Pixel Scroll 9/27/18 Where Never Scroll, Or Even Pixels Flew

(1) DOES SFF LACK IMAGINATION? Charles Stross, in “Do my Homework”, asks questions that speculative fiction writers aren’t speculating about, including futures without capitalism or the patriarchy and near-future novels about what the world will be like in 50 or 75 years. Stross’ second example is –

The social systems based on late-stage currently-existing capitalism are hideously broken, but almost all the SF I see takes some variation on the current system as a given: in the future, apparently people will have these things called “jobs” whereby an “employer” (typically a Very Slow AI controlled by a privileged caste of “executives”) acquires an exclusive right to their labour in return for vouchers which may be exchanged for food, clothing, and shinies (these vouchers are apparently called “money”). Seriously folks, can’t we imagine something better?

(2) RAMPING UP TO ST:D SEASON TWO. Starting next week — October 4 — on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Short Treks. Here’s the trailer for the first one, “Runaway”

STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS, four stand-alone short stories, will begin rolling out on Thursday, October 4, in anticipation of the early 2019 return of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. The first STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS is titled “Runaway” and stars Mary Wiseman as “Tilly.” Each short will run approximately 10-15 minutes and will be an opportunity for fans to dive deeper into key themes and characters that fit into the STAR TREK: DISCOVERY and expanding “Star Trek” universe. Each of STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS four stories will center on a key character, including familiar faces from STAR TREK: DISCOVERY: Mary Wiseman (Tilly), Doug Jones (Saru) and Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd), in a short he will also direct, as well as a new character unfamiliar to fans, Craft, played by Aldis Hodge.

 

(3) PRO 101. Mark Lawrence, in “Advances”, wrote an overview of author advances/signing bonuses/etc.

…So, what is an advance exactly?

Well, it’s kinda a cash bonus, and kinda not. For authors an advance is a de-risking device, and for publishers it’s a risk. For both of them it signals a commitment to the success of the book.

The advance is, in some senses, a gift. It cannot be taken away as long as the author delivers the book/s and they are accepted. If my next trilogy only sells three copies I will still keep the advance.

In another very real sense the advance is not a gift. If my next trilogy sells a hundred thousand copies I won’t see a penny as all of the income from royalties that would otherwise by paid to me will instead go to the publisher to pay back the advance. That process continues until the publisher is paid back. At that point the book is said to have “earned out”. After that point the royalties (typically ~5 to 15% of the cover price, depending on the format) will come to me.

So whether I have to sell 1 copy or 1 million copies before I see any more money depends on the size of the advance. With no advance I will earn from the first sale. With a million dollar advance I would have to sell many hundreds of thousands of books, maybe millions if most are cheap ebooks….

Lawrence’s post set off a lot of interesting discussion on Reddit.

(4) CHRIS GARCIA. There’s a new Drink Tank out, issue 404: “Heavy Metal & Horror!” Chris Garcia is excited —

It’s the first issue working with Doug Berry as co-editor! There’s writing from me, Doug, Kirsten Berry, Kyle Harding, Jean Martin, and a great cover by Espana Sheriff!

It’s up at eFanzines – Drink Tank 404 [PDF file].

Chris adds, “We’ve got our big Musicals issue deadline coming up to on October 8th!”

(5) SHRINK RAP. Today at Book View Café Laura Anne Gilman went off: “A Meerkat Rants: Eff you, I’m not neurotic”.

But it’s out there now, this “Oh, creative people, always needing validation” meme, as though the need for validation is somehow a special snowflake thing reserved for us.  Like we spend every day of our lives whimpering because we din’t get enough love and attention when we were seven, or something.

Fuck you and the Freud you rode in on.

Here’s the thing, okay?  And listen up, because next time I say it it’s going to be with sharp pointy knives….

(6) GOING UP. A Japanese mission will test a space elevator concept. BGR’s Mike Wehner explains: “Japan is about to launch a mini space elevator that could be a sign of things to come”.

We’re obviously not there yet, but Japan’s small-scale test is still vitally important. The test will be conducted using a small prototype that will travel between two small satellites. The satellites will be connected via a cable, and the satellites will provide the tension needed to keep the cable straight. The tiny elevator will then move back and forth along the cable, testing the feasibility of “elevator movement” in space conditions.

(7) KNIGHTCASTING. Yahoo! Entertainment finds Mark Hamill’s new role has some similarities to his Star Wars role: “From Jedi Master to Knight Templar: First Look at Mark Hamill in ‘Knightfall’ Season 2”.

