Pixel Scroll 11/22/21 There’ll Be Time Enough To File When The Clicking’s Done

(1) WORLDCON PROGRAM. DisCon III has posted a basic outline of the times programming will take place – on their website here. They’ve also included specific times on significant events and for important DisCon III locations, such as Registration and the Exhibit Hall.

(2) OP-ED. Nicholas Whyte writes about the “2021 Worldcon Business Meeting agenda: my comments” at his LiveJournal, From the Heart of Europe. Here’s an excerpt:

A.3.2: Hugo Awards Study Committee – I was one of the original proposers of this committee. I am very disappointed with the results. The only concrete output that it has achieved in four years of existence is the addition of the words “or Comic” to the category title of “Best Graphic Story”. In the meantime other proposed changes have been killed off by referring them to this committee, which has then failed to consider them. I would not support the continuation of this committee’s mandate. I do not blame anyone, especially in the circumstances of the last two years, but I think we have proved that this is not a format that will deliver change.

On the other hand, if it is renewed, I would prefer to continue as a member, and I strongly urge (yet again!) that it takes the reform of the Best Artist categories as a priority. This was the main motivation for my proposing the committee in the first place. It is the single issue that has caused most headaches in my four years of Hugo administration. The Artist category definitions are very out of date, and present a risk to the future reputation of the awards because it would be very easy to make a public and embarrassing mistake. A bit more on this further down….

(3) C.J. CHERRYH HEALTH UPDATE. In a public Facebook post, C.J. Cherryh discusses the effects of her chemotherapy.

Coming to grips with chemo and change…

I’ve decided to go with the Gandalf look. I had reconciled myself to the Yul Brynner or Zhaan look, but I didn’t lose the hair with chemo. It just went snow-white and brittle. It’s not bad, now that I’m not trying to be Cher. I think I’ll let it grow and see if I can rock the look. I have a light hat I can wear when the wind’s blowing, so I don’t look like sfx surround me—it’s super light, and doesn’t stay put.

Complexion—well, that’s aged a whole lot. Dropping 40 sudden pounds will do that to you: I am developing…character. That’s my take on it. Always wondered where the lines would go. Not too bad.

Strength: that’s the big one. I don’t have much stamina for standing upright—or for walking very far…

She is getting a portable powered scooter and plans to attend cons as they continue to open up again.

(4) ROWLING DOXXED? “J.K. Rowling condemns activists for posting her address to Twitter” reports Yahoo!

…[On] on Friday, …activist-performers Holly Stars, Georgia Frost and Richard Energy held a protest ahead of Saturday’s Trans Day of Remembrance in front of Rowling’s Scotland home to protest what many see as the author’s anti-trans viewpoints. They held signs that read “Don’t Be a Cissy” and ‘Trans Liberation Now” and, while there, took a photo in front of Rowling’s house in which the address was visible, then posted it on Twitter.

Rowling’s thread starts here.

Rowling’s response included the Twitter URLs of the three who had tweeted the picture – they have since deleted their accounts.

Forbes has subsequent developments: “J.K. Rowling Slams ‘Activist Actors’ Who Doxxed Her During Trans Rights Protest”.

… According to Pink News, their demonstration outside Rowling’s home in Edinburgh, Scotland, was in support of the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event to memorialize the scores of trans and gender nonconforming people murdered every year.

The Post Millennial reported Stars, Frost and Energy stood by their tweeting of the photo, but Stars tweeted they made the decision to delete it after a backlash from Rowling supporters:

“Yesterday we posted a picture we took at JK Rowling’s house. While we stand by the photo, since posting it we have received an overwhelming amount of serious and threatening transphobic messages so have decided to take the photo down. Love to our trans siblings.”

(5) PLAYING MONOPOLY. Kristine Kathryn Rusch thinks about what-might-have-been if the DOJ had been on the job sooner: “Business Musings: The If-Only Lawsuit”.

The United States Justice Department is suing to stop the big merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. That I can write about without a lot of research, because I’ve been following this merger for a long time….

All the promises in the world mean nothing when large companies merge.

I read the complaint for the suit the day the suit was announced. The complaint is worth reading because, if nothing else, it’s a what-if. What if the DOJ had been on this as the mergers started twenty years ago? What would the traditional publishing landscape look like now?

I can tell you: It would look completely different. Instead of the traditional part of the industry being dominated by five large conglomerates, the traditional part of the industry would look the same or better than it did in the early 1990s. There would be a lot of publishing houses, a lot of working editors, a lot of imprints, and a lot of competition….

