Pixel Scroll 7/13/16 Scroll on the Water, Fire in the Sky

(1) YOUTUBER PAYOLA? ScienceFiction.com headlined that “The FTC Has Proven That Warner Brothers Has Paid YouTubers For Positive Reviews”.

In some not so awesome news, Warner Brothers was caught buying off YouTubers to give them positive reviews of their video games. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released details that the company was working with some of the most influential YouTubers out there to provide positive reviews of their games, film gameplay footage that worked around bugs and hype sales numbers that all ignored criticism of the titles they were being paid to look at. Oh, and they of course never disclosed that they were being paid to do this which is against the law. **

While this is currently limited to video games, one has to wonder if it may extend to films as well.

Most damning though is that Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, or PewDiePew as he is known to millions of ‘Let’s Play’viewers was involved as well. PewDiePew is the highest watched YouTube celebrity in gaming circles and had an undisclosed agreement to provide positive press for ‘Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor’ when it was released….

** According to Washington Post reporter Andrea Peterson, the notices that they were paid endorsers of the game appeared in fine print no one read. The FTC settlement says that paid endorsers have to reveal in non-fine print that that they have been paid by game manufacturers.

(2) PAUL AND STORM CONCERT AT MACII. The comedic musical duo Paul and Storm will perform in concert at MidAmeriCon II on Thursday.

MidAmeriCon II is delighted to announce that comedic musical duo Paul and Storm will be appearing at the convention. They will be live in concert at 12 Noon on Thursday, August 18, and interacting with members throughout the convention in the MidAmeriCon II Dealers’ Room.

Paul and Storm (Paul Sabourin and Greg “Storm” DiCostanzo) are known internationally and across the Internet for their original comedy music and vaudeville style shows (mostly with a nerdish bent). They also co-founded the geek variety show “w00tstock” (along with Wil Wheaton and Adam Savage) which has toured across America since 2009, and co-produce the annual JoCo Cruise (www.jococruise.com).

The duo’s original webseries musical, LearningTown, debuted on YouTube’s Geek & Sundry channel in January 2013. In the same year, their song “Another Irish Drinking Song” was featured in the movie Despicable Me 2, while their guitar was memorably smashed on stage by George R.R. Martin. Their fifth full-length CD, Ball Pit, came out in 2014, and was the central item of the duo’s successful Kickstarter campaign.

Paul and Storm have a long history of bringing well known personalities on stage during their shows – and with this being their first Worldcon appearance, they will have an exceptionally broad range of writers, editors, artists and other genre names to choose from. Members can look forward to a memorable and entertaining concert, full of “mature immaturity” (NPR).

More information on Paul and Storm can be found on their website at www.paulandstorm.com.

(3) CHARITY AT SDCC. NBC Los Angeles covers Comic-Con charitable events including the Heinlein Blood Drive:

The annual Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns to the mega pop culture convention for its 40th go-around. Billed as “the San Diego Blood Bank’s longest-running event,” the Comic-Con blood drive has collected “16,652 pints of blood” over its four-decade history.

Talk about superheroes. Want to give? Head for Grand Hall D at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Once you’ve given your pint, and you want to look for more ways to lend a hand, consider two off-site traditions that, while not affiliated officially with the convention, still keep ties to its cape-wearing themes and charitable heart.

The Heroes Brew Fest raises money each year for Warrior Foundation — Freedom Station. Yep, you can wear your costume, yep, you’ll drink nice beer, and yep, you’ll need to zoom through the clouds from the convention center, or at least catch a ride, to San Diego’s Waterfront Park on Saturday, July 23.

Earlier in the day the Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Pawmicon returns, though don’t head for Rancho Santa Fe, the home of the center. The “Cosplay for a Cause” — think furry pumpkins in their “Star Wars” and superhero best — is happening at the Hazard Center in the late morning.

(4) BLOOD OF PATRIOTS. There was also a Blood Drive at LibertyCon – Lou Antonelli says that’s where he met Jason Cordova, one of many first encounters mentioned in his con report.

(5) AUTO CRASH. I found Brad Templeton’s “Understanding the huge gulf between the Tesla Autopilot and a real robocar, in light of the crash” to be very helpful.

It’s not surprising there is huge debate about the fatal Tesla autopilot crash revealed to us last week. The big surprise to me is actually that Tesla and MobilEye stock seem entirely unaffected. For many years, one of the most common refrains I would hear in discussions about robocars was, “This is all great, but the first fatality and it’s all over.” I never believed it would all be over, but I didn’t think there would barely be a blip.

There’s been lots of blips in the press and online, of course, but most of it has had some pretty wrong assumptions. Tesla’s autopilot is a distant cousin of a real robocar, and that would explain why the fatality is no big deal for the field, but the press shows that people don’t know that.

