Pixel Scroll 10/19 Asterix and the Missing Scroll

(1) The stars came out for White House Astronomy Night.

(2) New interview with Liu Cixin conducted by Yang Yang for China Daily.

When, in a telephone interview, China Daily reminds him of that comment, he replies: “It’s not a joke. Aliens may arrive at any time. When it happens, everything, social and economic reform, educational problems, international conflicts or poverty, will become much less important, compared with the alien crisis.”

Big countries such as China and international organizations such as the United Nations need to be ready for such an eventuality, he says.

“It does not necessarily involve a lot of money and human resources. But we should prepare, in the fields of politics, military, society and so on. The government should organize some people to do related research and preparations for the long term.”

Unfortunately, he says, “no country seems to have done this kind of thing”.

In the postscript for the English version of The Three-Body Problem, translated by Ken Liu, Liu Cixin says: “I’ve always felt that extraterrestrial intelligence will be the greatest source of uncertainty for humanity’s future. Other great shifts, such as and ecological disasters, have a certain progression and built-in adjustment periods, but contact between mankind and aliens can occur at any time. Perhaps in 10,000 years the starry sky that mankind gazes upon will remain empty and silent, but perhaps tomorrow we’ll wake up and find an alien spaceship the size of the Moon parked in orbit. … The appearance of this Other, or mere knowledge of its existence, will impact our civilization in unpredictable ways.”

(3) Bob Byrne’s “The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Tying in the BBC Sherlock Special” at Black Gate has a lot of good information.

Back in July, what seems to be the most popular ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ post appeared here at Black Gate. I looked at what I think went wrong with season three of the BBC’s Sherlock. I included the just-released ninety-second, ‘first look’ video for the upcoming Special, to be aired around Christmas. And I pointed out it seemed to be full of the “Look how clever we are” bits that I lamented in my post.

Now, just about everyone, including myself, loves that the Special is set in Victorian times; unlike the episodes in the first three seasons. Cumberbatch and Freeman would be given their first (and quite likely, only) opportunities to play Holmes and Watson in the Doyle mold. I view it as a chance for the show to get back on track and reclaim the multitude of fans it lost during season three.

(4) Brad Torgersen, in a comment on Kevin Trainor’s blog, now says:

I had multiple conduits for suggestions, and the comments section was just one conduit.

But he doesn’t identify what those sources for the majority of slated Sad Puppy 3 fiction were.

(5) Francis W. Porreto does not approve – “Really Quickies: From The Garbage Heap” at Bastion of Liberty.

If you’d like a gander at “how the other side emotes,” take a look at this post at this hard-to-describe site, particularly the comments that follow commenter “alauda’s” citation of this bit of dark foreboding. These past two days a fair amount of traffic has come here from there.

Note the complete lack of rational analysis. Note the immediate and unconditional willingness to condemn me, as if the scenario I wrote about were something I actually want to happen.

(6) Alyssa Rosenberg, while commenting on “The downside of cultural fragmentation” in the Washington Post, touches on a familiar topic —

Debates over what kinds of books, movies, television shows, comics and video games get awards are often a proxy way of debating what our cultural values ought to be. The alternative slates that attempted to wrest control of Hugo nominations were based on the idea that awards voters had over-prioritized identity politics over the quality of writing and plotting; GamerGate erroneously asserts that there’s a movement afoot to ban or stop the production of video games with certain themes or images. While I don’t agree with the premises of either of those two cultural movements, I do think left cultural criticism has sometimes asserted political litmus tests for art in recent years, and that elements of the right, spurred by the sometime success of this approach, have fallen into the same patterns (for a good example, see the suggestions that the action movie “Mad Max: Fury Road” was anti-male).

(7) After Steve Davidson of Amazing Stories picked apart the Trek-related fanhistory in Kevin Trainor’s post on Wombat Rampant, Dystopic followed with his own critique of what Davidson had to say about Trainor on Declination.

As my readers probably know already, I consider myself somewhere on the Puppy spectrum of the Science Fiction community. There’s quite a bit of difference between the Sad Puppies, who one might call the reformists, and the Rabid Puppies who are mostly of the opinion that Worldcon and the Hugos should be burnt to the ground and set on fire by their own Left-wing, Social Justice proponents.

