Pixel Scroll 3/17/16 The Weirdscroll of Puppygeddon

(1) SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS WHO WERE NEVER DRUNK ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY. Here are a few of the genre’s known teetotalers – doubtless there are others…

Asimov was a teetotaler in later life, mainly because in all of his experiences with drinking alcoholic beverages, just one or two drinks were sufficient to get him drunk. On the day he passed the oral examination for his Ph.D., he drank five Manhattans in celebration, and his friends had to carry him back to school and try to sober him up. His wife told him that he spent that entire night in bed giggling every once in a while and saying “Doctor Asimov”.

(2) OB IRISH. For a more substantial tribute to St. Patrick’s Day, we recommend James H. Burns’ tribute to Disney’s Darby O’Gill movie — “And A Moonbeam To Charm You”.

(3) FANHISTORY OF GREATER IRELAND. David Langford (coincidentally) chose St. Patrick’s Day to trumpet the forthcoming update of Rob Hansen’s history of UK fandom.

Wearing my Ansible Editions hat, I’ve been copyediting the final sections of Rob Hansen’s expanded (though not, as he says, extended), corrected and source-noted THEN: A HISTORY OF UK FANDOM 1930-1980. The final word count is around 211,000, about 20% more than the original. Our planned trade paperback is up to 410 pages, which will grow a bit more when the awaited 1970s fan mugshots go in (dread chore). To be published … Summer 2016?

(4) RECOMMENDED GREEN READING. At the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, “5 Fantasy Novels That Go Full Emerald Isle” not only gives you Ireland but the magic number 5!

Ireland isn’t just a country, it’s a repository of myth and legend that has been mined by genre writers for decades. Even today, Ireland seems to be bursting with magical energies that other countries couldn’t hope to match—I mean, who would imagine an epic fantasy set in the wilds of New Jersey? Naturally, that means that not only have some of the best works of fantasy ever written taken inspiration from Irish history, but several are explicitly in Ireland. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are a five fantasy novels exploring the Emerald Isle.

The Book of Kells, by R.A. MacAvoy As with all of MacAvoy’s novels, The Book of Kells is difficult to pin down. Time travel, ancient Ireland, Viking invasions, and a saint or goddess meddling in mortal affairs? You’ll find all of it here, as an accidental confluence of ancient music and the tracing of an ages-old pattern by a modern-day artist transports first a screaming young woman from the past into the artist’s bedroom, then the woman, the artist, and a companion back in time a thousand years, into a medieval Ireland grounded in historical fact—which doesn’t lessen the fantastical nature of the ensuing adventures. It might lack wizards and dragons, but that doesn’t make it any less fun, and part of that is down to exploring a raw, roiling Ireland of old, populated by characters who act intelligently, considering (one even nips back to the modern day in order to convert all his cash into material that would be valuable in the tenth century)…

(5) MOVIE MAKING TECHNOLOGY. Lucid Dreams of Time is a short from Disney’s Zurich research division (and yes, Disney has an alliance with the Gnomes of Zurich) which is a time travel story but also a way of showcasing new Disney technologies.

The film portrays a moment of transition, from life to afterlife, with the story being told from three different perspectives – a mother, her son, and the messenger who can alter time. Simona and her son Gabriel travel through three realms – a present moment, supernatural world and a lucid dream – to discover purpose after a series of events change their lives forever. Through an afterlife mirror, Simona views the last few minutes of life with her son. Later, as Gabriel falls asleep, Simona receives a small gift from the Messenger – to talk to her son for exactly one minute. As the sands of time quickly run out, she appears to Gabriel in his dream to deliver a message that he will never forget.

(6) YESTERDAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY.

(7) SILICON VALLEY COMIC CON. Steve Wozniak has brought a Comi Con to Silicon Valley reports smofnews. The Los Angeles Times previews his plans in “Silicon Valley Comic Con comes with an extra dose of tech”.