Tesla’s autopilot is really a fancy cruise control. It combines several key features from the ADAS (Advance Driver Assist) world, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping and forward collision avoidance, among others. All these features have been in cars for years, and they are also combined in similar products in other cars, both commercial offerings and demonstrated prototypes….

(6) JOE HILL’S DAD. Boston.com reports, “Library of Congress to recognize Stephen King for his lifelong work”.

Stephen King—Maine native, horror author, and hater of Fenway’s “protective netting”—will get a new title this fall: Library of Congress honoree.

King is set to open the main stage of the 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., where the Library will recognize the author for his lifelong work promoting literacy, according to a release.

Since his first published novel, Carrie, in 1974, King has written more than 50 novels and hundreds of short stories, according to his website.

The festival takes place Saturday, September 24. Authors Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shonda Rhimes, Bob Woodward, Raina Telgemeier, and Salman Rushdie will also appear on the main stage.

(7) JUNO SHOOTS THE MOONS. IFLScience has the story behind Juno’s first image of Jupiter and its moons from orbit.

This image, taken on July 10, proves that the camera has survived the pass through Jupiter’s intense radiation, meaning it can start taking stunning high-resolution shots in the next few weeks. The camera (called JunoCam) itself has no scientific purpose, but will be used to engage the public with images of the gas giant. You can even vote online for what it takes pictures of.

 

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(8) FUNNY PAGES. A popular fantasy work is referenced in the July 13 Wizard of Id comic strip.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • Born July 13, 1940 — Patrick Stewart (age 76)
  • Born July 13, 1942  — Harrison Ford (age 74)

(10) LIVING UNOFFENDED. Maggie Hogarth, SFWA VP, was moved by Cat Rambo’s post yesterday (“SFWA Is Not a Gelatinous Cube”) to make a point about personal growth. The comments are very good, too.

I wanted to call out specifically her comment about having been pleased to recruit me specifically because I’m a conservative writer. When she suggests that we work well together because of our sometimes opposing perspectives, I think she’s entirely correct. It’s not that we talk politics specifically (though unfortunately, sometimes our jobs as officers require us to)… it’s that our beliefs give us oblique approaches to things, and consulting each other helps us find our own weaknesses and blind spots.

This is not a new thing for me. I have always worked in arenas that are overwhelmingly colonized by people of opposing political viewpoints (hello, Art, Academia). The knowledge that I would have to find a way to work with people who believed stuff I found strange, wrong-headed, or toxic is so old by now that I don’t even think about it. But it’s interesting to me that the people who are in the majority in any arena often seem to be offended at the thought that they should have to deal with people who disagree with them. At the university, I have brought up lots of professors short who were upset that I didn’t think they were right. One of them even asked me what I was doing there, which was… frankly bizarre. (Broadening my mind, maybe? By grappling with ideas I don’t necessarily agree with?)

Here then is my takeaway from living as a political minority in the workplace all my life: unless you’re in a group devoted specifically to a political cause you agree with, you cannot expect to be protected from people who don’t share your beliefs. Inevitably someone will tell me that this is an invitation to abuse and cruelty, as if there can be no disagreement without extremism. Reject this false dichotomy. People who don’t share your beliefs aren’t all heartless criminals who long to see you hurt. They just… don’t agree with you.

(11) TAKING THE TEST. Rambo and Hogarth have also publicized their vocabulary quiz results.

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(12) SCALZI BREAKS THE SPELL. Don’t expect John Scalzi to be posting a quiz score.

No risk of my relitigating my SAT results. I can personally assure John you’ll never see me embarrassing myself by reporting results from an internet math quiz. I did just enough on the math side of the SAT to keep that from sandbagging what I did on the verbal side and get a California State Scholarship. (However, if someone knows a link to an online math quiz the rest of you might enjoy it….)

(13) TIMOTHY BREAKS THE QUIZ. Camestros Felapton published Timothy the Talking Cat’s score plus Timothy’s interpretation of all his test answers.

(14) MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE THESAURUS. If there’s anyone who should score high on a vocabulary test it’s John C. Wright – and he did.

My score was 30500, also in the top 0.01% Albeit there was one word I did not know, and guessed.

I am going to the dictionary to look it up, and then I am going to use it three times correctly within the next 24 hours.

I was once told that is the way to accumulate a large and handsome vocabulary.

(15) COMICS HUGO. Nicholas Whyte has posted “My Hugo and #RetroHugos1941 votes: Best Graphic Story”.

