Pixel Scroll 8/1/16 If You Like It, Put A Ringworld On It

(1) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOOK. George R.R. Martin looks back on “The Long Game… of Thrones”, which came out 20 years ago today.

…Reviews were generally good, sales were… well, okay. Solid. But nothing spectacular. No bestseller lists, certainly. I went on a book tour around that same time, signing copies in Houston, Austin, and Denton, Texas; in St. Louis, Missouri; in Chicago and Minneapolis; and up the west coast to San Diego, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Portland, and Seattle. Turnouts were modest in most places. The crowds didn’t reach one hundred anywhere, and at one stop (St. Louis, if you must know), not only was attendance zero but I actually drove four patrons out of the bookshop, allowing me to set my all time “bad signing” record at minus four (on the plus side, I had the time for long friendly talks with the readers who did show up).

But my oh my, things have changed a bit in these last twenty years….

(2) OBAMA ON BEING A NERD. “President Barack Obama on How To Win The Future” at Popular Science.

PS: Do you consider yourself a nerd and, if so, what’s your nerdiest pastime?

BO: Well, my administration did write a pretty detailed response to a petition, explaining why we wouldn’t build a real-life Death Star, so I’d like to think I have at least a little nerd credibility built up.

What’s remarkable is the way “nerd” is such a badge of honor now. Growing up, I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid who read Spider-Man comics and learned how to do the Vulcan salute, but it wasn’t like it is today. I get the sense that today’s young people are proud to be smart and curious, to design new things, and tackle big problems in unexpected ways. I think America’s a nerdier country than it was when I was a kid—and that’s a good thing!

(3) SWAP HIS SCARF FOR THE GARTER. John Harvey has started a petition at Change.org calling for Tom Baker to receive a knighthood.

After reading a recent edition of Doctor Who Magazine, the stark realisation set in that after a life time in entertainment and tireless charity work, visits to hospitals and hospices, the living legend that is Tom Baker has not been officially recognised in any way shape or form.

Tom Baker’s commitment to the role of the 4th doctor and his many charitable acts since and brightened the lives of children and adult’s everywhere.

In an age where the like’s of James Corden can receive honours so early in their career, I think it’s a travesty. I’d like to try to change that and right this wrong.

(4) LOCUS POLL. The July issue of Locus published the survey rankings – Black Gate posted the top 10 in the magazine category.

  1. Asimov’s SF
  2. Tor.com
  3. Fantasy & Science Fiction
  4. Clarkesworld
  5. File 770
  6. Lightspeed
  7. Analog
  8. Black Gate
  9. Uncanny
  10. Strange Horizons

(4) MORE ON JOYCE KATZ. As big a loss as it is to fanzine fandom, there are gaming journalists who felt Joyce Katz’ death just as keenly. Chris Kohler of WIRED paid tribute: “Joyce Worley Katz, Pioneering Videogame Critic, Has Passed Away”.

Joyce Katz, who along with her husband Arnie Katz and friend Bill Kunkel founded the first magazine devoted to videogames, has passed away at the age of 77.

Katz, who wrote professionally under her maiden name Joyce Worley, was senior editor of the magazine Electronic Games from its founding in 1981 until just prior to its shuttering in 1985. She went on to take senior editorial roles at gaming publications throughout the 1990s, including Video Games & Computer Entertainment and the relaunched Electronic Games…..

Joyce had continued to write about games regularly until the closing of the second run of Electronic Games in the mid-90s. In the August 1994 issue of that publication, Katz made note of the industry’s worrying shift away from “games for everyone” to a hyper-violent boys’ club: “Tetris and Shanghai charmed women, Mortal Kombat did not.”

It was a prescient column in more ways than one. Katz looked forward to a future in which online gaming would make women “feel less threatened by on-lookers who might tease or criticize their performance in a game.” Sadly, it did not turn out to be that simple. But she also predicted that easier-to-use hardware coupled with better software design would keep girls gaming their whole lives, a future she did live to see.

