Pixel Scroll 3/21/16 The Incredible Sulk

(1) SCALZI PREDICTS. Today John Scalzi answered “Reader Request Week 2016 #2: Will Humans Survive?”

But we’re smart! I hear you say. Sure, that’s true, but does it then follow that a) we’re smart enough not to basically kill ourselves by wrecking the planet, b) that our intelligence means that evolution is done with us. The answers here, if you ask me (and you did) are: We’ll see, and probably not. In the latter case, there’s an argument to be made that our intelligence will increase speciation, as humans intentionally do to our species what natural selection did unintentionally before, and do it on a much shorter timescale, in order to adapt to the world that is currently rapidly changing under our feet, in no small part because of our own activities.

So, no. Human beings, meaning Homo sapiens, will almost certainly not be here a billion years from now.

(2) LASFS SPEAKERS. Three big names will be guest speakers at the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society in the coming weeks.

  • March 24 – Jerry Pournelle Speaks (My Favorite Book (LASFS meeting)
  • April 7 — Robert J. Sawyer – Special Guest (LASFS meeting)
  • April 28 — Larry Niven – Guest Speaker (LASFS meeting)

(3) MILLENNICON RIP. Millennicon 30, held last weekend, ended the convention’s run. Con chair Christy Johnson announced on Facebook:

It is with great sadness to announce that Millennicon 30 was our last. We tried our best to keep going but all good things must come to an end. We wanted to go out with a good con, and I think we did.

We were hoping for a higher attendance and hotel room nights, but alas, it was not to be.

Thank you to the best con-com, our guests of honor, dealers, artists, fan clubs and our attendees. Thanks to all those that lived local and still got hotel rooms. Thanks to those that regularly stayed at the hotel to help keep our costs down. Thanks to those that brought in their friends and family to join us. We survived this long because of you.

We hope you have enjoyed yourself over the years and remember us with fondness. We, the con-com, became a family through Millennicon. Many of you were also a part of our family.

Thanks for 30 years!

(4) COVER MODELS. Jim C. Hines has several fascinating photos from Millennicon here, including a faux book cover pose with Laura Resnick.

(5) TAXING MATTERS. At the SFWA blog, the issue that is every tax auditor’s nightmare is covered in “Ask the Tax Czarina: Hobby or Business?”

Q: Is my writing is a hobby or a business?

A: There are a number of factors the IRS looks at. The most important factor is whether or not you have a profit motive. You are not in a trade or business unless you intend to make a profit and have some sort of plan for how you’ll accomplish that. Note that this doesn’t mean you must make a profit. Lots of small businesses fail. But the burden of proof here is on the taxpayer. If you’re losing money, the IRS may assert that you’re engaging in a hobby, especially if you only do it part-time or your primary support comes from another source.

So, wow. That sounds subjective, doesn’t it? Why yes, yes it is. It’s a facts and circumstances test and can be highly individual.

(6) AMAZON LANDS DOCTOR WHO. Amazon Prime, which is replacing Netflix and Hulu as online video streamer, will initiate service this month reports Variety.

The man that stops the monsters is back! Seasons 1-8 of Doctor Who will be exclusively available to stream on Amazon Video starting March 27, with Season 9 coming on September 6 2016 and ‘The Husbands of River Song’ following on September 25. Fantastic!

(7) NUSSBAUM’S FAVORITES. Abigail Nussbaum is back with “The 2016 Hugo Awards: My Hugo Ballot, Publishing and Fan Categories”. Here’s just one example –

Best Fan Writer:

  • Nina Allan – Allan continues to be one of the smartest, most insightful reviewers currently working.  Her reviews for Strange Horizons never fail to convince me to read the books she raves about, and in her recent blogging about mystery novels she shows herself to be equally insightful about that genre as she is about science fiction.

