Pixel Scroll 5/16/18 Ringworlds For Sale or Rent, Moons To Let Fifty Cents

(1) PLANE SPEAKING. CollegeHumor shows what happens when a ticket agent has to deal with the argument that “My Dinosaur Is a Service Animal” (features Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard).

(2) EARLY RETURNS ON 451. Phil Nichols of BradburyMedia saw a preview screener of “HBO’s new Fahrenheit 451” and weighed in on his blog:

…The new Fahrenheit does take many liberties with Bradbury’s story (what, no Millie? Clarisse as a police informant?), but it knows what it’s doing. Specifically, it knows what Guy Montag has to learn, and what he has to become; and it knows what Beatty is in relation to Montag. Most importantly, it knows how to show the relevance of Fahrenheit to today’s world of sound bites, clickbait headlines and fake news. Bradbury said that you don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture; you just have to get people to stop reading. And that’s exactly the world Bahrani has created here….

(3) MORE WORK FOR HOLLYWOOD LAWYERS. “Stan Lee Files $1B Lawsuit Against POW! Entertainment for “Stealing” His Name and Likeness” says The Hollywood Reporter.

The epic battles in Stan Lee’s comics may be nothing compared to the array of legal fights he’s waging — which now includes a billion-dollar lawsuit against the company he co-founded.

Lee is suing POW! Entertainment for fraud and conversion, claiming the company and two of its officers conspired to steal his identity, name and likeness in a “nefarious scheme” involving a “sham” sale to a Chinese company.

POW! was acquired in 2017 by Hong Kong-based Camsing International, and Lee says POW! CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion didn’t disclose the terms of the deal to him before it closed. At the time, Lee claims, he was devastated because his wife was on her deathbed and they took advantage of his despair — and his macular degeneration, which rendered him legally blind in 2015.

Lee says last year Duffy and Champion, along with his ex-business manager Jerardo Olivarez, whom he’s currently suing for fraud, asked him to sign a non-exclusive license with POW! for the use of his name and likeness in connection with creative works owned by the company. Instead, what he purportedly signed was a “fraudulent” intellectual property assignment agreement that granted POW! “the exclusive right to use Lee’s name, identity, image and likeness on a worldwide basis in perpetuity.”

According to the complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Lee has been selective about licensing his name and likeness and will only authorize the use on a non-exclusive basis.

(4) AWARD NOMINEE. Congratulations to Cora Buhlert! Her story “’Baptism of Fire’ is a nominee for the 2018 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Award”.

The nominations for the 2018 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards, which are run by the small press Bards & Sages, were announced today.

I was going to put the link to the announcement into the weekly link round-ups at the Speculative Fiction Showcase and the Indie Crime Scene respectively, but first I took a gander at the list of nominees and all but fell from my chair, because there, a bit down the page, was my name. For it turns out that “Baptism of Fire”, my contribution to the science fiction anthology The Guardian, edited by Alasdair Shaw, has been nominated in the “Best short story” category. I had absolutely no idea about this, until I saw the nominee list.

(5) BLABBAGE. Derek Stauffer, in “Star Wars Comic May Hint At Leia’s Episode 9 Fate” in ScreenRant, says that Marvel’s Poe Dameron comic may have clues about what will happen to Leia Organa in Episode 9.

Given Leia’s weakened state in the comic, it seems even more obvious that she will end up passing the torch to Poe as leader of The Resistance at some point in the near future. The only real question is if that passing will come with Leia’s retirement, or her death.

(6) ARTISTS TO BE INDUCTED. The Society of Illustrators will honor the following artists at its Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony on June 21.

2018 Hall of Fame Laureates
Robert Crumb
Hilary Knight
Jim McMullan
CF Payne
Kate Greenaway
Rene Gruau
Jack Kirby
Heinrich Kley
Kay Nielsen

(7) NEW TO SHORT FICTION? Lady Business offers a “Short & Sweet Roundtable Discussion: Short Fiction Reading Habits” with A.C. Wise, Bogi Takács, Brandon O’Brien, Vanessa Fogg, and Bridget McKinney.

