Pixel Scroll 1/23/19 I Should Be Writing But I’m Sitting Home Watching Pixels Scroll

(1) PAGING MR. WIRE, MR. GUY WIRE. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] SpaceX had a little oopsie when one of their rockets fall-down-go-boom. Well, not so much “boom” as “crunch.” The Verge has the story (“SpaceX’s new test rocket topples over thanks to strong Texas winds”).

A prototype of SpaceX’s next big rocket fell over and sustained damage in south Texas, thanks to high winds in the area. Images from SpaceX’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas show part of the vehicle sideways on the ground and slightly crumpled. The damage from the mishap will take a few weeks to repair, according to CEO Elon Musk.

Since the holidays, SpaceX engineers in south Texas have been building a prototype of the company’s new Starship rocket. Formerly known as the BFR, the Starship is the next-generation vehicle that SpaceX is developing to transport cargo and people to orbit, as well as to the Moon, Mars, and maybe even beyond. The full system actually consists of two big components: a large rocket booster, named Super Heavy, which will launch a crew-carrying spacecraft — the Starship — into space.

(2) BETTER WORLDS. Cadwell Turnbull’s “Monsters Come Howling in Their Season” is the latest story in the “Better Worlds” series from The Verge.

Listen to the audio adaptation of “Monsters Come Howling in Their Season” below or in Apple PodcastsPocket Casts, or Spotify.

(3) IN THE YEAR 2054. On January 30, The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination presents Freeman Dyson and Gregory Benford discussing the topic “Foreseeing the Next 35 Years–Where Will We Be in 2054?”

Gregory Benford and Freeman Dyson

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
4:00 – 5:30 p.m. 
Roth Auditorium, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine 
UC San Diego

This event is free and open to the public; RSVP required.

35 years after George Orwell wrote the prescient novel 1984, Isaac Asimov looked ahead another 35 years to 2019 to predict the future of nuclear war, computerization, and the utilization of space. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination and the Division of Physical Sciences are honored to welcome two living luminaries in the fields of physics and futurism–Freeman Dyson and Gregory Benford (Ph.D. ’67)–to peer ahead another 35 years, to 2054, and share their insights into what may be in store for us.

Professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study, Freeman Dyson is an English-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician….

Gregory Benford is a physicist, educator, author, and UC San Diego alumnus (MS ’65, PhD ’67)…. A two-time winner of the Nebula Award, Benford has also won the John W. Campbell Award, the British Science Fiction Award, the Australian Ditmar Award, the 1990 United Nations Medal in Literature, and the Robert A. Heinlein Award.

(4) RSR ARTIST RESOURCE. Rocket Stack Rank has posted itsannual page that highlights work by over 100 professional artists who are eligible for the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist. “2019 Professional Artists”. Eric Wong says —

It complements JJ’s Best Professional Artist Hugo: Eligible Works from 2018 page because only 19 artists overlap, meaning 24 are unique to JJ’s list and 83 are unique to RSR’s.

It takes about a minute to browse the thumbnails on the page, or 5-10 minutes to view all 300+ large images one by one with just a key press or screen tap each (no need to close tabs or hit the back key for the next one) thanks to the “lightbox” view. Creating a shortlist of ones you like is also easy by control-clicking or long pressing the artists’ name in the lightbox. Moreover, we’ve included links to the artists’ websites and search links to find artist interviews. If an image makes you curious about the book/magazine/story, there’s a link for that, too. 🙂

Performance-wise, the page is fine on phones and tablets because it’s a bit smaller and loads a bit faster than the File 770 home page (about 5 MB, under 2 seconds). If you view all 300+ large images in the lightbox, about 40 MB will be downloaded by the time you reach the end.

(5) SFWA STORYBUNDLE. The SFWA Fantasy Bundle curated by Terry Mixon is available from Storybundle for about another three weeks. Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Pay what you want!

For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of five books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE.

  • The Twenty-Sided Sorceress – Books 1-3 by Annie Bellet
  • Ashwin by Kit Rocha
  • Blade & Rose by Miranda Honfleur
  • Amaskan’s Blood by Raven Oak
  • Genrenauts – The Complete Season One by Michael R. Underwood

You choose how much you want to pay for these awesome books. (Click on each book above to check them out.) You decide how much of your purchase goes to the author and how much goes to help keep StoryBundle running. If your purchase price is $15 or more, you get SEVEN more books: Radiance by Grace Draven, The Arrows of the Heart by Jeffe Kennedy, The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher, Blood Dragon – Books 1-3 by Lindsay Buroker, Al-Kabar by Lee French, The Glass Gargoyle by Marie Andreas and Catching Echoes – Reconstructionist Series Book 1 by Meghan Ciana Doidge!

(6) LE GUIN ON SCREEN. Eileen Gunn has been to see the Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin documentary and paid it some compliments on Facebook:

“Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin,” a film by Arwen Curry, opened today in Seattle, exactly a year since Ursula died. John and I went to the first showing. It’s quite a wonderful film, lots of voiceovers by Ursula, lots of photos of Ursula, a few talking heads, and a number of interesting special effects. I was pleased to see Vonda N McIntyre there, in the film, and surprised to see a clip of Nisi Shawl and myself chatting with Ursula in an episode of our short-lived cable talk show, produced by Vonda. (I mean, we had all given our permission, but I had forgotten.) It was lovely to hear her voice again.

