Pixel Scroll 1/5/17 But You Scroll One Lousy Pixel….


(1) WWCD? Cody Christensen of Cedar City, Utah has a petition on Change.org  called “Make Leia an Official Disney Princess” which requests that Disney induct Princess Leia into the pantheon of princesses and that some sort of ceremony for Carrie Fisher be held at a Disney theme park.  He has over 40,000 signatures.

After the tragic lose of Carrie Fisher, we feel that it is only fitting for Disney to do away with the rule that an official Disney princess must be animated and make Leia a full-fledged princess. This would be a wonderful way to remember Carrie and a welcoming to one of Disney’s new properties that is beloved by millions.

What we are asking is that the Walt Disney Corporation hold a full ceremony inducting Leia as the newest Disney princess as well as a special service in memory of Carrie Fisher.

Christensen told Geek how he got the idea for the petition.

“I started the petition because it was something that bugged me since Disney bought the property. Disney had princesses and Leia was a Princess. Then I found out that Disney had set rules for who could and couldn’t be a princess. (Supercarlin brothers video) With Carrie’s death, I think that it’s time to change the rules.”…

“I actually have 5 daughters and there are constantly princess movies playing in the background.” he said “We are big fans of the current Princess line-up, but I think that Leia is a really strong, positive, awesome role model for my girls, and she would make a great addition.”

(2) SPEAKING OF DISNEY PRINCESSES. Abigail Nussbaum reviews Moana, The Lobster, Star Trek Beyond and Lalaland at Asking the Wrong Questions.

Moana – Disney’s latest attempt to reinvent the princess movie takes two novel approaches: drawing on Polynesian folklore and mythology for its story, and recruiting Hamilton wunderkind Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the film’s songs.  Heroine Moana (Auli’l Cravalho) is torn between her duties as the daughter of the village chief and her desire to roam the seas, but finds herself able to gratify both desires when she’s tasked with restoring the heart of creation goddess Te Fiti, aided by Maui (Dwayne Johnson), the demigod who originally stole it.  The plot is thus a picaresque, in which Moana and Maui encounter various dangers and challenges on their journey to Te Fiti, during which they also bond and help each other overcome their hang-ups.  It’s a similar structure to Tangled–still, to my mind, the best of the modern princess movies–but Moana lacks that film’s multiple intersecting plot strands and broad cast of characters, and ends up feeling simpler and more straightforward.  What it does have is genuinely stunning animation, especially where it draws on the scenery of the Pacific islands and the iconography of Polynesian cultures, and some excellent songs by Miranda, which pay homage to both the Disney and musical theater traditions while still retaining entirely their own flavor–I’m particularly fond of a scene in which Moana and Maui encounter a giant, jewel-encrusted lobster (Jemaine Clement), who sings a David Bowie-inspired glam-rock ballad, and then complains that no one likes him as much as The Little Mermaid‘s Sebastian.  But pretty much every song here is excellent and memorable in its own right.

(3) TAIL-GUNNER LOU. “Is there a blacklist?” asks Lou Antonelli, because the rejection slips he gets now are not quite as warm as they once were.

A colleague asked me the other day if I felt there is a blacklist in literary s-f against non-PC writers.

I replied I don’t know, there’s no way to tell for sure; that’s the nature of a blacklist – it’s a conspiracy.

I will say that before 2015, when I was a double Sad Puppy Hugo nominee, my rejections almost always included invitations to submit to that market again.

Now, that is very uncommon, and in fact almost all my rejections now end with “best of luck” or “good luck with your writing” – and no encouragement to submit again.

Someone wrote anonymously to encourage Lou’s suspicions, inspiring a follow-up post decorated with a photo of Senator Joe McCarthy:

I don’t often approve anonymous comments, but I did in this one case, since it sounded true, and given the subject matter, it’s completely understandable why someone would prefer to remain anonymous:

“Day after the election, when I posted a picture of myself with a Trump hat, a famous editor of whom almost anyone would know her name, had her assistant message me to tell me how awful I am, that I’m not going to be invited to write in anthologies again, coupled with the threat that the publishing industry is small and word travels fast.

“Blackballing is real. But you are not alone.”

