Pixel Scroll 8/13/17 The Filers On The Hill See The Scroll Going Down, And The Eyes In Their Heads See The Pixels Spinning Round

(1) MUNSTER REVIVAL. “Who will play Marilyn?” John King Tarpinian wants to know. Variety reports “‘Munsters’ Reboot in Development at NBC With Seth Meyers Producing”.

The planned reboot is inspired by the original series and will follow an offbeat family determined to stay true to themselves struggles to fit in in hipster Brooklyn. Jill Kargman will executive produce and write the script, with Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker also executive producing. Universal Television (UTV) will produce along with Meyers’ and Shoemaker’s Sethmaker Shoemeyers Productions, which is set up with a first-look deal at UTV.

The development “The Munsters” reboot keeps Meyers in business with NBC, where he currently hosts the late-night series “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” In addition, the network recently ordered the Meyers-produced comedy “A.P. Bio” to series.

(2) KGB READINGS. Fantastic Fiction at KGB hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Gregory Frost and Rajan Khanna on August 16. The evening begins at 7 p.m. in the KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs), New York.

Gregory Frost is the author of Shadowbridge, Lord Tophet, Fitcher’s Brides, and The Pure Cold Light and a whole mess of short stories of the fantastic. His collaboration with Michael Swanwick, “Lock Up Your Chickens and Daughters, H’ard and Andy Are Come to Town” won an Asimov’s Readers’ Award for 2015. That worked out so well that he and M. Swanwick are currently engaged in writing another collaboration. Greg is the Fiction Workshop Director at Swarthmore College, and with Jonathan Maberry founded the Philadelphia branch of The Liars Club, a collective of semi-deranged and often inebriated authors. Greg is working on a collaborative series with Jonathan Maberry based upon their novella “Rhymer,” published in the anthology Dark Duets.

Rajan Khanna is an author, blogger, reviewer, and narrator. His post-apocalyptic airship adventure series starting with Falling Sky and Rising Tide concluded in July 2017 with Raining Fire. His short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and several anthologies. His articles and reviews have appeared Tor.com and LitReactor.com and his podcast narrations can be heard at Podcastle, Escape Pod, PseudoPod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Lightspeed Magazine. Rajan lives in Brooklyn where he’s a member of the Altered Fluid writing group.

(3) ABOUT THE CANCELLED ALZHEIMER’S LARP. Worldcon 75 published a “Statement on the Cancellation of LARP ‘A Home for the Old’”, a planned item that had drawn a lot of criticism in social media after people at the con saw the description in the schedule.

On Friday 11 August Wordcon 75 cancelled one of our programme items. A Nordic Freeform Event entitled “A Home for the Old” by Frederik Berg. The statement that we released in relation to this cancellation was neither a fair nor a full report of the facts and we would like to correct this.

Worldcon 75 believes that the event facilitator, Massi Hannula Thorhauge, would have guided the players with due regard for a subject as serious as Alzheimer’s. The convention asked her to run this event and we know she would have made sure those who signed up did not make light of the disease. She is a valued member of Worldcon 75 staff and we thank her for her time and enthusiasm throughout the con.

The description of the event published in the Worldcon 75 Programme was not a fair representation of the game. It was written for a specific audience and as presented to Worldcon lacks vital context and frameworks.

Both the convention and the event facilitators acknowledge more care should have been given to this, in light of the very sensitive subject and the cultural differences between many Worldcon members.

These cultural and contextual differences were at the root of the decision to cancel the item. While this freeform event has been extremely successful elsewhere we felt that it was not acceptable to the Worldcon members as presented. We were also concerned that some possible players may not have appropriately engaged with the material, given how different Worldcon is from Nordic gaming events.

We would also like to highlight how important gaming is as part of the genres we all love. Games such as “A Home for the Old” have helped those who have lost friends and relatives to Alzheimer’s and given them a greater understanding of the pressures put on those who care for people with the disease.

While playing games purely for fun is vital, they can also be used to teach, to explore even difficult subjects and themes, and to inspire. They are a hugely important part of a Worldcon programme and we are thrilled we have had so many people playing games in Helsinki this August.

(4) TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Dorothy Grant shares a warning about click farms at Mad Genius Club.

