Pixel Scroll 7/11/17 Be Kind To Your Scroll-Footed Friends, For A Duck May Be Somebody’s Pixel!

(1) NEW WFA TROPHIES ON THE WAY. Kim Williams, chair of the 2016 World Fantasy Con, told readers of WFC’s Facebook page that last year’s WFA winners, given certificates at the 2016 award ceremony in Columbus, OH will soon be receiving copies of the new statuette created by Vincent Villafranca.

Vincent Villafranca’s design was chosen to replace the Lovecraft bust trophy by the World Fantasy Awards Administration and the Board of the World Fantasy Convention following a year-long public competition.

(2) OMNI REBOOTS AMID RIGHTS LITIGATION. Penthouse Global Media, on July 10, announced the acquisition of OMNI magazine and that its upcoming issue is slated for print publication in late October.

“As Penthouse Global Media enters its second year under new ownership, our driving principle is to put all of the pieces of the brand back together again.  As a result of decades of neglect, much of this company’s brilliant legacy was lost…until now,” stated Penthouse CEO Kelly Holland. “I am proud to announce that one of those casualties, OMNI—the magazine of science and science fiction, heralded as one of Guccione’s most iconic brands—is once again a part of the Penthouse family where it belongs.  Thanks in large part to Pamela Weintraub, one of OMNI‘s original editors, who had the foresight to bring the brand back to life by re-registering the trademarks and launching a digital site, she, along with many of the original OMNI staff, will deliver the award-winning magazine to newsstands once again.”

Only days ago, to protect its intellectual property, Penthouse Global Media sued Jerrick Media, and various other defendants including Jerrick Media Holdings Inc., Jeremy Frommer, and actor Jared Leto, for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising, among other claims.

The lawsuit states:

Despite the fact that an application for registration of the OMNI Marks in connection with magazines had already been filed with the USPTO by Penthouse’s predecessor in interest, signaling to the world that the OMNI Marks were not available for use by Defendants, in 2013, Defendants Frommer and Schwartz again willfully and blatantly disregarded the intellectual property rights of others and began planning to publish an online science and science fiction magazine using the OMNI Marks and to republish and sell archival material from the original OMNI magazine. 29.

On or about June 27, 2013, Defendant Jerrick Ventures, LLC filed an application for registration of the purported trademark OMNI REBOOT (Serial No. 85,972,230), which registration was refused by the United States Patent and Trademark Office because of a likelihood of confusion with a registered OMNI Mark. On or about May 31, 2016, Jerrick Ventures, LLC filed a cancellation  proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) seeking to cancel the OMNI Mark (Cancellation No. 92063829). Because Penthouse General Media seeks a declaration in the present action that its registered OMNI Marks are valid and should not be cancelled, it will seek to have the cancellation proceeding  before the TTAB stayed pending the judgment in this action. 30.

Despite knowing of the existence of the registered OMNI Marks, and despite being denied registration of Omni Reboot, Defendants nonetheless  proceeded to willfully and blatantly infringe on the OMNI Marks by operating an online magazine at https://omni.media, which it refers to as OMNI Reboot, that not only uses the OMNI Marks in connection with the publication of an online magazine featuring science and science fiction topics, but also contains archival material from the original OMNI magazine, including magazine articles and reproductions of OMNI magazine covers, all without the permission or consent of Penthouse.

Jeremy Frommer’s claims to the rights are allegedly based on an auction purchase:

Frommer bought at an auction erotic photography, films and historical documents, among other things associated with Guccione and Penthouse. He then began reselling those and other related items online, according to the complaint, and allowing the public to view Caligula for a fee. That triggered the first round of this fight in bankruptcy court in 2013, but the parties mutually dismissed their claims without prejudice.

Penthouse’s Holland minimizes that claim:

“We at Penthouse don’t believe a person can acquire the rights to a brand simply by stumbling upon some of its products,” Holland said. “If you buy a DC comic book at a garage sale it doesn’t give you the rights to make a ‘Wonder Woman’ movie, nor does one have a right to our legacy because they found an old Omni magazine.”

(3) PUBLICLY CHOSEN GARGOYLE. The Washington Post’s Marylou Tousignant found some items of fannish interest at the Washington National Cathedral.

Washington National Cathedral, the sixth-largest cathedral in the world, has 215 stained-glass windows. The most popular holds a piece of moon rock brought back by the Apollo 11 astronauts in 1969.

