Pixel Scroll 6/11/16 The Incredibly Strange Scrolls That Stopped Living And Became Crazy Mixed-Up Pixels

(1) NEW HWA ENDOWMENT PROMOTES YA WRITERS. The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has launched a “Young Adults ‘Write Now’ Endowment Program”  to fund teen-oriented writing programs at libraries.

The Young Adults Write Now fund will provide up to five endowments of $500 each per year for selected libraries to establish new, or support ongoing, writing programs. The program is currently open to United States libraries, but will be expanded in the future to include other countries, as part of the HWA’s global presence. Membership in the HWA is not a requirement.

HWA’s Library & Literacy team will select up to five recipients from the applications.

Applicants must fill in and submit the Application Form designed for that purpose; the Application Form will be published at http://horror.org/librarians.htm but will also be made available by contacting [email protected].

Eligibility: Public and community libraries will be eligible. The Applicant must outline how the endowment would be used (a ‘Plan’) and describe the goals and history (if applicable) of the writing program. In selecting the recipients, the team shall focus primarily (but not exclusively) on advancing the writing of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction (essays). An emphasis on genre fiction (horror, science fiction, fantasy) in the plan is desired but not required. The Applicant shall demonstrate that the writing program will be regular and on-going.

Recipients receiving funding will be able to use the monies for anything relating to the proposed/active writing program, including but not limited to supplies, special events, publishing costs, guest speakers/instructors, and operating expense. Monies may not be used to fund other programs or expenses for the library.

(2) EARTHSEA ARTIST. In a comment on Terri Windling’s blog, Charles Vess said:

For the last two years I’ve been slowly approaching the daunting task of illustrating all six of Ursula’s Earthsea books (collected for the first time under one cover). Through sometimes almost daily correspondence with her I’ve been attempting to mentally & aesthetically look through her eyes at the world she’s spent so long writing about. It has been a privilege to say the least. Carefully reading and re-reading those books and seeing how masterfully she’s developed her themes is amazing. And now, to my great delight (and sometimes her’s as well) the drawings are falling off my fingertips. To be sure, there will never be many ‘jobs’ as fulfilling as this one is.”

(3) OBE FOR PRINCE VULTAN. “Queen’s Birthday Honours: Charitable actor Brian Blessed made an OBE”. Perhaps better known to the public for playing Augustus Caesar or various Shakespearean roles, to fans Brian Blessed is synonymous with the Flash Gordon movie, or as Mark of Cornwall in a King Arthur TV series.

Chobham-based bellowing actor Brian Blessed has been appointed OBE for services to the arts and charity in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The star, famed for taking to the screen and stage as Shakespearian leads, said the appointment came as a ‘complete surprise’.

“I am absolutely delighted,” he said.

“It is marvellous that the son of a Yorkshire coal miner should be given such an honour.

“A huge thank you to all of the people that nominated me.“

Mr Blessed has continued to pick up pace since his days as Prince Vultan in cult film Flash Gordon.

Astronaut Tim Peake is also on the list

The UK’s first official astronaut, Major Peake is due to return to Earth this month after a six-month mission and said he was “honoured to receive the first appointment to the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George for extraordinary service beyond our planet”.

The honour is usually given for “serving the UK abroad”.

(4) HARRY POTTER OPENS. Twitter loved it. “The first reviews for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ are in and everyone is spellbound”. For example…

(5) AFI VIDEO. ”Spielberg, Lucas and Abrams honor John Williams” who received a lifetime achievement award at last night’s American Film Institute event.

Steven Spielberg reveals his favorite Williams scores, while Richard Dreyfuss, Kobe Bryant and Peter Fonda discuss the legendary composer’s work.


(6) OF COURSE YOU RECOGNIZE THESE. Those of us who bombed the elves/drugs quiz the other day need a softball challenge like this to regain our confidence… “Only a true Star Trek fan can spot every reference in this awsome poster” says ME TV.

The pop culture world is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. This has given us loads of cool collectibles, from Canadian currency shaped like Starfleet insignias to Captain Kirk Barbie dolls.

