Pixel Scroll 6/26/17 Tyme Scrollfari, Inc. Scrollfaris Tu Any Pixel En The Fyle

(1) OFF THE TOP OF HER HEAD. In “Nattering Social Justice Cook: Celebrating Rainbow Hair”, Cat Rambo delves into the history and symbolism of the hairstyle.

A common adjective in many of the more conservative, alt-right, and other theater-of-outrage rants I’ve seen in the past couple of years is “rainbow-haired,” never in a positive sense. It’s usually paired with some form of “social justice warrior,” and often accompanied by an emotional catch-phrase or verbiage like “feels” or “drinking the tears.” There’s a lot of interesting stuff built into that particular fixation. So let’s dig around to find what’s contained in the phrase and its use in this pejorative sense….

Rainbow hair is grounded in a counter-cultural movement. It celebrates individuality and a certain DIY spirit (there is no shame in going to the salon for it, but I find it much more fun to do my own). It celebrates one’s appearance, draws the eye rather than shrinking away from it. It is something beautiful that those who don’t fit inside normal standards of beauty can have. It is playful, joyful, delightful at times.

Very recently it has spread like wildfire, and many of the people adopting it are millennials. This gives the anti-rainbow hair sentiment a double-whammy, providing an “oh these kids nowadays” moment while slamming anyone older for acting overly young. (Which implies that’s a bad thing, which isn’t a notion I agree with).

Here’s something that I think often makes conservative minds bristle: it confuses gender norms. In traditional thinking, men aren’t supposed to care about or celebrate their appearance in the way women are. But rainbow hair appears all over the gender spectrum. Pull in the strand of meaning associated with gay pride, and the objectionability quotient increases.

There’s a reason alt-right and other manifestations of conservative trollish rhetoric so often focuses on appearance, on fat-shaming or fuckability or even how a new Ken-doll wears their hair. It’s a reversion to the schoolyard insult, the way insecure children will be cruel to others in order to try to build their internal self-worth, a behavior many, but sadly not all, outgrow. Worthy of an essay in itself is the fact that it’s also behavior advantageous to advertisers: anxious consumers who want to fit in are willing to spend money in the effort.

(2) TURNOVER AT MAD. ComicsBeat knows the name of the next bullgoose loony: “Dept. of Funny Business: Bill Morrison is named new Executive Editor of Mad Magazine” .

Ending a suspenseful watch that lasted a few months, the white smoke has finally risen from DC Entertainment, signaling the election of a new pope of humor: Bill Morrison will be the new executive editor of Mad Magazine when it moves westward later this year.

…Well, every irreplaceable person seems irreplaceable until you find someone who will do the job differently but as well, and so it is with Morrison, an animation and comic veteran who has worked with the Bongo Comics line of Simpson Comics and many other hilarious things for years. He’s a great cartoonist himself and knows the score up and down and inside out.

(3) DORTMUND DOCKET. Detailed panel notes are the highlight of Tomas Cronholm’s report about “U-Con, Eurocon 2017”.

This was a fairly small Eurocon, with 375 attending members. The venue was some kind of school, with a big hall suitable for the main programme and some smaller rooms, a bar and a dealers’ area. Perfect for the size of the convention. Here are some reports from the programme items

(4) SPACE RELIC CONSERVATION. The Apollo XI spacecraft goes on the road: “Moonwalkers’ Apollo 11 Capsule Gets Needed Primping For Its Star Turn On Earth”

Until recently, the capsule sat in the main lobby of the National Air and Space Museum, where it had been since the museum opened in 1976. Conservator Lisa Young says that occasionally workers would open up its Plexiglas case to look it over or put in new lighting.

“But it never really went under a full examination or investigative analysis as to all of the certain materials on there, how stable they are,” says Young, who is working on the spacecraft now in a restoration hangar at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., outside of Washington, D.C.

“Our big job as conservators right now is to figure out, if we are going to put it back on display permanently, what could be happening to it in 50 years,” says Young, who wants to prevent future deterioration.

