Pixel Scroll 6/14/18 When The Scroll Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pixel Pie, That’s A-nnoying

(1) PUTTING SOME ENGLISH ON IT. Should the Hugo Awards add a Best Translated works category? Here are Twitter threads by two advocates.

(2) EXPANDING STOKER. The Horror Writers Association will be adding a new Bram Stoker Awards category for Short Non-Fiction in 2019.

HWA President, Lisa Morton welcomes the new addition, stating: “As a writer who has written non-fiction at all lengths, a reader who loves articles and essays, and an admirer of academic study of dark fiction, I am pleased to announce this new awards category.”

(3) WEBER DECLARES VICTORY. David Weber’s Change.org petition, “Ensure Freedom of Speech & Assembly at ConCarolinas”, recorded 3,713 signatures. Weber’s fans were so enthusiastic one of them even signed my name to the petition. Although I asked them to remove it I’m still getting notifications, like this one — “The Vote Is In…”

Our petition in favor of the policy on guest invitations for ConCarolinas enunciated by Jada Hope at the closing ceremonies of the 2018 convention is now closed.

That policy, simply stated, is that ConCarolinas will issue apolitical invitations to genre-appropriate guests and that guests, once invited, will not be DISINVITED because of political hate campaigns waged online after the invitations are announced.

In the week that it was open, it accrued over 3,700 signatures, many of whom left comments explaining why they had signed in support of that policy. We believe this is a fairly resounding statement of the fact that many more members of fandom support a policy in which individuals are not excluded because of the political demands of a vocal minority who assail conventions online. We believe the fact that NONE of the signatures on this petition were anonymous speaks volumes for the willingness of the signers to “put their money where their mouths are” on this issue.

At no time have we suggested that conventions are not fully entitled to make their initial guest selections on whatever basis they like, including how compatible they expect that guest’s apparent politics to be to the con goers they expect to attend. What we have said is that there is no justification for RESCINDING an invitation, once issued and accepted, simply because someone else objects to that guest’s inclusion. Clearly there will be occasional genuinely special circumstances, but unless something becomes part of the public record only after the invitation has been extended, it should not justify rescinding an invitation. That was that thesis of this petition, and that was what all of these individuals signed in support of.

Sharon and I thank you for the way in which you have come out in support of our position on this, and we reiterate that it does not matter to us whether the guest in question is from the left or the right. What matters is that true diversity does not include ex post facto banning of a guest simply because some online mob disapproves of him or her.

Fandom is supposed to be a community open to ideas that challenge us. Creating an echo chamber in which no dissenting voices are heard is the diametric opposite of that concept. Thank you, all of you, for helping to tone down the echo effect.

(4) WHERE STORIES COME FROM. Robert Aickman recalled, in “Strange, Stranger, Strangest” at The Baffler.

Like some of his more famous contemporaries—Evelyn Waugh, say, or Aldous Huxley—Aickman yearned for those pre-industrial times before the democratic rabble began making all their poorly educated and unreasonable demands; and while his political prejudices didn’t yield what some of his contemporaries considered a satisfactory person (one of his closest friends recalled him as being incapable of any “real commitment to anyone”), they inspired him to explore narrative ideas that were always idiosyncratic, funny, disturbing, and unpredictable. No two Aickman stories are alike; and no single story is like any other story written by anybody else.

The most dangerous forces in an Aickman story often emerge from common and unremarkable spaces: tacky carnival tents, rural church-yards, the rough scrim of bushes at the far end of a brick-walled back garden, the human rabble who visit their dead relatives in decaying cemeteries, or remote (and often unnamable) foreign holiday isles. And while supernatural events may often occur in Aickman stories—at other times they only seem to occur, and at still other times they don’t occur at all.

(5) JEMISIN GETS AWARD. The Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council has announced the lineup of initial 150-plus authors for this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival (“Brooklyn Book Festival Announces Stellar Fall Line-Up”), September 15-16. Hugo award-winning author N.K. Jemisin will be the recipient of the annual Best of Brooklyn (BoBi) Award.