  1. Speaking of click farms, several indies have recently reported their accounts being locked / books taken off sale after buying “advertising” with a “guaranteed number of readers.” You know that picture of Batman slapping Robin? Yeah, picture that. Here’s how NOT to get your account locked and books delisted:

A.) You cannot guarantee buyers ethically. If buyers or readers are guaranteed, that means you’re paying a click farm to run a program on a laptop slaved to a bunch of stolen iphones, each loaded to an Amazon account, “borrowing” and “reading” them. Unless you’re paying a click farm in North Korea, in which case it’s a poor schmuck pacing down a table, manually finger-swiping every iphone.

B.) If you can’t sign up for their mailing list, it’s a click farm. Real promoters want everybody to sign up for their lists, so they can grow. Click farms say they have a list, but if it’s not obvious and easy to find, then it’s a lie.

C.) If they don’t have a website, it’s a click farm. ESPECIALLY if their only presence is a “closed facebook group.” Again, if they’re not soliciting more people to join them, they’re not right.

D.) If it’s too good to be true, it ain’t true. It’s more likely to be this: https://kotaku.com/inside-chinese-click-farms-1795287821

(5) NEBRASKA. Have a twofer: Carhenge is in the totality path: “As Eclipse Madness Sweeps U.S., A Stonehenge Made Of Cars Prepares”.

The ancients who built Carhenge back in 1987 didn’t know about this eclipse. Carhenge was the brainchild of a local named Jim Reinders, a petroleum engineer who spent years working in England. While there, he became acquainted with the prehistoric site of Stonehenge. It was built of giant rocks that people dragged for miles from the quarries. Archaeologists think the original Stonehenge was built to mark celestial events, such as the solstice.

Reinders wanted to build a version of Stonehenge as a memorial to his dad, who had passed away a few years earlier. But stones seemed heavy and cumbersome.

“So he decided if we build it out of cars, the wheels on it would greatly simplify the logistics,” says Howard. “And besides that, there’s not a stone in Nebraska that would work.”

(6) BR0K3N. “Password guru regrets past advice” – BBC has the story.

Bill Burr had advised users to change their password every 90 days and to muddle up words by adding capital letters, numbers and symbols – so, for example, “protected” might become “pr0t3cT3d4!”.

The problem, he believes, is that the theory came unstuck in practice.

Mr Burr now acknowledges that his 2003 manual was “barking up the wrong tree”.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born August 13, 1899 — Alfred Hitchcock

(8) KEEP HORROR OUT OF THE KITCHEN. Get your own copy of Mary and Vincent Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes 1965 – 2015.

A Treasury of Great Recipes has come to be regarded as “one of the most important culinary events of the 20th century” (Saveur Magazine) and was recently named the eighth most popular out-of-print book of any kind by Booklist. It has inspired countless chefs, garnered fans from around the world, and recently spawned many supper clubs who have been “cooking and eating Vincent” around the world.

(9) BY JOVE, I THINK HE’S GOT IT. Camestros Felapton offers a good, precise description of the phenomenon: “Parallels between minor SF kerfuffles & real world politics are both trite & true”.

My interest here was not the Brian Niemeiers of the groups but others, less inclined to create an SJW conspiracy out of nothing. In several cases, you could see them correctly reasoning that if they want the Dragon Awards to have any status then they would need authors like John Scalzi and N.K.Jemisin involved. However, they would always return to the idea that it was up to people like John Scalzi to, therefore, fix the problem by participating. Commenting here, author David Van Dyke took a similar tack – the Dragons need broad based participation, therefore can authors that the SF right calls “SJWs” (whether they are or not) please participate. This despite the fact that the reasons WHY authors didn’t want to participate were clear and unambiguous – they didn’t want to get caught up in the culture war that other on the SF right want the Dragons to be.

What is particularly interesting is this. When the right that is adjacent to the more belligerent alt-right NEED somebody to be reasonable, to compromise in WHICH direction do they turn? Note how it is the LEFT? This is more than just the modern conservative dictum of not-shooting-right/no-enemies-on-the-right but a tacit acknowledgement that they themselves have no capacity to control their allies.

