Pixel Scroll 12/30 The Scrolls Have Eyes

(1) INDY 5 IS GO. Consequence of Sound has the story.

Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger, has confirmed that a fifth Indiana Jones movie is indeed happening.

During a recent interview with Bloomberg, Iger spent much of his time talking about the franchise possibilities that are opening up with the massive success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When he got to comparing Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm to that of Pixar and Marvel, however, he noted that taking on Lucasfilm’s intellectual properties also meant “Indiana Jones, by the way, which will be coming.”

(2) ABOUT FACE. Kameron Hurley posted a funny gallery of GIFS to illustrate the “Faces I Make When Reading Reviews”.

A lot of people think authors take reviews personally, and I suppose there are many who do. Those are the folks who should really steer clear of reader reactions to books, or rather, what some readers believe the books say about the author, which is always far more amusing.

There are great reviews with insightful criticism of my work, and glowing reviews about how it changed people’s lives.

But, this being the internet and people trying to poke an author for a meltdown, I’m often asked about my reaction when reading negative reviews of my work. What folks don’t get is that I find most negative reactions endlessly amusing. Not the real criticism that points out real flaws, no, but the reactions that say far more about the reader than the writer.

(3) MIND MELD. SF Signal’s latest Mind Meld, curated by James Aquilone, posts the question “What are your favorite new genre (SF/F/H) TV shows of 2015?” – with replies by Alex ShvartsmanSarah Pinsker, Matthew Johnson, Robert Davis, Carlie St. George, Erin M. Hartshorn, Andrew Liptak, Rob H. Bedford, and Sally Ember, Ed.D.

(4) CHOOSE FEAR. Here’s how David Brin’s Mars mission would start.

Go to Phobos before landing on Mars itself?  I have pushed this idea for twenty years and now some at NASA agree.  Not only is the larger moon far easier to reach and might serve as an ideal research platform, it also has two advantages never mentioned in this article.  It can serve as a logistics hub where supplies might be pre-positioned and tended without complex orbital management.  It also might (some figure) be carbonaceous chondritic material, containing volatiles like water.  If these could be mined and stored and prepared, subsequent Mars landing missions would find all the water and rocket fuel they need, lowering both cost and risk by an order of magnitude.

(5) ZICREE ON FAN-MADE TREK FILMS. Marc Scott Zicree on Facebook.

Science fiction has a long and honorable tradition of fan fiction — in fact, many of the top professional writers started out writing fan fiction — and these fan films are the logical extension of that tradition. More than that, speaking as a professional who’s written extensively for all the major studios and networks, the reason I chose to do “World Enough and Time” was that I felt Michael Reaves and I, along with our creative team, could bring as high a level of professional quality to that project as anything we had ever done for the studios and networks. I wanted to work with George Takei, the powers that be were never going to choose to do the ultimate Sulu story we wanted to tell, and it was something we could share with the whole world.

CBS/Paramount views Star Trek as a money machine, and that drives their decision on what or what not to make. This is perfectly justifiable. But it’s not what led Gene Roddenberry to create Star Trek, nor is it why Renegades or Axanar are being made. I think often taking a step back, gaining perspective and saying, “How can we create a win/win situation here?” is a good idea. It’s what led George Lucas to not only allow Star Wars fan films, but to hold an annual contest recognizing the best ones.

(6) GERROLD ON SUIT STRATEGY. David Gerrold on Facebook:

…But this lawsuit also suggests that CBS and Paramount might be missing the more important point. The fan productions are about the hunger for new Star Trek. They’re not competition as much as they are signs that the franchise is alive and well. Keeping the fans engaged is the best thing that CBS and Paramount can do to keep the franchise alive.

I understand the corporate desire to protect their rights to the franchise, but that cat got out of the bag a long time ago. If they weren’t going to shut down Star Trek New Voyages and Star Trek Continues and Star Trek Renegades and Star Trek Farragut for “copyright infringement” — and those productions use Kirk, Spock, et al, and the original enterprise — then they’re going to have a much harder case with Axanar which barely touches the same specific content of the original series.

