Pixel Scroll 7/5/17 I’m A Yankee Doodle Pixel…Scrolled On The Fifth Of July

(1) PROTECT YOUR BRAND. At the SFWA Blog Shanna Swenson advises “Don’t Tweet Your Rejections”.

Rejection is one of the worst parts of writing. When you get a story or novel rejected by an editor or agent, it stings. Your first instinct may be to go online and seek comfort and commiseration by letting your followers know what you’re going through. But stop and think before you spread the news of your rejection all over social media.

You never know who might be reading what you post. An author’s social media platform can be a selling point, so people considering representing or buying a novel are likely to look you up to see what you post and what your audience is like. Even if they aren’t seeking information on you, publishing is a small world, and you never know what someone might see because someone else liked, shared, commented on, replied to, or retweeted it. It’s safest to assume that anyone you might submit to may see everything you post.

Anything you say in a public forum becomes a part of your image, and do you want to associate rejection with your personal “brand”? But it’s not just about image. It’s about strategy. When you inform potential buyers that someone else doesn’t want something you’ve produced, you make it less valuable. It’s human nature to value things more when they’re in demand and less when others don’t want it.

(2) ALTERNATIVE HISTORY THINGIE. Jo Lindsay Walton asks us to “Imagine if one day I actually finished this novel”.

What if Beyonce Knowles had not been tragically taken from us at the age of only twenty-four? Would she have continued to grow and flourish as an artist? Or would she have reposed comfortably into a middle-of-the-road R&B career trajectory? What kind of world might we live in today? This story is not about that.

As seasons have given way to seasons, my belly has grown less of liability. There is still something hidden beyond its curvature. There is still some genital structure ever beyond the horizon, whose properties I can only infer from the beliefs of the girlfriends who mount its numinous ink. But the belly which I once dragged around with me shamefully crashes before me gloriously. My belly announces me, tugs me laughingly by my hand along by white-flowered hedgerows. It is as if my whole life often is no more than a small pretty pink ribbon flapping in the wake of the one boulder that finally manages to mows into Indiana Jones.

I would like to nominate as the title of such a novel The Leftover Pre-incarnation Lives of Mycroft Canner. Just a thought.

(3) SPEAKING OF MYCROFT. Standback hopes you will read his essay about the themes and social dynamics in Too Like The Lightning which, like all Gaul, is divided into three parts:

Too Like The Lightning constructs a utopian society?—?but not one it thinks can survive. It plots the course of that society’s collapse?—?but not because they did anything wrong.

Consolidation, here, is when a system starts out with a bunch of different agents, competing and cooperating and interacting between them, and gradually evolves into a system with only a few major actors, each stronger and more solid than before.

Though it is seldom directly in focus, much of the underlying structure of Too Like The Lightning portrays this process of consolidation. Terra Ignota’s society began with a near-infinite assortment of options and identities….

In our previous parts, we discussed the thought experiment of a pluralistic utopia?—?and Too Like The Lightning’s conclusion that peaceful coexistence is an inherently unstable social structure.

And yet, while it can be doleful, it is not bleak. An invigorating current of optimism runs through Too Like The Lightning, and completes its theme.

(4) CROC OF THE WALK. Madagascar was a tough neighborhood in the Jurassic.

A giant ancient crocodile which measured 24 feet in length and possessed razor sharp T-Rex teeth was once the top predator in Jurassic Madagascar, a new study has found.

But unlike modern crocodiles, this killer beast walked on its hind feet as it hunted prey or scavenged for food….

(5) GENTLE GIANT. On the other hand, Atlas Obscura says the dinosaurs of the Cenozoic period can be very cute: “Fall in Love With the World’s First Animated Dinosaur”.

In February 1914, [Winsor] McCay debuted “Gertie the Dinosaur” on the vaudeville circuit. Created from over 10,000 drawings, “Gertie” became an instant hit. It is often credited as being the first animation to feature a character with a distinct personality and as the first work of key frame animation.

In his vaudeville act, McCay would walk onto the stage with a whip, calling out for Gertie. The cartoon started playing. McCay gave Gertie a series of commands, which she then performed in-screen.