Either way, though, both camps agree that the existing community is hopelessly corrupt, cliquish, and prone to a particular animus against Conservatives and Libertarians. This prejudice is such that their works are repeatedly voted down from awards, publishers like Tor Books are run by individuals openly hostile to alternate political affiliations, and backroom deals are made to secure nominations for authors based on political backgrounds and special interests.

Steve Davidson of Amazing Stories confirms this for us in a ridiculous post, so loaded up with Strawmen that he might as well be the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. Let’s allow him to hang himself with his own rope, shall we?

(8) Workaholics actor Blake Anderson appears in the Halloween episode of The Simpsons:

“Well, you know, we kind of feel a little disrespected by Homer and we show up at his doorstep basically looking for revenge,” Anderson explains. “So it turns into a full onPanic Room situation, where he’s kind of stuck in the attic and looking for him. We’re out for blood for sure.”

In the vein of the Treehouse episodes, Anderson says this one is not necessarily “piss your pants” scary, but, he assures, “me and Nick Kroll definitely brought our creepy to the table for sure.”


(9) Is this a clue to the future of Game of Thrones?

(10) Today’s Birthday Boys

  • October 19, 1903 — Tor Johnson is born Karl Oscar Tore Johansson in Sweden. Especially known for his appearance in Plan 9 From Outer Space, although he had credits in all kinds of things, from the movie musical Carousel to Walter Cronkite’s You Are There nonfiction TV show.
  • October 19, 1945 — John Lithgow is born. Acted in Twilight Zone, Third Rock from the Sun, Buckaroo Banzai

(11) Today’s Birthday Book

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is 62 years old today. Phil Nichols explains:

Fahrenheit 451

FAHRENHEIT 451 was deposited for copyright at the Library of Congress on October 19, 1953. Both the first edition hardbound and mass market paperback carry this publication date, although the paperbacks actually reached the market a month earlier.

The McCarthy era’s climate of fear lingered beyond 1953, however; in spite of the book’s initial critical success, the first paperback printing took seven years to sell out.

(12) Diana Pavlac Glyer was very pleasantly surprised to find her forthcoming book Bandersnatch mentioned in a recent Publishers Weekly post, “Exploring C.S. Lewis’s Lasting Popularity – 52 Years After His Death”.

Coming in November, Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings (Kent State University Press) by Diana Pavlac Glyer and James A. Owen shows readers how encouragement and criticism made all the difference in books written by the Inklings. A companion coloring book by Owen is expected next spring.

(13) Learn how to make your pumpkin look like a galaxy nebula.


(14) Io9 says “The Glorious Poster For Star Wars The Force Awakens Has A Giant Planet Killer On It”. Almost needless to say, you can also see the full, high resolution poster there.

(15) This collection of “13 Creepy Bits of Bookish Trivia” at BookRiot lives up to its headline. Here’s one of the tamer entries.

  1. J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, is rumored to have been quite the odd character. However, after his brother died in a skating accident, Barrie would routinely dress up in his dead brother’s clothing in order to ease his mother’s grief. The tragedy of his brother’s death would come to inspire the character of Peter Pan.

(16) Tonight was the Terry Gilliam talk at the Alex Theatre. Crusading photojournalist John King Tarpinian snapped a picture of the marquee.

Terry Gilliam on Alex marquee COMP ph by JKT

(17) Chuck Wendig in “About That Dumb Star Wars Boycott” begins…

Let’s imagine that you are, as you are now, a straight white dude. Except, your world features one significant twist — the SFF pop culture you consume is almost never about you. The faces of the characters do not look like yours. The creators of this media look nothing like you, either. Your experiences are not represented. Your voice? Not there. There exist in these universes no straight white dudes. Okay, maybe one or two. Some thrown in to appease. Sidekicks and bad guys and walk-on parts. Token chips flipped to the center of the table just to make you feel like you get to play, too. Oh, all around you in the real world, you are well-represented. Your family, your friends, the city you live in, the job you work — it’s straight white dude faces up and down the block. But on screen? In books? Inside comic panels and as video game characters? Almost none. Too few. Never the main characters.

