Pixel Scroll 7/22

An auction, eight stories and a tease in today’s Scroll.

(1) Attention collectors! Somebody’s flipping Ray Bradbury’s original caricature from the Brown Derby Restaurant today on eBay. Jack Lane’s portrait once hung on the wall at the famed Hollywood & Vine tourist trap with hundreds more of the artist’s sketches of Hollywood stars.

Ray Bradbury by Jack Lane. Once displayed at the Brown Derby.

Ray Bradbury by Jack Lane. Once displayed at the Brown Derby.

(2) The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will hold three special events next month celebrate Ray Bradbury’s 95th birthday, which is on August 22.

From Aug. 3 to 28, the center will present a free exhibit, “Miracles of Rare Device: Treasures of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies,” in the Cultural Arts Gallery on the first floor of the IUPUI Campus Center…. The exhibit will feature art, artifacts, books and rare magazines from Bradbury’s own collection, gifted to the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI in 2013 by the Bradbury Estate and by Donn Albright, Bradbury’s close friend and bibliographer.

Two related public events will coincide with the exhibition’s run.

On August 19, Jonathan R. Eller, Chancellor’s Professor of English and director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies will deliver the Second Annual Ray Bradbury Memorial Lecture in the Riley Meeting Room at Indianapolis Public Library’s Central Library.

The lecture, “Ray Bradbury’s October Country,” reveals the timeless creativity and somewhat controversial publishing history of one of Bradbury’s most popular story collections on the 60th anniversary of its original publication.

On August 27, the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies will host a reception followed by another Eller lecture, on the collection’s amazing journey from California to IUPUI and the importance of Bradbury’s legacy in the 21st century. Both the lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

(3) James Artimus Owen is offering for sale his illustrations for Diana Pavlac Glyer’s forthcoming book about the Inklings, Bandersnatch, and has posted the images on Facebook. [Note: Despite being set to “Public”, the material can only be viewed if you have a Facebook account.]

Each illustration is drawn on 11″ x 14″ Bristol board, and includes an appearance by the Bandersnatch somewhere in the picture. Prices are as listed, ranging from $450 to $750, although I am willing to entertain offers from people I like. First request, first choice. Message me to reserve your favorite and to arrange payment and shipping.

Sharkado 3

(4) Everybody knows Sharknado 3 airs today on SyFy. But it came as a surprise for me to read that George R.R. Martin plans to show the movie at his Jean Cocteau Theatre in August.

“Check it out,” writes Martin. “Next year’s Hugo favorite, for sure.”

William Reichard says in honor of that crack, the movie should be renamed, “Snarknado 3.”

(5) SF Signal’s latest Mind Meld proposes this interesting premise —

A recent Guardian article about Tokyo awarding Japanese Citzenship to Godzilla got me to wondering: If you could pick a genre fictional character, from any media, and offer them honorary citizenship and residence in your city, county, state, country, who would it be, and why?

Responses from — Kelly Robson, Jenny Goloboy, Galen Dara, Anne Leonard, Patrick Tomlinson, Julie Czerneda, Alyx Dellamonica, Django Wexler, Jesse Willis, Diana Pharoah Francis, Mikaela Lind, Rhonda Eudaly, Gillian Philip, Ardi Alspach, and Laura Anne Gilman.

(6) Interested in stories read aloud? Open Culture has found another seam of the motherlode, 88 hours of free audio fiction original aired on Wisconsin public radio.

Listen to enough episodes of Mind Webs, and you may get hooked on the voice and reading style of its host Michael Hanson, a fixture on Wisconsin public radio for something like forty years. Back in 2001, just after wrapping up his career in that sector, Hanson wrote in to the New York Times lamenting the state of public radio, especially its program directors turned into “sycophantic bean counters” and a “pronounced dumbing down of program content.” Mind Webs, which kept on going from the 70s through the 90s, came from a time before all that, and now its smart storytelling has come available for all of us to enjoy.

The playlist above will let you stream all of the stories — roughly 88 hours worth — from start to finish. Or you can access the audio at Archive.org here.

