Pixel Scroll 8/14/18 I Never Saw A Purple Pixel, I Never Hope To See One

(1) UPHOLDING TRUE NOBILITY. Bill Ernoehazy outlined the issues of a current controversy within the Society for Creative Anachronism in a Facebook post:

This is about whether a Crown can be allowed to ignore the Governing Documents of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

This is about whether the SCA acts to protect the very essence of the Peerages — that they are examples of courteous and noble behavior, as well as extraordinary skill in their endeavors, their teaching of their skills to others, and their service to the Society.

The current Crown of Trimaris knowingly elevated a person who is demonstrably lacking in basic courtesies; who posts hateful and bigoted speech in social media; who does so under his SCA name, leaving no distinction between his SCA membership and his mundane identity.

The current King of Trimaris has openly joined in such hateful speech in replies to this person’s posts. The screenshots are widely held, and erasure and sanitizing media sites cannot erase those behaviors.

…This is the crux of the matter.

This is why people are taking their regalia off.

This is why people are resigning their Peerages and awards in shame.

I have petitioned for redress, in the manner set forth by the Board of Directors.

I now publicly call upon the Board of Directors of the SCA to take up their rightful authority in these matters and address this fundamental challenge to the integrity of the Peerages, the authority of the Board of the Directors, and the worth of the Board’s policies on harassment and hate speech.

A Reddit summary, #IStandWithDavius, explains —

Davius St. Jacques, a Master of Defense living in Trimaris, has handed his MoD collar and his White Scarf over to Their Highnesses Trimaris. The current king of Trimaris has made racist statements all over social media, and makes no secret of his stances. Davius is black. Over the objections of the Masters of Defense, the king made, in a private ceremony, another MoD who also shares his racist views.

Trimaris is the state of Florida, for those who do not know.

…It is the expectation of the SCA that its members and participants, in all events and activities of the SCA, will conduct themselves in accordance with these tenets.

Corpora Article X, Grievances and Sanctions, A. General, Add Section 4: Hate Speech

Hate speech is not tolerated in the Society. Hate speech is speech or symbols that offend, threaten, or insult individuals or groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or other traits. Such symbols and speech have no essential part of any discussion of ideas and are of so little value to the Society that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the harm caused. The use by any participant in the Society may result in possible sanctions up to and including revocation of membership and denial of participation.

The Davius St. Jacques Facebook post read:

Let all who see these words know their Highnesses have accepted my Collar and White Scarf back. My Crown has shown me that their oatha of protection and fealty mean nothing to them and i can not in good conscience wear the trappings of an office they do not wish me or mine to perform. Know however, that the trappings of the office maketh not the man. A person can be given the right to wear the items of an order but it doesnt make one worthy of the order …. and neither does NOT wearing the trappings keep one from proving they ARE worthy… I plan to put all my effort into proving this. So if you see me, please take note that Don is the proper term of address for a member of the Order of the Golden Rapier which is the only Rapier Award i hold independent of the Kingdom of Trimaris. I love you guys , but this is a thing i feel o need to do. I can not serve a Crown that has broken its oaths to me. I WILL not bring glory to a Throne that openly mocks my Order and denigrates my service.

An SCA participant who blogs as Beauxarmes wrote a heartfelt analysis about the importance of these events that got over 20K views this weekend, “Confronting Racism in the SCA”.

…Now, you might be asking yourself, Why does this matter? Or: I don’t play in the SCA. Or: I don’t play in Trimaris. Or: I don’t involve myself in politics when I play.

…When you identify yourself as a member of the SCA on social media – even a normal member, much less the royalty of an entire kingdom – you take on the responsibility of being the face of the organization. If the SCA gets a reputation as a place where racism and bigotry are tolerated, even rewarded, then that’s the end of the organization in the long run. If the current King of Trimaris is presenting a face of racism and intolerance… that’s a problem. If he’s rewarding another of his openly racist friends with a Peerage… that’s a problem. If he’s doing it in clear defiance of the Peerage’s wishes… that’s a problem.

And if one of those Peers feels so strongly about it that he feels he must publicly protest it… that’s not a problem…

The response has been so volatile Beauxarmes decided he needed to write an additional post explaining “Why I’m in the Society for Creative Anachronism”.

And he’s also written a second part to his essay:  “Confronting Racism in the SCA, Part II”.

(2) LAVALLE. Victor LaValle’s The Changeling: A Novel is one of the winners of the 2018 American Book Awards.

The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works.

