Pixel Scroll 1/31/16 May the Pixels Be Ever in Your Scroll

richard-gaitet-avait-attaque-en-disant-vouloir-realiser-la-ceremonie-la-plus-courte-de-l-histoire-parce-que-tout-le-monde-a-envie-d-aller-boire-des-coups-et-da(1) A COMIC DISGRACE. A few weeks ago The International Festival of Comics (Angoulême) embarrassed itself by issuing a set of nominees for its awards with zero women among them. Several were added in response to a threatened boycott.

And at the awards ceremony on January 30, what the organization covered itself with was not glory. “Angouleme organizers criticized for presenting fake awards” reports Robot 6.

As if this year’s Angouleme International Comics Festival hadn’t been plagued by enough controversy, the organizers decided to play a practical joke at the closing ceremony that a lot of people didn’t find very funny.

The ceremony began with comedian Richard Gaitet, clad in a neon-blue suit and red bow tie, announcing, “This will be the shortest ceremony in history, because all we want to do is drink and dance.” He proceeded to present nine awards in rapid succession, including the award for best series to Saga, best comic for young people to Aaron Renier’s The Unsinkable Walker Bean, and the Fauve d’Or, the big prize, to Arsène Schrauwen, by Olivier Schrauwen. And then two women appeared and said, “Bravo Richard, for that joke about the false fauves [awards] and the size of the Grand Prix. We laughed a lot, but now we must go.” And then they presented the real awards because that first set? That was fake.

(2) SELF-DOUBT. That first item is just one more of the zillion reasons people identify with Aidan Doyle’s “The Science Fiction Writer’s Hierarchy of Doubt”. Here’s his introduction, and the first few entries on the scale.

Even if you’ve had a successful writing year, there’s always going to be another writer who achieved more. Sure, I had a few short stories published last year, but none of them ended up on recommended reading lists. No matter what level of writer you are, there’s always something to worry about. Take consolation in The Science Fiction Writer’s Hierarchy of Doubt.

Why don’t I have any ideas?

Why haven’t I written anything?

Why haven’t I written anything good?

Why won’t anyone publish my stories?

(3) NEW CAMPBELL REQUIREMENTS. On the other hand, last year’s Campbell Award winner Wesley Chu sounds pretty confident. He just announced the next new writer to win it will have to go through him.

(4) BEFORE DAWN. What if the Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice film was made in 1966 starring Adam West and George Reeves?

The makers also produced a video showing scene-by-scene how they parodied the official Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice trailer.

(5) TIP OF THE DAY. “Things Your Writing Teacher Never Told You: Pro-Tip From Carlos Hernandez” at Black Gate.

A Few Words on Structure, Point of View, and Discovery

I once told Delia Sherman that one of the great pleasures of reading her work is the same pleasure I would have purchasing an antique grandfather clock. Maybe I bought the clock because it is gorgeously carved and imbued with history, but then I am delighted to discover over a period of months that it keeps perfect time.

“Perfect time” in that conceit is structure, the mechanics of storytelling. It is, to my mind, the absolute hardest aspect of writing. I can write a funny line or a mordant or trenchant one, but how many of those may I keep and still preserve the pace and measure of the whole? It’s an impossible question to answer in advance of writing, and maybe just plain impossible.

(6) SHATNER COVERS ALL THE BASES. William Shatner does his usual first-rate narrating job on the Major League Baseball Network’s new documentary, The Colorful Montreal Expos, about the National League team that existed from 1969 to 2004 (before moving to Washington D.C., and becoming The Nationals.) Shatner, of course, was born in Canada….

It debuted this week, and should be repeated frequently. Here’s the trailer.

(7) SOURCES OF LOVECRAFTIAN LANGUAGE. Jeffro Johnson has an exposition on “Lovecraft on Lord Dunsany and the King James Bible” at Castalia House blog whose theme is —

So… Lovecraft doesn’t merely encourage writers to study the King James Bible for its “rich and forceful English.” He points out that that Lord Dunsany was among the best (if not the best) because of assimilation of its style– and that lesser writers suffered from not being familiar with it! Given how his politics and beliefs tend to be portrayed, this is liable to be a surprise.

(8) MORE LOVECRAFT ADVICE. Maria Popova’s “H.P. Lovecraft’s Advice to Aspiring Writers: Timeless Counsel from 1920” was Johnson’s inspiration. There are several more interesting quotes in her post.

