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. Kip W on May 17, 2018 at 5:09 pm said:

    Sounds a lot like the landfill I worked at (in the office!) for a couple of years: closed December 25, January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and all Sundays. (I worked a lot of those “other” days that people think are holidays. And Saturdays – 10 hours, including whatever passed for lunch and break.)

  2. Ctein:

    And I do think it is a shame that the movement has passed you by.

    It hasn’t, actually. Let’s just say that in the wake of the MeToo movement that I’ve had enough blunt conversations with the women in my own life to make me realize that the suffragettes aren’t all that antiquated, nor are the first wave of feminists.

  3. Dear Anna,

    “I think somewhere along the line the fact that I completely agree has been lost?”

    No, It’s because I wrote badly and created confusion. I should have started off my post with:

    “Definitely, what Anna said. And even more so…”

    which would have made it clear we were in total agreement and I wasn’t trying to argue with you or talk over you.

    pax / Ctein

  4. @RedWombat: point-to-point transatlantic shipping is horrible — but there is (or at least used to be) a company specializing in packaging blocks of books to use container rates, which are very low. If we’re talking about boxes from multiple sources, I will see if I can recover the info (used for Glasgow in 2005, so it’s not near the top of my stack).

    @Ctein: I attended Wiscon 2000-2014 and worked on all of them, some times in multiple capacities and always as a lead (I don’t remember whether they called a stage manager an area head). I’m still conflicted about the Moon affair.

    @Lenora Rose: agree that Moon was a poor fit; I was stunned when she was announced, as a ~MilSFF writer seems way outside their parameters. I didn’t ask, but I guessed that people were remembering Remnant Population and The Speed of Dark and hearing about kickass female leads, without knowing much of the details of the last.

    @Lenore Jones: I’m all those and male, but I drifted away because it was more and more about areas I couldn’t connect to — comics, TV, childrearing, …, mixed with a dose of I’m-not-talking-to-enough-people-to-make-the-cost-worthwhile. (There was one year I was taken aback by the number of let’s-lay-the-hate-on-the-horrible-world panel suggestions, but not many of them got enough takers to be used.) I never had any sense of being unwelcoming, or even uncomfortable, just of it not being my cup of tea.

  5. Dear David,

    I understand. And am culpable.

    Sometimes we get to these places because the elephant in the living room doesn’t get acknowledged until you’ve cleared out enough of the gerbils that you have to admit that they can’t be responsible for all those peanut shells on the rug.

    And sometimes old battles that you thought were settled turn out to just have gone into hibernation for a time. One of the significant issues for teen-20-something QUILTBAG is bi-prejudice (although it’s on an entirely different axis, it ends up correlating with gender fluidity issues). We old farts thought we’d beaten that one into submission 35 years ago. Nuh-uh, it just went quietly off the radar for a while.

    Can the revolution be over, please? When are we going to get there? I’m bored. I wanna stop and get an ice cream!

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

  6. (4) Yay Cora! Glad you found out in some fashion.

    (9) No Pertwee, no sale.

    (11) Good ones.

    (15) Hallelujah. Cons are now more welcoming to everyone, if this idea takes root. It’s a win-win for all. Er, the boycotting of cons by persons; the stuff paid all in advance is just plain stupid, and never going to happen with your average con budget. No matter HOW bad a con might want someone.

    Showing yet again how clueless Pups are about conventions and how to run them, as well as about fandom in general. But the asking of this will at least mean the clueless concoms (of which there are far too many) might actually bother to do a Google search now and again. At least a decent treasurer will want to do that (I’ve treasurered for a clueless chair. I would and did.)

    I do hope they hold to these standards for ALL conventions to which they might be invited, and not give anyone a most favored nation status. That’d show a lack of principle and that they’re not keeping their word. Whoops, too late. And DragonCon, being commercial, could actually afford it. LibertyCon’s going to need deep pockets if all their usual and likely guests hold to that stated promise. Which men and women of such great and apolitical integrity should be expected to do.

    They need to agree on at least a minimum set of requirements; it’s more effective that way. People can then of course add their own “brown M&M” specifics, but a base set of principles is important or they’re just going to look like individual weirdos. Which isn’t going to make their point/philosophical objections visible; they need branding for awareness. Do a riff on the Declaration of Independence, maybe — “when in the course of fannish events”, with bullet points so it’s easy for everyone to understand. And then the actual contract by a lawyer, which thankfully they seem to have.

    But saying they’re going to bring in GamerGate is certainly 1) not good faith, 2) setting an internet mob on people (I thought they were against that… oh, right, they just don’t want anyone on the internet hurting their fee-fees, they’re the only ones who matter), 3) where they went wrong before and 4) a guarantee that they aren’t going to be invited anywhere decent, polite people gather.

