Pixel Scroll 10/18 Psycho Filer

(1) 2015 Canadian Unity Fan Fund winner Paul Carreau is a council member of the Federation of Beer. Their latest officially-licensed Star Trek brew is Vulcan Ale.

Federation of Beer announces that Shmaltz Brewing Company of Clifton Park, NY is brewing a new Star Trek-themed beer called Vulcan Ale – The Genesis Effect, that will be made available on Planet Earth in early October. Under license by CBS Consumer Products, Vulcan Ale – The Genesis Effect will pay homage to the Star Trek franchise and its legacy, tying into the storyline of The Wrath of Khan as well as Shmaltz’s own brand of He’brew craft beers.

 

Vulcan Ale

(2) Camestros Felapton uses photographic evidence to set the record straight in “Tentacled Victorians”.

Rumors that Queen Victoria herself was a squid monster where unfounded. Photographic evidence shows she was an octopus-monster not a squid monster.

(3) Amazon has filed suit against 1,114 fake reviewers who “sell fabricated comments to companies seeking to improve the appeal of their products,” according to the BBC. The lawsuit was filed Friday in Seattle.

The defendants, termed “John Does,” have offered their false review service for as little as $5 on the website Fiverr.com, according to Amazon. The sellers were avoiding getting caught by using different accounts from unique IP addresses.

However, Amazon was able to identify the fake reviewers by conducting an investigation and purchasing some of the fake reviews. Amazon is also working with Fiverr to resolve the issue.

“While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufactures place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand,” Amazon said in its complaint.

Vox Day suggests “More than a few SJWs should be shaking in their shoes” because – why wouldn’t he?

(4) Bri Lopez Donovan reports on the latest conrunners’ convention in “JOFCon 2015 Helps Build the Convention Community” on Twin Cities Geek.

I was fortunate to be a part of the “Disability Access” panel, which was actually more about accessibility in general rather than disability access in particular. I and my fellow panelists, Amanda Tempel and Rachel Kronick, started with brief self-introductions before jumping into the discussion by talking about some pitfalls and how they’ve been addressed in various conventions. One of the problems we talked about was the lack of gender-neutral bathrooms at CONvergence. Amanda mentioned how it had been a problem and a point of discussion for years, and how member engagement really pushed the initiative to create bathrooms that were accessible to those outside of the gender binary. The solution she spoke of was convention runners working with their venues to relabel or re-allocate resources, in this case to relabel the gendered bathrooms of a hotel to make them gender neutral for the duration of the convention.

Another issue tackled was the vetting of panelists. Audience members of this panel brought up the lack of diversity on panels that were covering topics of diversity—for example, no people of color on a panel about race in sci fi, or no folks with autism on a panel about spectrum disorders within geek media. Audience members and panels brainstormed various ways to address this, including vetting panelists by asking why they are interested in being on a particular panel and assessing their answers for issues that could arise.

(5) Kevin Trainor asks “SF Won The Culture Wars A Long Time Ago. Isn’t It Time Fandom Started Acting Like It? on Wombat Rampant.

Are you starting to see a pattern here? Is a trend becoming apparent to you? Here, let’s add another ingredient to this mulligan stew. In 1997, while I and my wife at the time were mostly busy trying to raise our kids, the regional SF convention in Minneapolis, Minicon, was in crisis. Attendance had ballooned to over three thousand people, staff turnover and burnout were epidemic, and the fan club nominally responsible for running Minicon, MNSTF, had no real idea whether the con was making money, losing money, or investing it in beaver hat futures on the Medicine Hat Commodities Exchange. The MNSTF Board of Directors, wakened from their dogmatic slumber by all the hooting, hollering, carrying-on, shrieks of horror, and assorted gibbering, actually paid serious attention to various proposals regarding the upcoming Minicon. One proposal, advanced by Minicon veteran Victor Raymond, was to split the baby: have one Minicon dedicated to traditional SF fandom, and another at a different time which would be more of a Gathering of the Clans, a three-ring circus and big ol’ party for media fans, anime fans, BDSM folk, and the other subcultures drawn to SF fandom, where being different wasn’t automatically considered bad. Another proposal, which was the one MNSTF wound up going with, was called the High Resolution Minicon Proposal, and whatever its authors’ original intentions, it was seen by most of Upper Midwest fandom as “Thanks for all the time and money you’ve sunk into Minicon over the years, you fringefans, but we’re tired of you now, and you need to fuck right off.” What became immediately apparent was that the vast majority of Minicon’s attendance and staff had in fact been made up of those “fringefans” for quite some time, and in the years following the implementation of the HRMP, Minicon’s attendance imploded to a low of about 400 people. Meanwhile, those fans who felt snubbed by the HRMP organized three other conventions: Marscon, more focused on media and gaming but still mainly an SF convention; Convergence, essentially Minicon 2.0; and Diversicon, which was ironically even more focused on traditional SF & fantasy but had split from Minicon over the issues of a “dry” consuite and open staff meetings, which Minicon had rejected. So in the end, what Victor had campaigned for happened anyway, but instead of successfully managing the change and remaining the preeminent SF club in the upper Midwest, MNSTF dropped the ball and dwindled into obscurity, which their graying membership seems quite happy with. The same thing, with minor variations, also happened at Boskone and Disclave and other regional conventions, so i think it’s reasonable to draw a few conclusions about SF fandom in general from these examples.

