Pixel Scroll 7/30/16 Two Pixels Diverged In A Scroll, And I – I Took The One That Had The Most Bacon

(1) ALWAYS TO CALL IT RESEARCH. An appeals court affirmed that Luc Besson’s Lockout plagiarized John Carpenter’s Escape From New York.

The French filmmaker will have to fork over nearly half a million dollars

An appeals court has ruled that French filmmaker Luc Besson is guilty of plagiarizing from John Carpenter’s 1981 classic “Escape From New York” and must now pay the fellow filmmaker nearly half a million dollars.

As Yahoo reports, Besson has long denied that his 2012 thriller, “Lockout,” was a copy of Carpenter’s Kurt Russell-starring actioner. In Carpenter’s film, Russell plays a former government agent who is tasked with retrieving the U.S. president from the island of Manhattan — which has been turned into a massive prison — after his plane crashes there (thanks, Air Force One, thanks a lot). In “Lockout,” Pearce is a convict sent to a giant space jail who is given the chance to win back his freedom if he can rescue the U.S. president’s daughter, who is trapped in said giant space jail.

The court ruled that Besson’s film had “massively borrowed key elements” of Carpenter’s feature…

[Via Ansible Links.]

(2) MIDAMERICON LOSES HOTEL. The MidAmeriCon II committee announced on Facebook that one of its hotels will be unavailable, and members who reserved there are being shifted elsewhere:

HOTEL UPDATE: The Courtyard/Residence Inn has let us know that their construction has run over schedule and they will not be open in time for MidAmeriCon II. We have been working with their staff and Passkey to contact those displaced to advise them of the situation and to find our members a hotel room with one of our other contracted properties. Please be aware that the new reservations will not be in the individual hotel systems until later this week. Once that occurs, the affected members will be contacted with information on where they have been relocated and provided new confirmations. Any questions can be sent to hotel@midamericon2.org.

(3) FURNISHING THE NEXT STAR TREK. iDigital Times learned that “’Star Trek: Discovery’ Ship Has Its Captain’s Chair”.

Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Bryan Fuller revealed the captain’s chair aboard the starship U.S.S. Discovery NCC-1031. It’s very much in line with classic captains’ seats, with the swept open armrests of Jean-Luc Picard’s luxurious, tan cathedra.


(4) THE PRICE OF FAME. Of course, by “the price of fame” we mean what price the fans will pay. CNN Money has the going rates: “Want a picture with Captain Kirk? That’ll be $100”.

Star Trek’s massive 50th anniversary convention starts next week in Las Vegas, and celebrities have posted their prices for photos with fans.

…Resistance is, of course, futile.

Older actors who starred in Star Trek: The Original Series from the 1960s charge higher prices. And the clairvoyant Whoopi Goldberg tops the charts.

(5) OWL SERVICE. A gig on Fiverr: “I will design a Harry Potter Hogwarts Personalized Acceptance Letter for $5”.

acceptance letter

Have you been waiting forever for your special letter to come? OMG! Don’t wait anymore! You can receive your very own letter, stating that you’ve been accepted to Hogwarts and feel the magic! Makes the perfect Hogwarts gift for anyone of any age and it is fully personalised with their very own name and address.!

What you get is a PDF file – when you pay only $5, you have to provide your own bells and whistles….

(6) THE DISNEY-TOLKIEN INTERSECTION. The original story is on Cracked, but this Hello Giggles writer explains it more clearly. Maybe that’s because she’s sober. “This insane theory says ‘Snow White’ is a sequel to ‘Lord of the Rings’”

While Snow White’s dwarfs seem pretty standard—they’re short, unsocial, and obsessed with treasure—Diplotti explains that Tolkien took many of the names of his dwarves from a centuries-old Norse epic called the Voluspa, which has a section devoted to dwarf names and their meanings. Durin? That’s “Sleepy,” thank you very much. Dwalin, or “Dvalinn” in the “Voluspa,” is torpid, lazy, or sleepy. Oin? That would be “shy,” a.k.a. “bashful.” Well, that’s creepy!

