Pixel Scroll 3/29/16 Police My Tears, the Scrollman Said

(1) SIAM SINFONIETTA. Somtow Sucharitkul conducts at Carnegie Hall tonight! On Facebook, he posted a picture of his dressing room.

Somtow at Carnegie Hall

(2) SOCIETY PAGES. The Planetary Society has released the second installment of The Planetary Post with actor and Society board member Robert Picardo, their newsletter featuring the most notable space happenings.

For this issue, we took a trip to the set of the scientist-produced musical called “Boldly Go!” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.

 

(3) HOP ON POP. “William Shatner sued for $170 million by man claiming to be his long-lost son”

William Shatner is being sued for $170 million by a radio host who claims to be the “Star Trek” legend’s long-lost son.

Peter Sloan has boldly gone and filed legal paperwork in Florida demanding Shatner submit to a DNA test and cease claiming he isn’t his father.

Sloan, 59, claims his birth mother, late Canadian actress Kathy McNeil, had a brief affair with Captain Kirk in Toronto. She gave him up for adoption at 5 days old.

But Shatner, 85, denies Sloan is his son, and claims the local radio host is trying to unfairly live long and prosper from the connection.

(4) MEMORY NUMBER ONE. Madeleine E. Robins makes a riveting anecdote out of her earliest memory, in “My Mother Went Out for Lemons” at Book View Café.

As a small child my family lived in the top two floors (or more properly, the top floor and an attic) of a brownstone on 11th Street in New York City. Four years after this story we moved to another brownstone, also on 11th Street, where we lived in the bottom two floors.  But that’s neither here nor there in terms of this memory.

My brother would have been about six months old–I know this because it was spring (and both my brother and I were December babies, but it wasn’t swelteringly hot the way that summer in New York City so often is). I would have been about two and a half. And my mother was making dinner and realized that she needed a lemon. Rather than waking the baby and packing us both into the stroller and going down to the corner to fetch a lemon, Mom made a different call: she sat me down on the couch, told me not to move, and went out to buy a lemon….

(5) ONE RULE TO BIND THEM ALL. Jeffe Kennedy warns against violating the One Rule, in “Romance Tropes for SFF Writers” at the SFWA Blog.

The romance in the book does not end happily. It does not end with even the promise of happiness. The heroine and the hero part ways with every indication that this will be a permanent separation.

Now, there is nothing wrong with this ending for a science fiction novel. However, for a book marketed as SFR, it’s a huge violation of reader trust. It’s an ending that makes romance readers throw the book against the wall. It’s a profound betrayal that destroys their trust in an author.

An argument that gets introduced in a lot of these conversations – always from non-romance readers – is that the HEA/HFN is not mandatory. That it’s okay for a story to end tragically. Romeo and Juliet gets trotted out. And sure, that’s true! But Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies! Sure, there’s a romance in it. You can even say the romance is the core of the story, but that doesn’t make it a romance. Why not?

Because it ends tragically, not happily.

(6) TRUST. R. S. Belcher says “Trust Your Editor” in a post at Magical Words.

Like I said, I was pissed. I had been doing this job of writing and getting paid for it for a long time, years. I paid bills, mine and my family’s bills, on my words, and I thought, after busting my hump on this piece that it was one of the best journalism pieces I had written.

The first chicken McNugget of “wisdom” I’ll throw out here, is whatever you write, if you expect to get paid for it, expect to deal with criticism…from all corners. You have to learn how to deal with that anger or it will eat you up like acid, or worse, it will influence how you write. It will affect how fearless you get in your writing, what you do, how you say it, and what you decide to not say. If you can’t handle that, pack it in, take up alpaca herding or something, ’cause you will be a bitter, miserable, and poor writer (in more ways than one).

So, I took a few days, because my deadline allowed me to, and did nothing in regards to the article. I did not email this editor and tell him exactly what I thought of his revisions, and where he could stuff them. I did not quit in a funk, or bad-mouth the guy and his publication in social media. In other words, I didn’t shoot my career in the face with a bazooka. I raged in private, I calmed the hell down, and I got back to work.

I did every single thing this editor had wanted me to do; when all was said and done, when all the ego, and emotional sturm und drang was over, it was a better piece, a better creation of my writing, my words. My editor was right, and he was damn good at his job. The moral of this story is trust your editor.

Now, I’m not saying trust every editor, I’m saying trust your editor.

(7) TWO DADS. The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman, on sale May 31. The Fireman by Joe Hill, on sale May 17. John King Tarpinian says, “Joe Hill gave Ray Bradbury credit for the title. Both books are dedicated to the authors’ newborn babies.”

