Pixel Scroll 11/13/18 If We Had Pixels We Could Have A Pixel Scroll, If We Had Scrolls

(1) NOIR WITH EXTRA MUSTARD. Here’s the first trailer for POKÉMON Detective Pikachu, coming to theaters May 10.

The story begins when ace private eye Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.

 

(2) CRITICS RECOGNIZE HAWKE. Author Sam Hawke won a Canberra Circle Critics Award for her novel City of Lies.

(3) FEED INTERRUPTED. Cory Doctorow’s Unauthorized Bread is being adapted for TV: “Topic Studios Buys Cory Doctorow’s Sci-Fi Novella ‘Unauthorized Bread’”.

Topic Studios (who were behind mainstream hits including Spotlight and Leave No Trace) have begun work on an adaptation of Cory Doctorow’s upcoming novella Unauthorized Bread. The planned TV series takes aim at the ‘Internet of Things’ by imagining a world in which corporations have put user locks on all kitchen appliances so that they only work with brand-name food — to the point that even a toaster won’t work on Unauthorized Bread. Doctorow’s novella comes out next January.

(4) OOPS. A New Zealand newspaper’s mistake inspired an epically funny Twitter thread.

(5) DATA POINTS. Trekspertise considers “Androids vs Holograms: Personhood In Star Trek.”

Star Trek’s defense of personhood is both loud & obvious, like Picard’s defense of Androids. But, what if there was a more subtle way? Enter the Holograms.

 

(6) LIBERTYCON 2019.  The LibertyCon 32 Guests of Honor will be:

(7) FURRIES ON CNN. The next episode of Lisa Ling’s CNN series This Is Life is “Furry Nation” – and the trailer shows it is, indeed, about fursuited fans. Airs this Sunday.

(8) RED PLANET TOUCHDOWN. Cnet says “NASA set to broadcast its first Mars landing in six years” and tells where to watch.

It’s been a while since we’ve sat down in front of the TV to watch a good ol’ Mars landing.

But clear your calendar because NASA said Tuesday it will broadcast its InSight Mars Lander touching down on the Red Planet on Nov. 26 on NASA Television and its website, as well as Twitter and Facebook.

The last time NASA broadcast a landing was six years ago, and it made for exciting viewing: The Curiosity rover executed a dramatic plunge to the surface.

InSight was launched May 5, and if it’s successful, it will be NASA’s first spacecraft to land on Mars since Curiosity in 2012. NASA says its mission is to study the “deep interior” of Mars. It’s data will “help scientists understand the formation of all rocky worlds, including our own,” the space agency said.

(9) BEST OF 2018. Do I want to make James Davis Nicoll yell that 2018 isn’t over again? Yeah, why not? Here’s a link to “Tor.com Reviewers’ Choice: The Best Books of 2018”. Ten folks make selections, including Paul Weimer. Here are Mahvesh Murad’s picks.

I’m a fangirl of Megan Abbott’s lean, mean writing, so of course I was going to enjoy her latest novel, Give Me Your Hand. I didn’t know just how much of an impact it would have though, because it did, with its taut, intense narrative about two young women scientists working on premenstrual dysphoric disorder research. Abbott is so deft at turning a thriller narrative inwards, forcing us to dip our fingers into the bloody souls of female friendships.

There have been a few revamps of ancient epics this year, and Madeline Miller’s Circe is one of the two I loved. It’s a gorgeous book ostensibly based on The Odyssey, but told from the perspective of the witch Circe, and is a glorious exploration of femininity and feminism, divinity and motherhood.

The second book based on an epic that will stay with me for a long while is Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife, a sharp,visceral feminist take on Beowulf. Headley’s writing has rhythms I’ve always been fascinated by, and The Mere Wife is no exception to her unabashed no holds barred approach to any narrative. If Beowulf was a story about aggressive masculinity, The Mere Wife is one of femininity, where the female characters are more than just monster, hag, trophy—they are also in turn hero, saviour, leader.

(10) BUCK BUCK BOOK. Gabriel Iglesias, in “The 10 Weirdest Crime Novels You Probably Haven’t Read” on Crimereads, recommends such “crime/bizarro hybrids” as Repo Shark by Cory Goodfellow, in which “ancient entities turn into sharks” and Embry by Michael Allen Rose, in which all the characters are chickens.

