Pixel Scroll 7/31/20 And I Won’t Forget To Scroll Pixels On Your Grave

(1) GALACTIC WALKTHROUGH. Journalists get a virtual tour as “Virgin Galactic Unveils Comfy Cabin for Jet-Setting to the Edge of Space” reports the New York Times.

The inside of Virgin Galactic’s space plane is like a space-age executive jet.

The seats recline to absorb the forces of acceleration toward space. Mood lighting shifts during each phase of the flight. Twelve windows — two for each of the six passengers, who have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars each for a seat — provide an impressive view of Earth and the darkness of space. Sixteen cameras will capture you floating. And the back of the cabin includes a big circular mirror so that you can watch yourself enjoying a few minutes escaping the effects of gravity.

Virgin Galactic will be offering short up-and-down trips to the edge of space, essentially like giant roller coaster rides with better views, in its space plane, SpaceShipTwo.

But how can the company unveil the fancy new interior of its space plane in the middle of a global pandemic when journalists are not able to gather for a fancy media event?

Modern technology provided an imaginative solution. Virgin Galactic sent Oculus virtual reality headsets as loaners to journalists so that they could chat with the designers of the cabin while walking through a computer-generated version of it — an experience of almost being there while being nowhere near there….

(2) REASONS FOR SITE SELECTION WRITE-INS. Yeah. No.

(3) DRAGON AWARDS. Almost there – Dragon Awards.

Dragon Awards dates

Ballots for the awards will be released in the first week of August.

Voting registration closes on 9/4/20.

Voting closes on 9/5/20.

(3) JUST LIBRARIANS. “Internet Archive Answers Publishers’ Copyright Lawsuit”Publishers Weekly distills the defendant’s legal reply to the lawsuit.

In a July 28 filing, the Internet Archive answered a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by four major publishers, asserting that its long-running book scanning and lending program is designed to fulfill the role of a traditional library in the digital age, and is protected by fair use.

“The Internet Archive does what libraries have always done: buy, collect, preserve, and share our common culture,” reads the IA’s preliminary statement to its answer, contending that its collection of roughly 1.3 million scans of mostly 20th century books, many of which are out of print, is a good faith and legal effort to “mirror traditional library lending online” via a process called Controlled Digital Lending (CDL).

“Contrary to the publishers’ accusations, the Internet Archive, and the hundreds of libraries and archives that support it, are not pirates or thieves,” the filing states. “They are librarians, striving to serve their patrons online just as they have done for centuries in the brick-and-mortar world. Copyright law does not stand in the way of libraries’ right to lend, and patrons’ right to borrow, the books that libraries own.”

The IA’s answer comes in response to a June 1 copyright infringement lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York by Hachette, HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House, and coordinated by the Association of American Publishers….

(4) KGB READINGS. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Elizabeth Hand and Michael Libling in a YouTube livestreamed event on Wednesday, August 19 at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Elizabeth Hand

Elizabeth Hand is the author of sixteen multiple-award-winning novels and collections of short fiction including Curious ToysWylding Hall, and Generation LossThe Book of Lamps and Banners, her fourth noir novel featuring punk provocateur and photographer Cass Neary, will be out this year. She divides her time between the Maine coast and North London.

Michael Libling

Michael Libling is a World Fantasy Award-nominated author whose short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, Amazing Stories, and many others. His debut novel, Hollywood North: A Novel in Six Reels, was published in 2019. Michael is the father of three daughters and lives on Montreal’s West Island with his wife, Pat, and a big black dog named Piper.

 (5) CEASELESS GIVEAWAY. Beneath Ceaseless Skies is running a giveaway of Marie Brennan’s upcoming book Driftwood. The rules and other details can be found here: “First Marie Brennan Driftwood Book Giveaway”

To enter the giveaway that’s in this very post, comment on this post (here) and tell us what your favorite Marie Brennan short story is. Whether a Driftwood story or one of her many other stories; whether published in BCS or elsewhere.

Your comment will enter you in a random drawing for the signed copy of Driftwood. This giveaway ends Wed. Aug. 12. (Full Rules are here, at the end of this post.)

