Pixel Scroll 4/23/17 Scroll White And The Seven Pixels

(1) BORN ON THE SEVENTH OF JULY. In “Spinning a high-tech web”, the LA Times provides an elaborate, photo-illustrated preview of Tony Stark’s upgrade to the new Spider-Man suit that will be seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming, due in theaters July 7.

(2) FILK HALL OF FAME. The 2017 inductees to the Filk Halll of Fame were announced at FilkOntario this weekend:

(3) FAHRENHEIT 451 TO SMALL SCREEN? The Bradbury novel is on the road to development once more. “HBO to Adapt Fahrenheit 451, starring Michael B. Jordan”  — BookRiot has the story.

Now, HBO is “moving toward a production commitment” (via Variety) on a feature-length adaptation of Bradbury’s 1953 novel starring Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Chronicle, Fantastic Four) as the protagonist Guy Montag and Michael Shannon (Man of Steel, Boardwalk Empire) as Montag’s boss, Captain Beatty.

The film will be directed by Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes, At Any Price), who is co-writing with Amir Naderi (99 Homes, The Runner). David Coatsworth (production manager on Underworld: Evolution, Ender’s Game, My Big Fat Greek Wedding) will serve as producer.

(4) THEY’RE HUUGE! “Black Holes Are Bigger Than You Thought” accuses Yahoo! News. (Just how big did you think they were? How did Yahoo! News find out?)

Now meet S5 0014+81.

It’s the largest black hole ever discovered and is heavier than our Sun by 40 billion times (40, 000, 000, 000) in the last observation.

If you plug in the equation above, you’ll find that this black hole has a Schwarzschild radius of about… 119 billion kilometers, along with a said diameter of about 236,39 billion km.

(5) THE TOUGHEST AROUND. Let Den of Geek point you at “17 really difficult LEGO sets”.

The Tower Of Orthanc

It may look simple enough on the box, but The Lord Of The Rings’ Tower Of Orthanc is actually a real tough cookie. Because most of its 2,359 pieces are jet black and slim, working out which bit goes where is the stuff of nightmares (in, um, a good way). The Treebeard that comes with it will make the struggle worth it… honest.

Buy The Tower Of Orthanc now for £348.07.

(6) TODAY’S DAY

  • April 23 — World Book and Copyright Day

Pays tribute to authors and books and their social and cultural contribution to the world

(7) DID YOU KNOW? Last year the International Costumers’ Guild participated in a “friend of the court” brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, joining Public Knowledge, the American Library Association, and others, asking the Court to protect the rights of clothing designers and costumers to freely practice their craft.

(8) AT HOME. The Verge’s Andrew Liptak reports “Netflix will invest billions to shoot its original content in California”:

Netflix is betting that filming closer to home will produce better content. In 2015, the streaming giant has announced that it would be doubling its output of original content, and it is aiming to have original productions make up half of its of its streaming catalog in the coming years. The goal is to entice users to come to the service by providing content that can’t be found elsewhere, but that goal is proving to be a strain on the existing film studio infrastructure. To cope, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced that the company would be investing $6 billion to expand infrastructure in California, rather than chase tax incentives offered by states.

Sarandos explained to The Wrap that the company determined that going after the incentives leads to diminishing returns when it comes to their final products. Filming out of state is hard on the actors and crew of a project, and the move will help bring projects back home to California. That could prove to be costly for the company, even as California has increased its own tax incentive program in recent years. While remaining in the state will likely cost Netflix more, Sarandos seems to think that the extra cost will be worth spending.

(9) SQUEAK UP. YouTube’s TheBackyardScientist set up 10 megaphones end-to-end to see how loud a noise he could make.

The video, posted to YouTube by TheBackyardScientist, features Kevin Kohler explaining he was inspired by Bart Simpson‘s prank in the season 8 Simpsons episode The Secret War of Lisa Simpson to place 10 megaphones end-to-end and test the results.

Bart’s experiment led to a shock wave that shattered all of the windows in town — as well as Homer’s fridge full of beer — but Kohler quickly ran into a problem Bart didn’t face: a feedback loop.

 

(10) BITE ON. The number of people who give their smartphones to dogs as chew toys is probably smaller than the number of men who have walked on the moon, but for them — “There’s an anti-dog label inside the Galaxy S8 — here’s what it means”. Let The Verge explain it to you.

