Pixel Scroll 6/23/19 A Filé Of Scroll, With Delicious Sauce Pixelaise And A Fifth Of Dill

(1) STRIVING FOR BALANCE. Mystery writer Laura Lippman has an op-ed in the Washington Post about how her next novel, Lady in the Lake, will be narrated by an African American ghost and whether it is all right for a white woman to write about black characters: “Is it ok for a white author to write black characters? I’m trying.” She notes that none of the 20 characters in her novel resemble her, and “In creating this wide-ranging cast, I took a lesson from one of my heroes, Donald Westlake, who once said, ‘I became a novelist so I could make things up.’  So I did that–but I also asked that my novel be assigned to a sensitivity reader.”

…When I teach creative writing, I tell my students that the biggest mistake they can make is to try to write around problems, hoping no one else will see them. I advocate running right at the problem, making it the story. I have never shied away from writing characters of color, but that choice is clearly different and more fraught now, even in the 14 months since my last novel appeared. So with my most recent book, to be published next month, I took my own advice, inventing a middle-aged white woman who tries to give her life meaning and purpose by investigating the death of a young black woman. It was a particularly meta choice. This is what I do, after all. I write about death, and the stories are often inspired by real-life crimes, which is another kind of appropriation….

(2) PRETTY PICTURES. Comics publisher IDW claims “You Haven’t Read The Mueller Report …Because This Graphic Novel Isn’t Out Yet!” – but their upcoming Graphic Novel adaptation will do for the Mueller Report what Classics Illustrated used to do for everyone stuck writing high school book reports.

Shannon Wheeler, Eisner Award-winning New Yorker cartoonist (Too Much Coffee Man, Sh*t My President Says, God is Disappointed in You), and veteran journalist Steve Duin (The Oregonian, Comics: Between the Panels, Oil and Water) turn their critical eye on the Mueller Report – a comprehensive, understandable, and readable graphic novel version of the book every patriot needs.

Fight the spin spewing forth from both parties and political pulpits and check out this graphic novel that brings a 400-page legal document down to size. Wheeler and Duin, in graphic form, bring to life scenes detailed in the report: from the infamous Trump Tower Meeting of 2016 to Trump exclaiming “I’m f*cked” upon finding out he was the subject of investigation. It’s in the report and it’s in the graphic novel!

The Mueller Report: Graphic Novel borrows style from classic private detective yarns, complete with a villain’s rogues’ gallery, nail-biting cliffhangers, and a lone lawman standing proud against the wave of crime.

(3) NO THANKS. In “’Perhaps We’re Being Dense.’ Rejection Letters Sent to Famous Writers” at Literary Hub, Emily Temple publishes famous rejection letters, including Donald Wollheim’s rejection of Carrie and an unnamed rejection of The Left Hand of Darkness.

From Donald A. Wollheim at Ace Books to Stephen King, upon receipt of Carrie:

We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.

(4) MEDIEVAL TOWN VS. GOWN. Sensitive to criticisms of the SCA (enumerated in the piece), Ken Mondschein lifts his quill “In Defense of the Society for Creative Anachronism”.

…To go to an academic conference, let alone earn an advanced degree in history, literature, or art history, requires an enormous amount of money and free time. To participate in the SCA requires… an interest in the Middle Ages and a reasonable attempt at pre-17th century clothing, which can be made with $12 of material from Jo-Ann’s Fabric and half an hour at a sewing machine. (I should know; that was me in college.) Who, then, are the privileged ones? If anything, the SCA game threatens to destabilize systematic racism by replacing real-world hierarchies of race and class with its own imaginary social structure.

The SCA is diverse in other ways, as well: While academic historians focus narrowly on, say, women’s faith in the 14th century or the role of the Capetian dynasty in building the French state, the SCA is interested in everything that happened under the premodern sun from the death of Elizabeth I back to… the birth of Hammurabi, apparently. These include sword-fighting, cooking, visual arts, fabric arts, dancing, equestrian arts, and the list goes on. As my friend Mike Cramer points out, it’s like a state fair of medieval stuff.

