Pixel Scroll 1/29/16 Purple Pixel Eater

(1) IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK. CBC reports a Twitter uproar ensued after a Marvel exec made a big contribution during the broadcast of a Trump charity event.

‘Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced at a fundraiser Thursday night that Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter would donate $1 million US to his charitable foundation, and comic book fans took to Twitter in reaction.’

Taral, who knows how fans think, says, “I can imagine a lot of Marvel readers and viewers being horrified and contemplating a boycott for almost 3/10s of a second before lining up to see Antman for the fourth time.”

(2) A DIFFERENT GIVING OPPORTUNITY. George Takei is the draw in a new Omaze donation drive — “Charity Share: Inspire Change Broadway”

Oh myyy! Social media aficionado and former helmsman of the Starship Enterprise, George Takei is offering one lucky Omaze winner the opportunity to “Takei over NYC” with him. Just $10 gets you the chance to have a private dinner with George, sit VIP at his Broadway musical Allegiance, and go inside the stage door to meet the cast! And it all supports Inspire Change Broadway.

Launched in 2009, Inspire Change Broadway provides communities across the tri-state area with subsidized tickets and round-trip transportation to Broadway productions….

…Thanks to donors from around the world and Inspire Change Broadway, 10,000 students who may have been unable to afford tickets got to experience the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis.

Now the foundation hopes to do the same for Allegiance, which is set during the period of Japanese-American internment in World War II and inspired by events from George Takei’s own childhood experience. Learn more here! 

(3) ANIMATED JUSTICE LEAGUE. DC’s Justice League will return to the Cartoon Network in 2017, with fan favorites providing some of the voices.

Well, DC’s top superteam is returning to TV in the upcoming Justice League Action. The new series will star DC’s classic triad of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman along with rotating guest stars and its episodes will be 11 minutes long, similar to Teen Titans GO! Speaking of which, Justice League Action will be executive produced by Sam Register, who also producers Teen Titans GO!

…it’s set to feature the return of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. Conroy and Hamill put their indelible stamps on Batman and The Joker in the original Batman: The Animated Series, but they’ve been phased out in recent years…. Both of them returning is a real treat for longtime fans of Warner Bros. Animation’s superhero cartoons. The show will also feature James Woods as Lex Luthor.

(4) THIS JOB AIN’T THAT EFFIN’ EASY! Fansided’s Leah Tedesco, who writes for Doctor Who Watch, tells what it’s like to face the forbidding temporal desert of a show’s hiatus in “Doctor Who: On Writing for a Fan Site”.

When you write for a fan site of a television program, the off season can be a particularly tricky period. Oh, there is a trickle of news, but the big stories are few and far between. Until Doctor Who returns with the 2016 Christmas special, we at Doctor Who Watch have been tasked with the challenging endeavor of continuing to generate at least the minimum number of articles each month for almost an entire new-episodeless year. I imagine that madness will soon ensue… well, more madness than is already involved.

(5) CAREER COUNSELING. At Black Gate, Violette Malan’s “You May Be A Writer” begins with a humorous hook —

Do you enjoy planning? When you want to give a party, do you start making lists? Thinking about the menu? Who to invite? When there’s a trip coming up, are there lists? Are you usually the first one packed? Or have you at least given considerable thought to your packing?

Is organizing an event almost more fun than the event itself? Then you may be a writer.

Do you think planning’s for squares? Do you decide at 6:00 pm to have a party and let people know via Twitter? Are you rushing through the airport at the last minute with your passport in one hand and a pair of (mismatched) socks in the other?

Are you all about the spontaneity? Seizing the moment? Then you may be a writer.

Of course, what I’m talking about here is process: every writer has one, and it’s likely to be different from yours, or mine.

(6) EXPANSEAPALOOZA. “’The Expanse’ Authors Talk Space Epic Size and Crazy Sci-Fi Tech” at Space.com.

Space.com: What’s the coolest technology you have developed for the series?