It feels isolating, and you say so.

And as a response you’re told, “Hey, take what you get.” They say, can’t you have empathy for someone who doesn’t look like you? Something something humanist, something something equalist. And of course you can have that empathy because you have to, because this is all you know, because the only faces and words and experiences on-screen are someone else’s so, really, what else are you going to do?

Then one day, things start to change. A little, not a lot, but shit, it’s a start — you start to see yourself up there on the screen. Sometimes as a main character. Sometimes behind the words on the page, sometimes behind the camera. A video game avatar here, a protagonist there. And it’s like, WOO HOO, hot hurtling hell, someone is actually thinking about you once in a while. And the moment that happens, wham. A backlash. People online start saying, ugh, this is social justice, ugh, this is diversity forced down our throats, yuck, this is just bullshit pandering quota garbage SJW — and you’re like, whoa, what? Sweet crap, everyone else has been represented on screen since the advent of film. They’ve been on the page since some jerk invented the printing press. But the moment you show up — the moment you get more than a postage stamp-sized bit of acreage in this world that has always been yours but never really been yours, people start throwing a shit-fit. They act like you’re unbalancing everything. Like you just moved into the neighborhood and took a dump in everybody’s marigolds just because you exist visibly.

(18) Amy Sterling Casil recommends The Looking Planet.

During the construction of the universe, a young member of the Cosmos Corps of Engineers decides to break some fundamental laws in the name of self expression.


[Thanks to Will R., JJ, John King Tarpinian and Amy Sterling Casil for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

272 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/19 Asterix and the Missing Scroll

  1. I doubt there were many people involved in the stupid star wars boycott. I only heard about when I saw people complain about it. Its likely most people only heard about when people mentioned it and it cascaded.

    This is what people who do this stuff want. People blasting this all over twitter, etc… are giving them the publicity they crave. If you are doing what they want, its likely not the right thing to do.

    if they are ignored, then few people will hear about it. As if a star wars boycott would get many people … come on. People want to see lightsabers and stuff blowing up and they don’t want Jar Jar Binks. Even if the movie sucks, its still going to make a ton of money and be packed.

    I really hope this doesn’t suck. I am not much of a JJ Abrams fan….

  2. Petréa Mitchell,

    I super liked School – Live* but thought Charlotte went off the rails near the end.

    I haven’t finished watching Crowds, but did like the first season.

    *a really original take on mbzovrf with a perfect ending. I am so torn on the possibility of a hinted second season though, since I can’t see how the theme of season one could be carried forward and that was its major appeal.

  3. (18) I forgot to say – The Looking Planet has gorgeous visuals and a rather promising plot and premise. I’ll have to make sure I watch the whole thing at some point.

  4. @Tom Galloway

    Butcher’s comment bother’s me:

    “They seem to have made very clear in their voting and the response to the voting that they don’t want any new folks showing up. And that’s cool.”

    I’d say I’m new. Up until this year, I never followed the Hugos this intently. I’d only ever voted during one Worldcon before, when it was local to me. So, basically, this is a slam at all the “new folks” who did decide to participate who are not necessarily completely invested in fiction from the POV of straight, white, male American conservatives/libertarians. And, I really don’t get that, because that’s always had a place in science fiction. How is that new, even if the folks voting are new?

    If he’s referring to new writers, how is blocking Cixin Liu, or someone like the initially self-published Andy Weir not a massive failure of imagination by the mostly writers who established the Puppies in the first place?

    (Shorter: Wendig has it right in his post).

  5. All-white casts is something that, once I started to notice it, really started to bother me.

    And all-male if there’s no reason for it – anyone seen the Angry Birds trailer? Quite aside from the question of “why is there an Angry Birds movie?”, if there were any female voice actors involved I didn’t notice them.

    Remember that guy who thought “No Award” robbed John C. Wright of the five Hugos he was due

    Wasn’t that JCW himself?

