Pixel Scroll 2/6/16 A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Pixel Scroll

(1) NO SPOILERS PLEASE. “Star Wars lands preview on Disneyland TV special”, a Deadline.com article, says the special will air February 21 on ABC.

Harrison Ford — Han Solo himself — will give viewers an exclusive preview of Star Wars-themed lands being developed at Disneyland and Walt Disney World during The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60. Ford also will introduce a Star Wars spectacular featuring a live performance of the music of John Williams.

(2) FROZEN IN CARBONITE. If you order quick, you can be in front of the TV that night enjoying a couple of scoops from your Ample Hills Creamery’s Star Wars 4-pack. Cost: a mere $ 36.00.

 

We are thrilled to offer a Limited-Edition Star Wars 4-Pack! Conceived in collaboration with Disney Consumer Products, packaged in collectible containers with original artwork, this 4-Pack set is the perfect gift for any fan or ice cream lover! Each 4-Pack includes two pints of each flavor:

  • The Light Side: a bright marshmallow ice cream with homemade crispie clusters, as well as a smattering of handmade cocoa crispies (to represent the dark side still lurking within the light)
  • The Dark Side: by contrast, is an ultra-dark chocolate ice cream with espresso fudge brownies, cocoa crispies, and white chocolate pearls (to represent the light still hiding in the dark, waiting to burst through)

(3) NY STATE OF MIND. Samuel R. Delany will be inducted to the New York State Writers Hall of Fame in a ceremony on June 7. Previous inductees include Madeleine L’Engle in 2011, Joyce Carol Oates and Kurt Vonnegut in 2012, and Isaac Asimov in 2015.

The New York State Writers Hall of Fame or NYS Writers Hall of Fame is a project established in 2010 by the Empire State Center for the Book and the Empire State Book Festival and headquartered at the New York State Library in Albany, New York, … to highlight the rich literary heritage of the New York State and to recognize the legacy of individual New York State writers. New writers, both living and deceased, have been inducted annually since 2010.

(4) OMG. Here’s a coup —

(5) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • February 6, 1944 Captain America becomes the first theatrical Marvel Comics release.

Invasion-of-the-Body-Snatchers-movie-poster

2. IT WAS SHOT IN JUST 23 DAYS.

With a modest $380,000 budget (roughly $3.3 million in today’s dollars), Invasion of the Body Snatchers started filming in Sierra Madre, California on March 23, 1955. If you’re a horror buff, the little city may look a bit familiar, since segments of Halloween (1978) and The Fog (1980) were shot there as well.

In my case it looks familiar because I once lived a block away from downtown Sierra Madre…

(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • Born February 6, 1932 — French film director Francois Truffaut. His only English language directorial movie was Fahrenheit 451 which was also his first color movie.  He played Claude Lacombe in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • Born February 6, 1947 – Eric Flint

(7) SNAP JUDGMENT. Photographer Murray Close’s Greatest Hits.

Jack Nicholson, center, Stanley Kubrick, right.

Jack Nicholson, center, Stanley Kubrick, right.

Murray Close

Murray Close

Murray Close’s introduction to photography and the movie business began with an assignment on Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’. It turned out to be a three year master class that would influence his work from that point on, forging strong links with the film industry and receiving a priceless photographic grounding. With a mentor such as Kubrick and a hunger for strong imagery Close quickly became the first call for Hollywood A List productions.

(8) RABID PUPPIES. Vox Day added another category to the slate today: Rabid Puppies 2016: Best Semiprozine.

The preliminary recommendations for Best Semiprozine category:

  • Abyss & Apex
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Daily Science Fiction
  • Sci-Phi Journal
  • Strange Horizons

(9) GRRM RECOMMENDS. George R.R. Martin names eleven book editors that deserve consideration in “Yet More Hugo Ruminations”

Toni Weisskopf and Jim Minz of Baen, Anne Sowards of Ace, and Sheila Gilbert of DAW were the four legit finalists last year. All four could very well contend again this year….

There are some other outstanding editors who deserve your consideration as well, however. So let me bring a few of them to your attention. Starting with my own editor, ANNE LESLEY GROELL, of Bantam Spectra…. And then there’s Tor. David G. Hartwell has won three times, and so has Patrick Nielsen-Hayden, but there are lots of other terrific editors at Tor who deserve some recognition. DIANA PHO, who edits our Wild Cards books. MOSHE FEDER, who discovered Brandon Sanderson. HARRIET MCDOUGAL, Robert Jordan’s editor who put together this year’s WHEEL OF TIME COMPANION. And LIZ GORINSKY…. So, okay, lots of good strong candidates right here in the US of A… but you know, there are some great choices on the other side of the Atlantic as well. All the great editors are not American, you know, and the Hugo is not restricted to US companies. A lot of British and European fans joined worldcon last year to vote for Finland in 2017. I hope that most of them will take the time to nominate… and that they will look beyond the US publishing scene and rectify a decades-long injustice by nominating MALCOLM EDWARDS of Gollancz/ Orion and JANE JOHNSON of HarperCollins Voyager for the Hugo. For those of you reading this who are not writers or editors and maybe don’t know this stuff — Malcolm Edwards and Jane Johnson are the two giants of British SF and fantasy….

