The Wind’s Hind Quarters 6/30

aka Quit Zoomin’ Those Paws Through The Air

Starring in today’s roundup: Charlie Jane Anders, Jon F. Zeigler, Arianne, Melina D, Paul Kincaid, Martin Wisse, Justin Howe, Lou Antonelli, Doctor Strangelove, Terry Weyna, Spacefaring Kitten, Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag, Grac and embrodski. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Richard Brandt and Daniel Dern.)

Charlie Jane Anders on io9

“Eight Books You Need To Know About To Understand The Hugo Awards Snafu” – June 30

about books

But all the discussions about the Puppies, pro and con, tend to bog down in generalizations. So let’s get specific. Here are eight books that can help illuminate this mess. Because this is about books, or it’s about nothing at all.

[Anders takes a highly interesting approach, contrasting what reviewers and Sad/Rabid Puppies advocates have to say about these eight sf works:]

  • The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  • Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia
  • Blackout by Mira Grant
  • Redshirts by John Scalzi
  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  • The Book of Feasts and Seasons by John C. Wright
  • Seveneves by Neil Stephenson

 

 

Jon F. Zeigler on Sharrukin’s Palace

“The Hugo Dispute: An Assessment” – June 30

[Thorough article. This is just an excerpt of two of the topics:]

Over at Amazing Stories, Steve Davidson recently blogged about possible fan responses to this mess. Some of his suggestions strike me as either impractical or actively harmful, but I think he’s on the right track with at least one item:

“First, the crafting of a formal statement that articulates the position that Fandom and Fans (which includes authors, artists, editors, podcasters, bloggers, fan writers, fan artists and everyone) do not game awards (or other fannish institutions) for personal, political or financial gain. Further, that individuals who may be eligible for awards state formally that they do not grant permission for third parties to include them or their works in voting campaigns or slates or organized voting blocs and that if their names or works are found on such, it is without their express permission.”

As a purely voluntary principle for creators in this space, I think that’s well worth considering. So here’s my line in the sand, to be repeated if and when it becomes fully relevant.

I won’t participate in organizing a slate for any industry award. If and when I publish something that’s eligible, I will not give my permission for that work to be included on any slate. If someone includes my work on a slate without my permission, and that work reaches the ballot, I will withdraw it from consideration. If that means the award becomes irrelevant to my success as an author, so be it.

I can succeed without having to chase fan politics. I can do that by pursuing the work I love: writing and selling stories. If that isn’t enough, I don’t intend to waste my time stewing over might-have-beens.

Now, as it happens, the argument above assumes that the rules of the awards process aren’t going to change. If they do change to make slate voting more costly or difficult, that mitigates the problem. There are multiple ways to get that result, some of which admittedly constitute a cure worse than the disease.

Fortunately, there’s a proposed rule change that will be considered at the WSFS business meeting this year, and that seems very promising. That’s the so-called E Pluribus Hugo proposal, a modification of the procedure for counting nomination votes.

I’ve spent some time looking at the EPH proposal. In fact, while I don’t claim to be an expert, the comparative study of election systems is familiar to me (my professional background is in mathematics and computer science). Thus far I’m quite impressed.

 

Melina D on Subversive Reader

“Hugos 2015 – Where to now?” – July 1

So what do I do next?

I was talking to my sister about the Hugos the other night. My sister is not in the community (though she does read and watch speculative media), but she’s worked in politics, so she understands a lot about the political process and it was relatively easy to explain how the slate dominated the awards this year. She helped me clarify some of my thoughts and then asked the question:

“So what are you going to do about it?”

Funnily enough, I’d been turning this question over in my head for a few days. What was I going to do to make my voice heard? How was I going to stand up and say ‘I want the best writing – the absolute best – to be nominated for and win Hugos Awards.’ I want writing which makes me feel something, writing which makes me stay up late reading, writing which makes me want to tell everyone about what I just read.

I have two main powers as a supporting member – I can nominate and I can vote. There is a third power though – I can write about it. I can write about the stories and books I read and why I love them or why they don’t quite work for me and why other people should go to read them. I can write about the nominees and why I would vote for one or the other. The power of the internet means that I can put my voice out there.