(5) LOADS OF QUESTIONS. Podcaster Shaun Duke will be a very busy fellow when the NASFiC starts in Puerto Rico tomorrow: “My NASFiC / San Juan 2017 Schedule and Podcast Interviews”.  This is just part of his schedule:

  • TH 18:00 – San Geronimo   Social Justice and SFF: It’s been there from the beginning.
    • Social Justice Warriors are destroying SFF with these new-fangled ideas! Um, no. SFF has always been used as a tool to examine social and political issues. Come discuss how works like 1984, Brave New World, Animal Farm, and the Handmaid’s Tale explore oppressive regimes, and what, if any hope SFF can give us. (bilingual)
    • Panelists:  Shaun Duke, Marie Guthrie (m), Isabel Schechter, Javier Grillo-Marxuach
  • FR 11:00 – San Geronimo   A Chat with Tobias Buckell
    • Shaun Duke interviews GoH Tobias Buckell
    • Panelists:  Tobias S. Buckell, Shaun Duke
  • FR 13:00 – San Cristobal   Whitewashing and White Savior Fail: How did Benedict, Tilda, and ScarJo become people of color?
    • Avatar, the James Cameron version and the Last Airbender one. The new Star Trek 2nd movie. Doctor Strange. Ghost in the Shell. Iron Fist. These and more feature POC characters, yet when they are made into movies and tv, the actors cast are always white. Let’s discuss why this is and why representation matters. (bilingual)
    • Panelists:  Shaun Duke, Isabel Schechter (m), Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Pablo Vazquez


Dr. Seuss wrote the book Green Eggs and Ham after his publisher bet him $50 that couldn’t write a book using only 50 words. (Source: Wikipedia)

(7) ONE THOUSAND AND ONE. When John W. Campbell started Unknown, L. Ron Hubbard asked him for exclusive rights to submit stories written in the world of the Arabian Nights. Are today’s readers that aware of Islamic fantasy traditions? Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad thinks not — “This is the Muslim tradition of sci-fi and speculative fiction”.

Think invisible men, time travel, flying machines and journeys to other planets are the product of the European or ‘Western’ imagination? Open One Thousand and One Nights – a collection of folk tales compiled during the Islamic Golden Age, from the 8th to the 13th centuries CE – and you will find it stuffed full of these narratives, and more.

Western readers often overlook the Muslim world’s speculative fiction. I use the term quite broadly, to capture any story that imagines the implications of real or imagined cultural or scientific advances. Some of the first forays into the genre were the utopias dreamt up during the cultural flowering of the Golden Age. As the Islamic empire expanded from the Arabian peninsula to capture territories spanning from Spain to India, literature addressed the problem of how to integrate such a vast array of cultures and people. The Virtuous City (al-Madina al-fadila), written in the 9th century by the scholar Al-Farabi, was one of the earliest great texts produced by the nascent Muslim civilisation. It was written under the influence of Plato’s Republic, and envisioned a perfect society ruled by Muslim philosophers – a template for governance in the Islamic world.

As well as political philosophy, debates about the value of reason were a hallmark of Muslim writing at this time. The first Arabic novel, The Self-Taught Philosopher (Hayy ibn Yaqzan, literally Alive, Son of Awake), was composed by Ibn Tufail, a Muslim physician from 12th-century Spain. The plot is a kind of Arabic Robinson Crusoe, and can be read as a thought experiment in how a rational being might learn about the universe with no outside influence. It concerns a lone child, raised by a gazelle on a remote island, who has no access to human culture or religion until he meets a human castaway. Many of the themes in the book – human nature, empiricism, the meaning of life, the role of the individual in society – echo the preoccupations of later Enlightenment-era philosophers, including John Locke and Immanuel Kant.

(8) LIVING OUT STORIES. A group believes live-action role playing can be used to break stereotypes about Palestine, and as a means of social and cultural exchange — “LARP in Palestine: let’s challenge the reality with fiction”.

…Over the past 6 years, a group of volunteers have been coming together to build a Larp community in Palestine with support from Nordic Larpers. “Birth of Larp in the Arab World” is a book summarizing our projects both in Arabic and English.

Using Larp, We played many stories : Finland was occupied (check out Halat Hisar). Hundred of kids were pretending to be animals, and fighting oppressive lions with magical water balloons. A wedding between a Palestinian girl and a Norwegian man (see here). A man was killed by his sister because he had a relationship with another girl. Children with superhero’s powers are attending a boarding school. A tribe that lived in Jericho 3,000 years ago and used dancing battles as a mean to solve conflicts. And many other stories…

Learn more about us in this feature in This Week in Palestine here.

