Pixel Scroll 9/17/21 I Want To Scroll What The Pixel On The Table Number 5 Is Scrolling

(1) STATUES OF LIMITATIONS. After much consideration, Constance Grady says overthinking the book was a mistake: “The meditative empathy of Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi” at Vox.

…The first time I read Piranesi, I scribbled notes about each statue. The minotaurs by the entrance to the House evoke the myth of the labyrinth, which is what the wicked Laurence Arne-Sayles calls the House. An elephant carrying a castle puns on the famous Elephant and Castle inn in London. A woman carrying a beehive — well, certainly that could be a reference to any number of classical myths, which tend to feature bees as a chthonic symbol for life, death, and the soul.

But early on, Clarke makes a point of aiming her readers away from such mechanical, goal-oriented reading.

Piranesi knows of only one other living human, a man he calls the Other who visits the House every so often. The Other believes that the House contains the key to some secret Knowledge that mankind used to possess but has now lost. Once he gets it back, the Other believes, he’ll have the power of flight, immortality, and control over weaker souls.

Piranesi dutifully searches the House for the Knowledge the Other is seeking, but without all that much interest. Eventually, he is struck by an epiphany: The Knowledge, he realizes, is not the point of the House….

(2) LET’S HEAR FROM A PICKER OF LOW-HANGING FRUIT. The Atlantic’s Ian Bogost demands to know “Why Are Ebooks So Terrible?”

…If you hate ebooks like I do, that loathing might attach to their dim screens, their wonky typography, their weird pagination, their unnerving ephemerality, or the prison house of a proprietary ecosystem. If you love ebooks, it might be because they are portable, and legible enough, and capable of delivering streams of words, fiction and nonfiction, into your eyes and brain with relative ease. Perhaps you like being able to carry a never-ending stack of books with you wherever you go, without having to actually lug them around. Whether you love or hate ebooks is probably a function of what books mean to you, and why…

(3) FOUNDATION BUILDERS. ComingSoon introduces a short video with quotes from the showrunner David Goyer:“Foundation Featurette: Apple Brings the Sci-Fi Masterpiece to the Screen”

…The Foundation featurette highlights the massive influence it had on other popular sci-fi stories including Dune and Star Wars. They also talked about the process of finally adapting the novel to the screen after several decades since it was first published. They also went on to tease the series’ epic scale in terms of storytelling, ambitious story, characters, and world-building….

(4) HEADLEY’S BEOWULF TRANSLATION WINS AWARD. The Academy of American Poets announced that Maria Dahvana Headley’s Beowulf: A New Translation has won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, a $1,000 prize recognizing a published translation of poetry from any language into English that shows literary excellence. Indran Amirthanayagam judged.

(5) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman posted a bonus episode of Eating the Fantastic podcast to let you listen to four comic book cognoscenti celebrate Steve Ditko.

Javier Hernandez, Zack Kruse, Carl Potts, and Arlen Schumer 

Last Saturday, something magical happened at the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center in Johnstown Pennsylvania — a one-day mini-convention was held to honor a hometown hero, the legendary Steve Ditko. And because the event was organized with the cooperation of his family, I was not only able to spend time with other comic fans and creators, but was privileged with the presence of Ditko’s nephews and brother as well.

Since you couldn’t be there with me, I decided to get some of the mini-con’s special guests to share their stories here about Steve Ditko’s life and legacy. Because this is a podcast which uses food to loosen the tongues of its guests, and since there was no time during the short one-day event to head out for lunch or dinner, I brought along a Spider-Man PEZ dispenser so I could offer my guests candy. Plus I ran over to Coney Island Johnstown — in business for more than a century — and picked up some gobs — think of them as a regional variation of whoopee pies — which I handed out to some of my guests before we began chatting.

As I wandered the exhibitors area, I was able to grab time with four guests — Javier Hernandez, Zack Kruse, Carl Potts, and Arlen Schumer — all of whom had taken part earlier that day on a panel about Steve Ditko.

