Pixel Scroll 7/18/16 Dead Sea Pixel Scrolls

(1) EYEING EARTHSEA. Ursula K. Le Guin talks about working with Charles Vess, illustrator of The Big Book of Earthsea, in a post for Book View Café.

…So, this is how it’s been going:

Charles begins the conversation, emailing me occasonally with questions, remarks, while reading the books. I answer as usefully as I can. Also, we chat. I find out that he has sailed all around Scotland. He tells me about Neil Gunn’s novel The Silver Darlings, which I read with vast pleasure. I don’t know what I tell him, but slowly and at easy intervals a friendship is being established.

Suddenly Charles sends me a sketch of a dragon.

It is an excellent dragon. But it isn’t an Earthsea dragon.


Well . . . an Earthsea dragon wouldn’t have this, see? but it would have that . . . And the tail isn’t exactly right, and about those bristly things —

So I send Charles an email full of whines and niggles and what-if-you-trieds-such-and-suches. I realize how inadequate are my attempts to describe in words the fierce and beautiful being I see so clearly.

Brief pause.

The dragon reappears. Now it looks more like an Earthsea dragon….

(2) QUINN KICKSTARTER REACHES TARGET. Jameson Quinn’s YouCaring appeal today passed the $1,300 goal. I, for one, am glad to see that news.

(3) YA HORROR. “And Now for Something Completely Different: Adding Humor to Your Horror”: Amanda Bressler tells YA writers how, at the Horror Writers Association blog.

With the popularity of dark comedies, it should be no surprise that horror and humor can be a compelling mix. However, when it comes to young adult books, few succeed at the balance that keeps a funny horror book from losing its edge or appearing to try too hard. Here are a few humorous elements used in YA horror to enhance the story, characters, or setting without sacrificing their horror-ness.

(4) EARLY HINT OF ELVEN. Soon to be available in print again: “70-year-old Tolkien poem reveals early ‘Lord of the Rings’ character”.

A poem by J.R.R. Tolkien that’s been out of print since the year World War II ended will be published this fall for the first time in 70 years, the Guardian reports.

And even if you were around in 1945, you likely didn’t see the poem unless you were a dedicated reader of literary journal The Welsh Review. That’s where “The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun” (Breton for “lord and lady”) was published, based on a work Tolkien had started around 1930.

Why should modern readers care? The poem suggests an early version of elf queen Galadriel from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Silmarillion.” The poem tells of a couple that cannot have children until visiting a witch known as the Corrigan, who grants them twins, but later demands a price be paid for her assistance.

(5) GOBBLE GOBBLE. New Scientist calls it “Einstein’s clock: The doomed black hole to set your watch by”.

OJ 287’s situation is a window into what must have happened in galaxies all over the universe. Galaxies grow by eating their own kind, and almost all of them come with a supermassive black hole at the centre.

Once two galaxies merge, their black holes – now forced to live in one new mega-galaxy – will either banish their rival with a gravitational kick that flings their opponent out of the galaxy, or eventually merge into an even bigger black hole.

In OJ 287, the smaller black hole is en route to becoming a snack for the larger one. The larger one is also growing from a surrounding disc of gas and dust, the material from which slowly swirls down the drain. Each time the smaller black hole completes an orbit, it comes crashing through this disc at supersonic speeds.

That violent impact blows bubbles of hot gas that expand, thin out, and then unleash a flood of ultraviolet radiation – releasing as much energy as 20,000 supernova explosions in the same spot. You could stand 36 light years away and tan faster than you would from the sun on Earth.

Even with all this thrashing, the smaller black hole has no chance of escape.  Energy leaches away from the binary orbit, bringing the pair closer together and making each cycle around the behemoth a little shorter than the last.

Although the outbursts may be impressive, the black holes’ orbital dance emits tens of thousands of times more energy as undulations in space time called gravitational waves.

Last year, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the US offered a preview of the endgame of OJ 287 in miniature. Twice in 2015, LIGO heard gravitational waves from the final orbits of black-hole pairs in which each black hole was a few dozen times the size of the sun, and then the reverberations of the single one left behind.