And neither one has EVER been nominated for a Hugo, let alone won. We should fix that now. I was certain that Malcolm and Jane would finally get some recognition year before last, when worldcon went to London… but the Brits, it appears, were asleep at the switch, at least where this category was concerned

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

201 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/6/16 A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Pixel Scroll

  1. @JJ: Isn’t that Close sitting on a stool to Nicholson’s left? He’s more or less in the background.

  2. So if I understand Beale’s strategy correctly, he’s decided to give up on trying to nominate things he likes, and is now trying to nominate people who hate him in the hopes that mere association with him will make them less enjoyable for everyone?

    Wow. I have never seen anyone concede that much debating ground that fast. I mean, he’s basically let go of the idea that the Rabid Puppies represent the “silent majority” of fandom, he’s admitted that he is, in fact, nominating solely to lock up the ballot and not out of any personal preference for the works under consideration, he’s tacitly stating that he’s desperate enough for attention that he’ll jump on the coattails of popular trends that he personally abhors, and he’s acknowledged that all he’s doing is playing ‘gotcha’ with his detractors at this point. That is impressive.

  3. Greg Hullender:

    After EPH passes, he’ll never be able to sweep an important category again.

    You are probably right, at least for some values of ‘important’. But sweeping unimportant categories – or if not sweeping, tying up enough spots to prevent a fair contest – can cause enough trouble. (You may say no one will support him if he has no effect in important categories. But he can still give the impression of having an effect in important categories, by backing likely winners.)

  4. [ticky]

    [still no PIN-ny]

    I’ll email them tomorrow if I don’t get anything today. I did check the current membership list and my name is definitely there, so hopefully they’re just overwhelmed by all the extra names from Sasquan.

  5. Re: GRRM’s “long editors” list–where I found that helpful is when he mentioned what books which editors had worked on. I, too, am having problems with the editors categories, and so far, that’s been my strategy: I look over my reading list for books I’ve found enjoyable, well-written, and well-produced, and then do my best to try to figure out the name of the editor–especially with new, or relatively new, authors. That isn’t always possible, as I’m sure many of you will immediately point out, because not all publishers list the editors on individual volumes . . . but some do, and I check. I also check acknowledgements pages and dedications.

    So when an author, or anyone, mentions that so-and-so edited a particular book (in Martin’s case, a book he wrote), I take that as evidence. I try not to stop there–I still have to look at the book for myself, if I haven’t already read it–but it is another place to start. And if anyone here can point me to any other author-posts acknowledging specific editors of specific works, I’d appreciate it . . .

  6. Greg Hullender again:

    We need to make the effort to find five qualified nominees in every category we care about if we can possibly do so.

    Yes. And as I have said a number of times, this is hard. When I say this, people generally reply that you don’t have to nominate five things. This is, of course, in general true, but when the aim is to stop slates, the more things you nominate the better.

    Also, if everyone comes up with five nominees, but they are a different five in every case (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but if the nominations are widely distributed) they won’t actually help to stop slates. Increasing diversity of nominations is good in itself, but not very helpful as a weapon against slates. (And this is still true under EPH; non-slate nominations have to have a certain degree of coherence to be successful, though not as much as at present.)

  7. @Andrew, the impression he derives by backing likely winners will only be received by his minions. And there are not many.

    I notice that so far Correia is not engaging on the Hugos. Larry actually had a shot at a larger readership base. It may be that he is seeing puppy nuttiness is not a good long term marketing strategy.

  8. @Andrew M

    But sweeping unimportant categories – or if not sweeping, tying up enough spots to prevent a fair contest – can cause enough trouble. (You may say no one will support him if he has no effect in important categories. But he can still give the impression of having an effect in important categories, by backing likely winners.)

    My best estimate is that with EPH the only category he’d be guaranteed to sweep is Best Fan Artist. That’s assuming no unusual increase in fan nominations and that he keeps all of his 586. Without EPH, he takes it all except for Best Dramatic Production (long form). A strong nominating effort from fans could prevent a sweep in Best Novel, Best Novella, Best Dramatic Presentation (short form), Best Editor (short form), and Best Semiprozine. (That assumes we don’t count it as a sweep when he nominates worthy works.)

    I think he’s got the most followers right now that he will ever have, and they won’t stick with him if he doesn’t give them victories. Polluting the Hugo ballot won’t be good enough for them. If they can’t get wins for their own kind of work, and if they can’t prevent anyone else from getting awards either, then they’ll go find some more effective way to fight for their cause. Setting up their own awards, perhaps.