Mark Hamill laid down his lightsaber last year and is now picking up a sword, as he joins Season 2 of History’s drama series “Knightfall.” And the first look image of Hamill in character reveals that he does, in fact, get to rock a beard for this project, too. And this one is even more badass than Luke Skywalker’s facial hair.

Hamill will play Talus, a battle-hardened Knight Templar veteran of the Crusades, who survived captivity for 10 years in the Holy Land and is tasked with training the new initiates to the Order.

“Knightfall” goes inside the medieval politics and warfare of the Knights Templar, the most powerful, wealthy and mysterious military order of the Middle Ages who were entrusted with protecting Christianity’s most precious relics.

(8) ALL POINTS BULLETIN. Don’t be taken in.

(9) BREYFOGLE OBIT. Batman artist Norm Breyfogle has passed away at the age of 58.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]

  • Born September 27, 1933 – Roger C. Carmel, Actor who played the infamous Harry Mudd in two classic Star Trek episodes, as well as voicing characters in the Transformers movies, TV series, and videogames.
  • Born September 27, 1934 – Greg Morris, Actor, known for a main role in the 1960s TV series Mission: Impossible, which he later reprised in the 1980s series remake, and for guest appearances in numerous episodes of genre shows such as The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman, and The Twilight Zone.
  • Born September 27, 1934 – Wilford Brimley, 84, Actor who has appeared in The Thing (the film adaptation of John W. Campbell, Jr.’s novella “Who Goes There?”), Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo finalist Cocoon, Cocoon: The Return, and the science fiction “classics” Ewoks: The Battle for Endor and Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.
  • Born September 27, 1947 – Michael Lee Aday, better known as Meat Loaf, 71, Actor and Musician who has had frequent cameo roles in horror TV episodes and movies, including the unusual distinction of appearing on the menu in both the cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show and an episode of the HBO series Tales from the Crypt. He’s currently appearing in the series Ghost Wars.
  • Born September 27, 1947 – Denis Lawson, 71, Actor and Director from Scotland, best known to genre fans for playing rebel pilot Wedge Antilles in the original Star Wars trilogy and for being the uncle of young Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor.
  • Born September 27, 1950 – Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, 68, Actor and Producer, a well-known character actor who has played roles in many genre series including The Man in the High Castle, Lost in Space, Star Wars: Rebels, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Space Rangers, and Mortal Kombat, as well as voicing characters in numerous videogames.
  • Born September 27, 1956 – Sheila Williams, 62, Editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine for the past thirteen years, following twelve years before that working under Isaac Asimov and Gardner Dozois at the magazine, which is a remarkable achievement. Editor, with Gardner Dozois, of the 17 “Isaac Asimov:” subject anthologies – think everything from werewolves to robots – collected from the magazine. Williams has been a finalist or winner of the Best Editor Hugo in numerous years, and this year was given the Kate Wilhem Solstice Award for significant impact on speculative fiction by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
  • Born September 27, 1970 – Tamara Taylor, 48, Actor who appeared in the opening scene of the Firefly movie Serenity, currently has a role in the Altered Carbon series adapted from Richard K. Morgan’s books, and has played the voice of Wonder Woman in animated Justice League TV series and videogames.
  • Born September 27, 1973 – Indira Varma, 45, Actor and Producer from England who played Ellaria Sand in Game of Thrones and was Captain Jack’s second in the TV series Torchwood, in addition to doing numerous voice acting roles for videogames including World of Warcraft, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age.

Payment in thanks for not inflicting the trailer for Ewoks: The Battle for Endor on you today can be sent to JJ’s P.O. Box in Schenectady, NY.

(11) ANCIENT WORD BALLOONS. A Smithsonian post “Ancient Comics Line This Roman-Era Tomb in Jordan” shows that speech bubbles (more or less) are not a modern invention.

When people talk about old comics, strips like Little Orphan Annie or Nancy probably come to mind. But archaeologists in Jordan recently uncovered a truly old incarnation of the form. Painted on the walls inside a 2,000-year-old Roman-era tomb, Ariel David at Haaretz reports that there are nearly 260 figures featured in narrative scenes, with many speaking via comic-style speech bubbles.

The tomb was discovered during road construction in 2016 near the town of Bayt Ras, north of Irbid, Jordan….

(12) REVIEWING THE NEW DOCTOR. BBC collated the reviews: “Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who: What do the critics think?”

