Pixel Scroll 9/16/19 Fifth Scroll And 770 Pixels Ago

(1) MILO BANNED FROM FURRY CON. Midwest Furfest denied Milo Yiannopoulos from attending their event this December. “Hate is not welcome at Midwest FurFest. We are dedicated to providing a safe, harassment-free convention experience for all, regardless of age, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, or personal beliefs,” organizers wrote.

Daily Beast’s story tells how he publicized his plans to attend:

Yiannopoulos announced he was attending the convention on his Telegram messaging channel—one of the only social platforms that still welcomes him after he was banned for life from Twitter. The right-wing persona non grata wrote that he has adopted a snow leopard “fursona,” and shared a picture of his ticket purchase to the convention to be held in December outside Chicago.

Splinter notes, in its post “Milo Yiannopoulos Tries to Break Into the World of Furries, Is Brutally Rejected”

The fur community is not a monolith, however. A group called “Furry Raiders,” whose leader dresses up as a fox with a red paw-print armband, spoke out in support of Milo, posting a picture with what appears to be his “fursona.”

More history about the Furry Raiders is available on Wikifur.

(2) NEW GAME AWARD. The inaugural American Tabletop Awards winners were announced on September 9. Each of the four award categories has one Winner, two Recommended games, and two Nominated games which have been voted on by a committee of 10 YouTubers, reviewers and other gamers.

In the Early Gamers category, Snail Sprint and The Mind were both Nominated, and Drop It and Megaland were both Recommended. Catch the Moon, designed by Fabien Riffaud and Juan Rodriguez, was named the 2019 American Tabletop Award Winner. 

For Casual Games, Shadows: Amsterdam and Space Base were Nominated, and Just One and Gizmos were Recommended. The 2019 American Tabletop Award Winner for this category is The Quacks of Quedlinburg, designed by Wolfgang Warsch. 

The Strategy Games category saw Architects of the West Kingdom and Heroes of Land, Air, and Sea earn Nominated, and Coimbra and Cryptid were Recommended by the Committee. The 2019 American Tabletop Award Winner for Strategy Games is Chronicles of Crime, designed by David Cicurel. 

In Complex Games, Betrayal Legacy and Brass: Birmingham were both Nominated and Teotihuacan: City of Gods and Gùg?ng were both recommended. The 2019 American Tabletop Award Winner for Complex Games is Root, designed by Cole Wehrle.

(3) SIGNIFICANCE OF TROLLING. Stuart Parker argues for “The Pressing Relevance of JRR Tolkien in Our Times: Part 1: Age of the Counterfeit”. It’s labeled part 1, which suggests there’s more to come. 

…A counterfeit, in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, was something else altogether: it was an obvious distortion mocking the original; in a Christian cosmology, a counterfeit was Lucifer’s mockery of God’s creation. The closest concept to it that we have today are the inhabitants of DC Comics’ “bizarro” universe. Not only was a counterfeit a mockery; it was understood to be an uncanny, grotesque mockery. Some conquistadors who arrived in the New World believed that they had found a counterfeit hemisphere, where the largest city’s centre was not a basilica but a step pyramid where priests performed a human sacrifice every forty minutes. The armadillo was a strong piece of evidence for this theory: it was obviously a counterfeit turtle.

Because they are uncanny, grotesque and jarring, there is much power in the counterfeit. The orcs, Tolkien’s counterfeit elves, trolls, Tolkien’s counterfeit ents—they strike fear into their opponents’ hearts simply by being, by mocking and denigrating creation itself. They constitute an ontological attack on the cosmic order simply by having existed. That they might triumph over real elves and real ents is not just a bad tactical situation; it is a sign that the cosmic order, itself, is in retreat.

The global death cult we are fighting understands that. And, consequently, it is not just trolling us at the level of conversation but at the level of existence….

(4) BUSTING LOOSE. “Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo responds to PM’s Brexit superhero comment” – BBC has the story.

Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo has reacted to Boris Johnson’s comments in which he compared the UK leaving the EU to the green superhero.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, the prime minister said Hulk “always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be”.