Add this wonderful poster to the heap of new Trek treasures, which comes to our attention via /Film and AICN. The work was created by artist Dusty Abell, whose resume includes character design on everything from Batman: Under the Red Hood to The Mike Tyson Mysteries.

Abell illustrated 123 items and characters seen in the three seasons of Star Trek: Original Series. Try and spot them all. Thankfully, he provided the answers, which we posted below.

(7) SUICIDE SQUAD. If Ben Affleck’s Batman appears in Suicide Squad (and the actor was spotted on the movie set), then there’s a glimpse of his character in this 30-second TV spot. Don’t blink.

(8) DID YOU SAVE YOURS? At Car and Driver, “12 Vintage Car Toys Now Worth Big Bucks”. This talking K.I.T.T. is worth $900….

From 1982 to 1986, car-loving kids around the country tuned in to the TV show Knight Rider on Friday nights. It featured a computerized, semi-autonomous, crime-fighting and talking Pontiac Trans Am known as K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand). The premise sounds ridiculous today, but that all-new Trans Am was freshly styled for the 1980s—just like its co-star, The Hoff. The show was a huge hit, and toys flooded the market. One of the coolest was the Voice Car by Kenner. Push down on the cool vintage blue California license plate, and the Voice Car would say six different phrases. It came with a Michael Knight action figure, too.

(9) SALDANA’S SF CAREER. At Yahoo! TV, “Zoe Saldana Says Without Sci-Fi Movies, Filmmakers Would Cast Her as the ‘Girlfriend or Sexy Woman of Color’”.

“If I wasn’t doing these sci-fi movies, I would be at the mercy of filmmakers that would just look my way if they need a girlfriend or sexy woman of color in their movie,” the 37-year-old actress tells the publication. “Space is different…but we can still do better. We can still give women more weight to carry in their roles.”

(10) IX PREVIEW WEEKEND. The rest of you may not even know there’s a Wilmington, Delaware, but my mother grew up there and that makes me twice as glad to find some genre news coming out of the place, about a major exhibit: “Delaware Art Museum hosts famous fantasy, science fiction artists”. 

Imaginative Realism combines classical painting techniques with narrative subjects, focusing on the unreal, the unseen, and the impossible. The Delaware Art Museum is partnering with IX Arts organizers to host the first IX Preview Weekend September 23 – 25, 2016 at the Museum, celebrating Imaginative Realism and to kick off IX9–the annual groundbreaking art show, symposium, and celebration dedicated solely to the genre. Imaginative Realism is the cutting edge of contemporary painting and illustration and often includes themes related to science fiction and fantasy movies, games, and books. A pop-up exhibition and the weekend of events will feature over 16 contemporary artists internationally recognized for their contributions to Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Marvel, DC Comics, Blizzard Entertainment, and Wizards of the Coast, among others.

The weekend will also include after-hours events, performances, exclusive workshops with artists, talks, film screenings, artist signings, live demos, and games. The artists represented include Greg Hildebrandt, illustrator of the original Star Wars poster; Boris Vallejo, who is famous for his illustrations of Tarzan and Conan the Barbarian; Charles Vess, whose award-winning work graced the covers of Marvel and DC Comics; and Donato Giancola, known for his paintings for Lucasfilm, DC Comics, Playboy Magazine, and the Syfy Channel.

Other featured artists include Julie Bell, Bob Eggleton, Rebecca Leveille-Guay, Ruth Sanderson, Jordu Schell, Matthew Stewart, William O’Connor, David Palumbo, Dorian Vallejo, Michael Whelan, and Mark Zug. Each artist will present original work in the pop-up show, covering the gamut from illustration through personal/gallery work in a wide range of mediums. All artists represented will be present at the Museum over the course of the weekend.

Ticket and registration information will be available this summer. Visit delart.org for details and updates.


  • June 11, 1982 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial released

(12) SAY IT AIN’T SO. “Roddenberry’s Star Trek was ‘above all, a critique of Robert Heinlein” says Man Saadia at BoingBoing.

