Pixel Scroll 9/9/16 Pixel Trek: The Search For Scrolls

(1) WORKING. Global News reports “Majel Barrett may voice ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ ship computer”.

But wait, you’re thinking. Barrett died in 2008. How is that possible?

It turns out that just before her death, Barrett recorded an entire library of phonetic sounds for future usage. It’s so thorough that it’s already been used, most recently in J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot. Technically, Barrett could be the voice of Starfleet for eternity.

(2) UNDERSTANDING EPH. Karl-Johan Norén writes: “Not that it matters that much now that things are settled for another year, but I wrote down a walkthrough how EPH works: http://kjn.livejournal.com/65023.html Hopefully it can help fen understand better what EPH sets out to accomplish and how it goes about it.”

Right now I see a bit of pushback against the newly ratified E Pluribus Hugo rules (see eg Jed Hartman and Rachael Acks). In part this is because the test runs on prior Hugo nominations didn’t yield as good results as some may have hoped for, another might be that many fans do not feel they can exactly understand how EPH works. FPTP may be unfair, but it’s simple to understand. At its core, E Pluribus Hugo isn’t about selecting the works with the most “support”. It’s more about selecting the set of works that generates the most voter happiness, where happiness is defined as “getting a work onto the final ballot”. I think this framing has gone missing from the discussion. But in order to help with understanding, no, grokking how EPH works, here is my manually run example…

(3) PAWPROOF. In a comment, Lee calls our attention to software designed to detect when your SJW credentials are using your keyboard, which can then prevent inadvertent posting, expensive unintentional eBay purchases, or data destruction: Pawsense.

When cats walk or climb on your keyboard, they can enter random commands and data, damage your files, and even crash your computer. This can happen whether you are near the computer or have suddenly been called away from it.

PawSense is a software utility that helps protect your computer from cats. It quickly detects and blocks cat typing, and also helps train your cat to stay off the computer keyboard.

Every time your computer boots up, PawSense will automatically start up in the background to watch over your computer system.

Even while you use your other software, PawSense constantly monitors keyboard activity. PawSense analyzes keypress timings and combinations to distinguish cat typing from human typing. PawSense normally recognizes a cat on the keyboard within one or two pawsteps.

(4) FANHISTORY. Petréa Mitchell noted in a comment  that in honor of Star Trek’s anniversary, Revelist has a surprisingly well-researched article about early Star Trek fandom.

Long before becoming part of a fandom was as easy as starting a Tumblr account, female Trekkies (or Trekkers, as some older fans of the series prefer) not only dominated the “Star Trek” fan community but helped to create that community in the first place.

“It redefined the classic nerd to be much more inclusive. There were more women involved,” Stuart C. Hellinger, one of the organizers of the first ever fan-led “Star Trek” conventions, told Revelist. “The entire show was diverse in many ways, including the people that worked on the show. You had women writers and women story editors, and that wasn’t as common back then. A lot of different areas were opened up because of Gene [Roddenberry]’s vision, and a lot of the fannish community took that to heart, which is a very, very good thing.”

The framework that these women and men and wonderful weirdos put into place not only extended the legacy of “Star Trek” into what it is today, but became the basis for many aspects of fandom that modern people take for granted.

(5) EDITING AN ANTHOLOGY, STEP BY STEP. Joshua Palmatier, author, and editor of anthologies including Clockwork Universe, Temporally Out Of Order, and Aliens and Artifacts, has started a series of blog posts on “How to Create an Anthology.” The first entry is about finding a good concept.

This is the first of a series of blog posts that I intend to do in order to show how I create the anthologies for Zombies Need Brains, the small press that I founded in order to produce anthologies. It’s basically a behind-the-scenes look at the process, which will be covered in multiple parts. Obviously, this is only how I produce an anthology and there may be other roads to follow in order to produce one. Keep that in mind. So the first step in creating an anthology–at least a themed anthology, like the ones Zombies Need Brains creates–is to come up with a concept. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Ideas are a dime a dozen and can be found on every street corner. The problem is that not every idea will actually work as an anthology theme. There are some key aspects to the idea that need to be present in order for the anthology to work.