(4) BUMPER CROP. Mark-kitteh noticed that after SFCrowsnest’s brutal review of Uncanny Magazine #14 yesterday, Uncanny’s editors made some lemonade:

(5) UTES READ GEEZERS. At Young People Read Old SFF, James Davis Nicoll has set the table with Miriam Allen DeFord’s “The Smiling Future”.

Miriam Allen de Ford was a prolific author of both mysteries and Fortean-flavoured science fiction stories. She was also an active feminist, disseminating information about family planning in a time when that was illegal in many regions. Although widely anthologized while alive , since her death she seems to have lapsed into obscurity, at least on the SF side of thing. A pity.

“The Smiling Future” is perhaps not de Ford’s best known science fiction work but it does have the advantage of being on the internet archive, not true of much of her work (because her work was mainly for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, none of which is on the archive). Also, it has dolphins and who doesn’t like dolphins? Selecting it out of all the de Fords I could have selected is therefore something of a calculated risk. Will the risk pay off?

There was enough of a positive reaction to get a good discussion going.

(5) WARNING. It takes a long time to stop laughing at Camestros Felapton’s “A Poster for Timothy”.

(6) SECOND WARNING. Not that Camestros Felapton won’t be a nominee for his work published in 2016, but the first thing he should put in his Hugo eligibility post from 2017 is “A Cat Reviews LaLaLand. Quite funny, though beware, spoilers abound! …I read it anyway.

(7) PUPPY THOUGHTS. Brian Niemeier  L.Jagi Lamplighter is delighted to be part of SuperversiveSF’s new collection Forbidden Thoughts, which boasts a foreword by Milo Yiannopoulos.

But what can you do with a super controversial story in this age of safe spaces and trigger warnings?

Then, in the midst of the Sad Puppy fervor, I caught a glimmer of an answer. Jason Rennie, editor of Sci Phi Journal and the brilliant mind behind SuperverisveSF, suggested in the midst of a flurry of Sad Puppy emails, that the authors involved get together and do an anthology of anti-PC stories, kind of a modern Dangerous Visions–putting into story form all those thoughts that the SJWs don’t want people to think. Basically, doing what SF is supposed to do, posing difficult questions.

Those of us on the email chain decided on the title: Forbidden Thoughts.

I LOVED this idea. Here was my answer to what to do with my controversial story.

So, I kept on Jason about this, and I kept on the other authors. When a few were too busy to be able to fit writing a new short story into their schedule, I convinced them to submit incendiary blog posts.

So we now had a volume with stories by, among others, John, Nick Cole, Brian Niemeier, Josh Young, Brad Torgersen, Sarah Hoyt, and, a particularly delightful surprise for me, our young Marine fan friend, Pierce Oka. Plus, non fiction by Tom Kratman and Larry Correia submitted some of his original Sad Puppy posts–the thing that started it all!

(8) THE FORBIDDEN ZONE. There probably are a few things The Book Smuggler would like to forbid: “The Airing of Grievances – Smugglivus 2016”

In publishing and on Twitter, advocates for equality, feminists, poc readers and authors were attacked left and right every time they called out racism and sexism in publishing. And folks, there was a lot of that this year. Like that one time when a publisher had a book of “parody” covers that was so racist it almost made our eyes bleed. White authors continued to be awful and show their asses, like that one who said that those who call out cultural appropriation are getting “too precious.” And just a few days ago, we all found out that racist nazi piece of shit Milo Yiannopoulos got a huge book deal with a major publishing house…


Born January 5, 1914 — George Reeves, TV’s first Superman.

(10) SOMETHING TERPSICHOREAN. Sparknotes explains Bradbury’s dedication of Something Wicked This Way Comes.

