Pixel Scroll 6/22/20 Come Pixel Round Filers, Wherever You Scroll, And Admit That The Word Counts Around You Have Grown

(1) FOR ALL MANKIND. There’s a lot of information available about Season 2 of Apple TV+’s alternate history of the space race For All Mankind – only I didn’t locate a release date.

Take a guided tour of For All Mankind’s first lunar base. Former Astronaut and technical advisor Garrett Reisman helps show us around Jamestown.

Collider interviewed series creator Ronald D. Moore.

One of my favorite shows on any streaming service is the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind. Created by Ronald D. Moore (who previously developed the Battlestar Galactica reboot), the series takes place in an alternate history where the global space race of the 1960’s never ended. In this alt timeline, the Soviet Union landed on the Moon first and we follow NASA as they try and catch up while also dealing with the changing times. Loaded with fantastic performances, incredible production design, and an honest depiction of the space race, I strongly recommend watching the first season when you get the chance.

(2) BETTING ON RESNICK. Alex Shvartsman did a cover reveal for Mike Resnick’s The Hex Is In: The Fast Life and Fantastic Times of Harry the Book. Cover art by Túlio Brito. See it at the link.

From boxing matches to dragon races to elections, there’s no wager Harry won’t cover—so long as the odds are right.

Harry the Book operates out of a Manhattan bar booth, with his personal wizard and his zombie bodyguard close at hand. He’ll dope out the odds on any sort of contest, even if that gets him into a heap of trouble.

The book will be out in August, but you can order eARCs immediately at the link.

(3) ROTHFUSS TEAMS WITH ONE SHOT PODCAST. Patrick Rothfuss will partner with One Shot Podcast, releasing new episodes every Monday through July 27, for an actual play miniseries set in The Kingkiller Chronicles’ world of Temerant.

One Shot is a weekly actual play podcast that explores different role playing systems with self contained One Shot stories. A rotating cast of improvisers, game designers, and other notable nerds show off the variety and diversity in RPGs run a new game every month.

The multi-performer audio production will feature original music by Arne Parrott and sound design by Casey Toney (NeoScum, Campaign Skyjacks, Hey Riddle Riddle.) Performers include Patrick Rothfuss himself alongside Satine Phoenix (Gilding Light, GMTips) Liz Anderson (Campaign: Skyjacks, Jackbox Games, Contributor at The Onion), Bee Zelda (The Broadswords), and Gamemaster James D’Amato (One Shot, Campaign: Skyjacks). 

While new to his readers, this is not the first time Rothfuss has roleplayed Temerant. In the years before the publication of The Name of the Wind, he fleshed out the world and tested ideas in private games he would run for friends and family.

“Long before I ever tried to write a novel, I made characters and built worlds for roleplaying games,” says Rothfuss. “Telling stories like this will give me a chance to show off corners of my world that don’t appear in my novels, and it’s playful and collaborative in a way that I really miss. Most importantly, these are stories that will let people spend time in my world sooner rather than later, while they’re waiting for the next book to come out.” 

Rothfuss and D’Amato set their first Temerant story at The University, following students who find themselves at loose ends at the end of the term: juggling financial responsibilities, personal relationships, and their hopes for the future. 

“It’s a college road trip movie,” said D’Amato. “For our first adventure, I wanted to look to the left of Kvothe’s rougeish heroics to see what else we can learn about Temerant.”

“I had such fun,” said Rothfuss. “It’s the first time I’ve ever PLAYED a game in my world instead of running it. I got to share details about the culture and magic I’ve never talked about before. I loved making characters and seeing where our shared story took us. I’ll admit, it wasn’t at all what I anticipated….” 

(4) THE SCALZI FENESTRATION. John Scalzi’s “The Hugo Window” takes off from an observation in Camestros Felapton’s recent post “Back to Flint”.

… Camestros Felapton blog, as part of a more general examination about who wins and/or is a finalist for Hugo Awards, and when they win them (and when they stop winning them, if they do indeed ever start winning them). The proprietor of the blog essentially argues that for every writer there is a Hugo window, during which they and their work are both popular enough and new enough to draw attention. But sooner or later that window closes.

I come up because I’m used as an example:

“I am not saying John Scalzi will never win another Hugo Award but I don’t expect him to even though I think he’ll be writing good, entertaining sci-fi for many years. This is not because he’s not sufficiently left-wing for current Hugo voters but because we’ve read lots of John Scalzi now and sort of know what to expect.”

It’s not about me, it’s about my Hugo window.

