Pixel Scroll 11/17/16 The Pixel Opened A Blue Scroll And Winked At Him

(1) COZY HORROR? In the November 12 Financial Times, columnist Nilanjana Roy explains why she likes “Black Mirror” — “’Black Mirror’ and ghost stories of a digital dystopia”. (* Article is behind a paywall, but you can get to it by Googling the name of the columnist.)

Black Mirror starts by riffing on the modern fear of living in a digital, immersive world.  It’s ironic that fans will watch episodes where a young boy is surveilled through his webcam by unrevealed stalkers, with inevitable grim results, then take to their smartphones or Twitter to declare that they want to get away from their phones and get offline.

But, huddled in a razai quilt with the air purifier on full blast, with a cup of ginger tea by my side, I realize I don’t watch Black Mirror to have my worst fears confirmed.  I watch it to be reassured.”

(2) THE FANNISH INQUISITION. Smofcon 34 has asked existing and prospective Worldcon and NASFiC bidders to complete a questionnaire – some responses are already available online.

Seated

Bidding

Smofcon

(3) THE BOUNDARIES OF EMPATHY. Ann Leckie says there was really nothing special about Nazis — “On Monsters”.

Here’s the thing–the Nazis? Those concentration camp guards, the people who dug and filled in mass graves, led prisoners to gas chambers, all of that? They were not inhuman monsters. They were human beings, and they weren’t most of them that different from anyone you might meet on your morning walk, or in the grocery store.

I know it’s really super uncomfortable to look around you and realize that–that your neighbors, or even you, yourself, might, given circumstances, commit such atrocities. Your mind flinches from it, you don’t want to even think about it. It can’t be. You know that you’re a good person! Your neighbors and co-workers are so nice and polite and decent. You can’t even imagine it, so there must have been something special, something particularly different about the people who enthusiastically embraced Hitler.

I’m here to tell you there wasn’t.

(4) QUESTIONING AND COMMON GROUND. Cat Rambo inserts a page from Maslow in her response to recent events, and shares her plan for moving forward: “Nattering Social Justice Cook: Stay the Course”

One of the phenomena that led to the weirdness of the recent election is the use of binary thought, a basic Us vs. Them that does not allow for the fact that human beings are significantly more complicated than a single yes/no statement. I see it being embraced even more strongly now – by both the Left and the Right.

The world is more complicated than that. To fall into that trap is to let yourself be controlled by whoever wields the media around you the most effectively. You must think, you must question. You must figure out where your common ground is and how to use it. This is not the time to be silent. This is a time when how you live and act and speak is more important than it ever has been.

So. Here’s what I’m doing.

  • I’m listening to the voices that haven’t been listened to and amplifying their message wherever I can. Recommending a wide and interesting range of works for the SFWA Recommended Reading List. Reading across the board and making sure I look for new, interesting, diverse stuff – and then spreading the word of it. I’m nominating and voting for awards and taking the time to leave reviews when I can.
  • As a teacher, the most important thing I can do is try to show my students how an artist lives and works. Why it’s important to confront and acknowledge one’s own flaws so you understand them in others. How to be a good human, one that is responsible, ethical, open to the world. Feminism is more important now than ever, and being one publicly in a way that redeems the bizarre media stereotypes that have been imposed upon it is crucial to generations to come.

And there’s more!

(5) FIRST FEMALE ISS COMMANDER RETURNS TO SPACE. Astronaut Peggy Whitson wrote a few more entries in the history books this morning: “Watch the first female commander of the space station blast off today”.

Whitson became the first female commander of the International Space Station in 2007, and at 3:20 EST today, she’ll ride a Soyuz rocket alongside cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, to take her place as commander of Expedition 51 on the International Space Station. She’s also set to become the oldest woman in space, at 56 years of age.

