Pixel Scroll 6/14/16 The Scroll Above The Port Was The Color of a Pixel, Encoded in a Dead Website

(1) BIG CON BUSINESS. At ICv2 Rob Salkowitz analyzes “Three Convention Trends We Could Do Without”, art scammers, pay to (cos)play and –

Indifference to fan experience. The rising prominence of cons means more and more families and individuals plan vacations and big-ticket trips around these experiences. The expectations are higher, and more at stake for the business in delivering great experiences.

Naturally, each year, there are always a few bad cons, and bad moments at good cons. These are complex events to organize, and well-meaning folks can get in over their heads. I find it’s best to never attribute to malevolence what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

But as the industry becomes more competitive and conventions become more templated, it’s easy to see how organizers can get so focused on the “best practices” for separating fans from their money that they lose sight of the big picture: that this whole business is built on fun and passion.

The more shows become dependent on tightly-booked celebrities, the more likely that some fans will get the runaround. It’s already astounding to me how much some fans will put up with – and spend – to get a few seconds and a photo with a famous media personality. But when cons lose control of this process, either because they are not following through on little details like whether the photos actually came out properly, or because they are having a behind-the-scenes business dispute with their talent, as happened at Houston’s Space City Comic Con a few weeks ago, it’s the fans who suffer.

(2) THREE BODY. Carl Slaughter delivers another awesome interview: “Liu Cixin, The 3 Body Problem, and the Growth of SF in China”. Where? Here!

CARL SLAUGHTER: Why was science fiction not taken seriously in China until several years ago?

LIU CIXIN: Actually, the 80s was a peak period for Chinese science fiction.  Some books during that period sold as many as 4 million copies.  When public officials deemed parts of science fiction socially unhealthy, publishers went through a slump.  In the 21st century, science fiction in China made a comeback.  This might be related to China’s modernization.  Modernization focuses people’s attention on the future.  They see the future as full of opportunities, as well as crisis and challenges.  This set the stage for the development of science fiction and an interest in this literary form.

(3) GAMER. In “Guest Post: Better Sci-Fi Through Gaming, by Yoon Ha Lee”, the author talks about growing up gaming, for the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.

Not that I needed writing a novel an excuse to play games, mind you. But it made for useful background. One of the major characters in the novel basically is a game designer; he comes  from the Shuos faction, which likes using games and game design in its pedagogy. It’s something I can trace back to my excellent 8th grade teacher Mr. Capin, who taught social studies and made use of simulations. I’ll never forget the Middle East sim, in which the class was divided up into different nations. I was assigned to “Israel.” Mr. Capin also played the role of the USA, and from time to time, the “USA” would drop “foreign aid” on us. The other groups hated us instantly. Another time, we did the “Roman Senate,” with Mr. Capin playing the role of “Julius Caesar.” He gave me the opportunity to try to stop him, so long as I didn’t spoil what was to come. I was insufficiently persuasive, and he assassinated me. (I have never been prouder to have a teacher announce, “Senator Yoon is dead.” God knows, that’s the closest I’ll ever come to a government position!) It was very visceral, and I’ve never forgotten how vivid the lessons became in that format.

(4) GHOSTBUSTED. “Doc” Geressey, a fixture at cons in NC, SC, and VA for several years, known for having a very exact Ghostbusters replica vehicle and dressing up as a Ghostbuster with friends, has been charged with soliciting a child on social media.

The Gaston Gazette reports:

Michael “Doc” Robert Geressy, 36, of South New Hope Road, has been charged with soliciting a child for sex act by a computer and appearing to meet a child.

Detectives with the Lincolnton Police Department conducted an undercover sting operation involving Geressy. An officer posed as a 14-year-old child on social media. Geressy reportedly discussed meeting to engage in sexual activity.

When Geressy arrived at the predetermined location and was arrested, he was wearing a black suit, tie and sunglasses, police said, like characters in the movie, “Men in Black.” Geressy showed up driving a 1987 Ford Crown Victoria that is a replica of the car used in the movie, according to reports. The vehicle had emergency light equipment as well as after-market toggle switches to replicate the car seen in the movie, police say.

Another member of The Carolina Ghostbusters told the reporter that the group disbanded a year ago, however, they were advertised as appearing at XCON World in Myrtle Beach last month.

carolina_ghostbusters

(5) MESZAROS OBIT. Michu Meszaros, an actor who brought the titular alien in ’80s sitcom “Alf” to life, has died reports Variety. He was 76.

