Pixel Scroll 7/15/19 There Are More Scrolls In Heaven And Earth, Horatio, Than Are Dreamt Of In Your Pixelology

(1) OLD HOME PLANET WEEK. ScienceFiction.com reports “LeVar Burton Expects Geordi La Forge To Pop Up On ‘Star Trek: Picard’”.

LeVar Burton says that he expects to be invited to appear as Geordi La Forge on the upcoming CBS All Access series ‘Star Trek: Picard’ starring his old ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ captain Patrick Stewart.  Furthermore, Burton expects other cast members to return as well.  But not all at the same time.

“Each of us, I would say certainly, right?  It is unreasonable to assume that he doesn’t know those people anymore, or that he stopped talking to them. And if he did there’s good storytelling in why.  Are you gonna see all of us together, again, in a scene or episode? I don’t know.  There’s a lot of paper that needs to be papered, before we get there.”

(2) GENTLEMEN, BE SEATED. The latest Two Chairs Talking podcast with Perry Middlemiss and David Grigg is a discussion of fanzines highlighted by an interview with Bruce Richard Gillespie: “Episode 7: All this I speak in print, for in print I found it”.

(3) FOLLOW THE MONEY. The Bank of England reveals the new face on its £50 note: “Alan Turing to feature on new £50 note”

Alan Turing, the scientist known for helping crack the Enigma code during the second world war and pioneering the modern computer, has been chosen to appear on the new £50 note.

The mathematician was selected from a list of almost 1,000 scientists in a decision that recognised both his role in fending off the threat of German U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic and the impact of his postwar persecution for homosexuality.

The announcement by the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, completes the official rehabilitation of Turing, who played a pivotal role at the Bletchley Park code and cipher centre.

(4) FILLING THE INTELLECTUAL PANTRY. The latest Kittysneezes podcast episode concerns a topic that Filers might find very provocative. It’s called Reed Gud, Part 1, or Other Books Than ‘Harry Potter’ Exist:

In this week’s episode, R.S. Benedict is joined by Gareth and Langdon of Death Sentence, a podcast about books for people who hate books, podcasts and capitalism but like metal. And in order to Rite Gud, you’ve got to Reed Gud — in particular, why you need to read books other than Harry Potter

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with reading and enjoying Harry Potter. But you also need to read other books. Cultural intake is like a diet. There’s nothing wrong with eating chicken fingers and fries sometimes, but to be healthy you really need a variety of foods, and as an adult you probably should develop a more refined palate than just eating the same tater tots and spaghettiOs you lived on as a kid.

(5) SHORT SFF RECS. Rocket Stack Rank’s Eric Wong says, “RSR’s monthly ratings for July 2019 has been posted with 10 RSR-recommended stories out of 70 reviewed.” — “July 2019 Ratings”.

Here are some quick highlights by pivoting the July Ratings by story length, new writers, and authors. (Click links to see the different views.)

  • Length: 4 novellas (2 recommended), 21 novelettes (5 recommended, 3 free online), 45 short stories (3 recommended).
  • New Writers: 9 stories by Campbell-eligible writers (1 recommended, free online).
  • Authors: 5 authors out of 65 had more than one story here: Leah Cypess, Tegan Moore, Dominica Phetteplace, Natalia Theodoridou, and Nick Wolven.

(6) LIU AND KOWAL IN NYT. [Item by Daniel Dern.] The Sunday July 15, 2019 NY Times dead-tree edition has a special section, The Next Leap — articles and photos on space exploration, including two by sf’ers:

Lots of pages of pix, not sure whether all will be online.

(7) DC IN 2021 DISSENT. Nick Larter, who identifies himself as a Dublin 2019 member, tweeted the following message about a  motion he may submit to the business meeting:

I am extremely disquieted by the idea that in a few weeks, we, the international science fiction community, will probably be rubber-stamping a Worldcon in the United States for 2021.

If the 2021 Worldcon goes ahead in Washington DC, then it is going to transpire that some science fiction fans who would like to attend are going to be prevented from doing so, because of their nationality, religion, or ethnicity, on account of the current immigration policies of the US.  More still will run the risk of intrusive personal inconvenience or other unacceptable disruption to their travel plans, during the immigration process.

As evidence of this I cite the recent news that last year, Star Wars actor Riz Ahmed, was prevented by the US authorities from attending a US event relating to the movie.  If this can happen to a public figure like Ahmed, how many ordinary fans are going to get caught up?

In all honesty, I don’t understand why the Washington DC bidders haven’t looked at the current situation in the US and said, “Y’know what, this won’t do, so we’re just going to put on plans on hold for a few years, until the open, welcoming America we once knew and loved, has come back again.”

For these reasons, I believe that our community, which has an excellent record of embracing diversity and inclusivity of all kinds, has a duty to reject Washington DC as the venue for the 2021 Worldcon.  It would be grossly delinquent of us to act in any other way.

The WSFS Constitution provides for what to do if members reject the eligible bids, but as I recall, it doesn’t authorize the business meeting to refuse to seat a bid picked by site selection voters. If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will correct me in five… four… three…

(8) DRAGON AWARDS DEADLINE. The Red Panda Fraction reminds everyone that the deadline for the nominations for the 2019 Dragon Awards is this Friday, July 19. Here’s the link to the nominations page. The Pandas have also borrowed an idea from Renay and created an eligible works spreadsheet:

We also had many more people work on the Dragon Awards Google Docs spreadsheet (Dragon Awards Eligible Works 2019) this year since we got it up much earlier than last year. The anonymous contributors did a lot of work and even added extra information about possible nominees that I hadn’t thought of. It should make it easier for folks to find nominees. 

