Pixel Scroll 9/20/16 Grow Scrolled Along With Me, The Pixel Is Yet To Be

(1) SUMMER IN ORCUS HAS LAUNCHED.  A certain T. Kingfisher has released the first chapter of a new serial, Summer in Orcus. Also known as Ursula Vernon, and RedWombat, Kingfisher filled readers in on the schedule…:

I will be posting links here as they go live, never fear! It will be up Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we’re going to try bonus content on Sundays–little snippets about the world of Orcus and so forth–once we’ve had a few weeks to settle in, and I’ll do my best to get an RSS feed working as well for people who don’t check back here frequently. Long-time readers will recognize the start of the story–“Hey! It’s the one with Baba Yaga!”–as having been posted here. Yup, that’s the one, and I finally finished it… I’m all nervous and stuff. This is such a weird little book and I’m still not sure if anyone will like it or if they will throw tomatoes, but by god, I wrote it anyway, and thanks to the awesome people on Patreon, I can offer it free to the world.

And the number of chapters

(Incidentally, I think there will be 34 chapters.)

Each chapter is supposed to run around 2500 words, but there’s a fair amount of fluctuation, just because I didn’t want to break some things off in mid-sentence. So there’s a few short ones and a few reeeeeally long ones. But I suppose we’ll make do.

The story begins this way:

Once upon a time there was a girl named Summer, whose mother loved her very very very much.

Her mother loved her so much that she was not allowed to play outside where someone might grab her, nor go away on sleepovers where there might be an accident or suspicious food. She was not allowed to go away to camp, where she might be squashed by a horse or bitten by diseased mosquitoes, and she most certainly was not allowed to go on the Ferris Wheel at the carnival because (her mother said) the people who maintain the machinery are lazy and not very educated and might get drunk and forget to put a bolt back on and the entire thing could come loose at any moment and fall down and kill everyone inside, and they should probably leave the carnival immediately before it happened….

(2) KICKSTARTER MEETS GOAL. The Kickstarter appeal for Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go! passed its $20,000 target. The Seuss/Star Trek parody mashup will be written by David Gerrold, with art by Ty Templeton. File 770 is celebrating by posting this image from the project, courtesy of editor Glenn Hauman.


(3) BUCK ROGERS IN THE 21-AND-A-HALF CENTURY. Two families who once owned the rights to Buck Rogers are involved in a lawsuit over a pitch one made to Syfy, despite it being generally believed the rights are now in the public domain, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Some believe that the fictional space explorer Buck Rogers, created in the 1920s by author Philip Francis Nowlan, is in the public domain. Notwithstanding this fact, Nowlan’s heirs are now on the defensive in a lawsuit that accuses them of breaching contact and diluting trademarks by pitching a “Buck Rogers” pilot to the Syfy Network.

Buck Rogers first appeared in Nowlan’s 1929 novella Armageddon 2419 A.D and became a popular character in comic strips, radio programs and a motion picture series. Nowlan was under contract with John F. Dille’s National Newspaper Service, and when the author died in 1940, his wife fought Dille over intellectual property ownership. In 1942, the lawsuit was settled with Nowlan releasing claims and rights to Dille in exchange for $1,750.

Last year, producer Don Murphy (TransformersNatural Born Killers, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) wanted to make a film based on Armageddon 2419 A.D, and after receiving an objection from the licensing representative of the Dille Family Trust, he went to court to establish that “Buck Rogers” was in the public domain thanks to a failure to renew the copyright registration. But a Pennsylvania judge decided in March not to entertain the case due to a lack of “actual controversy.”

Meanwhile, the Dille Family Trust is suing the Nowlan Family Trust.

According to the lawsuit, an agent of the Nowlan family met with Syfy representatives this past December. As part of a pitch for a “Buck Rogers” series, the Nowlans provided a “series bible” setting forth characters and descriptions for potential use.

The Dille Family Trust claims that the pitch breached the 1942 agreement, and on Friday, a judge rejected a motion to dismiss the claim on the argument that the release of rights applied only to Nowlan’s late wife.

(4) YOUR BUSINESS. Amanda S. Green’s “It’s A Business” at Mad Genius Club is a good admonition for new writers who still have stars in their eyes about the money they imagine will be rolling in.

