Pixel Scroll 11/15/17 Or All the Scrolls With Pixels

(1) TURNOVER AT TOLKIEN ESTATE. Christopher Tolkien, 92, resigned as a director of the Tolkien Estate Limited on August 31, 2017 according to records at Companies House in the UK.

Christopher Tolkien

Despite this having occurred over two months ago, the information seems to have become public only recently, and there is rampant speculation what the timing of resignation implies, given Amazon’s announcement this week of a new Lord of the Rings sourced TV production, and Christopher Tolkien’s negative statements about the Peter Jackson adaptations.

While I searched, unsuccessfully, to find who broke the story, via Michael Martinez’ blog I discovered Tolkien Brasil has a long and informative piece about the transition in the Estate’s leadership (in Portuguese – a Google Translate English rendering is at this link, offered with the usual caveats about accuracy.)

The Tolkien Society’s post on the topic clarified that Christopher Tolkien remains his late father’s literary executor.

(2) INDIGENOUS AND BLACK SF. Canada’s CBC Radio program The Current hosted a discussion of indigenous and black sf on November 14. A podcast of the segment is available.

Nov 14 | How Indigenous and black artists are using science fiction to imagine a better future As soon as you can dream about the future, you have hope as well instead of despair.”

Download Nov 14 | How Indigenous and black artists are using science fiction to imagine a better future [mp3 file: runs 00:28:13]

(3) BRETT RATNER OUT. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot said she would not sign for the sequel if he was still involved: “Gal Gadot confirms Brett Ratner won’t be involved with Wonder Woman 2”The Verge has the story.

Two weeks after a Los Angeles Times report detailed multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against director and producer Brett Ratner, the filmmaker seems to have been officially cut from the DC cinematic universe. This morning on Good Morning America, Gal Gadot reiterated earlier reports that Ratner’s financing company RatPac-Dune Entertainment, which helped fund 2017’s Wonder Woman, would not be involved with the upcoming sequel.

The confirmation comes a few days after a Page Six report claimed that Gadot threatened to drop out of the sequel if Ratner or his company was involved in any way. On Good Morning America, she says she didn’t come close to leaving. “The truth is, there’s so many people involved in making this movie — it’s not just me — and they all echoed the same sentiments,” she said.

(4) VANDERMEER. Variety reports: “Netflix Nabs ‘Hummingbird Salamander’ From ‘Annihilation’ Author Jeff VanderMeer”.

Netflix is nearing a deal for rights to “Hummingbird Salamander” and plans to tap Sugar23 to produce the picture, Variety has learned.

The book is the latest from Jeff VanderMeer, the best-selling author of the “Southern Reach” trilogy and one of the foremost sci-fi writers working today.  The film will be produced by Michael Sugar and Ashley Zalta at Sugar 23.

… VanderMeer will also executive produce the project.

However, VanderMeer himself sounded uncertain in his Facebook comments about the Variety article

Hmmm. I wonder if this is true. It’d be kind of a dream team to be with Netflix with the Oscar-winning producer of Spotlight producing. It’d be even more incredible if the rumor that it’s a mega deal and I’ll be an executive producer and creative consultant on the film were true…

As you can imagine, for someone who sometimes writes about mushroom people, it’s surreal that every novel I’ve written or am under contract to write since Annihilation may have been optioned for the movies. If these rumors are true.

(5) WIZARD WORLD ON LIFE SUPPORT.  Although the company has 17 conventions planned for 2018, their money is running out: “WIZARD WORLD Warns Of ‘Substantial Doubt’ Of It Continuing Into 2019”.

Wizard World. Inc.’s Q3 2017 quarterly report has been released, with a notice that due to recent operations loss there is “substantial doubt” that the company can continue operating as it is now past November 2018.

