Pixel Scroll 6/27/20 Red Scrolls At Night, Pixel’s Delight

(1) 2022 WORLDCON BIDDER Q&A. Goobergunch posted notes from today’s online question session with the Chicago and Saudi Arabia bids for the 2022 Worldcon: “CoNZealand, Day -30: Nobody Expects the Fannish Inquisition”.

Normally, most people vote for Worldcon site selection on site. Normally, people have the opportunity to hear from the site selection bids in person. But we do not live in normal times, and with all site selection moving to remote this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic CoNZealand arranged a special early question-and-answer panel for the 2022 Worldcon bids about a month before the convention. What follows is a summary of the bid presentations, questions, and answers—while I have tried to stay true to what was said, I do not promise transcription-level accuracy….

Here are a few of the questions and responses:

Q: Chicon 7 had numerous access issues. How have you fixed them?

Chicago: The hotel took the non-ADA accessible areas out of circulation and put new, accessible function rooms in. The big accessibility chokepoint is getting into the exhibit hall, and we’ll have to work this out. But everything else should be ADA-compliant. Also at least with the Hyatt we know what the likely problem points are and can plan for them. If you had specific pain points at Chicon 7, let us know.

Q: What is the availability of assistance for mobility access, including renting mobies?

Jeddah: A lot of the rooms have workarounds but they’re not officially recognized are fully accessible (about 10% are officially recognized as such). Already working with a few companies for chairs on-site but not sure if they’ll be available to be taken offsite.

Chicago: Will have rental options for mobies, wheelchairs, etc. Guessing that there will be a pre-rental period and then we’ll have extras on site.

Q: What online virtual content do you intend to include?

Chicago: Haven’t totally decided yet, but we expect to have a pretty strong virtual component. In 2012 we had coprogramming with Dragon*Con, so we’re used to doing that kind of virtual thing. So it’s on our radar but we don’t have specifics yet.

Jeddah: Want to broadcast everything live for all the members, with at least audio streaming and hopefully video streaming. Our platform for live interpretation incorporates a live feed for sessions in both languages. Everything will be recorded for all members and stay up for as long as the server does. We also plan on having live feeds for all public spaces (e.g. the art show and dealer’s room) so online attendees can interact with in-person attendees….

Much more at the link.

(2) SPACE COMMAND. There will be a Space Command Convention on the Mr Sci-Fi YouTube channel this Sunday, starting at 10 a.m. Marc Scott Zicree says, “We will have live events all day, including interviews, and the premier of Ripple Effect, Space Command’s special episode, written and filmed during the COVID-19 Pandemic!”

(3) HORROR IN THREE PARTS. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] A History of Horror With Mark Gatiss on YouTube is a three-part series on the history of horror films Gatiss did for the BBC in 2010.  In the first episode, he looks at silent films and sees such rarities as Lon Chaney Sr.’s makeup kit and the shrine of mementoes kept by Boris Karloff’s daughter.  (Did you know Karloff is the only person not a president who has been on three US stamps?)

(4) THE FIFTIES. I discovered that a game I play, Baseball Mogul, has a blog – and it’s latest post is about “The Thanos Button”.

…Clicking this button randomly disintegrates half of the players in the database. It also eliminates half of everyone on earth, with corresponding adjustments to the population  level of each team’s fan base.

I believe they’re not kidding!

The option was added based on reader reaction to an earlier post: “Would There Be Baseball After Thanos?”

At the beginning of Avengers: Endgame, the camera flies over an empty Citi Field, showing us that major league baseball is just one of the casualties of Thanos’ “snap”. If the baseball season can be cancelled for a virus that has killed 100,000 Americans, then surely it would be stopped by a super-villian killing more than 160 million Americans.

Right?

Well, arguments have been made on both sides. But what we do know is that, financially, Major League Baseball would be fine. Eliminating 50% of all major league players would cause team payrolls to drop by 50% — but demand for tickets would only drop by about 30%. At least in the short term, Major League Baseball would actually be more profitable….

