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. @Ctein

    You did! It was just in the Pixel Scroll of the 14th, not this Pixel Scroll.

  2. Dear Meredith,

    Doh! Well, I’m glad someone here has a brain. Obviously not me. Thanks!

    ~~~~

    Dear Mike,

    “Autobus” is a somewhat archaic but entirely legitimate English word for what we call a “bus.” So, yeah, they missed it by THAT much [g].

    ~~~~

    Dear Jake,

    No, I’m going with the consensus. You’re an idiot. Stop doubling down.

    I’ve known Kevin for more decades than I can count. The notion that he would support their rhetoric is about as likely as that I would support the American Nazi Party. (If that’s too obscure for you, look at my picture.)

    pax / Ctein
    ==========================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery http://ctein.com
    — Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
    ==========================================

  3. Who would have thought calling the dude associated with the people who are promoting a nazi-affiliated bus company a “dude who promoted the nazi bus people” would have caused such an uproar.

    Nancy : “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.

    The nazi flag is in their ding-dang favicon!

    Ctein: (If that’s too obscure for you, look at my picture.)

    I’m going to start off with saying that I have no idea who you are either other than I can remember seeing your name before on file770. I don’t recognize the person in your photograph, and a reverse image search didn’t turn up anything.

    So I’m going to have to go on the content of the image, which is a guy with a beard kissing a parrot, and figure out why that’s contraindicative of a particular variety of nazi. Am I supposed to believe that parrot smooches are some kind of vaccine against the fash? I’m no expert and I don’t see how that would work from either a scientific or political standpoint, but hey, couldn’t hurt. Maybe you’re suggesting I do some physiognomy and / or phrenology?

    (Or maybe this is just a ‘don’t you know who I am ?!?!’ in which case as said above: I do not.)

    In the interest of decorum and not raising any further ruckus I’ll bow out of posting this thread now.

  4. Dear Jake,

    Finally, you are showing some sense. By stepping away.

    When I said “look at my picture,” I meant exactly that. The Nazis would take one look at this face and push me into the nearest oven. For real. No joke.

    pax / Ctein

  5. I wonder how long that bus line will be around? They seem to be planning to serve a very limited set of people.

    And Jake, you need to learn to read better.

  6. Not that it’s likely that this is going to change anyone’s mind about anything, but:

    1. Thanks for the kind words from some of you here.

    2. I didn’t have any idea about their iconography until people pointed it out. Being a transportation geek (trains first, but incidentally roads), I thought it was invoking a crossroads, and the anvil was because their reporting mark in some booking systems is ANV.

    3. Personally, I rolled my eyes at the “by God’s grace” and “Barry Goldwater” references, but if you live in the Great Basin (as I do) or many other rural parts of the USA, you may have come to expect it. (Example: I’m personally going to have to do business with a newspaper whose editorial position I personally despise, because it’s the only practical way to get the word out to a bunch of people in the rural area in which my mother — who died in January — lived about the event we’re holding next month as a celebration of her life. Mom didn’t want a funeral, but rather a celebration of her memory. Many of her friends are, for want of a better term, “hillbillies,” and we don’t have a good way to contact many of them. So I’ll have to buy the ad, even though I don’t like that newspaper at all.)

    4. No, I didn’t go read the whole details of their carriage contract. As it happens, I don’t think I’ve ever read the entire terms of the contract of carriage on any airline on which I’ve traveled, either. It came as a surprise to me as well.

    5. I’m still anxiously awaiting someone to tell me where they found that $40 “regular bus” fare Reno – Tonopah and who is offering it. I’m not joking!

  7. @ Kevin Standlee–Oops, that may have come out a bit snarkier than I intended. I didn’t do any in-depth look-just what I found on their website which seemed odd to me.
    As to the bus lines–https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Las-Vegas/Tonopah which led me to think there were alternatives.
    again, just a brief scan of the site. I really have no idea if it’s helpful.

    To be honest, it was late and I was bemused by the whole “I read Atlas Shrugged as a child and never got over it / bad-short-story-by-a-right-wing-libertarian” tone of the charter. And the friends I forwarded it to also found it incredible.
    Again, I apologize if my post came across as mean or dismissive.

  8. Harold Osler on May 19, 2019 at 3:15 pm said:

    As to the bus lines–https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Las-Vegas/Tonopah which led me to think there were alternatives.

    Ah, I get it: out of date information. Silverado Stages, which used to operate on that route, ceased operations last December. Something I read elsewhere suggested that they had never been able to recover from an accident they had on a different route a while back and that they’d made some poor investments.

    If Silverado were still in operation, we would have been talking about them from the launch of the bid.

  9. @Ctein
    You asked “What does “c4c” stand for?”

    It means click (or check) for comment. It means making a post for the sole purpose of clicking the “notify me of follow-up comments by e-mail” box so you can get notifications of future posts.

