Pixel Scroll 10/1/17 And Lockjaw The Teleporting Bulldog (Played By A Bunch Of Pixels)

(1) STONY END. At Asking the Wrong Questions, Abigail Nussbaum delivers a masterful review of the third novel in the acclaimed trilogy, “The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin”.

It might seem a bit strange to say that The Stone Sky, the concluding volume of the Broken Earth trilogy, had a lot riding on it.  For the past two years, the SF field and its fandom have been falling over themselves to crown this trilogy as not just good, but important.  Both of the previous volumes in the series, The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate, were nominated for the Nebula and the Hugo.  When The Fifth Season won the Hugo in 2016, it made Jemisin the first African-American (and the first American POC) to win the best novel category.  When The Obelisk Gate won the same award earlier this year, it was the first time that consecutive volumes in a series had won the Hugo back-to-back since, I believe, Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead thirty years ago.  That’s probably not considered the best company nowadays, but it speaks to the kind of zeitgeist-capturing work that Jemisin is doing with this series.  In that context, the third volume might almost be looked at as a victory lap, just waiting to be showered with laurels.

To me, however, a great deal depended on the kind of ending Jemisin crafted for her story….

(2) STAN BY ME. This doctor makes house calls? Here in LA in October!

(3) THEY WERE JUST RESTING. Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch have launched a Kickstarter to bring back “Pulphouse Fiction Magazine” after a 21-year hiatus.

Dean returns as editor of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, bringing back the attitude and editing eye that got Pulphouse three Hugo nominations and thousands of subscribers. Kris will function as executive editor. Allyson Longueira is the publisher, Gwyneth Gibby is the associate publisher, and Josh Frase will be the managing editor and website guru….

Pulphouse Fiction Magazine returns as a quarterly publication, with the first issue coming out in January 2018.

But before January, as was a tradition with Pulphouse Publishing, there will be an Issue Zero. Basically, Issue Zero will be a complete issue of the magazine, but will function as a test run.

Issue Zero will be given to anyone who supports this Kickstarter subscription drive if we make our goal.

They’ve already surpassed their $5,000 goal, with 17 days left to run.

(4) BURNING LOVE. The anonymous Red Panda Fraction calls Dragon Con their home convention, and seeks to justify one of their tactics to level the Dragon Awards playing field in “Why Did We Create a Red Panda Slate? 1st Post from Rad Sonja”.

Now that Dragon Con is over and our schedules have returned to normal, it seems like it’s time to explain why the Red Panda Fraction decided to create a slate for the Dragon Awards this year. It was the most controversial thing we did, and we noted the consternation among blog commenters. We appreciate the criticism that authors may not want to be on any slate because it would make them “political footballs” or put targets on their backs. If we create a recommendation list for the next Dragon Award, we will ask authors if they want to be taken off before sending anything out to the public….

“Rad Sonja” doesn’t really delve into the ethics of slating beyond the poetic “fighting fire with fire”, but instead indulges in lengthy speculation about the networking that led to certain results in the first year of the award.

Moreover, from the beginning, the most active boosters of the award have been Puppies. Among the first places to publish a story about the Dragon Awards (April 8th, 2016) was the Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance (CLFA), a closed Facebook group which includes a number of major Puppy organizers. It didn’t take much digging for us to figure out that Dragon Con’s SF=literature track director, Sue Phillips, and long-time SF-lit track volunteer, the Puppy-booster blogger and podcaster, Stephanie Souders, (aka “The Right Geek”, who added Phillips to the FB group in 2014) were also members of the CLFA Facebook group. The CLFA actively promotes the work of their members on their blog. See, for example, this post from this year….

(5) FROM ARES TO ARTEMIS. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination will host “An Evening with Andy Weir” on December 9 at UCSD. Time and ticket information at the link.

 

Join us for the launch of the much-anticipated new novel by Andy Weir, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Martian. Weir will discuss Artemis—a crime caper set on the moon, in a near-future world that Weir builds with his trademark rich, scientifically accurate detail.

