Pixel Scroll 11/14/18 Ask Not For Whom The Files Scroll

Power was off here for 8 hours while they replaced a utility pole – fortunately the rest of you kept sending stuff!

(1) GRRM DEALS WILD CARDS TO TV. Tor.com says “George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards Universe Finds a Home at Hulu”

The Hollywood Reporter dropped big news for GRRM fans yesterday; the Wild Cards series, helmed by Martin and Melinda Snodgrass, and featuring stories from many SFF luminaries, is coming to Hulu.

Hulu and Universal Cable Productions are near to a deal that would create a writers room for Wild Cards, helmed by Andrew Miller. The intent is to begin with two series and potentially expand to more, with Martin, Melinda Snodgrass, and Vince Gerardis executive producing the lot.

(2) ARISIA GOHS PUNISHED. Did you know Amazing Stories was sponsoring the 2019 NASFiC’s Fan Guests of Honor Bjo and John Trimble? Well, if you didn’t, never mind, they aren’t anymore — “Amazing Stories Withdraws Trimble’s NASFiC Sponsorship”. And why is that? Steve Davidson thinks it’s bad publicity for Amazing to be associated with people who are also going to be guests at Arisia 2019 — apparently, even worse publicity than Amazing will receive from making this announcement.

Today, November 14th, The Experimenter Publishing Company reluctantly announces that it has formally rescinded its NASFiC Fan GoH sponsorship of John and Bjo Trimble, following the Trimble’s decision to remain Guests of Honor of the Arisia 2019 convention.

In December of 2017 at the Boston SMOFcon, Steve Davidson (Experimenter Publisher) met Kate Hatcher, chair of the 2019 Utah NASFiC bid.  Utah won the bid and The Experimenter Publishing Company was approached as a potential sponsor for the as yet unnamed Fan GoH.  Following brief discussions, Experimenter agreed to cover the costs associated with the attendance and promotional efforts typically incurred.

… The Trimbles initially announced that they would be attending Arisia.  When I learned of this, I wrote to Kate Hatcher of the Utah NASFiC and subsequently to Bjo Trimble, explaining that The Experimenter Publishing Company and Amazing Stories could not be associated with nor support Arisia under the current circumstances and, since one purpose of their trip to the convention was to promote the NASFiC as sponsored by Amazing Stories, I felt that I had no choice but to withdraw their sponsorship should they choose to attend….

(3) HAZARDOUS SFF TOYS. W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.) has released their 2018 list of “10 worst toys” for the holiday season (press release here and more about each toy starting here). Cited issues include choking, ingestion, cutting, blunt force, and eye damage hazards. A majority of the toys have sff or science themes. The full list is:

  • Nickelodeon Nella Princess Knight Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites
  • Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster
  • Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw
  • Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade
  • Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Time Doll
  • Zoo Jamz Xylophone
  • Nici Wonderland Doll: Miniclara The Ballerina
  • Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket
  • Cutting Fruit
  • Chien Á Promener Pull Along Dog

(4) BEFORE LITTLE NEMO. Titan Comics is publishing McCay, an “invented biography” chronicling authentic — though only partially true — stories of the life of the “father of animation” Winsor McCay, in which “McCay’s life is enriched by an imaginary encounter with British mathematician and science fiction writer Charles Hinton…and glimpses of the fourth dimension.” Release date is November 20.

(5) KICKSTARTER SPRINT. Fireside Fiction has launched a short crowdfunding campaign for “Hope In This Timeline”, a collection of short spec fiction stories about finding hope in difficult times curated by Meg Frank.

This reality is bonkers, and keeping up, let alone keeping your spirits up is really hard. Team Fireside thought we’d insert a little hope into the mix. We collected stories by Lee S. Bruce, Beth Cato, Gillian Daniels at midnight EST and in addition to the collection we’ve got some rad backer rewards like an enamel pin designed by Team Fireside and original artwork by Sara Eileen Hames.