(9) SHECHTER OBIT. Andi Malala Shechter died this morning, at the end of a months-long battle with an aggressive cancer called a glioblastoma, stage 4, otherwise known as glioblastoma multiforme.

Andi Shechter

Shechter lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston and Seattle over the years. Her time in fandom dates at least to the New York Star Trek conventions of the Seventies. Toward the end of that decade she married Alva Rogers (1923-1982), who had co-chaired the 1968 Worldcon. In the Eighties, she moved to Boston, was active in Boskones, and served as a division head for Noreascon 3, the 1989 Worldcon. In the Nineties, she moved to Seattle with her long-time partner, Stu Shiffman (1954-2014).

Shechter was a powerful force in both sff and mystery fandom. She wrote numerous mystery reviews, and twice chaired Left Coast Crime, in 1997 and again in 2007. She was named fan guest of honor of LCC in 2001.

In 2013 Andi and Stu, who had been together for 25 years, announced their engagement. At the time Stu was trying to recover from a stroke. On June 18, 2014 they married in a ceremony at University of Washington’s Burke Museum with nearly 100 in attendance. Very sadly, Stu passed away before the end of the year.

Many of Andi’s friends are leaving tributes on her Facebook page – some are set to public, others are set to closer accessibility.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 15, 1769 Clement C. Moore. I know it’s High Summer, but it’s His Birthday. Author of the Christmas poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, first published anonymously in 1823 which led to some bitter dispute over who wrote it. It later became much better known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” (Died 1863.)
  • Born July 15, 1796 Thomas Bulfinch. Author of Bullfinch’s Mythology, which I’m certain I had in at least several University courses taught by older white males. They are the classic myths without unnecessary violence, sex, or ethnographic background. And heterosexual of course as Bullfinch was an ardent anti-homosexual campaigner. Edith Hamilton’s Mythology would mercifully supersede it. (Died 1867.)
  • Born July 15, 1918 Dennis Feltham Jones. His first novel Colossus was made into Colossus: The Forbin Project. He went on to write two more novels in the series, The Fall of Colossus and Colossus and the Crab, which in my opinion became increasingly weird. iBooks and Kindle have the Colossus trilogy plus a smattering of his other works available. (Died 1981.)
  • Born July 15, 1927 Joe Turkel, 92. I first noticed him as Lloyd, the ghostly bartender in The Shining followed by his being Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner. He’s the Sheriff in Village of the Giants based somewhat off on H.G. Wells’ The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth, Malcolm (uncredited) in Visit to a Small Planet and Paxton Warner in The Dark Side of the Moon. Series wise, he’s been on Fantasy Island, Tales from the Dark Side, Land of the Giants and One Step Beyond.
  • Born July 15, 1931 Clive Cussler, 88. Pulp author. If I had to pick his best novels, I’d say that would be Night Probe and Raise the Titantic, possibly also Vixen 03. His real-life National Underwater and Marine Agency, a private maritime archaeological group has found several important wrecks including the Manassas, the first ironclad of the civil war.
  • Born July 15, 1944 Jan-Michael Vincent. First Lieutenant Jake Tanner in the film version of Roger Zelazny’s Damnation Alley which somehow I’ve avoided seeing so far. Is it worth seeing? Commander in Alienator and Dr. Ron Shepherd in, and yes this is the name, Xtro II: The Second Encounter. Not to mention Zepp in Jurassic Women. (Don’t ask.) If Airwolf counts as genre, he was helicopter pilot and aviator Stringfellow Hawke in it. (Died 2019.)
  • Born July 15, 1957 Forest Whitaker, 62. His best known genre roles are such as in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Saw Gerrera and in The Black Panther as Zuri. He’s had other genre appearances including Major Collins in Body Snatchers, Nate Pope in Phenomenon, Ker in Battlefield Earth for which he was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor, Ira in Where the Wild Things Are, Jake Freivald In Repo Men (anyone see this?) and he was, and though I’ve somehow managed not to see any of it, Host of Twilight Zone
  • Born July 15, 1963 Brigitte Nielsen, 56. Red Sonja! What’d a way to launch your film career. Mind you her next genre films were 976-Evil II and Galaxis
  • Born July 15, 1967 Christopher Golden, 52. Where to start? The Veil trilogy was excellent as was The Hidden Cities series co-authored with Tim Lebbon. The Menagerie series co-authored with Thomas E. Sniegoski annoyed me because it never got concluded. Straight On ‘Til Morning is one damn scary novel.
  • Born July 15, 1979 Laura Benanti, 40. Her foremost genre role was was a dual one as Alura Zor-El and Astra In-Ze on Supergirl. Interestingly she took on that role on CBS just before assuming the role as Melania Trump on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, another CBS property. She also has a long theatrical career including playing The Goddess in The Tempest and Cinderella in Into the Woods

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Bizarro researchers pursue the nuclear typo.

(12) YMMV. According to Food & Wine, “Twinkies Cereal Could Be Part of Your Balanced Hostess Snack Cake-Themed Breakfast”.  

