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. Steve Green: I wouldn’t have made the point except that Sarah Gailey’s Hugo, that “Hello, Detective” wanted revoked, was for Best Fan Writer. In any case the principle holds that a Hugo only covers a single year (with some exception for Best Series). Not expressions made previously or in the future.

  2. @Kevin
    It reminds me of the motion seen occasionally at LASFS meetings, to table something contentious for 70,000 years. (My understanding is that it requires a new motion to take the matter up again. Which means a discussion of why it needs to be brought back.)

  3. I don’t know if these pitch meeting videos are at all funny – because their big-eye effect in the cover image has always, every time, put me off ever risking seeing the video itself, in case they then animate and use that monstrosity within it, and I have to look at it for more than the second it takes to nope out on the scroll.

    My reaction is very visceral and very strong.

  4. @Lenora: I have a similar reaction to the cover images (“Get it away from me!”) but I find the actual videos addictive. If I didn’t ration myself, I could probably go through a half dozen of them in a row.

  5. @rcade I’ve not read that McDevitt…but perhaps I should, now!

    It’s my first McDevitt, but I’ll be looking for more in the future. He quickly established the setting as one I wanted to spend time in. Characters were not as strongly defined as the world, but he did enough to hold my interest in their fate. I particularly liked the main female protagonist.

  6. Lenora Rose: … because their big-eye effect in the cover image has always, every time, put me off ever risking seeing the video itself…

    Yes, I really dislike it, too. Doesn’t make the Scroll look more attractive, far from it, that’s for sure.

    The card (or whatever the correct technical term is) only appears as part of the embedded video play button on my site, the art isn’t used as part of the content.

    The makers of videos are able to choose title card art — the big eyes are bad enough, but there have been times when a video’s art is something like exaggrated breasts (cartoon or otherwise) and then I can’t even link to the video.

  7. Cassy B. The lost original Moon Landing tapes (not the bad grainy news reporter filming a monitor), long thought destroyed, have turned up.

    This is amazing. I hope that a wealthy benefactor will buy these and donate them to the Smithsonian. And that we will all get to see them at some point.

  8. JJ, that is almost word-for-word what I said to my husband when he brought the news story to my attention!

  9. @Dann665: your comment did not blow my socks off, but I had to take them off to count your errors.

    @James Davis Nicoll: you, the notoriously damage-prone, are immune to poison ivy? I won’t call that justice, but it’s some compensation. I don’t recommend testing your immunity, but I note that I had cases at ages very-small to 15 (last year I did groundswork for pocket money), 23? (learning hang-gliding on an unbrushed slope) and 50 (volunteer project), so there’s a good chance you still are.

    @Kevin Standlee:

    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.

    I yield to your parliamentary experience — but note that in the days when meetings ran long, OTC may have been reasonable as a way of saving time from something that had no chance.

    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.

    I would hope this is true but do not assume it, as Hugo admin is a function of a specific concom; ISTM that the business meeting could denounce a bad choice but not remove them.

    @P J Evans: that’s an interesting variation; my understanding is that tabling generally does not have a term, always requiring an explicit motion to revive.

    @Cassy B: this is great news; I am also impressed that the tapes were viewable 30 years after, as recording tape of that era tended to be fragile. I’m also wondering whether the recent movie Apollo 11 will be reissued with new/replacement material if someone is as public-spirited as you and JJ suggest.

  10. Chip, it may be a weird variation on Robert’s Rules. LASFS is like that. (“Move to Railroad” is probably not common, either. Voting “aye” is a pulling-the-whistle-cord gesture.)

  11. Dann665:

    I know you live in a rightwing fantasy world, but could you try to stay at least a bit connected to reality?

    No, there was no “advocacy for murder”. There was advocacy for milkshakes.

    No, AFA has no connection to fascists from the 40:s. They are fighting against people who have the same ideology as the fascists from the 40:s. They are using the tactics of those who have fought fascists before.

    Speech can absolutely incite to violence and be the cause of it. That is why civilized countries have laws against incitement.

    If you continue to constantly repeat alt-right talking points, it is only logical that people will think you belong to the alt-right.

