N.K. Jemisin on TIME100 List

N.K. Jemisin has been named to TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2021 in the Artists category. Her citation was written by Stacy Abrams, who is herself on the list in the category of Leaders.

… Jemisin’s genius is in how effortlessly she shatters our misconceptions about one another and our world, then invites us to dream to do better.

The complete list is here.

Jemisin tweeted her reaction:

[Thanks to Bonnie Warford for the story.]

Sunday Times Interviews Astronaut Applicant Dr. Emma J. King

Dr. Emma King, Tessa Naran and Dr. Jackie Bell. Photo by Tom Barnes.

Dr. Emma J. King, longtime fan, chair of Lazlar Lyricon III and known for her science fun experiments at conventions, is one of over 23,000 applicants to become an Astronaut as part of the European Space Agency drive to find six new recruits.. There is a six-stage process, of which the first is still ongoing, although 20% of applications were immediately found ineligible and have already been informed.  

5,500 of the applicants are women, approximately 25% of all applicants. Applicants have been very resourceful about supporting one another through various platforms, including Discord. 

1000 applicants are from Britain. 

Emma was interviewed by The Sunday Times along with three other hopeful applicants for an article published this past weekend: “The British women hoping to become Europe’s next astronauts”. (Full article is behind a paywall.)

Emma is planning on doing an MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering at Cranfield University in the Fall. 

Emma was the recipient of the Best Physics student in the national Science, Engineering & Technology Student of the Year Awards for her MPhys project on Scalar Fields in Cosmology and went on to win best student overall in the Millennium Science, Engineering and Technology awards presented at the Guild Hall in London in 2000. 

Emma hopes to attend Novacon in Buxton, England, SMOFcon in Lisboa, Portugal and DisCon III in Washington DC, Covid permitting.    

Emma noted to File 770, “I also applied in 2008 when I had just finished my PhD and was rejected. The odds of getting through are slim and it is important to be realistic. I have greatly enjoyed applying and connecting with other applicants as well as people in the space industry, who’ve been very generous with their time. I will let you know how I get on.”

Dr. Norah Patten, a special Astronaut Guest at Dublin 2019, has also applied for one of the roles.  

We wish them the best of luck. 

Self-Published Science Fiction Contest Update

The submissions to the Self-Published Science Fiction Competition (SPSFC) have been screened for eligibility and the 300 books that have been accepted will soon be announced.

The contest, created by Hugh Howey and Duncan Swan, is modeled after Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, which just named its sixth winner in May, and has his blessing.

Duncan Swan tweeted this thread about the screening process:

SPSFC art by Tithi LuadthongLogos designed by Scott (@book_invasion)

Save Uncle Hugo’s – June Update

The future location of Don Blyly’s Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores won’t be at his original first choice in Richfield, MN he told subscribers in his June update. His two stores were burned by vandals a year ago while protests were happening elsewhere in Minneapolis. Blyly has since cleared and sold that lot, and is looking to reopen elsewhere assisted by an insurance payment and the Official Help Save Uncle Hugo’s Fund at GoFundMe which has raised $186,665 to date.

Don Blyly

Here are the highlights of Don Blyly’s June 5 “How’s Business?” update.

Larry Correia will be signing his new novel to help out Uncle Hugo’s on July 31, and Dreamhaven will provide the venue.

Larry Correia has a new novel coming in less that 2 months, Monster Hunter Bloodlines ($25.00), and Larry likes to launch new Monster Hunter novels with a signing at Uncle Hugo’s.  He really wanted to help Uncle Hugo’s this year with a signing, but there is the problem of no building.  So I worked out a deal with Greg Ketter at Dreamhaven and with Larry for the signing to take place at Dreamhaven so that the signing can help both stores.  You can now place a mail order for the new book here.

If you can make it to the signing in person, it will start at 3 pm on Saturday, July 31, at 2301 E. 38th St., about 2 miles from the old Uncle Hugo’s location.  Greg will be bringing in a lot of Larry’s backlist books.  Proceeds from the sale of the new hardcover will go to Uncle Hugo’s and proceeds from everything else you buy during the signing will go to Dreamhaven.

