Pixel Scroll 10/11/17 A Scrolling, OverCommenting, Tin-Pixeled Fifth-tator With Delusions Of Godstalkhood

(1) WHAT DID HE SAY? Scott Edelman hopes you will eavesdrop on his breakfast with the award-winning Chen Qiufan in Episode 49 of Eating the Fantastic.

Chen Qiufan

Chen Qiufan has published more thirty stories in venues such as Science Fiction World, Esquire, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Interzone, and F&SF. His 2013 debut novel, The Waste Tide, was praised by Liu Cixin as “the pinnacle of near-future SF writing.” He’s the most widely translated young writer of science fiction in China. He has won Taiwan’s Dragon Fantasy Award, China’s Galaxy and Nebula Awards, and a Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award with Ken Liu.

We discussed why his favorite character from all of science fiction is Mr. Spock, what kept him going during the seven years between the sales of his first and second stories, the reasons H. G. Wells is a genius, why he believes science fiction is the greatest realism, the differences in reading protocols between Chinese and non-Chinese readers, why he hopes his own upcoming science fiction movie will defy his prediction there’ll be many bad SF movies to come in Chinese cinema, and more.

(2) SPACE AGING. Every TV viewer has heard about the problems of overweight – it turns out being weightless isn’t good for your health, either. The Brisbane Times has the story: “Astronaut Scott Kelly on the devastating effects of a year in space”.

I make it to my bedroom without incident and close the door behind me. Every part of my body hurts. All my joints and all of my muscles are protesting the crushing pressure of gravity. I’m also nauseated, though I haven’t thrown up. I strip off my clothes and get into bed, relishing the feeling of sheets, the light pressure of the blanket over me, the fluff of the pillow under my head.

All these are things I’ve missed dearly for the past year. I can hear the happy chatter of my family behind the door, voices I haven’t heard for a long time without the distortion of phones bouncing signals off satellites. I drift off to sleep to the comforting sound of their talking and laughing.

A crack of light wakes me: Is it morning? No, it’s just Amiko coming to bed. I’ve only been asleep for a couple of hours but I feel delirious. It’s a struggle to come to consciousness enough to move, to tell her how awful I feel. I’m seriously nauseated now, feverish, and my pain has gotten worse. This isn’t like how I felt after my last mission. This is much, much worse.

Kelly’s article ends with a comment about prospects for an interplanetary mission.

…I also know that if we want to go to Mars, it will be very, very difficult, it will cost a great deal of money and it may likely cost human lives. But I know now that if we decide to do it, we can.

(3) INDIES ADMITTED. SFWA President Cat Rambo, in “SFWA and Independent Writers, Part Three: Launches and Lurches”, continues her four-part series about the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s decision to admit independently published writers.

Some statistics for the number-minded:

  • We admitted twelve new members in that first wave, and there’s been a steady influx since. At the same time, existing members that had independent published experience felt more empowered to step forward and share their knowledge.
  • According to the recent membership survey, 14.10% of the current membership identifies as indie, with another 37.57% considering themselves hybrid.
  • Only a small percentage (less than 5%) derives more than 50% of their income from crowdfunding.

All My Expectations of Indie SFWA Members Confirmed As I and others had argued repeatedly, the change did not result in an influx of unqualified, affluent hobbyists trying to buy their way into SFWA, and we could, finally, put that particular straw man to rest and play taps while other straw folk were being assembled in the background.

As you can see by the numbers, it wasn’t a massive surge, but a solid number. For some people it was part of a lifelong dream. For others, it was a cautious exploration of just what SFWA had to offer them. More than anything else, these were pragmatic, working writers. In a thread on the discussion boards, people began to share their sales number in a revelatory and instructive way that emphasized what a smart move for SFWA this had been. I still insist one of the smartest moves that happened during my time with the board.

The balance of the post discusses specific ways that indie members benefit from SFWA membership. It ends with hints about a forthcoming awards-oriented project….

Next time, in Part Four (the final one) — what does the future hold in store? Includes talking about data from the recent SFWA member survey as well as revelation of at least one cool project designed to help people reading novels for all yearly awards, including the Nebulas, Hugos, Dragon, World Fantasy, among others. *cue mysterious music and exit*

(4) LIBRARIES ENJOY COPYRIGHT EXCEPTION. The Internet Archive reports “Books from 1923 to 1941 Now Liberated!”

