Pixel Scroll 8/3/20 Undeserved Loss And Inaccessible Healing

(1) MAKE ROOM, MAKE ROOM! The 2020 Hugo voting report, which begins with a short list of works that got enough votes to be finalists but were disqualified or withdrawn by the author, showed that Ann Leckie declined her nomination for The Raven Tower. In a blog entry today she explained why: “The Hugos and The Raven Tower”.

…I’ve had a taste of that cookie quite a few times now. It is, let me tell you, one delicious cookie. And when the email came telling me that The Raven Tower was a finalist for the Hugo Award, I thought of the books in that longlist, how often I’d had a bite of this cookie, and how many of the amazing books from 2019 were debuts, and/or were books that, when I’d read them, my first thought was, Oh, this should be on the Hugo ballot. More books than there were spots, for sure. And I realized that I could do something about that, at least in a small way.

And so I withdrew The Raven Tower from consideration.

Let me be perfectly clear–I was overwhelmed at the thought that so many readers felt The Raven Tower deserved to be a Hugo finalist. I have been treasuring that for months. And as I’m sure we all know, these have been months during which such treasures have become extremely important.

I also want to be clear that this is not any sort of permanent decision on my part. I make no promises about withdrawing anything in the future. If I am ever so fortunate as to have a work reach the shortlist again, and I see what seems to me a good reason to withdraw, I will. If I don’t, I won’t. It is, after all, one of the sweetest, most delicious cookies around!

(2) A WEE JOKE. From the August issue of Ansible:

The Retro Hugo Statistics reveal that a single Fan Writer nomination for 1944 work (it took three to get on the final ballot and no one had more than six) went to some chap called David Langford. Ho ho, very satirical….

(3) WHO BENEFITS. Much truth in this.

(4) NOW PLAYING. “The Ballad of Ursula K. Le Guin.”

(5) ALWAYS TO CALL IT RESEARCH. “John Boyne accidentally includes Zelda video game monsters in novel”The Guardian has his confession.

John Boyne, the award-winning author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, has acknowledged that a cursory Google led to him accidentally including monsters from the popular video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in his new novel.

Boyne’s A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom opens in AD1 and ends 2,000 years later, following a narrator and his family. In one section, the narrator sets out to poison Attila the Hun, using ingredients including an “Octorok eyeball” and “the tail of the red lizalfos and four Hylian shrooms”….

Dana Schwartz rounded up some graphics to support the story. Thread starts here.

(6) HARD TO KEEP UP. David Gerrold concludes a Facebook post about sff awards with this sentiment:

…Personally, I am delighted that we are suffering from the challenges of success instead of the problems of failure. The level of mediocrity has risen and the level of excellence has truly surpassed the past. So the challenges in front of any author must look insurmountable, even to the long-time practitioners.

As difficult as all this may seem to anyone who writes, it’s still a good thing. Because it’s no longer about the awards — in fact, it never was about the awards. It has always been about the quality of the work.

That there is so much good work being created these days is a victory for the field, and especially for the readers.

I just wish I had enough time to keep up with it all.

(7) ONE MORE TAKE. Robert J. Sawyer has his own issue with George R.R. Martin’s choices while hosting the Hugo ceremony.

…But let me elucidate one category of Martin’s microaggressions that cut across the entire spectrum of humanity by subtly excluding anyone not part of his old guard: his use of nicknames for writers and editors whose prominence was in days gone by, signaling that no matter who you might be, if you weren’t part of the inner circle back in the day, you’ll never really be a true fan (or pro) now.

In Martin’s very, very long commentaries during yesterday’s Hugo Awards ceremony, Robert Silverberg was “Silverbob,” George Alec Effinger was “Piglet,” and the editor Robert A.W. Lowndes was “Doc.” I think Martin also called Isaac Asimov “Ike” during his trips down memory lane, although I’m not going to sift through the hour and forty-five minutes of his rambling again (fully half of the total running time of the Hugo ceremony) to be sure.

You see? Even someone like me — 40 years a selling author in this field, and now 60 years of age — was never part of that ancient, early prodom. I’ve known Robert Silverberg since 1989 and knew Asimov and Effinger, too, but was never close enough to call them by cutesy nicknames.

And if someone like me feels left out after all these decades in the field, imagine how the newer writers, or the writers whose literary background wasn’t the American SF magazines, felt during the Hugo ceremony.

… Yes, it’s a small thing — that’s why it’s called a MICROaggression — and it’s usually done without consciously intending to exclude or put down someone else, but microaggressions ARE pervasive and exclusionary in effect. We’d all do well to guard against committing them.

(8) JOIN THE BOB & DOUG SHOW. Back in their home theater after taking their show on a bit of a road trip, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will discuss their flight to the International Space Station and back aboard the inaugural crewed voyage of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon craft. This press release — “NASA Astronauts to Discuss Historic SpaceX Crew Dragon Test Flight” – tells how to access their news conference.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will discuss their recently completed SpaceX Demo-2 test flight mission to the International Space Station during a news conference at 4:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 4.

The news conference from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston will be broadcast live on NASA Television and on the agency’s website.

This will be a virtual event with no media present, due to the safety restrictions related to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Reporters who wish to participate by telephone must call Johnson’s newsroom at 281-483-5111 to RSVP no later than 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4. Those following the briefing on social media may ask questions using the hashtag #AskNASA.

(9) DRESSING UP PITTCON. The International Costumers Guild did a roundup of contemporary photos and reports about a Worldcon sixty years ago: “Convention Costuming History – 1960”.

The 1960 Worldcon, known as Pittcon (Pittsburgh, PA) promoted their masquerade as a “Costume Cabaret”. Following the show, there would be a glee club performance, a “minstrel show of science fiction flavor”, and then a dance (music provided by a “hi-fi”, rather than a live band like some past years)…

(10) ROBERTA POURNELLE OBIT. Roberta Pournelle, widow of Jerry, passed away last night at the age of 85. Her son Frank Pournelle announced services are planned in the coming week. The Chaos Manor page on Facebook saluted her:

An educator for 30 years at the Dorothy Kirby Center in Commerce, Mother of 4, Grandmother, a friend to many; she made order out of Chaos.

Born Roberta Jane Isdell, she married Jerry Pournelle in 1959. ISFDB shows she wrote a nonfiction piece for Analog in 1988, “High-Tech for the Little Red Schoolhouse.”

(11) SUSAN ELLISON OBIT. HarlanEllisonBooks.com announced today that Susan Ellison (1960-2020) died over the weekend at home, the “Lost Aztec Temple of Mars.” No other details were given. Susan and Harlan married in 1986 and were together 32 years until his death in  2018.

