Pixel Scroll 2/22/16 Through Pathless Realms Of Space, Scroll On

(1) NUKED THE FRIDGE. Yahoo! News says there may be a good reason why Indy survived the atomic blast, in “Fan Theory Explains That Much-Maligned Indiana Jones Scene”.

Much like ‘jumping the shark’ from ‘Happy Days’, the Indiana Jones movie series has a similar phrase to encompass the moment it all went a little bit too far.

And it’s ‘nuked the fridge’.

Many ardent fans of Harrison Ford’s swashbuckling archeologist very much drew the line at the moment in ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ where Indy jumps into a conveniently situated fridge to protect himself from a nuclear blast.

Walking away unscathed, it did seem a trifle unfeasible….

(2) POWERLESS LEAD ACTRESS. The name of the show, Powerless, makes punning inevitable. “Vanessa Hudgens Is Far From ‘Powerless’ – ‘Grease’ Star Will Headline NBC’s New DC Comics Sitcom” reports ScienceFiction.com.

Vanessa Hudgens is on a roll after starring in FOX’s smash hit version of ‘Grease Live!’  She’s just landed the lead role in NBC’s upcoming DC Comics-inspired sitcom ‘Powerless’.  Hudgens will play Emily Locke, an insurance claims adjuster, working for “the worst insurance company in the DC Universe” which covers victims caught in the crossfire of super hero/villain battles.  This workplace comedy has been compared to ‘The Office’ but set within the DC Universe.

(3) DECLAN FINN’S FELINE FAN. At Camestros Felapton’s blog, a hilarious faux interview “Timothy the Talking Cat Reads Honor at Stake”.

[Camestros] Noted. So what book do you have today?
[Timothy] Well, today I have with me Honor at Stake by Declan Finn. A tale of love and vampires in modern New York.

[Camestros] And why this book in particular?
[Timothy] Well I was reading twitter and there was this tweet with a graph that showed it was really doing well in the Sad Puppy 4 lists.
[Camestros] The graph from my blog?
[Timothy] Your blog? I don’t think so, this was some sort of SadPuppy4 twitter account.
[Camestros] They tweeted my graph. Do you not even read this blog?
[Timothy] Good grief, no. I mean your very name offends me.…

[Camestros] So the sexy love interest vampire – she is conflicted about this? A bit of a Romeo & Vamp-Juliet thing going on?
[Timothy] No, no. She is a good vampire and a good Catholic girl. She goes to mass and everything.
[Camestros] So crucifix don’t work on vampires then?
[Timothy] No, you see the book has this all worked out. Vampires can be good or bad and the more good you are the nicer you look and the less things like holy water and sunlight affect you. The more bad you are the more hideous you become and the more holy water hurts,
[Camestros] OK so the bad vampires are like regular vampires.
[Timothy] Yup – a bit like the ones in Buffy.
[Camestros] Let me guess – the author explains this by comparing them to the vampires in Buffy?
[Timothy] Exactly! Quality writing – explains things up front so you know what is going on.

(4) MEMORIAL CUISINE. Frequent File 770 contributor James H. Burns has found yet another way to time travel… See “Recipe For the Dead” at Brooklyn Discovery.

Perhaps this is unusual. I have no way of knowing. But when I’m missing a loved one who has passed, or wishing to commemorate someone who is no longer with us… Sometimes, I’ll cook a meal that they loved. Not that I necessarily ever cooked for the departed. But sharing a repast that they favored, having those aromas in the air as the food is cooking, seems a very real way of honoring a memory.

(5) OSHIRO STORY FOLLOWUP. Here are some items of interest related to the Mark Oshiro story.

  • K. Tempest Bradford on Robin Wayne Bailey

3) I am and remain a big fan of Ms. Rosen. I’ve only read one of her novels, but I fell in love with her personality from the two times I’ve been to ConQuesT. She is lively, articulate on her strong opinions, and she is a strong woman. No, I do not always agree with her. In fact, I often greatly disagree with her and her methods of dealing with situations. It in no way changes my respect for her. She doesn’t need me to agree with her for her to be comfortable in her skin. We can disagree, and it in no way takes away from her person. That’s the biggest reason I like the woman. So, in my opinion, she can pull her pants down whenever she wants. Her white legged exposure at ConQuesT 45 was in no way indecent, and no one was assaulted by anything more than her wit, charm, and strong opinions. And honestly, if that’s not what you’re looking for, then you probably shouldn’t go to a convention filled with writers. If the writers at a convention are going to be overtly nice and congenial, I’m not going to pay a hefty entry fee to go listen to their polite little opinions. I go to conventions because of the lively discussion of various opinions from very opinionate writers. If I leave feeling strongly about something, even if that feeling is offense, then in my opinion, the panelists have done their jobs and done them well.