(5) SKYFULL. SpaceX non-fiction double feature: “SpaceX completes launch and landing double bill”

Late on Friday, [SpaceX] used one of its refurbished Falcon 9 vehicles to put up a Bulgarian satellite from Florida.

Then on Sunday, SpaceX lofted another 10 spacecraft for telecommunications company Iridium. This time, the rocket flew out of California.

Both missions saw the Falcon first-stages come back to Earth under control to drone ships that had been positioned out on the ocean.

(6) AUTHORIAL PALETTE. There’s an overview of Ben Blatt’s research in this PRI article: “A journalist uses statistics to uncover authors’ ‘cinnamon words'”.

In the book, Blatt refers to these patterns as an author’s “stylistic fingerprint.” In one line of inquiry, he dusts for prints by calculating famous authors’ favorite words — the terms they use “at an extreme ratio” compared to other writers. He calls them “cinnamon words,” after an anecdote about the novelist Ray Bradbury.

“The motivation for looking at this was, I had read this book that just asked authors their favorite words, and Ray Bradbury said, ‘My favorite word is cinnamon because it reminds me of my grandmother’s pantry,’” Blatt says.

Sure enough, Bradbury’s fans can find the word cinnamon sprinkled throughout his writing, from descriptions of dusty roads and red-brown hills to the dark Egyptian tomb that “breathed out a sick exhalation of paprika, cinnamon and powdered camel dung.”

“So, he’s using it all the time,” Blatt says. “And building on that, I wanted to look at hundreds of other authors to see, were there other similar words that were jumping out of a writer’s inner voice.”

(7) FLUXBUN WARNING. The new PhotonFlux bar in Wellington, New Zealand will celebrate World UFO Day on July 2.

Years in the making Anton and Nina imaged what the future would be like. Will it be a post-apocalyptic survival or, a future where everybody wears the same thing and live in peace with robots in a bubble city.

Either way we want to take photos of it, gather evidence and travel there.

Photonflux is the place where possible future will be planned, discussed and changed.

The headquarters offers the revolutionary fluxbun, a fried dough filled with various flavours in a casual setting. For World UFO Day your filling will be in the hands of our creative chef.

However if you do not wish to be pleasantly surprised you can pick from our menu.

Chris Barlow gave it a thumbs up review on Google Plus.

One of a kind, a sci-fi themed bar in Wellington! Like stepping into another dimension – as you enter you’re immediately surrounded by eye-popping visuals straight out of the film set. Delicious “Flux buns” are teleported care of the in-house “galactic food truck”, complemented by an eclectic range of tap beer. A must see in Wellington.


Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking once hosted a reception for time travelers — but only advertised the event after it had ended. [Source: Huffington Post.]


(10) LATE ADOPTER. In honor of the anniversary, John Scalzi tells how he found his way to Platform 9-3/4: “Harry Potter and the Initially Dismissive But Ultimately Appreciative Fan”.

But as it turns out neither Harry Potter nor J.K. Rowling were done with me. First, of course, it turned out that Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley (and Rowling) weren’t Tears for Fears; they were the Beatles. And like the Beatles they weren’t just popular. They materially changed common culture — for a start, because they also changed the industry that they came out of, and the work of everyone in their field, who either responded to them or were influenced by them. Now, one may, like me, decide a phenomenon like that isn’t for you, but when literally(!) the world is changing to deal with and make room for that phenomenon, you still have to acknowledge that it’s there and work with it, or at least around it. Particularly when and if, like me, it comes out of the fields (in this case publishing and writing) you hope to be in, and in my case were eventually part of.

Second, I found another way in to Rowling’s wizarding world: through the movies, which were for me in a way that I, from that snippet of the second book, assumed the books were not. In retrospect this is not at all surprising — I was a professional film critic for several years, and I’ve written two books on film, and, as anyone who has ever read my novels can tell you, the storytelling structure of film is a huge influence on my storytelling in prose. My professional and creative interest in film helped that version of Harry Potter’s story speak to me.