The Internet Archive is now leveraging a little known, and perhaps never used, provision of US copyright law, Section 108h, which allows libraries to scan and make available materials published 1923 to 1941 if they are not being actively sold….

If the Founding Fathers had their way, almost all works from the 20th century would be public domain by now (14-year copyright term, renewable once if you took extra actions).

Some corporations saw adding works to the public domain to be a problem, and when Sonny Bono got elected to the House of Representatives, representing part of Los Angeles, he helped push through a law extending copyright’s duration another 20 years to keep things locked-up back to 1923.  This has been called the Mickey Mouse Protection Act due to one of the motivators behind the law, but it was also a result of Europe extending copyright terms an additional twenty years first. If not for this law, works from 1923 and beyond would have been in the public domain decades ago….

But there is an exemption from this extension of copyright, but only for libraries and only for works that are not actively for sale — we can scan them and make them available. Professor Townsend Gard had two legal interns work with the Internet Archive last summer to find how we can automate finding appropriate scanned books that could be liberated, and hand-vetted the first books for the collection. Professor Townsend Gard has just released an in-depth paper giving libraries guidance as to how to implement Section 108(h) based on her work with the Archive and other libraries. Together, we have called them “Last Twenty” Collections, as libraries and archives can copy and distribute to the general public qualified works in the last twenty years of their copyright….

(5) FROM PAGE TO SCREEN. Paste Magazine listed “The 25 Best Comic Book TV Shows of All Time (Live-Action)” – how do their picks line up with yours?

The trend shows no signs of slowing—we count at least 20 shows from DC and Marvel alone, including such ambitious projects as a Damon Lindelof-helmed Watchmen on HBO, the long-awaited Y: The Last Man series on FX, The Punisher spinoff on Netflix and Hulu’s Runaways, whose pilot screening hooked me enough to at least keep watching. This list may look a lot different in a few years.

Number six is the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman series of the Sixties.

(6) LACE OBIT. The SFWA Blog reports the organization’s former secretary (2002-2003) ElizaBeth A. Gilligan (Lace) died October 9 after a battle with cancer.

Gilligan published her first short story, Evolution,” in 1990 and began writing as a columnist for Midnight Zoo in 1991.

Subsequent short stories appeared in Witch FantasticSword and SorceressBlack Gate, and other anthologies.  Her story “Iron Joan” made the Nebula preliminary ballot in 2002.  Gilligan’s Silken Magic trilogy was published by DAW Books, with the first volume, Magic’s Silken Snare, appearing in 2003 and the second volume The Silken Shroud showing up the next year.

The final volume, Sovereign Silk, was delayed until earlier this year due to chronic illness.  She edited the anthology Alterna-Teas in 2016….

SFWA President Cat Rambo said, “I had the pleasure with working with Beth as a volunteer the past couple of years and got a chance to interact with her in person at the Spokane Worldcon. This year has had a lot of losses; this one hits particularly hard.”

Locus Online says she is survived by her husband Douglas (married 1982), their two children, and two grandchildren.

Tom Whitmore, one of the fans who forwarded the story, added “She was a remarkably nice person, and a really good panelist at the cons I saw her at.”

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • October 11, 1984 — Space Shuttle astronaut, Kathy Sullivan, became the first American woman to walk in space.

(8) COMICS SECTION.

John King Tarpinian selected this one for Filers who are not fans of Twilight The Argyle Sweater.

(9) ICONOCLASTIC INFUNDIBULUM. It’s said: “You can pick your friends. You can pick your nose. But you can’t pick your friends’ noses.” John Scalzi disagrees —

(10) A COMING ATTRACTION. Disney theme parks will be offering a pioneer VR adventure, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire – ILMxLAB and The VOID – Immersive Entertainment Experience

A galaxy far, far away needs your help. In teams of four, be transported with family and friends in a brand new hyper-reality experience from Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID. Under the orders of the budding rebellion, your team will travel to the molten planet of Mustafar. Your mission is to recover Imperial intelligence vital to the rebellion’s survival. Alongside the pragmatic droid K-2S0, your team must navigate through an enemy facility walking into danger at every turn. Disguised as stormtroopers, grab your blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to fulfill your team’s orders. Pushing the boundaries of location-based virtual reality, The VOID and ILMxLAB bring the Star Wars universe to life through a multi-sensory, untethered story. See Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire only on location at Disney Springs in Orlando, FL, and Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA – coming this winter.

