Pixel Scroll 3/24/16 The Game-Players of Bitin’


(1) IT’S TIME TO PLAY: NAME THAT ELEMENT. You might remember the petition to honor the late Terry Pratchett by giving element 117 the name Octarine — “the color of magic” from Pratchett’s fiction. An article at Nature Chemistry reviews the competing names up for consideration for element 117 — and others.

SB: Petitions like this provide a lot of insight into how people grieve the loss of public figures, but it’s hard, if not impossible, to associate Lemmy with the periodic table or even chemistry and physics. While Lemmy’s death is still fresh in people’s minds, one has to wonder if future generations of scientists would have any connection to him. The petitioners also reference the large mass and expected metallic properties to connect the element with heavy metal music, which is clever on one level, but Lemmy considered Motörhead hard rock not heavy metal. Besides, lemmium would not fall under any of the acceptable categories outlined by IUPAC for naming elements.

KD: You’re probably right, although the petitions have turned out to be a fun way to get people from all areas of life talking about the new elements. We’ve also seen ‘starduston’ and ‘bowium’, in honour of David Bowie. Another example is the one I set up, to name element 117 ‘octarine’, after the colour of magic in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. Obviously I’m biased, but I still maintain that it would be rather appropriate for element 117, which will fall into the halogen group. Octarine is famously described as a sort of greenish-yellow purple, and these are, of course, all halogen colours. It even has the correct -ine ending for the group. According to the mythology of the books, it’s only visible to wizards, witches and cats, which also seems appropriate for an element that’s only been observed by a select few. The odds of IUPAC agreeing to this are probably a million to one but, as Pratchett himself wrote in several Discworld books, million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.

SB: Once you described octarine, I can see how it fits into the halogen family. For an idea like this to gain traction though, someone on the research teams would need to be a fan of Discworld and advocate for it. So far, the mythological concepts used for element names have come from Greek, Roman and Norse sources. These classic mythologies tend to have more universal recognition. Is modern fiction the same as cultural traditions used to explain nature in the ancient world?

KD: Well, all stories have to start somewhere. IUPAC’s rules don’t put an age on the mythology rule, and indeed cobalt, named after the sprites that apocryphally lived underground where its ores were mined, might arguably be considered to be more recent. There are forty-one Discworld books, which have been translated into thirty-seven languages; I’m certain they’ll be remembered for many years to come. Likewise, the periodic table will probably be around for a while; any story we reference now will eventually be old…

(2) A VISIT TO THE SIXTIES. The keen-eyed Traveler at Galactic Journey argues that 55 years ago women were having an impact on the field greater than their numbers suggest.

1961. The year that an Irishman named Kennedy assumed the highest office in the land.  The year in which some 17 African nations celebrated their first birthday.  The air smells of cigarette smoke, heads are covered with hats, and men run politics, industry, and much of popular culture.

In a field (and world) dominated by men, it is easy to assume that science fiction is as closed to women as the local Elks Lodge.  Who are the stars of the genre?  Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Sheckley; these are household names.  But if there is anything I have discovered in my 11 years as an avid science fiction fan (following another 20 of casual interest), it is that there is a slew of excellent woman authors who have produced a body of high quality work.  In fact, per my notes, women write just one ninth of the science fiction stories published, but a full fourth of the best works.

(3) AND TODAY? This past year, according to William Shaw’s “The top 5 science fiction stories of 2015” in The Oxford Student, women wrote most of the best sf stories. (Three were published by Apex Magazine, and the other two by Uncanny Magazine.)

3. Pocosin by Ursula Vernon [http://www.apex-magazine.com/pocosin/]

The tone of story is best summarised by its central image of drinking whisky with Death. A contemplative tale about an old woman who takes in a dying swamp god, this is a slow, sad little number which nevertheless sparkles with the sense of wit and worldly wisdom that a story involving passive-aggressive banter with the devil really ought to have. Melancholy without being mawkish, funny without being daft, this is a gem of a story that highlights some important environmental concerns.

(4) WHAT MAKES A NOMINEE A NOMINEE. Brian Paone seems to be getting ahead of himself, but perhaps that’s an occupational hazard for the author of a time travel novel. See “Being nominated for a Hugo award is winning in itself”.

