Pixel Scroll 8/10/18 This Pixel Scroll Title Has Been Used Before

(1) TARDIS MAKEOVER. Doctor Who Today has this leaked photo of a new TARDIS design.

(2) ANOTHER BIG $ALE. The Hipsters of the Coast report that the “Art for Chandra, Torch of Defiance SDCC Promo Sells for $35,000”.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance, the third of the five San Diego Comic Con promotional planeswalker paintings by Terese Nielsen, has sold for $35,000. The final bid all but doubled in the closing minutes of the auction that ended on eBay Sunday evening.

…Chandra, Torch of Defiance blew past the final prices of Liliana, Untouched by Death ($22,950) and Nissa, Vital Force ($25,600), eclipsing the highest total by almost $10,000. I did not expect Chandra to surpass these two, and I’m not sure that anyone, even Terese herself, might have guessed she would either.

(3) CHICAGO 8. The Book Smugglers feature an Uncanny Kickstarter promo about Chicago by the hosts-in-waiting of Uncanny TV: “Eight Nerdy Chicago People and Organizations We Love By Matt Peters and Michi Trota (Uncanny Magazine Kickstarter shout out)”

Our home nerd community in Chicago has countless examples of nerdy groups and individuals using their own geeky passions to inspire and shape incredibly diverse and wide-ranging projects. Their work reminds us why stories matter, and wanting to talk with creators like them and hear their own stories is a primary reason we’re so excited for the potential of Uncanny TV. Chicago is one home among many to geeky creators from all walks of life, and our hope is that Uncanny TV will have a chance to visit as many of those communities as possible. We couldn’t possibly name all of the nerds and geeks we know whose art and activism are fueled by their geeky loves, but here are eight based in Chicago who provide a snapshot of the inspiring work being created in fandom.

Acrobatica Infiniti Circus

“Cosplay” and “circus” aren’t two things we would have thought of putting together before but thankfully someone did! Acrobatica Infiniti Circus, also known as “the Nerd Circus,” was created several years ago by Tana “Tank” Karo, who had a background in dance and design but had wanted to create something that allowed her to merge her love for circus and geekery. The resulting collaboration among extraordinarily talented and undeniably nerdy jugglers, acrobats, aerial artists, contortionists, and object manipulators is delightful and surprising each time: Leeloo performing mind-boggling contortionist poses, Totoro juggling sootballs, Harley Quinn on a trapeze. The fact that the group has a rotating cast allows the performers to stay fresh and provides continuous opportunities for new performers to come in and join the show. And rather than approaching the performance scene as a competition, AIC often works in collaboration with similar performance groups to encourage more artistic development and positive ties within the community….

(4) LITTLE-KNOWN WORLDCON BUSINESS. I must have missed this on my first read-through of the agenda. The thread starts here.

(5) 2007 BUSINESS MEETING. Kevin Standlee has uploaded four videos of the 2007 WSFS Business Meeting in Yokohama.

It took him awhile to do it. Kevin says, “My upload bandwidth at home is so poor that I could only upload one file per night overnight.”

(6) SIMULATING MARS. NBC News posts a video (“The human factor: What it will take to build the perfect team for traveling to Mars”) about a simulated mission to Mars that didn’t turn out as planned.

Hi-SEAS in Mauna Loa, Hawaii is a simulated Mars habitat that’s meant to facilitate the study of human behavior. A group of four-to-six participants is selected from a pool of hundreds of astronaut aspirants to make up the crew for each mission. So far five missions have been conducted successfully. Mission VI began earlier this year but things didn’t go exactly as planned.

The Atlantic thoroughly reviews what happened in the article “When a Mars Simulation Goes Wrong”.

… In February of this year, the latest batch of pioneers, a crew of four, made the journey up the mountain. They settled in for an eight-month stay. Four days later, one of them was taken away on a stretcher and hospitalized….

(7) ACROSS THE WALL. Cora Buhlert writes from the divided Germany of 1963 at Galactic Journey“[August 10, 1963] The Future in a Divided Land, Part 3 (An Overview of Science Fiction in East and West Germany)”.

In the last two entries in this series, I gave you an extensive overview of West German science fiction. Now let’s take a look across the iron curtain at what is going on in East Germany. For while the inner German border may be nigh insurmountable for human beings, mail does pass through. A lot of us have family in the East, including myself, and are in regular contact with them via letters and parcels. Parcels from West to East Germany usually contain coffee, nylons, soap, canned pineapple and all sorts of other consumer goods that are hard to come by in Communist East Germany.

Unfortunately, we cannot send books and magazines, cause they will probably be seized at the border for fear of “dangerous” ideas spreading. East Germans, on the other hand, are free to send books and magazines to relatives and friends in the West. And since my love for reading in general and for “space books” in particular is well known to my aunts in East Germany, the occasional science fiction novel from beyond the iron curtain has found its way into my hands.