Sometimes weirdness doesn’t affect the core of the narrative, and this is a perfect example. Embry is an extremely strange tribute to 1950s sleuth pulp. There are fistfights, a mysterious murder, a lot of running and hiding, and a femme fatale that helps the antihero. In fact, the only difference between this and a Dashiell Hammett novel is that the characters are all chickens. Yes, poultry. Rose is obviously a fan of pulp, and the fun he had writing this is palpable in every page, every cracked shell, and every bloody feather.

(11) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • November 13, 1933 The Invisible Man debuted in theaters.
  • November 13, 1940 – Disney’s Fantasia premiered.

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]

  • Born November 13, 1887A.R. Tilburne. Pulp artist who by 1938 was selling illustrations to Short Stories and Weird Tales, and  the 1940s he also drew many interior story illustrations for Weird Tales. In 1947 he painted the cover for H. P. Lovecraft’s The Lurking Fear which was published by Avon. (Died 1965.)
  • Born November 13, 1888 – Philip Francis Nowlan. He’s best known as the creator of Buck Rogers. While working in Philadelphia, he created and wrote the Buck Rogers comic strip, illustrated by Dick Calkins. Nowlan and the syndicate John F. Dille Company, later known as the National Newspaper Service syndicate, were contracted to adapt the story into a comic strip. The strip made its first newspaper appearance on January 7, 1929. (Died 1940.)
  • Born November 13, 1955 Whoopi Goldberg, 63. Best known for her role as Guinan the Barkeep in Ten Forward on Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation which she reprised in Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: Nemesis. Other genre appearances include It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas MoviePinocchio 3000Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle  to name but a few of her appearances as she’s very busy performer!
  • Born November 13, 1957Stephen Baxter, 61. Ok I’m going to confess that the only thing I’ve read that he’s written is the Long Earth series with Terry Pratchett which produced five books, The Long Earth, The Long War, The Long Mars, The Long Utopia and The Long Cosmos. I’ve only read the first three but they are quite stellar SF! I really, really need your help to figure out what else of his that I should consider reading. To say he’s been a prolific writer is somewhat of an understatement and he’s gotten a bonnie bunch of literary awards as well.  It’s worth noting that Baxter’s story “Last Contact” was nominated for the 2008 Hugo Award for best short story.
  • Born November 13, 1969 Gerard Butler, 49. He’s done Tomb Raider, Reign of Fire, the 300 films (for which he received a Saturn nomination), the How to Train Your Dragon films, Beowulf & Grendel, Dracula 2000, Tale of the Mummy, Gamer, and Timeline.

(13) STAN LEE TRIBUTES. Michael Cavna has an appreciation of Stan Lee in the Washington Post that includes an interview with Neil Gaiman. It starts with a strong lede: “There was a lot more to comics’ greatest showman than just showing up, convention after convention, show after show. And to the man who long wore that mantle, with great power came great adaptability.” “Stan Lee became one of pop culture’s greatest showmen — by making fans feel like part of the club”.

Lee told me that the key to all this success was that he began to listen to himself — to what fascinated him about fairy tales and classic novels alike, from Grimm to “Great Expectations.” Lee was drawn to the strength we find in ourselves at the height of human frailty.

That universal appeal to our vulnerabilities — at the height of tumultuous times and generational change in the United States in the 1960s — helped Marvel’s creations become embraced and embedded in mainstream culture. And as their popularity grew, Lee grew from his duties as writer-editor to his role as promoter and ringmaster.

“He was the huckster that comics needed — he was the showman,” novelist and “Sandman” writer Neil Gaiman told me Monday. “He was also an effective writer. When you look at the [Marvel] comics by other people who weren’t Stan, you realized how efficient and effective he was.”

(14) VINTAGE LEE. Marcus Errico, in the Yahoo! Entertainment story “The Lost Stan Lee Interview:  From Making Modern Fairy Tales To The Hero He Most Identified With”, reprints an interview from 2015.