“The Company had a loss from operations of $4,454,857 and $1,182,246 for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and the year ended December 31, 2016, respectively. As of September 30, 2017, we had cash and working capital deficit (excluding the derivative liability) of $1,176,034 and $1,514,182, respectively,” the company stated. “We have evaluated the significance of these conditions in relation to our ability to meet our obligations and have concluded that, due to these conditions, there is substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern through November 2018.”

(6) GOODREADS CHOICE. Matt Mitrovich analyzes an award contender in “Book Review: All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai” at Amazing Stories.

I was informed that All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastain was nominated for the Goodreads Choice 2017 Best Science Fiction and Best Debut Author awards. Since I had a copy sitting in my to read pile since July, I figured now was as good a time as any to finally read it and see what all the fuss is about.

All Our Wrong Todays begins in an alternate timeline where a Lionel Goettreider invents his “Goettreider Engine” on July 11, 1965. This invention produces free energy and sparks the creation to the techo-utopia that 1950s sci-fi authors dreamed about. By 2016, all of those crazy predictions that never came true actually exist, like flying cars, jetpacks and space colonization. Anyone living in this post-scarcity world should be happy…but not Tom Barren.

(7) MONEY IS THE ROOT OF THIS EVIL. Dean E.S. Richard has seen the complaints and has issued “A (cranky) Casual Gamer’s Manifesto (Updated)” at Nerds of a Feather.

The new one has a campaign, and it looks pretty awesome, but we’re here for ground level troops dukeing it out on the best battlefields in the Star Wars galaxy.

At least, I thought that’s why were all here. Apparently, I was wrong. It’s all about getting the most powerful heroes and being able to wreck shop. If you pay attention to video games even a little bit (like, say, as little as i do), you’ve heard about this. It takes roughly 40 hours of gameplay (three years in Real Dean Time [RDT]) to unlock Luke or Vader. This I am fine with. Again, Battlefront is supposed to be about the troops, not the Jedi and Sith and whatnot.

The real problem comes in where the game has a micro transaction system wherein you can just buy credits outright, with your real monies, and thus unlock said heroes. All told, it costs about $800 to unlock all the heroes.

Eight. Hundred. Dollars.

In a sixty dollar game.

I have read comments such as: “that’s like making me work a second job that pays less than minimum wage!” which, no. It’s a game. No one is making you pay for heroes, players just want shortcuts. It’s the same mentality that ruined the Old Republic MMORPG – players were so concerned with getting to level whatever as soon as possible, they never, you know, played the game. For me, and others like me, tagging along with our dinky lightsabers and level 12 or what have you, it got boring in a hurry – which is too bad, because the game itself was a delight.

(8) PANEL TITLE. Jim C. Hines’ “Catching Up: That WindyCon Panel” excerpts the posts tracked here at File 770 and concludes with his own analysis:

Nobody was calling for WindyCon to be burnt at the stake. They were calling out a panel description which, intentional or not, came off as hurtful, insulting, and dismissive.

I’m glad it wasn’t intentional. I would have been much more pissed if this had been a deliberate thing. But we’ve got to stop thinking “I didn’t mean to hurt you” is some kind of magic eraser. “I told you I didn’t intentionally run over your goat. How dare you continue to be upset!”

While I understand the convention was this weekend and everyone was hellabusy, I wish WindyCon had posted their apology sooner. I wish Barkley hadn’t attacked people who were upset about the panel title/description.

I also feel like my tagging Barkley into the conversation on Twitter was one factor in this becoming a larger blow-up than it needed to be, and for that I apologize.

(9) PLANET STORIES. The Guardian says a “Potentially habitable world found just 11 light years away”. So if our TV news signals travel there at the speed of light, they still think it’s the middle of the Bush administration and that Trump is the executive producer of the Miss USA pageant?

A potentially habitable world, termed Ross 128 b, has been discovered just 11 light years away. It is roughly Earth-sized and orbits its parent star once every 9.9 days.