In a CBS News interview from 2008, following an extremely hard reentry of Expedition 16, Whitson—today holding the title of NASA’s most experienced female astronaut, with nearly 377 days logged in space and six space walks totaling 39 hours 46 minutes—said of her many records that “no one should be counting,” but until we’re beyond the point of having to count, she’s happy to be a role model. “It seems odd to me to think of myself that way, but I hope that I can inspire someone to do something they maybe didn’t think they could.”

(6) SPOOLING OUT. The inaugural Rewind Con, a new celebrity convention held this month in Chicago, probably took a bath according to a Nerd & Tie report, “Rewind Con Was Apparently a Total Mess”.

We’ve been following this con behind the scenes for quite some time, mostly because they rescheduled the even from September to November earlier this year. The schedule change was due to a switch in venues, and originally they put out a statement which directly stated that it was because the convention had grown too much — although they would later take that back and put out a slightly more vague one blaming “multiple factors with the original venue.”

…We don’t have exact figures, but people present have estimated numbers anywhere between one and three thousand attendees. And while any of those would be a respectable number for a first year convention, when you consider Rewind Con had between fifty and sixty guests (most of whom likely asked for pretty sizable guarantees) this event must have been a massive financial disaster. The only way the organizers could have paid those guarantees is if the money came directly out of owner Jaymie Lashaway’s pocket.

We’ve also seen reports of people who paid for the $300 VIP Passes not receiving what was promised, tons of reports of staff mismanagement, issues with paid photo ops, and a complete inability to put on a good show.

(7) MIND MELD. Shana DuBois populated the latest Mind Meld with the editors and authors of the recently released anthology The Starlit Wood from Saga Press.They were asked “to chat about fairy tales and their influence on modern-day storytelling.” The participants are Navah Wolfe, Dominik Parisien, Margo Lanagan, Kat Howard, Stephen Graham Jones, Aliette de Bodard, Charlie Jane Anders, Jeffrey Ford, Theodora Goss, and Daryl Gregory.

(8) FULL FATHOM FIVE-SEVEN-FIVE. With two five-syllable verses, the traditional haiku is arguably a poetic form tailor-made for Filers. Therefore I want you all to know Fantasy Literature has kicked off its “Third Annual Speculative Fiction Haiku Contest”. Leave entries in the comments. The rules don’t state a deadline for entering.

(9) BRADBURY’S NATIONAL BOOK AWARD MEDAL. Sixteen years ago this month Ray Bradbury gave an acceptance speech when the Board of Directors of the National Book Foundation conferred its Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters on him.

This is incredible. This is quite amazing because who you’re honoring tonight is not only myself but the ghost of a lot of your favorite writers. And I wouldn’t be here except that they spoke to me in the library. The library’s been the center of my life. I never made it to college. I started going to the library when I graduated from high school. I went to the library every day for three or four days a week for 10 years and I graduated from the library when I was 28.

(10) UNDER THE HAMMER. Heritage Auctions published the top bids from its recently-completed Space Exploration Auction #6167.

We are proud to announce that, as of this writing, total sales are $744,923 with a 98% sell-through rate both by lot and value. Of 729 total bidders, 226 were successful in winning 515 lots. It’s interesting to note that 296 of these 515 lots were won by bidders on Heritage Live! If you’re not using this amazing online bidding platform, you should definitely check it out. Eight lots vied for the honor of top price realized:

  • Lot 50102 Apollo 13 Flown and Crew-Signed Checklist $42,500
  • Lot 50145 Skylab: Rare NASA Contractor’s Model, 1/48 Scale $42,500
  • Lot 50038 Alan Bean Original 1984 Painting “Test Drive” $42,500
  • Lot 50064 Apollo 11 Flown Quarantine Cover $40,000
  • Lot 50037 Alan Bean Original 2005 Painting “Our World At My Fingertips” $38,750
  • Lot 50119 Apollo 14 LM Flown and Surface Carried Tool $37,500
  • Lot 50132 Apollo 17 Flown Robbins Medal, Serial Number 62 $37,500
  • Lot 50065 Apollo 11 Flown Robbins Medal, Serial Number 64 $35,000

(11) SUNBURST SEEKS SHORTS. The Sunburst Awards, recognizing “Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic,” is looking for submissions to be considered in its short story award category. Short stories published in magazines, anthologies or collections, or online all qualify.

