.

  13. 8) “When you look at it, it’s like 3, 4, 5 — or whatever the rating is, I forget what the rating is on Rotten Tomatoes, whether it’s a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 — but pretty high, and then a series of 0s or .5s or 1s,”

    I’m surprised he doesn’t already know that that’s how popular ratings tend to work. If they love it or hate it they want to let everyone know, but if it’s just meh it’s not worth the effort.

  14. 8) Much of the cause for Solo’s poor reception was a feeling that the movie wasn’t needed and was a transparent attempt by Disney to do what they always do: milk every aspect of a property until it’s beaten into a grease spot. (sorry for the mixed metaphors)

    Everything we need to know about Han Solo we learn in the Cantina scene. He’s a smuggler, he owes a lot of money and needs a quick score, and he;’s a casual killer. That base establishes the character perfectly. From there we see him grow and have a really moving character arc.

    Solo was just pointless. It added nothing to the Star Wars story and honestly wasn’t that engaging. On the other hand, Rogue One added to the canon, was engaging, and was fun to watch.

  15. Douglas Berry: Solo was just pointless. It added nothing to the Star Wars story and honestly wasn’t that engaging.

    It also didn’t help that Solo’s most interesting new character, Val, was killed off halfway through the film.

  16. Everything we need to know about Han Solo we learn in the Cantina scene.

    I would agree with you with one exception. We needed this:

  17. Hey I got a title credit! I knew that sounded familiar…

    6) The Michael Moorcock Cinematic Universe, mayhap?

  18. Yeah, I liked Solo fine, the movie did what it aimed to do, but a necessary addition to the canon it was not. it didn’t take trolls to tank it.

    (I disagree that it was a worse movie than Phantom Menace, though. I watched the Phantom Edit relatively recently, noticed it was a better movie when recut thus, and STILL count even that as the most pointless of the Star Wars movies.)

  19. I thought Solo was, eh, fine (except for the bit where he gets his last name) but not really necessary; and I think it probably would’ve done better if they’d moved the release date to December instead of having it just five months after Last Jedi and with surprisingly little advance publicity.

  20. “click a little, file a little
    click click click
    file a lot, file a little more….”

    P.S. In Phantom Menace, Kid Anakin was ludicrously competent.

  21. I didn’t see Solo. I just couldn’t find any reasons why I should. It was like Young Hercules or young Indiana Jones. More a risk of messing up head canon than gaining something.

  22. Morning.

    Well, okay, afternoon.

    But I still have Hugo reading to do, and the appointment I had seems to have blown me off.

  23. Solo was a much better movie that I expected it to be but I’m confident my low expectations were based on the premise not the psychological manipulations of right-wing trolls.

  24. (14) (cont.) Is it wrong to pray on space hardware?

    Scrolling from the Wreckage

  25. (1) Cat: For years now, you’ve been a magnificent, ebullient face for the SFWA. I feel like at least 80% of what I even know about SFWA, and 95% of what’s relatively current and why the SFWA is so important and helpful and notable right now, is stuff I know because you’ve been explaining it, detailing it, spreading the word.

    Huge kudos. I can’t imagine how much time and effort you’ve poured into this; it’s very deeply appreciated 😀

    (I know that’s not exactly any of what you asked. But it’s absolutely my very first reaction, so…)

  26. Hampus Eckerman says I didn’t see Solo. I just couldn’t find any reasons why I should. It was like Young Hercules or young Indiana Jones. More a risk of messing up head canon than gaining something.

    Both of the latter series have their own considerable charms, particularly Young Hercules. I was very impressed with both the writing and acting on that series.

  27. Rob Thornton on June 5, 2019 at 11:40 am said:

    I’d change one word, twice: “file a little, scroll a little” and “scroll a lot, file a little more”
    (The original had “pick a little, talk a little” and “talk a lot, pick a little more”.)

  28. Indeed, Andrew was working on that very thing at one point. I know I’ve thought about it, pausing at the angles of stairs, and either gave up without a satisfactory version or went with something so forgettable that it eludes my searching.