4) I was not present at ConQuesT 46 and cannot speak to the events that happened there.

(6) THE LEVERAGE CONCEPT. Elizabeth Bear offers help in “We provide…Leverage”.

If I am a guest at a convention you are attending, or simply a fellow attendee, and you feel that you have been harassed, intimidated, or that your boundaries have been trampled or ignored, please feel free to ask me for support, help, intervention, or just an escort to a safer area or backup on the way to talk to convention or hotel security.

If you do not feel that you can stick up for yourself, I will help. I will be a buffer or a bulwark if necessary or requested.

Just walk up to me and ask for Leverage, and I promise that I will take you seriously and I’ll try to make things better.

(This is not an exhaustive list.)

(7) BOSKONE COMPLETE. Steve Davidson finishes his Boskone report at Amazing Stories.

Final thoughts?  There were lots of smiles walking out the door on Sunday.  The David Hartwell memorial was touching, much-needed and well-handled.  From what I was able to see, everything went very smoothly (except for perhaps a few hiccups with pre-registration that I understand are already being addressed).

(8) SLOCOMBE OBIT. Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe has died at the age of 103 reports the BBC.

Slocombe shot 80 films, from classic Ealing comedies such as The Lavender Hill Mob and Kind Hearts and Coronets, to three Indiana Jones adventures.

In 1939 he filmed some of the earliest fighting of World War Two in Poland.

Indiana Jones director Steven Spielberg said Slocombe – who won Baftas for the Great Gatsby, The Servant, and Julia – “loved the action of filmmaking”.

(9) NOW YOU KNOW. Some believe Carrie Fisher revealed the working title of Star Wars: Episode VIII when she tweeted this photo of her dog. It’s on the sweatshirt back of the director’s chair.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • February 22, 1957 — When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him in The Incredible Shrinking Man, seen for the first time on this day in 1957. Did you know: special effects technicians were able to create giant drops of water by filling up condoms and dropping them.

Incredible Shrinking Man Poster

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRLS

  • Born February 22, 1968 – Jeri Ryan
  • Born February 22, 1975 – Drew Barrymore

(12) CORREIA ISN’T LEAVING TWITTER. Well, what else do you say when somebody announces “I’ll leave the account open to post blog links back to here and book ads, but other than that I’m not going to use it for any sort of conversation,” as Larry Correia did on Monster Hunter Nation today?

Recently they created a Trust and Safety Council, to protect people from being triggered with hurtful dissenting ideas. Of course the council is made up of people like Anita Sarkesian, so you know how it is going to swing.

They’ve been unverifying conservatives, and outright banning conservative journalists. Then there were rumors of “shadow banning” where people would post, but their followers wouldn’t see it in their timelines. So it’s like you’re talking to a room that you think has 9,000 people in it, but when the lights come on you’ve been wasting time talking to an empty room.

For the record, I don’t know if that’s what happened to me or not. Some of my posts have just disappeared from my timeline entirely. Other tweets seem to show up for some followers, but not others, and it wasn’t just replies. Beats me. Either something weird was going on and I’ve violated the unwritten rules of the Ministry of Public Truth, or their technical interface is just getting worse (never attribute to malice what could just be stupidity). Either way it is enough of a pain that it was getting to be not worth the hassle.

Then today they disappeared all of my friend Adam Baldwin’s tweets. Ironically, his only visible post (out of 8,000) was a link to an article about how Twitter is banning conservatives. That was the last straw.

(13) THAT DARNED JOURNALISM THING. Actually, Adam Baldwin deleted himself.

….Baldwin, who has nearly a quarter of a million followers, deleted his entire Twitter history Monday morning, leaving only one tweet asking for the CEO of Twitter to be fired and the abolishment of the platforms new Trust and Safety Council….

“This group-think, Orwellian, so-called Safety Council is really killing the wild west of ideas that Twitter was,” Baldwin laments:

“That’s what made Twitter fun. You could run across all sorts of differing viewpoints. That is what free speech is all about. As long as you’re not threatening people with violence, have at it.”