(6) DC METRO NEWS. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] This article about the problems of the Washington Metro is important because it’s going to affect DisCon III attendees.  The short version: one of the 7000 series of Metrorail cars derailed on October 12 and Metro pulled these cars out of service.  They haven’t brought them back yet. So Discon attendees should factor in extra time when using the troubled Washington D.C. subway. “Metro extends limited rail service through December”.

Metro will operate with reduced rail service through the end of the year as it works to return its 7000-series rail cars to the tracks, the transit agency announced Monday.

The trains, the newest in Metro’s inventory, make up 60 percent of the transit agency’s fleet but have been sidelined since the October derailment of a Blue Line train near the Arlington Cemetery station….

[Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld] said a more likely scenario would be a gradual ramp-up of service as trains are cleared to resume carrying passengers. In all, Metro has 748 rail cars in the series. The transit agency is operating with about 45 trains using its older 2000-, 3000- and 6000-series rail cars.

Wiedefeld said rail ridership, which had been around 30 percent of pre-pandemic levels, has dipped to about 28 percent in recent weeks.

No one was injured in the Oct. 12 incident, but an initial investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found defects in the trains’ wheelsets that could make them more prone to derailment. 

(7) OKORAFOR IN THE NEWS. In the Chicago Tribune, an article (which you may find blocked by a paywall) refers to fantasy writer Nnedi Okorafor in reporting on Black residents who have moved out of the Chicago area. “Black residents leaving Chicago with few regrets”. Here are the paragraphs about her:

Award-winning fantasy writer Nnedi Okorafor said she moved from the south suburbs to Phoenix earlier this year, drawn there by its year-round warmth. The author of 19 books, Okorafor said her resolve to stay in the Southwest grew after her daughter, Anyaugo, was accepted at Arizona State University.

“Each time I’ve gone (to Arizona), I’ve gradually fallen in love with the area because I love heat and the desert,” she told the Tribune. “Once (my daughter) got into ASU, it all just lined up and made sense.”


1996 — Twenty-five years ago, Star Trek: First Contact premiered. It was the eighth film of the Trek films, and the second of the Next Gen films following Star Trek Generations. It was directed by Jonathan Frakes from the screenplay by Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore. The story was written by Rick Berman, Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore.  It of course starred the Nex Gen cast plus guest stars Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell and Alice Krige, the latter as the Borg Queen. 

First Contact received generally positive reviews upon release. The Independent said “For the first time, a Star Trek movie actually looks like something more ambitious than an extended TV show.”  And the Los Angeles Times exclaimed, “First Contact does everything you’d want a Star Trek film to do, and it does it with cheerfulness and style.” It did very well at the box office making one hundred fifty million against a budget of fifty million. Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently give it a most excellent rating of ninety percent. 