(7) WHAT I TELL YOU THREE TIMES IS TRUE. Andrew Liptak’s new Wordplay has as its anchor a segment titled, “Tolkien, Tolkien, Tolkien”.

…As I’ve been somewhat immersed in Tolkien’s lore, I’ve been thinking about what the future of Tolkien’s legacy might be. Clearly, there are huge Hollywood ambitious with it. Amazon is spinning up a fantastically expensive show that’s not *quite* an adaptation of LOTR, but which is said to follow Aragorn before the trilogy, which would be… interesting. It’s also supposedly set in Jackson’s particular vision of Middle-earth, which would make sense, given that that’s what the general public is most familiar with. After all, Guillermo del Toro apparently got the ax by deviating too much from Jackson’s world when he went to adapt The Hobbit.

Adapting Middle-earth is a huge challenge, and looking back on Jackson’s efforts on the first trilogy shows just how well they nailed it — Tolkien purists be damned — balancing the need for something accessible while getting the right tone of the world *right*.

(8) WHO LIVES UP TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS? [Item by Mike Kennedy.]Buzzfeed has a list of Twitter posts for “15 Times Meeting A Celeb Lived Up To Our Expectations,” and several of the named celebrities have genre ties. Carie Fisher appears on the list twice. Also on the list: Harrison Ford, Pierce Brosnan, George Takei, and Guillermo Del Toro.

Over the weekend, Twitter user Doug Tilley asked his followers to share stories about meeting their heroes and having the interaction live up to the hype: The thread quickly went viral, with people from all over sharing their heartwarming exchanges with celebs. The thread starts here.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 23, 1939 Greg and Tim Hildebrandt. Greg is age 80, but Tim passed in 2006. I’d say best known for their very popular and ubiquitous Lord of the Rings calendar illustrations, also for illustrating comics for Marvel Comics and DC Comics. They also did a lot of genre covers so I went to ISFDB and checked to see if I recognized any. I certainly did. There was Zelazny’s cover of My Name is Legion, Tolkien’s Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham and Poul Anderson’s A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows. Nice.
  • Born January 23, 1943 Gil Gerard, 76. Captain William “Buck” Rogers in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which I fondly remember as a really a truly great SF series even if it really wasn’t that great. He also shows up in the very short lived E.A.R.T.H. Force as Dr. John Harding, and he’s General Morgenstern in Reptisaurus, a movie title that proves someone had a serious lack of imagination that day. In Bone Eater, a monster film that Bruce Boxleitner also shows up in as Sheriff Steve Evans, he plays Big Jim Burns, the Big Bad. Lastly, I’d like to note that he got to play Admiral Sheehan in the “Kitumba” episode of fan created Star Trek: New Voyages.
  • Born January 23, 1944 Rutger Hauer, 75. Roy Batty In Blade Runner of course but did you know he was Lothos In Buffy the Vampire Slayer? That I’d forgotten. He’s also William Earle in Batman Begins, Count Dracula himself in Dracula III: Legacy, Captain Etienne Navarre in Ladyhawke, the vey evil John Ryder in The Hitcher, Abraham Van Helsing in Dracula 3D, King Zakour in, and no I didn’t know they’d done this film, The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power and finally let’s note his involvement in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets as President of the World State Federation.
  • Born January 23, 1950 Richard Dean Anderson, 69. Unless you count MacGyver as genre which I can say is open to debate, his main and rather enduring SF role was as Jack O’Neill in the many Stargate Universe series. Well Stargate SG-1 really as he only briefly showed up on Stargate Universe and Stargate Atlantis whereas he did one hundred and seventy-three episodes of SG-1. Wow. Now his only other SF role lasted, err, twelve episodes in which he played Enerst Pratt alias Nicodemus Legend in the most excellent Legend co-starring John de Lancie. Yeah, I really liked it.
  • Born January 23, 1964 Mariska Hargitay, 55. Did you know she’s the daughter of Jayne Mansfield? I certainly didn’t. Her first film appearance was as Donna in Ghoulies which is a seriously fun film. Later genre creds are limited but include playing Marsha Wildmon in the Freddy’s Nightmares – A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series. She also plays Myra Okubo in the Lake Placid film and voices Tenar in the not very good, indeed truly awful, Tales from Earthsea.


(11) DR. DEMENTO. The LA Times interviews the Doctor about a huge tribute album that’s just been released: “Dr. Demento, comedic song hero and unsung punk rock legend, gets his due on new album”.

The punk connection takes center stage with “Dr. Demento Covered in Punk,” an exceedingly ambitious and densely packed double album — triple in the vinyl edition — being released Jan. 12.

The album comprises 64 tracks spread over a pair of CDs, pulling together new recordings of “mad music and crazy comedy” songs long associated with the quirky radio emcee. Participants include Yankovic, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, William Shatner, Adam West, the Vandals, Fred Schneider of the B-52’s, the Misfits, Japan’s Shonen Knife, Los Straitjackets, Missing Persons, the Dead Milkmen and at least a dozen more.

“I was always a fan of rock ‘n’ roll, and some of the early punk music of the ‘60s with groups like the Music Machine,” Hansen, 76, said in the cozy living room of his home in Lakewood, where he also records his shows that now reach listeners through subscriptions by way of his official website.

“So when the new punk rock showed up around 1976 and 1977, I played a few samples on my show,” he said. Hansen graduated as a classical music major from Reed College in Portland, Ore., and subsequently earned his master’s degree in folk music studies from UCLA.