Canadian authors: It’s free to submit, and your publishers may not have already done so.

Publishers: If you have submitted a collection for the novel length award already, please send us a note to secretary@sunburstaward.org to let us know which of the stories included qualify (see below) for the short story award. You may submit stories which qualify from magazines or anthologies you have published as well. To submit these, please upload the individual story files from the link on our website.

The Sunburst Awards will consider short fiction (up to 7,500 words.) for the short story award. Submissions are made electronically using a submission system for short form works and must be in either Word document or pdf format only. You will be asked to provide details of where the work was originally published along with the date and story length. All works must have been previously published in 2016. *See additional criteria on our website.

*Please include only one story per upload file.

*Do not submit a complete magazine or anthology.

*Non paying markets qualify.

*Short stories have only one year of eligibility.

*There is no administrative fee for short form submissions.

*Deadline for submissions is Midnight Eastern Standard Time on January 31, 2017.

(12) BYRON, SELL HIGH. At the SFWA Blog, Rosalind Moran talks about the appeal of broody men: “Brood For Thought: On The Enduring Appeal Of The Moody Male Lead”.

The moody male lead is widespread throughout all genres, but it can be difficult to see why anybody would want to spend time with him. He’s brooding, exceedingly individualistic, melancholic, and disposed to hanging around outdoors during thunderstorms for no good reason beyond cultivating his mystique. Furthermore, despite possessing attributes such as introspection, sophistication in some form, and intelligence, he is also typically rather unpleasant.

So what’s underpinning his enduring presence and appeal in fiction?

(13) A WRETCHED HIVE OF SCUM AND VILLANY…AND LOVE. Turns out Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford weren’t the only ones getting busy on the set of Star Wars. Stephen Colbert had a Star Wars affair, too

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Chip Hitchcock.]

68 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/17/16 The Pixel Opened A Blue Scroll And Winked At Him

  1. (5) FIRST FEMALE ISS COMMANDER RETURNS TO SPACE

    Kinda related, I’m currently reading Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt, about the women of the JPL employed as computers (and later programming early “real” computers) who made some key contributions to early space exploration. It’s told in a very simple and straightforward style and is pretty fascinating stuff.

    ETA: Inadvertent fifth! And with a real comment at that.

  2. Bartimaeus: Thanks for pointing that out. I got into the article by Googling the name of the columnist — I didn’t check what would happen using the direct link once I found it.

  3. (13) A WRETCHED HIVE OF SCUM AND VILLANY…AND LOVE. Heh, cute. 🙂

    SF Listening: I finished listening to “The Ballad of Black Tom” by Victor LaValle and it was very, very good. I blush to admit I haven’t read any Lovecraft, but I’m guessing this story will be even better for those who have. Now I’m listening to “The Devil You Know” by K. J. Parker, which is also quite good.

    SF Reading: I finally got around to starting Timothy S. Johnston’s third in the Tanner Sequence – The Void. As with the others, I like it a lot, but occasionally the dialog or people’s actions are a little off. Some of this will be explained later, as various mysteries are revealed; but some is just how he writes. Things were a gruesome early in the book, with descriptions of the serial killers work. Bleah, fortunately that part seems to be past. (Famous last words!) Anyway: Far future SF mystery-thrillers starring a military cop in an authoritarian regime who goes after murderers. I like the books, but I suspect they’re not for everyone. Each book so far has had an interesting SF element; not sure what this one’s will be.

    Related: I see he has a new trilogy starting soon, “The Rise of Oceania” from ChiZine Publications.

