Pixel Scroll 3/1/18 I Fell Into A Pixeled Link Of Fire

(1) MANAGEMENT CHANGES AT TOR. Today Tor.com announced “Fritz Foy Named President and Publisher of Tor and Forge Books”.

Tom Doherty, who will become Chairman, wrote:

Fritz Foy, Senior Vice President of Strategic Technology at Macmillan and Publisher of Tor.com, will join Tom Doherty Associates as President and Publisher, with all the Tom Doherty Associates publishing units reporting to him.

Fritz has had an impressive career in publishing, first at Simon & Schuster, and for the last 21 years at Macmillan. He has had roles in sales, marketing, operations, technology, workflow, production, and analytics. He brings with him a passion for books and publishing. For the last decade he has been actively engaged with me at Tor Books.

Fritz will be reporting to me as I move into the role of Chairman and as he begins to lead Tom Doherty Associates into the future.

Fritz Foy announced additional promotions and changes, including:

Effective immediately, Devi Pillai, previously Associate Publisher, is now Vice President and Publisher of Tor Books, reporting to me. In her year and a half with Tor, Devi has brought a true sense of author and editor care to the organization, while also building efficiency through the adoption of publishing-industry best practices. She is uniquely qualified to help lead Tor into the future.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Associate Publisher, is now also Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Tor Books, reporting to me. Patrick’s 29 years at Tor, coupled with his encyclopedic knowledge of the industry and his award-winning editing skills, make him perfect for this key role that will help us to continue to grow the business.

Kathleen Doherty, Publisher of Tor Teen/Starscape, has been promoted to Vice President. Kathleen has been instrumental in the establishment of our young adult and teen publishing programs, and has been responsible for our success across educational markets.

While continuing in her role as Creative Director of Tom Doherty Associates, Irene Gallo will take on the additional responsibility of Publisher of Tor.com. I’ve been working with Irene for over a decade on online community building, and more recently on launching the novella imprint, and I prize her innovative spirit.

[H/t Locus Online.]

(2) READERCON AND THE AGE DISCRIMINATION CHARGE. Kathryn Cramer listed her takeaways from social media response to her request that the Readercon Board investigate age discrimination against writers told they will not be invited to be on program this year.

First of all, the Readercon board not only did not answer the questions I asked but never acknowledged receipt of that email. The conclusions I draw from that are that they feel the questions I asked in my letter should not have been asked and that I am not entitled to an answer. This may in part be because I framed my quantitative questions with a suggested remedy involving the firing of the program chair. So maybe my framing got their back up. But since I am not the only one who has expressed concerns about age discrimination, I think the main problem is that they don’t want to talk about it. This, in itself, is not all that surprising.

Here is what does surprise me. After several days of relatively unpleasant conversation of the topic, I also arrive at the following conclusions…

5) There are worthwhile values such as increasing diversity and showcasing new talent that are sometimes in conflict with non-discrimination, and these are some of the values that are cited by people who think age discrimination should not be seen as a problem.

6) Inexperienced convention-runners have fewer strategies for resolving the conflicts between these conflicting values and some seem uninterested in learning them.

7) Because of the lack of consensus against retaliation, engaging with and further exploration of this problem should be done by writers collectively rather than individually. SFWA, of which I am not a member, is the obvious organization to draft best practices guidelines on how conventions might achieve diversity goals and liven up their programs without engaging in one or more kinds of discrimination. Another possible organization that might be a venue for such best practices guidelines would be the Worldcon Runners Guide Editorial Committee, which is tasked with curating information about con-running best practices. I have no involvement with that either.

8) Given the overlap between con-running and the small press, publishing, reviewing, etc. all of the above-listed issues may occur in those areas as well.

When I engaged with the question of whether there had been age discrimination, I made two basic assumptions: that we all agree that age discrimination as such is a bad thing, and secondly that we all agree that it is something that it is OK to ask questions about. Since both of those assumptions appear to be wrong, I exit the conversation, leaving the matter to others with more organization and institutional umph behind them. Good luck.

