Coronavirus Threat Causes
Some Conventions to Cancel or Reschedule

Book fairs and sff conventions, like all public events, were already making decisions whether to proceed in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, but today’s World Health Organization announcement will step up the level of concern even higher. From the New York Times: “W.H.O. Declares Pandemic as Number of Infected Countries Grows”.

…“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, chief of the W.H.O., said at a news conference in Geneva.

“We cannot say this loudly enough or clearly enough or often enough,” he added. “All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”

But now there is evidence on six continents of sustained transmission of the virus, which has infected more than 120,000 people and killed more than 4,300, and by most scientific measures the spread qualifies as a pandemic. The designation itself is largely symbolic, but public health officials know that the public will hear in the word elements of danger and risk.

PopCult HQ has been tracking 8 conventions worldwide that are planned for next weekend and as of yesterday, only two have been called off.

Seattle’s large Emerald City Comic Con, which was planned for March 12-15, announced on March 9 that it has been postponed until Summer 2020 (the date to be named later.)

Each year the Emerald City Comic Con team works their hardest to do right by the thousands of fans that come together in Seattle. We want to create a space for you to gather, be yourselves and make memories with those who matter to you most. We have been closely monitoring the situation around the COVID-19 virus in Seattle, and, after many hours of conversation internally and consultation with local government officials and the tourism bureau, we have decided to move next week’s Emerald City Comic Con to Summer 2020 with date and detail announcement forthcoming. We did everything that we could to run the event as planned, but ultimately, we are following the guidance of the local public health officials indicating that conventions should now be postponed.

The Manga Comic Con in Leipzig, Germany is part of the Leipzig Book Fair, which also will not take place. Public health policies contributed heavily to the decision:

…The Leipzig Public Health Office decided to follow the directive of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Economics, which states that the traceability of contact persons at major events must be guaranteed. The directive explicitly stipulated that every participant in the fair must provide written proof that he or she is not from any of the identified risk locations and has not had contact with people from such locations. Considering the approximately 2,500 exhibitors and 280,000 expected visitors, this was not a reasonable task. The health of our exhibitors, visitors, guests, partners and employees is our top priority. The City of Leipzig and Leipziger Messe have therefore decided to cancel the event entirely.

However, next weekend’s conventions in Canada, Ireland, and several U.S. cities east of the Mississippi are going forward.

On the other hand, the Burning Cat gaming con slated for May in Portland, OR has already canceled.

Not on PopCult HQ’s list, Consonance 2020, the Bay Area filk convention slated for March 20-22, has been cancelled. Chair Lynn Gold made the announcement today.   

And Perth, Australia’s Swancon 2020, calendared for April 25-27, has been called off. The convenors told Facebook followers, “This Really is The Darkest Timeline”:

In light of information from the Department of Health, the Western Australian Department of Health, and the advice of medical professionals in our community such as Dr Karen McKenna, the Convention Committee, Convention Steering Committee and WASFF Board have voted to cancel Swancon 2020.

Early projections indicate that the height of the pandemic is likely to be late April to early May, and as such we would be irresponsible to hold a large public gathering, regardless of the amount of hand sanitizer and tissues we provided.

The governor of Washington state today set a policy banning large gatherings in three counties which could impact Norwescon“Inslee orders halt on large gatherings in Seattle region, asks schools to prepare for closure, to slow coronavirus spread”

Flanked by the leaders of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett, and of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, Inslee said he was ordering the cancellation of large church services, sporting events, concerts, festivals and conventions.

“Today I am ordering, pursuant to my emergency powers, that certain events in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties with more than 250 people are prohibited by order of the governor,” Inslee said, at a King County government building in downtown Seattle. The three counties are “experiencing significant community transmission, significant outbreaks and they are large population centers.”

The order is in effect through the end of March, Inslee said, but it is “highly likely” it will be extended beyond that time.

Norwescon is scheduled for April 9-12. The convention committee has posted this response:

The Executive team is aware of the March 11 announcement by WA Gov. Inslee regarding COVID-19 containment plans. We are in active discussion within the Executive team and with the hotel to determine our best options. We will provide updates as soon as possible, but do need some time to coordinate. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we do our best to adjust to a quickly moving situation.

BALANCING ACT. Where public health officials have not yet instituted any restrictions, few events can unilaterally cancel without jeopardizing their future.

The International Association For The Fantastic In The Arts, in “COVID-19, Cancellations, and Credits/Refunds”, said their economic survival would be in doubt if they cancelled the event, therefore ICFA 41 will still take place March 18-21 in Florida.

The conference will meet. We have to meet certain guaranteed minimums for room occupancy, food and beverage expenditures, etc., specified in our contract with the hotel, or pay out of pocket. It is not an exaggeration to say that cancellation would jeopardize the very existence of the IAFA.

All conrunners have a recent example in Arisia of what happens when penalty clauses kick in because an event has been cancelled for reasons outside the provisions of their facilities contracts.

In that vein, after conferring with their hotel the chairs of UK’s Eastercon, Concentric 2020, planned for April 10-13, put out this statement on March 8:  

The Eastercon committee met with the Hilton on Friday and discussed with them the concerns of the Eastercon membership. We asked about their policies on refunds for the event and any rooms booked with the potential issues from Covid-19. The Hilton have confirmed to the committee that, as the government’s stance at this point is business as usual, they will not be offering any additional or exceptional circumstances towards bookings that have already been made.

We have discussed if there would be any possibility of a change in their stance on this matter. We have been advised that the only time at which there would be a change would be if running the convention would be either impossible or illegal due to requirements put in place either from the Government or from an authorised public body such as Public Health England or the World Health Organisation….

Pittsburgh’s furry fandom Anthrocon (July 2-5) has also been consulting with and monitoring information from public health agencies, and in a March 9 statement said they plan to go on with the con:

At this time, there is no intention of canceling or delaying the Anthrocon 2020 convention. None of the agencies listed above has advised either course of action. We continue to monitor the situation daily, however, and should circumstances warrant either a cancellation or rescheduling, we will issue that announcement without delay on our web site and through all of our social media outlets. Please be patient. None of us can predict the course that this epidemic will take, and to what extent – or even if – it will be a concern in July. Our only choice is to rely on the advice of the medical professionals who are best situated to offer such advice.

At this time, no U.S. medical agency is advising travelers to cancel plans to travel to Western Pennsylvania, whereas of this date no cases of COVID-19 have been reported.