Let’s fast forward a few years. By now, everyone is familiar with the Sad Puppies story: Larry Correia noticed a drop in Worldcon attendance correlating with an increase in Hugo Awards to works of SF that weren’t terribly successful in the marketplace, but were written by the Right People and tended to have the Right Characters expressing the Right Views. Over the next two years, he tested the hypothesis, encouraging his readers and friends to join Worldcon and vote. Membership numbers at Worldcon increased, votes for the Hugo increased, and in the third year of Sad Puppies, when massive numbers of people bought supporting memberships and nominated works by John Wright, Tom Kratman, Michael Williamson, and other authors considered “badthinkers” by defenders of the existing order – the same people, mind you, who had encouraged Larry to go out and get more people to join Worldcon if he felt it wasn’t sufficiently reflective of the SF market- the backlash from people such as Patrick and Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, John Scalzi, David Gerrold, and various unhousebroken employees of Tor Books was vitriolic. The Sad Puppies (and their co-belligerents, the Rabid Puppies led by Vox Day) were libeled as racists, homophobes, neo-Nazis, misogynists and pretty much every politically correct insult in the book. In the end, despite the Puppy Kickers’ hypocritical preaching against the evils of “slate voting”, a bloc of 2500 voters chose “No Award” over any work nominated from the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies list – a list, mind you, that SP3 leader Brad Torgersen had not delivered from on high, but instead crowdsourced from anyone who wanted to suggest works worth nominating. Vox Day’s Rabid Puppies list was almost identical to the SP list, but as far as anyone knows, it was a list he chose and distributed to the Dread Ilk. This massive “No Award” result, which doubled the number of such from the last ten years, was loudly cheered and celebrated by those in attendance at the Hugo Award banquet; this cheering was encouraged by MC David Gerrold, while thousands of fans around the world were subjected to this display of vile behavior thanks to the Internet.

(6) Meantime, Kevin J. Maroney has his say, “Once More Around the Sun”, at New York Review of Science Fiction.

As I’m sure you know by now if you have even the faintest scintilla in the Hugo Awards, the “No Awards for Slates” option won out in this year’s Hugo final voting. This is the approach I advocated in my previous editorials, excluding the Puppy finalists not on grounds of quality or lack thereof, nor on the politics or personal foibles of the people running either of the Puppy slates. This was entirely a vote against the underhanded tactics that resulted in those finalists reaching the ballot. (The kindest thing that can be said about slate voting in this type of open-ended popular vote is that it is “technically not cheating.” That’s not a kind thing to say at all.) The people who were dragged onto the Puppy ballots without being consulted can be assured that this vote absolutely was not a personal rejection of you but of an unacceptable process.

There are larger issues involved in the Puppy movement that I don’t feel the need to rehash right now, issues of culture war, of reader communities and their protocols, of the powers and perils of our deeply interconnected communications. But at its core, the Puppy fight was about a group of people deciding to “not technically” cheat their way into an award and they were rebuffed, and that much, at least, is good. The Puppies will be back next year. It’s not particularly clear what they hope to accomplish in a fourth bite at the apple they claim is poisoned, but it will certainly be something.

(7) Today in History:

Moby Dick script dustjacket

October 18, 1851Moby-Dick by Herman Melville was published. Much later, Ray Bradbury turned it into a script for John Huston.

October 18, 1976 — Burnt Offerings, from Dark Shadows‘ Dan Curtis, opens in theaters.

(8) The Superheroes in Gotham exhibit at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library will be open through February 21, 2016.

Superheroes in Gotham

Superheroes in Gotham will tell the story of the birth of comic book superheroes in New York City; the leap of comic book superheroes from the page into radio, television, and film; the role of fandom, including the yearly mega event known as New York Comic Con; and the ways in which comic book superheroes, created in the late 1930s through the 1960s, have inspired and influenced the work of contemporary comic book artists, cartoonists, and painters in New York City.

Michael Powell reviews the exhibit for the New York Times.

The curators found in a private collection the Pow! Bam! Wham! Pop Art-era Batmobile and put it in the lobby. They mounted the Penguin’s umbrella and Catwoman’s hot unitard upstairs, along with Action Comics No. 1 (the first appearance of Superman) and art originals of the singular Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man.

The exhibition focuses on comic book founding fathers. They were predominantly Jewish kids — with a few Italians and the occasional wayward Protestant mixed in — from the Bronx, the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. And in the 1930s and ’40s, they created a world.

