Pixel Scroll 11/17 How to win friends and influence pixels

(1) Star Wars is causing a great disturbance in the toy aisles:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and other retailers have loaded up on plastic lightsabers, robotic Yodas and other toys tied to the coming movie, crowding out shelf space and inventory dollars elsewhere in the toy section. The big bets are pushing orders for toy makers, such as Mattel Inc., closer to the holidays and squeezing some smaller competitors in the $22 billion U.S. toy industry.

One property hit hard: “Peanuts.”

Iconix Brand Group Inc., which controls the license to the newest animated Charlie Brown movie, this month cut its sales outlook from “Peanuts” licenses by $24 million for the year largely because it miscalculated how many Snoopy dolls and other “Peanuts” products retailers would buy.

(2) Sean Wallace advised on Facebook:

Authors: always make sure that a year’s best allowance is in your short story contracts. If you need to see an example of what I mean, Tor.com’s contracts are pretty good on this score: “The Author will not, without written permission from the Publisher, publish or permit publication of the Work or any material based upon the Work in any form or medium until one year after the date of first publication of the Work by the Publisher. Anthologies of the year’s best science fiction or fantasy shall be exempted from the one-year restriction set forth in this paragraph.”

(3) Aliette de Bodard’s guest post on Over The Effing Rainbow deals with “Science-fiction, fantasy, and all the things in between”.

I used to be quite rigid about genre separation: in particular, though I read both fantasy and science fiction, I wasn’t very keen on “merging” them together. In recent years, I’ve found myself being more and more elastic with my definition of genre, and in particular with my definition of “science fiction”.

Partly, it’s because expectations are such a double-edged sword: they are a helpful guide, but like any guide, they can become a cage. It’s very easy–and a very slippery slope–to go from “readers expect this” to “I shouldn’t deviate from this”. Much as I like being aware of what is done and why, I grew increasingly uncomfortable with the (over)splitting into genres and subgenres: I found that tropes, used too many times and without the infusion of freshness from an outside source, calcified into books that were…. ok, but not good, or not great. Books that I read to pass the time (and there’s nothing wrong with that!), but that I felt were missing something. Part of the reason why I read is to find new things, new ideas; and I wasn’t finding that in books that adhered too rigidly to expectations. Ie, a little rulebreaking from time to time never hurt anyone! (also, if you’re going to break a rule, break it good and hard. My personal motto *grin*)

The second thing that made me uncomfortable was becoming aware of the way “science fiction” was used to elevate certain works, and dismiss others altogether…

(4) Walter Jon Williams says Taos Toolbox must move its location, but is still on for 2016.

Taos Toolbox logo

Yes, there will be a Taos Toolbox next year! I’ve had to delay the announcement due to our losing our lodging, and to the fact that there will be massive construction in the Ski Valley next year.

The master class for writers of science fiction and fantasy will be held July 17-30, 2016, at Angel Fire, NM, just a short distance from Taos.

Teaching will be Nancy Kress, Walter Jon Williams, indiepub guru Emily Mah Tippetts, and James S.A. Corey, author of The Expanse.

(5) When his bike was stolen and he was without transportation to his two jobs many miles from home, conrunner Adam Beaton turned to GoFundMe.

That’s why the money will be used for a scooter. I don’t need anything fancy, and I’m not looking for a car because I’d rather not have another bill for insurance on my plate right now. A simple scooter doesn’t require a motorcycle license and also doesn’t require insurance. It’s also far less expensive than buying a car, even a used one, which is why I’ve tried to keep the target goal as low as possible. Honestly I just need simple transportation that I can use to get me to-and-from work so I can continue being a productive member of society and not lose my jobs.

The community came through with the $600 he needed.

Wow. In less than two days, the goal was made. I’m very blessed to have such great friends and family. Especially some of you who I know are also facing some difficult times and still helped me out anyway. Thank you, thank you, thank you. If you’d still like to contribute, it’ll definitely help in getting a scooter that’s say, a bit less used.

(6) Today In History

  • November 17, 2008Twilight, the movie that launched a global teenage vampire romance phenomenon, premiered in Los Angeles.

(7) “New LEGO Slippers Will Spare Parents The Unique Pain They Know All Too Well” says Huffington Post.

