Pixel Scroll 8/15 “Ward, I’m Worried About the Marmot”

The editor fails to hide how ornery all this Puppy news makes him, in today’s Scroll.

(1) D23 is this weekend and attendees received this Drew Struzan poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s a souvenir edition — Struzan will create another primary poster for the film.

star_wars_poster_full_0_0 COMP

(2) Just in time for WorldCon, “Tragedy of the Goats”, Francis Hamit’s epic story about, sex, security,and science fiction Fandom. Download it to your Kindle today and read it on the plane. (No puppies were harmed in this production.)

tragedy of the goats

(3) Spokane Public Radio devoted about three minutes to “Worldcon Brings Science Fiction and Hugo Awards to Spokane”

Tom Whitmore, head of publicity, spoke to me over Skype and explained the twist in this year’s awards. Normally their 10,000 members nominate freely, but this year two writers groups formed a coalition to lobby for certain scifi works.

Whitmore: “And they were very successful in getting the nominations out there. This was not against any of the rules, it’s just not what’s been done in the past, it was against social norms.”

Hugo Awards recognize science fiction works, as voted on by Worldcon members.

And, he says, it has upset a lot of other members. Critics say these writer groups want to make the nominees more homogenous like the genre used to be, ie: winners would be less diverse.

That doesn’t sit well with one very-well known, award winning female writer. Vonda McIntyre will be a guest author at the convention.

McIntyre: “The most amazing writer going when I first started was Samuel R. Delaney…”

A science fiction writer who’s black, and gay.

And who’s named Delany.

(4) If Tom Knighton hadn’t titled his post “Why I no longer care” it would be easier to focus on his actual point:

I read for fun.  If I want to challenge myself, I read non-fiction.  I’m a damn political writer.  I challenge myself daily.  I read fiction for fun, and it’s not your place to suggest I challenge myself in what I do for pleasure.  It’s not anyone’s place.

The truth is that those books I’m told I should challenge myself over are books I don’t want to read.  I don’t care how it handles homosexuality.  I care whether it tells a good story and whether I’ll like the protagonists.  Now, if those protagonists are homophobic, I’m 99 percent sure I won’t like them.  I don’t need to be told that the protagonists are gay, straight, trans, or whatever.  That’s not pertinent to my interests.  Whether the story is fun, is.

Somewhere along the line, folks got hung up on sex and sexuality.  It’s pretty annoying.

However, it’s become clear that for some people, a book’s “message” is vital.  Even books from bygone eras aren’t safe from being dissected for their social message rather than their story.

I’ve been one of those trying to argue that message fiction was a bad idea.  I still think it is.  But now, I just don’t care what those folks do.

(5) George R.R. Martin pre-interprets how any of several possible Campbell Awards winners will be an early sign of how the wind is blowing on Hugo night.

If Wesley Chu takes the Campbell, as he should, I think we will be in for a fairly reasonable night in Spokane. There will be some winners from the slates, and some categories will go the No Award, but most of the rockets will actually go to deserving work. If Chu wins, I think the vast majority of the fans in the auditorium will be more happy than not by night’s end.

If No Award wins, however… if No Award takes the Campbell, it will represent a huge and ominous victory for the “nuclear option,” for the faction of fandom that wants to destroy the village in order to save it. A victory by No Award in this category will signify that the voters decided to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and will likely betoken a long ugly night ahead, with category after category going to No Award. Myself, I think this unlikely. I think the hardcore “vote No Award on everything” voters are a small (if noisy) minority. But I could be wrong. It could happen.

And what if one of the four Puppy finalists takes the tiara?

That would represent a victory for the Puppies, certainly. But even there, certain distinctions should be made. Rolf Nelson was a candidate of the Rabids, but not the Sads. A victory by Nelson would be a singular triumph for Teddy Beale and the most extreme elements of Puppydom… and could suggest even worse results ahead, up to and including VD actually winning one or both of the Editing Hugos for which he is nominated.