Bob Kane (born Robert Kahn), a creator of Batman, and Will Eisner, a son of Jewish immigrants and the creator of the Spirit, attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, as did the wisenheimer bard Stan Lee (born Stanley Lieber), who created the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Hulk and many more.

(9) Christopher Lloyd told The Hollywood Reporter he’d be glad to do Back to the Future: Part IV if somebody reunited the whole gang. “Doc” also says he’d like to toss out the first pitch if the Chicago Cubs get to the 2015 World Series, as predicted in Back to the Future: Part II.

(10) Book trailers by SFWA Members are collected here on YouTube.

(11) Brian Z. lays that pistol down in a comment on File 770.

Meet me in the thread, pixel, pixel
Puppies all around, pooping, pooping
Tear those puppies down, scrolling, scrolling
Droppings in the ground where flowers grow
Old familiar whine
Shiny happy pixel-scrolling fans
Shiny happy pixel-scrolling fans
Shiny happy people laughing
Filers all around, love them, love them
Never make amends, dish it, dish it
There’s still time to cry, crappy, crappy
Save an unkind word for tomorrow’s whine
Old familiar whine
Shiny happy pixel-scrolling fans…

(12) J-Grizz scores one for the home team.

Pixel pixel little scrolls
God Stalk! Brackets, maybe trolls
Reading comprehension’s bad
Perhaps that’s why they are so sad
Pixel pixel little scroll
Filking’s just the way we roll

(13) Yipes.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Camestros Felapton.]

 

421 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/18 Psycho Filer

  1. Torgersen complains about trufen ignoring The Martian while it was the puppies that pushed the author away from getting on the shortlist for the Campbell award. Without them, he would have been nominated and might even have won.

  2. Since Weir is the illustrator on that, not the writer, no, that shouldn’t disqualify him for the Campbell.

    The good news is that the time machine is working again, and I am posting this from the Year 4, on papyrus.

  3. Does this professional publication from 2005 disqualify him?

    Did the Hugo administrators ever officially rule on the eligibility of The Martian? They usually don’t unless something gets nominated, and the only thing I’ve seen on it is Pups assuming it was ineligible.

    I ask because a fair number of non-Pups nominated it, while it was left entirely off the Puppy slate.

  4. @Aaron – thanks for clearing that up. I was getting confused for a while; now I’m back to my normal state of mild bemusement.

  5. @Lis Carey:

    The interior of the book explicitly credits him as co-writer, and he contributed a three-page exclusive comic strip in addition to the illustrations.

  6. Why do all these interesting discussions of Watchmaker happen when I am too tired to take part?

    Meep.

  7. Aaron:

    Did the Hugo administrators ever officially rule on the eligibility of The Martian?

    No.

    The novel, first self-published in 2011, did not receive enough nominating votes to appear in the 2012 Hugo Awards statistics report, nor did Andy Weir receive enough votes for the Campbell to be reported in 2012 or 2013.

    Crown Publishing issued a hardcover of the book in 2014. For the 2015 Hugos, The Martian received only enough nominating votes to place 12th, which suggests voters had figured out the answer for themselves. On the other hand, Andy Weir received enough nominating votes for the 2015 Campbell Award to place 6th, but not enough to qualify for the final ballot nor to force an eligibility ruling.

    Kevin Standlee, who has never seen a WSFS question he was unwilling to provide a definitive answer for, responded to Brandon Kempner’s question on the Hugo site

    You’ll need to address your question directly to the 2015 Hugo Administrator (Select “Hugo Administrator” from the Committee List) to get a definite answer to this; however, the Hugo Award rules are pretty clear about the fact that first publication is what starts a work’s “clock.” The fact that a work is self-published, published by a small press, or by a large press isn’t relevant. Publication date is publication date, regardless of who publishes it.

  8. For the 2015 Hugos, The Martian received only enough nominating votes to place 12th, which suggests voters had figured out the answer for themselves.

    Well, absent the Pups, it would have placed 7th, so it might not be quite as far away as that makes it seem. I’m just thinking back to Scalzi’s novel which had been self-published on his website, but was later ruled eligible when it came out in print form. The area seems murky, and I suspect we’ll never know, but it seems plausible that an administrator could have ruled it eligible based on that precedent.

  9. I’m kind of amazed any author ever gets noticed in time to qualify for a Campbell.

    Speaking of which, anyone have an opinion on Django Wexler? I thought The Thousand Names sounded kind of interesting.

  10. re: Django.

    He is a friend of mine (disclaimer)

    Beyond that, I really like his Flintlock Fantasy. If anything, The Thousand Names (entertaining and good, and worth a read) is the least interesting of the trilogy. He really gets going when the action switches back to the home country in the subsequent two novels.

    His John Golden novellas are fun and fluffy urban fantasy.

  11. Hampus Ackerman

    Torgersen complains about trufen ignoring The Martian while it was the puppies that pushed the author away from getting on the shortlist for the Campbell award. Without them, he would have been nominated and might even have won.

