(1) IT CAN WEAR ON YOU. Wendy Ross Kaufman has written a concise history of fan costuming culture that explains why she prefers her activity not be lumped in with cosplay, in “They’re Young. We’re Dead. So it’s Cosplay”.
And so, momentum of the new “cosplay” word grows. The newer, younger crowd makes original work, but since they came to costuming by way of Anime, they still call themselves cosplayers. Cosplayers brand themselves as such, finally showing up on reality shows, and the media is just frantic for them. Most have no idea that this cosplay thing is not Japanese at all. It’s American, misnamed by a Japanese man searching for a name that was not “too noble” for the art he saw at Worldcon in 1984. As one who has never cosplayed, “even once”, it’s understandable how Mr. Takahashi just got it so completely wrong, and completely missed all the subtlety and cultural nuances of what he saw. No outsider could, let alone one from a totally different culture.
Now, as ‘cosplayers’ enjoy their turn at being the darling of the internet, there have been skirmishes about what to call these people who make costumes for conventions. Is it “cosplayer” or “costumer”? Sometimes you hear that one should simply respect a person’s wishes, and call each what they ask to be called. Then you also get the positively rabid insistence from some that it’s all cosplay, and only cosplay, and anything else is somehow insulting to cosplayers. They are absolutely, positively emphatic about it. Even costuming that happened 40 years ago is cosplay and should be renamed as such. No amount of trying to explain how this is not correct, because the whole era was different, will work, and those costumers do not want to rename what they did, nor should they. The audience was different. What was fashionable in costume was different. These costumes can be dated the same way any costumes—even period costumes—date a movie to when it was made, not when it was set. There was a whole community with its own codified rules and expectations at that time that are very different than the cosplayer’s and in no way was the word “cosplay” associated with it, nor would any of them have considered associating what most consider to be “play” with what they did. Simply put, the word “cosplay” did not exist then, nor would it, here in the US, for a decade or more. It would take even longer before it gained any real momentum.
So you can see that it is a bit odd to insist, while virtually stomping oneself into the floor, Rumplestiltskin-like, that 50 years of costume convention history be renamed because the new kids insist there is no difference, and they want their new word—because somehow, it’s better but also the same. It’s a peculiar bit of cultural appropriation that costumers react negatively to. If there is no difference, then that only means that “costumer” is the “correct” term. Why do we need a new word?
You can be cosplayers if you wish, but costumers will continue to be costumers.
(2) RETRO CONVENTION T-SHIRTS. Alison Scott’s Fannish Clothing Emporium (a Facebook link) specializes in wearable fanhistory. (There’s also a Teespring store).
She launched this summer with a reprise of Margaret Welbank’s shirt for the 1987 Worldcon bid — available in UK and US varieties.
Pat Cadigan put her up to this one –
(3) GET SCALZI AUDIO STORY FREE. This novella is premiering as an audiobook – and you can download it at no charge over the next few weeks – “The Dispatcher: Now Out for Free on Audible + NYCC Signings and Appearances”.
Today’s the day: The Dispatcher, my audiobook novella, is out and exclusively available on Audible.com, for free through November 2. It’s read by Zachary Quinto, who you know from the new Star Trek films as Spock and from Heroes as Sylar, and he is simply a terrific narrator for the story.
And what’s the story? Imagine our world with a simple but profound twist: when someone intentionally kills someone else, 999 out of a thousand, they come back. Murder becomes almost impossible, war is radically altered — and there arises a new class of legal, professional killers called “Dispatchers,” tasked with killing those doomed to die, so they can come back and live again.
(4) LONGER LIST ANTHOLOGY. David Steffen’s Long List Anthology Volume 2 Kickstarter passed its first stretch goal of $3,900, enabling it to add the novelettes, and it’s now raised $4,147, on its way to the $5000 for adding two novellas.
