Pixel Scroll 11/8/16 When We Scrolled The Pixels On Board, We Thought They Were Cute

(1) FAR FROM THE MADDING POLLING PLACE. In the market for non-election news? Cat Rambo has you covered at her blog.

As part of recent updates at SFWA we recently revamped the Nebula Recommended Reading list to show up in alphabetical order. It’s a stopgap measure until the website gets re-designed, and to my mind has some of the same problems as presenting by order of number of recommendations. In musing that over, I mentioned to webmaster Jeremy Tolbert that I looked forward to the new school of aardvarkpunk we were inspiring. A half hour later this story appeared in my head.

I thought, however, it would be useful perhaps for people grappling with novels to see what the last bits of work involve. I’ve been incorporating edits from the hardcopy manuscript but still have lots and lots of comments in the e-copy to address. In the process of adding those, I was able to look at the manuscript from a high-enough level that I could sort out all the chronology (oh dear GODDESS please let that statement be true, because that’s been the biggest pain in the rear so far) and make sure that everything made sense, that storylines were resolved, and that all the hidden plotlines got bubbled up in a meaningful way.

(2) SEE THESE SPOTS. Suzanne Johnson shares her knowledge of “Five Magical Spots in New Orleans” at Tor.com.

New Orleans is a place of myth and mysticism. It’s a city of rich, bon temps rouler party culture with a dark undercurrent of cynicism and violence. It’s the most haunted city in America (or so the tourism bureau would have you believe) and one of the most haunting cities for those who fall under its spell.

I am one of those people.

So I had a lot to consider in choosing my five most magical spots in my adopted hometown…

The most supposedly haunted? I’d need to include Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, a legitimate business behind which my favorite pirate hid some of his illegitimate activities. Or the Hotel Monteleone (where the undead Jean Lafitte lives in my Sentinels of New Orleans series). Or just about any building in the French Quarter.

I could also go for the most infamous spots—scenes of horrific violence and mayhem. Or perhaps romantically magical spots like the streetcars rumbling down St. Charles Avenue or the trill of jazz along the riverfront. Maybe I could go with the scariest spots—surely led by the rusting ruins and clowns of Six Flags still abandoned a decade after Hurricane Katrina.

— And those are all things that didn’t make her list of five, which she discusses following that introduction.

(3) WHEN IN ROME. Matt Mitrovich covers a time travel novel at Amazing Stories “Book Review: The Emperor’s Men: Arrival by Dirk van den Boom”.

Arrival was an enjoyable read… but it has issues. On one hand, I though Dirk did a good job on the historical details with both the 1914-era Germans and the 4th century Romans. I liked how he spent time discussing how people dressed, how they prepared their food and even how they went to the bathroom (which is something most books leave out, but hey, there is history behind the toilet even if you don’t want to think about it). Additionally, while Arrival falls squarely into the time travelling ship trope, I still thought Dirk did a good job by using the trope in a setting that not many alternate historians go to (in fact Uchronia lists Dirk’s series as the only alternate history that diverges in 378).

(4) THE TIES THAT BIND. Madeleine E.  Robins tells Book View Café readers how she is going to take her mind off the election in  Respect the Process.

I am, in my day job, employed by the American Bookbinders Museum, a small museum focused on the shift from hand- to mechanical bookbinding as part of the greater Industrial Revolution. It’s fascinating, if you like books, or history, or art, or craft, or the history of women or unions or… As we’re a newish museum, we’re always looking to find ways to reach people who would be a natural audience for us. And as part of our outreach, I’m going to be spending weekends at Dickens Fair, an annual recreation of Dickens’s London on Christmas Eve. I’ll be sewing book signatures (the part of bookbinding that wasn’t mechanized until the mid-1870s) and attempting to interest passers-by in the subject, the craft, and, well… the museum.


  • Born November 8, 1836 — Games producer Milton Bradley
  • Born November 8, 1847 – Bram Stoker, of Dracula fame.

(6) TREKKING BY THE BOOK. Scott Dutton is at work on Star Fleet Technical Manual 2.0 and has posted online all the pages he’s completed to date.