Larp is a tool for participatory storytelling that allows us to be whatever we want. We believe in using Larp as an effective tool to promote dialogue and participatory art.

Our Larp community took the decision to institutionalize itself in a non-profit organization called Bait Byout. Bait Byout is the Arabic name for the role-playing kids play pretending to be adults. Bait Byout aims at contributing to a free society through creating positive impact in the lives of individuals using creative and critical tools within an entertaining, loving and safe space for everyone….

(9) LEGO ADS WIN AWARDS. Adweek has “The Story Behind Lego’s Brilliant Print Ads From the Cannes Festival”.

Lego makes some of the most delightful advertising around, and this series of print ads from Ogilvy Bangkok are just about perfect, from concept to execution.

The work, which won three silver Lions (in Print & Publishing and Outdoor) and a bronze (in Design) at the Cannes festival last month, shows kids literally envisioning their future careers by building them from the inside with Legos.

The tagline: “Build the future.”


(10) HE’S NOT CHICKEN. Gina Ippolito, in a Yahoo piece called “Hodor Can’t Hold Off The Lunch Crowd In New KFC Commercial Inspired by ‘Game of Thrones'”, says that all sorts of advertisers, including KFC and a weird Icelandic vodka, are eager to hire Game of Thrones actors to hawk their products.

A new KFC commercial starring Kristian Nairn, aka Hodor from Game of Thrones, has the actor reenacting a scene from the famous “Hold the Door” episode of the show.

In the commercial, Nairn fretfully looks at the clock because lunchtime is coming and he knows there will be crowds. As hungry people file in, all shouting that they want “chicken and fries,” it all becomes too much for Nairn, who repeats “chicken and fries” over and over with a faraway look in his eyes, eventually turning the phrase into “chicken and rice.” The spot is a play on the heartbreaking revelation on Game of Thrones about how Hodor came to be known as Hodor — and why it’s the only word he seems to be able to speak.

(11) ANOTHER SUPERHERO COMMERCIAL. When they’re clever, they’re a lot of fun.

(12) SPIELBERG REVIVAL. Director Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind to celebrate 40th anniversary in theaters” says SyFy.

What is not clear is which version of the movie will be re-released. There are three: the original 135-minute theatrical version, a 132-minute “Special Edition” and a 137-minute “Collector’s Edition” cut, which Spielberg says is his preferred version.

The director is not a huge fan of either the original cut or the Special Edition, so it seems likely that the Collector’s Edition, which he calls his definitive version, is the one that would get reissued (I would take either the original or the Collector’s Edition; the Special Edition — for which Columbia Pictures wrongly insisted that Spielberg include a look inside the alien mothership — I could do without).

The Collector’s Edition was created primarily for home video release and given only a very limited theatrical run in 1999, so now would be a chance for it to reach a wider audience (and probably promote sales of a new Blu-ray reissue as well).

For fans of this masterpiece — one of Spielberg’s best films, and regularly listed as one of the top sci-fi movies of all time — seeing a fresh new theatrical print on the big screen will be a terrific way to celebrate the movie’s 40th anniversary.

(13) COMIC CON BOOSTS READING. Denver Business Journal’s Monica Mendoza, in “Denver Comic Con draws 115,000, packs a $10 million economic punch”,  notes that Denver Comic Con, held on June 30-July 2, is a subsidiary of a nonprofit, Pop Culture Classroom, which encourages literacy among Denver residents.

Pop Culture Classroom had an idea of hosting a comic convention to raise money for its organization and get children interested in reading. In its first year, there were 30,000 attendees to the convention that features comic book, science fiction and fantasy writers and artists. There are comic cons around the world and more than 20 in cities across the U.S.

(14) PUSH-BACK. It’s a good thing Denver’s local Comic Con is doing so well, because Mile Hi Comics (which calls itself “America’s Largest Comics dealer” and had space at the Denver con held a week ago) has given up on San Diego Comic-Con after 44 years of involvement.

To explain a bit more, my first little one-table booth in 1973 cost $40 to rent for the weekend. When we received our booth renewal for last year, our costs for our 70′ of space had been raised to over $18,000. While quite costly, that one factor alone would not have precluded us from returning, as we had paid $16,500 in rent the previous year.