Blyly says the clock is ticking on finding a replacement because he only has a limited window to reinvest the insurance in another building before he’ll have to pay capital gains taxes on it. However, on closer inspection his top prospect isn’t going to work out.   

I’ve considered a small strip mall in Richfield as my #1 option since last summer, but somebody else made an offer first.  I was told at the beginning of January that the person who made the offer had 90 days to complete the purchase or the building would go back on the market.    After about 100 days, it still had not sold, so I called the listing agent to find out what was going on.  He said that the parties had agreed to a 30 day extension.  I had several more discussions with him, and he finally agreed to let me look inside the building.  From the description and photos in the listing, I expected most of the 4000 sq. ft. first floor to be one large room, with a smaller back room, plus a 2000 sq. ft. basement.  Turns out that the basement was very nice.  The back room was very nice, except it was separated from the main space by load-bearing concrete block walls, so you had to go outside the building to get from the main space into the back room.  The main space was broken into a lot of small rooms by load-bearing concrete block walls.  The two biggest rooms, at the front of the space, were each less that 1/3 of the space of the old Uncle Hugo’s space, with a concrete block wall with a couple of doors separating them.    I couldn’t figure out any way to make the space work. And there was an expensive pollution problem from decades of dry cleaning in the space.  And the agent wanted me to make an offer in a way that made me very nervous.

There is a part of the tax code that is meant to help businesses that have been burnt out to get back into business.  The business has two years to buy a new building to replace the old building and avoid capital gains treatment on the insurance pay-out.    A few days before May 15 my tax guy told me that if I missed that 2 year window, about $475,000 of the insurance pay-out would go to the government in capital gains tax–a result that I’d rather avoid.  He also told me for the first time that at least 51% of the building I bought had to be used for the Uncles or else I would still have to pay the capital gains tax.  I had looked at several other strip malls where about 1/3 of the mall was standing empty, and some free standing buildings where half of the first floor was vacant but there were rented apartments on the second floor.  If I had liked any of those options, I might have made an offer that used up most of the insurance money, and then had IRS come after me for $475,000 of the insurance money.    At least now I can narrow the kinds of properties to consider.   

So he’s looking through the commercial real estate listings for another option.   

Blyly continues to sell off his personal collection of books, with the money going toward reopening the Uncles.

The signed Heinlein books went fast, but there are still a lot of less expensive Heinlein books left, and lots of both signed and less expensive Herbert books.  Yesterday the high was 99 degrees, so I didn’t get much done yesterday.  You can view the Uncles’ Abebooks listing by going to here and click “View this seller’s items”.  You should be aware that none of the images of the books are supplied by me, but rather are stock images from Abebooks which may or may not be accurate.  Also, Abebooks wants to sell books, not necessarily just my books, so they make it easy to accidentally go from viewing the Uncles books to viewing books from hundreds of dealers. 

He advises customers:

Abebooks takes a commission on both the price of the book and on the shipping charge, so I make more money if you buy directly from me instead of through Abebooks (email me with what you want to buy and I’ll explain how to go about it). If you only want to buy one book, it costs you the same whether you go through Abebooks or directly through me, but if you want to buy multiple books you will save on shipping by buying directly from me.  The money from selling my personal library will go into the pot of money to try to re-open the Uncles. 

Warren Buff Back Home After His Vehicle Is Totaled by Runaway Big-Rig

The wreckage of Buff’s F-150 is at right.

Conrunner Warren Buff was one of two people treated and released after being hurt in a big rig crash in Buena Vista, VA on June 3.

The WDBJ7 story reports:

Buena Vista Police say it appears the big rig lost brakes traveling west on Route 60 into the city. The driver wasn’t able to maneuver the truck onto the truck ramp continuing into the city, and went up an embankment, rolling onto its side back into the road, hitting the railroad [trestle] supports and another truck traveling east on 60.

As Buff told Facebook friends in a post (quoted with permission):

That was me in the F-150. Any landing you can walk away from….

