Atlas Barked 7/4

aka Time Enough To Read Even The Puppy Nominees

Today roundup hors d’ouerve includes Tim Hall, Adam-Troy Castro, Vox Day, Patrick McCulley and Jon Zeigler. (Title credit goes out to File 770 contributing editors of the day Will Reichard and Daniel Dern.)

Tim Hall on Where Worlds Collide

“Geeks, Mops and Sociopaths” – July 4

There’s an interesting post by David Chapman about the life-cycle of subcultures. He identifies three types of people who enter a subculture at different stages. First there are the “Geeks”, the creators and hardcore supporters. The come “Mops”, the more casual supporters whose numbers are necessary for a scene to grow big enough to be economically viable. Finally there are the “Sociopaths”, who want to exploit everything for profit without caring about the subculture itself, taking a short-term slash-and-burn approach that destroys the thing in the process…..

I certainly don’t agree with him on the necessity of gatekeepers to preserve the purity of a subculture; that smacks too much of elitism, and gatekeeping is one of those things that can so easily turn toxic. This is especially true when you have what amounts to a turf war between competing subcultures over a disputed space; the whole Sad Puppies/Hugo thing, and the ongoing Gamergate culture war are prime examples.


Adam-Troy Castro on Facebook – July 4

Wright is outraged that I would imply anti-Semitism in this language, and wants us to know that he loves the Jewish people and indeed angrily bans any holocaust deniers who show up on his blog. Well, bully for him. So what we really need to take from this is that he wasn’t targeting Jews, with those words, but simply and clumsily doubling down on his previously stated hatred for homosexuals. That’s much different.


Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“Hugo Recommendations: Best Editor” – July 4

This is how I am voting in the Best Editor categories. Of course, I merely offer this information regarding my individual ballot for no particular reason at all, and the fact that I have done so should not be confused in any way, shape, or form with a slate or a bloc vote, much less a direct order by the Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil to his 388 Vile Faceless Minions or anyone else.

Best Editor, Short Form

  1. Vox Day
  2. Jennifer Broznek
  3. Bryan Thomas Schmidt
  4. Mike Resnick

Best Editor, Long Form

  1. Toni Weisskopf
  2. Anne Sowards
  3. Jim Minz
  4. Vox Day
  5. Sheila Gilbert


Jon Zeigler on Sharrukin’s Palace

“My 2015 Hugo Ballot” – July 4

My sole motivation here is to read and appreciate genre fiction from (almost) any source. The dispute certainly motivated me to become involved with the process for the first time, but I’ve done my good-faith best to evaluate nominees as if the dispute was not taking place. In particular, for individual writers or editors I’ve deliberately avoided reading blog pages or social media, concentrating instead on neutral sources and the body of work.

[Lists everything on his Hugo ballot.]


270 thoughts on “Atlas Barked 7/4

  1. My brother is the baker in the family; he started in high school with cookies, then cakes, and he makes three pies for Thanksgiving dinner (apple, pumpkin and something else.) The ‘old family recipe’ pie is lemon cake pie, which has less milk and more flour than the lemon pudding pie that turns up so often on the web, so doesn’t have a ‘pudding’ layer. My father’s mother made lemon meringue pie, and once a green-tomato pie (it tastes very much like mince, but is vegetarian).

  2. A key to good apple pie (as opposed to “something made with apples which could have been used better”) is using the right varieties of apples. I always use at least two varieties, sometimes more, and I almost always start with one or two Granny Smith apples. Also important is using the right amount of sugar, which usually means making sure not to use too much.

  3. I couldn’t resist finishing the last remaining piece of peach pie yesterday evening, so I was unable to have a Yankee breakfast this morning. I like pecan pies, but not to the level of

    Pecan always pecan PECAN ALL THE WAY

    and I don’t make them as much as I’d like, because my community for whose monthly potlucks I make pies has a few people with nut allergies.
    Another pie I like, which I’ve only made a couple of times, and never seen except for the ones I’ve made, is “shaker lemon pie”, which is made with paper-thin slices of lemon, with the peels on. I’ve never gotten around to attempting a lemon meringue pie, except for once as a child helping my mother make one from a mix (and probably with a store-bought graham-cracker crust).
    I have a recipe for Concord grape pie that I’ve been wanting to try, but even though I live within walking distance (~10 miles) from the (still-growing, according to WIkipedia) original vine in Concord, Massachusetts, I’ve never yet managed to find fresh Concord grapes in the store. Their fairly short season of availability seems to start around the time I’m away for Worldcon, and then it’s the beginning of public school, and the Holidays, and by the time the holidays are over the grapes seem to be gone.

  4. My family’s secret to apple pie is to use two varieties of apples, one which disintegrates upon cooking and has a strong sweet flavor and one which holds its shape (and usually has a more tart flavor) and to COOK THE APPLES FIRST.

    Apple varieties are usually Jonathan for the first type and Granny Smith for the second. Golden Delicious are also good for the second type.

  5. Cooking the apples first is heresy. Begone.

    (I don’t think I’ve tried Jonathans in a pie. Usually starting with Granny Smiths, I mix Cortlands, sometimes Golden Delicious. Occasionally Gala or Empire, and maybe one Macintosh).

