Pixel Scroll 6/30/17 There’s A Million Ways To Scroll, Ev’ry One’s A Pixel

(1) AND ALL THAT ROT. Omnivorcious interviews “Mira Grant” and M.R. Carey in “The Scientific Case for Zombies”.

It turns out the idea of living dead—depending how you define both “living” and “dead”—may not be as far-fetched as it might seem. Some science fiction writers have found inspiration—and trepidation—in real-life parasites. We talked to two of them, Mira Grant and M.R. Carey, about their newest books and the concept of scientific zombies.

…Carey searched for a pathogen that met his criteria for the cause of the hungry epidemic, and realized that Cordyceps fit perfectly. It was also a unique choice. “At the time nobody had ever used a fungus as the vector for a zombie plague,” he says, though the creators of a console game called The Last of Us came up with the same idea independently, around the same time.

… Besides reading, Grant also “spent a lot of time on the phone with the CDC, which was an incredible amount of fun.” Grant savored the information she gleaned that way, but her friends “had to make new rules about what I was allowed to discuss over food,” so they didn’t lose their appetites.

(2) MITHER TONGUE. I don’t suppose the Scots laugh when they read this, do they, but my God… “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone finally arrives in Scots translation”.

Though still working on the translation, Fitt and his publisher released the opening paragraph, which reads: “Mr and Mrs Dursley, o nummer fower, Privet Loan, were prood tae say that they were gey normal, thank ye awfie muckle. They were the lest fowk ye wid jalouse wid be taigled up wi onythin unco or ferlie, because they jist widnae hae onythin tae dae wi joukery packery like yon.”

In his first adventure, Harry leaves the cruel Dursley family to attend Hogwarts wizarding school, which has long been understood to be based somewhere in the Scottish Highlands, where Scots speakers exist in their highest numbers.

(3) WU CAMPAIGN. Candidate for Congress Brianna Wu’s fundraising email says Our national tech policy is failing:

Something has to change. Our elections are being targeted by Russia, our shipping system was hijacked this week and congress continues to try to spy on you with your smartphone.  It doesn’t have to be this way. I have a plan

Just 15 people in the US House determine our nation’s tech policy on the Science and Technology Subcommittee.

Meaning just 8 votes control our policy on privacy, encryption, and net neutrality. The giant telecoms have a voice. Shouldn’t you?

Please contribute, so we can get Brianna Wu elected to US Congress in 2018, representing Massachusetts District 8!  Help fight for a braver, bolder Democratic party!

(4) DECLINE AND FALL OF THE GALACTIC EMPIRE. Will they succeed where others have failed? “Skydance Trying Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ As TV Series; David Goyer, Josh Friedman To Adapt”.

Isaac Asimov science fiction trilogy Foundation heavily informed Star Wars and many other sci-fi films and TV series, but for decades it has confounded Hollywood attempts at a straight adaptation. I’m hearing that Skydance, David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman are going to try to crack it. Skydance Television is closing a deal with the Asimov estate to try turning Foundation into a sprawling TV series.

… The biggest creative quandary, I’ve heard from those who tried to adapt Foundation, is that so many of Asimov’s themes found their way into George Lucas’s Star Wars that the challenge is to not appear to be ripping off one of Hollywood’s most successful film franchises, even though Asimov wrote his books 75 years ago. Considering that Lucasfilm continues to borrow from that mythology with myriad Star Wars sequels and spinoff films, perhaps a TV series is the best bet.

(5) QUALIFYING MARKET. Joe Stech, publisher/editor of Compelling Science Fiction, is delighted to report —

Compelling Science Fiction is now one of the few magazines worldwide that is considered a professional “Qualifying Market” by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America: Short fiction Qualifying Markets

SFWA is a wonderful organization that supports authors in a huge number of ways (our own publishing contract is adapted from SFWA’s model magazine contract). SFWA also hosts the annual Nebula Awards. While we have always paid professional rates, this recognition means that our published authors will find it much easier to use their publication in our magazine to meet SFWA membership requirements, because we have already been vetted.