But, Amanda, you get those huge advances and you don’t have to work any longer.


And this is where you have to remember that this is a business. Most advances, especially for “new” authors fall in the four-digit range. Yes, some new authors get more but they are the except and not the rule. You don’t get the advance all at one time and you aren’t going to see any more money from the publisher until you have earned out the advance and, believe me, that doesn’t happen very often. How can it when publishers use Bookscan to determine how many books are sold instead of a simple inventory tracker program?

That means you have to make sure you have a way to pay your bills between advances. This is why the vast majority of writers aren’t full-time writers. They have families to feed and are like me. They like having a roof over their heads and food in the fridge. Even if your first book is a success, you don’t know that the second book will be. More importantly, if you are publishing traditionally, you have no guarantee that the readers will remember you two years or more after your first book by the time the second book comes out. Remember, when you publish traditionally, you have no control over when your book is released and you are just one of many the publisher is having to slot into a finite number of slots per month.

(5) VOTE BOTH. Ryk E. Spoor, who has both self-pubbed and been published by Baen, warns about “The False Dichotomies of Publishing”.

Thus, while there are indeed two divisions of publishing, it’s not really a simple matter of choice in deciding which one you want. The only people for whom it is such a choice are those who are so successful that they know that anything they write can be sold to a traditional publisher – people like Stephen King, for example. Such people know that they can even write “niche” books and get them published by a big publishing house because their other, more popular books will pay for these occasional low-profit ventures. Most of us, however, are not and will never be in that category.

Another common false dichotomy is “have no control over your manuscript, or have complete freedom with self-publishing”. While there have been, and probably still are, some publishers with really, really bad editors that will take apart manuscripts for their own entertainment, for the most part publishers aren’t there to dictate how you should write your stuff; after all, if they dictate it all to you, why not just write it themselves? As I have discussed before, the purpose of having editors is to make your work better but still in essence yours.

This points to the falsity on the flip side as well. Sure, you can have complete control of your work, write it and throw it right up on Amazon without anyone saying a word against it. But that’s almost certainly doing your work a terrible disservice. There may, possibly, be a few people who are so very good at separating themselves from their own work that they can honestly and dispassionately examine and edit that work. But I have never met someone like that. You need exterior views, and preferably a viewpoint that doesn’t have a vested interest in agreeing with you that your work is perfect.

(6) MORE WRITING CAREER ADVICE. Here are some tips for getting your novel published during a Skeleton Apocalypse.

(7) ROCKET TO THE MORGUE MOON. So that’s what happened to all the pizza boxes we stuffed in the time machine. Click here.

(8) THE HERMIONE GRANGER BOOKS. Sarah Gailey writes a fascinating analysis of “Hermione Granger: More Than a Sidekick” at Tor.com.

This is something that the Harry Potter fan community has been discussing for years: Hermione drives the story because she has her own story. No one in their right mind would trust 13-year-old Harry Potter with a Time Turner, but Hermione gets one and she deserves it. She dates a celebrity, and she outsmarts Rita Skeeter, and she does those things in the background of Harry’s story. She convinces Harry to be a figurehead in the fight against Voldemort, and she creates Dumbledore’s Army. She schedules the DA meetings, she creates the consequences for DA defectors, she creates the galleons that allow the DA to communicate in code. She researches horcruxes and how to destroy them. She rereads all of Hogwarts: A History. She shows up with the tools and the knowledge and prevents Harry and Ron from standing around looking perplexed while the world ends around them. She saves everyone’s bacon all the time by being smarter and better-prepared than anyone else. Those two boys would be dead a thousand times over without her intervention.

She gets her own story, if you know how to look for it. She has her own narrative that’s completely separate from Harry’s. But does that make her a hero?


  • Born September 20, 1948 – George R.R. Martin

(10) PUPPIES SUBTRACTED. Aaron doesn’t have his own alternate trophies to give out, nevertheless he offers his ”Random Thought – 2016 ‘What Could Have Been’ Hugo Finalists” at Dreaming of Other Worlds.

Location: An alternate, better reality.

