Pixel Scroll 6/14/21 45,000 To 105,000 Characters In Search Of A Novelette

(1) BIAS IN REVIEW SPACES. In a series of Twitter threads, Silvia Moreno-Garcia has tackled issues of bias in review spaces against marginalized authors, such as through the misuse of trigger warnings.

One thread starts here.

A second thread starts here.

A third thread starts here.

Adiba Jaigirdar check out what reviewers on Storygraph had reported about her book and found this:

(2) DJINN FIZZ. The Odyssey Writing Workshop Blog features a Q&A with one of the genre’s leading new storytellers: “Interview: Guest Lecturer P. Djèlí Clark”.

Some of your work has been described as Lovecraftian horror. What draws you to the genre? How do you create such an atmosphere in your stories?

Cosmic horror is already entrenched so much in genre, it’s hard to not be drawn to it. When I use it in my own stories, I’m often attempting to convey a sense of the strange, the otherworldly, and at times inconceivable. That might be done by translating a bit of folklore through a cosmic horror lens, drawing on a favorite trope but finding a new way to present it, or by adding some well-placed tentacles. You can never go wrong with tentacles.

(3) MOVIES MAKING MONEY AGAIN. A Quiet Place Part II on Friday became the first movie in the pandemic era to cross the $100 million mark domestically upon finishing the day with $101 million in ticket sales: “’Quiet Place II’ Box Office Sets Pandemec-Era Record With $100M” in The Hollywood Reporter.

(4) NOT-SO-SUPER 8. Craig Miller shares an entertaining reminiscence about his visit to the Conquest of the Planet of the Apes set in 1971.

…Nearly 50 years ago. And I was 16 or 17. I was a science fiction fan and a film fan. And I lived just a few miles from the 20th Century-Fox lot.

I no longer remember what prompted me to try this but, for some reason, one evening I decided to drive to the studio. I parked in the studio lot and walked through the gate. It was long before 9/11. Long before security theater took over. You could walk onto any studio lot in town, right past the security guards, as long as you looked like you were meant to be there. And so I did.

What was shooting on the lot that evening were scenes from Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. These were outdoor scenes, not on a sound stage. Not having to sneak into a sound stage, it was especially easy to approach and watch….

(5) FIRST ORBIT. Cora Buhlert’s new Galactic Journey contribution is a review of Damon Knight’s Orbit 1 anthology which had a whopping 50% female contributors – in 1966: “[June 14, 1966] Aliens, Housewives and Overpopulation: Orbit 1, edited by Damon Knight”.

… Of the nine stories in this anthology, four are written by women. If we count Jane Rice and her collaborator Ruth Allison separately, we have five male and five female authors. Of course, women make up fifty-one percent of the Earth’s population, so an anthology with fifty percent male and fifty percent female contributors shouldn’t be anything unusual. However, in practice there are still way too many magazine issues and anthologies that don’t have a single female contributor, so an anthology where half the authors are women is truly remarkable.

(6) HEALTHY APPENDIX. Cora also visited the Appendix N Book Club podcast to discuss the Clark Ashton Smith collection Xiccarph with hosts Jeff Goad and Ngo Vinh-Hoi: “Episode 97 – Clark Ashton Smith’s ‘Xiccarph’ with special guest Cora Buhlert”. And that’s not all they covered, as the conversation ranges afield to —

…German science fiction, pulp magazines, morbid beauty, vampire flower women, Jirel of Joiry, the Dark Eye, foreshadowing, Gary Gygax’s exclusion of Clark Ashton Smith from the Appendix N, Alphonse Mucha, doomed protagonists, the 2022 World Science Fiction Convention, and much more!

(7) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • June 1973 — On this month in 1973, Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love was first published by Putnam. Clarke’s Rendezvous With Rama would beat it out for the Hugo for Best Novel at Discon II. It was later given a Prometheus Hall of Fame Award. It’s the life of Lazarus Long told in exhaustive detail. Really exhaustive detail. Critics including Theodore Sturgeon loved it, and John Leonard writing for the NYT called it “great entertainment”. It’s currently priced at just six dollars and ninety-nine cents at the usual suspects. 