  10. Dear Greg,

    Thanks!

    I googled it, but I couldn’t figure out the purpose.

    pax / more-clued Ctein

  11. @Kevin Standlee
    Sorry, my bad about getting Westercon and Nasfic mixed up (and misspelling Tonopah). I hadn’t followed the Tonopah bid closely, since I’m in Europe and therefore extremely unlikely to attend either con. Though at least I didn’t mistake it for a WorldCon.

    For the record, I wouldn’t think to look for Nazi red flags on the website of a bus company either. In Germany and Austria, we do have some companies (no transport companies that I know of, but a gear factory, a manufacturer of energy drinks and a hotel chain among others) run by people affiliated with the far right, but they keep their business and their politics strictly separate, because they are worried about boycotts.

  12. @OGH:Unusual as it is for me to have spelled something correctly — it’s already spelled the way you say it should be.
    You:
    obstrepOrousness
    me:
    obstrepErousness
    (I didn’t emphasize the wrong character because of past complaints, I don’t remember by who, that such emphasis was unnecessarily rubbing people’s noses in their mistakes, since said people could find the error by unassisted observation.) The fact that I left out an ‘r’ when quoting your typo probably didn’t make finding it easier.

    @Cora Buhlert: Why would anybody use such a horrible [bus] company? The “you will not replace us” crowd haven’t used the term Silent Majority — possibly they’ve figured out that they are not the majority, even if they got a president elected — and they probably overestimate how much support such politics have, but current discourse in the US suggests plenty of people would use them for political reasons. Whether there are enough such people in geographic position to use them is a separate question.

  13. Ctein: If that’s too obscure for you, look at my picture… When I said “look at my picture,” I meant exactly that. The Nazis would take one look at this face and push me into the nearest oven.

    Where you grew up, it might be accepted as “fact” or “common knowledge” that Jewish people can be identified by their appearance, but in many parts of the U.S. if you said something like this, people would just look at you blankly and not have any idea what you were going on about.

    I looked at your picture and thought, hmmm, yes, the Nazis weren’t very fond of hippies with long hair and beards.

    It’s probably not a good idea to assume that what’s insider baseball to Jewish people and people who grew up in areas with a large Jewish population is common knowledge everywhere else.

  14. Ah, I get it: out of date information. Silverado Stages, which used to operate on that route, ceased operations last December.

    I hate Google.

  15. Chip Hitchcock: Now I see what you were trying to correct. Ah, none so blind, as they say.

    However, what delayed my recognition is that your comment spelled the word “obsteporousness” — missing the first R. You could not have known that in my draft I found I had left out the first R and put it in. Which is why I fixated on that, not on the vowel.

    So when all is said and done — I made a typo, not a deep joke.

  16. Things of SFnal approximateness, Satutday I did a live-tweeted tour, starting near the Sun, ending right by Mars, of the Sweden Solar System. Apparently, using just feet and public transport, it takes about three hours to go from the Sun to Mars.

  17. 17) We’re currently living in a period of time where the impact of technology and futurism cannot be ignored. Compared to be my time as a teen in the 111960s, we are now living in Science Fiction.

  18. my time as a teen in the 111960s

    Which was just before they invented the long-range time machine.

  19. @JJ

    I treated it as a process of elimination and felt it was fairly obvious. No rainbows, pink triangles, visible disability equipment or communist/otherwise left-wing or political symbolism — subject confident appearance indicates something obvious, therefore likely to be particularly well-known victim group (so not Roma, Slav, etc), and probably one thought to have stereotypical features — name ends in “tein” — conclusion: probably Jewish. But I wasn’t going off Ctein’s actual facial features, because gravatars are a bit small for that sort of thing.

    (Mind you people — mostly Kurt, iirc — managed to figure out what most of the books on my shelf are so perhaps I just give up too easily on analysing gravatar details.)

  20. Hampus:

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

    Actually, they seem more Turkish than Arab, going by what I remember of the books. It is possibly significant that tash (i.e., tas, where the s has an underhook) is Turkish for ‘stone’ (think the Kaaba), in the same way that aslan is Turkish for ‘lion’.

  21. @OGH: So when all is said and done — I made a typo, not a deep joke. Useful to know — FOMO loses again.

  22. Ingvar: Things of SFnal approximateness, Saturday I did a live-tweeted tour, starting near the Sun, ending right by Mars, of the Sweden Solar System.

    Thanks for linking to this! How interesting, and how wonderful that so many people and organizations have gotten into the spirit of this project!

    For those who are interested, Ingvar’s tweet thread is here.

  23. Meredith: When you hover over a gravatar it will switch to a clickable link to the person’s gravatar profile, including a much bigger picture of the gravatar in question. I couldn’t remotely read your book titles on the small version here but I can see most of them in the profile size.