 

(11) OPEN AND CLOSED. David Steffen’s SFWA Market Report for October tells the changing status of many sff magazines and publishing projects.

(12) WHAT’S THE MATTER? New Scientist says “Half the universe’s missing matter has just been finally found”.

The missing links between galaxies have finally been found. This is the first detection of the roughly half of the normal matter in our universe – protons, neutrons and electrons – unaccounted for by previous observations of stars, galaxies and other bright objects in space.

You have probably heard about the hunt for dark matter, a mysterious substance thought to permeate the universe, the effects of which we can see through its gravitational pull. But our models of the universe also say there should be about twice as much ordinary matter out there, compared with what we have observed so far.

Two separate teams found the missing matter – made of particles called baryons rather than dark matter – linking galaxies together through filaments of hot, diffuse gas.

(13) MONEY ROLLS IN FOR ALTHERO. “AltHero raises $100k to fight social justice in comics,” says the subject line of an emailed press release, which sounds about right.

Vox Day’s crowdsourced appeal on the Freestartr platform to fund his new comics line has raised $102,156.00 from 1,133 backers, more than 4 times its original $25,000 goal. The appeal runs for another 18 days.

After reaching its initial funding goal in only four hours, a new right-wing comic series, Alt*Hero, exceeded the rare $100,000 mark in just 12 days, with more than 1,000 backers signing on to help the alternative comic wage cultural war on the social justice-converged comic duopoly of Marvel and DC Comics. It is being written by prolific Marvel and DC Comics veteran writer Chuck Dixon and six-time Hugo Award Finalist Vox Day.

The press release makes a point of quoting derogatory remarks about the appeal to motivate donations from culture warriors on the right.

…The reaction to the announcement of Alt*Hero was decidedly mixed. While support has been strong on the right side of the ideological spectrum, left-wing comics fans denounced the new comic on Twitter and other social media platforms. “As awful as you’d expect,” reported LGBTQ Nation. “Vox Day is literally to the right of Genghis Khan, with two feet planted firmly in the Reichstag… the type of punk-ass feeb whose jaw Batman was born to break,” declared Jason Yungbluth, a cartoonist for MAD Magazine.

(14) MEANWHILE, BACK IN SJW LAND. No money in it, but some good laughs for those of you who enjoy stories of mistaken SJW credential identity.

(15) MILEHICON. The 49th annual MileHiCon takes place at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center from October 27-29. More than 100 science fiction/fantasy/horror authors, artists and other speakers will participate. MileHiCon’s guests of honor include authors Eric Flint, Jane Lindskold, and artist Carrie Ann Baade. Local author Jason Heller will preside as toastmaster.

  • The largest SF/fantasy art show and auction in Colorado
  • Round-the-clock gaming
  • Vendors room full of science fiction, fantasy and horror-related items
  • CosPlay (costume) contest
  • Critter Crunch (robotic sumo wrestling)
  • Mass author autograph session with over 60 authors participating (no extra fees)
  • Literacy Auction with hundreds of donated items. All proceeds donated to a Denver based charity literacy program.
  • During the weekend over 200 different programs will be offered on subjects ranging from Writing * Publishing * Artist demonstrations * Hands-on Workshops * Science presentations * Autograph sessions * Kids’ programming * Costuming * Gaming * and much more!

A three-day membership will be $48 at the door. Full weekend memberships can also be purchased in advance at https://milehicon49.planningpod.com/.

(16) TAG TEAM ROBOTS. Pacific Rim Uprising trailer. In theaters March 23.

(17) MOUNT TBR CALLING. Broaden your horizons: “The great writers forgotten by history” at the BBC is a discussion of The Book of Forgotten Authors, by sometime-genre author Christopher Fowler.