    Once again, the ammosexuals have shot themselves in the foot with a self-fulfilling prophecy thanks to their basic lack of empathy. They really shouldn’t call themselves “Puppies”; your average doggo has more sympathy for other beings and a better theory of mind than they do.

    It’s not an anti-Baen stance, either, as @Karl-Johen points out. I have been to cons where Lee and Miller have appeared, and the first time I saw them, I was so charmed I ran right down to the dealer’s room and bought all available books. They have always been delightful. They’ll even Skype into cons for BoF gatherings if they can’t come (putting up with all sorts of tech “fun”), and they and their giant fluffy SJW credentials are always quite nice.

    Have seen LMB at a number of cons, and am fairly certain her appearance on some panel was what got me started on Miles. I was at a con where she was GoH and she was not only funny and gracious, she was less than no trouble and the hardest working woman in SF business. She’s a class act. Weber was well-behaved as a GoH and his fans are charitable folk and snappy dressers.

    I think the Benevolent Airships should probably partner with existing organization(s), who are likely to know what’s needed where, the rules about what is and isn’t de trop, and how to get books to kids most efficiently nation-wide. I lean towards libraries, as that way each book donated with be available for many a kid, and agree with @Elisa that nonfiction science books would be another thing that should be airlifted in. Kids need to know about astronomy, and geology, biology, chemistry and physics and all. Gotta be lists of solid well-researched, well-written ones out there. And maybe that “They Might Be Giants” kids’ album about science, for the ones who are audio-oriented. I had a cool science LP as a little proto-geek.

    But I have not and do not Facebook. I do think the Science Fiction Outreach Project would have ideas. They do good work and will be at Worldcon. They go to cons and give away free SFF! Donated stuff, publisher overstock, etc. They kinda had a hard time at Silicon Valley Comic Con — people who’ve only attended commercial conventions couldn’t quite grok that someone in that dealers’ room was actually giving physical objects away free, no money, no email signup, no Tweet, no further contact. I took several books and helped yell FREE! now and then. The looks on the kids’ faces were particularly great (I’m actually going to return the books I got and read but don’t need to keep).

    @Rob Barrett: +1 for sfnal reference by right-wing author who had manners. RAH must be rolling in… um… having his ashes gyrate around in the Pacific at all this.

    @Meredith: What your shoulder needs is a good airship ride.

    @Kurt Busiek: I think there must be some older YA kids who would appreciate a certain comic name of “Astro City”. I hear it’s good.

    @Steve Davidson, re (14): Logically, yes, it implies JDA should be banned from Worldcon for fretting over his safety (and possibly potentially breaking state law). But remember none of these rules apply to right-wingers. They are supposed to be welcomed at all times and catered to, and only they get freedom of speech/association; it’s only those evil SJWs that aren’t allowed to have their way in anything.

    But I don’t get the “conventions are only for making money” thing either. They’re supposed to be for having fun, learning stuff, meeting people, and maybe making some money.

    @Kip W: Is that like a Screaming Yellow Zonker? I loved those!

  7. Dear Anna,

    I can identify with all of that, unfortunately, although some of it doesn’t affect me as directly firsthand.

    Catastrophic poly failure is something I have been lucky enough not to experience. No, wait, faulty memory. My second relationship failed catastrophically and traumatically. 40+ years ago, but if it hadn’t driven one of them out of the local community, it would have driven me.

    Maybe yours will stop going to Wiscon at some point.

    There are a couple of people at Wiscon I detest enough that I won’t even acknowledge their existence at the same time that I try to avoid being in the same room with them. I get it. I’m not going to let it stop me from going to Wiscon, but it’s a hurdle to navigate.

    The border stuff! The way Amal El-Mohtar got treated last year coming over from Canada wouldn’t be likely to make you feel any safer. I’ve got several friends and one sweetie who won’t come to the states from Canada anymore. They feel, with some justification, that it puts them or their partner at too much risk.

    Conversely, a local sweetie, entirely born and raised by Americans, in America, is half Egyptian. And she totally looks it. Traveling outside the US is always a terrifying experience for her that leaves are in a state of high anxiety. No, correction, it’s not traveling outside the US, it’s what might happen to her when she returns. Even just flying domestically, with a Known Traveler Number, she’s in a state before she goes to the airport.

    Totally ridiculous, because oh no, nobody gets profiled by the TSA and Homeland Security, is all quite egalitarian and impartial. Suuuuure.

    In today’s regime, even I don’t feel entirely safe. I’ve got $2,000 in small bills, acquired over the course of the year, stuck in the back of a drawer. In case I need to leave suddenly.

    I’m about as assimilated a Jew as you’ll find. No identification whatsoever with the religion or customs, and I believe that Israel is becoming something uncomfortably like the things they escaped from. But, y’know, if the brownshirts come knocking on my door, they’re not going to be starting out with a political or religious survey.

