Pixel Scroll 4/6/2016 I Saw A Scroll Drinking A Pina Colada At Trader Vic’s, His Pixel Was Perfect

(1) APPRECIATION. At Fantasy Café, Stephanie Burgis thanks the women who blazed the trail into the fantasy genre.

I wanted to write a very important thank you note to the women who first showed me the way into this field…

I imagine the extra emotional hurdles I would have had to jump, if those women hadn’t taken the risk before me of letting the world know their gender when they published their books.

So: thank you, Robin McKinley, Patricia McKillip, Emma Bull, and Judith Tarr. I loved your books then, I love them now, and I’m so grateful that you took that risk for me and every other fantasy-loving girl reader/writer out there.

Thank you.

(2) FEMINIST COMICS. Corrina Lawson at B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog recommends “9 Feminist Comics Everyone Should Read”. Apparently this doesn’t literally mean feminist, but anyway —

It’s a good time to be a reader interested in feminist comics. When I say “feminist,” I don’t necessarily mean “a book in which a women fights the patriarchy.” I don’t even require the story to be written by a woman.

What I mean by “feminist comics” is that they offer stories that include three-dimensional female characters. That’s it. I know, it seems like a low bar, but it’s surprising how often it isn’t done. And yes, many of them that do it are written by women—but not all.

In compiling a list of feminist comics I think everyone should read, I looked beyond Marvel and DC Comics, because I wanted to spotlight work being done outside of the “Big Two,”  though I do love and applaud the work being done on Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, A-Force, Black CanaryBatwoman, and Gotham Academy. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list; rather, it’s a glimpse at a handful of the many comics out there with fascinating female characters. Please feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments. (And to those wondering why Lumberjanes isn’t on this list, well, I sang the praises of that book in a previous article.)

First on the list is Monstress, story by Marjorie Liu, art/cover by Sana Takeda (for young adult readers)

(3) MORE CIVIL WARRIORS. SciFiNow breathlessly reveals “Captain America: Civil War adds two interesting last minute cast members”.

The first is the marvellous Jim Rash, best known to many as Dean Pelton from Community. The second is Alfre Woodard, who is particularly interesting seeing as she’s also set to appear in Netflix’s Luke Cage as Mariah Dillard. Does that mean Captain America: Civil War will become the first MCU film to cross over with Netflix’s series of Marvel shows?

Both Woodard and Rash’s involvement in Civil War seem to have been revealed by accident when both their names were included on a Disney list of cast members who will be attending the film’s upcoming premiere. Since the list was issued, sources have claimed that Woodard will play a small but pivotal part in Civil War as the mother of an American citizen who was killed during the Battle of Sokovia in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

(4) BRADBURY IN MUTTS. James H. Burns says, “One of my favrorite things in the world for many years now has been Patrick McDonnell’s comic strip, Mutts. McDonnell is simply one of the best, of our generation, and really, all time. You should like this installment!”

mutts, bee


(5) KINDLE SCOUT. Joan Marie Verba explains “How Kindle Scout Works” at the SFWA Blog.

Kindle Scout is a publishing option sponsored by Amazon.com. Writers can submit an unpublished manuscript of 50,000 words or more in the science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or romance genres. Kindle Scout then will put up a web page with the cover, summary, sample chapter, and author information. Potential readers then review the information, and if they have an Amazon.com account, they can nominate the work. At the end of 30 days, the Kindle Scout team reviews the statistics and the work. If they accept the work for publication, the author gets an advance against royalties and the work is published on Kindle Press….

One site I would highly recommend reading before, and especially during, one’s campaign is kboards—in particular, the “Kindle Scout Experiences, Anyone?” board. This board has authors who are in the midst of a Kindle Scout campaign as well as authors who have completed one (successfully or unsuccessfully). Some on that board assert that there are factors in addition to the number of nominations that Kindle Scout considers in order to make a selection, such as the author’s sales history and number of titles previously published.

(6) MOVIE SPACESHIPS. ScreenRant lists the “14 Most Iconic Ships To Ever Appear In Science Fiction Movies”. It’s true, I made noises while reading this article.

