(1) ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTING. A week ago Bleeding Cool reported “Adult-Themed Site Cosplay Deviants Has Trademarked Cosplay is NOT Consent”.
An explosion of chatter has erupted online as people have taken notice that the cosplay-themed porn website Cosplay Deviants trademarked the phrase “Cosplay is NOT Consent.” The idea that this particular site is positioning itself as the “champion” or “leading edge” of the effort to have more conventions implement and post harassment policies has taken the community by surprise…
Additionally, there have been comments online to the effect of Cosplay Deviants CEO Troy Doerner approaching conventions attempting to get royalties for using the Cosplay is not Consent trademark.
In the face of negative public reaction, Troy Doerner says he has now legally abandoned the trademark.
So here’s the thing: I will continue to work to combat harassment of cosplayers in the fan community hourly, daily, and yearly until I retire from all of this. Cosplay is NOT Consent is a phrase that carries weight, impact, and meaning for those that listen to the message and not just read the words.
I have no intention of stopping my work supporting this vital movement in fandom.
I have, however, decided to legally abandon the trademark… a process which was finalized just prior to this post. There have been a number of valid points made regarding securing it, and (even if it was for the right reasons) doing so isn’t a simple solution to a very complicated topic. We’ve heard the community and we will continue to be a part of this discussion, but this just seems like the best course of action.
So thank you to everyone that professionally shared your opinions and feedback with me to help lead to this decision. It wasn’t an easy conclusion to come to, but that’s the best part of being a part of this business: the opportunity to learn, evolve, and finding new ways to grow.
Online records show the trademark surrender was received November 28.
(2) RSR. Keffy and several coauthors have written “An Open Letter With Respect to Reviews Published on Rocket Stack Rank”. This is just one of a number of points:
The reviewer, who is not trans and/or non-binary, makes judgments about the validity of pronouns and identities, and decides which author “makes good use of [transness]” and which authors do not. This is problematic and hurtful. This is a way of saying “you do not belong.” A way of saying “stories about you don’t belong.” When reviews specifically cite pronouns of characters as justifications for rating a story down, a line is crossed. A line where not only writers but readers may find their identity questioned, belittled, and willfully misunderstood. A line that RSR crosses often and with seeming impunity.
Over a hundred people have cosigned the letter in comments.
(3) FAKE NEWS. CBR.com reports the deception continued for over a decade: “The Strange Tale of CB Cebulski’s Time as Akira Yoshida”.
The comic book world was rocked today by news that new Marvel Editor-in-Chief, C.B. Cebulski, has admitted that he wrote under the pseudonym “Akira Yoshida” for two years from 2004-2005 while he was an editor at Marvel Comics.
The first work by “Akira Yoshida” was published at Dark Horse Comics in early 2004, but then he debuted at Marvel with an Elekta miniseries.
… Finally, today, Cebulski admitted to Rich Johnston that he was, in fact, “Akira Yoshida,” telling Johnston:
I stopped writing under the pseudonym Akira Yoshida after about a year. It wasn’t transparent, but it taught me a lot about writing, communication and pressure. I was young and naïve and had a lot to learn back then. But this is all old news that has been dealt with, and now as Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief, I’m turning a new page and am excited to start sharing all my Marvel experiences with up and coming talent around the globe.
(4) WHALEFALL. Ursula Vernon’s Hugo acceptance and sea life speech, “An Unexpected Honor”, has been posted by the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.
Well. This is an unexpected honor. My fellow winners have said some very meaningful things up here on the stage tonight.
I want to talk to you about dead whales….
(5) WHERE’S MY CAR AT. The internet vote on this was so close they almost had to throw it to the House of Representatives.
What is a bigger deal?
— Hank Green (@hankgreen) November 26, 2017
(6) NO TURKEYS HERE: Jason, at Featured Futures, gives out a list of, and some comments on, some of the month’s fiction he was most thankful to read with the “Summation of Online Fiction: November 2017”.
As I mention in the relevant recommendation, I belatedly discovered that the SFWA had added the flash zine Grievous Angel to its list of pro markets, so I caught up on it. Even with its intermittent microfiction help, this was a light month in which I read about 134K words from thirty-four of thirty-six November stories. This month’s recommendations and honorable mentions, especially for science fiction, are also fairly light. There were still several good stories, though, and the 238th number of Beneath Ceaseless Skies was especially noteworthy.
(7) WRITING ADVICE. Author Susan Triceratops invites you to “Ask A Triceratops” at Camestros Felapton’s blog:
So would I include a love story in a zombie survival novel? You betcha! A group of survivors learning how to be tough in a world full of remorseless yet stupid predators? That’s practically soap-opera for a triceratops. You may not believe this but your average T-rex was either an idiot or a drunk or both.
