Pixel Your Own Scroll 12/24/17

Can’t do a Scroll today. I’m driving to my family’s Christmas Eve gathering. But you can make this happen! Scroll your own in the comments.

“Santa Mike” by Lynn Maudlin

85 thoughts on “Pixel Your Own Scroll 12/24/17

  1. Charlie Stross has just requested that people not nominate The Laundry Files for Best Series Hugo this year. If he does get nominated, he plans to decline.

    His reasoning is interesting, and highlights some possibly-unintended consequences of the current rules for Best Series. He thinks he has a better chance of winning in Dublin, but if he’s a finalist this year, he won’t be eligible next year, because a series can’t be re-nominated until there have been at least two new works (and at least 240 kilowords) published.

  2. @Arifel: Wonderful knit dragon head! 😀

    @Bruce Arthurs: I’m so sorry; what a miserable way to spend Christmas (or, frankly, any day). But I’m glad it’s not a heart attack! Get well soon.

    @Hampus Eckerman: LOL. I read it in a Mike Myers “Dr. Evil” voice.

    @rob_matic: Congrats on the sprout success.

  3. Bruce Arthurs, I’m sorry about the lousy Christmas Eve, but glad to hear that it’s not too serious. Hope you have a quick recovery.

  4. Wishing a Happy Holiday season to all Filers, whatever and wherever you celebrate, and all the best to you and your loved ones in the coming year. 🥂

  5. If you’re on e.g. book 4 of a projected 5 book series, wanting to avoid a nom so that the finished series will be eligible next year seems quite reasonable. I’m less convinced by simply trying to massage which year you appear in.
    (Mind you, I’m not nominating any series that aren’t complete or at least at some recognisable endpoint, so I’ll be complying with his request by default)

    The Dr Who Christmas special was good.
    Very heavy on the nostalgia, but I feel the combo of the end of a Doctor and Christmas justifies some indulgence. Whittaker didn’t really get much time to add any details to her upcoming take, but I’m looking forward to the new series anyway.

  6. Well, the Doctor Who Christmas special has aired, over here in the UK. I’ll try to be spoiler free…. It’s a fairly good send-off for Peter Capaldi, who pretty much owns this particular show as far as the acting goes. It sheds a little light on the First Doctor’s motivation for stealing the TARDIS in the first place – David Bradley does a passable but not spectacular job; he has the First Doctor’s appearance, but very few of William Hartnell’s distinctive mannerisms.

    The story is a little slight and more than a little sentimental, but, hey, it’s Christmas. The Doctor gets one last Christmas present that did bring a little tear even to my jaded eye. There’s a couple of predictable guest appearances, and one or two less predictable ones. Oh, and if you cannot guess the name of Mark Gatiss’s character, after he is carefully referred to only as “the captain” for most of the episode… well, I will be very surprised, that’s all.

    And it has a cliffhanger ending with the new Doctor in a situation she cannot possibly survive, and I’ve seen the Doctor survive the same one several times in the past couple of years, so I’m not too worried about her, that’s all.

    I’ve seen a lot worse…. It is a bit heavy on the Cosmic Importance Of The Doctor, which has been getting laid on with a trowel ever since Our Lord David Tennant arose as an angel of light that time. I suppose it’s only natural that the series has grown and developed since it began as a weird bloke in a box… but I’ve never been a subscriber to the “Great Man” theory of history, and have a hard time swallowing the Doctor as the one secular saint who tips the balance of Good and Evil in the Universe. Sure, in the past fifty-odd years, Doctor Who has become one of the foundation stones of British SF, but British SF isn’t the whole of the universe, you know…. OK, there will now be a short pause while I go and burn myself at the stake for heresy. Talk amongst yourselves.

  7. @Xtifr: The passage Stross quoted is a horribly written run-on and needs a rewrite, but I’m not sure which part seems like unintended consequences to you.

    Caveat: I read the passage as Vulch, in comments, does – the 240K+/2+ doesn’t have to be within a single year. It took several readings for me to figure out what the heck that last clause applied to, though. ::shudder::

  8. @Mark (kitteh!): “(Mind you, I’m not nominating any series that aren’t complete or at least at some recognisable endpoint, so I’ll be complying with his request by default)”

    This makes sense to me, though I don’t promise to be 100% consistent. But it looks like I basically followed that in nominating (caveat for a series that was at a stopping point and I didn’t realize had more to come).

  9. Xtifr on December 25, 2017 at 11:13 am said:

    His reasoning is interesting, and highlights some possibly-unintended consequences of the current rules for Best Series. He thinks he has a better chance of winning in Dublin, but if he’s a finalist this year, he won’t be eligible next year, because a series can’t be re-nominated until there have been at least two new works (and at least 240 kilowords) published.

    I don’t think it’s an unintended consequence. WSFS fully intended that a series cannot be re-nominated year after year after year. Authors who want to try for a strategic nomination for a year they think they have a better shot at winning are always free to withdraw a “premature” nomination in full compliance with the rules.

  10. Thomas Nast, artist and cartoonist who created the image of Santa Claus as a jolly fat fellow in a red suit, lived around the corner and a block away from me here in NYC.