There’s at least one more work of genre interest among the winners –

  • Cathryn Josefina Merla-Watson and B. V. Olguín, Altermundos Latin@ Speculative Literature, Film, and Popular Culture (UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press)

(3) RPG REPORT. Did you ever run across something that instantly sparks the “Hey-everyone-vote-this-a-Hugo” response? I may not feel the same way in the morning but right now… A very funny thread by Ursula Vernon that starts here.

(4) A MIRACLE OF RARE DEVICE. Galactic Journey’s Ida Moya offers an incredible look at what computer gaming was like in the days when the computers took up a whole room: “[Aug. 14, 1963] Engineers at Play (Spacewars!, hacking, and the PDP-1)”.

…Pohl doesn’t tell us what kind of computer he saw Spacewar being played on, nor does he name the people responsible for programming the computer to play such an active and compelling game. But I can take a guess from what I have seen about computing – it is a PDP-1, a Programmed Data Processor-1, made by Digital Equipment Corporation.

A new way to use the Computer

These young men at M.I.T. are a different generation from the buttoned-down physicists and computer scientists I work with here at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. The computer users here in the Theoretical Physics or “T” division tend to be very serious about their computing, and there is no time for frivolous use of these expensive machines. The IBM 7090 and other equipment we have is carefully guarded, and has no time for games.

From what I hear, these fellows at M.I.T. are a bunch of unwashed boys who emerged from the model railroad club to play with this spare computer called a TX-0. This TX-0 is a transistorized version of another one-off military computer called Whirlwind, also developed at M.I.T. These young men are not doing anything like serious physics or science, but are rather doing these useless but extremely clever things like making programs that convert Arabic numerals to Roman numerals in as few steps as possible. These kids could only get time on the TX-0 in the middle of the night, when other people aren’t using the valuable computer time, so they have very undisciplined habits and working hours. I hear that they call what they are doing “hacking.”

One interesting thing about this “hacking” and the computers they use is that, instead of using punched cards, like the batch processing we do on our IBM Stretch, they use a Friden Flexowriter, an unwieldy sort of teletypewriter, to make punched paper tapes of programs that they then directly feed into the computer. The hackers have direct access to the computer, and can fix programs themselves, rather than having to give their card deck to an operator, and hope that the results come out. That is what Pohl is talking about in his article when he says “…add another tape.”

(5) IT’S THE WATERS. Juliette Wade’s Dive Into Worldbuilding bring an encounter with “Laura Anne Gilman and Red Waters Rising”. You can watch video of their conversation and read a detailed synopsis at the site.

It was a real pleasure to have Laura Anne Gilman back on the show to talk about the third book in her Devil’s West series. She has visited us twice, once to talk about Silver on the Road, and once to talk about The Cold Eye, so it seemed only fitting to find out how the trilogy ended up!

I just love this world that Laura Anne has created, because it’s so deep and complex, and feels so true. It’s an alternate American history in which the entirety of what would have been the Louisiana Purchase was never owned by either the French or the Spanish, but is being protected by a being known as “the devil.”

The identity of the devil is not super clear. Physically, his appearance fluctuates from one set of features to another….

 

(6) WAKANDACON. Karl-Johan Norén calls it an “Interesting article on conrunning philosophy, even if I believe it paints ‘classic’ fandom with an image a little too tainted by Gamergate and the Puppies.”– “How the first Wakandacon escaped the fan convention curse” at The Verge.

Here, in the basement of the Hilton Downtown Chicago over the first weekend in August, the Barthwells — Dave, 35; Ali, 29; Matt, 26; and friends Taylor Witten and Lisa Beasley — have accomplished something both time-honored and nearly impossible in today’s commercialized fan culture. With virtually no experience among them, the five Chicago natives successfully organized and hosted a fan convention for roughly 2,000 fans over three days, all while knowing that several groups of first-time organizers had recently attempted similar feats and failed catastrophically and very publicly.

How can black people make Wakanda real?

Wakandacon started as a tentative, nerdy idea: how can black people make Wakanda, the utopian advanced African nation where Black Panther takes place, real? By the convention’s end, that idea had blossomed into something all nerds have searched for, at one point or another, but that black fans have rarely been able to truly enjoy: a space where you can love what you love fiercely alongside people who look like you and share that passion — a place to belong.

(7) WORLDCON FILER MEETUPS. Rick Moen’s updated announcement is posted here.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • August 14, 2009District 9 premiered on this day.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born August 14 — Halle Berry, 52. First genre role may have been the They Came from Outer Space series; other genre work includes The FlintstonesSolomon & Sheba, Die Another Day, the X-Men films, Catwoman and the Extant series which has a really dumb premise.
  • Born August 14 — Christopher Gorham, 44. Genre work in Jupiter RisingThe Magicians, Buffy the Vampire SlayerOdyssey 5 and Once Upon a Time series; voice work in a lot of DCU animated productions including The BatmanJustice League: WarJustice League: Throne of Atlantis and Justice League vs. Teen Titans.
  • Born August 14 — Brianna Hildebrand, 22. Deadpool and Deadpool 2The Exorcist series and The Tragedy Girls slasher film.