Basically, you don’t want Fido in a situation where a battery could hiss and explode in its mouth. It’s obviously possible that a child could bite through the battery as well, but the likelihood of him / her piercing through the battery is lower.

(11) ARTIFICIAL DOG INTELLIGENCE. Amazing. How is it mine doesn’t do that?

(12) FIX THE SLATING PROBLEM FOREVER. That’s what Greg Hullender would like to do. At Rocket Stack Rank he summarizes his views about the effectiveness of 3SV, EPH(+) and their combination. He says, “I  think it makes it really clear that we need both 3SV and either EPH or EPH+. Otherwise, even small slates (100 to 200 people) will be able to control a significant amount of the final ballot, including adding embarrassing nominees.”

For each year, we produced two theoretical maximum graphs. A “finalist graph,” which shows what percentage of finalists a slate could have captured for a given number of slate voters, and a “sweeps” graph, which shows what percentage of entire categories a slate could have captured.

Looking at those four pairs of graphs (2.1-2.4 below), we will draw the following conclusions;

  • Std (5/6) by itself is far too weak.
  • EPH doesn’t protect enough finalists, but it is excellent at preventing sweeps.
  • EPH+ is an improvement on EPH, but it’s still not enough by itself.
  • 3SV is much stronger for protecting finalists, especially for modest numbers of slate voters, but it’s vulnerable to sweeps, and it breaks down for slates above about 300 people.
  • The 3SV/EPH and 3SV/EPH+ combinations are far, far stronger than either component alone. Either combination is probably sufficient, but the second one is stronger.

Accordingly, we conclude that the Business Meeting should ratify both EPH+ and 3SV. That should protect the Hugos from slating interference for the nonce.

(13) DREAM CASTING. Enjoy “Miles To Go” hosted at Archive of Our Own. Note – Password = Vorkosigan (as it says at the post).

There once was a man who dreamt of the stars…

A fanvid based on the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold.

…Obviously, it’s not so easy to make a feast for a fandom with no existing visual source. But where there’s a will, or in my case an enormous and driving folly, there’s a way. It was always going to be an ensemble vid, with Miles as the star, but the question was how to cast it. I did eventually solve that problem, and I won’t discuss my solution in detail here because… spoilers.

[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, Robin Reid, JJ, Doctor Science, Greg Hullender, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]

156 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/23/17 Scroll White And The Seven Pixels

  1. @Hampus Eckerman

    Griefers need 60% of the voters to disrupt using 3SV.

    They need 60% of the voters who participate in 3SV. They only need 20% of eligible voters (or 600, whichever is larger). For 2016, there were 5,952 eligible voters, so it would have taken 1191 griefers to invoke 3SV. That would still be less than a majority of the people casting ballots for the final vote (3,130), so we wouldn’t really be toast. “Lightly-toasted” at most. 🙂

    The key point is that these are thresholds far beyond anything we think any conceivable slating effort could achieve. We hope they’re easily within reach of the vast majority of fans who don’t want dinosaur porn or works like “Rape Room” on our ballots. But it’s not strictly true that the slaters would need majorities big enough to simply vote in their favorites. It’s a good bit less than that.

  2. @Matt Y

    As a complete derailment, what sites do you guys use to see upcoming book releases? I think the B&N SFF Books of the Month blog does a great job (even if I use it as a way to put books at the library on hold) but having more than one source is great.

    Locus is very comprehensive, but you do have to subscribe. Their free online website has a “New Books” section that’s probably what you’re looking for.

  3. @Matt Y, As a complete derailment, what sites do you guys use to see upcoming book releases?

    Honestly? I use File770…. <grin>

  4. Thank you Beth, JJ and Greg! Those look like great resources.

    @Cassy For sure, between the interviews and spotlights, the recommendations and Meredith Moments I have plenty in the pile thanks to this site. Always curious about upcoming books too.

  5. Sorry, I was not clear enough. I was making two separate points. On the one hand, 3SV will give an opportunity for downvote campaigns, which are a new opportunity for conflict. On the other hand, my main worry is the disruption it will cause to the nomination process, by massively reducing the time available for it. (And yes, even if it only reduces the time by a month, that’s massive, given the way the nomination process works. And while there are ways of doing 3SV with a lesser reduction even than that, they have their own problems, as they don’t allow us to vote on exclusions in an informed way.)