That adds the following stories, including one that is just being announced as part of this update (marked with a * in case you’re just tuning in)
- “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson” by Elizabeth Bear
- “So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer
- “Another Word For World” by Ann Leckie
- “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds” by Rose Lemberg
- “The Deepwater Bride” by Tamsyn Muir
- “Our Lady of the Open Road” by Sarah Pinsker*
- “The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild” by Catherynne M. Valente
On to the novella stretch goal! (And if that one’s reached, to consider what else to consider after that.)
Thanks to all 212 backers, BoingBoing and File770 for signal-boosting, and to everyone else who has helped spread the word!
(5) JUST. ONCE. MORE. Can’t find that I’ve linked this story in the Scroll before – it’s Yes! Magazine’s full-length article about the “Just. One. Book.” effort, “A Mom’s Plea for Library Books Brought in 15,000 – And Transformed Her Small Town”.
Books change lives. Everyone reading this knows that. But what about 15,000 books donated from around the world to a struggling rural school, where the library has been closed for a decade? That many books can change a community.
At the cusp of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges sits Greenville, California, a town of 1,130 residents. The town and the surrounding Indian Valley community are right now exploring all the benefits of this gift—enough volumes to fill several libraries in a place with scant library services.
Like every good book, there’s a story here.
Margaret Elysia Garcia wasn’t thinking about the shuttered sawmills and empty storefronts of Indian Valley when she posted a blog entry titled “Just. One. Book.” She was thinking about kids…
(6) MASTER OF STONELORE. Fantasy Literature scored a big interview — Hugo Winner N.K. Jemisin talks THE FIFTH SEASON and THE OBELISK GATE
WARNING: THIS INTERVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1 AND 2 OF THE BROKEN EARTH SERIES
Kevin Wei: First, let me just say congrats on your recent Hugo win! We’re great fans of your work here at Fantasy Literature, so I just wanted to start us off by talking about how you write. I know you’ve said in the past that your writing process differs depending on what you write. Has the way you’ve written BROKEN EARTH differed significantly from the way you’ve written other works? Was there a large difference between the writing processes for The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate?
N. K. Jemisin: My process is still pretty much the same, at the planning stage. I outline, and I will put together different sets of information storage, like at one point I used to use a wiki. Now I just write notes, endless notes. I’ve got a file that’s nothing more than stonelore that I’ve made up and another file that keeps track of all the seasons, and then a file that keeps track of the way that plate tectonics would have moved over the years, and all kinds of stuff like that. But I think the difference now that I’m writing book three of the trilogy is that I am now completely off the outline; I have been pantsing it almost exclusively, which is not normal for me, and I’m not sure what that’s going to mean. I think it’s mostly just that I’m working at speed right now, and I’m working at such speed that I don’t have time to even slow down enough to check my outline and make sure I’m on track. It’s a fairly simple story at this point, all of the place settings have been moved and the chess board is all set up now —it’s just a matter of “now fight.”
(7) REPEALING THE INFORMATION AGE? Poynter.org reports “Newspapers hit with a wave of requests to take down embarrassing archived stories”.
In May 2014, the European Union’s highest court ruled that there is a privacy “right to be forgotten” — and that Google needed to respond to any reasonable request that information “inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive” be removed. (The case was brought by a Spanish businessman who wanted to unpublish an account of an earlier insolvency).
The right to be forgotten concept has not yet made it across the Atlantic, but it is easy to imagine privacy advocates taking up the cause in state legislatures or Congress.
I became aware of the recent surge in such requests six weeks ago when Zach Ryall, digital managing editor of the Austin American-Statesman called Poynter asking if we knew of an ethics code providing guidance.
“This is getting scary,” Ryall told me. “We are responding to more and more of these…And when I checked with my colleagues at other Cox papers, I found they are too.”…
Checking with chains, Randy Siegel of Advance Local told me the inquiries are not yet a big problem. Brent Jones, standards and ethics editor of the USA Today Network, commented by email:
Newsrooms are guided to keep the bar high when considering removal of content from digital platforms. Our journalists strive daily to preserve the integrity of the published record, including publishing corrections or clarifications. We do so in the interest of the public’s right to know now – and in the future. Take-down requests are weighed on a case-by-case basis with senior editors, and some situations may require legal guidance….
