Pixel Scroll 2/4/16 “Who Nominated J.R.?”

John Hodgman

John Hodgman

(1) HODGMAN TO PRESENT NEBULAS. SFWA has picked comedian John Hodgman to emcee the 50th Annual Nebula Awards in Chicago at the SFWA Nebula Conference on May 14.

John Hodgman is the longtime Resident Expert on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the host of the popular Judge John Hodgman Podcast. He has also appeared on Conan, The Late Late Show, @midnight, and This American Life. The Village Voice named his show Ragnarok one of the top ten stand up specials of 2013. In 2015, he toured his new show Vacationland. He has performed comedy for the President of the United States and George R.R. Martin, and discussed love and alien abduction at the TED conference.

In addition to the Nebula Awards, SFWA will present the Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book, the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, the Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award, and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.

(2) BYE BYE BABBAGE. Chris Garcia is mourning the withdrawal of the Babbage machine from exhibit from the Computer History Museum.

Babbage Difference Engine No 2

Babbage Difference Engine No 2

After eight years at the Computer History Museum (CHM), the Babbage Difference Engine No. 2 is bidding farewell and returning to its owner.

The Difference Engine No. 2 has had a wonderful home at the Museum. Our Babbage demonstrations have amazed more than 500,000 visitors, providing them with the unprecedented opportunity to see and hear the mechanical engine working—a stunning display of Victorian mechanics.

People will have to content themselves with CHM’s online Babbage exhibit.

Dave Doering said:

I figure they knew the price would one day come due for the chance to host it there for eight years. I mean, everyone today knows about “excess Babbage fees.”

(3) ASTEROID BELT AND SUSPENDERS. The government of Luxembourg announced it will be investing in the as-yet-unrealized industry of asteroid mining in “Luxembourg Hopes To Rocket To Front of Asteroid-Mining Space Race”. An NPR article says there are both technical and legal hurdles to overcome.

First, of course, there are technical challenges involved in finding promising targets, sending unmanned spacecraft to mine them and returning those resources safely to Earth.

Humans have yet to successfully collect even a proof-of-concept asteroid sample. …

The second issue is a legal one. Asteroids are governed by the Outer Space Treaty, nearly 50 years old now, which says space and space objects don’t belong to any individual nation. What that means for mining activities has never been tested in international courts because, well, nobody’s managed to mine an asteroid yet.

But there’s a fair amount of uncertainty, as Joanne Gabrynowicz, a director at the International Institute of Space Law, told NPR’s Here & Now last February.

“Anybody who wants to go to an asteroid now and extract a resource is facing a large legal open question,” she said.

The U.S. passed a law near the end of last year, the Space Act of 2015, which says American companies are permitted to harvest resources from outer space. The law asserts that extracting minerals from an extraterrestrial object isn’t a declaration of sovereignty. But it’s not clear what happens if another country passes a contradictory law, or if treaties are arranged that cover extraction of minerals from space.

Luxembourg hopes to address this issue, too, with a formal legal framework of its own — possibly constructed with international input — to ensure that those who harvest minerals can be confident that they’ll own what they bring home.

(4) WRITERS WHO THINK UP STUFF. Steven H Silver points out, “Of the authors listed in 8 Things Invented By Famous Writers at Mental Floss, Heinlein, Wolfe, Clarke, Atwood, Carroll, Dahl, and arguably Twain are SF authors.”


Prior to beginning his contributions to the science fiction genre with The Fifth Head of Cerberus in 1972, Wolfe was a mechanical engineering major who accepted a job with Procter & Gamble. During his employment, Wolfe devised a way for the unique, shingle-shaped Pringles chips to be fried and then dumped into their cylindrical packaging. (Despite his resemblance to Mr. Pringle, there is no evidence the chip mascot was based on him.)

(5) POLAR BOREALIS PREMIERES. The first issue of R. Graeme Cameron’s semipro fiction magazine Polar Borealis has been posted. Get a free copy here. Cameron explains how the magazine works:

Polar Borealis is aimed at beginning Canadian writers eager to make their first sale, with some pros to provide role models.