Brooklyn author N.K. Jemisin has been named the recipient of the Brooklyn Book Festival’s annual Best of Brooklyn (or BoBi) Award. The annual award is presented at the September Gala Mingle to an author whose work exemplifies or speaks to the spirit of Brooklyn. Past honorees have included Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson, Jonathan Lethem, James McBride, Lois Lowry and Pete Hamill.

(6) LE GUIN TRIBUTE. John Lorentz, who attended, says the video recording of last night’s tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin is now available online at http://www.literary-arts-tribute.org/.

It was a special night (Ursula was a real treasure here in Portland, and throughout the literary world), and we were very happy that we could be there.

It was a mix of videos of Ursula and live speakers, such as Molly Gloss, David Jose Older and China Mieville.

And a dragon!

(7) AROUND THE BLOCK. Mary Robinette Kowal says NASA astronauts are now doing the spacewalk she saw them rehearse. Get on the Twitter thread here —

(8) SNEYD OBIT. Steve Sneyd, a well-known sff poet who also published fanzines, died June 14. John Hertz, in “The Handle of a Scythe, commemorated Sneyd after the Science Fiction Poetry Association named him a 2015 Grand Master of Fantastic Poetry.

He was poetry editor for Langley Searles’ unsurpassed Fantasy Commentator.  His own Data Dump has been published a quarter-century;

.. On the occasion of the Grand Master award, Andrew Darlington posted a 3,400-word piece “Steve Sneyd from Mars to Marsden” at Darlington’s Weblog Eight Miles Higher,  with photos, images of Sneyd’s various publications including Data Dump, electronic links, and things too fierce to mention

Sneyd’s own website was Steve-Sneyd.com. And there’s an entry for him at the SF Encyclopedia — http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/sneyd_steve.


  • Born June 14  — Lucy Hale, 29. Bionic Woman (2007 TV series) as Becca Sommers, sister of Jaime Sommers, and voiced Periwinkle in TinkerBell and the Secret of the Wings.

(10) NOW AUTOMATED. CockyBot™ is on the job.

(11) SWATTERS PLEAD. “Two rival gamers allegedly involved in Kansas ‘swatting’ death plead not guilty in federal court” reports the Washington Post.

…Late last December, Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill, two young men separated by more than 800 miles and a time zone, clashed inside the digital playpen of “Call of Duty: WWII.” The Wichita Eagle would later report that the disagreement was over an online wager of less than $2.

But according to a federal indictment, Viner, from North College Hill, Ohio, became “upset” with Gaskill, a Kansas resident. Plotting a real-world revenge for the alleged slight delivered in the first-person shooter, Viner allegedly tapped a 25-year-old  from Los Angeles named Tyler Barriss to “swat” Gaskill.

“Swatting” — or summoning police to an address under false emergency pretenses — is a particularly dangerous form of Internet harassment. But when Gaskill noticed that Barriss had started following him on Twitter, he realized what the Californian and Viner were plotting. Instead of backing down or running for help, Gaskill taunted the alleged swatter via direct message on Twitter.

“Please try some s–t ,” Gaskill allegedly messaged Barriss on Dec. 28, according to the indictment. “You’re gonna try and swat me its hilarious … I’m waiting buddy.”

The wait was not long. According to authorities, about 40 minutes after the messages on Twitter, police in Wichita swarmed a local house in response to a hostage situation. Twenty-eight-year-old Andrew Finch was shot dead by law enforcement — the result, allegedly, of Barriss’s fake call to police. The deadly hoax, sparked by an online gaming beef, quickly became international news.

Now Viner, Gaskill, and Barriss are all facing federal criminal charges stemming from the shooting. On Wednesday afternoon, Viner and Gaskill — 18 and 19, respectively — were in a Wichita courtroom making their first appearance in the case. The Associated Press reported that both men pleaded not guilty to a host of charges, including conspiracy to obstruct justice and wire fraud.

(12) WARM SPELL. NPR reckons “Antarctica Has Lost More Than 3 Trillion Tons Of Ice In 25 Years”.

Scientists have completed the most exhaustive assessment of changes in Antarctica’s ice sheet to date. And they found that it’s melting faster than they thought.

