Pixel Scroll 2/19/16 The Fifth Editor

(1) LONGEST EVER 1-HOUR EPISODE. A Kickstarter is raising $15,000 to produce “A Skyboat Audiobook of Harlan Ellison’s Star Trek Teleplay”.

On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the launching of Star Trek – the Original Series, we want to make the FIRST-TIME-EVER, 6-hour AUDIOBOOK, full-cast version of Harlan Ellison’s book THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER.

To clarify, this book contains Harlan Ellison’s original teleplay; NOT the one eventually filmed. This is the episode which won the Writers’ Guild Award for best dramatic hour-long script. The filmed teleplay also won Harlan a Hugo Award. The book also contains Harlan’s Essay on the controversy backstory, and several tributes from his colleagues.

Roles will be voiced by LeVar Burton, John Rubinstein (a Tony Award winner, as Captain Kirk), Scott Brick, Jean Smart (Emmy Award winner as Edith Keeler), Harlan Ellison, Stefan Rudnicki, J. Paul Boehmer, Richard McGonagle, David Gerrold, D.C. Fontana, Richard Gilliland, Jim Meskimen, Orson Scott Card, and Robert Forster.

In addition, Harlan Ellison has narrated his essay describing the before, during, and after of the controversy surrounding the episode, which has been voted as the most beloved episode of the Star Trek® series. It also includes:

  • Harlan’s rewrite of the Prologue and Act One to eliminate the controversial “Jewels of Sound” drug-dealing elements that the censors and powers-that-were objected to at the time,
  • plus two screenplay treatments written by Harlan,
  • and tribute essays from authors and colleagues who-were-there.

Gabrielle de Cuir also has an article on the Kickstarter page detailing the many differences between Ellison’s original script and the aired episode which include —

The original opening sequences contain the “Jewels of Sound” subplot that was so controversial at the time, and eventually was eradicated from the teleplay altogether. We have several characters in this version that did not appear in the final: the villains Beckwith and LeBeque, the iconic Trooper (the Verdun veteran) and a delightfully surly Cook.

(2) CLAGS WORKSHOP. CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies in New York City will host “Sci-Fi Alien(ation): Diversity Under Attack, Racism, Homophobia, & Sexism at Hugo Awards & Beyond” on April 8, 2016.

A panel discussion of scholars and science fiction authors including André Carrington, Jennifer Marie Brissett, Craig Laurance Gidney dissect racism, homophobia, and sexism in the world of sci-fi publishing and fandom in general, and the highly-publicized hate campaign at the 2015 Hugo Awards.  A group calling itself the “Sad Puppies” gamed the voting system to assure that most award nominees were white, male, and straight, voicing public statements about gay, black, and women’s themes and authors ruining the genre.  Many non-white, queer, and women authors have received rape threats and death threats in association with this campaign.  This episode mirrors “gamer-gate,” where similar rape and death threats against women in the video game industry who have complained about sexism.

In contrast to GamerGate, which had all of the following things, during last year’s Hugo controversy I did not hear about: people fleeing their homes in response to threats, calling the police for protection (Crazy Uncle Lou, though, did try to get the police to screw Sasquan), filing for restraining orders, and being stalked at con panels by hostile bloggers. The things that happened were bad enough – and some Puppies assuredly tried to interest GamerGaters in getting involved. Hopefully the actual workshop will stick to valid parallels between the two controversies.

(3) BUILDING A RABBIT HOLE. Publishers Weekly tells why the owners of Kansas City’s The Reading Reptile are leaving that business in “Kansas City Booksellers Launching ‘World’s First Explorastorium”.

Kansas City booksellers Pete Cowdin and Deb Pettid, who have owned The Reading Reptile for more than 25 years, intend to close the bookstore Pettid founded in 1988 by the end of March so that they can develop “the world’s first explorastorium,” a project that they have been conceptualizing for the past year. The proposed museum, modeled upon San Francisco’s Exploratorium and St. Louis’s City Museum, and called The Rabbit Hole in homage to Alice in Wonderland, will allow visitors to physically immerse themselves in the narratives of beloved children’s books through interactive exhibits and galleries. There will also be regularly scheduled presentations and workshops led by touring authors and illustrators to complement the full-scale 3-D installations, which will change every three or four months.

explo COMP

The mission of The Rabbit Hole, which is being set up as a nonprofit, is to “create new readers on an unprecedented scale” in a world where “only around 50% of parents read aloud to their kids on a regular basis.”