Artemis is the first only city on the moon. If you aren’t a tourist or an eccentric billionaire, life in this fledgling new territory is tough. Providence and imperial dreams have been nickel-and-dimed from those who have called the moon their home. That’s why Jazz doesn’t rely on her day-job. She moonlights, instead, as a smuggler, and gets along okay with small-time contraband that is, until the chance to commit the perfect crime presents itself.

Weir will discuss Artemis with Dr. Erik Viirre, Associate Director of the Clarke Center and the Medical and Technical Director of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE.

Book signing to follow. Copies will be available for purchase.

(6) JUST GUYS DOIN’ STUFF. Ashe Armstrong answers the question “What is Orctober?” at Fantasy-Faction.

Orctober seeks, as you may have guessed by now, to celebrate the orc. With the Elder Scrolls and Warcraft blowing up like they have, thanks to World of Warcraft and Skyrim, orcs have started to be viewed differently. While there are still those who love the old vision of them, grimy and lanky and full of malice, many of us are embracing a changing view of them. Orcs can be just as varied as the other races. They’re no longer an Evil Race of Evil, or at least not just that. It even happened with the Forgotten Realms books, with Drizzt and the orc, Obould Many-Arrows. In Warcraft, you had Thrall and Durotan. The Elder Scrolls had Gortwog go-Nagorm, who sought to reclaim the lands of Orsinium and help his people find respect.

(7) IN LIVING 3-D. This is great! Walk through the Center for Bradbury Studies using My Matterport.

In the spring of 2007, IUPUI’s School of Liberal Arts created the nation’s first center for the study of Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)

(8) PERSONAL FANDOM STORIES WANTED. Joe Praska at The Continuing Voyage is looking for autobiographical contributions to their series “My Fandom. My Story.”

My Fandom. My Story. is a series on The Continuing Voyage that aims to share the stories of individuals; their fandoms, passions, identity, struggles and successes.  Maybe you have a passion for a certain science fiction franchise that’s helped shape your ideals as an adult, maybe your knitting hobby led you to find a sense of community, maybe your love for a specific book helps you feel a deeper connection to your family or your culture, or maybe your interest in science has shaped your career.  Whatever it is, we’d like to hear your story.

My Fandom. My Story hopes to bring to light personal stories that explore countless themes that may arise such as community, family, creativity, art, inspiration, identity, mindfulness, politics, social justice, and culture while of course exploring the fandoms and passions of the individuals writing.

(9) TRIVIAL TRIVIA

In the original and best The Wolf Man, Larry Talbot had been away 18 years working on Mt. Wilson Observatory in California.

(10) TRIVIALEST TRIVIA

Silent film actor Gibson Gowland appears in The Wolf Man as a villager present at the death of Larry Talbot. He also had been present during the Phantom’s death scene in the 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera (1925), becoming the only actor to appear in death scenes performed by both Lon Chaney and Lon Chaney Jr.

(11) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • October 1, 1957 The Brain From Planet Arous premiered on this day.
  • October 1, 1992 — The Cartoon Network started.

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRL

  • Born October 1, 1935 — Julie Andrews (whose best-known genre work is Mary Poppins.)

(13) COMPELLING SF. Publisher Joe Stech has released the 9th issue of Compelling Science Fiction. You can buy the issue from the Kindle store, or download the issue from Patreon in DRM-free mobi and epub format if you’re a subscriber. They also welcome readers to their new Facebook page — facebook.com/CompellingSF

(14) CHEERING FOR CHAOS. Camestros Felapton, in “Separatism, Spain, Catalonia, Russia, the Alt-Right & Chaos-Fascism”, tries to fathom the motives behind the latest political posturing.