(6) BOOK REVIEW OF VERY OLD RIDDLES. Paywalled at the New York Times, “What Has One Eye and 1,200 Heads? An Old English Riddle, That’s What!”, reviewing) The Old English And Anglo-Latin Riddle Tradition (Harvard University, $35), a comprehensive new collection beautifully edited by the Oxford professor Andy Orchard, demonstrates, everything you need to know about crosswords you can learn from Anglo-Saxon riddles: Riddles are the ür-crossword puzzles.

Daniel Dern sent the link with these notes:

While probably most anybody these days, fan or otherwise, is familiar with the Bilbo/Gollum “Riddle” chapter in THE HOBBIT, ditto more generally with Batman’s riddlemanic foe “The Riddler,” how many fans instantly flash on (or more to the point, what’s the rough age threshhold below which fans don’t) the (sf) book citation for “What city has two names twice?”), or simply “Do you like riddles? Raetseln?” [Dutch, spelling here from memory, but that I could look up in my copy of the book if need be ]

Answer (rot13’d)

“Rneguzna, Pbzr Ubzr” — Ibyhzr 3 bs Wnzrf Oyvfu’f PVGVRF VA SYVTUG grgenybtl

That said, the essay/review itself is somewhat dry — it doesn’t even offer a sample riddle until at least halfway through. Probably worth at least library-borrowing, though.

(7) FIYAHCON 2021. The online con is in full swing and the committee is making available videos of some of its panels here.

(8) BASEDCON. Rob Kroese’s BasedCon starts today.

Well, the cons I’m familiar with, if they hadn’t stayed in the black the first year there’d have been no second year. Surprising to hear there’s another kind.

(9) EARLY TREKZINES. The Internet Archive includes a “Media Fanzine Collection”. Skipping past the intro, I was intrigued to see some of the well-known early Trek fanzines displayed, such as Spockanalia. The cover on the example here boasts “Third Printing.” Holy cow – a fanzine with a demand that took multiple editions to satisfy! I blush to admit I still haven’t unloaded all the copies of the early mimeo issues of File 770.

The practice of making media print zines began in the late 1960s via science fiction fandom where fanzines had been a popular fan activity since the 1930s. However, the content of science fiction zines is very different, consisting mostly of non-fiction and discussion about a variety of fannish topics, whereas media fanzines include, or consist solely of, fanfiction, art, poetry, as well as discussion, usually about television shows, films, and books. 

(10) EMMY BRACKETS. JustWatch.com, the streaming guide, sent along this set of Emmy nominee brackets, based on the audience approval scores their users have given them. Unfortunately, the only genre show that doesn’t get its ass kicked is The Underground Railroad. Even a phenomenonally popular show like The Mandalorian can’t get out of the first round. It is to weep. [Click for larger image.]


  • 1964– Fifty-seven years ago this evening on ABC, a certain witch charmed her way into American homes as Bewitched first aired. It was created by Sol Saks who had done nothing notable before this and departed the show after the pilot was shot. It starred Elizabeth Montgomery as the good witch Samantha Stephens and two different men as her husband, Dick York for the first five before he became very ill, and Dick Sargent for the final three seasons. It did phenomenally well in the ratings early on but sagged later and eventually was cancelled. Hanna-Barbera produced the opening animation credits which you can see here.