  9. Having long ago decided that there are better things to do than ransack haystacks in search of a needle, I’m not thrilled to be rooting through my spam filters in search of a pin; on the other hand my missing pin is a minor inconvenience to someone with a great deal of privilege, and looking around the world I think there are many, many millions of people who would swap their life for mine in a heartbeat.

    Admittedly, they would probably prefer to do without the chest infection and the pleurisy, as do I, but in a country where good healthcare is free at the point of use this is not a big deal.

    Ice cream, on the other hand, is a big deal; that stuff isn’t even ice cream. It’s frozen custard. They appear not to understand that in order to get ice cream all you need is organic cream, organic sugar, organic milk, organic egg and organic Bourbon vanilla pods. Branching out into, say, chocolate ice cream all you need to do is add organic chocolate and so forth.

    Even Haagen-Dazs, which is a bit down market from Green and Black because it’s not organic, does not include the list of weird ingredients included in the Star Wars stuff; slapping a ludicrous price on it is simply adding insult to injury.

    Of course, having retrieved said ice creams from the freezer to ensure that File770 is fully informed, I shall have to eat some; such are the penalties of responsible reporting…

  10. More generally: I’m not sure we can say what VD’s strategy is until we see his suggestions in all categories. The nominations for File 770 and Black Gate were clearly meant to embarrass them, but all the others can be read in various ways. The nominations for Weir and Brown are in line with established Puppy rhetoric. There doesn’t seem to be much point in a ‘wrecking’ nomination of Shamus Young, given that as far as I know no one was thinking of him as a candidate beforehand. And even File 770 and Black Gate could be represented as things he likes – File 770 because of Mike’s scrupulous reporting (though not because of the comments), and Black Gate because it does have some writers from the Puppy-leaning part of the field. There are some nominations he could have made in Fan Writer, if he were aiming only at embarrassment, and didn’t.

    It doesn’t seem to me impossible that we are seeing a kind of phased withdrawal – he nominates some things that are likely to win, and when they win, he says ‘Well, clearly our campaign has had an effect; the CHORFs are coming to their senses and not excluding everything we support’. And that can be grounds for terminating hostilities.

  11. I bought something with a name that generally says “Ice Cream” on it, because it was Heath Bar something, and found later that it was ‘frozen dessert.’ Something neither soft nor firm. It went out. Too much sugar in that stuff anyway, any more, though this was before the doctor put the fear into me.

    A Puppy award? How about “The Golden Biscuit”? (Silver and Bronze awarded for runners-up)

  12. @Andrew M

    Also, if everyone comes up with five nominees, but they are a different five in every case (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but if the nominations are widely distributed) they won’t actually help to stop slates. Increasing diversity of nominations is good in itself, but not very helpful as a weapon against slates. (And this is still true under EPH; non-slate nominations have to have a certain degree of coherence to be successful, though not as much as at present.)

    Nominations appear to follow a power-law distribution. Best Novel, for example, seems to have an exponent of 0.62 (with r-squared of over 0.98). That means that if we doubled the number of non-slate nominations, we’d expect the top-ranked nominee to gain by a factor 2^(0.62) or about 1.5. So, yes, people don’t always overlap, but more nominations does result in higher scores.

    EPH has the effect of lowering the threshold for preventing a sweep by a factor of 5, so instead of needing 586 nomination to prevent a sweep, we’d only need 118. Every category except Fan Artist looks like it could do that, even with no special effort at boosting nominations.

  13. Greg Hullender:

    “What’s your argument that they’re not going to support him?”

    That voters from 2014 are not eligible for voting? They have had their two years.

  14. @Andrew M

    It doesn’t seem to me impossible that we are seeing a kind of phased withdrawal – he nominates some things that are likely to win, and when they win, he says ‘Well, clearly our campaign has had an effect; the CHORFs are coming to their senses and not excluding everything we support’. And that can be grounds for terminating hostilities.

    Hadn’t thought of it that way. We’ll see what his further nominations look like.

    I note that he has been pointing out to people that they don’t have to nominate everything in his list. (As have some of his “minions” in the comments.) This is consistent with the strategy I outlined. He’s letting his people know that he doesn’t really expect them to nominate those things–they’re just there to make SJW heads explode. In the minor categories (ones he’s got no doubts of sweeping) he still wants to nominate at least one Hugo-worthy candidate so he can blame the SJWs when they “burn it all down.”

    As you say, we’ll have a better idea when we see more of his nominees. It’ll also give us a clue how confident he is that he can manage slate discipline. (Otherwise he’ll end up with his own power-law distribution.)

    But the real truth will come out if he urges his followers to all vote No Award on the final ballot. If he plans on doing that, I wonder if he’ll nominate himself for anything this year.

  15. @Hampus Eckerman

    “What’s your argument that they’re not going to support him?”