(7) Of course they knew those comic books were stolen! The Verge has the goods on the great Texas comic book heist.

Whoever was after the Sub-Mariners and All Star Comics at the Heritage Auction wasn’t a collector. Their bids were too erratic, they didn’t know the market, and chances were, they weren’t terribly smart. It was also clear that they had a lot of money on their hands — too much money, maybe — and they were eager to spend it. Through months of interviews and hundreds of pages of public documents, The Verge reconstructed what they were seeing: a multi-million-dollar embezzlement scheme that would ensnare a crooked lawyer, a multinational corporation, and some of the most sought-out comics in the world….

$40,000 split between nine checks. The investigator said he was going through a nasty divorce, and was worried his ex-wife might raise trouble over any checks for more than $10,000.

But what about that foxing? When the buyers took their comics home, they noticed something strange: the All Star #3 that had sold in February had the same imperfections. In fact, it was the same book. But that book was slabbed — it had a barcode and provenance, sold to a private buyer who wouldn’t have deslabbed it without a reason. Had they bought stolen property?

It was worse. They had bought stolen evidence. The book had come direct from Chiofalo’s storage unit, smuggled out under the nose of the Harris County DA — and according to prosecutors, Blevins and Deutsch worked together to smuggle them out. More than $150,000 in comics had disappeared from the storage unit, and Blevins had spent the summer selling them at comics conventions across the country. The books were deslabbed to throw investigators off the trail, but even without the barcode, the cover gave it away. Collectors search for flawless comics, but it’s the imperfections that give them an identity, and this imperfection placed Blevins at the scene of a crime.

(8) Did Tolkien visit the Bouzincourt caves while on Army service during the Battle of the Somme?

In 1916, a 24-year-old British soldier named J.R.R. Tolkien went off to fight in World War I. He was stationed near the village of Bouzincourt, took part in the nearby Battle of the Somme and writes about the area in his diaries.

Jeff Gusky, an explorer and photographer who maintains a site called “The Hidden World of World War I,” believes Tolkien may have visited Bouzincourt’s caves, places where hundreds of soldiers took refuge during the Somme — and that some of his impressions ended up in “The Lord of the Rings.”

“I feel that this is the place,” Gusky said. “It’s so raw and unchanged from a hundred years ago.”

Tolkien scholar John Garth isn’t so sure.

“On the Somme, he certainly spent time in deep trench dugouts, and he would have been aware of the subterranean world of the army tunnelers — all of which would, I believe, have given his descriptions of Moria and other Middle-earth underworlds some of their vitality,” Garth, the author of “Tolkien and the Great War,” wrote in an email….

Regardless of whether Tolkien knew of the caves, there’s no question that the author’s experience at the Somme influenced “The Lord of the Rings.”

“The Dead marshes and the approaches to the Morannon owe something to Northern France after the Battle of the Somme,” he wrote in a letter, according to a story on the Green Books portion of TheOneRing.net.

(9) “Stick a fork in the pup’s Tor boycott because their hushpuppy is done” says Jason Sanford.

Earlier this month I tracked the sales of a sample of ten book titles published by Tor Books. My desire was to see if the puppies’ boycott of Tor was having any effect on the publisher’s sales.

You can see the titles I tracked, and how I tracked the sales, in my original post or by looking at the endnote below.

But the flaw in my analysis was that I could only present two weeks of sales data since the boycott began on June 19. As a result, some people rightly said it was too early to tell if the boycott was failing or succeeding.

After examining two additional weeks of sales data it appears my initial analysis was correct. This new data shows that for the five weeks prior to the boycott starting on June 19, the weekly sales average for these Tor titles was 1652 books sold per week. For those same Tor titles, their weekly average sales for the last four weeks of the boycott has been 1679 books sold per week.

So on average, Tor’s sales for these titles are up slightly since the boycott started.

(10) Vox Day’s “Hugo Recommendations: Best Professional Artist” post is up. Don’t try and kid me, you know you want to read it.

[Thanks for these stories goes out to Dave Doering, Michael J. Walsh, William Reichard, Jim Meadows and John King Tarpinian as the Beaver.]