    So I’m ready.

    Just so nobody here thinks I’m raving paranoid, I do not actually expect that to happen. If I had any feeling that it was likely, I would already be gone. History has made it very clear what happens to Those Who Wait Too Long.

    But just in case… There is the drawer.

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

  8. Lurkertype:
    It is indeed, and because I was asking if anyone on Twitter knew whether they had made the comeback that was being mooted in 2016. It appears it was a limited engagement, alas. I could go for some. But not too many. Just a box or two, then back to being cautious about lumps of sugar in the bloodstream.

  9. agree that Moon was a poor fit; I was stunned when she was announced, as a ~MilSFF writer seems way outside their parameters. I didn’t ask, but I guessed that people were remembering Remnant Population and The Speed of Dark and hearing about kickass female leads, without knowing much of the details of the last.

    Or maybe the were remembering The Deed of Paksenarrion, one of the finest fantasy trilogies written. (IMO) Which came before the space stories and is what she made her reputation on.

    For that matter, I wouldn’t even call her space stuff MilSF. I mean, it is, if you stretch the definition very loosely, but it’s not really what a lot of people think of when they think of MilSF.

  10. @Kip: I got one box then and shared it around with several people our age; we really can’t eat like that any more.

  11. I expect that I’d eat the first box in two sessions within the same day. After that, the second box would last the rest of the week. Then I would cower in fear and not allow myself to buy a third box for a long time.

    It wasn’t enough to worry about my teeth. It wasn’t enough to worry about my weight. I had to get a diabetes scare—that’s when I stopped drinking soda and fruit juice and made some other changes. I didn’t stop entirely. I have a can of soda most months now, and when I’m at a motel with a breakfast setup, I will have a third of a cup of orange juice and drink it right down and remember when I could do that all the time.

  12. @rochrist: Chip said “approximately a MilSFF writer”. And considering her books are full of people who are in future militaries on other planets, well… Sure, she’s heavier on women and characters and less on the pew-pew than average, but it’s still by golly squarely within the definition of MilSF.

    @Kip: Which is why we split the box 4 ways. It did disappear immediately that way, and we had a nice nostalgia session, missing the Peter Max art.

  13. Chiming in belatedly to say I love the emerging concept of the Benevolent Airships book charity. (Though my brain keeps trying to turn it into something like “The Airship Benevolent Society” or “The Benevolent Airship Society” or something similarly neo-Victorianish.) I have very little brain for helping organize things, but when it’s set up I’ll be happy to make monetary contributions.

  14. Elisa Bergslein (hope I’m spelling that right; it was a few pages ago) wrote a comment that was held in moderation (first comment syndrome, no doubt) that will be of interest to those of us who support (or want to support) Benevolent Airships. I’m linking back to it HERE for those who missed it.

  15. I’ve now read at least one novel in all of Best Series (thank you to the anonymous Filer benefactor – Filerfactor? – for The Cloud Roads).

    Tentative ranking so far:
    Divine Cities
    Memoirs of Lady Trent
    Stormlight Archive
    World of the Five Gods

    The order of the top two is unlikely to change, although if I get the chance to read more of Raksura it might very well take second (as it is I didn’t want to move it above a series that I know shines as a series), but the last four are subject to adjustment. Raksura and Stormlight Archive I’ve only read one so they’re especially tentative since I’m not confident about my ability to judge a series accurately based on book, but I really quite liked Raksura so unless Wells spoons it for the sequels I’m pretty happy about where it is. Stormlight Archive, Incryptid and Five Gods might swap around depending on my mood and what aspect I feel like favouring. For example, I might trot off to my notes and swap SA and WotFG right now…

    I need to do that sleeping thing (and also I’ve just had very little brain today – surprising how much mental energy having “owowow” on repeat takes up) but if Elisa (or anyone else) hasn’t written something up for Mike to post I’ll try to do it when I wake up.


    Thank you!

    @Heather Rose Jones

    I’m not against minor changes to the name. (Or major ones, really; I was just being silly and co-opting the [attribute] [noun] format for my own ends.) We could hold a poll once we have a discussion post, maybe, if people prefer those.

    @Lis Carey

    I can’t speak for Elisa (USA Dirigible! I love that; can I call myself UK Dirigible unless/until someone else takes lead? If I’m a very good and very hardworking little Filer maybe someone will draw me a dirigible with a dragon on it) but certainly at some point I think I might need volunteers to give a little time almost as much as the fundraising, so maybe that would be an option for you. And of course there’s publicity in general and word of mouth is important for that.


    Well, Facebook is awful, and you’re not the only one here who doesn’t use it. Better to have somewhere else.

