Pixel Scroll 3/12/18 Dammit, Jim, I’m A Filer, Not A Pixel-Scroller!

(1) MOOMIN FAN.  She remembers the Moomin scape her father made for her: “My family and other Moomins: Rhianna Pratchett on her father’s love for Tove Jansson” in The Guardian.

I don’t remember the precise moment I was introduced to the Moomins. They were always just there; a cosy, comforting and slightly weird presence in my childhood that has stayed with me. My father called Tove Jansson “one of the greatest children’s writers there has ever been”, and credited her writing as one of the reasons he became an author.

My father’s family were the kind of postwar, no-nonsense British people who didn’t really do hugs or talk about their feelings. Instead, they showed their love by building things: toys, puzzles, go-carts, treehouses. It was a tradition that my father, still very much the awkward hugger himself, would continue during my childhood. He built me a market stall, a beehive (complete with toy bees), a stove and, most memorably, Moominvalley.

It was crafted out of wood and papier-mache – a staple of all art projects in the 70s and 80s. It had a forest and a river and even a dark cave. He also made the Moominhouse and crafted all the Moomin characters out of clay; then painted and varnished them. Many years later we would turn over an entire attic full of junk trying to find a box that I thought might contain a solitary hand-made Moomin. He’s still out there somewhere.

(2) GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. Declan Finn says something’s missing from Amazon. It’s the reviews he’s written about people’s books, and some of the reviews others have written about his books. Why? He calls it “Amazon’s War on Users”.

Has Amazon declared war on authors?

It would seem so at first pass. Last week, I had 315 reviews spread out over my various and sundry projects. Honor at Stake, for example, had 63, 68 reviews.

Today, I only have 238 reviews over all of them. Honor at Stake in particular having only 45 now. When I ask Amazon via email, they know nothing. Could I be more specific? It’s literally EVERY BOOK. They need a road map?

The mystery depends when I looked at reviews that I myself have written. They’re all gone. Poof. Vanished.

What the Hell?

And I’m not the only one. In fact, one writer’s group I’m a part of has had a lot of the same problem.

The Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance.

Funny that. And the one person outside of CLFA who had also had problems is friends with three of us.

However, I’m not about to declare enemy action just yet. For that, I need your help, that of the average reader. Because there is a problem. We can’t ask people outside the group, that we don’t know, if they have the same problem. Why?  Because if we don’t know them, it’s hard to ask. And if we know them, it can be construed as guilt by association.

Camestros Felapton joined the investigation. The conspiracy-minded won’t find his thoughts nearly as pleasing as Finn’s: “Amazon Purging Reviews Again”.

(3) FEAST FOR THE EYES. A cover reveal for Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace, sequel to Archivist Wasp. Art by Jacquelin de Leon.

(4) THE MONEY KEEPS ROLLING IN. BBC reports — “Black Panther film: ‘Game-changing’ movie takes $1bn”.

Marvel’s superhero film Black Panther has taken more than a billion US dollars (£794m) at cinemas worldwide.

It is the fifth movie based in Disney’s Marvel Universe to hit the milestone.

(5) WAKANDA. A group hopes to run Wakanda Con in Chicago, IL this summer. Right now they’re building a list of interested fans.

WAKANDA CON is a fan-driven, one-day celebration of Afro-Futurism, Tech, and Black superheroes in film, television, and comic books, and of course, Black Panther. Our event will be held in Chicago, IL in Summer 2018. Join fellow citizens of Wakanda for discussion, education, networking, and festivities.

Marvel’s Black Panther has ushered in a new wave of thought about issues surrounding the African Diaspora and a new future for Black people around the world. The image of an African country with advanced technology and equality has inspired some of the world’s greatest thinkers and all of Black Twitter to create, think, and respond. WAKANDA CON is chance to take the conversation about Black Panther offline and into the real world.

(6) BRING KLEENEX. John Scalzi gives people lots of reasons to want to see A Wrinkle in Time.