(7) LIFE IS NOT A REHEARSAL. As Kameron Hurley frees herself, she offers hope to other writers: “You Don’t Owe Anyone Your Time”.

Certainly one in a position of privilege does have a moral imperative to state, “This atrocity is wrong.” But when you buckle down to engage the haters on any issue, consider what your end goal is in having that conversation, and consider what other valuable work you could be doing with that time. I can pretty much guarantee you that, say, writing The Geek Feminist Revolution and getting it into people’s hands was worth about a billion times more than spending that time arguing with dudes on the internet who were just there to distract me. They aren’t here to change minds. They are here to keep us from doing the work that changes the world.

We all have a finite amount of time on this earth. Those of us with chronic illness or who have had near-death experiences appreciate that more than others. I feel that it’s my moral imperative to remind you that you could get hit by a bus tomorrow. And if you did, would you regret how you’d spend the hour, the day, the week, the month, the year before?

My goal is to live the sort of life where I won’t feel I’ve wasted my time if I die tomorrow. It has kept me on target through a lot of bullshit. The truth is that all this shit is made up, and because it’s made up, it can be remade. But only if we focus our efforts on creating the work that moves the conversation forward, instead of letting ourselves get caught up in the distraction.


  • July 30, 1932 — Walt Disney released his first color cartoon, “Flowers and Trees,” made in three-color Technicolor.
  • July 30, 1999Blair Witch Project released


  • Born July 30, 1947 — Arnold Schwarzenegger

(10) BANG THE GAVEL SLOWLY. Frank Darabont is auctioning off rare Hollywood memorabilia. The Hollywood Reporter explains:

Frank Darabont, the filmmaker behind The Shawshank Redemption who helped launch The Walking Dead on AMC, is parting ways with some of his most prized possessions.

The director is putting more than two dozen rare items up for the gavel Saturday as part of Profiles in History’s art and movie memorabilia auction — including plenty of items that would make fanboys and fangirls weak in the knees.

“One thing I’ve always known is this amazing art wouldn’t be mine forever. It couldn’t be. We don’t own these things. We can only be their caretakers for a time, enjoying them as much as possible until inevitably they must pass on to the next caretaker” Darabont said in a statement. “For me, that time has come. I won’t lie to you and say that parting with these things is easy. Trust me, it really, really isn’t. But the time for everything passes, and so has my position as caretaker. I will be ever grateful for the joy these wonderful pieces of art have brought me. I can only hope that they will bring their next caretakers (and all caretakers after that, ad infinitum) equal or greater joy.”

And Art Daily has more details about the items going up for auction.

Following the hugely successful sale of Frank Frazetta art from the collection of Dave Winiewicz, this unique auction will be presented in two sessions. Session One, The Frank Darabont Collection, includes original works by master artists Bernie Wrightson, Mike Mignola, Sanjulian, Jack Davis, Will Eisner, Eric Powell, Bob Peak, Rich Corben, Vaughn Bode, a bronze of the “Cyclops” creature by Ray Harryhausen, and rare movie posters including the only known Frankenstein 1941 Italian 4-fogli, and much more.

Session Two comprises a superb collection of vintage comic and illustration artwork featuring the finest original oil paintings by Frank Frazetta ever offered at auction, including “Sea Witch” (pre-sale estimate of $1,000,000 – $1,500,000) and “Bran Mak Morn” (pre-sale estimate of ($450,000 – $550,000), the most expensive Frazetta paintings ever offered at auction. These two paintings have never been offered for sale. The sale also features a wealth of works by “The Studio” artists Bernie Wrightson, Mike Kaluta, Jeffery Jones, and Barry Windsor-Smith, as well as Spider-Man art by John Romita, a Golden Age cover by Jack Kirby, horror and fantasy art by Richard Corben, an important work by John Buscema, among many other pieces by notable masters of the comic medium. Most of these works have been hidden away in private collections for decades, and this sale represents the first and likely only chance to obtain them.


