Pixel Scroll 10/16/16 Ticking Pixels To A Cat

(1) ARCHIVAL VIDEO OF NEBULA AWARDS. Video from the 1984 Nebula Awards ceremony has been posted.

You can see Octavia Butler accepting a Nebula for her novelette “Bloodchild” around the 11:30 mark.

Not seen on the video are some of the post-ceremony lowlights described on the SFWA website:

Presented at Warwick Hotel, New York, New York on May 5, 1985

Ian and Betty Ballantine were presented with a special award for their pioneering contributions to science fiction and fantasy publishing.  The Business Meeting took place on Saturday at noon and was followed by the traditional editors’ panel, and agents’ panel. LACon sponsored the pre-banquet reception.  As with the 1983 event, publishing professionals outnumbered authors.  Attorney Tim Jensen was the primary speaker and spoke about taxes and the author. Following the banquet, Harlan Ellison punched Charles Platt over comments Platt had made regarding an award given to Larry Shaw.  Tom Disch also punched William Gibson, without explanation.


(2) APOLOGY DYNAMICS. Ann Leckie has further thoughts — “On Apologies”.

So I want to say this straight out–the apology is not for the apologizer. The person offended against has no obligation whatever to accept any apology at all, or to forgive, or to stop being hurt or angry, or to pretend they’re not hurt or angry any more. I mean, if they want to, if they can, if they think it’s proper, sure. But the apology is for the person who was offended, and they have no obligation to respond in any particular way. Or respond at all, frankly.

(3) SUNIL PATEL NEWS. The Book Smugglers announced today they will no longer publish Sunil Patel’s work.

This past weekend, several women put forward their encounters with a well-known male SFF author, citing his history of manipulation, gaslighting, grooming behavior, and objectification of women in the speculative fiction community. We have read all of the accounts. We are listening to the stories. We stand with the women who have been the subject of this author’s behavior.

In light of these revelations, we have made the decision to no longer publish Sunil Patel’s work. We have removed The Merger from sale, and have canceled all forthcoming short stories and essays with the author.

As members of the SFF community, as publishers, and as women, we cannot in good conscience support this author’s work any longer.

Fantastic Stories also has taken Patel off its projects.

These decisions follow from accusations of abuse that have been discussed on Twitter. Two women who specifically named Patel were Kristine Wyllys and Sarah Hollowell.

Other women authors have supported the conversation by posting generally about their professional experience. You can connect with two of them here —



(4) THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY. Ahrvid Engholm recently quoted this article, relevant to our discussions of the Nobel Prize for Literature, in his apazine.

The member of the Swedish Academy Per Wästberg has written an article about the work behind the Nobel Prize in literatur. It was in the daily Svenska Dagbladet Oct 4th, “The Prize that is Dynamite for Culture”, and the Swedish original piece is here: http://www.svd.se/priset-som-ar-kulturell-dynamit  But I thought I should give you a few snippets and some info from his article:  “Geograhpy is not our subject.” The Academy does not try to spread the grace between countries, languages and continents. After Saramaago he says they”could have given the prize three years in a row to Portugal, if it had been motivated”.

(5) BETWEEN THE COVERS. Bob Dylan not only survived William Shatner’s performance of his music, he also lived down having TV sitcom star Sebastian Cabot record his songs. Sebastian Cabot was a British born actor (died 1977 aged 59) whose most popular role was Mr. French, the nanny in Family Affair, and before that, a college professor who helped detectives in Eric Ambler’s TV series Checkmate. And he played Mr. Pip in a Twilight Zone episode. Cabot recorded an album of Bob Dylan covers in 1967, after his first successful season as the nanny, from which this track is taken.

(6) CLARK ASHTON SMITH. Carl Slaughter reports, “Night Shade offers paperback editions of the collected works of legendary weird fiction author Clark Ashton Smith. Volume 1 was released in 2015, volumes 2 and 3 were released in January and May, volume 4 was released in September, and volume 5 is set for January 2017.  There will also be a collection of miscellaneous writings in May 2017.”