(11) CIRCULAR REASONING SQUAD. In a post densely filled with animated GIFs, Sarah A. Hoyt responds to her critics on the right and what they had to say about her recent Sad Puppies-themed post for Mad Genius Club.

I did not feel guilty about a) not turning over Sad Puppies to someone else. Sad Puppies was Larry’s, then Brad’s, then Kate’s, and is now mine and next year will be mostly Amanda’s. We were in it from the beginning, and we have decided long ago that it would stay within the cabal, because none of us — all of us public figures to a degree or another — can afford to have something associated with our name taken down a crazy road without us having control over it. b) Not putting up a list for the Hugos — I was never going to put up a list. And I feel queasy about encouraging people to vote for an award that has been so thoroughly tainted. c) Not putting up a list for the Dragon. The Dragon is bigger than any of us. Some small names got in last year, but they were just because it was the first time. Right now I’m not big enough for the dragons, and I doubt any who covet it are either. d) I thought it was time to get out from between the fight of the Volksdeutshe expatriate and the guardians of chorfdom…

And she addresses specific criticisms about her latest Mad Genius Club post by saying she doesn’t understand why they’re down on her.

So, imagine my surprise when my post immediately attracted two commenters yelling at me for… well… actually I have no idea because most of it makes no sense. You guys can see the comments yourselves. There’s something about me looking down on people who don’t use the right oyster fork. You guys know my background and my question on this is… there’s a FORK? FOR OYSTERS? Why?

The other one apparently had something about me slandering other puppy-descended movements, which frankly… was news to me. First slander doesn’t mean what they think it means. Second, I’m fairly sure to slander them I’d have to mention them, and I don’t recall I have, except for Superversive, for whose anthology, Forbidden thoughts I wrote a short story. (It was as a press of that name needs to make it a rather more on-the-nose anthology than I’d have made it, but the point is I wasn’t the editor, the stories weren’t mine to choose, and it would be a funny world if my aesthetics were the only ones that counted, right? So, saying they have different tastes from me doesn’t count as a slander, right? particularly when I still wrote for them. Either that or I don’t know what slander means. Maybe I slandered them BY writing for them? I’m SOOOOOOO confused.)

(12) UNFRIENDLY FIRE. In addition to the comments there, Hoyt’s Mad Genius Club post about Sad Puppies also attracted some large bore artillery fire from Russell Newquist, “This Is What A Complete Leadership Failure Looks Like”, for the inactivity of SP5 in general, and her chastising Declan Finn for trying to jumpstart it last January.

Sarah Hoyt’s leadership of the Sad Puppies V campaign is a classic case study in leadership failure. If you ever want the absolute pitch perfect example of what not to do in a leadership position, look no further. This tale has everything: incompetence, insanity, bullying, harassment, technical difficulties, lack of vision, and just plain bitchiness. If I tried to create an example of bad leadership from scratch, I couldn’t make one this complete. If she were trying to destroy the Sad Puppies campaign and help the other side, she couldn’t have done a better job of it.

This, my friends, is a tail of abject, utter fail.

Sad Puppies V (SPV from here out) failed in literally every conceivable way, so this may take a bit. Bear with me….

(13) POLITICAL AUTOPSY. I spotted the Hoyt and Newquist links above in Camestros Felapton’s post “Sad Popcorn” where he tries to make sense of it all. If that’s possible.

(14) D&D HISTORY. Cecilia D’Anastasio tells Kotaku readers “Dungeons & Dragons Wouldn’t Be What It Is Today Without These Women”, though her very first illustration seems strangely out of synch with the rest of her case:

Almost every copy of the first Dungeons & Dragons adventure written by a woman is buried in a landfill in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Those copies, published in 1980, were the masterwork of a game designer named Jean Wells, who worked for D&D’s first publisher, TSR. Wells designed Palace of the Silver Princess to her tastes, and with no regard for TSR’s mandate to make the game more kid-friendly. At one point in the module, players encounter a beautiful young woman hanging from the ceiling, naked, by her own hair. “Nine ugly men can be seen poking their swords lightly into her flesh, all the while taunting her in an unknown language,” the module reads. In-game, this scene turns out to be a simple magical illusion—but the accompanying illustration included in the module that TSR shipped to hobby shops nationally was not.