In “A Brief Afterword,” Bradbury explains why Something Wicked This Way Comes is dedicated to Gene Kelly and describes how the book was written. Bradbury met Gene Kelly in 1950 and they became friends shortly thereafter. In 1955 Kelly invited Bradbury and his wife, Maggie, to a private screening of his “collection of musical dance numbers with no connecting plotline,” Invitation to the Dance, at MGM studios. Bradbury and his wife walked home and along the way he told his wife that he desperately wanted to work with Kelly. She suggested that he go through his stories until he found something that would work, turn it into a screenplay, and send it to Gene Kelly. So Bradbury looked through many of his short stories and found The Black Ferris, a ten page story about two young boys and a carnival. For a little over a month he worked on the story and then gave Gene Kelly the eighty page outline of a script that he had created. Mr. Kelly called Bradbury the next day to tell him that he wanted to direct the movie and asked for permission to find financing in Paris and London. Although Bradbury gave his assent, Gene Kelly returned without a financer because no one wanted to make the movie. Bradbury took the partial screenplay, at the time titled Dark Carnival, and over the next five years turned it into the novel Something Wicked This Way Comes that was published in 1962. As Bradbury writes at the end of his afterword, the book is dedicated to Gene Kelly because if he had not invited Bradbury to that screening of his movie, then Something Wicked This May Comes may never have been written. When the book was published, Bradbury gave the first copy to Gene Kelly.

(11) CALLING ALL CARLS. An emergency session of internet scholars has convened at Camestros Felapton’s blog to help him identify “That difficult first novel”.

I was stumped by a trivia question which asked: “What was the first novel in English?”

The problem with the question is one of setting boundaries, specifically:

  • What counts as a novel? Do legends count? What about Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur? Is it a novel, a retelling or a purported (if fanciful) attempt at history?
  • What counts as ‘in English’? Does Chaucer’s middle English count? What about Malory’s middle English (which is more like modern English than Chaucer?)
  • Do translations count? Don Quixote is very like a novel, so might the first translation of that into English count?

(12) LOUDSPEAKER FOR THE DEAD. ScienceFiction.com has the story behind this particular effect — “Raising Cushing: New Video Shows Off CGI Work Done To Create ‘Rogue One’ Grand Moff Tarkin”.

Now, for those interested in how exactly they managed to bring Tarkin to life in the film, ABC News has released a new video on Twitter courtesy of ILM (check it out below) showcasing some of the work that went into building Tarkin, that shows in a handful of seconds what clearly took MONTHS of effects work to accomplish, giving us in brief all of the steps necessary to get the character right. They cast a man that already bore a striking resemblance to Peter Cushing, then digitally enhanced his features until he was Peter Cushing, animating all of his moments from that point onward to carry on the illusion.


(13) WHEN SHALL WE THREE MEET AGAIN? A reboot of Charmed is in the works.

The story hails from Jessica O’Toole, Amy Rardin and Snyder Urman with O’Toole and Rardin penning the script.

The original Charmed starred Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Doherty and Rose McGowan. Combs has already tweeted her reaction, saying “We wish them well.” Milano also took to Twitter. “#Charmed fans! There are no fans like you. You’re the best of the best,” she said.

(14) THEY CAME FROM SPACE. Here’s another job that pays more than yours — “These guys hunt for space rocks, and sell them for enormous profit to collectors”.

These ancient meteorites can be older than the Earth itself. The price tag is high: Just 100 grams of Mars rock, enough to fit in the palm of a hand, can demand $100,000.

For help tracking down such rare rocks, private collectors turn to professional meteorite hunters. These adventurers earn their living by crisscrossing the globe, searching for astronomic treasures. The risks are real, including prison and death, but so are the potential rewards — rocks that can be flipped quickly for fortunes.

The man who sold Jurvetson his Mars rock is 44-year-old Michael Farmer. Since the late 1990s, Farmer has traveled to some 80 countries looking for these precious rocks. Perhaps his best-known find is a nearly 120-pound meteorite discovered in Canada, which he and his partners sold to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto for $600,000.

“Any time you dig up a treasure worth more than half a million bucks, it’s a good day,” said Farmer, who works closely colleagues around the world tracking meteorite showers.

This work is not for the faint of heart. In 2011, Farmer was kidnapped, beaten and nearly killed by Kenyan thieves. That same year, he was charged with illegal mining in Oman and imprisoned for two months. Farmer says his motivation is not purely monetary, but rather the thrill of the chase.

(15) GETTING THE POINT ACROSS. After seeing this cover some of you will find it hard to believe I am not the Washington Post’s copyeditor:

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Rose Embolism, JJ, Mark-kitteh, John King Tarpinian, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip Williams.]

167 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/5/17 But You Scroll One Lousy Pixel….

