Top 10 Posts For February 2016

Three H’s — Hugos, harassment, and hospitalization — generated hundreds of comments on last month’s most-read posts.

The Pixel Scroll with the highest views in February checked off all three boxes — Pixel Scroll 2/24/16 Happy Jack Wasn’t Tall But He Was A Scroll.

Overall, the second most read post last month was about Mark Oshiro’s harassment complaints, which naturally means it tops the list of February’s 10 most-read non-Scroll posts.

  1. Mark Oshiro Says ConQuesT Didn’t Act On His Harassment Complaints
  2. E Pluribus Hugo Tested With Anonymized 2015 Data
  3. MAC II Statement on Data Release for EPH Testing
  4. 2016 Nebula Nominations
  5. Sanford Challenges WFC About Missing Safety Policies
  6. 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List Published
  7. Bud Webster (1952-2016)
  8. Goodreads Deletes Vox Day, Rabid Puppies
  9. SF Scholar Rob Latham Fired by University of California
  10. Morris Keesan Hospitalized

Top 10 Posts For January 2016

How Rabid Puppies planning shenanigans at Goodreads were discovered and booted from the site became the number one story here in January.

Otherwise, not counting the daily Scrolls, the next most-read posts involved Locus. Lois Tilton shook up the internet with the reasons she gave for ending her review column at Locus Online, and though she walked back the most alarming one, commenters still found plenty to spark discussion of the magazine and website’s review policies.

Here are the Top 10 (non Scroll) stories for January 2016 according to Google Analytics.

  1. Goodreads Deletes Vox Day, Rabid Puppies
  2. Locus Responds to Tilton Departure
  3. Lois Tilton Leaves Locus Online
  4. Suppose They Gave A Culture War And Nobody Came
  5. SF Scholar Rob Latham Fired by University of California
  6. There Will Be War Volume Ten
  7. Your Star Wars Spoiler Discussion Goes Here
  8. Ryan Kopf Sues Blogger Trae Dorn
  9. Are We Ready Again For George Pal’s Puppetoons?
  10. Online Nominations Open for 2016 Hugo Awards

Oh, The Brackets We’ll See!

Happy Birthday File 770 THUMBCooling wellsprings of fun scattered throughout the summer of 2015, Kyra’s polls were especially delightful because they were a game we could play with books!

Novels on her community-sourced lists would be paired against each other — how did the dice know which pairings could produce the maximum angst, forcing fans to pick between two favorites? The winners advanced through the brackets, the results of each heat delivered with Kyra’s humorous commentary, until we knew which work had been crowned The Best by File 770 commenters.

Here are the results of her first four polls.

20th-century Science Fiction

A conversation I remember vividly.

I don’t remember the exact age I was, but I know from the circumstances I had to be 12 years old or younger. I was talking about books with a friend of the family who was, I think, in her twenties. The talk turned to Ursula K. Le Guin.

I had discovered Le Guin, as I suspect many did, through the EarthSea books. I had gone on to read a great deal more. By that point, Three Hainish Novels. The Lathe of Heaven. The Compass Rose. The Wind’s Twelve Quarters. The Dispossessed. And The Left Hand of Darkness.

But, I confessed during this conversation, I didn’t think I had really understood The Left Hand of Darkness. I didn’t get it. Something in it was opaque to me.

“Well,” the friend of the family asked me, “Have you ever been in love?”

“What?” I said. “I, um, well. I don’t think so. No.”

“Read it again after you fall in love,” she advised.

So, some years later, I did.



  • WINNER: Ursula K. Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness – 31 votes
  • Mary Shelley: Frankenstein – 15 votes


The winner of the Brackett bracket is The Left Hand of Darkness. The book is awarded this lovely pair of brackets: [ ], suitable for framing or using in its text. The decision was made by the most reliable metric currently known – 31 people on the internet.

(And in my opinion, they have chosen well.)


20th-century Fantasy

[In this poll, Kyra tested her theory that The Lord of the Rings would defeat all challengers.]

Lord of the Rings

  • WINNER: The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien – 38
  • The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula K. Le Guin – 36

Tombs of Atuan

  • WINNER: The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien – 36
  • Small Gods, Terry Pratchett – 35


  • WINNER: The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien – 37
  • The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle – 34


  • WINNER: The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien – 44
  • Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny – 27

nine princes in amber

Tolkien is the WINNER, AND STILL CHAMPEEN in all pairings, although in one of them it was by one vote, in one by two votes, and in one by three votes.