In Issue #1:

  • Art by Jean-Pierre Normand, Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk, and Taral Wayne.
  • Poems by Rissa Johnson, Eileen Kernaghan, and Rhea Rose.
  • Stories by Christel Bodenbender, R. Graeme Cameron, Steve Fahnestalk, Karl Johanson, Rissa Johnson, Kelly Ng, Craig Russell, Robert J. Sawyer, T.G. Shepherd, Casey June Wolf, and Flora Jo Zenthoefer.

(6) A RATHER LARGE SCIENCE FAIR. The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, to be held March 16-19 in Birmingham, “is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.”

Held at the NEC, Birmingham 16-19 March 2016, The Big Bang Fair is an award-winning combination of exciting theatre shows, interactive workshops and exhibits, as well careers information from STEM professionals.

We aim to show young people (primarily aged 7-19) the exciting and rewarding opportunities out there for them with the right experience and qualifications, by bringing classroom learning to life.

Having grown from 6,500 visitors in its first year (2009) to nearly 70,000 in 2015, The Big Bang Fair is made possible thanks to the collaborative efforts of over 200 organisations

(7) JUST NEEDS A LITTLE SMACK. Michael Swanwick, in the gracious way people do on the internet, expressed his bad opinion of the movie I, Robot (2004) in these terms:

Just watched I, ROBOT. I want to punch everybody involved in the face. Very, very hard. Dr. Asimov would approve.

[Okay, to spare people’s feelings, I want to punch THOSE RESPONSIBLE in the face. Still hated the movie.]

This ticked off Jeff Vintar, who wrote the original spec script and shared credit for the screenplay. Vintar posted a 1,200 word comment telling how his original script got turned into an “adaptation” and how these links of Hollywood sausage got made.

Having been one of the film’s biggest critics, I have watched over the years — to my surprise — as many people find quite a bit of Asimov still in it. I’m always glad when I read a critical analysis on-line or a university paper that makes the case that it is more Asimov than its reputation would suggest, or when I get contacted by a real roboticist who tells me they were inspired by the movie and went on to a career in robotics. And then of course there are the kids, who love it to death…

But I never go around defending the film or talking about it, because although I still believe my original script would have made a phenomenal ‘I, Robot’ film, there is no point. That any film gets made at all seems at times like a miracle.

But your stupid, yes stupid, ‘punch in the face’ post compelled me to write. I love Asimov as much as you do, probably more, because of all the time I spent living and breathing it. I also wrote an adaptation of Foundation that I spent years and years fighting for.

So, you want to punch me in the face? My friend, I would have already knocked you senseless before you cocked back your arm. I have been in this fight for more than twenty years. You’re a babe in the woods when it comes to knowing anything about Hollywood compared to me, and what it’s like fighting for a project you love for ten years, some for twenty years and counting.

Yet this exchange did not end the way most of these Facebook contretemps do.

Michael Swanwick answered:

I feel bad for you. That must have been an awful experience. But I spoke as a typical viewer, not as a writer. The movie was like the parson’s egg — parts of it were excellent, but the whole thing was plopped down on the plate. For my own part, I’d love to have the Hollywood money, but have no desire at all to write screenplays. I’ve heard stories like yours before.

Then Vintar wrote another long reply, which said in part:

Other writers are not our enemies. We are not fighting each other, not competing with each other, although that is a powerful illusion. As always the only enemy is weakness within ourselves, and I suppose entropy, the laws of chance, and groupthink. Ha, there are others! But I stopped throwing punches a long time ago. (Believe me, I used to.) You guys are great, thanks Michael….

And the love fest began.

(8) OGDEN OBIT. Jon P. Ogden (1944-2016), devoted Heinlein fan and member of the Heinlein Society, died January 27, Craig Davis and David Lubkin reported on Facebook. [Via SF Site News.]

(9) ALASKEY OBIT. Voice actor Joe Alaskey, who took over performing Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck after actor Mel Blanc died in 1989, himself passed away February 3. CNN reports the 63-year-old actor had been battling cancer.

Mark Evanier’s tribute to Alaskey on News From Me also tells about one of his vocal triumphs outside the realm of animation —

When [Jackie] Gleason’s voice needed to be replicated to fix the audio on the “lost” Honeymooners episodes, Joe was the man.

