Pixel Scroll 6/11/17 To Your Scattered Pixels Scroll

(1) NATIVE AMERICAN COMICS STORE. Red Planet Books and Comics opened June 3 — “Unique Native American comic book store opens in Albuquerque”.

The idea for the store started in October.

“I kept walking by. I was like, is this shop being used at all? They’re like, no, and I was like, well maybe we might want to do something with that,” [owner Lee] Francis said.

He had already launched Native Realities to publish indigenous comic books.

Now, the company has a storefront for that work, along with other stories of Native American superheroes.

“Because we’re here in Albuquerque, we have such a high population of Native folks. My family’s from the Pueblo of Laguna,” he said.

Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers is one of Native Realties’ comics.

Based on the true stories of the Native American Code Talkers this incredible graphic novel features nine original stories by Native American artists and writers documenting the heroic tales of Code Talkers from World War I through Korea. The graphic novel also features a history of the Code Talkers and a lesson plan for teachers who wish to use the book to teach students about the struggle and accomplishments of these Native American heroes.

(2) STILES MEDICAL UPDATE. Fan artist Steve Stiles writes about his medical treatment: “The news is that I have a tumor in my right lung and that there’s a 70% chance (doctor’s words) that it’s cancer. I’m going in for a PET scan on the 14th and a biopsy on the 20th, probably followed by surgery shortly after that.”

Steve says, “I wouldn’t mind having friends know. I think they’ll have caught in time; it certainly came on me quickly.”

(3) INEXPLICABLY THEY ARE NOT DISCOURAGED. Variety asks “Poll: Which ‘Dark Universe’ Movie Are You Most Excited For?”

Though reviews for “The Mummy” have been unfavorable and box office tracking is far from through the roof, the studio hasn’t said it will slow down on its planned monster universe. The films will mine from Universal’s vault of monsters –Dracula, Frankenstein, Invisible Man, etc. — and reboot them for movies in the next few years.

Aside from “The Mummy,” “Bride of Frankenstein” is the only planned movie to be dated thus far, to be released on Feb. 14, 2019. “The Invisible Man” and “Frankenstein” have already nabbed stars in Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem, respectively. Angelina Jolie has been linked to the lead role in “Bride of Frankenstein,” but has yet to officially sign on. A new musical theme for the “Dark Universe,” composed by Danny Elfman, will debut in theaters ahead of “The Mummy.”

(4) IT’S ON THE COVER. I learned a bunch of things I didn’t know before about licensing cover art from Amanda S. Green’s column “Think before hitting enter” at Mad Genius Club.

If you go to Amazon and browse through the various genres, you will sooner or later come across covers that are the same or close to the same. This happens because most indies license their cover art elements from sites like Dreamstime or Adobe Stock. It’s a cheap way to find good art that fits the genre. The danger is you are only licensing the artwork and not buying it. That means others can license it as well.

(5) GREEN SCREEN. Luxury Daily comments on an unusual ad campaign: “Gucci unveils science fiction-flavored teaser for fall/winter 2017”. Will they clean up in the marketplace?

The designs are eclectic and strange

The “Clevercare” video series celebrated Earth Day April 22 with tips for how to maintain Stella McCartney clothes and ways to minimize a consumer’s carbon footprint. The six-part series takes an unconventional approach for most luxury brands by making the films highly comedic in nature (see story).

Gucci’s campaign, curious as it is, is evocative and stands out from typical high-fashion marketing. It taps into a wealth of imagery almost never aligned with luxury: the golden age of cheap ’50s science fiction movies.

“The risk of positioning an ad campaign with a surrealistic humorous bent, such as the new Gucci campaign, may find their current clientele and desired target audience consider it off brand and or too bizarre to waste time trying to figure out the message or how to relate,” Ms. Miller said. “Any strategy, if not well thought out against the DNA of a brand, may suffer if the subsequent intent is not executed well.

“Taking a stand of being different simply to be different may be a slippery slope. Viewers may be so distracted by the obscure that they remember neither the brand nor its intended message.”

