Pixel Scroll 7/12/16 Boys! Raise Giant Pixels in your Cellar!

(1) RAMBO REPORT. “SFWA is Many Things, But Not a Gelatinous Cube” insists Cat Rambo, the organization’s President, in a 3,800 word update published halfway through her two-year term in office.

I was looking at Twitter the other day and reading through mentions of the Nebula Conference Weekend, including celebration of our new Grandmaster C.J. Cherryh, when I hit a tweet saying something along the lines of, “I hope SFWA doesn’t think this excuses the choice of picking (another author) in the past”. The way the sentence struck me got me thinking about the sort of perception that allows that particular construction.

No, SFWA, aka the organization known as The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America doesn’t think that. Because SFWA isn’t a person. It doesn’t think. Sometimes I like to imagine that SFWA. It lives in a basement somewhere and looks much like a pale green gelatinous cube, covered with lint and cat hair, and various unguessable things lurk in its murky depths, like discarded typewriter ribbons, empty Johnny Walker Black Label bottles, and that phone charging cable you lost a few weeks ago.

In actuality, SFWA — at least in the sense they’re thinking of — is an entity that changes from year to year, most notably through the leadership, but also through the overall composition of the 200+ volunteers and handful of staff that keep it running. The President makes a lot of choices for the organization; others are made for them. The President gets to pick the next Grandmaster, for example, although every living past President weighs in on the choice, as well as things like the Service to SFWA Award and the recipient of the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award. ….

  • I have worked to facilitate the amazing and hard work that CFO Bud Sparhawk and comptroller Oz Drummond have been doing behind the scenes wherever I can, but I cannot take credit for any of that. Nonetheless, SFWA is moving towards a scrupulously-maintained financial state that can go beyond just sustaining itself, but can allow it to grow at a slow but steady pace. When I came on board we were highly dependent on a revenue source that is rapidly diminishing; I’m pleased to say that we are recovering from that and will not be similarly dependent in the future. I hope to replenish what was taken from the reserves within the next few years….
  • Via the efforts of volunteer wrangler Derek Künsken, volunteers are finding roles where they can use and expand existing skills, acquire new ones, and know that they are working to benefit SFWA. At the same time that we’re using more volunteers, we’re being much better about acknowledging their efforts. A few weekends ago I was at the volunteer breakfast at the Nebulas, passing out certificates of appreciation (created by Heather MacDougal) for the second year in a row, and we are making that event an integral part of our annual celebration from now on. When I came onboard, the volunteer situation was bad enough that we were losing members because of it — again, no malice, no intent to hurt people’s feelings or make them feel unvalued, only good desires and intentions that got overwhelmed due to a lack of communication and a team to back up the volunteer coordinator.
  • The SFWA Bulletin, that notoriously troubled and erratic entity, is back on schedule and rapidly proving itself capable of representing SFWA’s mission to the world at large. Editor Neil Clarke has been working to create covers and content that reflect the professional nature of the organization and which are useful to working writers. Among other things, we’ve got writers guidelines up for both it and the SFWA blog, and some members have covered their fees via a couple of blog posts or a Bulletin article. Jaym Gates, John Klima, and Tansy Rayner Roberts did the initial work of digging what seemed like a mortally-wounded Bulletin out from under a pile of criticism and ill-feeling, and deserve much praise for performing that rescue. Both Bulletin and the Blog have writers guidelines available online for what I believe is the first time….

SFWA exists for professional F&SF writers. We can talk about the mission to inform, defend, advocate for and all of that, but it boils down to this: if you are a professional genre writer, you should be able to join the organization and know that you are getting your money’s worth. Recently while researching, I counted ten ways SFWA can help a member promote their work; half of those were created in the past two years. ….

(2) WARNING. Kameron Hurley didn’t set out to write this in an especially tearjerking style. Just get your tissues ready anyway: “Drake the Dog has Passed Away”

As two people with chronic problems, my spouse and I know that you can’t always save everyone. But after dealing with the things we have in our lives, we sure as hell were going to try. Drake put up an incredible effort, and we shuffled our entire lives around his care, but Drake could never catch a break. Not once. Like so many things in life, it was wickedly unfair and cruel in the way that only life can be. You always think hey, if we can just be great caregivers, and come up with the money for the drugs and surgeries, we can save him. But the infection was stronger than us, and stronger than Drake, and it makes me incredibly angry and sad to type that, because it’s an admission that the world is bigger and scarier than we are, and sometimes when the train is moving, you can’t stop it.