I found out this week that my time-travel romance novel, “Yours Truly, 2095” has been nominated by Hugo Award board member Christopher Broom for the most prestigious award a science fiction novel can receive: a Hugo Award. When I first started outlining the book, back in 2012, my goal was just to finish the book, without making it sound like a big pile of smoldering poo. I never expected 1) how happy I am with the finished product 2) then how many people have bought or read the book in the only 9 months its been out 3) then how many positive 4 & 5 star reviews its consistently receiving and finally 4) that I would ever be nominated for anything, never mind a Hugo!

When I told a friend, and fellow author Randy Blazak, his response was, “this will shoot you into the stratosphere.” I appreciate his enthusiasm for what this might do for my career, but honestly, I’m just on cloud nine that I was even nominated. I’m not even thinking of the future yet.

The award ceremony is in Kansas City during the weekend of August 17. For the first few seconds, I contemplated not going, since being at the ceremony is not a prerequisite, but it was my wife (who I always say might be my worst critic, but my number one supporter) told me, in not so many words, not going wasn’t an option.

So now I will be planning (airfare, hotel, etc) over the next few week to attend an award ceremony–not only any award ceremony, but the most prestigious award ceremony of the year–waiting with bated breath to hear my name and book title called out from the podium. And if it doesn’t win, it will not be a loss. It’s already been a greater win for me than I could ever have imaged 4 years ago when I started writing the book.

Sounds like he poured a bit too much of that timey-wimey stuff into his coffee… The nominations won’t be known til after the first round of voting closes March 31.

(5) SUPERHERO MOVIE MAKERS MAY BOYCOTT GEORGIA. Variety reports “Disney, Marvel to Boycott Georgia if Religious Liberty Bill Is Passed”

The Walt Disney Co. and Marvel Studios indicated opposition to a Georgia religious liberty bill pending before Gov. Nathan Deal, saying that they will take their business elsewhere “should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law.”

With generous tax incentives, Georgia has become a production hub, with Marvel currently shooting “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” at Pinewood Studios outside Atlanta. “Captain America: Civil War” shot there last summer.

“Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” a Disney spokesman said on Wednesday.

(6) THE TITANOGRAPHY OF TOLKIEN. NASA has updated the Mountains of Titan Map.

This map of Saturn’s moon Titan identifies the locations of mountains that have been named by the International Astronomical Union. The map is an update to a previous version published in 2012 (see Mountains of Titan), and includes an additional mountain area (Moria Montes), along with several “colles” which are collections of hills.

By convention, mountains on Titan are named for mountains from Middle-earth, the fictional setting in fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. Unfortunately for “Lord of the Rings” fans, Titan’s highest peak is not Doom Mons (see Radar View of Titan’s Tallest Mountains).

(7) DOG HOUSE RULES. Kate Paulk’s latest policy statement, in “Why The Internets No Can Has Nice Things” at Mad Genius Club.

Those who have asked to be removed are being asterisked instead to indicate that they asked to be taken off. My perspective is that this is a list of people’s recommendations. There is no need to ask for permission, any more than anyone needs to ask for permission to post a review or purchase the work. Frankly, I think asking to be taken off anyone’s list of award-worthy pieces is an insult to the people who genuinely believe the work is that good, so unless someone asking to be removed is prepared to institute a policy that requires prior approval before purchasing their work, reviewing it, and so forth, they stay on the list.

If someone wants their very own asterisk on the list, they need only ask me. I’m not that difficult to get hold of, and I am asterisking those who ask on the two list posts. I’ll asterisk someone who asks here, too. There may be a delay, since I do have a rather demanding full time job, but it will happen.

(8) NOTHING SUCCEEDS LIKE SUCCESSION. In the Playpen at Ferretbrain, Arthur B. asks:

How do you become the Sad Puppies organiser anyway? Divine right? Killing and eating the heart of your predecessor? Satanic pacts? Who gets to choose who drives the clown car?

(9) DOUBLE-THREAT. How It Should Have Ended not only corrects the illogical events in the The Force Awakens but does it with Lego characters.

(10) COVER LETTER. Karen Junker provided the text of the email she sent to We Are ALL SF members.

Dear We Are ALL SF patrons, I want to apologize to you personally for not getting in touch with you sooner regarding the cancellation of We Are ALL SF Con. Frankly, I have been very ill and I have not known what, exactly, to say.