  24. Dear Lenore,

    With a shnozz like mine, I’d have figured it’d be visible from the moon!

    (And nitpickers notwithstanding, by no interpretation does it qualify as suitable Aryan.)

    pax / conk,ummmm,Ctein

  25. @Ctein, I think you meant to respond to Lenora Rose, not me. Autocorrect strikes again? (It tried to change your name on me just now, but I noticed and changed it back. That would have been embarrassing. Muphry’s Law.)

  26. Dear Lenore,

    Yup, &^%*$#@!! autocorrect. Sooooo helpful.

    (I try to disable it, but it keeps sneaking back on.)

    pax / whatshisface

  27. Yeah, I went looking for a comment by Lenore before I was sure you meant me. 🙂

    (For those a bit puzzled, there was a longer version of my comment which referenced Ctein’s avatar. I deleted that part while editing a typo, forgetting I was editing between viewable versions and not still refining the original.)

  28. Dear LenorA,

    Heh. And, y’know, when the conversation has degenerated to the point where it’s about my nose…

    pax / PLP*

    (*Prominent Local Proboscis)
    (you can see it at Baycon!)

  29. I think you have a very nice nose. But I want to know about the bird! You seem fond of each other. (Autocorrect tried to change fond to find. ???)

  30. Dear Lenore,

    Why, thank you. I’m attached to it, myself.

    I wrote four columns about our birds, starting with Elmo (the African Grey pictured). Links below. Note: as with here, the discussion in the comments is frequently more interesting and edifying than the article itself.

    “Self-Incrimination”

    https://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/09/ot-selfincrimination.html

    “Weird Adventures in A.I. (Animal Intelligence)”

    https://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/11/ot-weird-adventures-in-ai.html

    “On Topic (Really!): Parrotspeak / Parrotvision”

    https://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/09/on-topic-really-parrotspeak-parrotvision.html

    “Animal Language”

    https://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/05/animal-language.html

  31. What the heck is going on? Mr. Standlee shared our website at http://www.streamlinerlines.com and now I’ve got death threats and vandalism on my door! No one ever contacted me and when the going gets rough, Mr. Standlee ditches me and says I’m on my own? Yeah, thanks for the hate, Kevin! I’m not even remotely a Nazi and now everyone’s trying to kill me! For the record, that flag is a NORDIC CROSS: http://www.wikipedia.org/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_cross_flag. Yes, like Kevin said, it means a hub-and-spoke network. And the Anvil is indeed because our Carrier Code in the Timetable is ANV. Knee-jerk losers!

  32. Note: I authenticated the source of the comment is the holder of the Streamliner Lines email address.

  33. I’m just going to note that John Wang deleted the tweet that someone replied to pointing out the link between his logo and the Nazi flag (so it is no longer easily accessible from his twitter page), but did not delete his response to it, so it’s still available from my link on the previous page, at least for now — I assume he’ll delete it as soon as he sees this. I have screencapped for posterity, but in summary:

    Twitter person: “Your logo is interesting” [image of Nazi flag]
    Inland Streamliner @lineranvil: “It is, isn’t it?”

    So any of his denials about the logo here should be taken with a cupful of salt.

    I’ll also note that he hasn’t addressed a single one of the criticisms of the content of his website beyond the logo. That contract of carriage didn’t write itself.

    The CoC appears to have been removed from the website and Lenore Jones’ link (which is in the main Scroll) now redirects to the front page instead. I hope someone saved a copy. Booking page no longer titled “Barry Goldwater”. Between those and the tweet deletion, definite attempts to cover tracks. No signs of acknowledging concerns.

    Status & Alerts page claims:

    “Inland Streamliner is NOT politically motivated. As the Straightest Line in America, our logo represents a hub-and-spoke network with the most direct routes from Reno.”

    Hmmm.

    @Mike Glyer

    Thanks for verifying.

  34. What a load of rubbish! Inland Streamliner has never had any logo other than the logo on my website! On Twitter I acknowledged that the flag is “interesting”, but never said that the Nazi flag is my flag. Of course, the Black Cross White Shield flag is absolutely our logo. However, it isn’t a Nazi logo. And if y’all aren’t gonna believe me, well there’s nothing I can say that will change it, eh?

    As for Barry Goldwater, I’m absolutely a conservative and a Barry Goldwater supporter. However, being a Barry Goldwater supporter doesn’t mean I’m a Nazi. I removed “Barry Goldwater” from my booking page after negative comments about it, not to “cover tracks”. Anyone who knows me will know I’m still a Barry Goldwater supporter and since he’s popular in Arizona (one of my biggest markets), that’s why I put his name on the booking page in the first place.