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 11, 1982E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial released. “More legs than Harlan’s A Boy and His Dog,” says John King Tarpinian offering a unique viewpoint. So to speak.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born June 11 — John Mansfield

(8) COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian points to Bizarro artist Dan Piraro’s Batman eulogies. His weekly cartoon for June 11 is another.

John also recommends this baseball-themed sff reference from Steve Moore’s In The Bleachers.

(9) TBR THIS SUMMER. The Washington Post’s Summer Reading 2017 feature recommends Borne by Jeff VanderMeer, George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, and Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

(10) BINGO. Here’s a robotic Tingle title mashup.

(11) SAY IT AIN’T SO. No Star Trek beyond Star Trek Beyond? “Star Trek: ‘no guarantee’ of another film says Zachary Quinto” at Den of Geek.

Even though Paramount Pictures got moving on a further Star Trek outing just as Star Trek Beyond was docking in cinemas last year, the incumbent Spock, Zachary Quinto, has played down just a little talk of a further film.

Star Trek Beyond ultimately grossed $343m in cinemas worldwide, over $100m down on the takings for Star Trek Into Darkness. Critically, it fared better, and Star Trek is heading back to the small screen in the next 12 months, with Star Trek Discovery.

But whilst we’d been promised another screen adventure, one that would bring Chris Hemsworth back alongside Chris Pine, there’s been not a great deal of progress since that was first mooted last July. And now Quinto, whilst confirming that a new film is being worked on, has suggested that it’s no certainty.

(12) HE’S ON THE FRONT. Francis Hamit, Managing Director of The Kit Marlowe Film Co. announces “We are offering new affinity products for our fans” in the Christopher Marlowe Shoppe — including the Kit Marlowe movie t-shirt.

(13) NOS4A2TV. The Verge reports “AMC is developing a series based on Joe Hill’s NOS4A2”.

AMC announced that it is opening writers’ rooms to develop three new shows, one of which is an adaptation of Joe Hill’s vampire novel NOS4A2. Jami O’Brien, who worked on the network’s Hell on Wheels and Fear the Walking Dead, will be the show’s executive producer.

According to Deadline, the network is skipping the typical pilot process, and working on a “detailed look at a potential first season,” before deciding whether or not to greenlight the show right out of the gate. AMC first announced that it was adapting the novel back in 2015, but word that Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 is still under consideration is pretty exciting. Hill is the son of Stephen King, and he’s forged his own career as a horror author in recent years. This extremely creepy novel is one of his best to date. AMC is also developing a crime thriller, Pandora, and Silent History, about a group of children who are born without the ability to comprehend language, under the same arrangement.

Published in 2013, NOS4A2 follows a girl named Vic McQueen who has an ability to find lost objects by way of a mysterious bridge that transports her to wherever the object that she’s looking for is hiding.

(14) THEY’RE GOING AT NIGHT. NASA has a plan to touch the sun.

In 2018, NASA will send a probe to one of the locations in the solar system that it never has before: the sun. In a series of orbits, the spacecraft will come closer to our star than any space vehicle before it could possibly withstand, and the mission is expected to reveal things about the sun that researchers have long wondered. In a news conference today, NASA revealed a few key details about its plans to ‘touch the sun,’ including a new name for the daring probe that will make the journey.

(15) INACTION FIGURES. There is such a thing as the LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE. I’m just not sure why.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, John King Tarpinian, Steve Stiles, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day IanP.]

63 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/11/17 To Your Scattered Pixels Scroll

  1. (2) STILES MEDICAL UPDATE.
    Best wishes to Steve Stiles that it isn’t cancer. But if it is, that it is treatable.

    Cancer sucks. It really does.

  2. (4) I think publishers in the 60s sometimes recycled cover art too. I’m pretty sure I have two books from Pyramid that used this image.

    Best wishes for Steve Stiles as well.

  3. My best wishes to Steve as well. I heard about this when Geri Sullivan came through here (for an hour and a quarter of quality time!). Today learned of a family member whose cancer has come back.