Comments: At the outset I want to make clear that this post is not an evaluation of what the 2016 list of Hugo finalists would have been had the E Pluribus Hugo system been in effect for the nomination process. I’ll be posting about that at a later date. What this post is is an attempt to figure out what the 2016 list of Hugo finalists would have looked like had the Sad and Rabid Puppy campaigns never existed. It is, quite simply, an attempt to expunge those votes attributable to the Sad and Rabid Puppy nominators to see who would have been Hugo finalists in their absence. This post is also an attempt to assess the impact Sad and Rabid Puppy campaigns once that information is at hand.

(11) NOWHERESVILLE. The article “Solitude, Space Junk and Sea Monsters: the Eeriness of Point Nemo” begins with an attention-getting question:

Q: What do sci fi pioneer Jules Verne, horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and the Russian space programme have in common?

A: Their overlapping interest in an inhospitable corner of the South Pacific, only recently identified as the remotest part of the world’s oceans – Point Nemo.

Nowhere in the world can you find a place further from dry land than Point Nemo. This oceanic pole of inaccessibility (1) is located at 48°52.6’S 123°23.6’W…..

Decades before Point Nemo was named, and before satellites started raining down, H.P. Lovecraft used these lonely waters as the setting for R’lyeh, a “nightmare corpse city (…) built in measureless eons beyond history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars”.

In The Call of Cthulhu (1928), R’lyeh is described as “a coast-line of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy Cyclopean masonry which can be nothing less than the tangible substance of earth’s supreme terror … loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours”.

The sunken city is the prison of the giant monster Cthulhu, part octopus, part human, part dragon: “There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults”. His followers pray for his regeneration, repeating the phrase: Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn (“In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming”).

(12) LET’S KEEP IT REAL. There’s yet one more thing against the law in California. “Gov. Brown signs law that cracks down on fake celebrity autographs”.  In a way, you might have expected Gov. Schwarzenegger to have applied his autograph to such a law first….

An autographed collectible sold in California will need to come with a certificate that verifies it’s not a forgery under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown signed the bill Friday to crack down on selling items with fake celebrity signatures.

The proposal won the support of actor Mark Hamill earlier this year.

Best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars” films, Hamill often uses his Twitter account to sort out whether something has his genuine signature on it or has been forged.

(13) ORIGIN OF BOOKS. Inspired by the current competition between digital and paper books, the BBC looks back to the mysterious origin of the book.

The evidence is sparse but telling: archaeologists have discovered a few key scraps of papyrus whose text unexpectedly continues from the front to the back, and whose neat margins one might expect to find in a paged book. And that is exactly what these fragments are: they are leaves from the first paged books the world had ever seen. We know that the Romans called this new kind of book the codex (from caudex or tree trunk, because of its similarity to their wooden writing tablets), but how the codex came to be in the first place is shrouded in mystery. The first written mention of the codex appears in the words of a Roman poet named Martial, who encouraged his readers to buy his books in this new, paged format:

“You who long for my little books to be with you everywhere and want to have companions for a long journey, buy these ones which parchment confines within small pages: give your scroll-cases to the great authors – one hand can hold me.”

Written between 84 and 86 CE, Martial’s sales pitch tells us not only that paged books were known of in the First Century CE but also that some of them, at least, were made from a new material called parchment.

(14) ABSTRACT DISNEY. This video by user “2veinte” called Disney Classics 1 is a recreation of classic Disney scenes just done with geometric shapes. It was done for the Disney Channel.

[Thanks to Camestros Felapton, Mark-kitteh, JJ, Johan P, John King Tarpinian, iphinome, Hampus Eckerman, Steven H Silver, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Lis Carey.]

111 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/20/16 Grow Scrolled Along With Me, The Pixel Is Yet To Be

  1. “The False Dichotomies of Pubishing”.

    The adult me is going to ignore the 12-year-old me and just point this out without comment.

  2. JJ: Whichever one of you is appertaining the beverage will follow local alcohol laws I trust…

  3. Yes, some new authors get more but they are the except and not the rule.

    I don’t suppose that the Mad Genius Club will appertain me a beverage….?

  4. Re (10)

    Aaron, good analysis, but considering recent discussions, the Puppy distaste for The Expanse should not surprise. Yes, it might be a nuggety nugget of space opera and detective noir. It’s also one where the white roughneck takes orders from a black woman, various authority figures are female, non-white, or both, people with the cool uniforms and guns are sometimes wrong, and gays go un-tire ironed.