…In a tweet, US actor Mark – who played the Hulk for 12 years – reminded the prime minister that the character “works best when he is in unison with a team”.

(5) RECASTING STARBUCKS.Yahoo! Lifestyle covers Ursula Doughty’s clever adaptations: “Artist Draws Famous Disney Characters as the Starbucks Logo”. See them all at Doughty’s Instagram site.

In many of the posts, she suggests a drink that the logo could adorn, from a Caramel Carl Frappuccino for the old man from Up to a Blue Genie Mocha Frappuccino (that one you should be able to figure out). She also includes multiple characters in most posts, so make sure you swipe through and don’t miss any of them.

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • September 16, 1963 The Outer Limits first aired. The first episode was “The Galaxy Being” which was written by Leslie Stevens and starred Lee Philips, Jacqueline Scott and Cliff Robertson. 
  • September 16, 1977 Logan’s Run as the program began its first and only season. The series starred Gregory Harrison as Logan 5, and Heather Menzies as Jessica 6.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 16, 1898 Hans Augusto Rey. German-born American illustrator and author best remembered for the beloved Curious George children’s book series that he and his wife Margret Rey created from 1939 to 1966. And his interest in astronomy led to him drawing star maps which are still use in such publications as Donald H. Menzel’s A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets. A simpler version for children called Find the Constellations, is still in print as well. (Died 1977.)
  • Born September 16, 1930 Anne Francis. You’ll remember her best as Altaira “Alta” Morbius on Forbidden Planet. She also appeared twice in The Twilight Zone (“The After Hours” and “Jess-Belle”). She was in multiple episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. She’d even appear twice in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and played several roles on Fantasy Island as well. (Died 2011.)
  • Born September 16, 1932 Karen Anderson. Wife and sometimes co-author of Poul Anderson, and mother-in-law of writer Greg Bear. She wrote fiction herself, and also with her husband and others. The King of Ys series is co-authoured with Poul. Lee Gold holds that she’s the first person to use the term filk music in print. (Died 2018.)
  • Born September 16, 1927 Peter Falk. His best-remembered genre role is in The Princess Bride as the Grandfather who narrates the Story. He also plays Ramos Clemente in “The Mirror”, an episode of The Twilight Zone. And he’s Reverend Theo Kerr in the 2001 version of The Lost World. (Died 2011.)
  • Born September 16, 1952 Lisa Tuttle, 67. Tuttle won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, received a Nebula Award for Best Short Story for “The Bone Flute”, which she refused, and a BSFA Award for Short Fiction for “In Translation”. My favorite works by her include Catwitch, The Silver Bough and her Ghosts and Other Lovers collection.
  • Born September 16, 1954 Ralph Eugene Vaughan, 65. Author of the Sherlock Holmes in the Cthulhu Mythos Adventures. Really, I’m not kidding. He started off with Sherlock Holmes in the Adventure of the Ancient Gods before writing (at least to date) four more. And then he wrote two Holmesian
    steampunk novels in a series called The Steampunk Adventures of Folkestone & Hand as well, the first being Shadows Against the Empire: An Interplanetary Steampunk.
  • Born September 16, 1960 Kurt Busiek, 59. Writer whose work includes the Marvels limited series, his own outstanding Astro City series, and a very long run on The Avengers. He also worked at Dark Horse where he did Conan #1–28 and Young Indiana Jones Chronicles #1–8. 
  • Born September 16, 1960 Mike Mignola, 59. The Hellboy stories of course are definitely worth reading. His Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is an amazing What If story, and the B.P.R.D. stories are quite too. 

(8) COMICS SECTION.

  • Monstrously funny wordplay in today’s Bizarro.

(9) FUTURE SUPE. A.V. Club describes another evolution of Superman “The Legion Of Superheroes arrives in this Superman #15 exclusive”.

