Pixel Scroll 7/13/18 It Was The Time Of The Pixel In The Year Of Scroll One

(1) DALEK WITH A COIFFURE. Look familiar? No, it’s not Davy Crockett…

(2) W76 MEMBER COMMUNICATIONS ASSET. Kevin Roche, Chair of Worldcon 76 in San Jose, announced: “Several members of the convention volunteered to moderate a Worldcon 76 resource sharing/membership transfer group for us on FaceBook. We happily took them up on the offer!”

WorldCon 76 Membership Transfer and Resource Sharing

This is the official page for WorldCon76 attendees seeking to connect with each other in order to transfer memberships and to share resources and information.

(3) SUPER SHRINKAGE. Kinky Data compares “Superheroes’ Height Vs
the Actor’s Actual Height”
. (Carl Slaughter wonders, “How exactly did they discover the height of so many comic book superheroes?”)

(4) WITH NO CLINCHES. The author of Archivist Wasp explains it all to you at The Book Smugglers: “Alternatives to Romance: Nicole Kornher-Stace on writing platonic relationships in Archivist Wasp and Latchkey (& a Giveaway)”.

In the three years since Archivist Wasp was published, there’s one thing about it that keeps coming up in reviews and reader comments/questions again and again. Which is fine by me, since I haven’t gotten tired of talking about it yet! (Hilariously, after signing up to write this post, I got put on a Readercon panel on the same topic. They said: Tell us why you should be on this
panel
. I said: I never shut up about this topic. Ever. It is the soapbox I will die on. And they gave me the panel! Readercon = BEST CON.)

And so, without further ado! The full, entire, possibly long story of why I write all my close relationships as friendships instead of romances, the pros and cons of same, and how I wish more books/movies/shows/etc would do so. (I do. So much. Universe, take note.)

(5) VALUES. A WisCon panel writeup by KJ – “Creativity and ‘Productivity’: A Panel Report and Meditiation”.

…One of the most interesting things to happen was also one of the first: as the panelists were introducing themselves, the moderator, Rachel Kronick, wondered out loud why, in these situations, we introduce ourselves with our resumes. Whether she’d planned to say it or was struck by inspiration in the moment, it was the perfect thing to get me thinking about how much we in fandom tend to define ourselves by our work, by our accomplishments. An immediate mindset shift, in the moment. I only had one panel after this one, and although I still gave the “resume” introduction, it was definitely in my mind.

One of the first topics for the panelists was the source of productivity as a measure of worth. Capitalism came in for a lot of the blame, of course, but the panelists also brought up Puritanism: if something is fun, it can’t be valuable. It’s the work ethic baked into American society (which I’ve most often heard called the “Protestant work ethic“: a tenant of Calvinism claiming you can tell who will be “saved” by their dedication to hard work and frugal living). When we measure our value by how much we produce, and how much we are paid for that production (whether that be in money, goodwill, or fandom attention), it’s really easy to think of any time not spent “producing” as “wasted.” This is absolutely a trap that I fall into, and although I fight it, I know I don’t succeed very well.

On the flip side, we have fandom as a capitalist activity: measuring your dedication as a fan by how much money you spend on Stuff. Books, movie tickets, video and other media, branded merch, costumes, going to cons… fannishness can get really expensive, and too much gatekeeping goes on around activities that cost money and time. Although this didn’t come up at the panel, as I type up these thoughts now I see a tension between the work ethic that values austerity on one hand, and a culture that demands voracious consumption on the other. This double bind isn’t unique to fandom, of course, but I’ve never really thought to apply it in this context before.

(6) THREATS. CBR.com reports “Vertigo Writer Receives Veiled Death Threats Ahead of SDCC Appearance”.

Comic-Con International in San Diego is a place where fans from all across the world gather to share their love of all things pop-culture, from comic books to movies to video games, etc. However, some fans, sadly, choose to share hate instead, as evidenced by a social media post from Border Town writer Eric M. Esquivel.

“I woke up to death threats (‘We’re not sending I.C.E. to Comic Con, we’re sending exterminators’),” Esquivel’s tweet reads. Even in the face of verbal assault, though, the writer remained positive, instead choosing to focus on the joy of holding the first issue of his and artist Ramon Villalobos’ soon-to-be-released Border Town in his hands….