Now the LEGO brand has teamed up with French advertising agency Brand Station to create some slippers with extra padding that will protect parents from this tortuous sensation.

 

Lego slippers

(8) Another inventor has come up with the “Prosthetic Tentacle”.

A student designer has created a prosthetic tentacle as an alternative to artificial human limbs,

Kaylene Kau from Taipei made the remarkable invention as part of a design school project.

The limb would be able to grip many different objects by curling up with the help of a simple motor.

It’s actually a pretty simple invention. The controls on the limb tell the motor to curl or uncurl, and there is no ‘hardwire’ link to the nervous system, as seen in some of the most advanced robotic or artificial limbs in development.

 

Prosthetic Tentacle

(9) Daniel Dern sends links to the SF-themed comic strips he’s seen so far this week.

(10) Famous Monsters #283 sports a Star Wars-themed “variant newsstand cover” by artist Rob Prior. The issue includes interviews with Mark Hamill on Star Wars, Greg Nicotero on The Walking Dead, and Sam J. Jones on Flash Gordon.

FM 283 cover SW

(11) “Yorick: A Unique Life-Size Skull Carved From a Crystallized Gibeon Meteorite” at Junk Culture:

A rare and singular combination of natural history and modern art, Lee Downey’s “Yorick.” is a life-size skull carved from a large Gibeon meteorite that crashed in the Kalahari Desert in Namibia a thousand years ago. An artist who is known for selecting exotic materials with which to work, Downey acid-etched the carving to uncover the Gibeon meteorite’s singular, lattice-like pattern. “A symbol of death, of eternity, of immortality, of demise and rebirth.” he explains, “Of any material I could think of to fashion an accurate human skull out of, this Gibeon meteorite best embodies the ‘mystery’ most acutely.”

 

skull2The skull will be auctioned by Bonhams on November 24, perhaps for as much as $400,000. The auction webpage explains the origin story of this type of meteorite.

ABOUT GIBEON

  • Gibeon is iron-based and one of the rarest forms of meteorite.
  • It originated billions of years ago from an unstable planet that existed briefly between Jupiter and Mars.
  • When the planet broke apart, a section of its core traveled through space for four billion years.
  • Only the vacuum of space – which provides no surrounding molecules through which heat can be conducted away from the meteorite – allows the prolonged period of intense heat necessary for the alloys of iron meteorites to crystallize.
  • During its journey, the meteorite’s alloys crystallized to form an octahedral crystalline structure that cannot be recreated on earth.
  • When it met the earth’s atmosphere, about 1000 years ago, it exploded over the Kalahari Desert.
  • The iron rain formed a meteorite field in Great Namaqualand, Namibia, which was first discovered by the local Nama people.
  • A 48,000 gram block was cut out of the heart of a complete, 280 kg iron meteorite, which Downey then painstakingly carved down to the carving’s 21,070 grams.
  • Radiometric dating estimates the age of crystallization of Gibeon’s metal at approximately 4 billion years.

(12) The Doc Dave Winiewicz Frazetta Collection will be auctioned by Profiles in History on Friday, December 11 at 11:00 a.m. PST. Catalog and flipbook at the link.

(13) Winiewicz holds forth on “The Essence of Frazetta” in this YouTube video.

(14) The previous pair of news items come from John Holbo’s discussion of fantasy art and “Men wearing a military helmet and nothing else in Western Art” in “Frazetta Auction – and French Academic Art” at Crooked Timber. The post begins with a revelation about Frazetta’s source for images of fallen warriors in two of his works.

(15) Shelf Awareness editor Marilyn Dahl plugs Larry Correia’s latest book tour and adds some career history.

Larry Correia took a somewhat unexpected journey on his way to becoming a bestselling author. He self-published his first book, Monster Hunter International, when he was an accountant and a gun dealer, and discovered how fundamental handselling is, along with a bit of luck. Don Blyly of Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis, Minn., asked for a copy, read it and finished it in one night. He purchased a large number of POD (print on demand) copies for the store and handsold them. Then fate appeared. The week Uncle Hugo’s began selling the book, Entertainment Weekly ran the store’s bestseller list, with Monster Hunter International at #3. Toni Weisskopf, publisher of Baen Books, speedily signed Larry to a one-book deal, which turned into 16 in less than six years. In addition, while promoting his POD edition, Correia traveled throughout the Mid- and Southwest, becoming a bookseller favorite. He’s launching Son of the Black Sword with a tour that started in New England, continued to the Pacific Northwest, then traveled down the West Coast and across the desert, wrapping up in Scottsdale, Ariz.

