Pixel Scroll 2/10/16 They Hive

(1) QUINN FEATURES IN MAINSTREAM NEWS. Jameson Quinn is quoted several times in “Your ballot has matrix algebra lurking in the background” at the Concord Monitor.

Mathematically speaking, “one man, one vote” sounds about as exciting as “1 = 1.” Yet it turns out that something so simple can produce a Nobel Prize in economics, not to mention a slew of graduate school statistics homework.

“Our class spent three weeks just on Arrow’s Theorem, looking at it from different angles,” said Jameson Quinn, a Ph.D. candidate in statistics from Harvard who showed up in Concord last week to testify before the House Elections Committee in favor of a bill allowing something called approval voting.

Arrow’s Theorem, key to the aforementioned Nobel prize, is to social choice theory what E=MC2 is to physics. It is usually described as saying that all voting systems are imperfect, a synopsis which misses lots of nuance and isn’t all that helpful to laymen, because most of us don’t even known that other systems exist.

(2) EDELMAN’S NEW PODCAST. Scott Edelman has started an SF-related podcast, Eating the Fantastic.

Are you ready to have lunch with me and writer/musician Sarah Pinsker? Because the first episode of Eating the Fantastic is now live!

 

Scott Edelman and Sarah Pinsker

Scott Edelman and Sarah Pinsker

Food, friends, and clanking dishes in the background reproduce the atmosphere where so many great fan conversations take place. Edelman writes:

I’ve found that while the con which takes place within the walls of a hotel or convention center is always fun, the con away from the con—which takes place when I wander off-site with friends for a meal—can often be more fun. In fact, my love of tracking down good food while traveling the world attending conventions has apparently become so well known that Jamie Todd Rubin once dubbed me “science fiction’s Anthony Bourdain.”

…During each semi-regular episode (I’ve yet to determine a frequency), I’ll share a meal with someone whose opinions I think you’ll want to hear, and we’ll talk about science fiction, fantasy, horror, writing, comics, movies, fandom … whatever happens to come to mind. (There’ll also be food talk, of course.)

One thing to note—this will not be a pristine studio-recorded podcast, but one which will always occur in a restaurant setting, meaning that mixed in with our conversation will be the sounds of eating and drinking and reviewing of menus and slurping and background chatter … in other words … life.

(3) PKD AWARD. The five Philip K. Dick Award judges for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original format in the United States in the 2016 award year are Michael Armstrong, Brenda Clough, Meg Elison, Lee Konstantinou, and Ben Winters.

(4) CASSANDRA CLARE SUED. “Copyright Clash Over Demon-Fighting Stories” at Courthouse News Service has the scoop.

Sherrilyn Kenyon says she started the “Dark-Hunter” series in 1998. The story “follows an immortal cadre of warriors who fight to protect mankind from creatures and demons who prey on humans,” according to court records.

On Friday, Kenyon sued Cassandra Clare aka Judith Rumelt aka Judith Lewis, claiming her “Shadowhunter” series initially used Kenyon’s trademark “darkhunter.”

After Kenyon demanded that Clare remove the word “darkhunter” from her work, Clare used the term “shadowhunter” for her protagonists instead, according to the lawsuit. The word “hunter” was also removed from the book title.

Clare’s book, “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” was published in 2007. Since then, Clare has expanded her use of the term “shadowhunter” despite assurances that she would not, according to Kenyon.

Clare’s 2007 book was made into a movie and released in 2013, the lawsuit states. In 2014, it was reportedly announced that “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” would be adapted into a television series called “Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments.”

Kenyon says ABC Family picked up Clare’s TV pilot in March 2015. The first episode of the “Shadowhunters” TV show premiered on Jan. 12 of this year, according to IMDB.

The “Dark-Hunter” author also claims Clare has used symbols and merchandise that are confusingly similar to Kenyon’s.