(3) FIRST FANDOM NEWS. Steve Francis and Keith W. Stokes will present the Hall of Fame and Moskowitz Awards on August 18th as part of the Retro Hugo Awards

(4) POKEMON GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. The Washington Post passes on a request: “Holocaust Museum to visitors: Please stop catching Pokemon here”.

The Museum itself, along with many other landmarks, is a “PokeStop” within the game — a place where players can get free in-game items. In fact, there are actually three different PokeStops associated with various parts of the museum.

“Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism,” Andrew Hollinger, the museum’s communications director, told The Post in an interview. “We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game.”

The Holocaust Museum’s plight highlights how apps that layer a digital world on top of the real one, or so-called augmented reality games, can come with unforeseen consequences and raises questions about how much control the physical owner of a space can exert as those two worlds intersect.

(5) WILLIS DOES WALES. Connie Willis begins “Notes From Wales I: Buckland and Westmarch and Elves, Oh My!”

My family and I just got back from England, where we spent two weeks touring Cornwall and Wales. We saw Doc Martin’s village, Tintagel Castle, Dartmoor, Tintern Abbey, the shop of the Tailor of Gloucester, and lots of other fascinating things, which I hope to be writing posts about in coming weeks….

(6) BARROWMAN BRANCHING OUT. SciFiNow has big news for his fans: “John Barrowman Signs Multi-Show Deal at the CW”.

Malcolm Merlyn will pop up in all of The CW’s shows

It certainly seems as though The CW is doing its best to bring their various shows together. Now that Supergirlis officially part of the Network’s small-screen superhero universe, much of the buzz surrounding the upcoming new seasons has centred around crossovers – or the potential for them. To this end, the first seeds seem to have been sown, with John Barrowman (aka Malcolm Merlyn in Arrow) signing a multi-show deal at The CW.

Following in the footsteps of studio co-star Wentworth Miller (aka Leonard Snart/Captain Cold), the deal will in theory see him appear in CW stablemates The Flashand Legends Of Tomorrow, as well as new addition Supergirl. Quite how Barrowman will fit in remains to be seen, but we’re sure that whatever he has planned isn’t good. He has burned his bridges with pretty much every character he’s come across since debuting in Arrow’s first season, so it’ll be interesting to see how he bounces off his counterparts in other shows. We’re particularly intrigued to see an encounter with Supergirl‘s Maxwell Lord.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • July 12, 1923 – James E. Gunn,
  • July 12, 1912 — Joseph Mugnaini

(8) SCI-FI INK. Get yer Temporary Literary Tattoos. In the sf/f department they’ve got slogans from Peter S. Beagle, Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells and Franz Kafka.

(9) MONSTER HUNTER SEEKS COMPATIBLE DRAGON. Larry Correia is turning out the vote: “WRONGFANS UNITE! Only a week left to nominate for the Dragon Awards”. Remember, it’s not just Wrongfans who are allowed to vote – you can vote too!

This weekend I was at LibertyCon, and I ran into one of the organizers of the Dragon Awards. He said that he was kind of surprised that he hadn’t seen me talk about them online much. I told him that was because of Sad Puppies, I’m a controversial figure, there are just too many bitter harpies and poo flingers from fandom’s inbred pustulent under-choad who automatically flip out about anything I do, so I didn’t want to rock the boat for them.

But his response? Screw that. This award is for ALL FANS. And you have fans. So GO BUG THEM! We want so many people voting in this thing that no little clique or faction can sway it. The more fans involved, the better.

(10) IQ MARKET REPORT. Camestros Felapton was in another dogfight (well, Timothy wasn’t involved) with the Red Baron: “@voxday gets it wrong on IQ (again)”.

The other day Vox was disparaging about the value of scientific evidence. I’m not entirely sure if he is clear himself about what he means but when it comes to IQ he is happy to post anything that he feels supports his case.

This time, it is a pair of studies that point to a 4 point decline in IQ in France in a 9-10 year period. Vox quotes a second study that was an analysis of the first. This second study was an attempt to discern the cause of the decline by looking at the magnitude of the changes at a subtest level. This second paper concluded that the decline ‘likely has a primarily biological cause’. Vox declares it was due to immigration.