Today, the SFWA Board of Directors today said the Nebula Conference (May 28-31) is going forward, because of the penalties that would result from cancellation: “A Message from SFWA Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)”.

…At the moment, SFWA is planning to hold the conference with adjustments to reduce the risks of spreading the virus. The SFWA Board and the Nebula Conference events team are talking about this evolving situation daily including the possibility that things may shift enough that we need to cancel the in-person event. We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments.

The Nebulas are 80 days away and every day brings us a better understanding of what’s happening with COVID-19.

Our challenge is that the hotel will not allow us to cancel the event without paying penalties unless it is “illegal or impossible” to host it. Similarly, they will not offer us any refunds. This limits our choices. With that said, the board’s priority in decision-making still remains with the health and safety of our attendees and by extension their families.

The chairs of CoNZealand, the 2020 Worldcon, Norman Cates and Kelly Buehler made this public statement on March 6:

Although New Zealand has not been affected by Covid-19 to the extent of the rest of the world, our government and the NZ Ministry of Health have extensive civil defence plans. We are monitoring the situation and will be prepared for what the future brings.

As usual, we strongly advise all members purchase their own comprehensive travel insurance for any foreign travel, including cancellation insurance. If you have already purchased insurance for your journey to New Zealand, we recommend that you check the full terms with your insurance provider.

We are in touch with the Ministry of Health as well as with our venue planning managers. We want everyone to have a safe and healthy convention, and we will be following best practices.

CRUISE SHIPS. While the Canadian government’s coronavirus disease guidance warns citizens to avoid all cruise ship travel, and the United States’ Center for Disease Control recommends cruise ship travel be deferred, N.K. Jemisin, Rebecca Roanhorse, Patrick Rothfuss, John Scalzi, and Martha Wells are among the many pop culture guests currently aboard the 2020 JoCo Cruise, which ends March 13.

READINGS: The Fantastic Fiction at KGB readings series today canceled its March event with guests Daniel Braum & Robert Levy, promising instead, “both authors will be reading their work over an online livestream at the same scheduled date and time (March 18th, 7pm). Details on that livestream will be forthcoming.”

BOOK FAIRS. Outside of fandom, a series of publishing industry events have shuttered or rescheduled due to the withdrawal of participating book companies and sponsors.

The National Book Critics Circle in New York has canceled both its finalists reading on Wednesday, March 11, and its awards ceremony on Thursday, March 12. The Tucson (AZ) Festival of Books, which was planned for March 14-15, has canceled. 

The Los Angeles Times has postponed its Festival of Books and Food Bowl events, “in light of public health concerns related to the coronavirus and out of an abundance of caution.” “Los Angeles Times postpones Festival of Books and Food Bowl due to coronavirus concerns “

The 25th Festival of Books, originally scheduled for April, will now take place the weekend of Oct. 3-4 on the USC campus. The 4th Food Bowl, previously set for May, will also be moved to the fall, with dates to be announced later.

While the Book Prizes awards ceremony will not be held this year, honorees and winners will still be acknowledged via an announcement to be released on April 17.

With Italy already a center of the outbreak, publishers are shying away from the Bologna Book Fair:

Penguin Random House has become the second of the Big Five U.S. publishers to announce it would not attend this year’s rescheduled Bologna Children’s Book Fair, scheduled for May 4–7,

Shelf Awareness has a growing list of book fairs and bookstore events that have been called off, or adjusted their plans: “COVID-19 Update: More Cancellations & Postponements”.

SHOW UP BUT KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. Events that are proceeding have instituted whatever safety measures they think are appropriate.


UPDATE: Ace Comic Con Northeast (March 20-22), which had publicized their decision to go on, has now cancelled. Note that the following segment was written before the announcement.


Despite fannish complaints, ACE Comic Con Northeast is running March 20-22 in Boston, and chirpily told the Boston Globe: “ACE Comic Con is still on. Just don’t touch the Chrises (Hemsworth or Evans).”

…Ace Comic Con, which is hosting a Northeast fan event from March 20-22 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, will go on as planned, despite coronavirus concerns, according to organizers. That said, there are some new rules regarding social distancing, posted on ACE’s Facebook page:

“During Photo Ops & Autographs – Handshakes, hugs, requests to hold props during Photo Ops, and physical contact will not be permitted. No gifts, letters, or cards will be accepted by celebrity guests so we ask that you do not bring in those items.

…Of course, some have fans have posted complaints on Facebook. They bought special autograph packages expecting to get hugs and handshakes from stars.

“I am coming from FL and I wanted a hug from both Chris’. Now I’m gonna stand side by side with them? How is that fair? … I honestly don’t want to come anymore,” one Facebook user said.

FALLOUT. The economic consequences from not holding events will ripple far beyond the hotels and committees. For example, the SXSW cancellation has caused major layoffs:

On March 6, SXSW canceled its 2020 festival due to concerns surrounding the recent coronavirus outbreak. It marked the first cancellation in the annual Austin event’s 34-year history. Now, SXSW’s parent company SXSW LLC has laid off roughly a third of its 175 year-round employees, according to a new report by local paper the Austin American-Statesman,

DECISION TIME. To hold the con or not?

Nerd & Tie’s Trae Dorn agrees that “Every Convention Staff Needs to Have the COVID-19 Conversation”.

…The fact is we are dealing with a disease where it’s possible that some infected people can be contagious while appearing healthy for weeks. Transmission happens when people are in close proximity, and since this is a new form of the disease, odds are if you’re exposed you’re going to get it. And you can talk about how mortality rates as a percentage are only slightly higher than the flu, a lot of people don’t get the flu. There are plenty of people who walk our convention halls who have a good chance of dying if they get infected.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of having none of my convention’s attendees die.

So yeah, it’s time to talk. How drastic your conversation is depends on how bad things are where you are physically along with who might come to your event. If you’re an event like SXSW where people come from all over the world… consider not holding your event immediately. Postpone it if you can, but no event is worth people’s lives. If you’re a regional event, you need to look at the landscape. If you’re in a city or area with an active outbreak, do not hold your event, I beg of you.

