Pixel Scroll 6/4/21 Of All The Pixels In All The Scrolls In All The World, She Files Into Mine

(1) JEMISIN ADAPTING BROKEN EARTH FOR FILM. Gizmodo collates the news about “N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo-Winning Broken Earth Trilogy Movie Deal”.

N.K. Jemisin has already made history by winning three consecutive Hugo awards for each entry in her Broken Earth trilogy: The Fifth SeasonThe Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky. Now, the perhaps inevitable next step is here, with a just-announced big-screen deal with Sony’s TriStar Pictures that will see the author adapting her own novels.

Deadline broke the news, noting that it was a “seven figure deal,” and Jemisin herself shared the story on Twitter (further down the thread, she joyfully emphasized the part about “the author will adapt the books herself”).

…Sharp-eyed readers may recall that The Fifth Season was, at one time, being developed as a TV series for TNT—but that was back in 2017, and obviously the situation has changed.

(2) 2023 SITE SELECTION. DisCon III says the 2023 Worldcon bidders have set the voting fee.

All bidders for the 2023 Worldcon have agreed the voting fee will be $50 USD. If you are at least a Supporting Member of DisCon III, you’re eligible to vote for the 2023 Worldcon Site Selection. The voting fee is in addition to your DisCon III membership. All site selection voters will become Supporting Members of the 2023 Worldcon regardless of who wins. All money collected from the voting fee will be turned over to the winning bid. Further details regarding the voting process will be announced later this summer.

(3) CANCEL CULTURE. The Guardian’s Alison Flood talks to industry people with different perspectives in her article “‘If publishers become afraid, we’re in trouble’: publishing’s cancel culture debate boils over”.

… Sometimes the pressure works: Yiannopoulos was dropped by S&S amid outrage over his comments about consent, and Allen was dropped by Hachette after a staff walkout. Sometimes it doesn’t: staff at PRH Canada complained about Jordan Peterson’s book Beyond Order, but it went ahead anyway; PRH India chief executive Gaurav Shrinagesh brushed off Mishra’s concerns by writing about publishing a “diverse range of voices”. S&S president Jonathan Karp told staff protesting about Pence that “we come to work each day to publish, not cancel, which is the most extreme decision a publisher can make”  but reports from a recent S&S town hall show this did little to calm the workforce.

…One managing director at the Big Five, who asked to remain anonymous, said he saw “a strange contradiction” in his workplace where everyone was positive about diversity, but where some also want to “pick and choose the kind of diversity we want”.

“If we want to be a publisher and employer for everyone, our publishing has to reflect that. And it becomes a necessary inevitability that we publish books and authors of viewpoints some of our staff don’t agree with or indeed, very, very actively disagree with,” he says. “That tension is not entirely new, but for whatever reason, it seems to be sort of boiling over now. It is complicated, but also, I think, quite stimulating.”

At political publisher Biteback, editorial director Olivia Beattie finds it frustrating that the debate is “so often framed as younger editors being oversensitive, rather than acknowledging that what senior editors choose to publish has an impact on the terms of public debate.

“Any half-decent junior editor learns very quickly how to separate their personal ideological positions from the material they’re editing, because that’s a crucial part of the job,” she says. She believes the publishing industry skews more leftwing than the book-buying public, making it inevitable that staff will work on books they disagree with.

“But people aren’t having these kinds of conflicts over simple differences of political opinion, as you might assume from listening to the debate on it,” she says. “Nobody’s refusing to work on a book because it doesn’t fit with their party affiliation: what’s been at stake has virtually always been a question of whether the book or the author is responsible for inciting prejudice against already marginalised and oppressed minorities. That’s an absolutely valid area for debate. It’s also not always clear-cut – some people will be deafened by a dog-whistle that others can’t hear.”

Once junior editors are “up in arms”, Beattie believes that is proof of enough concern to warrant an internal conversation. “Ironically, the people railing against ‘cancel culture’ very often seem to be trying to shut down criticism themselves,” she says….

(4) MELLOW YELLOW. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the June 2 Financial Times, Tom Faber discusses the antitrust lawsuit Fortnite creator Epic Games filed against Apple.