The con was cancelled after I resigned from the convention board and without the knowledge or consent of the board. There was a lot of confusion and things became too difficult to save the situation. I was re-appointed back to the board and since my name was still on the legal docs, the bank, and the Paypal account, it fell to me to send refunds. I did so by selling a personal investment so that the funds would be covered. I got the refunds out, but was not able to do much more than that, and it has been so emotionally grueling for me to see a project that I had worked on for over a year and poured much of my own personal money into to be destroyed, out of what amounts to petty nonsense.

If you see any public statements about me, please disregard. They are patently untrue. I have a proven track record over the past 15 years in the literary and SFF community. Why someone would attack me or an organization I am attached to is beyond me. I have spent a large sum of my own money in the past few years, putting on writers’ events and workshops and conventions and conferences. We Are ALL SF was no different. I am heartbroken that this great con, which would have been so much fun, was destroyed. I hope to see you again at another thing, some day, somewhere. I wish you well in your work and in your life. Yours, Karen Junker, Chairman, We Are ALL SF Foundation

(11) GIVE THEM LIBERTY. As always, plenty of Baen authors will be attending Libertycon 29 (July 8-10) — Griffin Barber, Rick Boatwright, Walt Boyes, Robert Buettner, David B. Coe, Larry Correia, Kacey Ezell, Bill Fawcett, Charles Gannon, Sarah A. Hoyt, Les Johnson, Mike Massa, Jody Lynn Nye, Gray Rinehart (Master of Ceremonies), John Ringo, Tedd Roberts, Chris Smith, Brad Torgersen, David Weber, Toni Weisskopf, and Michael Z. Williamson.

(12) MISSED ONE. I could have included John Scalzi on the list of “Science Fiction Writers Who Were Never Drunk on Saint Patrick’s Day”. Here’s an excerpt from his post “Why I Don’t Drink or Use Drugs” at Whatever.

It’s true: I don’t drink alcohol except in very rare circumstances (like, half a glass of champagne at my wedding), I’ve never smoked cigarettes, I’ve never taken an illegal drug, and outside of Novocaine at the dentist’s office, I’m generally reluctant to take legal drugs either; my wife always expresses surprise if I go to the medicine cabinet for ibuprofen, for example.  So what’s the story there?

(13) MOST FUN SINCE ADAM. Tor.com collects their favorite tweets from #TheInternetNamesAnimals in “Boaty McBoatface Inspires An Epic Naming Battle on Twitter!”

(14) AN INDISPENSIBLE CULTURAL LANDMARK. The Ukulele Batman vs Bagpipe Superman – Theme Song Battle.

(15) IT WAS BARELY MADE TO START WITH. A remake of Plan 9 From Outer Space? Too late! It was released in the US as video-on-demand last month.

Now the long awaited remake of the classic film is here! In this edge-of-your-set, visually stunning, re-imagination of the original story, “Plan 9” is a spectacular sci-fi/horror adventure with jaw-dropping effects and zombies galore! It’s the film Ed Wood wished he made!

No matter what they say, I was not waiting for this.

And despite all that’s holy, a novelization also came out in February.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Janice Gelb, Mark-kitteh, Hampus Eckerman, Taral, and James H. Burns for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

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234 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/24/16 The Game-Players of Bitin’

  1. I’m not blind, though, to the idea that the Hugo at each Worldcon must remain above suspicion. Part of that involves eating a lot of shit without being allowed to make a response. Part of me understands why, after the months of accusations of being bribed, of being tools, of being not real fans, why they felt the asterisks were in order. Another part thinks that part of being on the Hugo committee involves grinning and bearing it.

    The Sasquan Hugo Administrators (i.e. myself and Ruth Sachter) had nothing to do with the asterisks that were presented to the Hugo finalists. That came from the people running the ceremony, not the people counting the ballots.

    My personal opinion was that they were in bad taste, and help sabotage hard work we’d put in all year to try to keep the actual administration of the Hugos above any politics.

  2. @Brendan
    My husband is a supporting member and is doing his own nominations so it would be a double vote. Otherwise I’d do as you are with your roommate. 😉

    Big day for me all. Today I filled out 90% of my ballot nominating for the Hugos for the first time ever. In the past 5-8 years we’ve never gotten my password fixed in time. I had to pull my 17″ laptop out (don’t buy new technology 3 days before getting hit by a truck *shakes head*). I’m in some pain from the 1+ hours it took as I needed more information for fields so I couldn’t just copy and paste from my Hugo file. I thought I’d gotten everything after my last look but I’d missed half the screen… Oops. I’m so excited I’m part of the entire process this year and not just the final voting!!!!

