Pixel Scroll 1/26/19 Sitting On The Dock Of The Pod Bay Door

(1) MANGA AT THE MUSEUM. The British Museum will host an exhibit on “Manga” from May 23-August 26.

Enter a graphic world where art and storytelling collide in the largest exhibition of manga ever to take place outside of Japan.

Manga is a visual narrative art form that has become a multimedia global phenomenon, telling stories with themes from gender to adventure, in real or imagined worlds.

Immersive and playful, the exhibition will explore manga’s global appeal and cultural crossover, showcasing original Japanese manga and its influence across the globe, from anime to ‘cosplay’ dressing up. This influential art form entertains, inspires and challenges – and is brought to life like never before in this ground-breaking exhibition.

For those who haven’t encountered manga before there’s a familiarization post at the Museum’s blog: “Manga: a brief history in 12 works”.

Japanese manga artists find inspiration for their work in daily life, the world around them, and also in the ancient past. Many people are familiar with modern manga, but the art form – with its expressive lines and images – is much older than you might think. …Here is a brief history of Japanese manga in 12 works.

(2) LEFT ON THE BEACH? SYFY Wire springs a little surprise: “Patrick Stewart won’t be a captain on the Picard spinoff series, says Jonathan Frakes”.

The upcoming Picard TV series on CBS All Access will feature one major difference regarding its titular main character played by Patrick Stewart—he won’t be a starship captain. Speaking with Deadline about the current Star Trek revolution being helmed by Discovery showrunner, Alex Kurtzman, actor/director Jonathan Frakes revealed this interesting bit of news.

“Patrick isn’t playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard this time, he’s done with Starfleet in this show. That’s about the only thing I do know about the show,” he said.

(3) VERDICT COMING FOR OPPORTUNITY. NASA has received only silence from Opportunity since contact was lost during a global dust storm on the red planet last June. The agency may soon decide to move on. The New York Times has the story — “‘This Could Be the End’ for NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover”.

…The designers of the spacecraft expected that dust settling out of the Martian air would pile up on the solar panels, and the rovers would soon fail from lack of power. But unexpectedly, gusts of Martian winds have repeatedly provided helpful “cleaning events” that wiped the panels clean and boosted power back up.

In 2009, Spirit became ensnared in a sand trap and stopped communicating in March 2010, unable to survive the Martian winter.

Opportunity continued trundling across the Martian landscape for more than 28 miles. Instead of just 90 Martian days, Opportunity lasted 5,111, if the days are counted up until it sent its last transmission. (A Martin day is about 40 minutes longer than an Earth day.)

This time, the dust may have been too thick to be blown away or something else broke on the rover. John L. Callas, the project manager, conceded that hopes were fading. “We’re now in January getting close to the end of the historic dust cleaning season,” he said.

(4) AFROFUTURISM IN DC. The Folger Library in Washington, DC will host a reading with Tananarive Due, N.K. Jemisin, & Airea D. Matthews on February 12 at 7:30 p.m. — “What Was, What Is, and What Will Be: A Cross-Genre Look at Afrofuturism”. Tickets available at the link.

Due, Jemisin and Matthews

Cultural critic Mark Dery coined the term “Afrofuturism” in his essay “Black to the Future,”and its meaning has expanded to encompass alternative visions of the future influenced by astral jazz, African-American sci-fi, psychedelic hip-hop, rock, rhythm and blues, and more. This reading is co-sponsored with PEN/Faulkner Foundation as part of its Literary Conversations series and The Library of Congress’s Center for the Book and Poetry and Literature Center. 

The reading at the Folger will be preceded by a moderated conversation with all three writers at the Library of Congress. This event is free and will take place at 4 p.m. Register here.

(5) FANTASTIC WOMEN. As part of the celebration of Women’s History Month, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the National Museum of Women in the Arts will present “Fantastic Women” on March 10 in Washington, DC.

Arimah, Link and Machado

Join us in celebrating the work of Lesley Nneka ArimahKelly Link, and Carmen Maria Machado, women writers who all use elements of the fantastic in their work, often in ways that allow them to explore crucial themes (power, sexuality, identity, the body) without the constraints imposed by strict realism. These authors play with the boundaries of time and space through short stories and novels, and use their writing to push back against the traditional boundaries of women’s fiction.

(6) KLOOS’ AFTERSHOCKS. The Verge’s Andrew Liptak interviewed Marko Kloos and revealed the cover of his new book series which begins with the novel Aftershocks“Sci-fi author Marko Kloos on what it takes to build a brand new solar system”.

…An eye-opening moment for Kloos came when he attended another science fiction workshop: the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop, held each year at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. (Disclaimer — I was an attendee in 2014). The week-long boot camp is engineered to impart science fiction writers with a baseline of astronomy and physics knowledge, with the idea that more scientifically accurate works will in turn help provide readers with better science. “That gave me a lot of ideas that I wanted to put into this series,” he says, “and basically created the solar system from scratch.”