329 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/22

  1. @Aan
    To Reign in Hell! *smacks forehead vigorously* Can’t believe I didn’t have it pop to mind immediately. I’d been sort of thinking Brokedown Palace to represent Brust but Reign WOULD probably be a better nom.

    Another one that’s probably too little read to bracket (though it has been mentioned in at least a couple threads: A Sorcerer and a Gentleman by Elizabeth Willey. A fantasy comedy of manners that I’m pretty sure is the bastard love child of The Tempest and Amber (The Tempest is pretty much explicit but Amber is only implied). Well worth a read even if it doesn’t make the bracket.

    She has two other books I keep meaning to track down but somehow never do. Still, based on Sorcerer, I think she falls in the same class as Steakley for authors that should have been supernovas but somehow never broke out of obscure.

  2. @Lenora Rose
    Thinking about why The Phoenix Guards wouldn’t make it to the end of the bracket – part of it might be definitional. When the category is greatest work I think my mind inclines towards serious themes that have resonant meaning. Guards isn’t really that. It’s all about buckling on the swash and riffing on a beloved prior work.

    Maybe we need a bracket explicitly for ‘light’ works so to not carry that freight of meaning in greatest work. That would open a shot for stuff like The Phoenix Guards, The Crown Jewels, etc

  3. Hampus Eckerman: But for me, YA is a made up category for the american market. Nothing I am familiar with.

    Yes, “Young Adult” is a made-up, marketing category. The intent behind it is to flatter adolescents and teenagers into feeling as though they’re being treated like grownups so that they will be more willing and open to consideration of buying the offered products (since referring to them as children or youths or adolescents generally makes them feel insulted and hostile and unlikely to want what you’re selling).

    The main, but neither required nor exclusive, characteristic of YA fiction is that it features main characters who are in the age range of around (wild-ass guess here) 12 to 20, and often these protagonists will be dealing with the same sort of issues that people in that age range have in real life: adults who want to control them, who don’t believe them or trust them or understand them, not being allowed to do what they want to do, being treated like children, trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives and what sort of profession to choose, trying to come to terms with emotional and sexual awakening and attraction, etc.

    Obviously, this leaves a huge amount of leeway and overlap between YA fiction and regular Adult fiction (whatever the hell that is).

  4. The other thing is that kids tend to actually read a little “old.” Nine year olds like to read about 12-year-old protagonists, for instance. So a lot of YA books. with high-school-age heroes, tend to get read by kids in the middle grades.

  5. …while she was published as for adults, the Golden Age of Lackey seems to be 13-15…

    SOME of Lackey’s books do indeed fit that age range, i.e. The Dragonjousters series, but many of the Valdemar books don’t. Trigger-y things happen to the major leads and those around them. Has everyone forgotten the assassins that stalk and damn near kill Talia in Arrows of the Queen? The on-screen death of a couple of her friends/mentors?

    While I second the recommendation of the Vanyel trilogy, The Last Herald Mage, it too has sequences that I’d hesitate to recommend it as a YA series.

  6. Oh, and I think Orson Scott Cards Alvin The Maker series is one of the best fantasy series.

  7. Nothing to be said for The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien?
    I also would pull for Hope Mirlees and Robert Holdstock – Mythago Wood, surely?
    Thus far unmentioned is Graham Joyce – I would propose The Tooth Fairy, and Michael Swanwick for The Iron Dragon’s Daughter. I suppose it would be cheeky to hope for Shirley Jackson’s reverse fairy tale We Have Always Lived In The Castle? People probably consider it more gothic horror.
    And I haven’t read it myself (yet) but no love for Gormenghast?
    Edited to add – John Brunner’s Compleat Traveller In Black.

  8. I had Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House on my longlist. But We Have Always Lived In the Castle isn’t really fantasy, is it?

    Gormenghast was also on my longlist, but I also wondered if it could truly be considered fantasy. I know a lot of people do.