A few years after that, Joe was called upon to redub an old Honeymooners clip for a TV commercial. When he got the call, Joe assured the ad agency that if they needed him, he could also match the voice of Art Carney as Ed Norton. He was told they already had someone to do that — someone who did it better. Joe was miffed until he arrived at the recording session and discovered that the actor they felt could do a better job as Art Carney…was Art Carney. Joe later said that playing Kramden to Carney’s Norton was the greatest thrill of his life, especially after Carney asked him for some pointers on how to sound more like Ed.



  • February 4, 1930 – The Snickers bar hits the market.
  • February 4, 1938 — Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. (Did Disney miss a product placement opportunity by naming a dwarf Grumpy instead of Cranky?)


  • February 4, 1976 – Sfera, the oldest SF society in former Yugoslavia, was founded.

[Via Google Translate] On this day in 1976, a group of young (and less young) enthusiasts launched as part of the astronautical and rocket club Zagreb “Section for science fiction”…


(13) WEIRD AL CAST. “Weird Al” Yankovic will voice the title character in Milo Murphy’s Law, Disney XD’s animated comedy series, reports Variety.

The satirical songwriter will provide the voice of the titular character Milo Murphy, the optimistic distant grandson of the famed Murphy’s Law namesake. In addition to voicing the main character, Yankovic will sing the show’s opening theme song and perform other songs throughout the duration of the series….

“Milo Murphy’s Law” will follow the adventures of Milo and his best friends Melissa and Zack as they attempt to embrace life’s catastrophes with positive attitudes and enthusiasm.

(14) RABID PUPPIES. Vox Day posted four picks for the Best Fancast category today.

(15) SAD PUPPIES. Damien G. Walter japed:

(16) PUPPY COMPARISON. Doris V. Sutherland posted “2014 Hugos Versus 2015 Sad Puppies: Novellas”, the third installment, the purpose of which she explains in the introduction —

In this series on the Sad Puppies controversy, I have been comparing the works picked for the 2015 Sad and Rabid Puppies slates with the stories that were nominated for the Hugo in 2014. Were the previous nominees truly overwhelmed with preachy “message fiction”? What kinds of stories had the Sad Puppies chosen to promote in response?

Having taken a look at the Best Short Story and Best Novelette categories, I shall now cover the Hugo Awards’ final short fiction category: Best Novella, the section for stories of between 17,500 and 40,000 words in length. Let us see how the two sets of stories compare…

At the end of her interesting commentary, she concludes:

…Let us take a look through some of the previously-discussed categories. Aside from Vox Day’s story, only one of the 2014 Best Novelette nominees can be read as “message fiction”: Aliette de Bodard’s “The Waiting Stars,” which has an anti-colonial theme. I have also heard the accusation of propaganda directed at John Chu’s “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere”, a story about a gay couple. But once again, I see nothing clumsy or poorly-handled about de Bodard’s exploration of colonialism or Chu’s portrayal of a same-sex couple. So far, the accusation of preachiness appears to be based largely Rachel Swirsky’s “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love”, which has the straightforward message that hate begets hate.

None of these stories push a specific message as strongly or as directly as John C. Wright’s One Bright Star to Guide Them. This raises an obvious question: exactly which group is rewarding message fiction here…?

[Thanks to Gary Farber, JJ, David K.M. Klaus, Brian Z., Steven H Silver, Jumana Aumir, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, and Dave Doering for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

243 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/4/16 “Who Nominated J.R.?”

  1. Oh, yeah. And to add to the chorus —

    I don’t have my Hugo PIN yet either. Attenderee of Sasquan and Midamericon, supporteree (so far) of Helsinki. Paneleree for at least two of those.

  2. Arguing that creation of a definition created the thing itself just doesn’t ring right. It’s confusing taxonomy with reality. Stating science fiction didn’t exist before Gernsback defined it seems equivalent to denying the existence of dinosaurs before Richard Owen coined the term.