This is a very good example of studies that, while not necessarily wrong, aren’t really saying much at all. To see why you have to track back from Vox’s claim (immigrants somehow making whole countries less intelligent), to what the actual paper he quoted said, to the original paper that the second paper analysed and from there to what the actual original study was.

(11) BOKANOVSKY BLUES. Vox Day indignantly responded in “Wounded Gamma loses again”.

This behavior is so predictable that I not infrequently find myself able to correctly anticipate when a previously wounded Gamma is going to think he sees an opening and launch what I am coming to think of as a restorative rebuttal. However, I did not see this one coming; I did not think that Camestros Felapton was dumb enough to launch what is either his third or his fourth attempt to repair his delusion bubble since being so publicly humiliated about his lack of knowledge concerning rhetoric in Of Enthymemes and False Erudition. Apparently the sting of his repeated defeats at my hands has become more than he can bear, because he is really grasping at straws now.

Running out of brickbats to throw, Vox even resorted to sharing his score from an online vocabulary rating test.

Being a Phi (770) I couldn’t refuse the implicit challenge and rushed off to take the same quiz.

I got an identical score and wondered is that as high as it goes? I only had to guess once, so I either got a perfect score, or missed just one.

English Vocabulary Size

Vox Day shared notes. It seems we each missed one – the same one, in fact, both having got “avulse” wrong.

(12) MEANWHILE, BACK AT TIMOTHY THE TALKING CAT’S BLOG. Camestros followed up with “@voxday declares me beneath his consideration, again”.

“Considering that neither paper addresses the USA at all, it would be absolutely remarkable if either of them had.”

Sorry Vox but the first paper does discuss the USA – it is the second paper that doesn’t. Lynn & Dutton discuss the US saying “However, there remains the problem that phenotypic intelligence has continued to increase in recent years in the United States (Flynn, 2012, Table A11i, p.238), despite evidence for dysgenic fertility reviewed in Lynn (2011) and confirmed by Meisenberg (2014). This inconsistency remains one of a number of un- resolved problems.” and cite the gains in WISC-III and WISC-IV scores in table 1 (IQ gains in USA and Britain).

So, where the researchers find a decline it isn’t attributable to immigration because of the relatively small impact immigration could have and where immigration could have a larger impact the ‘declines’ are more ambiguous (or possibly rises).

Meanwhile, the brilliant counter-argument from Vox is him posting an estimate of his vocabulary size from a free internet quiz.

Heck yeah, who would fall for that?

(13) HORTON’S SHORT STORY RANKINGS. Rich Horton explains his ballot entries for the Hugo short story category – after pointing out only one of his real preferences made the final ballot.

So, only one story from this long list of stories I considered – less than I might have hoped. But easily explained – this is clearly the category Vox Day chose to make a mockery of. His nomination choices in the longer fiction categories (Novel, Novella, Novelette), were actually all readable stories, and some quite plausible Hugo nominees. That’s not at all the case in Short Story. And, indeed, the only good story on the list was only added after one of the original nominees withdrew.

(14) THE TRUTH WILL OUT. Adam Rakunas makes a big confession in “Writing Women Characters (Wait, Aren’t You A Dude?)” at SFFWorld.

Earlier this year at the Emerald City Comicon, I was on a panel with my fellow Angry Robot authors Peter Tieryas, Danielle Jensen, Patrick Tomlinson, and K.C. Alexander. As the panel wound down, K.C. turned to me and asked, “How do you write a realistic woman, being a male author?” I did the only sensible thing: I ducked under the table and curled up into a fetal ball.

Now, in my defense, it was the last panel of the last day of the con, and I’d been on my feet for most of that time. A question like this was one that required care and thoughtfulness, and I was in limited supply of both. If I gave any answer, I would not be doing K.C.’s question justice. Also: I am a gigantic wimp.

However, I’ve had a full night’s sleep and a bunch of tacos, so I feel comfortable and confident enough to say this: I fake it and hope I got it right.

It helps that I have a lot of kickass women in my life. I married a woman who grew up in four different countries, went overseas on her own to make her fortune, and now tells people who run companies how to act in a way that won’t make their shareholders panic (which, considering how fragile the economy is these days, is a really important job). Oh, and she also runs triathlons and skis black diamonds and scuba dives. I married an action hero, so it wasn’t too hard to write about one….

