Pixel Scroll 6/7/18 We All Live In A Yellow Pixel Scroll

(1) 2020 WORLDCON & 2019 NASFiC SITE SELECTION VOTING. Paper ballots started going out a couple of weeks ago with Worldcon 76’s Progress Report 3, and PDF ballot forms were posted to the Worldcon 76 web site yesterday.

The 2020 Worldcon and 2019 NASFiC Site Selection Ballots are now available here. Members of Worldcon 76 can vote to select the site of the 2020 Worldcon and the 2019 North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC). You can vote in advance by mail or e-mail, or in person at Worldcon 76.

In addition to being member of Worldcon 76, to vote on site selection, you must pay an additional Advance Supporting Membership (Voting) fee of $30 for NASFiC and $50 for Worldcon….

Kevin Standlee sent the link with an explanation:

Note that we’re going to try and do a form of electronic voting: members can buy a “voting token” from the Worldcon 76 web site through the membership maintenance section, as instructed on the ballot. You can then either print-complete-sign-scan your ballot or complete the PDF and electronically sign it, including the token (number) from Worldcon 76, then e-mail that back to site selection. All of the bidders agreed to this process.

Chair Kevin Roche responded in a comment here with more information after someone raised an issue:

Tokens may be purchased by logging back into RegOnline with the email address you used to register in the first place. The page after the personal information form now offers the tokens for sale. Tick the box for each you want, then click through to the checkout page (you can use the tabs at the top to jump ahead to it) and pay the balance due. You should get your tokens from my regbot software within 10 minutes, if everything is behaving.

(2) SEE LE GUIN TRIBUTE JUNE 13. There will be a “Simulcast of the sold-out Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin event”

Literary Arts and the Portland Art Museum will host a simulcast of the SOLD OUT Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin event on June 13. Seating is free and open to all.

Tickets to the live event are no longer available, but we invite the public to attend the live simulcast at the Portland Art Museum. The simulcast is free and open to all, offering a space for us to gather together as we celebrate the life and legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin.

This event will be livestreamed on Youtube Live. Click here to visit the livestream page.

The sold-out event features tributes from writers and friends who represent the wide-ranging influence Le Guin has had on international literature for more than 50 years, including Margaret Atwood (by video), Molly Gloss, Walidah Imarisha, Jonathan Lethem, Kelly Link, China Miéville, and Daniel José Older. Andrea Schulz, Le Guin’s editor at Viking Books, and Julie Phillips, Le Guin’s biographer, will also speak at the tribute. The event will include rare documentary footage of Le Guin, along with photos and images from her life and work.

(3) SFF POETRY CLASS. Rachel Swirsky announces details about her class “Verses of Sky & Stars: How to Write the Poetry of Science Fiction & Fantasy” and reprints one of her poems in “How Long Does It Take To Write a Poem? Also, “Inside Her Heart,” and a class!”

I’m teaching an online class on writing science fiction and fantasy poetry on June 30 at 9:30-11:30 PDT. It’s a fun class because it draws people from many different backgrounds with many different goals. Some are dedicated poets, looking to sharpen their edge or find inspiration. Others are prose writers who’ve barely touched poetry before, trying something new, or hoping to pick up a trick or two to bring back to their novels and short stories.

As I prepare for the class, I’ve been going over some of my own poetry, thinking about how I wrote it, and what inspired it, and that kind of thing.

Full information is posted here: “Writing Speculative Poetry”.

Poetry requires intense linguistic control. Every word matters. Whether you’re a poet who wants to create fantastical verses, or a prose writer who wants to learn the finely tuned narrative power that poetry can teach, you’ll find something in this class.

Over the course of a few brief lectures, peppered with plenty of writing exercises, we’ll discuss some common forms of speculative poetry, and the challenges they represent. I’ll also send you home with market listings, and lists great authors, poems, and books to pick up to continue your journey.