If you’re reading this list, chances are at some point in your life you’ve held a toy spaceship in your hands and steered it gracefully through the air, banking left and right, while making engine noises (“Kschchchch,” “Wrrrrrrreeeeeeeaaaar!”) and laser noises (“Pfew, pfew,” “Tschew!”). That’s because ships in sci-fi movies can be so crazy cool. That’s part of the fun of watching them: seeing which new designs special effects teams have come up with, or what old favorites have been updated.

Most of these ships are spacecraft, but sci-fi ships can also go underwater or even inside the human body. There are malicious, invading alien crafts and benevolent alien ships; massive vessels that hold thousands of people, and little one-seaters. But they’re all awesome in their own way.

Okay trufen – before you peek, guess whether #1 on the list is from Star Wars or Star Trek!

(7) BAEN NEWS. Baen Books will now offer MVMedia ebooks on the Baen Ebooks website. MVMedia is an Atlanta-based publisher known for a wide range of science fiction and fantasy, notably for its Sword and Soul genre anthologies. Sword and Soul is epic fantasy adventure set in a mythological Africa featuring a sword-wielding black hero.

MVMedia at Baen Ebooks launches with The Dark Universe Anthology edited by Milton J. Davis and Gene Peterson, and From Here to Timbuktu, written by Milton J. Davis.

The Dark Universe anthology is a multi-author space opera in the high sense. It portrays the origin story of the Cassad Empire, from its ambitious beginning as a refuge and new home for a persecuted people to its evolution to the first great human Galactic Empire. Authors include Milton Davis, Gene Peterson, Balogun Ojetade, Penelope Flynn, Ronald Jones, Malon Edwards, K. Ceres Wright and DaVaun Sanders….

(8) GUSTAFSSON OBIT. Ahrvid Engholm pays tribute to the late Lars Gufstafsson (1936-2016) at Europa SF.

Lars Gustafsson was just awarded the International Zbigniew Herbert Prize in Poland, and was supposed to collect it May 17th in Warsaw, his 80th birthday.

But death intervened.

Lars Gustafsson, author, poet, philosopher, etc, passed away April 3rd. He was 79.

Lars Gustafsson was a heavyweight in Swedish literature and culture. The biggest swedish morning paper, Dagens Nyheter, had seven (!) pages about Gustafsson’s death.

And he was a big fan of science fiction and fantastic literature! It began when he as a young boy steadily read the then sf pulp magazine Jules Verne Magasinet (1940-47). He even visited our local SF conventions occasionally.

(9) DRAGON AWARDS REACTIONS. Here are samples from the range of reactions to Dragon Con’s new SF awards.

(10) THE WINNER HAS YET TO ENTER THE RING. Lela E. Buis awards a technical knockout to the Dragon Awards simply for being announced, in “Upheaval in the awards system”.

Contrast this attendance figure with WorldCon that gives out the Hugo Awards. Wikipedia lists 4,644 attendees and 10,350 who bought memberships to vote the 2015 Hugo Awards, which was a record for numbers. With DragonCon moving into the awards game, I’m thinking the Hugo’s are officially undermined. The Puppy scandal has not only disrupted the voting system, but it seems to have led to an inspection of the Hugo process where works are winnowed through a narrow review and recommendation system and onto the ballot.

(11) DUKING IT OUT ABOUT PC. Matthew M. Foster and L. Jagi Lamplighter overflowed Facebook with their recent discussion of Political Correctness, each writing a supplemental blog post.

Foster’s post is, “They Took My Job!”

Political Correctness threatens people’s jobs.

OK. How? The example from that other thread is that researchers who disagree with climate change are afraid to speak up due to fear of losing their job. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good example for it brings up an obvious alternative—that is that researches who do not do a good job fear losing their job. Which they should. If 99 researchers do an experiment and get X, and 1 guy does it and gets Y, then the most likely reason is because 1 guy did it poorly. And that’s what we have in climate change research. But lets get past that and make this more general, to take out the notion that the employee is bad at his job while keeping in mind the nearly meaningless nature of the term “PC.”

So, how can someone lose their job due to political correctness?

  1. He could say something that is offensive to other employees or the boss thus damaging productivity.
  2. He could say things that are offensive to the general public
  3. He could say something that indicates his disagreement with the boss.