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • Breakfast with the superheroes at Eek!.

(11) INCREASE YOUR VOCABULARY. The Frisky coaches you on “6 ‘Star Trek’ Catchphrases And How To Work Them Into Everyday Conversations”.

Catchphrase #1: “Make it so!”

Who Said It/What It Means: This curt three-word phrase was Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s standard way of issuing an order, often immediately followed by a sexy sip of earl grey tea.

How To Use It In Real Life: Every time you would normally say, “Yes.” Example:

Barista: Would you like cream in your coffee?
You: MAKE IT SO.

(12) MAKING OF A STAR. CNET reports on a tweet by William Shatner to give Carrie Fisher a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (”William Shatner: Let’s get Carrie Fisher a Hollywood star”). In that, he joins Mark Hamill — who went a bit further earlier this month in suggesting the vandalized Donald Trump star could be replaced by one for Fisher.

The Star Trek and Star Wars universes are colliding.

On Monday, actor William Shatner, who played Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, tweeted, “Hey @starwars is it true that @carrieffisher does not have a star on the walk of fame? If it is what are we going to do about it?”

…Shatner continued the discussion on Twitter after his initial tweet, agreeing with a fan who suggested Fisher should have a star placed next to that of her late mother, singer and actress Debbie Reynolds.

(13) JURASSIC REWATCH. Daniel Dern writes: “My friend Kevin Kulp (creater of the Timewatch RPG which includes, among other things, time-travelling velociraptors, IIRC), started watching (or perhaps re-watching) Jurassic Park a few days ago, and found himself tweeting about the various OSHA safety fails, in a spirited thread that starts here.”

(14) UTAH’S VR PARK. For the well-heeled fan, the greatest Fantasy Park in history is opening September 8th! Evermore in Pleasant Grove, Utah debuts with a huge party–at $89 a pop: https://www.evermore.com/

(15) DON’T BLAME THE GAME (OF THRONES). Kevin Polowy, in the Yahoo! Entertainment story, “Forget ‘Game of Thrones’:  Matt Groening Reveals Unlikely Inspiration Behind New Animated Fantasy Series ‘Disenchantment,”  says that Groening’s new animated fantasy series Disenchantment on Netflix is not intended to be a parody of Game of Thrones.

“It’s from growing up with fairy tales and fantasy and all the rest of that,” Groening told us recently at San Diego Comic-Con (watch above). “I was particularly inspired as a kid by Rocky and Bullwinkle. And in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show there were ‘Fractured Fairy Tales.’ And I thought, ‘Oh man, this would be great to do as a grownup.’”

In fact, Groening says, he and his creative team steered away from contemporary shows like GoT that play in that sandbox.

“We didn’t want to be influenced. In fact, we had a rule that certain major fantasy shows that you might be familiar with, we said we’re not going to do any more jokes, other than ones we already thought of. There’s a few references to things you might be familiar with, but [mostly] we went the other way.

(16) HUGO HANDICAPPING. John Scalzi’s “A Pre-Worldcon Q&A” self-interview includes this prediction:

Well, do you think The Collapsing Empire will win the Hugo? 

Nope, I think N.K. Jemisin is gonna three-peat with The Stone Sky.

Why is that?

Uhhh, because the Broken Earth trilogy is an absolutely groundbreaking achievement (pun entirely intended) in modern science fiction and fantasy? Don’t you agree?

I guess I do since I’m actually you? 

Yes. Precisely. But even if you weren’t in fact me, you would still have to acknowledge that Nora’s work on this series is stunning, and deserving of every accolade that’s been sent her way. To be clear, saying this is not a diminution of any of the other nominated works or their authors, including me and my novel. As I said, every novel on the ballot is eminently Hugo-worthy and could win, depending on the calculus of the voters as a group. But individually, The Stone Sky is worthy, and as a part of a larger whole, it’s a remarkable work.

(17) PLUNK AND BOOM. A great find by Krypton Radio – the Sailor Moon theme played on traditional Japanese instruments.

(18) ABOUT THOSE GRAPES. Ann Leckie has heard this bit before. Thread begins here.

