Pixel Scroll 7/23/23 Pixels Scrolled For Somebody’s Files, But Not Mine

(1) MAGAZINE WITHDRAWS COVER AFTER LEARNING IT WAS PART AI-GENERATED. [Item by Edmund Schluessel.] Factor Four Magazine has published the following statement and apology about Issue 18:

Yesterday it was brought to my attention that the cover of Issue 18 may have been AI generated artwork. I launched an immediate investigation and discovered that it was, at least partially, AI generated. I have removed the artwork from our website and replaced it with a filler image.

Factor Four Magazine values human artists and deeply regrets that this happened. While I unknowingly bought and displayed AI art as a cover, I still take full responsibility for this.

I have used a website to purchase artwork for magazine covers, that despite saying they don’t accept AI work, it is clear that not only do they accept it, they will not remove AI art if it is discovered. As a result I will no longer be doing business with them.

It will take some time, but I will be looking over all art work purchased through this company to ensure, as best as I can, that it is human artwork.  Furthermore, I will be looking at stock images I have used both here and on my own website to ensure no AI is used.

Unfortunately there is no fool proof way to detect AI artwork, so we appreciate the person coming forward so that we could correct this. I apologize on behalf of Factor Four Magazine – Richard

(2) WHO COULD ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE? “First ‘Star Trek’ Musical Announced, Trailer Revealed” and The Hollywood Reporter

Paramount+ confirmed rumors of a musical Star Trek episode with the release of a surprise trailer (below) for an upcoming episode of Strange New Worlds season two. The episode is titled “Subspace Rhapsody,” and it’s billed as the first-ever musical-themed episode in the franchise’s 57-year history (there have previously been musical scenes). “Subspace Rhapsody” will feature 10 original songs, plus a musical version of the series’ main title, with music and lyrics by Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo) and Tom Polce (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)….

(3) PEMMI-CON. Mooseletter #4 lists the winners of the Masquerade Awards and Art Show Awards. There are some photos of the top masquerade entries (or so I assume – there are no captions.)

(4) PORTRAIT PHOTOS OF SFF CREATORS. Hugo-nominated photographer Richard Man has added his submission to the Hugo Voter Packet to his “Worldbuilders of Science Fiction and Fantasy” gallery. The direct link is here.

July 23, 2023 update: nominated by members of previous year and current year’s worldcons and voted on by the members of the current year’s worldcon, the Hugo Awards are science fiction’s most prestigious award. I am very honored to be a finalist in the “Best Fan Artist” category in the 2023 Hugo Awards. My work is eligible for the award mainly due to exhibitions on-site and online of this project. Grateful thanks to everyone who has participated in or supported my project!

(5) TAKE AN AX TO IT. Katharine Kit Kerr shared with Facebook readers that rising paper costs will have this effect:

Depressing news from ComicCon via my agent. Publishers here are now worrying about the cost of paper. Apparently the cost has gone so high that they don’t want any books longer than 110K. Does the story need more? Tough. Are there elements that don’t “advance the plot” but are important in other ways. Tough. Cut’em out.

I don’t know if this applies to literary fiction, too. But definitely to genre.

(6) WHY THIS SPSFC JUDGE WON’T BE BACK. Alex Hormann, a judge in the recent Self-Published Science Fiction Competition, bids “A Farewell to the SPSFC” on At Boundary’s Edge.

The State of Self-Published Science Fiction

Look around book blogs, and you’ll see hundreds of self-published books being reviewed. The SPFBO fills up within hours every year. For the inaugural SPSFC, we had a little over the desired 300 submissions. For SPSFC2, we hit a little over half that before flatlining. Either the books weren’t there, or the authors did not want to submit, perhaps being unaware of the contest. For that reason, books eliminated in the first year’s slushpile were made eligible for a second chance this year. This helped those books that ran into tough competition and poor book-judge matches the year before, but also meant that the books eliminated early on in the first year were now back to trouble us again. To me, this exposed one clear fact. The overwhelming majority of slushpile books were terrible….

Who Is The SPSFC For?

…One thing I have noticed in both years of the competition is that the conversation surrounding the SPSFC almost entirely consists of bloggers an authors. I remain unconvinced that the competition has had an impact on readers. Initially, yes, there was a great deal of excitement. But from my own blog statistics, I can easily tell that excitement has tailed off. Few of this year’s posts reached even half of the views of the previous year’s equivalent. As a blogger, I want to get views. The SPSFC brings those, but the interaction comes from authors and bloggers, rarely from disinterested readers….