(7) WE INTERRUPT YOUR FOOTBALL. For this important announcement:

Comparable information appears in this brief commercial:

(8) PRISONER COLLECTIBLE. Titan Comics is publishing The Prisoner: Kirby & Kane Artist Edition HC Vol.1 this week, “a hard cover edition of never-seen-before work based on the iconic TV series, created by two legends of comic book art.”

This special oversized collectors edition will contain the entire 17 page Jack Kirby strip, the first six pages of which were inked and lettered by Mike Royer, as well as 18 pages of pencils drawn by artist Gil Kane. In addition to reprinting these rare pages, this collection also features unmissable bonus archive material including facsimiles of the original script as written by Steve Englehart.

This book is part of several releases from Titan to mark the 50th anniversary of The Prisoner – join us in celebrating this cult classic!

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • July 13, 1984 The Last Starfighter premiered on this day

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born July 13, 1940 – Sir Patrick Stewart. Various Trek affairs but also roles in the X-Men franchise and Dune, and myriad voice work such as The Pagemaster, Steamboy, The Snow Queen and Gnomeo & Juliet. Yeah another animated gnome film.
  • Born July 13, 1942 – Harrison Ford. The Indiana Jones and Star Wars franchises, also Cowboys & Aliens and Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049.
  • Born July 13 – Steve McQueen, 30. Yes the grandson of that actor. Genre roles in The Vampire DiariesThreshold, Piranha 3D and the forthcoming Legacies series which apparently features werewolf / vampire hybrids.

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • I read the news today — PVP.

(12) WALKING HOUSEPLANT.

(13) LANGUAGE CREATOR. Lauren Christensen takes you “Inside
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Notebooks, a Glimpse of the Master Philologist at Work”

in her New York Times review.

From Qenya to Gnomish to Sindarin, the “high elven-speech” J. R. R. Tolkien uses amply throughout the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was the product of almost 40 years of what the English author once referred to as his “secret vice”: glossopoeia, or language creation. As Carl F. Hostetter writes in an essay in Catherine McIlwaine’s “Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth,” his was a labor “performed and preserved on thousands of manuscript pages containing Tolkien’s minutely detailed description and unceasing elaboration (and revision) of not just one but rather of a family of invented languages, which can be collectively called the Elvish tongues.”

Although not alone in this practice, Tolkien was the first philologist to establish such a network of evolving dialects that derive from one another “by slowly accumulating changes and divergences in form across time from a common ancestor species.” Tolkien drew this partial table of sound-correspondences among five Elvish languages — Qenya, Telerin, Noldorin, Ilkorin and Danian — around 1940….

(14) LOAD THE CANON. EpicPew gives a Catholic perspective on “Saint Tolkien’:
Why This English Don Is on the Path to Sainthood”
.

Evangelizing through beauty

J.R.R. Tolkien, in this writer’s opinion, has one of the best innate grasps of evangelizing through beauty of anyone writing in the 20th century. Why? Because his work is permeated with a Catholic understanding of beauty. That which is beautiful is pleasing to the senses, but doesn’t stop at a surface level, rather acting as an icon that draws you into deeper realities and encounter with the Divine.

The world Tolkien created in Middle Earth is steeped in this beauty and nobility that raises your mind upwards and calls you to higher things. You can’t readhis epic work without feeling stirred to your very bones to live a life of greatness, rather than comfort.

Is it possible that even Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI himself was thinking of the small hobbit Frodo Baggins when he exhorted us that “we are not made for comfort, but for greatness”?

Well, maybe not.

But it certainly applies, and the story is a grace of inspiration and encouragement for those who wish to take the path less traveled and embark on that narrower road which leads to salvation….

…Tolkien’s potential patronage

Who would turn to Tolkien with prayer requests? He’s the potential patron saint of the hopeless, the wanderers, and (of course) romantics.

(15) STRANGE HORIZONS. Charles Payseur’s short fiction reviews resume with: “Quick Sips – Strange Horizons 07/02/2018 & 07/09/2018”.

