Pixel Scroll 3/27/18 Godstalk It, Jake, It’s Pixel Scroll

(1) READ THE GAME. The Read it Forward site is celebrating Ready Player One’s theatrical debut this week with an interactive 8-bit-inspired excerpt that “gamifies” the prologue from Ernest Cline’s novel. [Click on the GIF to view.]

Read your way to the top of the Scoreboard as you earn points for discovering Easter eggs that bring the content to life. As readers learn of Parzival’s hunt for the keys to OASIS, they’ll maneuver their way around a maze, attend an ‘80s dance party, unlock footnotes, and more. Upon completion, readers can add their name to a Scoreboard and share their score with a link to the excerpt on social media. All of the excerpt’s hidden extras are unlocked once a reader earns the maximum score of 10,000 points.

(2) TV INTEREST IN THREE-BODY PROBLEM. From io9: “Report: Amazon May Pay $1 Billion to Adapt the Hugo-Winning Chinese Novel The Three-Body Problem”.

The Hugo-winning Chinese novel The Three-Body Problem could become Amazon’s Game of Thrones. A new report from Financial Times suggests Amazon is pursuing a deal to make a three-season television show based on the trilogy from Liu Cixin, and it may be willing to pay up to $1 billion to do so.

According to the Financial Times report, international investors say Amazon is negotiating for the rights to produce three seasons based on Remembrance of Earth’s Past, the scifi trilogy more commonly known by the title of its first book, The Three-Body Problem.

In a statement reported by Chinese news outlets, YooZoo Pictures stated that it remains the sole owners for the film and TV rights for The Three-Body Problem, though it didn’t comment on whether Amazon had approached the company or were in talks with them to collaborate on this reported streaming project. Cixin was also asked about this development by Chinese news outlet MTime.com, where he revealed he knew nothing about the project and doesn’t know if he’d be invited to work on it.

(3) DISSENTING VOICE. In contrast to those looking forward to the movie, Vox says “The Ready Player One book used to be considered a fun romp. Then Gamergate happened,” in “The Ready Player One backlash, explained”.

A time traveler from 2011 could be forgiven for being deeply confused by this response. In 2011, Ready Player One was beloved. It was “a guaranteed pleasure.” It was “witty.” It was not only “a simple bit of fun” but also “a rich and plausible picture of future friendships in a world not too distant from our own.”

What gives? How did the consensus on a single book go from “exuberant and meaningful fun!” to “everything that is wrong with the internet!” over the span of seven years?

… But the main thing Ready Player One is doing is telling those ’80s-boy-culture-obsessed gamers that they matter, that in fact they are the most important people in the universe. That knowing every single goddamn word of Monty Python and the Holy Grail can have life-or-death stakes, because why shouldn’t it? (Yes, that is a crucial step in Wade’s battle to save the OASIS.)

For readers in Cline’s target demographic in 2011, that message felt empowering. For readers who weren’t, it felt like a harmless piece of affirmation meant for someone else. Everyone deserves a silly escapist fantasy, right? And since Cline’s silly escapist fantasy wasn’t specifically meant for girls — unlike, say, Twilight, which was getting savaged in popular culture at the timeReady Player One was largely left alone by the people it wasn’t built for…

(4) ASHBY STORY. This month’s entry in the Future Tense Fiction series, “Domestic Violence” by Madeline Ashby, is a free read at Slate.

A partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University, Future Tense explores how emerging technologies will change the way we live. The latest consumer gadgets are intriguing, but we focus on the longer-term transformative power of robotics, information and communication technologies, synthetic biology, augmented reality, space exploration, and other technologies. Future Tense seeks to understand the latest technological and scientific breakthroughs, and what they mean for our environment, how we relate to one another, and what it means to be human. Future Tense also examines whether technology and its development can be governed democratically and ethically.

And there’s also a response essay from Ian Harris, who works on technology issues with the National Network to End Domestic Violence: “The Complicated Relationship Between Abuse and Tech”.

Violence against women is having something of a moment right now. Which is to say, portrayals of domestic violence in film and TV are gaining critical acclaim. Through shows like Big Little Lies and movies like I, Tonya, popular culture is grappling with more nuanced representations of domestic violence and the humanity of survivors of abuse. These are important conversations, and I hope that this is the start of a profound societal transformation, though time will tell. For me, the most disturbing part of these portrayals is not the brutality of the assaults, but how frequently physical violence is prioritized over other types of abusive behavior. It is what we don’t see that worries me.