    As far as my shoulder goes – don’t worry! Nothing happened, exactly – I have a genetic condition which means my collagen is a bit faulty and doesn’t keep my joints where they ought to be. This is an especially painful just-another-Tuesday, but I’ve always got something on the fritz; things hurt and do as much damage as they would for anyone else (although my pain tolerance is pretty good by now) but it isn’t as major/serious as it would be for someone who wasn’t used to it.

    My sympathies for the car accident, though – I got hit by a car when I was a teenager and while I was basically okay (just some spectacular bruises and a bit of whiplash) it wasn’t a very comfortable experience. Although my fashion-obsessed young self was a bit thrilled to have been knocked over by the editor of Elle Magazine (less thrilled to have traumatised her in the process – it was my fault). It shakes you up a bit even when it wasn’t that bad physically.

    I do like the non-fiction science idea (I started eyeing the Royal Society Science Books Prize nominees – and for not-necessarily-science, the Hugo Best Related Works finalists) and certainly it’s a good, I dunno, stretch goal? Future goal? Something like that. I’ve got my own “maybe someday” mini-expansion dream – I quite like the idea of getting a few sponsored supporting memberships and having a competition to award them to teens who are already fannish/enthusiastic readers so they could participate in the nominating and voting – and that’s much more of a scope-creep than adding non-fiction.

  16. @Lurkertype: “LibertyCon’s going to need deep pockets if all their usual and likely guests hold to that stated promise.”

    Subject to the standard caveats (“back when I was on staff, but that’s been a while now, and memory is not perfect”)…

    They have such pockets. The common practice when Timmy was con chair was to keep enough money in the con account to weather at least one lean year, and I have no reason to believe that his daughter (the new con chair) has changed the practice. IIRC, that figure was in the $25K range, easily enough to handle prepaying for travel for half a dozen guests and their plus-ones.

    In addition, consider that they have reliably hit their membership cap with preregistrations only for the past few years, typically a few months before the con opens. As a result, they no longer need to have any capability for selling memberships on-site – just go in, identify yourself, and pick up your badge.

    Whatever one may think of Timmy personally, he put in a solid quarter-century of organizing and running conventions. He knows his stuff, at least for conventions of that scale, and I never had reason to doubt his claim that several Southern cons use his paperwork (bylaws, 501(c)3 documents, etc.) as their templates. Plus, the con is damned near homogenous now. It’s exceedingly unlikely that they’re going to even think about voting on a prospective guest whom their membership would consider controversial, or that such a guest would accept if invited.

    For LibertyCon, the Puppy uproar was an invigorating shot in the arm. It energized them and brought attendance to record highs. They have no reason to change, which was a major reason for my departure. I had no hope of changing their culture and no desire to participate in it, so I walked away and freed my slot and room up for someone who would feel more comfortable there.

  17. Meredith: I’ve now read at least one novel in all of Best Series

    Last year I had already read all of 4 of the finalist series when the finalists were announced. This year I had only read 2 of them (Divine Cities and Five Gods).

    I’ve now read all 5 Raksura novels plus the two collections (which include 4 novellas and various shorter stories). I really enjoyed this series, but it poses no threat to The Divine Cities on my ballot.

    I have also read the first two InCryptid novels. Based on how much I enjoy the October Daye series, I hoped — expected — to really enjoy these, as well. But while they’re perfectly competent urban fantasy, I think they’re rather pedestrian. I’ve tried to figure out why I feel so differently about two series by the same author which have so much in common, and the best I can come up with is that the October Daye books mostly take place in the fae world, and the InCryptid books take place in the “real” world, which isn’t as interesting to me. The latter are chock-full of pop culture references, which I also just don’t find terribly interesting or appealing. Possibly it’s also a function of the youth of the protagonist versus Toby Daye, who is older and has more of a history. The main character in these books (the next two feature a sibling, rather than this character) also seems to be just way too-uber-competent to be believable or enjoyable. I don’t see myself going back to the rest of the books anytime soon.

    I’ve just started the first Lady Trent book and it’s not grabbed me yet, but I’m hoping that it will. I really enjoyed the author’s Varekai novellas.

    I haven’t started The Way of Kings yet; at 1100+ pages, I’m waiting for the e-book version. Based on what people have said, it appears to be mostly an incredibly lengthy Prologue for the 5-book series (of which only the first 3 have been released), and well… I’m not voting a very blatantly-incomplete series for a series Hugo. I’m not expecting to put it above No Award.

    As far as Five Gods, someone expressed yesterday exactly what I think: it doesn’t feel like a series to me, it’s just a loosely-shared universe, and the individual parts have already been amply recognized by Hugo nominations and wins.

    Tentative ranking so far:
    Divine Cities
    World of the Five Gods

  18. @JJ:

    Oddly enough, your descriptions of why you prefer Daye over InCryptid succinctly explains why my preferences are precisely the opposite of yours. I’m not much for faeland, and I like whimsical pop culture riffs.