(And, you may ask, what do I think about the film’s multicultural and feminine viewpoint and aesthetic? I think it works very well, and it’s a reminder that things that are not designed specifically for one in mind may still speak significantly and specifically to one, if one is open to it. I would not have imagined A Wrinkle in Time the way DuVernay has — I seriously doubt I could have imagined it this way — and yet there I was crying my eyes out all the same. I do not need the world to be imagined as I would have imagined it. I want the world and the things in it to exceed my imagination, to show me things I cannot make for myself but can take into myself, hold precious, and make my imagination that much wider from that point forward. As I noted before, this movie was not, I think, made for me, and still here I am, loving it as much as I do.)

(7) HEARTFELT STORY. Charles Payseur is just as persuasive in getting people to read his short fiction reviews: “Quick Sips – GigaNotoSaurus March 2018”

GigaNotoSaurus offers up a beautiful short story for March that might have been a bit more appropriate for February and Valentine’s Day because it is adorable and wonderful and sweet and just good! I’m a sucker for romance, and so the focus of this story for me is refreshing, especially because it refuses to tread the same tired paths of angst and powerlessness that seem to dominate so many romantic story lines. It’s not without darkness or sadness, but it’s a story to me about the triumph of love and humans over despair, loss, and death. To the review!


  • March 12, 1971Andromeda Strain was first released theatrically.


  • Chip Hitchcock studied the canine cosmology in Pooch Cafe.

(10) COMEDIAN SECTION. Today’s relevant joke, from the just-late Ken Dodd: “Ken Dodd: 17 of his funniest one-liners”.

So it turns out that if you bang two halves of a horse together, it doesn’t make the sound of a coconut.

(Other 16 are NSF just about everything….)

(11) BEYOND THE FAIL FRONTIER. ScreenRant delights in finding these contradictions: “Star Trek: 17 Memes That Prove The Show Makes No Sense”. They begin with an infographic —

(12) INCLUSIVE OR NOT? Dave Huber, in The College Fix story, “MIT Librarian:  Tech Posters Plastered With Star Trek Posters, Other Geeky Stuff Is Non-Inclusive to Women,” says that MIT head librarian Chris Bourg has said that students should “replace Star Trek posters with travel posters…and generally just avoid geek references and inside nerd jokes” if they want to be inclusive for women.

Since the many incarnations of “Star Trek” are considered some of the most diverse shows in the history of television, not to mention that about half those attending Star Trek conventions are female, The College Fix contacted Bourg about this particular reference.

She responded by pointing out her advice “comes directly from the research,” and provided a link to the study: “Ambient Belonging: How Stereotypical Cues Impact Gender Participation in Computer Science.”

The 2009 study examined whether “stereotypical objects” like Star Trek posters “signal a masculinity that precludes women from ever developing an interest in computer science.” Or, as the authors dub it, how the “ambient belonging” of women is affected by tech-geek ware.

While conceding that the tech-geek “masculinity” in question may not refer to a “traditional definition” (think “strength, assertiveness, and sexual prowess”) the authors argue the “stereotypicality” of the group still has a “profound” effect on the ability to recruit people who do not see themselves as fitting that stereotype.

(13) PROPHET OF DOOM? “Tim Berners-Lee says net has ‘heaps of problems'”. [[Voice only]]

The inventor of the World Wide Web says the internet as we know it is “under threat” and faces “heaps” of problems.

Monday 12 March marks 29 years since Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web. This year is expected to be the first time that more than half of the world’s population will have internet access.

Sir Tim spoke to the BBC’s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones about the challenges faced.

(14) ELON MUSK. More blue-skying? “Elon Musk: Mars ship test flights ‘next year'”.

A Mars colony, he said, would reduce the chance of an extended new Dark Ages if a nuclear conflict was to wipe out life on Earth.

But, aware of his reputation, he added: “Sometimes my timelines are a little… y’know.”

But enough about reality.

Elon Musk is unquestionably the most interesting businessman in Silicon Valley – arguably the world – thanks to his almost single-handed reignition of the space race.