Astronomers calculate that its surface temperature could lie somewhere between –60° and 20°, making it temperate and possibly capable of supporting oceans, and life.

The world was found by a team of European and South American astronomers led by Xavier Bonfils (Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, France) who were using the European Southern Observatory’s world-leading planet-hunting instrument, HARPS. They reported the discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

HARPS identifies planets by the way their gravity forces their parent stars to wobble. It shows that Ross 128 b is more massive than the Earth, with at least 1.35 times our planet’s bulk. So the planet would have a stronger pull of gravity at its surface.

(10) GALAXY QUEST. Writer/producer Paul Scheer doesn’t want his efforts to revive the fan favorite to be overlooked: “‘Galaxy Quest’: Paul Scheer Plans to Blend Original and New Casts For Amazon Series”.

Amazon first announced it was developing the 1999 film as an episodic series in 2015, but things escalated last August when Scheer came on board to work on the show. In a new interview with SlashFilm, he revealed that he’s not only turned in his first script for the series, but has some big ideas on how to honor the original film while also updating the premise for the modern age of television.

“It’s going to be so long before people get to see it, I don’t want people to get too burnt out on me telling you what it’s about before it gets to that point,” he said. “But for me, it was really important to do service to a ‘Galaxy Quest’ story that gives you everything that you want and indoctrinates people who have never seen ‘Galaxy Quest’ into what the fun of that world is […] and also to continue the story of our original characters and have consequences from the first film.”

…As Scheer told SlashFilm, it’s still very early days for “Galaxy Quest: The Series” (officially, according to the final moments of the film, “The Journey Continues”). But this fall, Amazon has been on the hunt for “its own ‘Game of Thrones,’” a need which was theoretically addressed by acquiring the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” universe. What if the platform’s actual breakthrough genre hit ends up being a very different adaptation?

(11) THE MARTIAN BOTANICALS. Would you like that with ranch? “Dubai Airshow: Why the UAE plans to grow lettuce on Mars”.

One thing you can’t accuse the United Arab Emirates of lacking is vision.

First they unveiled plans to launch a Mars probe. Then it was an ambition to colonise the Red Planet.

Now the UAE has a new aim – to grow palm trees and lettuce there.

The space sector is a huge feature of the Dubai Airshow, with exhibitions, conferences, and speakers that include former Nasa Apollo 15 astronaut, Al Worden.

But even before a UAE Mars probe leaves the ground in 2020 from Japan – UAE is working in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – the Gulf state has now announced its space agriculture intentions.

“There are similarities between Mars and the desert,” says Rashid Al Zaadi, senior strategic planner at the UAE Space Agency. “The landscape of the UAE, the soil, are similar.”

(12) A LONG WAY FROM HECTO. Awhile ago the Scroll linked to a story about printing a prosthesis, with plastic; these guys are printing with cells: “The firm that can 3D print human body parts”.

Erik Gatenholm grins widely as he presses the start button on a 3D printer, instructing it to print a life-size human nose.

It sparks a frenzied 30-minute burst of energy from the printer, as its thin metal needle buzzes around a Petri dish, distributing light blue ink in a carefully programmed order.

The process looks something like a hi-tech sewing machine weaving an emblem onto a garment.

But soon the pattern begins to rise and swell, and a nose, constructed using a bio-ink containing real human cells, grows upwards from the glass, glowing brightly under an ultraviolet light.

This is 3D bioprinting, and it’s almost too obvious to point out that its potential reads like something from a science fiction novel.

(13) SHRINKING BOOK EXPO. Publishers Lunch says the floor plans for the next Book Expo betray that it is continuing to get smaller.

Book Expo has opened for registration for the 2018 show. The refreshed website lists Wednesday, May 30 as limited to the remainders pavilion, “premium B2B exhibitors,” and the rights center, with two days of regular floor exhibits on May 31 and June 1.

