Pixel Scroll 7/17/19 By The Time I Get To Pixel, She’ll Be Scrolling

(1) CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS. Christopher J. Garcia and Chuck Serface are co-editing an issue of The Drink Tank dedicated to science-fiction comics of the 1950s and 1960s! Any critical articles, fanfic, personal remembrances, artwork, and any media we can publish in a fanzine are welcome.

Chuck Serface says, “Consideration of materials from any comic publisher of the time is fair game: Atlas/Marvel, DC, Gold Key, Charlton, Warren, EC, ones I’m forgetting at the moment — all of them.”

The deadline’s October 14, 2019. They’ll have it out by the end of the calendar year. Send submissions to ceserface@gmail.com.  

(2) COLSON WHITEHEAD Q&A. His new book is not sff, but some of his answers are about genre in “Powell’s Interview: Colson Whitehead, Author of ‘The Nickel Boys’”.

Rhianna: You’ve mentioned in other interviews being an avid reader of horror, and your novel Zone One is a zombie horror story. You’re very skilled at depicting violence. I was wondering if the horror genre has stylistically influenced the way that you depict historical atrocities, like those in The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys.

Whitehead: Again, I think the story determines how you tell it. The violence in Zone One is gorier. It’s more flamboyant than some of the stuff in The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys. In those two books, I think the horrific brutality that they experience speaks for itself. They don’t have to be dramatized.

This kind of language, I borrowed from reading the slave narratives. You don’t have to dramatize or sell to the listener or the reader how terrible everything is that is happening because it speaks for itself. If the violence is speaking for itself, I can concentrate more on the characters and what they’re feeling.

(3) TOLD WITH CONVICTION. LAist tells how “This LA Writer Turned Comic-Con Into A Crime Story”.

San Diego’s Comic-Con International starts Wednesday night, which makes this the perfect time to talk about Bad Weekend, a noir set against the backdrop of a fictionalized version of the now famous comics convention.

Writer Ed Brubaker described the graphic novel — with art by Brubaker’s longtime collaborator Sean Phillips and colors by Phillips’ son Jacob — as a weird love letter to comics, being a fan, and the strangeness of the comic book industry.

Bad Weekend is the product of filing away stories he’s heard around the comic book industry for the past 20 to 30 years, according to Brubaker — stories of who screwed over whom, of success not bringing happiness, and of comic companies getting rich off their work with movies and TV shows without the creators sharing in that wealth.

(4) OP-EDS. [Item by Olav Rokne.] If, like me, you’ve been enjoying the New York Times’ series of science fictional op-eds, they’ve just created a landing page with all the articles in the series now organized in one place:  “Op-Eds From the Future”

It’s worth checking back every second Monday to see the latest installment, as they’ve been excellent so far. 

(5) FILER NAMED FGOH. Chris Barkley shared on Facebook: “I am pleased to report that I was asked and accepted to be the Fan GoH at the 2021 Astronomicon in Rochester, NY along with my good friend (and Identical twin) Robert J. Sawyer.”

(6) TRANSLATED NOVEL HUGO REDUX. Chris Barkley has also addressed criticism of the Best Translated Novel Hugo category in a Facebook post which begins —

I have taken this past week to ponder a response to Neil Clarke and Taiyo Fujii’s objections to the viability of a Hugo Award category for Best Translated Novel. And frankly, their objections puzzle me.

I ask this of Mr. Fujii and to Mr. Clarke; if the three Hugos awarded to translated works are the awakening of fandom to translated literature, why haven’t more of those works been nominated in their wake? In the past three years of nominations; only 2017’s Death’s End, by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu, has been included in the Best Novel category, all of the other nominees in the category have all been decidedly anglocentric.