    That voters from 2014 are not eligible for voting? They have had their two years.

    That the 586 people who voted for him in 2015 will not nominate for him in 2016, given that they’re eligible to do so at no extra cost.

  16. Zenu: @Andrew, the impression he derives by backing likely winners will only be received by his minions. And there are not many.

    Yes, but the question at issue was precisely how he can keep a hold on his minions. (As I say, I’m not sure this is his plan. But if it is, I don’t think he’s that easy to beat.)

    Greg Hullender:

    My best estimate is that with EPH the only category he’d be guaranteed to sweep is Best Fan Artist. That’s assuming no unusual increase in fan nominations and that he keeps all of his 586

    As I understand it, under EPH, if a slate has 500 votes, a non-slate work needs at least 100 votes to beat it (though 100 votes does not guarantee success, because of the clumping provisions). (This will presumably change in detail if 4/6 is adopted, but I have no idea how.) No non-slate novelette or short story got more than a hundred votes last year. I don’t think it’s that easy. When EPH was planned, I think people were imagining slate votes of about 200, as there had been hitherto. Now I’d agree it’s likely that, if slates continue at all, they will slip back to that level. But we can’t be sure of that.

    But even if we grant sweeps are unlikely, tying things up is a more plausible ambition for him. If he can force us to give [insert name] an award every year, that’s an achievement in itself.

    (Of course none of this takes the SP vote into account – if they continue to cooperate, or even to converge accidentally, as they surely will in some cases, that boosts his support.)

    The only long-term way to beat slates is to make them go away. EPH may help to make them go away, by making their task harder; but it doesn’t defeat them in itself.

  17. I take it for granted that the public “certainly not a slate recommendation lists” VD is putting up are not the real Rabid Puppy slates. Those are being sent out via email to the Dead Elk.

  18. I will let others handle the math. I am told that 6/4 will weaken EPH. I am not sure how that works.

    There is a cost to following Vox to the ballot box. If his minions only get to play around the fringes they will tire of paying the price. They only freep the Hugo because it is easy to freep the nomination process. They don’t freep other awards because it isn’t easy to do.

    Doesn’t mean he won’t keep a hold on his minions. Just that it will cease to matter at some point.

    When is Kate coming out with the Impala list? And will it be all categories?

  19. I don’t see this. If he is making wrecking proposals (as he is in at least two cases), the strategy only works if his nominees get on the final ballot, and the CHORFs are then embarrassed by the need to break their alleged oath not to vote for anything on a slate.

    His ‘you don’t have to vote for everything’ can be explained simply by the fact that saying ‘you should vote for this exactly as it stands’ made him especially unpopular last year, and a vaguer recommendation can be more plausibly – er, less implausibly – er, well, somehow, represented as similar to what lots of people do.

  20. Jim Henley on February 7, 2016 at 10:39 am said:

    I take it for granted that the public “certainly not a slate recommendation lists” VD is putting up are not the real Rabid Puppy slates. Those are being sent out via email to the Dead Elk.

    Probably – or some other plan that doesn’t involve a slate at all. However, while he gets better discipline from the Ilks they are fewer in number.

    Also, I suspect there will be less ballot impact from the Sad Puppies this year, both in numbers and discipline.

  21. @Jim + Jon – it will be immediately obvious when the nominations come out if he’s successful with that, as it will be all JCW, the MilSF book he published, the pedo slur, and assorted other crap. Which will then get no awarded.

    What he’s put out so far is too reasonable for a complete and utter asshole like VD. I’m sure he has some sad and pathetic chortling plan in the background, which will then Wil. E. Coyote to the canyon floor.

    Xanad’Oh!

  22. Just on SP4, I did a count up of people who have posted suggestions at SP4 for best novel and it came to 176, some of whom are definitely not Puppy aligned and others of varying degree of puppyness. That isn’t a trivial number when it comes to the nominations but it isn’t a scary wave of puppies flooding the nominations either.

  23. @Jim + Jon – it will be immediately obvious when the nominations come out if he’s successful with that, as it will be all JCW, the MilSF book he published, the pedo slur, and assorted other crap. Which will then get no awarded.

    Well, we haven’t reached any of these categories yet. He can perfectly well nominate them, and fill up the spaces with more reasonable things.

  24. (9) GRRM RECOMMENDS. I’ve been very happy with Orbit books this year. And while I find Roc somewhat hit or miss, my arguably-favorite book so far from 2015 was from Roc, so I can’t ignore them, either. The question is, who’re these editors? time to open books, check acknowledgements, and check author web sites, I guess. (Unless someone knows off-hand who Anne Leckie’s and Emma Newman’s editors are, of course. 😉 )

    @Steve Wright: So how do you like de Bodard’s “Obsidian and Blood” trilogy? That’s on my list of “things I probably will buy at some point because it sounds quite nifty” (not the list’s real name).