  12. I would like to know where this interesting myth that anti-fascist activism was totally non-violent up until the last few years came from. Leaving aside WWII — not a notably violence-free endeavour — pretty much all anti-fascist activity in the UK during the 20th century (both before and after WWII) was based around making fascists afraid to gather. Which meant, generally, being willing to punch them quite hard, whenever they arranged a meeting or march.

    Milkshakes seem positively fluffy by comparison.

  13. @Meredith

    Milkshakes seem positively fluffy by comparison.

    In the most recent case, it wasn’t just milkshakes. Not by a long shot.

    Anything that sends someone to the hospital with open wounds is an assault and should be vigorously pursued by prosecutors on that basis.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Whatever it is that hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

  14. I don’t know if these pitch meeting videos are at all funny …

    They’re amusing, sometimes incisive satires of the vapidity of Hollywood executives. Ryan George plays two characters — an executive making a pitch for the movie and a person reacting to the inanity of the pitch. (One of them wears glasses, which as we all know makes a convincing argument they are two entirely different people.)

    I like them and watch all of the ones that appear here, but couldn’t view several in a row. The fast-talking delivery of the lines wears me out.

    George would be an entertaining Hugo Awards MC.

    P.s. I just learned he does this on more than movies, such as his re-enactment of the first crime in history.

  15. Dann665: There are things which have been done to fight assemblies of fascists that I do NOT condone — a stretch in New York where they basically gave the MOB free license to break up the meetings by any and every means comes to mind — and as someone personally tending pacifist outside of self-defense and defense-of-kith, I am unlikely even to chuck something as harmless as a milkshake unless someone is trying to hurt me and mine, here, now.

    But fascists aren’t a bogeyman that Antifa invented to give themselves a right to violence, and despite your claim, so far they haven’t shown up anywhere where fascism wasn’t at least attempting a gather and march, and haven’t hit anyone who isn’t outright chanting a chant with a Nazi history. (And where fascists are outnumbered and don’t start violence, I have seen them, with my own eyes… stand around keeping an eye on the situation, and drinking water to stay hydrated.) And yes, that means I will, and have, stood in the same protest they stood in.

    Similarly, the milkshakes started with a different set of protests in Britain, with a different right-wing-extremist philosophy than fascism, but one just as readily identifiable, just as damaging, and the targets have not included “Everyone to the right of” the people who threw them, but public figures whose views and reasons for being targeted were known.

  16. Andy Ngo is the guy who stood by and filmed as a woman was strangled, then doxed her afterwards. Not impressed by him.

  17. @Dann

    Sarah Gailey, however, was just talking about milkshakes. Which, as I said, are pretty darn fluffy compared to the extensive and celebrated history of punching fascists.

  18. I don’t know what happened in Portland, because milkshakes being thrown at far right protesters isn’t something that makes the news here.

    However, the far right has the tendency to exaggarate attacks on themselves and downplay attacks on political opponents. A typical example just happened in my hometown, where a politician of the far right AFD was attacked on his way to a reception at the theatre. The politician showed off his bruised face in the media and declared that several people had attacked him with a squared timber (“Kantholz” in German, which is why the whole thing has become known as the Kantholz affair) and tried to kill him.

    However, there was a CCTV camera in the underpass where the attack occurred. The police released the footage and it shows several young men walking past the politician and shoving him, whereupon he stumbled and fell and the young men ran away. There was no squared timber, just an unfortunate stumble.

  19. Rob Thornton, thanks for the link. That does seem more balanced than what I usually see on the subject. On the Antifa stuff, I typically see radically different narratives, depending on whether it is a politically left or right leaning site/person.

    Meredith, Sarah Gailey apparently wrote “If we can’t throw milkshakes, I guess we’ll have to go back to bricks.” That wasn’t just talking about milkshakes, it was suggesting throwing obviously dangerous objects.

  20. On the Apollo video CNN item mentioned above, I’m very skeptical there will be anything new. There were missing tapes, but they were data tapes, not videotape. All Apollo videotape would have been based on kinescope conversion (basically a camera pointed at a picture tube), with all the issues that introduces.

    Some years ago, there was an idea to use the original data tapes and use modern digital conversion techniques for better video conversion, but it was found that the original data tapes had been reused. Originally, this wasn’t seen as a big deal, because there wasn’t much use for the tape data then anyway, and there was a tape shortage at one time. (Apparently, older ’60s-’70s tapes were made with whale oil, and when whaling was phased out, early replacement tape tended to attract water and stick to itself.)