The truth of the matter we think that the Worldcon and the Hugo Awards have been overwhelmingly perceived for quite a while as an English speakers only party since a majority of the conventions have been held in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Mr. Clarke and Mr. Fujii may see the proposed award as either unnecessary, pandering or condescending to authors and fans but all Ms. Cordasco, my co-sponsors and I only want to do is shine a spotlight to fervently call attention to and honor authors and their translators. Speaking for myself, had there been three, four or five nominees on the final ballot since those historic awards, I would not have contemplated initiating and offering this proposal for an open debate…

(7) JUDGE UNCONVINCED. “Marvel Finally Beats a Lawsuit Over the ‘Iron Man 3’ Poster”The Hollywood Reporter has the story. There does seem to be a family resemblance, just the same:

Horizon still could have gotten the case to trial, but it then needed to show an inference of copying through the similarity of the works. Specifically, Horizon argued the two works were “strikingly similar,” with reliance on an expert report discussing anatomical structures, faces and heads, and camera views.

The judge responds that the expert report is “equivocating” on some of the noteworthy similarities by addressing features on careful viewing and not going quite so far to rule out any reasonable possibility of independent creation. Plus, the judge adds, “there remain enough differences between the two works,” nodding to Marvel’s pointing out differences in pose, differing placement of blue lights, and significantly different overall coloring.

(8) SEE READERCON 30. Ellen Datlow has posted 89 photos taken at ReaderCon 30 in a Flickr album.

Catherynne M. Valente, Heath Miller, and Sebastian

(9) ARE YOU WHAT YOU CONSUME? Surprising no one, here’s where The Hollywood Reporter lands on the meaning of “fan” and “fandom” — “Among Fandoms, Marvel May Reign Supreme, Poll Finds”.

A nationally representative sample of 2,200 adults carried out between July 8 and 10 revealed that, when it comes to genre properties, Marvel is far and away the most successful, with 63 percent of those surveyed considering themselves fans. The next most popular property was Marvel’s Disney sibling, Star Wars, with a 60 percent fandom, and DC followed with 59 percent.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • July 17, 1955 — Disneyland Park opened in Anaheim, California.
  • July 17, 1987 Robocop premiered on this day.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 17, 1858 Florence Balcombe Stoker. She was the wife and literary executor of Bram Stoker. She’s best remembered for her extended legal dispute with the makers of Nosferatu, an unauthorized film blatantly based on her husband’s novel Dracula. (Died 1937.)
  • Born July 17, 1889 Erle Stanley Gardner. Though best known for the Perry Mason series of detective stories, he did write a handful of SF stories, all of which are collected in The Human Zero: The Science Fiction Stories of Erle Stanley Gardner. (Died 1970.)
  • Born July 17, 1944 Thomas A. Easton, 75. SF critic and author who wrote the book review column in Analog from 1979 – 2009. His Organic Future series is quite entertaining and I’m reasonably certain I read Sparrowhawk when it was serialized in Analog
  • Born July 17, 1952 Robert R. McCammon, 67. Horror writer whose Michael Gallatin books, The Wolf’s Hour and The Hunter from the Woods, Alllied WWII werewolf agent and his adventures, I strongly recommend. His “Nightcrawlers” short story was adapted into an episode of the Twilight Zone.
  • Born July 17, 1954 J. Michael Straczynski, 65. Best known rather obviously for creating and writing most of Babylon 5 and its short-lived sequel Crusade. He’s also responsible for as well as the Jeremiah and Sense8 series. On the commit sides, he’s written The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor and Fantastic Four. Over at DC, he did the Superman: Earth One trilogy of graphic novels, and has also written Superman, Wonder Woman, and Before Watchmen titles.
  • Born July 17, 1967 Kelly Robson, 52. I just got done reading her brilliant “Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach”.  Right now, it appears only this plus “A Human Stain” and “Waters of Versailles” are available on iBooks and Kindle for reading as she has no collection out yet. And no novel as far as I can tell. 
  • Born July 17, 1971 Cory Doctorow, 48. I’ll admit that I’ve mixed feelings about his work. I enjoyed Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, his first novel, and thought The Rapture of the Nerds had potential but really failed to live to that potential to great. Everything else is ‘Meh’. His activism is oft times that of an overeager puppy trying to get attention for himself. 
  • Born July 17, 1976 Brian K. Vaughan, 43. Wow. Author of  Ex Machina,  Pride of BaghdadRunawaysSagaY: The Last Man, and his newest affair, Paper Girls. And yes, he’s won Hugo Awards. You could spend an entire summer just reading those series. In his spare time, he was a writer, story editor and producer of the television series Lost during seasons three through five. And was the showrunner and executive producer of the Under the Dome series.