(6) SFWA CHAT HOUR. In SFWA Chat Hour Episode 4: Special Pokémon Go Edition, SFWA board and staff members Kate Baker, Oz Drummond, M.C.A. Hogarth, Cat Rambo, and Bud Sparhawk as they discuss the latest doings and news of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) as well as F&SF news, recent reads, Readercon, Westercon, and more.

(7) FLASH FICTION. Cat Rambo says her “Gods and Magicians” is a free read “brought to you by my awesome Patreon backers, who get bonuses like versions of new books, peeks at story drafts, and sundry other offerings. If backing me’s not in your budget, you can still sign up for my newsletter and get news of posts, classes, and publications as they appear.”

This is a piece of flash fiction written last year – I just got around to going through the notebook it was in lately and transcribing the fictional bits. This didn’t take too much cleaning up. For context, think of the hills of southern California, and a writing retreat with no other human beings around, and thinking a great deal about fantasy and epic fantasy at the time.

(8) LIVE CLASSES. Rambo also reminds writers that July is the last month in 2016 that she’ll be offering her live classes (aside from one special one that’s still in the works). Get full details at her site.

I’ll start doing the live ones again in 2017, but I’m taking the rest of the year to focus on the on demand school (http://www.kittywumpus.net/blog/on-demand-classes/), which will adding classes by Juliette Wade and Rachel Swirsky in the next couple of months.

(9) FREE CHICON 7 PROGRAM BOOKS. Steven H Silver announced: “I’m about to recycle several boxes of Chicon 7 Program Books.  If anyone is interested in adding a copy of the book to their collection, I’d be happy to send them one (for the cost of postage). People should get in touch with me at shsilver@sfsite.com, but I need to hear from them before the end of the month.”

(10) DETAILS, DETAILS. In 1939, sneak preview of The Wizard of Oz, producers debated about removing one of the songs because it seemed to slow things down. The song: “Over the Rainbow.”


However, according to writer/director James Cameron, most people at that time tried to convince him not to make the movie.

After all, they reasoned, any positive elements of the film would be attributed to “Alien” director Ridley Scott, and all the negative parts would be viewed as Cameron’s fault.

“I said, ‘Yeah, but I really want to do it. It’ll be cool,'” he said in an interview. “It was like this ridiculous, stupid thing. It wasn’t strategic at all, but I knew it would be cool.”


  • Born July 18, 1921 – John Glenn. Here’s a photo from 2012.

(13) GROUNDWORK FOR PREDICTION. Brandon Kempner is back on the job at Chaos Horizon, “Updating the 2016 Awards Meta List”.

A lot of other SFF nominations and awards have been handed out in the past few weeks. These are good indication of who will win the eventual Hugo—every award nomination raises visibility, and the awards that using votes are often good predictors of who will win the Hugo. Lastly, the full range of SFF awards gives us a better sense of what the “major” books of the year than the Hugo or Nebula alone. Since each award is idiosyncratic, a book that emerges across all 14 is doing something right.

Here’s the top of the list, and the full list is linked here. Total number of nominations is on the far left….

(14) VANCE FAN. Dave Freer tells what he admires about Jack Vance, and tries to emulate in his own writing, in “Out of Chocolate Error” for Mad Genius Club. Freer, while straightforward as ever about his worldview, makes an unexpected acknowledgement that another view could be embodied in a good story. Under these conditions —

