Pixel Scroll 9/26/17 I’ve Been To Arrakis On A Sandworm With Two Names Twice

(1) NO, IT AIN’T COOL. Indiewire reports “Harry Knowles Allegedly Sexually Assaulted Austin Woman Two Decades Ago, and Drafthouse Owners Didn’t Take Action”.

An Austin-area woman said Ain’t It Cool News founder Harry Knowles sexually assaulted her at an Alamo Drafthouse event — but the reason she’s speaking out now is she believes change is coming.

“Harry Knowles groped me, opportunistically, on more than one occasion,” said Jasmine Baker. “I cannot just stay silent. I am not interested in remaining silent.”

The specifics are described at the link. Knowles denied the accusations.

Alamo Drafthouse has severed ties with Harry Knowles, who had a business relationship with the owners, and had cofounded a convention with them.

As a result of the charges, several Ain’t It Cool News staffers have left — Eric “Quint” Vespe, Steve “Capone” Prokopy, and “Horrorella.”

(2) WRITING ABOUT HEINLEIN. Farah Mendlesohn answers some pointed questions about her forthcoming Heinlein book in “Q&A with Ken MacLeod”.

KMM: Heinlein is a hero to and an influence on the ‘right’ of the SF field. I remember many years ago being surprised to hear you being enthusiastic about Heinlein, and I probably asked you something like this: As a feminist of the left, why do you find Heinlein so intriguing?

FJM: Heinlein has always been a hero to parts of the left as well, particularly to the anarcho-left of which I am, loosely, a part both as a feminist and because I’m a Quaker (Quakers invented anarchist decision practice, and it’s interesting that anti-pacifist Heinlein has a soft spot for them). But to return to the question: at the age of 12-20 it was because he was pretty much the only male sf writer writing women who had jobs, adventures, access to engineering jobs, and who got to be spies and ornery grandmas, and be liked by men who weren’t as smart as they. Believe me, when you are a smart girl in school, that’s pretty reassuring. In my late teens and twenties I started to get annoyed with the requirement to be “sexy” but attracted to the arguments about consent; frustrated with the performativity of the romances, and irritated by everyone wanting babies but attracted to the arguments about the different ways to construct families. This time round I’ve been fascinated by the way it’s clear that Heinlein knows what his women are up against; I’ve ended up with very different readings of Podkayne, Friday and Maureen (To Sail Beyond the Sunset) in which all three of them become resisters of other people’s narrative of them.

The crowdfunding appeal has reached 80% of its goal as of today.

(3) HEINLEIN COLLECTIBLES. Keith Kato, President of The Heinlein Society, announces: “Ensign’s Prize Offer now open to Non-Members!” Keith explains —

The “Ensign’s Prize” are multiple titles of pirated Heinlein works that Ginny Heinlein won in a lawsuit.  She donated them to The Heinlein Society for fund-raising.  Until now we have limited sales only to THS members, but as you can see in the link, purchases are now open to anyone while supplies last.  There are different numbers of remaining copies of the various titles, and being a pirated version, the quality is what it is (though surprisingly not bad).

More info at the Society website:

There are some rare editions here to add to your collection. A prime example is the only known hardcover edition of The Notebooks of Lazarus Long with lettering by D.F. Vassallo.

The numbers of available individual copies varies by book with no individual copies of Methuselah’s Children. Only a handful of individual copies of Stranger in a Strange Land (5) are available. All individual copies will be offered for a suggested donation of $60 each except for The Notebooks of Lazarus Long which is offered for a suggested donation of $75 each with shipping & insurance on single books at $6.00 in the US. Overseas shipping will be determined at time of donation.

These books/sets are used as a fundraiser to support projects and programs of The Heinlein Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to paying it forward. Proceeds from these books/sets will be used to support projects and programs of The Heinlein Society such as the scholarship program and Heinlein For Heroes.

This link will take you to a page where you can read a description of the books being offered and then click the “Details” link at the bottom of the page to be directed to the ordering site.

(4) BONES OF THE EARTH. “’Biggest Dinosaur Ever’ Discovered in Argentina”GeologyIn has the story.