I don’t know what Putin’s perspective is on Catalonia but I can guess by looking at more accessible proxy mouthpieces. Our least favourite science fiction publisher, Vox Day, is very much against the Spanish government’s actions and supportive of the Catalonian government. Likewise Julian Assange. The Alt-Right, in general, are treating events in Catalonia and the Spanish government’s heavy hand suppression of the voting as vague proof of something – it isn’t clear what they think it proves but their choosing of sides is clear: Madrid bad, Barcelona good. For once they aren’t on the side of militarised police beating the crap out of ordinary people. Why not? After all, in many ways, the current Spanish government is also nationalist and its application of force to quash dissent would, under other circumstances be cheered by the Alt-Right as strong government protecting national identity.

The answer is that there is always at least 50-50 chance which side of a cross-nationalist conflict they will pick but they will tend to pick the side that creates the biggest headache for trans-national cooperation. Putin wants Western Europe divided, both as payback and strategically and the alt-right follows suit. Everybody loses except chaos-fascism.

(15) BLATANT LIVING. Ethan Mills of Examined Worlds is ready to lament “The Death of Subtlety?” (if the answer turns out to be yes.)

The problem with our civilization is the death of subtlety.  Or – scratch that.  One of many problems with a lot of the culture of the United States in 2017 is that there is less subtlety than there maybe should be.

I continue to have – albeit with somewhat diminished enthusiasm as of late – hope that subtle questioning is on the whole a better method than bludgeoning people with the truth….

(16) IN ITS DNA. The Hugo Award Book Club argues that science fiction is, in some ways, a “more political form of literature” than other genres: “The Political Power Of Science Fiction”.

…You cannot write about imaginary futures and different worlds without showing how their societies are different than our own; how they are better and how they are worse. In this sense, as others have observed, science fiction is a medium of utopias and dystopias. And the determination of what makes a society dystopic or utopic is inherently about political values.

If you believe that all humans are really created equal, your utopia likely won’t include a caste system. If you believe that humans have a right to privacy, a government surveillance state will be depicted as a dystopia. If you believe that the world needs racial purity and genetically superior heroes to save us from corruption, you might write a fantasy about a man of high Númenórean blood who is destined to reclaim the Throne of Gondor.

These are all political beliefs.

Practical politics is about changing the world. Science fiction is about exploring worlds that have been changed. The two are intertwined.

This is what the Futurians and their critics at the first Worldcon all understood: By imagining utopias and dystopias, science fiction helps create blueprints that guide us towards, or away from, potential futures….

(17) TV TRIBUTE. Inverse has been eavesdropping: “Elon Musk Named ‘Moon Base Alpha’ After Grooviest Sci-Fi Show Ever”.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced Friday that his space exploration plans now include not just Mars but also the moon. Speaking at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, Musk revealed the company’s planned next-generation rocket will make it possible to build a moon base — and the name he picked is just his latest homage to beloved science fiction, in this case, the British cult classic Space: 1999….

Musk’s proposed name for the base is Moon Base Alpha, which is a reference to the 1970s British cult classic Space: 1999.

(18) THIS JOB IS NOT THAT #@%! EASY. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination shares episode 10 of its podcast Into the Imagination, “Pictures, Pastries, and the Matter of the Universe”.

Physics is cool–and sometimes very hard to understand. …We talk to Duncan Haldane, winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize, about quantum topology and why the Nobel committee brought a bagel, a pretzel, and a bun to the award ceremony to explain his ideas. And with the inimitable Sir Roger Penrose, we explore the visual imagination as it relates to science, the work of artist M.C. Escher, and what it has to do with Penrose’s cosmological theory of the universe.

(19) ESKRIDGE PREMIERE. On October 5, the film OtherLife, written by Clarion Workshop alum Kelley Eskridge, gets its North American premiere at the San Diego Film Festival. In the film, OtherLife is a new drug that creates virtual reality directly in the user’s mind–a technology with miraculous potential applications but also applied to dangerous uses, like imprisoning criminals in virtual cells.

Click this link for time and ticket information.

(20) YOU AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT A SOUND DOG. Warts and all, “The Voyager Golden Record Finally Finds An Earthly Audience” – from NPR.

Pescovitz approached his former graduate school professor — none other than Ferris, the Golden Record’s original producer — about the project, and Ferris gave his blessing, with one important caveat.