Kary English, on the other hand, represents a much more moderate side of Puppydom. Though initially put forward by both the Sad and Rabid slates, VD later dropped her and removed her from his suggested ballot entirely when English put up a couple of blog posts that distanced herself from the Puppy party line.

(6) Miles Schneiderman of YES! Magazine joins the ranks of finger-waggers who haven’t bothered to learn how to spell “Torgersen” in his widely-linked critique “Sad Puppies, Rabid Chauvinists: Will Raging White Guys Succeed in Hijacking Sci-Fi’s Biggest Awards?”

In other words, Torgerson seems to think there are merely a handful of science fiction and fantasy stories worth anyone’s time: the ones that are just plain fun. People don’t want uncomfortable ideas or unorthodox characters; they just want “a rip-roaring good story” full of “broad-chested heroes” with “pioneering derring-do” who, of course, “run off with beautiful women.” Anything else is false advertising, tricking the unsuspecting reader into a story with complicated messages and cultural commentary, when all they wanted was escapist adventure. Torgerson’s version of “old school” speculative fiction seems to be primarily for and about men. Get out of our treehouse, girls! We’re playing space pirates. Didn’t you see the sign?

Not only does this view denigrate women, it denigrates fans of speculative fiction. In fact, it disrespects the entire genre by negating the value of any story element that doesn’t contribute to the reader’s entertainment high. As the Canadian journalist Jeet Heer points out, “the faux-populism of the Puppy brigade is actually insulting to the right, since it assumes that conservatives can’t be interested in high culture.” The Puppy movement is anti-intellectual at its core, and thus anathema to the genre it seeks to redefine.

(7) Jugger Grimrod (would I kid you?) says the butcher’s bill at the Hugos won’t be as bad as you’ve heard, on Silence Is A Weapon.

Everyone says the Hugos will survive, and I tend to agree. I think the Puppy voters will get tired of throwing away their money in the name of making whatever statement they’re trying to make. They will also have a harder time maintaining the charade that their campaign is about anything other than self-promotion, because after this year there will be fewer neutral parties willing to appear on any slate. The nomination rules will probably be changed to make slates less effective, although I’m afraid that will make the whole process more confusing and could scare some potential nominators away. In the long run this will mostly be forgotten, but in the short term it probably means that at least two WorldCons are going to have their Hugos basically invalidated, and I don’t like that they have to make that sacrifice. In my opinion the harassment policy should be invoked against the Puppy organizers and they should be banned from the convention and disqualified from the awards on that basis. I get that the Hugo organizers won’t do this, they would argue that the integrity of the awards depends on strict adherence to the bylaws, not arbitrary decisions by administrators. I could make some counter arguments but I don’t want to go down that road right now. I will just say that when a group has a stated goal of disrupting the awards, it wouldn’t bother me at all if they were barred from participating.

(8) Brianne Reeves breaks down the Antonelli story from a politicial perspective in “Let’s Talk about the Hugo Awards (Now with more libertarianism!)”.

Most recently, a false police report was filed by a Hugo nominee against another, leading to a full WorldCon investigation and the nominee’s work being rejected from a magazine. In the fall out, death threats and harassment ensued. We’ll be talking a little bit about this. For the full background on the story, you can see some of the posts I’ll link below.

While the “victim” of the false police report has accepted Lou Antonelli’s apologies, the actions of Antonelli haven’t ceased to have consequences. Antonelli’s actions in particular aren’t really what I want to talk about. I’m going to be addressing the actions we have seen in our community more broadly. It feels a bit ridiculous that I should even have to do this; these behaviors are far from common. Unfortunately, they’ve insinuated themselves into our world.

I’m approaching much of this from a more libertarian perspective. This is for a few reasons (1) I think that a libertarian discourse about rights and the role of the state is fitting for the behaviors we have seen in this community; and (2) I think that a discourse about positive and negative rights is a broadly applicable approach for the rhetoric that accompanies the behaviors we have seen recently.