The idea of turning a Hostess snack cake into cereal isn’t totally insane. That was proven by the first two Hostess products that were introduced in bowl-worthy form courtesy of Post last year: Honey Bun Cereal and Donettes Cereal. Both honey buns and mini-donuts can be breakfast. Are they the healthiest breakfasts? Obviously not. But probably most everyone reading this has eaten one of those things for breakfast in the past — and at the very least, if someone told you they ate a Hostess Honey Bun or a pack of Donettes for breakfast, you wouldn’t stare them down in disgust. However, if someone told you they ate a Twinkie for breakfast…

(13) TONIGHT’S JEOPARDY! Andrew Porter reports the game show’s latest stfnal reference. (Photo by Brett Cox.)

Final Jeopardy – Women Authors

Answer: An award for works of horror, dark fantasy & psychological suspense honors this author who came to fame with a 1948 short story.

Wrong question: “Who is Ayn Rand?”

Correct question: “Who is Shirley Jackson?”

(14) THE NEW NORMAL? NPR observes that “Climate Change Fuels Wetter Storms — Storms Like Barry”.

People across southern Louisiana are spending the weekend worried about flooding. The water is coming from every direction: the Mississippi River is swollen with rain that fell weeks ago farther north, and a storm called Barry is pushing ocean water onshore while it drops more rain from above.

It’s a situation driven by climate change, and one that Louisiana has never dealt with, at least in recorded history. And it’s raising questions about whether New Orleans and other communities are prepared for such an onslaught.

“It is noteworthy that we’re in our 260th day of a flood fight on the Mississippi River, the longest in history, and that this is the first time in history a hurricane will strike Louisiana while the Mississippi River has been at flood stage,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in response to a question about climate change at a Friday news conference.

(15) WORKS BEST WHEN YOU DON’T USE YOUR BIRTHDAY. “Computer password inventor dies aged 93” – BBC has the story.

Computer pioneer Fernando Corbato, who first used passwords to protect user accounts, has died aged 93.

…Dr Corbato reportedly died as a result of complications caused by diabetes.

…He joined MIT in 1950 to study for a doctorate in physics, but realised during those years that he was more interested in the machines that physicists used to do their calculations than in the subject itself.

Using computers during the 50s was an exercise in frustration because the huge, monolithic machines could only handle one processing job at a time.

In a bid to overcome this limitation, Dr Corbato developed an operating system for computers called the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS).

…Passwords were introduced to CTSS as a way for users to hide away the files and programs they were working on from others on the same machine.

(16) BASTILLE STORMED BY FLYBOARD. BBC video shows “Bastille Day: Flyboard takes part in military display”.

The annual Bastille Day parade, marking the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, has been taking place in Paris.

Over 4,000 military personnel and more than 100 aircraft took part in ceremonies, with crowds entertained by inventor Franky Zapata and his futuristic flyboard.

(17) DISTRACTED DRIVING. BBC is there for “Monsters and power-ups in new go-kart experience” (video).

An experience which allows go-kart drivers to race against each other while shooting virtual monsters and picking up power-ups has been developed.

Drivers wear a Magic Leap headset which allows them to see the augmented reality elements of the track.

(18) A HUNK OF BURNIN’ LOVE. NPR says the Feds have found another place to put a wall: “Federal Clampdown On Burning Man Imperils Festival’s Free Spirit Ethos, Say Burners”.

Burning Man started three decades ago as a low-key gathering of friends who celebrated summer solstice on a West Coast beach by setting a wooden man aflame.

Now, event organizers say the counterculture gathering of arts, music and communal living is eyeing attendance in the six figures, leading to a months-long struggle with federal regulators over whether its swelling size will cause long-term harm to the environment and even make the event vulnerable to a terrorist attack.

The battle is heating up as Burning Man officials attempt to secure a new 10-year permit to allow the August gathering in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to jump from its current capacity of 80,000 to 100,000. But the Bureau of Land Management is clamping down.

In a recent report assessing Burning Man’s environmental impact, the BLM capped the festival population at 80,000, citing an abundance of trash generated by the thousands of revelers and a host of safety concerns for eventgoers as well as for the federally protected land.

A preliminary report from the BLM called for new regulations, including an attendance cap, mandatory security screenings and a concrete barrier to encircle the perimeter. Federal officials have since eased those controls for now, except for the population cap.

Still, longtime participants say the government tightening its grip on the growing event threatens the anarchic principles that underpin the festival.

(19) AREA 51 WARNING. All those of you who never watch Fox News should shut your eyes at this point:

Officials warn public of dangers at secretive Nevada base and signal that the Air Force stands ready; national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin report from the Pentagon.

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

59 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/15/19 There Are More Scrolls In Heaven And Earth, Horatio, Than Are Dreamt Of In Your Pixelology

  1. The “Damnation Alley” film adaptation worth seeing? In a word, no.

    And while it’s clear that the Red Panda Fraction means well, I really can’t find it in me to care about the Dragon Awards.

  2. Regarding (7):

    My reading of the WSFS Constitution is that the WSFS Business Meeting does not have jurisdiction over a valid Site Selection. It can:
    1 – receive the results from the Site Selection Administrator;
    2 – request that the ballots be destroyed;
    3 – figure out how to select or designate a Worldcon site if Site Selection fails to do so, or if there is a tie.