One thing I’ve learned from talking to people about short fiction is that there are many different styles of reading short fiction. There are people like me who read one story (generally online) and then stop and do something else. There are people who sit down with a print or ebook magazine and read the whole thing cover to cover. There are people who only listen to short fiction in podcast form. So I was thinking about the different ways people read short SFF, and I wanted to find out more about these differences. I also thought that since lots of people have different short fiction reading habits, people who want to try short fiction might find that different pieces of advice are helpful to different people. So I’ve invited several guests to the column to talk about their short fiction reading habits and to share advice for people new to short fiction.

This roundtable features prolific short fiction readers, so they have a lot of great ideas for where to find short fiction, but I know it can be a little intimidating when there’s so much to choose from and people who read so much! I hope this roundtable gives readers a taste of how many ways there are to read short fiction and how many entry points there are, and that there’s no wrong way to read, including how much you read or at what point in life you start reading short fiction.

(8) LEND ME YOUR EARS. From Tested in 2013, “ILM Modelmakers Share Star Wars Stories and Secrets”. News to me — the crowds of the pod races in Star Wars Episode I were half a million painted q-tips.

Don Bies: One of the cool things, whenever we’re working together, is people thinking outside the box, and trying to come up with practical solutions. And in the early days, certainly it was ‘let’s see if we can beat the CG guys at their own game.’ Michael Lynch, one of the modelmakers–he was always really good at looking at things this way–he was looking at the crowds. And when you see a crowd in a stadium you’re really just seeing shapes and colors, you’re not really seeing people or individual faces.

So he came up with the idea…of using q-tips, cotton swabs, colored, in the stands of the Mos Espa arena. So there were something like 450,000 q-tips painted multiple colors, and he even researched it to find out how many reds versus yellows and blues and greens that should be in there.

And it was a process of just days of painting. Think about 450,000 cotton swabs, how you paint them, and then how you put them in. Everyone took turns at one point sticking them into the stands. And by blowing a fan underneath they kind of twinkled, like people moving around. Ultimately they did put some CG people on top of it, but I always thoght it would be funny if they caught to a close-up of the stands and you saw a cotton swab sitting in the stands next to the aliens…

(9) ALFRED THE GREAT. Hollywood Reporter headline: “’Gotham’ Boss Sets New Batman Prequel Series at Epix (Exclusive)”. Premium cable network Epix will air Pennyworth. The series has some behind-the-camera personnel ties to Gotham, but is not a prequel of that Fox series. No cast has been announced.

Epix is getting into the DC Comics business.

The MGM-owned premium cable network has handed out a 10-episode, straight-to-series order for Pennyworth, a drama set in the Batman universe from Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller.

The series will revolve around Alfred Pennyworth, the best friend and butler to Bruce Wayne (aka Batman). The series is not a Gotham spinoff but rather an entirely new story exploring Alfred’s origins as a former British SAS soldier who forms a secret company and goes to work with Thomas Wayne — Bruce’s billionaire father — in 1960s London. Sean Pertwee, who plays Alfred Pennyworth on Fox’s recently renewed Gotham, is not involved. Casting has not yet begun and the series is set in a completely different universe despite hailing from Heller and producers Warner Horizon. (Others who have played the Alfred role include Jeremy Irons, Michael Gough, Michael Caine, Alan Napier and William Austin, among others.)

(10) TRIVIAL TRIVIA

Hershey Kisses were named after the “kissing” sound made by the nozzle that drops the chocolate onto a cooled conveyor belt during their production. Hershey started making its version in 1907 but “kiss” was commonly used as a generic term for candies wrapped with a twist as early as the 1820s. Hershey managed to trademark the term in 2000 after arguing that consumers almost exclusively associated the word “kiss” with their brand versus other candies.