And do I think this is correct? Sort of, yes! And also sort of not….

And Scalzi goes on to develop the thinking behind his answer.

(5) DO YOU KNOW THE WAY. James Davis Nicoll finds “Five SFF Stories That Prove You Can Never Go Home Again” at Tor.com.

To quote Princess Leia, sometimes you cannot go home again. Why this might be varies from story to story… Perhaps home is unrecognizable, or has vanished entirely. Perhaps you yourself have been changed and can no longer fit in as you did in the past. Whatever the reason behind this particular experience of alienation, it is fodder for engaging stories. You might enjoy these five examples.

(6) DEATHSTAR WARMED OVER. You have until June 25 to bid on “”Star Wars” 20” x 16” Photo Signed by 23 of the Cast — Many With Personal Notes Such as Carrie Fisher Writing ”I know…Did you?” — With Becket COA for All Signatures” at Nate D. Sanders Auctions.

Visually powerful 20” x 16” photo of the second Death Star from ”Star Wars”, signed by 23 of the cast, many of whom write their character name or a playful note such as Carrie Fisher’s, ”I know…Did you?” All autographs are penned in silver felt-tip, showing excellent contrast against the black and silver photo. With Beckett COA for all signatures, including: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Jeremy Bulloch, Dave Prowse, Gary Kurtz, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Paul Blake and Billy Dee Williams. Photo is framed with a ”Star Wars” plaque to a size of 27.625” x 26.75”. Near fine condition.

(7) SCHUMACHER OBIT. Batman Forever director Joel Schumacher died June 22.Variety paid tribute: “Joel Schumacher, Director of Batman Films and ‘Lost Boys,’ Dies at 80”.

Joel Schumacher, costume designer-turned-director of films including “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Lost Boys” and “Falling Down,” as well as two “Batman” films, died in New York City on Monday morning after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 80.

… Schumacher’s second and last film in the franchise was 1997’s “Batman and Robin,” with George Clooney as Batman and Arnold Schwarzenegger as villain Mr. Freeze. For “Batman Forever,” the openly gay Schumacher introduced nipples to the costumes worn by Batman and Robin, leaning into the longstanding latent homoeroticism between the two characters. (In 2006, Clooney told Barbara Walters that he had played Batman as gay.)

(8) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • June 22, 1979 Alien premiered. It would win the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation at Noreascon Two (which had Robert Silverberg as Toast Master). Released by  20th Century Fox, it was directed by Ridley Scott.  Screenplay was by Dan O’Bannon based on the story by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett.  It starred Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The Alien and its accompanying objects were designed by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the more mundane settings. Jerry Goldsmith was the composer. Critics loved the film, it did a great box office and the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it a stellar 94% rating. (CE)