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 14, 1908 — Stephen Tall. His first published work was “The Lights on Precipice Peak“ in Galaxy, October 1955. Not a prolific writer, he’d do about twenty stories over the next quarter of a century and two novels as well, The Ramsgate Paradox and The People Beyond the Wall. “The Bear with the Knot on His Tail” was nominated for a Hugo. He has not yet made into the digital realm other than “The Lights on Precipice Peak“ being available at the usual suspects. (Died 1981.)
  • Born June 14, 1914 — Ruthven Todd. He’s here for his delightful children’s illustrated trio of Space Cat books — Space Cat Visits Venus, Space Cat Meets Mars and Space Cat and the Kittens. I’m please to say they’re available at all the usual digital suspects. He also wrote Over the Mountain and The Lost Traveller which are respectively a lost world novel and a dystopian novel. (Died 1978.)
  • Born June 14, 1919 — Gene Barry. His first genre role was in The War of the Worlds as Dr. Clayton Forrester. He’d have a number of later genre appearances including several appearances on Science Fiction TheatreAlfred Hitchcock PresentsThe Devil and Miss Sarah, The Girl, the Gold Watch & Dynamite, multiple appearances on Fantasy Island and The Twilight Zone. He’d appear in the ‘05 War of The Worlds credited simply as “Grandfather”. (Died 2009.)
  • Born June 14, 1921 — William Hamling. Author and editor who was active as an sf fan in the late 1930s and early 1940s. His first story “War with Jupiter”, written with Mark Reinsberg, appeared in Amazing Stories in May 1939. He’d write only short stories, some nineteen of them, over the next twenty years. Genre adjacent, his Shadow of the Sphinx is a horror novel about an ancient Egyptian sorceress. He would be the Editor of two genre zines, Imagination for most of the Fifties, and Imaginative Tales during the Fifties as well. He published four issues of the Stardust fanzine in 1940, and contributed to the 1940 Worldcon program. (Died 2017.)
  • Born June 14, 1939 — Penelope Farmer, 82. English writer best known for children’s fantasy novels. Her best-known novel is Charlotte Sometimes, a boarding-school story that features a multiple time slip. There’s two more novels in this, the Emma / Charlotte series, The Summer Birds and Emma in Winter. Another children’s fantasy by her, A Castle of Bone, concerns a portal in a magic shop. 
  • Born June 14, 1949 — Harry Turtledove, 72. I wouldn’t know where to begin with him considering how many series he’s done. I’m fairly sure I first read novels in his Agent of Byzantium series and I know his Crosstime Traffic series was definitely fun reading. He’s won two Sidewise Awards for How Few Remain and Ruled Britannia, and a Prometheus for The Gladiator.
  • Born June 14, 1958 — James Gurney, 63. Artist and author best known for his illustrated Dinotopia book series. He won a Hugo for Best Original Artwork at L.A. Con III for Dinotopia: The World Beneath, and was twice nominated for a Hugo for Best Professional Artist. The dinosaur Torvosaurus gurneyi was named in honor of him.
  • Born June 14, 1972 — Adrian Tchaikovsky, 49. He is best known for his Shadows of the Apt series, and for Children of Time which won an Arthur C. Clarke Award. (He’s also won a BFA for The Tiger and the Wolf, and a BSFA for Children of Ruin.)  The After War series is multi author. He wrote the first, Redemption’s Blade, and Justina Robson wrote the second, Salvation’s Fire

(9) IT TAKES A CREW. Den of Geek questions Charlie Jane Anders, Laura Lam and Elizabeth May, and Yudhanjaya Wijeratne about “How Science Fiction’s Ensemble Stories Humanize Space”.

It’s a formula that has been repeated over and over for about as long as there has been science fiction on television—starting with the likes of Star Trek and Blake’s 7, through the boom in “planet of the week” style TV in the 90s and 00s with Farscape and Firefly, to more recent stories like Dark MatterThe ExpanseKilljoys, and the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Most recently Sky’s Intergalactic, and the Korean movie Space Sweepers have been carrying the standard, while last month saw people diving back into the world of Mass Effect with Mass Effect Legendary Edition. While Commander Sheppard is ostensibly the protagonist of the video game trilogy, few would argue that it’s anything other than the ensemble of the Normandy crew that keeps people coming back.

