Talking About SF 9/5

The conversation keeps flowing.

Meantime, in the American Library Association’s post about the 100 most frequently challenged books by decade is illustrated with this stack of books — John King Tarpinian invites you to see which sf novel stands out most prominently.

Stack of banned books

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172 thoughts on “Talking About SF 9/5

  1. Apologies if I saw it here first (does “search” hit the comments too?), but Pew put their “Book Reading 2016” survey report up a few days ago. I headed straight for the appendix and grumbled over lack of stats beyond mean and median number of books read.

  2. @Simon Bisson: hee! I pictured Tau peering over his glasses as he said that.

    Channel 770 would have some weird but fun shows on it.

    Am pleased about asteroid Freddy, an appropriate honor and not before time.

    The WTC costumes weren’t clever, or funny, or well-crafted. Not surprised they were ghosting, they just wanted to pop in, get some attention, piss people off, without actually being members of the con. Hmm. Where’ve I heard that before?
    In any case, I doubt any but the most rabid freeze peachers will defend that.

    Jim Hines put up his first, unpublished book — a novelization of his old D&D campaign — with commentary from his current self as a joke and to raise charity money.

  3. Cassy B said:

    Petréa Mitchell, I’m a little confused as to how the cosplayers’ badges could be pulled if they were ghosting

    According to the article as I read it this morning, D*C determined that this was an offense worth pulling their badges for, then later determined that they may have been ghosting.

  4. 1. Yes, Scotland PA is a real film and Walken is Lt. McDuff.

    2. We shall have to wait to see which Twist is which. If they cast Christopher Walken as Lt. Will Sykes, I guess that will be a hint.

  5. Gina: What a blessing they were. I can barely compute parents trying to censor the reading choices of their kids or their kids’ classmates. The cynical view is that it depends on whether people treat their kids as fellow people or as possessions (or worse, onuses). The (very?) generous view is that they are trying to bring up children who will Think Right and Act Right in order not to be Left Behind.

  6. So, trolls in costume sneak into Dragon*Con, the con states that it would have expelled them if they had been attending. I suppose that Dragon*Con could regard it as a sign of their success and visibility that they’re targeted by trolling; the same holds for being chosen for the latest Puppy campaign at the Dragon Awards. Two ways in which being seen as THE large, broad-audience con can be a nuisance.

  7. Operation Avalanche, a moon-landing conspiracy movie in the “found footage” mold, opens this month:

  8. Shakespeare re-imagined.
    When I was in New York some time ago I tried to get my friends to go see “The Donkey Show” a re-telling of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as taking place at a 70s disco (Club Oberon) at what had been Studio 54. The audience was encouraged to dress accordingly.

  9. Sea Peoples!? Sold! *buys 1177*

    And I have read the Clan of the Cave Bear books repeatedly, because they landed at a point in my life to be comfort reads. And I can get into Ice Age plants a lot.

    Though I found myself skipping more and more sex scenes and the last book may go down as one of history’s great authorial crimes. Haven’t bothered to try and re-read that one–it’s joined Attack of the Clones & Highlander 2 as Things I Am Pretending Did Not Actually Happen.

  10. What the . . . did I not click? I swear I clicked. I click I sweared. Well, doesn’t hurt to do it again. ::mumbles incantation::

    ETA: Yup, second time worked ‘cuz second time, I, uh, clicked the box. ::blush::

  11. I’d like to forget the last Clan of the Cave Bear book but it’s what finally got me to switch to e-books, since I feared reading a massive book like that might damage my wrists. The romantic parts (and probably most of the human and/or neanderthal interaction in fact) always grossed me out but I liked the lifestyle and survival stuff and the paleo-Redwall feasts.

  12. Kendall: What the . . . did I not click? I swear I clicked.

    Here, I’ll do it for you:


  13. @ Hampus: This bit jumped out at me from the virtue-signalling article:
    “It’s noticeable how often virtue-signalling consists of saying you hate things. It is camouflage. The emphasis on hate distracts from the fact you are really saying how good you are. If you were frank and said, ‘I care about the environment more than most people do’ or ‘I care about the poor more than others’, your vanity and self-aggrandisement would be obvious.”

    Which is exactly the inverse of the way the Puppies use the phrase. Their definition is that anyone who says they like diversity in SF is lying. This is a marked departure from common usage.

    @ JDN: Well, Omni. Back in the day, I used to call it “the magazine for the pseudo-intellectual”. Looks like not much has changed.

  14. Or Kid Twist from The Sting.

    Let’s see. The Sting is set in 1936. If Oliver Twist had been written at the end of Dickens’s career instead of the start we could almost probably barely make it work. Have the Artful Dodger as The Great Gandorff.

  15. @ Laura G: I like Agatha Christie, but holy crap some of her books have plot holes the size of Antarctica! Still, there are others that I go back to again and again. Cards on the Table, Murder on the Orient Express, and Cat Among the Pigeons are probably my three favorites. (Incidentally, the BBC adaptation of Cards on the Table does serious violence to the story, including changing the identity of the villain!)

    @ Bruce B: I guess they’ve never heard of the phrase “cautionary tale”?

    @ Bartimaeus: Castle Hangnail would work amazingly well as a Pixar movie, because Ursula’s character drawings would translate beautifully. I hope that’s the way they go with it, rather than live-action.

    That Camelot synopsis sounds horrible. No, actually, it sounds as though they optioned Camelot 3000 instead and then tried to move it back in time a few hundred years. And where’s Merlin? You can have an Arthurian story without Merlin, but not one that actually focuses on Arthur.

    @ clif: It could have been worse than that. I would bet my betting nickel that JKT’s parents were grilled about having allowed their child to read the book, and could have ended up under CPS supervision if Certain People had found their answers unsatisfactory, or if JKT had not had such an unanswerable take on the book’s symbolism.

  16. @ junego: I re-read several of them a few years ago. Ghosthunt was the first one of the series I encountered, and I still find it the best; the others went into the archive box in the attic to make room for new books on the shelves. (Note that they didn’t go into the cull box.) However, I think one of the reasons I like Ghosthunt best is that, not having read any of the other books, I focused on Lilit as the central character, and her story is heroic, tragic, and memorable.

    @ Cassy: As I read the article, what seems to have happened is that the con got complaints, sent security to find them and pull their badges, couldn’t find them, and further investigation determined that they might not have had badges at all. And yeah, if they didn’t, there’s nothing more to be said — out they go, full stop, and their names go on the permanent blacklist.

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