Ice losses totaling 3 trillion tonnes (or more than 3.3 trillion tons) since 1992 have caused global sea levels to rise by 7.6 mm, nearly one third of an inch, according to a study published in Nature on Wednesday.

Before 2010, Antarctica was contributing a relatively small proportion of the melting that is causing global sea levels to rise, says study co-leader Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds.

But that has changed. “Since around 2010, 2012, we can see that there’s been a sharp increase in the rate of ice loss from Antarctica. And the ice sheet is now losing three times as much ice,” Shepherd adds.

(13) DUSTY ROADS. The end? “Enormous Dust Storm On Mars Threatens The Opportunity Rover”.

A massive dust storm on Mars is threatening NASA’s Opportunity rover, which has been conducting research on the Red Planet for well over a decade.

Where the rover sits, the dust storm has completely blotted out the sun, depriving Opportunity of solar power and cutting off communications with Earth.

NASA scientists believe the rover has fallen asleep to wait out the storm, and that when the dust storm dies down and sunlight returns, the rover will resume activity.

“We’re concerned, but we’re hopeful that the storm will clear and the rover will begin to communicate with us,” says John Callas, the Opportunity project manager.

The rover has survived dust storms before, but it’s never lost power this thoroughly.

The dust storm on Mars grew from a small, local storm into a massive event over the course of the last two weeks. Opportunity is located near the middle of the storm, while the newer rover Curiosity — which is nuclear-powered, so not threatened by the loss of sunlight — is currently near the storm’s edge.

… There’s no expectation that the rover will be completely buried by dust, but there are risks associated with the lack of temperature control and the extended lack of power.

“The good news there is that the dust storm has warmed temperatures on Mars,” Callas says. “We’re also going into the summer season so the rover will not get as cold as it would normally.”

The rover also has small, plutonium-powered heater units on board that will help keep it from freezing, and NASA scientists believe the rover will be able to ride out the storm until the skies clear. It’s not clear how long that will take.

(14) HOMEBREW DROID. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Patrick Stefanski decided, even before Solo: A Star Wars Story hit the theaters he wanted to build an Alexa-powered version of the droid L3-37. Well, the head anyway. He combined his skills with 3-D printing, model painting, and electronics to have his robot head respond to “Ethree” as a custom wake word and reply with a sassy “What?” when summoned. Those changes required running Amazon Voice Services software—basically the thing that powers Alexa—on a Raspberry Pi microcomputer rather than using stock Amazon hardware. That change also allowed him to set the localization to the UK so “she” could speak with a British accent.

Quoting the io9 article “Talented Hacker Turns Amazon’s Alexa Into Lando’s Sass-Talking L3-37 Droid” —

One of the best parts of Solo: A Star Wars Story is Lando Calrissian’s piloting droid, L3-37, who’s been uniquely pieced together and upgraded from parts of other droids. Patrick Stefanski has essentially done the same thing to turn Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant into a desktop version of L3-37 who answers to your beck and call.

The customizability of Amazon’s Echo speakers, which feature Alexa built-in, are quite limited. So in order to make his L3-37 actually respond to the simple phrase, “Elthree,” Stefanski instead used a software version of Alexa running on a Raspberry Pi3 mini computer. It also allowed Stefanski to alter his location so that his Alexa-powered L3-37 speaks in a British accent, similar to actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s performance of the character in the movie.

The SYFY Wire article has more of an interview with Stefanski, “This dude built a fully-functional and definitively sassy 3D-printed L3-37 Alexa”, including:

“I originally wrote off the idea of doing a 3D printed L3 project when I first saw her in a teaser trailer. Here is a 6- or 7-foot walking humanoid robot with tons of articulation and a ton of personality. What could I possibly do with that? Some builder’s tried to tackle K2-SO, a very similar droid from the Rogue One movie, and ended up with a 6-foot static mannequin.

…]That’s cool and all but, me, I’m all about the motors and the electronics and the motion.