(6) MIDAMERICON II PROGRAM. I’m a big fan of con programming, which also seems the hardest part of the Worldcon to find out about afterwards. All those smart and creative people, all the different topics. Seems like once missed, it’s gone forever. Except for Jake Casella at PositronChicago blog who has posted recaps of numerous MACII panels. You’re a lifesaver, Jake!

(7) A DIALOGUE WITH GIBRALTAR APES. Kate Paulk scientifically proved the Worldcon is dead, and has always been, in a Mad Genius Club post “Worldcons and Hugos by the Numbers.” But standing out from the anti-Worldcon comments she elicited was Ben Yalow’s personal testimony about what he gets from his continued attendance. It made me want to stand up and cheer, as someone said in an old Frank Capra movie.

…The Worldcon was still full of those magic moments, despite being an enormous amount of work.

But watching a real astronaut accepting the Campbell for Andy Weir bubbling about how he got the science right was magic. And looking at the original typewritten correspondence between the previous KC Worldcon (in 1976) and Heinlein (the GoH that year). And walking into the exhibit hall, and seeing Fred, our 25 foot high inflatable astronaut — knowing it was named Fred because the funds to get it were donated by a Texas club in memory of Fred Duarte, a friend of mine for decades, and Vice-chair of the first Texas Worldcon, who died much too young last year. And having a video of a panel from 1976, with Jon Singer showing how a mimeo works by kneeling on a table and having the other panelists crank his arm. And watching the Business Meeting tie itself up in knots, and going through a long parliamentary routine, so as to let Kate Paulk ask Dave McCarty (this year’s Hugo Administrator) to state his opinion on the wisdom of EPH at a time when that question wasn’t in order (and, as expected, he was able to answer that he was opposed). And seeing Robert Silverberg at the Hugo ceremony, realizing that he’s been to every one of them since the first one in Philadelphia in 1953. And — I could go on for a long time, but won’t.

And watching, and being part of, a team of volunteers from around the world get together to make it all happen. We agreed on some things, we disagreed on others — but it all happened, and lots of people went home with their magic moments. And that’s what’s important to me.

(8) WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT ALFIES. George R.R. Martin writes about his first Hugo Losers Party, and its latest sequel, in “Our Kansas City Revels”.

The night before, at the awards ceremony, I had lost two rockets (one to Larry Niven, one to Roger Zelazny, fwiw). The affair began as a modest little party in a modest little room, with some peanuts and cheese curls and whatever booze we had been able to scrounge from other parties. But as fate would have it, my room was next to the pool deck, which allowed us to overflow the confines of my double, which we soon did, to become the loudest, largest, and most memorable party of the con. Gardner Dozois was our ‘herald,’ announcing each guest as they appeared, and naming them either a winner or a loser. Losers were cheered and welcomed, winners were booed and cursed and pelted with peanuts… unless they told a good story about they were really losers. (Which Alfie Bester did most memorably). Thus did that first Losers Party pass into fannish legend.

Martin’s next post details the Alfie awards ceremony – “Losers and Winners”. Here’s part of his commentary about the Alfies given in the fan Hugo categories.

Aside from two ‘committee awards’ (I am the ‘committee’), I do not choose the Alfie winners. The fans do, with their nominations. The Alfies go to those who produced outstanding work in 2015, but were denied a spot on the ballot, and thus the chance to compete for the Hugo, by slating…..

One of my special ‘committee awards’ went to BLACK GATE, which had 461 nominations in the Fanzine category, second among all nominees and good for a place on the ballot. But Black Gate turned down the nomination, just as they did last year, to disassociate themselves from the slates. Turning down one Hugo nomination is hard, turning down two must be agony. Integrity like that deserves recognition, as does Black Gate itself. Editor John O’Neill was on hand to accept the Alfie.

Our Alfie for BEST FAN WRITER went to ALEXANDRA ERIN, whose 213 nominations led all non-slate nominees in this category. (I note that I myself got 103 nominations in the category, good for thirteenth place. What the hell, guys, really? I thank you, but… I know professionals have won in this category before, but I’m really more comfortable leaving the Fan Writer awards for fans).

JOURNEY PLANET, by James Bacon and Christopher J. Garcia, had 108 nominations for BEST FANZINE, and took the Alfie in that category. Have to say, I loved Bacon’s enthusiasm (and he’s the calm, quiet, shy one of the two).