(5) HOLLAND OBIT. [Item by Rob Hansen.] News of someone who was a LASFS club mascot as a child in the 1940s, namely Francis T. Laney’s daughter. She was named in Harry Warner Jr’s All Our Yesterdays (Advent, 1969):

To this second wife, Jackie, the two Laney Children were born. They were Sandra Rae, born Aptil 8th, 1940, and Sonya Lynn, born November 11th, 1942, mentioned in a thousand fanzine pages as Sandy and Quiggy.

Rob Hansen says, “Out of curiosity I did a web search and discovered this obit for Sandy originally published by Oregon Live from which I discover her sister still goes by Quig, and that Jackie’s actual name was Alberta, something I hadn’t known.”

Sandra Rae Laney Holland
April 8, 1940 – Sept. 11, 2018
Sandra Rae Laney Holland, 78, of Vancouver, passed away Sept. 11, 2018, in Vancouver.
Sandi was born in Lewiston, Idaho to Francis and Alberta Laney, April 8, 1940….

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY.

Found among Washington Irving’s papers are fragments of what might have been notes for a memoir, scribbled down in spare moments during either 1843 or 1845 (the date is hard to decipher), when he was the American minister to Spain under President John Tyler. In one entry he describes the genesis of his most famous story:

When I first wrote the Legend of Rip van Winkle my thought had been for some time turned towards giving a colour of romance and tradition to interesting points of our national scenery which is so deficient generally in our country. My friends endeavored to dissuade me from it and I half doubted my own foresight when it was first published from the account of the small demand made for that number, but subsequent letters brought news of its success and of the lucky hit I had made. The idea was taken from an old tradition I picked up among the Harz Mountains.*

  • June 23, 1976 — The George Clayton Johnson/William F. Nolan-scripted movie based on their book, Logan’s Run, premiered.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 23, 1945 Eileen Gunn, 74. Her story “Coming to Terms” based on her friendship with Avram Davidson won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. Her stories are in Stable Strategies and OthersSteampunk Quartet and Questionable Practices. With L. Timmel Duchamp, she penned The WisCon Chronicles, Vol. 2: Provocative Essays on Feminism, Race, Revolution, and the Future.
  • Born June 23, 1947 Mark Olson, 72. One could reasonably call him an Uberfan. And among his many accomplishments is that he oversees  Fancyclopedia 3 which I constantly use. If you don’t know him, I’m going to send you to his Fancyclopedia 3 bio which is far too long to quote here. It’s just a little boastful as it should be. 
  • Born June 23, 1957 Frances McDormand, 62. She’s God. Well at least The Voice of God in Good Omens. Which is on Amazon y’all. Her first genre role was in the “Need to Know” episode of Twilight Zone followed shortly thereafter by being Julie Hastings in Sam Raimi’s excellent Dark Man. She’s The Handler in Æon Flux and that’s pretty much everything worth noting. 
  • Born June 23, 1963 Liu Cixin, 56. He’s a winner of a Hugo Award for The Three-Body Problem and a Locus Award for Death’s End. Anyone got a clue what’s going on with the alleged Amazon production of The Three-Body Problem as a film?
  • Born June 23, 1964 Joss Whedon, 55. I think I first encounter him with the Buffy tv series. And I’ll hold that I think Angel was better told. Firefly was an interesting mess. And don’t get me started on the Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Born June 23, 1972 Selma Blair, 47. Liz Sherman in Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army. She also voiced the character in the animated Hellboy: Sword of Storms and Hellboy: Blood and Iron. She’s Stevie Wayne in The Fog, a slasher film a few years later and was Cyane on the “Lifeblood” episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. Later on, she’d be Jessica Harris in the  “Infestation” episode of Lost in Space. 
  • Born June 23, 1980 Melissa Rauch, 39. Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory which is at least genre adjacent if not genre. She gets to be really genre in voicing Harley Quinn in Batman and Harley Quinn which Bruce Timm considers “a spiritual successor to Batman: The Animated Series”. H’h. 
  • Born June 23, 2000 Caitlin Blackwood, 19. She was the young Amelia Pond in these Doctor Who episodes; “The Eleventh Hour”, “The Big Bang”, “Let’s Kill Hitler”, and “The God Complex”, and had a cameo in “The Angels Take Manhattan”.  She’s the cousin of Karen Gillan who plays the adult Pond. No idea how she was cast in the role. 

(8) SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW, BUT DON’T ASK ME WHERE. Fast Company swears “Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were lost on the Moon. Really”.