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born June 22, 1856 – Sir Henry Rider Haggard.  Most famous for King Solomon’s Mines introducing Allan Quatermain, and She introducing Ayesha (yes, that’s She Who Must Be Obeyed); fifty more novels, some about him, her, or both; twenty shorter stories; translated into Dutch, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Italian, Portuguese, Serbian, Spanish.  Had 100 letters in The Times.  (Died 1925) [JH]
  • Born June 22, 1900 – Leo Margulies. Sometimes called the Giant of the Pulps, partly because he was physically short, partly because (it is said) he at one time edited 46 of them, including Captain FutureStartlingStrangeThrilling Wonder; later Fantastic Universe and Satellite.  With Oscar Friend, co-edited My Best SF StoryFrom Off This WorldThe Giant Anthology of SF.  First reviver of Weird Tales, 1973.  By his nephew, Leo Margulies (P. Sherman, 2017).  (Died 1975) [JH]
  • Born June 22, 1927 – Lima de Freitas.  Ceramicist, illustrator, painter, writer.  Officer of the Order of Merit (France); Order of St. James of the Sword (Portugal).  A hundred eighty covers for us; here is Fahrenheit 451here is The War Against the Rullhere is Foundation and Empire.  (Died 1998) [JH]
  • Born June 22, 1936 Kris Kristofferson, 84. He first shows up in a genre film, The Last Horror Film, as himself. As an actor, his first role is as Bill Smith in Millennium, which is followed by Gabriel in Knights, a sequel to Cyborg. (A lack of name creativity there.) Now comes his role as Abraham Whistler in Blade and Blade II, a meaty undertaking indeed! Lastly, he voiced Karubi in Planet of the Apes. (CE)
  • Born June 22, 1947 – Octavia Butler.  Fourteen novels, nine shorter stories, two Hugos.  Translated into Bulgarian, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish.  Guest of Honor at WisCon 4, OryCon V, LTUE 7 (Life, the Universe, and Everything), Eastercon 48, Lunacon 41, Balticon 34, Rustycon 21; Parable of the Sower was Book of Honor at Potlatch 17.  U.S. Air Force Academy Special Achievement Award.  MacArthur Fellowship (first SF author to receive this).  Solstice Award.  (Died 2006) [JH]
  • Born June 22, 1949 – John-Henri Holmberg.  Critic, editor, fan, translator.  Co-edited Science Fiction Forum.  Started first SF bookstore in Sweden.  Co-chaired Stockon 5 & 6.  Reporter for Science Fiction Chronicle.  Published Fandom Harvest.  European SF Award for Nova magazine.  Fan Activity Achievement (FAAn) Award for “Worldcon Kaleidoscope” (Trap Door 34).  Big Heart Award.  Guest of Honor at Swecon 14 (33rd Eurocon), at 75th Worldcon (Helsinki, 2017).  [JH]
  • Born June 22, 1949 Meryl Streep, 71. She’d make the Birthday list just for being Madeline Ashton in Death Becomes Her and her epic battle there with Goldie Hawn. She’s the voice of Blue Ameche in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and a very real Aunt Josephine in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. She’s the voice of Felicity Fox in Fantastic Mr. Fox, based off the on Dahl’s 1970 children’s novel. She voices Jennie in a short that bring Maurice Sendak’s dog to life, Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life. She’s The Witch in Into The Woods. I think that’s it. (CE) 
  • Born June 22, 1953 Cyndi Lauper, 67. Ok, I’m officially old as I’m thinking of her as always young. Genre wise, she played a psychic, Avalon Harmonia, on the Bones series. She also has one-offs in series as diverse as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!Shelley Duvall’s Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme and Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child. Oddly enough she has one serious acting credit, Jenny (Ginny Jenny/Low-Dive Jenny) in Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera. (CE)
  • Born June 22, 1958 Bruce Campbell, 62. Where to start? Well, let’s note that Kage loved the old rascal as she described him, so I’ve linked to her review of Jack of All Trades. I personally liked just as much The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. and think it’s well worth checking out. I think his work as Ash Williams in the Evil Dead franchise can be both brilliant and godawful, often in the same film. Or the same scene. The series spawned off of it is rather good. Oh, and for popcorn reading, check out If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor, his autobiography. (CE) 
  • Born June 22, 1971 Laila Rouass, 49. She was Sarah Page, an Egyptologist on Primeval, a series I highly recommend if you’ve not seen it. She played Colonel Tia Karim, a traitorous UNIT officer in the two part “Death of The Doctor” on The Sarah Jane Adventures. This story was the last to feature Sarah Jane Smith and the Doctor, The Eleventh here, together onscreen. Jo Grant would also show up. (CE)
  • Born June 22, 1973 Ian Tregillis, 47. He is the author of the Milkweed Triptych trilogy which is frelling brilliant. He’s contributed three stories to Max Gladstone’s The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, a rather good serial fiction anthology (if that’s the proper term) and he’s got another series, The Alchemy Wars, I need to check out.  (CE)
  • Born June 22, 1958 – Johanna Sinisalo.  Eight novels; forty shorter stories, two dozen for us; three anthologies, notably The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy (i.e. in English); also comics, television; translated into English, French, German. Tiptree Award (as it then was).  Seven Atorox Awards.  Finlandia Prize. Guest of Honor at Worldcon 75.  [JH]
  • Born June 22, 1984 – Robert Bennett.  Nine novels, four shorter stories; translated into Bulgarian, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish.  Interview in Clarkesworld 64.  Two Shirley Jackson awards.  His Website is here.  [JH]

(10) COMICS SECTION.

(11) DIFFICULT QUIZ OF THE DAY. A Buzzfeed contributor throws down a challenge: “I Will Be Seriously Impressed If You Can Figure Out Whether These Are “Star Trek” Compounds Or Skincare Ingredients”. I scored 9 out of 20. Which earned me the Picard facepalm. Do better.

(12) MODDING UP. “My Kid Could Do That” by Elvia Wilk on the N Plus One magazine blog is a sf short story about augmented reality.

Today 60 percent of the American population, according to recent reports, possesses a database implant that allows a range of augments to be downloaded directly into the brain. The artificial intelligence can allow a person, for example, with no chiseling experience the ability to create a lifelike wooden sculpture. While there are no reliable statistics within the art world, a recent anonymous survey of working artists in New York City under 40 reported an above-average augmentation rate compared with the general population.