(9) NEW EPIC SUPPORTED BY PATREON. Two authors launch a vast fictional project, which they hope readers will back with regular contributions.

Authors Melissa Scott and Don Sakers had always wanted to collaborate on a project, but each attempt produced sprawling ideas and enormous casts of characters that couldn’t easily be confined to a conventional series of novels, much less to any shorter format. As electronic publishing opened up new formats and lengths, it became possible to imagine serial fiction again — and not just serial fiction, but the kind of serial fiction that would allow novelists to explore the sort of expansive, elaborate universes more commonly seen in comics. For the first time, Scott and Sakers could work at the scale their story demanded, without sacrificing character, setting, or idea.  What’s in the story? Pirates. Judges. Weird physics. Desperate refugees. Struggling colonists. Missing persons and a mystery ship. A quest for human origins in a pocket universe. A thousand individual stories that together create a much larger tale.

Thanks to websites like Patreon to handle payments, and open-source website building tools like Drupal, the sprawling serial space opera The Rule of Five launches in September 2016, taking full advantage of the enormous canvas available on the web. Each month, Scott and Sakers will post an episode of at least 2000 words — a solid short story. All subscribers will be able to see each month’s episode plus the previous episode. Subscribers at higher levels can get a quarterly ebook compilation, access to all past episodes, and even a print editions containing each completed Season, as well as public acknowledgement for their support. For readers joining the series in progress, quarterly and seasonal compilations will always be available to bring them up to speed.

Taking advantage of change, The Rule of Five offers a new kind of serial science fiction, borrowing structure from comics and series television, but firmly grounded in classic space opera. The prelude is open to all at http://donsakers.com/ruleof5/content/prelude. Readers can subscribe to The Rule of Five at http://patreon.com/ruleof5.

[Thanks to Rogers Cadenhead, JJ, Petréa Mitchell, Karl-Johan Norén and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Mark-kitteh.]

117 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/9/16 Pixel Trek: The Search For Scrolls

  1. Today’s read — This Savage Song, by V. E. Schwab

    Fantasy; two families vie for control of a monster-ridden city.

    So … I like Schwab a lot, but not the Schwab everyone else is excited about these days; A Darker Shade of Magic didn’t do much for me (to the extent that I haven’t bothered to pick up A Gathering of Shadows). I just didn’t care about the characters. But I liked Vicious quite a bit and absolutely loved The Archived and The Unbound. So I guess bear my Schwab-related tastes in mind when reading this minireview.

    This one falls somewhere in the middle of the Schwab pack for me. I was engaged while reading it, and interested in the characters. Fans of the world-building in A Darker Shade of Magic will probably also find a lot to like in the setting. But the ending of the book fell kind of flat for me; the reveals of Who Was Behind It All were all so obvious as to be letdowns, and then one of the characters suddenly drives off into what appears to be an unrelated book. Because of those issues, I’m wavering on whether to pick up the second book in the duology, although I may do so because I am somewhat interested in how things turn out.

  2. > “I found The Machine to be a disappointingly-predictable erfheerpgvba bs n qrnq ybirq bar / Senaxrafgrva novel.”

    Well, given the book has been advertised as “a [Senaxrafgrva] novel for the twenty-first century”, I’d say you’re not alone. But considering the way it ended, I didn’t view it as that at all; it’s a novel that’s pretending to be that, but turns out to be something somewhat different.

  3. Kyra: considering the way it ended, I didn’t view it as that at all; it’s a novel that’s pretending to be that, but turns out to be something somewhat different.

    But I still found it disappointingly-predictable. Right up until the end, I was thinking, “Please tell me the ending is going to be more than this, PLEASE tell me this is not going exactly where it looks like it is going”.

    It isn’t a bad novel. Obviously, the fact that I was rooting so hard for the book to not be predictable says something about how much potential I thought it had, based on the rest of the book.

  4. Ooooo, that might be my first contributing editor spot.

    (6) MIDAMERICON II PROGRAM

    I enjoyed reading through those. I spotted that Heather Rose Jones gets a shout out as “dropping cool ideas all throughout this panel, makes me want to read her stuff”

    (7) A DIALOGUE WITH GIBRALTAR APES

    “Kate Paulk scientifically proved the Worldcon is dead, and has always been”

    Look, if we all lie really still perhaps she’ll think it’s true and wander off…

    (8) WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT ALFIES

    Those are some really colourful trophies this year. GRRM’s idea of “Screw it, we’ll have a party” is probably the best response to slating (or anything, really)

    @Rcade

    Sounds a good idea, I’d be in.

