Pixel Scroll 9/14/19 We Are All In The Pixel, But Some Of Us Are Looking At The Scrolls

(1) ONE STOP SHOPPING. [Item by Jonathan Cowie.] SF2 Concatenation’s Autumn 2019 edition is up. Voluminous seasonal news and reviews page of both SF and science which includes the major UK SF/fantasy imprint book releases between now and New Year.  (Many of these will be available as imports in N. America and elsewhere.)

(2) LEM V. DICK. [Editor’s note: I apologize for what amounts to misspelling, but characters that WordPress would display as question marks have been changed to a letter of the alphabet without marks.]

[Item by Jan Vanek Jr.] Yesterday the English-language website of the Polish magazine Przekrój published (and started promoting on Facebook, hence my knowledge) the translation of a 2,700-word excerpt (not a self-contained “chapter” as they claim) from Wojciech Orlinski’s 2017 biography of Stanislaw Lem detailing what led to “the famous Lem-Dick imbroglio” with PKD’s “famous Lem report to the FBI”: “access to previously unpublished letters […] resulted in what is likely the first accurate description of the incident, as well as the ultimate explanation as to how the concept of ‘foreign royalties under communism’ is almost as much of a mess as ‘fine dining under communism’ (but not quite as fine a mess)”:

…It all began with Lem’s depiction of Dick – in the third of his great essay collections, Science Fiction and Futurology as little more than a talentless hack. Lem had a poor opinion of almost all American authors, and never thought much of the literary genre of which he himself was an exponent (think of his equally critical view of Pirx the Pilot, for example, or Return from the Stars)….

I found it a quite informative and interesting read, although “Lem’s unfortunate expulsion from the SFWA” that ensued is mentioned only briefly and I think misleadingly (I have checked the Polish book and there is nothing more about it, but it has been described in American sources, many of them online).

(3) ABOUT AO3’S HUGO AWARD. The Organization for Transformative Works has clarified to Archive of Our Own participants — “Hugo Award – What it Means”.

We’re as excited as you are about the AO3’s Hugo win, and we are shouting it to the rafters! We are grateful to the World Science Fiction Society for recognizing the AO3 with the award, as well as to the many OTW volunteers who build and maintain the site, and all of the amazing fans who post and enjoy works on it.

The World Science Fiction Society has asked us to help them get the word out about what the award represented—specifically, they want to make sure people know that the Hugo was awarded to the AO3, and not to any particular work(s) hosted on it. Therefore, while we can all be proud of the AO3’s Hugo win and we can all be proud of what we contributed to making it possible, the award does not make any individual fanwork or creator “Hugo winners”—the WSFS awarded that distinction to the AO3 as a whole. In particular, the WSFS asked us to convey this reminder so that no one mistakenly describes themselves as having personally won a Hugo Award.

Thanks for sharing our enthusiasm, and consider yourselves reminded! We appreciate every one of your contributions.

So far there are 80 comments, any number by Kevin Standlee making Absolutely Clear Everybody Must Understand Things Exactly The Way He Does. One reply says, “You aren’t doing a particularly good job of reading the room here.”

(4) ARISIA PERSISTED. Arisia 2020 has issued its first online Progress Report. Key points: (1) It’s happening! (2) It’s (back) at the Westin Boston Waterfront. (3) The headliners are Cadwell Turnbull, Author Guest of Honor, Kristina Carroll, Artist Guest of Honor, and Arthur Chu, Fan Guest of Honor.

(5) BOO!  LAist primes fans for Universal Studios’ Halloween mazes: “Halloween Horror Nights: A Photo Tour Of The New ‘Ghostbusters’ & ‘Us’ Mazes At Universal Studios”.

Halloween’s almost here… well, OK, it’s more than a month away, but that means it’s time for Halloween haunts — aka Halloween mazes, aka scary Halloween things at theme parks and the like, to start.

Halloween Horror Nights has been taking over Universal Studios Hollywood for 21 years, and we got the chance to take a behind-the-scenes tour of two of the brand new mazes, Ghostbusters and Us. We were guided through by Creative Director John Murdy, the man in charge of creating the stories and the scares inside all of the mazes.

He works with an art director to design every moment, writing treatments for each attraction than can run up to 100 pages.

“It’s a narrative from the guest’s POV — everything I see, hear, smell, etcetera, as if I’m going through the maze,” Murdy said. “But it also has a very elaborate technical breakdown by scene, by discipline, down to the timecode of the audio cues.”

(6) DUBLIN 2019. Cora Buhlert’s report begins with — “WorldCon 77 in Dublin, Part 1: The Good…”. There’s also a shorter version for the Speculative Fiction Showcase: “Cora’s Adventures at Worldcon 77 in Dublin, Ireland”. Each has lots of photos.

…On Wednesday, the day before WorldCon officially started, I helped with move in and set-up at Point Square. This involved carrying boxes, assembling shelves for the staff lounge and crafting area, taping down table cloths and helping to set up the Raksura Colony Tree model. This was my first time volunteering at a WorldCon and it was a great experience. Not only do you get to help to make a great project like WorldCon happen, no, you also get to meet a lot of lovely people while volunteering. Especially if you’re new to WorldCon and don’t know anybody yet, I recommend volunteering as a way to meet people and make friends. What is more, I also got a handful of groats (which I used to buy a very pretty necklace in the dealers room) and a cool t-shirt.

(7) MEMORIAL. Jim C. Hines tweeted the link to his post about the Memorial held for his wife, Amy, on September 8, a touching and highly personal tribute.


  • September 14, 2008The Hunger Games novel hit bookstores. (For some reason, the bookstores did not hit back.)