According to Roddenberry himself, no author has had more influence on The Original Series than Robert Heinlein, and more specifically his juvenile novel Space Cadet. The book, published in 1948, is considered a classic. It is a bildungsroman, retelling the education of young Matt Dodson from Iowa, who joins the Space Patrol and becomes a man. There is a reason why Star Trek’s Captain Kirk is from Iowa. The Space Patrol is a prototype of Starfleet: it is a multiracial, multinational institution, entrusted with keeping the peace in the solar system.

Where it gets a little weird is that Heinlein’s Space Patrol controls nuclear warheads in orbit around Earth, and its mission is to nuke any country that has been tempted to go to war with its neighbors. This supranational body in charge of deterrence, enforcing peace and democracy on the home planet by the threat of annihilation, was an extrapolation of what could potentially be achieved if you combined the UN charter with mutually assured destruction. And all this in a book aimed at kids.

Such was the optimism Heinlein could muster at the time, and compared to his later works, Space Cadet is relatively happy and idealistic, if a bit sociopathic.

(13) ECOLOGICAL NICHERY. John Scalzi observes “How Blogs Work Today” at Whatever.

I don’t think blogs are dead per se — WordPress, which I will note hosts my blog, seems to be doing just fine in terms of new sites being created and people joining its network. But I think the role of the blog is different than it was even just a couple of years ago. It’s not the sole outpost of an online life, although it can be an anchor, holding it in place. What a blog is today is part of an overall presence, with a specific role that complements other online outposts (which in turn complement the blog). I do it myself — longer pieces here, which I will point to from other places. Shortform smartassery on Twitter. Personal Facebook account to keep up with friends; public Facebook and Google Plus pages to keep fans up on news — news which is often announced here and linked to from there.

(14) MY OBSERVATION ABOUT HOW BLOGS WORK TODAY. Same as he said. Just look at how I’m getting my traffic. 🙂


(15) HISTORIC SNARK. News, but not from this timeline.



(16) DIGITAL COMICS. David Brin presents “A look at some of the best Science Fiction Webcomics”, an engaging précis of 20 current or favorites from recent years, with sample graphics. (Ursula Vernon’s Digger is on the list.)

This time let’s follow-up with a selection of yet-more truly creative online comics, some serious space dramas, others satires or comedies. Many offer humorous insights as they delve into science, space, the future… and human nature. You’ll find star-spanning voyages, vividly portrayed aliens, frequent use of faster-than-light travel (FTL), but …. no superheroes here! …

Outsider, by Jim Francis, is a full-color, beautifully illustrated “starship combat space opera.” Set in the 2100s, humanity has ventured out to the stars, only to encounter alien refugees fleeing war between the galactic superpowers Loroi and Umiak. With little information at hand to base their decision upon, humanity must decide: which side should earth ally with? When the starship Bellarmine finds itself caught in enemy crossfire, a hull breach sends Ensign Alexander Jardin drifting in space — where he is picked up by a Loroi ship. As the outsider aboard the alien ship, he slowly begins to understand this telepathic, formidable, all-female crew — and gain insight into earth’s place in the cosmos. Then he finds himself in a unique position to save humanity….

Quantum Vibe, by Scott Bieser. This sequential science fiction webcomic offers some real substance. The story begins five hundred plus years into the Space Age on the orbiting city, L-5. After a doomed relationship falls apart, our fierce heroine, Nicole Oresme, becomes technical assistant and pilot to Dr. Seamus O’Murchadha, inventor of electro-gravity, who needs help with his plan to delve into “quantum vibremonics.” Their adventures through the solar system include escaping assassins, diving into the sun’s corona, visits to Luna, Venus (terraforming underway), Mars, Europa and Titan. Earth is ruled by large corporations and genetically divided into rigid social castes – and even branched into genetic subspecies, multi-armed Spyders and Belt-apes. Libertarian references abound. A bit of a libertarian drumbeat but not inapropos for the setting and future.  I’m impressed with the spec-science in the series, as well as tongue-in-cheek references to SF stories, including… Sundiver and Heinlein.