    Beale’s little boys have invented whole new vocabularies of abuse for such situations; it’s not a surprise they didn’t like it. And color me unsurprised that a group that’s been disgorging racial code words and dog whistles for two years (to the point it’s almost confusing when a puppy is a dick in a situation and doesn’t dog whistle for all they were worth) didn’t warm to a nuggety nugget that wasn’t their shade of nuggety nugget.

    In the final accounting, The Expanse should have been a Puppy fave. That it was not has me looking for, and finding, what they might not have liked about it.

  5. Cassy B.: I don’t suppose that the Mad Genius Club will appertain me a beverage….?

    Socrates would probably advise you not to accept one, should they offer it.

  6. Cassy B. –

    I don’t suppose that the Mad Genius Club will appertain me a beverage….?

    You’ve got a choice between Coors Lite and sewer water. Miller High Life is for elitists because it’s the champagne of beer and the Big Fermenters hold Coors Lite and sewer water down from winning tasting awards even though Coors Lite is popular and sewer water is locally sourced. The first one is freer but the rest will cost ya.

  7. In the final accounting, The Expanse should have been a Puppy fave. That it was not has me looking for, and finding, what they might not have liked about it.

    For me, it is more about finding where their rhetoric doesn’t match their actions. Beale is, of course, and out and out racist, misogynist, and homophobe, but pretty much all of the other prominent Puppies loudly declare that they are not those things (or at least, not all of those things). But when the time came to suggest works for the Sad Puppy list, not one of them thought to suggest anything from The Expanse, which seems kind of telling when it comes to their real attitudes.

  8. @Aaron

    IIRC, there were a few recommendations for Expanse on the SP4 site, but that was a category with a looooong tail, so may not have made it to the finals due to that.

  9. (7) ROCKET TO THE MORGUE MOON. So that’s what happened to all the pizza boxes we stuffed in the time machine.

    You weren’t supposed to know about that.

    (points at Hampus) It was his idea.

  10. @7 Hmm. See, what I thought we were doing was sending the pizza boxes forward in time to a period where it is possible to make a time machine out of pizza boxes. Then we can send the pizza box time machine back in time (using another time machine) so that we had a time machine last month to send all the pizza boxes away in.

    I mean, sure, we can make that other thing instead, but I don’t want to be held responsible for the paradoxes.

    Add me to the list of people for whom the tickbox failed yesterday. Trying again today.

  11. But won’t (7) just end up in (11), considering our pizza boxes were Shoggoth-adjacent? (I TOLD you guys Mike was gonna figure it out!)

    (10) Aaron, most people didn’t nominate Scalzi last year because he specifically said not to. I’m sure he would have finished much higher otherwise — I certainly had him down in Novella till he said no. And I think TYP is correct about why Puppies didn’t like “The Expanse”. Sure, the putative leads are straight white guys, but one’s a loser and the other’s a doofus.

  12. (6) MORE WRITING CAREER ADVICE. LOL, thanks, after reading/skimming a lot of the 9/19 comments, I needed something like this. (So, thanks to Kadrey as well, of course.) ETA: I forgot to check the attribution! Thanks to the creator, Tom Gauld, of course. ::blush::

    @Doctor Science: Very cool! I love these science tidbits. Hmm, I’m picturing a long checklist of things-we-need-for-space-travel, and this seems like a good one to have. 🙂

    ObSFReading: I’m reading and enjoying Belt Three by John Ayliff, which I picked up after reading the sample, and before the sale evaporated. (I don’t know if it’s still on sale.)

    ObSFListening: Thanks to someone(s) here mentioning it A Wrinkle in Time a while back, I picked up this old favorite in audio three weeks ago. I started listening to it today, yay! I remember everything that happens, but didn’t remember what the writing was like (younger than I remembered; not a problem, though).

  13. P.S. Tom Gauld has a graphic novel coming out about a policeman on the moon, called “Mooncop.” I feel compelled to get this thanks to that info and the cover alone. 😀

    ETA: Uh, it came out on the 20th. As in technically (in my time zone, as I write this) yesterday. Heh.