(11) AUSTRALIA IS ON THE MOVE – LITERALLY. The BBC tells why “Australia plans new co-ordinates to fix sat-nav gap”

Because of the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates, these local co-ordinates drift apart from the Earth’s global co-ordinates over time.

“If you want to start using driverless cars, accurate map information is fundamental,” said Mr Jaksa.

“We have tractors in Australia starting to go around farms without a driver, and if the information about the farm doesn’t line up with the co-ordinates coming out of the navigation system there will be problems.”

The Geocentric Datum of Australia, the country’s local co-ordinate system, was last updated in 1994. Since then, Australia has moved about 1.5 metres north.

So on 1 January 2017, the country’s local co-ordinates will also be shifted further north – by 1.8m.

Chip Hitchcock commented, when he sent the link: “A fascinating reminder that the world we live on is still changing. (I’d love to see comparable numbers for the US, cf the Grand Canyon docent snarking ‘If you want to go to Europe this is the year, because it will never be any closer.’) The story also quotes a claim that this inaccuracy affects self-driving cars, but I’d hope such cars would rely on immediate observation rather than stored memories of coordinates of fixed objects like curbs.”

(12) THE SHARK, DEAR. The Wrap reviews the sequel a day before it airs on SyFy: “’Sharknado 4’ Review: This Joke Has No Teeth Anymore”.

A joke might be funny the first time, but by the fourth time you hear it, the punchline gets tired.

“Tired” is a good description for “Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens,” which premieres Sunday on Syfy. Although the parody movie is as absurd and silly as the first three installments were, this time around the whole thing feels forced.

On one hand, you can tell stars Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and David Hasselhoff are having fun. Ziering even manages to mock his stint as a Chippendales dancer. But the novelty of this campy killer-shark franchise has clearly worn off, and now the nudges and winks from the made-for-TV flick’s cast and writers border on punishing.

(13) SOUTH KOREA’S GAMERGATE? NPR raises the spectre that “South Korea Is Contending With A ‘Gamergate’ Of Its Own – Over A T-Shirt”.

An online controversy over a South Korean voice actress’s tweeted image of a T-shirt has escalated into what is now being called East Asia’s version of Gamergate — a reference to the vitriolic controversy that pitted gamers, largely men, against women in tech.

Twelve hours after posting a photo of a shirt reading “Girls Do Not Need A Prince,” Kim Jayeon — who had been providing a voice for the popular video game Closers — was out of her job.

Part of the problem was the source of the shirt. It’s put out by Megalia4, a South Korean feminist group.

When Kim’s tweet surfaced on July 18, scores of male gamers demanded that she apologize for supporting what they call a “anti-man hate group.” When Kim refused to budge, they bombarded Nexon, her employer and publisher of Closers, with complaints and refund requests, and soon, she was out.

“We have to be responsive to our customers’ opinions,” Nexon told The Hankyoreh, a South Korean news outlet. “The voice actress exacerbated the issue by posting inflammatory tweets such as ‘what’s wrong with supporting Megalia?'”

(14) HANDICAPPING THE HUGOS: This reader predicts Chuck Tingle will get a rocket.


MidAmeriCon II will be closing online pre-registration for all classes of membership on Friday, August 5, 2016.  Fans planning to attend the convention are encouraged to buy their membership before this date, both to take advantage of the best membership rates and for maximum convenience when they arrive at the convention. Full (five-day) Adult Attending Membership rates will increase from $210 now to $240 at the door, while Young Adult and Military Attending Membership rates will increase from $100 now to $120 at the door. Pre-registered members may collect their badges and other membership materials from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, August 15 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16.  Members who can collect their materials on these days can expect to benefit from reduced waiting times.