Freefall, by Mark Stanley, a science fictional comedy which incorporates a fair amount of hard science; it has been running since 1998. The serialized strips follow the comic antics of the crew of the salvaged and somewhat-repaired starship Savage Chicken, with its not-too-responsible squid-like alien captain Sam Starfall, a not-too-intelligent robot named Helix, along with a genetically uplifted wolf for an engineer — Florence Ambrose. Their adventures begin on a planet aswarm with terraforming robots and incoming comets. The light-hearted comic touches on deeper issues of ethics and morals, sapience and philosophy, orbital mechanics and artificial intelligence.

(17) HEALTH WARNING. Twitter user threatens Tingle tantrum. Film at 11.


(18) CAN PRO ART HUGO BE IMPROVED? George R.R. Martin and Kevin Standlee have been debating the merits of Martin’s preference to have a Best Cover instead of Best Pro Artist Hugo. Standlee notes the failure of the Best Original Artwork Hugo in the early 1990s, while Martin ripostes —

It didn’t work because we did it wrong.

The new category should have replaced “Best Professional Artist” instead of simply being added as an additional Hugo. Keeping the old category just encouraged the voters to keep on nominating as they had before, while ignoring the new category.

Also, it should have been “Best Cover” instead of “Best Original Artwork.” I understand the desire to be inclusive and allow people to nominate interior illustrations, gallery art, and whatever, but the truth is, covers have always been what the artist Hugo is all about. Let’s stop pretending it’s not. Freas, Emshwiller, Whelan, Eggleton, Donato, Picacio and all the rest won their rockets on the strength of their cover work. No artist who does not do covers has ever won a Hugo.

Making it “Best Cover” makes it about the art, not the artist. Writers have a big advantage over artists in that their names are emblazoned on the covers of their books. With artists, we can see a spectacular piece of work without knowing who did it… like, for instance, the incredible cover for Vic Milan’s novel, mentioned above. People nominate the same artists year after year because those are the only artists whose names they know. It’s very hard for someone new to break through and get their name known.

It would be easier if the voters could just nominate say, “the cover of DINOSAUR LORDS,” without having to know the artist’s name.

(19) IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF BEING RIPPED OFF. We take you back to Turkey and those thrilling days of yesteryear when Ömer the Tourist in Star Trek debuted. The 1973 cult comedy science-fiction starred film Sadri Alisik as a Turkish hobo who is beamed aboard the Starship Enterprise.

The film, which is the eighth and final in a series of films featuring Alisik as Ömer the Tourist, is commonly known as Turkish Star Trek because of plot and stylistic elements parodied from Star Trek: The Original Series episode The Man Trap (1966) as well as the unauthorized use of footage from the series. Although unofficial and part of another franchise, it is the first movie taking place in Star Trek universe, filmed 6 years before the official motion picture.

This movie gained fame in Turkey for the phrase “Mr. Spock has donkey’s ears,” which Ömer repeatedly says to Mr.Spock in the movie.

The film is available on YouTube – here is the first segment.

(20) THE REAL REASON THEY’RE RESHOOTING ROGUE ONE. I strongly suspect Omer the Wanderer’s screenwriter has moved on to late night TV and is working for Stephen Colbert… “The Trailer for ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Reveals a New Character”.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Will R., and Michael J. Walsh for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Robert Whitaker Sirignano.]

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99 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/11/16 The Incredibly Strange Scrolls That Stopped Living And Became Crazy Mixed-Up Pixels

  1. Book cover art: Back in February I was on a panel discussing the acquisition of art for SF/F projects.

    One of the things I pointed out was the increasing influence of the web on layout and composition.

    Books are rectangular (duh) (well, for the most part), with a vertical axis. The web is horizontally oriented (feature images on AMZ are, for example, 285w x 225h in their current configuration).

    I used to have a fair amount of difficulty presenting book covers because of this difference in orientation: putting the whole cover up results in too small an image; including the title usually loses the author name (or the reverse); trying to crop just image (no text) usually results in too small an image to get any real sense of the image. (And I got sick of tilted books).

    However, for about the past year or so, that task has gotten a lot easier; Almost as if the artists said “gotta keep these dimensions so Steve can show part of the image and the title” (more likely – so it will show well on the web).

    One of the other panelists (artist and author – jealous!) though was very surprised that she’d unconsciously been meeting these criteria with her own covers, so I’m not so sure its deliberate on everyone’s part.