Fireman and gaiman

(8) PATTY DUKE OBIT. Patty Duke passed away March 29 at the age of 69. Sean Astin paid tribute to his mother online:

Shortly after the news was made public that his famous mother Patty Duke had passed, Sean Astin took to social media to post a heartwarming tribute — and announce that he’s launching a mental health initiative in her honor.

“I love you mom,” he wrote alongside a photo of his mother holding him as a baby. The message also included the statement that the family released to announce the passing.

Along with image, Sean posted the words, “Her work endures,” along with a link to the Patty Duke Mental Health Project.

“My mother’s life touched tens of millions of people. Her ground breaking portrayal of iconic American legend Helen Keller, launched a career that would span six decades,” Sean wrote of the crowd-funded project. “First on broadway and then on the silver screen, Patty Duke’s characterization of the extraordinary development of the blind/deaf child brought global attention to the plight of people living with those challenges.

“The nature of this kind of illuminating and compassionate work become the sacred mission of her life,” he continued. “She became a voice for the voiceless, a reassuring presence for the scared, the intimidated and the lost. She was a healer of many souls and a champion for so many in need.”

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.

revenge of the creature

  • March 29, 1955 Revenge of the Creature was seen for the first time.  Clint Eastwood, uncredited, makes his first screen appearance in this movie as the goofy white coated lab assistant.
  • March 29, 2004 Shaun of the Dead premieres in London.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRL.

  • March 29, 1968 – Lucy Lawless of Xena fame.

(11) A LENS MAN LOOKS AT NARNIA. Vishwas R. Gaitonde has some thoughts about the worldwide popularity of Lewis’ Narnia stories. “With No Inkling of the Contents: Viewing Narnia Through a Hindu Lens” at The Mantle.

Recognizing Hindu Philosophy in Narnia

I began to wonder: what would Narnia be like if it were viewed through a Hindu lens? Perhaps part of the worldwide popularity of the Narnian saga lies in people from other cultures discovering a resonance of their own spiritual beliefs—meanings that Lewis never consciously intended. But then, works of imagination are open to interpretation. As I contemplated the Christian themes in Lewis’ work, I began to wonder: what would Narnia be like if it were viewed through a Hindu lens? Could a reader find such themes throughout Narnia?

…In viewing Narnia through a Hindu lens, I have largely drawn from the Hindu school of philosophy called Advaita Vedanta, which is arguably the most popular contemporary concept of Hinduism.

Atman, Brahman, and Maya: Hindus believe that the human soul (Atman) intuitively knows that existence within a physical body is not its true nature—that it is part of the Godhead, the Universal Spirit (Brahman). But in its body prison, the soul has forgotten its real identity. This ignorance (avidya) forms the human quandary and its accompanying sorrows….

Mythology awakens within us the desire for our true selfIn The Silver Chair, Prince Rilian has similarly forgotten who he is for years whilst bewitched by the Lady of the Green Kirtle. When liberated, Rilian regains full knowledge that he is the heir to the Narnian throne. He declares, “For now that I am myself, I can remember that enchanted life, though while I was enchanted, I could not remember my true self.” Similarly, in The Horse and His Boy, Shasta is clueless about his true identity, but he knows that he isn’t who he and others think he is (a slave or serf). His intuition sets him on a quest that ultimately reveals he is the lost heir of Archenland. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Lord Rhoop is trapped on Dark Island where subconscious dreams come to life, where one is a prisoner of his or her own mind. In The Silver Chair, Jill Pole sees boulders and is fooled into thinking they may have given rise to the old wives’ tales of giants—until the boulders turn out to be actual giants. In The Last Battle, Puzzle the Donkey cloaked in a lion’s skin deceives others into thinking he is Aslan. And in Prince Caspian, Caspian longs for the old Narnia, just as the soul instinctively knows that there is a better place and a better experience (viz., Brahman, Spirit) than its current surroundings. Mythology awakens within us the desire for our true self—so just as Caspian clings to his myths, Hindus hang on to theirs.

(12) JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS. Here’s how John Joseph Adams said it, in “NEWS: Hugo Award Nomination Deadline is March 31”:

If you like a thing, and you think it’s deserving of a Hugo Award, nominate it! If you’re not familiar with a thing, but you saw it on a suggested nominations list or something of the sort, either read/watch it, and then nominate it because you like it, or don’t nominate it because you didn’t like it. Point being, please don’t nominate stuff just because it’s on somebody’s list somewhere; only nominate things you personally think are deserving.