…However, the most exciting of those voice from beyond the iron curtain is not German at all, but a Polish writer, Stanislaw Lem, whose work I encountered via East German translations. I particularly enjoy Lem’s humorous stories about the adventures of a space traveller named Ijon Tichy, which have been collected as Die Sterntagebücher des Raumfahrers Ijon Tichy (The Star Diaries of the Spaceman Ijon Tichy).

Lem’s more serious works include the novels Eden with its fascinating portrayal of a truly alien society, Planet des Todes (Planet of Death), which was even filmed in 1960, and the generation ship story Gast im Weltraum (Guest in Space), which is currently being filmed in Czechoslovakia.

(8) MASSIVE ROUNDUP. Todd Mason has an ambitious collection of more than three dozen links to recent reviews and essays in “Friday’s ‘Forgotten’ Books and more: the links to the reviews” at Sweet Freedom.

(9) STEAMIN’ WORLDCON. Included in The Steampunk Explorer’s “Steampunk Digest – August 10, 2018”:

Worldcon, the World Science Fiction Convention, will be held August 16-20 in San Jose, within shouting distance of The Steampunk Explorer’s International Headquarters. The program lists several steampunk-themed panels, including “Carriger & Adina Talk Steampunk (tea and silliness optional)” with authors Gail Carriger and Shelley Adina; “The Victorian & Edwardian Tech Tree” with Steve Frankel; and “Defining Steampunk” with Elektra Hammond, Anastasia Hunter, William C. Tracy, Diana M. Pho, and Jaymee Goh. We plan to be there, and for the benefit of attendees, we’ll be posting stories about steampunk-related attractions in San Jose and elsewhere in Silicon Valley.

(10) LOOKING FOR BOOKS. Donations needed –

(11) WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH EAST BAYSIA. The Digital Antiquarian remembers the big brawl between Apple and Microsoft in “Doing Windows, Part 8: The Outsiders”.

…Having chosen to declare war on Microsoft in 1988, Apple seemed to have a very difficult road indeed in front of them — and that was before Xerox unexpectedly reentered the picture. On December 14, 1989, the latter shocked everyone by filing a $150 million lawsuit of their own, accusing Apple of ripping off the user interface employed by the Xerox Star office system before Microsoft allegedly ripped the same thing off from Apple.

The many within the computer industry who had viewed the implications of Apple’s recent actions with such concern couldn’t help but see this latest development as the perfect comeuppance for their overweening position on “look and feel” and visual copyright. These people now piled on with glee. “Apple can’t have it both ways,” said John Shoch, a former Xerox PARC researcher, to the New York Times. “They can’t complain that Microsoft [Windows has] the look and feel of the Macintosh without acknowledging the Mac has the look and feel of the Star.” In his 1987 autobiography, John Sculley himself had written the awkward words that “the Mac, like the Lisa before it, was largely a conduit for technology” developed by Xerox. How exactly was it acceptable for Apple to become a conduit for Xerox’s technology but unacceptable for Microsoft to become a conduit for Apple’s? “Apple is running around persecuting Microsoft over things they borrowed from Xerox,” said one prominent Silicon Valley attorney. The Xerox lawsuit raised uncomfortable questions of the sort which Apple would have preferred not to deal with: questions about the nature of software as an evolutionary process — ideas building upon ideas — and what would happen to that process if everyone started suing everyone else every time somebody built a better mousetrap.

(12) NAVIGATING THE AMAZON. Peter Grant relates more “Lessons learned from a trilogy, Part 2: the impact on sales of rapid releases, and other factors” at Mad Genius Club. He discovered several benefits from releasing a trilogy of new novels in a short timeframe.

You can see at once that sales rose a little per volume after each launch, but not spectacularly so.  What did rise very strongly were KU [Kindle Unlimited] “borrows”.  The triple “bounce” is obvious to the naked eye, even without numbers.  It seems that, once they were aware of the series, KU readers jumped on it, and read each volume in turn (sometimes “binge-reading” all three within a week).  That drove the series’ sales ranks higher, and is still doing so, long after I’d have expected the earlier books’ ranks to drop by much more.  As I write these words, all three volumes are still ranked in the top three-tenths of one percent of all books in the Kindle Store.  Needless to say, I find that very satisfying.

(13) DID THEY GAME THE SYSTEM? Six writers who have been booted from Amazon say they can’t understand why: “Amazon self-published authors: Our books were banned for no reason” at Yahoo! Finance.

In recent weeks, Amazon (AMZN) has taken down e-books written by at least six self-published novelists who say they did nothing wrong and depend on the platform to make their living, those six novelists told Yahoo Finance.

The six authors published many of their books through Amazon’s online self-publishing platform Kindle Direct Publishing Select, and they expressed shock and frustration over losing their livelihoods without understanding why.

Amazon, for its part, has been cracking down on KDP Select authors who supposedly game the system in order to get paid more. But the authors Yahoo Finance spoke to insist they haven’t engaged in this kind of fraud, and that Amazon banned them without sufficient explanation of wrongdoing.