(4) MEOW. And for those of you who have gone too long without a cat photo, Rachel Swirsky says help is on the way: “That’s a mixing bowl”.

(5) MATHEMATICAL CATS. Adweek covers a public service ad campaign: “Cats Are Great at Multiplying but Terrible at Math, Says This PSA That Urges Neutering”.

Here are some staggering feline facts: A female cat at 4 months old can start having kittens, producing as many as four litters a year for as long as a decade. The result in even a few years is hundreds of furry (often homeless or feral) offspring.

In short, kitties can sure multiply. But they’re actually terrible at math, if their time in a classroom for a new PSA campaign for the Ten Movement is any indication. They’d rather fly paper airplanes, pretend to study (with an upside-down book) and generally confound their arithmetic teacher with nonsensical answers on a pop quiz.

The setup of “Cat Math,” which spans outdoor, digital, social and TV, puts a group of Siamese, calico and other adorable kitties in the fictional Purrington Middle School (“Home of the Fighting Tabbies!”) for a lesson they can’t possibly learn on their own. Or they just refuse to because it wasn’t their idea and they’d rather be napping. In their defense, the figures are pretty crazy: 1+1 = 14? (That’s two adult cats capable of spawning 14 kittens in less than a year).

The campaign comes from Northlich, Cincinnati, the folks who in 2014 birthed “Scooter the Neutered Cat” starring a badass ginger with “hip spectacles, no testicles.” As with the previous PSA, the indie agency continues its spay-and-neuter message on behalf of the Ohio-based nonprofit, with the goal of creating a “100 percent no-kill nation.”


(6) TRAN RETREATS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA. The Guardian’s Luke Holland poses the challenging question, “Why are (some) Star Wars fans so toxic?”.

With at least one new film every year, you’d think it would be easy being a Star Wars fan in 2018, but it isn’t.

That’s not because JJ Abrams killed off Han Solo in Episode VII, or The Last Jedi snuffed out Luke Skywalker. It isn’t because we never got to see Luke, Han and Leia fighting side-by-side, which would have been cool. It isn’t porgs, or that superfluous giraffe-horse bit in Episode VIII. And it most certainly isn’t due to the introduction of a character called Rose. None of these things make being a Star Wars fan remotely difficult. They’re just some things some film-makers put into a family film. No, there’s only one thing that makes Star Wars fandom a drag in 2018, and that is other Star Wars fans. Or, more specifically, that small yet splenetic subsection of so-called “fans” who take to the internet like the Wicked Witch from the West’s flying monkeys to troll the actors, directors and producers with bizarre, pathetic, racist, sexist and homophobic whingebaggery about the “injustices” that have been inflicted upon them. Truly, it’s embarrassing to share a passion with these people.

It’s a poisonous tributary of fanboyism that appears again and again. Earlier this week, Kelly Marie Tran, the Vietnamese-American actor who plays Rose (and the first WoC in a lead role in the saga) deleted all her Instagram posts. While Tran hasn’t specifically stated that online trolling is the reason she left social media, since the release of The Last Jedi in December she’s been on the receiving end of a torrent of online abuse.

(7) FROM DABNEY OBIT. Chris Garcia was quoted in the Washington Post’s obituary for Ted Dabney, who co-founded Atari and was one of the developers of Pong — “Ted Dabney, Atari co-founder whose engineering paved the way for Pong, dies at 81”.

“He devised the form that the arcade game would take when he did Computer Space,” said Chris Garcia, curator at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.

Mr. Dabney, he said in a phone interview, built a standing cabinet to house the game’s circuit board, power supply and television monitor, and “his engineering methodology became a major influence on [Allan] Alcorn,” the engineer hired by Bushnell and Mr. Dabney to create Pong.


Unlike a palindrome, which reads the same backward and forward, a semordnilap reads one way forward and a different way backward. Examples of “stressed” and “desserts,” “dog” and “god,” and “diaper” and “repaid.”