  6. Upcoming release discovery:

    Believe it or not, Amazon gives me most of my notice in some form or another. I’ve got wishlists for upcoming books that chart releases through the end of this year – one for this month, one for next, one for June since there’s no point in labeling that a second-quarter list at this point, then one for Q3 and one for Q4. Later this week, once the last April books come out, I’ll recycle that list by renaming it to cover 2018 Q1.

    “It’s the cirrrrcle of books…” 😉

  7. 3SV is intentionally designed to be effectively moving “No Award” voting to an earlier stage in the process. No system is perfect, of course, but if any particularly group has enough votes to knock works off through 3SV, they would also have enough to vote it below No Award on the final ballot. (No Award will remain a choice on the final ballot anyway.)

    There are also some incidental (but also intentional) side effects that may improve the accuracy of the ballot and reduce incidents such as what happened a few days ago when a fan artist finalist was disqualified for want of qualifying work. Instead of a small group of administrators having to work relatively secretly and quickly, the long list (3SV ballot) would be visible to everyone, and it seems likely to me that this “crowdsourcing” effect would turn up ineligible works during the new second round. For that matter, it would make it easier to find some potential finalists to give them the opportunity to decline a finalist slot (you don’t get asked whether you want to be on the long list), and would eliminate the “leak” issue whereby finalists start leaking the shortlist between the time they are told and the time the official announcement is made.

    So while 3SV does significantly increase the number of people/works in the process (roughly tripling it), it also gives the Administrators more time to do a bunch of the work they have to do and gives them access to a lot more tools to help them do that work.

  8. Would someone point me to the puppy ballot so I can make informed decisions and not waste my time on crap? I’ve been out of the loop for a bit.

    The complete list of Rabid Puppy selections that made it to the list of finalists is:

    Best Novella: This Census-Taker by China Miéville
    Best Novelette: Alien Stripper Boned from Behind by the T-Rex by Stix Hiscock
    Best Short Story: An Unimaginable Light by John C. Wright
    Best Related Work: The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
    Best Long Form Dramatic Presentation: Deadpool
    Best Long Form Editor: Vox Day (aka Theodore Beale)
    Best Semiprozine: Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine edited by P. Alexander
    Best Fanzine: Castalia House Blog edited by Jeffro Johnson
    Best Fan Writer: Jeffro Johnson
    Best Fan Artist: Mansik Yang
    Best Fancast: The Rageaholic presented by RazörFist
    Campbell Award for Best New Writer: J. Mulrooney

    Other than the Mieville, Gaiman, Deadpool, and Yang, these Puppy-driven finalists all pretty much range from fairly bad to unimaginably shitty.

  9. As a complete derailment, what sites do you guys use to see upcoming book releases

    Mostly the library’s new release shelf. And for a few of my favorite author’s I’ll know from their personal blogs.

  10. @Andrew M

    Sorry, I was not clear enough. I was making two separate points. On the one hand, 3SV will give an opportunity for downvote campaigns, which are a new opportunity for conflict.

    This is where the quorum requirements for 3SV should make that very difficult to pull off. I suspect someone will try it once or twice, but it should fail, and that’ll be the end of it. I agree those one or two tries could be venomous, though.

    On the other hand, my main worry is the disruption it will cause to the nomination process, by massively reducing the time available for it.

    I personally think nominations should be open all year round. I’ve heard that some volunteers agree that this would make their jobs easier too.

  11. As the 4 and 6 guy, I’m not sure I’m in favor of 3SV. My logic with 4 and 6 (now 5 and 6) was that if a group really wanted something on the ballot, they should be able to do so. Now, if they want to waste that shot with F-U selections, that’s their problem, not mine.

  12. lurkertype:

    Huh. I wonder why it’s not working for you? Did you try C&Ping the given PW? If you’re still having trouble, email me at science dot dr at gmail.

  13. Greg:

    I personally think nominations should be open all year round. I’ve heard that some volunteers agree that this would make their jobs easier too.

    That would not resolve my problem. When exactly nominations can be sent in is a secondary matter: the important interval is that between the end of the eligibility period and the deadline for nominations.