A prototype of one component of The Rabbit Hole has been installed in a temporary leased space in Kansas City’s Crossroads neighborhood. The prototype is a full-scale, walk-through exhibit bringing to life The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee, who has assisted the Rabbit Hole team in creating it. The grand opening of this Rabbit Hole prototype will be held on April 9.

(4) THOSE BRONZE AGE SOPHISTICATES. Photos and a videos accompany the BBC article “Bronze Age wheel at ‘British Pompeii’ Must Farm an ‘unprecedented find’”.

“The existence of this wheel expands our understanding of Late Bronze Age technology, and the level of sophistication of the lives of people living on the edge of the Fens 3,000 years ago.”

(5) THE ICELAND CON COMETH. Fans in Iceland have plans to launch a new convention this year.

Icecon 2016 is a science fiction and fantasy fan convention that will be held in the heart of Reykjavík, Iceland, this fall. On the 28th to the 30th of October, Iðnó theatre ( idno.is) will be filled with the fantastic.

There will be panels, readings, a Halloween masquerade and other events.

Information on registration, membership fee, guests of honour, program and accommodation coming soon. All information will be posted on this event-page and a forthcoming homepage. Any interested parties can also email us at icecon2016(at) gmail.com

Icecon 2016 is supported by Reykjavik UNESCO City of Literature ( bokmenntaborgin.is/en/)

(6) DREAM DESTINATIONS. I mentioned the NASA space travel posters before, however, this particular webpage displays the entire collection as large thumbnails, and also has a link to the JPL store if you want to order a literal printed poster.

(7) UNDERGROUND REVOLUTION. The Society of Illustrators in New York City will exhibit “The ZAP Show: A Cultural Revolution” from March 2-May 7 on the main floor.

No one could have known that when struggling illustrator R. Crumb self-published Zap Comix #1 in 1968 and began hawking copies in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, history would be made. By the arrival of issue #4 (1969) and Crumb’s Zap collective (S. Clay Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffiin, Gilbert Shelton, Robert Williams, and Spain Rodriguez) fully formed, the artists had broken every Comics Code taboo imaginable — and then some. Zap spawned an entire underground comix industry, establishing an adult market for the comics medium that, in turn, set new standards for creators’ rights and ownership that one day would liberate mainstream comic books from the tyrannical grip of corporate publishers, paving the way for literary work by the likes of Art Spiegelman, Lynda Barry, Chris Ware, and Daniel Clowes, among others.

(8) MEYEROWITZ ART DISPLAY. About the same time, the Society of Illustrators will exhibit on the third floor “Rick Meyerowitz in the National Lampoon” from March 1-April 23.


Rick Meyerowitz was a prolific contributor of both artwork and written pieces for National Lampoon from its first issue in 1970 until close to its last in 1991. He collaborated with many of the magazine’s writers on an astonishing variety of topics and themes. Among his most notable works were the “Mona Gorilla” (Mona Lisa as a gorilla); “DODOSAURS: The Dinosaurs That  Didn’t Make It” (which he and Henry Beard turned into a 1983 book); the widely recognized poster for the movie Animal House; and most recently, “DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: The Writers and Artists Who Made The National Lampoon Insanely Great,” published by Abrams as a coffee table size visual history of the Lampoon. A documentary film of the same name was released last year.

(9) NURTURING TALENT. Gregory N. Hullender says Rocket Stack Rank “has a new article comparing the Campbell-eligible writers with the stories we reviewed in 2015 with an eye towards figuring out which editors were the most supporting of new writers in 2015” – “Nurturing New SF Short-Fiction Talent in 2015”.

(10) PLAQUE FOR TONI WEISSKOPF. The National Fantasy Fan Federation has circulated a picture of Toni Weisskopf’s Neffy Award.

(11) HARPER LEE OBIT. Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, died February 19 at the age of 89.

“This is a sad day for our family. America and the world knew Harper Lee as one of the last century’s most beloved authors,” Hank Conner, Lee’s nephew and a spokesman for the family, said in a statement Friday morning.

“We knew her as Nelle Harper Lee, a loving member of our family, a devoted friend to the many good people who touched her life, and a generous soul in our community and our state. We will miss her dearly.”