As science fiction author Charlie Jane Anders points out, it’s not hard to see the appeal of a family of likeable characters, kept in close quarters by the confines of their ship, and sent into stories of adventure.

“I love how fun this particular strand of space opera is, and how much warmth and humour the characters tend to have,” Anders says. “These stories have in common a kind of swashbuckling adventure spirit and a love of problem-solving and resourcefulness. And I think the ‘found family’ element is a big part of it, since these characters are always cooped up on a tiny ship together and having to rely on each other.”…

(10) HYPERTEXT PETS. “HTTP Status Dogs” is a collection of photos about “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Response status codes. And dogs.”

It is inspired by “HTTP Status Cats – The original”. Which Daniel Dern said he’d understand if I made that the primary link in this item. Because cats.

(11) CARDS AGAINST VET EXPENSES. Do you need a feel-good story today? Here it is: “8-year-old boy sells beloved Pokémon cards to save severely sick puppy”.

Bryson Kliemann loves his Pokémon card collection, but when he found out his beloved puppy Bruce was sick and might not survive, the 8-year-old did what he could to save his best friend. He set up a stand on the side of the road in Lebanon, Virginia, with a sign: “4 Sale Pokémon.”

…”I’m a realist with my kids,” Woodruff said. “I told him Bruce was sick and said ‘When you get home today from school, he may be at the vet’s office or in heaven.”

When Bryson got off the school bus that day, he showed his mother and stepfather a business plan he created to sell his Pokémon cards and snacks to help raise money to get Bruce the best possible care.

“I told him no, we’ve got this,” Woodruff said. “And then he later asked my husband and we decided to say yes, because this was also an opportunity to teach him responsibility.”

Bryson set up his stand on the side of the road, complete with a colorful umbrella and handmade signed, and started serving customers.

The first day he made $65. Within two afternoons, Woodruff said her son had made $400 and even received some Pokémon cards from kind strangers who wanted to help….

(12) ETCH-A-SKETCH. Wow! Princess Etch (Jane Labowitch) made an Etch-A-Sketch of the ship that blocked the Suez Canal.

(13) WAKANDA IS THE ARENA. Gamebyte is there when “Black Panther And Wakanda Shown Off In New Marvel’s Avengers Trailer”.

The new update is called “Black Panther: War for Wakanda”. You’ll face off against classic Marvel villain Ulysses Klaue in what seems to be a fight over vibranium. That’s the rare metal in the world of Marvel that can only be found in Wakanda.

This will be the first time that the Black Panther has appeared in the Marvel’s Avengers game, so it’s great to see him finally team up with the Avengers.

[Thanks to Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Daniel Dern, Ben Bird Person, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

77 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/14/21 45,000 To 105,000 Characters In Search Of A Novelette

  1. Meredith says ESA’s are a bit of a weird category – it’s harder to make a legal justification for an animal to get into anywhere when all most of them are doing is existing rather than a task(s). I’m not sure whether anyone’s working on getting something into federal law. (If they are I’d be curious to know what.)

    I think the problem is that ESAs are open to more abuse in defining them than support animals are which makes writing law about them extremely difficult. Define them too tightly and you defeat the purpose of the laws existing; make the legal definitions too loose and we’ll find ourselves neck deep in folks having ESAs who have no business having them.

  2. Lis Carey says Emotional support animals are deemed not to need public access, like service animals. They need access to their owner’s housing, and are covered under the FHA.

    Maine allows emotional support animals to enter restaurants and bars as well as retail shopping spaces. And there’s no clear guidance as to if the person claiming an ESA must be carrying documentation showing that they have an legitimate ESA certification so most places avoid asking. So when I was still out and about over a year ago, I saw a lot of women hanging out in coffeeshops with small lap dogs. Really small, hairy lap dogs.

  3. Lis, I’m just catching up with a few days of posts, so let me say here that I was very sorry to hear about Dora. I hope her successor brings you as much joy (and help) as she did.

