Twitter Pitches Third Strike at Jon Del Arroz

Jon Del Arroz’ @Rislandiabooks Twitter account has bitten the dust, suspended only a matter of days after launching. Previously, it took months of people reporting his @JonDelArroz (“Jon Del Arroz Permabanned from Twitter”) and then his @LeadingHispanic (“JDA Out of GAMA, Suspended by Twitter”) accounts before Twitter acted on JDA’s violations of the service’s rules against “hateful conduct.”

Someone has even made a watch-it-played style video of them reporting JDA’s latest account to Twitter.

Of course, this is whack-a-mole, not baseball. When his @LeadingHispanic account was shuttered, JDA was back with @Rislandiabooks five days later. The third account started out by pretending to be run by one of his friends, however, he could never remember not to use the first person when tweeting the usual links to his crowdfunding appeals, comics, books, and misogynistic BS. So if JDA pops up again it won’t come as a surprise.

Blyly Issues Progress Report on Uncle Hugo’s New Building

2716 E. 31st Street, Minneapolis (The Google maps photo.)

Don Blyly told readers today in the Friday the 13th edition of his How’s Business newsletter what he’s doing to prepare the 2716 E. 31st St. building to become the new home for Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores. Two years have passed since the bookstores’ old location was burned by vandals in 2020.

Don Blyly

He closed on the new building a month ago. The first order of business was to clear the floor of some residual pipes.

Once the former business moved everything out, I saw that they had removed a couple of industrial sinks but left drain pipes and water pipes sticking up through the floor and that water leaks had damaged the floor under the sinks. It took calls to 3 plumbing companies, and a second call to the plumber I had used for the Uncles in the old location, before I could get a plumber to come out.  But the plumbing work was completed a couple of weeks after closing.

Then the wooden floor needed to be repaired, sanded, stained, sealed, and varnished.  Blyly called three flooring companies. The first two didn’t follow through with the promised proposals. Finally, one came in and did what was needed.

…A third company came up with a proposal that I agreed to, but then ignored what was in the proposal when doing the job.  But the workmen who actually did the work did a good job that I am happy with, even if it was not what was in the proposal.  But the fumes from the finished floor made my eyes water for days afterwards, and I had to wait for the floor to finish curing before I could move any furniture onto it.  After weeks, the fumes are still bad enough that I haven’t taken Ecko to the new store yet.

A critical requirement for a bookstore is, of course, bookshelves, and Blyly is working on that now.

When all the former business’ stuff was gone, I was able to plan the layout of the bookshelves more carefully.  There were many, many electrical outlets sticking out from the walls too far for me to put shelves where I wanted them, there were electrical outlets dangling from the ceiling, there was one outlet and switch that need moved, and a new outlet box needed added to the office.  It took a couple of days, but all that work has now been done.

About a week ago a truckload of lumber was delivered for new bookshelves, and work has begun on the new shelves.

Several people have offered to donate bookshelves, but in most cases that requires me to rent a truck and transport the shelves.  I hope to be able to start doing that next week, now that the floor has dried enough for it to be safe to place bookshelves on the fresh varnish.

Getting an internet connection for the new location has also been a challenge.

When I added internet to the old location last century sometime, I called Comcast and they ran cable from the telephone pole across the alley to the back of the building within a couple of days.  Since Lake Street has been the main east-west business corridor between downtown and the southern edge of the city for over a century, I thought that getting an internet connection a block south of Lake Street would be as easy as it had been to get a connection a block north of Lake Street. I was wrong.

Comcast first told me that they weren’t sure if it would be possible for them to provide an internet connection for the new building.  A worker came out to the building to see if it was possible, and I pointed out the telephone pole across the alley and the back of the building and I pointed out the best spot for the cable to enter the back of the building.  He pointed out that there was not yet a box on the telephone pole to connect the cable to, and that it would take about a month to get the box installed on the pole.  Wednesday of last week I received an e-mail that the box had been installed and Comcast would be contacting me shortly to schedule an appointment to run the cable.  The cable installation will be early next week.

Here’s why the internet connection is essential:

I’ve had discussions with the point-of-sale system company about what I want for the new computer network.  After they ship the system, they will need an internet connection to set up the system, not to mention running charge transactions, placing book orders, etc.  At the old location, the system ran on a network of ethernet 5 cables, and the previous business at the new location ran his system on a network of ethernet 5 cables.  But the vendor tells me that the system has changed enough over the last couple of years that I will have to replace all the ethernet 5 cables with ethernet 6 cables.  I waited until Comcast gave me a date for the internet connection before I ordered the new computer system, but it is now on order.