….Or they can just say whatever they want, and accept the consequences. Because that’s not political correctness. That’s life. I believe the phrase is, freedom isn’t free. Yelling “political correctness” doesn’t get you out of life. It doesn’t excuse you from consequences, and if you think it does, you are an idiot whose views of society would create the totalitarian state you claim to abhor—if you were consistent anyway.

Which all comes down to, no one is losing their job due to political correctness nor should they fear doing so. They are losing their jobs because they are rude and insulting, or because they are inconsiderate by disrupting the company, or because they are causing the company to lose sales, or because they are personally upsetting their boss, or because they won’t follow their boss’s lead, or because they are bad at their jobs. That’s how jobs work. Don’t want to lose your job? Don’t do those things. Political correctness has nothing to do with it.

L. Jagi Lamplighter wrote, “Political Correctness vs. The Search for Happiness”.

I am a strong supporter of the great dialogue that is civilization. Were it up to me, nothing would ever interfere with it.

Political correctness quenches this conversation. Here are some of the reasons I say that:

* It replaces discussion and debate with Puritan-style disapproval.

You don’t explain to someone why you disagree with them. You speak so as to shut them down as quickly as possible.

* It keeps people from sharing politically correct views in a way that might convince.

Because of this, if the person who favors the politically correct position has a good reason for their opinions, the other person will not know, because debate has been silenced.

*It keeps people from sharing any other view.

If the person who does not favor the politically correct position has a good reasons for supporting their position—the person favoring the politically correct reason will never hear it, because he shut down the debate before he had a chance to hear the reasons…..

(12) CARD HOLDS THUMBS DOWN. “Will this election doom America? ‘Ender’s Game’ author holds dim view in light of current politics” reports the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

America has no hope.

That could be the summation of an hour-long talk science fiction writer Orson Scott Card offered last week Wednesday at Ripon College.

Couching his comments in the concept that a good science-fiction writer must understand history, Card explained that history now suggests the United States is not at a crossroads, but already too far down the wrong path to seek a solution.

“There is no winning hand in this election. There is no vote you can now cast that will save us from potential disaster, and that’s never really been true in American history before. Sometimes we’ve elected the worst guy, nevertheless the worst guy was never as bad as the choices we have now,” said Card, who wrote the popular book “Ender’s Game,” and which he turned into a screenplay for a Hollywood movie. “So we can look at empires, we can look at them as I do as a science fiction writer, and try to find how they rise and fall, what rules apply …

“The problem is, we’re all making this situation up together, and we’re all stuck with whatever answers we come up with. And if history’s taught us one thing, it’s all empires fall, and they all fall at inconvenient times.”

(13) POTTER EVENT RESCHEDULED FOR GEEZERS. The City of Perth Library postponed its Harry Potter event, aimed at teens aged 12-18 and their parents, to accommodate adults who complained they felt left out.

Library staff attempted to explain that the event was curated by its Youth Services faculty and the events were specifically targeted at teens….

Despite this explanation, many fans lamented over the idea that they would miss out on their chance to learn about owls or take a “potions class” from local experts so the library decided to postpone the event indefinitely.

“We want to be able to provide a magical experience for all Library patrons,” they wrote on Facebook. “As such the Harry Potter event has been postponed and we are looking at how we can accommodate many more witches, wizards, muggles and their families.”

(14) RIDLEY RAPS. “Daisy Ridley Rapping Is the Greatest ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Bonus Feature Yet!” at YouTube.

(15) WHAT A WRITER NEEDS TO KNOW. Soon Lee’s instant classic started life as a humble comment before being enshrined in the canon of English literature a few minutes later.

The Writer

On a cool Autumn’s eve
At a Worldcon bound for nowhere
I met up with the writer
We were both too tired to sleep

So we took turns a-starin’
Out the window at the darkness
The boredom overtook us,
And she began to speak

She said, “Child, I’ve made a life
Out of writin’ people’s stories
Knowin’ what the plots were
By the way they held their tropes

So if you don’t mind me sayin’
I can see you’re out of ideas
For a taste of your Oolong
I’ll give you some advice”

So I handed her my China
And she drank down my last swallow
Then she bummed a cigarette
And asked me for a light

And the night got deathly quiet
And her face lost all expression
She said, “If you’re gonna play the game, child
You gotta learn to write it right