  • Born August 10 — Rosanna Arquette, 59. Amazon Women on the Moon as well as voice work in Battle for Terra, appearances in Medium and Eastwick.
  • Born August 10 — Antonio Banderas, 58. Genre work in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, the Spy Kids franchise, voice work in Puss in Boots and Shrek 2, appearances in the forthcoming The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle and The New Mutants.
  • Born August 10 — Suzanne Collins, 56. The Hunger Games trilogy which became a film series as well and The Underland Chronicles, a epic fantasy series.
  • Born August 10 — Angie Harmon, 46. Barbara Gordon in the animated Batman Beyond series and voice work in the current Voltron series, appeared on Chuck. 
  • Born August 10 — Joanna Garcia Swisher, 39. Quite a bit genre work including the From the Earth to The Moon miniseries, the animated The Penguins of MadagascarAre You Afraid Of The DarkThe Astronaut Wives Club,  Kevin (Probably) Saves the World and Once Upon a Time series. 

(15) SHORT FICTION REVIEWS. Charles Payseur sells Ceaseless Sips by the seashore: “Quick Sips – Beneath Ceaseless Skies #257”.

I am sorely tempted to guess that the link between the two latest stories from Beneath Ceaseless Skies is that their both authored by a Christopher. Because, at first glance, these two pieces are very different in terms of character, tone, and theme. Looking closer, though, and the stories seem paired not because of how well they work in harmony, but in how well they contrast, showing two sides of the same coin. On one, we get to see a man on a quest realize that he’s in danger of losing something of himself and pause, take stock, and find comfort and guidance in another person. In the other story, though, we find a man who has fully embraced his quest, regardless of who he needs to destroy or hurt. Both stories feature mostly conversations and philosophy, but in one a lesson is learned, and in the other it is utterly destroyed. So yeah, let’s get to the reviews!

(16) PICK SIX. Grow your TBR pile by reading “Six Books with Sam Hawke” at Nerds of a Feather.

  1. What upcoming book you are really excited about?Probably Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett is the one I’m looking forward to the most. He wrote one of my favourite fantasy trilogies of recent years (the Divine Cities) and Foundryside has the thieves and heists in city state, Locke Lamora kind of vibe that I dig. Special mention to The Monster Baru Cormorant (because the Traitor was amaaaaazing) though I am scared of how much it is going to hurt me.

(17) POWER ARRANGERS. Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams surprises with his deep interest in the meanings of Lord of the Rings: “Master of his universe: the warnings in JRR Tolkien’s novels” in New Statesman.

…Yes, Sam is an idealised version of a socially ambivalent and archaic stereotype. Forget this for a moment and look at his instinctive realisation that fantasies of high-octane power, celebrity and control are poisonous. He is anything but perfect: his stubborn parochialism and his taunting of Gollum are failings, with bad consequences. But he retains some fundamental instinct of moral realism. This helps him share Frodo’s burden without collapsing. Frodo’s empathy for Gollum (rooted in a shared understanding of the Ring’s terrible seduction), finally leads to a genuinely shocking denouement; but Gollum, furious, alienated by Sam, recklessly greedy for the Ring, saves Frodo from his self-inflicted catastrophe and dies as a result.

Somehow, the tangled web of interaction between these three ends in “salvation”. Some force overrules and rescues them – but only through the weaving together of a whole set of flawed agencies, mixed motives, compassion, prejudice, courage and craving. Tolkien is seeking to model the way in which the creator works not by intervening but by interweaving. It is this starkly unexpected conclusion to the quest and the journey that makes the book most clearly a Christian fiction.

But even for the non-religious reader, this diagnosis of power is a reason for treating Tolkien more seriously than many are inclined to. Look beyond the unquestionable flaws: the blandly patriarchal assumptions, the recurrent patronising of the less “elevated” characters, the awkwardness of the would-be High Style of narrative and dialogue, the pastiche of Scott or Stevenson at their worst; beyond even the fantastically elaborated histories and lores and languages of Middle Earth.

The work is ultimately a fiction about how desire for power – the kind of power that will make us safe, reverse injustices and avenge defeats – is a dream that can devour even the most decent. But it is also a fiction about how a bizarre tangle of confused human motivation, prosaic realism and unexpected solidarity and compassion can somehow contribute to fending off final disaster. Not quite a myth, but something of a mythic structure, and one that – in our current climate of political insanities and the resurgence of varieties of fascistic fantasy – we could do worse than think about.

(18) UP YOUR UPLOAD. BBC discovered “This rigged charger can hijack your new laptop”. “Who ran a sewer through a recreation area?” is joined by “Who put charging on a data line?”

A neat feature of many modern laptops is the ability to power them up through the USB port. Unlike the rectangular USB ports of old, the newer type – USB-C – can carry enough power to charge your machine.

That’s great news: it means you don’t need to add a separate port just for charging. And when the USB port isn’t being used for power, it can be used for something useful, like plugging in a hard drive, or your phone.

But while you and I may look at that as an improvement, hackers see an opportunity to exploit a new vulnerability.

One researcher, who goes by the name MG, showed me how a Macbook charger could be booby-trapped. Modified in such a way it was possible to hijack a user’s computer, without them having any idea it was happening.