It got remade as a film with Nicole Kidman which was not at all beloved by the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes who currently give it a twenty five percent rating and it faired quite poorly at the box office, not breaking even. Oh, and there was a Seventies spin-off involving her daughter called Tabitha that had two pilots (the first tested quite badly) and lasted just eleven episodes.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 17, 1885 — George Cleveland. Actor who filmed scenes as Professor Hensley in a pair of Thirties Flash Gordon serials, Flash Gordon and Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars (the latter saw his scenes get deleted). He later shows up as in the Drums of Fu Manchu serial as Dr. James Parker. (Died 1957.)
  • Born September 17, 1908 — John Creasey. English crime and SF writer who wrote well over than six hundred novels using twenty-eight different names. His SF writings were mostly in the Dr. Palfrey series, a British secret service agent named Dr. Stanislaus Alexander Palfrey, who forms Z5, which definitely has elements of SF. (Died 1973.)
  • Born September 17, 1917 — Art Widner. Editor of three well-known fanzines (Fanfare, Bonfire and YHOS). He’d eventually publish some one hundred sixty zines. He was one of the founding members of The Stranger Club, the pioneers of Boston fandom. He chaired Boskone I and Boskone II, the first two Boston SF conventions. He would be nominated for four Retro Hugos, and become a First Fandom Hall of Fame member. (Died 2015.)
  • Born September 17, 1920 — Dinah Sheridan. She was Chancellor Flavia in “The Five Doctors”, a Doctor Who story that brought together the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Doctors. Richard Hurndall portrayed the First Doctor, as the character’s original actor, William Hartnell, had died. If we accept Gilbert & Sullivan as genre adjacent, she was Grace Marston in The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan. (Died 2012.)
  • Born September 17, 1928 — Roddy McDowall. He is best known for portraying Cornelius and Caesar in the original Planet of the Apes film franchise, as well as Galen in the television series. He’s Sam Conrad in The Twilight Zone episode “People Are Alike All Over” and he superbly voices Jervis Tetch / The Mad Hatter in Batman: The Animated Series. And for your viewing interest, a clip from the Carol Burnett Show with Roddy McDowall wearing Planet of the Apes makeup here. (Died 1998.)
  • Born September 17, 1939 — Sandra Lee Gimpel, 82. In Trek’s “The Cage”, she played a Talosian. That led her to being cast as the M-113 creature in “The Man Trap”, another first season episode. She actually had a much larger work history as stunt double, though uncredited, showing up in sixty-eight episodes of Lost in Space and fifty-seven of The Bionic Woman plus myriad genre work elsewhere including They Come from Outer Space where she was the stunt coordinator.  
  • Born September 17, 1951 — Cassandra Peterson, 70. Yes, she’s Elvira, Mistress of The Dark, a character she’s played on TV and in movies before becoming the host of  Elvira’s Movie Macabre, a weekly horror movie presentation show in LA forty years ago. She’s a showgirl in Diamonds Are Forever which was her debut film, and is Sorais in Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold. 
  • Born September 17, 1996 — Ella Purnell, 25. An English actress best remembered  as Emma in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children film. She’s also in Kick-Ass 2 as Dolce, she’s Natalie the UFO film that stars Gillian Anderson, and she was the body double for the young Jane Porter in The Legend of Tarzan. In a genre adjacent role, she was Hester Argyll in Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence.


(14) WARP DRIVER. Laughing Squid draws attention to “A Campy Mercedes-Benz Ad That Inserts Their New 2021 Electric Vehicle Into a 1979 Science Fiction Film”. And remember – you can never have too many tentacles.

“Mercedes-Benz “Future 2021” is a wonderfully campy ad by Nina Holmgren that inserts their new Mercedes-Benz electric G-Wagen vehicle for 2021 into a very over-the-top science fiction film of the late 1970s. This future, which could ever only be dreamed of back in 1979, has finally come true today.

(15) MAYBE HE WAS ASKING THE WRONG QUESTION? In The Hollywood Reporter “LeVar Burton Says He’s Over ‘Jeopardy!’ Debacle”. Now, he told the host of The Daily Show, he’s thinking of developing his own game.

…Through the host replacement mess, Burton admitted to [Trevor] Noah he discovered he was not that interested in the gig after all.

“The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something, you know, they say be careful of what you wish for, because what I found out is that it wasn’t the thing that I wanted after all,” said Burton. “What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, but then when I didn’t get it, it was like, ‘Well, OK, what’s next?’ And so, the opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn’t have dreamt it up. If you had given me a pen and paper and said, ‘Well, so what do you want this to really look like?’ If it doesn’t include Jeopardy! I wouldn’t have been this generous to myself.”