Yahoo Entertainment: You’ve created so many universes of superheroes in your career — do you have a philosophy of superheroism?
Stan Lee: 
I hate to make it sound un-intellectual, but to me, I think of these superheroes the way young people read fairy tales. When you’re 3, 4, 5 years old, you read about giants and witches and monsters and things like that. And they’re colorful and bigger than life, and you’re a little kid and you’re impressed with them. [But when] you get a little older, you can’t read fairy tales anymore. Suddenly, along come these superhero stories and to me they’re like fairy tales for grown-ups because they’re all bigger than life, they’re about characters that really have abilities that no human beings possess. … You’re recapturing the enjoyment you had when you were a kid reading fairy tales. So I don’t think there’s anything thing very much deeper to it than that.

(15) WHEN WOLVERINE PLAYED SECOND BANANA. Hugh Jackman told this Stan Lee anecdote to Stephen Colbert:

‘The Front Runner’ star Hugh Jackman remembers thinking his portrayal of Wolverine would make him the center of attention on the red carpet at Comic Con. That was until the paparazzi abandoned him for Stan Lee.

Jackman also admitted that when he was cast he’d never heard of wolverines, thought it was a made up name, because they don’t have any in Australian zoos. Instead, he spent lots of time studying wolves and their mannerisms. On the first day of filming Wolverine the director told him he’d got it totally wrong.

(16) JUNO SNAP. Smithsonian proves “Juno’s Latest Photo of Jupiter Is Breathtaking”.

On October 29, the Juno spacecraft that has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016, swooped above the planet’s North Temperate Belt and snapped what may be its most mesmerizing image of the gas giant’s clouds yet. The image, taken 4,400 miles above the planet and enhanced by citizen-scientists and artists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran, includes white pop-up clouds and an anticyclonic storm that appears as a white oval.

(17) THINKING OF A BOOK WILL KEEP YOU WARM. It is the time of year for a reading blanket. Litograph has all kinds of thematic graphics. Here is a link to their sci-fi/fantasy genre designs.

(18) PAST LIVES. Filers consumed by the discussion of Barbie in comments may be interested to see that Galactic Journey’s John Boston coincidentally uncovered a Philip K. Dick story inspired by the doll in a 1963 Amazing“[November 13, 1963] Good Cop (the November 1963 Amazing)”

…The adult humans are completely preoccupied with Perky Pat, a blonde plastic doll that comes with various accessories including boyfriend, which the flukers have supplemented with various improvised objects in their “layouts,” which seem to be sort of like a Monopoly board and sort of like a particularly elaborate model train setup.  On these layouts, they obsessively play a competitive game, running Perky Pat and her boyfriend through the routines of life before the war, while their kids run around unsupervised on the dust- and rock-covered surface chasing down mutant animals with knives.

Obviously the author has had an encounter with a Barbie doll complete with accessories, and didn’t much care for it….

(19) RIVERS OF LONDON. Fantasy Literature’s Rachael “Ray” McKenzie fills readers in about Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch:

Peter Grant, our favourite semi-competent detective cum wizard-in-training, returns in Lies Sleeping (2018), the seventh book in Ben Aaronovitch’s RIVERS OF LONDON series. The Faceless Man has been unmasked and is on the run, and it is now up to Peter and the inimitable Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale (slash last officially sanctioned English Melvin the Wizard) to apprehend him.

(20) ONE OF LIFE’S MYSTERIES. Adam-Troy Castro can’t understand it. Who can?

If I live to be a thousand, I will never ever understand this impulse possessed by the dull, the cornball, the second-rate, to think they can take on the quick, in battles of wits.

…And yet they try. Oh, how they try.

When I see the dullards taking on Jim Wright, or David Gerrold, or John Scalzi, or J.K. Rowling — all masters at such responses — I am not astonished at how cleverly these misguided ripostes are returned. I am astonished that the barely equipped aggressors took them on, virtually unarmed, and thought that it would end well….

(21) CASE OF THE HIVES. BBC asks “Can listening to bees help save them – and us?”

Can artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning help save the world’s bees? That’s the hope of scientists who are scrambling to reverse the dramatic declines in bee populations.

Bees are in trouble, but we’re not quite sure why.

It could be the overuse of insecticides; air pollution; warming temperatures; the varroa destructor mite; or even interference from electromagnetic radiation.

Or it could be a combination of all these factors. But until we have more data, we won’t know for sure.

