Pixel Scroll 1/11/21 The
Muppet Pastors

(1) LIGHTS OUT AT PARLER. When Twitter banned President Trump and purged thousands of QAnon-linked accounts that fell under the company’s “coordinated harmful activity” ban (due to concerns about online incitement leading to violence), Parler was one of the alternative social media sites expecting to offer a new home to the traffic — until its tech host, Amazon, pulled the plug: “Parler sues Amazon after pro-Trump site goes dark” in the Washington Post.

Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon Web Services on Monday, just hours after the social media network was taken offline when Amazon pulled support.

Parler filed the suit against Amazon on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The company alleges in the suit that Amazon breached its contract by not giving it 30 days’ notice before dropping service. Parler also argued that Amazon was being hypocritical by not taking similar action against Twitter, where violent posts can also appear.Big Tech abandoned the social media site, known for allowing unfettered speech on its platform, over the weekend after expressing concern that the site was not properly moderating posts that could incite violence. Google and Apple removed Parler from its app stores, while Amazon — which was hosting the site on its cloud — decided to stop working with it, effectively removing it from the Internet.

…Even after Apple warned Parler that it needed to implement a more thorough content moderation plan or be kicked off the App Store, the social media network spurned the idea.

(2) HOYT. Sarah Hoyt, in “…Book Promo And Some Blather By Sarah” [Internet Archive link], urged people not to make her Amazon sales collateral damage in their reaction to its treatment of Parler.

A lot of you are furious at Amazon for joining the unconscionable censorship of Parler, which btw is still relatively small and all innocuous, other than, you know, allowing Trump a platform (Because as invaders, the left can’t let the president of the US address the nation, of course.) Look, so am I. I’m even more furious because I have no way out of the trap.

Yes, a lot of you — yes, I’m looking at you — have raged at Amazon for years and told us it would come for us and that we should get out now. This was not only misguided (I’ll explain why) but also it’s kind of the equivalent of poking a chained prisoner and saying “run.” He really wants to, but all you’re actually doing is torturing and wounding him.

However, since last night, this has TRULY become an emergency, not because of what Amazon will do or won’t do to ebook fiction (more on that) but because a core of my readers will now refuse to buy from Amazon under any circumstances, which means that I’m going to lose a lot of my income (and Amazon won’t give a flying fig. But I get your outrage, I understand, and yet you’ll only hurt the writers, UNTIL WE HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE.)

(3) CORREIA. Larry Correia’s post “Bow Before Appgooglezon” [Internet Archive link] at Monster Hunter Nation mentions neither Parler nor Amazon, but everyone in comments knows what’s being discussed, and they do name them.

(4) PUNDITRY. Camestros Felapton finds the two prior authors a source of inspiration for his own commentary. Quoted here are the final lines of a pair of his latest posts.

…So there you go, not one red cent apart from any red cents where a proportion of the red cent might go to Sarah Hoyt.

…It is a bit late in the day for Larry to discover that Elizabeth Warren had a point but it is noticeable that the step big tech took that tipped Larry over the edge was them clamping down on speech aimed at inciting violence to over throw an election.

(5) SCALZI. John Scalzi has written several posts on recent developments, beginning with “Thoughts on Coups and Sedition, 1/8/21”. (His comment on Trump’s Twitter ban is comparatively laconic: “Huh”.)  

Fine. First question: Was what happened on Wednesday an actual coup attempt?

What makes you think that it wasn’t?

I don’t know, I guess maybe I thought a real coup wouldn’t include a guy who looked like a Jamiroquai cosplayer at a Nazi bar karaoke night.

Just because it was a stupid coup attempt doesn’t mean it wasn’t a real coup attempt. Trump plumped for the thing to happen in his nodding and winking way on Twitter, and he incited it and encouraged it in person. The attendees came expecting to take part in one, and had planned their strategy, such as it was, on Parler and other not-exactly-savory portions of the internet. They brought weapons and zip ties. They went looking for congresspeople. They weren’t just there to hang out on the mall, wave their Trump flags, get a churro and go home. They meant business. Fortunately like all Trump business, it went belly up in record time. But that’s neither here nor there for the intent….

(6) JEMISIN. N.K. Jemisin identifies some historical myopia in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s video (linked in yesterday’s Scroll) but adds “I’m mostly fine with Arnold’s message, BTW.”

(7) WATCHING BB. Buckaroo Banzai is the theme of the World Watch One Newsletter for January 10 [PDF file] which contains Steven H Silver’s “The Buckaroo Barrier” (pp. 15-16) where he explains, “I’ve been a fan of the film Buckaroo Banzai ever since I saw it in the theatres. A few years ago, I realized that for a lot of people, the first viewing of the film left them confused and disliking the film. I discuss why a second viewing may be necessary to appreciate it.”