Another must-see is Darth Vader, carved into the cathedral’s north side. The “Star Wars” villain was one of four winning designs by middle-schoolers in a 1985 contest. Vader is one of 1,242 weird creatures staring down from the cathedral’s neck­stretching exterior.

(4) EYECATCHING. Marvel Comics will release lenticular covers for Marvel Legacy.

The biggest stories and most epic team-ups come to MARVEL LEGACY this fall, and now you can hold the past and the future in your hands! Today, Marvel is proud to announce that all of the Marvel Legacy homage variants will be available as lenticular covers – a true celebration of Marvel’s history and expansive universe!

As seen on Newsarama, all of Marvel Legacy’s homage variants were previously unveiled, showcasing the new Marvel Legacy line-up and classic covers of the past. Don’t miss your chance to own a part of Marvel history – enhance your collection with all of Marvel Legacy’s lenticular covers, coming to comic shops this fall.

(5) DID YOU WONDER? What will the next Wonder Woman movie be about? ” Rumor of the day: Diana will face off against the USSR in Wonder Woman 2″.

With Russia in the news so much these days, The Wrap has said in an unsourced report that Wonder Woman 2 will take place during the 1980s and feature Diana of Themyscira going head-to-head with agents of the Soviet Union.

That means that like its predecessor, Wonder Woman 2 will be a period piece — only not as far in the past as the World War I setting of Diana’s first standalone adventure.

Although Patty Jenkins is not officially confirmed to return as director, she is said to be developing the script for Wonder Woman 2 with DC Entertainment co-president Geoff Johns. And while the story will allegedly feature the USSR in an antagonistic capacity, there’s no word on whether other villains from Wonder Woman’s published history will appear as well.

(6) THE PAYOFF. Marvel says Secret Empire #9 will reveal Steve Rogers’ secret. On sale August 23.

When Steve Rogers was revealed to be an agent of Hydra due to the manipulations of Red Skull, the Marvel Universe was rocked to its core. Now, it’s the moment fans have been waiting for – and you’re not going to want to miss this reveal!

What is the secret of Steve Rogers? And how will it affect the Marvel Universe as we know it?

(7) WHY IT’S HARDER TO FIND GOOD REVIEWS. Speculiction’s Jesse Hudson, in “And the drop is due to”,  charts the site’s declining number of book reviews against his rising familiarity with PlayStation 3 games. He is in awe of the current gaming technology.

It’s no secret that modern video games are exponentially more realistic and immersive than their pixel and dot forebears.  For the unaware, the degree of realism and immersion in today’s video games is essentially one degree removed from cinematics—a gap that will be covered in the next few years, for sure.  What this means is that game creators are able to put players, as much as is possible, into the shoes of the characters running around the imagined worlds on screen.  Being a detective, mighty warrior (or warrioress), or space marine is this close.  Game developers have done all the work to give you agency in what are essentially silver screen experiences.  Instead of watching a movie, you become part of the movie, directing the character, depending on the game, through the story.  I still fully appreciate novels for retaining the distance between sensual and imagined reality—for forcing the reader to use their imagination.  But I also appreciate what modern gaming is doing to virtually eliminate this distance; if the game’s world and gameplay are well-developed and unique, then so too can be the experience.

(8) THOUGHTS THUNK WHILE THINKING. Nancy Kress tells about her Big Idea for Tomorrow’s Kin at Whatever.

Your mind does not work the way you think it does.

You probably assume that you consider data and come to rational conclusions. But all too often, people don’t take into account such pesky tendencies as confirmation bias (“This fact confirms what I already believe so it gets more weight”) Or polarization (“This situation is all good/bad”). Or emotionalism (“I feel this so it must be true”), a need for control (“I’m looking at what I can change and nothing else”), presentism (“The future will be like the present only maybe a little more so”), or scapegoating (“If this isn’t as I wish it to be, someone must be to blame!”)

When I set out to extend my novella “Yesterday’s Kin” into the novel Tomorrow’s Kin, which takes the story ten years farther along, I wanted to write about these distortions in your thinking. Oh, not you in particular (how do I know what you’re thinking as you read this—maybe it’s “She doesn’t mean me. I’m different.”) What interested me—especially in the current political climate—is the public mind as it relates to science and the perception of science….

(9) CROWLEY’S TIME HAS COME. Tor.com’s Matthew Keeley has published a brief profile of John Crowley, “Predicting the Future and Remembering the Past with John Crowley”, an author he notes is best known for his book Little, Big, but regrets is still not very well-known outside writing circles. The article aims to change this situation:

At Readercon a few years ago, I attended a panel on favorite science fiction and fantasy books. One author, one of the best working today, talked about the near-impossibility of writing a book so perfect as John Crowley’s Little, Big. There were wistful sighs from writers in the audience and nodded agreements from other panelists. Everyone in the room at that most bookish convention recognized that competing with Crowley was impossible.

