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.)


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


(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
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. Congratulation to Cora!

    About the Ideas of Williamson and Ringo: Actions have consequenses. A con that lets costumers go because they tell them they don’t like who they invite, will get the consequences. (And hell, there are potentiall worst cases than Ringo or Larry, lets imagine a Mediacon inviting Weinstein for example)
    John Ringo no: I may he felt sorry for you after you were uninvited, your response made that difficult, whishing Gamergate on people makes it very difficult to feel sorry here, but good ridance is now the reaction.

  2. As a general observation, it does benefit everyone when a con committee does think through the implications of their actions with regards to guests etc.

    Some years ago now, an upcoming convention was being organised with an excess of enthusiasm over experience and a lack of internal co-ordination. When the programme was finally published, very shortly before the event, I was one of around half a dozen authors who discovered none of us were on it, despite having been explicitly invited to participate at the outset. This was very much at odds with the assorted emails we’d all had in the previous months, seeking our advice and asking for help which had been freely given.

    To be clear there was no question of ‘disinviting’. As far as we could tell, far more authors had been contacted than the programme could accommodate and basically we were the ones left without a chair when the music stopped.

    However – things arising from this –

    No one on the Committee had the guts/grace to tell us before the programme was published – and an apology would have been nice. So those who’d listed the convention as an upcoming appearance were left to explain to their own fans eagerly asking what panels they’d be on that no, actually…

    At least two of us had turned down other professional day-job/writerly invitations because we had this prior committment.

    This was school holiday season and at least two of us had arranged family vacations around this prior committment at some inconvenience to spouses who had to book time off work around colleagues etc.

    None of these issues had occured to the Con Committee. You may be very certain that I took note of those who realised we had good reason to be irritated and offered genuine apologies, and those who tried to bluster and excuse themselves and insinuated we were making unnecessary fuss.

  3. 4) Congrats Cora!
    16) But no Castro as a pitcher? (Yes, I know it has been done, but still…)

  4. If a potential guest where to present me with a one-sided bad faith contract I would, politely and professionally, tell them to stick into their ear.

    That is a lie.

    It wouldn’t be their ear.

  5. My God! That’s Pixel Scroll Pie!….
    ………..It’s good though.

    One for the Utah Phillips fans

  6. And somethink to smile, our Newspaper looked at the Deadpoolmovie.
    The called Cable a supervillain in that one. Whitout seeing the movie, I very much doubt that is the role for him here.

  7. What is the sound of one pixel scrolling?

    [Congrats Cora!]
    [Feel better, Meredith.]

  8. 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 glad Ringo said this in a public space, because from this point forward, he will be associated with every incident of GamerGater harassment or disruption at every convention. No matter the origin of the incident, the question will be asked: “Did John Ringo incite this?”

  9. 14/15: I would be MORE than happy to underwrite the drafting of that “appearance” contract. I may have my attorney draft one and put it up on the website as a resource:

    Par. 23. a) no blue M&Ms shall be present in the bowl of M&Ms provided in Guest’s hotel suite, green room and panel tables; b) all doors shall be arranged to be “pull” to open as opposed to “push” to open; c) Guest’s panel chair shall be a minimum of 6 inches higher than all other panel chairs; d) Guest shall be guaranteed a minimum of no less than 51% of all speaking time provided during panels; e) Guest shall be entitled to perform one off-topic rant during a panel chosen at their discretion. The rant shall not be interrupted, curtailed or interfered with in any manner; f) Guest may…..

    Gonna cost me a pretty penny in legal fees, but well worth the investment!

  10. 14: hey, wait a second. Didn’t Williams just state that JDA should be banned by Worldcon? JDA did state that he needed a bodycam because he felt unsafe at the con….

  11. Meredith, best wishes for joints and limbs being where they are supposed to be!

    I will cheerfully send a donation for Benevolent Airships, for either side of the Pond. Especially if Hamster Princess books are involved. (My niece, a reluctant reader, actually squealed in a tone that, by reports, should have broken glass, when she unwrapped her last birthday present and found the latest Hampster Princess book. This is a child who, before she encountered Harriet the Invincible, thought that books were boring and reading was a chore.) I recognise that authors have little-to-no influence with publishers, but I don’t suppose there’s any chance that a certain local wombat would be willing to put in a good word with Penguin/Random House?