Franck: In the book series, when we were coming up with the visuals for the ships and stuff, I was talking to a guy I know who works out of Los Alamos Labs. I was talking to him about the fact that the primary weapon on our ships is railguns — those big, electromagnetically fired weapons. And he said you can extend the length of a railgun barrel [by blowing] this plasma out, and you run electricity through the plasma.

“Turning a Sci-Fi Series into a TV Epic: Q&A with ‘The Expanse’ Authors”, from Space.com.

Space.com: I’ve read that the initial concept for the books was actually a video game. Is that right?

Ty Franck: The fleshed-out version of the idea started out as that. I’d had the idea before that, but when a friend of mine asked me to help her come up with a pitch for a video game is when I really sat down and put more flesh on the bones of this idea that I had. It existed before that, but it was sort of nebulous. The video game thing is what really kind of solidified it.

But as soon as they realized how expensive making an MMO [massively multiplayer online game] was, they sort of backed away quietly.

Space.com: What happened to the story next?

Franck: It went from a video game to a pen-and-paper RPG [role-playing game] setting because I wanted to keep playing around with it. And then Daniel did the rest.

Daniel Abraham: I was in Ty’s tabletop game, and I saw the amount of work that he’d done with the background and world building. And I’d written probably six or seven novels at that point, so my pitch was, “Look, you’ve already done all the hard work; let’s just write it down, and it’ll be a book.”

(7) RAFTERY OBIT. SF Site News reports British filker Joe Raftery died January 29.

Raftery debuted his first filk song at the 1979 Worldcon in Brighton before gafiating until 2000, when he attended FilkContinental. Following his reintroduction to fandom, Raftery became a regular at filk meet ups and was nominated for the Pegasus Award in 2007 for his role in the n’Early Music Consort.

Farah Mendelsohn credited his behind the scenes design work on Loncon3’s Exhibit Hall with enhancing accessibility:

If our accessibility was so good, it’s because Joe designed the corridors, the seating areas, the shapes of booths and the spaces between boards. We couldn’t have managed the intricacies of the exhibits without him.

He is survived by his wife Gwen Knighton Rafter and his children Anna Raftery and Emily January.


  • January 29, 1845 — Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven was published.

(9) SPEAKER TO GENIUSES. Today Mad Genius Club featured “Hugo History – A Guest Post by Ben Yalow”. It’s fascinating to watch an accomplished fanpolitician at work, but — Why is Yalow working the Mad Genius Club? And he makes an interesting choice to discuss Hugo history as something “we” did — will MGC regulars feel included or excluded? Consider the way Yalow phrased the rules changes that produced the semiprozine category.

When it became clear that, during the late 70s, we had three fanzines whose circulation was many thousands, while most fanzines were having circulations in the low hundreds (when you’re printing and mailing physical fanzines, and generally they were available for free, there were real limits on circulation, depending on people’s budgets), we split out semiprozines, just to get them out of the fanzine category. And we tweaked the rules somewhat, so that there were more contenders than just the three that we moved out of fanzine; if it were only that, then semiprozine wouldn’t be a viable category. We were starting to see the beginnings of small run fiction magazines, and serious academic small circulation magazines, and the semiprozine rules put those into the new category, so it was a category offering reasonable choices.

(10) HAD ME GOING. It turns out Sigrid Ellis’ “Best Brussel Sprouts” post is a recipe, not an idea for a new Hugo category.

Okay, these are not the BEST Brussel sprouts. I am pretty sure the BEST ones are cooked with bacon. But these are pretty good.

(11) MORE RECOMMENDATIONS. Nerds of a Feather continues its recommendations in “2016 Hugo Longlist, Part 4: Nonfiction and Institutional Categories”.

This time we are looking at what are, for lack of a better term, the “nonfiction and institutional categories”: Best Related Work, Best Semiprozine, Best Fanzine and Best Fancast. Now, those who follow this blog know how cranky I can get on the subject of certain categories and their bizarre eligibility guidelines–and we’ve got two of them today (Best Semiprozine and Best Fancast). Nevertheless, I will do my best to stay calm and stick to the rules, frustrating as they can be. I reserve the right, will, however, get a little snarky and passive-aggressive in the process.