(8) POLL WORKER. George R.R. Martin works to get out the vote in “Countdown to Liftoff”, which rounds up links to his Hugo recommendation posts, plus a few late additions:

I did overlook some good choices even in the categories I covered. Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED is her best work to date, a very strong fantasy (though I had problems with the ending) and probably worth a nomination in Novel. I forgot about EX MACHINA when talking about Long Form Drama, but it’s a gripping and well done film, worthy of consideration. I recommended OUTLANDER for Short Form Drama, but it should be noted that the first season was telecast in two eight-episode arcs, and only the second eight are eligible, as the first eight were broadcast in 2014. I think JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL should be nominated in Long Form as a whole, rather than in Short Form, by episode, but others disagree.

(9) A PIUS GEEK. In case you’re not getting enough of this, Declan Finn goes 15 rounds with Damien G. Walter, a bit of overkill, since he stretches Damien on the deck in the first round.

The level of stupid maybe be getting to me.  The Puppy Kickers — like Damien — seem to be going full on insane.  They’ve apparently decided that they can just spew insults, and it’s reality. Wright will never be a pro writer again because they hate him, and anyone they hate must be blackballed. Brad and Larry are demagogues, because Damien said so — and they “ran away” because Brad and Larry didn’t want to play with this crap anymore.

Then again, these ARE the same people that insist that Brad ran away to the Middle East, because being shot at was preferable to standing up to the great and powerful Puppy Kickers. Yes, there are some idiots who’ve actually stated this, online. In public.

See what I mean about the stupid? It burns a LOT.

Damien doesn’t even seem to consider that, had more of his friends came to play at the SP4 site, they could have taken over the list entirely. But that would have meant engaging with people who disagree with him.

(10) LISTING TO STARBOARD. Font Folly leads off its roundup “Keymasters and Gatekeepers” with this comment —

So the Sad Puppies have officially released their recommendation list. Yes, I said list, not slate. Last year’s was a slate because there were exactly five “suggestions” in each category and the puppy supporters were encouraged to vote the exact slate (whether they had actually read the stories or not) in order to ensure that they had whole categories locked up. This year different people are in charge of the Sad Puppy campaign, and they gathered a big list after taking recommendations for months. In all of the fiction categories, at least, there are more than five recommendations, so you can’t slate vote it.

A few other people have written about this year’s list. In sad puppies 4: the… better behaving?, Dara Korra’ti says a lot of what I was thinking when I saw the list. I’m glad that the Sad Puppies have taken a more transparent approach. I’m glad that the list isn’t dominated by stories published in only one very small publication house owned by one of the organizers. I’m really glad that three of the recommendations in a single category are not by the same author. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that the people running it this year are sincerely trying to do no more than get more of the works they like on the ballot, rather than push a political agenda. I’ve never objected to recommendation lists no matter who makes those recommendations.

(11) TO REMOVE OR NOT TO REMOVE. Kate Paulk has placed asterisks beside two works on “The List” at Sad Puppies 4 whose authors asked to have them removed altogether. And did so with a characteristic Paulkian turn of phrase.

No corrections have been made yet: I’m still catching up from Lunacon. I’ll note the edits at the top of the page when I make them. The Mad Genius Club post will NOT be edited so my typos and miscategorizations will remain there for all posterity. Or posterior, which I suspect is the more apt way to put it.

In comments on “The List” at Mad Genius Club Paulk made this response:

Alastair,

I will not insult those who consider your novella to be Hugo-worthy by removing you from the List. I will, however, be updating the version of this post at http://sadpuppies4.org/the-list/ to note that you prefer that your work not be purchased, enjoyed, and nominated without your prior approval.

Alastair Reynolds answered:

Hello Kate. You’re welcome to do that, of course, but it does not represent my position. Nonetheless thank you for publishing my comment and I wish you all the best.

(12) SCALZI COMMENTS. John Scalzi has been following the news.

(13) GODWIN IS HOLDING ON LINE TWO. Jim C. Hines weighs in on Twitter.

(14) LOL. If for some reason you’re unhappy being recommended by the Bay Area Science Fiction Association, Kevin’s your man.

(15) GOOD FORM. Rachael Acks’ handy guide to “Reasons why I will not be replying to your argument”. Here is item #4 from a list of 17.