“A little bit of bondage here, a little torture there, worked its way into the Palace of the Silver Princess module,” Stephen Sullivan, a close friend of Wells and the adventure’s editor, told me. After it was properly reviewed—post-production—TSR’s executives went ballistic. Seventy-two hours after Palace of the Silver Princess was released, it was retracted.

“It was what Jean wanted it to be,” Sullivan said of the module. (Wells passed away in 2012.) “It was her baby. And for another place and another time, it probably would have been just perfect,” Sullivan said. Those retracted modules, now dubbed the “orange versions,” are buried somewhere under Lake Geneva’s flat, Midwestern landscape. It was soon rewritten by D&D designer Tom Moldvay and redistributed with Wells’ name relegated to the second credit.

(15) TOP NOVELS. Edmonton’s Hugo Award Book Club has been burning the midnight oil: here’s their discussion of two more nominees.

Second-Book Syndrome

Perhaps the book suffers from being the second in a trilogy. As such, it can’t have the originality and vigor of a first book and also can’t have as epic a conclusion as a third book.

Jemisin’s strength as a writer and deft social commentary make this a worthwhile read. Questions of race, class and gender are explored thoughtfully and with nuance. The characters speak with their own voices, and grow.

Alabaster’s slow decline as he tries to pass along knowledge to Essun, and Essun’s growing control of her magic could have been nothing more than a Hero’s Journey ™ like that of Obi-Wan and Luke. But Jemisin’s more nuanced character building elevates this relationship to something more touching and poignant.  Again, she raises the readers’ expectations as they progress through the book.

 The End Is Nigh Again

One of the recurring themes in “big” science fiction is the impending end of the world. In Death’s End, the end of the world is nigh on no fewer than six occasions, only to be averted suddenly through deux et machina each time.  The frequency of these calamities within the book, and how precipitously they are forgotten devalues them, and left our book group struggling to care.

The character of Cheng Xin is one of the weakest parts of the book, as none of us were really able to understand her motivations or her personality. She’s faced with conflict after conflict throughout the book, and presented with a wide variety of moral dilemmas, but through it all she remains a cypher.

In the previous two books the author wrote from several points of view other than the main character.

Death’s End focuses almost solely on Cheng Xin, with just a brief portion from Tianming’s perspective. This leaves other interesting characters — like Luo Ji and Wade — on the sidelines. The omission of their perspectives is a missed opportunity that points to the lack of depth in the book.

(16) HUGO QUIP. No reviews in this post this post by Camestros Felapton, but there’s a lively bon mot:

Best Series – the category that somehow manages to combine elements of both the protestant work ethic and Catholic guilt in one package.

(17) DARK TOWER. A new featurette from The Dark Tower – The Legacy of the Gunslinger.

There are other worlds than these. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world’s most celebrated authors, makes its launch to the big screen. The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.


[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Greg Hullender, Nigel, Cat Rambo, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

97 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/26/17 Tyme Scrollfari, Inc. Scrollfaris Tu Any Pixel En The Fyle

  1. Well, of course the post is filled with animated GIFs. They discontinued the BLINK and MARQUEE tags. You have to express your unique individuality somehow!

    File as thou wilt, shall be the scroll of the Law.

  2. On her last Puppies post, Sarah Hoyt said in a comment that her plans for Sad Puppies will be carried out over a span of years:

    All I’m doing is setting up a site which, as we develop our software (will take a couple of years) will be more and more automated.

    I feel like this project has the potential to be announced and undelivered so long it should be called the Last Dangerous Puppies.

  3. @rcade

    I feel like this project has the potential to be announced and undelivered so long it should be called the Last Dangerous Puppies.

    Oh, man! That is too good to pass up!