Jodie Whittaker’s first episode of Doctor Who has received broadly positive reviews from critics.

Her performance, those of her co-stars, and the production values of The Woman Who Fell To Earth came in for particular praise.

But some critics felt there was still room for improvement.

In his four-star review for The Sun, Rod McPhee said Whittaker “may be the breath of fresh air needed to revive a flagging franchise”.

“She doesn’t always strike the right balance between quirky geek and masterful Time Lord. And at times she comes across as irritatingly childlike.

“But the highest praise is that you quickly forget you’re watching a female Doctor and just accept you’re watching THE Doctor.”

(13) BE ON THE LOOKOUT. Lost, stolen, or strayed? “Philip Pullman loses His Dark Materials ballpoint pen”.

The Oxford-based writer has turned to Twitter in the hope that his pen case, a Montblanc ballpoint pen and a pencil can be tracked down.

“I’m particularly attached to the pen, because I wrote His Dark Materials with it,” he tweeted.

The author does not remember when he last had his lost materials.

(14) DARK PHOENIX TRAILER. The next X-Men movie, in theaters February 14, 2019.

In DARK PHOENIX, the X-MEN face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.

 

(15) MEXICANX SAGA CONTINUES. Hector Gonzalez reaches the deadline – for the food he’s serving: “My Road to Worldcon 76. Part 6: My Love Language is Tacos”.

… John had planned something during the opening ceremony. All the Mexicanx recipients in attendance would be present for it. That caused some issues with my timing, specifically getting the food ready for the reception. “A couple of degrees more in the oven will be needed,” I mused….

(16) DEAD MEN DO TELL TALES. Doctor Strangemind’s Kim Huett is people’s go-to consultant for more issues than you’d guess.

On a more supernatural note somebody who would prefer to remain anonymous asked me my opinion on the topic of vampiric tumescence. Surprisingly they didn’t seem to regret reading what I had to say. Hopefully none of you do either.

His answer appears in: “The Case of the Vampire Erect”.

…The initial question when framed as basically as possible is as follows. Are all vampires, some vampires, or indeed any vampires capable of achieving tumescence?…

(17) BLACK PANTHER’S QUEST. Thanks to SYFY Wire we know — “Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest – You can now watch the first episode online”.

A rogue splinter cell of Atlanteans attempt to take over the surface world in the first episode of Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest on Disney XD — and you can watch the entire episode now online.

 

(18) OUTRO. Kim Huett remembers: “Years ago SBS, an Australian TV channel used fr a while a very charming set of SF themed bumpers. I recently found a set of them on YouTube” —

[Thanks to Daniel Dern, JJ, Chip Hitchock, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Dann, Carl Slaughter, Kim Huett, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

41 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/27/18 Where Never Scroll, Or Even Pixels Flew

  1. (4) Chris Garcia: I tried to download the fanzine, but there was nothing on the other end of the link. Can you double check it?

    fbeel. pbhyqa’g erfvfg

  2. NOTE: I managed to fix my “track follow-up comments” function. One of two things worked:

    1) I found my way back to the WordPress tracking page and deleted all of the pending items.

    2) Also, I changed my name in the comments section in the hope that WordPress would reset some variables when it changed my name. (WordPress seems to use your email as the key record, so changing my name didn’t affect anything else.)

    Now my tracking function works again, thank goodness. Hopefully, this contribution to the hive mind will be of some use.

  3. (16) Well, hell, all they’d need to do is talk to Laurell K. Hamilton, author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Pornhunter series.

    (Which is all right if that’s what turns your pages. But for those of us who prefer some sex scenes in our story, rather than the other way around, she fell flat on her face after Obsidian Butterfly and has never gotten up.)

  4. 9) Holy Cow! That’s a shocker out of left field. I’m sorry to hear that we have lost Norm Breyfogle too soon.

    10) Mr. Loaf was also in the original stage production, where he originated the characters of Eddie and Dr. Scott, per the cast list in my song folio, which predates the movie.

    11) Cartouches, right? I can’t go digging through all my comic histories, but it sounds familiar. I thought it might be in Couperie and Horn, but they only take the speech balloon back to 1370.

    To Avoid Fainting, Keep Repeating: It’s Only a Weblog… Only a weblog… only a weblog…

  5. 1) No.
    Near future books include:
    Walkway- Cory Doctorow. Change the economic system
    Infomocracy- change the political system
    Oryx and Crake – apocalypse
    NY2140- rising sea levels lead to socialism over course of book
    The peripheral- Gibson. Massive social change
    Bandwidth -Eliot Pepe. Social media companies really are controlling the world!