Full details of all MidAmeriCon II membership categories and rates, as well as at-con opening hours, can be found on the convention website at http://midamericon2.org/home/registration-hotel-member-information/registration/.

(16) YELLOW F&SF DAYS. Paul Fraser at About SF Magazines provides a retro review of “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction #5, December 1950”.

(17) TREK BREW. The Nerdist relays plans to “Celebrate 50 years of Star Trek with golden anniversary beer”.

Trek Pale Ale

A quote:

“Star Trek Golden Anniversary Ale: The Trouble With Tribbles” will debut at the premiere of Star Trek Beyond, at the IMAX Embarcadero Marina Park on July 20, and Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center on July 21 – 24. It will also available at the “Star Trek Las Vegas” convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino from August 3 – 7, 2016. Then in the fall, Shmaltz will bring Voyage to the Northeast Quadrant to the Mission New York Convention at the Javits Center from September 2 – 4, 2016.

(18) JULES VERNE MOVIE. The Galactic Journey crew was among the first to see what they dubbed “[July 30, 1961] 20,000 Leagues in a Balloon (Jules Vern’s Mysterious Island)”.

Perhaps the most famous of Verne’s protagonists is Captain Nemo, skipper of the magnificent submarine, the Nautilus.  In 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, adapted to film in 1953, Nemo led a one-man crusade against war, sinking the world’s warships in the cause of pacifism.

My daughter and I just came back from the premiere of Mysterious Island, the latest translation of a Verne novel.  It is a sequel of sorts to 20,000 Leagues, though this is not immediately apparent from the beginning.  The initial setting is the siege of Richmond at the end of the American Civil War.  Four Yankee prisoners make a daring escape in a balloon along with an initially wary, but ultimately game, Confederate prisoner.  The film begins with no indication of where it’s going other than the title (and the mention of Nemo in the cast list – an unfortunate spoiler).

(19) APOLLO TREK. Space.com’s Leonard David has a piece about how George Takei and Buzz Aldrin got an assist from William Shatner to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing and the 50th anniversary of Star Trek at Cape Canaveral.

An audience of some 250 people took part in the evening event, which was dominated by a huge Saturn 5 moon rocket perched overhead. The occasion raised funds for Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring children to be passionate about science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

The anniversary gala was hosted by George Takei, best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the original “Star Trek” TV series and movies….

Takei had a special surprise video beamed in from one of his “Star Trek” crewmates — William Shatner, who played USS Enterprise Capt. James T. Kirk.

Shatner said he wished he could be present at the Apollo 11 anniversary event. He was in Los Angeles, tied to a previous engagement with the other starship captains of “Star Trek” celebrating the past 50 years, Shatner said.

(20) UNSPARING CHANGE. Black Gate’s Derek Kunsken experiences “A Tremendously Disappointing Re-Read: The Soaked-in Misogyny of Piers Anthony’s Xanth”

How bad is the sexism and misogyny? I mean, can we cut it some slack because it was published in 1977?

Um. No. The 1970s were the 1970s, but there were still lots of remarkable writers creating compelling stories with well-rounded characters back then.

All the female characters in the first two novels occupy a narrow range of man-created stereotyped roles that were already fossils in the 1970s. Anthony has:

  1. the dumb love interest,
  2. the smart love interest,
  3. the nagging love interest, and
  4. the cautionary tales for Bink’s choice of love interest.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Keith Kato, Martin Morse Wooster, Dawn Incognito, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Bill.]

102 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/30/16 Two Pixels Diverged In A Scroll, And I – I Took The One That Had The Most Bacon

  1. So, in My Little Pony there is an in-universe popular series of books that has played a role in IIRC three episodes before now. In this week’s episode, a character who is a major fan attends a fan convention for the book series. So in-jokes about con culture were to be expected. Probably not quite as “in” an in-joke as obaqntr-gurzrq obql cvyybjf, though. Image link Full episode.