There are at least four ‘meanings’ and stories that I’ve spotted in this particular book. I’m probably missing a few. Because I wanted to write like this myself, I’ve tried hard to pick up the techniques. I think the first key is that there must be a very strong and clear plot-line. You’re asking it to balance a lot of subtle and quite possibly overpowering elements. The second of course is that your characters cannot be mere PC-token stereotypes. Yes, of course you can have a black lesbian hero, or whatever (it actually doesn’t matter)– but if that stereotype is in the face of the reader rather than the character themselves, that becomes a compound, rather than the portmanteau. The third is that you cannot preach, or tell, your reader your ‘message’. Not ever. You can show it, you can let them derive it. If they fail to: well they still got a good story. And finally – if your audience leaves your book saying ‘that was about feminism… you, as a writer, are a failure, at least at writing entertainment or portmanteau books. There is a market for message, but like the market for sermons: it is small, and largely the converted. If they finish with a smile: you’ve done well. If they leave your book with a smile thinking: “yeah, true… I hadn’t thought of it like that. Look at (someone the reader knows). I could see them in that character (and the character happens to be a woman who is as capable as her male compatriots) then, my writer friend, you are a talent, and I wish I was more like you… Out of chocolate error…

(15) GOTCHA AGAIN. Chuck Tingle announces his retirement.

(16) HE’S NOT THE ONLY ONE. Rue Morgue reports Guillermo del Toro told Fantasia ’16 attendees that he’s retiring from producing and will stick to directing from now on.

(17) GRAPHIC STORY SLATE. Doris V. Sutherland discusses the impact of the slate on The Best Graphic Story Hugo nominees in “Comics and Controversy at the 2016 Hugo Awards” for Women Write About Comics.

After a reasonably strong set of graphic novels, the Best Graphic Story category starts to go downhill when we arrive at the webcomics. When Vox Day posted his provisional choices for the category, the list consisted entirely of online strips: Katie Tiedrich’s Awkward Zombie, Tom Siddell’s Gunnerkrig Court, Kukuruyo’s Gamergate Life, Aaron Williams’ Full Frontal Nerdity, and Grey Carter and Cory Rydell’s Erin Dies Alone.

Comprising strip after strip of anti-SJW caricatures, Gamergate Life obviously fits Day’s ideology; I have also heard it suggested that he chose Erin Dies Alone as a dig at Alexandra Erin, who wrote a short e-book spoofing him. Beyond this, it is hard to discern the exact criteria behind his choices. One of the comics, Gunnerkrig Court, proved controversial within Day’s comments section: “Gunnerkrigg Court recently gave us not one, but two big, fat, awful, in-your-face gay/lesbian subplots (involving the main characters no less!) and so I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending it anywhere these days,” wrote one poster.

The final Rabid Puppies slate—and, consequently, the final ballot—included only two of the above strips: Full Frontal Nerdity and Erin Dies Alone.

(18) DEEP SPACE PROBE. Will a “broken umbrella” speed space exploration?

…This sounds impressive until you remember that Voyager 1 was launched in 1977, is fitted with early ’70s scientific instruments, cameras and sensors and has been voyaging for almost 40 years.

Before mankind attempts to send another probe out towards interstellar space, engineers hope to figure out a way to get there a lot faster and, ideally, within their working lifetime.

There are several options on the table. Some favour solar sails – giant mirrored sheets pushed along by the force of photons from the Sun. Others – including Stephen Hawking – suggest flying these sails on tightly focused beams of photons generated by lasers fired from Earth or satellites in orbit.

Nasa engineer Bruce Wiegmann, however, is investigating the possibility of flying to the stars using a propulsion system that resembles a giant broken umbrella or wiry jellyfish. The concept is known as electric, or e-sail, propulsion and consists of a space probe positioned at the centre of a fan of metal wires….

(19) HORNBLOWERS. Did John Williams tell these kids to get off his lawn? Watch and find out.

This is what happened when 2 guys with horns made a spontaneous decision to set up and play the Star Wars theme in front of John Williams’ house on 7/11/2016!


[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Rambo, Chip Hitchcock, Steven H Silver, and Xtifr for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kendall.]

54 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/18/16 Dead Sea Pixel Scrolls

  1. [Firth?]

