Pixel Scroll 5/4/16 (Take Another) Piece Of My Artificial Heart

May the 4th be with you

(1) BREAKING THINGS. Wired studies the physics behind the destruction of a Super Star Destroyer in Star Wars.

The Mass of the Death Star

The real question remains—why is it moving so fast? There are three possible answers:

After rebels destroyed the bridge, the Super Star Destroyer veered out of control and used its thrusters to drive into the Death Star.

The Destroyer used its engines in some way to stay above the Death Star. The attack eliminated this ability, and the ship fell into the Death Star due to the gravitational interaction between the two objects.

The impact was the result of the engines and gravity.

For the purpose of this analysis, I am going to assume the collision was due only to the gravitational interaction. If that’s the case, I can use this to estimate the mass of the Death Star.

(2) ANATOMY OF A REWRITE. Mark Hamill confirmed the story: “It’s official: ‘The Force Awakens’ almost started with Luke’s severed hand”.

“I can tell you now, the original opening shot of [Episode] VII, the first thing that came into frame was a hand and a lightsaber, a severed hand,” Hamill reveals in a video Q&A with The Sun timed to May the 4th. “It enters the atmosphere [of the desert planet Jakku] and the hand burns away.”

The lightsaber landed in the sand, and an alien hand picked it up. Hamill says he doesn’t know if that alien was Maz Kanata, the castle owner who has the lightsaber in a trunk in the movie.

Then “the movie proceeds as you see it” — presumably meaning we’d cut from the alien hand to a Star Destroyer above Jakku as Stormtroopers depart in shuttles, then Max Von Sydow handing the all-important map with Luke’s whereabouts to Oscar Isaac.

(3) FOURTH WITH. Digg has a compilation of Star Wars related fan art.

The “Star Wars” fanbase has always been fantastically passionate and creative, so in honor of their greatest holiday, here’s a bunch of different kinds of fan art to represent every corner of the “Star Wars” universe.

(4) FASHION STATEMENT. Michael A. Burstein had a big day, and shared a photo with his Facebook readers.

Today, I was sworn in for my fifth term as a Brookline Library Trustee. In honor of Star Wars Day, I wore my Han Solo vest.

(5) EQUAL TIME. That other famous franchise is making news of its own. Canada Post will issue a set of Star Trek themed stamps to commemorate the show’s 50th anniversary. Linn’s Stamp News ran an article about the stamp for Scotty.

The three previous Canada Post Star Trek designs have pictured William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk on a commemorative stamp similar to the Scotty design, the Starship Enterprise on a coil stamp, and Leonard Nimoy as Spock, also in commemorative format. Full details of the set, and the planned issue date, have not been officially revealed by Canada Post, though information released with the “Scotty” stamp design added, “More stamps are to be revealed soon.”

And Canada Post has release several short videos previewing the series.

(6) YOU DID IT. Donors stepped up to support Rosarium Publishing’s Indiegogo appeal and Rick Riordan dropped $10,000 of matching funds in the pot. The appeal has now topped $40,000 in donations.

(7) J.K. ROWLING’S ANNUAL APOLOGY. On May 2, the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling followed her tradition.

(8) FIRST FAN. Inverse knows this is the perfect day to dip into Craig Miller’s font of Star Wars anecdotes: “George Lucas’s Original Plans for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ and Boba Fett Revealed”.

Craig Miller, Lucasfilm’s first fan relations officer, reveals the original plan for ‘Return of the Jedi.’

…“At first there was one film, and then George originally announced that it was one of 12, and there were going to be 12, and then that changed to, oh there was never 12, there was only 9, and he was going to make 9,” Miller said. “And then during all of it, George kind of lost interest in continuing it… While we were working on The Empire Strikes Back, George decided he was going to complete the first film trilogy and that would be it.

“And I remember sitting in a mixing room with George, working on Empire, and he told me he was just going to make the third movie, which didn’t have a title at that point, and then stop,” Miller continued. “He was going to retire from making big movies and make experimental movies. And that’s why the whole plot of the third movie, what became Return of the Jedi, completely changed.”