Two new issues of Strange Horizons means two new pieces of short fiction (one short story, one novelette) and two new poems, all of which look at distance and drive, humans and aliens. For the fiction, there’s not a whole lot to link the pieces together, one of which looks at language and abuse, the other at speed and drive and competition. Similarly, the poem isn’t incredibly similar either, one looking at the inhuman at the end of a long mission, the other at changes in body and relationship while also showing those changes striking toward a more stable truth. What does link everything together, though, is a wonderful and moving style, and a range of speculative visions all reflecting back the ways people are hurt by others, and the way people hurt themselves, all reaching for connection, community, and belonging. To the reviews!

(16) SHADOW SUN SEVEN. Paul Weimer has a “Microreview [book] Shadow Sun Seven by Spencer Ellsworth” posted today at Nerds of a Feather.

The complex tale of Jaqi, reluctant opposition to a Resistance that has in turn just toppled an oppressive human galactic empire, continues in Shadow Sun Seven, sequel to Spencer Ellsworth debut novella A Red Peace. This second novella jumps off not long after the first. It should be said that discussion of this second volume, a short novel, does necessarily spoil the first novella.

That novella, which posited, explored and depicted a wide ranging universe with half-Jorians, lots of biological weapons and creatures that would fit in a Kameron Hurley novel, and a net of complicated characters. By the end of the first novella, Jaqi, Half-Jorian, and Half Human pilot, had managed to spirit away two children from the Resistance that are looking for them at any cost, and had slowly started to learn that she has a destiny and power that she never knew, a destiny and power tied to the original, extinct race of which she is just a hybrid descendant gene engineered cross. Or is she?…

(17) WOMEN OF SFF IN THE SEVENTIES. James Davis Nicoll reaches names beginning with the letter R in “Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part IX” at Tor.com.

Pamela Sargent first caught my eye with 1976’s Cloned
Lives
, which takes a refreshingly mundane look at the lives of the world’s first clones.
Their unusual parentage does not confer on them any particular special abilities like telepathy or telekinesis. Her Venus terraforming epic (Venus of Dreams, Venus of Shadows, and Child of Venus) may have been denied its proper place in the public psyche due to a somewhat troubled publication history; all three are in print and worth consideration. Also of interest is Sargent’s Women of Wonder series (Women of Wonder, More Women of Wonder, and The New Women of Wonder, followed in the 1990s by Women of Wonder: The Classic Years, and Women of Wonder: The Contemporary Years). The difficulty of tracking down the rights at this late date probably precludes reprints, but used copies are easily obtained.

(18) HUGO NOMINEE RANKINGS. Joe Sherry’s series reaches the nonfiction: “Reading the Hugos: Related Work”. Surprisingly, he hasn’t read Ellison, but now he has read the Ellison bio —

A Lit Fuse: Here’s my genre confession: I can’t be sure if I’ve actually read Harlan Ellison before…

Nat Segaloff’s biography is necessarily a slanted one, biased towards Ellison. Segaloff doesn’t hide Ellison’s flaws, but he does minimize them and give them Ellison’s context and Ellison’s shading. As a biography, it’s a fairly well written and comprehensive one. If I were a fan of Ellison, I would probably be thrilled by detail of the man’s life. Also, a
person doesn’t need to be likeable to be interesting or to be worth writing about. This is good, because I’m not sure I would have liked him much. I’m quite sure he wouldn’t have liked me. The problem is that there is a bit of tedium to the writing and the recounting of Ellison’s life. Time will tell if A Lit Fuse turns out to be an important science fiction biography in the long run, but it is certainly a less vital and immediate work on the Hugo ballot.

(19) RETRO FAN HUGO RESOURCE. And when you’re all done with this year’s Hugo reading, you can get started deciding what to nominate for next year’s Retro-Hugos. The Fanac.org site has hundreds of zines already available.

Fan History Spotlight:

Next year’s Retro Hugos will cover 1943, and we’ve been focusing on that year as we put up additional fanzines. We have almost 250 zines from 1943 already online. Remember, before the internet, before inexpensive long distance phone calls, before air travel was common, the world came to your door by the mailbox, twice a day. The byplay, the chatting, the fannish flame wars were all conducted on paper. In 1943, FAPA (aka the Fantasy Amateur Press Association) sent out over 1,200 pages of fannish writing in 4 mailings. We have 1,196 pages of those online for you now. FAPA is a real window on the fannish world of that era, with contributions by all the BNFs of the time, including Ackerman, Ashley, Joquel, Laney, Shaw, Speer, Tucker, Warner, Widner, Wolheim and more. There’s the first publication of Lovecraft’s “Fungi From Yuggoth” Cycle. There’s a “Decimal Classification of Fantastic Fiction” by Sam Russell, and interesting in-context materials and commentary on Degler and the Cosmic Circle controversy. But wait! There’s more. See for yourself at http://www.fanac.org/fanzines/FAPA_Mailings/.

