Pixel Scroll 5/18/19 The Filer Who Went Up A Scroll But Came Down A Pixel

(1) NEBULA LIVESTREAM. You can see it on SFWA’s YouTube channel at 8:00 p.m. Pacific.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America are presenting the 2018 Nebula Awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing, live from the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA.

(2) NEW OWNERSHIP. Have you ever rescued something a neighbor put out in the yard? The Toronto Globe and Mail has a story to share: “Starship Enterprise replica seeks new life, new civilization with new Toronto owner”.

The Starship Enterprise has travelled far and wide throughout the galaxy, encountering countless civilizations — and now it is sitting in a garage in eastern Toronto.

…Bill Doern, a 51-year-old who runs a boutique public relations and marketing firm in Toronto, watched reruns of the original Star Trek television series as a boy. His favourite character is Spock. His favourite captain is Picard. When his wife was pregnant with their first child, he hoped to name the boy Mr. Sulu (they ended up naming him Elijah).

Mr. Doern is, in other words, about as much of a Trekkie as a Trekkie can be.

The Saturday before Mother’s Day, he was driving home from doing some grocery shopping when he saw a scale replica of the Enterprise NCC-1701-A, last seen in the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, released in 1991, on a neighbour’s front lawn.

Mr. Doern stopped to get a picture of the ship, which is about as big as a small car. As he was snapping a pic, the homeowner came out with a “For sale” sign.

(3) ARTIFICIAL OBSTREPOROUSNESS. Amazing Stories’ Steve Davidson has a lot of fun foretelling “The Coming of the Fanbots”.

…It should come as no surprise then that a joint team comprised of members of MIT’s Media Lab (Artificial Intelligence Division) and Hanson Robotics was recently formed to address the need for Fanbots – electronic replacements for geeks and nerds.

“This project actually began in Hollywood”, said Dr. Calvin, Chief Administrator for the project.  “Studio heads approached us a few years ago and asked us to blue-sky a response to the negativity that was surrounding, among other things, Disney’s evisceration of the Star Wars extended universe, not to mention Paramount’s problems with Star Trek fan films, the on-going complaints about Fox’s cancellation of Firefly, the regular eruption of re-make hysteria, the encroachment of real world politics into entertainment.”

Calvin went on to explain that the studios were expressing grave concern over the reliability of fans, and concern over the increasing sense of “ownership” fans were expressing regarding favored properties.  One director stated that he was “sick and tired of being told what prior works he had stolen his ideas from; another expressed dismay over fan’s insistence that some degree of logicality accompany the plots of entirely fictional characters; marketing division heads complained about the complete and utter unreliability of fan audiences who seemed to select favorites and stinkers in an entirely arbitrary and fickle manner.”…

(4) FIRST UNMEN IN THE MOON. Print covers the release of “Robert Grossman’s Moon Walk”.

Three years before he died last year, the brilliant caricaturist, illustrator, animator and comic strip artist, Robert Grossman completed his as-of-then unpublished magnum opus, a decade long passion titled Life On The Moon: A Completely Illustrated Novel (Yoe Books). Grossman prided himself on illustrating “the un-illustratable” — an historical graphic novel based on the “Great Moon Hoax,” the most successful  fake news story ever published.

Robert Grossman and the Moon

In 1835, The New York Sun published a series of six articles declaring the discovery of life–and advanced civilization–on the moon, which the newspaper attributed to the famous contemporary astronomer Sir John Herschel. According to the Sun, the lunar inhabitants included unicorns, bison, bipedal tail-less beavers, and intelligent humanoids with bat-like wings.

(5) SCOFFER. Karen Yossman gives a right-wing take on the various controversies in YA publishing at Spectator: “Writers blocked: Even fantasy fiction is now offensive”.

…Nor is the contagion confined to American authors. Last month John Boyne, best known for the Holocaust novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, received such a barrage of abuse prior to the publication of his latest book, My Brother’s Name Is Jessica, which features a transgender central character, that he was briefly forced off Twitter. Critics labelled the book ‘transphobic’, suggesting that because Boyne is not transgender the story ‘lacked authenticity’ and its title ‘misgendered’ the fictional protagonist.