Conner’s statement indicated that “Ms. Lee passed away in her sleep early this morning. Her passing was unexpected. She remained in good basic health until her passing.”

(12) A REALLY BIG SANDBOX. The B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog knows “How One Mashup Artist Got Legal Permission to Pair Calvin & Hobbes with Dune”.

Calvin & Muad’Dib picked up international attention after a shout-out from io9 in September of 2014, and this attention led to an immediate DMC takedown. But unlike most bloggers, Joe lawyered up.

“I did this because it was clear that I wasn’t profiting in any way from Calvin and Hobbes,” Joe says. “There were no advertisements on my blog, nor did I sell or intend to sell any merchandise or even ask for donations. I felt I had a solid ground to defend myself, and I also happen to believe that most DMCA takedowns are inherently unjust due to the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ nature of DMCA.”

Joe entered into talks with the lawyers of Calvin & Hobbes’ publisher. Though he never spoke directly to Watterson, he did succeed in his goal: Calvin & Muad’Dib went back up six months later, in February of 2014.

“We worked out a licensing deal where I could continue to make comics in the way I intended, and the Calvin & Hobbes lawyers could be ensured that abuse of Bill Watterson’s original works would not occur,” Joe says of the discussion. Every comic on his site now comes with a reminder that the mash-up is legit: “Calvin and Hobbes: © and ™ Bill Watterson, used with permission.”

fear is the mindkiller COMP

(15) TWENTIETH CENTURY FANAC. At Amazing Stories, R. Graeme Cameron opens his time capsule: the script of his 1989 talk about fanzines to the Vancouver Public Library.

There exist people who have never earned a penny writing, yet have published thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of words. They belong to FANDOM. Fandom is something more than merely fans of Science Fiction in its various forms: books, magazines, movies, comic books, etc. Fandom is a mode of behaviour, of attitude, an approach to organized appreciation of Science Fiction which is universal among fans, so that fans as far apart as America and Soviet Russia have enough in common as to establish an immediate rapport should they meet.

People writing for no money! That’ll never catch on… And look who’s one of the people doing it –

FILE 770 is quite a renowned perzine. Mike Glyer has been producing it for a longtime. This is the 77th issue. It’s a kind of NEWSZINE really, reporting on conventions, writers, fan activities, fan feuds, and other fanzines. But it is a one-man operation, so I classify it as a perzine.

(14) ROAD WARRIOR. Someday soon Larry Correia will live at the end of Yard Moose Mountain Road. First he has to build the road. The mountain came built-in….

When we built our current house it was all open fields around us. There were houses near, but we had a little room to breathe. I’m a country boy at heart. I don’t like people all up in my business. We even had a moose come and live in our yard. That’s why we started calling it Yard Moose Mountain. He just kind of camped out under my son’s bedroom window, then he’d wander out and eat our neighbor’s trees, but he never messed with my trees. Good moose.

It was really nice.

Over the last five years our area slowly filled in, until one day I woke up, and realized that rather than living in the country anymore, we were living in a small neighborhood. Sure, it was a nice commuter neighborhood (I’ve got 12 doctors in my ward, no joke) and the people are about as nice as you could possibly ask for, but it was still a neighborhood.  We landscaped and put in a fence for privacy, but it has lost its charm. Add to that, I’d retired from my finance manager job a few years ago to just be a full time author, so I no longer needed to be close enough to the city to commute.

Being a failed D List nobody hack pulp writer with an irreparably damaged career who will never be a *real* author and who can’t even manage to get measly five hundred people to a book signing, my income had still somehow gone up dramatically, but we’d not really changed our standard of living (well, except for more guns and minis, but those don’t count). Plus, because I have a pathological hatred of debt I had been making lots of extra house payments, to the point that I’d knocked 27 years worth of our 30 year mortgage payments out in 5. Because screw debt.

So last year we decided we wanted to move, and this time we were going to move someplace where we’d never have to move again….


  • February 19, 1985 – The movie Brazil premieres in France, 10 months before opening in the USA.

(16) YOUR SCIENCE QUOTE OF THE DAY. From CNN: “Hubble image: Dormant black hole, in a word, is gargantuan”.

