Pixel Scroll 8/28/19 I’ve Scrolled Through The File On A Pixel With No Name

(1) CHECK YOURSELF. Cat Rambo’s social media advice. Thread starts here.

(2) HUGO MIA. Foz Meadows’ 2019 Best Fan Writer Hugo has suffered a misadventure in delivery.

(3) KEEPING HUGO. Amazing Stories’ Steve Davidson, in “On Renaming Awards”, tries to preempt an anticipated effort to take Hugo Gernsback’s name off of the Worldcon’s award.

…And now the other side of that coin is revealed.  Prior to and immediately following the Best New Writer award name change, some have suggested that the Hugo Award name be changed as well.  After all, Hugo Gernsback, for whom the Science Fiction Achievement Awards were renamed, had bad paying practices;  there are historical complaints from H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. P. Lovecraft, Jack Williamson and Donald Wollheim to name those who are known.

He took on airs and presented himself as sophisticated and superior and it may even be that he used his low word rates to help maintain a lavish lifestyle.

On the other hand, he didn’t reject female authors out of hand (encouraged them in editorials, actually).  He himself was Jewish, so it is unlikely that antisemitic thoughts were expressed and as for people of color, though I’ve no evidence, circumstantial evidence suggests that he would have encouraged them as well as he consistently operated in a manner that was designed to grow and spread interest in the genre.  If he had recognized that there was a new market to exploit, he’d have jumped right in.  His motivation was to grow awareness and acceptance of the genre.  How he felt about other social issues remains largely a mystery (but given that he also published Sexology, a magazine devoted to human sexuality in a manner that was extremely provocative and progressive in its time, suggests that the man was more progressive leaning than not).

(4) SHARING AND PRESERVING WORLDCON. Claire Rousseau retweeted a call to stream, record, and caption all of Worldcon and considered how to marshal the resources necessary to do it. Thread starts here.

(5) DOXXING. At The Mary Sue, Anthony Gramuglia interviews some people who have been targeted — “Alt-Right Fandom Circles Have Been Attacking and Doxxing People for Disagreeing With Them”.

The alt-right has taken root in fandom. Like any parasitic plant, once it takes hold, it attempts to strangle the life out of everything around it, drain them of energy until they perish. There are factions on the internet—be they GamerGate, the Sad/Rabid Puppies, ComicsGate, #IStandWithVic/Weeb Wars—who wish to fight a culture war against what they see as a liberal agenda to dominate media.

There are a multitude of individuals who have spoken against these alt-right groups.

And these individuals have been targeted in ways that put their personal safety in jeopardy.

In writing this article, I reached out to several individuals I knew had personally been targeted. In doing so, I talked to online media critic Kaylyn Saucedo (more famously, MarzGurl), artist Tim Doyle, comic writer Kwanza Osajyefo, and cosplayer/comic writer Renfamous about their experiences with online harassment. What they told me needs to be heard.

Trigger warning: The following article contains detailed accounts of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, threats of violence and sexual assault, racism, and a lot of harassment. Screenshots of harassment will be provided to supplement the information provided.

(6) SEE YOU AT THE FAIR. The poster for the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair is pretty interesting. The event happens September 7-8, 2019.

(7) MASSIVE HARRYHAUSEN EXHIBIT IN SCOTLAND. “Ray Harryhausen’s Most Iconic Creatures Have Been Restored for an Exhibit Next Year”Bloody Disgusting has photos. The exhibit will kick off on May 23, 2020

The late Ray Harryhausen is the man most synonymous with stop-motion animation and for good reason. Harryhausen’s contributions to films like It Came from Beneath the Sea, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and Clash of the Titans immortalized him as a legend, his work paid tribute to by everyone from Chuck Russell in Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors to Sam Raimi in Army of Darkness. Next year, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art pays tribute to the stop-motion master with Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema.

Reported by Creative Boom, it’ll be “the largest and widest-ranging exhibition of Harryhausen’s work ever seen,” including materials both previously unseen and newly restored.

(8) TRIVIAL TRIVIA.

  • August 28, 1991 — First e-mail sent from space. Using a Mac Portable aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the first e-mail from space is sent to Earth. Two astronauts on the spacecraft, James Adamson and Shannon Lucid, wrote, “Hello Earth! Greetings from the STS-43 Crew. This is the first AppleLink from space. Having a GREAT time, wish you were here,…send cryo and RCS! Hasta la vista, baby,…we’ll be back!” The message was transmitted to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 28, 1749 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I once saw a production of his Faust in the Seattle Cathedral some decades back where Faust came up the central aisle standing regally on a cart in his blood red robes dragged along slowly by four actors dressed as demons. Very fascinating. (Died 1832.)
  • Born August 28, 1833 Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet. English artist and designer associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Although the ISFDB says his artwork graces a mere dozen or so covers of genre books, I’m willing to bet that it’s a lot more than that. The 1996 Signet UK of Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow’s Black Thorn, White Rose anthology uses his artwork, as does the 1990 Random House publication of A.S. Byatt’s Possession: A Romance. (Died 1898.)
  • Born August 28, 1873 Sheridan Le Fanu. One of the most well-known Irish ghost story writers of the Victorian Era. M. R. James said that he was “absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories”. Three of his best-known works are “Carmilla”, “The House by the Churchyard” and “Uncle Silas”. If you’re interested in sampling his fiction, iBooks has a lot of his ghost stories for free. (Died 1914.)
  • Born August 28, 1896 Morris Ankrum. Numerous appearances  in the Fifties as he appeared in Rocketship X-M as Dr. Ralph Fleming, as a Martian leader in Flight to Mars, in Red Planet Mars playing the United States Secretary of Defense, in  Invaders From Mars playing a United States Army general, and as yet another Army general in Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. (Died 1964.)
  • Born August 28, 1916 Jack Vance. I think I prefer his Dying Earth works more than anything else he did, though the Lyonesse Trilogy is damn fine too. And did you know he wrote three mystery novels as Ellery Queen? Well he did. And his autobiography, This Is Me, Jack Vance!, won the Hugo Award, Best Related Book. (Died 2013.)
  • Born August 28, 1917 Jack Kirby. Responsible for a goodly part of modern comics from Captain America and the X-Men to Challengers of the Unknown and the New Gods. I’m very much looking forward to the New Gods film being worked on now. (Died 1994.)
  • Born August 28, 1925 Arkady Natanovich Strugatsky. The Strugatsky brothers were well known Russian SF writers who were Guests of Honour at Conspiracy ’87, the Worldcon that was held in Brighton, England. Their best-known novel in the West, Piknik na obochine, has been translated into English as Roadside Picnic. It is available in digital form with a foreword by Le Guin. (Died 1991.)
  • Born August 28, 1948 Vonda McIntyre. I’ve read a number of her works including Dreamsnake and The Moon and the Sun which are all phenomenal. The latter was based on a short story  of hers done as a faux encyclopaedia article “The Natural History and Extinction of the People of the Sea”, that was illustrated by Le Guin. Neat. (Died 2019.)
  • Born August 28, 1965 Amanda Tapping, 54. She’s best known for portraying Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. She also starred as Helen Magnus on Sanctuary which I never managed to see. Anyone see it? She was in The Void which also starred Adrian Paul and Malcolm McDowell. 

(10) COMICS SECTION.

(11) KIDNEY DONOR SOUGHT. Longtime Phoenix fan Shane Shellenbarger is on dialysis and needs a kidney transplant. His wife has set up some webpages to help spread the word and widen the search for a donor. Filer Bruce Arthurs adds, “Shane’s a good guy and could use a break.” Learn more about Shane at the Kidney for Shane website.

Shane needs a kidney! He has been on dialysis and on the recipient list for over 650 days. The average length on the list is 2 to 5 years, usually waiting for an unfortunate tragedy leading to a cadaver organ. Many of his friends as well as his wife have tried to donate, but have not qualified for one reason or another. So, we need to spread the request far and wide!

(12) HIGH SCHOOL QUIZZICAL. “Debate Club: The 5 best schools in sci-fi and fantasy”. See the verdict at SYFY Wire. My choice was #1 – that never happens!

It’s that time again: Millions of folks are heading back to school, carrying with them varying degrees of excitement and dread. A new school year is filled with unknowns, which can sure be anxiety-inducing, so it’s no surprise that when movies feature characters hitting the books, it might stir up some old feelings of dread for audiences.

In this week’s Debate Club, we celebrate cinema’s most memorable schools and academies. (It killed us, but we decided not to include the boot camp in Starship Troopers since it’s technically not a school.) All five of our picks are way more exciting than your boring old trig class.

