Pixel Scroll 12/25 All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Pixel Scrolls

Mowatt Rhino run on Christmas

(1) RHINO RACES SANTA. Jim Mowatt ran a 5K on Christmas Day as part of his campaign to Save the Rhino.

It’s Christmas Day in Ayr and Carrie and I are celebrating this festival of wine, beer, pigs in blankets and Christmas pud. by popping down to Rozelle Park to run the 5k parkrun. Just to make it that bit more interesting I’ll be wearing a rhino costume.

I got a great reception when I arrived, with a mighty cheer from all the lovely folks assembled near the start. There were several santas, some dogs and a couple of running buggys amongst the crowd. The run director tried to give her pre run briefing but stumbled a little. “Sorry folks,” she said, “I was distracted by the rhino.”

… If anyone gets the urge to donate to Save The Rhino then please visit the page http://virginmoneygiving.com/jimmowatt and donate whatever you feel you can afford.


(2) CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. “50 Page Fridays: Connie Willis” at Suvudu.

Every Friday, we here @ Del Rey Spectra will place a 50 page excerpt of a selected title on Suvudu. Whether it is science fiction, epic fantasy, alternate history, horror, urban fantasy, paranormal, the possibilities are endless.

This week, just in time for the holidays, we’re featuring the first 50 pages of Connie Willis’ MIRACLES AND OTHER CHRISTMAS STORIES. Read what the stories are all about and enjoy the excerpt.

  • This enchanting treasury includes: “Miracle,” in which a young woman’s carefully devised plans to find romance go awry when her guardian angel shows her the true meaning of love
  • “In Coppelius’s Toyshop,” where a jaded narcissist finds himself trapped in a crowded toy store at Christmastime
  • “Epiphany,” in which three modern-day wisemen embark on a quest unlike any they’ve ever experienced
  • “Inn,” where a choir singer gives shelter to a homeless man and his pregnant wife-only to learn later that there’s much more to the couple than meets the eye

And more…

(3) UNSUSPECTED STAR WARRIORS. “13 Actors You Didn’t Realize Were in the Star Wars Movies” at Esquire – illustrative photos at the site.

  1. Brian Blessed

Character: Rogur Nass

Appeared in: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Best known outside of Star Wars for: “GORDON’S ALIVE!” That is to say, Flash Gordon and shouting a lot.

Not convinced about that “Best Known” for Blessed. What about Young Arthur, Augustus Caesar in I, Claudius, or Northumberland in Henry V?

(4) A MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Martin Morse Wooster writes, “Thanks for posting Carol for Another Christmas.  I enjoyed it, and Sterling Hayden was great and Peter Sellers brilliant but…. ….this show is super liberal. It really is. Maybe if you headlined it, ‘THE FILM THE SAD PUPPIES DON’T WANT YOU TO SEE’ you’d get HUNDREDS of comments.”

(5) BEFORE MICROSOFT WAS RICH. The Digital Antiquarian’s post “A Pirate’s Life for me, Part 1: Don’t Copy That Floppy!” reproduces an open letter from Bill Gates that will surely bring a nostalgic tear to the eye.

February 3, 1976

An Open Letter to Hobbyists

To me, the most critical thing in the hobby market right now is the lack of good software courses, books, and software itself. Without good software and an owner who understands programming, a hobby computer is wasted. Will quality software be written for the hobby market?

Almost a year ago, Paul Allen and myself, expecting the hobby market to expand, hired Monte Davidoff and developed Altair BASIC. Though the initial work took only two months, the three of us have spent most of the last year documenting, improving, and adding features to BASIC. Now we have 4 K, 8 K, Extended, ROM, and Disk BASIC. The value of the computer time we have used exceeds $40,000.

The feedback we have gotten from the hundreds of people who say they are using BASIC has all been positive. Two surprising things are apparent, however: 1) most of these “users” never bought BASIC (less than 10 percent of all Altair owners have bought BASIC), and 2) the amount of royalties we have received from sales to hobbyists makes the time spent on Altair BASIC worth less than $2 per hour.

(6) THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW. “IBM’s Supercomputer Watson Evolves” at Omni.