The workshop “taught me all the things I did wrong with Frontlines, which was luckily not a whole lot,” Kloos says, “but there are some whoppers in there, like a colony around a star that does not support a habitable zone.”

(7) BLEAK ENOUGH FOR YOU? Behind a paywall at the Financial Times, John Lanchester argues that Brave New Worlds did a better job than 1984 in predicting the future.

One particular area of Huxley’s prescience concerned the importance of data.  He saw the information revolution coming–in the form of gigantic card-indexes, but he got the gist.  It is amusing to see how many features of Facebook, in particular, are anticipated by Brave New World.  Facebook’s mission statement ‘to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together’ sounds a lot like the new world’s motto ‘Community, Identity, Stability.’ The world in which we ‘haven’t any use for old things’ dovetails with Mark Zuckerberg’s view that ‘young people are just smarter.’  The meeting room whose name is Only Good News–can you guess whether that belongs to Huxley’s world controller, or Sheryl Sandberg?  The complete ban on the sight of breast feeding is common to the novel and to the website. The public nature of relationship status, the idea that everything should be shared, and the idea that ‘everyone belongs to everyone else’ are also common themes of the novel and the company–and above all, the idea, perfectly put by Zuckerberg and perfectly exemplifying Huxley’s main theme, that ‘privacy is an outdated norm.’

(8) HAMIT. Francis Hamit, a longtime contributor here, has a new Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/francishamit. He says, “There is s lot of free stuff in the Public area.  Some of it is even science fiction.  Feedback is welcome and the minimum sign-up is $2.25 a month for those who want to support my efforts.”

(9) TERMINATOR REBOOT. Variety has behind-the-scenes video (in English with Hungarian subtitles) from the next Terminator movie (“Arnold Schwarzenegger and the late Andy Vajna Appear in Video From ‘Terminator’ Set”). The movie, currently called just Untitled Terminator Reboot, is said to be coming out 1 November 2019.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Andy Vajna, the Hollywood producer who died earlier this week, have appeared in a just-released video from the set of the latest movie in the “Terminator” franchise, which shot in Hungary last year.

The behind-the-scenes promotional video, posted online by the Hungarian National Film Fund, sees Schwarzenegger and the movie’s director, Tim Miller (“Deadpool”), sing the praises of Budapest as a location, and Vajna complimenting the “Terminator” franchise. It ends with Schwarzenegger saying, “I’ll be back.”

It was Vajna’s last set visit to one of the international productions filming in Hungary, where he served as the government commissioner for the film industry. With partner Mario Kassar, Vajna founded the indie powerhouse Carolco, which produced blockbusters including “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” the first three “Rambo” films and “Basic Instinct.” He died Sunday in Budapest after a long illness. He was 74.

(10) AN ANCIENT EASTERCON. Rob Hansen has added a section about “Bullcon – the 1963 Eastercon” to his British fanhistory website THEN “featuring the usual cornucopia of old photos:”

BULLCON the 1963 UK National Science Fiction Convention – the fifth to be run under the aupices of the B.S.F.A. – took place over the weekend of 12th April – 15th April, 1963. It was held at the Bull Hotel in Peterborough (see it today here), as it would also be the following year. Guest of Honour was Bruce Montgomery aka Edmund Crispin. In SKYRACK, Ron Bennett reported that: “this was the best attended British Convention to date, with over 130 avid fans gathering to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the British Science Fiction Association.”


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 26, 1928 Roger Vadim. Director of Barbarella which was based on the comic series of the same name by Jean-Claude Forest. Need I note that it starred Jane Fonda in the title role? (Died 2000.)
  • Born January 26, 1928 Philip Jose Farmer.  I know I’ve read at least the first three Riverworld novels (To Your Scattered Bodies GoThe Fabulous Riverboat and The Dark Design) but I’ll be damned if I recognize the latter ones. Great novels those are. And I’ll admit that I’m not familiar at all with the World of Tiers or Dayworld series. Anyone read them? I know, silly question. I do remember his Doc Savage novel Escape from Loki as being a highly entertaining read, and I see he’s done a number of Tarzan novels as well. (Died 2009.)
  • Born January 26, 1943 Judy-Lynn Del Rey. Editor at Ballantine Books after first starting at Galaxy Magazine. Dick and Asimov were two of her clients who considered her the best editor they’d worked with. Wife of Lester del Rey. She suffered a brain hemorrhage in October 1985 and died several months later. Though she was awarded a Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor after her death, her widower turned it down on the grounds that it only been awarded because of her death. (Died 1986.)
  • Born January 26, 1949 Jonathan Carroll, 70. I think his best work by far is The Crane’s View Trilogy consisting of Kissing the Beehive, The Marriage of Sticks and The Wooden Sea. I know de Lint liked these novels though mainstream critics were less than thrilled. White Apples I thought was a well crafted novel and The Crow’s Dinner is his wide ranging look at life in general, not genre at all but fascinating.
  • Born January 26, 1979 Yoon Ha Lee, 40. Best known for his Machineries of Empire space opera novels and his short fiction. Ninefox Gambit, his first novel, received the 2017 Locus Award for Best First Novel. His newest novel, Dragon Pearl, riffs off the fox spirit mythology. 