New Species of Dinosaur Is the Largest Land Animal to Ever Walk the Earth

One hundred million years ago, a colossal creature the size of a 737 thundered through the forests of South America, picking trees clean with its head extended five stories in the air and sending ferocious T. rex-like therapods scattering like mice below its trunk-sized legs. It’s the largest dinosaur ever found — a titanosaur so huge that its skeleton can’t even fit into a single room in its home at the American Museum of Natural History. Scientists this week unveiled their first study on the ancient beast alongside its new, official name, ­Patagotitan mayorum, or, The Giant from Patagonia. Astoundingly, the Big Apple’s biggest resident wasn’t even fully grown when it died (scientists don’t know if it was male or female) — and an even more whopping cousin could be waiting to be uncovered, experts said Wednesday. “This animal [hadn’t] stopped growing at the time of death,” said Diego Pol, an Argentina paleontologist who helped dig it up.

…The scientists reproduced the skeleton in 3-D models, but the specimen was too large to fit in any local museum, Pol said, so they sent a fiberglass cast to New York last year. It has been welcoming visitors to the museum’s dinosaur floor ever since — literally, because its massive skull extends all the way out into the elevator bay. “[It’s] probably one of the world’s great selfie spots,” said John Flynn, the museum’s curator of fossil mammals.

(5) A VACUUM CLOSER THAN SPACE. “Australia commits to establish space agency with no budget, plan, name, deadline …” says The Register.

Mission plan: retrieve lost votes from deep within black hole of democratic disillusionment…

Cash’s statement says the agency “will be the anchor for our domestic coordination and the front door for our international engagement”, but there’s no detail on the agency’s name, budget, start date or anything else that would tell us what it will actually do. The fact that its future existence was first revealed to media in the city of Adelaide suggests one mission: help revive the city’s economy, which has struggled since auto-makers left in recent years (along with many votes for the governing Liberal Party).

(6) MAKE YOURSELF A GIBSON. Martin Morse Wooster says, “I finished Conversations With William Gibson and learned about this story, which was new to me.  This is from an episode of the Geek’s Guide To The Galaxy podcast by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley, who interviewed William Gibson in 2012.  This probably took place in the early 1990s.

GEEK’S GUIDE:  So when I first started going to science fiction conventions, I heard this funny story about you, and I’ve never been sure if it was true or if it happened the way I heard it, and I was wondering if you knew what I was talking about.  It was this story where you go into a hotel to check in, and you say, ‘Hi, I’m Mr. Gibson,’ and everyone acts all shocked at the hotel.”

GIBSON:  It was the Beverly Hills Hotel, and I don’t know, somebody had checked me in.It was when I had started doing some contact screenplay work after the ALIEN 3 script. So I got there, and it was like, you know, I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  The desk people looked gobsmacked and really unhappy.   So the bellman takes me up to this very fancy suite, and in this suite there’s a table lavishly arrayed with very expensive wines and liquors and expensive floral displays, and a bit thing that says, ‘The Beverly Hills Hotel welcomes Mel Gibson.'”

And so I looked at the bellman, and I said, ‘No, no, I’m not him.  Take this stuff away.’ And he said, ‘No, no, no, you can keep it.’ And I said, ‘What am I supposed to do with it?”  He said, ‘Call some friends, have a party.'”

(7) NAMING CALLS. While the writer’s mostly interested in Republican shenanigans, “8 Notable Attempts to Hack the New York Times Bestseller List” ends with a shout-out to a science fiction immortal.

…[DJ Jean] Shepherd decided that he wanted to get a book on the bestseller list—an imaginary book. “What do you say tomorrow morning each one of us walk into a bookstore, and ask for a book that we know does not exist?” he asked his listeners. The book they decided to ask for was I, Libertine, its author, Frederick R. Ewing, published by Excelsior Press, an imprint of Cambridge University Press. And ask they did…

…What is true, though, is that this book became real through sheer force of will. After only a few months, the story broke: I, Libertine was a hoax. But then it was un-hoaxed: Theodore Sturgeon, a friend of Shepherd’s, actually wrote the book, and Ballantine Books published it.


Batman Day

The purpose of Batman Day is to celebrate the anniversary of the character’s first ever appearance, which was in Detective Comics #27 way back in May 1939. Since those early comic book appearances, Batman has grown into one of the world’s best-loved and most recognizable fictional characters, and is the focal point of television shows, animated cartoons, video games and Hollywood blockbusters.


  • September 26, 1937 – The first episode of The Shadow was broadcast.
  • September 26, 1987 Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered.


John King Tarpinian suspects there is something missing after reading The Wizard of Id.

(11) BIT PARTS. After reporting a leak about the forthcoming Star Wars movie, CheatSheet also tells about some of the more interesting appearances in earlier films of the franchise: “‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’: A Few Major Celebrities Will Make a Surprising Cameo”.