  12. I’m of two minds about the “little list.” On the one hand, it’s Gilbert. On the other, it’s a list of people who it is okay to kill for being annoying in small ways. When our “Mikado” director put out a call for updated lyrics of that and “A More Humane Mikado,” I did essay both, and was okay with not having mine used for the little list. The set we used came from other productions (Stratford, maybe), and included kids who demand Pokemon cards. Ehhhhhh… I felt a little bit bad, advocating encompassing the demise of kids just for wanting toys.

    Gilbert was making a point, after all, and in character, but it seems like too many people get turned on at the thought of killing people they don’t agree with. I’m not inclined to award a point in this case. No doubt someone over there would reply that I can’t take a joke. Well, maybe not that one.

  13. JJ:

    Mark: Do you have a link for that Ringo quote?

    It’s here.

    That link didn’t show the right comment for me (which is common for links to Facebook comments), I had to click a bit on various “See more” links before I found it. For those playing along at home: Click “View previous comments” and search until you find one that begins “As I mentioned elsewhere, I am a game publisher”, then click “View more replies” below that to find Ringo’s comment about Gamergate.

  14. Benevolent Airships – some random musings. Were enough of us serious that I should look into starting a 501c3 for this? I can reserve the name in NY (where I am) for $10 but the subsequent paperwork is a bit daunting. My husband and I did this before for a fencing organization but that was over a decade ago and I have blanked out most of the details.

    From the little bit of research I have been able to do so far, it seems like it might be best to at first become a partner with an existing organization that already has the infrastructure to collect and distribute books. There are several possibilities and selecting which ones to contact depends on what we decide the primary mission is – to get books into school libraries? to get books directly to children from low income areas? Some mix of these ideas?

    Brief story from my childhood. I grew up in a poverty stricken section of an outer ring urban area. I have incredibly fond memories of the one day each year that Reading is Fundamental showed up at the elementary school and we were allowed into the library to *pick a book of our very own!* I was always one of the last kids in the room because looking through all the beautiful books to pick out one I could keep was like a little dream come true. I still find it appalling how many children grow up in one of the riches countries in the world and have no books of their own and little to no access to age appropriate books for pleasure reading. Anyhow – this is why I am willing to put in some legwork to make this happen.

    One other thing – how do people feel about adding nonfiction science books to this plan? Books that talk about space, biology and technology etc? To me as a kid the two groups were both passions. I think this is especially important when talking about donating to school libraries. Opinions?

    Finally – if this is going to become real, we are going to need a coherent space for conversations and development other than pixel scroll because I can’t keep up (I am already two scrolling behind!). I can set something up on my almost moribund blog (no time!!!!) but other suggestions are welcome and strongly encouraged.

  15. @JJ

    Thanks. I wanted to see if there was any chance that the context improved the quote…but no, Ringo really is dumb enough to think that siccing GGers on a con is an acceptable tactic.

  16. Thanks for the congratulations, Camestros, Contrarius, Heather, lauowolf, Arifel, Stefan, Jonathan, Steve Wright, Hampus, Karl-Johan, Meredith and anybody else I might have missed.

    As for the nomination announcement, it was posted on KBoards, a popular forum for self-publishers where many of the nominated authors hang out and were therefore likely to see it. I assume it’s been published elsewhere as well.

    Also best wishes for a speedy recovery, Meredith.

    As for Ringo, Correia, Williamson and others pledging not to attend conventions where many/most of the attendees don’t agree with them, that sounds like a good solution for everybody concerned.

  17. Meredith get will soon. (Missed that)
    About the blue M&Ms that isn’t as ecentric as it sounds. The band wrote it into the contract, (where some of them are saftyprocations) checked it when the got there and if there were no blue M&Ms they knew that there partner did read the contract and it would be probably safe.

  18. Re: blue M&Ms — sometimes those clauses are vitally important. I understand that one prominent and often GoH author has a very serious allergy to mangos. “No mangos” may look frivolous… but it’s literally, not figuratively, a life-or-death matter.

  19. @ StefanB:

    Also, it is my recollection that, at the time of the “blue M&Ms” thing, there were actually no blue M&Ms. But in order to not spread falsehoods, let me now to Snopes-check that.