Kicking off Friday at the San Jose Convention Center, the inaugural Silicon Valley Comic Con will bring the internationally recognized comic, science fiction, fantasy and video gaming convention to the Bay Area.

Although the event will be smaller than the flagship San Diego Comic-Con, which last year drew nearly 170,000 attendees (the three-day Silicon Valley event is expected to draw 30,000 per day, with many attendees attending multiple days), Steve Wozniak, the event’s host and pioneer of the personal computer, said it would be for the same audience.

“It’s for people who are local who haven’t been able to get to the San Diego one,” said Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs. “It’ll be a full Comic Con in terms of the sorts and booths, presentations and celebrities that we have.”

The key difference? There will be more technology — the kind that “carries over into pop culture,” Wozniak said — and a greater focus on science fiction.

The convention will have a dedicated virtual reality zone where attendees will be able to play with the latest VR gadgets, and there will also be science-driven panels, such as one about whether artificial intelligence or “super babies” will be the greatest threat to humankind.

But Wozniak made clear that Silicon Valley Comic Con is “not just a tech conference.”

The event will also feature a “Back to the Future” cast reunion, a presentation by actor William Shatner, appearances by “Mythbusters” co-host Adam Savage and science fiction authors and artists.

“I wanted to be a part of Silicon Valley Comic Con because for me this show highlights what the Valley has meant to science, technology and innovation and encapsulates what ‘Back to the Future’ is about,” said Christopher Lloyd, one of the film’s stars.

(8) ERIN ON HUGOS. If you want to know what Alexandra Erin’s thinking about Hugo nominating season, check out Blue Author Is About To Write.

I haven’t been talking about the Sad and Rabid Puppies much this year because the Hugo Awards are going to happen every year and I don’t want that to be my life, but I understand they’re still at it, still spinning the same narratives, still spreading the same propaganda, still appealing to the biases and suspicions of the biased and the suspicious. I don’t know how much impact they’ll have.

For nominations, there are three possibilities: they’ll have another walk in the park, their machinations will be shut out entirely, or they’ll have some impact but not be able to seize as total control as they did last year. I think if everybody who was mobilized to get involved and vote on conscience and merits rather than politics stays involved, their ability to unduly influence the process will be nullified, but that depends on a big if.

My name has come up in a few circles as a possible nominee. By that I mean, I know that some people have nominated me, but that’s not the same as making it onto the ballot, even without any puppies piddling in the box. In truth, it is an honor just to be nominated, even if I don’t make the short list. It is an honor to have my name being mentioned in conjunction with some of the giants of the field…..

(9) THE EARLY RETURNS. Here are some reactions to the Sad Puppies 4 list, which was posted today.

The G at Nerds of a Feather

Given last year’s caustic battle over the Hugo Awards, as well as the generally caustic nature of U.S. politics in 2016, you might be forgiven for assuming that the 2016 Hugo Awards would be yet another battleground in the never-ending (and endlessly tiresome) culture wars. Only it isn’t looking that way, in part because the Sad Puppies have followed up last year’s politically partisan and highly divisive slate with a longlist of recommendations that…isn’t partisan or divisive at all.

Rachael Acks

Eric Franklin

Brian Niemeier

Cirsova

It may have been a mistake to post a recommended reading list with probably over a million words of content two weeks before nominations close.  Unless it was a clever trick to say “aha!  Sad Puppies was about the discussion, not the final list!” in which case, well played.  That means that those who came over from places like File770 to leave comments and votes are now Sad Puppies.

Without the synergy between Sads & Rabids this year, I think we’ll see less of a direct impact this time around, but I think that it gives a pretty good look at how the Hugo noms would’ve shaken out with or without the Puppies. Plus, it may give the statisticians out there a better look at just how much pull Vox has.  There was a lot of talk last year that there were actually only a handful of Sad Puppies and the 500 or so Vile Faceless Minions were the deciding factor.