  21. I do know someone hurt in an Antifa incident, but she was hurt by the fascists involved. The fascists were attempting to beat someone to death at Toronto Pride, and she jumped in to shield the target. She was successful in saving the target but took considerable damage herself.

    When there are people ready to beat others to death even in a big crowd, peaceful resistance is probably not going to be enough.

  22. @Stobor

    I read that as “seriously? you’re getting worked up over milkshakes?” rather than “hey lets throw bricks at people” personally. YMMV.

  23. There must be some entrepreneur in Oregon willing to advertise “Home of the Portland Cement Shake.” If they don’t hurry, Maine will beat them to it.

  24. (7) Dan Aykroyd had a number of genre roles prior to Twilight Zone and Ghostbusters, in various SNL skits. Beldar Conehead, Dr. McCoy in the classic Star Trek: The Last Voyage piece, Rod Serling, Vincent Price, etc.

  25. (3) While there may be no specific provision or ability or authority for the rescission of a Hugo Award, if the Committee of a particular Worldcon were to announce during that Worldcon “It is the opinion of this Worldcon that Hugo Award XXXX is to be rescinded for reasons XXX, and under the authority granted in sections 1.2.(1), 2.1.(1), and 3.2.12 of the WSFS Constitution, we hereby do so.”, then
    a. It would make a hell of a stink
    b. It would be the functional equivalent of Roger Maris’s asterisk, and that Hugo would be tainted in perpetuity.

    Suppose Harlan Ellison groped Connie Willis in the current era, instead of 13 years ago, and that Ms. Willis took much more offense than she actually did, and demanded a reckoning. I could see a movement to revoke his awards forming, and something like the above happening.

    I don’t think it should happen, for reasons others have said. But it could.

  26. bill: I don’t think it should happen, for reasons others have said. But it could.

    I think the chances of it happening are nil. A change to the WSFS Constitution to allow revocation of Hugo Awards would have to get past two successive years of the WSFS Business Meeting, and I don’t think you could get anywhere close to enough people there willing to vote for a Constitutional clause which would allow Hugo Awards to be un-awarded retroactively in one year, let alone two.

    WSFS members are fiercely protective of the right for a given year’s members to have their say in the awards, and to have that say respected for posterity.

    There are a lot of people, including me, who would love to be able to retroactively declare that the finalists which were cheated onto the ballot by the Puppies were Not Finalists.

    But I have not proposed such a measure, and I would not support such a measure, because 1) there is no way to force those cheaters to stop calling themselves Hugo Finalists anyway, and 2) what’s done is done, it’s part of our history, we dealt with the cheating in the most fannish possible way (institution of a computer algorithm which disadvantages slates without making qualitative judgments about the slated works), and we’ve moved on.

    (Which isn’t to say that I don’t make sure when someone brings up one of those cheated works that they are informed exactly how it obtained its “Hugo Finalist” label, and that it’s not a publication worthy of the electrons on which it’s stored.)

    Now if, for a ridiculous but effective example, Hugo Gernsbach had committed a mass murder, I would support removing his name from the award and calling it something else, because it’s an ongoing award, and keeping the name would imply ongoing endorsement of his behavior in the same way that a building continuing to carry the name of someone who behaved heinously implies ongoing endorsement of that person’s behavior.

  27. @JJ: He’s suggesting that a committee could try to do so under a very misguided reading of 3.2.12: “The Worldcon Committee is responsible for all matters concerning the Awards.” (Emphasis mine.) In other words, with no change to the Constitution.

    I agree with him that it would raise a hell of a stink, but I seriously doubt it would have any long-term effects on that or any other award. No one would take such a ridiculous interpretation seriously. But I do suspect that it would seriously impair the ability of anyone on that Committee to ever win another Worldcon bid! People who confuse duty with power are not generally popular with fans.

  28. Xtifr, thanks for the explanation.

    Oh, yeah, any Worldcon concom who tried to pervert 3.2.12 into meaning that they could mess with another Worldcon’s Hugo Awards would be in the fandom doghouse for a lot of years.