So the World Bee Project and IT firm Oracle are creating a global network of AI “smart hives” to give scientists real-time data into the relationships between bees and their environments./CHip

(22) QUEEN FOR A KING. “Queen of New York” featuring Christiani Pitts and members of the cast is a video based on a song from King Kong, which has just opened on Broadway

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Mark Hepworth, John King Tarpinian, Paul Weimer, JJ, Cat Eldridge, ULTRAGOTHA, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Olav Rokne, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Matthew Johnson.]

64 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/13/18 If We Had Pixels We Could Have A Pixel Scroll, If We Had Scrolls

  1. first

    18) Also, there is John Varley’s “The Barbie Murders,” which features a group of identical-looking people (thanks to plastic surgery) who shun individuality. Then there is a murder….

  2. (5) Don’t have the time to watch this one now, but will bookmark it. I hope they deal with the “Moriarty issue.”

    When you’ve Scrolled the ImPixelible, whatever remains, however ImFileable, must be Fifth

  3. I’m thinking, ” Whoopi Goldberg, 63. Best known fir her told as Guinan” is really “for her role,” though the original poses interesting, arboreal questions.

  4. (9) This is the sort of thing that has made me ask my publisher never ever to release any of my novels after October ever again. (Since my publisher doesn’t really do ARCs, later books might as well not exist as far as SFF publishing is concerned.) Of course, my last (November-released) novel had a few other handicaps besides just the month (*cough* Trump elected *cough*). But I’ve grown deeply conscious of just how badly handicapped a book can be by the combination of bad timing and total lack of awareness of SFF publicity cycles. I mean, not that I expect any sort of significant critical attention, it’s more about the distraction cycles and being out of sync for any attention at all.

  5. 12) Stephen Baxter: I haven’t read his stuff in a long time, but I have fond memories of The Time Ships (a sequel to Wells’ Time Machine that had an almost Stapledonian scope) and the Xeelee sequence (hard SF space opera spanning great gulfs of time and space and with impossibly powerful alien races waging war by throwing galaxies at each other). Or for something on a much smaller scale, his three space program books — Voyage, Titan and Moonseed, all of which are contemporary or near future and feature Apollo-era tech used to go to Mars, Titan or back to the Moon, respectively. (n.b. Titan is almost impossibly grim)

  6. (18) Dick’s story (“The Days of Perky Pat”) was included in Ballantine’s The Best of Philip K. Dick (1977), edited and introduced by John Brunner. In my opinion it remains the best single-volume collection of his stories, not least because of Dick’s afterword and individual notes on each story.

    (12) No recognition for Ghost, Whoopi’s Academy Award-winning role? Or have we all suppressed the memory of that picture for other reasons?

  7. I’m not sad about Stan Lee’s passing. He lived to 95. His wife had passed and his health was poor. I hope his soul is in heaven.

    My wife and I saw him at an early DragonCon with Julie Schwartz on a wonderful panel.

    My wargamer buddies and I all toasted his passing.

    On a different topic, I had a very good time at MACE gaming convention. The same people run gaming at Concarolinas so I t think I may go to it. Liberty Con gaming is so-so aside from Steve Jackson.

  8. Born November 13, 1969 – Gerard Butler,

    Also, starred as The Phantom in the movie version of Phantom of the Opera. I thought he did quite well, actually. But then I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, much more than the stage musical.

  9. Yay, title credit!

    (1) I watched the trailer with my kids and it accomplished the near-impossible task of convincing a ten-year-old who is so over Pokemon that he might actually want to see it. (Personally, I was won over by the end of the Mr. Mime interrogation scene.)

  10. 12: I was about to recommend you pick up the Xeelee Sequence omnibus, which contains ten of Stephen Baxter’s Xeelee novels. At a filers recommendation, I bought it in August for 99p.

    Unfortunately it’s now back at its full price of £69.99!

  11. 12) Ah, I remember the early days of the internet when shipping from amazon uk was not really a thing and I had to beg a British friend to bring copies of Baxter’s work here. And then there was the “is there stuff in Canada I can get?” bookstore expeditions on the route to Banff and Jasper in the early 2000’s.