I suspect that the lawsuit isn’t about copyright infringement as much as it’s designed to intimidate Axanar’s producers. I’ll be interested to see how this proceeds….

(7) CAVEAT TWITTER. Business Insider reports “Mark Hamill is protecting fans from fake signed ‘Star Wars’ merchandise on Twitter”.

He apologized to fans who have spent money on fraudulent items and urged them to look at real copies to learn how to confirm his signature on their own. When asked why he wasn’t tired of responding to people, he said, “Because I owe it to all true fans to protect them from being victimized by dishonest dealers.”

(8) FORCE A FEW DOLLARS MORE. Steven Harper Piziks opines about writers who are “Riding the Coat Tails of the Force”.

These and other similar articles mean absolutely nothing, of course.  They’re written by people who have no real cred. For example, Lili Loofbourow, who wrote the desperate-sounding “emotional blind spots” article above, is a freelance reporter. She’s not a professor of media studies, or an experienced film reviewer, or a film maker. She has a computer and a contact at Salon.com and ticket stub for THE FORCE AWAKENS. Same goes for all the others. They’re just riding along on TFA’s coat tails, trying to make a few dollars for themselves.

Well, at least I got a blog entry out of it.

(9) PICACIO PLUGS COMPETITION. Today John Picacio commented on George R.R. Martin’s pro artist Hugo recommendations and added six more names (with links to their work).

Thanks so much for the shoutout, George. It’s an honor to be be considered in any year, including this one. That said, winning any major award comes with responsibility along with hardware and glory. It’s always great to win, but as a past winner, I want the Pro Artist Hugo list to reflect the extraordinary range and evolution of the field. So while I’m not recusing myself, I would like to take this opportunity to shine light on some of sf/f’s art stars that have had an outstanding year and deserve Hugo consideration in this category:…

(10) HITCHHIKER’S HOMECOMING. Think how much more effective Lazlar Lyricon 3’s “about” statement would be if it hadn’t stopped with just four reasons for holding this convention? I hope the concom will treat themselves to one or two fifths as part of their launch celebration.

Dateline: The Old Kings Head Pub, London, 21 November 2015. Today, ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha (the Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Appreciation Society) Annual General Meeting authorised a committee to run Lazlar Lyricon 3. This is the third (coincidentally) in a series of conventions celebrating The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Douglas Adams, the first having occurred in the 1980s.

Lazlar Lyricon 3 will take place on 9-11 June 2017 at the Quality Hotel in Stoke-on-Trent.

Committee members Stefan Lancaster, Emma J. King, David Haddock and Alan Sullivan, amongst others, were on hand to discuss plans, answer questions and receive the imprimatur of the AGM. They were also given ‘seed money’ of £500 towards the costs, which was greeted with much cheering!

The first two Lazlar Lyricons were part of a series of conventions in the 1980s, 90s and early 00s colloquially called ‘Fun Cons’, which also included the Incons, Dangercons, and several one-off conventions such as Year of the Wombat and Aliens Stole my Handbag. The aspiration is to ensure everyone has a great time (and not panic!), with fun, loosely Hitchhikers-inspired programme items such as crab stomping and towel-based martial arts. The announcement that the first and foremost in appointments will be a ‘beer liaison’ was greeted with more cheering!

(11) SPEAKING OF LAUNCHING. Gail Z. Martin on “Making the Most of Your Launch Day” at Magical Words.

Book launches are on my mind since Vendetta, the second book in the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series, just launched yesterday. So I thought it might be fun to pull the curtain back on what can go into a book launch, and let you pick and choose the elements you feel best suit your own circumstances.

Social media is is your biggest bullhorn to the world. Long before your book comes out, you should be creating a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, a blog, and a web site. These are the places you can gather your tribe–the people who have read and liked your work, your friends and others who wish you well and are happy to help spread the word. Make sure you let your friends and followers know in advance when the book is coming out, and how they can help.