    4.5.5: If “None of the Above” wins, or if two or more bids are tied for first place at the end of tallying, the duty of site selection shall devolve on the Business Meeting of the current Worldcon. If the Business Meeting is unable to decide by the end of the Worldcon, the Committee for the following Worldcon shall make the selection without undue delay.

    The WSFS Business Meeting does not have the ability to reject a valid winner of Site Selection.

    If this guy is determined to follow this through, then he has only 2 options:
    1 – engage in a PR campaign to get people to vote None of the Above.
    2 – put together an alternative bid in another country to compete against DC in 2021.

  3. 13) It should be pointed out that two of the three contestants DID guess “Shirley Jackson”. (The guy that guessed Ayn Rand did even worse on several other questions.)

  4. (18)A population cap of 80,000 for an event held on public land and unavoidably generates a lot of trash, hardly seems unreasonable. In more normal times, I’d say the same of security screening, but the times are not normal, and I assume the security screening would be at best counter-productive.

  5. (7) It’s my impression that there are no other bids for the 2021 convention, so it doesn’t seem like there are any options other than DC, an extremely successful write-in campaign for a non-US bid, or no 2021 convention. I don’t think there’s time for anyone else to put together a viable 2021 convention bid, so I’ll be voting for DC.

  6. @13: I wonder if the quiz prep team knew how timely that clue was?

    @7: I don’t know whether he’s ignorant about the mechanics of US politics, or just assuming that Trump will defeat whoever survives the Democratic elimination matches. I certainly can’t see certain members of the DC committee giving even a moment’s consideration to the possibility that the US might not be an acceptable location, but it would be interesting (from 3000 miles away (for me — YMMLV)) to watch the business meeting attempt to pick a site if NotA won. I wonder how long he’s been a member, that he is only now noticing this issue.

    @10 typo: Titantic — but that’s a fascinating fact; I’ve known the name for decades but never that he was involved in maritime archaeology. And something stuck a break in the middle of Jan-Michael Vincent’s credits. (I’ve never heard a good report of the movie of Damnation Alley, but I haven’t looked for one as I don’t think much of the original.)

    @4: the list of authors/books below the intro certainly covers a credible range, but I’m surprised to see so little fantasy and so little I’d consider as easing people who’ve read nothing but Potter into the wide range of genre.

  7. 7)

    “If the 2021 Worldcon goes ahead in Washington DC, then it is going to transpire that some science fiction fans who would like to attend are going to be prevented from doing so, because of their nationality, religion, or ethnicity, on account of the current immigration policies of the US.”

    Class is always forgotten. If Worldcon is not held in DC, a lot of lower income people from area will not be able to come. And also, the alternative to not holding Worldcon in DC would seem to be not having a Worldcon at all that year. There would be even more people who couldn’t go then. Everyone, to be more clear.

    I will not go to US as long as US demands to get info about my social media accounts before my visit. And I will vote against every con in US as long as that policy exists. But that is a totally different thing from rejecting the decision of the voters or voting for no Worldcon to be held at all.

  8. @Lis Carey: it is unclear that the event unavoidable generates lots of loose trash; certainly the ethos is that all trash is to be picked up and packed out, which is a principle I haven’t seen strongly enunciated at other large gatherings. I get the idea from the article that part of the problem is that a lot of trash is generated outside the site, possibly due to the many-hour queue for admission — which suggests that the people running the event should be trying to reduce queue time.

  9. 7) I understand the sentiment, but putting a WorldCon together from scratch in two years is close to impossible. Besides, there are fans in the US who cannot leave the country, because they have to fear that they won’t be allowed to return and they should have the chance to attend a WorldCon, too. Never mind that, as Jo has said, the Business Meeting does not have the authority to cancel out site selection.

    If he really is opposed to more WorldCons in the US, while the current administration in power (and there is a small chance that Trump will be voted out in 2020), then he should focus his efforts on putting together a counter bid to the 2022 bid in Chicago, which currently has no opposition at all. It’s still very short notice, but more doable than 2021. And Chicago doesn’t really need to host another WorldCon, considering they have hosted several already.

    And for the record, I won’t be travelling to the US, while the current immigration rules are valid, because I’m not handing over my social media and e-mail info. Not to mention that I know a lot of muslims and have taught German to refugees, which may well be enough to deny me entry.

    I’m not sure if I will bother voting site selection in Dublin.

  10. 18) At Sweden Rock Festival two years ago, there was suddenly an enormous police presence after the festival had been deemed a possible target for a terrorist attack. We were kind of happy about that. Not because of being afraid of terrorists, but because a criminal gang had systematically cut open tents to steal valuables the year before, the night before festival start.

  11. (10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS. Christopher Golden’s The Boys Are Back in Town was good, though it’s been quite a while since I’ve read it.

  12. I rather wish “A Visit from St. Nicholas” had remained anonymous, because I am far from convinced that Clement C. Moore wrote it, but neither can I easily accept that Henry Livingston, Jr., is the author. Textual analysis seems to favor Livingston, but there hasn’t been enough of it. At the moment, I’m still C) None of the above..

  13. (7) I could hypothetically imagine a constitutional amendment being put before the Business Meeting imposing political climate restrictions on Site Selection bids, but even setting aside the dubious merits of such a proposal (I have no idea how you’d come up with reasonable objective criteria, for starters) it’s too late for such an amendment to affect the 2021 or 2022 Worldcons even if it was somehow ratified. Of course, I expect in practice it would be postponed indefinitely.