The alt-right want the Dragons Awards to be a culture-war shitstorm because culture-war shitstorms help them recruit small numbers of extremists via radicalization and the comradery of a conflict. It’s a tactic anybody on the left will recognise from many micro-Trotskyist groups in the past, whose expectation of a conflict (e.g. a labour dispute) was that making hyper-strong demands (not necessarily EXTREME demands but essentially shitty negotiating positions) would not lead to a successful outcome but would lead to a better struggle and new recruits.

(10) THE YEAR IN RABIDITY. Jason Sanford leafs through the Hugo voting stats and concludes he is “Measuring the slow Hugo Award death of the rabid puppies”.

These numbers back up previous estimates of the weakness of the rabid puppies and give more evidence that 80 to 90 Hugo voters at most support Vox Day’s ballot stuffing. These are extremely small numbers compared to the more the 2,000 people who cast nominating ballots, or the 3,319 people who voted in the final Hugo ballot.

The reason the rabid puppies were able to cause so much trouble with the Hugo Awards in recent years is because the awards were easily gamed by a small group of slate voters. Only cultural constraints within fandom prevented this from happening previous to the rabid puppies.

The results of this year’s Hugo voting shows that making an award resistant to slate voting is a must in today’s genre.

Perhaps the Dragon Awards, a new SF/F award which is now being ravaged by slate voting from the pups, will learn from the Hugo experience. Or perhaps not.

(11) THE POINTS. Camestros Felapton also looks at the Rabid numbers in “Hugo Stats Time Some More”.

So a mean in the low 70s and a median of 83 votes. Which looks to be irrelevant because those votes are probably all from 2016 members. The Rabid vote drops precipitously in the final numbers.

(12) HELP WANTED. There’s a lot of money to be made looking for aliens, if you’re the right person — “The Reason China Can’t Find Anyone to Operate Its Alien-Hunting Telescope”.

China continues to up its game in space sciences, including one particularly ambitious project, the world’s largest radio telescope. There’s just one problem: they can’t find anyone to operate it.

The country’s government is looking to hire a foreigner as chief scientist to oversee the telescope’s daily operation, reports the South China Morning News, and it’s even offering free housing and a $1.2 million salary to boot. But no one has been hired, presumably because of challenges associated with the job and the high level of requirements needed to even apply.

The “Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope”, or FAST, is a $180 million, 1,600 foot-long radio telescope that’s capable of receiving radio signals from as far as 1,000 light years away; making it a leading instrument in the search for alien life. To give you an idea of its scale, FAST is roughly the size of 30 soccer fields.

(13) THE SUMMER OF HUH? Hippy disinformation? The BBC explains the accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy.

The Illuminati that we’ve come to hear about today is hardly influenced by the Bavarians at all, as I learned from author and broadcaster David Bramwell, a man who has dedicated himself to documenting the origins of the myth. Instead, an era of counter-culture mania, LSD and interest in Eastern philosophy is largely responsible for the group’s (totally unsubstantiated) modern incarnation. It all began somewhere amid the Summer of Love and the hippie phenomenon, when a small, printed text emerged: Principia Discordia.

The book was, in a nutshell, a parody text for a parody faith – Discordianism – conjured up by enthusiastic anarchists and thinkers to bid its readers to worship Eris, goddess of chaos. The Discordian movement was ultimately a collective that wished to cause civil disobedience, practical jokes and hoaxes

The text itself never amounted to anything more than a counter-culture curiosity, but one of the tenets of the faith – that such miscreant activities could bring about social change and force individuals to question the parameters of reality – was immortalised by one writer, Robert Anton Wilson.

According to Bramwell, Wilson and one of the authors of the Principia Discordia, Kerry Thornley, “decided that the world was becoming too authoritarian, too tight, too closed, too controlled”. They wanted to bring chaos back into society to shake things up, and “the way to do that was to spread disinformation. To disseminate misinformation through all portals – through counter culture, through the mainstream media, through whatever means. And they decided they would do that initially by telling stories about the Illuminati.”

At the time, Wilson worked for the men’s magazine Playboy. He and Thornley started sending in fake letters from readers talking about this secret, elite organisation called the Illuminati. Then they would send in more letters – to contradict the letters they had just written.