It’s really striking that two years ago, it was impossible to find enough comics from 1938 to populate the Retro Hugo category – we gave a Special Committee Award to Superman instead – but this year there is a wealth of 1940 material to choose from. Having said that, there’s not in fact a lot of variety; with one exception, the 1941 Retro Hugo finalists are origin stories of costumed crime-fighters

(16) TASTE TEST. Joe Sherry continues his series at Nerds of a Feather, “Reading the Hugos: Novella”.

Today we continue with our Hugo Award coverage with a look at the Novella category. There are not many categories on this year’s ballot which lines up so well with my nomination ballot, but this is one of them. Of the five nominees, I nominated three of them: Binti, The Builders, and Slow Bullets. Naturally, I am happy that the three of them made the cut. If I had the power to add just one more story to this category, I would have loved to have seen Matt Wallace’s wonderful Envy of Angels make the list. That was a fantastic story and everyone should read it. Since people tend not to fully agree with my taste in fiction, let’s take a look at what is actually on the final ballot.

(17) FROM THERE WILL BE WAR. Lisa Goldstein reviews “Novelette: ‘What Price Humanity?’”, a Hugo-nominee, at inferior4+1.

And here we are at the third story from There Will Be War, “What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke.  It’s the best of the three, though unfortunately that’s pretty faint praise.  An infodump at the beginning tells us that aliens called Meme (Meme? Really?) are attacking from the outer Solar System, and that when the Meme’s reinforcements come, every decade or so, EarthFleet suffers catastrophic losses.  Captain Vango Markis wakes up in Virtual Reality, having suffered what he thinks is a bad hit, and meets other officers he’s served with, some of whom he remembers as having died.  They find flight simulators, and go on practice runs.

(18) LEVINE HIP-HOPS FOR ARABELLA OF MARS. Science fiction writer David D. Levine performs a hip-hop theme song, based on the opening number of “Hamilton,” for his Regency Interplanetary Airship Adventure novel “Arabella of Mars.”

…Every day she was learning posture and Latin
But every night she and her brother would batten
Down the hatches, hit the desert, going trackin’ and whackin’
Her brother backtrackin’, their Martian nanny was clackin’…

The rest of the lyrics are under “Show More” here. Arabella of Mars was released by Tor on July 12.

Arabella Ashby is a Patrick O’Brian girl in a Jane Austen world — born and raised on Mars, she was hauled back home by her mother, where she’s stifled by England’s gravity, climate, and attitudes toward women. When she learns that her evil cousin plans to kill her brother and inherit the family fortune, she joins the crew of an interplanetary clipper ship in order to beat him to Mars. But privateers, mutiny, and insurrection stand in her way. Will she arrive in time?

 

(19) FUTURE PLAY. On her Dive into Worldbuilding hangout, “Games”, Juliette Wade discussed games as a feature of worldbuilding.

Power struggle is one of the big things that games can symbolize. Chess has sometimes been used in science fiction as a form of communication between races. It can reflect or change a power dynamic.

Games are also powerful in folk tales, such as when you play a game with the devil, the fae, or Death.

Games can be critical as a symbolic representation of a larger conflict. If you can engage in single combat instead having whole armies clash, why not do it? If you can play a game and agree on the stakes, might you save many lives?

Games and the ways in which they are played reflect the world around them. If you are playing a game with plastic dice, it’s not the same as playing a game with pig knucklebones. Where do the knucklebones come from? Knucklebones, the word itself, makes the game of dice sound exotic and like it comes from a particular period. There are many games of chance or rune-reading. We noted that people have found real twenty-sided stone dice from the Roman period.

 

(20) TODAY’S UN-FACT-CHECKED TRIVIA

Four Pokémon have palindromic names: Girafarig, Eevee, Ho-oh and Alomomola.

(21) ROUNDUP. In a Washington Post article, Hayley Tsukuyama and Ben Guarino do a Pokemon Go roundup, including that Nintendo’s shares have risen by 38 percent in two days and how police in Riverton, Wyoming say that four men lured victims to a remote spot in the Wind River by promising an elusive Pokemon avatar.

On their screens, players of the viral mobile game “Pokémon Go” are seeing these creatures pop into existence alongside real-world physical objects. The mole-like Diglett peeks out of a toilet. A flaming demon Shetland called Ponyta gallops across the National Mall. A ostrich-like Doduo appears on top of the hold button of an office phone.

Capturing these little monsters isn’t just good for players. In just a few days since its July 6 launch, the game has become a national sensation, nearly overtaking Twitter in daily active users. It currently ranks as the most profitable game on Google and Apple’s app stores. On Monday, Nintendo’s stock jumped 25 percent. On Tuesday, it rose another 13 percent…..

Its makers also have made the game highly shareable. The delight of seeing a little monster pop up on the sidewalk in front of your home, or, in one case, on the bed of your wife while she’s in labor — has been social media gold for players.