You’ve got to know when to show ’em
Know when to tell ’em
Know when to passive voice
And to gerund

You never check your wordcount
When you’re typin’ at the keyboard
There’ll be time enough for counting
When the writin’s done

Every writer knows
That the secret to good writin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep

‘Cause every book’s a winner
And every book’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to Fail
Better next

And when she finished speakin’
She turned back toward the window
Crushed out her cigarette
And faded off to sleep

And somewhere in the darkness
The writer she dreamt stories
But in her final words
I found advice that I could keep

You’ve got to know when to show ’em
Know when to tell ’em
Know when to passive voice
And to gerund

You never check your wordcount
When you’re typin’ at the keyboard
There’ll be time enough for counting
When the writin’s done

Repeat to fade

(Starring Badass Raadchai Ann Leckie as the writer. With apologies to Kenny Rogers)

[Thanks to Will R., JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

303 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/6/2016 I Saw A Scroll Drinking A Pina Colada At Trader Vic’s, His Pixel Was Perfect

  1. @Andrew Hickey: Mine too. Like when I worked at IBM…

    *sniffles happily* *HEARTS* you!

  2. @Clif

    Ah, yes, job titles in the navy. I think they may go on “Mister” indicating one being a lieutenant, not your gender, Ensign is neutral, and for Captain (or any Commanders with a command), that job title, “God,” is gender neutral.

  3. My niece is an airman. Doesn’t seem to bother her, and doesn’t bother me either. <shrug>

  4. @Andrew Hickey

    *snort* I love such finely-tuned sarcasm.


    Got that proof for me yet?

  5. @alexvdl: he CNO says “From now on it’s corpspeople, and not corpsmen.” And then anything printed from that day forward has the new name.

    BUT BUT BUT…you are excluding the CORPSEpeople! What about the zombies!

    *slinks away*

  6. Regarding MilSF:

    I like Scalzi and Leckie, and I’ve been a fan of David Drake since the first Hammer’s Slammers story hit the magazines and of Glen Cook since the first Black Company novel hit the shelves. ( I just bought all of the Black Company omnibuses in ebook form and added them to my Nook library).

    Who else should I be looking at?

    Note: I tried The Gemini Cell a while back and bounced in a way that was pretty much the opposite of the 8 deadly words: I cared enough about some of the characters to skip to the last chapter, but found the story action dull in a busy sort of way.

  7. Phantom — Alexvdl said it much pithier than I was going to. The Navy needs new advertising every year, because that’s how advertising works. So they’re going to be buying new ads this year whether they’re PC or not.

    And they’re going to be spending the same amount whatever the wording is, whether they only want 6’3″ nordic men who can bend steel bars with their eyelashes, or only one-eyed gay Muslim POC transwomen paraplegics, or even anyone who wants to volunteer and can pass basic fitness and literacy tests. The difference between those categories is that the recruiters get more choice with the last category and so can fill the Navy with fitter, smarter and more competent recruits. Which is a good thing, surely?

    BTW, the total budget for US Navy advertising in 2011 was around $67 million, which will barely buy you a fighter these days, let alone a destroyer. Do some research, old man, rather than just making shit up.

  8. @emgrasso

    The Dread Empire’s Fall Series is unabashedly space-warfare in an unholy union with Patrick O’Brein, and devoted a lot of its world building to making the combat mechanic hold together.

  9. TheYoungPretender on April 7, 2016 at 12:34 pm said:

    Ah, yes, job titles in the navy. I think they may go on “Mister” indicating one being a lieutenant, not your gender

    Which was so standard on Star Trek almost thirty years ago that I an surprised this surprises anyone.

  10. Recent Reading:
    Graydon Saunders’ “Safely You Deliver” was excellent. I found the first few chapters a little disorienting but it was a gripping and satisfying (and dense) read. I think I need at least one more pass, and possibly a reread of the whole Commonweal series.
    Seanan McGuire’s “Every Heart a Doorway” was short but intense, with a main viewpoint character I really appreciated and a wonderful ending. I’m very glad there will be more stories in that universe.
    C.J Cherryh’s “Visitor” definitely does not stand alone. It takes its time laying out all of the stresses of the current situation as developed though the previous 16 books and then throws a rock onto the web. There’s an in-story metaphor of a large pile of china stacked on a small rickety table that seems very relevant. As the middle book in the current trilogy, the ending is more foreboding than satisfying: that china has not fallen yet, and another layer has been added. I can see a number of potential directions for the next trilogy (19-21) depending on how the crash in 18 plays out. I hope CJ stays healthy!