    @Greg Hullender: Didn’t a few people demonstrate a few threads ago that it’s highly unlikely Beale commands 586 Hugo nominators? Am I misremembering? Yet you keep quoting an oddly high number. Regardless, some of what he’s slating would make the ballot regardless (i.e., he’s just piling no). So please, dial back the panic just a bit.

    Anyway, you’re kinda preaching to the choir, here, about the need to nominate. I’m not sure, other than obsess even more about Beale, what you’re looking for from Filers.

    @Jim Henley: Hmm. If those are fake slates, then there are plenty of Greg’s hypothetical 586 (which I don’t believe are all Sickly Reindeer) who are not going to be voting Beale’s slate. Interesting, though – that sounds very like Beale. Thanks for pointing this out.

  25. @Andrew M

    No non-slate novelette or short story got more than a hundred votes last year.

    Last year, there were 3,587 people eligible to nominate (just because they were members at the previous con.) 2,122 actually did so. This year, there are 5,950 eligible because they were members at Sasquan. It’s plausible to assume there will be at least 3,500 nominations this year.

    @Zenu

    I am told that 6/4 will weaken EPH. I am not sure how that works.

    I used to think that too, but I no longer believe it. 4-and-6 would reduce the threshold for preventing sweeps by a factor of 2. EPH by a factor of 5. Both together by a factor of 8. Where it weakens EPH is when you look beyond just preventing a sweep. But now I think the whole point is to prevent sweeps. If the slates cannot sweep, there’s no point in them playing at all.

  26. @ Mark, the fact that you find the Tor.com line of novellas consistently high quality strikes me as exactly the right criteria for a reader to nominate that editor for the Hugo. I see what you mean about the Short or Long form question, though, in this case.

    My guess is that he qualifies for short form, since novellas are classified as “short fiction” in sf/f. Someone above thinks he qualifies for Long form because some of those novellas are over 40K words, which is where book length (or Long form) is recognized in sf/f. I think we both have a point, so I think probably the Hugo committee should be asked how THEY define his qualification.

  27. @Greg Hullender:

    We can’t ignore him because, assuming he really has 586 followers, he can control the Hugo ballot completely.

    Here’s a suggestion: Try it and see.

    Because here’s the thing: We already fully understand the problem of Beale having lockstep support. EPH, and encouraging more honest nominations from a wider pool, are our best responses to that, and we’re already doing that. Discussing Beale’s strategy, on the other hand, does no good whatsoever. In fact, it does harm, in several ways:

    1. It lets Beale influence everybody’s nominations and votes, as well as his own supporters’. Changing your vote in response to his nominations – influence. Advising creators what to state publicly and what stand to take and whether to pre-disqualify themselves – influence. Signal-boosting whatever random content he happens to be saying, even if you’re doing so to argue with him or debate about what he reeeeeeally means by it – influence. The absolute worst thing we can do now is let Beale’s statements create any kind of factions or pressure groups or expectations among the non-Puppies.

    2. Beale gets 100% of his fodder for getting his followers riled up, from people arguing against him and badmouthing Puppies on the internet. Now, rest assured, I am not going to get the internet to shut up about Theodore Beale. But if all you’ve got to say is along the lines of “these people are stupid, mean and pathetic,” to a public which has already formed strong opinions on the topic, then your net contribution to Beale’s “Look how much SJWs hate you” campaign is rather more significant that any corresponding bump that “Don’t listen to Beale” might get.

    3. I don’t think Beale has or needs any goal more complicated than “getting people angry on the internet.” That’s what trolls do. It’s ridiculous to talk about which specific hypothetical winner Beale really wants for the Best Related Conspiracy Theory category, when all Beale’s trying to do is establish a neverending cycle of internet outrage, which basically means the Hugos get to fight a culture war against people who really hate it for the foreseeable future.
    He doesn’t need any particular result for that. He just needs people to keep paying attention to him. To keep getting angry, so his folks can keep being angry back, and keep the cycle going. That’s how he got to his 500 or so followers in the first place (and also, how the non-Puppies got to their thousands of new members).

    Again: That’s what trolls do. They aren’t trying to win an argument. They aren’t trying to get nominated for Most Valuable Forum Member. They’re just trying to keep people hopped up enough to focus on arguing with a troll, instead of whatever constructive, nice thing they were doing earlier.

    There is no utility in trying to guess what Beale means by this nomination or that one. He’s a malicious participant; as long as the system has flaws (the system has SO MANY FLAWS, y’all), he’ll do his best to make use of them. But the only reason he has power is because internet outrage turns this into a culture war, so he can get lots of useful idiots and fellow trolls to chime in with him.

    Devote your energy to the constructive solutions. Devote your energy to building up awesome things you love (and Greg, you know how much I love and value RSR 🙂 ).