And where the list was posted, Mad Genius Club commenters have been submitting a large number of copyedits and arithmetic corrections.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, and James H. Burns for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day IanP.]

224 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/17/16 The Weirdscroll of Puppygeddon

  1. Very very few people bothered to nominate anything for Sad Puppies 4 (and some of those few obviously have nothing to do with the puppy mindset). Also, there have been zero buzz compared to the aggressive culture war mongering by Torgersen and Correia that drew insane amount of attention in 2014 and 2015. All in all, I’m sure that Sad Puppies will be a pretty minor thing this year.

    Beale, on the other hand, does have his supporter army ready to do his bidding. He also has an actual slate which means that only a huge-ish group of non-slate voters can prevent Rabid Puppies from landing a bunch of things on the finalist list.

    That is in case all Beale’s energies aren’t spent on praising Donald Trump and he actually has some time for SFF culture warring. The one positive thing mr. Trump has done may well be that he has drawn some people’s attention away from the Hugos.

  2. Mike

    The reason I value File770 so highly is because it is not an echo chamber; you have succeeded in that goal, and I admire your grace under pressure. Long may it continue…

    Jim

    I whole-heartedly agree with you; thank you for expressing it so well.

  3. I am looking back feeling pretty good about one prediction I made last fall, which was that for the core conservative puppies, having SP4 run by women would mean it was’t quite the same thing as when it was run by their men of manliness a la SP1-3.

    Considering that SP4 had so little interest in it that a few people giving very un-puppy like recommendations constituted enough votes to swamp the recs and get things through to the final SP4 slate, I think my prediction that a group composed of US Conservatives, men’s rights types, and Gamergaters wouldn’t be able to deal with Hoyt et al. in the Kirk role (as opposed to the Uhura/Crusher, sidekick/nurturer rule) is looking decent.

  4. Since I came into all of this after the Hugo ballot was released, was there much buzz about the Puppies (both Sad and Rabid) before the nominations last year? I remember some buzz after VD got on the ballot for novelette in 2014, but thought things died down after the awards were announced.

  5. Dawn Incognito on March 18, 2016 at 7:46 am said:
    @Darren Garrison:

    #4 Just for a second there, seeing the title Book of Kells, I was excited to think that it was the basis of the movie The Secret of Kells, only to be disappointed.

    Hey, me too! Animation synchronicity fistbump!

    I, on the other hand, was disappointed to realize that the animated film was not based on the MacAvoy book. I enjoyed it anyway.

    On Inside Out, I didn’t realize that was a current film. I think I saw it on cable or DVD while visiting one of my sisters. I am hard of hearing, and long ago fell out of the movie-going habit because it was too difficult to follow. I was very pleased to discover that the theater I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens in had caption devices available (went with the same sister). The device fits in to the drink holder beside your seat in this theater, and you have to twist its bendy arm just right so that the tiny screen at the end of it is at just the right angle. That was a little tricky. But it worked, and it really helped.

    So that means I saw two 2015 films, thanks to my almost-twin!

  6. @TheYoungPretender: My recollection is that Brad’s recommendation thread was also somewhat lightly trafficked and the range of what people actually recommended wasn’t particularly “Puppy-like” – that is, didn’t bear much resemblance to Brad’s final roster. And that was with a group that had self-selected as regular readers of Brad’s own blog. So first we’d need to demonstrate that participation at the suggestion stage of SP4 was materially different in volume and character from that of SP3. And if it turns out to be, we’d still have to reckon with confounding factors in the way of causal theories. Chief among these is that SP3 happened*. But we also have to include that the Late-Model Chevy, for all her idiosyncrasies and resentments, appears to have been as good as her word: she really wasn’t running a sham process that was just another way to stuff the ballot with works fitting a predetermined agenda compounded of politics and cronyism.