(6) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • July 31, 1930 — The Shadow first made his appearance as the narrator of the Detective Story Hour radio program which was intended  to boost sales of Street & Smith’s monthly Detective Story Magazine. Harry Engman Charlot, a scriptwriter for the Detective Story Hour was responsible for the name. The Shadow would be developed into the character that we know a year later by Walter B. Gibson. (CE)

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born July 31, 1807 – Clara de Chatelain.  In her Child’s Own Book of Fairy Tales, two more, retold fifty classics and wrote a hundred forty.  The Sedan Chair and Sir Wilfred’s Seven Flights comprises two for adults.  Translated four hundred songs for music publishers e.g. Schott; tr. Cammarano’s Italian lyrics for Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (whose protagonist is Scots).  Wrote widely under “Leopold Wray” and other names.  Friend of Victor Hugo.  (Died 1876) [JH]
  • Born July 31, 1879 – Kenneth Morris. Ranked by Le Guin with Eddison, MacDonald, Tolkien as master 20th Century fantasy prose stylist.  Three novels (this one published posthumously), forty shorter stories, sometimes under the Welsh form of his name Cenydd Morus.  (Died 1937) [JH]
  • Born July 31, 1924 – Waldemar Kumming.  Leading German fan for decades.  Joined SFCD (Science Fiction Club Deutschland; note combined English-German name) 1956, chair 1962-1968.  Fan Guest of Honour at Seacon ’84  – combining Eastercon 35 (U.K. nat’l con) + Eurocon 8.  Published Munich_Round_Up with Walter Reinicke until WR died 1981, then alone until 2014; I was glad to contribute.  Kurd_Laßwitz_Special Award for MRU and life achievement.  Big Heart (our highest service award).  Wolf von Witting’s appreciation here.  (Died 2017) [JH]
  • Born July 31, 1928 – Allen Lang, 92.  One novel (Wild and Outside, US baseball shortstop sent to civilize the planet Melon), a score of shorter stories translated into Dutch, French, German, Italian, most recently (“Fuel Me Once”) in the Jul-Aug 20 Analog.  [JH]
  • Born July 31, 1929 – Lynne Reid Banks, 91.  A dozen novels for us, forty other books including The L-Shaped Room.  Children’s fantasy The Indian in the Cupboard, ten million copies sold; four sequels.  Eight years teaching on a kibbutz (“not a Jew, but Jew-ish”).  Barrie Award. “Writing for a living is a great life, if you don’t weaken.”  Website here.  [JH]
  • Born July 31, 1932 Ted Cassidy. He’s best known for the role of Lurch on The Addams Family in the mid-1960s. if you’ve got a good ear, you’ll recall that he narrated The Incredible Hulk series. And he played the part of the android Ruk in the episode “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” on Trek, and provided the voices of the more strident version of Balok in the episode “The Corbomite Maneuver” and the Gorn in the episode “Arena”. In The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode “The Napoleon’s Tomb Affair”, he was Edgar, who kidnapped, tortured, and repeatedly attempted to kill Napoleon and Illya. (Died 1979.) (CE) 
  • Born July 31, 1935 –Dave Van Arnam.  Seven novels (some with Ted White), translated into Dutch, Japanese, Spanish. Two anthologies (with Kris Neville, William Tenn).  “How I Learned to Love Fandom” in NyCon 3 Program & Memory Book (25th Worldcon; DVA was co-chair).  Co-founded, or something, APA-F.  (Died 2002) [JH]
  • Born July 31, 1951 Jo Bannister, 69. Though best-known as a most excellent British crime fiction novelist, she has three SF novels to her credit, all written in the early Eighties — The MatrixThe Winter Plain and A Cactus Garden. ISFDB lists one short story by her as genre, “Howler”, but I wasn’t at all aware that Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine printed genre fiction which is where it appeared first. (CE)
  • Born July 31, 1956 Michael Biehn, 64. Best-known in genre circles as Sgt. Kyle Reese in The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Cpl. Dwayne Hicks in Aliens and Lt. Coffey in The Abyss. He was also The Sandman in a single episode of Logan’s Run. Though not even genre adjacent, he was Johnny Ringo in the magnitude Tombstone film. (CE)
  • Born July 31, 1959 Kim Newman, 61. Though best-known For his Anno Dracula series, I’d like to single him out for his early work, Nightmare Movies: A critical history of the horror film, 1968–88,  a very serious history of horror films. It was followed up with the equally great Wild West Movies: Or How the West Was Found, Won, Lost, Lied About, Filmed and Forgotten. He’s also a prolific genre writer and his first published novel, The Night Mayor, sounds very intriguing. (CE)
  • Born July 31, 1962 Wesley Snipes, 58. The first actor to be Blade in the Blade film franchise where I thought he made the perfect Blade. (There’s a new Blade actor though their name escapes right now.) I also like him as Simon Phoenix in Demolition Man. (CE)
  • Born July 31, 1976 John Joseph Adams, 44. Anthologist of whom I’m very fond of The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dead Man’s Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West which he did. He was the Assistant Editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction for nearly a decade, and he’s been editing both Lightspeed and Nightmare Magazine since the early part of this decade. (CE)
  • Born July 31, 1979 – B.J. Novak, 41.  Author, actor, writer-director.  Fifteen short stories ours in The New YorkerZoetrope, and collection One More Thing (it has 64 total; six weeks a NY Times Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller).  For children The Book With No Pictures (also a best-seller; “a lot of the other one-star reviews are from people who object to speaking of a hippo named Boo Boo Butt”).  [JH]

