Pixel Scroll 12/20 Grandma Got Run Over By a Filer

(1) HARRY POTTER ON STAGE. The lead roles in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child have been cast: Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley.

(2) BABY FACE. Mark Zuckerberg seems just as excited about the launch of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” this week as everybody else — judging by the two new pictures he posted on his personal Facebook page.

First of all, he dressed up his daughter Max as a jedi, surrounded by Star Wars related plushy toys, on December 17 with just a one line caption — “The force is strong with this one”

On December 18, Zuckerberg then posted a picture of his Puli, a type of Hungarian sheepdog, Beast dressed as a Sith (basically a baddie). The picture was accompanied by just one line too — “Meanwhile, Beast turned to the dark side”

(3) NO ANIME CONJI 2016. The “Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation” has canceled Anime Conji 2016, which had been scheduled for March 25-27 in Anaheim, CA.

We have collectively decided to focus on expanding and improving each of our events, bringing a level of quality seen in our larger shows to our smaller events. Unfortunately to meet this goal, Anime Conji will have to take a small break.

Refund information at the web page.

(4) EXPANDED COVERAGE. Frequent File 770 contributor James H. Burns set up the Sunday New York Times article “Incredible Bulk at a Comic Book Warehouse in Brooklyn” about Joe Koch’s comics and science fiction book warehouse — a big injection of publicity for the once-“Secret” Bookstore he wrote about here last month.

“There’s two neat things to know,” says Jim. “One is that Corey Kilgannon is a terrific writer; we first met when he did a story about WFAN, New York’s sports -talk radio station — the only time I made a cover-story in a New York paper, either as a writer, or in this case, a participant/interviewee!  The second is that after File 770 ran the story about Joe’s place, just after Thanksgiving, several of the File 770 faithful made their way to Brooklyn!” The Times story begins:

It’s beginning to look a little like Christmas in Joseph Koch’s Comic Book Warehouse.

In classic Koch style, a Christmas tree was suspended from the ceiling, with a bloody, severed ghoul’s head hanging (by the eyelids, of course) from the side.

This passes as mistletoe for customers entering Mr. Koch’s world: a cavernous second-floor space that he has run for the past 30 years, in an industrial section of Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

It houses one of the largest collections of comic books in the country. Also on offer are memorabilia, action figures, books, records, posters and the like.

It is a back issue browsing paradise, with comics filling long white cardboard boxes, placed on shelves extending high overhead.

Mr. Koch, 66, refers to the place as his “Warehouse of Wonders,” with a vast inventory that he calls “The Avalanche.” It consists of “the largest assemblage of sci-fi, comics and fantasy genre-related ephemera on the planet,” according to Mr. Koch, whose trove nevertheless remains relatively obscure outside the world of hard-core comics lovers.

(5) MAGIC NUMBER. “Paul Weimer’s Top 5 Reads Of 2015” at Helen Lowe…on anything really.

2015 has been a bumper crop of books for me to devour. I’ve enjoyed the end of series of old favorites, the start of new series by beloved authors, and eagerly tried some debut authors too. Limiting myself to five was difficult, but here are my favorite five books of the year….

(6) MANATEE SEASON. Larry Correia renews a Christmas tradition with “Christmas Noun 8: Too Noun Much Adjective” at Monster Hunter Nation.

“’Sup, nerds,” John Ringo said as he came back into the room. He adjusted his kilt and sat down. “Sorry my fine Cuban cigar lit by hundred dollar bills break took so long, but I got spun up and wrote another bestselling novel during it. What did I miss? Hey, who ate all the Cheetos?”

“Meehwhoooooooo.”

“Cthulhu showed up because Correia pissed off the DM again.”

“I have an eighteen in charisma. I try to seduce Cthulhu!” Brad exclaimed, because every game night has that guy.

And that’s just the scene about him trying to think up an idea for the post. The actual story has 12 parts and an epilog.

(7) SUPPORTING (DIE) CAST. Brad R. Torgersen was so pleased to have lines he wrote his own “A Christmas Noun: The Unauthorized Spinoff – teaser trailer”, though it’s his comment at Monster Hunter Nation that deserves a blue ribbon.

I . . . I have been given a significant speaking role in this year’s CHRISTMAS NOUN episode. And it’s an accurate speaking role! They say only Audie Murphy could play Audie Murphy, but all I have to say is, Audie Murphy, eat your heart out, son. Meanwhile, do I roll ten-sided dice for skill performance? Or is that a 20-sider, minus half a dozen penalties for cursed afflictions assigned via the six-sider cursed afflictions table? What? Wait, I don’t get it. That was the previous universe?? Yeah, shut up, I know I missed two Writer Nerd Games Nights in a row! For hell’s sake, what game are we playing now? Dude, I didn’t even bring the right character sheets. Screw it, I will just act like I know what’s going on, and go with whatever Steve Diamond says. Steve always has pity for me…

(8) RED NOSED DRONE. In “The Christmas Edit” video by Ascending Technologies, a modified AscTec Falcon UAS drone creates Christmas-themed light paintings in the sky.