Much like Jennifer Egan did nearly a century later, Lovecraft stresses the vital osmosis between reading and writing:

No aspiring author should content himself with a mere acquisition of technical rules. … All attempts at gaining literary polish must begin with judicious reading, and the learner must never cease to hold this phase uppermost. In many cases, the usage of good authors will be found a more effective guide than any amount of precept. A page of Addison or of Irving will teach more of style than a whole manual of rules, whilst a story of Poe’s will impress upon the mind a more vivid notion of powerful and correct description and narration than will ten dry chapters of a bulky textbook.

(9) FINLAY OBIT. SF Site News reports actor Frank Finlay (1926-2016) died January 31.

One of his earliest roles was in the six-episode sf series Target Luna (1960). (He did not appear in the three sequels.)

Fans probably know him best as Porthos in Richard Lester’s The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers, and The Return of the Musketeers.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • January 31, 1936The Green Hornet made its radio debut.
  • January 31, 1961 — NASA launched a rocket carrying Ham the Chimp into space.

(11) ARCHIE ON TV. Jackson McHenry of Vulture spins the announcement of Greg Berlant’s new Riverdale series this way — “The CW Orders an Archie Pilot That Will Finally Answer the Question: What If Everyone in Riverdale Were Really Hot?”

According to Variety, Riverdale will offer a “surprising and subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends, exploring the surrealism of small town life — the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome façade.” Substitute “Riverdale” for “Lumberton” and this is also the plot of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet.

(12) A FOURTH HELPING OF DOGS. Jim C. Hines returns to a subject he has studied closely in “Puppies, Redux”, but I’m compelled to ask — if a Middle-Earth blogger wrote, “So far the new ringbearer has been doing a better job,” would you feel reassured?

Predictions:

I don’t know for certain what’s going to happen this year. My personal opinion, for whatever it’s worth, is that there’s been so much hatred and nastiness surrounding Sad Puppies that it’s all but impossible to run a “clean” recommendations list under that brand. That said, SP4 seems to be genuinely trying for openness and to escape last year’s nastiness. Props to the organizers for that, and I hope it continues.

Given everything that went down in 2015, I don’t expect the Sad and Rapid Puppy groups to have as much influence on the final ballot. I imagine they’ll get some nominees from their lists onto the ballot, but it won’t be the same kind of shutout we saw in 2015.

(13) YEP, THAT’S MY PUBLISHER. G. Willow Wilson, the writer of Ms Marvel, talks about the whole Marvel CEO-donating-to-Trump thing that was on yesterday’s scroll.

In an ordinary election cycle, I’d say that when the CEO of an entertainment company supports a conservative candidate while also fostering diverse creative talent within his company, it is a sign of a healthy democracy. Being a Republican is not a crime. However, this is not an ordinary election cycle, and Trump is not an ordinary Republican. The irony that Ms Marvel was launched on Perlmutter’s watch–while Donald Trump would like to prevent Muslims from even entering the United States–was not lost on the mainstream media, nor on me.

(14) NEWS IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR. Let me be the last to report that William Shatner played the role of Mark Twain in an episode of Murdoch Mysteries aired in October 2015 on Canadian television. Here’s the behind-the-scenes preview.

When Twain’s life is threatened after a controversial speaking engagement at the Empire Club of Canada in 1903 Toronto, Detective Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) and his colleagues must protect the esteemed writer.

 

[Thanks to Soon Lee, lurkertype, snowcrash, John King Tarpinian, and James H. Burns for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]

234 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/31/16 May the Pixels Be Ever in Your Scroll

  1. I have been thinking about Standback’s conundrum as to what category Downfall belongs in. I think Related Work is right because what it really is, is a worldbuilding tool, based in part on research. A meta-fictional work.

  2. It still seems odd – one might even say weird – to me that one can write a webcomic for several years, self-publish a successful and acclaimed novel, and only become eligible for the Campbell by virtue of signing a publishing deal with one of the Big Five to produce a print version of the previously-electronic-only novel.

    Ehhh, I’d be wary of “making a webcomic” counting toward Campbell eligibility. If webcomic creators were routinely nominated for the Campbell award, then fine. But I don’t think anyone’s ever gotten nominated based on webcomic writing.

    As for the self-publishing, that argument feels pretty solid to me. I’m not sure if the eligibility guidelines for “Best New Writer” have kept apace with the rise of self-publishing lately.