“Comparing the Dark-Hunter series to Clare’s work or works, the literary components are fictional and, in many respects, the elements are virtually identical,” Kenyon’s Feb. 5 lawsuit states. “These substantially similar elements, coupled with defendant’s access to the Dark-Hunter series, which were widely disseminated, leave little doubt that numerous substantive original elements of the Dark-Hunter series have been copied by defendant.”

(5) AB INITIO. Sarah A. Hoyt begins a column for Mad Genius Club about the preceding news story, “There Is Nothing New Under The Sun”, with these words —

So, this morning (yes, I crashed early yesterday) I was sent this article NEWS: Sherrilyn Kenyon sues Cassandra Clare over infringement claims by Amanda S. Green.  It’s amazing.  And by that I mean, I was amazed anyone is giving this so called “plagearism” any credence.

Now, I haven’t read the complaint, so perhaps there is more to it, and the complaint is more substantial. …

We’ll stop here and wait til she reads the complaint…

(6) GRRM’S EDITOR RATIONALE. George R.R. Martin had some feedback for File 770 commenters about the Best Editor (Long Form) category, but he also queried some of the editors he recommended about “What They Edited” in 2015.

My observations about the Best Editor (Long Form) Hugo, which you can read in full several posts down, have drawn some comments here and on FILE 770 from fans who object to my suggestion that this category has become a de facto lifetime achievement award, at least since David G. Hartwell set an example by withdrawing from future consideration after his third win.

The objections seem to take the form of stating emphatically that Best Editor (Long Form) is NOT a lifetime achievement award, it’s not, it’s not, it’s just NOT.

And quite right they are. According to the rules, that is. According to the rules, the award is only supposed to be for the previous year’s editing.

Which is great in theory, and completely wrong in fact. Maybe those who are objecting vote on that basis, but if so, they are a very tiny minority….

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • February 10, 1957 – Roger Corman’s Not Of This Earth premiered.

Not of this Earth poster

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born February 10, 1906 – Lon Chaney, Jr.

(9) A PEEK AT PIXAR. “Pixar and Khan Academy Release Free Online Course for Aspiring Animators”, from Makezine [via Chaos Manor.]

Up there with being an astronaut, comic book artist, or the President, there’s one job that your average kid would probably love to snag: Working at Pixar. Animation and Pixar enthusiasts of all ages, take note! Pixar in A Box (or PIAB) is a collaboration between Khan Academy and Pixar Animation Studios that focuses on real-Pixar-world applications of concepts you might usually encounter in the classroom. The latest batch of Pixar in a Box, released today, gives Makers a rare peek under the hood so that you can get a whiff of the warm engine that keeps those Pixar pistons pumping. There’s no need to register for the course, nor a requirement to watch the lessons in order — just head to their site and start exploring!

(10) BRING HIM HOME. Here’s a review of an app game — “The Martian: Communicate with Astronaut Mark Watney in real time while helping him return to Earth”.

In The Martian, you’ll experience the plight of astronaut Mark Watney, only in this strategy game you’re his only hope for survival. You play one of a NASA communications specialist that is communicating with Mark in real time via text-based messages. You’re his only contact on Earth, and all that stands between him and a return to our world, or certain death.

themartian

(11) MAD TEA. Links to all kinds of interesting Alice In Wonderland-themed merchandise in this post at The Snug.

Bonkers pillow

(12) BEST OF A YEAR LONG AGO. Black Gate’s John ONeill revisits “Thomas M. Disch on the Best Science Fiction of 1979”.

He has particular praise for Connie Willis’s first published story, “Daisy in the Sun,” originally published in issue #15 of Galileo (see right):

My own favorite among the also-rans is Connie Willis’s first published story, “Daisy in the Sun” (in the Wollheim/Saha annual). With lyric ellipses Willis describes a world in the grip of epidemic schizophrenia precipitated by news that the sun is going nova. The heroine is a sexually disturbed adolescent girl in a condition of fugal amnesia. All the way through I thought, “This won’t work,” but it did. What a great way to begin a career.

