(1) ENCHANTED PORCH. Comics writer Gail Simone found something unexpected with the rest of the deliveries on her porch. Hilarious thread – starts here.
So I reach down, and it's not a package.
It's a sword. A massive broadsword, in a leather sheath.
— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) May 14, 2018
(2) HIDING INSIDE CHUCK TINGLE? The actor, appearing in disguise on a South Korean TV show, let people discover “Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds is a surprisingly great singer”.
Deadpool is a natural performer, the superhero that’s as good at wisecracking as he is at battling villains. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds can not only act, he can sing like a rock star.
(3) DOESN’T GET BETTER THAN THIS. Ansible Links pointed to the amazing cover design for Oregan Publishing’s Kindle edition of Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth, released May 7.
(4) UNSUBTLE. NPR’s Glen Weldon on new releases: “‘Solo’ Makes The Jump To Light-Speed … Eventually”.
…You get the picture: Should you harbor burning questions about infinitesimal details of Han Solo’s backstory that are entirely and hilariously immaterial to the Star Wars saga’s broader tale, or if you’re prepping for a Han Solo-themed pub quiz, know that fan service doesn’t get more serviceable than Solo: A Star Wars Story.
For everyone else: Donald Glover’s Lando is really, really smooth and funny!
Inasmuch as Solo is, expressly and unambiguously, an origin story, it contains numerous winks to the more well-versed members of the audience (as when a character demands of Han, “Do you know what it’s like to have a price on your head?” har har har). Actually, wink implies subtlety — which is not, for director Ron Howard and screenwriters Jonathan and Larry Kasdan, a going concern….
(5) IN HOT TRIVIAL PURSUIT. NPR’s Glen Weldon has also taken in the weekend’s other blockbuster release: “Grim ‘N’ Gritty Is Out, Glib ‘N’ Smarmy Is In: ‘Deadpool 2′”.
…There are, it is only fair to note, actual jokes in Deadpool 2 — sincere, crafted, legitimately funny gags that are clearly the product of human thought and loving effort. There’s … not a lot of those, but they’re there if you look, and should you happen across one, it will very likely delight you.
Because what’s taking up most of the room that would otherwise be occupied by jokes in Deadpool 2‘s screenplay are those many, many, many references.
It’s Family Guy: The Movie.
Or, technically I suppose, it’s Family Guy 2: Here Are Some More Mentions Of Other, Tangentially Related Things You Recognize And Like.
… And it’s gonna make a kabillion dollars….
(6) BBC DEADPOOL ROUNDUP. The BBC also finds a mixed bag: “Deadpool 2: What the critics thought”.
Many have welcomed the return of Reynolds’ wise-cracking vigilante and his X-Force team, but it wasn’t all five-star reviews.
Some felt that while the sequel stayed true to its predecessor’s style of quickfire edgy jokes and send-ups of the superhero genre, it was starting to feel a bit cynical….
(7) VORKOSIVERSE. The cover was just revealed at Lois McMaster Bujold’s Facebook page.
(8) EARTHSEA. The Verge’s Andrew Liptak, in his art-filled post “This illustrated collection of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea books finally does the series justice”, says The Books of Earthsea will be in stores October 23.
Saga Press’ editorial director Joe Monti tells The Verge that the project was something he wanted to do from “day one,” when he joined Simon & Schuster’s Saga Press in 2013. Last November the imprint released several collected editions of the late author’s work under his supervision. (Library of America likewise released an omnibus edition of some of her work with The Hainish Novels & Stories, Volume One and Volume 2 last year, as well.) While they had long wanted to tackle a comprehensive volume of Le Guin’s Earthsea stories, something in the vein of the many omnibus editions of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Monti says that “Ursula was reticent” to the idea, having “been burned over the last several of decades” by creative partners that never listened or accepted her creative vision.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY
- May 15, 1968 – Witchfinder General with Vincent Price is released.
(10) COMICS SECTION.