I believe Lou Antonelli acted on impulse, not in furtherance of either well- or poorly-considered libertarian principles, though Reeves’ post was interesting to me just the same.

(9) Marcus Bales’ poetic comment appears on Blog, Jvstin Style:

Ballade of Sad Puppies

[first of four verses]

Who knows within what hidden garret
Vox Day scribes his sexist rant,
or why Correia tries to parrot
his vicious views with careless cant,
or Torgerson begins to prate
of how their work has been ignored
providing cover for their slate
behind his merited award;
they’re powered by their privileged fear.
Oh, where are the pros of yesteryear?

(10) I often search Twitter for File 770 references but rarely for Glyer. It seems I have missed a few gems as a result.

[Thanks to redheadedfemme and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cubist .]

544 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/15 “Ward, I’m Worried About the Marmot”

  1. From Hoyt’s latest, she seems to have refined her earlier claims somewhat.

    But unfortunately somewhere in the nineties or two thousands, the turn over of science fiction and fantasy professionals and fandom into the hands of people with degrees in humanities from excellent colleges was complete.

    I do so like checkable assertions. Looking at the novel winners since ’90 as a benchmark, Hoyt can probably claim Kim Stanley Robinson, Susanna Clark, Paolo Bacigalupi, China Mieville (sort of, his BA is a humanity, his PhD isn’t), and John Scalzi as having humanities degrees from excellent colleges. (My judgement on the excellence or otherwise of US colleges was entirely based on checking the Forbes list, so I’ve probably just offended someone by accident, and I can’t find Leckie or Wilson’s education) and indeed almost all others are degree educated (Gaiman being the surprising exception), the majority in the humanities.
    The problem is that a) she’s claiming “excellent colleges” (today; it was “prestigious colleges” a few days ago) which really doesn’t hold up, so the “elitism” end of her argument fails, and b) she’s claiming a shift. There are obviously various Golden Age authors with science degrees to point at, but there’s also Fritz Leiber, Clifford D Simak, Le Guin, Philip Jose Farmer, Joan Vinge, CJ Cherryh, William Gibson and Orson Scott Card who could all be reasonably described as having humanities degrees.
    Most of all, Hoyt herself graduated from one of the best universities in Portugal with an excellent European reputation. I don’t get her point.

  2. Speaking of interesting names, I remember driving through Spokane (topical!) and being impressed when one of the exits was for two streets named after Thor and Freya. I assumed they were named after the gods and not just the children of a prominent citizen.

    I have been in another city where they had named a series of streets after the Romantic poets. That particular section of the city had fallen on hard times and I always wondered if there were any street gangs named for Byron and/or Shelley.

  3. @shambles

    For example, a progressive income tax is bad because it encourages wealth accumulation ?

    These are people who have said that wealth accumulation prior to income tax had not produced a significant economic upper-class. Apparently, ‘Gilded Age’ was just a spiffy name and not a description.

  4. Railroads, in the west, named a lot of places

    Laura Ignalls Wilder learned how to write so well because when she was a little girl her family would read to her from South Dakota train schedules.

  5. @Shambles

    Seriously is this an actual debatable economic position?

    The pups tend to conflate political arguments (ie, “trickle down economics”) for economic ones. Par for the course.

    @Mark

    I have to give Brad credit. He settled on his talking points at the start of SP3, and he hasn’t let little things like intervening events or other people’s arguments shift him from his course!

    What was the line Colbert had? Ah yes:

    “He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man’s beliefs never will.”

  6. I do so like checkable assertions.

    If I get the time, I might do an analysis of the degrees held by Hugo nominees and winners over the years. It would be more complicated than my analysis on gender bias in Hugo nominations and wins, but probably not enormously so.

  7. But unfortunately somewhere in the nineties or two thousands, the turn over of science fiction and fantasy professionals and fandom into the hands of people with degrees in humanities from excellent colleges was complete.

    What the hell is she going on about?