(13) DOGGED EFFORT. At Chaos Horizon, Brandon Kempner continues “Estimating the 2016 Hugo Nominations, Part 2”.

A pretty simple model and not terribly informative so far. What you’ll glean from this is that the Rabid Puppies are likely to deliver a large block of votes to the works on their list. When we combine this chart with the estimated chart from the Typical vote and the Sad Puppy vote, that’s when we’ll be in business.

The core question is whether or not this block will be larger than other voting groups. In more lightly voted categories like Best Related Work or categories where the vote is more dispersed like Best Short Story, 400 votes is likely enough to sweep all or most of the ballot. Think about Best Related Work: the highest non-Puppy pick last year managed only around 100 votes. The top non-Puppy short story only managed 76 votes last year. Even if you triple those this year, you’re still well under 400 votes. In a more popular category like Best Novel or Best Dramatic Work, I expect the impact to be substantial but not sweeping. Perhaps 3 out of 5? 2 out of 5?

(14) WHAT A WAG. The Good Dog News can be found in this Maximumble cartoon.

(15) SHOPPING ONLINE IN THE STONE AGE. Martin Morse Wooster advises, “The YouTube video ‘Internet Shopping–Database—1984’ is another installment of the 1984 ITV series Database, in which the manager of the Nottingham Building Society reveals ‘If we give away one of these’ (keyboards) ‘We won’t have to build any more branches!’

“The excitement of shopping and looking up your bank statements on your TV is palpable!”

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, and Will R. for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

369 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/29/16 Police My Tears, the Scrollman Said

  1. No doubt this will be taken as proof of the Tor Whispering Campaign. (TWC)

    How do you effectively whisper to enough voters without leaving a trail? No idea.

  2. That moment when you realize that you are getting old as dirt: reviewing my Retro Hugo noms, I realized that I remember reading the short stories in anthologies that were just sitting around the house when I was a kid.
    Not being at all retro, just good stuff.

  3. Phew, nominations finished at last. Nominated in all the “writing” categories. Not at all in graphic novel/fancast/artist and practically nothing in dramatic presentation. Still, duty done.

    Very grateful to the various people who put together wikis/ spreadsheets etc. of eligible works/people. I had several moments of “Oh yes THAT story! Loved it” or “What, he only got published first in 2014 and is still eligible for the Campbell?”

  4. Brian, there’s a world of difference between “not that bad” (and on the slate), and hey, “I really, really liked that!” (even if most people think it’s awfeul.)

  5. @Brian Z – Why not just say thank you for the interesting recommendation list, and call it a day?

    So, ignore the context – it’s a recommendation list (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and there will be (not a) slate discipline by someone who wants to and believes he can burn down the Hugos (whatever the hell that means) – and treat it like any other recommendation list?

    Why? As in, why would you assume even a modicum of good faith from that particular source, which is what would be necessary to treat the RP slate like any other recommendation list?

  6. I agree that the first batches of Tor novellas have been amazingly, consistently good. I wonder if Tor will be able to maintain that going forward. Or did their first rounds of acquisitions benefit from the previously limited markets for novellas?

    I suppose it may not matter. Even if the program has been cherry-picking a backlog, just the fact that the novella program exists may make writers more likely to work at those lengths instead of smooshing things into a shorter format or stretching them to fill a novel.

  7. @emgrasso

    I think this years have dropped off in quality slightly, but they’re still putting some great ones out. Perhaps as importantly for me, they’re consistent – with one exception I’ve at least enjoyed every one I’ve tried. (The exception was Pieces of Hate, which seems to have been acquired as a reprint)

    Your point about encouraging writers is a good one. I’m hoping for more in the way of one-off “here’s a cool idea I’ve had lying around for a while that won’t sell as a novel” novellas from interesting new authors.

  8. Lis Carey on March 31, 2016 at 12:39 pm said:
    Brian, there’s a world of difference between “not that bad” (and on the slate), and hey, “I really, really liked that!” (even if most people think it’s awfeul.)

    So for Brian, Fifth(!) place wasn’t sufficient, he needed it to be No Awarded too? Well, clearly the voters didn’t agree. Me, I got a chuckle out of the story (comedy is hard), and while it was not my top choice, I didn’t think it deserved to be No Awarded either. Comedic works very rarely do well at awards, not just at the Hugos, see also the Oscars.