(20) 95 IS THE NEW 79. The Stan Lee hype machine gets back in gear – Syfy
Wire
has the story:“Stan Lee in first of new series of videos: ‘I’m back again with new energy'”

In a tweet posted on Thursday, Lee appeared in the first video since POW! Entertainment reasserted control over the creator’s social media channels. He joked about his age (“It’s taken me a while to get used to being 79 years old,” said the 95-year-old Lee) and promised his fans that he’s back.

(21) HARLAN STORIES. Ted White’s piece for the Falls Church News-Press,
“Remembering Harlan Ellison and His Place in My Life”, is not exactly a eulogy.

…Proximity to me reinforced in Harlan his need to settle his
debt to me. But Harlan was scuffling as a freelance writer; he had no regular income and coming up with an extra several hundred dollars wasn’t easy for him. But one August evening we went to a party in the Bronx and there encountered Ken, whom Harlan hadn’t seen in nearly five years. Harlan braced him for the money. Ken had effectively stolen the typewriter after all, and clearly owed Harlan, who owed me. Harlan was forceful in his demands, but Ken, still without a real income of his own (later he would edit a movie magazine), gave Harlan no
satisfaction.

But he did something else. He told his best friend about Harlan’s demand, and the colorful threats Harlan had made. His best friend told his mother. The mother was a crackpot who routinely complained to the FBI that her son’s antagonists were “Commies.” She called the NYPD and told them Harlan was a heroin dealer.

Ironically, Harlan did not use drugs or intoxicants of any kind, abstaining from both alcohol and caffeine (but he did sometimes smoke cigarettes or a pipe, I think for the image more than any other reason). When we went to jazz clubs together he ordered a glass of orange juice, which he could pass off as a Screwdriver.

When the police arrived at his door, Harlan was flabbergasted at the notion that he was a drug dealer, and freely allowed them to search his small apartment. In his closet, on a high shelf and in a box, they found three things: a small revolver, a set of brass knuckles, and a switchblade. They promptly arrested Harlan for possessing an unlicensed gun. New York City had very tough gun laws….

(22) TIME CAPSULE. Joe Siclari says the 1992 MagiCon time capsule will be opened this year in San Jose.

At closing ceremonies for MagiCon, the 1992 Worldcon, we created a time capsule. It was loaded with convention publications and the like, but at the ceremony something unexpected happened. Folks in the audience wanted to have their part of fandom memorialized in the time capsule, and came forward with all kinds of things to put in it. Well, at this year’s Worldcon, the time capsule will be opened. The contents will be put on exhibit. Has fandom really changed that much? If you are at the con, come and find out. We’ll also have a FANAC table with some interesting materials, so come get your contributor ribbon or sticker, and say hi.

(23) STALKED BY SFWA. Cue the Jaws theme…

(24) INSTANT MASTERPIECE. Camestros Felapton recently graced the comments section with this example of Bohemian Rhap Music:

Is this more sci-fi?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a pixel
No escape to reality
Open your files
Look up on the web and see…

I’m just a pixel
Not a John Williams symphony
Because I’m easy come, easy go
Scrolling high, scroll low
Any way the pix scrolls
Doesn’t really matter to me, to me

Mamaaa just filmed a cat
Put a phone just near its head
Pushed the shutter, as it fed
Mamaaa, my likes have just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown them all away
Mamaaaaaa, ooooooooh
Didn’t mean to make you share
If I don’t tweet this time again tomorrow
Carry on, carry on as if nothing viral matters

Too late, my GIF has gone
Of cat shivers down its spine
Like it’s eating the sublime
Goodbye, everybody
I’ve got to mute
Gonna leave social media to face the truth
Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, oooooooh (Anyway the pix scrolls…)
I don’t want these likes
Sometimes wish I’d never posted it at all

[Epic Guitar Solo]
[Sudden change of tempo]