“Black holes don’t suck,” van der Marel said. “That’s a common misconception. Material that happens to be moving in the direction of the black hole falls in because gas has friction that gets eaten [by the black hole]. Once the black hole has eaten all the gas there it can just move on and it will be dormant until it gets another dose of material that it can consume.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Addressee Unknown .]

160 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/19/16 The Fifth Editor

  1. *reads about ConQuest*

    I feel like Daffy Duck in various cartoons where his jaw drops way, way, way down and he has to press or ratchet it back closed.

  2. *SIGH* The more I see of people, the better I like animals.

    Individuals can be okay, but get people in groups, even small groups, and they can become monsters (or maybe they just let something loose that’s inside them, just waiting).

    Maybe I’m pessimistic, but fans are people too. These kinds of things will continue to happen. You put sanctions in place to allow objectionable behavior to be punished. When you can’t even be bothered to do that, you basically tell people, “Knock yourselves out, do whatever you want and there will be no consequences”. At that point, you deserve what you get-people dropping their pants on a panel and worse. She should have been removed from the CON. Instead, she was allowed back in the room.

    “We has met the enemy and they is us”.

  3. “We have met the enemy and he is us.” —Walt Kelly/Pogo
    I was actually shocked the other day to see someone quote this correctly.

    Dead-on about the sanctions. Advertise penalties for wrongdoing, then don’t enforce them, and it’s like you’ve given a license for it.

  4. My reaction to that is WTactualF????
    I can’t see any of the behavior described being considered as acceptable by most people. (I’d probably have walked out of the dinner. What part of GoH does Hiner not understand?)

  5. @Kip W.

    I stand corrected. I’ve been remembering that incorrectly all these years, but I just now saw a copy of the original strip for the first time in decades and I will henceforth get that right.

  6. How the hell did Rosen ever achieve Guest of Honor status? It sounds like she has a history of acting out. She’s the type of person concomms should warn each other about, to avoid situations like this. Wikipedia says “Rosen is a frequent guest of honor at regional science fiction conventions.” My inner former-con-organizer is shuddering.

  7. “Who files the filers?”

    Robert Reynolds
    I quoted it pretty much as you did for quite a while as well. I don’t recall whether someone corrected me on it or if I just noticed, but it gave me a mission in life. Perhaps by the time I die, it will be quoted correctly as much as 40% of the time. You may say I’m a dreamer…

  8. I am trying to get San Francisco Comic Con to respond (first to emails, now to Facebook posts) about when they will be posting their conduct and accessibility policies. So far this has resulted in nothing but silence from them.

    Yesterday I figured out that the con is run by some group called Imaginarium, Inc. which also runs Tampa Bay Comic Con and Indiana Comic Con.

    Neither of which have conduct and accessibility policies.

    Imagine my surprise when I learned that there were problems with harassment at Tampa Bay in past years, and that their Indiana con has no policy either.

    Friends of mine have already bought weekend passes.

    Friends who were pretty badly grabbed and groped at a recent local costuming event.

  9. I was on the erasure panel, and have apologized to Mark on his Facebook page.

    What happened was that I I made a statement the intent of which was to say that the Spanish conquistadors had systematically written out of the history the contributions of their Indian allies. (Which they did – most of the actual fighting in Peru and Mexico was done by Indian enemies of the ruling empires.)

    What came out made it sound like the conquest was the Indian’s fault, and I did not get a chance to correct the record on the panel.

  10. P J Evans on February 21, 2016 at 9:34 am said:
    My reaction to that is WTactualF????
    I can’t see any of the behavior described being considered as acceptable by most people. (I’d probably have walked out of the dinner. What part of GoH does Hiner not understand?)

    There’s a lot of sheer institutional inefficiency going on here.
    Leaving the issue of the only GOH of color and all that aside, the dinner fiasco is a failure of basic hospitality 101.
    Was the GOH table not initially set up to accommodate all GOH and VIPs?
    Foul to the organizers because that is the kind of thing that you, you know, organize.
    Or, if it was too informal to have a track on the number of people and therefore of seats needed, then it is also informal enough that you cram in two more seats.
    This was a failure of basic guest/host stuff: you are the host and your job is to make the guest welcome.

    He and his partner were running late.
    If there had been some formality about seating, had some enterprising types ended up bagging their places and getting to keep them?
    Foul to the organizers for not properly policing the table.
    Or, if again things were so informal that there weren’t even head-counts – so many people to be accommodated at the grown-up table, weren’t there any adults in the room to deal with the problem.