Frankly, the truck driver did amazingly well to only hit me. He dodged a whole lot of people in town, and did a great job using the rail overpass to stop himself. I had the misfortune to be in a no-option position by the time he was visible, and just stopped and waited.

Buff chaired the 2010 NASFiC, was part of two Southern Worldcon bids in the past decade, and was in the center of the 1000 Years of Fandom photo taken at Worldcon 76 in 2018.

He was initially taken to the hospital for tests. Some hours later he added on Facebook: “I’m home, now. Sore, but doing quite well for the circumstances.”  He also says, “I highly commend the engineers at Ford, who put together pretty good safety features.”

A Bradbury Multimedia Roundup

(1) WHO RAY LEARNED FROM. The Ray Bradbury Experience Museum invites you to “Meet Ray Bradbury’s Greatest Writing Mentor: Leigh Douglass Brackett”.

Leigh Brackett

…“Her stories were very simple, and well-plotted, and very beautiful. I learned from her how to pare my stories down and how to plot,” Bradbury said. —Sam Weller in The Bradbury Chronicles.

Brackett was a masterful storyteller of limitless imagination, exquisite writing skills and quite an impressive range. She was ahead of her time just as she was ahead of most of her colleagues, Sven Mikulec reports in Cinephilia Beyond. She was known as the “Queen of Space Opera.”…

(2) WALKING WAUKEGAN. Also, the “Ray Bradbury museum offers virtual tour of his life in Waukegan” – and the Chicago Tribune took it.

…As the pandemic continues, the museum is offering online experiences such as the virtual tour and the “I Met Ray” video project, also in the News & Media tab. The virtual tour, paid for with a grant from Chicago-based nonprofit Illinois Humanities, focus a great deal on the library, one of Bradbury’s favorite places, according to Sandra Petroshius, committee chair of the museum. “Bradbury just loved the library,” said Petroshius, who grew up in Waukegan and lives in Lake Forest. “He showed that in his writings,” she said.

Bradbury’s book, “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” is set in the library, and one of the characters works at a library, she said….

(3) PANDEMIC TIMES. Bradbury biographer Sam Weller looks back at “Ray Bradbury and the Last Global Pandemic” in the LA Review of Books.

…For all the years I spent with him (12 in total, five during which I saw him every two weeks, flying from Chicago to Los Angeles as I was writing his authorized biography), he would often speak about the 1918 virus, the so-called “Spanish flu.” This was in the early 2000s, when few understood the damage a pandemic could wreak. Pandemics were the stuff of a Michael Crichton novel, not our own reality.

Bradbury was dumbfounded that the 1918 tragedy had faded from our cultural consciousness. “Nobody talks about it anymore,” he said with remorse. The 1918 pandemic claimed at least 50 million lives around the world; in the United States, the death toll is estimated to be near 675,000.

…Bradbury lost two family members to the 1918 pandemic. These deaths, with their associated grief, imbue much of his oeuvre. Mortality, loneliness, letting go were the central motifs to Bradbury’s first book, Dark Carnival (1947), published when he was only 27 years old, and dubbed by Stephen King as the “Dubliners of American Gothic.”

Ray Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920, after the flu pandemic had ended. The virus had taken a devastating toll on his family. I have spent two decades delving into Bradbury’s genealogy, combing through lost records, staring blurry-eyed at microfiche screens, trying to understand and fully appreciate how Bradbury’s formative years (what he called his “root system”) shaped him as a writer….

(4) BEWARE PIRATES. Barry Hoffman, Publisher, Gauntlet Press sent out this warning to his list on April 28:

Have you ever come across a deal that seemed too good to pass up? A customer wrote to me asking if a 3000 copy edition of Ray Bradbury’s Dark Carnival being offered by Dragon Books was a scam. The offer seemed to be too good to be true … and in fact, it was an illegal sale of the title.