(19) YOLEN’S NEBULA ANTHOLOGY. Black Gate’s John O’Neill defends an editorial decision in “Fairy Tales, Space Stations, and a Sequel to The Thing: The Nebula Awards Showcase 2018, edited by Jane Yolen”:

For example in 1980, for Nebula Winners Fourteen, Frederik Pohl jettisoned virtually every single short fiction nominee (and all the novelettes) so he could make room for just two stories, C. J. Cherryh’s Hugo Award-winning “Cassandra,” and Gene Wolfe’s massive 60-page novella “Seven American Nights.” That had to be a tough call, but I think it was the right one.

In the 2018 Showcase volume, editor Jane Yolen makes a similar choice. Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway, which won the Best Novella Nebula, is a massive 176 pages, far bigger even than Gene Wolfe’s 60-page classic, and would throughly dominate the anthology. Instead, for the first time I can remember, Yolen has chosen not to include the full version of the Nebula Award winning novella, but rather represent it with a 20-page excerpt. That leaves her with enough space to include every short story and novelette nominee (or at least, as is the case for Fran Wilde’s 96-page The Jewel and Her Lapidary, a substantial excerpt).

It’s a bold decision, and I applaud it. The 2018 Nebula Awards Showcase is a terrific volume, and it certainly gives you the opportunity to sample a wide variety of top-notch fiction from last year, including the delightfully subversive fairy tale “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar, Sam J. Miller’s thoughtful and creepy sequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing, “Things With Beards,” Caroline M. Yoachim’s “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station / Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0,” and excerpts from All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders and Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine

(20) I WILL SURVIVE. Nerdist is convinced “Thor’s Old Roommate Darryl Survived Thanos’ Infinity War Snap!” Twitter video included in the Nerdist article.

We can argue over which Avenger deserves the title of Earth’s mightiest hero, but there is no debating the greatest secondary character in the MCU. That title goes to someone who has never actually been in a Marvel movie, Darryl Jacobson, Thor’s old roommate. The last time we saw Darryl was before Infinity War, and we’ve had no idea if he was turned into dust in the wake of Thanos’ master plan. But don’t worry, because not only did he survive the Snapture, he took time out of his very busy work schedule to wish his old roomie a belated happy birthday.

And Gizmodo/io9 has more: “Video Evidence That Thor’s Roommate Darryl Survived Avengers: Infinity War”.

(21) INSTANT CLASSIC. At least I think it is, and so will those who get all the File 770 in-jokes packed into Soon Lee’s verse.

@Lenore Jones

The scrollvolution will not be autopopulated
The scrollvolution will not be brought to you by Godstalk
In four brackets without large supplies of facecloths
The scrollvolution will not show you pictures of felines
Sitting on books of non-binary taverns in the snow
Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein and more
Old Favourites been touched by unforgiving Suck Fairies
The scrollvolution will not be autopopulated

[Thanks to David Doering, Juliette Wade, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories,, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Robert Whitaker Sirignano.]

78 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/14/18 I Never Saw A Purple Pixel, I Never Hope To See One

  1. (1) I’ve only ever been SCA-adjacent, but agree that whoever the racist King is should face a (polite and rules-driven) ouster by the peerage and peasants. Florida Man does it again.

    (3) I am EXCITE to meet Wombat this weekend! Two more sleeps!

    (4) Yay Spacewar! and punched paper tapes.

    (12) Kirk and Luke are absolutely correct here.

    (15) Is always fault of Moose and Squirrel. Looks like medieval “Futurama”, so I’ll check it out.

    (18) I am also excite to possibly meet her!

    (21) plays bongo drums

  2. #1 Sigh. We’ve had a problem for a while. I don’t know if it’s gotten worse, or more visible.
    #I stand with Davius.
    Edited: Sacrifical fourth.

  3. @Rev Bob, unconnected to anything in the present scroll, I just want to say THANK YOU for your brief tutorial, several months ago, on editing CSS fields in ebooks. I recently bought K.B. Spangler’s Stoneskin, and found that on my Kobo certain bits of quoted text were rendered in very long columns of four-letter-wide script, making it nearly impossible to read. I dug into the style sheet and found that those particular margins were in points. I reset them to a reasonable number of ems… and it displays properly! So, thank you! (And why would anyone make an ebook with hard-coded 108-point margins, anyway????)

  4. I thought the Sailor Moon video was a pleasant two minutes, so thank you Krypton Radio!

  5. (21)

    Thanks Mike!

    Also relevant: the comment reply fields are still not auto-populating. 🙂

    (Fortunately Chrome remembers, so it takes me hardly any time to re-populate that way.)