(9) WHERE REAL WRITERS WORK. An Allen Steele profile published in October, “When the books take over; Walls of shelves dominate sci-fi writer Allen Steele’s Whately workspace”.

Hanging from the railing of the upstairs loft is an enormous yellow banner with black and red lettering spelling out “Robert A. Heinlein Centennial” and bearing the date 2007 beside a black-and-white photo of Heinlein. It’s from a science fiction convention, but it’s a declaration of sorts. There are lots of branches of science fiction these days, with subgenres that include things like steampunk, urban fantasy, soft science fiction, space opera and many more. But Heinlein represents old-school science fiction, often called “hard SF,” the kind that filled Astounding and Galaxy and other seminal magazines and was focused on future events that were mostly plausible and based on real science.

Steele’s work manages a deft trick: It reads, in many ways, like that brand of old-school SF, but it feels quite current, too. The interstellar voyage he portrays in one of his best-known works, “Coyote,” seems as if, given sufficient financial backing, it could well happen in a few decades.

(10) CHEAP SHOT. Writer Beware blogger Victoria Strauss reports she received a nasty bit of payback in “Almond Press Redux: Revenge-Rating A Critic”.

Case in point: Almond Press, whose short story competition I featured here last July. Essentially, the competition was a way for Almond to gather free material for an anthology–the competition winner received a cash prize but none of the other entrants received any payment other than “exposure.”…

Well, Almond Press was not happy with that assessment, which is understandable. But did they change the competition rules? Did they decide to compensate all their authors? Did they contact me to discuss my post or even to threaten me with legal action? No. Nothing that mature. Last week I was checking my books on Goodreads, which I do sometimes to see if there’ve been any new reviews (yes, yes. I know). I noticed a brand-new one-star rating on one of them, from…could it be? Almond Press! …

(11) DEAR MAC. Kate Paulk sent an “Email to MidAmericon II Programming” with a modest suggestion:

In view of the extraordinary levels of hostility and controversy surrounding the Sad Puppies campaigns and the 2015 Hugo Awards, I would like to offer to host one or more panels on the history and goals of the Sad Puppies campaigns.

As one of the organizers of Sad Puppies 4 and an attendee at MidAmericon II, I can offer a factual perspective that has been lacking in a number of circles, leading to a number of people making statements so ill-informed they bordered on actionable libel and slander….

(12) TRAILER PARK. Sychronicity, which its makers compare to Blade Runner, Gattaca and Memento, is coming to theaters January 22

Daring physicist Jim Beale has invented a machine that can fold space-time and ruthless corporate tycoon Klaus Meisner will stop at nothing to get it. When Jim uses the machine to tear open the fabric of the universe, a rare Dahlia appears from the future. But in order to keep the rights to his invention he must prove that it works by finding the flower’s identical match in the present. Jim soon discovers that the Dahlia lies in the hands of the mysterious Abby, who seduces him into revealing his secrets. Convinced that she is in league with Klaus to take ownership of his life’s work, Jim travels back in time to stop the conspiracy before it can happen. But once in the past, Jim uncovers a surprising truth about Abby, the machine, and his own uncertain future.

 

(13) CRIMINAL HAS HIS PRINTS TAKEN BY FBI.“When ‘Return of the Jedi’ Was Stolen at Gunpoint”  at Mental_Floss.

Larry Dewayne Riddick, Jr. had no way of knowing there would someday be an easier way of doing this. In just a few years, pirating feature films for profit—or just for the sake of undermining huge corporations—would be as effortless as clicking a mouse.

But this was 1983. And if Riddick wanted his own personal print of Return of the Jedi to peddle on the black market, he’d have to resort to more crude methods. He’d have to take it by force.

Riddick, 18, stood in the parking lot of the Glenwood Theaters in Overland Park, Kans. and watched as John J. Smith exited the building. Smith was the projectionist; Jedi was finishing its sixth week as the most popular film attraction in the country. It was after midnight. As Smith walked to his car, Riddick came up beside him and flashed a gun. He had come for the movie….

(14) ANNUAL REVIEW. 2015 was a great year for Ann Leckie.

Other things that happened this year: Ancillary Sword won the BSFA! That was super exciting, actually. I figured most voters, no matter how much they liked Sword, would figure I got more than enough recognition last year. And to be entirely honest, that’s a completely valid position to hold. I was super chuffed at the nomination. And that wasn’t all–Sword was nominated for the Nebula and the Hugo as well! And the Hugo nom–well, that was in circumstances that made it clear that a flattering number of readers had a very high opinion of it. So I got to enjoy the Nebs and the Hugos in a very low-stress way–I was pretty sure my book wasn’t going to win–and to happily applaud the results of both.