    So this is a thing — and a wonderful thing, too: On sale at MidAmericon: Making Conversation by Teresa Nielsen Hayden

    Making Conversation, selected from TNH’s writing since 1994, will be first available at MidAmericon 2, and afterward from NESFA Press in softcover and e-book form. 222 pages, 59 essays (long and short) about time, space, genre, editing, gardening, saints, libraries, food, democracy, drink, insanity, fear, hamsters, chaos, moderation, palimpsests, fanfic, clichés, books, slush, spelling, scams, sleep, fantasy, policing, infundibula, trolls, writing, knitting, fandom, habaneros, exposition, management, Selectrics, Brooklyn, literary agents, pygmy mammoths, and the true cure for scurvy.

    Since the aforementioned “would that I had such a dilemma” has come to pass – my Boulder County Bombers have indeed been invited to Division 2 Playoffs, specifically to the Wichita, KS bracket which is the same weekend as MidAmericon II, and it looks like I’m going to be rostered to skate in it… I won’t be able to pick up a copy at World Con and ask Teresa to sign it. Alas! I look forward to ordering a copy from NESFA and carrying it with me to any event I might run into her at.

    (Although if some kind and enterprising attendee who is going to the con feels likely to snag an extra copy and bring it into TNH’s autographing presence, I would be quite likely to repay their kindness in a. fruitcake (the good stuff), b. knitted/crocheted oddities, c. [let’s talk], in addition to the price of the book and shipping…)

    [Undoubtedly no longer Wurtz at this point.]

    ps. Anyone interested can watch the derby online at wftda.tv – there will be a small fee to watch playoffs live, I’m afraid, but who’s gonna want to do that when they’re at World Con? Archived bout footage is always free, and available not very long after the particular playoff event ends.

  2. 10) they did remove the “Over the Rainbow” reprise, which Dorothy sings while imprisoned in the witch’s castle; she gets partway through it and breaks down and cries. I’ve heard a recording. I have to admit, I broke down and cried when I heard it.

  3. 12) Glenn is also the Senior Person in Space. Here’s the list:

    Yuri Gagarin: 1961-1968
    Alan Shepard: 1968-1998
    Gherman Titov: 1998-2000
    John Glenn: 2000-present.

  4. Cassy B.
    The Rhino version of the soundtrack of THE WIZARD OF OZ is super, with not only outtakes and alternate takes (besides everything that got into the movie as music), but even demo recordings.

  5. (2) Oh good. I’m glad Jameson made his goal. I think he’ll be needed this year.

  6. Hello! I am reading Seveneves and am finding the relationship/romance stuff very off-putting. An example of flirtatious dialogue:

    “How’s your space sickness?” she asked. “You seem a little more, uh, sprightly.”
    “Never better. All bodily fluids fully under control.”
    “I’ll be the judge of that.”

    Anyone else have a problem with this? Do I have to endure much more? Infodumps full of faulty info I can handle, but sexy banter this unsexy is a bridge too far. Or maybe my pants are just really cranky today…

  7. Shorter Freer: You cn not do what I don’t like, because my taste is nearly universal.

  8. 1986 for Aliens. I have a most excellent reason for remembering the date (in two senses of the word) well. A great film to take a young woman to if you don’t mind her grabbing you repeatedly during the jump-scare scenes.

  9. @Dawn Incognito

    Anyone else have a problem with this? Do I have to endure much more? Infodumps full of faulty info I can handle, but sexy banter this unsexy is a bridge too far. Or maybe my pants are just really cranky today…

    That may be the only sexual banter in the entire 300,000-word train wreck.

  10. Yes, “Aliens” was summer of 1986. I remember because I was pregnant with my first child – not a state one wants to be in while watching aliens claw their way out of other people’s abdomens.

  11. 15) Chuck Tingle:
    Ah, Chuck, the gift that keeps on giving.

    There was a bit of a flurry on Twitter yesterday because that retirement notice briefly appeared on Mary Robinette Kowal’s twitter feed at the same time it showed up on Tingle’s (the tweet was soon deleted), leading to a couple of people asking Mary if she was, in fact, Chuck Tingle.