(13) CALL FOR JUDGES. Red rover, red rover, send a name for Mars 2020 right over! NASA is recruiting help from students nationwide to find a name for its next Mars rover mission. Starting Tuesday, K-12 students in U.S. public, private and home schools can enter Future Engineers’ “Name the Rover Challenge” to pick a name for a Mars Rover to be launched next year. One grand prize winner will name the rover and be invited to see the spacecraft launch in July 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NASA is seeking volunteers to help judge the thousands of contest entries anticipated to pour in from around the country. U.S. residents over 18 years old who are interested in offering approximately five hours of their time to review submissions should register to be a judge at: https://www.futureengineers.org/registration/judge/nametherover

Here’s the writeup for participating students:

K-12 Students

If you are a K-12 student in the United States, your challenge is to name NASA’s next Mars rover. Submit your rover name and a short essay (maximum 150 words) to explain the reasons for your selected name. Be sure to review the RULES for all challenge details and entry requirements, including the privacy requirement of NO PERSONAL NAMES in your submission so that your entry may be posted in the public gallery. The Mars 2020 rover will seek signs of past microbial life, collect surface samples as the first leg of a potential Mars Sample Return campaign, and test technologies to produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere to prepare for future human missions. More background information about the Mars 2020 mission is provided in the education resources section below.

(14) AVOIDING THE LAST RESORT. James Davis Nicoll, in “SFF Works in Which Violence Is Not the Solution” at Tor Books, takes delight in beginning his list with a work that plays against type – the Niven/Pournelle novel Mote in God’s Eye.

Indeed, the violent solution is so expected that readers can be surprised by a plot that avoids it… Consider the venerable The Mote in God’s Eye. (So old that we don’t need to avoid spoilers, right?)

(15) POLL CATS. According to Psychology Today, “Dog Ownership Predicts Voting Behavior—Cats Do Not”. A shockingly unexpected fact about SJW credentials!

Now when we turn to the effect of cat ownership we find that it has virtually zero predictive value when it comes to national voting trends. For those states where the percentage of cat ownership is highest, the average election results were 52.5% in favor of the Republican candidate over the 4 elections tabulated. This clearly does not represent a meaningful bias in voting behavior. When we look at those states where the percentage of cat ownership is lowest we get a similar indication that there is no predictive value of feline ownership, with an average of 60% voting Democratic. Neither of these results is different enough from the expected chance effect of 50% to be statistically significant.

(16) SHORTS ATTENTION SPAN. NPR: “These Experimental Shorts Are An ‘Exosuit’ That Boosts Endurance On The Trail”. These shorts are made for walkin’…

               Say the word “exosuit” and superheroes come to mind — somebody like Tony Stark from Marvel Comics, whose fancy suit enables him to become Iron Man.

               But scientists at Harvard University have been developing an actual exosuit — a wearable machine that they say can improve a mere mortal’s strength and stamina. This new prototype is novel because it improves a wearer’s performance while walking and running — just one example of progress in what’s become a surging field.

               This suit looks kind of like bike shorts, with some wires and small machines around the waist and cables down the legs. When it’s turned on, a person expends less energy while moving.

(17) ANOTHER SMALL STEP. “‘Starhopper’: SpaceX engine testbed makes minute-long jump” — includes video.

The American rocket company SpaceX conducted a successful flight of its “Starhopper” testbed on Tuesday.

The vehicle lifted 150m into the air, moved sideways and then gently put itself back down onto the ground.

Starhopper is part of an effort to develop a new engine that will burn liquid methane in contrast to the kerosene in the firm’s current engines.

This motor, known as the Raptor, will power SpaceX’s next-generation Starship and Superheavy rockets.

Tuesday’s one-minute test, which took place at Boca Chica in Texas, was the second hop for the vehicle after a modest 18m jump in July.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licensing had previously limited activity to no more than 25m above the ground.

(18) POSH ACCENT? I say there — “BBC to launch digital voice assistant”.

The BBC is planning to launch a digital voice assistant next year, the corporation has announced.

It will not be a hardware device in its own right but is being designed to work on all smart speakers, TVs and mobiles.

The plan is to activate it with the wake-word Beeb, although this is “a working title”, a spokesman said.

BBC staff around the UK are being invited to record their voices to help train the programme to recognise different accents.

Analyst Ben Wood, from CCS Insight, was among those who have expressed surprise at the news.

(19) ANOTHER RECORD. This one doesn’t disappear after adjusting for inflation: “Avengers: Endgame breaks digital download record”.

Avengers: Endgame has become the UK’s fastest-selling digital download film of all time.

The Marvel movie debuted at the top of the official film chart on Wednesday with the highest-ever opening week of digital download sales.

In July, the finale of the super-hero film series became the highest-grossing film of all time at the box-office.

Now it’s racked up 335,400 downloads in its first week – smashing the previous record held by Bohemian Rhapsody.

The Queen biopic entered the history books in February with 265,000 downloads in its first week.

Endgame’s prequel Avengers: Infinity War is the third fastest-selling download, having claimed almost 253,000 downloads in its first seven days.

In this week’s film chart, fellow Avenger Captain Marvel also sits in sixth place

(20) INSTANT MASTERPIECE. Camestros Felapton in comments:

Picture a clause in a strange constitution
With fantasy prizes for make-believe guys
Some one amends it
The motion goes slowly
A clause about mustard in pies
[dum, dum, dum, dum]
Throwing mustard pies at Worldcon
Throwing mustard pies at Worldcon
Throwing mustard pies at Worldcon
Ahhhhhh, ahhhhhhhhh

[Thanks to Steve Davidson, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Hampus Eckerman, ULTRAGOTHA, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, mirotherion, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Avilyn.]

Wandering Through the Public Domain #19

A regular exploration of public domain genre works available through Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and Librivox.

By Colleen McMahon:

Fritz Leiber (1910-1992) was a name that appeared multiple times in the Retro Hugo ballot this year. His Conjure Wife took the best novel Retro Hugo, and another Leiber novel, Gather, Darkness! was the second-place finisher. He was also in the hunt for Best Novelette for “Thieves’ House”. 

While none of these works are currently in the public domain, I did find a podcast with an hour-long discussion of Conjure Wife on Internet Archive. The podcast was Necronomipod (which appears to be from 2007 and a completely different iteration than the current day podcasts of the same title, which discusses weirdness and true crime).

Conjure Wife was adapted as a movie called Inner Sanctum in 1948, and the movie is in the public domain and available on Internet Archive. Interestingly, Fritz Leiber Sr., father of the writer, was an actor and played Dr. Valonius in the movie.

However, there are plenty of other Lieber works, from short stories to full-length novels, available on Project Gutenberg and Librivox, so I thought this would be a good time to take a look.

Short stories:

All of these stories except “Dr. Kometevsky’s Day” and “Time in the Round” have been recorded for various collections on Librivox

Novelettes, Novellas, and Novels:

Librivox volunteers sometimes make their own anthologies by recording a set of stories as a stand-alone audiobook project, either on their own or with a group of volunteers. Lieber features in several of these audiobooks:

One more interesting Librivox anthology is X Minus One Project. This collects an assortment of short SF tales that were adapted by the radio show X Minus One that ran from 1955-1958. The anthology includes “The Moon is Green” by Leiber, along with other stories by authors like Robert Sheckley, H. Beam Piper, Frederik Pohl, and several others. (X Minus One adapted even more famous stories by the likes of Asimov, Heinlein and Bradbury, but those stories aren’t in the public domain yet.)

Speaking of X Minus One, the series adapted three Leiber stories during its run, and they are available on Internet Archive:

Recent Librivox releases:

  • Deathworld by Harry Harrison (1925-2012)

    A world that actively seeks to kill the colonists. Not a pleasant place. The hordes of ferocious animals all come with deadly poison and a will to kill as many humans as possible. Even the plants have teeth and claws and toxins dripping from every surface. They fly, crawl and run for the chance to sink something terrible into a human arm or leg. Oh, and did I mention the 2G gravity? Pyrrus is its name. The settlers there were supermen… twice as strong as ordinary men and with instantaneous reflexes. They had to be. For their business was murder…a 3 year old Pyrrian had a loaded gun strapped to his forearm and knew how to use it or he was a dead 3 year old. It was up to Jason dinAlt, interplanetary gambler, to discover why Pyrrus had become so hostile during man’s brief habitation…if he could stay alive long enough to even make a start…


  • A Martian Odyssey and A Valley of Dreams by Stanley Weinbaum (1902-1935)

    The first of these stories was originally published in the July 1934 issue of Wonder Stories. It was followed four months later by a sequel, “Valley of Dreams” in the same magazine. These classic stories take us to Mars where we meet a Martian, or at least something very different from us, and several other completely original specimens of life. The Martian “Tweel” looks like an ostrich and the Egyptian god Osiris – for good reason, as you will find out if you listen to the story!


  • With Her in Ourland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

    Third in the trilogy of the feminist classics, after Moving the Mountain and Herland. In Herland, three American young men discover a country inhabited solely by women, who were parthenogenetic (asexual procreation), and had borne only girl children for two thousand years; they marry three of the women. Two of the men and one woman leave the country of Herland to return to America; Jeff Margrave remaining in Herland with his wife, Celis, a willing citizen; Terry O. Nicholson being expelled from Herland for bad conduct; and Ellador electing to leave Herland with her husband, Vandyck Jennings. We now continue the story, told from the viewpoint of Vandyck Jennings, as they return to America.


  • Doomsday Eve by Robert Moore Williams (1907-1977)

    In the midst of the war—that terrible conflict that threatened humanity’s total destruction—the “new people” suddenly appeared. Quietly performing incredible deeds, vanishing at will, they were an enigma to both sides. Kurt Zen was an American intelligence officer among the many sent to root them out. He found them. Taken captive in their hidden lair, he waited as the enemy prepared to launch the super missile, the bomb to end all bombs—and all life. If only he could find the source of the new people’s power, Kurt alone might be able to prevent obliteration of the Earth…. 

