Pixel Scroll 7/1/19 We Shall File On The Pixels, We Shall File On The Scrolling Grounds

(1) GOT THAT RIGHT. Fast Company’s Jeff Beer points out “Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ is dangerously close to becoming ‘Sponsored Things’”.

We’re mere days away from the Stranger Things season three debut, and it feels like we’ve already hit Peak Brand Tie-In for the show, culminating in this senseless Cubs business. It’s actually a pleasant surprise the team didn’t go full Nostalgia Things and reissue 1985 caps and shirts, since just about every other brand has been using the 1985-ness of it all as the foundation of the entire marketing exercise. Throwback Mongoose BMX bike? Check. Nike Hawkins High School sweats? Check. New Coke? Big time check.

(2) STERLING AND PLATT AND MERCER, OH MY! David Langford has added three more free ebooks to the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund site. Download, and feel free to donate something to the fund!

Bruce Sterling donned his unsecret identity of Vincent Omniaveritas to publish the 1980s “samizdat” fanzine Cheap Truth, whose 18 issues engaged in much shit-kicking denunciation of fuddy-duddy old SF/fantasy and praise of radical new stuff (or sometimes vice-versa) in those days when the genre’s Cyberpunk and Humanist cliques were supposed to be deadly rivals. Subversive and fun, Cheap Truth was explicitly not copyrighted and so has been assembled into an Ansible Editions ebook without any tiresome formality about asking permission.

The Patchin Review ran for seven issues from 1981 to 1985 and generated much controversy in the SF community with its no-holds-barred criticism, satire, examination of dubious publishing practices, exuberant “Gabby Snitch” gossip column and numerous polemics – both signed and pseudonymous. As its title indicates, this ebook contains the complete run – plus two bonus articles by Charles Platt that appeared elsewhere.

The Meadows of Fantasy was first published in traditional duplicated fanzine format in 1965. …Archie Mercer (1925-1998) was a prolific fanzine publisher in the 1950s and 1960s, and the second winner of the UK Doc Weir Award for general contributions to the fan scene. Publications and other achievements are listed in his Fancyclopedia 3 entry.

The Meadows of Fantasy is not a fan allegory like The Enchanted Duplicator but a light humorous novel set against the general background of 1960s British science fiction fandom. One character echoes the author’s fondness for variously excruciating puns. Although Dungeons and Dragons had yet to be launched, role-playing games – in storytelling rather than dice-throwing mode – had considerable popularity in 1960s fandom:

(3) DAY OF RAGE. Sarah Gailey wrote some tweets that caught the eyes of those on the other end of the political spectrum.   

(Read “JynErso’s” email to the Hugo Awards here.)

Bounding Into Comics is working hard to make this a kerfuffle: “Tor Books Blogger Sarah Gailey Calls For Violence and Murder After Reporter Andy Ngo Attacked by Antifa”.

Tor Books blogger and the author of Magic for Liars and the American Hippo Sarah Gailey called for violence and murder following the attack on reporter Andy Ngo by members of Antifa.

Gailey in a number of now-deleted tweets called for not only violence against those opposing Antifa, but also called for murder….

(4) HALF OF THE BEST. [Item by Dann.] This is Petrik Leo’s “best of the year so far” lists.  I found it interesting as I have read from three of the series listed.  I’ve heard of several more.  And it includes three self-published works.

I had not had a chance to read any of the books in Mark Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestor series.  But I’ve heard consistently good things about it.  So I plowed through all three books in the last couple of weeks.  It’s a shame that this series isn’t getting more discussion on the awards circuit.  The first two books were Goodreads nominees, but that’s about it.

So there you have it. It’s quite crazy that my best book of the year so far was actually the third book that I finished this year. Honestly speaking though, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that The Sword of Kaigen [by M.L. Wang] is my book of the year so far, I don’t even know if I’ll find a book better than it for the remaining of this year. I’ve been praising and shouting about this book non-stop across all my social media platform for the past six months and I will continue to do so.