Of course, you could dismiss all this as sour grapes, as Disch’s own Hugo-nominee, the novel On Wings of Song, came in last in the voting that year.

(13) A CURIOUS ARTIFACT.

(14) RULES OF THE ROAD. After reading a few thousand selected words in the Amazon Web Service’s Service Terms, the account holder arrives here —

57.10 Acceptable Use; Safety-Critical Systems. Your use of the Lumberyard Materials must comply with the AWS Acceptable Use Policy. The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operation of medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use in connection with live combat. However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Will R., and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day J-Grizz.]

170 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/10/16 They Hive

  1. For those thinking that this is just a case of convergent ideas,
    [faint sounds of ringing bells]
    I thought that was her.

  2. And now I have mine also, and am following the save early and save often as I go through the ballot…

  3. @Zil

    I’ve also had the “duplicates” issue, and have been told they’re looking into it. Given that they’re likely swamped, I’m not sweating it yet.

  4. I don’t have a duplicates issue, but I’m one of the ones for whom the backwards option was important. Last name in first name spot and first name in last name spot… It seems odd, but it worked, so I’m going with it.

  5. 5) AB INITIO. Sarah A. Hoyt:

    It’s amazing. And by that I mean, I was amazed anyone is giving this so called “plagearism” any credence.
    Now, I haven’t read the complaint, so perhaps there is more to it, and the complaint is more substantial. …

    Huh. A Puppy leader has Very Strong Opinions about a matter they ADMIT they know absolutely nothing about.

    (…This is my surprised face….)

  6. The New Yorker (yes, The New Yorker) has a terrific article up on the ‘gravity waves’ announcement:
    http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/gravitational-waves-exist-heres-how-scientists-finally-found-them
    … which ends with this quote:

    ”We are opening up a window on the universe
    so radically different from all previous windows that
    we are pretty ignorant about what’s going to come through,”
    Thorne said. “There are just bound to be big surprises.”

    It’s not like Lovecraft didn’t warn us about “what’s going to come through”:

    “These Great Old Ones, Castro continued, were not composed altogether of flesh and blood. They had shape — for did not this star-fashioned image prove it? — but that shape was not made of matter. When the stars were right, They could plunge from world to world through the sky; but when the stars were wrong, They could not live. But although They no longer lived, They would never really die…”
    (HPL, Call of Cthulhu)

  7. @Chip Hitchcock: True, but maybe in a parallel universe where the 1980 Hugos didn’t happen (er, and also where 1980 + 50 = 2029 somehow).

  8. So I propose fandom be divided along these taxonomic lines as determined by the sorting pin:
    1. those not-duplicated and with un-reversed names – their symbolic animal is the otter because of the otter’s uncomplicated interaction with databases
    2. those not-duplicated and with reversed names – their symbolic animal is the duck because of the duck’s propensity to use ‘surname’ as the first field in filing systems
    3. those duplicated and with un-reversed names – their symbolic animal is the beaver because of the beaver’s propensity to beaver away at things
    4. those duplicated and with reversed names – their symbolic animal is the noble platypus because of its capacity to be a bit like otters, ducks and beavers

  9. It’s not like Lovecraft didn’t warn us about “what’s going to come through”:

    A host of The Dark Old PINS.

  10. @Camestros Felapton
    LOL I’m not sure where I fit on your list of animals yet. I did write to let them know my pin was broken, what I’d tried that hadn’t worked, all the various names & emails which might cause me to be a duplicate. (5 name combinations & 3 emails)

    Isn’t it awful I don’t know what name was used for Sasquan or Worldcon 75? Or which emails they are using. If I were the person helping me I’d leave until end as I’m going to be one of those problem people. I won’t blame them one bit if they leave me until next week. The only thing in my favor is an unusual first name except Sasquan had me signing in as “guest of” for my first name last year while they had me properly registered under “Tasha …”.