  8. What the hell is she going on about?

    It is just more of her Pol Pot-level anti-intellectual blather. Basically, people who like writing are ruining science fiction because only people with degrees in food chemistry from state universities are capable of writing stuff that appeals to the masses.

    (One might note that “Doc” Smith had a degree in chemical engineering, but it was from George Washington University, one of the most expensive private colleges in the United States).

  9. If you read some of the previous posts, it’s not so much the authors as the editors. Something about the old school editors retiring or passing away and being replaced by women from Ivy League schools with all their highfalutin ideas about what makes good fiction.

  10. Laura Ignalls Wilder learned how to write so well because when she was a little girl her family would read to her from South Dakota train schedules.

    I’m afraid that the truth is less romantic. Laura Ingalls Wilder was heavily trained and ghostwritten by her daughter Rose Wilder, who was a professional journalist.

  11. Aaron wrote:

    Once again, the claims that the “SJWs” will turn on each other seems like nothing more than a case of the Pups engaging in serious projection.

    Were you here for the discussion of our dear friend Benjanun Sriduangkaew?

  12. Were you here for the discussion of our dear friend Benjanun Sriduangkaew?

    Yes. Do you really think that is “SJWs” turning on each other?

  13. Were you here for the discussion of our dear friend Benjanun Sriduangkaew?

    That’s maybe not the counter-example that on the surface it appears to be. After all, the puppy premise is that the SJW marxists will draw ever-tighter boundaries, gradually expelling new populations of fandom as their power grows.

    What the example of BS/RH/WTF shows instead is that outside of puppydom, crazies lose power once they reveal their crazy.

    Puppy theology has no explanation for the marginalization of RH. If the world works the way they say it does, RH should be the dominant figure in all of fandom.

  14. @Jack Lint

    I think the full article makes it clear she’s escalated to including authors in her theory. In any case, the claim isn’t very credible for editors either. In an earlier Scroll TNH poo-poo-ed the claim on editors, and gave some examples.

    @Aaron

    Looking through the novel winners wasn’t too difficult, but all fiction nominees will take a hell of a long time.

  15. But unfortunately somewhere in the nineties or two thousands, the turn over of science fiction and fantasy professionals and fandom into the hands of people with degrees in humanities from excellent colleges was complete.

    Luckily we have Vox Day with his social sciences degree from a liberal arts college to rescue us from this calamitous slide.

  16. Looking through the novel winners wasn’t too difficult, but all fiction nominees will take a hell of a long time.

    Yeah, but the only way to get a good idea of the landscape is to look at all the fiction nominees. On the plus side, some names recur quite a bit, so that will make it a bit less onerous.

  17. I’m sure we all remember The Great Handover of Sometime Ago, the weeping in the streets, the families torn apart.

  18. PNH has commented on Hoyt’s claims here: Making Light: My Privileged Elite Background, Revealed

    Seriously. Seriously? I didn’t go to college. In fact, I didn’t graduate from high school, and I don’t have a GED. This is one of the more widely known facts about me, tbh. If you’re making generalizations like that about a set of people that has me in it…well, you just hate to see that kind of thing at this level of play.

    I think it’s safe to say that he’s unimpressed with the quality of Hoyt’s research and analysis.

  19. I think it’s safe to say that he’s unimpressed with the quality of Hoyt’s research and analysis.

    I’m convinced that Hoyt doesn’t do any research at all. She just types whatever stupidity pops into her head.

  20. David W. on August 17, 2015 at 7:11 am said:

    Why not have a Worst SF TV Show contest? The competition would be fierce. Space: 1999 vs. Lost In Space, for example…

    Jack Lint on August 17, 2015 at 7:14 am said:

    I think no matter how bad the science fiction show, someone will have loved it and won’t understand all the hate.

    There’s also that some of us love the shows in the full knowledge that they are awful.

    Trying to pick the *worst* of something is ten thousand times more fraught than trying to pick the best of something, anyhow.

  21. @ bloodstone

    They took your slots, they ate your lunch

    You owe me a new keyboard!