    I’m told I can’t use ‘fuck cancer’ or violent metaphors because reasons, so I will just state that I am against cancer. It is bad.

    eta: In his wonderful “Sci Fi Hi Fi” slide talks, Bud Webster used to show albums that used the same scenery and props, which sometimes had been recycled from movies and maybe book covers. Wish I had that on video.

  4. I’m told I can’t use
    Trash it. Then fill the bin with quick-setting concrete and dump it in the nearest deep-ocean trench.

  5. I work at a library bookstore and we got some interesting SF vinyl in. I set them aside in case anyone wanted them. LMK if you’re interested. $1 each plus postage. (Money goes to the friends of the library). I live 10 miles from Disneyland if you’re local. I will be going to WorldCon in San Jose (not Helsinki) if you want to wait that long.

    These are album pics. Didn’t have time to see what condition the LPs were in.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157684855877856

  6. Good lord! A Fedco sticker!

    There was at least one album with a Gemco sticker, too!
    (We got in ~200 LPs)

  7. A few Scrolls ago, Adam Roberts and his book on the history of science fiction was being discussed. Well, today on Amazon UK the book’s available for £0.99.

  8. (4) This is a very interesting observation in Amanda S Green’s Mad Genius essay:

    Where the line blurs and you need to think twice before hitting enter is when you start using the cover image of another author’s book in promotional materials and say “If you liked this, you will like my book.” The problem with this sort of promo is that you are using someone else’s work, specifically the cover art, for your own financial gain. To get around that, you need to ask the publisher for permission. Many publishers even have a handy link so you can do just that.

    Please note that the problem isn’t in comparing your work with another author’s work. The problem is in using copyrighted material for your own financial benefit.

  9. (4) IT’S ON THE COVER.

    Using stock photos for covers, causing multiple books to have almost the same cover, is not just an indie thing. I’ve seen lots of examples if that with traditional publishing houses involved. (And I think several of the examples have been scrolled here.)

    ***

    (15) INACTION FIGURES. There is such a thing as the LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE. I’m just not sure why.

    Because money?

  10. There is such a thing as the LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE. I’m just not sure why.

    Because my children have allowance money.

  11. There was a Ninjago short before The Lego Batman Movie which was quite fun.

    (Sidenote: Instead of “Ninja + Lego”, I keep treating Ninjago as Japanese and reading it as “Ninja Language”)

  12. Johan P:

    Using stock photos for covers, causing multiple books to have almost the same cover, is not just an indie thing. I’ve seen lots of examples if that with traditional publishing houses involved. (And I think several of the examples have been scrolled here.)

    Simak’s Civilization Game has been published with this cover https://www.amazon.com/Civilisation-Game-Other-Stories/dp/0727851691 and so has Delany’s Babel-17 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/354377064403302803/

  13. The (apparent) hero in the Ninja Lego movie is strawberry-blond and named Floyd. Given that his “skin” is yellow plastic, should this be called out as whitewashing….?

  14. @Stuart Gate – thank for the Adam Roberts tip – snaffled.

    Hugo Reading: It seems 22 hours on a train is enough for 70% of ‘Death’s End’. Not 17 billion years Bonnie McDaniel, it just seemed like it was. It is as advertised, chock full of ideas, infodumps and characters of finest cardboard. It will fit nicely at the bottom of my novel ballot.

    How much is that Pixel in the Window? The one with the Scrollable Tale

  15. 4-

    For the longest time, writers were told there were several things you didn’t talk about in public: politics and religion. Publishers and agents didn’t want you to for fear you might alienate potential readers. Going hand-in-hand with that was the unwritten rule that you didn’t attack or criticize another author in public.

    Granted I grew up after all of it, but author interviews of the time and letters published certainly seemed like authors, particularly well known SFF ones, shared their opinions publicly about the war (as they lived through or served in), the space race, politics (Heinlein for sure), and I believe held strong opinions on the genre they wrote in. Heck historically Charles Dickens, Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, etc were involved in politics, held public debates and authors criticized each other in newspapers. We’re just doing so faster. Blogs, zines, etc carry on many traditions that started out as self-published newsletters, pamphlets, and published letters of debate.