    But it is an interesting example of how technology can influence art, consciously or unconsciously.

  2. Apropos of box-ticking genre fiction, I bring you the serial adventure form. As the author (of D’Ordel’s Pantechnicon) explains, the writer of the desired story simply fills in a few boxes on the form, which is then hung by the linotype machine so that the operator can turn it into exciting fiction: in this case, a chapter of the ongoing adventures of Grypula, the ancient and inscrutable master-mind. I do recommend it, and the book it comes from, which I have burbled about on other occasions. It’s at my flickr page, as well as Forgotten Futures and the Internet Archive.

    The author, incidentally, was Mark Sykes, who may be seen in slight disguise in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. Apparently, he’s one of the architects of the British Empire’s middle east policy, and we may see the results of his non-fictional work even to this day.

  3. @JJ:

    You might consider using smileys for that kind of statement.

    Smileys can be insincere, so don’t help. You overreacted to Iphinome’s joke. In such a situation, it is discreet not to presume to give advice to the person you wronged.

  4. (2) *falls on the ground and wiggles*

    (16) Minna Sundberg’s Stand Still, Stay Silent is set in northern Europe, a century after a global plague. Engaging characters, fantastic art, cats, and an assortment of wild and creepy monstrosities– What’s not to like? Her interpretation of regional mythology blurs the lines of what might otherwise be straightforward post-apocalyptic SF. It’s not “hard”, in the sense of science or velociraptors, but absolutely worth reading.

    (18) Best Cover ties art to literature in a way that’s pleasing and easy to work with, but it would exclude a lot of good art. Hm.

    Tried reading Aeronaut’s Windlass and it all slipped away after a few pages. Like sand through the hourglass, so are the habbles of our lives.

  5. Tried reading Aeronaut’s Windlass and it all slipped away after a few pages. Like sand through the hourglass, so are the habbles of our lives.

    I gave up after try two.

  6. I’ve been fooling around with cover design on my blog recently, and I’m struck yet again by the fact that design and illustration are two very different arts. A good illustration doesn’t make a good cover unless you’ve got at least decent design to back it up.

    Also amused, yet again, by how visceral some people’s response to fonts are. *grin*

  7. “Like pixels through a monitor, these are the scrolls of our hive!”

    (Pixels in a scroll. All we are is pixels in a scroll.)

  8. Redwombat says:

    A good illustration doesn’t make a good cover unless you’ve got at least decent design to back it up.

    That’s why those are usually two different hats, with the designer hatting first. (Or three, with the art director doing the initial hatting.) Doesn’t really register for those of us who wear All The Hats.

  9. Finished Aeronaut’s Windlass yesterday and am much in agreement about the cardboard characters. I was initially miffed that all his female characters were stereotypes, and then realized that they’re all stereotypes. Sadly, including the cats.

    I also feel like Butcher’s action sequences are too clinical. Like he’s trying to describe everything so the reader can picture it, but instead I find them detached and lacking urgency.

    If you like Butcher’s writing, you’ll probably enjoy this. Turns out I do not (I used to! Wha’happen?) and so I did not. Ah well.

    OT, but with the news today out of Florida, I hope all Filers and their loved ones are safe.

  10. Report on current reading:

    If I made a list of the books that I have re-read immediately on finishing, Lois McMaster Bujold would occupy the top five slots. I am currently reading Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen and can easily imagine myself putting it down in the middle and walking away.


  11. I found Aeronaut’s Windlass a reasonably entertaining beach read. I kind of wish I’d waited for the paperback, though.

  12. Ray Radlein on June 12, 2016 at 12:18 am said:
    SALE ALERT: Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway is on sale for $2.99 in the (American) Kindle store today

    Also £2.52 on Amazon UK (and added to Mount TBR, which is beginning to look more like a sub-continent). Thanks, Ray!

  13. Re Charles Vess.

    Dark Horse did a career retrospective of his art called Drawing Down the Moon. Charles de Lint who had some of his works illustrated by him did a review for us here. I treasure my copy which is personally signed by both of them!

  14. @tofu: I gave up after try two.