Most ludicrous was the debate reported by the tech news website The Verge around Peely, a humanoid banana who is something of a mascot for Fortnite.  Apple’s lawyers displayed an image of the figure in his ‘Agent Peely’ guise, saying, ‘We thought it better to go with the suit than the naked banana, since we are in federal court this morning, implying that a banana without clothes is somehow obscene. Hours later Epic’s attorney returned to this ridiculous proposition by asking Epic’s VP of marketing whether Peely without clothes would be ‘inappropriate’.  Hi response was a firm ‘no.’:  ‘It’s just a banana, ma’am.’

It really is a banana with sunglasses.

(5) I SEE BY YOUR OUTFIT. “Here’s the first teaser for Shazam! Fury Of The Gods, or at least Zachary Levi’s outfit in it”Yahoo! tells what they can make of this dimly-lit pan of the new costume.

(6) AMERICA: THE MOTION PICTURE. This Netflix movie asks. “What if America’s greatest political leaders were superheroes who know four letter words and can smash things?”

(7) BOOKSELLER OBIT. [Item by Tom Whitmore.] Bob Brown (Robert L. Brown of B. Brown and Associates in Seattle) recently died of esophageal cancer.

Bob was pretty directly responsible for me becoming a bookseller: he and Clint Bigglestone and I did a rare book mailorder business in the early 1970s (50 years ago!). He continued to maintain his business, in conjunction with his other work of selling space and time (for advertising) up until right before his death. Anyone who went to big conventions and collected books probably knew him — he was a regular dealer. And he always had interesting books. His personal specialty was 19th Century SF and fantasy, but he had plenty of modern books as well; he also dealt in mysteries, like so many SF dealers. His other passions were his family and fishing. His passing leaves a major hole in the field. I’ll miss him.

PS: Please note that this is not the Bob Brown of B-Cubed Press. It’s too easy to get them confused.