    (I’m guessing that punenpgre obql cvyybjf are less of a thing at Worldcon, but I could be wrong.)

  2. Lela E. Buis on July 31, 2016 at 11:04 am said:
    I like works that are thought-provoking. Any work designed to just elicit emotion without much in the way of other redeeming qualities is pretty empty. I’m sure you can identify a few of these as past Hugo winners.

    Umm, actually, I’m having trouble doing so. Since you obviously have some in mind, perhaps you can enlighten me? Remind me of examples I’ve forgotten?

  3. Actually I do find John Chu overly sentimental at times, but “Water That Falls” wasn’t as much so as other stories like “Hold-Time Violations” or “Restore the Heart into Love”. Nominated story “The House Beyond Your Sky”, by Benjamin Rosenbaum, was cloying as hell but didn’t win.

  4. There was some cutesy thing about unicorns, wasn’t there? Won Best Novella a couple of years back? Who wrote it? – oh, yes, Charles Stross. Bet that was all mawkish and stuff.

  5. Finished Ninefox Gambit. If Cordwainer Smith and Iain Banks got together to design a universe, it might look a lot like that one. Puppies probably will hate it; it’s got space battles, but it’s more about the personalities and politics, and gloves are important. My internal soundtrack kicked up Hozier’s “It Will Come Back” and it’s a good fit – the lyrics might actually be spoilery. Very much looking forward to what comes next.

  6. When Xanth came out, I was young enough to enjoy the silliness, but old enough to spot some of the creepiness, so I had mixed feelings. However, my youngest brother, who had mild dyslexia, became a huge fan, and I was willing to forgive a lot for a series that encouraged him to read more.

    I did like some of Anthony’s other stuff much better. In particular, I was a fan of the Cluster series, which had some entertainingly alien aliens. Haven’t read any of his stuff in years, though, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the suck fairy has visited these too.

  7. @Steve Wright, with rainbows and flowers, and how by being a good person you can overcome any obstacle, yeah.

  8. Hmmm. Just finished Ninefox Gambit about 30 minutes ago myself. I’m not as enthused. It feels like an idea that could have been an awesome novel but the execution fell short: flat characters, opaque magic system, cardboard politics, and wooden battle scenes. Things I enjoyed: the interleaved memos from the opposition showed a sense of humor; the chapter pacing kept me reading to see what happened next. I believe it’s Lee’s first novel? For a first outing I can see potential even if this book left me overall indifferent. I hope she continues to grow.

  9. @Jamoche:

    Finished Ninefox Gambit. If Cordwainer Smith and Iain Banks got together to design a universe, it might look a lot like that one.

    After all the pros and cons I’ve read, this is the comment that finally has me sold. Cheers!

  10. Steve Wright on July 31, 2016 at 1:10 pm said:
    There was some cutesy thing about unicorns, wasn’t there? Won Best Novella a couple of years back? Who wrote it? – oh, yes, Charles Stross. Bet that was all mawkish and stuff.

    Fair to say that those unicorns were cloying 😉

  11. On a slightly more serious note, better and brighter folks than me have opined that the whole point of writing fiction is to evoke an emotional response from the reader. Is Lela Buis suggesting that only certain kinds of emotional response are suitable for SF? That SF should eschew the sentimental, and go instead for the sense of wonder and excitement created by drama, spectacle and high adventure? (All of which, to be sure, are good things.)

    If so, I have two questions, one theoretical and one practical. The theoretical one: why should SF limit itself to that particular range of emotions? The practical one: if the Puppies are in favour of wonder and excitement, how is it their offerings, this year as last year, so signally fail to provide either?

  12. I would guess that Among Others may qualify as sentimental. It’s been awhile since I read it, but my recollection is that it was about moving away from the small town where you’re known as a freak, finding kindred spirits who like you as you are, becoming more comfortable with yourself, and beginning to heal the trauma from an abusive childhood.