(15) EARTHSEA NEWS. From Suvudu, “Ursula K. Le Guin to Publish Two Story Collections and an Earthsea Omnibus with Simon & Schuster’s Saga Press”.

Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced today that it will publish two story collections and a special illustrated edition of the Earthsea novels with exclusive new material by legendary science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin.

Titles publishing in Fall 2016 include The Found and the Lost, a group of novellas collected for the first time; and The Unreal and the Real, a selection of short stories. A boxed set of both collections will also be available.

For the first time, the complete novels and short stories of Earthsea will be compiled in one volume titled The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition. Stories will include the new, never-before-published in print Earthsea story “The Daughter of Odren,” along with the novels A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales from Earthsea, and The Other Wind, in addition to the stories “The Word of Unbinding” and “The Rule of Names.” This omnibus will also include a new introduction by Le Guin as well as the essay “Earthsea Revisioned.” With color and black-and-white illustrations by award-winning illustrator Charles Vess, The Books of Earthsea will publish in Fall 2018 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of A Wizard of Earthsea.

Bartimaeus sent this news with a note, “I’d like to add that ‘The Daughter of Odren’ isn’t a new story – it was e-published in 2014. Also, I’m particularly happy that they’re including all the shorts – this is the first time all 8 Earthsea shorts will be collected in one volume.” The eight stories are: “The Rule of Names” (1964), “The Word of Unbinding” (1964), the 5 shorts in Tales from Earthsea (1998 – 2001) and “The Daughter of Odren” (2014).

(16) ARITHMANCY FROM WIRED. Also courtesy of Bartimaeus: “Here’s How Fast Harry Potter’s Treasure Trap Would Kill You”.

Each item makes four copies of itself (so one item is now five). Each of these new items then also replicates making four more items. You might think this would be an awesome way to get rich, but the amount of items increases rapidly. I assume the goal is for the explosion of treasure to kill any potential robbers by drowning and crushing them.

You probably know what is going to happen next. I’m going to try to model this treasure replication trap. Yes, that’s what I will do.

The link comes with Bartimaeus’ comment – “But they seem to have forgotten that the coins burn you on touch, so you’d actually die sooner.”

[Thanks to Bartimaeus, Janice Gelb, Martin Morse Wooster, Robert Whitaker Sirignano, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day John King Tarpinian.]

146 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/12/16 Boys! Raise Giant Pixels in your Cellar!

  1. Hm. I just took the vocabulary test and it said “48% Labrador Retriever, 35% Beagle, 12% Cocker Spaniel, 5% other.”

    So, the body-inspection happens several hours (1-3) after the amnesiac wake up (and she did not woke up nude, she’s wearing clothes). She has moved to a safe place (an hotel), and after a shower, where she saw she has been hurt, she discover herself in a mirror.

    Wow, that’s not at all a cliched, lazy trope!

  2. 14) “Kickass”, when applied to women, is almost always patronizing. Being good at your middle management job does not equate with being able to beat people up, which is an archaic skill anyway, for men as much as women.

    Surely a professional writer can come up with a better term?

  3. I also got 29975 on the vocab test but it ony asked me about 50 words so somewhere there must be some guesswork or statistrickery involved in the final score. All voxman can really, honestly say about that score is that he knows less than 50 of the tested words. Avulse wasn’t a problem word for me but I sometimes wish it was. Never image search “avulsion injury”.

    Add me to the list of lovers of The Rook – much the same reasons as Guillaume. Please note though that the author is Daniel O’Malley, not Mallory.

  4. Of course, none of these quizzes really address the most important question: Which Molly Ringwald character from a John Hughes movie are you most like?

  5. Avulse, me hearties! Be the war walrus agent of cat, or be the war walrus principal, I will wreak that snit upon him. Talk not to me of vocabulary, man. I’d tear the sun from the sky, aye, fair pluck it with force, if it insulted me. For could the sun do that, then I could take an Internet quiz (but a manly quiz, you know, not like one of those Cosmo quizzes) since there is ever a sort of fair play herein, jealously presiding over all creations.

  6. I fail to see it as a lazy trope, when it’s a self-discovery too.. (like the Altered Carbon reference).

    And now, I’m just going to close the tvtrope page before I get kidnapped by this website. I can do it.. now…

  7. JJ:

    I just can’t stop laughing that VD posted the results of an internet vocabulary test as if he seriously thinks that this proves something (other than that he is massively insecure and clueless).”

    it makes me wonder which Italian brand of breakfast cereal has been giving away IQ tests recently.