(8) FIVE YEARS. Wil Wheaton shared his sobriety anniversary on Facebook His testimony begins:

Yesterday, I marked the fifth anniversary of my decision to quit drinking alcohol. It was the most consequential choice I have ever made in my life, and I am able to stand before you today only because I made it.

I was slowly and steadily killing myself with booze. I was getting drunk every night, because I couldn’t face the incredible pain and PTSD I had from my childhood, at the hands of my abusive father and manipulative mother.

It was unsustainable, and I knew it was unsustainable, but when you’re an addict, knowing something is unhealthy and choosing to do something about it are two very different things….

(9) SELF-PROPELLED TBR. Most have to go to the mountain, but his Mount TBR came to him, and James Davis Nicoll can even tell you the names of “Five of the Best Books I Never Meant to Read”.

While but a callow youth, I subscribed to the Science Fiction Book Club. The club, wise in the ways of procrastination, would send each month’s selection of books to subscribers UNLESS the subscribers had sent the club a card informing the SFBC that one did not want the books in question. All too often I planned to send the card off, only to realize (once again), when a box of books arrived, that intent is not at all the same thing as action.

Thus, I received books that I would not have chosen but, once in possession, I read and enjoyed them. All praise to the SFBC and the power of procrastination! Here are five of my favorite unintended reading experiences…

(10) MEDIA ANNIVERSARY.

1991 — The Nebula Award for Best Novel went to Ursula K. Le Guin’s Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea, the fourth novel of the Earthsea sequence. It published by Atheneum in 1990. It had been twenty years since the last Earthsea novel was published. It would be not the last novel as The Other Wind would follow twenty years later.  It would also win the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born January 11, 1886 – Samuel Cahan.  Frequent Argosy interiors for us, e.g. Pirates of Venus and The Synthetic Men of Mars (Burroughs), “The Earth-Shaker” (Leinster).  Outside our field e.g. this fine drawing of Woodrow Wilson.  (Died 1974) [JH]
  • Born January 11, 1906 – John Myers Myers.  A score of books, including historical fiction, nonfiction, poetry; for us marvelously Silverlock – get the NESFA Press edition with songs, a Reader’s Guide, commentary; as the folklorist George Melikis said about something else, “I love studying Macedonia because everybody lives there.”  (Died 1988) [JH]
  • Born January 11, 1923 Jerome Bixby. His “It’s a Good Life” story became the basis for an episode of the original Twilight Zone episode under the same name and which was included in Twilight Zone: The Movie. He also wrote four episodes for the original Star Trek series: “Mirror, Mirror”, “Day of the Dove”, “Requiem for Methuselah”, and “By Any Other Name”. With Otto Klement, he co-wrote the story upon which the Fantastic Voyage series and the Isaac Asimov novel were based. Bixby’s final produced or published work so far was the screenplay for The Man from Earth film. (Died 1998.) (CE) 
  • Born January 11, 1928 – Virgil Burnett.  Author, illustrator, sculptor, Professor of Fine Arts at Univ. Waterloo (Ontario, Canada).  A dozen short stories collected in Towers at the Edge of a World.  Here is a cover for The War of the Worlds.  Here is his frontispiece for Jurgen.  HereThe Rubâ‘îyat [pl. of rubâ‘î , a kind of quatrain] of Omar Khayyam.  Here is his cover for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  Here is Alexander the Great.  See this note on a 2013 exhibit by his daughter at Haverford College.  (Died 2012) [JH]
  • Born January 11, 1930 Rod Taylor. First SFF role would be as Israel Hands in Long John Silver. He would follow that up with World Without End (which you probably heard of), the Hugo nominated The Time MachineColossus and the Amazon Queen (Taylor claims to have rewritten the script though there’s no proof of this), The Birds (I really don’t like it), Gulliver’s Travels, One Hundred and One Dalmatians and last, and certainly least, The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy. (Died 2015.) (CE)
  • Born January 11, 1931 – Mary Rodgers.  Her Freaky Friday and three sequels are ours; I’m unsure about her musical Once Upon a Mattress – is “The Princess and the Pea” fantasy?  She did music and lyrics for Davy Jones’ Locker with the Bill Baird marionettes, also music for a Pinocchio with them.  Daughter of Richard Rodgers.  (Died 2014) [JH]
  • Born January 11, 1937 Felix Silla, 84. He played Cousin Itt (sic) on The Addams Family in a role invented for the show. The voice was not done by him but rather provided by sound engineer Tony Magro in post-production. He was also responsible for the physical performance of Twiki on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century though the voice was supplied by Mel Blanc or Bob Elyea. And he played an unnamed Ewok on Return of the Jedi. (CE)
  • Born January 11, 1961 Jasper Fforde, 60. I read and thoroughly enjoyed every one of his Thursday Next novels with their delightfully twisted word play as I did his Nursery Crimes series. I thought last year when I wrote Birthday note up that I had not read his Shades of Grey books and I was right — I now know that I read the first few chapters of the first one and wasn’t impressed enough to finish it. I do know I’ve not read the Dragonslayer series though I’ve heard Good Things about them. (CE) 
  • Born January 11, 1963 Jason Connery, 58. Son of Sir Sean Connery. He’s best known for appearing in the third series of Robin of Sherwood, a series I loved dearly, including the music done by Clannad which I’ve got live boots of. He also played Jondar in the Vengeance on Varosstory on Doctor Who during the Sixth Doctor era (much least favorite Doctors). He was Ian Fleming in Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming. And he was a young Merlin in Merlin: The Quest Begins. (CE)
  • Born January 11, 1972 Tom Ward, 39. He’s Captain Latimer in the Eleventh Doctor’s Christmas Special, “The Snowmen”.  He played H.G. Wells in Hallmark’s The Infinite Worlds of H. G. Wells series, and he’s Edward Goodwin in Harry Price: Ghost Hunter. His latest genre role was as Sir Robert Peel in The Frankenstein Chronicles. (CE) 
  • Born January 11, 1976 – Alethea Kontis, age 45.  A dozen novels for us, four dozen shorter stories.  NY Times and USA Today best-seller.  Keynote address at Lewis Carroll Society’s Alice150 Conference.  “Alethea means truth in Greek, but I was named after an episode from the first season of Kung Fu where Jodie Foster played a little girl named Alethea Ingram….  Our last name was originally Kontaridis, but my grandfather shortened it.”  Makes good baklava, plays bad acoustic guitar.  [JH]
  • Born January 11, 1987 – Wesley King, age 34.  A dozen novels, including two with Kobe Bryant and the possibly well-titled Incredible Space Rangers from Space.  NY Times best-seller.  Has read “Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, The Time Machine, four Shakespeare plays, War and PeaceWhere the Wild Things Are.  Lives in Nova Scotia and on a 1967 sailboat.  [JH]