They have raised $3,845 of their $7,000 goal with two days to go.

(6) G. WILLOW WILSON INTERVIEW. She starts her run on the DC icon this month — “Ms. Marvel’s G. Willow Wilson reflects on the political side of Wonder Woman”.

Wonder Woman is unavoidably this icon of feminism and of diversity and, to an extent, any Wonder Woman story can’t escape the broader context of her as a fictional element in the wider world. You just look at her becoming a figurehead for the UN, and the backlash to that, and the weight that we place on her as a fictional character. And certainly there’s a lot of conversation about issues of feminism and diversity just in the comics world right now. Do you feel that the presence of that context when you’re writing her?

Yes, absolutely. I think those of us, especially in the United States, who grew up with these characters, tend to assume a kind of universality to them. We assume that the ideals that they represent are universal across time and space and culture; that everybody can relate to them the same way that we do; that the things that they say and they think, their costumes, all of this stuff — is a universal human expression of justice.

And it’s not always the case. That’s not always the case. And I think now that we are really interconnected across the globe, and in social media, to the press, through the globalization of pop culture, we’re asking much bigger questions about these characters then we might have before, when they were a uniquely American phenomenon. And so it’s something that I’m always conscious of.

And it does, I think, make one’s job as a storyteller more interesting, because we’re now dealing with these characters who have a much broader reach than they might have 60 years ago. Yet by that same token, they’re no longer as universal and that’s a very interesting paradox.

[That’s] part of why I wanted to start out my run on the series in the way that I do: asking, “What is justice in this very different context?” Is there such a thing as a just war in a time when war is no longer about two armies facing each other across the battlefield, and it’s more about proxy wars and asymmetrical warfare and civilian casualties? And all of these different warring perspectives where there is no clear, black-and-white good guy and bad guy? And not shy away from that stuff. It’s a tall order, but I think it’s never been more necessary to ask those questions

(7) PATTEN TRIBUTES. Lee Gold has assembled a LASFS memorial page for Fred Patten that includes this quote from David Gerrold:

Fred was a treasure. You could turn to him and say, “I remember a story about a … etc.” and he would not only identify it by title and author, but where it was published. He was an incredible resource. I admired his encyclopedic knowledge of the field. He was classic old-school fandom. I am so sorry to hear of his passing.


  • November 14, 1883 — Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island is published as a one-volume book.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]