    Did I mention I’m a problem person and it’s not all my fault. Some of its my husband’s and a friend who used different data than I use. I know you shouldn’t be changing your name so much over 3 years but no one can decide what they are calling me. I answer to any of the combinations. Married/pen/Jewish/married-Jewish/married-pen . Some days I feel like I’m getting split personality. I call and leave messages for my various selves. My therapists laugh when I describe it.

  11. @As you know Bob

    Thank you for the link; that’s a great article. My only disappointment was that the video showed rather oily shades of brown; I’d have gone for greens, or even reds.

    @Camestros

    I was thinking of dividing us more along the lines of the Houses of Hogwarts; much more impressive in my view. Admittedly the vast majority of Filers are quite a long way from Kings Cross, but they are not parochial…

  12. Camestros Felapton: So I propose fandom be divided along these taxonomic lines as determined by the sorting pin:
    1. …
    2. …
    3. …
    4. …

    You left out:
    5. Those who are neither duplicated nor name-reversed, but who had to prepend an “A” or “S” in front of their Membership Number in order to get the signin to work.

    But hey! I like the idea of the Sorting PIN.

  13. I also have been told apologetically that my non-working PIN is in the process of being fixed. I’m glad to have heard everyone else’s stories so I wasn’t at all alarmed! I’d like to be able to buy a drink for the volunteers who are diligently dealing with all this.

  14. The Clare/Kenyon thing is so weird. Clare’s been on the hook for plagiarism before, but some of the stuff named is so obviously NOT anything copyrightable…I dunno. Some days you just want to step back and utter, like Ken Watanabe, “Let them fight.”

  15. @BigelowT: same here. I received my PIN a few hours after requesting it (yesterday), and it works fine, but with reversed names.

    If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

  16. Other people have withdrawn from Hugo consideration after having won what they considered a sufficiency. Michael Whelan is the one I was first aware of, and his rationale was (IIRC) quite explicitly “I have enough, let other people have a turn”. I don’t think that has anything to do with making it a lifetime award.

    Little pixels, little pixels, little pixels on the pixel-scroll…

    10) Some of my friends have been speaking very favorably of an app game called Lifeline, which predates The Martian but seems to be based along very similar principles. So there are a couple of options available.

    Back when I still ate cereal, Froot Loops was one of the few varieties I actually liked, along with Frosted Flakes and a couple of others I no longer recall. I hate milk and didn’t want it on my cereal, and to eat cereal dry it had to be the equivalent of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.

  17. JJ on February 11, 2016 at 4:20 pm said:

    You left out:
    5. Those who are neither duplicated nor name-reversed, but who had to prepend an “A” or “S” in front of their Membership Number in order to get the signin to work.

    Oh! That would make 8 groups in total (16 if we counted A and S separately ). I’ll treat that like a Rhesus factor 🙂 instead

    Now, I just need everybody to take this lengthy personality test so we can find out what each group is like…

  18. *sigh*

    I reversed my names, used the membership number both with and without the S and essentially tried every version of combining those four elements. And am unable to log in. Sent email off to the very hardworking people who are making this happen.

    In reading news, I have just finished Sculptor by Scott McCloud with was incredible and I spent about 20 minutes of therapy discussing whether or not I would take the deal and did that make me a bad artist?

    I also finished Barsk, which I adored and I could feel my heart growing as I was reading it. It is my Goblin Emperor for this year: a new book I can love. I get that it isn’t to everyone’s taste, but it hit all the right notes for me.

  19. Camestros Felapton: Now, I just need everybody to take this lengthy personality test so we can find out what each group is like…

    1. When you encounter an incorrect homonym in the book you’re reading, which one annoys you the most?
    a. sited instead of cited
    b. baited instead of bated
    c. phased instead of fazed
    d. pouring instead of poring

  20. I am looking at an essay Kip Thorne wrote about the LIGO project back in 2002. At that time the initial version of the detectors had just gone on line. Thorne was optimistically hoping that they might detect something by 2008 (“Depending on nature’s kindness, LIGO’s initial sensitivity… might or might not be good enough to observe black hole collisions”); no dice, but luckily Thorne is stil alive now that the advanced version is getting results.