(19) SENT BACK LIKE GANDALF? “Gladiator 2: The strangest sequel never made?” — Maximus resurrected by Jupiter to fight a rebel god, then sent time-travelling through wars of the ages.

At the time, [Nick] Cave had written just one produced screenplay, John Hillcoat’s Ghosts… of the Civil Dead, and he was concentrating on his music career. But he couldn’t resist when Crowe offered him the Gladiator 2 job, despite one obvious misgiving. “Didn’t you die in Gladiator 1?” he asked. “Yeah, you sort that out,” replied Crowe.

And that’s what he did. Cave’s Gladiator 2 screenplay opens with Maximus waking up in the afterlife. To his disappointment, it isn’t the sun-kissed Elysium he dreamt of in Gladiator, but an endless rain-sodden netherworld where wretched refugees huddle on the shores of a black ocean. With the help of a ghostly guide, Mordecai, Maximus treks to a ruined temple where he meets Jupiter, Mars and five other diseased and decrepit Roman deities. Jupiter explains that one of their number, Hephaestus, has betrayed them, and is now preaching the gospel of another god who is more powerful than all of them. Just to quibble for a moment, Hephaestus is a Greek god, not a Roman one, so Cave should really have named him Vulcan. But the screenplay compensates for this slip with some writing to relish….

(20) DO YOU REMEMBER WHO KILLED SUPERMAN? At SYFY Wire“An oral history of the original Death and Return of Superman, 25 years later”.

…Jurgens fittingly enough would be the artist who drew that final image of a battle-weary Superman finally succumbing to battle with Doomsday, cradled in Lois Lane’s arms, with Jimmy Olsen forlorn in the background.

Jurgens: As for that final double page splash, well… it first appeared as a triple page spread at the end of Superman #75. I don’t think it has ever been reprinted that way, with a double page spread that then folds out into a triple pager. We spent an extraordinary amount of time getting it to work properly and I think it really helped bring Superman #75 to an appropriate close.

Superman #75 would go on to sell millions copies over multiple printings, reaching sales figure that were bolstered in no small part by the mainstream attention the death of this international icon had attracted.

Ordway: Coincidentally, the public’s actual reaction mirrored what we did in the comics — they suddenly came out in numbers, professing their love for Superman. That was what we wanted all along, though of course none of us had any idea it would sell. We had hopes that people would respond, maybe comic shops might order more Superman comics.

Jurgens: There is no way we, DC or anyone was prepared for the reaction to our story. We were simply trying to tell a good, dramatic story that said something about the nature of a great character.

Carlin: I still can’t believe people believed Superman would be gone forever. Reporter after reporter came up to DC and asked “Why are you killing Superman?” and my standard answer was “When was the last time you bought a Superman comic? Hell, when was the last time you bought ANY comic?” And every reporter said they hadn’t bought a Superman comic since they were kids, to which my response was: “Then you’re the one who killed Superman!” And most of these reporters, men and women, said that they were reporters because of Clark and/or Lois’s inspiration!

For the creative team, the story they yearned to tell was not the slugfest that led up Superman’s death, but the stories of loss afterward.

Bogdanove: In what seemed like no time, we’d written most of “Funeral for a Friend,” which was where the real meat of the story was. I think we accomplished exactly what Louise spoke of. Through the eyes of Metropolis and the world, via the reactions of heroes, villains and the friends and family he knew, I think we got to say a lot about why Superman matters.

Certain scenes stand out in my memory: Bibbo (Bibowski, a supporting character who idolized the Man of Steel) saying, “It shoulda’ been me!” Ma and Pa Kent watching the funeral of their own son on television, all alone by themselves. Some of these scenes we talked about that day still make my eyes tear up just thinking about them.

(21) JOIN THE SPACE FORCE. Commander Fred Willard comes out of retirement to enlist in Trump’s Space Force.  “We’re going to build a big, beautiful wall and those filthy Neptunians are going to pay for it.”  “When there’s trouble in space, we’re on the case.” From the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Fast forward to 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Kevin Standlee, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, David Doering, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, and Hyman Rosen for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Niall McAuley.]

68 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/10/18 This Pixel Scroll Title Has Been Used Before

  1. Space Force? Which adversaries “have transformed space into a war fighting domain already”? This looks like a bad outtake from a remake of Doctor Strangelove.


  2. I received my renewed passport on July 31st.
    Called my bank today to arrange for an international purchase.
    Just purchased my very first attending membership to Worldcon for Dublin 2019.


    That high pitched squee echoing around the world is me. Sorry.


  3. @13: Hands up, anyone who doesn’t believe Amazon would jump first and look later.

    @17: I don’t know whether to dismiss that as overwrought exegesis or suspect he’s correct about Tolkien’s motives — but I’m not sure I care; the whole idea of a concerned, intervening deity strikes me as implausible, and the idea that the deity would deliberately make interventions indirect sounds like handwaving.

    edit: sacrificial pre-Fifth!

  4. 4) best to get these things in early.