When Ray Bradbury agreed to let us publish his first short story collection as a signed limited his agent, Don Congdon, told me it would be the only printing of the book, after which it would go back into the vault. But here was a listing of the book for $3.99 with a bookplate signed by Bradbury (with the cover art of our version). It made no sense. Bradbury, of course, has passed away. He agreed with his agent that after our release of the book there should be no other. And, where would the publisher get 3000 bookplates SIGNED by Bradbury? To offer a SIGNED version of Bradbury’s acclaimed first book for less than $4 was ludicrous.
 
I contacted Bradbury’s agent Michael Congdon (son of Don) who sent Dragon Books a cease and desist letter. They agreed and the listing has been removed….
 
It has always been our goal to protect the legacy of authors we have published. Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson can no longer protect their work. However, both still have agents who will take action when an illegal version of their writing is offered. If you see Bradbury or Matheson books (especially signed versions) being offered (other than on legitimate secondary markets like eBay and Abe.com) please contact me at gauntlet66@aol.com and I will look into the offering and, if necessary, contact their agent.

(5) THE SPACE BETWEEN THE WORDS. In “A Science Fiction Author’s Pointers for Worldbuilding with Negative Space” on CrimeReads, Stina Leicht cites classics by Bradbury, Le Guin, and Butler as examples of how it’s what you don’t show in worldbuilding that is as important as what you do show.

…It might be easier to imagine world-building as an iceberg floating in the sea of plot. The reader only sees a small percentage of it. The rest is deep beneath the water and affects everything in the water—visibly and invisibly. That said, communicating with the empty spaces takes a deft hand because the border between too little and just right is quite thin. In addition, Americans in particular are often socially conditioned to say more and listen less. That’s why world building in the blank spaces is an advanced technique most often employed by authors with experience and skill.

A great deal of worldbuilding can happen with what is left unsaid….

(6) A WIDE FANBASE. The “Ray Bradbury: Inextinguishable” virtual exhibit at the American Writers Museum includes a treasured letter. (Click for larger image.)

One of the letters that Ray received in 2003 was of particular significance. It was from Thomas Steinbeck, the son of Ray’s childhood literary hero John Steinbeck.

In the letter, Thomas told Ray that the entire family had been fans of him for years. John would read to the children, and would often choose Ray’s stories. This in turn inspired Thomas to become a writer when he got older. It is amazing that Ray inspired the son of a writer that inspired him so much, and shows the enduring legacy of his writing and personality.

The File 770 post “Bradbury at Big Read” includes a photo of Ray and Thomas at an encounter in Santa Barbara in 2009.

(7) CLIFTON’S CAFETERIA. The eatery hosted LASFS gatherings in the Thirties, and Ray held court there may times in later years. This is/was the dedicated Ray Bradbury booth at Clifton’s in the Gothic Bar room. Photo by Steve Leiva.

(8) LANSDALE ON BRADBURY. Joe R. Lansdale joined a RBEM Virtual Session to talk about Hap & Leonard, Batman and Ray Bradbury.

(9) THE ORIGINAL 451. Christie Hefner will discuss Playboy Magazine and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in a free livestream on May 25, 6:30 Central. Register at Eventbrite: “Playboy and Fahrenheit 451: A Program with Christie Hefner”.

In 1954, when Playboy magazine was in its infancy, it published a three-part serialized novel about the perils of censorship and the seductive lure of anti-intellectual movements. The magazine introduced thousands of readers unfamiliar with science fiction to the genre’s masterwork and helped make it a classic. Former Chairman, CEO Playboy Enterprises Christie Hefner talks about the landmark publication and its influence.

This program is made possible by NEA Big Read. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. The American Writers Museum is one of 78 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host an NEA Big Read project between September 2019 and December 2021. The NEA presents NEA Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest.

(10) THE HEADLINER. Franco Laguna Correa discusses “Ray Bradbury on War, Recycling, and Artificial Intelligence” at Public Books.

One of the roles of science fiction is to provide readers with a glimpse of how the future could be.1 Ray Bradbury didn’t get everything about the future right. We haven’t yet seen books and reading made illegal (as in his 1953 Fahrenheit 451),2 just as we haven’t yet discovered another planet ready for American colonizers (as in his 1950 The Martian Chronicles). And yet, the themes he explored in those books—mass media and censorship, colonization and environmental change—are more relevant than ever. Even in his lesser-known works—such as the 1951 sci-fi collection The Illustrated Man, Bradbury tackles a surprising array of issues that feel as if they were ripped from today’s headlines….