  4. @Robin Whiskers–Thank you!

    @Cat Eldridge–Being a small, hairy lapdog is hardly a suspicious trait in a claimed emotional support animal. Honestly, they’re very well-suited for it.

    Whether ESAs need to have access to restaurants. I personally think any properly behaved dog should be allowed; it doesn’t cause chaos in the European countries that allow it. But as long as we don’t allow well-behaved pet dogs, I think it’s not a good idea to allow ESAs on restaurants. Because yes, it just encourages people to lie, and restaurants and other businesses are already insufficiently clear on the fact that they have the right to eject any dog whose behavior causes problems.

  5. Re: (1) and content/trigger warnings/notes, I joined in this discussion a bit in Carmen Maria Machado’s replies and it was mostly cordial (…mostly…) but a bit frustrating – there’s a tendency to elevate the need for warnings above all other needs in the name of accessibility and disability accommodation. But it isn’t unethical to choose not to, or to be unable to, warn for your own works.

    They aren’t so universal a good as to justify forcing people to participate – many triggers aren’t things that are or can be generically warned for anyway, since they’re often more about proximity to the trauma than the trauma itself – and for some authors and readers, they can be harmful. People don’t all respond to trauma in the same ways and their needs can’t be narrowed down to a single point upon which they all agree.

    Third-party options like Storygraph’s system are probably one of the best options in terms of the potential for wide provision for people who want them while not overly burdening any individual or forcing participation, but the excessive scrutiny and over-tagging of works with minority stories or by minority authors is a pretty serious issue.

    There’s a lot of wonderful, sensitive, important books out there that will look like horror shows if reduced to a list of key words of bad things – if they’re even properly accurate, which is another problem. It doesn’t even require bad actors, although they can exploit it: A handful of conscientious people who over-tag out of anxious concern that even the slightest hint or implication counts can easily distort the system.

    I understand Storygraph are looking at ways to mitigate it, and I hope they succeed, but – much though I’ve met a number of people who think the ethics and solutions are clear-cut – this isn’t going to be easy to get right.

  6. Meredith: Thanks for these thoughts — I feel like I arrived in the middle of this story, and am still trying to get a handle on it.

  7. Lis Carey says Whether ESAs need to have access to restaurants. I personally think any properly behaved dog should be allowed; it doesn’t cause chaos in the European countries that allow it. But as long as we don’t allow well-behaved pet dogs, I think it’s not a good idea to allow ESAs on restaurants. Because yes, it just encourages people to lie, and restaurants and other businesses are already insufficiently clear on the fact that they have the right to eject any dog whose behavior causes problems.

    See the problem is you cannot bring any other dog into a restaurant except a service support dog and those must be wearing their working vest. The ESAs have no vests, no required documents— they’re just there. Are they legit?

  8. Um. No. Service dogs are not required to wear vests. And you get the vests from the same places that will sell other neat stuff with no legal validity.

    The thing a service dog needs is a letter from your doctor, on letterhead.

    If you did get your service dog from an organization, your probably do have identifying gear, and they may require that you use it. The ADA, however, doesn’t, and that’s for the same reason that it’s the reality of proper behavior and real tasks performed that are required, not formal certification: preventing excess requirements from being an obstacle to the disabled person. Not everyone would have the means to get to a test site, for instance, especially with a dog who did not yet have that certification that the test would be for.

    It’s one of the ways in which the ADA really does succeed in prioritizing the needs of disabled people with service dogs over the controlling, busybody inclinations of those who want to ban as many dogs as possible.

  9. @Mike Glyer

    I’m not going to claim that this originated in the transformative works fandom neck of the woods, because I don’t know whether it did… but it’s familiar enough to me that it was an internal “oh no warnings discourse is back” first reaction. Right back to when the AO3 was launched, there were a lot of discussions on how to handle this – what was settled on was having a few select, set archive warnings + the tagging system + an “author chooses not to use archive warnings” option, but there’s still the odd debate that pops up every so often started by people who fervently believe, and want the norm in fannish space to conform to, the idea that choosing not to warn is unethical and possibly downright sociopathic. I mean, you wouldn’t want to trigger someone, would you..?