(8) VESTIGES. It makes me glad to know someone has preserved this sort of thing, although I could not afford to own it: “The Bugle Which Sounded Taps for Lincoln”. The bid is up to $80,000. And come to think of it, if I had that money I wouldn’t be spending it on a collectible.
According to a June 17, 1923, article in the Columbus Dispatch, “the historic bugle has been located in Columbus and will be used in blowing the assembly call in the ‘Pageant of Memories’ which will be given at the state G.A.R. encampment June 26. The bugle is the property of H. M. Cook, who inherited it from his father, Hiram Cook, who was a member of President Lincoln’s bodyguard.”
The historic bugle has remained in the Cook family ever since. In 1973, it was loaned to the Smithsonian Institution as part of an exhibit of artifacts of slain presidents, and displayed alongside the bugle which sounded taps for President Kennedy. A photograph of the Smithsonian display accompanies the bugle, along with as letter of thanks from the Associate Curator of the Division of Political History. It has been consigned for auction by a direct descendent of Hiram Cook whose notarized affidavit accompanies the lot.
(9) FLASH EXEC PRODUCER FIRED. Variety reports “‘Flash,’ ‘Arrow’ EP Andrew Kreisberg Fired Amid Harassment Allegations”.
“After a thorough investigation, Warner Bros. Television Group has terminated Andrew Kreisberg’s employment, effective immediately,” said the studio in a statement.
…Warner Bros. Television, which produces the DC Comics-inspired dramas for the CW, suspended Kreisberg Nov. 10 from both productions and launched an investigation into multiple claims of sexual harassment on the series. Berlanti and Schechter met with the casts and crews of their series in the days after the allegations surfaced in a Variety report.
In a piece published Nov. 10 at the time of Kreisberg’s suspension, 19 women and men who worked on the Warner Bros.-Berlanti shows described being subjected to or witnessing incidents similar incidents of inappropriate touching and endemic sexual harassment. The sources spoke with Variety on condition on anonymity. Kreisberg has denied the allegations.
[Hat tip to SF Site News.]
(10) KEILLOR FIRED. The former Prairie Home Companion host has been canned, too. “Garrison Keillor Fired for ‘Inappropriate Behavior’ 1 Day After Defending Al Franken” – Jezebel has the story.
Garrison Keillor, the former host of National Public Radio weekend staple, A Prairie Home Companion, has been fired by Minnesota Public Radio for “inappropriate behavior.”
In a statement to the Associated Press, Keillor confirmed that he had been fired over what he cryptically described as “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.” MPR confirmed Keillor’s termination to the AP, writing in a statement that it is, “terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.” MPR added that it will no longer re-air episodes of Prairie Home Companion where Keillor is the host. “The program’s current iteration hosted by Chris Thile will get a new name,” the AP reports.
(11) FEELING BETTER. The Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge blog explores “How Independent Bookstores Have Thrived in Spite of Amazon.com”.
Here are some of Raffaelli’s key findings so far, based on what he has found to be the “3 C’s” of independent bookselling’s resurgence: community, curation, and convening.
- Community: Independent booksellers were some of the first to champion the idea of localism; bookstore owners across the nation promoted the idea of consumers supporting their local communities by shopping at neighborhood businesses. Indie bookstores won customers back from Amazon, Borders, and other big players by stressing a strong connection to local community values.
- Curation: Independent booksellers began to focus on curating inventory that allowed them to provide a more personal and specialized customer experience. Rather than only recommending bestsellers, they developed personal relationships with customers by helping them discover up-and-coming authors and unexpected titles.
- Convening: Independent booksellers also started to promote their stores as intellectual centers for convening customers with likeminded interests—offering lectures, book signings, game nights, children’s story times, young adult reading groups, even birthday parties. “In fact, some bookstores now host over 500 events a year that bring people together,” Raffaelli says.
(12) INSIDE JOB. B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog recommends these “10 Fiendishly Clever Sci-Fi Locked Room Mysteries”.
The locked room whodunnit is a stalwart of the mystery genre—the seemingly impossible crime committed inside a sealed-off room. Agatha Christie had several famous locked-room mysteries, including Murder on the Orient Express, the latest cinematic adaptation of which is currently chugging through a successful theatrical run. But locked room mysteries aren’t just Poirot’s home turf—more than a few SFF authors haven’t been able to resist the lure of the format, crafting fiendish puzzles in science-fictional contexts (locked rooms beget locked spaceships easily enough). The 10 books listed here offer fantastic sci-fi mysteries that rival anything in Christie’s oeuvre.