(6) NOT JUST FOR COMPULSIVE READERS: Jason’s Featured Futures is back with another selection of stories (with links and comments) in the “Summation of Online Fiction June 2017”.

The twelve prozines of June produced thirty-eight stories and I read thirty-five of them at about 165K words. (Tor.com should have posted a fourth story on the 28th but didn’t. If it comes out today or tomorrow, I’ll update this post accordingly.) The random flukes of this month were a large number of honorable mentions (with not so many recommendations) which were mostly SF, half of which came from almost the entire issue of Compelling Science Fiction. Given that, I’ll basically do a mini-review of the whole issue after the lists.

(7) DEATH FROM ABOVE. Scientists have found what appears to be a 250-kilometer-wide crater near the Falkland Islands. Is it ground zero for Earth’s largest-ever extinction event? “Did a Planetary Society citizen scientist help find one of Earth’s biggest impact craters?”

About 66 million years ago, a 10-kilometer-wide hunk of rock smashed into Earth near what is now Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.

The impact created a global dust cloud that snuffed out the sunlight, leading to the demise of 80 percent of Earth’s plants and animals—including most of the dinosaurs. A 200-kilometer-wide crater buried near the city of Chicxulub is all that’s left. It’s ground zero for one of the world’s most notable extinction events.

But throughout Earth’s history, there have actually been five major extinction events. The largest of these occurred about 250 million years ago, when a whopping 96 percent of life on Earth died. Scientists aren’t sure what caused the event, known as “the Great Dying.” If it was a Chicxulub-sized impact; no one has ever found the crater.

Until possibly now.

A trio of scientists—one of whom is funded by The Planetary Society—thinks they may have found it. Off the coast of South America, near the Falkland Islands, there appears to be a 250-kilometer-wide crater buried under ocean sediment. An upcoming paper in the August edition of the peer-reviewed journal Terra Nova suggests it was formed by a massive asteroid or comet bigger than the one that hit Chicxulub.


Asteroid Day

A global awareness event where people from around the world come together to learn about what we can do to protect Earth from an asteroid impact. Did you know that, as you’re reading this, there are likely one million near-Earth asteroids large enough to do severe damage if they hit Earth? We don’t have to go the way of the dinosaurs. Learn more about what we can do to reduce the threat:



  • June 30, 1971Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was released.
  • June 30, 1972 — The fourth film in the series — Conquest of the Planet of the Apes — premiered theatrically.

(10) COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian calls your attention to Bizarro for June 30.

(11) DISNEYLAND. When the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland is updated the bride auction scene will be going away. However, the iconic redhead will still be around – as a pirate helping to rob the townspeople. According to the Orange County Register:

The pirates will no longer be saying “We wants the Redhead” in Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland after the auction scene undergoes a modification in 2018.

The Walt Disney Company plans to make changes to the auction scene in the classic attraction at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris in the coming year, according to Suzi Brown, spokeswoman for the Disneyland Resort.

While the scene has long been a favorite of many Disney fans, it has occasionally been the brunt of criticism for what some believed to be a “sexist” approach to women. Years ago, the scene that comes after the auction scene, which used to have pirates chasing women, was changed to pirates chasing women for food, and one where a woman was chasing a pirate.

When asked about the sexism Brown said, in a statement, “We believe the time is right to turn the page to a new story in this scene, consistent with the humorous, adventurous spirit of the attraction.”

In the auction scene, the Redhead will become a pirate, helping the Auctioneer gather valuables from the townspeople to auction off to the pirates.

The first version of the attraction to receive the new scene will be at Disneyland Paris next month, with the two domestic parks receiving it within the next year or so.