  • Born June 7 – Liam Neeson, 66: Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV Series), voice of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Ra’s Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises
  • Born June 7 – Karl Urban, 46: Bones in the new Star Trek movies


  • Mike Kennedy encountered Han Solo controversy even in this Bloom County strip.

(11) TO THE MOON. ScienceFiction.com says “First Photos Reveal Ryan Gosling-Starring ‘First Man’ Is More Than A Neil Armstrong Biopic”.

…So don’t expect a dry, clinical look at the early days of the space program, but something more akin to ‘Apollo 13’, but perhaps even more exciting.

“This is 100 percent a mission movie. It’s about going to the moon as seen through the eyes of the guy who got there. We have at least five major set pieces that are action, and if your heart rate doesn’t go through the roof, if you’re not gripping the edge of your seat the entire times, I’ll be shocked.”

The trailer has been out for awhile –

(12) CONCAROLINAS. At iPetitions signers are supporting the “Removal of Jada and Luis Diaz from ConCarolinas Committee”. However, most of the signers are anonymous, and some of the comments left by signers are critical of the effort.

Please sign below if you have been a part of ConCarolinas but have decided not to return if Jada and Luis do not step down. Feel free to remain anonymous. This is NOT a forum to discuss issues, this is a platform to show the current impact to the continued survival of the Convention.

(13) PACKING CHEAT. Apartment Therapy recommends this four-point evaluation process in “Moving? This Book Purging Method Is Bibliophile-Approved”.

Below is my checklist for conducting a book purge that won’t leave you huddled in the floor, clutching books close to your chest and mourning their disappearance. Use it and you, too, will have room for new ones!

  1. Do I remember at least 50% of what this book was about?

There were many books that I certainly enjoyed, but couldn’t quite recount the plot past what you’d find on the back cover. If a book means something to you, then you will remember not only what happened, but you’ll have a special, emotional connection with how it made you feel….

(14) DON’T LOOK. Everybody’s busy staring at their phones anyway, right? “Emirates looks to windowless planes” — screens on walls give as good a view (they say), and not having windows would require less weight for the same strength.

Emirates Airline has unveiled a new first class suite on board its latest aircraft that features virtual windows.

Instead of being able to see directly outside, passengers view images projected in from outside the aircraft using fibre-optic cameras.

The airline says it paves the way for removing all windows from future planes, making them lighter and faster.

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said the images were “so good, it’s better than with the natural eye”.

(15) SUNK COST. Expendable? “Microsoft sinks data centre off Orkney” — lots of wind power on hand, sealed no-oxygen environment may reduce failures and water provides free cooling, but no repairs for failed CPUs.

The theory is that the cost of cooling the computers will be cut by placing them underwater.

“We think we actually get much better cooling underwater than on land,” says Ben Cutler, who is in charge of what Microsoft has dubbed Project Natick.

“Additionally because there are no people, we can take all the oxygen and most of the water vapour out of the atmosphere which reduces corrosion, which is a significant problem in data centres.”

(16) LISTEN IN. PRI has released Eric Molinsky’s radio documentary “American Icons: ‘Fahrenheit 451’”.

As part of our continuing series on American Icons, a close look at how the novel came to be, and how it had held up, with the novelists Neil Gaiman, Alice Hoffman and more.

(17) A MARTIAN CHRONICLE John King Tarpinian declares “Bradbury was right all along!” The Christian Science Monitor has this take on the news — “Organic matter found on Mars, opening new chapter in search for life”.

…Today, four decades later, NASA scientists announced that Curiosity has found what Viking didn’t: organic molecules. This is not a certain detection of life. Organic molecules make up all known life, but they can also form in abiotic chemical reactions. Still, the discovery of any organics on Mars is an astrobiological breakthrough. Together with the other habitability clues scientists have amassed over the years, this opens up a new phase in astrobiology on Mars. “The next step,” says Jennifer Eigenbrode, a NASA astrobiologist on the Curiosity mission, “is to search for signs of life” again.

