Pixel Scroll 9/16/17 We’ll Have Fun, Fun, Fun, ‘Til Her Daddy Scrolls The Pixel Away.

(1) PROOF AND REPROOF. David Brin, after congratulating N.K. Jemisin for her latest Hugo win, asks readers to predict what’s coming next in the sff genre, in “Perspectives from Science Fiction: Hugos and other marvels”.

Oh and also, let’s celebrate that science fiction has always – and yes always, ever since it was founded by our revered grandmother of SF, Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelley) – been the genre of literature most welcoming to bold ideas about human and non-human diversity, and brashly exploratory authors. Yes, SF was always “better than its times” when it came to such things, though every decade deserved the reproof of later decades, for its own myopic misdeeds. Leaving our self-critical movement always looking for the next cause for self-improvement!

So what are we doing now, that will cause later generations of brave questioners and boundary-pushers to reprove? What terrible habit will reformers tell us to break next, when we get the upper hand on racism, sexism and cultural conformity? I think I know what it will be! (Hint: what is the most harmful and nasty thing that even good people now routinely do to each other, with barely a thought to fairness or consequences? And I include people as good as you envision yourself to be. Discuss in comments, below.)

(2) THE SHAPE OF YEARS TO COME. And at Examined Worlds, Ethan Mills wants to know “Where did all the far-future science fiction go?”

This is a question I’ve thought about a lot lately.  I recently re-read the last book in the Dune series and am working my way through the delightfully/impossibly difficult Book of the New Sun, which my Goodreads review describes as “like taking an acid trip through a thesaurus.”

These days far-future stuff is harder to find.  There’s even a popular genre of science fiction that takes place in the past: steampunk.  Contemporary readers will call a book “far future” if it takes place a mere few hundred years or even sooner. See this list of allegedly “far future” science fiction that puts Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 on the list, and even more weirdly, Charles Stross’s Accelerando.  One of the main complaints about Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves was that people didn’t care for the the part that takes place in thousands of years (which for the record was my favorite part — see my review for more).

(3) THE RONDO OF A LIFETIME. Steven J. Vertlieb recently found buried digital treasure:

Discovered these wonderful photographs for the first time recently on my brother’s cell phone while vacationing in Los Angeles just a couple of weeks ago. This marvelous shot was taken in Louisville, Kentucky during the prestigious annual Rondo Award ceremony in early June, 2016, after which actor, director, artist, writer, and old pal Mark Redfield and I were awarded these coveted Rondo “Hall of Fame” plaques in joyous recognition of a lifetime of creative productivity, and dedication to the arts.

(4) PUPPIES AND RACE.  In “Words Matter, Actions Matter and Race Definitely Matters” at Amazing Stories, Chris M. Barkley rebuts author Christopher Nuttall’s editorial, “A Character Who Happens To Be Black”.

When a writer, of any ethnicity, admits using characters of different ethnicities without even the slightest hint of any sort of context for doing so, it is the worst sort of cultural appropriation and is an insult to his readers as well. Using the “I don’t see color” explanation to pander his own world view about race may be satisfying to his bubble of readers ordering online, but I am quite willing to bet it would not pass muster at most publishing houses or with discerning and critical readers as well.

By erasing ethnicity, class or race as a factor in his characters, Mr. Nuttal is stating those centuries of history and culture, on which his future or fantasy worlds are built upon, don’t matter or worse, never happened. By homogenizing his black characters with his white male viewpoint, he is giving them the “gift” of being white and being as good as anyone else and calling for their heritage and culture is a bad thing and should essentially be swept under the rug. His attempt to do so does not make them equal, it diminishes them. It’s disingenuous at the very least and a patronizing example of white privilege at worse.

No person who is consciously aware of their ethnicity, culture and history would tolerate such a cleansing. By taking away their joy, you also take away their sorrow and their history. We are all human and that is the factor that should unites us, not divide us. By erasing our differences to make everyone the same, no one is special or an individual.

(5) APOLOGIZING. At Fast Company, Mike Su proffers “7 Lessons White People Can Learn From Bodega’s Apology”.