We see this distorted prioritization in real life, too. I’ve been a domestic violence attorney for more than a decade. Despite the long list of clients who have struggled to get the justice system to live up to its name, I have found that survivors are much more likely to get help for physical assaults than for other kinds of abusive behavior such as stalking, surveillance, harassment, and intimate image disclosures, which frequently feel more harmful to the survivor.

(5) AVENGERS PLUG. A new TV spot for Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War.

The end is near. One month until Avengers: Infinity War.

 

(6) SEARCH FOR DIVERSE FICTION. Rocket Stack Rank has another new feature. Greg Hullender explains:

In response to readers who wanted a way to find good stories by diverse authors, we did an analysis of the most-recommended short speculative fiction stories written by people of color in 2015 and 2016 — “Best People of Color SF/F of 2015-2016”.

This only looks at stories that got some sort of recognition (e.g. solid recommendation from a prolific reviewer, inclusion in a years-best anthology, finalist for a major award), so just 481 stories across those two years. Of those, 112 were written by people of color.

The credit for this work goes to Eric Wong, who did the hard work of looking up information on all the authors as well as customizing the software to let readers group the data different ways.

(7) BLOWN UP, SIR. In “This teacher aims to get kids fired up about chemistry”, the Washington Post’s Kitson Jazynka profiles University of Texas chemistry instructor Kate Biberdorf, who “breathes fire and makes explosions that blast the eyes out of jack-o-lanterns.”

Or what about one who, with a quick pour of potassium iodide into a mix of hydrogen peroxide, dish soap and food coloring, makes bubbly foam that shoots toward the ceiling? Kate Biberdorf is no imaginary teacher. She’s real, and she’s coming to Washington next month, bringing along her blowtorch and cornstarch, her supplies of liquid nitrogen and dry ice, and a lot of enthusiasm for chemistry.

Bibersdorf’s website is http://katethechemist.com/.  How could Filers NOT be interested in a woman who says her goal in life is “to have an explosive science show in Vegas?”

(8) HELP BILL SPENCER. Paul Di Filippo urges readers to support a GoFundMe that will “Give Back to Bill Spencer”.

We all need a little help sometimes. This is one of those times for Bill. He has several different health issues going on right now and the medical expenses he is incurring that are not covered through Medicare are mounting and could get much worse.   As well, he’s facing some unforeseeable out of pocket expenses that could potentially end up being a serious problem.   Right now, Bill simply doesn’t have enough for monthly bills, day to day living expenses and numerous co-pays that keep coming his way for various medical necessities.

Many readers know Bill as the award-winning writer William Browning Spencer, author of novels like Zod Wallop, Resume with Monsters and short-story collections like his latest, The Unorthodox Dr. Draper and Other Stories.

But Bill has contributed to others in a very different way as well.  By freely and graciously donating endless amounts of his time over the years to sponsoring and supporting people who are facing their own daunting problems related to alcohol, drugs and living life.  It’s time to give back to Bill what he has so freely given.

This is something Bill would never ask for himself, but he is one of my best friends and I know he is important to folks like yourself, who may wish to help in his time of need.  Bill is truly one of the most amazing, caring and hilarious human beings I know and if you’re reading this you most likely feel the same.  I think we’d all love for Bill to have the peace of mind of knowing that, whatever happens, he need not be stressed out and worried each day about how he’s going to pay for medication or a test or procedure he needs on top of his modest monthly and day to day expenses.

(9) BISCHOFF OBIT. Writer David Bischoff, 66, of Eugene, OR died March 19. He was a contributor to Doug Fratz’ 1970s fanzine Thrust. His first professional successes included The Seeker, a novel published in 1976, and the Nebula-nominated story “Tin Woodman,” co-authored with Dnnis Bailey, later adapted into both a novel and TV episode for Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also wrote the Star Trek tie-in novel Grounded, which spent time on the bestseller list. His other TV work included Dinosaucers (with Ted Pedersen). Bischoff wrote 75 original novels, and tie-in novels for movies and TV series.

David Bischoff. Photo by and copyright Andrew Porter.

(10) A POLICEMAN’S LOT. Camestros Felapton reacted to Richard Paolinelli’s minor league prank of complaining to the Aussie cops about Felapton’s blog.

(11) MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE. “The hidden history of the UK’s highest peak”: A tourist hiking trail once led to an early weather station whose records are now being used to trace climate change.