(12) THOUSAND WORLD SPACE FORCES. Stephanie at Holed Up In A Book connected with Yoon Ha Lee — “Weekly Author Fridays featuring Yoon Ha Lee – Author Interview”.

Do you have a writing routine? 
More or less. I get up, walk my cat (or more accurately, she walks me), maybe work on one of the languages I’m trying to learn (French, German, Welsh, Korean, and Japanese), brew myself a cup of tea, then set up in my study. For a long project like a novel, I usually write in Scrivener, although for a shorter project or to mix things up I sometimes write longhand with fountain pen. When I’m working in Scrivener, it gives me a running wordcount. So every 100 words that I write, I go to my bullet journal and write out the phrase, “100 words down, 1,900 words to f***ing go!” “200 words down, 1,800 words to f***ing go!” It’s kind of aggro but it keeps me going? I generally aim for 2,000 words in a writing day. More than that and my brain seizes up. 

(13) ST:D RECAP. Let Camestros Felapton fill you in on the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery: “Discovery: New Eden”.

Discovery decides to play it safe with an episode that’s so The Next Generation that it needs Commander Riker to direct it.

The mystery of the red signals leads Discovery to the Beta quadrant via a quick use of the spore drive. There they discover a colony of humans from pre-warp Earth. Meanwhile in orbit, the collapse of a planetary ring of radioactive rocks (just go along with it) imperils not just the lost colony of humans but the away team (Pike, Michael and crew member of the week).

It’s nice enough. There’s a theme of faith versus science with Pike sort of taking one side and Michael the other.

(14) ATWOOD. Shelf Awareness reports on “Wi14: Margaret Atwood in Conversation” at a New Mexico conference.

Erin Morgenstern and Margaret Atwood

“I think this is very uplifting. We’re all still in this room. There’s still books, people are still reading them,” said Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assassin and much more, during the breakfast keynote on the second day of Winter Institute 14 in Albuquerque, N.Mex.

“Part of the uptick of books is that’s one of the places people go when they feel under both political and psychological pressure,” Atwood continued. “It is actually quite helpful to know that other people have been through similar things before, and have come out of them.”

Atwood was in conversation with Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus and the upcoming The Starless Sea, and during a wide-ranging, illuminating and often funny discussion, topics ranged from forthcoming novels to blurring genre lines, early book-signing experiences, and past and present reactions to The Handmaid’s Tale.

On the subject of her new novel, The Testaments—the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale coming from Nan Talese/Doubleday on September 10—Atwood joked that her publisher would kill her if she said too much, but she did say that it is set 16 years after the events of the previous book and features three narrators. Beyond that, her publisher “would be very cross” with her.

When asked what led her to return to the world of The Handmaid’s Tale more than 30 years later, Atwood replied that there have “always been a lot of questions asked” about the book, like what happens next and what happens to the main character after the end of the novel. She said that she never answered those questions, because she didn’t know. Writing The Testaments, Atwood explained, was “an exploration of the answers” to those many questions

(15) LITIGATION. The New York Times reports “Jay Asher, Author of ‘Thirteen Reasons Why,’ Files Defamation Lawsuit”. In 2017 Asher was accused of sexual misconduct, and when that went public last year he agreed to stop attending Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators events.

More than a decade ago, Jay Asher’s young adult novel, “Thirteen Reasons Why,” a dark story about a bullied teenager who kills herself, became an unexpected best-seller. Teachers and librarians around the country embraced the novel as a timely and groundbreaking treatment of bullying and teenage suicide, and the novel went on to sell several million copies. A popular Netflix adaptation set off controversy over its depiction of the causes of suicide, but still drew hordes of new readers to the book, and has been renewed for a third season.

Then, last year, Mr. Asher’s career imploded when he was accused of sexual misconduct, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators announced that he had violated the professional organization’s anti-harassment policy. The repercussions were swift: His literary agency dropped him, speaking engagements and book signings evaporated, and some bookstores removed his novels from their shelves.

Now Mr. Asher, who denied the allegations, has filed a lawsuit against the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the group’s executive director, Lin Oliver, claiming that Ms. Oliver and the organization made false and defamatory statements about him that torpedoed his career, and caused financial harm and intentional emotional distress.

(16) ONE SMALL STEP. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Checkers? Long since mastered. Chess? Mere child’s play. Go? Can’t you make me work a little?