First on their list:
Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty
A locked-room mystery nestled comfortably inside a big-idea sci-fi premise, Lafferty’s latest is a interstellar page-turner that puts an innovative twist on cloning tropes. Societal and climate collapse drives humanity to send 2,000 cryo-frozen people to a distant, Earth-like planet on a ship crewed by six criminals who volunteer to be cloned again and again as they shepherd their precious cargo to its final destination. Every time the crew is cloned, they maintain their collective memories. When they wake up at the beginning of the novel, however, their former bodies are dead—brutally murdered in various ways. The ship is in shambles (the gravity is off, the controlling artificial intelligence is offline, and they’re off-course); and their memories (and all other records) have been erased. The six have to clean up the mess—but they also have to figure out who killed them and why, and how to survive within a paranoid pressure-cooker of a ship.
(13) THE BARRICADES. Cat Eldridge sent the link along with the advice, “Do read the comments — there’s a lot of hate for the show which is actually quite good. I think too many haters of Discovery were the same ones who hated Enterprise in that both shows deviated in major ways from the so-called canon of the now fifty-year old TOS. A show that at times was perfectly horrid.” — SyFy Wire’s Swapna Krishna discusses “The problem of gatekeeping in Star Trek fandom”.
…Some, like me, love it. Others don’t. Still others are angry about the delivery method. Whatever your feelings on the show are, they’re your business. No show is perfect, and no show is for everyone, and that’s okay.
That being said, there’s been a disturbing trend among the ranks of Star Trek fandom that has turned its back on the show. It’s not enough that they don’t like it; they’ve decreed that anyone who enjoys the show isn’t a real Star Trek fan. And they’ll pop up in Facebook comments, in Twitter mentions, everywhere they can to make sure you know it.
I’ve been called a lot of things because of my vocal support for Star Trek: Discovery, from a fake Star Trek fan to a shill for CBS. The words don’t bother me. The mindset behind them, the gatekeeping of what a “real” fan is, does. The fact is that some people, mainly men, are trying to tell those of us who are enjoying the show that we aren’t “real fans” of Star Trek. And it just so happens that the bulk of these fans are women and people of color.
(14) BEYOND THE PAPER CRANE. This news will do more than lift your spirits: “Robot Muscles Inspired By Origami Lift 1000 Times Their Weight”.
The delicate art of paper folding is playing a crucial role in designing robotic artificial muscles that are startlingly strong. In fact, the researchers say they can lift objects 1,000 times their own weight.
The researchers say the muscles are soft, so they’re safer compared to traditional metal robots in environments where they would interact with humans or delicate objects, and they can be made out of extremely low-cost materials such as plastic bags and card stock. Their findings were published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
(15) BAG YOUR TRASH. Space junk mission “”RemoveDebris” prepares for launch”.
A mission that will test different methods to clean up space junk is getting ready for launch.
The RemoveDebris spacecraft will attempt to snare a small satellite with a net and test whether a harpoon is an effective garbage grabber.
The probe has been assembled in Surrey and will soon be packed up ready for blast off early next year.
Scientists warn that the growing problem of space debris is putting spacecraft and astronauts at risk.
It is estimated that there are about half a million pieces of man-made rubbish orbiting the Earth, ranging from huge defunct satellites, to spent rocket boosters and nuts and bolts.
(16) LEAP YEAR. Not quite Mark Watney’s jump — but this doesn’t use special effects: “Daredevils jump from a mountain into a plane”. Video at the link.
Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet from France jumped from Jungfrau mountain into a moving plane.
It was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Patrick de Gayardon’s achievement in 1997, when he jumped from an aircraft into a moving plane
(17) LUNARBABOON. Huffington Post profiles online comic creator Chris Grady: “Dad’s Sweet Comics Promote Empathy, Tolerance And Love”. Some of the examples in the article use genre references.
As Lunarbaboon gained a bigger following, [Chris] Grady decided to use his popularity for good. He often draws comics with positive messages that touch on social justice, gender issues, xenophobia and more.
“I think it is impossible not to be influenced by the world around you. There is a lot of bad things happening in the world, but there is also a lot of good,” he said. “I try to find the good or humorous in the difficult things that happen to us every day.”
(18) BLUE MARBLE. Video taken during a spacewalk: “Footage of Earth from the International Space Station”.
NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik filmed his maintenance mission outside the International Space Station. The mission took Mr Bresnik and astronaut Joe Acaba six hours and 39 minutes.
(19) BACK TO THE CANDY-COATED FUTURE. Adweek covers what happened next in “21 Years Later, M&M’s Unwraps a Sequel to Its Classic Christmas Ad”.
For over 20 years we’ve watched Santa and Red faint on Christmas Eve. Now find out how Yellow saved Christmas that fateful night and showed everyone the true meaning of the holidays.
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, JJ, mlex, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Hampus Eckerman, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Patrick Morris Miller.]