I made an animated GIF of a dog
Scary pooch, Scary pooch, will you do the Fandango?
Bad contrast and lighting, very, very frightening me
(Galileo) Galileo (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo is irrelevant
Irrelevant-ant-ant
I’m just a pixel nobody loves me
He’s just a pixel from a scroll family
Spare him his life from this GIF travesty

Easy come, easy go, will you post this scroll?
Pixellah! No, we will not post this scroll
(Post this scroll!)
Pixellah! No, we will not post this scroll
(Post this scroll!)
Pixellah! We will not post this scroll
(Post this scroll!)(Will not post this scroll)
(Post this scroll!)(Will not post this scroll)
(Never, never, never, never)
Post this scro-o-o-oll
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
(Oh mama mia, mama mia) Mama Mia, ABBA is in this scroll!
The iTunes Store put soundtrack aside for me, for me, for me!

[Heavy rock break]

So you think you can quote me and make fun of my cat?
So you think you can repost that picture of it in a hat?
Oh, baby, can’t do this to me, baby
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here

[Guitar Solo]
(Oooh yeah, Oooh yeah)

Nothing viral matters
Anyone can see
Nothing viral matters
Everything viral matters to me

Any way the pix scrolls….

[gong]

[Thanks to Kathy Sullivan, Hampus Eckerman, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, Dann, Mike Kennedy, Kevin Roche, James Davis Nicoll, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

35 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/13/18 It Was The Time Of The Pixel In The Year Of Scroll One

  1. “Steve McQueen, 30. Yes the son of that actor.”

    Don’t you mean grandson? The better-known Steve (Towering Inferno) McQueen died in 1980, and as far as I know, he fathered no children postmortem.

    Oh, um… first.

  2. (3) SUPER SHRINKAGE.
    “Carl Slaughter wonders, “How exactly did they discover the height of so many comic book superheroes?”

    The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe lists the vital statistics of individual Marvel characters.

    (24) INSTANT MASTERPIECE.
    Once again, *APPLAUSE*

    And woohoo Title Credit! …which by the way, came from the department of “I can’t believe nobody else has already thought of it”.

  3. gottacook: Grandson is right. Appertain yourself your favorite genealogical beverage!

  4. (1) Tie is too short.

    (3) Where DID they get those numbers? Some of the comic book hero sizes seem off. Also, movie Superman used to be taller and movie Batman(s) shorter.

    (12) My favorite reply to this is “It’s a cat. You invented the cat.”

    (14) He’d have thought that ridiculous. But obvs. he’d be the patron saint of conlangers.

    Pixillah!

  5. So I couldn’t leave it alone & noodled with it more.

    “Time of the Pixel”
    It was the time of the Pixel
    When the Scrollin’ began
    With the choice of a Glyer
    And the love of a Fan

    How he loved SF dearly
    Gave it all of his time
    Well the fans they would argue
    ’bout things writers said

    The new movie trailers
    And This Day in Hist’ry
    And daily genre delights
    And he trawled all the websites
    Posted it online

    It was the time of the Pixel
    In the year of Scroll One
    Now the Pixelling’s over
    And the comments begun

  6. (3) Marvel and DC have both published fetishistically-detailed guidebooks that’ll tell you, among other things, the height, weight and eye color of hundreds if not thousands of their characters.

    (13) Quinoa!

  7. It’s not just you, Steve. I thought “Skrode-riders” before I clicked through, just from Mike’s text.

    Is the malevolent force behind the Skrode-riders a danger in the Slow Zone?

  8. (13) Some of us have connected as much to “it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort” as to “I will go, though I do not know the way.” But that isn’t a sainthood narrative, or one that’s easy to make a story about. Bilbo dashing off to deal with dragons gets the ink.

  9. (13) Some of us have connected as much to “it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort” as to “I will go, though I do not know the way.” But that isn’t a sainthood narrative, or one that’s easy to make a story about. Bilbo dashing off to deal with dragons gets the ink, even here in 8137.

    (I thought I was adding this to my previous comment, but apparently not. Can I blame the cat that had been sprawling on my keyboard a few minutes earlier? And would it count as a cat sleeping on sf picture if I got a genre ebook onto the screen behind her?)

  10. @21: I’d read the story of Ellison’s debatable arrest (it’s not clear the revolver was usable), but not the details of the background.