  3. I’m sort of confused about how it’s a clever stratagem to get your followers to nominate someone who might very well get a nomination anyway (e.g. Andy Weir). I mean, say Andy Weir gets on the list, and all the SJWs and their pathetic minions just say, “Oh yeah, I voted for that guy, I liked that Martian thing” rather than realizing they are once again pinned under the mighty thumb of UltraCleverness? I mean, one might as well just be kind of… irrelevant and… and boring…

    I mean, I realize one idea may be that the evil SJW cabal will then be forced to NA someone they like, but since that didn’t work with Guardians of the Galaxy, well, that would be kind of a stupid idea, non?

  4. I have to say that not even the scholars who put together the KKV could manage to render all of it in beautiful prose and poetry; those interminable lists were potent sleep aids for the congregation. Unfortunately those of us stuck with actually having to read those particular lessons aloud could not benefit from it; falling asleep at the lectern was frowned on.

    I must say that if I had grown up with the God of the most recent translations I would never have become a Christian in the first place. Any god who instructed that peace is confined to those he favours is not a God that I can get behind. ..

  5. Isn’t the King James Bible the one with the line “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”? I have friends who still get harassed due to that quote, so I’m afraid the beauty of the language is a bit lost on me.

  6. L: I mean, I realize one idea may be that the evil SJW cabal will then be forced to NA someone they like, but since that didn’t work with Guardians of the Galaxy, well, that would be kind of a stupid idea, non?

    And yet there are Puppy comments all over the place — including right there on VD’s Best New Writer post — gleefully saying exactly that: “Let’s nominate something they like! Then they’ll be FORCED to No Award it!!!”

    … apparently because those Puppies cannot conceive of anyone following their own conscience and preferences, instead of mindlessly following some party line.

    Darwin Award candidates, the lot of ’em.

  7. Hmm. Not only is the KJV more elegantly written, it’s gender-neutral, too. 😉

    2 Kings 2:23-24 – King James Version (KJV)

    23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. 24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

    vs.

    2 Kings 2:23-24 – New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

    23 He went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, ‘Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead!’ 24 When he turned round and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.

  8. @Rose Embolism – Isn’t the King James Bible the one with the line “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”? I have friends who still get harassed due to that quote, so I’m afraid the beauty of the language is a bit lost on me.

    Er. Perhaps the problem isn’t in the KJV but in the people using random lines as an excuse to harass others.

    @L – I mean, I realize one idea may be that the evil SJW cabal will then be forced to NA someone they like, but since that didn’t work with Guardians of the Galaxy, well, that would be kind of a stupid idea, non?

    You are talking about VD and other people who think VD is an evil genius. Don’t expect much.

  9. I think that Best Novella is going to be pretty strong this year. I mean, even if you limited yourself to Tor.Com (Note: don’t do that) you have

    Binti
    Sorcerer of the WIldeeps
    The Builders
    Envy of Angels
    Witches of Lychford
    The Drowning Eyes

    and my personal favorite, Sunset Mantle.

  10. @Cheryl, well, I was really hoping for some elaborate mustache-twirling, but this just seems kinda half-assed.

  11. @L

    @Cheryl, well, I was really hoping for some elaborate mustache-twirling, but this just seems kinda half-assed.

    I’m told that understanding Theodore Beale is just like getting VD. I suspect it leads to insanity too.

    😉

  12. It will be fun to see the Elks push forward VDs picks in categories that they simultaneously will argue no longer exist as they’ve been burnt down.

  13. @L, unfortunately for those of us who appreciate competent villainy, the mustache twirling doesn’t reach even halfway to the level of Snidely Whiplash.

    @Greg Hullender – I’m told that understanding Theodore Beale is just like getting VD.

    That is giving credit where it isn’t due. I believe it’s more like poison oak, which is irritating and ugly but eventually clears up on its own.

  14. @Mike Glyer:

    Weir said on Reddit — On social issues I am very liberal, as you can probably expect from me growing up in the Bay Area. But on fiscal matters I’m conservative.

    In other words, he thinks gay people should be able to marry, but they shouldn’t be able to retire.

  15. This will be relevant, I promise.

    Whenever I notice that my blog has been getting hits from one of the Puppy websites, it is almost always that someone has linked to it in outrage over one of my reviews of Correia’s Grimnoir series. Today, someone on Hoyt’s blog linked to it because they were very angry that I had pointed out that zeppelins and dirigibles are completely impractical vehicles – which is a true statement. Their anger seems to stem from the fact that zeppelins and dirigibles have actually existed, which is an entirely different question from whether they were practical.