(12) ON RECONCILIATION. Joe Vasicek’s “Response to Steve Davidson on Reconciling with the Puppies” is a commentary on Steve Davidson’s Amazing Stories post “Reconciling with Puppies – ‘…to dram, the impossible dream, to reach the unreachable star…”.

Mr. Davidson’s post is interesting, and worth reading. We obviously don’t see eye to eye on a number of things, but it would be rather petty to go through our disagreements line by line. Instead, the part that I want to respond to is his call to action at the end:

Want to reconcile?  Here’s what puppies must do.

1: Stop scamming the system.  If you want to recommend works that you think are worthy of the award, go ahead and do so.  But drop the political agenda (you’re dragons are imaginary) and eliminate the hateful, snarky commentary

If you’re looking for “hateful, snarky commentary,” I’m sure that you’ll be able to find it. On the fringes of both sides, there are a lot of people with blogs and strong opinions. I’d count myself as one of them—while I align with the Sad Puppies, I’m not a leader or organizer by any stretch, just another guy with opinions and a blog. Don’t be so quick to look for ammunition, because there’s a lot of it lying around.

Kate Paulk, one of the Sad Puppy organizers, has pointed out that Sad Puppies 4 is open to nomination suggestions from anyone, which appears to be what you’re calling for. And honestly, I think a lot of us don’t want to see conservative writers edge out everyone else so much as to see them go head to head with more liberal writers on a more equal playing field. It’s not about slaying imaginary dragons so much as breaking down walls.

So on this first point, Mr. Davidson and I tend to be in agreement. This seems like a reasonable step for reconciliation, and it’s one that the Sad Puppies 4 already appear to be taking.

(13) YOUR RANCOR MAY VARY. Brad Torgersen’s “Sad Puppies and the future”, prompted by Martin’s “reconciliation” post, says many familiar things.

Many people have already seen George R. R. Martin’s optimistic (and well-intended) commentary at his LiveJournal. However, just as with George’s hood ornament Alfie awards (also well-intended) there is more than one way for a thing to be perceived. My perception — and I am not alone in this — of George’s desire for an end to the rancor, is that George still seems to think that a) the rancor was flowing almost entirely one-way, from the Puppies’ side to the Trufan side, and also b) none of the Puppies are themselves fans. Not Fans (caps f) and certainly not Trufans. No. Puppies are still an outsider bunch, who carry an outsider’s stigma.

There is also a bit too much parentalism in George’s tone: dear kids, I hope you’ve learned your lesson, now wipe those dirty looks off your faces and come give your mother a hug!

(14) DO YOU FEEL SAFER? And in the comments, national security consultant Arlan Andrews, Sr. gives MidAmeriCon II members something to look forward to:

I for one will never forgive anyone who appeared in that pre-Awards “90-minute-hate-the-Puppies” TV show, nor anyone who called me a neoNazi. Though some were, I had thought, nice acquaintances if not actual long-time friends, their behavior before, during and after the Hugos simply meant that I shut them out of any future consideration of any kind, meaning no purchasing of their products, no voting for their works, no attendance at any function at which they are honored or prominent, no reviews of anything they are involved with, and no defense of any criticism of them. As a very minor player in fandom/prodom, despite 60+ years of fanlife and 35+ years of prolife, those people will seldom notice nor long remember what I do here, but if thousands of others do likewise, the effects may be meaningful. All of the SP3 experience this year has been enlightening, and a tiny reflection of the national schism between those who cherish Freedom and those banding together to enforce Collectivism. I thank Brad and Larry and the Jovians for graciousness in the face of fire. And next Worldcon, I will definitely attend. (Does Missouri have Concealed Carry?)

(15) HOOKY HEADLINE. “9 things ‘Starship Troopers’ totally nailed about today’s technology”  is a pretty bold claim about a movie that showed space infantry fighting in shoulder-to-shoulder formations like at the Battle of Waterloo.