“So, the concept behind this was that if you give enough contrary points of view on a story, in theory – idealistically – the population at large start looking at these things and think, ‘hang on a minute’,” says Bramwell.  “They ask themselves, ‘Can I trust how the information is presented to me?’ It’s an idealistic means of getting people to wake up to the suggested realities that they inhabit – which of course didn’t happen quite in the way they were hoping.

… British electronic band The KLF also called themselves The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, named after the band of Discordians that infiltrate the Illuminati in Wilson’s trilogy as they were inspired by the religion’s anarchic ideology. Then, an Illuminati role-playing card game appeared in 1975 which imprinted its mystical world of secret societies onto a whole generation.

Chip Hitchcock, who found the link, assures everyone, “Yes, I’ve sent in a complaint about the incorrect date for the card game.”

(13) WHEN DEATH IS ON THE LINE. I was surprised to learn he’s still alive.

(14) FLICKER OF TIME. Anti Matter trailer #2.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna Nimmhaus.]

95 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/13/17 The Filers On The Hill See The Scroll Going Down, And The Eyes In Their Heads See The Pixels Spinning Round

  1. @Standback: “Anybody wants to argue why Cursed Child extends the Harry Potter series but Game of Thrones doesn’t expand Song of Ice and Fire, I’m all ears…”

    The script for Cursed Child was released in book form. Why wouldn’t that be considered an extension to a series of books? I know of no such releases for the Game of Thrones show.

  2. @JJ: I was 100% with you on that right up until the moment I heard the ruling that a Graphic Story accumulating enough wordcount would be eligible. Graphic Story is no more “written fiction” than a podcast is.

  3. Standback: I was 100% with you on that right up until the moment I heard the ruling that a Graphic Story accumulating enough wordcount would be eligible. Graphic Story is no more “written fiction” than a podcast is.

    1) I don’t know who told you that, but that call would always be up to the given year’s Hugo Administrator, so there is no way to know whether it would be eligible.
    2) A Graphic Story contains written text. An audio broadcast does not. So I would disagree that they are equal levels of ineligible or eligible.

  4. Chip Hitchcock: If you go to the Fancyclopedia entry on the Futurians, you will find first an entry for the 1930s Futurians, then one for the 1950s Futurians, and then one for the Australian Futurians.

    Googling “Second Futurian Society of New York” will get you there.

  5. @JJ: “A Graphic Story contains written text. An audio broadcast does not.”

    A billboard contains written text. An audiobook does not.

    Methinks the categories are not as easily distinguished as all that.

  6. @JJ:

    1) This was the response at the WSFS Business Meeting on Saturday — by Kevin Standlee, IIRC, although I misremembering — and then they said last year somebody had asked the same question and received the same response.

    A consistent and unchallenged answer at both WSFS meetings establishing the category sounds to me as close to an “official ruling” as anybody is likely to get 🙂

    2) That logic seems very weird to me. For example, an audio story is (usually) trivially transformable to a text story. You can argue these all night, but that’s exactly why you want a clear definition of what’s included and what’s not — not a vague generalization of “this seems about right.”

  7. @Bob: (still playing mischievous what-ifs)

    If they released a transcript of an episode, you’d say that makes the book series eligible?

    If fans transcribed some episodes and posted them online, would that make the book series eligible?

  8. Graphic stories were eligible in the “written fiction” categories by word count before a special category was established just for individual graphic story works. There is no Graphic Story Series category, and therefore two consecutive Worldcons’ Business Meetings have had their chairs rule that graphic story series are eligible by word count if they can somehow get 240K words. As noted, the actual call would have to be made by the Hugo Administrator at the time, but legislative history is supposed to be persuasive in determining interpretation of edge cases.

    Those of you asking for a clear and unambiguous definition of every possible thing there is should be aware of what I call “toothpaste tube problems.” You can’t keep control of a tube of toothpaste by squeezing it as tightly as possible; you end up with a mess. Trying to add more and more words to a definition often ends up creating as many problems as it solves.

    There’s a difference between being technically eligible for a category and actually making the shortlist in that category, of course. Some people seem to have difficulty understanding this.