What made the situation nearly impossible, however, was that foot traffic in the exhibit hall declined dramatically last year. Even at its peak on Saturday afternoon, our end of the building (which was primarily comics) was uncrowded. The San Diego Fire Marshals were partially to blame, as they put much stricter controls on the number of badge holders allowed in the building at any given time. That might not have been such a bad idea, except that it amplified the harm already being caused by the incredible proliferation of off-site events that are now being set up for upwards of eight blocks all around the convention center. When you can see GAME OF THRONES, POKEMON, and hundreds of other exhibits across from the convention hall for free, why bother going in to the hall? Many fans did not.

(15) A WRITER’S DEDUCTIONS. Tax planning pro tip:

He also gets to deduct all his purchases of faster-than-light spacecraft and red velour shirts

(16) WHITEFAIL. Not sure how I only scored 31 points Buzzfeed’s 100-question quiz: “How Stereotypically White Are You?” Maybe I need to drink more, because I could not truthfully say I ever drunkenly sang the lyrics to an Elton John song, though I’ve done that plenty of times cold sober.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Standback, Cat Eldridge, and mlex for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Arie Quinn.]

134 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/5/17 I’m A Yankee Doodle Pixel…Scrolled On The Fifth Of July

  1. Hugo Confession time – I’m having real problems with the novella category – got a hard bounce of The Ballad of Black Tom and Taste of Honey (just seem to be nothing-burgers in terms of a hook), so I thought I’d have a crack at Too Like The Lightning – ugggggg. The narrator in that is beyond irritating, and the linguistics just don’t work for me, it feels like a silly gimmick. I think I’ll go with the arbitrary 10% read before making a final decision, though.

  2. I got Not White, which probably means not White American of a certain age. I’ve eaten jello-with-things-in and fondue! And listened to Glen Campbell! But skin tone-wise, I have the good character to have skin that can adjust to a wide range of incident UV, so I can go from pale to fairly dark. I credit the long period of time the Celts spent at the equator, apparently.

  3. 16) I got 13 and that was stretching definitions on a couple I checked (I involuntarily watched part of a NASCAR race once and I was required to square dance once in grade school, under protest. It lasted two minutes before the teacher pulled me out and it wasn’t pretty).

    I found myself saying “Who the hell is (fill in the blank)?” a lot. Definitely targeted at a much younger demographic than mine (replace Bieber with the Cassidys or Bobby Sherman and so on for my age cohort).

    I’m proud to have laughed out loud to Monty Python.

    I’ll go back to the corner now.

  4. 16) I got a 5. (I don’t count the “Want to live in Portland” question, because I have lived in Portland since 1978.)

    It’s a pop culture quiz that seems to be geared to a “young = white” premise.


    It may be a completely true thing, but I’ve found that one of the emotionally hardest parts of being an author is feeling like there’s no place online that I can honest about the hard and painful parts of the profession. And I fail on concealing them. I fail all the time. And then I beat myself up about that, as well as whatever I was beating myself up about that I posted about. It’s like living in a disfunctional family situation where you constantly have to tell yourself, “Don’t show weakness. Don’t be human. Don’t let them know you’re hurting. They won’t love you if you ever actually need comfort or encouragement.”

  6. @Robert Reynolds: The skit with Graham Chapman as the writer whose son, Eric Idle, wants to be a coal miner is still one of the funniest things ever.

    @John Lorentz: In my experience no one younger than ~ 40s has any idea who Monty Python is.

  7. we had square dancing in gym class in junior high school, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth

    So id I. And my church actually had a square dance group for a while – we practiced in one of the larger classrooms. (The guy running it was the vice-principal at my junior high. He wasn’t the one who taught it at school, though.)

  8. With a score of 13, I am apparently not-white. (Though apparently not as not-white as some other Filers.) And here I was figuring that as a septuagenarian WASP I must be at least implicated. (I grew up square-dancing, and I can get sunburn from a bug-lamp.) And yeah, some of those items are strange–fishing as “white”? Not when I was growing up in small-town New York. (I’ve been fishing maybe three times–I identified with the worm and then with the sunfish and thereafter declined.) I play country tunes (when my partner calls one) and collect bagpipe and accordion music. (Ideally, bagpipe and accordion music.) But most of those checkoffs had me wondering “Wha?” But then, I’m old and I don’t get out much except to police the lawn.