(15) CAR WARS. On the other hand, it’s been a tough year for law enforcement. The Fulshear, Texas police pulled over this odd crew and got their police car stolen.

[Thanks to Will R., John King Tarpinian, Michael J. Walsh, Eylat Poliner, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day redheadedfemme.]

247 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/20 Grandma Got Run Over By a Filer

  1. Peter J: And, since we’ve had the inevitable quote from the other Good Doctor (Johnson) – I wonder what he would have made of the internet?

    He’d either have a stroke attempting to clean up the Urban Dictionary, or a hernia trying to separate Boswell from YouPorn.com.

  2. What the hell is a Christmas Noun and why should I care?

    I believe it may be an attempted joke based upon the various games released by White Wolf such as Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse.

  3. I thought it was a joke on the many “A Christmas ——” things released this time of year.

  4. @TheYoungPretender

    As to written work, I think Greg Hullender deserves a note of thanks for putting together his collection. It’s much easier to read the stories – and hasn’t that what this year has been about? Reading good stories?

    Thanks! We appreciate it. What will make Rocket Stack Rank worthwhile will be if there’s a marked increase in nominations for the three short-fiction categories. Even if we can’t ever prove that we accounted for any of the difference, that’ll still make us happy. 🙂

  5. Johan:

    If you can find recordings, I’d really love to hear the carillon versions of “Imagine” and “Always Look on the Bright Side.” (Also, my partner is dubious about Grieg’s “Morning Suite” on the carillon; have you been up early enough to hear that?)

  6. Paulk’ puppy panel proposal will no doubt lead to Paulk’s puppy pity party (2016 edition).with lots of whining about how the SJW Nazi’s are denying her freedom of speech or somesuch.
    Oh well, well see whether their bite is as good as their bark come nominating time, until then its probably best to shrug and move on.

  7. To clarify, the bit I’m recalling where Heinlein discovered he got itchy if he didn’t write occurred pretty early in his writing career, circa the early 1940s.

    As for a Puppy panel, I honestly can’t think of a single one of the core Pups who I’d want to deal with on such. Too many initiated insults, factual inaccuracies, and lies by omission. I do have a rep for being a good moderator, and I’m not at all sure I could handle it. (A few Worldcons back, I got my schedule and was listed as moderator for a panel that I didn’t think I had anything in particular to add to, and that all the panelists were much more expert on the topic than I. So I wrote back stating that and suggested that I probably should be taken off it. I got back a response that I’d been put on as moderator because there was concern the other panelists had sufficiently strongly held beliefs on the topic that they wanted a strong moderator to keep things in line if necessary. Didn’t turn out to be necessary, but I appreciated the compliment).

  8. “Paulk’ puppy panel proposal will no doubt lead to Paulk’s puppy pity party (2016 edition).with lots of whining about how the SJW Nazi’s are denying her freedom of speech or somesuch.”

    Agree. I think its main function is to be used as an outrage excuse if there should be another panel about the puppies without her as moderator.

  9. I thought very few puppies attended Sasquan, though. Is there any reason to expect that they will have more of a presence at MinAmeriCon II? A puppy panel attended by 90% non-puppies might be unpleasant for her. It might be better for all concerned if such a thing were nominated by someone reasonably neutral or at least reasonably respected by both sides.

  10. Hampus Eckeman said:
    Agree. I think its main function is to be used as an outrage excuse if there should be another panel about the puppies without her as moderator.

    I can’t imagine a situation where any panel about the kerpupple could accomplish anything other than rubbing salt in open wounds (on both sides, and I am NOT saying ‘both sides do it’, BTW. Just that there are wounds all around.)

    Are there any minds out there that are familiar with the situation that aren’t pretty much set in their groove about the facts of the matter? Would any minds be changed? And if there are people in the audience who are unfamiliar with the situation, would any hour-long panel really enlighten them?

    So, I am hoping the conrunners politely decline this, or any other offer by anyone to have a panel about the whole mess.

  11. “Ann Leckie Is Not Your Bitch”

    Every once in a while I sit in the bar, staring into my French Gimlet, the smell of elderflower liqueur wafting up, and I repeat those words sadly to myself.

  12. Greg Hullender asks:

    I thought very few puppies attended Sasquan, though. Is there any reason to expect that they will have more of a presence at MinAmeriCon II?

    Kansas City is a lot closer to most of the Puppies than Spokane, and there have been calls since before Sasquan for the faithful to come to MAC2 and participate in the process more. (Though sometimes there are calls instead for them to come over and then shun the con by hanging out in their own private room party the whole time.) It’s hard to say whether it will be answered in significant numbers, though.