Lucas’s 15-year retirement from Star Wars didn’t do much to derail the enthusiasm amongst hardcore fans, who showed early on that they were very, very dedicated to the Galaxy far, far away. Miller remembers one of his better publicity coups, setting up an 800 number (1-800-521-1980, the film’s release date) that allowed fans to call in before Empire and hear little clues about the upcoming sequel, as recited by Luke, Leia, Han Solo, C-3PO and Darth Vader.

“There was no advertising; we talked about it at conventions, and Starlog ran a two paragraph announcement of it,” Miller recalled. “And with just that, we completely swamped the 800 system.”

AT&T forced Lucasfilm to buy more phone lines, cease their advertising (easy, since they weren’t doing any), and apologize to the public and other 800-number users. “That was great because now it was being carried all over the world that we were apologizing that Star Wars fans were so enthusiastic about seeing Empire that they swamped AT&T,” Miller said, laughing.

(9) MAKING THE SCENE. Cat Rambo shares some material from a class, that takes apart what having a scene gives you for purposes of making it into a story: “More From Moving from Idea to Draft”

What it is:

A scene is usually a moment in time that has come to you. It usually has strong visual elements, and something is usually happening, such as a battle, or has just happened in it (a battlefield after the fighting is done). It is probably something that would appear at a significant moment of a story and not be peripheral to it.

What it gives you:

  • Everything but the plot. But actually, that’s not true. What is the main source of tension in the scene, what is the conflict that is driving things? That is probably a version of the overall plot.
  • A scene gives you a strong slice of the world and all that is implicit in that, including history and culture.
  • If characters are included in your scene, they are usually doing or have just done something more purposeful than just milling about. You have some sense of their occupation, their economic circumstances, and often some nuances of their relationship.

(10) NED BROOKS. Part of the late Ned Brooks’ fanzine collection is on display at the University of Georgia, where his family donated it.

The university library’s blog has posted “To Infinity and Beyond! Selections from the Ned Brooks Fanzine Collection”.

A look at a fun collection examining all facets of science fiction fandom. Included are representative fanzine titles from the 17,000+ issues to be found in the Brooks zine collection. They represent a variety of times (including the zine some hold to be the earliest Science Fiction zine in the U.S., Planet #1, from July of 1930), a myriad of international locales, and a broad spectrum of specialized Fandom communities and their interests. Mementos from Brooks’ 38-year career with NASA’s Langley Research Center, along with a vintage typewriter and early reproduction equipment.

The exhibit, in the Rotunda of the Russell Special Collections Libraries, will be up through July.

(11) COOL SPACE PICTURES. Digg has “The Best Space Photos from April”.

Every day satellites are zooming through space, snapping incredible pictures of Earth, the solar system and outer space. Here are the highlights from April.

(12) YA AND AWARDS. Joe Sherry makes raises a point about YA in his post about “2016 Locus Award Finalists” at Adventures in Reading.

This is likely worth a longer discussion, but this year’s Locus Awards are pretty close to what the Hugo Awards should have looked like in the absence of the Rabid Puppy participants voting a slate in apparent lockstep….

Now, there are things we can argue with because it isn’t an awards list or a list of books at all if there isn’t something to argue with. For example, the YA category features five books written by men even though a huuuuuuge number of YA novels are written by women. Further, Navah Wolfe points out that the nominees in this category are, across the board, writers best known for adult science fiction and fantasy.

In terms of the Locus Awards, I think this is a bug rather than a feature. Locus (and it’s readers who voted / nominated), as a whole, is far more plugged into the adult SFF scene. Their nominees for Young Adult Book very strongly reflects this.

This isn’t to say that these finalists are bad, because they very much are not, but they are also not reflective of the YA field.