(8) COMICS SECTION.

  • Shoe needs help finding a dystopian book.

(9) COMING TO A MT. TBR NEAR YOU. Andrew Liptak has released his book list for August. (Formerly published by Polygon.)

(10) NEW HONOR FOR HOPPER. In line with the Rosalind Franklin Mars rover, Google announces “The Grace Hopper subsea cable, linking the U.S., U.K. and Spain”. Press release.

Today, 98% of international internet traffic is ferried around the world by subsea cables. A vast underwater network of cables crisscrossing the ocean makes it possible to share, search, send, and receive information around the world at the speed of light. In today’s day and age, as the ways that we work, play and connect are becoming increasingly digital, reliable connectivity is more important than ever before. That’s why we’re excited to announce a new subsea cable—Grace Hopper—which will run between the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain, providing better resilience for the network that underpins Google’s consumer and enterprise products.

Grace Hopper joins our other private subsea cables, Curie, Dunant and Equiano to connect far-flung continents along the ocean floor. Private subsea cables allow us to plan effectively for the future capacity needs of our customers and users around the world, and add a layer of security beyond what’s available over the public internet.

Once commissioned, the Grace Hopper cable will be one of the first new cables to connect the U.S. and U.K. since 2003, increasing capacity on this busy global crossroads and powering Google services like Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud. It also marks our first investment in a private subsea cable route to the U.K., and our first-ever route to Spain. The Spanish landing point will more tightly integrate the upcoming Google Cloud region in Madrid into our global infrastructure. The Grace Hopper cable will be equipped with 16 fiber pairs (32 fibers), a significant upgrade to the internet infrastructure connecting the U.S. with Europe. A contract to build the cable was signed earlier this year with Eatontown, N.J.-based subsea cable provider, SubCom, and the project is expected to be completed in 2022.

(11) MOVIE AMBIENCE. [Item by algorithm connoisseur Martin Morse Wooster.] The YouTube algorithm introduced me to a website called Ambient Worlds, whose creator has come up with Harry Potter Movie Ambience: “Hogsmeade Relaxing Music, Crowd Noise And Snow”, which is an hour of music from the Harry Potter movies mixed into background music for whatever you happen to be doing (in my case, writing, because I write with music or baseball in the background).  I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Ambient Worlds has a Lord of the Rings background music video that’s three hours!

(12) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Nothing to do with sff, I just want to share my appreciation of this editing job!

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Nina Shepardson, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, John Hertz, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, Michael Toman, Martin Morse Wooster, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Xtifr.]

72 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/31/20 And I Won’t Forget To Scroll Pixels On Your Grave

  1. 12) That’s amazing. Just think of the work they had to do to find all those matching clips!

  2. Speaking as someone who was trained to do things like (12) professionally, it’s impressive.

  3. @3:

    AAAAAARGH! I am personally of the opinion that copyright law as it exists now is massively broken and in need of reform, but the way to go about that is NOT to ostentatiously break it and then deny that you’re doing so.

  4. (3) JUST LIBRARIANS. Yeah. No.

    (8) COMICS SECTION. I laugh so I don’t cry. 😉

    (12) VIDEO OF THE DAY. That’s a great video!

    . . . . .