I can also read more. This Hugo ‘season’ has allowed me to find a lot of new places to find short fiction and I’ve already started reading some from the first half of the year. I’m reading more blogs and online magazines and looking at their book reviews and announcements. I’ve made sure that I’m putting more time into reading – even if it’s just a short story before bed.

There’s a few places I can go to find 2015 stories and media, but I’d also like to open it here. What new fiction or nonfiction are you consuming? What have you really enjoyed? What would you like to share with others? Leave a comment, tell me about it. I might go on to read and review it, I might not, but it gives me new places to explore and new things to try. I might find a new author I absolutely love, or find myself reading a new type of story I’d never even thought about before.

With more reading, I’m going to feel more confident nominating. And by sharing my reading, I hope I can encourage others to read and nominate their favourite stories of the year. Maybe it won’t be enough to negate the slate, but at least I’m doing something positive.

 

Paul Kincaid on BestScienceFictionBooks.com

“A Reply to Kevin Standlee on the Hugos”  – June 30

[Excerpt is first of four points.]

1: No, I do not want a “Strong Leader”, and that is not what I said. What I want is a more responsive organisation. Every award that I know of has a mechanism in place that would allow for a change in the rules between one award presentation and the next. Some of these amount to a strong leader, most do not. None of them takes at least two years to put in place any rule change.

Situations change, and in our modern digital age they change very rapidly indeed. It surely makes sense that awards should be able to respond just as rapidly. As it is, whatever might be proposed at the next WSFS meeting cannot take effect until after it is ratified at the following WSFS meeting in 2016, which means it will be the 2017 awards before there is any actual change. If the Sad and Rabid Puppies behaved within the rules this year, as indeed they did, then they have free rein to do exactly the same next year. That does not strike me as an award process that is fit for purpose.

Here’s is a proposal to make the award more responsive without a “Strong Leader”, (it may not be the only possibility or the best, but it is at least a notion that could be considered): I have seen a number of proposals online for possible changes to the Hugo rules. Why not provide a venue online where these proposals can be thoroughly debated by all interested parties, so that when the next WSFS meeting comes along all that is needed is for the proposal to be ratified or not by the meeting, and lo, the rule change is made, there and then, within the year? As it is, whatever debate has gone on previously, the proposal can only formally be made at the next WSFS meeting, by those who can attend the Worldcon (an expensive commitment, especially if it is on a different continent), and will then only be ratified by those attending the next WSFS meeting at the next Worldcon (yet another expense). By moving the debate online and making the WSFS meeting a ratification body, I think you would actually make the Hugos more democratic, not less.

So no, Kevin, I do not want a strong leader.

 

Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words

“If you want to change the Hugos, understand their history” – June 30

Okay, I don’t want to begrudge anybody their Hugo rant — ghu knows I’ve written enough and in fact I’d agree with quite a bit of this criticism:…

The Hugos are the way they are, with all their strengths and weaknesses because they’re the result of a decades long specific democratic process and the 2015 categories and rules are the fossilised remains of this process. You cannot understand the Hugos properly unless you not only know that the Best Semi-prozine category was created to shield all other fanzines from the Locus juggernaut, but also that the same sort of thing happened with the Best podcast category, the long struggle to get comics recognised properly and why there are two editorial categories and what went before that.

And not only that, you need to know the process and rules under which these changes are made, like the proposers of E Pluribus Hugo frex do seem to. You need to understand how the business meetings work as well as why and how it was established, even without Kevin Standlee to prompt you. You need to be a bit of a process nerd to be honest. (You also need to realise that much of this was designed by Americans, who seem to have a national weakness for over complicated voting systems with huge barriers to entry…)

This bone deep understanding and awareness of what is and isn’t possible given the history and current structure of WSFS and the Hugos is likely why people like Kevin Standlee might be a bit dismissive of such criticsm as well as looking overly lawyerly. That’s the risk of being an insider, you have a much better grasp on the mechanism of the system and less of an idea of what it looks like from the outside

But what you should also realise is that knowning this history and being familiar with the whole process more than likely also gives you an overwhelming sense of how fragile the whole structure is, how easy it is for a well intended proposal or rules change to damage or destroy WSFS. I see a deep fear and wariness behind that “slow and prone to complexify process, a desire to err on the side of caution, knowning how close it has come to all going kablooey.