It was nominated for a Hugo at LoneStarCon 2, the year that Babylon 5’s “Severed Dreams” won. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born November 22, 1932 Robert Vaughn. His best-known genre work was as Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with other genre work being in Teenage Caveman, Starship InvasionsThe Lucifer ComplexVirusHangar 18Battle Beyond the StarsSuperman III C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. (seriously who penned that awful title?), Transylvania Twist and Witch Academy. Oh, and he wrote the introduction to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. series companion that came out a generation after the series aired. (Died 2016.)
  • Born November 22, 1940 Terry Gilliam, 81. He’s directed many films of which the vast majority are firmly genre. I think I’ve seen most of them though I though I’ve not seen The Man Who Killed Don QuixoteTidelandThe Zero Theorem or The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. I’ve seen everything else.  Yes, I skipped past his start as the animator for Monty Python’s Flying Circus which grew out of his work for the children’s series Do Not Adjust Your Set which had the staff of Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. Though he largely was the animator in the series and the films, he did occasionally take acting roles according to his autobiography, particularly roles no one else wanted such those requiring extensive makeup.  He’s also co-directed a number of scenes. Awards? Of course. Twelve Monkeys is the most decorated followed by Brazil with two and Time Bandits and The Fisher King which each have but one.  He’s not won any Hugos though he has been nominated for four — Monty Python and the Holy GrailTime BanditsBrazil and Twelve Monkeys. My favorite films by him? Oh, the one I’ve watched the most is The Adventures of Baron Munchausen followed by Time Bandits.
  • Born November 22, 1943 William Kotzwinkle, 78. Fata Morgana might be in my opinion his best novel though Doctor Rat which he won the World Fantasy Award for is in the running for that honor as well. And his short stories of which there are many are quite excellent too.  Did you know Kotzwinkle wrote the novelization of the screenplay for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial? The usual digital suspects are well stocked with his books.
  • Born November 22, 1949 John Grant. He’d make the Birthday list solely for being involved in the stellar Encyclopedia of Fantasy which won a Hugo at BucConeer.  And he did win another well-deserved Hugo at Noreascon 4 for Best Related Work for The Chesley Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy Art: A Retrospective.  Most of His short fiction has been set in the Lone Wolf universe though I see that he did a Judge Dredd novel too. (Died 2020.)
  • Born November 22, 1957 Kim Yale. Married to John Ostrander until 1993 when she died of breast cancer, she was a writer whose first work was in the New America series, a spin-off of Truman’s Scout series. With Truman, she developed the Barbara Gordon Oracle character, created the Manhunter series, worked on Suicide Squad, and was an editor at D.C. where she oversaw such licenses as Star Trek: The Next Generation. For First Comics, she co-wrote much of the amazing Grimjack with her husband.
  • Born November 22, 1958 Jamie Lee Curtis, 63. Can we agree that she was the best Scream Queen for her film debut in the 1978 Halloween film in which she played the role of Laurie Strode? No? Well, that’s my claim. She followed up with yet more horror films, The Fog and Prom Night. In all, she’s the only character that survives.  She would reprise the role of Laurie in six sequels, including Halloween H20Halloween: ResurrectionHalloween II and Halloween III: Season of the WitchHalloween (a direct sequel to the first Halloween) and Halloween Kills.  She shows up in one of my fav SF films, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension as Sandra Banzai but you’ll need to see the director’s extended version as she’s only there in that version. Is True Lies genre? Probably not, but for her performance, Curtis won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and the Saturn Award for Best Actress. Damn impressive I’d say.  No, I’m not listing all her films here as OGH would likely start growling. Suffice to say she’s had a very impressive career. 
  • Born November 22, 1979 Leeanna Walsman, 42. Spoiler alert. She’s best known as the assassin Zam Wesell from Attack of The Clones.  Being Australian, she’s shown up on Farscape, a Hercules series (but not that series), the BeastMaster and Thunderstone series, and Spellbinder: Land of the Dragon Lord
  • Born November 22, 1984 Scarlett Johansson, 37. Best known perhaps for her role as the Black Widow in the MCU films including the present Black Widow film but she has other genre appearances including playing Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell which was controversial for whitewashing the cast, particularly her character who was supposed to be Japanese. 

(10) REUBEN WINNER. In the Washington Post, Michael Cavna has a profile of Ray Billingsley, creator of “Curtis,” who is the first Black winner of the Reuben Award, given by the National Cartoonists Society for best cartoonist of the year. “Cartoonist Ray Billingsley has been portraying Black family life for decades — and now he’s getting his due”.

Ray Billingsley didn’t much like his second-floor Harlem home on Bradhurst Avenue back then. It was affordable — this being the mid-’80s — but he felt isolated, and he knew crime was a threat: “One evening while in bed with the window open, I actually heard three guys planning on burglarizing my apartment.”Yet this setting was also where, later that night after going to bed, Billingsley drew inspiration. He awoke with a creative burst. “I had a vision of these two kids. I sketched them down in the dark and went back to sleep. That morning, I found the first images of Curtis and Barry.”

There they were, two cartoon brothers — the taller one wearing Curtis’s signature ball cap, the shorter one in suspenders. With minimal line work, he had rendered his future….

(11) TAKE A BOW (WOW). “League of Super-Pets: John Krasinski Teases Role as Superman” at Comicbook.com.

…When DC’s League of Super-Pets comes to theaters next year, fans will get an odd pairing as Superman and Lex Luthor: facing off against Marc Maron’s scheming Luthor will be a Man of Steel voiced by The Office star John Krasinski. Sharing a still from the upcoming, animated movie, Krasinski revealed not only that he is Superman, but what his Superman will look like. The costume owes a debt to the one from the Max Fleischer cartoons of the 1940s — a look that recently popped back up again in flashbacks of Tyler Hoechlin’s character on Superman & Lois.

While the Super-Pets getting their own feature film may seem strange, the movie has an absolutely stacked cast providing the voices for its characters. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is starring in the film as Krypto the Superdog, the canine pal of one Superman. Kevin Hart, Johnson’s friend and frequent collaborator, will be voicing Batman’s four-legged friend, Ace the Bat-Hound….

