Worldcon Open Comments

I’m still on the sidelines but improving. Meantime I thought it a good idea to create a space to leave comments on MidAmameriCon this week for those who are checking here.

480 thoughts on “Worldcon Open Comments

  1. I haven’t read “Requiem” in a long time (didn’t vote in the retro Hugos) but I was quite moved when I read it as a kid and I suspect others also consider it a memorable classic, however it may read nowadays.

  2. Speaking of stuff that was added later – the 1940 version of “Robbie” didn’t have young Susan Calvin and the Talking Robot that breaks down. Asimov added those bits 10 years later so that he could retro-fit the story into his Robot chronology.

  3. Am mildly disappointed that Thief of Bagdad didn’t take BDP, but Fantasia was certainly a worthy offering as well.

  4. If we define continents by plates, California is not in North America, so a Worldcon in San Jose would trigger a Nasfic.

    Sorry, the plate boundary is approximately the San Andreas Fault, and San Jose in on the North American side. Most of Southern California is on the Pacific side, so a Worldcon in Anaheim would be non-North American by that definition.

  5. NickPheas asked:

    Was there some murmering about another UK Worldcon in 2024?

    Yes, but nothing more than that.

    The earliest the Loncon 3 organization can be wound up is next year, and one assumes the core group would want a year or two off before deciding they want to run another Worldcon, so I wouldn’t expect anything definite for a while.

    If the 2023 Worldcon is in the Paris area, then London would be disqualified for 2024 for being less than 500 miles or 800 km away, but a return to Glasgow would be legal.

  6. Nigel wrote:

    Blimey, did that cow thing ever get sorted out?

    They mooved to adjourn it..

  7. Just a note, because JCW is wrong about everything – I’m at Worldcon and the gender neutral restrooms are nowhere to be found. Well, other than the family restrooms, but those aren’t new.

  8. <confused> JCW is offended by gender-neutral bathrooms? Does he have a separate Men’s Room and Women’s Room in his house?

    Or, you know, does he just close the door, like everyone else?

  9. JKT, thank you so much for visiting Mike (I hope you’re giving him all of our best wishes!) and for keeping us updated on his progress.

  10. JKT said:

    I visited Mike again today. He shows improvement each time I visit.

    Thanks for the update, but ugh, does this mean he’s still hospitalized?

  11. Cheryl S. (that was you, right? pages and pages ago…), it sounds like your laundry and packing got done at last and you made it to WorldCon as planned? Yay! And thank you for the good wishes!

    I can be very slow on the uptake. I did not realize the full nature of the Parks at Worldcon until I saw the photos. I seriously had this idea that the File 770 Bench would be a permanent installation in an existing park somewhere near the convention center, outside with grass and trees and things. I didn’t realize these were going to be right inside the convention center like that.

    The File 770 Park Bench photos are fantastic. Glad to finally get to see it. And the Awn Elming Memorial Park (Gift of Mercy of Kalr and Crew) made me tear up a little. And also chortle (“Translator Zeiat, this means you”).

    Following the Business Meeting news with great interest.

    A little sad that “Tlon…” didn’t win a retro Hugo, but quite pleased for Fantasia.

    I’m pleasantly ensconced in my hotel room, resting after our first game. WHICH WE WON. *happy skippy dance of victory* This means that my league has already done better at D2 than we ever have before. Next game is at 6 PM Central (UTC – 5 I think) and will be against the #1 seed in the bracket, so probably the toughest we will face all weekend. Between now and then I intend to eat a gigantic burrito and regret nothing.

  12. @Nick Pheas:

    I’d settle for that. To be fair, at least four of the works on Best Novel were fully justified.

    I’ve spent too much time being a typography geek, because my first thought was ‘There’s no such thing as “fully justified”. It’s either flush left, flush right, justified, or centred, and…. Oh, I see.’

  13. @Harold Osler:

    And this is actually a problem? Are there that many places to hold a convention in western Iceland?