    For the record, they aren’t, and history shows this. The Germans built many zeppelins before and during World War I, and they had almost no impact on the war. They were too vulnerable when flying low enough to be effectively used for observation or bombing, and when they flew high enough to be safe, they weren’t useful. The German navy used them to patrol the North Sea, but in 1915 they were only able to patrol about a third of the days in the year, and even less in the years after that. They did some bombing attacks on London and Paris, but damage was trivial and the casualties caused were minimal. After the war, the zeppelin company built a total of 18 zeppelins between 1918 and 1938, more than one of which crashed. The U.S. and Britain built some airships to see if they could be used as military assets, but each nation only built a handful, and they were both dangerous to operate (the U.S. military had multiple airship crashes), and not particularly useful when compared to airplanes.

    But according to the brain trust of Hoyt’s commentariat, I am ignorant of history because there were airships in the 1930s, and therefore my pointing out that having them dominate the skies in the Grimnoir series is kind of silly is evidence of my stupidity. But what makes this relevant is that when one of them asked if someone had “set me straight” on history by telling me airships existed, another said that it would be useless, because I post on File 770, and like all posters here, I am double plus unsmart.

    So, the Pups managed to attack me for not knowing history by displaying their own lack of knowledge about history and throw in a dig at every File 770 regular at the same time. Good times.

  16. ’m sort of confused about how it’s a clever stratagem to get your followers to nominate someone who might very well get a nomination anyway (e.g. Andy Weir).

    You’re confused because you’ve forgotten that all conditions are victory conditions to VD. If Andy Weir gets nominated, it’s a victory for VD, who got him nominated! If Andy Weir does not get nominated, it’s a victory for VD, whose recommendation necessarily “fooled” all those SJWs into not nominating him! If Andy Weir is abducted by aliens, it’s a victory condition for VD! If Andy Weir turns out to be a Kardashian in disguise, it’s a victory condition for VD! Etc., etc.

  17. @ Aaron:

    So, the Pups managed to attack me for not knowing history by displaying their own lack of knowledge about history and throw in a dig at every File 770 regular at the same time.

    IOW, no change there.

  18. Rose Embolism: Isn’t the King James Bible the one with the line “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”?

    The King James Version usually gets the blame for that one, due to King James’s obsession with witches (it’s said) directly contributing to a mistranslation of the Greek word for “poisoner.” However, the translation is evidently a lot older than that; I’m pretty sure the Wycliffe Bible (1385) has a similar passage, at least.

    That said, it’s also entirely possible that the KJV translators were working with earlier translations, picking and choosing among them, and of course the KJV was immensely influential on all following readings (hence this discussion).

  19. Microtherion: In other words, he thinks gay people should be able to marry, but they shouldn’t be able to retire.

    I’d like a refund of the IQ points I lost reading this.

    And speaking in general, I can’t believe how persistent this kind of signalling is (I see it on FB every day) — “Here’s somebody with a view I disagree with, so I will pretend it’s logical they must also believe some absurd thing I’m going to attribute to them, and together we’ll all pretend this was a clever thing I said.”

  20. If Andy Weir is abducted by aliens, it’s a victory condition for VD! If Andy Weir turns out to be a Kardashian in disguise, it’s a victory condition for VD!

    Actually, both of these would be hilarious. Unless you’re Andy Weir, of course.

    Meanwhile, here in the year 7346 it is historical fact that Andy Weir was a Kardashian in disguise who was abducted by aliens back in 2016 only for the alien emperor to fall madly in love with him, which led to the founding of the great Weirdashian empire.

    Vox Day or rather his preserved head in a jar still insists that this was his plan all along. Though these days no one listens to him, since he or rather the jar containing his preserved head is sitting on a shelf in a forgotten subbasement store room of the central museum of the great Weirdashian empire.

  21. @alexvdl: Yes, Sunset Mantle is pretty interesting (though not among my top 5). One review I read pointed out that it’s unusual to have a heroic fantasy where the rules to live by are couched in terms of law. True I think, and yet, they are also religious rules because in the society depicted, law and religion speak with one voice and govern the same spheres of life. As seen through the eyes of the hero Cete, the theocracy is a benign one; he is pious, he is certain the law is just, and he never sees any conflict between faith, justice, and the law. (I wonder if his wife Marelle is fully accepting of the fact that she’s cast out of society after losing her eyesight, since religion dictates that imperfect people cannot be full members of the congregation. Unfortunately, we never see much of Marelle’s mind in this story outside a limited range of interactions with Cete.) “Honor” is another force governing people’s actions in this society and appears to be somewhat orthogonal to law. The story revolves around the fact that Cete does still have choices open to him even though he is perfectly obedient to the law. There are various courses of action that would be both honorable and lawful, some easier than others; Cete is a heroic figure because he often chooses the hard way for the sake of other people.