… Setting aside the idea of rebranding a mini-bar and putting it in apartment buildings and street corners and calling it disruption, there are some important lessons that can be learned from their poor apology that can be particularly important for well-meaning white people to understand when they unintentionally offend. Here are my key takeaways:

1. “I Didn’t Mean To” Doesn’t Matter

“Despite our best intentions and our admiration for traditional bodegas…”

Most of the post was focused on helping people understand what they were really trying to do. Why they weren’t super evil, and all the steps that they took, and basically, “I know we seemed like assholes, but we’re not! Or, at least, we didn’t mean to be!”

But here’s the thing?—?just cause you didn’t mean to hurt someone doesn’t mean you didn’t actually hurt them.

But if you spend all your time explaining what you meant to do?—?you’re spending all your effort on trying to make yourself look less bad, and make yourself feel less bad. That may do it for you, but then your apology is not about actually making the person you offended feel any better. Which leads me to…

(6) IN THE NEWS. Brookline, MA Town Meeting member (and noted sf writer) Michael A. Burstein isn’t kidding: “Town Leaders Seek to Make ‘Selectwoman’ the Official Title”.

“There’s been some recent interest in Massachusetts to change the name of board of selectmen to something that would be a bit more gender-neutral,” said Michael Burstein, a town meeting member.

Two warrants have been submitted to the Board of Selectmen and take aim at changing the governing body’s title and title of its members.

“One of them is kind of a straight forward and just wants to create gender-neutral language,” said Hamilton.

The other warrant filed by Burstein is very specific.

“I deliberately and specifically filed a warrant to change the name of Board of Selectmen to Board of Selectwomen,” he said.

The Boston NBC affiliate interviewed him for its September 14 news broadcast.

(7) ROMM OBIT. SF Site News reports the death of Minneapolis fan Baron Dave Romm.

Fan Dave E Romm (b.1955) died on September 14. Dave was active in Minneapolis fandom and was an avid photographer, taking pictures of various Minicons and other conventions he was able to get to. He traveled to Antarctic in 2005 and wrote about his experience in Argentus. He also hosted Shockwave Radio Theatre on KFAI-AM and archived the podcasts on his website. Romm became a baron of the micro-country of Ladonia in 2001.

(8) GOGOS OBIT. Bloody Disgusting bids farewell to “Legendary Monster Artist Basil Gogos” (1939-2017)  who died September 14.

Some of the most iconic pieces of classic monster art were found on the front covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine throughout the ’60s and ’70s, that art no doubt responsible for countless monster kids being bitten by the proverbial bug. Vibrant and eye-catching, the magazine’s cover art made horror stylish, beautiful and cool.

Those paintings were the work of illustrator Basil Gogos, who we’re sad to report is the latest in a long line of true horror legends who have recently left us….

Gogos also provided cover art for several other Warren magazines including Creepy, Eerie, Spaceman, Wildest Westerns and The Spirit.

(9) HANGDOG CHARACTER ACTOR. Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017) died September 15 says The Hollywood Reporter.

Stanton, who also was memorable in Cool Hand Luke (1967), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), John Carpenter’s Escape From New York (1981) and John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink (1986) — in fact, what wasn’t he memorable in? — died Friday afternoon of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his agent, John Kelly, told The Hollywood Reporter.

(10) TODAY’S DAY

Play-Doh Day

Play-Doh Day is an opportunity for everyone, whether a child or simply young at heart, to celebrate this iconic modeling clay. Play-Doh was originally developed in the 1930’s, not as a toy but as a product for cleaning wallpaper! It was not until the 1950’s that it was marketed as a toy, in the trademark vibrant colors of red, blue, yellow and white.

(11) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • September 16, 1926 — Many people reported seeing lake monster Ogopogo in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.
  • September 16, 1963 The Outer Limits premiered on television.
  • September 16, 1977 — Returned television audiences to the world of Logan’s Run.
  • September 16, 1983 – The aptly-titled Strange Invaders was first screened.

(12) TODAY’S FORBIDDEN PLANET BIRTHDAYS

  • Born September 16, 1927 — Jack Kelly
  • Born September 16, 1930 — Anne Francis

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born September 16, 1917 – Art Widner

(14) JAY KAY KLEIN PHOTOS. Crowdsourced identification of Jay Kay Klein’s digitized fanhistorical photos is proceeding apace.