Back in Victorian Britain, science was still largely an amateur pastime conducted by bands of self-financed enthusiasts who formed scientific societies. One was the Scottish Meteorological Society, which set up and maintained a network of weather stations across Scotland between 1855 and 1920.

(12) WAVE GOODBYE. “Stephen Hawking’s final interview: A beautiful Universe” starts from LIGO discovery of grav waves.

Tell us how important is the detection of two colliding neutron stars?

It is a genuine milestone. It is the first ever detection of a gravitational wave source with an electromagnetic counterpart. It confirms that short gamma-ray bursts occur with neutron star mergers. It gives a new way of determining distances in cosmology. And it teaches us about the behaviour of matter with incredibly high density.

(13) MAY THE ODDS BE ALWAYS IN YOUR FAVOR. Don’t look up — “Tiangong-1: China space station may fall to Earth ‘in days'”.

Should I be worried?

No. Most of the 8.5-tonne station will disintegrate as it passes through the atmosphere.

Some very dense parts such as the fuel tanks or rocket engines might not burn up completely. However, even if parts do survive to the Earth’s surface, the chances of them hitting a person are incredibly slim.

“Our experience is that for such large objects typically between 20% and 40% of the original mass will survive re-entry and then could be found on the ground, theoretically,” the head of Esa’s space debris office, Holger Krag, told reporters at a recent briefing.

“However, to be injured by one of these fragments is extremely unlikely. My estimate is that the probability of being injured by one of these fragments is similar to the probability of being hit by lightning twice in the same year.”

(14) WEDDING BELLS. Page Six headline: “‘Star Trek’ star marries Leonard Nimoy’s son”:

Live long and prosper, you two.

Adam Nimoy, son of the late “Star Trek” icon Leonard Nimoy, and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” actress Terry Farrell married on Monday, on what would’ve been Leonard Nimoy’s 87th birthday.

The couple tied the knot in a civil ceremony at City Hall in San Francisco, according to film critic Scott Mantz, who tweeted a photo of the couple on their wedding day. Farrell retweeted Mantz’s photo and wrote, “Freakin AWESOME day!!!!!!! Love ya all! Aka: Mrs. Adam Nimoy.”

She also changed her Twitter bio to include “Mrs. Adam Nimoy.”

(15) COMPLAINTS ABOUT DATE OF HUGO ANNOUNCEMENT. The announcement of the 2018 Hugo finalists wouldn’t be on March 31/Passover/Easter weekend/a Saturday if it was up to these folks:

(16) VERTLIEB CANVASSES. Rondo Awards voting closes April 8 at midnight and Steve Vertlieb hopes people will consider his nominated article “Robert Bloch: The Clown at Midnight” for Best Article of the Year.

My published work about the author of “Psycho” … “Robert Bloch: The Clown At Midnight” … has been nominated for a Rondo Award for “Best Article of the Year.” Anyone can vote.  This year’s competition ends Sunday night, April 8th, at midnight. To vote for my remembrance of Robert, simply send your choice, along with your name, to taraco@aol.com

This is the story of my twenty five year friendship with acclaimed writer Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho. It is the newly published remembrance of a complex, remarkable man, and our affectionate relationship over a quarter century.

Robert Bloch was one of the founding fathers of classic horror, fantasy, and science fiction whose prolific prose thrilled and influenced the popular genre, its writers, and readers, for much of the twentieth century. An early member of “The Lovecraft Circle,” a group of both aspiring and established writers of “Weird Fiction” assembled by Howard Phillips Lovecraft during the early 1930’s, Bloch became one of the most celebrated authors of that popular literary genre during the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s, culminating in the publication of his controversial novel concerning a boy, his mother, and a particularly seedy motel. When Alfred Hitchcock purchased his novel and released “Psycho” with Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh in 1960, Bloch became one of the most sought after authors and screen writers in Hollywood. His numerous contributions to the acclaimed television anthology series “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” are among the best of the director’s classic suspense series, while his legendary scripts, adaptations and teleplays for Boris Karloff’s “Thriller” series for NBC are among the most bone chilling, frightening, and horrifying screen presentations in television history. He also famously penned several classic episodes of NBC’s original “Star Trek” series for producer Gene Roddenberry. Writers Stephen King, Richard Matheson, and Harlan Ellison have written lovingly and profusely of their own literary debt to Robert Bloch. Bob was, for me, even more significantly, a profoundly singular mentor and cherished personal friend for a quarter century. This is the story of that unforgettable relationship.

