Pixel Scroll 4/18/16 It’s Better To Pixel Out, Than To Scroll Away

(1) WHILE YOU WERE WAITING. Ann Leckie must be wondering if any of us are paying attention.

Quite frequently someone at a reading will ask me if I’ll ever explain about that icon Breq is carrying. And the answer is, I already have.

(2) JUST SAY THANKS. Joe Vasicek has some intriguing “Thoughts on series and perma-free”.

For the last five years, the conventional wisdom among most indie writers has been to write short books in sequential series and make the first book permanently free. It’s a strategy that works, to a certain extent. It’s what got me from making pizza money on my book sales to making a humble living at this gig. However, I’m starting to question that wisdom….

….Also, when you have a book that’s permanently free, it tends to accumulate a lot of negative reviews. It’s strange, but some people seem to feel more entitled to XYZ when they get it for free, as opposed to paying for it. Or maybe these are the people who try to go through life without actually paying for anything? Who hoard everything, even the stuff that they hate, so long as they can get it for free? I don’t know.

Certainly, that’s not true of everyone who reads free books. But when you have a perma-free book, it tends to accumulate more of the barely-coherent “dis buk sux” kinds of reviews from people who probably weren’t in the target audience to begin with. And over time, that tends to weigh the book’s overall rating down, which unfortunately can be a turn-off for people who are in the book’s audience.

(3) TIPTREE AUCTION. Here’s an advance look at an item in the Tiptree Auction at WisCon.

On Saturday, May 28, fans of the Tiptree Award will have the opportunity to bid on a genuine blaster that was once the sidearm of Space Babe, a legendary feminist superhero. (Blaster is modeled here by a Space Babe impersonator). This rare item will be part of the annual Tiptree Award Auction, to be held at at WisCon in Madison Wisconsin….


Blaster-wielding Jeanne Gomoll.

Blaster-wielding Jeanne Gomoll.

(4) MANCUNICON. Starburst brings you Ed Fortune’s 2016 Eastercon report.

Event highlights included interviews with the Guest of Honour John W. Campbell Award-winning novelist Aliette de Bodard, Hugo Award-winning author Ian McDonald, British Fantasy Award-winning creator Sarah Pinborough, and noted astrophysicist David L. Clement. Each drew a huge crowd, and coloured the event in their own unique way. Notably, Clement spearheaded a science-heavy approach to many of the panel items, and many of the talks centred on science and Manchester’s iconic research centre, Jodrell Bank. The iconic building, which has inspired many works of science fiction throughout its history, was thoroughly explored in many talks and lectures.

(5) NUMBER FIVE. Nina Munteanu, at Amazing Stories, continues the series — “The Writer-Editor Relationship, Part 2: Five Things Writers Wish Editors Knew – and Followed”.

  1. Edit to preserve the writer’s voice through open and respectful dialogue

Losing your voice to the “hackings of an editor” is perhaps a beginner writer’s greatest fear. This makes sense, given that a novice writer’s voice is still in its infancy; it is tentative, evolving, and striving for an identity. While a professional editor is not likely to “hack,” the fear may remain well-founded.

A novice’s voice is often tangled and enmeshed in a chaos of poor narrative style, grammatical errors, and a general misunderstanding of the English language. Editors trying to improve a novice writer’s narrative flow without interfering with voice are faced with a challenge. Teasing out the nuances of creative intent amid the turbulent flow of awkward and obscure expression requires finesse—and consideration. Good editors recognize that every writer has a voice, no matter how weak or ill-formed, and that voice is the culmination of a writer’s culture, beliefs, and experiences. Editing to preserve a writer’s voice—particularly when it is weak and not fully formed—needs a “soft touch” that invites more back-and-forth than usual, uses more coaching-style language, and relies on good feedback….

(6) KELLY LINK. Marion Deeds picked the right day to post a review of a Kelly Link story from Get in Trouble at Fantasy Literature.

“The Summer People” by Kelly Link (February 2016, free online at Wall Street Journal, also included in her anthology Get in Trouble)

“The Summer People” is the first story in Kelly Link’s new story collection Get in Trouble. Fran is a teenager living in a rural part of the American southeast. Her mother is gone, and she is neglected by her moonshiner father. While Fran is running a fever of 102 with the flu, her father informs her that he has to go “get right with God.” On his way out the door, he reminds her that one of the summer families is coming up early and she needs to get the house ready. However, that family isn’t the only group of summer people that Fran “does for,” and this is the point of Link’s exquisite, melancholy tale.