    @lurkertype: You invented the cat. Nohow; a credential couldn’t be so useful. (Pleasurable, sometimes; useful, no.)

  11. @Soon Lee & @Kurt Busiek: OMG, The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe?! I had? have? it, or at least some of it. Eek! 😉 I forgot all about that. I haven’t looked it in ages and ages (hence I’m not sure if I still have it; but as a pack rat, I probably do). Even here at File 770, I feel slightly embarrassed admitting I have or had it.

    I’m not going to the basement to take a look. Who knows what else I’ll find. 😀

  12. (24) INSTANT MASTERPIECE.

    Camestros, that was amazing! Enough to make it totally worth the earworm! 😉

  13. AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I looked. Nope, I didn’t have Marvel’s tome; I had the looseleaf Who’s Who in the DC Universe. I mean, I have it, from like 1991. Heh. 🙂

    #GeekOut

  14. Kendall: AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I looked.

    Oi! The next time you do something like that, warn us first, so that we can send out a search party if you don’t come back! 😀

  15. (5) VALUES (crossposting):

    An interesting read. I’m a non-American fan, and I’ve often found the comparison between American conventions vs. the Israeli ones I know to be intriguing.

    Since the Israeli market is sooooo miniscule, consumerism and merchandise were never much of a part of our scene. (There are other factors as well — like, the country is tiny, and people can come from effectively everywhere without too much trouble; the bulk of our conventions tend to skew very young and often without significant income.)

    Over the years, the way people “know” about other fans is primarily by how active they are in the Israeli community and events. Fans are respected for volunteering, lecturing, writing, etc. etc. Which is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish — being an active, visible volunteer, especially over time, is definitely not an option for every person (nor at every stage of life). But it’s interesting to compare against the feeling you’re portraying here — it feels like we measure “geekiness” more by investment of time/effort, than by investment of money. (I guess that kind of happens everywhere? Investment of time is *usually* respected. But I feel like the fact that our events are very local and accessible, very easy to participate in, maybe offers an easier inroad than in the U.S.’s big conventions.)

  16. Standback: it’s interesting to compare against the feeling you’re portraying here — it feels like we measure “geekiness” more by investment of time/effort, than by investment of money.

    I can assure you that it is the same for a great many fans in the U.S. — it’s just that the consumerist kind tend to make a lot more noise and spend a lot more money, and thus are the ones with the most visibility and media coverage.

    You will see a lot more of the consumerist-type fans at the big media cons and gate shows, which are essentially vehicles to serve up viewers and customers to content producers and merchandisers. At the smaller, more intimate fan-run cons, it is mostly about geeking out about shared fandoms, with volunteer time spent working cons, and creating fannish costumes and tchotchkes and fiction.

  17. … it feels like we measure “geekiness” more by investment of time/effort, than by investment of money.

    The measure of a geek is what e does with superpower.

    21) Reminds me of another favorite riff from MST3k; In Mitchell (even his name says ‘Is that a beer?’) during a police station tracking shot a man in the background who is a dead ringer for Ellison is being booked. Tom Servo says “Hey, they arrested Harlan Ellison.” And Joel replies “Good!”

  18. @Standback: there are plenty of locally-focused, easy-to-get-to conventions in the US; based on hotel rooms occupied, about half of the attendance of Boskone when it stood alone (4000 peak of ~15% compounded growth before explosion) was going home each night. (Based on the sizes of the hotels they fill, I suspect Arisia, which IIUC has been approaching 4000 for some years, is running similar numbers.) It’s just that the US also has larger fan-run conventions that draw from a larger area (as does any part of the world when it hosts a Worldcon). And I’d go further than JJ in distinguishing fans from “fans” (e.g., consumers), who go to massive conventions to gawk at paid guests. (To be fair, they are probably also interacting a lot; it’s just that the visible focus of the convention is on looking up rather than talking across.) I used to explain what I did to mundanes by saying there were two kinds of genre conventions and I worked on the ones they’d never heard of, but now fannish conventions are more aware of the uses of publicity. (Most fannish conventions would happily spend more money to the attendees’ benefit if they had the money to spend.) And I know there are some fans who spend serious money to travel to many conventions — IIUC, someone from here went all the way to Melbourne just for the Worldcon — but those are rare, and are not directly spending money for the convention’s benefit; personal time is much more valued. (There are also people who value only creation (e.g., fanzines) and consider workers at any level a lesser breed — but AFAICT these are not only rare but dying out.) Note that all of this is a late-evening, very personal observation from someone who has been at this a long time, but I know I see only a part of the whole — and less than I used to, when I would regularly go to some random part of the US to go to a local convention, just to see what it was like.