“Somewhere between age 9 and 12, we lose the ladies,” Worley wrote. “We may never get back the teenaged girls, but hopefully we can arrange gaming so that we won’t lose them in the first place.”

(5) JUST. ONE. BOOK. Margaret Elysia Garcia and friends are still processing the avalanche of donations that came in response to their appeal for people to send books to a rural California school library.

I am bone tired and weary. I have biceps I haven’t had since my kids were toddlers. I am happy to say we have only 20 more boxes to open at the library–and hopefully none will come tomorrow. We are few people and we need to catch up. The generosity is overwhelming.  Thank you. Thank you cards have begun and imagine they will take the better part of the fall semester to complete. I hope a thank you here is also enough as some boxes came in damaged in parts and addresses were not always readable. Please be patient. I’ve had a few emails from people thinking perhaps that we have 200 people and a sophisticated technology set up to respond. Alas we have a couple dozen people who donate time when they can. And we have one very exhausted me who has some reinforcements coming this week thank goodness.

(6) SPACEDOCK. See how the original model Enterprise was restored.

This is a short film showing the process of the detail paint work on the restoration of original U.S.S. Enterprise miniature. The work was done between the 11th and the 23rd of April 2016 at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy facility. The model is now on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

 

(7) IT’S TOO LATE, BABY, IT’S TOO LATE. Yesterday, when it wasn’t, Timothy the Talking Cat posted, “Timothy says: Hugos! Vote! Vote now! Before it is TOO LATE!”

So I say to you all: Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government! You have nothing to fear but the lurking horror in your basement! We shall fight them on the bleachers! Countrymen lend me your ears! But above all in the immortal words of Theodore Cruz: Vote yourself conscious!

(8) THE HORROR. Jason P. Hunt did a roundup of all the horror genre news that came out of San Diego Comic-Con at SciFi4Me.

“Want to see something really scary?”

Remember that line from The Twilight Zone? Well, we have a scary big pile of news on the horror side of things from Comic-Con International in San Diego.

(9) TITLES TO BE UNLOCKED. Thanks to Petréa Mitchell we know the list of achievement trophies in No Man’s Sky:

No spoilers, other than the names of the trophies themselves. They’re all named after sf works. There’s a mixture of old and new, classic and obscure, Puppy-approved and degenerate SJW… even one (out of 23) written by a woman.

For example,

Babel-17

Attain ‘Confused’ status in Words Collected

The Star Beast

Attain ‘Archivist’ status in Uploaded Discoveries

(10) WHALE OF A TAIL. This will unquestionably float somebody’s boat — “Channing Tatum to Play Mermaid in ‘Splash’ Remake for Disney”.

Disney is moving forward on a remake of the 1984 film Splash with an interesting twist: Channing Tatum will star as the mermaid character that was played by Daryl Hannah while Jillian Bell will play the character originally played by Tom Hanks.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • August 1, 1819 – Herman Melville. It took John Huston to get Ray Bradbury to read the book.

(12) SFWA GRANTS. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is taking applications for grants for worthy projects until October 1.

Last year the Givers Fund received enough donations to provide grants to projects such as the LaunchPad astronomy program, the Alpha Workshop for Young Writers, the Clarion West Writers Workshop, and the SFWA Star Project, among others, in the program’s first year.

The Grants Committee evaluated the multiple proposals on a number of criteria, the most important of which was how well they served the genre community and its writers. For example, the SFWA Star Project looks for a crowdfunded initiative each month to support by spreading the word as well as with a small donation. The innovative effort underscores SFWA’s leadership in new publishing models, including being the first writing organization to take crowdfunding as professional credentials.

This year we are continuing to provide grants to worthy projects. If you have a nonprofit project that you think would benefit the writing community, please submit it to cfo@sfwa.org.

Apply Here

Application forms must be submitted by October 1st. Decisions on recipients will be finalized in November of this year and applicants notified by year’s end.