“None strikes the note of cosmic horror as well as Clark Ashton Smith. In sheer daemonic strangeness and fertility of conception, Smith is perhaps unexcelled by any other writer.” —H. P. Lovecraft

Many of the hardcovers in this series, first published between 2007 and 2011, have been long unavailable since the original printings sold out, and over the years have become quite pricey on the secondary market. Night Shade continues to get more inquiries regarding availability of this series than any other title we’ve released. Now, we’re excited to announce that we’ve come to an agreement with the estate to release new paperback editions of all of Smith’s short fiction, which includes volumes one through five of the original series, plus the additional sixth volume of miscellaneous writings.

Clark Ashton Smith, considered one of the greatest contributors to seminal pulp magazines such as Weird Tales, helped define and shape “weird fiction” in the early twentieth century, alongside contemporaries H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, drawing upon his background in poetry to convey an unparalleled richness of imagination and expression in his stories of the bizarre and fantastical.

The Collected Fantasies series presents all of Smith’s fiction chronologically. Authorized by the author’s estate and endorsed by Arkham House, the stories in this series are accompanied by detailed background notes from editors Scott Connors and Ron Hilger, who in preparation for this collection meticulously compared original manuscripts, various typescripts, published editions, and Smith’s own notes and letters. Their efforts have resulted in the most definitive and complete collection of the author’s work to date.

The End of the Story—September 2015
The Door to Saturn—January 2016
A Vintage from Atlantis—May 2016
The Maze of the Enchanter—September 2016
The Last Hieroglyph—January 2017
The Miscellaneous Writings of Clark Ashton Smith—May 2017

[Thanks to DMS, Natalie Luhrs, JJ, Carl Slaughter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

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79 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/16/16 Ticking Pixels To A Cat

  1. @Lee, Petréa Mitchell, and ‘stalking is love’ in general:
    A group of local friends were watching the anime ‘Kamisama Kiss’, and I noted that the money scene in the second episode was pretty much a textbook case of gaslighting and early stages of grooming: create an incident, make the target wonder if she had actually done it, ‘forgive’ the target (with implied threats of ‘nobody else would do this for you’ and ‘I might not be so nice next time’)… sabotaged before it got too far in this case, but still.

  2. Spent Friday and Saturday at the Minneapolis Convention Center for NerdCon:Stories 2016. I and, as far as I can tell, pretty much everyone else there had an excellent time. I assume most of the panels will eventually end up on YouTube and/or as podcasts, but in the meantime I implore everyone to check out John Scalzi’s performance in the Saturday afternoon lipsync battle …

    Unfortunately, it sounds like there might not have been enough everyones there to allow NerdCon to continue — Hank Green (who could not attend this year on account of impending parenthood) posted some videos on YouTube and, if I’m remembering correctly, they would’ve needed about 3,000 attendees to break even, and they only had about 1,000 this year, for whatever reason.

  3. Hey, I live in California, which is not exactly a hotbed of responsible government itself. Though the top two primary system might help.

    I’m just not a fan of politicians from certain states drilling holes in the bottom of the boat whilst everyone else is bailing the water out. I hold out hope for Texas, but some of the other states (AL,MO,LA,KS,GA etc) may be lost causes, despite those fighting the good fight over there. I may just be grumpy after voting on 19 different initiatives on my ballot and realizing that we’re set for another 4 years of total deadlock due to ridiculously partisan politics…

  4. I lived in the South for over 20 years. It always seemed to me that things were getting better. In Virginia, for instance, mixed couples didn’t seem to excite any reactions, and most any group of kids I saw with more than three would have multiple races represented.

    Also, red state and blue state is an indication of what prevails. There are plenty of people here in western New York who have hateful sentiments stuck on their cars and lawn signs bemoaning their having to observe rudimentary gun safety (“Repeal the S.A.F.E. Act!”).

    Maybe half or more of my relatives on earth live in, or come from, Texas, so I’ve often been one of the ones disagreeing with the idea of kicking it out of the Union.

    After almost a quarter century of living below the Mason-Dixon line (including Texas in that), we went to look for a place to live in Massachusetts. Driving through Westfield, I excitedly said to Cathy, “Look, honey! It’s a statue of a Civil War soldier! FROM THE NORTH!”

  5. @Matthew Davis: excellent clarification! Disch was a hostile sort of guy, but I couldn’t figure why he’d just up and punch Gibson for no reason.