(12) BUARD OBIT. It was recently learned that Patricia Anne Buard died in May 2017 reports the International Costumers Guild. Photos of her masquerade entries at the link.

Patricia Anne Buard. Patricia was a person of several interests, including theater and theology. In addition to having created works of both original fantasy and historical recreations, her short story “Devil’s Advocate” was published in the Marion Zimmer Bradley anthology book “Red Sun of Darkover”, released in 1987.

(13) IVEY OBIT. David Ivey succumbed to his battle with cancer on July 24. The International Costumers Guild describes one of his memorable entries.

David was a Michigan area costumer. His best known creations were Krakatoa, the Volcano God, and St. Helen. Krakatoa appeared at several venues, including Worldcon: Chicon V, in 1991 (photo below). It was quite innovative for its time, featuring several special effects.

(14) ENGLISH OBIT. “Bill English: Computer mouse co-creator dies at 91” – BBC pays tribute.

The co-creator of the computer mouse, William English, has died aged 91.

The engineer and inventor was born in 1929 in Kentucky and studied electrical engineering at university before joining the US Navy.

He built the first mouse in 1963, using an idea put forward by his colleague Doug Engelbart while the pair were working on early computing.

…Bill English became the first person to use a mouse when he built the prototype at Mr Engelbart’s research project at the Stanford Research Institute.

The idea was Mr Engelbart’s, which he described as only being “brief notes” – but the creation was down to Bill English.

His first version was a wooden block with a single button – and underneath, two rolling wheels at 90-degree angles that would record vertical and sideways movement.

“We were working on text editing – the goal was a device that would be able to select characters and words,” Mr English told the Computer History Museum in 1999.

(15) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • August 3, 1951 — The Tales of Tomorrow series premiered with “Verdict From Space”. The series was performed and broadcast live on ABC from 1951 to 1953. There were eighty-five episodes, each twenty-five minutes in length. The series came about through the efforts of Theodore Sturgeon and Mort Abrahams, together with the membership of the Science Fiction League of America. The League who included Theodore Sturgeon, Anthony Boucher, and Isaac Asimov made their work available to the producers.  The screenplay was written by Sturgeon and is based on his own story “The Sky Was Full of Ships” first published in the June 1947 issue of Thrilling Wonder. You can watch it here.

(16) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born August 3, 1841 – Juliana Ewing.  Thirty short stories for us; a score of books with our and other stories, plays, book-length fiction, for children.  Roger G. Lancelyn Green (1918-1987), one of the Inklings, who suggested the name Chronicles of Narnia to C.S. Lewis, called JE’s the first outstanding child-novels in English literature.  Kipling said he knew her novels Jan of the Windmill and Six to Sixteen almost by heart; of Six “here was a history of real people and real things.”  From her novelette “The Brownies” (1865) the Baden-Powells got the idea and name for junior Girl Guides.  Here is a Caldecott cover for Jackanapes (1884).  (Died 1885) [JH]
  • Born August 3, 1904 Clifford Simak. I was trying to remember the first novel by him I read. I’m reasonably sure it was Way Station though it could’ve been City which just won a well-deserved Retro Hugo. I’m fond of Cemetery World and A Choice of Gods as well. By the way I’m puzzled by the Horror Writers Association making him one of their three inaugural winners of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. What of his is truly horror? (Died 1988.) (CE)
  • Born August 3, 1920 P. D. James. Author of The Children of Men which she wrote to answer the question “If there were no future, how would we behave?” Made into a film which she said she really liked despite it being substantially different than her novel. (Died 2014.) (CE)
  • Born August 3, 1922 – Ron Turner.  Some sources say his birthday is the 22nd.  Twelve dozen covers (I’d say “one gross”, but look what trouble that made for Bilbo Baggins), more if you count posthumous uses.  Tit-Bits SF ComicsSpace AceRick RandomStingrayThe DaleksThunderbirds.  Here is Operation Venus.  Here is a John Russell Fearn collection.  Here is Rick Random and the Terror from Spacehere is its opening interior.  (Died 1998) [JH]
  • Born August 3, 1926 —  John Gardner. Author of more Bond novels that one would think possible. He’d write fourteen original James Bond novels, more than Fleming wrote, and the novelized versions of two Bond films. He also dip into the Sherlock universe, writing three novels around the character of Professor Moriarty. Rights to film them were optioned but never developed. (Died 2007.) (CE)
  • Born August 3, 1940 Martin Sheen, 80. So that was who that was! On Babylon 5: The River of Souls, there’s a Soul Hunter but the film originally didn’t credit an actor who turns out to be Sheen. Amazing performance. He’s been in a number of other genre roles but that’s the ones I like most. Though I will single him out for voicing Arthur Square in Flatland: The Movie. (CE)
  • Born August 3, 1946 – John DeChancie, 74.  Best known for nine Castle Perilous and three Skyway books, he’s published ten besides, two dozen shorter stories; if you know he has written as Raul Cabeza de Vaca, and entitled a poem “The Refusal to Mourn the Rejection, by Printed Form, of a Hopeful Writer in Pittsburgh, February, 1992”, you’ll know he can read, and smile, and has been with SF a while.  Some fans become pros; some pros become fans, as he did; some are both, as he has been.  Plays piano, likes the American Songbook and Rachmaninoff; paints, including a portrait of Rachmaninoff.  See this, which includes portraits of Marty Cantor and Chip Hitchcock.  [JH]
  • Born August 3, 1950 John Landis, 70. He’d make this if all he’d done was An American Werewolf in London, but he was also Director / Producer / Writer of the Twilight Zone movie. And wrote Clue which was the best Tim Curry role ever. And Executive Produced one of the best SF comedies ever, Amazon Women on the Moon. (CE)
  • Born August 3, 1953 – Margaret Bechard, 67.  Reed College woman (as an Antioch boy, I think of these things).  Children’s fiction, translated into French, Korean, Swedish.  Two novels, one shorter story for us; Star Hatchling about first contact won a Golden Duck.  Six other novels.  [JH]
  • Born August 3, 1971 – Yoshitoshi ABe, 49.  Graphic artist.  Usually writes his name in Roman letters, with capitalized for the sake of early works he signed “AB”.  Known to sketch with just his finger and an iPad.  Thirty self-published books; artbooks; covers; half a dozen each of animé and manga.  Here is his cover for Sakurazaka’s All You Need Is Kill (A. Smith tr. 2009; hello, Pete Young).  Here is Walking the Dragon from YA’s artbook Gaisokyu (“Palace”; 2007).  [JH]
  • Born August 3, 1972 Brigid Brannagh, 48. Also credited as Brigid Brannagh, Brigid Brannah, Brigid Brannaugh, Brigid Walsh, and Brigid Conley Walsh. Need an Irish redheaded colleen in a genre role? Well she apparently would do. She shows up in Kindred: The EmbraceAmerican GothicSliders, Enterprise (as a bartender), RoarTouched by an AngelCharmedEarly EditionAngel (as Virginia Bryce in a recurring role), GrimmSupernatural and currently on Runaways in the main role of Stacey Yorkes. (CE)
  • Born August 3, 1979 – Evangeline Lilly, 41.  Actress, author.  She was in LostReal Steel, two Peter Jackson hobbit films, three Marvel superhero films – to misquote Winston Churchill, who said a Wasp couldn’t sting thrice?  So far two Squickerwonker short stories for children have appeared, one translated into Portuguese.  [JH]