In the meantime, Blyly is selling books:

Late in April I received the shipment of signed copies of Fair Trade (Liaden #24) by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, and it took all the free time I could find for 9 days to ship out all but 1 of the advance orders for the book (still waiting for a response to my e-mail question for that last order), and fresh orders are still coming in.

Between shipping books and working on the new building, it feels as if it has taken far too long to get all of the Tolkien-related books added to Abebooks.  But I hope that within another week I’ll be able to get to listing the Jack Vance books, although I have a lot of Harry Turtledove books to get through first.  I don’t think I’ll get through the entire alphabet before I have to start moving the library to the new building.

[Thanks to Paul Weimer for the story.]

James L. Sutter and Cat Rambo Online Class Offered as Fundraiser for Reproductive Rights

Improving the Real World while Building Imaginary Ones – James L. Sutter and the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers co-sponsor fundraiser for reproductive rights

Across the country, creatives are working to protect besieged reproductive rights. When co-creator of Pathfinder and Starfinder James L. Sutter proposed donating the proceeds from his online workshop to the cause, Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers founder Cat Rambo said yes immediately – and offered to match his offer. 

“Like a lot of folks,” Sutter said, “I was gutted by the recent SCOTUS news, and looking for ways to help. Turning the worldbuilding class into a fundraiser felt like a natural choice. Students can improve their writing and game-design skills while also supporting organizations fighting for justice. Everybody wins.”

All of the proceeds from the upcoming online workshop, “High-Speed Worldbuilding for Games and Fiction” will be split between Planned Parenthood and NARAL. The two-part workshop happens May 14 and 15, 2022, in two two-hour sessions, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Pacific. Sign-up details can be found at here. The cost is $199. Several free need-based scholarships are available.

Easy tricks and tips to help you build unique worlds, cultures, and creatures for your games and stories—all in just a few minutes!

As co-creator of the Pathfinder and Starfinder Roleplaying Games, James L. Sutter has created countless award-winning fantasy and science fiction settings for games and fiction, ranging from monster-haunted metropolises to entire solar systems. But building worlds on a deadline means you can’t sit around waiting for inspiration. In this two-session, hands-on workshop, James will reveal everything he’s learned over 14 years in the game industry about how to quickly and easily generate compelling settings for your stories or games—even when you’re out of ideas. Learn his secrets for creating unique, fantastical new worlds that surprise and inspire your players, your readers—and yourself!


The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers has been in existence for over a decade under the leadership of award-winning fantasy and science fiction writer Cat Rambo, serving up live and on-demand online workshops from F&SF luminaries such as Ann Leckie, Henry Lien, Seanan McGuire, and Fran Wilde along with a virtual campus hosting events, discussion, and a lively and supportive community of writers. More information is available at the website.

[Based on a press release.]

JDA Out of GAMA, Suspended by Twitter

Jon Del Arroz said today in a video that the Games Manufacturers Association – a group for tabletop game publishers – “suspended me for hate speech and bullying, now they’ve fully removed me from the group under false pretenses, and they’ve also engaged an attorney on the matter.” Del Arroz confirms he has been removed from both the Facebook group and GAMA and adds, “I’ve forwarded the matter to my attorney who has handled the Worldcon suit and we are working on it.”

Del Arroz joined GAMA and introduced himself in its private Facebook group on May 4. Rodney Smith of Watch It Played (YouTube) protested his admission to the organization and wrote a comment about JDA’s track record of harassment. After an FB group moderator deleted Smith’s comment he tweeted a copy of it, making the situation public knowledge.

GAMA pointed members to their Code of Conduct and the form to be used in reporting violations. Several people tweeted that they were going to fill out the form and submit it. GAMA initially announced that Del Arroz was suspended from the FB group for 28 days. They have not yet made a statement about his removal from the organization.

Also today, Twitter suspended JDA’s @leadinghispanic account.

Last August his @jondelarroz account was permabanned from Twitter. But he soon popped up again as @leadinghispanic, another transparently JDA-written account. As the months passed many complaints were lodged with Twitter about the evasion of the ban and for the content of some of @leadinghispanic’s tweets without effect. It is unknown why Twitter decided to act today.

Del Arroz still has an active Facebook account at this writing, however, after his Twitter suspension he told FB followers:

Several GAMA Members Protest Addition of Jon Del Arroz to Organization

Jon Del Arroz has apparently joined the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA.org – a group for tabletop game publishers), and it’s already causing dissent.