    1) Trufen always sounds like a kind of rash – is this one of the things they dreamed up?

    2) Torgerson’s claims about Weir are of a piece with his claims about Three Body. As someone here said, when you very deliberately back a dumbstruck filled with fresh, steaming feces up to the door of my home, crane your neck out of the truck cab, make eye-contact, and smile at me before you hit the lever that dumps the pile of fresh, steaming feces on my door step – you don’t get brownie points for showing up with a shovel and precious look on your face after you drive the truck away.

    3) For Weir, 2) applies in that Torgerson can’t talk about how the horrible Others didn’t give Weir the time of day when he probably didn’t care enough about Weir when he made his slate. You don’t get to ride to the rescue of someone you hadn’t heard of before you realized they’d make a bofo human shield.

  12. General rule of thumb I follow when looking at product reviews on amazon or anywhere else. If they only have absolutely glowing reviews and nothing negative or even ‘its ok’. Move along. Its like BS. I need to see something negative or atleast ‘its ok and not special’ or I think the reviews are fake.

  13. TheYoungPretender asks:

    Trufen always sounds like a kind of rash – is this one of the things they dreamed up?

    The way the Puppies use it, as one of the interchangeable terms for their vaguely defined enemies, is idiosyncratic to them. But they did repurpose an existing word, just as they did with “SMOF”, “fandom”, and “GHH”.

    (Come to think of it, I haven’t seen “GHH” pop up in any Puppy posts lately. Was there a conscious decision to stop using it, or did the increasing number of competing epithets crowd it out?)

  14. The men-as-motorcycle-babes missed on so many levels.

    I mean, sure, it illustrates how ludicrous the poses and clothing are.

    But it would have been so much cooler if someone had recruited a female ad exec, and a female art director, and a focus group of actual sportbike-riding women to design a sex-it-up campaign to appeal to female customers.

    (Geez… Cached page much, me?)

  15. In the old days, “trufen” was the fannish “mensch.”

    But I remember 20 years ago it being used by older fen than me to exclude people who didn’t fit their idea of fandom.

  16. Django Wexler had a novelette in Asimovs June 2015 called “The End of the War”. It’s an interesting variant on MilSF that comes over quite like a RTS. It wasn’t 100% to my taste, but it was certainly a good quality piece of work.

  17. On Django Wexler: I’ve read The Thousand Names and its sequel The Shadow Throne, and liked both very much, but I’ll warn people who’ve only read one or the other that they’re very different books.

    FWIW, The Shadow Throne is a finalist for a regional sf award.

  18. @Petrea Mitchell

    Thank you for the explanation. I’d been aware of SMOF from the Steve Jackson game Illuminati, but not trufen. It is interesting; the books have always come before other media et al., but I managed to blunder through decades not running into the terms and the fact that the Hugo was anyone who ponied up the cash until recently. It is fascinating, sometimes.

  19. > “I’ll warn people who’ve only read one or the other that they’re very different books.”

    How so?

  20. Brad Torgersen: Consider The Martian. Arguably the most popular pure science fiction novel—in the Campell mold—this decade. Hell, arguably the most popular science fiction novel this decade, period. Theoretically it could have been nominated in 2012. But guess what? Nobody in Trufandom even knew who Andy Weir was, much less knew about his book. Trufans were too busy humping the TOR leg, and yet another TOR product walked with a trophy: Among Others, which some have described as a love letter to Trufans, but which got precious little traction outside the world of WSFS. I am sure The Martian will be rewarded (in movie form) next year—and if it’s not, the Trufans are more utterly stuck on stupid than even I suspect. But the fact remains: on The Martian, Trufandom is a day late and a dollar short. The book (and the movie) which is now wowing the world, as a proper ambassador of the field, was not even on Trufandom’s radar when it mattered. Because Trufans ignore indie publishing, just as they ignore much else that actually matters.

    Guess what, Brad? Pretty much everybody in fandom (except, apparently, you and the Puppies, because this is the first time you’ve ever mentioned the book) knew about The Martian.

    We posted our love for the book on our Facebook accounts and our blogs, and had extensive discussions about how fantastic it was, all over the Internet — and intensive discussions about whether it would be considered eligible by the Hugo Admins because it was first self-published in 2011 but sold more than 35,000 copies before being picked up by a major publisher.

