Pixel Scroll 7/30/19 All Those Pixels Will Be Lost In Files, Like Scrolls In The Rain

(1) LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. Authors Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Black, Seanan McGuire, and John Scalzi, as well as many other writers outside of the genre, will be at the “2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival”. The Festival will be held in Washington, DC at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on August 31. Check out the Festival blog.

(2) ON THE WAY TO THE MOON. The first two episodes of the new Washington Post podcast Moonrise focus heavily on John W. Campbell and Astounding Science Fiction, and it looks like there’s a lot more to come. Episodes can be downloaded from various distributors, or listened to through the Post’s website.

Want to uncover the real origin story behind the United States’ decision to go to the moon? In the 50 years since the moon landing, as presidential documents have been declassified and secret programs revealed, a wild story has begun to emerge. “Moonrise,” a new Washington Post audio miniseries hosted by Lillian Cunningham, digs into the nuclear arms race of the Cold War, the transformation of American society and politics ?— and even the birth of science fiction ?— to unearth what really drove us to the moon. Listen to the episodes as they’re released each week, and come along with us on a fascinating journey from Earth to the moon.

(3) WHAT IS “SENSE OF WONDER”? In “First Men and Original Sins” at Image, Adam Roberts reviews the movie First Man, Catherine Newell’s Chesley Bonestell biography Destined for the Stars: Faith, Future, and America’s Final Frontier, and Kendrick Oliver’s To Touch the Face of God, in order to discuss the sense of wonder many feel about space.

PROFANE IS AN INTERESTING WORD. Etymologically the word describes the ground outside—or, strictly, in front of (pro)—the temple (fanum). How do we understand the profanity, or otherwise, of space travel? Is earth the temple and outer space the outer (pro) fanum? Or could it be that the heavens are the temple, and it’s we who are stuck down here in a mundane, profane antechamber? Is the sense of wonder that attends space exploration fundamentally a religious impulse? Or is the achievement of Apollo a triumph of solidly non-spiritual science, engineering, technology, and materialism?

This matter is addressed by To Touch the Face of God, Kendrick Oliver’s absorbing social history of the space program. Oliver has sensible things to say about the limitations of simply mapping the religious convictions of NASA scientists and astronauts onto a project like Apollo, but nonetheless he assembles a convincing picture of just how interpenetrated the undertaking was by a kind of providentialist, Protestant ethos, exploring the pros and cons of considering spaceflight as a religious experience. He’s especially good on the way the program channeled national concerns about the separation of church and state, a debate that had been galvanized by the 1963 Supreme Court judgment ruling mandatory school prayer unconstitutional.

As Apollo 8 orbited the moon in December of 1968, astronaut Bill Anders informed “all the people back on earth” that “the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you.” They then read the creation account of Genesis 1 aloud. The reading, Oliver shows, had an enormous impact. The Christian Century ran an editorial declaring themselves “struck dumb by this event,” and Apollo flight director Gene Kranz wept openly in the control room: “for those moments,” he later recalled, “I felt the presence of creation and the Creator.”

(4) HWA GUIDELINES. Nick Mamatas reacted to yesterday’s post, “Bram Stoker Awards Co-Chairs Interviewed About HWA Guidelines for Promoting Works”

(5) STUDENT JOURNALISTS LOOK INTO SCA. Paul Matisz was one of the people interviewed by the student magazine The Tattler for its article about “The Dark Side of Medieval Reenactment.” (The issue is here, and the article is on pages 17-19.) Matisz, who formerly participated in the Society for Creative Anachronism as Fulk Beauxarmes, has posted the full text of his responses on his blog “Interviewed for an Article on the SCA”. He praised the thoroughness of their reporting.

Here’s a clipping from the article:

(6) RINGS A BELL. While skimming Shelf Awareness, Andrew Porter spotted a notice for The Best of Manhunt edited by Jeff Vorzimmer (“… the crime-fiction magazine Manhunt (1952-1967)….editor Jeff Vorzimmer has pulled together 39 gripping and pitiless tales…”) That seemed an uncommon name and he wondered if this fellow was any relation to Fifties fan Peter Vorzimer (with one “m”, his fannish AKA spelling). Indeed, Jeff is his son, as confirmed by this blog post: “Death in Hollywood” (2017). I’ve heard of Peter myself – his name was still cropping up in anecdotes about the old days of LASFS when I joined in the Seventies. Most of this excerpt quotes a reminiscence written by Peter himself: 

My father was in the last half of his senior year at Hollywood High and … he was inconvenienced by losing his driver’s license for a year. 