    @Kyra

    I squicked out of Vicious at the Flatliners-type sequences – is there any more of that?

  5. @IanP ,

    Funny story. I was about to check on the File770 Time Machine when I realised I hadn’t put the pizza boxes out, so I did. I may have left the time machine unattended.

    Unrelated question, has anyone seen the shoggoth recently?

  6. As the child of one of “Bjo’s girls” (the women who joined Bjo Trimble in trying to get Trek back on the air), I have to say that too many stories of that era suggest that women suddenly started to join fandom after Trek appeared. Some may have joined then, but there were an awful lot of women in fandom before that. My mom had been attending SF cons for several years before Star Trek first came on the air, and she made a lot of female friends during that time (not just Bjo). Trek may have been the first time that women took the lead in a fandom movement, but they were definitely around and part of the scene well before that.

    Cats are the main reason my screensaver is set to ask for a password. Cats have many surprising and scary skills (especially where keyboards are concerned), but entering a password correctly does not seem to be one of them. (Yet.)

    On the other hand, that only helps if the system is inactive long enough for the screensaver to kick in. Otherwise, well, as I recently discovered, new fancy keyboards with special launcher buttons pose an extra danger when when cats are around. If the cat stands on one of those keys (something I doubt Pawsense would detect), you can end up with a frightening number of copies of a program getting launched. When it happened to me recently, it took over fifteen minutes to get all the windows closed and my system restored to normality! 🙂

  7. > “I squicked out of Vicious at the Flatliners-type sequences – is there any more of that?”

    In Vicious? As I recall, pretty much, yeah.

  8. (It occurs to me that in the past view days I have used the words “nihilistic”, “depressing”, and “unsettling” as literary compliments. I swear I like happy, delightful stuff, too! Like um, um … Castle Hangnail! It was charming! And I read comedies! Honest!)

  9. Stories about leaving Kindles? Today I left my tablet in a bookstore, and going back to get it distracted me so that I forgot to stop at the grocery store and get cat food. Arrived home to two hungry residents who, I already know, won’t eat anything but cat food — I’ve offered them things like scrambled eggs in the past. This time I tried scrambled eggs with a smidge of anchovy paste stirred in, isn’t that yummy? One of them sniffed it and walked away, the other ate five bites. They’ve been giving me “we’re so hunnnnngry” stares all night long. Okay, okay, guys, I understand, you won’t let me sleep tomorrow morning unless I go to the grocery store as soon as they open.

  10. @Kendall – and its a fannish thing to ignore his requests and nominate him anyways. (As a very high profile filthy pro, GRRM has gone out of his way to let folks know that he is a fan…”I’m going to Worldcon, not Dragoncon…” etc)

    3: nice, except, I’d not be with my wife except for the cat walking on the keyboard. He (Hamlet) regularly opened up a chat window, making Karen think I was ‘teasing’ her by opening up the chat and then not responding. Or responding with “lkm esfad jfahu89-0j gdgffd….” She called me up to complain and didn’t believe me when I confessed ignorance. This led to a promise to chat on a regular basis at a regular time. Eventually the culprit was caught red-pawed. And a little while later Karen and I got married.

  11. My step-mother had a series of cats who loved to sleep on top of the cable box. They were all pretty good at turning the cable box on in the middle of the night or turning it off in the middle of something dramatic. When one cat turned off the TV during the middle of a long pass in the Rose Bowl one year, my father moved faster than I had ever seen him move before.

    I try to leave my laptop closed far enough that if one of the furry little bastards tries to type anything they’ll just shut it. Unfortunately I’m using an external keyboard now, thanks to some hardware issues, so they have done some creative editing for me….

  12. Ah, cats and keyboards! My touchscreen fell to a cat swiping (a learned behavior thanks to a cat game I put on my Kindle, a much-beloved chase-the-mouse game); he then selected a recipient and began typing an email. He “accidentally” typed the Catalan word for “dog”, so I suspect he planned to arrange some shenanigans, but alas, I prevented him from completing his dastardly deed.