    @Lee: In my early music class, I learned that the major chord (your basic major 3 notes that everyone can say “oh yeah, a chord”) was the devil’s interval, whereas today we think of it as the most basic consonance. But we may be speaking of different things, or I might be misremembering from long ago.

    It seems that rather a lot of us women, who don’t know each other outside of F770, had gleaned a bad impression of Patel. I’m glad that nowadays women are able to speak out and be believed, rather than being forced to keep it all back-channel. @Dawn, I too will believe it when I see it. His apology tweets may be sincerely meant, but they’re also textbook wording of what gaslighters, groomers, and other unsavory sorts say. Until they do it again.

    A live tweet report of what sounds like a delightful panel from Nerdcon: How to Write Straight Characters.

    (keep clicking “Show more”)

  6. @Cat Rambo
    I’ve never met Thomas Disch in person, I’ve only read his writings, more non-fiction than fiction. And in his non-fiction he comes across as something of a jerk. Probably an example of someone who’s lovely in person and comes across badly in writing.

    Regarding the US South, I lived for almost a year in Mississippi as a kid and am very fond of the region. So South bashing annoys me. I don’t blanket bash the less savoury parts of my own country either, not even Saxony, which really makes it difficult.

  7. The divide in the U.S. isn’t so much between “Red States” and “Blue States”, but rather between urban and suburban residents and rural residents. The main difference is mostly that “Blue States” have a more urbanized population than the “Red States”, but even the bluest “Blue State” has large swathes of red voting rural counties, and the reddest “Red State” has blue islands of urban voters.

    Look at Illinois, for example: Basically Chicago, the Quad Cities, and Champaign-Urbana consistently vote heavily Democratic, while almost all of the rest of the state votes Republican. It is just that Chicago and its suburbs have such a large population that its voters dominate the results for the entire state – 40% of the residents of Illinois live in Cook County.

  8. Re: South bashing.

    As a northerner who was part of the huge inmigration into Texas during the 1990s, I cringe when I remember my own stereotypes–and have begun pushing back against that kind of “go ahead and secede” language among my friends for just the reasons everybody said here: I teach at a small regional university in a desperately poor area of the state, and I have come to know and appreciate the ways in which my students fight against the odds–not to mention the legislative tricks regarding voter suppression, etc.

    A lot of the system that was set up to maintain white supremacist power structures in the South was enabled by the North — and we’re seeing the consequences today. And as I have repeated often: 40% of Texans voted for Obama in both elections (and as Aaron noted, yes, it was the Texans in Houston, Dallas, and Austin).

    The last poll I saw, in the wake of the hot mic tape, Clinton was within 4 points (margin of error) of Trump — she’s been gaining on him for some time now. I *HOPE* Texas can flip–but it’s been moving toward purple ever since that big migration in (which occurred because Texas has such a lousy record on education, and professionals were hired from all over and are helping change the state along with the native-born radicals who have been here from the start).

    Aaron: The divide in the U.S. isn’t so much between “Red States” and “Blue States”, but rather between urban and suburban residents and rural residents.

    Yes–and this is true in other industrialized nations.

    And the US currently now has a greater percentage of population in the cities–and that is going to keep growing. Rural areas are losing population and will continue to lose it primarily because of lack of jobs.

  9. @ Vasha: I live in Texas, and sometimes I feel that way myself. But if push came to shove, my partner and I could get out, and I know there are a lot of people who don’t have that option. So I classify that kind of daydream in the same category with “if I won the lottery” or “if a genie offered me 3 wishes”.

    @ Darren: Hee! That movie is looking better all the time.

  10. @steve davidson: an editor should know the difference between “flaunt” and “flout”.

    @Joe H: did Nerdcon collapse, or did it mistakenly believe it could get 3000 people in an early year?

    @Kip W re upstate NY: Beagle’s former motorcycle partner observed of the far-upstate he was living in: “Some of the necks are as red as the barns.”

    @Aaron: The divide in the U.S. isn’t so much between “Red States” and “Blue States”, but rather between urban and suburban residents and rural residents. In Massachusetts the line is closer in; the empty-suit Republican who first filled Ted Kennedy’s seat got in because a ratio of suburban votes (MA has very little rural population) to city votes was higher than usual — probably because the Democrat thought campaigning wasn’t necessary.