Watson has become something of a celebrity, perhaps the first artificially intelligent celebrity, making appearances at notable events such as the Tribeca Film Festival. Lauri Saft is director at IBM Watson Ecosystem. Since Watson, the supercomputer, never makes public appearances, Saft had been asked to speak on his behalf, for a program of talks loosely based on the theme of “imagination.” Saft wears her hair in a wavy blond bob and tends to dress in black. “Film and artists and creative people and narratives—that is the essence of what Watson handles best,” she said, mid-fest. “Words and language and sentiment and ideas, right? That’s what Watson does for a living.” Perhaps one day, Watson will be running a film studio.

The essential question is, what exactly is Watson? Watson is a question-answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, developed in IBM’s DeepQA project by a research team led by principal investigator David Ferrucci. Watson’s name comes from IBM’s first CEO and industrialist Thomas J. Watson. The computer system was specifically developed to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy! In 2011, Watson competed on Jeopardy! against former winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings, and received the first place prize of $1 million.

(7) HOIST THE JOLLY ROGER. And then there are Space Pirates! From “Tom Corbett Space Cadet Push-Outs”  at Dreams of Space – Books and Ephemera.

I try every year to have a Christmas posting. Sometimes it is something Christmas related and others it is a toy for my readers. This is one of the most beautiful punch-out or push-out books I know of. Even though it is not children’s non-fiction it evokes the early 1950s vision of space. Plus everyone needs some toy rayguns and other gear for their own space cosplay over the holidays. Enjoy!



(8) HE WAS THERE. Jack Robins, the last surviving Futurian from the Wollheim side of the divide, says they were much nicer fellows than described by all those nasty fanhistorians. See “The Futurians – A Personal Experience” in The National Fantasy Fan for December 2015. (The issue is not online yet, but eventually will show up here at eFanzines.)

I believe I am the last living member of the Wollheim group of Futurians. But as a science fictionist, I am also a modern type of Futurian who is confident that mankind has a future, that global warming will be resolved before the tipping point (where temperatures keep rising out of control), that new sources of energy, such as Fusion, will become prevalent; and that new forms of space propulsion will be developed so that a trip to Mars would take only a week or two, not months.


I read the article by David Williams and was appalled at his description of the Futurians. David Kyle and I are the only Futurians left alive and neither he nor I would have associated with the Futurians of David’s description. He described them as a mean-spirited group intent only on disrupting other organ-izations. That was not my experience at all.

The first thing I learned was that they were a very active group. One of the members, Don Wollheim, told me that some months back they wanted to prove that the future of mail delivery was that it could be sent by rocket. They tied some letters to a rocket, sent it up at the border of anoth-er city and collected the mail. “So what did you do with the mail?” I asked. “Whatever letters weren’t burned we mailed in the nearest mail box,” was the reply. I read later that the police warned them against any further rocket demonstrations.

(9) RECOMMENDED SHORT. Redheadedfemme urges all to watch Hybrids. The blurb on the YouTube site reads —

Enjoy this fantastic Sci-Fi short film by the talented Patrick Kalyn! In the wake of an alien infestation, an ex-special forces soldier’s daughter is killed in an alien attack. Seeking revenge, she leads a team deep into alien territory to a quarantined lab. Soon, she discovers the aliens aren’t alien at all, but a failed government experiment to create a bio-hybrid soldier. She must then expose the governments cover-up and save the last standing city in the quarantined zone from falling.


(10) A DOUBTER. Vox Day responded to yesterday’s puppy post by George R.R. Martin on Vox Popoli.

Is it a Christmas miracle? Has Mr. Martin’s heart grown three sizes? It is an inspiration, is it not?

For my part, I will certainly pledge that when the time comes to make the recommendations for Rabid Puppies 2, there will not be a single reference to CHORFS and ASPS, to Puppykickers, or even to SJWs. There will be no negativity nor will any nominations be urged for the purposes of inspiring rapid cranial expansion; any head-exploding that happens to take place in response to the RP2 recommendations will be entirely unintended on my part.

I trust that all of the responses to those recommendations, by Mr. Martin and others, will be similarly restrained.

(11) TWO MORE GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON OBITS. Many appreciations have been posted since Johnson died earlier today.

Johnson was a longtime advocate for the legalization of marijuana and in his later years wrote comic books and was a frequent guest at sci-fi and comics conventions. He co-created the comic book series “Deepest Dimension Terror Anthology” with cartoonist and author Jay Allen Sanford.

“He had a special place in his heart for all of his fans, who sustained him and gave him a forum to share thoughts at a million miles a second,” his son said.