    ETA: Ooh, double fifth! ::drink::

  4. @Kendall

    Glad to hear more people liking “The Ballad of Black Tom”, particularly that it works without familiarity with Lovecraft. If you really want to, you can find The Horror at Red Hook online to see what it was based on, but I honestly don’t recommend it – even without the blatant bigotry it’s a bad Lovecraft story.

  5. @Mark: I briefly thought about reading it (I’d forgotten the exact name, thanks), but decided I’d give it a pass. I feel like I should read a little Lovecraft at some point (I’m not really into horror), though! It’s in the back of my head whenever I see something like this story, or play a pseudo-Cthulhu-themed game. 😉 But yeah, probably not “Red Hook.”

    BTW, LaValle’s story made Barnes & Noble’s best SFF of 2016 list. There’s a lot of overlap there with books I hear bandied about here at File 770. 🙂

  6. @Kendall

    I read Lovecraft as science-fantasy, not horror, if that helps. I think one of the things that keeps Lovecraft popular is that you can interpret it so many ways, and take inspiration in so many different directions. If you do decide to dip your toe in, I’d just get a collection and read a couple of the bigger stories for a flavour, like The Dunwich Horror or At The Mountains of Madness.

    The Barnes and Noble list is indeed strangely familiar. I’m very confused to see Children of Time by Adrian Tchiakovsky on there though, as it was a 2015 book in the UK. If – like The Invisible Library – it’s a 2016 US release then my shortlist just got a bit more complicated!

  7. @Paul Weimer

    Huh, in which case I don’t know what Barnes and Noble are doing with it on their 2016 list, but it’s a fun book either way.

  8. 3: Thank you Ann Leckie. The revelation she offers is not an unfamiliar one to those who received an education at Hebrew school. The true horror of the Holocaust was that ordinary human beings committed these atrocities, not some abstract evil.

    We all promised ourselves “never again”, and extended that promise to everyone, not just Jews. We and the rest of the world have fallen short of that promise numerous times since world war II and there are a lot of us who fear we may be falling short again.

  9. Hey! Exact multiple of a fraction! -th!

    The title reminds me of a scrap of conversation I overheard on a campus in Colorado in 1980:
    He: It was just laying there.
    She: Was it dead?
    He: No. It winked at me.

    As an old-school fan of the evil dolphin on The Tick who said, “That’s not haiku! He’s just counting syllables!”, I felt seasonal reference was mandatory and entered:

    Sphere rotates, revolves.
    Nights lengthen. Leaves fall from trees,
    Screaming all the way.

    Nor was I the first in the vein, which pleases me.

  10. (3) I really don’t need Leckie to tell me this. My ancestors immigrated to the US from Germany about 150ish years ago, so I’ve long lived with the knowledge that people just like me and my family must have been involved.

  11. @Kendall

    I bought a purportedly complete collection of Lovecraft via B&N for my Nook. At the time, it was only a buck or two.

    Regards,
    Dann

  12. (6) Yeah, uh no.

    Who thought this was a good idea?

    Somebody with dollar signs on their eyeballs, like a classic cartoon character. Hard to see clearly with dollar sign eyes.

  13. Oh hello there. Today is busy and my pants are super cranky. I can tell because I wanted to punch a young woman who was boogie-ing to her portable music. It’s not me! It’s the pants! I would throw them away but I don’t think the cops would buy my explanation for public indecency.