Now what? StarCraft? Humans down to defeat again. Wired has the story of another victory for robot-kind (partial paywall: “DeepMind Beats Pros at StarCraft in Another Triumph for Bots”).

In London last month, a team from Alphabet’s UK-based artificial intelligence research unit DeepMind quietly laid a new marker in the contest between humans and computers. On Thursday it revealed the achievement in a three-hour YouTube stream, in which aliens and robots fought to the death.

DeepMind’s broadcast showed its artificial intelligence bot, AlphaStar, defeating a professional player at the complex real-time strategy videogame StarCraft II. Humanity’s champion, 25-year-old Grzegorz Komincz of Poland, lost 5-0. The machine-learning-powered software appeared to have discovered strategies unknown to the pros who compete for millions of dollars in prizes offered each year in one of e-sports’ most lucrative games. “It was different from any StarCraft that I have played,” said Komincz, known professionally as MaNa.

[…] Mark Riedl, an associate professor at Georgia Tech, found Thursday’s news exciting but not jaw-dropping. “We were pretty much to a point where it was just a matter of time,” he says. “In a way, beating humans at games has gotten boring.”

(17) WHO NEEDS ROVER? “Rare angel sharks found living off Wales”.

Scientists have found evidence that one of the world’s rarest sharks is alive and well, living off the Welsh coast.

Sightings from fishing boats suggest the mysterious angel shark is present in Welsh waters, although no-one knows exactly where.

The shark’s only established stronghold is the Canary Islands, where the animals have been filmed on the seabed.

Wales could be a key habitat for the critically endangered shark, which is from an ancient and unique family.

(18) INCREASE YOUR WORD POWER. “Obscure words with delightful meanings” — animation: “12 words we don’t want to lose.”

Paul Anthony Jones collects terms that have fallen out of use and resurrects them. We have featured 12 of our favourites in an animation celebrating forgotten phrases. Animation by Darren McNaney.

(19) MARVEL CASTING. The Hollywood Reporter tells about another superhero series: “Marvel’s ‘Vision and Scarlet Witch’ Series Lands ‘Captain Marvel’ Writer”.

The Vision and Scarlet Witch, one of the first series that Marvel Studios will be making for Disney’s streaming service Disney+, has landed a writer and showrunner.

Jac Schaeffer, one of the scribes behind Marvel’s upcoming Captain Marvel movie, has been tapped to run point on the series that will focus on the two characters that are integral members of the Avengers. She will pen the pilot and executive produce, say sources.

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen are expected to star in the series, reprising the roles they originated on the big screen.

(20) RETURN TO ROSWELL. Critic Darrell Fienberg covered the mid-January reappearance of this series: “‘Roswell, New Mexico’: TV Review”.

…As The CW’s Roswell, New Mexico is set to premiere, my guess is that audience response to the series’ fitfully immigration-heavy perspective will fall into two camps.

First: “Keep your politics out of my teen-friendly supernatural soaps!” This group of detractors will be frustrated that a series about aliens set in the American Southwest in 2019 would attempt to connect that extreme circumstance to what is actually happening at the border in 2019. Leaving aside that those people may not like or understand science fiction on a very fundamental level, they won’t like Roswell, New Mexico anyway.

Second: “If this is your skid, steer into it!” This’ll be from those who want Roswell, New Mexico to do more with the immigration metaphor or, rather, to approach it better. It’s the thing that makes Roswell, New Mexico relevant as a brand reinvention, so there’s very little purpose in soft-selling it.

(21) DISCONTINUITIES AND OTHER PROBLEMS. Seems it’s never too late to find something wrong with The Original Series: “30 Mistakes In The Original Star Trek Even Trekkies Completely Missed” at ScreenRant. There might even be a Filer who caught this gaffe when it originally aired —


It is always an awkward situation when a movie or TV show spells something wrong in the credits. This can be problematic if an actor’s name is spelled wrong, but as for Star Trek, the word “script” was spelled incorrectly for 13 episodes of season 1.

When giving the crew member George A. Rutter his title, the credits credit him as a “Scpipt” Supervisor. This mistake was eventually fixed on the show, but in the ‘60s, it likely would have cost a lot of money to redo the credits to fix one spelling error. 

[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Liptak, Francis Hamit, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

57 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/26/19 Sitting On The Dock Of The Pod Bay Door

  1. @11: I read some early Farmer in novel (Flesh, Dare) and shorter lengths; I have a vague memory of reading a World of Tiers novel, but no details — it certainly didn’t encourage me to read another. I’m a bit surprised you liked The Dank[sic] Design; IIRC that was the one that jumped the shark in general, not helped by such particulars as round numbers of feet converted to precise numbers of meters. It’s possible I’m confusing it with The Magic Labyrinth, but I only recall reading three and I think I’d given up on new Farmer by 1980 (when tML came out).