(The voting patterns that gave these results suggest to me — although they by no means prove — that the three-way battle of the previous round, in which Small Gods and The Tombs of Atuan tied and The Last Unicorn came in a very close second, was not, in particular, the result of vote-splitting; people here really do seem to favor those works in almost equal numbers.)

And there you have it. Once again, a double digit number of people on the internet has registered its clearly immutable judgment! The Lord of the Rings shall receive this lovely pair of brackets: [ ], suitable for framing or using in its text.


21st-century Fantasy

  • WINNER: The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison – 28 votes
  • Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold – 23 votes

And the winner is Katherine Addison’s tale of victory through kindness, bridge-building both literal and idiomatic, political intrigue, and confusing names. Nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards, winner of the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and now winner of this lovely pair of brackets:

[ ]

suitable for framing or incorporating into its text. We welcome it to the ranks of previous bracket winners, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.


21st-century Science Fiction

And, in an extremely shocking conclusion that no one could have … nah, just kidding, it was totally Ancillary Justice:


  • WINNER: Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie – 32 votes
  • Anathem, Neal Stephenson – 8 votes
  • Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold – 3 votes

And who is the second place winner? Removing AJ and distributing its votes to the second-place options, we get:

  • 2nd Place: Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold – 19 votes
  • Anathem, Neal Stephenson – 18 votes

An EXTREMELY close contest, but by the merest of hairs Bujold wins second place in what proved to be an uneven contest of Ancillary Justice Vs. Everyone Else.



Other Filers have followed her model and run polls on other topics. I plan to do a post on theirs next week.

  • The Alternate Universe 2015 Hugo Best Novel Organised by JJ
  • Rory Root Memorial Comics Bracket Curated by David Goldfarb
  • Live-Action TV Tournament/Brackets Curated by Jim Henley
  • Fantasy Movie Bracket Curated by Hampus Eckerman
  • Science Fiction Movie Bracket Curated by Hampus Eckerman

File 770 Turns 8

Happy birthday CROP

The File 770 blog is 8 years old today, and this is the first time I have ever celebrated — an idea I picked up from The Book Smugglers last week.

James H. Burns has written a special column for the occasion, and I am going to commemorate our epic bracket competitions from the past year.

Thanks to everyone who has shared their creativity in comments and posts. Help yourself to a slice of virtual cake!

Top 10 Posts for December 2015

In 2016 I may have to rethink the Top 10. The Scrolls are always top-rated because they are by design the town square where everybody gathers to talk. Sometimes an exceptionally large number of hits only means that bracket voting was in progress in the comments!

  1. Pixel Scroll 12/6 From the Mixed-Up Pixels of Mrs. Basil E. Frankscroller
  2. Pixel Scroll 12/15 Mother Pixel’s Littul Scrolls
  3. Pixel Scroll 12/18 Voxura vs. Scrolljira
  4. Pixel Scroll 12/17 We Also Walk T. Rexes
  5. Pixel Scroll 12/10 Plan Whine from Outer Space
  6. Pixel Scroll 12/21 Rudolph the Scroll Nosed Reindeer
  7. Pixel Scroll 12/20 Grandma Got Run Over By a Filer
  8. Pixel Scroll 11/30 The Doom That Came to File770
  9. Pixel Scroll 12/28 The Android Who Was Cyber-Monday
  10. Pixel Scroll 12/8 When Blogs Collide

Scrolls excluded, these were December’s 10 most-viewed posts.

  1. There Will Be War Volume Ten
  2. Your Star Wars Spoiler Discussion Goes Here
  3. Puppygate on Tonight’s Jeopardy!
  4. Libertarian Star Wars Special
  5. Citations Provided
  6. Star Trek Beyond — Official Trailer
  7. CBS Sues To Block Axanar Trek Movie
  8. That Sweet, Little Old Gollum
  9. Syfy Airing Sci-Fi: Can You Believe It?
  10. Your Retro Jovian Award Winners

File 770 #165 Available

Another New Year’s Eve tradition — ring out the year with the fanzine version of File 770.

Click here — File 770 #165, [5MB PDF file]

With a cover by Steve Stiles, the issue features these original articles:

  • One Month a Grand Master by Larry Niven and John Hertz
  • The Rotsler Winners: Personal Musings by Taral Wayne
  • John Hertz’s Westercon Notebook, a report of the 2014 convention
  • Red Letter Days, Taral Wayne muses about the calendar

Plus reprints of three popular articles:

  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E by James H. Burns
  • My Father, And The Brontosaurus by James H. Burns
  • Viewing The Remains of Bradbury’s House by John King Tarpinian

Top 10 Posts for November 2015

The decision to quit using Lovecraft’s likeness on the World Fantasy Award was by far the most-read news item last month, and S.T. Joshi’s complaints about it were such a comment magnet that a post about them cracked November’s otherwise Scroll-filled Top 10.