  11. The Navy changing the official hats (from “bucket hats” to “Dixie cups,” what the male recruits have always worn) for women recruits was in the news yesterday, so I suspect that is what has inspired Phantom’s Navy reference. Meanwhile, if the boys are already wearing them, changing the girls to the same hat should be cheaper, not more expensive. And I don’t see why anybody should get upset about it, anyway. Is one hat safer, more useful, somehow specifically related to a female head as opposed to a male one? How would that even be possible? If girls had been given those hats from the get-go, nobody would bat an eye now.

  12. @emgrasso – I’d take a look at Neal Asher, maybe starting with Prador Moon? His Agent Cormac stuff got better as it went along. The new book, Dark Intelligence, is really good and interesting but without some background might be a bit “wut?”

    Crazed AIs, the nature of memory, PTSD war drones, bizarre aliens and other stuff make an appearance.

    The Skinner series is a bit ick in my mind, but YMMV.

  13. Glen Cook – Passage at Arms – submarines in space (not literally, but operationally)

  14. @young pretender
    I don’t think I care about the combat mechanic, particularly. That’s just a matter of tactics and (usually bad) science and some strategy. I think in the spirit of “amateurs talk about strategy, professionals talk about logistics”, what I am looking for is logistical complexity, and an awareness of organizational scale larger than a macho man with a weapon or a gaming adventurer squad.

    There are actually four layers, I think: tactics, strategy, logistics, and politics/diplomacy. The Drake and Cook characters end up dealing with all of the levels.

  15. Today’s read — House Of Ivy And Sorrow, by Natalie Whipple

    YA fantasy about a teenaged witch from a cursed family. It wasn’t awful, but it was ultimately unsatisfying. There are important characters, crucial to the plot and the main character’s life, whose personalities I couldn’t describe right now if you paid me, immediately after reading it. The mystery at the center of the story really seemed like something that should have been figured out by everyone concerned centuries before the book began. In short — meh.

    (Also, the title is too easily confused with several other “House of ___ and ___” books I can think of, but that one’s a minor complaint.)

  16. @BigelowT The Navy changing the official hats (from “bucket hats” to “Dixie cups,” what the male recruits have always worn) for women recruits was in the news yesterday, so I suspect that is what has inspired Phantom’s Navy reference.
    So the news is we are wasting less money to make sure everyone knows what gender their co-workers are by their hats going forward.

    Why did women have different hats in the Navy initially? Because some bigwigs thought the boys needed visual flags that they weren’t working with real men(TM). So they cost the Navy money, exasperated gender issues, added levels of paperwork, wasted time which is money, added more places for bribery, need for more storage space as hats couldn’t be stacked as easily if they had two styles. I could go on but I’m boring myself. This, this has The Phantom in an uproar? Pitiful. Insulting to trolls everywhere.

  17. @The Phantom

    Dude, I’ve been a technology professional for decades. Your Software Engineer question is bogus. You imply the numbers are minimal. Based on experience I’d say 15 to 25% of well qualified candidates in the technology field are female. Here’s the thing though: that 15 to 25% could be a lot higher.

    There is a toxic male locker room culture in much of tech. There are a lot of female tech folk that drop out of the field because of it. The ones that survive tend to be TOUGH. But there is so much talent wasted because the culture excludes some of our brightest brains.

    That cultural sensitivity training probably doesn’t help. Folks usually don’t change behavior just because of a seminar. And I hate fuzzy HR training as much as anyone. But at least it’s a start.

    As an example of bad culture: I had to fight to hire a female candidate at one company. She was the best qualified person for the job. We’d had a spate of sexual harassment issues from field installations in another Division though. Drunken idiots who couldn’t be polite interacting at the hotel bar after hours and sometimes didn’t take no for an answer real well. Execs decided not hiring women in tech positions was the answer. That would stop the issue. It was, and is, total utter bullshit.

    (Sidebar: Yeoman = Ship’s Clerk, a historical title even. Done.)