At almost the same moment that Boyne was deleting his Twitter account, Lincolnshire-based Zoe Marriott, a prolific writer of YA fiction, was also being hounded on the site over her new fantasy novel, The Hand, the Eye and the Heart, because it’s set in ‘fairy-tale China’. One prominent YA blogger warned: ‘White authors need to stay the hell away from the stories of people of color.’ Curiously, said blogger’s day job involves manning the tills at Foyles, one of London’s most revered bookshops — pity the poor sod who dares trouble her for a copy of Othello, or Tolkien for that matter.  The father of fantasy fiction has come in for criticism for his portrayal of orcs in The Lord of the Rings. Some feel his work is ‘racialized’. And what’s a sensitive young bookseller to do if a young customer requests a C.S. Lewis, whose Narnia books were branded ‘blatantly racist’ and misogynistic by fellow fantasy author Philip Pullman? Pullman has since been labelled ‘transphobic’ himself after tweeting in October that he was ‘finding the trans argument impossible to follow’.

(6) FELDGRAU DISCOURAGED. Unsurprisingly, Bounding Into Comics needles this new policy: “Anime NYC Institutes Ban on Cosplays of ‘Fictitious Nazis or Nazi-Like Organizations’”

…Though the rule in question specifically targets the promotion or display of “fictitious Nazis or Nazi-like organizations,” Anime NYC has been highly inconsistent in its application of the rule. Tanya the Evil, a series specifically noted in the rules, features allusions to aspects of World War II (such as the appearance of the World War II-era MP40 submachine guns or a character based on Werner Von Braun) but is entirely set in a fictional country based heavily on World War I-era Europe.

Furthermore, in a move deemed hypocritical by some fans, the close professional partnership between LeftField Media and Crunchyroll led to Anime NYC promoting a special screening of The Saga of Tanya the Evil – the Movie:…

(7) THE SCIENTIFIC ANSWER. Readers can discover “The Real Reason Fans Hate the Last Season of Game of Thrones” at Scientific American.

… The show did indeed take a turn for the worse, but the reasons for that downturn goes way deeper than the usual suspects that have been identified (new and inferior writers, shortened season, too many plot holes). It’s not that these are incorrect, but they’re just superficial shifts. In fact, the souring of Game of Thrones exposes a fundamental shortcoming of our storytelling culture in general: we don’t really know how to tell sociological stories.

At its best, GOT was a beast as rare as a friendly dragon in King’s Landing: it was sociological and institutional storytelling in a medium dominated by the psychological and the individual. This structural storytelling era of the show lasted through the seasons when it was based on the novels by George R. R. Martin, who seemed to specialize in having characters evolve in response to the broader institutional settings, incentives and norms that surround them.

After the show ran ahead of the novels, however, it was taken over by powerful Hollywood showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. Some fans and critics have been assuming that the duo changed the narrative to fit Hollywood tropes or to speed things up, but that’s unlikely. In fact, they probably stuck to the narrative points that were given to them, if only in outline form, by the original author. What they did is something different, but in many ways more fundamental: Benioff and Weiss steer the narrative lane away from the sociological and shifted to the psychological. That’s the main, and often only, way Hollywood and most television writers tell stories….

(8) SJWS CAN WALK. Kevin Standlee and Lisa Hayes thought there was good news for the Tonopah in 2021 Westercon bid – that Streamliner Lines is inaugurating bus service to the city:

We’re pleased to see that an inter-city bus carrier has begun to sell tickets for intercity bus service Reno-Tonopah-Las Vegas-Phoenix, starting July 3, 2019. This should give people traveling to Tonopah by air to Reno or Las Vegas an additional way of getting to Tonopah without having to rent a vehicle or group with other people doing so.

The good feeling only lasted until Lenore Jones told Filers what she read in Streamliner’s “contract of carriage”, a document with many remarkable restrictions, such as:  

Prohibition of Social Justice Warriors

Due to attempted vandalism, Social Justice Warriors may not travel on Streamliner. Social Justice Warriors include:

  • Persons self-proclaiming to be “Social Justice Warriors” or “SJWs”.
  • Persons supporting California regulations prohibiting or restricting Streamliner operations.
  • Persons supporting boycotts, sabotage, agitation, protests, and terrorism against Streamliner.

(9) SMITH OBIT. Artist Dennis Neal Smith, chair of the first WesterCon in San Diego in 1966, has died reports Greg Bear.