  14. @Chris Gerrib

    As the 4 and 6 guy, I’m not sure I’m in favor of 3SV. My logic with 4 and 6 (now 5 and 6) was that if a group really wanted something on the ballot, they should be able to do so. Now, if they want to waste that shot with F-U selections, that’s their problem, not mine.

    Last week, Eric and I visited his family and friends in Toronto, and we talked about our involvement in fandom. One of Eric’s college friends said he no longer took the Hugo Awards seriously because the finalists included things like “Space Raptor” and “that thing by Stix Hiscock.” When I pointed out that that was the result of sabotage, he just shrugged and said he didn’t really care what caused it. The fact that it happened showed that the awards weren’t as serious as he’d thought them to be.

    That’s just one data point, but it certainly brought me up short. This was a very reasonable, rational guy. An SF reader but never involved with fandom. To people like him, the optics of putting really bad works on a list of finalists are very, very bad. If we can’t bring ourselves to implement some mechanism to disqualify clearly unsuitable works, then his assessment will be correct. I suppose it really comes down to whether we care what people outside of fandom think about the awards. I think we should care a great deal.

  15. @Andrew

    That would not resolve my problem. When exactly nominations can be sent in is a secondary matter: the important interval is that between the end of the eligibility period and the deadline for nominations.

    I understand. Me, I’d nominate things as I read them, and mostly be done by January 1. But I understand that not everyone (maybe not many people) want to work that way. (I’d also like no limit on number of nominations per category–EPH eliminates any unfair advantage.)

    There I guess it’s just a question of tradeoffs. Everything has a cost, and the question is whether this cost is too high for the benefit it brings.

  16. OK, I have a puzzle. How can you possibly predict the effect of 3SV in a series of votes where it was not in fact used? EPH can be tested against existing data, and this has now been done several times. 3SV cannot be, since it requires new data about voter behaviour in a situation which has never existed before.

    It seems to me likely that the effect of 3SV would differ radically depending what was on the slate. A slate consisting entirely of Castalia House products, possibly seasoned with dinosaur porn, might well be completely eliminated. On the other hand, a slate which followed more widely the strategy used in Novella last year would quite probably not be affected at all.

  17. Me, I’d nominate things as I read them, and mostly be done by January 1. But I understand that not everyone (maybe not many people) want to work that way.

    Well, a lot of us do nominate things as we read them – after January 1st. We don’t read much short fiction in the ordinary course of life, and though we do read novels, we often don’t do so in the year in which they appear. If we are going to read these things for awards, we have to go in search of them, and that’s easiest to do at the end of the year, when some outstanding works have emerged.

    I’d actually be quite happy in principle if Hugo nominations were done only by people who read new stuff throughout the year. I’ve never been convinced by the idea that nomination, as opposed to voting, requires a wide constituency; I think that picking out the significant works of the year is reasonably seen as a job for experts (for a fairly lax sense of ‘expert’, in which having read ten works in a category makes you one). But if we need to keep an expanded body of nominators to combat slates, we need more people than that.

  18. I enjoyedAppendix N. Gave it a very positive review.

    Hour of the Dragon is an above average Audible book I’ve listened to on the last Hellride.

    This Hellride I’m listening to “The sword of the lady” which has a much better narrator.

  19. @5: ~$400 for a Lego set that will only do one thing? I know one seriously rich Lego fan, but I wonder how many people have this kind of money to burn.

    @Chris Gerrib: if a group really wanted something on the ballot, they should be able to do so. Why should groupthink (at best) be privileged over the people who vote their individual opinions? (IIUC there was a lot of fuss about this in the FAAN awards some decades ago.) OTOH, do you think people would vote good work off the final ballot just because it was nominated by Puppies? I’m sure some would, feeling jerks shouldn’t prevail any time, but I don’t think enough would do so to eliminate people under Greg’s threshold-and-supermajority rules.

  20. @Andrew M

    OK, I have a puzzle. How can you possibly predict the effect of 3SV in a series of votes where it was not in fact used?

    The graphs in the article essentially show what happens if everyone makes the best possible decision for his/her side.

    First, assume the slate nominated entirely unsuitable works–no hostages. They want to “burn down the awards” by forcing No Award in as many categories as possible. They divided their offerings into three “subslates” of 5, and assigned each slate voter to one of the three at random. (E.g. by telling them to look at the last non-zero digit of their phone number and use slate #1 for 1,2,3, slate #2 for 4, 5, 6, and slate #3 for 7, 8, 9).