    (hyperlinks elided to avoid moderation purgatory; use Google to find them)
    13,520 fans on Facebook
    Apr 2014 – Amazing Stories
    Review of The Martian
    Apr 4, 2014 – Chicago Spec Fic: (It’s AMAZING) … Except because of it’s complicated publication history, it might not be eligible
    May 19, 2014 – Making Light: I’d be amazed if The Martian doesn’t make the Hugo
    Aug 31, 2014 – Goodreads: “The Martian” Q&A with Andy Weir *Spoilers –
    Sep 24, 2014 – Eric James Stone: not eligible for a Hugo because the audio publication and a self-published version
    Oct 26, 2014 – Chaos Horizon: Will Andy Weir’s The Martian be eligible in 2015?
    Nov 12, 2014 – LJ Hugo Recommendations: The Martian’s not eligible? Aww.
    Nov 25, 2014 – Andrew Liptak: 2014 Award Eligibility Post!
    Dec 3, 2014 – The Martian by Andy Weir wins the GoodReads Choice Award 2014 (category science-fiction)
    Dec 30, 2014 – io9‘s The Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Books Of 2014
    Jan 16, 2015 – Chris Gerrib: Andy Weir’s The Martian is not eligible
    Jan 17, 2015 – Worlds Without End: Is The Martian even eligible for this year’s Hugo?
    Jan 23, 2015 – Rachel Neumeier: Weir’s THE MARTIAN is probably not eligible under the Hugo rules
    Feb 5, 2015 – Scalzi’s Whatever:
    Discussion of The Martian’s eligibility
    Feb 12, 2015 – Ladybusiness: That’s also what’s going to keep The Martian, Andy Weir’s much-lauded debut novel, off the ballot.
    Feb 25, 2015 – SFFWorld: Is The Martian eligible?

    The only reason The Martian was 8th on the non-Puppy nomination list for Best Novel was because a lot of us knew that it would stricken off as ineligble, and we didn’t want to waste a nomination on an ineligible book.

    We all knew about The Martian. We all raved about it. Repeatedly. But you, no you — you and the rest of the Puppies were too busy whining and crying about how oppressed you were to even notice that book before now. You and your littermates were what deprived Andy Weir of a much-deserved Campbell nomination this year.

  21. Kyra asks about how The Thousand Names and The Shadow Kingdoms are different:

    The Thousand Names is primarily concerned with the details of a military campaign executed by a tactical genius. It’s got interesting characters and a very well-realized world, but it’s solidly military fantasy.

    The Shadow Throne has close to zero military content. It’s about a sort of pre-French-Revolution alternate-world Paris and all the various factions jockeying for power and the intellectual ferment going on in it. It has most of the same core characters as The Thousand Names, but they’re doing totally different things in a totally different setting. No one’s executing brilliant stratagems in battle; it’s all politics and undercover plots and so forth.

  22. Aaron:

    I’m just thinking back to Scalzi’s novel which had been self-published on his website, but was later ruled eligible when it came out in print form. The area seems murky, and I suspect we’ll never know, but it seems plausible that an administrator could have ruled it eligible based on that precedent.

    I think what you call “precedent” was merely a mistake. There’s no evidence the 2006 Hugo Administrator actually knew about the prior appearance, or made any conscious decision about the work’s eligibility.

    In fact, you will note in Scalzi’s 2006 Hugo pimpage post there is ANOTHER work of his whose eligibility he wonders about because it has been available on his site for years, but he says nothing about the earlier posting of OMW.

    Scalzi wrote a whole post about this topic in April — “The Latest Hugo Conspiracy Nonsense Involving Me” — but the immediately relevant point is that he said he was never contacted by the Hugo administrator at all, and so, not about any possible eligibility problem due to prior publication.

    As a lawyer, I am sure you are familiar with a precedent depending upon a court having actually considered an issue.

  23. Mike, I’m slightly awed that you have this appreciation of part of the law that can be lengthy and frustrating to explain to non-practitioners.

    If I am reading your post correctly, it means that no-one brought Scalzi’s eligibility up, and thus it is now res judicata, as we are well past any point of sane appeal. It’s a doctrine that sometimes surprises people, because pretty much, as long as enough time has passed, that fact that something was decided incorrectly does not matter. Finality of a judgment means more than The Truth, even if there is error. (It’s an old doctrine, and one very much beloved of the Founding Generation of this country, thought one seldom hears of it from the Torgersons’ of the States.)

  24. @Petréa. Thanks. Beat me to it.

    @mark. I don’t think so. I think Shadow Throne and Price of Valor stand up pretty well together without Thousand Names.

  25. You people just can’t stop recommending books now, can you.
    And October is such a dreadfully long month.

    And another thing…
    I’ve been picking up more milsf from discussions here than I’d normally be getting.
    I find on more extensive reading of the genre that It’s still just not really my thing.
    I’m not complaining – a lot of it is perfectly fine stuff.
    But I do tend to read it as people talking and plot things happening -BattleBlahBlahBattle- back to plot and people talking.
    At best I get to That Blowed Up Real Good territory, but my heart doesn’t tend to be in it.
    I blame you all.

  26. It’s a doctrine that sometimes surprises people, because pretty much, as long as enough time has passed, that fact that something was decided incorrectly does not matter.

    Or, in this case, simply not decided at all, because the issue was never raised. In those cases, you can regard the issue as being seen de novo if it comes up again, and either treat it as having been a non-issue because it was not an issue, or treat it as a mistake that it wasn’t raised. Either way, the question is still somewhat murky, and will remain so until there is a ruling on a similar case.