    Anyone worked out a Six Degrees of Brad Torgerson for the slated works? I saw lots of the connections being traced in various comments, but off the top of my head I only remember these:
    Friend of Brad: Williamson, Corriea, the graphic novel entry
    Recommended by someone Brad wanted to impress: English
    Stuff Brad liked: Butcher
    No accounting for taste: KJA

  6. @Tenar Darell

    Anon comments are only sporadically approved over at Trainor’s lj, but I left a pretty long irritable screed about the Puppies erasing fans who aren’t on their side. There are quite a few first-time voters just here on File770, but to hear it from the Puppies since we voted anti-slate (to varying degrees) we must be hardcore Trufen of decades standing.

    I’m not entirely clear how that matches up with the higher voting numbers, to be honest, but I’ve given up on expecting logic.

    Well, I think the Puppy logic goes like this:
    Puppies based their campaign on getting new people involved with the Hugo’s.
    Puppies think ‘their’ fiction is the stuff that fans ‘really’ like.
    Therefore if people vote against them, then they aren’t really new fans, because obviously new fans would be on their side.
    With a side order of:
    Since there aren’t enough Trufen to defeat them in a vote, and new fans would be on the Puppies side, most of the anti-slate votes must have been FAKED. And possibly the REAL new fans, the Puppy-supporters, those votes were thrown out!

    That last one only comes from the most dedicated of Pups, but its there, sadly.

  7. Tintinaus says about School-Live!:

    I am so torn on the possibility of a hinted second season though, since I can’t see how the theme of season one could be carried forward and that was its major appeal.

    It’s based on a comic that’s been running for almost 3 years now, so I’m willing to trust that the author found a way. I’d love to see more.

  8. If Jim Butcher realeased something of the calibre of his Furies series, I would nominate him in a heartbeat.

  9. I USED TO BE NEUTRAL UNTIL… I found out druids had a low level cap. Then I switched to Chaotic Neutral and became a barbarian.

  10. I used to be neutral until someone dumped a pot of paint all over me. That certainly coloured my perceptions.

  11. Tintinaus –

    If Jim Butcher realeased something of the calibre of his Furies series, I would nominate him in a heartbeat.

    I’m hoping his new series has the potential to be as good as the Codex Alera, right now I’m 3rd in queue at the library. It just feels like Dresden Files has been spinning it’s wheels and throwing in cameos by Santa Claus and company like the mid-season of a long running series when they’ve got to stretch things out. Such as Sons of Anarchy Season 3.

    Meredith –

    Well, I think the Puppy logic goes like this:

    Heh, Puppy logic. They’re bringing in new fans who want a return to the old ways of story telling* but they’re being thwarted by old fans** who are voting on new things for the wrong reasons***

    *- that exists within their minds
    **- even though thousands of fans signed up this year and voted No Award
    ***- such as liking things that they don’t like


  12. @Meredith

    There are quite a few first-time voters just here on File770, but to hear it from the Puppies since we voted anti-slate (to varying degrees) we must be hardcore Trufen of decades standing.

    Well I am a Truefan of decades, since childhood. Though I cannot say I have standing– since I basically didn’t go to conventions until the last two. So, probably that’s not good enough for Puppies.

    My usual grumble. Don’t know when to understand that we, the geeky oddballs, have won, conquered our culture and that ramifying is now normal. It’s not a conspiracy, just joyous growth! Or, what you like on your branch, may not be what I like on mine, but everyone gets a branch! This base can support us all.

  13. I was neutral until Jim Webb didn’t get enough speaking time in the debate, then I dropped out of the Democratic Party and became an independent.

    Wait, that doesn’t make sense.

  14. They’re bringing in new fans who want a return to the old ways of story telling* but they’re being thwarted by old fans** who are voting on new things for the wrong reasons***

    One might even characterize the Pups as saying those old fans are wrongfans having wrongfun and expressing wrongopinions.

  15. David Futrelle has a report on the full nastiness of the Star Wars boycott – do not follow this link if you have a weak stomach or really gross racism distresses you (I mean to the point of being ill – of course it distresses all decent people.)