Source: Time

(11) COMICS SECTION.

(12) SCALZI FREE READ. The Electronic Frontier Foundation enlisted John Scalzi to help make their point: “EFF Presents John Scalzi’s Science Fiction Story About Our Right to Repair Petition to the Copyright Office”.

A small bit of good news: Congress designed a largely ornamental escape valve into this system: every three years, the Librarian of Congress can grant exemptions to the law for certain activities. These exemptions make those uses temporarily legal, but (here’s the hilarious part), it’s still not legal to make a tool to enable that use. It’s as though Congress expected you to gnaw open your devices and manually change the software with the sensitive tips of your nimble fingers or something. That said, in many cases it’s easy to download the tools you need anyway. We’re suing the U.S. government to invalidate DMCA 1201, which would eliminate the whole farce. It’s 2018, and that means it’s exemptions time again! EFF and many of our allies have filed for a raft of exemptions to DMCA 1201 this year, and in this series, we’re teaming up with some amazing science fiction writers to explain what’s at stake in these requests.

This week, we’re discussing our right to repair exemption. Did you know the innards of your car are copyrighted?

… The use of DRM to threaten the independent repair sector is a bad deal all-around. Repair is an onshore industry that creates middle-class jobs in local communities, where service technicians help Americans get more value out of the devices they buy. It’s not just cars: everything from tractors to printers, from toys to thermostats have been designed with DRM that stands in the way of your ability to decide who fixes your stuff, or whether it can be fixed at all. That’s why we’ve asked the Copyright Office to create a broad exemption to permit repair technicians to bypass any DRM that gets in the way of their ability to fix your stuff for you.

Our friend John Scalzi was kind enough to write us a science fiction story that illustrates the stakes involved.

(13) HOUSE OF REPUTE. Real estate news site 6sqft profiles a celebrity abode which once housed sf author Robert Silverberg: “Former home of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia lists for $3.5M in Fieldston section of Riverdale”. Numerous photos of the inside and outside.

A stately English Tudor mansion in the historic Fieldston neighborhood of Riverdale, considered one of the city’s best preserved early 20th century suburbs, has just hit the market for $3.5 million, and it’s oozing history filled ghosts, science fiction, New York master politicians, and urban planners. Former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia moved to 5020 Goodridge Avenue after serving three consecutive terms as mayor and living in Gracie Mansion….

In 1961, Robert Silverberg, a well-known science fiction author – and not as well-known as the prolific writer of erotica novels for quick cash – bought the house. In his 1972 novel, The Book of Skulls, Silverberg mentioned the neighborhood, writing, “How unreal the whole immortality thing seemed to me now, with the jeweled cables of the George Washington Bridge gleaming far to the southwest, and the soaring bourgeois towers of Riverdale hemming us on to the right, and the garlicky realities of Manhattan straight ahead.”

(14) PROBLEM FIXER. Michael Z. Williamson’s advice is to ban the people who complain about a convention GoH.

…Your only rational, immediate response to avoid “controversy” is just to ban the person making the public scene. They’ve already told you by this action that they intend to cause trouble for at least one of your guests and that guest’s followers.

“I wouldn’t feel safe with this person at the con!”
“We’re sorry you feel that way.  Here’s a full refund.* We hope to see you at a future event.”

Then stop responding. You’ll only give attention to an attention whore.

Having seen this happen to guests at least three times, any future guest invitations I accept will involve a signed cancellation clause and a cash penalty for doing so, because once a guest has made arrangements for your event, they can’t schedule something else, and you’re eating up their writing/art/production time. They are there for YOUR benefit, not you for theirs. In my case, I currently have three novels, a collection, an anthology, all contracted, another novel offer, three on spec, an article request, three short stories and a lengthy stack of products to test and review, and an entire summer of professional bookings. I have a not-quite four year old and a teenager. Don’t waste my time then roll over for some worthless whiner….