4. You have thus far done such a good job at arguing with straw man conceptions of my words that I’ve come to realize my input is entirely superfluous. Please feel free to continue this argument without me.

(16) FREEDOM. Chris Meadows’ TeleRead article “’Sad Puppies’ Hugo campaign posts recommendation list, spawns new controversy” delivers gritty details along with a broad overview.

In the blog post’s comments, Hoyt explained the current plan was to put an asterisk next to the names of those who asked to be removed—which prompted chuckles from other Puppies, in reference to the controversy of last year’s Hugo Awards ceremony that involved the handing out of laser-cut wooden asterisks to every winner that year.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day RedWombat.]

196 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/21/16 The Incredible Sulk

  1. Dammit the Bandersnatch giveaway doesn’t include Ireland – only the US, CA, GB, and AU. Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy!

  2. A bone of contention I chose not to become bitterly obsessed with but to give me goals to hit:

    Total for the year is 329. This means I read and review more books than any one of the sites that made Strange Horizon’s round up: Locus (296), Tor (271) SFX (199), Romantic Times (127-specfic only), Strange Horizons (115), Interzone (79), io9 (74), F&SF (59), Vector (59), Analog (58), Asimov’s (47), NYRSF (45), Science Fiction Studies (43), Foundation (29), CSZ (22), LARB (17). Only more than the sum of Vector, Analog, Asimov’s, NYRSF, Science Fiction Studies, Foundation, CSZ and LARB’s numbers, though, so there’s a goal for 2016.

    I was a bit disappointed that I read so few books by POC and that my reviews per reviewer ration was only 329:1 because it means Analog’s guy is dogging my heels:

    James Nicoll Reviews 329
    Analog 58
    Locus 26.9
    Asimov’s 15.7
    F&SF 11.8
    Tor.com 8.2
    SFX 6.6
    io9 6.2
    Romantic Times 6.0
    Interzone 3.8
    Vector 2.4
    Strange Horizons 2.5
    Foundation 1.5
    NYRSF 1.4
    Science Fiction Studies 1.2
    CSZ 1.2
    LARB 1.2

  3. @Paul , Yeah, it wasn’t necessary to enjoy the story by any means. Blue and Fold was a lot more action packed, compared to the psychological battlefield that was trod in this latest one.

    @ James Davis, I didn’t even hit my goal of 100 books last year, most likely due to being in a pretty academically intensive school for six months, and two cross country moves bookending that. Of course my highest yearly total was only like 215 or so, and that is unlikely to happen again any time soon.

  4. If I’d known we were going to do that, I’d have packed my Cover Posing Wardrobe!

    Based on what is often worn on the cover of paperbacks, it should have fit easily into a back pocket.

    (New TLI: CPW.)

  5. @Nigel,
    Sympathies. New Zealand rarely qualifies for giveaways online, so we’re used to missing out.

    Re: non-Puppies posting recommendations to SP4.
    I thought they were being charitable, generous & optimistic to do so, and as a move toward rapprochement, it was admirable. But I couldn’t bring myself to participate, because having seen the way the SP4 organisers conducted themselves, I thought a good outcome extremely unlikely. The current response to requests for removal from the SP4 list is not unexpected given their previous behaviour.

    [PIXEL ELDRITCH’S INUNDATION OF STIGMATA]

  6. Is anyone keeping a comprehensive list of people who’ve made it publicly known that they wish to be removed from the SP4 list? There are still only two asterisks on the list, and Kate Paulk has stated that the bar for getting an asterisk is “contact me directly”, but cleverly avoided providing any hints about how to do that. There’s no contact info anywhere on the SP4 site, nor at Mad Genius Club, nor at the Blogger account linked from her bio at MGC, nor at the more-than-a-year-dead “official site” linked from the Blogger account.