(7) HE’S FROM THE FUTURE. While Doctor Who can travel to anyplace and nearly any point in time, he invariably ends up in London. The Traveler at Galactic Journey seems likewise constrained always to arrive at the same opinion of John W. Campbell, although his fellow fans voted Analog a Hugo for this year’s work — “[April 18, 1961] Starting on the wrong foot”.

Gideon Marcus, age 42, lord of Galactic Journey, surveyed the proud column that was his creation.  Three years in the making, it represented the very best that old Terra had to offer.  He knew, with complete unironic sincerity, that the sublimity of his articles did much to keep the lesser writers in check, lest they develop sufficient confidence to challenge Gideon’s primacy.  This man, this noble-visaged, pale-skinned man, possibly Earth’s finest writer, knew without a doubt that this was the way to begin all of his stories…

…if he wants to be published in Analog, anyway.

(8) ON MILITARY SF. SFFWorld interviews Christopher Nuttall.

Christopher Nuttall’s Their Darkest Hour has just been released as part of the Empire at War collection where four British Science Fiction authors have joined forces to show the world that British Military Science Fiction is a force to be reckoned with….

So what is different with British Military SF? Obviously in Their Darkest Hour you have the UK setting that probably will be more familiar to a Europeans than Americans, but do you also think there are other aspects where British authors are able to bring something different and unique to military SF? 

I think that’s a hard question to answer.

There is, if you will, a cultural difference between American MIL-SF (and military in general) and British MIL-SF.  Many American military characters (in, say, John Ringo’s work) are very forward, very blunt … I’d go so far as to say that most of them are thoroughly bombastic.  Think a Drill Instructor screaming in your face.  While a great many British characters are often calm, competent and basically just get the job done.  We’re not as outwardly enthusiastic as the Americans; we’re more gritty endurance, stiff upper lip and just keep going until we win.

To some extent, I think that comes from our differing experiences.  The Americans are staggeringly rich and, even as early as their civil war, had little trouble keeping their troops supplied.  Britain, particularly in the years after 1919, had very real problems making ends meet, let alone keeping the troops supplied.  We operate on a shoestring and know it.  The Falklands was our most successful war in years, yet it was a very close run thing.  We simply cannot afford to be as blatant as the Americans.

I think that is reflected in our SF too.  Independence Day was followed by Invasion: Earth, a six-episode TV series set in Britain.  Independence Day is blatant; the enemy is clearly visible, merely overwhelmingly powerful.  Invasion: Earth has an enemy who hides in the shadows, at least up until the final episode.  They both represent, too, a very different set of fears.

(9) OVER THE EDGE OF HISTORY. Jeff Somers considers “6 Historical Fiction Novels That Are Almost Fantasy” at B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.

Hild, by Nicola Griffith Set in the so-called “Dark Ages,” after Rome abandoned Britain but before the squabbling kingdoms and tribes were unified under one crown, Griffith’s novel tells the true story of the Christian saint Hild, who would become Saint Hilda of Whitby, patron saint of learning. In 7th century Britain, she is the 6-year old niece of King Edwin of Northumbria, and becomes his seer and mystic upon arrival at his court. The reality of otherworldly forces is taken for granted as real in this brutal, violent land, and Griffith plays with the concept expertly as Hild becomes increasingly masterful at sniffing out plots and advising her uncle in ways that often seem magical. Anyone who has been awed by a brilliant mind’s ability to perceive what most cannot will witness that superpower at work in Hild, one of the most complex and deeply-drawn characters to ever appear in a novel—historical, fantasy, or otherwise.

(10) AN OP-ED. David Dubrow, in “David A Riley and the HWA”, criticizes how Horror Writers of America handled the recent controversy. And he’s announced he’ll be publishing an interview with Riley about it.

At times it’s interesting to get under the hood of the writing business and see how the sausage is made, to mix cliched metaphors. This issue happens to concern horror writers, so it has particular meaning for me at this time.

In short, an English horror author named David A Riley was set to be on the jury for the anthology segment of the upcoming Bram Stoker Awards. As it turns out, Riley was once a member of a far-right, nationalist political party in the UK called the National Front. A Tumblr blog was created to curate some of Riley’s online commentary, titled David Andrew Riley Is a Fascist. Wikipedia’s entry on National Front can be found here.