    Of course there’s the question of acting in a professional manner, which may be what she was thinking of, and I’d love to see how that particular blog manages to address that issue and prepare not to be surprised at the finger pointing without any self reflection.

    We don’t want to be painted with the same brush as those who plagiarize work by other authors or those who don’t believe an editor and proofreader would help improve their work.

    This I also feel could be the another subject also all on its own. Publishing indie kind of sucks because you have to do all the work formatting, try and get it professionally edited, worry about cover art and marketing and then put it up in a market where so many don’t appear to care about such things. How to not get lumped in, and also what to do to try and help elevate those who don’t appear to care so the entire market doesn’t get a black mark for the quality is hard to do. But anyone working with indie publishing should be trying to elevate quality as right now quality is the exception rather than the rule. It always pisses me off to see people charge for formatting instead of directing people to sites and guides on how to do so for example. It’s not hard to do or learn, and charging feels predatory and not helping those people learn the steps to do it for themselves.

    This happens because most indies license their cover art elements from sites like Dreamstime or Adobe Stock. It’s a cheap way to find good art that fits the genre.

    Here’s some easy advice, don’t use those. Stop. If your cover art looks like stock photos cut and pasted on top of other stock photos with some generic font (or god forbid several different fonts) stop. Your book is something you’re proud of right? You love it and also from re-reading/editing it a dozen times also sort of don’t want to look at it again, so it’s also like family that way. So why the hell would you do all that work and then put it under a cover with a generic model holding a weapon looking over their shoulder or in a bold looking pose pasted in front of a generic dark city/graveyard/forest/castle?

    Realize that the internet is full of independent graphic artists and amateur photographers, probably more of them than there are indie authors even. Find them and work with them to create your cover art. Go to one of many artists networking sites, or tumblr or even T-shirt design forums. They’re out there and they also want to create something they can be proud of and show off. A friend of mine held a contest and while she was offering more than many indie authors might be willing to put up she ended up with over 200 designs sent to her, of which a dozen were flat out amazing in unique. I knew a graphic artist whose T-Shirt designs I love (he’s got a great A Boy and His Dog one!) and worked it out and the art looks better than the content really. I used a picture a guy put out on the internet of an origami Cthulhu from Mexico and while I GIMPd the crap out of it before doing so I emailed him requesting permission to use. It likely fell under Fair Use but I wanted to still make sure. He thought it was really cool.

    If you want something that’s individual, looks better than a cheap knock off, take a minute to find an artist and work with them about what you want, what they’ll charge and what permissions and rights usage you have for the work. You’ll get a better cover and be supporting other indie artists instead of AdobeStock.

    when you need to think twice before hitting enter is when you start using the cover image of another author’s book in promotional materials

    Well yeah that should only require thinking once. Most people don’t want you to use their work to promote yours unless they have a say in it. Again the professional behavior thing, it’s not hard to email that author and ask if you can include an amazon link to their work as co-promotion. Of course they might feel like you’re using their success as a stepping stool to your own so be respectful of how you approach that.

    Good god that went longer than I meant to.

  16. Matt Y: the fact that some people (marketroids?) told writers to ~behave in public doesn’t mean all the writers did it; cf our SFWA correspondent’s comments about writers and cat-herding. The opposing ads on the Vietnam War (in a genre magazine, ~49 years ago) were an extreme case (although many signers on both sides may have felt there was safety in numbers), but there have always been writers (especially those satisfied with their sales?) whose reaction to such an instruction would not have passed their editors.

  17. Am fairly early on in All the Birds in the Sky, am enjoying it, and am wondering exactly how spicy I need to make my food to induce an out-of-body experience or awaken any other latent psychic abilities.

  18. There have always been authors involved in and writing about politics. Heinlein is an example of someone whose work is often drenched in his personal political philosophies.

    What happens — in my opinion — is that people sometimes confuse one particular flavor of politics with “no politics” because it’s as normal to them as air while everything else seems strange and novel. I saw a recent tweet to the effect that when you consider that Dr. Who is supposed to completely change every time he reincarnates (is that the right term?), having it be a white dude every time is pretty political. But it’s not something one perceives if you’re used to the default being a white dude.