Baldwin cites the banning of prominent conservative tweeter Robert Stacy McCain as a major reason for leaving …

(14) REASON’S INTERPRETATION. Reason.com’s “Hit & Run” blog asks “Did Twitter’s Orwellian ‘Trust and Safety’ Council Get Robert Stacy McCain Banned?”

Twitter is a private company, of course, and if it wants to outlaw strong language, it can. In fact, it’s well within its rights to have one set of rules for Robert Stacy McCain, and another set of rules for everyone else. It’s allowed to ban McCain for no reason other than its bosses don’t like him. If Twitter wants to take a side in the online culture war, it can. It can confiscate Milo Yiannopoulos’s blue checkmark. This is not about the First Amendment.

But if that’s what Twitter is doing, it’s certainly not being honest about it—and its many, many customers who value the ethos of free speech would certainly object. In constructing its Trust and Safety Council, the social media platform explicitly claimed it was trying to strike a balance between allowing free speech and prohibiting harassment and abuse. But its selections for this committee were entirely one-sided—there’s not a single uncompromising anti-censorship figure or group on the list. It looks like Twitter gave control of its harassment policy to a bunch of ideologues, and now their enemies are being excluded from the platform.

(15) BRIANNA WU DEFENDS TWITTER. Brianna Wu commented on Facebook about Correia’s Twitter statement. (File 770 received permission to quote from it; the post is set to be visible to “friends” only.)

He and other conservative figures like Adam Baldwin are claiming that Twitter is breaking down on “free speech” and capitulating to the “SJWs,” which I guess means people like me. I have spent much of the last year asking Twitter and other tech companies to improve their harassment policies. There is one problem with Mr. Correria’s claim.

There is no evidence whatsoever for it.

None, zilch, zero. It’s a fantasy. A similar lie is going around that Twitter has put Anita Sarkeesian in charge of their Trust and Safety council, which is similarly baseless. I’ve spoken with a lot of tech companies in the last year and I have never heard anyone propose shadowbanning.

The only “proof” that Twitter is shadowbanning people comes from a disreputable conservative blog, that is so disreputable it cannot even be used as sourcing on Wikipedia. That blog used anonymous sourcing, and was written by someone with a personal axe to grind against Twitter.

The truth is, companies like Twitter are finally enforcing their own TOS if you threaten someone, dox someone, or set up an account specifically created to harass someone. That has led to some people being banned, and some accounts that perpetually break Twitter harassment rules to become deverified.

The backlash against Twitter is by people that prefer these system to remain as they are – a place where the women in your life will get rape threats, where anyone can have their private information posted, and where swarms of vicious mobs are destroying people’s reputation with slander.

The last I checked, almost 100 people have spread Mr. Correria’s baseless claim – and even more with Adam Baldwin. This is an important thing to fact check, and I hope you’ll share this to set the record straight.

(16) ELSEWHERE ON THE INTERNET. Bailey Lemon at Medium writes “Why This Radical Leftist is Disillusioned by Leftist Culture”.

…And yet I witness so many “activists” who claim to care about those at the bottom of society ignoring the realities of oppression, as if being offended by a person’s speech or worldview is equal to prison time or living on the streets. They talk about listening, being humble, questioning one’s preconceived notions about other people and hearing their lived experiences…and yet ignore the lived experiences of those who don’t speak or think properly in the view of university-educated social justice warriors, regardless of how much worse off they really are. That is not to say that we should accept bigotry in any form?—?far from it. But I would go as far as saying that the politically correct mafia on the left perpetuates a form of bigotry on its own because it alienates and “otherizes” those who do not share their ways of thinking and speaking about the world.

I’m tired of the cliques, the hierarchies, the policing of others, and the power imbalances that exist between people who claim to be friends and comrades. I am exhausted and saddened by the fact that any type of disagreement or difference of opinion in an activist circle will lead to a fight, which sometimes includes abandonment of certain people, deeming them “unsafe” as well as public shaming and slander.

(17) YES, THIS IS A SELECTED QUOTE: Dave Freer makes his feelings clear as the summer sun:

I couldn’t give a toss how I ‘come over’ to File 770 and its occupants, (there is no point in trying to please a miniscule market at the expense of my existing readers) but it’s a useful jumping off point:…

Is Freer simply unable to generate his own column ideas? He proves his indifference by spending most of today’s 2,500-word post teeing off about half-a-dozen imagined slights he thinks self-published writers suffered here.

(18) PROVERBIAL WISDOM. Mark Lawrence declines to reap the dividends of political blogging.

