Pixel Scroll 11/8/16 When We Scrolled The Pixels On Board, We Thought They Were Cute

(1) FAR FROM THE MADDING POLLING PLACE. In the market for non-election news? Cat Rambo has you covered at her blog.

As part of recent updates at SFWA we recently revamped the Nebula Recommended Reading list to show up in alphabetical order. It’s a stopgap measure until the website gets re-designed, and to my mind has some of the same problems as presenting by order of number of recommendations. In musing that over, I mentioned to webmaster Jeremy Tolbert that I looked forward to the new school of aardvarkpunk we were inspiring. A half hour later this story appeared in my head.

I thought, however, it would be useful perhaps for people grappling with novels to see what the last bits of work involve. I’ve been incorporating edits from the hardcopy manuscript but still have lots and lots of comments in the e-copy to address. In the process of adding those, I was able to look at the manuscript from a high-enough level that I could sort out all the chronology (oh dear GODDESS please let that statement be true, because that’s been the biggest pain in the rear so far) and make sure that everything made sense, that storylines were resolved, and that all the hidden plotlines got bubbled up in a meaningful way.

(2) SEE THESE SPOTS. Suzanne Johnson shares her knowledge of “Five Magical Spots in New Orleans” at Tor.com.

New Orleans is a place of myth and mysticism. It’s a city of rich, bon temps rouler party culture with a dark undercurrent of cynicism and violence. It’s the most haunted city in America (or so the tourism bureau would have you believe) and one of the most haunting cities for those who fall under its spell.

I am one of those people.

So I had a lot to consider in choosing my five most magical spots in my adopted hometown…

The most supposedly haunted? I’d need to include Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, a legitimate business behind which my favorite pirate hid some of his illegitimate activities. Or the Hotel Monteleone (where the undead Jean Lafitte lives in my Sentinels of New Orleans series). Or just about any building in the French Quarter.

I could also go for the most infamous spots—scenes of horrific violence and mayhem. Or perhaps romantically magical spots like the streetcars rumbling down St. Charles Avenue or the trill of jazz along the riverfront. Maybe I could go with the scariest spots—surely led by the rusting ruins and clowns of Six Flags still abandoned a decade after Hurricane Katrina.

— And those are all things that didn’t make her list of five, which she discusses following that introduction.

(3) WHEN IN ROME. Matt Mitrovich covers a time travel novel at Amazing Stories “Book Review: The Emperor’s Men: Arrival by Dirk van den Boom”.

Arrival was an enjoyable read… but it has issues. On one hand, I though Dirk did a good job on the historical details with both the 1914-era Germans and the 4th century Romans. I liked how he spent time discussing how people dressed, how they prepared their food and even how they went to the bathroom (which is something most books leave out, but hey, there is history behind the toilet even if you don’t want to think about it). Additionally, while Arrival falls squarely into the time travelling ship trope, I still thought Dirk did a good job by using the trope in a setting that not many alternate historians go to (in fact Uchronia lists Dirk’s series as the only alternate history that diverges in 378).

(4) THE TIES THAT BIND. Madeleine E.  Robins tells Book View Café readers how she is going to take her mind off the election in  Respect the Process.

I am, in my day job, employed by the American Bookbinders Museum, a small museum focused on the shift from hand- to mechanical bookbinding as part of the greater Industrial Revolution. It’s fascinating, if you like books, or history, or art, or craft, or the history of women or unions or… As we’re a newish museum, we’re always looking to find ways to reach people who would be a natural audience for us. And as part of our outreach, I’m going to be spending weekends at Dickens Fair, an annual recreation of Dickens’s London on Christmas Eve. I’ll be sewing book signatures (the part of bookbinding that wasn’t mechanized until the mid-1870s) and attempting to interest passers-by in the subject, the craft, and, well… the museum.

(5) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • Born November 8, 1836 — Games producer Milton Bradley
  • Born November 8, 1847 – Bram Stoker, of Dracula fame.

(6) TREKKING BY THE BOOK. Scott Dutton is at work on Star Fleet Technical Manual 2.0 and has posted online all the pages he’s completed to date.

In 1975, Franz Joseph’s Technical Manual was the perfect companion to his Enterprise blueprints. While there are more accurate sources now, these were two of the best items to have during the time after The Original Series went off the air and before the movies began.