(17) NUMBER PLEASE. A strange post at George R.R. Martin’s Not a Blog caught Greg Hullender’s eye: “I wonder if this is a coded announcement that Winds of Winter is coming?” “Yowza” consists of a series of pictures of hands with finger extended as though counting. But does the number 4534 really mean anything?

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Joey Eschrich, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Ghostbird, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Carl Slaughter, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Greg Hullender, Paul DiFilippo, and Mark Hepworth for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]

189 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/27/18 Godstalk It, Jake, It’s Pixel Scroll

  1. I had no intention to proclaim my friends are more “real” than anyone else’s, and I apologize if that came through. I’m just a little bit astounded to see the backlash because it’s outside my personal experience, which is probably a little more like what’s described in the Slate article that got linked in the comments yesterday, where political discussions are met with reminders we’re supposed to be having fun, although we’re quick to comfort each other when haters give us grief.

    If my mileage may vary, I thought RP1 the book was a fun Willie Wonka homage, with sexism far below Heinlein/Ellison levels. I probably won’t bother seeing it until it’s streamable, although my inner contrarian almost wants to go watch it in IMAX right now.

  2. evilrooster on March 28, 2018 at 1:18 pm said:

    Pablo Defendini has just pointed out on Twitter that Sunday is also April Fool’s Day, which could lead to some…static interference with the genuine announcement.

    Then it’s probably a good thing that we’re not going to be announcing the finalists on April 1, then (except in Australian time), isn’t it?

    JJ on March 28, 2018 at 3:17 pm said:

    I also care enough about the Hugo Awards to prioritize what’s best for the Awards over my personal gratification….

    And since you clearly consider yourself to be the Last Word on what is best for the Hugo Awards, when you bid for and run your Worldcon, you’ll be able to run them for those best interests. It should be interesting to see how you do it better than all of other poor saps.

    rcade on March 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm said:

    If it’s exclusionism to favor congoers in the timing of the Hugo finalist announcement, isn’t the same true of the award ceremony?

    Maybe it would be better if there wasn’t a Hugo Award ceremony at all. (It’s not a requirement, you know.) Just issue a press release on a Tuesday morning, when it’s important.

    Just like those people who think the Hugo Awards should take their award away from that Worldcon thingy and take it to a Real Event. (Such assertions having been made more than once by people who have some difficulty realizing that the Hugo Awards are the property of the members of Worldcon, i.e. The World Science Fiction Society.

    JJ on March 28, 2018 at 3:53 pm said:

    There is no chance in hell I will ever be able to go to a Norwescon or an Eastercon.

    Conversely, there is “no chance in hell” that many of the people attending either of those conventions are going to attend a Worldcon. Even the ones attending Norwescon, for whom anything that’s outside of commuting distance of SeaTac WA might as well be on Pluto for all of the chance that they’ll attend. Or the many, many non-US fans who either won’t (because they don’t have the resources or are justifyably frightened of entering the Evil Empire) or can’t (because they’re banned from entering the USA, and that’s not hypothetical) be able to come to San Jose.

    But at least now, thanks to social media, all Worldcongoers have the opportunity to participate in the announcements. Unless the announcement is made during a time when a significant number of Worldcongoers cannot participate in social media.

    Except, of course, in your hypothetical case of the announcement being made at 10 AM Eastern Time on a Tuesday when Real People (i.e. the mainstream media) will actually pay attention to it, when lots of other people (who don’t count because they aren’t reporters for a New York Media Market) who might be able to participate it are working and not able to participate.

    There is no good time or place for an announcement. There is no good time or place for the ceremony. There is no good time or place to hold the Worldcon. If you make someone happy, you will make other people unhappy. If I’ve learned anything from the years I have worked on and managed Worldcons, it is that.

    I am absolutely serious when I say that people who think that when and where the Hugo Awards finalists should be announced and when (or if) the Hugo Awards ceremony should be held should, in my opinion, start remembering to quiz future bids about it and make it a political issue. Support the bids that will do things the way you think they should be done. And if you think it’s that important, bid for a Worldcon and announce the exact times you plan to do your announcement/ceremony, to Show Them All that You Will Do Things Right. Then get ready to be pilloried no matter what you do because you will be.