(13) JEMISIN ONLINE. N. K. Jemisin discussed her latest novel, The City We Became, with sociopolitical comedian W. Kamau Bell during a live virtual event held by the New York Public Library earlier this month. The video is now available.

(14) IF YOU CAN MAKE IT THERE. “Review: The City We Became by N K Jemisin” at Camestros Felapton.

…If you are immediately thinking of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, then that’s not unreasonable but whereas Gaiman’s London is narrow, weird, convoluted and Victorian, Jemisin’s New York is loud, colourful and in your face. Whereas Neverwhere is a rabbit warren of a mystery, The City We Became owes more to superheroes, a genre that is as New York as they come. I can’t claim Jemisin has grasped that same sense of place as Gaiman did with London because I don’t know New York except through it’s own fictional depictions but it feels like it does.

The superhero comparison is not a shallow one. This is very much a story about a group of New Yorkers who each gain unique powers and who must find a way to fight a supernatural evil…

(15) FOR THE RECORD. [Item by Rob Thornton.] As the wheel turns and progressive rock begins to make a comeback once more, evidently the extravagant extra-long science fiction concept album must also return, as seen in this Bandcamp Daily review: “Neptunian Maximalism, ‘Éons’”

At 123 minutes and—in its physical form—three CDs long, Éons, the new album from Belgium’s Neptunian Maximalism, is unquestionably a massive work. Even so, the size and scale of the project—formed in 2018 by multi-instrumentalist Guillaume Cazalet and saxophonist Jean-Jacques Duerinckx—never feels unnecessary or extravagant as this aptly named collective uses the healthy runtime to explore heavy psych, tribal rhythms, free-jazz freakouts, meditative drone and the vast, shadowy spaces in between. Arriving in the wake of a four-song EP and a largely improvised live album that hinted at Neptunian Maximalism’s ambition, Éons fully delivers on those early promises. The sonic epic not only gives the band plenty of room to roam, but also follows a conceptual framework that imagines the end of Earth’s human-dominated anthropocene era and the onset of a ‘probocene’ era, in which the planet is ruled by superior, intelligent elephants.

(16) THE MIDDLE. [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Well it’s not The Monolith from that film… Atlas Obscura visits “The Center of Santa Clara Valley”.

ALONG COYOTE CREEK ON A far-flung San JoseCalifornia trail, a mysterious plaque sits next to a bike path. At first glance, it appears to be entirely covered in ones and zeroes. But from a different angle, the words “Santa Clara Valley” are faintly visible, etched beneath the numbers.

The reason for the plaque’s strange location is that it marks the geographical center of the Santa Clara Valley, which may be more familiar by its other moniker: Silicon Valley. The numbers, as it happens, spell out three words in binary. 

(17) IN A HOLE IN THE GROUND. “Stonehenge: Neolithic monument found near sacred site” reports BBC.

A ring of large shafts discovered near Stonehenge form the largest prehistoric monument ever discovered in Britain, archaeologists believe.

Tests carried out on the pits suggest they were excavated by Neolithic people more than 4,500 years ago.

Experts believe the 20 or more shafts may have served as a boundary to a sacred area connected to the henge.

“The size of the shafts and circuit is without precedent in the UK,” said Prof Vince Gaffney, a lead researcher.

The 1.2 mile-wide (2km) circle of large shafts measuring more than 10m (30ft) in diameter and 5m (15ft) in depth are significantly larger than any comparable prehistoric monument in Britain.

(18) INCLUSIVE. “Is this the most accessible game ever?”

The first time Steve Saylor fired up the hotly-anticipated new game The Last of Us Part II, he burst into tears.

“Y’all don’t even know how much…” he says between sobs in his video of the moment, which has now had nearly half a million views.

“I’m sorry. I don’t even know what to say.”

Steve is legally blind, and was looking at the overwhelming accessibility options menu.

Courtney Craven, editor of accessibility-focused gaming site Can I Play That, is hard of hearing and has some motor-control issues, and had a similar reaction.

“The first thing I did upon launching [the game] for the first time was FaceTime a friend and cry,” she says.

The game has already been dubbed “the most accessible game ever”.

It has more than 60 different accessibility settings, allowing an unprecedented level of customisation and fine-tuning.

Every button can be changed, and one-handed control schemes are available by default.