    You have two more GOH, and no seats, you know what that means?
    Someone local, someone getting to sit with the big guys – am I eyeing you, Hiner? – has to do something about it, and not just point vaguely into the outer darkness.
    And not just Hiner.
    I’m sure there were other lucky local con folk basking in the presence of the VIPs at the main table.
    Someone there is supposed to realize this is a screw-up and fix it.
    Sigh, grab their drink, smile: “Here you go, guys,” and go sit with their buddies at the other table.
    Because, again, hospitality 101.

    It’s a kind of fundamental thing: if you run short of something – deserts, seats – “family” takes less.
    Dealing with guests coming in late is an annoyance, I get it.
    But it is part of the gig.
    When you are herding cats, you are supposed to be able to deal gracefully with the confusion: that’s the name of the game.

    And if you invite someone as a GOH, then that’s how you are supposed to deal with them, you know, as if it is an honor that they have come.
    Does anyone think that if GRRM had run late he’d have been stashed at a back table?
    I’m not saying I’d expect them to treat all GOH entirely equally – humans are fallible creatures – but, you know, at least common politeness should be a reasonable expectation.

  11. Chris Gerrib:

    “I was on the erasure panel, and have apologized to Mark on his Facebook page.”

    Hi Chris, happy to hear this! And a bit sad that the con organizers didn’t take Marks feedback seriously enough as I guess you would have heard of this before and been able to respond then.

  12. @Chris Gerrib was done by Indian enemies of the ruling empires

    Maybe you’ve missed the change in language over the last 20 years. It’s impolite to use Indian unless you are talking about someone from India. The correct terminology is indigenous or Native American or First Nation or even The People. I’m sure there are other terms I’m not aware of which would also be appropriate. I’ve not studied the terminology used by those to the south of us in detail.

    I did see your apology. I’m not convinced your issue was on point for the panel topic but I know how easy it is to get sidetracked.

  13. That’s so awful. I was a GoH at Conquest years ago, and they were all very nice then. (I’m Captain Oblivious, though, so don’t take this as an indicator that nothing was wrong back then, merely that I’m not the person most likely to notice unless things got really egregious.)

    I’m so sorry that this happened to Mark and his partner. Yikes.

  14. @Kendall:

    How the hell did Rosen ever achieve Guest of Honor status? It sounds like she has a history of acting out. She’s the type of person concomms should warn each other about, to avoid situations like this. Wikipedia says “Rosen is a frequent guest of honor at regional science fiction conventions.” My inner former-con-organizer is shuddering.

    Well, Rosen is proud of being raunchy, and that can get a woman a reputation for being fun.

    But I think Rosen’s individual misconduct is far less significant than the heaping pile of negligence and disregard by the organizers.

  15. Lauowolf on February 21, 2016 at 10:28 am said:

    We’re on the same page. I’m seeing poor planning, poor management, and people who can’t be bothered when it’s the smaller names that they invited as guests.

  16. It’s impolite to use Indian unless you are talking about someone from India.

    As I understand it, you ask them which they prefer. Different people will have different preferences, and some don’t object to ‘Indian’. (I use ‘Native American’ when I don’t know.)

  17. @P J Evans
    Since he was addressing an audience, commenting on FB, and commenting here I’d go with the default and not use Indian as there is a good chance some/most of the audience will take offense. I’m not aware of those who are ok with Indian taking offense to the other words being used when one is addressing a large audience full of unknowns. I didn’t see him asking anyone on FB or here if they were ok with the usage. I’m guessing he didn’t ask at the con either.

    ETA: sorry for not being clearer in my first comment.

  18. “Proud of being raunchy.” I don’t think the line between “raunchy” and “completely unconcerned about violating other peoples boundaries” is that hard to identify.

    And taken with the comments about how, at the very panel where this happened, she was trying to shame/out whoever it was who had complained, we see how it is that communities are pressured into accepting inappropriate sexual behavior as being simply edgy and daring. And then, years later, people ask, “How in the world could you people let this go on so long without speaking up and putting a stop to it?”

    I’m not trying to do the same “shaming” thing here about community reaction, just pointing out that people who behave inappropriately can be very good at using the forms of tolerance and acceptance to get communities to give them a pass. And when you’re in the middle of it, it can be very hard to sort out the difference between transgressive and transgressing.