    5) Kevin’s been doing excellent work in this regard. (also, fifth!)

    16) Hey, I made a scroll item again 🙂

    19) This sounds awfully like God of War.

    20)…no I didn’t remember. Had to look it up.

  5. Chip Hitchcock notes Hands up, anyone who doesn’t believe Amazon would jump first and look later.

    If the books they’re writing look anything like some of the shit we get offered up fir review at GMR, I don’t wonder that they need to game the system to get any payment out from Amazon. The press releases we get from self-published authors are oft times so cringe ly bad that I wonder why they bothered sending us one.

  6. I visited a local comic shop I hadn’t been in before, on the occasion of their going-out-of-business sale. I got some bargains, and could see that their prices had been sort of high up till then. There were several boxes of cheap comics, and these were dominated by copies of the “He’s Not Dead After All” follow up to “Death of Superman.” Looks like they decided to invest in those in a big way.
    Reminds me of the movie chain in Georgia that went in for the 1970s KING KONG in a big way. I wasn’t there for it, but I heard about it. The chain covered half the southern part of the state till then, and when we came to town, it consisted of two theaters.

  7. Well, how would you like to have someone come along and pixel something off of you? Oh, dear! I keep forgetting I’m not in Kansas!

  8. I’m putting together my Worldcon itinerary, checking my options, and I can’t figure out what the Done Thing is for getting from SJC to the Fairmont. Do we take the free Airport Flyer to the Metro Station Rail stop, then take the 901 or 902, whichever comes first, to the San Antonio or Santa Clara Station, respectively? and then walk a block or so? Or will there be some kind of shuttle arrangement?

    Also, what is the Filer schedule/rendezvous?

  9. It’s been a while, but I believe when the Game Developers Conference was in San Jose I would take the SuperShuttle from the airport. We’ll probably do that or get a Lyft.

  10. Doctor Science: I can’t figure out what the Done Thing is for getting from SJC to the Fairmont.

    What day/time do you get in?

  11. @Beth in MA

    Just purchased my very first attending membership to Worldcon for Dublin 2019.

    Looking forward to seeing you there.

    7) Thanks for the link, Mike. I hope people find this look across the Iron Curtain interesting. My book sending East German aunts are unfortunately both dead by now, though I’m sure they would have found this article amusing.

    12) Interesting to see Peter Grant’s take on many of the discussions currently going on in the self-publishing world and addressing some challenges and problems that many of his fellow travellers claim don’t exist.

    13) In self-publishing circles, the prevailing theory is that Cipriano and Earle were associated with groups that engaged in scammy tactics and thus had their accounts closed. BTW Michael-Scott Earle is the writer with the overreaching trademarks (Dragon Slayer, Destroyer, common cover design), while Cipriano got dinged for closely copying the popular urban fantasy series of another indie author a while ago. I didn’t follow their career closely apart from being aware of their existence, but since they’ve had their accounts terminated, I’ve heard from several people that this wasn’t exactly a surprise.

  12. @Doctor Science: Although I’m local (1/2 hour drive away), I’ve not studied this problem space much, nor am I on staff. Possibly someone better briefed will post.

    As you doubtless saw, the Fairmont doesn’t offer a hotel shuttle, but recommends what you speak of: free VTA route 10 Airport Flyer van eastbound to VTA Metro/Airport light rail station, then VTA Light Rail route 901 southbound (‘Santa Teresa’) six stops to the San Antonio Station (South) stop. You then walk a block through the Paseo San Antonio pedestrian passage from 2nd St. to 1st St., cross the latter, and continue on the Paseo with the Fairmont immediately on your right. The Fairmont has an entrance on the Paseo, that might be open depending on time of day. If not, continue to the end of the building at S. Market Street, and turn right (clockwise) to reach the front door.

    VTA route 10 eastbound service at the airport starts a bit after 5am and ends around 11:30pm. VTA route 901 southbound from Metro/Airport station starts a bit after 5am weekdays, 6:18am weekends, and ends just before 1:30am (the night following) weekdays and Saturdays, 1:25am (the night following) Sundays.

    In case you want to consider a Lyft (or taxicab), it’s only 8km by road.

    About Filer schedule/rendezvous (plural), here’s what I posted to a scroll yesterday:

    —begin snippety—

    @cabbage: Delighted to hear the recommendation of Paper Plane and Haberdasher as bars, and especially the latter for mixed drinks. As the guy who (with heavy help from Andy Tremblay and from Doug Berry’s diligent work on (the prerelease of) the Local Guide), I felt bad about being completely unqualified to judge cocktails, being a beer/wine and occasional port quaffer almost entirely. But, for whatever it’s worth, File770 people will be gathering immediately after Opening Ceremonies (around 6:30pm) on Thursday the 16th, at

    Forager Tasting Room & Eatery
    420 S 1st Street, s. of W. San Salvador Street
    (408) 831-2433

    What’s not been lined up is a Friday Filer meetup. Anyone hate this or have a better idea than this place for dinner?