    This is also a nice love story, but not a fully satisfying romance in my opinion because the depiction of Marelle is a little under-developed, apart from her being pretty near perfect. She is only shown when she affects Cete in some way. He has little curiosity about her daily life, or the author does. Furthermore she is apparently almost miraculously unhampered by the loss of her sight; it would have been nice if she had been shown coming up with ways to work around difficulties, instead of Cete just marveling at how well she does. It is nice that she and Cete have a collaborative relationship where they discuss decision-making and support each other; true, Cete often wishes he could protect Marelle but he restrains himself from getting in the way of her decisions.

    So, good dilemma-in-cultural-context, decent character writing, good battle scenes, and a happy ending. An above-average pleasant book.

  22. Rev. Bob:It still seems odd – one might even say weird – to me that one can write a webcomic for several years, self-publish a successful and acclaimed novel, and only become eligible for the Campbell by virtue of signing a publishing deal with one of the Big Five to produce a print version of the previously-electronic-only novel.

    Weird yes, though not quite as bad as you make out. To be eligible you have to meet any one of three criteria:
    – the 10, 000 print run,
    – eligible according to SFWA rules,
    – or payment of at least 3 cents/word, minimum $50.

    But it’s why the Campbell is Not-A-Hugo: the rules for it are not set out by the WSFS, but by Dell Magazines (Analog, Asimov’s) who get to make the rules.

    The rule change in 2005 caused a fuss when it relaxed eligibility *and* made the new rule apply retroactively: in one stroke, some writers went from not-yet-eligible to no-longer-eligible.

  23. @Laura Resnick: Andy Weir has been stranded here ever since his expedition from the planet Kardash was destroyed by a sandstorm.

    @Aaron: there you go again – ruining cool airships with little things like ‘facts’ and ‘reality’

  24. Aaron: Their anger seems to stem from the fact that zeppelins and dirigibles have actually existed, which is an entirely different question from whether they were practical. For the record, they aren’t, and history shows this… But according to the brain trust of Hoyt’s commentariat, I am ignorant of history because there were airships in the 1930s, and therefore my pointing out that having them dominate the skies in the Grimnoir series is kind of silly is evidence of my stupidity.

    Darwin Award candidates, the lot of ’em.

  25. Microtherion: In other words, he thinks gay people should be able to marry, but they shouldn’t be able to retire.

    Mike Glyer: I’d like a refund of the IQ points I lost reading this.

    I agree with Mike. Andy’s description of himself is that of a ‘typical’ Republican of 30-40 years ago. I consider myself one, as well. It’s not our fault that the GOP decided to succumb to the prion disease of the ‘Southern Strategy’ and ‘tinkle down economics’ and the rest of the crap brought into the body politic by the rtfckers. (Quoting Charlie Pierce. If you don’t read him you should.)

    ‘Fiscal conservatism’ does NOT mean ‘screw the worker and give all the money to the 1/10th of 1%’ I would be content with the tax rates of the Reagan era. What we have happening now is pure greedy plutocracy.

    Not that it matters, but I am in the 1%, and I really don’t want my niece and nephew and their kids living in the badly run third world country we are devolving into.

    Rick Snyder of Michigan should be in a jail cell on bread and Flint River Water. Not bitching because people demonstrate their anger at him while he eats at a fine restaurant in Ann Arbor.

  26. Today’s reading: Slade House by David Mitchell

    There’s good stuff in here, especially Mitchell’s usual extremely deft hand with characterization. Nonetheless, I have to say that this feels like a shorter, less in-depth, less interesting retread of his previous book The Bone Clocks. And, well, I read The Bone Clocks. I loved The Bone Clocks. I’m not sure why I would read “The Bone Clocks, only not nearly as good” when I could just read “The Bone Clocks”.