  12. No fan is a pixel, entire of itself….
    Therefore send not to ask for whom the files scroll; they scroll for thee.

  13. Joe H. on November 13, 2018 at 9:14 pm said:
    12) Stephen Baxter

    I just read his latest, “The Massacre of Mankind,” which was a sequel to War of The Worlds, authorized by the HG Wells estate. It’s pretty good, if overlong.

    Baxter’s really great.

  14. Books read:
    Trail of Lightining – Rebecca Roanhorse. I don’t really care for the gritty realism style that this book is written in. If you are okay with the writing style, its a good book.

    Before Mars – Emma Newton. Compelling characters and great narrative. Really keeps you wondering what is going on, yet at the same time none of the revelations seem to come out of the blue. Except for the Earth news at the end, that was a surprise and seemed pointless/weird. Maybe it would make sense if I had read After Atlas.

    Oathbringer – Brandon Sanderson. In the first book, Shallon was by far the most interesting character, with the second book and this one, others are getting more interesting as well. And I agree quite strongly with the moral/political message here.

  15. I first got into Stephen Baxter through the Xeelee sequence – the short story collection Vacuum Diagrams might be a good taster menu for the setting, at least. (Any discussion of “what is the most powerful SF handgun?” online always makes me mention the Xeelee “starbreaker”, which is pretty much unbeatable in this category – though, admittedly, since it does exactly what it says it does, it’s likely to be overkill in most situations.)

  16. @Paul Weimer — Fortunately, Dreamhaven Books always used to stock British import paperbacks. This was very handy when I finally got into Discworld because most of the then-extant series had not gotten a US release; so my Discworld collection is a weird mélange of British and American hardcovers and paperbacks of various vintages.

    The modern-day equivalent (and it’s even worse, IMHO) is region-locked digital releases — I go to Amazon.co.uk and there are so many eBooks I’d love to buy, but because I live on the wrong side of the Atlantic Ocean …

  17. Tor-dot-com’s Twitter account said they were having site trouble earlier, but a later tweet proclaimed that it had been fixed.

  18. Re: LibertyCon: My subconscious had an instant “uggggh… those guys…” reaction when I heard the name, but I can’t remember why. Is there something about that con, or am I just mixing up the name with something else/assuming that anyone who needs to ostentatiously put “liberty” in their name when they’re not a political organization is probably suffering from the political equivalent of Short Man’s Disease?

  19. @ John Seavey

    I have not been there, but from previous 770 threads I gather that LibertyCon has a libertarian/right-wing bent.

  20. Re: Stephen Baxter

    He’s been on the Hugo shortlist six times in fiction categories. Three times for short story, twice for novellette, and once for novel (The Time Ships). IIRC, his last nomination was 2008 for the short story “Last Contact.”

  21. @Paul Weimer

    If you were travelling through Banff and Jasper, and looking for UK-published science fiction books,The Sentry Box in Calgary would have been the place to go. I worked there in the 1990s, and they were the only place around that stocked Stephen Baxter, and several other UK authors that weren’t in the mainstream North American book stores.

  22. @John Seavey, Rob Thornton:

    I have been there; I used to run their board/card gaming. Its old nickname was BaenCon, and they earned it. It is now widely known for its heavily Puppyish membership and guest list. (I met Larry Correia there twice, Sarah Hoyt on several occasions, Toni Weisskopf is there practically every year, MZW is a regular vendor, John Ringo often attends, and several other Baen authors are frequent “attending pros.” That’s just a top-of-the-head list.) As I was phasing out, the Baen Barfly contingent was being recruited to play a bigger role in their consuite planning.

    I parted ways with the con when they got too overtly conservative for me to feel comfortable attending – not in the “I don’t want my money going there” sense, but in the “if they knew how liberal my politics are, I believe I would be very unwelcome” sense. I heard a lot of casual liberal-bashing in my time there, both in person at the event and online in the weekly newsletter. (That would be “The Revenge of Hump Day,” which garnered a Sad Puppy nomination for Fanzine and once got its editor – who founded the con and is a guest this year – uninvited from another convention over racist content. I saw part of an issue several months back; it included a celebratory illustration depicting Sarah Huckabee Sanders as Xena, wielding a version of Mjolnir that had “MAGA” etched on the side. I couldn’t make this stuff up.)