    I’d say Andrew’s “tick a little” comes closest to the source in mellifluosity. (“Pixel little, scroll a little, pixel little, scroll a little/Fifth, fifth, fifth, Scroll a lot, Pixel little more”)

  29. Today must be a Meredith-agonza day.

    Tor is offering (4) QUILTBAG oriented novellas as a bonus for selection for June 2019. The offer ends at 2359 on 7 June. you have to sign up for their email marketing list; largely unobtrusive in my experience.

    The folks at Humble Bundle are offering a wide range of mostly fantasy and horror titles. (20) tomes in all if you donate at least US$15. This month’s charity is Doctors Without Borders.

    Also at Humble Bundle is a Godzilla Bundle featuring books published by IDW. There are (20) titles available in the bundle. It’s kaiju-riffic!. Charities are Traveling Stores and the Humane Society of the US.

    FTR, It isn’t that I think Phantom Menace is a great movie. It’s got too many problems to be that. But it is entertaining and engaging….albeit sometimes in the way that watching a disaster unfold can be engaging.

    The words of a President have an enormous weight and ought not to be used indiscriminately. – Calvin Coolidge

  30. CAT RAMBO: I’m not a SF/F pro so I’ve been more interested in the Hugo Awards and Worldcon than the SFWA and Nebulas. One of the biggest reasons I’ve begun to have more interest in the SFWA in recent years is Rambo.

    I like that the SFWA now admits game writers and self publishers, two initiatives that occurred while Rambo was president or vice president.

    Leading a group like the SFWA looks like it would be a pain in the ass. One thing Rambo had to deal with was an ongoing campaign of harassment by a tedious publicity-seeking writer who has so little faith in his own work that he concocts false claims of persecution to attract attention. She handled that and many heated controversies well.

    If I ever pursue fiction or game writing again I’ll be seeking membership in the SFWA. It’s an excellent group and this year’s Nebulas were a great event to watch on livestream.

  31. Thanks for the feedback on the “click a little” bit, folks. Much appreciated. 🙂

  32. (10) Strongly agree with the praise of Hill’s Locke and Key and 20th Century Ghosts. I believe he has a new short fiction collection coming out later this year.

  33. Joe Hill has this fantastic novella called “Gunpowder,” and I was lucky enough to find out Hill existed by getting this particular novella for review.
    It’s kind of a supercharged Lord of the Flies — a bunch of kids have been engineered to have incredible powers to shape the world around them; literally creating life — and they’re the vanguard to terraform a new planet. But, well, you can imagine what kind of a world a bunch of teenage boys are likely to come up with…

    It was a limited-edition affair, from P.S. Publishing, back in 2019. And it’s just never been released on any wider scope.
    The plan at the time (as I understand it) was for Hill to write a continuing series, with the previous installment getting a wider release as each new story came out. Seems like this never materialized, though. Asking Hill about this was literally the reason I joined Twitter; of the second novella, he answered, “I’ve got it all written in my head, but I can’t print from there.”
    I’m never really expecting a sequel, but gosh-darn it I would really like “Gunpowder” itself to be available in some format.

  34. I thought Solo was better than the prequels, and actually not far behind RotJ. But that’s not high praise. 🙂

    I had almost forgotten Silent Running existed. I think my brain has been mixing it up with Dark Star a bit–though I know I much preferred the latter.

    Kristine Katheryn Rusch’s Fey books were pretty decent, though they suffered a little from trying too hard to avoid the standard tropes. But I still enjoyed them, though I think her later stuff is better.

  35. I liked Solo, but part of that was (probably) due to it being better than I expected. I went into it, expecting to have moving images in front of my eyes for a while, I left with some more Han background, a really rather boring explanation of The Kessel Run, and a feeling that the ticket price wasn’t wasted money.

    I went into The Phantom Menace, expecting to be awed, and I left with a bitter taste in my mouth, thinking that it was vastly inferior to my expectations, and I’d been better off not having paid for it. I then proceeded to see episodes 2 on DVD, and episode 3 eventually as I happened to see that it was being televised.

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