(18) LOOK UP. See the schedule for Pasadena’s AstroFest at the link on City of Astronomy “About AstroFest 2018”.

Join lovers of astronomy from across the city for a week of FREE and family friendly space-themed events. On July 14 from 2-8pm, AstroFest kicks off the week with a festival of hands-on activities, robotics demos, creative art displays, planetarium shows, star gazing, and more near the Pasadena Convention Center.

Together with scientists from all over the world who will be gathering during the same week for the 42nd COSPAR Assembly, we invite you to take part and explore our place in the Universe.

The blog also points to this ongoing exhibit at the Huntington Library:

Radiant Beauty: Rare 19th Century Astronomical Prints (April 28 – July 30)
10:00am-5:00pm (Wednesday through Monday) | Huntington Library, West Hall


(19) LOOK OUT. Steam has changed its policy: “Steam games store to ‘allow everything'”.

The Steam video game store has changed its content policy to “allow everything”, unless it is illegal or “straight up trolling”.

The shift comes after controversy surrounding games which many people considered were offensive.

A school shooting simulation game was removed from the store last month.

But now games publisher Valve, which owns Steam, said it was not up to the company to decide what should or should not be on sale.

The new policy paves the way for pornographic games to be made available on the platform, including in virtual reality. It would make the Steam store the first major VR platform to offer adult content.

(20) CALORIE HUNTERS. NPR relates a theory about “Why Grandmothers May Hold The Key To Human Evolution”.

Kristen Hawkes is an anthropologist at the University of Utah. She tries to figure out our past by studying modern hunter-gatherers like the Hadza, who likely have lived in the area that is now northern Tanzania for thousands of years. Groups like this are about as close as we can get to seeing how our early human ancestors might have lived.

Over many extended field visits, Hawkes and her colleagues kept track of how much food a wide sample of Hadza community members were bringing home. She says that when they tracked the success rates of individual men, “they almost always failed to get a big animal.” They found that the average hunter went out pretty much every day and was successful on exactly 3.4 percent of those excursions. That meant that, in this society at least, the hunting hypothesis seemed way off the mark. If people here were depending on wild meat to survive, they would starve.

So if dad wasn’t bringing home the bacon, who was? After spending a lot of time with the women on their daily foraging trips, the researchers were surprised to discover that the women, both young and old, were providing the majority of calories to their families and group-mates.

Mostly, they were digging tubers, which are deeply buried and hard to extract. The success of a mother at gathering these tubers correlated with the growth of her child. But something else surprising happened once mom had a second baby: That original relationship went away and a new correlation emerged with the amount of food their grandmother was gathering.

(21) TOO CONVENIENT. Welcome to the future: “Ship hack ‘risks chaos in English Channel'”.

A commonly used ship-tracking technology can be hacked to spoof the size and location of boats in order to trigger other vessels’ collision alarms, a researcher has discovered.

Ken Munro has suggested that the vulnerability could be exploited to block the English Channel.

Other experts suggest the consequences would be less serious.

But they have backed a call for ship owners to protect their vessels against the threat.

(22) DRAGON TRAIN. Here’s the trailer for How To Train Your Dragon 3. “Coming Soon.”

(23) ANIME PILGRIMAGE SITE. This British B&B is replicated in amazing detail in a Japanese anime, to the amusement of the B&B’s owner who is also replicated (somewhat less faithfully, with the addition of a daughter). A popular place to stay for fans of the show.

Hotel owner Caron Cooper has become a celebrity in Japan after manga-style series Kinmoza was created about her B&B. Japanese tourists are now flocking to stay at her hotel in the Cotswolds following its new found fame.