  3. Kevin, I realize you’re working very hard to put all the WSFS responsibilities together this year and that’s pretty stressful, especially just before the Big Hugo Finalist Reveal.

    And I sincerely appreciate all the time and effort you put into WSFS, Worldcon, the Mark Protection Committee, and helping people draft proposals to update the Constitution–even when you don’t agree with them!

    But I don’t think you’re helping Worldcon 76’s case, here.

  4. @Kevin: The Hugo awards were regarded as the pinnacle of the Worldcon long before you were in fandom; your hyperbole re reducing the Worldcon is not constructive.

    @ULTRAGOTHA: that’s a different position; JJ “guarantee”d that there would be conflict.

    @Charon D.: re context: consider Birth of a Nation and Song of the South.

    @Standback: Is announcing the Hugo shortlist on Pesach any better, or any worse, than announcing the final winner on Shabbes? Why, or why not? When has this happened on-site? Maybe for the first award or two in Scotland and Helsinki, where sunset may be well 8pm even in August. Or are you raising an issue with the ceremony happening at a time such that somewhere in the world it’s still Shabbes? (And if so, is it not licit for a non-observant friend to watch and report?)

    @Mary Frances: I remember my college entry well enough to know that missing orientation is a bad idea (even if it doesn’t feature visits to many living groups to choose where one will live, as one college in this area did when I was paying attention). I have seen one outlier in this area back up times to get closer to everyone else’s schedule, but I haven’t been aware of actual classes starting that early — possibly because in Boston the first of September is the day 90% of the leases turn over, at which date residents such as myself find a convenient hole and pull it in after us.

    @Marshall Ryan Maresca: the Boston Globe is very light on news on both Saturday and Sunday, and the BBC is perceptibly lighter (especially in the categories seen as not time-critical, such as scitech or entertainment news); that’s a small sample, but it’s what I can speak certainly about. There’s also the widely-reported US trope that announcing unwelcome news late on Friday is a good way to bury it, because it may not make Friday newscasts and will be eclipsed (e.g., pushed off the front page) by weekend events by Monday. @Vicki points to pull, but IMobservation push is as significant. This applies to MSM; pure-net operations such as you cite may be less affected — although I get the impression (based on comment quantities) that a lot of people pay less attention to the net on weekends.

    @andyl: Good Friday is a holiday in parts of the US. The stock market is closed, but the only year I had it was when I was working (in Boston) for a company based in the midwest.

    @rcade (re why timing desires are different for nominations vs awards): because nominations are a press release that nobody is present for, while the awards are a ceremony for which live attendance (by people who mostly are not paid to go) is desirable.

    @NickPheas: congratulations and felicitations! (Have you kissed your sleep cycle goodbye yet?)

    @Kip W: ah, history. (About the time that was reported, I was working with a different Dirksen, who had a pre-announced response to the inevitable question: no, he wasn’t related.)

  5. Pingback: 2018 Worldcon Chair Answers Criticism About Scheduling of Hugo Finalist Announcement | File 770

  6. @Chip, I am pretty sure the Hugos were on Friday in Helsinki, with the Masquerade on Saturday. Someone much earlier in this thread said they had to leave at about the Campbell award, because Shabbat was fast approaching. That would tend to confirm my recollection.

    As for school dates, I remember being surprised when my family moved from a Boston suburb to north Georgia, that the public schools there started in late August rather than in September. This was in 1968. So it’s not new, but it is regional, apparently.

    Also, teachers and administrators often have a lot of work to do in the week or two before the students start back, if the private elementary school I worked in for a while was any indication. Late August could be problematic for them even if school began after Labor Day.

  7. @Kevin Standlee,
    “Then it’s probably a good thing that we’re not going to be announcing the finalists on April 1, then (except in Australian time), isn’t it?”

    *cough* New Zealand *cough*

    (Actually, as a non-religious person, the date doesn’t affect me, though if the announcement could be made at a time that inconveniences as few people as possible, wouldn’t that be desirable? As a New Zealander (a country even more smaller & remote than Australia), I’m accustomed for this sort of thing mainly geared for UK & US audiences so I just adjust my expectations accordingly.)

  8. @NickPheas: Congratulations on your lovely daughter! 😀

    @Daniel Dern: “Why, is this Hugo announcement different from all other Hugo announcements?”

    LOL!

  9. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan: “No it bloody wouldn’t. I work on week days, and that cuts me, and everybody else who need to work for a living, out of the conversation.”