I’ve been working on an updated edition off and on for the past year-and-a-half or so. I’ll continue to work on it as time permits, and I wanted to share the work in progress as a way to get the word out there about it. It’d be nice to see this as an official licenced product in ebook or printed form, or both.

star-trek-technical-manual-5

(7) THE WEED OF CRIME. “Warning for all travelers to Worldcon 75,” says Hampus Eckerman – “373 police reports in Finland were connected to Moomin Mugs (Translation.) Seems like they are the entrance to heavy drugs. Be careful!”

moomin-mug

(8) LONG LIST UPDATE. David Steffen still plans on a mid-December release for Long List Anthology Volume 2, provided he gets all the following done:

I’ve finished drafting up a manuscript for the entire anthology, with all of the stories formatted, with a foreword and acknowledgments, copyright page, previous publications page, table of contents etc.  This is one of the more time-consuming components of putting together the book, since the individual story manuscripts may be in widely varying formats (none of which actually match what is needed for any version of the book).  So there’s a lot of fiddly little details trying to pound out the dents in the formatting, make sure the table of contents is in the same order as the stories in the book, make sure the biographies are attached to the correct stories, and so on.  This manuscript has been handed off to Polgarus Studio for producing the final version of the interior layouts for both print and ebook formats.

I’m working with Pat Steiner to work on final details of the cover layout.  A bit of a chicken-and-egg there, because I need to give an ebook cover to Polgarus for them to make the ebook, but I need the print layout from them for Pat to produce the full print cover (because the print cover image includes the binding, and the binding depends on how many pages the book is).  So there is some back and forth there to get those important details sorted out, but I love the work Pat does, he makes the covers very sharp and readable.

Skyboat Media is hard at work producing the audiobook now.

Next I’ll be working on inputting all the information into Amazon, Kobo, and other book/ebook sources for the book so that hopefully when I get the formatted files back the listings will be ready to just plug in the manuscript files.

(9) EIGHT MILES HIGH. At Galactic Journey, The Traveler reviews a prozine while jetting to the Orient — “[November 8, 1961] Points East (Air Travel and the December 1961 Galaxy)”.

I have to tell you, things are so much faster these days.  The jet engine has cut flight times in half, taking much of the tedium out of travel.  Oh, sure, I always had plenty to do in the air, between writing and reading and planning my next adventures, but for my poor fellow travelers, there was little to do but drink, smoke, and write letters.  For hours and hours.

These days, the Journey is my primary occupation.  I can do it from anywhere, and I often do, bringing my family along with me.  As we speak, I am writing out this article with the roar of the Japan Airlines DC-8’s jets massaging my ears, music from pneumatic headphone cords joining the mix.  It’s a smooth ride, too.  It would be idyllic, if not for the purple clouds of tobacco smoke filling the cabin.  But again, I suffer this annoyance for half the time as before.  I’ll abide.

… Speaking of reports, I’ve just finished up this month’s Galaxy Science Fiction.  I almost didn’t recognize this December issue as it lacks the usual fanciful depiction of St. Nick.  Instead, it features an illustration from Poul Anderson’s new novel, The Day After Doomsday, whose first part takes up a third of the double-sized magazine.  As usual, I won’t cover the serial until it’s done, but Anderson has been reliable of late, and I’ve high hopes.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, and Hampus Eckerman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day lurkertype.]

123 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/8/16 When We Scrolled The Pixels On Board, We Thought They Were Cute

  1. Thanks, people, for weighing in on the ACA.
    Looks like it’s something like “it depends.”

  2. @ airboy: What color is the sky on your planet?

    Seriously. You have not yet made one statement, about Trump, Obama, or any other person or topic in this discussion, which was not blatantly factually, checkably false. Yet you seem to think that you can just lay this garbage out and people will buy into your fantasy world. I can only conclude either that you’re one of the idiots who think that “this is what I want to be true” makes it true, or that you’re posting from some alternate universe .

  3. @Lee – wonderful use of logic. No what I’ve said is not blatantly factually, checkably false.” Someday you may climb out of your liberal bubble – but I doubt it.

  4. Airboy, there are these things called recordings. And statements reported in in newspapers.
    tl;dr: Every claim you make can be checked.

  5. Can anyone find something optimistic to say about the fate of the ACA?

    Sadly, no. With Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency, there is no legislation that is currently safe from being repealed. The only possibility is if Senate Democrats fillibuster bills, but that is a slender thread to rely upon, and the ACA requires funding to work, and funding can only come from positive legislation.

  6. Hi Lis,

    Sorry for the delay. Life….meh.

    What are the odds of dropping the allegations of sexism? ‘Cause they are…bollocks.

    I was quite interested in voting for Carly Fiorina. I would be interested in voting for an accomplished woman like Condi Rice. Nikki Haley and Mia Love might have a national vision worth listening to in the future. You never know.