(17) A TOTAL SURPRISE. After Hastings author Steven H Silver tells Lawrence Shoen about eating reindeer steak in Stockholm as part of “Eating Authors: Steven H Silver”. However, the cuisine is overshadowed in this great anecdote about something that happened at dinner —

SHS: Honestly, there are a lot of things I don’t remember about my most memorable meal because it sticks out not because of the food or the company or even the location, but rather because of an incident that occurred during the meal….

(18) KAIJU KIA. Does ScreenRant have enough fingers and toes to answer the question? “How Many Times Godzilla Has Died (All Movies)”. (And I wonder if it’s more or less than the number of times John Wayne got killed?)

He’s starred in over 30 movies but how many of those has Godzilla actually died in? The first movie is a somber monster movie with the title creature is intended to be a walking metaphor for nuclear weapons. The movie’s huge success led to a franchise that is still running nearly 70 years later, with the monster appearing in sequels, reboots and remakes, in addition to comics, novels and video games where he’s battled against all sorts of creative monsters.

(19) MAD, I SAY. Could it be that Dave Freer’s message in “F-IW” at Mad Genius Club is “When you’re in your time machine on the way back to kill baby Hitler, don’t forget to stop off in the Sixties and take over traditional publishing”?

…Both of these [old] books had a huge effect on my young mind. Yes, I can see the Woke and modern left rubbing their hands (and other parts, never mentioned) in glee, saying ‘Yes! We were RIGHT that we had to capture publishing and exclude any badthink. Just think if we’d had the dominance we have now over traditional publishing, back in 1960, even evil people like Freer would have been won (Hi: I’m Dave the Divider. If it wasn’t for me, so we are told by the self-elected authorities,  sf/fantasy would be united and singing Kumbaya. See what a fate I saved you from!).

(20) CANON FIRED. Meg Elison says you’re excused from reading the SFF “canon.”

Thread starts here. A couple of excerpts —

(21) APOLLO POLITICS. At The Space Review, Dwayne Day discusses an interesting radio program about space history. “Sending Washington to the Moon: an interview with Richard Paul”.

The radio show “Washington Goes to the Moon” two decades ago shed new light on the political battles around the Apollo program, and provided a wealth of material for later historians. Dwayne Day interviews the man who wrote and produced the show.

(22) FANTASY NETWORK FREEBIES. Some of us encountered The Fantasy Network for the first time watching CoNZealand events. They also have lots of free content. For example, the 2017 movie Magellan:

When NASA picks up three signals of extraterrestrial origin coming from within our own solar system, the space agency expedites a mission to investigate the sources. As Earth’s lone emissary, they send Commander Roger Nelson, the test pilot for an experimental spacecraft call the Magellan, assisted by an onboard A.I. named Ferdinand.

(23) MORE, PLEASE. James Davis Nicoll is sure these are “Five Stories That Make You Wish For a Sequel”. But rest easy – none of them involve the megaselling series that have made sff news this week.

Many books function perfectly as standalones; many series end well. Plots are resolved, characters are given their reward or punishment. But there are also books that seem to cry out for a sequel and series that are never finished, leaving readers frustrated. We want more!

Alexis Gilliland’s Rosinante series is on this list —

… I discovered the series is funnier than one would expect from plotlines that feature banking crises, union negotiations, and the sudden collapse of the dominant government in North America. There were just three books in the series—Revolution from Rosinante (1981), Long Shot for Rosinante (1981), The Pirates of Rosinante (1982)—but the setting was expansive and interesting enough that more stories were possible, perhaps elsewhere in Gilliland’s Solar System. Thus far, none have materialized.

(24) DIY. “New ‘Quar-Horror’ Films Show Staying At Home Is Scary Too”.

It’s no exaggeration to say this year feels like a horror movie. And now, a few filmmakers are making it official.

All over YouTube, you can find inventive homemade horror shorts taking the pandemic as inspiration. (They come from Brazil, from Canada and from, well, Funny or Die.) And a new movie Host, filmed over twelve weeks in quarantine and entirely on Zoom, debuted on the horror channel Shudder last week.

Call it “quar-horror.”

Among the most chilling of the YouTube offerings is Stay At Home, part horror movie and part PSA from a filmmaker in New Orleans.

“I literally just grabbed a box, and I set up the camera on a tripod and gave myself a scenario,” says Kenneth Brown, a former Uber driver turned horror auteur. “And the story started to build and build and build.”

Brown went to film school, and you can tell. Based on the myth of Pandora’s Box and the evening news, Stay At Home is elegantly lit and crafted. As of this writing, it’s racked up nearly 200,000 views on YouTube.

Part of what makes Stay At Home so effective — and heartfelt — is the insistent drone of news anchors discussing the mounting carnage. “That’s everything I need to say as far as reaching African Americans, which is the population most vulnerable to this virus,” says Brown, who is Black himself.

But escapism is also the point, say Nathan Crooker and James Gannon. Their upcoming quar-horror, called Isolation, just wrapped principal photography. The two produced the film; Crooker is also its director. Isolation is an anthology; nine interconnected shorts by different directors who filmed their movies using only resources immediately available to them.

(25) PIECEMEAL. According to BBC, “Other mammals lose out in panda conservation drive”.

Saving the giant panda is one of the big success stories of conservation.

Decades of efforts to create protected habitat for the iconic mammal has pulled it back from the brink of extinction.

But, according to a new study, while many other animals in the same landscape have benefited from this conservation work, some have lost out.

Leopards, snow leopards, wolves and Asian wild dogs have almost disappeared from the majority of protected areas.

Driven to near extinction by logging, poaching and disease, their loss could lead to “major shifts, even collapse, in ecosystems”, said researchers in China.