(3) SFWA SPACE OPERA PANEL. The SFWA YouTube channel did an episode on space opera featuring Ann Leckie, Bonnie Milani, Khaalidah Muhammed-Ali, Chandra
Trulove Fry, and Diane Morrison:

(4) MAKING A STINK STINKIER. Io9 is tracking the daily changes in Terry
Goodkind’s justification for disliking Bastien Lecouffe Deharme’s cover on his new book: “FantasyWriter Terry Goodkind Now Claims He Hated His Book Cover Because It’s ‘Sexist’”:

Earlier this week, Goodkind wrote a post on Facebook calling Shroud of Eternity “a great book with a very bad cover. Laughably bad,” inviting readers to share their thoughts in a poll. He later apologized to cover artist Bastien Lecouffe Deharme in a follow-up post, though Deharme said he was never contacted by Goodkind personally nor does he plan on working with the author again. Now, after posting a video of his dog licking the book cover, Goodkind has added a new layer to his previous criticism. The author told io9 he and his agent had objected to the cover upon release because the protagonist’s portrayal was too sexist and didn’t match the character in-book.

…I followed up with Deharme, who said this was the first time he’d heard any claims of sexism regarding the book cover, from Goodkind or anyone else. On the contrary, he said Tor Books specifically asked him to avoid typical sexist fantasy tropes when designing the cover. After reading the part of the book sent to him by the art director, as well as the character description provided, Deharme said he chose to focus on Nicci’s strength. He gave her practical armor and didn’t put the focus on the traditionally exploited parts of the female body.

(5) PLAYING WITH A MISSION. Filers attending Emerald City ComicCon this weekend can support a good cause by playing games with awesome authors: “Worldbuilders Party: Emerald City Comic Convention”. Cat Rambo will be one of them.

Where: Washington State Convention Center, Room 3AB
When: Friday, March 2nd, 7 – 11 p.m.
Tickets and Infohttps://worldbuildersparty.com/

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play tabletop games with some of the folks who create the books, podcasts, games, and other geeky stuff you love? Wonder no more! Join Worldbuilders, Pat Rothfuss and friends for an evening of games, food, drinks, and mingling with some awesome authors, game designers, and creators. Sign up to play games with the celeb of your choosing in a relaxed environment, and participate in the silent auction and raffle for a chance to win some cool geeky prizes.

This is a charity event and all proceeds will go towards Worldbuilders.

(6) THE GREENING OF A WRITER. Cat Rambo has become a contributor to Green Man Review. Her first review is of “Tim Cooper’s The Reader: War For The Oaks.

The Reader: War For The Oaks is a hardbound book presenting a photography project by Tim Cooper.  It’s a slim little 8.5?x 11? volume, clocking in at 96 pages. The pleasant interior design presents the photos nicely, along with some pretty arboreal details. The cover, whose design is unobjectionable but unremarkable, features a photo that lets the reader know exactly what the book is about: photos of people reading War For the Oaks in various Minneapolis locations.

She follows with: “Recent Reading: Cat Valente Launches in a New Direction”.

It is difficult to describe how Catherynne M. Valente’s new book Space Opera (Saga Press, available April 3, 2018, 292 pages) manages to be so wonderfully resonant of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy yet so insistently, inimitably her own. And yet, that’s the challenge.

Valente’s skill manifests in a book that bounces right along, full of glorious, funny, wonderful, sparkly explosions of humor and wit that still, just as Adams always did, manages to say Insightful and Interesting Things about Human Nature. And it’s funny. Did I mention that this is a funny book? It’s the story of failing rock singer Decibel Jones and his dysfunctional band, the Absolute Zeroes, who have been chosen to represent their world in an interstellar challenge that determines whether or not the Earth will be destroyed.

(7) A NEW SCREEN. Another first for Cat Rambo – she made her Twitch TV debut in February.

(8) ALT-RIGHT COMICS. At Medium, Jason Yungbluth takes aim at Theodore Beale’s recent attempt to create an alt-right brand of comic books: “The Menace of Doc Vox!” The article dates to last October, but hasn’t been mentioned in the Scroll before. The article explores the business model that Beale is using, all designed to monetize controversy.

Can Teddy make a profit off of this effort? Sure, but not much. There is obviously a fascist ecosystem out there capable of bringing a project like this to life, but it is very niche. The thrill of pissing in liberals’ Cheerios (which, as Markku put it to me, was this project’s first, last and only goal) won’t make ugly, politically driven comic books any less boring….