 

Justin Howe on 10 Bad Habits

“Caring is Meaningless” – June 30

This is a thing I wrote in response to some SFF fandom bullshit going on. If you’re reading this and don’t know what the Sad/Rabid Puppies are, well, I envy you. Stay unaware. Don’t google it. Google prehistoric squirrels or Steven Universe conspiracy theories instead. It’ll be time better spent. For the rest of us poor bastards who have eaten of the Fruit of Bullshit from the Tree of Train Wreck, this post is for us.

When someone says, “Well, at least I care!” all they’re saying is, “Well, at least I have an opinion!” I’ve read this from one of the Sad Pup ringleaders, and couldn’t help but read the bit about “caring” as the foot-stomp of the petulant, self-righteous child. Caring is meaningless. Caring can be split so many ways and made to mean anything. You can carry it down into all kinds of Godwin Law absurdity. Mussolini cared about train schedules. Custer cared about the Sioux. You can’t say they didn’t. They certainly cared enough to have opinions about them. To state so sternly that you’re justified in your actions, because “you cared” is simply a sleight of hand attempt to raise feelings up to the level of values, because you’re not wise or self-aware enough to process your feelings without making noises.

 

Lou Antonelli on This Way To Texas

“Puppies in the heartland” – June 30

The Puppy Kickers cite well-known authors who are known conservatives – Mike Resnick and Larry Niven are two – but they came up through the ranks years ago. People like Larry Corriea and Brad Torgersen have entered the field in the past ten years, and have seen and felt first-hand the snubs and insults of the snobs. Both were nominated for the Campbell Award for Best new writer in their first year of eligibility. They didn’t win. Now, that award allows you two years of eligibility, and over the years many writers have has two shots at winning – but neither Larry nor Brad were even nominated in their second years of eligibility.

The Puppy Kickers would assert it’s because as people got to know them better, they realized they sucked as authors. I suspect it’s more likely they were shunted aside because they do not conceal their Mormon faith.

In 2012, when Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee for president, most of the leading lights in the s-f  literary world combined their hatred for people of faith with their hatred for Republicans by attacking Romney in the most vile language. Quite frankly, I personally believe there are some things you should never say to or about people, regardless of the subject. In light of the attacks on Romney, is it any wonder all the Mormon s-f writers went off the reservation? It’s almost a human rights issue – “you can’t say that about one of my coreligionists.

I doubt most of the Puppy Kickers have any Christian friends, and certainly no Mormons. But here in Middle America there are plenty of Christians, Mormons, and even – as Jay Lake used to say – “low church atheists” – people who don’t believe in the supernatural, but, like Jay, didn’t mind if you needed a faith.

I remember when Jay said the source of so much ill feeling were the “high church atheists” – people who didn’t believe in God, and wanted to stamp out your religion, too. Jay was a smart man and a nice guy.

As I have made the convention circuit, I have been heartened by the many people who have been kind and supportive of my work, and either supportive or tolerant of the Sad Puppies effort. It reminds me that most people are thoughtful and considerate human beings, and the internet is a tool that is – like the machinery left behind by the Krel as depicted in the s-f classic movie “Forbidden Planet” – letting the darkest and worst innermost aspects of human nature loose upon the land.

 

Doctor Strangelove on Strangelove for Science Fiction

“Attention seeking troll puppies” – June 30

The various Puppy leaders, it turns out, have little to say, and their arguments implode into insignificance. They don’t think a literary award, the Hugos, should go to literary fiction. They don’t think science fiction should contain messages, or be socially progressive. Their voting slates, of course, contain attempts at literary fiction and message fiction. If we set aside their arguments, all we are left with is noise. Their attention-seeking trolling of the Hugo nomination process in essence says “look at me, look at me!” That is sad, indeed.

 

Terry Weyna on Fantasy Literature

“Magazine Monday: Hugo-Nominated Short Stories 2014”

[Reviews all five nominees.]