  • November 14, 1907 Astrid Lindgren. Creator of the Pippi Longstocking series and, at least in the States, lesser known Emil i Lönneberga, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, and the Six Bullerby Children series as well. In January 2017, she was calculated to be the world’s 18th most translated author, and the fourth-most-translated children’s writer after Enid Blyton, H. C. Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. There have been at least forty video adaptations of her works over the decades mostly in Swedish but Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter (Sanzoku no Musume R?nya in English transliteration) was an animated series in Japan recently. (Died 2002.)
  • November 14, 1930 – Lt. Col. Ed White, Engineer, Pilot, and Astronaut who was the first American to walk in space during the Gemini 4 flight, for which he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. He and his crewmates Virgil “Gus” Grissom and Roger B. Chaffee died as a result of a catastrophic fire in the command module during a launch test for Apollo 1, which was to have been the first manned Apollo mission. (Died 1967.)
  • November 14, 1932Alex Ebel. He did the poster for the first Friday the 13th film, and his cover illustration for The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin published by Ace Books in 1975 is considered one of the best such illustrations done. I’m also very impressed with The Dispossessed cover he did as well as his Planet of Exile cover too. His work for magazines includes Heavy MetalSpace Science Fiction and Fantastic Story Magazine. (Died 2013.)
  • November 14, 1951 – Beth Meacham, 67, Writer, Editor, and Critic who is best known for the many award-nominated and winning authors and books she has brought to SFF fans in her decades as editor at Ace and Tor, including Tim Powers’ The Anubis Gates and Greg Bear’s Blood Music. She has been a finalist for the Best Editor Hugo numerous times – but what JJ found especially interesting are her Hugo nominations for Best Related Book, as a collaborator on A Reader’s Guide to Fantasy, and on Vincent Di Fate’s Catalog of Science Fiction Hardware. She has been Editor Guest of Honor at several conventions, including next year’s World Fantasy Convention.
  • November 14, 1951 – Sandahl Bergman, 67, Actor, Stuntperson, and Dancer who appeared in several Broadway shows and gained prominence when choreographer Bob Fosse cast her in Pippin and Dancin’, and then in his fantasy dance film All That Jazz. She played Valeria in Conan the Barbarian – for which she won a Saturn Award – and Queen Gedren in Red Sonja. She was one of the nine muses in the fantasy musical Xanadu, and starred in She, a post-apocalyptic movie based on H. Rider Haggard’s novel She: A History of Adventure. Other genre appearances include Hell Comes to Frogtown, Revenge on the Highway, TekWar: TekJustice, Ice Cream Man, and Sorceress II, and guest roles on Sliders and Hard Time on Planet Earth.
  • November 14, 1959 Paul McGann, 59. Yes he only did one film as the eighth incarnation of the Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who television film, but that role he has reprised in more than seventy audio dramas and the 2013 short film entitled “The Night of the Doctor”. Other genre appearances include Alien 3FairyTale: A True StoryQueen of the Damned and Lesbian Vampire Killers.
  • November 14, 1963 – Cat Rambo, 55, Writer and Editor, who co-edited Fantasy Magazine from 2007 to 2011, which earned her a World Fantasy Special Award nomination. Her fantasy and science fiction works have been recognized with Nebula, Endeavour, and Compton Crook Award nominations. She has been an ardent gamer since the days of Pong and Chainmail, and was one of the developers of Armageddon (MUD). Her alter identity is as President, since 2015, of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), which has enjoyed an unprecedented amount of visibility and transparency to fandom and non-members under her guidance; in addition to letting the rest of us get a better understanding of “how the sausage gets made”, the organization has continued its evolution by adding a mentorship program, Nebula voting rights for Associate Members, and a Gamewriting category to the Nebula Awards.
  • November 14, 1969 – Daniel J. Abraham, 49, Writer and Producer. He has published several fantasy series under his own name, as well as under M. L. N. Hanover and Daniel Hanover;  his solo works include the Long Price Quartet (about which Jo Walton has waxed enthusiastic), and the Black Sun’s Daughter and Dagger and the Coin quintologies, as well as numerous short works in GRRM’s Wild Cards universe. But let’s get to the leviathan in the room: he is one half of James S. A. Corey – a pen name which derives from his middle name and that of his collaborator, Ty (Corey) Franck, and his daughter’s initials – a team responsible for the bestselling Expanse novels and popular TV series. The first novel, Leviathan Wakes, was a Hugo finalist, and the episode of the same name won a Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation; the novel series itself was a finalist for the Best Series Hugo Award in the year of its inception. He has also collaborated on comic books for various GRRM properties, including Game of Thrones.
  • November 14, 1979 – Olga Kurylenko, 39, Actor born in the Ukraine who is probably best known for her genre-adjacent role in Quantum of Solace, which earned her a Saturn nomination. She’s had several roles in movies based on comic books: Hitman, Max Payne, the Belgian Largo Winch, and the regrettably plothole-ridden Oblivion. She played The Vampire in Paris, Je t’Aime, and had appearances in Tyranny, Vampire Academy, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Mara, and the probably-never-to-be-released epic fantasy Empires of the Deep.


  • Off the Mark is just kidding, but you’ll never look at your bookshelves quite the same way again.
  • This In the Bleachers shows the importance of correct spelling in horror.

(11) STEAM TO MARS. Online play will become an option for a top-rated board game says Ars Technica: “Review: Super-hot board game Terraforming Mars goes digital”.