(13) CHEER YOURSELF DOWN.

(14) TOR EBOOK. The Tor.com Free eBook Club Pick for August is The Just City by Jo Walton.

Sign up for the Book Club, or sign in if you’re already registered, to download the book (available only from August 1 through 7).

(15) WHAT IS PLANNING. Nigel Quinlan’s “Outline Planning Permission Part 2” went up on Writing.ie today.

…I challenged myself to PLAN. I wrestled with the big issues. What was planning? Was coffee planning fuel? What did it mean to plan? When was I getting another cup of coffee? Wasn’t planning just writing, only without the fun? (No, that’s making radical revisions because you wrote without a proper plan, Nigel.) I drank coffee. I read up on planning. Some was useful, some wasn’t. It became apparent that I was going to have to devise a method that worked for me.

This is where I’m at, by the way. I’m, er, making up my planning as I go along.

I got loads of notebooks and spread them around my desk in a very satisfactory manner.

Then I wasted time on the internet. Then I stopped because procrastination gets depressing after a while.

I wrote out the story so far.

I filled a big page with the names of all the characters so far and indicated roughly their relationships.

I made a tentative list of characters who have yet to appear and gave some indication of their roles and relationships.

I made a list of settings and gave rough ideas of how the story moves from place to place and what occurs there. I gave detail where I had them and left things vague where I didn’t, and decided not to worry about the vague bits – that’s rather the point of planning: find the vague bits and fill ‘em in.

I made a list of words I associated with the story as a whole. Random words, some reflecting theme, some mood, some character, some representing nothing yet.

I wrote out my ideas for the rest of the story, asking questions, posing alternatives, highlighting some of the stuff that needed work and trying to remain calm at the vast spaces that remained vague and undefined.

I sat and surveyed what I had done. And it was a start….

(16) DISCWORLD CON. The North American Discworld Convention 2017 announced yesterday –

Hotel Contract Signed!

We are delighted to announce that the North American Discworld® Convention 2017 will be held in New Orleans, LA, September 1–4 next year. Membership and hotel details will be announced in the next month, but for now, save the dates and start contemplating which costumes you’ll want to wear as you attend The Genuan Experience!!

(17) DID THE EARTH MOVE FOR YOU? Speaking of the earth moving (as we did in a recent Scroll), the BBC just did a report on continental drift accompanied by speculative animated maps tracing their movement back 750 million years and forward 250.

Science calls it “Pangaea Proxima”. You might prefer to call it the Next Big Thing. A supercontinent is on its way that incorporates all of Earth’s major landmasses, meaning you could walk from Australia to Alaska, or Patagonia to Scandinavia. But it will be about 250 million years in the making.

For Christopher Scotese at the University of Texas at Arlington, the fact that our continents are not stationary is tantalising. How were they arranged in the past – and how will they be positioned in the future?

“Fifty million years from now, Australia will be in collision with southeast Asia to a much larger degree,” he says. Africa will also be pushing right up against southern Europe, while the Atlantic will be a far wider ocean than it is today.

(18) GLAZE NOTE. In case anyone wondered if it was possible, the BBC explains “How to break glass with sound”. Step one: not with one’s voice.

You’re probably familiar with the urban legend: the opera singer ascends the stage and clears his throat. His audience cheer and wave their champagne flutes in anticipation. He opens his mouth – and a roomful of glasses smash to pieces. We have no record that this has ever actually happened, but there were rumours that the legendary tenor Enrico Caruso could quiver a glass into a million pieces.

(19) SHARKNADO 4, THE COMPLETE SPOILER REVIEW. Be honest, you weren’t going to watch it anyway, so why not read Jordan DesJardin’s “Movie Review: ‘Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens’” at ScienceFiction.com?