“Then as luck would have it, the first time I heard L3-37 talk (a British female voice), it happened to be on the same day I saw a random YouTube video about someone hacking together an Echo Dot and one of those old ‘Billy the Bass’ novelty fish. […] My daughter is 3, and just starting to really get comfortable with Alexa. ‘ALEXA PLAY FROZEN!!!!’ is something you’ll hear yelled in my house a lot! So, I started thinking of something fun to do with our Echo, and the idea of turning it into this new female robot from Star Wars kind of just fell into place.”

(15) GREEN HELL. Science Alert is enthralled: “Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Is Literally Raining Gemstones Now, And We Want Some”.

If Hawaii’s K?lauea volcano were to offer an apology for its chaos and destruction, it just might come in the form of a beautiful green mineral called olivine.

Over the past months we’ve reported on devastating lava flows and bone-shattering boulders. Now it’s raining gems – a rare event that has geologists enthralled and the rest of us just plain confused.

But ULTRAGOTHA sent in the link with a demurrer: “I will note that I am not confused as to why an active volcano is producing olivine.  This one does it a lot. There is a green beach on Hawai’i.” She has in mind Papakolea Beach:

Papakolea Beach (also known as Green Sand Beach or Mahana Beach[1]) is a green sand beach located near South Point, in the Ka?? district of the island of Hawaii. One of only four green sand beaches in the world, the others being Talofofo Beach, Guam; Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island in the Galapagos Islands; and Hornindalsvatnet, Norway.[citation needed] It gets its distinctive coloring from olivine sand eroded out of the enclosing volcanic cone (tuff ring).

(16) HIGH PRICED TICKET. This weekend, “Aliencon links the worlds of space travel, UFOlogy and science fiction at the Pasadena Convention Center”. Story from the Pasadena Weekly.

Tully notes that AlienCon moved to Pasadena this year simply because of needing a bigger venue, and that there is no hidden agenda or secret information that ties Pasadena to an impending alien invasion or hidden landing sites from past eras.

“That question of whether we know things we can’t tell came up numerous times at the first AlienCon,” says Tully. “I don’t know anything, hand over heart, but I believe we have a panel that answers everything one could possibly know. They don’t get censored by the government.”

The move to Pasadena has already paid off with one-day passes  for Saturday already sold out, as are the Bronze and Gold level (which includes a private event with the “Ancient Aliens” cast) passes, which cost $124 and $549, respectively. The remaining Silver level passes cost $436 and, according to the website, “passholders receive guaranteed premium seating in the Main Stage, a voucher redeemable for autographs or photographs, a tote bag with exclusive merchandise, and much more!”

The fact that AlienCon doesn’t feature any experts from Caltech or JPL raises the antenna of Dr. Michael Shermer, founder of the Altadena-based Skeptic Society, who has long debunked the prospect of alien life forms as well as the existence of God. While he was somewhat impressed that the chief astronomer of the federal government’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program and “Star Trek: Voyager’s” Picardo (who works with the Pasadena-based Planetary Society) will be panelists, he was more incredulous about the moneymaking aspects of the event.

“It’s a fun topic, like talking about God, where everyone has an opinion, but no one has any proof,” says Shermer. “But with the Gold Pass costing $550, you better be able to meet and greet an actual alien.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, ULTRAGOTHA, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Bill, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, Chuck Connor, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

136 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/14/18 When The Scroll Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pixel Pie, That’s A-nnoying

  1. Secundus

    7) That was a great thread, and I am more excited than even before for THE CALCULATING STARS.

    5) Congrats to Nora!

    1), Rachel, who is a light of all things SF in translation, DOES have a point.

  2. The real test of victory will be the attendance at ConCarolina is three or four years, but hey if he wants to George Aiken it, who am I to argue?


    I keep seeing lots of complaints on Twitter about there not being a Translated SF Hugo, and the name of the Campbell Award needing to be changed because the guy was a racist and a scammer who cheated authors, and every time I think “Why don’t any of these people actually do something about this, where actually doing something =/= complaining about it on Twitter?”. 😐

    Hugo Awards: Worldcon 76 WSFS Division Head contact info

    Campbell Award: Dell Magazines (aka Penny Publications) contact info

  4. JJ: Watch out what you wish for. If they take a poll this week Dell is going to end up calling it the Weber Award, and the record will show I voted in favor.