  18. There you go. Happy? Of course not, and that’s why I didn’t bother before. Truth is wasted on some people.

    Moving on…

    Oh, Phantom, buddy. We haven’t forgotten that much. You said she was a chief puppy kicker extraordinaire. You rather went on, in fact. Other people pointed out that she had made TWO WHOLE BLOG POSTS in a year–including the one you just linked to–and you were…oddly silent. So we asked if you had something else?

    You don’t get to link the thing people already linked to and crow about providing proof, when people already asked if it was all your proof. Seriously, troll better.

    Or does two blog posts in a year enough to earn one that rank? Because by that logic, I’d like my chief puppy kicker extraordinaire hat, please.

  19. emgrasso:

    what I am looking for is logistical complexity, and an awareness of organizational scale larger than a macho man with a weapon or a gaming adventurer squad.

    Have you read Bujold’s Vorkosigan books? The focus in them varies (a lot) but the books about Miles’ adventures with the Dendarii Mercenaries generally features a good emphasis on both small-scale tactics and large-scale strategy and diplomacy.

  20. @Stoic Cynic,

    you may find The Techies Project interesting – billed as An ongoing series documenting underrepresented people in tech, through interviews and portraits.

  21. Patricia Briggs is damn good. I would totally laugh if she beat Butcher. And do a fist pump and say “YES!” If that’s wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

    I don’t think there’s enough PNR/UF fans to outvote the boys, and I don’t know if letting that win fits in with the wishes/PR of the company running it. But there are SO MANY good UF writers. And JD Robb is better than any number of hack dudes, managing to combine near-future SF, police procedural, and romance in an ongoing series of which I am like 10 books behind.

    I suspect the DragonCon awards will look like the Goodreads awards in most senses. I don’t know enough about the game categories to predict those.

    But as there are already so, so many awards — I swear Mike posts one every day — this is just another. I do think it fills a niche, deservedly. And I don’t see how it’s going to affect the market. Popular Things Are Popular is hardly a new concept that will only occur to publishers due to this award.

    @NickPheas, JCW seems to be off in that same batshit Catholic fringe as Mel Gibson. Where everything post-Vatican II is the work of Satan. Maybe everything since the Reformation. Wiki tells me there are a LOT of these groups. They certainly don’t respect either the Pope or the long tradition of SJW in the church, what with the almshouses, hospitals, and blessed are the meek.

    Nope, he’s gone with some version that more closely resembles Evangelical fundie Protestantism (o the irony), in which the important thing is not salvation through Christ, but what equipment your neighbor’s got in their pants and what they do with it. One wonders why JCW didn’t just become a Southern Baptist and be done with it. No bells and smells? Or his desperate need to be “winning!” by joining the biggest and longest-surviving denomination.

    @Kip: I think the penguin might have come from KFC, because I never go to KFC, but do go to Taco Bell if there’s good toys or I’m dead broke. If I’d seen W&G stuff, I’d have pounced, so I’m thinking the fact that I had no idea means KFC. Hereabouts our KFC is conjoined with A&W, so I do get a root beer float once in a while, and maybe a corn dog. But the chicken gives me migraines.

    @Michael Eochaidh: I stand corrected. Though presumably that book sold to Tor a while ago. No new JCW works are coming out except from Teddy — and my point about the nominations and paying for the vacation still stands.

    @Laura: Ah, so they DO have to pick one and only one category to put a book into. Kinda seems unfair in this mass-market free-for-all they’ve got going. Something that’s equally Horror and milSF and Apocalypse (all the zombie invasions fought with big guns) might get left off if the fans of it split three ways.

    @Seth Gordon: I may be an SJW, but I draw the line at kale. NO!

  22. I thought “Yeoman” was gender neutral. I seem to recall a Yeoman Rand in Star Trek, and those William Ware Theiss outfits didn’t leave much doubt if someone was a woman….

  23. You can make an argument that Eich was poorly or unfairly treated. You cannot make the argument that someone was fired when they quit.

    And let’s not forget that the question the troll was asked was “Exactly who is being fired because they are white, male or straight again?” – a question sparked by the troll’s previous claim that people are fired simply for being “something that is considered offensive. Like male. Or white. Or pretty. Or tall.” And whatever people might feel about how Brendan Eich was treated, the controversy was not just about him being white, male and straight.