(12) ANOTHER ELIGIBILITY POST ADVOCATE. Abigail Nussbaum has a few thoughts about the opening of the 2016 Hugo nominations.

The announcement that Hugo nominations are open (as well as the nominating periods for several other awards, such as the BSFA and the Nebula) is usually accompanied by authors putting up “award eligibility posts,” followed by a discussion of whether this is a good thing or whether it makes the entire process into a PR effort.  I’ve already said my piece on this subject, so at the present I’ll just repeat what feels to me like the most important point from that essay, which is that my problem with award eligibility posts is less that they’re crass and commercialized, and more that for their stated purpose, they are utterly useless.  I don’t want to trawl through an author’s blog history to find the list of works they published last year.  What I want is a bibliography–easily found, up-to-date, and ideally sorted by publication date and containing links to works that are available online or for purchase as ebooks.  If you haven’t got one of those on your website, I have to question how seriously you want my vote.

(13) THAT MAKES EVERYTHING OKAY. Antonelli reminds himself (and the internet) that John Clute said nice things about his writing.

After spending most of 2015 – the period from April 4 until August 22 – being told I was an worthless hack writer and overall loser by the s-f literary establishment because I was a Sad Puppy nominee for the Hugo awards, I sometimes go and read my entry in the Science Fiction Encyclopedia by John Clute to remind myself I sometimes rise to the level of occasional competency:…

(14) MASSIVE MULTI-LAWYER ROLEPLAYING. Motherboard explains how “Sony’s Greedy Attempt to Trademark ‘Let’s Play’ Was Shot Down”.

Gaming is a hugely popular category for video content on the internet. It’s why Amazon acquired the video game streaming platform Twitch for $1 billion, and why the most famous creator of “Let’s Play” videos Pewdiepie has the most popular channel on YouTube with 41 million subscribers. Basically, if Sony managed to register this “Let’s Play” trademark, the company would be in a good position to sue any YouTuber or Twitch streamer who used the term to promote their videos, even though the term has been commonly used in the gaming community for roughly a decade.

The USPTO said it would likely reject Sony’s application in its initial form, but gave Sony six months to address its concerns, namely that Sony’s application is too similar to an existing trademark called “LP Let’z Play.”

(15) SAVORY TWEETS. The connoisseurs at Fantasy Faction bring you “The Top 15 Tweets & Top 7 Blog Posts of Robert Jackson Bennett”.

The Twitter-feed of Robert Jackson Bennett is a wondrous, but dangerous place to spend time. If you follow Robert in addition to another 1000 or so people, the normality and reason of the masses will likely dilute the strangeness and zaniness of Robert’s feed to the extent there will be no lasting damage or changes in personality from what you consume. If you spend time looking through Robert’s Tweets on a Tweet-by-Tweet basis though, as I was asked to do by Jo Fletcher Books for this feature, there may be some lasting damage…

Here is their comment about Bennett’s 2009 blog post “Finished.”

Link: http://robertjacksonbennett.com/blog/finished

I love this blog post because, as someone who writes, it is a reminder that not everything you write is publishable or even good; in fact, ‘80% of your output will be unacceptable shit, even if you polish it.’ I’ve spoken before about my thoughts that too many novelists of 2016 are too quick to use Amazon direct publishing as an alternative to admitting their work isn’t ready to be published and that they need more practice. Robert’s ability to take the good and learn from it combined with a willingness to ‘toss the rest and start all over again’ is undoubtedly the reason his books have gotten better and better.

It’s interesting to note the book The Long Wake of which Robert says ‘I like it. I really like it a lot.’ has not been published yet (i.e. it became another, unexpected, learning experience). You can read about that here and here.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Andrew Porter and Steven H Silver for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

159 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/29/16 Purple Pixel Eater

  1. A few comments:

    (1) I was making no claim to be humanizing anyone, except possibly myself (to the extent that my writing tells about me). I’m not a good enough fanwriter to do that. What I can do is try to provide a simple history of how the award rules got to be that way, to people within fandom who might not have been exposed to that history.