  9. lurkertype:

    ” I know, I went to a bunch of them and nobody ever mentioned distances to me, nor the lack of eateries adjacent to the con.”

    Lack of eateries!? There were a lot more options in Helsinki than there were in Kansas. In Kansas we had burgers, pizza dripping with fat and food trucks. In Helsinki there was a decent lunch restaurant, burger place, three cafés, a curry place, a pizza slice place and a good restaurant with outdoor patio right outside. And if you could walk a little bit there were 5-10 more places. Also only 10 min to downtown Helsinki with train.

  10. @Kevin Standlee: Thank you!

    That’s really interesting. If I understand you correctly, then prior to the establishment of the Graphic Story category, the average comic book issue could have been eligible under “Best Short Story”?

    I had this distinct recollection that the previous place for graphic stories was Best Related Work. “The Dark Knight Returns” was there (all the way back in ’87), and to my surprise so is “Sandman: The Dream Hunters,” which IIRC is just an illustrated story.

  11. re: toothpaste tubes, I really didn’t consider this unambiguous until the graphic story option arose.

    I have a great many misgivings about Best Series regardless; this one is really more of an amusing interpretation than anything else.

    I do think it merits clarification, though, because I think the greater the popularity of the series, the more likely it is to have some eligible spinoff. No, I don’t think a “Pottermore makes Harry Potter eligible ” campaign is likely to succeed. But the desire to recognize favorite series is strong, and can beget weird results.

    For example, “Welcome To Night Vale” is something I 100% want to see on a Hugo ballot, particularly in the context of “Best Series.” And that’s a hugely popular fandom – this could totally happen. But I’m genuinely unclear right now if I’d be nominating the series or the transcripts, and that’s honestly kind of weird for me :-/

  12. +1 Hampus.
    Variety of food was certainly not an issue. Slight chance of thought pattern needed to see lunch as running from 1100 to 1330.

    I had me lunch in African Pots today. Very nice.

  13. Standback: That logic seems very weird to me. For example, an audio story is (usually) trivially transformable to a text story.

    Sure, it is — and if you want to nominate the text version of a podcast (which requires it to have been published), it would be eligible in whatever category matches its word count, and you can do so (though I think it would struggle to get enough nominations to make the ballot).

    But an audio broadcast is not eligible for a written category simply because it could be transformed to text; it’s not text, so it’s not eligible.

  14. So, enquiring minds want to know… was there a Hogu Award ceremony this year? If so, any record of any of the “winners”?

  15. Edit window closed:

    Now that I think of it, due to rulings in the past few years, The Lady Astronaut from Mars and The Dispatcher would be eligible in the fiction categories as audiobooks. So a fiction podcast would theoretically indeed be eligible for the written category.

    I think it would be difficult for an audio podcast to get enough nominations to make the ballot, but I know that a lot of people like Welcome to Night Vale.

    All of this makes me glad that I am not the Hugo Administrator, and neither do I have to make these calls, nor do I have to bear the brunt of them when a chunk of fandom will inevitably be unhappy, whatever I decide.

  16. JJ on August 14, 2017 at 1:26 pm said:

    Now that I think of it, due to rulings in the past few years, The Lady Astronaut from Mars and The Dispatcher would be eligible in the fiction categories as audiobooks.

    Indeed, The Dispatcher took the seventh spot on the longlist in its category, falling just short of being on the final ballot.

  17. Eric and I stayed in the city center and took the train each day. It was a short walk, and we never waited more than 5 minutes for a train in either direction. I think the door-to-door time ended up comparable to what we had a MidAmeriCon II. Oh, I should add that everyone got an unlimited travel pass for the week in their packets when they registered, and you only had to have the pass on you if a conductor asked for it–you didn’t even have to scan the thing to get on the train.

  18. I remember some discussion of audiobooks a year or two ago. I think the feeling was that it depended on the level of production it got. If you had multiple actors playing parts, it would be a dramatic presentation based on a story. If you had a single reader, reading the story as written, even with varying inflections, it was considered equivalent to the written story. Edge cases, as usual, cause trouble. In general the administrators let the nominators decide those.