    The “conversation” is over so quickly??? I’m glad I participate in Hugo chatting here instead of on Twitter.

    “The Hugos are presented during WorldCon and announced during the Easter Cons because they are fandom business first of all.”

    More accurately re. the awards themselves: The Hugos are presented during Worldcon because they’re Worldcon’s (WSFS’s) award, first and foremost.

    @Soon Lee: We really should announce at a time best for you; it’s about time something was announced at a time that worked well for Kiwis! 😉 (Sorry, I couldn’t resist teasing; I hope you don’t mind.)

    @rcace: “If it’s exclusionism to favor congoers in the timing of the Hugo finalist announcement, isn’t the same true of the award ceremony?”

    You’re being disingenuous there. It’s Worldcon’s (WSFS’s) award, so of course it’s presented at the con. That’s apples-to-oranges different from where/how finalists are announced, which can’t be done at Worldcon itself, of course. Analogy fail.

  10. I was hip enough to dislike Ready Player One in 2011-12, as were a lot of my friends. 🙂 I didn’t then have the right word for its approach then, though, and now I do: curatorial, as opposed to transformative. It’s implicitly the anti-fanfic: fan fiction is all about taking your inspirations and doing new things with them, while RPO is all about taking your inspirations and doing precisely nothing to them except admiring them forever and ever in their one static, eternal form.

    Curation is, in itself, a good thing. I love museums and restoration work and conservation and preservation, critical editions, and a whole lot more. I love the discussions about how we define different versions of works, and about priorities in appreciating and study them. The whole deal. But good curation seems to me very much concerned with the thing RPO really never gets into at all: the meaning of the works being curated.

    Nobody in RPO talks about the lesson for their lives of Buckaroo Banzai’s halting his concert to tend to the evident distress of a woman he’s never met and knows nothing about. There is no question like “Is Samwise right in his guess about the dead Southron soldier’s preferences? Why do you think so?” The heroes in RPO aren’t the ones with best insights, just those who’ve most successfully trained themselves to act like databases.

    And I was already seeing that as a problem in lots of fandoms.

  11. @rcade The timing is going to prioritize media somewhere. The U.S. seems the strongest choice to me,

    Well no it doesn’t. Prioritize indicates an active intent, however the timing will favour the media somewhere.

    Personally if consideration of the media is to be taken into account then it should be local media to the con.

  12. Also, I’m not sure where to begin with arguments which prioritise access to particular physical spaces, prioritise secular group tradition/convenience over major religious celebrations, or dismiss the need for expanding publicity (or assume it comes at the expense of the existing fan community, instead of recognising how valuable the participation of potential new fans could be), all for the benefit of something called the WORLD Science Fiction Society…!

  13. @Kendall,
    Tease away, and see if you can top the efforts of our cousins across the Ditch. 🙂

    (Though Australia is an easy target. For example the Australian cricket team hasn’t exactly been covering themselves in glory what with losing their last match despite cheating…)

  14. @Lis Carey,

    Ahhh, yes, the REAL oppressed minority… Christians. I’m glad someone finally has the courage to stand up for that oft-forgot and never pandered to minority.

    @Charon D,

    … context is pretty key to most conversations. The idea that the reception of things is going to change based on the context around them is not new or groundbreaking, and has been the default throughout history. If I were to tell someone “Russia has been outlawed, we beging bombing in five minutes” it’s not a big deal. But let a sitting president joke about it into a microphone…

    @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

    I fail to see how having the announcement made on a weekday cuts you, and everybody else who needs to work for a living, out of the conversation. It might DELAY your entry into the conversation, sure, but to say it prevents you from entering it all together seems silly. (For bonus points, guess where I’m making this comment from… )

  15. And since you clearly consider yourself to be the Last Word on what is best for the Hugo Awards, when you bid for and run your Worldcon, you’ll be able to run them for those best interests. It should be interesting to see how you do it better than all of other poor saps.

    This sneer reads to me like someone pulling rank on other Hugo fans because he’s been involved in Worldcon for so long. JJ has as much right to be personally invested in the awards as you do.

    If you’re going to participate here in discussions about the con and the awards, it should be as an equal. We have as much right to debate and decide policy as you do. That doesn’t make us people who believe ourselves the “Last Word.”