    Sure evoked an emotional response from me. I do not, however, consider that a bad thing.

  13. Steve Wright: I think Lela’s objection is to works that appeal simply to the emotions – any emotion – rather than to the reason. A work that makes you think may also, by doing so, arouse emotions, but that’s not the same sort of thing.

    (I agree that science fiction ought to make you think. I think Hugo winners do, on the whole.)

  14. In defense of M. Buis, I did find Transhuman and Subhuman thought provoking; I can say the same about a number of Mr. Wright’s offerings.

    Did those thoughts start with “how in God’s name is this viewed as Hugo-worthy” and then rapidly move on to equally strongly-worded thoughts, yes, but I had thoughts that were provoked. Indeed, given that Three Body and Ancillary provoked somewhat subtler thoughts, it was a thought provoking year!

  15. @Jamoche

    That describes Ninefox perfectly! I’m looking forward to his next book, mostly because I want to know what happens next and see more of this world.

  16. @Jamoche — I’d forgotten that story; thanks for the reminder. Should’ve picked something else as being fixed (if \anything/ can be considered fixed in California..).

  17. @Darren: Not so much at Worldcon, no. But at anime and furcons, yep.

    I can’t think of any “cloying sentimental” winners either. “Among Others” may provoke sentimentality, but itself is not sentimental and far from cloying; it’s pretty grim for much of the book and doesn’t have a neatly-wrapped conventional happy ending.

    Yes, unicorns and little girls in that Stross story, so sentimental, it was practically a Lisa Frank joint.

    @Jamoche: Puppies are automatically gonna hate “Ninefox Gambit” just for the author’s gender. I may get around to it after the double-punch of the release on the SAME DAMN DAY as “Obelisk Gate” (sequel to “Fifth Season”) and MRK’s all-new “Ghost Talkers”.

    Just finished “Four Roads Cross” the last of the “Craft Sequence” by Max Gladstone. It is neither cloying nor sentimental, but it’s a terrific wrap-up, bringing together Alt Coulomb and Dresediel Lex, though set in the former. There was a lot of genuine tension and a satisfying ending.

  18. (20) Xanth: Agreeing with others who read some of Anthony’s work and then gave up in disgust (lord, that man’s panty fetish is skeevy as hell).

    But I was more gobmacked by this line: I mean, can we cut it some slack because it was published in 1977?

    Um. No?

    First off, the “sexism is just due to the time period not the actual male author raking in big bucks” is pure crap no matter what time period you’re talking about (ditto racism, classism, homophobia). That claim is based on the assumption that the “past” was always “worst” than the wonderful present as opposed to acknowledging the complexity of cultural shifts in which there is always resistance to the dominant ideology.

    Second, maybe it’s because I’m old, since I graduated from high school in 1973, but MAN, the idea that it’s 1977 so sexism should be expected or excused as if there was no feminist activism going on is not just wrong, it’s so fucking wrong as to be laughable.

    After a few quick googles:

    “By 1977, 35 of the necessary 38 states have ratified the amendment” (ERA (Highlights, National Organization for Women).

    1977: “The Canadian Human Rights Act was passed, prohibiting discrimination based on characteristics including sex and sexual orientation,” the first in the list of second wave feminist highlights, including the first Rape Crisis Center opening in London (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-wave_feminism#1977)

    Scroll down to see all the major feminist sf events and publications happening in the decade: http://www.feministsf.org/community/history.html

    Among other things, Joanna Russ’ THE FEMALE MAN and a bunch of other “seventies feminist utopias” saw print, and the first WisCon was held (1977).

    Octavia Butler published KINDRED in 1979.

    So, fucking no excuses because it was 1977 will fly with anybody who remembers the decade, has studied anything at all about Anglo-American feminism, or you know, can apply his fingers to The Google!

  19. And why are there no e-versions of Joanna Russ’s work?
    One of those minor annoyances – I keep going to check it out, and they keep not being there.