    Well, no, but an author – paid or unpaid – cannot and should not be responsible for the mental health management of an infinite and unknowable crowd of complete strangers just because they might read their work. They’re not clinical professionals entrusted with your care, and choosing not to warn is, in itself, a warning. Here Be Unspecified Dragons. Enter At Your Own Risk.

    (And the other argument – but why wouldn’t you want more readers? – is even less applicable in a fannish context, since “more readers” doesn’t impact whether you can put food on the table, but even so it makes some pretty hefty assumptions about whether you gain or lose readers through warnings, and whether every author wants more readers regardless of whether they’re the sorts of readers suited to their work – their work including, in this case, the presence or absence of warnings. There is a not-inconsiderable group of readers out there who don’t want them, a subset of whom actively dislike them, and choosing to cater to that audience is not ethical bankruptcy. It’s catering to the audience you want: People who don’t require you to tag a list of scary keywords onto your work. Which, to bang a drum endlessly, is not going necessarily going to be good for all the authors out there. Not all people respond to trauma in the same way. Or, catering to the audience you want: People who need or appreciate or don’t care about the presence of warnings that allow them to manage their experience. Both are reasonable choices to make.)

    (And besides that I know I get very tetchy when people feel they need to warn for or otherwise censor the word “queer”, since it’s treating my identity as a problem, and I can’t imagine that there aren’t any authors out there who feel similarly about attaching a list of bad-thing words to their work.)

    I think (hard to be 100% sure when everyone quote-tweeted instead of screenshotted and it was deleted before I saw the original) this specific discussion started with someone being a bit of a git in the other direction: Making fun of people who need warnings and telling them they shouldn’t read horror if they’re such delicate flowers, and also comparing them to book-burners in the process. Which is, quite obviously I hope, just as wrong and offensive as calling people who choose not to warn sociopaths. Wanting warnings when you need them isn’t wrong; attempting to set up some sort of consensual and optional means to make them available to you certainly isn’t, either. And it isn’t, in and of itself, censorship. It can’t destroy a book. Being sensitive to one topic shouldn’t make a whole genre that deals with numerous difficult topics off-limits.

    If Storygraph can sort out the (very bad) kinks, it will be a wonderful service for readers, and anyone criticising people who just want a tool they need to participate can go step on a lego.

    But a centralised, publishing-based system akin to the MPAA would have the same distorting impact on literature as the MPAA has had on American film, and authors shouldn’t be forced to participate or have their work labeled when they don’t want to. And they shouldn’t have to deal with inaccurate and insulting labelling from a third-party, either, so that really needs some fixing.

    (There was also someone who was like, maybe not needed for adults but children’s books and YA should have them on the cover! Which had all the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I have heard countless stories from people who got what they needed and couldn’t get elsewhere from surreptitiously reading books their parents absolutely would not have approved of and would have taken away from them, but got away with it because the book didn’t make it obvious that the Forbidden Content was present. Cover warnings would strangle that freedom quite literally in the crib.)

    (I have SO MANY THOUGHTS ON THIS i’m sorry. It’s a topic of deep interest to me given the intersection of accessibility, creative freedom, personal freedom, and conflicting needs. It’s basically nerd catnip as far as I’m concerned, if very frustrating nerd catnip that I don’t enjoy very much.)

  10. Meredith: Thanks so much for all the extra analysis. And if some of the posts that initiated the discussion have been taken down, no wonder I felt adrift in the middle of things.

  11. @Mike Glyer

    Yeah, once I figured out that this wave had started from someone being snitty about the idea of horror warnings existing, some of the tweets’ weirdly specific genre focus made a lot more sense.

    (I felt that the don’t read horror if you don’t want to be disturbed?? thing – which I did eventually see a couple of other people repeating as their own opinion – missed the difference between safe explorations of what would in real life be dangerous/traumatic emotions&experiences, which is an integral function of much of the horror genre, and the harmful experience of being unexpectedly triggered with a reminder of one of those dangerous/traumatic real life experiences that actually happened to you. They aren’t the same. Not all people who have had traumatic experiences will experience triggers in that way, and many will seek out depictions in fiction to cope with and re-contextualise their trauma, but experiencing them doesn’t make anyone weak, and shouldn’t mean giving up a genre they enjoy.