 “It was on the way to HAC one day, March 17th, 1954, that I got involved in an accident in which I killed an elderly pedestrian. Which, though she had made some negligent contribution, cost me my driver’s license for one year. It also took the wind out of my senior year of high school. 

“My lack of wheels forced me to concentrate on my writing skills—particularly my editorship of an amateur science fiction magazine, Abstract, a fanzine, as they are called. This brought me closer to a group of similarly minded young men. Charley Wilgus was my closest friend, followed by Don Donnell, Jimmy Clemons and Burt Satz. Don was the most creative and, at 16, already a good writer; Burt, who was universally picked on by the rest, was the best read (Hemingway, Joyce, and a host of others). Clemons introduced me to the world of Science Fiction and the L. A. Science Fiction Society—whose meetings were attended by E. E. “Doc” Smith, Ray Bradbury, and the agent Forry Ackerman. Possibly because of its controversial—read argumentative—editorials, its excellent mimeographed and often salacious art, Abstract became quite popular in the world of science fiction fandom. The high point of my early career was my bus trip to San Francisco to meet various pen pals: Gilbert Minicucci, Terry Carr, Bob Stewart, and Pete Graham. It took something for my mother to permit her 15-year-old son to go up by bus to San Francisco from L.A. to attend a Sci Fi convention on his own for a week!”


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 30, 1911 Reginald Bretnor. Author of many genre short stories involving Ferdinand Feghoot, a comical figure indeed. It looks like all of these are available in digital form on iBooks and Kindle. He was a consummate SJW. He translated Les Chats, the first known book about cats which was written by Augustin Paradis de Moncrif in 1727. He also wrote myriad articles about cats, was a companion to cats, and considered himself to have a psychic connection to cats. Of course, most of us do. (Died 1992.)
  • Born July 30, 1927 Victor Wong. I’ll single him out here for his role as the Chinese sorcerer Egg Shen in John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China, a film I adore. He also appeared in Beauty and the Beast as Dr. Wong in the “China Moon” episode, and in Poltergeist: The Legacy as Lee Tzin-Soong in the “Fox Spirit” episode. (Died 2001.)
  • Born July 30, 1948 Carel Struycken, 71. I remember him best as the gong ringing Mr. Homn on Next Gen, companion to Troi’s mother. He was also Lurch in The Addams Family, Addams Family Values and the Addams Family Reunion. He’s listed as being Fidel in The Witches of Eastwick but I’ll be damned if I remembered his role in that film. And he’s in Ewoks: The Battle for Endor which I’ve never seen…
  • Born July 30, 1961 Laurence Fishburne, 58. Appeared in The Matrix films of which I watched at least two before deciding I could be reading something more interesting. His voice work as Thrax in Osmosis Jones on the other hand is outstanding as is his role as Bill Foster in Ant-Man
  • Born July 30, 1966 Jess Nevins, 53. Author of the superlative Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victorian and the equally great Heroes & Monsters: The Unofficial Companion to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I didn’t know he was an author ‘til now but he has two genre novels, The Road to Prester John and The Datong Incident.
  • Born July 30, 1970 Christopher Nolan, 49. Obviously the Batman films of which I think I’ve seen several (too noisy, too vivid). However The Prestige is magnificent as is Inception and Interstellar
  • Born July 30, 1975 Cherie Priest, 44. Her southern gothic Eden Moore series is quite good and Clockwork Universe series isa refreshing take on steampunk which has been turned into full cast audiobooks. I’ve not read Cheshire Red Reports novels so have no idea how they are.
  • Born July 30, 1984 Gina Rodriguez, 35. Anya Thorensen in Annihilation based on Jeff VanderMeer’s novels which I’ve read though I’ve not seen the film. She was also Robin I the “Subway” episode of the Eleventh Hour series, and directed the “Witch Perfect” episode of the new Charmed series. 