    Free Meredith Moment in the U.S., at least:

    Fantasies The Silver Scar by Betsy Dornbusch (or, sigh, as Kobo has her name: Dornbusch Betsy) and Arcana (“Sylvani” #1) by Jessica Leake are both free from Talos (uses DRM), at least at iBooks and Kobo, so probably elsewhere, too.

    The Silver Scar (standalone, methinks): Trinidad’s Wiccan parents blew themselves up in an ecoterr attack and he fled to soldier for a Christian church in Boulder, CO, learning to balance faith and war. His Bishop shows up with a silver scar, claiming angelic orders to crusade, but Trinidad knows it comes from Wiccan magic. Torn between magic, love, and his Church vows, he conspires to stop the crusade.

    Arcana: Headstrong debutante Katherine hides her sun-fueled magic to avoid the Order of the Eternal Sun, which hunts for those like her. Society intrigue is as perilous as the Order, but she must vye for a suitor, assisted by a family friend/possible suitor who may be one of those who covet her power. The sequel (not free) is The Order of the Eternal Sun.

  5. Did Le Guin really describe Tolkien as a master fantasy prose stylist? I’m a big Tolkien fan, but most comments about his style that I’ve read have been pretty critical.

  6. (7) If I recall correctly, Ted Cassidy played Gene Roddenberry in Gene’s office once, as a practical joke on a suit salesman who just wouldn’t stop asking for the chance to sell to Gene.

  7. (11) MOVIE AMBIENCE.

    I love ambient soundtracks, but I just have to ask why they think the crowd noises are a good idea, they make these tracks awful. (But of course, they prevent the YouTube copyright protection from kicking in on them, which is no doubt the real reason.)

  8. @Cliff Did Le Guin really describe Tolkien as a master fantasy prose stylist?

    She cites him as one of three “master stylists” in “From Elfland to Poughkeepsie”, along with E R Eddison and Kenneth Morris. It’s 1973 and she’s contrasting with the style of Katherine Kerr and the beginnings of what the editors of Interzone called Big Commercial Fantasy, but I think she makes a decent case.

  9. @ Sophie Jane – thank you! I’m going to see if I can track that down. I must admit I haven’t liked what little I’ve read of ‘big commercial fantasy’.

  10. “From Elfland to Poughkeepsie” is in Le Guin’s excellent The Language of the Night

  11. @Andrew
    (7) In the book abt ST:TOS -“Star Trek Memories” by Shat; the punchline is that they felt so bad abt fooling the tailor that they {GR n Shat} bought some/many suits from him n also sent others to buy from him too. (I believed most of the book when i 1st read it in the 90s but rereading it in the last few mths during lockdown i doubt most of the stories veracity , i now only accept their entertainment value not their factual content except in a general sense. Plus it was {ghost-}written mostly over 20 yrs l8r(1990s), so i hv my doubts re-reading it more than 20 yrs after it was published. (Star Trek Movie Memories [abt ST I-VI] was written/published closer to the events depicted but rereading it more than 20 yrs l8r imo also mostly hyperbolic/exxagerated/nuggets of truth only.) Still entertaining for those nuggets imo. Not a recommendation, just FYI/observation.

  12. Meredith Moment: Tim Pratt’s excellent space-opera novel The Wrong Stars is on sale for $1.99 at the usual suspects.

  13. Temporally-displaced Meredith moment — a combined edition of K Arsenault Rivera’s Ascendant trilogy (beginning with The Tiger’s Daughter) is available for preorder for $2.99, quite a bargain when the individual volumes are still priced at $9.99 each …

  14. @MixMat: I think I read the story about Cassidy in one of the older Star Trek books (“Making Of” maybe), closer to the time when the incident is supposed to have occurred (but possibly still exaggerated, of course).

  15. OT and fair warning

    A decided cadre of griefers and trolls have decided to make me a target. They successfully derailed the comments to the Fringe panel I was on, have caused me to disable comments on the few youtube videos I have and are conducting a currently low intensity campaign on my twitter feed.

    I wanted to warn OGH in case they decide to come here, since it is known I frequent here, to cause similar trouble.

  16. Does anyone have a suggestion for how I could get someone from CoNZealand to say what they did at the Business Meeting?

    The daily newzine has a photo but zero information.

    I wrote to someone working in the WSFS division yesterday but haven’t heard back.