“I got the Ramones’ first album and played several of those songs, including ‘Beat on the Brat,’ the song Weird Al did for this album,” said Hansen, who has been inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, the Comedy Hall of Fame and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

(12) WORKAROUND. Now I Know calls it “A Fine Way to Encourage Reading”. Daniel Dern says, “I’d call ’em ‘BookBuster’.”

Imagine a bookstore that worked on a membership program — instead of buying books, you rented them. …Seems like a fancy Internetty startup? Nope. It’s your local library….

…And let’s face it, many kids with fines don’t have to have those conversations with their parents — they can avoid the fine simply by avoiding taking other books the library. (And at that point, the library is going to suspend their borrowing privileges anyway.) The result is a lose-lose situation: the kids read less and the library doesn’t get that $10 anyway.

So, the Los Angeles County library system fixed it. They call it the “Great Read Away.”

Cardholders under the age of 21 have a new way to pay their fines through the program, no money required. All they need to do is come to the library and read. For every hour of reading, the library system will forgive $5 worth of fines. And it needn’t be a book, either — magazines, newspapers, and comic books count. (Listening to audiobooks or watching movies based on novels does not, however.) Parents and caregivers can read to children to help the kids pay off the debt (but only the kids’ debt), and for those kids who don’t have the stamina to read for an hour, the librarians can give pro-rated credit.

(13) DOGGING IT. A federal worker I know spotted this clip while he was canvassing for jobs — Wienermobile drivers wanted:

Processed meats purveyor Oscar Meyer announced it is seeking a qualified “Hotdogger” to be the next driver of the famed Wienermobile.

The hot dog company said it is accepting applications until Jan. 31 to be the newest “Hotdogger,” Oscar Meyer’s term for Wienermobile drivers.

The job, which begins in June, would involve driving the iconic sausage across the United States, visiting locations including stores, military bases and charity events.

Did you know this job requires a four-year degree? Don’t ask me why.

(14) WELL-USED TECH.  “Facial recognition tool tackles illegal chimp trade”.

Wildlife criminals had better watch out! The same software that recognises you in a friend’s social media post is being adapted to tackle the illegal trade in chimpanzees.

The amber eyes in the image above belong to Manno, who was trafficked from Africa to Syria before being rescued.

Pictures of Mano are now being used to train the algorithm that could help save members of his endangered species from the same experience. It’s a first for chimpanzee conservation.

The algorithm will search through photo posts on social media looking for the faces of rescued apes.

If the technology recognises a trafficked animal, the owners of the accounts featuring the chimp can then be targeted by the authorities.

(15) BCS SIPS. Charles Payseur’s latest short fiction reviews — “Quick Sips – Beneath Ceaseless Skies #269”.

The latest issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies has a lot to do with transformations, with the threat of revenge, and with the need for freedom. It finds characters who are caught in circumstances of waiting to be punished. To be found out. And trying to find a way free of the things hanging over them. Now, some of those things are no fault of their own and some of them…well, the characters aren’t always quite so innocent. But the piece looks at freedom and who can hope for it, and what it might cost. The stories deal with the weight of revenge and the feelings that can come when that weight is lifted and set down. To the reviews!

(16) DOES THAT BRAND NAME SOUND FAMILIAR? Eater reports “Furloughed Federal Workers Supposedly Surviving on Soylent Is So Very 2019”. I’m sure this is totally credible!  

It’s barely three-quarters of the way through January, and already a story has emerged that seems to perfectly encapsulate the early 2019 hellscape: According to a somewhat dubious Reddit post, two furloughed federal workers are subsisting solely on the Silicon Valley-born meal replacement known as Soylent so they can afford to feed their infant child.

Titling his post “Soylent has financially saved my family’s life amid the government shutdown,” the author thanks the company for offering a discount for affected federal employees, writing, “This has literally saved my family’s lives. I was in tears when I saw the [discount advertised] on their Instagram story.” Soylent is offering furloughed workers 35 percent off until the government resumes normal operations.

(17) IN JEOPARDY! Jeopardy! monitor Andrew Porter saw this come up on tonight’s show.

Answer: Dame Daphne Du Maurier’s works made into Hitchcock films include ‘Rebecca’ and this high-flying novelette.

Wrong question: What is “Vertigo”?

Correct question: What is “The Birds”?

(18) PERMISSION GRANTED. You know that thing about decluttering and how many books you should keep? Felipe Torres Medina of Points In Case says he heard it this way: “I’m Marie Fucking Kondo and You Can Keep All Your Fucking Books, You Ingrates”.

Hi, Marie Kondo here. Author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and host of the new Netflix show Tidying Up.

I know you guys are not used to listening to a small-framed Asian woman speak with authority, but I’m going to say this once and for all: You can keep all your fucking books, you ungrateful motherfuckers. All I wanted was to spark a little joy in your fucking miserable lives, which you’ve tried to make fulfilling by purchasing fucking stuff. But fuck me, I guess, for mentioning that I like to have only 30 books in my house.