  • June 4, 1982 – On this date in 1982,  Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan premiered. Directed by Nicholas Meyer and produced by Robert Sallin, the screenplay was by Jack B. Sowards off a story by Harve Bennett and Jack B. Sowards. It starred the entire original Trek cast plus guest stars of Bibi Besch, Merritt Butrick, Paul Winfield, Kirstie Alley and Ricardo Montalbán. Gene Roddenberry was not involved in its production. It was a box office success and critics really, really liked it. It’s generally considered the best of all the Trek films ever produced. It would finish second to Bladerunner at ConStellation for Best Dramatic Presentation. Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it a stellar ninety percent rating.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born June 4, 1894 – Patricia Lynch.  Interwove Irish rural life and fantasy.  In The Turf-Cutter’s Donkey (here’s a Jack Yeats illustration) and 3 sequels, children meet the Salmon of Knowledge and Fionn mac Cumhaill (pronounced roughly “fin m’cool”), are replaced by mischievous changelings, and like that; in Brogeen of the Stepping Stones and 11 sequels the leprechaun Brogeen keeps running away from home, with his elephant companion Trud.  Fifty novels, two hundred shorter stories.  (Died 1972) [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1916 – Ozma Baum Mantele.  First granddaughter of Frank Baum.  The Lost Princess of Oz was dedicated to her.  It was one of her last wishes that Baum’s manuscript of his last Oz book (Glinda of Oz) be donated to the Library of Congress; done, the year after her death.  “Memories of My Grandmother Baum”, “Ozcot, My Second Home”, and “Fairy Tales Can Come True If You’re Young at Heart” in The Baum Bugle; see also its “Baum Family Questionnaire”.  (Died 1999) [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1930 – Steve Schultheis, age 91.  Coined “Beastley’s on the Bayou” when Beatley’s hotel on Indian Lake, Ohio, wouldn’t admit African-American Bev Clark to Midwestcon IV.  Wrote (with Virginia Schultheis) the song “Captain Future Meets Gilbert & Sullivan”.  Retrieved the 15th Worldcon’s gavel for the Goon Defective Agency, in what proved to be as true to life as the Agency itself (John Berry wrote up the Agency, satirizing himself as Goon Bleary).  Instrumental in composing the World Science Fiction Society constitution adopted by the 21st Worldcon.  [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1951 — Wendy Pini, 70. With husband Richard, responsible for Elfquest which won them a BalrogOver 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 at the Elfquest Comic Viewer. Be prepared to spend hours lost in great reading! (CE)
  • Born June 4, 1960 — Kristine Kathryn Rusch, 61. If you’ve not discovered the delights of her Diving Universe series, you’re in for a treat — it’s that good. Her Retrieval Artist series is one that can be read in no particular order so is a great deal of fun no matter where you start. Other than those two series, I’ve not read deeply of her, so other recommendations are welcome. Oh, and she won the Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Her Website is here; don’t miss her appreciation of A.J. Budrys.  (CE)
  • Born June 4, 1953 – Pam Fremon, F.N.  Chaired two Boskones; worked on 47th, 62nd, 66th Worldcons (maybe more if I remembered better).  Elected a Fellow of NESFA (New England SF Ass’n; service).  Here’s a photo of some watermelon art for the Orlando in 2001 Worldcon bid.  (Died 2012) [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1964 — Sean Pertwee, 57. Let’s see, where did I see him first? Oh, of course, playing Sheriff Hugh Beringar on Cadfael but that’s not genre, is it? Captain Heinz in “Trenches of Hell, Part 2 “,  on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles which was his first genre role followed being Pilot Smith on Event Horizon and Macbeth in a UK film of that name 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 which I dearly want to see! 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, 1969 – Ralph Voltz, age 52.  German-born illustrator now of North Carolina.  Four hundred fifty covers, and much else, in and out of our field.  Here is This Is My Funniesthere is The Nakk and the Cat (Nakks are in the Perry Rhodan universe); here is “Star Wars” on Trial.  [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1972 — Joe Hill, 49. I’ve met him once or twice down the years as he shows up here in Portland for signings at both book shops and comic shops. Nice guy like his father. Actually the whole family is amazingly nice. Locke & Key is a superb graphic novel series and I’m fond of all of his short stories, particularly those collected in 20th Century Ghosts. I’ve got Full Throttle, his latest collection in my digital reading pile. I notice that though he’s not yet won a Hugo, he’s won a fistful of Stokers, many BFAs, a World Fantasy Award and even an International Horror Guild Award.  (CE)
  • Born June 4, 1975 — Angelina Jolie, 46. I really liked her two Tomb Raider films and thought Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was a really cool film with her role being quite magnificent. I never saw her early Cyborg 2 undertaking but think Hackers and her role as Kate “Acid Burn” Libby was rather good. I’ve not seen, nor have any desire to see, her Maleficent films. (CE)
  • Born June 4, 1984 – Xia Jia, age 37.  Two dozen short stories so far (a dozen and a half available in English; E-book collection A Summer Beyond Your Reach appeared Apr 2020).  In “The Demon-Enslaving Flask” James Clerk Maxwell meets a demon, with footnotes.  “A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight” shows what at first seems a haunted keep, as in millennia of Chinese stories, but proves to be a decayed far-future theme park with cyborgs.  Under the name by which she earned a Ph.D. she is a university lecturer in China.  [JH]
  • Born June 4, 1991 — Jordan Danger, 30. She is best known for her role as Zoe Carter on Eureka. (Now inexplicably renamed A Town Called Eureka in syndication.) She also showed up in Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators which as horror is genre of sorts, plus the SF films, Higher Power and Beyond the Sky. And even a vampire film, Living Among Us. All low budget, all straight to DVD productions. (CE) 


  • Wulffmorgenthaler-36 envisions the day water is more expensive than oil. Lise Andreasen translates the caption from Danish: “Listen up, soldiers. This is your new equipment for our incredibly peaceful and diplomatic mission. The willow branch is to look for water, and the bazooka is for diplomacy, if they won’t give you their water…”

(11) RUNS WITH SCISSORS. On the day that that Worldcon 76 settles with Jon Del Arroz – “Worldcon 76 Settles with Jon Del Arroz: Issues Apology, Will Pay Compensation” – there’s hardly anyplace he can crow because Facebook and Twitter have him suspended. He told his 3,000 YouTube subscribers yesterday in “SJWs Are Trying To Deplatform Me EVERYWHERE!”