  3. @TheYoungPretender

    My impression of VD is that his obsession with John Scalzi is why he ran for SFWA president, why he’s “boycotting” Tor Books, and why he launched the Rabid Puppies.

    I think he was telling the truth when he said in 2015 (here on File 770, IIRC?) that he was engaged in Puppying and planning to “destroy the Hugos” entirely because, a decade later, he was still so upset about what happened on the Nielsen Haydens’ blog back in 2005. (Short version: VD made a ranting, incoherent fool of himself in a VERY long blog discussion there, and Scalzi wiped the floor with him.)

    VD has made a blithering fool of himself in other venues besides that one. He has been ridiculed, dismissed, and his raving arguments pulverized in other venues besides that one. But THAT one, for whatever reason, appears to have dominated his psyche since then. For years now, he seems fervently dedicated to attacking John Scalzi and/or anyone or anything he perceives as related to John (including institutions like SFWA, WSFS and the Hugo Awards, Tor Books, etc.), and he invests and enormous amount of time and energy in that pursuit.

    Yes, VD certainly seems desperate to appear important, relevant, a super intelligent master, etc. And that applies across all his areas of interest. But mostly, it seems to me, he is obsessed with John Scalzi, and he seems to crave to be seen as someone who has “bested” or “beaten” John. And my impression is that, more than other motives, that’s what fuels all his engagement with the Hugos (where he sees John as successful), much as it fueled his run for the SFWA presidency (a post where John was re-elected twice), and his vehement antipathy toward Tor Books (a house where John has become an NYT bestseller).

  4. Kurt Busiek on February 5, 2016 at 2:53 pm said:

    But how many of them will be wearing a fancy paper hat that says BOSS OF YOU? Hm? Hmm?

    Can it be a fancy paper hat in the shape of the Galactus helmet from the other thread? I’m just asking for a friend…

  5. The “where does science fiction start” discussion has been going on since long before I wrote my first undergrad term paper on SF in 1963, when the works-cited page had (IIRC) only two respectable scholarly-academic items and one respectable general-literary entry: Marjorie Hope Nicholson, J. O. Bailey, and Kingsely Amis respectively. (And if there was theoretical work on genre studies in the current sense, I wasn’t aware of it.)

    “Genre” is a slippery notion–in current popular usage it suggests an identifiable and label-able body of work, with the label reinforced by label-friendly practices such as bookstore shelving and marketing efforts. But from a literary-taxonomic-historical point of view, a genre is a body of texts understood by an audience and/or a writer to be related in some manner. From the audience point of view, texts labeled X will satisfy particular expectations; from the writer point of view, various elements are to be supplied in order to satisfy (or manipulate or extend or undermine or subvert) those expectations. In this view, genre is a process of “the same only different,” with a variety of eligible elements and a range of values for “same” and “different” that depends on the adventurousness, ingenuity, playfulness, etc. of the involved parties.

    Which is a tediously long-winded way of getting to this: writers can and do arrange elements in ways that establish a sense of genre even before there is a name for or an awareness of the grouping. A single writer (say, a Poe, Verne, or Wells) can become a focal point that increases the sense of “genre” (“this kind of story”) and helps to solidify its defining characteristics. And an editor/publisher/marketer (say, Gernsback) can amplify this sense by providing a local habitation and a name and a rationale, all of which encourage more writers and readers to see a body of texts as belonging together. The process of retrospectively producing a lineage can be left as an exercise for the student (e.g., Aldiss and Mary Shelley).

    So–was there science fiction before the term was coined? Of course–if naming is not by itself the defining activity in the formation of a genre. So, to respond to Steve Davidson: Gernsback didn’t “create” the genre; he was only branding it.

    My understanding is that writers generate texts out of some combination of internal and external machineries (personal interest/inventiveness, perhaps responding to perceived demand/receptiveness), and that the existence of a “genre”–a set of protocols, decorum rules, and content preferences–can grow out of the interaction between those machineries. At some point, a label is applied, rules and requirements and definitions are generated, and shelves are allocated in libraries and bookstores–because audience segments are now able to quickly name and describe what it is they’re looking for and appropriate signage can be put up.