In a 2003 interview for the Archive of American Television, Johnson said, “I want to be remembered as a person who early on in his life took control of his life and set goals. When people gave me a lined paper, I wrote the other way. When people expect some certain behavior from me, I will frustrate their expectations.”

Although not widely known outside of science-fiction circles, Johnson was revered among fans of the genre for his work, which also included collaborating with Ray Bradbury on the 1962, Oscar-nominated, animated short film “Icarus Montgolfier Wright.”

A popular figure at science-fiction conventions for decades, the soft-spoken but friendly author was instantly recognizable for his long, flowing white hair and beard, as well as what might best be described as his hippie attire.

And here is the tribute to Johnson now on display at Mystery & Imagination Bookshop in Glendale.

Mystery & Imagination display dedicated to George Clayton Johnson. Photo by John King Tarpinian.

Mystery & Imagination display dedicated to George Clayton Johnson. Photo by John King Tarpinian.

(12) XMAS PASSINGS. In addition to George Clayton Johnson (2015), notables who passed away on Christmas Day include James Brown (2006), Dean Martin (1995), Charlie Chaplin (1977), and W.C. Fields (1946).

(13) STAR WARS CHARACTER INSPIRED BY TEACHER. “’Star Wars’ Character Based on Late Pali High English Teacher, Abrams Tells Palisadian-Post”:

Director J. J. Abrams, a Pacific Palisades resident and graduate of Palisades Charter High School, revealed to his hometown newspaper the Palisadian-Post that he based one of the characters in his box office record-breaking ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ on… [Rose] Gilbert, who was known to her students as ‘Mama G’… When she announced her retirement in 2013 at the age of 94, Gilbert was the oldest full-time teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and one of the oldest in the country.

David Feldman (author of the Imponderables books) says he took her classes, too.

And I wonder if any of the Hollander brothers did – LASFS members who also attended Pali High while she was on faculty.

[Thanks to redheadedfemme, Will R., and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day redheadedfemme.]

94 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/25 All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Pixel Scrolls

  1. Three fifths means you’d better have a few friends to share the egg nog with.

    Which reminds me, if I get out next light period, I need to snag a couple of cartons of Egg Nog Ice Cream. I may not open ’em before next December, but I find the fact that I could have some any time of year somewhat soothing.

  2. Four fifths of Boxing Day on The Beach. I shall be eating bacon sandwiches at The Rock by The Breakwater.

  3. 3)

    “Not convinced about that “Best Known” for Blessed. What about Young Arthur, Augustus Caesar in I, Claudius, or Northumberland in Henry V?”

    The King in Black Adder.

  4. I wonder how long VD’s pledge will last. I will give him two RP posts before he reverts to type.

  5. 10)

    “I trust that all of the responses to those recommendations, by Mr. Martin and others, will be similarly restrained.”

    Well, a quick look at the first comments shows the rabid definition of restraint.

  6. Winners of the semi finals in the Science Fiction Movie Bracket can be found here. And the the finals, the absolute last round, is open for voting here.

  7. Double fifth!

    @Tintinaus, @Hampus

    I believe Day’s commitment to restraint is in the Aristotelian sense.


    I’m loving the Jim Mowatt marathons to save the rhinos stories.


    The thing was rather heavy, whatever one’s politics.


    Good heavens, where did he find something so pristine like that from 1952?

    It’s interesting to see how wholesome and upright and, er, Aryan, shall we say, the cadets look and how vaguely swarthy and ethnic the pirates look.

    Those cadet uniforms have an oddly ominous cast to one raised on the imperial forces in “Star Wars”. Tone down the saturation a bit and those kids would fit in reasonably well on the Death Star.

    (10) A DOUBTER

    About average. It sounds like he’s gearing up for maximum provocation while adhering to a standard of conduct which he thinks he can sell as plausible deniability.


    Thank you for those.


    That is majorly sweet.

  9. I think Brian Blessed first came to wide public attention playing PC Fancy Smith in the gritty-for-its-day BBC police drama Z Cars. But I could be wrong – he’s been around a long time, and he’s done a heck of a lot of stuff.

  10. In local hilarious seasonal news, it’s Boxing Day evening and looks like at least some of the major retailers have already started to put up Chinese New Year decor.

    Non-holiday shopping seasons are a thing of the past I guess.