Terraforming Mars is one of the most popular heavy strategy games of the last two years (read our 2016 review); it earned a nomination for the Kennerspiel des Jahres (expert’s “game of the year”), losing to the very good but much simpler Exit: The Game series. It’s currently ranked #4 on BoardGameGeek’s master ranking of all board games, a ranking that tends to skew towards complex games that eschew luck in favor of strategy and engine building.

Now, an adaptation from Asmodee Digital brings the game to Windows via Steam. (Android and iOS ports are coming soon.) The Windows port offers local play, online multiplayer, and a solo challenge mode that functions as a good learning tool in addition to providing a strong single-player experience.

(12) BABYLON BERLIN. The Berlin Sci-Fi FiImfest takes place November 16-17.

Last year we screened 66 films from 21 countries and had over 600 visitors. This year the festival will have 144 features as Berlin Sci-fi Filmfest takes over the Babylon Cinema.

Berlin Sci-fi Filmfest is pleased to announce the inclusion of the following:

Simon Lejeune aka Haedre, Berlin based Artist, painter, illustrator and comic author will take up residency and his exhibition will be featuring new works along with original comic pages.

Hans Hanfner, A Berlin based composer who wrote music for the award winning series Danni Lowinski and Allein gegen die Zeit will discuss the scoring workflow used in Babylon Berlin and discuss the tools and techniques used that made working with a team across the world possible.

Irrlicht e.V. is an association that supports fantastic culture, role-playing, tabletop and board games. They are committed players who meet regularly in Berlin and around the country and offer all those interested in the opportunity to experience fantastic culture and art and of course to play.

And as for Cosplay, we welcome back Anette Pohlke and the Film Fan Force team, who will be providing our guests with ample photo opportunity to pose with some of their favourite fan film characters from Star Wars to Star Trek to Guardians of the Galaxy.

(13) SHED A TEAR. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Artist Thomas Ollivier (aka Tom le French) has re-imagined modern technology as if it had been developed pre-internet. The Verge’s Ashley Carman was particular taken by them (“We’re charmed by these tech products, reimagined for a simpler time”) though there seems something quite sad about the perpetually blinking “No Likes” display on the Facebook-branded pager. For myself, I’m at least as taken by his Cosmo Kids portfolio of kids from around the world, all dressed as if for astronaut’s official photos. Of those, Ollivier says “These portraits depict kids as agents of change.  There’s no more powerful fuel on the planet than a kid’s imagination.”

(14) COP A PLEA. NPR reports “Man Who Made Fatal ‘Swatting’ Hoax Call Pleads Guilty To 51 Charges”.

Tyler Barriss, 26, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to making a false report resulting in a death, after he placed a hoax call late last year that resulted in police fatally shooting an unarmed man in Wichita, Kan.

Barriss pleaded guilty to a total of 51 charges as part of a plea deal. He will be sentenced in January, The Associated Press reports.

Prosecuting U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister told The Wichita Eagle he will recommend that Barriss be sentenced to 20 years in prison, providing he writes apology letters to police, dispatchers and the family of Andrew Finch, a 28-year-old father of two who was shot by police who responded to the hoax call in December.

(15) EXO MARKS THE SPOT. “Exoplanet discovered around neighbouring star” – the second-closest ever found. (If we leave right away we can get there in… never mind.)

The planet’s mass is thought to be more than three times that of our own, placing it in a category of world known as “super-Earths”.

It orbits Barnard’s star, which sits “just” six light-years away.

(16) JOURNEY TO THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH. “Greenland ice sheet hides huge ‘impact crater'” — scroll down for discussion of entanglement with current recent-extinction hypotheses.

If the impact was right at near-end of the age window then it will surely re-ignite interest in the so-called Younger Dryas impact hypothesis.

The Younger Dryas was a period of strong cooling in the middle of the climatic warming that occurred as the Earth emerged from the height of last ice age.