For now, case-by-case seems to be the norm. I was surprised to read that since the EU ruling, Google has received literally hundreds of thousands appeals to disable links, granting about 40 percent but turning down the majority.
Makes me wonder if the Internet Archive is responding to requests to take down old news items?
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY
- October 4, 1931 — The comic strip Dick Tracy, created by Chester Gould, made its debut.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRLS
- Born October 4, 1941 — Anne Rice
- Born October 4, 1988 — Melissa Benoist
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY
- Born October 4, 1923 — Charlton Heston.
(11) JACK VANCE PHOTO ALBUMS. Andrew Porter remarks, “If people only knew Jack Vance as an old, sedentary and very rotund author, these images will open your eyes of what he looked like as a newlywed, with his wife Norma, just after World War Two and in the years following: http://menno.pharesm.org/jackvance/albums/.
(12) ANOTHER TIME AT BAT. Collider says Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar are still busy in the genre — “’Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’ Adds to the Voice Cast as New Images Emerge”.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, the latest animated effort from Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, has added a few quality names to the film’s voice cast, along with a few new images showing off the classic designs of the 1960s Batman characters.
Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman) own top billing, but Steven Weber and Thomas Lennon–-join as trustworthy butler Alfred Pennyworth and Chief O’Hara, respectively–headline an impressive array of actors who were excited to give voice to a role in a Batman film. In addition to Weber and Lennon, the cast includes:
Jeff Bergman as the Joker and the revered Announcer, William Salyers as The Penguin, Wally Wingert as The Riddler, Lynne Marie Stewart as Aunt Harriett, Jim Ward as Commissioner Gordon, and Sirena Irwin as TV show host Miranda Moore.
(13) CHANGING OF THE GUARDIANS. Petréa Mitchell noted MiceAge has a new Disneyland update that includes details about the new Guardians of the Galaxy makeover for the Tower of Terror, and some epic-sounding stuff about Star Wars Land that we may or may not eventually see.
The construction scaffolding has been growing on the sides and back of Tower of Terror, and by Halloween it should be nearly fully shrouded in scaffolding and tarps. That’s about the time that the construction footprint will have to expand enough to shut down the DCA parade route through the remainder of the construction timeline until next May. Without the ability to perform a parade during construction DCA will still go full steam ahead on one of Christie’s pet projects, the food and merch “festivals” in DCA that will begin November 11th and continue through the spring in one form or another. And when the scaffolds come down, this is what will be seen from throughout DCA – as the video says, inspired by oil refineries:…
(14) THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST. According to the League of Supercritics:
The Wicked Witch of the West is the ultimate archetype for the modern witch, so everyone wants to their own version of her. Too bad MGM holds the copyright to the one everyone knows.
(15) OH, THE DINOMANITY! Mark Evanier relives the anguish of being a first-run Flintstones fan, before the invention of the VCR.
Still, that awful night, I actually missed an episode of The Flintstones! A whole, actual episode of The Flintstones! On Monday, I pumped my schoolmates who’d seen it for details…and expressed shock that some of them could have watched but hadn’t. What the hell was wrong with those children?
I consoled myself that all was not lost; that some (not all) of the episodes were rerun near the end of the season…so I had a chance. As it turned out, this was not one of the ones that was repeated and I figured sadly I would never see it. Who knew at the time those would all be rerun and rerun forever and someday, I’d even be able to buy a copy of it and watch it whenever I wanted to? I finally caught it a year or three later in syndication by which time my interest in The Flintstones was somewhat diminished.
So let us pause to remember that because of technology, no child ever has to endure that pain today. Whatever ten-year-olds are watching today — Son of Zorn or Bob’s Burgers or Elena of Avalor or Naked and Afraid — they never have to miss an episode.