With Star Wars: The Last Jedi still upcoming, John Boyega let confirmation of a few major cameos — specifically, Princes William and Harry — slip out in an interview on BBC Radio (via Screen Rant). As he stated:

I’ve had enough with those secrets. They came on set. They were there. I’m sick of hiding it. I think it was leaked, anyway. There were images. Every time I get asked, I have to dodge it. I’m tired of dodging it. They were there. Tom Hardy was there too.

Hardy is certainly a major cameo. But he’s actually just one of many big names to show up in a film from the Star Wars franchise.

As fans look forward to the surprise appearances that are set to come in The Last Jedi, we take a look back at the history of celebrity cameos in the Star Wars franchise — including some you may not have noticed or heard about.

(12) FAN FEUDS. I was struck by David Gerrold’s observation about fan feuds, from a long post mainly about something else, although I’ve kept the first line for context. What he says about fan feuds is spot on.

Yes, I did ask Jody Wheeler and Carlos Pedraza to back off on the Axanar stuff — not just because of my respect for Alec Peters, but also because of my equal respect for Jody Wheeler and Carlos Pedraza, both of whom I have worked with. Fan-feuding helps no one. It hurts everyone. It destroys possibilities. It destroys opportunities. (I know of two entities who decided not to engage with Jody and Carlos because of their efforts in the anti-Axanar movement.) I speak from a half-century of direct experience on this.

But yeah, my bad. I should know better than to ask fans to disengage from a feud. Especially this one. I should have known better because internecine warfare is always more important than mutual support and partnership in any endeavor. It’s much more fun to have enemies — war is the most profitable human product, because it gives you not only the illusion of power and authority, it creates the opportunity to control how others think and act…

(13) YOUR SECOND-BEST SUIT. Electric Literature thought today is a good time to revisit “The 5 Weirdest Lawsuits About Authors Stealing Ideas”.

Claim: J.K. Rowling stole the word “muggle”

J.K. Rowling has been accused of idea theft, and vice versa, so many times that there’s a whole Wikipedia page for “legal disputes over the Harry Potter series.” The earliest was American writer Nancy Kathleen Stouffer, who sued Rowling for infringement in 1999, when only three of the books had been published (although it was already clear that the series was turning a handsome profit). Stouffer claimed that she’d invented the word “muggle” in her vanity-press book The Legend of Rah and the Muggles, and that another of her works featured a character named Larry Potter. This is thin enough—but the court didn’t just rule that the similarities were too vague to amount to much. It actually found that even Stouffer’s weak evidence may have been fabricated.

Two other cases involve Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and Cassandra Clare’s Darkhunter series.

(14) ON OR OFF THE SHELF? The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna, in “Banned Books Week: Why are illustrated books being challenged more than ever?”, notes that the top two books in the American Library Association’s list of banned books for 2017 were graphic novels.  He then looks at graphic novels that censors fund particularly irritating.

Some industry observers say that the spike in challenges to illustrated books can be attributed to the recent rise in the literary form’s popularity and accessibility on bookshelves, as well as the subject matter.

“Graphic novels are more popular and widely read than ever,” said Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, an advocacy organization. “Their authors are speaking directly to the real concerns of their audiences in an accessible way.”

Brownstein noted, too, that the illustrated form can attract challenges that other books might not.

“There are many other factors to weigh, including the medium’s reliance on the power of the static image,” he said. “Graphic novels are frequently reduced to a single image or sequence of images that can be removed from the larger context of the work, and used to justify censorship. Comics’ use of images and words give the stories added power that resonates with audiences, and makes works like ‘This One Summer’ and ‘Drama’ even more compelling. These works must be considered as a whole to be fully appreciated. When that happens, the complexity, nuance and sophistication of the stories can be fully appreciated.”

The CBLDF director pointed, as well, to how comics are perceived by many parents and officials. “In many cases, comics are still regarded as lesser reading,” he said. “Some people don’t expect comics to have the kind of complexity or depth that earned ‘This One Summer’ the Caldecott honor and ‘Drama’ a Stonewall honor. We’ve seen cases where comics are challenged because the conversations that they raise were unexpected.”

(15) ALL WRAPPED UP. The Bangor Daily News makes a new novel sound tantalizing: “Kings of fiction: Father and son combine for ‘Sleeping Beauties’”.