Without the likes of leopards and wolves, deer and livestock can roam unchecked, causing damage to natural habitats, with knock-on effects for other wildlife, including pandas themselves.

By protecting the panda’s forests, conservationists believed they would be protecting not only the charismatic black-and-white animal, but the many other species roaming the same habitat.

But while that has worked for some other wildlife, the efforts do not appear to have worked for large carnivores, such as the leopard and wolf.

A team of researchers now says a broader – holistic – approach is needed to manage the ecosystem in which the panda lives – one that ensures key species don’t lose out.

(26) SHORT LEAPS FORWARD. In the Washington Post, Bethonie Butler interviews Catherine Hardwicke, whose new Quibi series “Don’t Look Deeper” is set “15 minutes into the future” and has a teenage girl as a protagonist who may or may not be an android.  Hardwicke discusses what it was like to direct a story delivered in 10-minute chunks and why star Helena Howard is a “strong and vulnerable” actor Hardwicke enjoyed working with. “Can Catherine Hardwicke get you to watch Quibi?”

Why Quibi? Were the shorter episodes appealing?

Actually, the script was written for short episodes. It was written in chapters. I thought that was quite interesting when I first read the script. I was like, “Wow, that’s fascinating,” because the short format does tie in — it weaves in directly with what’s going on with [Aisha’s] memory. We tell the story in a non-linear way as her memories are being erased and restored. The technology that we’re exploring, showing it on a new technological platform with the vertical and horizontal, it all seemed to kind of work together in an interesting way. So this leap of faith — that [Quibi founder Jeffrey] Katzenberg said let’s try this format — I thought that was an interesting challenge to dive into it and see what happens.

(27) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Dragonball Evolution Pitch Meeting” on ScreenRant, Ryan George explains that when the hero of the film has to collect seven dragonballs to make a wish that dragonballs are as powerful as “blowing out candles on a birthday cake.”

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Michael Toman, John Hertz, Chip Hitchcock, Cliff, Madame Hardy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna Nimmhaus.]

148 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/3/20 Undeserved Loss And Inaccessible Healing

  1. @Jerry Kaufman

    Under 50, and the game CIRCUIT’S EDGE — based on WHEN GRAVITY FAILS and technically working as a bridge between that and the next Marîd novel — introduced me to Effinger back in the early 90s. Read the novels after, and I know I’ve written some of his short fiction in various anthologies.

    I feel like anyone who’s particularly interested in cyberpunk will end up reading Effinger at some point. The new CYBERPUNK 2077 game due later this year will hopefully bring him some more attention as well, as there was a WHEN GRAVITY FAILS sourcebook made for the CYBPERUNK 2020 game, and Mike Pondsmith (creator of the RPG) and Effinger were friends.

  2. [[delayed comment due to Isaias breaking off a tree 3 blocks away — the power company apparently had to shut us off when they finally got to work on it, even though the break was outside the area-including-us that went dark when Irene came through. Hopefully this is the worst that happened to any Filer. I suspect power-network topology is fascinating.]]

    @Andrew: I’ll bet Vinge wishes nobody remembered The Witling.

    @Brad Templeton (taking a secondary aspect of your argument) IIRC there was at least one fiction category in which the least-nominated person won, which makes withdrawal of a leading nominee before the ballots are issued more significant. Also, ISTM that declining an award has a … mixed … history — cf Del Rey snooting the 1986 Best Editor Hugo on behalf of his late wife.

  3. @Brad Templeton:

    Hmm. Well, while I would hope that nobody would say that Jim Burns definitely “only won” because Whelan took the year off, I can’t say that people didn’t wonder if he might have won that year because of that, considering that Whelan won the next 2 years after returning his hat.

    And if Burns had won that year even with Whelan in the field, people would have argued that it was only because the convention was in the UK. The might-have-beens are endless.

    @Madame Hardy: Although people who don’t like The 13 Clocks are monsters, there’s just no getting around that. +1; I overpaid for my copy more than for any other book I own, because I’d been looking for decades and not finding anything even when it was still listed in Books in Print. (I found an acceptably-solid paperback (reissue, but with all the original type and illos) not much later — annoying, but at least it means a newer generation gets a chance to see this work.)

    @Meredith (re Austen as Regency): that was my first reaction also — that “Regency” books are a wave of preserved history rather than contemporary accounts — but I’ve read so little in the genre and era that I can’t argue it, or even whether Heyer etc. represent a Good Parts version short on realism. I note that Bujold dedicated A Civil Campaign to “Jane, Charlotte, Georgette, and Dorothy”, but I’m not guessing whether Bujold saw common ground or was deliberately fusing the bits she liked best.

  4. Some will not vote for something that has won the last 10 times, even if they think it was once again, the best. Eventually the number who would do that builds up.

    Has that ever been true of the Hugos? It seems like the opposite is true and voters have chosen the same winner again and again in some categories. Personally I try to avoid this in my votes, hoping that more people have the experience of being recognized with a Hugo win.

  5. @Chip:

    @Andrew: I’ll bet Vinge wishes nobody remembered The Witling.

    I’ve never actually read that one…

  6. (1) The more I see of Ann Leckie, the more I like her.

    (3) In the long term, I think Ng is right. But actions like Thompsons are understandable, and in the short term help keep us on track so we can get to Ng’s long term. As Gerrold says in (6), the problems of success are hugely preferable to the problems of failure.

    (17) That story deserves wider reading, so I’m repeating the link.

  7. Brad Templeton wrote on Aug 4, 2020 at 3:38 pm:

    I am not enthused with the idea of people declining a nomination to make way for new voices. That is the job of the fans. But more than that, it creates a cloud of doubt, did the winner actually win, or only win because the star stepped aside?

    One solution is to not decline the nomination, but after voting closes, to decline the award (whether you win or not.) As noted, this can be done before the ceremony, so the winner card can say, “The winner was Ann Leckie, who has declined the award, and so it goes to.”

    I think that solution makes the problem worse. If a prominent candidate withdraws early, there might be doubt about the winner. If the withdrawal is announced as you describe, any doubt has been converted to a certainty.

    In addition, early withdrawal opens up another spot on the ballot for someone who, without the withdrawal, might not have appeared at all.

  8. @Andrew: my only excuse is that it was on the MITSFS new-books shelf when I had to spend 2 hrs/week on the desk, back when there were a lot fewer books published (I have recollections of the once-a-month cataloging having 30-40 entries).