  17. @Sophie Jane

    She cites him as one of three “master stylists” in “From Elfland to Poughkeepsie”, along with E R Eddison and Kenneth Morris. It’s 1973 and she’s contrasting with the style of Katherine Kerr and the beginnings of what the editors of Interzone called Big Commercial Fantasy, but I think she makes a decent case.

    Wrong Katherine — the comparison was to the style of Katherine Kurtz (of the Deryni series), not Katherine Kerr (of the Deverry series), though one can see why memory might confuse the two sets of data.

  18. At some time when issues are not quite so raw, I wonder if crowd-sources could help fill me in on the history of the expectation that Worldcon programming should strongly prioritize and subsidize the participation of Hugo finalists.

    I’m trying to word this in a way that doesn’t frame that expectation as a negative thing, because I don’t think that at all! And I welcome corrections to how I’ve worded things that might give a negative impression.

    But my (personal, subjective, probably-not-paying-attention-sufficiently) perception has been that in has only been in the last several years that I’ve seen this topic raised, either within the Worldcon membership community or within the larger SFF community. And I’m wondering if tracing the development of expectations might go some way to avoiding communication and expectation failures in the future. Because currently I think that a shift in expectations has out-run the larger cultural understanding of those expectations.

    Here’s my (personal, subjective, probably-not-paying-attention-sufficiently) outline of some of the underlying issues:

    Historically, program participation has (with rare exceptions) been associated with an opt-in system, drawing from people who are attending Worldcon using their own resources.

    Physical presence has only fairly recently ceased to be a de facto requirement for participation. (I recall being on a panel in Helsinki where a last-minute recognition that key viewpoints were not represented let to an additional panelist participating by video call on a laptop.) It was simply accepted that someone who cannot be present at the convention–for whatever reason–isn’t going to have ben opportunity to participate in programming, however perfect they would be for a particular event.

    The opt-in system has, historically, addressed three separate issues. A) Programming staff do not have perfect knowledge of everyone’s backgrounds and interests, therefore opt-in reduces the “who you know” dynamic. B) Not everyone who might have background/interest for a particular programming item wants to be on programming. C) Legal privacy issues around sending unsolicited communications based on membership data. (Which is why lately worldcon membership records include opt-in tickboxes for “please send me information about X.)

    Historically, there has been an expectation that (with rare exceptions) program participation does not create a “special class” of convention member except for practical aspects such as access to green rooms and communications directly related to programming.

    With the exception of guests of honor and other special guests, there is a long tradition at worldcon that “all members are equal.” While contributing labor to the convention in the form of volunteering or participating in programming may be recognized in the form of membership rebates, my perception is that worldcon tradition (in contrast to that of many other very worthy events) is not to create a separate category of “free/discount membership for participation” whether for program participants or award finalists or other status-related categories. My recollection is that exceptions to this, such as the “First Worldcon” rate are very recent. This expectation is separate from any history of funds or initiatives managed by separate organizations or individuals to subsidize the participation of specific persons or groups of people.

    Historically, this system has (naturally) been affected by subjective decision making (when choosing participants from among those expressing interest) and back-channel communication (reaching out to individuals not assigned to programming-or not assigned to specific programming items–to “fill out” events, based on personal knowledge and connections by programming staff).

    This feels to me like a key piece of background underlying some of the shift in expectations around Hugo finalists. Finalists with high name recognition, those who have been “part of the fannish community” for an extended period, have naturally been more likely to benefit from back-channel communications, whether in the form of invitations to participate in specific programming items, or in the form of assistance in finding ways to attend the convention. Newer “names”, people whose social circles intersect less with con-running circles, had less access to back-channel programming communications regardless of whether they were award finalists or not.

    The “new expectation” that I see reflected in fannish chatter, mostly when people feel it has not happened, seems to be something like this:

    Hugo award finalists should receive a direct, personal invitation to participate in programming.
    Hugo award finalists should (if they desire) be assured a certain minimum level of program participation.
    Hugo award finalists should be offered support (at a minimum, in the form of a free or subsidized membership) to enable attendance at worldcon.

    Again, I want to emphasize that in phrasing the expectations in this way, I am not trying to frame them negatively. Rather to clearly identify how these expectations differ from what I perceive as the “worldcon traditional expectations.”