Yet in many fan circles Crowley remains unknown. This literary master of the hermetic, hidden, and esoteric has for too long been as hidden as the obscure histories, gnostic theorists, and addled visionaries that populate his work. Despite the many awards; despite the praise of luminaries both inside the genre community, like Ursula K. Le Guin and Thomas Disch, and outside it, like Harold Bloom; despite his inclusion in both Bloom’s Western Canon and Gollancz’s Fantasy Masterworks, most fantasy readers don’t read him. Perhaps this is the year that changes.

(10) MARTINELLI OBIT. Italian-born actress Elsa Martinelli died of cancer in Rome on July 8. She was 82. Her genre work included The 10th Victim (1965), based on the Robert Sheckley novel.

(11) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • July 11, 1997 — On this day in 1997, Carl Sagan’s Contact entered theatres.
  • July 11, 2014 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes premiered theatrically.

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • Born July 11, 1899 – E.B. White
  • Born July 11, 1913 — Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger — better known by his pseudonym, Cordwainer Smith

(13) JEOPARDY! CONTESTANT. On the July 11 episode of Jeopardy!, Kelly Lasiter, from the St. Louis area, admitted she’s an SF fan who attends conventions in the area, and went to the 2016 Worldcon in Kansas City.

She won the game, with $22,800, and will play again on Wednesday.

(14) WHERE THE GEEKNERDS ARE. Examined Worlds’ Ethan Mills praises a convention’s community building in “CONvergence 2017 Report”.

The deeper thing that CONvergence taught me back in the early-mid 2000’s was the value of cons as a space for community, something I’ve discussed before with regard to other cons.  While being a geek/nerd is not as uncool as it used to be, it’s still great to have a place where you can let your geek flag fly proudly.  No matter how intense your nerdery is, someone at con is nerdier.  You may be wearing Vulcan ears, but someone else may have a full Starfleet uniform and android-colored contacts to dress up as Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation (an actual costume I saw at CONvergence).

The openness of a place where people can love what they love without derision or judgment is a beautiful thing.  This aspect of fandom seems to be unappreciated by small but annoying parts of fandom like the Rabid Puppies and Gamergaters, but it’s safe to say that for the vast majority of fans, this is precisely what fandom is all about….

(15) WHERE TO SELL. Now available: the “SFWA Market Report for July” compiled by David Steffen.

(16) A DAY AT THE PLANT. At Amazing Stories, Adam Roberts is interviewed about his contribution to an anthology,

Gary Dalkin for Amazing Stories: ‘Black Phil’, your story in Improbable Botany, packs a huge amount into 20 pages. It combines the scientific, the political and the personal in a way which is ultimately very moving, and does so while gradually revealing to the reader a startlingly imagined near future earth. There is a lot of specific detail in the story and I’m wondering what your approach to writing a piece like this is, how much do you have planned out before you begin writing, and how much comes to you through the writing process? I’m asking this in part because I’m wondering how quickly you write, given you are a prolific author of highly imaginative, intricately constructed novels and have a day job as a professor of literature as well.

Adam Roberts: My approach to writing has changed, I suppose. When I was starting out as a writer I would generally plan things out fairly carefully; now I have more technical fluency, and can trust my hands to produce more of what’s needed if I let them loose on the keyboard. Not entirely though. It’s a balance, as with so much of life. If a writer maps every beat of every chapter in a detailed plan before she ever writes a word, the danger is that the actual writing turns into a chore, merely filling in the blocks in the grid, and if the writer gets bored writing then that tends to communicate itself to the reader. On the other hand, simply diving in with no sense of where you’re going or how the story is going to unfold, in my experience, will result in something too baggy and freeform, understructured and messy. So the praxis for me is threading a path between those extremes: having a sense of the overall shape of the thing, and which spots I definitely want to hit as I go, but working out some of the specifics as I write the first draft, to keep at least elements of it fresh. With short stories the process is a little different to novels: plot is constrained by the shorter space, so there’s a greater need for other things to hold the whole together – a governing metaphor, for instance, that can be unpacked and explored, provided it’s eloquent enough. In ‘Black Phil’ I was working with blackness as a colour and blackness as a mood, which meant that the story needed to make a certain kind of emotional sense, and the other elements were rather subordinated to that.