  27. @Cat

    I have an internet connection that can access r/atheism and freethoughtblogs; I can assure you that far from a “straw atheist” I have if anything downplayed the kind of internet atheism I was referring to. I’ll admit I was wrong about Dawkins; recently, I have seen more of his material on how its the only rational thing to be scared of Scary Muslim immigrants with their strange and different ways – he’s been Wright, or even Trump like. And (as I think I said above) I’m not talking about all atheists, just that vocal internet subspecies.

    Because my original point was that if you’re the person who’s usually cantankerous on the internet (Jethro Johnson) reading up on Lovecraft, also famous on the internet, often amongst the people I described above. In that context, Jethro’s “surprise! Lovecraft loved the KJV” might seem surprising, do to that set of circumstances. If you see the “burn it all” crowd regularly, and you’re predisposed towards the siege mentality, his surprise makes sense.

    More broadly thought, the Jethro thing reminded me of a interview I heard on Geeks Guide To The Galaxy with an author who had written a book on the Satanic panic of the 1980s. One of his points was that Gygax had heavily mined the Hebrew Scriptures for being scary antagonists; yet many of the fundamentalists fulminating about Satinism completely missed that fact. To the point where they were fulminating about the non-Christian origin of many things that are in fact in their Old Testaments.

  28. @Kyra: Thanks for your thoughts on Slade House. It’s a little disappointing to hear it’s a retread of The Bone Clocks but I’m still looking forward to reading this in hardcover when I get back to the UK this year.

  29. Oooh, my first credit on a Pixel Scroll! How exciting! Brightens up a winter Monday, let me tell you. And for the FIRST story (almost as good as fifth). And despite the ridiculously uninformed and biased press coverage of the platform, I’d like to point out that I was the first to read this tidbit on my Google Plus account. G+: It’s Facebook minus the stupid.

    (2) Very funny, builds to an even funnier ending.

    (3) That’s going to perk up this year’s ceremony.

    (4) Perfection. I LOL at their Lex casting.

    (7) Sure, it’s a great work of English literature, but most people just write pastiches of it, which leads to turgid, over-florid prose. But familiarity with it doesn’t mean the atheist Lovecraft was secretly a God-botherer; it means he was an educated man of his generation. Which isn’t a surprise to anyone except maybe Jeffro.

    (13) Very good response, and her suggested alternate charity sounds good.

    Maybe JCW should try unflowering his language and just say what he means directly. Obviously he’s not so modestly finest at the authoring if everyone but his wife is interpreting it wrongly. Dumb it down for us, John. Maybe we’ll stop thinking you’re a homophobic, misogynistic, bigoted, lousy excuse for a Christian if we can understand you at first glance. Or not. ¯\_(?)_/¯ (And try getting the Morlock/Eloi comparison the right way around)

    We shouldn’t point out when Teddy slates something that’s ineligible. Because then he’ll just pick some other piece of crap. Let’s let him 4GW a whole bunch of ineligible stuff onto his slate and then laugh at him when it’s disqualified and real nominees make it in.

    @Lexica: I am going to make one of those someday, sa sa.

    @Laura Resnick: “If Andy Weir turns out to be a Kardashian in disguise” that’ll liven up the ceremony considerably. Ain’t nobody going to be talking about Puppies if that happens.

    The true and proper use for airships is to hover above outdoor sporting events as camera platforms/advertisements.

  30. @Aaron

    Today, someone on Hoyt’s blog linked to it because they were very angry that I had pointed out that zeppelins and dirigibles are completely impractical vehicles – which is a true statement. Their anger seems to stem from the fact that zeppelins and dirigibles have actually existed, which is an entirely different question from whether they were practical.

    Just to play the devil’s advocate for a moment, what is the difference between a reader objecting to the extensive use of zeppelins and a reader objecting to female characters that routinely compete physically with men in a combat environment?

    Both are story elements that run counter to science and experience. Yet both of my current reads (Truthwitch and Dragon Lords) feature female characters that are competent in physical combat. Both have made modest nods to reality in terms of weapons choice and combat styles, but female characters are consistently engaging in physical combat at a level that isn’t otherwise “realistic”.**

    I’ve not wandered through any of Mr. Correia’s work, so perhaps the plot has enough other holes to render suspension of disbelief a much harder task.

    Regards,
    Dann

    **And yes I have heard about those fine young women that recently passed the US Army Ranger school. They are exceptional in every sense of the word.

  31. I have a lovely image of Andy Weir consoling himself with a pile of money and thank you notes from the people who got Golden Globes and Oscars off the movie they made from his book. He will be okay.