    Well, the classic was “brown M&Ms” and they apparently existed in brown at the time, and was primarily a first warning that the venue had not actually looked at the contract (with requirements for “load-bearing” and other Really Important things for a rock concert).

  20. @ Ingvar

    According to what David Lee Roth said in one article, during that tour Van Halen (the band in question) was using a new setup that was much heavier and more powerful than usual at a series of venues that may not be used to handling bands (high schools & such). It was a matter of life and death because if the setup was not properly supported, the entire stage could collapse. Thus, the M&M stunt.

  21. Congrats Cora. Well deserved.

    Get well soon Meredith.

    I’m all for donating money and or books and getting swag for Benevolent Airships.

    14 & 15. Brilliant. They should boycott the listed conventions and others which maintain strict CoCs and disinvite GoHs or ban people for actions outside the con as well as at the con. It’s a good move for their brand.

    I highly recommend they work out GoH non-cancellation wording now to share amongst themselves so they are prepared in advance of invites. This protects them, their money, their egos, and helps their branding. From the other side this encourages concoms to do due diligence prior to inviting GoHs which is a benefit to everyone. I’m not sure following in Scalzi’s footsteps* by doing an online pledge is their style.

    Sending GamerGaters after people is NEVER a good look if one is hoping to change minds and see one as as a good GoH/good guy IMHO. It simply reinforces why banning or disinviting or not inviting in the 1st place was the correct action. GamerGaters compromise safety while decreasing memberships, vendors, sponsorship while increasing headaches and noise. The opposite of what most conventions are interested in.

    *Scalzi Convention Harassment Policy Co-Sign Thread

  22. Look, I know it wasn’t in this thread, and we may have passed the deadline, and I said I wanted to be a Social Justice Zord, but I’ve changed my mind. I can do that! Anyway, if I am to be an SJZ, I would prefer to be a Screaming Justice Zonker.

    Sorry for the inconvenience, but please update the appropriate paperwork. Ta.


    Are we not files? WE ARE P. SCROLL!

  23. I knew about the “brown M&Ms” ploy; I made them “blue” to update it a bit.

    One thing I’ve not seen discussed is the “them vs us” narrative in Williamson’s screed.

    They are there for YOUR benefit, not you for theirs.

    They meaning the conventions, you meaning a potential guest.

    This touches on the puppy’s focus on dollars, earnings and sales, vitiating what is, at least for me, the real purpose of a convention, the “family get together”. It suggests that those on the pro end of the scale have absolutely no “good” reason to attend a convention if they aren’t a guest.

    At traditional conventions, everyone is a “member”, everyone is a “guest”. Some members, both fan and pro, get tapped to talk about certain subjects because they’ve demonstrated prior expertise, experience or knowledge that might be interesting to others. The fact that some of them may have works for sale that would also be of interest is secondary (cue admonishments not to build a book wall in front of your table space).

    The “dealer’s room” used to be called the “hucksters room” because, while some commercial activity at conventions was deemed to be of necessity, there was still a desire to keep such crass commercial interests at arms length from the greater purpose of simply getting together and sharing a common interest. Fanzines were more frequently traded and given away “for the usual” than they were sold, again, because commercial influence was deemed to be corrupting to the purpose to some degree or other, and despite the fact that faneds could almost always use some additional cash. Sure, deals get made, contracts discussed, but those are most often interactions of convenience, owing to both parties being physically present.

    If there’s one thing that I consider to be the most potentially damaging puppy positions, it is this emphasis of commercialism over fannish interest.

  24. Meredith Moment:

    The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is on sale at Amazon US for $1.99.

    @ Meredith:

    I grok left shoulders running away from home, as mine has done so on a mind-numbingly frequent basis for more than a decade. I’ll file a work order for both of us with the “Shoulder Faery” branch of the Guild (“ATTN: “Left Shoulder Coordination”). It’s a strong union and runs on gobs of paperwork. Here’s hoping you’re speedily on the mend.


    Here in 8505, mandatory drawstrings come with all joints, as nothing is allowed which might interfere with our feline overlords’ mandated ear scratches.

  25. *SIGH*

    I came, I posted, I failed to *tick*.

    Back to the corner.