  5. Mike Glyer: If they take a poll this week Dell is going to end up calling it the Weber Award, and the record will show I voted in favor.

    That’s another thing which annoys me about online petitions, where
    actually doing something =/= signing an online petition 🙄

  6. JJ — Before Kevin Standlee jumps in to remind everyone of this:
    The WSFS Division Heads do not control the Hugo Award categories.
    The Award categories are created/modified by the members of WSFS, aka the fans who attend Worldcon via the resolution and ratification process of the WSFS Business Meeting.

  7. 1) The idea in itself is not bad, though with the YA and series categories, the Hugos are about at the limit of what voters can bear. Besides, translated fiction has won Hugos in the recent past (Liu Cixin, Thomas Olde Heuvelt) may well win again.

  8. Meredith moment: This is probably only good for the next 4 hours, but it looks like B&N’s ebook deal of the day is 150 comics of the 9th through 12th Doctor Who for 99 cents apiece. Looks to be good also at Amazon, Google Play, but not Kobo (who will gladly price match, if you want to buy all 150, submit 150 price matches, and then give you $450 in store credit in a few days). No idea about Apple because I will never buy any ebooks from them because of the price-fixing deal, and therefore I have no idea how to check.

  9. 1) On one hand, I like the idea of awarding the people who do the difficult job of translating a work and keeping the original intent clear. A bad translation can ruin even the best work.

    On the other hand, I don’t like how crowded the Hugos are getting. The ceremony is long as it is, and adding more and more awards will only make things more cluttered. Given my druthers, I would want a shorter ceremony.

    On the third hand . . . wait, where did that come from?

  10. Kevin–But the WSFS Business Meeting Chair and Secretary can put a motion to add a new Hugo Category to the Constitution on the agenda for San Jose.

  11. 12) [/Captain Scott] “Bloody hell, Teddy, look what you did now!![/Captain Scott]

    Explication de texte: Robert F. Scott did not like his second-in-command Teddy Evans (not to be confused with Petty Officer Edgar Evans, who he did like).

    When Teddy Evans became the Right Honourable Edward Ratcliffe Garth Russell Evans, Lord Mountevans of Chelsea, Admiral (ret.) Royal Navy, with honours up to his collarbone, he still gritted his teeth and said nothing about it.

    Even though he lost all that ice . . .

  12. It seems to me that a best translation would be /very/ difficult to judge well. Unless you can read in the original language as well as the translated one, how are you going to tell just how good the translation is? I suppose there are factors such as how smoothly something reads, etc, but how are you can to identify a missed subtlety or an absence of nuance?

  13. When, while swimming, you feel
    Something slick brush your heel
    That’s a moray…

  14. @rochrist: Indeed. Maybe something like a best translation award is better handed by a jury.

  15. Soon Lee: It figures, is all I can say. Also, the part I did up there is all the lyrics of that that I know, or would conceivably look up.

    On the other hand, I liked My Heart Will Go On enough that when someone in my music class got this put on the video in the room, I pulled my soprano recorder out of my pack and played along with it, and let me tell you: The vibes in that room were great. I would go so far as to say it was the most fun moment of the school year, and we fondly recalled it on the last day of class, mere weeks ago. Mind you, I didn’t know the song from Adam, but the guy in the video was already playing, well, like he’s playing in the video, so everything was perfect. Just perfect, because I could play like that and did.


  16. Nancy Sauer on June 14, 2018 at 8:03 pm said:

    @rochrist: Indeed. Maybe something like a best translation award is better handed by a jury.

    Agreed. And as it happens, I helped form a non-profit corporation that gave (juried) awards for SF/F Translation for a couple of years, but we folded it because we were unable to find people willing to do the significant amount of logistical work necessary to make it happen. We wound up the corporation and returned what was left of the grants and donations. It wasn’t a money issue; it was people points.