    (Wow–that looks longer on this page than it did in EditPad.This is what happens when pent-up grad-school training lacks a classroom outlet for too many years.)

  6. Can it be a fancy paper hat in the shape of the Galactus helmet from the other thread? I’m just asking for a friend…

    I am not science fiction’s haberdasher, my friend. Go with what moves you.


    Another possible avenue of amused speculation on Beale’s current Beaneries:

    He wants a set of nominations that will lead to EPH not passing, because obviously the bloom is off the rose. Or not.

    Depends on the paper hat.

  7. But how many of them will be wearing a fancy paper hat that says BOSS OF YOU? Hm? Hmm?

    Maybe the pups should just buy all their clothing from HUGO BOSS.

  8. @Laura Resnick

    That’s… Even sadder than my theory. But your sources are better. So I’ll assume it’s accurate, and that he’s just a shitty little cyber Ahab.

  9. Kurt: “I don’t think the genre of superhero fiction was a recognized category when the first Superman story was published.”

    Oh, I dunno… Philip Wylie’s Gladiator was around in 1930, Savage Gentleman was 1932, the Lone Ranger was 1933, Scaramouche was 1921, Zorro was 1919, Scarlet Pimpernel was 1903.

    Superman brought a universal image to it all that everyone could point to, because it was the comics, and it crystalized the form.

  10. @Russell Letson

    Your analysis is similar to what I teach my students in Lit Theory, ergo we fall into the same genre of genre analysis!

    IOW, some of us literary folks believe that genre comes from the simple action of saying “Hey, Aristotle, if you liked Oedipus Rex, you probably ought to go see that Antigone show that Sophocles is putting on at the festival this year!” (Or, equally, “Aristotle, you might not like Antigone ’cause it isn’t as manly as Oedipus Rex was.”)

    And IMO, Sophocles was writing Classical Tragedy before Aristotle even invented the concept of “genre.”

  11. @ TheYoungPretender:

    But your sources are better.

    No, I have no sources in this regard. I don’t know anyone who knows VD or who knows any more about him than I do. My impression is based strictly on what I see of VD’s statements on the public internet.

    The only non-public “source” I have about VD is that I read quite a few of his (many and long) posts in the SFWA chatrooms when he was running for SFWA pres. I won’t describe those, since that was a private forum, but I will say that it didn’t reveal anything about VD, as far as I saw, that he hasn’t been revealing for years in his public posts.

  12. FWIW, my sense is that the Greeks had a very established sense of genres – epic, elegiac, tragedy, comedy – well before the Stagyrite appeared on the scene.

  13. @ James

    Of course they did! IMO, genre exists (and existed) through praxis before any genre theory or official definition. Once the Greeks started having contests, they had to make the “rules” more explicit for both entering a category and judging it, but the rules did not create the genre.

  14. Greg Hullender: I would suggest that anyone who gets slated by Vox Day should simply lay low and say nothing about it until nominations are complete. Then withdraw and let an organic nominee become a finalist.

    I think that is a really terrible suggestion.

    Why should Mike Glyer withdraw File770 from being a Fanzine Finalist if it gets there? It would have gotten there anyway without Puppies.

    If VD puts Naomi Novik’s Uprooted on his Novel slate, and her book becomes a Finalist, why should she withdraw it? It would have gotten there anyway without Puppies.

    Expecting legitimate popular nominees to withdraw simply because VD has included them on his slate is exactly the sort of mindless behavior VD is trying to provoke — and it’s allowing VD to control and manipulate you.

    As I’ve said previously, non-Puppy nominators are certainly entitled to choose to allow VD to control and manipulate them. But I can’t, for the life of me, understand why you would choose to do so.

  15. Oh, I dunno… Philip Wylie’s Gladiator was around in 1930, Savage Gentleman was 1932, the Lone Ranger was 1933, Scaramouche was 1921, Zorro was 1919, Scarlet Pimpernel was 1903.

    And none of them were called superhero stories.

    Even today, few of those are. I’d put them in the category of “predecessors like Doc Savage, the Phantom and the Shadow,” which I’d mentioned already. I could have gone back to Robin Hood and Tristram, but it ain’t about the length of the list.