I had no idea – I thought Alf was a puppet….

(6) TEMERAIRE. Kate Nepveu reviews the series finale: “The Temeraire Series Sticks the Landing: Non-Spoiler Review of League of Dragons”, at Tor.com.

Let me put the conclusion up front: League of Dragons sticks the landing, and if you like the series overall, you should read it. It handles gracefully the general challenges of concluding a long series, and it has lots of the best parts of the series to date, and not that much of the worst.

The general challenges are, by this point, fairly well known. The final book of a long series has to address long-standing problems, without being boringly obvious; surprise the reader, without being unfair; maintain continuity, without letting past decisions unduly constrict the story; and give the reader a satisfying sense of where the important characters wind up, without overstaying its welcome.

I think League of Dragons does well on all these fronts.

(7) A PG-RATED DRAGON. Disney dropped the official trailer for Pete’s Dragon today.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 14, 1938 — The first Superman comic book — Action Comic No. 1 — was published

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • June 14, 1909 – Burl Ives, the voice of Gepetto in a Pinocchio TV movie, and Sam the Snowman in Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, who also had a role in an episode of Night Gallery.
  • June 14, 1949 – Harry Turtledove

(10) WHY WAIT FOR THE MOVIE? Based on viewing the trailer, BBC popular culture writer Nicholas Barber gives the Ghostbusters remake a thumb’s-down, but only for the “right” reasons: “Why the sexists get Ghostbusters wrong”.

Fast-forward 32 years, and it doesn’t look as if much of that innovation and counter-cultural grubbiness has made it into the new film. From what we have seen of it so far, Feig’s version will be a slavish copy of Reitman’s – right down to the cameos by Slimer and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man – except with bright and shiny CGI replacing practical effects, and all-for-one togetherness replacing cynical opportunism. But the one thing it has got right is its casting. After all, the Ghostbusters were always meant to be unconventional underdogs. They were meant to be the last people you would expect to save the world from demonic forces – just as the film as a whole was meant to challenge your preconceptions of what a summer blockbuster could be. And one ingenious way to give both the new film and its protagonists that pioneering freshness is to have women in the lead roles.

(11) RADIANCE. Speculiction hosts Jesse Hudson’s “Review of Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente”.

Working with the art of filmmaking, the relationship between the fictional and the real, and Hollywood of old, Radiance is a novel that possesses every ounce of Valente’s literary awareness and fervor for language. Paul Di Filippo calls it “uncategorizable fantastika,” which is, in fact, a shortcut from Valente’s own more complex but accurate description: “a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery.” Dynamic to say the least, the milieu is never allowed to desiccate into simple retro-pulp homage, going further to tell a rich, multi-faceted tale of one woman’s life and legacy in Hollywood’s Golden Age—or what it would have been were the solar system alive with humanity.

(12) MONEY IN HAND. Buy a first edition of Logan’s Run, signed and decorated by Bill Nolan, from Captain Ahab’s Rare Books.

  1. Nolan, William F. and George Clayton Johnson. LOGAN’S RUN – INSCRIBED TO HERB YELLIN. New York: The Dial Press, 1967. First American Edition. First Printing. Octavo (23cm); red pebbled paper-covered boards, with titles stamped in black on spine; dustjacket; [10], 134pp. Inscribed by the author to his long-time friend and publisher on the half-title page: “A GEN-U-INE LOGAN 1ST!! / To Herb, with hand, and with friendship, Bill Nolan / June 4, ’80.” At the center of the page Nolan has drawn an open hand with crystal disc in red, blue, and black ink; he has also tipped a typed 41-line bio of himself (measuring 2.75″ x 3.5″) onto the opposite page. Pinpoint wear to spine ends and corners, with upper rear board corner gently tapped (though still sharp); very Near Fine. Dustjacket is unclipped (priced $3.95), lightly shelfworn, with a few short tears, shallow loss at crown, with a few small chips along edges of front panel; an unrestored, Very Good+ example.