    Even beyond that, it’s hard to know exactly what the political climate will be when a bid is announced given the multi-year lead times. I’m thinking of the 2024 Glasgow bid here; maybe I’m just an ignorant American, but if you had told me five years ago about the current state of UK politics I would have been quite surprised.

    Also if one were to launch a counter-bid to DC or Chicago I would really hope the emphasis would be on what one’s Worldcon would feature, not just a negative “we’re not the U.S.”

    (18) I have not been to Burning Man but in my hiking experience, “leave no trace” works better the fewer people you have in an area. Even if there are signs and reminders posted at the trailhead. I would not expect an area featuring 80,000 annual visitors to be clean without active volunteer garbage pickup efforts.

    Martin

  14. (7) DC IN 2021 DISSENT. Thanks, @Hampus Eckerman & @Cora Buhlert (et al.), for your reasonable comments. I can understand your takes on it – vote against or just not voting.

    I’ll vote for DC because #1 it’s the only bid, #2 I live in the area, and #3 I don’t believe in trying to prevent Worldcon from happening. I wouldn’t spend money to vote against a con (if it wins, I’d effectively be supporting it), but that’s me

    Anyway, I hope if None wins, the biz meeting does the IMHO reasonable thing and picks DC anyway, as the only non-joke bid. That’s how I’ll vote, if this happens and I’m present for the vote.

  15. @Goobergunch: I’d hope to OTC a “political climate” amendment of any sort, regardless of the criteria. I seriously think it’s a bad path to go down.

    Agreed re. a positive bid over a “we’re not X” bid (though at this point it’s really too late, for 2021).

  16. Abe said, “Where do you want this filing done?”
    God said, “Out on Scrollway Pixel-One.”

  17. (7) DC IN 2021 DISSENT. ::eyeroll:: Hopefully it would be ruled out of order; if not, I’d happily vote for OTC (my preference in this case) or PI, though, if it were ruled in order.

    We’d survive without a Worldcon if “None of the Above” won, but without a competing bid, it seems bizarre to me to actively try to prevent people who are willing to put on the con from doing so, when there’s no other bid in site. I don’t mean just voting None of the Above or talking smack about having Worldcons in the U.S. Heck, some people vote “None of the Above” in years with 2 or 3 bids. But this, ugh, this just feels like a “burn it down” move, which is sad.

    On the other paw, maybe we wouldn’t survive. If there’s no Worldcon, how do I join WSFS for 2021 without a con, so I can vote for 2023? And if that and the Chicago bid (so far, no competition) are nuked from orbit . . . no more Worldcons, because we can’t have nice things and can’t vote for 2023 or 2024?! Le sigh.

    I’m only half serious. Presumably – I didn’t find it in a quick scan – there’s something in the constitution about how to pick a Worldcon – how to join WSFS and vote! – when there’s no Worldcon to pick it from, or a creative interpretation to handle it. Maybe @Jo Van Ekeren (thanks for summarizing the problems with his idea above, BTW) or @Kevin Standlee (Mr. WSFS) can explain how could we handle A Year Without a Worldcon (apologies to The Year Without a Summer), if it came to that.

    (Sorry to keep posting about this; this was really my main post, but I wanted to post my 2-comments-above comment separately and before this one.)

  18. Kendall: Why don’t you skim through the WSFS Constitution and see if I’m right or wrong, but the only things a Worldcon committee HAS to do is host the business meeting, administer the Hugos, and run site selection (for the Worldcon, and where applicable, the NASFiC.) In other words, all the rest of the trappings — the convention itself — could be abandoned for a year provided the business meeting could assign those duties to someone, somewhere.

  19. Kendall, here’s my take on what would happen if the 2021 Site Selection had None of the Above win. This is purely speculation on my part, based on what I know and believe.

    The WSFS Business Meeting members would have a discusssion about whether the DC in 2021 bid was capable of competently putting on a Worldcon. I believe that the answer to that would be “yes”.

    They would entertain proposals from the floor and have a discussion about whether a suitable alternate exists to be chosen. Given the amount of time it takes to put on a Worldcon (2 years minimum, 3+ to be ideal, since convention and hotel facilities have to be contracted that far out), I believe that the answer to that would be “no”.

    I believe that DC in 2021 would be confirmed as the Worldcon by the WSFS members. And the reason I think this is that, no matter where Worldcon is held, especially given the global political situation right now, there are people for whom the site is just not going to be viable. A lot of people probably don’t dare to try to get into the U.S. And as Hampus Eckerman and Cora Buhlert have pointed out, there are a lot of people in the U.S. — POC and LGBTQ especially — who don’t dare leave for fear of not being allowed to return. And there are a lot of people in the U.S. for whom an overseas Worldcon is not an economic possibility.

    3 of the 4 Worldcons in the 2017-2020 time span are not in the U.S., and their locations are fairly widely-spread out on the globe, which means that a lot of people in non-U.S. countries are getting the chance to attend a Worldcon right now.

    It seems a bit churlish to demand that the people in the U.S. who are already being punished financially and discriminatorily by the current regime, who did not vote that regime into office, and who do not agree with that regime’s actions, should be punished further by not being allowed access to a Worldcon once in a while — especially when no fan group in any other country has stepped up offering to do the job in 2021.