    An interesting day: 3 writers, an editor, and a director — and no actors!

  2. I am watching a discussion on Twitter right now where an author says that the people in their country are not interested in the Worldcon community or subject matter, and would not attend Worldcon even if they could afford it, but argues that those people should be given discounts on Supporting Memberships to Worldcon so that they can participate in nominating and voting on Worldcon’s community awards.

    I am so, so tired of authors with this Puppy mentality, who regard the Hugo Awards as their personal career promotional and marketing vehicle, and insist that the ability to participate should be given free or at a discount to people who couldn’t care less about the Worldcon community.

    Supporting Memberships were created for the people who loved Worldcon and wanted to support it even in the years when they were unable to attend. They were not created so that people who don’t give a shit about Worldcon can take over the Worldcon community’s awards. 😐

  3. 11) The first three World Of Tiers books were good in a pulpy way. For me, the most memorable Farmer work was his Dangerous Visions contribution “Riders Of The Purple Wage,” which features a interesting crowded world with a Universal Basic Income (though it is very Freudian “male” in a way that would probably be uncomfortable for readers today).

  4. (7) I’ve been seeing articles boldly proclaiming that Nineteen Eighty-Four was not as good a prediction of the future as Brave New World since roughly 1983. They don’t seem to have changed at all except that they no longer include the specific statement that “it’s 1983/1984/1985 now and yet those things haven’t happened.” I find this kind of thing extremely irritating, as it’s based on the assumption that as long as something looks science-fictiony then it should be taken as a literal statement of what the future will be like, and that incredibly obvious differences in context (gee, I wonder why Orwell might have had mass violence and fascism on his mind more than Huxley did?) can be ignored.

    (21) I did notice number 12 and number 10, but I’m not sure if I count as a Trekkie so maybe the headline is still correct.

  5. JJ – Also, Worldcon is never going to just go to another country. The FANS in any given location have to WANT it to COME to them. There are several countries I’d be thrilled to see bid for a Worldcon. I’ve voted for foreign bids even when I didn’t think I could go because I support it moving around the globe. I’ve supported foreign Worldcons by volunteering as Staff.

    But the local fans have to want it enough to make it happen.

  6. (11) I find the Farmer short story “The Sliced-Crosswise Only-on-Tuesday World” to be much more satisfactory than Dayworld (I never looked at the later novels), but that’s also how I feel about every similar exercise I’ve encountered: Niven’s “Rammer” versus A World out of Time, Keyes’ “Flowers for Algernon” and Silverberg’s “Hawksbill Station” versus the novels of the same titles, etc. Is there any such expansion for which a consensus exists that it truly improves on the original shorter work?

  7. 11) I remember reading all of the Riverworld books back in the day — the last one or two might not have been published when I first picked up the series? But I remember being unhappy with the last couple of books, when it seemed like Farmer went back and retconned a bunch of the stuff he’d set up in the earlier books, and changed the backstory to something I didn’t like as much as what had originally been implied.

    My favorite Farmer novel is probably Dark is the Sun, which is one of those millions (billions) of years in the future, Earth has mostly descended back into barbarism sorts of books.

  8. ULTRAGOTHA: Also, Worldcon is never going to just go to another country. The FANS in any given location have to WANT it to COME to them.

    And they have to want it enough to take on the huge amount of work and expense that it involves, over a period of 3 to 5 years.

    All of the people crying that Worldcon should go to other countries don’t understand just how much time, travel, effort, and money they are expecting other people to donate to make that happen. I think that a lot of them don’t realize that there is no big bank account of profits that funds Worldcon; they think that the “Worldcon organization” should just throw a bunch of money at a particular country to make the convention happen there.

    I’ve supported Worldcons in other countries, too — and I have a huge amount of respect and gratitude for the people from the U.S. and the U.K. who have been willing to donate their time and money on trips to other countries for onsite visits, meetings, and related expenses, money and time which they could be spending on themselves or on conventions which are closer to them. Neither my job nor my financial situation would enable me to do that.

  9. Clickity.

    Sleep-posting is illegal here in 2415, so now I’ll have to go hide myself in the blankets and hope the Feline Overlords don’t notice what I did.

  10. I really enjoyed Dark Is The Sun, too, and The Unreasoning Mask and Riders Of The Purple Wage. A read a few of the Riverworld books, but never particularly enjoyed them, and certainly didn’t get anywhere near the last of them.

  11. (11) I read all the Dayworld novels; they were wacky fun; the original short story probably had most of the fun in far fewer words, but I enjoyed the novels’ main character’s struggles to adopt a different personality and career on each day (a feature that I don’t think was part of the short story).

  12. @JJ @Ultragotha
    If we’re thinking of the same conversation, the folks who want more Asian WorldCons should support the Chengdu bid for starters and then if they get enough momentum, launch one of their own.