  19. @ Tasha Turner – I have not heard that Indian for native American has become offensive. We were using the term at the panel and nobody, including Mark, seemed upset.

  20. Oh yeah, very inappropriate. It’s just a weird effect of sexism that people wouldn’t know hiw to deal with a woman doing this.

  21. “Indian” is a tricky one and I rather suspect it’s in transition at the moment. The vast majority of the Native Americans I know personally use it (and more to the point expect others to use it–my stepfather would give me major side-eye if I called him First Nations!) but that’s hardly a marker of universal experience and in a decade or two, it may have gone the way of other language as archaic-to-the-point-of-offensive.

    As a non-native, it’s often a lot safer to use other terminology until you know for sure.

  22. “It’s impolite to use Indian unless you are talking about someone from India.”
    [citation needed]

    While it’s been suggested that the term should be considered offensive, since it refers to a different (sub-)continent, Native Americans have generally seemed to look askance at suggestions that it is offensive, and activist groups like AIM continue to use the term, as do a substantial number of general Native Americans/Indians.

    From Wikipedia’s article on Native American name controversy: “As of 1995, according to the US Census Bureau, 50% of people who identified as indigenous preferred the term American Indian, 37% preferred Native American, and the remainder preferred other terms or had no preference.[17]”

  23. Well, if you have more up-to-date info, I’ll be glad to hear it. But note that the date was 20 years after Wounded Knee. And AIM not only continues to use the term in their name*, but has prominent members (e.g. Russell Means) who continue to use and prefer the term.

    I admit the term is not without controversy, but if you’ll peruse the Wikipedia article, you’ll see that that’s true of pretty much all the alternatives as well.

    * which, I admit, is not evidence on its own, as per the NAACP. But members of the latter don’t continue to use and prefer the outdated term enshrined in that organization’s name.

  24. Every person who’s named and shamed in that post needs to be publicly kicked off the Worldcon concom and guest list. That’s the only damage control that will work.

    And no one should invite Ms. Pants-Free to anything again. Heck, if I was running a con, I wouldn’t even allow her to attend.

    I wish Mark had said something at the gripe panel at the end of the con (if they even had one; every con I’ve been to has a feedback session).

    Chris Gerrib apologized, good for him. And clarified. He’s learned. It can be done!

  25. @Chris Gerrib:

    @ Tasha Turner – I have not heard that Indian for native American has become offensive. We were using the term at the panel and nobody, including Mark, seemed upset.

    He may have not seemed upset, but it’s clear from the Facebook post that he was quite upset by it.

  26. Silicon Valley Comic Con (next month) has Deaf and disabled services and a short bog-standard anti-harassment policy (which does have “includes but is not limited to”). Looks like their policy would have grounds to throw out Rosen. At least they’re trying. I’ll report back. Any other Filers going?

    Being whitey white white, I err on the side of caution and use “Native American” and “African-American” until told otherwise. “Indian” is one of those words the in-group can use, but not the out-group, I feel.

  27. According to a tweet from Oshiro, there will be a statement from MidAmericon later on.

  28. lurkertype: I wish Mark had said something at the gripe panel at the end of the con (if they even had one; every con I’ve been to has a feedback session).

    While they are a good idea, I have two problems with end-of-con gripe sessions. First, they occur too late to fix anything. Second — at least with Worldcon — either the results aren’t being passed on to following years’ concoms, or the concoms in following years are ignoring the feedback. I mean, seriously, this should be a cumulative book that gets added to by each con committee and then passed on to the following year, so that the lessons are not lost and the same mistakes made over again.

    And I’ve personally seen, as well as heard of from other people, mistakes being repeated often — so someone on these con committees is clearly dropping the ball in terms of passing on lessons learned.

    And by the end of the con, Mark had made numerous official reports. He shouldn’t have needed (and would not have expected it was necessary) to go to the gripe session and re-report.

  29. African American has become problematic as many blacks come to America through other routes and don’t identify with the term. Keeping up with what terminology to use gets confusing as it keeps changing.

    The African-American label was mostly used for “your ancestors were brought to America as slaves” narrative.