    But I can see why some horror fans might be a bit sensitive – so much of the outsider discussion of their genre ends up being, basically, “must be something wrong with people if they enjoy that”, and with how heated and morally loaded some of the arguments around warnings get, they must sound similar if you’re not familiar with the discussion in other contexts.)

  12. I’ve started several times today to respond to some of what’s been said to and about me, and am reluctant to go far down that road because of the obvious depth of feeling it inspires. So rather than specifically address the many things that have been said, I’ll say generally:

    I do not and have not questioned the disability of anyone here or elsewhere who says they are disabled. Period.
    Lenora Rose’s comments capture what I was thinking when I wrote my comments about service animals/dogs more closely than anyone else’s.
    More than once in the thread, it is claimed that I said things that I did not say. Some of you people really do project.

    I will address one specific error of fact:

    @Lis Carey:

    What’s required for the animal to be a legal service animal, is a letter from your doctor, on letterhead, saying that you require the service animal and the particular animal meets needs related to your disability.

    No paperwork is required. Per the Dept of Justics, Civil Rights Division (which is responsible for enforcing the ADA and implementing regulations to do so):

    Q17. Does the ADA require that service animals be certified as service animals?
    A. No. Covered entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal, as a condition for entry.

  13. @Bill–

    I do not and have not questioned the disability of anyone here or elsewhere who says they are disabled. Period.

    You fucking did suggest that I was faking Dora’s service dog status.

    @Lis Carey:

    What’s required for the animal to be a legal service animal, is a letter from your doctor, on letterhead, saying that you require the service animal and the particular animal meets needs related to your disability.

    No paperwork is required. Per the Dept of Justics, Civil Rights Division (which is responsible for enforcing the ADA and implementing regulations to do so):

    Q17. Does the ADA require that service animals be certified as service animals?
    A. No. Covered entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal, as a condition for entry.

    Nice try.

    I live with this, Bill, and have make sure I’m in compliance.

    It was you who suggested Dora might not have been trained to the required standard, that she maybe wasn’t really a service dog, but just me taking my pet everywhere, illegally. (And apparently expected me not to call you on that deliberate insult.)

    What you’ve quoted from the DOJ is just a more formal version of what I said less formally in the comment from which you have plucked one sentence, to which you pretend to be “responding,” and “correcting” me.

    Here’s what I said, in full, not cherry-picked:

    Um. No. Service dogs are not required to wear vests. And you get the vests from the same places that will sell other neat stuff with no legal validity.

    The thing a service dog needs is a letter from your doctor, on letterhead.

    If you did get your service dog from an organization, your probably do have identifying gear, and they may require that you use it. The ADA, however, doesn’t, and that’s for the same reason that it’s the reality of proper behavior and real tasks performed that are required, not formal certification: preventing excess requirements from being an obstacle to the disabled person. Not everyone would have the means to get to a test site, for instance, especially with a dog who did not yet have that certification that the test would be for.

    It’s one of the ways in which the ADA really does succeed in prioritizing the needs of disabled people with service dogs over the controlling, busybody inclinations of those who want to ban as many dogs as possible.

    My service dog doesn’t need tags, a vest, formal certification.

    I need to be actually disabled, and to have a letter from my doctor, on letterhead, stating that I require my dog, due to my medical condition, to accompany me as a service dog.

    I don’t need to carry that letter with me everywhere, or present it on demand to whoever feels entitled to say they need to see it, but do need to have it, and to be able to present under some specific circumstances.

    Stop pretending that you didn’t insult me, and stop pretending that you know this stuff better than me and that you are somehow enlightening me.

  14. Lenora Rose is much more generous than I can be today, but I’m not sure she really thought through the idea of suggesting that because someone, somewhere, has made something up – whether about a service animal, or a sexual assault, perhaps, or an experience of racism – it is therefore understandable to suspect and accuse everyone else, entirely sans evidence, of also making it up.