J.J. Jacobson, the Jay Kay and Doris Klein Science Fiction Librarian at the UC Riverside Library, says —

The first re-index of the Klein photos on Calisphere has loaded. We’ve harvested amazing amounts of amazing information, thanks to the generosity of the fan community.

She has been keeping an eye on the info form and as of September 11 there had been 448 entries, many of them containing multiple identifications.

(15) QUARRELING CURATORS. New Statesman says “Two museums are having a fight on Twitter and it’s gloriously informative”. They’ve collected the tweets.

2017 is undoubtedly the year of the feud. As celebrities and corporations alike take to Twitter to hash things out, two of the UK’s most respected scientific institutions, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum have got in on the action.

It all started with this rather innocous tweet, during The Natural History Museum’s Ask a Curator event on Twitter, where users could tweet in questions to The Natural History Museum’s twitter account. The resulting back and forth is both amusing and educational….

(16) THE TRUE MEASURE OF A MAN’S INTELLIGENCE… JC Carlton’s goodbye to Jerry Pournelle at The Arts Mechanical begins with a memory of the author’s opposition to the lowered expectations policy of the Seventies. That was one of the first things that came to my own mind when I heard he had died. And while Carlton was looking at another collection of his science essays, I was taking down That Crazy Buck Rogers Stuff from my own shelf.

At a time when technical optimists were as scarce as hen’s teeth, at least in the public eye, Jerry was unabashedly that technical optimist.  I did a post about  A Step Farther Out when I started this blog and how relevant it still remains today.

https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/stepping-farther-out/

At a time when the language of the day all across the media was how we were all DOOMED, DOOMED by the monsters of our own creation and that there was nothing that could be done to save us.  Even the best stuff in media, like the classic series Connections was mildly pessimistic. Contrast that with any column in A Step Farther Out. 

… He thought though that, that people wouldn’t just collapse into a series of unending ghettos and endless tyranny.  he thought that people would use the skill and minds, the technologies that humans had created to overcome the problems we had.  He never accepted that we would just surrender and mostly die. he was also optimistic that with a little more oomph people would reach for the stars and create wealth for all.

(17) THE BREWS THAT MADE SPEC FIC FAMOUS. Charles Payseur is back with another installment of his review column where he pairs short stories with the appropriate beer: “THE MONTHLY ROUND – A Taster’s Guide to Speculative Short Fiction, 08/2017”.

Welcome! Pull up a stool—let me tell you what’s on tap today. August represents the height of summer for some, and for others the first step toward Autumn. For my SFF reading, the month seems full of heat, decay, distance, and ghosts. Which makes a certain amount of sense, what with 2017 on its downward slope, having cleared the peak of June and July and entered into the fast descent toward the end of the year. And what a year…

The flavors are mostly heavy, alluding to the coming harvest with the sweet tones of apple and barley. Looming behind that, though, is the specter of winter, and scarcity, and cold. The bite of IPA stands as a resistance to going gentle in that good night, a fire to guide lonely travelers through the chilling dark. The stories are pulled from across SFF, with a lean toward fantasy, from contemporary to historical to second world, but there’s a hint of science fiction as well, a glimpse of the void and a voice calling out into the distance of space….

Tasting Flight – August 2017

“Avi Cantor Has Six Months To Live” by Sacha Lamb (Book Smugglers)

Notes: Singing with notes of sweet romance complicated by the spices of trust, betrayal, and perception, its cloudy pour slowly resolves into a golden hue that shines with warmth.

Pairs with: Chai Spiced Ale…

 

(18) FAVORITE SON. Are you ready? In “Holy Adam West Day, Walla Walla!” the Union-Tribune tells everyone what’s laid on for the celebration happening Tuesday, September 19.

From before noon and into the evening, businesses around town will display Bat signal stickers and posters of West and offer special promotions. The city will also install a new sign commemorating West near his childhood home at the intersection of Clinton Street and Alvarado Terrace.

Other memorials to West can be found at the post office at 128 N. 2nd Ave and at the Marcus Whitman, both based around photos from the collection of Joe Drazan.

West will also be the focus of a series of events throughout the day. Here’s the itinerary, as listed by Grant:

11 a.m. — Opening ceremonies at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street. Mayor Alan Pomraning will present a key to the city to members of West’s family, and attendees will have the opportunity to meet Batman and pose for photos with an exact replica of the Batmobile that West drove as the Caped Crusader….