When you declare a political preference (especially at either end of the spectrum) you’re immediately plumbed into an extensive support network. It’s rather like a church. Complete strangers will shout “Amen, brother!”.

Yes, you may well alienate half the political spectrum but you’ll still have half left, and half of ‘everything’ looks pretty attractive when all you’ve got is all of nothing.

Plus, the business of blogging becomes easy. You don’t have to think up something new and original to write, you can just turn the handle on the outrage machine and content drops onto the page.

“SJWs ate my baby!”

“This group of two is insufficiently diverse, you BIGOT.”

If you don’t ‘get’ either of those headlines from opposing political extremes then I’m rather jealous of you.

Anyway, the fact is that joining a side in the culture war can seem like a no-brainer to an aspiring author who needs backup. I’m entirely sure that the motivations for many authors taking to political blogging are 100% genuine, born of deep convictions. I’m also sure that many jump on board, dial up their mild convictions to 11 and enjoy the ride, blog-traffic, retweets, prime spots on the ‘right on’ genre sites of their particular affiliation, oh my.

It’s a step I’ve never been able to take. I do have moderately strong political convictions, but they’re moderate ones, and moderation doesn’t sell, doesn’t generate traffic, doesn’t get retweeted.

(19) CASE IN POINT. io9 reports “The BBC Is Bringing Back The Twilight Zone As a Radio Drama”

Ten classic episodes of The Twilight Zone will be broadcast in the UK for the first time—but, much like the show’s trademark, there’s a twist. The episodes will be reinvented as radio plays taken from Rod Serling’s original TV scripts, thanks to BBC Radio 4 Extra.

According to the Independent, veteran actor Stacy Keach will step in to perform the late Serling’s iconic monologues; other cast members throughout the series will include Jane Seymour, Jim Caviezel, Michael York, Malcolm McDowell, and Don Johnson. Producer Carl Amari has owned the rights since 2002, which he obtained in part by promising to do the episodes justice in terms of production values and casting.

(20) TECH TUNES UP FOR TREK. The Daily News profiled cast members of the Star Trek musical parody being performed this weekend at CalTech.

It’s not unusual for the cast and crew to open up text books, work on papers and discuss theoretical physics in their downtime. It provides an opportunity to network too, with students acting beside people who work in the fields they’re studying, Wong said.

“To be able to stand on stage with all of these people and sing about ‘Star Trek’ that’s just crazy,” he said.

“Boldly Go!” started out with the cast meeting on weekends, before amping up to twice a week and nearly every day in the past month.

Marie Blatnik, who studies experimental nuclear physics and plays a fierce Klingon named Maltof, described the scheduling as hectic. She originally auditioned — in half a Starfleet uniform — for a different role, but the brothers recast a male Klingon when they saw her energy.

“It kind of feels like a cult where they lure you in with ‘it’s only 15 bucks’ then jump to ‘I want your life savings,” Blatnik joked about the time invested in the show.

(21) YOUR GAME OF THRONES NEIGHBORS. Seth Meyers has had two Late Show skits where Game of Thrones characters are featured in everyday situations:

  • Melisandre at the Meyers’ baby shower:

  • Jon Snow at a dinner party:

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Frank Wu, Rob Thornton, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna Nimmhaus (you know who you are!).]

327 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/22/16 Through Pathless Realms Of Space, Scroll On

  1. @Aaron

    But that’s very different from what Beale’s dead elk were saying.

    I’m not actually very interested in supporting what they’re saying.

    There’s also not much evidence that twitter is using it to sanction people, since even a cursory search shows that there are numerous accounts that routinely use the word (and often use it to insult people) with no consequence from twitter.

    Now that is a surprise. I would have expected that to be something Twitter would have to take very seriously. Perhaps that’s part of why they felt compelled to form a Trust and Safety Council.

  2. Latinx is used because Latino and Latina are both gendered. Some people also used Latin@, which I think is more clever, but I’ll use what the individual chooses.

    As for “Who trumps who” it’s more simple than that: harassed person should be given more sympathy than harasser. This is true even if the person being harassed is a straight white male, though most SWMs either choose not to report or brush it off as an aberration. (It happens, though. And when it does, if reported, it should be taken seriously.)

  3. For what it’s worth, I think it’s quite possible that Sean has no idea what various folks have done on Twitter.

    I mean, I don’t. I’m not on Twitter. I tend not to read second- or third-hand reports about goings-on there. I have a few friends who auto-import their tweets into other social media, but obviously those are people with very low rates of Twitter posting.