Nolan’s best-known work, a novel which takes place “after a strange act of nuclear terrorism, forcing the remaining population into underground keeps; a youth culture takes over, instituting the dystopian rule that all those over twenty-one must be killed to combat overpopulation” (Encyclopedia of Science Fiction). Basis for Michael Anderson’s Oscar-nominated 1976 film, starring Michael York and Farrah Fawcett. Sargent, p.144.             $1,750.00

Logans Run nolan auto

(13) SIMAK FAN. The Traveler at Galactic Journey is excited about this recently-completed serial: “[June 14, 1961] Time is the simplest thing… (The Fisherman, by Clifford Simak)”.

If you’re a fan of Cliff’s, you know that he excels at writing these intensely personal stories, particularly when they have (as this one does) a rural tinge.  The former Fisherman’s transformation into something more than human is fascinating.  Blaine’s voyage of self-discovery and self-preservation is an intimate one, a slow journey with a growing and satisfying pay-off.  The pace drags a little at times, and Simak adopts this strange habit of beginning a good many of his sentences with the auxiliary words “for” and “and,” which lends an inexorable, detached tone to the proceedings.

Still, it’s an unique book, one that I suspect will contend for a Hugo this year.  It single-handedly kept Analog in three-star territory despite the relative poor quality of its short stories and science articles.

I won’t spoil things for The Traveler by blabbing about what else came out in 1961 if you won’t….

(14) THE SPY WHO SLAGGED ME. James Bond vs Austin Powers – Epic Rap Battles of History – Season 5.

[Thanks to Laura Haywood-Cory, Chip Hitchcock, Hampus Eckerman, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day John A Arkansawyer.]

76 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/14/16 The Scroll Above The Port Was The Color of a Pixel, Encoded in a Dead Website

  1. Firfth!

    ETA: (6) TEMERAIRE. – Just gonna copy my comment from the other thread:

    Just finished the Temeraire finale, League of Dragons. I’m just gonna put a link to Kate Nepveu’s apoiler-free review over at Tor and say that I agree with almost all of it.

    Fantastic book, fantastic series, and such a good finale. With the added bonus of having a final sentence that both made me laugh, and left me desperately wanting more.

    I will now make preparations to cast a Summon Fanfic spell. There will be some gooood ones coming up with the setup Novik leaves us in!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that the commercial cons are running into problems from people being commercial at them. (The gestures I’m making behind your screen are the world’s smallest violin/phonography playing “My Heart Bleeds for You”.) I must admit I’m croggled at the thought of anybody paying a cosplayer for a photo, but I suppose there’s gotta be somebody whose fantasy is being photographed in the company of a six-foot-tall rabbit.

  3. (11) RADIANCE. Speculiction hosts Jesse’s (first name only) “Review of Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente”.

    Speculiction reviewer Jesse’s last name is Hudson.

  4. but I suppose there’s gotta be somebody whose fantasy is being photographed in the company of a six-foot-tall rabbit.

    It wasn’t until you said that.

  5. Chip Hitchcock: I must admit I’m croggled at the thought of anybody paying a cosplayer for a photo, but I suppose there’s gotta be somebody whose fantasy is being photographed in the company of a six-foot-tall rabbit.

    More often, the photo ops are with A-list and B-list movie and TV stars.

  6. Bill: Appertain yourself the libation of your choice — you are File 770’s hero copyeditor of the day!

  7. JJ: Thanks for the name — appertain yourself a beverage as File 770’s Above and Beyond Fact-Finder of the Day.

  8. (5) MESZAROS OBIT — my condolences to his family, but on the other hand, cats all over the world can breathe a bit more easily now.

    Swing low, sweet pixel scroll?

  9. The Gaston Gazette seems to have trouble telling ‘Ghostbusters’ from ‘Men in Black’.

  10. P J Evans: The Gaston Gazette seems to have trouble telling ‘Ghostbusters’ from ‘Men in Black’.

    No, that is the attire and the car from Men in Black. The Ghostbusters didn’t wear black suits, and the Ectomobile was a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor limo-style endloader combination car (ambulance conversion).

  11. JJ: Thanks — that’s much better than the explanation I was going to give…. which is that the guy is known for his Ghostbusters crew, but it’s apparently not the only cosplay he does, and he showed up to this assignation is the MIB gear.

  12. Mike Glyer: the guy is known for his Ghostbusters crew

    I’m guessing that his “crew” will be finding something else to cosplay after this, since he owns the Ectomobile and they probably won’t be willing to be caught anywhere in his vicinity. 😐

  13. (6) TEMERAIRE.
    I need to resume reading the series. IIRC “Empire of Ivory” was the last one I read.