  11. I remember watching a rerun of The Avenger’s episode “The Superlative Seven” and trying to place who the expert on unarmed combat was. Somehow a quiet, clean-shaven Brian Blessed didn’t match my mental image of him. Or I was distracted by Charlotte Rampling.

  12. I recall what a shock it was to recognize a clean-shaven Brian Blessed as Caesar Augustus in “I, Claudius”, and because it was Brian Blessed, how very, very terrible it was how broken and quiet Augustus became when he fully realized the calumnies of his family.

  13. Teddy will doubtless continue his niceness for as long as it takes to be clear that the villainous Scalzi won’t buy into it, at which point it’ll be business as usual.
    In other news just (really, minutes ago) finished Long Way To A Small Angry Planet. Don’t get the love I’m afraid. It’s ok I guess, but there’s only so much manic pixie engineer I can take. But hey, if it’s special to you, etc.


    Those Space Pirates seem to lack a certain piratical derring-do, what with them tamely surrendering and all. And what on earth is on their heads?

    On the other hand, that’s a fine ray gun.

    Boxing day so far consists of making the various model dragons and dinosaurs that seem to have been the dominant theme from yesterday.

  15. 3) Make that 12 actors, as any film fan of a certain age would recognise Terence Stamp immediately.
    But there were some surprising names on that list.

  16. RE: Blessed: Oh I think his Augustus is much better than some of his more bombastic following roles (looking at you Flash Gordon), because it shows his range much better, and keeps his charisma. You can believe this guy won the Roman Empire only to have his family tear his heart out.

  17. ‘ “I trust that all of the responses to those recommendations, by Mr. Martin and others, will be similarly restrained.”

    Well, a quick look at the first comments shows the rabid definition of restraint.”

    Obviously, he didn’t mean restrained by HIS side. Funny how one side is ‘vile’ but it’s not the people making comments on his site.

  18. And I knew that Julian Glover was in Empire Strikes Back (and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) but hadn’t realized he was also the Grand Maester.

  19. Looking at the Watson article, I’d like to highlight this quotation to illustrate why lots of AI researchers were unimpressed by it:

    Watson’s main innovation was not in the creation of a new algorithm for this operation but rather in its ability to quickly execute hundreds of proven language analysis algorithms simultaneously to find the correct answer. The more algorithms that find the same answer independently, the more likely Watson is to be correct. Once Watson has a small number of potential solutions, it is able to check against its database to ascertain whether the solution makes sense

    Watson was able to win at Jeopardy! not by some breakthrough in AI but rather by (once again) avoiding the problem of “understanding.” It’s just a very specialized search engine, which takes really long queries and limits itself to Wikipedia. What makes it work is that Jeopardy’s answers take such a regular form.

    It definitely has commercial value, if they can reduce the resources required to make it work, but it isn’t a step towards “real” AI; it’s just another product that gives the illusion of intelligence while making no attempt to crack any of the hard problems.

  20. Quick recommendation: just finished Catherynne M. Valente’s Radiance and would suggest that others might enjoy it too. (Like, it is, “well, that was a fun book… my goodness, is it really a quarter past two in the morning?” levels of good.)

    I described it on my journal as “retrofuturistic cinematic epistolary dieselpunk surrealism”, but Cat Valente herself calls it “a decopunk alt-history Hollywood space opera mystery thriller with space whales”. Obviously, I am right, because I am the critic here, while she is only the author. But I would encourage absolutely everyone to read this book, to see if they agree with me. Or just because it’s, y’know, a darn good book. Especially if you like space whales.

  21. Re Blessed.

    “Chiswick, my Horse!”

    Going to agree with the love of I, Claudius here. Anyone who can make Gaius Octavius a sympathetic character can act. Even if he challenged some of his old tendencies when it came to some of the Julia scenes.

    Re Teddy

    So this would seem to be the beginning of whatever tawdry little temper tantrum and desperate plea for attention Beale will ask us to believe is Xanatos speed chess this year. He’ll only moderately slander Scalzi and Delaney as pedophiles, and presumably moderately white-supremacist along. What joy.

    Honestly, until the nominations, when we have to see SP4 claim to have nothing to do with the Rabids even as they only got their crap on the ballot with his aide, I’m a bit bored with Beale as anything but a spur to make a thorough nominations list.