And Chuck Wendig has written several virus-related blog posts in the past 10 days, beginning with “Running A Con, Conference Or Festival In The Age Of A Burgeoning Pandemic!” These are things that convention guests will have on their minds:

e) Recognize that we’re probably anxious about this. Many of us will go to our events via two or more airports, likely international ones. We will then be at your event with hundreds to thousands of people. If we’re writers, we’re gonna be theoretically up close and personal with folks, signing their books, some want photos — and trust me, writers are already a pretty anxious lot. Our brains are carousels of crawling ants. We’re already imagining worse case scenarios. (Seriously, have you read Wanderers?) You talking to us about that before we have to talk to you about it would be very nice.

f) Recognize too we don’t want to get stuck anywhere. We have families! Pets! Extreme introversion! Note that some people who have traveled overseas have found themselves in exactly this scenario. Best case scenario, it’s a travel delay. Worst case, it’s full restriction or quarantine. Who knows how the fuck this current administration will bungle this up — they might not do anything, or they might clamp down hard when it’s not needed. Either way? We don’t wanna find out. So, what happens if it does? Are you gonna cover our hotels if we’re guests? One night? Ten? Certainly your responsibility ends somewhere, but I’d sure like you to be thinking about that.

Right now, all the choices are hard.

Pixel Scroll 7/6/19 Pixel First, Fix It In The Scroll

(1) DELANY ABOUT STONEWALL. Much about the country’s sexual history and his own informs “Stonewall, Before and After: An Interview with Samuel R. Delany” in the LA Review of Books.

…Years later, my mother and the downstairs neighbor, Mrs. Horn, whose kids had also gone to Camp Woodland, were talking about “The Jewel Box Revue,” which had returned to the Apollo Theater at 125th Street in New York. And my mother said, “You know, that’s Mary, that was Mary Davies, who was a counselor up at the summer camp.” And I realized I knew Stormé DeLarverie. And I suddenly realized this is not a person who is far away from me, this is somebody I sat next to on the piano bench, who helped me write a cantata and sat beside me at chorus rehearsal at Woodland — someone who had been very close to me.

Cut to Stonewall.

Stonewall happened when I was 27, so a decade later. And who was the person who was supposed to have thrown the first punch at Stonewall? Stormé DeLarverie!

(2) STAN LEE COMMEMORATIVE. Marvel Toy News doesn’t want you to miss this chance to spend your money: “Hot Toys Stan Lee GOTG Cameo Figure Up for Order!”

Just when it seemed as though the Toy Fair Exclusive Scarlet Spider sixth scale figure was a lock for “Fastest Hot Toys Sell-Out of 2019” after going to Wait List in under 12 hours, Hot Toys dropped a bombshell this week when they revealed an MMS that’s likely to blow poor Scarlet Spider’s sales out of the water! It’s so “out there” that many collectors never even considered it could happen, but the EXCLUSIVE Hot Toys Stan Lee in Spacesuit 1/6 figure is now up for order!

(3) WHERE THE FUR FLIES. Ursula Vernon reporting from the scene at Anthrocon. Thread starts here.

(4) THE GREAT FUR MIGRATION. “The origin of how Pittsburgh and furries fell in love with each other” is a fascinating article in the Pittsburgh City Paper.

…So, Anthrocon left Philadelphia and migrated to Pittsburgh in 2006. If there were any thoughts that the furries made the wrong choice, those were quickly assuaged the first day of the convention that year. People from Downtown restaurants, bars, and hotels all ascended to meet the furries at the convention center. [Sam Conway, the CEO of nonprofit Anthrocon] says they were there to welcome, greet, take pictures with, and even hug some of the furries.

“The city literally and figuratively ran out and gave us a hug,” says Conway.

Conway says Anthrocon and the furries have been in love with Pittsburgh ever since. He has been apologizing to Visit Pittsburgh for the last 14 years, saying he unfairly stereotyped the city of Pittsburgh. But he says that might have actually resonated stronger with furries, who have faced their own damaging stereotypes.

“Maybe that is why it resonated it,” says Conway. “We came here and realized, ‘Look at how wrong we were.’”

The TV coverage of this year’s con includes –

(5) ABOUT FANTASY. Well, when you put it that way —

(6) BERRY HARVEST TIME. John Scalzi probably doesn’t find these experiences funny, yet he is perfectly capable of treating them as the inspiration for amusing posts: “Endgames, Tinkerbell and Happily Ever After”.

In the wake of a recent mild uptick in people being angry at me for existing, a question in email, which I am paraphrasing for brevity:

What do you think these people are hoping for with these posts? What’s their endgame, and how do they think it will affect you?

…In the case of the alt-right dingleberry actively hoping for the collapse of traditional publishing (or at least Tor Books), which will presumably take me down with it: I think the plan there was reassuring the other dingleberries with whom he corresponds on social media that, yes, indeed, one day my virtue-signaling self will get mine, along with all of traditional publishing (or at least Tor Books), and what a glorious day that will be for them. As this particular alt-right dingleberry self-publishes on Amazon, there’s also the implication that upon the smoking ruins of traditional publishing (or at least Tor Books), and the dessicated bones of all the SJWs that toiled there, will come a new age where these alt-right dingleberries and their work will finally take their rightful place at the top of the science fictional heap, while I and my sort, I don’t know, maybe suck quarters out of vending machines to survive.

In case anybody cares which dingleberry is being discussed, in the Twitter thread version of this post, a redacted tweet could be traced to Brian Niemeier.

(7) SFF DISQUALIFIED AS LITERATURE? A long and interesting study of Ted Chiang’s fiction in the New York Review of Books: “Idea Man”. (Online version is behind a paywall.)

What fiction is made out of is a bit of a mystery, but an old bromide has it that ideas should not be a major component. T.S. Eliot praised Henry James for not having any in his fiction, which seems to accord with James’s own understanding of his work. “Nothing is my last word about anything,” he once wrote to a critic who had upset him by construing a particular portrait in one of his tales as a general statement. Along similar lines, George Orwell praised Charles Dickens for being “a free intelligence” who, in Orwell’s estimation, “has no constructive suggestions, not even a clear grasp of the nature of the society he is attacking, only an emotional perception that something is wrong.” Ideas, by virtue of their abstractness, are deprecated as too smooth and clean, deficient in the loam of contradictory specifics from which rich fiction grows, and the wish to demonstrate an idea is seen as dangerous because it might lead a writer to neaten her picture of the world, and thereby falsify it.

Some kinds of ideas probably should be kept out of literature. It’s understandable, for example, that Orwell dismissed political dogmas as “smelly little orthodoxies,” and that he celebrated Dickens for writing novels that were innocent of them. But does it make sense to exclude ideas drawn from science or math?

The challenge of science fiction is in its embrace of them….