More dramatic for now is the revised floor map* for the shrinking trade show. Though still early, the map shows the smaller southern hall of Javits closed to exhibits, reserved for autographing, shipping and Book Con lines. Even that reduced “show floor” has what looks to be less floor exhibit space: Meeting rooms, lounges, and a stage move to occupying a big chunk of the back two-fifths of the hall.

(14) THAT’S CAT! Congratulations to Richard Paolinelli, winner of “The First Annual Timothy The Talking Cat Award for Excellence in the field of Excellence”. Award spokesbeing Camestros Felapton explains:

The book genuinely was a finalist for the Dragon Awards, so kudos to Richard. The claim for a Nebula nomination seems a bit thin but that’s what all the grumpy stuff was about. However, it doesn’t seem to be actually “award winning” as in the usual sense of “award winning” meaning “winning an award”. Now, plenty of really good books never win awards and what matters deep down is whether readers like your book but sometimes…well sometimes the world of SF can be tough and a bit validation can help a soul along.

So let’s make the claim TRUE. Tim and I got together and thought long and hard about this and we came up with a solution.

(15) THAT’S DOG! Suzy Byrne, in “Carrie Fisher’s beloved bulldog Gary is ‘doing great,’ says ‘Auntie Joely’ Fisher” on Yahoo! Lifestyle, says that Carrie Fisher’s goofy bulldog, Gary Fisher, has found a home with Corby McCown, the personal assistant to  Carrie Fisher’s sister Joely.

The dog has become even more popular since Carrie died. He recently surpassed 150,000 Instagram followers with help from posts including a touching tribute to Carrie on what would have been her 61st birthday last month. He followed up his San Diego Comic-Con appearance with another one at L.A. Comic Con a couple weeks ago. Last weekend, he was at Kansas City Comic Con. (A portion of the money the dog gets for appearances goes to charity.)

Yup, we’d say that Gary is doing great, too.

The dog has a Twitter account at Realgaryfisher.

(16) GROTESQUE JOKE. Not all of the Christmas season advertising has been heartwarming: “Greggs sorry after replacing baby Jesus with sausage roll in advent calendar promotion”.

Greggs has been forced to apologise for replacing the baby Jesus with a sausage roll in the launch of its advent calendar.

The bakers released a promotional image for its festive calendar that showed a sausage roll in a manger surrounded by the Three Wise Men.

But it was met with serious backlash online as offended fans accused the budget chain of religious insensitivity and vowed to boycott it.

Twitter users said that replacing Jesus, who was Jewish, with a pork product was “inappropriate”…

(17) ON JJ’S WISHLIST. JJ says, “Despite having a full collection of manual and power tools, I find myself itching to buy this.” ThinkGeek is offering the “Marvel Thor Hammer Tool Set”.

You must be worthy in order to wield Thor’s hammer, but Marvel never mentioned any restrictions on Thor’s screwdriver or his pliers. Wield them all with our Marvel Thor Hammer Tool Set! This 44-piece tool set, a ThinkGeek creation and exclusive, comes in a molded case that looks like Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Inside it has all your basic tool needs, including a hammer (duh), a tape measure, a level, a screwdriver, a wrench, a ratcheting wrench, and a utility knife you can conveniently use to open your next box from ThinkGeek. It’s perfect for someone worthy of their first place or a great extra set of everything to have around in case of emergencies (like having to replace your lock set because Loki got a copy of the key AGAIN). We predict it’s a gift your recipient will return to repeatedly and get a chuckle out of every time.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Nigel, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, StephenfromOttawa, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Tom Becker.]

78 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/15/17 Or All the Scrolls With Pixels

  1. 1) Yeah…

    11) I saw someone on twitter had shared a picture of kegs of ranch dressing. Finally a use for all of that dressing…

    17) I’m not a tool person. yet, that looks rather cool.

  2. 14) Timothy The Talking Cat is truly an inspiration. One day, I hope to be rewarded for Excellence In The Field Of Excellence.