  8. When I reviewed “Like a Boss”, I said

    it seems as though most of the characters, include many (most?) of the ones who beat people up professionally, are women. This bugged Mr Dr because it’s never talked about. I didn’t notice until he pointed it out to me, and I suspect Rakunas is doing it as a kind of meta joke: to flip the kind of SFF stories (we’ve all read so many of them) where almost all the characters “just happen” to be men.

    Has anyone asked Rakunas about it? Is it something he did intentionally, or did it actually just happen?

  9. @Hypnotosov – I got the same score as you! *highfive*

    What exactly is the number meant to represent? Clearly not a literal number of words I know because I’m sure it would take a few days to test me on that many words to match my score lol

    I also don’t understand the blue hump and why it’s between a chart(?) marking low and high? And top 0.16% out of all test takers or other? Maybe I need to test my test-understanding abilities lol

  10. I fail to see it as a lazy trope, when it’s a self-discovery too.. (like the Altered Carbon reference).

    If you have made it out of my cleverly-hidden trap, you might want to look at a few of the top google hits for rationale. (When I read such descriptions, they stand out like the description of a sore thumb in a mirror.)

  11. Not knowing the meaning of “avulse” will decrease your IQ with 10 points.

  12. One of the early questions gave four choices for the synonym of “deal”: sale, recoup, claim and plea. No fair: for a lawyer, two of those are correct answers.

    (My vocabulary is one word, which means that most of what I’m typing now must not be words.)

  13. Good morning. Or something.

    I’ve been doing my Hugo reading, and reviews will be appearing on my website.

    I took the vocabulary test, and got a score of 30,150. Is anyone besides me seeing a pattern here?

  14. I also don’t understand the blue hump and why it’s between a chart(?) marking low and high?

    A bell curve. And an utterly meaningless, information free, generic one. (I just took the test intentionally getting every answer wrong. It says that I have a vocabulary of 75 words, am in the bottom 0.75 percent, and am the equivalent of a 1-year-old. The curve is exactly the same, just a lighter shade of blue.

    I just did it again, clicking random answers without reading. Vocab of 4520 words, last 40.13%, 8-year-old.

    (This reminds me of an entry at Language Log that I read a while back.)

  15. 100 Words Per Minute, suckas!

    edited to add: Pretty much the only internet quiz-like object I take regularly is tye typing speed test, apart from a game where I try and put the right names on a bunch of middle-eastish countries. It’s more like a practice than a game, since it lets you keep correcting wrong answers until everything’s correct.

  16. Darren, I’m still unconvinced – in this particular case. The objections I’m reading seem to be
    ” No one analyzes their self in the mirror like that ”
    which is quite true, except if you’re seeing yourself for the first time ever, and you’re trying to discover who you are – at least, I think so 🙂
    But I’m quite partial about this book , which was one of my best reading of 2012.
    ( I escaped TVTrope : the secret is no click at all on the page except to close it – especially not opening new tabs)

  17. Is it just me or does “avulse” sound like a word you’d find in a Jack Vance story?

  18. I’d be more impressed by VD if he’d taken an Italian language internet vocabulary test and scored high. I still have no idea what it would prove but he should take the test in the language of the country he lives in. Otherwise how can he know if he’d be bringing their IQ down in the vocabulary section? A little logic from Voxman would be nice for a change.

    @Lis Carey took the vocabulary test, and got a score of 30,150. Is anyone besides me seeing a pattern here?

    Either the test is fairly easy for anyone to pass or the tests are biased towards those who read a lot of books in English?

  19. (9) What a charming fellow. Still, if gaming the Dragons keeps him away from the Hugos, that’s fine. I guess we’ll see how many gamed/new/”exclusive” awards he can win before he’s happy.

    (11) What a charming fellow (VD, not the custodian of the cat). VD appears to be the living embodiment of xkcd 386.

    Avulse, me hearties!

  20. I recently read Windswept and liked it for multiple reasons (plot, character etc.) Gender, though, I had trouble remembering that the protagonist was female. My subconscious kept insisting that she was male, because she acted male.
    After puzzling it over for a while, I think what tripped me up was the casual attitude towards violence. I’m okay with women beating up other people, but can’t accept that they would act like it was no big deal. An interesting discovery about myself.