- Mark Hepworth spotted this horrific vision:
Peanuts meets Alien by artist Ben Chen pic.twitter.com/riyERrc5m5
— 41 Strange (@41Strange) May 14, 2018
(11) CORREIA. Larry Correia expanded on yesterday’s Facebook statement in today’s blog post at Monster Hunter Nation: “Statement Concerning My Being Disinvited as the Guest of Honor for Origins Game Fair” [Internet Archive}. This included a fresh spin about Sad Puppies:
…Up next, there was much outrage about how I was a Sad Puppy. Correction, I was the original Sad Puppy, and I’m proud of that. Now, the way these people portray it, this was my evil scheme to rig the sainted Hugo awards, to get myself an award, and to also simultaneously keep women and minorities out of publishing. Which is ironic, since by “rig” they meant I got more fans to participate in the voting, I turned down my nomination, and since the other people I got nominated included a bunch of women and minorities (as well as authors of various sexual orientations and belief systems) I must really suck at this bigotry thing. But keep in mind, the people slandering me over Sad Puppies are the same folks who the year before hailed 14 white liberals and 1 Asian liberal winning as a huge victory for diversity.
In reality, it was my attempt to demonstrate that the Hugo awards were not in fact an award to represent all of fandom, but were actually extremely politically biased, and dominated by a few small insular cliques. They went out of their way to prove I was right….
(12) INDUSTRY INSIDERS. Posted on Reddit, this is reportedly the text of a message sent by John Ward, Executive Director of Origins Game Fair, to the Game Manufacturers Association:
(13) A PIUS FINN. Declan Finn recommended some ideas for harassing Ward in “Correia was Ringoed”.
…Though to be honest, I was sort of surprised this even worked once, on Ringo. He’s a bestselling author. He doesn’t need the PR by going to cons. He goes to have fun and hang out. Larry too is also at the level where con appearances can only help the con, not himself.
But hey, it makes the SJWs feel good. It makes them think that they’re getting something done. I suppose that pointing out to people that this will only force Larry to have more free time is a waste of time.
Now, I’m not going to suggest sending an email to GoDaddy about how the originsgamefair.com site is being used by John Ward to defame Larry Correia.
….Though you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and send something like, oh, I don’t know….
(14) CRITICAL CORRESPONDENCE. Jason Cordova’s post “Origins” quoted the entirety of his letter to John Ward, which says in part:
…Mr. Correia had always shown grace, been polite, and worked with the concom of every convention he has attended. Those who seek to discredit and destroy him are abusing the rules of your convention in a manner which they were not meant for and raising enough of an outcry that your convention, undoubtedly, feels compelled to respond to. Unfortunately, instead of speaking with Mr. Correia, it appears that you have reacted in a manner which can only be described as “knee-jerk”. You have allowed concern trolls to dictate your guest list while alienating you from a fan base which both pays to see their favorite author and supports other commercial endeavors at conventions as well.
Conventions such as Origins are supposed to be for all fans. However, with outward appearance of appeasement to the vocal minority who seek to undermine all of Mr. Correia’s hard work as well as alienate his fan base from any future conventions you might host, it behooves me to suggest that you are hurting nobody but yourselves with this move….
(15) VOICE OF VOX. Vox Day’s reaction “Larry Correia banned from Origins” [Internet Archive] largely consists of quotes:
This is almost unbelievable. SJWs are running completely amok.
[Screencap of John Ward’s FB announcement]
It just goes to show that they will come for you eventually, no matter how minor your offenses against the Narrative may be.
[Text of Larry Correia’s original response (without expanded text linked above)]
One gets the impression that Larry is simply too worn out with the Culture War to feel like fighting the SJWs anymore. And, let’s face it, like John Ringo, he is too independently successful for their antics to do him any real harm. For now, anyhow.
(16) INTERNET TOXICITY. James Patrick Kelly made these posts at the end of February. I spotted them while doing some Google searches today.
It was possible at the time to read this as a tongue-in-cheek PR stunt that failed, since despite Correia’s lobbying, Monster Hunter Legion did not make the Hugo ballot. However, the next year he returned with reinforcements, birthing the insurgency known as the Sad Puppies. (The self-deprecating name refers to this ASPCA commercial www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO9d2PpP7tQ. It’s meant to compare pulp writers who provide entertainment to the masses, but get no recognition, to abused pets.) Not only did Correia have a new novel to flog, but he also posted a slate www.monsterhunternation.com/2014/03/25/my-hugo-slate of twelve works of fiction and non-fiction that he urged his Puppy minions to nominate. As an act of provocation, he included a novelette by one Vox Day, a pseudonym for a notorious internet troll www.time.com/4457110/internet-trolls named Theodore Beale. As Correia blogged, “. . . one of my stated goals was to demonstrate that SJWs would have a massive freak out if somebody with the wrong politics got on. So on the slate it went. I nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period.” What’s a SJW, you ask. Wikipedia explains http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice_warrior: “‘Social justice warrior” is a pejorative term for an individual promoting socially progressive views, including feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, and identity politics.”
