Ring out the year 2014 with the new issue of File 770!
- My Short Career as a Chess Non-Prodigy by Rich Lynch
- A Switch In Time: Mr. Peabody and Sherman by Taral Wayne
- World Fantasy Convention 2014 report by Martin Morse Wooster
- NASFiC, My NASFiC by John Hertz
- The Glicksohn Memorial Service… and Other Memories of Mike by Joel Zakem
- Remembering the “Dean” of 1950s Fandom by Rich Lynch
Plus, Cover by Steve Stiles (in which the artist makes a Hitchcockian cameo appearance…), bacover by Jose Sanchez, illos by Brad Foster, Alexis Gilliland, Sue Mason, Steve Stiles, and Taral Wayne.
Also news, selected features from the blog, and letters of comment.
Click here — File 770 #164
Jetpack’s annual statistical report for File 770 (which you’re welcome to read) ranks the most prolific commenters of 2014. I thank them for making this a more interesting site!
- Robert Whitaker Sirignano
- David K. M. Klaus
- Taral Wayne
- Morris Keesan
A beautiful new fandom may someday emerge like a butterfly, but right now the cocoon is filled with a lot of mess and spilled guts. Turnover in the WisCon and Context committees were top stories. As was the revelation that an online troll and a recent best new writer nominee were one in the same person.
This was also a month of bittersweet memory. The passing of Stu Shiffman was an opportunity to honor his gift of friendship and many accomplishments. And others who passed earlier were called to mind for any number of reasons – Frank Dietz, Ray Bradbury, Bob Tucker.
Here are the Top 10 posts for November 2014 according to Google Analytics.
- More Changes In WisCon Committee Revealed
- Stu Shiffman (1954-2014)
- A Case Study in Trolling
- Two More Con Code of Conduct Complaints Go Public
- The Great World War II Comic Book Myth
- Frank Dietz Passes Away
- Serendipity and Mr. Bradbury
- Glen Larson (1937-2014)
- A Century of Tucker
- Harlan Calls for Spinrad To Be Named SFWA Grandmaster
The news of Harlan Ellison’s stroke had everyone worried — to the extent that within 24 hours the announcement became the fourth-most-read post in the history of this blog. Over the following days people were gratified to hear how rapidly he regained use of his right arm. He has since returned home, though with more work ahead on his mobility.
Last year many conventions adopted a Code of Conduct or anti-harassment policy, so there is heightened interest about how they are being administered and what stress they add to a conrunning community. This past month there were several stories in that vein, one of them detailing what had been made public by two fans who filed complaints after a bad experience.
I also spoke out about Brianna Wu’s plight, with a capsule explanation of GamerGate and the threats she received.
And by the end of October I had nearly set a new File 770 record for most posts in a month — but not quite.
1. Ellison In Hospital Following Stroke
2. Eyewitnesses to Ellison’s Recovery
3. A Harvest of Apologies
4. Two More Con Code of Conduct Complaints Go Public
5. More Changes In WisCon Committee Revealed
6. Vijay deSelby-Bowen Passes Away
7. Internet Dumpster Diving
8. Brianna Wu Fights On
9. The Most Valuable Hugo
10. Vintage Trek and Batman Clips
Forty percent of the stories in the September Top 10 are Bradbury-related. Two on the auction of his estate, one about the campaign to “save” his Retro Hugo for IUPUI’s Bradbury center and, for lagniappe, a Trivia Quiz where the choices were Bradbury or Vox Day. (Naturally, the right answer was Bradbury.) Four out of 10 is awfully good, but rest assured my Bradbury source John King Tarpinian is scheming a way to beat that record.
The answers for a different post were: Vox Day and Larry Correia. The question is: “Which writer’s blog sent more readers to pound on Mike Glyer?” The post was: “Letter To A Higher Critic.” After I observed that Day’s NY Times Bestseller List one-and-done litmus test applies not only to his habitual target, John Scalzi, but also to his patron Larry Correia, many people showed up to give me a piece of their mind. Including a few who had none to spare.
You may ask, is it possible for a post to make the Top 10 from simple enjoyment — no keruffle, no drama? You need look no farther down the list than #3, about the Noreascon Three Sunday Brunch in 1989 which gathered all then-existing generations of sf pros and fans for a day that can never be repeated.
1. Letter To A Higher Critic
2. Looking for Angel to Save Bradbury’s Hugo
3. Remembering “Science Fiction’s 50th Anniversary Family Reunion” at Noreascon Three (1989)
4. Bradbury Estate Auction Begins Online
5. Which One?
6. Today’s Homicidal Trivia Quiz
7. Cameron KO’s Roger Dean in Avatar Suit
8. The Dorms of Middle Earth
9. Lovecraft 2, PC 1
10. Final Tally From Bradbury Auction
Ordinarily the announcement of the Hugo winners itself is a top post, but this year what everyone really wanted to know was what Larry Correia thought about the winners – in particular, not being one of them.
Otherwise, the most popular report from Loncon 3 contained Francis Hamit’s photos from the masquerade. Another post with his final take on the Worldcon was also widely read.