(5) HAWKING MEDAL. Brian Eno was among those who received the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication  in June. Ansible adds, “And asteroid 81948 has been given his full name, Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, but mercifully will be called Eno for short.” (“Brian Eno gets asteroid named after him, receives Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication” at Consequence of Sound.)

Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication

On Monday, Eno attended the prestigious science festival Starmus V, where he was presented with the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. The Here Come the Warm Jets mastermind received the award celebrating popular science at an international level alongside this year’s other recipients: Elon Musk and Todd Douglas Miller’s new documentary film, Apollo 11.

(6) MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRIC. Sarah Lazarus, in “Obituaries for the Recently Canceled” at McSweeney’s, has advice for people who have been cancelled by the Internet. For example —

Following a long battle in defense of a controversial Facebook post, Meredith Van Dorn, 20, finally succumbed to cancellation at her home on Thursday night. Ms. Van Dorn was surrounded by friends and loved ones who, upon her cancellation, insisted they always had kind of a weird feeling about her, actually. Ms. Van Dorn’s parents, Peter and Linda, would like their daughter to be remembered for her sweet smile and love of dancing, rather than her provocative feelings about Japanese toilets.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 1, 1891 Otis Adelbert Kline. Early pulp writer and literary agent whose great claim to fame was a possibly apocryphal feud with fellow author Edgar Rice Burroughs, in which he supposedly raised the latter’s anger by producing close imitations of Burroughs’s Mars novels. Wollheim and Moskowitz would believe in it, Lupoff did not. (Died 1945.)
  • Born July 1, 1934 Jean Marsh, 85. She was married to Jon Pertwee but it was before either were involved in Dr. Who. She first appeared alongside The First Doctor in “The Crusade” as Lady Joanna, the sister of Richard I (The Lionheart). She returned later that year as companion Sara Kingdom in “The Daleks’ Master Plan”. And she’d return yet again during the time of the Seventh Doctor in “Battlefield” as Morgana Le Fay. She’s also in Unearthly Stranger Dark PlacesReturn to Oz, Willow as Queen Bavmorda and The Changeling
  • Born July 1, 1935 David Prowse, 84. The physical embodiment of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Ok, it’s been a very long time since I saw Casino Royale but what was Frankenstein’s Creation doing there, the character he played in his first ever role? That he played that role in The Horror of Frankenstein and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, Hammer Films a few later surprises me not. He shows up in Gilliam’s Jabberwocky according to IMDB as Red Herring and Black Knights (and no I’ve no idea what that means). Finally he’s the executioner in The People That Time Forgot, a film that’s very loosely based off of several Burroughs novels. 
  • Born July 1, 1939 Karen Black. Her first foray into genre was playing three characters in Trilogy of Terror based on short stories by Richard Matheson. Later films were Killer FishThe Last Horror Film (an uncredited role since credited), Invaders from Mars (really stinker of a film), It’s Alive III: Island of the AliveThe Invisible KidZapped Again!Evil SpiritsChildren of the Night (errr, no), Dark BloodChildren of the Corn IV: The Gathering (no, no, no), Dinosaur Valley Girls (it’s a soft core porn film), TeknolustLight Speed and a lot more.  (Died 2013.)
  • Born July 1, 1952 Dan Aykroyd, 67. Though best known as Dr. Raymond Stantz in the original Ghostbusters films (which he wrote with Harold Raimis), he actually shows up a year earlier in his first genre role in Twilight Zone: The Movie as Passenger / Ambulance Driver. He’s reprising his role in Ghostbusters 2020
  • Born July 1, 1955 Robby the Robot, age, well, sixty four years.Yes this is this official birthday of the robot in Forbidden Planet which debuted a year later. He would later be seen is such films and series as The Invisible Boy,Invasion of the Neptune Men, The Twilight Zone, Lost In Space, The Addams Family, Wonder Woman and Gremlins.  He was also featured in a 2006 commercial for AT&T.
  • Born July 1, 1962 Andre Braugher, 57. He’s got the voice of Darkseid in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse which is why he makes the Birthday list. If there’s ever proof that a great voice actor can make an animated role, this is it. It’s also a superb film. His other major genre role is as General George W. Mancheck in The Andromeda Strain series that originally aired on A&E. 
  • Born July 1, 1964 Charles Coleman Finlay, 55. Editor for past five years of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The Traitor to the Crown series is best known work.  
  • Born July 1, 1965 Kevin J. Maroney, 54. He’s a long-time fan who’s the managing editor of The New York Review of Science Fiction. In the latter capacity, he has received fourteen nominations for the Best Semiprozine Hugo: 1997-2009, 2012. 
  • Born July 1, 1967 Pamela Anderson, 52. Yes, she makes the Birthday list for being the character named Barb Wire in the Barb Wire film which in turn was based on a Dark Horse series that never should’ve been filmed. And yes I’ve seen it — she really  deserved the Worst New Star Award she got from The Golden Raspberry Awards. Other than appearing on Futurama, that’s it for her genre credits. 
  • Born July 1, 1981 Genevieve Valentine, 38. Author of the superb Persona series and also she scripted a Catwoman series, working with artists Garry Brown and David Messina. Her first novel, Mechanique: A tale of the Circus Tresaulti, won the Crawford Award for a first fantasy novel. 

