Pixel Scroll 2/20/16 It’s Like My Body’s Developed This Massive Pixel Deficiency

(1) CROTCHETY GOES TO TOWN. Amazing Stories’ Steve Davidson gets his Boskone report off to a fast start with a post about Day 1.

I’m at Boskone this weekend, hanging out with the fans, loquaciously displaying my intimate knowledge of arcana  on several panels and availing myself of various perks offered by this long-running (53rd year) convention that was launched as a bid for the 1967 Worldcon.

It’s operated by the New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA), one of the longest running fan clubs in the country.

One of the things NESFA does is clear out their library and make the clearances available on a freebie table.  Last year, someone snagged a bunch of large-size Analogs out from under my reaching hand (‘sigh’).  This year I was one of the first ‘gleaners’ to hit the table and was rewarded with:

several D series Ace Doubles; a good-sized stack of early Locus fanzines;  same for File 770; a handful of Groff Conklin paperback anthologies (filling in a couple of gaps.  The paperbacks are shortened versions of the hardback anthologies Conklin produced over the years.); a couple of Lee & Miller hardbacks; a NESFA anthology of Lester Del Rey shorts (edited by our own Steven H. Silver); the remaining issues of Galileo magazine that I didn’t have (complete run now!). (Galileo was a “semi-prozine” from back in the late 70s); a few issues of Infinity digest magazine, and a smattering of this and that interesting looking items.

I’m thinking a loquacious displayer would be a great subject for an Audobon drawing.

(2) HARTWELL REMEMBERED. Boskone ran a David Hartwell memorial panel.

(3) THE NEW WAY TO BE HAPPY. Authors shared their excitement over the Nebula Award announcement.

(4) WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO PWN IT TOO? David Brin leads off “Science Fiction and Freedom” with  this book deal —

While in San Francisco for a panel on artificial consciousness, I had an opportunity to stop by the headquarters of the Electronic Frontier Foundation — dedicated to preserving your freedom online and off.  As part of their 25th year anniversary celebration, EFF released Pwning Tomorrow, an anthology of science fiction stories by Bruce Sterling, Ramaz Naam, Charlie Jane Anders, Cory Doctorow, David Brin, Lauren Beukes, and others. You can download it for a donation to this worthy organization.



  • February 20, 1962 — A camera onboard the “Friendship 7” Mercury spacecraft photographs astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. during the Mercury-Atlas 6 space flight.


  • Born February 20, 1926 – Richard Matheson


(7) MUSICAL MISSION. In San Diego on March 31, the Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage 50th Anniversary Concert will be performed by a symphony orchestra.

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage brings five decades of Star Trek to concert halls for the first time in this galaxy or any other.

This lavish production includes an impressive live symphony orchestra and international solo instruments. People of all ages and backgrounds will experience the franchise’s groundbreaking and wildly popular musical achievements while the most iconic Star Trek film and TV footage is simultaneously beamed in high definition to a 40-foot wide screen.

The concert will feature some of the greatest music written for the franchise including music from Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Starfleet Academy and much more. This never-before-seen concert event is perfect for music lovers, filmgoers, science-fiction fans and anyone looking for an exciting and unique concert experience.

(8) PERCEPTIONS ABOUT DISABILITY. At The Bias, Annalee Flower Horne covers a lot of ground in “The Geeks Guide To Disability”.

I want the science fiction community to be inclusive and accessible to disabled people. I want our conventions and corners of the internet to be places where disabled people are treated with dignity and respect. I’m hoping that if I walk through some of the more common misconceptions, I can move the needle a little–or at least save myself some time in the future, because I’ll be able to give people a link instead of explaining all this again.

What is Disability?

This may seem like starting from first principles, but a lot of the misconceptions I’ve encountered within the science fiction community have been rooted in a poorly thought-out model of what the term ‘disability’ means….

(9) THE “TO BE HEARD” PILE. Escape Pod has done a metacast about the stories they ran that are eligible for the Hugos.