The short stories nominated for the Hugo Award this year are a disappointing lot. I read a great many stories in 2014 that were far better than at least four of these tales.

 

Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“Jeffro ‘GURPS-disadvantaged people ruin SFF’ Johnson” – June 30

Reading Jeffro Johnson was an interesting and even SFFnal experience. I mean, one of the most enjoyable aspects of science fiction and fantasy is that it has the capacity to offer alien experiences and viewpoints.

Most likely I disagree with Jeffro Johnson on a wide range of topics, but unlike the three Mad Genius Club bloggers who are competing with him for the Best Fan Writer Hugo, Johnson makes a better job at explaining his views. He is also mainly interested in science fiction and fantasy instead of waging a culture war against “social justice warriors” which is more than a welcome change after wading through the polemics of Dave Freer, Cedar Sanderson and Amanda S. Green…..

 

Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag on Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog

“Hugo Reading – Fan Writer” – June 30

[Reviews all five nominees.]

Johnson is the clear winner here, since he seems to be the only one that really fits what I think of as the category. I might put Mixon on the ballot as well, but that is a difficult choice. Both of them are going below “No Award” I think. The other three do not deserve awards for the writing in their packets. In fact, they really shouldn’t have been nominated at all. My guess is that all three must have been on the slates, since I do not believe they could have been nominated by the merits of the writings they provided.

If I sound a little bitter, it’s because I’m feeling bitter… How can people who clearly hate fandoms not their own be nominated for a Hugo Award? My concept of fandom is a big umbrella under which all of us can hang out and do our own thing in a non-judgmental setting. To read screeds against other fans is depressing. To see those screeds nominated for awards? Gah. Seriously, did any of the people voting on the slates actually read these works and say, “Yes, this is the best writing about fandom I saw in 2014.” and, if so, why? How? How can writing that rips someone apart be the best? Why all the hate?

 

Grac on Grac’s Never-Ending TBR Pile of Doom

“The Three-Body Problem – Liu Cixin” – June 30

… I gave this book 3 because of the clunky/heavy part midway through, which almost made me give up. I can see why some people loved it, but I wasn’t one of them – it may well still end up winning this year’s Hugo but I don’t think it’s better than my vote (The Goblin Emperor, in case anyone is interested!). I prefer my science fiction a bit more people-oriented, to be perfectly honest, and the characterisation of many folks in this novel left something to be desired, even as the background of the Cultural Revolution and modern-day China added to its interest.

 

embrodski on Death Is Bad

“Amazing Man” – June 22

I dashed off a little short story, inspired by the Sad Puppies Hugo Fiasco. I had fun writing it, I hope someone finds it enjoyable to read. :)…

….“So all of this…” Paula gestured around herself to indicate the Presidential Palace, the Liberty Legions, and presumably the entire Liberated States of America. “All of this was because you felt snubbed by a group of people you don’t even like?”

Amazing ripped the glasses from his face and crushed them in his fist. His responding roar was super-human, shattering all the glass in the Palace and leaving Paula with mild, but permanent, hearing loss.

“It’s about ethics in journalism!”

Emilio won a Pulitzer that year, as well as a Peabody, an Oscar, a Grammy, a Dobby, and a Tony Award; all purely on merit and not for any other reason at all. Amazing Man won the Nobel Peace Prize. That last one raised a few eyebrows, but it was pointed out that the Peace Prize had previously been awarded to people with a much higher body count than Amazing Man had managed, and wouldn’t it be better to keep it that way? It was hard to argue with that logic.

Miss Perry was released, because Amazing Man was above petty things like personal revenge. She is now happily employed as a Field Hand in the Angola Liberty Farm.

591 thoughts on “The Wind’s Hind Quarters 6/30

  1. @Stevie: That’s an impressive resume. You’ve surely been around long enough, then, to not run about making silly demands about proving the validity of SF traditions with data and whatnot. You surely know more about the taboo against self-promotion, its origins, and controversies over various breaches real or imagined than I do.

    If you’d care to lecture on it, I’d listen eagerly.

  2. Neil

    Yep. Adam Roberts has said a lot of things, and sometimes he even remembers what he has said, so it can be difficult to keep up.