What, then, will Teddy get out of all the time he will ultimately have to pour into this low-reward venture? An excuse to troll the Eisner awards? The thrill of ruining the costume contest at Comic-Con?

(9) TODAY’S THING TO WORRY ABOUT. Never mind global warming or the imminent extinction of honeybees – Camestros Felapton has discovered s fresh crisis: “Felapton Towers Scoop – How Numbers are Disappearing”.

Look, there’s just some breaking stories that you can only read here thanks to the deep investigative journalism that my crack team of journalists do. In this case – plugging two digit numbers into Google n-gram.

I don’t know what I expected the graph to look like but apparently peak numbers-in-books was sometime in the late 1980s after which the bubble burst plunging books into a deepening two-digit-numbers-as-words recession.

Are digits really disappearing? Maybe they have migrated to television? Sesame Street seems to use plenty of them.

(10) JUST WHAT IS IT? Cora Buhlert is catching up with The Orville — “The Other Star Trek Show: Some Thoughts on The Orville”.

For starters, The Orville is not a Star Trek parody in the vein of Bully Herbig’s Traumschiff Surprise skits, Pigs in Space or even Galaxy Quest. And The Orville is indeed very different from Seth MacFarlane’s comedy work (which is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned, considering how dreadful my previous experience with Seth MacFarlane and his work was), though it does resort to typical US sitcom humor on occasion. Now some of the jokes – mostly those arising out of science fiction and Star Trek clichés, e.g. the jokes about the “anti-banana ray”, drinks on the bridge and cannabis from the replicator, Ed accidentally walking through the Blob like crewmember, the tentacled underwater creature which turns out to be a botanist or the bit with the Krill commander standing off center on the viewscreen (come on, it is weird that people always stand exactly in the middle of the viewscreen in SF films and TV shows, to the point that I even included a “Sorry, could you please adjust your screen” line in Graveyard Shift) – work. They work precisely because these jokes arise naturally out of the science fiction setting.

In the interests of good taste, please, no one tell Seth MacFarlane the German word for space travel is “raumfahrt.”

(11) MORE MEXICANX PICKS. The next group of Mexicanx Initiative recipients of Worldcon 76 memberships has been announced by John Picacio.

(12) WALKING THE PATTERN. Michael Michel talks about “Forming Practice from Passion” at the SFWA Blog.

Success is not a thing given, nor a thing taken or forced. It is something practiced. The pathways we travel most often are the ones with the deepest grooves. Ever heard the term, “Get in the groove?” It holds more truth and functionality than folk might realize. Success depends on the proverbial grooves we create–practices forming pathways.

Here’s a quick and easy process to get in the Write Groove:

  1. Orient: Despite my B.S., how would I love to show up to my writing, right here and now?
  2. Engage: Am I willing to show up to it in the way I’d love?
  • If yes, continue to step three…
  • If no, see step one again…
  1. Practice: Show this by completing a small, clear action step.
  2. Celebrate: You’ve practiced successful writing. Savor the truth, then repeat at later date.

(13) A DISNEY WINTER IS COMING. Peter Marks has written in the Washington Post about the development of the Broadway version of Frozen, which has ten new songs, a new ending, and has been in development for seventeen months:

Disney likes to hire directors who don’t just reorchestrate, but also can cogitate freshly about what on the surface might merely seem easily digested fairy tales rendered immaculately on celluloid. This has not always translated into success on Broadway: Think of opera director Francesca Zambello’s overproduced “The Little Mermaid” or design auteur Bob Crowley’s turgid “Tarzan.” When it does work, though, as in Julie Taymor’s visually ravishing “The Lion King,” the enchanting results fulfill the artistic mission the company has striven to uphold as it continues the tradition of big-time transferences from screen to stage it commenced with “Beauty and the Beast” in 1994.

For Grandage, the challenge has not only been to accept the magnitude of expectation fans of the movie would bring into the theater — “You realized you were taking on something that has seeped so deeply into the consciousness of people globally” — but also to bring to the fore an emotionality better suited to characters in three dimensions.