    Here in 0835, Vikings get mad when you don’t *tick*.

  26. What’s in a file? A pix’l by any other name would scroll as sweet.

  27. Johan P on May 17, 2018 at 6:00 am said:
    Mark: Do you have a link for that Ringo quote?
    It’s here.
    That link didn’t show the right comment for me (which is common for links to Facebook comments), I had to click a bit on various “See more” links before I found it. For those playing along at home: Click “View previous comments” and search until you find one that begins “As I mentioned elsewhere, I am a game publisher”, then click “View more replies” below that to find Ringo’s comment about Gamergate.

    Screen caps are, I hope, happening.
    History gets rewritten so often….

  28. @Meredith: sending wishes for your shoulder finding its place and staying there. I dealt with a mild, stupidly-acquired rotator cuff issue some time ago and would not wish even such a reduced … experience … on anyone.

    @rochrist: Maybe not “involved”, but even Boskone (~1000 attendees, significantly book&art orientation) gets manufacturers to show up to demo/playtest games. There’s a scattered history of this; I’ve heard Cosmic Encounters was first shown there in the mid-1970’s, and I was part of the juggling to support an early instance of modern LARPing (possibly the first at-con) in 1983.

  29. Re Benevolent Airships – There is a group here at work that works with several NFPs.
    I will ask if any of them deal with schools/libraries/etc.

  30. Re: GOH acceptance conditions

    I have found this document to be quite useful and reasonable over the years. It’s boring and businesslike, rather than splashy and spectacular… and it works.

    @J-grizz: I understood that reference! 😀

  31. Thanks, everyone. The shoulder in question slipped out quite badly about a year ago and has never been quite as secure since. Not that any of my joints are especially fond of staying where they ought, but big joints are especially inconvenient since they like pulling all the adjacent ones off-kilter while they’re at it, and it never got injured quite this often before.

    Benevolent Airships – I could set up a Facebook group quite easily, although that would exclude people who aren’t on Facebook, or perhaps Mike would be willing to set us up a dedicated discussion post.

    I’ve looked into the UK options for partnering with an existing charity but the main one here focuses on primary(translation: elementary) and, at a pinch, 11-13yos, whereas I think we’re probably looking at mostly 11-18. Possibly still worth approaching them; it would certainly simplify distribution.

    Re: Non-fiction, I like the idea but until we start actually, you know, raising money (and talking to publishers to see if they’ll agree to discounts?) it’s a bit hard to say what kind of funds we’re working with – and of course I’m working the UK end of things which may end up doing things differently from the USA depending on relative available cash.

    Basic goal I’m hoping for is YA winner, followed by YA finalists, followed by this year’s Best Novel finalists, followed by assorted Best Novel finalists past (like The Goblin Emperor, since it sort of inspired the whole thing), plus any kind donations from authors – based on the feedback I’ve had from the schools.

    School selection is also something to think about – would we prefer to give more books to fewer schools, or fewer books to more schools?

    If anyone is willing to make and donate a logo – or knows someone who would be willing – we could look at swag. I’m definitely not an artist, and I certainly haven’t got the first idea about designing for badges, but if there is one I could see if it would be feasible.

  32. @Steve Davidson

    The “dealer’s room” used to be called the “hucksters room” because, while some commercial activity at conventions was deemed to be of necessity, there was still a desire to keep such crass commercial interests at arms length from the greater purpose of simply getting together and sharing a common interest.

    I don’t think the pups will ever grok that.

    The only cons I’ve been to have been commercial, even the cons for indie comics/zines. Aside from that, I’ve been involved in live music for a while, where there is also a distinct difference between fans and performers (though there are also crossover moments). When I first heard a friend who edited an SFF zine or two, and whose husband is a SFF writer, talk about “fans,” I thought she was being incredibly condescending. I forget what exactly she said. I finally brought that up a few conversations later, and she explained the traditional meaning of fan, where pros and readers alike are all fans (fen?). I love the non-commercial aspect of traditional fandom. Funny, fans certainly don’t shy away from spending money, but still avoid commercial motives.

  33. (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.

    WisCon 35 disinvited Elizabeth Moon over comments she made about Islam on her LiveJournal back in 2010. It was quite the kerfluffle.