(12) IN THE BEGINNING. The San Diego Union-Tribune explores “50 Shades of Comic-Con: What we’ve gained and lost in five decades of pop culture celebrations”.

From its inception, Comic-Con had intergalactic ambitions.

The initial show, then called San Diego’ Golden State Comic Con, featured science fiction writers Ray Bradbury and A.E. Van Vogt; Jack Kirby, creator of Captain America, X-Men and other iconic superheroes; vintage films; an art auction; and dozens of dealers peddling mountains of new and used comics.

An unforgettable event — for the 300 attendees. Few others noticed and even they dismissed this as a juvenile jamboree. For instance:

On the show’s first day, Aug. 1, 1970, the author of “Fahrenheit 451″ and “The Martian Chronicles” granted an interview to The San Diego Union. Yet Bradbury’s spirited defense of comics was buried on page B-11, under articles about a flower show, the repainting of the White House East Room and a medical brief with the headline “Fat Men More Tipsy.”

… Neil Kendricks is a writer, filmmaker and teacher who recently led a San Diego State course on comics and sequential art. In the early 1980s, though, he was a high school student at his first Comic-Con. In the dealer’s room, he bumped into a white-haired gentleman flipping through the cardboard boxes full of used comics.

“Mr. Bradbury,” he stammered, “will you be here for awhile?”

When Ray Bradbury nodded yes, Kendricks dashed out of Golden Hall and ran the half-mile to Wahrenbrock’s Book House.

“I went upstairs to the science fiction section and bought as many of his books and I could find. Then I ran all the way back and he signed them. That,” Kendricks said, “could never happen now.”

(13) UP ON CHARGES. Trae Dorn reports at Nerd & Tie that a conrunner is being prosecuted in the Twin Cities: “How to React When a Member of Your Con Staff is Accused of Rape”. Documentation accompanies the post.

On Monday it came to light that long time staffer of Twin Cities based Anime Detour Stephen Gifford has been charged with third-degree sexual assault in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Gifford was head of Convention Communications for Anime Detour’s 2019 event earlier this year, and has previously served as the event’s convention chair.

… Now we’ve seen cons react to situations like this in many ways, but thankfully Anime Detour’s staff has taken the situation seriously.

(14) KNIT ONE, PEARL TWO. While they still can, WIRED lets readers decide for themselves what to think about this coming technology: “Here’s How Elon Musk Plans to Stitch a Computer into Your Brain”.  

…At a presentation at the California Academy of Sciences, hastily announced via Twitter and beginning a half hour late, Musk presented the first product from his company Neuralink. It’s a tiny computer chip attached to ultrafine, electrode-studded wires, stitched into living brains by a clever robot. And depending on which part of the two-hour presentation you caught, it’s either a state-of-the-art tool for understanding the brain, a clinical advance for people with neurological disorders, or the next step in human evolution.

The chip is custom-built to receive and process the electrical action potentials—“spikes”—that signal activity in the interconnected neurons that make up the brain. The wires embed into brain tissue and receive those spikes. And the robotic sewing machine places those wires with enviable precision, a “neural lace” straight out of science fiction that dodges the delicate blood vessels spreading across the brain’s surface like ivy.

…And, sure, there’s more. A public records request from WIRED in April 2019 found that Neuralink is licensed to have hundreds of rats and mice in its research facilities. In a seemingly unplanned moment at the Cal Academy, Musk also acknowledged that Neuralink’s research had progressed beyond rodents to non-human primates. It’s only because of a records request filed by Gizmodo that Neuralink’s affiliation with the primate research center at UC Davis is public knowledge. That affiliation has apparently progressed: “A monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain, just FYI,” Musk said during the Q and A after the presentation.

His team seemed as surprised and discombobulated by the announcement as the audience. “I didn’t know we were running that result today, but there it goes,” said Max Hodak, president of the company, on stage next to Musk. (Monkeys have controlled computers via BCIs before, though presumably this would be the first time one used Neuralink.)

(15) APOLLO 11 AT 50 CLIPPINGS.