A committee has been looking at a proposed YA Hugo category for a couple of years. The Hugo voter demographic is probably similar to that of Locus voters. So if we make two assumptions – that the category had existed this year and was not affected by a slate – wouldn’t the shortlist have looked pretty much like the Locus Award YA novel category? And how does that affect people’s interest in having a YA Hugo category?

(13) DEFECTION FROM THE RANKS.

(14) ANOTHER SHOCK. Because that’s what popularly voted awards do?

(15) USE OF WEAPONS. Paul Weimer curated the latest SF Signal Mind Meld reading pleasure today, in which people talk about their favorite SF/F weapons.

(16) TODAY IN HISTORY. Norm Hollyn remembered on Facebook:

May 4 is the 19th anniversary of the death of Lou Stathis, one of my closest friends and major influences (I first heard the Mothers thanks to him). Hopefully you’re happily playing the kazoo wherever you are.

(17) HAY THERE. Signal boosting author Judith Tarr’s appeal to help feed her horses.

Right now I do not know how I’m going to feed the horses for the rest of the month. I have managed to scrape out enough to pay for the last load of hay (if that late check finally gets here), but once it’s eaten, which it will be in about ten days, I don’t know what I’m going to do. The farm will be gone by midsummer unless I find a steady source of sufficient income. I’ve been hustling like a hustling thing but so far with minimal results.

The market does not want either me or the horses. The horses are all old and therefore retired and unsalable, or else would require thousands of dollars’ worth of training and show fees to have any sale value. No one can take them. The market is saturated with unwanted horses and the rescues are overloaded. I am over 60, hearing impaired (ergo, unable to use the phone), and with chronic fatigue syndrome which makes office or minimum-wage work difficult to impossible. And minimum wage would not support the animals, let alone me. All my income streams from backlist books, editing, writing, etc. have shrunk to a trickle or dried up. No one has booked a Camp in over a year.

I have had a few small things come through, but as with everything else, they’ve fallen short or failed to produce. I continue to push, and with the fiction writing regaining its old fluidity, I may manage to make something happen there. I’ve been urged to try an Indiegogo for a short novel, and I am closing in on that. (Indiegogo, unlike Kickstarter, offers an option that pays even if the goal is not met. The goal would be enough to cover mortgage, horses, and utilities for a month.) Since for the first time in my life I’m able to write more than one project at a time, that means I can continue to meet my obligation to backers of last November’s Kickstarter for a science-fiction novel, and also write the novella (and short stories, too).

A friend suggested that I offer sponsorships for the horses. I feel weird about that, but they need to eat. What I would give in return is a little writeup about the horse being sponsored, with a digital album of pictures and a monthly update. And short fiction as it happens, if you are a reader with an interest….

Details and specific support levels at the site.

(18) MEMORY OF THINGS PAST. Katster once was “Dreaming of Rockets”

Of course things got derailed.  My cunning plan to eventually raise myself to a point where I’d get notice from the nominating body of Worldcon crashed hard with two factors — the rise of blogs and fancasts as well as the related fact that pros were getting nominated in the fan awards and, more importantly, my own demons.

I’d end up semi-GAFIAting (the acronym means Getting Away From It All, and covered anybody who’s dropped out of science fiction) and not being very enamored of fandom in general.  The break point came in 2013, with a completely different award.  Fanzine fandom recognizes its own in an award called the Fan Achievement Awards (FAAns) and I’d hoped a particular issue of my fanzine Rhyme and Paradox I’d poured my heart into might have a chance at Best Issue.  A friend of mine said he was nominating it, and I hesitantly nominated it myself, hoping in some way that it would end up on the shortlist.  It didn’t, and the award was won by somebody that was well known in fandom for a typical issue of his (once a year) fanzine.

The blow really came when I got ahold of the longlist and found how many votes my ‘zine had gotten.  It had gotten two, one from my friend and one from me.  It stung like hell.  Here I had poured my heart out writing that zine (I still think it’s some of my best writing ever) and it had sailed quietly in the night.  I know, it’s just an award, and all these things are popularity contests, but even now, I feel the hurt in that moment.