DC Comics’ revival of the Legion of Superheroes kicked off last month with the first appearance of the new Legion in Superman #14, sending the future heroes back in time to witness the creation of the United Planets at the core of their 31st Century superhero team. That idea comes courtesy of Jonathan “Superboy” Kent, and the Legion arrives with a proposition for Superman’s teenage son. Following the conclusion of the Rogol Zaar storyline, Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis embark on the next phase of their Superman title, continuing to lean into the cosmic aspect of the character by bringing in the Legion. Joined by inkers Oclair Albert and Joe Prado, colorist Alex Sinclair, and letterer Dave Sharpe, Bendis and Reis give the new Legion an enthusiastic welcome while reinforcing the intergalactic prominence of Superman and his family, which only increases over the next millennium.

(10) THAT’S WHO. “Christopher Eccleston: ‘I’m a lifelong body-hater'”.

Christopher Eccleston has revealed he’s battled with anorexia for decades and at one point considered suicide.

Writing in his new book, I Love the Bones of You, the actor described himself as a “lifelong body-hater”, saying he was “very ill” with the condition while filming Doctor Who.

The 55-year-old played the ninth Doctor during the show’s revival in 2005.

He said he’s never revealed his struggle before because it’s not what working class northern males do.

“Many times I’ve wanted to reveal that I’m a lifelong anorexic and dysmorphic,” he wrote

“I never have. I always thought of it as a filthy secret, because I’m northern, because I’m male and because I’m working class.”

From the age of six he was concerned he had a “pot belly” and “knobbly knees”.

(11) USEFUL. Thx, bye. “App that cancels subscriptions launches in UK”.

A service which automatically cancels subscriptions at the end of the free trial period has launched in the UK.

It was developed by Josh Browder, who as a teenager developed an algorithm called Do Not Pay, which continues to successfully fight parking fines.

His new app, Free Trial Surfing, is not linked to a customer’s bank account or credit card, but Mr Browder says it is in partnership with a major bank.

However, he declined to say which bank was supporting the venture.

“The idea for this product came when I realised I was being charged for a $21.99 (£18) gym membership from over a year ago that I was never using,” he said.

“In fact, I had completely forgotten that I had signed up for a free trial in the first place. Constantly trying to keep track of when a ‘free trial’ period ends is annoying and time-consuming.”

He said 10,000 people had signed up to try Free Trial Surfing since its launch six weeks ago in the US, where Mr Browder, who is from the UK, now lives.

The two most common subscriptions the service has been used for are porn platforms followed by Netflix, he said.

(12) AFTERMATH. Following the notorious swatting case, “Teenage US gamer Casey Viner jailed over deadly 911 hoax”.

A US teenager has been jailed for 15 months for involvement in a prank call leading to an innocent man’s death.

Casey Viner, 19, from Ohio, conspired with fellow gamer Tyler Barriss to make a so-called “swatting” call to police.

In the 911 call, Barriss claimed he was holding his family hostage but when police visited the address provided, they shot father-of-two Andrew Finch.

The two men admitted to making the call after a row with another gamer, Shane Gaskill, while playing Call of Duty.

(13) CRETACEOUS PERAMBULATOR. “There’s a Lost Continent 1,000 Miles Under Europe”Vice digs into the story.

Scientists have reconstructed the tumultuous history of a lost continent hidden underneath Southern Europe, which has been formally named “Greater Adria” in a new study.

This ancient landmass broke free from the supercontinent Gondwana more than 200 million years ago and roamed for another 100 million years before it gradually plunged underneath the Northern Mediterranean basin.

… Greater Adria was about the size of Greenland when it slammed into Europe during the mid-Cretaceous period. At that time, most of the continent was covered by a shallow sea that supported a thriving ecosystem built around tropical reefs.

(14) SCOOBY STARS. This is great. “The 11 Weirdest ‘Scooby-Doo’ Guest Stars” at Geek.com. I was most amused by Bobby Flay, but the most science fictional name on the list is —

Harlan Ellison

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated really got weird with guest stars and cameos, but one of their most perplexing gets was notoriously idiosyncratic sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison in the first-season episode “The Shrieking Madness.” The whole thing is a Lovecraft riff, and Ellison voices himself. The animators de-aged him to his 1970s appearance and made him an instructor at fictional Darrow University. When one of his students poses as mythical Elder God from beyond space and time Char Gar Gothakon, the gang leans on Ellison’s vast experience to expose the fraudulent tentacled beast.