When outraged members protested Riley’s appointment to the jury, Horror Writers Association President Lisa Morton issued a tepid statement on Facebook that satisfied nobody. As is so often the case, the most arresting thing wasn’t the statement, but the ensuing discussion. Three distinct elements stood out and are worth examination….

Second, the thread has really big buts. The biggest but is, of course, “I believe in free speech, but…” A clever reader always ignores everything before the but in any statement containing a but. Anyone who puts his big but into the free speech discussion is not on the side of free speech, but is actually in favor of criminalizing speech he finds offensive (see what I did there?). As someone who worked at the bleeding edge of First (and Second) Amendment issues in publishing for over thirteen years, I find the big buts disturbing, but they’re there, and they stink like hell….

(11) THE FIRST RULE OF CHICXULUB. According to the BBC, this is “What really happened when the ‘dino killer’ asteroid struck”.

Where armies of trees once stretched skywards, seemingly escaping from the thickets of ferns and shrubs that clawed at their roots, only scorched trunks remain. Instead of the incessant hum of insect chatter blotting out the sound of ponderous giant dinosaurs, only the occasional flurry of wind pierces the silence. Darkness rules: the rich blues and greens, and occasional yellows and reds that danced in the Sun’s rays have all been wiped out.

This is Earth after a six-mile-wide asteroid smashed into it 66 million years ago.

“In the course of minutes to hours it went from this lush, vibrant world to just absolute silence and nothing,” says Daniel Durda, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado. “Especially in the thousands of square miles around the impact site, the slate was just wiped clean.”

Much like putting in all the edge pieces of a jigsaw, scientists have outlined the lasting impacts of the meteor strike. It claimed the lives of more than three-quarters of the animal and plant species on Earth. The most famous casualties were the dinosaurs – although in fact many of them survived in the form of birds….


  • Born April 18, 1976 — Melissa Joan Hart. She’s not a teenaged witch anymore.

(13) THE STARLOST. Created then disowned by Harlan Ellison, the 1970s series The Starlost can be seen here on YouTube. The link takes you to the entire series for Starlost (16 episodes plus the “sales pitch.”)

Complaining about how the show was dumbed down from the original concept, Ellison took his name off the credits and substituted his Writers Guild alias Cordwainer Bird.

(14) DUTCH TREATS. Wim Crusio reminisces about conversations with writers at the 1990 Worldcon, in “Writing science, writing fiction (I)”.

Synopsis: Whether writing a good novel or a killer scientific article, the process is much the same: What scientists can learn from science fiction authors…

Many years ago, back in 1990, I attended my first Science Fiction Worldcon, called “ConFiction“, in The Hague. An interesting feature that year was the “Dutch Treat”. One could sign up with a group of about 10 people and invite a science fiction writer for lunch and talk with them in that small circle. To me, these “treats” were the highlights of that particular meeting. I did as many of them as I could and have fond memories of speaking with John Brunner, Harry Harrison (a Guest of Honor, accompanied by his charming wife, Joan), Fred Pohl, Brian Aldiss, and Bob Shaw (I think that’s all of them, but I am writing this from memory, so I may have forgotten one). Of course, these conversations spanned many topics and I was not the only participant, but at some point or another I managed to pose the same question to each of them, namely: how do you write a story (be it a short story or a novel in multiple parts). Do you just start, do you write some parts first and only continue when you’re completely done with revising them, or something else entirely?

(15) REJECTION. Editor Sigrid Ellis’ post “On handling publishing rejection” tells things that can’t really be said in rejection letters. Some of them would be encouraging to writers!

Speaking from my work as a short fiction editor, I can 100% genuinely assure you — sometimes your story is fantastic, it’s just not what that venue needs at that time.

I hated writing those rejections. I knew that the writers would take them as a sign that the story wasn’t any good, no matter how much I tried to say “I swear to GOD it’s not you, it’s us! We just need something lighter/darker/fantasy/sf this month I SWEAR!!!”

Of course authors take that hard. Because — and here’s the secret — the generic blow-off letter is very similar to a genuine, personal rejection. That similarity is on PURPOSE. It permits everyone to save face. It allows everyone to walk away, dignity intact. But, then, if you get a personal rejection, you understandably might wonder if this is just the blow-off.

I know. It’s hard, and I know.

But here’s what I always wanted every author to do when they received a rejection, whether standard or personalized…..

(16) STRICTLY ROMANCE. The first romance-only bookstore starts in LA. (Strictly speaking, The Ripped Bodice is in Culver City.)

Romance novels are a billion dollar industry, vastly outselling science fiction, mystery and literary books.