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but the words ‘Shark-ception” definitely comes to mind. ‘Sharknado: The 4th Awakens’ culminates is probably the most ridiculous ending of any of these films to date, and there is nothing to not love about it. If you’re a fan of the first three, you’ll love this one. And really if you’ve never seen a ‘Sharknado’ movie before (in which case, what is wrong with you, get on that!), it is really difficult not to have a good time while watching this movie. We highly recommend pairing this movie (and the previous three) with a large couch, several good friends, some snacks and drinks, and you are all set for one hell of a ride!

(20) HOLODECK. You’ve just been drafted into the crew of the Enterprise. Would you rather wear a redshirt or a gray coverall?

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Gary Farber, Petréa Mitchell, Mark-kitteh, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

1,116 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/1/16 If You Like It, Put A Ringworld On It

  1. A quick manga (well, manhwa) recommendation: Hooky by Míriam Bonastre Tur. I’ve just discovered it and read only the first 2 chapters so far (out of the 71 available) but so far it looks good enough to get a mention. The art style reminds me a bit or our resident Wombat of Color. (As an aside, I did not know until just now that she was the origin of “the LOL Wut pear.” We are graced with a living legend! (RedWombat, that is, not Miriam Bonastre Tur.))

  2. I think I fell through the cracks. I sent my registration in and got my confirmation the same time as Cora, and she’s already voted. It’s been over a week. Do you think I should resend or inquire, or simply cease to care entirely? I wonder if they’re bothering to send everyone a different URL/link to the voting or if I could use a generic one. Meh, it’s Friday night, got better things to do.

    Puppies and the alt-right (but I repeat myself*) seem to have constructed their own reality, presumably to make themselves a happy place. Yet, they seem ever more miserable. It’s not working, but they double down on what doesn’t work. And from what I’ve seen of them, they got NO basis to make fun of how other people look.
    JCW should be happy; after all, Jesus said to turn the other cheek, love those who hate you, rich people don’t go to heaven, and be glad if you’re persecuted.
    Also, only Gawker the website is closing; all the other websites are going on, and the Gawker workers are being given new jobs. And they were bought by a Spanish-speaking company**! The bankruptcy/sale means they don’t have to pay a dime to the sleazeballs who were out to get them and gut the First Amendment. But nuance has always escaped Puppies.

    That Scalzi article is good. Also see the related one by Wendig.

    *thanks, Mark Twain
    ** GOOOOOOAL!

  3. Chip Hitchcock on August 20, 2016 at 4:47 am said:
    The Wind in the WIllows‘ Water Rat makes a comeback: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/08/19/490645511/this-weekend-water-voles-are-making-a-splash-in-england

    I was in that general area after Interaction to see another effort: restoring the English otter. Beautiful territory; nice to see efforts to restore it are continuing.

    My family’s farm is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, about 25 miles from there. It is indeed good to see these conservation efforts.

  4. Book recommendation: THE GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD, by Richard Levesque. Originally published in 2013, I got it as part of the 2016 Immerse Or Die offer from Storybundle.

    Post-apocalyptic (plague variety), sole (almost) survivor story, with a YA narrator. Scarlett Fisher is a 15 year old in Los Angeles when a fast-spreading fungal plague leaves her seeming to be the last person alive in LA, or possibly the world. Not quite, it turns out, but other survivors have their own agendas, ones that threaten Scarlett’s own life and freedom.

    That’s a fairly standard storyline, but Levesque is very good at presenting Scarlett’s viewpoint and reactions, and depicting the plague’s swift progress and then the breakdown of society’s infrastructure and systems. Scarlett’s presented as a determined character, but not a super-capable one. When she tries to teach herself to use a bow and arrow, her skill only progresses from awful to mediocre. She makes mistakes, with consequences. She has crying jags, but eventually picks up and soldiers on.

    I read it in one sitting. Been quite a while since I’ve done that with any book.