    Not to mention that whatever edict they tried to issue would be roundly ignored by the rest of fandom (including the Hugo Awards website). And I’m pretty sure that Wikipedia editors would be unwilling to remove names because of it.

  29. Beyond the public condemnation of the concom, the first effect would probably be clarification of 3.2.12 (at least) to affirm that it applies only to year in which the concom is running the Worldcon; this intent seems obvious to me, but I don’t see it clearly stated. (ISTM that 3.2.12 does not have even that range; otherwise 3.4.3 would be meaningless as it could be overruled by the affected concom.) There’s a saying in another group I deal with that every rule has someone’s name on it (i.e., the name of someone who did something so obviously against common sense but unclear enough in the rules that a new rule was needed) — cf section 6.2, still remembered by some as “so-and-so’s pet rock amendment” (although I’m not certain the two were precisely sequential — it has been ~40 years…); I wonder whose name would be attached to this one.

  30. I’ve now heard conspiracy theories of both concrete AND acid being added to milkshakes – simultaneously –

    The problems with which come from basic science, not from the mere inability of journalists or police to confirm or deny. (acid would be neutralized by concrete, concrete doesn’t set with sugar)

    Besides all this, Ngo wasn’t JUST hit with a milkshake. He was hit, period. The milkshake and silly string weren’t the part that left his face bloodied, and even he didn’t pretend they were.

    The assault on him is not even close to a reason to panic about milkshakes, and the stupid claims about things mixed into milkshakes are not, either. I’m with Gailey: I’d rather chuck a milkshake or a rotten tomato or a rotten egg than a brick, but something, ideally harmless but humiliating, should be thrown at Proud Boys. Proud Boys can’t pretend to be mainstream normal conservatives.

  31. Pretty sure that, at bottom, all those claims of awful things being added to milkshakes boil down to “After all, that’s what WE’D be doing.” Somebody needs to tell those boys that projection isn’t proof of anything, and usually amounts to an unpleasant look into the soul of the projector.

  32. @Kip Williams–Yeah, I noticed many years ago that all those things the Republicans were so sure Bill Clinton was guilty of, were things various Republican politicians were later found not only to be guilty of, but in surprisingly high numbers were actually doing at the time they were demanding Bill’s head on a platter.

    The pattern hasn’t changed. It’s just become more obvious and open. The right wing assumes the Dastardly Liberals to be guilty of things the right wing either is doing, or imagines they would be doing, if they were in the same position. It’s a very dark look at their souls.

  33. @Chip Hitchcock: I don’t think it’s (just) about the year it applies to. I’m pretty sure that 3.2.12 is meant to assign duties, not grant license. I think that any concom which interpreted it as “we can do what we want” rather than as “we shall do what is required” would be in hot water. Even if it were something far more minor than retroactively trying to take away another convention’s awards.

    Of course, there is some freedom to do what they want within the scope of doing what is required: choosing a design for the base, selecting presenters, etc. But that’s all just flair added to the basic requirements: the award must exist and must be given to the winner.

    It’s possible some concom might wildly misinterpret 3.2.12, but I wouldn’t worry about that unless and until it happens. It seems clear enough to me.

  34. I have unfortunately seen at least one case where Puppy finalists used the award’s reputation: an ad in a DC comic for a graphic novel, which included the statement that the writer and artist had been Hugo award finalists. Which was true, technically.

  35. David Goldfarb: I have unfortunately seen at least one case where Puppy finalists used the award’s reputation

    Oh, I’ve seen Puppies bragging about their Hugo noms all over the place, especially when trying to publicize and sell their work. VD does it all the time. John C. “tire iron” Wright does it. Lou “I got myself cheated onto the Hugo ballot twice” Antonelli does it.

    I just do my part whenever the Hugo nomination of a Puppy comes up in online conversation to make sure that the other party knows the provenance of that meaningless nomination.

  36. @Xtifr: you miss my point: the text of the rule does not match what we think its intent is. Of course there’d be trouble if a concom took advantage of this — but what could the rest of the world do? Would staff be willing to walk off their jobs and let the con burn down? ISTM that there are a number of things that depend on the honor and/or common decency of the concom (e.g., pass-along funds); AFAICT, concoms have always had members who were certain they knew better than the rest of fandom, so the question is whether such types could (a) get control of a concom and (b) have a common view of what is right that the rest of fandom is getting wrong. I think this is seriously unlikely — but my estimate is that clarifying/hardening 3.2.12 would be more useful than (per the recent discussion of a possible Israel worldcon) trying to harden site-selection.