And there’s only one rule for writing a romance – it has to have a happy ending.

Yet the romance genre has long been dismissed as smut or trashy by many in, and out, of the publishing world – a fact that mystifies sisters Bea and Leah Koch, who last month opened the US’s first exclusively romantic fiction bookstore.

Their shop in Los Angeles is called The Ripped Bodice, and the store’s motto is “smart girls read romance”.

(17) DEFINING X. They say it’s the intersection of politics and Marvel comics: “A People’s History of the Marvel Universe, Week 9: The Mutant Metaphor (Part I)” at Lawyers, Guns & Money.

A lot of people have discussed the manifold ways in which the “mutant metaphor” is problematic, but what I’m going to argue in this issue is that a big part of the problem with the “mutant metaphor” is that it wasn’t clearly defined from the outset, in part because it wasn’t anywhere close to the dominant thread of X-Men comics.[i] While always an element of the original run, as much time was spent on fighting giant Kirby robots or stopping the likes of Count Nefaria from encasing Washington D.C in a giant crystal bubble. And this was always problematic, because in the shared Marvel Universe, you need to explain why it is that the X-Men are “feared and hated” and must hide beneath the façade of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in Westchester, whereas the Avengers and the Fantastic Four were treated as celebrities and could live openly on Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, respectively.

So what did the “mutant” metaphor mean initially?

One of the best ways to understand how the “mutant metaphor” was originally understood is to look at depictions of anti-mutant prejudice. In the early Lee and Kirby run, anti-mutant prejudice is described almost entirely as a mass phenomenon, a collective hysteria that takes hold of large groups of people. You can see this especially in the way that crowds of humans descend into violence in contexts that you wouldn’t normally expect them. Like sports events:…

(18) SKYWALKERED BACK. J. J. Abrams made a little mistake…. CinemaBlend has the story: “Star Wars: J.J. Abrams Backtracks Statement About Rey’s Parents”.

Earlier, J.J. Abrams sat down with Chris Rock at the Tribeca Film Festival to talk about the director’s work in television and film. During the Q&A segment, a young fan asked the identity of Rey’s parents and Abrams said “they aren’t in Episode VII.” This implies that just about every fan theory is wrong, but Entertainment Weekly caught up with Abrams after the show and he was able to clarify his statement:

What I meant was that she doesn’t discover them in Episode VII. Not that they may not already be in her world.

So, Rey’s parents could be somewhere in The Force Awakens as opposed to not being in it at all. That’s a pretty serious backtrack, but it opens the floor back up for fans to come up with theories on the heroine’s lineage. This potentially limits the amount of suspects, but most theories were already focused on Force Awakens characters. There are a few contenders that have risen above the rest, each with there own amount of logic and speculation.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Alan Baumler, Chip Hitchcock, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Hampus Eckerman.]

291 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/18/16 It’s Better To Pixel Out, Than To Scroll Away

  1. Lela

    If I say that a Young Earth Creationist’s blogpost on how the Earth was made in 4004 B.C. is silly and stupid hokum without bothering to provide any informational response to the YEC’s arguments, that’s NOT an attack on the YEC personally.

    Now if I say that the YEC himself is a religion-addled idiot for believing what they wrote, that is a personal attack.

  2. Omg, the absurd version of the National Front that Riley is pushing:

    “I joined in 1973. At that time it was widely viewed as a patriotic nationalist party with serious concerns about the high numbers of immigrants who were coming into the UK at the time. Amongst its members were a number of retired senior servicemen from the Armed Forces, clergymen, teachers and other professionals. The chairman of the nearest branch to me had just defected as a leading member of the Conservative Association in Blackburn. It had a pseudo-respectability in its early days which only gradually disappeared over the years. It denied being fascist, having a totally democratic internal structure, including annual elections for all officers.”

    This about a party that only wanted to allow white people to immigrate to UK, who wanted to throw out all coloured people and actually had the Racial Preservation Society as part of the founders. Even today, its description of itself says:

    “White nationalist organisation founded in 1967 in opposition to multi-racialism and immigration.”

    In opposition to multi-racialism. But nothing about that from Riley. Only that it had a “democratic internal structure”. Not that it bloody well couldn’t be democratic if it wanted to throw all coloured out of the country, much less that they weren’t allowed to join the party.

  3. Hey, you guys. Thanks for reading my blog. I guess I have wider readership than I know.

    …I can’t even tell if that’s sarcasm or not. Assuming that it is not, I would like to say that given my observations of your recent interactions with many of the commentariat here, that reads as a trollish statement to me.