…There had been some worry inside NASA about whether, from Earth, they would be able to pinpoint the lunar module’s landing location. The Moon was mapped, but not in anything like fine, up-close detail; there were no constellations of tracking satellites around the Moon in 1969. “With a wry smile, (Armstrong) radioed Houston, ‘The guys who said we wouldn’t know where we were are the winners today.’ ”

(9) RETRO REVIEWS. Steve J. Wright has completed his “Retro Hugo Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)” finalist reviews.

It’s an interesting selection of these that 1943 brings us.  First off, there are three instances of a peculiar little subgenre, the afterlife story – people who are newly dead or on the verge of death, who are given a last chance to face up to the realities of heaven and hell, and try to make the right choice….

Three films with the same underlying idea, but the treatment of it is very different.  

(10) THE APPLE II OF MY EYE. Future War Stories resumes a popular series: “FWS Top 10: Forgotten Military SF Games (Vol. 5)”. Ten games are covered in this installment, including —  

2. BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk’s Inception (Infocom 1988)

Way back in the pivotal year of 1984, Chicago-based FASA developed a mecha combat game using designs from Japanese sources without permission. Coming at the perfect time, FASA had a true hit on their hands, and the BattleTech empire was founded. While originally, BattleTech was a tabletop wargame, today, BattleTech is also a successful series of video games that all started in 1988. Infocom, that gave us Zork!. The first BattleTech game, The Crescent Hawk’s Inception, was released for a variety of PC machines like the Commodore 64 and the ATARI ST. Featuring an amazing cover, it was sadly not as dynamic as the cover art would lead you to believe. This turn-based RPG game looks more like The Legend of Zelda than MechWarrior, and had you play as a Mechwarrior cadet named Jason Youngblood in the service of the Lyran Commonwealth during the 31st century. During the game, Jason will be thrust into a war, finding LosTech, and the fate of this lost father. From videos and articles, the game is complex and lengthy, that proved successful enough to warrant a sequel in 1990 called BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk’s Revenge. The reason for these early BattleTech games becoming LosTech was that the kinetic nature of mech combat was not expressed in the gameplay like later titles, and the fact they were released back in 1988 media.

(11) TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE. James Thurber, author of “The Last Clock”, would love to “Meet The Residents Of A Norwegian Island Who Want To Kill Time — Literally”.

It’s midnight in Sommaroy, but the sun is still shining on this Norwegian island. The clock strikes 12, but the island’s residents are playing, working, fishing and socializing. Nighttime commands sleep, but Sommaroy doesn’t want to listen.

If the 350 residents of Sommaroy get their way, the clocks will stop ticking and the alarms will cease their noise. A campaign to do away with timekeeping on the island has gained momentum as Norway’s parliament considers the island’s petition.

“Why do we need time and clocks when there is no night?” reads the campaign’s Facebook page. During a 70-day period leading up to and following the summer solstice, from May 18 to July 26, darkness never falls across the sky.

“There’s always less wind at night here, perfect to paint the garage. Fishermen are out half the night, after all. If we get tired, we’re fit to go after a nap on the sofa. Why don’t we just sign out of time, throw away all the clocks and forget about them? Life would be so much easier,” the Facebook post continues.

(12) FEARFULLY MADE. Publishers Weekly’s Brian Evenson calls these “The 10 Scariest Novels”. First on the list —  

1. Dawn by Octavia E. Butler

This 1987 science fiction novel concerns a woman named Lilith who wakes up with no idea where she is or how she got there. As she begins to figure things out, she comes to understand that she’s been taken by the Oankali, aliens who want to blend with humanity as a way of diversifying their species and allowing the remnant of humanity to continue in a less violent (and less human) fashion. What makes this book so effective is you are never sure to what degree Lilith should be considered a collaborator with the enemy. Even Lilith isn’t sure. The moral implications of the novel are immense, and Butler shifts the tension every time you (or Lilith) begin to become comfortable. It builds slowly but inexorably, leaving readers in ethical ambiguity until the end, trapped in the dilemma of not knowing what to think. It’s one of the most unsettling books I’ve ever read, partly because of how benign and reasonable the aliens seem as they gently manipulate Lilith.

(13) SO MUCH SPACE, SO LITTLE TIME. Or so it might seem.