  4. I have peacock hair myself (colors are teal, indigo, green, and purple–very much peacock in hue)! I had to wait until I had a lot of grey (because then I don’t have to bleach out the original brown) which took until 2014, but have been having great fun with it ever since. And my SJW credentials as well as random people on the street assure me I look FABulous!

    Hilarious note: the hottest new color trend this year is….wait for it……..GREY! Yes, younger women are dying their hair grey. It’s a hoot. So when I saw that, I decided to have only the top done in peacock colors: the sides and bottom are grey (and buzzed fairly short).


    I clicked over to read about Blatt’s research but was disappointed to see nothing about his methodology: I just sent in an essay with a stylistic analysis of three of Bradbury’s autobiographical novel for a collection (written more for students than academics) on Bradbury’s work generally. I put together a small corpus (transcribed the opening and closing paragraphs of every chapter in all three novels) and used open access programs to analyze keyword patterns (what Bratt is doing) and some basic clause analysis (looking at the pattern of parataxis–joining clauses with “and” or other coordinating conjunction), and just had a great time. If you’re interested in doing your own keyword analysis, I can recommend TextSTAT (http://neon.niederlandistik.fu-berlin.de/en/textstat/): you can create your own text files, or it will collect data from web pages (in my experience pretty slowly but that could be my internet connection, sigh), and get the number of times each word appears in the corpus. There are a slew of other programs out there (linguists are making them available all over the place) all at different levels of difficulty because they do different things. TextSTAT is a good introductory one with just a few functions that it mostly does automatically.

  5. Kip W on June 26, 2017 at 8:35 pm said:

    Well, of course the post is filled with animated GIFs. They discontinued the BLINK and MARQUEE tags.

    Reminds me of an anecdote I heard from Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, shortly after they first publicly released the source code to their browser (what would become Firefox). He said that they weren’t sure how people would react, or if they’d pay any attention, but it was less than 24 hours before they received their first patch! Unfortunately, it was a patch to make the BLINK tag work with images, and they decided that maybe they didn’t want that one… 😀

  6. @Chip Hitchcock: I’ve got photos of that place on my phone somewhere. I remain completely bemused by the cultural phenomenon of Harry Potter.

    (11,12) oh, so that’s what happens when the dog catches its tail.

  7. JJ on June 26, 2017 at 9:41 pm said:

    Sad Puppies 5: The Emcannibaling


  8. What kinda fancy software is The Last Dangerous Puppies website going to have that’ll take a couple of years?

    Will it automatically pick animated GIFs for you and insert them?

    Will it resurrect the BLINK tag? (I saw Marquee used just yesterday somewhere)

    Will it deliver a screed about Marxists being everywhere at random intervals?

    But seriously, there’s so many off the shelf ways of organizing stuff with minimal user supervision, why go custom?

    (Huh. Thought I had a comment around third place. Must have closed the window accidentally.)

  9. (8) I’ll be there; will you?

    When a pixel meets a pixel, scrolling through the files.

  10. 3) It’s not a school, it’s a YMCA. They’re occasionally used as venues for smaller cons. The closest thing we have to a local con (basically, a bunch of comic, manga, toy and magazine dealers, a handful of local authors signing and a scattering of cosplayers) is also held at the local YMCA building.

  11. (1) Lovely and thoughtful essay. Although, IMHO:
    — disliking Ken’s man-bun spans the spectrum of political views
    — not sure Millennials are better at seeing through internet verbiage; Ghu knows they generate their fair share of it

    (9, 10) Eh. I’m happy for everyone, but it still doesn’t do it for me. Meh.

    (11-13) Not much of a surprise, is it? (12) is really punching down.

    (15) Ah, they hit The Eight Deadly Words with “Death’s End”.

    (16) I’mma put up the Standlee signal and move that this be attached to the Best Series description if it ever becomes a permanent part of the WSFS constitution. Or at least someone has to mention it, with credit, during a Business Meeting about the category so it can be preserved in the Minutes for all time.

  12. Emcanisbalizment.

    (you have to spell it with a z since Puppies are ‘Muricn)

  13. So I finished Raven Stratagem, but managed to lose interest in Black Dahlia after finishing the prologue, so now I’m reading Villain by Shuichi Yoshida instead, which so far is more entertaining.