(16) Stuart Starosta of Fantasy Literature scored an interview with Cixin Liu.

What was it like when The Three-Body Problem won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best SF novel and was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award? Is it exciting to discover so much interest in your works overseas? When you first wrote the series, was it intended mainly for Chinese readers or did you imagine there would be English readers as well?

I was in Chicago for the Nebula Awards in June but was too busy to attend the Hugo Awards ceremony. Yet The Three-Body Problem was awarded the Hugo Award so I was disappointed that I missed this opportunity. But I am delighted that the translator, Ken Liu, was able to receive the award. His excellent translation played a very important role in earning the award so I have always believed that we won the award together. I am of course very happy that my own work is so successful outside China. The genre of science fiction was introduced to China during the end of the Qing Dynasty by Westerners. One century later, China’s science fiction work is finally being published and recognized in the West. But from another perspective, science fiction novels are the most global type of literature compared to other translated works. These works often involve many aspects of Chinese culture that may be foreign to Westerners so science fiction in translation should be easier for a Western audience to understand.

(17) And Sasquan, in the interests of promoting peace and world brotherhood… no, cancel that story. David D’Antonio, 2015 Hugo Ceremony Director, is still chasing after people to give them souvenir asterisks.

The 2015 Hugo Ceremony is over, and we’re reminded that not every nominee could be present. During the Pre-Hugo Reception we offered all present their own 2015 Hugo Asterisk to commemorate an extraordinary year and signify the several records set (including the record number of Hugo voters). Should any of those nominees who couldn’t be present desire one, we do have extras and will be happy to send one along. Please contact us at hugoceremony@sasquan.org at your earliest convenience. Unfortunately, that email list will be closed after two (2) months so we regret that we will not be able to fulfill requests after that time.

Sasquan attendees could get their own asterisk during the convention for a suggested donation to Sir Terry Pratchett’s* favorite charity, The Orangutan Foundation. $2800 was raised and has been sent to help orangutans at Leakey Center.

 

Sasquan asterisk

(18) A photographer imagines the daily, mundane life of Darth Vader at Mashable.

Vader brushing teeth

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Daniel Dern, JJ, Alan T. Baumler, Michael J. Walsh, John King Tarpinian, and Paul Weimer for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

306 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/17 How to win friends and influence pixels

  1. I know quite a few people who aren’t on Facebook. There’s one sitting a few feet from me as I type. But I don’t know very many people who don’t know someone who is on Facebook. For example, the person sitting near me often gets messages relayed from Facebook by, er, me. So I don’t think Facebook is a bad choice for a place to post a low-priority message like, “hey we still have some of these asterisks around, if anyone is interested.” It may not go directly to the intended recipients, but there’s an excellent chance it’ll get there indirectly.

    And while we can argue all day about whether the asterisks themselves were a good, bad, or indifferent idea, I don’t see anything wrong with a post reminding people that there are still some unclaimed ones. I don’t think it was mean; I don’t think it was tone deaf. I think it was very sensible. Now, if you think the asterisks are so horrible that we should never ever speak of them again, then I can see how you might feel it was some horrible faux pas, but since I don’t accept the premise, I don’t reach the same conclusion.

  2. Meredith: I’m starting to think the acoustics of the auditorium weren’t very good.

    The Hugo ceremony was held in a very modern, high-quality theatre.

    Differences between what people experienced in person and what people heard on the UStream recording are not surprising, nor would they be unexpected.

    Differences between what Puppies say they heard in terms of noise level of applause and cheering and what other attendees say are not surprising, either, as people faced with an unpleasant personal situation are likely to perceive any slight far more acutely than those who are not faced with such.

  3. Xtifr: I don’t think Facebook is a bad choice for a place to post a low-priority message like, “hey we still have some of these asterisks around, if anyone is interested.”

    Again, that is not what they were saying. It wasn’t “anyone who is interested”. It was “the handful of nominees who weren’t there”.