Why I’m Bowing Out

…Then there are the structural issues within the contest itself. The first year, it seemed as though Hugh Howey and Duncan Swan would be running the show. To his credit, Swan has done marvellous work, though real life has kept him distracted. As to Howey, very little can be said. Clearly, he too is busy, not least with the monstrous success of the Silo TV series. And yet his actions still have an impact on the contest he founded. Because of Howey, we became embroiled in the heated AI art debate, which is a mess on every side. Not having any clear hierarchy of command within the contest makes it all but impossible to achieve anything. This year we went through most of the finals without any coherent gathering of team scores….

A former judge myself, I left a comment there agreeing with much that Hormann said.

I left after the first year for reasons comparable to yours. A large portion of the entries are not very good. Hugh Howey does practically nothing despite having founded the contest, which is an important reason no one knows it is going on.

Another problem is the incessant tinkering with the structure of the contest. The Discord is like a Worldcon business meeting permanently in session. That on top of an already stressful reviewing workload was ridiculous.

(7) THEY’RE PINK. TrekMovie contributes its own genius Barbie mashup here.

And an artist needs to catch up with another Twitter user’s wish list: “I need a Han Solo in barbienite.”

(8) MUSIC OF THE SPHERES. ClassicalMusic.com picks “The best recordings of Holst’s The Planets. (Remember that Valentine Michael Smith, in Stranger in a Strange Land, resorts to the symphony’s Mars movement when called on for the equivalent of a national anthem.)

Although The Planets, composed 1914-16, opened new avenues in Holst’s treatment of tonality and structure, it did not represent an entirely new chapter in his creativity. Rather, it crystallised much of his thinking, both in terms of musical potential and in his understanding of the human condition.

Looking at The Planets through the context of what he had previously composed, and what came after, helps us to understand not only one of the most loved works in the modern orchestral repertoire, but also the extraordinary creative mind behind it. Join us now on this journey, as we visit each planet in turn, and recommend their finest recordings…

(9) OVERDUE. Here’s a quest – find physical books that once belonged to poet John Milton: “‘To be still searching what we know not, by what we know’: Recovering the Lost Library of John Milton” from the Center for Material Texts at Cambridge University.

… I was given free rein to think about how I might approach the tracking down of the rest of Milton’s library in the short timeframe of eight weeks; a daunting task, given the wealth of scholarship on this topic by scholars such as William Poole, let alone the number of books that must have passed through Milton’s library during his lifetime.[1] Only nine volumes have been identified as belonging to Milton; many others have since been disputed or dismissed as spurious.[2] While it is not the place of this blogpost to rehearse the numerous scholarly conjectures on the immediate journey of Milton’s library following his death, it is suffice to observe that, as Scott-Warren and Bourne’s discovery has shown, there is no easy way to predict where Milton’s books may have ended up.[3]…

(10) MEMORY LANE.

2017 [Written by Cat Eldridge from a choice by Mike Glyer.]

Anne Charnock is not a writer that I’ve ever heard of but her novels sound fascinating.

Five years ago, she’d win the Arthur C. Clarke Award in science fiction, for her Dreams Before the Start of Time novel which is where our Beginning comes from. 

She has an extremely short genre career consisting of two novels before this one, A Calculated Life which was self-published and Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind, and one after, Bridge 108.

For stories, she had but four, “The Enclave” (a BSFA winner), “A Good Citizen”, “A Cure for Homesickness” and “All I Asked For”. Her genre writing career ended five years ago. 

Our novel garnered a Clarke Award and was nominated for a BSFA. 

Here’s our Beginning…

Year 2034

The Apple Tree

August

This year’s crop of apples is so poor that Betty Matheson counts the overnight windfalls when she opens her bedroom shutters each morning. Today, she looks down on the gravel path and sees a split apple at exactly the point where she expected to see one; she heard the crunch of that singular windfall just after dawn. As a rule, she collects the apples, or apple, before breakfast. That is, before too much damage is inflicted by stabbing blackbirds and burrowing wasps. 

In years gone by, the tree was so burdened that apples thumped down on the lawn throughout the night. Back then, she discarded any split apples, any apples with a bruise, and all the small apples that, she convinced herself, were too fiddly to peel. When she’d filled her two-handled blue bucket with near-flawless windfalls, she felt she’d met her responsibility to the tree. The rest had to go. 

She wonders how such a perfectly shaped and healthy apple tree could have caused her so much stress. Whenever she went away from home, she implored neighbours to collect the windfalls. “Or take whatever you can reach on the tree.” She felt embarrassed, offering apples from the bough after offering the windfalls. But surely it made sense to everyone to take the windfalls first.