[Thanks to Laura Haywood-Cory, John King Tarpinian, Francis Hamit, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, Rachel Swirsky, Martin Morse Wooster, Harold Osler, Kendall, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

133 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/7/18 We All Live In A Yellow Pixel Scroll

  1. (8) There was a game magazine (I think it was called GAMES) that once had a short feature on Plaindromes, which were a sort of sentence which had all the fun of the tortured syntax found in palindromes, but without the onerous requirement of being the same backwards as forwards. The favorites I remember were:

    “Stella, Edna and Otis deified Satan.”
    “Money-man I: an Adam; not even a doom.”
    “A man, a plan, a canal—Suez!”
    “Able was I ere I saw Hackensack.”

    I scroll, you scroll, we all scroll for Pixel Scroll.”

  2. Oy, the Ten Movement is good at thinking outside the box about those SJW credentials. Good thing (or possibly a disappointment) they don’t have to run a ‘spay or neuter your tribble’ program.

  3. 20) I assume there’s more to it than the summary, since we’ve known many hunter-gatherers are mostly gatherers since long before I was a wee little freshman in Anthropology 101. (First you read The Original Affluent Society, and then you watch that endless video of the !Kung hunter walking the giraffe to death….) Although the correlation between grandmothers and success of second children is an interesting one!

  4. 13) I am skeptical of the book-purging advice of anyone who can say “At one point, I had more than 250 books” as though this were a number of significance. I’m pretty sure I have more than 250 books in my cubicle, nevermind at home. In any case, I am more likely to keep books whose contents I don’t clearly remember (that means I might enjoy rereading them!), books that I actively want to loan out to friends (that’s one of the main points of having books, right?), and–something the article author doesn’t even seem to consider–books that due to rarity and out-of-print status are irreplaceable.

  5. Ha! Best fifth! 😀

    @ambyr: Don’t forget the “irreplaceable because signed by the now-deceased author” category!

  6. (13) “At one point, I had more than 250 books housed in my tiny apartment”

    Hell, she’s just a beginner. According to my Library Thing, I’m just shy of 1600. I’m getting very good at moving books around and juggling sizes to free up shelf space. (Also finding bookcases–I snagged a pretty good-sized one at the local Goodwill–six shelves, three sections, about 4 feet x 4 feet–on half-price Saturday for $5.)

  7. 13) Last time I looked, we had over 5,000 books in our book list–and there are a few hundred reference books that haven’t been cataloged.

    I haven’t had as little as 250 books since I was 10 years old.

  8. @Bonnie: “According to my Library Thing, I’m just shy of 1600.”

    Goodreads puts me at 4255, and that’s only (a) physical books I’ve scanned since August 2011 and (b) all books purchased since the same date that I’m willing to admit to owning. There are a few other exceptions, like books in storage by a handful of key authors (pre-2011, manually added rather than scanned) or pre-2011 ebooks that I’ve added as I find them (e.g. contents of Baen CDs), but I know I’ve got boxes of currently-inaccessible books that Goodreads doesn’t know about. I’ve even got a bundle of Angry Robot ebooks that I got in their “100 for £100” deal and haven’t completely processed yet. Yes, I’m way behind.

    Heck, I’ve got over 1600 DVDs and Blu-rays…

  9. RedWombat, I didn’t study anthropology, but I have always been interested in it, so I also knew that gathering brought in lots more calories than hunting. (Though I suppose the contrast might have been less extreme before we shot so many big animals and destroyed their habitat.) And I think we also knew grandmothers were important. But the particular news here about some of the ways their importance emerges is interesting. I especially like the social development aspects. That’s pretty cool.

  10. I discovered a very effective book-purging method last night when Angie accidentally deregistered my tablet from our Kindle account, causing thousands of books to disappear from it as soon as I work up the courage fire up the Kindle app knowing I will have to spend a full week or so re-downloading them.

    This may have been caused by my advising her to read Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day, as when she tried to her Kindle gave her some weird error message about it being on too many family devices or some such and refused to let her (n.b.: Being a Tor book, it is supposed to have no DRM attached), causing her to go to the Kindle management screen and start removing old unused Kindles and android devices from our list.