  19. “They Scroll him here, they Scroll him there.
    Those Filers Scroll him everywhere.
    Is he at Worldcon or is he in hell:
    That slan, en-beanied Pixelnel”

  20. “They scroll him her, they scroll him there,
    His files are loud, but never square,
    It will pixelate him but he’s got to file the best,
    ‘Cause he’s a dedicated godstalker of pixels.”

  21. Regaridng food at the convention centre, as Hampus said, Messukeskus is well equipped with places to get something to eat and there were even more restaurants within walking distance. The food was okay, too, at least what I tried. The only problem was that most of the restaurants in or near Messukeskus were closed in the evening, so if you had a late panel (I had two) or wanted to stay for a party, the Hugo ceremony, etc…, you had to rush back to the city centre to get something to eat. Which I did on my two late panel days.

    Also, as Greg said, Messukeskus was easily reachable by public transport. The train took only 8 minutes to Helsinki central station (and you had to walk approx. 500 metres to the station) and the tram, which stopped directly in front of Messukeskus, took approx. 15 to 20 minutes to the city centre. Also, the free public transport pass really helped, since single tickets cost 3.20 EUR, which would have added up fast. I could even use the public transport pass for the ferry to the island fortress of Suomenlinna.

  22. Here’s my take from last year’s business meeting where Best Series was discussed, from watching the business meeting this year, and from Nicholas Whyte’s (co-Hugo Award Administrator for this year) statements made during a panel of how digital media affects the Hugo categories.

    At the panel he said that one of the Best Series nominees included their video game iterations as part of the Series’ work. Although they weren’t the year’s qualifying publication as far as I know. It also seems that an audiobook version of a novel qualifies for Best Novel. So the key question comes down to whether the Game of Thrones TV show is considered a text published in the qualifying year. I’d argue that it would because there’s no minimum amount of text that needs to be published in the qualifying year. At least as long as it’s being considered as part of Martin’s series as a whole and not its own separate creation, it should qualify. However, most fans may prefer to wait until the publication of The Winds of Winter as giving the Series as a whole a better chance of winning.

    Also, in my opinion, the Doctor Who tie-in book published this year (Doctor Who, The Shining Man) qualifies the whole series – books, Big Finish audio plays, and TV show – for this next year.

    The same for the Lord of the Rings universe. Beren and Luthien (published this year) could make the whole series – books, art books, and movies – eligible as well.

    So deciding which year to nominate something may end up being a big part of whether something wins or not. I’d hate to have to compete in the same year with Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.

  23. Back from Worldcon. Managed to see a few filers.

    Also managed to break my phone, which is why the tweets and reports and adventures all dried up mid trip…

  24. Lorien Gray: However, most fans may prefer to wait until the publication of The Winds of Winter as giving the Series as a whole a better chance of winning.

    Winds of Winter, hell. When the series is finished, I’ll nominate it, but not before. 😉

  25. @Lorien Gray: I am so weirded out by this interpretation.

    Given tie-in novels, 2018 Hugos could be between Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who.

    (I gotta admit, though, that’d be one hell of a voter packet!)

  26. I am sure that was not the intent of the amendment. But intent doesn’t control.

  27. @Martin Wooster: TFTI. I have a personal reason for doubting Fancy as a source. Add to this that the articles are unsigned and unsourced, and I would not take anything in it as defining who the chief players were. Given who answered when I raised my issue, I don’t intend to get involved in trying to sort out Fancy’s limitations.

  28. JJ: “Winds of Winter, hell. When the series is finished, I’ll nominate it, but not before. ;)”

    If I were George RR Martin, I might turn down any nomination until I’d finished the series, but then I don’t know how hard turning down a nomination really is. Not ever having been in that position myself. 🙂

    Standback: “I am so weirded out by this interpretation.”

    I admit it’s not one I would have thought of until I heard Whyte’s comment on the panel. I kind of feel like Best Series is like one of those inflatable life rafts and now that we’ve pulled the trigger it just keeps unfolding and expanding.

    Lenore Jones: “I am sure that was not the intent of the amendment.”

    I agree. Neither the amendment or the intent for the award in the first place. I think they were intending it for series where the individual works hadn’t qualified for awards themselves but the series as a whole had become more than the sum of its parts. And I’d say most of the finalists fell into that category this year, with some notable exceptions. But of course all the heavy hitter (and award-winning) series qualify too, and when they qualify they’re more likely to become a finalist and/or win.