(8) COMICS SECTION.

  • Today’s Non Sequitur takes up the issue of anti-science-fiction snobbery.

(9) WAKANDA. “The Goal Is To Feel Strong, Says ‘Black Panther’ Jewelry Designer” – read the NPR interview.

Douriean Fletcher is Marvel Comics’ first licensed jewelry maker. She’s behind the powerful adornments worn by the women of Wakanda in Black Panther, which helped pull audiences into an imagined world where power and societal roles are based on expertise and ability. On Sunday, she’s giving a talk at the National Museum of Women in the Arts about the aesthetics of gender equity in Wakandan society.

On one of her favorite pieces from Black Panther:

It is the piece at the scene at the very end of the film, Black Panther, and then it also makes another appearance at the very end of Avengers which was exciting for me because I didn’t know that it was going to be filmed. When I saw it in the theater, I screamed because I was so excited.

Black Panther costume designer Ruth Carter “really wanted something that was very, very strong,” Fletcher says of the necklace she designed for Angela Bassett’s character, Ramonda.

(10) MYTHCON 50. Book ‘em, Danno.

The second Progress Report for Mythcon 50 is now live on the website; it includes essential updates and reminders, especially the July 15 deadline for purchasing Room & Board packages for those staying on campus, the Commuter Dinner Package for those staying elsewhere but who would like to join us for Friday & Saturday night dinner and the Sunday evening banquet, and stand-alone banquet tickets for those not resident on campus who don’t want the Friday & Saturday cafeteria dinners.

(11) ONE LAST LANDING. The July/August 2019 issue of MIT Technology Review magazine is all about space — missions, methods and more, including tether and catapult launchers. One of the articles is provocatively titled “What Neil Armstrong got wrong”.

Fifty years after Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, it’s hard not to conclude that he got things backwards. The moon landing was a giant leap for a man—Armstrong’s life was forever changed—but, in hindsight, only a small step for mankind….

(12) WRITER AT WORK. Who’s in charge of the book, you or the kaiju? Show the monster whenever you want! Max Florschutz says that and much more in “’Being a Better Writer: Summer of Cliche Writing Advice!’ Announcement” at Unusual Things.

Simply put, have you ever heard any cliche writing advice? Something that’s short and pithy and sort of correct but not entirely? Like “always show the monster last” or “show, don’t tell?”

You know, the kind of thing that comes out of the woodwork the moment anyone says they’re thinking of writing a book or working on a short story. The kind of stuff people who are not writers can repeat in quick sound bites to sound knowledgeable.

There’s a plethora of this stuff out there. In fact, that’s what gave me the idea of doing a themed BaBW series for the summer. A writing chat I hang out on was discussing how a lot of this advice is fairly pithy and usually weak … but contained a grain of truth.