    I could probably milk her guilt at screwing up my tablet into some pretty sweet concession or another if I rolled that way or had anything I wanted conceded. 🙂

  11. (9) Karl Urban’s genre credits extend waaaaay beyond NuTrek, of course: Judge Dredd, Xena, Lord of the Rings — it’s almost easier to list the SF projects her hasn’t been a part of

    (11) Someone in the YouTube comments points out that this trailer appears to have shots from Armageddon in it, leading to questions about whether it is, in fact, a genuine First Man trailer (fake movie trailers are a common YouTube annoyance).

  12. 4400 per LibraryThing, which includes very few (if any) of my eBooks; and I never did get around to cataloging my nonfiction hardcover/trade paperback section.

  13. (9) Karl Urban’s genre credits extend waaaaay beyond NuTrek, of course: Judge Dredd, Xena, Lord of the Rings — it’s almost easier to list the SF projects he hasn’t been a part of.

    If I were Karl Urban, I’d wish for my LotR part to be buried so deep no one would ever find it. Amongst the evil things visited upon the book by the movies, the portrayal of Eomer was one of the worst.

  14. My physical book collection is quite small to be honest – maybe only 2 or 3 times the size of the collection mentioned in (13)

  15. @JJ I’m so feeling that.

    It took until early adulthood before I realized I’m an incompetent dumb-ass.

  16. (6) apparently some people are pushing back, with #FanArtforRose.

    (13) with considerable struggle, I can stay under 2000 hard copies. Irreplaceability is certainly an issue. I try to do an annual purge of around 10%, to make room for new things, but …
    The best shelves, bar none, that I’ve ever had are Ivars, from Ikea. Adjustable shelf height means you can pack in the max number of books to the available space. And the fresh pine smell when they’re new is nice.
    Also, the Pinterest photos in that article are awful: book shelves with non-book objects, books arranged by spine color, books stacked with the spines against the wall(!).

  17. (9) Karl was also in that robot cop TV show a few years back, not to mention “Thor: Ragnarok”… he’s in SF all the time!

    (13) More than 250 books? I had that many in my bedroom (smaller even than an NYC studio) before I graduated from high school! Not counting Mom’s books, Dad’s books, the household books, the books in the basement (some mine, some Mom’s).

    Other than kitchen and bathrooms, I don’t think there’s a room in our house today that doesn’t have that many. The garage too, I guess.

    And she only moved 20 blocks and still had to get rid of some? C’mon! We moved ours without help several miles! We did a minor purge last year and probably got rid of 250 books.

    If you can count your books, or if you don’t measure them in cubic, you don’t have enough books.

    (19) Well, that’ll certainly help them get rid of the “gamers are unsocialized violent racist incels” idea, won’t it?

    (20) And stuffing the grandkids full of calories continues today.

    Enjoyed the credential items.

  18. If I were Karl Urban, I’d wish for my LotR part to be buried so deep no one would ever find it. Amongst the evil things visited upon the book by the movies, the portrayal of Eomer was one of the worst.

    Compared to the film’s version of Theoden and Faramir, Mr. Urban has nothing to feel ashamed of.

  19. I was raised in a house surrounded by books. When I went to a friend’s home once, I couldn’t understand why I found it so freaky until later – there had been no bookcases and no books. I can’t believe 250 books is considered a lot by anyone. That’s not even enough for one room to be comfortable.

  20. I don’t remember being offended be either Eomer or Theoden. Faramir was fine until he got all nasty with Frodo. By far the worst for me was Legolas, starting with him surfing down a wall on a shield at Helms Deep.

  21. Before the utter collapse of everything, a couple of years ago, I had comfortably north of 4,000 hardcopy books. Mostly gone now, and I only acquire ebooks.

    Here in 4319, we remind ourselves that physical books are in indulgence, and to be great full for ebooks.

  22. Meredith moment:

    David Gemmell’s Rigante books are 99p each on Amazon UK.