(10) LONG FORM EDITOR. George R.R. Martin, in “What They Edited, The Third”, posts an impressive resume from Joe Monti of Saga Press, the new science fiction imprint of Simon & Schuster/ Pocket Books.

(11) PRIVATE LABEL. From the Worldcon in the city where everything’s up to date….

(12) FINNISH SNACKS. Things are up to date in Helsinki, too, but there’s a reason you don’t see reindeer roaming the streets….

(13) AND SPEAKING OF EATING. Scott Edelman says a second episode of his podcast Eating the Fantastic has gone live, with guest Bud Sparhawk.

Bud Sparhawk

Bud Sparhawk

I chatted with Bud—a three-time Nebula finalist and Analog magazine regular—about how Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions anthology inspired him to become a writer, what it was like to write for three different Analog editors over four decades, the plotters vs. pantsers debate, and more.

Edelman ends, “If all goes well, Episode 3 will feature writer, editor, and Rosarium Publishing owner Bill Campbell.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Rose Embolism, and Gerry Williams for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

158 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/20/16 It’s Like My Body’s Developed This Massive Pixel Deficiency

  1. Super-fifth. That’s what I get for actually reading the article rather than just diving into the comments.

  2. Come and listen to my story
    about a Filer from the Hive
    The slowest damn poster
    you ever seen alive
    And then one day
    awaitin’ the screen to arrive
    When the page reappeared
    Their post was Number 5.

    Fifth, that is. After Fourth, Before Sixth.

  3. @JJ

    Well the first thing you know – this filer’s feeling great
    He’d tried times before- but his post was always late
    Said “Mad Genius is the place I should be”
    So he moved over there – and became a Sad Puppy

    Pup that is, slates and stuff, Baen all-stars

  4. Happiness! Didn’t know where to go for vacation, so chose Sri Lanka on a whim. And now I found that they have truly beautiful demon masks used for exorcism! Still wondering how the hell I’m supposed to fit everything in my backpack, buy I have a serious case of mask mania.

  5. I’ve had “Hungry daughters …” on my Kindle for a while after someone recommended it here. After the Nebula announcement I finally got around to read it this morning. And by dog, it’s good. I think I have to figure out which of my current short story nominations it gets to replace.

    (But there’s a sentence that makes me suspect neither Wong or her editor have ever driven an electric car.)

  6. Less happiness: Because I’m out of country, Ann Leckie decided to stop by the SF-bookshop in Stockholm to sign books. Meh.

  7. Sad Demon mask is at home. I *do* have a Demon of Deafness mask and am thinking of buying a Mask of Demon of Parasitic Worms and Stomach Pain. Because I like the name.

    But not sure how that will help books to be signed.

  8. *Mask seller who just found Demon Of Missed Book Signings mask in a box in the back runs onto street just as Hampus turns the corner*

  9. The Loquacious Displayer is known for its striking plumage and its affinity for the Larch. Since the Audobon Society has begun recording such things, there have been no known cases of moose biting the Displayer, but of course that is not proof that it has never happened.

    Displayers are particularly noted for their continuous and ever-varied ‘song’ (most observers report that it sounds more like talking). The Displayer’s continual survival remains a puzzle to observers; one wonders how it manages to elude predators since it NEVER SHUTS UP!.

  10. Reindeer pate. Hunh. It definitely looks like my culinary outlook is going to be expanded when I go to Worldcon 75 next year.

  11. My first is in Filer and twice in Roll,
    My second’s in Pixel but never in Scroll…

    No, he’s resting. Loquacious Displayers prefer kippin’ on their backs…

    I brought durian to Boskone. In the two years I remember attending, I brought durian wafers once, and durian chips & wrapped durian candies the other time. What wasn’t consumed at the Tor party was happily picked up and transported to some other party one year. The next year, I brought leftovers to the con suite area, where someone kept taking the labels away. I kept putting them back, because what’s the fecking point of having durian candy if you don’t know you’re having durian candy? Also, full disclosure, because durian.