I wonder if it’s the same hurt that has fueled the slates.  The influence of failing to get an award did somewhat lead Larry Correia to start making slates.  As I’ve said before, the Hugos were vulnerable to this kind of attack, but it was explained to me pretty early in fandom that making slates was anathema in fandom, a policy only practiced by Scientologists.  Everybody knows where the rest of this story goes.

(19) ANTI. “’Ghostbusters’ Is the Most Disliked Movie Trailer in YouTube History” says The Hollywood Reporter.

Not only does it have the most dislikes for a trailer on the social platform, but it also makes the top 25 most disliked videos overall.

Things are not boding well for director Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters based on the film’s first official trailer on YouTube.

Released March 3, the trailer, viewed 29.2 million times and counting, is the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history, according to “MyTop100Videos” channel’s “Most Disliked Videos” list that was last updated April 16. (Justin Bieber comes in at No. 1 with 5.99 million dislikes for “Baby.”)

Coming in at No. 23, the reboot — starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth — has more than double the number of dislikes as likes (208,606)….

Although there has been controversy over the trailer, with many YouTube comments centered around the all-female cast, the video has been generating mostly positive reviews on Facebook with 1,186,569 positive reactions (like, love, haha and wow) and 32,589 negative reactions (sad, angry). The reactions add up to 97.3 percent positive sentiments on Facebook overall.

(20) BREAK THE PIGGY BANK. Coming August 16 in Blu-Ray/DVD — “The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension [Collector’s Edition]”. (Doesn’t it feel like you’ve been reading the word “buckaroo” a lot this week?)

Expect the unexpected… he does.

Neurosurgeon. Physicist. Rock Star. Hero. Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller, Robocop) is a true 80s renaissance man. With the help of his uniquely qualified team, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, Buckaroo is ready to save the world on a moment’s notice. But after his successful test of the Oscillation Overthruster – a device that allows him to travel through solid matter – he unleashes the threat of “evil, pure and simple from the 8th Dimension”… the alien Red Lectroids.

Led by the deranged dictator Lord John Whorfin (John Lithgow), the Lectroids steal the Overthruster with the intent of using it to return to their home of Planet 10 “real soon!” But no matter where you go, there Buckaroo Banzai is… ready to battle an interdimensional menace that could spell doom for the human race.

How can Buckaroo stop the Lectroids’ fiendish plots? Who is the mysterious Penny Priddy? Why is there a watermelon there? For the answers to these and other questions, you have to watch The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, monkey boy!

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mark-kitteh, James Davis Nicoll, Will R., Martin Morse Wooster, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

293 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/4/16 (Take Another) Piece Of My Artificial Heart

  1. I think 3SV and DN are critically flawed in they don’t leave voters enough time to properly evaluate the works. I think there’s an assumption they would only be used against bad actors but I think that a tool once in place will be used. And the tool will be there year after year, even in cycles without bad actors, waiting to be used or misused. Without enough time to read, there is a strong likelihood votes will tend to converge around hyped names, buzz, etc.

    (All of which I’ve said before. Sorry if it seems broken record-ish)

    Something like Plus-2 might be a good compromise. It’s a positive act the admins might be able to get behind (unlike proposals for them to remove nominees). It’s an emergency power and not implementing a new yearly norm. It allows human judgement that an algorithm like EPH can’t, and should combine well with EPH. We’d know exactly when and how Plus-2 was in action and could judge its causes and effects. If the admins start abusing it, stripping the power would not require changing voting or nominating procedures yet again.

    Overall, I’m seeing a lot to like. Anyone seeing downsides?

  2. @ULTRAGOTHA: Hmm hadn’t really thought of that, good point.

    Badge ribbons sounds like an even better idea anyway.

  3. @Stoic Cynic

    Did you read the David Goldfarb addition to DN? People can select/say yes to as many works as they’d like, not limited to 5? I think most years with no bad actors most voters will select most works giving benefit of doubt to work/people they aren’t familiar with.