    7pm on Friday the 17th
    Back A Yard Caribbean Grill
    80 N Market Street, north of W. Santa Clara Street
    (408) 294-8626

    This is about 1/2 km north of McEnery, and serves amazing Jamaican food. Tables are big enough, it’s not too noisy, and it probably won’t be jammed. Friday, it’s open to 9pm. (Restaurants open past 9 are still not the rule in San Jose. Locally, even Mountain View is better for that.)

    —end snippety—

    On Thursday evening, I figure people will be hungry for more than Forager bar-type food by the time its 8pm closing becomes an issue, and I’ll have some options with me for a restaurant where hungry Filers can reconvene. I’m suggesting Bo Town, just around the same block Forager is on, a Chinese restaurant with some Vietnamese dishes.

    I should also mention that Steve Davidson has kindly offered the Amazing Stories Magazine booth as a place to meet and leave messages.

  13. About (7), should that be “writes,” or is it a special verb meaning “to act like a writer”?

  14. (1) TARDIS MAKEOVER. “Spoilers!” 😉 That’s . . . very weird looking. Not in a bad way! But in a weird way. I’m looking forward to seeing the new Doctor in action.

    @Beth in MA: Congrats! 🙂 “See you there!” (In quotes since I have no idea whether we’ll actually see each other.)

    @Andrew: “Pixel of Steel, Scroll of Kleenex” – Heh, nice one! [ETA: Perhaps better reversed, to get the number of syllables matching Niven’s title, though?]

  15. What the hell kind of food, if any, do they serve at Forager? Their webpage is extremely unhelpful. Why don’t we simply proceed immediately to Bo Town?

    Those of us who are less than mobile and less than flush with cash may not be keen on two places to travel to and pay for right at the start of the con.

    ISTM that swapping the Thurs/Fri things would be more efficient. After all, there’s going to be more parties and programming Friday night, therefore we could get away with smaller munchies and a shorter gathering that night. There’s not as much going on Thursday night at the con, and the Caribbean restaurant will have a) more food in one location and b) definitely not be crowded.

    I just think that the idea as stands is back-assward, inconvenient, more costly, and less efficient.

    (Attn. TSG ladies: The thing we have been discussing is all set.)
    (We are a tiny Seekrit Cabal of lady Filers.)
    (Except for Mike and one of the other guys who also know.)
    (And everyone who’ll find out next weekend.)
    (So not that Seekrit after all. Sigh. We’re bad at this.)

  16. Doctor Science on August 10, 2018 at 8:11 pm said:

    I’m putting together my Worldcon itinerary, checking my options, and I can’t figure out what the Done Thing is for getting from SJC to the Fairmont. Do we take the free Airport Flyer to the Metro Station Rail stop, then take the 901 or 902, whichever comes first, to the San Antonio or Santa Clara Station, respectively? and then walk a block or so? Or will there be some kind of shuttle arrangement?

    None of the hotels have shuttles. Take the free #10 Airport Flyer (headsign LIGHT RAIL, not CALTRAIN) to the Metro/Airport light rail station and take the first light rail train (not free; buy a ticket from the vending machine before boarding) heading downtown. For the Fairmont (or Sheraton Four Points), get off at San Antonio and walk a block or two. People staying at the Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt Place, or Westin Sainte Claire should ride one more stop at Convention Center station, which is in front of the Convention Center.

    I spent a year living in the area near the airport station; in fact, I would catch light rail from the Gish station, which is the next station south of Metro/Airport.

  17. @Lurkertype: Delighted to talk the details of logistics strategy with you (and anyone else) while there’s still time.

    I seriously love Back A Yard Caribbean Grill, but the problem for Thursday is that it closes at 8pm (vs. 9pm on Friday). Also, it’s a 850 metre walk north from McEnery, whereas Forager is right there, just a bit over a block east of the S. Market Street door. What sort of food at Forager? Andy Tremblay says that it’s always good, but that there’s not a lot of variety. As with the local beers / local ciders, it changes a lot, which is probably why it’s not covered much on the Web site.

    I figured many people would not be thrilled at walking the better part of a klick (almost exactly half a mile) on Thursday evening from McEnery to Back A Yard. Assuming Opening Ceremonies end on time (6:30), that means many leaving from there would arrive 7pm-ish, and, with the restaurant closing at 8pm — well, not great. Also, Back A Yard doesn’t have the use-of-space advantages Forager does, which is part of what I’ll describe next.

    The other qualities of Forager also meet perfectly what I was looking for: Big tables, not crowded (and there’s enormous space in there), very friendly to the mobility challenged, not noisy so we can have conversation, and good beer. I was trying to match what I saw as the main desirable qualities of the Kansas City and Helsinki venues.

    The disadvantage of going straight to Bo Town and substantive dinner food is that it looked to me as if their tables are the usual round seats-8-to-10 tables typical in a Chinese restaurant. (I not only love a good Chinese restaurant, it’s also home cooking, as I grew up in Victoria, Hong Kong.) Filer gatherings typically have been as many as 40 people. Assuming a non-crowded restaurant, you tell me: Is dividing the Filer gathering among up to four tables from the get-go OK? I assumed that was sub-optimal, thus my idea of starting at Forager (as Andy highly recommended) and hungry Filers then walk to dinner somewhere(s) nearby.