  6. @Kip
    Not so you can tell from that story. It’s next to heads, and not in obvious speech balloons, I mean. More like the comics that just have speech with lines between character and text. (Also interesting: Aramaic written in Greek characters.)

  7. David Goldfarb: I fixed the link. The URL somehow got repeated in the link, so couldn’t work.

  8. David Goldfarb: Oh dear. Was the link really broken?

    Yes, I’m afraid so. Your 404 reference was quite apt either way.

  9. “(Which is all right if that’s what turns your pages. But for those of us who prefer some sex scenes in our story, rather than the other way around, she fell flat on her face after Obsidian Butterfly and has never gotten up.)”

    Also it was depressingly boring porn. 🙁

  10. 9) I am sad about Norm Breyfogle, but not terribly surprised. He had a serious stroke about three years ago, and I never heard anything to suggest much recovery.
    Great artist.

  11. Meredith Moment: Nancy Springer’s Book of Isle series (White Hart, Silver Sun, Sable Moon, Black Beast, Golden Swan) is available as a collection for $3.99 from Amazon and the usual suspects. These fantasies are particularly wonderful and I recommend them highly.

  12. 4/5 of Nancy Springer’s series are good — though weirdly old fashioned even for the time period they were written; she was deliberately trying to hark back to the feel of old epics. This tends to include stuff like an excessive focus on the purity of the female characters and their roles mostly as rescues or love interests (Although at least one notable male character remains a total virgin, and it might be two so it’s not all on the girls, and some of the women definitely have personality.) The language is nice and the high fantasy feel is captured well, with magical dooms and fey yearnings for the Otherworld.

    The Black Beast, if it’s the one I remember, was very nearly a book across the room reaction from me (sexual violence by a supposed protagonist) even after accounting for the general mode of the series up to that point. If I remember right, while reading it is useful for knowing where someone in the last book came from, it’s not essential.

    I still have great nostalgic fondness for the first three, and the last does close the series.

  13. @ Lenora Rose

    I agree with your assessment and I can’t say I’ve read Black Beast in a very long time. Usually I go back to be hypnotized by Silver Sun, Sable Moon, and Golden Swan.

  14. The situation described by Mary Robinette Kowal, as well as several other recent violations of peoples’ freedoms has led to some people discussing where best to host international conventions such as Worldcon.

    (I’m already aware of two of the professional organizations to which I belong that are holding meetings in Toronto, rather than locations in the U.S., specifically because of travel restrictions.)

    As Worldcon becomes more global (there is a clear trend here, in that by 2020, a third of all international Worldcons will have happened this decade), there may become a need to have clear rules about what type of country is appropriate as a Worldcon host. I might even suggest that (unlike FIFA) the WSFS could create specific criteria for host nations. One might base it on a simple “Does the World Freedom Index list the country as Free?” or “Does it rank highly on Amnesty International’s list“?

    Now, I fully admit that any such restriction on what countries might be able to host could present an inconvenience to future Worldcon bid processes, but it might also help prevent more extreme versions of what this author is currently facing.

    I’m not even sure that what I’m suggesting is a good idea. Just putting it out there for discussion.

    And for the record, I’m appalled at the treatment of the author who is facing this travel issue.

  15. 5) And if you’re a fine-crafts artist, you get all the geniuses who come up to your booth and proceed to tell you what you really need to be doing instead of what you are doing. Because that’s valuable feedback, right? Oy.

    10) Not quite genre, but Tamara Taylor also played Cam Saroyan on Bones. My back-brain always insisted that it was a genre show because of the Angelator; that level of holography isn’t state-of-the-art yet!

    14) Well, they’ve retconned the hell out of that. Don’t know if I’ll be interested enough to see it — or I might just wait for the DVD.

  16. Olav Rokne: …there may become a need to have clear rules about what type of country is appropriate as a Worldcon host….

    Because…. the site selection electorate can’t be trusted to make that decision….?

  17. Mike Glyer on September 28, 2018 at 10:29 am said:

    Because…. the site selection electorate can’t be trusted to make that decision….?

    Fair point. I actually do think that Worldcon voters would mostly make the right call on this.

    But by the time of the vote, there’s been a lot of work put in on the part of any bid committee. Probably better for people to know beforehand that this might be a disqualifying factor.

    Additionally, what if there’s only one bid?