  9. Jim Henley: she has a really excellent lecture about how she does not consider Tolkien’s work fantasy (while acknowledging that it originated the genre fantasy publishing category against all odds)
    and take “lecture about how she does not consider Tolkien’s work fantasy” as indicating the lecture was about how she does not consider Tolkien’s work fantasy. That’s got nothing to do with “layers.” I don’t consider this fantasy and here’s why is a poor way to argue that Of course it’s fantasy, but also consider this and this and this.

    Or, and this is a wild fucking speculation, nobody would ever think of it or admit it, as I have done at least twice recently: I FUCKED UP.

    Babbling on the internet while tired, jetlagged, and dealing with temps inside in the high fucking 80s.

    Beccause a forty minute lecture which does all sorts of layered stuff with genre issues, with the major goal of getting students in a graduate course to understand the need to define terms, to look at how others have defined terms, and to critically think about defining terms can be reduced to one fucking cherrypicked quote.

    So, generally, fuck off why don’t you. Nobody says you have to agree with anything an anonymous person being summarized by another anonymous person on the internet — and you don’t — but it’s also not fucking fair to try to debunk in the way you did.

    Others are able to let go of this: what’s your fucking problem?

  10. Kyra – apparently I have the eyesight and/or memory span of a stunned gnat. No, I don’t think We have Always Lived In The Castle is really fantasy, it just feels like it is.

    Having not read Gormenghast, I’ve always assumed it WAS fantasy.

  11. Oh, I’m pretty sure I never posted those, so you didn’t miss or forget seeing them somehow — my “longlist” was the list I’d made of everything I considered a possibility, and I don’t think I ever put that up. The shortlist I actually put up on the thread was much smaller. :/

  12. I think Gaiman should be represented by Sandman, despite the difference in format.

    Dunsany should be on, but not for any of his novels; he was a short story writer. The Gods of Peg?na is a collection, but of stories related to one another. That would be my choice for him.

    I also think we should extend the cutoff to 2010, just so that we can have The Curse of Chalion.

  13. Kyra:

    Dunsany might also need to be cut … do people still read The King of Elfland’s Daughter?

    I do. Though there’s other Dunsany I read more often (short stories). If it was in the public domain I’d have tried to do a comics adaptation of it long ago.

    It’s still in print, and its Amazon Bestseller numbers indicate that its current sales velocity isn’t awful, particularly not for a book that old.


    Manly Wade Wellman — The Silver John stories



    For Gaiman, the single obvious worthy pre 2000 candidate is Sandman, though.

    What, STARDUST isn’t worthy?

    Frankly, I’d say Gaiman’s pre-1990 novel output is all worthy — both GOOD OMENS and STARDUST were World Fantasy nominees, and NEVERWHERE was good stuff too.


    I think this is also culture thing. In sweden, we don’t have a category called “young adult”. We have youth litterature. Young adult would imply people 18-25 or 18-30.

    That’s not what it means, so disqualifying it on the basis of what you would guess it means in a vacuum is like disqualifying anything from being called a novel after it’s no longer new.

    I don’t know what “youth literature” meds, but I wouldn’t guess at it and then reject it based on the guess. I’d find out and then use the actual meaning.

    I don’t know what it’s like in all other places, but in the US, teens don’t like to be treated like children, so “young adult” is a label that indicates something is more or less for them that flatters them at the same time by using the term “adult.” The age range you’re talking about has been recently turned into a marketing category called “new adult,” because publishers can sell to it so they came up with a term.

    But it’s all for much the same reasons we have a magazine called SEVENTEEN that’s aimed at 13-14 year old girls. If it was called FOURTEEN, they wouldn’t want to read it.

  14. David:

    Dunsany should be on, but not for any of his novels; he was a short story writer. The Gods of Peg?na is a collection, but of stories related to one another. That would be my choice for him.

    I would not choose THE GODS OF PEGANA, because while it’s fun, it’s not his best stuff, short-story-wise.

    I’d go with THE BOOK OF WONDER.