    —————
    *By which I mean, last August there was a lot of big talk by both honchos and rank-and-file Puppies about how getting their butts handed to them just inspired them to try all the harder and burn the whole thing down and ooh! we’ve done it now oh no! But talk, as they say, costs substantially less than many things. Even were I a Puppy sympathizer, I might end up looking at what happened last year, and looking at the SP4 site, and deciding it was pointless.

  7. I chose not to participate in the SP4 recommendation list because I did not want to lend it legitimacy and I felt that participating would do that. Filers who chose to participate did so for their own reasons, which are just as valid as mine.

    I do share a bit of concern that some nominators, finding Hugo nomination time- and effort-consuming (which it is) will include Puppy dross on their ballots along with the good works which appear on the Puppy list, simply because they get tired and want to get it over with. However, that’s not something I or anyone else can control, so I’m not going to worry about it.

    I do find it amusing that some people, after having gotten their friends and family to submit recs for their works, are now burbling about what an honor it is to appear on a list equally ranked with great, bestselling authors. Bless their hearts.

  8. @Jim

    So even last year, the Puppies had more energy for twitter rage than actually being a recommending Silent Majority? Because it appears from the reactions Valente received, there are still enough of them to make a noisy twitter feed. The fact that they couldn’t bother to actually recommend what they like… doesn’t really shock me, I guess.

  9. Stevie on March 18, 2016 at 2:53 pm said:

    Mike

    The reason I value File770 so highly is because it is not an echo chamber;

    I’d just like to echo what Stevie said 😉

  10. @TheYoungPretender:

    So even last year, the Puppies had more energy for twitter rage than actually being a recommending Silent Majority? Because it appears from the reactions Valente received, there are still enough of them to make a noisy twitter feed. The fact that they couldn’t bother to actually recommend what they like… doesn’t really shock me, I guess.

    I don’t understand your first sentence, but the rest of it I get. Mouthing off at Valente on Twitter is an easy expression of tribalism that accomplishes exactly what the tweeter sets out to do: ruin Valente’s evening while sticking up for the tribe. But nothing about last year gives a Puppy Symp any evidence that recommending works for a Sad Puppy roster is a productive use of their time. Last year, Brad didn’t use people’s recommendations, so that was wasted effort, and the stuff that did get onto the ballot with the SP logo got shut out, hard. So why bother?

  11. Some people who make noise on Twitter about Hugo- and Puppy-related matters may not actually read much.

  12. Wine with Pizza in Rome. It’s a thing, and a very good thing.

    I guess it outs me as a European that my first reaction to this was: “Well, what else would you have with pizza? Though water or something else non-alcoholic would do as well, as if you have to drive or don’t drink alcohol for some other reason.”

    Regarding the puppies (both sad and rabid), I will nominate what I want to nominate and pay no attention to what’s on their list, even if there is some overlap with mine on a handful of items.

  13. Are we by any chance still talking about the wealth of SFF set in New Jersey? If we are, I recommend MEGAS XLR. Of course, by the time a typical episode of that cartoon was over, it wasn’t so much set in a New Jersey town as it was in the ruins of New Jersey town, because that’s kind of what happens when Coop pilots the giant robot car. Never fear, “This Building Was Slated For Demolition Anyway.”

    Bonus link: Megas XLR TvTropes page. (Warning: Link goes to TvTropes.)

  14. The only way that I have been responding to the Puppy madness is reading, dicussing, nominating, and cheerleading other people to nominate their own favorites. I want nominating to be fun, and always keep that in mind in discussions! I want as many people as possible to share in it. The only way that Puppies could really ruin the Hugos is taking the enjoyment out of it. I try to pay as little attention as possible to what those folks say or do. They’re not going to be given much space in my mind.

  15. Since you stand while drinking cocktails, the calories don’t count.

    I’m a decent backup bartender for my cocktails-and-dinners group (we take turns cooking, and I’m home-corning the corned beef this week) but if you want a non-alcoholic drink, no problem, I’ve got some recipes for those too. (Not memorized, sorry, but it’s water, citrus, and simple syrup or agave nectar).