    I haven’t actually read these ones, so are they worth checking out? I read a lot of Gemmell when I was a teenager and then put him aside for a while, but I’ve been meaning to revisit him since I recently read his Troy book, which I thought was excellent storytelling.

  23. My first thought on the title was “that one’s a rerun”, but that seems to be wrong. It was however proposed a long time ago:

    (13) Back in my teens I helped an organization I was a member of move their office. They had recently published a large, heavy, coffee-table book as part of an anniversary, most of which had been sent to members but there was still a considerable stock left over. Which we carried down three flight of stairs at the old office and up one at the new. So my best advice for moving books? Use small boxes.


    (14) Flight attendants go around and ask passengers to raise the curtains before landing, because being able to see out makes it easier for us to orient ourselves in case of a crash. So not having windows seems like a (tiny) step down in security.


    (15) The direct benefits for cooling may be real, but there’s an underlying idea of “let’s just dump stuff into the ocean” that I’m highly sceptical of. Previous articles I’ve seen about schemes like this have suggested that building underwater is a way to get around all kinds of property and zoning regulations. But shallow oceans close to infrastructure on land is not an infinite resource. Microsoft don’t want that container to get caught in a trawler, so fisheries have to be limited around these installations. MS, Google and Facebook can’t build underwater data centers on top of each other, so they have to figure a way to divide the most attractive areas between them.

  24. @ Lurkertype:

    I once moved from one country to another without ditching any books (although I did give a bunch away to friends, so as to ensure they had complete series where I didn’t particularly are for the series in question).

  25. 250 is really not a lot of books… and I think the writer there is underestimating the hold books have on some of us. (Around here, probably most of us.)

    I once had to move about 250 miles away on short notice, didn’t have accommodation arranged, so only carried the bare necessities with me in a single case. I packed the absolute minimum, six books I decided I couldn’t manage without.

    So I had six books when I started out. By the time I got off the train at my destination, I had eight.

  26. @Kip W

    I absolutely love this idea, which sounds very much like something John Sladek would have used.

    13) As someone who’s gone from more than 5000 physical books to less than a thousand, this seems like pretty decent advice. I’d be wary of the “can I remember at least 50%” rule, though, as it encourages you(*) to think “I should probably re-read this”, put the book back on the shelf, and continue ignoring it. And I’d expand rule four to include the related questions: “am I keeping this just because it would be hard to find if I ever did feel like reading it?” and “am I keeping this because it would be a valuable part of a scholarly collection, if I was actually a scholar?”

    (*) Me.

  27. I do not think the actors in Jackson’s LotR have anything to be ashamed of, I thought most did a fine job with their characters.

    It is a shame they weren’t given Tolkien’s characters to play, but that is not their fault.

    An exception seems to have been John Rhys-Davies as Gimli – much of his characters clowning around was improvised by the actor, so boo to him.

  28. Only mildly related to genre, the news over the ansible is that Anthony Bourdain is dead, at 61, of suicide.

  29. Moving across the country a couple of times has mandated some book purging on my part, but I haven’t done that in over a decade…

  30. (8) Of course, palindromes have a dark side; they tap into the depths of the human psyche and can even trigger their own very specific irrational fear: aibohphobia.

  31. Close to or actually over 10,000 volumes here (including runs of magazines); primarily SF, military history (almost all of that is hard backs), decent holdings in most sciences (heavy on astronomy-cosmology/paleontology/anthropology), minor holdings in spy thrillers and the “eclectic” section.
    They’ve been in storage, they’ve been in trailers, they’ve been shelved, right now they’re partially shelved and another move for them is not too far off in the future.
    They will NOT be purged. That’s sacrilege of the most heinous type.