  5. @Bruce Arthurs

    Thank you, Bruce. I love that post-apocalyptic kind of stuff. [adds to wish list]

  6. Hi, all. I am in desperate need of advice, and was hoping the File 770 community might help me out.

    I sent my novel manuscript, a lesbian paranormal romance / urban fantasy, to a reputable small press and, to my delight, got an offer! But then I received the proposed contract, and it has a number of provisions that are making me unwilling to sign it as is. What should I do? How do I do it?

    It seems like I have four options right now:

    1) Find an agent. I’ve read that approaching agents with an offer in hand makes you much more likely to find one quickly. But how do I find one? How can I know it’s a good agent who will look out for my interests?

    I’ve been told you’re supposed to find agents who handle authors similar to yourself, but I’m not having much luck yet looking at book acknowledgements or googling “literary agent” “[other author’s name]”. Should I literally just start googling “literary agent” “LGBT” “fantasy” and sending out queries?

    And wouldn’t an agent want to read the book before they agree to take me on, and won’t that take a while?

    2) Hire a contract lawyer with experience in publishing contracts. There are apparently ones who will do this for a flat fee. Is it worth the money if the flat fee would eat up most of the advance? Will that flat fee include negotiating on my behalf? How do I know the lawyer is a good one?

    3) Join an organization like the Author’s Guild. They offer contract review as part of their services, which sounds like it means they will look over your contract and tell you what to ask for in terms of changes. This sounds like it could be useful, but would still leave me in the position of negotiating on my own behalf, and I have no experience doing that and feel like I would be negotiating from a position of relative powerlessness.

    4) Simply try to negotiate myself. After a lot of internet research, I think I’m actually reasonably aware of what the pitfalls in the contract are, but as I said I have no experience as a negotiator and am feeling powerless here. However, a friend of mine who is a published author who has had bad experience with agents has recommended this route, saying if I present my reasonable concerns and they respond unfavorably, I have an answer in terms of whether I want to work with them.

    I’m not sure which of these options is the best one, or the best way to go about pursuing whatever is the best one. The whole experience is making me extremely anxious and upset. I am feeling a perhaps illusory time pressure to find a solution immediately lest the offer somehow go away, rendering all this moot.

    And what do I say to the publishers if they contact me while I’m trying to figure all this out or seeking representation and ask what’s up?

  7. I would suggest being proactive — contact the publisher, thank them for the draft contract, and say that — being inexperienced — you are having someone look at it for you. No reputable publisher would react badly to that.

    An agent has to be a better option than a lawyer, but I’m not up to speed on US agents in this area. In my experience, publishers’ hearts sink at getting a lawyer’s response to a contract — not because they are out to cheat the author but because lawyers tend to nitpick their way through the contract (what do you mean by “book”; what do you mean by “mean”?). Of course, disreputable publishers will feel the same — but I think they would fear an established agent much more.

  8. An agent would be a better option than a lawyer. The biggest issue I see with the Author’s Guild is their focus is, last I heard, on Hollywood, which has different pitfalls from book publishing; you want someone conversant in your genre, ideally, and in fiction publishing definitely. Self-representation is fine if you are genuinely sure you have caught all the pitfalls. (of course, an agent may assure you something is not really a pitfall that is still not to your taste.)

    I *think* some agencies take a one time contract negotiating fee (still usually a cut of the contracted amount) if they help you out with an offer-in-hand, instead of creating an ongoing relationship. But unlike the rest of this, that’s one I’m less sure about.

    You can probably e-mail a few writers explaining your issue and asking if they have an agent and if they recommend approaching him/her. Under those circumstances, and when you make it clear you’re not trying to tell their agent “Your client recommended me!” when they didn’t, most authors will be happy to help (though authors being busy, some may not respond, or respond timely).

  9. @ Kyra

    Without knowing further details I can’t give specific advice, but I can tell you about my own experiences with small press contracts for lesbian fiction.