(9) CORKING GOOD NEWS. “New ‘Star Trek’ wine lets you sample Capt. Jean-Luc Picard’s vino”USA Today tells where you can pick up a bottle.  

Here’s a pair of vintages that should be engaging to “Star Trek” fans.

The first two selections in a new Star Trek Wines series are available with one celebrating the United Federation of Planets, the other paying tribute to the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” character Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, played by Patrick Stewart.

The 2016 Chateau Picard Cru Bourgeois from Bordeaux, France, is timely as Stewart’s Picard returns next year in a new CBS All Access series, “Star Trek: Picard.” That wine can be purchased along with a numbered, limited edition of the United Federation of Planets Special Reserve for $120 (Only 1,701 packs will be sold. Star Trek fans will know 1701 as the starship Enterprise’s identification number.)

The wines, available at StarTrekWines.com, are being brought to market by Wines that Rock, which sells wines carrying the labels of rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, and The Police and Woodstock. They will be poured at the Star Trek Las Vegas event, which runs Wednesday to Sunday.

(10) DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? Who needs a Hugo Award when you’ve got an SJW Credential?

(11) FLIGHTS OF FANCY. In the Washington Post, John Kelly inquires about the work of eccentric British artist Rowland Emett at the National Air and Space Museum.  If Emett isn’t a sf artist, he is certainly “sf-adjacent” — “Air and Space Museum used to feature flying machines of the strangest sort”.

…This was the start of what Emett called his “machines.” He gained international fame for designing the contraptions featured in the 1968 film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Soon, companies began hiring him to create fanciful machines to use in their marketing.

As for the sculptures at Air and Space, “The Exploratory Moon-Probe Lunacycle M.A.U.D.” was on loan and eventually went back to Britain. The museum commissioned “S.S. Pussiewillow II” — imagine a wispy dirigible — but removed it from display in 1990 after a motor caught fire, burning a “flying carpet” that was part of the work.

Despite that, “Emett’s machines are remarkably reliable,” said Tim Griffiths, founder of the Rowland Emett Society, a group of enthusiasts. “The motor that failed on the Pussiewillow wasn’t the original and was possibly installed because of the difference in voltages between the U.K. and U.S.”

(12) NOT JONAH. Did this one ask too many questions? “Whale ‘swallows’ sea lion: ‘It was a once-in-a-lifetime event'”.

Chase Dekker believes the photo he took of a humpback whale “swallowing” a sea lion is the first time that happening has ever been caught on camera.

The 27-year-old wildlife photographer and marine biologist had taken a boat of whale watchers out on the water in Monterey Bay, California, on 22 July when the incident happened.

“It wasn’t a huge group, only three humpback whales and about two hundred sea lions,” Chase tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“We’ve seen it all the way up to 100 whales with 3,000 sea lions, so it can get really insane.”

The animals were feeding on a school of anchovies at the water’s surface when the whale ended up with something a little larger in its mouth than it probably expected.

(13) FIRED FROM FIRE. BBC says a video game is recasting a part — “Fire Emblem: Nintendo cuts voice actor over emotional abuse”.

Nintendo is replacing a voice actor in new game Fire Emblem: Three Houses after he admitted emotionally abusing ex-partners and friends.

The role-playing game was only released last week, but an update is already planned to remove Chris Niosi.

He posted an apology and explanation on Tumblr a few days before the game was released.

“I have horribly mistreated and abused friends, colleagues and even my significant others,” he wrote.

(14) EMERGENCY HOLOGRAPHIC CAMEO. At San Diego Comic-Con, it was revealed that Jeri Ryan will reprise her role as Seven of Nine (ST: Voyager) in the new CBS All Access show ST: Picard. Now she may have some company. Trekkie Girls is spreading the word:“Voyager’s Robert Picardo in talks to appear in Star Trek: Picard”.

It’s a cameo that makes perfect sense and at London Film and Comic Con last weekend, Robert Picardo (The EMH and Dr Zimmerman from Star Trek Voyager) confirmed that his agent was in talks with CBS to possibly return in Season 2 of Star Trek Picard.

“I am pleased that they (CBS) have expressed interest in me. They have reached out to my agent about next season. So I’m looking forward to seeing what it is. As you know I play two characters, primarily the Doctor but also Lewis Zimmerman.”