In this year of all things King, with nearly two dozen movies, TV shows or miniseries based on Bangor’s own horror-meister in production or on screens, it makes perfect sense to add another Stephen King-thing to what has become a total-immersion experience.

Enter “Sleeping Beauties,” a novel that’s a team effort by Stephen King and his son, Owen. Published by Scribner, it goes on sale on Tuesday, Sept. 25 ($32.50 hardcover).

The duo’s first tandem effort on a novel, “Sleeping Beauties” is an ambitious work that combines some age-old Stephen King themes — the potential end of the world, the battle between good and … well … not so good, if not evil — with a distinctly sci-fi premise.

Simply put: Women around the world are falling asleep, and being covered in wispy cocoons. They may never wake up (and in true Stephen King fashion, those who try to rouse the females from their slumber quickly learn that doing so was a big, bad, bloody mistake).

Is the human race’s demise insured? Will a world with no women become a reality (for a time)? Or is there another option that we just can’t see on this side of the story? Good questions, all

(16) UNDER THE HAMMER. The Daryl Litchfield Collection of Arkham House & H.P. Lovecraft goes on the auction block October 5. So do a great many volumes by Edgar Rice Burroughs and other sff authors.

More than 300 lots of fine literature, from the 18th through the 21st centuries, are included in this exciting auction. Headlining the sale is the Daryl Litchfield collection of Arkham House and H.P. Lovecraft. The collection includes the earliest work by Lovecraft and a near complete collection of Arkham House publications. Many other science fiction and fantasy first editions are also offered, including nearly fifty lots of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, many in the rare original dust jackets. Also featured are more than fifty lots of Black Sparrow press limited editions of the writings of Charles Bukowski, many signed by the author. Other rare literary works from the last 300 years are also offered, including titles by Dickens, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Stowe, Twain, Wilde, and many others.

See the online version of the catalogue at www.pbagalleries.com

Direct link to the online catalogue: http://www.pbagalleries.com/view-auctions/info/id/434/

To view as ebook: http://pbagalleries.com/content/ecat/626/index.html

(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In an Entertainment Weekly video “The Walking Dead cast explains 100 episodes in 30 seconds”.

(18) VIDEO OF YESTERDAY. In March 1971, General Mills introduced the chocolate-flavored Count Chocula and the strawberry-flavored Franken Berry.

[Thanks to Keith Kato, Cat Eldridge, David K.M. Klaus, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael J. Walsh, Wendy Gale, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories.. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern, who inquires “Not having read all the Dune books (by Frank Herbert, and then the non-FH prequels), and not remembering all of those I did read… did any of the individual sandworms have names (i.e., not ‘Shai Halud’ (sp?), which was the general name). E.g. ‘Big Fella,’ ‘Spot,’ ‘Masterful Mighty Wriggler of Doom,’ ‘Fluffy’?”]

64 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/26/17 I’ve Been To Arrakis On A Sandworm With Two Names Twice

  1. (15) ALL WRAPPED UP. The Bangor Daily News makes a new novel sound tantalizing: “Kings of fiction: Father and son combine for ‘Sleeping Beauties’”

    And hey, they’re doing a reading/event ABOUT SIX BLOCKS FROM WHERE I LIVE later this week (organized by the town’s independent bookstore)(or if we have more than one, one of them).

    Shoutout here to my SO, who spotted the initial announcement back in mid-June, so I was able to buy a ticket. (No clue how quick the rest sold out.) It’s well pre-organized; the email earlier this week not only was clear on Starts At, Doors Open At, Lines Start at, but also noted “No public autograph signings” (so don’t bother bringing a book for same)… but that the ticket price includes a copy of the new book, and “we’ve been told that a limited number of attendees will randomly receive signed copies.”

  2. (14)

    He then looks at graphic novels that censors fund….

    The thought of censors funding graphic novels cracked me up. 😉

  3. (4) Tall and thick and old and lovely, the giant from Pategonia goes walking, and when she passes, each scroll she pixels goes “aaaaaah!” (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

    (13) Sometimes I wish somebody with great big deep pockets would steal my ideas, since I’ve got considerably more experience with trial prep than writing novels, at least as of right now.

    (15) It autoloaded on my Kindle this morning, and the little devil on my left shoulder is insisting I read it immediately, while the little angel on my other shoulder keeps reminding me I said I’d read that litfic thing for my mundane book club.