See, the problem here is that some of you have interpreted my warm voice, bubbly attitude, and cheery disposition as a surefire sign that I will personally come to your home and build a bonfire out of your unread copies of those J. K. Rowling novels she wrote under a pseudonym that sounds like the name of a Hogwarts professor. Your ex-boyfriend gave you those for your anniversary three years ago. Had you ever mentioned wanting to read those books? Not really. But you did once tell your ex you were a Hufflepuff, so surely they must have some emotional value to you. What kind of fucking monster am I for suggesting you maybe consider donating those books to a local library or thrift shop? So yeah, go off. Enjoy the adventures of Cormoran Fucking Strike. Yeah, that’s the name of the main character. Buckle up, buddy…

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

Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

73 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/23/19 I Should Be Writing But I’m Sitting Home Watching Pixels Scroll

  1. (9) The thing the Hildebrandts did that I liked was a series of posters for schools, depicting fantasy versions of the lunchroom, study hall, and so on. Most of their other material didn’t sway me one way or the other: I didn’t dislike it, but it didn’t speak to me. Still and all, I always wished they’d have been chosen to illustrate an edition of Bored of the Rings (search doesn’t show one, nor does it reveal any of the school posters).

    Looking at a page of search results for them, I see they apparently dug Maxfield Parrish as much as I, and more power to them for their taste.


    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it is really NOT cool to include ineligible works on that page. Nominators should not be basing their decisions on anything but 2018 work.

    And as far as I can tell, only 19 of the 102 artists listed on that page actually have the three eligible 2018 works required to be eligible for the category, which is why the rest of them don’t have galleries on the Best Professional Artist Hugo: Eligible Works from 2018 page.

    This is so extremely inappropriate, presenting ineligible works for nominators to consider when drawing up their ballots. This does Hugo nominators a real disservice.

  3. (11) What? No edit window? Okay. Big fan of Dr. D., especially of the early days when he played existing recordings and not stuff people sent him. I recorded him off the air over KFML, and apparently got on the bandwagon pretty promptly. I recorded one show, listened to it for a week, and recorded the next week’s show over it. The one I recorded over it was his third syndicated program. I spent the intervening years wishing I still had the other program, which I finally re-acquired through the miracle of the Dementia web page. And we all wore onions on our belts, because it was the fashion then.

    ps: I don’t believe I’m the only one here who has to type in name, email, etc., every time… am I?

  4. (11) I listened to Dr. Demento every week for a few years in college.great stuff.

    @Kip: I think everyone does.

  5. Hey, Scroll Title credit! Yay!

    9) The city I live in Minnesota, Roseville, one of only two cities that touches both Minneapolis and St. Paul, was Richard Dean Anderson’s birthplace.

  6. (9). No SF/F authors? How about Walter Miller (1/23/1923 – 1/9/1996), who wrote A Canticle for Leibowitz. My high school American Lit teacher assigned this, the only genre work I was ever quizzed on in English or in American Lit (my German teacher did have us read “Jabberwocky” in German).

  7. @Kip Williams: the retyping was extensively discussed some time ago; IIRC it happened to pretty much everyone as a result of an interface (WordPress?) needing to comply with European privacy rules and not wanting to have to suss out where it or the writer was. OTOH, I don’t know whether it’s a browser property or something else, but if I type in the first letter I get a short menu of choices rather than having to type in the whole string. I suspect it’s Foxfire-related, as some of the choices are completely unrelated things I use this browser for, but it seems useful enough that other browsers should have it — maybe it’s not the default on yours?

  8. Pleasant celebrity encounters: I’ll skip SF authors, because growing up in fandom means the list is simply too long, but I once met Dr. Timothy Leary, and we ended up discussing Dune for about half an hour. He was a big fan (as was I).

    Ok, not exactly a hero of mine, but it was a surprisingly pleasant experience.

    I also enjoyed meeting Chuck Yeager when I did some brief work on the motion control systems used for The Right Stuff, and he’s a little closer to being a hero of mine, but it was a much more brief encounter.

  9. 18)
    I have to say that I’m very sick of this anti-anti Marie Kondo backlash. Of course, any racist comments about Ms. Kondo are completely inappropriate, as is calling her a monster. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot criticise Marie Kondo and the movement she represents. Is it unfair that the mnimalism and decluttering backlash focusses mainly on Marie Kondo? Probably. But then she is the most visible face of the minimalism and decluttering movement right now, so she gets the brunt of it. Besides, I’ve been hearing criticism of Marie Kondo for years before that Netflix show came out.

    That said, I hate the current minimalism fad and this whole decluttering movement, especially the anti-consumerist spin it’s being given. Because making you throw out things that are still useful (and some decluttering gurus want you to throw out anything you haven’t used in six months, which means a lot of seasonal items are caught up in this) means that you have to buy new ones next time you need them. It’s basically a way to get you to buy more stuff.

    If you feel the need to throw out things (and I feel that need on occasion, too) or if you like to live in minimalist homes, feel free to do so. Just let everybody else live the way they prefer.

  10. Chip Hitchcock: I type in the first letter and it fills two of the three blanks. Another blog I go to calls for the same info but doesn’t even do that much for me. I’ve gotten pretty good at typing “kipwblog.blogspot.com” now, as I do it several times every day.

    I remember the discussion. I was sort of hoping things might have changed.

  11. Ah, can’t edit, so I’ll just add it here:

    BTW, J.K. Rowling’s crime fiction pen name is Robert Galbraith. Cormoran Strike is the name of the protagonist. I only read the first book in the series, but it was pretty good.

  12. I’ve always loved Dr. Demento and hearing him perform live at the Reno Worldcon was a treat. Plus he brought us Weird Al Yankovic.

    Cora: Do the Germans still have this tradition that a couple of times a year they put stuff they don’t want on the street for other people to take? What’s that called? I agree with you that people ought to use their stuff until it’s worn out.