(19) ESTATE SALE. The LA Times reports “Debbie Reynolds’ family ranch and dance studio to hit the auction block in October”.

The ranch-estate in Creston, Calif., had been offered for sale before Reynolds’ death last year for $4.8 million but was taken off the market in June. The studio on Lankershim Boulevard is for sale, with an asking price of $6.15 million.

Both will hit the auction block Oct. 7-8 in Los Angeles as part of the Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds personal property collection, according to auction house Profiles in History.

Owned by Reynolds for more than two decades, the 44-acre ranch comprises a main house, a guesthouse, a caretaker’s cottage, an art studio and a barn. A 10,000-square-foot support building with metal and stage workshops and a 6,000-square-foot film and television production studio are among other structures on the estate.

(20) HOBBITS INHALE. Matt Wallace’s tweetstorm shows that where there’s smoke….there’s even more smoke.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Steven H Silver, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Andrew Porter, JJ Jacobson, and Steve Vertlieb for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Xtifr.]

118 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/16/17 We’ll Have Fun, Fun, Fun, ‘Til Her Daddy Scrolls The Pixel Away.

  1. John A Arkansawyer: <emI skimmed Nutall’s column–I think he’s well-meaning but mostly wrong–and only found one reference to bullying (okay, for that I used search), which was not in reference to the unattractive nerd. So I’m going to push back on your claim about “the way he was treated” by recasting it in active voice as “the way X treated him”.

    And yet Nuttall directly compares the Draka character’s reprehensible actions to those of Snape, who did what he did because he was bullied.

  2. Chris Barkley: And I am so sorry I have you the impression that I was giving the Puppies “a pass” on their transgressions because I have vocally demomstrated my opposition to EVERYTHING they have done since they appeared on the scene. ANYONE who says otherwise can meet me at any con for heated discussion…

    And yet you portrayed the Sad Puppies as being completely different from the Rabid Puppies (they’re not; the two groups have a great deal in common), elided any mention of all the racist, sexist, misogynistic, and homophobic things the Sad Puppies have said, and claimed that we can be reasonably sure that B.T. is not a racist, despite the racist things he has said — which is pretty ridiculous:

    I acknowledge that there is a difference between the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies, whom some have either unfairly confused and/or found to be mutually interchangeable with each other. The Sad Puppies were established and propagated by authors Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, Kate Paulk and others as a reaction against what they viewed as “message fiction” and progressive attitudes in modern sf and fantasy. Brad Torgersen , one of the founders of the SP’s, is married to and has had a child with an African-American woman, so I think we can be reasonably sure he’s not a racist.

    People who aren’t racist don’t say racist things. 😐

  3. BTW: To anyone who is interested, I have requested that the remark about Brad Torgersen be removed from my essay. They are unnecessary, rude and intrusive so I apologize the him and his family…

    Chris B.

  4. Chris Barkley: BTW: To anyone who is interested, I have requested that the remark about Brad Torgersen be removed from my essay. They are unnecessary, rude and intrusive so I apologize the him and his family…

    Given that he himself repeatedly used his wife as a reason why he could not possibly be racist when people called him out on his racism, it’s not unfair for people to address that claim.

    He’s the one who dragged his family into it. 🙁

  5. @JJ: “And yet Nuttall directly compares the Draka character’s reprehensible actions to those of Snape, who did what he did because he was bullied.”

    That’s an interesting argument, but on re-reading that paragraph, I think it fails. The most relevant section, in my opinion: “The way he was treated does not justify his actions. (The same could be said of Professor Snape.)” I don’t think I’ve taken this out of context, as nothing else in that paragraph suggests that the nerd is being bullied.

  6. John A Arkansawyer:I don’t think I’ve taken this out of context, as nothing else in that paragraph suggests that the nerd is being bullied.

    I think your claim that the way he was treated refers to “by society, which makes no provision for providing sex workers for sex-deprived men” rather than “by the women who wouldn’t date him or have sex with him” is overly generous special pleading. So I’ll agree to disagree with you.

  7. @JJ in re 4

    I discussed that with Chris prior to publication. He told me that his own wife had pretty much called him out on it as well.