(5) D’OH! After only 31 seasons on the air, “‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters” reports the New York Post.

Fox has released a statement on casting for non-white characters on “The Simpsons.”

“Moving forward, ‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters,” the network said Friday.

The move comes as several television shows have pulled episodes featuring blackface from their streaming platforms, and amid a nation dealing with controversial depictions of race on TV and film.

On “The Simpsons,” Hank Azaria has been the voice of the black cartoon character Carlton Carlson. He also was known for voicing Apu, a character which has long been criticized for portraying a racist depiction of an Indian person. Azaria announced in 2017 he would no longer voice the character.

(6) PAGING TOLKIEN FANS. ScreenRant tries to appease book readers with “Lord Of The Rings: 10 Movie References Only Fans Of The Books Understood”.

[Peter] Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens drew heavily from J.R.R. Tolkien’s rich source material to fashion a living, breathing world, complete with its own history. This also created a lot of confusion for moviegoers who had never read the books, or delved too deeply into Tolkien’s accompanying tales, such as The Silmarillion. Here’s 10 references in the Lord Of The Rings movies that only fans of the books truly understood.

For example:

7. Shelob

Arachnophobes were horrified by the reveal of Shelob in Return Of The King, and for good reason! She’s an eight-legged nightmare who did more to demonize spiders than any other film since Arachnophobia.

What the film didn’t touch upon was her origin story. Far from just a fat, grotesque spider, Shelob is actually a child of Ungoliant, a fearsome arachnid who allied herself with Melkor during the First Age, before the two became bitter enemies. Ungoliant is briefly mentioned by Radagast the Brown in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

(7) GLASER OBIT. Milton Glaser, whose contributions to sff include the DC Comics “bullet logo”, died June 26. The New York Times didn’t mention that – maybe there wasn’t room, with all his other accomplishments to cover: “Milton Glaser, Master Designer of ‘I ? NY’ Logo, Is Dead at 91”.

…Mr. Glaser joined forces with the editor Clay Felker in 1968 to found New York magazine, where he was president and design director until 1977, imposing a visual format that still largely survives. With his friend Jerome Snyder, the art director of Scientific American, he wrote a budget-dining column, “The Underground Gourmet,” for The New York Herald Tribune and, later, New York magazine. The column spawned a guidebook of the same name in 1966 and “The Underground Gourmet Cookbook” in 1975.

Mr. Glaser started his own design firm, Milton Glaser Inc., in 1974. A year later he left Push Pin, just as he was being given his own show at the Museum of Modern Art.

“At a certain point we were accepted, and once that happens, everything becomes less interesting,” he said in an interview for “Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History,” an exhibition at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 1989.