One small holograph for man, one giant holograph for the Washington Monument.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with a life-size projection of the Saturn V rocket on the Washington Monument on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The Saturn V rocket is now iconic for carrying the Apollo 11 crew to the moon in 1969. The projection-mapping artwork will occupy 363 of the monument’s 555 vertical feet.

As the 17th century’s most famous Italian astronomer surveyed the heavens, he likely never dreamed a rocket shooting fire would one day power people up among the stars he eyed through his telescope, or that his work would help guide a ship to the moon.

But Galileo Galilei’s observations would become a key link in the chain of scientific research and discovery fundamental to our understanding of the universe and our drive to explore it.

That scientific continuum is at the heart of a new Houghton Library exhibit connecting early celestial calculations to the Apollo 11 mission that put two American astronauts on the lunar surface 50 years ago this July. “Small Steps, Giant Leaps: Apollo 11 at Fifty” features gems from Harvard’s collection of rare books and manuscripts as well as NASA artifacts from an anonymous lender and Harvard alumnus, many of which were aboard the spaceship that left Earth’s orbit in 1969.

Not all of the equipment carried into space was cutting edge and expensive. Some of the more humble odds and ends even prevented disaster.

…25: Length of duct tape rolls carried to the Moon, in feet

If there’s one saviour time and again of American space missions over the past 50 years, it’s a roll of duct tape. During Apollo missions, it was used for everything from taping down switches and attaching equipment inside the spacecraft, to fixing a tear on a spacesuit and, during Apollo 17, a fender on the lunar rover.

One of the surviving crew members of the first manned mission to the Moon – Apollo 11 – has returned to the site where the mission set off 50 years ago.

Michael Collins, 88, visited Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday. He marked theprecise time – 09:32 (13:32 GMT) – when their rocket took off.

Mr Collins had stayed in lunar orbit while his colleagues Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon.

…Mr Collins described how he felt during take-off.

“The shockwave from the rocket power hits you,” he told Nasa TV. “Your whole body is shaking. This gives you an entirely… different concept of what power really means.”

Esquire was not expecting much from Neil Armstrong.

“While the space program is poised on the brink of a truly epoch-making triumph of engineering, it is also headed for a rhetorical train wreck,” the story said.

“The principal danger is not that we will lose the life of an astronaut on the Moon, but that the astronauts will murder English up there . . . . That they are likely to litter the intergalactic void with gibberish and twaddle.”

The smugness is rather remarkable, because despite the talent of the people it enlisted, Esquire got not a single decent line from any of them.

It got, in fact, a lot of gibberish and twaddle.

…With that as your benchmark, here’s a sampling of what Esquire’s best and brightest came up with:

John Kenneth Galbraith, the Harvard economist: “We will hafta pave the damn thing.”

Ayn Rand, libertarian thinker and novelist: “What hath man wrought!”

…Leonard Nimoy, the actor, then in his third season as Spock on the new TV series Star Trek: “I’d say to Earth, from here you are a peaceful, beautiful ball and I only wish everyone could see it with that perspective and unity.”

(16) BACK SEAT FLYING. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Washington Post: “Airline tweets about where passengers are least likely to die in a crash”. The pic below is cribbed from the WaPo article. Apparently, they got ahold of a screenshot of the since-deleted tweet. The thought process of whoever sent this out must have been, well, let’s just call it astounding.

(17) A KING WILL BE CROWNED. Looper fills us in about The Most Anticipated Sci Fi Movies Of 2020.

2020 might feel far away, but Hollywood’s major studios are already planning ahead with some legit super hits on the horizon. And if you’re a fan of sci-fi flicks, then 2020’s looking like an especially good year for you. These are just a few of the most anticipated sci-fi blockbusters on their way to a big screen near you. Film fans will finally get the answer to an age-old question in 2020, when Godzilla and King Kong face off on the big screen. Director Adam Wingard has already assured fans that his take on the two monsters will crown a definitive winner, unlike the 1962 film that first pit the two characters against each other. This will be the fourth entry in Legendary’s MonsterVerse, first established in 2014’s Godzilla and further explored in Kong: Skull Island.