    What they were saying was, essentially, “Yes, we have contact information for the handful of nominees who were not at the Hugo ceremony, but we’re going to broadcast this here because we can’t be arsed to contact them directly.”

  4. @JJ

    Not-Puppies in the auditorium have disagreed with other Not-Puppies in the auditorium, though. 🙂

  5. JJ: What makes you think they had contact information for nominees who didn’t have memberships? And why do you think this was such an important issue that it required them to go out and hunt down all possible recipients and send personalized messages? I’m truly confused.

  6. Meredith: Not-Puppies in the auditorium have disagreed with other Not-Puppies in the auditorium, though.

    I would not ascribe that to the acoustic qualities of the theatre, which were excellent.

  7. Xtifr: What makes you think they had contact information for nominees who didn’t have memberships?

    Because they contacted all the nominees prior to the announcement of the final ballot to get their acceptance of the nomination.

    Why do you feel compelled to make excuses for what was a thoughtless and lazy decision on the part of Sasquan? “Let’s broadcast this to the people who’ve subscribed to our page in the hopes that it actually reaches the handful of people who didn’t come to our convention“. (Never mind that several of those would have provided contact information with their Supporting Memberships, as well.)

  8. I guess what amazes me is that Sasquan didn’t mail out souvenir asterisks to the non-attending nominees at the same time that they mailed the rockets to the winners who couldn’t attend. How are they getting the rocket nominee pins to these people? By teleportation?

    I mean, this is just normal due diligence for such an event. I’m utterly baffled that Sasquan thought that a Facebook post was an acceptable substitute.

  9. Because I don’t see anything wrong with it. To send out personalized messages, they’d have to go through their files, which may not have been at hand or up-to-date, and send a whole bunch of separate messages, some of which may require non-electronic formats, like snail-mail. What is so all-fired important about this trivial and inconsequential announcement that it requires all that effort? Why do you think this is such a big deal? I am truly befuddled.

    To me, their approach looks smart!

    (And, in fact, for all we know, the post to Facebook was merely a backup in case any of the individual messages went awry.)

  10. Xtifr: What is so all-fired important about this trivial and inconsequential announcement?

    You know what, I’m pretty sure that most of the nominees who couldn’t attend don’t think that their nominee rocket pins and any associated souvenirs are “trivial and inconsequential”.

    But then, I’ve never been, and will never be, nominated for a Hugo. Though I’ve been nominated for other things, and if I hadn’t been able to make it to the ceremony, I certainly would have cared.

  11. Tough crowd on file770 today. Guns, asterisks, emotions are pretty high.

    What do you all think of Darth Vader brushing his teeth? I keep staring at the picture. On the one hand I like the concept and it’s well done. On the other everything is too white. I picture Vader’s bathroom as black with stainless steel for contrast. I think he’d be using an electric or sonic toothbrush.

  12. And it sounds like they all got their rocket pins, since no announcement was made about that. The asterisks, however, were created separately, handled separately, are pretty much unofficial to the best of my knowledge, and may not have even ended up with the same person or people. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

  13. Xtifr: And it sounds like they all got their rocket pins, since no announcement was made about that.

    Since no announcement was made about that, it doesn’t sound like that at all.

    If Sasquan can send the frickin’ rocket pins, they can send the asterisks.

    This post by Sasquan was thoughtless, lazy, ill-advised, ineffective — and just ground salt into the Puppies’ No Awards.

    Much as I dislike the Puppies and thought their works were, with a couple of exceptions, completely crap, I just can’t defend Sasquan for this.

  14. re: Witches of Lychford, lots of interesting US/UK comparisons, thanks all. Personally, it’s on my long list, although there’s some good competition on there too.

    @Meredith, I also have my longlist ebook, looking forward to reading it in 2017 or so.

    @Tasha, the Vader photo makes me think of the most compelling unanswered question from the whole series: doesn’t that mask itch?

  15. Perhaps they could have sent ’em with the pins, but obviously they didn’t, so that’s not relevant. Now that we are where we are, what justifies all this extra effort you insist they should have taken? It’s months later, who knows where all the contact files are located? And the asterisks aren’t even an official part of the award. Just why is it they should go to the huge amounts of effort you seem to be demanding? (Assuming they didn’t! As I pointed out, this could have been a backup notification in case any of the individual notifications went awry.) Several of the nominees have already loudly objected to the very existence of the asterisks—does it really strike you as wise to poke those bears directly by sending personalized notifications? (Assuming, again, that they didn’t already.)