    Carry on. 😉

  14. So I was reading Willis’ Crosstalk and I find that the male protagonist – jub vf nccneragyl gur nhgube-qrfvtangrq Bar Gehr Ybir bs gur srznyr cebgntbavfg juvpu fur jvyy riraghnyyl pbzr gb haqrefgnaq vf gur evtug thl sbe ure vafgrnq bs ure svnapr – V qvivar guvf ol gur jnl gur nhgube onfvpnyyl sbeprf uvz bagb gur srznyr cebgntbavfg’f nggragvba ol znxvat uvz fhqqrayl cevil gb nyy ure vaarezbfg gubhtugf naq creprcgvbaf, vagb juvpu ur vf tvira gur pncnpvgl gb vagrewrpg uvf bja qvfnterrzragf naq whqtrzragf. Ur PNA fgbc ure urnevat uvf gubhtugf jura ur jnagf gb, ohg ur ershfrf gb fgbc lnzzrevat uvf gubhtugf vagb ure urnq jura fur nfxf uvz gb, hagvy ur oybbql jryy srryf yvxr qbvat fb. Fur pna pbaprny abguvat sebz uvz. Ur’f njner ng jvyy jung fur’f guvaxvat, jung fur’f srryvat, jung fur’f qbvat, jurgure fur’f ylvat gb uvz. Zrnajuvyr, gur srznyr cebgntbavfg pnaabg qb gur fnzr gbjneq uvz – ng yrnfg, ur frrzf gb or pbaprnyvat vasbezngvba sebz ure ng gvzrf, naq fur qbrfa’g frrz gb or njner jung UR’F cynaavat be qbvat hagvy ur fhqqrayl nccrnef va ure ubfcvgny orqebbz. Ubjrire, gur nhgube frrzf gb or fnlvat gung’f GBGNYYL nyy evtug, orpnhfr ur bayl jnagrq gb oevat ure gur oynaxrg ur xarj fur arrqrq orpnhfr fur jnf pbyq, fb uvf vainfvba bs cevinpl zrnaf ur’f gbgnyyl n tbbq qhqr ng urneg naq gur fvyyl tvey whfg qbrfa’g ernyvmr ur’f jung fur ernyyl arrqf. V svaq nyy guvf unf ernyyl perrcl naq bss-chggvat haqregbarf gung gur nhgube guhf sne qbrfa’g frrz gb or npxabjyrqtvat ng nyy.

    Does this get any better? And is there a thread for discussing Crosstalk somewhere?

  15. 6) Vendors frequently get to see behind the curtain, and I can tell you that this has not been a rare occurrence for first-time media-cons over the last decade or so. First off, it’s an over-saturated market. Even people who live out in the hinterlands probably have access to 3 or 4 media-cons a year within reasonable traveling distance. Dallas had twelve during the first half of the year alone — that’s enough to burn out any conceivable size of market. There are 3 ways to make sure that your first year doesn’t crash and burn: start modestly, have an angel with enough money to cover your expenses, or get a bunch of corporate sponsors who between them donate enough money up front to do so. Counting on the gate to cover costs stands a high risk of not working. But there are always suckers who look at the number of existing media-cons and think it’s a money tree… and parasites who stiff the guests (and sometimes the venue) and disappear with the gate money tucked into their pockets.

    12) This is part of the way our entire culture grooms women to consider behavior that should be setting off Huge Red Warning Flags to be “romantic” and desirable instead. Doing anything about it at the cultural level is going to take a long, long time, so the best approach right now is to tackle it on the individual level. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a nice wish-fulfillment fantasy as long as you think about how difficult such a character would be to deal with in real life. And point out Suck Fairy moments in old favorites and rape-culture motifs in current ones to the people around you.

  16. Reading: I finished Kate Elliott’s Poisoned Blade (and now wait with bated breath for the third installment next summer) and started Peter Newman’s The Vagrant, which is interesting — sword-carrying wanderer making his way across a far-future post-apocalyptic hellscape (literally, if I’m understanding things correctly — there were actual demon incursions) with nothing but his sword and a baby.

  17. sword-carrying wanderer making his way across a far-future post-apocalyptic hellscape…with nothing but his sword and a baby.

    Let’s hope he never gets them confused.

  18. Let’s hope he never gets them confused.

    He’s always careful to put the baby down before drawing his sword.

  19. Re: Nazis:
    I still remember the one issue of Desert Peach which touched on this. (It was the one that we had a very hard time getting in Canada due to the contents.) The guards at a concentration camp weren’t depicted as horrible evil.

    They were depicted as middle managers trying to make the numbers on the books come out right and frustrated at anything that got in the way of that. The fact that those numbers represented actual lives was deliberately not thought about.