    Either women are equal and can be judged just as critically as men, or they are special snowflakes. I like the first option.

    In this case…as Hampus suggests….Mrs. Clinton has a host of flaws in her character and her history. I could point out other flaws, but I’m not sure that is useful at this point. There were many good reasons for voters to not support her candidacy.

    As for Jim Webb, he is a rarity in the Democratic party these days; a true moderate. The rest of those candidates seem to be range from pretty far left to almost World Workers Party left.

    I could go on, but it’s a bit pointless for both of us and I’d rather talk about SFF.

    Regards,
    Dann

  7. Aaron: the ACA requires funding to work, and funding can only come from positive legislation.

    Good point.

  8. @ airboy: You seem to have missed the fact that people right here are checking your statements and showing them to be false. My conclusion stands.

  9. Dann:

    Please. Obviously you have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever about the World Workers Party.

    World Workers Party is to the left of the left in Sweden. The Democrats are to the right of the right in Sweden.

  10. All of American politics is pretty far to the right of even UK politics, and we’re usually further right than most of Europe. To us, Democrat’s are right wing. Comparing anyone in the Democrat party – including Sanders – to a far-left European party is, um. Not going to be accurate. At all.

    But then, I’ve seen multiple USA right-wingers call the American media “far left”, so clearly some people have a very interesting view of politics. I don’t think they have any idea how far left we can go. 🙂

  11. @Dann–

    Either women are equal and can be judged just as critically as men, or they are special snowflakes. I like the first option.

    It’s nice you were interested in voting for Fiorina. She got nowhere.

    Clinton isn’t being judged “just as critically as men.” She’s being judged by a whole other standard, one where she had to go to real, directed effort to stop wardrobe questions being the first in any interview or press conference. Where discussion of her hairstyle was considered relevant. One where allegedly serious journalists talked about whether she smiled enough when discussing serious policy issues.

    One where Trump released zero years of tax returns while she and Bill have thirty years of tax returns, but Clinton, not Trump, has “a transparency problem.” Where there’s a searchable database of Clinton Foundation donors and active programs that have saved millions of lives while the Trump Foundation donors are not public, and the only actual charitable donation that’s been verified fromantic it is a $10,000.00 donation a few years ago.

    A standard where Trump used Foundation money to give to the FL AG who then dropped her investigation of Trump University, and that barely raises eyebrows, but it “looks bad” that Secy Clinton had a meeting with a Nobel Peace Prize winner she’d known for thirty years and who was cooperating with some State Dept efforts because he had, at another time, given a donation to the Clinton Foundation.

    And of course, in general, it “looks bad” that donors to the Clinton Foundation ever asked for anything, regardless of the fact that they not only never got it, but never got to see Clinton for it.

    Trump bragged about committing sexual assault. About a dozen women have accused him of it. But that’s just brushed aside, while Clinton is held responsible for her husband’s consensual affairs and accusations against him that Ken Starr didn’t find credible to move forward on. But somehow Hillary is guilty of–something. Something much worse than rape of a thirteen-year-old girl, apparently.

    So fuck this nonsense of “she’s only bring judged by the same standard.”

    @Mike– Yeah, for at least the last twenty years, and I’m being kind there, “bipartisanship” has been defined by the Republicans and the media as “Democrats do exactly what the GOP wants and thank their GOP colleagues for allowing it.” And you think I should support continuing to do that to that point where I wind up with no health insurance, sexual assault becomes even more impossible to prosecute, and the last vestiges of civil rights protection are stripped away? Seriously?

    If Trump wants to do anything positive, I’ll be all for supporting that. But Trump doesn’t get to decide what I think is positive. I wouldn’t support the GOP eagerness to toss their own proposals overboard because Obama said, hey, yes, that’s a good idea. Is that good enough for you?

  12. @airboy

    Obama decided to never compromise and work through executive action.

    Come on. That is utterly ridiculous. Are you trying to create an alternate universe here? Because that is completely at odds with the facts.

    President Obama spend his entire first term trying to compromise with Republicans. He reached out again and again, only to get his hand met with a fist. This started the night of his inauguration. Remember that secret little meeting they had, when they vowed to obstruct him on everything?

    “The room was filled. It was a who’s who of ranking members who had at one point been committee chairmen, or in the majority, who now wondered out loud whether they were in the permanent minority,” Frank Luntz, who organized the event, told FRONTLINE.

    Among them were Senate power brokers Jim DeMint, Jon Kyl and Tom Coburn, and conservative congressmen Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan.

    After three hours of strategizing, they decided they needed to fight Obama on everything. The new president had no idea what the Republicans were planning.