  6. Test.
    So auto-populate is fine on my laptop and on one of my tablets but not the other (both Samsung running Android, but not the same model). Firefox remembers the field entries, though. Weird.

  7. @1: It’s tempting to blame this on Florida after the very different results of a mess in California (IIRC less than a year ago) where someone was crowned in a robe bearing classic ~Nordic symbols that have been taken over by the neoNazis and was … persuaded … to abdicate after a few weeks of excusing and stonewalling. (Very crude summary, and no I don’t have links.) But I suspect this could happen in any number of the ?19? kingdoms in North America. I wonder whether the BoD will decide it has the power to act, and whether if it does it will.

    @6: I don’t see Norén’s complaint that “classic” fandom is tainted in the article by events relating to Puppies or Gamergate; it’s celebrating the fact that the con happened where others, including one deliberately alternative, spectacularly failed. (I’m struck by the note that they refused advice from experienced conrunners — but who knows what that experience was?) It would be interesting to document why this worked (perhaps starting with plausible goals?) where other startups failed; I doubt we’ll ever get a proper accounting from the failures, but details about what these conrunners did may serve as a good example. It sounds like simple honesty and communication played a huge part.

  8. Chip Hitchcock: . (Very crude summary, and no I don’t have links.)

    I think there’s a link in the Beauxarmes post.

  9. I never saw a pixel unicorn
    I never hope to see one
    But if there e’er was such a creature born
    With pixelled hide and single scrolley horn
    I’d rather see than be one

    (With abject apologies to Beth Moursund)

  10. 1) If the SCA’s board of directors doesn’t deal with the Trimeris situation decisively, they’re going to take their place next to Jack Dorsey of Twitter.

    And very possibly flush the SCA down the toilet. We CANNOT tolerate this behavior.

    No autofill on my Android tablet, in Opera browser on my pc, or in Chrome on a pc.

  11. 1) Damn, I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve been gafiated for 20 years, but it still hurts that something like this would happen. (And yes, I know there have always been issues that I was too naive to recognize at the time. That doesn’t make this one look any better.)

    3) If I’d had that kind of a GM and group when I was starting out, I’d probably still be gaming.

    12) XthreadX (11) Make it so!

    17) Cool! I have a friend who will adore this.

    @ John A: Or maybe not. 🙂
    (Sorry I couldn’t find a version with lyrics, but the sound quality on this one is excellent.)

  12. (1) No comments on the specifics here; I guess we have all seen the ways racism or other harmful behaviour can fester and infest almost any organisation. However, in Beauxarmes’s second essay, he writes calls walking away from a bigot a failure, and instead he should have taken a stand. Now, in his personal situation at the time, he may be right to call it a failure and a mistake, but we should be careful about shaming the people who chose to walk away from a bad situation. That’s placing the blame on the wrong person, the victims rather than the instigators.

    It also points to another variation, that I’ve experienced myself sometimes. Someone calls out racist behaviour or talk as it is being done, but when they get a dismissing or belligerent response they don’t get any backup from any of the bystanders. That’s how one can create people who will walk away the next time.

    (6) @Chip: Well, you have the following paragraph in the article: “Ironically, in many ways, the mainstreaming of geek culture has created an even uglier version of the racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism that’s already experienced by marginalized people who like superheroes or science fiction. Stubborn, privileged fans’ jealous guarding of a culture they see as exclusively their own has created an overtly hostile environment for these fans, both in online spaces and at general fan conventions.” Complete with links about swatting cases within fandom, gamergate, and sexual harassment within the cosplay community.

    But not a word about how Worldcon fought off the assault of the puppies, or how the post-Puppy Hugo award ceremonies have been celebrations of sf written by previously marginalised voices.

  13. Ah, yes, I wrote the “Purple Pixel” –
    I’m sorry, now, I wrote it;
    But I can tell you, in the title,
    I’ll kill you if you scroll it.

  14. With all due apologies to Gellett Burgess, that Purple Cow guy.

    The idea of replacing Donald Trump’s star with one for Carrie Fisher popped up about five days ago on FaceBook.

  15. 5) Oh yeah, that was a good episode of Dive into Worldbuilding

    13) He’s got a point. I had not thought the part about the staff returning after the Hurricane, for one thing.

  16. Robert Whitaker says that The idea of replacing Donald Trump’s star with one for Carrie Fisher popped up about five days ago on FaceBook.

    I don’t like this idea in the least as it injects her into a political arena that has nothing at all to do with her. Yes she deserves a star most wholeheartedly but let’s not make it a political move.