  21. (9)

    All Fans Matter? (Said tongue in cheek)

    (10-12)

    The early history of the IQ test can be fascinating. Many people with Teddy Beale’s same “concerns” about immigration and intelligence feature.

  22. Is it just me or does “avulse” sound like a word you’d find in a Jack Vance story?

    Is that in The Avulse or Avulse: Alastor 3212?

  23. @Emma: I’ve read The Rook and its sequel, and found them interesting; I found relevant meta-comment about ]intelligence[ agencies and their (internal and external) misbehaviors&mistakes. I am probably less sensitive to the ]objectification[ that struck you; there’s some rudenesses (e.g., the early comment in The Plague Dogs) that I’ve choked on, but I’ve probably missed others.

  24. What category is Space Raptor Butt Invasion eligible for in for the Dragons?

    Asking for a troll.

  25. @Rose Embolism

    Maybe it’s just me, but if I woke up nude, with amnesia, the very last thing I would be thinking about is my sex appeal. that would e the case whether its actual amnesia or Hollywood amnesia.

    Again, this seems to be a case were it would be interesting to reverse the genders in this situation, and see what the scene reads as.

    If you reverse the genders, the guy is going to be relieved that even though he doesn’t remember who he is, at least his penis is still there. Next step is to check that it still works . . .

    Hmmm. That’s actually more plausible than the original. 🙂

  26. @Guillaume
    I have never encountered a male amnesiac in fiction who studied his male genitals or ass. Have you? For some reason society finds it normal for a female to study her sexual parts but not a male when they get amnesia. It seems more likely to me men would be checking out their equipment to make sure it’s ok if they had amnesia because it’s such an important part of them. Ya know? But guys reading fiction might find it creepy while reading a female amnesiac checking out her boobs is such a normal thing for men to do its in books (male gaze) even if it’s real life unrealistic.

    I had short-term amnesia after being hit by an 18-wheel truck in March 2012. The very last thing on my mind was how my body looked. I needed regular updates on the damage done (bleeding on both sides of brain, broken scapula, broken ribs, had a collapsed lung when I first came in, covered in bruises, broken glass fell out for months, cognitive damage included but was not limited to word recall, ability to read, speak, comprehend what was said to me, and more) because I kept forgetting. I knew I was a woman so there was no need to stare at my own boobs. I had much bigger problems.

    Amnesiacs know many basic things – what female/male is, how to do many tasks including specialized ones, etc. What we/they don’t remember are personal details or details around an incident. Each situation is different but go read some studies on the topi. I will never remember the few minutes leading to the accident or accident itself according to my doctors and psychiatrist.

    When books show women gazing at their boobs post-amnesia it’s unrealistic. Even if bra shopping. They likely remember their bra size so it’s more realistic to have them gripping about brands not all being consistent in sizes so they have to try on a number and being overwhelmed rather than gazing at their boobs.

    The others I met in a inpatient rehab which specializes in those with brain damage seemed similarly focused. Much of physical therapy was done in a big room where we could see each other and interact a bit. Talks with the various therapist were that my experience and thoughts were very normal.

    I don’t know if my personal experience helps you understand why it’s unrealistic and explain why your getting so much pushback.

  27. Sunhawk on July 13, 2016 at 6:47 am said:
    @Hypnotosov – I got the same score as you! *highfive*

    Right on!

    What exactly is the number meant to represent? Clearly not a literal number of words I know because I’m sure it would take a few days to test me on that many words to match my score lol

    I guess they take the most difficult word you got right and guesstimate a numer based on that. Or maybe they´ve given each word a score (ie. if you know avulse you probably know ~500 similar words, so it adds 500 to your score).

    I also don’t understand the blue hump and why it’s between a chart(?) marking low and high? And top 0.16% out of all test takers or other? Maybe I need to test my test-understanding abilities lol

    With the bell curve they’re suggesting it’s from the general population, no idea how realistic that is,

  28. What category is Space Raptor Butt Invasion eligible for in for the Dragons?

    I beleive that the Dragons have no short fiction categories and regard a novel as being 70k+ words (75% more than the Hugoes). Sadly Dr Tingle will have to console himself with just the one prize this year.

  29. Title suggested by today’s: “Boys! … the Pixel … is up!” (one of many reused quotes from one of my marriage’s favorite movies).