(8) PILGRIMAGE. NPR reminds us that Slaughterhouse-Five  was published 50 years ago.

When it was published 50 years ago, Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” was an instant hit, an anti-war novel that was searing, satirical, strange and darkly funny. It revolves around a controversial moment in World War II, the firebombing of Nazi Germany’s loveliest city.

(9) PONSOT OBIT. The late Marie Ponsot is celebrated by Samuel R. Delany:

Marie Ponsot, one of my early mentors, has passed away, well into her 90s. She was 98. She was the dedicatee of my book ABOUT WRITING, and when I was sixteen, she gave me my first hardcover copy of NIGHTWOOD, a book I read more times than any other single novel and taught again and again. 

She was a kind, generous, and wonderful poet. Her first book was True Minds, and her second was Admit Impediment. She was the pocket poet who lived on this side of the country and had known Ferlinghetti in France. Her French was excellent. Her daughter Monique remains my face book friend, and her son Antoine was the dedicatee of my third novel, The Towers of Toron. Sometime later she was the traveling companions of my wife, Marilyn Hacker.

Learn more in the Wikipedia article about her: Marie Ponsot

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • July 6, 1990Jetsons: The Movie premiered in theatres.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • July 6, 1916 Donald R. Christensen. Animator, cartoonist, illustrator, writer. He worked briefly at Warner Bros. studio, primarily as a storyboard artist for Bob Clampett’s animation unit.  After that, he worked for Dell, Gold Key and Western Publishing comic books, as well as Hanna Barbera, Walter Lantz Productions and other cartoon studios. He wrote and provided illustrations for such comic book titles as Magnus, Robot Fighter, Donald Duck, and Uncle Scrooge. (Died 2006.)
  • July 6, 1927 Janet Leigh. Certainly best remembered as doomed Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. She would also be in with her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, The Fog and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. She’s also in the Night of the Lepus, a very odd 70s SF film. (Died 2004.)
  • July 6, 1945 Rodney Matthews, 74. British illustrator and conceptual designer. Among his many endeavors was one with Michael Moorcock creating a series of 12 large posters that showed scenes from Moorcock’s ‘Eternal Champion’ series. This is turned became the Wizardry and Wild Romance calendar. He also worked work with Gerry Anderson on the Lavender Castle series. 
  • July 6, 1945 Burt Ward, 74. Robin in that Batman series. He reprised the role in voicing the character in The New Adventures of Batman and Legends of the Superheroes , and two recent films, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs. Two-Face. The latter have the last work done by Adam West before his death. 
  • July 6, 1946 Sylvester Stallone, 73. Although I think Stallone made a far less than perfect Dredd, I think the look and feel of the first film was spot on for the film which was something the second film, which had a perfect Dredd in Keith Urban, utterly lacked. And Demolition Man and him as Sergeant John Spartan were just perfect. 
  • July 6, 1950 John Byrne, 69. A stellar comic book artist and writer. He’s done far too much to detail here so I’ll just single out that he scripted the first four issues of Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, was the writer and artist on the excellent Blood of the Demon from 1-17 and responsible for Spider-Man: Chapter One which took a great deal of flak. 
  • July 6, 1980 Eva Green,39. First crosses our paths in Casino Royale asVesper Lynd followed by Serafina Pekkala in The Golden Compass, and then Angelique Bouchard Collins in Dark Shadows. Ava Lord in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (weird films are those) with a decided move sideways  into being Miss Alma Peregrine for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. And she was Colette Marchant in Dumbo. She’s got two series roles to her credit, Morgan Pendragon in Camelot and Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful.

(12) MY ULTIMATE PURPOSE. Seeing this tweet, I’m reminded of Sirens of Titan and how the Tralfamadorians directed the development of humanity simply to produce a needed spare part for a spaceship.

(13) BLIND BARD. Get a head start celebrating Heinlein’s birthday tomorrow by listening to the X-Minus One radio broadcast of “The Green Hills of Earth”:

“The Green Hills Of Earth”. The story of Rhysling, the blind folksinger of the spaceways! Great radio. The script was previously used on “Dimension X” on June 10, 1950 and December 24, 1950. + This is the story of Riesling, the singer of the space ways. Future generations of school children have sung his songs in English, French or German, the language doesn’t matter, but it was an Earth tongue. But the real story of Rhysling is not found in the footnotes of a scholars critique or a publishers biography. It is in the memories of the old time space men the pioneers who pushed the thundering old fashioned rockets to the far strange ports that are our common place heritage – these men know the true story of Rhysling.

(14) AWARD KERFUFFLE. Amanda Marcotte points to Slate’s coverage of the Staunch Book Prize, “Why an Award for Books Without Violence Against Women Is So Controversial”. Thread starts here.

The Slate article begins –

An award exclusively for novels that do not depict violence against women has come under fire for the second year in a row. British author and screenwriter Bridget Lawless launched the Staunch Book Prize in 2018 specifically to recognize thrillers “in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.” The prize drew controversy almost as soon as it was announced, with crime writers such as Val McDermid arguing that “not to write about [violence against women] is to pretend it’s not happening,” and CrimeFest, the Bristol-based festival for crime novelists, ultimately withdrawing its support.

Sophie Hannah, who writes psychological thrillers as well as the continuation of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries, publicly announced that she would ask her publishers not to submit her books for the award. She also made the case in a lengthy Facebook post that the Staunch Book Prize muddies its message by taking an overt stand against one type of violence but not others: “If the Staunch Prize were to be awarded to a book in which a man is murdered, on the other hand, how could we avoid the conclusion that the prize, at worst, approves of this, or, at best, doesn’t disapprove of it all that much?”

(15) YOUR PLASTIC PAL. A BBC video reports “My date with a robot”:

In a place, like Japan, where workers are desperately needed, the government is hoping that robots could be the answer.

Some developers believe that instead of replacing us, robots could help get more people into work. But would you let a robot read you the news, look after your children, or even, take you on a date?

BBC’s Population Reporter Stephanie Hegarty went to Tokyo to meet them.

(16) A THOUSAND EYES. Funny bit about a peacock:

(17) NOT COMPETITION – ENVIRONMENT. “Amazon at 25: The story of a giant”

“There’s no guarantee that Amazon.com can be a successful company. What we’re trying to do is very complicated,” said Jeff Bezos in 1999, just five years after launching the online firm.

That the firm’s founder was so uncertain of its future seems surprising.