    After some searching, I believe I’ve located an active social media account for the correct Kate Paulk. Tempting as it is to post a link to it here as a public service, I expect there is someone out there who would take it as an invitation for abuse. However, since most authors do make it easy to contact them privately, one could perhaps give them the link directly so that they can fulfill the requirement…

  7. @Lois Tilton:

    Again, Nussbaum’s picks reflect the narrow range of her reading. She lists Nina Allan as Fan Writer with not even a mention of Allan’s fine fiction

    What a strange thing to say about a post that is specifically about non-fiction categories. As it happens, I nominated Allan’s novella Spin for a Hugo last year. This year I read and considered her more recent novella The Harlequin, but in the end it just didn’t feel sufficiently fantastical.

    That said, I knew Nina first as a writer of non-fiction, because I edited her reviews when I ran the Strange Horizons reviews department. She’s an exceptional critic, and I was always proud to be able to deliver her writing to our readers, free of charge.

  8. @Greg Hullender

    I was tempted several times to nominate stuff on SP4. They really did invite everyone to contribute. George R.R. Martin urged people to try to reconcile. There’s something that just feels nice about making up with people.

    That had a lot to do with why I briefly participated. Ultimately, the continuing abrasive tone of the movement and some Filers’ arguments against participation changed my mind.

    @Greg Hullender

    What stopped me every time was the fear of hurting the stories I nominated rather than helping them. It’s no surprise authors were upset. After last year, it looks as though inclusion on any Puppy slate would be the kiss of death for all but the strongest nominees.

    Unfortunately, that didn’t occur to me, I suspect because I assumed SP4 was either going to do a Torgersen-style “transparent” process that ignores the votes and creates a slate of friends, or they would put out a recommendation list, as they claimed (and did), and it wouldn’t be controversial. I guess I assumed authors wouldn’t be particularly disturbed to be on a list, not a slate. In hindsight, I see why that’s not the case, and I hope none of my recommendations cause any grief to anyone.

    The truth is, this non-slate, non-political, all-inclusive rec list they put out goes against everything the Puppies originally stood for. By not trying to game the Hugos in revenge for the secret conspiracy they believe has been gaming the Hugos, I just don’t see what their point is.

  9. What a strange thing to say about a post that is specifically about non-fiction categories.

    Seconded.

  10. @Kathodus

    I’ll have to admit – at the beginning of this, when there was every reason to believe it’d be a Torgerson style “I will openly and transparently select the things you would select if you were a wise patriarch like me” kind of process, creating a record of nominated works that weren’t right think could seem like a very good idea.

    In this counter-factual, there’d have been a bunch of other stuff nominated when the slate came out as Baen, more Baen, and even more Baen, with Castelia for seasoning.

  11. @Petréa Mitchell

    David D. Levine has successfully had “Damage” asterisked by asking on this SP4 post.

    Reynolds has yet to get his asterisk, which makes me wonder if Paulk is taking his disagreement with her proposed wording rather to heart.

  12. @ Tasha ~

    As I stated elsewhere, I recommended on the basis of encouraging the better behavior that SP4 seemed to be indicating was their goal: a transparent process that anyone could participate in, not a slate whose selection process was largely opaque. And I am sort of astonished that that’s what we got, since as others have observed this seems to go completely against the stated goals of the entire Sad Puppy movement. (Also: because I wanted to give them some good works to read this year.)

    What completely surprised me throughout was the lack of activity during this entire process — I was expecting way, way, WAY more action among avowed Puppy types and way more conversation about the actual faults or merits of books and, well, very little of that actually happened. In an environment where open recommendation and discussion was actively encouraged. I also expected weeding out of recommendations to occur, which did not happen, and that there was the expected discussion and listmaking taking place through other channels that would turn up when the final recommendation list was published, which also didn’t happen. All in all, I’m sort of boggled by the whole thing.

    RE Authors: No one can control another’s responses. I participating in recommending works to the Sad Puppies in good faith, in the hopes that doing so would provide them with reading material that they would find edifying and in an effort to bring down the overall level of vitriol by extending the bare minimum length of an olive branch. The Puppies have basically responded with rock-chewing stupidity and so I wash my hands of them — if they can’t restrain the urge to froth idiotically in public, even after seeming to own the bad behavior of past iterations of their movement, they clearly have no real intention of actually amending their behavior.