Fond farewell to Dennis Neal Smith, famous for many things, and scholar of many things, who inspired Harlan Ellison’s “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” with his richly textured illustrations, and who illustrated my first story collection for Arkham House, as well as Joanna Russ’ collection.

Jackie Estrada says Smith died of cancer:

But his biggest claim to fame was his artwork. Harlan Ellison based several of his short stories on drawings by Dennis, including “Bright Eyes,” “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” and “Delusions for a Dragonslayer.” He also did the art for the first progress report for the 1972 San Diego Comic-Con and served on the committee back then.

The 1966 San Diego Westercon hotel inspired Poul Anderson to write the immortal filk “Bouncing Potatoes”.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY

May 18, 1962The Twilight Zone aired “I Sing The Body Electric,” based on a story by Ray Bradbury.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born May 18, 1930 Fred Saberhagen. I’m reasonably sure I’ve read the entirety of his Berserker series. Some are outstanding, some less so. Of his Dracula sequence, the only one I think read is The Holmes-Dracula File which is superb. And I know I’ve read most of the Swords tales as they came out. (Died 2007.)
  • Born May 18, 1934 Elizabeth Rogers. Trek geeking time. She had two roles in the series. She provided the uncredited voice for “The Companion” in the “Metamorphosis” episode. She also portrayed Lt. Palmer, a communications officer who took the place of Uhura, in “The Doomsday Machine”, “The Way to Eden”, and the very last episode of the series, “Turnabout Intruder”. She also had appearances on Time Tunnel, Land of The Giants, Bewitched, The Swarm and Something Evil. (Died 2004.)
  • Born May 18, 1946 Andreas Katsulas. I knew him as Ambassador G’Kar on Babylon 5 but had forgottenhe played played the Romulan Commander Tomalak on Star Trek: The Next Generation. His first genre role on television was playing Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and he had a recurring role in Max Headroom as Mr. Bartlett. He alsohad appearances on Alien NationThe Death of the Incredible HulkMillenniumStar Trek: Enterprise and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. (Died 2006.)
  • Born May 18, 1948 R-Laurraine Tutihasi, 71. She’s a member of LASFS and the N3F. She publishes Feline Mewsings for FAPA. Not surprisingly, she’s had a number of SJW credentials in her life and her website gives honour to them here.
  • Born May 18, 1949 Rick Wakeman, 70. English musician who did a number of genre themed recordings including Journey to the Centre of the EarthThe Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Nineteen Eighty-four
  • Born May 18, 1952 Diane Duane, 67. She’s known for the the Young Wizards YA series though I’d like to single her out for her lesser known Feline Wizards series where SJW creds maintain the gates that wizards use for travel throughout the multiverse. 
  • Born May 18, 1958 Jonathan Maberry, 61. The only thing I’ve read by him is a number of works in the Joe Ledger Series which has a high body count and an even higher improbability index. I see that he’s done scripts for Dark Horse, IDW and Marvel early on. And that he’s responsible for Captain America: Hail Hydra. 
  • Born May 18, 1969 Ty Franck, 50. Half of the writing team along with Daniel Abraham that s James Corey, author of the Expanse series. I’ll admit that I’ve fallen behind by a volume or two as there’s just too many good series out there too keep up with all of them, damn it!

(12) SCARES THAT CARE. [Item by Dann.] Episode 219 of The Horror Show with Brian Keene included an announcement of the 3rd Horror Show telethon to benefit the Scares That Care charity. The first telethon in 2017 raised over $10,000, last year’s telethon raised over $20,000.  Both events took place in Pennsylvania and heavily featured guests living on the east coast of the United States.

This year’s event will take place on September 27-28 at Dark Delicacies located at 822 N. Hollywood Way located in Burbank, CA.  This is a new location for the bookstore that bills itself as the “Home of Horror”.

One feature of holding this year’s event in California is the ability to draw on the talented people in the horror genre that live and work on the west coast of the United States.

Unlike the first two telethons, this year’s event will take place in a location with less room for live viewing.  It is hoped that attendees will circulate in and out of the viewing area that patrons of the store will still be able to shop.

The telethon will be broadcast live via one of the streaming services.  Online fundraising will be performed via the Scares That Care website.

Fans wanting to participate in a Scares That Care event on the east coast can attend the “Scares That Care Weekend from August 1 to August 4 in Williamsburg, VA.