    It would have been better if Rfgreoebbx unq rlrfgnyxf. Whfg sbe bar fprar jurer ur ybjrerq uvf fhatynffrf naq gurl rzretrq, yvxr ur chapurq n whxrobk. Gung jbhyq unir znqr n srj zber cntrf npprcgnoyr.

  15. (2) EARTHSEA ARTIST. Wow, one of my favorite illustrators working on one of my favorite series?! ::fangasm:: I love Vess’s art! I look forward to seeing what he came up with in collaboration with Le Guin. 🙂

    (18) CAN PRO ART HUGO BE IMPROVED? I like the Pro Artist Hugo, but a Best Cover Hugo sounds interesting. I’m not sure about replacing one with the other, however; they’re just different concepts (i.e., I disagree with Martin that we have to remove the former for the latter to succeed). But @Soon Lee has an excellent point about editions; this could get very messy. So I’m not sure.

    @JJ: I like the cover of The Dinosaur Lords, but I generally prefer more finished-looking artwork. There seems to be more and more intentionally-unfinished-looking artwork, like it’s an artist’s rough or proof, but not the finished version. That’s frequently going to have a tough time rising above the level of “like” for me; it’s just not usually my thing, with apologies to artists who do it very well. (I realize they are finished pieces of art; they just don’t look like it to me.) But there are exceptions that I love, I’m pretty sure.

    (I’m not sure that ramble made any sense, sorry.)

  16. (16) DIGITAL COMICS. Yay, Brin lists “Galaxion,” a SF great comic!

    Most of the ones he linked to didn’t grab me, but “Terra” and “Mare Internum” look interesting. I’m not sure about “Always Human” (trying it out today), but music that goes along with a web comic? That’s a new one on me.

    Sometimes the artwork turns me off, which makes it tough to give a comic a fair shake, but that’s half the thing (if not more) with a comic. So if I don’t like the art, it’ll be a slog to read it. (Kinda like if the comic is mostly walls of text, it’ll feel tedious to me.) Anyway, others Brin recommends are not doubt great, but sometimes the art (or, less often, wall o’ text) turned me off, so I didn’t give something a fair shake, probably. The art almost hurt “Mare Internum” for me, but I got into the art more as I got into the story.

    Someone in the comments on Brin’s post mentioned “O Human Star” (one of my faves!), yay!. Someone else mentioned “Alice Grove”; I’ve read the beginning before, but this time I actually read into it almost 100 pages and decided I like it. 🙂 But between that, “Terra,” and “Mare Internum,” I need a couple extra days this week to read the archives on the comics so I’m caught up. Gah!

  17. So I just finished There Will Be Walrus, by Camestros Felapton and Timothy the Talking Cat, and it was hilarious. There were so many in-jokes from File770 that I don’t know that anyone else would get a lot of it, though. I kept laughing, and my poor spouse kept saying, “What’s so funny?” and I kept mumbling, “No, I don’t think you’d get this one either…” Finally I found this:

    “‘I don’t know which mummy-flubbing one of you excuses for grunts is a space vampire but I’ll tell you now — I won’t let no mummy-flubbing blood-sucking undead scion of Dracula stand between me and a successful mission…’

    “The chastened troops nodded in unison. Smith, Dibble, Sadowitz, O’Reilly, Hannity, O’Gruff Jr., Prince Vlad ‘the impaler’ Tepes of Wallacia, Trump, Simon, Garfunkel. Each nodded one after the other.”

  18. @Lisa Goldstein – I never saw the twist coming! That was some seriously good Space Vampire MilSF.

  19. Y’all really aren’t helping me get past my general disinterest in even starting Aeronaut’s Windlass.

    I just finished Kat Howard’s Roses and Rot and enjoyed it, but I’m a sucker for a Tam Lin tale. Currently reading HEX by Heuvelt and thus far it makes me happy. After reading several books lately that can be best described as unfortunate, this makes for a decent run.

  20. K8 said:

    I just finished Kat Howard’s Roses and Rot and enjoyed it, but I’m a sucker for a Tam Lin tale.

    Ooh, exciting! I have it out from the library, but I didn’t have any idea what it was about. I’m looking forward to reading it even more now.