  17. Also, gah, the continual complaining on Twitter about Worldcons being mostly in the U.S..

    Here’s How to Get a Worldcon in the Country of Your Choosing:

    Look folks, nobody dictates where Worldcons are held. Each Worldcon is the collective effort of a bunch of fans who wanted to hold a Worldcon there. Lots of Worldcon members would be willing to help out with putting a bid together, including me. Here are some resources to get started:
    WSFS Basics of Worldcon Bids
    Worldcon Roundtable with Past Worldcon Conrunners
    Worldcon Runner’s Guide (a work in progress)

    Read these resources. Draw up a preliminary plan. Ask Worldcon members to help you put the bid together.

    actually doing something =/= complaining about it on Twitter

  18. Why would you have to be able to read the original in order to make a judgement on how well a translation worked as a novel for you? That’s simply not a feasible ask for any award that is for translation from [Any Language] -> English, regardless of whether it’s a juried award or a popular vote.

    A translation not-a-Hugo would work equally as well as a YA or series not-a-Hugo if there was the interest. I’d certainly prefer to see a shortlist of translated works from different cultures rather than a list of things I’m almost certainly not going to bother with (YA) or things I probably already know about and will get to if they interest me enough and/or ever actually end (series).

  19. Oneiros @ 9:07 AM: Are we awarding the translation as a novel, or as a translation? If it’s being judged as a translation, then one of the criteria would need to be accuracy, it seems to me–which would also seem to require some understanding of the original text. If as a novel . . . why are we having this discussion? There already is a Hugo for Best Novel. (Or Best Short Story, or whatever.)

    I think that if we are to consider an award for Best Translation, it would need to be as something different than as a work of fiction in and of itself. Otherwise, why bother?

  20. Mary Frances: I think that if we are to consider an award for Best Translation, it would need to be as something different than as a work of fiction in and of itself.

    Best Translated Work.

    The rub, of course, is whether there would be enough participation by Hugo nominators to make the category workable. It’s pretty embarrassing to give out a Hugo in a category where none of the finalists got more than 10 nominations each — which is why they’ve cancelled a category for the year whenever that sort of low participation happened (including the year that they did a trial run of the Best Translator category).

  21. JJ @ 9:25 PM: Best Translated Work

    Hm. I suppose the parallel is to the Oscar for Best Foreign Film? (If I’m getting the name of that right.) I dunno. I’m not sure that that analogy works, for me. The Best Foreign Film is still judged as a foreign film, not as a foreign-film-modified-for-an-English-speaking-audience, isn’t it? I’m aware that there is a great deal of sff published in languages other than English, but the translations are presumably aimed at an English speaking readership–which would be the same readership as for works published in English. So–why couldn’t they compete for the fiction Hugos, then?

    In other words, I’m not sure I get the point, if we aren’t also judging the excellence of the translation. It isn’t quite like the YA Not-A-Hugo (which is also, after all, not a Hugo); that is aimed at a different readership. That the works in the original language are aimed at a different readership–a different culture–is a valid point, but the translation wouldn’t be, would it? Exactly?

    That said, I do think one way to try to deal with the possibility that there weren’t enough participation/nominees would be by making the award a non-annual Hugo; maybe by offering it every third year, covering the previous three years? Or something like that.

  22. @Mary Frances: I suppose it’d get judged as a translated novel. Not just “translation”, not just “novel”. Just like people want to award YA novel (why bother? It can win Novel!) and want to award a series of novels (why bother? Each one in the series could win Novel!)

    What I’m trying to say is, “It could win Novel” is not, cannot be a valid criticism against having a not-a-Hugo for translated work.

    The only real argument against it (and it is a big one) is: does it have a wide enough appeal to Worldcon-goers and award-voters? If it’s just me and Cordasco then obviously it’s not a worthwhile addition. If there are a solid few hundred, though, and a movement to get it into the Business Meeting, and people dedicated enough to put together a convincing argument, then it would be as valid an addition as any of the recent new awards.

  23. (1) Because we already have more categories than anyone else.

    (3) Free-DUMB! (That’s freedom that only applies for SWM who aren’t disabled, poor, or politically left of Attila the Hun).

    BTW, I made a lovely peach compote yesterday and put some in the freezer.