    In many ways, it feels like the virtual nature of CoNZealand sharpened focus on this shift in expectations. Once you remove the barrier of the necessity of physical presence (though not the barrier of the necessity of online access or timezone coordination), then the question becomes “why not?” By my back-of-the-envelope calculation, there were somewhere around 160-170 distinct individuals associated with the various Hugo finalist people/entities.

    Regarding #1 – The convention will have had communication with at least one individual in each finalist-entity during the initial balloting process. Even if the onus is put on the contact-individual to communicate with other members of the finalist-entity regarding interest in participating in programming, there’s already a context for doing so. (Of course, at the time the nominations turned into finalists, we didn’t know the convention would be virtual, so to some extent this question is a hypothetical, not a questioning of CNZ’s actions.)

    Regarding #2 – To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a tradition of guaranteeing anyone (except GoH/featured guests) any minimum level of programming. Is it reasonable and/or practical to create a class of program participants who are given this expectation?

    Regarding #3 – Offering someone a complimentary virtual membership does not substantially increase overhead costs for the convention in the way that it would for an in-person convention. On the other hand, that argument could be applied to a variety of classes of people contributing to the operations of the convention. It is true that for the current convention, complimentary memberships were deployed for a number of support functions (I’m not sure how much I’m at liberty to talk specifics since my knowledge of the details comes from working Reg). If virtual conventions shift the expectation from “everyone is a paying member and if we have money left over we’ll see about rebates” to “certain classes of people will get a complimentary membership as an indication of the value we put on their participation” is this a positive step toward ensuring access or a negative step toward creating “unfannish” social hierarchies? (Recognizing that the de facto “social hierarchies” of income and international mobility have long been considered an acceptable part of fannish culture.)

    TL;DR

    In the interests of thinking about how to improve both the dynamics and the communication of those dynamics around Hugo finalist participation in Worldcon programming, I’m interested in filling in the gaps in my understanding of the evolutionary history of expectations and practice around this topic.

  19. Minority viewpoint: I always thought “From Elfland to Poughkeepsie” was needlessly cruel. Le Guin could have made all the same points without quoting one (as I recall) author’s work.

  20. @Madame Hardy — Needlessly cruel, and I’m also not sure that I agree with her broader point; her definition of “real” fantasy seems awfully … prescriptive?

  21. @OGH: Here are my notes from the #major-events channel:

    WSFS BUSINESS MEETING

    Thanks to Daniel Spector for the live updates!

    The Business Meeting was gaveled to order by M. Darusha Whem at 10:05 NZST.

    Suspension of rules were considered and passed unanimously.

    18 hour minimum adjournment between Business Meeting sessions has been reduced to a ten minute adjournment for this Business Meeting only.

    Adjourned for 10 minutes. (Making it a 4-minute PBM.)

    Count is 23 human attendees.

    Main Business Meeting convened at 10:19 NZST. Site selection result. Destroyed the ballots. Hearing from seating Worldcons suspended and all business ratifications suspended for one year. Business passed on for next year’s business meeting. Meeting adjourned sine die at 10:20 NZST.

    I later asked when the video will be available and was told that it will probably be part of today’s uploads. Kinda figured that if I want to drill down into the arcane parliamentary details I’m probably just going to have to watch myself.

  22. @Joe H: That essay (implicitly) demands that all fantasy be “high fantasy”, which, welp. I love Eddison, too, but that elevated style can’t tell all stories.

  23. @Madame Hardy — Exactly. I love Tolkien unreservedly, but I also love Robert E. Howard and Emma Bull and Fonda Lee and, well, Katherine Kurtz, for that matter.

  24. 2: As the person who voted for Kirkjubaejarklaustur, that thought had never crossed my mind. And I’ve been to, and can pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, but that will not be on my ballot next year.

  25. OK, why did you vote for Kirkjubaejarklaustur?

    (This is idle curiosity.)

  26. OK, why did you vote for Kirkjubaejarklaustur?

    I always vote #1 for a write in. That way I can confirm that my vote has been counted since it will show up in the tallies. The write ins get dropped so my #2 vote is counted in the next round. I used to always vote for Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky, but one year, two other people voted for it, so as a test vote it lost its effectiveness. Now I choose a different out of the way place each year.

  27. @Steven H Silver: A brilliant idea that I may adopt myself (using a different obscure location).

  28. @Andrew: You do realize that next year there’s going to be a hundred or so one vote writeins?