Pixel Scroll 8/27/19 Fighting Pixels From The Sky, Fearless Scrolls Who Jump And File

(1) CROWDFUNDING RESNICK’S CARE. A GoFundMe has been launched to “Help Mike Resnick pay off a near-death experience”. There has been a strong response — in the first 18 hours, $7,100 of the $15,000 goal has been raised.

This GoFundMe is for writer and editor Mike Resnick, who has won a number of top awards and is known for his “pay it forward” nature in the writing field, ushering more than two dozen embryonic writers into the industry.

Mike unfortunately spent most of the first half of 2019 in the hospital. At the start of the year he fell twice for some (then) unknown reason, the second time being unable to get up. Carol, his wife, had to call 911 and it was determined that he had pneumonia and acute idiopathic pericarditis. In three days he had 30 pounds of fluid drained from around his heart and lungs. Then, a couple of months later, he collapsed again and within 24 hours the hospital had removed his colon (large intestine). Not many seventy-seven-year-olds recover from such serious medical complications, and he is very lucky to be alive and writing today.

Although he is still confined to a wheelchair, Mike has just this month gone back to writing and editing, and his doctors are very pleased with his progress. But he did go more than half of this year without any income, and as you can imagine the hospital bills are many and prohibitively expensive, as well as half a year’s worth of living expenses. He also still needs regular rehabilitation sessions (luckily, from the comfort of his home), and, quite frankly, he needs the assistance of the community of writers and readers he has had the privilege to call his family for more than half a century.

Mike and Carol Resnick would dearly thank anyone who is able to donate towards the medical/economic efforts in helping this Literary Great of the science fiction and fantasy community get back on his feet. Mike has many more books to write and stories to tell, but he can only do it with your help. Thanks again, in advance!

(2) MOVE FAST IF YOU WANT IT. The edition of WOOF assembled at Dublin 2019 is available as a free download for just a few more hours — WOOF44.pdf (30 MB) is available here. (Don’t ask me why it’s going away so soon.)

(3) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 27, 1922 Frank Kelly Freas. I’ve no idea where I first encountered his unique style on a cover of a SF book, but I quickly spotted it everywhere. He had a fifty-year run on Astounding Science Fiction from the early Fifties and through its change to the Analog name — amazing! There doesn’t appear to a decent portfolio of his work. (Died 2005.)
  • Born August 27, 1929 Ira Levin. Author of Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives and The Boys from Brazil. (Died 2007.)
  • Born August 27, 1945 Edward Bryant. His only novel was Phoenix Without Ashes which was co-authored with Harlan Ellison and was an adaptation of Ellison’s pilot script for The Starlost. The only short stories of his I’m familiar with are the ones in the Wild Cards anthologies. Phoenix Without Ashes and all of his short stories are available in digital form. (Died 2017.)
  • Born August 27, 1947 Barbara Bach, Lady Starkey, 72. She’s best known for her role as the Bond girl Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me.  One of her other genre appearances is in Caveman which her husband Ringo Starr is also in. 
  • Born August 27, 1952 Darrell Schweitzer, 67. Writer, editor, and critic. For his writing, I’d recommend Awaiting Strange Gods: Weird and Lovecraftian Fictions and Tom O’Bedlam’s Night Out and Other Strange ExcursionsThe Robert E. Howard Reader he did is quite excellent as is The Thomas Ligotti Reader. He did a Neil Gaiman as well but not even he can find anything original to say Neil at this point.
  • Born August 27, 1957 Richard Kadrey, 62. I’m admittedly way behind on the Sandman Slim series having only read the first five books. I also enjoyed Metrophage: A Romance of the Future and I’ve got The Grand Dark on my interested in list.
  • Born August 27, 1962 Dean Devlin,  57. His first produced screenplay was Universal Soldier. He was a writer/producer working on Emmerich’s Moon 44. Together they cowrote and produced Stargate, the first movie to have a web site. The team then produced Independence Day,  Godzilla and Independence Day: Resurgence. They’re also credited for creating The Visitor series which lasted 13 episodes as The Triangle, a miniseries which I’ll bet you guess the premise of.
  • Born August 27, 1965Kevin Standlee, 54. He attended his first con in 1984, L.A. Con II. Later he co-chaired the 2002 Worldcon, ConJosé, in San José. One source says he made and participated in amateur Doctor Who films in the late 1980s.
  • Born August 27, 1978 Suranne Jones, 41. Not a long genre performance history but she shows up on the Doctor Who spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures as Mona Lisa. Yes, that Mona Lisa. She’ll be back on Doctor Who in “The Doctor’s Wife”, an Eleventh Doctor story as written by Neil Gaiman. She Idris, a woman hosting the Matrix of the TARDIS.  

(4) IT COULD ALMOST BE A FANZINE TITLE. [Item by John Hertz.] I happened to meet (on paper) Christian Thomasius 1655-1728 and his monthly review 1688-1690, Scherzhafte und ernsthafte, vernünftige und einfältige Gedanken über allerband lustige und nützluche Bücher und Fragen (German: “Jocose and Earnest, Rational and Silly Thoughts on All Kinds of Pleasant and Useful Books and Questions”).  He was at the time professor of natural law at Leipzig (1684-90).  You’ll note his review and his professorship ended in the same year (I’ve also seen 1689 for the end of the review).  He had to leave town.

(5) FORMELY KNOWN AS THE CAMPBELL. The initial response to the renamed Astounding Award for Best New Writer is largely positive. The comments in the announcement include expressions of approval by John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Nalo Hopkinson. There are posts elsewhere by John Scalzi and David Versace.

The Twitter response runs the gamut, for example:

(6) #METOO7. “Can Daniel Craig complete his biggest mission – modernising James Bond?”

The title of the next James Bond film was announced earlier this week. No Time To Die will see Daniel Craig return as 007 for the fifth time, but there’s little to suggest it will be business as usual.

It’s not just saving the world that will be on his mind for the 25th official film in the series – he’s also on a mission to catch up with the 21st Century. Speaking at the film’s launch in April, Craig promised the film would reflect changing attitudes, recognising Bond as a “flawed” character with “issues… worth exploring and grappling with”.

“Bond has always adapted for the times… We wouldn’t be movie makers or creative people if we didn’t have an eye on what was going on in the outside world.”

So how might the suave secret agent have to change, and can he do so without losing the essence of James Bond?

…Attitudes elsewhere in society are evolving – in many quarters at least – and producer Barbara Broccoli has said the new film “should reflect” the “huge impact” of the #MeToo movement.

Recruiting Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge to the writing team reflects this mission.

As only the second female writer in the franchise’s history, she plans to make Bond women “feel like real people”. For Sturges, this means allowing the women of the Craig era to become more than tokenistic “two-dimensional challengers” to Bond’s machismo.

(7) EXPATRIATE CHINESE WRITER CHARGED. BBC reports “China Arrests Australian Writer On Espionage Charges”.

A Chinese-born Australian writer detained for months in China has been formally arrested on charges of espionage, officials in Canberra confirmed on Tuesday.

Yang Hengjun, a former Chinese diplomat who reportedly became an Australian citizen in 2002 but retains a Chinese passport, has also lived and worked in the United States.

He is the author of three spy novels set in China, according to Reuters. In the past, he has written voluminously on his blog about the rule of law, democracy and human rights, according to news.com.au. However, according to Reuters, in recent years, he has stayed away from sensitive topics and concentrated instead on running an import-export business.

(8) READY FOR ITS CLOSEUP. “‘Rosalind Franklin’ Mars rover assembly completed” – that’s BBC’s text story; sped-up video of final stages is here.

Assembly of the rover Europe and Russia plan to send to the Red Planet next year is complete.

Engineers at Airbus in Stevenage, UK, displayed the finished vehicle on Tuesday ahead of its shipment to France for testing.

Called “Rosalind Franklin” after the British DNA pioneer, the six-wheeled robot will search for life on Mars.

It has a drill to burrow 2m below ground to try to detect the presence of microbes, either living or fossilised.

The project is a joint endeavour of the European and Russian space agencies (Esa and Roscosmos), with input from the Canadians and the US.

(9) BRANDING. Brian Niemeier explains why he avoids online drama. (You didn’t know that, did you?) Thread starts here.

(10) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In Rabbit on the Animate Projects Archive, Run Wrake explains the bad things that happen when two children kill a rabbit.

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, Michael A. Rothman, Juli Marr, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John Hertz, Juli Marr, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Joe H.]

Campbell Name Removed from Award

The Astounding Award for Best New Writer is the new title of the award formerly named for John W. Campbell, Jr.  Analog editor Trevor Quachri announced the change today in a “Statement from the editor” at The Astounding Analog Companion blog.

The decision came quickly in the wake of Jeannette Ng’s acceptance speech criticizing the award’s namesake as a fascist, and widespread social media discussion.

Quachri echoed those criticisms in explaining the name change:

…However, Campbell’s provocative editorials and opinions on race, slavery, and other matters often reflected positions that went beyond just the mores of his time and are today at odds with modern values, including those held by the award’s many nominees, winners, and supporters.