    I have a number of black friends who came to the US via the Caribbean, Europe, South America. They don’t consider themselves African American. Black-Caribbean/Latino-American, Black-European (country)-American. If they are a newer immigrant from Africa then they are likely to be Nigerian-American. Africa has many countries. Plus a black person visiting the USA isn’t American. 😉

    #BlackLivesMatter is not just easier to type on Twitter. Black is back as the terminology many prefer.

  30. Tasha Turner:

    Therr are weird mixes also. In Sweden, you shouldn’t use the term coloured anymore as it implies that white isn’t a colour. However, it is totally acceptable to use the english term People of Colour.

    Not sure where the logic is.

  31. I’ve always been told that it is best to use the tribal affiliation first if possible, rather than the broader terms which group a host of nations into one monolithic group. If that information is not known, Native Americans is more generally used in academic contexts. Having said that, I once (not so terribly long ago) was a TA in a course on American Indian Literature that was cross-listed between English and Native American Studies departments at a major US university, so it can get complicated. When in doubt, I’ll ask someone what they prefer.

  32. I’m going to go to SVCC for at least one day and bring some friends (the same ones who want to do SFCC) because I’d like to check out and support a Con that’s actually bothering to have a policy.

  33. Re: Con or Gripe Panels

    Just to clarify.

    What happens at QCon which is a technical conference after the end of very panel or presentation; volunteers stand by the exit doors with a bowl and stacks of three slips of paper colored green, yellow, and red that they ask everyone who attended to choose a color, and place it in the bowl.

    It takes seconds and provides instant feedback. People can head to their next event and not be delayed. Each of the slips has a box where comments can be additionally written.

    However given the changing nature of leadership for cons from year to year; how is feedback incorporated successfully in a non-professional conference with changing leadership is a difficult problem that I don’t know the answer to.

  34. Oh good. San Francisco Comic Con responded to a friend’s email inquiry. The entire email read as follows:

    “Thanks for the email. We don’t have a written policy. If there is an issue, please let security or a police officer know.”


  35. “We won’t tell you what people are allowed to do, but you can complain if you like”? To security, who presumably have no better idea than you do of what the rules are?
    My immediate and unhelpful thought is that it’s not illegal to stand outside the convention center with signs reading “$Name_of_Con_Chair is a useless pile of used tissues.”

  36. “Thanks for the email. We don’t have a written policy. If there is an issue, please let security or a police officer know.”

    They do know it’s 2016, and a written policy that’s enforced fairly will help keep them out of legal trouble – don’t they?

  37. They do know it’s 2016, and a written policy that’s enforced fairly will help keep them out of legal trouble – don’t they?

    I’d say no based on their response. Or they are among the many that believe we don’t need a policy those things don’t happen here we are all good people

    After all look at the other con we are discussing. Have a policy but didn’t enforce it and invited a GOH a person known to remove her pants for no reason.

    A number of concoms seem to be having a problem adjusting to many fans no longer finding harassment of any kind acceptable. Even more don’t understand accessibility at all beyond a ramp and maybe signer for deaf guests for awards.

    We need to start giving awards to the ones getting it right as well as calling out the ones screwing it up.

  38. Plenty of us make the standard joke “I became a writer so I wouldn’t have to wear pants to work!” but I also strongly suspect most of us weren’t including cons in that…

  39. I am “known to be raunchy”, in my circles, to put it mildly: swear like a sailor, especially when frustrated*, find it hard to let a good “that’s what she said” joke lie, and indeed don’t really do modesty. I’ve worn a bikini in at least one LARP combat. And I find it hard to imagine a situation in which I’d randomly take my pants off around strangers who hadn’t specifically signed up for that sort of thing.

    (Other than, like, we’re being attacked by aliens and someone has to use their clothing as bandages/to plug a hole in the nuclear reactor/etc and nobody is wearing any extraneous clothes. Which I assume was not what was going on here.)

    “…the hell?” is the only phrase that really comes to mind.

    * People would gather around to watch me play Resident Evil, back in the day.

  40. @Mike Glyer: “Doubtless seems more bizarre today than it did in 2006.”

    . . . though less surprising, now? 😉 In fairness, that’s a goofy comment in an online text chat.


    Well, Rosen is proud of being raunchy, and that can get a woman a reputation for being fun.

    Hopefully cons like ConQuest will be less proud of her now, even if she’s proud of how she acts.