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 14, 1915 Douglas Kennedy. No major SFF roles that I see but he’s been in a number of films of a genre nature: The Way of All Flesh, The Ghost Breakers, The Mars InvadersThe Land UnknownThe Lone Ranger and the Lost City of GoldThe Alligator People and The Amazing Transparent Man. Series wise, he had one-offs on Alcoa PresentsScience Fiction TheatreAlfred Hitchcock Presents and The Outer Limits. (Died 1973.)
  • Born September 14, 1919 Claire P. Beck. Editor of the Science Fiction Critic, a fanzine which published in four issues Hammer and Tongs, the first work of criticism devoted to American SF. It was written by his brother Clyde F. Beck. Science Fiction Critic was published from 1935 to 1938. (Died 1999.)
  • Born September 14, 1927 Martin Caidin. His best-known novel is Cyborg which was the basis for The Six Million Dollar Man franchise. He wrote two novels in the Indiana Jones franchise and one in the Buck Rogers one as well. He wrote myriad other sf novels as well. (Died 1997.)
  • Born September 14, 1932 Joyce Taylor, 87. She first shows as Princess Antillia in Atlantis, the Lost Continent. Later genre appearances were The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the first English language Beauty and the Beast film, the horror film Twice-Told Tales and the Men into Space SF series. 
  • Born September 14, 1936 Walter Koenig, 83. Best-known for his roles as Pavel Chekov in the original Trek franchise and Alfred Bester on Babylon 5Moontrap, a SF film with him and Bruce Campbell, would garner a 28% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and InAlienable which he executive produced, wrote and acts in has no rating there. 
  • Born September 14, 1941 Bruce Hyde. Patterns emerge in doing these Birthdays. One of these patterns is that original Trek had a lot of secondary performers who had really short acting careers. He certainly did. He portrayed Lt. Kevin Riley in two episodes, “The Naked Time” and “The Conscience of the King” and the rest of his acting career consisted of eight appearances, four of them as Dr. Jeff Brenner.  He acted for less than two years in ‘65 and ‘66, before returning to acting thirty-four years later to be in The Confession of Lee Harvey Oswald which is his final role. (Died 2015.)
  • Born September 14, 1947 Sam Neill, 72. Best known for role of Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park which he reprised in Jurassic Park III. He was also in Omen III: The Final Conflict, Possession, Memoirs of an Invisible ManSnow White: A Tale of TerrorBicentennial ManLegend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’HooleThe Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas BoxThor: Ragnarok and Peter Rabbit. 
  • Born September 14, 1961 Justin Richards, 58. Clute at ESF says “Richards is fast and competent.” Well I can certain say he’s fast as he’s turned out thirty-five Doctor Who novels which Clute thinks are for the YA market between 1994 and 2016. And he has other series going as well! Another nineteen novels written, and then there’s the Doctor Who non-fiction which runs to over a half dozen works.  


  • Frank and Ernest ask deep questions about Pokémon.
  • A Tom Gauld cartoon about The Testaments launch in The Guardian.

(11) LUCAS MUSEUM. George Lucas, his wife Mellody Hobson, and the mayor dropped by the site yesterday to see how things are going: “Force Is With Them! Construction Of George Lucas Museum In Full Swing”.

Construction of the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is in full swing.

On Friday, Lucas — along with his wife and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti — watched as construction crews helped bring his vision to life.

And he thanked them for the tireless effort.

“You’re doing the impossible — thank you so much,” Lucas said.

“Millions of people will be inspired by this building. We were just in our board meeting for the museum and George said you are the artists so you’re the artists of this art museum,” says Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO of Ariel Investments and the museum’s co-founder.

(12) LISTEN TO LIEN. Henry Lien is the Special Guest Star on this week’s episode of  The Write Process podcast, hosted by the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program — “Henry Lien on Worldbuilding, Puzzle Stories, Middle Grade, & Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions”

Henry Lien teaches law and creative writing at UCLA Extension. A private art dealer, he is the author of the Peasprout Chen middle grade fantasy series, which received New York Times acclaim and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist.

(13) COSPLAY ID’S. SYFY Wire has collected all the tweeted photos — “Detroit high school encourages students to dress as pop culture icons for ID photos”.

High school can be a turbulent time for any budding teenager, but when you’re allowed to dress up as your favorite movie or television character, facing picture day isn’t the daunting challenge it once was. Per a report from The Huffington Post, North Farmington High School in the suburbs of Detroit allowed its senior pupils to assume the persona of their favorite pop culture icon for the sake of ID photographs. What followed was a parade of Woodys (Toy Story), Shuris (Black Panther) Fionas (Shrek), creepy twins (The Shining), and so many more!

(14) GUTS. In the Washington Post, Michael Cavna profiles YA graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier, whose autobiographical graphic novels have sold 13.5 million copies and  who attracted an audience of 4,000 to her talk at the National Book Festival. “Raina Telgemeier became a hero to millions of readers by showing how uncomfortable growing up can be”.

…Now, because her fans kept asking, she is getting more personal than ever. The Eisner Award-winning author who launched her publishing empire with 2010?s “Smile,” about her years-long dental adventures as a kid, is prepared to bare new parts of her interior world with “Guts,” available Tuesday, which centers on how fear affected her body.

 “This is the reality of my life,” Telgemeier told her fans. She quickly got to the heart and GI tract of the matter: “I was subject to panic attacks and [was] worrying that something was really wrong with me.”…

(15) SIGNAL BOOST. Naomi Kritzer offers an incentive for supporting a cause that needs a cash infusion.