The size and age of the universe seem to not agree with one another. Astronomers have determined that the universe is nearly 14 billion years old and yet its diameter is 92 billion light years across. How can both of those numbers possibly be true? In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln tells you how.

(14) HOT PITCH. ScreenRant encourages everyone to step inside the pitch meeting that led to 2005’s Fantastic Four.

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

62 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/23/19 A Filé Of Scroll, With Delicious Sauce Pixelaise And A Fifth Of Dill

  1. (3) Andrew Porter’s comment to this article is helpful – otherwise, I’d have to think that Wollheim completely misread “Carrie.”

  2. @Andrew: Either that, or Wollheim had such an unusually happy adolescence that he thought the novel’s dystopian premise was that high school exists. A nightmarish near-future world where teenagers are mean to each other!

  3. (6) “The George Clayton Johnson/William F. Nolan-scripted movie based on their book, Logan’s Run, premiered.” What? I saw it in the theater in 1976 (having read and enjoyed their novel) and afterward I made a point of remembering the name of the credited writer of the screenplay, he who ruined their book six different ways: David Zelag Goodman. Don’t even have to look it up. Gah!

  4. I doubt that Wollheim’s high school years were happy; he was 14 when the market crashed. But he may have forgotten them, or not been as abused as Carrie and not paid attention if someone else were. OTOH, I would like to see sources before accepting that either Porter & Co. or the article’s author were correct in which book they associate with the note; it seems way beyond obtuse in the author’s reading, but the way the author tried to set up the Rowling rejection (slammed in the very first comment) suggests more interest in noise than in facts.

    Mondschein’s comments are appreciated — although they and the links have some oddly questionable remarks (e.g., whether honors come from monarchs or are awarded by them).

  5. 11) I don’t quite understand what they are going to parliament for. If they all want to throw away their clocks they can just do so.

  6. Since Tor spent a couple weeks promoting it as the perfect pride month read–for bisexuals at least–I picked up Kushiel’s Dart. 40% of the way through these are my initial impressions.

    ummm.

    Kissy-face level 5
    Grown-up sexy times level 5

    *blush*

    Plot 4, very good but I’m a bit distracted by *blushes again*

    Recommended unless you’re the type who blushes easily.

  7. At the end of Carrie is a scene involving another telekinetic child who has sprouted in a backward, semiliterate rural family and is rumored to be even more powerful than old granny; along the way is discussion of the nightmarish world we might have if a really super strong telekinetic kid comes along, with lots of pseudoscientific info dumping about kids wreaking havoc with their psi powers.

    That book came out just as I was entering high school, and I read it over and over like it was an instruction manual. I had consumed plenty of special-kid horror framed as warnings to the adult world (Rosemary’s Baby, Bad Seed, Exorcist, Village of the Damned). Stephen King, on the other hand, sympathized more with the mutant kids who were going to use their powers to seek vengeance on all the bullies. And in so doing won my heart.

  8. Re: Three-Body Problem: The Chinese company that holds the rights is working on a TV show now. There’s no guarantee that it’ll happen, but my read on it has always been that a TV show would debut in China and then come over to the US via Amazon or someone. (Sort of what HBO did with Chernobyl and His Dark Materials.)

  9. I’m putting together the Birthday list for tomorrow and the wiki page for Mercedes Lackey leads off with howler:

    Lackey was born in Chicago, an event that prevented her father from being called to serve in the Korean War.

    Can anyone think why the entire male population of that City would have exempted from being required to serve?

  10. Cat : I can recall tales of being an only child exempted the child from military duty during wartime, but that thought I hopelessly garbled.

  11. Cat Eldridge: Can anyone think why the entire male population of that City would have exempted from being required to serve?

    It wasn’t the city where she was born, it was the fact that she was born. At that time, young men would be drafted when they turned 20 — but those who were already fathers were given deferments so that they could stay at home and support their children.

  12. It probably was when she was born that got her father out of the service.

  13. JJ says It wasn’t the city where she was born, it was the fact that she was born. At that time, young men would be drafted when they turned 20 — but those who were already fathers were given deferments so that they could stay at home and support their children.

    Ahhh that makes sense. Whoever wrote that up had the usual problem a lot of Wiki Editors have with getting information correct on the page.