“Show the monster last” for example. There are actually some circumstances where this statement makes sense. There’s a line of logic to it. But the problem is that, like many sayings, the actual context around it has been lost over time, and what we’re left with is a single, short line that doesn’t have any of that context and suddenly can be just as unhelpful as it is helpful. After all, there are plenty of instances where you won’t want to show the monster last.

(13) BREAK’S OVER. Mad Genius Club’s Dave Freer is back from hiatus, and he’s not wearing those spurs for no reason – listen to him tell you about the books he wants to write: “Back in the saddle”.

Another was a somewhat satirical take on SJW and the inevitable collision with real life that happens when those of genuine conviction go and try actually help the people they believe need it (and these people exist, and always have – my grandmother was a missionary’s daughter, and I read a few of the letters her father wrote.  I’ve also had a fair bit to do with the volunteers clearing a particularly nasty invasive thorn from the outer island.  It’s physical, often painful and involves lots of ‘evil’ modern machinery and poisons.  They may be batty… but they’re each worth fifty of the typical upper-middle class urban white woman who rants about the cause de jour on twitter.  They are a very different beast to the current virtue-signaling herd-follower who never ACTUALLY physically did anything to help the designated victims). The ‘victims’ of course are also nothing like the straw-man poor little usually brown people patronized to your standard issue SJW.

(14) SJWCS VS AI. Meanwhile, if you don’t really want your cat bringing you little gifts of dead things — “Cat flap uses AI to punish pet’s killer instincts”.

A cat flap that automatically bars entry to a pet if it tries to enter with prey in its jaws has been built as a DIY project by an Amazon employee.

Ben Hamm used machine-learning software to train a system to recognise when his cat Metric was approaching with a rodent or bird in its mouth.

When it detected such an attack, he said, a computer attached to the flap’s lock triggered a 15-minute shut-out.

…The process took advantage of a technique called supervised learning, in which a computer is trained to recognise patterns in images or other supplied data via labels given to the examples. The idea is that once the system has enough examples to work off, it can apply the same labels itself to new cases.

One of the limitations of the technique is that hundreds of thousands or even millions of examples are sometimes needed to make such systems trustworthy.

Mr Hamm acknowledged that in this case the results were not 100% accurate.

Over a five-week period, he recalled, Metric was unfairly locked out once. In addition, the cat was also able to gain entry once out of the seven times it had caught a victim.

(15) FANDOM CIRCA 1940. Someone’s doing her research:

(16) WARM UP THE POPCORN. ScreenRant invites you to step inside  the “Avengers: Endgame Re-Release Pitch Meeting.”

Avengers Endgame had one of the best theatrical runs in the history of cinema. But not quite… THE best. In a pretty transparent attempt to dethrone James Cameron’s Avatar as the highest grossing movie of all time, Marvel decided to re-release Endgame in theatres with a little bonus content to try and entice people to see it again. But is an intro from the director enough to get people to come out? What about a deleted Hulk scene? Did they include a Stan Lee tribute just to try and tug us by the heartstrings all the way to the movies? Do they really think people will pay for a movie ticket just to see a few minutes from Spider-Man: Far From Home which is set for release a week after the Endgame re-release? To answer all these questions and more, step inside the pitch meeting that led to the Avengers Endgame Re-release! It’s super easy, barely an inconvenience!

[Thanks to Dann, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Rich Horton, Andrew Porter, Own Whiteoak, John King Tarpinian, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Carl Slaughter. Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Daniel Dern, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Xtifr.]

103 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/1/19 We Shall File On The Pixels, We Shall File On The Scrolling Grounds

  1. It’s also Olivia de Havilland’s 103rd birthday. “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Captain Blood”, “Robin Hood”, “Airport ’77” – something in her many roles should be genre.

  2. (7) David Prowse also has a Doctor Who connection – he played the Minotaur in The Time Monster (1972). Why the Minotaur is in Atlantis rather than Crete is left as an exercise for the viewer.