    As it is a beautiful day here, I’m going to take my book to a park and try to leave my glowy boxes alone for a bit. Peace.

  4. Omg, the absurd version of the National Front that Riley is pushing

    He conveniently leaves out that when he joined the NF, it was led by John Tyndall, an actual neo-Nazi. Martin Webster, Tyndall’s deputy, was recorded in 1972 saying “[w]e are busy setting up a well-oiled Nazi machine in this country”, referring to the NF.

  5. For what it’s worth, Slatestarcodex and Making Light both have the comments in One Great Big Page.

    Making Light isn’t using WordPress, though. It uses Movable Type.

  6. Aaron:

    “He conveniently leaves out that when he joined the NF, it was led by John Tyndall, an actual neo-Nazi. Martin Webster, Tyndall’s deputy, was recorded in 1972 saying “[w]e are busy setting up a well-oiled Nazi machine in this country”, referring to the NF.”

    Which makes this quote more than dishonest:

    ” I would add that during the time I was involved in the party any member who associated with a neo-nazi group, either in Britain or overseas, faced expulsion. This, I can confirm, was enforced.”

    Anyone can read about Tyndall themselves to see how much a lie that is from Riley. And that means that it is impossible to trust anything at all of what he says.

  7. Which makes this quote more than dishonest

    At this point I’d expect nothing less than dishonesty from Riley. Reality doesn’t allow him to sell the “poor oppressed victim” narrative that he’s trying to sell.

  8. 6) The Summer People: what in the WORLD is a brilliant story like this doing at the WSJ? It went from “Sounds more Judy Blume than fantasy”, to “OK there’s something a bit weird here”, to “Waitasecond, those instructions- is she asking her friend to do what I think she is? SHE IS!” And the story takes a right turn from the story of story you’d expect to find in the Atlantic or New Yorker. And it is beautifully weird.

    As a kid I read a story called “The Symmerr Folk”- now I’m always going to conflate the two groups.

  9. @ Lela Buis

    Personal attack: a logical fallacy that demeans your opponent instead of refuting their argument.

    –Urban Dictionary

    Did you just cite Urban Dictionary as if it was an actual dictionary? Seriously? That’s the best source you could find?

  10. Did you just cite Urban Dictionary as if it was an actual dictionary? Seriously? That’s the best source you could find?

    Fascinating that this kind of comment gets posted in the middle of a discussion of what constitutes a personal attack.

  11. I guess that could be read as a personal attack. Sorry. That was unintentional. I was trying to express utter incredulity at the use of UD as… well, anything, rather than engaging with any other part of the discussion.

  12. Personal attack: a logical fallacy that demeans your opponent instead of refuting their argument.

    By that definition, Ms. Buis, proclaiming that people who criticized the selection of Riley as a juror were “harassing” and “bullying,” when you hadn’t bothered to actually investigate whether or not the people protesting actually had justification for their complaints (much less refuting their arguments) – you yourself were personally attacking them, weren’t you?

  13. Hey!

    Urban Dictionary can be quite useful, both to figure out slang/ foreign swearwords (though 95% of that could be summarised to either sex, genitalia, or fasinating combinations of both), as well as to figure out that whole “constantly-evolving language” thing.

    For some strange reason though, language seems to evolve towards references to sex, genitalia, or fasinating combinations of both. I may need to refer to alternative sources.

  14. JJ: Oh gods, I’m laughing so hard at that Buis post. It contains the same almost-nonexistent level of accuracy as the majority of her other posts.

    Lela E. Buis: Personal attacks are a standard weapon for silencing minority voices.

    Firstly, well, yes, a personal attack can be used that way. Which minority are you claiming to be?

    Secondly, pointing out that your blog posts are riddled with errors is not a “personal attack”.

    I do love the way you whip out the cry “Personal attack!” whenever anyone points out a flaw in your reasoning, or an error on your part. Does that strategy really work on anyone in real life? Because it’s not going to work for you here.


    Lela E. Buis: Example of a criticism: It’s a personal attack because it ridicules the posts without providing supporting arguments.

    No, a criticism is not magically transformed into a “personal attack” simply because it does not provide supporting arguments.

    And you know what? In that thread the other day, commenters here patiently provided you supporting argument after supporting argument after supporting argument. None of it did any good. You steadfastly continued to insist that Free Speech is harassment and bullying.