Robert Picardo – Sunday 28th July, LFCC.

A recording of the entire interview is here —

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Alec Nevala-Lee, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Rob Thornton, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of thee stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

55 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/30/19 All Those Pixels Will Be Lost In Files, Like Scrolls In The Rain

  1. ….time to Godstalk.(adding a fillip to Andrew’s title)

    1) Quite the lineup.

  2. (14) “Please Scroll the nature of your Pixel-cal emergency.”

    (2) Looking forward to listening to this.

  3. (9) So the Picard wine references the USS Enterprise’s NCC-1701-D registration code, despite the fact he’s long ago left that ship by the time the new show takes place?

  4. @Steve Green: In-universe that’s justifiable – even decades later Picard’s time on the Enterprise is going to be what people think of when they hear his name (he commanded the flagship, helped choose the Klingon chancellor, had the first android and first Klingon in Starfleet under his command (and an extremely annoying teen as well) and was assimilated into the Borg and lived to tell the tale)

  5. 6) Minor point: Jeff Vorzimmer spells his surname with two “m”s, but his father Peter spelled it “Vorzimer,” with one “m.” I checked my memory against his listings in Fancyclopedia.

  6. (10) Pray tell. Mike, what connection has taking care of canine or feline bodily waste with being a “social justice warrior”?

    @Andrew: Yes, but that was in the canon Next Generation universe. Until the cat’s cradle of rights and licenses are back under one roof, who knows what this iteration of Picard has accomplished?

  7. 7). It’s not genre, but my favorite Victor Wong movie is “Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart”. Haven’t seen it in ages.

  8. Jerry Kaufman: Apparently you remember correctly that the one-M spelling was an “aka” for him. His death certificate lists both — two-Ms Vorzimmer as the legal name, and also known as Vorzimer. The son spells the father’s name Vorzimmer at his blog.

  9. @Steve Green: For reasons I don’t remember, there’s a long-standing joke at File770 tying cat companionship with SJW-hood, leading to the abbreviation SJWC (where the C stands for ‘credential’) for ‘cat’.

    (10) I’m hoping it’s the TNG Picard, though I saw one theory that the question “why did you leave Starfleet?” means that this is a really a Prisoner reboot (“Why did you resign?)

  10. (13) FIRED FROM FIRE.

    Yegods, the so-called “apologies” Niosi has posted are a master-class effort in excuses, minimizing, gaslighting, and DARVO. He pulls out suicidal thoughts and Asperger’s as excuses and sympathy cards. He starts one “apology” with:
    “We have not spoken in many years, for reasons I do not hold against you at all for.” 🙄

  11. Steve Green: Pray tell. Mike, what connection has taking care of canine or feline bodily waste with being a “social justice warrior”?

    I’m not sure how you’ve managed to read this blog for the last 4 years without catching on to one of its long-running jokes, which has been mentioned in more than 150 of the posts and more than 600 comments during that time.

    Its genesis is here:

    Kurt Busiek: But hey, if you really want a definition of SJW, instead of asking the people who are being called SJWs (including by Paulk, in other posts), why not ask the people who have been enthusiastically using the term to label those they oppose? Get definitions from Beale, Torgersen, Correia, Wright and Paulk, and whoever else seems to be using it as if it means something. Then see if those definitions are reconcilable. If they are, you’ll have a working definition, and you can start seeing if it actually applies to many people, or if it’s just a big meant-to-be-scary strawman.

    I don’t think there’s much point in us trying to define the word for them, because (a) they’re the ones using it, and (b) they don’t appear to use it in any consistent fashion, other than as a generalized insult, so I doubt they’d start using it consistently if anyone else provided a definition. That’s not because I haven’t made any attempt at understanding them; it’s because I have, and I don’t think there is any consistent definition of the term, and I think that’s deliberate.

    But if you really want suggestions for what “SJW” means from people here, I’ll offer mine: “People who own Siamese cats.”

    Let’s settle on that. It’s clear and unambiguous. For instance, it would mean that I grew up in an SJW household, but since childhood have not been an SJW. You can use it to sort people into SJWs, former SJWs, friends of SJWs, people who might someday become SJWs (my wife is allergic to cats, so not me) and so on, all with a very high degree of clarity.