    As for the death of Worldcon, is it really all-the-way dead? Or can Miracle Max, yanno, reverse it?

  13. Since Paulk has so massively screwed up her bar chart of Worldcon attendance, I offer a corrected one, which shows:

    – Worldcon attendance contrary to her claims, is doing just fine

    – Worldcon bids, contrary to the claims of people in that thread, are just as healthy as they’ve always been (noting that 1) they are now much more serious business and involve many thousand$ of dollars on the part of the bidcom, and 2) nobody likes to be the jerk who bids against Worldcons in other countries)

    I note that LibertyCon’s attendance is limited to 750 people a year — perhaps 1/6th the size of Worldcon. And I am wondering why there is no huge Puppy outcry that that convention needs to be the size of DragonCon at 70,000 people.

    This bizarre insistence that a fan-run convention which focuses on books, where the authors and dealers are the product being marketed, should be the same size as for-profit run cons which focus on TV, movies, and comic books and have the attendees as the product being marketed, never ceases to mystify me.

  14. New manga alert: Gendai Majo no Shuushoku Jijou. Only the first chapter is scanslated so far (but a long one—56 pages of content.) It has obvious influences from Kiki’s Delivery Service (and includes a brief allusion to Kiki’s in the story) in that it is about a teen witch in training who is required to leave home and establish her place in a new town (where she must be the only witch.) Seems like it is going to be a “slice of life”, played straight (no fanservice so far.) Maybe a bit like Flying Witch or Someday’s Dreamers, has the potential to be pretty good.

  15. Speaking of an epic, since I found out that the Dragon Award award isn’t custom and can be bought from a web site, I’ve been imagining how much fun it would be to use the same “trophy” for something else. I’m thinking it should be the “Drag on” Award, presented to the best series. Present it at Worldcon, Watch Puppy Heads Explode!

  16. Do the pawsense people do a canine version? I had a dog overwrite a file once .

    Once, a cat managed to not only delete a large folder from my desktop, but also tell Windows to not send it to the recycling bin. I had to try 2 or 3 shareware file recovery programs before I found one that 1.) could recover all the hundreds of files 2.) without doing it tediously 3.) for free. (This one.)

  17. My felines don’t go near my keyboard, but one likes to lay on top of my arm lengthwise so that I’m immobilized and can’t type or use the trackpad. She starts near my elbow and slowly repositions herself closer and closer to my wrist and hand, so it’s something of a sneak attack. An example of her approach: https://instagram.com/p/BJy3G8Cj5cv/

  18. I don’t have a catastrophy story to display, but I was worried the kid might go on to a career in computing when, upon the first visit to Dad’s workplace, while crawling near my cubicle, that little finger reached out and touched somebody, namely the pet server located under the desk across the aisle, right on the power button.

    In more cheerful news, once I’d depressed myself by finishing my re-read of Earth Made of Glass, I doubled down with Nella Larsen’s Harlem Renaissance novel Passing, after which I decided to look for happier fare, in the recent acquisition pile by my feet.

    “Hm,” I thought, “a novel of of the Wilmington race riot, or a biography of Nathaniel Bedford Forrest? Um. No. Jimmy Carter’s Revolutionary War novel.”

    I opened it up and damned if it isn’t signed by one J Carter!

    Now I’m scared to read it without gloves.

  19. 5) I enjoyed Palmatier’s piece on how a good concept contributes to a good anthology. I’ve read his previous anthology “Temporally Out of Order” and squee’d to people about what a strong concept that was. Specifically, while it had a lot of stories I enjoyed, even the stories that didn’t work for me as stories usually gave me a conceit worth thinking about.

    tl;dr version: $15 for ebooks of three more Palmatier anthologies? I’m so in on this Kickstarter.

    Unconnected to that, I read Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Spiderlight last night, and my utter delight was only tempered by the discovery that it’s a reprint of a 2013 serial and thus is not pinned to the top of my current Hugo nominee list. A great take on traditional Tolkien or RPG-style quests. A couple of the characters grabbed me by the throat and another one crept up on me.

    Liz Bourke described the book better than I can, and Tchaikovsky’s character sheets are just fun.