  3. Rob Thornton: I wish you luck. And I know you’ll be able to do it without flooding my email inbox with abuse, unlike the first winner.

  4. (7) Star Wars and MMOs have clashed ever since Star Wars Galaxies, a brilliant game that attracted a devoted cult following until the developers killed the goose in their search for the golden eggs. I still have screenshots from that game that I drag around, even though it went belly up several computers ago.

    I’m a semi-casual WoW player (i.e. while I no longer do progression raiding, I have all 12 class mounts) and one of the things that attracts me to WoW is that buying game cash is grounds for being banned and microtransactions are limited to cosmetic items (and speed leveling). Letting players buy items that increase game skills/power would be like letting kids with rich parents start little league games with free home runs.

    Gamers get off on starting from an equal playing field, and if some people can just buy their way to victory, the less affluent players aren’t too enthused. A lot of MMO gamers are sinking hours into games because they have health issues or are broke for various reasons, and they like the fact that investing time into the game gives them credibility. Most people don’t want to hang out in communities where clueless inexperienced rich people can waltz in and snag power while mocking those who pay in sweat instead; people play MMOs to get away from that sort of thing.

    Anyway, the company saw the point and lowered the player affluence gap. And the idea of this casual gamer who brags about how little he games … what if somebody came in here, bragging about how little interest they have in books, and how they never finish them, while making fun of all those stupid hardcore readers that actually want to get through that last chapter … actually, I guess folks like that rarely happen across places like File770 … which is probably yet another good reason to be here.

    (15) Way to go, Gary! He needs his own Star Wars movie imho.

  5. (15) Goofy dogs are THE BEST!!!

    That is, the best after my own wonderful dog, who is perfect, and cats.

    (16) I didn’t even get to the fact that it’s a pork product. I just looked at the picture and asked how that was supposed to be good advertising.

  6. (7) Meh, they’re still pushing the microtransactions, so they still completely suck as a company. Games are expensive enough without adding to them with microtransactions, paywalls and pointless DLC (pointful DLC though, like extra missions/story that extend the life of the game, I can get behind.)

    (16) Lesson learned: use a steak bake next time.

  7. 11) This makes me wonder, should Mars food growing plans be based on the growing conditions there. Or do we say, we have to make si many modifications to grow anything, might as well as make a couple more and grow what we really want to eat.

    @Charon D. I’m not a gamer. But based on books I’ve read, I thought poorer players can make money getting these special things and then selling them to the richer players. So they would want the price to be higher? Or I’m getting it completely wrong.

  8. (12) – Makes me think of Ron, the young Navigator-Two (or is it Three?) with a rose growing out of his shoulder in Delany’s Babel-17; from replacement body parts, it’s only a small step to decorative excrescences.

  9. (3) I have a friend with personal experience of his scumbaggery. I wish him a long life of debilitating pain and rotting organs.

    (12) We are living in the far future from my childhood back in the 70s.

    (16) I have to admit I love that it’s the insensitivity to Christendom’s Jewish namesake that has people’s drawers all a-twisting.

  10. @bookworm1398 — some kinds of valuable game things require hours of patience (or luck) and time-rich players do sell these to cash-rich players (also, some gamers only play the economic game in the auction houses). In the games I play, these goods are either cosmetic or consumables that are tedious to gather.

    The kind of goods that will make you more powerful, or allow you to represent yourself as an experienced player, or give you the essential game experience (like getting to play Vader in a SW game, or seeing all the cut scenes, or getting the strongest gear) must be earned (and must be difficult to achieve), otherwise it’s not a game and gamers won’t like it. If just any old Kardashian can wander in and purchase a automatic “I win” button, gamer appeal plummets.

    So typically games compromise and let you buy marvelous hair and outfits and pets via microtransactions, but not high scores or championship trophies.