    I literally have FREEZE PEACH.

    (7) Neato. Sadly, I was in front of no screens. Yay ThreadReader.

    (10) Dragon Slayer? Good luck with that one even more than Cocky.

    I see Cartoon Network’s going to have a new show entitled “Hunky Boys Go Ding-Dong”. And I’m surprised a Puppy didn’t trademark “Unearned Confidence”. 😉

    (16) Wow. Just think how many Worldcons you could go to for that much?

  24. I’m much in favor of a Best Translated SF, and yes, do thnknthatsva separate question from Best Translation. I’m just skeptical whether the Hugos can take this on right now, even as Not-A-Hugo associated with the Hugos. We at least need some time to get the YA award settle in.

    But WSFS doing it isn’t the only option, is it?

  25. Notice what you’re saying here:

    Oneiros: I’d certainly prefer to see a shortlist of translated works from different cultures rather than a list of things I’m almost certainly not going to bother with (YA) or things I probably already know about and will get to if they interest me enough

    You’re talking about being given a list of things to read, rather than saying “I read several Translated Works last year which were awesome, and I’d like to be able to nominate them.”

    And that, I think, is the problem. A lot of the people who would really like to see the category added to the Hugos want it as input to their reading list, rather than output from what they’ve read.

  26. @JJ: You’re right, that’s very selfish of me to put it like that. I’d like to add that I’d be interested in an award for best translated work, because I’m already interested in, and reading, translated work. I’d be absolutely delighted to have a category like this to nominate in and share that interest with others. The shortlist is just a bonus (a very good bonus).


    Kevin–But the WSFS Business Meeting Chair and Secretary can put a motion to add a new Hugo Category to the Constitution on the agenda for San Jose.

    Not exactly. A motion can be made and seconded by members of the convention, forwarded to the Business Meeting staff, and they will put it on the agenda. But the Business Meeting staff does not just decide to put an item up for consideration out of the blue. (Other details apply such as meeting a deadline for the agenda.)

    Kevin Standlee, it can also be noted, has often volunteered to help draft motions whether he agrees with the intent or not. Not that he is obligated to do so just because he has in the past, but the fact that he has done so is IMO commendable.

  28. various SFF awards around the globe have specific categories for works in translation, so why don’t we?

    My guess: Because the voters don’t read enough SF in translation to have a deep enough well of choices to pick from.

    I would — based on no research whatsoever, mind you — hazard a guess that English-speaking countries publish less translated SF than non-English-speaking countries, or at least less as a proportion of SF published.

    We’re pretty self-interested, at least here in the Big Damn English-Speaking Country…

  29. (3) “unless something becomes part of the public record only after the invitation has been extended”
    So this is another requirement, yes? So the bad behavior now has to be violent/visible in public, fully documented and the concom must find out about it before extending invite. Anything else?

  30. @Kurt Busiek: you might be onto something there. My home country is so self-interested that they can’t seem to see that the things they’re doing out of self-interest will actually damage us in at least the short-term (are, in fact, damaging us right now) and likely long-term. Because we’re pissing our closest neighbours off, and we are so not in a position to negotiate a trade deal with the EU without giving up the very (stupid) things people wanted out of that goddamn awful referendum.

  31. (3) So does this mean that they can only rescind an invitation if (for example) someone is convicted of assault, but if they’ve only been charged and are awaiting trial, it’s OK because they’re innocent until proven guilty? If one of the attendees has a restraining order against one of the GOHs, I guess that means the attendee needs to have their membership refunded.

    To a certain extent, I’m sympathetic to the idea that of two GOHs don’t get along for whatever reason (including, one is an ass and is a jerk to the other one in joint panels), can’t they appear at opening/closing ceremonies, and just never have any panels or signings or anything in common? Although, given the nature of some fans, it probably implies that the concom may need security to block the fans one GOH from harassing the other GOH.

  32. Oneiros: You’re right, that’s very selfish of me to put it like that.

    I don’t think it’s selfish at all. Lots of people, including me, use the Hugo shortlists and longlists as reading lists.