(12) COMICS SECTION.

(13) BUT ON THE EIGHTH LEG. Literary Hub podcast Otherppl with Brad Listi brings us “George Saunders on How You Know When the Talking Spider Belongs in the Story”.

…For me, my intention is I really want all my stories to speak to those moments in our lives when the scrim drops away and we’re confronted with the brutality of this life that we’re living in. And also the beauty. But I want my stories to be comforting in the sense that they won’t be full of shit if you read them at a low moment. That means that I don’t want anything in a story that doesn’t serve that purpose, or another way of saying it is I don’t want anything weird to happen until it’s going to do that kind of emotional work. So my default is there’s no weird shit allowed. I’m basically a realist at heart. But every so often you get to a place where a story is saying, “If you will just let me have the talking spider, I will be more profound.” Or often what it does is it says, “There’s a question that I have to ask here in this story, but I can’t do it without the talking spider. Would you allow it?”

(14) CLASHING SYMBOLS. Mental Floss says the public can “Help Massachusetts Choose a Possible State Dinosaur”.

Massachusetts residents have no shortage of state symbols through which to celebrate their regional devotion….

Now, Massachusetts state legislator Jack Patrick Lewis is lobbying for another one: state dinosaur. As Boston.com reports, Lewis has fostered a passion for prehistoric creatures ever since seeing The Land Before Time (1988) in his youth, and he’s hoping an official state dinosaur will help fellow Bay Staters learn about the area’s early history.

Lewis has chosen two species to consider for the designation. The Podokesaurus holyokensis is a 3-to-6-foot carnivore whose fossils were unearthed around Mount Holyoke in 1910. Mignon Talbot, the woman who made the discovery, was the first woman to ever name a newfound dinosaur. The Podokesaurus’s competition is the Anchisaurus polyzelus, a slightly larger herbivore whose bones were located in Springfield, Massachusetts, more than half a century earlier….

Twelve states and the District of Columbia already have state dinosaurs – and there’s a separate category for state fossils.

(15) DINO NEST. At the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, “Researchers Announce World’s First Dinosaur Preserved Sitting on Nest of Eggs with Fossilized Babies”.

…“This kind of discovery—in essence, fossilized behavior—is the rarest of the rare in dinosaurs,” explains Dr. Lamanna. “Though a few adult oviraptorids have been found on nests of their eggs before, no embryos have ever been found inside those eggs. In the new specimen, the babies were almost ready to hatch, which tells us beyond a doubt that this oviraptorid had tended its nest for quite a long time. This dinosaur was a caring parent that ultimately gave its life while nurturing its young.”
 
The team also conducted oxygen isotope analyses that indicate that the eggs were incubated at high, bird-like temperatures, adding further support to the hypothesis that the adult perished in the act of brooding its nest. Moreover, although all embryos were well-developed, some appear to have been more mature than others, which in turn suggests that oviraptorid eggs in the same clutch might have hatched at slightly different times. This characteristic, known as asynchronous hatching, appears to have evolved independently in oviraptorids and some modern birds.