    I’m somewhat surprised to see Briggs and McGuire attending as guests, given how the Puppy demographic generally responds to the sorts of books they write. Briggs maybe not so much, as her urban fantasy is pretty mainstream shifter stuff, but I would have figured Seanan’s overtly pro-LGBT content would make her and the convention a bad fit for each other.

    Perhaps the con has changed dramatically in the last year or two, but I would be quite surprised if that were so.

  23. Thanks to those who answered! I know exactly what Rev. Bob means about Seanan McGuire; part of the reason I asked was because her attendance seemed very incongruous. I’m sure we’ll hear about it if this is an issue for one reason or another.

  24. gottacook: Ghost was also my first reaction: not a starring role for Goldberg, but not a cameo either.

    @Joe H:

    Fortunately, Dreamhaven Books always used to stock British import paperbacks. This was very handy when I finally got into Discworld because most of the then-extant series had not gotten a US release;

    How far back did you get into the series? The US paperbacks were running a year or two behind the UK hardcovers for the first decade-plus, but they were definitely available; I have most of the early ones, which I just confirmed show no more than two years between the copyright date and the US print date.

    @Rev Bob: I was also surprised by McGuire’s listing; I haven’t seen her being political outside her work (as (e.g.) Daniel José Older has been), but I’m hoping she doesn’t get hassled for her stories.

  25. There are some very liberal people attending Libertycon. But libertycon is very Baen Books and Military oriented. Lots of vets and police attend annually. It is also more kid friendly than most cons. I’ve not seen anyone unhappy, but I’m sure if someone wanted to be a stridently political jerk they would get pushback.

    I like the authors, but I like to game a lot more. I usually went to 2 panels and spent the rest of the time gaming. I find I like game cons more.

  26. @Chip Hitchcock — It would’ve been late 1998/early 1999 — I think I’d picked up some Pratchett back in the early days but it never quite clicked (even though I was a huge fan of Good Omens); but then in 1998 I picked up Robert Silverberg’s anthology Legends, which had the Pratchett story “The Sea and Little Fishes” and I was well and truly hooked.

    In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t so much that they hadn’t gotten US releases as that the US releases of some of the earlier volumes (when they were still being published by ROC) had gone out of print? I have British paperbacks from pretty much Mort to Guards! Guards!, and I wouldn’t have been spending $14.99 each if I could get US paperbacks for 1/3 of the cost. Having said which, it’s a bit of a blur because at the time I was just grabbing whatever I could get my hands on (including getting library books which I wouldn’t add to my own collection for several more years); I think I read the first 20 Discworld books in about three weeks. (I believe the technical term is “bender”.)

  27. @John, Chip:

    I dearly hope that both parties are aware of each other in that respect. However, I would be somewhat unsurprised to learn that the con invited her based on her stack of Hugo nominations and she accepted because she isn’t aware of the con’s typical fan base.

    In other words, I am desperately hoping for the best and hoping that Southern hospitality – a point of pride for this con – avoids the worst. The con’s already sold all of its memberships, so I suppose we’ll hear more (or not) in June or July, after the event.

  28. Fingers crossed.

    Meanwhile (this copied from ML in case there are any voting geeks (other than Kevin) watching) the state of Maine used a preferential ballot for federal offices in the voting last week. (The Boston Globe story says that state offices weren’t subject to this because the state constitution explicitly allows election-by-plurality for those offices; inference is that it doesn’t mention federal offices, so the move to a preferential ballot could be done by last June’s referendum rather than a constitutional amendment.) The Republican candidate got 46.3% of the vote to 45.6% for the Democrat and is now (big surprise) suing to prevent the preferential vote from being calculated. (The story sounded like Maine was not really prepared to handle preferential ballots.) The story has dropped off the Globe‘s front page (and their archives have been broken by being handed over to a 3rd party); NPR covers most of it.

  29. Olav Rokne says regarding Stephen Baxter that He’s been on the Hugo shortlist six times in fiction categories. Three times for short story, twice for novellette, and once for novel (The Time Ships). IIRC, his last nomination was 2008 for the short story “Last Contact.”

    Depending on my mood when I’m writing up these notes, I’ll note that an author has been nominated for Awards. Or not. I didn’t that time. I know that y’all will fill in any details that I leave out.