  13. Abigail Nussbaum – Because immediately following Allan’s entry, you mention Chandrasekera’s fiction. Why the one and not the other?

  14. [TICKY]

    Unfortunately, it looks like we’re in for another Stupid Season. [sigh]

  15. Lois: Honestly, I have no idea. That’s just how I ended up writing it. Probably it has something to do with the fact that I knew Chandrasekera first as a writer of fiction, whereas as I said, with Nina I encountered her non-fiction writing first.

  16. Mark said:

    David D. Levine has successfully had “Damage” asterisked by asking on this SP4 post.

    Ah, good to know. That’s some work saved. Odd that she still hasn’t asterisked Reynolds yet, then.

  17. Inundated Co-Conspirators.

    Each time I see “Mad Genius Club,” I’m reminded of Bertrand Brinley’s brilliant “Mad Scientist Club” stories, of which I have a modest paperback collection (Scholastic Book Club, I think). I recommend these to all and sundry. They’re very fan-like, with a group of cheerful geeks doing things that verge on the anti-social but are never malicious. They’re a boys’ club, and female characters are peripheral, which is about the only drawback I see to enjoying them in fullness now, but (being a former boy) I manage. They’ve been a favorite of mine for close to half a century now.

    Fun fact: Brinley’s family has made more stories available for purchase online, and I need to do something about that some day. There’s even a novel. Brinley was a rocket engineer when he wasn’t selling stories to Boy’s Life, as far as I know. Not sure what size rockets at this moment.

    Paul (@princejvstin)
    Well, everybody knows they’re completely different things, so it must just be a kooky coincidence.

    (Another thing that goes through my head from time to time is a poem from a book of puzzles and games that used symbols for some of the rhyming words. “The donkey had no || ” was one, meaning no parallel. The last line was, “He had too good an *.”

  18. Greg Hullender: What stopped me [from submitting recommendations to SP4] every time was the fear of hurting the stories I nominated rather than helping them. It’s no surprise authors were upset. After last year, it looks as though inclusion on any Puppy slate would be the kiss of death for all but the strongest nominees.

    That’s only if you are assuming that all non-Puppies are too blindingly stupid to think for themselves and will reflexively not nominate or vote for anything on the Sad Puppy Recommendation List simply because it appears on their list.

    I personally have observed that most non-Puppies are far smarter than that. But I can’t speak for the ones with whom you associate.

  19. Jim C Hines : If I’d known we were going to do that, I’d have packed my Cover Posing Wardrobe!

    You didn’t think to run around the convention screaming “I have an urgent need to cross-dress – does anyone have a slinky dress I could squeeze into?”

  20. @kathodus and @Nate Harada
    Thanks for answering my question. It helps understanding. I’m sorry my question was poorly worded and appreciate you overlooking my tone to what I was trying to get to. Again thanks.

  21. Abigail Nussbaum – And I suppose it struck me as odd because I am first and foremost aware of Allan through her fiction.

  22. The list has been updated after this was posted:

    BRYAN THOMAS SCHMIDT
    March 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm
    Please remove me from the list. I will refuses any nominations this year and don’t want to waste anyone’s time. I just learned of this list. Thanks.

    None of the others who are known to have stated they are not accepting nominations this year have been asterisked (Scalzi, Correia, Ringo, Freer). I assume that’s because someone else pointed out the fact not them. Well no ones pointed out Freer but she did on MGC when discussing the category so she knows his wishes.

    Kate Paulk could do as the Hugos do and move next up on the list so it still contains 10 recommendations for each person who has asked to be removed. This would be a great way to deal with those categories where there were “ties” and she quit at 10 based on alphabetical name.

  23. @Kip W

    Each time I see “Mad Genius Club,” I’m reminded of Bertrand Brinley’s brilliant “Mad Scientist Club” stories, of which I have a modest paperback collection (Scholastic Book Club, I think). I recommend these to all and sundry.