    And I used “we” to refer to Worldcon fandom in general, which is why I spoke of “we” not holding the Worldcon during WWII (which is before I was born), since I view myself as part of that larger and longer-running group. On the other hand, when talking about what the Business Meeting did to the Constitution after 1976, I also used “we” to refer to a group that included me, since I was at all of those Business Meetings (as well as a number before then — but they weren’t material to the Constitutional changes I was referring to).

    (2) While almost all of the activities at MidAmeriCon II will be taking place at the convention center, the largest single room block is in the Marriott. That hotel consists of two towers, diagonally across the street and connected by a skybridge. One tower is relatively new; the old tower used to be the Muehlebach hotel, which was the site in 1976, for the program, and all but a few large events that were elsewhere.

  2. “if you’re nominated for a Hugo you’re not being judged against the rest of the stories in the magazine, or the rest of your output, but against the all the great stories that ever won”

    And if your work can’t stand the comparison, it’s likely to get No Awarded. This can’t be stressed too strongly, or repeated too often (although no doubt some people still won’t get it into their heads).

  3. @Kip W
    That was fun, thank you.

    k8 on January 30, 2016 at 10:05 am said:

    I started to wonder how I hadn’t realized the degree to which Scully is mansplained to in the original series. The degree to which it happened in the first new episode made me want to throw something at the tv.

    I kept shouting. “Listen to Scully! Everything is better when you just listen to Scully! Why are you not listening to Scully, what the hell is wrong with you?”

    On kind of a tangent, one of my X-Files-fan pet peeves is people who trash-talk Scully, implying that her skepticism is stupid or something because it’s always aliens, Mulder’s always right. Except that he’s not, and that’s not their dynamic at all. Usually, it turns out that something weird is going on that neither one of them expected. As an example, the Chupacabra episode — Mulder is, like, “alien goat sucker!” and Scully discovers, using science, that it’s an accelerant that renders common fungus varieties deadly. That is not the cause either one of them suspected at first, but it’s Scully who actually finds what it is.

    She’s not merely skeptical about whether or not something is alien, or supernatural, or whatever. She’s skeptical of the people telling her things, wondering what their agenda is, and what they might be distorting or holding back. She’s skeptical about people’s accuracy. She’s skeptical of answers that seem to easily obtained, or too self-serving, or fit too well into somebody’s pre-existing agenda.

  4. Finished A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I wasn’t enthused by it. I think it lacked something (e.g. either jokes or action or mystery) to distinguish it from being just a bunch of stuff that happened to some reasonably likable people. Very readable though – and oddly reminded me of Larry Correia’s writing in a way that I can’t explain.

  5. Watching the X-Files tonight. I hope Scully punches Mulder but I suspect somebody would have mentioned that already. I don’t hate Duchovny as an actor or Mulder as a character but Gillian Anderson has been doing great stuff post-X-Files and Scully was always badly served by the series.

  6. Never tried them with bacon.

    EVERYTHING is better with bacon!

    I once had a doughnut ball with bacon in the glaze. It would have been much better without the bacon.

  7. Peter J

    I cannot help but feel that there is a wilful refusal to accept that the Hugo ballot contains No Award for sound reasons; there have been plenty of times when the Hugo electorate decided that nothing produced that year made the grade in a particular category. The desire of JCW et al to pretend otherwise simply reinforces the fact that, notwithstanding their claims to the contrary, voters acted perfectly properly in following their predecessors’ precedents in saying that it simply wasn’t good enough.

    I must confess that, having dutifully plodded my way through the Hugo packet, my attitude towards the garbage makers and the ballot stuffers hardened significantly, which is unsurprising; I buy books from decent publishers because they protect me from the slush pile. Much of the stuff in the packet would have been spontaneously ejected from any self-respecting slush pile, and yet I read it so I could vote honestly on the merits of the works. It cost me a small fortune in Glenlivet.

    It may well be that some of the nominees will improve as they hone their craft; sticking their stuff in the spotlight in 2015 didn’t do them any favours. Others probably won’t; short of a miracle Lou isn’t ever going to escape his ongoing pity party because he won’t ever accept that he has to work at it. It’s so much easier for him to claim that people are just being nasty to him than it is to get stuck into the hard graft.