What do Agatha Christie’s favourite mystery novelist, the winner of the 1973 Booker Prize, and a writer who reputedly bashed out 100 million words, creating an archetypal schoolboy antihero along the way, have in common?

The answer will cause even the most successful author’s ego to wilt a little. Despite enjoying ample sales and plentiful esteem in their lifetimes, the names of this formerly starry trio – Elizabeth Daly, JG Farrell, and Billy-Bunter-creator Charles Hamilton (pen name Frank Richards) – are today largely unknown, their works under-read or out of print altogether. Now, they’re among the figures filling a thought-provoking new guide, The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler.

(18) BEFORE ALAN TURING. The BBC celebrated Ada Lovelace Day (October 10) with a look at “The female code-breakers who were left out of history books”.

According to some of the researchers and writers who have revealed these stories, along with setting the record straight, there is an opportunity to encourage the technically gifted women of today.

Fagone points to the controversial discussions of whether women can equal men in certain fields, such as mathematics or computer programming.

“There are all these debates – is there a biological difference?” he says.

“We don’t need to have that debate because we have the history – when you go to the history, women have been there, they’ve been doing this work all along.”

(19) TEST YOUR BUDS. Identify the flavor and you have a chance to win big money.

OREO has launched a brand new cookie with an exciting twist that will put its fans taste buds to the ultimate test.

Cookie lovers across the U.S. who correctly guess the flavor of the new Mystery OREO Cookies can enter for a chance to win $50,000.

John King Tarpinian’s guess is, “Broccoli!”

(20) ELECTRIC DREAMS TRAILER. Amazon Video is bringing out a 10-episode series, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams.

[Thanks to Hampus Eckerman, Dave Doering, Carl Slaughter, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Alan Baumler, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Rambo, Tom Whitmore, Joel Zakem, Chip Hitchcock, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

66 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/11/17 A Scrolling, OverCommenting, Tin-Pixeled Fifth-tator With Delusions Of Godstalkhood

  1. (19) My guess is “no thanks” – those mystery flavours are uniformly awful. Also I’ve been burned by dodgy oreo flavourings in the past anyway.

    (1) I think you may have typo’d Chen Qiufan’s name a little there, Mike 🙂

  2. Oneiros: Yes, now that you point it out…. Appertain yourself your favorite beverage!

  3. Way ahead of you – one iced green sencha is on its way (it’s the middle of my work day, I probably shouldn’t be reading this site 🙂 benefits of being your own boss?)

  4. 14) I cant have much sympathy for a guy who can’t tell his cat apart from another. From it’s expression, I’d say his cat agrees.

  5. (3) Good to hear, and even more that it seems to have benefited the membership as a whole. Far too many organisations and movements run on artificially exclusionary lines, benefiting no-one but the egos of a few gatekeepers.

    (4) Good to hear, though it gives a nice summation of the monster that modern copyright law has become as well.

    (9) I first saw the tweet, noted Harlan’s name, and thought it’d have been much more fun if Scazli tried to pick Harlan Ellison’s nose.

    (12) Heavy!

    (13) The best that can be said about this is that the comics is likely to be crap, and he’s not pissing in our part of the house anymore.

    (18) Seems that as soon as you go to the primary sources in history, you always will find plenty of women, even in places you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

  6. 20: Video not available in the UK, probably because we’re up to number 4 of the series on Channel 4. Not bad so far.

  7. (13) I’m constantly surprised at how much money some of his followers are willing to piss away on ridiculous enterprises that they must surely know are going to flop, or at least not perform anywhere near to the level needed to destroy those pesky phantom SJWs that live rent-free in Teddy’s head.

  8. Rose Embolism: 14) I cant have much sympathy for a guy who can’t tell his cat apart from another. From it’s expression, I’d say his cat agrees.

    If you click on the tweet, you can read the whole thread, in which he reveals that his buddy took the cat to the vet because it was acting stressed and not like its usual self, and the vet prescribed anti-anxiety medicine and confining it to his bedroom for 5 days, to recover from the stress.

    And the real owner’s response is priceless.

    A bunch of other people have added their mistaken credential stories, too.