  1. Links of possible interest:
    @15: The Post‘s gaffe makes transAtlantic news.
    Serious stargazing from a hot tub.
    From the CES in Vegas: a vest for the fan who has everything except a place to put it all.
    More on a mysterious astronomical radio signal — certainly not life, but repeating rather than a single event.
    And way OT but gorgeous pictures: a man who traveled the Great Wall of China (and several other major walls) — and the aerials-by-drones his sons took.

  2. And I have just realized that Tepper’s The Family Tree was fix-fic and now I need to go lie down and put a cold cloth over my eyes.

  3. Talking about stories that are too dangerous, I remembered that Ellison had rejected at least one story as too dangerous for Again Dangerous Visions:

    Barry Weissman isn’t here because his submission, a short story about a snot vampire was too vomitous even for me! You want to know what taboo turns me right around: snot vampires. Now pillory the editor for a closed mind.

    Today, through the wonder of the Internet, you can actually read The Cure, by Barry Weissman online for free. Funny, though. It actually seems less objectionable than “The Barn.”

  4. Eli on January 6, 2017 at 11:45 am said:

    (5) Camestros, I’m pretty sure I liked La La Land more than you did, but that poster is hilarious and so is the blog post.

    Anyone who liked the technical and musical aspects of La La Land but thought the story was too uplifting would be well advised to check out the director’s previous movie Whiplash, which I finally got around to seeing. Excellent performances by both leads and lots of great music, and one gigantic trigger warning because about 50% of the movie consists of extreme verbal abuse (whereas 50% consists of intense big-band jazz performances— but those are overlapping percentages, some scenes contain both at once).

    I did actually really like La La Land – in particular, it really did what it was doing REALLY well (if that makes sense). Acting, pacing cinematography, dialogue were all very well done. Also, it really commits to what it is – it is sort of anti-ironic or unironically-ironic. The music was great too – which obviously helps.

    I haven’t seen Whiplash but I’ll look out for it.

  5. In fact, I got a 5 minute harange on how Mulan and Tiana get to be a Disney princess despite not being princesses in their movies and Leia is a real princess

    Well, she wore a dress, but she didn’t have an animal sidekick.

  6. @steve davidson: “to shed SF’s blue nose (aka Campbell’s secretary)”

    Again, Dangerous Visions was published in 1972. Campbell was dead, and as I understand it he hadn’t been representative of the field for some time. There was plenty of sexually frank writing being published throughout the ’60s, notably (though not at all exclusively) associated with the New Wave movement which was already well underway even when the first Dangerous Visions came out.

  7. Hell, the first couple Gor books were already out by then.

    And to change gears utterly, R2-D2 totally counts as a sidekick. Organic bias!

  8. RedWombat, you beat me to it. I was gonna point out the droids as animal sidekicks. (No, I don’t think Chewbacca counts.) Droids, unlike organic sophants, can be legally owned, and barred from establishments….

  9. From the “hope springs eternal” department, the talk of meteorites (and my mention of the Nininger Museum) made me curious about the prices of the currently available copies of his OOP book Find a Falling Star. I see that the cheapest is a paperback at 50 bucks, followed by a fair amount more both in hardback and paperback for under $100, others in the low hundreds. And then there is one a paperback copy for $2000. It makes me wonder–what the heck are people thinking when they list copies of books for vastly more than the prices of the other copies obviously available? (I see that sort of price range often with used books. I managed to get my copy of Find a Falling Star for $20 when there were multiple copies listed in the hundreds.)

  10. Well, she wore a dress, but she didn’t have an animal sidekick.

    “Will somebody get this big walking carpet out of my way?”

  11. It makes me wonder–what the heck are people thinking when they list copies of books for vastly more than the prices of the other copies obviously available?
    I’ve seen the same thing in other books and magazines. I’ve finally decided that it’s some sort of money-laundering scheme. Or they’re trying to inflate the value of their business.

  12. 3, Lou Antonelli : I will say that before 2015, when I was a double Sad Puppy Hugo nominee, my rejections almost always included invitations to submit to that market again.

    Now, that is very uncommon, and in fact almost all my rejections now end with “best of luck” or “good luck with your writing” – and no encouragement to submit again.

    Gee, Lou, do you think it might have something to do with antics like this?