    I realize that’s just me, but as Steven Brust said, “Everybody generalizes from one example. At least, I do.”

  4. Now that is a surprise. I would have expected that to be something Twitter would have to take very seriously.

    They don’t seem to have been taking much else seriously before, so I’m completely unsurprised.

    The real point I’m making here is that the “outrage brigade” like Beale, Baldwin, Correia, and so on basically engage in conspiracy theory thinking on a routine basis. The very foundations of their world view are based upon taking baseless claims and building mountains of anger upon them.

  5. @sean:
    It’s quite another to go defending vile, hurtful, harmful attacks, harrassment, and doxxing, up to and including attempted murder by SWATing and rape. … To the extent of my knowledge, neither Mr. Baldwin nor Mr. Correia are defending or perpetrating these actions.

    While – given that he deleted all his posts – I can’t point you at it, Mr. Baldwin himself, did, in fact, directly participate in a harassment-campaign doxxing during one of his GamerGate rages, pointing his entire Twitter audience at a doxx of one of their targets – I don’t remember which, it’s been a while. And both the dox and his comment were very much in the spirit of “sic ’em.”

    I saw the tweet myself before he deleted it. He deleted it before dumping his entire tweet history down the memory hole, but it was there, and I saw it.

  6. Vox isn’t the mainstream of conservative thought. He’s one of the guys gunning the engine on the tractor they’ve got attached to the Overton Window to make it the mainstream soon enough, though.

    There’s really no mainstream conservative movement as it’s splintered all over the place starting after the Reagan Era. If I had to say what was the main splinter of conservative thought now, I’d say it shows up best on Red State, a site I read for a look at the nut jobs that are taken seriously by much of the media.

    In contrast, the other side really doesn’t have that many splinters as can be seen in the current campaign. Oh and the Red State writers think all on the Left are socialists. Now if I could just find my Democratic Socialist Organising Committee button with its gist holding a red rose…

  7. Laura:
    Did you see it too? I still hum the gospel musical “Beam Me Up” and I can crack up my husband by singing, “Tea, Earl Grey, hot, for me…”
    “It’s KIRK day! Take off your SHIRT day!”

    I would do grave bodily harm to people for a copy of that soundtrack. 😀

    Tho’ – to be completely honest – did you the Plan 9 From Outer Space musical? They were only a couple of years apart. I thought that was even funnier. (Particularly that number that had both Bela and his chiropractor double on stage at the same time. XD ) See again: calamitous deeds for a soundtrack copy? CAN DO SPORT!

  8. “Oh and the Red State writers think all on the Left are socialists. Now if I could just find my Democratic Socialist Organising Committee button with its gist holding a red rose…”

    My favorite comedian is a British socialist, Jeremy Hardy, who’s been an activist for years, as well as a stand-up comic. And he says, you know how socialists organize, like this:

    A (at a rally): Did you bring the flyers?
    B: No.
    A: You DIDN’T BRING THE FLYERS?
    B: No, I thought you were bringing the flyers.
    A: No, you said you’d bring them.
    B: No, it wasn’t me.
    A: Maybe it was C? C, did you bring the flyers.
    C: No, I didn’t bring the flyers. I thought you were bringing the flyers.
    A: Does anyone know who brought the flyers?
    D: Were there supposed to be flyers?

    And so on.

  9. @ Aaron:

    The real point I’m making here is that the “outrage brigade” like Beale, Baldwin, Correia, and so on basically engage in conspiracy theory thinking on a routine basis. The very foundations of their world view are based upon taking baseless claims and building mountains of anger upon them.

    Which was the basis of the Puppy mess, too. It was a volcano of enraged bile based on unfounded accusations and reality-free fabrications, and all attempts to argue with them based on facts and information turned out to be utterly pointless.

  10. @TheYoungPretender
    I didn’t mean you. LOL

    Communicating on the Internet can be difficult when one is trying not to specifically call out someone. It’s always the nice people who apologize.

  11. @Chris Meadows: Thank you very much for pointing that out. It’s not worth much, but that’s not your fault. 🙂

    For those of you not following the link, it was a lot of “oh, hey, our volunteer staff changes every year”, which carries a clear subtext of “We had nothing to do with it, but…”, followed by a lot of passive-voice “these issues arose” and “these issues were not followed through to completion”, followed by a bland and boiler-plate, “We’re going to take a look at stuff to see how we can do better.” Typical organizational non-pology where nobody stands up and takes responsibility–it’s the organization at fault, which means no one is. Which would work better if there hadn’t already been one person who resigned, saying, “I ran this all the way up to the con chair and they did nothing with it.”