    As I said, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, and I was only putting it out there for discussion.

  18. Olav Rokne: What country are you hoping to prevent from hosting a Worldcon?

    You started out by mentioning what Mary Robinette Kowal said about a recent problem involving TSA/US visa issues — but she just helped organize the program for a U.S. Worldcon.

  19. What country are you hoping to prevent from hosting a Worldcon?

    Bro, I actually don’t have a specific axe to grind here. This isn’t about a campaign against anyone, just thinking out loud.

    This kind of matter has been on my mind lately because I’m a fan of soccer. When FIFA awarded their World Cup tournaments first to an anti-gay oligarchy, and then to a slave state, my ability to enjoy those events was completely ruined. One of those events was awarded to a country based on the fact that there were no competing bids.

    Saw on twitter that Mr. Nielsen-Hayden is suggesting that conventions should find non-U.S. locations (in response to the MRK tweet). And started to think about what are the actual standards might be for host countries.

  20. What do those people who want to make sure the USA never hosts another Worldcon again plan to do if no non-US bids are filed?

    There’s no WSFS Board of Directors out there who will make a Worldcon happen. The WSFS Business Meeting can award a Worldcon without the normal bidding process in certain circumstances, and if that fails, the Worldcon following the one where the selection process fails could arbitrarily arrange for a Worldcon (WSFS Constitution section 4.5.5. Potentially, that following Worldcon could declare that they would host that Worldcon as well, there being nothing prohibiting it.

    You can’t realistically make someone bid for a Worldcon. Like winning the lottery, you have to buy a ticket.

  21. What do those people who want to make sure the USA never hosts another Worldcon again plan to do if no non-US bids are filed?

    Just for the record, that is not at all what I was ever suggesting.

  22. Olav Rokne: …When FIFA awarded their World Cup tournaments first to an anti-gay oligarchy, and then to a slave state…

    Left as an exercise for the reader: I came up with Qatar (2022) and Russia (2018), as the World Cup hosts you have in mind.

    In fact, someone proposed Qatar in 2022 as a Worldcon site because that’s where the World Cup will be, even though I think Ray Blank mainly did it to yank people’s chains.

    On one of the freedom indexes you listed — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_in_the_World — China scores poorly while the U.S. scores well.

  23. One might note that the Hugo awards are not always handed out in every category – “No Award” is an option, when there is no work in a particular category that the voters consider to be worthy of the award.

    That should perhaps also be made available when voting for Worldcon bids: “No winning bid” might be useful for those cases when no suitable location bids to hold it.

    For example, what if Sun City, South Africa had been the only bid during one of the years of Apartheid?

  24. Too bad the Black panther and Trek shorts wont run here 🙁
    Dark Phoenix does look better than the last couple of x-man movies. I just wonder how many people Magneto will kill this time before he becomes friend with Dr X again.

  25. That should perhaps also be made available when voting for Worldcon bids: “No winning bid” might be useful for those cases when no suitable location bids to hold it.

    IIRC, that is an option, isn’t it?

  26. @Olav Rokne,

    if that’s the case (and ‘no winning bid’ is already an option), then I obviously haven’t been paying enough attention! These are not the opinions you’re looking for, move along …

  27. Christian Brunschen on September 28, 2018 at 1:05 pm said:
    @Olav Rokne,

    if that’s the case (and ‘no winning bid’ is already an option), then I obviously haven’t been paying enough attention! These are not the opinions you’re looking for, move along …

    I’m not going to claim to be an expert on the matter. I could be completely wrong on this.

  28. Christian Brunschen on September 28, 2018 at 12:33 pm said:

    One might note that the Hugo awards are not always handed out in every category – “No Award” is an option, when there is no work in a particular category that the voters consider to be worthy of the award.

    That should perhaps also be made available when voting for Worldcon bids

    As noted, “None of the Above” is an option. However, with Worldcon, the option is never “Don’t hold a Worldcon that year,” so there has to be some site selected, either by the WSFS Business Meeting, or by the following year’s Worldcon committee if the Business Meeting is unable to reach a decision.

    Note that if None of the Above wins for NASFiC, then the NASFiC for the relevant year is canceled. It’s possible to completely cancel NASFiC, but not Worldcon, if for no other reason than if you didn’t hold a Worldcon, there would be no way to select the site of the 2-years-hence Worldcon or to ratify any changes to the WSFS Constitution passed by the previous year’s Worldcon. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t have a bare-bones, do-only-required-items convention. (And remember that the Hugo Awards ceremony isn’t a required item. Administering the awards, yes; holding a ceremony, no.”)