  11. Sounds like the panel on writing straights was mostly well-received, for which congrats to the panelists — it could easily have been dreadful. Easier was the 1993 WFC panel on writing for adults, as the cliches about writing for kids were so obviously stupid even then.

  12. I think as a non-American I’d rather the USA was several smaller countries but I wouldn’t wish the process of becoming several smaller countries on the USA. I have similar feelings about China.

    Rather like Scottish independence would make me feel happy about Scotland but worried about the subsequent impact on England who might then lack sufficient common sense not to do something really daft…[oops too late]

  13. @Chip — I think it was somewhere in between. It seemed like attendance in 2015 (the first year) was higher than it was this year, and they were hoping for the same or greater attendance — they had definitely expanded the amount of the convention center being used for programming, and had more panels, etc., scheduled than last year. Again, Hank Green talked about it somewhat on YouTube; he thinks there were a number of factors including but not limited to expense (it was a $100 ticket for a 2 day convention) and timing (scheduled on a Friday & Saturday, which meant having to miss at least one, possibly two, days of work/school), and also possibly the lack of a single, easily articulable hook or theme.

    I’ll be disappointed if this was indeed the last time it happens — for one thing, I live within walking distance of the convention center; for another thing, while I haven’t been to any conventions other than NerdCon, the impression that I got (both from my own experience and from hearing some of the guests talking about it after the fact) is that it was also incredibly well-run, especially for such a young convention.

    Edited to say: Maybe better to hear it from the man himself than my possibly incorrect paraphrasing:

  14. Interesting stuff about NerdCon: Stories..It is frustrating to put on a good or great event and not draw liked you hoped. I wonder how much they had to spend on the facilities, since that can be a big factor in whether a con makes it into the black or not.

  15. Re: Southern bashing – It’s not particularly pleasant to hear my home state, and all the people therein, written off as “may be a lost cause.” I would suggest that the first time one hears “Hey, could we not with the ‘hope they secede and good riddance’ talk?” one in fact stop with that sort of talk, rather than doubling down.

  16. Fatal line from the first Nerdcon video: ~”We budgeted the conference to have 3000 attendees. That’s how many we needed to make it work financially.” Sounds like a long-ago employer of mine that budgeted for a 25% year-over-year increase in sales; when the 6-month numbers came in flat they “budgeted” for a 50% YOY increase for the remaining 6 months. I am also … amused … that he treats himself as valiant for not pulling the plug; I wonder what not having the con would have cost. (Convention centers are inclined to be hardnosed about contracts.)
    From the beginning of the longer video: “Usually conferences focus on some sort of cohesive fandom thing … story is much bigger than that.” In other words, he didn’t know what was going on (Fourth Street Fantasy in his own back yard, for instance, plus two large general-interest conventions). And contrast this with the claim in a few minutes later that fandom is peripheral at most conferences.
    Every now and then such disconnected monomaniacal enthusiasm becomes something great. (This sounds like such a one-man show that I can’t see it surviving if it were merely worthwhile; he’d get bored and/or not get the staff.) More often it flames out spectacularly. I suppose his goodwill is in his favor, unlike the most spectacular convention flameout: SFExpo in the late 1970’s claimed it was going to bring 100,000 people to central New York City for its first occurrence, but actually managed ~~1200 in rural New Jersey.
    As Joe H notes, $100 is high for a small two-day walk-in show; IME, conventions in hotels that support evening parties (allowing more chance encounters, which is where a lot of the interesting things happen) run $40-80 for 2-3 16-hour days.

  17. @ Chip Hitchcock

    an editor should know the difference between “flaunt” and “flout”

    Completely unrelated to the original post…

    I once had the opportunity to comment, regarding another woodwind-musician/filker and I, that we had “flauted many conventions together”.

  18. Chip Hitchcock: Ah yes, SF Expo. Howard DeVore was so alienated by the idea that he printed bumper stickers that read, “SF Expo. Don’t push it — shove it!”

  19. @Heather Rose Jones:

    […] another woodwind-musician/filker and I […] flauted many conventions together […]

    Okay, that one deserves loud groans and fleeing the bar…

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