As we move into Analog’s 90th anniversary year, our goal is to keep the award as vital and distinguished as ever, so after much consideration, we have decided to change the award’s name to The Astounding Award for Best New Writer.

…Though Campbell’s impact on the field is undeniable, we hope that the conversation going forward is nuanced. George Santayana’s proverbial phrase remains as true today as when it was coined: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We neither want to paper over the flaws of those who have come before us, nor reduce them to caricatures. But we have reached a point where the conversation around the award is in danger of focusing more on its namesake than the writers it was intended to recognize and elevate, and that is something nobody—even Campbell himself—would want.

The award has been given at the Worldcon since 1973, and Quachri says the nomination and selection process will remain the same. “It is also important to note that this change in no way reflects on past winners or their work, and they continue to stand deserving of recognition.”

Jeannette Ng’s initial response is:

One person pointed out that the Campbell Award by name is part of the WSFS Constitution and fears parliamentary foot-dragging, or worse, however the award is not a Hugo and a willing Worldcon committee could certainly implement the change.

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth, Hampus Eckerman, ULTRAGOTHA and Paul Weimer for the story.]

Campbell Name Could Come Off Award

The South China Morning Post reports that Dell Magazine, sponsor of the John W, Campbell Award for Best New Writer, “admits it is considering renaming the award and it is only a matter of finding the right time” — “Hong Kong winner of John W. Campbell sci-fi award stands by ‘fascist’ comments as new name for accolade is considered”.

The interviewer who spoke to Jeannette Ng about her award acceptance speech at Dublin 2019 also reached out to Analog editor Trevor Quachri and here is what she learned:

The controversy has not gone unnoticed. Trevor Quachri, editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact (the science fiction magazine is owned by Dell Magazine, which sponsors the award), admits he is considering renaming the award and it is only a matter of finding the right time, given it is Analog’s 90th anniversary next year.

Reading an early draft of Nevala-Lee’s book on Campbell prompted the decision, says Quachri.

“It’s a nuanced account of [one of ] the major figures of the era, which neither papers over their flaws nor reduces them to caricatures. But it does make clear that some of the things that we may have once been able to dismiss as idiosyncrasies or being ‘of their time’ went beyond that.”

The article follows the quotes with this comment:

Ultimately, the major purpose of the prize is to honour and elevate new writers, which should not be overshadowed by the contentious name of the award. Just as important as recognising how white men like Campbell have limited the voices and perspectives in science fiction is realising and celebrating how things have changed.

The Campbell Award is owned by Dell Magazine which publishes Analog.

[Thanks to Hampus Eckerman for the story.]

Barkley — So Glad You (Didn’t) Ask — Special Irish Worldcon Edition, The Final Day

WORLDCON 77 – DUBLIN

By Chris M. Barkley:

Field Notes

  • I now KNOW which flatmate is the culprit who has been reversing the direction of toilet paper in our flat. To preserve whatever goodwill we have built up between the visiting fans and the Republic of Ireland, this person shall remain unnamed. But the information has been forwarded to the local Garda. And Interpol.
  • Speaking of which, I am very glad that none of the natives noticed that the pants I purchased at Costco that I’ve been wearing during our stay were manufactured by…English Laundry.
  • I was also informed yesterday that hurling was NOT a sport involving professional vomiting. I was quite relieved to learn this.
  • I like “Airplane Mode” setting on my phone SO MUCH I’m keeping it that way from now on! WooT!
  • Juli persuaded me NOT to wear my Wakanda University t-shirt over my regular shirt today. Because technically, I’m on a diplomatic mission. SHHHHHH!
  • It’s TRUE: Fan Writing is cheaper than therapy! Just Sayin’…

On our last day in Ireland, I woke up thinking about baseball. More specifically, baseball pitchers.

Of all the players who play baseball, it could be argued that the pitcher is the single most important and the most vulnerable parts of the game. Important because the game cannot function without them and vulnerable because the human arm is not exactly designed to throw a baseball for any length of time.

The rule book on baseball pitch consists of only two words: Throw Strikes.There are countless volumes of scholarly studies and critiques have been written on how this might be accomplished.

Those pitchers who do manage to hang on for twenty years and remain effective at some level are an extraordinary group of athletes who deserved to be lauded and revered.

I am not exactly comparing myself to that elite group but I do note that 2019 marks my twentieth year of being involved with and pitching (see what I did there) my amendments, arguments and strategies to the World Science Fiction Convention’s Business Meeting.

In the last few months before Worldcon 77, I had been evaluating how I felt and what I should do next. And like a veteran pitcher at the end of their career, I ultimately came to the conclusion  that my arsenal has been depleted and I have essentially lost my effectiveness to proceed any further in this capacity. 

The past few years have not been easy for me; my mother and father have died, the years long struggle to get a Young Adult Book category going was draining on an emotional level, I had to abandon the attempt to attach Ursula K. Le Guin’s name to the YA Award due to my doubts about winning any support for it at the Business Meeting and my own impatience led to me offer an amendment for a test of a Best Translated Novel even though the Hugo Study Committee appointed by Business Meeting recommended it be discussed for another year.

I have been persistent, stubborn and tenacious in the past but after twenty years of cajoling, persuading, compromising and grinding away making legislative sausage, I was yearning for a new set of challenges and goals.

And after the way things went down after the first two sessions of the Dublin Business Meeting, it became quite evident that I had come to the right decision.

After the Business Meeting was officially adjourned on Saturday, I made a point of going up and bidding a formal farewell to some of the WSFS Business Meeting members I respect the most, Donald Eastlake III, Linda Derenoff, Kevin Standlee and Vince Docherty, telling each of them that I will not be offering any for proposals for future consideration nor would I likely to be very active (unless I’m just there to vote on an issue that I seriously support) at future sessions of the WSFS Business Meeting.

Here’s the thing: when I initially started getting involved with the Business Meeting twenty years ago, I was doing it an everyday fan who wanted to make sure that films, television shows and other forms of media were given a somewhat level playing field when competing in the awards process.

After that, I found that I quite haphazardly stumbled into being an advocate of change. My mission became seeking solutions the inequities in the Editing Category and fighting to see the creators of comics/graphic stories and young adult authors get the recognition they richly deserve from our community.

I did so not to become more influential, to become a fannish insider or be famous. I did this because I revere and honor the Hugo Award and I wanted to see them stay fair, equitable and most importantly, relevant to our times.

In order to achieve these lofty goals, I had to become more of a public face for these ideas. In doing so I acknowledge that I have, in some circles, I have been perceived as an ambitious social climber who stepped on people’s toes and rubbed them the wrong way.

So as willingly as I have accepted the allocates of what I have done, I also unflinchingly take the criticism. Let the literary critics, historians and anthropologists hash out what happened because it doesn’t matter to me right now and certainly won’t after I am dead and gone.

On August 25th, I will be turning sixty-three years old. This past June, I celebrated my forty-third anniversary in fandom. Having spent the first twenty plus years amassing friends and the latter twenty becoming inadvertently well-known, I now take my leave.

Chris M. Barkley

To the members of the Business meeting and the SMOFs mailing list I say this: I thank you for your advice and patience. Your vigilance in protection of the Constitution and the Hugo Awards has been long and admirable. But your seeming officiousness, proof of worthiness, over reliance on years and years of committee studies are your weakness. These things scare and alienate fans from engaging in the process. I implore you all to be more intuitive and take more risks and chances, especially with those who come before you for the first time.

I find it simply astounding (pun definitely intended) that the people who champion a branch of literature that is dedicated to exploring and expounding on scientific, psychological and emotional change, act in such a hidebound, conservative manner and are seemingly determined to see that some fannish things remain the same.

To you, the members of this community who contemplating going to the Business Meeting or are loath to spend any amount of your precious Worldcon time attending these long, laborious meeting; if you do not approve of what is happening at the World Science Fiction Convention or with the WSFS Constitution and the Hugo Awards, there is no substitution for GETTING INVOLVED!. There are a lot of things I regret; not learning how to become a switch hitter in softball, learning to play a musical instrument or becoming bilingual. But all of the time I spent in the Business Meeting was well spent. So go down to your independent/used bookstore or online and get a Roberts Rules of Order and jump into the action. If you don’t, you haven’t any damned right to bitch about what is going on.

As for myself, I walk away proud of what I have accomplished. I have left it all on the field as they say in the sports world. In the last year or so, my activities in the Business Meeting have become too much of a distraction to some of the more important things going on in my life right now.

But don’t think that you won’t be hearing from me any more, you’re not getting off that easily. I am going to be writing my File 770 column for the foreseeable future and on my Facebook page and my Twitter account as well.And there are other long gestating writing  projects outside of fandom that will occupy a great deal of my time as well..

But the MOST important thing in my life is caring for my three-and-a-half-year old granddaughter, Lillyann Virginia. She loves me as the day is long and give her mine. Her wants and needs are more important right now than anything I have ever done at the WSFS Business Meeting. Lillyann is my future and she is yours as well.

The future is happening right now.

It always has been.