(16) MARATHON SITTINGS. The Hollywood Reporter considers “The Long Game: Super-Sized Movies Are Testing the Patience of Audiences”.

And there may be a financial cost. Over the Sept. 6-8 weekend, New Line and director Andy Muschietti’s It: Chapter Two opened to $91 million domestically, a 26 percent decline from the first It, which debuted to $123.4 million on the same weekend in 2017. The sequel ran a hefty 169 minutes, 34 minutes longer than its predecessor.

“Andy had a lot of story to tell in concluding his adaptation of Stephen King’s book, which is more than 1,100 pages,” says Jeff Goldstein, chief of distribution for Warner Bros., New Line’s parent. “We strategically added more shows and locations to counterbalance losing a show on each screen.”

Adds a rival studio executive regarding It: Chapter Two, “look, $91 million is a great number. But anytime the second film in a hoped-for franchise goes down — and not up — that’s not what you wish for. And I do think the fact that it was so long didn’t help.”

(17) COLBERT. Stephen Colbert’s “Meanwhile…” news roundup includes a furry joke related to the movie Cats, and a bit on “The 5D Porn Cinema No One Asked For.” These items start at 2.02 — here on YouTube.

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Cinema verite of author Liz Hand on Vimeo. A 5-minute video of Hand at work and play

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Daniel Dern, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Matthew Johnson.]

747 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/14/19 We Are All In The Pixel, But Some Of Us Are Looking At The Scrolls

  1. @ JJ

    The reasons why people nominated and voted for AO3 are ultimately irrelevant; the reason it was allowed to be eligible in the category was for its innovative platform and user interface, and that’s what received the Hugo Award, regardless of peoples’ reasons for nominating and voting for it.

    I agree with this statement, and I apologize if my previous statements were unclear.

  2. Farasha: How many people have to be part of an award winning work before it becomes “contributed to the winner” and not “winner”? If two authors co-write a work, and the work wins, are both of them allowed to say they’re winners in bylines and publications? If Sandman had won in the year it was nominated, would Gaiman as well as the artist and the inker for the comics be able to say they are winners, since the art and the text contributed equally to the finished work? This is a line that hasn’t been firmly defined, at least from my point of view.

    It has, but if people are not familiar with the Hugo Awards, they may not realize that.

    The people named on this page are official Hugo Award Finalists / Winners*. Notice that both Gaiman and Williams are credited for Sandman: Overture, as are the other Graphic Story artists for the other finalist works.

    And, as I previously pointed out, of the 50 MexicanX Initiative participants in 2018, only the 4 which were listed can officially call themselves Hugo Award Finalists.

    For Dramatic Presentations, it’s the writers and directors, not the actors, who are Finalists and Winners.

    * please note that occasionally errors and omissions appear on the Hugo Awards site, and in 2017 they forgot to include the artists on the Graphic Story slides during the Hugo Award Ceremony, but in general, if the person’s name appears in the official Hugo records, then they’re an official finalist/winner, and if their name does not appear, they aren’t.

  3. Seems to me that if this is such an existential threat to the integrity of the WSFS and the Hugoes they should have been prepared to allocate a little more than 2 grand for it.

  4. @JJ

    And, as I previously pointed out, of the 50 MexicanX Initiative participants in 2018, only the 4 which were listed can officially call themselves Hugo Award Finalists.

    I think this becomes a problem when the actual contributors to the infrastructure of AO3 include dozens of people who coded on a volunteer basis, and hundreds more who tag wrangled or added bug fixes on a volunteer basis, of which almost all of them are anonymous, or at least non-credited. One of the big issues is that it seems a project on the scale of AO3 has never won a Hugo before. Naomi Novik is the “face,” in that it was her LiveJournal post (I highly recommend reading it, as it is an important piece of fandom history) that got the AO3 ball rolling at the outset, or at least put the idea in the public sphere as something we might actually be able to do. And then we did. So we do connect Novik personally with the Archive, and do view her as a founder of sorts, but she isn’t officially involved anymore and several other people whose names we don’t know have stepped up to continue the work that she and others began.

    For Dramatic Presentations, it’s the writers and directors, not the actors, who are Finalists and Winners.

    If I were an actor I would be a bit miffed at this, quite honestly. I’ve been a theatrical technician for almost longer than I’ve been writing fanfiction, and while things like “how many actors does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, call a technician” (or the joker wants to be pedantic, “None, it’s called a lamp“) are running jokes, we don’t lessen the contributions of the actors to the finished work. Without the actors, it’s not a dramatic presentation, it’s just a script. The director could direct without actors, but I imagine it would be rather difficult. But this has nothing to do with the argument at hand, so it’s more of a tangent.

    I still completely believe that this kerfuffle would have been avoided if specific direction had been given, through the OTW statement, that specific things are legally damaging, stop doing them. Or if OTW had directly quoted WSFS saying the same. That would require an actual lawyer to be consulted though, which I’ve been given to understand is somewhat expensive (and might be out of the budget of the mark committee?). For funsies and my own interest, I might call the legal service my company provides and use one of my free consultations to find out the answer to this question.

  5. Jake: Seems to me that if this is such an existential threat to the integrity of the WSFS and the Hugoes they should have been prepared to allocate a little more than 2 grand for it.

    WSFS is a small, all-volunteer, fan-run organization, and all of its funds are small amounts which come from donations by individual Worldcon committees. These funds generally go to administrative expenses; a few years ago, they were used to file for and attain mark protection in the EU for the appropriate keywords and logos (a much larger expense that year than is usual).