    Sadly, 8pm non-weekend closing is pretty much the norm in downtown San Jose — still, even after it’s made huge strides in being a Real City[tm]. Even Friday, 9pm seems to be the general rule. (Check carefully before assuming otherwise, anyway.) Among the exceptions: Bo Town, open to 10pm, daily.

    And, as has been discussed extensively else-scroll, Friday night events in downtown San Jose are at risk of considerable crowding on account of local tech workers (etc.) mobbing many, not all, of the venues, particularly the booze-ey ones. Back A Yard is reportedly not overly mobbed on Friday nights, probably in part because it may have some Jamaican beer on offer, but is mostly about the (exceptional) food, not getting shikkered.

    Further thoughts very much welcomed.

  18. Oh one more click
    Oh give me one last click
    Yes I did not select
    My head is kinda thick

    So now I have to go
    and try it one more time
    Oh baby give me one last click

  19. @Lurkertype: Slight addendum. When I started planning this, Filers giving their opinions felt that Friday was the only suitable night for a Filer dinner gathering, since all the other nights conflicted with one of the major events. Thursday night was pronounced to have a problem in that area on account of the Retro Hugo ceremony. ISTR that this analysis was mostly from Hampus Eckerman, who firmly recommended some venue close to the convention on Friday night, on that basis.

    I was one of a couple’a Silicon Valley autochthons who immediately reacted (paraphrased) ‘Augh. Downtown San Jose anywhere near S. First Street on Friday night? On a clubbing and drinking night? Ghod no.’ Hampus later admitted that he’d not been aware of that San Jose-specific problem.

    (As mentioned, Back A Yard is somewhat distant from the clubbing and drinking zone, and reported not-normally-crowded on that night.)

  20. I’m up for foraging at Forager on Thursday. From what I recall of their menu, they have kale salad and sandwiches and things, about ten bucks a plate.

    Can confirm that Northern Californian office workers like to invade bars on Friday nights for happy hour drink specials.

    Can’t make it Friday night, I’m running back to SF to retrieve my SJW cred so he can attend his first Worldcon. Or actually just the parties. The cat-friendly ones (if any) (not that we would be attending any other kind).

    (Nice job blowing the seekret, Lurkertype)
    (Now we’ll have to get extra ayahuasca and glitter)

  21. @Rick: Well, that’s me learned, then.

    I agree that Friday is going to be ridiculously busy downtown; I try not to be there then what with the clubbing and me being a bad dancer, and trying to protect what’s left of my hearing (Eh?) and the kids who should get off my lawn.

    Sammiches and salads will do me okay and the very short walk even more! So put me and husband down for Forager on Thursday.

    It doesn’t look like there’s going to be a big production for the Retro Hugos anyway, as far as I can tell from the schedule? Goes from Red Carpet to 80’s Dance Party (Main Ballroom is for a movie). Presumably they’ll announce the winners of the very few categories, their heirs and assigns will accept rockets, and then The Dread Scalzi will spin tunes.

    I live out in the burbiest of burbs and all our restaurants stay open till at least 9 PM on weeknights! All the way till 10 or 11 on Fri/Sat. Woo.

    @Charon: Sorry. I’ll bring the glitter, you have a better ayahuasca source than me. Gotta keep the credential out of both.

    @Out of towners: The light rail is convenient and very reasonably priced. We take it thataway from outlying areas to downtown quite often. Also, it’ll be a perfect setting to sing “Clang clang clang went the trolley, ding ding ding went the bell” should you be in need of a show tunes opportunity. Not that I’ve ever done that. Ahem.

  22. Mike: Rowan Williams is not “the Archbishop of Canterbury.” He is the FORMER Archbishop of Canterbury. He is a good writer and I enjoy his reviews.

    Cora Buhlert: I thought your look at East German sf was very interesting and I encourage you to keep writing about German sf history.

    Acrobati Infiniti Circus: I appreciate knowing about this group and I would see them if I lived in Chicago. I see they promise a “completely unique experience.” Thank goodness! I’m so tired of “unique experiences” that I’m only able to stagger out of my house for the “completely unique.”

  23. We won’t be getting to San Jose until l-a-t-e Thursday, so for us the con starts on Friday.

    One thing to think about ahead of time: should we plan a post-Hugos Filer get-together? Room party?

  24. Chip Hitchcock & @17: Put “tolkien providence” into a Google search and note the hits. This reading is neither news nor a stretch. (Even the highbrow takes on Tolkien’s poltical-social-writerly shortcomings are familiar-see Edmund Wilson.)

  25. (6) Dr. Sheyna Gifford, a simulated astronaut from a previous HI-SEAS crew (IV – not the one that got canceled, that was VI), talked some about her experience there when she was a panelist at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki. She won’t be around San Diego much, but even if you spot her, I understand she’s avoided talking publicly about Mission VI’s public crash-and-burn.