Today, 25 years on from when it started, Amazon is one of the most valuable public companies in the world, with Mr Bezos now the world’s richest man, thanks to his invention.

What started as an online book retailer has become a global giant, with membership subscriptions, physical stores, groceries for sale, its own smart devices and a delivery system which can get things to customers in just an hour.

So how has the Amazon empire been built?

(18) COUNTDOWN. BBC takes a look at “Apollo in 50 numbers: the technology”.

The Apollo programme pushed space and computing technology to its limit. Cutting edge at the time, some of the tech used seems alarmingly simple today.

74: Memory (ROM) of Apollo guidance computer, in kilobytes

Computer technology was one of the greatest – and long lasting – achievements of Apollo. From the solid-state microcomputer fitted to the lunar lander, to mighty IBM mainframes, with their flashing lights and banks of magnetic tape.

To navigate the Apollo spacecraft the quarter of a million or so miles to the Moon and then descend to a precise spot on the surface, astronauts used the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC).

Housed in a box around the size of a small suitcase, with a separate display and input panel fitted to the main spacecraft console, it was a masterpiece of miniaturisation.

Developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the AGC was filled with thousands of integrated circuits, or silicon chips. Nasa’s order of this new technology led to the rapid expansion of Silicon Valley and accelerated the development of today’s computers.

(19) ON THE MOVE. In “Fairytales of Motion” on Vimeo, Alan Warburton explains how animators, with an emphasis on classic Disney films, use motion in their animation.

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

Inaugural Leo Awards Announced at Anthrocon


The first annual Leo Awards were presented at Anthrocon 2018 on July 7.

The Leo Awards’ goal is to highlight exceptional works of literature in the furry fandom. The juried award is given to those works that surpass a benchmark score, which means that there can be multiple “best” works in each category.

The finalists are listed here with the award winners in BOLDFACE.

Novels

  • Jackalope Wives and Other Stories, by Ursula Vernon
  • Imperium Lupi, by Adam Browne
  • ReWritten, by Jako Malan
  • Kismet, by Watts Martin
  • The Tower and the Fox, by Tim Susman
  • GENMOS: Gathering Storms, by Stephen Coghlan
  • Always Gray in Winter, by Mark Engels
  • Otters in Space 3: Octopus Ascending, by Mary E. Lowd
  • The Wayward Astronomer, by Geoffrey Thomas
  • The Student, by Joe Sherman
  • Thousand Tales, Learning to Fly, by Kris Schnee
  • Griffin Ranger 2: The Monster Lands, by Roz Gibson
  • Black Dust, by Invisible Wolf and Achilles
  • Mist, by Amy Fontaine
  • Where Werewolves Fear to Tread, by Alan Gordon

Novellas

  • Jazz at the End of the Night, by Weasel
  • Matriarch: Elephant vs. T-Rex, by Roz Gibson
  • The Earth Tigers, by Frances Pauli
  • Dragon Fried Cheese: Dragonsbane Saga Book 3, by Madison Keller
  • Pride of Parahumans, by Joel Kreissman
  • Intimate Little Secrets, by Rechan
  • Dubiously Canon: Sinful Behavior, by Rukis

Anthologies

  • Bleak Horizons, edited by Tarl Hoch
  • Passing Through, edited by Weasel
  • Seven Deadly Sins, edited by Thurston Howl
  • Civilized Beasts II, edited by Weasel Press
  • Dogs of War, vol. 1, edited by Fred Patten
  • ROAR 8, edited by Mary E. Lowd
  • Symbol of a Nation, edited by Fred Patten

Short Stories

  • Crossroads the Namib, by Jako Malan (from Symbol of a Nation)
  • When the Paint Dries, by Rechan (from Intimate Little Secrets)
  • The Lion of the Low Countries, by Huskyteer (from Symbol of a Nation)
  • Personal History, by Tim Susman (from ROAR 8)
  • To the Victor the Spoils, by Ocean Tigrox (from HEAT 14)
  • The Moon Like an Unhatched Egg, by Mary E. Lowd (from Symbol of a Nation)
  • The Moon Fox, by Amy Fontaine (from Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores)
  • Tucked Away, by E. S. Lapso (from ROAR 8)
  • Shells on the Beach, by Tom Mullins (from i)
  • Empty, by Faora Meridian (from FANG 8)
  • Reflections, by TJ Minde (from FANG 8)
  • Castle Phoenix, by Greyflank (from ROAR 8)
  • Behesht, by Dwale (from ROAR 8)
  • Repository, by Hypetaph (from Seven Deadly Sins)
  • One Alien’s Wreckage, by Mary E. Lowd (from Daily Science Fiction)

Poems

  • A Deafening Dirge, by BanWynn Oakshadow (from Civilized Beasts II)
  • Top to Bottom, by Mog Moogle (from HEAT 14)
  • Unbroken, by Televassi (from Werewolves Vs Fascism)
  • The Natural Order Disordered, by J. J. Steinfeld (from Civilized Beasts II)

Nonfiction

  • Furries Among Us 2, edited by Thurston Howl
  • Furry Nation, by Joe Strike
  • Furry Fandom Conventions 1989-2015, by Fred Patten

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

Fred Patten Anthology: Exploring New Places

Exploring New Places, edited by Fred Patten, is launching at Anthrocon 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA over the July 4th holiday weekend (July 5-8).  The book can be pre-ordered from FurPlanet Productions.  It will be for sale on the FurPlanet online catalogue afterwards.

Exploring New Places is an all-original anthology of 19 short stories and novelettes of anthropomorphic animals venturing into unfamiliar places, in their own city, on their own world, in space, or in a different dimension.  This anthology is designed to appeal to fans of science-fiction and fantasy.

Whether by the power of music to “send you right out of this world”, or a rabbit spaceship captain searching for the creators of her species; a galactic police agent called to a new planet to solve murders, or alien furries who enter a human university; a gorilla student wandering off in a museum, or two-tailed squirrels confronting interstellar explorers; these are stories for your imagination and entertainment.