    WSFS meets once a year, at Worldcon, with attendance anywhere from (best guess) 100-350 people. It has a couple of standing committees which last all year long, including the Mark Protection Committee, which has a dozen or so members and a very small amount of money (around $2,000) to do whatever work is necessary.

    AO3 members can possibly appreciate the concept that the WSFS organization as it exists in the MPC during the year has been deliberately limited by low funding, to avoid it from becoming something that has too much power which might then try to take over individual Worldcons or Worldcons as a whole, or engage in any other sort of (what the full membership would consider to be) overreach.

    There’s no Big Bad Corporation With A Fat Wallet here, just a small organization of volunteers who keep Worldcon and The Hugo Awards going.

  6. Well, this was fun to wake up to. Thanks, Meredith! It’s good to know that Lis was acting within social norms for here. In the future, I’ll simply not respond. I’m definitely much more used to conversations that can thread, where Lis’ response would have been seen as rude and jaw-dropping. See, cultural differences.

    I thought Farasha had a great post on the trademark issue that I’m sad didn’t get a response, either.

    It’s not been an enjoyable experience having my best attempts at politeness in a new place be consistently read as me being rude, and I definitely have this thread bookmarked when people ask me what WSFS members might be like. It hasn’t been fun. It’s been bewildering, genuinely, to try and make my point as well as I can and then have the accusations of arguing in bad faith come around. I came into this thread sympathetic to the WSFS for having to make an unfun announcement and just not knowing the culture of the folks who are making these jokes, and the way I’ve been viewed for trying my best to discuss it has actually changed my feelings a lot. That a lot of WSFS members are feeling raw, I get. It’s raw feelings on all sides here. It doesn’t excuse the behavior, and it’s been painful and embarrassing to watch people say the AO3 side should have been sympathetic to the WSFS folks while offering none in turn. The full damage to the brand that’s already been done has yet to be fully seen now, but it’s happening.

  7. @ jayn,

    Thanks. That is a good post. One commenter called File 770 a “hive of ‘don’t have fun.'” I distinctly recall having fun sometime in the recent past. 🙂

  8. @ Rivine:

    I would be very surprised if they wasn’t. But it is not necessarily obvious that the (various) Hugo trademarks are registered in multiple jurisdictions. And if (wild guess, not really my business, mostly based on the “brexit” joke/reference further down; DEFINITELY no need to neither confirm nor deny) they is in the UK, the trademark protection would apply.

  9. @Rob Thornton

    I’ve been a sometimes lurker before this particular explosion and I do remember fun being had. Unfortunately, the first impression for a lot of people who have come here for the first time is a distinct air of “no fun allowed.” Probably because serious legal discussions about trademark are not fun (though winning an award is a lot of fun, and I wish we could get back to the joyfulness we all felt in the initial time after it was announced – like I said before, my goodness we were so incredibly proud).

    Perhaps we’ll stop being mad at each other and be able to discuss calmly at some point, but given that I’ve been through internet wanks that lasted literal months before, I’m not particularly optimistic.

  10. @ Farasha

    I’m working on recovering my sense of humor here, which I believe is essential to fixing things! 🙂

    In the end, our differences are amplified by the fact that everybody here is a lot alike. We just need to take stock and find out what is important to everybody, and find a way to address everything without damaging any long-term investments.

  11. @LectionaryStan: I looked back for your first comment in the thread and I believe what you are saying is sincere. If you really intend to use this post in the manner you describe, I hope you’ll preface it by saying this is what we look like when we are stressed and worried that something we love is going to die because people loved it and squeezed it and called it George. I don’t mean that to imply anyone is simple-minded like Lenny, the character who did (spoiler alert!) kill that rabbit. I only mean that, in the words of Yet Another Great American Artist, you can take a thing you think is wonderful and, through no bad intentions on your part whatsoever

  12. That was a lot less kindness and more, oh no, I know that social norm, that’s an extremely polite reinforcement of boundaries by those standards and is going to come across as really rude by these standards, if I reply fast enough maybe it will make it clear that it was just a misunderstanding/culture clash and not actually anyone involved (Lis or LectionaryStan) being rude at all~ which didn’t work but worth a shot, I guess.

    Polite practice if you don’t want to respond to someone is indeed to, uh, just not respond to someone. With or without explaining why. You’re not obligated. (But if it’s a major point against your argument and you ignore it while continuing to debate others then other people in the thread will continually direct you back to it.)

    (I know a transformative works guy who uses and enforces those standards with everyone who replies to his posts even on twitter so, avoiding convo jumping is very much an engrained social norm in some parts of transformative works fandom.)


    I do want to be really, really clear to all of our new visitors: Many of the people here arguing more-or-less on the side of the AO3’s userbase, or at least not arguing against them, are File770 regulars and often members of the WSFS. If you’re looking at the two or three people making the strongest arguments against and considering them to be the be-all and end-all of File770 or WSFS opinion, well, they’re not. That doesn’t make their opinions invalid, or wrong, or less – judge them on their merits not whether they have majority agreement – but it’s deeply frustrating to see so many people take the most negative stuff and go: That’s File770’s stance. It isn’t, anymore than my stance is, or RedWombat’s is, or… whoever. If anything can be said to be File770’s “opinion” it would be Mike Glyer’s, and he has not been notably critical of the AO3 userbase.

  13. @ Farasha:

    In the “no fun” category, can I humbly suggest this File770 collection (I say “humbly”, but as may have been evident by Mike Glyer asking me specifically how Trigger Snowflake would’ve reacted, I have the eternal shame of being the most proximate cause of Trigger Snowflake stories existing, but I mostly blame JJ (I think it was JJ) for setting the whole thing in motion).