“It’s a show that’s very much about a family in trauma,” says Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who with her husband, Robert Lopez, wrote the score for the film and added more than a dozen other songs for the Broadway version, which of course retains the Oscar-winning “Let It Go.” That was sung on screen by Idina Menzel as the tormented Elsa, the young queen cursed with an ice-making power that bedevils her subjects and sends her into self-imposed exile.

(14) TWO MUSIC LOVERS. Steve Vertlieb invites you to watch a video of “a delightful conversation with composer and music preservationist Roger Hall in my living room, talking candidly about the cultural significance and artistic importance of Music For The Movies … our interaction with composers Elmer Bernstein, Lee Holdridge and Mark McKenzie … as well as the oldest, most successfully enduring website devoted entirely to the study and presentation of original motion picture music, Film Music Review.”

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Cat Rambo, Carl Slaughter, Cora Buhlert, Olav Rokne, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cat Rambo.]

62 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/1/18 I Fell Into A Pixeled Link Of Fire

  1. Someone needs to write a book worthy of that cover, because the more I see it, the more I want to read it.

  2. Checking Wikipedia, I discover that Goodkind is a fervent Objectivist. Which explains a lot to me. Whatever else you can say about that belief system, my experience is that it tends to have an extremely disproportionate number of dicks.

    eta: omigosh, am I really fifth? I’d like to thank the Academy, the earlier posters, and, of course, my mom.

  3. (2) Here I’m just shaking my head.

    (4) Facepalm.

    (8) I believe it’d be an improvement if TB was actually out to make a profit rather than crapping everywhere.

    (16) Warning. Exponential scrolling past the pixels.

  4. (1) Have the usual suspects popped up declaring that this is the sign of a collapsing company yet?

  5. Goodkind: Lol, this is his objection? Totally believable. 😉
    Sorry but if that was the reason talking to the publisher or the artist before the book came out, would be the normal think to do. It seems that Goodkind searched for an excusse afterwards.
    (I will note that the cover doesn’t seem to be sexist for me)

    Alt-Hero: The important question has there even been a comic released or have we got a date when an isue will come out?

  6. When I saw the latest Goodkind claims, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to laugh… or dress in tight red leather and flog something. And really, how can the man who created the Mord Sith (not to mention other aspects in those books) really believe he has the right to call anything or anyone sexist? Especially that cover.

    Although people have criticized the high heels, other than that, I just don’t see it. She’s wearing practical armor — not a metal bikini. She’s not kneeling on the ground at the feet of a warrior stud. Maybe he thinks women look strong only if they wear tight red leather and carry an Agiel?

  7. Camestros Felapton That Tor Boycott is really biting now

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it here again: the vast majority of readers don’t give a rat’s ass who publishes a given book so long as they want to read it and the price is within their comfort range. Folks here follow publishers but that’s not typical of the greater reading audience.

  8. @Anne Marble

    Agreed – apart from the heels being silly that cover barely registers in the history of bad representations for women on covers.
    (Mind you, I suppose that’s a relative judgement – in absolute terms I shouldn’t have to say “apart from the high heels” or even have the conversation at all)
    If Goodkind had started this whole thing with “look, I didn’t write her wearing heels so why add them for effect – the art direction should be better than this” then he’d not have had the reaction he did – especially if he’d done so privately to his publisher.

    Oh, and down in the comments of the article someone points out that the character was on the cover of the first book in the series in exactly the same outfit. Sounds more and more like Goodkind should have sorted this issue out with his publisher long ago.

  9. (2) Is there anywhere an objective explanation of the whole Readercon malarky? I get the impression that ‘Guest’ means something subtly different for them than other cons I’ve attended.
    And I’m not quite sure why Ms. Cramer is involved at all. Her twitter feed said she wasn’t ‘disinvited’.

    As an occasional con goer, the idea that the guests would be the same every year wouldn’t be especially appealing.

  10. The boots on the cover are perfectly unexceptional riding boots. The heel is a little higher than (say) the standard cowboy boot, but honestly not by much. And high boots are practical when riding. (To me, they look like they’re knee-high, but there’s another break in the line mid-thigh so I concede they might be thigh-high boots.)

    Now, given that I’ve not read the books, I have no idea whether or not the character rides. But looking at that cover, that would be my assumption. And ghod knows I’ve seen thousands of sexist covers; this one doesn’t even come close. No gratuitous tits-and-ass! No bare midriff! No hunky male rushing to save her from (whatever)!