  8. Regarding item #2:

    At the link, it plainly says “The funds raised for this campaign [Inspire Change Broadway] will allow kids to see Allegiance,” with 2/8 given as the last day of the campaign and 2/10 as the date when the prize winner (seeing the show and going backstage, dinner with the Takeis, etc.) will be revealed. However, as announced some weeks ago, the show has its final performance on 2/14. This raises some unanswered questions.

  9. Jim Henley on January 30, 2016 at 12:05 pm said:

    The enthusiasm for bacon is profoundly misguided. The way people talk about it, you’d think it was sausage.

    What kind of sausage are we talking about here? I have very partisan/nationalistic views on sausage.

  10. Lisa Goldstein on January 30, 2016 at 10:12 am said:
    The thing is, if you’re nominated for a Hugo you’re not being judged against the rest of the stories in the magazine, or the rest of your output, but against the all the great stories that ever won, Le Guin and Delany and Zelazny and Tiptree and so on. It’s a much tougher standard than just clearing the bar to get published, and I think a lot of the criticism was just that the story wasn’t Hugo quality. If you don’t think your story can stand it, you always have the option of withdrawing (though of course no one ever does).

    Quite. Which is why I backed the Longlist Hugo, a collection of stories much more comparable in quality to previous finalists than the works the Puppies gamed onto the ballot.

    Ted Chiang withdrew “Liking What You See: A Documentary” from the 2003 Hugos:

    On declining awards and noms: Ted Chiang respectfully declined his nomination for the Best Novelette category. Mike Nelson explained that “I placed Ted Chiang’s novelette “Liking What You See: A Documentary” (Stories of Your Life and Others) on the nominee list before I received his reply to my request for confirmation. Ted respectfully declined his nomination. He felt the story was not representative of his best work. Perhaps you can offer to buy Ted a drink next time you see him at a convention and get the full story from him.”

    But Chiang was not the only one to decline an award or a nomination.

    And related, have you seen Aidan Doyle’s The Science Fiction Writer’s Hierarchy of Doubt?

  11. Let me join in the reassurances that not yet having received one’s Hugo PIN has nothing to do with membership status. I have attending membership in the last, current, and next Worldcons and am still patiently waiting for my e-mail. Keep in mind the reason given for the small-batch e-mailings: avoiding tripping their provider’s spam filters. This is a solid concern and means that some subset of nominating members will not receive their PINs until the very end of the period, for no reason other than because someone has to be last.

    Re: brussels sprouts — Count me among those who believe that the best brussels sprouts recipe involves omission of the named ingredient. To be completely honest, I’ve recently had a couple of preparations that I was willing to concede were ok. But I’ve chosen BS as my “official hated vegetable” on the principle that everyone should have one and I love pretty much everything else (except kale). My first encounter with sprouts was when I was ten years old. I still vividly recall nearly choking because I was trying to swallow them whole to avoid tasting them any more than necessary. (Even cutting them into pieces released an unacceptable amount of flavor.) One might think that I could have begged off on this one menu item, but I was the one kid in the family who wasn’t a “fussy eater” and having watched the somewhat draconian measures taken to require my brothers’ plates to be cleaned, it never occurred to me that I had the option to decline.

  12. EVERYTHING is better with bacon!

    I’ve had bacon vodka. Not better with bacon. Although, to fair, I expect it was flavored with artificial bacon flavor, which is not the same thing. Not that I think a shot of vodka with actual bacon bits floating in it would be an improvement.

    In the fancast category, I had assumed Rocket Talk and Coode Street no longer qualified because tor.com equaled corporate sponsorship, but I’m happy to be proved wrong, as they are both worthy choices. I’m a huge fan of Galactic Suburbia, so I’ll be nominating it again this year, along with Fast Forward TV and the Dr Who podcasts Verity! and Radio Free Skaro.

    My hugo PIN arrived in my email inbox yesterday evening.