  19. @Meredith: Divine Cities must be absolutely incredible for it to beat out Lady Trent and all those dragons for you…

    I picked up the first one recently on sale, although it’s a few places down my TBR currently. Finishing off Book 2 of Brent Weeks’s Lightbringer, then I have a non-fiction read about octopuses, followed by Mark Lawrence’s Grey Sister… and then maybe City of Stairs.

  20. @JJ: To call The Way of Kings “just a… Prologue” is (imo) greatly overstating the case. It’s a first act. Like many first acts, it has a narrower focus than the rest of it. Did you watch Babylon 5? If so, think about where the story was at the end of season 1, compared to how things had opened up by the start of season 4. It’s like that. The book does introduce us to the ensemble of main characters, and puts at least two of them through a good deal of development.

    Oh, and…it’s a 10 book series, albeit one that will have two distinct halves.

    None of which is intending to quarrel with the idea that a series which is radically incomplete should be at a disadvantage in the category.

  21. @Meredith/JJ

    I’m currently joining you in placing Divine Cities top, to be followed by Lady Tent and Raksura in some order (I’ve read the whole of the former, but only one of the latter so far, which was good enough that I’m suspending judgement until I’ve read more).
    Below that, the incomplete series can compete amongst themselves. I’m about to read Paladin/Hallowed Hunt to complete Chalion (no idea why I hadn’t got to them already given how much I liked Curse) and I guess I’ll make a decision about whether it goes in the complete or incomplete pile after that.

    I may have been slightly harsh about the Prologue-ness of The Way of Kings – plenty of stuff does happen – but that sensation of being carefully set up does persist.

    Divine Cities really is the standout in the category for me though. Three individually great books that also form more than the sum of their parts? If we’re going to have a category that creates the Reading List From Hell then at least this is the sort of thing that ought to be coming from it.

  22. Various scattered notes and replies:


    (Besides, isn’t there an Internet rule that goes something like “don’t read the comments”?)

    It’s more in the realm of a guideline or general advice, and it isn’t applicable in this case: it is more for news pieces. Fandom at LJ at that time was very much an amorphous, large, and fluid community—reading the comments was to a large degree the point of being there, much as it is here.

    @Anna Feruglio:

    If instead of Islamophobia it had been antisemitism would you be as willing to play down the seriousness of the episode? Asking for a friend.

    I don’t like the underlying assumption that any trace of anti-semitism is an automatic red card, just as little as I like traces of any racism, homophobia, or misogyny as automatic red cards. Or for that matter that you’re trying to imply I’m an anti-semite. We are all swimming in a sea of prejudices and injustices, and have internalised many of them. From when I met Elizabeth Moon (however briefly) she strikes me as a humanist first, and not given to hate. If she holds or held internalised or unexamined islamophobic (or anti-semite) beliefs, I believe considered engagement is better in the long run than estrangement in this case.

    That said, I’m not going to second-guess Wiscon’s decision to rescind the invitation, and from what has been described here by people more involved than me it was likely the best decision they could make at the time (I saw the flareup, read a bit of Moon’s post, and backed out quickly). Speech have consequences yes, but they need not be eternal consequences.

    To me, the fundamental question for GoH-ness is not “does this person possibly hold beliefs that I personally consider abhorrent” but “is this person actively damaging to the community”. And yes, I get Martin Luther King’s lament of the white moderate, but taken to its extreme it would mean an ideological purity that would push everyone away.

  23. While the financial safeguards are likely beyond most cons means, it still sucks when cons disinvite people. You’re organizing huge event. If you can do that you have at least enough resources to research if somebody might not fit your profile before you invite them, instead of doing it and later on taking the invitation back, wasting everybody’s time.
    At the very least I hope such cons don’t make problems when people try to get refund due to cancelation of guest.

  24. She felt that building a mosque close to the WTC ground zero wasn’t a very good idea. One can hold that opinion without being Islamophobic

    No, that’s Islamophobic.

    You might argue that it’s not over-the-top Islamophobic, or that it was a long time ago and maybe she’s thought better of it, but “let’s take rights away from people because they share a religion with other people they never even met who committed criminal acts” is religious bigotry right on the face of it.

  25. @PJ Evans:
    Sounds a lot like the landfill I worked at (in the office!) for a couple of years: closed December 25, January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and all Sundays.

    Who ever heard of a dump closed on Thanksgiving?

    (someone had to say it)

  26. (4) AWARD NOMINEE. Congrats, @Cora! 😀 Fingers crossed (for good luck, in case it means something different in Germany)!