    Some of the other complainers were British and I honestly wonder what their problem is, since the UK has had several WorldCons.

  13. Cora: Some of the other complainers were British and I honestly wonder what their problem is, since the UK has had several WorldCons.

    They’re pissed off because they think that not enough British writers and editors are getting Hugo nominations. And again, these are people who regard the Hugo Awards as industry awards for which they should be entitled to equal access as a career promotional vehicle, rather than as the awards given out by the fans of the Worldcon community to recognize the works and the creators that they love.

    Seriously, one of them was complaining that the Best Long Form Editor category should be abolished, because it’s not recognizing who he thinks it should (aka British editors), and I thought, WTF, dude, who are you to tell the Worldcon community what it should do with its awards? If you don’t think that the Hugo Editor awards are recognizing what you think they should, then start your own fucking editor awards, instead of telling us that we’re doing it wrong and demanding that we do it differently. 🙄

  14. Here in 1469, we are not sure about this Worldcon thing.

    More seriously, though, it takes a nucleus of committed fans to do a Worldcon. Heck, even something as small as the Down Under Fan Fund award requires administrators and that’s just sending one person to fannish cons and things. Worldcons are orders of magnitude larger to pull off, as noted above.

    11) Oddly and coincidentally, was watching a bit of one of Syfy’s attempts to film Riverworld yesterday. It occurred to me that having Burton as an antagonist is more subversively critical of imperialism than I originally gave it credit for. I do like the early Tiers novels better than Riverworld, though.

    6) Kloos is good people, got to meet him in Helsinki in 2017.

  15. Just being a gofer at a con should be enough to get the idea across. [I remember being sent out for clay and birdshot in 1984, among other errands I ran. (Who knew you could get shot in 25-pound bags?) And helping to put up the backdrop paper for the masquerade photo area, and not being happy with the idjits who were hot-melt-gluing their costume together without laying down newspapers first. I didn’t see much of the con, but I was certainly there.]

  16. I’ll bite… where are these complaintive conversations about Worldcon happening? I don’t even see a link in the scroll about them.

  17. It was easy for me to find it on Twitter with “Hugo” “Worldcon” and “Editor”.

    I’m so open for more British, or any other country’s, editors to be recognized. But fans gotta get the word out. Even with a list of names one person gave, I was unable to determine if those people he recommended had actually edited four books last year. It’s very hard and frustrating to figure out who edited which books, much less to pop in an editor’s name and get a hit on all the books they edited that released in 2018.

    I’ve looked at the Lady Business Hugo Spreadsheet of Doom and none of the Longform editors on there have four works to their names.

    Here on File 770, even with JJ’s enormous effort backed up by our crowdsourcing, we’ve only managed to list ten editors with four or more works last year. Come on, publishers, authors and editors! Make it easier!!

  18. 1) The face of the exhibit is Asirpa a young Ainu girl from the manga(and anime) Golden Kamuy. Which is a great pulpy Japanese western about the search for a king’s ransom of hidden gold by several groups of escaped convicts, a rogue army division, and possibly the Russians. But the really impressive group is lead by a former soldier nicknamed Immortal Sugimoto who teams ups up with Asirpa to get the gold to pay for the care of his comrade-in-arms’ blind widow and find out what happened to Asirpa’s father.

  19. JJ – I’ve only done pre-con onsite Staff Meetings for two Worldcons. One trip was in conjunction with an already scheduled vacation we’d planned. The other two were just me and just for the Staff Meeting and I am extremely privileged to be able to afford that. It’s a huge commitment, even with the small subsidies for travel some Worldcons can eke out. I look at the foreign staff of Dublin in 2019 and ConZealand and am so grateful for their commitment to help make the cons work.

    And, conversely, the foreign staff that work on North American conventions and help make them work as well.

    I have sympathy for far away fans that yearn to come to a Worldcon but can’t afford it because of location, vacation, and finances–heck there are more close by fans that can’t afford the time or money. I’d LOVE for a Worldcon to be closer to them.

    I don’t see a solution that doesn’t take a lot of time and money on the part of local fans, though. As you say, there is no ready money that floats around for this. Though there are pass-along funds once a bid is seated. That helps somewhat.

  20. (2) Not a big surprise, considering Steward said something along the lines of „exploring a new side of Picard“.

    (9) i hope they keep the title

    (11) Read all the riverworld books, even the Whodunnit-Last book. I think they didnt live up to their potential. Not too mention that the origin story didn’t make much sense and it probably would have been better if Farmer wouldn’t have tried for some resolution. Great premise though.