Not going into too much detail, Burton said he had something in the works he was sure his fans were going to enjoy, saying, “I never thought about hosting any other game show outside of Jeopardy! But now, they went in a different direction with their show, which is their right, and now I’m thinking, ‘Well, it does kind of make sense, let me see what I can do.’ So we’re trying to figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be.”…

(16) CORRECTED EDITION. The NESFA Press is letting everyone know they put out a new edition of their ebook Ingathering by Zenna Henderson that fixes the problems mentioned in a Tony Lewis quote run in a recent Scroll.

We have updated the contents of the NESFA Press eBook of Ingathering by Zenna Henderson. This second edition was necessary due to several OCR issues. NESFA Press is committed to the highest quality in the content of our books and will aggressively address any typos or other problems with the text of our eBooks.

To purchase the new version of Ingathering, go to the NESFA Press online store: http://nesfapress.org/, and search for “Ingathering”. People who have purchase the previous version of Ingathering, can download the new version using the link they received. Please direct any problems or questions to the email address below.

(17) UNDER THE NAME OF SANDERS. Inside the Magic tells how “YOU Can Stay at Winnie the Pooh’s House in the Hundred Acre Wood”. Photo gallery at the link.

If you love Winnie the Pooh characters — and, really, who doesn’t adore A.A. Milne’s “Silly Ol’ Bear” and all of his friends? — you’re going to want to bounce like Tigger when you see Airbnb’s latest offering, designed especially for the 95th Anniversary of the Hundred Acre Wood pals….

(18) WHY AM I BACK? SYFY Wire introduces a “Robot Chicken clip with Seth MacFarlane as Palpatine”.

…Now into its 11th season, Adult Swim’s longest running series is currently airing new episodes daily at midnight ET/PT. Among all the madness, there’s a sketch that confronts that really confounding plot point in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that finds Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) suddenly returning from The Return of the Jedi dead… just because. Ahead of its upcoming debut, SYFY WIRE has an exclusive look at the sketch, which features Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, The Orville) voicing the mechanically challenged Palps….

(19) HARRY POTTER’S FLAGSHIP. Is it a store? A theme park? It’s whatever you need it to be to separate you from your cash! The Drum takes us on a tour: “Inside Warner Bros’ spellbinding retail experience Harry Potter New York”.

…All of these elements create a retail experience that speak to consumers’ growing demands for experience-infused shopping, says Warner Bros’s vice president and general manager of retail experiences Karl Durrant. “There is no doubt that consumer behavior has changed. Digital retail was becoming popular even before the pandemic hit. It’s more important than ever to give consumers a reason to visit a store and to make it an event.”

And to bring the immersive feeling to another level, Warner Bros, in partnership with Dreamscape Immersive, developed two unique VR experiences that bring visitors into the action. In ‘Chaos at Hogwarts’, users join Dobby in an adventure around Hogwarts to immobilize and collect pixies that the house elf accidentally released. The second VR experience, ‘Wizards Take Flight’, invites users to zoom around the skies above London via broomstick, warding off evil Death Eaters alongside Hagrid….

(20) ROBOCOP, TAKE TWO. “Singapore has patrol robots now! This should be fine” says Mashable. I like to think they will be programmed to keep making mad R2-D2 chirps at smokers til they snuff those ciggies.

Some robots were made to be your best friend. Some to unload 1600 boxes an hour. Some to do backflipspaint masterpieces. Some to inspect crime scenes. Others will tell you to quit smoking in prohibited areas and stop riding your motorbike on the footpath.

Singapore has started testing patrol robots that survey pedestrian areas in the city-state, where surveillance is a top and often controversial priority….

Named Xavier, the mall-cop robots will be autonomously rolling through the Toa Payoh Central district for three weeks from Sept. 5, scanning for “undesirable social behaviours” according to a press release (via Engadget) from the government’s Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX)….

(21) SIXTEEN SCROLLS. “Tennessee Cora” Buhlert was inspired by the title of yesterday’s Scroll to drop an instant classic in the comments.