    Problems with Plus-2

    1. I don’t know but admins have stated a number of times they don’t want this kind of power/responsibility so we might have a harder time getting Hugo Administrators

    2. Hugo nominators complaining about cheating by Hugo admins (see point 1)

    3. Do we really want to give a handful of people power to decide whose a bad actor?

  4. @Stoic Cynic,
    What Plus-2 doesn’t fix is the ability for items like “Safe Space as Rape Room” to call themselves “Hugo Finalists”. If we’re want to fix the griefer problem with more active measures, we should be addressing that too.

  5. Opus: So I am right, you did not read the articles Mr Glyer provided.

    You are wrong. I read the full Damien Walter article to which Mike linked. It does not mention or quote Jemisin. Jemisin does not appear in the comments.

    bloodstone75 was finally gracious enough to do your work for you and actually provide a link to where Jemisin commented on the all-male YA finalist list, and what she actually said is pretty tame. I’m wondering why you’re ginning up so much outrage over it.

    Opus: I love the genres and would like to see them flourish again.

    You have no more credibility than any other Puppy when you claim that genre publishing in the English language is failing. It’s not.

    Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror publishing are flourishing in the English-speaking countries. If you don’t like what they’re putting out, then you should be encouraging authors in your own country to start writing the books you want to see — instead of trying to tell all the people who are happy with what’s being published that the books they like are crap.

  6. @Tasha Turner

    We’ve been slammed with OT at work so keeping up with threads had been challenging. I had totally missed the Goldfarb amendment. Thank you for letting me know! With that change I’m a lot more comfortable with DN. In the immortal words of Gilda Radner:

    Never Mind

  7. But 5 years is the most I can see VD managing to keep his followers going.

    Keeping their followers going is why they gin up the outrage. If they can get their band of followers wound up over perceived slights, then they can keep them going. Outrage is all Beale has ultimately.

  8. I’m going to post one last promo for the campaign to sponsor File770 Mini-Parks in the MidAmeriCon II Fan Village.

    We have acquired a third plaque, and are currently $40 from having a third bench to go with it. If we don’t make it, it’s no big deal — the generosity of Filers so far has been absolutely amazing, and you chipped in far beyond what I had hoped. And for those who are able at this time to contribute only good wishes, they are very much appreciated, too.

    You Filers are AWESOME!

    https://www.gofundme.com/File770bench

    The MACII rep has been in contact with me regarding a funds transfer, and I asked for answers to these questions:

    • It’s my understanding the $500 includes a bench, plaque, sign, and foliage/flowers. Is there any idea of how much and what kind of the latter will be included?

    • How big is the sign which will stand in each park, and is it one-sided or two-sided?

    • Can our two mini-parks (and 3rd bench, if we get it) be next to each other?

    • Some of us are planning on bringing little decorations (signs, garden statuettes). Is this okay?

    • One of the Filers is checking to see if there is a school in KC which would be interested in taking the benches. If that doesn’t pan out, and none of the Filers wants to take the benches home, do you have a plan for what to do with them?

    If you have any other questions, let me know. I will post the responses to the questions in a Pixel Scroll when I receive them.

  9. We interrupt your regularly scheduled kerfuffle for this important announcement: Captain America: Civil War is amazing. It is a marvel of storytelling with strong performances by terrific actors. Robert Downey outdoes himself. Chris Evans again pulls off the difficult job of making a fundamentally decent character interesting. Scarlett Johansson actually doesn’t steal the movie, which is a first for the MCU, but holds down the third leg of the triad. And the fights! My god the fights. My whole family was blown away by how good the fights were.

  10. In fairness, it should be noted that my suggestion was inspired by memories of comments from Jameson Quinn back on Making Light, in the threads that led to EPH. So he deserves some credit.

  11. I tried to post this at Kevin Standlee’s LJ but it wouldn’t believe that I’m human.

    One way to consider this would be what proportion of voters do the finalist selected represent? EPH will make that a bigger percentage (probably) and 4/6 should do so as well by Plus2 would be a manual way of ensuring that.