    I think Mary is not Chuck Tingle, but tweaking people in this way to get people to speculate that she is? Yeah, that’s definitely in her toolbox

  12. Alien was 1979

    Just watched Aliens with the kid over the weekend, it really holds up. (He did laugh at the special effects involving the dropship though)

  13. ::godstalk the entire site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure::

  14. Crawls back out of hole to *tick*

    Sutherland’s roundup of the graphic novels is interesting – I haven’t seen many reviews in this category and I’m not desperately keen to wade in without some warning of what is hostage and what is Puppy. I did read the Divine because I was interested in the Myanmar angle, and in a way it made me marginally more sympathetic to Certain People moaning that they don’t like multi-gendered racially diverse characters distracting them from all their favourite spaceship books. I, for my part, did not understand at all why a story about warfare and magic in Southeast Asia needed two cookie cutter US military bros to be main characters. Karen isn’t Vietnam, guys! So meh.

    Luckily with the absence of Gamergate Life there’s nothing in this category that seems to deserve a definitive No Award, but I think I’ll be skipping over it myself.

    Also, Urusla LeGuin’s horsey dragons in (1) are just fabulous…!

  15. Also, I’ve been continuing to prioritise my 2016-to-date reading and have consumed another 8 Novel-lattes (and significantly more Cafe Lattes) since my last roundup. There were two things that I’ll find it hard to top for nominations next year and plenty more in good standing on the longlist! I’ve tried to keep the reviews brief but sorry for the megapost nevertheless:

    I LOVED IT 😮

    Borderline by Mishell Baker: (Novel) Millie is an aspiring young director whose life has stalled since a failed suicide attempt in which she lost both her legs. A mysterious woman offers her a job at the Hollywood branch of the Arcadia Project, which turns out to be an organisation monitoring the presence of fairies both good and evil within our world. Of course, Millie’s first assignment quickly becomes rather complicated, not least because of her struggle to manage her borderline personality disorder. I was a bit sceptical of this as Urban Fantasy isn’t really my thing, but the characters and story drew me right in. I particularly liked that the book doesn’t set Millie up as an unreliable narrator – she’s smart and knows and understands her own illness even when she’s unable to manage it. Will be picking up sequels!

    The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde: (Novelette/la?) In the immediate aftermath of a betrayal and invasion, Lin – a Jewel and the youngest daughter of the previous king – and Sima, her lapidary aka magical aide and companion, are the last members of the royal order of their valley. They now need to find a way to preserve their culture and protecting the strong gemstone-based magic of their valley in the face of the invaders. This is short – a long novelette rather than a novella, even – but very well put together and definitely worth a read. Only disappointment was that Sima is not actually an aged-up Toph Beifong as the cover seemed to indicate.

    I liked it!

    Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer: (Novel) Lots has been written about this already and I don’t have much else to add! The 18th-century-narrator-tells-25th-century-tale thing mostly works though I was pleased to move from audiobook to paper copy because there was a lot I wanted to flick back and forth on in later stages of the book. Be warned that this isn’t a complete story yet – I sort of wish I’d held on until the sequel was out so I could read both consecutively.

    Runtime by S.B Divya: (Novella) In a highly unequal future USA where citizenship is no longer a birthright, Marmeg dreams of a better future for her and her family and attempts to secure it through winning “the cyborg Tour de France” – a mega-ultra-marathon across Sierra Nevada for mostly-rich augmented young people. I had a couple of worldbuilding nitpicks (mostly the idea that young people are undergoing gender neutralising surgery as a fashion trend…) but overall I found this well worth my time.

    It was fine

    Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowall: (Novella/ette?) A couple of hundred years in the future, a woman whose job is sourcing old artifacts gets caught in the woods in some kind of deer related escapades. The worldbuilding in this is subtle and believable and its very readable but ultimately didn’t feel like a finished story to me.

    The Devil You Know by K.J. Parker: (Novella) the philosopher Salonius sells his soul to the devil, and the devil has to figure out what the con is. Readable and satisfying but not spectacular.