    It was almost certainly more realistic, and rather more frightning in its implications about the human condition.

  20. I left this comment on Leckie’s blog:

    Here’s the thing: for most of my life (class of ’66 here) I have heard how people in my grandparents’ generation were shocked that the Germans, the GERMANS of all people, the countrymen of Bach, Beethoven, Kant, Hegel, Goethe – that they could turn out to be inhuman. The Germans? With all that sensitive poetry? Not possible. Surely not.

    And I moved to Great Britain because I had some of the same romantic notions about it. The country that gave birth to Amnesty International, which took in the kindertransport, the country of Wilberforce and Bertrand Russell and Orwell. British people, decent, police goes around unarmed, the rule of law… you know. A safe space.

    Then Brexit came, and I remembered who it was that started the trilateral trade, who invented concentration camps.

    But mostly I felt a sudden kinship with all those people who saw Mitteleuropa go down in flames and stood there in disbelief (often until they were marched off to the cattle trucks). Stefan Zweig committing suicide over the collapse in horror of the world he knew is suddenly, chillingly, a lot more understandable.

  21. Re: #6 — I’m a Chicago fan; I’m tolerably well plugged-in to the fannish culture here — and I never heard of Rewind Con. Part of it might be because I don’t follow media cons that closely. Part of that might be because I was going to Windycon 43 on the exact same weekend. (Really? Scheduling a new convention against an old established one? Not necessarily wise.)

  22. with nothing but his sword and a baby.

    Let’s hope he never gets them confused.

    Well, it wasn’t post-apocalyptic, but there’s always Lone Wolf and Cub, which included (among other things) a retractable sword blade in the bamboo frame of the baby carriage, that he’d trained his son to be able to trigger…

  23. Nancy Sauer: (3) I really don’t need Leckie to tell me this. My ancestors immigrated to the US from Germany about 150ish years ago, so I’ve long lived with the knowledge that people just like me and my family must have been involved.

    There are a lot of people who don’t understand this, and who do need to hear it.

    I think her post is an excellent one, and I’ve shared it on social media.

  24. Jayn: So I was reading Willis’ Crosstalk… Does this get any better?

    I’m a huge Willis fan, and I hated this book. As I said elsewhere, every single one of the characters was so annoying and unintelligent that I was going to invent the Ten Deadly Words: “I hope all of these characters die in a fire”.

    I read around the first 50 pages, and then I just couldn’t take it any more and read the last 50 pages. The ending turned out to be pretty much what I expected it to be, the offensive and controlling behaviors are never pointed out as being offensive and controlling, and the characters didn’t get any less annoying. I’ve marked it “Read” and moved on, and feel absolutely no guilt or deprivation for having done so.

    I long ago got over the idea that a man controlling a woman “for her own good” was a sweet, romantic thing.

    Also, is the UK really that different a culture from the US? Is a group of extended family members showing up en masse, uninvited and unnannounced, at someone’s workplace during a business day, to stage an intervention because they hate her boyfriend, the sort of thing that people would actually do there?

    If my family pulled that shit on me, I would change my phone number, move house and leave no forwarding address, and instruct the security guards at my place of employment to call the police if any of my family members ever showed up there again. 🙄

  25. So, since California just legalized recreational marijuana use, I think this means that Worldcon 76 (San Jose) will be the first Worldcon ever where marijuana is legal. I noticed that the survey answered questions about tobacco (highly regulated by the state, outdoor consumption only), alcohol (allowed with restrictions), and illegal drugs (forbidden, of course). But by the time the convention happens, marijuana will not fit into any of those categories! I wonder if the committee should think about that?

    Obviously, smoking in public places should either be forbidden or restricted to outdoors-only, for much the same reasons as tobacco. But smoking isn’t the only way cannabis is consumed. What if a room party wanted to have cannabis edibles (for adults-only, like alcohol, of course)?