    When he posted the letter, he didn’t mention I’d sent it before he posted his apology. He removed the line about me hearing the podcast. He also added the name of my magazine, and my title. In short, he shared it, but he shared a version of it, that he’d edited. His post garnered 30+ comments from his fans, saying I was a bitch, a tool of the SJW mob, I was retaliating after the fact (of his apology), I was uneducated and unfit to be an editor (because I’m going back to school). The letter was referenced in other conversations he had online (including at File 770), with similar comments.

    At no time did Mr. Antonelli correct anyone, or suggest they stop attacking me, even when some of the comments mentioned looking me up online, researching me, reading my blog, etc.

    By later that same day, I was getting emails which contained both the same sort of comments as had been posted online, and threats of physical violence. (I won’t quote them because I’ve spoken to my local police department and the matter is under investigation.) I contacted Mr. Antonelli, told him specifically that I was receiving threats, and asked him to please ask his fans to stop.

    He never replied.

    I can’t imagine why editors (who can use fucking Google too) might be leary about dealing with you, Lou…

  13. Oh dear pantheon of gods. It’s another “Second Fifth” Pixel Scroll, and we’re all so inured to it at this point that none of us noticed. 😯

  14. @RDF – Come now! Facing any social or professional consequences whatsoever is totally un-American! God, it’s like you expect people to take personal responsibility for their actions or something!

  15. @JJ – Worse yet, I noticed, but didn’t consider it worthy of commenting on. Two fifths is the new normal.

  16. @RedWombat: an epic rant, but I wonder about a couple of points:
    – 2: I’ve heard of vegetarian coagulants for people who will eat milk products but nothing meat-derived; do those not work on human milk? (\Somebody/ has to have tried this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they hadn’t published.)
    – 5: there have been reports in the last ~decade of a pig that is evolving into a ruminant — although it’s likely to take a long time absent genetic engineering (which you note isn’t used here, although I don’t think the concept was known at the time).

    re A,DV being not all that revolutionary. I had been reading out of the not-children’s section of the library for several years by the time it came out; IIRC a lot of the blue-tinged work was off in corners rather than coming from major publishers (although Bug Jack Barron did get a major release, and Ballantine was publishing the early Gor — which I’ve heard was more subjection and asterisks than sex). I suspect Ellison was following his vision more than he was paying attention to what had happened since DV came out five years before.

  17. @Ghost Bird & @Rev. Bob: Thanks for the info on Off Armageddon Reef! Re. “the witty touch of a chief villain whose name is a misspelling of ‘Clinton'” – oh, wow. Sigh.

    @Rev. Bob: You are a graphic novel (and general) reading machine! 😀

  18. @ Chip – There are indeed a couple non-rennet things that will curdle normal milk (which is why I said I’d take handwavium, fungal cultures etc) but even most diehard vegatarians admit you can’t make hard cheese very well without rennet. But! Breastmilk does not really wish to form a curd. You can’t get it to do so with acids like lemon juice, according to a couple reports, which means you’re back to rennet or the cultured stuff.

    That said, without a decent curd, it is REALLY hard to make cheese. There’s a couple uber-nouveau chefs that have tried because everybody wants to be transgressive and the very best you get, even with rennet or the extremes of molecular gastronomy, is apparently a really runny ricotta, unless you mix with a cow or goat milk that will form a good curd.

    Human milk just isn’t a very versatile dairy product. And honestly, one line of handwavium would be fine, but not addressing it irks me.

    (I wish I didn’t know these things, but life took me in strange directions once upon a time.)

    But the pig! Tell me about the pig! I have missed this pig and I am intrigued!

  19. @RDF: Well, I guess from Lous point of you, you are an SJW if you react to prior abuse on his part. It looks like he might actually be blacklisted after all – because of his behavior, nbot because of what he writes, but obnoxious people usually dont think of themselves as obnoxious.

  20. @Kendall:

    Well, this machine’s almost done for the week. Finished Velveteen vs. The Seasons tonight, then moved on to my three Serenity series. I just remembered that I’ve got some digital comics that only show up in the Dark Horse app, instead of my usual comiXology library, so I’m trying to decide whether to go for one of those volumes (like Star Wars: Empire) as my fourth for the day or stick with Batman: Black and White. I’m not so sure I’m in a Batman mood at the moment, so I’ll see what happens.