  9. @Brad Templeton – While I agree in part with your general point, I don’t think it has much purchase in this specific case. We do have some available evidence, even if Anne Leckie won’t have had it at the time – in the nominations, she was a clear third behind Arkady Martine and Tamsyn Muir. And Martine then won in the final ballot. That doesn’t mean that Leckie absolutely couldn’t have won in the final ballot if she hadn’t withdrawn – but it does strongly suggest that, even then, Martine would still have been favourite to win (and that Leckie would have more than likely been eliminated before the final transfer of votes).

    Now, if el-Mohtar and Gladstone had withdrawn from Novella, there would be more to argue.

  10. @Contrarius, to me the big difference is that Austen wrote in the Regency, while Heyer wrote about the Regency. Other than that, Austen wrote about country gentry, while Heyer characters are frequently of the nobility, and generally a large chunk of the plot occurs in London during the Season. Austen wrote in plain English such as dogs and cats speak; Heyer writes in a glittering constructed language formed of historical slang. The characteristic beats of a Regency include going to (or being refused entrance to) Almack’s, something Austen never mentions.

    Mind you, Heyer is nearly 50 years dead, and the genre has moved far beyond her. But the “Regency novel” is a genre created because people wanted more Georgette Heyer.

  11. John Hertz replies by carrier pigeon:

    @Madame Hardy

    Gordon tells us the circumstances called for giving the audience poetry of substantial length; he couldn’t make up any on the spot; at first couldn’t remember any; knew the audience – in another world, not Earth – wouldn’t understand a word of English; then “The Congo” came to him, which he recited for its rhythm.

    Heinlein did not quote it.

    (Just to remind you, Glory Road was published in 1963; we know what kind of schooling Gordon had; Martin Luther King’s march on Washington was in August 1963, may his memory be for a blessing.)

    Gordon won the crowd’s admiration with “Beating on the table with the handle of a broom! Boom! Boom! Boomlay boom!”

    And that’s all, that’s all; that’s all, that’s all; that’s all he needed, to make a hit – d’accord? (apologies to Brook Benton, “Hit Record” 1962).

  12. @John Hertz:
    “Heinlein did not quote it.”
    “Gordon won the crowd’s admiration with “Beating on the table with the handle of a broom! Boom! Boom! Boomlay boom!””

    Heinlein did quote it. But that’s a nitpick. The year after the March on Washington, Heinlein wrote the infamous letter to F. M. Busby.

    But it seems to me that the American Negroes (through their leaders, at least) are demanding, not “equality before the law,” but “equality, period”— everything the whites have whether the Negro has earned it either racially or individually. One hears demands that Boeing or Douglas or General Motors employ at once the same percentage (or higher) of Negroes than we find in the population—and at every level. Well, anyone who has ever tried to hire skilled help knows that this cannot be done. (I tried to hire Negro engineers during the war; we managed to hire one out of about three hundred jobs. He was a real peecutter, a genius. I found one other candidate, an M.E., whom I turned down because he wasn’t qualified.)

    They are demanding such things as a percentage share of the acting jobs on TV—and demanding along with it that they not be shown in menial jobs. In other words they are demanding that a working dramatist (such as myself) put a very distorted picture of American life on the screen. No, thank you.

    Buz, one of the sacrosanct assumptions is that the two races, white and black, really are “equal” save for environmental handicaps the Negro has unjustly suffered. Is this true? I don’t know, not enough data observed by me, not enough reliable data observed by others, so far as I know. Obviously the two races are different physically, not only in color but in hair, bony structure, and in many other ways—blood types, for example. Must we nevertheless assume that, despite obvious and gross physical differences, these two varieties are nevertheless essentially identical in their nervous systems? I don’t know but I do know that in any other field of science such an assumption would be regarded as just plain silly even as a working hypothesis, more so as a conclusive presumption not even to be questioned.

  13. @Madame Hardy —

    @Contrarius, to me the big difference is that Austen wrote in the Regency, while Heyer wrote about the Regency.

    In my mind, Austen wrote the basic blueprint upon which others have expanded.

    Wikipedia makes this distinction:

    Regency novels are of two main types:

    Classic Regency fiction, or fiction actually written during the Regency era – The works of Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Susan Ferrier, and Maria Edgeworth would fall into this category.

    Modern Regency fiction, or later fiction set within the Regency era. – These include romance novels (called “Regency romances”), historical fiction, detective fiction, and military fiction.

    In both cases the setting is typically Regency England, although the settings can sometimes be extended to the European continent or to the various British colonies of the same time period. Traits often found in both types include a highly developed sense of social standing on the part of the characters, emphasis on “manners” and class issues, and the emergence of modern social thought amongst the upper classes of England.

    If you want to emphasize that distinction — classic vs modern — that’s fine with me. I’m just being more of a lumper than a divider on this.

    Austen wrote in plain English such as dogs and cats speak

    Seriously?? Aw, cmon.

    “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

    There’s not a single thing plain about that.

    The characteristic beats of a Regency include going to (or being refused entrance to) Almack’s, something Austen never mentions.

    Phhhht. That is in no way a Regency requirement. I’ve read tons of Regencies (I’m a fan) that contain no such thing.

    But the “Regency novel” is a genre created because people wanted more Georgette Heyer.

    I could just as easily say that Georgette Heyer books were created because people wanted more Austen (and Trollope, and so on).

  14. To finish off my entry into this somewhat nitpicky question of what it means when a star declines a nomination, the reason I have been baffled at the idea that nobody wonders if the subsequent winner would have won against the withdrawn star, the fairly obvious proof of that is the star doing it. Ann Leckie declares on her blog that she is worried that she would take the award if she didn’t withdraw. Whelan said he was taking a sabbatical to give somebody else a chance. The star makes an explicit — and somewhat arrogant it might be argued — declaration that for a new winner to arise, they have to bow out. If people laugh at the person withdrawing, then it’s probably not true, but if you think it’s a good gesture, that implies you slightly suspect it’s true. I would say it’s a good gesture only if it’s highly likely it’s true. Sort of a catch-22.

    If “Star Wars” had declined their Hugo nomination this year to make room for others, since key, they’re Star Wars, I doubt it would be viewed as a gracious gesture, nor would anybody wonder if the actual winner would have come 2nd to them. (Though it was a pretty poor year for DPLF that Star Wars was able to make the ballot.)

  15. @Brad Templeton

    You’ve been making a really big assumption this whole discussion which I don’t think is supported, and which every other assertion you’ve made hangs on: That Ann Leckie withdrew because otherwise she would have won. Leckie doesn’t talk about winning. Leckie talks about being on the shortlist. That’s the cookie. Whether she might have won? Irrelevant. That wasn’t what she was giving up. Therefore, there’s no arrogance – the only claim she makes is wholly supported: that she would have been on the shortlist otherwise – and no question mark next to the winner, because who would win was never the point. The shortlist was.