…and I found that I can’t post or comment for 28 days. That also includes liking apparently I tried to like a post and this came up.

And if you scroll through here there’s all of these posts dating back to June 15, 2020 uh that they say violates their community standards. Now I don’t know what these posts are. You can’t click on any of these nor tell what they are uh so it’s all guesswork but I’m gonna guess i posted some memes that somebody went through and combed through my account and then uh tried to harass me here because this is just too many instances all at once. Very very odd uh that this showed up now. I don’t say anything that salty uh usually. I do comment perhaps on some globo homo stuff with my memes especially uh you know with pride month uh you know being in our faces constantly with their little fake corporate shilling that they always do. And I also comment a lot on uh I’d say election integrity, and uh you know certain uh shots that people are getting at this point so maybe that’s what had to do with it i don’t know. But uh one sort of post going through that’s one thing but all of these it looks like somebody went back and combed through my stuff just to try to target me now. Of course within a couple hours of that I found out that the same thing had happened on Twitter.

So I’m suspended for a 30 day on Facebook uh seven day on  Twitter for a recent meme I posted which was making fun of the corporate pride month. And we’ll call it corporate pride month because that’s what it is. That’s it and so they made me remove it and I’m stuck without being able to market anywhere except for here for that amount of time so they are trying to hit my social media accounts and this comes in the wake where I’ve actually got some big news in the pipeline…

(12) SPOT ON. Olivia Rutligliano reminds us why One Hundred and One Dalmatians remains one of the best Disney animated films in “Stopping for a Moment to Appreciate the Original 1961 film One Hundred and One Dalmatians” at CrimeReads.

As I type this, a new film has been released which offers a backstory into the motivations of the Disney villainess Cruella de Vil, a character who needs no introduction (or even, some might say, explanation) but has been given one anyway. I haven’t seen this new film, Cruella, which stars Emma Stone and sets itself up as a pseudo-prequel to Disney’s live-action 101 Dalmatians film from 1996, which starred Glenn Close as the diabolical, piebald, puppy-stealing termagant. I probably won’t see the new film (simply because I’m not very interested in Disney’s live-action remakes and such), but I’m not writing this to knock it. All I can say about it is that I’ve noticed that, in preparation for or perhaps inspired by its release, many have taken to watching or rewatching Disney’s original 1961 film. To which I say: good.

One Hundred and One Dalmatians (which IS a crime film) is a timeless joy, and an aesthetic marvel. If you have seen it (or even if you haven’t) you probably know the gist, but here’s a deeper dive….

(13) TRAVEL TRIVIA. “In the 1950s and 60s a UFO was described as cigar shaped. Now a UFO is described as TicTac shaped,” notes John King Tarpinian.

(14) PLANE SPEAKING. Nature covers scientific findings of “Ultrahigh-energy photons up to 1.4 petaelectronvolts from 12 ?-ray Galactic sources”.

Over 500 extremely high energy cosmic rays (PeVatrons) have been detected.

These are atomic nuclei travelling close to the speed of light. PeVatrons have energies around 100 times that of the particles generated in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. They have been detected before but their source is something of a mystery. This is because magnetic fields in space bend their trajectories. However, when they interact with the interstellar medium they generate gamma rays and these do travel in a straight line. The researchers have identified one source, the Crab Nebula. They have detected a dozen sources so doubling the known PeVatron sources. These sources seem to lie along the Galactic Plane. Sources could be other supernovae remnants, pulsar winds and related to the Galactic centre black hole: we just don’t know. However, we may learn more when the Cherenkov telescope Array in Chile and the Southern Wide-field Gamma Ray Observatory in S. America come on-line.

(15) DECISION JUICE. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Queue up the obligatory “big brain/little brain” joke: “Human brain and testis found to have the highest number of common proteins” reports Phys.org.

…In this new effort, the researchers noted that evidence from other studies has found some signs of similarities between testis and the human brain. Intrigued, they initiated a study that involved analyzing the proteins produced by different parts of the body and then comparing them to see similarities. The researchers found the greatest similarities between the brain and testicles—13,442 of them. This finding suggests that the brain and the testicles share the highest number of genes of any organs in the body….