  20. Since Frances’s untimely passing, I’ve had to do the gibberish renaming tasks myself, but I am helped by my computer’s hobby of yanking control away from what I’m doing and putting it into some other task window, usually before I know about it. Sometimes I can recognize the string it puts into a form somewhere, or the name it gives a file. Most often, I find files on my desktop with no name.

  21. All this talk of Star Trek and no one observing the 50th anniversaries of Time Tunnel and The Green Hornet?

    1966 was surely a magical time.

  22. Nth-ing the enthusiasm for Wynona Earp: I was pleasantly surprised by how well written it is, and the whole cast is great.

  23. Darren Garrison on September 10, 2016 at 11:02 am said:
    I was reading about that at Science News. The 4-foot by 2-foot Petri dish was impressive, also.

  24. This is just to say
    I have taken
    the time machine
    I wanted to eat the plums
    that were in the icebox
    But I didn’t want you to find out

    I took them
    back a few minutes
    then there were
    twice as many
    That was fun
    so I did it again
    Forward and back
    Four times as many
    Eight times
    Sixteen times

    If you were wondering
    why your time machine
    is full of plums
    that is why
    Please have some
    for breakfast
    I ate as many as I could
    You can put the pits
    in the pizza boxes

    You should know
    I saw a shoggoth
    Perhaps it was attracted
    by the time machine
    If so please forgive me
    The elder gods
    so strange
    and so cold

  25. @Jack Lint

    All this talk of Star Trek and no one observing the 50th anniversaries of Time Tunnel and The Green Hornet?

    1966 was surely a magical time.

    Plus, Raumpatrouille Orion‘s 50th anniversary is also coming up in a week.

    Yes, 1966 was really a great year for SFF television.

  26. Book report: “Behind the Throne” by K.B. Wagers. Yet another misfit-heir-inherits-empire novel (cf. The Goblin Emperor, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, the Exordium Series, etc etc).

    Distinctive features: Misfit Heir is 40-y.o. woman; Imperial culture is heavily Hindu-influenced yet also strictly matriarchal (with prejudice against males); some hints that the series plot might involve genafvgvba gb cneyvnzragnel qrzbpenpl.

    Things that tossed me out of the story from time to time: frequently competent hereditary rulers (that trick *never* works); MH is a martial artist who (still) relies too much on speed & power instead of treachery and cunning — I have to assume she has enhanced knees; a multi-planet empire has Imperial BodyGuards *less* competent than the US Secret Service; not enough servants in general.

    Conclusion: my socks are still on, but I’m definitely signed up for the next volume.

  27. I’ve finished the Southern Reach trilogy, and I want to write a bit about why I like it so much, with attention to a particular thing that was a drawback for many readers whose judgment I respect.

    A character in Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Garden of Forking Paths” says that the only word you can’t use in a riddle is the answer. Every so often I go on a little critical kick where I approach potentially difficult books in terms of the word they’re not saying. For the Southern Reach trilogy, I think that word may well be “neighbor”.

    The opposite pole from the Southern Reach project, and Central behind it, is what Aaron Copland set to music in his opera The Promised Land:

    The promise of living
    With hope and thanksgiving
    Is born of our loving
    Our friends and our labor.

    The promise of growing
    With faith and with knowing
    Is born of our sharing
    Our love with our neighbor.

    The promise of loving
    The promise of growing
    Is born of our singing
    In joy and thanksgiving.

    For many a year I’ve know these field
    And know all the work that makes them yield.
    Are you ready to lend a hand?
    We’re ready to work, we’re ready to lend a hand.

    (Here’s a lovely performance.)

    There are two kinds of alienation at work in and around Area X. There’s the area itself, which is constructed on principles that a human mind cannot begin to grasp without beginning to become something other than human. The other is the humans with power over the search for insight, who are alienated from themselves, from each other, and from the notion of a truth they do not control, as well as from the things that comprise Area X. The truth of Area X is part of a myriad other stories they cannot allow themselves to tell anyone, including themselves.