Rodney Smith of Watch It Played, a YouTube game reviewer, wrote a comment to the private GAMA Member Facebook group to acquaint them with JDA’s track record but the moderators immediately took it down. Therefore, he reposted it to Twitter along with a copy of Jon Del Arroz’ self-introduction.

Del Arroz says he’s working with The Gaming Goat (TGG), a publisher whose CEO Jeff Bergen has several times been embroiled in controversy. For example, last year in a Board Game Geek forum over 1500 posts were made after TGG advertised the availability of a Tournament Fishing Rulebook in an ad that included a prominent image of a frog making the okay hand gesture, accused of being a right-wing dogwhistle combining the gesture with Pepe the Frog, another figure in alt-right memes.   

Rodney Smith also said:

GAMA answered on Twitter, and was engaged by another writer.

Will GAMA take action?

Meanwhile, JDA is, as usual, enjoying the attention.

Incidentally, GAMA runs Origins Game Fair, which made news in 2018 when its previous Executive Director John Ward withdrew the event’s invitation for Larry Correia to be one of its guests of honor after the announcement was met with numerous protests: “Origins Game Fair Drops Larry Correia as Guest”.

Update: GAMA subsequently announced a suspension of JDA’s account.

GAMA member Eric Lang also had thoughtful comments. Thread starts here.

USPS Will Feature Webb Telescope, Peanuts on Stamps for 2022

The U.S. Postal Service today announced additions to the 2022 stamp program, including a stamp that celebrates the James Webb Space Telescope, and a sheet of stamps of various Peanuts characters to commemorate the centennial of Charles M. Schulz’ birth.

Shown below are preliminary designs. Issue dates and locations will be announced later.

James Webb Space Telescope

Celebrate NASA’s remarkable James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most complex telescope ever deployed in space—capable of peering directly into the early cosmos and studying every phase of cosmic history. Launched on Dec. 25, 2021, Webb now orbits the Sun about a million miles away from Earth.

The image on the stamp is an artist’s digitally created depiction of the telescope against a dazzling starscape. The selvage photograph of a star and distant space was taken by Webb early in its mission, brilliantly confirming the perfect alignment of the telescope’s 18 mirror segments.

Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp using existing art by James Vaughan and an image provided by NASA/Space Telescope Science Institute.

Charles M. Schulz

U.S. Postal Service Reveals More Stamps for 2022. Peanuts, Holidays and Space Exploration Featured.

New stamps salute the centennial of cartoonist Charles M. Schulz (1922–2000) whose “Peanuts” characters are some of the best known and most beloved in all of American culture. For five decades, Schulz alone wrote and drew nearly 18,000 strips, the last one published the day after he died. Each character reflects Schulz’s rich imagination and great humanity. His resonant stories found humor in life’s painful realities including rejection, insecurity and unrequited love.

In a celebratory mode, characters from “Peanuts” adorn 10 designs on this pane of 20 stamps and form a frame around a 1987 photograph of Schulz.

Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps from Schulz’s artwork and an existing photograph by Douglas Kirkland.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

Bob Madle Seeking Stolen Fanzines Published by Superman Creators

[Editor’s Note: The following message from Bob Madle was co-authored with his daughter, Jane.  She approved it being shared with fan groups who might be able to assist. The announcement concerns his copies of the five issues of Science Fiction, a mimeographed fanzine published by Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster beginning in October 1932. You may recall that Madle, now 101 years old, is the fan who named The Hugos.]


An Important Message from Bob Madle

PLEASE BE ON THE LOOKOUT!

We are searching for my copies of “Science Fiction” Fanzine #1-5 (1932-33), Jerry Siegel – Editor.  Issue #3 contains the first appearance of Superman

Hello to My Friends in Fandom:

I recently discovered that many of my fanzines from the 30s and 40s, including all five issues of “Science Fiction” had been stolen from my collection.  The theft occurred sometime prior to the start of the pandemic – before March 2020.  

I’m attempting to track down the “Science Fiction” fanzines since these are so rare and any sale would be notable.  if you hear of a set for sale or are contacted about them, please let me know.

As most of you know, these are extremely rare; there are only a few copies in existence.  This is a very special item and means a lot to me, so again, I would appreciate it if you hear anything about a sale or purchase of them, please contact me.

Thanks,

Bob Madle
301-460-4712
bobmadlebooks@gmail.com


[Thanks to John L. Coker III for relaying the message.]