  1. World Fantasy Award To Abandon Lovecraft Bust
  2. Pixel Scroll 11/15 Scrolled Acquaintance
  3. Pixel Scroll 11/1 Rank Election
  4. Pixel Scroll 11/12 Vampire Elf-eared Zombie Shape-Shifting Warriors Of Gor
  5.  S.T. Joshi Rails Against Ending Use of Lovecraft Bust on World Fantasy Award
  6. Pixel Scroll 11/5 The Scrolls of His Face, The Pixels of His Mouth
  7. Pixel Scroll 11/11 Let it scroll on, full flood, inexorable
  8. Pixel Scroll 11/2 Unstable Molecules: For Starship Captains Who Shift Shape, And Get Overly Personal With Hedgehogs and Fondue Pots
  9. Pixel Scroll 11/8 Five If By Scroll
  10. Pixel Scroll 11/16 Time Enough For Hedgehogs

And here is a Bonus Top 10 of the most popular non-Scroll posts.

  1. Getting the Last Word First
  2. Do My Homework!
  3. Mari Ness Posts World Fantasy Report and a New Personal Policy
  4. Accessibility Issue at World Fantasy Con
  5. Genre Movie Scores Dominate Annual Hall of Fame Poll
  6. The Jocular Joshi
  7. SFWA Releases Nebula Suggested Reading List
  8. Scooby in Long Island
  9. Orphaned Rover Still Available After Auction
  10. Free Collection of Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos

Top 10 Posts For October 2015

The internet was enraged over a supposed boycott of Star Wars VII for having a black protagonist, which blew over when people claimed it was a 4chan stunt. Elsewhere, Amazon filed suit against some people selling fake reviews. That and a zillion more things (especially brackets) kept the Scrolls jumping.

  1. Pixel Scroll 10/20 Hugo, we have a problem
  2. Pixel Scroll 10/18 Psycho Filer
  3. Pixel Scroll 10/1 The Other Blog of Phileas Fogg
  4. Pixel Scroll 10/23 Gilligan’s File
  5. Pixel Scroll 10/12 Paladin of Pixels
  6. Pixel Scroll 10/19 Asterix and the Missing Scroll
  7. Pixel Scroll 10/14 The pixel will see you now…
  8. Pixel Scroll 10/3 The Red Scroll of Westmarch
  9. Pixel Scroll 10/21 One Ink Cartel
  10. Pixel Scroll 10/5 Manic Pixel Dream Scroll

Here are last month’s ten highest-ranked non-Scroll articles.

  1. Threats Cause SXSW 2016 To Cancel Two Gaming Panels
  2. WisCon 40 Chairs Resign
  3. Little Orphan Ancillary
  4. Sexual Assault Reported at SDCC
  5. WFC 2015 To Revise Antiharassment Policy
  6. BuzzFeed Threatens To Withdraw From SXSW Over Canceled Panels
  7. The Martian, Spoiled
  8. Back to Another Future
  9. My Home Delusion
  10. James Sallis Quits as College Instructor Over Arizona Loyalty Oath


Top 10 Posts for September 2015

Post-Worldcon roundups of links to commentary about Sasquan and the Hugos found a large following. So did Sasquan’s controversial announcement that the Hugo nominating data might not be released as expected, or at least not immediately. A new award proposal also received intense scrutiny.

  1. Pixel Scroll 9/1 The Pixellent Prismatic Spray
  2. Pixel Scroll 9/6 With Six, You Get Egg Scroll
  3. New Award Proposal at Black Gate
  4. Pixel Scroll 9/2 Split-Level Headcheese
  5. Pixel Scroll 9/4 The Scrolling Stones
  6. Hitch in Sasquan Nominating Data Turnover
  7. Pixel Scroll 9/3 The Nine Billion Noms of Dog
  8. Pixel Scroll 9/5 Their Eyes Were Watching Cod
  9. Pixel Scroll 9/23 Pixel Exigente!
  10. Pixel Scroll 8/31 From the SJW Aisle at Victoria’s Secret

Here are some bonus links to higher-ranked non-Scroll entries last month.

  1. Sad Puppies 4 Begins
  1. Fans In Accident Returning From Dragon Con
  1. Stross Says Give Discworld the 2016 Best Novel Hugo
  1. Help Cat Valente Design an Award
  1. 2015 Hugo Best Novel Longlist Discussion Thread