(15) MAKING PLANS. John Ringo, in a public Facebook post, advises writers —

…With every other convention, assume you’re being set-up at this point and don’t be played for a sucker.

Oh, yeah, and as fans and lovers of liberty, never, ever attend Origins again if you ever have. Or ConCarolinas. (Sorry, Jada.) Or ArchCon. Or WorldCon.

We need a list. They never will be missed. No they never will be missed.

(16) ALTERNATE SPORTS HISTORY. Counterfactual: “Blimps Full Of Money And 30 Other Sports Fantasias In ‘Upon Further Review'”. What if football had stayed boring, or the US had boycotted the Berlin Olympics, or …?

Mike Pesca assembled the new book titled Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs In Sports History and a companion podcast. In an interview, he explained some of the book’s 31 different scenarios written by 31 sportswriters.

(17) SYMBOLISM. “Henrietta Lacks’ Lasting Impact Detailed In New Portrait” — shoutouts to unwitting donor of a cell line that has been used all over biomedicine.

When Henrietta Lacks was dying of cancer in 1951, her cells were harvested without her knowledge. They became crucial to scientific research and her story became a best-seller. Since then, Lacks has become one of the most powerful symbols for informed consent in the history of science.

On Monday, when the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., honored Lacks by installing a painting of her just inside one of its main entrances, three of Lacks’ grandchildren were there.

(18) BIRD IS THE WORD. “Dinosaur parenting: How the ‘chickens from hell’ nested”. “How do you sit on your nest of eggs when you weigh over 1,500kg?”

Dinosaur parenting has been difficult to study, due to the relatively small number of fossils, but the incubating behaviour of oviraptorosaurs has now been outlined for the first time.

Scientists believe the largest of these dinosaurs arranged their eggs around a central gap in the nest.

This bore the parent’s weight, while allowing them to potentially provide body heat or protection to their developing young, without crushing the delicate eggs.

The feathered ancient relatives of modern birds, oviraptorosaurs lived in the Late Cretaceous period, at least 67 million years ago.

(19) SF TV ARCHEOLOGY. Echo Ishii’s tour of old sf TV leads this time to “SF Obscure: Cosmic Slop.

Cosmic Slop was a 1994 TV anthology series on HBO featuring three short black science fiction movies. (I have also seen the broadcast date listed as 1995.) It features three short “Space Traders” based on the Derrick Bell short story; “The First Commandment” and “Tang”. It’s kind of a Twilight Zone vibe with George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic during the intros. (It’s as bizarre in the way only George Clinton can be.)

(20) TREK MEDICINE TODAY. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination hosts “Star Trek, the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE & the Future of Medicine” on June 2, with Qualcomm XPRIZE Tricorder Prize winner Basil Harris, Robert Picardo (actor, Emergency Medical Hologram, Star Trek: Voyager), and Dr. Rusty Kallenberg, Chairman of Family Medicine and Director of the UCSD XPRIZE Test Program.

June 2, 2018
5:00-7:00pm
Liebow Auditorium
UC San Diego

Artificial intelligence is already impacting healthcare is numerous ways. Are we far from the future portrayed in Star Trek: Voyager, of an AI holographic doctor with encyclopedic medical knowledge? What are the pathways that will yield the most profound results for AI in medicine? And what are the ethical and regulatory issues we need to consider as we develop these technologies?

Hosted by Erik Viirre, associate director of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination and Medical Director of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, The Future of Medicine is an exploration of these questions and more, as they impact the UC San Diego innovation ecosystem and beyond. Our master of ceremonies is Robert Picardo, actor and star of Star Trek: Voyager, where he left a cultural impact as the face of AI medicine as the Emergency Medical Hologram, known as “The Doctor.” Basil Harris, founder of Basil Leaf Technologies and winner of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE to develop a real-world Tricorder-like medical device, will share his experience developing DextER, an autonomous medical diagnostic device, and the future of this pathway for innovation. And leaders from UC San Diego will join a panel on artificial agents in medical technology development.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Standback, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, Lise Andreasen, Chip Hitchcock, and rcade for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

319 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/16/18 Ringworlds For Sale or Rent, Moons To Let Fifty Cents

  1. All I can say is I’ve never been to the south US and even I know Libertycon is NOT truly non-political.

  2. Fifth!

    @15, most conventions would rather lose one guest of honor than 500 paying customers. Just sayin’.