  34. @Rev Bob: that’s largely directed at gaming conventions, I presume?

    My “local” con has tapped me for panels for five years now. Their program (YCMMV) is to comp the membership fee for panelists, give them a “Panelist” ribbon for their badge, run a mini-bio on their facebook page, and regularly inform them that hotel rooms are filling up fast.

    That’s not a complaint. When first informed that my membership would be comped, I was pleasantly surprised.

    I WORKED (very long and very hard) for two Worldcons that fully expected me to pony up a full attending membership fee; I got crash space with other concom members once at the convention.

    The “local” con is almost a 90 minute commute from my home. I’ve never been in a scheduling position to be able to book a hotel room far enough in advance to get one, so I commute. I pay $40 per day to park my car if I am unlucky – $10 if lucky. Gasoline and 3 hours out of my day for three days. Plus hasty meals at expensive hotel restaurants. (On the other hand, I’d be paying about $175 per night if I managed to get a room.)

    I do it because I WANT to, not because it’s “extending my brand”, not because I’ll sell a few extra copies of our anthologies, not because I’m going to have a great meeting with someone leading to future economic benefit.

    This August, I’m paying for a booth, three round trip airfares, an AirBnB rental, meals for three for five days, (no doubt for other guests too), shirts for several people, and GIVING OUT FOR FREE the product I’m going there to promote.

    I am also being tapped for panels and I am not expecting Worldcon to give me one single penny by way of compensation*. By one measure, you could say I’m going to be spending about 25k for the privilege of appearing on a couple of Worldcon panels.

    I consider it a privilege. One of my lifetime fannish goals, to be recognized sufficiently for my genre activities that I’m invited to appear on panels at a Worlcon. I’ll probably be wearing my Amazing Stories team shirt when I go, but there won’t be a pile of magazines on the table in front of me (maybe one in my bag…).

    Any relative of mine who told me they expected me to pick up their airfare or gasoline expenses and put them up in a hotel while they attended my family get together would have other options suggested to them, such as, they can stay at home (not quite worded that way). If they don’t at least ask “what can I do to help”, I might leave them off the invite list the following year.

    *If I had said “if you want me on panels, you’ll waive my booth fee”, I would hope and fully expect the programming staff to say “no thanks”.

  35. GSLamb, that would be terrific! If we can hook Benevolent Airships up with an accredited 501(c)3, that will save whomever is organizing it on the US side of the Pond (note: I am *not* volunteering!) from jumping through an *enormous* number of hoops, and will probably make publishers somewhat more likely to sell us books at a discount, or (unlikely but possible) even donate some outright.

    As for age ranges, I’d say, honestly, anywhere from elementary school through high school would be good. Say, 10-18?

  36. Congrats Cora!

    14) I think he missed the part, that other GoH may have complained. Or sponsors.
    15) Funny. But proves again that he grossly overestimates his own importance (and the percentage of the fandom thats close to the puppies). Good riddance, I guess, but I doubt hes following through, sadly.

    Please dont scroll anything, I wouldnt scroll, and definitely dont file, what I would file in the next days,tomorrow Im off to playing games for, oh three days.

    At first I was afraid, I was pixelfied
    Kept thinking i could never file, without a book by my side
    Well, i was right!

  37. Thanks for the congratulations, Tasha, Joe H., Paul, Peer and anybody I forgot.

    Meanwhile, John Ringo continues to demonstrate why he is not a good fit for most cons except for very commercially oriented conventions and cons on the very right side of the political spectrum such as LibertyCon.

  38. @Meredith – I think we’d need to hit up Sofawolf about getting a box over there. Assuming it could be sent to a central location, it’d be…oh, not cheap, since shipping to the UK is brutal, but certainly doable, and I’ll chip in on the shipping. If you email me at ursulav (at) gmail.com and give me some details I can pass on to the publisher, we could probably get the ball rolling.

  39. @RedWombat

    Thanks! I’m not at the point where I’m confident enough to want to take up too much of people’s time, but as soon as (if) I am I’ll get in contact.

    As far as central location goes I was sort of working on the principle that if I get an existing charity on board then they probably already have one, and if it ends up being DIY then I’d need to organise one, even if it ends up being someone’s house + a few volunteers to help get everything unpacked, sorted and sent out.

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