    I will add that the Atlantic article references a podcast ‘The Habitat.’ Dr. Gifford and others recommend that you not listen to it or publicize it. Multiple crew members withdrew from the podcast over the reporters’ deceptive interactions with them.

  26. Scroll, scroll, scroll, went the pixel
    Fifth, fifth, fifth went the vile
    Stalk, stalk, stalk went Pat Hodgell
    From the moment Mike started his file

  27. 4) I’d vote for that.

    7) Cora Buhlert, that was great to read.

    In what I can only guess was an excess of enthusiasm way back when (it’s not like I actually remember that far back), I am arriving in San Jose on Wednesday morning. My appreciation in advance for the very useful local guide that I will be relying upon until WorldCon starts.

  28. Martin Wooster: Mike: Rowan Williams is not “the Archbishop of Canterbury.” He is the FORMER Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Why wasn’t I informed!!! (Well, I am now, I suppose….) Appertain away!

  29. @lurkertype said:

    It doesn’t look like there’s going to be a big production for the Retro Hugos anyway, as far as I can tell from the schedule? Goes from Red Carpet to 80’s Dance Party (Main Ballroom is for a movie). Presumably they’ll announce the winners of the very few categories, their heirs and assigns will accept rockets, and then The Dread Scalzi will spin tunes.

    I’m working on getting the description for the Retro Hugos fixed in the program. The evening actually runs in 3 phases:
    First, the “Red Carpet back to 1943” pre-event complete with fanparazzi and on-the-carpet interviews for any members who care to walk the (actual!) red carpet back in time to our 1943 Worldcon-that-never-was.
    Second, the presentation of the 1943 Retrospective Hugo Awards.
    Third, a Dance Through the Decades back from 1943, concluding with John Scalzis 80s-to-the present guest DJ set beginning at 10.

    It is a less formal event than the 2018 Hugo Awards on Sunday, but the team has been working hard to make it a fun and exciting part of our First Night.

  30. re: Space Force
    The idea that you need a whole new military org to do this is not optimal.
    Having said that, there are real dangers to bad actors militarizing space. China in particular seems intent on developing means and methods of decapitating our critical satellite technology.
    Also, it’s been pretty clear since, oh, forever, that the country that controls the orbitals controls the world. I mean, orbiting bombs have been a trope since Space Cadet or earlier.
    So I sincerely HOPE the US military has counters to these dangers.
    Still don’t think a whole new bureaucratic structure replete with shiny shoulderboards is the way to do it.

  31. Hopefully this year I will make one of the meet ups. I’m aiming for the Thursday night one.

  32. @Cat Eldredge: there have been enough stories about the big net presences lumping people together on inadequate (e.g., automated) evidence that @13 could have been more of the same; @Cora Buhlert, however, identifies these specific people as misbehaving.

  33. 20) I remember the day the actual Death of Superman issue came out, the one wrapped in a tasteful black plastic bag. I went to my local comic shop (New England Comics on Harvard Ave in Boston) and there was a line out the door. Dozens of people there to buy the special issue. They had one register going just to sell that one issue, and one for everything else. The manager checked me out with my normal haul, including Superman, and just shook his head when I asked if it’d been like that all day. He was happy to take their money, though.

    On the news that night I heard one poor idiot say, “This comic is going to pay for my kid’s college tuition.” On Ebay today you can Buy It Now unopened for $26. And that seems really high to me.

  34. Chip Hitchcock to me that there have been enough stories about the big net presences lumping people together on inadequate (e.g., automated) evidence that @13 could have been more of the same; @Cora Buhlert, however, identifies these specific people as misbehaving.

    After reading the linked article, I’m inclined to suspect that Amazon got it right as the authors seem to be ignoring that they’re getting paid even when a reader doesn’t buy their work if they’re part of the Kindle, errrr, buffet approach where a lot of these works are free and the author gets paid based on how much the of the work the reader gets through.

    And the number of books that these authors are, errr, writing is staggering — I think one said he has done over ninety novels. Did Heinlein write that many in his entire career? Hell Asimov wrote only forty novels…

  35. @Cat Eldredge
    These and similar authors manage to be so very prolific via co-authoring and/or using ghostwriters. One of the authors mention in the article definitely uses ghostwriters and both have extensively co-written with other writers. There is a reason I talk about Kindle Unlimited writing factories.

  36. Cora Buhlert says These and similar authors manage to be so very prolific via co-authoring and/or using ghostwriters. One of the authors mention in the article definitely uses ghostwriters and both have extensively co-written with other writers. There is a reason I talk about Kindle Unlimited writing factories.

    Ghostwriters aren’t a problem whereyou properly say when writing pulp like the Rogue Angel series whose audiobook adaptations by GraphicAudio I love, but it strikes that ‘writing factories’ exist solely to game a system that Amazon should’ve known would lend itself to actors with avarice in their hearts and just enough ingenuity to profit off of a system that exists to make Amazon customers think they’re getting a great deal when they’re mostly getting, well, merde.

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