    She’s wearing practical clothes and practical armor. Although were I her, I’d want something to protect my arms and head. She’s posed realistically, and, assuming she’s lefthanded, she’s handling the sword reasonably.

    Goodkind is making an ass of himself.

  11. @NickPheas–
    At Readercon, “guests” means “program participant.” They are all pros, no fans, and until the recent kerfuffle, once you got invited onto Readercon program, you had to either tell them you wanted to stop, or be an absolute dickwad at the con (not somewhere else) to get dropped.

    This is why the reaction would have been very negative even from normally reasonable past program participants would have been very negative even if this really were just a clumsy letter. Those disinvited from program this time hadn’t done anything like the things normally necessary to result in a disinvite from this con.

    Unfortunately, every additional thing I learn, not all of which I feel I can share this publicly, makes it look worse and worse.

    (4) Goodkind keeps digging deeper.

  12. Thanks Lis.

    I’m reasonably happy most of the time to think cockup not conspiracy, but it sure feels like they’re failing dismally to handle their problem.

  13. 11) Including my friend and Skiffy and Fanty co-host Julia Rios. Woo!

    4) Stop Digging, Mr. Goodkind.
    Nobody listens to Weimer, err Zathras.

  14. 2) I agree with many that whether it’s discrimination or not, Readercon has been handling this badly. But Kathryn Cramer is demanding that others MUST pick up the mess SHE left off because to get more response will require real work.

    Yes, collective action works better. So SHE should do the collecting, assemble fellow concerned authors, make a collective, get their voices heard. SHE doesn’t get to say, “You! Go fight them over MY crusade.”

  15. (4) Oh, it’s the boots! Ok! Fair enough!

    I was recently lucky enough to handle a pair of boots worn on campaign by my avatar, Black Tom Fairfax. Thigh-high leather with a nice solid inch and a half heel.

    Utterly impractical and sexist – there’s no way any warrior forced to wear such items could possibly led an army to crushing victory at, say Marston Moor, Naseby, Langport….

  16. Title credit! The world is my oyster!

    “Yeah, I am not 100% sure SFWA wants to tackle the issue of con codes of conduct, or that cons want SFWA to dictate to them.”

    Jesus god no. On both sides, I think. Though we do have resources like an accessibility checklist and anti-harassment for events. This one though? Not sure everything’s being disclosed.

  17. Nit: I am regularly on Readercon programming and I don’t think I fall into the category of “pro.”

    Carry on.

  18. During my period of running being on or heading the Readercon program committee, I was regularly sternly reminded that “our” policy was Pros Only. OTOH, there were a very few, an eensy weensy number, who did not appear to me to be pros, who were nevertheless on program. Since they were in fact excellent program participants, when I couldn’t leverage their presence on program to gain acceptance of more fannish program participants, in the end I didn’t want to force the issue strongly enough to risk consistency being achieved by ejecting them. That would have been a solution worse than the problem. 🙁

    Being involved in running Readercon was a weird experience in many ways.

  19. (1) Management changes were bound to occur at Tor. Tom Doherty is in his 80s now, and I’ve heard speculation for the past couple of years that he would probably pass the baton to the next generation fairly soon. Taking the title of “Chairman” suggests this is restructuring rather than retirement, but the article does seem to indicate that Foy will be the hands-on day-to-day head of the operation from now on. I met Devi Pillai (now VP and publisher at Tor, reporting to Foy) very briefly several years ago, and I thought she seemed professional and knowledgeable.

    (4) Oh, good grief. Is there no one who can rid that troublesome writer of his shovel?

  20. (4) @Laura Here in Chez Rambo we have a running bet on what excuse will pop up next. My money is on soon finding out the Russians hacked his social media.

  21. #1: Tom Doherty and his wife had a big scare recently when they were involved in a car crash. I’m sure that accelerated concerns at Tor and the parent company about succession issues.

    ReaderCon: All the times I went to ReaderCon, I was a dealer, selling Science Fiction Chronicle and other Algol Press stuff. I never knew that I could get in free, and I was never offered the opportunity. But then, I was merely a fan boy, apparently.