  9. 20) As Anthony says, we’re already nearly half way through this one in the UK. Overall: solid, respectful adaptations of Dick stories, well-produced, though occasionally the budget constraints show, a bit – as with the couple of dozen extras trying to be a riot in the first one. (The best one, to date, was the one that used contemporary locations with very few visible SFX bits. And it had Timothy Spall in the lead role, which certainly didn’t hurt! – There are some serious actors in this thing.)

    I get a little bit restive about it, sometimes, because it’s based on short stories that are not always long enough to justify a time slot that’s over an hour long. The episodes feel slow-paced. That’s not necessarily bad in itself – there’s room for a lot of atmosphere-building, for instance – but it does mean the story can get stretched a bit thin.

    Overall, though, it’s been well worth watching so far, and I’m expecting it to stay that way.

  10. 13) Actually, Chuck Dixon is a pretty good comics writer (written a fair number of Batman family stories including long runs on Robin (Tim Drake), Nightwing, Birds of Prety, etc.). I’m sorry he’s working with Day.

    19) I’m going ahead and calling in “crunchy frog” on the mystery flavor.

  11. 13) I’m sure it will be every bit as successful as Teddy’s other projects.

    Chuck Dixon’s an odd one. I remember back in the 1980s he was published by the somewhat hippyish Eclipse Comics and would robustly defend himself from right wing readers horrified that his stories sometimes suggested that the US government might prop up human rights abusing but anti-communist disctators to the point that the communist rebels were the good guys.
    He seems to have flipped to Alt-Wrong in the last few years though.

  12. 13) I wonder whether AltHero wearing an EU flag as an uniform is some obscure stratagem, or a sly bit of subversion from the artist against the writer.

  13. I’ve told this story in a few other places, but don’t think I’ve told it here:

    Back in the early 80’s, our alpha cat was a big grey fluffy male who had been a stray around our first house. (Walked up and introduced himself: “Hey, you! Wanna house and feed the World’s Best Cat? Here I am.”) We usually try to keep our cats as indoor-only, but having lived on the street for a while, he insisted on occasional outdoor strolls.

    We’d had him a few years, and had moved to a different neighborhood and house. One Sunday morning, as I was driving Hilde and our young son Chris to church, about a block away Hilde and I saw… a large grey fluffy cat, lying dead in the street with his head badly crushed.

    Hilde and I exchanged looks as we drove slowly by, but didn’t want to upset Chris before church. So I drove them to church, then came back, retrieved the body, took it home, and buried it in the back yard, with a lot of tears. (He may not have been THE World’s Best Cat, but he was a contender.)

    After Hilde and Chris got back home, we broke the news to Chris. More tears, more sadness.

    We felt down all day, but had some out-of-town friends scheduled to visit that evening, so we bucked up and tried to put a good face for the visit, not mentioning the loss.

    After dinner and chat, we took our visitors out on the back porch to see the hot tub we’d recently purchased. After a few moments, one of the visitors looked down into the shadows by the hot tub and said, “Oh, did one of your cats slip out with us?”

    We looked down and saw… a large grey fluffy male cat. The same one we’d believed dead all day. The cat looked back up and meowed. (“Where’s my food?”)

    We, of course, were overjoyed to see him so unexpectedly alive. Hugs and pets ensued. (Cat: “Whatever. Food?”) Then I realized…

    …I had buried someone else’s cat.

    Never found out where the dead lookalike cat had come from. Even now, decades later, I feel a bit guilty that somewhere a family’s cat disappeared and never came back, and they never found out what had happened to it.

    But the punchline to our cat returning from the dead?

    Our cat was named Aslan.

  14. Not usually a sports follower, but heard Roger Bennett of NBC Sports commenting on NPR that the US team’s failure to qualify for soccer’s World Cup after a spectacularly awful loss to Trinidad & Tobago was “US soccer’s Red Wedding”. He also said the US team played like “an army of the dead”.

    Article & audio available here.

  15. I wonder whether AltHero wearing an EU flag as an uniform is some obscure stratagem, or a sly bit of subversion from the artist against the writer.

    I’m guessing he’s a villain, since he appears to be fighting on the side of “Antifa” (or at least what appear to be the Alt-Right caricature of Antifa).