  12. I figure the best way to encourage them to do more is to thank them while politely noting they need to say a lot more than that. IE, don’t hit them over the head with “That wasn’t an apology, you,” just press them to keep going.

  13. @Chris Meadows
    Thanks for the link.

    The statement is not only weak in what it says but at least 3 of the 6 board members were part of the convention where the harassment happened and include the Chair and the Vice-Chair/took report and one of the board members is identified by Mark Oshiro as derailing one of the problematic panels. I posted more thoughts/details on the full page Mike Glyer has on the incident. Warning there are trolls and some tense discussion as well as apologies in addition to discussion of sexual abuse and racism.

  14. The KaCSFFS statement, to me, just reads like preliminary “we’ve been made aware of a problem” that will be followed up later with detailed apologies and promises of action once they work out exactly what they’re apologizing for and promising to do. From that standpoint, the only problem with it is not saying when to expect the next statement.

  15. Anyone over 30 who thinks twitter is oh so important should be spade , neutered, and have their kids taken away. Social Media like that is a stupid medium that people use so they can get constant attention. I am pinting this at all sides. You all sound like stupid immature teenagers that need to be sent to bed without dinner. your constant and pointless fights make me want to bang your heads together.

    There is so little posting here about books and things actually about the genre. I want to give alot of you wedgys and dunk your heads in the toilet. I point at all sides in this fight.

  16. The KaCSFFS statement, to me, just reads like preliminary “we’ve been made aware of a problem” that will be followed up later with detailed apologies and promises of action once they work out exactly what they’re apologizing for and promising to do.

    Trouble is, most of them were made aware of the problem while it was happening, and now seem to be pretending that they, as management, didn’t have any idea what they, as con runners, were directly involved in. And they’d like to apologize for the mistakes those idiots running the show made, those idiots being them.

  17. You all sound like stupid immature teenagers

    I want to give alot of you wedgys and dunk your heads in the toilet.

    Way to make your case.

  18. Petréa Mitchell: The KaCSFFS statement, to me, just reads like preliminary “we’ve been made aware of a problem” that will be followed up later with detailed apologies and promises of action once they work out exactly what they’re apologizing for and promising to do. From that standpoint, the only problem with it is not saying when to expect the next statement.

    The KaCSFFS statement, to me, just reads like “Two of us were fully aware of the problems and the reports and did nothing, one of us was part of the problems, and one of us is married to someone who was part of the problems, so the most you’re going to get from us is ‘We’re taking care of it internally, so piss off.’ ”

    I hope that I’m wrong, and that this statement will be followed within a day or two with a more comprehensive statement which includes an actual apology as well as details about what is being changed to avoid the failures of ConQuesT 46.

    But I’m not holding my breath. I really don’t think that is going to happen.

  19. John Seavey on February 23, 2016 at 4:44 pm said:

    followed by a lot of passive-voice “these issues arose”

    “These issues arose” is not an example of the passive voice! However, “the offenders were banned from attending future events by a unanimous vote of the committee” is the passive voice. Better they had used the passive voice! 😉

    I don’t mean to take away from the point you were trying to make, which I agree with. I just get frustrated when people blame the passive voice for evasiveness about agency, which has nothing to do with the passive voice! The passive voice is a useful tool for shifting emphasis. It can shift it away from or towards the agent. It can be abused, but so can the active voice. In fact, the active voice can be more evasive, since it can imply that no agency was involved. “Mistakes occurred.” Or, as in your example, “issues arose.” No one raised them. There’s no evasiveness about agency, because there wasn’t any agency. They just spontaneously arose. Active voice is evil! 😀

  20. Guess on February 23, 2016 at 6:17 pm said:
    There is so little posting here about books and things actually about the genre. I want to give alot of you wedgys and dunk your heads in the toilet.

    Yeah? Well let me tell you about the last guy who tried to do that to me.

    Well…
    1. He did get some toilet water on his sneakers
    2. I made a Doctor Who refrence he totally didn’t get – so the joke was on him
    3. um this wasn’t such a great story on reflection

  21. For tomorrow’s roundup, perhaps, on the lighter side of things, Mary Robinette Kowal used her puppetry skills to answer some writing questions:



  22. @Guess
    Great way to start a book conversation – insult everyone so typical of you.