There was nothing amusing or cute about what real-life pirates did when they sacked a town, so in the midst of a musical horror fantasy about such an event it’s interesting where they think they need to redraw the line in 2017 to keep people from being reminded of that.

(12) URB APPEAL. Andrew Porter noticed you can now buy a condo in Detroit where the 1959 Worldcon (Detention) was held. If that idea appeals to you.

When the Fort Shelby became a Doubletree Hotel in 2008 on the first ten floors, the developers used tax credits to turn the 56 units above into apartments. Now that the time has passed for the credits, the apartments can be turned into condos, and a few of them have already listed.

They start at $280,000 for a one-bedroom and go up to $570,000 for a three-bedroom on a higher level. Six penthouses will also be available on the 21st floor, and those will run from $350,000 to $815,000.

According to the Loft Warehouse, the listing firm, four are ready now and another 19 are in the pipeline for the year as apartment leases run out.

(13) FRED AND WILMA SELL THEIR HOUSE. After dropping a million from the asking price, “‘Flintstones’-style house in California sells for $2.8M”.

A California house designed to resemble a home from the Flintstones cartoon sold for nearly $3 million after multiple price drops.

Judy Meuschke of Alain Pinel Realtors said the unique property sold for $2.8 million in May after arriving on the market for a price of $4.2 million in 2015.

The property features a rounded, stone-like exterior with grey and orange walls, closely resembling the cavelike homes in the Flinstones’ home of Bedrock City.


(14) ONE MILLION BC. More information about the forthcoming Marvel Legacy.

It all starts with MARVEL LEGACY #1.

Journey to the dawn of time, as Marvel introduces you to the first Avengers from 1,000,000 BC – when iconic torch-bearers such as Odin, Iron Fist, Starbrand, Ghost Rider, Phoenix, Agamotto, and Black Panther come together for the startling origin of the Marvel Universe, in MARVEL LEGACY #1 on sale this September in comic shops everywhere!

MARVEL LEGACY #1 isn’t simply a history lesson,” says SVP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. “Rather, it’s the starting gun to a bevy of mysteries, secrets, and revelations that will reverberate across the Marvel Universe in the weeks and months to come! No character, no franchise will be untouched by the game-changing events that play out across its pages. Jason and Esad pulled out all the stops to fat-pack this colossal issue with as much intrigue, action, surprise, mystery, shock, and adventure as possible!”

(15) PULLMAN’S MATERIALS. Entertainment Weekly interviews the author: “Golden Compass’ Philip Pullman on returning to His Dark Materials”.

Golden Compass author Philip Pullman surprised millions of fans late last year when he announced that he would be returning to the world of the immensely popular His Dark Materials trilogy.

His three new books — the first set 10 years before the original trilogy and the next two coming after the events in those books — will once again transport readers to Lyra’s Oxford. The first volume in the companion Book of Dust trilogy is La Belle Sauvage (for which you can exclusively see the cover below), which centers on Malcolm Polstead and is in fact named for his canoe, which will become a central part of the story. But fans needn’t worry, as not only will Lord Asriel (and his daemon Stelmaria) definitely make an appearance in the book along with baby Lyra Belacqua (the main protagonist of the best-selling books), but careful readers of the previous books may remember that Malcolm himself had had a brief appearance in them….

This new trilogy has an interesting timeline. What inspired you to make the first book in this companion trilogy more of a prequel to the original trilogy, as opposed to a sequel like the two proceeding books?

The story I found myself telling had a beginning that closely involved Lyra, but it happened when she was about six months old. Then came an interval, during which some of the consequences of the first part were worked out in the story of His Dark Materials, when she was about 11 or 12. But other things were still lying in the ground, waiting to germinate. About 10 years after the events in His Dark Materials, the first shoots of those other things begin to emerge from the ground. But because they’re not really a consequence of His Dark Materials, I don’t want to call them a sequel; and because I don’t like the word “prequel,” I didn’t want to call the first book by that word. So I call The Book of Dust an “equel.”