    Untitled scroll reboot

  21. If you liked the first three Riverworld books, the fourth may be worth reading as well. Here’s what my dim memory tells me: after completing the original trilogy, Farmer seemed to come up with a better ending, so he wrote the fourth novel to tack that ending on. I found the ending of the fourth book extremely satisfying. The downside is that the story seems a bit like padding added to justify providing us with the new ending. But, depending on your tolerance for padding, you may well find it worthwhile.

    (Note: the above is all just my impression–I don’t know that that’s how the book came about.)

    As for “he’s done a number of Tarzan novels as well”–yes, and also produced one of the first published “slash” fiction novels, A Feast Unknown (1969), which featured thinly-veiled versions of Tarzan and Doc Savage. It was a deeply disturbing novel with extremely explicit sex and violence. Not for the faint of heart. It was one of the few books I’ve struggled to finish because of the subject matter, rather than the writing style. Which is not to say it was bad. Just way over the top!

  22. 11) Farmer also wrote two fictional biographies I know of, one for Tarzan and the other for Doc Savage. I’m afraid that, even though I was a fan of both series, his obsession outlasted my interest, and I didn’t finish either one.
    For those interested (or more interested than I turned out to be), the titles are: Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke (1972), and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life (1973).

    16) The headline for this should be: “Computers Beat Us at Our Own Games but Suck at Enjoying Them.”

  23. Farmer also wrote a pair of novels about Tarzan and Doc Savage, which took the fictional biographies as a starting point, but then revealed that the biographies weren’t entirely accurate. The novels started separately, but eventually Doc and the Lord Greystoke encountered each other and each novel shows the encounter from a different perspective (I read “Lord of the Trees” and “The Mad Goblin” as an Ace Double). Farmer also wrote a time travel story in which one of the characters was a very thinly disguised Tarzan – “Time’s Last Gift”.

  24. @JJ

    Yes, I saw that. It was a very weird comment, because maybe he should rather tell us why those editors were so great or add them to the Hugo Wikia, the Spreadsheet of Doom or File 770’s best editor eligible page than rant that we’re not recognising someone we don’t know about.

    Not to mention that Brits really don’t have a reason to complain, because the vast majority of non-US Hugo finalists to date have been Brits or Canadians. Besides, the UK has plenty of awards of its own to recognise the people it considers important.

    But then it’s been my impression that parts of UK fandom are pretty damn toxic in a “If you’re not doing it my way, you’re doing it wrong” way.

  25. I think that a lot of them don’t realize that there is no big bank account of profits that funds Worldcon; they think that the “Worldcon organization” should just throw a bunch of money at a particular country to make the convention happen there.

    Worldcon is completely removed from the professional model of a moving convention, in which a central board picks sites and runs the conventions. It’s not clear to me that any significant number of non-volunteering attendees (i.e., not like @Xtifr) at Worldcons actually understand how much frantic paddling is going on under the surface, let alone who is doing the paddling. As an extension, I wonder how many times some town’s promoters has written to WSFS inviting it to bring its convention to town.

    @Cora: not Chengdu, and not anywhere else in Xi’s China.

  26. @Cora:

    But then it’s been my impression that parts of UK fandom are pretty damn toxic in a “If you’re not doing it my way, you’re doing it wrong” way.

    And they differ from other country’s fandoms how?

  27. PJ Farmer rocks. Full stop. Those of you criticizing “lalalala fingers in my ears lalalala”. 🙂

    Worldcon. I feel that the vast majority who make this kind of demand, despite having had WSFS explained to them over and over, still think of the whole operation as a for profit, monolithic corp that would naturally want to “develop new markets”. Which thinking strongly mitigates against them ever getting a worldcon, thank Farmer….

  28. Now there’s an author with the perennial complaint that Worldcon expects them to pay for their membership, rather than paying them for appearing on panels.

    Look, it’s okay if the only way you’re willing to appear at a con is if you’re being compensated for your participation. If that’s the case, then your interest is in going only in the role of being a pro, and not of being a fan, and Worldcon wouldn’t be your thing anyway.

    I absolutely agree with the “pay the writer” philosophy. But Worldcon is a fan community which operates on a cooperative economy: I can offer my IT skills, someone else can offer their organizational skills, someone else can offer their promotional skills, someone else can offer their authorial skills to panels, and everyone offers their personal time and effort to pull it all together. It’s okay if you’re not interested in contributing to that — but you shouldn’t be dragging on the people who do, or on the convention’s cooperative operating model where everyone, not just the writers, are providing their skills without being paid to do so.

  29. @JJ

    Now there’s an author with the perennial complaint that Worldcon expects them to pay for their membership, rather than paying them for appearing on panels.

    Which reminds me of the story of Asimov collating fanzines at a Worldcon (I used to have a link to that story, but can’t find it), while a neopro thought it was beneath him.

  30. I would just like to thank Bonnie McDaniel, Cora Buhlert, and Paul Weimer for their recommendations for Gareth L. Powell’s Embers of War.