    Our world is political by its very nature. Even an insistence that politics should stay out of writing is a political stance, paradoxically, and (seems to me at least) an endorsement of whatever the current status quo is.

  19. @Matt Y – yes, yes, yes re the internet being full of indie visual artists. We might all travel in different circles but indie writers have a lot in common with indie graphic artists (and indie musicians!) and it benefits us all to help each other and collaborate when we can.

  20. Cat Rambo

    What happens — in my opinion — is that people sometimes confuse one particular flavor of politics with “no politics” because it’s as normal to them as air while everything else seems strange and novel. I saw a recent tweet to the effect that when you consider that Dr. Who is supposed to completely change every time he reincarnates (is that the right term?), having it be a white dude every time is pretty political. But it’s not something one perceives if you’re used to the default being a white dude.

    Our world is political by its very nature. Even an insistence that politics should stay out of writing is a political stance, paradoxically, and (seems to me at least) an endorsement of whatever the current status quo is.

    Absolutely agree. And I can even understand that people feel it tears them away from the story to have their default setting suddenly challenged, though I also question why someone wants to read a story written by someone else who might not have the same default settings if they’re afraid of ever accidentally having it challenged.

    I still get reminded of my own blinders of assuming everyone has the same baseline experience. Even the File770 thread from a week ago about visualizing while reading made me realize we all don’t even read the same, so I don’t know how anyone can expect an author to not filter their writing through their own experiences regardless of it might not mesh with one readers default.

    Charon D.

    @Matt Y – yes, yes, yes re the internet being full of indie visual artists. We might all travel in different circles but indie writers have a lot in common with indie graphic artists (and indie musicians!) and it benefits us all to help each other and collaborate when we can

    Right?! Maybe I’m missing out on an opportunity and need to set up some sort of business/website to help indie authors connect to graphic artists.

  21. Politics? In SF? Unpossible!

    Oh wait, it’s been a staple of the genre since before the genre had a name. H. G. Wells, anyone? 😀

    Heck, a big part of the attraction of the field to writers since day one has been the ability to disguise your political criticism with aliens or far-future humans.

    My pixelshake brings all the scrolls to the yard.

  22. (1) I hope they make a go of it. Retail is a bitch these days.

    (2) Fingers crossed for Steve. I wonder if a Hugo would cheer him up?

    (4) I’ve seen recycled art on tradpub too. The website “Good Show Sir” regularly has reused art. You’ll think “WTF does this have to do with book X?” only for someone in comments to say it was originally commissioned for Book Y, which it does illustrate.

    (12) And we care… why?

    (15) I saw this trailer a couple of months ago. I’m not in the demographic, but it looks entertaining enough for those who are.

    @Ita: Those are some very fine records! Wow. Cool.

    “Trapped on the Trans-Siberian Express with only ‘Death’s End’ to Read: The Ken Richards Story”

    @Matt Y: I’m old enough to remember some of what you’re talking about, and it was always obvious how writers felt about politics; viz. the famous letters pro and con the Vietnam War. That was pretty damn blatant. Heinlein was notorious for letting you know his politics. Original Star Trek was current politics disguised as future. And attacking and criticizing other authors (and fen) seems to be the raison d’etre of Puppies.

    L.J. Cohen writes some damn fine non-Mil space opera. She has several beta readers, hires a professional editor, and commissions original artwork for each volume that looks like the people involved and refers to the plot. I don’t know if it’s actually painted or computer-painted, but the guy doesn’t use stock images. Her books are better proofread and better covered than Baen, frankly.

    There are a bazillion artists out there who’ll do you a good cover that isn’t stock. FFS, isn’t that what DeviantArt is for?

  23. 4) & Matt: While it’s not quite the same thing, this was something I had to think about when I wanted a logo for my business. I knew what kind of design I wanted, so I put up a request for references to graphic artists on my LiveJournal, and one of my friends came thru. It was reasonably priced, and I got both exactly the design I wanted and the full rights to use it however I liked, including for T-shirt art. (If you’re curious, you can see it here.)