(16) LEAVING OUT THE MIDDLEMAN. This is a piece in which a woman who published a “speculative thriller” about parthenogenesis explains why she did it: “Finding Inspiration for Speculative Fiction in the History of Reproduction” at CrimeReads.

…Plutarch’s observations about mola, the supposed products of parthenogenesis, almost definitely referred to molar pregnancies, birth defects incompatible with life, or other conditions that lacked a clear medical explanation at the time. But my paranormal-obsessed brain took the idea and ran with it in entirely different directions. Plutarch couldn’t have imagined that, roughly eighteen hundred years later, a young woman would encounter his general idea and instantly feel inspired to write a thriller about virgin birth.

And yet, that’s exactly what happened. I’m a sucker for a good origin story, and this one felt big. What if Plutarch was right, and women who strayed too far from a rational male influence—women who thought for themselves—could literally imagine their own children into being? What if a woman’s unruly brain gave rise to an unruly child, conceived without the “soul” that a father would imbue?… 

(17) THREE VIDEOS BY DOMINIC NOBLE. [Item by Jennifer Hawthorne.] The Deceit and Broken Promises Behind The Worst Adaptation Ever (Earthsea) is coverage of how Le Guin got incredibly badly treated by the people who produced the terrible SciFi miniseries of Earthsea.

Lost In Adaptation: Earthsea is the video about the first two books of Earthsea and the terrible miniseries itself

Lost In Adaptation: The Golden Compass is his latest video, about The Golden Compass.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Michael Toman, Tom Whitmore, Lise Andreasen, Jennifer Hawthorne, Rob Thornton, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, John Hertz, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day bill.]

Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

53 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/4/21 Of All The Pixels In All The Scrolls In All The World, She Files Into Mine

  1. (3) CANCEL CULTURE. And who says publishers are afraid? I think it’s more a matter of publishers being aware of who their readership is, and making intelligent decisions based on that. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?

  2. The only publishing censorship I’m currently concerned by is the misuse of ownvoices to force authors to out themselves before their books are considered publishable, although that’s (almost?) as much an audience problem as it is a publishing one. Controversial people writing controversial opinions being considered controversial is, well, how their marketing works. It usually benefits them more than it doesn’t, and I’ve heard far worse stories of books being neglected or buried for far pettier reasons.

  3. (8) That was a heck of a good month for us fen. Wrath of Khan, Blade Runner, E.T., The Thing, and Poltergeist all came out in June 1982. WoK and Poltergeist came out the same day!

    Mr. LT and I lived in a town with no movie theater, but the next one had a 3-screener and so we went.

    Edit: FIFTH!

  4. 3) The publishing industry, from mailroom to boardroom, cannot help but be distressed by the theory that their eagerness to publish new, controversial “outside-the-box” and “original” rightwing bullshit during the Shrub and Obama years helped legitimate the kind of vileness which triumphed in 2016. I wondered whether Mein Kampf‘s publisher ever regretted what they had done, but then discovered that it was a formerly legit publishing house which had been bought by the Nazis in 1920.

  5. As of today I’m considered fully vaccinated and I’m feeling pretty happy about it.

  6. 8) Now I wish I’d kept some kind of track of which movies I saw when that summer. Although given that I was living in a small town in southern Minnesota and I think it would have only had two theaters with four or five screens between them, I doubt we even had most films on opening day.

  7. (3) hmm that sure is a strange contradiction – the people who want more diversity in publishing don’t want to publish the people who want less diversity in publishing. It’s almost like they are FOR a thing and AGAINST the opposite of the thing in some way.

    Personally, I try to stay in a permanent state of being FOR things and FOR the opposite of things while also being AGAINST things and AGAINST the opposite of things in an attempt at a huge psychic cosmic balance with my mind torn in all directions at once in a bid to embrace universal chaos whilst channelling the myriad visions of the manifold multiverses…or at least that’s what my CV says for job application to be the CEO of a major publishing company.