  17. Now that it has been suggest–not initially by me–how do you avoid the idea?

  18. Well, I saw the thing comin’ out of the sky
    It had the one long file, one big eye
    I commenced to shakin’ and I said “ooh-eee”
    It looks like a purple scroller to me

    It was a one-eyed, one-filed, flyin’ purple pixel scroller
    (One-eyed, one-filed, flyin’ purple pixel scroller)
    A one-eyed, one-filed, flyin’ purple pixel scroller
    Sure looks strange to me (one eye?)

    Well he came down to earth and he lit in a tree
    I said Mr. Purple pixel scroller, don’t read me
    I heard him say in a voice so gruff
    “I wouldn’t read you ’cause you’re so tough”

    It was a one-eyed, one-filed, flyin’ purple pixel scroller
    (One-eyed, one-filed, flyin’ purple pixel scroller)
    A one-eyed, one-filed, flyin’ purple pixel scroller
    Sure looks strange to me (one eye?)

  19. Apparently we’re a few years out from her even being able to be nominated. I’m (un)reliably informed by the Wikipedia about the Walk of Fame that posthumous stars may only be awarded five years or more after death.

  20. @Cassy B.: “THANK YOU for your brief tutorial, several months ago, on editing CSS fields in ebooks.”

    Glad it came in handy, and your example is precisely the kind of reason I urge CSS coders to avoid absolute measurement units (in, cm, px, et al.) in favor of relative ones (em, percentages, etc.) when styling text. I can kind of understand someone mistaking points for a relative unit, but canonically CSS translates 1 point to 1/72 inches.

    And yes, 108pt/1.5” is absurdly large for that situation; I suspect that coder is used to reading on large flatscreens. By preference, I indent in multiples of 1.5em, which translates at “normal” size to about 18pt, and I use one step for both blockquote side margins and first-line paragraph indents. Some people like 1em, 1.2em, 1.25em, or even 2em, but 1.5 just looks right to my eye.

  21. Lee:

    Damn, I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve been gafiated for 20 years, but it still hurts that something like this would happen. (And yes, I know there have always been issues that I was too naive to recognize at the time. That doesn’t make this one look any better.)

    The SCA has a long history of racism, but it’s not, in the main, been this kind of explicit white supremacist racism.

    It’s usually been more: “Well of course we’re focused on Europe, that’s where the middle ages/Renaissance *happened*” racism, which has slowly been opening up as they realize how far trade routes went, especially by the end of “period”, and also learn more about things like the actual empires that existed in North Africa. Or it’s the “cultural appropriation vs. appreciation” debate over white guys with Japanese personae. At its worst it’s the Crusader persona whose comments about Infidels are “ha-ha-but-serious” or things like the recent “the swastika is a valid historical symbol with a separate context for people from 1200, why are you upset about its modern meaning?”.

    I wouldn’t ever say the SCA was a safe place to be for non-whites, because I can’t presume that far — I have heard some individual stories of it getting more poisonous than that under the surface — and it needs to work on inclusiveness in various ways, but it’s all been what I would call the same polite mainstream issues that are also factors in most of the other hobbies we’ve all loved — and it’s always included people who would stand against its worst habits, too. And my impression has been that, like so much else in the mainstream, up to at least 2016 or so, people are getting more aware and educated and inclusive, not less. (I know people who admit that 20 years ago, they’d have been much more likely to do the “But historical context” swastika mistake themselves, but they’ve been schooled and learned and listened, and know better — whereas that particular King and Queen were schooled and warned multiple times by multiple people not to do it, and never listened, much less learned.)

    This sort of blatant racism has been on the rise lately, though, and for the same reason it has been more visible elsewhere in the Mundane World. We may talk a good game about our Game being a separate world, but we live in this one too.

  22. When the deep pixel scrolls over sleepy file walls
    And the vile begin to reply in the night
    In the mist of a memory you wander on back to me
    Breathing my name with a five

  23. Rev. Bob,
    I’m currently plowing through A Thing of Vikings (a How To Train Your Dragon fanfic) after pulling it down from Archive of Our Own. It’s immense (and I highly recommend it to those interested in such things) but the download doesn’t include a table of contents. What’s the quickest, most effective way to add a table of contents to make it easier to navigate around the work.
    Thanks!

  24. BravoLimaPoppa3, RevBob may have a better answer, but the quick, easy, and non-technical way that I do it is, I open the epub document in Sigil (free epub editing software), highlight each chapter numbers/name and hit the “header” button (it’ll go bold and bigger); and then, after I’ve done this for all chapter headings, hit the “table of contents” button. It will auto-generate a table of contents with all words/phrases that marked as headers included as separate items. (I’d tell you exactly where the buttons are and what they look like, but that software is on my home machine and I’m at work right now. “Header” is near the left side (several different ones to chose from, h1, h2, etc – pick the one that looks right with your book but be consistent); “table of contents” is right of center if memory serves) You can de-select anything you don’t want in the table of contents.