(11) RAY TALKS ABOUT DISNEY. In “The Optimistic Futurist” Leonard Maltin interviews Ray Bradbury about Walt Disney.

From the Walt Disney Treasures DVDs, this is an interview about Walt Disney. It is a bonus feature from the set, and here it is meant to shed light on the genius of Walt Disney.

(12) HISTORIC INFLUENCE. Dana Gioia calls it the “Ray Bradbury’s Butterfly Effect”:

…Was Bradbury really a major writer? Or was he simply the amiable pioneer of a dynamic popular genre? The question persists, so let me offer what I believe will be Bradbury’s particular claim to literary posterity. For one astonishingly productive decade—from 1950 to 1960—Ray Bradbury was probably the most influential fiction writer in the English language. Please note that I’m not claiming he was the best writer or that he exerted the most influence on his fellow writers. In strictly literary terms, Bradbury was not remotely the equal of Flannery O’Connor, Graham Greene, Chinua Achebe, John Cheever, or a dozen other of his Anglophonic contemporaries. Bradbury’s enormous impact was felt mostly outside the literary world—on scientists, filmmakers, architects, engineers, journalists, librarians, artists, and entrepreneurs. Above all, his influence was felt on the young, the generation of adolescents who would shape the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Bradbury’s impact is still evident from Disneyland to Cape Canaveral, from Hollywood to Silicon Valley. It is even evident on other planets. When the Mars rover Curiosity touched down two months after the author’s death, NASA scientists named the spot Bradbury Landing. He was the paperback bard of book burning, the Butterfly Effect, virtual reality, and the full-body tattoo. Bradbury’s dreams and nightmares of space travel, nuclear holocaust, interactive media, robotics, censorship, mass illiteracy, and environmental payback provided the mythic structure for millions of other dreamers in science, entertainment, and technology.

(13) RAY BRADBURY & COMICS. The staff from the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum share behind-the-scenes views of the museum and stories of Bradbury’s love of comics in this 90-minute video.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Michael Toman, Will R., and Martin Morse Wooster for these stories.]

Final Hours of SFWA Silent Auction

Monday, May 17, at Noon PST, will bring a close to The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., (SFWA) 2021 Silent Auction. Final bids may be placed at bitly.com/sfwaauction.

The auction opened on May 10. In the past week, over 1,100 bids have been placed, with at least $9,500 raised for over 160 signed books and advanced reading copies (ARCs), collectibles, informal opportunities to spend time with fan favorite authors in virtual kaffeeklatsches, and services geared toward writers such a career advising, author assistance hours, and pitch and manuscript critiques. 

A number of outstanding items and opportunities are still available for $25 or less, at the time of this communication. To name a few:

  • A signed, limited edition of Ian R. MacLeod’s Journeys.
  • Seats for kaffeeklatsches with writers, editors, and agents such as Troy L. Wiggins, Phoebe Barton, Sarah Pinsker, and Lynne M. Thomas.
  • Framed trading cards from The Walter Day Collection, featuring science fiction and fantasy legends such as H.G. Wells and Larry Nivens. 

The most highly prized items and services available, at bids of $150 and higher at the time of this communication, include:

  • Virtual career coaching from authors and agents such as Seth Fishman, N.K. Jemisin, Catherynne M. Valente, and DongWon Song.
  • Virtual and written manuscript critiques from authors, editors, and agents such as Lucienne Diver, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Lynne M. Thomas.
  • Virtual kaffeeklatsch seats for spending an hour talking online with authors Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss.
  • A signed manuscript for Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Spare Man, which will be published in 2022.

Of course, there are a great many more items and services available between those price ranges. 

Proceeds from the auction will support SFWA’s expanding membership base of over 2,000 members, advocacy efforts for all writers such as launching the #DisneyMustPay campaign and task force, and initiatives to better serve marginalized communities within the larger speculative fiction writing world.