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

35 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/17/19 By The Time I Get To Pixel, She’ll Be Scrolling

  1. First!
    Kelly is very good people. I sat with her and Alyx at the 2017 Hugos in Helsinki (I was the designated acceptor for NOAF). And I do like her fiction even if its not as yet a prodigious output.

    8) ooo, thank you. Not photographed again, though!

  2. (8) Cat reports on Twitter that Sebastian’s first words were “Good boy”.

  3. 13) I remember when I was a new host for a twice-monthly pub meets in Sweden. I was one of six hosts (two per meet) when one of the other hosts told me he needed to step away from being a host for a while because he had been reported to the police for rape. I remember the chock. I couldn’t really think clearly, couldn’t take in the implications. I think I even suppressed the memories for a while. It helped that we at that time had a board who handled everything, so I didn’t know any details.

    Then a few months later, the police had turned down the case, I had a small dinner at home with some friends in the community, including two female hosts. And they started to tell me stories about him. How he acted against them, put his hands on them, refused to listen to “no”.

    And this was suddenly something I had to handle as a host, totally new in the community, because now we hosts were an independent group. And I remember that my initial action was anger (that I thankfully didn’t show). At how far this had already gone, at that this hadn’t been handled long time before at the first incident. That it fell in my lap. And then starting to think about how the hell you handled things like this, because we had no routines. Ä What happened is that he himself made his break as a host permanent before we brought it up. And 1-2 months later I understood that she who had made the police report was a friend of my roommate.

    This was six years ago.

    Since then, I have been part of removing two more hosts for similar incidents. One man, one woman. But in both those cases, I was so much more prepared. I had been able to think about it, read how others did it, gotten better att directly thinking of the victims. We had written routines. I had also had to handle a few incidents with guests and found that the difference between handling a guest or a host wasn’t that large.

    I absolutely think any group that organizes events should start to think of this from the start. Even before a Code of Conduct have a few internal examples on non-acceptable behaviour and how they should be handled. Then you can write a detailed CoC. But as soon as enough people organize, you have to know who handles what, how people should get feedback and who is responsible for making a decisions and followup what happens.

    Because I absolutely wasn’t thinking clearly, there was absolutely some kind of psychological resistance when I first heard what happened, there was absolutely a wish someone else would handle it.

  4. Humble Bundle has teamed up with Jabberwocky Literary Agency to create the current Humble Bundle. Authors of the books in this Bundle include:

    William C. Dietz
    Tanya Huff
    Scott Mackay
    John Zakour & Lawrence Ganem
    Erin Lindsey
    Adam-Troy Castro
    Jack Campbell
    Tim Akers
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
    Marie Brennan
    Simon R. Green
    Jon Sprunk
    Elizabeth Moon
    Daniel José Older
    Charlain Harris
    Aliette de Bodard

    Proceeds generated by the Bundle will go towards the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Girls Who Code.

  5. That airline tweet is like Arby’s revealing which of its menu items is least likely to be contaminated with escherichia coli.

  6. 14
    I don’t think biological evolution involves silicon chips, no matter what they’re claiming.

  7. (3) Mysteries set at conventions aren’t exactly a new thing. Sharyn McCrumb’s 1998 Bimbos of the Death Sun is a fairly well-known example, and there have been SF or Comic Con episodes of several mystery shows, including Bones and Psych. And of course, there’s Anthony Boucher’s famous Rocket to the Morgue (1942), which, while not actually set at a convention, does contain some references to them. As cons have gotten more popular, it’s not surprising that they’re also getting more popular as a setting.

    But I’m certainly not complaining about another one. Just because the story may not be quite as original as the article seems to suggest doesn’t mean it’s not a perfectly decent story.

    (7) Considering that the Deadpool movie mocked that exact position as the “standard hero landing position” (or words to that effect), I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that anyone owns it. There are other similarities between the two works, but yeah…I’m less-than-convinced about the claims.

    Birthdays: I like Doctorow–in fact, I’m reading his latest collection right now. But I admit that he can drift into preachy territory. But not enough people are covering the digital rights beat, IMO, so I don’t really mind.

  8. @Hampus, based on the long list of people who have mishandled harassment reports, I think your experience is common. This stuff is effing hard, and experience, sad though it is to get it, helps. I’m sorry you had to go through that, but thank you for dealing with it.