(8) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • June 1953 — “In Hoka Signo Vinces” was published. A Hoka novella, it was written by Poul Anderson and Gordon Dickson, it was published by Other Worlds Science Stories which ran from 1949 to 1957. It’s currently available in Hoka! Hoka! Hoka!, a Baen Books anthology which also includes the first Hoka story, “The Sheriff of Canyon Gulch”.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born June 27, 1850 – Lafcadio Hearn.  Greek-Irish author who became a naturalized Japanese citizen and professor at Waseda U., first living in France, Ohio, Louisiana, the West Indies.  Ten dozen short stories for us; collections of legends and ghost tales; translated Flaubert, Gautier, Maupassant, Zola; LH’s Kwaidan was made into the Kobayashi film; a dozen-and-a-half posthumous collections, recently by Princeton and U. Chicago.  (Died 1904) [JH]
  • Born June 27, 1908 – Henry Kiemle, Jr.  Much work for Westerns; fifty interiors for us.  Here is “Elixir” (James Blish).  Here is “The Shadow-Gods” (Vaseleos Garson).  Here is “The Life Detour” (David Keller).  You can read more about HK here.  (Died 1969) [JH]
  • Born June 27, 1927 – Tibor Csernus.  Hungarian painter living in Paris after 1964.  Among much other work ten dozen covers for us, a few interiors.  Here is The Players of Null-A.  Here is Bug Jack Barron (under French title).  Here is We Have Always Lived in the Castle.  Here is Genocides.  Kossuth Prize.  Knight of the Order of Arts & Letters.  (Died 2007) [JH]
  • Born June 27, 1948 – Esther Rochon, 72.  Grand Prix de la science fiction et du fantastique québecois four times.  Governor-General First Prize at age 16.  A score of novels, three dozen shorter stories.  Co-founded Imagine; two covers for it, here is one.  Has not neglected fanzines, e.g. you can see her in Lofgeornost.  [JH]
  • Born June 27, 1952 – Mary Rosenblum.  Author and cheesemaker.  Mystery fiction too under another name.  Five novels; five dozen shorter stories in AnalogAsimov’s, LightspeedThe Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.  Translated into French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish.  Compton Crook and Sidewise Awards.  (Died 2018) [JH]
  • Born June 27, 1978 – Bernard Quiriny, 42.  Author, critic, Professor of Public Law at U. Burgundy, literature column for Chronic’art.  One novel so far, five dozen shorter stories.  Recurring character Pierre Gould is “eccentric….  poet, dandy, book-lover, just a bit of a misanthrope”.  Grand Prix de l’ImaginairePrix du StylePrix Victor RosselPrix Robert Duterme.  [JH]
  • Born June 27, 1952 Mary Rosenblum. SF writer who won the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel for The Drylands. She later won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History Short Form for her story, “Sacrifice.” Water Rites and Horizons are the only ones available digitally. (Died 2018.) (CE)
  • Born June 27, 1959 Stephen Dedman, 61. Australian author who’s the author of The Art of Arrow-Cutting, a most excellent novel. I really should read Shadows Bite, the sequel to it.  He’s the story editor of Borderlands, the tri-annual Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror magazine published in Perth. Apple Books has nothing for him, Kindle has The Art of Arrow-Cutting and a few other titles. (CE)
  • Born June 27, 1972 Christian Kane, 48. You’ll certain recognize him as he’s been around genre video fiction for a while first playing Lindsey McDonald on Angel before become Jacob Stone on The Librarians. And though Leverage ain’t genre, his role as Eliot Spencer there is definitely worth seeing. (CE)
  • Born June 27, 1975 Tobey Maguire, 45. Spider-Man in the Sam Raimi trilogy of the Spidey films. His first genre appearance was actually in The Revenge of the Red Baron which is one serious weird film. Much more interesting is his role as David in Pleasantville, a film I love dearly. He produced The 5th Wave, a recent alien invasion film. (CE)
  • Born June 27, 1987 Ed Westwick, 33. British actor who has roles in the dystopian Children of MenS. Darko (a film I couldn’t begin to summarize), Freaks of Nature (a popcorn film if ever there was one), the  “Roadside Bouquets” episode of the British series Afterlife (which I want to see) and The Crash (which may or may not be SF). (CE)

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • Close to Home has an elevator gag that reminds me of Attack the Block.

(11) TO BOLDLY GO BLEEP. Twitter’s Swear Trek is a prolific GIF creator of – you guessed it!

(12) FUNNY GIRL. Or Funny Boy. Though not for Ziegfeld’s Follies — SYFY Wire has a theory about who needs these actors: “Wire Buzz: Amazon’s ‘Funny Looking’ Lord Of The Rings Casting Call”.

How’s this for a commitment to high fantasy realism: Amazon is reportedly seeking visually distinctive actors — or, in its casting agency’s own words, “funny looking” people — who’re believed to be potential candidates for its Lord of the Rings prequel series in New Zealand.