  13. (11) I listened to Dr. Demento every week for a few years in college.great stuff.

    @Kip: I think everyone does.

    I still do, thanks to drdemento.com. (He still produces a new show every week–the topic last Saturday was part 2 was his tribute to the old west.)

    I’ve been listening to him since 1978, and now have a collection of nearly 2600 shows (for many years, he also produced a second show, live on local radio in LA, and they’ve released recordings of many of those on drdemento.com in addition to the new weekly show).

    I’m surprised they did a story now about Covered in Punk–it’s been out for nearly a year.

    (We’re having lunch with him on Sunday, while he’s in Portland for his annual presentations at his alma mater, Reed College.)

  14. @Martin Wooster
    You probably mean Sperrmüll, which means large size trash, i.e. trash too big to fit a conventional trashcan. It’s not put out on the street for others to take, though people certainly do and no one minds. In fact, it’s put out on the street for the garbage truck to collect.

    There used to be special Sperrmüll dates when you could put out your large size trash. Nowadays, you call the garbage collection company and request a Sperrmüll collection. I think it’s free once a year.

    Of course, if someone has Sperrmüll out, more trash will accumulate, brought by neighbours who just happen to have a non-working TV or an old coffee table standing around. Useful objects will also vanish, taken by folks who still have a use for it.

    If you don’t want to throw your old furniture, etc… on the Sperrmüll, there also are so called social department stores to whom you can donate your stuff (provided it’s still good) and who will then refurbish it and sell it at a very low price (basically just to cover the cost) to poor people. There are also recycling centres for electronic trash, bicycles and the like. This is actually the option I favour, though Sperrmüll is more convenient and some stuff simply isn’t reusable.

  15. Around here (left coast US), we have a tradition of putting stuff you don’t want out on the street at any time, as long as you pull it back in within a couple of days if nobody else wants it.

    My town in particular is very supportive of this practice, because it has A. a large “starving student” population, and B. a large eco-warrior population. 🙂

  16. (9) For Rutger Hauer, I would surely include Blind Fury (1989), given his character Nick’s rather supernatural abilities. A most entertaining film.

  17. (4) Wow, I totally missed the requirement for three eligible works when a finalist accepts the nomination. Thanks for pointing that out, JJ.

    I’ll probably trim my list tomorrow, though I’m now really tempted to download ISFDB and run a custom query to generate the list of artists who did art for three or more books/magazines/stories in 2018 (especially since thumbnails come for free with most books in that database). Integrating ISFDB into RSR and calculating scores for all short fiction and novels from the past 30 years based on awards and year’s best anthologies is on my to-do list for later this year, but maybe I can set aside next week to try it with Pro Artists first. 🙂

  18. Here in much of New England, it’s also normal practice to put unwanted but potentially usable things out before trash day, to be taken by whoever wants them.

    In the communities I’ve lived in, if they are items that can be collected by the regular trash collectors if not taken by scavengers, it’s acceptable to leave them. If not, then you need to call the designated company for taking large things away.

    I once put out a washing machine and called the haulers of large trash. Then I had to call them back and cancel because, despite clear signage that it needed repairs I couldn’t afford, someone decided it was worth their trouble to haul away. Maybe they wanted it for parts, maybe they felt able to do the repairs.

  19. 9) There were so many cool movies that Rutger Hauer was part of. Wedlock, Flesh + Blood and the underrated Split Second. And then this weird apocalyptian movie called Blood of Heroes, like a mix of Mad Max and Rollerball. Good times.

  20. Here in San Francisco, it’s ‘illegal’ to put things out on the sidewalk but that never stops anyone. If the city wanted to cut this back, it should be easier to dispose of larger items.
    I will say that where it used to be that you could find really cool stuff, since the internet, you really don’t find as much. Just like the Goodwill and Salvation Army used to be great for old stuff.
    Dratted HGTV and Ebay.

  21. It used to be that there was a yearly council clear-up for bulky items that you would leave outside your house. In the interval of time between people putting stuff out and the council collecting it, people would take stuff they liked the look of. A few years back there were so many old-style CRT TVs that the people who use to grab stuff for scrap just wen by cutting off the power cables as the only thing worthwhile in TV was the copper in the power cord.

    The council changed it to a thing you had to book-in. You can book a bulky goods removal once a year. The last time we used it, we got rid of an old lounge chair, which I removed from the house by throwing it from an upstairs balcony (that’s a longer story and also a longer storey). Unfortunately, the council pick up was delayed and this horrible old thing sat outside the house for weeks in the pouring rain. Eventually it was picked up…on the same day (but just after) the Google Street View car had driven by…thus memorialising the chair forever.

  22. I have fond memories of listening to Dr. Demento and hoping for something wacky like Fish Heads or My Name is Larry.

    I also live near one of Those Unofficial Corners in San Francisco and have acquired some nice endtables that way. Sometimes there are entire couches.

    As far as the filling in, I use a password manager, and it automatically fills in things for me. I’ve been filling in my name manually lately because it defaults me as Charon D. but I want to celebrate the full-name fad.

  23. I had been collecting weird and strange music for a few years when I first came upon Dr. Demento. It was a really nice surprise to find so much good stuff at once. Dead Puppies is still my favourite.

  24. @Camestros – beware, someone will try to identify you by means of that chair!