    It’s fannish silliness and Edge-Case Theatre. Reykjavík doesn’t (currently) have adequate facilities for a Worldcon, not to mention a fanbase to staff it. Not to mention the fact that silly Americans and Canadians think ordinary Icelandic place names like Eyjafjallajökull, Svalbarðsstrandarhreppur, and Vaðlaheiðarvegavinnuverkfærageymsluskúraútidyralyklakippuhringafingrafar are difficult to spell and pronounce.

    The fanciful notion of a Reykjavík Worldcon being in North America is of course based on the equally fanciful supposition that, after zone defintions were eliminated from the WSFS Constitution, since ‘North America’ was no longer formally defined, why not consider the North American Plate to define its limits? Dissenters from the Pacific Plate, Juan de Fuca Plate, Gorda Plate, Explorer Plate, Rivera Plate, Cocos Plate, and Nazca Plate would have been welcome to argue their somewhat suspicious auslander viewpoints.

  14. Rick Moen on August 19, 2016 at 2:31 pm said:

    Vaðlaheiðarvegavinnuverkfærageymsluskúraútidyralyklakippuhringafingrafar

    I understand it means “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the church of St. Tysilio of the red cave”.

  15. Petréa Mitchell: Yes, Mike is still being catered to hand and foot.

    Trivia or Irony: Ray beat out Uncle 4E for Best Fanzine. Uncle 4E funded Futuria Fantasia.

  16. I had fun at my concert and I thought it went pretty well. There was even a pair of ASL interpreters, which is very cool and contributed greatly to the enjoyment of the Deaf person there. (I think they were specifically detailed to the Deaf person.)

    I cleverly lured the interpreter to stand behind me by offering to let her look at my lyrics. This was good for me because I know just enough ASL to get confused by occasional echoes in ASL and also because I keep going “Oh, new word!” I also (after the concert) told the Deaf person.

    Also people seemed to really enjoy the E Pluribus Hugo song.

  17. @Bartimaeus

    Speaking of stuff that was added later – the 1940 version of “Robbie” didn’t have young Susan Calvin and the Talking Robot that breaks down. Asimov added those bits 10 years later so that he could retro-fit the story into his Robot chronology.

    I actually knew that, though I still loved that scene.

    BTW, I’m pretty sure that the bit with the talking robot was inspired by Electro, a stunning art deco robot exhibited at the New York World Fair in 1939. You can see Electro doing tricks in this video. It’s obviously scripted, though impressive for his time. It’s also almost exactly what happens in the talking robot scene in the extended version of Robbie. I can imagine a teenaged Asimov hoping to have a chat with the robot and being thoroughly disappointed. Maybe he even snuck in to talk to Electro and found only an inert hunk of metal.

  18. Random Puppies are over on Twitter whining about Worldcon, because they just can’t stand the fact that the attendees are posting lots of tweets about how much fun they’re having. It’s pretty hilarious.

  19. @Cora: Thanks for the video, that was cool!

    I’m personally not a fan of “Robbie” – I really dislike robots that become emotional for no reason – but I agree that the talking robot scene was very good.

  20. Having lots of fun. Sitting waiting for the Masquerade to begin — running on fannish time. Bid on some artwork. Refraining nobly from buying more books we don’t have room for.

    KC is much more German-Americanthan I expected. The beer is very good.

  21. EXTRA FILE MEETUP

    After the Hugo Award Ceremony, in the hospitality area, near the tivoli area. To discuss the results, the puppy impact and how it might affect the business meeting.

    Time: Around 22:00.

  22. As far as I could tell there was a blow-up involving a panel about the state of short fiction, where the moderator ranted about “special snowflakes destroying science fiction”. Other panelists and audience weren’t amused, puppies, gators and other jerks had to add their two cents from the sidelines.

    This Twitter thread by Jason Sanford has more.

    ETA: Ninjaed by Bruce.

  23. At 3:00 PM at today’s panel on The State of Short Fiction, Dave Truesdale (of Tangent Online) shocked panelists and crowd alike by abusing his position as moderator to give what sounded like an alt-Right rant against political correctness. He declared that political correctness had destroyed short SFF by making it bland and destroying the careers of people. He waved around a fistful of pearl necklaces and told people to “clutch your pearls” and shut up whenever they felt the urge to point out some injustice.