In 1975, Franz Joseph’s Technical Manual was the perfect companion to his Enterprise blueprints. While there are more accurate sources now, these were two of the best items to have during the time after The Original Series went off the air and before the movies began.

I’ve been working on an updated edition off and on for the past year-and-a-half or so. I’ll continue to work on it as time permits, and I wanted to share the work in progress as a way to get the word out there about it. It’d be nice to see this as an official licenced product in ebook or printed form, or both.


(7) THE WEED OF CRIME. “Warning for all travelers to Worldcon 75,” says Hampus Eckerman – “373 police reports in Finland were connected to Moomin Mugs (Translation.) Seems like they are the entrance to heavy drugs. Be careful!”


(8) LONG LIST UPDATE. David Steffen still plans on a mid-December release for Long List Anthology Volume 2, provided he gets all the following done:

I’ve finished drafting up a manuscript for the entire anthology, with all of the stories formatted, with a foreword and acknowledgments, copyright page, previous publications page, table of contents etc.  This is one of the more time-consuming components of putting together the book, since the individual story manuscripts may be in widely varying formats (none of which actually match what is needed for any version of the book).  So there’s a lot of fiddly little details trying to pound out the dents in the formatting, make sure the table of contents is in the same order as the stories in the book, make sure the biographies are attached to the correct stories, and so on.  This manuscript has been handed off to Polgarus Studio for producing the final version of the interior layouts for both print and ebook formats.

I’m working with Pat Steiner to work on final details of the cover layout.  A bit of a chicken-and-egg there, because I need to give an ebook cover to Polgarus for them to make the ebook, but I need the print layout from them for Pat to produce the full print cover (because the print cover image includes the binding, and the binding depends on how many pages the book is).  So there is some back and forth there to get those important details sorted out, but I love the work Pat does, he makes the covers very sharp and readable.

Skyboat Media is hard at work producing the audiobook now.

Next I’ll be working on inputting all the information into Amazon, Kobo, and other book/ebook sources for the book so that hopefully when I get the formatted files back the listings will be ready to just plug in the manuscript files.

(9) EIGHT MILES HIGH. At Galactic Journey, The Traveler reviews a prozine while jetting to the Orient — “[November 8, 1961] Points East (Air Travel and the December 1961 Galaxy)”.

I have to tell you, things are so much faster these days.  The jet engine has cut flight times in half, taking much of the tedium out of travel.  Oh, sure, I always had plenty to do in the air, between writing and reading and planning my next adventures, but for my poor fellow travelers, there was little to do but drink, smoke, and write letters.  For hours and hours.

These days, the Journey is my primary occupation.  I can do it from anywhere, and I often do, bringing my family along with me.  As we speak, I am writing out this article with the roar of the Japan Airlines DC-8’s jets massaging my ears, music from pneumatic headphone cords joining the mix.  It’s a smooth ride, too.  It would be idyllic, if not for the purple clouds of tobacco smoke filling the cabin.  But again, I suffer this annoyance for half the time as before.  I’ll abide.

… Speaking of reports, I’ve just finished up this month’s Galaxy Science Fiction.  I almost didn’t recognize this December issue as it lacks the usual fanciful depiction of St. Nick.  Instead, it features an illustration from Poul Anderson’s new novel, The Day After Doomsday, whose first part takes up a third of the double-sized magazine.  As usual, I won’t cover the serial until it’s done, but Anderson has been reliable of late, and I’ve high hopes.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, and Hampus Eckerman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day lurkertype.]

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123 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/8/16 When We Scrolled The Pixels On Board, We Thought They Were Cute

  1. Lis Carey: And, of course, Clinton won the popular vote,…

    I like that “of course.” At this moment CNN shows both Trump and Clinton as having polled over 59 million votes, with Clinton’s lead around 230,000. Which you could say is attributable to her lead in the high-population state of California, although otherwise Trump outpolled her in 30 of the 47 states so far declared.