  12. Reindeer pate sounds like something that would appear on RedWombat’s podcast.

    Regarding number (8), I’m vaguely reminded of how, last time I was selling at a con, a deaf man came up to the booth. I had tried to use some basic sign language, but had completely forgotten it all and made an utter fool of myself. I think I will endeavor to relearn some basic signs before the con, at least something like “hello,” “it is nice to see you again,” and “goodbye,” in case he stops by this year as well.

  13. I don’t know about the particular reindeer pate served at Boskone, but in general reindeer is very very tasty meat. A medium rare reindeer filet is a good way to make me blissfull.

    There’s no reindeers anywhere remotely close to Helsinki, though. Reindeers are approximately as native to Helsinki as they are to Montreal.

  14. Argh. Just read that account by Mark Oshiro and overall I am dumbstruck at the account.

    I am glad he reported things and came public on his complaints after nothing was done by the con runners to take any action.

    The harassment and objectification of his partner was infuriating. The panels themselves sounded disastrous and some of the behavior of panelists unacceptable.

    Some things like the confusion on covered costs and rooms could happen at a large con but the individual interactions were bad and the panels sounded horrific.

    Do cons ask for feedback after panels ? I am asking because I have never been to one (MidAmerica Con will be my first).

    It’s very common at tech conferences. I realize the very outcome of a panel discussion is very hard to predict but some feedback mechanism should be in place.

  15. @Shambles

    I’ve never been to a con which had individual feedback for particular panels.

    However at every con I’ve been to there has been a gripe session first thing every morning. Whilst that is usually stuff which is the domain of hotel liaison or ops I wouldn’t be surprised if people used it to complain about panel hijacking and people misusing the position of being on a panel.

  16. Apparently the chair of Conquest (the con Mark was talking about), Kristina Hiner, is involved with Worldcon this year as the local liaison chair.

  17. @Hampus – Aaaaaaugh, consumed with envy! Been collecting various masks for years, but have never encountered a Mask of Demon of Parasitic Worms! Post photos!

  18. @Camestros Felapton: “It’s JJ’s fault – he started it.”

    (picking self up off floor) Oh, I don’t mind blaming, uh, I mean, crediting you both. 😉

    @Johan P: Okay, I’ll bite; what’ sthey get wrong about electric cars (if it’s not a spoiler)? Something to do with acceleration, torque, etc.?

  19. @Kendall – I think it’s that that they can’t be driven if you’re not wearing a demon mask?

  20. Got it in one, Nigel.

    (Actually, what made me go ‘huh?’ was a sentence about revving the engine of a Tesla.)

  21. @Johan P: ROFL! A revving electric engine, um, yeah, that’s not how it works. Thanks for ‘splaining (or as autocorrect would have it, “spraining”). 🙂

  22. I will probably not be there, alas, but I have friends who will be. I would pay moneys and buy you mad drinks if you trip over another one!

  23. RedWombat: I will check. They come in different sizes, some of them about the size of a hand, so it will be no bother to take one extra if I can find one.

  24. I was absolutely gobmacked by Mark Oshiro’s account of ConQuest. The sheer accumulation of bad experiences is jaw-dropping. And the con chair’s ultimate response to his formal complaints–i.e., we’ve gone so long without doing anything about it, it would be strange for us to do something now, so let’s fugghedaboudit–is just mind-boggling.

    Hard to say which of his experiences appalls me the most. Certainly that two writers TOOK OFF THEIR CLOTHES while speaking on a discussion panel with him sticks in my mind. I’ve thought about it since reading that, and, nope, I really can’t think of any scenario in which I would TAKE OFF MY TROUSERS and sit there in my undies on a panel, or in which it would make any sense whatsoever for my co-panelists to remove their shirts. Talk about a total “WTF???” incident. Yes, the “Erasure” panel sounds awful, and like the sort of ludicrously ignorant behavior that keeps happening at sf/f cons, but STRIPPING during a panel is so weird, I don’t even know what to say. And the story is even weirder when you get to the part where one of them had taken off her clothes the previous year, too… and now she’s a GUEST? She was ASKED BACK? I mean…. HUH?