    Now that I had a disagreement with the committee a few years ago, good riddance.

  22. @1: I’m not sure I like him calling Tor a “boutique publisher” (smacks of elitism and room for disregard — doesn’t every part of Macmillan publish books with a range of sales?) but he’s certainly working with current staff rather than bringing in his own team, so Tor will probably continue to be the most important overall publisher in SF; Tom D has had an amazing run (utterly defying Townsend‘s observation that 10 years at the top is enough), but I’m unsurprised that he’s stepping back a bit at his age. Particular congratulations to Patrick, who’s been promoted for the 2nd time in ~2 years.

    @Peer: and tomorrow we shall be sober?

    @NickPheas (re why is Cramer involved): this may have hit a nerve for her; I know she has a reputation for temper; I don’t know how much this is measured and how much is just that she doesn’t take the !@#$%^&*()! that women in the field are more likely than men to have to put up with.

    @Laura Resnick: s/troublesome/turbulent/ ?

  23. @Cat Eldridge: I pay some attention to publishers, because I support those that don’t impose DRM on their books, which puts Tor and Baen (and others like Angry Robot) in the same “good” pile for me.

  24. (9) Fun stuff.

    Comparing fractional representations was kind of interesting.

    Written fractions had what I imagined was the correct order of precedence with “half” being more frequent than “quarter”, etc.

    Things get weird when you toss in the numerical equivalents.

    (10) I’ve enjoyed the few episodes of The Orville that I’ve watched. Nice write-up.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances. – Thomas Jefferson

  25. Andrew says to that I pay some attention to publishers, because I support those that don’t impose DRM on their books, which puts Tor and Baen (and others like Angry Robot) in the same “good” pile for me.

    Perfectly good reason to do so. I avoid NetGalley, the preferred e-galley services for publishers currently, as they designed to go dead after a certain date. And I often re-read books I like years later in digital form.

  26. Dann on March 2, 2018 at 10:50 am said

    Written fractions had what I imagined was the correct order of precedence with “half” being more frequent than “quarter”, etc.

    Things get weird when you toss in the numerical equivalents.

    I think “1/8” etc will mainly catch dates rather than fractions, which will swamp the data.

    The graph for “half” is fascinating. I guess much of this is just like looking at the shape of clouds. There’s nor real rhyme or reason but I can’t help looking for some!

  27. (4) @Cat…or maybe no excuses needed. In the comments on the i09 article, someone posted something like, “Google ‘Terry Goodkind is an asshole.’ It will explain everything.” I assumed it was a facetious comment, but out of curiosity, I googled the phrase… And, ah, it was NOT a facetious comment. It brings up relevant results. Hm.

  28. @Camestros Felapton That Tor Boycott is really biting now

    I thought that VD promised us that PNH and in particular Iren Gallo would never work in this town again!

  29. @Lenora But Kathryn Cramer is demanding that others MUST pick up the mess SHE left off because to get more response will require real work.

    From her FB post: “I exit the conversation, leaving the matter to others with more organization and institutional umph behind them. Good luck.”

    I don’t see any “MUST” in this. As far as the “because”, I don’t see a desire to shirk “real work”; rather (1) an admission that she may have set hackles rising because she framed inquiries by suggesting “the firing of the program chair”, and thus dealt herself out of the discussion from the get-go, and (2) that other organizations (including SFWA) may be institutionally more appropriate to seek the answers.

  30. I think Cramer is looking at the Readercon thing both as having friends affected by the dismal letter and somewhat paternally, as Dave Hartwell was very involved in supporting and publicizing the convention.

    I haven’t been involved with Readercon for a long while, myself, but I still would not want the convention be damaged any more by further controversy.

    Also, she does not view idiocy kindly.

  31. @rochrist–

    I thought that VD promised us that PNH and in particular Iren Gallo would never work in this town again!

    Well, clearly they aren’t working anywhere else in this town. Right?

    So VD can call that a win?

    Right?

    Maybe not…

  32. (4) When this Goodkind incident first appeared on File 770 a few days ago, by which time he had posted an apology, I wrote here something to the effect that it was good to see someone apologize rather than double-down on bad behavior, and good on him.