A follow-up installment, “Troll Bridge”, takes a broad look at internet culture:
In 2018, the challenge of internet governance looms large. Last year the Pew Research Center www.pewinternet.org issued a report called The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online www.pewinternet.org/2017/03/29/the-future-of-free-speech-trolls-anonymity-and-fake-news-online. The researchers asked 1,537 technology experts, scholars, corporate practitioners, and government leaders, “In the next decade, will public discourse online become more or less shaped by bad actors, harassment, trolls, and an overall tone of griping, distrust, and disgust?” Forty-two percent of the respondents said they expected no major change for better or worse in our current troubling online culture, while 39 percent thought that the next decade would see even more negative activity. Just 19 percent were hopeful that online interactions would be “less shaped” by harassment, trolling, and distrust.
These experts were invited to expand on their replies by considering how social media might evolve. Are there technologies on the horizon that might discourage trolling and encourage inclusive behaviors? How might these solutions impact free speech?
Their extended responses are well worth a look, although they fill some eighty pages in the PDF version, and, alas, reach no consensus. They fall into four broad themes.
(17) HOW’S YOUR SPANISH? Morgan Blackhand’s Spanish-language blog post “Polémica en la Origins Game Fair” is highly critical of Correia and complimentary towards Origins Game Fair’s decision to revoke his GoH invite.
(18) HOW’S YOUR ENGLISH? Meanwhile, Mad Genius Club’s Amanda S. Green defends and praises Larry Correia at length in “It is time to fight back” [Internet Archive.]
…Now, how many problems can you see with this statement by John Ward? I see a number. First, it is all about him. He didn’t know. He wasn’t aware. He felt it necessary re “recend” Larry’s invitation. No mention that he discussed it with the rest of those folks involved with the running of the con. No mention that he did due diligence ahead of time to see who his guest of honor was or what he did. Note also there is no mention of the fact Larry is an avid gamer. Nope, Ward was told Larry was a bad man and knee-jerked his reaction. Now he is running and hiding and refusing to answer simple questions like “exactly how are Larry’s views specifically unaligned with the philosophy” of the con?
I find it amazing Ward could issue this statement within an hour or so of first announcing Larry would be GoH and then the revocation of his invite and yet he couldn’t be bothered to answer the many questions about why?
Oh, there’s more.
Even as the con removed the thread on their Facebook page about Larry, they left this thread up. [Now removed] For those not wanting to go there, here’s the image you need to be aware of.
Now, if you had seen this yesterday before Larry was uninvited, his name would have been included as one of the tagged authors. In fact, if you look at the book cover, you see him listed as the third author. So the con has no problem making money off of him. He’s just not good enough to attend their con. Needless to say, there are a number of folks asking how long before this image is changed as well, possibly with the con organizers blacking out Larry’s name or even asking for volunteers to help tear out the pages on which his story is printed. After all, we mustn’t risk letting his annoying and dangerous ideas out into the gaming public.
(19) MORE PRO-CORREIA RESPONSE. Victory Girls Blog begins “Origins Game Fair Caves to SJZ Brownshirts” like so:
The usual purple-haired, hairy armpitted, androgynous, “mayonnaise is a gender,” social justice landwhales swung into action, whining about how upset they were that Larry was invited as Guest of Honor. They maligned him as a racist (he’s actually a person of color), misogynist (despite the fact that Larry spent years teaching self defense to women), they claimed he was a terrible, awful person who made them feel unsafe (even though Larry has attended numerous conventions, and by every account was charming, bright, funny, friendly, and polite), and they demanded that Origins rescind the invitation, because SAD PUPPIES!
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Rev. Bob, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Camestros Felapton.]