    I’ve resisted some stuff I read last year, and I’m still a bit in awe of how well Alex Erin just absolutely nailed the tone in the Upjohn reviews. Experience with table-top gaming and fellow aficionados of a certain type of history has me giggling whenever I read those reviews. I’ll admit to one good thing about Beale – seeing some of his very serious posts about 4th G warfare inspired me to go read those reviews again.

  22. VD is only commenting on GRRM because VD is a parasite, trying to leach credibility from someone who has respect within fandom, whereas he has none.
    John Scalzi seems to be moving more towards a policy of non-engagement, apart from the odd subtweet, despite some pretty severe provocation. I think that’s a wise move from him, his best revenge is living well while VDs envy eats him from the inside.
    I’m not sure why VD thinks there is a need for RP2 – it will be his usual Castilia House crap all the way down. I’m reading the “long list anthology” at the moment, and it’s increasing my annoyance at the whole RP\SP thing again, there are some great stories that got pushed off by dreck. I hadn’t read Eugie Fosters last story before, it is lovely.

  23. “Fancy” Smith in Z-Cars…. Actually, no, looking through imdb, I’m pretty sure I’m confusing this character with one in Softly, Softly (different actor). I doubt I was allowed to watch Z-Cars when I was 4….

  24. I listened to fifteen Tom Corbett episodes and noticed some interesting patterns. For example, in fifteen episodes, 12 rockets were damaged, and nine destroyed. Roger went missing seven times but Astro was the most likely to get sick (twice) or injured (five times). And the carnage was a bit higher than I expected: 18 dead good guys, 11 dead bad guys, plus an indeterminate number for the crews of six ships and a whole town.

  25. Pingback: Puppies Won't Change Their Stripes Even If GRRM Wants Them To - Amazing Stories

  26. Also, I listened to the whole run of Alien Worlds (because it supposedly was one of J. Michael Straczynski’s early projects; actually, he wrote one unproduced script). It’s a terrible, terrible show and I wondered if maybe one of the models they were ripping off was Tom Corbet.

  27. @Jack Lint
    I saw that same episode a few months ago, and couldn’t figure him out at all, had to look it up afterwards

  28. I’m not sure why VD thinks there is a need for RP2

    I suspect that controversy it’s the only thing that generates sales at Calista House.

  29. (10) A DOUBTER.

    Indeed. Just a glance at the comments under that post shows that the Dead Elks are already primed and ready to vote for whatever “recommendations” (and there will only be 5 in each category, wink wink) Mr Beale will make. The Dead Elks are also nasty, nasty people. Good heavens.

    In other news, I just received Philip Sandifer’s book Guided By the Beauty of Their Weapons: Notes on Science Fiction and Culture In the Year of Angry Dogs in my Kindle last night. It has an expanded version of his essay on Mr Beale, along with many other essays on science fiction. I had included the original standalone essay on my Related Work ballot, but now I’m replacing that with the book.

  30. @Chris S,
    The contrast between the longlist & the puppy stories in the final ballot is further evidence that the Puppy slates are not only wrongheaded but are damaging. They denied the individual creators & their works even the chance to win a Hugo. It was the last time a Foster story would have been eligible; she’s died so there won’t be any more Eugie Foster stories, no more chances to win a Hugo.

    Some have said that the Puppy slating is just a blip in the history of the Hugos and that it will pass. I hope this is so, but let’s not forget the damage this “blip” has already caused.

    The claims that SP4 will be “different” & RP2 will be “moderate”? I’ll believe it when I see it (especially given the maneuvering that has begun).

  31. 11 — George Clayton Johnson — When I went to UCLA a bunch of us started an Experimental College class in science fiction, where we invited local writers to come and talk — A. E. Van Vogt, Larry Niven, Norman Spinrad. (Harlan Ellison would only do it if we organized a paid event, so we did that.) We invited Johnson, and then, much to our surprise and delight, he kept coming. He would talk for hours about all kinds of weird stuff, but what I mainly remember about him is that he had what amounted to a superpower — he could stand anywhere and smoke marijuana and never be arrested. Once I saw him do this a few feet away from a policeman.

    All sympathy to his family.

  32. Harold Osler on December 26, 2015 at 6:18 am said:
    ‘ “I trust that all of the responses to those recommendations, by Mr. Martin and others, will be similarly restrained.”

    Well, a quick look at the first comments shows the rabid definition of restraint.”