“You can’t release a record without remastering it,” says Ferris. “And you can’t remaster without locating the master.”

That turned out to be a taller order than expected. The original records were mastered in a CBS studio, which was later acquired by Sony — and the master tapes had descended into Sony’s vaults.

Pescovitz enlisted the company’s help in searching for the master tapes; in the meantime, he and Daly got to work acquiring the rights for the music and photographs that comprised the original. They also reached out to surviving musicians whose work had been featured on the record to update incomplete track information.

Finally, Pescovitz and Daly got word that one of Sony’s archivists had found the master tapes.

Pescovitz remembers the moment he, Daly and Ferris traveled to Sony’s Battery Studios in New York City to hear the tapes for the first time.

“They hit play, and the sounds of the Solomon Islands pan pipes and Bach and Chuck Berry and the blues washed over us,” Pescovitz says. “It was a very moving and sublime experience.”

(21) RED NOSES, GREEN LIGHT. Was this campaign meant to coincide with the clown consciousness-raising of Stephen King’s It? Or is it too funny for that to matter? From Adweek — “Audi Sends in the Clowns for This Madcap Ad About How to Avoid Them on the Road”.

A lot of car advertising treats the obstacles that drivers face on the road as literally faceless threats—an avalanche of rocks tumbling across a mountainside road, or a piece of cargo falling blamelessly off a pickup truck in the city.

But let’s face it. The real problem on the roads is the other drivers. Or, if you like, the clowns who share the streets with us…

As simple as it is, the concept also lends itself to brilliant visuals, as the Audi drivers have to deal with all sorts of clowns driving all sorts of clown cars (and buses). It’s all set to a whispering version of Sondheim’s “Send In the Clowns” by Faultline and Lisa Hannigan.

 

[Thanks to JJ, Joe Stech, Chip Hitchcock, Camestros Felapton,  Cat Eldridge, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jamoche.]

87 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/1/17 And Lockjaw The Teleporting Bulldog (Played By A Bunch Of Pixels)

  1. While I firmly oppose slating, I confess I find it less objectionable when it’s an award as pointless, useless, meaningless, and mismanaged as the Dragons, which have pretty much been a shining example of how-NOT-to run an award since day one.

    I mean, it’s not like I have any interest in who might win such a ridiculous, bungled competition.

  2. James Berardinelli reviews REALIVE, another SF film being released on VOD:

    Marc soon realizes that life for him in 2084 isn’t going to be what it was in 2014. Everyone he knew, including Naomi, is dead. He has no friends. He is out-of-touch with technology (like a device that can record and playback his memories). … As he confesses at one point, he never really thought he would ever be brought back. They cryogenics were there to give him hope at the end.

    I assume Realive is eventually destined to be shown on Syfy. If so, it will represent a radical upgrade from the network’s current fare.

  3. (12) It may be lesser known (than her role as Mary Poppins), but that doesn’t make it lesser: Julie Andrews was also the author of The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles (and apparently it wasn’t the only fantasy children’s book she wrote, though it’s the only one I read, because the only one my local library had when I was the right age)

  4. No to slates.
    Watch out. The means become the ends much more easily than one might think.

  5. My favorite part of Johnny Alucard was Orson Welles using vampires, some of whom do not appear in photographs, for special effects in a movie he’s making.

    I believe the next Anno Dracula book is going to be kaiju.

    The world will always welcome pixels as time scrolls by

  6. @Dana, yes, I read The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles, too. It was a serviceable children’s fantasy story. (I was a little old for it, but still enjoyed it.)

  7. @John A Arkansawyer
    I guess the question is how you feel about people voting for things they didn’t read. I have trouble seeing how any award benefits from from such voters.

  8. @Greg Hullender
    Two things make responsible voting difficult if you define it as having read or played or seen everything in a category. First, the period between the announcement of the nominees (this year it was on Aug 3rd, 2017) and the end of voting period (which was announced to be August 29th but was extended to September 1st) is very short. Second, there are 7 nominations for each category, obviously making it difficult in a such short time to cover all works in any given category, much less all 15. Given those two constraints, it seems clear to us that the Awards themselves are not set up to encourage people to read/see/play all the nominated works.