    And what’s so white about the kazoo? Did these Buzzfeed* hipster children never hear the Memphis Jug Band? It’s right there on YouTube, for godsake. And they play “Fishin’ in the Dark”!

    * Perhaps relevant: this was the first time I ever looked at Buzzfeed. Something is going on here, culturally/demographically, no?

  9. @Heather Rose Jones

    Yeah, I hear you on that. There’s definitely a difference between your public “you” and your private “you” and they can be difficult to keep apart online, especially when you’ve been private-youing in most of your online spaces until recently. It can be tough to navigate.

    One of the things I’ve found to be most helpful, as an aspiring writer myself, was being able to see writers I admired, or farther along than I was, saying “Yeah, this thing here is hard.” Oh, hey, so the fact that it’s hard for me doesn’t mean I’m not cut out for this, or not really a Writer(TM)! That’s super helpful to have.

    I fundamentally disagree with “don’t talk about your rejections in public” as expressed above for that reason alone. That said, I think one has to be very careful how one talks about them. There’s a…a sort of complainy way of doing it that I could see making others maybe not enthusiastic about working with you. Or the kind of blogging about rejection that sends harassers toward the editor in question.

    But “hey, you know, I’m published and I still get rejections and they still don’t feel good”? Or “Well, Story X just came back to me. With a note this time, and a nice one, that’s a positive thing! Out it goes again.” Those strike me as absolutely fine.

    I do think it’s worth thinking twice about what negative stuff you’re talking about in public, but the whole “never show negativity! Never complain! Never show vulnerability! REMEMBER YOUR BRAND!” thing is…yeah, no.

    IMO of course.

  10. There’s a…a sort of complainy way of doing it that I could see making others maybe not enthusiastic about working with you.

    I have no doubt that this can definitely happen, and while I do write about rejections, I don’t really look at it from a “the editor done me wrong!” perspective (although there *was* one rejection where it was painfully obvious the editor hadn’t really read the piece, and it was tempting then). Rejections are just part of the job.

    The only time I ever succumb to snark is with late response times, which thankfully doesn’t seem to be much of a problem in the SFF space. In other spaces it’s a HUGE problem. I think three months is the longest I’ve waited for an SFF editor to get back to me, which is pretty reasonable. I get how busy everybody is; I used to run a journal, and I’m currently a production editor. We are all run off our feet more or less constantly. But wait times between 8 and 18 months for responses (which are extremely common in “literary” publication spaces) are flat out unacceptable, especially when they include “simultaneous submission” restrictions (which I hope we are all ignoring). Even less acceptable is the “if we don’t like it we just won’t respond” thing, which I have also seen. I am not above getting publicly snarky about those things. I’ve been there, I know the work involved, there is still no excuse.

  11. August, when you’re in your mid-60’s like I am, triple-digit response times start looking even more unacceptable. I figure I can optimistically hope for about ten more good years before death or decrepitude takes me out of the picture; having a manuscript tied up for three months or six months or a year or longer* means that much less time left to submit it to other markets. So besides trying to send stories to the “best” markets or the best-paying markets, I’m starting to consider response times as well when choosing where to submit. (All hail The Submission Grinder, which I find indispensable.)

    *The longest I’ve had manuscripts held is 22 months. Two different markets; one acceptance, one rejection.

  12. Yeah, there are times when actually it’s not only good to complain, but important. Abusive rejections? Those do happen. Unreasonable return times? Other hinky stuff? Sometimes it’s better for folks to hear about what’s going on. Yet another reason I wouldn’t say “never blog about rejections” or “never be negative.”

    I agree, about return times, btw. Back in the day I had a couple short fiction submissions out for more than a year. Super frustrating. I definitely considered return time in my calculations about where to submit and when. I’m glad that for the most part SFF editors understand what a problem that is. And the whole “we just won’t reply,” yeah, that is not cool.

  13. Heather Rose Jones writes about being “honest about the hard and painful parts of the profession.” One of the most honest writers on social media out there is Kameron Hurley, and I’m constantly amazed and impressed at how vulnerable she shows herself to be. I mean amazed as in “this woman is incredible, I could never admit the things she admits to.” She makes me feel okay about some of my own failures. And I can’t believe it’s hurt her “brand” (I hate talking about writing in terms of a brand) considering she’s won a Hugo.