  13. @ Petrea Mitchell:

    In the last five years before the Puppies came along, participation more than doubled.

    So a Puppy spokesperson is fabricating claims that contradict easily-verifiable facts?

    Oh, the sense of… no, not betrayal…. What’s the phrase I’m looking for? Oh, wait! I’ve got it: Déjà vu.

    @ Cat:

    Given past Puppy accuracy with easily accessible documented facts, I would not be interested in any Puppy offer to “provide a factual perspective.”

    Agreed. If they were ever going to start making accurate and truthful statements, I think it would have happened by now. Not willing to let them waste any more of my time or attention.

    @ JJ: i

    f MAC II were stupid enough to take Paulk up on her offer — would be garnering a nomination for “Best Dramatic Presentation — Fantasy Category”.

    LOL!

    But I’m guessing that MAC II will agree to a Puppy panel, if the Puppies pitching it actually plan to attend (?), since Puppy antics have been a hot topic all year in the sf/f community. I’d genuinely rather clean my oven (and yours, and Glyer’s) than sit through such a panel, but the topic is clearly relevant (in it tiresome way) to the sf/f community; and if self-aggrandizing falsehoods and toxic bloviating were disallowed in sf/f programming, that would certainly eliminate some people besides the Puppies from speaking at cons…

  14. An attending membership in Worldcon costs a whole lot more than a supporting membership, though. For that subset of the puppies whose goal it is to stick it to the “libtards and SJWs” (as opposed to the subset that honestly wants to promote the kind of SF they like), that price difference may seem like a bit more than is worth it. I mean, if you attend, you have to hang out with science fiction fans!

    Of course, nobody really knows what percentage of the puppies are sincere about promoting their preferred style of SF (whatever that may be—we can only hope that the last set of nominees was not actually representative). So it’s hard to say how many might actually be motivated to make an appearance. But I suspect it’s a whole lot less than their total membership, or even that subset of their membership located nearby.

  15. I thought fandom had a long history of controversial panels and panels about controversies. As long as no one comes to blows, I don’t see that it would be anything out of the normal.

    (For all that it might be very uncomfortable. I remember my astonishment when a panel about mythology turned contentious. People do get odd sometimes.)

  16. So it’s hard to say how many might actually be motivated to make an appearance. But I suspect it’s a whole lot less than their total membership, or even that subset of their membership located nearby.

    I think that crossover/cooperation with the Rabid Puppies in 2015, who seem to have no interest in attending cons, makes the numbers quite a tangle. And how “effective” the Puppy “movement” is in 2016 probably depends on whether the Sads and Rabids heavily overlap in their slate-campaigns again, or go completely separate ways this year.

  17. First: Happy Birthday Simon!

    Second: When Kate said

    …making statements so ill-informed they bordered on actionable libel and slander

    I presume she is talking about CUL and his antics. You could get almost 1/4 a panel from hashing over the stuff he did and the dangerous real world consequences they could have had.

    Third: I like the idea of fact checking the panel. A couple of ideas would be to:
    A: Record it and have a Mystery Science 3000 type replay, although the panel would have to be top notch for that.
    B: A quiz panel called “What they said was stupid” where choice nuggets are shown and panelists have to come up with many and various ways the Puppies missed the point.
    C: At the panel itself, hand out Buzz Words Bingo cards with the key points we can expect the Puppies to trot out. Big Prizes On Offer!

  18. Cat: Regarding how many real writers believe the point of writing is making money, I think Robert A. Heinlein said something of the sort… Not that he is necessarily the epitome of the “real writer” group, but I’d have to include him among them. Indeed for some people the definition of “real writer” is “makes a living writing.”

    My point was not that a “real writer” shouldn’t care about making money. My point was that every successful writer I’ve seen talking about writing says

    1) If writing is not something you’re serious about doing — if you don’t feel “I must write, I have things inside me demanding to get out” — if you just think you’re going to do it and make money, you’re probably better off picking a profession where your rent/mortgage and groceries will be covered, and

    2) If you do feel compelled to write, then you need to approach it with discipline and determination and professionalism: set a regular schedule and keep to it; set milestones and deadlines for yourself and keep them; spend time and effort learning the craft and improving your command of it; and spend a certain amount of time educating yourself about the business and progressing your career from a business point-of-view, not just from a putting-out-a-word-count point-of-view.

    My point about Nelson is that he is the one who expected Worldcon to hold his hand and do all the the things he, and his publisher, should have been doing for himself. He seems to think he can announce that he is a writer and other people will be obligated to help him achieve success at that. He seems to think he can just slap something on the page and voilà! Making Money!

    I note his immensely sad Eating Authors post, in which he says the only reason to eat food is to provide a human being with fuel, and that all the fancy-schmancy gourmet stuff of carefully selecting ingredients (perhaps even unusual and expensive ones) and spending a great deal of time preparing an amazing dish with a gorgeous presentation is a waste — and I imagine that his approach to writing is much the same. He himself says the only reason for writing is to make money, and if he can’t make money, he’s not going to bother.