(15) MONITORING TV. Rich Lynch says tonight’s “Literary L.A.” Category on Jeopardy! had a Bradbury clue. It even showed a photo of him.

The contestant got it right.

(16) TENT TECH. It’s not your grandfather’s yurt — “To Fight Pollution, He’s Reinventing The Mongolian Tent”.

In Gamsukh’s office those possibilities seem endless. Books, papers and sketches cover a desk and table. Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, Gamsukh, whose dark hair has a slight orange tint, comes off as artistic. But the sketches he produces are not dreamy musings. They are technical drawings supported by mathematical calculations. They are solid, like the sturdily built Gamsukh. Many are already being implemented, including a partially completed passive solar heated immobile ger that adds windows, insulation and solar collectors to the traditional model. Passive solar heating design uses windows, walls and floors to collect, store and distribute heat in the winter and reject it in the summer. Designs vary depending on the climate in which they are built, but shade can be used to block the sun in summer without taking away from warmth in winter because the sun is higher in summer.

When it is finished, Gamsukh plans to call it home. He is also testing another modified ger that uses solar power and those underground pipes he tried to dig in winter for heat.

(17) SHORT ORDER ROBOT. “Burger-flipping robot begins first shift” at Cali-Burger in Pasadena, CA. See a video of the robot in action, at the link.

Flippy, a burger-flipping robot, has begun work at a restaurant in Pasadena, Los Angeles.

It is the first of dozens of locations for the system, which is destined to replace human fast-food workers.

The BBC’s North America technology reporter Dave Lee saw it in action.

(18) BUSTED. To go with the recent Pixel on Iceland running out of energy due to Bitcoin generation: “Iceland police arrest suspected Bitcoin server thieves”.

Police in Iceland have arrested 11 people suspected of stealing more than 600 computers that were being used to mine crypto-currencies, reports AP.

The computers were stolen during four raids on data centres around Iceland.

The country is a popular location for data centres because almost 100% of the power generated there comes from renewable sources.

(19) THE OTHER JJ. ScreenRant says this JJ Abrams sketch was cut from Saturday Night Live for time.

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Mike Allen, John King Tarpinian, Mark Hepworth, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Rich Lynch, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor Niall McAuley.]

92 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/12/18 Dammit, Jim, I’m A Filer, Not A Pixel-Scroller!

  1. Elisa: The editoral review section also boggled my sleep deprived mind “One day, Emily and her rabbit are launching themselves into outer space to look for alien life-forms when they are interrupted by the Chief Footman to Queen Gloriana.” “Loads of child appeal.” Huh?!?!?

    Somebody’s wires have gotten seriously crossed somewhere. Central Station is definitely not a children’s book. The stuff attached to that Central Station Amazon listing are for That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown.

    Too funny. 😀

  2. JJ:

    “She’s not talking about just removing Star Trek posters. She says that there should be no references to anything geeky whatsoever.”

    No. She speaks very clearly about office walls, naming office resources, buying general magazines for office. Not one word about not being allowed to decorate your own desk.

  3. Hampus, she says:

    “Replace the Star Trek posters with travel posters, don’t name your projects or your printers or your domains after only male figures from Greek mythology, and just generally avoid geek references and inside nerd jokes,” Bourg added. “Those kinds of things reinforce the stereotypes about who does tech; and that stereotype is the male nerd stereotype.”

    That rules out anything geeky within general visibility in the office. And, at least in the U.S., most tech offices are either open plan or semi-open cubicles; people don’t have individual offices unless they are managers.

  4. 12) The best long-term solution would probably be to stop hiring men until the current gender balance in the team is reversed, then see what the space looks like. Start with the managers and cascade the changes down for maximum effect.

    Another partial solution that’s implicit in what some people have been saying would be to do away with open-plan offices – which are measurably bad anyway – and give everyone their own space to decorate.

    And I’m with Hampus on this one – too much fan paraphernalia strewn about the office is just as off-putting as a football motif.

  5. I kinda generally want to read Central Station at some point or other, if only because, hey, a popular book about Israel.