    But if you think it’s a mountain while I think it’s a molehill, well, I seem to be about as likely to convince you to change your mind as you are to convince me (and I assure you that your arguments have done absolutely nothing to convince me), so I guess we should agree to disagree.

    (Of course, as a programmer, I consider laziness to be one of the three great virtues, so your attempts to use that as an insult weren’t persuading me in the first place.) 😉

  16. Xtifr: as a programmer, I consider laziness to be one of the three great virtues, so your attempts to use that as an insult weren’t persuading me in the first place

    As a software and database developer and designer, business analyst, tester, tech and user manual writer of many more years than I wish to publicly admit, I consider laziness to be the bane of my existence and a discredit to my profession (though I know, and am good friends with, many developers who share your philosophy) — so we’ll have to agree to disagree on that.

    (Auuugghhh! Having to maintain half-assed, buggy code by cowboy developers who don’t understand top-down development and refuse to use meaningful variable names and commenting, and could not write comprehensible documentation if their life depended upon it! Don’t even effing get me started!)

    For many years I worked for a volunteer philanthropic organization which did awards, amongst other things. The half-assedness of this latest post by Sasquan, and the fact that they didn’t immediately, after the con, dispatch all nominee souvenir items to the appropriate persons, baffles and confounds me.

     
    Having said all that, I have appreciated your posts on here, and your sly, sarcastic sense of humor, and the fact that we disagree on this issue will not change that one whit for me. 😉

  17. Heh, thanks, JJ. I’ve certainly enjoyed plenty of your posts.

    But as for laziness, I think you’ve been hanging out with people who don’t really get it! Documenting your code and using meaningful variable names and clean design and the like mean less work in the long run, so no truly lazy programmer would ever do anything else! 😀

    (See also Heinlein’s old story, “The Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail”, which makes similar arguments. Being lazy requires optimizing your efforts, not neglecting them.)

  18. I got into technical writing because I was lazy. People kept asking me for help with computer stuff. I hate repeating myself and have a 3 time rule:
    1st time we document as we go along
    2nd time we fix mistakes in documentation
    3rd time you show me where the documentation is broken
    Anyone needing same help afterwards had to prove they’d used documentation and it didn’t work by showing me which step they were stuck on if they wanted help. This was outside my job responsibilities.

    Where I worked we had to take intro classes even if we were advanced users before we could take higher level classes. I seated myself next to the person I figured would be the bane of the trainers existence. Several trainers from same company went back to their company insisting I be hired. Boom career change.

    Laziness on the job has led me to be efficient and streamline a good 10-20 hours off of many of my jobs early on in my career. Templates, better filing systems, procedural documentation, combining reports, learning to use merge features, taking advantage of dynamic databases, all cut of hours of work.

  19. Re Peanuts:

    They were old even when I started reading them around 12, but there is something about Snoopy that seems to have near-universal child appeal. This doesn’t actually translate into reading the comics, but lots of European children wear Snoopy pajamas and name their pets after him, just ’cause. Like Hello Kitty, the icon is all it takes.

    I recently saw the trailer for the new movie in a theater full of children, and there was a choir of tiny voices asking their parents to go.

    I’m always a little shocked at the 3Ding of drawn characters, but I have to say, this looks to be one of the better done sort.

    junego:

    Gah!!! I’m so far behind (…)
    Onward to disjointed, out-of-sync conversations. Please ignore the 16 hour timeslips. At least it’s 2015

    This is my perpetual state here, I really hope people don’t mind.

  20. @lurkertype

    Battle Mountain may cause cars to develop faults, but it is particularly nice for those who use human powered vehicles. It being the site for the World Human Powered Speed Challenge every year. The current record being 83 mph.

    I guess the cyclists have made the right oblations to the god of the mountain.

  21. I never much liked or disliked Peanuts, but my sister loved it.

    I rather like the art style they went with for the new film. Unusual, and conveys the 2D of the original beautifully while still being a 3D film.

  22. The march of bland industrial progress, often in the form of a large multinational or a major highway, coming after British identity in the metaphorical form of small village life is a big story archetype in the past half-century.