  3. I’ve turned over the artists part of my ballot to my artist husband. Frankly, he’s got better taste than I do…. (And a heartfelt thank you, Dr. Science, for the lists of eligible artists with samples….)

  4. So, I popped over to JCW’s journal to see what was jumpin’, and because I seem to recall reading that he’d said something strange, I forget exactly what. I see that in a recent post (A Modest Proposal) he includes a two-paragraph quote, supposedly by someone posting on File770, that is basically excusing pedophilia. I can’t find the quote via search engine on any page other than that post. Does anyone recall seeing something like that here recently?

  5. I think was a case of a quote where the paragraph before and after the quote provide context, and that context – shock! – proves JCW is talking out of his ass.

  6. I wouldn’t be surprised. I was surprised that a search for one of the strings in the paragraph didn’t turn anything up, as I often can do that on comments from just a few minutes before (I often do that when I’ve just read an interesting reply via email, then quickly deleted the email without thinking about it, and couldn’t remember which thread it was posted on).

  7. JJ: As he’s not bothered to correct his website, it’s certainly looking as though he’s well aware that he’s making a false claim and is hoping for viral marketing.

    Kevin Standlee: Except that it’s not a false claim — it’s a meaningless claim, like being “nominated” for a Nobel Prize.

    I understand that what he’s saying isn’t actually a false statement — but I consider it a disingenuous and deceptive one, if it’s deliberately left on his websites after he’s been informed that being nominated by one person does not make him a finalist. It does not make me kindly disposed to him or to his book that the statement is still there.

    JJ: …using the existing brand name of a very large company which will no doubt come down hard on him as soon as they figure it out.

    Kevin Standlee: by the so-called “plain meaning” test, you can be a Hugo Award nominee with one nomination, even if you cast it yourself for yourself. WSFS gave up trying to police this in any way; it’s impossible.

    I wasn’t referring to the WSFS Mark Protection Committee. I was referring to Scout Media, whose attorney will no doubt be engaging in some correspondence with Mr. Paone as soon as they figure out what he’s doing.

  8. Zil: The Hugo admins seem very anxious to avoid the “people didn’t get emails” problem from earlier this year — I just received five emails in a row confirming the current contents of my ballot…

    You will get an e-mail notifcation for every time you click “Save” in the nomination form.

  9. @kathodus:

    Check the comments on the final Rabid Pup “not a slate” post. Someone named Dan talking about “Safe Space as Rape Room”, Breen, Zimmer-Bradley, and Delany. Bet you’ll find it there. I’m not looking again, though…

  10. Cat on March 25, 2016 at 3:37 pm said:

    Peace is My Middle Name wrote:

    To be fair, it does look like the ridiculous asterisk thing was a deliberate slight, unlike so much of what the Puppies have taken umbrage at. That was regrettable.)

    I don’t see what reputable source you are getting this from. The asterisk was what an asterisk usually is in sports records–an indication that there was something unusual about that year (and boy howdy was there) that may be explained in a footnote.

    The Puppies, through a combination of guilty conscience and their preoccupation with male homosexuality, decided the asterisk was intended to represent an anus. We don’t have to buy in to their interpretation. Their combination of complete inability to understand other people’s states of mind (which we have seen many times) *and* their tendency to impute the worst possible motives to others to enchance their self pity and victim status (which we have also seen many times) means I do not consider them trustworthy on these matters, but your mileage may vary.

    I never rely on Puppy leaders’ accounts of events. They have demonstrated bad faith far too many times on things which are readily disprovable for me to trust their word on anything.

    Am I mistaken, or did not David Gerrold himself make somewhat unseemly comments that indicated the Puppies may not have been mistaken in their interpretation?

    I thought I recalled that being one of the letdowns of the post-Hugo period.

  11. Oh shit.

    Tasha, I want to apologize if mentioning that thread o’ sewage triggered you again. (Anyone else, too, but Tasha in particular.) Thought better of it too late. I’m sorry.