  16. Wait, what? There’s new De Lint out there?! *scurries*

    (Will drop a note to say that I write under the name T. Kingfisher and have three books available from non-Amazon sources. I also highly recommend MCA Hogarth’s SF and fantasy–they are lovely, humane, and high production quality.)

  17. Trainor has now edited his post to add a swipe at me, and then closed comments so that I cannot reply. Just as well, I suppose, poor Brad seemed to be getting awfully overheated.

  18. Somewhere, someone was asking about screening or rental for # 18, The Looking Planet I did find this on the film’s website: http://thelookingplanet.com/schedule.html

    So, if you live California near San Jose or L.A., looks like you have the greatest choice of dates. (Which makes sense). There’s a screening in Sweden and one in France and one in Mississippi or in Ukraine…. (not the full list)

  19. Wombat_socho has now closed up his LJ comments, presumably to save Brad from being pinata’d after he declared he was the only manly man there .

    Oh Brad, if you think there is such a thing as a “man card”, then you truly are a child. A small, confused, and dopey child.

  20. In other news, I posted my review of Wesley Chu’s Time Salvager. Right now it would be among my Hugo nominations for 2016, but it could probably be pushed off. We’ll see how things go as I read through some more eligible works.

    Next up Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown.

  21. I used to be neutral…. until I accidentally scuffed my feet on this carpeting <spark spark>

  22. Mark: “Wombat_socho has now closed up his LJ comments, presumably to save Brad from being pinata’d after he declared he was the only manly man there .”

    Oh, the manly macho manliness, the heady reek of testosterone laced with gunpowder and privilege… which, oddly, smells a lot like bullshit.

  23. I must say we get a far better class of wombat here on File770 than elsewhere on the internet.

  24. @JJ

    One wonders whether your list would ever leave moderation on one of the Puppy aligned blogs – or would Torgerson simply delete it and replace it with the party line?

  25. @Nicholas Whyte

    Mm, especially since you had presented evidence, and others contributed further. There’s plenty of evidence that all was not open and democratic about the Puppy slate formation. There’s plenty of evidence of Torgersen evading queries about it. What there’s no evidence of? Torgersen using an open and democratic process. The ‘prosecution’ (bad word for it) has presented its evidence, and lots of it. The defendent has basically resorted to “you can’t make me answer neener neener”. All those neutral moderates we hear so much about that support Torgersen in email – do you think they’re more persuaded by facts or evasions?

  26. This week’s Movie of the Week on iTunes in the U.S. (which means it’s a 99 cent rental) is the zombie movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin Maggie. Thoughts and opinions on it?

    Why, when it is so cheap am I asking at all? Because I don’t enjoy traditional zombie movies, but I tend to enjoy zombie movies with additional themes. This sounds like something I’d enjoy, but I’d prefer to avoid it if it turns out to be a time-wasting rental mistake.

  27. Another writer who has moved to the self-publishing arena is Rudy Rucker.

    His The Big Aha and Turing & Burrough were self-published I believe. Not only that but The Big Aha was funded via Kickstarter (it raised just over $12,500).

    Rucker also has some of his work on his website as free ebooks including the Ware Tetralogy http://www.rudyrucker.com/wares/

    Of course if you like the free novels, it seems only fair to buy some of those which are not free.

  28. Of course if you like the free novels, it seems only fair to buy some of those which are not free.

    “Fair” doesn’t come into it. We offer free books in the hope of persuading people we can write. If you don’t buy the non-free books, then our persuasion didn’t work. Guilting people into buying anything is a good way to build up resentment. (A lesson the Puppies could do well to learn.)

  29. I used to be neutral…. but then some people went and invaded Belgium.
    Or was it Poland?
    And everyone turned out the lights.

  30. During the WSFS Business Meeting, Ron Oakes said that the software used to count Hugo votes was available for member examination “for reasonable requests.”