    Go tell the Puppy leaders we’ve settled on a definition. See whether they join us in that welcoming clarity. If not, perhaps you should ask them what they mean by it, since by doing so, they’ll be trying to describe the worldview of those they see as the “other side,” which will involve trying to see things from the point of view of others. And that, after all, is something you apparently think Puppies are highly willing to do because of a single blog post by one of them, when she wasn’t coughing and spitting at her own mention of Tor Books.

    “People who own Siamese cats.” I’d be delighted to settle on that as the definition. It does make me wonder why the Puppies are so angry at cat owners — at least Siamese cat owners — but once we’re settled on the definition, maybe we can think about it from their point of view and figure out why they have this seemingly-irrational stance. It could be a valuable exercise for both sides, and bring about the rapprochement that you hope to achieve by exhorting one side do all the understanding and accommodating.

  12. Born July 30, 1948 — Carel Struycken, 71. I remember him best as the gong ringing Mr. Homn on Next Gen, companion to Troi’s mother. He was also Lurch in The Addams Family, Addams Family Values and the Addams Family Reunion.


    I spent a large swath of my childhood watching both The Addams Family and The Munsters… maybe I can blame them for the way I turned out?

  13. Oh, and also —

    In current reading, I just finished The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. And…… I can’t decide how I feel about it. Adjoa Andoh is a marvelous narrator (though IMHO her African-flavored accents for two characters were distracting in context), and the story certainly was not run-of-the-mill fantasy…. but I just can’t decide whether it worked or not. Hmmmm.

    Anyone have insights about this one?

  14. Contrarius: Anyone have insights about [The Raven Tower]?

    I really liked it (I read the book, rather than listening to the audiobook). But it’s very different from the usual fantasy, and very dark. I figured out some of the reveals early on, but didn’t feel as though that spoiled my enjoyment any.

    As far as whether it “succeeded”, I guess my definition of a successful book is one which does not have me a) physically throwing it across the room, b) really wanting to throw it across the room despite refraining, c) being pissed off about how it’s wasted my precious reading time, or d) posting ranty bits here on File 770 about what it did wrong.

    Based on those criteria, I would consider The Raven Tower a successful book. In terms of Hugo-worthy, I think it does meet my expectation of doing something different than the usual and doing it well. It will depend on how it stacks up against the other 2019 works I’ve read when nominations come around.

  15. I don’t wanna be that guy, but I’m pretty sure the title should be “In Rain”, not “In The Rain”.

    Fishburne was also in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (which I liked, though the franchise was clearly starting to run out of steam) and the extremely cheesy but still entertaining Cherry 2000, a movie that still leaves me with a “WTF did I just watch!?” feeling all these years later. 🙂

    (And honestly, though neither of those was great cinema, I think I liked both better than The Matrix, which I was thoroughly underwhelmed with–though Fishburne was good in it.)

  16. I enjoyed The Raven Tower, but not as much as Leckie’s earlier books. The main character (I guess you could call it a protagonist) was very interesting, but not very engaging. A strong A for ideas, but more of a middling grade for the execution. Still worth the read, though.

    Oh, and speaking of readings, I did finish the Mass Effect novel by N K Jemisin. It was…definitely a video-game novel, with video-game pacing and plot. But it was fun, and I definitely don’t regret the time I spent on it. Fluff, but at least it was well-written.

    I also just finished Nalo Hopkinson’s The Chaos, which was billed as her first YA novel. It was somehow both very straightforward and extremely weird. I’m still not sure about the ending, but it was definitely excellent until then.

  17. R. Bretnor (how he signed his stories) wrote many short stories, not just the little Feghoot things, most of which were less than a page long. (My goodness, I started typing ’Feg’ and ‘Feghoot’ came up on my suggestion bar.) Whenever I think of him, I think of “The Gnurrs Come from the Voodvork Out,” from an early F&SF.

    I actually spoke with him once, when he called me out of the blue to discuss getting the reprint rights to a Tiptree story (or, I think, a Raccoona Sheldon story).

  18. I really really liked The Raven Tower‘s narrator’s backstory. I was a little more eh on the “present” story — it worked well enough but I kept wanting to get back to the backstory. (Also I saw some commentary somewhere that noted that it was essentially the plot of Unzyrg and that was something I couldn’t unsee.)