  37. If a concom were to declare itself the authority to invalidate a past Hugo winner, it would at the same time be giving future concoms the right to invalidate any of its winners. That seems like a big demotivator to me for the people doing all the work required to run that year’s Hugo Awards, which the concom would have to consider.

  38. rcade –
    It’s not just consideration of what future Worldcons might do. No part of a Worldcon committee has that authority. I can’t imagine a Worldcon committee doing that. And if they did, the Business Meeting would not react kindly.

    Not to mention how fans and future conrunners would react to the fans that did it. I certainly wouldn’t want to work with them again.

  39. @JJ: The point here is that it was DC Comics’ marketing department using it, not something or someone directly a Puppy or even Puppy-adjacent. And from their point of view, why not?

  40. Chip Hitchcock on July 4, 2019 at 7:15 pm said:

    @Xtifr: you miss my point: the text of the rule does not match what we think its intent is.

    I don’t think that’s true. It’s ambiguous if you look at it funny, yes. Poorly worded, perhaps. But all it’s doing is assigning responsibility. If my boss says “you’re responsible for sweeping up”, I don’t think that means I get to decide whether sweeping should happen. 🙂

    3.2.12 makes more sense in context, following, as it does, a bunch of rules. I think you actually have to try to get it wrong.

    But I wouldn’t object to a motion to improve the phrasing. 🙂

  41. I can’t imagine a Worldcon committee doing that.

    It seems highly improbable to me but not impossible. When a scandal is white-hot, a lot of organizations are pressured to disassociate themselves with people who have been honored in the past.

    What I take from this discussion is that it’s worth reviewing the WSFS Constitution to decide whether it sufficiently expresses our will about whether a winner should always remain one forever.

  42. it’s worth reviewing the WSFS Constitution to decide whether it sufficiently expresses our will about whether a winner should always remain one forever

    I think it would only be worth rescinding a Hugo if they were found to have plagiarized the work it was awarded for. I’d hope that would be discovered at the nomination stage.

  43. Sorry for the delay. It was a nice weekend on this end of the wire. Hope it was the same for y’all as well.

    Implicit in Sarah Gailey’s tweet is that something must be thrown when a group from the coprophagic phylum* gets together. It is advocacy of violence with the only remaining discussion being the amount of violence that will be committed.

    Regardless of how wrong they are, they have a right…in the US at least…to meet and to speak. The rest of us are not obligated to listen.

    Advocating for violence in response to speech ends poorly for everyone, IMHO.

    *stealing from Jonah Goldberg. Accurate and appropriate…

    @Rob Thorton

    Thanks for the link. The author tried to be balanced. I wouldn’t give them credit for “very hard”. It was a decent article nonetheless.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome. – Isaac Asimov

  44. Dann665 on July 8, 2019 at 2:01 pm said:

    Implicit in Sarah Gailey’s tweet is that something must be thrown when a group from the coprophagic phylum* gets together.

    What you are missing Dann, is not just the implication of violence but the actual violence repeatedly committed by said phylum at such protests up to and including murder. This on top of the more general advocacy of violence from right-wing extremists as a general policy, and the use of unprovoked violence by groups such as The Proud Boys as part of their social bonding. The violence is there already.

    I have spent literally years being told by people sensible, moderate voices on the right that self-defence is a right and that gun ownership and the right to carry guns and having the capacity to use those guns is not just a right but also something vital to protect the United States and other nations from falling into extremist tyranny. I’ve been told that it is quite reasonable for conservative protestors to carry guns openly on protests just in case they are attacked. I have also read Sad Puppy related authors saying that they would be within their rights to run over a protestor if one jumped in front of their car.

    Yet here we are. In the US right now, groups actively offering unprovoked violence towards innocent people, groups directly implicated in murder and people on the left responding with dairy products? To which I see those same stalwart defenders of the right to bear arms and the right to self-defence suddenly have conniptions!

    The far right in the US are literally murdering Americans. The people who claim that America needs guns to protect itself are now suddenly demanding milkshake-control.

    I have to wonder.

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