    This is a very common pattern in the troll’s post: The examples he uses have a tiny kernel of truth, in the sense that he’s talking about real examples of people getting some sort of pushback from non-reactionaries. But his description of what the person did to spark the controversy is pure fiction.

  24. @Emgrasso — At the risk of stating the obvious, maybe C.J. Cherryh’s Downbelow Station and also Rimrunners and Heavy Time/Hellburner

  25. @Phantom

    Thank you. Although it shouldn’t have been such an effing chore to provide your “evidence,” seeing as it’s your job to prove your assertion, not mine to disprove it.

    That said, and echoing Our Wombat: Seriously? That’s all you’ve got? That’s nothing more than a great many people said last year, including me and others here in comments.

    As far as Brendan Eich: Robert Reynolds, upthread, posted the same thing I was going to. There’s an interesting little nugget in this article:

    Q: Was Brendan Eich asked to resign by the Board?

    A: No. It was Brendan’s idea to resign, and in fact, once he submitted his resignation, Board members tried to get Brendan to stay at Mozilla in another C-level role.

    So, as usual, your “evidence” is half-baked.

    However, I do have a question for you: Why do you even bother spouting your nonsense here? I would think Mad Genius Club, Vox Populi, and the like would be more your style. Here you have people demanding citations, pushing back on everything you say, and generally making you work yourself up into fine spittle-flecked form (and then pointing and laughing at you for good measure). You’re certainly not going to change any minds, or laws for that matter. (As far as that goes, I seem to recall you saying you live in Canada? Apologies if I’m wrong. If so, however, I’m sure you’re thrilled with Justin Trudeau.) So, honestly, why do you insist on spinning your wheels here?

  26. @emgrasso

    Nagata’s The Red trilogy?

    I’m with you on “Every Heart a Doorway”, although I think the world and the implications it brings are the most intriguing part.

  27. lurkertype
    My memory of the event lacks detail, so it could have come from either side of the menu. I tended to ask what their [happy meal toy] was when I got food, and they usually would sell whatever it was to me for a dollar. The penguin is lurking atop the DVD player, which is on top of the DVR, which is on top of a VCR, which is on the telly.


  28. Oh the Brenden Eich story! My favourite!

    (Sits wide eyed, looking up at the storyteller)

    When you’ve told that one, Uncle Phantom, will you tell the tale of the Good Science Man and the Wicked Shirt Haters?

  29. @emgrasso

    If you’re looking for more the logistical and organizational side of MilSF: Hellburner by CJ Cherryh is probably a must read. Politics and espionage in a military test pilot program to develop the next generation weapon.


    Someone mentioned Passage at Arms by Glen Cook. Personally, if you’ve seen Das Boot (or, even more so, read it) I’d skip Passage at Arms. If you haven’t read them it’s probably fine but it blatantly rips Das Boot off almost on a scene for scene basis. The similarities kept throwing me out of the story. Sort of MilSF but with a healthy side of Space Opera is The Dragon Never Sleeps also by Cook. Loved it. Wish there had been a sequel. It read Cherryh-esque to me but at least one Filer has compared it favorably to Leckie.


  30. @Bonnie McDaniel – Not to be a Chupik, but the Phantom is a semi-irregular at the MGC where he occasionally comments on the larks and adventures he gets into over here, amongst other things.

  31. Steve Davidson

    I’m sorry that things are bad at the moment, and I very much hope that things improve asap.

    Also, persuading my iPad that I was allowed to type asap took some doing, since it was convinced that it was an object, or even a person, and thus was a name. I triumphed in the end…

  32. Hellburner is a bit of a favourite of mine, but ideally you’d want to read Heavy Time before it to set up the character relationships.

    The first Cherryh books I owned were a very odd book club set of Downbelow Station, Cyteen, Heavy Time and Hellburners. The first two are obvious choices for best-of Cherryh but I’m honestly not sure why someone thought the last two were the next most-obvious choices to bundle in.

  33. TheYoungPretender:

    “I’m talking an expanse view of the DragonCon awards for a number of reasons. One, this could be an email account harvesting scheme with minimal effort behind it.”