  9. @Greg Hullender: I don’t have to read a book to want it to win a popularity contest. (And I did nominate a book I hadn’t finished for a Hugo, but that’s not quite the same thing.)

  10. @redpanda —

    Two things make responsible voting difficult if you define it as having read or played or seen everything in a category.

    Even the Hugos do not expect every voter to have read every work in each category before voting. But they do quite specifically ask that voters not vote for any work they haven’t read.

    Given those two constraints, it seems clear to us that the Awards themselves are not set up to encourage people to read/see/play all the nominated works.

    See above. There’s a difference between not reading every work in a category and actively voting for an unread work.

  11. I have trouble seeing how any award benefits from from such voters.

    I don’t either, but I am entirely indifferent to the health of the Dragon Award, so I really can’t bring myself to care if people slate the award left, right, and sideways. I mean, I’m reasonably confident that if the Dragon Awards becomes dominated by a collection of competing slates that it will leach what little credibility the award has away, but since I could not care less about the award, this doesn’t bother me.

  12. Re: inherent badness of slates
    Didn’t the studios historically push slates of their own productions during the history of the Academy Awards? That hasn’t obviously reduced the prestige of the Oscars, nor obviously kept them from going to deserving works and performers.

  13. @Karl-Johan: A set of loosely-regulated fiefdoms is still an organisation, even if it happens to fly in loose formation. In my experience, it’s more like a disorganization; specifically, one can’t trust that any alleged overall policy will actually be followed by ll parts

  14. Recent reading:

    Provenance, by Anne Leckie. It made me very happy. She’s still playing with gender, but in a completely different way. I personally find using a novel pronoun (e/eir) for gender-variant people much less confusing than the singular they, which always makes me think the person in question is three raccoons in a trenchcoat. But I also find it amusing because the gender structure of the society doesn’t seem particularly important or story-relevant. The really *interesting* gender game in this book, IMHO, is the heroine’s personality. She freaks out, panics, and cries — but she also gets shit done. It’s a very rare personality type to be an active hero. Definitely on my Hugo long-list.

    A bunch of my fandom friends are actively talking about Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, so I finally got around to reading it. I can see how it would be quite refreshing if you read a lot of YA-ish fantasy. I thought it was … ok. I’ve ordered the sequel from the library, though.

    I was probably under-impressed by the Bardugo because I just finished buying and reading all of Melissa Scott & Lisa Barnett’s Astreiant novels. Like Crows, this takes place in an Amsterdam-like city plus magic. But Scott & Barnett’s world-building is so much more solid and *real*-feeling, it makes the Bardugo feel kind of thin by comparison. Do any of you know if Scott is planning to write more of these? I could buy one a year indefinitely.

    I also finished Stross’ Delirium Brief. I really hate it when a Lovecraftian satire starts to seem kind of realistic. It’s good, but I’m not sure it passes my 2017 Rule: No Fictional Dystopias I Get That from the News.

  15. Doctor Science on October 2, 2017 at 7:54 pm said:

    Recent reading:

    Provenance, by Anne Leckie. It made me very happy. She’s still playing with gender, but in a completely different way. I personally find using a novel pronoun (e/eir) for gender-variant people much less confusing than the singular they, which always makes me think the person in question is three raccoons in a trenchcoat.

    Only part way through an really enjoying it.

    I wasn’t so keen on “e” and “em” as pronouns, as to my ear they sound like ‘e (“he” with a dropped aitch) and ’em and now everyone in the book reads Cockney to me.