  11. Merry Messy Kweznus! Am just now back from spending a few days at Mom & Dad’s up in northern MN. Not a lot to do there, and it was bitterly cold, so I made the best of it — finished Babylon’s Ashes and then read Persepolis Rising in pretty much a single day, and started Dorothy Dunnett’s King Hereafter on the bus ride home today.

    And now I’m thrilled to be back home in a place where the internet speed requires more than a single digit to express.

  12. Merry Whatever-you-celebrate and a happy holiday season to all!

    Bruce Arthurs: Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  13. Vulch, in comments

    Can’t remember why I used a different name here and there, but that’s me. I generally sign up as Vulch and the only place I know of where someone else is is Twitter.

  14. ULTRAGOTHA: I don’t think it’s an unintended consequence. WSFS fully intended that a series cannot be re-nominated year after year after year.

    Yes, and Stross mentions series by Max Gladstone or Seanan McGuire both as being likely candidates for 2018. I think it’s quite likely that those would be ruled ineligible for being 2017 finalists, and that nominations for them would be wasted. There are a lot of other worthy eligible series, so I’m going to be nominating amongst those.

  15. Merry Christmas or other holiday for the winter solstice. Oathbringer will probably see me all the way through to the new year, the thing is a brick.

  16. I would have nominated the Laundry Files this year, but will respect Stross’ wishes. I can’t blame him for being tactically minded.

    Of course as he pointed out to me on twitter…he might have strong competition in the Dublin Worldcon to Genevieve Cogman’s Librarian series, which is most excellent (and I strongly recommend)

  17. Currently reading Wlter Jon Williams’ Quillifier and am enjoying it. The story is well executed and has a definite Renaissance-style low fantasy feel to it, though sometimes I think that the novel takes place in his Implied Spaces continuum. NOTE: Quillifier has a fair amount of sexyness from a hetero male perspective, so that may or may not be to your taste.

  18. @Paul

    Yes, I read the latest Cogman (The Lost Plot) earlier this month. Definitely up to the standard of the previous ones, although I’m not too sure where the series is going right now. I suspect I’m going be happy to nominate it once it reaches an endpoint.

  19. Paul Weimer: Genevieve Cogman’s Librarian series, which is most excellent (and I strongly recommend)

    Mark: I suspect I’m going be happy to nominate [The Invisible Library series] once it reaches an endpoint.

    I’ve got The Lost Plot sitting here in the Christmas Reading Mount TBR, and I agree that it will be a worthy series for nomination.

  20. Merry Christmas to all. We’re having a low key one here. I think we deserve it after Harvey.

    Currently reading A Matter of Oaths, Autonomous and a Big Boy Did It and Ran Away.

  21. Kendall on December 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm said:

    @Xtifr: […] I’m not sure which part seems like unintended consequences to you.

    The part where an author withdraws a work strategically. Normally, we want the best works to appear on the ballot. If a work isn’t on the ballot, not because it’s not one of the five/six best in its category, but because the author wants to play percentages, it seems like something is a little off.

    But, as Ultragotha points out, it may not be unintended. It may simply have been considered an acceptable cost. Which is a POV I can understand.

    And I certainly don’t want to criticize Stross for his decision. The rules are what they are, and I can’t fault someone for trying to maximize their chances. Likewise, I don’t want to criticize the rules, because I understand and agree with the reasoning behind them. So, I find the entire situation acceptable. But it does feel a little off, somehow–even if I can’t find anyone I want to blame for that. 🙂

    ETA: And yes, I probably would have both nominated Laundry, and, likely, voted it #1, so I’m a little disappointed, but not too much.

  22. Currently happily reading Mira’s Last Dance. Spending Amazon eGift card I got on a small boatload (possibly a dinghy? a bunch, anyway) of T. Kingfisher books.

  23. The Best Series oddities are also partially an artefact of the award being new, and will hopefully reduce over the next several years.

  24. Lis Carey, I hope one of them is The Halcyon Fairy Book; Kingfisher is wonderfully, hilariously snarky about some old traditional fairy tales, and then tells a few of her own (the anthology Toad Words is included in full).

    Oor Wombat is a very fine teller of tales. And deconstructer of them, as well.

  25. @Paul Weimer: I told my local librarian (who was disappointed by Invisible Library #2) that #3 was not great, but better; her alternate worlds are interesting, but IMO somewhat arbitrary, as is her plotting, so I wouldn’t put it high on my list. (I see I’m odd-one-out on this.) She’ll probably be eligible — at the rate she’s going there should be a book later in 2018, getting around any awkwardness about whether a book published in the UK in 2017 but the US in 2018 would be eligible at a non-NorthAmerican Worldcon under 3.4.2 — but not on my ballot (if I even do a ballot — I’ve been drifting for some years).

  26. Rule 3.4.2 applies regardless of where the Worldcon is. It’s a recognition of the practical matter that no matter where the Worldcon is, the largest group of members (not always a majority), and the ones most likely to nominate/vote, are from the USA.

  27. Re Robert Givens, the Very Old animator whose death was mentioned earlier in the comments:

    A recent post by Mark Evanier links three interviews with him in various places on the web.

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