Some have argued that an asteroid impact could have been responsible for this cooling blip – and the accompanying extinction of many animal groups that occurred at the same time across North America.

Others, though, have been critical of the hypothesis, not least because no crater could be associated with such an event. The Hiawatha depression is likely now to fan the dying embers of this old debate

(17) POSTED TO ORBIT. “Rocket Lab’s Modest Launch Is Giant Leap for Small Rocket Business” – the New York Times has the story.

A small rocket from a little-known company lifted off Sunday from the east coast of New Zealand, carrying a clutch of tiny satellites. That modest event — the first commercial launch by a U.S.-New Zealand company known as Rocket Lab — could mark the beginning of a new era in the space business, where countless small rockets pop off from spaceports around the world. This miniaturization of rockets and spacecraft places outer space within reach of a broader swath of the economy.

The rocket, called the Electron, is a mere sliver compared to the giant rockets that Elon Musk, of SpaceX, and Jeffrey P. Bezos, of Blue Origin, envisage using to send people into the solar system. It is just 56 feet tall and can carry only 500 pounds into space.

…The Electron, Mr. Beck said, is capable of lifting more than 60 percent of the spacecraft that headed to orbit last year. By contrast, space analysts wonder how much of a market exists for a behemoth like SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, which had its first spectacular launch in February.

A Falcon Heavy can lift a payload 300 times heavier than a Rocket Lab Electron, but it costs $90 million compared to the Electron’s $5 million. Whereas SpaceX’s standard Falcon 9 rocket has no shortage of customers, the Heavy has only announced a half-dozen customers for the years to come.

(18) YOU’RE INVITED TO THE SHOWER. NPR tells you where to “Watch The Leonid Meteor Shower This Weekend”.

This year the shower of shooting stars is expected to peak late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

Always occurring in mid-November, an average of about 15 meteors per hour streak across the night sky during the shower’s yearly peak, according to NASA.

The cascade will be competing with a waxing gibbous moon, so the best time to watch is after the moon has set but before dawn.

NASA suggests finding a viewing site far away from city or street lights and giving your eyes time to adjust to the darkness.

(19) TORUS TORUS TORUS. Vice claims “Apparently, Some People Believe the Earth Is Shaped Like a Donut” – which makes for some interesting astronomical GIF illustrations, like the one that explains the motion of the moon.

Yes, some people on the internet are arguing that Earth is neither flat, nor spherical, but torus-shaped, which is a fancy science word for something that looks like a donut. The idea first appeared on FlatEarthSociety.org in a 2008 thread started by a mysterious figure named Dr. Rosenpenis as a joke, but it was fleshed out in detail by FES trailblazer Varaug in 2012.

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

47 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/14/18 Ask Not For Whom The Files Scroll

  1. 3) I had that toy pull-along dog as a kid and so had many other kids since then. Somehow, we all survived.

    12) Danni Lowinsky was a very enjoyable TV series and Babylon Berlin was pretty good as well, but neither of them are even remotely SFF, unless you want to call Babylon Berlin alternate history for its many inaccuracies. Allein gegen die Zeit actually was SF, albeit a kids series. But then, there simply aren’t a whole lot of people involved with SFF films in Germany.

  2. 14) When I read this story earlier today, I was fascinated and morbidly curious that the guy thought pleading guilty to **51** charges and **20** years in prison was a worthwhile deal. I am dying to know what the prosecutors threatened to throw at him if he hadn’t pleaded out — life without parole? 100 charges? Rubbernecking minds want to know!

    18) Thanks for the Leonid reminder! I live in a pretty good spot to watch meteors, so depending on the weather I’ll try to spend some time staring at the sky this weekend!

  3. (9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS. Happy Birthday, @Cat Rambo!

    (11) STEAM TO MARS. Great! Except for the Steam part, rats. ;-( Ugh maybe I should look into Steam (at least, when they work out all the bugs). I really love this game. But hmm, only Windows, not Mac? I thought part of the point of Steam was cross-platform-ness? My Steam-ignorance is showing, sorry.