    But I suspect it’s a book that won’t bubble to the top of my TBR anytime soon, so… I think I’ll wait on it for the moment.

  6. Personally, I think it was a mistake for Amazon to do anything but allow for vetted reviews and a like/not-like tick box (and/or link to external reviews), but that has obvious impacts on their control and data-mining; while I largely also agree that they need to purge their reviews from time to time, I also realize that what they are doing now leads to this scenario:

    fan writes a really insightful review on their page/blog/etc.
    author publicly thanks fan
    fan friends/follows author
    Amazon removes review copy added to Amazon by fan

    and that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

  7. Ghostbird on March 13, 2018 at 5:50 am said:
    The place I worked only had offices for managers above a certain level – everyone else had cubicles. It wasn’t bad – lots of light, short aisles from core to windows, kitchenettes on every floor, largish cubicles – and most people weren’t noisy when working. (In fact, sometimes it was too quiet.)

  8. P J Evans on March 13, 2018 at 7:44 am said:
    Where as my open floor plan is pretty loud. Thank Ghu for noise canceling headphones.

  9. Today my ex-girlfriend, who is familiar with SF/F but is not connected with fandom, sent me a link to one of Jon del Arroz’s rants (“Someone Tried to Get Me Kicked Out Of A Sci-Fi Convention”) via the Facebook group Dammit, I’m a Science Fiction Writer.

    Guess he’s still plugging away.

  10. @Rob, I’d rather not read that, but was it about FOGcon? I was there but don’t know the whole story, just that someone was uncomfortable with him, the concom stepped in very diplomatically, and he seemed pleased with the result (although I can’t imagine it’s pleasant being asked to clarify one’s intentions, no matter how nicely).

  11. Taking down posters doesn’t change the underlying office culture, the employees will still talk about Star Trek and similar things and someone without geeky interests will still be uncomfortable.

  12. (11) I wonder how they got that distance figure between the US and Russia. The Bering Strait is narrower than that. The gap between Big Diomede and Little Diomede is even tinier.

  13. @ Eli

    @Rob, I’d rather not read that, but was it about FOGcon?

    Yes, it was. I didn’t read the whole article. From my skim, I got the idea that “attendees very bad” but “concom and con staff very good.” The article is on del Arroz’s website.

  14. @Eli

    Yes, Fogcon.

    Basically he says he turned up sans ticket to see people at the bar, and was approached by con security and asked about his intentions and whether he was broadcasting. He seems to have given satisfactory answers and no action was taken by the con. He then decided to buy a day ticket the next day, and the chair asked him similar questions before he was given entry.
    He also claims he was glared at a lot.
    Obviously being JDA this whole story of a con taking reasonable measures to make sure no trouble would happen – in either direction – wraps up into a big ole persecution parcel. He spins it as Fogcon being the good guys compared to WorldCon.

  15. 2 – I can actually see that as a problem, for Indie authors especially who do a lot of online social promotion and friend/follow many readers or who have a lot of connections within their writing circles. While there certainly is reciprocal shenanigans going on that sounds kind of like a self defeating cycle where you need reviews to get readers but to get reviews you need people to read it first, and those you know who have read it can’t review because they have some online connection with you. Self promotion is tough already and if Amazon is doing that it’s going to make it a lot tougher.

  16. oh, something!

    Read the JDA post (so you don’t have too). It links to his screed on Milo’s website, which touts the whole “SF Fandom is Actively Discriminating Against CISHETWHITEMALES/CHRISTIANS/CONSERVATIVES”, and a particular con was actually nice to him (despite all of the glares, narrowed eyes, hostile body postures and distance-keeping) and if other conventions want to not be attacked for being discriminatory, HERE IS WHAT THEY HAVE TO DO.

    When, of course, the simple solution is “hey, just don’t be an asshole”.

    Me, I’ll continue to advocate for banning assholes. Pre-emptively (when public evidence warrants), and especially when they continue to blame their a-holeness on everyone but themselves.