    Oh, and I’ve queued up Out for a Hero on the e-reader. Not sure when I’ll start it, but I’m about 90% sure that’s my next read after whichever graphic novel I settle on.

  21. Peer:

    It looks like he might actually be blacklisted after all

    Antonelli is talking about a conspiracy: “I replied I don’t know, there’s no way to tell for sure; that’s the nature of a blacklist – it’s a conspiracy.” He hints that there exists “a blacklist” – as in one master list, which is maintained by some Secret Cabal, and which all editors in the field loyally follow.

    It is highly plausible that many editors are disinclined to work with Antonelli. But that is not “a blacklist”. Yes, Antonelli’s observation that his rejection slips are less friendly than two years ago may be correct. His suspicion that they have become less friendly because of his role in the puppy debacle may also be correct. But this can be explained as decisions made individually by the editors in question, without bringing in conspiracy theories about “a blacklist in literary s-f against non-PC writers”.

  22. My Huhmoment from the discription of the Nick Colestory, why is the competent white man called Haldeman? Forever War shouldn’t be popular with the puppies.

  23. @StefanB

    Well, “Haldeman” realises he should do something about the incompetent left wing seat pilot but has been so beaten down by the SJWs that he can’t bring himself to do so. Perhaps Cole thinks Haldeman was captured by the system. Or perhaps Cole was incapable of anything other than a surface reading of The Forever War.

  24. @StefanB:

    If all one knows about it is the title, author, and that it’s a mil-SF classic, why bother reading it? It came out long enough ago that it MUST be Nutty Nugget Pew-Pew Space Battle Goodness, right? After all, this “pink SF” is a new phenomenon; it can’t have tainted anything from 1974…

    (I wish I could give the Pups more credit than to think that way, but I can’t. Of course, the Haldemans have written other books… it could be that Cole’s read some of those. Maybe.)

  25. @Johan: Yes, I was inprecise – I think he might be on some lists where it sais “Dont bother look at this guys work again”. You could call that a blacklist – but yes, its something else then he is talking about.

    And as I said earlier: Rejection is part of the job. If you can not handle those, you should do something else (Im not a writer, but I am a boardgame designer and there as well you have to deal with a high rejection-rate.)

  26. StefanB:

    In the story, Haldeman is described as a pilot who has done many awesome feats and is genuinely skilled, but then sold out to PC-culture so that he would be considered to fly the spaceship. His specific act of selling out was saying that the greatest scientific achievement in the recent years was electing a nonwhite president (as opposed to nanotechnology, the Internet, etc.), and the story emphasizes that he did this because he knew he couldn’t give a real answer and still be considered for the spaceship job. If you’re familiar with “Atlas Shrugged”, Haldeman is basically the Robert Stadler character transplanted into a new story.

    I actually got the anthology, because I had a 15 hour flight and thought it might be amusing in a so-bad-its-good way, and thus can reveal the complete cast list of the Cole story. We have Jemison, a black lesbian incompetent pilot chosen for demographic reasons; Haldeman, a competent pilot who sold out and thus can’t bring himself to stop Jemison from crashing the spaceship; Martin and Wendig, ‘the first gay couple in space’ and physicists who are so fixated on what the warp drive ‘should do’ theoretically that they can’t understand what it’s actually doing and thus can’t give the flight deck any useful information; Correia, the one competent engineer who does everything right but can’t save the ship by himself; John, the mission leader who hired everyone for PC reasons and who fired staff for painting the spaceship white even though there were strong scientific reasons to do that, and Tansy Stark, the bisexual ‘Arrival Specialist’ who was chosen because she became a celebrity after porn of her was hacked from her phone (strongly implied to be her own doing in order to boost her ratings and get her picked for the mission).

    For anyone planning on reading the story, be aware it goes a little beyond ‘In The Barn’ in the second half. The Tansy character survives the landing, and she’s captured by Planet-of-the-Apes style enhanced animals, and then the story has very unpleasant things happen to her. (Note: I recognize who the other 6 characters are references to, but I’m not familiar with anyone in the Puppy Wars named Tansy, so I don’t know who this character refers to, or if it refers to anyone at all.)

  27. @Nowhere
    I sadly suspect Tansy is meant to be fantasy author, fan writer and Galactic Suburbia podcaster Tansy Rayner Roberts.