    1) The chances are, you will not find an agent willing to take on the contract negotiations for you because the money involved will be too small. I don’t know what the amounts are that you’re being offered, but a good estimate is whether 10% (or is it 15% nowadays?) of your advance would pay for the time to handle the contract, much less anything else. In my experience, it is not usual for authors publishing with small LGBTQ presses to have agents for those books.

    2) All contracts are negotiable. Yes, you need to go in to the process being willing to lose that particular chance at being published, but it’s worse to be locked into a bad contract than not to be published at all.

    3) All initial contracts contain unacceptable clauses. It is the nature of publishing contracts that they start from a point that favors the publisher and are then dragged to a place where they are acceptable to the author. To some extent, this is a test to see if you know what you’re doing. Any reputable publisher will respect an author who knows a bad clause when they see one.

    4) What I did when I was offered an initial contract that contained a number of unacceptable clauses and a number of unacceptably ambiguous ones, was to review the SFWA web page of resources for writers (http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/information-center/) especially the “model contracts” page (http://www.sfwa.org/category/sample-contracts/). Not all of the language will be relevant for a small press book, but it explains the various clauses, what they mean, what they should say, and pitfalls to avoid.

    5) The one general piece of advice I’ll give on specifics is: a contract should be structured, to some extent, like a computer program. All possible events should be accounted for, and any pathway should have clearly identified triggers and consequences. For any right that the publisher holds, it should be clearly spelled out what you get in exchange for that right. (Arbitrary example: if the contract gives the publisher audiobook rights, then it should include exactly what you get paid for the sales of audiobook copies.) If a contract gives the publisher right of first refusal on your next book, it should be clearly spelled out what constitutes “refusal” and what the limits are within which they have to exercise that right. Any right for which the details are not spelled out should be included in a clause to the effect of “all rights not explicitly granted under this contract are reserved to the author.”

    While confidentiality agreements mean I can’t discuss the specifics of what I negotiated in the contract for Daughter of Mystery, I think it’s within my power to note that I replied to the first draft of the contract with a 4 page discussion of what changes I requested, requests for clarifications, and requests for rewording to remove ambiguity. All my required changes were made before I signed.

  10. Kyra, my experience with contracts has been with non-fiction publishers, and I agree with other comments that most contract terms can be negotiated. Many publishers are using a standard form and expect that some terms will be changed. Some specific advice, based on horror stories from some fiction authors: Watch out for clauses that give the publisher the control over your future work. One author didn’t realize that a contract not only gave the publisher the right to the next book in a series, it gave the publisher the rights to anything involving the characters in the book. The author continued writing, but had to create new characters and a new series. If you don’t have an agent or lawyer review it, do you have a friend who enjoys nitpicking things? That type of person can be great in reviewing this type of document to see just what might be lurking. Good luck, and congratulations on getting an offer!

  11. @Kyra
    I second @JJ’s advice to contact Laura Resnick. 2nd Heather Rose Jones on SFWA contract links.

    I also recommend checking out Kristin Kathryn Rush http://kriswrites.com on contract terms for things to look out for. ETA: She’s written about them in the last couple months under business musings.

    ETA: Good luck and congrats.

  12. Thanks for the notice, JJ.

    Kyra, it looks like you have plenty of good advice here already. I’ll add that Brian Keene has expressed a willingness to point authors in the right direction on contract issues. If nothing else pans out, you might try contacting him.

    I listen to The Horror Show with Brian Keene. He occasionally talks about contract issues.

    Regards,
    Dann

  13. @Kyra, I have experience with various types of negotiations, but none at all with book contracts. However, it’s pretty clear that you’ve done sufficient research and are more in need of general advice.

    Perhaps a basic problem is feeling disadvantaged, that your desire to be published is much greater than their desire to publish you, leaving you in a weak spot. That isn’t actually true. They believe your work is good enough to merit their investment. Now you just need to negotiate terms.

    They will not think poorly of you if you reach out to say you have doubts about multiple provisions and will have them written out and in their hands on x date.