Sixteen Scrolls
(with apologies to Merle Travis and Tennessee Ernie Ford)

Some people say a man is made outta mud.
A Filer’s made outta books, cons and blood,
Books and blood and films and cons.
We may look weak, but our minds are strong

You read 16 scrolls, what do you get?
Another day older and more books unread.
St. Leibovitz, don’t call me ’cause I can’t go,
I owe my soul to the Mount Tsundoku.

I was born one morning when the sun didn’t shine
I picked up a novel and said, “This looks fine.”
I read 16 pixels of number nine scroll
and the straw puppy said, “Well, a-bless my soul”

You read 16 scrolls, what do you get?
Another day older and more books unread.
St. Leibovitz, don’t call me ’cause I can’t go,
I owe my soul to the Series Hugo.

I was born one mornin’, it was drizzlin’ rain.
Reading and writing are my middle name.
I was raised in the library by an old mama lion
and no rabid puppy will make me walk the line

You read 16 scrolls, what do you get?
Another day older and more books unread.
St. Leibovitz, don’t call me ’cause I can’t go,
I owe my soul to the Novel Hugo.

If you see us comin’, better step aside.
A lotta dogs didn’t, a lotta dogs cried.
One fist science fiction, the other fantasy.
If the right one don’t get you
Then the left one will.

You read 16 scrolls, what do you get?
Another day older and more books unread.
St. Leibovitz, don’t call me ’cause I can’t go,
I owe my soul to the Mount Tsundoku.

(22) WEBINAR WITH BROTHER GUY. Brother Guy Consolmagno will be doing a Zoom event on October 1. “Your God Is Too Small: Vatican Observatory Director to offer a cosmic point of view in upcoming webinar”. Register to receive the link and a reminder. [Via Susan Schwartz.]

Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ is speaking on the contrast between the world and the cosmos that is becoming blurred as we begin to learn of the vastness of the cosmos in an upcoming Zoom event.

The free webinar, “Your God is Too Small,” will be hosted by the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (CASIRAS) and Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) on Friday, October 1, at 5 p.m. CDT. Those interested in attending can register here. Also the event will be livestreamed on LSTC’s Facebook page.

“We need to understand that all those other planets are real places, part of the same universe created by God and redeemed by the Incarnation,” writes Consolmagno. “And God is Creator not only of other places but other times, before and beyond the time when we exist here on Earth.”

His presentation will dive into the meaning of being redeemed by the risen Christ in light of the immensity of time and space.

Br. Guy received the 2014 Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public from the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences. He is the author or co-author of four books exploring faith and science issues, including, Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? (with Paul Mueller), God’s Mechanics, Brother Astronomer, and The Way to the Dwelling of Light.

“It is rare to find someone so accomplished in science, theology, and philosophy, who can also communicate complex topics clearly to a general audience. Br. Guy is one of the best story-tellers I’ve ever known,” said Grace Wolf-Chase, senior scientist and senior education and communication specialist at the Planetary Science Institute.

(23) HONESTLY. In “Honest Game Trailers: Psychonauts 2” on YouTube, Fandom Games says this game features weird worlds, and characters whose heads weigh as much as their bodies.  But don’t expect any action, because ‘playing Psychonauts for the combat is like eating at Taco bell for the diarrhea.”

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, N., Daniel Dern, Rick Kovalcik, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Peer.]

39 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/17/21 I Want To Scroll What The Pixel On The Table Number 5 Is Scrolling

  1. Two Corrections:

    Bewitched premiered in 1964 not 1966

    In the Birthday for Sandra Lee Gimple it states “She actually had a much larger work history as student double”

    Shouldn’t that be “stunt” double?

    I mean there were times when I was in school and university when having a Student Double would have come in handy……

  2. 12) Roddy McDowall was also a regular cast member in Fantastic Journey (not to be confused with either Fantastic Voyage or The Incredible Journey), insofar as that short-lived show lasted long enough to have a regular cast.