    He’s not exactly a disinterested party; he’s won some awards but the Hugo has eluded him. I can certainly see why he wants to find a reason for his failure to get one, outside the quality of the books, because otherwise he would have to accept that the voters don’t think he deserves one.

    This story seems remarkably similar to those other stories we’ve been told by assorted canines;…

  3. On BBQ: If y’all are ever in the Boulder, CO area, I would love to introduce y’all to Georgia Boys BBQ. They’re a small operation out of Longmont with a larger restaurant in Frederick, and they cater. Usually they set up a tent operation at our roller derby bouts, and they give all the home team skaters free food. They have also won my vegetarian husband’s eternal adoration for having southern-style sweet tea and very good mac & cheese.

    That said, I would not typically suggest a BBQ joint to a vegetarian. Someone upthread said, “And for the vegetarians, there’s fries and slaw!” That, to me, sounds like very limited selection. I take my hospitality seriously, and I’m not going to suggest as “vegetarian friendly” a restaurant where my friends will get told, “Well, there’s a couple sides on the menu…”

    Further on tea: We usually cold brew a couple of bags of Taylor’s of Harrogate Decaf English Breakfast overnight for a very tasty iced tea for all hours of the day or night. Recently we’ve been experimenting with a local brand called “Teakoe” that showed up at the grocery – brought home the variety that’s white tea and pear and sweetened with stevia, found out it makes a very tasty sweet tea.

    On tofu: My husband is fond of the sesame tofu dish our local Chinese restaurant does, and agedashi tofu at any Japanese restaurant. Maangchi’s recipes for pan-fried tofu have become favorites in this house. As for tofu dishes that aren’t vegetarian, my absolute favorite is kimchi jjigae (also to be found at Maangchi.com – I went there for the kimchi recipe and stayed for ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. The stuffed cucumber kimchi is my friend during harvest gluts).

  4. Laertes

    I’m English, and I don’t do pro bono work.

    On the other hand ‘running around making silly demands’ suggests you need to up your game, because if that’s the best insult you can come up with when addressing a woman then VD will be happy to provide you with his song book…

  5. O hai! My first time awaiting moderation. It is a post about sweet tea, BBQ, tofu, and Korean food. There are links to recipes and products.

    Further thoughts, these on green peas: Green peas means comfort food to me. Green peas in ground beef or bulk sausage or mac & cheese or tuna mac… Yesterday I made a weird cross between a pot-pie and a calzone when I spread some leftover pizza dough in a loaf pan and filled it up with a mixture of ground beef, onions, leftover sauteed mushrooms, a gravy made from the drippings of andouille sausage, and about a cup of frozen green peas. And a splash of Marsala because that was in the cupboard looking useful. Ditto salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. Tucked the ends of the dough up to form a top crust, baked at 350 d F for 45 minutes, nearly devoured the whole thing over a single evening.

    I win at leftovers. Boo-yah.

  6. @Stevie: I don’t imagine I’m any more interested in VD’s songbook than you are. This interaction is going to lead to any joy, and since you’ve now apparently concluded that I’m a puppy I can see that it’s going to confuse you terribly if I continue, so I’ll simply withdraw my suggestion that demanding “proof” of the tradition against self-promotion is unproductive, and wish you the best.

  7. Stevie on July 1, 2015 at 2:42 pm said:

    Ultimate nursery comfort food; soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers…

    Ohhh. Grilled cheese sandwich soldiers with tomato soup! That’s close enough to toast.

    The peas in guacamole thing makes me think of floating empenadas.

    I like to mash tofu with eggs for fried rice.

    ObSF re guacamole:
    Has anyone heard Neil Gaiman’s story of the very first time he had sushi? He told it at the last Montreal WorldCon.

  8. @ cocktail: So how about a Scalia’s Tears? The recipe I favor is:

    2 ounces rye whiskey
    1/4 ounce Fernet Branca
    1/4 ounce Grand Marnier or Cointreau
    A few splashes of water or soda
    Serve on the rocks, garnished with a miniature rainbow flag

    It’s a bitter, Italian, Old Fashioned.