    The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster: (Novella) After the Dragon Ships attack and steal a Very Important Artifact, Shina is the last Windspeaker apprentice and, as the only Windspeaker left with her “wet eyes”, the only one who can wield magic (because of the Very Important Artifact). She joins up with Tazir and her crew, and adventures ensue. This might have been a bit too subtle for me as there were a lot of dynamics between the different crew members and between Tazir and Shina that didn’t really come through for me until right at the end, but I still enjoyed.

    Can’t Recommend 🙁

    The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel:(Novel) Lots of grown adults who should know better have a ton of interpersonal drama and romantic problems in the middle of a conspiracy about an exploded spaceship and some travelling humanitarians. To be fair this book did keep me reading to the end so maybe a more romance-oriented reader would be better disposed to this than I was…

  16. @11: a typo: the text says Aliens opened in 1979, but the linked article says this is the film’s 30th anniversary. I remember the original all too well: in May 1979 it was playing just down the street from the last of the pre-wandering Disclaves (at the then-Sheraton Park) and was a major topic of conversation in the con suite. I later ran the division which had to find somebody to accept its Hugo.

  17. @11 and Chip Hitchcock: Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of Aliens, which premiered July 18, 1986. As Chip mentioned, the original Alien premiered in May 1979.

  18. Graphic Story:

    Really need to devote some time to studying them.

    I’m only really aware of Sandman (which I imagine will walk it) and Full Frontal Nerdity. While I’ve enjoyed some of Aaron Williams work (especially PS 238) I think it would have to be a quite astounding three panel gag strip to deserve a hugo, and FFN isn’t it.

  19. And I see I’ve been repeatedly ninja’d, perhaps not just by fellow “hostile, suspicious, costive and clannish Easterners” (Damon Knight’s observation) who were up before our editor….

    @mc simon mcgilligan: I thought that used to be the point of horror movies….

    @Paul Weimer:

    I think Mary is not Chuck Tingle, but tweaking people in this way to get people to speculate that she is? Yeah, that’s definitely in her toolbox.

    I hadn’t thought of that, but should have; I was at the Kirk Poland contest several years ago where ~80% of audience thought her version of a passage from Time Slave was the real one. (IIRC, the best fake-outs before and since never fooled >40% of the audience.)

  20. On Titov – I guess this is tracking the person who has lived longest since being in space, rather than the oldest person who has been in space? Titov was (and I think remains) the youngest person to make a space flight, and several of his cohort and of the Mercury astronauts, who were older than him then and still are now, remain living.

    On the Best Graphic Novel category, my own write-up is here:

  21. The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel:(Novel) Lots of grown adults who should know better have a ton of interpersonal drama and romantic problems in the middle of a conspiracy about an exploded spaceship and some travelling humanitarians. To be fair this book did keep me reading to the end so maybe a more romance-oriented reader would be better disposed to this than I was…

    No, romance readers hate it for other reasons.

    Personally I’d call it a soap opera, but oddly enough, nobody ever asks me. 🙂

  22. More Apollo 11 news: Eight annual Space History auction. If the only thing stopping you from claiming “have spacesuit, will travel” is the lack of spacesuit, here’s your chance.

    (19) I’ve heard the Star Wars theme done on Stanford’s full pipe organ by a music student in his final organ recital.

  23. Watched ALIEN stoned to the hilt in a cold theater at the insistence of my then girlfriend (and later wife) who insisted I’d like it. Oh—yeaaaaah….

    Still a bit better than my older brother telling me THE FLY (1950’s) –was a Disney film about insects.

  24. ARIFEL: Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal was originally part of the METAtroplis series, so it feels like a part of something bigger because it was. I found that that since there was a shared universe framework, some of the stories really didn’t work if you hadn’t read the stories preceding a given story.

  25. “Alien,” 1979: In 2016, I don’t think it is possible to convey how traumatized the initial audiences were by that film. My fannish household drove 90 minutes to Detroit to see it in 70 mm & Dolby sound. People kept getting up to leave after various jolting scenes, the last departees taking off after John Hurt’s demise. (Oops, I didn’t rot-13 the spoiler.)