  16. 4. They used the internet archive…a site rife with pirated works?

    9. I suppose that there are many folks who go for rhinoplasty who have friends and family help them pick their nose….

  17. I wonder whether AltHero wearing an EU flag as an uniform is some obscure stratagem, or a sly bit of subversion from the artist against the writer.

    I’m guessing he’s a villain, since he appears to be fighting on the side of “Antifa” (or at least what appear to be the Alt-Right caricature of Antifa).

    Prediction: His name is “False Flag”

  18. @Matthew Johnson: Prediction: “False Flag” will have turned out to be a much better name than the one they actually end up using.

  19. @2: as a 64-year-old who has dealt with a few slow-healing annoyances (nothing like the acute conditions that several Filers have been reporting) and who lives in a sports-mad city, I was struck by the fact that Kelly is 53 years old; by that age, even relatively fit people tend to recover more slowly. (Living on the ISS isn’t anything like playing football — but it’s continued stress rather than something with pauses and half-year recovery times.) I wonder whether a Mars mission will work better if the crew is selected at least partly for youth/fitness, and not primarily for heaped-up credentials and years of planning (as seems to be the case for Shuttle and ISS astronauts).
    Older SF has a fair number of stories about this problem, but ISTM that they’ve faded — current authors may feel the possibilities have been exhausted or may be assuming (or making explicit) that space habitats, even long-distance ships, will be big enough to spin living quarters for fake gravity. I’d love to live long enough to see whether such spin has its own problems.

    @Oneiros:

    (13) I’m constantly surprised at how much money some of his followers are willing to piss away on ridiculous enterprises that they must surely know are going to flop,

    You’re assuming a degree of willingness to deal with facts that this segment has not shown; consider how many people are still supporting Trump despite his record of not-accomplishment, believing his various outright lies (e.g., crowd at inaugural, relative taxation) and saying “Just wait ’til [his] next move — he’ll show everyone!”

  20. Aaron on October 12, 2017 at 5:54 am said:

    I’m guessing he’s a villain, since he appears to be fighting on the side of “Antifa” (or at least what appear to be the Alt-Right caricature of Antifa).

    Nevermind all that, can’t we just admire the quality of the art?

  21. 4) “but it was also a result of Europe extending copyright terms an additional twenty years first” – I doubt this is entirely true, given how aggressively the US pressures other nations to adopt more stringent copyright laws than even its own. (Interference from the US government and US companies is a common theme when we table our own copyright reform ideas; iirc there were even threats of altering trade deals last time–using economic pressure to coerce other countries into stricter policies followed by them making “hey look, they are strict there, why are we protecting our economic interests less than them? Do we want to fall behind?” arguments at home is de rigeur for US lawmakers in these matters.)

    5) Lots of good shows on this list, but I don’t agree with the order at all. Agent Carter had admirable goals, but everything about the execution of that show was almost embarrassingly godawful. Wynnona Earp as well. I have a friend who is involved in that show, and I wish her all the best, but I couldn’t even make it through the pilot. I’m not sure if I’d put Jessica Jones or Legion in the number one spot, but it would definitely be one of those. And The Flash is fun, but it’s so-bad-it’s-good fun, it’s not actually a good show (ditto Arrow, for the most part, though I love it anyway). Luke Cage also deserves to be significantly higher. I’m pretty happy w/ the placement of Lucifer; it’s better than the Arrowverse shows, but doesn’t have the same heft as the F/X and Netflix stuff. I’m okay w/ the ’60s Batman show being where it is. It was a clever way of addressing the material with the limitations of the period, and it worked really well. A few I haven’t seen, though, so some things to look out for.

    13) Ugh. Gross.

    16) Will watch, despite feeling that the original was just fine as a standalone and was not in any way in need of a sequel.

    17) Interesting!

    20) I’ve seen the first episode and quite liked it.

  22. Re: 14) Mistaken feline identity.

    A few decades back, I was doing the pickup-from-vet/boarding as a favor for a friend. At the reception desk, I gave their name, and to help with the ID, said, “FYI, it’s a three-legged cat.”
    When presented with cat-in-carrier, I did a double-check — I knew the cat — and responded, “This is the wrong three-legged cat.” (They did go back and fetch the correct one, so all ended well.)