The game is perhaps the first real success story of the use of augmented reality technology, which blends the digital and real world together. The combined effect is part bird-watching, part geocaching, part trophy-hunting, with a heavy dose of mid-1990s nostalgia.

(21) POKEMON SNARK. In a humor piece another Washington Post writer, Caitlin Dewey, says she told her fiance to stop playing Pokemon while he is wandering in the supermarket and driving.

This is all well and good, of course, but the hype glosses over something that gives me pause: With an app such as Pokémon Go, we’ve essentially gamified such basic pursuits as going outside, talking to strangers and visiting national monuments. These are activities we’ve long undertaken on their own merits. But everything must be digitally augmented now; no value is inherent.

The same could be said of the sorts of “engagement” trumpeted by the makers of Pokémon Go. If you’ve ventured to a local PokéStop, you know that — counter the pitch — most players aren’t making friends or appreciating the vista anew: They’re squinting into their screens, ignoring each other, hoping to sight that rare Pikachu.

(22) VIP BREW. Time to tap those kegs (or whatever they make it in) — “Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout 2016 Release”.

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COLLABORATORS
Drew Curtis, Fark.com Creator & Patent Troll Killer
Wil Wheaton, Actor & Web Celeb
Greg Koch, CEO & Co-founder, Stone Brewing

This barrel-aged palate-saver has been a favorite among our fans—and us—since its inception in 2013. Pecans, wheat, flaked rye and bourbon-soaked wood provide this whopping, complex superhero version of an imperial stout with a profound complexity that makes it ideal for cellaring—if you can wait that long. Now, we can’t say this beer bestows jedi powers, exactly, but your taste buds may just be fooled into believing as much….

A famed illustrator celebrated for her characters Vampirella, Power Girl, Silk Spectre and Harley Quinn and comics “Gatecrasher” and “Gargoyles,” Amanda Conner embraced the term “Stone’s bearded leader” for this year’s bottle art design. She transformed the three collaborators into unique renditions of “Star Wars” characters, with Koch playing the woolly role of everyone’s favorite wookiee.

At 13 percent alcohol by volume and with the highest concentration of midi-chlorians seen in a beer, the Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout may be enjoyed fresh, or cellared for several months or years to give way for the deliciously rich flavors to mature and develop more prevalent dark cocoa, coffee and nut notes.

The brew will be a centerpiece of the celebration at Hopcon 4.0 on July 20 in San Diego, where Paul and Storm will be among the many guests.

Our annual celebration of nth-degree beer geekery is back for a fourth round, and this time all 66,000 square feet are dedicated to the convergence of geek culture and beer culture. More retro arcade games, more casks and more bars add up to a release party large enough to match the formidable Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout.

[Thanks to Cat Rambo, Lisa Goldstein, Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Red Wombat.]

194 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/13/16 Scroll on the Water, Fire in the Sky

  1. Book review: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman.

    A perfectly acceptable urban fantasy novel. Vampires, werewolves, Fae, dragons, and zeppelins. A plucky heroine, an enigmatic sidekick, a manipulative rival, and a powerful foe.

    Unfortunately, this book didn’t really grab me. I hoped for more information about the Library based on the title, where I got a relatively by-the-numbers caper. There was a twist that I called pretty early, and was frustrated at the inability of the Very Smart Characters to examine a certain assumption earlier. There was a pretty major thread left hanging at the end without comment, that may come up in the next book in the series. I doubt I care enough to read it to find out, though. Ah well.

    Lots of people are effusive in their praise of this, so your mileage may of course vary. I feel a little guilty that I didn’t like it more; like there was something I was missing.

  2. @snowcrash In comics news, Frank Cho joins the long list of people who don’t quite understand what “censorship” means.

    No understanding of censorship or what working for someone else or under a contract means.

    Also not impressed with his man feels over them cutting out the part where Wonder Woman’s panties show. Clearly he missed the memo on women buying 40-50% of comics and just possibly they would find the panty part absurd, unrealistic, and a bit too much male gaze decreasing interest and future value of the alternate cover which Greg Rucka is paying attention to.

  3. @Martin Easterbrook: I call bullshit on your ‘defense.’

    One link to one site that you claim broke the scandal which got a big whopping 31 comments (a significant percentage of which were complaints about the donating button on the site and responses to the complainer) is not very much of a response, not compred to the shitstorm of harassment that hit the women targeted by Gamergate. I guess you can say “they” did not ignore it—but really? This is barely a drop of spit to the storm – and is there any record of them going after the reviewers who took the money/game and didn’t discloser, or the Warner Brothers execs, etc?