  30. @Chip
    I understand that the state of Maine spent some months trying to educate voters on how ranked-choice voting works (that being the name that non-fans seem to use most).

  31. Chip — The Republican candidate here just filed suit to drop the counting of ballots but damn everyone expects the Judge to rule that the counting can go on as there are no legal grounds to stop it as the Consitution is weirdly absent of specific detail on how to pick congress critters as Walt Kelly called them and the Courts, up to the SCOTUS, have adamantly stayed away from getting involved. Even if a Federal Court got STUPID, the US House has final say and it’s Democratic controlled.

  32. Cmm: Was digging around Project Gutenberg and stumbled over this, a convention report by Forrest Ackerman from 1957

    Thanks for linking to that. It’s interesting, historical records (such as they are) say that the attendance was 850, and he says it was around 1,200.

  33. @Cat
    Not until next year – that’s when the new congress starts. Until then, it’s the same ones we’ve had for the last couple of years. 🙁

  34. @Rev. Bob

    I’m somewhat surprised to see Briggs and McGuire attending as guests, given how the Puppy demographic generally responds to the sorts of books they write. Briggs maybe not so much, as her urban fantasy is pretty mainstream shifter stuff, but I would have figured Seanan’s overtly pro-LGBT content would make her and the convention a bad fit for each other.

    I was also pretty surprised to see their names as LibertyCon guests. Though I think Patricia Briggs is as much of a stretch as Seanan McGuire, because her novels are pretty romance heavy and the LibertyCon crowd strikes me as not really being into that sort of thing.

    As for Seanan McGuire, wasn’t she also a guest at ConCarolinas or whichever Southern convention spectacularly imploded over attendants objecting to John Ringo’s presence?

  35. I don’t think I’ve read “Days of Perky Pat” (if I have, it was a long time ago), but it’s clearly a predecessor to one of my favorite Dick novels, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. In that novel, it’s the bored, frustrated Martian colonists who spend their time playing with Perky Pat, because life on Mars is so endlessly dreary.

    I was also surprised to see McGuire’s name on the Libertycon list. Not shocked, but mildly surprised. I hope it’s a good sign. It could be.

    As a huge fan of preferential/ranked voting, I definitely hope Maine gets their stuff sorted out. We’re making slow-but-steady progress in California adopting it city-by-city, and I’d hate to see a setback to that effort in the form of bad publicity. (I have to say that the slow-and-steady approach, getting people used to the system might be a better approach, but we’ll see.) The interesting thing is that opposition to such voting systems tends to be bipartisan! It threatens entrenched interests who have been getting by on being “the lesser evil”, and gives way too much power (in the E.I.’s view) to third parties!

  36. @P J Evans: I suspect that if Congress tried to interfere in a state’s counting, Congress would be told to find a short pier. (The rules (on overall procedures in ~Southern states) SCOTUS stupidly struck down a few years ago were more general.) Also, IIRC Cat is correct-by-effect; the Democratic majority in the next House could vote to seat whoever Maine says is the winner — I don’t think that a Congress can affect a subsequent Congress’s membership simply by legislating.

  37. Chip Hitchcock says@P J Evans: I suspect that if Congress tried to interfere in a state’s counting, Congress would be told to find a short pier. (The rules (on overall procedures in ~Southern states) SCOTUS stupidly struck down a few years ago were more general.) Also, IIRC Cat is correct-by-effect; the Democratic majority in the next House could vote to seat whoever Maine says is the winner — I don’t think that a Congress can affect a subsequent Congress’s membership simply by legislating.

    This Congress has no effect on the body of House members elected this November as they’re not seated until January so they don’t legally exist as members of the house until that point in time. That group would decide any disputes in membership that might arise, ie a disputed seat such as the Second District here in Maine. Even if the present house passed a rule saying the Republican was to be seated, it wouldn’t be considered valid as only the current House can actually make such rules effecting its members.

  38. @Cora: “As for Seanan McGuire, wasn’t she also a guest at ConCarolinas or whichever Southern convention spectacularly imploded over attendants objecting to John Ringo’s presence?”

    You recall all of that correctly; she was indeed a GOH at that ConCarolinas. A quick check of the archives shows no comment from her on the Ringo issue.

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