As it happened, most of her neighbours had their own apple trees, so Betty inevitably returned home to a war zone of fallen apples—cracked and speckled brown with fungal eruptions. She can’t erase the memory—the scars and the rotting. 

These years most of the apples are small, and there’s no surplus. Five small red apples hang high in the tree’s crown, too high for Betty to reach even at a stretch from a ladder. She hopes they’ll have a soft landing.

Nothing is as it should be. Her husband dead, despite being five years her junior. That wasn’t supposed to happen. She never imagined herself as the one left behind. And Aiden, her son, so loving. So loving, but… “Damn it, Aiden,” she says through her teeth. She imagines herself placing her arms around the trunk of the apple tree. Her caress morphs into a bear hug. She tears the tree from the ground, roots and all, and she thrashes the canopy against the ground.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 23, 1888  — Raymond Chandler. He of the hard-boiled detective genre is listed by ISFDB as doing some stories of a genre nature, to be exact ”The Bronze Door”, “The King In Yellow”, “Professor Bingo’s Snuff” and “English Summer: A Gothic Romance”. I’ve not read these. So who here has? “The King In Yellow” is in the Raymond Chandler megapack. (Died 1959.)
  • Born July 23, 1914  — Virgil FinlayCastle of Frankenstein calls him “part of the pulp magazine history … one of the foremost contributors of original and imaginative art work for the most memorable science fiction and fantasy publications of our time.”  His best-known covers are for Amazing Stories and Weird Tales. “Roads,” a novella by Seabury Quinn, published in the January 1938 Weird Tales, and featuring a cover and interior illustrations by him, was originally published in extremely limited numbers by Arkham House in 1948. It’s available at usual suspects. (Died 1971.)
  • Born July 23, 1926 Eunice Sudak, 97. Novelizer of three early Sixties Roger Corman films: Tales of TerrorThe Raven and X, the latter based of The Man with the X-Ray Eyes. She wrote a lot of other novelizations but they weren’t even genre adjacent.
  • Born July 23, 1943Kathryn Powers, 80. Her list of works as screenwriter is quite impressive — Airwolf,  Deep Space NineFantasy IslandFantastic JourneyKung FuLogan’s RunNext GenerationStargate SG-1Swamp Thing and Wonder Woman. She is now retired, and spends most of her time researching metaphysics.
  • Born July 23, 1947Gardner Dozois. He was the editor of The Year’s Best Science Fiction anthologies and was editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction for twenty years, getting multiple Hugo and Locus Awards for those works. His writing won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story twice, once for “The Peacemaker”, and again for “Morning Child”. Being Gardner Dozois: An Interview by Michael Swanwick covers everything he wrote to that date. (Died 2018.)
  • Born July 23, 1956 Kate Thompson, 67. Author of the New Policeman trilogy which I highly recommend. Though written for children, you’ll find it quite readable. And her Down Among the Gods is a unique take on a Greek myths made intimate. 

(12) APPLYING TO THE FOUNDATION. The Sunday Morning Transport has posted a free read to encourage subscriptions. Sara Ryan’s “Re: Request For Prophecies And Quest Funding Application Guidelines” is a kind of fantasy-world grant application.

…Transcriptions or recordings of oracular pronouncements pertinent to the Quest. The Foundation is solely interested in pronouncements from prominent and well-respected oracles, such as those providing forecasts to monarchs, commanders, pontiffs, and other widely recognized leaders. Pronouncements from community-based scryers and soothsayers are not acceptable.

Come on, Bob, you have to know this one’s just a racket. All the Foundation-approved oracles charge too much. And their pronouncements are so vague! It doesn’t matter what happens; they’re gonna say it was foretold….

(13) TOASTMASTERS WITH A SFF THEME. The next Worlds of Wonder Toastmasters online event on July 29 has a ‘Steampunk Fiction’ theme. Follow it at the link.

Worlds of Wonder Toastmasters club uses science fiction and fantasy topics to help members develop their public speaking and leadership skills in a friendly environment.

Please consider visiting the club at any of its regular meetings at the same time every Saturday. We hope to see you soon!

(14) THE ACME OF EDUCATION. “Tiny Toons Looniversity Reveals Revamped Theme at Comic-Con” reports Comicbook.com.