    (10) WHY WAIT FOR THE MOVIE?

    This:

    After all, the Ghostbusters were always meant to be unconventional underdogs. They were meant to be the last people you would expect to save the world from demonic forces – just as the film as a whole was meant to challenge your preconceptions of what a summer blockbuster could be.

    (11) RADIANCE.
    Defies categorization, well-written, innovative. I nearly nominated it.

  14. Judging a film before its release has had a good history, as fans of the Tim Burton BATMAN film could dredge up. From recollection, I recall the mini head line of “Guano on Batman”, wondering who the hell Tim Burton was.

  15. As long as a cosplayer mentions a price first, then I don’t see a problem. I can always decide not to take a photo. However, don’t say “okay” and then mention a price after-the-fact — then you’re a scammer.

  16. Been chatting with Renay Williams and Aliette de Bodard this morning about NINEFOX GAMBIT. They both liked it a lot. I do think I need to read this (I have read Yoon’s short stories, so…)

  17. @Paul Weimar: I was a beta reader for the first draft of NINEFOX GAMBIT and I’m an unrepentant fangirl for it. I endorse, support, and second any thoughts of reading it. Any other action would be calendrical heresy.

  18. @Nancy Coolnedss. Renay invoked “Calendrical Rot” in her chat with Aliette and I, which I don’t know what that means in context of the book…yet, anyway.

  19. So wait, is League of Dragons out? *Goes to check.* It is!

    *chortles*. So long folks. Back in a bit.

  20. To go back to the quote/paragraph discussion from a couple of days ago … I’m currently reading The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson. The entire (short) novel seems to be written as a monologue — the first sentence says:

    He began without any circumlocution.

    And then, at least as far as I’ve gotten, every single paragraph is treated as part of one long, continuous piece of dialogue. With occasional nested dialogue from other sailors on the ship. And some of those other sailors talk in apostrophe-ridden dialect, so you get things like:

    ‘That you, Jessop?’ he asked.
    “ ‘I believe it is,’ I replied.
    “ ‘We’d ’ave our grandmothers an’ all the rest of our petticoated relash’ns comin’ to sea, if ’twere always like this,’ he remarked, reflectively—indicating, with a sweep of his pipe and hand, the calmness of the sea and sky.

    Having said that, Hodgson had clearly spent time on sailing ships and it shows in the casual use of specific details; and I’m guessing that the dialect is intended to represent speech patterns of people he had actually met on those ships.

  21. A favorite New Yorker cartoon of mine (50s?) has a sailor looking up from his log to ask another, “How many apostrophes in fo’c’s’le?”

  22. It’s already astounding to me how much some fans will put up with – and spend – to get a few seconds and a photo with a famous media personality.

    Sums up nicely why I’m not a big con goer. I don’t care about autographs or photos with a celebrity (there’s a long list of people I’d love to sit and have a beer with, but to just be one tooth in an ever moving line cog? No thanks), I don’t cosplay (although I’m hugely impressed by the fans who do) or need pictures, and I’m not a big fan of crowds.

    So for me, a con is entirely about whether there are enough panels I want to see, whether the dealers room has decent bargains and if there are smaller creators that I like there.

  23. (1) from the article If I were a professional artist, I’d be pretty concerned about this. Making table at shows is always uncertain. Is it helpful when cons roll out the red carpet for amateur competitors?

    I think this sort of attitude towards other artists is at best unhelpful and really just not the sort of hostility I want to see from other artists. He’s right, making table at shows is a tricky thing, but it’s not a problem solved by treating the other artists around you as competition who is just ~stealing your customers~ (excluding actual efforts to steal customers, in the sense of verbally soliciting visitors at one table to leave that table for your table, that sort of customer poaching is an occasional problem but not what this article is talking about) and that kind of attitude does nothing to improve your own sales, you just waste time worrying about something you can’t control and alienating people who could become great friends or future collaborators or just peers who understand what it’s like to be an artist in an artist alley trying to hustle and sell art.