  3. Re Olivia de Havilland. “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is fantasy therefore she’s genre, and Robin Hood is myth so counts towards genre as well when doing a Birthday as well.

  4. (3) I do not have to patience to explain to them that there is no mechanism for rescinding a Hugo Award. They wouldn’t want to hear it anyway. And as usual, most people who aren’t in the loop assume that there is a single central body that actually runs things, and if you try to explain the structure of WSFS and Worldcon, they’ll get all glassy-eyed.

    Besides, I’m busy packing for SpikeCon, for which I leave tomorrow.

  5. (7) Jean Marsh starred along with Jack Warden in one of the earliest Twilight Zone episodes, “The Lonely.” Anyone who’s seen it will remember how it ends. Whenever I see it, I’m dismayed that her credit is in smaller letters than for the other actors.

    Andre Braugher had a fairly major part in a genre movie I didn’t much care for, City of Angels starring Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage.

  6. Goobergunch says David Prowse also has a Doctor Who connection – he played the Minotaur in The Time Monster (1972). Why the Minotaur is in Atlantis rather than Crete is left as an exercise for the viewer.

    Thanks, his wiki page missed that.

  7. @Kevin Standlee: perhaps you can offer to stop making Good Omens instead. Surely that will satisfy them! 😀

  8. (3) Yeah, well, proof they have no clue how the Hugos work. And I think we can assume that Kevin is right and there’s no point in even trying to explain it.

    (14) Sounds like The Flo Control Project, which was just about exactly the same, except it was 2005 or earlier, and there wasn’t cloud-based AI to take chances with.

  9. Hello, Detective is a piece of work. Basically, @aoc is the antichrist, and the Star Wars sequels have stolen her innocence.

  10. (7) Andre Braugher also had a fairly large role in the film version of Stephen King’s The Mist from 2007. And although it’s not genre, he is indescribably hilarious as Captain Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

  11. (3) DAY OF RAGE.

    Despite the photo of the attractive woman on that profile, it’s pretty clear from the profile and its tweets that the owner is male. And probably about 12 years old.

     
    Kevin Standlee: if you try to explain the structure of WSFS and Worldcon, they’ll get all glassy-eyed.

    Hell, even the people who are deeply involved in WSFS get all glassy-eyed from it. 😀

  12. When I was a teenage pre-fan, Dave Prowse once gave me an autographed photo of Vader with the notation “no girl stormtroopers!” in response to a question.

    So I shall celebrate his birthday by praising the awesome Gwendoline Christie, who played notable female stormtrooper Captain Phasma, as well as Brienne of Tarth, either of which could kick Vader’s butt.

    Prowse was also in Clockwork Orange, as the muscleman who carried Patrick Magee along with his wheelchair.

  13. If Freer thinks that being a woman in favor of social justice means you can’t clear invasive plants, boy, do I have news for him! In related but annoying news, the Chinese tallowtree is mostly gone, the honeysuckle is under control, but the damn autumn olive is back and do not even talk to me about Japanese stiltgrass and I can’t burn it out because it’s all tucked into the poison ivy. (Ah—hmm, note for those who do not live with poison ivy, burning it aerosolizes the active ingredient, and if you inhale the smoke, you wind up with poison ivy rash in your lungs, which is a reliable trip to the hospital.)

  14. @JJ

    I think the image in their icon is of the female lead from Lucifer, Lauren German/Chloe Decker.

  15. (13) BREAK’S OVER.

    I see that Freer’s days of inarticulate, irrational rambling are rapidly coming to a middle. 🙄

  16. RedWombat: If only you had stayed on Earth instead of blasting off to terraform that alien environment!

  17. @Goobergunch: Why the Minotaur is in Atlantis rather than Crete is left as an exercise for the viewer

    I haven’t seen that Who story, but maybe they were alluding to the fairly popular theory that the Atlantis myth is really about the destruction by tsunami of the Minoan communities on Crete?

  18. Of course, if we were to start taking away people’s Hugos because of unacceptable behavior, I bet these same folks would start to scream bloody murder at some of the names that would appear on the list.