  14. 4) Wow, Mondschein’s article is strange. It’s half a defence of the SCA, and half an attack on academic history, and totally unconvincing on both points.

    (This gets long, I am afraid…)

    First there’s the charge that, by celebrating the European Middle Ages, they give safe harbor to white supremacists, or somehow spread a racist belief system. Of course there are people with objectionable beliefs in the SCA—and also in the Shriners, Weight Watchers, and your local PTA. That doesn’t mean that these are white-supremacist organizations.

    It is possible to do something which gives safe harbour to white supremacists without being a white supremacist organisation – and there’s a distinction between an organisation which happens to have racist members and an organisation doing something which attracts racist members. If the SCA doesn’t give safe harbour to racists and isn’t institutionally racist, say so!

    The SCA is diverse in other ways, as well: While academic historians focus narrowly on, say, women’s faith in the 14th century or the role of the Capetian dynasty in building the French state, the SCA is interested in everything that happened under the premodern sun from the death of Elizabeth I back to… the birth of Hammurabi, apparently

    Weird intellectual gymnastics here. Comparing individual academics with the SCA as a whole is apples to oranges, and conflating “focus” with “interest” is dubious.

    it’s been my experience that the most educated SCA members are very aware of the difference between an appropriation and an appreciation (not to mention that no amount of academic finger-wagging is going to get them to stop)

    Not even sure what the “defence” is, here? Is it that “educated SCA members aren’t appropriative”? Which isn’t a defence of the SCA as a whole! Or that “even if it’s bad we’re not going to stop doing it”? Which isn’t a defence at all!

    Besides, what is academic medievalism going to do going to do—herd recreational medievalists into “re-education centers” the way the Chinese government has hundreds of thousands of their Muslim minority Uyghur population?

    Mondschein has never heard of Godwin’s law, I take it?

    Publishing work on recherché topics in journals that are hidden behind paywalls, or books that only academic libraries can afford, earns one points in the tenure game but it doesn’t help the study of the Middle Ages as a whole

    Academic articles don’t help the study of the Middle Ages? This is obviously nonsense. They don’t directly help popular understanding of the Middle Ages, which is a different thing entirely.

    There are some perfectly valid criticisms of academic history to be made, and I am sure equally valid defences of the SCA and its mission, but Mondschein is unconvincing on both fronts.

  15. It’s interesting to find out more about Francis Towner Laney’s family. Sandra’s obituary lists a brother, Frank Mauro. I thought I recalled that he had just two daughters, but that would be based on what he wrote back in his fandom days so the picture is incomplete.

    While looking around to see if I recalled correctly, I found this Laney writing from a 1946 fanzine (reprinted by Harry Warner Jr.): “At the Clinic I discussed at some length with one of the surgeons the matter of sterilisation. I don’t want any more children (two are enough for me, at least) …”

  16. rcade: Laney did only have the two daughters. After Jackie/Alberta left him she obviously had a son with somebody named Mauro. His third and final wife was Cecile, who he was already courting in 1947 while writing AH! SWEET IDIOCY!

  17. @Joe: It can, in fact, be argued that while trying not to be institutionally racist, the SCA is behind the curve at discouraging white supremacists. We’ve had… issues.

  18. I’d say there are definitely pockets of the SCA where racists find a haven. We’re working on it but have much more work to do.

    One of my arguments to academia in favor of the SCA is that we’re buying your books and reading your papers. (Yay David Brown Books!) Some of us are also writing them. Also–Experimental Archaeology? Helloooo!

    I’m more familiar with the Northern European Textile corner of academia. In that area reenactors and researchers are sometimes one and the same and where they aren’t they visibly influence each other. Robin Netherton gave a fantastic Keynote Address at the SCA’s Known World Arts and Sciences Symposium and presented a fascinating talk. SCAdians have been invited to give papers at academic conferences. Then there’s the Kalamazoo Medieval Conference where both mingle freely.

    So yeah, stop dunking on us just because the SCA has such a wide umbrella that it encompasses wildly unperiod practices as well as highly researched history and material culture.