The auction infrastructure is furnished by a partnership with Worldbuilders, an organization of “geeks doing good” that supports humanitarian efforts worldwide.

For questions or to learn about donating your own goods or services for future auctions, contact the SFWA Fundraising Committee at funding@sfwa.org.

[Based on a press release.]

Clarion Workshop Postponed to 2022

The Clarion Workshop has been put off a second year under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. The students selected for the cancelled 2020 workshop will come in the summer of 2022 instead. Clarion will not try to run an online alternative version as Karen Joy Fowler, Clarion Foundation President, explained to workshop alumni:

It is with great disappointment that we share the postponement of the next Clarion Workshop to 2022. Last year, we wrote to you that safety was the primary factor driving our decision to postpone the workshop, especially because of the travel it would require of our students and instructors. That remains true. We also continue to believe that much of what makes Clarion special would be lost in the process of moving online. Although we know by now that distance learning is certainly possible, per last year’s note, “Clarion is a residential workshop, and a significant part of its magic is the space and time it allows students to fully dedicate their days to writing—not to mention living with 18 other writers, similarly excited to shape their craft.” We explored every possible option to both deliver the full Clarion workshop experience and keep our community of writers and instructors safe, but as everyone is aware, challenges with the covid-19 pandemic persist.

We shared this news ahead of time with our Clarion Class of 2020, whom you may also know as the Clarion Ghost Class. We are eager to work with this incredibly talented group of writers, and until next summer will be collaborating with them to help hone their craft and prepare them for the workshop experience and the broader publishing landscape.

Fowler concluded:

Supporting the Ghost Class will be our focus, but we are also working on initiatives to continue building out our Clarion community. We started this last summer by offering our Clarion Conversations series, and are exploring other avenues to further drive our mission and provide a stable foundation for workshop operations.

We know this raises several questions, such as whether we will be opening any application slots for next year and what we will be doing in the meantime. Top of mind for us is finding more alumni volunteers to assist with specific needs in communications, outreach, and fundraising.

[Thanks to Michael Toman for the story.]

Save Uncle Hugo’s – April Update

The search for the future location of Don Blyly’s Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores is still going on he told subscribers in his April update. The two stores were burned by vandals on May 30 while protests were happening elsewhere in Minneapolis. Blyly has since cleared and sold that lot, and is looking to reopen elsewhere assisted by the Official Help Save Uncle Hugo’s Fund at GoFundMe which has raised $184,085 to date.

Fans will also enjoy The Uncles Stories Project, a new website created by his oldest daughter.

Don Blyly

Here are the highlights of Don Blyly’s April 12 “How’s Business?” update.

It’s been about 3 months since my last update, so I’m going to explain what has been going on.  I continue to go through the new real estate listings every week and drive around to look at one to three new options every week.  I’m now looking at both places to buy and places to rent, although buying is still my preferred option.  If I get to a possible location and can’t find a place to park within a block, I cross it off the list, assuming that customers also wouldn’t be able to find a place to park. 

About a week ago I saw a For Lease sign for a space in a strip mall about half a mile from where I originally wanted to buy, so I called to see what they wanted in rent.  For this space with half the retail space of the old location and no basement (but lots of off-street parking) they wanted $6000 per month.  There is no way that the store could afford that much rent. At this point I have my eye on four places that are for sale which might work, but none are as good as my original Option #1.  Option #1 had about 80% of the retail space as the old location, plus a large basement, plus lots of parking. 

The other places I’m looking at have around half the retail space of the old location, usually with no basement, and with varying amounts of parking.  Since it has been about 100 days since I was told that Option #1 would either be sold or back on the market within 90 days, and neither has happened yet, I called the listing agent today to find out what was going on.  He told me that the prospective buyer got a 30 day extension to do more due diligence, and the agent still wasn’t sure if the deal would go through.  I assured him that I was still interested, and he said he would call me if the property became available again.  I will continue to go through the new real estate listings every week, but I’m willing to wait another month to see if Option #1 becomes available again unless I find a really wonderful deal.