(15) RESCUED FROM IRON MAN’S SCRAPHEAP. Via a tweet at MCU Direct, Marvel released a never-before shown alternate ending to Iron Man where Nick Fury talks about “radioactive bug bites” and “mutants” years before Spider-Man and the X-Men rejoined the Marvel Creative Universe.

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Lenore Jean Jones, Mike Kennedy, Mark Hepworth, Karl-Johan Norén, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Nancy Sauer, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Daniel Dern, Jim Reynolds, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

72 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/16/19 Fifth Scroll And 770 Pixels Ago

  1. @7: I don’t know how much of it was Tuttle and how much was Martin, but I remember liking Windhaven.

    @13: this is seriously cool; I knew that the Indian plate was still pushing up the Himalayas, but not that a similar effect gave us the Alps — and I had no idea that a plate held together so long after subduction that its remains could still be found. (I had the impression that subducted plates just dissolved into the mantle.) Will fossil plates become the way the ultrarich serve food, sometime in the distant future?

  2. Happy Birthday Kurt!

    Things That Happen When You Grow Up In Fandom: The last time I saw Karen Anderson was at a local con. I hadn’t seen her in several years, but the minute she saw me, she started handing me things and issuing orders. Which was rather disconcerting, but also somehow flattering. She needed help with an event she was putting on, and knew I was trustworthy and reliable, and would figure things out with minimal prompting. I’m not entirely sure she quite registered that I was now in my forties instead of being the pliable pre-teen she first met decades earlier, but I understand that—I sometimes have similar problems with former children of my acquaintance.

    …And that’s how I helped put on a small play at Baycon. 🙂

  3. (13) @Chip–I had the impression that subduction zones are basically how we get mountains, though the way this article refers to the southern European mountains that aren’t a result of Greater Adria crashing into Europe seems to leave some room for doubt on that. But yes, totally weird and cool that Greater Adria is still there, underneath Europe.

  4. 13
    I had the impression that some of the mountains in southern Europe are the result of Africa hitting Europe at a few inches per year. (mv doesn’t require a lot of v, if m is a continent.)

  5. Busiek and Mignola can’t both be the same age if they were born 9 years apart.

    This is true.

    Mike was, in fact, born the same year as Neil Gaiman and Scott McCloud.

    kdb

  6. (7) Peter Falk was prominently featured in Blake Edwards’ The Great Race as Jack Lemmon’s sidekick; many scenes could easily be described as genre (although unfortunately the movie’s not as funny as it thinks it is).

    Falk was born in 1927, not 1937.

  7. (1) MILO BANNED FROM FURRY CON. Troublemaking troll denied. Doesn’t this sound familiar. 😛 Good riddance!

    (7) BIRTHDAYS. Happy Birthday, @Kurt Busiek!

    (9) FUTURE SUPE. I’m so out of it, but just read the article (thanks!) and skimmed the comments. This makes me realize just how out of it I am with the Legion and mainstream comics! But I may stop by the comic store a block from work to check this out. 🙂

    (13) CRETACEOUS PERAMBULATOR. “Greater Adria” . . . wut. Surely Atlantis!

  8. (11) USEFUL. I like this idea. I tend to avoid a lot of free trial stuff, partially for that sort of reason. My other half got an Amazon Prime trial and thus was a subscriber for a couple of months without really meaning to. Forgot to cancel, realized partway through and thought “I’ll cancel just before the end, why not use it this month since I paid,” forgot again, rinsed, repeated. Finally cancelled. He’s a Netflix subscriber on purpose, though! 😉

    I disagree with Felicity Hannah, quoted in the article, about it breaching the concept of a free trial. The concept of a free trial is that it’s free and you’re trying whatever-it-is out. Requiring a credit card and charging you after the trial isn’t a free trial at all; you’re a subscriber getting an initial month (or whatever) free, which is completely different, IMHO! So I feel like companies making “trials” like that were breaching the concept.