    But an apology gets eclipsed if you go right back to enacting more of the same behavior. Such as subsequently saying things like, the artist “did an admirable job of recreating that hackneyed look” and complaining about the “inappropriate, sexist cover” the artist painted.

    So I’m retracting my kudos about Mr. Goodkind’s prevoius apology.

  33. Has anybody been able to read his latest statement? Did he say what he thought was sexist about it, or did he just pick something at random that he thought would sound like a good reason?

  34. Bill: However nice her phrasing, it still comes down to her stirring up a hornet’s nest, then telling someone else to keep stirring for her.

    And my impression of Cramer and her approach to things she disagrees with has not been as kind as simply “Doesn’t suffer fools gladly”.

  35. @Maximillian:

    [Goodkind] “Completely disregarding the story, they apparently told the artist to paint a sexist fantasy cover like those that appeared on dime paperback fantasy magazines, in the ‘70s. The artist is obviously talented in that he did an admirable job of recreating that hackneyed look.”

    Specifically, Goodkind said he took issue with protagonist Nicci’s boots (which were actually the model’s), adding: “Is it too much to ask that my female characters not be portrayed as hiking for miles in thigh-high, heeled boots?”

  36. Hampus Eckerman on March 2, 2018 at 1:50 pm said:
    2) What retaliation is she talking about?

    Somebody involved in Readercon tweeted, on their own personal twitter account, something along the lines of “I see Cramer is making as ass of herself in public again”. Now that might be unpleasant, but I wouldn’t call it retaliation.

  37. (8) That article is the best “Oh SNAP!” I’ve read in ages. And the cartoon is hilarious.

    I’m about halfway through Katherine Arden’s The Girl in the Tower. Much better book, to me, than The Bear and the Nightingale–tighter, more focused, better characterization, almost no head-hopping. I hadn’t intended to nominate her for the Campbell, but this book might be changing my mind.

  38. Finished BLOOD BINDS THE PACK. I’m biased (Alex Acks/Wells is a friend and cohost) but I think its even stronger than HUNGER MAKES THE WOLF.

  39. I thought that VD promised us that PNH and in particular Irene Gallo would never work in this town again!

    Apparently, the town he had in mind was Cremona.

  40. Hampus Eckerman: what retaliation is she talking about?

    The only thing I can see is this tweet which is critical of her, and which she has repeatedly, stridently claimed is “incitement of harassment” of her.

    Which is, just… no. It’s not. Not by the largest stretch of imagination. The tweet doesn’t even use her @ twitter handle. And her calling it that implies to me that she feels that no one should be able to say anything critical of her, which is also, just no.

    It also makes me think that I can not fully trust anything that she says, if she has so wildly skewed that particular claim. She has not done her credibility any favors with that little performance.

  41. While I think that Readercon’s entire handling of the communications on this was incompetence piled upon ineptness, there was no response they could give which would have satisfied Cramer. If they’d released demographic data of their programme participants and it didn’t support her claims of ageism, she would have demanded actual names — which is something that Readercon could not release without painting a social media target on those peoples’ backs.

    And again, even if the demographics of their panelists do skew younger, this is an entirely expected result of rotating out long-time panelists in favor of those who are new and different.

    My personal belief is that the makeup and aims of Readercon’s concom has changed somewhat over the years — as concoms are wont to do. Look at how the tenor of Worldcon has changed dramatically from even just 3 decades ago. One person has complained massively in the Readercon post about how “Readercon has gone soft and it just isn’t the same” — in other words, it’s no longer the same con they expect it to be. Well, you know… build yourself a bridge and get over it. That’s how cons work.

    Cons which don’t grow and change with the times end up dying. Look at Context, and Lunacon. And the huge problems ConQuest had, which bled into problems for the Valley Forge NASFIC bid — which in itself reflected a huge problem with conrunners having a myopic approach to running cons.

    Fans who have been around for a long time like things they way they like them, and tend to not want those things to change. Many authors who were big name panelists and membership draws 20 or 30 years ago no longer enjoy that status, and are being rotated out for authors who are currently more well-known and bigger sellers. No one wants to believe that they might not be as important and as big of a draw as they used to be, and it is inevitable that there is going to be some unhappiness when that happens. The important thing is to handle it a lot more tactfully and graciously than Readercon did this year.

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