  12. Well damn. I just finished Cat Valente’s “Radiance” and now I have to add it to my novel ballot.

    I’m definitely nominating “The Serafina Duology” by Rachel Hartman. Also thinking about the revised edition of the Exordium series by Sherwood Smith & Dave Trowbridge. It’s still got some issues, but it’s just so *big*, thoughtful and powerful.

  13. As he’s not bothered to correct his website, it’s certainly looking as though he’s well aware that he’s making a false claim and is hoping for viral marketing.

    I’m not sure he parsed Kevin’s comment correctly – his response could be read as “ooh, cool, thanks for telling me, a Hugo nominee, all this neat stuff about being a Hugo nominee!”.

    The Dunning-Kreuger is strong in this one.

  14. @Tasha – Congratulatio…

    wait. Truck?

    I would ask if you are “ok”, but the fact that you are posting grants a certain level of that.

  15. @Dawn Incognito, thanks. Now I get a reference Tasha made earlier. Ugh. Such a love of ugliness the rabids have.

  16. My Best Dramatic Short form Longlist:
    Person of Interest: If-Then-Else
    The Expanse: CQB
    Agents of SHIELD: 4,722 Hours
    Doctor Who: The Zygon Invasion/Inversion
    Doctor Who: The Woman Who Lived
    (Most people who considered Doctor Who seem to be aiming for Heaven Sent and/or the Husbands of River Song, though)
    Marvel’s Agent Carter: Snafu
    Marvel’s Agent Carter: Valediction
    Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Ultimately I moved this to long form as I couldn’t choose one episode)
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Hadn’t narrowed it to one episode before it fell off the long list)
    Marvel’s Daredevil: Stick
    Welcome to Night Vale: Triptych
    Welcome to Night Vale: That episode. Augh. You know the one? No, not Registry of Middle School Crushes. The other one. Remember? Yeah, that one.
    Welcome to Night Vale: The Registry of Middle School Crushes
    Steven Universe … (Hadn’t gotten to the 2015 stuff yet but was holding open the possibility. Won’t manage it in the next 5 days)

    So far I have only watched the first episode of Killjoys and the first two of Sense8, and none of Dark Matter. And I do not generally watch Game of Thrones.
    THe Serafina Duology is one of three things still struggling in my head for the last place on my Best novel nominations, but so far the one I wrote in pending my final decision hasn’t been displaced, quite.

  17. @Dawn Incognito
    No problem mentioning the thread. I’m done with it. Dan was a typical case of fake concern while trolling. I’d made a decision a couple years ago not to let these kinds of trolls get away without having to face real survivors and showing they don’t really care. It’s tough but empowering.

    The accident happened in 3/2012 so yeah I’m as OK as I’ll ever get. 😉 I nominated for the Hugos. Me. I don’t think I’ll run around telling people I nominated them. Wouldn’t want more confused nominees on the net. LOL

    The rabids are something else.

  18. Tasha: Part of the reason i’m being slightly vague about which of the above I actually did nominate versus put into consideration is being respectful, and not wanting to look like I’m promoting copying my picks verbatim, even to those who seem to confuse truth for taffy. I’ve said enough elsewhere that people can make a fair guess if they care.

  19. Jamoche on March 25, 2016 at 5:35 pm said:

    I’m not sure he parsed Kevin’s comment correctly – his response could be read as “ooh, cool, thanks for telling me, a Hugo nominee, all this neat stuff about being a Hugo nominee!”.

    He’s also posted on my LiveJournal. I don’t think he’s as clueless as some of you think. I also don’t think he realizes what listing himself as a “Hugo Award Nominee” looks like to people who know what it actually means.


    I disagree with OGH opinion that we should have stuck with the older “nominee” term because it would have led to more confrontations (as WSFS MPC Chair, I’m typically the person contacting people on this subject) than I would like, and would make WSFS look like the Mean Old Nasty People for destroying people’s joy over being a “Hugo Award nominee,” while too many pedants could plausibly claim that “plain meaning” = “nominee” and that we were Bad People for telling people to remove such claims even though in my opinion it’s an abuse of WSFS’s intellectual property to use our service marks to promote yourself when you don’t deserve it. (Incidentally, you don’t need permission to call yourself a Hugo Award Finalist (or Winner) if you were shortlisted (or won) a Hugo Award; it’s a legitimate description and we encourage people to use it when you’ve earned it.) Better to use a term that is more objective and less easy to misconstrue, even though it’s an annoyance. But I respect Mike’s position even if I don’t agree with it.