(13) GEOGRAPHY OF FANTASY. At Fantasy Literature, Brad Hawley reviews “God Country: A Sentient Sword Comes to Texas”.

…The sword, Valofax, is a giant sentient blade that is the embodiment of all swords and knives throughout the universe. It changes the life of a small family: Grandfather Emmett Quinlan, his son, and his son’s wife and young daughter. The story takes us from Texas to Hell and finally to the far-off home of Valofax, whose creator wants the sword back even as his planet dies all around him….

Does that mean it’s supposed to be a long distance between Texas and Hell?

(15) AT THE KGB. Ellen Datlow posted her photos from the KGB Readings on May 15.

Kai Ashante Wilson and Simon Strantzas read from their short work and they were riveting

(16) THOSE DARNED HUGOS. Galactic Journey’s Traveler notes with asperity that almost none of the Hugo nominees this year (that being 1964) were good enough to be shortlisted for his own Galactic Stars. “[May 18, 1964] Aspirations (June 1964 Fantasy and Science Fiction)”. (The Traveler needs to buy a bigger hat.)

If you plunked down your $2 for a Worldcon membership (Pacificon II in San Francisco this year), then you probably sent in your nominations for the Hugo Awards, honoring the best works of 1963. Last month, you got the finalists ballot. Maybe, like me, you were surprised….

(17) ANDERS ANSWERS. “Bay Area sci-fi author Charlie Jane Anders dishes on planets, books” in the Mercury News.

What do you think accounts for the recent boom in speculative fiction?

There’s been a trend over the last 20 years of “mainstream” literary authors dipping into speculative fiction — Margaret Atwood, John Updike. (But) we’re living in a time where everything is a little more science fictional. Technology has transformed lives in a short time, things like smartphones, medical technologies. A third thing is that speculative fiction is finally opening out and including authors who had previously been kept out of the genre: people of color, women, queer people, transgendered people, disabled people. That, I think, leads to an explosion of creativity and a ton of really interesting stories.

(18) NEBULA CONFERENCE VIDEOS. SFWA has posted several panel discussions from this weekend’s event.

  • Shifting To Games. With Phoebe Barton, Kate Dollarhyde, Darusha Wehm, Natalia Theodoridou, and Kate Heartfield.
  • Now What? Emerging writers discuss life after their debut. With Rebecca Roanhorse, Peng Shepherd, Mike Chen, R.R. Virdi and R.F. Kuang
  • How do the writers of 2019 incorporate modern themes while writing in past settings? With Susan Forest, Connie Willis, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Kate Heartfield

(19) STAR WARS PITCH. ScreenRant lets you step inside the pitch meeting that led to Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope!

[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Jim Caughran, Dann, Nancy Sauer, Martin Morse Wooster, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Niall McAuley.]

108 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/18/19 The Filer Who Went Up A Scroll But Came Down A Pixel

  1. That Streamliner contract certainly -appears- as though it would violate SOME law.

  2. The Holmes-Dracula File, while superb, is possibly the worst book in Saberhagen’s Dracula series. Highly recommended. And his Empire of the East is possibly the best postapocalyptic fantasy novel ever written.

  3. (8) Well, I wouldn’t ride any of those a******’ buses if they were the last transportation company on Earth. Even before you get to the SJW and Illegal Alien sections, the “Choice of Language” is a dead giveaway.

    Also: no no. 14 today?

  4. 8 – Thanks for the story credit. I should say didn’t notice this myself – I saw someone else raise this elsewhere. John Lorentz, maybe? At any rate, I agree, it’s really bizarre. The more you look, the more you find. Even the logo on their front page has an unpleasant resonance. (Someone else pointed that out, too. I totally didn’t click through on any of this until someone else raised it. Oops.)

  5. Indeed. No “Obese seatmates”? No “lousy moochers”? (referring to college students) Come on.

  6. >(5) SCOFFER: “Writers blocked: Even fantasy fiction is now offensive”.

    So, how do these people know whether or not Boyne harbors a secret desire to be a woman?

  7. @3: typo? is “obsteporousness” a pun/reference I’m missing? normally it’s spelled obstreperousness.