  15. I echo the following

    The Worm Ouroboros by ER Eddison
    Godstalk by PC Hodgell
    Silver John by Wade Manly Wellman
    Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
    9 Princes in Amber by Rodger Zelazny
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    Anything by Terry Pratchett
    Curse of Chalion by Bujold
    Tea with a Black Dragon by MacAvoy
    Chronicles of Corum
    James Branch Cabal is fun
    Lud in the Mist by Hope M
    Face in the Frost by John Bellairs
    Hmm lots others too … But it’s late

  16. Lori Coulson:
    SOME of Lackey’s books do indeed fit that age range, i.e. The Dragonjousters series, but many of the Valdemar books don’t. Trigger-y things happen to the major leads and those around them. Has everyone forgotten the assassins that stalk and damn near kill Talia in Arrows of the Queen? The on-screen death of a couple of her friends/mentors?

    Not forgotten, nor are the sexually-aroused-by-torture antagonists in Arrow’s Fall and Winds of Fate, nor her propensity, at least in some books, to make sure at least one major character is raped, ideally by a gang. However, I read the Arrows trilogy and The Last Herald Mage around 14 – all at a time when I was struggling with the notion of homosexuality and bisexuality as **existing** (As well as some slow realisations about my own sexuality…hampered not a whit in my realisations by having only a vague notion, and not much interest yet, how the physical act worked, I should add…) The only reason I didn’t read the Winds Trilogy entirely at 14 is that it didn’t all exist yet. I wasn’t triggered, or thrown, I was using them to safely explore those scary territories, both of positive sexuality and of the dangerous and violent ground of evil acts.

    And I was far from unique. My impression at the time, based on her fan club, was that the majority of her fans were right in my peer group; Junior High and High school. I shared her books with my high school best friend, who also joined the club and collected her own pen pals. (And within her fan club I was writing to people 12 and 24 years my elder as well as my peers, so it’s not like I was unaware there were also adult fans.)

    My impression in talking about her in the years since is that this was not merely a trend in her fan club, but across fandom.

    And my impression of YA marketed as YA is that some of Lackey’s scary assassins and rapists and torturers are still, well, not abnormal. Read Holly Black’s Tithe, or Valiant. Don’t underestimate the 13 year old reader.

  17. Jim Henley on July 25, 2015 at 7:06 am said:

    Meanwhile, I note that book marketing is a profession. … They are working diligently to get books in front of the people most likely to want to read them

    I would amend this slightly to say that they are working diligently to get books in front of the people most likely to want to buy them. I think that the marketeers generally don’t care whether the books are going to get read, once they’ve been bought.

  18. Kurt Busiek: Stardust is awesome, and preferable to trying to put Gaiman on the list with Neverwhere. (I prefer the version marketed as a graphic novel with the Charles Vess illustrations, but the text doesn’t change at all.) But to represent the excellence of pre-2000 Gaiman with anything but Sandman (including any of his other comics work) feels like saying Tolkien is adequately represented by The Hobbit alone (Stardust) or even Farmer Giles of Ham (Neverwhere).

    (post 2000 so far, I’d argue for Coraline in children’s, and Anansi Boys over American Gods, but I may be biased on the latter by AB’s amazing audiobook reading by Lenny Henry)

  19. But to represent the excellence of pre-2000 Gaiman with anything but Sandman (including any of his other comics work) feels like saying Tolkien is adequately represented by The Hobbit alone (Stardust) or even Farmer Giles of Ham (Neverwhere).

    Not to me. If it’s a prose list, it’s a prose list; you’re not “representing the excellence of pre-2000 Gaiman,” you’re representing the prose excellence of pre2K Neil.

    If it’s a comics & prose list, where are the other comics? Plus, of course, if you’re going to cite comics, include Neil’s collaborators, as surely as you would for GOOD OMENS. SANDMAN is not, by any stretch, a one-man show.

    If the point is to represent “the excellence” of authors, then the list should be open to poetry, teleplays, paintings and so on. But if it’s prose, there’s nothing wrong with not including an author’s non-prose works, even excellent non-prose work. If we were listing Stephen King fiction, I wouldn’t include “Head Down,” even though it’s one of the best things he’s ever written. It’s not fiction, though, so it wouldn’t make the list.