    Oh, Mike, while I remember, I think the first 1 or 2 Trigger stories aren’t actually tagged with the Trigger tag. And I can’t for the LIFE of me find where the whole thing started (I htought I knew what pixel scroll it was, but maybe not).

  14. Jesus, people, talk about reading in bad faith! LectionaryStan’s comment was obvious to me not as “don’t butt into this conversation” it was “my googling is as good as [person I was talking to]” to which Liz said they were involved in copyright law, and it’s pretty damn obvious to ME that Lectionary was trying to say that they hasn’t been trying to argue copyright law with Liz, they were trying to argue that their googling was as good as the person they were initially arguing with. It didn’t look at all to me like a “don’t get involved” it looked like a “yours was not the expertise I was questioning, sorry.”

    PERSON A: My googling of potatoes says you are wrong about the blight.
    PERSON B: My google says I’m right, and I trust my google skills over yours so…
    PERSON C: I’m a potato historian, how dare you imply your google skills trump that.
    PERSON B: Sorry, C, I was talking about questioning A’s expertise, not yours.
    PERSON D: Don’t you tell C to shut up!
    PERSON E: That’s not how we do things here. Anyone can talk!
    multicomment thread about social norms
    PERSON B: … wtf just happened?


  15. @RedWombat

    I’ve been containing myself and saying “don’t make it weird don’t make it weird” but I can no longer contain myself of squee (I’ve admired your work too long) so at the risk of making it weird I will say AHHHHHH you responded to something I said AHHHHH.

    Okay I’m done. Thank you for speaking up in our defense, and keeping it lighthearted. There’s a lot of mad being slung around and I sincerely appreciate your comments (beyond squee).

  16. @ John A Arkansawyer Thanks for the vote of confidence. I think I’m among many of the silent readers of this thread when I say that comparison is a little bit mean. It goes in hand with a… a vibe I’ve gotten? As if the WSFS are the adults in the room and the AO3 side is being childish? Like the comment in that recent AO3 link that says “finally someone is being the adult here”. I don’t think that was any person here who said it, but it feels the same. I’m sorry that things have been so stressful. Unfortunately, the exact worries and stress have not been communicated clearly. The situation with a community as large as AO3 receiving an award hasn’t happened before, and there isn’t precedent to say one way or the other if this will be truly harmful to the Hugo’s brand. Smacking people “just in case” to prevent a harm is still causing a harm, just a different one. For example, it might feel less stressful to be completely assured that the trademark will be protected, but the reputational harm of taking unreasonable lengths to protect it may result in unusual difficulty recruiting for WSFS membership in the future and a lot of negative publicity that will de-legitimize how respected the Hugo’s are in years to come. I’ve seen a lot of this start to happen already. I understand hurt people lashing out. Like I said, there’s a lot of that happening on both sides right now. Hurt people hurt people is the maxim, yeah? And now there are starting to be a lot more hurt and angry people who are spreading negative word of mouth about the brand in protected free speech. The worry is completely understandable. I’m fully on board. But the method that has been used to convey that worry has come off as petty and cruel; and even though we all like second chances for ourselves, most people aren’t coming back for a second look to see what people are talking about here. They’re just receiving the gut punch of a bungled paraphrased press release and just explaining how that makes them feel. The WSFS can still come out and clarify their stance, which I deeply hope they do soon. The sooner the official WSFS stance can be made clear, as it not been yet, the sooner this can clear up.

  17. I would also like to invite (as a Filer, not as someone with Actual Authority) any visitors to post stuff that has knocked their socks off in the recommendation thread for next year’s Hugos! That meta and/or fic writer who has been knocking it out of the park this year? Recommend them for Fan Writer! Read a fantastic novel or short story (transformative or otherwise) published this year? Recommend away! Any category is fair game, just needs to be eligible!

    (Which reminds me, I really need to write up a rec for Fansplaining for Best Fancast…)


    Yes, I did edit my initial comment to make it clear that I thought that the comment could also have been intended as a simple clarification as to who the googling thing was directed at – but perhaps it still wasn’t clear enough, what with being a rather hasty edit of a rather hastily written comment, and of course only the original version would have been in the email thread so anyone who doesn’t double-check the website version or just happened to load the page pre-edit wouldn’t have seen it.

  18. @ Meredith and RedWombat I just saw your posts after the edit timer ran out. Thank you so much. I feel seen, in a good way. It’s been an emotional morning, and I’m so relieved to see how you read it. Especially Meredith, your explanations have been so valuable, not even just to me, but to the many outsiders reading this thread who wouldn’t have known that. I really appreciate it.

  19. @LectionaryStan

    I have used many threaded forums and I can’t recall one where third parties adding to an ongoing conversation wasn’t just an accepted normal usage. But hey-ho.

    But some further points – absolutely agree with Meredith where they say that there is no organisational view (on the part of WSFS member or people who post here). I think there has been too much mushing together of people on both sides. We know it is only a minority of AO3 members who are behaving in ways we don’t like, and hopefully you know it is only a few people here who are hyper-defensive and kicking back at the injustices they see.

    Personally I voted AO3 below no-award because I didn’t think communities were a good fit for Related Work (and like it or not I think people voted for the community aspect rather than changes to the platform last year IMO), and I didn’t think that it really fitted the year based nature of the award either. I would have had no problem with AO3 being recognised with a one-off Hugo (for Outstanding Community Building) – which I think could have been done by Dublin.

    I think as to the ‘joking’ aspect that if AO3 people were saying things like they won a millionth of a Hugo, or were saying things like micro-Hugo or milli-Hugo it would have just been seen as fun. It is when people say that they are Hugo winners (even if not serious) that they step across the line.