  27. For those who asked —

    I was unclear. I want to get a Kobo so I can read both MOBIs and EPUBs. I want to root it so I can put some goddamned tags on things. I’ve got almost 1000 stories & books on the Nook, and it’s a real pain finding things if I don’t remember author or title — I end up going back to the computer to search calibre by tag.

    Also, I bought the Nook version of “The Mystic Marriage”, and it’s not showing up on my device.

  28. @Doctor Science:

    I use collections to do what you want tags for. Create a collection, add as many books as you want to it, repeat as necessary. Then, as you add a new book, add it to whichever collections need it. Takes a little getting used to, but I think it works out to be about the same amount of work as tags… but no rooting required.

  29. What Paul Weimer said about reading The Thousand Names and The Shadow Throne out of order. There might be one or two small points spoiled, but nothing critical to enjoying the first book.

  30. It doesn’t matter whether Scalzi in 2006 could have been a precedent because they changed the rules since then to explicitly say self-publishing on your website counts as publication, and at least one Hugo award winner since then qualified by being self-published on the author’s website. Why does anyone even bring this up again?

    As a long time attendee of Minicon (since the 70s) and the other Twin Cities spinoff conventions, I think it’s safe to say that not every convention aspires to be something for every fan, nor should they. Would Minicon be a different convention today if the people running Convergence hadn’t stepped up to take its place as the big regional con? Probably. None of the other spinoff conventions aspired to be the big all-inclusive convention, that doesn’t mean that they fail at being SF conventions, just that they have a specific focus that appeals to a smaller group of fans. I also think that to a certain extant having a large local convention means that a lot of fans gravitate to it if they’re only going to attend one convention a year. I know that was true for me for many years, before the split.

  31. Rev. Bob: I use collections to do what you want tags for. Create a collection, add as many books as you want to it, repeat as necessary. Then, as you add a new book, add it to whichever collections need it.

    Doctor Science, on my Kindle I do what Rev. Bob does. All authors have their own “collection” named according to the following convention:
    Lastname, First [Middle]

    and every work of theirs, or in which their work appears, gets added to their collection. I also have collections named
    Anthologies
    Lightspeed Magazine
    Unread SFF
    Read
    Classics

    A given issue of Lightspeed gets added to that collection, plus to the collections of all the authors who have a work published in that issue (or an interview with, or article about, them).

    Likewise, an anthology goes in that collection, plus in the collections of all the authors who have a work published in it.

    Once I’ve read something, I take it out of the Unread SFF collection (making sure that it’s in at least one other collection).

    The Read collection is for works by one-off authors for whom I’ve not yet acquired enough works to bother setting up a collection specifically for them.

    The Classics collection is where I put (mostly non-SFF) books that I get for free or on the cheap, such as The Great Gatsby.

    And yes, saving books in collections does preclude the need for rooting my Kindle (which would be problematic, for several reasons).

  32. I think ebook apps have a way to go before they match the convenience of bookcases. I get annoyed at mine quite regularly.

  33. @ Doctor Science

    I must say that I was as dismayed at the font size for the hard-copy of The Mystic Marriage as you were. (And you aren’t the first reader to comment on it.) I honestly have no idea why my publisher did that, except to speculate that they may have a target upper weight limit for books for shipping purposes. Let’s just say that my novels are a bit door-stoppier than my publisher’s usual.

  34. @Rev Bob
    re: J.B. and ‘smut’

    Your story of stumbling into editing is fascinating. I can relate to the need to “&$@% fix this mess!”

    J.B. sounds like an intriguing person. It can be difficult to maintain a non-gendered persona while having extensive communication with people unless you’re communicating on a limited subject matter or the person is very careful.

    I enjoy reading erotica (aka ‘smut’?) and the book sounds like it might be interesting. Editing it sounds either interesting or pull your hair out crazy-making. It must be difficult to draw a line between suggestions to help the story and “no, no, no, you’re writing it wrong!” (that’d be my tendency poking its head in, anyway.)

  35. @PhilRM
    “If we all liked the same things the world would be a much less interesting place.”

    I completely agree with this. I hope I didn’t come off as attacking your taste or anything. There are plenty of things that other people like that I dislike or am indifferent to.

    As to your rot13 points. Yep, that’s what happened. I enjoyed some of the ambiguity (that I saw) in what and why Mori is doing things. The ending just really highlighted that for me. It seems you didn’t like the character at all and that made the rest of the story unenjoyable. Perfectly understandable.

    Again, thank you for explaining and discussing it.

  36. @junego:

    J.B. isn’t so much “nongendered” (implying asexual/disinterested) as “vague about gender” (nonspecific/playful). You might find hir manifesto of interest… and, since you like erotica, you might want to prowl through that Tumblr’s archives. There are several scenes, and some of them link to a weekly collection that involves a dozen or so other writers.