It’s a great time to be alive.
(16) NEW SPACE TRAILER. The Space Between Us Official Trailer #2.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter, JJ, David K.M. Klaus, Nigel, Petréa Mitchell, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, and Alison Scott for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Nigel.]
By the ticking of the rolls,
Something pixel this way scrolls.
What prize do I get for being third today?
A Marvel No-Fifth?
10) Today’s birthday boy was born John Carter. Really.
@Joseph I had no idea. If Heston was born in Virginia, that would have been even weirder and odder.
A clean limbed fighting man.
16) I wonder if they’re going to try to handwave what looks like instantaneous communication over a distance of several light-minutes, or just ignore it and leave us to hope that nobody “remembers” the anti-fact at a time/place/position where it would bite.
According to Google, today is also the 434th birthday of the Gregorian calendar. Give us back our  days! (Yes, I know that’s a myth from a Hogarth engraving.)
3) Yay! Free audiobook!
4) Yay! More Long List!
(11) Love those Vance pictures!
(3) Scalzi’s had occasion to note on Twitter this evening that Audible paid him very well for the month that The Dispatcher is free, so no one should hesitate to take advantage.
Not sure why I had to go and wake up again, after falling asleep.
Possible second fifth. We’ll see.
All in all it’s just another fifth in the scroll…
The latest Django Wexler (The Guns of Empire) is only £1.99 on Amazon at the moment.
Excellent tip, thank you. I’m just on to book 3, having thoroughly enjoyed book 2. The change in style (more conspiracies, less battles) was really good.
(6) MASTER OF STONELORE
Interesting interview. I know a few people have speculated on whether the series is going to turn more SF than F at some point, and she does address that (I won’t quote though because spoilers).
Book Rec: I just finished Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers and enjoyed it a lot, despite some minor quibbles. The more I read, the more into it I got and the longer my reading sessions were; after the first third, I was very into it. It’s a space opera with a runaway princess-turned-gunrunner returning to take her place as heir. It’s got intrigue and conspiracies, people trying to kill her, the possibility of war, a failing Empress, and lots of chaos. 🙂 The stuff with her mother was surprisingly sad IMHO in a couple of spots. The society has what some might call reverse-sexism – women in many positions of power and men’s contributions not valued as much.
There were a couple of editing snafus like when (spoilers ROT-13’d) Unvy gryyf Rzzbel gb sver Any, gura svaqf bhg fur jnf cebonoyl vaibyirq va ure fvfgref’ qrnguf. Lrg yngre ng n erfgnhenag fprar, bar bs ure thneqf fgnpxvat bhg gur erfgnhenag vf Any, naq Unvy qbrfa’g ong na rlr. Ohg gur arkg Any’f zragvbarq, gurer’f ab dhrfgvba ubj Unvy srryf nobhg ure. Guvf frrzrq yvxr na boivbhf zvfgnxr; vg fubhyq’ir orra fbzrbar ryfr va gur erfgnhenag, abg Any.
I got tired of “oh I should trust X” obsessing, which made no sense since obviously she was trusting X, Y, etc. – she just had the same thoughts/comments multiple times, like she forgot she’d decided before that she would trust X. And occasionally people did random things that didn’t IMHO really fit or just seemed stupid (like trggvat Unvy n Xevfuan fgnghr, plus the timing of it).
But, minor quibbles aside, I enjoyed it and I’m going to get the sequel in December. The sequel picks up where this book left off; the excerpt at the back was a little dark, starting with (ROT-13) rkrphgvbaf.
ETA: Yipes, sorry that was way long!
@Chip Hitchcock: Surely they’re just using an ansible? 😉 I’m not expecting hard science from this movie.
7) Makes me if the Internet Archive is responding to requests to take down old news items?
I’m assuming it makes you WONDER if the Internet Archive is responding….
(I don’t drink alcohol, but I’ll take a chocolate sundae….)
Thanks for this. “Behind the Throne” is fairly high on my Mount TBR.