    I didn’t vote for either one of them. I might have been willing to vote for Sanders, I’m not sure, but had he gone through the general election campaign I’d have been sure one way or another. And yet if the choice had been Clinton vs. Jeb Bush, I’d have voted for Bush. But he’d have lost — and I don’t hesitate to add an “of course’ about that prediction…. Though just imagine — here’s a voter that might have backed either Sanders or Jeb Bush, because that’s my feeling about Clinton.

  2. If you add Johnson’s vote to Trump and Stein vote to Clinton, Trump ends up with a comfortable lead in the popular vote as well. So it’s pretty definitely a win for conservatives.

    I’m having chocolate cake for lunch. Not sure what stage of grief that is.

  3. rochrist on November 8, 2016 at 10:14 pm said:

    It’s currently going to be a bare majority in the Senate – that means that gridlock is still possible. And the House – they’re going to be dealing with the so-misnamed “Freedom Caucus”, which is a minority of the membership and wants to run the whole thing.

  4. Lis Carey on November 9, 2016 at 9:30 am said:
    And the Bernie fanboys have come out to tell us who he could totally have beaten Trump, even though he couldn’t win the primaries.

    I’d really like to know when we slid through into the Mirror Universe.

  5. @ P J Evans: I’d really like to know when we slid through into the Mirror Universe.

    With the Southern Strategy. The turning point was the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, deciding to embrace and court the Basket of Deplorables of their day.

    It took a while for the differences to become really noticeable — but in Universe Prime, Carter didn’t allow himself to be overruled about the need for massive air support of the hostage rescue; this success won him re-election in 1980, and in 1984 Reagan was already showing unmistakable signs of dementia and didn’t get the nomination. Ever since then, the split has been widening.

  6. Re: Penric’s mission. Based on the title, I was half-expecting (and half hoping for) Penric’s expedition to convert the Roknari to Quintarianism. But not that kind of mission. Pseudo-Byzantine Empire was fun, anyway. Thumbs up.

  7. @lee: Thanks for that!
    Speaking of Lincoln: Didnt he win against Three parties? When so many people hated both choices, I cant help but think the US missed a chance to have a third candidate this year.

    An unpixilated quote because It feels like it:
    Who votes against freedom to gain security will lose both in the End.

  8. Just finished “Standing on the Floodbanks” by Bogi Takács. I enjoyed it, but what I found most interesting was the contrast between it and “The Drowning Eyes” by Emily Foster. Both stories touch on how to control dangerous magic, and have extremely different philosophies. Anyone else read both and care to share their thoughts?

  9. Reading Lost Things by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham. Post-WWI, hermetic magic, lodges, aviation.. Lewis Sugura is an aviator who, in the late twenties, hooks up, or falls in, with a small commercial aviation company who, it turns out, are the surviving members of a lodge. He’s always had strange dreams; he’s long known that some of them seem to be “true dreams;” they foreshadow things that he will really encounter later.

    And I am really, really enjoying it. At least as long as I pay attention to the book and not politics.

  10. Cheap Ebook Alert: Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library is on sale for $1.99 on Amazon and, presumably, the other notable outlets.

  11. @Airboy
    The worry that gay people have is that Congress will pass and Trump will sign one of those “religious restoration” bills which grants an unlimited right for people or organizations to discriminate against us simply by claiming they have a religious reason.

  12. @Greg: Totally seconding your comment about _Penric’s Mission_: it’s pure joy and love and happiness on all levels.

    For various reasons I’ve decided not to talk presidential politics over here, but am certainly sounding off on my Facebook (Robin Reid) and will probably be doing some on my Dreamwidth journal (ithiliana) if anybody is interested in friending/joining in on either of those platforms.

    Also asked for an invite to Pantsuit Nation today and am blown away by the postings and plans. (in a good way)

  13. Does anyone have any idea what’s going on with Analog and Asimov’s? Their December issues (for Kindle) were due on October 27, but neither has arrived, and now they’re two weeks late. They haven’t responded to my requests for information, and their web sites are still showing their November covers, as is Amazon.com. They’re both printed by Penny Publications, but there’s no information on their site either.

    I can’t ever recall them being this late before, and it worries me.