    Don’t devote energy to second-guessing the troll. There’s nothing to second-guess. Second-guessing gives him volume, and gives you nothing at all.

    Don’t feed the troll.

    Ignore ignore ignore.

  28. @Kendall

    Didn’t a few people demonstrate a few threads ago that it’s highly unlikely Beale commands 586 Hugo nominators?

    I haven’t seen anything other than a few people claiming “oh, he can’t really deliver that.” All the data says otherwise. And that’s assuming the Sad Puppies fizzle out and have zero effect this year.

    Anyway, you’re kinda preaching to the choir, here, about the need to nominate. I’m not sure, other than obsess even more about Beale, what you’re looking for from Filers.

    Go all out. Nominate, get your friends to nominate, lend them your books if you have to. Nominate all five spots, if you possibly can. (Obviously don’t nominate stuff that’s not worthy or which you didn’t read.) But don’t let him sweep the entire ballot.

  29. @Camestros

    There are at least a handful of commentors on SP4 who don’t actually have a Worldcon membership (or at least have stated elsewhere that they did not).

    @Greg

    In all honesty, at the end of the day I think we need to avoid the fallacy that someone must nominate 5 things or Day Will BE Victorious. First of all, for some categories, some people have absolutely no idea how to assess something, much less come up with 5 nominations in that category. Getting people to nominate in those categories, when they have no personal preference closely approaches the Puppy Fallacy.

    Secondly, Day is a weasel. This is a man who threw his patsies under the bus last year just so he could jump on the Three Body Problem bandwagon. He simply does not have principles he will abide by, and will just do his eternal Xanadu performance art. Rather just do what you were going to do and leave him to his contortions, with some regular mocking. It was true ten years ago, and it’s true now. There’s still some candy left in this piñata.

    Regardless, it’s been the Year of the Monkey for a few hours now here (Fireworks! Excellent with alcohol!). So to one and all, as per whichever is the prevalent flavour in your area: Gong Xi Fa Cai/ Kung Hei Fatt Choi/ Keong Hee Huat Chai!

  30. @Standback

    Discussing Beale’s strategy, on the other hand, does no good whatsoever. In fact, it does harm, in several ways:

    You might be right; I thought about that a good bit ever since I ran some numbers this week that scared me. My fear is seeing a convention hand out no awards at all. Think about that just for a moment. I do think it’s worth putting at least a little thought into preventing that.

    I think these three points matter:

    1) The best strategy for fans is to vote based on quality; whether something was on a slate or not shouldn’t matter.

    2) Nominating is not hopeless. Sweeps are not inevitable. Not in all categories, anyway.

    3) EPH has to pass.

    The only reason anyone should withdraw is if in their own judgement they don’t meet the quality bar for a Hugo, but this is a minor point. I’m surprised it was controversial. Maybe I didn’t express myself very clearly.

  31. @Standback: Dark Orbit struck me as a funny sort of beast in some ways; it has this fascinating and very well articulated central idea, and yet it’s sort of… propped up… by some plot devices that look like awfully bog-standard space opera. (The wonderful MacGuffin that they only have one of – the “quantum imbricator” – being a case in point. Given that these things are common enough for Thora’s father to take one home, and small enough he can put it on his bedside table, why on Earth aren’t they carrying a spare?) It’s a strong book, overall, but it does have these little “oh-come-on” sorts of details. Might be interesting to see what different bits of it worry different people, at that.

    @Kendall: “Obsidian and Blood”, I’m inclined to praise with faint damns – it’s got a lot going for it; it’s well-written, the setting is beautifully detailed, the plots are suitably dramatic and the stakes are high, the characters are strongly realized – actually, that last might be part of my problem; the characters are well drawn, which means the narrator’s personality, in particular, comes through strongly and clearly… and, well, I sort of… don’t like him very much. He’s a little whiny and insecure, and a bit too much worried about the proprieties and social conventions… admittedly, since failure to observe all the proprieties can get people horrifically killed, in this setting, I guess I can sort of see his point, there. Still, he comes across as a bit too bureaucratic for my taste. “I can’t have star demons coming down here and tearing people to shreds, it’s more than my job’s worth,” sort of thing. (Other people may, of course, react differently.)

  32. I agree completely with what Standback just wrote.

    Let’s nominate and vote, let’s encourage others to do so, and let’s advocate in favor of amending the Hugo rules to better protect the nominations process from manipulation. These are the constructive, rational things we can do.

    We already know that no matter WHAT the results of the nominations, and also no matter WHAT the results of the final votes, VD’s focus will be on framing those events in a way intended to attract attention to himself via manufacturing outrage. (yawn) I’m not in favor of cooperating with his plans by paying attention to him.