    @8: cf @Bonnie Daniel, Choice of Language was the first thing that struck me — seems like a dogwhistle. The statement that they will carry firearms reads like another dogwhistle, and the claim that laws back up their list of Prohibited Persons sounds like bull to me — I really doubt that the ICC bans all recent incarceratees from buses. The claim that they are barred from carrying alcohol or tobacco is even weirder. And the Prohibition of Third-Person Involvement (i.e., you can’t hire a lawyer to sue unless they were on the exact same itinerary) is beyond weird and into mindboggling. I wonder whether there are enough people far enough right to keep this line going.

    @19: Maybe memory is rosy, but ISTM that Nick Polotta(sp?) and Ro Nagy did this better without any visual aids, over 35 years ago. I suppose every generation needs its own version (and I suspect there’s no recording of the routine).

  8. Chip Hitchcock: @3: typo? is “obsteporousness” a pun/reference I’m missing? normally it’s spelled obstreperousness.

    Unusual as it is for me to have spelled something correctly — it’s already spelled the way you say it should be.

  9. That bus company is definitely really a real bus company and not some sort of elaborate “own the libs” joke? Because. Wow. That’s quite something. A whole lot of disturbing something.

    Note that they don’t just ban students, they also ban staff of higher education institutions.

    Also banned:

    13. Traveling for or in support of a political protest
    14. Engaging in political protest or political agitation

    Seriously, are these guys real?

    @Lis Carey

    They do, in fact, have a position on cats. Or rather, they ban all non-service animal pets.

  10. @3: Well I’m glad there’s FINALLY someone who shares my outrage about front cover price stickers. I shall have to get the contact information for this Carl person, so we can start a petition.

  11. I’m pretty sure that this bus company is in violation of that anti-discrimination law (the Unruh act?) that a certain person fond of sueing WorldCons keeps citing.

    Also why would they ban students? Students are usually good customers for bus companies, because they don’t have a lot of money and busses are cheaper than trains or planes. People travelling to protests are also good customers for bus and train companies, because they need to get to the protest and there are a lot of them at once. So why the hell would they ban them? Cause those hardworking business people they claim to want as passengers normally don’t use overland busses.

    And how would they even know that a passenger was planning to attend a protest, that they were a student or university staff? Do they ask for a proof of employment or what?

    Coincidentally, their homepage isn’t accessible in Europe, at least not in Germany. I can only get to the booking page, which has the title “Barry Goldwater Inland Streamliner”. So are we sure this is a real company? Cause it sounds very much like satire to me.

  12. @Cora Buhlert

    I think Unruh’s a California-only law and they’re very specific about not running in California. Very, very specific. They’re oddly specific about a lot of things. (Given the California thing and the weird Greyhound buses #1 fan thing and the anti-immigrants thing, I think it’s all because of a class action lawsuit being brought against against Greyhound in California to try and get them to stop letting law enforcement officers enter the buses without a warrent and interrogate passengers.)

    The website loads okay in the UK.

    Surely they’re not real. Anyone got a Standlee Signal around? Do we have the right website? Does the bus service exist?

  13. Cora, the Unruh act is a California law. The bus company is operating in Nevada. Nevada has their own civil rights laws but I don’t know how extensive they are.

    The student thing probably is a result of another bus company that had problems with college students. It’s piss poor implementation, but that might be the impetus.

    The rest is just plain awful and I hope they don’t get any riders.

  14. I just looked and their next scheduled departure that was available was July 3rd. Sounds like a hobby business.
    And a regular bus from Vegas to Tonopah was only about $40 and three hours.

  15. (8) I know its the least of the issues with that document but they call PDF “Postscript Data File” which is not what the acronym stand for. Closet bus fascists are one thing but closest bus fascists who get acronyms wrong…

  16. 5) The the discussion about racism in Narnia is hardly knew. The Calormen are barely masqueraded arab muslims and it is clearly stated that only vile people follow their god.

    Note: My atheist upbringing made me miss all references to religion when I read the books as a kid. I mostly remember the last book as being boring and weird. It was an enormous surprise how steeped in religion they were when I re-read them after discussions here.

    Which makes me wonder what more I have missed.

  17. “By God’s Grace, The Sun Rises On Streamliner Lines”

    Wtf? And this together with a version of the Kek-flag? Or possibly a version of the German Imperial Flag.

  18. The guy behind Streamliner Lines is just fantastic.

    “America’s #1 Motorcoach Connoisseur
    Deplorable Asian Republican”

    “Let’s do better than the arrogant SJW know-it-alls. Let’s bring back civilized transportation and Make Motorcoaches Great Again!”