  28. @Darren Garrison

    It makes me wonder–what the heck are people thinking when they list copies of books for vastly more than the prices of the other copies obviously available?

    When I was at Amazon, I asked about this too. It turns out that for many merchants, it’s easier to add a couple of zeros onto the price than it is to mark the item as out-of-stock. The reasons for that are complex and best discussed over a beer, but at the heart of it is the fact that once your product is listed on the right catalog page at Amazon, you don’t ever want to remove it.

  29. Paul Weimer: I sadly suspect Tansy is meant to be fantasy author, fan writer and Galactic Suburbia podcaster Tansy Rayner Roberts.

    That was my thought, too — but I wasn’t aware that she’d done anything to piss them off, or to even get on their radar.

  30. It’s not Tansy, it’s “Tarya Stark”, who I’d guess is some variety of comment on Arya Stark’s alleged Mary Sue-ness (alleged by those corners of the internet who think competent female characters are an affront to them).

  31. I’m more than a little irritated by a character named “Jemison” being portrayed as an incompetent black astronaut picked for political reasons…. because the first African-American woman in space was Dr. Mae Jemison, an extremely competent woman indeed. So it’s two racist slams for the price of one.

  32. @Cassy B

    Dr. Mae Jemison is my entry in the ten thousand for today, thank you. Went to university at 16, multiple degrees, strong medical and scientific career….yup, that’s competent alright.
    (I was wondering if the name could be coincidence, but a little googling reveals she’s been brought up at VD’s blog in the past, so I rather doubt it)

  33. A quick rec in the context of rejections: I remember my first creative writing teacher telling we should plan to paper our walls with rejection slips with the same point, i.e. the more you submit, the more you are likely to get published. So whining about rejections would have gotten short shift in his classes. I’ve grabbed this piece to put on my list of online resources for my creative writing classes: Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year.

  34. Cassy B. on January 7, 2017 at 7:36 am said:
    I’m more than a little irritated by a character named “Jemison” being portrayed as an incompetent black astronaut picked for political reasons…. because the first African-American woman in space was Dr. Mae Jemison, an extremely competent woman indeed. So it’s two racist slams for the price of one.

    Wow, that’s crass.

  35. This is rather odd: a puppy-ish supporter gives Forbidden Thoughts a rather scathing review:

    Unfortunately, it utterly fails to entertain.

    Judging from the foreword written by Milo Yiannopoulos, one would expect to find stories that broke some politically correct taboo. One would expect characters and plotlines that enticed the reader with conflict and drama, ending in either triumph or tragedy. I was expecting something that, while not rivaling Appendix N, at least aspired to its qualities.

    But no. Instead, I got the right-wing equivalent of “Cat Pictures Please.”

    Virtually every story goes as follows:

    *Terrible incident happens due to political correctness.*
    MAIN CHARACTER (MC): This sucks.
    POLITICAL CORRECTOR (PC): No, it’s wonderful.
    MC: No, it sucks.
    PC: No, it’s wonderful.

    There is no real conflict or drama in the stories, just vignettes about the terrible effects of one far-left crusade after another. There were no dramatic arcs, just one thing after another with largely unsatisfying endings and even crappier characters. Many of the stories read like sermons, putting message above entertainment. Instead of real stories, I got extended complaints. It felt like the pablum I read in my English textbooks back in middle and high school — it was that bad. After reading up to Larry Correia’s recounting of the Sad Puppies effort, I just skipped ahead to other stories; I didn’t even read all of the ones after Larry because I had been blasted with such an avalanche of bad writing.

  36. @RedWombat: I \thought/ I had seen a non-rennet cheddar, but it’s not something I look for even in Whole Paycheck. wrt the pig: there was some to-do in the popular science press a few years ago about a pig species that had some structure pointing toward rumination — although it was clearly not a ruminant and might or might not evolve in that direction. My web-fu is not finding useful results from either general or specific search — I think word of this pig actually got a spot in the print Discover but “ruminant” gets no relevant hits on discover.com. I suspect (from a piece of word lodged in my skull) that the stories were referring to the babirusa, which has a pouch placed like an additional stomach; AFAICT this has been known for some time, but somebody decided to run with the possibility that at some future time some pork could be kosher.