    From the FAQ:

    “This information is only used for the Dragon Awards and for notices related only to the Dragon Awards and Dragon Con, where they are announced. It is never sold or made available to anyone else.”

  34. Okay, people. Enough of the trollish distraction. Pfft! Out of sight, out of mind.

    I hit my library’s used book sale today (a huge room stuffed with people–great turnout), and scooped up the following gems:

    Andre Norton, The Beast Master (this is the Fawcett Crest edition with the green T-rex cover)
    Jennifer Roberson, The Song of Homana (Chronicles of the Cheysuli, Book 2)
    Sheri S. Tepper, The Gate To Women’s Country
    Gene Wolfe, The Wizard
    New Voices in Science Fiction, Mike Resnick, ed.
    C.J. Cherryh, Downbelow Station
    The Hugo Winners, vol. 3 book 2, Isaac Asimov, ed.
    Robert J. Sawyer, WWW:Wake
    Warprize and Warsworn, Elizabeth Vaughan (I think these are more fantasy romances)
    and one very heavy hardback, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Naomi Klein.

    (Regarding The Hugo Winners: It’s funny to look at Asimov’s introduction to “The Girl Who Was Plugged In”–The thirty-second convention was so enormous that I can’t honestly tell you whether Tiptree was there, and if he was there, whether I met him.)

  35. Do you think that Phantom understands how the Navy works? Like does he think that the Navy has hired specific people to figure this stuff out? I mean, officers do officer shit. They’ll do one thing for a couple years and then move on. Like… No one is spending extra money to think about Navy job titles.

    Thats silly.

    I mean, if he wants to argue that we have too many REMF then that’s something we can discuss, but that’s a lot different from thinking that they’re wasting money by changing names.

  36. “Everybody here knows Eich lost his CEO job because he didn’t privately follow the accepted politically correct path.”

    Which is the total opposite from being fired for being 1) straight, 2) competent, 3) white, 4) male. Instead, he was fired for being a liability. Which would more place him as incompetent, not realizing the implications of his actions.

  37. @Bonnie McDaniel

    Oooh, The Beast Master. Loved it! (Bearing in mind I was like eight when I read it. The Suck Fairy may have visited. Don’t want to know.) I was so disappointed when the Marc Singer movie of the same name turned out to be unrelated…

  38. Kyra: Today’s read — House Of Ivy And Sorrow, by Natalie Whipple

    Your scouting report is appreciated. I don’t think my daughter has gotten to these (or know if she plans to) and it gives me something to discuss with her.

  39. I just recently dug out my copy of The Beast Master while excavating in a box of books. Generally, I find Norton stands up to re-reading pretty well. (Mind you, another thing I found in that box was my collection of the first 22 “Perry Rhodan” novels, so maybe you shouldn’t rely too much on my literary discernment.)

  40. Phantom —

    They have a whole fucking department dedicated to this crap. Is a department worth as much as a destroyer? I think it might be, once you drill down into the book keeping.

    But I repeat myself. Again. Because it’s pointless posting links on File770.

    One reason it’s pointless for you to post links is because the links don’t say what you say they say. What is this putative department that you say costs as much as a destroyer? No mention of any such thing is included at the link. The somewhat more comprehensive NY Times article that piece is cribbed from only mentions Michael D Stevens, master chief petty officer of the Navy (is that just a rank or an actual job title, like he’s the boss of all US Navy chief petty officers?), who doesn’t look like he constitutes a whole department, and probably has a bunch of other responsibilities that go with his job; I also doubt that he costs as much annually as a destroyer’s lifeboats, let alone an actual destroyer.

  41. Oneiros: Could you offer some proof of where a straight, competent, white male has been fired for being one of the following: 1) straight, 2) competent, 3) white, 4) male.

    The Phantom: Brendan Eich. But I repeat myself.

    Yes, yes, you keep pretending that Brendan Eich is proof of your statement.

    But the fact is that Eich was not fired for being 1) straight, 2) competent, 3) white, or 4) male.

    He was fired  resigned because there were serious doubts about his ability to do his job effectively, because of his demonstration of animus against people who are a significant percentage of the company’s customers.

    Sorry, try again. Provide an actual example of someone who was fired for being 1) straight, 2) competent, 3) white, or 4) male.

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