  17. @Standback: Pace JJ, I found Central Station really interesting. It’s a mosaic novel, but not really a fix-up as such – some of the individual sections don’t work at all except in the context of the whole. This didn’t stop Tidhar from publishing about three-quarters of them individually, which frankly got pretty irritating, especially as he didn’t even publish them all in the same place (all of the ones I read were in Interzone). But in the end I thought the whole was more than the sum of its parts.

  18. @David Shallcross (11) I wonder how they got that distance figure between the US and Russia. The Bering Strait is narrower than that. The gap between Big Diomede and Little Diomede is even tinier.

    Well, the second distance looks to be rectal extraction, so maybe the first one is as also.

  19. Personally, I’m still eagerly awaiting the day when JDA finally gets his lawsuit filed. He has raised more than enough money to cover the filing fee, yet he persists in dragging his feet.

    Oddly enough, he won’t allow posts on his own site asking that same question. I wonder why he is so reluctant to discuss such a simple concrete step forward in his crusade?

  20. I thought I’d done Central Station – yes, here it is. Short version: I liked it, on the whole; I thought the fixed-up short stories were successfully pulled together into a satisfactory whole. I guess I can understand it being a Marmite sort of a book for other people, though.

  21. 12) These kinds of issues are usually the result of a lack of proper policy. Attempting to police content outside of obviously offensive or political materials never works, because there isn’t a logical consistent standard. At best, it’s an attempt to paper over systemic cultural issues that began long before and outside of the workplace. If they are concerned, many workplaces limit the kinds of personal items that can be displayed – personal photos, calendars, day planners. Do that and ignore the content. If the presence of a Star Trek calendar in someone else’s cubicle creates a hostile workplace for you or if you can’t work without your memorabilia surrounding you, the issue in both cases isn’t the work environment.

  22. @JJ: It’s been quite a while since I finished Vatta’s War (?10? years since I read the first?); I’d forgotten that mention. (Does it say anything about the face structure?) My memory sometimes runs visual; I’ve just confirmed that she’s white (or at least a lot paler), albeit with possibly-unconventional facebones, on the 1.x pb covers. (Am I surprised at Baen whitewashing?) The cover for 2.1 is not as clear as for 2.2, at least on my laptop screen; looks whiter and more sculpted, possibly from the artist showing stress and cold; 2.2 is akin to a formal portrait, clearer to my eyes.

    @Mark: that’s just mean. Answering some of his points: ISTM that the book makes clear that the Mrs W’s are less powerless in the material world, and particularly against darkness, than the Five Gods — but not much. And Mr. Murry winding up on Camazotz is a last-place-you-looked case; he tessered (without really knowing what he was doing) through any number of less-unsafe places before something caught him. On further thought, Drum’s attitude reminds me of Brust’s hilarious panel “Writing for Adults” (1993 WFC), in which he turned all of the dumb clichés trotted out by “Writing for Children” panels on their heads; one of the complaints was that writing for adults was difficult because they had to have everything spelled out. (cf a gamer’s reported complaint of Lord of the Rings that the magic system wasn’t comprehensible (systematic?)). The I-don’t-want-to-piss-on-your-childhood-BUT attitude suggests I can live without his further remarks.

    @Hampus Eckerman:

    Me. Those posters in a tech environment signals to me the irritating type of geeks, hardcore fans that never know when to stop talking about their favourite subject. They are a signal for me to keep away.

    I have not noticed this behavior. Perhaps you’ve been dealing with outliers (is ST still not ~mainstream in your area?); perhaps you should recheck your read of signals (especially wrt when you saw this behavior?).
    Also, There’s a large difference in how you decorate your desk and how the workplace is decorated. The study did involve a meeting room (although it’s not clear how it could have been done in a personal office) — but it’s unclear to me which direction(s) Bourg was going; would she consider a ST poster in someone’s office a discouragement, or even a microagression? Also, it’s possible she’s used to a different kind of office — it’s been decades since I hung around MIT — but virtually all of the ver limited public decor in all of my workplaces over ~4 decades was either absent, or minimalist ~art, or company-related (e.g., screenshots of our MCAD software in action and pictures of things designed on it).