    I read the Kindle edition, which suffers from the usual problem of the map being hard to see as well as making the “THERE WILL BE A RECKONING” bit at the front a lot more skippable. (It struck me as noticeably more impressive when I flipped through a print edition.)


  19. Goobergunch: Also I saw some commentary somewhere that noted that it was essentially the plot of Unzyrg and that was something I couldn’t unsee.

    Part of the plot is a subverted version of Unzyrg, but that’s not the whole plot of the book.

  20. @Xtifr: I don’t wanna be that guy, but I’m pretty sure the title should be “In Rain”, not “In The Rain”.

    I blame Andrew!

    (I couldn’t remember either, looked it up to check and then typed the wrong version)

  21. (13) I’m ~20 hours into this game and… I’m not sure if Byleth has spoken lines? Maybe one or two but I think the bulk of it will just be the things they say in battle, which is probably 60% grunts with a couple of words/phrases thrown in on a successful dodge or a level up maybe. At least he’ll be easy to replace. Replacing literally any other character would be a much greater task as, other than Byleth, it’s fully voiced.

  22. Happy birthday, Gina Rodriguez! Surely Jane the Virgin, which ends its 100-episode run tonight, can be considered fantasy.

  23. I’m pretty sure Andy and I don’t have a psychic connection to our cats. If we did, we’re have found our missing credential sooner, and not been worrying about whether she was still alive and well.

    We did find the cat, thanks to various bits of modern tech–a phone call to Belmont Animal Control led to a posting on their FAcebook page, with two photos of her (sent to the animal control officer by email), which led to a generous stranger lending us two small motion-sensitive cameras. The cameras showed she was somewhere in the basement, after which it was a matter of time, and calling her nickname.

    Kaja is basically fine; the other credential was suspicious last night, because her sister smelled like the basement, but all adventures should end this happily.

    (By the definition posted above, they aren’t SJW credentials, neither being Siamese, but usage has expanded it to cover all cats.)

  24. @Vicki Rosenzweig, I’m very happy to hear this! (I had a similar experience; we had workmen at the house and a cat disappeared; after scouring the house for him we were afraid he’d gotten outside. Twelve hours of neighborhood-scouring later he turned up inside the house and we still don’t know where he was hiding….)

  25. Mea culpa! Thanks for the Title Credit which I didn’t notice last night and sorry for the unnecessary “the”

    @Contrarius: Just to be clear, the Lurch from the TV series was Ted Cassidy.
    Struycken was in the movies.

  26. Not mentioned in the Peter Vorzim[m]er stuff is that he was obviously going to San Francisco to attend the 1954 Worldcon, during which a very young Terry Carr reportedly got ejected for throwing ice cubes out a hotel window.

    Another July 30th birthday: author John Stith, 7/3047.

  27. @JJ —

    I really liked it (I read the book, rather than listening to the audiobook). But it’s very different from the usual fantasy, and very dark.

    Hmmm. Comparing it to grimdark stuff, I wouldn’t call it especially dark at all — it doesn’t have that cynical/nihilistic flavor over all, nor the large amounts of gore/high body counts. OTOH, the fact that gurer vf ab pbadhrevat ureb, naq gur fhccbfrq “urebrf” ner zbfgyl vqvbgf naq snvy gb fnir gurve xvatqbz rira jura gurl’er abg vqvbgf, certainly is dark. And it’s kind of reminding us puny humans how puny and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things. So… yeah, okay, I’ll give it dark in message if not so much in the grimdark style of execution.

    Based on those criteria, I would consider The Raven Tower a successful book. In terms of Hugo-worthy, I think it does meet my expectation of doing something different than the usual and doing it well.

    Did you think that second-person technique was necessary/justified/contributed to the story? I thought it was well called for in Jemisin’s books, but it mostly annoyed me here. And what did you think of the pacing? I got really tired of so much godly backstory, even given that the god was the main character.

    @Xtifr —

    A strong A for ideas, but more of a middling grade for the execution. Still worth the read, though.

    I think I’m with you here. Certainly a change of pace, but I kept getting annoyed as I was reading.