  9. Went to Kansas City recently for two conventions and much barbecue. Arthur Bryant is the classic, but the more popular ones now with locals are Jack Stack and Oklahoma Joe’s, plus a few others, though there are arguments over which is better depending on whether you are eating beef, pork, lamb, or sausage. All are a mile or more from the convention center, though the Presidential Hotel nearby has great fried chicken, another KC specialty. Their version includes a 3-day soak in buttermilk..

    And for a cooling drink I like bitterness rather than sweetness, so a Suze and tonic or a Campari and soda are preferable.

  10. @Elisa he he predictive text made a funny :-D. If my child got involved in being tea it’d probably involve salt as he always wants to smother everything in the stuff. Still it would help keep the bacteria down I guess!

    And on the topic of sticky children, my son has an excellent poem in his Spike Milligan poetry book that describes it very well.

    I’ve tried to find a copy online and failed but did find this video of the Spike performing it set to music in typical bonkers fashion. The worlds are not very discernable though.

  11. Well, my tenure in fandom goes back quite a while; I have been posting on matters SF/F under my own name, Stevie Gamble, since the glory days of Rec.Arts.SF. Written.

    I have heard that one is not really an oldbie unless one participated in net.sf-lovers.

    I first saw Usenet, via my brother’s UUCP feed, in 1988. As I recall, there was a horrific flamewar ongoing. I didn’t dip my toe into the water again for several years.

  12. Agedashi tofu is lovely, I agree. The key to tofu is freshness and organic. It’s so delicate that chemicals and preservatives ruin the flavor.

    Soft summer tofu:
    A block of fresh silken tofu
    green onions
    bonito flakes
    sauce made from gojuchang, light soy sauce, mirin, and a bit of sake

    Top the tofu with sauce, sliced green onions /scallions and bonito. Eat with a spoon, savoring the cool, smooth, yet pungent flavors. Delicious, healthy and refreshing. Mmmmmm.

  13. Typo in my post about a typo – if only edit worked on my phone! What level SJW do I have to be to enable that?

  14. Laertes

    I haven’t concluded that you are a puppy. Frankly, when it comes to sides I’m with Treebeard on this one; I don’t like being told that I must be one or another. I am disappointed that you seem happy to use their tactics, but that doesn’t mean you are a signed up member of the canine contingent.

    Just rather patronising…

  15. Meredith: Does anyone know how old Jeffro Johnson is? I’m seeing people suggest he be cut some slack based on youth.

    Shambles: I did say he seemed a young writer but that is conjecture on my part.

    Robert Reynolds: If he says having a bastard, dwarf or cripple as a protagonist makes something message fiction, that indicates a limited worldview to me, whatever number of years he’s spent on this dust-speck.

    Based on his horrified response to the simple, non-controversial life truism that “Decisions have consequences, including being judged by those choices”, and several other comments he’s made which demonstrate extreme naivete, I would have put his age at 20, tops.

    But according to a friend of his, he’s around 40 years old.

    Given that he’s made several statements which demonstrate far-right-conservative-religious views (divorce is bad — on a level with civil war and church-splitting, sex outside of marriage is bad), and the fact that he approached VD, whose views on women’s rights are well-self-publicized, with an offer to write a blog for his site, I would say that his extreme naivete stems from a rigid religious upbringing.

    For him to consider a person who happens to have a disability or be born out of wedlock as not being valid main protagonist on their own merits — yeah, a guy who’s 40 ought to know better by that age.

  16. @Meredith I love porter! It’s my favourite type of beer. My favourite porter is Titanic Plum Porter from Stoke. I’ve not come across Salem Porter – I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  17. adding sugar to cold tea just makes a tea-ey sludge at the bottom of the glass).

    Two words: simple syrup. I use a 1:1 mix of white sugar and water, others do 2:1 or even 3:1. It can be added to individual glasses of iced tea so that the same pitcherful can satisfy an unreformed Southerner (the further south you go in the US the sweeter the tea becomes) and a Northerner who drinks unsweetened tea like the good gods intended. Unlike peas in guacamole, which is either a waste of good, fresh peas (short season, not that easy to find around here, best eaten asap out of the shell) or an attempt to gild the lily by adding unnecessary ingredients. The only non-MesoAmerican ingredients that should go into guacamole are lime juice, onions, garlic, and cilantro. Harumph.