(12) FAMOUS LIGHTSABERS AND WANDS. Julien’s Auctions “Icons And Idols: Hollywood” auction starts December 2. “I am almost grateful that I don’t have unlimited funds,” says John King Tarpinian, who sent links to such items as this lightsaber.

Collectors Hype ran a feature about some items on their “Original Movie Prop and Costume Blog”:

From the Harry Potter franchise: David Thewlis’ wand in his role as Professor Remus Lupin from the 2004 installment Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban ($5,000-$7,000), a wand used by Death Eater “Alecto Carrow” in the 2011 film Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows and Rupert Grint’s hero wand in his role as “Ron Weasley” from the same film as well as signed stamp sheets by the cast members, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, call sheets and Hogwarts acceptance letter;

Julien’s is also hawking “Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck voice artist Mel Blanc’s personal memorabilia” according to the Daily Mail.

Also included in the collection is a signed animation cel from 1958 featuring five of Blanc’s famous characters, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Bugs Bunny, Sylvester the Cat, and Daffy Duck. 

The cel is inscribed in black fountain pen ink on the background page, which reads, ‘For Pat/ with love from/ ‘Uncle’ Mel Blanc/ 4/8/58.’

(13) FIRST BLACK VOICES MATTER ACQUISITION. Angry Robot Books has officially announced their first signing through the Black Voices Matter unagented submissions.

Denise Crittendon

Denise Crittendon is a former editor of NAACP’s The Crisis, and her debut Where it Rains in Colour infuses romance, mystery and the mythology of the Dogon tribe of Mali, West Africa in a magical mythological retelling. Significantly inspired by her time in Zimbabwe, Crittendon questions and plays with universal beauty standards, and challenges the structure and system in which they live. Where it Rains in Colour will be published in December 2022.

Launched as an open submissions program for sff novels by Black authors in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last year, this window was originally meant to run from July to September 2020, but Angry Robot Books has since announced it would be extended indefinitely. For more details, click through here.

(14) ZERO GRAVITY NEWS. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Washington Post, Christian Davenport talks about how he experienced weightlessness for only $7,500 on a Zero-G flight from Dulles Airport, as he talks about adapting to weightlessness and how these flights give a lot of encouragement to disabled people who get to stand for the first time in years. “You don’t have to go to space to experience weightlessness”.

… I did the flips, flew arms wide like Superman, did the Spider-Man crawl along the ceiling, all in an airplane with a couple dozen others as part of a flight organized by Zero Gravity Corp. (Zero-G) that flew out of Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia earlier this month.

For years, the company has been able to create an experience for customers that mimics the weightless experience of going to space by flying in parabolic arcs. The plane flies up on a pitched ascent, and then crests over like a roller coaster into a steep dive that allows passengers to float for about 30 seconds at a time.

In a hollowed-out cabin of a 727 jet, with padding all around, your body rises involuntarily, and you float, effortlessly, as if you were a molecule in a state of matter that suddenly went from a solid to freewheeling gas, pinging around with abandon….

(15) ACRONYMS IN SPACE. “The Search for Life Around Alpha Centauri Just Took a Major Leap Forward”Gizmodo tells how.

Our nearest neighbor, Alpha Centauri, is 4.37 light-years from Earth, which is super close from a cosmological perspective but achingly far from a human point of view. A new telescope promises to bring this intriguing star system, and any habitable planets it holds, into closer view.

The new mission, called TOLIMAN, was announced today in a press release. TOLIMAN is the ancient Arabic name for Alpha Centauri—the closest star system to Earth—but it’s also an acronym for Telescope for Orbit Locus Interferometric Monitoring of our Astronomical Neighbourhood. Once in space, astronomers will use the orbital observatory to search for potentially habitable exoplanets around Alpha Centauri.

The international collaboration includes teams from the University of Sydney, Breakthrough Initiatives, Saber Astronautics, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Peter Tuthill from the Sydney Institute for Astronomy at the University of Sydney will lead the project.

(16) PUSHBACK. NPR tells how“NASA’s DART spacecraft will smash into asteroid to test planetary defense tool”.

…In the first real-world test of a technique that could someday be used to protect Earth from a threatening space rock, a spacecraft is scheduled to blast off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Tuesday at 10:20 p.m. PST.

The golf-cart-size spacecraft will travel to an asteroid that’s more than 6 million miles away — and poses no danger to Earth — and ram into it. Scientists will then watch to see how the asteroid’s trajectory changes.