  26. Marijuana will still be (barring something unlikely) illegal under federal law. I hope that foreign visitors, in particular, don’t arrive with any other expectations. It could really ruin a visit to have legal troubles.

  27. @ Cassy: For most business-oriented types Windycon is too small an event to be even a blip on their radar. And even if they knew about it, they wouldn’t be expecting much of a crossover draw, by comparison to the fan audience that doesn’t go to Windycon.

  28. @Bill: that would be a reasonable answer. I just think they should probably have an answer. San Jose already has numerous medical dispensaries, and the precedent of Colorado suggests that general dispensaries will follow quickly. If there’s a shop just a few blocks from the convention center openly selling marijuana brownies, with their official license from the state prominently displayed, it’s certainly easy to leap to conclusions.

  29. Also, is the UK really that different a culture from the US? Is a group of extended family members showing up en masse, uninvited and unnannounced, at someone’s workplace during a business day, to stage an intervention because they hate her boyfriend, the sort of thing that people would actually do there?

    I was born in the UK, I’ve lived and worked here for *coughcoughmumble* years, and I’ve never seen any workplace where that would be acceptable, no. (Maybe I’ve just led a sheltered life?)

  30. Marijuana will still be (barring something unlikely) illegal under federal law. I hope that foreign visitors, in particular, don’t arrive with any other expectations.

    It may be illegal under federal law, but here in Oregon and Washington it’s sold openly and with no problems.

    Whether that changes next year, I suppose we’ll have to see. But if the feds aren’t raiding the weed stores, it would be unusual for them to suddenly start on Worldcon weekend.

  31. The suggestion that Trump wants Sessions as AG isn’t good news for the cannabis industry or its partakers. Sessions famously “joked” that he had considered joining the KKK, but then he found out they smoked pot, so that was beyond the pale.

    Nothing by statute prevents Sessions as AG from destroying the cannabis industry in those states where it’s been legalized.

  32. I’m having one of those interminable Friday afternoons when all my must-be-done-before-vacation work is complete, everyone else in my field of the cube farm is either gone or dead-quiet, and I’ve already finished tidying my desk. Contemplating just how far I’ll get through the next half hour before saying F***-it.

  33. Yeah, we’ll have to see how things play out, but considering that the libertarian wing of the Republicans is pretty strongly pro-pot and/or pro-states-rights, I’d be a little surprised if we saw a crackdown. They’re going to have enough trouble with stuff their base is behind. Like getting women back in the kitchen and gays back in the closet.

  34. (6) The stupid. It burns.

    (12) This is a really good article. And I agree, people need to STOP WRITING THIS so often. Let’s see some decent men. Let’s see the brooding types as what they are: anti-social high-maintenance pains in the ass, prone to violence and gaslighting.

    The wacky tobacky will not be allowed to be smoked at San Jose Worldcon. Because smoking, nope. Non-smoking places are becoming non-vaping places, though I don’t know if San Jose will do that. And since the Feds are still against it (and are now run by the party who invented the modern POT IS EEEVIL idea), I wouldn’t consume it in public areas. And you still will have to have a license to sell it, or to have more than an ounce in your possession, so no weed brownies at room parties. It’s going to be more tightly regulated than booze. Licensing doesn’t begin until Jan. 2018, so it’ll only be 8 months old; knowing bureaucracies, things will still be in flux. Plus, all the stuff sold has to have a big label on it and be in a child-proof package.

    It’s still almost 2 years out; presumably by the time of the con, we’ll know if the Feds have gone all jackbooted thug on the issue.

    Regarding the family arriving at work for the intervention in CROSSTALK:

    1. This is a screwball romantic comedy movie in book form (I thought that was pretty obvious). Wacky stuff happens.

    2. Yep, there are cases where the whole damn family shows up (at work, the hospital, etc.), from Grandma down to the littlest baby cousin. It’s more common in certain ethnic groups. Not the English or Scots, which I guess is why you Brits are confused. 🙂

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