  16. Thanks for all your book sales comments – I always love it when people say what they think of them. Even for the ones I’ve read, by the time I’ve finished editing all the summaries to something moderately reasonable in length (a lot of them start out with two or three long paragraphs which would be excessive in a round-up) I haven’t got any brain left for writing anything about them, and of course I can’t for the ones I haven’t read. You’re all great. 🙂

    I was reading Fran Wilde’s Bone Universe trilogy, but the second one was mysteriously stressful so I’m taking a break at 30%ish in to read something else. Anything else. Possibly The Murders of Molly Southbourne.

    Lady Trent stuck the landing and also the last book had a very acceptable proportion of dragons. A+ would recommend, worth persisting after the weaker first book.

    Also, halfway through series 1 of The Good Place and enjoying it thoroughly.

  17. @Meredith —

    Lady Trent stuck the landing and also the last book had a very acceptable proportion of dragons. A+ would recommend, worth persisting after the weaker first book.

    Glad to hear it. Thanks for reporting back!

  18. @Meredith

    Cannot recommend Legends of Muirwood series by Jeff Wheeler

    The blatant religious overtones are very off-putting. The author says he drew from many religions, but I don’t see it. I see one religion. I don’t mind religion threaded through stories. Some of my favorite authors (Bujold, MW Turner, Pratchett) use religion as major themes or plot devices very effectively. This book felt preachy.

    One of the reasons: head evil being/spirit is a woman. And she recruits only women. Implication: Women are scary evil. I don’t need that kind of sexist shit layered on top of LDS BS.

    Also, there were logical inconsistencies and actions that didn’t make sense. I never warmed up to any of the characters so DNFed the second book after struggling through the first.

  19. Bill;

    Actually, it has reduced the prestige of the Oscars. There has been several articles about the haggling and negotiations around the awards and this has made it loose a bit of its luster. For many people (me included), The Oscars is not about good movies. It is about celebrities, following a standardized recipe, and making sure that people in line for an Oscar gets one without too long wait.

  20. With regards to Six of Crows, I found I had to do my standard headcanon for YA Fantasy books and think of every year as corresponding to 1.5 earth years. While becoming a total badass mafia boss, feared by everyone, at 18 seems like a long stretch, becoming one at 27 fits more than well.

    Will not read the sequel.

  21. @Hampus — Not to discount your own feelings, but it strikes me that the Oscars are the most highly regarded (and best known) award for and of the creative arts amongst the populace in general.

  22. Bill:

    I agree with you on the status of the award. But that doesn’t mean that the prestige can’t be tarnished by the haggling and the corresponding selections.

    It is a bit like the Nobel Peace Prize. It is the most prestigious peace award, but also an object of ridicule where people discuss what war criminal will be chosen the next year and argue about why Pol Pot never got the prize.

    Prestige does not have to correspond with good choices. Sometimes it is mostly about the fame of the people getting the award and the fame of the people watching the award. With regards to the Oscars, people are commenting the clothes of the visitors as much as the movies.

  23. @Doctor Science: I hadn’t realized there were more than two Astreiant novels; will have to look up the later ones, as I liked the first two (helped by the involvement with theater, another interest of mine). But my suspicion is there won’t be anywhere near 1 per year; a skim (of her blog, Amazon, etc.) suggests she has several other projects, including Stargate novelizations that probably pay much better than what look like small-press editions of Astreiant.

  24. @Ita

    Good to know. They come up in the sales section fairly regularly so I don’t always include them anyway (I try not to be too repetitive), but by the sounds of it they’ve probably overstayed their welcome.

  25. @Hampus I agree with you on the status of the award

    Do you not also agree that the award has in general gone to deserving movies and people? That if studio slating had not happened, it’s in no way clear that the awardees would be demonstrably better?

    I get it that some folks (lots of folks within the Hugo community) don’t like slates on principle. I just don’t think that it’s obvious that a slate-driven award must of necessity go to lesser works than a non-slate driven award.

  26. @Hampus Eckerman

    Popularity among individuals does not usual come in sets of 20.

    Esk company would like to have a word with you…

  27. @Bill, Hampus:

    I probably shouldn’t interject myself into an ongoing discussion like the exchange the two of you are having here, but I feel a few points regarding the Academy Awards and “slating” are appropriate at this point:

    Early on in the life of the AMPAS and their awards, it was routine for studios to buy memberships to the Academy for everyone from secretaries to publicists-along with instructions on how those memberships should be voted.