  14. Firstly, congratulations Kyra!

    Secondly, my father’s surgery is tomorrow so I am on a bus to his place and currently trying not to laugh aloud at http://thepokeymansproject.tumblr.com wherein Noelle Stevenson, who knows nothing about Pokémon, attempts to draw them based on reader-submitted descriptions. Her commentary is GOLD.

    I have three books for tomorrow (Tasha Turner will be pleased to know that two are current), knitting, and a teddy for snuggling. As well as my trusty phone and charger. I’ll try not to spam ya like I did last time I spent the whole damn day in the hospital.

  15. @Dawn Incognito
    My thoughts are with you and your dad. May surgery go well and he have a speedy and complete recovery. May your reading be enjoyable, hopefully it will be less racist and sexist than last time. Please spam us. We are here for you.

  16. @Dawn Incognito

    It’s only spam if it’s unwanted communications! Best wishes for you and your father!

  17. It’s only spam if it’s unwanted communications!

    oh

    That makes me misty. I’m sure one or two or five of you are familiar with imposter syndrome and I often feel like I should just shut the hell up. But on the other hand I can’t discuss most of my nerdly pursuits IRL and you guys are so smart and witty and interesting. So, thank you very much!

    I’m trying not to worry too much but on the other hand cardiac surgery OMFG. Some worry is appropriate. Which is why teddy comes to the hospital with me and fuck anyone who looks strangely at a middle-aged woman cuddling a teddy bear.

    ObSF: um, I’m enjoying City of Blades so far? I had some fridge logic (warning: TV Tropes) moments about the latest Person of Interest (S02E13 for the curious) that I’m trying to let slide Because TeeVee? (I have huge problems with The Ticking Clock because it always lasts longer than the allotted time. I’m always tempted to bust out the stopwatch.)

    Lol that got away from me.

  18. @Dawn Incognito
    Imposter Syndrome strikes most of us. Please don’t stop participating here.

    One is never too old to need a teddy. Never. Worry is not out of place when someone is having surgery.

    Glad your enjoying City of Blades

  19. @kyra
    Kristine Kathryn Rusch is very much in favour of hiring a lawyer specialising in publishing contracts rather than an agent, since she apparently had bad experiences in that area. She also blogs a lot about publishing contracts good and bad. Someone linked to her blog above.

    Another place to check out is The Passive Voice, a blog written by a contract lawyer. He’s very pro-self-publishing, so the tone can be a bit harsh at time, but he writes a lot about contracts. His professional site is here.

    @Dawn Incognito
    Best wishes to you and your Dad.

  20. @Kyra: Super-congrats on your contract tender!

    @Dawn Incognito: All good wishes to your father and those who love him tomorrow and throughout the recovery. May he enjoy the best possible outcome in the shortest time frame.

  21. The Obelisk Gate arrived today!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    But who in the world wrote the inside cover copy? That’s a MAJOR spoiler on the first page of the book.

  22. @Dawn Incognito, I’m really glad you have your teddy and I hope this crop of books is just what you need. Best wishes for your dad’s health.

    Eta – Almost forgot again. Congratulations, Kyra.

  23. @Dawn Incognito–

    Best wishes for your father’s surgery, and that your reading hits the appropriate spot during this. And give your teddy a squeeze from me.

    @Kyra–

    Congratulations and good luck. I have no useful advice, but you have my best wishes.

  24. Congrats Kyra!

    In other news, I just watched Stranger Things. BDP Short next year is gonna be a challenge again.

  25. @Kyra Wishing you the best for a good contract.

    @Dawn Incognito is anyone comments about Teddy you just send them my way so they can have a little talk with Purple Bear.

  26. @Dawn Incognito: Hoping for the best, and please “spam” us any time. Also, thanks for reminding me I really need to get around to picking up City of Blades.

    @Chip Hitchcock: Thanks for the NPR link; it was already on my list from Kowal’s great reading at a past Worldcon – despite the slightly mixed review, that made me even more interested.