    If we’re merely going to say the superhero story was a recognized genre because we can point to examples that, from today’s perspective, we can recognize as having genre tropes, then we can do the same with SF.

    But if we’re going to say that you can’t write in a genre until it’s a recognized genre, then none of those were recognized as superhero stories when they came out, so they’re not. And that would include Superman, since the genre became recognized in the wake of his success and Batman’s, and even then it took a few years; at first they called them “mystery men” stories, and only later settled on “superhero.”

    Me, I think that recognizing a category requires that category to exist to be recognized, not that the act of recognizing it and naming it brings it into existence.

  16. Chris S: On the other hand, if he does game Seveneves onto the slate (which I doubt – I don’t read his internet dribblings but apparently he hates it for some no doubt incoherent reason) then I’d gladly vote that below No Award.

    I can’t imagine VD would slate that book — it’s far too SJW-ey.

    And I don’t care how Seveneves gets on the final Hugo ballot — if it does get there, I’m putting it below No Award.

  17. MAC II Hugo PIN data points:

    I bought a membership to MAC II in August. I also had a membership to Sasquan, and I also have a membership to Worldcon 75.

    I have received one PIN e-mail each day for 5 days now. (I’m not complaining, I’m just reporting facts.)

    My friend, who bought a MAC II membership in the middle of January, has not yet received a single PIN e-mail. They were not a member of Sasquan, nor are they a member of Worldcon 75 yet. Their last name is way, way ahead of mine in the alphabet.

  18. @JJ: I’ve had a bunch of emails, too. My surname, of course, begins with a W – I wonder if they’re sending them out in reverse alphabetical order?

  19. “Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen” devoured in two sittings. It’s a spearpoint book, but I have read the rest of the series, so found it a terrific read. So many feels. Highly recommended.

    ETA: No Hugo PIN yet either.

  20. With regard to genre definitions, when they were created, and whether works fall under them, especially if those works were published prior to the genre label’s creation, or whether the author feels their work falls under them:

    I understand that these issues are of significance to those who do scholarly studies of the genre and its works.

    However, from a reader’s point of view (at least mine), it’s immaterial. Based on its content, Frankenstein (1818) is science fiction. The Blazing World (1666) is science fiction. The Handmaid’s Tale is science fiction, no matter what its author Margaret Atwood says.

    It’s the content that makes a book part of a genre — not a publication year after the date that genre label was defined.

  21. For those who may wish to know, the Kindle edition of The Martian is currently on sale for £1.99 on Amazon UK.


    Soon Lee

    I entirely agree about ‘Gentleman Jolie and the Red Queen”, and my PIN hasn’t turned up either.

  22. @soon lee @Stevie. Oh good. I’ve held off getting a copy until I can buy one and get it signed by Lois–which happens tomorrow at Uncle Hugo’s, matter of fact. 🙂

    And alas, no PIN.

  23. @Paul

    I’m really, really glad for you; go ahead, don’t forget to send to send us pictures, and I hope you’ll have a really great time.

    Meanwhile I’ll just sit here sticking pins into your puppet, with the appropriate invocations of various gods who seem to be necessary to tackle this as creatively as possible. Jealousy is a deeply powerful force…

  24. (1) One hopes he’ll elaborate further on the Molemen and bipedal cats.

    I too suffer from lack of Hugo PIN; being a generous person, I’m giving them till Tuesday. I’ve checked my spam folder too. Apparently they’re unevenly distributed, what with many of us getting no email and some getting 2-5.

    I already had File 770 on my list — it’d have been nominated already if I had PIN. GOTG proves people can distinguish between “stuff that’s crap that only made the ballot b/c of slates” and “stuff that slates liked along with random other people”. Plus, it would be excellent for the XanaD’OH Gambit to lead to super-quality work getting rewarded. Also, it’s the closest I’ll ever come to winning a Hugo.

    I think this cartoon may be relevant to our interests:

    @Greg Hullander: good strategy for the honesty of any awards against any slate, regardless of what reason the slate exists for. However, @Joshua’s strategy is probably better for the individual person in this particular award. I mean, we know OGH deserves a nomination and isn’t associated with Teddy.