    Robert Crumb’s one-page comic A Short History of America does a good job of telling that kind of story.

  23. Assuming that the Worldcon actually has the mailing addresses of every finalist is a bad assumption. Furthermore, bear in mind that Worldcons do not actually have to get potential finalists to explicitly accept the shortlist slot — they have to give them a reasonable opportunity to decline, which is not the same thing at all. Without this provision, a potential finalist who is off hiking in the Himalayas — don’t laugh; it actually happened — and out of contact could end up holding up the entire balloting process while the Worldcon tried find a way to contact the person.

    Finalists do not need to be members of Worldcon, nor do they even have to be alive. Some finalists never respond. Bob Eggleton famously didn’t get the notification letter (1994 in the internet dark ages, paper letters only) and didn’t fret over it, which is why I’m the person who accepted Eggleton’s 1994 Best Artist Hugo, on account of being the only one of the Administrators present at the convention that year. (Bob got so excited that he flew to Winnipeg the next day and we re-presented his trophy to him prior to the start of the Masquerade, which was held the night after the Hugo Awards at ConAdian.)

    I have no inside information, but it certainly would not surprise me at all to learn that a given Worldcon doesn’t have good contact information for some of the finalists.

  24. Note to authors: if you want the goodies which come with being nominated for an award contact the awards/convention committee with your phone, email, and mailing address. Apparently this saves the committee much headaches and might get you cool stuff. Also if you are unable to attend contact the committee to see what you need to do to help them honor you & possibly get stuff to you. Another part of the job no one tells you about.

  25. Tasha said:

    1st time we document as we go along
    2nd time we fix mistakes in documentation
    3rd time you show me where the documentation is broken

    That rhymes with my procedure for automating a task:
    1) do it manually to determine the steps
    2) write the code to do the steps; monitor the result to ensure it’s correct
    3) schedule it to run

    Constructive laziness FTW!

    Alas, I, like many coders, fail spectacularly at the documentation step. 🙁

  26. @ JJ, @ Xtifr
    re: laziness

    A very good and very lazy friend of mine used to quote an old aphorism to all those who didn’t do it correctly the first time through…”Some think for 5 minutes and work for 30, the lazy person thinks for 30 and works for 5.”

  27. Alas, I, like many coders, fail spectacularly at the documentation step.

    I’ve only met a couple software engineers who spend most of their time coding who document well. I married one. 😀

    I’ve found convincing mgt to let me be in all development meetings, taking meeting minutes, and having company feel it’s a good use of time for coders/developers to talk with technical writers throughout the process not just once code is off to QA makes a huge difference in quality of user and development documentation. I’m also told the engineers/coders found my/my staffs meeting minutes extremely helpful. Worst part of job is taking meeting minutes but what a difference they make for engineers/coders, mgt, QA, technical writers, and others.

  28. lurkertype on November 18, 2015 at 5:58 pm said:

    @Lisa Goldstein:
    (Are you the one who wrote “Weighing Shadows”? That was AWESOME!)

    Replying far too late here, I know, but yes — and thank you!

  29. Susanna at 2:45 am:

    there is something about Snoopy that seems to have near-universal child appeal

    My eldest stepson didn’t see any TV or movies until he was four years old, whereupon he watched one of the Charlie Brown specials. Apparently, he was so terrified of Snoopy that he had trouble sleeping for several nights. His mother had to make signs reading, “GO AWAY, SCARY SNOOPY!” and post them up around the house.

    I don’t know that this is entirely a counterexample, since certainly something about the character seems to have resonated with him.

  30. Why would the convention organizers make this offer in a post on a page that many nominees would not even be likely to see?

    Belt and suspenders.

    You e-mail directly and you make a public statement (or more than one), as a way of catching stragglers. People doing Kickstarter campaigns do this same sort of thing often, too.

  31. What they were saying was, essentially, “Yes, we have contact information for the handful of nominees who were not at the Hugo ceremony, but we’re going to broadcast this here because we can’t be arsed to contact them directly.”

    That’s a couple of different unsupported assumptions, both that they had contact info for everyone (and that it hadn’t changed in the interim) and that they didn’t make any other contact attempts other than putting it on Facebook.

    I had a friend who kept insisting that Marvel Comics didn’t do any promotion on the BARBIE comic when they launched it, because he didn’t see any. They did more than the usual, but they aimed it at young girls, which is most forty-year-old men didn’t see it.