  20. 10) Jan-Michael Vincent was also on the Banana Splits live-action segment of Danger Island as Michael Vincent which should at least be considered genre-adjacent.
    But,yeah, avoid “Damnation Alley” just based on the ending alone.

  21. I am sorry to say that I actually paid to see Damnation Alley in the theater when it first came out. It was most definitely not an acceptable adaptation.

    It might (might) be ok if all you want is a B-movie with little or no plot or story (or budget), but lots of cheese. But even there, I suspect you could do a lot better without half trying. 🙂

    (I’m trying–after all these years–not to be too bitter. But it’s not easy! I paid actual money to see that stinker. Some of which probably went to the people responsible! Though on the bright side, it’s possible some went to Roger.)

  22. (7) yeah…the issue is not just people going into the US but people leaving the US. There will be US based fans who have legitimate fears about travelling to Dublin or Wellington because of US border policy. Not holding a Worldcon in DC doesn’t resolve those issues.

  23. Harold Osler on July 16, 2019 at 12:02 am said:

    10) Jan-Michael Vincent was also on the Banana Splits live-action segment of Danger Island as Michael Vincent which should at least be considered genre-adjacent.
    But,yeah, avoid “Damnation Alley” just based on the ending alone.

    One pixelana, two pixelana, three pixelana, four
    all pixelanas make a scroll and so do many more

  24. But I mean. I’ll vote for a con I want to go to. The other con might on paper have better location and logistics, but it’s nowhere I want to go. And if its not a con I’m thinking of going to, then why should I vote?

    I tend to go first by if there’s a place I haven’t been to. If not, if it is a place I want to return to or att least close to something I want to see. Only after that will I start to compare bids, if there’s more than one that’s interesting – for me that is.

    I do not think that much about what would be optimal for Worldcon growth as such. Or for other persons. I vote for what I personally will like and think of going to.

    Not voting for US is not a political statement from me. It is because I personally will not go there with current VISA rules. If they change for me, I might go there regardless of Trumps other policies are active.

    I mean, I went to US during the Iraq War which still was worse on a totally different scale than what Trump is doing now. If you were ok with a con in US then, then why not know?

  25. (3) The Turing banknote proposal includes a tape with a binary number on it, a visual reference to his Turing Machine.

    But the binary is not just random: written in decimal, it is Turing’s birthdate. Spotted by dan barker on Twitter:
    1010111111110010110011000 is 23061912 in decimal. Alan Turing was born on the 23rd June 1912.

    I wonder if Turing would have preferred 19120623? Link to tweet:

    https://twitter.com/danbarker/status/1150754128362188800

  26. Xtifr says I am sorry to say that I actually paid to see Damnation Alley in the theater when it first came out. It was most definitely not an acceptable adaptation.

    Details please. What was so bad about it? If I remember correctly some decades on from reading it, the story itself certainly wasn’t one of Rogers’s better efforts at storytelling.

  27. You can’t know if Damnation Alley is “worth” seeing
    A. until you’ve seen it
    B. until you’ve worked out the medium of exchange

    only film on the desert island after 6 years?

    I too paid good money to watch this piece of dreck in the theater. It received a fair amount of PR on tv and newspaper ads. My friends and I knew it was going to be ‘bad’, if only because it had JMV starring with Peppard.

    But we went anyways, willingly. It was a time of post-apocalyptic films (this, Wizards, A Boy and His Dog) and what can I say? Some people just want to watch the world burn.

    It’s quite awful, but interesting to compare DA’s Las Vegas with Blade Runner 2049’s (homage? fever dream?) at least if you like to compare awful SF films.

    On the other hand, the Landmaster vehicle is quite interesting – I think it went on to its own career after the movie.

    I mean, it’s not like watching it will cause brain damage…at least not permanently. And you can catch it for free at various times and places, so there’s that.

    SPOILER ALERTS
    It also manages to kill off its only black character in a pretty unique way…the first of many unique genre deaths for the actor Paul Winfield, I think. You wouldn’t want to miss that now, would you?

    And it’s another film where nuclear explosions get almost all the bad press. They’re bad enough, we don’t need to be hanging sky-ripping and planetary axial tilts to the mix. The prejudice is astonishing.

    Hope that helps!

  28. (3) I’m mildly disappointed that they didn’t go with Lovelace & Babbage (who were also on the shortlist), but I’ll certainly take Turing. Not that I’ve seen a £50 note more than once or twice in my life…
    @Niall McAuley: I had assumed that the binary would decode to something but I also admit that I thought I’d wait for somebody else to do it.

  29. Roger Zelazny is reported to have tried become smaller, slumping down in his chair during a discussion of the film DAMNATION ALLEY. And I hear tell that producers initially wanted Elvis Presley to be in the film..

    7) Hate to see Worldcons dealing with politics. If a campaign to get another place on the ballot, what happens if “none of the above” wins?

    Ain’t no pixel like the one I got

  30. A motion to overturn valid site selection results is out of order on its face and I feel confident would be ruled so should anyone try to make it. The Business Meeting’s role in site selection is to receive the results, and if there is a clear winner, authorize the destruction of the ballots (that’s the point where the results are final, sort of like when the OFFICIAL sign goes up on a horse race and they start paying the tickets), or if there is not a clear winner, use the defined process to pick a site.