    Which is why I say I’ve never seen a “real writer” talk like that. Of course they want to make money at it. But they write because they feel compelled to write.

  19. I personally think setting up a panel discussion on the Puppies would be asking for a huge headache — one not worth the potential “value” it would provide to con attendees.

    MAC II would have to arrange for a suitably-large space, provide extra security, find someone who is not only willing to moderate, but capable of doing so successfully, and select panelists (and no matter who they select, they’re going to receive a barrage of criticism for their choices).

    And I don’t see any way into which such a panel would not devolve into finger-pointing and shouting (from either the panelists, the audience, or both). I don’t think anyone there is going to be changing their minds. I think the number of “neutrals” who actually exist, who would attend and actually learn something new, is so small as to not be helpful.

    I see a lot of compelling reasons not to hold such a panel, and no convincing reason as to why such a panel would be a good idea.

  20. Greg Hullender on December 21, 2015 at 2:15 pm said:

    I thought very few puppies attended Sasquan, though. Is there any reason to expect that they will have more of a presence at MinAmeriCon II? A puppy panel attended by 90% non-puppies might be unpleasant for her. It might be better for all concerned if such a thing were nominated by someone reasonably neutral or at least reasonably respected by both sides.

    The puppy poop blew up kind of late in the year for buying reasonably priced memberships to Sasquan, not to mention planning vacations and gathering together money. On top of that, Spokane is not the easiest nor cheapest city to get to (I flew to Seatac and family drove me to Spokane).

    There’s been more time to save vacation days and money to get to Kansas City, and it’s easier to get there than Spokane. I think many people who couldn’t get to Sasquan will try for MidAmeriCon 2, whether they’re pup-leaning or not.

    Here’s the membership page if anyone wants to buy a membership. Prices for Attending memberships go up in the spring.

  21. ULTRAGOTHA: I think many people who couldn’t get to Sasquan will try for MidAmeriCon 2, whether they’re pup-leaning or not.

    I’ve seen quite a few Puppy comments about swarming the WSFS Business Meeting and attempting to defeat EPH. I hope that MAC II is planning on stiff security for the meeting, tightly-controlled access points, and strict badge-checking (one-day members and non-members are not allowed to vote).

  22. I just read “Gypsy”, a novella by Carter Scholz in the November/December F&SF. I think it’s very good. It reminded me of both “Aurora” and “The Man Who Sold the Moon”. It tells the story of an attempt at interstellar travel, as an escape from a troubled near future Earth.

  23. Can the Death Star be listed in National Registrar of Historic Places?

    Even if you said that NASA could plausibly serve as an FPO, we feel that NASA has been so tied to the Star Trek universe that now trying to say they can serve as FPO for the Death Star lacks credibility. The Star Wars and Star Trek universes have been completely separate up to this point, not to mention that Star Trek takes place in the future, which is a whole can of worms in the preservation field. It is outside the scope of the National Register to join the two universes.

    https://www.facebook.com/NationalRegisterNPS/posts/891535300953826?fref=nf&pnref=story

    HEE!

  24. @Tasha: I think starting out writing expecting to be an award winning number one bestseller with millions of books in print in multiple languages is unrealistic.

    I crush a number of my beginning creative writing students’ hopes’n’dreams every semester by pointing that out. Yes, yes, I say, Twilight. Exception to the rule.

  25. JJ, there was badge checking at Sasquan to ensure those who did not have full Attending/Young Adult/Military memberships did not vote at the Business meeting. This was aimed at ensuring all the rules were followed scrupulously from what I saw. (Sometimes in the past supporting members with one day memberships have voted–that was cracked down on this year.)

  26. ULTRAGOTHA: there was badge checking at Sasquan to ensure those who did not have full Attending/Young Adult/Military memberships did not vote at the Business meeting. This was aimed at ensuring all the rules were followed scrupulously from what I saw. (Sometimes in the past supporting members with one day memberships have voted–that was cracked down on this year.)

    I didn’t see that. No one was at the door checking badges on the days when I came in. It was quite easy just to walk in, and to bypass the sign-in sheet. There were several hundred people there, and their badges were not always visible. I saw a lot of hand votes and serpentine votes and I didn’t see someone scrutinizing every single person to ensure that they had a valid badge.

    I’m not saying that there wasn’t an effort made to ensure that every single person in the room had a valid badge; there might have been. But if that was happening, it was not apparent to me.

  27. Because I am new to all this and have a memory like a sieve… If I paid my $40 to vote for Sasquan’s awards, what do I do and when do I do it if this year I am interested in nominating but I don’t know if I will be attending in Kansas City? (I am sort of con allergic AND I hate to fly so I think the chances are slim.)