    However, I understand the reluctance to be completely positive and declarative about the subject, as none of us really know: I’ve interacted a fair amount with Brad (2014-2016) and during that time I found him to be wrong-headed, unclear on a lot of these issues and reactionary in the sense that I don’t really think he has delved too deeply into them, and, of course, siding with and defending others who have certainly made racist comments, but (unless I’ve missed it), I’ve not seen or gotten a vibe of overt racism from him.

    Chris tried to thread the needle, not so successfully if reaction is any guide. But it certainly doesn’t come from trying to give anyone a pass, it comes from wanting to write things as factually as he understands them.

  8. @Ethan Mills: I don’t think it’s reasonable to speak of works that have had half a century to be influential in comparison with much more recent works; how can we guess what will be looked at as foundational 3-4 decades from now? Note also how much smaller the field was then; doing something different enough to be noticed and built on, and yet the same enough that it could be understood and provide a foundation for building, was a lot easier.

  9. rcade: I consider the recent set of guest editorials to be very much of a “point, counter point” activity, though deliberately not as direct as having two individuals trading commentary back and forth.

    So far, this is the only formula that I’ve found that works, that hasn’t turned things into a “ya! so’s yer mother” shouting fest and, I think, in general on all three contributors parts, giving us a pretty good take on what/how they think on these related subjects.

    I am of the belief that lines of communication must always remain open – even if they are back alley, sub rosa or through intermediaries. I would like to believe that by discussing these issues, even at arms length, something useful will emerge.

  10. jj: in the greater scheme of things, People who aren’t racist don’t say racist things. is not strictly true.

    I can think of any number of comedians who say “racist things” in order to comment on them: I’ve personaly been guilty of saying “racist things” out of ignorance.

    I think a better way to put it would be “people who aren’t racists don’t deliberately say racist things and, if they do, they try to learn better and correct themselves in future.”

    Further, we have to make room for people who make mistakes – genuine mistakes – and act appropriately to correct themselves. People can only “TRY” to act their best, be sensitive and respectful, but we aren’t always. If the only response when someone makes a mistake is to dismiss and spurn them, they’ll have no incentive to modify their behavior.

  11. @JJ: “I think your claim…is overly generous special pleading. So I’ll agree to disagree with you.”

    That’s entirely fair. I prefer being overly generous to being underly generous. This is likely one of those times. I still don’t think you can read it as a claim of bullying, though. So I’ll agree to disagree with you on that.

  12. The Sad Puppies were established and propagated by authors Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, Kate Paulk and others as a reaction against what they viewed as “message fiction” and progressive attitudes in modern sf and fantasy.

    No. They were not.

  13. I’m surprised to see Chris Barkley, who never responds to comments on his columns here, become embroiled in the comments made about his article from another site.

  14. The Bodega folks seem to have learned a lesson.

    What if we could commodify moms?

    Imagine a world where moms are no longer a person and are a service, provided to you where and when you need it. That world is now, thanks to Madre, our innovative logistics and delivery service. Integrating our Madre app with our Madre deliverables, we can provide a custom mom experience to any person in the world* (currently San Francisco and NYC test markets) within sixteen minutes.

  15. Uh-oh. This just in:

    UPDATE: Madre would like to apologize for some misunderstandings about our service. We are absolutely NOT trying to compete with mothers or do away with mothers or, as our CMO said yesterday during an AMA, “shitcan obsolete moms.” We are providing a mom alternative that respects mothers and attempts to elevate and reward them for their many talents.

  16. Recalling that this is a science fiction site, it is not implausible that in some of our lifetimes you will be able to change your physical racial attributes, e.g., skin and eye color, hair texture (bone and cartilage being I would guess slower to alter) so that racial heritage will tend to cease to be linked to one’s current physical attributes. My latest novel “Minutegirls” uses this as an aside, complete with the young man bemusedly asking how, if 150 years ago women tended to be shorter than men, guys back then in 2040 were able to find gals to date, and vice versa. He doesn’t get it.

  17. steve davidson: (unless I’ve missed it), I’ve not seen or gotten a vibe of overt racism from him.

    You missed it.