  13. Declining nomination
    As a courtesy, Botanicon Vego Administrators always approach the successful nominees before announcing the final ballot. Sometimes Brussels Sprouts do withdraw, for all sorts of reasons. If a successful Brussels Sprout does withdraw, the Brussels Sprout with the next highest number of votes is elevated to the final ballot.

    There is a view that a grower who has more than one Brussels Sprout on the final ballot should withdraw all but one in order to have a better chance of winning. This is a myth. One of the reasons for having a complicated voting system is to prevent things like that happening.

    I’ll get my coat…

  14. I made sprout, chestnut and chorizo soup one time. It was surprisingly good.

    Also, bacon jam…

  15. Heather Rose Jones: Count me among those who believe that the best brussels sprouts recipe involves omission of the named ingredient.

    LOL. Did you ever hear of a children’s book called “Stone Soup”? I imagine you getting all the villagers to help make your brussels sprouts recipe, then leaving them out…

  16. @Mike. The first time I came across “Stone soup” was in a Land of the Lost episode…

  17. (4) Yeah, try being a Whovian between 1989 (or even at a pinch 1992) and 2005.

    (9) Ben Yalow, I am disappoint. Why are you wasting your time? The entire business model of Puppidum is based on not understanding the Hugos, so they’re going to ignore any real facts you present them.

    (10) That’s like saying “the tallest dwarf”. S/he still can’t reach stuff off the high shelf, and Brussels sprouts are still terrible in any form. Even with bacon. Do not put bacon on your sprouts; it wastes the bacon. Ditto cheese.

    (13) CUL, we don’t call you a hack for being a Puppy. It’s because you ARE a hack. We also call you a terrible human being for the horrible things you say and do to other people. We call you a self-pitying whiner because you are. Being a Puppy is fourth at best.

  18. @Camestros Felapton,

    Clearly the work of Cauline, High-in-fibre, Organic, Runcinate, Foodies (CHORFs), and the Social Kale Warriors (SKW) who only want to give awards to progressive vegetables. But I ask you: for all the awards kale wins, have you ever heard anyone confess to liking kale? Have they even tasted the kale they keep awarding?

    There was a time not so long ago when you could buy Brussels Sprouts in confidence and know what you’re getting. Nowadays it’s “organic”, “authentic”. heirloom”, “ancient”. When will this madness end? Isn’t it time we got back to our roots?

  19. I don’t ever consider talking to any members of fandom about the history of the field, or the awards, to be a waste of time. Of course, they may consider listening to me to be a waste of time, but that’s their decision, not mine.

  20. Jack Lint on January 30, 2016 at 1:56 pm said:

    And don’t get me started on Ann Leckie’s Celery books…

    Or the epic story of human market gardening in high-earth orbit: Sevenleaves

  21. The best Brussels sprouts are oven roasted until slightly crisp, with a touch of lemon juice. But I like them all sorts of ways. My grandmother, however, won’t touch them on the grounds of having had more than a lifetime supply in the army during World War II.

  22. My vegetable love should grow
    Vaster than empires, and more slow.

    I went through childhood consuming Brussels sprouts that came from a can. Loved ’em. When I worked at Rice, however, I met vegetables that had been left in a cooker so long, they had become another form of matter. A rather dispirited one. I could understand someone believing there was no point in trying them ever again under such circumstances.

    Now, Wegman’s makes good ones, as noted. Very easy to enjoy, too: just walk up to the hot veggies bar and put some on your plate (plus maybe some asparagus spears, some Rochester home fries and some pepper jack potatoes), pay the nice checkout person, and take them right upstairs and eat them while they’re hot. The hardest part is figuring out which recycling bin your water glass should go into.

    edit: Speaking of fan favorites (as in item 3), the Venture Brothers seem to be back. I recorded a special I hadn’t seen before, and only when I watched it last night did I see that the new season apparently began right after it. These guys are tapped into a whole alternate universe of familiar characters I never saw before. They’re like fan fiction of originals I somehow missed. Something to enjoy while waiting for Rick and Morty to regenerate.

  23. I rather liked The Gobblin’ Emperor myself. What a wonderfully constructed tale of gourmet fantasy!

  24. @Ben Yalow

    I don’t ever consider talking to any members of fandom about the history of the field, or the awards, to be a waste of time. Of course, they may consider listening to me to be a waste of time, but that’s their decision, not mine.