(17) IF YOU WANT TO GIVE HER A MISS. Canberra sff author Gillian Polack puts a different spin on the typical convention schedule announcement in “How to avoid me at Worldcon 75”.

This is the post you’ve been waiting for. Now you can plan your Helsinki visit knowing you can avoid me. You’ll also know that I can’t redeem myself with chocolate, for I have tiny scraps of Australia to give everyone instead. Ask me nicely and you could take home some opal or Australian turquoise or fool’s gold. (When I say ‘scraps of Australia’ I mean it quite literally.) Asking me politely would, of course, mean not avoiding me.

I can only be at a small bit of the auction, but I’m bringing Tim tams, a blow-up kangaroo and other exciting things to add to the bidding frenzy. This emans I’ll be there … sort of…for some of the time and my luggage will represent me the rest of the time….

(18) GOOD REVIEWS. The other day I said someone’s Hugo nominee reviews were lacking who hadn’t completely read most of the stories. Now, at the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve encountered the hyperfeasance of Garik16 who claims, “I managed to read every nominee this year before the nominations were announced except for A Closed and Common Orbit (Yes I know I’m hipster bragging here lol).”

More importantly, his post, “Reviewing the Hugo Nominees: Best Novel”, is rich in analysis and substantive comments.

  1. Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Review on twitter here:

Disclaimer: I’ve just finished this books sequel (Raven Strategem, review forthcoming next week), and will try to separate the two books since its fresh in my mind. Ninefox Gambit is a book that is Challenging to read.  Whereas other books might try to infodump explanations of how extremely complicated made up SF or Fantasy worlds work, Ninefox Gambit just drops you right in the world, made up terminology and all, and trusts you to figure it out on your own.  It’s probably a bit too far in this direction honestly – a short story in the same universe for example explains a little bit more and there’s no reason this book couldn’t have done the same – but if you can get past it, the result is just phenomenal.

This is a universe where calendars followed are of maximum importance, where mathematical calculations allow for armies to create devastating attacks on a battlefield, and where immortality may be very possible.  This book deals largely with the efforts of a mathematical genius but otherwise standard infantry soldier getting stuck with an undead general in her head – an undead general who is both brilliant and known for massacreing his own forces.  The interplay between them, as well as how the world works around them, results in a truly fantastic book.

This is one of those books that will have you going back after your first reread to find out things you might have missed, and to see how things read after the reveal later in the book. The book isn’t light in tone – the dominant government relies on ritual torture to keep its technology working for example – but it is absolutely gripping if you can get past the terminology at the start and contains some pretty strong themes of the values of freedom, justice and sacrifice.

I suspect it’ll come in 2nd in voting, but this has my vote.

And for bonus reading, here’s what Garik16 thinks about the Hugo nominated novellas, novelettes, and short stories.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, Rob Thornton, Rich Lynch, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Xtifr.]

89 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/11/17 Be Kind To Your Scroll-Footed Friends, For A Duck May Be Somebody’s Pixel!

  1. Rob Thornton: That’s been discussed. There was, indeed, a previous proposal, quite different from this one, which was specifically for a Hugo for completed series. (Given that on that basis series would be eligible only once, it was not to be offered every year, as the number of good completed series available each year is limited.)

    The objection normally made is ‘how do we know if a series is completed?’. This strikes me as a rather odd objection; normally when a series is completed it is announced loudly. It may depend, though, on what you take a series to be; if it is something with a definite arc, a serially told story, it will reach a definite end (normally – there will be the occasional odd case, e.g. Urth of the New Sun, but occasional odd cases can be treated as ‘voters decide’ things). But if a series is simply a set of works with a common setting, then there is no way we can rule out the author creating more works in that setting. (Did the Harry Potter series end in 2007, or is it continuing today? That depends on what you mean by series.) And of course, it is true that not every series moves towards a completion anyway.

    It seems to me that it’s the serially told story that needs an award – in a series of infinite length, the individual books are either sufficiently self-standing that they can complete for Best Novel, or they require too much inside knowledge to be suitable for a broadly-based award anyway. So I supported the older proposal, while being very doubtful about this one. But not many people seem to think the same way.

  2. Has anyone done reviews on Cambell nominees? I’m having trouble deciding the ranks of 3/4/5 and I’d like to look at other people’s thoughts on the matter to help me clarify my thoughts. I know the two I liked best, and the one I liked worst….