  28. BigelowT: Your 2015 Sasquan membership makes you eligible to nominate for the 2016 Hugos.

    Recent Worldcons have provided online voting access to eligible nominators by emailing them whatever is needed to log in to the system — an ID number and a PIN, for example. The con also has a protocol for issuing these to people who miss out getting them automatically for whatever reason.

    In order to vote on the finalists — to pick the 2016 Hugo winners — you need to have at least a supporting membership in MidAmeriCon II.

  29. @Tom Galloway:

    A couple of years ago, Wiscon had a space on the program participant sheet where people could volunteer as moderators, not just for a specific panel (“I’d like to moderate the panel about Fun Home“) but “if you have something that needs a moderator, ask me.” That included “emergency last-minute moderator,” in case the originally scheduled moderator was unavailable.

    That starts from the viewpoint that *moderator” is a specific role, and that if you have a lot to say on a topic, you actively should not be moderating the panel (as you know, Tom). Yes, knowledge is good—it helps phrase interesting questions—but the moderator should be okay with the possibility that, at the end of the hour, the audience hasn’t heard her most strongly held opinion on the panel topic. (For “emergency drop-in moderator,” I accepted the request to moderate something pretty random, and would up saying “I don’t know a lot about this; I’m here to direct traffic and make sure everyone gets a chance to talk.” I was up there because none of the people who did know a lot about it had offered to moderate.)

    I doubt that there’s anyone who (a) knows enough about the Puppy/slating stuff to even ask the right questions, (b) is interested enough to sit through another hour of argument about it, and (c) is willing to moderate while mostly calling on the other panelists, rather than stating their own views.

  30. BigelowT: If I paid my $40 to vote for Sasquan’s awards, what do I do and when do I do it if this year I am interested in nominating?

    Around the middle of January, when nominations open, MAC II will send an e-mail to everyone who has/had a Supporting or Attending membership to Sasquan, MAC II, or Worldcon 75 with a PIN and a URL where nominations can be submitted.

    If you have a Twitter account and have not already followed MAC II there (and/or on Facebook), you may want to do so, because they will probably announce it there. If, for some reason, you don’t get the PIN e-mail, you will likely know that it has occurred because people here will be mentioning it. There will be a link on the MAC II site to send a request for your PIN and access information.

    Nominations generally remain open for several weeks, so you’ll have time to get your PIN, submit your choices, and even change them up to the deadline if you wish.

  31. Anyone who purchased an Attending, Young Adult, Military or Supporting membership for Sasquan, MACII, or Worldcon75* who has moved or changed e-mail addresses probably ought to contact the convention and get your information updated.

    *This includes voting in site selection, which automatically gets you a supporting membership for the convention who won the site selection.

  32. ULTRAGOTHA: Anyone who purchased an Attending, Young Adult, Military or Supporting membership for Sasquan, MACII, or Worldcon75

    Thanks for saying that. I tend to mentally include Military and Young Adult in Attending memberships rather than specifically mention them, but I probably should.

  33. Lis Carey said:

    I join the chorus calling for The Further Adventures of Schenectady and Translator Zeiat.

    A remake of Synecdoche, NY with Zeiat in the Phillip Seymour Hoffman role? Yes, please.

  34. I didn’t say that the Puppies were being accurate, only that they seem fixated on money as the supreme virtue.

    Remember the early recruiting for the Puppies gloated about how much money losing a Hugo would cost someone, enough to really hurt them, it said.

    Remember how frequently some of the Puppies have raged about those who “take money out of my pocket” by denying them awards.

    Remember how often the Puppies try to cite sales figures as proof of superiority.

    I don’t know if my perceptions are off. It just seems jarring to me how often money comes up in Puppy statements.

    A lot of the Puppies either are self-publishers or at least very sympathetic to self-publishing. And this intense money focus is very common in the self-publishing world to the point that those who write anything other than the most market-driven trope-laden fiction imaginable in the most popular genre/subgenre they can find are looked at in askance.

    Remember Rolf Nelson’s comment about how he didn’t see the point of writing if he wasn’t going to make good money off of it? How many real writers have you ever seen say something like that?

    Again, such statements are quite common among self-publishers. Which doesn’t mean that writers shouldn’t be paid, that anybody writing for money is automatically a hack or that only starving writers are real writers. Nor am I against self-publishing – I do it myself, which is why I’m familiar with the whole self-publishing culture. But you do find quite a few self-publishers who are mainly in it for the money and not for love of writing.

    And the Puppy preoccupation with sales as a mark of excellence always strikes me as combining oddly with their attempts to diddle Amazon bestseller rankings to increase sales. I don’t mind that they try to increase sales–but the fact that they *know* it is possible to do so without making the book any better means they must at some level realize that sales don’t measure excellence.