    My girlfriend at the time (a fan) told us that several people were throwing up in the women’s room after the movie, and she was fairly shaken herself because she’d identified with Ripley. She wanted to bash me over the head because I kept talking enthusiastically about the cinematography and the editing.

  26. Alien in 1979 — There was no way my parents were going to let 11-year-old me see that in the theater, so I had to content myself with reading the Alan Dean Foster novelization and waiting for VHS many years later.

    Ditto Outland, for that matter.

  27. I remember going into Alien being somewhat pre-warned though I wasn’t sure of the specifics. (I knew something was going to happen, but I wasn’t sure exactly what.) I think that might have been the case with a lot of the people in the theatre because the tension level was pretty high. The biggest jump was when someone in the movie knocked over a waste can or something metal that made a lot of noise.

  28. I knew better than to go see Alien when the tagline on the poster was “in space, no one can hear you scream.” I don’t do well with horror movies.

    I saw it some years later, on a television, despite the lack-of-immersive-experience (I handle horror much better on a small screen) it still creeped me out.

  29. A bunch of Denver fans (including Cathy and me) went together to a showing during a convention. They talked like it was a premiere, but I think there was a show before ours. We didn’t get much of a warning. I had a vague idea it might be like “Who Goes There?” We were expecting science fiction of some sort, not a slasher fantasy with a space ship in it.

  30. As for Aliens, by the time that came out I was old enough to see R-rated movies in the theater (although I generally practiced “don’t ask/don’t tell” with my parents where those movies were concerned), and I think I saw it at least twice in the theater.

  31. I read the novelization of Alien before I saw the movie, and from my recollection, the novel makes the situation the Nostromo’s crew faces seem even more bleak and hopeless.

  32. Does anyone have a list of what’s Puppy and what’s hostage so we can judge better? Gaiman and King are obvious, but I’m not so sure in other categories.

    (19) That’s very cute. He seems like a nice man. Although I worry it may inspire copycats, which is liable to annoy him and his neighbors. I like that he lives in a regular (albeit very nice) neighborhood and not some mansion. Like Jamoche, I’ve heard it on full pipe organ and it’s very effective. I’ve also played it on kazoo and heard Williams conduct a symphony. That’s good music, when it works in so many different levels of performance.

    Mary Robinette can imitate anyone. She won the “guess who’s really Patrick Rothfuss on Twitter” contest, after all. I think Pat was second.

    I wasn’t allowed to see “Alien” either. But I read the book and then saw the VHS, and by the time “Aliens” came out, I was on my own and could go to whatever movies I pleased.

  33. Lurkertype: I don’t think there’s a simple distinction between Puppy and hostage. Anything published by Castalia House is self-promotion, obviously; the Moira Greyland work was nominated in a polemical spirit, and the Chuck Tingle was intended to cause annoyance (as, possibly, was My Little Pony, though there’s more room for debate there). But beyond that there’s a confusing mix of things that would have been nominated anyway, things that fit the alleged Puppy mission of ‘popular but neglected’, and quite possibly things that Mr Day just happens to like, without clear lines between them.

  34. lurkertype: Does anyone have a list of what’s Puppy and what’s hostage so we can judge better?

    Some of us have an opinion, of course. What I’d say, though, is once you pass the point of being able to decide on your own, just rate the rest according to whether they should be competing for a Hugo.

  35. In terms of sorting out who was on the Sad Puppy list and the Rabid Puppy list and who was not, I broke this down in a blog post about the finalist list. Once you’ve got that sorted out, figuring out which finalists were trolling, which were shields, and which were just because one or another group of Pups had a particular taste for a certain type of fiction is a divination you’ll have to make for yourself.

  36. What I did this year was to carefully and deliberately not pay any attention to the Puppy lists (either one of them) until after nominations had closed. Therefore, anything I personally nominated which got onto the ballot I can vote for with a clear conscience, because I know that I thought it was Hugo-worthy independent of whatever the Puppies did. I recommend this approach to everyone for next year, because you end up with fewer headaches.

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