Players like Courtney can turn on direction arrows on subtitles to indicate where the sound is coming from; players like Steve can outline characters and enemies in vivid colours.

(19) ROLL ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM. NPR declares “The Latest Pandemic Shortage: Coins Are The New Toilet Paper”.

Just as supplies of toilet paper are finally getting back to normal, the coronavirus has triggered another shortage of something we typically take for granted: pocket change.

Banks around the U.S. are running low on nickels, dimes, quarters and even pennies. And the Federal Reserve, which supplies banks, has been forced to ration scarce supplies.

“It was just a surprise,” said Gay Dempsey, who runs the Bank of Lincoln County in Tennessee, when she learned of the rationing order. “Nobody was expecting it.”

Dempsey’s bank typically dispenses 400 to 500 rolls of pennies each week. Under the rationing order, her allotment was cut down to just 100 rolls, with similar cutbacks in nickels, dimes and quarters.

That spells trouble for Dempsey’s business customers, who need the coins to stock cash registers all around Lincoln County, Tenn.

“You think about all your grocery stores and convenience stores and a lot of people that still operate with cash,” Dempsey said. “They have to have that just to make change.”

…The U.S. Mint produced fewer coins than usual this spring in an effort to protect employees from infection. But the larger problem — as with many other pandemic shortages — is distribution.

During the lockdown, many automatic coin-sorting machines that people typically use to cash in loose change were off-limits. And with many businesses closed, unused coins piled up in darkened cash drawers, in pants pockets and on nightstands, even as banks went begging.

“The flow of coins through the economy … kind of stopped,” Powell said.

(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Neil Gaiman on ‘Game of Thrones,’ Favorite Words, and Tattoos” on YouTube is a 2015 interview with WNYC where Gaiman explains that, given a choice between living in Game of Thrones or Lord of The RIngs, he’d choose a world with better plumbing.

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Michael Toman, Andrew Porter, Olav Rokne, John King Tarpinian, John Hertz, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Darrah Chavey, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

49 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/22/20 Come Pixel Round Filers, Wherever You Scroll, And Admit That The Word Counts Around You Have Grown

  1. (9) Meryl Streep also starred in Robert Altman’s last film, an entertaining adaptation of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Which is actually genre. (One of the characters is The Angel of Death.)

  2. (11) Haven’t tried it, but looking at the list there are four I’m sure are real – reading labels helps a lot when you’re trying to figure out which is real.

  3. @5: for some reason my preferred browser, Firefox (v70.1) on Windows 7, loses most of the formatting information for Tor’s blog, leaving plain text strewn across the screen in a way that is very difficult to read. I’ll probably catch up on tor.com on another system that is so far behaving (FFv70, W10), but any suggestions about fixing this would be appreciated.

    @9: Lauper having a serious acting credit is no stranger than (e.g.) Amanda Palmer (the MC in Cabaret). Sometimes there’s a part that a particular person fits; I can easily see her as Spelunken-Jenny, especially after seeing a UK adaptation set in vaguely-now in the characters were even rougher.

    @9 (Tregillis): I didn’t think much of the first volume of the Gladstone whatsis (the individual writing was OK, but the world seemed to have too many patches and not enough plausibility), but I was very impressed by both of Tregillis’s solo trilogies; they’re not easy reading, but they’re entirely believable about what might have happened if states got control of magic.

    @11: 15/20 (beating 89% of testees). I used to do chemistry and still pay a bit of attention to medical developments, so I knew a couple outright and could make guesses about plausible roots and suffixes for some others — which makes one of my misses very annoying.

    @Andrew: ISTM that the question was not what real things appeared in ST — they probably had some here and there — but what were specifically made up.

  4. Rich Lynch says Meryl Streep also starred in Robert Altman’s last film, an entertaining adaptation of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Which is actually genre. (One of the characters is The Angel of Death.)

    You know I saw that wonderful film and keep forgetting that the Angel of Death is present. And isn’t there ghosts?

  5. 4) Scalzi writes entertaining work, but he has missed a cultural and technological shift. The Hugo readers tend to look for the cutting edge.

  6. Meryl Streep’s other genre credits include The Giver, Defending Your Life, Mary Poppins Returns, and The Ant Bully.

  7. 9) By coincidence (and before I knew it was his birthday), I started reading Haggard’s Nada the Lily today.

  8. 9) It’s Stephen Chow’s birthday. A lot of his movies have either magic or science fiction elements. I find them really fun even though I may only get about half of the intended jokes. Bill Murray talks about seeing Kung Fu Hustle and wondering where he had gone so wrong with all of his own movies.