    I haven’t had the time to read through the other criticisms. All I can say is that I’m a conservative libertarian and NOT a Nazi. If you don’t like doing business with conservative libertarian companies, then feel free not to use Inland Streamliner. Just don’t slander us and have death threats and vandalism on my fleet by claiming that we’re Nazis.

    Besides, lest y’all forget, it was Mr. Standlee who reached out to us (I have evidence that he initiated our conversation) and if y’all think my website has problems, then why did Mr. Standlee share our website? Is he a “Nazi” as well? Oddly Mr. Standlee is now silent when I come out to defend myself.

  35. @John Wang
    Your belligerence makes me want to avoid you and your bus line, even if its questionable actions and website hadn’t already done so.

  36. Belligerence? I think if you were getting death threats and vandalism, and being wrongfully labeled a Nazi, you’d be belligerent as well! I can be friends with anyone, but if y’all are dissing me in the comments, there’s no point in me trying.

  37. John Wang: “I can be friends with anyone…”

    That may be your personal approach, but the reason your bus line has gotten so much comment here is that the contract of carriage is loudly hostile to so many different types of people, be they fat, “social justice warriors”, or just students.

  38. @John Wang
    Thanks for providing such excellent examples of how not to make friends and attract customers.

  39. Yeah, the attempt to blame Kevin Standlee for the serious racism and other issues apparent on the bus company’s website is pretty reprehensible, as is the attempt now to pretend that they never existed. 😐

  40. I also suspect the death threats and vandalism were inventions. If they were real, though, then I strongly condemn them.

  41. I have evidence of death threats and vandalism, so they’re not inventions. As for the people being fat, that policy was copied straight out of airline obesity policies: https://www.smartertravel.com/airline-obesity-policies/. You’ve got to remember that 99% of bus seats nationwide are designed for 300 lb. Putting a 350-lb passenger in a seat designed for 300 lb is a violation. As for the students and SJWs, they were the ones sending me death threats and committing vandalism (and I have evidence). In light of the circumstances, nothing I’ve done is unreasonable.

    I will not make friends (or customers) with anyone who remotely believes I’m a Nazi, despite what my Contract of Carriage may say. I will not pretend and have never pretended that the “issues” on my website never existed, even though I updated my website to prevent further misunderstandings. I stand behind my Contract of Carriage to the last word because none of those extreme policies would’ve been necessary if it wasn’t for left-wing aggression.

    I rest my case. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me in private. It’s become clear that nothing I do or say will change your predisposed opinions.

  42. Dear John,

    Only one question:

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

    How are B&W or sepia defamatory????

    pax / Ctein

  43. Hi John!

    That flag is not the basic nordic cross as used by my country Sweden and our neighbours. That is the very specific german version of it with the circle at the center of the cross and the emblem at the top left. It was at start a war flag for the german empire, which is kind of a weird choice to base the logo for a bus company on.

    Then came four more designs, all for war purposes, with the last being the nazi design.

    So unless you want your bus company to be associated with war, imperialism and nazism, you would do best to choose another design. Doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the nordic cross design. For a US twist, look at Little Rock, Arkansas.

  44. Dear Hampus,

    Further, we’ve got someone expressing extreme outrage that anyone would think he has Nazi sympathies but, when a commenter on social media points out how interesting it is that his corporate logo is similar to such, his only response is yeah, isn’t that interesting.

    Methinks that was the moment to express severe disapproval . Not having done so, it’s not in the least surprising that some people might think he was okay with all that.

    The mess he’s in is of his own making. The Internet is what it is, social media are what they are. People will misunderstand you unless you make yourself very clear, and people will react (and overreact) to that. That is reality, and it’s not a new one.

    Blaming it on everyone else for him not handling the matter correctly in the first place? What a sterling example of the libertarian concept of “personal responsibility.”

    pax / Ctein

  45. Ctein:

    It is a bit more than that. The nazi flags are illegal to show in Germany, which means that the far right and the nazis have adopted the Imperial War Flag instead (the first version). So many german states consider it a breach of public order to display it, which will get the flag confiscated and the person waving it a fine.

  46. none of those extreme policies would’ve been necessary if it wasn’t for left-wing aggression.

    Instead of, I don’t know, trying not to be a fascist, or adopting stuff that would make an observer think you might, like, be a fascist?

    Another sterling example of “personal responsibility.”

    (Along with, per your CoC, insisting on conducting your business entirely in English, even after stating most of your business is in Arizona, the state where I also live, and where Spanish is spoken with almost the same frequency as English! Way to grow your business and your brand, dude!)

  47. @John Wang

    Thanks very much.

    Your living down to expectations has made my life so much better [/sarc]

    @Lenore Jones

    Kudos for condemning death threats and vandalism. Boorish behavior knows no bounds….sadly.

    Regards,
    Dann
    TANSTAAFL/TINSTAAFL/TNSTAAFL – Truth no matter how you slice it.

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