    Again, these attempts to game Amazon bestseller rankings by various means are standard tactics in the self-publishing community.

    In many ways, it seems to me as if the Puppies have taken some of the more problematic tendencies of the modern electronic self-publishing movement and cranked them up to the max.

  35. Johan P said:
    If Paulk is serious about “setting things straight”, I suggest she offers to sit on a panel – not host it – and, if possible, to attempt to recruit a moderator who isn’t a puppy spokesperson. (Flint, as someone suggested upthread, might be one option.). And much more.
    +1 to everyone else’s plusses.

    @ Ann Leckie – if you get this message, I’m 10 x fifthing The Further Adventures of Sphene and Translator Zeiat…or whatever you wnat to write which might coincidentally include further development of their story arc. Please?

    re: Puppies, writing and money
    My interpretation of their many allusions to the intersection of writing and money was that they often equate good quality with sales/profit, within the range of subjects/authors acceptable to them – successful sales with unacceptable stories/subjects/authors are generally ignored or accused of being the product of the conspiracy. Ergo, their ideation wrt money is more complex than just “money good”, but not much. /snark ;-9

    re: DEAR MAC – I like everyone else’s ideas for a proper panel, but I doubt it would accomplish anything. They can’t be shamed into honesty (all that confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, etc. won’t let them, even if they were trying.) Whatever happened, they’d claim victory and victimhood. Makes a nice fantasy of them getting their comeuppance, doesn’t it? :-9

  36. Thank you very much for the answers. Like Kramer on Seinfeld might’ve said (or Lincoln. Or some Johnson or other.) I don’t want to miss my chance.

  37. Vivienne Raper on December 21, 2015 at 9:51 am said:
    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money”
    – Samuel Johnson

    “I am no man.”
    –Eowyn

  38. I note his immensely sad Eating Authors post, in which he says the only reason to eat food is to provide a human being with fuel, and that all the fancy-schmancy gourmet stuff of carefully selecting ingredients (perhaps even unusual and expensive ones) and spending a great deal of time preparing an amazing dish with a gorgeous presentation is a waste — and I imagine that his approach to writing is much the same. He himself says the only reason for writing is to make money, and if he can’t make money, he’s not going to bother.

    I looked for that post and that’s so depressing, particularly for someone like me who likes food (perhaps a bit too much) and cooking. Whenever I see someone say that “food is just fuel”, I wonder whether they were born without taste buds. Sadly, though, it’s not an uncommon attitude and it seems to be spreading. Also see the marketing behind that unfortunately named Soylent drink.

    Not to mention that his “I like killing things” attitude with regard to hunting and fishing is a bit disturbing. And mind you, I’m not opposed to hunting and fishing. In fact, I come from a rural area where hunting is common (yes, even in countries with strong gun control laws there is hunting) and I like venison a lot, but I’ve never met a hunter who’s said that they like killing things. In fact, I suspect making statements like that would be a quick way to lose your hunting and gun license over here.

  39. @ Cora
    In many ways, it seems to me as if the Puppies have taken some of the more problematic tendencies of the modern electronic self-publishing movement and cranked them up to the max.

    I’m shocked to learn that they would do such a thing! Eleventyshock!!!!!
    😀

  40. junego: I tend to agree with the people who feel a proper panel explicitly built to rehash Sad Puppies wouldn’t accomplish anything.

    What could work is to extract one of the many subthemes of the controversy — balancing message and story in sf, for example — and pick participants who advocate views that aren’t easily reconciled to each other.

    It’s bad to deliberately create let’s-you-and-him-fight programming (I learned that the hard way, by setting one of those up in 1988) but there are ways to get a cross section of people to discuss ideas instead of personalities.

  41. @Young Pretender: hee. Particularly for the “hellscape of affordable healthcare and gays with equal rights” (Only equal marriage rights, sadly; still perfectly legal in most states to fire someone just for being non-hetero). And your scenarios are both very funny and somewhat likely.

    However, Pups think they and by extension SF are sooo important that regardless of who does or doesn’t get the GOP nomination, they’ll still be bleating about the Hugos. You are, however, correct in that they’ll double down on the anti-Hillary rhetoric.

    MACII just has to say “we’re not doing any panels about Puppies, pro or con, thanks for asking.” Particularly with the EPH vote coming. And then we get Helsinki, who REALLY doesn’t GAF about US culture wars, and after that San Jose or New Orleans, both of which are towns in which one can have a gay old time, with high percentages of PoC (SJ: 71%; NO: 70%).

    Since money = everything to Pups, why aren’t they bitching that Stephen King hasn’t won a fiction Hugo? He’s a poor boy made good, literally by his own bootstraps, believes in God. I actually MET him at a Worldcon where he was just another member. And why no outcry for lack of Hugos for the very successful and very religious Stephenie Meyers, who believes fervently in heterosexual marriage and childrearing?