  4. @14: at least the graphics the wowzers are trying to ban have some relevance to children; I recall at least one case (although not within the last few years) where a DA won a criminal charge against a vendor of ~R-level work on the grounds that all graphics were only for kids (despite the material in question not being displayed where anyone would trip over it, IIRC).

  5. (13) (Psst: Meyer’s first name is spelled StephEnie, not StephAnie.)

    Random question inspired by the Heinlein piece–what are some good pacifist SF/F out there? That’s one of the things I’ve loved about Rachel Aaron’s Heartstrikers series where the main character Julius is unusual for his unwillingness to fight. I find the whole concept rather interesting (and I’m sure challenging for the writers), even if I’m not a pacifist myself.

  6. 2,3) I didn’t see the kid’s mom’s name in the backers on Unbound, so here’s hoping she’s buying me weird Heinlein editions for Christmas, ’cause I’ve got her covered now. Is it possible the Heinlein biography will be delivered by then? No? Well, I didn’t really think so. But I’m sure it’ll be a welcome arrival on Mother’s Day. 😉

  7. 15 – Sounds cool, but coming fresh off of the Refridgerator Monologues I’m hoping it isn’t the Hell Hath club writ large.

  8. @David H. —

    Random question inspired by the Heinlein piece–what are some good pacifist SF/F out there?

    Hmmmm. Maaaaaybe The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison?

  9. @David H.: I’m told that Starhawk’s The Fifth Sacred Thing is good. Mack Reynolds’ “Pacifist” both does and does not live up to its title. And Dorothy Bryant’s The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You is probably not quite what you’re thinking of, but it comes to mind anyway. It’s been on my mind lately.

  10. David H: “what are some good pacifist SF/F out there?” A most entertaining example is the novella “And Then There Were None” by Eric Frank Russell.

  11. Heinlein’s THE STAR BEAST, while perhaps not pacifist per se, is certainly about the importance of solving problems with aliens through talking rather than shooting, with its heroes being diplomats rather than soldiers.

  12. @James Davis Nicoll: I thought about Dickson’s “Lost Dorsai”. Then I decided it was just “Pacifist” backwards and inside out. I do like the story, but it both is not and is pacifist.

  13. Peer Sylvester: Anyone wants a Last unicorn Tarot deck?

    Call me a skeptic, but it looks to me as though ITV and/or the Kickstartees are going to be raking in all the dough on this. I am concerned about how much of it would actually go to Peter S. Beagle.

    There’s been a lot of contention from fans and owners alike about the past and future of The Last Unicorn. Licensing and rights ownership are sometimes a murky thing, and creators don’t always get the credit they are due. While our licensing agreement is with ITV (the rights holder for merchandise based on the movie) and is unaffiliated with Avicenna Development Corporation and independent of the recent legal contention, Peter has created something timeless for all of us, and we want to go above and beyond to show our appreciation.

    To that end, to honor the author and creator we all love, we are voluntarily allocating a percentage of all of the proceeds directly for Peter’s benefit, independently of our licensing agreement.

    What percentage is Peter Beagle receiving?
    We’ve decided that we’re not going to publicly disclose that information, as it’s a personal tribute and our own way of honoring the author, and a decision we made before the campaign even began. Naming amounts means people start interjecting their own thoughts as to whether or not it’s too high or too low, and it’s really not something that we feel should be subject to public opinion.

    Rest assured though that he benefits from these new projects, and from every contribution!

    I find this sort of “assurance” rather empty. 😐

  14. David H:

    “Random question inspired by the Heinlein piece–what are some good pacifist SF/F out there?”

    The Big Time, Fritz Leiber
    Slaughterhouse V, Kurt Vonnegut
    Forever War + Forever Peace, Joe Haldeman

  15. @Hampus I didn’t care for Forever Peace, but it is the first novel I thought of in response to Farah’s question.

    4) It is indeed huge, and has its head sticking out of the room where the rest of the model of the body is.

  16. @Mike

    Thanks for the correction. Let the appertainment flow!

    I feel a filk coming on.

    I see doubles up ahead
    Where the scrollerboat swayed beneath the sun
    Is where the pixels turn red
    Like a god who stalks the wings and shoots a dove
    And frees an eagle instead
    It’s more or less the same as the things that you said

    I see filers up the road
    Who like read things you found in pixels you file every day
    And like to beat on your scroll
    Like the best and worst of typos that lose control
    Before you lie on your bed
    It’s more or less the same as the things that you said

    Anyway for all the things you know tell me why does appertainment flow
    Anyway for all the things you said tell me why do the pixels turn red
    Anyway for all the things you’ve seen tell me when will the pixels turn green
    And anyway for all the things you know tell me why does appertainment flow

  17. @John A Arkansawyer

    Mack Reynolds’ “Pacifist” both does and does not live up to its title

    Is that the one about the people living in post-atomic war NYC, dealing with the latest “conquerers”?