    I haven’t thought of those books in years! They’re filed in the same disused portion of my memory as Ramona, Soup, and Encyclopedia Brown, right before SE Hinton (who gets her own drawer). Nice to know the suck fairy hadn’t visited them. May be the perfect read when I finish my current read, which is kinda thick and a bit of a… not a slog, because it’s enjoyable as all get out, more like a strenuous mountain hike.

  24. I kind of remember the Mad Scientist books having some dicey elements concerning Native Americans, but they’re very vague in my mind.

    The other book I get those mixed up with is Carol Ryrie Brink’s Andy Buckram’s Tin Men.

  25. kathodus on March 22, 2016 at 11:48 am said: The truth is, this non-slate, non-political, all-inclusive rec list they put out goes against everything the Puppies originally stood for. By not trying to game the Hugos in revenge for the secret conspiracy they believe has been gaming the Hugos, I just don’t see what their point is.

    Wow. You still don’t get it?

    Kate put up a “non-slate, non-political, all-inclusive rec list” just like she said she was going to. There is no possibility of a rational, reasonable objection to that.

    But STILL File 770, Making Light, The Guardian UK and so forth are filled with Puppy hate. Authors are demanding to be taken off, because EEEEW! COOTIES!!! Voting at worldcon is being frigged with to prevent… what, again? Oh yeah, Those Puppy People.

    Doesn’t matter what we do. We exist, and must be destroyed.

    That was the point.

    Demonstrating the abjectly political nature of the Hugos has -always- been the point. Just showing up, participating by the rules, and watching you people freak out because we showed up.

    Winning a Hugo has never been the point.

    Get it yet?

  26. HelenS
    I flipped through the book I have (the eponymous The Mad Scientists Club), and no references to Native Americans stood out. Was this in one of the books that’s only offered for purchase online?

    BGHilton
    I was very fond of the Branestawn story “The Screaming Clocks.” I must have mentioned it to Gordon Garb, because one day he found a whole book of the stories. I started to read with relish, but soon found that it was really the one story I liked (and possibly still like—should check).

  27. The Screaming Clocks is easily the best of the Branestawm stories. And I guess if you read too many of the stories in a single sitting they can get a little samey, but if you read them a couple at at time and they’re awesome.

    Encyclopedia Brown, on the other hand… I read a volume a few years back and I was very disappointed. I got most of them, for a couple I came up with solutions that i think were just as valid as the official solution, and for one that I couldn’t get the solution they gave didn’t make sense at all. Granted it was one of the later books in the series and the writer might have been short on ideas.

  28. Phantom, to point out the obvious, however they made the list, they never stopped with the insults. And kept making newer and less creative ones, too.

    That’s not how one ends the hostilities one started.

  29. @ Phantom – Hey, do you actually have that proof about Valente being the Puppy-Kicker Extraordinaire, or did you see that you were wrong and decide to move on in hopes people would respond to the new round of trolling and not remember the old one?

  30. Reading The Confidence Game and am in the section dealing with confirmation bias. Just read a relevant quote from Francis Bacon:

    The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects; in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.
    -Aphorism XLVI

  31. @Phantom

    And when an author (Reynolds) asked, politely to be removed, the reaction left a lot to be desired. If Paulk and company had politely done so, without fuss, I might move the negative opinion I have toward them and their ilk toward the positive (hey, they aren’t being a-holes this year. Cool.). But, no, she decided not to do that. On her head be it.

  32. @Phantom – I do definitely get it. The Puppies, from the beginning, have been hostile to anyone who disagrees with their taste and/or politics. They worked at gaming the Hugo’s for a couple years, then succeeded at it. Whether they cared if they won or not is irrelevant. Why would an author want to be recommended by a group whose leaders have repeatedly claimed that authors they don’t like have won awards because of affirmative action and/or secret ballot stuffing?

    There are people on the non-puppy side who can’t abide with differences in politics and worldview, as you claim, but vocal as they are, they are a minority. Arthur Chu (for example) is the exception, not the rule.