  16. Jamoche: if you want a non-alcoholic drink, no problem, I’ve got some recipes for those too. (Not memorized, sorry, but it’s water, citrus, and simple syrup or agave nectar).

    The bartender at my local “invented” an alternating-with-glasses-of-alcohol drink to suit my particular tastes (which tend to tartness, rather than sweetness): 1/2 cranberry juice, 1/2 lemon-lime (Sprite or 7-Up), a few drops of mango-orange concentrate, and a dash of lime juice and/or twist of lime. (If an alcoholic version is desired, a shot of Absolut Citron and/or Absolut Raspberri does the trick.)

  17. @cora Italy was the first time I’ve ever had wine with pizza. I usually have a coke or (preferably) root beer.

  18. I finished reading and reviewing the short fiction in the puppies’ lists. Eric formatted the results nicely to show the overlap between the two.

    http://www.rocketstackrank.com/2016/03/2015-torcom-puppies-ratings.html

    Both lists include a number of well-regarded mainstream stories (where “mainstream” means “published in one of the big six magazines” or “on the Locus Recommended Reading list” or “Reviewed by Lois Tilton”), but that was never what the Puppies were supposed to be about. I thought they were looking for stories that were outstanding but overlooked. I found three that I thought met that description:

    The Builders, by Daniel Polansky, What Price Humanity? by David VanDyke, and Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer, by Megan Grey are the only stories on either list that that I thought were truly outstanding. I wouldn’t be upset to see any of them take a Hugo.

    In addition to those three, there were three others that were good enough to consider recommending to people, albeit not for a Hugo nomination: Flashpoint: Titan, by Cheah Kai Wai, Perfect State, by Brandon Sanderson, and Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers, by Alyssa Wong. If any of these wound up on the Hugo ballot, I’d vote them above No Award.

    The rest range from mediocre to poor. This is in contrast to last year, though, when all the short-fiction Puppy nominees were mediocre-to-poor.

  19. I was initially very tempted to test the principles of SP4 by participating in the same way that others have done. Although I decided against it (helped by some wise words on here, I should add), I can entirely understand why others decided to. The way that their votes have ended up being moderately influential is more an indictment of the low turnout for SP4 than anything else.

  20. Tom Galloway: Thanks for the fuller explanation to the Filers about SVCC (I was lazy and shortened it up). I expect utter chaos tomorrow; the hype is large but the organization on the ground looks terrible. I don’t think they know what they’re doing, and the expected number is way more than Big Wow ever had to deal with. Eh, we’ve got our wristbands and if nothing else the cosplay should be good. Got a feeling I’ll be happy to have reasonably-sized Baycon in a couple months, though.

    Aquavit. I had a LOT of it at Chicon 2012 from many different Scandinavians. And other alcohols from the London party. And small but perfect martinis and Vespers from the gold-medal winning ThinBot, as always (If you don’t go to West Coast cons, Google ThinBot and be jealous).

    I trundle along wine tasting now and again (less than I did in previous centuries) and you don’t want to get drunk there because you have to know which wine is good and worth buying. So we have a lot of bottles that you can only buy at the winery, which is fun and tasty and you get to quiz the people who actually made it.

    I single malt tasted as much as possible during 3 weeks touring around Scotland. I have to have somewhat of an occasion for that (unless I’m at a con and someone else is buying!). One bottle at home can last me for years. I don’t waste it on hot toddies, those are loaded up with ginger, lemon and honey and get the cheap blended stuff. I don’t think I’ve had any drinks since New Year’s. I socialize less than I used to, so I drink less (And always take the Pepcid or Tagamet).

    I would like to make Cat Valente a nice cup of tea and say “there, there”. Does anyone know her (even virtually)? Can you get the message to her that all the votes she got were probably non-Puppies who thought, “hey, they said open nominations, let’s see.” I’d bet (checks pockets) $2.37 that no Puppy actually voted for her.