  16. Well no it doesn’t. Prioritize indicates an active intent, however the timing will favour the media somewhere.

    My assumption is that if the announcement was moved, it would be because of an active intent to time it for publicity reasons. So therefore there’d be consideration of things like what media to prioritize and where.

  17. It’s Worldcon’s (WSFS’s) award, so of course it’s presented at the con.

    I think your “of course” could just as easily be applied to the ballot announcement.

    “It’s Worldcon’s award, so of course finalists are announced during other cons. Worldcon has a symbiotic relationship with cons because it travels.”

    But there doesn’t have to be any “of course” here, as evidenced by this debate. We could change anything, given the will and the business meeting votes.

  18. Except, of course, in your hypothetical case of the announcement being made at 10 AM Eastern Time on a Tuesday when Real People (i.e. the mainstream media) will actually pay attention to it, when lots of other people (who don’t count because they aren’t reporters for a New York Media Market) who might be able to participate it are working and not able to participate.

    Psst. A lot of people participate in social media during their workday. Don’t tell the boss.

  19. Alexvdl on March 29, 2018 at 4:01 am said:

    @Lis Carey,

    Ahhh, yes, the REAL oppressed minority… Christians. I’m glad someone finally has the courage to stand up for that oft-forgot and never pandered to minority.

    Observant Christians in this convo are mostly backing up observant Jews. Who are a favored group in Israel and almost nowhere else, being disfavored to a greater or lesser extent in an awful lot of places, for a long, long time.

    I’m an observant Christian, so not planning to attend any Easter-timed conventions, but I can check online Saturday afternoon for the announcements, and comment if I wish. There’s no religious bar for me. Observant Jews can’t, especially when it’s also Pesach. Even Sunday afternoon would be better – there would be a shorter time period until everyone could participate, less time until the Monday news cycle, and regular M-F workers would not be at work. Time zones would have to be thought of, of course.

  20. Soon Lee, just so I’m clear… the Ditch is the Pacific Ocean between Australia and New Zealand? (Like the Pond is the Atlantic Ocean…)

  21. Soon Lee on March 28, 2018 at 10:56 pm said:

    *cough* New Zealand *cough*

    Yes, and every other site in the world that is more than 12 hours ahead of PST. I mentioned Australia because of SwanCon, but regrettably forgot about The 2018 NZ NatCon, for which I apologize. The slight was not intentional. In any event, the dateline on the press release will be March 31, 2018, not the following day. The hosting convention is in PDT (UTC – 7), and times/dates of press releases/announcements should be interpreted as being in that time zone.

    rcade on March 29, 2018 at 6:15 am said:

    If you’re going to participate here in discussions about the con and the awards, it should be as an equal. We have as much right to debate and decide policy as you do. That doesn’t make us people who believe ourselves the “Last Word.”

    Agreed. I do not believe that I am the One True Source of All Wisdom, and I try not to use language that states in what I interpret to be absolute language that one particular course of action is the only correct thing “for the good of the Hugo Awards.” JJ’s statement was an opinion that appeared to me to be stated as if it were a self-evident fact, which in my opinion it is not.

    On matters of opinion, one of the ways to get Worldcons to behave the way you think they should behave is to start asking them when they are bidding how they will behave. That’s how Worldcons started being persuaded to participate in Pass-Along Funds (it’s not a requirement), started writing Codes of Conduct (also not a requirement) and so forth. Political pressure when a group is bidding is IMO far more likely to have a long term success rate than waiting until plans are already in place and announced. This is not sarcasm. It’s practical fact that I’ve seen in action over thirty years of participation in the community. I think that such persuasion (as opposed to trying to pass rules to legislate, say, the days of the week or dates within the year when the convention may be held or when the Hugo Awards ceremony must be staged) is far more likely to get results because it builds the behavior into the community’s culture — but it’s not fast and it’s not easy. Pass Along Funds didn’t happen overnight (not every Worldcon joined after it was launched). Convention Codes of Conduct are still a work in progress. And so forth.

    The other route is to go forth an bid for a Worldcon so you can Show Them, Show Them All, then run it the way you think best. I cannot possibly be the only conrunner who (arrogantly) though that was what he was going to do, can I? Some of the things I pushed we kept and those things are generally considered best practice. (Serpentine voting on counted votes comes to mind.) Other things were embarrassing mistakes and even though I personally would prefer them, I have long since given in to the will of the members on them. (Starting the WSFS Business Meeting at 12 Noon instead of 10 AM.) In practice, bidding for a convention ends up teaching you a lot above why certain things are done the way they are. Sometimes, revolutionary ideas are in fact good, but it’s rare.