(16) SHARING EXPERIENCE. The Odyssey Writing Workshop Blog presents “Interview: Graduate & Guest Lecturer Gregory Ashe”.

You’ve published six books in your Hazard and Somerset mysteries. Do you tend to outline your books and series ahead of time, or do you tend to figure things out as you go along? When you started the series, did you know how many books you would write and where your characters would end up?

Although I have become more and more of an outliner, there is still an element of excavation and discovery in each book I write. One challenge I’ve faced as a writer is that I tend to write long books—and if I’m not careful, they become massive. Outlining helps me control the size of the story, as well as ensuring that I hit the right beats and turns when and where I want to. The excavatory and exploratory side of storytelling tends to happen, for me, between those major plot points. I have written quite a few books without an outline at all, but that is less and less the case. The same is true for series. The Hazard and Somerset series essentially took shape as two parts: the first four books, and then the last two. I learned from that, and when I wrote ‘season two,’ Hazard and Somerset: A Union of Swords, I had a fairly comprehensive outline for the five-book series. I now tend to write all of my series this way, with an outline to guide the pacing of the series as well as the individual books.

(17) CAT SCAN. In a video at A.V. Club, “Take a model train tour through a world ruled by giant cats”.

Jonathan Lawton is a visionary artist. His work may seem humble—the West Yorkshire man builds model railways, set in blue-skied little villages, just like so many other people looking for a productive reprieve from their daily lives. But, Lawton’s work extends beyond its genre and into the realm of speculative fiction thanks to his collaborator, a cat named Mittens that towers like a benevolent god in a showcase of his creation….

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Power Rangers Pitch Meeting” on YouTube, Ryan George explains that people who see the Power Rangers remake will not enjoy Bryan Cranston’s performance as a 65-million-year-old blue guy or that there’s no Power Rangers action until 90 minutes into the movie.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, JJ, Andrew Porter, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, and John Hertz for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

51 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/11/21 The
Muppet Pastors

  1. Hoyt

    Because as invaders, the left can’t let the president of the US address the nation, of course.

    I…what? If the President of the US wants to address the nation he announces the time and date of his speech and all the major news organizations mobilize to broadcast it. That’s one of the perks of being President of the US, right? Am I missing something?

    14 Clashing Symbols

    Sadly I don’t think Nebraska will ever bother to appoint a State Dinosaur; IIRC we spent most of the relevant time period at the bottom of a warm, shallow ocean which resulted in a real shortage of dino fossils. On the other hand, if you want early camilids we are absolutely your jam.

  2. Nancy Sauer: I think you’re missing something. Trump had 79 million Twitter followers and he could send tweets any time all day long. He can’t do that, or get that audience, on network television.

  3. Nancy Sauer says I…what? If the President of the US wants to address the nation he announces the time and date of his speech and all the major news organizations mobilize to broadcast it. That’s one of the perks of being President of the US, right? Am I missing something?

    She’s basing on that on the big three US broadcast networks all cutting away at the same time on November fifth from Trump as he was claiming that the presidential election was being stolen from him without offering any evidence. Fox and MSNBC continued to cover the broadcast.

    I don’t think Trump has had a press conference since the beginning of November. Anyone remember one?

  4. Mike Glyer says I think you’re missing something. Trump had 79 million Twitter followers and he could send tweets any time all day long. He can’t do that, or get that audience, on network television.

    The problem is that no social network that he can build can duplicate what he had on Twitter unless it works exactly like that network did. That walking pustule was sending upward of a hundred messages out a day. He can’t do with a television or radio network, he needs another Twitter like system with the massive infrastructure to support it. Parler might’ve worked but it’s gone and no, the possible Court case against Amazon isn’t going to bring it back.

    Now playing: Peter Gabriel’s “Games Without Frontiers“

  5. (2) and (3) I feel like my “Sad Puppies Endorse Sedition and Insurrection” Bingo Card is filling rapidly …

  6. Rob Barrett on January 11, 2021 at 7:51 pm said:

    (2) and (3) I feel like my “Sad Puppies Endorse Sedition and Insurrection” Bingo Card is filling rapidly …

    Well as somebody might have said about the people who tried to trash the Capitol: “extreme right wing to neo-nazi”. Different faces but the same coalition.

  7. P J Evans says Legal twitter doesn’t think they’ll get far with this.

    Oh they won’t. Being involved in an insurrection against a sovereign country isn’t going to get you any sympathy in the legal system.

    Funny thing is that the major porn sites are fighting the same battle right now against the credit card processors who cut them off on the grounds that they weren’t doing enough to guard against child pornography and enslavement. They aren’t taking them to court as they know they can’t win. The Washington Post article said it would drop their revenues by ninety five percent.

  8. (1) LIGHTS OUT AT PARLER.