    He had started reading from a multi-page prepared speech (which he attributed to the late David Hartwell) when Sheila Williams shouted at him to stop. (It helped a lot that he seemed to be clueless as to how to operate a microphone whereas she was clearly a master, so she easily shouted him down.) He seemed very surprised that almost the entire crowd (minus one person who might have been a relative) was angry with him. From his behavior, I think he expected to have at least a large cohort agreeing with him.

    Eric got a photo of Truesdale reading while Neil Clarke turned his back and other panelists grimaced.

    The panelists denied that SFF had declined in quality or that political correctness particularly influenced them as editors. They did note that overt bigotry was no longer acceptable, but Truesdale indicated that he was okay with that change.

    At a subsequent panel, we heard that MidAmeriCon II apologized to the panelists, saying no one had any idea this would happen. According to one source, he’d been about to launch into a section titled “definition of a bigot” before he was derailed. Most people seemed to agree that they’d never seen a panel moderator abuse his position to hijack the panel as a platform for his or her own personal agenda.

    Supposedly Rich Larsen was able to change shirts in the middle of this performance without anyone noticing except the guy who gave him the replacement shirt. “Everyone was watching the stage.” No pics available to prove or disprove. 🙂

  24. Greg Hullender on August 19, 2016 at 6:27 pm said:

    At 3:00 PM at today’s panel on The State of Short Fiction, Dave Truesdale (of Tangent Online)

    I guess it was only a matter of time before he went full-puppy.

  25. Considering what a worse-than-Victorian prude JCW is, I wouldn’t be surprised if he indeed did have separate women’s and men’s rooms in his house.

    So the one Puppy who made it on a panel was terrible at the basic mechanics, terrible at speaking, pissed everyone off, was objectively incorrect, and alienated big-time editors. I am not surprised. I love the texts from Patel’s friend telling him to get there. And said Puppy has a lot of pearl necklaces… if you know what I mean, wink wink nudge nudge.

    John Z. Upjohn is a delight as always.

    JJ: Proof that Puppies don’t know how to have fun, want to make sure no one else does either. Sad! (heheheheh)

    I reread all the Heinlein and thought LESS well of most of the stories. The Suck Fairy had definitely dropped some anti-pixie dust on them. “If This Goes On” was the only one I had the same opinion about. Which I guess is why Heinlein could never win a Hugo today. Just several. Sorry Uncle 4E didn’t win.

  26. Cassy B.: what, seriously? What are they complaining about?

    So far, I’ve seen tweets complaining about:
    – the Incident Reporting business cards being handed out at registration with the reporting phone number and procedures
    – the gender-free bathroom sign
    – the Code-of-Conduct sign
    – panels which discuss diversity in SFF
    – panels which discuss politics in SFF (because back in the good ol’ days, there was NEVER any politics in SF stories, no sirree!!!)
    – various silly complaints about how the Hugo Awards have no credibility after No Awarding the crap that the Puppies put on the ballot last year
    – complaints that virtually-unknown writer Brian Niemeier is being shadowbanned by Twitter because he’s a Hugo Nominee
    – complaints that virtually-unknown artist kukuruyo’s Twitter account has been suspended because he’s a Hugo nominee (in fact, it was suspended because he posted an account banner with explicit imagery, and his account has now been reinstated with a modified banner)
    – retweeting of MAC II’s tweet about the “give us your feedback on the con” panel, demanding to know MAC II’s stance on kukuruyo’s Twitter banning, as if the two actually have anything to do with each other
    – retweets of Worldcon attendees’ selfies, making fun of the individuals who posted them

    At least one of the most vocal and most clueless Puppies/GamerGaters is cheering relentlessly for Chuck Tingle to win the Hugo — apparently totally unaware that Zoe Quinn will be making the acceptance speech in a rainbow unicorn dress if that happens. There are several other equally clueless Puppies also hoping for a Tingle win.

    There’s more, but that’s all I remember, and I can’t be arsed to go back and look for them. But the level of cluelessness in them, when they pop up in the special search feed I’ve set up, is making me laugh out loud.