Yahoo! Entertainment reports that BGT Actors Models & Talent — the same Auckland-based agency that helped cast extras for Peter Jackson’s LOTR film trilogy — has put out an open call for “funny looking” New Zealanders who have out-of-the-ordinary facial features and body types.

(13) SEVEN YEARS BAD LUCK? “Nasa Astronaut Drops Mirror Into Space During Spacewalk”. Though I suppose the bad luck doesn’t start to run until the mirror is broken – hits something, re-enters the atmosphere, or hangs around until the heat death of the universe (which we know is going to be really bad luck).

An astronaut has dropped a small mirror into space by accident, Nasa has said.

Commander Chris Cassidy lost control of the mirror while leaving the International Space Station for a spacewalk to work on batteries, and it floated away at about a foot per second, the space agency said.

The object is now just one part of the vast amount of space junk that is in orbit around the Earth.

Cassidy had been conducting an otherwise uneventful spacewalk with Bob Behnken, who arrived at the space station on board a SpaceX craft last month.

Mission Control said the mirror somehow became detached from Cassidy’s spacesuit. The lost item posed no risk to the astronauts, spacewalk or the station, Nasa said.

(14) WON’T STAND FOR IT. A petty inconsistency is the hobgoblin of internet comedy.

(15) DON’T TOUCH. Engadget featured a new invention: “NASA made a necklace that reminds you not to touch your face”

NASA has released open-source instructions for a 3D-printed necklace designed to help you stop touching your face. We’ve heard time and time again that we shouldn’t touch our mush with our fingers to limit our chances of contracting COVID-19. However, it’s not always easy to avoid that reflex.

To remind you to keep your mitts at bay, three engineers at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Lab created Pulse. The necklace has a proximity sensor with a 12-inch range and a coin vibration motor, which activates when you move your hand towards your head. The closer your fingers are, the more intense the vibrations get….

(16) MUPPETS. The Muppets visited The Late Late Show with James Corden:

Although James Corden, Reggie Watts and The Muppets can’t be together in a studio, the group comes together on video chat to sing The Beatles classic “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Sing along with Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Swedish Chef, Animal, Gonzo and so many more.

(17) MUPPETS WITH CAPERS. Olivia Rutligiano, in The Great Muppet Caper Is The Loveliest Crime Movie Ever” on CrimeReads, explains why this is one of the Muppets’ best films.

… Given the choice to feature a crime plot, it is curious how The Great Muppet Caper does not decide to pastiche the many different types of crime films. The film is more interested in emulating splashy, Golden Age of Hollywood musicals. Which is fine. It is also partially a love story, partially a tale of mistaken identity, partially a satire of the high-fashion world. When it does refocus the burglaries that Kermit and Co. are trying to solve, it does not resemble a detective story as much as a journalistic investigation. See, Kermit, Fozzie Bear, and the Great Gonzo are all reporters who fail to break a story about a jewel heist that happens during the opening number, right behind them. Fired from their newspaper, they set off for London, to try to interview the woman, Lady Holiday (Diana Rigg), who has been robbed. While across the pond, they end up on the trail of serial thieves, the ringleader of whom is Lady Holiday’s deadbeat brother Nicky (Charles Grodin, hooray!). But truthfully, most of the movie is about Kermit falling in love with Miss Piggy, an aspiring fashion model who impersonates her boss, Lady Holiday, because she wants to impress Kermit. 

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

43 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/27/20 Red Scrolls At Night, Pixel’s Delight

  1. 5) 31 seasons. How time flies. I remember when it was just a skit on the Tracey Ullman show…

  2. According to ISFDB Milton Glaser did a number of genre covers, including the first hardcover of Walter M. Miller’s “A Canticle for Leibovitz”.

  3. (1) That answer about the “family section” that some restaurants in Jeddah may still have worries me. I can foresee showing up at a restaurant where the family section is full so only men will be able to be seated.