  33. @snowcrash

    In all honesty, at the end of the day I think we need to avoid the fallacy that someone must nominate 5 things or Day Will BE Victorious. First of all, for some categories, some people have absolutely no idea how to assess something, much less come up with 5 nominations in that category. Getting people to nominate in those categories, when they have no personal preference closely approaches the Puppy Fallacy.

    First, it’s not about Day being victorious. He’ll claim victory regardless. It’s about saving the Hugos. It’s only in the last few days that it dawned on me that it really is possible that MidAmeriCon II might end up giving no awards to anyone at all. That is a disaster worth trying to avert. Even if you thought there was only a 10% chance of that, it’s worth some effort to try to prevent it.

    Second, I entirely agree that no one should nominate things they know nothing about. I won’t nominate anything for Graphic Novel, for example because I just don’t read any. But for Best Novel, for example, it’s worth taking the time to read a few more books until you’ve found five you can nominate. (If possible.) “Try to make a little extra effort.” That’s all I’m saying.

  34. I’ve been strongly opposed to the Best Editor (Long Form) since it was first proposed, and have said so in various forums, including this one. It’s nice of George to mention Jane and me, but this is (as he notes) a category which has never shown any signs of recognising the ‘world’ part of ‘worldcon’. But that is beside the point.

    Some of my objections have been raised here, but a lot of them come back to one fundamental: editing a novel is a private matter between author and editor, and if any editor ever starts talking about how much work they did on a text, they are betraying the trust which is fundamental to that relationship. It’s the author’s book, not the editor’s. I’ve edited novels in which I suggested taking the whole book apart and putting it together in a different order, and I’ve edited novels in which the major point of discussion was the use of a single semi-colon, but nobody apart from the author and me is ever going to know which is which. Even within a big publishing house, editors almost never talk about any specific editing process.

    Short form is entirely different. You don’t need to know anything at all about the editing process on any typescript to judge whether the resultant anthology or magazine or whatever pleases you. It’s the acts of selection and assembly which you are judging.

    When the long form proposal was up for adoption (or maybe confirmation) in 2005, one of the proponents, who knew I had been opposing it in some group or another said to me, “But Malcolm, this is an award which *you* could win”, a remark which spoke volumes.

  35. it’s not about Day being victorious. He’ll claim victory regardless.

    What Greg just said.

    Correct. No matter what happens, VD will definitely frame any and all outcomes as a victory for himself. We know this. There is no doubt about this whatsoever.

    So let’s dismiss that, leave VD in the obscurity he so richly deserves, and instead focus on sane, constructive things regarding the Hugos (nominating, voting, passing amendments to protect the process from manipulation).

  36. Jim:

    What do we say to the god of nine bucks a pint? No. Effing. Way.

    But it’s in 3-D!

    I, like many others, am going “marshmallow? Come on, it’s the light side, not the white side. How about a nice French vanilla, or whatever the ‘butter’ is in butter pecan and butter crunch?”

    Marshmallow. Crush them, Empire.

    Paul:

    I had heard good things about an Ohio ice cream, Jeni’s. I discovered that it was available at a Co-Op in St. Paul and headed over to get myself some. The asking price was $12 for a pint of the stuff. So, yeah…

    Jeni’s is amazing. Blow-your-mind good. It’s available around here (Portland OR), and I don’t think it was $12/pint, but it was at least $9.

    But if you’re ever in Cincinnati, it’s both cheaper there and better, because it’s fresher. I went to get some in a snowstorm while attending a Mid-Ohio Con, and Sergio Aragones thought I was insane — but then, Sergio’s idea of snow is “something you see in movies.”

  37. @Greg: Believe me, I’m not complacent about Beale. I think you’re right to be concerned.

    But I think I see the threat a little differently than you. I’m taking it as a given that this years Hugos may be awful, e.g. No Awarding everything. (I’m not just going to lie back and wait for it to suck, but it’s relatively likely to be very bad whatever I do.)

    But this is all stemming from a much bigger underlying problem: a huge, diffuse field, so everybody’s only reading one little cornet, and it’s less and less clear what “the best of the field” means. Small pockets of influence, whether it’s a particular fandom (*coughcoughDoctorWhocough*), a popular blogger, or activists who value a certain cause. When the field’s so diffuse, any influence makes big waves. And a culture war – that’s an influence that can make big enough waves to drown everything else out.

    So… I’m not worried about a couple of bad years. “Somebody attacked me and I got hurt a little” is no fun, but it’s not crippling, and I see no shame in it. What I’m worried about is years and years of the Hugos being an annual internet drama, instead of managing to be about the works at all. If we get entrenched down that route, everybody loses. Well, everybody except the trolls.

    (I’ll say this again – I think RSR is one of the greatest, and most constructive, responses to this whole issue. It helps readers navigate, and lets the fans and the readers find great stuff they might’ve missed otherwise, and hopefully help cluster interest around standout works. That’s fantastic, and addresses the underlying issue head on. What can I say; I’m a fanboi :P)

  38. There seems to be some assumption by at least some people that after all of the foofaraw none of the people that some people dislike (this goes in many directions) are going to pick up any support.