    I am half wondering whether to still nominate Weir. I’m guessing that it will be easy to get a good ballpark estimate of the size of the various slates, a good deal like last year. If Weir has a damn sight more votes than the other Puppies, I get the feeling that his nomination will feel much more real, much less asterix-y, if he has a considerably larger than puppy vote total – that he got the support of some people of independent judgment and not just Beale’s troopers.

  32. Just to play the devil’s advocate for a moment, what is the difference between a reader objecting to the extensive use of zeppelins

    The point I was making in my review of the book wasn’t that though. The premise of the books is that magical people start cropping up some time in the 19th century, and by the 1930s, there are lots of them. People with super strength, the ability to manipulate gravity, and other powers run around – including people who have a magical understanding of engineering. My objection was to the fact that the only real change in the technology of the world seems to be the existence of zeppelins as the dominant form of air transport (to the extent that some people are openly dismissive of airplanes), despite the fact that there is no explanation as to why the wildly impractical airships are suddenly practical because people with magical powers are running around.

    In later books in the series there is a stab at explaining this, because some people have the ability to manipulate fire, and all of the zeppelins are supposed to have one on them in order to prevent their hydrogen from combusting, but that’s only one of the problems zeppelins have that made them not as useful as airplanes (especially as combat aircraft), and really wasn’t the biggest flaw that made them impractical. My criticism of the airship ubiquity was a world-building criticism more than anything else.

  33. Dann: what is the difference between a reader objecting to the extensive use of zeppelins and a reader objecting to female characters that routinely compete physically with men in a combat environment?

    JJ: …

    < -100 Credibility >

  34. Late to the party ‘cuz I was up all last night, so I slept part of today away

    @Paul: LOL! I was going to continue with…

    They were all impressed with Castalia House
    And the people that you knew at Baen

    …then realize I was writing it from the opposite end as you were, whoops.

    @Kip W: Puppy food – it’s what’s for dinner. Plus, it’s also a dessert topping and a floor wax. I could go on. 😉

    @Bitty: Wait, they’re still publishing new 2015 books? I thought this was 2016? 😉 (Kidding!)

  35. Any chance of an EXPANSE/RAD’CHAI xover, ANCILLARY PROTOMOLECULE ?

    Or a fourth vol to the ANC trilogy, ANCILLARY FIFTH! ?

  36. Dann: Women have always gone to war. I helped prepare an ebook for Project Gutenberg which was a book written a couple of years after the American Civil War, and contains this frustrating paragraph:

    The number of women who actually bore arms in the war, or who, though generally attending a regiment as nurses and vivandiéres, at times engaged in the actual conflict was much larger than is generally supposed, and embraces persons of all ranks of society. Those who from whatever cause, whether romance, love or patriotism, and all these had their influence, donned the male attire and concealed their sex, are hardly entitled to a place in our record, since they did not seek to be known as women, but preferred to pass for men; but aside from these there were not a few who, without abandoning the dress or prerogatives of their sex, yet performed skillfully and well the duties of the other.

    The authors clearly knew about quite a few women who passed as male soldiers, but don’t, alas, tell us about them, being more concerned by women in the various Ladies Aid Societies during the war. Though they do go on to tell us about several nurses and vivandiéres, aka female regimental mascots, who took up arms openly upon occasion.

  37. Oneiros on February 1, 2016 at 7:01 pm said:

    @Kyra: Thanks for your thoughts on Slade House. It’s a little disappointing to hear it’s a retread of The Bone Clocks but I’m still looking forward to reading this in hardcover when I get back to the UK this year.

    It’s not a retread exaclty, more like a variation on the same theme but with less of the watching-society-change-over-time-and-beyond and more of the soul-sucking-psychic-vampires*. Personally I enjoyed the Bone Clocks more but I thought Slade House was fun as snack-sized Mitchell and also scarier.

    *{proportionally – in terms of net weight it is probably a similar amount of soul-sucking-psychic-vampires]

  38. airships = alternate reality

    This is well known surely and also a handy guide to any of us who may find themselves sucked into a parallel universe. If I wake up in unusual circumstances I always check the sky for airships just in case.

  39. @Camestros

    Alternatehistory.com has a list of its own tropes on this topic. Along the lines of “Everything is Cooler With Airships,” or “Motherf*cking Zeppelins,” or “Byzantine Zeppelins” to really combine a few. Point being, airship.

    Even though there as, or more, vulnerable to having holes poked in them as others ships. Whilst being made of stretched cloth, and not steel, or even armor plated steel.