    On the other paw, it seems very ripe for abuse (getting “trials” over and over again). The place I work has problems with people who try to do that with our online publications (and our trials are truly free trials). So I’m sympathetic to companies who are unhappy about this. Hmm.

  9. Recent Reading: I just finished the audiobook of The Thorn of Dentonhill (Maradaine #1) by @Marshall Ryan Maresca, or as I think of him, “Mr. Maresca” (his web site’s mrmaresca.com 😉 ).

    My spouse devoured all 9 books as they came out. I’ve been meaning to try them for a long time. Thankfully, audiobooks started coming out, so finally, post-Hugos, I started the first one. It was great!

    Library Journal says, “Veranix is Batman, if Batman were a teenager and magically talented.” IMHO, Veranix is more like Spider-Man (or a Batman/Spider-Man mix) because of his banter and sense of humor. I’m bad at summarizing and reviewing, so find out more elsewhere, but FYI there’s action, humor, an interesting city/world and characters in it, and even some feels. @Marshall, you sucker-punched me near the end of the second-to-last chapter! (rot13 spoiler) Bu, Urgmre! (/rot13) Psniff.

    My spouse recommends publication order instead of reading the four (!) sub-series separately, so I’m moving to “Maradaine Constabulary” #1, A Murder of Mages, next. This has two protaganists and two narrators (neither the narrator of “Thorn”). Then back to Thorn’s sequel, etc. I understand much later on, there will be crossovers between the stars of some of the sub-series.

    The narrator was mostly good, but he pauses in weird places, which was very distracting at first. I got used to it, but I’m baffled. Some of the patterns I worked out were pauses after saying names and (ISTM) at commas in text. (Dude, commas don’t always mean actual pauses, and anyway not that noticeable!) Also some other times I forget, but again, I got used to his rhythms and he was otherwise quite good, so I do recommend the audiobook. Also, the “Maradaine Constabulary” series uses a different pair of narrators.

    Gak, sorry to ramble so long; I really enjoyed the book!

  10. So he’s 60 not 59?

    No, we really are the same age. He was born in 1960.

    Thanks for the good wishes, folks.

  11. Happy Birthday, Kurt!

    For that matter, I did read Warren Ellis’ Ruins first, without knowing the background. Searched for it again several years later, found Marvels and got extremely confused over how I could have forgotten and misunderstood the plot so much.

  12. Of vague note. Some of the very first Mike Mignola art was published in the RuneQuest fanzine Wyrm’s Footnotes in about 1978-79. I have no idea if he played the game.

  13. Kurt Busiek says of Mignola that No, we really are the same age. He was born in 1960.

    Apparently my brain trauma was handling numbers really, really badly yesterday. It does happen from time to time. Fortunately Mike is making corrections.

  14. Happy Birthday @Kurt Busiek.

    I would have mentioned Thunderbolts in the Birthdaynote (or the Crosover between the Avengers and the JLA). But those have to be short and I have to admite never to be heard of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

  15. StefanB says I would have mentioned Thunderbolts in the Birthdaynote (or the Crosover between the Avengers and the JLA). But those have to be short and I have to admite never to be heard of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

    The Young Indiana Jones was a tv series than ran for a year in the early Nineties. I’m rather fond of it hence I included his excellent comics series.

  16. Reading: I finished Gideon the Ninth, which was a foul-mouthed gothic delight with something of a gut-punch right at the end there (and I’m ready for the sequel now, please), and, on a whim, started The House of Cthulhu, a collection of 1970s-ish sword & sorcery stories by Brian Lumley.

  17. Science Fiction, Double Feature.
    Dr. X will build a creature.
    See androids fighting Brad and Janet.
    Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet.

  18. 3: I don’t know who Stuart Parker is but I’m not 100% convinced by his policework. His “background on trolling” is def. wrong as even a quick check of wiki would have shown (it predates 4chan by well over a decade). Some googling also failed to turn up support for “human sacrifice every forty minutes” and “armadillo … obviously a counterfeit turtle”.