    And if non-Puppy participation was what got Scalzi, Leckie, et al. on their list, it shows SP is a pretty spent force. 2 or 3 votes is enough to make the list? Nothing they independently slated from RP last year even made the ballot. The same is likely to happen this year. Sad Puppies may be dead (so they 🎝 aren’t much fun 🎝)
    (Dammit, those were supposed to be musical notes.)

    @Dex: Co-sign. You said it really well. Ho-hum.

    @Jim Henley: You too. Filers, despite what Puppies say, are not a groupthink hive. Egads, the way we argue with each other shows that. We’re individuals who do whatever the hell we want and happen to comment on the same website. We are not a “side”.
    At best, we’re a motley horde, lurching in generally the same direction, with bits breaking off onto side roads, doubling back, and getting lost in a forest of food arguments.

    The buzz last year started after the nominations were released (April?) so we’ll see what happens after the dead elk mindlessly attempt their XandaD’OH! gambit.

    WE STILL NEED EPH so they don’t screw things up like last year. The Sads could be behaving themselves to lull us into a false sense of security. And their culture war insults still continue, as you can see by their toxic bullshit in Related Work. They’re still not good with the SJWs, teh gheys, PoC, etc. though they had to tone down the misogyny with Ms. Chevrolet running it.

    If you need cheering up, Maru the cat is VERY silly today.

  21. @Mike Glyer FWIW, I’ve finished narrowing down my lists and intend to nominate tomorrow or Sunday, whichever day I have the energy for it. I didn’t participate in sad puppies, wouldn’t do so and intend to nominate you in good faith.

    And however you decide to react to being on the SP4 list there will be no hard feelings, I expect the other filers feel the same way. Follow your conscience.

  22. I wondered if there were any 1940 works suitable for Best Related Work in the Retro-Hugos and found two interesting possibilities, though not readily available online.

    “[H.G.] Wells as Journalist”, by T.S. Eliot in New English Weekly, according to this bibliography. Reprinted in a reference book, H.G. Wells: The Critical Heritage, that may be accessible to people with an institutional library.

    The Invasion from Mars: A Study in the Psychology of Panic, Hadley Cantril. Published by Princeton U. Press, this was “a study of collective behavior, mass communication, and the spread of rumors to induce panic” and included Welles’s script for the original “War of the Worlds” broadcast. Abebooks has some copies of The Invasion From Mars available for a few dollars.

  23. @Mark

    I was initially very tempted to test the principles of SP4 by participating in the same way that others have done. Although I decided against it (helped by some wise words on here, I should add), I can entirely understand why others decided to.

    I felt the same way, especially after George R.R. Martin called on people to adopt a spirit of reconciliation. But I decided that I couldn’t do it as long as they refuse to cleanly separate themselves from Vox Day and what he stands for.

  24. Heads-up to Greg: there’s a problem with commenting on RSR. When I click “publish” after entering the comment, I keep getting redirected to a preview.

  25. I think the best way to enjoy Chicago pizza is to be blind stupid drunk, laying somewhere in a gutter.

    And don’t get me started on what they do to hot dogs! Bunch of heathens…

    (Been totally ‘dry’ since alcohol killed my dad in 85. I’ve had bouts of sobriety throughout that period)

  26. Ed Green
    If there’s such a thing as a deep-dish pizza that’s not 3/8 soggy crust, then I’m interested. One might say deeply interested. It’s just that in the 40 years since I first saw a deep-dish pizza, I haven’t encountered one like that, and I’m starting to get skeptical.

    lurkertype
    You are not of the hive mind?
    TO ME, FILERS! NON-MUTUAL IN SECTOR THREE!

  27. The important topics of the day: When I was in college, I drank large quantities of cheap stuff as quickly as possible; then, after I graduated, I decided it wasn’t nearly as fun. These days my limit is about two — usually nice craft beers, preferably stouts, often while sitting in a booth and reading on my Kindle, which happens about once a week.