    A Google search for Warner Brothers pay YouTube reviewers Gamergate Response gets about 29K results, a lot of which are media sites. I did find (at the bottom of the first page of Google results this Garrett Robinson article which was discussing Total Biscuit’s response to the Salon article—Robinson’s article was pretty well written and criticized the reviewers, but no mention of a boycott or sending out the troops, etc. Nope, just nice discussion with a sad tone. Got 0 comments.

    But Robinson did link to a very good article in Salon which which made the same point I did in my snarky comment in much more length: “But there were no organized boycotts or campaigns against the game’s producers, Monolith Productions and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The scandal came and went. One YouTube gamer made a satirical video trying to highlight the issue. As of this writing, it has 79 views.” (Salon article dtd October 28, 2014).

    So, yeah, “they” didn’t ignore it. But they didn’t go after the male reviewers like they did the women targeted by Gamergate. So it still seems pretty clear misogyny is at the heart of Gamergate.

  4. Cho did use the term, but the commenters are funnier. “I pre-ordered this, and it exists only as a preview on my phone, so it has therefore been destroyed.” Nothing like upping the ante on ululation.

  5. @Dawn Incognito: I share your feels about The Invisible Library.

    I kept wanting to like it more, but kept feeling let down, and, by the end, rather bored. I cannot even remember the female protagonist’s name but you’re right, she was a plucky heroine.

    OTOH, I was sucked in and captivated by the two in a new series by Rachel Caine, The Great Library an alternate future in which the Library of Alexandria was not destroyed and in which the Library’s attempt to control all the books (including removing/destroying ones deemed dangerous) by violence (mundane and magical) has created a dystopia. The main protagonist is a young man, but there are several amazing female characters in his cohort who are picked to train as Librarians. As soon as I get this latest essay off to the editor and in between grading for my two graduate courses (one prep but two sections), I’ll be re-reading. AMAZING.

  6. @Tasha: Also not impressed with his man feels over them cutting out the part where Wonder Woman’s panties show.

    So, shares Piers Anthony’s obsession/perversion, eh?

  7. “Frank Cho Walks Off Wonder Woman After Sixth Cover”

    Who the hell thought it was a good idea to let Frank Cho draw Wonder Woman from the beginning?

  8. @Hampus

    His general arseholishness aside (don’t look at his responses to the Milo Manara Spiderwoman cover controversy, unless you have a high tolerance for immaturity), I do like Cho’s art, especially his She-Hulk. His obvious preference for All Cheesecake, All the Time aside, he’s one of the few artists who seems to be able to draw women as muscled warrior types, rather than supermodels/ pornstars (LAAAAAAAAND!)

  9. he’s one of the few artists who seems to be able to draw women as muscled warrior types

    That third cover is, I believe, what Escher Girls calls a ‘centaur’. (Spines don’t work like that.)

  10. Cora on July 14, 2016 at 3:35 pm said:

    Another thing that bothered me is that Butcher obviously has no idea how airships actually work. Because when I read the word “airship”, what comes to mind is a Zeppelin or other dirigible. And a lot of the maneouvres Butcher has his airships execute (dive bombings, artillery broadsides) are things airships cannot do. Actual airships don’t have open decks either, so no deck for Captain Grimm to strut around on, and space is extremely limited. Eventually, I started to imagine Napoleonic era sailing ships flying due to magic ether crystal technology and the book worked a lot better for me.

    Yeah, “flying ships” would probably have been a better term than “airships”. And don’t even get me started on the use of “windlass” for a specific subtype of flying ship.

    The cover illustration does make it a bit clearer that the “airships” do, in fact, look like sailing ships that happen to be flying because of magic ether crystal technology

  11. @Martin Easterbrook

    The impression that Gamergate in any sense ignored the Shadow of Mordor controversy over paid YouTube submissions is incorrect.

    Here is a link showing TotalBiscuit being one of the first to break the scandal in 2014.

    http://www.gamesreviews.com/news/09/totalbiscuit-reveals-shadow-mordor-code-branding-deal/

    Notes: I would describe Total Biscuit as a neutral but that is not accepted by anti-GamerGate people, who regard him as one of the main members of the movement

    @martin, you can’t have it both ways. Either Gamergate ignored the Shadow of Mordor issue, or TB is a GGer. You can’t say that he’s not, while pointing to him as a solitary example of GG addressing the issue. This whole game of “Oh no one is actually part of GG, they’re all just neutral” gets real tired real fast, and doesn’t fool anyone.

    Also, as per my previous post, and @robinareid’s, isn’t it *interesting* that when there are no women to target that GG remains so frickin’ low key?

    Again, it fools no one.

  12. Here is a link showing TotalBiscuit being one of the first to break the scandal in 2014.

    Not knowing about it is one thing, it means they’re just not very good at rooting this sort of thing out (too busy harassing and abusing women). Knowing about it – actual dodgy collusion with reviewers of all things! – and barely summoning a ‘meh’ is… well, no surprise at all. Too busy abusing and harassing women.