    If you have chapters and subchapters, (Book 1, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Book 2, Chapter 4….) you might want to designate the Books with h1, and the Chapters with h2. This will put your table of content in outline form, as it were; Chapters as subheadings under Books.

    This process puts a table of contents in the metadata; all the readers that I’m familiar with can use that table of contents to navigate. Note, it does not generate an actual physical Table of Contents page in the book. You’d have to do that the hard way, by typing in the chapters, and linking the pages manually. But if you hit the keys to bring up the embedded table of contents on your reader it will see this.

    Hope that helps.

  25. IanP on August 15, 2018 at 7:41 am said:

    It was a one-eyed, one-filed, flyin’ purple pixel scroller
    (One-eyed, one-filed, flyin’ purple pixel scroller)
    A one-eyed, one-filed, flyin’ purple pixel scroller
    Sure looks strange to me (one eye?)

    Wonderful!

  26. Michael Dirda in the WashPost has a round-up of recent critical books on SF/fantasy:

    To circumvent so much categorical fuzziness, John Clute, the theoretically minded co-editor of “The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction,” came up with the useful umbrella term “fantastika.” What follows here, then, is a briefly annotated list of some recent critical books about fantastika.
    No one knows more about M.R. James, author of the best ghost stories in English, than Rosemary Pardoe. In The Black Pilgrimage and Other Explorations (Shadow Publishing) she collects her “essays on supernatural fiction,” many of which reflect her careful research into the textual complexities and historical context of James’s imaginative writing.

  27. (1) I’m saddened by this but have no useful comments to make that haven’t been made.

    (4) He would no doubt consider almost everything we do with computers today frivolous, including carrying them around in our pockets. And really, can you say he’d be wrong?

    (12) It’s good to see Star Wars and Star Trek coming together on this. Althouugh, alas, we do have to wait a few years more, due to the five-year rule.

  28. Rev. Bob & Cassy B: I too have had issues with ebook coders. I suspect that most of the issues relating to relative vs absolute sizes in text and images come from assumptions about what devices a book will be read on. I have seen a lot of very wide margins with absolute measures which seem to be designed for larger screens – iPads rather than Kobos. Another problem I ran into recently was missing accented characters. Some less commonly seen in English characters were present in the built-in Kindle version of Caecilia (I think) but not in the version embedded in the epub and there was a Turkish character with a ç in his name.

    I almost feel a manifesto coming on. Ebooks must be device-agnostic. Death to incomplete character sets! Absolutely no absolute measures!

    Here in 3230 the debate about how far to indent a paragraph continues.

  29. @OGH: “there’s a link in the Beauxarmes post” and a link at the top of that to a more direct discussion.

    Further on (1), wrt @Lenora Rose: one of the things my spouse (who is far more involved than I am) mentioned when I asked about this mess was that some of the neo-fascists appear to be actively moving into the SCA on the grounds that it focuses on what they consider a high point of white culture (e.g. before it was “mongrelized” — which ignores that there was cross-fertilization even then). This is not good; we’ll see what happens. OTOH, I will note that there were other cultures represented even in the early years; there’s a Japanese-descended person in my group who has always worked from his background, and “The king who declared war against himself and lost” (almost 50 years back now) is very conservative in mundania but has always been ~Arab in the SCA.

  30. (4) There’s a PDP-1 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View (pretty close to San Jose), which not only occasionally has a working demonstration of Spacewar, but has it demonstrated by some of the very people who wrote it in the early 60s (I remember Peter Samson, specifically), who now work as docents in the museum. One of the coolest exhibits, ever.

  31. (1) I can’t help the thought that a reenactment in which many of the “nobles” are terrible people with thoroughly abhorrent views is historically vastly more accurate than one in which nobles are actually supposed to be outstanding in character and skills.

  32. (18) Glad to see that Leckie emerged from her encounter with the Faceless Man unscathed.

  33. My current D&D/Ironclaw/GURPS group is a delight and I don’t say that just because our paladin is corgi of the Church of the Good Boy.