(16) CHRISTMAS CONFLATION. When I read the headline of io9’s post “Chewbacca Comic Finally Answers A Question Star Wars Fans Have Pondered For Years” I mentally filled the blank with, “Does Chewie sleep with his whiskers outside or in?”

(17) REEL CONSPIRACY. At Star Wars Minute, “How Kylo Ren Got Darth Vader’s Helmet.” A fan theory based on some events in Disney/Lucasfilm comics and novels.

(18) TONIGHT ON JEOPARDY! A Bradbury-themed question.

Literary Characters for $200

Answer: Beatty is the captain of the fireman in this Bradbury Novel

Question: What is Fahrenheit 451

(19) IF YOU WERE A DINOSAUR…BUT WAIT, I AM. “Retaliation for getting coal in my stocking!” says YouTube poster Ralph the Rex.

[Thanks to Will R., John King Tarpinian and Brian Z. for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

324 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/30 The Scrolls Have Eyes

  1. So the dawning of the New Year does not wipe all slates clean it seems.

    Every time I try to take a charitable view of a Puppy position, their own comments & articles make it all too clear that I was wrong in giving them the benefit of any doubt. Yet again.

    ISTM that those who speak for Puppies do more damage to their cause every time they post, and as Hugo nominations open, I expect they’ll post even more.

    At this stage, I plan to nominate what I think is worthy, ignore SP4, ignore any attempt to slate, and deal with any shenanigans in the final voting of the Hugo, using the backstop of No Award if necessarily.

  2. @ Tasha Turner: I noticed your first post on the demands, but I started reading the thread late enough that before I could even consider whether it was worth commenting on, the demands had been repeated AND you had remarked on it.

    I think the truth is somewhere in the middle, as usual. Some people read and nodded and had nothing to add. (I think this would have been where I ultimately fell had I not been too late in general). Too late in general is a plausible reason, even for people who were timely enough to discuss the list of demands AFTER the list was repeated. Some skimmed parts of the thread and it didn’t catch their eye. Some might have paid less attention to a female voice (this is not, incidentally, a terrible thing that makes generic-you evil if you did it unconsciously, it’s a bit of cultural baggage* we all have to mind.). As usual, a range of reasons.

    It is worth looking out for the dreaded cultural baggage, but it’s also worth considering what other factors might come in, and whether actively looking for bias turns up false positives.

  3. @Peace:

    “Ann Leckie’s books are enjoyable, beautifully written space romps with sympathetic characters and very deep undercurrents.”

    Now, that’s what I call “playing the game to perfection”. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s the way Brad meant it.

  4. Brad is *still* ranting?!

    And his little dogs too.

    @Tasha Turner – I once told my ex-husband, with whom I worked, that if he again proffered one of my ideas as if it had just come to him, I would leap over the desk we shared and strangle him. A quarter century later, he’s still doing it and is just as clueless as ever. Also, alive.

    I think hearing what men say is a kind of cultural bias that is baked into our present reality, but it’s not always the reason women don’t get responses. I read your post, nodded my head and kept reading. I needed additional input before I was spurred on to comment myself.

    Also, I’m sorry about the pain and trouble your gallbladder is giving you.

  5. Look, Brad, the world doesn’t revolve around you.

    This is the sad problem with the world that he’s trying to correct.

  6. Re: Realizing (or not) that work you like isn’t good enough for awards. There’s also the reverse. Namely, recognizing quality work even if it’s not personally to your taste. As a long ago example, I lived with someone who had a subscription to the comic Love And Rockets. So I had plenty of opportunities to read that critically acclaimed and well liked by many readers I respected work. Never did anything for me. But I had no problem recognizing it as high quality work and understanding why it was acclaimed and won awards, even if it wasn’t something I’d nominate or vote for against something of similar quality that I liked.

  7. You apologize because it is the right thing to do.

    This is a statement of opinion, not fact. An apology is “the right thing to do” if one has done something wrong, but people (both here on File 770 and elsewhere) disagree about whether the asterisks were a mistake and whether an apology is needed at all.