    The other thing to remember is that Worldcon members also have a sense of whimsy, and it’s that sensibility that results in occasional oddball finalists like “F(*)(*)k Me, Ray Bradbury”…
    https://youtu.be/e1IxOS4VzKM

    …or “The Drink Tank’s Hugo Acceptance Speech”. It’s part of the character of the Hugo Awards, that I for one would hate to lose.

  9. @Brian Z
    In my MGC post I didn’t say anything about how fans ought to be voting. My position on that has always been that people should nominate and vote based on quality alone. The way I’ve given out ratings and reviews at RSR reflects that. I think this is both strategically and ethically correct.

    My comment about branding on MGC was to answer the question “why do authors ask to be taken off the SP4 list?” My answer was “because your brand is poison owing to what happened last year.” Strictly speaking, I didn’t even say whether I thought authors were being rational by reacting that way, although I suppose one could conclude that.

    I have said before that I thought authors should not ask to be taken off of slates. Instead, if they believed they only ended up on the final ballot because of the slates, they should decline the nomination so that non-slate works would get a chance. Notifying Tingle (and letting him decide what to do) would be consistent with that view.

  10. @Brian Z

    Just now I decided to click on the RSR “spoilers” warning for “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” and learned that one of the story’s main problems is:

    The science is wildly inaccurate

    Keyboard please! ?

    You mean it wasn’t supposed to be “hard SF?” 🙂

  11. BrianZ–Milos Y is a satirist in the way the Ann Coulter is. They’ve both found a niche market and are vile.
    To call him a gay (but conservative) activist is to mis-represent his purpose in life which is obviously to try to curry money and favor with cretins.

  12. Since Scalzi tweeted about it, I’ll repost my comments about Night Dragons.

    Just skimming through Night Dragons, even though it’s clearly meant to be funny, I doubt I’d have given it more than two stars. (My rating system appears to be humor-challenged.) It’s the sort of thing that reflects badly on the awards, no question. His expressing delight at making “some Very Serious Observers of Genre shit a brick sideways” reads like dramatic irony now.

    After that quote Scalzi describes Torgersen as a friend. That just sounds sad.

    So I didn’t say anything about how I thought Scalzi felt, and I’m not sure I see how anyone could have got that out of what I did say.

    @RedWombat and @Standback: thanks for having my back. 🙂

  13. @ RedWombat: You are the Boy Who Paraphrased Wolf.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    I LOVED that.

    Brilliant.

    I sometimes say reading so widely on the internet is good for letting me put my students’ work in perspective (they’re better than MANY on the internet), and this case is certainly one that fits the bill (the students struggle with summarizing and paraphrasing because writing a good summary or paraphrase is HARD).

  14. “Sacred Cows” went on my list months ago, and has not been removed. I really, really liked it. Recommended by a South Park character and an XKCD stick figure with a kitteh, what more could you want?

    @Standback: I think you’re mis-reading Greg very very badly here.

    FTFY. 🙂

  15. I’m a little amused that saying I have NO intention of putting TLWTASAP on my ballot for best novel* led to reminding us of its ineligibility — as it happens, I did have a note to that effect on one of my eligibility lists and just forgot because it’s not the one I’ve been consulting of late.

    Re: The question of novella vs. novelette, I think I have read equally low numbers of both; read three so far (not counting ones I wandered away from out of lost interest) and nominated two in each. One of the novelettes, I suspect would have been knocked off my list had I read as many novelettes as I did short stories. Not because it wasn’t worthy at all but because it was teetering on the brink between great and merely very good. With short stories, I think I had 8 “great enough they’d belong on the ballot” contenders for a slot. (You know you have enough good picks when one of the two Ursula Vernon stories doesn’t quite make the cut.)

  16. As people have confirmed my own experience re: novelettes vs. novellas, I have made a mental note that the 17,050 word story can stay just as it is. (Mind you, since I plan to self-publish it, its award eligibility is almost certainly purely hypothetical.)

  17. Heather Rose Jones: between novelette and novella, which category have people had a more difficult time finding works they’re excited about nominating? (In my case, it was the novelette length)

    Definitely the Novelettes, I’ve read around 20 and am still trying to find a 5th one I feel happy about nominating — and most of them I’ve read have just left me thinking “Meh”.

    Whereas with Novellas, I had to pare my nom list down to five and only 3 of them were “Meh”.