    BTW, the contest page on the site is new; I helped hash some of the legalese out earlier today. If all goes well, the first story will get uploaded to retailers over the weekend for a release next week… but I still have to get an “about the author” page before I can assemble the final version.

  37. Devin on October 19, 2015 at 11:17 pm:
    Yeah, those reasons contribute to Seveneves also being on my Hugo list.

    Nicholas Whyte on October 20, 2015 at 1:33 am said: “Oh wow, I got a massive reply from Brad!”

    I read further down the thread and saw yet another example why any attempts at rapprochement are doomed to failure.

    “I thought (Ancillary Justice) was a great book, as did the Hugo voters, the Nebula voters, the BSFA voters, the Arthur C. Clarke Award jury and the Locus Award voters. Tastes differ!”
    [To which Torgersen replies]
    And a raft of awards nobody in the wider world knows or cares about, proves . . . what, again? That Nielsen-Hayden is good at engineering wins for his house’s books? We already knew that.

    But “Ancillary Justice” is published by Orbit, not Tor!
    This is just the most recent example I have encountered where a Puppy spokesperson has said something that is verifiably false. Whether it is deliberately lying or a failure understand the difference between fact & fiction (I don’t know if there is another alternative), how does one make peace with someone like that?

    (The idea that the Sad Puppy slate was created “100% in the open, democratically, using a democratic process”, the belief that the Worldcon membership can somehow reinstate Theodore Beale’s SFWA membership (cf FAQ: What is SFWA in charge of?***), and the list goes on.)

    Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little on October 20, 2015 at 11:23 am said:
    And as for “please hold your applause until winners are announced,” I have heard that at every single Hugo award ceremony,

    I think you mean, “please hold your applause until all the finalists are announced”? In this year’s Hugo ceremonies, it had a particularly significant effect. Given how the vote turned out, I expect the applause for the individual Puppy finalists would have been a lot more “polite” (ranging from perfunctory to absent) than “enthusiastic”.

    Kyra on October 20, 2015 at 1:22 pm said:
    I’m kind of amazed any author ever gets noticed in time to qualify for a Campbell.

    Speaking of which, anyone have an opinion on Django Wexler? I thought The Thousand Names sounded kind of interesting.

    Django’s name is in of itself interesting & based on the few stories I’ve read, is a writer to watch. Mark’s mentioned his novelette in Asimovs June 2015 called “The End of the War”. It is as Mark described and I enjoyed it tremendously. It was a fun yet pointed MilSF story that draws much from RTS games.

    [This from the year 7199, where hover-boards are back in fashion. Yet again.]

  38. @Devin, regarding Seveneves:

    There are a couple of things going on that I feel are underappreciated: the first part of the book is written from the perspective of the far-future people. It’s the scenes from the Epic, the effective religious text of the space people. This is the story being told in church, not just ‘a story’.

    I really don’t get that impression. There’s no framing device telling us that the first half of the story is written as a historical text or a novelization of historic events written in the year 5000. And we are told many details that never would have made it into a historic text – like the innermost thoughts of Doob about the president’s dye job, or gur ernfbaf sbe Qvanu’f iraqrggn ntnvafg Pnzvyn gung fur riraghnyyl rayvfgf ure sevraqf gb ranpg ntnvafg ure sbe gur arkg 5000 lrnef. To me, it’s pretty clear that it’s written from an omniscient narrator viewpoint. And as such:

    The second is a note about characterisation that follows from the first part: we’re not seeing the characters through an unbiased narrator, so the ‘bad guys’ have aspersions cast upon them, and the narrative only shows where they interact with the ‘good guys’. Bs pbhefr, V’z nffhzvat gung guvf vf gur Rcvp nf-gbyq ol “Oyhr”, abg “Erq”. Gurer’f n jubyr ‘abgure obbx gurer…

    …there’s a problem. An omniscient narrator should not be a biased narrator…that is, an omniscient narrator should not share his characters’ biases so thoroughly that he never allows the reader a glimpse of any facts or interpretation beyond their biased viewpoints.

    It’s understandable that his Good Guys see Julia (for example) as Plain and Simple Evil (though it’s extremely simpleminded of them not to at least TRY to analyze and work with it in sheer self-defense). But when an omniscient narrator is showing us biased characters – and intending to show the reader that they ARE biased and not seeing everything there is to see – the narrator should give glimpses of a more complex reality that the biased characters are unwilling to see, are dismissing and minimizing and misinterpreting in favor of their own preferred view – thus giving an observant reader a chance to see the truth behind the bias.