  8. Thanks for the title credit. I had forgotten about this — it’s from nearly two years ago. And searching for it reveals that Bruce Arthurs should get most of the credit anyway (sorry, Bruce, I didn’t mean to plagiarize you.)

  9. 9) Am a huge fan of Patrick Troughton and his Doctor, but most sources give date of birth as 25 March 1920. He served in WW2, which would have been difficult if he was only born in 1930.

  10. bill: If it makes you feel any better, you’ve suggested versions of this title twice. The first time was in 2017 when you were still capitalizing your name.

  11. Well, in a couple of years I’ll probably submit it again. Casablanca is a great movie, and it’s not like I can remember what I had for dinner last week, much less comments I left two or four years ago.

    (And whether or not my name is capitalized is more a function of the cookies in my browser cache than a specific choice. I’ll answer to either.)

  12. Bill: I’ll work on my inflection so you’ll know when I’m saying “bill” with a small b or with a big B.

  13. 12) I’m stuck without being able to market anywhere except for here

    And thus we see what the Prominent Local Author thinks.

  14. Mike Glyer on June 4, 2021 at 11:30 pm said:

    bill: If it makes you feel any better, you’ve suggested versions of this title twice. The first time was in 2017 when you were still capitalizing your name.

    Did you ever use “scroll up the usual pixels” because that was a good one in the same comment by Bill.

    If so than can I suggest “I’m shocked to find scrolling going on in here”

  15. 4) As the great chess master Nimzovich said, “The threat is greater than the execution.” The lesser of the two follows. Anyone who can do better is probably, indeed, anyone.

    Have you some scrapple, Apple
    Take a dyspeptic, Epic
    Don’t be nonkulturny, Attorney
    Everybody eats when they come to my court!
    It’s just a banana, Hannah!
    Don’t throw that tomato, Plato!
    Not my face in the pie made of fudge, Judge!
    Everybody eats when they come to my court!

  16. (11) And thus JDA experiences, but does not learn, that violating platforms’ rules can have consequences–and that spreading vaccine disinformation and being intentionally offensive about marginalized but no longer silent groups are among those offenses.

    Poor boy!

  17. 3
    Perhaps this is an inevitable result of conglomeration. Our public discourse is fragmented, with a great variety of voices in a clamor, everyone with a megaphone. Huge companies with vast holdings are bound to alienate parts of their team when they try to exploit that diversity of content. It has become difficult to work at an imprint of a publisher not linked to some other imprint whose list you find objectionable.

    And I really think we have reached a point where some opposing views are irreconcilable. And some views which are simply dangerous. I urge discretion and respect, but my urging is interpreted as tyranny. Irreconcilable. Perhaps we are facing a tower of Babel. I don’t see a happy resolution.

    I have been flabbergasted by the return.of the UFO. I was pretty sure it was a Cold war thing. If you haven’t read it, i recommend Phil Patton’s Dreamland from the late 1990s, the book I feel is the definitive statement about US UFO phenomena.

  18. Lis Carey says And thus JDA experiences, but does not learn, that violating platforms’ rules can have consequences–and that spreading vaccine disinformation and being intentionally offensive about marginalized but no longer silent groups are among those offenses.

    Poor boy!

    I’m still having a hard time understanding why he wants to attend an event in which he’ll be most decidedly unwelcome. And if he acts out at a future WorldCon and there’s a high probability that he will, he’ll get asked to leave. So why go? Another chance to file yet another lawsuit when something happens that offends him? He’s stupid, but that stupid?

  19. I’m still having a hard time understanding why he wants to attend an event in which he’ll be most decidedly unwelcome.

    JDA’s stock-in-trade is performative outrage. He manufactures situations in which the rules will be applied to him so he can scream and cry in public about how unfair the world is being to him.

  20. StephenfromOttawa says Surely he’s just an attention seeker.

    Well that too. But he practices hate speech which is what got him his too recent bans. I for one wouldn’t have him on any panel at any event that I was involved in officially. (His follow-up on the online spots he hasn’t been banned yet is even worse than where he’s been been banned.)

  21. Meredith moment: James Morrow’s rather excellent Godhead trilogy is available from the usual suspects for a mere two dollars and ninety nine cents. Towing Jehovah, the first book here, won a World Fantasy Award.