    That essay has a nice long layperson’s explanation, with diagrams, of how gravitational-wave detectors work. It’s in the collection The Future of Spacetime, along with essays on time travel by Igor Novikov and Stephen Hawking, and a wonderful contribution, “The Physicist as Novelist”, by Alan Lightman, the author of Einstein’s Dreams.

  21. JJ on February 11, 2016 at 6:09 pm said:

    Camestros Felapton: Now, I just need everybody to take this lengthy personality test so we can find out what each group is like…

    1. When you encounter an incorrect homonym in the book you’re reading, which one annoys you the most?
    a. sited instead of cited
    b. baited instead of bated
    c. phased instead of fazed
    d. pouring instead of poring

    don’t forget
    e. none – because I have all the proof reading skills of a naked mole rat 🙂

  22. e. none – because I have all the proof reading skills of a naked mole rat

    I choose e.

    I cried the first time I stopped having an editor. For a year my communications had been grammatically correct. Boom, overnight I went back to being bad, bad, bad.

    I bet you all miss my editors too. 😉

  23. Sweet, I’ve been pinned!

    I filled in a few nominations, and then I remembered seeing a discussion somewhere online about whether Wylding Hall (by Elizabeth Bear) qualifies as a novella, or a novel, or both. Unfortunately I forgot to save the link, so I’m tempted to nominate it for both just because I liked it that much.

  24. @Charon D.: to answer your question as honestly as possible, Wylding Hall feels like a novel to me, with its multiple points of view and multiple themes, but I’m still going to nominate it as a novella because in modern genre publishing, novels just aren’t that short. I feel a little funny going against literary criteria in favor of publishing ones, but I had to make some sort of decision.

  25. (4) It all looks super-derivative, frankly, and there’s only so many nouns in the language. However, the mention of earlier agreements and assurances (see, some of us read the complaint) likely means it won’t get tossed out instantly. I have a bad opinion of “Clare” as a person, so go lawsuit (She does this sort of thing repeatedly, and sends her minions after people who disagree with her online). (Also, here’s another case of “Puppies don’t spell-check”, with the butchering of “plagiarism”)

    (6) So GRRM’s calling me and my husband and our BFFs and a bunch of Filers and random other people liars. Well, fuck you, George. Your assumptions are not the truth, so stop saying they are.

    (13) Very nice!

    (14) Good to know, I guess? But what if they’re not viral? What if they’re bacterial or magical?

    Now I want Froot Loops.

    So the Neanderthals were just too depressed to fight back against the interlopers from the south? And too busy peeing with their urinary tract problems?

    OMG, the Hamster Princess cover is so cute I can’t stand it. And lots of book-buying people will see it!

    My PIN (when I finally inquired and got it) worked, but I was one who did have to swap the first and last names. So I’m a duck?

    Also a waffle, as I am waffling over my short story list. There were two that were very close, and I may have to change that after rereading both.

    Charon: Wylding Hall is under 40K, so is a novella. But if you’ve got an empty space in both, why not? Luckily for me, I needed novellas and there it was.

    Camestros et al: no, it’s (e) all of the above as THEY ALL SUCK EQUALLY and (f) none of the above as I can’t proofread.

  26. Re. #5, “We’ll stop here and wait til she reads the complaint…”

    Shame you didn’t read on; then you’d have seen that the post wasn’t actually about the Kenyon/Claire lawsuit at all but about the general concept of copying story ideas and “filing off the serial numbers”.

    When ’Omer smote ’is bloomin’ lyre,
     He’d ’eard men sing by land an’ sea;
    An’ what he thought ’e might require,
     ’E went an’ took – the same as me!

    No matter the actual merits of the lawsuit, however black-and-white it may be, not a word of the post beyond the initial mention of the case would have to change. But hey, any opportunity for a cheap shot will do, right?