Blyly Closes on Uncle Hugo’s New Building

2716 E. 31st Street, Minneapolis (The Google maps photo.)
Don Blyly

Don Blyly has closed on his new location for Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores. He told readers today in the “Not an April Fools edition” of his How’s Business newsletter that the 2716 E. 31st St. building is about two miles east of the former location. He may be able to open in June. Two years have passed since his bookstores were burned by vandals in 2020

His resources to buy the property, in addition to insurance and a Gofundme appeal, included a recently awarded grant from the Lake Street Council of Minneapolis.  

Lake Street Council was offering grants to businesses that were harmed by the 2020 riots, so I applied for the maximum amount I could qualify for.  They decided to give me a little over half of what I asked for, which was still a very useful amount of money.  I didn’t expect a decision on the grant request to be processed before the closing, but they pushed it through more rapidly than I expected and the money was available for the closing.  

Blyly has a long to-do list for the new premises.

Now I have to get a contractor to come in to sand, stain, and seal the wooden floors.  After the floors are finished, it will be time to start building, buying, and moving book shelves.  After the book shelves are positioned, some lights will need to be moved and all of them will be converted to LED.  After some of the book shelves are in place, all the books from my house and the storage locker can move to the store, get sorted, and some placed on the shelves and some moved to the basement (where I will need more shelves for the overstock used books).   

He also has a lot of work to do replenishing his inventory.

And somewhere along the line I’ll need to order new books for the store.  I’ve gone through the records for about 21,000 books that were listed in our computer from the old Uncles, figuring out which ones to re-order and how many of each.  But I haven’t yet started entering the titles that came out since May, 2020, and that will take quite a while.

There will be an almost-complete turnover among his employees. When the time comes Blyly will be looking for more help.

So far only one of the old Uncles employees has expressed an interest in getting her old job back.  A couple more have volunteered to help get the store ready to open, but don’t want to go back to dealing with customers once the Uncles are ready to open to the public again.  And I know a couple of others won’t be coming back.  So I will be looking for new employees who know science fiction, fantasy and/or mysteries before we open, but I’m not sure yet when we will be opening.    I hope sometime in June, but that depends on a lot of factors.

Meanwhile, to stay in touch, Blyly asks people to sign up for his mailing list rather than rely on Facebook, which may not be keeping his account online much longer (due to seemingly unfathomable problems that have flagged it as a “gray account”.)

We still don’t know whether or not Facebook will destroy the account on April 3.  If you have been using Facebook for updates on the Uncles, I urge you to go to UncleHugo.com and sign up for the Uncles Announcements mailing list ( http://www.unclehugo.com/prod/mailTo.shtml ) so that you can be sure of receiving future news announcements.

Patreon Bans Jon Del Arroz for Hate Speech Violation

Jon Del Arroz announced to his YouTube audience today that “Patreon Just Banned YOUR Favorite LATINX Author!”

Previously, his Patreon page looked like this:

Now it looks like this:

Del Arroz showed a screenshot of a letter from Patreon which told him:

My name is Magda, and I’m on the Trust & Safety team here at Patreon. I want to let you know that your creator page has been removed for violating our Community Guidelines concerning Hate Speech.

While diverse viewpoints are welcomed, there is no room on Patreon for creators who promote sentiments of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Our guidelines state that creators who violate the Hate Speech section may be banned from using Patreon.

I have attached a CSV file with your patrons’ information. I have also paid your remaining account balance of $0.00 to your current payout method. …

The Community Guidelines refer to projects on Patreon, therefore the Hate Speech violation must have involved material Del Arroz posted there. It is not known whether the item was visible to the public or only to his patrons.

It also remains to be seen whether Patreon’s ban will be permanent. The Patreon Help Center says he has 72 hours to appeal their decision. There is also the potential for reinstatement, being given permission to start a new page, after Patreon reviews “both your new projects and your online presence as a whole.”

And that’s just going by the rules, a limitation Del Arroz rejected when he was permabanned from Twitter last August. He soon reappeared using a new account — @LeadingHispanic. Twitter has proven deaf to every effort to bring the charade to their attention.

HWA Condemns Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The Horror Writers Association issued a statement “On The Conflict In Ukraine” through the HWA Blog on March 5.

The HWA condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We stand for democracy. We stand for truth. We stand for freedom of speech and freedom of the press. We support the people of Ukraine, including authors, editors, and journalists, as well as the people of Russia who are bravely protesting this attack. We hope to see a swift end to this senseless act of war.