    I have No Awarded for many and varied reasons. I have No Awarded Heuvelt every time he’s appeared on my ballot (Seriously, people, stop nominating him; he sucks). I No Awarded the one okay short story on last year’s slate b/c it was just that — only okay. Not worthy of a Hugo nomination, let alone award. Many people routinely No Award entire categories just because they don’t like ’em existing (usually Dramatic Presentation, now Fancast).

    @Ian: That is some excellent sciencing.

    @IanP: Why not both? It’s Glesga.

    @Kurt Busiek: Being a proper SJW, the only being who is The Boss of Me is my kitty. She won’t wear the hat, though.

    @Laura R: I think the term is “silly little man-crush”.

  25. Ticky boxes in the comments
    And they’re all made out of pixel-scrolly…

    (Chewing the cabbage twice tonight, I’m afraid.)

  26. I didn’t really care for Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen. I read it immediately after finishing A Civil Campaign, and the comparison I found myself making between the two did not work to Gentleman Jole‘s favor.

    The plotline meandered, and I frequently found myself struggling to pay attention—there were honestly sections where I found myself skimming. Had this been my first Vorkosigan book, I doubt I’d have made it as far as I did; I cared about Cordelia because of prior books, but at times I struggled to care about her here, and I found myself almost entirely uninvested in the fate of Jole. I can’t compare this to the more recent Vorkosigan books (I haven’t read anything falling after A Civil Campaign, timeline-wise), and perhaps people who have read those books will react differently to this.

    I’m not someone who requires endless page-turning thrills in her books, but this book just bored me; the prose, the plot, the characterization—everything just felt vaguely uninspired, even parts that sounded interesting on the book jacket. It read like it would have worked better as a short story or a novella than a full-length novel.

  27. I think Hodgman will do an excellent job hosting the Nebs. Not only is he funny when preparing in advance, but he can also ad lib quite well. When he gave a talk at Google, someone in the front row’s cell phone went off. Hodgman grabbed it from him, answered it, and had a very funny conversation with, if I’m recalling correctly, the Googler’s father.

    He also gets good person points for helping out a friend of mine. At an extended party (which I was not at), a friend of mine had to be taken to the hospital due to illness. Hodgman was also a guest at the party, and at the host’s request chatted for a while with the patient’s wife, who he’d not previously met, to distract her and keep her spirits up.

  28. Ed Mitchell, astronaut and moon-walker, has died.

    Sad to see that we are once again approaching an age where there isn’t a person alive who has walked on the moon.

    Late passing thought on Margaret Atwood and her attempts to distance herself from science fiction–maybe she needs a header image on her official web site that says

    Pink Collar Spec Fic”

  29. @ JJ

    I can’t imagine VD would slate that book — it’s far too SJW-ey.

    And I don’t care how Seveneves gets on the final Hugo ballot — if it does get there, I’m putting it below No Award.

    God, I am right there with you.

  30. Hugo PIN achieved, shortly before 3pm PST. (The message says 11:45am, but inbox says 2:55pm. Slow internets today, perhaps.)

  31. @Darren Garrison
    I remember Anthony Burgess distancing himself from science fiction: “Fute Fic.” (Resistance is futile.)

  32. @JJ

    Why should Mike Glyer withdraw File770 from being a Fanzine Finalist if it gets there?

    I specifically listed File770 as an example of one that would not withdraw.

  33. Greg Hullender: I specifically listed File770 as an example of one that would not withdraw.

    And how are you deciding who you feel should withdraw, and who you don’t think needs to withdraw?

  34. Hugos site says mailing out PINs is going more slowly than expected, should be done by 8 February. I managed to get my first set of nominations in this evening, but then I got a membership number and PIN in the snail-mail.

    I’m rather bemused to see that I’m getting hits on my blog from the Writertopia site, one or two every couple of days. Somebody must be checking out all the possibilities for the Campbell, although they have to be pretty darn methodical if they’re getting all the way down to me.

  35. @Jon F. Zeigler, I must have missed it; if you don’t mind saying, what did you write….?