  20. I have used many threaded forums and I can’t recall one where third parties adding to an ongoing conversation wasn’t just an accepted normal usage. But hey-ho.

    Hi Andy. RedWombat had it correct. I was answering a specific claim to a specific person. In threaded forums and places like Twitter, a third party answering as though a specific statement was aimed at the room would be considered rude, and at the time, I thought it would be more rude to ignore Lis than it would to politely acknowledge that I had somehow failed to convey that I was specifically responding to JJ, as JJ had said something specifically to me. Thank Meredith for her knowledge of the norms on both sides. Even though you haven’t seen it before, I assure you that I was being as polite and kind as possible for the situation in the community I’m from. Thank you for hearing me.

  21. @Farasha – Aww, yay! And you’re awesome and have been saying awesome stuff.

    @LectionaryStan, @Meredith – I think part of the problem is that we’ve all kinda hit the eating crackers like a bitch stage* with each other and then it just snowballs forever.

    *no, everyone unfamiliar with the phrase, I am not calling anyone a bitch, look up the idiom before you get huffy with me

  22. @John Thanks for hearing me. I think I still have to say that the “if you don’t act how I deem sufficiently genuine, then here’s a threat of violence” made me really uncomfortable and I’m very on edge from everything last night and today. It’s one more piece in a very unpleasant experience here. I have been fully genuine the entire time and this makes me feel a lot worse about what I’ve already posted.

    Though I do understand your point that even unintentional happy behavior can cause harm to a loved thing, I still fully believe that it’s not a given, and the reaction is a to potential harm, not a fully realized one. Reacting to a potential future “what if this bad thing happens” is understandable, but I don’t think that makes the situation justifiable. This could have been neatly avoided while still protecting trademark, as much smarter people than me in this conversation have already pointed out.

    @RedWombat I’ve actually never heard that one before! Here’s me going to go look it up!

  23. @LectionaryStan: I’d like to add that when I went back to your first comment, I remembered it, because it was a happy comment in a contentious thread, and your happy had made me happy.

  24. I appreciate the education I have received about any number of cultural matters from posts and comments on File 770.

  25. “Look at that bitch, eating crackers!” = “bitch eating crackers” = when you’re so annoyed with someone for other reasons that literally anything they do, however innocuous, really pisses you off. 🙂


    I’m coming at this discussion from the perspective of a long time (if often a bit lurkerish, because spoons, and also because I’m stubbornly waiting out fandom moving to a new platform because I don’t want to get a Tumblr account and Twitter is too exhausting – I’ve got high hopes for the peer2peer stuff!) transformative works fandom person who, up until 2014/2015, had the sum total knowledge of the Hugos and sf/f lit convention fandom as “Hugo Award winner appears on the covers of a lot of cool books”, but has spent the past four years regularly reading and participating at File770. I got to educate myself on con fandom cultural norms and Hugo trivia the nice, easy way, where no-one is mad at me for stuff other people have done and I can absorb it over time through observation and asking questions in a non-charged atmosphere (or at least, not charged in my general direction). It would be a little uncool of me not to try to help when others are having to do the crash-course-while-everyone-is-upset version..!

    If anyone has any questions (lurkers included) please do feel free to ask. If I can answer them I will, to the best of my ability and knowledge. (And if I get anything wrong someone will jump in to clarify, I’m sure.)

    (Not that I’m an expert by any means; there’s at least one regular here who has been in con fandom since they were a baby, and many others who have decades of experience and have been Hugo administrators and Worldcon staffers. But I know enough to mostly not accidentally stamp on anyone’s toes and nominate things in the right categories. Ish.)

  26. What I have seen is people asking AO3 members to understand that it is AO3 the entity, not AO3 the collection of fan fiction, which was nominated and won in a category which is very specifically not for fiction.

    blink blink

    I…those aren’t actually two different things? “AO3 the entity” is a pile of code and tagging and infrastructure that when all put together is a collection of fanworks. (And NOT just fanfic, which I will continue saying until the day I die apparently. The AO3 isn’t just for fanfic.)

    I’m not quite sure how you can give an award to the component parts, but not the whole. “AO3 the collection of fan fiction” absolutely did win a Hugo. The award was given because of the non-fictional aspects of the Archive, but there is no way to split them off from the Archive as a whole.

    There is no “AO3 Organization” or “AO3 entity,” that is not a thing that exists. There is just the AO3. And the AO3 is its users. Its users are the people building it, and maintaining it and user testing the code and finding and fixing the broken bits and making tag wrangling volunteers stop and go, “how do I categorize that???” and coders go, “I… didn’t realize that was a thing people wanted to do, but I suppose we can make it work.”

    The fanworks aren’t just why the infrastructure was built, they’re part of how the infrastructure was built. Every piece of fanfic posted, every fanvid, every podfic, is one more piece of user testing that leads to changes in the code and the tagging system and underlying structure. We built the AO3 from the ground up, and we built it with our porn.

    And if, by “the AO3 Organization” or “AO3 the entity” people mean “the OTW,” you’re still wrong. Because the OTW is not now and never has been “the AO3 Organization.”

  27. @ Meredith Oh, man. Well it has to happen sometime – Tumblr and Twitter and the like are all historically recent… It can’t last forever. I grew up in LJ and forum fandom, so Tumblr and Twitter still feel new to me sometimes. But when all your closer friends have made the migration, the choice is easier when it’s between “stop talking to my good friends” vs “continue talking to my good friends”…

    I actually really wanted to get a WSFS membership back in the Puppies disaster to try and help, but I didn’t have the means at the time. It’s a relief to know there are folks willing to help out nervous people like me!