    @Dann

    FFS.

  40. TheYoungPretender on February 1, 2016 at 8:23 pm said:

    @Camestros

    Alternatehistory.com has a list of its own tropes on this topic. Along the lines of “Everything is Cooler With Airships,” or “Motherf*cking Zeppelins,” or “Byzantine Zeppelins” to really combine a few. Point being, airship.

    Just checking for airships in the sky right now – just in case. Nope, same reality just a little bit more weird.

  41. @Dann – **And yes I have heard about those fine young women that recently passed the US Army Ranger school. They are exceptional in every sense of the word.

    I appears to be my day to point out the obvious: The men who pass Ranger school (or are otherwise highly competent in combat situations) are also exceptional. So, perhaps when you’re reading about men, women, aliens, people who haven’t chosen a gender expression, walruses, or other creatures that are highly competent in combat environments, you could just assume they’re all atypical.

  42. @Camestros: Okay, that still sounds fun. In my opinion, average Mitchell is still better than a lot of other stuff out there anyway. 🙂

    Re women in war: the onna-bugeisha probably deserve a mention.

    ETA: These folks are the reason I would love to learn how to use a naginata when I’m next in Japan. Swords are fun but bows, naginata and yari are what people should be looking at when they think of samurai. (I say this as someone who has had a lot of fun over the last few years training with swords – they are awesome and fun to use but they’re not what samurai would’ve used on the battlefield, unless they had no other choice)

  43. Dann on February 1, 2016 at 7:24 pm said:

    Both are story elements that run counter to science and experience.

    Hee! Dann, that would better be stated as “run counter to my personal experience and expectations.”

    In my younger days, when I studied aikijutsu, I had about a foot and at least a hundred pounds on one of my instructors. Monica liked me as a partner because a) I knew how to fall and b) tried to hit her when she asked. I never landed a blow but I got better at falling…

    In my experience there’s at least one female cop that was good at fighting and liked it enough to practice and teach in her off hours. Don’t claim it’s scientific knowledge though.

  44. Didn’t finish posting comments, whoops.

    @Mary Frances: Good commentary, thanks for posting that! I was nodding as I read what you wrote about novels, novellas, story lengths, etc.

    @L: I’m a bit disconcerted that a comment I saw at Fail Fandom seemed to say the person would No Award things that they had planned to nominate, because slate. This is beyond how I’d do things. I won’t accept slates as a poison pill.

    @emgrasso: I don’t understand ignoring award criteria. If you don’t feel Weir’s Campbell-worthy, or you have 5 people you’d rate better then him, fair enough. Beyond that, I just don’t get it. (Not that I have to get it. 😉 )

    BTW am I the only one who keeps typing “Weird” for “Weir,” or “Weir’d” for “Weird’s” – gah, did it again – I mean “Weir’d” for “Weir’s”? My fingers want to type a word I know, I guess. Silly fingers!

    @Heather Rose Jones: I tend to think of the Campbell eligibility window as being wide (two years, unlike most person- and work-based awards), not narrow, but I see what you mean. IIRC, Kowal’s Campbell was unusual because it was based on short ficton. (Or am I misremembering it coming before her novel was out?)

    @Stevie: I wouldn’t read Locus recs (designed for their own Award) as saying anything about Hugo eligibility. But Cogman’s eligible and will be so again next year, methinks, based on this from the Hugo Awards site. (I encourage reading the whole section, BTW.)

    Because a large proportion of the people who nominate on the Hugo Awards reside in the USA, and because those people often do not get to see works first published outside the USA until those works get US publication, WSFS extends the eligibility of works first published outside the USA. Works published in prior years outside of the USA are eligible if they were published for the first time in the USA in the current year.

    ETA: I think someone may already have commented re. Cogman, in which case, sorry! I usually edit my comments before posting, after catching up on comments, but I forgot to post these and may be repeating someone else. If so, apologies.

  45. Ebook deal! A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly, which sounds groovy to me and has been on my RADAR for quite a while now, just came out and is on sale for $2.99. It’s from Saga Press, so it’s DRM-free. I should read the sample first, but I may just snap it up. Must…control…impulse…buying…habits… ghouhwefiuhdfaskjlhaewrjqpoi. [control lost] [ebook purchase imminent] [send help] [don’t alert my spouse]

  46. @Bravo Lima Poppa: I’ve been dismantled by women in karate and wing chun. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s ever trained in a martial art that women can excel at fighting.

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