    As others have pointed out, anyone opposed to the only bid on the ballot has only two options to stop it: A concerted None of the Above campaign (send selection to the Business Meeting) or file a write-in bid for an “acceptable” site and push it hard. Hawaii ran a very credible write-in bid in the 1993 site selection and placed second, losing to San Francisco but placing ahead of Zagreb and Phoenix, the other sites that were on the printed ballot. But they spent six months on their bid, not less than six weeks.

    When the Business Meeting picks a site, all of the normal restrictions go away, in order to allow enough flexibility to deal with what is presumably a crisis. Under WSFS rules, the BM can select any site/committee, including any of the bids that were on the ballot. None of the rules about showing a contract for a site or a committee’s organizational papers apply. If the BM is unable to make a decision, then the committee of the following Worldcon gets to pick the site. (In theory, CoNZealand could decide that they’re so excited about hosting the 2020 Worldcon that they’ll do it for two years running. This seems quite unlikely to me, but it’s legal.)

    The selection process is designed to retain continuity of organization, and recognizes that there are ongoing WSFS functions that require a Worldcon committee to administer. This is different from NASFiC, and therefore if NOTA ever wins a NASFiC election, the NASFiC for that year is canceled. (This has also never happened, although there was a campaign for it in 1992, where the 1995 NASFiC was selected. At that time, NASFiCs were selected with the same lead time as Worldcon and the Worldcon lead time was three years.)

    I expect that if NOTA were to ever win a Worldcon site selection election, the Business Meeting staff would be scrambling to beg Programming to move the meeting into whatever the largest programming space is. In 2011, when the Westercon site selection did not return a winner and the Business Meeting had to pick a site, about 35% of the 800 Westercon attendees that year showed up for a meeting that historically has had to pull people out of the hallway to meet the its quorum requirement (currently twelve people). I’ve given a lot of thought to this, both as a multiple-time WSFS BM chair and as the person who chaired that Westercon BM in San Jose in 2011.

  31. @ Robert Whitaker Sirignano: If “None Of The Above” wins, the Business Meeting decides where the two-years-hence WorldCon will be. If that fails to happen before the end of the Business Meeting, the duty to make the selection is put to the following year’s ConCom (as far as I can tell).

    Looks like 4.5.5 – 4.5.7 is the relevant sections of the statutes (current as of writing this comment).

  32. @OGH: Section 4.5.5:

    If “None of the Above” wins, or if two or more bids are tied for first place at the end of tallying, the duty of site selection shall devolve on the Business Meeting of the current Worldcon

    I do not see any way that either body can “assign those duties [that are mandated in the rules] to someone, somewhere”; they’d have to pick some some site/concom, even one that said openly “We are a Lord Low Substitute that will do the legal minimum in this minimal space”, and that concom would still be running a Worldcon. (5.1.5 says a quorum is 12 members physically present, which could allow the meeting at such a convention to do all sorts of mischief for the next meeting to clean up — but that’s why all changes require passage at two meetings.)

    @Jo Van Ekeren: that is a reasoned analysis; the problem is that a mass of people will not necessarily reason that way. If NOTA wins and there’s enough anti-US sentiment at the meeting, the meeting could pick a bid materialized in Dublin (even if it explicitly declared it would be a LLS as above), or adjourn without making a pick (punting to CoNZealand). I don’t expect it; Larter doesn’t appear to know that his motion is highly questionable (such that NOTA is the least implausible approach to what he wants), and I doubt he’s allowed himself enough time to rouse support from the 90+% of the attendees who don’t go to the meeting (and if he’d started earlier, there would also have been time for a counter-movement) — but AFAICT it could happen, churlish or not.
    Does anyone have bodies-on-site-by-country data for recent non-NorthAmerican Worldcons? I remember some fans being taken aback that USians were in the minority on site (but not in total membership) at Seacon ’79, but ISTM it’s now standard — the question is what the balance is.

    @Xtifr: IIUC, it’s very unlikely that Zelazny’s deal included a percentage of the gross. It may have included a percentage of the net, but before Buchwald v. Paramount that’s unlikely to have amounted to anything even if the film hadn’t crashed and burned on release.

    @Hampus Eckerman:

    I mean, I went to US during the Iraq War which still was worse on a totally different scale than what Trump is doing now. If you were ok with a con in US then, then why not know?

    Even with the reported aging of Worldcon attendance, a large part of the electorate is likely not to have been active in fandom to make that calculation; people do drift into and out of congoing, so how ~woke the current electorate are is anyone’s guess. As for being worse, that’s arguable; my guess is that there are fewer outright deaths (although the number of civilian deaths in Iraq is widely disputed, and we’ll never get a good count on people who die because they can’t get out of a bad area due to Trump’s policies), but I don’t know of anyone who couldn’t get to (e.g.) Boston in 2004 because of not being admitted to the US — there may well have been someone, but I know Watts and Morgan were later, and they were individual cases rather than a mass policy — and that blockage, rather than larger-scale bad conduct, is Larter’s professed reason for acting.

    @David Brain: Jacquard’s Web made a valiant attempt to trace a line from Babbage&Lovelace, but to my mind only confirmed that Hollerith and all his successors built directly on Jacquard’s work; Babbage was a failure, and by the time Lovelace’s theoretical work had been rediscovered it was largely superseded — not quite Da Vinci’s helicopter design, but related in terms of having no descendants. As a USian looking on the continuing denial of the dark side of history (latest example: the spineless governor of Tennessee claiming that he was had no choice about declaring Nathan Bedford Forrest day because there was a law), I am pleased that some country is publicly overturning an intolerable past action.