  14. FYI folks – thanks to my better half for this link – statistically (or somehow), it’s safer to be a red shirt on the original Star Trek series! Aaaaaand that’s all from me tonight. Yay, I’m caught up on File 770! ::whew::


    Where have the notifications gone? How will Filers cope without them? Just how many threads back do we need to keep checking, to ensure that we haven’t missed any comments???

    Until this horrific crisis is resolved, I’m springing for drinks at Paulk’s Tavern.
    🍺 🍺 🍷 🍷

    Also, if you post comments in any thread earlier than 9/18/16, please post a link here so we can all go read them.

  16. “Until this horrific crisis is resolved, I’m springing for drinks at Paulk’s Tavern.”

    This prompts me to use one of the few finish sentences I know:

    “Paljon lunta mutta ei taskulamppua” – Lots of snow, but no flashlight.

  17. Hampus Eckerman: “Paljon lunta mutta ei taskulamppua” – Lots of snow, but no flashlight.


    I’m presuming that’s the Finnish equivalent of “Nice house  tavern, too bad nobody’s home  there’s no bartender.” 😉

  18. “(points at Hampus) It was his idea.”

    It was the OTHER Hampus!

    Hampus, Krampus, same difference.

    And remember: “Ei saa peittää”.

  19. @TYP: Also, of the many tragedies and disasters that happen in The Expanse, quite a few are brought about by 1. the love of money, 2. nationalist fervor, or 3. the compulsion to be tough at all times and never back down. The authors clearly don’t have sufficient respect for these red-blooded all-American values.

  20. Today’s read — Four Roads Cross, by Max Gladstone

    Fantasy; powerful magicians wage a potentially city-destroying battle with gods over an undisclosed financial liability issue.

    Max Gladstone’s first fantasy novel, Three Parts Dead, hit the SFF world like a meteor, and with good reason; it was one of the most original, fascinating, well-written novels of the decade. His followups weren’t as good. They have, however, been gradually improving in quality. Two Serpents Rise was meh, Full Fathom Five was OK, and Last First Snow was quite good, although it still didn’t rise to the level of Three Parts Dead. So where does Four Roads Cross fit in there?

    To give the short version: Good, but still not at the level of Three Parts Dead. There’s a lot to like about this novel. It’s pretty much a direct sequel to Three Parts Dead, and the first in the Craft Sequence where I’d say you have to read the other book first to understand it — the two basically comprise a duology. That means it’s a welcome return to Alt Coulomb and Gladstone’s best and most interesting set of characters — Tara, Abelard, and Cat. The character work in this story is well worth it, and I was more than happy to read about where these characters are, what they’re doing, and where they’re going.

    So where does it not equal Three Parts Dead? The plot. It’s not a bad plot, by any means, but it’s surprisingly straightforward for a Gladstone novel. Although there are some interesting mysteries and twists, for the most part the sides and motivations are obvious from the beginning, the battle lines are clearly drawn, and things move forward largely as one would expect. There’s also one part that feels a bit shoehorned in.

    I want to be clear: this is not a bad book. This is a good book. I will be putting it on the 2016 recommended SFF list. In comparison to *many* other SFF books, it would be a standout — bold world-building, great characters. Max Gladstone is simply faced with the difficulty of being compared to … himself.

    Thumbs up.

  21. The early Buck Rogers stories can be in the public domain (copyright expired) while the name Buck Rogers remains a legal trademark. Trademarks and copyrights are separate things, and, unlike copyrights, trademarks don’t expire, except through inactivity or dilution (see “cellophane”).

    Of course, I don’t know if Buck Rogers is actually a valid trademark. I’m just pointing out that the dispute isn’t necessarily invalid even if the original works are in the public domain.

    In fact, this might even be breaking new legal ground. There are other cases where a trademarked character has had works fall into the public domain—a bunch of old Bugs Bunny™ cartoons from the 1940s didn’t get their copyright renewed, etc.—but I’m not aware of anyone using those public domain works in ways which drew the ire of the trademark holders.

  22. but I’m not aware of anyone using those public domain works in ways which drew the ire of the trademark holders.