    BT: we’ve seen the Hugo voting skew ideological, as Worldcon and fandom alike have tended to use the Hugos as an affirmative action award: giving Hugos because a writer or artist is (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) or because a given work features (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) characters.

    BT: It became plainly obvious, especially after 2010, that a lot of the classic works of the old days – there’s no way they could possibly make it in the current climate because the current climate was all about affirmative action.

    BT: The Hugos especially have become prone to focusing on issues-first fiction. If not outright tokenism and affirmative action, for the sake of the sexuality, gender, and ethnicity of the authors themselves. In those cases, the content of the story is practically irrelevant. It’s the box-checking that counts.

    He made that statement several times during the Puppy debacle. I don’t know how you would read that as anything other than racist (and sexist): The works by these women and people of color only received Hugo nominations because of the authors’ gender and/or race, and not because they actually deserved it.

  18. @Eli:
    I have the Knopf hardcover first edition published 1991. It reads “dangers from father, brother, and son”

  19. 6) After watching the brief interview with Burstein, I want to put him in
    the “wiseass” category. I don’t think much of his idea, but I bet Mencken would be proud.

    [godstalk]

  20. If it’s true that there’s less far-future SF being written than there once was (I haven’t the foggiest), I wonder if it’s because the challenge of making a believable distant future is now more apparent than it was a few decades ago. The pace of social and technological change has gotten noticeably more rapid, and so the prospect of predicting future changes seems like it would be much more daunting now.

  21. @steve davidson said: I’ve personaly been guilty of saying “racist things” out of ignorance.
    I think a better way to put it would be “people who aren’t racists don’t deliberately say racist things and, if they do, they try to learn better and correct themselves in future.”
    Further, we have to make room for people who make mistakes – genuine mistakes – and act appropriately to correct themselves.

    This thread keeps getting under my skin and my resistance has worn down. @steve davidson, this is not so much directed at you as my using your comments as a jumping off place for a thought about something really, really common.

    White people in the US who don’t wish to be thought of as racists, by others or themselves, seem to pretty consistently define racism in a way that leaves themselves outside of the bubble. That is a significant contributor to why we can’t have an honest discussion about race, because people keep jumping in to assert how they aren’t racist. Like, they might have said something racist once, but they know better now. Or, hey, let’s leave room for people to make mistakes (and stop calling them racists for being okay with racism). Or, my favorite, that they’re color blind.

    Maybe instead of winding ourselves into pretzels to avoid looking at how systemic racism has benefitted white people, including us, which makes anyone who isn’t fighting against that on the regular a possessor of at least a tiny corner of the whole racist blanket, we just own it. See ourselves as part of the problem. It doesn’t feel good, but that’s kind of the point. If it isn’t uncomfortable, there isn’t much impetus to change.

  22. @johnstick: Thanks! I’d like to include a thank-you footnote on my site; should I credit you as “johnstick” or what?

  23. (20) HOBBITS INHALE

    Pipeweed (and sale and transportation of pipeweed) played a fairly major role in my D&D campaign setting way back when I played D&D. (And people were panicked about satanism–little did they know….)

    You had to be particularly careful with the stuff the Orcs smoked. 😀

  24. @Mike
    Chris broke his no comment / debate rule to clarify a point.
    Management apologizes for leaving him unsupervised.

  25. The pace of social and technological change has gotten noticeably more rapid, and so the prospect of predicting future changes seems like it would be much more daunting now.

    Really? I’d say that the pace of technological change is slowing to a crawl. New CPUs (and new computers of all types based o them) are becoming only slightly incrementally faster than the previous generation and we are very close to the smallest that transistors can possibly be. Maybe there isn’t so much far future SF anymore (if there isn’t) because people are finally coming to accept that science isn’t going to invent magic.

  26. @JJ: I’m not a Wikipedia editor, but I’ve incorporated the information into the page on my blog listing the 1956 Hugo winners. The only thing that seems odd is that the ballot doesn’t list any nominees for the “Best Magazine” category which was awarded that year.

  27. “New CPUs (and new computers of all types based o them) are becoming only slightly incrementally faster than the previous generation” Having just moved from 15 Gflops to 1.5 Tflops, I take your claim with a grain of salt.