The Tiny Toons are back in action with a brand new series that will pay homage to the original Tiny Toons while also bringing some fresh energy to the mix. The new series is titled Tiny Toons Looniversity, and during the Tiny Toons Looniversity SDCC panel, WB revealed the official theme song and opening theme for the show. The new theme song is from composer Matthew Janszen, and as you can watch and hear in the theme below, the heart of the Bruce Broughton classic from Tiny Toon Adventures is alive and well. The new series will hit Cartoon Network and Max late this fall.

Tiny Toons Looniversity delivers a modern remix of the beloved original series in half-hour animated form and is developed by Amblin Television in association with  Bros. Animation. Fan favorites like Buster, Babs, and Hampton all make a return…

(15) MOVIES FROM AN ALTERNATE PAST. [Item by Daniel Dern.] Lord of the Rings by Akira Kurosawa:  (LOTR as a Japanese samurai fantasy film)

Star Wars as a Retro Sci-Fi 50s Film

Space Invaders (1920) | Fritz Lang Style

(16) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED DISASTERS. [Item by Jeffrey Smith.] A good, well-written list of nuclear disaster films, including mention of the BBC mini-series on Oppenheimer that was discussed here earlier this week. One typo I caught was calling  the co-writer of Testament John Sacred Young. I saw his actual name, John Sacret Young, many many times on two of my favorite TV series, China Beach and The West Wing. “Happy end of the world: Top 15 Anti-Nuke Films” at Digby’s Hullabaloo.

… In consideration of those recent events (and this being the opening weekend for one of the most hyped summer movies in recent memory, Christopher Nolan’s biopic Oppenheimer-which I have not seen yet) I thought I’d share my picks for the top 15 cautionary films to watch before we all go together (when we go). Uh…enjoy?…

(17) HEAVY ON THE SCALES. Earlier this year MindQ did a roundup of “10 Upcoming Kaiju Movies In 2023-2024”.

[Thanks to Chris Barkley, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Daniel Dern, Edmund Schluessel, Jeffrey Smith, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ken Richards.]

40 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/23/23 Pixels Scrolled For Somebody’s Files, But Not Mine

  1. (8) As I recall, Heinlein invented a “9 Planets Symphony” (so not Holst) for Stranger for some reason.

  2. (2) Meanwhile, the ST Strange New Worlds episode crossover with (animated) ST Lower Decks episode is up on Paramount Plus, just watched it, fun stuff.

  3. Yes. It was great. And I just watched the trailer for the upcoming musical episode 🙂

  4. Andrew (not Werdna): When I saw the reference to “The Ten Planets Symphony” I was too smart for Heinlein. I saw right through his ruse and went immediately to my public library to borrow its (vinyl!) record of Holst’s The Planets symphony.

    Heinlein gives a very brief description of what people hear:

    Then the first fortissimo tocsin of the “Mars” movement filled the room-the “War God” theme that startles even an audience expecting it.

    Not knowing what a tocsin was supposed to sound like I looked up the word. After finding what it meant, I still did not let that research spoil my determination to believe he meant the Holst composition.

  5. Daniel Dern says Meanwhile, the ST Strange New Worlds episode crossover with (animated) ST Lower Decks episode is up on Paramount Plus, just watched it, fun stuff.

    Ive decided to watch the entire season all at once. It should be a wonderful experience.

    Now listening to Joel Shepherd’s Ceephay Queen

  6. Raymond Chandler:

    “The Bronze Door” – genre ( appears in Unknown)
    “Professor Bingo’s Snuff” – genre (the snuff makes you invisible)
    “English Summer” – I’ve read it, and I’m honestly not sure; it’s one of those stories with a sense of weirdness but no overt fantastical elements. I guess if (say) Robert Aickman is genre, then this is too.
    “The King in Yellow” – title is an explicit call-out to Robert Chambers; story itself is conventional murder mystery.

    So there we are, then.

  7. Regarding the three masquerade photos:

    From left to right are:

    Sandy and I from our entry “Beneath the Bay of Innsmouth.”

    Janine Wardale in “Exile.”

    Snail Scott in “The Hut of Baba Yang.”

  8. The “Mars” movement of the “Nine Planets Symphony” that Heinlein mentions in SISL was used as the “planetary anthem” for Mars, IIRC. And didn’t RAH describe the emblem on the planetary flag of Mars in SISL as the astrological/astronomical symbol for Mars (?)? See Wikipedia s.v. “Flag of Mars”.

  9. Makes sense.

    BtW, I seem to recall that in Bakshi’s Fellowship, the funeral music for Gandalf played in Lothlorien sounds am awful lot like Holst’s Jupiter.