  21. Reading? Leviticus. It’s pretty dull so far tbh. Picked up a little when two guys caught on fire, but now we’re back to instructions on which animals to sacrifice after quarantine for which skin diseases. I will probably not nominate it for the next Retro Hugos.

  22. @Jim Henley

    I will probably not nominate it for the next Retro Hugos.

    No, you need The Book of Revelations for that. The ultimate apocalypse tale. 🙂

  23. (12)

    This makes a great deal of sense. What always struck me, reading Starship Troopers, was it had the can-do optimism of Original Series Star Trek, only more fascist-y. Space Cadet had a similar tone to me as Troopers (or Revolt in 2100). One of the real strengths of the movie Starship Troopers was how it so perfectly replicated the tone of the novel with such spooky perfection that Verhoeven’s claim not to have read the book never really made sense to me. It looks like you could make a similar “bouncy-optism-yet-twisted” movie of Space Cadet.

  24. Like he’s trying to describe everything so the reader can picture it, but instead I find them detached and lacking urgency.

    That may explain why I keep drifting away and not going back – try all you want, authors, there will never be any pictures in my head. But I suspect even the people who can visualize are going to get bored when the etheric cannons fire in the middle of page 21 but they don’t reach their target until the middle of page 22. Especially when the final description of the damn things is that there’s a “barely detectable delay” between firing and hitting… y’know, I think page 22 is where I’m going to quit.

  25. @Bonnie McDaniel:

    No, you need The Book of Revelations for that. The ultimate apocalypse tale. 🙂

    Yeah, but the fan theories are so whack I hate to encourage anybody.

  26. I haven’t seen this mentioned, so FYI, Tor.com’s fall publishing schedule includes some interesting stuff. There’s another story by Kai Ashante Wilson (I liked “The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps” enough to read his next one) and – I’m especially looking forward to this – “The Lost Child of Lychford” by Paul Cornell (yes, another Lychford story)! “The Burning Light” by Bradley P. Beaulieu and Rob Ziegler also caught my eye (I believe I’ve heard of this one already, but I forget where).

  27. Loved _Roses and Rot_–keep meaning to go post on the Hugo noms list–but keep getting distracted by student papers!

    I am also a huge Tam Lin fan, and this version was brilliantly done with a few nifty twists I’ve not seen before.

  28. Mumbles and adds Roses and Rot to the mountain.

    @Dawn Incognito – If you like Butcher’s writing, you’ll probably enjoy this.

    Eh, I do and I totally did not. I’m amazed that anyone likes The Aeronaut’s Windlass and can’t think of anything good to say about it. Even the cat is tiresome and wooden.

  29. There were so many in-jokes from File770 that I don’t know that anyone else would get a lot of it, though.

    There’s a lot to find for anyone who have read the puppy nominees in last year’s Hugo packet, even if they have not read File770. For example, that space vampire story have more that a passing resemblance to a story in “Rising the red horse”. Other chapters also lampoons that anthology.

  30. CeeV and robinareid – It made me want to reread Fire and Hemlock. Not that I need an excuse – I frequently reread it – but it I have it in my head now so it will probably happen soon.

  31. Regarding The Aeronaut’s Windlass and stereotypical characters, I found it amusing that the Captain was called Captain Grimm, just in case we didn’t get that he was – you know, grim.

    Anyway, I liked it enough to buy the whole thing, but it’s nothing special. Much better Steampunk (e.g. Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series) has been ignored by the Hugos.

  32. @Jamoche:

    I first realized it, I think, during a hand-to-hand combat scene. Where the character grabs their opponent’s arm like so, and then steps like so, and places their hip thusly, etc. I’ve done martial arts (pretty badly), and I know that if you have to think about every step of a move, you’ve probably failed to execute it. It’s all split-second, but it doesn’t come across that way in print.

    @Cheryl S.

    Fair enough! I think I fell off the Butcher train a couple Dresden books back, and didn’t even realize it until the end of Skin Game. This is the first one I’ve read while knowing what frustrates me about his writing.

    (He had a great opportunity to make feline society really interesting. He had a chance to write a subtly alien thought process. That disappointed me the most because I was 100% behind talking cats at first.)