Contents:

  • To Drive the Cold Winter Away, by Michael H. Payne
  • In Search of the Creators, by Alan Loewen
  • The Rocky Spires of Planet 227, by Mary E. Lowd
  • Defiant, by Joshua Carpman
  • Why Indeed, by Pepper Hume
  • Come to Todor!, by Fred Patten
  • You Are Our Lifeboat, by Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen
  • The Animal Game, by Vixyy Fox
  • Ashland’s Fury, by MikasiWolf
  • Legacy, by M. R. Anglin
  • Umbra’s Legion: Shamblers of Woe, by Adam Baker
  • Umbra’s Legion: Where Pride Planted, by Geoff Galt
  • Beyond Acacia Ridge, by Amy Fontaine
  • One Day in Hanoi, by Thomas “Faux” Steele
  • Welcome, Furries, by Cathy Smith
  • Back Then, by Frank LeRenard
  • Tortoise Who, by Mary E. Lowd
  • I Am the Jaguar, by Cairyn
  • The Promise of New Heffe, by Kary M. Jomb

Price:  $19.95.  401 pages.  Wraparound cover by Demicoeur.   ISBN 978-1-61450-421-4.

2016 Ursa Major Awards

Image by EosFoxx

The 2016 Ursa Major Awards were announced on June 30 at Anthrocon in Pittsburgh. The Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic works of the past calendar year, are presented by the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA) in twelve categories, and are voted upon by the public on the Ursa Major Awards website, Ursa Major Awards website.

There were 1,446 votes this year, most from the U.S. but some from throughout the rest of the world. Below are listed the winners and nominees of the 2016 Ursa Major Awards.

Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture

Winner

  • Zootopia (Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush; February 11)

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • Finding Dory (Directed by Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane; June 17)
  • Sing (Directed by Garth Jennings and Christophe Lourdelet; December 21)
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 (Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni; January 29)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney; July 8)

Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series

Winner

  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (Directed by James Thiessen, Jim Miller, Tim Stuby, and Denny Lu; Season 6 episodes 1 to 143 [TV])

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • The Lion Guard (Directed by Howy Parkins; Season 1 episodes 1 to 22 [TV])
  • Bunnicula (Directed by Jessica Borutski, Maxwell Atoms, Robert F. Hughes, Matthew Whitlock, and Ian Wasseluk; Season 1 episodes 1 to 8 [TV])
  • Littlest Pet Shop (Directed by Joel Dickie, Steven Garcia, and Mike Myhre; Season 4 episode 10 to Season 4 episode 26 [TV])
  • Petals (Directed by Andrea Gallo and Alvaro Dominguez; November 29 [student film])

Best Anthropomorphic Novel

Winner

  • My Diary, by Fredrick Usiku Kruger, Lieutenant of the Rackenroon Hyena Brigade, by Kathy Garrison Kellog (The Cross Time Cafe; April 2)

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • Sixes Wild: Echoes, by Tempe O’Kun (FurPlanet Productions; June 30)
  • Dog Country, by Malcolm F. Cross (Amazon Digital Services; March 28)
  • Fracture, by Hugo Jackson (Inspired Quill; September 1)
  • The Origin Chronicles: Mineau, by Justin Swatsworth (Dolphyn Visions; June 14)

Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction

Winner

  • 400 Rabbits, by Alice “Huskyteer” Dryden, in Gods With Fur (FurPlanet Productions; June 30)

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • A Gentleman of Strength, by Dwale, in Claw the Way to Victory (Jaffa Books; January 24)
  • Questor’s Gambit, by Mary E. Lowd, in Gods With Fur (FurPlanet Productions; June 30)
  • Marge the Barge, by Mary E. Lowd, in Claw the Way to Victory (Jaffa Books; January 24)
  • Sheeperfly’s Lullaby, by Mary E. Lowd, in GoAL #2 (Goal Publications; March 27)

Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work

Winner

  • Gods With Fur, ed. by Fred Patten (FurPlanet Productions; June 30 [anthology])

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • Claw the Way to Victory, ed. by AnthroAquatic (Jaffa Books; January 24 [anthology])
  • ROAR volume 7, ed. by Mary E. Lowd (Bad Dog Books; June 30 [anthology])
  • The Muse, by Alex Cockburn (Rabbit Valley Publishing; March [background booklet for Lucid’s Dream])
  • Hot Dish #2, ed. by Dark End (Sofawolf Press; December 1 [anthology])

Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work

Winner

  • The Art of Zootopia, by Jessica Julius (Chronicle Books; March 8 [book; making of feature film])

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • Fursonas (Directed by Dominic Rodriguez; May 10 [documentary film])
  • 17 Misconceptions About Furries and the Furry Fandom (Culturally F’d #23; February 11 [podcast])
  • CSI: Fur Fest; The Unsolved Case of the Gas Attack at a Furry Convention, by Jennifer Swann (VICE Media; February 10 [Internet])
  • Burned Furs and How You Perceive Porn (Culturally F’d: After Dark; October 6 [podcast])

Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story

Winner

  • TwoKinds, by Tom Fischbach (Internet; January 6 to December 25)

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • Swords and Sausages, by Jan (Internet; January 10 to December 25)
  • Lackadaisy, by Tracy J. Butler (Internet; Lackadaisy Sabbatical to Lackadaisy Headlong)
  • Lucid’s Dream, by Alex Cockburn (Rabbit Valley Publishing; March)
  • Endtown, by Aaron Neathery (Internet; January 1 to December 30)

Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip

Winner

  • Housepets!, by Rick Griffin (Internet; January 1 to December 30)

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • Savestate, by Tim Weeks (Internet; January 6 to December 28)
  • Carry On, by Kathy Garrison (Internet; January 1 to December 30)
  • Kevin & Kell, by Bill Holbrook (Internet; January 1 to December 31)
  • Doc Rat, by Jenner (Internet; January 1 to December 29)

Best Anthropomorphic Magazine

Winner

  • Dogpatch Press, ed. by Patch Packrat (Internet; January 4 to December 20)

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • Fur What It’s Worth (Podcast; Season 5 episode #8 to Season 6 episode #8)
  • InFurNation, ed. by Rod O’Riley (Internet; January 1 to December 31)
  • Flayrah, ed. by crossaffliction and GreenReaper (Internet; January 1 to December 29)
  • Fangs and Fonts (Podcast; episodes #57 to #72)

Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration

Winner

  • Tracy J. Butler, cover of Anthrocon 2016 Souvenir Book

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • Teagan Gavet, cover of Gods With Fur, ed. by Fred Patten (FurPlanet Productions, June 30)
  • Iskra, “Autumn”, FurAffinity, October 22
  • Jenn ‘Pac’ Rodriguez, cover of Claw the Way to Victory, ed. by AnthroAquatic (Jaffa Books, January 24)
  • Dolphyn, “Hey Baby, You’re the Cat’s Meow!” in Anthrocon 2016 Souvenir Book