  14. “Pixel season…” Great minds, great minds. [Also: “Now you keep out of this! He doesn’t have to scroll you now.”]

    For anyone interested, my philosophy on life, and getting through it:
    Left foot.
    Right foot.
    If not there yet, repeat.

  15. There’s a new post up at Making Light:

    The prospect before us

    Science fiction came into being in response to a new thing in human history: the understanding that not only was the world changing, but also that the rate of change was speeding up. That in a normal lifetime, you could expect to experience multiple episodes of rapid, disorienting change. Science fiction at its best has always been about examining and inhabiting those experiences when the world passes through a one-way door…

  16. Well, this is why we have YA dystopias. Not add escapism, but as a warning.

    I spent some time today drawing with college students ,talking about kittens, classes and normal things. Not nearly enough time, but it helped. In an hour or two I will take a long hot bath. I caught a bunch of Pokemon. Minor things.

    I am going to continue to read the webcomic Band vs Band. It will remind me they’re are still sweet things in life.

    I am going to be studying more online security and encryption. Because my communities need safe spaces, and social media isn’t it.

  17. @Lis Carey

    If you think Trump is less bad than Clinton, you haven’t been listening to Trump

    Problematically I think a lot of Trump supporters, or at least the ones I know, have been listening to Trump. They just don’t believe him to mean what he says. There’s a solid core of his backers around the lunch table at work. In the same vein of ‘that was just locker room talk’ the running belief I’ve heard is ‘that was just campaign talk’ or else ‘that’s the liberal media twisting his words out of context’.

    We can only hope they’re right though I doubt that they are.

    (Been away awhile dealing with overload at work and home. Hope everyone has been well!)

  18. @airboy

    if the Federal Government performs too badly the Dems will win the House in 2018

    No they won’t. They can’t. There are 33 seats (out of 431) up for grabs in 2018. Of those, the Democrats hold 25 of them. Two others are held by independents who caucus with the democrats. Only six seats that are up for grabs in the House of Representatives in 2018 are currently held by Republicans.

    Following this election, the Republicans hold 239 seats. If they lose all six (and the Democrats and Independents hold onto all of their seats), that’s a loss of only six seats for the Republicans, giving them 233 seats.

    They only need 218 seats to have a majority. There is NO WAY the Democrats can take the House in 2018.

    The SENATE, on the other hand, is 100% up for grabs in 2018. Like it is every two years.

  19. Erik Franklin: You have it backwards. All seats in the House of Representatives are contested every two years.

  20. @Mike Glyer

    Erik Franklin: You have it backwards. All seats in the House of Representatives are contested every two years.

    You are correct, and thank God for that. And thank you for the correction.

    I had the correct numbers up for grabs in 2018, but a swing of just two seats will tip the Senate.

  21. YES!!! My first Contributing Editor status! I’d like to thank OGH, and John Carpenter.

    (Cheers me up a bit after the election. Oy.)

    In other personal news, I’m nominating “Rivers of London Vol. 2: Night Witch” for Graphic Story. Individual issues are all out; compilation hits the US mid-Dec. I really liked Vol. 1 as well. The artwork is splendid — not fussy, not muddy, not primary colors, and great renditions of facial expressions. And magic cops are cool.

    (1) That’s a very cute story.

    (7) Since I never cared for Moomins, and since now I could grow my own drugs if I want, I’m safe from this crime wave.

    (8) Still looking forward to this.

    (If I can afford any of these things, since the husband and I will be uninsurable at a price less than all our other expenses combined.)

  22. Regarding who is worse… If I was an american living in US, I would have voted Clinton. No doubt. Because a candidate who doesn’t accept election results unless he wins makes me think he was elected for at least 8 years. And that more and more polling stations in areas of PoC will be closed.

    But living outside of US? No way in hell I would have supporter Clinton. She had participated in genocide, her lunatic campaign in Libya has turned the hell loose in Middle-East and she har promised even more warmongering, even risking war with russia. She is totally incompetent and dangerously so. I would never risk millions if lives by voting for her.

    That, and that she has helped her husband in a truly Blair-like way to enrich themselves by pandering to dictators like Saudi-Arabia.