  28. I agree that any statement which had gone along the lines of a more professional “hey, we hate to be a bummer but the law is a jerk, so please stop joking about being hugo award winners or trying to sell/profit from hugo award winner merch, but saying you contributed to a hugo winning project or are a member of a hugo award winning community project is fine and true and legal so please do celebrate that as we celebrate with you and for you!” would have been better. As it is the statement was too vague and not, I don’t know, happy and welcoming enough. Perhaps there’s still time for a clarification to happen?

    The longer this discussion has gone on the more I feel quite strongly that unofficially and without legal standing the transformative works fandom community won a Hugo, via the medium of AO3 (per: the community being a noteworthy non-fictional aspect, as well as the superior technological aspects, and the community being responsible for creating and maintaining those superior technological aspects).

    But (and I’m deeply saddened by this) it can’t be officially and legally, because I don’t actually think anyone wants every single person who has ever posted fic, meta, recs, comments, art, or vids on the AO3 to be able to legally and without consequence claim to be Hugo Winning Writers or Artists or Filmmakers on their CV’s/Resume’s/Book Covers, and, apparently, jokingly doing so is something the law doesn’t care for unless you also want to allow it in all seriousness.

    I would love to get back to celebrating the win – the joy I felt when it was announced over the livestream cannot be understated – instead of watching both WSFS members and AO3 members foster bitterness and anger and hurt at the very time when our combined community was and should be demonstrated and celebrated, together. There’s transformative works fandom and there’s sf/f lit con fandom, and a constellation of subfandoms thereof and other fandoms besides, but at the end of it: We’re all fandom and we’re all fans. I would hate to see artificial walls put up. Straddling them would get terribly uncomfortable for many of us.

  29. @LectionaryStan

    Honestly? The voter’s packet went (and still goes) a long, long way to justifying the membership as a line on my (tiny) budget. That I get not only the experience and excitement and joy of participating in the discussion and voting process with fellow fans but also books and other content I might not buy otherwise (for either budget reasons or because the blurbs didn’t appeal or I just plain hadn’t heard of it) but could very well end up loving turns up in my inbox every year? Worth the price of entry, at least for me, for as long as I can afford it.

  30. Why do I keep looking up this thread? It keeps making me either angry or sad, especially as people who made comments that can only be called insults or bad faith then tell other the other side they can’t be taken seriously when they use insults and bad faith. or complain that a knee-jerk response can’t last multiple days whilst hammering again on the knee that jerked the first time. (And while I am borrowing that last example comment from a specific user, I am not blaming that one user, or that one side.)

    I don’t even have the slightly evil pleasure of a bystander gawping at a train wreck, because while I am often guilty of that fascination, this train RAN OVER PEOPLE I CARE ABOUT.

    In fact, I think that might be it. I keep checking in to see how the injured are faring — and instead I see the injured, while still bleeding and their physical state getting worse, arguing mostly about which of the trains was at fault.

    We all love fandom. We all love the Hugos, both those determined to save it from the bad world and even ordinary twitter memes, and those whose happy jokes might be the cause of trademark dilution. Most of us at least understand the impulse towards fanfic and meta. We agree on more than we disagree about. People have stepped on cultural conventions multiple times on BOTH sides, but the takes that assumed bad faith or rudeness not present while reacting to those missed conventions have been equally painful.

    Just: I like all those of you I know, and I think I could like many of you I don’t know. Let’s TRY and assume good faith on the flimsiest of evidence, let’s ask people to clarify when we think they just threw a mortal insult, let’s rescan our posts and remove all things that might be construed as an insult, no matter how “accurate” or strictly factual we are determined they are (I did that with this very message. 3 times. I bet I left things in that will get someone’s back up. I apologize.)

  31. Phooey, I think I meant my joy could not be overstated and the edit window is gone. Probably a sign I need to go and take a break until my brain cools off a little!

    (PS. I can’t remember who but I’m sure I saw someone wonder about this earlier – I believe you can post up to two links before the auto-moderation will catch it, but Mike will usually let things with too many links out of mod jail if you ask.)

  32. Because I’ve seen a couple people use the term: The OTW has a Board of Directors, not a Motherboard, and this is because not everyone who has run for Election to the Board or served on it has been female.

    If lurked around her long enough to know no erasure or misgendering was intended, which is why I wanted to make sure and correct it.

  33. @Jayn

    Thanks for linking that! I had been hoping a lawyer would weigh in. Unfortunately it seems like he’s firmly refusing to address the part that everyone is arguing about, which is to say, the twitter jokes (or general non-commercial usage). Which, fair enough, he’s not getting paid. But it does mean I got my hopes up and then they were dashed as instead it’s only one more voice agreeing that the for-profit uses such as the Etsy and Kickstarter stuff are violations. We all already agreed on that part.

    I yet hold out hope for another lawyer to wander by. (And I’m sitting so hard on the lawyer jokes when I say that.)


    If you do use one of those free consultations (I am envious!), please, please let us know what they say? I think there are a lot of us who would love to know!

  34. @JJ: Sounds like WSFS membership, by choosing to limit the power of the organization in general and MPC in particular, has sent the message that there’s no consensus to take any action of substance.

  35. @longleaf–“Hello, intermittent reader, first time commenter. I apologise if I’m violating any norms here. ”

    Welcome–I’m not sure there are any norms here apart from the usual ‘act civilized’.
    People are here because they love sff and want to find more that they can love and then argue about stuff. And then get carried away and accidentally cause hurt feelings and anger–because we’re all human and screw up at times.
    If you stick around and check in frequently, you’ll see posts that will make you roll your eyes and others that make you take notes so you can remember the name of books. I’ve done both here. And found books I enjoyed that I would have passed by.
    So if you think that some work needs to get out there–tell us here. We’re always looking for writers and books and movies that we may have missed.