    Other possibilities are “Unto the Fourth Generation” and “The Liberation of Earth” by William Tenn

  18. @Ingvar

    Colonel Pixel, with the Godstalk, in the Scrollatory?

    I thought the (Octavia) Butler did it?

    P.S. Tickboxes not working at the moment?

  19. I wrote:

    P.S. Tickboxes not working at the moment?

    My mistake. Too much blood in the caffeinestream this morning.

  20. @Andrew:

    Is that the one about the people living in post-atomic war NYC, dealing with the latest “conquerers”?

    No. It’s the one where zvyvgnag cnpvsvfgf pneel bhg n greebevfg pnzcnvta ntnvafg trarenyf naq frangbef.

    Hlibert Schenk’s “The Battle of Abaco Reef” is on the edges of this category, as is Pohl and Kornbluth’s “The Quaker Cannon”.

  21. all those pixeled references to Clue! just got me thinking:

    make the clues characters, plot points and settings of an SF book, with the “answer” being the book and author, and you’ve got SF Clue….

  22. Re. 12:
    I recall hearing that, for a time, there were two separate Star Trek organizations in Toronto due to feuding and them refusing to talk to each other.

    It was finding out about things like that back in University which got me to independently derive Sayre’s Law, though my formulation was along the lines of ‘The less is really at stake, the more vehemently people will fight over it.’

    (Along with my other observation, that ‘There are some people whose primary goal in life is to find a small enough pond that they can be a big fish in it.’ No names mentioned, I’m sure you can all fill in your own ideas.)

  23. 13: Cassandra Clare’s series is Shadowhunters, not Darkhunters. (I believe she originally intended to call it Darkhunters, which may make the claim of borrowing from Kenyon a bit more plausible.)

  24. Re: Tarot deck: It would be possible to ask Kickstarter to have look, since they usually look into copyright violations.
    But apparently they do have the blessing of the rights owner, which makes things murky. Probably someone should contact Beagle and let him know?

  25. For anyone who hasn’t read this really long analysis of The Legend of Rah and the Muggles, you really owe it to yourself to read this really long analysis of The Legend of Rah and the Muggles.

  26. I finished lunch with 12 pages to go in Provenance and I will probably finish it while waiting for the shuttle to the train station after work. Sadly, work frowns upon me reading at my desk. Totally love it! I will have to think about why after I finish it, but it pulled me through the story and I’m so glad!

    Anyone else reading/finished with Provenance?

  27. @Hampus: I love The Big Time, but I’m not sure I’d call it pacifist; Nsgre jbexvat bhg crefbany qvssreraprf, rirelobql tbrf onpx gb jne purreshyyl. I think Lieber was more interested in doing a play in prose than in making any larger statement; the post-end, which tries for a statement, has always seemed a bit forced to me.

  28. Sleeping Beauties: I love Stephen King, but his quality’s been inconsistent since he was hit by the van. So I ordered the sample and gave up halfway through Chapter 1. First time I can remember that King’s been boring.

    Also, on famous writers: George should start typing or sign the series over to someone else to finish.

  29. When I typed my message, it was the year 6304 and A Song of Ice and Fire was STILL not finished. However, Stephen King had published 8,722 books and counting, so there’s that.

  30. @Cat Rambo:
    True, Native Tongue should qualify. It’s been a while, but my recollection is that the next book, Judas Rose, doesn’t; though the non-pacifist parts mostly happen ‘off-screen’.

  31. Clip Hitchcock:

    To be honest, it was so long time ago I read The Big Time that my recollections of it might be wrong. Will have to see if I still have it in my library.

  32. (2) Sounds like an interesting book.

    Those were some of the qualities of Heinlein’s characters that I found so attractive despite having other moments where he has induced a serious bout of “WTF???”.

    (15) And my TBR pile grows….I doubt I’ll buy it soon as his books command a premium price when they are first published. The premise sounds good. One reviewer on Goodreads suggested that it echoed Frank Herbert’s “The White Plague” which I found to be excellent.


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