    (And I wonder if the one I have in mind is sufficiently obscure.)

  29. @Patrick Morris Miller:

    You do realize that next year there’s going to be a hundred or so one vote writeins?

    Sounds very fannish…

  30. I think I read the story about Cassidy in one of the older Star Trek books (“Making Of” maybe), closer to the time when the incident is supposed to have occurred (but possibly still exaggerated, of cours

    Yes, the Cassidy story is in “The Making of Star Trek” written in 1968.

  31. The longest place name in New Zealand (just putting it out there…)

    Near Porangahau in Hawke’s Bay is an unassuming hill known as “Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu”, which translates into English as “the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as ‘landeater’, played his flute to his loved one.” Locals simply call it Taumata Hill.

  32. @Andrew (R both comments from same @Andrew? Been reading pixel scrolls/comments since 2015, cant remember if ur one n only Andrew)

    Thnx for the complete title of book. Will try to buy/borrow from library n compare differences of details in it from STM/STMM/IAS. (S.E.A. during the 80s/90s were hit n miss on SFF (most books in general actually other than bestsellers, i think) i only bought/read watever books i could find to buy then, so i reread voraciously the comics n books i had (100s {or ard 500-1000} of comics n dozens of books/at most 100-150 books, ard 40-50 or so of which i still hv, i think, plus less than a dozen Locus magazines from 80s/90s-think i had/bought another dozen or so 2000s/2010s Locuses from Borders when they opened in S.E.A. but those r evaporated now.) Sorry for late reply/zombifying dead Pixel Scroll.

  33. Andrew: As a datapoint, back in 2001, a Hugo nominee expressed expectations about program participation

    That wasn’t a common thing 20 years ago. Both Norman and Gifford are still notorious for those tantrums, demanding entitlement to programming, to which you have linked (Gifford also threw a tantrum on Usenet about how he should have been given the rocket — because he had the largest number of 1st-place votes after the first round — for which he later apologized).

  34. You do realize that next year there’s going to be a hundred or so one vote writeins?

    (And I wonder if the one I have in mind is sufficiently obscure.)

    I dare you to use Schkeuditz in 2023.

  35. Heather Rose Jones: Regarding #3 – If virtual conventions shift the expectation from “everyone is a paying member and if we have money left over we’ll see about rebates” to “certain classes of people will get a complimentary membership as an indication of the value we put on their participation” is this a positive step toward ensuring access or a negative step toward creating “unfannish” social hierarchies?

    I think that a huge part of the programming demands Worldcon is seeing in the last few years is the result of a lot of people who haven’t been involved in Worldcon, or who have been involved only peripherally, wanting to be on Programming to further their careers, or becoming finalists, and bringing with them a set of assumptions from the literary festivals to which they’re accustomed, which involve funding of large sums of money from large corporations, where program participants are comped memberships, paid to be on panels, and perhaps even have hotel and airfare expenses covered.

    Then they get to the runup to Worldcon and find out that it doesn’t match any of the expectations they already have from very different events, and get upset and start making indignant posts on Twitter about how the convention is all about the authors (which it’s not) and therefore they deserve all of these payments, special perks, and considerations (which volunteers who contribute dozens or hundreds of hours to the convention don’t even get).

    While comping virtual memberships for Hugo Finalists and ensuring reserved program spots for them does not cost a convention much dollar-wise (and is therefore not an unreasonable possibility), a back-of-the-envelope estimation at providing free physical memberships, hotel, and airfare for all of the named finalists (this year there were around 160) would cost the convention $300,000 — for a con that has a budget of around a million dollars without that expectation. This is pretty clearly not a realistic expectation.

  36. It’s unclear to me that demands for comps this year were related to mundane experiences; ISTM that many of the nominees originally left off program had not been in the field long enough to be familiar with practice anywhere — although there are enough myths around to float a lot of fantasies. ISTM that increased activism by sometimes-marginalized groups combined with the absence of travel costs to make a why-aren’t-we-on-program storm that CNZ didn’t anticipate. (I don’t know how many regionals comp program participants; IIRC this was common enough decades ago that Worldcons got some pushback about instituting buy-and-get-reimbursed for everyone.) We’ll see how sustained is the unmeetable demand for large numbers of scholarships in future years.