    So many books, so little time, la la la la la.

  27. Both my wife and I sleep with stuffed animals. (We both have orthopedic problems, and having something tucked under our arms at night helps keep joints from aching in the mornings.) Plushie cats, rather than traditional teddy bears.

  28. Congratulations, Kyra! — I look forward to getting to read your book when it comes out.

  29. Dawn Incognito, your comments are most certainly not spam. Please keep making them — especially if sharing your anxiety with the rest of us here helps to alleviate it.

    Wishing your father all the best on the procedure. Hang in there. 🙂

  30. Dawn, hug that teddy with pride! And please give us updates as time and spoons permit.

  31. Thanks to everyone for both the advice and the congratulations. I’ve now gotten a lot of advice from various sources, and even though some of it is mutually contradictory, I’m much calmer about moving forward armed with thoughts from cooler heads. 🙂

    Dawn Incognito, I’m hoping all goes well.

  32. *wibble wibble*

    so many tubes

    Thanks everybody, I appreciate your kind thoughts and support. Surgery is done, they had a little more work to do than anticipated. But dad is ok and they should be waking him up in a few hours and the only comment on teddy was a friendly one from a volunteer.

    Now for lunch and maybe I’ll see if I can catch a Pokémon or two and take the nearby gym. Reading and knitting are shot because OMG so tired. I may have to find a quiet spot to cuddle teddy and zone out.

    Love you all <3 (lol that looks like a mousie)

  33. @JJ

    Had a big laugh when I read the update for the GoFundMe.

    “SJW Credential Rescue”…..snort…..good stuff. (FTR, it’s really a cat rescue, but still…bonus points for humour)


    Regards,
    Dann

  34. Dann: Had a big laugh when I read the update for the GoFundMe. “SJW Credential Rescue”…..snort…..good stuff.

    😀

    One of my current SJW Credentials came from the Virginia branch. An SJW Credential Transport Volunteer drove through DC during the time of the sniper attacks to bring him to me.

    I have nothing but good things to say about an organization which rescues credentials who frequently get bought because they are beautiful in appearance, then discarded because they can be as challenging and difficult as a very smart toddler.

  35. @ Bill: I think that Vanderbilt University’s decision to pay the United Daughters of the Confederacy $1.2 M to rename a building that the UDC helped pay for is stupid (the money could have been used for much more useful things)

    That may be true, but it’s also true that UDC was blackmailing the university over it; this was effectively a settlement to prevent a lawsuit that would have ultimately cost more and been much nastier. (Vandy alum here, and I was following the story fairly closely because I thought the change needed to be made.)

    If you put new stresses (taxes) on a system (Walmart), the system will respond to an equilibrium state (by avoiding the behavior that was taxed – in this case, hiring people who draw assistance).

    That’s not an accurate assessment of the situation, since the issue here is that Wal-Mart is causing those people to draw assistance (or to be unable to stop drawing it) by not paying a living wage. Do you really think that anyone who wasn’t already desperate for work would take that deal? Retail flunky isn’t the sort of “hobby job” that someone who just wants a little extra pin money is going to look for.

    If you think that people who are working (or not) should be given $15 an hour no matter what their skills are (and some skill sets simply aren’t worth that much money), how is it Walmart’s obligation to make up the difference?

    Y’know, the exact same argument can be made (and is being made by various Republican politicians) about the current minimum wage, or any minimum wage at all. But the stated purpose of the minimum wage at the time of its introduction was to ensure that a person could live on it, working a standard 40-hour work week — and as far as I’m concerned, that statement still holds. If you don’t believe in the concept of a minimum living wage, then yes, we are so far apart that no useful communication is possible.

    That tossed-off “(or not)” moves the discussion from “minimum wage” to “basic living stipend”, which is an entirely different discussion and not related to the issue at hand. We’re talking about people who ARE working.

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