  36. @Laura Resnick – But then, I tend to think that comparing [VD] to an overcooked stalk of broccoli is giving him too much credit.

    I was going to snarkily remark that overcooked broccoli at least makes decent soup, but he actually merits partial credit for increasing participation in formal fandom. Yes, it is largely the law of unintended consequences (so much for super-genius powers), but it may ultimately turn out to be beneficial. I’ll be interested in seeing what happens with Hugo nominations and voting this year.

  37. @Stevie: “Well, my life plan didn’t specifically include becoming a minion in a hive of scum and villainy but que sera, sera…”

    Well, you know what they say. Hive is what happens while you’re making other plans. 😉

    @TYP: “I also think our gracious host has something Teddy will never have.”

    A community of people who can and do think for themselves?

    @Wildcat: “Maybe the pups should just buy all their clothing from HUGO BOSS.”

    Oh, well played. ISWYDT.


    Tell me you at least got a Drafter Dan!

  38. @Rev. Bob,
    Think for myself? Too much effort; I outsource my thinking to the hivemind. Though to be fair, the results have been mixed.

    Also, I’m not going to be around much for the next week; catching up with family in Australia.

  39. I was going to snarkily remark that overcooked broccoli at least makes decent soup,

    And now you’ve given me a midnight craving for my scrumptious broccoli-gorgonzola soup. But there is (unusually for me) no gorgonzola in the house. Curse you!

  40. Soon Lee on February 5, 2016 at 8:50 pm said:

    Also, I’m not going to be around much for the next week; catching up with family in Australia.

    Have fun across the Tasman.

  41. Hmm, I thought I’d posted but don’t see it. I haven’t received my Hugo pin either but I won’t worry until late next week. Delays happen.

    Haven’t been around much. Ate a little chicken and my gallbladder was not happy for 3-4 days. Then packed my husband & saw him off for a Jewish tour of India. Lots of great friends in the area checking in, making sure walks get shoveled, and checking in frequently to make sure I’m doing ok, do I need anything from the store, dinner cooked, company, anything. I’m very blessed. I love the community I live in. I hope to be around more again now that I’m back to “normal” level of “health s*cks” and able to rest and recover from 3 massive days of packing the “oops I forgot to do anything but vaccinations & visa for trip” hubby.

    I’ve done some reading but brain fog is so strong I couldn’t think of a single response most days.

  42. CS :

    I was going to snarkily remark that overcooked broccoli at least makes decent soup

    That’s going a bit too far, Cheryl. I’m sure that with some slow cooking and simmering with plenty of garlic, herbs and onions, even VD could make a decent soup.

  43. Greg Hullender: I would suggest that anyone who gets slated by Vox Day should simply lay low and say nothing about it until nominations are complete. Then withdraw and let an organic nominee become a finalist.
    I’m with JJ: why would you possibly want to hand Beale the ability to knock anything he wants off the ballot?

  44. How about NOT reading any list that VD is connected with; voting Hugos normally and then when he tried to claim victory in some manner you can just say–” I just voted as I saw fit. He had no effect on my choices at all since I didn’t bother to read what he’d suggested.”
    Of course,since his rantings are discussed everywhere it may not work.

  45. Re “Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen”. I read it, realized I had somehow never actually read “Cryoburn” (I think I bought it in hardcover at a time when I was living in airplanes and hotels and lost track of the fact I hadn’t finished it by the time I finally got home to my books) so I downloaded and read that, too. Those two books go together very well, even when you read them in the reverse order, dealing with death and its effects on those left behind at a number of levels. And also with families and new beginnings.

    They seem to fit this season, which has been so full of bereavements. We seem to be losing a lot of writers and musicians lately. (And an astronaut today.)

    Robin McKinley has just begun blogging again, these past couple of weeks, which feels relevant, too, somehow. A recent post was titled “Moving On. Or Not”.

  46. @Laura

    That’s pretty much spot on. I’ve always seen it as an outgrowth of VD’s hate-on for Scalzi (and associated people/organizations). Maybe there’s an alt-history where John Scalzi never decided to try writing science fiction and none of this escalated like it has. Although I’m pretty sure something like the Puppies would have eventually happened anyways.

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