  3. @Techgrrl1972

    Callow 18 year old Miles was likeable when I first read him as a callow 18 year old myself, but that’s a rather specific example of a series hitting me at the right time 🙂

    The maturing of Miles is the heart of the series, certainly – “Miles hits middle age; middle age hits back”

  4. @Cassy B

    Interesting question. My top two are currently Ada Palmer and Sarah Gailey.

    Palmer in first place might seem a bit odd considering how much criticism I’ve given TLTL, but my theory on the Campbell is to look for the good on the grounds that the bad may disappear as the writer improves, and despite my having massive issues with TLTL I can’t deny there’s the possibility of an exceptional writer behind it. (Conversely, TLTL itself is near the bottom of my novel votes)

    Gailey was one of my noms because of her delightful stories from Mothership Zeta. She’s definitely not the finished article yet by any means, I don’t think her more serious stories quite stick their endings, but again I see the potential with some really imaginative and off-beat scenarios.

    I tried J Mulrooney, and after a first chapter that actually gave me a bit of hope it just descended into actively unpleasant banter that I didn’t want to read. He’s going firmly below NA.

  5. I’m surprised at the assurance Temeraire would win. I love the first few but after that they kind of just meander to show how dragons work everywhere else without much momentum and nsgre rirelguvat V sryg yvxr gur frevrf jnf ohvyqvat hc gb n pyvzngvp fubjqbja orgjrra Grzrenver/Ynherapr naq Yvra/Ancbyrba ohg gung unccraf bss fgntr. Grzrenver punfrf n ergerngvat Yvra…naq gura gurl’er pncgherq naq rirelbar pryroengrf.

    I still love the series, but it didn’t stay strong throughout and I would be surprised when taken as a series if it pulled off the win. I’ve read all the other series besides Bujold which I really should get around to it seems.

  6. Actually the Darth Vader on the National Cathedral is not a gargoyle, but rather a grotesque. A gargoyle is a decoration that incorporates a drain spout. A grotesque is a decoration without the drainspout.

  7. how about a totally different approach to series?

    in any year that a novel that is part of a series makes it to the final ballot, the series represented by that novel is automatically added to the ballot for the following year’s award on a straight up/down vote (yes, award this series a best series Hugo, no, not yet).

    Since one book in the series has already been nominated to the final round, we are already dealing with something judged to be of decent quality…

    True, there might end up being six “Best Series” Hugos given out in a single year, but I don’t have an issue with that because first, they’re series, so interest in them already spans a minimum of a couple of years and second, happy day that we’re so lucky to have such great writing that that many series in a year are thought of so highly by so many readers!

    The only adjustment I might make would be to suggest that, in years when multiple series are up for a vote, each voter can only choose one…or perhaps only a percentage based on how many are on the ballot.

  8. Steve Davidson: I’m fairly sure that would not satisfy the proponents of this award. They were moved by the thought that work in series does not get nominated for Hugos often enough, so that the Hugos are failing to reflect the market. (This is only plausibly true if you focus on a particular kind of series, but most of this year’s finalists are of that kind; open-ended ‘adventures of’ style series.) So a proposal that requires an individual work from the series to be shortlisted first would not give them what they want.

    There is, I think, a better justification for a series award, namely that as we have awards for short stories, middle-sized stories and book-length stories, we should also have an award for stories long enough to take several books. The only way to honour The Wheel of Time under current rules was to nominate it for Best Novel, since the individual volumes do not work as stories on their own; but pitting it against one-volume novels was not a fair competition. But there again your proposal would not solve the problem, since detached volumes of that kind don’t make good nominees in their own right (in my view, at least, though everyone who nominated Too Like the Lightning presumably disagrees.)

  9. This category [series] would be manageable if some of the series were a bit shorter. Maybe even trilogies (The Broken Earth 2018!) This year, it was just too much.

    Seeing that publishers seem loathe to publish any novel these days that’s not part of a trilogy, I can see some merit in a Best Trilogy category. And it would be a fine time to clean up the fiction categories: trilogy (concluding in the year), novel (run the word count down to include the longer novellas), novelette (call it novella if you want – we don’t need both categories), and short story. IIRC, the reason for having both a novella and novelette category dates back to the heyday of SF magazines, when mid-length fiction was needed to fill the issues.
    Hmmm, I plan to be at the business meeting in San Jose, maybe I’ll formally propose this.

  10. @Andrew M:

    The objection normally made is ‘how do we know if a series is completed?’.

    My rule of thumb: “The author has been dead for at least ten years and no new installments have been published.”