    For me, meeting other artists and seeing what they are doing has always been both a great way to help the weekend pass along in a fun way and its also been immensely inspiring. I tend to take an “we’re all in this together” attitude. This idea that everyone around you are just talentless amateurs trying to steal from “greater” artists like you is just typical artist ego bullshit. It’s like some people don’t remember what it’s like to start out with your first table, not really having a clue what you are doing but trying and learning and doing your best. The first few cons I ever did, my friends and I just sold buttons, that’s it. But we did reasonably well and it taught me a LOT and that allowed me to feel comfortable trying to bring new art things to my table every year. Having a few tables with art that’s maybe not there yet in terms of refinement or just maybe not a sellable art product, it’s not going to hurt anyone and I say let ’em try, who knows maybe they are on to something, weirder things happen all the time.

    In my experience, the art scammer problem is not new, at least not in the sense that it’s more of a problem this year or last year than previous years. It’s been a problem pretty much since conventions started to get larger and move beyond the small gathering in a single hotel model. The smarter conventions try to screen their applicants by asking for some art examples so they can catch this sort of thing but it can be very difficult to catch stuff, as most people figure out the scam when they recognize an artwork that they are already familiar with. As long as the staff are responsive to reports of art theft and fraud, by training staff and discussing how to deal with these sorts of awkward moments firmly but politely, hopefully conventions will develop more tools to deal with this issue.

    Regarding cosplay, compared to the other two big problems discussed, mentioning cosplayers asking for money to get a picture of them seems out of place. I’m not sure I get what the author thinks the bigger problem is with charging, if people don’t want to pay that $5, they don’t have to and there are always going to be cosplayers who are more than happy to have their picture taken for free.

    The issue with organization regarding celeb autographs is very troubling though. It’s already tense because so much money is involved but yelling at people who paid $250+ for a photo and autograph because the con itself is so disorganized and staff are either not the right people to be doing the shuffling or maybe just not trained for the job, it’s a big mess that seems to be getting worse and not better. If the con doesn’t solve these problems, it’s like a class action suit waiting to happen.

  24. League of Dragons

    I am behind. Last I read was the one involving the first crossing of the Austrailan outback by dragon. Which went on and on and on and on. Not her best.

  25. Current reading: Endeavour reading season is over! Since last October, I’ve read all but two of these books and I’m ready to pick my own reading for a few months. I have a B&N gift card burning a hole in my pocket, and the top of my list is The Fifth Season.

    I finished reading 1493 in between the last couple batches of Endeavour books. It is certifiably awesome and I’m going to be recommending it as research material when I’m on a panel about non-medieval-European fantasy in a few weeks.

    Current gaming: Since No Man’s Sky was delayed, I decided I have enough time to try to get through Fire Emblem Fates. I’m currently hacking, slashing, and matchmaking* my way through the Birthright path. (Actually, I’m replaying a section of it, after discovering that a character is seemingly randomly killed off about two-thirds of the way through.**)

    * One of the aspects of the game requires indulging in a positively W. S. Gilbert-esque level of pairing characters off romantically.

    ** According to online hint sites, the condition for the character dying is (spoiler) ur qbrfa’g trg zneevrq bss ol n pregnva puncgre. Which strikes me as a very W. S. Gilbert plot twist.

  26. @Dex I like getting my books autographed and I like to sew, though my costumes are nothing like the elaborate stuff heavy duty cosplayers are into, I’m more likely to be wearing a surcote and some mail. Aside form that I’m with you. Forget the tv and film celebrities, forget the super long lines and forget being pressed in by a crowd. Give me some panels with some interesting sff related people, a dealer’s room full of affordable stuff and a con suite with a congenial atmosphere.

  27. My own review of Radiance described it as “Possibly the year’s most significant novel in the field of retrofuturistic cinematic epistolary dieselpunk surrealism” – adding that, admittedly, that wasn’t an overcrowded sub-genre.

    (I liked Radiance rather a lot, and did nominate it. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is OK in my book.)

  28. (5) MESZAROS OBIT: Our Gracious Host is partially correct as the Veriety article says a puppet was used excerpt when full body shots were needed. IIRC those shots were fairly uncommon with Aly usually shown only from the waist up.

    Now reading: Peter Beagle’s forthcoming novel, Summerlong.

  29. Joe, don’t forget that Hodgson also wrote about the Night Land in language so over the top and indigestible that it inspired John C. Wright.