    Meanwhile, I’ll leave this here. A perfect accessory for your credential

    Now reading ‘Terra Nullius’ an interesting if imperfect take on colonisation

  25. @Eric Wong: I’m of the opinion that you should keep your Pro Artists page as it is. The award is for a person and not a work. You’ve clearly marked what is 2018 work and what isn’t. And there have been times when I’ve used the direction an artist is going in their work to help me make a decision between two otherwise close calls. In fact, I very often go from a resource like yours (or JJ’s) to the artist’s website to see if the work I liked is a good representative of their usual style and taste.

    And I don’t agree that the requirement for the acceptance of nominations should always be used by the nominators in their decision making. The definition of professional publication is so broad that I feel that many artists may have published work that isn’t linked to their name publicly but which would be eligible for the acceptance of a nomination. I would hate to exclude an artist from my nominating ballot just because I’m not in a position to know an artist’s full range of work.

    I know there are lots of people who feel otherwise, but there already are resources such as JJ’s excellent page here on File 770 and the Spreadsheet of Doom which do restrict included artists to those with three 2018 published works. There’s no need for all the resources to be in lockstep with each other.

    I know someone will correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t finalists included artworks in their Hugo packets which appeared in semiprozines? I seem to recall John Picacio doing so one year. So I’m not sure the situation is quite so clear cut.

  26. Lorien Gray: And I don’t agree that the requirement for the acceptance of nominations should always be used by the nominators in their decision making. The definition of professional publication is so broad that I feel that many artists may have published work that isn’t linked to their name publicly but which would be eligible for the acceptance of a nomination.

    I don’t think it’s that broad. The rule is
    3.3.12: Best Professional Artist. An illustrator whose work has appeared in a professional publication in the field of science fiction or fantasy during the previous calendar year.
    3.2.11: A Professional Publication is one which meets at least one of the following two criteria:
    (1) it provided at least a quarter the income of any one person or,
    (2) was owned or published by any entity which provided at least a quarter the income of any of its staff and/or owner.

    It’s not just “a professional publication”. It’s “a professional publication in the field of science fiction or fantasy”.

    My concern is that nominators will not realize that they’re using one of their precious nomination slots on someone who doesn’t have at least 3 eligible works and who would not be allowed onto the ballot, even assuming that enough people nominated that artist (which is what happened with 2 Pro Artists in 2017).

    And if anyone points me to eligible work I’ve missed, I’m happy to get them added to the gallery right away.

    Lorien Gray: I know someone will correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t finalists included artworks in their Hugo packets which appeared in semiprozines?

    They have when they’re finalist for Fan Artist. I’m not aware of any Semiprozine covers which have been included for Pro Artist portfolios in the packets for recent years. (Although about a third of the Pro Artist works in last year’s packet were first published in 2016 or 2018, when they were supposed to be from 2017, so if the Hugo people are not paying attention, ineligible work can get included.)

  27. Lorien Gray, I’d like to add that I am not at all happy with the rules for the Professional Artist category as they currently stand, and I was really disappointed at San Jose when a number of WSFS members chose to punt it back to committee rather than passing the changes that had been proposed by the Hugo Category Committee.

  28. (9) English composer Rutland Boughton: born 23 January 1878, died 1960.
    Founded the first Glastonbury Festival (ran from 1914 – 1926). He wrote a series of five operas based on Arthurian legend but his best known work is the opera The Immortal Hour. The latter work was very popular during the 1920’s and it’s depiction of faerie folk seems to me very likely to have influenced Tolkien’s portrayal of elves.

  29. In 2017, our neighborhood started a community Facebook group. Since then, the practice is to put out unwanted items a day before trash day and post a description on the Facebook group letting people know they can take it if they want.

  30. JJ: “My concern is that nominators will not realize that they’re using one of their precious nomination slots on someone who doesn’t have at least 3 eligible works and who would not be allowed onto the ballot…”

    I do understand that concern, and I appreciate your approach in putting together your page. It’s been a great resource for me. But I also appreciate Eric’s approach to his page. The works are clearly marked so that I know what is 2018 and what is not. I think both approaches are valid and I like having both resources available to me. Both of you have made very clear what standards for inclusion you’ve used, making it easy for users to choose one or the other, or both, if they want. I think having the two of you coming at the same issue from different points contributes something very valuable that I would not like to see lost.

    I’m interested in getting your opinion on something. If Macmillan decided to produce a calendar with the theme of ‘beauty and the beast,’ I believe any art purchased for that calendar would qualify as a professional publication in the field of fantasy for the purposes of the three 2018 works requirement. Art commissioned for Magic: The Gathering cards would also qualify in my opinion. That’s what I meant by saying the definition of professional publication is so broad that it would be easy to miss things. Am I way off base? I know magazine and books are the usual contenders, but do these other categories count as well?

  31. Pro Artist is one of the categories that almost makes me think that the puppies had a point. Not their methods, but that the Hugos are a closed garden.
    There’s a ten year period with only 11 nominees, but I can’t remember exactly when. It really feels like people nominate whoever was on the ballot the last year.

  32. Lorien Gray: I’m interested in getting your opinion on something. If Macmillan decided to produce a calendar with the theme of ‘beauty and the beast,’ I believe any art purchased for that calendar would qualify as a professional publication in the field of fantasy for the purposes of the three 2018 works requirement. Art commissioned for Magic: The Gathering cards would also qualify in my opinion. That’s what I meant by saying the definition of professional publication is so broad that it would be easy to miss things. Am I way off base? I know magazine and books are the usual contenders, but do these other categories count as well?