    There was certainly a case a few years back when some very early Mickey Mouse comics turned out to have fallen out of copyright and were published by (I think) Fantagraphics, much to the annoyance of Disney.

  23. 10) I tend to assume The Expanse wasn’t on the Puppy slate because of Brad Torgersen Syndrome – people who have loud opinions of what SF should be but are very badly informed about the current state of the field. And none of their mates worked on it, so…
    12) seems redundant. If the seller provides no authentication documentation, well, buyer beware. If they provide fake documentation, that’s fraud.

  24. Finished the Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe and as a big fan of the original Lovecraft story (Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath), overall I found Kij Johnson’s take on the meh side. The story is good and the prose is good, but when the tale is placed in Lovecraft’s Dreamlands, Johnson is up against a standard that is hard to beat. I have really enjoyed Kij’s other works, though, so I look forward to whatever she does next.

  25. I haven’t read through the whole scroll yet, and I haven’t read all of Amanda Green’s post. I will say I’m entirely in favor of what appears to be her main point–to warn new writers against unrealistic expectations of how much they might make.

    This, however,

    How can it when publishers use Bookscan to determine how many books are sold instead of a simple inventory tracker program?

    So, I will tell you that my publisher absolutely does not use Bookscan to calculate my royalties. I would be crying if they did–Bookscan under-reports my (paper) sales significantly, and doesn’t account for ebooks at all. Folks who are used to Bookscan can do a fairly good job estimating actual sales from Bookscan numbers, but those are not numbers that publishers use to report sales to authors. If a publisher is giving you Bookscan numbers for your royalty report, they’re doing something wrong.

    That said, like I said above, I’m in total agreement with advising writers not to think they’re going to be rolling in money if they sell their novel.

  26. I have a comment pending over at Aaron’s blog, but the gist of it is this:

    If so many have asked that the Sad Puppy leadership and supporters focus on talking about good works and at worst put out the same sort of long list recommendations that so many other venues do and then do not participate in any slate voting – and the Sad Puppies did exactly that – they should be treated and considered as exactly what they are: fans.

    Sometimes fans will nominate stuff other fans don’t like (which happens every year) and sometimes fans will get really excited and nominate everything from their favorite author (see Seanan McGuire in 2013) and all of that is okay if the fans nominating are doing so honestly for the work they liked the most and thought was the best.

    Bothered is the wrong word, but I’m somewhat “bothered” by Aaron’s thought exercise in trying to come up with a count of Sad Puppies to see what the ballot would have looked like without them. My opinion is that they were incredibly diffuse and given the extremely low participant total in the forming of the SP4 longlists (which was bolstered by Non Puppy participation), attempting to come up with a number is somewhat of a fool’s errand and also self-defeating if we can acknowledge they participated as fans.

    (Okay, so this may just be a complete reworking of my comment at his blog and not a quick summation.)

  27. Thanks Cora,

    And for once not limited to the Continental US and Canada (excluding Quebec) only.

    Has anyone tried signing up to Tor’s book of the month club via Tunnel Bear out of interest?

  28. @Joe Sherry

    My view is that while the SP were definitely diffuse, they came together fairly strongly for certain common causes such as righting perceived wrongs against Butcher and Wright in novel, or protest voting for certain items in BRW. I don’t see those as being totally natural or organic, so to that extent I think is valid to ask what if… SP hadn’t been run, and look for their effects.
    I suspect the results need to consider whether the max SP figure should actually be deducted or if a work would have had less SP support, e.g. would Folding Beijing have received the max possible SP noms? I suspect not, but we’re into a point where the data won’t tell us enough to make those sort of judgements.

    All that said, I agree it’s important to acknowledge that SP4 was a dramatic improvement over previous years.

    @Ann Leckie

    I was going to ask if that was true, as it sounded very unlikely to me, so thank you for answering before I asked!

  29. I rather thought that the SP figures from Aaron’s article were so nebulous that after a while they stopped being of any use.
    For example, up to 100 Sads voting for Stand Still Stay Silent? I voted for that. I’d guess quite a few others here did as well. Probably voted for Sandman as well.

  30. Bothered is the wrong word, but I’m somewhat “bothered” by Aaron’s thought exercise in trying to come up with a count of Sad Puppies to see what the ballot would have looked like without them.