Best Anthropomorphic Game

Winner

  • Major \ Minor (Developer: Klace; Publisher: Steam; October 11)

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • Pokémon Sun & Moon (Developer: Game Freak; Publishers: Nintendo and the Pokémon Company; November 18)
  • Overwatch (Developer and Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment; May 24)
  • Stories: The Path of Destinies (Developer and Publisher: Spearhead Games; April 12)
  • Bear Simulator (Developer and Publisher: Farjay Studios; February 26)

Best Anthropomorphic Website

Winner

  • Fur Affinity (Internet [furry art & discussion])

Runners-Up (in descending number of votes)

  • E621 (Internet [furry art & discussion])
  • WikiFur (Internet [furry wiki])
  • The Furry Writers’ Guild (Internet [FWG news & discussion])
  • Culturally F’d, ed. by Arrkay and Underbite (YouTube [furry history & sociology])

Next year’s presentation venue will be at the FurDU convention, May 4-6, 2018, in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. In addition, the Ursa Major Awards are adding a thirteenth category beginning this year, for Best Anthropomorphic Fursuit, but with special rules. See the UMA website.

2016 Ursa Major Awards Ballot

Image by EosFoxx

Voting has opened in the 2016 Ursa Major Awards for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of the and will continue until April 30. The winners will be announced at Anthrocon 2017 (June 29-July 2) in Pittsburgh, PA.

Anyone may vote. Go to the awards website and click on “Voting for 2016” at the left for instructions on how to register to vote.

This final ballot has been compiled from those eligible works receiving the most nominations.

2016 Final Ballot

Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture

  • Finding Dory (Directed by Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane; June 17)
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 (Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni; January 29)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney; July 8)
  • Sing (Directed by Garth Jennings and Christophe Lourdelet; December 21)
  • Zootopia (Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush; February 11)

Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short or Series

  • Bunnicula (Directed by Jessica Borutski, Maxwell Atoms, Robert F. Hughes, Matthew Whitlock, and Ian Wasseluk; Season 1 episodes 1 to 8 [TV])
  • The Lion Guard (Directed by Howy Parkins; Season 1 episodes 1 to 22 [TV])
  • Littlest Pet Shop (Directed by Joel Dickie, Steven Garcia, and Mike Myhre; Season 4 episode 10 to Season 4 episode 26 [TV])
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (Directed by James Thiessen, Jim Miller, Tim Stuby, and Denny Lu; Season 6 episodes 1 to 143 [TV])
  • Petals (Directed by Andrea Gallo and Alvaro Dominguez; November 29 [student film])

Best Anthropomorphic Novel

  • Dog Country, by Malcolm F. Cross (Amazon Digital Services; March 28)
  • Fracture, by Hugo Jackson (Inspired Quill; September 1)
  • My Diary, by Fredrick Usiku Kruger, Lieutenant of the Rackenroon Hyena Brigade, by Kathy Garrison Kellog (The Cross Time Cafe; April 2)
  • The Origin Chronicles: Mineau, by Justin Swatsworth (Dolphyn Visions; June 14)
  • Sixes Wild: Echoes, by Tempe O’Kun (FurPlanet Productions; June 30)

Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction

  • 400 Rabbits, by Alice “Huskyteer” Dryden, in Gods With Fur (FurPlanet Productions; June 30)
  • A Gentleman of Strength, by Dwale, in Claw the Way to Victory (Jaffa Books; January 24)
  • Marge the Barge, by Mary E. Lowd, in Claw the Way to Victory (Jaffa Books; January 24)
  • Questor’s Gambit, by Mary E. Lowd, in Gods With Fur (FurPlanet Productions; June 30)
  • Sheeperfly’s Lullaby, by Mary E. Lowd, in GoAL #2 (Goal Publications; March 27)

Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work

  • Claw the Way to Victory, ed. by AnthroAquatic (Jaffa Books; January 24 [anthology])
  • Gods With Fur, ed. by Fred Patten (FurPlanet Productions; June 30 [anthology])
  • Hot Dish #2, ed. by Dark End (Sofawolf Press; December 1 [anthology])
  • The Muse, by Alex Cockburn (Rabbit Valley Publishing; March [background booklet for Lucid’s Dream])
  • ROAR volume 7, ed. by Mary E. Lowd (Bad Dog Books; June 30 [anthology])

Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work

  • The Art of Zootopia, by Jessica Julius (Chronicle Books; March 8 [book; making of feature film])
  • Burned Furs and How You Perceive Porn (Culturally F’d: After Dark; October 6 [podcast])
  • CSI: Fur Fest; The Unsolved Case of the Gas Attack at a Furry Convention, by Jennifer Swann (VICE Media; February 10 [Internet])
  • Fursonas  (Directed by Dominic Rodriguez; May 10 [documentary film])
  • 17 Misconceptions About Furries and the Furry Fandom (Culturally F’d #23; February 11 [podcast])

Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story

  • Endtown, by Aaron Neathery (Internet; January 1 to December 30)
  • Lackadaisy, by Tracy J. Butler (Internet; Lackadaisy Sabbatical to Lackadaisy Headlong)
  • Lucid’s Dream, by Alex Cockburn (Rabbit Valley Publishing; March)
  • Swords and Sausages, by Jan (Internet; January 10 to December 25)
  • TwoKinds, by Tom Fischbach (Internet; January 6 to December 25)

Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip

  • Carry On, by Kathy Garrison (Internet; January 1 to December 30)
  • Doc Rat, by Jenner (Internet; January 1 to  December 29)
  • Housepets!, by Rick Griffin (Internet; January 1 to December 30)
  • Kevin & Kell, by Bill Holbrook (Internet; January 1 to December 31)
  • SaveState, by Tim Weeks (Internet; January 6 to December 28)

Best Anthropomorphic Magazine

  •  Dogpatch Press, ed. by Patch Packrat (Internet; January 4 to December 20)
  • Fangs and Fonts (Podcast; episodes #57 to #72)
  • Flayrah, ed. by crossaffliction and GreenReaper (Internet; January 1 to December 29)
  • Fur What It’s Worth (Podcast; Season 5 episode #8 to Season 6 episode #8)
  • InFurNation, ed. by Rod O’Riley (Internet; January 1 to December 31)

Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration

  • Tracy J. Butler, cover of Anthrocon 2016 Souvenir Book
  • Dolphyn, “Hey Baby, You’re the Cat’s Meow!” in Anthrocon 2016 Souvenir Book
  • Teagan Gavet, cover of Gods With Fur, ed. by Fred Patten  (FurPlanet Productions, June 30)
  • Iskra, “Autumn”, FurAffinity, October 22
  • Jenn ‘Pac’ Rodriguez, cover of Claw the Way to Victory, ed. by AnthroAquatic (Jaffa Books, January 24)

Best Anthropomorphic Game

  • Bear Simulator (Developer and Publisher: Farjay Studios; February 26)
  •  Major \ Minor (Developer: Klace; Publisher: Steam; October 11)
  • Overwatch (Deveoper and Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment; May 24)
  • Pokémon Sun & Moon (Developer: Game Freak; Publishers: Nintendo and the Pokémon Company; November 18)
  • Stories: The Path of Destinies (Developer and Publisher: Spearhead Games; April 12)

Best Anthropomorphic Website

  • Culturally F’d, ed. by Arrkay and Underbite (YouTube [furry history & sociology])
  • E621 (Internet [furry art & discussion])
  • Fur Affinity (Internet [furry art & discussion])
  • The Furry Writers’ Guild (Internet [FWG news & discussion])
  • WikiFur (Internet [furry wiki])

[Thanks to Fred Patten for the story.]

Gods With Fur Anthology

Gods with Fur

Fred Patten’s newest anthology, Gods with Fur, will go on sale at Anthrocon 2016 at the end of this month.  Published by FurPlanet Productions, the trade paperback book contains 23 original stories by Kyell Gold, Mary E. Lowd, Michael H. Payne, and more, featuring the gods of anthropomorphic worlds and the anthropomorphic gods of our world.

You may know about Egyptian mythology’s jackal-headed Anubis, but do you know about wolf-headed Wepwawet?  You may know about China’s Monkey King or the native North Americans’ Coyote (well, they say they’re gods), but do you know about the Aztecs’ 400 drunken rabbits?

Here are historic gods, the gods of their authors’ series (Kyell Gold’s Forrester University; Heidi Vlach’s Aligare, Kris Schnee’s TaleSpace), and totally original gods:

  • “400 Rabbits” by Alice “Huskyteer” Dryden
  • “Contract Negotiations” by Field T. Mouse
  • “On the Run from Isofell” by M. R. Anglin
  • “To the Reader …” by Alan Loewen
  • “First Chosen” by BanWynn Oakshadow
  • “All Of You Are In Me” by Kyell Gold
  • “Yesterday’s Trickster” by NightEyes DaySpring
  • “The Gods of Necessity” by Jefferson Swycaffer
  • “The Precession of the Equinoxes” by Michael H. Payne
  • “Deity Theory” by James L. Steele
  • “Questor’s Gambit” by Mary E. Lowd
  • “Fenrir’s Saga” by Televassi
  • “The Three Days of the Jackal” by Samuel C. Conway
  • “A Melody in Seduction’s Arsenal” by Slip-Wolf
  • “Adversary’s Fall” by MikasiWolf
  • “As Below, So Above” by Mut
  • “Wings of Faith” by Kris Schnee
  • “The Going Forth of Uadjet” by Frances Pauli
  • “That Exclusive Zodiac Club” byichael  Fred Patten
  • “Three Minutes to Midnight” by Killick (Tom Mullins)
  • “A Day With No Tide” by Watts Martin
  • “Repast (A Story of Aligare)” by Heidi C. Vlach
  • “Origins” by Michael D. Winkle

Gods with Fur ($19.95, 453 pp., cover by Teagan Gavet) will be on sale at Anthrocon 2016 on June 30 – July 3, at the FurPlanet table in the Dealers’ Den, and on the FurPlanet online catalogue later in July.

Chicon 7 Issues Code of Conduct

All Worldcons have a collection of policies about photography and recording, insufficient funds transactions, sales on the premises, wearing membership badges, not carrying realistic weapons, and adhering to the hotel’s rules. Chicon 7 does, too – plus a major addition it has made in the aftermath of the Readercon controversy, a policy titiled “Respect for Others.”

Respect for Others

All Chicon 7 events should be a space where everyone feels welcomed and comfortable.

Discrimination (based on, but not limited to, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical / mental disability) is not tolerated. Harassment of any kind is not tolerated. If someone tells you “no” or asks you to leave them alone, your business with them is done.

If you feel that you are being discriminated against or harassed, or if you notice someone behaving inappropriately (such as violating hotel or convention policies), we respectfully suggest the following:

If you feel comfortable doing so, point out the inappropriate behavior to the person(s) involved. Often this will solve the problem immediately.

If you do not feel comfortable talking with the person(s) involved or if talking to them does not resolve the issue, please report the situation immediately to any Chicon 7 event coordinator (i.e., Board Members, Convention Committee Members, or Operations Staff). Try to provide a name, badge name / number and / or physical description of the person(s) involved. Note that we need to know about any incidents during the event in order to take action.

Other conventions have been developing anti-harassment policies over the past few years. For Worldcons, this is new territory. The words “harass” and “harassment” do not even appear on the websites of the past several Worldcons. 

What I like about Chicon 7’s policy is its clear language and pragmatism. I also feel it has a sense of sense of immediacy and engagement that is far superior to passivity of the Anthrocon policy so widely commended in recent online discussions – which really doesn’t commit Anthrocon to do anything unless a court has already issued a restraining order (!).

The awkward part is how Chicon 7 has amalgamated all of its policies into a Code of Conduct that read collectively like the “thirty-one crash landings,” a resemblance heightened by the multiple warnings that violations “may result in revocation of membership privileges.”

Repeatedly brandishing the hammer overshadows the array of responses listed within the Code of Conduct itself:

Failure to adhere to any of the above policies may result in possible consequences that include but are not limited to:

Talking with all parties involved and attempting to mediate a solution
Issuing verbal warnings
Revoking memberships and requesting that the person(s) leave the event
Involving hotel or facility staff or security
Contacting local law enforcement
Banning of attendance and membership to future Chicon 7 events, including any post-Chicon 7 events.

Admittedly, the hammer-waving may help Chicon 7 achieve its purpose of assuring members that harassment is not tolerated. The full range of issues covered by the Code of Conduct calls for a flexible range of responses, but people fresh from reading Elizabeth Bear and Catherynne M. Valente are likely to be skeptical about mediation or verbal warnings and more interested in hearing about the hammer.