  4. 16: Corden did a sketch before the song with Statler and Waldorf that’s a pretty funny four minutes for people who need a Muppets fix.

  5. @5: I do not believe that argument. If you randomly snap every other person, statistically you’ll expect to snap half of the ticket sales (half of the season-ticket holders, half of the frequent/occasional/once-a-season purchasers). The fact that smaller cities don’t scale just means that a bigger fraction of those cities’ people go to ball games now; there’s no guarantee that survivors will go to more games or that people who didn’t go will start. IIUC, regular-season baseball games rarely sell out, so there won’t be pent-up demand that will buy more tickets after the snapture. Further, eliminating 50% of the players would mean players getting promoted from the minor leagues (a modern team can’t play with 12-13 players), so payroll would never drop a full 50% (because minimum wage for a major-league player is non-trivial) and would probably rise as players prove themselves to be worth more than the minimum (or strike if they think they’re not appreciated enough…).

    @9: should we be worried that Cat hasn’t contributed any birthdays in a few days? The last reports were unpleasant but didn’t seem dire.

    @Lorien Gray: that would be the least part of my worries; usually there’s more than one restaurant around. I would worry more about the rest of the decency law, and about the security services’ reaction to people who are (or who services think are) Jewish — and about how the concom would handle the Hugos, as @goobergunch raised; if they think they can cut the process time by over half, how much else do they not know about running a Worldcon?

  6. Chip asks should we be worried that Cat hasn’t contributed any birthdays in a few days? The last reports were unpleasant but didn’t seem dire.

    It has been an unusually rough past several days but I’m feeling better tonight… The second round of knee surgery was much worse that the first.,

  7. (1) The Jeddah bid seems to present a host of practical problems (10% accessible rooms? Workarounds? Really?), cultural issues they really don’t seem to recognize the importance of (identity, the public decency law and its potential impact on a subculture that still has serious issues but aims to be inclusive, accepting, and not prudish), and what Saudi may decide are “security” issues, i.e., Jewish and/or Israeli fans.

    And of course, apparent indifference to the Hugos.

  8. (1) Thanks for the link!

    @Chip Hitchcock: Yeah, those were my big concerns as well. It particularly bothered me that the response to “can you go if you’re LGBTQ+” seemed to come down to “yes, if you don’t talk about it”.

  9. (1) @everybody – yeah, it was the least of my worries too, but for some reason it really underscored for me how completely far they are from dealing with any of the legitimate concerns people have. If they aren’t bothered with something like that, they’re really not going to make an effort at serving a world-wide community on equal footing. I know people have real reasons for not wanting to come to the US too (even before our piss-poor response to the pandemic) but if Saudi Arabia is the only other option, well that doesn’t bode well.

  10. @Andrew & @Mike Glyer: Great Pixel Scroll title!

    (9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS. Oh! Happy Lafcadio Hearn’s birthday! 😀

    (16) MUPPETS. “Don’t forget to feed it!”

    @Goobergunch in re. (1): “It particularly bothered me that the response to “can you go if you’re LGBTQ+” seemed to come down to “yes, if you don’t talk about it”.”

    Well, uh . . . at least they were honest about that? Chicago, you already had my vote anyway. Martin, thanks for posting that detailed report! I learned something tonight: Eve is buried in Jeddah. Huh.

    Oh, and LOL at Chicago’s answers to some questions aimed at Jeddah, e.g., “Chicago: I [Helen] go to restaurants routinely by myself.” 😉 Indeed. (I [male] used to as well, before the pandemic.)

  11. (9) An interesting coincidence – two Mary Rosenblums, both born on the same day in 1952, both passed in 2018?

  12. The two Mary Rosenblums sounds to me like there may have been as Terminator operation

  13. At least modest clothing does not require women’s faces to be covered. But that family section thing in restaurants really sounds lame. That does not sound like a good tourist destination. One thing that was not asked. Would the taxis take women to places since everything was driving distance away.