  30. Re: #12 (autographed copy): Once there was a non-fiction science book (about the original work of the scientist author) I wanted and occasionally checked Amazon for a good price on a used hardback (prices were typically in the $20-$30 range, I was waiting for better.) The last time I checked, I found a copy being offered for 8 bucks and snapped it up. When it arrived, at first I was annoyed to see a whole page full of handwriting on one of the blank pages at the front. I then noticed that it was written by the author of the book, to a couple of relatives who had apparently (from context) more-or-less raised him, and wanting them to see the results of his work. It then saddened me that a book sent with a heartfelt message to a valued relative ended up being the cheapest used copy on Amazon.

  31. Darren Garrison: That’s sad. But the book might have been part of an estate sale–things like that happen, when people are clearing out houses (especially in a hurry).

  32. @Niall — Yes, I’ve made my way through The Night Land at least once or twice; it’s quite the slog. And I have the collections of Night Land fanfic that Andy Robertson published several years ago, which I read and enjoyed. I know that there was at least one Wright story in there, but that was before I knew who he was; and I think it predates his metamorphosis. If/when I read those books again, I’ll be curious to see how I react to the stories.

  33. @ Soon Lee

    (6) TEMERAIRE.
    I need to resume reading the series. IIRC “Empire of Ivory” was the last one I read.

    Empire of Ivory was the last one I read as well. I bought a few more after that, but…I’d just kind of lost interest in the series. I don’t recall the specifics, only that Empire sort of kicked my suspension of disbelief off a tall cliff without a dragon to stop the fall.

  34. My uncle-in-law’s old Navy manual turned up at a localish used book store long, long after it’d gone missing. It was quite the surprise for him one Christmas.

  35. I don’t think this has been linked in a Scroll yet: Why Paul Feig’s History Of Terrible Trailers Proves There’s Still Hope For The ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot. The argument is that Paul Feig is just really bad at trailers, so even if you genuinely don’t like the trailers for the Ghostbusters remake, you shouldn’t give up on the movie itself.

    The latest footage (see here, and additional material in the comments) makes it increasingly difficult to believe that the movie will be less horrible than it looks in the trailers.

  36. Talking about autographs and gifts, I’m reminded of the time a few years ago that I was in a bookstore in Toronto that is a mix of new and used books (BMV) and I was hoping (without too much certainty of success) to find, as a gift for a friend who also loves birds, a book by my favourite Canadian wildlife artist Glen Loates, someone whose books are long out of print so they are often difficult to find.

    Not only was I able to find one of his books, it was actually the one I wanted to find – “Birds of North America” in pretty good shape, with that paper cover over the real cover only a little ragged. And then, to my delight, when I was flipping through to check the quality of the pages (pretty good), I noticed on one of the first few pages a little signature right in the center of the page. A very small, unassuming signature, but clearly Mr.Loate’s name. And the book was only ten bucks! I was very thrilled to be able to give my friend such a lovely find 🙂

  37. Neil Gaiman does (or at least did, last time I stood in line) the best autographs because he usually adds some kind of personalized note and/or doodle.

    The highlights of my collection, autograph-wise (and all of which were signed long before they came into my hands) are probably Man of Gold by M.A.R. Barker, Garden to the Eastward by Harold Lamb, and the pinnacle would be a Lancer edition of The Dying Earth.

  38. Never gone too far out of my way for signed editions. Would hate to lose my signed copy of Use of Weapons though, even if it is a paperback, as it always reminds me of the talk Iain Banks gave whenever I look at it.

    Similarly for Al Reynolds wishing me happy birthday in my copy of Pushing Ice and another thoroughly interesting talk.

    Current reading: Terminal World by Reynolds again. At least the third time I’ve started it and this time I’m going to finish it. Keep getting dis… ooh shiny.

  39. I felt a number of things at once today at the library, looking at the sale books out in the hall. One I recognized as one that I’d dithered repeatedly over letting it go (and it went out while I was away). Darn it, I had wanted that book so badly, way back when. I left it there, but it twinges.

    The first thing I remember about Dan Hoey is that he called me out of the blue to tell me he’d bought one of my old books somewhere. A copy of something with my name in it. I was fuddled, partly because I didn’t remember ever discarding the book, and if I had, it would have been halfway across the country.

  40. Breaking news: LIGO found at least one more black hole merger. (Quietly mumbling about the elephant in the room that it was also seen on a major religious holiday, not to rehash that kerfufflfe.)

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