    Psst. A lot of people participate in social media during their workday. Don’t tell the boss.

    Of course they do. But others are blocked from doing so by their increasingly-intrusive nanny software installed by their employers, or at the very least have official policies that make such participate a potential disciplinary offense, even if such policies might be rarely enforced.

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  23. @rcade: What you’re saying is not at all like what I’m saying, which was kinda my point. This is the kind of rhetorical “aha I’ll twist your words then say gotcha!” thing that I really hate when people here do it, though fortunately, only a few people do it and they generally do it rarely.

  24. @Kendall:

    First you called me disingenuous. I didn’t like that but I let it pass without a response. Now you’re suggesting I twisted your words to achieve a gotcha. So there’s two accusations that I commented in bad faith.

    Since we’re sharing our pet peeves, I am not thrilled you are making an issue out of my motives.

    My original question, “If it’s exclusionism to favor congoers in the timing of the Hugo finalist announcement, isn’t the same true of the award ceremony?”, wasn’t asked insincerely. I was posing a hypothetical to further discussion about JJ’s point.

    You took the question differently than I intended, which happens. I don’t always get my point across as well as I’d like to think.

    But if you believe anything I write on File 770 is intentionally insincere so I can score points, you don’t know me as well as you think you do.

  25. The other route is to go forth an bid for a Worldcon so you can Show Them, Show Them All, then run it the way you think best. I cannot possibly be the only conrunner who (arrogantly) though that was what he was going to do, can I?

    I’ve launched several web sites believing I would Show Them, Show Them All. That almost never happened. Instead I took my lumps finding out which of my ideas weren’t all that great in practice.

    Your advice on when to influence a Worldcon is smart. The time I thought my suggestions for the con were most heard was when I reached out to Worldcon 75 as they got their bid accepted.

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  27. rcade said:

    We could change anything, given the will and the business meeting votes.

    Except that there are a lot of other things that should not be considered part of legislation. For example, Westercon has a rule requiring a minimum typeface size on membership badges. Lots of Westercons ignore it. There’s nobody to make them do it, and they don’t pay attention. Similarly, things like Pass-Along Funds and convention codes of conduct are not in the WSFS Constitution. They happen because enough people pressured Worldcon bids to never forget about it lest they be considering political suicide.

    The time I thought my suggestions for the con were most heard was when I reached out to Worldcon 75 as they got their bid accepted.

    Advise from a single individual will not necessarily be taken. But if enough people make it a sufficiently important part of the convention’s culture, it will take root. And that actually means continual reinforcement. We sort of thought that the awful registration queues at the 1993 Worldcon would be sufficient to always remind Worldcon committees that they can’t make certain sorts of decisions about their registration. Except that a generation later, none of the people making the decisions (including their managers and convention chairs) were among those personally inconvenienced by the mistakes, and apparently never soaked up the lore, and then Worldcons started making the mistakes again, with predictably bad registration queues.

    This is not at all easy, and there’s no permanent solution. But writing convention dates into the Constitution is probably a bad idea. Even Westercon only states it as a suggestion. I think it likely that people think that some of the things that are good ideas would stop short of trying to write them into the convention’s primary governing document.

  28. Chip Hitchcock: that’s a different position; JJ “guarantee”d that there would be conflict.

    Yes, I did — and oh, lookie, there are at least 3 Hugo Finalists who are not on social media right now because they are observing Passover.

    As always, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for your apology. 🙄

  29. As too frequently, you luck out. Statistically, you were out line — but I won’t hold my breath waiting for you to admit it, because you’re incapable of admitting you were wrong.

  30. Chip Hitchcock: As too frequently, you luck out. Statistically, you were out line — but I won’t hold my breath waiting for you to admit it, because you’re incapable of admitting you were wrong.

    I didn’t “luck out”. I wasn’t “statistically out of line”. My guarantee wasn’t based on luck or statistics, it was based on who I thought the likely Finalists would be, given the comments I’ve read on File 770 and elsewhere on the internet.

    As far as me not making apologies, I’ve actually posted quite a number of them here on File 770. But I don’t remember ever seeing you apologize when you were wrong, nor have you apologized for your relentless, unwarranted harassment of me on File 770 during Worldcon 75. So yeah, I won’t be holding my breath. 🙄

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