  34. (1) Gah. I grew up in the SCA–though I haven’t been actively involved for decades–and I can’t say this comes as a real shock. Though it’s certainly disappointing. But even when I was young, the idea that the kingship would go to the best fighter struck me as inherently…problematic. I mean, yes, it’s mostly an honorary role, but still…

    (other) Just finished Murderbot Diaries 2. Definitely enjoyed it. Still has plenty of dry, dark humor (my favorite kind). The story was perhaps a little more focused this time, probably mostly because it is the second story, so there was less distracting expository material required. On the other hand, the main group of humans was a little stupider–or, at least, more naïve and inexperienced. I haven’t quite decided if that was a good or bad thing. There was also less murder this time around–but then, murder is really not the appeal of the series, despite the name. It did make me laugh out loud when n frkobg jnf gur bar jub raqrq hc fnlvat “xvyy nyy uhznaf”. I’m not sure whether I liked 1 or 2 better, but I’ll continue to recommend the series.

  35. @ Xtifr: Just wait until you get to the third Murderbot! I just finished it, and it’s a real nail-biter.

    Sticky information is still not sticking. Are people having this problem on other WordPress blogs?

  36. Sticky info seems to be sticking for me. Safari on iPad. On the other hand, it’s tomorrow afternoon in the year 6478, so the issue may have been fixed by now.

    I just scrolled into San Jose and boy are my pixels tired.

  37. My SCA membership is currently lapsed (finances were tight when it came due this year), but I went to Pennsic and still find a lot of value in the SCA. In my opinion, the BoD should come down on the King of Trimaris and his new Master of Defense like the wrath of God. It’s a pity that permanent expulsion is the most they can do to those execrable racists.

  38. (8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS. “. . . and the Extant series which has a really dumb premise.”

    LOL. ::Googles:: Wait, what?!

    BTW her robot “son” is called a “humanich” – what, like a human sandwich?! 😉

    (15) DON’T BLAME THE GAME (OF THRONES). Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about this! I’ve e-mailed my Netflix-savant spouse for help in finding/watching it when it’s there.

    (18) ABOUT THOSE GRAPES. I hadn’t hear of Leckie before I read Ancillary Justice – at least, I hadn’t heard of her work before hearing about that book. And you know what? I was like, “Wow this is great!” The idea that someone can’t hit it out of the park the first time, OMG, how foolish. And the idea that if someone hasn’t heard of someone, there’s something weird/fishy/unpossible – OMG so foolish.

    (20) I WILL SURVIVE. Cute; I like the series of Thor & Darryl videos. 🙂

    (21) INSTANT CLASSIC. Bravo, @Soon Lee!

    – – – – –

    Every Pixel Scroll reminds me I won’t be at Worldcon. ;-(

  39. microtherion: One of many reasons for the name of the group to prominently include the word anachronism is that very thing. I can’t really say I’d want to be in a group that wanted its leaders to behave like actual medieval kings (resists snark about Republican leadership and Ontario’s current leadeship. Or doesn’t, quite. Oh well.).

    I’m much happier in the SCA when the Dukes and Duchesses* are the people I can point to and say “yes, them. Be more like them”

    * Unlike real world Dukedom, SCA Dukedom is conferred after a person has been King/ Queen *twice*. There are a few arguments that they’re more important overall than the actual Royalty even though it’s the royalty which can wield power (and the elected Seneschals who run the show). The quality of one’s Dukes and Duchesses is certainly reflective of local mores and culture, while some Kings and Queens are really not.

  40. One teflection of non autofill seems to be a lack of edit button. Or, since this addendum is from 5151, maybe my edit window just passed looooong ago…

  41. @Lenora Rose: I’ve only noticed a lack of Edit option a couple of times. I’m usually getting (and using, sigh) the Edit option, so I doubt it’s related.

    (I presume “teflection” should be “reflection”?)

  42. My first reaction to @microtherion was that a lot of historical nobles were probably less espousing vile views and more involved in vile tactics for personal power, but that is probably oversimplifying. There are a lot of ways in which the SCA is inauthentic: sanitation, personal cleanliness, most personae coming from the upper class, etc.; I think I remember hearing it referred to as “the good parts version” even before Golding’s book became well-known, but couldn’t swear to this. Not that there haven’t been arguments about it; one such is shown in Murder at the War (mis-republished as Knightfall; author Mary Monica Pulver had a far longer and deeper involvement than I did), but the purist is stuck yielding after being shown that his demand would leave nobody in an arts presentation.

    wrt @18, without any research I can come up with some other “first-appearance” successes: Roberta Macavoy (Hugo nominee Tea with a Black Dragon), Barry B. Longyear (Hugo winner a few minutes after he received the best-new-writer Campbell), Patricia McKillip (first not-specifically-juvenile novel (2nd overall) The Forgotten Beasts of Eld winning the World Fantasy Award). “A Person” was indeed ignorant.

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