    That could be done as an arbitrary choice – which has the advantage of only being employed when needed but the disadvantages people have sited, as well as the distinct possibility of people lobbying for it to be done etc.

    Alternatively a numerical trigger could be that if the proportion of voters represented by the finalist falls below a certain figure, more finalists are included. This is not the same as any given work having a particular percentage nominating it but rather what is the combined percentage of the finalist as a whole. So, for example, lets say in 2015 slate voters were 20% of voters in most categories – that means each finalist in a category will have got 20% but when you combine all the ballots of the finalists in the category the total would still only be about 20%. So to get the number up to a threshold you’d need to include more finalists – for example if the threshold was 30% of ballots then including a work with 10% of the vote but 0 overlap with the slate voters would get the total represented by the finalists to the threshold.

  12. DN Thoughts: The thing is, we won’t know until next year what “legs” the Rabid campaign has, since this year they’re coasting on last year’s memberships. But if we wait, that’s an extra year lost. Which is why I’m inclined to vote for Double Noogie – sorry, Nomination- in spite of the probability that the added complexity will drive down voting numbers. Huh maybe we could include a raffle.

    Bukaroo Banzaii- You know, despite the huge nostalgia I have for this movie, I have to admit it’s the poster child for failing the Sexy Lamp test.

    Also, I have to admit when it comes to pulp, Legend Of Korra did it better.

  13. I’ve been thinking a bit of what Kevin has written about the low cost of griefing. I.e that for the cost of one supporting membership, you get to nomination rights for three different Worldcons. 40 dollar for trying to get dreck nominated for three Hugos is low price for a troll.

    One way would be to change this so that only attending membership for previous and next Worldcon will have voting rights. My guess is that most good faith actors who are invested in the Hugos will want to pay current supporting membership anyhow as that is the only way to get full voting rights.

    That would at least get griefers to have to pay a bit more.

  14. Wildcat: Ehhh. I don’t like disenfranchising supporting members.

    I feel the same way. And because the Worldcon and its membership is always a moveable feast, and because SFF fans are not always well-off enough to pay for an Attending membership every year, I’m not convinced that removing either the pre- or post- year nomination eligibility helps; I suspect that it would actually remove more genuine voters than griefers.

  15. I am not in favor of any solution that ends up disenfranchising supporting members of the current Worldcon. I am less troubled by removing the nominating rights granted to the previous and subsequent years’ members. Personally, I consider the membership of WSFS to only be the current year’s members, and the rights granted to the previous/subsequent years’ members are less critical to me.

    But I admit to being someone who votes in Site Selection every year. Doing so makes me a member of every Worldcon, at the lowest possible cost, and thus my WSFS membership dues are always paid up two years in advance. This undoubtedly influences my attitude toward people who do not pay their membership dues (the supporting membership) annually.

  16. JJ: it would be nice to know square footage (meterage?) of the parks. Not just the total, but the configuration; x feet by y feet. Will there be room for a bookcase or table or whatever next to/in front of the bench? Is there electricity available to them? Not that I’ve got any definite plans, but we might want little lights or something. Are any plants or decorations included with the bench, or just the bench itself? Is any ground cover (green carpet or whatever) included, or just the hall floor? Not that it’s come up, but can we decorate the “river”, too? (sea monsters, sailboats, whatever) What will the river be made of? Basically the above is a “think of everything you can” brainstorm post in hopes that a) it gets useful info from them, and b) inspires other Filers. (Did I mention that I, personally, am decorator-impaired?)

  17. For that matter, is this an indoor “park” or an outdoor space adjacent to the hotel? (In which case, the “river” might be an actual water feature….

    Is it possible to get a few photos of the space, so we know what we’re working with?

  18. The “parks” are indoors. They’re populating the Fan Village within a convention hall. It’s an attempt to make lemonade out of the lemon that they can’t do traditional-style room parties, so they’re doing approximately what Loncon 3 did by trying to make an exhibit hall a fan-friendly gathering area.