    #14 & #15 seem to be idiots doing due diligence on themselves for the concomm. In Soviet Russian, Guests of Honor vet themselves! (sigh) They really never think these things through, do they. Anyway, Ringo’s right that someone won’t be missed. Oh and as if cons had money for stuff like guaranteeing no take-backs on pain of payment. Sheesh.

    – – – – –

    @Meredith: Warm wishes for restoration of your shoulder! GAK!

    @Contrarius: Oh no, double GAK and warm wishes to your father, too!

    @Vicki Rosenzweig: “three things fans collected most…” – You reminded me of something in Corinthians from a reading my sister did at my wedding. I shall corrupt it here:

    Now these three remain: pixels, scrolls, and files. But the greatest of these is File 770.

    (I thought about making it “love of File 770” instead.) (I dearly hope me playing with Bible words doesn’t offend or anger @Mike Glyer or other Christians hereabouts. BTW while I’m not Christian, the passage we used at our wedding means a lot to me, FWIW.)

    @Christopher Hensley: Anti-trust suit against Origins? For deciding not to have one person as a Guest of Honor?! WTeverlovingF?!

    @Jayn: “On Tsundoku did OGH / A stately pixel-scroll decree…” – Yay! 😀

  27. I think there must be some older YA kids who would appreciate a certain comic name of “Astro City”. I hear it’s good.

    I’ve heard good things, too (and thanks), but I’ll admit, I sorta like the idea of having the Benevolent Airships contribute Hugo-winning or Hugo-nominated books to school libraries, and keeping that “let’s promote the Hugos rather than tasting them” concept for the group.

    Much as I might otherwise like a “let’s promote ME” approach…

  28. David Goldfarb, thanks for your thoughts.

    I really enjoyed the original Mistborn series and The Emperor’s Soul, and I thought he deserved a Hugo just for managing to pull off the last 3 books of The Wheel of Time in a satisfying manner. I bounced hard off Perfect State and the first Wax and Wayne book, though.

    I’m definitely going to give it a fair go, but no matter how much I enjoy the first 3 books, if they’re not a satisfying story in itself, No Award it will be.

  29. I don’t like the underlying assumption that any trace of anti-semitism is an automatic red card, just as little as I like traces of any racism, homophobia, or misogyny as automatic red cards. Or for that matter that you’re trying to imply I’m an anti-semite.

    No, I didn’t mean to imply that you were an anti-semite. I was implying that antisemitism has no place is civilised discourse, not even in omeopatic quantities, and the same should be true of any other bigotry, including islamophobia.

  30. @Cora: the same thinking/perspective that led me to develop the following counter-argument when dealing with those who think “prayer in public school” is a good idea:

    “Absolutely, I agree 100%, there should be prayer in school. Monday we’ll do Pentacostal, Tuesday we’ll do Baptist, Wednesday, kids, don’t forget to bring your live chickens, we’ll be doing Santaria….”

    @Lurkertype: DragonCon is commercial? But,,,but,,,but…they don’t pay their volunteers….

  31. @rochrist: what @Lurkertype said. And I was wowed by Paksenarrion, but suspect that the idea of a mercenary of any gender would not sit well with a large chunk of Wiscon.

    @JJ (re InCryptids): The main character in these books (the next two feature a sibling, rather than this character) also seems to be just way too-uber-competent to be believable or enjoyable. I look on the three siblings as the fighting equivalent of John Stuart Mill: they’ve been training for this since birth — but make make mistakes-of-judgment even so. But YMMV.

  32. “Conversely, a local sweetie, entirely born and raised by Americans, in America, is half Egyptian. And she totally looks it. Traveling outside the US is always a terrifying experience for her that leaves are in a state of high anxiety. No, correction, it’s not traveling outside the US, it’s what might happen to her when she returns. “

    And this is why I’m pissed off att Nielsen-Hayden who continue to say that he will not vote for a WorldCon in US, because of international guests not daring to come. And not thinking of the domestics who don’t dare travel outside of US.

    I do think alternating between US/rest of the world is the only way to go.

  33. @ Hampus Eckerman:

    Looking at recent history (2000-2017) has had 11 US worldcons, 2 Canadian, and 2 UK (for a total of 3 European worldcons), I don’t think it would be completely horrible if there were more than one consecutive worldcon in “not the US” (longest US-only stretch in that span is two 3-year spans of US, with one notable 5-year span of “North America only” (3 US, i CAN, 1 US)).

    Based simply on that, I think it would be refreshing to see 2-3 consecutive non-US worldcons.

  34. On LibertyCon: I can’t speak to to their financials, but everything else Rev. Bob said I can confirm is spot on. Those are also the reason I won’t attemp to bring pressure against them even if they are extending the shelf-life of toxic members of the community. There just isn’t a way to do that at the current time. As for the demands? In the comments on his own wall Ringo has already said two cons should be exempt. One of them is Liberty.