(16) RESERVATIONS MADE. There is no end in sight for superhero movies. SyFy has the story: “Fox schedules 6 more Marvel movies from 2019-2021”.

If you thought Fox was slowing down on movies based on Marvel Comics properties, the 2018 slate, featuring New Mutants on April 13, 2018, Deadpool 2 on June 1, 2018, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix on November 2, 2018, probably put that thought to bed. If even that plan didn’t show you their dedication to the franchise, well, this should: 20th Century Fox has reserved release dates for 2019, 2020, and spring 2021 marking six Marvel movie releases in just 21 months.

New Fox/Marvel movies will hit theaters on June 7, 2019, November 22, 2019, March 13, 2020, June 26 2020, October 2, 2020, and March 5, 2021. The production house has not indicated at all whether those will be X-Men or Fantastic Four films, the two properties they currently own film rights to from Marvel Entertainment. This is a common practice in the blockbuster release category nowadays;

(17) FLYING CLOUD. “This enormous Chinese blimp could replace satellites”. The link leads to a BBC video.

There’s a new type of airship called the Cloud, and it has a silver lining. (It’s also a giant, floating communications hub.) Finn Aberdein goes to watch a nerve-wracking flight with its maker KuangChi Science.

(18) THE WONDER WOMAN WHO MARRIED A MAN. It’s cosplay. In “The ultimate fantasy wedding: Wonder Woman weds Deadpool at Awesome Con”, the Washington Post’s Megan McDonough talks about how Megan Mattingly and Adam Merica got married at Awesome Con, and how her Wonder Woman gown was stitched together by three female cosplayers in 48 hours.

They decided right away that a full cosplay wedding, right down to the dress, would suit them best. By that point, Megan had accumulated a following in the cosplay community (she has more than 45,000 followers on Instagram) and founded the local group DC CosGeeks. She also didn’t want a repeat of her first wedding, which was much more conventional.

(19) LIFE CYCLES. Artis Lives on Vimeo is a fun cartoon promoting the Amsterdam Royal Zoo.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Jason, JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Daniel Dern, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

70 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/30/17 There’s A Million Ways To Scroll, Ev’ry One’s A Pixel

  1. I’ll be hopping in the car (hop! hop!) and navigating up to visit family in Michigan. The last word I had from Mary Kay Kare is that Jordin won’t be conscious, and she doesn’t really feel up to having a visitor. Sadly, I can’t blame her.

    Anyway, if I’m not prominent here for the oncoming weeks, that’s why.

  2. “Some science fiction writers have found inspiration—and trepidation—in real-life parasites. We talked to two of them, Mira Grant and M.R. Carey…”

    Either that’s an unfortunate bit of copy-editing, or sentient parasites have advanced a lot farther than I’d realized.

  3. (1) Can confirm; Seanan’s dinner conversation is… interesting.

    (2) It’s a common misconception that Scots is just a funny form of English. In fact, they’re sister languages which evolved in parallel from older forms of Germanic and Nordic languages, depending on whether they were invaded by Angles, Saxons, Danes, or Norse. (I like how the Dursleys sound even meaner in Scots.)

    (3) I’d vote for her if I lived there.

    (4) It’s all talking. Not very visual. So good luck with that, guys — that’s much more of a problem than “Star Wars” nicking chunks of it. Works as books and I guess radio plays, but TV?

    (10) Hee.

    (11) About time. There have been plenty of lady pirates in the movies.

    (13) Dinosaur appliances not included.

    (15) Hm. Probably will read.

    (16) But will they all continue to suck?

    FIFTH! And I even read the stuff!