  27. Found ribbons in the flyers area with the text “WRONGFAN HAVING WRONGFUN” so I guess that is a puppy tribal marker.

  28. @Camestros Felapton (re Dave Truesdale)

    I guess it was only a matter of time before he went full-puppy.

    He didn’t make the usual puppy points about authors being denied awards by a secret cabal, though. The only concrete example he gave of anything was an episode in which Strahan was criticized (he implied “destroyed”) for publishing an anthology that had many more men than women writers. Strahan himself was there, though, and insisted he’d learned from the experience and certainly didn’t feel destroyed. (Supposedly what happened was that a number of women writers withdrew at the last minute, and he replaced them with men.)

    (By the way, we’re having quite the electrical storm here in Kansas City in the midst of a torrential downpour. Something I used to see routinely as a boy in Tennessee, but only perhaps twice in 25 years in Seattle. Last lightning strike just 3 seconds away.)

  29. Hampus Eckerman on August 19, 2016 at 6:53 pm said:

    Found ribbons in the flyers area with the text “WRONGFAN HAVING WRONGFUN” so I guess that is a puppy tribal marker.

    I think if I were there I’d wear one for larks.

  30. @Dr Science:

    KC is much more German-Americanthan I expected. The beer is very good.

    Missouri was heavily settled by German immigrants; the year I lived in Lawrence, KS I got asked repeatedly if I was one of the Sauers from Missouri. (I’m not, my people are from the Wisconsin/Iowa Germans.) I’m envying your beer. 🙂

  31. @Camestros Felapton My favorite con ribbon was given to me by Valerie Estelle Frankel at chicon7 and it had only one word on it. Goddess. Get thee one, they’re fun.

  32. @JJ

    At least one of the most vocal and most clueless Puppies/GamerGaters is cheering relentlessly for Chuck Tingle to win the Hugo — apparently totally unaware that Zoe Quinn will be making the acceptance speech in a rainbow unicorn dress if that happens. There are several other equally clueless Puppies also hoping for a Tingle win.

    The pups also seem to think that what they call SJWs will be horrified, if Tingle wins because it’s gay erotica and the title contains the word “butt”. Whereas I suspect that most people would be more amused than anything, in case Tingle wins (which I don’t think is very likely – pretty sure Naomi Kritzer will take short story).

    Regarding this upset about gender neutral bathrooms, it often seems to me as if the US rightwing are replaying debates that were settled sometime in the 1980s over here. By the time I was at uni in the 1990s, so-called “safe space” as a women’s room were established and totally non-controversial. And the university’s sole gender-neutral bathroom shocked no one, though it did baffle the occasional first semester or outside visitor.

  33. Puppies seem to have no fun, so the ribbons can’t be for them.

    One wonders why Puppies think the dreaded SJW Seekrit Cabal would be offended by any words, or gay sex. It’s the Pups who are wanting to tire-iron Teh Gheys, after all. I read SRBI and while the sex was pretty ho-hum, the worldbuilding wasn’t bad. I think the story should have been longer (that’s what she said) and gone into more detail about the mission and such. If it wins (which I doubt, because Cats), everyone will cheer Zoe and her unicorn dress and have a good laugh. Also it will prove Love Is Real. I fully expect it to come in (heh) second place.

  34. OMG, the latest hilariously-clueless Puppy tweet is dissing the “Nominee Diversity” amendment — because the Puppy in question is too effing stupid to understand that the amendment is not about ensuring diversity of gender or race, it’s about not having 3+ episodes of the same TV show, or 3+ works by the same author, taking up all the slots in a single category.

    If you wrote people this stupid into a story, you would get criticized that they were not “realistic” characters. 🙄

  35. You’d think the puppies would like that. Haven’t they complained about the DP: SF nominations being dominated by Doctor Who episodes? (Can’t exactly blame them; it does get a little monotonous.)

  36. TooManyJens: You’d think the puppies would like that.

    Well, yes, they probably would — if they were intelligent enough to read the text of the amendment so that they actually knew what it was about.

  37. Well, yes, they probably would — if they were intelligent enough to read the text of the amendment so that they actually knew what it was about.

    On the other hand, it was the puppies who flooded a whole category with three JCW novellas.

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