    Topic change: is anyone interested in a meet-up at Westercon this weekend?

  18. I need to defend the drinking of hot beverages in hot weather. A nice cup of hot tea is just what you need on a summer afternoon in South Asia when the temperature is somewhere in the mid-40s C. Makes you feel cooler by comparison to your drink.

  19. @tonieee

    If I didn’t have a pathetic alcohol tolerance I would’ve been sorely tempted to have another pint. T’was lovely.

  20. Here are some thematically related cocktail ideas:

    Rocket Fuel
    2 oz Vodka
    1 oz Tequila
    1 oz White rum
    1 dash Tabasco sauce (optional)

    The Red Shirt Martini to drown your Scalzi related woes.

    The Salty Dog
    1.5 oz gin (or vodka, depending on your preference)

    3 oz grapefruit juice

    Rim a glass with salt and fill the glass with ice. Add booze and grapefruit juice. Garnish with a lime or cherry if you’re feeling fancy.

  21. Meredith: I think that there used to be a gentleman’s agreement not to promote your works for the Hugos in the same way as there used to be one about not gaming the Hugos. One is much less harmful than the other, but I can sort of see why some older fans might not like the change anyway.

    Rose Embolism: I don’t think it was so much a gentleman’s agreement, as that until the advent of personal blogs, it was difficult to promote one’s own work. But as has been pointed out before, self-promotion is now an integral and important part of the author’s job. It’s probably unfair to both the author and the publisher to expect authors to keep quiet when there’s an opportunity to self-promote.

    Of course that means that authors who have strong social media presence and a big fan following will have an advantage. But I don’t consider that to be fundamentally different from the advantage that name recognition has always given popular authors.

    Author self-promotion for the Hugos has actually long been a point of contention in fandom, probably going back to the inception of the Hugo Awards (Ellison is famous for his rants against self-promotion for awards).

    But back then, it was also possible for someone to be pretty widely-read across the SFF field. These days, it’s damn near impossible. I read 150 SFF novels a year, and I still don’t feel as though I come close to having read the majority of worthy works.

    And yes, the Internet has changed everything: both in that it is now far easier to self-promote to an exponentially-wider audience, and in that author self-promotion via social media is now just a required part of the business.

    There isn’t going to be any putting that genie back in the bottle.

  22. There’s also:
    Baby V.O.X. recipe
    serve in Highball Glass
    1 oz Tanqueray® gin
    1/2 oz Captain Morgan® Parrot Bay coconut rum
    4 oz orange juice
    2 oz cranberry juice

    Scooby Snack

    1 oz Malibu® coconut rum
    1 oz Midori® melon liqueur
    1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
    1/2 oz whipped cream

    and the
    Sore Loser: 1 oz 101-proof bourbon, such as Old Ezra 7-year 1 oz creme de peche, such as Briotette or Combier .75 oz Amontillado sherry 1 tsp anise, such as Pontarlier or Ricard 1 dash Angostura bitters Stir ingredients together with ice and strain over fresh, large ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a large orange twist.

    Hugo Cocktail
    Ice cubes
    3 cl. of elderflower syrup
    7 cl. of Prosecco or sparkling wine
    2 cl. of sparkling mineral water
    Some leaves of mint

  23. @Meredith a lot of porters can be very strong too – I’ve had a few that have been getting on for 8%.

  24. Been on usenet long enough to remember Gary Farber yelling at us damn kids to quit using alt.fandom.cons, as it was a “deprecated” newsgroup and no one should be using it.

    (and hey, editing button!)

    Remembering alt.fandom.cons makes me think about Roland Castle. Now there’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time.

  25. RedWombat

    I have a sneaking suspicion that ‘lived’ is a tad over optimistic; heaven only knows what will happen when we get to the pearly gates reeking of purple basil, particularly because purple basil does not occur very often in Elysium…

  26. @Kyra @Edited To Add

    Half a bison = Hefeweizen. Okay. I expect I will remember it for the rest of my days as half a bison, though; I just find that more memorable for some reason. It would make quite a picture for a beer label…

  27. OK, a serious question from a non-parent: isn’t nicknaming your nephew “Sticky” like nicknaming a human child “Two-legs” or “Has-hair”?