  13. When I was young, I had a unknown brand set of 10 volume “encyclopedia” that was clearly written sometime in the 30’s or 40’s. There was a volume on history, the human body, literature, etc.They were all color-coded, wonderful covers and binding. It was all out of date, but stuck in isolation with a bad foot injury, it was wonderful to have them to read. I wish I could remember who the publisher was.

  14. @snowcrash

    TotalBiscuit is not an isolated example. Here is Erik Kain who describes himself as “an observer, supporter, and critic of GamerGate” writing in Forbes in 2014.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2014/10/08/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-paid-branding-deals-should-have-gamergate-up-in-arms/#78dde2473896

    I think you have a fair point, and Kain actually agrees with you, that Gamergate should have reacted more strongly but this situation was mainly defused by the YouTubers having an honest discussion with their fans on their YouTube channels and admitting that they had done something wrong. You can see some of this linked from Kain’s article.

    This is not to deny that there has not been incredibly vile stuff written by people who have identified as Gamergate. There has. The point is that Gamergate is an incredibly complex mix of many different groups. If Zoe Quinn can thank the Harassment Patrol, who tried to stamp out harassment at the start of this mess and if Brianna Wu can appear on the podcast of the chief moderator of the main Gamergate discussion group, for a polite discussion to promote her game, I don’t think it is fair, or productive, to ignore them and declare that the entire group is evil.

  15. “I don’t think it is fair, or productive, to ignore them and declare that the entire group is evil.”

    Good for you, but who are you, and why should I care about your opinion? Especially since you’ve shown to be on no good terms with truth and fact.

  16. @Martin Easterbrook

    First of all TotalBiscuit was the sole example that *you* provided. Secondly, that’s a fairly disingenuous reading of the Forbes article, which in both in it’s title and in it’s body is calling out GG on their silence. Even at best, it’s someone within the GG movement noticing an actual “ethics in videogames” issue wondering why the rest of them are so quiet. It’s too bad he didn’t take a step further and ask why they were so quiet….

    BtW, there’s no need for anyone to go on a rooftop and declare GG “evil” to damage their reputation. Their mastery of fractal idiocy makes that unnecessary. I do have an amazingly low tolerance for GG’s attempts to rewrite their actual history and narrative, though. Like I said earlier, it fools no one.

  17. @Martin Easterbrook
    Maybe people who really cared about ethics in gaming would have more credibility if they distanced themselves from a hashtag specifically designed to harass a woman in gaming by her ex. As has been suggested time and time again create a different hashtag if they want to be taken seriously, game designers frequently know journalists and bloggers (just like book publishing), game copies are given out for review (just like book publishing), and try to know your biases.

  18. @Martin Easterbrook

    Open dialogue is great. It’s not predicate upon everyone else having to accept GG’s attempts to ignore or rewrite it’s history though.

  19. @Tasha Turner

    Maybe people who really cared about ethics in gaming would have more credibility if they distanced themselves from a hashtag specifically designed to harass a woman in gaming by her ex

    They did. I’m not going to quote the original hashtag here because, as you say, it was designed as harassment. GamerGate was adopted to try and move the emphasis toward the journalistic issues.

    That wasn’t properly reported outside the games community so nobody felt that any further change of tag was worthwhile as it would just be treated the same way. Like many episodes in this sorry mess the result was the extremists standing there smiling and telling everyone how this showed the other side could not be trusted.

    Note: The, controversy had been running for some time before the “ex’s post” you refer to. This was grabbed as a weapon in two ongoing feuds, which is a reason it apparently blew up so quickly from the point of view of those outside.

  20. @Martin Easterbrook

    Bull crap. The start of gamer gate was a group of people whose experience of the world had them thinking that taking every word of a dumped lover as gospel was a good idea. The concern about journalistic ethics came after.

    In the real world, the fact that one event came before the other is considered quite dispositive. In the real world, if TotalBiscuit is “neutral”, I’m a g*dd*mn unicorn.

  21. GamerGate was adopted to try and move the emphasis toward the journalistic issues.

    Bit of a spectacular failure, if so. I mean, if sincerely so. Very little about it seemed sincere, as I remember, and what did seem sincere also seemed amazingly foolish, credulous and tone-deaf – signing up to keep SJWs out of gaming. At best it ended up operating as the flimsiest of cover for the abusers, part of the usual troll gish-gallop tactics. At worst it just kept openly attacking the original targets.

  22. Martin Easterbrook: Perhaps a more open dialogue, with people like those I’ve linked to, would have done more to isolate the extremists?