  4. @2: Scots in Scotland might be gently amused; I haven’t heard that whatever they have for a legislature tries to conduct business in Scots (cf the Irish parliament, which attempts to use Irish/Erse/Gaelic/I’m-not-touching-that-argument…). However, according to a recent BBC story, Scots in Northern Ireland are very insistent that their ~language be given just as much recognition (books, classes taught in, …) as Irish/…; the BBC estimated (IIRC) that there were ~140K people who grew up speaking Scots vs ~190K for Irish/…, which makes both of them smallish minorities.

    Edit: 2nd fifth!

  5. lurkertype on June 30, 2017 at 4:49 pm said:

    (11) About time. There have been plenty of lady pirates in the movies.

    And some in real life as well.

  6. (18) The husband is literally A.Merica?

    (15) Oooh, a wood block cover illustration. You don’t see that often. Beautiful.

    @Xtifr: yeah, but can we apply real life to Disneyland? 🙂

  7. 1) Like Lurkertype, I’ve shared a meal with Seanan (in Australia, as it so happens), and I agree, mealtime conversation with Seanan (or just plain down time with her) is interesting.

    In general, sharing meals with SFF folk is something I like to do if I get a chance. Of course my own sense of myself is that I bore my fellow diner(s) to tears…

    Safe travels to any and all going places for the 4th of July holiday

  8. So when I was in elementary school (approx 1968-1975), occasionally the class would get to watch a movie of some sort. It might be “The Red Balloon” or “Paddle to the Sea” or the Bell Labs science movies with Frank Baxter that were produced by Frank Capra. Or the Disney short with Jiminy Cricket singing “I’m no fool, nosiree . . .”, or “Johnny Tremaine.” I remember that we always vied to be the one who would go down to the library to get the Bell & Howell 16mm projector cart, and wheel it back to the class. If you were really lucky, the teacher would let you turn the machine on and off at the right times.

    One movie I recall, that I’ve never been able to pin down, was about a kid who had a magic marble that would stop time. In a lot of ways, the film “One Wish too Many” (1956) matches my memory (including the final shot of the marble, which had been crushed into bits on the road, magically reassembling itself into a whole). But it is different than my memory in two ways: It is British rather than American (I recall American accents), and it is in B&W rather than color.

    Does anyone else remember a color movie along those lines? Was “One Wish too Many” remade in America, or was there a similar story adapted into a color film or show of some sort? Or is my memory just wrong, and I’ve convinced myself that a B&W movie I saw 45 years ago was color?

  9. Is anyone here going to the North American Discworld Convention over Labor Day weekend? We’re trying to decide whether there’s any chance of it being a money-maker for us, and that largely depends on what kind of attendance it draws.

    12) You can buy a 3-bedroom house in Detroit for a lot less than that, if you’re willing to be outside of the downtown area. If Michigan ever dumps its toxic governor and gets its head back on straight, we’re thinking about it.

    16) So are they actually going to do the Dark Phoenix story right this time?

  10. @Bill: I don’t remember that movie at all, although I saw “Red Balloon” more than once, “Paddle to the Sea” once, and those Bell Labs science movies a LOT of times, which I always enjoyed.

  11. Re 4)

    A year ago, I’d be in complete agreement with lurkertype – so much talking! Perhaps hard to adapt. In the past year, two things have happened. I’ve seen American Gods, which is also a ton of talking, get an A+ adaptation. Set peices to illustrate talking can be doable.

    I’ve also done some thinking in the havoc that may be wrought by a single Mule….

  12. But the characters in AG are more interesting people, with more varying personalities. Is Joe Average Public gonna be happy with something set on other planets in the future that doesn’t have pew-pew (until the Mule, maybe)? Nobody expects pew-pew on the byways of the US.

  13. I’m kind of at a loss to see what concepts were taken from the “Foundation” trilogy and put into Star Wars – beyond the basic ideas of “spaceships” and “galactic empire”, neither of which is original to Asimov.

    In fact, the basic concepts seem to be opposed – the “Foundation” trilogy is all about broad historical forces, where disruptive single individuals like the Mule are few and far between; in Star Wars, the destiny of the galaxy is in the hands of a few powerful individuals – some heroes, some villains – and broad historical forces can go take a hike.