  16. Born Roberta Jane Isdell, she married Jerry Pournelle in 1969. ISFDB shows she wrote a nonfiction piece for Analog in 1988, “High-Tech for the Little Red Schoolhouse.”

    1959.

  17. OK, if it’s just about the shortlist, that is right, and rereading her post, I see that I was in error and assigned more motive to her than she said, though that’s less true about some others who have withdrawn, which is what I presumed. With the list expanded to six, one would hope there was less call for this. And certainly if I came 7th in nominations I would feel very happy to be bumped up and probably no feeling of being likely to win. (Though of course, as we saw this year, sometimes the last place in nominations does win. Which might induce regret in somebody who would have won otherwise, but is not an error because it expresses the will of the fans — most of the time.

  18. David Lubkin: I think I’m going with your 1959 date — it occurs to me the children aren’t THAT young.

    But it was an honest mistake. I got the date from the Wikipedia and their footnote says they got it from Locus.

    If I change today, maybe nobody will be repeating my mistake for internet eternity.

  19. @Brad Templeton
    You seem to think awards are decided by the will of the voters; they are not, nor are they ever or ever will be. I believe They are decided by the collective decisions of the runners of the awards, the nominees n the voters; whether Worldcon members, Nobel Committee members or Golden Globe awards/(HFPA) members. Hugo Awards runners hv decided to award to the declared-accepting-winner or No Award(i hv stated this clumsily for brevity, in long form-the highest voted for qualifying person/entity/work according to the criteria in the rules tat the responsible entity/whole person has accepted the nomination/award{my own words from my understanding of the rules, read maybe once {but not in one go} long while ago). If someone declines at any stage, tat is not the collective will of the runners of the Hugo Awards(worldcon members, business meeting attendees/voters, previous decision makers, n the eventual winners/finalists/nominees/qualifying candidates). Also i rmbr reading abt Terry Pratchett deciding/declaring not to accept any awards nomination at some pt becos it wasnt a positive experience (for him). Are you saying you shd be the final arbiter of who should be the finalist (final list) of awards becos declining a place on the finalists of awards is diminishing the integrity of the awards? How to take into account Terry Pratchett, Marlin Brando, Lester del Rey, Richard Feynman n many others who hv either declined or had doubts/thot of declining a prestigious award. (Richard Feyman almost/thot of declining the Nobel Prize for his work on quantum electrodynamics, a one-third share as mentioned in one of his books. He did not becos the reason for declining was to avoid the circus n declining would hv made his life an even bigger circus, im paraphrasing-if im wrong abt this, i will accept correction.) He also never accepted any honorary degrees, unearned honors afaict, which i hvnt researched-only read his books abt this.]
    Your opinion tat a finalist for an award obscures/ignores all these concerns of being a finalist/awardee in all your arguments. Care to state why tat is?

  20. I am a mere 43, and I have read Effinger…but what I read was THE ZORK CHRONICLES a truly surreal media tie-in novel with only minimal bearing on the game ZORK, but which featured a Campbell award, interestingly enough.

  21. @ Madame Hardy

    The line “Beating on the table…” is a quotation from Glory Road. It doesn’t quote “The Congo”; it’s “Scar” Gordon’s paraphrase. So your nit is not.

    The passage in GR is two-thirds of the way into Ch. VIII. The copy I found is the Berkley Books ed’n of Mar 70, thirty-second printing Jun 86, where it appears on pp. 100-103. Gordon narrates. He has defeated Igli.

    [p. 100] About two hours along in the feast, Jocko stood up … and started to recite…. my exploits…. in perfect scansion with complex inner rhymes and rippling alliterations….

    [p. 101] I didn’t eat for quite a while and drank more than too much [a local custom shocked him]…. That’s why I stood up…. there was dead silence…. the musicians were waiting to see what to improvise as background to my poem…. I suddenly realized that I didn’t have anything to say…. There wasn’t a prayer that I could ad lib a poem of thanks…. I couldn’t even remember how to ask my way to the men’s room. So I gave it to ’em, both barrels, in English. Vachel Lindsay’s “Congo”.

    As much of it as I could remember, say about four pages. What I did give them was that compelling rhythm and rhyme scheme, double-talking and faking on any fluffs and really slamming it on “beating on a table with the handle of a broom! Boom! Boom! Boomlay boom!” and the orchestra caught the spirit and we rattled the dishes. [p. 103] The applause was wonderful…. So I gave them Mr. E.A. Poe’s “Bells” for dessert.

    I’m not arguing about “The Congo”. I’m not arguing about Heinlein’s letter to “Buz” Busby. I’m talking about what’s in the book.

  22. No, actually, “Beating on the table with the handle of a broom!” is a close paraphrase from “The Congo”.

    “Beat an empty barrel with the handle of a broom, 5
    Hard as they were able,
    Boom, boom, BOOM,”

    “Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, BOOM,”

    is later in the poem. Oscar is quoting the poem from memory.

    That is the second stanza of the first section, which is called “THEIR BASIC SAVAGERY”. The first stanza, before the “pounding on the table” is

    FAT black bucks in a wine-barrel room,
    Barrel-house kings, with feet unstable,
    Sagged and reeled and pounded on the table,

    That poem is racist as fuck, and Heinlein is quoting it, doing a close paraphrase from memory. That is an authorial choice. Scar Gordon doesn’t exist; it was Heinlein who chose to use and quote from the poem.

  23. I am not under fifty but I adored George Alec Effinger. I think it’s probably a good thing he didn’t manage to publish as piglet yet.

  24. MixMat on August 5, 2020 at 10:34 pm said:
    @Brad Templeton
    You seem to think awards are decided by the will of the voters; they are not, nor are they ever or ever will be. I believe They are decided by the collective decisions of the runners of the awards, the nominees n the voters; whether Worldcon members, Nobel Committee members or Golden Globe awards/(HFPA) members.

    Honey; the Worldcon members ARE the voters. That’s how the Hugo works.

  25. I hadn’t thought of the exclusionary aspect of nicknames before. I remember a complaint on RASFF years ago about a panelist who called an author by the name the author used among friends (not a nickname – a middle name). The poster thought that the panelist was using that name as a shibboleth; at the time, I was unsympathetic, because I figured that a panelist who happened to be a close friend of the author could be excused for referring to his friend by the name he usually used. Now I’m not quite sure. On a panel (or in an awards ceremony) it makes sense to use the name that most people in the audience are going to be familiar with.

  26. John Hertz replies by carrier pigeon:

    @ Madame Hardy

    Don’t swear at me.