    I think coerced apologies are meaningless. If Gerrold doesn’t think the asterisks were wrong, then any apology he might make would be either dishonest or an “I’m sorry you feel that way” nonpology. And regardless of his sincerity, it wouldn’t be accepted. So what would be the point of going through another round of Puppy-induced performance?

  8. JJ:

    I agree with a lot of the people who’ve said that they find Best Editor Long Form a very difficult, if not impossible, category to judge — because, apart from acquisition choices, only a pre-edited vs post-edited excerpt would be a good way to judge that

    Well, I take it that we should consider acquisition choices. That’s parallel to what we do with BESF; we vote on the quality of the final product, the magazine or anthology, where clearly a large part of the editor’s contribution is in selecting material, and we don’t know how much input they had in the process of revision.

    That said, we still aren’t really in a good position to judge the merit of long form editors, because if the best editor is the one with the best list, we would need to read everything on all the candidates’ lists.

    Also, a happy new year to all!

  9. Meredith:

    I think there was definitely a general feeling that the BDP candidates were unlikely to be Puppies, but more importantly none of them were odd choices. It would be difficult to claim that Flow would have been on the ballot regardless, but easy to say that there’s every chance Interstellar, The Lego Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy would have got there anyway, or at least weren’t bringing the quality down.

    Absolutely. People weren’t voting down things that were on slates, as such; they were voting down things that were only there because of slates. And last year – in the prose categories and the dramatic presentations, at least – it was obvious which was which. (Editors are more fuzzy, but they bring their own problems.)

    What might be more tricky is if they start nominating edge cases. To take an example that can’t actually happen (because the author in question has pre-emptively withdrawn), but is parallel to some that might; suppose they were to nominate Scalzi’s latest work. My guess is that this would not be nominated in the normal run of things; Scalzi now tends to get nominated only when he does something new, not for the latest episode in the OMW universe. On the other hand, it would not be a wholly absurd nomination. So if the Puppies endorse it, do we vote for it?

    One thing that does perhaps simplify matters is that the SP organisers say they aren’t going to ask anyone’s permission this year (rightly; it’s not normal to ask people’s permission to recommend their work). Last year they claimed that they were making nominations with the author’s permission – falsely, in some cases, but the fact that the claim had been made arguably meant that authors had a responsibility to distance themselves. That made the authors in some degree responsible for the slating. No such thing is happening this year, so we can quite fairly ignore them; the fact that some people I don’t agree with like a work is not a reason for me not to like it.

  10. Andrew M: What might be more tricky is if they start nominating edge cases… So if the Puppies endorse it, do we vote for it?

    I don’t think it’s that tough. If I as an individual think something deserves a place on the ballot, I’ll nominate it — regardless of whether any particular breed of Puppy is pushing it as well. If it’s on the ballot, and it was one of the entries being pushed by one of the Puppy breeds, my only concern is whether I think it deserves to be on the ballot, and how it compares to the other entries on the ballot.

    People who No Awarded all slated items on principle this year will have to decide whether they wish to penalize unwilling slate participants in the same way next year, or whether they wish to take the more nuanced approach I described above.

    I do know that there are a few people who’ve already gotten far more of my precious reading time than they ever would have in the normal course of things, because of the unfair advantage of the Puppy slates. While I normally would read everything that appears on the ballot, those people have now more than used up their allotment of my kindness and generosity, and should they appear on the ballot again, they will not get read by me, and they will get ranked after No Award. And my conscience will be perfectly clear when I do that.

  11. @Shambles: Eh, I’d settle for half. Or even just the last one. Stop lying.

    Puppies aren’t good with nuance. They seem unable to believe that sometimes people don’t have ulterior motives than involve gaming things to win. They don’t realize fen are a fractious bunch (it’s like herding cats… the eternal enemy of dogs, hmmm) who will all do things in their own way and REFUSE to sign up to any organization, be it a slate or a Tor cabal. Indeed, fen are largely opposed to being told what to do and will promptly do the opposite. And they don’t think any of the No Awards last year were for the simple reason that people looked at the work and found it lacking in quality (Or had no info in the packet, like BE-LF).