  14. Hi, Lee; lurker/non-poster here who’s planning on attending the North American Discworld Convention. I’m also wondering about attendance since I want to bring along flyers for our local New Orleans area convention just a month later. Haven’t heard anything about fan tables; but I think the NADWs may be atypical SF cons.

  15. 15) Surely I can’t be the only one wishing he would return to Sally Lockhart? I know His Dark Materials is his biggest success but I feel The Golden Compass was by far the strongest entry. The rest was kind of a mess.

    NB: Haven’t read Lockhart since middle or high school so could be way off. And just learned there’s a TV show of them with Billie Piper. Any good?

  16. So I finally got around to reading Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time and it’s really very good in a classic SFnal way. I can see why it won the Clarke award.

    I suppose this is a case of a British writer being disadvantaged when it comes to Hugo nomination time – books travelling from east to west across the Atlantic don’t have the same momentum of attention – as it is certainly shortlist quality.

  17. Surprisingly Scots often gets second billing to Scots Gaelic, even though that is mostly restricted to the Western Isles. Most road and rail signage is dual English and Gaelic for example.

    Even internally Gaelic is often considered a language worth saving while Scots is a low brow slang. In truth most people speak English peppered with more or less Scots dialect depending on cultural and social influences. University and working for a large multinational has largely neutralised my dialect though with a distinct Scottish burr, unless I’m tired or irritated. I will consciously drop in some Scots for effect at times though, dreich being a constant favourite as nothing better describes our weather at times.

    The parliament does supply Scots translations of materials though, e.g. http://www.parliament.scot/help/79056.aspx

    I do find reading that and the text in 2) to be remarkably easy.

  18. the discussion of Scots and Gaelic reminded me of my studies in Anglo Saxon (olde englishe). I was mildly surprised to discover an old saxon translator on the web.

    Had they conceived of Science Fiction back then, then might have called it –

    Cræft Leásspel

    (Science/skill/art) and (Fable or false story)

    another variation might have been –

    Miht lêasspell (miracle)

    “Pixel Scroll” doesn’t translate….

    Amazing Stories doesn’t either, but a close approximation might be –

    tðjniniende secgan

    (that first translates to BOTH “astounding” and “amazing”

  19. FunFact: the French filmmaker who made The Red Ballon also was a board game Designer. He designed Risk. Yes, THAT Risk.

  20. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s file?
    Thou art more pixel and more scroll…

  21. Speaking of Pullman, there’s a blogger I like who mostly does short reviews but occasionally does more in-depth pieces, and after a really good earlier series on Narnia he’s now doing His Dark Materials. I’m reading this with particular interest because I know he’s a Christian who is a big Lewis fan but who also likes Pullman quite a bit. The first installment is here.

  22. 3: if Brianna gets elected and another fan gets elected as well, they’ll have to form the first ever Congressional Fannish Caucus….

    Foundation’s biggest issue in translation is going to be working some human diversity into the mix – without upsetting the purists. I think there’s all of two female characters in those books (aka original Foundation trilogy), and neither of them have any agency so far as I remember.

    In re not seeing Foundation in Star Wars: 1. you really think Lucas could have made that stuff up in his own head? 2. planets entirely covered by metal…one vast city across the entire globe, tens of thousands of grain ships arriving hourly to keep the population fed? a galactic empire in decline, a secret society of saviors, …but no, there’s no Foundation in Star Wars, just like there’s no Le Guin or Harrison or Strugatsky in Avatar….

  23. Hello from OzCon International 2017 in beautiful Portland, Oregon. The con is in its second day, and thanks to help from Anglicon and Furlandia, our technical bits are running smoothly. Well… as smoothly as the tech at a small fan-run convention can be.