    For example, a number of people not previously involved seem to have been a tad offended by the asterisks. While some of them are finding other conventions to attend, others are taking careful notes.Others will be look at the Rabid Puppy recommendations, the Locus recommendations, the Sad Puppy nominations et very very tedious cetera, and realizing that while you can only vote *for* a short list of titles, you can treat any or all of these as “Vote Against” lists.

    On the same line, it would not be too surprising if some number of people turned down nominations this year, either for the reasons seen last year or because they or their friends had already been the target of one No Award campaign and don’t care to be humiliated by another one.

    Finally, it is conceivable that some of the factions involved in these disputations will work to defeat the changes in the Hugo rules.

  39. Even if everything else goes sideways, I’m fairly confident BDP will get awarded since the category is so resilient and recognized to be above slate influence. So a completely Hugo-less MACII seems very, very doubtful.

  40. snowcrash on February 7, 2016 at 11:18 am said:
    @Camestros

    There are at least a handful of commentors on SP4 who don’t actually have a Worldcon membership (or at least have stated elsewhere that they did not).

    Indeed – also lots who just nominated the one thing (often obscure). The obvious leading works (eg Somewither) have about 20 noms each.

  41. Regarding BELF, it seems to me the best thing to do is to treat as parallel to BESF, i.e. about the product, not the process, and give it to the editor with the best list.

    Unfortunately this does not help much, because you would have to read an enormous amount (at the voting stage, not just the nominating) to decide who has the best list.

  42. I support the Editor Long Form award, primarily because, despite sf/f awards continued focus on short fiction, novels are what define the genre for most readers, since more people read novels than short fiction in our society these days. Although self-publishing is now gradually changing the landscape of what readers can access, book editors have for decades decided what’s available for readers of sf/f novels, and they are still immensely influential in that respect even in the indie era. The vast majority of novels nominated for sf/f awards in 2015 were traditionally published (maybe all of them?), and this will very likely be the case in 2016, too. I think that not having an award for book editors ignores people whose decisions have an enormous impact on what books comprise the genre.

    That said, I agree with Malcolm Edwards that the award is quite problematic–and so I think anyone who feel inclined to abstain from nominating or voting on it should do so. (I always abstain from graphic novels, since I just don’t “get” that form.) What happens between an editor and author is indeed private.

    Moreover, authors and editors often tell quite different stories about what happened between them.

    For example, I once worked with an editor who told my then-agent and various people in-house he’d worked very hard on my books. Whereas, as far as I could tell, he hadn’t even read the manuscripts; he did no editing on them, and he refused even to discuss the stories with me when I asked for feedback. He also often told me (and, no doubt, many others) about how very, very hard he had worked on other writers’ books. I wonder if he, in fact, did nothing on those books, too. And yet, by going around talking about all the work he put into the books he “edited,” he developed a reputation (oft-repeated by others for years, in fact) as a very “hands-on” editor who really worked with writers on their MSs.

    So what you think you know about an editor can also be deceptive, precisely because the actual process is so private.

    Additionally, I know writers who pushed books through the publishing process fighting tooth-and-claw to protect their MSs from incompetent and vengeful editors who were active impediments to getting good books out there, yet who remained “editor of record” for those books–including the ones that became award-winners and bestsellers despite the editor’s active attempts to undermine the authors and sabotage the books.

    All that said, though, a good editor is an exceptional asset to a writer. I’ve worked with a few, and they made a big difference in my craft, my work, and my career. Such editors get relative little opportunity for the recognition they deserve, so I tend to support things designed to recognize them (such as a Hugo Award)… even though it is admittedly a tricky prospect.

  43. @Standback

    I’m not worried about a couple of bad years. “Somebody attacked me and I got hurt a little” is no fun, but it’s not crippling, and I see no shame in it. What I’m worried about is years and years of the Hugos being an annual internet drama, instead of managing to be about the works at all.

    Maybe you’re right; I should just relax. Like I said, it just really hit me a day or two ago (after I ran some numbers and realized it was possible) what it would be like sitting in a hall and listening to no award after no award. (Giving one for best movie, which they don’t even bother to turn up to accept, wouldn’t help.) But, yeah, knowing it could never happen again would help for sure.

    (I’ll say this again – I think RSR is one of the greatest, and most constructive, responses to this whole issue. It helps readers navigate, and lets the fans and the readers find great stuff they might’ve missed otherwise, and hopefully help cluster interest around standout works. That’s fantastic, and addresses the underlying issue head on. What can I say; I’m a fanboi :P)

    Grin. Thanks. We love you too. 🙂

  44. Marshmallow and rice crispies? Ew. This is the sort of thing a whiny wannabe-Sith Lord would choose – all sugar, no substance.

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