    I repeat what I just said before. I’m not arguing about “The Congo”. I’m talking about what’s in the book.

    Heinlein didn’t put that language in.

    I quoted you the pertinent passage.

    Winston Churchill said “Errors in the direction of the enemy should be lightly judged.” I’m against racism. That makes you my ally. Following this advice of his – and there’s plenty from him I don’t agree with – I’ll only say Fight better.

  27. @Meredith: It’s great to see you/read you again! I missed you while GAFIATING from File 770.

    Just a quick comment about your comment to Brad Templeton about his assumption about Leckie’s motivation.

    It’s lovely how well you identified and pointed to that flawed assumption: I cannot help squeeing a bit because I am such a fan of people who are able analyze how assumptions can (badly) affect the quality of an argument (on any position).

    you win the internet

  28. @John Hertz, I didn’t intend to curse at you, and I’m sorry it came across that way. I apologize. I’m afraid I throw “fuck” around pretty casually these days.

    I am a little confused, though; you quoted the pertinent language, and I demonstrated that it was in fact a quote from the poem, with minor changes.

  29. @Madame Hardy

    That poem is racist as fuck, and Heinlein is quoting it, doing a close paraphrase from memory. That is an authorial choice.

    “close paraphrase” — Not trying to speak for John Hertz here, but many of us make a distinction between quoting and paraphrasing.
    But that’s not the real issue, which is “If an author creates a racist character [and whether quoting part of “Congo” to people who can’t understand it doesn’t necessarily mean Oscar is a racist character, IME], does that mean the author is per se racist?”
    Of course not.

  30. I fail to see a meaningful difference between
    “Beating on the table with the handle of a broom!”
    and
    “Beat an empty barrel with the handle of a broom”
    Heinlein is writing Oscar quoting “The Congo”; the fact that Oscar gets it slightly wrong doesn’t mean that he isn’t quoting.

    As to Heinlein’s own racism, I refer to the Busby letter, and to Farnham’s Freehold.

  31. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan on August 6, 2020 at 10:32 am said:

    MixMat on August 5, 2020 at 10:34 pm said:
    @Brad Templeton
    You seem to think awards are decided by the will of the voters; they are not, nor are they ever or ever will be. I believe They are decided by the collective decisions of the runners of the awards, the nominees n the voters; whether Worldcon members, Nobel Committee members or Golden Globe awards/(HFPA) members.

    Honey; the Worldcon members ARE the voters. That’s how the Hugo works.

    Perhaps i shdnt hv clicked post 2 quickly, in my own head i knew wat i meant:
    I misstated/erroneously(mis-believing wat i wrote matched wat i was thinking) left out 1 word from the 1st sentence u quoted me.
    I shd hv written, “You seem to think awards are decided TOTALLY 100% by the will of the voters; they are not, nor are they ever or ever will be.”
    To clarify, the awards n the voters r bound by the rules in place at the time of the awards, the nominees n THE VOTERS. (Bold for emphasis.)
    I think you mistakenly perceived my comment to be only about Hugo awards, i believe it also accts for Oscars, Nobels, Grammys n GGs.
    Brad takes to task Ann Leckie for withdrawing from Best Novel. I believe tat the finalists (final nominee list) r constrained not just by the nominee withdrawing but by the whole tapestry of the rules(however they came to be), the voters(whether worldcon members or Nobel committee or Booker /Clarke judges) n the nominees themselves, as i mentioned earlier. Thus Ann Leckie is one string/thread amongst many interplaying to affect the Best Novel Hugo of 2020. I don agree tat her choice of action is limited by other than her own decisions, watever they r based on-anymore than any one elses in this tapestry, otherwise why did EPH come about. (Tldr: i do know tat worldcon members r voters, but i was making a general point to Brad, so im clarifying it again. [I meant tat the voters will is constrained by the rules in place, n the circumstances such as non-availability or limited availability; example would be Three Body Problem.]
    I hope tat my missing 1 word /phrase) can be forgiven.

  32. @MixMat

    It would be easier to understand you if you typed in a more standard way. I know that my eyes are skating over your long posts, to the point that I am not sure whether/to what extent I agree with you.

    If you’re trying to save your hands, please at least include paragraph breaks (hit [return] twice instead of once). It would also be clearer if you didn’t use text-speak one-letter abbreviations like “u” and “r” –it’s easy for the brain to overlook single letters. Dropping one letter from “that” to produce a real though less common word saves you a little typing, yes, but it puts the burden on the many people you are hoping will read what you post.

  33. Vicki, based on my reading of MixMat’s comments, they are a speaker of English as a second language, so I do my best to comprehend what they are saying without letting my inner proofreading pedant take over (but yes, including a paragraph break every couple of sentences improves any comment’s readability).

  34. John Hertz replies by carrier pigeon:

    @ Madame Hardy
    Thanks.

    I’m talking about what’s in the book.

  35. JJ on August 7, 2020 at 7:55 am said:

    Vicki, based on my reading of MixMat’s comments, they are a speaker of English as a second language, so I do my best to comprehend what they are saying without letting my inner proofreading pedant take over (but yes, including a paragraph break every couple of sentences improves any comment’s readability).

    English is the language i think in and speak as my first language but in my country, it is not the major language-so i hv lost fluency over the yrs; not tat i claim to be particularly literary-minded. Also the time zone leads me to sometimes over-write n under-edit, hence contractions n such.

    Vicki Rosenzweig on August 7, 2020 at 7:48 am said:

    @MixMat

    It would be easier to understand you if you typed in a more standard way. I know that my eyes are skating over your long posts, to the point that I am not sure whether/to what extent I agree with you.

    If you’re trying to save your hands, please at least include paragraph breaks (hit [return] twice instead of once). It would also be clearer if you didn’t use text-speak one-letter abbreviations like “u” and “r” –it’s easy for the brain to overlook single letters. Dropping one letter from “that” to produce a real though less common word saves you a little typing, yes, but it puts the burden on the many people you are hoping will read what you post.

    Sorry, i wrote the above before i read your comment. I reply as I do because i’m on mobile phone here. To elaborate/edit takes too long and too much skull time when my previous comments over the many years I have lurked/de-lurked here have not gotten much replies. (<100 comments, i believe-maybe even less than 50 comments that i have made. Both mine and in response to me.) In my recollection.

    I will consider your feedback and adjust my future actions. Thank you.