  18. Another late-breaking Dramatic Presentation, Short Form for those who might be interested in viewing and possibly adding to their ballot:

    Title: Messages to Orbit
    Studio: Kosher Ham Studios
    Director: Eric Zuckerman
    At Sasquan the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, I filmed this movie: a short documentary that is essentially a collaborative love-letter to an astronaut, Dr. Kjell Lindgren, the GoH (in my mind, LEOGoH) that couldn’t set foot in Spokane because he was off-planet at the time. It contains “WorldCon as a home movie” — with ISS footage! — and messages directly to Dr. Lindgren in a few formats — dirtside GoH sit-downs; from a talk show set (naturally); and “Fan on the Street” walk-around grabs (TYVM to my special guest cameraperson, Leo L. Schwab).

  19. YEAH!
    I finished my Hugo noms. Brother, what a load off! :^}. But it feels good to have done my little bit.

    I plan to spend the next couple of weeks unwinding, but I’d like some advice on starting this year’s reading.

    How do most people using digital get their magazine subscriptions?

    I have an iPad and want all the electronic magazines delivered to one app with decent formatting and without having to manipulate anything. I’m only planning on subscribing to 2 or 3 mags (haven’t decided which one’s yet.) Although I don’t want to pay out the nose, price is not a deciding consideration. Is Magster a good source? Amazon? iTunes? Something else?

    tia

  20. Strictly speaking, I didn’t even say whether I thought authors were being rational by reacting that way, although I suppose one could conclude that.

    That’s how I read it, and how the fans responding at MGC with scorn for your “moving goalposts” read it.

    I have said before that I thought authors should not ask to be taken off of slates. Instead, if they believed they only ended up on the final ballot because of the slates, they should decline the nomination so that non-slate works would get a chance. Notifying Tingle (and letting him decide what to do) would be consistent with that view.

    So do you mean letting him decide what to do about being listed on a list that you believe is intended to encourage fans to participate in a socially unacceptable gaming of the nomination rules of a fan-run literary award given out at a small but venerable convention? Or what to do about being listed on a list that you feel is associated with politically unacceptable persons?

    You’ve said both.

  21. You mean it wasn’t supposed to be “hard SF?” 🙂

    I honestly couldn’t tell whether you were trying to be sarcastic or serious! 🙂

  22. For “No manipulation,” I think Amazon does great (I get Asimovs, and the free F&SF digest, which helps tide me over until my print copy makes its way to the Middle East).

    But, note that different magazines may be limited to specific platforms (e.g, I’m pretty sure my beloved F&SF is Amazon-exclusive, although I don’t recall for certain). Which magazines you want might affect which platform you choose.

    Me, I love my Kindle. Amazon works like magic, and I can get pretty much anything else (non-DRMed) to work on it with very limited, simple manipulation (basically: I use Calibre). That covers most available options, plus I can use Advanced EReader Black Arts to nab selections of free fiction off the web as a do-it-yerself anthology -:-)

  23. So I didn’t say anything about how I thought Scalzi felt, and I’m not sure I see how anyone could have got that out of what I did say.

    @RedWombat and @Standback: thanks for having my back. 🙂

    Nobody has to guess how Scalzi felt at the time. He got on his soapbox and shouted to the world how overjoyed he was about sticking it to the literati and making their heads explode.

    Thank you for clarifying you position with the claim that you don’t think and never intended to imply that someone ought to find something embarrassing in hindsight simply because what they wrote, in retrospect, “reflects very badly on the awards,” is full of “dramatic irony” and is “just sad.” In that case, I stand corrected.

  24. @Harold Osler

    To call him a gay (but conservative) activist is to mis-represent his purpose in life which is obviously to try to curry money and favor with cretins.

    I am not saying I agree with Milo’s views. But you must recognize that anybody can (and often they do) say that about any activist they don’t like or disagree with.

  25. I am not saying I agree with Milo’s views. But you must recognize that anybody can (and often they do) say that about any activist they don’t like or disagree with.

    Still true, though. He’s a pustule on the backside of humanity.

  26. Sarcasm, Hampus. If you want to play Aristotle, go harangue Scalzi for not correcting his false tweet.

  27. @junego

    I’m a kindle user so I have some subs through Amazon, but I +1 using Weightless Books where possible, especially using the “send to kindle” functionality RHF linked so that mags turn up automagically as well. The setup takes a few slightly faffy steps, but once it’s done, it’s done.

  28. “Sarcasm, Hampus. If you want to play Aristotle, go harangue Scalzi for not correcting his false tweet.”

    He should have paraphrased his Tweet so it had been a lie and therefore true. Aristotle.