    Taking down posters doesn’t change the underlying office culture, the employees will still talk about Star Trek and similar things and someone without geeky interests will still be uncomfortable.

    I also wonder what Bourg’s reaction to that would be.

    @Elisa:He also tried to require all women to wear skirts That’s the point at which you talk to HR, or even go outside (e.g., EEOC).


    Well, the second distance looks to be rectal extraction, so maybe the first one is as also.

    Is there no canon on the location of Romulus (or, for that matter, on the sounds used in Romulan)? (Granted that the number of significant figures is bogus.) I’d believe the first figure for (e.g.) Moscow-DC based on the great circle program I used to play with; it could have come from some table of distances. (Compare with London-Boston @ 5256, from my records (not sure whether that’s city to city or airport to airport).)

  23. Clip Hitchcock:

    I’d say that Star Trek is not as mainstream in Sweden as it is in US. I find it too hard to define if something is mainstream or not. Everyone knows of Star Trek, but I can’t say how common it is that people have watched it. It is usually not part of the cultural background noise.

    I’d say that the Swedish office of our company looks more or less the same as the US office, the UK office or the Australian office. Neutral meeting rooms. Neutral corridors. Some plants. Your own workplace you decorate as you want (myself, I have voodoo dolls, werewolves, vampires and a zombie teddy bear). Some are nerdy, most are not. Most people have family photos.

  24. Hmm. In my current workplace, the two people I can think of with visible geeky references (one is even a poster of Spock!) at their desks are both women. Okay, one is on mat leave so I suspect the zombies and paraphernalia have gone home for now. But the cubicles are in strips so you can’t walk between just any of them and I may have missed geeky references.

    But I admit, even I may have been weirded out at a picture of Spock in the interview space or meeting room. I’d have been waiting to see if it meant there were people who take IDIC as a valuable concept (say, if I turned out to be being interviewed by a black woman and an Indian-Canadian woman), or if they fit with the conservative mostly-dudes {mostly-white} who love love love Star Trek and SF yet still think STEM isn’t a place for any but the most exceptional woman {Or person of colour} .

  25. Hampus Eckerman: I’d say that the Swedish office of our company looks more or less the same as the US office, the UK office or the Australian office. Neutral meeting rooms. Neutral corridors. Some plants. Your own workplace you decorate as you want (myself, I have voodoo dolls, werewolves, vampires and a zombie teddy bear). Some are nerdy, most are not. Most people have family photos.

    At every place I’ve worked, many of the employees have had geek-related things in their cubicles / on their desks: mugs, photos, calendars, action figures, screensavers and wallpaper on their PCs: especially, but not limited to, Star Trek and Star Wars stuff, My experience is that such paraphernalia is pretty ubiquitous in IT offices in the U.S.

  26. On cubicle decorations:
    The company I worked at required that they be inside the cubicle (not on the outside, even though the inside was visible). Explicitly political and religious material was not allowed. The various conference rooms couldn’t have added decorations (the company took care of them – various artworks were in all the non-cubicle areas, including the enclosed offices).
    Most people had no trouble living with those rules.

  27. New Robert Jackson Bennett! Foundryside! August 23rd! More what and why at his blog.

    The idea of the city-state nation dominated by family factions has always interested me, and I thought it’d be fun to write a book about one such city that discovered a type of magic – and then did what any normal person would do, which is make a ton of money off of it.

  28. I was thinking that my work area didn’t have many decorations, but then I remembered that over a year ago an engineer in my group won a Mr. Spock life-size “standee” which she placed in our hallway, near a supervisor’s office; around Christmas he wears an elf hat, and during other seasons, he wears other appropriate garb.

  29. Well, I’d have been very happy to see a Star Trek poster at any place I’ve ever worked at (but then I don’t work in IT). Instead, it was mostly cars, trucks, ships, planes, sport stuff and the occasional pin-up calendar in the workshop areas on the one hand and educational posters and posters advertising all sorts of cultural events on the other. I’ve even worked in an office with a crucifix on the wall (at the University of Vechta, which started out as a Catholic university, plus the previous occupant of the office was someone from the faculty for Catholic theology, who apparently left the crucifix behind).