  24. @Lee: that’s a nice logo (kitteh!) and you have some lovely work. If I didn’t already have two bitchin’ Celtic belt buckles, I’d buy one from you.

  25. (4) The incident that inspired the article was when an author did an “if you like this, then you’ll like mine” advertising piece that included a cover of another author’s book. The author making the comparison was generally (even if not universally) criticized for copyright infringement.

    “Who” and “where” are not necessarily productive pieces of information at this point.

    Regards,
    Dann

  26. @Lee – I like it! I really dig the style of the dragon on the totebag too, all the totebags really. Nice work all around. I’ve been trying to convince my wife to set up an etsy or something, she does all these crafts and buys material and makes more but doesn’t do muchwith the supply she’s made already. For what it’s worth here is how mine turned out.

    @Dann- Oh yeah agreed, the who and where don’t really matter. Using another author’s cover art as part of promoting your own book isn’t a good thing and Amanda does a good job explaining why and also how that can conflict with usage rights.

  27. Ken Richards: It seems 22 hours on a train is enough for 70% of ‘Death’s End’. Not 17 billion years Bonnie McDaniel, it just seemed like it was. It is as advertised, chock full of ideas, infodumps and characters of finest cardboard. It will fit nicely at the bottom of my novel ballot.

    *snort*

    This describes my experience with The Three Body Problem perfectly, which is why I have not yet been able to talk myself into reading either The Dark Forest or Death’s End.

  28. lurkertype: Fingers crossed for Steve. I wonder if a Hugo would cheer him up?

    I am sending good wishes his way and hope the best for him, but this is not a good reason to vote to give him a Hugo. 😐

  29. Best wishes for Steve Stiles.

    Simak’s Civilization Game has been published with this cover https://www.amazon.com/Civilisation-Game-Other-Stories/dp/0727851691 and so has Delany’s Babel-17 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/354377064403302803/

    So awful they used it twice.

    Regarding indie covers, cost is an issue, particularly for indies just starting out, and stock is cheaper than custom artwork. A lot of indies also rely on so-called premade covers – pre-designed covers available for a set price, where the designer only alters the title and author name once it is bought. Premade covers tend to rely on stock images and also tend to be generic.

    There’s also a school of thought in the indie world that covers should be as similar as possible to other covers in the same genre/subgenre to avoid confusing readers, hence you get umpteen “spaceship in space” covers in SF, umpteen shirtless and headless dude covers in various romance subgenres, etc… For those who subscribe to this philosophy, the samey covers are a feature, not a bug. I’ve gotten passive aggressive remarks about how my covers are not appropriate for the genre (in spite of SFnal artwork), because I don’t slavishly follow the cover trends.

    I’m not a fan of authors comparing their own work to better known works in general, because IMO that’s for readers and reviewers to decide, not for authors. Using another book’s cover to advertise your own totally crosses the line.

    In other news, I just got an e-mail from WorldCon 75 with my programming items. Anybody else already got theirs as well? I got some interesting panels and I see the names of a few filers in there.

  30. Because Simon & Garfunkel had been referenced recently…

    “50 Ways to Scroll your Pixel”

    The problem is trivial said
    Mike Glyer with a smile
    The answer is easy if you
    Take it in your style
    I’d like to help you in your struggle
    To be file
    There must be fifty ways
    To Scroll your Pixel

    He said it’s really not my habit
    To exclude
    I’m saying this and hope that
    You can be a Hoopy Frood
    But I’ll repeat myself
    So your faith can be renewed
    There must be fifty ways
    To Scroll your Pixel
    Fifty ways to Scroll your Pixel

    [CHORUS:]
    Just put in a film trailer
    The latest award noms
    Add a birthday girl, or boy
    Just put the news on
    Fanhistories are us
    You don’t need to Puppy much
    Just talk ’bout the last con
    And on, and so on

    He said it’s not good that
    You try to take the blame
    I wish there was something I could do
    To stop you feeling lame
    I said I appreciate that
    And would you please explain
    About the fifty ways

    He said why don’t we both
    Search for Pixels tonight
    And I believe in the morning
    You’ll have many to highlight
    And then he calmed me
    And I realized he probably was right
    There must be fifty ways
    To Scroll your Pixel
    Fifty ways to Scroll your Pixel

    (P.S. The imagination of Filers is infinite, so it surprised me that “50 Ways to Scroll your Pixel” hadn’t yet been suggested for a title.)