  10. (1) Ack. Yet another one. You’d think “artists” would learn. And I know some who should know better will think the “artist” did nothing wrong.

    (2) Fascinating!

    (5) This sucks — and I say that as someone who thinks many fantasy novels have gotten way too long. Some novels should be longer. There is more to a book than “advancing the plot” (especially if it’s fantasy or SF). What about building up the characters and the world?

    (6) FWIW I think self-published books have gotten much better since the early days of ebooks. (I hath been burned.) But are the best indie authors entering their books in SPSFC and similar contests? Or are they concentrating on writing, marketing, and connecting with their fans? Do most fans know about these contests?

    (11) I got to gaze at actual Virgil Finlay artwork at PulpFest. The range of items available was amazing. (He created a lot of art!)

  11. (8). But what is the best over-all recording of The Planets, if I just want to buy one album and listen to it?

  12. (1) it looks like the cover art is often made from composite Pixabay images. There’s nothing wrong with that in itself other than artist attribution might get complex and it’s much harder to filter out bits of generative-AI images that might creep in.

    A nice surprise was a set of flying saucers on the top right of their most recent cover, which I can guarantee where not AI generated because I made them https://pixabay.com/illustrations/ufo-space-spaceship-alien-future-5135991/

  13. 5) TAKE AN AX TO IT. I wouldn’t take this as an actual thing. I know at least three writers who are under contract to write novels that are well over that size. Mostly space operas. Ones that I’m very much looking forward to reading.

    And I get the forthcoming catalogs for a lot of publishers. Let’s just say there’s a lot of very large novels coming out next year.

  14. Camestros Felapton: You have unexplored depths — a creator of licensed UFOs!

  15. Mike Glyer on July 23, 2023 at 8:13 pm said:

    Camestros Felapton: You have unexplored depths — a creator of licensed UFOs!

    It’s a fun game because every so often they appear on the web in strange places

  16. (1) Having had my curiosity piqued by those UFOs, I looked at the other elements on that picture https://i0.wp.com/factorfourmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Issue-25-scaled.jpg?w=1500&ssl=1
    It’s three images: a background landscape, the woman figure and the bunch of UFOs.
    I can’t find the landscape but this is the woman https://pixabay.com/illustrations/woman-rpg-adventurer-leather-jacket-7731608/
    I wouldn’t bet on that picture of a woman not being AI generated.

  17. 6) Once at work I was asked if I wanted to be a judge for the (state where I live) Book Awards. Having cataloged past winners, I had no desire to see how vapid the non-winners would be.

    8) And then there’s the version by technical death metal [1] band Nile:

    [1] I have no idea what technical death metal is, apart from loud and unintelligible.

  18. Surely licensed UFOs constitute unexplored heights, not unexplored depths. Which is good, because the view is better.

    Thanks to several for alerting me to the SNW/LD crossover. Best not to ask how I missed the news.

    Achy. Tired. Can’t remember what else I intended to say.

  19. Thanks for the title credit – a shout out to the wonderful Patti Smith, who is currently teaching me about Arthur Rimbaud on Substack, with the assistance of her 20YO credential Cairo.
    And she has fine genre connections, from her wonderful ‘Distant Fingers’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyFKl5dStGQ plus the awesome ‘Birdland’ to work collaborating with Allen Lanier of Blue Öyster Cult.
    Currently reading Kate Elliott’s ‘Buried Heart’ (great) whilst re-visiting ‘Revolt in 2100’ (rather dated) in the car.
    Now enjoying the finest English whines as Australia retain a sporting trophy because unfair weather in Manchester

  20. RE: the price of paper:
    It’s not just the price of paper, it’s the cost of distribution, the profit margin for the publisher, and so on. I anticipated this, so when I publish (I’m in editing hell right now), it’ll be an E-book, likely self published.

    RE: Holst’s “The Planets Suite,”
    I have about 12 different recordings, and they’re ALL good! Isao Tomita did a version that was all electronic/synthesized. It’s very interesting and unusual.

    Zubin Mehta, Leonard Bernstein, Andre Previn and The London Symphony Orchestra, Loren Maazel and the Paris National Orchestra, Yevgeny Svetlanov and the Philharmonia Orchestra, John Williams and the Boston Pops, and many others. Just look up the Discography for Holst’s “The Planets Suite,” and you’ll see many versions. Quite a range to choose from!