  11. All seasons in the year are nice
    for pixel soup with files!

    Filing once
    Ticking twice
    Filing pixel scroll with rice!

  12. The only two of the series finalists that I have read a substantial amount of* are Temeraire and The Expanse, and of those two, Temeraire isn’t first. This isn’t to say that didn’t enjoy Novik’s work – I did stick with it through to the end after all – but it isn’t as good as the competition that I have read.

    *I have read Falling Free, which seems like an inadequate basis to judge Bujold’s series on.

  13. I like the idea of Best Series, but given that I’ve previously read one Vorkosigan novel and nothing else from any of the other series, I didn’t feel like I could do it justice in the time allotted (looks like I will finish up my reading/watching about a day or two before the deadline as is) and so avoided it entirely. Which is a shame, because an old friend of mine edits the Craft Sequence, so I’d like to read them. But not yet I guess.

    My feeling is that Vorkosigan will win, based on that Bujold has long, broad, and old appeal; no one else can really touch her in that regard. Max Gladstone (et al.) is a baby next to her.

  14. Listening to all these complaints about the time required to read all the nominees, I feel compelled to point out that 3SV is likely to reduce the available time for reading/judging. I’m starting to think that we can have 3SV or Best Series, but if we try to have both, the people may rise up and revolt!

    Not sure how I feel about that, since I like both. But then, I’m a pretty quick reader…
    —-
    @Lin McAllister: I’m pretty sure Best Trilogy has been discussed and dismissed in the past, on the grounds that it’s unfair to (among others) people who write Quadrologies. As for merging novella/novelette, that’s a perennial proposal with strong opposition. A decade or so ago, when the short-story market was in massive collapse, I was rather in favor of the idea, but the market seems to be bouncing back now, for a variety of reasons, so I’m no longer a supporter.
    —-
    Vorkosigan/Temeraire: I’m pretty sure I’m ranking these 1 & 2, respectively. I’m less certain about the rest of the pack. Temeraire has more consistent quality overall, but in the end, I had to mark that against it, because the Vorkosigan highs are so high. And there’s several of them.

    (I also have a personal tie-breaker, which some of you will probably hate, but tough noogies. If all other decision-making processes fail, I’ll go with the work which strikes me as more science-fictional. Fantasy has its own awards; SF really doesn’t. While that would get me to pick Vorkosigan over Temeraire anyway, it didn’t end up factoring in to my decision.)

  15. @Mark: the original quote (from the chronology in several of the later books/printings) is “30”; what kind of young whippersnapper are you that 30 looks like middle age? 😉

    @Aaron: *I have read Falling Free, which seems like an inadequate basis to judge Bujold’s series on. I thought FF was horribly retro — some active female characters but too much expecting the men to do things — so I wouldn’t recommend judging by it; it’s also long ago and far away (~200 years before Miles’s birth, per the abovementioned chronology), which means putting it in “The Vorkosigan Saga” is a stretch.

    @Xtifr: 3SV is being sold as a way to eliminate Puppy Poo (TM) etc.; IMO it should not require extensive reading (by anyone except the of-course-I’ll-jump-on-that-grenade types), because AFAIK it’s just a chance to toss stuff, without affecting the order. (Yes, this is brutal. So is my reaction when I find that some dogwalker has left their results in my recycling bin.)
    Also (re unfairness to Quadrologies): this (e.g, Daniel Abraham’s seasons tetraptych). Also, what happens when someone pulls a Zelazny and can’t wrap up in the promised three books?

  16. I will never vote for anything that calls itself a “quadrilogy”. Quartets, fine; tetralogies, no problem; they can have awards. But a “quadrilogy”, only over my dead and excessively pedantic body.

  17. Chip Hitchcock: @Xtifr: 3SV is being sold as a way to eliminate Puppy Poo (TM) etc.; IMO it should not require extensive reading (by anyone except the of-course-I’ll-jump-on-that-grenade types), because AFAIK it’s just a chance to toss stuff, without affecting the order.

    The point is that it reduces the time available for reading either during nomination or during voting. That will be true even if no reading takes place during the elimination phase itself.

  18. I hear everyone’s pain on the Best Series vote, but I keep thinking how the “I don’t have time to read it all” wail is the same thing that leads people to not nominate in the first place. “How can I nominate X items for Best Whatzit when I haven’t read all the Whatzits that came out this year?”

    My principle (which is mine, my own, and which I’ve stated in past years) is that the choice to read is a type of evaluation. And that it’s ok to say, “I chose to read this work and not others because I had a high expectation that I would find it good, and I am confirmed in that expectation and consider it a good and award-worthy work”. Any other path leads to paralysis and chaos.