  14. And I can’t believe it’s hurt her “brand” (I hate talking about writing in terms of a brand) considering she’s won a Hugo.

    Two Hugos.

  15. Ok, i got 6 (or 7 I decided I havent watched Juno, despite having watched the first ten minutes an then turned it off). Id like to see how many points you get deduced, if you dont get the references. And I guess its easier for Non-English-Speakers not to have said certain things.

    Incy, winy Pixel went up the water knife

  16. There are two writers whose blogs I had to stop reading, not because they complained but how they chose to do so. I wince at a particular kind of whining, as if my emotional ears were being assaulted, and these people were not my friends, so I had no obligation to listen. I still enthusiastically read their books.

  17. 16) – I got 41. If you count arguing over boy bands arguing with your sister about why the heck she listens to boy bands.

  18. @Chris S:

    Hugo confession time? Yeah I got a couple. Regarding novellas, I have been doing a reread of everything I had read before finalists were announced because I felt I needed to view them with fresh eyes. It came time for Every Heart a Doorway and I had a visceral “ugh, no” reaction. I loved the concept but disliked the story that was actually told in the world. I apparently didn’t want a murder mystery tacked on.

    This causes a shakeup. Currently EHaD is sitting at #2, but my reaction makes me want to kick it down the ballot. But what becomes #2 then? The Ballad of Black Tom is my current #3, but…a horror/Lovecraft response story at #2? Hmm. Okay, #4 is Penric and the Shaman. It was a Very Nice Story, but I don’t feel like it deserves to be any higher than #3 because it’s slotted in my brain as Just Fine.

    I also feel like my reread of EHaD is now mandatory, because I can’t move something from #2 to #5 on a gut reaction, right? Right?

    (Let’s not even get into Best Novel. Depending on my level of crankiness, I may place No Award at #5 or even #3, even though I can see some merit in all finalists.)

  19. I got a three which amusingly told me that I wasn’t white. Amusing because I am white, Scotch and Welsh ancestry. What I’m not is fixated on the pop culture they based this quiz on.

    If it had asked if I’d read Ursula Le Guin or Neil Gaiman, sure. Or watched Warehouse 13 or Firinge, I could’ve said yes. But I couldn’t even parse what of this meant.

  20. Bottom line on that quiz: it’s from Buzzfeed, which means it’s purely clickbait. It wasn’t designed for young white Americans–it was designed by young white Americans, more-or-less at random. Buzzfeed doesn’t care if their online quizzes have any sort of accuracy at all. In fact, inaccurate quizzes get a lot of online discussion, and people visiting just to see if it’s as inaccurate about them as it is about their friends. This drives traffic, which allows them to say “look, we get X visitors; buy ad space with us to get seen by a lot of eyes!”

    I mean, be honest: if OGH had said “this quiz correctly identified me as white”, would you have been anywhere near as curious? Heck I know how Buzzfeed works, and I still succumbed to “ok, I’ve got to see just how bad these questions really are.”
    On the “don’t mention your rejections” thing–I can’t speak from experience (the longest story I’ve written was probably under 400 words, and was simply posted on-line on a humor forum, rather than submitted to any sort of editor), but it sounds like advice aimed at newbies which should really be interpreted as “don’t do this until you learn when, why, and how.”

    (At least half of the “rules” in The Elements of Style fall into this category–skipping over a few that should simply be ignored whether you’re experienced or not.)

  21. Cat Eldridge said got a three which amusingly told me that I wasn’t white. Amusing because I am white, Scotch and Welsh ancestry.

    Mine said Not That White which,considering that I’ve had Irish people come up to me and ask which part of Ireland I’m from, is pretty amusing. All the ancestors I’ve been able to trace (Thank you Mormons) are from Ireland and England. I’m not even considering taking one of those DNA tests–I’d probably get a letter back asking me why I bothered.

  22. You’re the first of your friends to perfect a new dance move

    Did anyone else catch this and think that was skating dangerously close to some tacky stereotype?

    And why wasn’t there a section to match all the types of jello salads with the correct fruits and/or vegetables you put in them?

  23. all the types of jello salads with the correct fruits and/or vegetables you put in them
    The standard one in my family was one of the red fruit flavors, with fruit cocktail and sliced bananas added.