  19. And on a completely different note, are we going to have a File 770 Meet-up at Worldcon?

  20. @Cat Eldredge: the deferment issue has at least one referent in genre: E. C. Gordon, near the beginning of Glory Road, talking about how to chase the American Way of Life — including not getting drafted as a “military advisor”, by getting married and getting her pregnant as soon as possible. I have no idea for how true a portrait that is; RAH was well into his cranky period at the time, and lwas AFAICT trying to set up the narrator to be a jerk who grows up.

  21. @C.A.Collins: Indeed – the criticism of the SCA that I am used to hearing is that it doesn’t do enough to discourage the racists and white supremacists who idealise (their racially homogeneous fantasies of) 15th century England. Which is why I am giving serious side-eye to Mondschein’s defence that elides that criticism entirely in favour of setting up what looks to me like a strawman.

  22. The SCA has definitely given cover to white supremacists. It also has waffled a LOT on how explicit it should be that such opinions are to be condemned. Some of this is that the BoD seem to intensely dislike any transparency, some is that they want to let groups decide how the local culture is going to run itself, and some is just … not caring, or at least not caring enough to make it clear.

    The article is a mess, seems to change subject a lot, or defend criticisms of the SCA with non-sequiturs. it seems to want to say there are no problems at all (Or if there are, academia is worse) when, in fact, there are, and in the case of the white supremacy claim, goes on to say that academia has its own problems… with things that don’t seem to have anything to do with white supremacy.

    It also ignores the vast overlap between serious medieval scholarship and the more historical SCA members. These are overlapping categories, and the so-elite scholars who have published treatises on certain historical matters might well have tested them out on the weekend with their Barony.

    The best thing about it is that my much much more SCA-active (and awesome on several other historical and fandom fronts) cousin shows up in the Rick Mercer report episode linked therein, being self-assured and dressed fabulously.

  23. @ ULTRAGOTHA :

    That should be doable (File770 thing at WorldCon in Dublin). My understanding is that it all starts with someone volunteering to nominate a time, and a place. Certainly, that’s how it worked for EasterCon 2018, when I volunteered.

  24. June 23 was Alan Turing’s birthday. I have a shirt that says, “I failed the Turing test.” Someone asked what that meant so I said, “I forgot where I buried my gold.”

    Been getting a lot of Brian DePalma’s Carrie recently. It’s on repeat on one of the antenna networks. (Comet, probably.) It’s also the punchline to a joke in an ad for Fleabag.

    The file is high and I’m scrolling on.

  25. @Jack Lint
    I remember when I was in CS classes and one covered Turing machines and decidability, I wanted to write a receipt for the professor of “one each Turing machine” with all the appropriate items filled in. (It’s one reason why I watched the Lego Turing machine with interest.)

  26. After Jackie/Alberta left him she obviously had a son with somebody named Mauro.

    That’s a likely scenario, but I wouldn’t assume it as an obvious fact. Some men end up with a new last name, whether in childhood or later, like the former William Jefferson Blythe III.

  27. Chop says: the deferment issue has at least one referent in genre: E. C. Gordon, near the beginning of Glory Road, talking about how to chase the American Way of Life — including not getting drafted as a “military advisor”, by getting married and getting her pregnant as soon as possible. I have no idea for how true a portrait that is; RAH was well into his cranky period at the time, and lwas AFAICT trying to set up the narrator to be a jerk who grows up.

    The US military has no no deferment policy for the male spouses of the pregnant wives. Upon childbirth, each service allows ten days leave within so many days of said birth, the number of qualifying days varying by service. Pregnant service upon giving birth do get more generous leave than most of their corporate counterparts.

    Chip, I deliberately misspelled your name because you can’t get my last name right. And some of you can’t get the first name right. For SJWers, Cat should be easy!

  28. @Cat Eldridge The US military has no no deferment policy for the male spouses of the pregnant wives.

    Are you referring to the current, all-volunteer, US military? Or the drafted military as it existed 50-70 years ago?

    I was born in 1962 (57 years ago today, as a matter of fact), and my father mentioned to me more than once that my birth kept him from being drafted.

  29. The Wollheim quote isn’t about “Carrie”. It’s about “The Running Man” which definitely is a dystopia and was written circa 1972 when DAW Books would have been a reasonable paperback market for an unknown writer. But allocating it to “Carrie” makes for better clickbait and whatever argument one wants to instigate about the purblindness of editors to talent and potential blockbusters.