    It will comfort you to know that, for the most part, the calculus involved in determining the number of Sad Puppies didn’t really change the revised ballot much. For example, once I estimated Rabid Puppy strength in Best Novel to be 400-440 strong, that was enough to knock The Aeronaut’s Windlass off of the list of finalists. The fact that I estimated Sad Puppy strength at roughly 90 nominators doesn’t change that result other than to knock it out of the top fifteen, which isn’t particularly important for the assessment I was doing.

    Most of the results were of this nature – once one figured out how many Rabid Puppies there were in a category, the changed results were only minimally affected by the Sad Puppy faction. Most of the areas where they did affect the outcome are where I listed contingent results, because assessing their impact was so difficult.

  31. @Mark: Sure, but outside of the idea of “righting wrongs”, that portion of fans may also just absolutely love Jim Butcher’s work and every published novel is cause for celebration and nomination. And probably John C. Wright as well.

    But also – with the openness of how SP4 was run, you could have RP followers suggesting things, Filers suggesting things, etc. So, it’s nigh impossible to say what could have been a “protest vote” and what was voted on because the fan honestly thought it was best.

    @Nick: I voted for Stand Still Stay Silent as well. But not for Sandman. Heck, Sandman only was 4th on my ballot when it came to final voting.

  32. For example, up to 100 Sads voting for Stand Still Stay Silent? I voted for that. I’d guess quite a few others here did as well. Probably voted for Sandman as well.

    Well, yes. That’s why I said the number of Pups voting in that category was unknown – there was no good way to estimate the number other than Stand Still, Stay Silent, and a single data point is not a particularly useful guideline in most cases.

    The number of Sad Puppies voting for The Sandman was irrelevant to my calculations, since it wasn’t on the Sad Puppy list. I estimated the number of Rabid Puppies in that category at ~350, which dropped The Sandman to 170 nominations, so there is plenty of room for a considerable number of non-Pups to have nominated that book. A nomination total of 170 is enough to move it out of the top five, with the only nebulous decision there being whether there were enough Sad Puppies voting for Saga 5 that its adjusted total would have been lower than 170 (putting Sandman back on the finalist list).

  33. (3) Due to current marketing realities, I don’t think a movie where the Chinese are the villains is going to get made. Maybe if we get into a severe trade war in the next couple years, but in that case, who’ll have the money to produce it?

    (8) I consider Hermione to not only be an independent hero, but honestly, cooler and more interesting than Harry (this is also to a lesser extent true of Ron). I think it’s a little unfortunate that Rowling choose to go with a standard male protagonist.

    Also, “Hermione Granger and the Perfectly Reasonable Explanation is an excellent fanfic.

  34. Of SFnal interest: Scientists Finally Figured Out Why Tardigrades Are So Indestructible: genes for, among other things, resistance to hard radiation.

    One quibble–the Io9 article says “These researchers found that 17.5 percent of the tardigrade genome comes from other organisms, including plants, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.” but that study has been disputed if not downright discredited.

  35. @Joe

    Sure, all the SP being enthusiastic Butcher fans is feasible, if perhaps a little unlikely. But I think the BRW choices are clearly protest votes, and once you look at the congruence of that 90-100 number with some other categories then I think you can come to some reasonable conclusions that the stated aim of SP4 to signal where to concentrate had some success, even if the result quickly diffused into a long tail.

    I have my ticky email, but no other emails on this or other threads. Something is definitely Up.

  36. Today (9/21) is Stephen King’s birthday. To note the occasion, Generation TV was showing two October 1980 Dick Cavett shows with King, Peter Straub, Ira Levin, and George Romero. When I was googling to find out when the show was from, I found that Shout Factory TV has both of the two episodes up at their website:

    Part 1
    Part 2

    It’s a good discussion and there is lots of smoking and chest hair going on.

  37. Joe Sherry: And in fact Filers did suggest things to SP4, some to test if they’d really be included. This seems to get overlooked.

  38. I think it would have been useful to have both analyses side by side: Without the RPs and the SPs, and without the RPs and with the SPs. Aaron did make some comments on the ineffectiveness of the SPs, and that was useful, but not so useful as a straight-up comparison.

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