  35. Ingvar on May 18, 2018 at 9:23 am said:

    Looking at recent history (2000-2017) has had 11 US worldcons, 2 Canadian, and 2 UK (for a total of 3 European worldcons), I don’t think it would be completely horrible if there were more than one consecutive worldcon in “not the US” (longest US-only stretch in that span is two 3-year spans of US, with one notable 5-year span of “North America only” (3 US, i CAN, 1 US)).

    1999 – Melbourne, Australia
    2000 – Chicago, USA
    2001 – Philadelphia, USA
    2002 – San Jose, USA
    2003 – Toronto, Canada
    2004 – Boston, USA
    2005 – Glasgow, UK
    2006 – Los Angeles, USA
    2007 – Yokohama, Japan
    2008 – Denver, USA
    2009 – Montreal, Canada
    2010 – Melbourne, Australia
    2011 – Reno, USA
    2012 – Chicago, USA
    2013 – San Antonio, USA
    2014 – London, UK
    2015 – Spoklane, USA
    2016 – Kansas City, USA
    2017 – Helsinki, Finland
    2018 – San Jose, USA
    2019 – Dublin, Ireland

    As you can see, North American Worldcons are becoming slightly more infrequent. Which is a good thing!

    Upcoming bids:
    2020 – Wellington, New Zealand (almost certainly since they will be the only serious bid on the ballot this year)
    2021 – Washington, DC, USA (only bid so far)
    2022 – Chicago, USA (only bid so far)
    2023 – Nice, France or New Orleans, USA (only bids so far)
    2024 – United Kingdom (only bid so far, has not selected a venue)
    2025 – Pacific Northwest, USA or Perth, Australia (only bids announced so far, but no web pages)

    I would LOVE for more non-North American fans to run Worldcons. It’s a very, very, VERY hard thing with budgets that hover around $1,000,000.00. It takes something around 500 volunteers–both staff beforehand and at-con volunteers–to run a Worldcon and every one of them is not only a volunteer but actually PAYS to be a member of the convention.

    It’s becoming rather late to get up a bid for 2021 against DC. The voting is August of 2019. Are there any fans out there who would like to give it a shot? Euorpean Worldcons have had approaching 8,000 on-site attendees lately, so the venue has to be rather large if a group of European fans wants to take it on.

    We’ve never had an African Worldcon, or a South American Worldcon. Are there fan groups there that are interested? Volunteering for a Worldcon is an excellent way to get experience. Indeed, if none of the bid committee has been involved in running a Worldcon it’s difficult to convince the voters to vote for you.

    It looks to me like Chinese fandom is starting to line up ducks; but they haven’t announced another bid yet.

  36. Ingvar: All that depends on the availability of bids. How many non-US, or non-North American bids lost in those years? Then, among the ones that lost, you need to consider why did they lose?

    After Nippon 2007 admitted it suffered a huge financial loss, that made it hard to convince people to vote for the next Nippon bid.

    The bid to return the Worldcon to Montreal was handicapped by later publicity about the 2009 chair (though not about the management of the 2009 con).

    (And although the first Helsinki bid lost, their second won.)

  37. Dear Chip,

    “…but suspect that the idea of a mercenary of any gender would not sit well with a large chunk of Wiscon.”

    Hmmm? I don’t know! I think it would in fact be a very good topic for a panel at Wiscon, along the lines of “does militarism have a role in progressive science fiction?” Substitute alternative words for militarism and progressive, as one sees fit. I don’t know if there would be a consensus on the panel, and I don’t know which way it would go, but it would be a hell of an interesting conversation.

    I would propose that for next year’s Wiscon, except I have zero interest in milfic. But I’d probably go listen to that panel.


    Dear Hampus,

    Not entirely happy with you trying to make my sweetie the poster child for your hobbyhorse, but we will let that slide.

    Your argument doesn’t fly, as presented. It’s a version of “he is focusing on X as a problem but he is ignoring Y.” That is always a weak-sauce argument, at best. Without supporting material that you haven’t provided, it’s no different in kind from people who say, “Black Lives Matter?! But what about cops who get shot? Or white people who get shot?”

    If you have evidence that the likelihood of a foreign national being hassled at the border isn’t significantly greater than a US citizen and that the penalties and sanctions they could be subject to are not significantly worse you can make your argument. Absent such evidence, why do you believe Y is anywhere as serious a problem as X?

    It might well be — I have no data. Do you? If you don’t, it’s just smoke.

    Even if you had such supporting data, I think Patrick’s is as good a reason as any for choosing the worldcon. He’d prioritizing foreign fans and authors, but it’s no more arbitrary than many fans’s reasons.

    Some decades ago, when airfares were a much bigger percentage of the total cost of attending a worldcon, Tom Digby opined that “fans vote with their airline tickets.” He was largely right, especially if you include the “Hey, I could DRIVE to that convention” factor.