    And when I was in college, I actually thought Pizza Hut was good pizza. These days, my favorite style is Neapolitan — there’s a place just a couple blocks away with a coal oven. Or I just make it myself (using Alton Brown’s crust recipe from Good Eats). About once or twice a year I get a wild hair and make or purchase Chicago-style deep-dish, but just as a very infrequent change of pace.

    (I’ve never been to New York, so don’t have a good referent for New York-style pizza; and if anyone’s interested in pizza in all its myriad variations, I recommend Peter Reinhart’s book American Pie.)

  28. @ Kip

    Mix potato into the dough and if the oven isn’t going to be terribly hot let the spinach air dry overnight.

  29. I love the diversity of this site. People are talking about pizza and the yeast-cake with tomato-sauce icing they sell in Chicago.

  30. These days, my favorite style is Neapolitan — there’s a place just a couple blocks away with a coal oven.

    A coal oven is nice if you’ve got one.

    Otherwise, make a dough with insanely high hydration, let it ooze and goopily settle in the bottom of a good nonstick skillet, add sauce and toppings, place under a roaring hot broiler until the top is ready, and then finish the bottom on the stove. Brutal on the good nonstick skillet, but worth doing in case of a Neapolitan emergency.

  31. I will point out that everyone here is wrong about pizza. The best pizza can only be found in Vincennes, Indiana, at Bobe’s Pizzeria.

  32. @Brian Z – You are really making me want to find you in real life and pick your brain about pizza making. If I thought you lived in the Bay Area, I’d bribe you with… not sure what, I’d probably have to get your advice about that… some sort of booze or food.

    @Aaron – I hadn’t realized there were two good pizza places in Indiana. My home town, the only thing notable about it at this point, has an excellent pizza place.

    I’m definitely easy to please when it comes to pizza, at least if it’s good within it’s particular… idiom. I love deep dish, whether from Chicago or the fancier, fresher-tasting stuff from eg Zacharys, or New York style (preferably in New York). I just don’t like super bready pizza, but even that is okay. I think Little Caesars is the only pizza that I truly just can’t stomach – I suspect that’s because it isn’t made out of food. But I prefer pizza that’s well-made. It’s a simple thing, but easy to get wrong.

  33. Thanks, but I leave that to the pros, and there are plenty of local pizza makers I like here, even if Great Northern did go crust up.

  34. I like most pizzas, regardless of style. I have enjoyed thin crust and giant crust, and authentic deep-dish in Chicago. Though I only managed one piece of that, because of the many many toppings. I liked the crust once I got to it. Deep dish does not automatically equal super-thick crust. I do draw the line at kale.

    Off to bed to get up bright and early for SVCC. Looked at the schedule and thought “Who the hell ARE most of these people?” and realized that unlike real cons, “appearing” doesn’t mean “is on panels or gives solo presentation” but means “will charge you shitloads of money to stand in line for an autograph or photo”. >:(

    And the costume contest is at 5:00? So early, and during dinner? Ah, well, that means I can leave right after it and not have to eat convention center food.

  35. kathodus: @Brian Z – You are really making me want to find you in real life and pick your brain about pizza making.

    See, he has a skill. All I know how to do is fling my dough in the air.

  36. I figured out years ago that I like thin-crust pizza, and didn’t care for half-cooked dough (or uncooked dough, for that matter), so whenever it was time to order multiple pizzas, I always requested one with thin crust. Oh, people said, we all prefer regular old thick, gummy, throat-choking crust! Doesn’t everyone? But they would order one just to humor me, and it would always happen that the thin-crust pizza would be gone while the other pizzas were still congealing in their boxes on the table.

    Where’s Hatlo when you really have one for him?