**********

The day began in splendid fashion; the sun was shining with a few fleecy clouds in the sky. Good flying weather. Juli and I wished we had more time to see this wonderful country we have come to love these past eight days but our time was up. We had packed our humongous suitcase the night before so we were all set to depart.

Our flight was scheduled for 12:55 p.m. and United Airlines told us before we left that while US Immigration and Customs had a station inside the airport to aid passengers headed for America,  we were advised to get to there AT LEAST three hours before departure time.

Well, unless we are traveling to or from a major hub domestically back in the US, Juli and I usually take this piece of advice with a gigantic, choking grain of salt. Little did we know…

We said our goodbyes to our flatmates Peter and Anna around 9:30 a.m. We walked around the corner to the transit station and purchased two bus tickets to the airport. Our first mistake was not heading to the main drag we knew very well to find the 747 bus route stop, but to wander further into downtown Dublin to find another one.

As we walked along I spotted a bookstore. I stopped to stare and then picked up my pace.

“What’s the matter?”, Juli asked.

“Just keep walking,” I said. I had to concentrate on getting home, not shopping. Hard choices.

After asking directions (a few times, because, accents, theirs and ours) we finally found the bus station. While we were there we came across a few European fans headed to the airport as well. One woman had a very interesting patch on her jacket that I really liked, so I asked her permission to take a photo of it.

We were also approached by a tall panhandler with a foreign (not Irish) accent came up asking for spare change. We kindly rebuffed him because we had no Euros left (and he looked rather sketchy to boot).

After he wandered away, a well-dressed woman came over and said, “It’s good that ye didn’t give ‘em anything.”

“Why is that?” Juli asked.

“Because most of them come over here and they receive more benefits here than they do where they came from.’ she explained in a patient but slightly irritated voice. “Most ’em are either drug addicts or criminals.”

As the woman walked away Juli and I exchanged a look; this was the first person we had come across since we arrived that had shown any sort of negativity towards anyone who wasn’t Irish. I can only hope that she was among the minority here.

The double decker 747 bus finally arrived around 10:30 and it was packed to the gills with travelers. We were among the last in line. Juli was becoming worried. “I’m beginning to think we should have taken a taxi,” Juli said. I tried to remain optimistic; we were still two-and-a-half hours from our flight time. Still…

When it was our turn, the driver looked at our tickets and said, “Sorry mum, these aren’t the right tickets.” Juli explained that we had gotten them from the station and they were clearly marked for transport to the airport.

“But mum,” he said with the resignation of a man who probably dealt with tourists everyday. “these tickets are from a different company altogether. I can’t take ‘em.”

NOW, I began to worry.

“But sir, we already paid fifteen Euros for these tickets.”

“Can we exchange them for the right tickets inside the station?“ I asked.

By this time, there were grumbling comments from some of the passengers and the five people still waiting didn’t look all that happy, either.

“All right,” the driver said, taking the tickets and giving a small jerk of his head. I dragged our suitcase aboard and stood in the main aisle with Juli. Somehow, all of the other passengers squeezed on board behind me and the bus lurched out of the station. We were packed and there was no stopping between there and the airport.

The bus arrived at Terminal Two around 10:45. Still plenty of time, I thought. We made a beeline to the United check-in counters, which were sandwiched in between the Emirates and American Airlines. Luckily, there were only two people ahead of us and no one behind us.

About a minute later, several hundred people arriving off of fleet of shuttle buses DID line up behind us. Timing is everything. Sometimes it’s the ONLY thing.

We stepped up to the station and placed out bag on the scale as the attendant checked our passports and printed out our boarding passes. Our suitcase weighed in at 24.9 kilograms and even though I was lousy at converting that weight to pounds (54.8951 pounds to be exact), I got a sinking feeling we were over the weight limit.

“I’m sorry but your bag is too heavy,” she said in a kindly, but reproachful tone. “You will have to take something out.”

Juli looked at me expectantly. Since I packed it, I knew exactly what to pull out. I took the suitcase, unzippered the main flap, reached inside and pulled out exactly what we needed to lighten the load; our two Worldcon souvenir and pocket program books. I hoisted it back on the scale and presto, 22.9 kg.

From there we took an escalator one level up to the Irish security area. These was a line here, too; a serpentine one that consisted of 13 long rows of stanchions and cloth tape that led to four separate doors with guards motioning people through to another area.

Staying together, we were shepherd into the next room where there were four more lines where bags and people were being scanned. As we were inching through our line, I saw a familiar looking hat out of the corner of my eye. I turned around and exclaimed, “Jo Walton?”

An lo and behold it was indeed my acquaintance, the Hugo and Nebula Award winning author, in the company of fellow author Ada Palmer (winner of the 2017 John W. Campbell Award and the victim of the horrible closed captioning nightmare at the Hugo Awards Ceremony) and her partner, Lauren Schiller.

After everyone was introduced to one another, Jo exclaimed, “We’re off to Edinburgh!” Upon learning I was doing a con report for File 770, Ms.Palmer pressed leaflet outlining her latest project, Worlds of Welcome, an international effort to raise money for refugees in conjunction with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).

In an explanation on her website (http://www.exurbe.com), Ms Palmer writes that RAICES main goal is, “… to help those in the camps on the US side of the US-Mexico Border, by organizing  online auction of items donated by the F&SF community: signed books, craft items, fanworks & merchandise, custom fiction, editors willing to give query critiques, or members of underrepresented groups willing to give sensitivity reads to in-progress fiction.  We hope the auction will run in October.  We are currently soliciting donations of items for the auction, and a few more people to help organize it. If interested, please email us at: WorldsOfWelcome@gmail.com.”

The deadline for donations is September 30th and auctions will be held from October 1st through the 15th.

As our lines moved apart we all wished each other luck in making our respective flights.

After passing through the Irish security area, we strolled into a brightly mall of duty-free shops, filled with stuff we could not possibly get into any of our carry on bags. Following a series of American flags with arrows, we arrived at the entrance to the US Preclearance – Customs and Border Patrol (USCBP)…and found yet another, long and crowded passengers waiting in line to have their carry on bags inspected. AGAIN!

It was now 12:15 p.m. We were close but I it was getting close to the time to board our plane.

The lines were so backed up that some of the immigration agents were paging over the loudspeakers or shouting out cities and flight numbers, scrambling to go through the lines to pull out passengers for flights imminently leaving for Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

It was in this line that we saw Philadelphia area fans Joni and Todd Dashoff and a new friend, Abie Eke, whom I first met at the descendants from African Meetup.

Todd and I passed each other so many times that when we finally made it through the inspection and were respectively putting our shoes, I turned to him and said, “I’m tired at looking at you, too!”

“I got tired of looking at you when I first saw you here,” he retorted with a laugh.

“I’m beginning to think that the convention was just one big practice session to wait in line at the airport,” Juli groused when I caught up with her.

When we finally were called to a station to be questioned, our inquisitor was a dead ringer for Nick Nolte with exceptionally beady eyes.

He asked the usual litany of questions; did we have anything to declare, did we have any food or vegetables in our luggage or carry on bags, did we do any work while in Ireland? We answered no to all of these questions.

“Nick” then took our boarding passes and passports and had us step onto a set of footprints a few feet in front of his station and asked us to stare into a scanner as he compared our faces to the images on the passports.

After a few moments of staring at our innocent American faces, “Nick” gave a slight, laconic nod of his head said, “Thank you. Enjoy the flight home.” And with that, we walked swiftly towards the United departure gates.

On the way through the terminal, Juli said, “Look, a dead people walker.”

It was indeed, several dozen yards of non-moving walkway. “Yeah, that one is for zombies only!”

Juli just rolled her eyes and said, “Yeah, so funny.”

When we got to our gate it was just about 12:45 p.m. but they had not started the boarding process. Apparently, when our boarding passes were printed, and the delays in the lines were noted, our departure time was adjusted as well, thank goodness.

Waiting in line were a virtual galaxy of fannish stars; Jim and Laurie Mann of Pittsburgh, former Worldcon Chair Deb Geisler from Boston, editor Scott Edelman from West Virginia and the Hugo Award winning fanzine editors, Nikki and Richard Lynch from Maryland. Jim Mann told me that there were probably between twenty and thirty fans from Worldcon headed home on this flight.

Rich and Nicki Lynch
Jim and Laurie Mann
Scott Edelman

We settled into our assigned seats in the aisle and across from each other. Juli sat next to a young couple, I sat next to two older gentlemen.

We took off only twenty minutes late with a flight time of 7 hours and forty-five minutes. Everyone around me pulled their shades, once again denying me a view of the Atlantic Ocean.

After a while, I was pondering when I might try to sleep in order to take the edge off some of the inevitable and dreaded bout of jet lag.

When we reached cruising altitude, the deployment of the beverage cart soon followed. I had a regular Coke since both Juli and I had skipped breakfast during our various adventures earlier in the day.

After drinking it, the older gentleman spilled water on his tray table, narrowing missing the paperback book he was reading. As I helped him clean up the spill with my napkin, I got a good look at the book was reading; a paperback copy of an Adam-Troy Castro novel, The Third Claw of God.