    Inter-fandom relationships really are key to keeping a con like this from becoming too big a job. Next year the convention will be in Pomona, California, so if anyone knows of fan groups around that area I can get the Chair in contact with, please let me know. We’re a very small group with a lot of well-seasoned fans and not nearly enough young and energetic folks, so we need all the help we can get.

    We got some attention from a local news station yesterday: https://youtu.be/ctj6t2D-WLQ and https://youtu.be/JPI4sSKV0Ps. Comic book fans will want to watch the end of the second video to see well-known artist – and creator of “Age of Bronze” – Eric Shanower giving his best Cowardly Lion roar. (I’m also in the second video, standing in the doorway and looking away as the camera panned toward me).

    The attendance at OzCon International, formerly called Winkie Con because it was the western regional convention for Oz fans and in Oz the western country is called Winkie Country, ranges up to 250 people in a large year. This year we have about 100 pre-registered. Most of the other regional conventions have died off or are no longer held annually. The Winkie Convention has been going for more than 50 years and only missed one year due to a giant Centennial celebration of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in 2000.

  24. Perhaps a bigger problem with Foundation is that it covers such a huge sweep of time that you’d need a whole new cast of characters every few shows. Unless they just plan to pick a particularly interesting epoch and zero in on that.

  25. To be fair, most of the more overt Foundation references were in the prequel trilogy moreso than the originals. Although now I’m going to adopt it as headcanon that the Imperial ships have engineering sections full of reactor priests who don’t know how anything works, but throw gigantic switches in accordance with instructions laid out in “holy scripture”.

  26. Pixeldimethylaminotickaldescroll

    As a chemistry major I have to point out, that “oll” is not a possible suffix in organic chemistry.
    It could be Pixeldimethylaminotickaldescrol (if its an alcohol, but then the syllable before ends with scr) or probably better Pixeldimethylaminotickaldescrolen. Of course there would me more possibilities…

  27. @steve davidson – I think you’re a little too harsh on the female population of the “Foundation” trilogy; yes, women are severely under-represented, but both Bayta and Arkady Darell are significant movers in their own story segments, and there are a few others besides, like the Kalganese warlord’s mistress who is secretly a Second Foundationer.

    As for the parallels between the Foundation and the Star Wars empires… still don’t see it, sorry. The Empire in Star Wars isn’t in decline, it’s young and vigorous – all-conquering, until the designated heroes shoot it in its weak spot. And the Empire’s capital – which we don’t even really see, in the original trilogy – always struck me as just a special case of the continuing “one biome per planet” syndrome that afflicts Star Wars – we have a desert planet, an ice planet, a forest planet, a swamp planet… and a city planet.

    And I still don’t see how a mystical “Force” wielded by a handful of superhumans is anything similar to the (supposedly) scientific analysis of mass trends in populations over time, which is the bedrock of the Foundation trilogy.

  28. steve davidson on July 1, 2017 at 9:27 am said:
    > 1. you really think Lucas could have made that stuff up in his own head?
    I think there’s no question that he was inspired by pulp SF in general. But Foundation in particular? Seems rather dubious to me.

    > 2. planets entirely covered by metal…one vast city across the entire globe
    Both fairly obvious extrapolations of the single-environment planet. There were desert worlds and swamp worlds and ice worlds. So, if you want a city scene, it seems pretty obvious to move your characters to a city world.

    > tens of thousands of grain ships arriving hourly to keep the population fed?
    Obvious to anyone who’s ever glanced at anything about Roman history! Heck, I associate the idea with the Marcus Didius Falco series–I don’t remember anything like that from the Foundation series, even though I’ve read it numerous times.

    > a galactic empire in decline, a secret society of saviors,
    Both stock ideas found in uncountable pulp stories.