  19. but it wouldn’t believe that I’m human.

    I was explaining to my house manager at work why I avoid referring to myself as a person and a consistent inability to pass Turing tests is right up there on my list. It has real world consequences too, in that my responses to stimulae may not be what people expect.

    (Happily, for work that translates into e.g. seeing the post-show clean up as a treasure hunt. My mental processes enable a higher degree of work satisfaction)

  20. Chuck Tingle has been trolling Teddy for a few days now. This is just AWESOME.

    And the dead elk, gamergaters, and various assorted alt-right neoskinheads have been trying mightily to crow about how voxman is #STILLWINNING all over twitter. But except for the Power of Pile-Ons, I think the batteries are runing dry on pretty much all of their strongest tactics

  21. NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA, Voxman!

    The biggest achievement the fools deployed from Voxman’s Futility Belt have have gained so far is NA. What will Voxman try next? Find out same Voxtime, same Voxchannel!

  22. I get the feeling it’ll severely honk Beale off if everyone started calling him Voxman.

  23. I tried to post this at Kevin Standlee’s LJ but it wouldn’t believe that I’m human.

    Timothy? Is that you?

  24. Timothy? Is that you?

    It turns out Timothy is the human, and Camestros is the cat.

  25. Only one way to be sure…

    <casually dropping catnip on ground> <watching closely>

  26. Johan P on May 6, 2016 at 12:29 pm said:

    Timothy? Is that you?

    It turns out Timothy is the human, and Camestros is the cat.

    And I would have got away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids

  27. @dann665: “I see a bit of a paradox in the above. Is it a combination of “work, popularity, and luck” or does the work need to be “better than good”?”

    What paradox? You’ve asked an “or” question that has an “and” answer.

    You have to work hard and be lucky to get popular; merely being good is insufficient. If you can do all of that, you then have to remember that award shortlists are SHORT lists, which means (in the absence of freeping) you’re competing against all the other people who have achieved that same bar. The main way to stand out from them is not by merely being “good” or “okay” or even “better than good” – your work has to truly shine.

    You said yourself that you perceive a “wealth” of “better than good” in the field, and I don’t disagree. Now, try winnowing that wealth down to fifty. Then to twenty. Are the choices painful yet? Now take it down to five. Damn, that’s tough, isn’t it? How many “better than good” books did you have to discard to get to that list of five really stellar ones?

    “Better than good” isn’t enough to get an award. It’s the minimum requirement for consideration. That might get you in the door. If you’re lucky.

    Problems start when people (other than potential nominees) start equating making/not-making the final cut more with being/not-being high quality SFF and less about simply lacking in popularity (with the voting pool) and luck.

    Perhaps it was simply sloppy phrasing, but you’ve equated two very unequal conditions there. Making it onto a non-fucked shortlist is a good indication that you’ve produced something of high quality and you have the visibility to get it noticed. The reverse – that not making the list means your work is crap – is not and never has been true. This is basic set theory. There are all kinds of reasons for something not to be on the shortlist, from “it was utter crap” to “it wasn’t quite excellent enough” to “damn, I wish I’d known about that!”

    As for what I think you meant, that equating “I’m not a finalist” with “people think I suck or my work sucks” causes problems… well, no shit. That’s exactly how the Puppies got started. That hasn’t been news for a couple of years now.

  28. dann665: This item popped up today and several commenters blithely (IMHO) excused the attempted vandalism/theft of computer services. I thought it a reasonable opportunity to point out the problem with dismissing criminal behavior

    Now that’s just a deliberate falsehood on your part.

    No one here has excused criminal behavior. No one here has dismissed it. Many people have condemned it.

    But many people have pointed out the truth, that high-profile people and websites are targets for malicious attacks of every sort: DDOS, hacking, Trojaning, database theft, etc. Most of the time these attacks have everything to do with trying to compromise anything that is vulnerable and nothing to do with the ideology or political persuasion or identity of the target.