    The problem is that right now, a Hugo for Best Translated Work would be putting the cart before the horse.

    First, we need to get more Worldcon members reading translated works. Then, we’ll have enough people nominating to make the category worthwhile.

    For people who are looking for reading lists of translated SFF:

    Speculative Fiction in Translation
    Tor.com’s articles tagged “SF in Translation”
    Clarkesworld’s Translated Stories and Articles about Translations
    SF In Translation Podcast
    BookRiot’s articles tagged “Translation” and “In Translation”

  33. Also, to the lying jerk on Twitter who’s pretending that I said “It’s easy to have Worldcon outside the US!”

    I never said it would be easy. Holding a Worldcon inside the U.S. is a very hard job. Holding one outside of the U.S. is levels harder.

    What I did say is that there are resources to help people who actually want to put a Worldcon bid together rather than just complaining continuously on Twitter. There are lots of Worldcon members who are happy and willing to help anyone who wants to put an international Worldcon bid together.

    Of course, it’s a lot easier just to be a sanctimonious complainer on Twitter about other people not doing the work for you. 🙄

  34. I’m kind of split about the whole idea of best translated work. Because if I read a translated work, I usually prefer to read it translated to Swedish – if available. The category would more be best non-english speaking origin work for me then. And not sure if that is the intention.

  35. Hampus Eckerman: I’m kind of split about the whole idea of best translated work. Because if I read a translated work, I usually prefer to read it translated to Swedish – if available. The category would more be best non-english work for me then. And not sure if that is the intention.

    The definition of the category would be something like “first published in another language, but published in translation to English for the first time during the award year”.

  36. @JJ: whatever you want to call it, thanks for calling out my shitty attitude (even if it’s not entirely what you meant to do). (Also thanks for the link to Clarkesworld’s stories, I’ve been meaning to get to more of them as I was listening via their podcast but I gave up because I kept zoning out listening to their narrator – they have some excellent stories in there though)

    For specifically Chinese SF it’s worth following the Shimmer Program too – Facebook / Twitter

    Wish I had more translated SF resources. Mostly I start with Cordasco’s posts and use that as a starting point for searching out other similar, things. I don’t think it’s possible to overstate what an excellent job she does for SF in translation.

  37. Oneiros: whatever you want to call it, thanks for calling out my shitty attitude

    Not. A. Shitty. Attitude. A lot of us use the Hugos for reading lists. 🙂

  38. “The definition of the category would be something like “first published in another language, but published in translation to English for the first time during the award year”.”

    But would it be an award for the translated work or for the work regardless of translated or not and regardless of to what language it was translated? What would the intent of the category be? Best foreign work as in foreign to english speakers?

  39. @JJ

    Do we need such cultural imperialism in a *World*con? It literally relegates languages other than English to second class citizens. Although historically and currently the demographics are that works published in English, and in particular US published works, have a huge advantage there may come demographic changes to the Worldcon membership which reduces that.

    A Works In Translation Award separate to the Hugos would be a good thing but I do not think it fits in with the Hugos as they stand presently.

  40. andyl: Do we need such cultural imperialism in a *World*con? It literally relegates languages other than English to second class citizens.

    Well, I can see both sides: it says “translated works aren’t strong enough to compete with native-English works”, and it also says “we’re going to correct for the inherent English bias in the Hugo Awards”.

    At any rate, unless someone is willing to do more than just say “We want a Translated Work Hugo”, it won’t happen — despite all those people on Twitter who seem to think that a bunch of people saying that they want a category is how Hugo Award categories get created. It will require someone making the effort to show, in terms of supporting evidence, that the category is feasible in terms of nominator participation. And most of the people I see complaining on Twitter don’t seem to be inclined to actually do anything about it other than complain. 😐

  41. @Mary Frances

    The Best Foreign Film is still judged as a foreign film, not as a foreign-film-modified-for-an-English-speaking-audience, isn’t it?

    The award’s name is “Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film”, and presumably many of the judges will require the subtitles, so the parallel’s not so bad. Of course, there are many elements of a film which don’t require translation, while a book will be viewed entirely through the translated text.

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