The Iraqi Minister for Transport sings the praises of ancient innovator, El-An’Musk.
I’m going to have to expand the File 770 menu.
(1) Yet she never mentions Forrest J Ackerman as being credited for being the first to attend a CON in costume.
John King Tarpinian said:
Nor does she mention Morojo for being the first person to design and make a con costume and co-first to wear one, but I’m not sure what that would have added to her point.
(13) My SO points out that the Tower of Terror being converted to the Collector’s fortress means we can now anticipate the delicious irony of Howard the Duck making it onto Disney property.
1) What IS her point, exactly? That stuff changed drastically over a period of forty years and she’s excessively, needlessly salty about it?
1) (and Nate Harada and Petrea Mitchell)
I thought it was marvellous and a perfect example of how historical ignorance leads to doing the same thing all over again, but differently.
Very much a cousin to “gate shows are too real conventions!”
I can see why she did not include the “actual origins” of convention costuming: she’d have had to give it some background, explain all about SF cons and fandom, etc., etc. – though I do agree that a a footnote at the end would have been appropriate.
Nate Harada: What IS her point, exactly? That stuff changed drastically over a period of forty years and she’s excessively, needlessly salty about it?
That there is a difference between costuming and cosplaying, although most of the people doing cosplay now don’t understand it.
I didn’t have any problem understanding her piece.
Finished Ninefox Gambit.
Wow. Works for me, though the pewpewpew boys will have difficulty as they can’t understand the way the weapons work, and the fact that at least one of them has no real safe place to stand (threshold winnower – almost as much “fun” as a Lazy Gun). I thought it was crazy inventive and a really interesting read, with more depth revealed in the main characters as the book progressed.
Fgvyy abg ragveryl fher jul Wrqnb’f cyna jbhyq gnxr praghevrf gb hasbyq, ubjrire – vg jbhyq frrz ur unq zber punapr gb znxr na vzcnpg orsber engure guna nf fbpvrgl tbg zber evtvq bire gvzr. Bar bs gur erny vagrerfgvat cbvagf jnf ubj gur Xry jrag sebz orvat ivrjrq nf guvf njrfbzr zvyvgnel sbepr gb bar jurer gurl jrer nyzbfg qvfcbfnoyr nf gur crefcrpgvir punatrq – irel jryy qbar.
It’s on my shortlist for the Hugos.
Also reading the Clarksworld extract from the Hugo pack (yes I am late) -Zhang Ran’s “Ether” is impressive, but takes a while to get going.
If you don’t read your scroll, you can’t have any pixels!
How can you have any pixels if you don’t read your scroll!?
You! Yes! You behind the Gestetner! Start slip sheeting laddie!
Here’s a story pertinent to the Constantine coin in Japan story and to the “finding hidden details in old documents” stories.
Just finished listening to Dispatcher by Scalzi.
I found it to be a nice twist on a classic nor theme. Zachary Quinto did a great job with narration. Hugo worthy? Not so much, but still a good listen.
@JJ – Hmm. My take on her piece was that cosplay was, in fact, the same as costuming and, because of this fact, they really shouldn’t try to force what she finds a derogatory term as the default name.
I guess that people can read the same piece and take different things away.
I know cosplayers, and I know costumers. While there’s a significant overlap between the two categories, in my personal experience cosplayers incorporate a certain amount of… erm… LARPing, or acting, that costumers generally do not. If you go up to a dryad and exclaim, “how did you get that bark texture? It’s amazing!” a costumer will cheerfully break character and explain the process, while a cosplayer will look at you blankly and inform you that that’s how they grew from when they were just a seed….
All just my own experience; other people may have other definitions….
The Scroll has already started. It’s too late for the Pixels to vote.