    Here’s the relevant portion of the minutes, during debate on a proposal to recommend the use of open source software:

    Ron Oakes spoke in opposition, as the author or coder of the current website code used for the Hugo nomination process, and the main author involved in the voting process. All the software he wrote, with a small exception of the stuff that was written for Chicon 7 originally, is copyrighted, but its rights are assigned exclusively to WSFS. That does not preclude reasonable requests to examine the software, but it does preclude it getting out into the open by unwarranted sharing of its code. This code was written specifically for this body for this purpose, but he did not want to deal with open source. He added that a small portion of the Hugo voting code was based on code originally written by Steve Stanton for LoneStarCon 3and is GPL. But the remainder of the code, including that used to cross-check the counts of the Hugo voting, is available for reasonable requests because it is licensed to this body. But it is not open source, and he was against what he saw as something to force him to deal with open source licensing. As a professional software developer, as long as he was assigning the code to a body, he said he believed himself safe from any employment issues. But making it open source could cause issues that might be harmful to his employment in the future.

    I’m a software developer and WSFS member, so I made a request.

    Oakes passed my request up to the next Worldcon’s Hugo administrator, Dave McCarty, who told me today, “While the software we use for Hugo voting is licensed to any seated Worldcon for their use, it is not open source nor is it available for inspection to members.”

    As a member, I feel like Oakes misled the business meeting. The software is not available for members to inspect. We have zero way to assure ourselves it is reliable and error-free. He should have told the meeting what I was just told — no members will be allowed to examine the software.

    All voting system software should be open source. I’m going to launch an open source project that does what we’re currently doing with closed software no one is allowed to inspect, in the hopes that it proves useful in the future.

  31. Trainor has now edited his post to add a swipe at me, and then closed comments so that I cannot reply.

    It was awfully kind of Trainor to spin people challenging Torgersen’s falsehoods about how the Puppies slate was assembled into an unfair effort to make him prove his innocence.

    He was being asked to prove his statement that the process was “100% open and democratic.” There’s nothing unfair about expecting someone who makes that claim to offer corroborating evidence. Any open, democratic process offers plenty of that.

  32. TheYoungPretender: One wonders whether your list would ever leave moderation on one of the Puppy aligned blogs – or would Torgerson simply delete it and replace it with the party line?

    Or just ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist, as he does with much of the evidence which completely contracdicts the falsehood that he spouts.

    I’m quite sure no Puppies would un-mod that, which is why I posted it here. I might have considered posting it on Trainor’s post — but I don’t have an LJ account, and he had frozen comments before I finished writing it, anyway.

    I first read about The Martian on a Friend’s Facebook wall at the beginning of June 2014. I stayed up late reading it, then made an effusive Facebook post — after which at least 3 friends blamed me for their discovering the book and staying up late reading it, too. I’ve watched as many dozens (actually, probably hundreds), of friends on Facebook and blogs raved about the book.

    Torgersen claiming that non-Puppies ignored The Martian just shows how incredibly sheltered and out-of-touch he is, hanging around on the “safe” Puppy blogsites. And after he and his slate and the Puppies deprived Weir of a Campbell nomination this year… what an incredible hypocrite.

  33. ‘Manly men’ don’t secretly alter the comments they get on their blogs.

    Hell, ‘manly men’ are competent enough to compete without resorting to slating.

  34. BethZ:

    Arrgh! I’m only about an hour and a quarter from Allentown, so it’s v-e-r-y tempting. But on Friday night I’ll be in Philly, going to the Wilma Theater’s production of Antigone (new translation! racebent casting!), and then on Sunday I’m going to a launch party for Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. So I may be too worn out to go to Allentown on Saturday, but … I’ll have to think about it. Will you be there for the whole con, or just the weekend?

    Also, for those in the greater Philly area: the Wilma still has a year left of their grant to have super-low ticket prices for live professional theater: $25 regular seats, $10 for students or people in the industry. It’s an offer I find irresistible.

  35. Wow, Torgersen’s little display today is the dumbest thing I’ve seen this week.

    The late Carlo Cipolla was an economist at Berkeley. Back in the ‘70s he wrote a little essay that might be his best bid for immortality: The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity. It’s escaped onto the internet, although it‘s also possible to buy a copy:


    It’s both true and entertaining; I recommend it to everyone.

    Here in October of 2015, Torgersen’s understanding of the world is so comprehensively broken that he still thinks that an editor at Tor somehow engineered a number of awards on two continents for a competing publisher’s book.