    Assuming that what you happen to see is all there is is often an error.

  32. @ JJ, @ Xtifr–Laziness

    I call it efficiency! Someone at work today remarked about how efficient I was, and I said, “That’s so I won’t have to do it twice.”

  33. I’m having such warm fuzzy feelings about the “analyze the process and document it clearly (and then expect that to be ignored by most)” discussion. *dons t-shirt*

  34. @Kevin Standlee: A potential Hugo finalist off hiking in the Himalayas…would that person’s initials have been KSR, perchance?

  35. @Lisa Goldstein: Fret not; like your book, File 770 has a time machine. I hope there’s a sequel!

    @Kurt Busiek: I saw a little bit of Barbie comic PR, and while I am over 40, I guess just being a woman meant I was close enough that I was in the penumbra.

  36. Andy H.:

    His mother had to make signs reading, “GO AWAY, SCARY SNOOPY!” and post them up around the house.

    I don’t know that this is entirely a counterexample, since certainly something about the character seems to have resonated with him.

    That’s kind of adorable. The poor little guy! Kids get spooked by the oddest things. Mine was two when a bearded guy stuck his tongue out at her (in a friendly way, at a safe distance, with a wink and a smile) and she could countenance no facial hair after that, for months. In fact, she’s still extra shy around bearded people.

    I’ve known six separate kids who called their dogs Snoopy (or Noospy, for two of them) without even knowing there were cartoons, or anything else besides drawings of him on clothes or toys. When I told them, half were excited, the other half just didn’t care.

  37. Susana on November 20, 2015 at 2:59 pm said:
    Andy H.:

    His mother had to make signs reading, “GO AWAY, SCARY SNOOPY!” and post them up around the house.

    I don’t know that this is entirely a counterexample, since certainly something about the character seems to have resonated with him.

    That’s kind of adorable. The poor little guy! Kids get spooked by the oddest things. Mine was two when a bearded guy stuck his tongue out at her (in a friendly way, at a safe distance, with a wink and a smile) and she could countenance no facial hair after that, for months. In fact, she’s still extra shy around bearded people.

    I’ve known six separate kids who called their dogs Snoopy (or Noospy, for two of them) without even knowing there were cartoons, or anything else besides drawings of him on clothes or toys. When I told them, half were excited, the other half just didn’t care.

    Years ago, a horrible volunteer Santa kept following us and following us, me carrying my shy three-year-old who was trying to hide from him and crying into my neck and me walking as fast as I could with her and a suitcase and a bag.
    He kept trying to force her to look at him and take a candycane and totally ignoring me telling him “No, really, just Go Away!”
    Literally this went on for about the length of a long city block, all the way through a posh hotel lobby/shopping mall thing.

    She never, ever, let a Santa come anywhere near her again.
    She wouldn’t even say the name for years — like the Eumenides, or the Good People.
    He was The Red Guy, and he was terrifying.
    We had to explain that it was just a story grown-ups liked to tell, and that nobody was going to Come Down the Fucking Chimney in the Dark of Night and go after her.
    There was a kid in daycare whose family story was that when Santa comes he takes the presents that (presumably he’d seen) his parents buy and replaces them with real Santa presents.
    Whatever.
    That took a lot of talking through too.
    (“No, Santa is not coming and stealing your presents. That’s just a story Sam’s parents tell him because they are weird.”)

    All to say, lots of things people think kids will like they really, really won’t.
    And, at twenty-six, she still doesn’t like Santa.

  38. @Lauowolf: That is one really stupid, inconsiderate Santa. Why do some adults think they can harass kinds into liking them? I can certainly see why she’d be scared or put off. Santa is kind of scary in general, if you look at it a certain way.

    Especially if he’s going to be stealing people’s presents. ?!#&! What?

  39. re: Kids are scared of the weirdest things.

    My brother was terrified by a friend wearing a mask at around 2. We couldn’t get him to go out for Halloween until he was 10 or so, not even for candy!

    My d-in-law became terrified of two songs as a child, “Hotel California” and “Benny and the Jets”. She doesn’t know why she became afraid of them, can’t articulate what’s unpleasant about them, and still can barely stand to stay in the same space if either are playing.