    I wonder if we’ll see a parade of all the big series until they’ve all been finalists. Or, if we’ll see the nominators stick more closely to the original intent. It will be interesting to watch/experience, at the very least!

  29. I kind of feel like Best Series is like one of those inflatable life rafts and now that we’ve pulled the trigger it just keeps unfolding and expanding.

    Love this description! 😀

  30. Standback on August 14, 2017 at 11:51 am said:

    If I understand you correctly, then prior to the establishment of the Graphic Story category, the average comic book issue could have been eligible under “Best Short Story”?

    Yes.

  31. @Hampus: places that are not within the con’s areas, and are not available for food in the evenings is what I mean by lack of eateries. We were assured at different parties, thrown by different people, in different cities, that this was going to be *just like* North American Worldcons! No mention was ever, EVER made of having to walk to a train and travel that far away from the con, particularly for slightly later dining.

    It’s nice that the train passes were available, but no explanation of the absolute necessity for them was ever mentioned. The train was pitched as a nice extra if you wanted it. Bait and switch, false advertising IMO.

    I’m not lying about what I was told repeatedly over several years, you know. You weren’t at the parties I went to and asked questions in.

    Perhaps the lack of communication started with the concom insufficiently briefing their party-throwers?

    Kansas City doesn’t sound too good, but it wasn’t in a typical North American Worldcon situation either. And there’s nothing wrong with food trucks, they’re all the rage with gourmets!

    @Cora: 500 metres is NOT a short walk for me (That’s 1/3 of a mile in American). It would have taken me quite a long time to do that. I mentioned my mobility problems (while leaning on a cane and wearing a medical device!) and the distance I can easily walk to the party-throwers and was repeatedly assured that it was no problem. I would never have been able to walk to the station, go downtown, eat, walk back to another station, get to the center, and walk into it in anything like a timely fashion. My choices would have been to miss programming or starve.

    There was also no talk of having to go through the con to get into the one close-by hotel; several disabled people I’ve heard from didn’t go because no one got back to them soon enough for them to make travel arrangements.

    Again. Poor communication and promises that could not be kept.

    I’m not sure how many times I have to repeat myself with what actually, literally happened repeatedly before people believe me.

    ——————————————-

    @Lorien Gray: I like that image! Giant life raft swallowing up all the Hugos! (Note: Ask if life raft can be available at future ceremonies — how much do they cost? Can people sit on them like they did the comfy couch this year?)

    “Lady Astronaut of Mars” was disqualified on its first try at the Hugo because the admins in 2013 ruled that audiobooks didn’t count and tossed it out despite easily having enough votes to make the finalists. So audiobooks counting in Best Novel-Short Story is a very recent idea.

    I’m not going to nominate ASOIaF until it’s done either! GRRM did accept an individual nomination for the last one he managed to get out, in… 2011? and while it got on the ballot, I don’t think it did so well because everyone went “Big-ass book 5 of a series I haven’t read the first 4 of ever/in years? Nope.” And that was even after people had been considering GRRM their bitch — daresay they didn’t vote for it either. 😉

    Of the other edge cases, I’d say “Beren and Luthien” yes, GoT TV show and franchise tie-in novels, no. “Dunk and Egg” story? Probably.

    Now, if all of “The Vision” was eligible due to publication dates, why not submit Vol. 1 and 2 together? It would have gotten many more votes if the complete story had been up for judging. I heard from a lot of people (only one of which was me) who weren’t keen on the giant cliffhanger, whereas “Monstress” and especially “Ms. Marvel” had nice neat episodes. Ms. Marvel — that’s how you do an arc.

    Comixology tells me that Issue 12 was released on Oct. 26, 2016. Volume 2 was released November 30, 2016. So… what gives, Vision fans?

  32. If I understand you correctly, then prior to the establishment of the Graphic Story category, the average comic book issue could have been eligible under “Best Short Story”?

    While it wasn’t a Hugo award, an issue of SANDMAN by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess won a World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, too.