  33. 16) Digital Comics: I’m reading several of those: Favorites are Galaxion, Freefall, Always Human, and Outsider.

    The vast majority of the webcomics I read are fantasy, but here are some other worthy SF Digital Comics:

    Miamaska: 14 year-old Amity is pulled into a parallel world, for unknown reasons. However, unlike most stories of this nature, the world has been taking in people from other dimensions for ages, and the Otherworlders are regarded as dangerous bringers of plague and disaster. Compounding the situation is the Miamaska, an ability the Otherworlders are granted which translates the language, and let’s people know the hidden layers of intent. behind the translations. It’s a comic about language, culture clash, and surviving in a strange world.

    Dicebox: is hard to explain. It’s ostensibly about two factory workers as they travel from planet to planet looking for temporary work. It’s about the hallucinations that one of them has, and the past the other is unable to avoid. It’s also about a very densely described setting, and a convoluted plot that often is hard to understand. But the characters and the artwork are beautiful.

    White Noise: 130 years after the aliens devastated the world and conducted genetic experiments on humans, humanity has gone back to squabbling among itself. Some factions wish to continue these experiments- others are doing their best to wipe them out. Wren is a product of such experimentation, and is on the run from the Heralds. This is more difficult than it seems, due to his long white tail…

    Alice Grove: A long, long time after the war, Alice is content with her life as the local “witch” helping the people of the local small town. But then a coupe of people fall from the sky, and she gradually comes to realize the war may not be as over as she thought it was.

  34. 12). I’d originally thought that this book looked interesting but after reading the rather prissy section in the link –feh.

  35. @Xtifr: I agree that BRIAN BLESSED was the best thing about “Blackadder I”. I daresay it might not have survived to go on to the brilliance of II if it hadn’t been for him.

    @Steve Wright: I actually thought the world-building in “Red Rising” was the best part… it was just the plot I didn’t like. Too much needless brutality (even from the “good guys”, and of course then all the rape just to add to it). I found the first part of the book the most interesting; the Hunger Games section, I was very meh.

    @kathodus: Indeed, the best Space Vampire MilSF story I ever read!

    (18) Not only do I disagree with GRRM on his “replace or die!” idea, I’m not impressed with the particular artwork he linked to. It’s serviceable, but not wow.

  36. @Rose Embolism: Thanks for mentioning those comics. I’ll check out the first three; the fourth, Alice Grove, was mentioned in the comments on Brin’s post and I already started reading it. 😉

    Also: Yay, another Galaxion reader!

  37. (Pixels in a scroll. All we are is pixels in a scroll.)

    But Kip, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…

  38. Kip W.: Pixels in a scroll. All we are is pixels in a scroll.

    LunarG: But Kip, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…

    Carry on, My Wayward Scroll — bearing Pixels as you roll…

  39. @ TYP: Somewhere (now lost in the mists of time) I read an interview with Verhoven in which he explicitly said that he had read the book, and that everything he got wrong was deliberate. Sort of a Purloined Letter thing. He thought he was doing The Book As It Should Have Been.

    @ Dawn: If you want interesting feline society and subtly alien ways of thought, I heartily recommend Diane Duane’s Cat Wizards series.

  40. @Dawn Incognito:

    I also feel like Butcher’s action sequences are too clinical. Like he’s trying to describe everything so the reader can picture it, but instead I find them detached and lacking urgency.

    I found the action sequences one of the weak points of the novel myself, but after last year, I’m just grateful for any author who can write an action sequence without the sentence “Here, a doctrinal problem interposed itself”.

  41. Having caught up on Alice Grove (the web comic), I can now say for sure: I like this a lot! 😀 SF, humor, interesting world building (though it’s taking a while to get much info; we’re still in the dark about a lot and aren’t sure if we can totally buy some of the info or what it means). Recommended!

  42. LunarG: JJ – Well-done! ?

    Misery  People who can’t get rid of an earworm love company. MWAHAHAHA

    It doesn’t scan perfectly in a couple of places, and I could have done better (although I was quite pleased at aligning “TBR” with “demons guard”!) — but I have limited brain cells right now due to the day job, and my book was calling. 😉

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