    Re Tenfox: woooooooo!!!! I very much enjoyed it, although not quite as much as I loved Ninefox. I hope there’s an Elevenfox in the future; I think the end of the 2nd one has scope for some cool shit happening. Although I am slightly confused that bar bs gur punenpgref vaibxrf ienr gnyn juvpu artngrf ure sbezngvba vafgvapg, ohg gura fhpphzof gb sbezngvba vafgvapg rira juvyr qlvat sebz gur ienr gnyn pynhfr. V thrff gur bayl rkcynangvba vf gung ienr gnyn bayl jbexf gb artngr gur sbyybjvat bs qvfgnag beqref sebz Xry Pbzznaq engure guna beqref sebz be borqvrapr gb n Uvtu Trareny (rira bar unfgvyl cebzbgrq) qverpgyl va sebag bs gurz.

    Other than that, I really enjoyed it.

  14. @Oneiros

    Elevenfox is confirmed, although he’s inexplicably decided to call it Revenant Gun instead of following our suggestions 🙂

    V jnf nffhzvat gung ienr gnyn jnf n bar-gvzr rssrpg gb qvfborl n cnegvphyne beqre ohg vg qvqa’g gbgnyyl fjvgpu sbezngvba vafgvapg bss sbe rirelguvat.

  15. Revenant Gun?! It’s not even pretending to follow the pattern of the other two! I hope it’s just a working title and becomes something like Wolf Ruse. Or Elevenfox.

    Gung gurbel nyfb jbexf. Rvgure jnl vg’f n xvpx va gur grrgu gb nalbar vaibxvat ienr gnyn.

  16. @Oneiros

    Could be a working title, certainly. I bet that coming up with titles that fit the pattern and suit the particular book is a real pain.

    Jryc, gur Xryy tvir mreb qnzaf nobhg vaqvivqhnyf fb ng yrnfg gung’f pbafvfgrag.

  17. Lrnu gung’f gbgnyyl gehr. Vg’f uneq gb srry onq nobhg jung unccrarq gb Xry Pbzznaq jura lbh ernyvfr gur ubeebef gurl’ir qbar gb gurve bja crbcyr, naq gb onfvpnyyl nalbar jub trgf vagb n svtug jvgu gur Xry.

    Jungrire gur gvgyr, n zvk bs Purqnb (be Wrevf), n penfuunjx uvtu trareny, n trareny jub nyzbfg xvyyrq urefrys, gur Fuhbf urknepu naq cerfhznoyl Xhwra (jurerire ur vf gurfr qnlf) nyy gelvat gb punatr gur urknepungr jvyy or… vagrerfgvat.

  18. “All I’m doing is setting up a site which, as we develop our software (will take a couple of years) will be more and more automated.”

    Sounds remarkably bealish.

  19. @Oneiros

    Vg jvyy or…vagrerfgvat… gb svaq bhg jub unf gur eriranag tha, naq jub gurl ner cbvagvat vg ng 🙂

  20. 9/10) Feeling that I wasn’t in the demographic, I didn’t read any of the HP books until the first three movies had come out (which I had gone and seen, anyway and enjoyed). It was the third movie that convinced me that ,yeah, I want to read the books (at that point, Half Blood Prince had just come out). So I raced through them, and never regretted it. I was one of the lucky 10000 as it were…

    current reading: Just started an arc of Fran Wilde’s HORIZON, the capstone to the Updraft series!

  21. Thanks for the editor credit. I’m still buried in my Hugo reading – currently enjoying “Closed and Common Orbit” (I’ve also done a significant amount of reading for next year’s nominations already – Benford’s “The Berlin Project” is one I enjoyed a few weeks ago).

  22. (1) Hair

    I see that my long years of working in a natural foods coop have warped my perceptions. When I see someone with rainbow hair my mental reaction is “this person is signaling their conformance to social norms”. Weird.