NASA has identified and tracked almost all of the nearby asteroids of a size that would cause world-altering damage if they ever struck Earth. For the foreseeable future, none that big are headed our way. But there are plenty of smaller asteroids, the size that could take out a city, that still haven’t been found and tracked.

It’s a space rock of that smaller size that the DART mission — short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test — will take head-on…

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Jim Meadows III, Chris Barkley, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

80 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/22/21 There’ll Be Time Enough To File When The Clicking’s Done

  1. Mike Glyer says What is the difference between a series and stories set in the same universe? And I am looking for an answer that’s organic to fandom not just imposed as part of book marketing. How are stories that are part of an author’s future history divisible into “series”?

    There isn’t any difference. A story is a story. A writer builds their narrative out of stories of varying length, each crafted to the length the writer thinks is best. Peter S. Beagle wrote the ever so excellent The Innkeeper’s Song novel and fleshed out the world in the wonderful tales of his Giant Bones collection.

  2. @Dann: Isn’t that a bit circular? You were making an argument that we should have Best Series because later installments in a series don’t win when the first hasn’t; and then you’re responding to a counterexample by saying “It should have gone in Best Series”.

  3. ingvar said “@ Harold Osler: You and I must have seen different tweets by JKR

    Apparently. No one is ever able to point to tweets that prove her transphobia.

    As a gay man,I find transgender ideology homophobic. I don’t believe that gender trumps sex. I think sex is real and that sex matters. I don’t subscribe to a belief system that denies that.

    If it makes me a TERF, so be it. Actually, it can’t since I’m not female.

  4. Harold:

    Although the F in TERF doesn’t stand for “female,” even if you’re not a TERF, you’re still a transphobe. Will you say “but I’m one of the good ones” when they come to put you into a conversion camp to “cure” you of being gay?

  5. In my experience – which, unfortunately for me, is fairly extensive – trying to prove transphobia is completely pointless and I recommend no-one bothers taking that bait. Transphobes have a number of mental sleight-of-hand tricks allowing them to handwave transphobia out of existence, starting with “gender identity doesn’t exist, therefore trans people don’t exist, therefore transphobia doesn’t exist” and working their way down from there, depending on level of extremism. The end result is always denial – or, at best, tacit admission signalled by them changing the subject and refusing to ever go back to the one you started on.

    Save your typing energy for literally anything else. It’s not worth it.

  6. “No one is ever able to point to tweets that prove her transphobia.”

    I know it’s almost certainly useless, but I’ll try anyway (sorry, Meredith)…

    @Harold, how can you interpret the tweet where JKR says that anyone who menstruates is by definition a woman as anything BUT transphobic, considering that it denies the identity of all trans men?

    As a gay man,I find transgender ideology homophobic. I don’t believe that gender trumps sex.

    Or is it that because you consider all transgender identity homophobic, it doesn’t matter to you HOW blatant the transphobia is – you simply will refuse to recognize its existence because you consider all trans identity uniformly wrong and worthy of rejection?

  7. jayn–
    I’ve come to accept that there’ll never be a middle ground that will work.
    If JKR said that anyone who menstruates is by definition a woman (or did she say only women menstruate?); should she have said ‘female’ instead?

    Also, I said “transgender ideology”, NOT “transgender identity” And that’s a consistent issue I have–the re-framing what was said.
    Transgender identity– what do I care unless it directly affects me.
    Transgender ideology says that gender is what matters–that’s why there is a push to replace same-sex with same-gender. With the result that gay men and lesbians are told that if we don’t want transpeople sexually, we’re transphobic and need to unlearn our sexual preferences.

    Kevin–the F is for feminist. Also, you do realize that it’s the TRAs who insist that gay men should be OK with sex with a vagina as long as they ID as a man? And lesbians should be OK with a “female penis”? Sounds like conversion therapy to me.

  8. Harold Osler: It’s the TRAs who insist that gay men should be OK with sex with a vagina as long as they ID as a man? And lesbians should be OK with a “female penis”?

    I look forward to you providing a citation where trans-rights activists insist that a person must have sex with anyone with whom they are not interested in having sex.

  9. Mike Glyer says

    What is the difference between a series and stories set in the same universe? And I am looking for an answer that’s organic to fandom not just imposed as part of book marketing. How are stories that are part of an author’s future history divisible into “series”?