    Me I find starting book conversations works so much better if I mention book(s) I’ve read, why I’ve enjoyed them or ask for book recommendations.

    On other threads we’re discussing Nagata’s trilogy and why it is eligible for the Hugo. Have you read it? We’ve also discussed works eligible for Best Related. And just today books where railroads circle the world. Seems you might be reading the wrong threads or giving up too early. I think the problem might be you not us.

  23. Anyone over 30 who thinks twitter is oh so important should be spade , neutered, and have their kids taken away.

    “spayed”

    You all sound like stupid immature teenagers that need to be sent to bed without dinner.

    There is so little posting here about books and things actually about the genre. I want to give alot of you wedgys and dunk your heads in the toilet.

    The irony is overwhelming.

  24. @Guess:

    Anyone over 30 who thinks twitter is oh so important should be spade , neutered, and have their kids taken away. Social Media like that is a stupid medium that people use so they can get constant attention.

    Twitter is the sole reason I can talk and eat and sing in 2016. Those are three of the sustaining pleasures of my life. That renders your argument invalid, I’m afraid.

  25. Just out of curiosity, if, let’s say 300 people nominate The Trials (book 2) for the Hugo, and 200 people nominate Going Dark (book 3), and 150 people nominate the whole trilogy, and in order to make the top 5 nominees, a nominee needs 600 nominations, would the votes for The Trials and Going Dark be counted towards the trilogy? I have them on my TBR list, and assuming I find one of them or the entire trilogy Hugo worthy, I doubt that I would want to use 3 nomination slots on the series. For The Wheel of Time were the nominations all for the series and not for the final book?

  26. Thinking it makes sense to take away someone’s kids for caring about something you don’t like. Suggesting forcible bodily alteration and sterilization for an opinion you do not share.

    The nicest thing I can say is fuck off.

    NB:I have no twitter account and mostly only read storified tweets. And this kind of comment still pisses me right off.

  27. I think Guess forgot the part about staying off his/her lawn. Whippersnappers who need a manual to tell the velocitator from the deceleratrix.

  28. @Guess

    There is so little posting here about books and things actually about the genre. I want to give alot of you wedgys and dunk your heads in the toilet. I point at all sides in this fight.

    Well, instead of whining and carrying on, why don’t you step up, be the bigger person, and start the discussion yourself?

    It’ll only take a few words. Such as: What’s your favorite SFF book from last year?

    I’ll answer that: After dithering a great deal, I think I’ve settled on N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. I’m so glad it’s starting to get awards nominations.

  29. Bruce A asked:

    For The Wheel of Time were the nominations all for the series and not for the final book?

    The voting statistics for 2014 don’t mention the final novel within the top 15 nomination-getters (see page 19).

    The only definitive answer to “Does a vote for one definition of a work count as an extra vote for a different definition of a work?” is that it’s up to the Hugo administrator, but in general they tend to be conservative about reinterpreting voter intent. For instance, see page 22 of the statistics above, and note that individual votes for episodes of Orphan Black were counted separately from votes for the whole season of Orphan Black.

  30. I’m finding Gregory Maguire’s After Alice a bit slow. I read a little chapter, I wander off. I do expect that at some point, ignition of a sort will kick in, and it will all go faster.

    I have three Bud Webster books on my tablet now, and expect they will keep me company while I’m on the YMCA’s Futile Cycle and Trudgemaster for the next few sessions.

    And Umberto Eco’s The Prague Cemetery is on order via Cathy’s library. Looking forward to that one.

  31. redheadedfemme, I’ve settled on The Fifth Season as my favorite of the year, as well.

    Let’s have a Fifth Season party!

  32. I read the title of this post as “Through Pantless Realms Of Space, Scroll On”.

    I either need sleep or to read fewer posts here.

  33. I am sure Guess not only knows more about Twitter and its value than I do (and I was born before the first man landed on the Moon), but more than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Weather Service, NASA, a variety of mass transit systems, and all the major presidential candidates.

    You go be grown-up with your printed newspaper, or Faux News if that’s more your speed; I’ll be off playing in my sandbox with my friends, including one of my favorite writers.

  34. Wait, the title ISN’T “Pantless”?

    @Kurt Busiek: For your strawfoot/hayfoot comment, I award you one internet. Don’t use it all in one place. And when you’re done with it, please give it to…

    @TheYoungPretender: for LARPing some vast SJW conspiracy
    Ladies, gentlemen, and other, I give you the Puppies and Gators.