    But the thing is that people can un-doom themselves in and with Area X. The books never tell us, “See, this character is now un-alienated, open to the truth, and therefore redeemed.” They’re still damaged, hurting, imperfect people at the very first steps of a journey that’s literally unimaginable to someone with our constraints. Redemption in Area X includes defeat each time, and sometimes the line between defeat that leads to something better and defeat that doesn’t is really thin. And this journey is nearly as unknowable as the destination. There is, I think, only one moment, in the third volume, where a character knows that they’re turning their back on a chance to know and do better. Most of the time, they’re sliding through layers of their internal denial as well as external mystery, and we’re in there with them.

    Yet it turns out that it is possible to share with our neighbor, even if we don’t love them, to have good faith, to grow, to lend a hand. It’s just hard. But I found the journey well worth taking, both for those who make it and those who don’t.

  28. Mission:Impossible is also 50 this year; all those gadgets pushed the same buttons for me as the SF did.

    A cat who’ll only eat cat food is great until she’s sick and won’t eat. The vet suggested baby food and canned cat food, but both were met with a “this is some kind of trick, right?” look.

    Back in the days of dial-up, I had my Mac set to turn on, get email, and power off. Turned that off while my mom was in town since the computer was in the spare bedroom, but my cat, apparently used to its schedule, stepped on the power button for me.

  29. Sigh. I clicked through to Paulk’s post, even though I knew I shouldn’t. And indeed Ben’s comment made me want to stand up and cheer.

  30. (7) I will offer a correction to Ben Yalow’s usually excellent memory of Worldcon happenings. It was me, not Kate Paulk, who asked Dave McCarty if he thought EPH was a good idea. First time I asked it was ruled out of order, as debate time had expired and the meeting was only accepting questions and comments to clarify, not express opinions. But then we went into “Committee of the Whole”, and I took the opportunity to make a Parliamentary Inquiry: “Is my previous question now in order?” Answer came back yes, and Dave was finally allowed to express his opinion. Not that it, in the end, made any difference in the outcome.

  31. A Meredith Moment:

    Amazon UK’s Kindle Daily Deals for Sunday include The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss) at £0.99

  32. @Tom Becker: stunned, respectful silence I hope Shoggoth is happy, whenwherever it is.

    One of my cats is a diva/supermodel* and she’s having one of her anorexia attacks. She is eating, but not much. However, we’ve got a jar of baby food ready to deploy at dinnertime, and cheap kitty treats full of corn and additives which I reserve for just these occasions.

    Enough Filers have recommended “Behind the Throne” that I’m going to read it. Even if it isn’t sock-orbiting, it sounds good.

    @Bill: I only had to look at the URL to see why. Gene was one o’them EssJayDubyas (if imperfect), so they have to tear him down.

    *But of course; 1) cat 2) tortie 3) elderly

  33. (wups, I appended this in another Pixel Scroll — but it’s so good we have consecutive Pixel Scrolls now!)

    @Darren Garrison: shouldn’t the first “Drag-on” Award go to Jordan/Sanderson? Talk about dragging on! 14/15 books, 3 of them after the originator was dead, and 23 years.

    I suppose everyone with spare cash could have their own Dragon Award made up. Prizes for all, indeed!

  34. @lurkertype
    @Bill: I only had to look at the URL to see why. Gene was one o’them EssJayDubyas (if imperfect), so they have to tear him down.

    To the extent the article talks about Roddenberry’s progressive attitudes, it is neutral to complimentary. The criticism is of his personal habits (ego, womanizing, inability to get along with his coworkers), and that he wasn’t that good a writer.

    The article is a review of Fifty Year Mission, a recent oral history of Star Trek. So the critical comments about Roddenberry mostly come from those that worked with him.

    And the stories aren’t really a surprise to anyone who read David Alexander’s bio of Roddenberry.

  35. lurkertype on September 10, 2016 at 6:47 pm said:
    runners-up: the never-ending Dune series? (I thought the first two were worth keeping. The rest – not so much. Even the third one wasn’t that good and was changing things that had been completely different in the first two.)

  36. @PJ: That comment was supposed to be in the 9/8 Pixel Scroll. But yes, “Endless Xeroxes of Dune” is right up there — but will it EVER finish? Do we just give it one every 5-10 books?

  37. @Bill: Gosh a guy who was a pilot and a cop had an ego and chased ladies? Say it ain’t so. And it’s not like we didn’t already know that. Pff, Nichelle and Majel shared him for a while and mentioned that.

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