  20. So, fucking no excuses because it was 1977 will fly with anybody who remembers the decade

    It seems to me like a certain amount of effort has gone into erasing every positive bit of progress made in the 1970s from common memory.

    To quote a quote I quoted in a review:

    (by noted author Eleanor Arnason (QWP):

    ?”As I said above, what I find interesting about the Bradford discussion is—40 years of history have disappeared. Both the people defending women SFF writers and the people saying women can’t write SFF sound as if they are back in the 1970s. I am disturbed by this, because my writing history is one of the things being disappeared. I have vanished as a writer in this discourse.”

    Not to mention An Open Letter to Joanna Russ.

  21. Quick question regarding Hugo voting- so I’ve ranked what I liked, and chosen “No Award,” is it more beneficial to to continue ranking choices like for example Vox Day or Seven Kill Tiger beneath NoAward, or could that conceivably benefit those choices I Don’t wish to see win?

  22. Brendan: The answer is complex, but it seems to add up to (1) ranking anyone after using “No Award” will not help them win, but (2) it will help them place higher than other people after the winner is determined.

  23. Basically, if your choices come down to
    I Guess I Won’t Be Mad If It Wins
    Pedestrian Beach Read, Not Hugo Worthy

    you should rate them
    1 Great
    2 I Guess
    3 No Award
    4 Pedestrian
    5 Bad

    Unless you truly have no preference between the things you rate below No Award, what your vote does is mean that IF AND ONLY IF everything you voted for above No Award is already out of the running, then AND ONLY THEN your next entry helps that entry to win. So if you’d prefer Bad over OMGMISMIS, by all means rank them all, so that in the unfortunate case where one of the two HAS to win, Bad is slightly more likely.

    Note that there’s also the No Award Test, which means that after everything is counted up, and there’s a winner, then that winner is tested against No Award, to see which of them wins. It’s essentially a second run-off between the winning work and No Award. And THAT’s why you should always put No Award on your ballot if you think that any of the works truly don’t deserve the award; you’ll helping NA in the No Award Test.

    ALSO, and VERY IMPORTANT, if you leave ANYTHING off your ballot, that or those things are AUTOMATICALLY TIED FOR LAST. So if you list something you like then No Award then something you hate, but leave the rest off, EVERYTHING YOU DIDN’T LIST is automatically BELOW the thing you hate. So be sure to only leave the things you hated most off the ballot. If you go
    1 Great
    2 I Guess
    3 No Award

    then you’re rating Pedestrian and Bad BELOW OMG. And you probably don’t want to do that. So only leave things off the bottom of your ballot if they’re essentially tied for worst; otherwise rank them.

  24. I started reading Anthony with Chthon, and kept going till a few books into the Xanth series. He was squicky about women (I remember mignionettes without fondness) even at the beginning, but what finally put me off was too much mechanical punning.

    It’s a shame– he came up with a lot of clever ideas, but managed to turn his books into Not Fun for a lot of readers.

    I remember reading that he looked at the sales for Macroscope (bad) and Xanth (good) and decided he’d rather have the money. Anyone know whether this is true? There was a lot impressive in Macroscope.

  25. Piers Anthony’s career started with a decent bang–Cthon, Sos the Rope, Macroscope–but after a few years it seemed that he had chosen to crank out easy, crowd-pleasing material. I have no memory of even his early, stronger books, though I read them as they appeared, and after Macroscope I must have lost interest altogether. I recall being puzzled when Phil collaborated on The Caterpillar’s Question, thinking, as much as I respected Phil, nothing good was likely to come of it, and I couldn’t bring myself to read it. Just as well, apparently.

  26. @Nancy Lebovitz

    I started reading Anthony with Chthon, and kept going till a few books into the Xanth series. He was squicky about women (I remember mignionettes without fondness) even at the beginning, but what finally put me off was too much mechanical punning.