    The US could cancel the election, go full on Fascist and still have a freer Worldcon.

  14. @3
    I enjoyed this a lot, and I am–at best–a marginal horror fan.

    @5
    Maybe the Simpsons are still relevant, after all. Very interesting…to quote the late Arte Johnson.

    @7
    That’s a juicy nugget of wisdom from Glaser about social acceptance. It’s fun until you start counting all the money you’re not pulling in.

    @13
    I see what you did there, with your 13.

    @15
    Huh, man I would hate that thing! Hate! Stop saving me from myself, you sadistic demon seed!

    @17
    I remember not enjoying Caper…I think it’s time to revisit. The movie being described sounds pretty good. Maybe I’ll see that one this time.

  15. The Glaser obit notes that he did the covers for all of the Signet Classics edition of Shakespeare. I can’t find my junior-high-school copy of Twelfth Night, but Othello and King Lear are from only a few years later; there’s nothing inside, but his name is in clear type (not a blended signature) on the covers.

    The bottom of the obit now has a link to one for Elly Stone, whose voice my mind hears singing several songs from the original cast of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris; I think the link in the obit is to a song from the movie version, IMO it’s a weaker performance, although much of the movie was very good.

  16. @15, as a glasses wearer who has to adjust my glasses on a regular (not too frequent, but still regular) basis, this would bug the crap out of me.

  17. 1) If I had any idea how to vote in this (I don’t think I can) Chicago would be my default vote.
    Saudi-Arabia is just nope. Nice up next year is for somethink I would be very interesting in.

    In Hugovoting only 5 catagorys to go, finished the last novel today which went straight to first place.

  18. No one expects the Fannish Inquisition! Our chief weapons are filing, scrolls, and a fanatical devotion to the Pixel.

  19. (7) From 1978:
    “Dr. Carl Sagan, noted author and astronomer, has written and narrated the premier program of a new series at the completely refurbished Andrus Space Transit Planetarium at the Hudson River Museum. “The Exploration of Mars,” a contemporary and visually exciting show, was designed by noted graphic artist Milton Glaser. Original music was composed by musician-composer Philip Glass.”

  20. StefanB on June 28, 2020 at 8:18 am said:

    1) If I had any idea how to vote in this (I don’t think I can) Chicago would be my default vote.

    In order to vote on Worldcon site selection for this year, you need to do the following:
    1. Join CoNZealand as at least a supporting member. (Cost NZ$75)
    2. Purchase a voting token (an advance supporting membership in whoever wins the 2022 Worldcon site selection). The voting token number is the Confirmation # from this process, and you have to do it after buying the supporting membership in step 1. (Cost NZ$72)
    3. Once you have your CoNZealand membership and voting token confirmation #, fill out a 2022 Site Selection ballot and return it to CoNZealand site selection. (E-mail is preferable due to the long delays on postal mail.)

    Yes, you do have to pay two separate amounts. That’s because you have to be a member of the current Worldcon in order to be eligible vote, and you have to commit to buying a supporting membership in the two-years-hence Worldcon to cast that vote. Many people (I’m one of them) vote every year, so once you start doing that, you’re only paying once: it’s just for the Worldcon two years hence, not the current one.

    (Also, voting guarantees, for a limited time, the right to buy an attending membership at the lowest possible rate.)

  21. Kevin: Thanks, my problem is 2. I don’t think I can do that. (Credit card needed), if I could do that it would be an easy choice.

  22. @Brown Robin & @Cassy B. in re. #15: This would drive me batty. Mostly not for typical “people touch their face a lot without realizing it” reasons. Cassy, TBH I forgot about my glasses when thinking about this, LOL, but I do adjust them a lot. (Probably they need adjusting, like that’ll ever happen; I haven’t even used the revised prescription I got just before stuff hit the fan, sigh.)