    A Goblin with a Chinese Sword
    Whose battle cry is “No Award”
    Prevents the fen from giving Hugos to ya

    Your whole filk was a masterwork, but this was really clever.

    re: Hallelujah, I love the song but haven’t been able to take it seriously since Watchmen ruined it. Come ON! Worst, worst, worst use of a song in… anything.

    @Ian P and @ Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

    Fusco is actually my favorite character in the show. He’s flawed, he’s not a superhero, he’s adorable in how hard he works and how little recognition he gets for it. That moment when Reece is like “you’re right, I don’t say this but you’re a good partner” and his jaw drops made me honestly tear up. He’s the most human, most relatable character on the show.

    re: TV Show bracket

    Meh. Buffy has been HEAVILY visited by the suck fairy. Firefly was really fun and well written, but very overrated and frankly after hearing what Whedon’s plans were for the second season (at the 10th anniversary special) including Inara being gang-raped by Reavers and killing them all with her poisoned hoo-hah, I’m glad it was cancelled before he could do that. Dr. Who is again fun but seriously overrated and host to some really terrible episodes. Same for Star Trek as far as some crazy bad episodes, but the sheer volume of episodes in any given series will weigh those out.

    I will go to bat forever for Farscape and Fringe though, and POI and Orphan Black are surprisingly amazing.

    There’s also that some of us love the shows in the full knowledge that they are awful.

    *cough* Lost. I know, I know!

  22. And what kept Shakespeare’s work alive and going is that he did appeal to the masses. Go and count how many small American towns are named after his characters/locations.

    I couldn’t find any – not to say there are none, but you’d think *somebody* would’ve made a list somewhere; the Internet likes lists. It’s more likely to be local people, local geography, Native American names, names from the old country, names from the Bible, presidents and other politicians – in fact Google search for “us cities named after” doesn’t even offer Shakespeare as a completion, and Wikipedia doesn’t include him in their placename etymology lists.

  23. Aaron on August 17, 2015 at 9:15 am said:

    Were you here for the discussion of our dear friend Benjanun Sriduangkaew?

    Yes. Do you really think that is “SJWs” turning on each other?

    Yeah, what the hey?

    On the one hand a vile abusive troll most of us never heard of who hid under the mask of a sweeeeeeeeeet minority woman (from one of the wealthiest ruling families in her home country, but never mind) fighting demonstrably viciously but her little circle of enablers excused it because it was for “social justice”.

    On the other, just about every other person on this thread, from a vast diversity of backgrounds, allegiances, and interests, only some of whom had ever heard of the troll previously, discussing news of the day.

    Yeah, that’s a rabid pack of conspirators turning on one of their own if ever I saw it.

  24. Jamoche on August 17, 2015 at 10:14 am said:

    And what kept Shakespeare’s work alive and going is that he did appeal to the masses. Go and count how many small American towns are named after his characters/locations.

    I couldn’t find any – not to say there are none, but you’d think *somebody* would’ve made a list somewhere; the Internet likes lists. It’s more likely to be local people, local geography, Native American names, names from the old country, names from the Bible, presidents and other politicians – in fact Google search for “us cities named after” doesn’t even offer Shakespeare as a completion, and Wikipedia doesn’t include him in their placename etymology lists.

    Pfft. Anyone who’s gone over maps knows it’s Quebec that has towns named after Shakespeare scattered all over the landscape.

  25. There’s also that some of us love the shows in the full knowledge that they are awful.

    Or have forgotten how awful they were. I think I have a fondness for certain Irwin Allen shows only because I haven’t seen them in decades.

    Mark Evanier (yes?) did a column about seeing The Man from UNCLE for the first time in years and wondering who had gone through and replaced the great sets and props with shoddy ones.This would be the TV equivalent of Jo Walton’s Suck Fairy. Maybe the Suck Stage Hands.