    I mostly vote on foreign policy. Clinton is truly horrible there.

    And that is what voter statistics say. Trump didn’t win the election, Clinton lost it. Trump got a million fewer votes than Romney. But Clinton lost lots more than than that compared to Obama.

  23. @Dawn Incognito Since the people who are gloating right now are most certainly checking file770 for schadenfreude, I’d rather not say exactly which self-destructive behavior I gave up on but still have urges to go back to. It’d just give them one more thing that they think it’s amusing to make fun of.

    And thank you for the link

  24. @Iphinome, I completely understand! I’m sorry if I gave the impression of prying, I should have said “I’m not sure if you’ll find this useful” instead.

  25. @Dawn Incognito You didn’t give that impression, just explaining why I didn’t come out and say it.

  26. Speaking of Lincoln: Didnt he win against Three parties? When so many people hated both choices, I cant help but think the US missed a chance to have a third candidate this year.

    Not really. In 1860, the Republican Party was one of the two established political parties in the country, but it was a mostly regional party that dominated the northern states. The Democratic party split along regional lines, dividing on the question of slavery and nominating two different candidates, one from the north (Stephen Douglas) and one from the south (John Breckenridge). A third party was created out of the remaining embers of the dead Whig Party called the Constitutional Union Party, but they were essentially a regional group as well, nominating John Bell.

    Although Lincoln was technically running against three other candidates, both Breckinridge and Bell were intensely regional candidates who had little appeal outside of their enclaves. Breckinridge and Bell weren’t on the ballot in a couple of northern states, and where they were, they were massively unpopular, generally garnering between 1% and 5% of the vote totals. The only southern state where Lincoln was on the ballot was Virginia. Given the demographics of the country, Lincoln only had to win northern states in order to secure an electoral college victory, and in many of those his only real opponent was Douglas.

    It was a weird election, and trying to think about it as an example of how a third party run might fare in a more normal time is probably ill-advised.

  27. @Greg:
    The extreme that you are worried about – ability to discriminate at any time for any reason for sexual orientation will not pass Congress. The only thing that could possibly happen is less draconian government punishment for those who choose not to serve gay weddings.

    Try to remember the speeches at the Trump nomination including those on gays. The evangelicals are the only group even interested in this, and they did not push it.

    Your worries on this are not grounded in reasonable likelihood of occurrence.

    I had predicted long ago (as did the late Justice Scalia) that the Texas decision would legalize gay marriage. The Supreme Court case was over property rights related to US Tax Law. That was a pretty obvious action. Many of the attorneys on that case were Republicans (remember Olsen). Gay issues were not part of the Trump platform and were not part of the platform of almost all Republicans running for the House and Senate.

    Republicans are for the rule of law, especially property rights. Gay marriage and associated issues ultimately boil down to property rights. Marriage grants a ton of property rights in one easy package (if you don’t get divorced).

    There is also a very sharp generational difference on gay marriage. Most people just don’t care about the issue. If the activists had not gotten so nutty about trying to punish a handful of very small businesses who did not wish to participate in gay marriage ceremonies – what little trouble there was on the issue would have been further avoided.

    If the gays wish to be left alone and not claim special privileges (such as hiring preferences/quotas; etc….) why would most people even care? The only really ugly thing I’ve seen about this was in the WikiLeaks documents where several Dems closely associated with Clinton were actively hostile to Catholics and were funding bodies trying to influence Catholic religious doctrine.

    Gay issues are not like abortion where there is snuffing out of human life, almost always for economic convenience. Gay rights issues will not be much of an issue in liberal democracies (unlike fundamentalist Moslem countries) unless there are extreme excesses trying to forcibly change churches and those who hold sincere religious beliefs.

    On gay issues, a small amount of understanding by the handful of zealots on both sides would make almost everything work out well.

  28. Can anyone find something optimistic to say about the fate of the ACA?
    So many people I know depend on access to affordable health care, without the possibility of being denied for pre-existing conditions.
    It is literally life-endangering.