  31. @StephenfromOttawa

    I’m about halfway through The Obelisk Gate. Fascinating stuff. However I have to say I find this matter of parents killing their children a little hard to take. Can anyone point me to a discussion of this aspect of the book and its predecessor? I’m not sure what to make of it at this point.

    N.K. Jemisin wrote a blog post where she touches on the families of The Fifth Season, and discusses this. Scroll down almost to the bottom if you don’t want to read the whole thing.

  32. @Cat Rambo: I’m surprised that nobody has yet mentioned this: the Doctor Who jargon word is “regenerate” rather than “reincarnate”.

  33. (8) The (presumably) permalink for the 11th’s Piraro is http://comicskingdom.com/bizarro/2017-06-11

    Going to the link in the scroll gives you the latest comic.

    Sad news for genre fans in the Berkeley/Oakland area – Dark Carnival is going out of business.
    https://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/06/12/41-years-berkeley-sci-fi-bookstore-dark-carnival-closing/

    An amazing bookstore, with an amazing proprietor. If you’re in the Bay Area and haven’t been there before, you should definitely make it out as soon as possible (plus he’s having a 20% off sale). First, Other Change of Hobbit (I count the move from downtown Berkeley as the tragic point for OCoH – that’s when Berkeley effectively lost an easily-accessible gateway into SFF for high school and college students); now, Dark Carnival. Ugh.

  34. The Bay Area is losing cool things far too frequently these days. My perfect rainy weekend circa late ’80s was to take the BART to Berkeley so I could hit Dark Carnival for a big bag of Richard Laymon and Robert McCammon and short story compilations and maybe even some science fiction and fantasy, then drag it all back home and stay up late reading scary stuff while listening to thunder and lightning and dark ominous music. Best bookstore ever.

    If I had a 40oz I’d pour it on the ground for Dark Carnival.

  35. @Cora: I can see Filers on panels?! 😀 This honestly hadn’t really occurred to me. I look forward to seeing Filers Perform on Pixels, I mean, on Panels.

    @Soon Lee: Woo-hoo! Awesome “50 Ways…” riff!

  36. @ lurkertype: In the interests of accuracy, the Celtic belt buckles are in the category “Gift Items”, which are items I buy for resale, and they come from a company in Singapore. So don’t feel bad about not needing one. The items under “Handcrafted Jewelry” are things I make, or at least assemble from components.

    @ Matt: Same caveat on the tote bags — they come from a company in India. The only things under “Gift Items” that I do any work on at all are the beaded bookmarks.

    @ Soon Lee: Bravo!

  37. I remember going to Dark Carnival when it was in its first, ridiculously tiny location. I got my parents to buy my a copy of The White Dragon at the tremendous price of $8.95, and got it signed by Anne McCaffrey.

    The Other Change of Hobbit influenced my life much more, but Dark Carnival was important.

  38. @JJ: Yes, but what if, hypothetically, one’s Hugo ballot already contained Steve at #1 before this news hit? 🙂

    @Soon Lee: awesome!

  39. @Bonnie McDaniel: I deleted the comment to which you replied, but thanks for the pointer to the Jemisin blog post, which will help me think about this stuff.

  40. @David Goldfarb – That’s great! My friend’s dad worked at the Adeleine location… at some point in the early-90s, I think? Maybe in the 80s? I’m not sure. At some point around 2004/2005, said dad loaned my friend a copy of The Algebraist, and he loaned it to me, saying it seemed like something I might like. That kicked off my rediscovery of sci-fi (I was mostly into various other genres at the time).