    I suspect if award-worthy works end up on a Puppy slate this year, they will be awarded appropriately, and unwilling “hostage works” won’t have being slated count against them. Because, again, people will read the packet.

    It’s the authoritarian/conformity mindset vs. the individualist/democratic one. Order vs. freedom.

  12. lurkertype: Puppies aren’t good with nuance. They seem unable to believe that sometimes people don’t have ulterior motives than involve gaming things to win.

    If you’re a min-maxer, and your life is about trying to gain advantages and winnings in any way you can, you don’t see that as being “wrong”. And you’re sure that everyone else is doing the same thing. So you’re convinced that if there is no visible evidence that other people are doing this, then it must be because they’re doing it behind the scenes, and have just hidden it very well.

    So when non-Puppies say that no such thing is going on with the Hugos, Puppies are sure that it is going on, and therefore, the non-Puppies are just lying. And if non-Puppies have been rigging the Hugos for years, as the Puppies are convinced they have been, then what’s wrong with the Puppies doing the same thing and getting a piece of the “pie” for themselves?

    Unscrupulous people don’t believe that people with ethics actually exist. If they look like they’re behaving ethically, they’re either very, very good at hiding their rigging, or they’re just really bad at “playing the game”.

  13. Andrew M on January 1, 2016 at 2:20 pm said:

    What might be more tricky is if they start nominating edge cases. To take an example that can’t actually happen (because the author in question has pre-emptively withdrawn), but is parallel to some that might; suppose they were to nominate Scalzi’s latest work.

    Although there were not many tricky cases this time round, I did adopt a strategy in 2015 for exactly this situation: https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/hugo-voting-strategy-high-bar-no-award/

    I had a few rules but the simplest version of that is to pick a COMPARISON WORK that hasn’t been nominated that you liked (or if you don’t have a particular favorite look at nominees for other awards such as the Nebulas). Use that comparison work as a yard stick in any category impacted by slates. If the nominated stuff clearly isn’t as good (based on your own subjective assessment) then No Award it, otherwise vote accordingly.

    This way slated works have to overcome an additional hurdle *but* good stuff doesn’t get No Award.

  14. I’ve noticed a couple of situations where my (or other people’s) comments/statements are less likely to receive responses (which is not to say they never get them):

    1. The comment or part of the comment is a single line including a link. In case you were wondering, that’s why my bracket reminders and suchlike are typically a full paragraph. I think the lack of a longer hook + the effort of going off-site is why those tend to get less responses.

    2. Reviews and minireviews. Now, these comments are actually REALLY popular, but because the people reading the review typically haven’t read the fiction they often get very little or no response. When they do get responses the conversation is usually A+++.

    3. A long, fisk-style comment. Also, when those do receive responses, they often only get very short ones. I think fisking covers most of what people might say (so they’re basically nodding along) or annoys people in overall style or a particular error and gets irritable responses or skipped over. The other aspect of fisking is it prevents a cohesive statement, which brings me to…

    The most likely type of comment to get responses:

    A comment of 1-3 paragraphs making an original-to-that-thread observation in easy to read and understand language and formatting, preferably with a snappy and quotable line or two.


    I’m very fond of the Riddick films! Even the, um, enthusiastic space opera later on is entertaining even if it isn’t good.

    I think that people who insist that because they like a thing it must also be objectively good and have the approval of the “establishment” must have been made insecure about their tastes as some point in their youth and never got over it.

    @Mike Glyer

    He should engage with the reaction to the asterisks. If he thought the asterisks were a good idea, no apology needed, just say that. Those who matter won’t fault him for his good intentions. If he feels that they were a mistake, he can say that.

    This is the statement I feel most comfortable with on the subject and I may keep it to link to in future.