    A only-required-items Worldcon would be passing strange, as it would consist of a minimum of two WSFS Business Meetings (with a minimum 18 hours separation between them) and at-convention Site Selection voting.

    Westercon has similar (not identical) rules for its site selection. In 2011, no bid got the required majority. That meant that the Westercon Business Meeting, which in many years lasts less than ten minutes, went on for three hours while the members debated to whom the 2013 Westercon should be awarded. Because None of the Above didn’t win, the one bid that was on the ballot was one of the candidates, but was not selected by the Business Meeting. Here’s what that meeting looked like:

    Westercon 64 Business Meeting

    If the same proportion of Worldcon’s members attended a Site Selection Business Meeting as happened at Westercon 64, even the 800-person room we had at Worldcon 76 San José wouldn’t be big enough to hold it. I can just imagine what Events would have said if I told them that we’d need the Grand Ballroom for multiple hours on Hugo Ceremony Day.

  29. I don’t think guidelines such as Olav describes should be enshrined in the WSFS Constitution, but I would welcome the information he mentions being added to the Fannish Inquisition question list. The decision would remain with the voters, but we would have ready access to this information.

    I should add that, as has been mentioned before by me and others, there are also fans who would not leave the U.S. due to fears of not being permitted to return, so holding Worldcons exclusively outside the U.S., even if good bidders were always available, would cause problems, too. For instance, there are Hispanic Americans who are having their birth certificates questioned, an American of South Asian ancestry was harassed on reentry to the U.S. last year and held for hours, though ultimately released, and green card holders (U.S. legal but non-citizen residents) may fear trouble at reentry, particularly if they are of color. Arab-Americans are likely to have trouble, too, and I’m sure there are other examples.

    In addition, we have the traditional financial issues that have led many of us to vote for more international worldcons in order to increase the equity of financial burden between North American fans and fans elsewhere. Many fans can’t afford to travel far from their home base, particularly not internationally, and that goes both ways.

    I think the rough alternation now happening naturally is still the way to go.

  30. @Kevin Standlee: I have quoted that section before — without thinking that an ad-hoc Worldcon committee could be selected to hold the minimum required events and none other; there are rules on who can stand for the upcoming Worldcon, but I’m not sure there would be any such restrictions on who the business meeting could select. (I forget whether this was the mechanism by which the Worldcon was spirited away in a piece of vaguely political fiction in (IIRC) one of the MAC1 PRs — maybe “How the Grinch Stole Worldcon”, at the end of Again, Alternate Worldcons.)

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  32. Chip Hitchcock on September 28, 2018 at 9:59 pm said:

    @Kevin Standlee: I have quoted that section before — without thinking that an ad-hoc Worldcon committee could be selected to hold the minimum required events and none other; there are rules on who can stand for the upcoming Worldcon, but I’m not sure there would be any such restrictions on who the business meeting could select.

    There are almost no restrictions at all if the site selection goes to the Business Meeting. I think the Constitutional theory is that if you ever reach that point, you are already in a crisis, and therefore you must be given the maximum amount of leeway you can to get out of it. There are only two rules that apply:

    4.5.6: Where a site and Committee are chosen by a Business Meeting or Worldcon Committee following a win by “None of the Above,” they are not restricted by exclusion zone or other qualifications.
    4.5.7: Where a site and Committee are chosen by a Business Meeting or Worldcon Committee following a tie in tallying, they must select one of the tied bids.

    Note that this means that the Business Meeting could decide to award a Worldcon to a bid that lost to None of the Above. It’s not prohibited. (Whether or not the BM/Worldcon Committee should do so is a political decision, not a technical or legal one.)

    Just speculating here: Unless there comes an obvious and easy choice, should the decision ever be forced into the hands of a Worldcon Committee due to a Business Meeting resolving that they were unable to decide, it seems to me that it would be very tempting to consider just holding two consecutive Worldcons at the same place. It might well be easier for a Worldcon Committee to do so, and they’d have the ability to amortize some of their organizational expenses over two years. Again, it would be a political decision, not a legal one.

  33. “One might base it on a simple “Does the World Freedom Index list the country as Free?” or “Does it rank highly on Amnesty International’s list“?”

    Freedom House has a tendency to list unfree countries as free if they have the support of US government. As in the case of Brazil where the elected president was thrown out and replaced by an US informant. I would not base anything on their ratings.

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