    I’ve learned the hard way that when you’re a guest or speaker whose hotel room is supposed to be comped, DO NOT–NO, DO NOT!!!–give the hotel your credit card if you arrive and discover your hotel room is NOT on the con’s master account. Do NOT check in. Sort it out with the concom and do NOT check into your room until that room goes on their account. I checked in once on my own card, figuring this would be sorted out by the end of the weekend, and instead spent about 4 months trying to get that concom to pay me back for the room I had been told, when I accepted the invitation, would be comped. Never again! And I know too many people who had similar experience and never did get paid back, so their GOH spot wound up costing them a few hundred dollars.

    Obviously, when the con chair discovered that there was no seating for Mark, a GOH, and his partner at the dinner, it was her repsonsibility to ensure he got seating at the main table and to worry about HERSELF only after the guests were taken care of. That she instead ensured her own seating and suggested he go sit by himself or elsewhere demonstrates that she was completely unsuited to her role. I say this as a former con chair myself. Yes, it’s an overworked volunteer position, but, no, ensuring your OWN good time is not the role you have accepted; your role is to ensure that all guests, speakers, and attendees have the best possible con, even if that means you do nothing but stay on your feet and work around the clock throughout the con. This is why chairing a con isn’t for everyone, as it clearly was not for this person.

    The sexual harassment incident Mark describes with someone pawing and making kissy-noises and racist comments about his partner–I can’t even… Well, words fail me. WHO THE F**K BEHAVES THAT WAY? What sort of concom WANTS someone behaving like that at their event? Which apparently this concom did, since they did nothing about it after receiving Mark’s formal complaint, including the woman’s name.

    Most appalling of all, of course, is that with Mark’s signed official complaints and the recommendations from the committee members who interviewed him… the concom did absolutely nothing about any of this. Words again fail me. I can’t understand this at all.

    The whole thing, start to finish, sounds like a deeply weird and often nightmarish weekend.

  25. I feel like I need a cee-ment pond, for some reason.

    This scroll was delightful! Boskone looks fun, I like that Hartwell is still attending panels, and the room parties seem good.

    (8) should be read by every concom and volunteer. Mandatory. Same with (sigh) Mark Oshiro’s account. There’s a con I’m never going to. If that’s the way they treat a GoH, what hope do the rest of us have? I hope none of those people have anything to do with MACII, and the disrobing authors (WTF?) don’t get to be on any panels. Nobody wants to see that. WHY does Selina Rosen always take off her pants? Is she two years old? Has she seen a shrink about this? How dare Robin Bailey (a Baen author, I point out) say that anyone who criticizes Lovecraft is “garbage”? And the whole Native American thing… sigh.

    @Shambles: Every con I’ve been to has a general gripe session at the end (sometimes called “Hiss and Purr” or similar). I don’t know if this one did, but it should have.

  26. Today’s read — Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell. (Not SFF.)

    A YA tale of young, slightly-starcrossed love, and both families that are ordinarily troubled and ones that are horrifically troubled. Beautifully written book. While not SFF, I think it would appeal to anyone who was nerdy in high school.

    My only minor objection is there was a discussion of female characters in the X-Men which took place in 1989 and Rogue OBVIOUSLY should have been brought up as relevant to the topic at hand and you can probably see why I think this would appeal to people who were nerdy in high school.

    Anyway, big thumbs up.

  27. Mark: I don’t think I’ve seen this mentioned: there’s going to be an anthology of Campbell-eligible authors put together for this year. I’d heard the organiser of the previous years had decided not to run it; this appears to be a separate but similar effort.

    They’re starting awfully late for it to be of any help. There’s less than 6 weeks before Hugo nominations close. And they are likely going to run up against the same problem that caused Marc Blake to abandon it last year — a bunch of authors were submitting themselves despite not being qualified, and trying to verify eligibility ended up being a nightmare.

  28. (Actually, what made me go ‘huh?’ was a sentence about revving the engine of a Tesla.)

    Now I have an amusing image of the sort of overgrown child who likes revving engines at stoplights pressing futilely on a Tesla acceleration pedal, waiting for the quiet hum to be less quiet.

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