    I’ve seen reports on Twitter — but have no idea whether they’re true — that the IT security setup for the site was so bad that when the login security providers pulled their services, hackers were able to gain Admin access and download all of the posts (including those which had been marked “deleted”) with their geolocation and IP address identifiers, as well as the stored security credentials for verified accounts which were scans of members’ government-issued IDs. Supposedly this information is being forwarded to the FBI.

  9. 2& 3–
    Apparently trying to create a constitutional crisis is only a bad thing if the left does it.
    The comments in Hoyt’s whine-a-thon are pretty entertaining.
    I wonder just where the lady from Seattle lives. I have family there and have visited.
    I must have missed MaoTown; I’ll have to ask them about it.
    But the pouting by Hoyt, Correira and others just reinforces my not buying their work.

  10. 3) Correia is becoming so unhinged he can barely string together sentences. It’s like he has been possessed by the dead clone of Dave Freer.

  11. (7) Count me as another fan of Buckaroo Banzai (I saw it in college – a friend of mine rented it (and rented a VCR to play it) one weekend – we saw it as a double feature with “The Wizard of Oz”))

    (11) Happy birthday to Jerome Bixby – he had a good life, I hope.

  12. 11) Mary Rodgers also wrote a musical revue called The Mad Show, which was based on Mad Magazine, and played off-Broadway in 1966. Is Mad genre-adjacent?

    On the subject, I’m a theater specialist with a casual question. I love that File 770 considers several of Shakespeare’s works genre-adjacent, but I’m wondering how they qualify. Midsummer, <Macbeth, and The Tempest are no-brainers. But does the presence of ghosts in Hamlet , Julius Caesar, and Richard III qualify them too? How about the god in Cymbeline?

  13. 2) I’m really taken aback by this statement. Wouldn’t it make more sense for her to remind her readers that Baen sells books directly from its website? And her self published work is also available at Apple or Smashwords or wherever (and if it isn’t yet, it will be in a few days as she’s rushing to do it) This isn’t the first call for boycott against Amazon it’s the first time I’ve heard the response be – keep buying from Amazon

  14. 1) The Parler posts (including supposedly deleted posts) were downloaded, along with all of the user-uploaded media (photos, videos) which still had EXIF Data (latitude, longitude, timestamps, etc.) attached. The hackers didn’t get admin access; they just iterated through all of the posts, which had sequential IDs, and copied them.

    All of the EXIF data can be cross-referenced with the records of cell towers and open WiFi routers, where smart phones auto-connected, thus providing more proof which pinpoints where all of these insurrectionists were, and when.

    Also, everyone who took photos and video, took photos and video OF OTHER INSURRECTIONISTS. Which means even people who were smart and didn’t bring electronics to their little putsch will still be identified as having been part of the crowd. And it is dead certain that the FBI and other three-letter organizations are getting server records from the (former) Parler hosts, which WILL have admin records and personal data.

    Also also, there are a great many private citizens who spend time studying photos from BLM/anti-mask protests so they can identify and dox the Proud Boys who show up to do Proud Boy things. These private citizens are now turning their attention to the hundreds of gigabytes of information from Parler which is now freely available on the internet.

    All of which is to say, I hope JCW has some money set aside for legal representation. Perhaps he should have read some Foucault (Michel, not Léon)

  15. Trump had 79 million Twitter followers and he could send tweets any time all day long. He can’t do that, or get that audience, on network television.

    Trump could have an audience of tens of millions in a week on any new medium he chose as an alternative to Twitter, whether it was email, text messages, or a website. He also has Fox News airing anything he says at a microphone and every other network covering most of what he says.

    The only thing he’s lost is the ability to globally broadcast messages of rage from the crapper at 6 a.m. But Fox would probably make that possible for him if he asked nicely.

  16. Meredith Moment: The ebook version of Ursula K Le Guin’s novel Malafrena, which is genre-adjacent or not depending on how you view it, is available at Amazon and Apple Books for $1.99.

  17. rcade says The only thing he’s lost is the ability to globally broadcast messages of rage from the crapper at 6 a.m. But Fox would probably make that possible for him if he asked nicely.

    Television really doesn’t lend itself to being interrupted by the diarrhea of the brain that Trump was doing with Tweets. Twitter is intrinsically an oral medium and Trump certainly treated it that way. Fox isn’t. It’s scripted, quite tightly mostly. Fox would need to abandon control of the network to Trump, something they’re not going to do.

  18. An awful lot of people who claim to be smart, or educated or sensible are making unfortunate claims and choices right now.

    I think racism is the most dangerous and contagious disease humans are susceptible to. I haven’t read or heard any “argument” that suggests anything beyond simple racism is the germ of our current peril.

    Then again, I am not the sharpest bulb in the class, so maybe I just am too stupid to understand what’s”really going on.”

    I grew up with a vision of the future, a place where individual human potential was free from interference by mean, small people. I feel like we were a century away from finally making human life more than just grubbing in the dirt and fighting over baubles. We aren’t going to make it. Too many of us enjoy watching other people grub in the dirt and fetch them baubles.