  11. (6) I read All Our Wrong Todays when it came out earlier this year, and thought it was particularly weak. I get what Mastai’s trying to do, but it felt heavy-handed; Someone who lives in a Jetsons-style utopia is transported to our world and grapples with all the ways that technology hasn’t lived up to 1960s hope and idealism.

    However, Elan Mastai’s callow characterization and undeveloped prose really undermine the ideas that are being explored in the book.

    Way, way, way too much time is spent on the protagonist’s various hook-ups and sexual conquests. And I get it that this is supposed to show how venal and shallow the character is, but at some point it becomes almost celebratory of his virility.

    There are some nice ideas in the book that kept me reading — but for ever page that piqued my interest, there would be three pages of shallow whinging.

    Over the months since I read All Our Wrong Todays, I’ve liked it less and less. It’s sat very poorly with me.

  12. Mike, I have some very concerning news for you. Apparently, according to a notable award-winning SF author, I’m you. I don’t know for how long I’ve been you but I didn’t spot it happening. Your family may find this alarming but if you could clear a space for the cat it might be for the best. He’ll need at least two rooms, one with an en-suite.

    Hampus? I don’t know if that means that you are now also Mike? We may have to work out a time share arrangement.

  13. Uh-oh. I have to admit, for several months when I first started reading File770, I mixed Hampus and Camestros up – something about the names and somewhat similar attitudes, I think. I’d never have thought OGH was one of the hive, though, to be honest.

  14. Camestros Felapton: Mike, I have some very concerning news for you. Apparently, according to a notable award-winning SF author, I’m you.

    No, that’s great. We can split the hours it takes to write the Scroll, and I can get my laundry done.

  15. Where does he say this? I checked his Twitter and blog, and didn’t see anything. Though, gee frickin’ willickers, that dude is even better at playing the completely clueless troll than Mr. del Arroz.

  16. I never play games with microtransactions. I’ve learned the hard way that I’m too much of a min/maxer and completionist, and together with bad impulse control, it will cost too much. The sole exception is Pokemon Go, but there you can earn coins by playing and it is free otherwise.

  17. Camestros Felapton:

    “Hampus? I don’t know if that means that you are now also Mike? We may have to work out a time share arrangement.”

    Today, I am Mike. Everyone appertain yourselves beverages, my scrolls are full and my pixels are burning.

  18. kathodus on November 15, 2017 at 11:34 pm said:

    Where does he say this? I checked his Twitter and blog, and didn’t see anything. Though, gee frickin’ willickers, that dude is even better at playing the completely clueless troll than Mr. del Arroz.

    He’s blocked me now, so I can’t see if his tweets are still there but it was a flurry of tweets about maybe 6ish Sydney Time – um not that I live in Australia obviously because I’m Mild Mannered Mike Glyer.

  19. There’s a scroll for us
    Somewhere a scroll for us
    Pixel and Queer and Open books
    Wait for us
    Somewither!

  20. kathodus on November 15, 2017 at 11:34 pm said:
    Where does he say this? I checked his Twitter and blog, and didn’t see anything. Though, gee frickin’ willickers, that dude is even better at playing the completely clueless troll than Mr. del Arroz.

    It’s on his blog now.

    Also includes this incredible gem:

    That’s kind of the problem with being a career troll/sock puppet. At the end of the day all you have is hate and anger and you end up surround by others who have nothing but hate and anger in their hearts.

    Wise words.

  21. In tie-in MMOs, there’s always a huge disconnect between the people who like MMOs and the people who like the show/book/whatever it’s based on. My own personal addiction is Star Trek Online, and of course I want to cruise around with proper Trekkie gear on, and equally of course, it costs a lot (you don’t want to know what it takes to get the top-of-the-line version of the original USS Enterprise), and, equally of course, all the DPS-based gamers tut at me because my build isn’t properly optimized for killing everything as quickly as possible. It’s a problem, and I don’t think there’s an easy solution… unless, maybe, someone made a TV show that was about levelling up and getting the best gear and killing things as quickly as possible?