    In fairness, staying at home like I do, I’d only use the device on the periodic shopping, etc. trip if I had it. For those, I try to ignore my glasses or use the side of my arm or perhaps back of my hand. I try to be very aware of what I touch and not touching my face. Really, wearing gloves (which I do for shopping) mostly reminds me “don’t touch.”

    I’m not saying I don’t see the utility, just that they’d drive me nuts. Hmm, I wonder how long before someone wearing them would be conditioned, in a Pavlovian way.

    @Nina: “No one expects the Fannish Inquisition! Our chief weapons are filing, scrolls, and a fanatical devotion to the Pixel.”

    LOL! 😀

  23. The fillable PDF ballot for the CoNZealand site selection does not seem to work on an iPad.

  24. Bob Roehm says The fillable PDF ballot for the CoNZealand site selection does not seem to work on an iPad.

    Not the fault of the ConZealand staff as only certain recent iPad models are able to take pen based input. My year and change model doesn’t. I’m assuming they’ll be a secure sire where I can vote.

  25. Medical update. I did get my knee rebuilt again this past week, so now I’ve got all new hardware in it. I’m in-hospital for at least the next month as the healing process is going to be very slow, and I’ve hit a persistent infection around the site of the hardware.

    So persistent in fact that I’ll be getting a PICC line in the morning to facilitate antibiotics being given to me. If the infection doesn’t clear up, they’re not sure exactly what the step is.

  26. Cat:

    You don’t vote on a secured web site. You download the ballot, fill it in and sign it (either by printing/signing/scanning the paper copy or by completing it within Acrobat), then e-mailing it to the site selection administrator or sending it by paper mail (and if you choose the latter, it’s best you do it immediately because mail to Australia, where the site selection administrator is, can be dicey).

  27. Kevin Standlee says You don’t vote on a secured web site. You download the ballot, fill it in and sign it (either by printing/signing/scanning the paper copy or by completing it within Acrobat), then e-mailing it to the site selection administrator or sending it by paper mail (and if you choose the latter, it’s best you do it immediately because mail to Australia, where the site selection administrator is, can be dicey).

    So what’s the url for the ballot?

  28. @Cat Eldridge: Best to you and I hope the infection clears up with the PICC line!!!

  29. Cat Eldridge: So what’s the url for the ballot?

    The fillable PDF ballot is here:
    https://conzealand.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Site_Selection_2020_fillable_A4.pdf

    Cat, if you find that you can’t fill this out and save it on your device, e-mail me all of your information and I’ll fill one out and send it to you.

    The computer system at work uses FoxIt Reader for PDFs, which doesn’t work properly with fillable PDFs, so I had to do mine at home.

    The full Site Selection voting instructions are here.

  30. @Goobergunch: My main problem with the Jeddah bid’s answer to the question of “what are the strict legal statius of LGBTQ people” was that it was “In practice, …”. Which is an answer to a completely different question.

  31. Novel Reading: I have now read, all for the first time, the 20 books in C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner sequence. It’s a series about a continuously-negotiated co-existence between the descendents of a lost Earth colony ship and the inhabitants of the alien planet on which they landed; intensely interesting, with an intricate alien culture and lots of political strategy and maneuvering.

    Books 8, 9, 10, and 11 each cover a span of 3-4 days — and yet there’s no padding in them, they’re pretty much continual action, much of it edge-of-the-seat. Later books tend to contain an early chunk of “previously, on…” which seems a bit redundant to someone who’s read the novels one after another, but is probably quite welcome as a refresher to readers for whom the previous novel was a year or more prior. Book 17, Visitor, is an absolute corker, probably the standout of the lot to my mind. And I thought that each of the novels makes a reasonably satisfying complete story, with the exception of this last one, Resurgence, which definitely ends in an unresolved cliffhanger (so series fans who haven’t read it yet may want to wait until Book 21 is out).

    This is definitely going on my Hugo Best Series ballot next year.

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