    There’s a difference in flavor for me between a series like (say) Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty books, that remain focused almost entirely on one character facing a series of challenges in successive books, and a series in which background elements of the created world are constant, but each book or story is focused on a different character or group of characters and their challenges (Heinlein’s Future History stories, say). Obviously these concepts blur together (the Discworld books have internal series about Vimes or the Witches or Death, as well as individual one-off stories about Music-with-Rocks-In or motion pictures coming to Discworld – and all the books share the same basic background).

    The term “series” seems a little inapt for a set of stories with no linear thru-line – but I have no better alternative at the moment (and I’m happy with honoring both kinds of sets of books under the general term “series”).

  10. IIRC Lee and Miller use the term “universe” for their Liaden books, not “series”. I think that’s a better term for non-linear multiple-book thingies.

  11. No one is ever able to point to tweets that prove her transphobia.

    If JKR said that anyone who menstruates is by definition a woman (or did she say only women menstruate?)…

    I’m not linking her shit. Google “rowling, menstruate” and see what she said, and explain to me why it’s not transphobic. Or else admit that the only reason ‘no one is ever able’ to point you to tweets that prove her transphobia is that you actively avoid looking at the tweets that make it clear.

    Transgender identity– what do I care unless it directly affects me.
    Transgender ideology says that gender is what matters–that’s why there is a push to replace same-sex with same-gender.

    When people try to literally police the exact configuration of the genitals of the person in the bathroom stall next to them with the TERF ideological claim that it “directly affects” them, then there isn’t a meaningful difference between individual identity and public ideology.

    Just as straight people who’d be fine with homosexual people if they kept all hints of homosexual identity out of their sight have claimed that they are directly affected by the sight of gay PDAs, and say that their children would be directly affected by the sight and knowledge of the existence of a gay identity HAVE for centuries made publically identifying as gay a living hell, because of their IDEOLOGY.

  12. So, Harold can go step on a lego and keep stepping until he gets off the transphobia train, but since there might be lurkers around…

    Even ignoring the obvious transphobia of handwaving trans men and non-binary people out of existence, girls… exist. And are not women. And should not be described as women.

    Transphobes like to ignore that while throwing a tantrum about being described as people.

    No-one, aside from possibly a couple of anon people with anime avatars whose entire online presence consists of getting very, very angry and extremely bad takes, thinks anyone has to have sex with anyone they don’t want to have sex with. What people object to – which then gets twisted into the unrecognisable “people are trying to make us fuck trans people” bleating – is using a lack of sexual attraction as an excuse to invalidate someone’s identity. “I’m a gay man – I don’t want to have sex with trans men – therefore they’re not men” is pure transphobia. It’s also cheerfully and obnoxiously ignoring that some cis gay men do, in fact, want to have sex with trans men. Because they’re men, and for some people, the rest is details.

    It seems to pass some people by that while their sexuality might be based purely on the assigned sex at birth – although I have yet to see a single one declare that they’d be perfectly happy to have sex with a post-transition trans person whose assigned sex at birth matches their professed preferences, so I have some serious doubts about whether their libido really is ignoring gender identity – the sexuality of others might really be based around gender. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination.

    And then, of course, they like to drag bisexuals into it, as if that’s not totally ridiculous – like we care what someone’s got in their underwear, outside of logistics – and purely because they want to look less like they’re attempting to lop off the entire rest of the queer community outside the L’s and G’s, despite all the hate for us that constantly leaks out around the edges. We’re so inconvenient – they can’t just decide everyone who isn’t L or G is straight, though they try their hardest nonetheless.

    What’s also transphobic is calling trans people existing and sometimes having sex with other queer people conversion therapy. It isn’t. It’s just people having relationships you don’t approve of. Especially disgusting when some transphobic groups are currently campaigning against a conversion therapy ban on the basis that it would also outlaw using it against trans people. Look to your own transphobe allies if conversion therapy is something you actually care about, for their activism spells a long, long future for its legality.

    All that tedious shit out the way – why is transphobia so boringly repetitive? next someone is going to turn up and screech “define woman” at us – I’m sure everyone has their own personal definition of “series”, but, when I’m not grouchily contemplating just No Awarding the entire cursed category, what I try to use when assessing them relative to each other for voting is: Are these works benefitting from being grouped together? Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? Is the experience I’m getting from considering these works as a single work altered from how it would be individually? What’s the story of the series?

    None of that necessarily requires a specific type of longform storytelling, I think – a shared universe can still have that special something. But I do think it’s what makes the idea of a Best Series worthwhile, if only it wasn’t for the voter burden it creates.

  13. Meredith: “I’m a [straight woman] – I don’t want to have sex with [this man] – therefore he’s not a man”

    LOL, by this definition, at least 95% of men aren’t men, in my book.