  20. Kurt Busiek:

    My point is that I can’t see the point of dividing up Fantasy in YA and not so as to remove some of the best Fantasy that has been written from the competition. I mean, it is like we would have removed Enders Game from the SF bracket because people now say it is YA (even if they didn’t before). Otherwise, I also find your arguments based on american exceptionalism. That your categorization is the one that should rule above the ones from other countries.

    I’m not fond of this YA separatist movement. Oliver Twist was created and marketed for adults. Today it might have been marketed for YA. It is an arbitrary decision based on the current market and the culture around it. To separate out works from competitions based on best SF&F is not something I want.

    I can understand the separation of childrens books, because they are so clearly different. Or those were the language level is placed specifically to be understood by younger people. But to separate out books purely on basis of age of the main character. No. Not my thing.

  21. And are people talking about including comic books in the fantasy list, even though we had no in the SF list?

    If so, I would like to include Prince Valiant.

  22. I’m not sure people are talking about including comics; mostly they seem to want to include SANDMAN to get Neil on the list, but nothing more.

    As for PRINCE VALIANT, it’s a long time since I read it, but I think it was faux-historical rather than fantasy. No undeniable magic that I recall, a dragon that was clearly a large crocodile, and so on.

    But I’d give strong consideration to including BARNABY, and the sadly too-short LEAVE IT TO CHANCE, the Englehart/Brunner/Colan DR. STRANGE, and maybe POGO and FABLES and the short stories of Goodwin/Ditko or Goodwin/Toth. And Thurber’s THE 13 CLOCKS, which isn’t even comics.

  23. Kurt Busiek:

    In the absolute first album of Prince Valiant, he meets a witch that tells him what will happen in the future. There are fairies flying in the garden of Merlin. Later on we have an alchemist that calls up demons. Prince Valiant wrestles with death at one time and ages unaturally quick.

    Yes, at later stages Prince Valiant might seem more faux historical. But it started as fantasy.

    Personally, I think pre-2000 Gaiman should be replaced by Clive Barker.

  24. Well, putting together all the suggestions gives a list of about … 71 names. At this point, I’m thinking maybe just cutting out an arbitrarily chosen “7 weakest” and going with a list of 64 might be easier than trying to cut it down to 32 …

    (A question mark means there are other books by that author, or even in the same series, that are also being considered as alternatives.)

    Early Days
    George MacDonald (Phantastes?)
    Lord Dunsany (The King of Elfland’s Daughter?)
    Bram Stoker (Dracula)
    Edgar Allan Poe (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym)
    Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis)
    Hope Mirrlees (Lud-in-the-Mist)
    James Branch Cabell (Jurgen?)

    H. P. Lovecraft (The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath?)
    C. L. Moore (Jirel of Joiry)
    Robert E. Howard (The Sword of Conan?)
    L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (Land of Unreason?)
    E. R. Eddison (The Worm Ouroboros)
    Jack Vance (The Dying Earth)
    T. H. White (The Once and Future King)
    Fritz Leiber (Two Sought Adventure?)

    Lloyd Alexander (Taran Wanderer?)
    Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn)
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
    Andre Norton (Witch World)
    Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes?)
    Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margerita)
    John Bellairs (The Face in the Frost)

    Ursula K. Le Guin (The Tombs of Atuan?)
    Stephen R. Donaldson (Lord Foul’s Bane)
    Roger Zelazny (The Guns of Avalon?)
    Michael Moorcock (Elric of Melnibone?)
    William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
    Patricia McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed)
    Tanith Lee (Night’s Master?)
    Richard Adams (Watership Down)
    Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire)
    Mary Stewart (The Crystal Cave?)
    Robert Asprin (Another Fine Myth)
    Katherine Kurtz (Deryni Rising?)
    Manly Wade Wellman (The Old Gods Waken)

    Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates?)
    Robin McKinley (The Hero and the Crown)
    John Crowley (Little, Big)
    Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Mists of Avalon)
    Barbara Hambly (The Slient Tower)
    Emma Bull (War for the Oaks)
    Meredith Ann Pierce (The Darkangel)
    Stephen Brust (To Reign in Hell)
    Angela Carter (Nights at the Circus)
    P. C. Hodgell (God Stalk)
    Katharine Kerr (Daggerspell)
    Gene Wolfe (Soldier of the Mist)
    Robin Hobb (Wizard of the Pigeons)
    Robert Holdstock (Mythago Wood)
    Barry Hughart (Bridge of Birds)
    John Brunner (The Compleat Traveler in Black)
    R. A. MacAvoy (Tea with a Black Dragon)