    Anyway. Tehanu was my favorite Earthsea when I read it. I should reread them. I recently read LeGuins first three novels and enjoyed them very much. I prefer them to her better-known work. I’m a puzzle.

  19. 2 & 3 exemplify exactly why I wrote my little screed about Writing the Revolution. Writers of that ilk.

    But that essay was as much inspired by a pre-Covid experience in a writing workshop where a new MFA student was writing that sort of thing…from a positive, authoritarian point of view. I was the only other genre writer in that group (except for the instructor, whose creds are also literary) and the others were somewhat bewildered by it.

    I called that person out hard because I’d seen it and recognized it for what it was. But I was also very, very worried because while I had seen it before in our genre, the others really hadn’t. They didn’t know what to do with it. And that person openly admitted they was playing with the trope and was inspired by other things of that sort that they had been reading.

    Now this is just an example from a small, state-run program. But this MFA candidate was also driving a truck with a 3%er logo in the back window.

    How many others are there like this person?

  20. @9
    Thanks for linking to this. Solid choices in both lists. I also miss the old SFBC. I usually just accepted the monthly choices, ordering alternates. It was perfect for a time when there was no interwebial. A kind of ad hoc community.

    Years ago, someone (Martha Soukup, maybe?) Said: the sf magazines ensure that for one month, everyone is reading my story, but after that no one is reading my story. The SFBC gave a little more window, maybe. If you were limited to it, you missed stuff, but you were reading what a whole lot of other people were reading.

    I guess Kurt Vonnegut would laugh at me, but that’s okay.

    Included in Nicoll’s list is LeGuins Hainish omnibus. As I stated above, I think it’s a terrific value. Also, Triplicity, which has one of my favorite “forgotten” sf “novels” The Puppies of Terra. Definitely canine-worthy. Does that pun work? Different spelling?

  21. Aaron G. on January 12, 2021 at 5:43 am said:

    11) Mary Rodgers also wrote a musical revue called The Mad Show, which was based on Mad Magazine, and played off-Broadway in 1966. Is Mad genre-adjacent?

    Given how many sf/comic parodies MAD magazine has done — lots of Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, SooperDooperMan, etc — how not, if not outright one tentacle’d foot in the genre? (Particularly if one includes MAD’s original horror-oriented bits.)
    I actually saw a live perf of the original off-Bway show, starring, among others, JoAnne Worley (who went on to Laugh-In). Fun!

  22. @John Winkelman
    I understand that an archive team was using a poorly-written Parler API to index everything they could find. The API was poorly written, in that files that users deleted or made private were merely marked in the system as “invisible”, so were still accessible for indexing and scraping.

  23. @Daniel Dern
    I first met “2001” in the pages of MAD – someone in front of me in one of those 900-person freshman lectures was reading “201 Minutes of a Space Idiocy”. Definitely genre-adjacent. (Don’t forget “Spy vs Spy”!)

  24. Aaron G: I’m at least Shakespeare-adjacent (married to a S. scholar and semi-specialized my own self), and I’d say that locating various Renaissance plays as “ours” in the modern genre sense is historically questionable, since that period lacked the same set of genre rules that we use to separate “the fantastic” from “the realistic.” The ghosts in Julius Caesar, Richard III, and Hamlet are Senecan conventions and rooted in an inherited supernaturalist metaphysic that an educated audience would recognize as such. (And Hamlet recognizes the theological implications of a ghost in a Christian universe.) But the fairies and other magical features of Midsummer Night’s Dream are pretty clearly understood to be “fantastic,” even when drawn from folk beliefs (e.g., Puck’s catalogue of mischief-making). Macbeth‘s witches are similar folkloric figures.

    The whole “what qualifies as ‘fantasy'” question gets interesting when spread across historical or cultural spaces. Some of what we would call “fantasy” in Renaissance literature would get “allegory” as a first-cut category–e.g. The Faerie Queene. A bit earlier, the whole late-medieval chivalric-romance tradition was full of supernatural features–and then Cervantes puts that stuff in the head of Don Quixote, with interesting results.

  25. Aaron G: What Russell Letson has to say is more representative of what I think is correct as a literary analysis, but is what “File 770 considers” based on my opinion, what other contributors might say in birthday listings (because I posted it), or commenters in the discussion?

    Fans have a marked tendency to appropriate as genre things they love or admire. Shakespeare’s great — there must be fantasy in here, ah look, we found it! We are, after all, the same people who gave a Hugo to the first Moon landing in the Dramatic Presentation category.

  26. Mike:

    As I’ve had pointed out to me multiple times, “Dramatic” does not always mean “fictional.” I think the BDP may have been intended to only include fictional works when it was first included in the Hugo Awards, but that’s not how the members decided to interpret it over the years. (See also things like Chris Garcia’s Hugo Award acceptance in 2011.)