  19. 4) This was good. My work is heavily informed by romance, but it almost always takes the form of failed romance, or relationships on the point of failure, so the primary *active* relationships are platonic. I enjoy a good romance plot/subplot in my fiction, but I loathe it when it doesn’t make sense for the characters, like when they have no chemistry or what have you. This is my one complaint about Void Star, actually, which I just finished reading yesterday: Irina’s ongoing romantic interest made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

    5) This was super interesting; I’m very resistant to the idea of “productivity” taking over my life, to the point where I actively resent any notion that my time away from the office needs to ever, in any sense, be “productive”. That’s my time, and I do what I want with it without guilt. But whoa is that ever a controversial idea in this culture.

    I will say that I have never felt the slightest desire to “prove” my geekiness or whatever. I couldn’t care less if someone else thinks I’m not dedicated enough to a fandom or a franchise or a genre or whatever. The absence of boundaries often comes off as creepy to me, not admirable.

  20. Kendall on July 14, 2018 at 9:19 pm said:

    @Soon Lee & @Kurt Busiek: OMG, The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe?! I had? have? it, or at least some of it.

    I had a version published back in the mid-1980s. IIRC it was published over 12 issues.

  21. WALKING HOUSEPLANT: That thing really, really needs to be called a “skrode.”

  22. @August

    4) This was good. My work is heavily informed by romance, but it almost always takes the form of failed romance, or relationships on the point of failure, so the primary *active* relationships are platonic. I enjoy a good romance plot/subplot in my fiction, but I loathe it when it doesn’t make sense for the characters, like when they have no chemistry or what have you. This is my one complaint about Void Star, actually, which I just finished reading yesterday: Irina’s ongoing romantic interest made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

    I do like romance plots in my SFF and I write them, too. But I’m not a fan of the “romance to the exclusion of all other relationships” approach. And in fact, some genre romance tends to feel claustrophobic to me with its tight focus on a single couple. Most people have friends, family, neighbours, co-workers, etc… and those relationships, etc… are just as important as a romantic relationship.

    I’m also not a fan of romance shoehorned into a narrative, because someone feels it needs to be there. It’s very possible to write a book focussing on other relationships.

    In fact, one of the things I liked about K.B. Wagers’ Indranan War trilogy is that while there are romantic relationships, both established and developing, the protagonist herself loses her longtime partner in the opening pages and is not involved in any new romantic relationship throughout the trilogy. Instead, her primary relationships are purely platonic.

    5) I don’t like fandom and geekiness gatekeeping in general. If you engage in fannish activities, you’re a fan, plain and simple. There is no right or wrong (apart from being a jerk), no amount of money and time you need to spend on fannish activities. Someone who just likes to read SFF and/or watches genre films is still a fan, even if they never buy merchandise, go to cons, writer/blog about fannish stuff, etc…

  23. The last fan-run con I went to, I bought nothing except food and booze. Still had plenty of fannish fun with old pals and some newer ones. I bought a few things at Comic Con, but that also was mostly food, and I didn’t do all the standing in line and paying big bucks for 30 seconds with a celebrity. I’ll probably buy more stuff at Worldcon, which is faannish instead of corporate; every dollar there goes to the people, with no percentage off the top to the gateshow owners. Michael Moorcock was at that Comic Con and annoyed the organizers for signing and photos for FREE, as is the tradition at fan-run cons. I certainly did a double-take at seeing his name on a table, and asked David Gerrold (who had the next table and also was signing free), “THE Michael Moorcock?” Yes, THE… David was kinda surprised too. Lo and behold, later, there THE MM was at his table.

  24. @Darren Garrison: I’m starting to think I went to the wrong floor of my house. I found the DC stuff in the basement, but maybe the Marvel handbook issues are upstairs in my comic long boxes. 🙂 If so, they’re too tough to find right now, but one day . . . one day! 😉

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