  26. Gabriel F @ 10:14AM, I wrote a blog post about Person of Interest several years ago, and had this to say about Fusco:

    “I actually find Fusco the most interesting character on POI. When we first met his character, he was one of a group of corrupt, bribe-taking cops. After Reese (barely) spared Fusco’s life when the corrupt cops tried to kill Reese, Fusco was essentially blackmailed into assisting Finch and Reese in their further operations. Slowly, he’s found a new sense of direction and self-respect. Finch, Reese, and Carter are all essentially “good guys” from the beginning. But Fusco is a bad guy who’s struggling to escape his corrupt past and become a good man again. Kudos to actor Kevin Chapman for his portrayal.”

  27. The jazz singer Sara Gazarek does a nice version of Hallelujah on her Return To You album. The first verse is accompanied only by bass, mixing plucked and bowed strings. Then it morphs into a standard trio.

  28. Someone suggested in my hearing t’other day that the thing that lifted Xena from awfulness was how totally aware of its own awfulness it was. It owned its awful.

    …I still love it.

  29. Yeah, I enjoyed The Man From U.N.C.L.E., but we started keeping tabs on when one particular staircase would show up.

    Re: PoI, R00t is to my eye only slightly more over the top and unreal than everyone else. It’s not exactly a show aiming for realistic characters. Well-drawn characters, yes, but the drawing style isn’t photographic…

    ..which is good as it allows me to forgive some things that would be truly awful about it in the real world and not the computer-noir alternate universe in which it’s set (no, applying pain to the person you’re questioning is not actually going to give you reliable information, and kneecapping – ie, permanently crippling – everyone really isn’t an acceptable alternate to shooting everyone). But in that world, with that base premise, I can let it go by, albeit with a wince.

    otoh, one of my favourite things about the show all along has been the assumption that everyone, male, female, straight or gay, good-grey or bad-grey or oblivious to the grey world, has agency and motivation. I am amazingly grateful I don’t have to grit my teeth and let *that* go by with a wince, because those winces can accumulate into a really bad taste and abandonment of a show.

    i agree with the comment above about how it’s about making all these people better people for having someone they need to protect and nurture. They demonstrate it best in the episodes where the people they’re protecting are the furthest outside their worldview, even as those episodes also tend to contain the most self-mockery.

    Fusco is indeed more awesome than credited, but my favourite is still Harold.
    _____________

    on the topic of over-the-top, totally unrealistic, overly violent, and awesome in every way, I finally saw Mad Max: Fury Road. Wow, yeah. Frankly, from its detractors’ complaints, I actually expected even less of Max…

  30. I have the first season of Batman on DVD and there’s a powder blue Dodge van that all the villains use. They just change the sign they have on the side of it. Maybe there’s a car rental company who only works with super villains. Hope they get paid up front.

  31. I really like Fusco’s arc as well. Which is part of what made the original British “Life on Mars” a work of true genius: people actually growing and even potentially being redeemed. Highly, highly recommended if you’ve never seen it.

  32. Still, I’m pretty sure mom had read Shakespeare.

    It seems probable she read some, but there’s no reason to think that she was well-read. She didn’t graduate high school, had a primary school education, scored the lowest grade of teacher certification, and only taught three terms. Literacy and grammar were the linguistic subjects taught back then, and she could have qualified entirely on school primers. Those primers probably contained some Shakespeare (here’s a sample of a primer for upper grades), but it’s likely her school career never included an entire Shakespeare play. She may have been a big reader outside of her school career, but there’s no real evidence of it, and, given her income and location for the first part of her life, her physical access to books was low enough that that would have been a fairly significant thing.