  3. I fully endorse John Ringo’s suggestion. Yes, please, all you folk boycott those cons.

  4. Dear folks,

    The following is not sarcasm. I mean this, sincerely.

    I think this is one of the very best ideas I’ve ever heard from Ringo. He and Correia and Williamson and anyone else who feels the same way should absolutely make such a pledge and stick to it.

    Everyone will come out ahead.

    pax / Ctein

  5. @15 Such a request/demand from asked GoH’s would at least encourage vetting by ConComs, avoiding such public embarrassment all round?

  6. 14, 15) really I think they should both demand even more that and as vocally as possible and refuse to attend any con that doesn’t immediately concede to all of their demands.

  7. Congrats, Cora!

    And absolutely, I entirely favor having these guys make demands of the concoms. Make as many demands as you like. Trust us, those concoms have lots of other potential GoH’s to choose from — you know, ones that **don’t** make demands or act like jackasses. Please, put yourselves out of our misery. Be our — ahem — guest.

  8. Can’t believe I hadn’t gotten these before.
    Lots of lovely Cora stories on the kindle now.
    (And congratulations!)

  9. Oh, yeah, and as fans and lovers of liberty, never, ever attend Origins again if you ever have. Or ConCarolinas. (Sorry, Jada.) Or ArchCon. Or WorldCon.

    I hope this boycott is followed by every SF/F author who is telling themselves this is about politics and not bad behavior. Punish us all with your absence from conventions!

    Ringo is now suggesting on Facebook, “The best way to hit them is to bring in the GamerGate contingent and get manufacturers to stop attending their shows.”

    Nobody of good faith in SF/F would be recruiting GamerGate to do anything.

  10. (14), (15) I strongly encourage Williamson, Ringo, and all their friends and fellow travelers to adopt these policies and adhere strictly to them.

  11. @Ctein: it’d be handy if all the authors considering taking part in the pledge could co-sign it somewhere public, so that cons can see ahead of time the contract to be adhered to and make the necessary plans. And definitely not use it as a list of potentially toxic Guests.

  12. I need to say that it makes me absurdly happy that “second fifth” is still a thing.

  13. Ringo is now suggesting on Facebook, “The best way to hit them is to bring in the GamerGate contingent and get manufacturers to stop attending their shows.”

    I’m confused. What sort of ‘manufacturer’ is involved in a SF con?

  14. Well, certain authors are also manufacturers of a sort – outrage tends to be their main output. But they’re already not attending so it’s quite beside the point 🙂

    I think the “manufacturers” part is probably largely to do with Origins being a gaming con rather than a straight SFF con, though.

  15. rochrist: I’m confused. What sort of ‘manufacturer’ is involved in a SF con?

    Origins Game Fair has a partnership with GAMA (The Game Manufacturers Association), and provides a large dealer/exhibitor space featuring companies which produce games and accessories, including a one-day “Trade Day” retail fair (marketplace) with 70+ retail booths.

  16. I would think bringing in Gamergate would only confirm to the Origins concom that they did the right thing by cancelling Correia as Guest of Honor.

  17. Gratz Cora!

    Benevolent Airships update: The school librarians are extremely enthusiastic about the idea. If they were undiginified like I am they’d probably be making *grabby hands* gestures, and also they’re asking a number of uncomfortable questions which I don’t have answers for like “which books” and “how many schools” and “what’s the eligibility criteria” and “will it be a straight donation or will you arrange discounts” and “I want to help where do I donate”. My life right now. Also also, it turns out most of them had no idea about the YA Award and now they do and are quite pleased about it, so that’s a result right there even if nothing else happens (in the UK; I’m pretty sure someone will manage something for the USA).