    They were choosing convenience over who would put on the better convention. Was that wrong? I don’t think so.

    Conversely, I have always felt that since it is supposed to be a WORLD con, I would like to see a lot more conventions NOT held in the US. I’ve been voting that way since 1975. It’s purely on geography — if it’s outside the US, or even better outside North America, it gets my vote. I don’t pay any attention to the relative merits the US vs. outside-US bids. I also support at the “friend” level far more outside US bids than inside US.

    This is kind of the opposite of the airline ticket philosophy — I’ve only been able to afford to go to to off continent world cons in that 40 years, and even though I was a friend of Dublin, I probably won’t be able to go to that one, and New Zealand is not extremely likely although possible. Still, I’m going to vote for them.

    I’m choosing globality over who would put on the better convention. Nobody has ever told me that’s an inappropriate way to vote. I don’t imagine you would like to be the first.

    On the question of regional mandates, Chip and Kevin could discuss issues around that better than I can. There is some history in that area. Given the size of the recent London and Helsinki Worldcons and the humongous growth of readership and fans in China, I would be surprised if a 50/50 US/other split as you propose would be a fair apportionment. But you might be able to talk me into 25/75. I’ll even let you include Canada in the 75, because I am nothing if not generous.

    Yeah, I know. Nothing. [grin]

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

  38. Some decades ago, when airfares were a much bigger percentage of the total cost of attending a worldcon, Tom Digby opined that “fans vote with their airline tickets.” He was largely right, especially if you include the “Hey, I could DRIVE to that convention” factor.

    Part of the reason for having three U.S./Canadian zones (East, West, Wimpy) that Worldcon used to rotate through was that there were a lot of fans who could ONLY go to Worldcon if it was within a day’s drive. It’s cheaper to fly now domestically at least, but it’s still not as cheap as a day’s drive.

  39. @Ctien/Worldcon: My vote remains – “please hold Worldcon in my backyard, every year…”

    Absolutely it is selfish, I completely admit. But it would help me make up for all of those Worldcons that were held in my “backyard” that I was not yet alive for or cognizant of.

    I will be happy to change my vote for any international, and/or non-Northeast Worldcon in exchange for free air travel, passport renewal fees and, depending on location, vaccinations. (Meal & hotel coverage will not be turned down. Good thing to keep in mind when there are competing non-US bids.)

  40. I think it’s unlikely I’ll ever get to attend Worldcon again, but I like the idea of alternating North America/non-North America annually. Let’s move it around and make it as truly World as possible while minimizing the extent to which we geographically excluding whole populations of fans.

  41. Dear David and Steve,

    Well, you have made it evident that you are not interested in what is best for Worldcon and are clearly NOT TrueFen ™. You are hereby banished from the island!

    (and because this is the Intertubes, I feel it is only prudent to state that this is so firmly tongue in cheek that I need to go see my dentist).

    pax / Ctein

  42. @Chip,

    …but suspect that the idea of a mercenary of any gender would not sit well with a large chunk of Wiscon.

    FWIW, my two oldest friends at WisCon loved Paksenarrion. I bought it on their say-so, but haven’t read it yet, so I have no personal opinion.

    On Worldcon, I do like the alternating idea. But mostly it’s going to be who is prepared to hold it. There are only races sometimes, and that’s the only time we need to think about it. My criteria start with ability to do the work, followed by whether I like the people involved, what their emphasis seems to be, and the location, including facilities/hotels, touristic interest in the area, and fannish strength there.

  43. During the 3 rotating zone Worldcon years, the foreign bids (which always won) were always during the NA western zone’s turn. So a LOT of fandom missed a LOT of Worldcons due to losing their turn entirely at drive-able cons. Probably a decade’s worth.

    I will forever and ever vote for Chicago. They know what they’re doing, they pass on their institutional wisdom, and I love the facility. Plus, the touristing and food are top-notch. Loved their first-night meeting where we took over the planetarium last time around. That was sooo neat. The steak and pizza aren’t good for my diet, but so what.

    And driving is always better than flying. Two to four fen and all their stuff fit in a car much better and cheaper than in a plane.

    I’m glad the Helsinki kerfuffles weren’t held against Dublin, though. A lot of people were annoyed by their lack of communication, like not much about accessibility, and them firing the concom person (Jo von something) who thought it was a good idea to mention that you’d have to pay MORE after the fact for the program book, rather than keep that a secret.

    Jo: “I’m going to tell the truth.”
    Con: “No, you can’t. It’s a secret.”
    Jo: “(tells truth)”
    Con: “You’re fired.”

  44. Dear Steve,

    So which theme song do you align with…

    De Plane, Boss, de plane!


    A three hour tour, a three hour tour…


    pax / Ctein

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