  30. Marriage got a draft deferment until a few days after I was born, at which point the parenthood deferment applied to my father, although the education deferment (the most common one in the Viet Nam war) also applied since he was in graduate school at the time. By the time Dad finished his Ph.D., he was just months short of aging out of the draft anyway.

  31. Yes, that response does make a lot more sense if it’s about The Running Man rather than Carrie.

  32. Cat Eldridge on June 24, 2019 at 6:02 am said:

    Whoever wrote that up had the usual problem a lot of Wiki Editors have with getting information correct on the page.

    Hmm, unclear and poorly worded, perhaps, but I’m not sure why you think it’s not correct. It says “event”. In the phrase “born in Chicago”, the event is the birth, not the city. It is ambiguous whether “in Chicago” is a significant modifier, or a parenthetical, but the former seemed so unlikely to me that I quickly diagnosed it as the latter. Though I certainly understand your confusion. Still, that doesn’t make the statement wrong. Just poorly written. (An extremely common problem on Wiki pages.)

    Reading FKA USA, which was mentioned as a scroll item a few days back. Enjoying it so far, though it’s not quite as original as it thinks it is. But it’s mostly pretty decent. One minor thing that has me wincing, though, is the use of “of” for “‘ve” (apostrophe-v-e), as in “would of” or “must of”. The thing is written as a found document, so this can be blamed on the narrating character, but it’s not clear whether this was intended or not. The “About the Author” section says “Reed King is the pseudonym of a New York Times best selling author and TV writer”, so I’m trying to give the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard…

  33. gottacook: Neither Bill nor George were happy with the studio mandated changes to Logan’s Run.

  34. jkt: And to think that in 1976 Logan’s Run was generally regarded as a state-of-the-art SF movie… It almost seemed as if the studio came up with the effects first (Carousel; the holograms of Michael York’s head; the ruins of Washington, DC) and then reshaped the plot around them.

  35. Chip Hitchcock: the deferment issue has at least one referent in genre: E. C. Gordon, near the beginning of Glory Road, talking about how to chase the American Way of Life — including not getting drafted as a “military advisor”, by getting married and getting her pregnant as soon as possible.

    While the concept of ensuring that children were well-provided for was a noble one, I am quite sure that there were a lot of marriages and children which occurred for that reason, between people who probably had no business doing either. 😐

  36. @JJ:
    While the concept of ensuring that children were well-provided for was a noble one, I am quite sure that there were a lot of marriages and children which occurred for that reason, between people who probably had no business doing either. ?

    Oh, yes. Just before the marriage deferment was ended, there were a lot of quick marriages (by men who wanted to ensure their deferment before the opportunity evaporated). I know a fellow who married for that reason (though that marriage worked out – they’re still married). This paper https://www2.bc.edu/devlin-hanson/JobMarketPaper.pdf talks about the effect of the deferment on marriage rates (and divorce rates).

  37. P.S. KK Rusch wrote a story (“Millennium Babies”) about children deliberately conceived in order to be the first baby of the new millennium and how that affected both the winners and the losers – clearly an analogue to the babies born for deferment purposes.

    Spider Robinson’s Very Bad Deaths also has a subplot about conceiving a baby to get a deferment.

  38. As I remember hearing/reading, the Doctor Who production team were having trouble casting the young Amelia Pond, and KG mentioned that she had a young cousin in Ireland (I believe KG is from Inverness, Scotland) who was, according to family lore, the spitting image of KG as a little girl. Cue one casting call…

  39. @Cat Eldridge: you are confused not only temporally but also wrt service status; the deferment applied to whether or not the person could be forcibly enrolled in the military, not to people already in.

  40. @bill, @Michael R. Johnston: AFAICT, nobody both willing and competent to subject themselves to the task of Hugo administration is willing to rule either as you suggest or the other way; except on matters of hard fact (publication dates, wordcount), administrators have generally left decisions on eligibility to the nominators.