    I would say “absolutely”. Note John Jude Palencar’s gallery on the Best Artist post.

    Also, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, last year I made a point of creating a gallery for Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme on the 2018 Hugo Nominee Wiki, which contained numerous gaming images that I found when I got hold of Spectrum 24. 😉

    I’ve only just now been able to get hold of Spectrum 25, so I’m going to go through that. It takes a bit of work, though, because often their images have been previously published in a Hugo-eligible venue in a prior year, so it takes a considerable amount of Googling to check them.

  33. Hampus Eckerman says There were so many cool movies that Rutger Hauer was part of. Wedlock, Flesh + Blood and the underrated Split Second. And then this weird apocalyptian movie called Blood of Heroes, like a mix of Mad Max and Rollerball. Good times.

    The list of genre films that he was involved in was very long. I figured y’all would bring up your favorite ones.

  34. nickpheas: There’s a ten year period with only 11 nominees, but I can’t remember exactly when. It really feels like people nominate whoever was on the ballot the last year.

    I totally agree, and that’s why I’ve made such a huge effort at producing both Pro and Fan Artist galleries for Hugo nominators the last 3 years. There are so many great artists producing eligible work; it’s a matter of calling nominators’ attention to them to get them out of that same-old, same-old nominating rut.

    I was thrilled that 2 of last year’s 6 Professional Artist finalists, Lecouffe-Deharme and Jennings, were first-time finalists.

  35. Oh, and Rutger Hauer was also in Lexx, which is one of my favorite shows (at least the first three series; Hauer was just in the first season).

  36. @JJ – I agree that the wording of the rules for Best Professional Artist could use changing and I liked the changes proposed to the business meeting this year for that category. But I didn’t like the changes proposed for Best Fan Artist. Partly because I like the idea of being more inclusive of artists who produce art for the joy of it rather than placing so much emphasis on the donation of art to fanzines or conventions. If writing on a personal blog can qualify someone for Best Fan Writer than I think the same should apply to Fan Artist.

    I’ve also run into a problem with nominating professional artists for the fan category. The artists did not want to be nominated for a fan award as they thought it could hurt their chances of making professional sales, or lower what money they’re offered when they do make a sale. As long as the awards are titled ‘Professional’ and ‘Fan’ I think we are going to have these issues.

    Speaking of Best Fan Artist, does anyone know of more resources to help with nominations in the fan artist category?

  37. Other artists doing fabulous work who have never been finalists yet, who I would love to see recognized:

    (Page 4)
    Stephen Youll
    Sam Weber
    Charles Vess
    Steve Stone
    Greg Ruth
    David Palumbo
    Cliff Nielsen

    (Page 3)
    Reiko Murakami
    Gene Mollica
    Jeffrey Alan Love
    Jaime Jones

    (Page 2)
    Vincent Chong
    Rovina Cai
    Ben Baldwin
    Tommy Arnold

    Jaime Jones and Tommy Arnold have both been putting out exceptional work the last few years. Arnold was kept off the 2017 ballot by another finalist who had a lot of bullet nominators (Arnold had more actual nominations, but fewer EPH points). Sam Weber, whose covers for The Divine Cities were stunning, was on the longlist for 2016.

  38. Lorien Gray: I didn’t like the changes proposed for Best Fan Artist.

    I wasn’t fond of them, either. Reading the committee’s report, at least one of the members of the committee seems to be extremely dedicated to gatekeeping, and not just in that category, either. 😐

  39. Camestros: the only thing worthwhile in [CRT] TV was the copper in the power cord

    There are people in USA desperate for large CRTs (in particular Sony Trinitrons, which are considered the pinnacle) – the professional Super Smash Brothers Melee circuit. Because plugging a GameCube into a digital flatscreen TV introduces lag that is noticeable when you make moves with single-frame (1/50 second) precision.

    What was that quote about the future being unevenly distributed? Arguably, the same is true about the past.

  40. Dr D played so much great stuff in the early years of the show. I loved the older tunes particularly, and those are what ended up being lost when the show was taken over by people who heard Weird Al and figured they could do it too.

    So the show was inundated with tapes from DJs who replaced all the nouns in a well-known song with the names of fish, and it drove out the good stuff. They didn’t have Al’s genius for the exact right word, and they didn’t have his musicianship. Nobody ever came anywhere near him for the quality of his originals: “Dare To Be Stupid” and “Christmas at Ground Zero” are my two favorite recordings from him, and both videos are in my personal top ten for the music video medium.

    The same thing has happened in other media. When MAD comics came out, a number of publishers decided it was an easy way to make some money. If you’ve read The Sincerest Form of Plagiarism, you’ve seen that the results are uneven at best, and mediocre at worst, but that’s not exactly true. The results, at their worst, were just plain hideous.

    Friends of mine showed me off-brand humor comics way worse than anything in the collection. My favorite was an attempt at a Tennessee Williams parody whose artist was at least aware that he couldn’t draw a caricature of either star, so for the whole story, their faces were mostly covered by props, word balloons, backs of heads, etc.

    I wish there could have been two separate shows from Dr. Demento, with one continuing the original job of revealing the gems that are still in his legendary record collection. Thanks to this internet, though, I can keep finding new things, and most of it doesn’t add to the bulk of stuff we have to some day get rid of so our daughter won’t have to have it all plowed under.