    (15) EXO MARKS THE SPOT. I’ll meet ya there! 😉

    (18) YOU’RE INVITED TO THE SHOWER. Ooh, let’s see if I remember midnight on Saturday! Groovy.

    /Pre-pre-second-fifth AND up-to-date on Pixel Scrolls

  4. @Contrarius–I suspect the fact that he not only caused a death, but intended to, opened him up to charges that would make life without parole a real possibility.

  5. 9) Astrid Lindgren is something of a saint in Sweden. I do think blaspheming her is the worst you could do to insult swedes.

    Genre works by Astrid Lindgren are:

    Pippi Longstocking series (Pippi Långstrump)
    Karlsson-on-the-Roof series (Karlsson på taket)
    Ronia the Robber’s Daughter (Ronja rövardotter)
    Mio, My Son / Mio, My Mio (Mio, min Mio)
    The Brothers Lionheart (Bröderna Lejonhjärta)

    + A lot of short stories. All books above have been made film. Mio, My Mio staring Christian Bale and Christopher Lee(!).

    I would absolutely recommend buying her Most Beloved Sister. A sweet-sad story about love and death, but what makes it so wonderful is the artwork by swedish artist Hans Arnold. I mean, check out the illustrations on Amazons page.

    Also: Happy birthday, Cat!

  6. If you fail to find The Bullerby Children, it might be worth looking for Children of Noisy Village (yes, “bullerby” literally means “noisy village”).

  7. (1) two series, seems like a lot, unless it’s a marvel Netflix connected mini series idea.
    Anyone actually know what the two are?

  8. 9) I have fond memories of the Pippi Longstocking books back when I was in elementary school.

    And the theme song of the movie Pippi Goes On Board has been earworming me for the past 40+ years.

  9. [double fifth + 1]

    11) My pal Ken will be very happy about digital Terraforming Mars. From what I understand, it’s a lot easier to port software over to OS X now given that Macs run on Intel chips, so the lack of an OS X version is beyond me. At least they will have a version for iOS.


    It seems to me that the fact that NASFiC appears to be shaping up to be PuppyCon would have been reason to not commit to a sponsorship, but having done so, reneging on promised financial support of two fans who have done so much for fandom, simply because they’re trying to help out a reorganized Arisia, is a pretty shitty move. 🙁

  11. 3) Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster

    I assume this is supposed to generate a planet shattering but oddly 2 dimensional blast as seen in Star Trek VI and Star Wars IV v2.0?

    Or is it a weapon from WJW’s books? I seem to remember firearms rather than rayguns in that Universe.

  12. Meredith Moment: Stephenson’s The Diamond Age ebook is available for $2.99 at the usual suspects.

  13. @3: A majority of the toys have sff or science themes. Any guess what fraction of toys overall have such themes these days? (Honest question; I watch TV only incidentally/infrequently and my childrearing friends are … more imaginative … than most commercial toys, so I don’t know even what’s being advertised.)

    @9: that’s quite a collection for one day. I liked Pippi Longstocking when I was in elementary school but didn’t know of her other series, let alone that she was the most-translated 20th-century children’s author; I wonder if she’ll catch Blyton as the years move ahead. I’m also a fan of Daniel Abraham’s solo work (and impressed that he carried on with it while collaborating on space opera, instead of falling to the latter as some authors have done); I wonder what he’ll do next. I haven’t read any of his M. L. N. Hanover urban fantasy series; does anyone have an opinion on them?

    @Cora re @3: most children will survive most toys; making the list involves being less safe than others and/or unnecessarily unsafe (both of these are judgment calls), not being as hazardous as the illustrated do-it-at-home chemistry book I was given.

  14. @Contrarius I’ve been following this story pretty closely. The guy not only did the swatting in this case that resulted in a death, but was a “swatter for hire” blatantly advertising his services and bragging about his “successes” on social media, and had done multiple swat tings in other locations.