    Interesting to hear of Gifford’s other tantrums; they’d get him left off some programs regardless of his achievements (which appear to be debatable — judging by its web page, the publisher of his nominee is a vanity “press”). Especially interesting from my end of the country, where a neighbor (Maine) has recently to gone to preferential balloting — to loud screams from conservatives whose divide-and-conquer strategy is thereby broken.

  37. @MixMat : I’m the same Andrew twice. I should have given a page reference – the Cassidy story is on page 353 of the paperback (early in chapter 5 of Part IV). This version of the story has Gene only buying two pairs of pants

    @JJ: I agree that it wasn’t common 20 years ago – as indicated by all the replies that Gifford/Norman got.

  38. (7) I recommend “Angels of Music” by Kim Newman. Its in the vein of the “Anno Dracula” stories, but it holds a dear place for me because it mines the Victorian era fiction for heroines. The stories revolve around a trio of women, led by a mysterious voice, who solve crimes. The Angels, here, are women like Christine Daaé, Trilby O’Farrell and Irene Adler (to name the first three) and the mysteirous voice is that of Eric, the Phantom of the Opera.

  39. @Madame Hardy

    Minority viewpoint: I always thought “From Elfland to Poughkeepsie” was needlessly cruel. Le Guin could have made all the same points without quoting one (as I recall) author’s work.

    I agree that it was somewhat cruel. But she was wearing her literary critic hat, and when you’re a critic, well…so I disagree that it was needlessly cruel. In that essay, she quoted three paragraphs of the work of three authors she considered masters of fantasy and prose style (Tolkien, Morris and Eddison). And yes, she took a paragraph from a contemporary author to compare and contrast, and found it wanting, in ONE specific way.

    She apologized to the author, and specified that she was NOT saying the author was a bad writer, she stated that the author was quite a good writer :

    Before I go further I want to apologize to the author of the passage for making a horrible example of her. There are infinitely worse examples I could have used; I chose this one because in this book something good has gone wrong — something real has been falsified. There would be no use at all in talking about what is generally passed off as “heroic fantasy”, all the endless Barbarians with names like Barp and Klod, and the Tarnsmen and the Klansmen and all the rest of them — there would be nothing whatever to say. (Not in terms of art, that is; in terms of ethics, racism, sexism, and politics there would be a great deal to say, but fortunately it has all been said, indirectly and therefore with greater power, by Norman Spinrad in his tremendous satire “The Iron Dream”.)
    What is it, then, that I believe has gone wrong in the book and the passage quoted from it? I think it is the style.

    What Le Guin did to the contemporary author’s paragraph (and she openly admitted it was a ‘dirty trick’) was simply to change a fantasy place name to a real one in our world…and then pointed out that the paragraph then becomes indistinguishable from a paragraph from a modern political novel of our own world. She’s not saying it would be a BAD modern political novel – her point is altogether different. She’s saying that ALL a fantasy novel’s prose should be written to convey a sense of otherworldliness, not just when discussing fantasy elements like magic or using fantasy place names. She’s saying that every word should be written in a style that conveys that things are happening in a place that is not Here and a time that is not Now, even when discussing the most mundane things. It’s her opinion, but I think she made a fair point.

  40. @Jayn, you make valid points. However, she also said that heroes don’t say “I could have told you that at Carcosa.” That’s true of one specific style of hero. Heroes can also be petty or vain or rude.

    She’s saying that ALL a fantasy novel’s prose should be written to convey a sense of otherworldliness

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this. There are good fantasy novels — Zelazny being the obvious example — where the modern vernacular is used to great effect. Le Guin is saying that there’s one correct voice for writing fantasy, and it’s the Eddison/Dunsany/Tolkien elevated speech. I think that would rule out many excellent books.

  41. @Madame Hardy, I wholeheartedly disagree with this. There are good fantasy novels — Zelazny being the obvious example — where the modern vernacular is used to great effect. Le Guin is saying that there’s one correct voice for writing fantasy, and it’s the Eddison/Dunsany/Tolkien elevated speech. I think that would rule out many excellent books.

    Indeed. One of the Hugo finalists, Gideon the Ninth, has a hero who, despite being definitively in a fantasy universe (it’s run by NECROMANCY, for ghu’s sake), speaks in a very modern vernacular.

    I admit, at first I found it jarring. And then I realized how much it actually added to the story, to have that “no, this is Not Generic Fantasyland” voice telling the tale.

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