    My recommendation for moving is simple: A: make sure they are organized coherently (in whatever manner meets your fancy) B: 12x12x12 boxes. (Tape the bottoms, don’t interleave them). They stack marvellously and whether loaded with paperbacks, hardbacks, trades, etc, the weight of an individual box is manageable. C: maintain your organization when packing and LABEL the boxes very, very clearly. (Ab-Ac is insufficient. Abbott, Abe, Abernathy, Ackerman is sufficient).

    6: The objectional behavior exhibited is entirely unfannish and I refuse to use the word “fan” to reference them, because they are not “fans”. They’re assholes.

  32. I have 1360-ish, according to LibraryThing, and that doesn’t take into account all of my eBooks and literary journals. Thought I have read thousands of books in my life so far, I have read less than half of those in my antilibrary. I suspect that will continue through the rest of my life.

  33. I’m guesstimating about 2,000 shelved and another 1,000 in storage. Which is down about half after the last purge. We’re about due for another purge but it gets harder every time. There’s less dross to separate as you pare the collection down.

    For bookshelves we have lovely hardwood folding shelves. No bending or bowing and they pack down nice for a move. Wish I knew who made them since they’re the best quality folders I’ve seen. Only know they were sold cheaper than a lot of pressboard flat-pack by Bi-Mart ( regional chain in the US northwest) and were stickered as made in Thailand.

  34. Also, to return to the 1980s song lyric theme:

    Near a File by a Pixel there’s a Scroll in the ground
    Where an OGH man of Hugo posts around and around
    On his site he’s a beacon for the filks of the night
    For his strange kind of fandom there is dark and there’s light
    But he’ll never let you fight among you

    … though I’m sure that there are filkers here who can come up with better (and please excuse this rather feeble attempt, @Mike Glyer in particular, for taking various ‘poetic’-for-lack-of-a-better-word liberties!)

  35. David Gemmell’s Rigante books are 99p each on Amazon UK.

    I haven’t actually read these ones, so are they worth checking out?

    Yes, very much so. Fun in two very distinct time periods.

  36. I have more than 250 books just on my reader; I don’t have a count on the ones in dead-tree format, most of which are in storage (and not all of those are on my keep list, but they’ve survived at least one purge).

  37. @JJ: That’s a great thread. One of the things I learned long ago is that it’s possible to be the smartest person in the room but the only one without a lick of common sense. Also, procrastination is a form of planning to fail with a built in excuse of “I would have done a great job, but I ran out of time”

  38. @lurkertype

    The robot buddy show was Almost Human iirc. I quite liked that, it had potential. Shame it was on Fox and the inevitable happened: shown out of order at unpredictable times with little or no advertising and axed just when you were really starting to enjoy it. Helped that Urban or the writers kept slipping in little nods to Dredd (the prison is referred to as the Iso Cubes for one)

    He’s also currently with Katee Sackhoff as well, making a right genre couple.

  39. My library only has a few hundred titles at most but I have been buying and pruning for decades, so it focuses on the books that are rare and much beloved (with a bunch in Mount TBR).

  40. I haven’t counted my books recently. 9 boxes of mass markets went into the storage unit last year, but I have no idea how many of them there are. But definitely more than 250.

    I should at least count what is on my shelves in my room–one 5 shelf bookcase and 2 2-shelf bookcases.

    Took a break and read Dawn by Octavia Butler, because reading Luminescent Threads made me realize just how little I have read by her. I’m stunned and want to read more.

  41. There is a place named Squamish in British Columbia.

    So that’s where all the shoggoths come from.

  42. I recently went through my first ever purge and I have to be honest, it wasn’t bad. It was mostly out of date (or now all on the internet) reference materials, and books purchased as a teen or in my early 20s that aged poorly. Lots of cheap paperbacks out the door and more than a few discount bin or second hand purchases that just stuck around for no reason.

    As my wife keeps telling me, focus on having room for new books and it’s not so bad.

  43. I don’t have account for my books, but I’d estimate the number is around 8,000. These days I avoid going into books stores or thrift shops and have been looking to get a good TBR pile. I’ve given away several hundred over the past two years.

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