  30. Okay, just for reals took the vocab test and got 30325. I took immediate issue because imho the synonym for “love” is not “like”. So devalued on question 1. I think that may be a record.

    Also I talk pretty ‘n’ stuff.

    (SUPREME THUNDER!)

  31. Tasha Turner: If there was ever a circumstance tailored to be called the male gaze, that is it.

  32. NickPheas: Sadly Dr Tingle will have to console himself with just the one prize this year.

    I am not going to speculate on how Dr Tingle may console themselves with a Hugo. Not even a little bit.

  33. I don’t know what the cultural/historical context is for the female amnesiac story, but it occurs to me that–at least in our day and culture–a higher priority on waking up than “what do my boobs look like” might be “have I been raped while I was unconscious?”

  34. Joe H. asked:

    Is it just me or does “avulse” sound like a word you’d find in a Jack Vance story?

    Or a Stephen Donaldson story.

  35. Also 30325, and I choked a bit on both love and deal, so I went with logical inference (if I was trying to test/trick and still be somewhat fair, I would…). That’s not the only thing I choked on, though this time it was laughter. Teeter ego is pretty much perfect.

    Pro tip: If you want people to think you’re a superior being, don’t try to give them proof of it, because they will then not only doubt your intelligence, but also think you’re weak.

    I’ve finished my reading for the Campbell Award. Wow, Alyssa Wong is even more impressive in bulk. I thought Brian Niemeier showed promise (I was interested enough to read most of his novel before I ran out of steam) and I see why people enthuse about Sebastien de Castell (terrific storytelling voice, even with the infodumps, but too brutal for me). Pierce Brown isn’t for me, at least not now, and I didn’t bother to reread The Martian, which I liked a lot and still remember well.

    I also just read Bujold’s Penric and the Shaman. It was good and I liked it, but it was too creamy smooth for me to really like it. I think she’s such a good writer, but not in the least showy and sometimes I find that less than interesting, even if all the parts work well. I wonder if the reason her longer stuff works better is because then the accumulation of her talent and skill is more noticeable?

  36. Spoilers….in case we haven’t crossed that line already.

    I read the first few pages of the free sample of The Rook. I took at look at the reader reviews at Amazon and at Goodreads. It has an high percentage of 4 and 5 star reviews in both places.

    I read through a few of the 1 star reviews on Goodreads. One of the things I picked up on is that this character apparently has a focus on appearance. She apparently takes potshots at the fashion sense of the person that “inhabited” her body before she woke up. One reviewer picked up on the general trend with:

    Then we also had a huge problem with MyFawny CONSTANTLY belittling and passively aggressively attacking women who she thought were attractive. Referring to them as bitchy or hoping they slept their way to the top and were really idiots. Most women don’t feel that way. I started to wonder if the author had ever even talked to a woman because he can’t write one.

    Really? That sounds like many women that I have known over the years. Not all women by a long shot, but enough that it is a behavior that isn’t exactly out of place in a female character. That includes circumstances where competition for male attention wasn’t really an issue.

    If this character is ordinarily focused on appearance, then is it really out of place for that interest to be constant after “waking up” from whatever happened to her?

    @Heather

    I don’t know what the cultural/historical context is for the female amnesiac story, but it occurs to me that-at least in our day and culture-a higher priority on waking up than “what do my boobs look lik” might be “have I been raped while I was unconscious?”

    Which culture is that? Crime in the US…including rape…is down signficantly over the last 20 years.

    On another front, I just finished “Between Two Thorns” by Emma Newman. A most engaging book! There were a couple of facets to the story that were a little off, but I found the world creation and prose to be….ummmm….fantastic! That’s OK in a fantasy novel, right? The end of the book caused me to immediately buy “Any Other Name”, the second book in the series.


    Regards,
    Dann

  37. Dann, as a female, raised in our culture, yes, rape would be very near the top of my worries if I woke up from unconsciousness in a strange place with no memory of how I got there. Whether or not I remembered who I was. (Especially if I woke up nude, which was the (apparently incorrect) implication that started this thread.) I really can’t overstate this.

    The absolute number of rapes may or may not be going up or down; that’s largely irrelevant to the very, very powerful ingrained worry about rape. Men are not inculcated with this worry, for the most part, even though men are raped, too. So, I’m not surprised that a male author (or reader) wouldn’t pick up on this. I’d be very surprised to find that many or most of the female filers wouldn’t feel exactly as I do.

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