    6) I remembered the word as Raetseln, and I thought long and hard, and eventually my sense of duty prevailed over my innate laziness, so I went and got the book down from the shelf, and I was right. Unless there’s a typo in my copy, of course.

  3. Steve Wright: Pour yourself your favorite libation, for finding the correct spelling. I tried to Google it — no luck.

  4. Steve Wright says Roddy McDowall was also a regular cast member in Fantastic Journey (not to be confused with either Fantastic Voyage or The Incredible Journey), insofar as that short-lived show lasted long enough to have a regular cast.

    I think I’ve seen that series but if I have, I’ve forgotten all about it. Was it any good?

  5. (6) I remembered the larger work the city riddle is from, but didn’t remember which volume.

    I still have no dog living with me. I’m finding this exhausting, and I have a headache. Good night.

  6. Fantastic Journey started with some people investigating the Bermuda Triangle, and they were sucked through a glowy cloud into a new “zone” full of SFnal things (where they picked up Varian, the show’s main character, played by Jared Martin. He came from the 25th century and had a sort of sonic screwdriver gadget, a perspex tuning fork which lit up pink and could do pretty much anything so long as it involved close-ups of Jared Martin frowning and sweating a lot.) They ventured into a new “zone” every week and had thrilling adventures, for certain values of “thrilling”. Was it any good? Hmm, how can I put this tactfully… not really, no.

  7. 10) Can anyone identify that eye-straining yellow blur that beat out Lovecraft Country in the first JustWatch round? Because even when I zoomed in on it, it just became a larger, even more eye-straining yellow blur for me.

    (Reminded me of one of Bill Donoho’s old fanzines that was mimeoed in a variety of ink colors including Unreadable Yellow.)

  8. 6) To me the defining characteristic of riddles is that it’s easy to recognise the answer after you have it, but with no obvious way to reason your way to it.

    12) Roddy McDowall also starred in The Legend of Hell House, which blurs the line between fantasy and science fiction but is definitely genre either way. (One of the investigators uses a machine to detect and eventually eliminate most of the phenomena.)

  9. @Bruce Arthurs: Sylvie’s Love.

    2) Ebooks. For my part, nearly all of my actual book reading these days is done while either walking on a treadmill or else sitting at a table having a meal. In both those circumstances, reading on a device that requires only one hand to deal with is so massively more convenient than reading a paper codex that it has become almost impossible for me to read codices at all. And yes, the stuff that the article’s author talks about in terms of “bookishness” is almost entirely stuff that isn’t important to me.

  10. 2) What’s interesting to me about that article is how closely it mirrors a common conservative argument about change and tradition. Our institutions, it goes, (or our moral codes, or our social order, or…) are the product of thousands of years of accumulation and adjustment that connect us with our history. Who are we to throw all this away? (Somehow the new thing they disapprove of is always throwing it away and not another accumulation or adjustment.)

    I, on the other hand, prefer to read ebooks on my phone with infinite scrolling, thus connecting myself with the true and original nature of the book, before new-fangled codices arrived to break the flowing text into clumsy “pages” 🙂

  11. Oh, Surprising Title Credit! (Mike probably throws these in to see if I still scroll 🙂

    (3) A friend of mine has a bit part in this one, so ILl definitly check it out (also to point out the parts that are shot in Berlin, which is always fun)

    (21) Applause!

  12. 4) Has anyone read Maria Dahvana Headley’s Beowulf translation? I’ve been meaning to read it, and I’ve been trying to decide between hers and the Seamus Heaney one.

  13. Overall, I prefer the Seamus Heaney version of Beowulf, but I think Headley’s translation has a lot going for it – it captures the essential rhythm and energy of the poem well, which is a good thing. The translation is a bit loose, though, and I found some of the modernisms a little jarring. But that’s just my preferences speaking, yours will probably differ.

  14. @Sophie Jane: Unlike with the modern pixel scroll, the text on ancient scrolls was typically divided into columns placed side-to side, effectively pages. You would unroll from one side (and roll up the other side) to reveal the next column.
    I confess I’m not sure how the scrolling works on a phone being used as an e-book reader.