    I definitely enjoyed reading it; thank you for writing it.

    Do you have any idea why the rule for “best fan artists” doesn’t disqualify art that was paid for? The semiprozines actually do pay for the art they publish, and it tends to look a lot more like professional art than the free art in fanzines. It seems a little unfair to judge them together.

  25. When I find my water starts to bubble
    Tiny vegetables come to me
    Leaking juice of sproutness, let them be
    And in my hour of darkness
    They are cooking right in front of me
    Leaking juice of sproutness, let them be

    Let them be, let them be, let them be, oh let them be,
    Brussels sprouts are awful, let them be

    And when the broken-hearted people
    Living in the world agree
    There will be no sprouts left, let them be
    For they really stink when farted
    And there is still a chance that they are green
    There really is an answer, let them be

    [With apologies to Lennon & McCartney]

  26. I like Brussels sprouts. Most of the time. Sometimes people overcook them, and then they’re bad. (About the only thing I don’t like is liver as liver. But that may be because it’s usually overcooked, also. I’ve eaten it in sausage and pate, and it’s good.)

  27. “Licorice is the liver of candy.” —Ed Bluestone

    He’s right, too. I like ’em both. (But not plastic licorice twists, or red “licorice,” and the liver should be fried with onions and maybe bacon and not have a rubber band in the last goddam bite.)

  28. I think the reasoning behind allowing semiprozine artists into Fan Artist comes from the prior clear line — Professional work was professional, and Fan work was fan. But when semiprozine was created, it was an anomaly — by definition, non-professional, but clearly has money involved. And, as the semiprozines proliferated, it became a bigger issue, but not one that the Business Meeting has felt it important enough to try to fix.

    If the Business Meetings for the last few years (and the upcoming year, with just the ratification debates on everything passed last year, plus the committees reporting significant new motions) hadn’t been so busy, it was something I was thinking of trying to fix (my proposal would simply be to change 3.3.16 by striking “semiprozines or”; and quite possibly doing the same to 3.3.15 Fan Writer). But with such a full agenda, I was planning on waiting for another, quieter year.

  29. (12)

    my problem with award eligibility posts is less that they’re crass and commercialized,

    I don’t understand why “commercial” is an objection or an issue with award eligibility posts. Writing and publishing is a job and a business. As part of that framework, yes, writers and publishers publicize and promote our work. It would be bizarrely idiotic of us NOT to do so, since getting the work into readers’ hands is how we make a living (that, and licensing subsidiary rights–which we’re unlikely to do if no one is reading the books).

    Getting work into readers’ hands typically involves letting readers know the work is available, when/where it can be purchased, whether it’s been (well) reviewed, what it’s about, who’s endorsed it, why readers might like it or be interested in it, where else it’s being reviewed, whether it’s eligible for awards, whether it has been nominated for awards, whether it has won any awards, whether subsidiary rights have sold, what recent/current/new editions are available or will soon be available, whether the work is on sale, etc., etc., etc. And having notified readers of this, then we notify them all over again, and do updates over the course of the year, or the life of the work, or when the work experiences a renewed life (such as resale, reprint, movie rights sold, sequels coming out, etc., etc.).

    For people who write sf/f as their job, let alone as their full-time living, it makes no sense NOT to let readers know what work of theirs are eligible for the Hugo–or any other award. In much the way it would make no sense NOT to inform readers of works that are available, on sale, will soon be available, etc., etc.

    It’s COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE for us to court anonymity and obscurity. We only earn income and keep getting contracts or readers if we get our names and the titles of our work in front of readers. Awards are one way to get attention for our names and work, and it doesn’t make much sense NOT to let people

    So the idea that citing our eligibile works is “crass” strikes me as bizarrely out of touch with the reality of working in fiction or publishing, and so it makes no sense NOT to let people know what work is eligible for what awards in what years.