    Timothy the Talking Cat and John Z. Upjohn could put out some cracking good reviews together. Maybe one of them could interview the other, or they could have a nice conversation. I presume Timothy is already pants-free, so no problem there.

    And how can you not love a place where someone from one country will go to another country and purchase a Demon of Disease mask on behalf of a wombat person in a third country? That there is SFnal.

    To be clear: De-pantsing is only gauche and a bit childish. Unwanted rubbing against another person is assault and sexual harassment.

    Twitter is a PRIVATE company and is entitled to do anything it damn well pleases, including changing its Terms of Service so that it can only be used by disabled trans PoC people who make over $100M a year (which would be a bad business model, but perfectly legal). If you don’t like it, you can leave, as the right-wingers are so fond of saying. The Sacred All-Knowing Free Market Hath Spoken. I don’t think they want the government telling Twitter how to run its for-profit business.

    The First Amendment (or similar governmental guarantees of free speech) do not apply. The righties’ freeze peach is not abridged, and if they want to stomp their feet and leave with a flounce, they are perfectly free to. They are also free to let Twitter know how they disagree with the Terms of Service. They’re free to LIE ABOUT Twitter’s Terms of Service, but must expect to be called out about lying. Actions have consequences, though I’ve noticed a lot of conservatives have trouble applying this maxim towards their own behavior (And BernieBros, to be fair, but there are far, far fewer of them — basically a rounding error compared to the number of right-wingers, often SWM fundie Christians, particularly clueless ones).

    And all social media services are buggy as hell in what they display when. I frequently don’t see something from friends until a few days later, or maybe not at all, and my thought isn’t CONSPIRACY AGAINST ME AND MINE, but rather “!@#$ stupid algorithms. Sigh.” Twitter is notoriously glitchy.

    @Nate Harada: Good heavens. I am an anti-fan of the Palin family, but no one should be publicly slut-shamed. She had sex and got pregnant, something teenage girls have been doing for millennia. And then he’s a white supremacist who believes date rape doesn’t exist. Yeah, nice friends, Larry. Real role models who deserve your full-throated support.

    I guess our new troll’s worried that he can’t defend the actions of gators, nor Larry’s counterfactual conspiracy theory, so he’s frantically yelling “Look, squirrel!” and pointing to non-existent censorship for… some reason I can’t fathom.

    ConQuesT statement: That there is a whole lot of boilerplate nothingness non-pology. “Mistakes were made, by the underlings.” Hopefully actual apologies will follow, but I remain dubious about that.

  35. I haven’t read The Fifth Season yet, but so far The Trials is at the top for me, with Karen Memory and Aurora fighting for next favorite.

    I had thought about putting Nagata’s entire series on my ballot, but after reflection decided I liked the middle book just that much more.

  36. Cheryl S.: I had thought about putting Nagata’s entire series on my ballot, but after reflection decided I liked the middle book just that much more.

    The Trials is on my shortlist. I’d love to nominate the whole series, but there is a sizable contingent of people who object to the Best Novel Hugo being used to reward a series, so I think it would be an uphill battle.

    Everyone I’ve seen comment says that they thought The Trials was the better of the two (even though the difference between them in terms of plotting, worldbuilding and characterization is very slight).

  37. @ Kip W:

    And Umberto Eco’s The Prague Cemetery is on order via Cathy’s library. Looking forward to that one.

    I liked that one. In large part because it deals with so many things I find interesting. (I used to live on the street where Garibaldi’s troops had marched into Palermo.) But also Eco’s skill–the narrator is a virulent anti-Semite, and Eco manages to make him hilarious.

  38. The Fifth Season is a staggering work. After I read it, I thought about it for a bit, and then I reread it va puebabybtvpny beqre guebhtu ure yvsr, and it was still great.

  39. Reading Fifth Season now. Can’t speak for everyone, but in my view anyone who can write second person narration that doesn’t give give me give me a headache is a talented writer.

  40. The Fifth Season gave me the most nightmares so it’s probably on my shortlist.

    I’m not sure if I can pick my favorite from:
    Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
    Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
    The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones

  41. I got spade.

    I also got rake, I got shovel, I got post-hole digger, I got like six trowels and one of them little hand-held cultivators and the narrow wiggly round one for planting bulbs. And I got sledgehammer AND pickaxe.

    Mostly, though, I got mattock. Very useful, mattock. Especially when you got clay.

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