    The problem is that you think of the harassers as the “extremists” in GamerGate. In reality, GamerGate is a harassment movement where the “extremists” are the small minority which are genuinely concerned with ethics in gaming journalism, but who are apparently not clued-in enough to understand that they are being used as cover for a harassment movement.

    I’m sorry that they are being so-used, but honestly, at some point they have to be intelligent enough and adult enough to realize that GamerGate will never be an effective tool for ethics in gaming journalism, because at its heart it is about harassment of minorities to keep them out of the gaming world. If they genuinely want to see a change, they need to start their own movement which is untainted by harassing misogynists.

  23. @JJ: “If they genuinely want to see a change, they need to start their own movement which is untainted by harassing misogynists.”

    Which will last for approximately ten seconds, until the aforementioned misogynists glom onto the new movement.

  24. @JJ

    For a group that is about “harassment of minorities” GamerGate was pretty inefficient when it produced a debate team consisting of 3 women, one of whom is Indian and, I believe, a Sikh.

    https://youtu.be/QBSz6kSyzX8

  25. Well, some of us just use the shortened neologism, MooGloms, but yeah.

    Hey, for a group that’s allegedly about “killing and eating of cattle,” that steak house down the street was asleep at the switch when it gave the job of advertising the place to that one steer in the chef’s hat. I guess that means no cows have ever been hurt, eh?

  26. @Joe H.

    Yeah, “flying ships” would probably have been a better term than “airships”. And don’t even get me started on the use of “windlass” for a specific subtype of flying ship.

    The cover illustration does make it a bit clearer that the “airships” do, in fact, look like sailing ships that happen to be flying because of magic ether crystal technology

    Yes, the windlass thing also got me, since I initially assumed the windlass of the title was what is called a windlass in the real world, i.e. a type of winch. And then I realised that the windlass was supposed to be a type of airship instead. Honestly, if you’re going to use specialised terminology, at least get it correct (One of my day jobs is tech translator for the shipbuilding and aerospace industries, so I know this stuff).

    Regarding the cover, I have the UK edition of The Aeronaut’s Windlass and the Chris McGrath cover art is cropped a little differently with more focus on Grimm (at least I assume it’s Grimm) and less on the background, so all you can see are some blurred ropes in the background.

    @robinareid

    OTOH, I was sucked in and captivated by the two in a new series by Rachel Caine, The Great Library an alternate future in which the Library of Alexandria was not destroyed and in which the Library’s attempt to control all the books (including removing/destroying ones deemed dangerous) by violence (mundane and magical) has created a dystopia. The main protagonist is a young man, but there are several amazing female characters in his cohort who are picked to train as Librarians. As soon as I get this latest essay off to the editor and in between grading for my two graduate courses (one prep but two sections), I’ll be re-reading. AMAZING.

    Thanks for the recommendation. I enjoyed Rachel Caine’s Weather Wardens series a whole lot and I will definitely check this one out.

    @RedWombat
    Congratulations!

  27. Mike Glyer said:

    Movement glommers, we call ’em.

    Better than movement glompers, that’s for sure.

  28. GamerGate was adopted to try and move the emphasis toward the journalistic issues.

    No, it wasn’t. It was coined by Adam Baldwin as part of an tweet attacking Zoe Quinn. The idea of “ethics in journalism” didn’t pop up until well after the tag had been adopted.

  29. Yes, the windlass thing also got me, since I initially assumed the windlass of the title was what is called a windlass in the real world, i.e. a type of winch. And then I realised that the windlass was supposed to be a type of airship instead. Honestly, if you’re going to use specialised terminology, at least get it correct (One of my day jobs is tech translator for the shipbuilding and aerospace industries, so I know this stuff).

    So Butcher’s using the same level of research he did about Chicago in the early Dresden books – i.e., little to none. I kept waiting for the Brave Captain to do something brave captainly with his trusty winch, but in vain. And don’t get me started on the talking cats with an uncatlike social structure. It’s a write-by-numbers book, down to the tea ceremonies that seem to be there because Leckie had them in her books.

    Almost done with my Hugo reading – I’ve been saving Pennric’s Demon and Folding Beijing for last.

  30. re Butcher:

    Yes, the windlass thing also got me, since I initially assumed the windlass of the title was what is called a windlass in the real world, i.e. a type of winch.

    Butcher does use windlass to mean a type of winch(think of a horizontal capstan) used to raise and lower loads. Captain grimpants’ ship lost horizontal propulsion and was reduced to being capable only of vertical motion and functionally equivalent to a windlass. The ship being called a windlass is a metaphor, an insult by people who do not like Grimm and self-pitying by grimpants.