    @gottacook: there is not much online documentation of rules that old, but I’m certain that the rules have become more detailed (if not clearer) since 1970. (One example I’m reasonably sure of: the 1972 Worldcon gave a Hugo to Again, Dangerous Visions by some mechanism, in the same year that it was published (i.e., not by the usual nominate-the-past-year’s works). The current rules are clear on what can be called a Hugo; some concoms give a special award, but it’s not a Hugo.) See above — and also consider what was thought a reasonable narrative style in newscasts 50 years ago; I have no clear memories (household was falling to piece around me that week), but I expect there was a fair amount of added drama. (Interesting referent: visiting the Boulder Dam, which has a modern narrated model but has preserved the original for people who wonder if anything was lost — the pomposity of the original is striking.)

  41. Chip Hitchcock: the 1972 Worldcon gave a Hugo to Again, Dangerous Visions by some mechanism, in the same year that it was published

    According to The Long List, one of three Special Awards in 1972 went to Harlan Ellison for excellence in anthologizing Again, Dangerous Visions.
    Since Special Awards were decided by the seated Worldcon Committee, they could give it to who/whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and the normal WSFS rules about eligibility did not apply. (According to the 1971 WSFS Constitution, the Special Awards were rocket trophies, but they do not appear to have actually been called Hugos.)

  42. JJ: The Special Award given in 1972 to Harlan Ellison (and the others) was NOT a rocket. And not to rely solely on my memory, I checked the WSFS Constitution published in the 1972 Program Book, which included the rule —

    2.12 The name and design shall not be extended to any other award whatever.

    So it would not have been allowed to use a rocket that year.

    However, there were some fans determined to allow rockets to be used for Special Committee Awards, because you will see that the 1974 edition of the WSFS Constitution reported out this Rule 2.02 which said in part —

    …The name and the design shall not be extended to any other award whatsoever. Under rare and extraordinary circumstances, a Committee may make one Hugo award on its own vote rather than that of the Society.

    And my recollection is that the 1974 special committee award to Chesley Bonestell (not present) was a rocket, because in later years it became part of fannish lore that Bonestell kept it on the top of his toilet tank in the bathroom.

    I haven’t dug out any other editions of the rules to see when the ban on using rockets for anything but voted-on Hugos finally became permanent, but probably soon after 1974.

    http://www.wsfs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/minutes-1974.pdf

  43. Mike, the 1971 WSFS Constitution to which I linked (which would have likely been the one in play in 1972) lists all the categories followed by this:

    2.11 Additional Categories: Not more than two special categories may be created by the convention committee, with nomination and final voting to be the same as for the other, permanent categories. The convention committee is not required to create any such categories; they should be held to a minimum, and those created by one convention committee are not binding on following committees. Awards under these categories will be Science Fiction Achievement Awards or Hugos.

    2.12 The name and design shall not be extended to any other award whatsoever.

     
    I read 2.12 as applying to anything other than the categories listed above it.

  44. ULTRAGOTHA:

    “…are we going to have a File 770 Meet-up at Worldcon?”

    Absolutely! I did a quick scan of the area around the conventions centers and there were no obvious meeting places for a dinner together, so have been waiting a bit to see if they would make a restaurant guide or something. But I will start to research a bit more.

    I’m not sure if there is any obvious meeting place in the conventions center, but my hope would be to try to have some kind of meeting directly the first day just to be able to recognize each other for the rest of the convention. I haven’t seen anything like the bench or park we sponsored for MAC2. Anyone else seen something like that?

  45. Ingvar:

    “My understanding is that it all starts with someone volunteering to nominate a time, and a place. “

    I’ll handle that one, I think. I did it for Helsinki. I’ll wait to see what day and time that would suit everone best until the program is ready. Then I will plot out all the filers that are on panels and try to see if there is a time when people aren’t obviously busy on something else.

  46. Hampus Eckerman: have been waiting a bit to see if they would make a restaurant guide or something.

    They have some information on this page, including guides to the Temple Bar area (though I hear it’s expensive and overrated).

     
    Hampus Eckerman: my hope would be to try to have some kind of meeting directly the first day just to be able to recognize each other for the rest of the convention

    You might try contacting the CCD Liaison for the Programme area, Theresa Renner; she may know of a room not being used on Thursday afternoon that we could have. [ facilities@dublin2019.com ] (this is probably better than trying to contact the Programme area, which is likely being slammed with enquires from potential participants right now wanting to know what their schedule is)

  47. Thanks, JJ! I will go through the lists and see what places seem best for a pub meet. And also try to find the best place for a meet-and-greet at the convention start.

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