    I mean, I get it. In my heart of hearts, every time I see someone post a “Top 10 X books” where X is a category that my work would fit into, the voice inside my head says, “I reject the validity of your Top 10 list if you haven’t read and considered my books.” But the reality is that lots of people are going to draw up Top 10 lists (or award short-lists) in blithe ignorance of the majority of possible candidates for those lists. There has to be an understood scope-statement, “Within the set of works that I have chosen to evaluate for the current purpose, this is what I considered the best.” People leave that scope statement off all the time, but it’s as valid to apply it to voting within a list of finalists as it is to nominating in the first place, or even to the activities of purchasing and reading.

  19. Best Series turned out great for me, having read all of them as they came out. So I was all caught up.

    I’m waffling on Semiprozine — so many good choices, but in what order?!

    I do not do outdoors much, but Wii Fit keeps all sorts of records and you can always try to beat your previous attempt or the other persons in the house.

    Vlad kitteh!

  20. Andrew M on July 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm said:

    The point is that it reduces the time available for reading either during nomination or during voting. That will be true even if no reading takes place during the elimination phase itself.

    That’s it exactly. People are feeling pressured here with only four (I think) days left for voting. Even if 3SV is done as quickly as possible and requires no reading (which should be mostly be the case), it’s going to have enough administrative overhead that I have a hard time imagining it taking less than a week. That’s a week less of reading for one of the other phases. (And somehow, I doubt it can be done in as short a time as that.)

    I’m still mostly in favor of it. Between the two (3SV and Best Series), I think I’d rather have 3SV. Though I do like both. I’m just pointing out that having both may be problematic.
    —-
    @Steve Wright: do you also boycott Television for the same reason? 😀

  21. A point on the best series Hugo’s. This year it is an additional category added by the WorldCom committee. Next year if it exists it will be because the constitutional amendment passed in Kansas has been ratified in Helsinki. As this will be the first year of the award under those rules there will be no restrictions on nominations of finalists from this years Hugo.

  22. @John A Arkansawyer

    My rule of thumb: “The author has been dead for at least ten years and no new installments have been published.”

    Dead men write no tales.

  23. @Steve Wright: I actually love the way English can mix bits from different roots willy-nilly. Its reckless abandon is part of its charm, as far as I’m concerned. “Television” is relatively mundane compared to something like “megatsunami”. 🙂

    Filer James Davis Nicoll has a fairly famous quote on the topic.

  24. Vonda N. McIntyre’s novel Starfarers is available for free for a limited time offer. It is the first in a four book series. You’re going to want to read all of them.

    Coincidentally, Vonda is participating in the Clarion West Write-A-Thon.

  25. Ursula K. Le Guin is publishing a new story in Catamaran magazine. Judging from the excerpt, I have hopes it is fantasy…

    “You wouldn’t think it looking at me now, but I was alive once. In fact I have been alive countless times and died repeatedly, though for the first time each time. It is a peculiarity of individuality that life and death are always for the first time. You may wonder why I use the pronoun ‘I,’ and all I can say is that, in my context, it is a convenient fiction. . . .”

    Item dated July 1st.

  26. Heather Rose Jones:

    I hear everyone’s pain on the Best Series vote, but I keep thinking how the “I don’t have time to read it all” wail is the same thing that leads people to not nominate in the first place. “How can I nominate X items for Best Whatzit when I haven’t read all the Whatzits that came out this year?”

    But nominations are different. It’s obvious one can’t read everything eligible: at the nomination stage the point is to put forward the things one likes as possible candidates. But at the voting stage, it’s been very widely agreed for a long time that what we are doing is considering and comparing things, which means either actually reading them, or refusing to do so for reasons (where ‘I haven’t the time’ is not a good enough reason). Nominations are meant to introduce things to a wider audience: that’s the point of the Hugo packet. The process doesn’t work as intended if we are only voting for things we already know and like.

    (And actually, even at the nomination stage, a lot of people will be checking out the most recommended things; not that everyone must, but some people will, and that feeds into the way the ballot works; it would look very different if people were just nominating things they are already a fan of. This is also much harder to do with series that with other categories.)

  27. xtifr:

    Even if 3SV is done as quickly as possible and requires no reading (which should be mostly be the case), it’s going to have enough administrative overhead that I have a hard time imagining it taking less than a week.

    Haven’t the proposers said they expect it to take two months?