    I don’t have the stomach for trying to amend the definition to limit it to fiction. Maybe someone with more energy than me might want to tackle it.

  27. Daniel Dern, your theory fits me well: the first issues of MAD that I bought were its parodies of Wrath of Khan and Return of the Jedi. If it’s not genre-adjacent, it’s at least genre-friendly. Maybe its origin at EC comics also gives it a family resemblance.

    Russell Letson & Mike Glyer, thanks for your answers. I enjoy the informal, Big Tent approach to genre, so I’m glad to find it here!

  28. Kevin Standlee: As I’ve had pointed out to me multiple times, “Dramatic” does not always mean “fictional.”

    There’s an obvious reason that the WSFS Constitution says the two Dramatic Presentation Hugos are awards for “dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects” — because works that are not dramatized are not qualified for the award. That Hugo voters have appropriated the Moon landing or Chris Garcia’s award acceptance into that category doesn’t mean the word “dramatized” now covers footage of real life occurrences. It does mean that the voters and Hugo Administrator have reached a meeting of the minds and are ignoring what the word means.

  29. Genreness: I’ve come to decide that around here, “genre” means whatever the writer is pointing at when he or she says it is genre. The occasional inclusion of Robin Hood (as I recently commented about), and the presence of Long John Silver and The Birds in today’s birthdays, tell me that Fantasy and/or Science Fiction don’t have to be significantly involved.

  30. bill: I’ve come to decide that around here, “genre” means whatever the writer is pointing at when he or she says it is genre.

    Very likely. After all, if you substitute the phrase “science fiction” for “genre” in your sentence, you wind up with one of the famous formulas for defining SF.

  31. And with respect to MAD, of course it’s genre, and has been so since the very first issue. It included the stories “Blobs!” and “Enter Cosmo McMoon” (a 1-pg text story), both of which were SF.

  32. Ah, that was Damon Knight’s definition, wasn’t it? Whoever came up with it, it’s the sanest and most satisfying definition of science fiction I have ever heard. Even if it was originally meant acerbically, with asperity, and exasperatedly.

  33. It would be pretty easy for the White House to set up “Posts from the President,” a webpage that would in essence allow 45* to ‘tweet.’ It could get reviewed and covered pretty much the way his Twitter feed did, but he’d never use it. Why? Because it wouldn’t have “Followers: XX Million” at the top, and each post wouldn’t constantly collect Likes and Retweets. He’s addicted to the feedback. That’s what validates him. He wouldn’t be able to forward the kind of crap he likes, the tweets that endorse whatever he’s feeling aggrieved about or flatter him in a way he particularly likes. He only cares about sending his messages out if it feels like one of his rallies.

  34. (1) Parlor’s security was such a joke, it is not even funny.

    I expect the GOP to start taking a stand against Identity Theft in the near future because of all the personal information that got leaked by Parlor’s poor security.

    (3) The past week or so, I have checked in on Larry’s blog just to see how far he is stretching reason, and…it is worrying. Larry and moreso the commenters on his blog mentally live in a different universe.

    When I looked for his posts on Biden getting elected, I found wall of text after wall of text about signs of Election Fraud that are nothing but conspiracy theories and GOP talking points. I thought it would be fun to read about him bitching about the election, but he denied me that.

    Every single point Larry tried to make about election irregularities and a lack of election auditing are easily refuted conspiracy theories and none of his theories seem to apply to Republicans. In Correia-world, there is never anything sus about Republicans winning elections in heavily gerrymandered districts. Never any reason to look at voting machines anywhere but where Democrats win.

    One of his walls of text is just a long list of unattributed FB responses to the question of whether or not the election was sus. “I was an accountant. I can see the Red Flags!” His first big wall of text is just that, about “Red Flags” that can be easily answered by the largest voter turnout in a Century despite a pandemic.

    When Trump was elected, Larry was cheerful because Liberals were losing and he “didn’t have a horse in the race”. But now, he just seems angrier and angrier with each passing day. He continually proves himself to be an eternal and enthusiastic sore loser.

    Every single new screed of his I see even part of proves that Larry Correia is devoid of empathy for anyone that isn’t on his side or someone Larry knows personally who likes him.

    It’s really sad.

  35. Lanodantheon says Every single point Larry tried to make about election irregularities and a lack of election auditing are easily refuted conspiracy theories and none of his theories seem to apply to Republicans. In Correia-world, there is never anything sus about Republicans winning elections in heavily gerrymandered districts. Never any reason to look at voting machines anywhere but where Democrats win.

    I’ve got a better one for you. They wanted the results for Biden thrown but not the results on the same ballot where they won office. Yes they wanted the various Courts to rule that part of a ballot was invalid but not the whole ballot. The Courts all of course refused.

    And yes Larry is a very sore loser.