    (By the way, Ursula, if this does get off the ground which is in no way guaranteed because I have no idea what I’m doing, what would be the chances of being able to get hard copies of Summer in Orcus in or to the UK?)

    Well, I appreciate Ringo revealing that he’s willing to call in a harassment campaign and confirming that he doesn’t play well with others, but a) GamerGate isn’t really much of a thing anymore now that the majority of useful idiots got wise (or at least bored) and wandered off, and b) even if it was gaming companies caught on about them being poison quite some time ago. Last I checked every single success they had at putting pressure on companies was swiftly rolled back, and every single company that did strongly align with GG failed quite badly. (*cough*The Escapist is literally just Yahtzee now*cough*and he never got involved one way or the other*cough*)

    Individuals, sure, GamerGate can still do damage, or at least be a real pain in the butt. Companies, not so much, since they’re all perfectly aware that caving to a widely and wildly unpopular group of -phobic and -ist internet trolls isn’t exactly good publicity.

    My left shoulder has once again decided that being fully attached to my body isn’t on the cards right now – I can still use the arm but I’m visibly lopsided – so that’s fun and not at all hideously painful. Any warm wishes/prayers/etc that it will good-clunk back into place and stay there for a few weeks are very welcome.

  18. @ Bruce A

    Indeed.

    I would also think these two sections of the con chair’s public statement indicate he feels events are confirming he won’t look back on this decision with regret:

    “When this similar situation arose with the Hugo awards, [Correia’s] fan base assaulted social media. That tactic is repeating itself with us. There were numerous posts on our Facebook site which led me to put it on “hold” last night.”

    And:
    “I personally received about 20 emails yesterday complaining to me and ridiculing my decision. Of those emails, not one was a registered attendee.”

  19. @Meredith —

    My left shoulder has once again decided that being fully attached to my body isn’t on the cards right now – I can still use the arm but I’m visibly lopsided – so that’s fun and not at all hideously painful. Any warm wishes/prayers/etc that it will good-clunk back into place and stay there for a few weeks are very welcome.

    Ow!

    My father sympathizes. He is currently in a rehab facility after badly breaking a leg — the leg that had already had the hip replaced twice — requiring a THIRD replacement because of the location and type of the fracture. And now the replacement keeps popping out of joint. And he can’t exactly put his hip in a sling like you can an arm! No, we are not happy campers — but very sympathetic about the uncooperative joint issue!

  20. Dear Oneiros,

    I really did mean that this works out best for everybody: them, us, conventions. A convention that is considering anybody who signs that pledge will vet them much more carefully. That means far fewer fuck-ups, which don’t make anybody happy (for very legitimate reasons). If the convention vets one of them and decides they want them, terms at all, then it means they’ve decided that that author is a really good fit for their convention. More power to both parties! It’s no skin off my nose.

    In turn, the authors will have to deal with less crap and much less chance of another one of these fuck-ups.

    On the other side of the table, most conventions are not going to be willing to accept these terms. That means those of us who don’t want to be dealing with these folks and their dramas will be seeing less of them at conventions and have to wade through far less of this invitation nonsense.

    People getting snarky about it and saying “good riddance,” and “don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” are so focused on the trees they are missing the forest. IF these authors can make this work for them, and that is a big if, it is a win-win for everybody involved. We should be sincerely applauding the effort, not snidely dissing it.

    Let’s be optimistic and hope their plan succeeds.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  21. @Ctein: Well, as usual, you’re right. It really would be a good thing, and it would mean that cons actually had to check if the GoH was worth the effort.

    But it’d also be nice to have a list of all the people who are outraged that someone’s toxic behaviour might get them kicked from a con so everyone readily knows who not to invite. Even better if they think they’re the ones making a stand by signing the list themselves.