  23. 4) American copyright rules are out of step with the rest of the world anyhow, the EU having an extra 20 years or not.
    Pretty much everywhere else is based on Author’s death+50 or +70 years, the publication date really not entering into it.

    The US concept of 1923 being a magic year means that there are out of copyright works from authors who died in the last 20 years , and Gutenberg even has works from still living authors.

    Personally I don’t much like death+70. Obviously, if I write a great work and then pop my clogs then I expect my child to benefit, but I don’t really see why my grandchildren should never have to work.

  24. It seems to me that reasonable compromise is for copyright to be eternal but since writers are not themselves immortal the rights should be permanently vested in whichever major corporation published the work. Obvs if an author self-publishes, they are effectively stealing from their betters, and harsh penalties would apply.

  25. 12) Now we know the real Reason, Dark Matter was cancelled.

    13) Shows again that VD knows how to Rally. But establishing a comic series that people will buy for a longer period of time is much more difficult and will need more than a captain America ripoff.

  26. Proving that dogs, too, can be legitimate SJW credentials:
    Italian woman granted sick pay to look after ill dog

    The dog is not, sadly, an Italian greyhound.

    (4) Good.

    (12) Dark, regular, geeze, what’s going on? Why to we keep losing large portions of the universe’s matter?

    (14) So, does he now have two credentials, or has the person to whom the other credential was properly issued been found?

    (19) I never win contests. I always lose. This would be an opportunity to lose twice, because “mystery ingredients” are all too likely to be something “everyone loves” that, in fact, reliably makes me ill. They can taste their own damned mystery cookies.

  27. Meredith moment: The first two Dark Tower books (Gunslinger & Drawing of the Three) are currently $2.99 on Amazon.

  28. @ Lis Carey re: 120

    Clearly somewhere out there is a very large sofa. Now, if we could only locate it and look behind it, or maybe under the cushions. . . .

  29. Mistaken identity – From lessons learned in a roleplaying campaign many years ago:
    Never assume that the Evil Wizard intent on taking over the World that you have just found is the one you have been hired to deal with.

  30. (4) @August: Sadly, the idea of author’s lifetime + 70 years originated in the EU, more specifically Germany, and even more specifically the state of Bavaria.

    Specifically, the state of Bavaria claimed (or was given) the copyright for a work of some small infamy, namely “Mein Kampf”. When 1995 approached, the idea took hold to extend copyright to continue to block the publication of the work in Germany or the rest of Europe.

    (Personally, I consider author’s life + 20 years to be about the maximum sensible copyright. Except if the copyright is claimed by a corporation. Then I believe it should be a flat 20 years from publication.)

  31. Reelviews.net assesses “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women”:

    Overall, I enjoyed Professor Marston & the Wonder Women for its prurient and intellectual elements. It’s a fun film that breezes by and, despite any liberties it takes with history, offers a valuable look at Wonder Woman’s real origin story. For adults with curiosity, this makes for an offbeat companion piece to the big-budget blockbuster.

  32. Well, it’s been 2 months since Worldcon, and there’s still no video of the Hugo Awards ceremony. I’ve come to the conclusion that the video didn’t actually happen, and they don’t know how to break the news, so they’re just not saying anything.

    It makes me really glad that I managed to chase down the Chinese livefeed and got to see most of it at the time. And it’s a shame, because I’m sure that people would have videoed it if they had not been told that an official video was being made. 🙁

  33. Well, it’s been 2 months since Worldcon, and there’s still no video of the Hugo Awards ceremony. I’ve come to the conclusion that the video didn’t actually happen, and they don’t know how to break the news, so they’re just not saying anything.

    It could be worse than that–maybe the Worldcon didn’t happen? Memory implants of science fiction events sounds exactly like something that “they” would do!

  34. @Darren

    Now, now, I was really incepted…incepted enough to remember going to Helsinki, breaking my phone, having all my photos of Hugo day and night turn out blurry…

    …it’d be PKD levels of inception to make all that happen! 🙂

  35. steve davidson on October 12, 2017 at 6:06 am said:

    4. They used the internet archive…a site rife with pirated works?

    Rife? If you know of any pirated works there, let them know. They are a registered non-profit, licensed as a proper library, affiliated with the Smithsonian, with professional curators. They take such claims seriously.