  19. Dave Prowse also appeared, wearing a loincloth and a lot of silver paint, in “The Medusa Strain”, the second ever adventure of The Tomorrow People. He makes an uncredited appearance in The Champions, too, as a weightlifter who gets shown up by the eponymous low-budget superheroes.

    And, of course, to those of us of a certain age, he’s the Green Cross Code Man, and he won’t be there when we cross the road.

  20. I see that the mob on Twitter is now advocating for a Tor Boycott because Gailey writes for Tor.com.

    Shall I explain the reality to them? … nah, I’ll just pop some popcorn and let them keep tilting at those windmills. 🍿

  21. JJ: Aren’t they still boycotting Tor from last time? A double boycott? Are they going to not buy Tor books twice now?

    My grandpa used to advocate killing nazis. They should take back all his medals. The ones he won for fighting nazis.

  22. Mister Dalliard saysAren’t they still boycotting Tor from last time? A double boycott? Are they going to not buy Tor books twice now?

    Were they ever purchasing Tor books? My guess is that they’d be inclined towards Baen Books and the like.

  23. Meredith Moment: The new Ann Leckie, The Raven Tower is in the UK Kindle Monthly deal for 99p. There’s an older Scalzi as well.

  24. Pixel first, fix it in the Scroll

    Redwombat, terraformer of alien planets!

    7) I didn’t know Jean Marsh was married to Pertwee. Hunh!

  25. Paul Weimer says I didn’t know Jean Marsh was married to Pertwee. Hunh!

    Nor I. I had to check the dates as I hoped it was while he was The Third Doctor but alas it wasn’t.

  26. @11: one can argue with

    The Manhattan Project—which employed 125,000 [vs 400,000 for Apollo] and cost about a quarter as much as Apollo in inflation-adjusted dollars—changed the world far more by introducing the atomic bomb.

    — but the author undercuts their claim about Apollo’s significance with

    What can be said for Apollo’s impact on humanity is that the management of complex technical systems it required is something we have indeed grown very, very good at. Modern airplanes and computers are incomprehensibly complex. And yet they work—not because of Apollo, but for the same reasons.

    From what I read, Apollo was not just the first non-emergency project of that scope (giving the tools for such complex management); it was also a (the first?) major impetus toward developing the integrated circuits needed for serious computers.
    @Mister Dalliard: or maybe they’ll get confused and not not buy Tor books? (They seem to be confused about a lot of the rest of the world….)

  27. I guess the whole world has fallen into hell. I should write another blog post.

  28. 3) Since the mere existence of the alt-right is an ongoing act of violence, I interpreted Gailey’s post as advocating for self defense against fascists. @JynErsoRogue1’s tweet can be read as “how dare they punch up at us when we punch down at them!”

    7) David Prowse also had a small role as a big man in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.

  29. As @RedWombat may know: here in the Northeast, one popular method for dealing with poison ivy is to rent a goat, or several, and put them near the poison ivy. Not only are goats famous for eating everything, they are apparently immune to the nasty chemicals in poison ivy, and their digestive systems break down those chemicals.

  30. 3) No and no.

    Don’t advocate for murder. Don’t retroactively “unperson” people who make bad comments.

    One of the bigger problems is the attempts to effectively cut people off from their bonafide successes and/or gainful employment as a result of their careless words.

    @Mister Dalliard

    Today’s antifa fully embrace the tactics of 40’s vintage fascists. Ignore the label. Evaluate the behavior.

    @John Winkelman

    Speech is not violence. Violence is violence. That is further complicated in that antifa defines “alt-right” as anyone that is to the right of them.

    In book news:

    I can’t recommend Mark Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestor series enough. Especially after finishing this year’s novel nominees.

    Currently reading Ogrenomics; this year’s SPFBO winner. It seems like a mundane parody/satire riff of Dungeons and Dragons. But it has sooooo many layers. Such as the major investment house being named Goldson & Baggs selling derivative investments in dungeon raiding parties. Simultaneously thought and giggle producing.