    (That said, I don’t think I’ve ever done a Hugo or other awards eligibility post. For one thing, I didn’t have a blog until a year ago. And for another, I seldom write the sort of work that gets awards attention in the sf/f genre, so I don’t see the point. But if I wrote something that I thought might appeal to the sf/f hardcore voter audience, of course I’d do eligibility posts. It’s not personal, it’s just business.)

  30. Jack Lint on January 30, 2016 at 1:56 pm said:
    And don’t get me started on Ann Leckie’s Celery books…

    Ann Celery law
    Sticks in the craw
    While Ann Celery crewed
    Provides tea well brewed

    Again my apologies to Ogden Nash…and Ann Leckie, and everone here but I had to do it to get it out of my head

  31. Honest Veggies
    by Cat (idea lifted from Soon Lee)

    The whole world is going to hell ever faster;
    Diversity? Hardly! I call it disaster
    To see all these foodies–it gives me the sads–
    Throwing their hearts at the fashions and fads

    Once we could buy Brussels Sprouts without fretting
    The cover showed plainly the goods we were getting
    We need to get back to the way things have been,
    When the story was told by the name on the tin!

    These modern day sprouts for description will task you
    Organic, Authentic, and Heirloom–I ask you!
    Arugula threatens, with kale standing by
    When will the madness be over? I cry.

    Kale is a fad! With the voters affording
    Their votes without tasting the dish they’re awarding
    What would I give to have somebody make
    Honest potatoes to go with my steak?

    Not long ago now, the produce that met us
    Was carrots, or apples, a green head of lettuce
    The good stuff is out there, though fashion dilutes–
    It isn’t too late to get back to our roots!

  32. I think if you just deleted ‘semiprozines or’ from the Fan Artist rule, semiprozine artists would not be eligible for any award, since the rule for Pro Artist says that their work must appear in a professional publication.

    The sense I get is that the pro/fan distinction originally had more to do with milieu that with whether people were paid, and that semprozines were seen as belonging on the fan side of that distinction. For a long time the distinction was defined in terms of circulation, without any mention of money; now (the circulation criterion having obviously been rendered unworkable by the internet) it’s defined by the odd ‘provides more than a quarter of anyone’s income’ rule. The change in the nature of semiprozines, though, which are now mostly fiction magazines, may mean it’s odd to treat them as belonging to the ‘fan’ group.

    The proposals regarding editors which Kevin Standlee was circulating a while ago would have the effect of eliminating semiprozines – they would become simply magazines – so the definitions of the fan awards would in any case have to be adjusted to take account of that.

    Doctor Science was also discussing possible ways of reforming the art awards a while ago (and I realise I never responded to her last comment: I will do so when I have a moment). I do think that the situation has changed in such a way that a one-word alteration is probably not enough, and we do need to think about just what we are doing with these awards.

  33. @Ben Yalow

    my proposal would simply be to change 3.3.16 by striking “semiprozines or”; and quite possibly doing the same to 3.3.15 Fan Writer). But with such a full agenda, I was planning on waiting for another, quieter year.

    I’d suggest making the distinction between work that was paid for and work that was not. That avoids trying to distinguish whether something is semi-pro or not.

    More generally, I think it would make sense to make a number of changes to make nominating easier or fairer. Maybe MidAmeriCon II should appoint a committee to propose changes that would simplify the nominating task.

    Here’s one of my favorites. Compare the requirements for best pro artist:

    3.3.11: Best Professional Artist. An illustrator whose work has appeared in a professional publication in the field of science fiction or fantasy during the previous calendar year.

    With the notification and acceptance rules:

    3.9.2: In the Best Professional Artist category, the acceptance should include citations of at least three (3) works first published in the eligible year.

    Kevin Standlee tells us that 3.9.2 is simply ignored, but stuff like this makes it harder for people to make nominations because they’re not sure who is and isn’t eligible.

    Eliminating the “Best Editor (long form)” category entirely is also high on my list, given that fans have no way in the world to know whom to nominate in this category. At least for the other categories it’s theoretically possible to collect enough information to do it (here’s my best shot at Best Editor [short form]), but the editors of novels are completely invisible to everyone except the authors they work with.

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