    Terry Pratchett (Small Gods?)
    Stephen King (Wizard and Glass?)
    George R. R. Martin (A Game of Thrones)
    Guy Gavriel Kay (Tigana)
    Terri Windling (The Wood Wife)
    Charles de Lint (The Newford Stories?)
    Pamela Dean (Tam Lin)
    Mercedes Lackey (Magic’s Price?)
    Neil Gaman (Stardust)
    Phillip Pullman (The Golden Compass)
    Paula Volsky (Illusion)
    Martin Millar (The Good Fairies of New York)
    Anne Bishop (Daughter of the Blood?)
    Clive Barker (Imajica)
    Steven Erikson (Gardens of the Moon)
    C. S. Friedman (Black Sun Rising?)
    Sergei Lukyanenko (The Night Watch)
    Graham Joyce (The Tooth Fairy)
    Michael Swanwick (The Iron Dragon’s Daughter)

  25. Hmm, now I’m wondering if it might be fun to have “regional qualifiers”.

    Pick 16 each from four periods (looking at the list, it would be up-to-the-50’s, the 60’s-70’s, the 80’s, and the 90’s). Have them battle it out internally for a round so 8 winners emerge from each. Then those 32 would be the first “all periods” bracket.

  26. @Kyra

    Sounds like a good plan – rather like the Hugos, if people don’t like your competition, they can go make their own.

    I found the early rounds of the SF bracket to be the most fun – it got really hard to make decisions towards the end – so I’d suggest spinning the early stages out for a while, perhaps staggering the initial round over 4 days with sets of 16? You have some rough historical categories that might aid that: early+30s need one more to make 16, and then 60s+70s, 80s, 90s are all slightly over 16.

    ETA: I blame the time I took to count the categories for that duplicative suggestion!

  27. > “… early+30s need one more to make 16, and then 60s+70s, 80s, 90s are all slightly over 16.”

    I could actually move The Master and Margarita back to early+30s-50s if I wanted; Bulgakov died in 1940, it was published a couple of decades posthumously …

  28. @Kyra

    Seems reasonable. Then you just need to make a few cuts of your choice in later periods, and the numbers are right.

  29. @Kyra
    On needing to cut: if we’re still drawing a distinction between juvenile / YA and adult for splitting up the contests, I’m thinking Witch World and The Golden Compass could go off the list. At least when I was a kid I know anything Norton would have been in the kids section of the county library (along with the Heinlein juveniles and a bunch of other stuff I can’t recall). Which isn’t a reflection on their quality whatsoever. For young me – Norton is to fantasy as Heinlein is to SF. I think the technical term is ‘gateway drugs’. 🙂

  30. I’m currently leaning towards leaving YA in on the grounds that it’s in the same tradition as the rest (whereas children’s fantasy is often in different tradition.)

    (Although I just realized that Diana Wynne Jones didn’t go back on the list when I made that adjustment, whoops, so that needs correcting … hard choice there, might go with Charmed Life in the 70’s or Howl’s Moving Castle in the 80’s.)

  31. @Hampus:

    Otherwise, I also find your arguments based on american exceptionalism. That your categorization is the one that should rule above the ones from other countries.

    Are you saying that no other countries have a separate publishing/bookselling/library category for “fiction for teens?” That would seem to be necessary for “fiction for teens” being an example of “American exceptionalism.”

  32. The best Diana Wynne Jones for this might be Fire and Hemlock.

    If we’re including YA, then
    The Little Prince (1943) by Antoine de Saint-Expéry
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C.S. Lewis
    A Wrinkle in Time (1963) by Madeline L’Engle
    The Grey King (1975) by Susan Cooper
    Dragon of the Lost Sea (1982) by Laurence Yep
    The Giver (1993) by Lois Lowry
    Sabriel (1995) by Garth Nix
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) by J K Rowling

    To help, I suggest removing these:
    C. L. Moore (Jirel of Joiry)
    L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (Land of Unreason?)

    Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margerita)

    Stephen R. Donaldson (Lord Foul’s Bane)
    Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire)
    Robert Asprin (Another Fine Myth)

    Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Mists of Avalon)
    Barbara Hambly (The Slient Tower)
    Angela Carter (Nights at the Circus)

    Any three:
    Paula Volsky (Illusion)
    Martin Millar (The Good Fairies of New York)
    Steven Erikson (Gardens of the Moon)
    C. S. Friedman (Black Sun Rising?)
    Graham Joyce (The Tooth Fairy)

  33. I know we all hate MZB now, and with good reason! But there’s no denying that The Mists of Avalon was central to modern fantasy literature. And beyond, really. It seems a strange choice to knock out of the brackets.

  34. > “If we’re including YA, then …”

    Some of those I had considered but classified either as children’s or science fiction. Others I will add to the potential list, thanks!

    (The Rowling I put on will more likely be Prisoner of Azkaban rather than Philosopher’s Stone, though.)

  35. Jim Henley:

    “Are you saying that no other countries have a separate publishing/bookselling/library category for “fiction for teens?” That would seem to be necessary for “fiction for teens” being an example of “American exceptionalism.””

    No, I’m not saying that and no, I don’t think that is necessary.

  36. (It’s a pity that Pratchett’s Night Watch, which I otherwise would have picked above Small Gods, was published in 2002, because that means there cannot be a showdown of Night Watch vs. The Night Watch.)

  37. Jim Henley:

    Deciding on the definition of that category based on curremt american marketing strategies.

  38. I do like the idea of the smaller brackets for time period to start the larger brackets for the whole.

    So we’re including YA as adult but still planning to run a separate children’s fantasy section later? Have I got that right? if so, DWJ mostly can be filed under children’s (Though Fire and Hemlock jumps out as her best not-children’s)

    With the possible exceptions of Paula Volsky and C.L. Moore and the almost definite exception of Marion Zimmer Bradley, I agree with Ultragotha’s suggestions of cuts. (And these three are all ones I have not read but have kept being told I should due to their influence on books I have loved or on fantasy as a whole*, rather than personal faves, so I’m very open to being wrong about them.)

    *Though at this point, I have decided I will never read Mists of Avalon. Though I did read and admire some Bradley in the past.

  39. (And should Robin Hobb be listed as Hobb for Wizard of the Pigeons, or under Megan Lindholm, as it was published? Or make it another book without the question?)

  40. Kurt Busiek – Right now I’m convinced you’re right and Gaiman should be represented in prose if at all.

    And you, and the other person who pointed it out, are even more right that Sandman is Gaiman and a whole lot of artists. Esp. as the variety of styles makes it extra obvious in places how much the artist influences the reading.

  41. Jim Henley:

    “We’ve already allowed that marketing books to teens is not something only Americans do.”

    Sorry, I am getting confused again. According to Wikipedia:

    “The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) of the American Library Association (ALA) defines a young adult as someone between the ages of twelve and eighteen. Authors and readers of young adult (YA) novels often define the category as literature traditionally written for ages ranging from sixteen years to the age of twenty-five, while Teen Fiction is written for the ages of ten to fifteen.”

    Teen fiction is what most closely match what we in sweden call youth litterature, but the definition is a bit wavy there too. Partly based on us often taking the categorization from the country we translated the book from. But there seems to be a difference between teen books and YA in that YA goes much higher in ages.

    Or am I missing something?

  42. Lenora Roes, I was in my early thirties when Arrows of the Queen was released, and I found some of the things that happened to the characters jarring. Note, I didn’t put down the book, but I may just be/have been over-reacting or over- protective

    Not sure why I feel this reluctance to recommend Lackey to the Middle School crowd. Hell, I was reading James Bond and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. books at that age, and sure-enough bad things happened to some of the protagonists in those.

    I guess I’m just weird.

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