  20. TheYoungPretender on March 25, 2016 at 7:33 am said:
    re (7)
    Could Slow Bullets presence on the Rabid list be a reason it hasn’t been asterisked yet? Looking at the list of people who’ve requested their removal, I think that Slow Bullets is the one point of overlap between the Sads and the Rabids amongst the people who’ve wanted off.
    Whatever else we all may think of Paulk, the Impala, and the Other One – they’re still women on the internet, and thus heir to all the horrific bullshit that entails. I can think they are being utter children to Reynolds and everyone else who doesn’t want to be touched by the Puppy taint. But I have to say, if not asterisking is their way of dodging a ticket to the reality now occupied by Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu, et al., because they’ll have been viewed as “betraying” the Rabids, I might just act the same way in their shoes.

    Replying to this late because I’ve been AFK, but I felt uncomfortable reading this. The possible reasons for “Slow Bullets” not getting the asterisk (yet) are many but the suggestion that it’s because Sarah Hoyt, Kate Paulk, or Amanda Green are afraid of Vox Day is unlikely, not to mention insulting to them. I think we can be better than this.

    From what I’ve seen of Sad Puppies 4, the way it’s been/being run is not terribly efficient, the responses to comments & enquiries have not been prompt. There is not even contact details available at the website so you’re left with leaving a comment & hoping it gets out of moderation (eventually). Some have made contact to the individual organisers directly but I don’t know how efficiently they are sharing information with each other. Ideally, a single SP4 email address that all three have access to would have been a good solution to centralise all queries. It’s not rocket science.

    It all comes across as a not-very-competently-run campaign. Add to that the regular references of Hoyt & Paulk of being over-worked, fatigued, sleep-deprived (and Hoyt’s also talked about health issues), it’s not a surprise that SP4 is a bit of a shambles. If I were them I would not have put my hand up to organise Sad Puppies 4, mostly because it’s a pointless toxic brand, but also because I have too much else on my plate to do it justice.

    ETA: And as I write this, “Slow Bullets” now has an asterisk.

  21. Kevin Standlee: I don’t think he’s as clueless as some of you think. I also don’t think he realizes what listing himself as a “Hugo Award Nominee” looks like to people who know what it actually means.

    Apart from the documented horrible Puppy methods, there are certainly few ways that someone could dissuade me faster from ever reading their books, much less nominating them for a Hugo, than posting deceptive statements which appear to claim that they are a Hugo finalist. And I strongly suspect that I’m far from the only person who feels this way.

    Kevin Standlee: You know, maybe the Hugo Awards have grown to the point where Nigerian spammers can start telling people, “I am [INSERT NAME HERE] of the Board of HUGO AWARD. You have been nominated for HUGO AWARD. Wire $$$$ to claim your nomination.”


  22. @Tasha:

    Dan was a typical case of fake concern while trolling. I’d made a decision a couple years ago not to let these kinds of trolls get away without having to face real survivors and showing they don’t really care. It’s tough but empowering.

    That sounds exhausting. I’m glad that you find it empowering. Mad respect from this quarter nonetheless.

    re: Brian Paone, I choose to give him a small break on the website corrections. It’s Easter weekend, and for some people that means lots of church and/or family. If there’s still nothing by early next week, I will view it somewhat differently.

  23. Well, it is good to see that Slow Bullets has its asterisk; and that it has one does make the case (among other things) for simple incompetence. But considering that I heard of Reynolds saying “take me off” first and he got the mark last; and he’s been the one with some overlap; and that a view from last year of Sad Puppies as a muppet with Teddys hand firmly you-know-where; and Teddys full willingness to be unspeakable; I’m still not going to say I had an unreasonable theory.

  24. TYP,
    It would not have surprised me if there had been some pettiness as well involved in the delay given past experience, but whatever else I may think of Hoyt, Paulk, & Green, they come across as people who stand by their positions no matter how wrong-minded. I took them on their word when they said they would amend the list to include asterisks.

  25. I will say that there willingness to carry Teddys water while going on about people judging them for that was sooooo unfaaaiir made me assume their stands were as solid as they were intellectually consistent.

    But I’ll also say there is a good deal to be said for your opinion as well.