  19. Meredith says They do, in fact, have a position on cats. Or rather, they ban all non-service animal pets.

    That’s not uncommon these days on most carriers, and indeed the definition of service animal has been tightened considerably over the past several years by the airlines in particular. So that’s pretty much standard boilerplate. The bit on the companions to SJW creds is just plain weird…

  20. Toyah Wilcox. Born May 18th 1958. Singer. Actress: background extra in QUARTERMASS 4, Lead in JUBILEE, lead of Miranda in THE TEMPEST (1979). QUADROPHERNIA (1979)…a few others.

  21. I just checked out the Wayback Machine version of the homepage and if that’s a real company and not satire, I hope someone sues their pants off.

    – Logo with creepy symbolism
    – Make Motorcoaches great again.
    – All vehicles American made
    – All drivers are military veterans – well, I hope the military at least employed them as drivers.
    – No illegal aliens (and immigrants, legal or not, are another group of eager bus customers)
    – No obese seatmates
    – No students
    – No Social Justice Warriors
    – Guns welcome, though at least they want them unloaded.
    – The straightest bus company in America (so they discriminate against LGBT people, too?)

    Why would anybody use such a horrible company? I do feel sorry for the Nasfic attendants who could use the service to get to Toponah, but I’m pretty sure that this bus company will quickly decide that they hate SFF fans, too.

    I also want to know how they can even know that someone travelling with them is a student, illegal immigrant, social justice warrior, overweight. LGBT or any of the other groups they despise. Do you have to upload a copy of your passport, proof of employment, green card, a photo and a signed and sworn statement that you’re a cishet rightwing person, when you book a ticket or what?

  22. 11) I enjoyed the “Empire of the EAst” and the subsequent Swords novels quite a bit, back in the day. Other work by SAberhagen I was less enthusiastic about. It seemed his last couple of books were trying to tie a couple of his series together, it is a shame that never happened.

    8) I am in the WTF? category with a lot of other folks.

  23. (7) Game of Thrones article was very interesting. I’m disappointed the author, Zeynep Tufekci, is an academic and not a writer of fiction.

  24. I don’t know if I had any strong opinions about Kevin Standlee before, but going forward it’ll be hard not to think of him as ‘the dude who promoted the nazi bus people’.

  25. Jake: I don’t know if I had any strong opinions about Kevin Standlee before, but going forward it’ll be hard not to think of him as ‘the dude who promoted the nazi bus people’.

    That’s an incredibly unfair thing to say. The Tonopah town reps told him “hey, we’ve got this great bus service starting up in July!” and he was glad to hear that there’d be more transportation options for attendees.

    I know Kevin well enough to know that he would not have promoted this bus service if he’d had any idea what sort of whackjob outfit it was going to be. 😐

  26. I thought Ryan, the guy from Screen Rant, was once again pretty funny.

  27. Harold Osler on May 18, 2019 at 11:24 pm said:

    I just looked and their next scheduled departure that was available was July 3rd. Sounds like a hobby business.

    They are a startup bus company. They begin operations July 3. If you search federal records, you can find their registration. (As they plan to operate Nevada-Arizona, they are an interstate carrier subject to federal regulation.)

    And a regular bus from Vegas to Tonopah was only about $40 and three hours.

    I’m not being sarcastic here: what do you mean by “a regular bus?” To my knowledge, there is currently no regularly scheduled bus service between Reno – Tonopah – Las Vegas. If we had known of any such service, you can bet we would have been mentioning it on the Tonopah Westercon bid’s web site. If I’m wrong and you can point me at such an existing service, I’d appreciate it. I am completely serious when I ask this.

    (When my wife and I went to Tonopah for our 22nd wedding anniversary last year, there was a regular bus service. I had their flyer. Unfortunately, the operator ceased operations later that year.)

    JJ on May 19, 2019 at 7:47 am said:

    That’s an incredibly unfair thing to say. The Tonopah town reps told him “hey, we’ve got this great bus service starting up in July!” and he was glad to hear that there’d be more transportation options for attendees.

    Thank you. To be fair, it wasn’t the Town of Tonopah (they hadn’t heard of it either when we spoke to them earlier this year) but news items in the Reno area spotted by one of our board members.