  6. Cooking the apples first saves one from the dread top crust collapse. I bear no ill-will towards those who prefer not to cook first.

  7. Honestly, I’ve had really good apple pie, I just don’t like it. I also don’t like anything else which is sweet and involves cooked apples – but cooked apples with savoury food works fine for me, and fresh apples are one of my favourite snacks. Tastebuds are weird and do not act logically.

    Avoiding pecans for allergy reasons (your own or someone else’s) is totally legit and I wouldn’t want to eat pecan pie around people for whom it would cause problems however much I like it.

  8. Pecan pie also, while being totally yummy, is basically a solid slab of sugar and saturated fat. The filling, when I make it, is mostly just butter, eggs, and corn syrup. Not something you want to let your cardiologist know you’re eating.

  9. OK, I’ll bite: Hough Bakeries (now defunct) in Cleveland used to make a white cake with dense white buttercream icing. Nothing else has ever come close.

  10. When I do make pecan pie (around Thanksgiving or Christmas) I use a variation from the King Arthur Flour cookbook that replaces the corn syrup with maple syrup. Which doesn’t change the whole “slab of sugar and saturated fat” thing, but …

  11. Morris, I’ve only seen one store in California that had Concords, and they were sold in half-pound containers. It’s easier to find someone with a vine. (Which is why I have the beginning of grape pie-filling in the freezer. I just need an occasion to finish it.)

  12. I figure that it ought to be easier to find Concord grapes near Concord than in California (as I said, I’m within walking distance of the original vine), and with some excellent produce sections, farm stands, and farmers’ markets in the area. I think it’s mostly a matter of knowing when to look.
    My favorite (and popular, when I make it) variation on pecan pie is a Maple Pumpkin Pecan Pie, which someone on a Usenet food newsgroup (probably modified from a recipe by Libby. Canned pumpkin puree instead of the butter, and the only non-dairy pumpkin pie recipe I know.

  13. Lemon and Lime Tart

    1 tart shell, baked blind
    340g/12oz caster sugar
    8 large free-range eggs
    350ml/12fl oz double cream
    200ml/7.5fl oz lime juice
    100ml/3.75fl oz lemon juice

    To bake the tart shell blind:
    bake the empty tart shell for around 12 minutes at 180C/350F/Gas 4

    With this particular tart, as it has a moist filling, it’s important to egg wash the uncooked tart shell before adding the filling. This adds a sort of water-proof layer and keeps the pastry crisp and short for longer.

    Bake your tart shell blind.

    Whisk together the sugar and eggs in a bowl. When they are well mixed, slowly stir in the cream and the juices. Put the cooked tart shell back into the oven and then pour the filling into it – I find this reduces spillage. Bake for around 40-45 minutes at 180’C/350”F/gas 4 or until the filling is set but still semi-wobbly in the middle (obviously different ovens will cook at a different rate so it is good for you to try this tart a couple of times to gauge exactly when you should take it out of the oven).

    After cooling for an hour, the semi-wobbly filling will have firmed up to the perfect consistency; soft and smooth. If you cut it before it has had time to rest it will pour out or be extremely gooey.

    You can dust it with a little icing sugar, if you wish. Serve with a huge pile of fresh raspberries or strawberries. Whatever you decide to serve it with should be quite simple so that you let the tart do the talking.

    I’m afraid I don’t have my banana cake recipe to hand (or the particular tart shell recipe that goes with this – but any sweet shortcrust pastry ought to be fine), but I thought citrus lovers might like this one. 🙂 Lactose intolerant people and those with allergies to any of the ingredients: I’m sorry. 🙁 I haven’t got anything more suitable for you imported into my recipe app yet, at least not that I’ve had a chance to test.

  14. @Peace,

    (As an important irony, it would appear that “Sweet Home Alabama” was originally intended as a sort of #NotAllSouthernMen. It is frequently the case that when well-meaning people ignore injustice in order to protest the *tone* of the *criticism* of injustice, they are often used as a cover for and celebration of that injustice.)

    THANK YOU. You express much more clearly and elegantly what I’ve been sputtering about whenever some apologist is all, “But Lynard Skynard meant it to be the OPPOSITE of racist, so THERE!”

    Cannot stand that song. Am not much fond of most of the LS oeuvre, honestly, but SHA is the one I change the channel away from, and/or walk away from the cover band performance. Especially the latter; whatever LS intended, the song seems to attract a non-zero amount of wanna-be KKK members triumphantly pumping their fists in the audience.

  15. As with most pop music, I’ve never bothered listening to the lyrics of “Sweet Home Alabama”, but when accidentally within range of a radio playing pop music, I’ve found what I’ve noticed of the song to be inoffensive bland country-pop. But I have absolutely no knowledge (other than what I’ve read here recently) of any cultural context for it. (My general knowledge of pop music lyrics is very similar to Arlo’s in Sunday’s “Arlo and Janis”.)

  16. I’ve never had the problem of top crust collapse. Sometimes an empty space under the dome, but never a collapse. If you pre-cook the apples, how do you then avoid an overcooked filling when baking the pie?

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