  24. World Weary on July 6, 2017 at 1:20 pm said:

    I’ve seen discussions of DNA tests like those in soc.genealogy.medieval. The consensus seems to be that DNA tests are only useful for the most recent generations, up to about 10 (roughly 300 years), and before that it’s pretty much guesswork. Some of the genomic testing (like that described in the story) is just WAG; they’re assuming that current locations where genes are common haven’t changed from hundred or thousands of years back – and we know that people move!

  25. There’s a…a sort of complainy way of doing it that I could see making others maybe not enthusiastic about working with you.

    One of the classic posts over on Making Light was ‘Slushkiller’:
    Teresa Nielsen Hayden noted several people posting anonymous rejection letters and commentary on a website where the commentary indicated they’d taken the rejection entirely too personally, up to one of them where the response reminded her of boys who suddenly lost all trace of ‘niceness’ when the girl wouldn’t go to bed with them, and had posted enough of an obviously personally-written rejection letter that it would not be impossible for the editor who had written it to recognize it, despite the official anonymity of the site.

  26. @Harold: “all the types of jello salads”

    Gotta go with my mother’s lime recipe, featuring pineapple and (sometimes) pecan bits. I don’t care much for the nuts; she does. This reminds me that I have Jello, sherbet, and ice cream waiting patiently to be devoured, and I think either of the last two would feel pretty good about now.

    For the record, I’m also part of the “too old to be white” crowd. Never mind that I once sunburned my elbow while driving to a convention – a three-hour trip, at most.

  27. @Harold Osler – Did anyone else catch this and think that was skating dangerously close to some tacky stereotype?

    I thought it skated right into that stereotype. My ability to convey sarcasm seems to be impaired today, though.

  28. I don’t count the “Want to live in Portland” question, because I have lived in Portland since 1978.

    I did count it, because Ann and I visited Portland in 1990, thought “We would like to live here,” and moved to the Portland metro area (actually, over the river in Washington State) later that year.

    I now live close enough to Portland to see it, and still find myself thinking I’d like to live in Portland…

  29. @Dawn:

    I loved the concept but disliked the story that was actually told in the world. I apparently didn’t want a murder mystery tacked on.

    My reaction precisely, to my sorrow :-/

    It felt like a strong concept without an actual story to go with it. It felt like it started out as a kind of metaphor for queerness and trying to hang “it gets better”” on your pain points and you don’t actually know if it will— and then it goes, “eh, never mind, MURDER”, and kind of loses track of having tried to do something else. (“You can never go back again. Oh, except at the end of the book, when you totally can.”)

  30. 16) I scored a 10, though in truth most Scots need a couple of weeks in the sun to reach white. There are things swimming in deep cave systems with more colour.

  31. @Standback:

    In my experience no one younger than ~ 40s has any idea who Monty Python is.


    Okay, hardly anyone.
    I didn’t come here for an argument.

  32. @World Weary, @P J Evans:

    I have to wonder where the guy they interviewed tested. I’m most familiar with Ancestry’s interface, and they do tell you what the uncertainty is for your various results. You do have to dig a bit.

    DNA tests are really only useful back four or five generations.

    The ethnicity tests are a curiosity. I’m an adoptee, so we were really looking forward to the ethnicity results for my test. We had a lot of fun with the various reference databases available at GEDMatch, especially the one that claimed I’m some substantial percentage Orcadian.

    My favorite tool to play with on Ancestry is the Genetic Communities. It’s been accurate for the tests I administer.

  33. IanP says I scored a 10, though in truth most Scots need a couple of weeks in the sun to reach white. There are things swimming in deep cave systems with more colour.

    Funniest skin color story I ever had involved my language instructor in Sri Lanka. She was of mixed ancestry, Sri Lanka Buddhist who came from Northern India to there millennia ago and Portuguese as they occupied it for some centuries.

    Her skin color was quite dark or so it seemed until she took her watch off one time and it was approximately the same color as I was when tanner which is say that of many Portuguese– sort of olive coloured was how she described it.

    Nice folks there — I hope they survived the most uncivil war that went hot just after I left there.

  34. PhilRM: I didn’t come here for an argument.

    No one expects the Filish Inquisition!