  22. “…unless, maybe, someone made a TV show that was about levelling up and getting the best gear and killing things as quickly as possible?”

    They should make a TV show based on Awaken Online. I would sure as hell watch it.

    I have been trying out this LitRPG genre awhile now and why most of it is kind of lousy done, it is fascinating how the addictive parts of an RPG (levelling up, increasing skills) remain addictive in book form. I mean, I still feel happiness when the main character increases a skill in The Way of the Shaman. Or in the manga The Gamer. None of them are really good (apart from Awaken Online), but they still work in some strange way.

  23. @Aaron: Good review of a book I finally read last week – it really hit the spot for me because my relationship with libraries and with Tolkien and Lewis was similar to Gaiman’s (as I expect is true for many of us). I noticed a minor typo: “”The View from the Cheap Seats: Real Things” the last and probably most personal section …”

  24. Kosh made me think: “The Scrolling has already started, it’s too late for the Pixels to vote.”

    Koshisms are the best?

  25. A 9.9 day year doesn’t sound very inhabitable, regardless of the surface temperature. Radiation and solar wind wouldn’t be nice that close in.

  26. @Ivan Bromke: Thanks for your comments about All Our Wrong Todays. Quite a contrast from the review Mike linked to! I’ve had my eye on this book for a while, but the excerpt I skimmed didn’t grab me for various reasons.

  27. 14: this quote – “Camestros – seeing Glyer taking it on the chin both here on my blog and on several others – attempted to charge to the rescue on his Twitter account.” from Mr. P’s blog – bwah hah ha!

    Just another standard, off-the-shelf ego monster. What a maroon! (Three Stooges.)

    16. Well, at least it maintains the cannibalism motif….(why are they complaining about the pork? The Wise Men weren’t Jewish. Their only issue is whether or not the sausage maker used enough fennel…)

  28. Wait. Am I understanding this correctly? Richard Paolinelli claimed to be a Nebula Award “nominee” based on >0 persons (who have no fiduciary interest in his book) nominating him for an award where the nomination period had not even opened yet?

    Really?

    Signed, ULTRAGOTHA
    2017 Hugo Nominated Best Fan Author
    (I’m sure out there somewhere someone who is a WSFS nominator has admired my writing. Yes?)

  29. @Ultragotha:yeah, that’s a real thing…including the “not a finalist” bs.

    This started happening about 5-6 years ago; I brought a couple of “Hugo Award Nominee” claims to WSFS’ attention. One of them had even titled one of his ebook offerings with the same title as a well-known, well-regarded SF novel (art was similar to the book cover as well).

    I could legitimately claim “Amazing Stories 6 Time Hugo Award Finalist for Best Professional Magazine!” (if I recall correctly it was nominated 6 times – maybe 8 – for Best Professional Magazine when that category still existed). This history is verifiable, it would be an accurate statement and about the only thing anyone could say to de-legitimize it would be that the magazine has changed ownership and editors several times since those historic dates. Some might try to question “rights of succession”, but I polled people on doing this and it ran pretty much 50/50 ok vs not ok, which strongly suggests that reaction to it is personal and emotional, as opposed to factual.

    I have not done this, for the plain and simple reason that my experience of fandom tells me two things: 1. community accolades ought to come from the community (if you nominate yourself for HS class president because no one else has, it’s unlikely you’ll get enough votes to win…): 2. Fandom and the SF/F/H genre communities have largely operated as a “meritocracy” since 1939. You do good things (or outrageously bad things) and others will notice. Making false claims or attempting to insert yourself at a level you are undeserving of will be found out and after that, your credibility within the community will be diminished, if not destroyed.
    There are a lot of fans who would not object to my placing that statement on the front page of the website…but there are also a lot of fans who would. I’m not harming the non-objectors by not putting it there so, good common sense and logic strongly suggest that now is not the time.
    My alternative would be to stick it (large, glowing and obnoxious) right on the front page, troll and attack any naysayers and build up a coterie of loyalists whose lives are so bereft of meaning that such an issue could become their cause celebre.
    That kind of sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it?