    If there’s anyone better suited to the task, I can’t imagine who it would be.

  36. Karl-Johan Norén on October 12, 2017 at 1:28 pm said:
    (4) @August: Sadly, the idea of author’s lifetime + 70 years originated in the EU, more specifically Germany, and even more specifically the state of Bavaria.

    Specifically, the state of Bavaria claimed (or was given) the copyright for a work of some small infamy, namely “Mein Kampf”. When 1995 approached, the idea took hold to extend copyright to continue to block the publication of the work in Germany or the rest of Europe.

    (Personally, I consider author’s life + 20 years to be about the maximum sensible copyright. Except if the copyright is claimed by a corporation. Then I believe it should be a flat 20 years from publication.)

    The copyright extension for “Mickey Mouse” is so bogus. I get that the Disney company wants to protect its iconic figures. I think copyright is the wrong mechanism for that. It should be handled under trademark law, or some other way to let corporations, which in fact keep investing in those things, to keep people from stealing Mickey or Minnie or …

    Copyright as we traditionally think about it should be author’s life +35 years, to give the heirs plenty of time to cash in if a creator doesn’t become famous until they die. If really cool commercial properties result, see the above newer mechanism for that. So forex, Harry Potter books are copyright until 35 years after JK Rowling shuffles off to heaven, but Universal Studios owns commercial rights to the theme park stuff, and the movie makers have protection for the movies separate and distinct from what the book copyrights are.

    Yeah, in today’s world, this gets complicated.

    BTW, couldn’t Bavaria/Germany passed a special law protecting Mein Kampf using some other mechanism than copyright?

  37. I never liked the idea to use copyright to keep <em Mein Kampf out of circulation, especially since it was also used to block annotated scholarly editions, forcing historians to either resort to vintage copies or pirated editions from Neo-Nazi websites.

    Coincidentally, the copyright of Mein Kampf ran out in 2015, the book was republished in Germany, even briefly hit the non-fiction bestseller list, because a lot of people were curious, and somehow the world kept on turning anyway.

  38. (17)–I’d like to read this one but I doubt my library will get it. But who knows. I’ll have to write it down somewhere so I can check later. But I’d like to see the list of authors just to have someone new to read. Elizabeth Daly sounds promising. But not the Victorians–tastes have changed. As Young People Read Old SF so loudly shows.

    I did take some issue with Patrick Dennis being mentioned, as “Around the World with Auntie Mame” was re-issued with a chapter in Soviet Russia put back in. And a biography. But I guess it’s true that he was big and then just faded out. Maybe because his last couple of books just didn’t have the flair the others did. Maybe he was getting tired of writing them.
    I still think some of them would be good translated into film or tv.

  39. @Russell Letson–

    Clearly somewhere out there is a very large sofa. Now, if we could only locate it and look behind it, or maybe under the cushions. . . .

    My very own canine SJW credential, Dora the Chinese Crested Dog, wishes to know more about this sofa, and why she wasn’t informed of its existence previously.

  40. My preference would be to have the copyright term be lifetime *or* seventy years, whichever is greater. That would still allow older writers to pass on a legacy to their children, but would leave us with a reasonable expectation that works could enter the public domain while people still remember they exist.
    —-
    Regarding that “missing matter” thing, the headline seems a bit misleading. They didn’t find half the missing matter–they found the missing half of the matter. The way its phrased sounds like there’s more missing (baryonic) matter still to find, but the article suggests the opposite.

  41. Techgrrl1972: AFAICT, Disney wants to protect not just the characters but all works containing them — and works AFAIK can’t be trademarked. I haven’t noticed recently, but for a long time they were re-releasing the major animations every ~7 years, in cycle so they didn’t collide (I remember seeing both Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio in theaters in the 1980’s); now I suspect they consider the DVDs a steady revenue stream, expecting new parents to show the works to new children as shown to the parents, per saecula saeculorum. And if the oldest works are so antique (or so obviously cheaped, like SB), they still want to make sure that newer works aren’t at risk in the future.

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