  22. T Kingfisher, Oor Wombat, got a Nebula for “Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking”! (So it’s YA: it’s a fine book.)

  23. My Foster Son Keith, during two military careers, noted that when things got really emotionally tough he would put on his copy of “Casablanca” and his sense of reason, and the world, would be restored for him. Through multiple wars, marriages, and cancer, he still manages to hold on to a sense of humor and a positive outlook, and that makes him one of my heroes. And he and I… Well, where ever in the world we may be, we’ll always have Agora.

  24. @ Cat Eldridge “(3) CANCEL CULTURE. And who says publishers are afraid? I think it’s more a matter of publishers being aware of who their readership is, and making intelligent decisions based on that. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?”

    Nope. In fact that’s exactly what Baen does. But since they’ve dropped out of everything anyway the reaction to their doing this doesn’t matter to them.

    As for article I’ll put part of below since it’s long but of course they’re afraid, dare I say it, the same way fans are afraid. Say the wrong thing, be misinterpreted, and you’ll be attacked all through culture. More fun, it might go dashing around the Internet and you have no idea who’s saying what about a person they don’t know. Closer to home, you don’t know if you’re going to be scorned at conventions. Once you figure out what you can’t say in public or in person it isn’t scary, just sad.

    Publishers have a lot to loose. If I recall WW Norton was solidly behind the book with a heavy rotation of promotion. A lot of money, an excellent bio of Phillip Roth. And then they pulled it – not hold it back – because of unproved accusations against the author. They probably will be proven; it was only 20 years ago, but Norton pulled the book because they were afraid.

    Why wouldn’t publishers be afraid? There are others when you start looking for them, this is just the most obscene.

    Anyway, from the Guardian:

    But speaking to publishing staff for this article – particularly those at the big conglomerates, and more junior staff worried for their jobs – most are wary of speaking on the record regardless of their perspective, fearful of what one described as the “raging binfire” which followed on social media after the House of Lords hearing.

    “Everyone is very guarded around this subject and inclined to speak with incredible care,” one head of PR says. “These days, it’s all too easy to earn yourself the unshakable label of ‘bigot’. Also, too many areas of discussion feel like they’re off limits – which should hardly be the case in an industry that disseminates ideas.”

    There are a lot of little cases out there, publishers returning advances and the book.

  25. Glad to see that [1] Jemisin’s trilogy may become movies. My father was scared off of my recommendation by the narrative complexity, but I have no trouble seeing multiple ways the story could be boiled down for the screen.

  26. Aaron, my mention of Baen had nothing to do with free speech, criticism, and certainly no desire to die, thank you very much. Cat was talking about a publishing model, they came to mind, I remembered that none of this matters to them anyway. That duck is dead. Except, of course, that mention that publishing house and immediately someone goes after you. Which is pretty much my point of being afraid.

    Now, want to read the rest of why I said, erasing your opinion of Baen?

  27. @Elspeth–

    Publishers have a lot to loose. If I recall WW Norton was solidly behind the book with a heavy rotation of promotion. A lot of money, an excellent bio of Phillip Roth. And then they pulled it – not hold it back – because of unproved accusations against the author. They probably will be proven; it was only 20 years ago, but Norton pulled the book because they were afraid.

    Or they pulled the book because it had what they could be reasonably certain was a major omission that would both kill sales, and lower WW Norton’s reputation for quality non-fiction–because it had a huge, gaping hole.

    No “fear” required. At least not for people who think non-fiction should be well-researched and as accurate as reasonably possible.

  28. Now, want to read the rest of why I said, erasing your opinion of Baen?

    Sure. You’re doing nothing but whining that people are using their free speech to criticize publishers, and throwing in Baen just for kicks. Your entire post is pointless complaining that people whose opinions you don’t like are allowed to express those opinions in a way you don’t like. Why do you hate free speech?

  29. @John A. Arkansawyer–Read what I quoted from Elspeth. Reasonably well-grounded accusations like that, in a book not yet published, make for a book whose sales are likely to tank, and a publisher likely to be stuck with defending the decision to publish after they knew about them. It’s one thing if there’s good reason to believe the charges are false; another thing entirely if they look likely to be proven.