  41. I’m curious if anyone has challenged the intersection of the category description and the acceptance criteria. The category description for Professional Artist makes no mention about requiring 3 works published in the previous year (unlike Semiprozine, Fanzine, Editor, which does call out minimum requirements).

    But, the Acceptance criteria states that the acceptance of Professional Artist should cite at least three works. This makes it seem like three works are required, but I think the word “should” is important. “Should” is not “Must”. It is a suggestion, which is made even more so when taken in context with the acceptance criteria for Fanzine and Semiprozine which states “shall be required”. “Shall be required” is a mandatory requirement much stronger than the “should” of Professional Artist.

    My interpretation, without yet getting further insight, is that three works are not required for Professional Artist. With that said, I do think that any gallery or recommendation list should only include qualifying works from the previous year.

    3.3.12: Best Professional Artist. An illustrator whose work has appeared in a professional publication in the field of science fiction or fantasy during the previous calendar year.

    3.10.2 In the Best Professional Artist category, the acceptance should include citations of at least three (3) works first published in the eligible year.

    3.10.3 Each finalist in the categories of Best Fanzine and Best Semiprozine shall be required to provide information confirming that they meet the qualifications of their category.

  42. Joe Sherry: My interpretation, without yet getting further insight, is that three works are not required for Professional Artist. With that said, I do think that any gallery or recommendation list should only include qualifying works from the previous year.

    In 2017, a Pro Artist was disqualified because they had no work published in an eligible professional venue from 2016 (though they did have work published).

    I don’t think it’s ever been tested. No finalist, at least in recent history, has been unable to produce at least 3 eligible works for the packet. (Even the ones last year whose packet included works from the wrong year still had plenty of eligible works from the right year, they just weren’t in the packet.)

    I think if the packet came out, and a finalist had been allowed onto the ballot with only one work, it would be very noticeable, and you would hear some substantial rumbling from Hugo voters about it. The category is supposed to recognize a body of work for the year. I would be very surprised if a Hugo Admin allowed someone with only one eligible work to be a finalist.

  43. That’s what I’m wondering about. I fully agree about the category being for a body of work (from that year), and I’m thinking back to a conversation I had around 10 years ago with an art director / editor and a working artist regarding the Richard Powers cover of Eclipse Three (the Strahan anthology for Night Shade).

    Powers had died more than a decade prior to that, but the art selected for Eclipse Three had never been used. It was (and remains) of the finest and most striking pieces of art I’ve seen on a book cover.

    Anyway, the conversations had to do with whether the category was recognizing the best piece of art or the body of work of an artist working in the field that year. The answer, of course, is the body of work – but the Hugo ballot has been controversial because they ask voters to list a work.

    The reason I bring this up is because the one thing that didn’t come up during that conversation was whether or not Richard Powers was eligible for only having one work. These were smart, plugged in individuals who thought deeply about the field, art, and the Hugo Awards. One was involved in the drafting of the category. (The WSFS Constitution from 2008 did have the same suggestion for 3 works). They were working from the same assumption I was, that Powers was absolutely eligible with one work, but that one work produced more than a decade prior (but not published) was not representative of the output of a working artist or the field that year.

  44. (9) I really wish someone would take a swing (okay, a good swing) at the Buck Rogers franchise one of these days. It may be that the rights situation is still toxic.

    (9bis) A non-genre Hauer film that I think rates mention, at least for its title, is Hobo With a Shotgun, whose villain is played by Lexx lead actor Brian Downey. Full circle!

    I use both Safari on iOS (which usually does a good job of autofilling forms) and Pale Moon on Windoze and macOS, and none of these combos enter my name for me, possibly because they expect a password field and there isn’t one. I’m used to it.

  45. @Patrick Morris Miller — I remember seeing Hobo With a Shotgun, but I had completely missed the fact that the villain was played by Stanley Tweedle!

  46. 12) I appreciate the intent, but this is still convoluted and discouraging for those who have little free time, which tends to be disproportionately the poor. I much prefer the approach of my own library, which was to eliminate all fines for children’s and teen books and charge for adult books only when more than 30 days past due.

  47. @Joe Sherry
    When Eric first pointed this out to me, I interpreted “should” as “must” but the more I think about it, the more I’m wondering if it’s really just advice to the candidate. That is, perhaps all it means is “if you want to have any hope of winning, submit at least three samples of art from the year of eligibility.” I wonder if someone like Kevin Standlee or Nicholas Whyte could chime in here.

    This points up (again) the problem with awards that are for people and not for works. This would all be a lot easier if the awards were for best professional and best fan covers (where the difference between pro and fan is simply whether it was paid for or not and “cover” means it was the definitive picture for an issue of a prozine, semiprozine, or fanzine as currently defined). Yep, that would exclude lots of other art, but trying to include everything makes the problem of nominating intractable. The result is that most people don’t nominate at all in these categories, and those who do always nominate the same people over and over.

    Full disclosure: Eric is my husband and Rocket Stack Rank is our joint effort. However, the art portions of the site are entirely his work; all I do is beta test it for him.

  48. (4) Thanks for your support, Lorien. I’ll play with ISFDB’s schema for a few days and see if I can get the best of both worlds, which is query ISFDB’s data to get more artists with 3+ works from 2018, AND add toggle buttons to show/hide the art from 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 (the limit of RSR’s own database built from short fiction reviews). If that turns out to be too much work this year, it’ll be a high priority feature for next year.

Comments are closed.