  22. Benevolent Airships update: The school librarians are extremely enthusiastic about the idea. If they were undiginified like I am they’d probably be making *grabby hands* gestures, and also they’re asking a number of uncomfortable questions which I don’t have answers for like “which books” and “how many schools” and “what’s the eligibility criteria” and “will it be a straight donation or will you arrange discounts” and “I want to help where do I donate”. My life right now. Also also, it turns out most of them had no idea about the YA Award and now they do and are quite pleased about it, so that’s a result right there even if nothing else happens (in the UK; I’m pretty sure someone will manage something for the USA).

    Great news!

    I am of no organizational help, but I’ll sure donate, and if anyone produces fundraising cloisonné pins with a fine Benevolent Airships logo,* well, I’m in for that, too.

    *or other Benevolent swag. T-shirts! Tote bags! Stained-glass windows! But I just like the idea of cloisonné pins.

  23. Dear Oneiros,

    But that plays into the whole “we’re blacklisted” fairy tale that the Sad Puppies like to spin. A bad way to go, politically, methinks. Further, there isn’t any need– the pledge pretty much guarantees careful examination of a prospective GoH by the con.

    No reason to be stirring up trouble we don’t have to be stirring.

    pax / Ctei

  24. Dear Meredith,

    I don’t think it’s YA material, but… if I’m wrong about that I’d be happy to donate a dozen paperback copies of SATURN RUN.

    Is there anybody here who’s read SATURN RUN and knows the current YA scene and can tell me?

    I don’t know nuttin’ ’bout what the kids these days read.

    And their music, it’s just noise.

    And… OH MY GOD THEY’RE ALL OVER MY LAWN! AUGHHH! GET OFF, GET OFF!!!

    pax / Ctein

  25. And I’ve been from Trantor to Minas Tirith, Metropolis to Shadizar
    Readin’ every kind of book that’s ever been made
    Readin’ under blankets when I’m stayin’ up late
    And if you pixel … books, text and files
    In some TBR piles
    I’ll be willin’
    To be scrollin’

  26. “They’d none of them be missed.”
    Points to Ringo for the ref to Gilbert & Sullivan, but I think he’s mistaken about who “they” will prove to be.

    Congrats to Cora!!

    A large basket of good wishes to Meredith. That sounds like no fun at all.

    I can’t donate books to Benevolent Airships because I haven’t written any that libraries would want, but I would be delighted to send a financial donation to either UK or US. Just tell me where. Also seconding Kurt Busiek’s notions of swag …

  27. @Ctein: I agree – if, say, I or you made the list. That would have terrible optics. If they’re co-signing something that’s bound to basically just be a dogwhistle to others of their ilk then they really have nobody but themselves to blame for how others choose to take the list. Not that it’ll stop them blaming everybody else, as per usual.

  28. (3) We really need to find better ways to take care and protect the interests of older people.

    (4) Congratulations, Cora! Though I wonder how to best inform people about nominations. Getting to know about an award nomination via comment section strikes me as subpar.

    (14) Way to propose systematically killing the messenger. For that matter, a lot of these issues are raised privately and through channels first.

    (15) I know plenty of Baen authors I’d happily invite as GoHs for any con I happened to be involved with. Eric Flint. David Drake. David Weber. Elizabeth Moon. PC Hodgell. Lee & Miller. Ryk Spoor. Lois Bujold, twice over.

    You know, people who don’t consistently behave as asses.

  29. I don’t think anyone needs to create a list. If they make too many demands when some con invites them to be guests, the con will just drop it and find other guests who are easier to work with. Word will get out that they are difficult guests, or not. They’ll either end up only going to specific cons that they trust, or this will all eventually fade if the culture wars fade and the rhetoric on both sides calms down, maybe in 5-10 years or so… I guess that depends on who likes to stir the flames and how often.