  36. @Jeffrey Jones:

    “You’re Gawain; you probably think this quest is about you”

    P.S. Just got a note that the sixth of Seanan McGuire’s “Wayward Children” book is available – in related news, I just purchased the latest Wayward Children book

  37. @Andrew (not Werdna): Well, since the current scroll title must refer to a Puppet Show, I figured that was appropriate.

  38. Ah. I didn’t catch the reference (in spite of having reread that story just a few months ago)

  39. But now, he just seems angrier and angrier with each passing day. He continually proves himself to be an eternal and enthusiastic sore loser.

    There’s no one with more enthusiasm for his own sad-sack status than Larry Correia. He reacts emotionally to everything and the emotion is usually self-pity.

    After reading that screed, I feel like he’s phoning it in now compared to how he was ranting when he created Sad Puppies as revenge for the insult of being called one of the best new writers in science fiction. I’m used to Correia never taking anyone else’s viewpoint seriously, but now he can’t even coherently articulate his own.

  40. There’s no one with more enthusiasm for his own sad-sack status than Larry Correia. He reacts emotionally to everything and the emotion is usually self-pity.

    I don’t read it as self-pity, I read it as jealousy. Larry doesn’t seem to understand why more people like authors who are more inclusive than him. He writes off anyone he disagrees with as an idiot and doesn’t believe a word they say.

    After reading that screed, I feel like he’s phoning it in now compared to how he was ranting when he created Sad Puppies as revenge for the insult of being called one of the best new writers in science fiction. I’m used to Correia never taking anyone else’s viewpoint seriously, but now he can’t even coherently articulate his own.

    Even if Larry were more articulate, it wouldn’t help him. His positions are not based on logic or reason, they are based on a point of view that benefits him.

    It doesn’t help he has a persecution complex and is surrounded by enablers that feed it. This is the guy who screeded about the suburb he lived in becoming “Too Big” and complaining about HOAs not letting him be obnoxious.

  41. We are, after all, the same people who gave a Hugo to the first Moon landing in the Dramatic Presentation category.

    Looking up the list of Hugos in the back of The Hugo Winners Volume 2, the 27th WorldCon gave a special Hugo for “best moonlanding ever” to Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins. The Dramatic Presentation award that year went to 2001.

  42. Looking up the list of Hugos in the back of The Hugo Winners Volume 2, the 27th WorldCon gave a special Hugo for “best moonlanding ever” to Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins. The Dramatic Presentation award that year went to 2001.

    1969 BDP: 2001
    1970 BDP: Moon Landing

  43. @Andrew (not Werdna):

    “You’re Gharlane. You probably think this newsgroup is about you.”

    (Too antique? But he was an ornament of and resident character on rec.sf.* )

  44. @Harold Osler

    Apparently trying to create a constitutional crisis is only a bad thing if the left does it.

    Nope. It’s a problem whenever anyone commits an act of insurrenction. It’s a bigger problem when only one group is subjected to a full legal (and entirely justified, IMHO) response to their actions.

    Elsewhere, I made it halfway through Le Guin’s “Always Coming Home”. Meh. I’d be encouraged to finish the book if it was in an ebook format.

    Now playing “Green and Grey” by Nickel Creek

    Regards,
    Dann
    The Africans know I’m not an African. I’m an American. – Whoopi Goldberg

  45. I agree with @Dann665 about acts of insurrection. The insurrectionists carried a rebel flag, in case you had doubts about their loyalty to the United States.

    And, as Dann alludes to, I saw one of them quoted as saying (approximately, I ddidn’t save the link) “They’re supposed to shoot BLM [activists], they’re not supposed to shoot us.”

    There are still some limits to “the cops and the prosecutor’s office will let you do whatever you want if you’re white,” and things they won’t excuse include attempting to overthrow the US government, calling for the lynching of the Vice President, and beating a police officer to death.

    (How did I wind up in a timeline where I’m having to remind self-proclaimed conservatives that the police really don’t like cop-killers?)

  46. @Vicki Rosenzweig

    What I was alluding to was the fact that the DC prosecutor that is currently looking to charge the current round of insurrectionists declined to press charges against the DC rioters from last summer. I support the current charges. I also support charging the rioters (noticeably distinct from protesters) from last summer.

    Regards,
    Dann
    They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning. – Clint Eastwood

  47. Damn 665 says What I was alluding to was the fact that the DC prosecutor that is currently looking to charge the current round of insurrectionists declined to press charges against the DC rioters from last summer. I support the current charges. I also support charging the rioters (noticeably distinct from protesters) from last summer.

    What riots? Seriously there wasn’t any. Now there was heavy handed arrests by the police of peaceful protesters. Far more protesters got arrested than the Insurrectionists who murdered at least police officers so far and threatened to hang a vice-president.

    Oh and that was the protests that led a now a twice impeached President to propose mandatory minimum ten year sentences for protesting on federal property by designating such protests as domestic terrorism. A term that he won’t use with his Insurrectionists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.