    Also Dan Brown. I understand he’s pretty popular.

    And Lindsay Wagner. I only know her as the Bionic Woman, but she’s been working steadily. Was in Warehouse 13 for six episode and one episode of Alphas. Was just in the video game Death Stranding. Even had a couple of small roles on Night Gallery way back in the day.

    Plus Mike Todd who produced Around the World in 80 Days, though he might be more famous for being Elizabeth Taylor’s third husband. I thought he was responsible for Smell-O-Vision, but that was Mike Todd Jr.

    It’s all in the past now / Pixels scroll everything

  9. 16/20 on the quiz. Some I recognized from one source or the other, some were educated guesses.

  10. 11) I’ve watched a lot of Star Trek, but have never seen an episode of Skincare. Is that on one of the new streaming services?

  11. 11) 15/20. Second-guessed myself out of a few more.

    In current reading: I finished getting up to date on the Expanse series. Gotta say, this is what the series Hugo was made for. I mean, I love Katherine Arden, but the Expanse is a Series with a capital S. And I saw one or two of the twists coming in book 8, but I enjoyed seeing how they were twisted anyway.

    I tried again on Luna: New Moon, but I’m still just not feeling it. So then I started Riverland. I wasn’t a huge fan of her earlier books, but so far (just an hour in), this one appears to be a touching story of how kids mythologize abuse. Sad (so far), but effective.

  12. @15
    I haven’t bought music in years, but this tempts me, sorely. Pachydermis Uber alles!

    When I met the tremendous Octavia Butler, I forgot to tell her my most indelible memory of her work: her story “Speech Sounds” was the first sf story I read which mentioned condoms. Scoff away, but that meant a lot to me as a teenager.

  13. 11) I got 11/20, and I don’t claim to know anything about either skin care or Star Trek trivia. Pretty much a coin flip result I guess.

  14. Born June 22, 1958 – Johanna Sinisalo. Eight novels; forty shorter stories, two dozen for us; three anthologies, notably The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy (i.e. in English); also comics, television; translated into English, French, German. Tiptree Award (as it then was). Seven Atorox Awards. Finlandia Prize. [JH]

    This should also note that Johanna Sinisalo was also a Guest of Honor at Worldcon 75 also, along with John-Henri.

  15. (4) Scalzi isn’t left-wing enough? I can’t think of any political subject that he is right-wing (or even right-ish) on.

  16. bill: Scalzi isn’t left-wing enough? I can’t think of any political subject that he is right-wing (or even right-ish) on.

    Then you must think I’m a left-winger. But left-wingers sure don’t.

  17. bill on June 23, 2020 at 11:08 am said:

    (4) Scalzi isn’t left-wing enough? I can’t think of any political subject that he is right-wing (or even right-ish) on.

    Apologies. I threw a double negative in there to confuse people:
    “This is not because he’s not sufficiently left-wing for current Hugo voters ”

    However, I have very little idea what John Scalzi’s position on social ownership and/or control of the economy might be for example and I don’t particularly care. Does he think share ownership should be abolished? Does he believe larger corporations should be owned and managed by democratic structures of their own workers? Who knows? I suspect he probably doesn’t…but I really don’t think it’s any of my businesses really (aside from what kind of funky world-building he might use in a fictional society)

    I know he has spoken publically on a number of social issues but…you know there are quite a lot of Americans with moderate or even quite fiscally conservative views who have what people think of as “progressive” views on such issues.
    https://www.people-press.org/quiz/political-typology/

    https://www.people-press.org/interactives/political-typology-comparison-2017

  18. (4) Scalzi isn’t left-wing enough? I can’t think of any political subject that he is right-wing (or even right-ish) on.

    By German standards, Scalzi would be a centrist or even moderate conservative.

  19. @OGH “Then you must think I’m a left-winger. But left-wingers sure don’t.”
    I don’t know much about your politics. I don’t recall you being particularly outspoken on that subject. I notice that you give us a pretty free reign to get political, but that you don’t often use File770 to advocate for or against issues yourself (which is probably one reason for its success).

    @Camestros — I took your example of Scalzi to mean something along the lines of “Scalzi won’t win another Hugo, and you might expect that the reason is that he isn’t left-wing enough. He is left-wing, but that’s not the reason; here is the reason . . . “. That is, we all understand that Scalzi is left wing, but his politics aren’t the issue here.