  40. Hotel California is well worth being afraid of. I wrote a horror story based on it when I was in high school. Got an A too!

  41. Oh, yeah, the words to “Hotel California” can be read as a horror story! Don’t think the DIL ever learned them, though.

    Congrats on the grade, btw. 🙂

  42. FANTASY MOVIE BRACKET – FOURTH ROUND

    1. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD
    Lord of The Rings – Series (2001 – 2003)
    Pans Labyrinth (2006)

    2. COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREEVER YOU ARE!
    Highlander (1986)
    My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

    3. INCONCEIVABLE
    The Princess Bride (1987)
    Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975)

    4. IN THE MAGICAL LANDS
    Labyrinth (1986)
    Stardust (2007)
    Spirited Away (2001)

    BONUS BRACKET – SEMI-FINALS

    1. FOREHEAD CLOTH, PLEASE
    Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    2. TWISTS AND TURNS
    The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley
    The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, Barry Hughart

  43. FANTASY MOVIE BRACKET – FOURTH ROUND

    1. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD
    Pans Labyrinth (2006)

    3. INCONCEIVABLE
    The Princess Bride (1987)

    4. IN THE MAGICAL LANDS
    (1) Spirited Away (2001)
    (2) Stardust (2007)
    (3) Labyrinth (1986)

    BONUS BRACKET – SEMI-FINALS

    1. FOREHEAD CLOTH, PLEASE
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    2. TWISTS AND TURNS
    The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley

    I’m sure everyone knows that voting for dragons is the correct choice, right? 😉

  44. FANTASY MOVIE BRACKET – FOURTH ROUND

    1. Lord of The Rings – Series (2001 – 2003)

    2. Abstain

    3. The Princess Bride (1987)

    4. Abstain

    BONUS BRACKET – SEMI-FINALS

    1. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

    2. The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, Barry Hughart

  45. 1. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD
    Pans Labyrinth (2006)

    2. COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREEVER YOU ARE!
    My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

    3. INCONCEIVABLE
    Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975)

    4. IN THE MAGICAL LANDS
    Labyrinth (1986)

  46. Sooo much pain!

    1. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD
    Pans Labyrinth (2006). After long internal debate, by the narrowest of margins.

    2. COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREEVER YOU ARE!
    My Neighbour Totoro (1988). The only easy choice I get to make.

    3. INCONCEIVABLE
    The Princess Bride (1987)
    Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975)
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! My brain just broke, and leaked out all over the floor! I can’t do it. You can’t make me do it! Tie.

    4. IN THE MAGICAL LANDS
    1. Spirited Away (2001)
    2. Labyrinth (1986)
    3. Stardust (2007)
    I’m running low on forehead cloths again…

    BONUS BRACKET – SEMI-FINALS

    1. FOREHEAD CLOTH, PLEASE
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik. Choosing the one that looks like it might actually get made over the one that’s going to be stuck in development hell forever!

    2. TWISTS AND TURNS
    The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley. Honestly, this should already be a movie.

    Dragons rule! 🙂

  47. 1. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD
    Frozen

    2. COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREEVER YOU ARE!
    Highlander (1986)

    3. INCONCEIVABLE
    The Princess Bride (1987)

    4. IN THE MAGICAL LANDS
    Labyrinth (1986)

    BONUS BRACKET – SEMI-FINALS

    1. FOREHEAD CLOTH, PLEASE
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

  48. 1. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD
    Lord of The Rings – Series (2001 – 2003)
    Pans Labyrinth (2006)

    2. COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREEVER YOU ARE!
    Highlander (1986)
    My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

    3. INCONCEIVABLE
    The Princess Bride (1987)
    Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975)

    4. IN THE MAGICAL LANDS
    1. Labyrinth (1986)
    2. Stardust (2007)
    3. Spirited Away (2001)

    BONUS BRACKET – SEMI-FINALS

    1. FOREHEAD CLOTH, PLEASE
    Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    2. TWISTS AND TURNS
    The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley
    The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, Barry Hughart

  49. Brackets:

    1. LOTR
    3. Princess Bride, for having an ending.
    4. If this is pick-one, Labyrinth. If it’s rank-’em, second is Stardust, followed by Spirited Away.

    Bonus:

    1. Good Omens

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