    I’ve only known it in its current location on Claremont. For a while I was going there once a month or so and stocking up on books. I’d often see that I’d just missed some very interesting author reading or just hanging out. I’m terrible at remembering to attend those events (has a bit to do with not really knowing what to say to a creative type who I don’t really know).

    Same here for Other Change of Hobbit, though. I recall encountering it when I first moved out here in 1995, and it confirmed my idea that Berkeley was a special place. Between the knowledgeable (and diverse, taste-wise) workers and the highly pet-able cats, it was a great place to learn about SFF.

  41. Joe H. on June 12, 2017 at 9:01 am said:

    Am fairly early on in All the Birds in the Sky, am enjoying it, and am wondering exactly how spicy I need to make my food to induce an out-of-body experience or awaken any other latent psychic abilities.

    I think I encountered a precursor to that some years ago when a painfully spicy pasta dish, coupled with a pint of EPIC’s Brainless on Raspberries, induced not *quite* an out-of-body experience but certainly a state of ungroundedness sufficient to make leaving the car at the restaurant and walking the two miles home the wiser choice. Granted, the EPIC Brainless series tends to have stupidly high ABVs, but a huge serving of pasta should have muffled that, if it wasn’t busy flooding my brain with endorphins.

    (I enjoyed the over-the-top absurdist humor/horror of All the Birds in the Sky initially, but I found it diminished the emotional impact of the ensuing action and end-of-book for me. Still, I love that one particular part of the book, early on, might be described as–speaking of S&G–“what if the man in the gabardine suit really IS a spy?”)

  42. I was much closer with the folks at Other Change (especially Tom Whitmore), but Dark Carnival was an outstanding store, and I’m going to miss it a lot.

    Cora on June 12, 2017 at 6:10 pm said:

    I’m not a fan of authors comparing their own work to better known works in general, because IMO that’s for readers and reviewers to decide, not for authors.

    I’m not a fan of reviewers (esp. blurbers) comparing authors either, because they so frequently do such a bad job of it. The worst is when they compare it to an author I don’t much care for. Then I have to wait until a friend reassures me that it really isn’t like that author before I’m willing to try it. 🙂

    (Usually, though, the reviewers only compare people to three authors: Heinlein for generic SF, esp. space adventure, Tolkien for fantasy, and Niven for hard SF with fancy physics. I can’t think of the last time I read a book compared to one of those three that actually reminded me of one of those three.)

    On the other hand, if your book was inspired by another work, it’s probably reasonable to mention that somewhere. But don’t tell me it’s like the other work, because it almost certainly isn’t. (And if it were, that would probably lower my interest in it. Take inspiration from others, but don’t blindly copy, because an imitation is rarely as good as the original.)

  43. artwork:

    If you use a cover mill, this reader will recognize that your cover comes from a cover mill and that will cause an additional hesitation when considering a purchase.

    If you make the cover up yourself in photoshop, with rare exception this reader will recognize that you made it up in photoshop and that will create another (however brief) barrier to purchase.

    If you license cover art that has already been used as cover art for someone else’s book (as in, artwork by an artist who works in our field) this reader will most likely say “hmmm, that’s by X and I think I saw it on Y author’s cover…”, but will also recognize artwork above a certain quality level and will just assume that the publisher has the rights and is saving a few bucks on production costs.

    Many, many, many artists in our field offer their artwork in three standard forms: original creation, that is either purchased outright or licensed for a specific and limited use; artwork that has already been created and licensed but is available for you to license for a specific and limited use.

    The latter is the least expensive.

    One thing those publishing books might want to consider is the last option, but only using a portion of the artwork that is licensed. Readers like me who have been collecting since 1968 might still recognize that “the cover is part of Y’s painting that appeared on Astounding’s cover…” but for most folks it will appear to be original art that is, at least insofar as the artist’s capabilities are concerned, meant for the cover of an SFnal kind of book.

    There’s a reason spaceships and planets appear on SF covers, dragons and mages on fantasy covers and zombies and caskets on horror covers, and the artists who create those covers day in and day out have gotten very skilled at evoking the kind of response an author is looking for in their readers

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