    The following isn’t a response to your experience, but your story reminded me of these things:

    I was on the WisCon concom during Frenkelfail, and we learned that if only one person is responsible at any point in handling a complaint, and that person freezes up and doesn’t deal with it, then the complaint can and probably will get lost. It is also unfortunately true that you won’t know where those and other lapses are in your procedures until they’re tested. That’s one of the reasons experience helps, the other being a personal hardening up to the difficulty.

    Another lesson learned was that we are not courts, and our concerns should first be the safety of our members/participants/volunteers, rather than judicial fairness. I like to think of it as whether you would invite this person to your party after hearing this report, rather than whether there is enough evidence to send them to jail. You don’t need as much evidence for the first as the second.

    And my personal lesson, as someone not directly involved in handling things, is to not just accept what those responsible do with the report, if your gut tells you it’s wrong. Be brave and ask questions.

  9. @14: oh, nothing can go wrong with this, move along now….

    @17: this has long been a matter for jokes — “Have you ever seen an airplane back into a mountain?”; I wonder why someone … thought … this was relevant?

    @Xtifr: McCrumb was hardly a pioneer; cf Now You See It/Him/Them… (DeWeese&Coulson at the 1974 Worldcon) and a sequel, Charles Fort Never Mentioned Wombats (1975 Worldcon), both from the mid-1970’s. I think the first was just ahead of Asimov’s Murder at the ABA. McCrumb’s account was also more than a tad vicious — not far removed from the sort of “Look at the freaks!” that used to be the standard approach from mundane media.
    That was also my immediate reaction to @7.

  10. A few days ago, I promised to offer my opinions on Roanhorse’s Storm of Locusts once I got a chance to read it, and, since I just finished it, here’s my thoughts.

    I liked it a little better than the first book, but the first book did a few things better. I liked the murky shades of gray of the first book, and this one was a little more…well, not black and white, but at least more clearly light gray and dark gray. But the story was more straightforward, which I liked. We picked up a teenaged protegé, which surprised me, and had me a bit worried, but in the end, I think she worked out fairly well. The story also felt a little more predictable than the first book, but had plenty of interesting exotic new elements to make up for it.

    Definitely not a retread, as this one was much more of a road-trip story. I’d call it a worthy successor, though.

    I hope that’s all sufficiently spoiler-free?

    (It occurred to me as I was reading it that urban fantasy set in the future is pretty rare, and, I have to say, pretty cool. I hope it inspires more.)

  11. (12)

    “I went upstairs to the science fiction section and bought as many of his books and I could find. Then I ran all the way back and he signed them. That,” Kendricks said, “could never happen now.”

    Getting an autograph from Ray Bradbury would be an extraordinary feat these days.

  12. (7) I was working on a draw technique last week that ends in a very similar position but with a sword in my right hand. It’s a little bit silly but it’s a valid technique.

  13. @Hampus: Thanks for sharing this experience. I can completely understand the urge to freeze up, be mad that it falls on you, or react by thinking, “Let’s see how this plays out before making any decisions”. Too many people give into the temptation to stop at that point.

    I think another piece of your experience is instructive too. If you hear about something like this, ask around — chances are good that if it’s gotten to the point of an official report being made (either to con leadership or police), there are probably stories that have been circulating informally or people warning others on the low-low to watch the person. And if those stories have been circulating, I think that should greatly influence how one reacts to the official report.

    Of course it’s better to have a detailed official written policy in place and have trained people on it so everyone knows what to do, as well as a publicly announced policy on behavior. I think a lot (most?) cons have gotten to that point in the last few years. Still working on the gap between official policy and how it’s enforced.

    @Lenore: I also think your point about the priority being safety of everyone at the con over using some sort of standard of “beyond reasonable doubt” is really important. Everyone (including me at times) gets knotted up worrying about fairness to the accused and the possibility of vindictive false reports but the comfort and safety of the attendees and staff is critical. And if people don’t embrace the concept because it’s the right thing to do, there are the examples of the ugly fallout and cons actually going under because shit wasn’t dealt with.