    Same here. I was also massively creeped out by Chthon and also remember the minionettes (Sp?) without fondness. In fact, Chthon together with a Michael Moorcock story in which Jerry Cornelius has sex with a Chinese general (not what you want to read in the summer of 1989 in the wake of the squashed Tiananmen Square revolt) put me off any New Wave works for years, because I mistakenly lumped in Chthon with the New Wave.

  27. @ Lela: Not good enough. Please provide some REAL EXAMPLES of what you consider “cloyingly sentimental” Hugo winners, or I at least will have to conclude that you haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re talking about and are just spouting Puppy talking points with no comprehension thereof.

  28. John A Arkansawyer: I would think so, yes. It’s certainly the mostly cloyingly sentimental work I can remember having a good shot at the win. (It’s second on my ballot.) I’m still curious as to which works Lela is referring to. I wish she’d stop being coy and just explain, as I honestly have no idea which she means.

  29. Both the people defending women SFF writers and the people saying women can’t write SFF sound as if they are back in the 1970s

    Or even earlier. One of the interesting things I found while reading fan material from 1940 was Morojo, protesting about how she and Forrest Ackerman were described (in an article by a non-fan, about this strange scientifiction thing) as ‘a fan and his lady friend’.

    (On a lighter note, another thing I found was a discussion of Ackermanese, one of whose features was the use of ‘r’ for ‘are’ and ‘u’ for ‘you’. Very prescient, that Mr Ackerman.)

  30. I read this stuff about why you would rank works below No Award, and I guess I understand it, but it still doesn’t make sense to me. Once I’ve ranked No Award, I ve effectively stated that none of the remaining works should win. I don’t want to vote for any of them under any circumstances. In this context I don’t distinguish between “mediocre” and “scurrilous trash”.

  31. With the way women are constantly erased from history I’m amazed there is a human race. We’ve been invisible forever. Who did men procreate with? /sarcasm

  32. StephenfromOttawa: It’s simple. If you honestly don’t care whether, if one of them HAS to win because all other choices have already been knocked out, the winner is “mediocre” or “scurrilous trash”, leave them both off.

    Personally, I’d think the value judgement is right there in the names you’ve assigned, and I, for one, would far rather that “mediocre” won an award than that “scurrilous trash” did. It’s not impossible that “mediocre” might simply not be to my taste. Perhaps the future might judge it more kindly. “Scurrilous trash”, on the other hand, is actively offensive to me.

  33. If it comes down to mediocre vs scurrilous trash, well, I don’t want to be on either side. Let the supporters of mediocrity and scurrilous trash fight it out.

    Seriously, I rank the works I consider worthy and then No Award. The rest have no place on my ballot, as I see it. Obviously others see it differently.

  34. @Jamoche: I LOVE that story. Several in my fannish crowd will describe a situation in those overblown terms and end with “All die. O the embarrassment.” We toyed for a while with turning it into a stage play, even. Nowadays I think it’d make a fine short film, with the kids these days having their cheap HD cameras and easy FX.

    I don’t recall where I placed “Requiem” on my ballot — it certainly wasn’t first, b/c even before I reread it, my brain said “Ooh, the mawkish one.” I think I had it last or second-last. So I still haven’t voted for mawkish sentimentality.

  35. Piers Anthony: My only encounter with his work was the story “In The Barn” from the Again, Dangerous Visions anthology.

    The dehumanization of women which was the point of that story struck teenage, not-particularly-culturally-aware me, as so awful that Anthony went on the never-to-be-considered author list. “Skeevy” doesn’t begin to cover it.

    (Come to think of it, there’s an element of that in the book I am currently reading, “The Queen’s Adept” by Rodolfo Martinez.)

  36. Cally: I’m still curious as to which works Lela is referring to. I wish she’d stop being coy and just explain, as I honestly have no idea which she means.

    Neither does she. It’s an accusation that she just made it up out of whole cloth. Which is why she hasn’t bothered to respond. 🙄

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