    Or whether it is understandable to leverage the atmosphere of suspicion that disabled people must swim through to get the smallest of accommodations in order to score points in a debate about veterinary fees. I really don’t care what anyone’s inner feelings are about people who pretend Spot is a service dog to get her into a restaurant, however much they think they’re on the side of disabled people, if the resulting action they take is willy nilly accusing disabled people of faking things.

    It’s a lot harder to keep up the argument that pets are a luxury item when service animals enter the equation, I guess.

  15. I’ve been holding back on saying this directly, but I’m especially offended that Bill chose to do this, with regard to Dora, when Dora has just died.

    If he has ever had a pet that he truly loved, he knows how much I’m grieving, and he chose that particular point to attack on.

  16. Meredith: I didn’t say that. I do think Bill was out of line in pretty much directly accusing Lis, but at the same time, I also know where the suspicion comes from. Thinking bill’s INTENT was innocent doesn’t diminish the IMPACT. Lis is fully right to take affront. it was the pile-on I was trying to temper down when at that point he hadn’t yet responded.

    On a different thread of the same topic, my understanding of the usefulness of service vests is not as generic ID, but to discourage people from trying to pet/greet/play with an animal who is working.

    And as for small dogs – one actual service dog I have seen was a Papillon who wasn’t much larger than a lap dog. Her uses were hitting switches placed at her level (since I didn’t see the owner’s house I don’t know the details, but that was a house specific job) and picking up her owner’s keys etc when the owner dropped them and hold them until her owner could find a place to sit down.

    Frankly I would argue that while specific individual pets can have aspects that make them more of a luxury item than a need, the number of people who keep going because they have an animal to care for, and the number of places/ways countries where keeping an animal at home is impossible create ways for people to have access to them indicates animals, even non-service pets, as a whole, are not. We wouldn’t argue that he owner of a Lambourghini is proving that the guy who uses a just-barely-working clunker for work owns a luxury item.

    And arguing that poor people with pets might be better off if they removed the expense from their life is dangerously close to the “poor people are judged if they have any frivolous things, no matter how well they budgeted or saved to get them.” ground, which is an ugly argument any way you cut it.

    ****I am annoyed that every reasonable attempt I make to put a non-text line between two topics seems to cease to exist on publication.***

    One solution to trigger warnings I’ve seen is to put them under a cut tag of some kind, where they don’t need to be seen by the unwilling, but are available to the willing. (The printed-book version is to put a note at the front of a book saying the trigger warnings are at the BACK of the book as an appendix so you have to actively flip over to check them instead of having them right there whether you like it or not.) I doubt this would satisfy the “They MUST be on EVERYTHING hardliners, but they seem to work for most people who are concerned about them for their own trauma.

    I also think this discussion is conflating a generic warning of “This book was published in another era and contains some historic racism/sexism/anti-Semitism” warnings, which are occasionally put on the front of children’s books, with trigger warnings, which are specifically for trauma and more difficult subjects and often need to be more spoilery and specific. And few are the kids who need to learn about racism from Tintin in Tibet, so if a parent is put off by that warning, it isn’t going to somehow create harm, but some kids might need to read a book about abuse to get through their own, or about sexuality to help process their own. In the classic Enlightenment vein.

  17. I’m clearly doing a lousy job of explaining that the intent – the pervasive cloud of suspicion that hovers over every single disabled person and colours how able-bodied people treat us – is, in fact, a big fucking problem, and not a mitigating factor.

    ETA: Also, Bill had already replied after the first two comments – before Lis had, in fact.

  18. @Lenora Rose–Bill still hasn’t responded, except to mansplain to me a rather important point I’d made to him when he was trying to imply that I was faking Dora’s status, and misrepresenting what one cherry-picked line from that comment to mean the opposite of what it meant in context.

    So, no, I am not accepting Bill’s intent as having been innocent. He was going directly for a perceived weakness in pursuit of his need to win a debate on veterinary costs.