  28. If I could still drink beer I’d steal that for a homebrew label (“Half a Bison Hefeweizen”). Unfortunately gluten free beer is mostly terrible, so I stick with wine.

  29. Vicki Rosenweig — In that no-one calls their children that, so no other child will have that name? I guess so.

  30. >I have heard that one is not really an oldbie unless one participated in net.sf-lovers.

    Nah, those are still newbies.

    For Usenet, we Great Old Ones* cut our teeth on the SF-Lovers Digest as transmitted through Berkeley’s Usenet-ARPANet gateway.

    For general online fandom, SF-Lovers when it was just on ARPANet and one of the first 2-3 generally open membership mass mailing lists (I’m recalling Human-Nets and maybe one other also being created circa 1977).

    * UNC-CH computer science major when Usenet was invented there and at Duke. I recall when the entire map was duke—unc and would have a two digit number if Usenet had registration numbers. As far as I know, only one person in fandom can beat me out on this, that being Ben Yalow who was consulted by Bellovin, Truscott, and Ellis when they were writing the code for Usenet.

  31. Tofu dishes to try: For chinese tofu (the slightly harder consistency version), I’ll add my support to Mapo Tofu. For Japanese tofu (the softer version that allegedly contains eggs), you cannot go wrong with any sort of claypot seafood/ vegetable dish – pretty much every Cantonese restaurant would have a selection.

    I’m also inordinately fond of tempeh, which is an Indonesian tofu-adjacent version, but the usual sauce is verrry pungent and spicy, so YMMV.

    Also, no support for stinky tofu :p ? Mannnn, that was an experience, and I say that as someone who usually doesn’t have issues with food with strong odours (ie, durian)

  32. For Usenet, we Great Old Ones* cut our teeth on the SF-Lovers Digest as transmitted through Berkeley’s Usenet-ARPANet gateway.

    There was, IIRC, an ‘at sign party’ at Noreascon II, for people with an @ in their name. (I wasn’t there, not being qualified.)
    Somewhere, I still have a couple of pages of Known Space lightbulb jokes.

  33. Also, no support for stinky tofu :p ?

    There’s a stinky tofu booth at least once a year near me, but the line is long and I can’t convince my wife to wait with me. You can definitely smell it when you go by.

  34. Library books lying around the house half-finished because I stalled and don’t know if I’m going to un-stall:

    Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari. Stalled in first sections (before agriculture) because there are so many things I disagree with about human evolution (I am an evolutionary biologist by training). He’s got cooking as 300,000 years ago, I’m with those who put it much earlier, as a characteristic of Homo in general. He’s got nothing about “the String Revolution”, or the evidence from louse evolution — all pointing to clothes being pre-sapiens. He works in Israel, so he tends to focus on the route out of Africa via the Levant and toward Europe; I’m more convinced by the evidence for the Yemen route and very early sapiens in southern India.

    Maybe the later parts are better, I dunno. The book is also exceptionally heavy for its size, with very dense paper — so it’s hard on my carpal tunnels and I’m reluctant to read it.

    Galapagos Regained, by James Morrow. I’m stalling as they’re getting the expedition together, because I’m losing interest in the protagonist — probably because she’s not yet much of a scientist, and I find grifters boring.

    The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. Not just a dystopia, it’s a *downer*, and I don’t think I’m really in the mood.

    A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin. Still in the first chapter, moving so slowly that I wouldn’t know the protagonist was dead if the book jacket hadn’t told me.

  35. Doctor Science: Its worth your while to unstall on A Madness of Angels, IMHO. Although I may have a preference for a story that slowly unfolds hidden details.

    On the religious wars, I do my own Australian BBQ (both what we call bbq, and you call grilling. My garlic prawns are the crowd favorites. And a dry rub pork done low and slow in a smoker. I’m not sure of the origin of my bbq style, it came to me second hand from a friend who loved many different American BBQ styles, and I’ve tinkered with it since.)
    And vim.

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