    But I think Rosen’s individual misconduct is far less significant than the heaping pile of negligence and disregard by the organizers.

    I hope no one believed that I felt Rosen’s behavior was the only problem or necessarily the biggest* problem. Nope, it’s just the one I commented on, for various reasons.

    * No disrespect intended to you – just how I feel – but I don’t feel comfortable saying whether sexual harassment (including unwanted touching) someone else experienced is “far less significant” than the concomm’s/board’s inaction. There was a lot of bad stuff that weekend. 🙁

    Bleah, sorry if I sound grumpy!

  41. I’ve walked around in a chain mail bikini* at cons, generally go starkers in the house during summer, and done plenty of public cussing, but have never, ever felt the urge to suddenly remove my pants while being on or attending a panel.

    The good thing if Mark had said something at the time would be that other fen would have heard about all this, and thus more pressure could have been put on the concom sooner, as opposed to the “let’s keep it secret, wait 9 months and hope it goes away”. They could have worked on their apparently endemic problems well before this year’s con.

    Pretty glad I signed up for SVCC instead of SFCC, then!

    *40 lbs. ago. It won’t happen again. Does anyone want a one-size-fits-most chainmail/black leather bikini top/loincloth bottom, cheap?

  42. @Tasha Turner: “invited a GOH a person known to remove her pants for no reason.”

    If someone asked me last week whether I’d be in a conversation where this phrase was used and made sense, I’d’ve said “WTF is going on, next week!”

    @JJ: Well-done end-of-con gripe sessions I’ve seen have someone taking notes (preferably someone involved with next year!). Smart Worldcons have someone at sessions like this; in-progress Worldcons would be smart to pass the info along. Sure, stuff gets dropped or ignored, but methinks a book would have similar issues.

    But agreed 100% about not needing to report stuff at a gripe session (and not just harrassment or other mistreatment). I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable reporting a lot of that stuff in that type of public forum.

    Kudos to Mark for making official reports at all, and it’s sad that his trust in the process was betrayed.

    @Shambles: That color thing seems vague (hated the presenter? the topic? couldn’t hear? offended? etc.) and too public. But yeah, feedback stuff at professional conferences is groovy.

    The tech con I used to frequent had perforated sheets built into the included free notebook, with 3 simple, multiple-choice questions and space for comments. There was also an end-of-conference feedback form. As you describe, volunteers collected forms. Later it went online, but they kept the physical forms for everything except the end-of-conference feedback. IMHO, checking three boxes and ripping out a page is as quick as the color thing, but more useful (when people don’t have time to actually write stuff).

    I shouldn’t admit this, but I’d probably ignore anything except an end-of-con feedback mechanism. Doing this stuff at an SFF con would feel too much like work! Bad Kendall.

  43. @Kendall:

    Yeah, sorry, I shouldn’t have opined about what is more significant than what, especially when not having any involvement myself.

  44. Men’s boxers aren’t necessarily immodest on women, and “woman comes in wearing pants and then does panel wearing shorts” is a fairly PG-rated strip-tease stunt, as those things go. I suspect it was planned that way, all bluster and no reveal. (Though no question she left herself open to valid complaint by stripping on stage. It sets a tone to strip for an audience. If the other people in the room don’t appreciate that tone, deliberately raunchy stunts start falling under harassment policy awfully fast, and I don’t think the audience that’s uniformly okay with that exists.) That much is believably a misjudged stunt that might have flown with an audience of friends, that a wiser person would have realized was not her actual audience. Some people rely too heavily on the “all family here” myth of fandom without realizing its limits.

    What is not a tasteless PG-rated stunt is rubbing your bare leg against another panelist. Who in their right mind rubs another person, particularly a stranger, without consent? And doing it on stage with an entire audience watching is surely the sort of thing we leave to Harlan Ellison have all learned from actual recent events is guaranteed to go over badly. To follow that up with berating the entire audience for reporting her, goading them to reveal the reporter and shouting “rat” at the people leaving the room, boggles my mind. Even if your sense of decency allows you to treat people that way, how the hell does basic commercial self-interest allow you to treat a paying audience to a show of sexually harassing the moderator and verbal abuse? Lack of pants is the least of the woman’s problems, and looks like an innocent bad wardrobe choice by comparison.

    As for the rest of the weekend, and the failure to follow-up from the organizers, what an unmitigated clusterfuck.

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