    RDF: I think you’re wrong; there’s NOTHING anyone could have done to separate Boswell from Internet pron. Dr. J would have just written him off.

    Happy birthday, Simon!

  42. @ Mike Glyer

    That could be an interesting discussion – story vs message or how to recognize the ideology/message in a story or is there such a thing as message-free stories! Examples of classic SFF with and without overt ‘messages’, why some work and others don’t, how your own outlook colors whether a message is too much or not, etc.

    I’d attend that panel, also depending on who was on it, of course.

  43. ULTRAGOTHA on December 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm said:

    JJ, there was badge checking at Sasquan to ensure those who did not have full Attending/Young Adult/Military memberships did not vote at the Business meeting. This was aimed at ensuring all the rules were followed scrupulously from what I saw. (Sometimes in the past supporting members with one day memberships have voted–that was cracked down on this year.)

    It has not always been prohibited for single day members (with or without supporting memberships) to participate in the Business Meeting. The decision as to whether or not single-day members get any WSFS voting rights is within the discretion of the individual Worldcon committees. (WSFS Constitution section 1.5.7: “Other memberships and fees shall be at the discretion of the Worldcon Committee.”) Sasquan did decide that single-day admissions did not include WSFS voting rights, and we were prepared to enforce this.

    I have been part of WSFS Business Meetings at Worldcons where single-day members have been in attendance, debated, and voted, even when that Worldcon officially prohibited the practice. However, no Business Meeting has ever actually done a full-blown credentials check in the thirty years I’ve been attending them.

    JJ on December 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm said:

    I didn’t see that. No one was at the door checking badges on the days when I came in. It was quite easy just to walk in, and to bypass the sign-in sheet. There were several hundred people there, and their badges were not always visible. I saw a lot of hand votes and serpentine votes and I didn’t see someone scrutinizing every single person to ensure that they had a valid badge.

    I’m not saying that there wasn’t an effort made to ensure that every single person in the room had a valid badge; there might have been. But if that was happening, it was not apparent to me.

    The Sergeants-at-Arms were instructed to watch for badges, but to not be obnoxious about it. Had the room reached its seating capacity or looked like it was going to be near it, or had anyone raised a Question of Privilege about it, I would have stopped the meeting and had the SAAs check everyone’s credentials on the spot. Otherwise, under the circumstance, and using my judgment as Chairman of the meeting, I decided that anyone with sufficient credentials to get past the paid security at the doors would be allowed to participate.

    Do also bear in mind that a significant proportion of the people in that room all know each other, and had any of them observed an irregularity in credentials, they would have raised it as an issue. Any single member could have raised a Question of Privilege asking for a credentials check.

    The whole matter had been discussed internally well before the convention as we struggled to find the right size room for the meeting. The surge in attendance meant that we had to give up what I think would have been the most beautiful room in which we’d ever met: Room 110. Alas, the Conference Theater only seated 220, which we deemed insufficient. I’d been having nightmares about how to manage a meeting of more than 500 or even 1000 people, and had contingency plans in place in case we’d overflowed 300AB where we eventually met.

    (Because Match Game SF, which I hosted, was also in 300B, I ended up all but living in that room that week; one day I was the first person in and the last person out. Thank goodness we got to the hotel a day early and snagged one of the parking garage spaces very close to the 300 entrance, so we didn’t have to work too hard hauling our equipment back and forth to the room.)

    JJ on December 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm said:

    I’ve seen quite a few Puppy comments about swarming the WSFS Business Meeting and attempting to defeat EPH. I hope that MAC II is planning on stiff security for the meeting, tightly-controlled access points, and strict badge-checking (one-day members and non-members are not allowed to vote).

    Non-members shouldn’t be in the building at all, which is why their is badge-checking at the perimeter access points. Discussion of “stiff security” makes me think of the people who were quite seriously telling me that Sasquan should have armed guards and police protection of the Business Meeting and the Hugo Awards because Mad Puppies With Guns were surely going to try and kill us all. I got to where I worried more about the people worrying about Gun Nuts Shooting Up Spokane than about the meeting itself.

    If you are attending the 2016 WSFS Business Meeting and observe any person participating that you don’t think has a legitimate right to participate, you have the right to raise a Question of Privilege about it, including interrupting the current speaker if you think that speaker isn’t an eligible member. You don’t need to let someone else be responsible. The members of the meeting have the right and an obligation to police themselves: that’s why they’re allowed to raise Points of Order.

  44. When is the site selection vote for the next Wordcon? I have my MAC membership but I don’t want to miss the site selection train….

  45. 2017 has already been selected — Helsinki. 2018 will be selected in the next year, with all votes needing to be submitted by mail or in person by 6:00 Friday of MACII, I believe.

Comments are closed.