    As we’ve been pointing out from the beginning of our bid, we have always intended to work with our members to help them coordinate their travel schedules to make it easier for them to travel with other people by grouping their travel with them. This is still the case, and we do have a travel and transportation planner working on the issue. However, there have from the start been potential members who were only interested in traveling by bus on their own, without having to work with anyone else. So when we heard about a bus operator that had finally gotten the last permits necessary to begin operation, we announced it.

    Cora Buhlert wrote:

    I do feel sorry for the Nasfic attendants….

    We are not bidding for a NASFiC. We are bidding to host the 2021 Westercon. It seems extremely unlikely that there will be a NASFiC in 2021, as there is only one bid for the 2021 Worldcon on the site selection ballot, and that bid is for a site in North America.

    The reason the election to choose the 2021 Westercon is at SpikeCon is that SpikeCon is also Westercon 72. In fact, they were Westercon a year before they were NASFiC. SpikeCon will be running two different site selection elections: the 2020 NASFiC and the 2021 Westercon. I hope we don’t have people casting ballots for one when they meant the other.

    -=-=-

    While I certainly can’t and won’t defend much of what’s in their contract of carriage, I would point out that they aren’t the only passenger transportation company that charges overweight people for a second seat. (Linked page hasn’t been updated recently, but I’d be surprised if more airlines were not charging overweight people for a second seat.) I weigh 280 pounds (and peaked at 330 before my diabetes was diagnosed), so this does hit close to home.

    Personally, I wish LTR (Las Vegas-Tonopah-Reno) Bus Lines was still operating. I often saw them when I changed buses in Reno while taking Greyhound from Bishop (where I lived from 1979-1981 when my father was stationed there with the US Forest Service) to Marysville (where I visited my grandparents).

  28. (7) “The Real Reason Fans Hate the Last Season of Game of Thrones” is the best article I’ve seen yet on the topic of why Game of Thrones seems to have lost it’s edge lately. It also does a nice job of suggesting a reason why I find nearly all SF movies/TV shows unsatisfying compared to written SF/F. Or, in the case of SF, another reason beyond the rather obvious one that nearly all SF screenplays seem to have been written by people who don’t understand science/technology at all and really hate anyone who does.

  29. @Hampus: The Calormen are barely masqueraded arab muslims and it is clearly stated that only vile people follow their god.

    I certainly have no wish to start a new round of Narnia debates, but since you were wondering about things you might have missed, it’s worth mentioning that the second half of your sentence is false. The character of Emeth seems to be in the book specifically to make that clear: not only is he a devout follower of Tash who is a good guy, but Aslan makes a point of saying that all such people are spiritually okay (implying that Emeth was far from being the only one) and are equivalent to followers of Aslan (even though there is no organized religion around Aslan in the books, so it’s more like friends of Aslan). This is in line with the position Lewis expressed several times in nonfiction, which is one reason some evangelicals aren’t too keen on him.

  30. It’s pretty clear even from casual observation that the Streamliner bus company is doing their best to align themselves as Nazi-supporting if not actively Nazi-promoting. They aren’t even very subtle about it. This isn’t a dog whistle, it’s a flashing neon sign. Advertising it as a way for science fiction fans to travel to a convention without adding in serious warnings about this fact strikes me as likely to put some subset of those fans at risk of harm.

  31. Hampus: I guess that might be because you are an idiot.

    Sorry I didn’t realize ‘must have strong pre-existing opinions about Kevin Standlee’ was a requirement of commenting here.

    Or if I’m an idiot for calling it the ‘nazi bus company’, please read that instead as ‘the bus company with a nazi-adjacent logo and gross policies’

    JJ: That’s an incredibly unfair thing to say. … and he was glad to hear that there’d be more transportation options for attendees.

    The way I see it, either they didn’t actually look at the bus’s website or they didn’t see anything wrong with it. If it’s the latter, my claim stands. If the former, what does that say about how carefully Standlee and / or the Worldcon people in general are going to be handling other things? (In particular one wonders if they would have served brown m&ms to Van Halen).

    I’m not going to any Worldcon in 2021 regardless of location and don’t have any actual stake in any of this beyond ‘please be better than this.’

  32. Heather Rose Jones: In fact, I think this blunder with the bus line has made the Tonopah bid a dead letter. A lot of its support has depended on it seeming like a cute idea. Now it doesn’t anymore.