    Now, I think this is because they saw it as an all-purpose weapon against slates, which would remove the need for EPH and 5/6; and if it’s to serve that function, we do actually need time to read the stuff. Slates can include lots of stuff which doesn’t really deserve to be there, and will seriously skew the ballot if it is allowed to dominate, and yet is not so obviously awful it can be ruled out at first sight. (Butcher, Anderson, King, Brown, de Castell….) But it’s quite widely agreed, I think, that it won’t really serve that purpose, and is useful mainly as a tool against outright abuse; and that, I’d agree, can be done quickly; say two weeks.

    Before 3SV is ratified, I would like to see the proposers state clearly how much time they expect it to take, and future Worldcon organisers confirm that they can in fact do it in that time. If it ends up taking a significant chunk of time off nominations, I think that could seriously help slates, by giving people less time for organic nominations.

  28. Before 3SV is ratified, I would like to see the proposers state clearly how much time they expect it to take,

    Well, I personally estimated around six weeks at most; however, a related proposal effectively moves the start of nominations up a month, so not more than two weeks gets pulled out of the total time involved.

    Personally, I do not think that you need to have read/watched all 15 semi-finalists to give an up-down vote on them. The only purpose of the semi-final voting was to serve the role that a significant number of people wanted: for Boss Man With Club to disqualify specific works that are perceived to have taken unfair advantage of the process. Remember how many people were howling that the Administrator Must Disqualify Bad People? Rather than having the single Strong Administrator (most people willing to administer the Hugo Awards don’t want that job, and most of the people who’d be willing to have it shouldn’t be allowed to do so), it spreads the responsibility among all of the members. It also contains sufficient guards so that only works as blindingly unpopular as those that finished below No Award in 2015 are likely to ever be disqualified.

    Incidentally, that six weeks also allows Administrators to do some of the things that they normally can’t do until after nominations close (eligibility checking and award acceptance take place “in public” instead of in private) and the finalists are announced, so the net time lost may in fact be nearly zero.

  29. @ Chip: If you divide the human lifespan into thirds, it’s not unreasonable to call 30 the tipping-point into middle age. 0-29 is youth; 30-59 is middle age; 60-89 is old age; 90+ (if you get that far) is whatever you want to call it. Admittedly, that’s not how most people think of it, but it is one reasonable division.

  30. @Steve Wright: “I will never vote for anything that calls itself a “quadrilogy”. Quartets, fine; tetralogies, no problem; they can have awards. But a “quadrilogy”, only over my dead and excessively pedantic body.”

    That’s as may be, but I do think you’re Alienating some decent work with that rule. 😀

    @Heather Rose Jones: “the choice to read is a type of evaluation”

    Completely agreed. I find “this work came to my attention without the benefit of being presented to me on a small menu” to be a compelling argument in its favor – assuming, of course, that it was positive attention and I ended up liking it. Certainly there is value in the pleasant surprise of being desocksed by a work you’d previously never heard of, but liking a finalist before it became a finalist is never a bad thing.

  31. @Kevin Standlee: Ah yes, I’d forgotten about the nomination period changing; that will indeed help. On the other hand, while we’re discussing unrelated changes that will affect reading time, 5/6 is going to mean more stuff to read. Especially if we do Best Series again….

    (But that can’t be blamed on 3SV.)

  32. Dead men write no tales.

    The Bourne series has had more novels published since Ludlum died than it did when he was alive.

  33. @Tom Becker: A late thanks for the tip re. McIntyre’s Starfarers being free right now; it’s still free, so I picked it up. It sounds interesting. 🙂

    (Late thanks ‘cuz I’m sooo behind on Pixel Scrolls!)

  34. Kevin: Thanks.

    I would say that if the point is to exclude only obviously awful works (positively abusive ones, Castalia House products, dinosaur porn, etc.), we do not need six weeks – two should be enough. If we want it to do more than that, we need time to read the stuff. ‘Vote down everything that’s on a slate’ doesn’t work because of the ‘poisoned chalice’ option; ‘vote down what’s there because of the slate’ doesn’t work because we don’t always know what is (e.g. is This Census Taker?), so the only possibility is to consider the actual merits of the work, and ask whether it’s the sort of thing a reasonable person might consider Hugo-worthy, which requires reading it.

    I do not think that moving the start of nominations up a month helps at all. The significant period is not the period during which nominations can be sent in; it is the period between the end of eligibility and the end of nominations. That is when many voters do the bulk of their Hugo-related reading, and by closing nominations earlier, we deprive them of the chance to read things.

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