    Obviously, he didn’t mean restrained by HIS side. Funny how one side is ‘vile’ but it’s not the people making comments on his site.

    There are not two “sides” in this matter.

    The only “side” is only the loose coalition of self-defined Puppy groups.

    And then there is … everyone else, all the billions of people in the world with their own opinions and interests, any of whom the Puppies may disagree with, who the Puppies lump together as if they made up an opposing “side”, a useful conceit to keep the troops fired up when the chocolate ration has been increased from four ounces to three.

    But good grief, not even here on File 770 are commenters anything like unified.

  33. On a random note . . . was Ann Leckie (recently) reviewed somewhere popular? Ancillary Justice is currently sitting at #11 in the Kindle store. (I saw it was on sale yesterday, but it’s back to full price now.)

  34. Teddy’s going to do what Teddy’s going to do. His pledge of civility is facile crap – he will either continue to spew vile offensive crap in the most passive aggressive plausibly deniabile way he can while studiously avoiding the forbidden words, or he’ll simply let his sycophants do the dirty work (“unlike those on the left, I don’t try to control what my fans say”). Or both,most likely.

    With respect to the nominations, there is no way he’ll act in good faith. After years of envious frustrated Impotent rage; after years as an unskilled dilettante with an extensive record of failure and imediocrity – musician, science fiction author, video game designer, computer hardware designer – after all that he has finally found an outlet that will not only let him get his long sought revenge against those who have wronged him, but will do so in a way that he feels it will be impossible for anyone to deny his success.

    So I fully expect him t to have his sniveling minions nominate the crap he wants nominated, and I expect fandom will react accordingly. Again.

  35. @robinareid

    Thank you for that list as well.

    I can already see the shorter fiction categories are going to be my bugaboo–so many good stories, so little time. My five novels are pretty much nailed down, I think. I’m starting to work my way through issues of magazines and other people’s lists I’ve downloaded, and thinking, “Arghhh! How can I do this in two months [or whatever the nomination period is going to be]?”

    And that’s not to mention the graphic novels. I don’t know if I’ll have the time to dig into that category, especially since my library seems to have a crappy selection.

  36. Re 2. Christmas Miracle

    There is some irony in posting the first 50 pages of Connie Willis’ Miracles and Other Christmas Stories in that the farther in you go, the better the stories get. I bought the collection years ago based on it being by Connie Willis. I would recommend it strongly, but based on the second half, not the first.

    Of course, YMMV.

  37. @redheadedfemme

    I can already see the shorter fiction categories are going to be my bugaboo–so many good stories, so little time.

    If you haven’t discovered Rocket Stack Rank, by all means give us a look. The whole point of the site is to make it easier to find good SFF to read with an eye toward nominating. In addition to reviews, it has a lot of information on how to get hold of back issues of magazines.

    Good luck!

  38. (9) That short film is terrific, but the description is for a more extensive story than the one I just watched. Twice, because it was really well done.

    (11) Thank you for all the remembrances of George Clayton Johnson. He sounds like a lovely person to have known.

    (10)I don’t think I was awake this morning, because I actually clicked the link. I don’t think my brain has ever put the words “unctuous” and “sewage” together before. Ugh. And that was before I read the first few comments. It’s taken until now for the brain bleach to work.

    Trolls gonna troll, so VD will do whatever, but I wonder why anyone who isn’t a Puppy is giving him even a few brain cells worth of thought. As Peace is My Middle Name points out above, there is no organized opposition to Puppies. Except, apparently, in the minds of Puppies, but I suspect it’s easier to think that people don’t like your ideas because they’re marching in lockstep rather than that individuals disagree for a bunch of different reasons.

    Anyway, to my mind, there’s no point thinking about Rabid or Sad Puppies and whether or what kind of slates will be produced. Precisely because there’s no actual organized group opposing them, what they do or don’t do won’t be blunted by any sort of planned strategy. The current Hugo rules allow for slating and the relatively small number of nominators makes successful slating (for some value of success) relatively easy. Maybe an increased number of nominators will make a difference, but I’m not going to waste time and energy worrying about it.

    What I’m doing is going through this year’s reading, trying to figure out what I’ve loved enough to nominate, making lists and strategically choosing what to read in the time I have left before nominations close. The book discussions here are helping a lot in that effort.

    My weak areas are in areas like Editor and I have no idea how I’m going to handle that, because I really would like to fill out my ballot as much as possible.

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