… Also, the price of lumber has approximately tripled in the past year, so I’m hoping to be able to move bookshelves from my basement to the new location.

Blyly continues to sell off his personal collection of books, with the money going toward reopening the Uncles.

I’m continuing to list my personal library on Abebooks.com and I’m now listing the authors whose name begins with G.  (I was working on Iain M. Banks at the time of my last update.)  You can view the Uncles’ Abebooks listing by going here and click “View this seller’s items”.  You should be aware that none of the images of the books are supplied by me, but rather are stock images from Abebooks which may or may not be accurate.  Also, Abebooks wants to sell books, not necessarily just my books, so they make it easy to accidentally go from viewing the Uncles books to viewing books from hundreds of dealers. 

He advises customers:

Abebooks takes a commission on both the price of the book and on the shipping charge, so I make more money if you buy directly from me instead of through Abebooks (email me with what you want to buy and I’ll explain how to go about it). If you only want to buy one book, it costs you the same whether you go through Abebooks or directly through me, but if you want to buy multiple books you will save on shipping by buying directly from me.  The money from selling my personal library will go into the pot of money to try to re-open the Uncles. 

Baen’s Bar Returns

Baen Books publisher Toni Weisskopf turned the Baen’s Bar forum back on today, ending the hiatus that came in the aftermath of Jason Sanford’s February 15 article “Baen Books Forum Being Used to Advocate for Political Violence”, a public post on Patreon.  

Weisskopf explained the decision to restore the Bar and commented on its policies going forward in “What I Saw at the Bar 2021”.

I’ve now had time to review the recent allegations made about Baen’s Bar, both specific and general.

And I can say with confidence that not a one of them is justified. What I saw was a vibrant, international community of readers who enjoyed engaging with each other for civilized discourse about everything from slush to scampi, from swords to shamans. I’ve gone through hundreds of posts, though admittedly not all of the hundreds of thousands of posts that were made over the decades long history of the Bar.

Were there posts that I disagreed with? Yes, some quite strongly. But that’s point of free speech. Were there posts which taken out of the context of the discussion they were in could be misconstrued? Yes. I did not see illegal speech even in the most heated discussions. And I did see long-time users step in to calm discussions down—which is what happens in healthy forums….

Weisskopf lays down the rules of conduct – which are the same the Bar has subscribed to all along.

There are traditional rules of the Bar decreed by the God Emperor Himself, Jim Baen of Sainted Memory, the most important of which after “no illegal posts,” are “no hitting” and “don’t be a butthead.”

A later paragraph about what topics are likely to be discussed in the forums includes this line about Tom Kratman —

Kratman is going to be discussing the past, present, and future of war, everywhere, involving everyone—and he has to abide by these rules, too.

But these evidently are not limits on Kratman posting such things as his January 8 item coaching the next stage of the insurrection. It’s still there, the one that begins —

So where do Trump and the nation go from here?

He needs to do three things; start his own news channel, start his own party, and start his own well-armed militia as part of the party.

The militia – again, a _well_armed_ militia – is necessary to present a threat in being to the powers that be such that, should they use extra-, pseudo-, and quasi-legal means to try to suppress the party, the price presented will be far too high.  The militia will be heavily infiltrated; this is a given.  No matter; it will not be there for any purpose but to present a serious threat of major combat, and the shame of defeat, and the reality of death, to the tactical elements, police and military, that may be used against the party….

Weisskopf’s statement closes with this peroration:

But let me put this very clearly: if you are seeking to plan imminent violence, from whatever political direction or none at all, that won’t fly. Equally, if the mere existence of an opinion that differs from yours means that you want that opinion eradicated from the Bar: that won’t fly either.

Despite the warnings, that the kind of thing Kratman uses the Bar for remains within bounds tells readers that the real limits on conduct are set right where you’d predict – the same place they always were.

The only thing that would have come as a surprise is if the status quo had not been fully restored. And there are no surprises to report.

[Thanks to George Phillies and Michael J. Lowrey for the story. Art by Alexis Gilliland.]