    @Kevin Standlee: them’s the rules — but what if the meeting is packed such that OTC fails and a chair’s ruling (on parliamentarian’s advice?) that the motion is ultra vires is overturned? ISTM that this is massively unlikely (not to mention possibly subject to the pass-at-two-year’s-meetings rule (section 6.6)) — but I expect you’re right that the meeting would have to be moved to the largest available hall.

  33. (18) (19) Y’know, seeing the two articles together gives an idea for a solution to the Burning Man problem…

  34. I thought the Landmaster was in Ark II – a Saturday morning live-action series that you’d have to be 9 years old to enjoy, which I was – but Wikipedia says otherwise.

  35. Chip Hitchcock: I do not see any way that either body can “assign those duties [that are mandated in the rules] to someone, somewhere”; they’d have to pick some some site/concom, even one that said openly “We are a Lord Low Substitute that will do the legal minimum in this minimal space”, and that concom would still be running a Worldcon. (5.1.5 says a quorum is 12 members physically present, which could allow the meeting at such a convention to do all sorts of mischief for the next meeting to clean up — but that’s why all changes require passage at two meetings.)

    It shouldn’t surprise me that someone who obviously understands the point I was making and agrees with it nevertheless requires that the point be worded his way and insists I was wrong to say it my way.

  36. Michael J. Walsh says I have a recollection of Roger referring to the film as “Darnation Alley.

    So how much of Roger’s story remained in the film? Interestingly
    you can only but it on iTunes but you rent it or buy it on Amazon. Not that I’ve got the slightest intention of doing so after hearing y’all describe seeing it!

  37. @Cat Microscopic amounts. The last name of the main character and, um, I’d be hard pressed to name anything else. It’s been a while since I read the story though. I rewatched the movie recently, though, for Skiffy and Fanty Torture Cinema

  38. Not that it makes the movie itself any better, but I nostalgically remember that for a number of years commuters going through the Cahuenga Pass here could see the vehicle from Damnation Alley parked in a storage lot across the freeway from Universal Studios.

  39. Paul Weimer says to me that Microscopic amounts. The last name of the main character and, um, I’d be hard pressed to name anything else. It’s been a while since I read the story though. I rewatched the movie recently, though, for Skiffy and Fanty Torture Cinema

    Interestingly enough, Damantion Alley is finally available in digital form after what seems like years of being held back by, well, I won’t say even though I do know who. And I see Eye of Cat and Jack of Shadows similarly can be had now. I’ve great hopes finally that this means his entire catalog is going to be available this way!

  40. Cora:

    “If he really is opposed to more WorldCons in the US, while the current administration in power (and there is a small chance that Trump will be voted out in 2020), then he should focus his efforts on putting together a counter bid to the 2022 bid in Chicago, which currently has no opposition at all.”

    Yes, that’s far more viable than organizing a successful campaign for ‘None of the Above’ this late in the game.

    Goobergunch:

    “(7) I could hypothetically imagine a constitutional amendment being put before the Business Meeting imposing political climate restrictions on Site Selection bids, but even setting aside the dubious merits of such a proposal (I have no idea how you’d come up with reasonable objective criteria, for starters)”

    Just off the top of my head, if you instituted rules that would address the US border problems, that would probably also have to include the UK, Israel, and China. Given the usual make up and attitude of the Business Meeting I cannot see any such amendment passing. Or making it past Postpone Indefinitely. And I’d expect there would be Objections to Consideration first.

  41. @Chip Hitchcock: I’m aware of “Hollywood Accounting”, and I realize there’s very little chance any fraction of my ticket money made it to his pocket–but I can dream, can’t I? 😀

    I mean, if it definitely did not, I’d almost rather not know….

  42. Chip Hitchcock: the problem is that a mass of people will not necessarily reason that way. If NOTA wins and there’s enough anti-US sentiment at the meeting, the meeting could pick a bid materialized in Dublin […] or adjourn without making a pick (punting to CoNZealand). I don’t expect it; Larter doesn’t appear to know that his motion is highly questionable (such that NOTA is the least implausible approach to what he wants), and I doubt he’s allowed himself enough time to rouse support from the 90+% of the attendees who don’t go to the meeting (and if he’d started earlier, there would also have been time for a counter-movement) — but AFAICT it could happen

    I think that this is merely an academic discussion. A great many people have already submitted their Site Selection ballots, and I don’t think there’s any chance that NOTA will come close to winning. The likelihood that a bunch of people who were not previously intending to vote in Site Selection would be willing to throw $50 at a NOTA bid which would not give them Supporting Member rights to anything would be nil, in my opinion.

  43. JJ: Why would it not give them Supporting Member rights to anything? None of the options result in “cancel Worldcon”, and even a minimal Worldcon would provide Supporting Member rights to all voters.

  44. Xtfir says I’m aware of “Hollywood Accounting”, and I realize there’s very little chance any fraction of my ticket money made it to his pocket–but I can dream, can’t I? ?

    Given the film cost seventeen million to make before any publicity costs and grossed only eight million of which some portion goes to the theatre owners, it’s doubtful in the extreme that Zelazny got anything beyond whatever he was paid upfront.

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