    Most of the 51 charges related to things like using the internet to commit crimes and receive payments for criminal acts, and fraud against the various locations where he made swatting calls.

    Even if he had been found guilty and received only, say, 1 year apiece for most of the charges and the typical 5-15 years for however the mansaughter/voluntary/involuntary homicide charge worked out, he could easily have been looking at a life sentence cumulatively even if official life without parole was not an option.

    And cumulative time could have been much higher as I’m not aware of all the specific charges and what minimum sentences may attach. Also it’s important to know that unlike a lot of states, federal sentences don’t currently have possibilities of “2 for 1” where you get 2 days credit for each day served with good behaviour, which can substantially shorten a sentence. And parole is not usually possible until 80-90% of the sentence is served. That’s why the guys we locked up regularly for drug trafficking or weapons charges were very afraid of their cases going federal and would prefer to make deals or plead out at the state level to prevent that.

    Also, if any of the charges were terrorism related, life without parole was not only a possibility, but there would be a chance he would have to serve it in the Supermax facility, an actual possibility since he has already managed to exploit a security hole ina computer system in the jail where he was being held to get online and show his ass on Twitter again, from inside the jail.

    He’s in his mid 20s, so 50+ years to serve would effectively be a life-without-parole sentence, or near enough to it to not really matter, particularly from the perspective of a 20something. And a trial on so many charges would be lengthy, complex, and expensive, so it was certainly in the feds’ interest to make the deal.

    In modern terms, 20 years for causing a death, even indirectly, seems like getting off light, particularly where felony murder statutes with mandatory sentencing could have led to life without parole very easily in many states, which leads to things like the getaway car driver getting a life sentence when he otherwise was not armed, didn’t participate in the actual robbery, or shoot someone during the robbery. One suspect where I worked got the felony murder hammer when he was driving the car, his buddy jumped out and tried to do a gunpoint pedestrian robbery (“mugging”), got shot himself by the intended victim, and died. The driver went down for felony murder for the other perpetrator’s death.

    TLDR: yeah the 20 year deal was a deal worth making.

  15. Has this been mentioned yet? Prometheus is selling its fiction imprints (including Pyr) to Start Publishing. I’m hoping this works out for Pyr — they’ve published some great books over the years.

    Publisher’s Weekly announcement: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/industry-deals/article/78564-prometheus-sells-fiction-imprints-to-start-publishing.html

    Article on Black Gate that first brought this to my attention: https://www.blackgate.com/2018/11/13/pyr-sold-to-start-publishing/

  16. JJ@2: “but having done so, reneging on promised financial support of two fans who have done so much for fandom”

    This part really sticks in my craw, too. If there’s a fund for them, I’ll chip in.

  17. JJ on November 15, 2018 at 5:02 am said:

    … reneging on promised financial support of two fans who have done so much for fandom, simply because they’re trying to help out a reorganized Arisia, is a pretty shitty move. ?

    Wholeheartedly agree. I really do not like seeing the Trimbles thrown under the bus like this.

  18. @Lis —

    “I suspect the fact that he not only caused a death, but intended to”

    He didn’t actually intend to kill anyone — he just intended to be a jerk and cause the guy a lot of stress and trouble, not death. But it’s absolutely true that the old “death in the course of committing a felony” thing would be involved.

    I think CMM probably has the right handle on it. If there were 51 charges, then even 1 year per charge could add up awfully quickly!

    @CMM —

    “he has already managed to exploit a security hole ina computer system in the jail where he was being held to get online and show his ass on Twitter again, from inside the jail.”

    Jeez! I hadn’t heard this!

  19. Another other angle on swatting, of course, is that it’s now apparently accepted the police are simply a weapon to be pointed at a target and set off, bearing no responsibility for what happens.