    And no, the fact that some people fake-present their dogs as service dogs doesn’t mean that I should accept it as normal and natural to be challenged on my dog’s status by every Tom, Dick, and Harry who thinks they, as random members of the public, can tell me my dog isn’t allowed wherever they don’t want to see her. Particularly as the number of snide and nasty comments I got about my very well-behaved Dora leads me to seriously doubt that the number of those fakers is anywhere near as high as the self-appointed service dog police who claim to be protecting people like me would claim.

    I’m mourning Dora. I’m going to be picking up her ashes this afternoon. And because I am really dependent on a good dog who can do what I need, I don’t get to wait on looking for a new dog.

    And Bill clearly has no intention of apologizing for the insult.

    Meredith, thank you.

  19. I wouldn’t take good care of a pet and to say I don’t get out much rather understates the whole “literally haven’t left the house since November 2019” thing, but I get my dose of animal pick-me-up from this: I birdwatch the nearby rooftops out through my kitchen window. The romantic dramas of young pigeons and doves are as good as any soap opera. They even have love triangles! Sometimes quadrangles! And really strong opinions about who has the right to perch on the Best Aerial.

    (I’m now vaccine eligible but the closest centre the NHS website is offering me is miles away, so I’m mostly just… hoping my GP hasn’t forgotten I exist since Nov2019 and also remembers I don’t travel well. It’s fun. Fun fun.)

    @Lis Carey

    Anytime. /solidarity fistbump

    @Lenora Rose

    Appreciated!

    So, I didn’t feel I could/had the spoons for discussing the warnings thing earlier, given the other thing, but:

    The cut-tag/sticking them in the back of the book thing seems to work broadly well for people whose main concern is avoiding spoilers/spoiling, but it doesn’t change anything for the people who just flat out don’t want them in their books or on their stories for their own reasons, which I’d guess from observation is a minorityish position but not a particularly small minority.

    I’m not sure how much the people pulling children’s and YA lit into it were conflating historical ick with modern difficult content – I didn’t think to ask – but the two I recall attaching some kind of definition to what they felt should be warned for used “disturbing content” and “sex-related”, which didn’t give me the idea that the historical stuff was what they meant. I think historical is easier to deal with, though, since there usually isn’t an author around to have feelings about warnings, and it’s hard to get too terribly worked up about spoilers for something published half a century ago.

    (The conversation was happening primarily in the context of trigger warnings and adult lit so if they’d really meant historical whatevers I’d like to think they’d have said as much, but on the other hand, I Have Been On The Internet Before. Sometimes people don’t put enough of their thought process on the page for clarity.)

  20. Okay, I can understand why people might not want to see trigger warnings themselves. I do not understand why they would find it unacceptable for anyone to have access to trigger warnings if they find them helpful.

  21. @Lis Carey

    As far as I can tell the only people trying to shut down trigger warnings entirely are the sorts of obnoxious people who started this particular round by criticising horror fans who want warnings – the hardliners, opposite the small number of “publishing should set up an MPAA for books” hardliners on the other end. Most people who want an opt-out are fine with trigger warnings existing, they just don’t want them on their own work, specifically.

    (And by “on” I mean published in their books or with their short stories in magazines/webzines – flaws in the third-party system on StoryGraph are A Thing and Very Bad, but most people I saw were happy with the overall idea of it, if it can be fixed so it isn’t unfairly penalising minority authors and inaccurately labelling their works. Essentially, they aren’t saying “you can’t/shouldn’t have this”, but “I can’t/won’t be responsible for or involved in providing this”.)

    I’m hoping I’ve made the difference between “no trigger warnings for anyone, ever!” (urgh) and “just leave me out of this, thanks, I choose not to warn, Here Be PossibleUnspecified Dragons” (reasonable boundary-setting) clear enough throughout the excessive opinioning but just wanted to make sure!

  22. Meredith; Of course some people won’t be pleased by any compromise. I wish I could help find a solution to reason with both “Warn everyone about everything whether they like it or not” and “never ever warn anyone, no matter what”, but I haven’t seen one yet. So I try and find the one that will work for a strong majority. Thankfully, for trigger warnings there genuinely is a middle ground*.

    This is not always true (since Camestros is writing the Debarkle and I’m reading along, the first thing I think of as having no happy middle ground is Vox Day’s style of bigotry)..

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