  28. “New CPUs (and new computers of all types based o them) are becoming only slightly incrementally faster than the previous generation” Having just moved from 15 Gflops to 1.5 Tflops, I take your claim with a grain of salt.

    (Shrug) Take it with as much salt as you want. Won’t change the fact that state of the art CPUs have been stuck at around 3 to 5 GHz for a decade or two now, and that throwing more cores at the problem is useful only in a limited subset of situations, and that transistors are almost as small as they ever will be.

  29. @Darren Garrison: Yeah. My 8-year-old laptop has two 2.54 GHz processors. A quick trip to Dell’s website finds that their top-of-the-line desktop workstation uses 3.6 GHz processors. Sure, it has 22 of them, but as you note, even that 22 X 3.6 GHz is only useful for problems that are parallelizable. I can’t locate the reference quickly, but I think Intel actually built a 10-ish GHz chip, but the heat output was horrendous – around 150 Watts.

  30. I could probably have phrased my comment about the nerd a little better – he wanted sex and companionship, he didn’t get it, he felt excluded … and thus he was easy prey when the Draka recruiters offered him pretty slave girls in exchange for defecting and going to work for the Super-Nazi Master Race. That said, at no point did I argue that he did the RIGHT thing – he was consumed with bitterness and resentment (which is a stage most people go through in the teens) and it eventually overcame him.

    Snape had the same issue – on one hand, yes he was the victim of awful bullying. On the other, he treated Harry, Neville and plenty of other pupils like dirt. I don’t see having an entirely understandable grudge against James ‘Jerk Jock’ Potter as justifying such behaviour.

    Now, if you want to argue that the nerd had entitlement issues you can do so. And you might be right. However, I personally do not have such issues and snide suggestions that I do are not remotely helpful. People do not always express themselves clearly or particularly well and our community wouldn’t be quite so divided if people on BOTH sides of the political debate weren’t so quick to point fingers whenever someone says something that can be (deliberately?) misunderstood.

    Chris

  31. Xtifr: You had to be particularly careful with the stuff the Orcs smoked. Was it as bad as what the Hokas drank? (The one dungeon I had any time in, 43 years ago, was run by a science fiction fan who populated his dungeon accordingly — wormfaces, Dilbians, vatches, Valerians, …; he also invented the Scientologist as a way of dealing with characters who’d had all their Wisdom traded for Intelligence.

  32. I can’t locate the reference quickly, but I think Intel actually built a 10-ish GHz chip, but the heat output was horrendous – around 150 Watts.

    A 10-ish (anyone) GHz CPU that was only 150 watts would be a game-changer. Much slower CPUs can have higher wattage. AMD’s announced 22-core Threadrippers with 16 cores can be up to 180 watts at as little as 2.0 GHz (and as much as 3.8 GHz, depending on the model.) An earlier AMD chip was 220 watts at 4.7 GHz with 8 cores. There would be many, many people (and businesses) willing to buy a 10 GHz, 150 watt CPU with just 1 or 2 cores in the place of a dozen core chip running at 2 or 3 GHz. But nobody can make one of those, and maybe nobody ever can.

  33. @Christopher Nutall: The character I think of when I think of that happening is in John Barnes’ Timeline Wars, when Znex Fgebat rapbhagref uvf qbccrytäatre va Jnfuvatgba’f Qvevtvoyr. Even in his lesser works (I’m a fool for his stuff, but some is better than others) the man can’t help putting depth into his characters.

  34. The 1956 Hugo Awards web page has now been updated, along with noting that it appears that one of the Fanzine winners was a write-in and that for whatever reason, all of the Best Professional Magazine votes were write-ins.

    Remember that in those early days, the rules were “whatever the committee says” and were probably first-past-the-post, and quite possibly “close enough, we’ll call it a tie.” We’ll probably never know the full details. Over time, the model for the Hugo Awards has been evolving toward “tell us everything you possibly can short of how each individual person voted.”

  35. Christopher Nuttall: However, I personally do not have such issues and snide suggestions that I do are not remotely helpful. People do not always express themselves clearly or particularly well and our community wouldn’t be quite so divided if people on BOTH sides of the political debate weren’t so quick to point fingers whenever someone says something that can be (deliberately?) misunderstood.