  15. @David Shallcross

    I scroll the way the pixels scroll, basically – down the page in a continuous motion. I’ve read so much text online over the years that it feels natural to me.

    You’re right about the actual history of scrolls, of course – I was letting my enthusiasm run ahead of the facts. Maybe phones are the natural successors of clay tablets, though?

  16. On the iPad using the Books app, it’s just like reading a physical book. You read a page and then flip to the next page, or you flip back to the previous page. Yes there’s a scrolling bar at the bottom of the screen and you can search the book as well, but it, at least to me, it feels like a book.

    Oh and that slam that it’s murky to view is proof that writer hasn’t encountered an iPad screen as I usually end up dimming the screen as it can be overly bright.

    I’ve got over a thousand books and quite a few magazines in what I call my Infinite Library. When in-hospital which I was last year for close to a hundred days, it was absolutely necessary for my sanity.

  17. 8) The first Chattacon lost significant money (nearly US$1000 in 1970s dollars): founder Irv Koch ate the losses. But we were so enthusiastic that there was a second Chattacon, which only lost a little bit (which Irv covered). By Chattacon 3, we were in the black and able to start paying Irv back for his losses. Chattacon 47 will be held on January 14th – 16th, 2022. (And I’ll be the only one left who’s been to every single one.)

  18. 12) Adding to the Roddy McDowall love —
    he was in the 1985 movie Fright Night as a Hammer-esque movie star who gets
    caught up with some ‘real-life’ vampires

    in the 1966 Batman series he played the villainous Bookworm. His amazing
    costume was all leather like a bookbinding, plus a crazy hat with a built-in lamp

  19. Kit Harding says “The kind of literary readers who write for the Atlantic are snobs, news at 11.”

    Oh they indeed are.

    Look I love print books. I’ve got signed copies of de lint’s Triskell Press chapbooks, Yolen’s The Wild Hunt and not one but two copies of Bulls’s War for The Oaks in the books packed up for my move in a fortnight. But most of the fiction here is digital as that’s how I read it now. Though the majority of the new fiction is consumed as audiobooks.

  20. My preference for the codex is perhaps a function of my age, but there are also practical matters that arise when I’m not reading for pleasure. Reading-for-review is not normal reading–at least not for me. I take notes, flag passages and pages, flip back and forth to check passages, and generally do the sorts of things that students and teachers do when engaging a text for analysis and discussion.

    Not all of these activities are convenient in e-book format, despite the availability of bookmarking/highlighting and search functions. Note-taking is particularly inconvenient, since it requires bringing up a note app and using a virtual keyboard. (Yeah, yeah, keep paper notes to hand. One more item to juggle.) And the range of file formats can be a pain–especially fixed-format and read-only PDFs (no reflowing, no markup). And I never have to recharge a paper book.

    My ideal working environment would be a paper ARC (so no guilt about dog-earing or writing in the margins or end-papers) with a searchable e-format file that would stay on the big computer, where the writing happens.

  21. My Kindle (now) and Nook (previously) have both provided a book-like reading experience of flipping the pages, and E-Ink screens, along with adjusting both font size and screen brightness to my own comfort levels, and I am so damn tired of snobs looking down on other people’s reading preferences.

    Despite the fact that I can deliver a long lecture on why we’ll still have codex books a thousand years from now.

  22. Meredith moment: Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is available from the usual suspects for about five bucks. No, it’s not genre or even genre adjacent, but it’s great reading none the less in my opinion, and one of my favorite re-reads.

  23. I have books that are hardcopy, because they’re easier to use for their intended purpose (cooking, crafts), and e-books, sometimes the same ones, for reading. (Some cookbooks are fun just to browse in. I wouldn’t have guessed green-tea ice cream was from the 1880s.)

  24. 2

    Whether you love or hate ebooks is probably a function of what books mean to you, and why…

    Uh, yeeeeah, obvs, but whatevs. Thanks for granting permission for us to have our own preferences. Hate for a medium astounds me.