    Seveneves is written from multiple viewpoints – the various protagonists at the time, the people 5000 years later who SAW all the visible actions of the original protagonists on video. But never does Stephenson give We the Readers a glimpse of any depth that contradicts the Designated Good Guys’ simpleminded point of view of The Designated Bad Guys. We are never given any hint of a reason for Julia’s monstrously illogical behavior ( jul oernx vagb VFF vafgrnq bs tbvat gb Frnyno? jul gnxr gur frperg bs Frnyno gb lbhe qrngu vafgrnq bs gryyvat gur bguref nobhg vg?) except that she’s an Evil person who does Evil things that don’t actually have to make sense even from her own point of view. Stephenson never gives us the slightest clue that she’s anything BUT a cardboard villain set up to provide an obstacle for his heroes to overcome to prove their heroism. I think that shows that Stephenson pretty much shares his protagonists’ bias against his antagonists – which is bad for making well-rounded characters on both sides of the plot.

    IMO, at this point, Stephenson going back to give his villain understandable motivations (without having provided the slightest clue in the first book that she HAD any) would not be Clever Foreshadowing (since he didn’t foreshadow it). It would be Clumsy Retconning.

    Besides – I’ve been reading on Goodreads that the author doesn’t intend this book to have sequels. But I don’t know what info they’re going on, and the book’s conclusion is so vaguely open-ended that it seems bizarre that he was not intending to do SOMETHING with those characters. Does anyone know for sure?

  39. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan
    “Why do all these interesting discussions of Watchmaker happen when I am too tired to take part?”

    Hey, comment anyway. We’re spread all over the globe. No one can be awake/alert/present for every post of every discussion given the time zone spread. Besides, I loved this book and would like to get a more detailed take from you along with anyone else who wants to contribute…even if it takes more than 12 hours to get a response!

  40. @Doctor Science, @JJ, @Rev Bob, @Meredith
    “Rev. Bob: I use collections to do what you want tags for. Create a collection, add as many books as you want to it, repeat as necessary. Then, as you add a new book, add it to whichever collections need it.”

    “JJ: Doctor Science, on my Kindle I do what Rev. Bob does.”

    I have similar systems. Since I have an iPad mine is complicated by having books on iBooks, Kindle, & Google Play. I at least try to keep all of one author on a single app. So my collections are by Author (if I have more than 10-15 books by 1 individual), by Genre or Category (for those authors I don’t have as separate collections), by Unread.

    I agree with Meredith that all the readers need some improvements for user frienliness and useability. There should be global search for at least author, title, category. There should be capability to modify/correct titles, authors, categories. As long as the ISBN is untouched, it shouldn’t violate any laws. There should be notes and tags that are creatable and searchable by the user.

    My rant for the day…maybe.

  41. @Soon Lee
    re: Django Wrexler, “The End of the War” audio rec

    Thank you! Good voice actor and interesting story. The reading starts at around 22 minutes into the program. It’s going on my Hugo long list. From another source I think that this is a novellette length, fyi.

    Starship sofa program w/ reading.

  42. The End of The War is indeed a novelette per the Asimovs contents page. I haven’t double checked the word count, mind you, but Asimovs specifically label their stories by category.

    (Hmm, come January double checking word counts may become a spectator sport.)

  43. @junego: I hope I didn’t come off as attacking your taste or anything. Oh, not at all – I would happily argue about books all day! And to be clear, let me add that I thought Watchmaker was extremely accomplished, especially for a first novel: it’s quite a piece of clockwork in itself, with all of the pieces meshing almost perfectly. I’ll be interested to see what Pulley does next.

    It seems you didn’t like the character at all and that made the rest of the story unenjoyable.

    More precisely, juvyr V vavgvnyyl sbhaq Zbev irel flzcngurgvp, V gubhtug gung ur jnf tenqhnyyl erirnyrq gb or n zbafgre.

    Va gur crahygvzngr puncgre, Gunavry naq Zbev unir na rkpunatr ertneqvat Fvk gung raqf jvgu Gunavry fnlvat ‘Vg’f lbhe snhyg sbe oevatvat ure onpx; lbh zhfg unir xabja jung V’q fnl.’ V sbhaq gung fragrapr nofbyhgryl oybbq-pheqyvat. Gb zl ernqvat, gung jnf Chyyrl chggvat gur svany fgnzc ba vg: gung rirelguvat Zbev unf qbar unf orra gb chg Gunavry rknpgyl jurer ur jnagrq uvz. Ur xarj Gunavry yvxrq puvyqera naq jbhyq or haunccl jvgubhg bar, fb ur npdhverq bar sbe uvz.

    Posted from the year 867, where we’re all still dreaming of that magical day when ball-and-stick replaces the current game of rock-and-stick.

  44. Guess what, Brad? Pretty much everybody in fandom (except, apparently, you and the Puppies, because this is the first time you’ve ever mentioned the book) knew about The Martian.

    But Torgersen is saying that The Martian should have got the Hugo in 2012. As far as I know fandom was largely unaware of it then. (I don’t know how many people were aware of it, though clearly a fair number were.) Certainly ‘it’s the most popular book of the decade in 2015, so fandom should have noticed it in 2012’ is not the most persuasive argument, but he’s not saying something blatantly contrary to fact. (In this instance.)

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