“Hey,” I exclaimed, “I know that writer!” The reader, Sylvan Oppenheimer of Baltimore, was startled that I knew the author. And yes, both he and his older brother Izzy sitting next to him attended the Worldcon and had a wonderful time. Izzy also has good taste in writers; he was reading one of James H. Schmitz’s Telzey Amberdon collections reissued by Baen Books. Both men had gone to Worldcons before but this was their first time going overseas to attend one. They both reported that they had a splendid time.

Sylvan Oppenheimer

I tried to get in a few hours of sleep as we headed westward, five hours into the past. It took me a day or so to recover coming over and I had no doubt that my body’s circadian rhythm was going to take a beating coming back. I picked up United’s in-flight magazine, Hemispheres, and saw that the cover story was titled, “Three Perfect Days in Hong Kong.” I thought about what was happening there at the moment; the citizens who were being harassed and beaten on a daily basis for demanding their rights and freedoms that were supposed to be guaranteed by law. I put the magazine back, unread.   

As I have grown older, I have come to dislike watching movies or television shows up in the air. My usual routine is to sleep, write or shifting my brain into iPod mode, recalling my favorite songs just from memory.

On the other hand, Juli plunged right in and watched two movies back to back; The Best of Enemies with Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell followed by The Hummingbird Project, a financial thriller starring Salma Hayek, Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård.

When I woke up, I got a look outside of Izzy’s window; we were over land again, somewhere along the east coast. As we made our final approach, I noted the overcast skies and some ominous flashes on the western horizon.

We landed at Dulles twenty minutes late at around 5:45 p.m. and just in time; there were several lightning strikes near the tarmac as we pulled into the gate.   

All of our luminaries had departed by the time we emerged into the terminal. When we arrived at our gate a short distance away, the skies opened up a massive thunderstorm was in progress. More lightning strikes closed down all of the ramps. I checked the radar at weather.gov and saw that the current storm was going to pass through quickly but there was another storm front fifty miles to the west and headed directly towards us.

While we were waiting, Juli pointed out that the designation of a nearby gate, C-4, was problematic. Maybe they should ban that gate number permanently, just as the 13th floor is conveniently omitted from most hotels. Just sayin’…

As our flight was about to be called, I reached over to my right to retrieve my fedora from the seat next to me, only to suddenly stop when I realized I had almost picked up a orthodox rabbi’s wide brimmed black borsalino. Fortunately for me, the rabbi was facing the other way and never noticed the move. My hat was on top of my shoulder bag in front of me. Crisis averted!

As the storm moved out, there was a rush to get as many flights into the air as possible before the next storm front arrived. Our flight was called and we were given the rare treat of actually walking out on the tarmac to our plane, which had an old fashioned airstairs leading up to the cabin.

Juli Marr

Just as we had gotten strapped into our seats, the next storm front arrived with additional lightning strikes, once again closing the gates before our luggage had been fully loaded onto the plane.

During the hour-and-a-half delay, we were served repeated rounds of soft drinks, water and cookies. I checked my email and Facebook accounts and was pleased to see that Jeannette Ng’s Campbell speech was getting a lot of coverage in fannish circles and in the mainstream media as well.

We finally took off after the storm front passed and we were finally on the last leg of our trip. When I remarked that this had been one remarkable Monday so far, she corrected me; it was actually Tuesday! Did I mention earlier that time travel was hard? It is very hard. On your brain.

Thankfully, the one-hour trip was unremarkable. The landing in Dayton was a little rough but Juli and I exchanged a happy look as we taxied to the terminal.

Our lone suitcase came down the luggage carousel almost immediately. As we exited the building to flag down the shuttle, the song playing over the speakers was Duran Duran’s 1983 pop hit, “Union of the Snake.”

“Well now, situation normal,” I remarked dryly. Juli gave me a ‘whatever’ eye roll.

The shuttle dropped us off at our car and we were soon on our way down I-75. Darkness had fallen and the skies were clear. I turned on the radio and the Reds were in the late innings of game with the San Diego Padres, leading 3-1. The Reds ended up winning 3-2.

And when the final out was recorded, Marty Brennaman, the Hall of Fame announcer of the Cincinnati Reds sealed the victory with his most famous catch phrase, “And This One Belongs To The Reds!”

At that moment, we knew we were truly home again.

(These reports are dedicated to the memory of my late parents, Alice and Erbil Barkley and also to the recent passing of our dear and loving neighbor, Lillian Feld.) 

Pixel Scroll 8/26/19 We Didn’t Start The File, It Was Always Scrolling Since The Fans Been Squeeing

(1) STAMPEDE ZONE. Fran Wilde, in one of the New York Times’ op-eds from the future, implores “Please, Stop Printing Unicorns”. Tagline: “Bioprinters are not toys, and parents shouldn’t give them to children.”

… Making bioprinting more accessible to the public — especially to children — will be likely to lead to even worse disasters than last Friday’s blockade of the Chicago I-899 skyways off-ramp by a herd of miniature unicorns. Sure, the unicorns (whose origins are unknown) were the size of ducklings, but their appearance caused several accidents and a moral quandary.

These bioprinted unicorns were living creatures with consciousness — as defined by the A.I. Treaty of 2047 — trying to find their way in the world…..

(2) NYRSF STARTS SEASON 29. The New York Review of Books’ readings open their 29th season on September 3 with Gregory Feeley and Michael Swanwick.

Gregory Feeley writes novels and stories, most in some respect science-fictional. His first novel, The Oxygen Barons, was nominated for the Philip K. Dick award, and his short fiction has twice been nominated for the Nebula Award. His most recent novels are the historical novel Arabian Wine, and Kentauros, a fantasia on an obscure Greek myth. He recently completed a long novel, Hamlet the Magician.

Michael Swanwick writes fantasy and science fiction of all sorts, at lengths ranging from novels to flash fiction. Over the years, he’s picked up a Nebula Award, five Hugos and the World Fantasy Award–and has the pleasant distinction of having lost more of these awards than any other writer. Tor recently published The Iron Dragon’s Mother, completing a trilogy begun with The Iron Dragon’s Daughter twenty-five years ago. That’s far longer than it took Professor Tolkien to complete his trilogy.

The event is Tuesday, September 3 at The Brooklyn Commons Café, 388 Atlantic Avenue  (between Hoyt & Bond St.). Doors open at 6:30 p.m., event begins at 7:00 p.m.

(3) D&D FILES — THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE. Kotaku challenges the received wisdom: “Dungeons & Deceptions: The First D&D Players Push Back On The Legend Of Gary Gygax”.

Everybody calls Rob Kuntz last, he says. Those who want to know about the history of Dungeons & Dragons start with co-creator Gary Gygax’s kids, one of Gygax’s biographers, or D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast. As they’re wrapping things up, they might get around to dialing up Kuntz, a 63-year-old game designer. And once they call him, he tells them the same thing: Everything they know about the creation of the tabletop role-playing game is, in his opinion, sorely mistaken or flat-out wrong.

“There’s a myth that’s been propagated in the industry,” Kuntz told Kotaku during an interview in February of this year. “If you keep digging into this, you’re going to come up with a story that will enrage people and expose the truth.”

(4) MIND OF THESEUS. In the August 14 Financial Times (behind a paywall), Library of Congress fellow Susan Schneider critiques the arguments of Ray Kurzweil and Elon Musk that we should figure out how to download our brains into the clouds to prevent really smart AI machines from taking over our lives.

“Here is a new challenge, derived from a story by the Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan.  Imagine that an AI device called ‘a jewel’ is inserted into your brain at birth.  The jewel monitors your brain’s activity in order to learn how to mimic your thoughts and behaviours.  By th time you are an adult, it perfectly simulates your biological brain.

At some point, like other members of society, you grow confident that your brain is just redundant meatware.  So you become a ‘jewel head,’ having your brain surgically removed. The jewel is now in the driver’s seat.

Unlike in Mr Egan’s story, let us assume the jewel works perfectly, So which is you–your brain or your jewel?”

(5) CHAMBERS PRAISED. [Item by Olav Rokne.] The recent Worldcon in Dublin seems to be prompting some discussion of the literary merit of genre work. Writing in the Irish Times, John Connolly (“The future of sci-fi never looked so bright”) holds up the work of Hugo-winner Becky Chambers as an example of meritorious genre work, writing that:

In a world in which intolerance seems to be implacably on the rise, the fundamental decency at the heart of Chambers’s narratives, her depiction of a post-dystopian humanity attempting to construct a better version of itself while encountering new worlds and species, begins to seem quietly, gently radical.

(6) THE STORY OF A GENERATION. USA Today reports from D23 — “Disney unveils new ‘Rise of Skywalker’ footage, ‘Star Wars’ fans lose it over Rey’s double lightsaber”. The clips start with a walk down memory lane…  

Disney released a new poster depicting the battle, presenting it to all attendees.

Fans can now watch the pinnacle moment of the footage – a cloaked Rey pulls out what appeared to be a red, double lightsaber in battle, similar to the infamous weapon wielded by Darth Maul in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.”

The D23 crowd let out an immediate, overpowering cheer at the sight of the weapon’s return and proclaimed the sighting on Twitter.