    Remember 2011 and the Grand Bargain? I do, even if you don’t. Obama and John Boehner came within a hairs-breadth of a budget that would have cut domestic spending and Social Security–and raised taxes a bit–and the Tea Party Republicans torpedoed it.

    Obama was way too willing to compromise in his first term, and only Republican intransigence kept a lot of bad things, or at least undesirable things from a progressive point of view, from passing. The reason he turned to executive orders was that he literally could get nothing done, good or bad. Congress, or more specifically the Republicans in the House, were refusing to do their Constitutionally-mandated job. (He also finally realized, after the 2014 midterms, that he was going to get opposition no matter what good things he tried to do for the country, so he finally said fuck it. I don’t blame him.)

  13. @JJ

    Well, mostly just coming to the conclusion that this year isn’t going to get any better and I may as well just go with it as much as possible and hope for a healthier 2017 and an upgrade in my pacing skills (working on it). 🙂 Although! The wounds from that Very Minor Surgery in May are finally starting to get to healed! Which I’m pretty excited about, despite the rock solid confirmation that yep, I definitely got the slow healing genes that go with my thing. 6-12 weeks estimate, suggesting that due to my age I’d be on the 6 weeks end, 26 weeks ago, and probably at least another week to go. :p It should leave me with a few more spoons to spend on nice things like “visiting File770 more often” instead of throwing most of them at dressing changes.

    How are you? Recent political events aside, things going well?

  14. Meredith: How are you? Recent political events aside, things going well?

    I am very glad to hear that you are healing, and hope that it continues. We’ve continued your tradition of posting book sales. We call them “Today’s Meredith Moment”.

    I am actually doing pretty well personally. Sometimes I love my job, sometimes I hate it (unfortunately more of the latter than the former lately), but I’ve got a decent income enough to buy what I need, pay for health insurance, eat at a nice restaurant once in a while, donate a little to charity each paycheck, and still put money in savings.

    In other words, I’m probably doing better than 90% of other Americans. I’m also white and straight, and not being subjected to all the horrific hate crimes going on since the election. It rips my heart out, but I’m doing the best that I can to speak up and stand up for what’s right and to help and protect the people who aren’t nearly as fortunate as me.

    That doesn’t seem like very much right now. I feel pretty helpless. 🙁

  15. Lis Carey: @Mike– Yeah, for at least the last twenty years, and I’m being kind there, “bipartisanship” has been defined by the Republicans and the media as “Democrats do exactly what the GOP wants and thank their GOP colleagues for allowing it.” And you think I should support continuing to do that to that point where I wind up with no health insurance, sexual assault becomes even more impossible to prosecute, and the last vestiges of civil rights protection are stripped away? Seriously?

    No, I wasn’t really expecting to have a conversation.

  16. @JJ

    I’m glad you’re doing okay.

    Speaking up is plenty. The disabled movement has had to work so, so hard over here to get some coverage, so I never underestimate speech anymore. Any and all signal boosting means more than it feels like it does. (ETA: It’s like voting, really. Doesn’t feel like much, means a lot.)

    We’ve continued your tradition of posting book sales. We call them “Today’s Meredith Moment”.

    😀

  17. @Mike: get real. Even before that conference, McConnell declared — in the midst of the worst depression since the Great — that the most important task was to make sure Obama was a one-term president. This, like the conference, is a fact, not something you can sweep under the rug.

  18. @Hampus Eckerman: I am Groke! Is that like being Groot? I’m kinda scared of that picture, which I swear looks nothing like me. Well, maybe the eyes. 😉

    @Rose Embolism: Heh. A friend of mine texted me late at night on the 8th, “Welcome to the Dystopian future.” Another friend replied, “No civilized country is going to accept American immigrants. We clearly can’t be trusted.” Ah, sigh. Tell me more about this kitten thing; is there a newsletter I can subscribe to? 🙂 Kittens sound nice. Maybe some fluffy bunnies, too.

  19. Kendall:

    “I am Groke! Is that like being Groot?”

    Hoa! No, not really. I wonder how you succeeded with that one. o.O

  20. In Indiana, Pence land, legislation exists that, among other things, allows EMTs to refuse to treat gay people for religious reasons. That is to say, someone can be (literally) dying and the EMT can refuse to help them.

    Indiana is not the only state with those laws. Gay rights are important, and they are under threat. This is a time when it’s more important to speak up and be active than ever before.

  21. @snowcrash: Luvs it, thanks. 😀

    @Hampus Eckerman: I’m just lucky? 😉

    @Cat Rambo: ::shudder:: Gak. Dystopia indeed.

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