    And I homed in on that to sort of illustrate that, to the world at large, Scalzi is leftish (I think he has even mentioned on Whatever that he is not typical of Darke County OH, where he lives, and that he is significantly left of his neighbors), but within the SF community, he is perhaps perceived as not left enough. Thus the SF community, especially that which votes for Hugos, is very left-wing.

    @Cora — and Germany is much more liberal/progressive/left-wing [pick your term of art] than the US; thus a person who is in the middle of the spectrum in Germany is on the left side of it in America.

    [Isn’t it some sort of truism that everyone thinks that they are middle of the road?]

  20. I should add, as I mentioned it, that while I do not believe in mass nationalisation or abolition of private property, I do believe that any and all examples of group ownership of anything (i.e. any examples where an entity other than an individual legally owns something) should be based on equitably shared ownership where decision making is either based on consensus (for small groups) or by formal democratic structures (of many kinds, variety is good) including (but not limited to) workers councils or public ownership. It is these views that I believe make me leftwing rather than my belief that we should judge the quality of our society by how we treat the most marginalised demographic sections of it.

  21. I’ve never seen any indication that Scalzi is left-wing, and I frequently browse his blog and twitter feed. From what I can see, he’s slightly center-right, but also a nice guy who respects people and despises bigots. Which reminds me a lot of Poul Anderson, and I don’t think anyone ever accused Poul of being a leftie!

    I realize that the way so many on the right have embraced bigotry recently can make it seems like anyone opposed to bigotry must be left-wing, but that’s not actually the case.

  22. bill on June 23, 2020 at 12:29 pm said:

    @Camestros — I took your example of Scalzi to mean something along the lines of “Scalzi won’t win another Hugo, and you might expect that the reason is that he isn’t left-wing enough. He is left-wing, but that’s not the reason; here is the reason . . . “. That is, we all understand that Scalzi is left wing, but his politics aren’t the issue here.

    OK, I probably wouldn’t paraphrase myself exactly like that but that is more than close enough to what I was intending to say 🙂

  23. @Lela E Buis: 4) Scalzi writes entertaining work, but he has missed a cultural and technological shift. The Hugo readers tend to look for the cutting edge.

    And yet his Hugo novel win was for an unabashed piece of Star Trek fanfic.

  24. I believe Scalzi has previously said that he’d be considered more or less a Rockefeller Republican.

  25. bill on June 23, 2020 at 11:08 am said:
    (4) Scalzi isn’t left-wing enough? I can’t think of any political subject that he is right-wing (or even right-ish) on.

    As far as I’m aware, the only depiction of a labour union in a book by John Scalzi is in Chapter 7 of “Old Man’s War.” IIRC, the protagonist watches a newscast about a mining strike. The depiction is not particularly sympathetic to the workers, though the government use of force is also depicted as excessive.

    Interestingly, he does seem to be pro-union in his blogging.

    But when looking at Democratic candidates, he basically said he was torn between Kamala Harris (who’s basically the right-wing of the Democrats) and Elizabeth Warren (who’s just about the most left-wing Democrat, given that Bernie Sanders is not a member of the party). Which is an odd position for someone to take.

    I don’t want to label anyone’s politics overall, because I can’t know their soul. But Scalzi seems like a relatively well-intentioned slightly-left-of-centre centrist who is likely to make a progressive, thoughtful choice if he can be shown evidence.

  26. @Olav Rokne–

    But when looking at Democratic candidates, he basically said he was torn between Kamala Harris (who’s basically the right-wing of the Democrats) and Elizabeth Warren (who’s just about the most left-wing Democrat, given that Bernie Sanders is not a member of the party). Which is an odd position for someone to take.

    I wasn’t torn; I had a definite preference for Elizabeth Warren. But Harris was my second choice.

    I don’t know how my mother voted in any detail, though generally Democratic. My father, though: Adlai Stevenson, twice; didn’t vote in 1960 because we moved and residency requirements then were much longer; Barry Goldwater; Hubert Humphrey; George McGovern.

    He used to say it was too bad he didn’t get to vote in 1960, because he would have voted for Kennedy, who would therefore have lost, and therefore would not have been assassinated. Because yes, every presidential candidate he voted for lost. (And yes, this is an example of one of my dad’s jokes that my mom did not find funny.)

    My dad died in 1973, at 47, so his voting record ends there.

    You can’t make sense of my dad’s voting choices just by looking at who he voted for. You had to actually know what his reasoning was, what factors he was actually weighing. In 1964, for instance, he though Goldwater and Johnson would pursue basically the same policy in Vietnam, but that Goldwater was telling the truth, and Johnson was lying. This turned out to be, at least, not wrong.