    Regards,
    Dann
    This tagline deleted due to lack of interest.

  31. (3) Oh, poor Kevin. All that junk e-mail!
    The organization that awarded Gailey their Hugo in 2017 doesn’t even legally exist any more, fer Ghu’s sake.

    I’m sitting here trying to imagine a proposal for a mechanism to rescind someone’s Hugo Award getting past a Motion to Postpone Indefinitely at the Preliminary Business Meeting.

    Nope, can’t do it. Hell, I’d Object to Consideration in that case. I think it would deserve it.

  32. ULTRAGOTHA: I’d Object to Consideration

    You’re assuming that your Objection would be heard over the raucous snorting and laughter of the membership. 😀

  33. (3) In theory, two successive business meetings could add a rule allowing for revocation of Hugo awards. That still couldn’t require anybody to give any trophies back, however, or stop saying that they “had won a Hugo award”. I can’t think of such a rule that wouldn’t be a very bad idea.

  34. they are apparently immune to the nasty chemicals in poison ivy, and their digestive systems break down those chemicals.

    As am I. Or at least, I was as a kid. Have not tested this in decades.

  35. I just finished Jack McDevitt’s Eternity Road, a book that was on my to-be-read pile for so long it has a Borders Books sticker from when I bought it new.

    Here’s my low- to no-spoiler review on GoodReads:

    This post-apocalyptic novel occurs long after the fall of civilization. Humans in an agrarian society along the Mississippi River yearn to learn more about the Roadmakers, so named because of the enormous network of roads left behind. Little else survives other than six books and a lot of garbage impervious to decay. Ten years after a quest to learn more ends in tragedy, the lone survivor’s death leads to a discovery in his belongings. This sparks a dangerous new quest by a small band to cross the continent and find a legendary place where civilization endured. Jack McDevitt’s novel is a love letter to the importance of books. The best moments see the protagonists puzzle over ancient objects and places they encounter. The pacing is pokey until it races to a last-third payoff resolving the core mystery in a satisfying way. Seeing humans grapple with ways to invent better engines for river travel reminded me of Philip José Farmer’s Riverworld, another work that venerates human ingenuity.

  36. JJ, I used to have to make my voice carry over entire fields. That, plus the microphone–well, just cover your ears is all I can say. }:->

  37. (3) Last time I checked, writers won Hugo Awards for a specific novel, short story or other literary work, not for a political opinion held then, previously or at some unquantified point in the future.

  38. waves at Filers

    This summer has been too full of Life Stuff and Adulting, but I’m still reading posts and comments here even though I cannot muster energy to post. However, just read a fantastic new book so I must squee on the internet: I posted basic info in the Published in 2019 rec page but want to post the recommendation here as well!

    Trapped in the R. A. W. by Kate Boyes
    Aqueduct Press
    Blurb from Blog:

    A young woman working alone in a small special collections library is trapped in the building when invaders overrun her town. She barricades the doors, peeks through a window, and watches in horror as people are murdered outside. The invaders wear uniforms that cover them completely, making it impossible for her to see their faces. However, she realizes at once that they do not intend to subjugate the population. They intend to annihilate it.

    Link to novel excerpt at blog.

    tracks socks who have left the Earth on a trajectory clearly taking them toward Pluto….looks for extra thumbs to go thumbs up….starts sticking up all the stars….posts all over social media….starts 2020 Hugo Voting List…

    I saw the announcement on the Aqueduct Press blog (linked above, contains blurbs), zipped out halfway through, bought it in Kindle, will be buying the hard copy after I post this post, stayed up waaaaay too late last night reading it, finished it this morning, and am wandering around dazed and happy waiting to come back to Earth so I can do some work.

    Post-apocalyptic but a hopeful ending with ohpleasethepowersletthatbe a hook for a sequel and a very different type of postap from the madmax macho crap that seems to be so common in the genre (and which I think I’m seeing more of primarily in books by women authors). It’s different in terms of what skills are needed for survival. In this case, LIBRARIAN SKILLZ!