Today’s read — Men Explain Things To Me and Other Essays, by Rebecca Solnit (non-SFF, nonfiction)
Essays about feminism and issues related to feminism. In 1963, Betty Friedan described “the problem that has no name” in The Feminine Mystique. Solnit may very well have done the same for another generation, identifying and naming problems so deeply ingrained that until she wrote about them, some of them scarcely had scarcely been described in words. But in only a few years, discussion has become so widespread that her role in sparking it can be difficult to spot. These are definitely ideas whose time has come, and they’ve been a long time coming. Thumbs up.
(1) What she said, on the whole.
(2) Not that vintage, but does anyone know where I could get a new or gently used Renovation 2011 t-shirt? Mine has been destroyed by the SJW credentials.
(7) We have always been at war with Eastasia.
Read Connie Willis’ latest “Crosstalk” while I was away — delightful! It’s one of the funny ones, not one of the rip out your heart ones. No violence, sex, or death. All thumbs up.
Lurkertype, it looks like the shirts might still be for sale from the original supplier.
@Kendall: hard science I’m not expecting; something that requires a quantum leap in tech is irritating — although I suppose it doesn’t matter if the mob thinks such comms are possible.
(1) I found the whole thing worthy of eye-rolling and sarcastic jerk-off motions, but this one:
is pants on head stupid.
1) In my experience, the biggest difference between costumers and cosplayers, is about 30 years.
She seems to me to be mainly offended by the fact that there are younger people involved in the craft, who don’t know the Traditions, or the History or the Important People. Worse, they don’t care.
Maybe I’m a little bit oversensitive about old reactionary fans and Offmylawnism these days, but my hackles tend to raise raise when people start talking about tradition. So here I tend to side with the enthusiasm of the cosplay crowd.
@ Rose: I hear that. So many times, when I’m in a group of fen who are my age-contemporaries, I find myself thinking, “I’m too young for this crowd”. A lot of my social circle consists of fen who are 15-20 years younger than I am, and I think this influences my outlook considerably.
As to what’s costuming and what’s cosplay, my understanding is that if you’re re-creating a specific canon character, it’s cosplay; if you’re not, it’s costuming; and if you’re doing “generic Dendarii mercenary” or “generic Minas Tirith palace guard” it can go either way. Although that leaves me confused about how to classify the steampunk folks, many of whom have definite personas in the same way that SCAers do. And what about my Corsicana Jones, who is emphatically NOT just a genderbent Indy?
oh get off my lawn! 🙂
Personally, I DO believe that there should be a “proper” respect for history and tradition. Not blindly following it, but using them as the data sources they are and applying their lessons and knowledge appropriately to new situations.
For example – without tradition, there would be no Big Heart Award (nor any but fleeting awards) and without history we’d not know ‘why’ or ‘how’ that award came to be; we’d therefore not be in a position to intelligently modify that award if and when necessary.
I’m seeing a discrepancy in the origin date for the term “cosplay.” The wiki says that the term was coined after the 1984 Worldcon. But this article says that the term was first used in the June 1983 issue of a magazine.
Darren Garrison said:
Well, I guess it’s up to you to choose who you want to believe: Wikipedia, or the primary source.
It’s also been alleged that the word was independently invented even earlier, in a more adult context, though I don’t think I’ve seen anyone offering specific citations. But I’ve encountered a couple people who shy away from using “cosplay” for that reason.
1) Respecting history and tradition is one thing; demanding that language and culture stop evolving and changing right now and everyone needs to go back to using the terminology you like best just sounds remarkably ignorant of the way language and culture work.
Personally I’m young enough that I’ve never heard the practice called anything but cosplay, from character costumes to setting-specific outfits to steampunk, so I’ll leave haggling over definitions to those who have at least some concrete ideas of where the line is. 😉
I was thinking more along the lines of “could the ‘1983’ in the Kotaku article be a typo that nobody noticed and corrected.” But it turns out that the 1983 is right, making Wendy Ross Kaufman’s statements about the history of the term not merely incredibly condescending but also factually incorrect.
The line is very clear, don’t you see? Ask yourself this: Did you watch The Anime on The UHFs? Then you are a costumer.