    Second, assume that the WorldCon voters had no trouble agreeing that those were bad and no trouble reaching the threshold to disqualify those works.

    Some more details are in the article.

  21. @Chip Hitchcock

    . . . but I don’t think enough would do so to eliminate people under Greg’s threshold-and-supermajority rules.

    They are actually Kevin Standlee’s rules, as passed at MidAmericon II. I’m just popularizing them. 🙂

  22. Thanks all for the upadated and detailed puppy lists. I’ve gone and put No Award where it belongs in appropriate categories & made a note of works/blogs/authors not to bother reading.

    3SV
    I’m in favor of it because the points Kevin Standlee makes:

    1. We move No Award earlier in the process for crap and work created to attack, harass, and harm others

    2. Improve accuracy of ballot through crowdsourcing

    3. People can let admins know if they don’t want to be on ballot through crowdsourcing

    4. Crowdsource contact information for finalists

    Might members misuse 3SV against authors they dislike? Possibly. My concern has gone down given the wording of the proposal. Might griefers try to misuse it? Buying a yearly membership in the numbers required is possible but how many will be willing to keep it up year after year when their work is No Awarded? The SPs have mostly disappeared as a block – they’ve either assimilated in, gone looking at other awards, or become part of the decreasing RPs. RPs numbers look to be dropping as the payoff in losing year after year doesn’t make disruption worth spending real cash on every year.

    No system is going to be perfect and at some point someone is going to try to game it. Don’t let perfect prevent implementing good. Unfortunately due to my personal situation I won’t be at Worldcon after all so won’t be able to add my personal vote. 🙁

  23. (9) Brainiac tried that out back in the day (it was a UK Science show) with 8megaphones and they had the same problem.

  24. I am for 3SV because I think the Hugo awards shouldn’t be a tool if harassment. Simple as that.

  25. Now, if they want to waste that shot with F-U selections, that’s their problem, not mine.

    F-U nominees are the problem of everybody who cares about the Hugos. Every time a ballot has an obvious insult on it, it makes winning a Hugo a little less meaningful.

    I think we lose people by allowing bloc voters to put anything they want on the Hugo ballot. Not just casual SF/F fans like the one Greg talked to, but even some dedicated ones. I’ve been voting in the Hugos for 10 years and promoting the awards to SF/F readers I know. I need to see us making the changes necessary to stop bloc voting shenanigans.

  26. @Greg–When I pointed out that that was the result of sabotage, he just shrugged and said he didn’t really care what caused it. The fact that it happened showed that the awards weren’t as serious as he’d thought them to be.
    That’s just one data point, but it certainly brought me up short. This was a very reasonable, rational guy

    Sorry, but that isn’t a “reasonable,rational” response. He no longer took the Hugos seriously because of one year? And had no interest in why those things happened? Why bother trying to reach that kind of person?

  27. @Chris Gerib.

    But that’s the problem. The Hugos are not supposed to be “groups” voting en bloc for works. Its supposed to be each individual (perhaps informed by reviews, opinion and discussion with other informed voters) making their persinal choices and the award winnowing those down to the works that best reflect the consensus.

    If an unpopular work makes it to the ballot through that process, its not an unpopular work. The puppy works, in addition to nomination thru slate voting are BAD works and, excepting hostages, not of Hugo quality no matter how one tries to spin things.

  28. Harold Osler:

    “Sorry, but that isn’t a “reasonable,rational” response. He no longer took the Hugos seriously because of one year? And had no interest in why those things happened? Why bother trying to reach that kind of person?”

    Three years now. And without 3SV, a fourth.

  29. @Harold Osler

    Sorry, but that isn’t a “reasonable,rational” response. He no longer took the Hugos seriously because of one year? And had no interest in why those things happened? Why bother trying to reach that kind of person?

    He mentioned Tingle and Hiscock, so two years. I had the same reaction. I think most people who care that little won’t know about the shortlist, anyway – they’ll just know the winners, if that.

  30. @Harold Osler

    Why bother trying to reach that kind of person?