    Oct. 20, 2015 09:26am nwhtye on LJ:
    “I thought (Ancillary Justice) was a great book, as did the Hugo voters, the Nebula voters, the BSFA voters, the Arthur C. Clarke Award jury and the Locus Award voters. Tastes differ!”
    And Torgersen replied:
    “And a raft of awards nobody in the wider world knows or cares about, proves . . . what, again? That Nielsen-Hayden is good at engineering wins for his house’s books? We already knew that.”

    I’ve tried to avoid ad hominem attacks in all this, but there really is no other conclusion than that Torgersen is breathtakingly stupid. His understanding of how the world works is apparently non-existent.
    (AND he’s ignorant, to boot: even at this point, he remains resolutely unaware of who publishes Leckie – and he’s dumb enough to say so in public.)

    Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Last spring I was minding my own business and was happily catching up on some SF-nal reading, when Torgersen and his pals hijacked the 2015 Hugo nominations.
    And I had to stop what I was doing, pay about $50 out-of-pocket for some books (…that I otherwise would have waited to buy more cheaply), drop another $40 for a Supporting Membership to Sasquan, and give up hours of my precious free time reading Torgersen’s terrible, terrible choices.
    (Checking in here at File770, I also learned that Torgersen has directly insulted me and my reading and voting preferences.)

    Torgersen has directly cost me (and several thousand other SF fans) both time and money, for no obvious gain to his career.

    (And as a result, I, for one, have put him on my “Never Buy” list; it’s reasonable to infer that several thousand of the other SF fans that he’s insulted, and some number of casual readers (and acquisition editors!) have done likewise.)

    So Cipolla’s Third Law of Human Stupidity directly applies to Brad Torgersen:

    A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

  36. Is it only me? Until I saw people complaining (or trolling), it never occurred to me that the woman and the black dude were the actual *heroes* in The Force Awakens. I assumed that they were just a bait-and-switch, before the True Hero Scruffy White Dude appeared.

    Is there *truly* not a THSWD? From JJ Abrams and the Disney Money Machine?!? Come on, pull the other one. Maybe he’s not scheduled to appear until the next movie, they’re just building up to his triumphant appearance.

  37. @Doctor Science —

    Hard to see how the black dude can go from a stormtrooper to having a blue lightsaber without being at least one of the heroes. Hard to see how the woman isn’t being coded as being at least as significant as the black dude. (I mean, sure, drooling incompetence. But probably not with this movie.)

    Remember that Luke’s still in this, and (at least initially) an ambiguous figure; we might be looking at Unforgiven in a galaxy far, far away.

    It’s quite possible that Disney has noticed this thing called a “global market”.

  38. Peter J on October 20, 2015 at 3:49 pm said:

    I must say we get a far better class of wombat here on File770 than elsewhere on the internet.


  39. I used to be neutral… then I took an arrow to the knee.

    (And lo, I have returned from my exile of grant-writing, to make pithy comments of questionable humor.)

  40. So now that we know Torgersen holds a coveted Manly Man card, it’s time to revive the old Saturday Night Live gameshow sketch….

    Quien Es Mas Macho?

    For round one; Quien es mas macho? Torgersen or a weasel?

  41. RedWombat: I don’t know if you got my email; so thanks for the shoutout on KUEC.

    It occurs to me that there is at least one Scandinavian here on File770; perhaps Hampus can suggest how to serve that lovely can of Fish Balls In Brine. Not to mention the Cajun Pickled Herring in Cream Sauce. (That latter, I’ve had; I just ate it by itself using a toothpick. I bet it would be good on toast or crackers, though.) From what you said about its temperature when it arrived, I think the herring is fine to eat, as long as you’ve kept it refrigerated since you got it, and eat it sooner than later. Note that the cold pack it almost certainly shipped with never freezes “solid”, so its flexibility doesn’t mean it thawed significantly.

  42. Hell, ‘manly men’ are competent enough to compete without resorting to slating.

    They also don’t whine about losing, let alone whine for weeks or months about it.

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