  29. @Brian Z:

    Y’know, I’ve been thinking. Maybe I should give you another chance. After all, you put such thought into your posts, and you’re always so careful to respect not just the words, but the intentions behind what everybody else says…

  30. Yet I didn’t say anyone is or ever should be embarrassed about getting a Hugo nom. Scalzi pretending I did is 100% rhetoric – what you might call a lie – not to mention dodging the point that his hahahaha let’s watch their heads explode acceptance speech seems like it would be embarrassing now, post-puppy. If he wants to say maybe you might be embarrassed but I certainly don’t find anything embarrassing (reflecting badly, dramatically ironic, etc.), he is well within his rights to say that. But he hasn’t said that so far. Now go complain to him about it on Twitter, or I shall taunt you a second time.

  31. Yeah, Brian, I agree with you that it is disgraceful that he didn’t quote you in his tweet so people could see what you said and now you’re saying he said you said something else and it’s such a pity people can’t follow the link to the tweet and see for themselves whether he paristotled you or not…

  32. Scalzi: “YOU try writing farce, pal.”

    I’ve just realised, Brian appears to have taken this advice on board.

  33. “You’re lying about what I just said” is of course the best lie of all.

    But in this case, although Scalzi managed to post a screenshot of some words, he forgot to link back and let people see the conversation for themselves, including what I was actually responding to.

    I’m not bothered by Scalzi’s rhetoric. It is sort of heartwarming that he cares. I’m just directing Hampus to a suitable target.

  34. Brian I am in total agreement that a link which showed the disparity between what you were responding to and what you were claiming to be in agreement with would totally embarrass Scalzi in retrospect.

  35. @Brian Z

    So do you mean letting him decide what to do about being listed on a list that you believe is intended to encourage fans to participate in a socially unacceptable gaming of the nomination rules of a fan-run literary award given out at a small but venerable convention? Or what to do about being listed on a list that you feel is associated with politically unacceptable persons?

    You’ve said both.

    No, I don’t believe I’ve said either one. My objection to gaming the rules is secondary to my objection to putting really bad works on the ballot. Perhaps we should call this the “Slate Raptor Ballot Invasion” problem. 🙂

    The argument that I suspect has the best chance of appealing to Tingle is simply that his work is being nominated in an attempt to hurt people. I think everything he writes is meant to entertain, and what the Puppies are trying to do with it simply isn’t funny.

  36. @ Bonnie the Red
    Thank you for reminding me about Weightless.

    @ Standback
    Looks like you’re right about F&SF, you can only get digital through Amazon. I bought some single issues last year, so I know it works fine with my Kindle app. It’s a possibility if I decide on that one. I don’t think there’s a mobile version of Calibre, that’s part of why I wanted a no-fuss solution 😉

    @ Mark
    I’ll give the ‘send to Kindle’ at Weightless a try. I’m not that crazy about how the Kindle app handles letting me create and use ‘Collections’. One complaint is having the ordering change every time I open an item. I wish they’d stay still so I can find them alphabetically!

    Thanks for everyone’s input. I think I’ll buy individual issues from different venues and see which one I like best. Maybe I can contribute more suggestions and reviews this year!

  37. Thanks for the clarifications. I think I’ve got it:

    Authors shouldn’t ask to be withdrawn from a list even if you think its “brand” is tainted by past controversy, though they are rational to do so for what you more or less characterize as marketing reasons.

    However, authors should refuse a nomination if they think their really bad story only made it due to a recommendation list they think was used to game the awards. They might consider withdrawing even if their story isn’t really bad (if I have this part right), but that is less of a concern for you.

    (And while a bad story promoted by an overt and tasteless vote-mongering campaign involving kittens would reflect badly on the awards, and having gloated at the time about making the literati shit bricks sideways would definitely be terribly ironic, you haven’t said whether such a reaction might seem embarrassing in hindsight.) 😀

    Authors who write to entertain, yet you believe were put on a list to pursue a political agenda that is hurtful, should be contacted by fans in advance of either a hypothetical nomination or after an actual nomination is announced publicly (this part is not clear) with the argument that shortlisting their story would be hurtful (and, at least by implication, humiliating for them).

    ..

    If I’ve got that more or less right, my reaction is that I consider your RSR project to have more credibility knowing that you don’t approve of authors asking to take their names off lists. However, keeping politics out if it entirely will make your reviewing project stronger. One reason is that the shoe can be on the other foot. Some things are self-evident to you, whereas other things may seem self-evident others – as witnessed, for example, by all the theories about secret cabals and whisper slates, and some conservative authors and fans adopting a siege mentality.

    Thanks for the civil conversation.

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