    Things I was more bothered by include spires the profile of a stack of two tuna cans and the use of gold* as a common building material in Landing.

    rgl *not real gold, just stuff more rare and valuable

  31. Yes, I was also wondering whether the tea ceremonies were a response to Ann Leckie (and Gail Carriger also had them, as far as I recall, though it’s been a while) or whether Butcher simply assumed a vaguely Steampunk world with vaguely Victorian era sort-of Brits required tea drinking. Or maybe Butcher thought that the success of Ancillary Justice was due to tea – at least it would make a change from “They only like that book because of the pronouns”.

    And while I liked the cats, their social structure has about as much to do with real cats as all those packs of grizzly shifters with two hot alpha bears vying for the attention of a big beautiful woman, that were all the rage of Amazon for a while, have to do with real bears.

    Regarding the windlass thing, I got that it was supposed to be an insult to Grimm’s ship (and Grimm takes insults to his beloved ship very seriously), but it’s still an odd term in this context, especially since I don’t recall the actual windlasses in use at the Spire were well defined.

    Stacked tuna cans is a good description for the Spire or what we see of it BTW. And yes, the extensive use of an extremely rare and valuable material for random buildings also didn’t work for me. Ditto the extensive use of honey – even though it’s explicitly said that no one except the Kung-fu monks have ever managed to keep bees in the Spire and honey is also mentioned to be expensive. As for the sugar, I honestly wonder where they get the sugar from at all, since they can obviously cultivate neither sugar beets nor sugar cane in their Spire.

    All in all, the worldbuilding makes very little sense. And while the story is entertaining enough, I certainly could easily list several Steampunk works that would have been a lot Hugo worthier than this.

  32. Martin Easterbrook: For a group that is about “harassment of minorities” GamerGate was pretty inefficient when it produced a debate team consisting of 3 women, one of whom is Indian and, I believe, a Sikh.

    Yeah, you do know that a lot of us here have done extensive research and reading about GamerGate, right? So when the dupes get used in this way, it does not change reality.

  33. @robinareid, @cora
    I’m adding the Great Library books to my (too big) to-read list, thanks ! It remembers me of Souls of the Great Machine , which I just loved, with its duel-fighting librarians in a post apocalyptic australia
    (maybe I should read more australian authors , between this book, The Rook, and another one (where people able do find the best possible future in an infinity), i have quite a lot o good memories)

  34. And both Rachel’s book, and the Souls of the Great Machine both remind me of the “Librarians Militant” from a unwritten fictional series mentioned in Vernor Vinge’s Rainbow’s End. Sadly, the world of Rainbow’s End also has a lot more Discworld novels than we wound up with in our timeline.

  35. @Martin Easterbrook:

    For a group that is about “harassment of minorities” GamerGate was pretty inefficient when it produced a debate team consisting of 3 women, one of whom is Indian and, I believe, a Sikh.

    What’s next, a reference to Vivian James?

  36. For a group that is about “harassment of minorities” GamerGate was pretty inefficient when it produced a debate team consisting of 3 women, one of whom is Indian and, I believe, a Sikh.

    Absent real and meaningful efforts to push back against the abuse and misogyny, stuff like this only adds to the perception of Gamergate’s overwhelming cyncism and shirtlording.

  37. @ Nigel: I believe the word you’re looking for is “tokenism”. That was the G8er version of, “I can’t be racist, I have a black friend!”

  38. @Jim Henley

    Ain’t no Magical Minority Fairy like a *fictional* Magical Minority Fairy

  39. “For a group that is about “harassment of minorities” GamerGate was pretty inefficient when it produced a debate team consisting of 3 women, one of whom is Indian and, I believe, a Sikh.”

    Ah, the classic hashtag. #theyaremyshields

  40. ” If Zoe Quinn can thank the Harassment Patrol, who tried to stamp out harassment at the start of this mess…”

    The “harassment patrol” were often harassers themselves who heaped abuse ob Quinn wheb she refused to acknowledge them. They did not help, they kept spamming her to guilt trip her. She wanted nothing to do with them.

    You are rewriting history.

  41. Fighting librarians always remind me of two anime.

    Tatakau Shisho The Book of Bantorra which focuses on the Armed Librarians some of who are able to wipe out whole armies on their own. The reason, the most well known reason of many at least, they need to be that strong is that in their world when someone dies they leave behind a stone tablet that lets someone relive that persons life by touching it. And all those tablets are supposed to be stored at the Bantorra Library.

    Library War in which the library system and the rest of the government go to war against each other in near future Japan.

  42. Fighting librarians in anime, you say? Gotta mention Read or Die, which I’m surprised I wasn’t reminded of earlier. Supernatural paper-masters as secret agents for the Special Operations Division of the British Library. The TV series also has a kickass soundtrack.

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