It caused a disturbance in the Force which was felt well beyond the D23 walls.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 26, 1911 Otto Oscar Binder. He’s  best remembered as the co-creator with Al Plastino of Supergirl and for his many scripts for Captain Marvel Adventures and other stories involving the entire Marvel Family. He was extremely prolific in the comic book industry and is credited with writing over four thousand stories across a variety of publishers under his own name. He also wrote novels, one of which was The Avengers Battle the Earth Wrecker, one of the series created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist and co-plotter Jack Kirby. (Died 1974.)
  • August 26, 1912 Ted Key. Of interest to us is his screenplay for The Cat from Outer Space about an apparent alien feline who has crash-landed here (starring Ken Berry, Sandy Duncan and Harry Morgan), which he followed up with a novelization. He also conceived and created Peabody’s Improbable History for producer Jay Ward’s The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. It would become the Sherman and Peabody Show. (Died 2008.)
  • Born August 26, 1912 Gerald Kersh. He wrote but one genre novel, The Secret Masters, and two genre stories in his Henry the Ghost series. So why’s he here, you ask? Because Ellison declared “you will find yourself in the presence of a talent so immense and compelling, that you will understand how grateful and humble I felt merely to have been permitted to associate myself with his name as editor.” You can read his full letters here. (Died 1968.)
  • Born August 26, 1938 Francine York. Her last genre performance was on Star Trek: Progeny. Never heard of It? Of course not, as it was yet another fan project. It’s amazing how many of these there are. Before that, she appeared in Mutiny in Outer SpaceSpace Probe Taurus and Astro Zombies: M3 – Cloned. (Died 2017.)
  • Born August 26, 1949 Sheila E Gilbert, 70. Co-editor-in-chief and publisher of DAW Books with Elizabeth R (Betsy) Wollheim. For her work there, she has also shared the Chesley Awards for best art director with Wollheim twice, and received a solo 2016 Hugo award as best professional editor (long form). 
  • Born August 26, 1950 Annette Badland, 69. She is best known for her role as Margaret Blaine on Doctor Who where she was taken over by Blon Fel-Fotch Pasameer-Day, a Slitheen. This happened during “Aliens of London” and “World War Three” during the Era of the Ninth Doctor. Her story would conclude in “Boom Town”. 
  • Born August 26, 1970 Melissa McCarthy, 49. Yes, I know she was in the rebooted Ghostbusters. Fanboys across the net are still wetting their pants about that film. I’m more interested in Super Intelligence in which she is playing a character that has an AI who has decided to take over her life. It reminds me somewhat of Kritzer’s “Cat Pictures Please” premise. It will be released on December 20 of this year.  (And we are not talking about her The Happytime Murders.)
  • Born August 26, 1980 Chris Pine, 39. James T. Kirk in the Star Trek reboot series. He also plays Steve Trevor in both Wonder Woman films and Dr. Alexander Murry in A Wrinkle in Time. He’s also Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods. Finally, he voices Peter Parker / Ultimate Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

(8) COMICS SECTION.

(9) LOOKS LIKE DEATH (EXTREMELY) WARMED OVER. Delish says“Cheetos Is Rumored To Be Bringing Back Its ‘Bag Of Bones’ Snacks For Halloween” in Flamin’ Hot and White Cheddar flavors.

If you haven’t had a chance to try this snack yet, they’re basically Cheetos puffs that are shaped into various parts of a skeleton like the head, ribcage, hands, and bones. This means that besides being as delicious as a classic Cheeto, you can also build spooky skeletons with your food if you can resist scarfing down the whole bag for a while.

.(10) LAUNCHING FROM THE ANTIPODES. Ars Technica invites readers “Behind the scenes at Earth’s most beautiful rocket launch site” – lots of photos.

Not a blade of grass longer than the rest, a red “Remove Before Flight” tag unchecked, or a single Kiwi (be it bird or engineer) out of place: Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex-1 looks like an industry brochure come to life (better in fact). Located at the southern tip of the picturesque Mahia Peninsula on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, LC-1 is currently the only operational Rocket Lab launch site where the Electron vehicle—Rocket Lab’s low-cost small satellite launch vehicle—takes flight.

Rocket Lab just took advantage of the latest window at LC-1 on August 19. But back in December 2018, fellow rocket launch photographer Brady Kenniston had the exclusive opportunity to photograph Rocket Lab’s first NASA mission, ElaNa-19, from this private launch site. This launch was going to be Rocket Lab’s most important mission to date because, as the leader in the small satellite industry, they had an opportunity to show NASA (and the world) what they are made of. If successful, it could lead to future business from other small satellites in need of a ride to space—not to mention, the company would earn the endorsement of NASA Launch Services as an eligible vehicle to fly future NASA small-satellite science payloads.

(11) SO FAR, SO GOOD. Joe Sherry, Adri Joy, and Paul Weimer identify the high points of 2019 in “Blogtable: Best of the Year So Far” at Nerds of a Feather.

Joe: We’re a little more than seven months into what is shaping up to be an absolute stellar year for science fiction and fantasy fiction and I wanted to check in with the two of you to see what you’ve been reading and what has stood out in a year of excellence.

Adri: Indeed! well for starters I lost my heart in the time war…

Paul: I, too, lost my heart in the Time War. Among many other places, but having recently finished that, it is strongly on my mind. I am Team Blue, Adri, how about you?

(12) FEEDBACK. Heinlein is both an important influence on genre history and in the regard of author Chris Nuttall, who goes deep into Farah Mendlesohn’s book in “Review: The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein”. Nuttall ends a substantial discussion by saying —

Heinlein was not fond of critics, not entirely without reason. Even in his day, a good critic could be a wonder – and a bad one a nightmare. But I think he might have liked this book – and, as Heinlein remains popular, we should ask ourselves why. You may not agree with everything in this book, but it will make you think. Mendlesohn treats Heinlein as what he was, a man. Not an angel, or a demon, but a man. An influential man, but a man nonetheless.

(13) SMILE! Guess what this scene made Kevin Standlee think of —  

(Now imagine, what if somebody used X-ray film?)

(14) CHALLENGES IN PRODUCING HEINLEIN BOOK. Shahid Mahmud of Arc Manor Publishers sent out an update about Phoenix Pick’s Heinlein novel The Pursuit of the Pankera.

…As many of you are aware from my previous emails, this is the parallel text to The Number of the Beast. 
 

It is, effectively, a parallel book about parallel universes.


We had originally attempted to release the book before Christmas, but some production issues have delayed the release to Sprint/Summer of 2020.

These include sorting out some fairly intricate details discussed in the book. For example (for those of you dying to see what it is that we publishers actually do), here are a few internal excerpts between editors working on various aspects of the book:

“The planet-numbering system may be off in certain parts of the story. At the beginning of the story (and in real life) we live on planet Earth. In the course of the story, there is time travel, and that’s where it gets confusing… the story refers to both Earth-One and Earth-Zero. There is a detailed explanation of the numbering system (see pg. 312) wherein “Earth-Zero is so designated because Dr. Jacob Burroughs was born on that planet…”

However, in other parts of the book, Earth-One is referred to as the characters’ home planet.”

OR

“After discussion with Patrick, I’ve settled on the following conventions: x-axis (hyphenated, lowercase, no italics) but axis x (no hyphen, lowercase, italic single letter). In the manuscript, of course, the italic letter would be underlined rather than set italic. The letters tau and teh remain in the Latin alphabet (rather than Greek or Cyrillic) and are lowercase but not set italic. When used with the word “axis” (tau-axis) they are hyphenated.”

These are the little details that keep us Publishers up at night 🙂

But alas, given a book of this magnitude and size (this is a BIG book, over 185,000 words) all this takes time.

Hence the delay.

Mahmud says the ebook will be priced at $9.99 at launch, but they will run a Kickstarter beginning September 4 to help pay for production, which will allow people to buy the ebook for just $7.00. And there will be other rewards available.

(15) THE NEXT BIG THING. Best Fanzine Hugo winner Lady Business tweeted a get-acquainted thread for new followers (starts here) which closes with this appeal –

OMG, what a great idea, nominating business meeting agenda items in Best Related Works! Chris Barkley will be so excited (Best Translated Novel Hugo Category Proposed)! Am I right or am I right?

(16) NOT A GOOD IDEA. Just because Trump doesn’t know this it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t: “Nuclear weapons and hurricanes don’t mix, NOAA advises”.

Using nuclear weapons to destroy hurricanes is not a good idea, a US scientific agency has said, following reports that President Donald Trump wanted to explore the option.

The Axios news website said Mr Trump had asked several national security officials about the possibility.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the results would be “devastating”.

Mr Trump has denied making the suggestion.

Hurricanes typically affect the US east coast, often causing serious damage.

It’s not the first time the idea has been considered.

Following reports of Mr Trump’s suggestion, the hashtag #ThatsHowTheApocalyseStarted has been trending on Twitter.

What effect would nuking a hurricane have?

Mr Trump asked why the US couldn’t drop a bomb into the eye of the storm to stop it from making landfall, news site Axios said.

The NOAA says that using nuclear weapons on a hurricane “might not even alter the storm” and the “radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas”.