    Well, okay, if they’ve hung out here enough, they’re well aware that they’re likely to get one. 😉

  35. Dawn/Standback,

    You both were able to articulate why I didn’t enjoy EHaD. I was annoyed with the murders and felt that the ending was both a cop out and a betrayal of the world that she created.

  36. PJ Evans and Rail

    The only DNA test that I ever considered was the Human Genome Project from National Geographic. When they started it a few years ago, they said that they would use this information as part of a landmark study of the human diaspora out of Africa. I am extremely disappointed with the idea that it is merely a commercial venture with little scientific value on the question that they claimed to be researching.

  37. While I recognize the flaws in Every Heart a Doorway, I still felt it was way better than the rest of the field, with the exception of Penric and the Shaman, which was beautifully competent but lacking a bit perhaps in the “wow” factor for me. I liked Penric’s Mission (which is short novel-length) much better.

  38. Dawn Incognito: Let’s not even get into Best Novel. Depending on my level of crankiness, I may place No Award at #5 or even #3, even though I can see some merit in all finalists.

    After a great deal of thought, I ended up putting No Award at #4. I realize that a lot of people thought that the subsequent 3 novels on my list were worthy of being on the ballot, but I just… didn’t.

  39. Audiobook Meredith Moment:

    The Audiobook of the second volume of The Long List Anthology is on sale for $5.95. It is available in MP3 or .M4B format.

    Stories included in the 6-1/2 hour audiobook are:
    • “Our Lady of the Open Road” by Sarah Pinsker, read by Gabrielle de Cuir;
    • “Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker, read by Stefan Rudnicki;
    • “Madeleine” by Amal El-Mohtar, read by Paul Boehmer;
    • “Damage” by David D. Levine, read by Claire Benedek
    • “Pocosin” by Ursula Vernon, read by Stefan Rudnicki; and
    • “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds” by Rose Lemberg, read by Gabrielle de Cuir.

  40. I’m going to have another look before finalising it, but upon first run-through of the Fan Writer category I got deeply grumpy and put almost every nominee under No Award because they were super duper not doing it for me in any way shape or form. I’m not feeling too thrilled with Related Work nominees, either, but I still have half of them to look at. I’m hoping I can feel more cheerful about all of them before finalising.

    I might be skipping the Dramatic Presentation categories on the basis of Hot, and also of ‘half of one of them is shows I really don’t like and the other one includes an entire season I would die‘.

    I scored five, which surprised me, but then quite a few of the tickies were USA-centric so I couldn’t possibly tick them. Square dancing, for example. I have done English country dancing (in a display team on St George’s Day in Covent Garden, even – and, to be fair, including some dances that use a square formation), Rapper (sword), Longsword, Maypole and Morris, though. So I’m pretty well covered when it comes to traditional English dance that didn’t evolve into its own thing over in the USA.

    I remain exceedingly pale and of no notable not-English/Irish/French ancestry.

  41. I’ve been reading fiction categories short to longer, and so far, the novella category (with Every Heart still to be finished), looks like the strongest category of them all to me, with something to admire in every finalist.

    This Census-Taker seems an amazing work of literature, though in my opinion the SFF aspect is rather flimsy. Penric and the Shaman, as JJ said, is beautifully competent, but maybe a bit short of amazing. I enjoy the worldbuilding of A Taste of Honey, though I disliked the protagonist. The Ballad of Black Tom reminded me a bit of Lovecraft Country.

    So far, my favorite is The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe. That story arc from quaint fantasy setting to unspeakable horror to mundane reality was just amazing.

    Lovecraft seems to be getting a lot of love this year in the novellas category.

  42. World Weary on July 6, 2017 at 5:16 pm said:
    Ravenclaw, with a strong possibility of Hufflepuff.

  43. Orange Jell-O with mandarin orange slices was always my favorite That is one of the correct answers–you were brought up correctly.
    I was going to say “One of the 12 correct answers” but then I would have had to think up all the rest and would probably gotten the number wrong.

    RevBob–Gotta go with my mother’s lime recipe, featuring pineapple and (sometimes) pecan bits..
    Never heard of putting pecans but then I’m from Iowa where everyone knows you use walnuts.
    One day at lunch, my friends and I, all from Iowa, had one of those weird conversations you get after being friends for decades. Basically, an argument about just what color jello got what. The biggest dissension was over cottage cheese.

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