  30. (14-15) Welp, I guess neither of those two ever want to be GOHs again. Nice of ’em to make it so easy for conventions to take them off of their consideration list, as Contrarius has so ably pointed out. What con wants to deal with a difficult guest if they can avoid it?

    This is not to say, in any way, that pros should be doormats. Some reasonable considerations make sense; I am on the record as saying that Origins should compensate Correia for any nonrecoverable expenses he incurred as a direct result of their invitation and retraction. (Plane tickets, yes. Incidentals like salable copies of his books, no.) Making that an inviolable condition of accepting a GOH spot makes sense and, as Ctein notes, encourages cons to do their research before extending the invitation – which is no bad thing.

    But there’s reasonable, and then there’s obnoxious, and oh, look: Ringo specifically carved out exceptions for his two home cons. Imagine that. I guess his stance isn’t as firmly rooted in principle as it would appear. (Or maybe he knows Dragon Con wouldn’t bend to his demands. Not an issue for Liberty; he lives across town.)

    @Lenora Rose: “All I can say is I’ve never been to the south US and even I know Libertycon is NOT truly non-political.”

    Having been staff for that convention for a few years, you’re completely correct. Of course, since LibertyCon’s politics are conservative, it’s no shock that Ringo sees them as apolitical. Fish and water, y’know.

    Speaking of, I remember at least one occasion when LibertyCon vetoed a prospective guest from consideration for an alleged habit of making unreasonable demands. I won’t name the pro, but the allegation was that they expected conventions to supply them with a certain illicit substance. I have no idea whether the allegation is accurate, but the name was not put on the list which was put forth for voting. The pro wasn’t outvoted, but blackballed.

    @rcade: “Ringo is now suggesting on Facebook, “The best way to hit them is to bring in the GamerGate contingent and get manufacturers to stop attending their shows.””

    I’m confused – is he trying to starve cons with a boycott by his fans or annoy vendors by making sure his fans show up and make trouble? Either way, it seems cons are better off without him and them… and he appears to know this.

    @rochrist: “I’m confused. What sort of ‘manufacturer’ is involved in a SF con?”

    I represented a board/card/RPG company at several conventions over about a decade; they could be seen as a manufacturer – and if so, that would also cover publishers. Don’t forget about the vendors who deal in crafts or jewelry, for that matter.

    @Msb: “Points to Ringo for the ref to Gilbert & Sullivan, but I think he’s mistaken about who “they” will prove to be.”

    Indeed.

    @Meredith: “My left shoulder has once again decided that being fully attached to my body isn’t on the cards right now – I can still use the arm but I’m visibly lopsided – so that’s fun and not at all hideously painful. Any warm wishes/prayers/etc that it will good-clunk back into place and stay there for a few weeks are very welcome.”

    Ugh. My right shoulder, neck, and upper back have been hurting for the past couple of weeks, but no dislocation. Get well soon… or else! 😉

    (Hey, Anna, maybe you could ask one of your fellow ninjas to look in on her?)

    -=-=-

    Tsundoku update:

    I’m about a third of the way through Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? now, and roughly the first fifth of the book was seriously disorienting. It looked like a standard supers world with a serial killer element, but the explicit in-universe references to existing real-world comic properties didn’t make any sense. Other strange factors started showing up as well, further confusing me… but then, at (IIRC) the 18% mark, we get an overdue explanation. I’m not sure if it should be regarded as a spoiler, especially since I devoutly wish I’d known it from page one, but just in case:

    Urebcn vf n IE frggvat, cbchyngrq ol fryrpg traer-fniil vaunovgnagf bs n qlfgbcvna Zryobhear. Va gung erfcrpg, V fhccbfr vg’f yvxr n ybj-erag Ernql Cynlre Bar, ohg jvgubhg gur Ovt Birenepuvat Zrtndhrfg snpgbe.

    Once you know that, as all the characters do from the outset, the setting snaps into focus. I’m almost tempted to start the book over, but consider that an advisory note rather than a warning.

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