  37. I found the trailer to X-Men Apocalypse implausible. How would Apocalypse tempt Magneto to join him? Now I know – he used Brian’s pizza cooking tips. We bow to our new master! 🙂

  38. @Paul

    Italy was the first time I’ve ever had wine with pizza. I usually have a coke or (preferably) root beer.

    Well, you’ll have a hard time finding root beer anywhere in Europe, since we don’t have it here, though the alcohol-free malt beer for kiddies you can buy in some places is similar. And Europeans are often shocked when they order beer in the US in a place that’s unlicensed and are served root beer instead. My parents still rant about root beer thirty plus years later.

    Regarding pizza, I don’t mind American style pizza with a thick crust or served in a pan, but I vastly prefer Italian style pizza with a thin crust. I also like Turkish pizza (quite common in Germany due to a large Turkish minority) on occasion.

  39. Brian Z:

    “A coal oven is nice if you’ve got one.”

    Kickstarter campaign for portable pizza oven here.

  40. @Dawn Incognito: Have you seen Yo Comments Are Wack? (“Baby’s Got Back” parody focused on the bad grammar, punctuation, and general incomprehensibility of Youtube comments.) I look forward to your Raadch parody. 😉 I’m sure you can do it.

    The pizza and wine talk makes me hungry and thirsty, but that’s not a combination I’d want, methinks. But then, I generally prefer mixed drinks to wine. (I never acquired a taste for beer, yuck, can’t stand it.)

  41. @amk: Invasion from Mars made it to my nominations for 1940 Best Related… others included non-fiction works by H.G. Wells (The New World Order) and C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain). Both of them describe aspects of the writer’s personal philosophy, which infuses and informs their fiction, so I thought that was fair enough. Both books are reasonably easy to get hold of today.

  42. “Alastair Reynolds is not happy that SLOW BULLETS is on the Puppies Not-A-Slate and has asked to be removed from such.”

    Poor guy managed to get on the Not-A-Slates for both the sads and the rabids.

  43. @Vasha
    Robin Reid, last November you said Planetfall contained “brilliant deconstruction of space colony tropes throughout.” I would love to hear you expand on that if it hasn’t been too long since you read it. I did wonder myself if the intent of the novel was deconstructive, though my opinion would be that it’s not entirely successful (you could persuade me otherwise).

    I do not remember right off hand (has been a hectic few months, including spending last month sick with the flu bah). I do remember that I was disappointed in the ending (may have posted before finishing it, but don’t recall). I’m in a mostly re-reading now to avoid getting further behind in work, so have pulled Planetfall up to re-read and will be happy to talk further!

    A couple of quickies before I go off to breakfast: I don’t worry about intent (or even think it’s possible to discern intent, even if the original author is saying “my intent was to…” etc. etc.), and of course am heavily into reader response theory. But also, deconstruction always runs the risk of re-inscribing what is being deconstructed–and given my remembered disappointment at the ending, that may be where the reinscription took place!

    Will bookmark this page so I can find it again! (File 770 goes SO FAST)

  44. Pizza with a good crust, whether thick or thin, is preferable to the many pizzas available with mediocre or poor crusts. My favored source for thick-crust is a local chain, Barro’s; great texture, great taste; I could eat the crust plain.

    The worst pizza I ever had came from a local pizza place that we’d had many standard varieties from, ranging from good to excellent. One time when I was ordering a meat-topped pizza there, I noticed they had a “vegetarian” option on their menu as well. “I’ll give it a try,” I thought, and added it to the order. A little later, I was given two pizza boxes to take home. I opened up the vegetarian pizza’s box at home, expecting to see peppers, onions, mushrooms and the like…

    …and found, instead, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.

  45. My favorite Chicago pizza was Edwardo’s. For a long time they had a franchise in Madison, and briefly two of them. They made a great stuffed spinach pizza, and the crust was always dry. I liked to add sausage.

    In Toronto, there is supposed to be a place that makes a good Chicago-style pizza in the burbs, but I never made it there when I could have eaten it.

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