    That’s what makes no sense to me about the Latin/Greek/Shakespeare kick that’s been popping up here. The main thing about 19th century educations was how few people had one. Only about 55-60% of children went to school at all, and only about 7% of children had more than primary school education. Most people didn’t stay in school long enough to get to the point where they’d encounter Shakespeare in their primers. Basic literacy for most of the population, and not even at a very high level, was a huge national achievement in the 19th century. A good 19th century education was very good, but the number of people who had one was far lower than even the number of children in top private schools today. Far, far more students study Shakespeare today than ever did in the 19th century, and while, as a percentage, fewer study Latin today, the drop from about 5-7% of children to about 1-2% is pretty insignificant compared to the 95% of children who never did and still don’t. Glorifying classical 19th century education is mostly an indicator of how bad most people are at statistics, and how common it is to judge history based on the top 10%.

  33. Re: kneecapping. Some guy who saw too many gangster movies once shot a guy in the knees in our jurisdiction. He was an unhappy customer of the victim’s car repair shop and was expressing his displeasure at the slow speed of repairs.

    The victim died of an infection while in the hospital and the Scarface-wannabe went to prison for murder. These things never happen on TV.

  34. Jack Lint on August 17, 2015 at 8:30 am said:

    … one of the exits was for two streets named after Thor and Freya. I assumed they were named after the gods and not just the children of a prominent citizen.

    Perhaps there had been a prominent citizen named Odin Allfather.

    I have been in another city where they had named a series of streets after the Romantic poets.

    My town has a park called “Poet’s Corner”, with surrounding roads named Browning, Homer, Keats, Kipling, Shelley, and Wadsworth. I’ve been walking all over town, and it’s interesting to identify the clusters of streets that were named for a theme. We have a small neighborhood called “Little Scotland”, with street names such as Aberdeen, Argyle, and Dundee; an area called “the Colleges” including Cornell St, Dartmouth St, and Yale Rd; a collection of streets with names like “Moccasin”, “Cherokee”, and “Tomahawk”; and various places where there are small groups of women’s names, probably named by developers for their wives and daughters.

  35. There is a development a few towns over that has a Flippin’ Way. I suspect the developer had a point to make.

  36. I’ve been walking all over town, and it’s interesting to identify the clusters of streets that were named for a theme.

    The larger the town, the more desperate developers become to find street names the town will approve. Most towns no longer accept names that are too much like existing street names; they learned quickly how confusing that is for emergency operators.

  37. I worked at a utility company, in mapping and GIS. The developers get really desperate for street names, and you find names that sound Spanish but aren’t, and gems like ‘Cul-de-Sac Avenue’ and ‘Camino de Paseo’. (I seem to recall seeing one named something like ‘Calle de Cerveza’, also.)

    I’ve always wondered who named ‘Botryoides Avenue’ and what they were thinking.

  38. When I was in grad school I shared a house on Bonanza Way. It was in a little 60s era subdivision and the other streets were named Cartwright and Ponderosa.

  39. Two subdivisions not far from me, both dating to the 1970s, and I’m guessing from the same developer:

    Planet Drive, Neptune Drive, Comet Drive

    Venus Drive, Mars Street, Jupiter Street, Starmount Drive, Astro Court, Rigel Court, Gemini Drive, Satellite Court, Constellation Drive, Star Trek Court

  40. On a TV bracket how about a best episode – so not ‘Star Trek’ but ‘Star Trek ToS: The City on the Edge of Forever’. The factional splits will be the same probably but for shows people haven’t seen it will give a way into the show and also a way for people to defend their choices without reference to vague generalities. Also it gives shows a way around the suck fairy.

    Shows with old and new iterations could fight each other at the start:
    e.g.
    Star Trek ToS: The City on the Edge of Forever
    Star Trek TNG: The Best of Both Worlds

    Doctor Who (new): Blink
    Doctor who (original): Pyramid of Mars

    hmm it is going to be a timey-wimey face-off still…

  41. This-actually-exists department: Star, Kenobi, and Corellian.
    You can date that development easily.

  42. On Staten Island, near where I once lived, there is an Amber Street that has an intersection with Shadow Lane.

  43. There is a time in my life when I would have plotted a way to move to a street called Corellian Lane.

    Wonder if there are subdivisions in the UK somewhere that have Doctor Who related names? I still might plot a way to move there…

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