    When you produce a list and say that these are the five best SF stories in their category published in 2015 and then one of those is a piece of total trash, it’s quite reasonable for people to dismiss the awards entirely, although you’d hope they’d listen to your explanations. When you let it happen two years in a row, though, it’s not unreasonable for them to brush off the excuses too. If we didn’t know the facts intimately, we’d likely react the same way.

    Reputation is hard to build but is easily lost. This can’t be allowed to happen again.

  31. Chip Hitchcock

    @5: ~$400 for a Lego set that will only do one thing? I know one seriously rich Lego fan, but I wonder how many people have this kind of money to burn.

    Depends on the LEGO fan but LEGO sets aren’t cheap in general. The Ghostbusters firehouse is $300 for example. At around 2400 pieces that’s a little more expensive than some sets but I’m guessing that there are pieces that might be exclusive to that set. There are rarer tiles and pieces that can be worth as much as the set. Minifigures in particular are oddly pricey, especially the Comic Con exclusive ones that can go for more than $400.

  32. @Arifel “oooo that cover is gorgeous!”

    I like it as well. I think that Miranda Meeks’s does a fantastic job with her usage of a collage to depict Essun, Damaya, and Syenite.

    I am curious if Jemesin had any input with regards to the cover’s artwork?

  33. I think most people who care that little won’t know about the shortlist, anyway – they’ll just know the winners, if that.

    The example you’re referring to of someone who cares that little does know about the shortlist.

    If the list of finalists is no longer suited to presenting to the larger world as an example of what WSFS sees as the crown jewels of the year, because it will chase people away from the Hugos, then it’s that much less effective at showcasing excellence in SF.

    The finalist list should be something we can be proud to announce. The Oscars don’t get stuck listing cast members from THREESOMES WITH MOM 7 in the Best Supporting Actress category and wave it off by saying no one cares about anything but the winners.

    Particularly in response to someone who’s been turned off by the finalist list, who clearly knows and cares (or used to) about more than just the winners.

  34. Also, that LEGO set has been discontinued, so that’s a collector’s price on the secondary market. Having said which, yes, I’m guessing it originally retailed for at least $200.

    (And when I was poking around on Amazon, I discovered that there were whole great wodges of LEGO LotR and Hobbit sets that I’d either forgotten about or been completely unaware of — Battle at the Black Gate, Mines of Moria, Attack on Dol Guldur (from the Hobbit films), etc. And I admit that I have rather a large number of Star Wars LEGO sets adorning the tops of my bookcases.)

  35. I heard back from Hugo administrator Nicholas Whyte on the issue of Castalia House Blog’s eligibility for Best Fanzine.

    He wrote, “We do not consider that Vox Day, or anyone else, is a paid contributor to the Castalia House Blog in the sense intended by 3.3.13 (1) of the WSFS Constitution.”

    That section is about Best Fanzine and disqualifies as a fanzine any publication that “paid its contributors or staff monetarily in other than copies of the publication.”

    Beale is paid money by Castalia House and contributed nine entries to the Castalia House blog in 2016. He used the blog to directly make money by placing Amazon ads for Castalia House books on every page. He wrote blog entries promoting Castalia House book releases and Castalia House sales.

    Whyte did not offer any explanation for why Beale is not a paid contributor. Our fanzine eligibility rules are toothless.

  36. rcade: Did he comment at all on ‘non-professional’? As far as I can see that makes all the stuff about paid contributors totally beside the point. The ‘paid contributor’ stuff is intended to distinguish fanzines from semiprozines. Professional publications are defined by quite different criteria.

    It remains possible that the Castalia House blog is not a professional publication, if Castalia House does not provide a quarter of anyone’s income. That’s the point at issue, though.

  37. Did he comment at all on ‘non-professional’?

    What I quoted is everything he said in the email about the issue. If he’s reading File 770, I encourage him to explain the Hugo committee’s reasoning here.

    That’s the point at issue, though.

    Whether it is a semiprozine or fanzine is also at issue. If it’s a semiprozine it’s not eligible in fanzine.

  38. Greg: Well, OK, if the slaters nominate only obviously unsuitable works, then you can predict voter behaviour and work out the result. But that’s not what they’ve ever done.