  26. I popped over to JCW’s journal to see what was jumpin’, and because I seem to recall reading that he’d said something strange,

    Also, the sun rose in the east today.

  27. @Lenora Rose on March 25, 2016 at 6:41 pm said:

    Tasha: Part of the reason i’m being slightly vague about which of the above I actually did nominate versus put into consideration is being respectful, and not wanting to look like I’m promoting copying my picks verbatim, even to those who seem to confuse truth for taffy. I’ve said enough elsewhere that people can make a fair guess if they care.

    Great policy. Also gives people last minute ideas or reminders of things they may have forgotten. I’ve got no policy this year. My husband has a general policy of never tell anyone how you vote and I’ve been leaning that way. Mentioning things of interest but until today I didn’t know what I was putting on my ballot and things could change again as I have more to read between now and the last day.

    @Dawn Incognito
    Luckily most places/communities I hang out don’t allow many trolls. I don’t do that on FB/Twitter/similar or I’d go insane.

  28. The Puppies, through a combination of guilty conscience and their preoccupation with male homosexuality, decided the asterisk was intended to represent an anus.

    WAIT. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Back up a step. I think I missed a whole chapter.

    The Puppies… assert that the asterisk given out at Sasquan… represents an anus???

    Seriously? You’re not making that up as a joke?

  29. @laura I read JCW’s post about Good Friday and Easter…and even there, he couldn’t resist putting in personal beliefs and politics. Easter Eggs are NOT from a pagan tradition! Abortion is the “True” pagan holdover!

  30. Laura Resnick: WAIT. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Back up a step. I think I missed a whole chapter. The Puppies… assert that the asterisk given out at Sasquan… represents an anus??? Seriously? You’re not making that up as a joke?

    Oh, I guess you missed that part of the asterisk subkerfuffle.

    Vonnegut apparently had a bunch of hand-drawn illustrations in his book Breakfast of Champions, including this one.

    Puppies claimed that this — and not the fact that they’d turned the 2015 Hugo results into the Year Of The Asterisk — was Gerrold’s inspiration for the wooden asterisks.

  31. @Laura Resnick – Yep. No joke. As history shows, there is nothing that the Pups cannot take out of context.

    Edit to add – Ninja’d by JJ.

  32. Kendall: If you’ve read LOTR, there’s no need to waste your time on Shannara. Even in college, its bargain-basement-knockoff quality kicked me out of the book within a few chapters.

    Also, Dragonflight is from the early part of the series that’s clearly fantasy, all dragons and telepathy. You don’t really start getting into the blurring-the-lines part until The White Dragon. Pern is one of the edge cases that makes the idea of a strict division between SF and fantasy laughable.

  33. Laura, JJ: There’s also the fairly common use of the asterisk to represent an asshole or a horse’s ass in emoticons, thusly: ( * ).

  34. There were also uses of the asterisk at conventions, where a card bearing an asterisk was held up to signify that someone was asking for elaboration or explanation.

    It turned up at Making Light in the form of a bracketed asterisk, thus: [*], which gives something of the aspect of a card being held up.

    Not long after, I hit upon the use of tooltips, aka hovertext, as a way of extending, expanding, or explaining a joke, at the Comics Curmudgeon. The only problem was that due to stylesheets or whatever, such text didn’t distinguish itself in any way, so I used the [*] as a marker to indicate that the preceding text was clickable. Others mutated it a bit so that the [*] became the thing you had to click on. It was all the rage for a while. Sadly, I had gotten too busy to devote the time needed to keep up with the ever-expanding CC, and wandered away from it with much regret, so I don’t know if they’re still doing it.

  35. And Mez wins the Philip K Dick award for Apex. A good sign for a book on my personal longlist. Looks like a good selection of books in the award shortlist…

  36. @Rev. Bob: No credit cookie? Thanks for letting me know! Traditional 7th member of the League – which one, original or revamped or re-revamped or ??? 😉 Anyway, FYI I don’t have a choice in seeing it; I console myself with thoughts of Wonder Woman and Momoa (sp?) as Aquaman.

    @Peace Is My Middle Name: Kinuko Craft is another of my favorite SFF artists! The list of “Kendall’s favorite SFF artists” may be a bit long, granted

    @Vasha: Good catch on Barrayar. I’m not super-familiar with a lot of the Vorkosigan series (I’ve only read one book and a short) (blush), but I’d wondered where it fit in.