    And no doubt by this definition, to 95% of men, I’m not a woman.

    What a ridiculous take.

  14. @JJ

    It’s bafflingly self-centred, but that’s not particularly unusual when it comes to justifying transphobia – there’s a few regular arguments which rely on similar foundations.

    It’s tiresome.

  15. Meredith:

    It’s tiresome.

    Quoted for truth.

    Why – seriously, why? – does transphobia have to be so banal, predictable, and infinitely tiresome in its mindless hatefulness?

  16. If JKR said that anyone who menstruates is by definition a woman (or did she say only women menstruate?); should she have said ‘female’ instead?

    No. Any position that does not accept that the ways that trans men are different from cis men are not important is transphobic. This is what is meant by “trans men are men”

    Such differences are there may be between trans men and cis men are not important differences, and that the category {trans men, cis women} is not a useful or important one, and that therefore there is no reason to have a word for that category. If you are talking about one of those few characteristics, then you need to be specific about the characteristic.

    For instance: dark-skinned people of African and South Asian descent both have an increased prevalence of sickle-cell anemia; they don’t share this trait with similarly dark-skinned people from Australia. If we’re talking about sickle-cell anemia we could say “people with an enhanced risk of sickle-cell anemia”, but we don’t think that’s important enough to create a word for {African descent, South Asian descent}.

    Transphobia is treating a trans person as being of their gender/sex assigned at birth rather than as their actual gender/sex. Claiming that there is any useful or meaningful category that is defined by assigned gender/sex at birth is definition transphobia.

    To be clear: “anyone who menstruates” is not, by definition, anything other than “anyone who menstruates”, and trying to create a definition for that group is transphobia.

  17. @JJ

    I look forward to you providing a citation where trans-rights activists insist that a person must have sex with anyone with whom they are not interested in having sex.


    @David Goldfarb

    Isn’t that a bit circular?


    At the time, the best series category did not exist. Nominating it for in the best novel category is all that could be done at that time.

    Now that we do have a best series category, I think that is a better location for nominations of series based works.

    @ several

    As I said at the start, I’m not sure there is a sound method for writing this into the rules. Books that are largely stand-alone novels should be in the best novel category even if they share some world building elements in common with other works.

    As an example, there are some entries from Christopher Nuttall’s “Empire Corps” series that take place in the same fictional universe but aren’t tightly tied into some of the longer story arcs that are being told in other volumes. It is a great/engaging series, FWIW.

    I’d just like to see fewer best novel nominations where the work in question depends heavily on content that exists beyond the nominated work.

    The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing. – Isaac Asimov

  18. Words mean different things to different people. There’s no such thing as objective human language. Quite often, persons on both sides of an argument make this mistake.

  19. That BBC article is godawful, here’s a good introduction to why. It isn’t very long and the last half of the video is just walking through the BBC complaints procedure anyway.

    The article also doesn’t include any first-hand quotes from anyone saying anything of the kind, and it doesn’t even have a second- third- or fourth-hand quote from a trans activist, which, well, was the criteria.

    And no, trans people aren’t activists just because they exist on the internet and talk about their lives and opinions.

    How about we don’t signal-boost nakedly bigoted propaganda which aims to frame a minority as rapey bogeywomen, especially not propaganda which used a cisgender rapist as its star witness – and only removed her, not for being a rapist, but because shortly after the article’s release she published a manifesto calling for trans women to be lynched.

  20. I have strong opinions on transphobes.

    People keep saying that trans ideology is homophobic, but considering the number of trans men who are gay, trans women who are lesbians, trans people of any gender or none who are bi or pan, and the basic fact that the configuration of a person’s genitals is only your business if you are actually planning to remove underclothes and make contact with them, I think this is bullshit.

    I mean, the closest trans person to my life is prepubescent, and she didn’t say “I like boys” and get told by her parents, “that means you’re a girl”. She said “I’m a girl,” and that was her entire declaration on the subject. If anything, while it’s early to say because she has no sexual feelings and hasn’t expressed child-romantic feelings, I have reasons to suspect her hypothetical future romantic feelings might tend towards women.