  30. @kathodus: (12) We are living in the far future from my childhood back in the 70s. Welcome to the future, says a child of the 50’s. I once used leukemia as a metric; I lost a classmate age 6 (when the fatality rate was quite high), but by the time I finished college the long-term-remission rate was at least 2/3. But the future just keeps getting stranger. (Sometimes it’s better; if this works, it will stub out “A Planet Named Shayol”.)

    @NickPheas:

    A 9.9 day year doesn’t sound very inhabitable, regardless of the surface temperature. Radiation and solar wind wouldn’t be nice that close in.

    The story notes that of an even-nearer earth-size world due to the instability of its primary (Proxima b). ISTM that one can’t assume that being so close is dangerous, given how widely stars vary; the people who found this one seem to think the planet would be safe, although it may be too cold.

  31. steve davidson on November 16, 2017 at 5:57 am said:

    14: this quote – “Camestros – seeing Glyer taking it on the chin both here on my blog and on several others – attempted to charge to the rescue on his Twitter account.” from Mr. P’s blog – bwah hah ha!

    Yeah, that ones was a real ‘seriously?’ he Tweeted to me!

  32. @Steve Davidson

    That must have been a tricky choice to make, so kudos for taking the harder route.

  33. Yeah, that ones was a real ‘seriously?’ – he Tweeted to me!

    Paolinelli seems to be one of those guys who thinks that if he @ messages someone on twitter, that is them being aggressive towards him.

  34. 2017 Hugo Nominated Best Fan Author
    (I’m sure out there somewhere someone who is a WSFS nominator has admired my writing. Yes?)

    I know that at least a handful of people have nominated me for best fan writer. Not nearly enough to even make the longlist, but at least a few. I guess using the Paolinelli rules, I should start calling myself a “Hugo-nominated writer”.

    Or, given that he seems to think being nominated is the same thing as winning, an “Award winning writer”.

  35. I keep going to the pixel to scroll
    ‘Cause I need something that can wash out the pain
    And at most
    I’m reading all these demons away
    But your book, the book of you
    It keeps me awake

    With apologies to Ella Henderson

    (“All of the pixels, all of the time”)

  36. Thanks to Aaron and Andrew for drawing my attention to The View From the Cheap Seats. I read the Mythcon speech on Lewis, Tolkien and Chesterton in a book store over lunch, will probably get hold of a copy and read more.

  37. @Aaron: Good review of a book I finally read last week

    Thanks. And thanks for catching the typo. I fixed it in the post.

  38. (6) I reviewed All Our Wrong Todays for Q&Q back when it came out. I get why it’s popular, but “meh” was about as strong as my feelings for it got. It had some problems. I certainly wouldn’t put it on any “best of” list, or give it any awards.

    (7) EA is trash, really. I remember the Battlefront games from the original XBox (*especially* Battlefront 2, which is among the best shooter games of all time, imo), and they had a system for unlocking heroes as well, and it was great; it was based partially on time playing, and partially on your skill and accomplishments in a given match. It was astonishingly effective as a gameplay mechanism (and I was really, really good at that game), and it was something you were able to unlock on a match-by-match basis–there were other “always on” things you could try for, but the heroes weren’t among them, although there were still ways you could play to improve when you got them/what you could do with them/etc. The reboot of the franchise, to which this is a sequel, had a similar, if less well-thought-out, version of that for “hero” play, and there was plenty left over to unlock and monetize for regular play. But, EA being trash, they had to mess with the mechanics to get even more cash from the player base… but as noted above, they did it in a game-breaking way, not just with things that are fun but don’t dramatically alter the dynamics of play, like most games do.

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