  33. Lurkertype:

    You did not have to travel by train for late dining. You could go to the very nice restaurant 20 m outside the con, all on flat ground.

  34. @lurkertype

    I did nominate both vol. 1 and 2 of The Vision, recognizing that they were one complete story. I suppose vol. 2 simply didn’t garner enough votes (and I guess points, under EPH) to make the final ballot.

  35. One restaurant is hardly a variety, particularly in price and service. Nor does it deal with my main point, that of the frequent exaggerations and outright LIES told at the bid parties given in the US, which people seem to be avoiding. I conclude that they’re unwilling to discuss that issue for whatever reason.

    @Bonnie: I guess maybe people thought that they could only nominate one volume at a time? Since that’s what all the previous years’ have been? Vol. 2 doesn’t show up on the nominating stats in the top 15, so I’m thinking most people only picked one, not both.

    I hate to dump more work on the admins, but perhaps a note that multiple volumes that consist of a single story and are all published in the same year would be worth it. I guess it doesn’t happen that often. OTOH “Blackout/All Clear” made it so… maybe it’s only confusion regarding the comical books?

  36. @lurkertype

    @Cora: 500 metres is NOT a short walk for me (That’s 1/3 of a mile in American). It would have taken me quite a long time to do that. I mentioned my mobility problems (while leaning on a cane and wearing a medical device!) and the distance I can easily walk to the party-throwers and was repeatedly assured that it was no problem. I would never have been able to walk to the station, go downtown, eat, walk back to another station, get to the center, and walk into it in anything like a timely fashion. My choices would have been to miss programming or starve.

    There was also no talk of having to go through the con to get into the one close-by hotel; several disabled people I’ve heard from didn’t go because no one got back to them soon enough for them to make travel arrangements.

    Again. Poor communication and promises that could not be kept.

    If walking to the train station would have been too far for you, there was also a tram station directly in front of the convention center. The tram took longer than the train to get back to the city centre (approx. 15 to 20 minutes), but required less walking. It was a low floor tram, too, unlike some others in Helsinki which still had entrance steps, making access for disabled people difficult (no idea why Helsinki still has those ancient trams – they were phased out in Germany 25 years ago). My Mom can’t walk very well either, so we took the tram most days unless the faster connection was important, e.g. when I had a panel early on Sunday morning.

    I heard about the problems of notifying people in time that they had been given rooms at the Holiday Inn adjacent to the convention centre. This really should not have happened.

    I wasn’t at any of the bid parties for WorldCon 75, so I have no idea what they did and did not say there. I still suspect a lot of the miscommunication was due to cultural differences.

    Regarding food trucks, I know they’re popular in the US, but they don’t replace a restaurant or fast food joint for me. I don’t like eating standing up.

  37. I’m a little unhappy at the implication that non-NA Worldcons should and must be just like NA Worldcons to gain support. I hope that was not that the intent.

  38. Cora: I wasn’t at any of the bid parties for WorldCon 75, so I have no idea what they did and did not say there. I still suspect a lot of the miscommunication was due to cultural differences.

    I’m sure that a lot of the time, that was the case. However, the fact that in the runup to Site Selection voting, they made a huge deal about the awesome on-site hotel they had without mentioning that it would only be available to staff and those with accessibility needs, was pretty clearly a deliberate omission.

  39. Lurkertype:

    “One restaurant is hardly a variety, particularly in price and service.”

    But still better than in Kansas, right? If what you are talking about is onsite restaurants.

  40. To be clear about what happened with The Vision:

    Nominations were received in Best Graphic Story for a number of individual comics issues, for individual published volumes collating several issues, and for storylines as a whole. We determined that voters’ wishes are best represented by identifying the story element within the series with the most votes, of whatever length, and then assigning to it all votes both for sub-components of that story element, and also for larger elements of which it is part (including the series as a whole).

    A clear majority of all votes for Vision/The Vision explicitly specified Volume 1, rather than the storyline as a whole (or Volume 2), so that’s what went on the ballot.

  41. @Nicholas: Thanks for this!

    It definitely answers my question: it’s not that the complete story couldn’t have been nominated; that’s just not what the nominators chose to nominate.

    …which is also interesting, in its way. I wonder why the widespread preference.

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