    A Star Trek poster in the meeting room at a company not in the entertainment industry would certainly surprise me, if only because meeting rooms are not normally decorated by the staff. In all the meeting rooms I’ve ever been in, the wall decorations were usually connected to whatever the company in question produces, i.e. a truck company will have posters of trucks, a shipyard posters of ships, etc…

    As for JDA’s latest persecution narrative, he doesn’t even seem to understand that if you get to the level that con security and even the chairperson themselves take you aside whenever you show up at their to question you about your intentions, it’s not a good thing. Basically, his mere appearance raises red flags all over, since he’s pretty much a known problem.

  30. At my previous tech company every building had its own meeting room name theme and art to go with it. Ours was “movies”, and we had movie posters. There was Jack Sparrow, Wonder Woman, Willy Wonka and a Ripley – which for reasons nobody could explain had The Talented Mr instead of the obvious Ellen. That got stealthily corrected.

  31. Cora: As for JDA’s latest persecution narrative, he doesn’t even seem to understand that if you get to the level that con security and even the chairperson themselves take you aside whenever you show up at their to question you about your intentions, it’s not a good thing. Basically, his mere appearance raises red flags all over, since he’s pretty much a known problem.

    Another problem was that because Worldcon 76 cannot publicly release detailed information on why JDA was banned without painting harassment targets on a great many peoples’ backs, the FOGcon staff had no idea as to the right questions to ask — or what behaviors to watch for.

  32. Doctor Science: Can anyone point me to people discussing their Best Pro/Fan Artist nominations?

    I’ve put a lot of works up over at the 2018 Hugo Wikia:
    Professional Artist
    My favorites this year are:
    Tommy Arnold (who actually had the 6th most nominations last year once the Puppy noms were disqualified, but got left off the ballot due to EPH)
    Galen Dara
    Donato Giancola
    John Harris
    Reiko Murakami
    Victo Ngai
    Greg Ruth (who’s done some amazing work for the German translations of Nnedi Okorafor’s books)

    Fan Artist
    My favorites this year are:
    Geneva Benton
    Kristina Carroll
    Laya Rose
    Leon Tukker

  33. In approaching 20 years in UK IT I’ve never worked in any office where there was any noticeable geek paraphernalia decorating the place. Most places had at best some company branded motivational posters.

    Had a quick look around our current open plan office to double check and the best I could come up with were some some cartoons pinned to dividers (Dilbert unsurprisingly in a couple of places, and a couple of Bloom Counties on mine). One XKCD in the kitchen would come the nearest. This in a Software Engineering lab. I was recently at our main UK Development hub and it was much the same, so it isn’t just us.

    Even the t-shirts are generally low key and as likely to be plain or humorous as anything.

  34. Doctor Science: Thank you, JJ!

    I had left likhain off my list for Fan Artist, because I hadn’t been able to find much 2017 work by her. But I was finally able to get hold of some, and here it is. I will be nominating her as well.

    She had the highest number of nominations for Fan Artist last year, almost double the nominations for the 2nd place finalist. Her work is really stunning when seen in person. She uses gold and silver metallic inks for highlights, which do not show their true beauty in photos.

  35. @bookworm1398: “Taking down posters doesn’t change the underlying office culture, the employees will still talk about Star Trek and similar things and someone without geeky interests will still be uncomfortable.”

    Then there are the ones where it’s all about sports, or politics, or . . . etc., which also can make people uncomfortable. Gak. I guess I’m lucky where I work – public spaces aren’t for private decorations, and chit-chat tends not to be about any one topic to the degree that people seem to get uncomfortable. Folks talk about the latest movie, the latest software dev thing (i.e., work-adjacent), what they did on their vacation, etc. Whew? 😉

    @Mark (kitteh): “. . . whether he was broadcasting.” – Huh? Did he do that bone-headed bodycam thing?!

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