    And that’s what you don’t like: you don’t like having it pointed out that your automatic assumption that the attacks on Kukuruyo are coming from liberals is just wrong — that the vast majority of what he’s getting is almost certainly because he’s become a high-profile target, and these attacks are the sort of stuff that high-profile targets of every stripe get subjected to every single day.

  29. ETA: looks like me and a few others are posting in the wrong thread…

  30. @JJ.

    You mention the possibility of not being able to find homes for benches; is there a place/way for Filers to express interest in adopting a bench and a way to find out weight and measurements so we can figure out whose vehicle could carry one?

  31. Cat: You mention the possibility of not being able to find homes for benches; is there a place/way for Filers to express interest in adopting a bench and a way to find out weight and measurements so we can figure out whose vehicle could carry one?

    If there are Filers who want a bench and are able to transport it away for themselves, I’ve no problem with that. I’ll put the questions on my list to ask when I can get to a MAC II rep who knows the answers.

  32. I’m not a fan of the +2; the Hugo Administrators are technical admins, not a jury, so IMHO the analogy to other awards that do something like this is highly flawed.

    I’d be more apt to be supportive of double nominations if it were something only enabled when needed. For this, I would definitely trust the admins; for one thing, they can see if there’s a weirdly high correlation of ballots – including comparing to publicly-posted slates from known bad actors. So something like “there’s an optional second nom round, open only to current Worldcon members, that the admins say happens or not.” Give them the power and the flexibility. And as mentioned before – a “vote for good” not “downvote” please.

    I feel this would have the benefit of the ultimate power in the members, while not leaving it open in years when it’s not needed and thus more likely to be abused (by good- or ill-meaning regular folks) or gamed (by bad actors). And it doesn’t require the admins to actually affect what’s on the finalist list, whose ballots are counted, or anything like that, which IMHO isn’t their job and shouldn’t be (again: they’re not a jury; let’s not give them the power to add things to the ballot as if they were a jury).

    My two cents, anyway. Subject to change without notice. 😉

  33. Thanks to whoever rec’d “We’ve Lied” by Bob McHugh at Daily Science Fiction. That was amusing and, surprisingly, a little bittersweet. 🙂

    Hugo Finalist Ebook Sale: Speaking of stories, has someone already mentioned Brandon Sanderson’s Perfect State novella is down to 99 cents, at least in some U.S. ebookstores? If so, sorry to repeat the info. Granted, it may show up in the Hugo packet (I’d be a little surprised if it didn’t), but FYI anyway.

  34. Oh, also, I meant to post this a couple of days ago: Here’s a cool short SF video. 🙂 I’m not sure, even looking at the director’s site, whether this is eligible for 2016 BDP:SF or not, but I’m noting it down for just in case. BDP:SF is one of my tougher categories; I don’t watch much TV these days, and there’re so many short videos on the ‘net, I wind up watching almost none – too much to squeeze in (I know what weird and silly this sounds). So when I see one I like, I want to share it.

  35. Randome Ebook Sale: Dark Transmissions (A Tale of the Jinxed Thirteenth) by Davila LeBlanc is on sale for $2.99. This SF novel sounded interesting to me; a husband-and-wife pair of engineers wake from cryo-stasis discover AI rose up against humanity while they were asleep…and won! The Jinxed Thirteenth is the ship that picks up their distress call. It looks like the prologue starts with the husband and wife fighting the AI of the station? ship? they’re on, but I just skimmed a couple of pages – don’t know if this is any good or not.

    Anyone read it? 🙂

  36. @JJ

    Thanks! I am interested, subject to being able to fit the bench in the car / manage the weight, which is why I was wondering about measurements. I am only a minor contributor and am prepared to cede my claim should others press theirs, but I would treasure such a bench and have space for it in my yard.

  37. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 6/9/16 I See All Good Pixels Scroll Their Heads Each Day So Satisfied I’m On My Way | File 770

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