    Is it possible Lucas was influenced by Foundation? Yes. Is it likely? Well, it is relatively popular, but I don’t see enough there to make the assumption. Certainly none of the plot or basic story. Perhaps a couple of ideas were borrowed, but they could just as easily have come from dozens of other sources (some perhaps themselves inspired by Foundation, but that’s not quite the same thing). Frankly, I suspect the only way to know for sure is to ask the man–and even that’s not guaranteed to get an accurate answer. 🙂

    I think it’s more likely that Lucas got a lot of inspiration from the same place Asimov did: the Roman Empire.

  29. Is aware of the need to get serious about the rest of the Hugo nominees.

    Goes to the library to pickup the hold of Bennett’sCity of Miracles.

    Comes home with 3 additional 2017 releases plus a 7-day/no-renewal loan.

  30. Steve Davidson: 3: if Brianna gets elected and another fan gets elected as well, they’ll have to form the first ever Congressional Fannish Caucus….

    Who was that Congressman who had Tim Kyger on his staff. If there were two, they still might not caucus….

  31. Picked up Every Heart A Doorway today and holy smokes it’s not subtle with the messaging.

    I’m only a third of the way in and as far as I can tell it’s a light portal fantasy with as many diversity-flavoured political tropes as possible levered into it?

  32. @ rob_matic: Why do I get the feeling that “messaging” and “diversity-flavored political tropes” decode to “this story doesn’t center people I would think of as ‘normal’ and it feels really weird and uncomfortable to me”?

    I mean, it’s not as if the entire premise of the story is “what happens when people don’t fit into their society because they’ve had something happen to them that nobody else believes” or anything like that.

  33. Pixeldimethylaminotickaldescroll.

    Superscrollipixelisticexpififthadocious. 😉

  34. @rob_matic

    re: Every Heart a Doorway

    By the time you get to the end, you’ll realize it’s most certainly not a “light portal fantasy.”

  35. @Rob_matic – totally agree, loved that book and nominated it and did a fair amount of cheerleading for it, but it seems to have been caught up in a time warp.

  36. In our solar system, Mars is a desert world, Europa is an ice world, Io is a volcano world. Having one of those with an oxygen atmosphere is what’s hard to believe.

  37. Lee on July 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm said:
    @ rob_matic: Why do I get the feeling that “messaging” and “diversity-flavored political tropes” decode to “this story doesn’t center people I would think of as ‘normal’ and it feels really weird and uncomfortable to me”?

    I dunno, but that would involve some unwarranted and inaccurate assumptions about my views and experiences. The feeling is more of an eye roll than discomfort.

  38. Rob_matic, I think the point of Every Heart a Doorway is that every single one of the kids at that home were, and are, misfits. (I’m going to try to carefully talk in generalities to try to avoid spoilers.) They didn’t, and couldn’t, fit in at home, and so they found their doors. In our culture, at this time, who is it that most doesn’t fit in? Who would be looking for escape? Honestly, it’s the people you designate as “diversity-flavoured political tropes”. The ones who get bullied or punished for their differences from the norm. The square pegs that their family and school and society tries to sand down to fit into the round holes.

    It really seems to me a little like complaining that a story set in a hospital is full of sick people. Or that story set on a submarine in WWII only has young, physically fit male characters. <wry> The popular, “ordinary kids, the captain of the football team and the head cheerleader, don’t need doors. These kids do.

  39. “Calling Filers of InterPixelary Scrolls…”

    @steve wright: “I think you’re a little too harsh on the female population of the “Foundation” trilogy; yes, women are severely under-represented, but both Bayta and Arkady Darell are significant movers in their own story segment”

    In some sense, Bayta is one of the few characters in the entire Foundation series who has agency, since she is not acting in accordance with psychohistorical destiny, like Hardin and Mallow are, and she is not being influenced by the Mule (obnoxiously, in one of the Foundation sequels, a Second Foundationer claims that the 2nd Foundation was influencing Bayta, but my headcanon is that is a comforting lie that the 2nd Foundation tells, to minimize how close the Mule came to wrecking the whole Plan).

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