    Dann: One of the cis lesbians originally cited in that article was herself known for forcing herself on unwilling people, so it’s clearly not people with Penii that are the issue. The story of the girlfriend trying to introduce a trans third into a relationship sounds like a shitty girlfriend who is EXACTLY like all the shitty guys who try to talk their girlfriends into a threesome, but no worse, and isn’t proof of anything since, as sulky and insulting as she was about it, she took no for an answer. And the vast majority of cases they are talking about are places where the conversation goes like this:

    “If you say you would never date any trans woman because some trans women have a penis, you’re being transphobic, because A: Many trans women don’t have penii, B: you might not know what their genitals look like on first attraction, or first date, and C: Since consent is a thing, you aren’t forced to have sex even with a trans woman with a penis if you decide to try it and it doesn’t work out. You’re literally repeating the old “trap” BS straight cis men used to pull with a lesbian twist.”

    “Ew! You want us to have sex with people with a penis against our will.”

    rolls eyes.

  21. @Lenora Rose: I apologize for the derail, but “penii” causes me pain that comes close to being physical. What’s wrong with “penises”? But if you insist on Latin, it’s “penes”. “Penii” isn’t a word in any language that I’m aware of.

    @Dann: But the existence of a Best Series category isn’t a given. You were arguing that it should be kept because later series installments take up Best Novel slots with items that can’t win. And yet there’s at least one time that such an item has.

  22. Dann665: cough

    Once again, you have posted a link which does not say what you claim it says.

    You’ve done that so often, I get the impression that you’re used to hanging out in communities whose members are so stupid and lazy that they won’t bother clicking your links and reading for themselves, and will just take your word for things.

    I should have thought you’d have figured out that the File 770 community is not like that by now. People here will read your receipts, and they will point out that they’re from the wrong store and for the wrong item. 🙄

  23. David Goldfarb: You knew that was a derailing comment and posted it anyway. It is a very common tactic to try and control these kinds of discussions by attempts to deprive people of the language they improvise to communicate about them. You knew what she meant.

  24. The girlfriend was neither trans nor an activist. It also leaves out what the reasons were that Amy provided – as told in the article, it makes it sound like the story went from sorry, not interested, to blistering invective, but it’s carefully eliding whatever it was that Amy said to shock her girlfriend. We do, however, get a pretty gross body-shaming spiel from Amy shortly afterwards, so if that was part of the “reasons”…

    No trans woman pressured Amy at any point. No trans woman was physically present at any point. No trans woman had sex with Amy. No activists of any kind, cis or trans, are mentioned at any point.

    The story does not belong in any article with proposes to take sexual assault seriously, but then we know that the article never did, since it still doesn’t contain an acknowledgement that they platformed a rapist, and it centres a survey which conflates trans women passing (not being instantly recognisable as trans) with pressuring cis women into sex. It also outright deceives when it claims that no other trans women were willing to speak on the record: We know at least one did, and we know she told them about the rapist they then platformed.

    The article is not written to bring attention to violence against women. The article is written to demonise a minority, and balls together a collection of incredibly weak and largely irrelevant “evidence”, largely consisting of trans women existing in public and cis people supporting them, with a single genuinely horrific incident as if they should all be given the same weight – and as if the actions of one awful person ought to reflect on an entire group.

    It’s revolting, and I’m deeply ashamed that the BBC not only published it but continues to have it up on the website. Our national broadcaster should be better than this.

  25. David Goldfarb: I use it in the same spirit in which I use meese or even meeses, or octopodes, or the like, and in part because it’s technically wrong but people know what I mean and it amuses me. Apologies that my wordplay hurt you.

    Mike; It’s okay. I can get stuck and distracted by abuses of language when they aren’t the ones that my circle use regularly in wordplay.

    Meredith: I knew there were more things reportedly wrong with the article, but I didn’t want to re-skim it or re-read the other criticisms. But thank you for reminding me that when asked why the article writers had no counterpoint perspective, they claimed that no trans people were willing to answer, and that at least one trans woman produced receipts of their contact with her and of what she said.

  26. Lenora Rose: You’re resilient and don’t need my help. It’s the knowing derailing of a challenging conversation I needed to address so people know that’s not consistent with what I am trying to host.

  27. @Lenora Rose

    It wasn’t even that they were asked: The bit about no-one wanting to speak to them was in the original version of the article, so they weren’t even scrambling for an excuse. They deliberately and with all deliberation chose to deceive right from the start.

  28. @Lenora Rose: Apology appreciated and accepted. That you’re doing it knowingly, helps: I’ve run into so many people who seem to think in all seriousness that every Latin word uses “-ii” as its plural….

    For my part I apologize again to you and Mike, and I’ll try not to do it again. For my part, I’m on the side of trans men and trans women being men and women, and look forward to the day when that position is utterly uncontroversial.

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