    You can’t simply say ‘discount hostages’, because the slate nominees don’t divide neatly into clearly unsuitable works and hostages. There are also things like last year’s novella nominees, except Bujold, (and also some nominees they have made in other categories, Jim Butcher, Pierce Brown, that fan writer who wrote about games, etc.) – passable nominees, not obviously unsuitable, which nevertheless keep SJW works out and skew the ballot in the slaters’ direction. Some of these were no-awarded and others weren’t, so it’s hard to say what would have been their fate in 3SV.

  39. Whether it is a semiprozine or fanzine is also at issue. If it’s a semiprozine it’s not eligible in fanzine.

    Well, yes, but that’s a debatable matter, at which point it becomes unwise for the admins to rule on it. If no payment is made to him specifically for contributing to the blog, then he can argue that he is not a paid contributor.

    And actually, in respect of both questions, we may be up against facts people aren’t at liberty to disclose. Not only is it possible that Castalia House doesn’t provide a quarter of anyone’s income, it’s possible that it doesn’t pay anyone (except the authors, perhaps) at all. I believe Mr Day is independently wealthy. Perhaps the flow of money is from him to the company rather than the other way round.

  40. @rcade

    I appreciate your frustration. It seems that the narrow interpretation of that rule I suggested yesterday is in line with what the admins think. I doubt they can say much more publicly.

  41. @Andrew M

    But that’s not what they’ve ever done.

    Ah, I see where you’re coming from. This isn’t just about what the puppies might do or might have done, though. It’s about what could have happened and what might happen in the future.

    We have to make a decision about 3SV and EPH(+) in Helsinki, and to do that, we need to know how well any of them (or their combinations) would protect us from the worst feasible attack by anyone–not just the puppies. That’s also why I ignore factors like disqualifications and withdrawals. We can’t count on those protecting us.

    In the case of the specific data, I’ve already modified the numbers for each year to remove the effect of the slates. On that “organic ballot” I’ve then estimated what a maximally-effective slate (as opposed to the ones we actually got) could have accomplished. That’s why the sections in the article are titled “Theoretical Maximum Slate Impact.” It’s not what really happened. It’s what could have happened.

    Does that help?

  42. @Andrew M
    we may be up against facts people aren’t at liberty to disclose.

    The Finnish company that was previously identified as being behind CH has yet to file accounts with the Finnish authorities, where they would have been publicly obtainable.
    (You can imagine my shocked face on finding that out)

  43. @rcade
    I think it gets back to something I said earlier. The admins just aren’t empowered to disqualify anyone who objects to being disqualified, other than for something extremely concrete (like publication date). The members of WorldCon just aren’t willing to give that sort of power to any subset of the whole group of voters. That’s why we need 3SV. There’s no other way for us to make subjective decisions about disqualifications.

  44. @Kurt Busiek

    The example you’re referring to of someone who cares that little does know about the shortlist.

    Yes, which is why I qualified that statement with “most.” But I probably shouldn’t have made that statement, anyway, since I don’t have anything solid to back that up. It got under my skin that someone would be so dismissive, knowing the upheaval that’s been going on for the past three years.

    If the list of finalists is no longer suited to presenting to the larger world as an example of what WSFS sees as the crown jewels of the year, because it will chase people away from the Hugos, then it’s that much less effective at showcasing excellence in SF.

    Good point. It’s much more fun to go through the list of nominees and find things to read when you don’t have to worry about being bitten by a Rabid Puppy.

  45. It’s also true that the value of a supporting membership is sharply reduced when most of the content isn’t very good. Admittedly, it would probably take several years of vandalism before that because a serious problem. This year’s supporting memberships are the best value in years! 🙂

  46. Misc. comments…

    I confess I’ve never quite gotten the Lego-as-3D-jigsaw-puzzle thing (though I have friends who are very much into it), especially the approach of building a specific object as a permanent form. (But then I’ve never quite gotten the “do the jigsaw puzzle once and glue it to a backing thing, so at least I’m consistent.) I’m certainly not going to imply it’s a wrong way to amuse oneself, but isn’t it more fun to use the bricks over and over again in new ways?

    Re: Where to hear about new books. I very self-centeredly evaluate information sources on book releases entirely based on whether they would include my own books. A lot of the standard information sources are not accessible to small presses, especially those who can’t afford to send out vast quantities of ARCs.

  47. @Greg: – Why is a supporting membership this year such a great value? I have little first hand knowledge having participated twice.

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