    @lurkertype: I’m enjoying A Crown for Cold Silver, but I just realized how long it is, and while I like it, I doubt it’ll replace something on my ballot. This kinda makes me wish I’d started a shorter book that I had a chance in hell of finishing by the 31st. 😉 If I’d known, I would’ve resisted reading the 7-8 chapter sample and the $1.99 deal once I read the extended sample. Oh well, if it’s nominated, I’ll be ahead of the game, heh!

  37. @Laura Resnick: Yup, The Phantom and other Young-Canines-of-Varied-Dispositions frequently refer to the “*” as “assterisk.”

    @Lee: The Pern books are clearly science fiction from the very beginning if one pays attention, but I can understand how one could think that they are fantasy until Dragonquest, the second in the series.

  38. @Lee: Heh, too late – I read the first several “Shannara” books many, many years ago! 😉 I posted those “Essentials” lists in case anyone else (like me) is interested to see what other people/committees/companies come up with. I’ve read roughly a third of the fantasy and a third of the SF from those lists. As lists go, they’re not half bad, though I’m very unfamiliar with some of the books.

    IIRC the second and third “Shannara” books were better than the first (unsurprisingly). My other half and I are enjoying the TV series (which is mostly “Elfstones”), though it’s a bit goofy at times. He decided to start re-reading “Sword,” so I joined in the nostalgia and got the first audiobook or two. I haven’t listened yet, and I doubt they hold up great. But I remember “Elfstones” and “Wishsong” fondly, so when I’m in the mood, I’ll fire them up. I don’t mind a little Tolkien retread. 😉

    And what do you mean? Pern is clearly SF from the prologue of the first book. She set up the back story right there! 😉 Okay, looks and feels fantasy but technically (IMHO) SF. More nostalgia: The “Dragonriders” series was the first audiobook I got, back in the day, on cassettes. Brilliance (IIRC) put different audio on the left & right channels, so they squeezed twice as much audio onto a cassette, which was, er, brilliant of them. The cassettes are still in my basement, methinks.

  39. I remember reading some Shannara (my mam picked up some old copies on the cheap from a charity shop) and feeling distinctly unimpressed. This was even at a point where I wasn’t a particularly discerning reader and would devour basically anything that had words on a page.

  40. @Laura Resnick, RE Vonnegbutts:

    My memory is that the Vonnegut/Breakfast of Champions anus drawing connection was first made by a non-Puppy (this makes sense if you consider that the puppies don’t seem likely to have read Breakfast of Champions, or if they did, to have particularly liked it, given some of its prominent themes). I seem to remember a “haha, reminds me of Breakfast of Champions” comment by a Filer here. I can’t find that comment, though. It may well have been in my own head, as I’ve never forgotten my shock and excitement when I read that bit at age 15 or so, and realized a SERIOUS AUTHOR made a ridiculous, crude joke in a SERIOUS BOOK. Literature can be fun! (for even a not-so-mature-for-his-age 15 year old)

    Here’s JJ quoting what appears to be Gerrold’s first mention of the asterisk idea, with no suggestion at all that it’s a reference to anuses:

  41. @Kendall: (7th member)

    Any of the above, but GL’s a core member in all the iterations I can recall. As for Aquaman… I’m tellin’ ya, no dialogue and maybe a minute of screen time. Cyborg’s dad gets more of both.

  42. @Petrea: I read the whole MJ review aloud to Mr. lurkertype (and yes I’ve used this name long enough that he’ll answer to that). I did have to stop now and again to laugh.

    @Laura R: are you surprised by what dumb stuff Pups do, even now?

  43. @Mike – Oh, yeah, right. I remember that unfortunate post. And also, re-reading the quote I originally linked, he does actually call the Puppies assholes after discussing the asterisk. That could definitely be a coincidence, given how the Puppies were acting at the time, but it could also be a *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge* kinda thing.

    Also, reading through the RP slate thread that I (probably, in retrospect, purposely) didn’t *tick* and, UGH!

  44. Also, the sun rose in the east today.

    Not in my neighborhood!

    My favorite game show moment was on one of the incarnations of The Newlywed Game where they asked the couples, “In what direction does the sun rise in your neighborhood?” and got a variety of answers and then some of the couples argued about it.

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