    You probably should have stopped after “I could probably have phrased my comment about the nerd a little better”. Implying that I deliberately misunderstood you and trying to blame me does not help your case. 🙄

  36. Aaron: I’m not a Wikipedia editor, but I’ve incorporated the information into the page on my blog listing the 1956 Hugo winners. The only thing that seems odd is that the ballot doesn’t list any nominees for the “Best Magazine” category which was awarded that year.

    Congratulations on being one of the Internet’s earliest bloggers! The date header on that entry reads “Thursday, January 1, 1970”. 😀

    note: “Ed Emsh” is actually Ed Emshwiller.

  37. @Chip Hitchcock: it wasn’t that the stuff the orcs smoked was stronger than the stuff purveyed by the hobbits; it was simply more evil. 🙂

    As for technology, no, I don’t think we’re anywhere near the limits, even of computer technology. Yes, we may be approaching the limits for miniaturization of transistors, but there’s a whole host of applications we haven’t even started looking at which don’t really need that much more miniaturization. Self-driving cars and software that can win Jeopardy are only the tip of the iceberg.

    Honestly, though, I don’t think we really have been experiencing a lack of far-future SF recently. I mean, far far future stuff (1000+ years) has always been relatively rare, aside from galactic-empire-type space opera. But Trek-style stuff (a couple of centuries) seems very common.

    But I do think that maybe the FFSF holds up better over time, so when we look back at old SF, we’re more likely to look at it. The twenty-minutes-into-the-future stuff seems to start looking dated much more quickly. Like…after about half an hour. 😀

  38. @Xtifr:
    On the other hand, Max Headroom, a series that made ‘twenty minutes into the future’ part of its tagline, has had its prophetic moments. We already have TVs that can be used to spy on you.

  39. @Steve Wright

    if the Puppies are all about entertainment, how come most of their stuff is so ****ing boring?
    .

    If we limit that to the things that were slated, then I think there’s a point to be made. Cast the net a little wider and we start to find things that are interesting. IME, those interesting things come from authors that focus a bit more on writing stories and less on making points about “the liberals”.

    (4)
    From Mr. Barkley

    By erasing ethnicity, class or race as a factor in his characters, Mr. Nuttal is stating those centuries of history and culture, on which his future or fantasy worlds are built upon, don’t matter or worse, never happened. By homogenizing his black characters with his white male viewpoint, he is giving them the “gift” of being white and being as good as anyone else and calling for their heritage and culture is a bad thing and should essentially be swept under the rug. His attempt to do so does not make them equal, it diminishes them. It’s disingenuous at the very least and a patronizing example of white privilege at worse.

    There is nothing wrong with works that focus on illuminating past history/culture. Reminders of past transgressions are useful.

    There is nothing wrong with works that envision a future where that history is far enough in the past that variations in culture are not significantly noteworthy in terms of how people perceive the value/capability of various characters. Hoping for a brighter future is also useful.

    Nor is there anything wrong with works that focus on something other than cultural differences.

    There is plenty wrong with having one person (or a “select” group) arrogate to themselves the role of arbiter of the appropriate/acceptable mode(s) of cultural expression.

    (5) I wonder who is going to apologize to the people currently paying a lot more for a lot less at local mom-and-pop corner stores when they could be paying less from the now-withdrawn bodegas?

    Regards,
    Dann

  40. JJ on September 18, 2017 at 8:59 pm said:

    Hey Kevin Standlee, while you’re here: the nomination and vote tallies from this year’s Hugos have not yet been added to this year’s page on the Hugo Awards site.

    They’re near the top of the page, below the summary information and before Best Novel.

  41. @Dann

    (5) I wonder who is going to apologize to the people currently paying a lot more for a lot less at local mom-and-pop corner stores when they could be paying less from the now-withdrawn bodegas?

    That’s a stretch. What’s more likely, if you replace actual corner stores with vending machines, is frequently broken down vending machines that have a tiny selection of items. If I want a specific food or beer, I can go to my corner store and ask them to order it. I don’t imagine vending machines will have enough spare space to cater to one or two people in the neighborhood. Plus, the local corner store stocks some goodies specific to my locale (a lot of Ethiopians and Eritreans live around here, and you can buy eg. injera at the corner store). I don’t see how anyone imagines vending machines taking the place of corner stores.

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