(17) A VOLCANO SPEAKS. There was smoke on the water. Then this: “Vast ‘pumice raft’ found drifting through Pacific Ocean”. Opinions vary on whether it will reach Australia or break up, and on how likely it is to be helpful — “Giant Pumice Raft Floating Toward Australia Could Help Replenish Great Barrier Reef”:

A vast “raft” of volcanic rocks stretching over 150 sq km (93 sq miles) is drifting through the Pacific Ocean, scientists say.

The sea of pumice – the size of 20,000 football fields – was first reported by Australian sailors earlier this month.

Experts say the mass likely came from an underwater volcano near Tonga which erupted around 7 August according to satellite images.

Sailors have been warned to stay clear of the potential hazard.

Pumice is a lightweight, bubble-rich rock that can float in water. It is produced when magma is cooled rapidly.

(18) NOT COKE. “World of Warcraft Classic: Hit game goes back to basics” – BBC has the story.

The hit video game World of Warcraft (WoW) is going back to basics with the launch of WoW Classic this evening.

First released in 2004, the online multi-player game has evolved and changed dramatically over the years.

Many players had asked developer Blizzard Entertainment to revive the original version of the game, known as “classic” or “vanilla” WoW.

While not identical to the original, WoW Classic will replicate a majority of the features from the first game.

World of Warcraft is a fantasy game in which players roam the virtual world, fighting monsters and completing quests.

Blizzard said some players who had been given early access to the classic version – which is released at 23:00 BST on Monday – mistakenly thought some of the original features were errors.

(19) FASTER THAN A PET ROCK. A BBC video shows “Gloucestershire man walks tortoise to the pub every day”. Doesn’t move as slow as you might think…

A Gloucestershire man has started walking Nancy Drew the tortoise to the pub and around town.

Jason Smith says the African sulcata tortoise, which is actually male, needs to burn off energy, as in the wild he would ordinarily be looking for a mate at this time of year.

The creature has become famous around Tewkesbury, with people loving to stop and say hello.

(20) CRASH LANDING. “Natalie Portman rockets toward madness in mind-bending ‘Lucy in the Sky’ trailer” Yahoo! Entertainment cues it up.

Natalie Portman blasts off through the wildest reaches of the universe in the new trailer for Lucy in the Sky.

Legion creator Noah Hawley’s feature directorial debut stars the Oscar-winning actress as Lucy Cola, a loose adaptation of real-life astronaut Lisa Nowak, who, after returning to earth from a length mission to space, began an obsessive affair with a coworker….

[Thanks to Jim Freund, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Lise Andreasen, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Errolwi, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

Uncanny Magazine Issue 30 — Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Launches 9/3

The 30th issue of four-time Hugo winner Uncanny Magazine, which just won another at Dublin 2019, will be available on September 3. This is the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue, guest edited by: Nicolette Barischoff (Nonfiction), Lisa M. Bradley (Poetry), and Katharine Duckett (Fiction). 

Hugo Award-winning Publishers Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are proud to present the 30th issue of their four-time Hugo Award-winning online science fiction and fantasy magazine, Uncanny Magazine. Stories from Uncanny Magazine have been finalists or winners of Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. Issue 30 is the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue, guest edited by: Nicolette Barischoff (Nonfiction), Lisa M. Bradley (Poetry), and Katharine Duckett (Fiction). As always, Uncanny features passionate SF/F fiction and poetry, gorgeous prose, provocative nonfiction, and a deep investment in the diverse SF/F culture, along with a Parsec Award-winning monthly podcast featuring a story, poem, and interview from that issue. 

All of Uncanny Magazine’s content will be available in eBook versions on the day of release from Weightless Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo. Subscriptions are always available through Amazon Kindle and Weightless Books. The free online content will be released in 2 stages: half on day of release and half on October 1. 

Uncanny Magazine Issue 30- Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Table of Contents  

Editorial:

  • “The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas (9/3)
  • “2019 Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine Acceptance Speech” by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas,and Michi Trota (9/3)

Fiction:

  • “Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Fiction Introduction” by Katharine Duckett (9/3)
  • “Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey (9/3)“Tower” by Lane Waldman (9/3)
  • “Seed and Cinder” by Jei D. Marcade (9/3)
  • “The Fifth Day” by Tochi Onyebuchi (10/1)
  • “This Is Not My Adventure” by Karlo Yeager Rodríguez (10/1)
  • “The Tailor and the Beast” by Aysha U. Farah (10/1)

Nonfiction:

  • “Build the Door, Hold the Door: Protecting the Citadel of Diverse Speculative Fiction–Nonfiction Introduction” by Nicolette Barischoff (9/3)
  • “The Blind Prince Reimagined: Disability in Fairy Tales” by Kari Maaren (9/3)
  • “Sudden and Marvelous Invention: Hearing Impairment & Fabulist (non) Fiction” by Gwendolyn Paradice (9/3)
  • “Fears and Dragons and the Thoughts of a Disabled Writer” by Day Al-Mohamed (9/3)
  • “How To Send Your Disabled Protagonist on an Adventure in 7 Easy Steps” by A. T. Greenblatt (10/1)
  • “Part of That World: Finding Disabled Mermaids in the Works ofSeanan McGuire” by Cara Liebowitz (10/1)
  • “The Visions Take Their Toll: Disability and the Cost of Magic” by Dominik Parisien (10/1)

Poetry:

  • “Poetry Introduction” by Lisa M. Bradley  (9/3)  
  • “Monsters & Women—Beneath Contempt” by Roxanna Bennett  (9/3)  
  • “Cavitation” by Toby MacNutt  (9/3)  
  • “Neithal from abroad” by Shweta Narayan (9/3)
  • “‘Eating Disorder’ does not begin to describe it” by R.B. Lemberg  (10/1)  
  • “goddess in forced repose” by Tamara Jerée  (10/1)  
  • “The Thing In Us We Fear Just Wants Our Love” by Julian K. Jarboe  (10/1) 

 Interview:

  • Lane Waldman interviewed by Sandra Odell (9/3)  
  • Karlo Yeager Rodríguez interviewed by Sandra Odell (10/1)  

Podcasts:

30A (9/3)

  • “Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey, as read by Erika Ensign
  • “Neithal from abroad” by Shweta Narayan, as read by Joy Piedmont 
  • Haddayr Copley-Woods Interviews Sarah Gailey

30B (10/1)

  • “The Fifth Day” by Tochi Onyebuchi, as read by Joy Piedmont
  • “‘Eating Disorder’ does not begin to describe it” by R.B. Lemberg, as read by Erika Ensign
  • Haddayr Copley-Woods Interviews Tochi Onyebuchi

2019 Big Heart Award: Alice Lawson

Alice Lawson of Glasgow was presented with the Big Heart Award at Dublin 2019. The award recognizes “good work and great spirit long contributed” in the words of past winner John Hertz.

Lawson, who has been helping at conventions since her first con in 1987, co-chaired Loncon 3, the 2014 Worldcon. She has been a member of at least 30 con committees including Eastercons and Worldcons. Other cons she co-chaired were Paragon, 2001 and Conrunners 2 and 4.

Alice and Steve Lawson have been married for 25+ years. The couple spent their honeymoon at an Eastercon. Both were GoHs at Satellite 4 (Eastercon 65) in 2014.Togerher they ran for GUFF in 2018. At different times each has been voted the Doc Weir Award for extensive work behind the scenes at many conventions, Alice in 2010 and Steve in 2006.

Steve Francis, another Big Heart Award winner, recalls: “I worked with Alice in 2003 in Toronto on the last days of the bid and the final vote count as well as the membership conversion process after Interaction was seated as a Worldcon. She was (and still is) a dedicated, efficient and effective member of any con she is involved with. I also found that she is a joy to work with even under pressure situations.”

[Thanks to Steve Francis and John Hertz for the story.]

Vilfredo Pareto Rides Again

By John Hertz:  Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) was an Italian who among other things became famous for calling attention to what some of us call the 80-20 Rule.

80% of the unpacking takes 20% of the time.  20% of the people do 80% of the work.

I’m not prepared to say this is built into the Universe, or why it should be.  But it keeps showing up.

I’ve offered it as advice.  I offer it now.

Put 80% of your resources into strengthening what’s going right.  20% into curing what’s going wrong.

Not the other way round.

How tempting to put 80% into what’s going wrong.  Because it’s WRONG.

But, I suggest, you’re actually living on what’s going right.

If you put 80% of your resources into what’s going wrong you may starve before you get it cured.

When I tell this to people they sometimes seem to think I’m saying they should ignore what’s wrong.

Of course not.  Look at it.  Study it.

It may require different thinking or a different perspective.  It may be hard or embarrassing – or it may prove downright silly.  When I’ve solved problems, my own or others’ or both, the end has sometimes been in laughter.

But stay on target.

Nor do I mean to minimize how wrong something can be, or how urgent.  You may indeed have to act on it fast.  It may indeed be so wrong it changes everything.

I’m talking in a more general way about proportion.

Of course this was brought to mind by particular events.  I could have mentioned them, but I didn’t.

And of course you might disagree with this 80-20 advice, or think it’s inapplicable, or like that.  So?  If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.

Maybe it only applies 80% of the time.  I don’t know that either.

I’d love to tell you I always followed this advice myself.  But when I haven’t, and later come to my senses, there it was, waiting.