  20. I have to say that Terraforming Mars is one of the best SF-themed board games I’ve played in quite a while. Enough complexity to be interesting, but not so much that it starts to make your brain hurt, or requires hours of strategizing before each move.

    That said, a Windows-only version is completely useless to me, and doesn’t make much sense. Its not like a board-game adaptation is going to need fancy features that are only available on one platform. Steam has worked hard to make cross-platform games easy to develop, and it seems silly not to take advantage of that. So, yeah, I’ll be sticking with the actual board game for the foreseeable future.

  21. Cora on November 15, 2018 at 3:31 am said:
    Happy birthday to Cat Rambo and of course to Astrid Lindgren who is greatly beloved in Germany as well.

    And in Italy! Pippi Calzelunghe shaped my childhood and my personality more than anything else. She taught a whole generation of little girls to be kickass.

  22. Rats. I got the latest comment, from @Rob Thornton, but no others!

    BTW @Rob Thornton, Macs being on Intel doesn’t make it easier or harder; different OS & different tools & different APIs is what makes it different, unless you’re doing very low-level stuff maybe. But since Steam’s supposed to make cross-platform games doable . . . well, maybe they just are taking longer with a Mac version. ::hopeful grin:: 🙂

    @JJ: I’m behind on something, clearly, though I’ve read all the Pixel Scrolls and lots of (but not all) comments. “NASFiC is shaping up to be PuppyCon”?!

    – – – – –

    I’m going to bookmark this post since WordPress didn’t send me like 26 comments, so maybe the one I got was a fluke. Le sigh. But just a warning that I may be slow to respond.

  23. @Kendall
    I’m also not quite sure what JJ means by NASFiC is shaping up to be PuppyCon, but it does take place in Utah this year, where a lot of puppies live, and David Weber, who sympathises with them, even if he’s not a puppy himself, is Guest of Honour.

  24. @Contrarius: “He didn’t actually intend to kill anyone — he just intended to be a jerk and cause the guy a lot of stress and trouble, not death”

    I can’t read his mind (and wouldn’t trust anything he said) but… he didn’t just call the cops on Finch, he led them to believe that the house was a murder scene with an active shooter. It was a very specific scenario that is what you would do if you wanted to make it very likely for someone to get shot. Or, I guess, he could just be extraordinarily stupid.

    [Previous comment was lost – apologies if this shows up twice]

  25. David Goldfarb: Then it would be a good idea if I wasn’t the first to innovate… fixed now.

  26. In re (2): Yeah, Amazing Stories pretty much screwed the pooch here. They had a number of choices ranging from middlin’ to poor, and opted for poorest.

  27. @JJ: (NASFiC link quote) “Looking past all the trending topics of inclusion, harassment, respect, consequences, diversity and bias hatred;”

    “Trending topics.” Passing fads, right? Sheesh.

    I think what I dislike most about the last couple of years is that so many people don’t even try to maintain an illusion of decency. They just let it all hang right out there. “Inclusion, respect, diversity… hey, don’t worry about those. They’ll pass soon enough, then we can get right back to our nice, familiar bigotry and sexism.”

  28. Rev. Bob: “Looking past all the trending topics of inclusion, harassment, respect, consequences, diversity and bias hatred;” “Trending topics.” Passing fads, right? Sheesh.

    My favorite part was when they called the people who are concerned about those things “trolls”. 🙄

  29. I was wondering if I could scrape up the bucks for NASFiC.

    Now I know I don’t have to.

    Big money and much hassle saved!

  30. Pingback: NEWS FROM FANDOM: 11-18-18 - Amazing Stories

  31. @JJ: UGH thanks for the links. Le sigh. ;-( I’m hoping this is mostly or only her, not really indicative of the rest of the con’s leadership. I sometimes hope in vain, however.

  32. @Cat Rambo I didn’t know we shared a birthday, but if you’re still reading this thread, belated happy birthday to both of us. I turned 60 this year (and was travelling), but I’m glad to be in such esteemed company.

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