  14. KerenL tweeted:
    Dublin2019 emailed teen parents yesterday, informing us that ppl under 15 must be accompanied by an adult AT ALL TIMES … Alcohol will be served in open venues in the convention, and Irish laws forbid ppl under 18 to roam free where alcohol is served.

    If this is a legal requirement, why doesn’t the con policy apply to 16 & 17 year olds? And why wait to inform people until 3 weeks before the convention?

    (Further information in the responses to the first post in the thread.

  15. @Xtifr —

    (It occurred to me as I was reading it that urban fantasy set in the future is pretty rare, and, I have to say, pretty cool. I hope it inspires more.)

    I got sidetracked into a reread of Hot Money by Francis, so I just finished my reread of Trail of Lightning last night and will start Storm of Locusts this morning. Thanks for your impression of it!

    If you like near-future UF, you might try Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron. Aaron is hit-or-miss for me — I really enjoyed her Eli Monpress books, but I didn’t like her first Heartstrikers book at all and didn’t try the rest. This new series is an off-shoot of the Heartstrikers series, but with a human protagonist instead of dragon shifters. Book 1 was a lot of fun; I noticed just the other day that book 2 is out, and I’ll definitely be giving it a try.

  16. @cmm,

    Kyoto Animation has been a major presence in anime this last decade or so — their work is noted for high-quality lush visuals, and they had a lot to do with the boom in slice-of-life anime.

    (And of course it’d be a horrible tragedy even without any of that.)

  17. Some non-toxic (BBC) links on the fire at KyoAni:
    The basic story
    Fan reactions
    From what I can see, they didn’t do genre but were known for high-quality sympathetic work. I wonder if we’ll ever know what really motivated the arsonist.

  18. @Chip

    Actually about half of KyoAni output has been genre and that was how they first made their mark. “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” was what really put them at the top of the industry which is about a teenage girl who was unknowingly god and the group of people who tried to keep her in a good mood. If she became too upset she might destroy the universe, if she got too bored she might make it more “interesting”.

  19. @Lis Ribs – thanks for sharing that. And I’ve got to agree about the con’s reaction on this being less than useless. I hope they get the lead out and come up with a solution.

  20. Lis Riba says
    If this is a legal requirement, why doesn’t the con policy apply to 16 & 17 year olds? And why wait to inform people until 3 weeks before the convention?

    (Further information in the responses to the first post in the thread.

    I get an error message when I go here.

  21. (6) Honestly, I’m getting tired of proposals we’re just supposed to accept blindly, and any questions or contrary opinions are Wrong. I see numerous practical difficulties with a Best Translated Work Hugo or Not-A-Hugo. And while I would like to see a lot more attention to translated sff, if only for the selfish reason of wanting more to choose from, I don’t think the lack of a Hugo-associated award is primary driver of Anglophone readers not finding them.

    No, I don’t have a better solution yet. I’m just not persuaded this is it.

  22. @Contrarius: Thanks for the rec! I’ve read some of the SF she writes under the name Rachel Bach, and liked it, but I haven’t read any of the stuff she publishes as Rachel Aaron. I’ll look for it.

    cheers

  23. July 17 was also the birthday of Phyllis Diller. She provided the voice of The Monster’s Mate in Mad Monster Party? (I’ve never noticed that question mark before.) Tradition also requires me to note she was in a pretty good episode of The Night Gallery.

    Also Donald Sutherland whose appearance in the remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatcher lives on as an internet meme.

    And Vince Guaraldi who is best known for providing the too cool music for the Peanuts specials.

    Finally, The Hoff. Nuff said.

    I love Pixel Scroll. Put another file on the internet, baby

  24. 6) It seems like the wrong solution to the right problem. If the problem is that not enough people nominate translated works, why should the solution be to create a new category instead of getting more translated works on the ballot for categories that already exist?

    The first start could be to raise awareness with a fan table at conventions with lists of all translated books as yet for the year, perhaps even with printed reviews or covers. Then people could see if they were available in the dealers room. Doesn’t even have to be a manned table. It could be a display.

    If people don’t read the stories or talk about them, a new category is meaningless. If they do read the stories and talk about them, then why a new category?