  27. Actually both Wylding Hall and The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps are about 43K; the former feels like a full novel to me, the latter like a small novel (novella). It’s a total utter grey area. Make up your own mind and it’ll all come out in the wash.

  28. A novel/la so nice I voted for it twice. Works for me!

    I’m having a hard time with the novels. At the moment I’m reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore and loving it, so it’ll probably wind up on my list.

  29. @JJ

    1. When you encounter an incorrect homonym in the book you’re reading, which one annoys you the most?
    a. sited instead of cited
    b. baited instead of bated
    c. phased instead of fazed
    d. pouring instead of poring

    None of the above. You left out the “loose/lose” mixups. Arggh! Those drive me nuts.

  30. 2. When you encounter an incorrect verb in the book you’re reading, which one annoys you the most?
    a. loose/lose
    b. choose/chose
    c. lead/led
    d. passed/past

  31. Does anyone know what a Nitpicker (nitpickerae pedantii) looks like?

    Because I’m pretty sure that’s the mascot of the File770 house to which I’m going to get sorted.

  32. 1. When you encounter an incorrect homonym in the book you’re reading, which one annoys you the most?
    a. sited instead of cited
    b. baited instead of bated
    c. phased instead of fazed
    d. pouring instead of poring

    You forgot my personal fave, which has caused me to throw things: wary/weary

  33. Lis Carey: You forgot my personal fave, which has caused me to throw things: wary/weary

    AUUUUUGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!

  34. On HTML5 and Podcasts: Many thanks to Aan for the direct link to the MP3! I tried inspecting the element, but I never would have thought of your solution. And thanks for digging up the RSS – even easier.

    On Pedantry and Nitpickistry: I have a quixotic hate-on for the use of “comprise” where “compose” is meant. But if I had to pick my battles, I’ll take wander/wonder for $500, Alex.

    On Taxonomy: @JJ

    You left out:
    5. Those who are neither duplicated nor name-reversed, but who had to prepend an “A” or “S” in front of their Membership Number in order to get the signin to work.

    Also

    6. Those belonging to the emperor;
    7. Those that from a distance look like flies.

  35. Tasha Turner: Remember you started it. Maybe you need to run a bracket?

    By the time I solicited submissions from everyone and tried to collate them into a list, and attempted to seed the brackets based on level of loathing, the contents of my wine cellar would be depleted.

    Also, I would probably be comatose 😉

  36. I am apparently a loose, fazed duck. Not that there is any shame in that. And I hate “is comprised of,” the wrong kind of its/it’s, “could have went” and using sang where sung should be, because apparently sung no longer exists.

  37. @JJ

    But happily comatose! As contrasted with last year when we had to prop our eyes open with matchsticks in order to plod on through the wastelands of gimme a Hugo or I’ll cry

  38. When I taught at Purdue, one of my students produced the following:

    “You should never pleasurize someone else’s work.”

    That one carried me through many looses/loses and cites/sites/sights (though “websights” is growing on me–like a fungus, perhaps).

  39. J.C. Salomon: That’s hilarious — the rest of the column had nothing to do with the lede? I would never have known! Thanks for telling me.

  40. Stevie: But happily comatose! As contrasted with last year when we had to prop our eyes open with matchsticks in order to plod on through the wastelands of gimme a Hugo or I’ll cry…

    I am already stocking up my cellar in anticipation of further need of anaesthetization for this year’s Hugos.

    However, I have already determined that, after all the precious reading time I wasted this past year on shyte which was on the Hugo ballot, I am not obligated to read any further shyte by that same author of any work which I was forced to endure last year which was shyte, and I can put any such “qualifying” work after “No Award” on my ballot with clear conscience without actually having to read the aforementioned new shyte.

    This will not, however, prevent me from dipping into the previously-referenced wine cellar on the pretext of not being forced to read such shyte — or on any pretext, for that matter.

    Having said that, I’m going to go have a glass of wine and finish The Library at Mount Char, which I am 2/3 through, and which is quite bizarre, and about which I haven’t quite figured out what to think yet.

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