Here are the top 10 posts from August 2014 according to Google Analytics.
1. Hugo Statistics Dress Sad Puppies in Black Armbands
2. Somewhere Puppies Are Smiling
3. A Bouquet of Masquerade Photos From Loncon 3
4. Get Those Old People Off My (Artificial) Grass
5. The Chess Lives of Fritz Leiber and George R.R. Martin
6. Cosplayer’s Injuries Were From Fall
7. Talking Past Each Other
8. Ellison’s Counselor
9. Arlene Martel (1936-2014)
10. Final Notes on Loncon 3
Crime and punishment could be the title of this post, though each word relates to a different event.
Cosplayer assault was a deadly serious concern at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, with parents asking the public for help in learning what happened to their hospitalized daughter, and police arresting a suspect the same day.
Unresolved charges of harassment against Jim Frenkel from last year’s WisCon proved to be a time bomb. Frenkel returned this year and in the aftermath the committee announced a ban, but under terms that provoked an uproar about the decision making process.
There was barely room to squeeze in lighter material, such as the July 4 story about three fans who skipped the last day of the first Worldcon and ended up seeing Lou Gehrig make his retirement speech.
1. Jim Frenkel Banned By WisCon
2. The Comic-Con Police Blotter
3. Tor.com Yanks MZB Birthday Tribute
4. Nominee Withdraws From 2014 World Fantasy Award
5. Today’s Birthday Boy 7/7
6. Are You A Kefuffleholic?
7. Breendoggle History Wiki
8. On This Day In History 7/4
9. Elise Matthesen Speaks Out About WisCon
10. SF’s Second Best Novels
This month the internet generation discovered the Breendoggle of 1964. While it had been documented online by Stephen Goldin years ago and repeatedly in fanzines since the original event, some blamed their failure to encounter the information earlier on a fannish conspiracy of silence. However, everyone was forced to re-examine whatever they thought they knew when shocking new ground was broken by Marion Zimmer Bradley’s daughter, who responded to the latest discussion by revealing she had been abused by her mother.
Meantime, hope was dashed that missing film historian John Cocchi would be found alive. Michigan fan Kathleen Conat passed away. And a memorial for the late Michael Pell was dedicated by coworkers and the Los Angeles Police Department.
Here are the Top 10 most visited posts for June 2014 according to Google Analytics.
1. Tor.com Yanks MZB Birthday Tribute
2. Breendoggle History Wiki
3. Hugo Nominated Fauxzines
4. Brookline’s Awesome Box
5. John Cocchi Missing
6. John Cocchi (1939-2014)
7. Kathleen Conat Passes Away
8. San Diego Comic-Con Pushes Back on Harassment Policy Petition
9. Somewhere Puppies Are Smiling
10. LAPD Names Mailroom for Pell
When a post attracts a lot of readers I always hope it’s for a good reason. That would not be true of this month’s #1 post.
Seven Days In May responded to a comment on an article by John C. Wright left by someone using a well-known name that was not his own. Unfortunately, I took that name at face value and nearly got several writers upset with each other. Once I made a correction and apologized, things worked out better than they could have. But in the words of Stephen King, for three days it was like File 770‘s space on the internet was marked with an orange traffic cone and crowds of people were looking for the dead body.
In contrast, I felt great when io9 linked to my retelling of how Isaac Asimov’s mistake announcing one of the 1971 Nebula Award winners resulted in Gene Wolfe writing three sequels to “The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories.” That was an excellent day.
News reports about contentious issues in the sf field fill the rest of the list. As many a writer has pointed out, interesting times are not the most pleasant to live in.
Here are the Top 10 posts for May according to Google Analytics.
1. Seven Days In May
2. Asimov Still Holds The Record
3. Archon 38 Cancels Bolgeo As Fan GoH
4. A Lawful Alignment
5. Bolgeo Ouster Triggers Backlash
6. Wright Quits SFWA, Torgersen To Follow
7. USA Today Weighs In On Hugos
8. John Cocchi Missing
9. Why The Evidence Should Be Examined
10. Libertarian Futurist Society Makes Retro Hugo Endorsement
So many bloggers used my checklist of Larry Correia’s “Sad Puppies” recommendations that made the Hugo ballot as a convenient starting point for their comments that it became the most-viewed post in the history of File 770. It has surpassed by thousands of pageviews the ever-popular graphic of Sir Terry Pratchett’s coat-of-arms (which owes its record to being periodically rediscovered by Reddit.)
Kerfuffles, obituaries and the Hugo nominee announcements supply the balance of File 770’s ten most-viewed posts for April 2014 according to Google Analytics.
1. Somewhere Puppies Are Smiling
2. Wright Quits SFWA, Torgersen To Follow
3. USA Today Weighs In On Hugos
4. William H. Patterson Jr. (1951-2014)
5. The Invisible Fanwriter Hugo
6. Larry Correia’s Vulgar Blog Post – His Word
7. 2014 Hugo Nominees
8. The Quiet Man
9. Tribute To Bill Patterson
10. 1939 Retro Hugo Nominees