    A fun thing would also be to, at such a display, have example covers from original edition, including translation of summary and perhaps background, for books that haven’t been translated. Just to show what other countries do.

    It is actually a thing that I personally think could be interesting working on.

  25. Exactly. Declaring the existence of a fan award before you have a fan base is simply not the right approach! Carts, horses….

    Is there still time to whip up a proposal saying “no new WSFS award or permanent Hugo category unless a Worldcon committee has been persuaded to try it as one of their special one-shot deals to see how well it works in practice“? If someone comes up with an obviously-good category, it should be a breeze to persuade a concom, and if you can’t come up with an argument good enough to get a one-shot, why should we think it’s good enough to be permanent!?

  26. Xtifr on July 18, 2019 at 2:40 pm said:

    Is there still time to whip up a proposal…?

    No, not unless you can convince 2/3 of the people at the Business Meeting to let it onto the agenda. The deadline for submitting new business was July 17, 30 days before the Preliminary Business Meeting. Anything else only gets on the agenda with the Chair’s consent (unlikely with the large amount of business already submitted) or by a suspension of the rules (2/3 vote required to permit it to be considered).

    That doesn’t mean that opponents of new categories can’t argue that you shouldn’t add a category until it’s had at least one trial run, just that it can’t be made as a requirement for any new categories. And personally, I’m not certain that trying to make it a rule wouldn’t produce unintended consequences: what about splitting or merging existing categories? How would they be affected by such a rule? You might accidentally make it impossible for certain classes of amendment to even be considered.

  27. I finished His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik a few days ago, giving the book five-out-of-five stars.

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

    A charming read from first page to last, His Majesty’s Dragon is a fantasy novel in which England is at war with Napoleon’s France and both sides have a formidable arsenal of dragons and an aviator corps to pilot them. A Navy captain captures a French vessel and finds out why they fought so hard after all seemed lost — there was an unhatched dragon egg on board. But this rare prize is about to hatch at sea, where no aviator is around to bind it to service. In her Hugo-nominated debut novel, Naomi Novik puts an irresistible spin on dragons. They’re literate, varied in skill and intellect and opinionated — with Temeraire the most intriguing of them all. Though the book fits comfortably in fantasy, the protagonist Will Laurence is so particular about his belongings, manner and social mores he’d be right at home in a regency romance novel. This lends the book some of its best comedy. I’m running out of superlatives. There are eight more books in the series and I’m eager to read them all.

  28. Some Comic Con memories I’ll always remember.

    Here’s my main Ray Bradbury memory from San Diego Comic Con. I was making my way down the main aisle in the exhibit hall and heard behind me someone yelling “Wheelchair coming through!”. I started to move to the side and looked back to see what the commotion was and then they yelled “Ray Bradbury coming through!”. It was Ray being pushed down the aisle on his way to visit several artists he wanted to see. Every time I see James Owen or others post their pictures of Ray Bradbury from that day, it reminds me of that random encounter with him.

    Another random encounter was with Julie Schwartz. I was at the AZSF fan table located in the exhibit hall (before they were moved to the mezzanine) and along came Julie Schwartz, just wondering around and chatting with people. I had a nice chat with him and got to thank him for all the DC comics he edited that I read when I was a kid.

    That same year “Weird Al” Yankovic walked by the table (didn’t get a chance to talk to him though) with his wife and I found out later he was heading to artists alley specifically to see Frank Kelly Freas.

  29. Kevin Standlee on July 18, 2019 at 3:01 pm said:

    And personally, I’m not certain that trying to make it a rule wouldn’t produce unintended consequences

    Fair point. Just because someone else has come up with what I think is a not-well-thought-out proposal, that doesn’t mean I should do the same! 😀

  30. @Magewolf: TFTI — I was going by the BBC and NPR stories, which at first view discussed only the mundane work. Melancholy sounds like it could be very good, or … not.

  31. @Jack Lint – Donald Sutherland was also in the very good video for Kate Bush’s song “Cloudbusting”, which is genre-enough for me.

  32. Nice to see that Readercon has gotten friendlier to families than the last time I was there, when my then-kindergartener got tossed out for perfectly reasonable behaviour in the hallway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.