    Plus, and I have come to realize and freely admit that I am addicted to this approach, a complex multiple-pov recursive narrative style that not only has but foregrounds and celebrates heteroglossia.

    And I want to talk more about this book and with people who have read it! So, HIGHLY recommended…..

  39. Steve Green: Not all of the categories are about individual works. For example, the “Best Fan Writer” category is about all of the fan writing by the candidate in a particular year. If the fan writing expressed Michelist sentiments, for example, that can be considered a factor in evaluating the work.

  40. David Shallcross: Like most voters, I wasn’t thinking of the fan categories. Guess I should have been more pedantic in my phrasing.

  41. July 1 was Charles Laughton’s birthday. His Dr. Moreau in Island of Lost Souls is quite amazing. Plus the best Quasimodo in the 1939 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

    Also Geneviève Bujold who was originally picked to play Captain Nicole Janeway in Star Trek Voyager. Only lasted through two days of shooting. She did have a hit with Coma which at the time had elements of SF but now might be viewed more as urban legend.

    And Debbie Harry who was in Videodrome and Tales from the Darkside: The Movie when she wasn’t busy rapping about the man from Mars who eats cars. (Blondie also had a song called The Island of Lost Souls which takes us back to Charles Laughton.)

    Pixels stop and stare at me/We just scroll on by/We just keep on filing

  42. Once I had a file and it was a gas / Soon turned out I had a scroll of glass

  43. @BravoLimaPoppa

    LOL….yup. Thanks for pointing it out. Apologies to J. Zachary Pike for the error.

    Regards,
    Dann
    The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. – Isaac Asimov

  44. ULTRAGOTHA on July 2, 2019 at 6:57 am said:

    (3) Oh, poor Kevin. All that junk e-mail!

    Less than I think the instigator hoped, for which I and the other members of the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee (who get those e-mails) are grateful.

    The organization that awarded Gailey their Hugo in 2017 doesn’t even legally exist any more, fer Ghu’s sake.

    That’s just one of the barriers I considered trying to explain before deciding that packing for SpikeCon/Westercon/NASFiC was a much better use of my time. (We leave in a few hours, incidentally, and for the next week or so don’t expect a lot from me. Being FGoH at the same time you are chairing a bid to host the two-years-hence Westercon is… sleep-depriving at best.)

    I’m sitting here trying to imagine a proposal for a mechanism to rescind someone’s Hugo Award getting past a Motion to Postpone Indefinitely at the Preliminary Business Meeting.

    Nope, can’t do it. Hell, I’d Object to Consideration in that case. I think it would deserve it.

    Seriously, it’s one of the few times I think OTC (requires a 3/4 vote, no debate allowed) might be justified. Most of the past uses of OTC before we rewrote the rules were not IMO proper uses of the proposal and were being used simply to shut down unpopular proposals as opposed to things that WSFS really shouldn’t even be debating. There’s a difference.

    David Shallcross on July 2, 2019 at 7:09 am said:

    (3) In theory, two successive business meetings could add a rule allowing for revocation of Hugo awards.

    Yep. In theory. The chance of it actually happening? Negligible, I think.

    Mind you, I suspect that there are people who would be in favor of such proposals had the membership of the 2015 Worldcon not reared up and loudly repudiated many of the finalists that year. I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I would have defended those finalists had they won Awards just as I would anyone else, because the members of WSFS each year are sovereign over the Hugo Awards presented at the Worldcon of which they are members as long as they act within the existing rules. Nobody can override their decisions. Remember, I had people coming to me wanting to know how to access the SMOF Rules for Removing People From the Ballot Immediately and who were deeply disappointed that you couldn’t just take people off the ballot because you didn’t like them (for any reason). The controls written into the WSFS Constitution to prevent precipitous action work in all directions, not just against your enemies.

    Just as you shouldn’t recruit anyone for a “security” function who appears to want to order people around and Act Tough, don’t expect any Hugo Award Administration Subcommittee to include anyone who thinks their job is to determine the subjective worthiness of nominees to be on the ballot or to win the Award.

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