  37. I’m almost 100% certain I’ve seen non-rennet cheddar. Until today I was 100% certain that dilemma was spelled dilemna, so keep that in mind.

    But no, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen and eaten non-rennet cheddar. That was back when I was vegetarian and I was trying to be (more) ethical. My memory is that without rennet, the cheddar is softer, but still nice. Kinda like cheese when you’re camping.

    I had the impression that @RedWombat was saying that human milk cheddar would be very difficult, if not impossible to make, without rennet, because it doesn’t curdle like cow milk.

  38. CUL is now complaining that “a few anonymous sons-of bitches are saying they want names” (accurate summation of whine, excluding self-pitying bleating comparing himself to a Jewish hostage)

    By this, he means the sole poster named Harold Osler, who told him early on to “either name names or shut up”. I’m pretty sure Harold was aiming for the latter rather than the former. Lou remains consistent in his record on reporting.

    Oh, and he still hasn’t mentioned the Carrie Cuinn incident while moaning about how editors mysteriously don’t seem to like him any more.

  39. I think Lou should tell us how he really feels.

    There’s no reason that pointing out that his “evidence” is just his flawed perception plus one anonymous account and that he needs more than that to make his case, requires a name and address attached. It’s an argument that stands on his own merit.

    Also, his treatment of people who criticise him under their full name includes ringing their place of work and threatening to try to have them fired.

    (Incidentally, I don’t see the need for the C in CUL, it only descends to his level)

  40. (Incidentally, I don’t see the need for the C in CUL, it only descends to his level)


    Also, as I understand it, “Crazy Uncle Lou” is a U Georgia fan personality.

    For the record, I don’t consider Lou “crazy” – a narcissist with selective blindness, an inability to see other people’s perspectives and an inability to deal with inconvenient facts, maybe – but not crazy. After all, the same description can be made of the guy about to become President, God help us.

    And it’s not is if Lou’s problem should have come as a surprise…


    Think about that for a moment. If you get involved in publishing something by this guy and decide not to publish it after all, you might get rape and death threats. Is there any reasonable publisher on the planet that would touch anything written by this guy with a ten-foot pole anymore? If he gets offended, he’ll call the cops on you. If his fans get offended, they’ll threaten you. Best to not involve yourself with him at all. He’s radioactive.

    Written in August, 2015

  41. @Mark: I could be misremembering, but Crazy Uncle Lou is drawn from him saying shortly after people learned he phoned the police about David Gerrold that he was going to spend time away from the Internet and reflect since he didn’t want to become a crazy uncle. So while not a huge fan of it either, I’m not sure it stigmatizes mental illness the same way calling someone crazy normally does.

  42. I use CUL to refer to Antonelli for the same basic reasons I use VD to refer to Beale – the term is self-chosen, insulting, and the person it applies to has proven himself to be an unrepentant asshole. CUL particularly irks me because I took his apology at face value, despite many people here pointing out his abusive past, and then within, what, 24 hours(?) saw him transparently set up an editor for harassment, while mincing about, claiming innocence. He is an unrepentant liar and an abuser and will not get my benefit of the doubt again. If I edited a magazine I would not consider anything he wrote that was less than pure genius for publication.

  43. (Incidentally, I don’t see the need for the C in CUL, it only descends to his level)

    Some days I agree. Other days I pretend it’s French. It depends on what he has posted on those days.

  44. (7) I tried to read the Nick Cole story in the Amazon preview. and it’s pretty much what I expected after his earlier rants and painfully unfunny. I get why he’s named characters after Wendig and Martin and Jemisin (I assume the Jemison is a misspelling rather than an intentional insult against Dr Mae Jemison) but I don’t get what his beef is with Haldeman. I don’t recall anything from Joe Haldeman during any of the kerpupples.

  45. MrDalliard: I would speculate that the Puppies tried to convince Haldeman at some point to openly support the Puppies and he said no, hence the characterization of him as a competent person that sold out and won’t support what he knows to be true (e.g., in the story, that he’s a better pilot than Jemison).

  46. @Mark:

    (Incidentally, I don’t see the need for the C in CUL, it only descends to his level)

    Vehement agreement. I don’t care if it’s self-applied, it’s stigmatizing toward mental illness. Asshole =/= crazy.

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