    The bitterness at the acclaim Leckie has for writing wrongfun books just comes off that statement in waves, doesn’t it?

    I wish for his sake he’d step away from the Puppy stuff. He seemed a lot happier at the beginning of the Hugo season.

    @Tom Galloway

    Re: Realizing (or not) that work you like isn’t good enough for awards. There’s also the reverse. Namely, recognizing quality work even if it’s not personally to your taste.

    That’s Three-Body Problem for me. 🙂

  15. Meredith:

    “A long, fisk-style comment. Also, when those do receive responses, they often only get very short ones. “

    I more or less never read fiskings. I think they are a lousy way of debating. How is someone supposed to respond to them? A fisking of a fisking makes everything unreadable.

    Also, fisking is mostly used to dissect pieces, attacking them sentence by sentence instead of as a whole. Mostly by nitpicking. If there are several things you want to discuss, I prefer to have some kind of punctuated list at the end instead.

  16. Hampus Eckerman: If there are several things you want to discuss, I prefer to have some kind of punctuated list at the end instead.

    I prefer to read the opposite style.

    Statement 1
    Here’s the problem with Statement 1

    Statement 2
    Here’s the problem with Statement 2

    Statement 3
    Here’s the problem with Statement 3

    Statement 4
    Here’s the problem with Statement 4

    Otherwise, if the commenter puts all of their comments at the end, I have to keep referring up and down and up and down to keep straight what it is they are referring to.

    But again, that’s just my preference for reading style, which is why I also use it for writing style.

  17. The only argument I saw at Sasquan was when some 20-somethings were sitting on the floor outside the elevators at the con suite talking about something mildly politically liberal, and someone much older wearing a Baen T-shirt got very angry and starting telling them loudly and angrily how wrong they were. It took several minutes of one of the 20-somethings calmly asking him to settle down before the irate man gave up and left. I would have found that extremely intimidating if he had been sporting a firearm. I’m curious what incidents Arlan Andrews Sr. has encountered that would require a gun for him to feel safer at a worldcon or any other SF convention.

  18. @Bruce: Interesting – thanks for the info. My semi-coherent thoughts:

    1. Good grief, why would someone insert themselves into an overheard conversation when the starting point is “I’m in angry disagreement with what I’m overhearing”?! He should’ve rolled his eyes and found some other people to introduce himself to. Someone talking in a public place is not, contrary to fannish belief, necessarily an invitation to add yourself to the conversation.

    2. I’ve been to a variety of small, medium, and large cons in the North, South, and West U.S., including many Worldcons from 1999-present. I’ve never heard of conventions with a history of violence*, including/especially not Worldcon. (Correct me if I’m wrong!). Thus it’s tough for me to take comments like that at face value; it feels like theatrics to me, though (obviously) I’m no mind reader.

    * Also, IMHO the proper response would be to avoid a convention with a history of violence – not bring a gun to it!

    Just my admittedly-a-bit-grumpy feelings on the subject.

  19. I don’t remember whether I was present for the entire interaction, it’s possible that he was more civil when he inserted himself into their conversation, and at no point did he do anything threatening violence.

    Regardless of who it is, I don’t want to be around someone who I know is armed and angry and is in the middle of an argument.

  20. @Bruce: Sorry, editing snafu; my second paragraph was in reference to what you were saying about Arlan Andrew, Sr. – not the other (nameless) fan in the earlier part of your comment.

    But overall: Yes, exactly that – I don’t want to be around someone armed & angry in the middle of an argument. Or someone looking to start one, for that matter.

  21. I’ll be at MAC II, attending the business meeting and working the Access table.

    Tasha Turner on December 31, 2015 at 2:45 pm said:
    I had one con planned for this year – Arisia in a couple of weeks. Not sure now if that will happen given surgery. If I do make it and any filers are attending I’d love to meet-up.

    I’ll be at Arisia, too. Since I’m usually a week behind on my File770 reading, though, I may not get the news about a meet up in time.

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