  33. Hampus Eckerman: “Let’s do better than the arrogant SJW know-it-alls. Let’s bring back civilized transportation and Make Motorcoaches Great Again!”

    I can add a word and make that “Make American Motorcoaches Great Again” but I can’t figure out a word to substitute for bus that starts with “N” so I can end up with the acronym MANGA….

  34. If the former, what does that say about how carefully Standlee and / or the Worldcon people in general are going to be handling other things?

    There’s no “Worldcon people in general” where running a year’s con is concerned. Each bid comes from an independent organization of fans who promote a bid and run the con if they win.

    It’s fair to criticize the Tonopah bid over the bus line being an atrocious company but Kevin Standlee is known for quite a bit more in the Worldcon community than this bid and the bus recommendation. That’s why people regarded your comment as a cheap shot.

  35. The way I see it, either they didn’t actually look at the bus’s website or they didn’t see anything wrong with it. If it’s the latter, my claim stands. If the former, what does that say about how carefully Standlee and / or the Worldcon people in general are going to be handling other things?

    Oh, please. I have a lot of expectations of convention organizers, especially experienced convention organizers. “Will read the entirety of a bus line’s website to make sure they aren’t Nazi sympathizers or even just terrible people who hate college students” is not one of them.

  36. @ Nancy Sauer

    The Nazi-signalling flag is on every page of the company’s website. I confess that I personally have come to the conclusion that in the world we are living in, basic “due diligence” includes being able to recognize that sort of signal.

  37. “Sorry I didn’t realize ‘must have strong pre-existing opinions about Kevin Standlee’ was a requirement of commenting here.”

    You don’t. But if you didn’t know enough about him to having formed an opinion, then your statement clearly shows that you are an idiot speaking such words with so little knowledge.

  38. @Kevin Standlee

    At minimum I don’t think you can suggest this as a travel option without warning people about who exactly is running the company and the rules they have in place, now that you’re aware. To be honest, I’m not sure you should be mentioning it as an option at all, but warning people away from it instead. I’m not sure whether I’d say you’ve messed up, exactly, since it wouldn’t have occurred to me to screen bus companies for fascism, but I think you have a lot of ground to make up as a result of this.

    @Jake

    It turns out that it’s very easy to make a mistake. For example, this is a Westercon bid, not a Worldcon bid.

  39. Eli:

    “The character of Emeth seems to be in the book specifically to make that clear: not only is he a devout follower of Tash who is a good guy, but Aslan makes a point of saying that all such people are spiritually okay (implying that Emeth was far from being the only one) and are equivalent to followers of Aslan (even though there is no organized religion around Aslan in the books, so it’s more like friends of Aslan). “

    I disagree. In fact, I see exactly the opposite happening. Emeth comes to Aslan as a “muslim” (worshipper of Tash). Aslan states that “no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him”. I.e, when those “muslims” do good stuff, it is Aslan (Jesus) that is the subject of worship. And if they do bad stuff, it is their own god that is worshipped.

    And when Emmeth hears Aslan/Jesus speaking badly about his own god, he is so grateful that he falls down wheeping with joy at Aslans/Jesus feet.

    So yes, “muslims” can be good (but it is uncommon), but then they aren’t really “muslims”.

  40. +1 on Meredith and Heather. Removing the post or add extra warning seems like a must.

  41. This tweet makes it absolutely clear that the company is aware of what tune their logo is whistling.

    I wouldn’t necessarily expect everyone to recognise the difference between an innocent Nordic Cross design and a piece of fascist symbolism, but I think we’re all going to have to brush up pretty sharpish. It’s getting a lot more common.

  42. OK, weird, I could sworn I posted this last night… anyways…

    Dear Mike,

    Found this under FAQs:

    “Please don’t take defamatory (e.g. black-and-white, sepia) photos.”

    Huh?????

    I don’t think that word means what they think it means.

    And this under “prohibited activities:”

    “Refusal to permit a search of person or property for explosives or for deadly, controlled, or dangerous weapons, articles, or substances.”

    pax / Ctein

  43. While Kevin is a frequent staffer at Worldcon, nothing about this bus line discussion has anything to do with Worldcon. The Tonopah bid is for a WESTERcon. Which has little to do with other Westercon bids and nothing at all to do with Worldcon or WSFS.

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