  36. I’ve been voting for the Hugo for the past 5 years or so and reading File770 for several months now, and I was thinking of checking out AO3, as well, but I’m an outsider to both communities. As such I am baffled by the communication fails that started this conflict. It seems to me that many commenters just assumed their community culture was somehow common knowledge and that strangers who didn’t fit with that culture were either rude for intruding or must be trolls because how could they know the local culture and still behave like they did? (Maybe they simply didn’t know the culture?)

    As I see it, the problem started with this OTW post that didn’t make the legal issues clear and that sounded like the OTW felt obliged to make an announcement, but didn’t really agree nor wanted to be a party pooper.
    Then Kevin Standlee jumped in to explain the problem properly, apparently in a way that clashed with AO3 culture. Maybe he could have done a better job, but I’m still shocked about the level of toxicity that people responded with. After reading many comments from more reasonable AO3 commenters here, I understand better where these toxic comments were coming from, but I still think you have to be exceptionally self-absorbed and lacking in empathy to attack someone like that for neutral, non-hostile explanations.

    How can people complain aggressively about someone “not reading the room” or being “tone-deaf” when they themselves aren’t even capable of reading his actual words, without distorting them through the lens of their collective feelings of inferiority, past discrimination etc? I would have thought that when a stranger comments in a way that seems off to the in-crowd, the rational and courteous reaction is to ask questions, to inform the person of relevant local customs, and to find out in a reasonable exchange whether the person is acting in good faith or really a troll. Not to throw derisive gifs at them and tear them to pieces. I definitely hope that’s how people would react to a “tone-deaf” comment I might write. Haven’t people communicating on the internet for years and years learned by now that there are so many different cultures and perspectives that you can’t just assume random strangers communicate in a way fitting perfectly to your own? Like I said, I’m baffled. Are internet communities the new nation states whose members are happy to willfully misunderstand each other and go to war over silly stuff?

  37. @ Klio

    I think what a lot of people are missing is that this corner of fandom has interacted with Kevin a couple of times before over the years and some of us have long memories dating back to, oh, 2013, and are still kind of inclined to be irritated, exasperated, or cranky with him all this time later. I had several friends respond to his first comment with reactions of “Of COURSE it’s Standlee, who else would it be?” over chat. He’s not a stranger to us.

    I bear no actual ill will towards the man, but historically he tends to have a tendency towards being rather nitpicky and/or pedantic and seems to have a difficult time seeing things from someone else’s perspective; that heavily affects how any contentious or potentially contentious conversation will go.

  38. @ Cat Meier

    The fanworks aren’t just why the infrastructure was built, they’re part of how the infrastructure was built. Every piece of fanfic posted, every fanvid, every podfic, is one more piece of user testing that leads to changes in the code and the tagging system and underlying structure. We built the AO3 from the ground up, and we built it with our porn.

    I’m not trying to be mean, but let me ask you a question: So did every short story on AO3 win a Best Short Story Hugo in this year? Obviously not. AO3’s infrastructure was nominated for a Hugo under the Best Related Work category and that’s it. If you want to view AO3 holistically, that is obviously your right. But that’s not how the Hugos viewed it.

    (Again, I think AO3 is a great place and I celebrate its creativity. Kudos to you all.)

  39. Jake: Sounds like WSFS membership, by choosing to limit the power of the organization in general and MPC in particular, has sent the message that there’s no consensus to take any action of substance.

    No, the MPC is fully authorized to act in WSFS’ name and on their behalf in relation to matter concerning infringement of their registered marks. In the case of where a person or corporation decided to infringe egregiously, and ignored a request to stop, then the MPC would have to appeal to members and Worldcon committees for donations and offers of pro bono service in order to cover legal costs.

    And they would probably get the funds and services that they needed to do so (Worldcon 76 is being represented in their lawsuit by a member who is an attorney doing pro bono work, I believe), but everybody would really prefer not to have to spend time and money that way.

  40. LectionaryStan, I’ve gone back and re-read your comments while trying to give them the most generous reading possible. And I’m willing to accept that what seemed unbelievably rude to me was considered normal behavior to you.

    But then you said, “if you don’t act how I deem sufficiently genuine, then here’s a threat of violence”. There was no threat of violence, nothing with even the vague appearance of it. How am I supposed to believe that someone is operating in good faith when they say something like this?

    I’m asking this genuinely, not snidely. How can a claim like this not be taken as a bad faith argument?

  41. Cat Meier: Because I’ve seen a couple people use the term: The OTW has a Board of Directors, not a Motherboard, and this is because not everyone who has run for Election to the Board or served on it has been female.

    Cat, I have been doing this (due to my familiarity with Wiscon and the Tiptree Award), and I apologize for using incorrect terminology, especially for the misgendering. Thank you for speaking up. I will make a point of using the correct terms going forward.

  42. @JJ

    then the MPC would have to appeal to members and Worldcon committees for donations and offers of pro bono service in order to cover legal costs.

    This seems rather complex and somewhat risky for something that’s so important. Would the WSFS be able to run some kind of donations drive, similar to what AO3 does frequently, to beef up the coffers so they aren’t so dependent on the goodwill of others when a legal question actually arises?

    EDIT: Or, as has been mentioned elsewhere, contact OTW, which specifically deals with legal questions related to how intellectual property and fandom intersect.

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