  23. 9/10 — Back in the late 90s/early 2000s I had a second job working part-time as an on-call substitute librarian, sometimes in the children’s section, so I was at least aware of the HP books, but didn’t get a chance to read them for quite a while because they were perpetually circulating. I finally managed to lay hands on the first three at around the time Goblet of Fire was coming out — I think that was the first one that made a big splash (release parties, etc.) on release. Conveniently, the day it was released I was scheduled to work at a library just a few blocks from a children’s bookstore, so I called them and reserved a copy, picked it up on my break, and, between lunch, breaks and the bus ride home, had made significant progress by the end of the day.

    For books 5-7, I went to midnight release parties. For book 7, I reread the entire series prior to release, and arranged things so that I finished book 6 (or maybe it was Fantastic Beasts that I finished) while waiting in the checkout line at Borders at midnight; then I took book 7 home and literally stayed up until sunrise reading it — the last, and possibly first, time I’d ever done that.

    (Then at about 9:00 a.m. my parents picked me up — we were going down to southern MN to visit my grandmother. Did I sleep in the car on the ride there & back? Oh, yes …)

    I have quibbles with the series, but generally enjoyed them. My biggest complaint at this point is that as a US resident, I can’t get an eBook of the original British version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

  24. @lurkertype

    The Marxists are always there in the dark spaces of the blink tag. If you still your mind to the absolute zero of consciousness, they creep out of the Id between the images – hungering, hungered, and hungry… Oh, the horror, the horror…

  25. RE: HP. I was working for Scholastic at the time when 2 and 3 were coming up, and I remember the gossip about publishers agonizing about releasing them at the same time in the US and UK because people kept ordering from Amazon.UK.

    I have ARCs of both 2 and 3, and despite being older than the demographic, read and enjoyed all of them. Yes, I did midnight madness for books 6-7 as well. So much fun!

    ObSF. Started and Finished Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty yesterday. whatwhatWHAT was that??? I’m really blown away by it. It snuck up on me, and I love when a book does that.

  26. My lingering issue with Raven Stratagem is that Purevf/Wrqnb’f arj pnyraqne bayl eriregf gur jbeyq gb ubj vg jnf va Wrqnb’f gvzr, orsber sbezngvba vafgvapg. Naq guvatf jrer greevoyr rabhtu gura gung Wrqnb jnagrq gb raq vg.

  27. With great Puppies comes great irresponsibility.

    Doesnt surprise me. Any sufficiently advanced bickering is indistinguishable from being a troll.

    It was not so much of “lack of leadership” but more “lack of goal”. What was it again, they were trying to archieve?
    Oh yes, they wanted to review great, mindblowing, conservative SF that nobody has ever heard of.
    Well, they may have exhausted this pool already and reviewed all of them!

  28. Peer Sylvester:

    Any sufficiently advanced bickering is indistinguishable from being a troll.

    That’s a … brilliant statement. Right up there with Poe’s law.
    About Harry Potter: I read the first book somewhat “accidentally”, a friend had brought it along on a weekend trip and I sneeked a long enough look to end up having read it. I doubt I would have read it otherwise, as it seemed a bit of a silly children’s book. But that first bite was enough that while I was never of the go-to-the-midnight-launch type fan, I made sure to get hold of a copy fairly quickly.

  29. My lingering issue with Raven Stratagem is that Purevf/Wrqnb’f arj pnyraqne bayl eriregf gur jbeyq gb ubj vg jnf va Wrqnb’f gvzr, orsber sbezngvba vafgvapg. Naq guvatf jrer greevoyr rabhtu gura gung Wrqnb jnagrq gb raq vg.

    There’s other stuff that happened so it won’t be that way either. Maybe you missed it?

  30. Actually, it occurs to me that the right famous movie line to describe Hoyt’s post about the future of the puppies is “He’s my dog. I’ll shoot him.”

  31. It’s interesting that the alt-marketers are now going after the folks at MGC as well as established Baen authors in their attempts to drum up outrage. I’m sure they’ll all have such fun together at LibertyCon!

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