    I really don’t see anything at all odd about Scalzi being torn between Harris and Warren.

  27. @PhilRM —

    And yet his Hugo novel win was for an unabashed piece of Star Trek fanfic.

    But it was also very meta.

    I wasn’t voting then, and I don’t remember off-hand what the other nominees were, so I can’t say whether I would have voted for it to win — but I did enjoy it, even though I didn’t think the final section was very successful.

  28. @Contrarius: I suspect it was more the “Star Trek” than the meta that accounted for its win, but I also enjoyed it, even though it wouldn’t have been my choice for the award.

  29. @bill: And I homed in on that to sort of illustrate that, to the world at large, Scalzi is leftish No. Just no. To the world at large, the US is rightish — witness your singling out Germany, which is centrist by European standards.

    @PhilRM: And yet his Hugo novel win was for an unabashed piece of Star Trek fanfic. Fanfic is its own category — cf Walton’s Hugo, for IMO her least-adventurous work.

  30. @Chip: Fanfic is its own category — cf Walton’s Hugo, for IMO her least-adventurous work.

    The year before Scalzi’s novel win, as a matter of fact.

  31. Chip Hitchcock: Fanfic is its own category — cf Walton’s Hugo, for IMO her least-adventurous work.

    Yeah, I’m still convinced that one won just because she did lengthy call-out lists of everyone’s favorite SF authors and works, because boy, was I underwhelmed with the actual story.

  32. Chip Hitchcock says Fanfic is its own category — cf Walton’s Hugo, for IMO her least-adventurous work.

    A question. I assume Jo was paid for by Tor for these lovely essays. If so, they were professionally undertaken as she got paid for them, so how is it fanfic? Or is fanfic solely a matter of content?

  33. ISTM that there was a lot in the story that many fans could see their own histories in, or at least empathize with, despite the opening denial; a story that seems real has advantages even if it isn’t well-organized. That doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be people who would see it as trivial, or even whinging, compared to other lives.

  34. Lis Carey on June 23, 2020 at 3:06 pm said:

    I have a vintage “Adlai Stephenson for President” badge that I occasionally wear. He would have been a good president (though I think in ’52, the Democrats would have done better to nominate Estes Kefauver.)

  35. I’m not entirely sure I buy the whole “Hugo Window” theory. There are certainly fashions that come and go, and it helps if your style is currently in-fashion. And I think there’s also an a bit of a tendency to compare an author’s latest work to their previous winners or nominees, and not just to the books it’s actually competing with, which can make it harder to get that second Hugo. But newness alone as a factor? I’m not so sure about that. If anything, it seems like established names usually have an edge.

  36. Xtifr: Something I’d like to see considered as part of the analytical mix is the ongoing sea changes among the voters. The number of nominating ballots submitted to CoNZealand was the lowest number since 2014. That’s 900 fewer voters than in 2017. The smaller the electorate, the greater the opportunity for works with determined groups of supporters to have success. And I don’t mean a slate. A lot of people have three dozen friends who love their latest work.

  37. Chip Hitchcock: ISTM that there was a lot in the story that many fans could see their own histories in, or at least empathize with, despite the opening denial; a story that seems real has advantages even if it isn’t well-organized. That doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be people who would see it as trivial, or even whinging, compared to other lives.

    I thought that the story had real promise, but my main objection to it was that the ending seemed completely pasted-on, as if the author got to a certain point and couldn’t figure out where to go from there, and her deadline was coming up, so she just turned the manuscript in instead of finishing it. I had a similar reaction to My Real Children. I found both novels so unsatisfying that I’ve not felt interested in reading any of the author’s other work.

  38. I recently reread My Real Children, and did not find the ending pasted on; ISTM that gur qrzragvn jnf sberfunqbjrq, naq gung gur guvaavat bs cnegvgvbaf orgjrra gur gjb jbeyqf nf n erfhyg bs qrzragvn jnf jryy-unaqyrq. OTOH, I’ve learned that my reactions can be … idiosyncratic OTGH, I found the philosophical tetralogy and Lent to end very weakly, where they apparently delighted many. Walton doesn’t do the same thing twice; Tooth and Claw wrapped well (possibly due to mimicking a Victorian form).

    @Cat Eldridge: Walton’s essays were nominated for a Hugo but did not win. (I should have answered that this morning — don’t know why your comment didn’t show up when I refreshed.)

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