  33. I will admit that I am fighting a terrible urge to nominate Ted and Wright for a couple of categories where they might make the cut so I could No Award them based on the quality of their work… much like democrats voting Trump.

    I will not be doing this you understand, but the desire is there 😉

    Al Reynolds is one of the writers I was pointing out to Puppies last year as a commercial successful writer of ‘real’ SF (at least according to their definition) who hadn’t won much. Slow Bullets was already on my list anyway.

  34. @Phantom I’ve never seen anyone on any Puppy site attempt to convince people to see things from a non-Puppy PoV, to understand why non-puppies would not like Puppy actions, though I’ve seen that happen in the other direction, and attempted it myself, here.

  35. Authors are demanding to be taken off, because EEEEW! COOTIES!!!

    I thought it was because the authors are worse than Nazi and Stalinist collaborators PUT TOGETHER.

  36. I hope that people who want to nominate Reynolds will look for “A Murmuration”.

  37. So has anybody been listening to Alice Isn’t Dead, the new podcast from (some of) the Night Vale crew? Two episodes so far, written by Joseph Fink and performed by Jasika Nicole. Hard to say where it’s going so far, but I’m enjoying it — so far it’s got more of an actual horror vibe than Night Vale.

  38. Get it yet?

    Your claims would be more convincing if you hadn’t just been caught lying about Cat Valente and her alleged “puppy-kicking” obsession since “forever”.

  39. @ Phantom – Hey, do you actually have that proof about Valente being the Puppy-Kicker Extraordinaire, or did you see that you were wrong and decide to move on in hopes people would respond to the new round of trolling and not remember the old one?

    (RedWombat is not the only person who wants to know.)

  40. Thank you to whichever people recommended Seraphina. I’m on chapter 5 and already love it. I can’t resist quoting this exchange between Seraphina and the princess she is tutoring on harpsichord:

    “I have reached a decision,” the princess announced. “I shall perform at the Treaty Eve concert, that galliard and pavano. Not Viridius’s suite: the one by Tertius.”

    I had been placing music upon the stand; I paused, book in hand, weighing my next words. “The arpeggios in the Tertius were a challenge to you, if you recall—”

    “Do you imply my skill is insufficient?” Glisselda lifted her chin dangerously.

    “No. I merely remind you that you called Tertius a ‘poxy cankered toad’ and threw the music across the room.” Here both girls burst out laughing. I added, as gingerly as one stepping onto an unstable bridge, “If you practice and take my advice about the fingerings, you ought to be able to work it up sufficiently well.” Sufficiently well not to embarrass yourself, I might’ve added, but it seemed imprudent to do so.

    “I want to show Viridius that Tertius played badly is better than his piddling tunes played well,” she said, wagging a finger. “Can I attain that level of petty vindictiveness?”

    “Undoubtedly,” I said, and then wondered whether I should have replied so quickly. Both girls were laughing again, however, so I took it that I was safe.

  41. Peace:

    I wish people would make clear whether they are referring to the old or new Doctor Who shows when they say things like that.

    I think they did:

    “…the exclusive U.S. subscription streaming home for the modern version of the sci-fi series.”

    “The current iteration of ‘Doctor Who’ began broadcasting on BBC One in 2005, with BBC America picking it up a year later.”

    They made it pretty clear they’re talking about the modern series, not the original.

  42. @Phantom

    Winning a Hugo has never been the point.

    Well, thank you for admitting that it’s not and never has been about the books, but rather about, as Larry Correia said, “making SJW heads explode.”

    If that’s what you want to do, more power to you, I suppose, but that’s a pitiful way to live.

  43. Joe H: The first episode of Alice Isn’t Dead is basically the very next thing on my audio queue. So, not yet but soon, where soon = probably sometime this week.

    I’ve gone through all of Night Vale that’s free right up to this month, and keep meaning to go and buy the audio for the shows that can only be paid for. Have not read the book, which makes “an Epilogue” a bit entertainingly opaque, but I expected that.

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