    @Goobergunch —

    (Also I saw some commentary somewhere that noted that it was essentially the plot of Unzyrg and that was something I couldn’t unsee.)

    LOL. I actually tried to Google “Unzyrg” before I figured out it was rot13. 😉

    Hmmmmmm. Well, maybe sorta kinda, in a very vague sort of way. That’s an interesting aspect to think about, though!

    @Vicki —

    We did find the cat


    @Andrew —

    Just to be clear, the Lurch from the TV series was Ted Cassidy.

    Well dang. Does this mean I’ve been playing the theme songs to both shows in my head for nuthin?

  28. P.S. Ha — I’m incredibly slow. It took me til just now to notice that The Raven Tower is literally one huge qrhf rk znpuvan!


  29. @Contrarius et al I just finished reading The Raven Tower, and I thought it excellent. I’d rate it above Provenance.

    There is a reason for the second-person narrative – Vs n tbq fnlf fbzrguvat vg orpbzrf gehr.

  30. @Contrarius: Raven Tower is certainly not conventional grimdark, although the ending and much of what leads to it put the book on the naturalist side of “realism”. There ought to be a separate category for this, Hex (Heuvelt), Earth Made of Glass (Barnes), Total Eclipse (Brunner), etc.

    Ted Cassidy went on to play Lurch-ish characters in other places; I suspect the first time I actually saw him (since I didn’t watch the TV Addams Family) was in OST. Very much not to be confused with Jack Cassidy, who played a number of slick types.

  31. 7) Struycken was also in Twin Peaks, playing a character generally referred to for decades as The Giant, though the credits of the third season revealed that he is, in fact, The Fireman. (This is a David Lynch joint, so being told that isn’t very helpful.)

  32. “If I have seen further it is by filing with the scrollers of Pixels.”

    Apparently, July 31st is Ted Cassidy’s birthday.

    Glad to hear The Cat Came Back.

  33. @JJ, Contrarius: It’s certainly not so blatant as to have drawn my attention while I was reading, for sure. (And it’s not like Funxrfcrner’s plots were original either.)


  34. July 30 is also Sid Krofft’s birthday. Half of the pair who created The Banana Splits, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost, etc.

    Also Clive Sinclair who gave us the ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum home computers.

    And William Atherton who is best known for being the slick villains who is ultimately undone in by the movie’s hero. He was Prof. Jerry Hathaway in Real Genius and EPA representative Walter Peck in Ghostbusters.

    Also Ahnold.

    Yes, it’s true. This scroll has no pix.
    Pixel sacrifice, Files and scrolls living together, mass hysteria.

  35. While this is not usually my thing, I do believe that the deadline for Hugo voting is at 11:59 PDT on today the 31st (or 2:59 EDT or 7:59 am Dublin time on August 1st).

  36. Never contributed to these so not sure how highlighting potential Pixel entries work, but the trailer for Robert Eggers’ Lovecraftian-inspired The Lighthouse dropped yesterday. (Hope I’m doing this right.)

  37. @Acoustic Rob The Credentials it is!

    Freddie Purrcury, Calico Jack, Orange Sunshine and T.B. Kahuna on the bass. They had to fire their last lighting guy after he turned on the lasers during a gig.

  38. Reginald Bretnor was a delightful person. We had him as the GOH at OryCon in 1984 (the first convention I chaired), and he had a great time.

  39. @Paul —

    @Contrarius et al I just finished reading The Raven Tower, and I thought it excellent. I’d rate it above Provenance.

    Oooo, that’s a high bar — I’m very fond of Provenance!

    There is a reason for the second-person narrative – Vs n tbq fnlf fbzrguvat vg orpbzrf gehr.

    I don’t get the connection — because the narrating god is very careful to specify that it’s speculating much of the time. Do you think it’s important because gur tbq vf npghnyyl perngvat gur npgvba? Perngvat gur pbaqvgvbaf gung jvyy yrnq gb vgf eryrnfr?

  40. @Contrarius – yes. Much of the narration is not speculative. It could be known, but I do not think all of it is.

    I think we may have differing opinions on Provenance – I rate it as good, but not great. But differing tastes.

    The similarities to Unzyrg hit me early enough that I don’t even count it as a spoiler. But there are many differences.

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