    Also I’m not a Tolkienologist so I can’t speak for what might have been in his notes, but the way I remember it trolls were in the Hobbit and ents weren’t; it’s not immediately clear to me how, if they “strike fear into their opponents’ hearts simply by being, by mocking and denigrating creation itself”, a thing can mock that which was not known to the reader to exist. (And it’s been decades since I read the books, how many of Bilbo+Dwarves would have even known what an ent was?)

    I also don’t know enough history-of-thought to say anything about his ‘counterfeit’ argument beyond that it reminds me of this : https://theemptypage.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/critical-perspectives-on-waluigi/
    “Waluigi is the ultimate example of the individual shaped by the signifier. Waluigi is a man seen only in mirror images; lost in a hall of mirrors he is a reflection of a reflection of a reflection. You start with Mario – the wholesome all Italian plumbing superman, you reflect him to create Luigi – the same thing but slightly less. You invert Mario to create Wario – Mario turned septic and libertarian – then you reflect the inversion in the reflection: you create a being who can only exist in reference to others. Waluigi is the true nowhere man, without the other characters he reflects, inverts and parodies he has no reason to exist. Waluigi’s identity only comes from what and who he isn’t – without a wider frame of reference he is nothing. He is not his own man. In a world where our identities are shaped by our warped relationships to brands and commerce we are all Waluigi.” only less well supported.

  19. The trolls being debased imitations of Ents comes from the Silmarillion (I think), which means there’s a decent chance that Tolkien had thought about it in 1937, even if it would have made zero sense mentioning it in the Hobbit.

    Given though that Trolls predate even the Hobbit by a thousand years (at the bare minimum) I agree that it’s not especially useful.

  20. (2) The best-known award for board games is the German Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) award, also awarded by a committee. It’s interesting to see an American counterpart, and I hope this new award sticks around.

  21. Paul Weimer says
    Science Fiction, Double Feature.
    Dr. X will build a creature.
    See androids fighting Brad and Janet.
    Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet.

    Yes? I did note that, didn’t I? Or are you trying for a thyme that I don’t quite get?

  22. gottacook on September 16, 2019 at 10:22 pm said:

    (7) Peter Falk was prominently featured in Blake Edwards’ The Great Race as Jack Lemmon’s sidekick; many scenes could easily be described as genre….

    Which has ties to Tonopah and Westercon 74, because the actual New York-to-Paris automobile race that (very loosely) inspired The Great Race passed through Tonopah as celebrated in a mural on the front of the Mizpah Club casino. The winning vehicle from the real race, the Thomas Flyer, is preserved, restored, and on display in the National Automobile Museum in Reno, which is a suggested stop for anyone coming to Tonopah from the north via Reno.

  23. At the beginning of The Lord of the Rings, your average hobbit thought the idea of walking trees was a tall tale for the credulous. So I think we can assume Bilbo in The Hobbit didn’t know about ents.

  24. Yesterday was Fay Wray. (Whatever happened to Fay Wray?) Today it’s Anne Francis. Sadly, Leo G. Carroll, Michael Rennie, Claude Rains, Dana Andrews and Janette Scott aren’t next. Anyone know when Elisabeth “Zsoka” Granjean (Mrs. George Pal) was born?

    To add to the comic book log jam, September 16 is Seth’s birthday.

    Also Ed Begley, Jr. Looking at Begley’s IMDB/wikipedia entry is interesting. He was in the short film version of The Lottery that I saw repeatedly in English classes, he was a college bowl contestant in The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, and he was Ensign Greenbean in Battlestar Galactica.

    There are some who believe that files here began out there far across the Universe.

    ETA: Scroll the pixel, Max!

  25. Happy birthday, @Kurt Busiek!

    Unless I’ve gotten mixed up again, I THINK I saw some VERY early Mike Mignola artwork / cartooning in an issue of “National Lampoon” from the mid-late 1970s.

  26. @John A Arkansawyer:

    I think the elves into orcs thing is from actual LOTR. At any rate, I seem to recall having run across it and I have only read LOTR, not the Silmarillion.