  29. airboy:

    Several states allow discrimination against gays and several republicans have tried to make discrimination legal again in other states. To say that gay rights aren’t threatened is to live in a fantasy world.

  30. Can anyone find something optimistic to say about the fate of the ACA?

    Repealing a law isn’t something a president can just do by fiat.

    And while there are enough Republican votes to flat-out repeal it, if they want, one of the reasons they kept voting to repeal it before was that they knew it wouldn’t happen, that they could play to their base without actually taking health insurance away from millions of voters.

    So now, will they do that, knowing that it means those voters (and their families) will be incentivized to kick them out in 2018?

    Some of ’em, sure. All of ’em? Maybe.

    But at this point it’s just a maybe.

    That’s as optimistic as I can get right now. Maybe they’ll choose to fix the problems with it, so they can then give it a new name, pretend they’ve “replaced it,” and that they can take the credit for it. That was the real problem with it, after all — not the law, which was built on GOP-proposed principles — but the fact that a black Democrat got credit for it.

    So if they can take the credit back, maybe they’ll discover they like it now.


  31. Thanks Aaron for the explanation – appreciated!

    Stupid white Scrolls with big pixels

  32. @Greg

    Re Asimovs, doesn’t their publishing schedule skip November? My last Asimovs is October.

  33. Re: The ACA — according to one pundit I heard on the radio yesterday (alas, I cannot cite a name) all Trump has to do is cut the funding. Summarizing as best as I remember (all errors are my own), a judge ruled that some of the subsidies were illegal and Obama was appealing. Trump just has to drop the appeal, the subsidies get cut, and much of the ACA collapses. So, assuming I understood correctly, no, it’s not looking good for our friends who have the bad luck to be both poor and ill.

  34. @Greg:
    I read the Time article you linked to.
    1] Pence is not Congress. His personal opinion as VP is not that important. Pence also signed a revised law of the original legislation in Indiana. This supports that he is rational on the issue.
    2] The Obama nationalization of bathroom regulations may be revoked. Bathrooms will then be guided by the States and localities. So what?
    3] The President can decide on Gays in the military as they choose. The President is Commander in Chief. I have no idea what will happen on that one. I doubt if Trump would do anything there – but I have no confidence predicting his actions.

    Major “gay legislation” of any type cannot make it through either the house or the senate. It is not a big priority. Trump supports gay rights.

    Again, having read what you linked to carefully I’m not seeing what you are worried about.

    If you are personally worried which I do not think you should be, get a firearm and learn how to use it. Take a gun safety class and get proper firearms instruction. If I taught somewhere like Georgia State in downtown Atlanta which is a high crime area, I would carry concealed.

  35. Obamacare will be ended. You cannot filibuster a spending bill. All congress has to do is refuse to fund the subsidies, the subsidies at the current levels, etc…. and it dies. It will happen. When you ram a major expansion of government without any votes from the other party it is easily repealed.

    Many of Obama’s actions in the last 6 years have been by executive orders or actions of regulators. All of this can be reversed and most of it will be. Obama decided to never compromise and work through executive action. That decision has consequences.

  36. airboy, at the top of this thread: [Trump] is not loved by most Republican elected officials. NPR this morning: Congress lines up to kiss Trump’s.

    The same post claimed we had $17 trillion in “additional debt”. As grade-school teachers say in arithmetic class: show your work; 8 years times never-more-than-one-trillion doesn’t add up. Then show how much of it was not caused by Dubya starting two wars after cutting taxes (rather than raising them to pay for it), resulting in a depression (not a Great Recession — that’s a euphemism).

    And finally, I find your claims to be searching for greater liberty … selfish … when you’re not even willing to grant women the liberty of their own bodies.

  37. @airboy

    Yes, those failures to compromise: like adopting a Republican developed and championed healthcare framework rather than pursuing single payer or other options favored by the majority of Democrats. Of course not a single Republican congressman could be bothered to work constructively in developing or passing the ACA (which was their own idea made flesh) but it’s the Obama administration that had problems with compromise not a Republican leadership dead set on obstructionism in the pursuit of power. Yes, indeedy.

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