    Such policies led to quite a few odd results, both in nominations as well as winners. Did worthy work win? Of course, but you also got serious head scratchers. Norma Shearer beating out Greta Garbo as best Actress, for example. The practice largely ended with the breakup of the studio system.

    The early history of the Academy Awards shows that the larger studios tended to dominate the nominations, with various branches choosing to alleviate this by simply having studios submit their choices in certain categories in order for the smaller studios to at least get some consideration.

    One rather odd bloc vote led to a change in voting rules-for a number of years, film extras were permitted to vote and this resulted in Walter Brennan winning three Supporting Actor Oscars, because he started out as an extra and the extras liked voting for him because he was one of them. Brennan arguably won two of them for lesser performances, beating two more worthy candidates (Basil Rathbone in 1936 and John Garfield in 1938) through bloc voting.

    Bloc voting may not, of necessity, lead to lesser work winning, but it’s still an unreasonable advantage which should not be encouraged.

  28. “Do you not also agree that the award has in general gone to deserving movies and people?”

    More like hit and miss. I mean, Platoon as the best movie? Braveheart? Give me a break.

  29. @Meredith:

    Braveheart likely won for the same reason Gladiator and Ben Hur won-it’s a sprawling epic, with lots of scenes which show up splendidly onscreen and generate a lot of enthusiasm in the various technical disciplines whose memberships make up a large percentage of the Academy’s membership. For me, it came in fifth, as I would have preferred any one of the other four films, particularly Sense and Sensibility.

  30. For me, the biggest Oscar injustice was when Titanic won Best Picture over L.A. Confidential. Or over The Full Monty, for that matter.

  31. hi all, just to be clear, I don’t want to defend slating as some great principle – and we understand y’all’s general objections to the practice. One person asks are we “slaters” or “recommenders” and what will our process be in the future? The answer is that it is unlikely that we’ll promote a Dragon Award slate again, though we will probably continue to organize as Red Pandas in the context of geek culture more broadly. I personally think there is currently a need for a left geek “scene” whatever that looks like.

    As I said in the original post., we have no history of voting for the Hugos and we certainly have no intention to run a Hugo slate.
    The only reason we published a rec list/slate (with the proviso, here’s what we recommend, but vote for what you love) was that we just didn’t know what would happen. Seeing all the right wing online activity, we had no idea how many people might be voting and thought it could easily wind up being a repeat of 2016. When it appeared that non-Dragon Con anti-puppy people and non-Puppy authors were going to boycott the award, it increased our anxiety because it would further drive the association between the puppies and Dragon Con that we were trying to combat. That is also part of why we wanted to make it very clear that yes, indeed, people who are on the left, who are feminists, and anti-racists really do go to this convention and we reject any effort, inside the convention or out, to claim Dragon Con for reactionary and alt-right politics.

    That the outcome did not come out that way was a real relief, but it doesn’t mean that the process isn’t still broken. On the authors pulling out – we don’t begrudge them for doing it. The way the Dragon Awards treated nominated (non-puppy) authors was rude.

    A final word on what we understood to have been the rules or process in relation to slating for the Dragon Awards. . A couple of people above refer to creating slates as “cheating” or “hijacking” – but based on Dragon Con’s own behavior it seemed like this was just how the Dragon Award game was being played. The awards organizers had gone onto the website owned by the person who ran SP1 and solicited nominations directly. This year, at least two public organizers of slates attended the the convention as official guests (Declan Finn and Marina Fontaine http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=past_guests) .

    We don’t think that’s great, and from the POV of anything that has to do with literature, of course the whole thing is ridiculous. It was always about politics and never about anything else. As many people on this blog have already said, if they want to know what is popular with people, they can just look at Goodreads or Amazon. That doesn’t seem to have been the goal with this award in the first place.

    .

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