    I had tried to read Richard K. Morgan’s Thin Air, because based on the synopsis, it sounded like a book I would enjoy. Yeeeeeeeah… I made it through 141 out of 528 pages. It reads like wish-fulfillment for male gamers. The writing is pretty good, but there’s lots of pointless violence, it’s very male-gazey, and the main character is a dick. I quit because I was in danger of losing my vision due to severe traumatic eye-rolling. Not recommended, unless that’s what you’re into.

    So I picked up Powell’s Embers of War instead, and it made a great palate-cleanser. The world-building is really interesting, and the theme of flawed individuals attempting to atone for their past misdeeds, and seeking redemption by helping others and doing good things, is something that a lot of us could probably use right now. It’s got some violence and killing, so it’s not quite into Becky Chambers or Goblin Emperor territory, but if you’re in need of something imbued with hope, this might be a book for you. I’m looking forward to the sequel, Fleet of Knives, which comes out next month. (Also, it’s got a gnole disguised as an alien in it — who can say “no” to that?)

  31. Andrew: Which reminds me of the story of Asimov collating fanzines at a Worldcon (I used to have a link to that story, but can’t find it), while a neopro thought it was beneath him.

    I just think it’s interesting how many neopro writers, who are very focused on their careers and want to be paid for their appearance at Worldcon and have their costs covered, don’t recognize that other peoples’ skills at other things have a market value equal to their own.

  32. Here’s the Asimov story, from the Fancyclopedia 3 (http://fancyclopedia.org/isaac-asimov):

    “He was fannish enough to figure in the story of a certain fan-turned-pro’s visit to a NESFA meeting where IM, the clubzine, was being collated. The neopro, asked to help collate, loftily replied that as a pro he no longer did such things. Just then, Ben Bova came out from another room and said, “Do you have any more page 6? Isaac and I are out.”

  33. That’s delightful, Andrew. Thanks for taking the trouble to dig that out and share it. 🙂

  34. @JJ
    Glad you liked Embers of War. Also thanks for the comments regarding Thin Air. Morgan’s work has never really done it for me and this seems to be more of the same.

    @Chip Hitchcock
    It’s okay if you don’t want to support Chengdu. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the Chengdu bid myself. But for Asian fans who want a WorldCon in Asia, supporting the existing Chengdu bid is the best solution before launching one of their own.

    And yes, there are toxic elements in fandom everywhere. But I have noticed that there are a few noisy folks in UK fandom who tend to attack anybody who does SFF wrong in their exalted opinion. They’re overwhelmingly leftwing and very much the anti-puppies, though they can sound eerily similar on occasion and they also tend to dislike the same works as the puppies, though for different reasons.

  35. Andrew: the Wil Wheaton/Bloggess story

    “Stand by for a demonstration on relevancy.”


  36. Well, Picard wasn’t a doctor so the show can’t go the After M*A*S*H or Trapper John MD route, but they could go with W*A*L*T*E*R–after returning to the family (grape) farm, financial hardship requires Picard to move away and become a beat cop.

  37. Chip Hitchcock on January 27, 2019 at 1:36 pm said:

    It’s not clear to me that any significant number of non-volunteering attendees (i.e., not like @Xtifr) at Worldcons actually understand how much frantic paddling is going on under the surface, let alone who is doing the paddling.

    Wait, what am I being/not being accused of here?

    I’ll have you know that I’m a very significant number! There’s just one of me (as far as I know), and one is one of the most significant numbers! 😉

  38. @Andrew: that’s an interesting version of the story; as I had it many decades ago from someone who would have been there, it was just Asimov and he was looking for staples — but the principle is unchanged. cSince Fancy is being discreet I will also — but I was semi-amused a few years ago that the pro in question emailed me to complain that the story is untrue, that he never would have been such a jerk. Why this person emailed me instead of the obvious spreader is unknown.


    for Asian fans who want a WorldCon in Asia, supporting the existing Chengdu bid is the best solution before launching one of their own.

    Why? ISTM that anyone associating with that bid is damaging their prospects for being taken seriously in a future bid.

  39. Yes, China is an autocratic country and there are legitimate concerns. The Chengdu folks will certainly have to answer some uncomfortable questions at the fannish inquisition in Dublin. But from what little I’ve seen the Chengdu folks seem to have their act together, while the competing Nice bid doesn’t strike me as quite ready for prime time, though maybe they’ve improved since the fannish inquisition in Helsinki. As far as I recall, there’s also a US bid (New Orleans?), but there are people who won’t support a US bid on principle, especially if Trump gets a second term. As things stand now, I’d probably vote for Nice, if only because that would give me a chance to go.

    But why should we punish the fans who organising the Chengdu bid, because some people have legitimate concerns about travelling to China? After all, no one is punishing US fans (or at least I hope no one is) for oganising US bids, even though some people have legitimate concerns about visiting the US.

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