  30. @Lis Carey

    The accusations – and pretty awful ones even by the usual standards, don’t google it if you’re feeling fragile – were against the author of the biography, not the subject.

    That being said, you’re not entirely off: There were suggestions from some early reviewers that the autobiography is essentially apologia and handwaving for Roth’s misogyny, and certainly the author’s own misogyny is a likely contributing factor to such inadequacy.

  31. Norton dropped the Roth biography because of sexual misconduct allegations against the author, Blake Bailey, regarding minor students of his (and Bailey denies the allegations). The allegations have nothing to do with Roth, and there’s no “omission” involved (unless you believe a biography should include such “meta” narrative). Norton just felt like the book was too hot. And it’s been picked up by another publisher.

  32. There are others when you start looking for them, this is just the most obscene.

    No one who read the allegations against Blake Bailey in the New York Times and the Reluctant Habits blog would call it “obscene” for a publisher to drop him.

    It’s really a shame that “cancel culture” is the new bogeyman for any time somebody who is rich and/or famous might face consequences for their actions.

  33. There were suggestions from some early reviewers that the autobiography is essentially apologia and handwaving for Roth’s misogyny

    It seems unlikely Roth knew about anything that was in the allegations against Bailey, but he did go looking for a biographer who’d defend him against charges of misogyny, and this is who he found.

  34. @Lis Carey: I’m glad to be informed that Philip Roth was a misogynist. Having read most of his novels, I doubt any biography can go further in convincing me of that. I also got more from those novels than from most novels I’ve read, including maybe the best baseball novel ever written, and short stories that cut like a knife.

    If a writer who’s been that good to me wants a sympathetic biographer, I’m glad to read the book. It’s not like there won’t be others.

    I’ll ask my library to order it. I’m told librarians are sympathetic to freedom to read.

  35. John A. Arkansawyer: A sympathetic biographer who is himself accused of sexual misconduct with minors?

    Surely you can do better.

    Me, I’m going to keep avoiding Roth because of the misogyny, but if that’s not a dealbreaker for you, that’s fair and fine. You’re invested in the skill of his writing. But his writing is so good it makes you want to ALSO support a DIFFERENT and WORSE person? That feels like a stretch.

  36. @Meredith: That’s a good question. I guess I got upset by the bait-and-switch of saying “something is missing from the book” when “something is wrong about the writer” is the more accurate statement. When someone tries to spin me like that, I get fussy and petulant. That’s all.

  37. @John A. Arkansawyer–N9 one was trying to “spin you.” I misinterpreted what Elspeth said about the matter, and others corrected me.

    You responded to that with words that certainly appeared to be saying that good business people would have no real reason to object to pouring money into the pockets of a pedophile. I’m sure that that’s not what you would have said if you hadn’t been so intent on scoring points, and had paused to think it through, but you didn’t, unfortunately.

    I–well, I have to admit that, now that my misunderstanding has been corrected, I’m even more disgusted that some people are, in all apparent seriousness, holding up Norton’s cancelation of this book as a Terrifying Example of the Ravages of Cancel Culture.

  38. @Lis Carey: I was already snarkier to you than the discussion required. If you made a mistake, well, I apologize for dwelling on it past your correction.

    I’ve said nothing about who business people should or should not give money to, though so long as it passes out of their hands, I’m at least a little pleased. I have said someone whose behavior is alleged to resemble an author’s is likely to write an interesting book about that author.

    One interesting book among others, one would hope. You wouldn’t use it for a single source. You might not trust its facts. But it’d yield insight anyway.

    I really like Leonard Garment’s Crazy Rhythm, too.

  39. Somewhere between “Terrifying Example of the Ravages of Cancel Culture” and “Of course, it’s self-evident that a book written by someone who’s been accused of misconduct should not be published” is a middle ground of “even if the author is not good, is the work any good?”.

    I don’t know what Bailey has done, or if the accusations reflect it. And I haven’t read the book, it being 800 pages about an author I don’t follow. So I don’t have much of an opinion about art or artist.

Comments are closed.