    Edit: to add an off-topic item not from this scroll, i refrained from commenting on a somewhat insulting comment (i thoight) regarding my country in a previous scroll, because i considered the commenter’s acknowledged brain trauma. I thank you for defending me but… time limit…

  36. I do wish you (@JJ) had conveyed to me your impression that I was a not an English 1st language speaker(?)/thinker; sorry my vocabulary fails me here-we could have had a discussion where i tried to convince you of my (somewhat limited) erudition and non-literary inclinations, not my linguistic pathology(i don’t know what word is accrurate to convey my meaning here and its 1am now, so i’ll end here-with sincere gratitude for you two engaging this far and your indulgence/forebearance.)

  37. @Madame Hardy

    As to Heinlein’s own racism, I refer to the Busby letter, and to Farnham’s Freehold.

    Which are not germane to whether what Oscar says means that Heinlein is or is not racist, which is what I was referring to.

    But . . .
    Inferring Heinlein’s attitudes on race from what the characters in Farnham’s Freehold do and say is fraught with the same problems. See Niven’s comments on such trains of thought.

  38. @Bill,
    I’m not judging “what characters do or say”. I’m judging Heinlein’s choice, writing in 1963, to write an If This Goes On that is a white man’s paranoid fantasy of “the black men want to rape our women and castrate our men.”

  39. Do you believe Jonathan Swift to have been a cannibal, because of his suggestion that Irish families eat their children? (Hint: Farnham’s Freehold is a satire, just like A Modest Proposal, not an “If This Goes On” story.)

  40. @ bill

    Do you believe Jonathan Swift to have been a cannibal, because of his suggestion that Irish families eat their children? (Hint: Farnham’s Freehold is a satire, just like A Modest Proposal, not an “If This Goes On” story.)

    Your post inspired me to poke around the internet and find out what people think about Farnham’s Freehold. It turns out that most readers are just plain uncomfortable with the book, regardless of whether they defend it or attack it. The word “satire” was never used in tandem with the book.

    OTHER COMMENTS: The SF Encyclopedia says that Freehold is a “long and opinionated novel of ideas [that] invokes rather unpleasantly a black despotism in the USA of the Far Future” and, according to Wikipedia’s summary, the New Republic, “while conceding Heinlein’s desire to ‘show the evils of ethnic oppression’, states that in the process, Heinlein ‘resurrected some of the most horrific racial stereotypes imaginable’, ultimately producing ‘an anti-racist novel only a Klansman could love'”.

  41. @Rob Thornton

    It turns out that most readers are just plain uncomfortable with the book

    ,
    Present company included.

    The word “satire” was never used in tandem with the book.

    Kirkus Reviews said, on the book’s release, “Heinlein attempts to mix science-fiction with social comment, satire and a reversal of our color problem . . . “. Patterson’s biography of Heinlein calls it satire.

  42. Patterson is not an impartial witness. See his insistence that Heinlein’s first marriage must have been open because Companionate Marriage was a well-known book.

    It’s worth noting that Jonathan Swift was Irish. He was a member of the ethnicity he was proposing to wipe out. He wasn’t saying “Let’s kill your babies”, he was saying “You’re killing our babies”.

    If you write a “satire” in which another race that is already the subject of these slanders lives up to the white-supremacist fantasy, you’re propagating the slander, not satirizing it. White people’s go-to for several centuries has been “They want to rape white women”, with a bonus of “They’re cannibals” when it could be shoehorned into the narrative.

  43. MixMat: I do wish you (@JJ) had conveyed to me your impression that I was a not an English 1st language speaker(?)/thinker; sorry my vocabulary fails me here-we could have had a discussion where i tried to convince you of my (somewhat limited) erudition and non-literary inclinations, not my linguistic pathology(i don’t know what word is accrurate to convey my meaning here and its 1am now, so i’ll end here-with sincere gratitude for you two engaging this far and your indulgence/forebearance.)

    I was raised by a teacher (with all the pedantry which frequently comes along with that), so when I first started engaging on the internet years ago, I had that internal proofreader getting really annoyed with people who didn’t use what I considered to be correct grammar and spelling.

    Since then, I’ve become a lot more aware of the challenges that other people may face, including dyslexia, dysgraphia, and not having English as a first language. I very deliberately don’t use a smartphone for Internet posting because I’m verbose (yes, I know that you are all shocked, SHOCKED! by this admission 😛 ) and I can’t deal with the limitations of one-finger typing, but I am aware that may not be an option, or a concern, for other people.

    That inner pedant is still there and very active, but I try very hard to sit on him and keep him from prejudicing my perceptions of what other people contribute. I’m sad that you feel your contributions haven’t been noticed in the past — I’ve noticed and appreciated them, even if I haven’t always felt that they required a response from me.

  44. @MixMat —

    To elaborate/edit takes too long and too much skull time when my previous comments over the many years I have lurked/de-lurked here have not gotten much replies.

    I know my reply to this may end up feeling like I’m jumping on, but —

    I mostly skim over your posts and don’t bother to reply or even think about them much because trying to translate your shorthand into English is an annoyance that I don’t really need — it’s an investment of spoons that I’m mostly not willing to make. You might find that you get more responses if you make the effort to write out your ideas more clearly, so they are easier for others to understand.

  45. @JJ

    Thank you. I seldom engage with you because your experiences and viewpoint are so divergent from mine, yet are so familiar to me, (this is a simplified reaction to you).

    I have felt unable to respond to your comments here for the last couple of years in a timely fashion, l’esprit de escalier or watever the phrase Neil Gaiman used.

    Its that you take time and care to formulate your response to others that i have noticed here and that i have not the time to respond in due fashion that i have not commented here even more.

    Also, i had work to occupy my time previously, so i ‘read and run’. I also split my time between the comics fandom and (currently) kpop fandom, so i haven’t been consistent in commenting here. Herewith, why i keep going on in this scroll to reply to whomever engages. It feels unburdensome, the time factor-sorry @mike.

    @Contrarius
    I acknowledge and accept your reply. Please note i dont take it as jumping on me.

    Again, if this had been the widespread replies to me everytime beforehand when i commented-i would have taken it into account every time i commentrd thereafter.

    As it is, i think that i must consider whether i should continue commenting here when my time zone is at a disadvantage/synonym-meaning-untimely to my commenting here.(i know what inmean, but am hurrying so not taking longer to clarify.) Thanks for the response. I will reply to any other responses in comments here (or any communication elseweb that i know of). [FYI I dont clickity.]

  46. @MixMat, thank you for breaking up your comments into paragraphs!

    Don’t worry about the time disparity; that’s the advantage of online forums. (Back in the day, we used to call them “bulletin boards” because they functioned very much like one.) Someone posts something, someone else wanders by some time later and comments, and so forth, and thus are healthy discussions made. Never feel bad about being “late” or anything like that.

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