  21. 2) I guess I was just a man ahead of my time when I pitched my idea for an all-singing, all-dancing episode of ST:TNG to Michael Pillar & writing crew thirty-odd years ago. (They passed on the idea. THE FOOLS! THE BLIND, IGNORANT FOOLS!)

    7) From Twitter, Star Trek/Barbie Shuttle

  22. (6) Even as one of the primary tinkerers, I hope the constant tinkering will stop with SPSFC–I think there were some unforeseen hurdles that needed to be addressed immediately, and perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising for a new competition, but it still created a lot of stress. (Possibly the hurdles existed because Hugh Howey designed the thing and then never thought about it again? Who knows!) Think we’re scaling down a bit for next year, which will hopefully make it more fun and more sustainable. And yeah, the slush pile is mostly bad, though it can still be fun to sift through it and find some interesting pieces that otherwise would’ve never crossed the TBR.

  23. Ok, I’ve got a writer saying that “Star Trek itself has been described as “Horatio Hornblower in space.””

    Any Filer recognise the source for this claim?

  24. @Cat: I’m pretty sure I saw that comparison back in the 1970s.

    “The Fifty Year Mission” attributes that comparison to Roddenberry himself

  25. As a judge the first year and team lead the second, I think SPSFC is suffering from the lack of a Mark Lawrence. A lot of us were expecting Hugh Howey to use his platform to promote the contest on an ongoing basis, but that hasn’t happened, so getting enough publicity, judges and submissions is a challenge.

    The contest is being tinkered with, as Mike mentioned, but some changes are necessary before SPSFC 3 to avoid judge burnout.

    I am sticking with the contest because I think in the long run it will become another SPFBO. There will just be a lot of growing pains before we get there.

  26. 6) I read the 2021 SPSFC winner. I thought it was good, but not top-shelf. It contained some elements that I ascribe to be more fantasy than sci-fi.

    IME, that is keeping with a longer-term trend of books presenting as sci-fi while also including an inordinate level of fantasy/supernatural elements.

    Regards,
    Dann
    I say, that Power must never be trusted without a check. – John Adams

  27. Andrew (not Werdna) says “The Fifty Year Mission” attributes that comparison to Roddenberry himself

    Did you mean the Five Year Mission? I hope so as I had this vision of the fiftieth season of Star Trek and I won’t say it was an appetising one…

  28. @Cat Eldridge – The Fifty-Year Mission is an oral history of Star Trek compiled in (surprise) 2016.

    Poking around Google Books, the earliest hit I can find is “space-age Horatio Hornblower” used in Susan Sackett’s The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture from 1980. I know Nicholas Meyer in making-of material on the Star Trek II DVD discusses the Hornblower connection; it was what got him into the project.

  29. @Cat: The hyperlink in my post links to an excerpt from the oral history of Trek.

  30. @Carl Andor: Tomita’s version of Pictures at an Exhibition is a real delight! (Even if it’s less genre-adjacent than his version of The Planets.)

  31. Since we just got home from Pemmi-Con mid-afternoon, after having left for the Winnipeg airport at 1:15 PM yesterday

    One belated comment: I’d have really liked to get to the filer get-together. But… 09:00 at a con?! Sat, I had a reading at 10:30, and had to push to get out, eat, and to the reading by then. Why not in the evening…?
    (5) Um, Hugo std for novel is 40k words and up. Heinlein? Clark? Gordy? I can go on…. There’s a lot that would be far better shorter.
    (6) Sure, there’s a lot of good stuff out there. One beta reader of mine had published at book on Amazon in 2015… and sold about 4 copies. He thought Amazon would advertise…. On the other hand, Charlie Stross refers to the World Wide Slush Pile….
    Birthdays: Finlay was mind-bogglingly great.

  32. @Xtifr

    I had not heard about Tomita’s version. It is currently in my Spotify queue. Thanks very much.

    My Jr. High humanities teacher taught Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. It will be interesting to hear another version.

    FWIW, Darin Kennedy wrote a book using Pictures at an Exhibition as an inspiration for the general setting of the book. I found it enjoyable mostly because of my previous connection via school but gave it 3/5 stars.

    Regards,
    Dann
    There can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions to an individual, but permitted to a mob. – Ayn Rand

  33. “Horatio Hornblower in space” was part of Roddenberry’s pitch to develop Star Trek. I’m pretty sure it’s mentioned in the 1968 Ballantine paperback “The Making of Star Trek”, but I don’t know where my copy is. I am able to find it in the David Gerrold’s 1973 book “The Trouble with Tribbles”.

    Roddenberry also likened the show to “Wagon Train to the Stars.”

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