  27. @Kendall —

    Recent Reading: I just finished the audiobook of The Thorn of Dentonhill (Maradaine #1) by @Marshall Ryan Maresca, or as I think of him, “Mr. Maresca” (his web site’s mrmaresca.com ? ).

    How YA is it?

    @Joe —

    Reading: I finished Gideon the Ninth, which was a foul-mouthed gothic delight with something of a gut-punch right at the end there

    I’m looking forward to this.

    Thanks to both of you for the reports!

  28. @amk: Yes, I think few Americans really realize just how popular board games are in Europe these days. The Essen Game Fair has been edging towards 200,000 attendance! It’s easily as big as SDCC, and unlike ComicCon, it’s actually all about what its name says. 🙂

    My brother is in the industry, so I regularly hear about (and have played many of) the Spiel de Jahres winners. And, yeah, I definitely hope this new award sticks around, and helps with the popularity of tabletop gaming in the US. I looked over the list of judges, and it looks like a nicely diverse group, though I only recognized a couple of names.

    @Cassy B: No, I haven’t played any of the ATA winners, but I’ve heard good stuff about the Quacks one.

  29. @Xtifr: sounds like Essen is already decisively ahead of SDCC, which AFAICT is still capped at 130,000 due to the facility not expanding, while your link says Essen reached 190,000 — even more impressive when you consider language divisions (I wonder how many of the gamers are polylingual vs how many use English as a common language) — or is that 190,000 just German-speakers (also impressive considering relative populations)?

    @ John A Arkansawyer ff: AFAICT*, elves were never converted to orcs (or ents to trolls), just made in imitation.
    * from bits of commentary — I have no desire to read The Silmarillion or any of the other expanders of the LoTR-verse.

  30. Tolkien suggests that Melkor/Morgoth was not capable of creation, so his creatures like orcs and trolls (and dragons?) are distorted versions of Ents or elves (cats, maybe?)

    I think dwarves were supposed to be just too stubborn to be remade.

    But this all lends even more force to the idea that Legolas engaging in jokey contests to see how many [fallen elves] he can butcher in a single battle is somewhat problematic morally speaking.

    Unless we are to suppose that a butchered orc shows up as a shamefaced ex-orc in the Halls of Mandos, being technically an elf. And then they could be re-incarnated in middle earth as an actual elf…

  31. @Niall McAuley

    But this all lends even more force to the idea that Legolas engaging in jokey contests to see how many [fallen elves] he can butcher in a single battle is somewhat problematic morally speaking.

    But that was a movie thing, not a book thing, wasn’t it? I’ve only read the books and I am pretty sure I don’t recall anything like that in them. I mean, I could be wrong, but it sounds more like Hollywood bravado than Tolkien.

    I do recall at least one elf hissing “yrch” about them, and being myself amused that the elf word for orc was “blech.”

  32. Legolas and Gimli had a running count of how many they had killed in the battle of Helm’s Deep in the books, too.

  33. I much prefer GenCon to Essen. Essen has more people present, but so many people are just there for shopping at the trade hall. There were more events, and more time spent gaming every time I was at Gen Con.

    Now it could have changed since I was last at Essen eight years ago (for the release of Ticket To Ride: India — I was on the playtest team for that expansion, and am listed in the credits).

    To be fair, both events are awesome. But Gen Con is the gold standard of gaming conventions IMHO.

    This award is definitely a good one, and I look forward to seeing it flourish.

  34. @Chip Hitchcock: Essen is definitely international, though I don’t know the details.

    @Olav Rockne: Yeah, my brother has been to Gen Con a few times in a professional capacity, and speaks highly of it. He’s never been to Essen, though, so yours is the first direct comparison of the two I’ve heard. I’m not really a fan of too-huge mega-cons in any case, so I can’t say your conclusion surprises me. 🙂

  35. I’ve just started reading In an Absent Dream, and there’s a mention of various books/series the main character read as a young child. Most of them were familiar to me from having read them myself, but there was a reference to a book about a “mushroom planet” that didn’t ring any bells. Does anyone know what book McGuire’s referencing here?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.