    You know who’s opinion I want on this? Rev Bob. Dang, son, why’d you have to go and die? You are much missed.

    Humans tend to put God in a procrustean bed. And shackles.

    Bruce Arthurs, Sylvie’s Love. I have no idea.

    Don’t get all weird. Have a good time.

  25. Brown Robin says Uh, yeeeeah, obvs, but whatevs. Thanks for granting permission for us to have our own preferences. Hate for a medium astounds me.

    Me too. I absorb lots of fiction in printed form, in digital form, in graphic novel format, in audio form and of course in video form. They each have their unique advantages in telling a story.

    (Right now, I’m watching all of Major Crimes which I thought I’d seen but which I don’t remember the stories now that I’m watching it.)

  26. 2) I’m fine with ebooks for most things, but I prefer print books for comics/graphic novels and books with extensive illustrations. It also makes more sense for children’s books to be physical, since a single physical book is less expensive to replace than an ereader when the small child inevitably drops it, throws it, or spills something on it.

  27. Nina says I’m fine with ebooks for most things, but I prefer print books for comics/graphic novels and books with extensive illustrations. It also makes more sense for children’s books to be physical, since a single physical book is less expensive to replace than an ereader when the small child inevitably drops it, throws it, or spills something on it.

    I fully agree with you on these. I’m currently reading G. Willow Wilson’s Air series in its four trade paper editions and I’ll be getting a piece of eye candy shortly from Titan Books to review, The Art of Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’s Stardust, that I would not want to try to persue in anything but print form.

  28. @Nina,

    One can argue the opposite as well.

    For books, there are fairly inexpensive tablets / e-readers these days (and protective cases for them) that replacing one of those can be easier and less costly than finding and replacing a possibly out-of-print book that someone desperately wants to re-read (compared to an ebook which can be fully digitally backed up safely away from the device).

    When it comes to illustrations, a device with a big-enough screen may still be expensive (but a 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a screen that is actually bigger than a comic book page); but even on smaller devices, lots of comic reader software will let you advance one frame at a time within the same page – and will let you zoom in and out to adjust your view, perhaps even explore details, beyond what a static printed page can present.

    So arguments can be made in both directions. (And that’s without including ebook advantages such as being able to move them across devices as you read, perhaps on a dedicated reader at home, but on a phone while on the go, with all the space and weight savings and the convenience that can bring with it – yes, even children may have smartphones these days after all.)

  29. I love ebooks – and paper books too. Ebooks (on my phone or Kobo) are very convenient when I’m on my treadmill, or a poorly lit planet – but sometimes I’m in a place where transmitting electronics are forbidden, and paper is my only choice. Also I avoid buying DRMed books – and paper is automatically DRM-free. My wife doesn’t like ebooks of any kind (somehow, she’s able to read even large hardbacks while on the treadmill – admirable!), so I’ll be buying books in paper for her, and of course I can’t get ebooks autographed at conventions, so paper has that going for it too. I’m not a big fan of audiobooks, though I do like to listen to Great Courses and audioplays while commuting – my resistance to listening to novels while driving is something I might grow out of though).

  30. #11 — Samantha and Darren Stephens both showed up in Bedrock in one episode of the Flintstones, which must have seemed like a good idea to both sets of creators at the time.

    #12 — Roddy McDowall also had a recurring role as the Devil, opposing Ricardo Montalban’s Mr. Rourke, on the original Fantasy Island.

  31. Christian: YOUNG children’s books are much better as physical objects, as they teach a lot more than the words on the page; fine motor skills, tactile experiences, etc. And I don’t even mean just the ones with push-pull bits, or texture spots, or the famous holes in the page of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, though those things are the most obvious. I mean the basic simple “book as object”.

    And yes, they also get torn apart, damaged, etc. That, too, is a learning experience.

    And while I have had one children’s board book get destroyed that proved out of print, it’s a much less common experience for that age group than for even older children’s books.

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