    People have — bless their hearts, I don’t know why, because you’ve certainly demonstrated that you don’t deserve that consideration — still attempted to engage with you in this thread, and they are still getting the same nonsensical responses from you.

    All those people have engaged with you in good faith, and you have ignored everything they said and continued to repeat the same, tired untruths as if doing so enough times would somehow suddenly make them true.

    Then you went and made yet another erroneous post on your blog which completely misrepresents what the commenters here said.

    You’ve repeatedly made it clear, with your error-ridden blog posts, that research and accuracy are not a consideration in what you post. Why should anyone here continue to try to educate you by providing you with supporting arguments which you simply choose to ignore?

    Either you are well aware that you are doing this, and it is a malicious act on your part, or your reading comprehension and articulacy are so poor that you are not able to accurately understand and report what others have said.

    Which is it?

    I think you’re a troll. A disingenuous, bad-faith troll.

    You can complain that that’s a “personal attack” if you want — but if so, it’s one you’ve earned, many times over now.

  15. @P.J. Evans: John Scalzi’s Whatever has all comments in one long scroll of a page, and he uses WordPress.

    Count me among those who find the division into 50-comment pages more of a burden than a convenience.

  16. John Scalzi’s Whatever has all comments in one long scroll of a page, and he uses WordPress.

    I missed why we’re discussing this, but it’s a setting under Settings/Discussion. You can choose not to paginate, or increase the number of comments per post. Probably safer to change to a higher number rather than just turning it off, or posts with 100s of comments might be really slow to load.

  17. @JJ: “Leftover 2015 Reading” – hey, I have a lot left over; can you read them for me? 😉 More seriously: Thanks for posting those mini-reviews!

  18. Count me among those who find the division into 50-comment pages more of a burden than a convenience.

    In theory, I agree, but in practice, 300, 500, or 1000 comments are not kind on page load times. Scalzi doesn’t paginate comments, but his average comment count runs 20-ish comments, maybe 150-200 on his really controversial posts. Pixel Scrolls start at 150-200 on a slow day and climb upwards towards 1000 on a controversial one. Even with all the back-and-forthing to find your place, it’s the best way to reliably keep the pages from hanging.

  19. Load time varies. Disqus is the worst. Making Light and Slate Star Codex are both good– Making Light is text only in the comments, Slate Star Codex has gravatars. Both of them run up to 1000 comments on their longer pages.

    On the other hand, I’m reading on a laptop with an adequate (not superb) connection, not a cell phone.

    For what it’s worth, I wasn’t pushing for single page as the default for everyone, just as an option.

  20. at this risk of aggravating again:

    I do not endorse gatekeeping in fandom.

    My earliest post on the subject was taking a look at why a particular thing occurs within fandom – that there is often a disconnect because of the background of various groups of fans AND their internal definitions of what a convention is, what a fan is & etc.
    The thing that gets to me when this issue comes up is not the divide itself so much as the fact that a small bit of google research would eliminate much of the confusion. I do get tired of trying to explain to people who could easily know better that there is an origin story to this whole thing, that the way Worldcon does things is not conspiracy but well-considered solutions to many issues they are probably unaware of, etc.
    I don’t care one whit whether someone prefers media cons or traditional cons to get their fix: but I do get agitated when the “reasons” turn out to be nonsense.
    My personal bias is for traditional conventions: I’ve been to mediacons/gate shows and don’t feel that they do anything to pass on the “values” of fandom, and I consider those values to be important both for fans and for the continuation of fandom.
    But I am a fan, which means that I also support, without reservation, an individuals right to enjoy their fannishness in any way they so choose.

  21. Mike Glyer:: instead of a pixel scroll with 17 topics, break it down to three topics, different headers, by similar themes or associations. Commentary would be easier to follow. To follow a topic, one would not need to go through the swamp of commentary.

  22. Robert, having fewer topics per Pixel Scroll sounds good to me, but I’m only an occasional reader. What are arguments in favor of long Pixel Scrolls?

  23. Nancy, one argument in favor of longer Pixel Scrolls is, I’d rather have one Scroll per day than six or eight; that’s too many tabs to keep open on my computer. (Especially since I keep tabs open for the previous few days, too.)

    And while I’m rarely interested in all the items in the Scroll, there’s always that one thing. If it were six or eight Scrolls, I wouldn’t bother participating in any but that one… and that would drag down the cross-pollination from different viewpoints, and weird extemporaneous filking, and so forth. Honestly, I really *like* one Scroll.

    Pixel Scrolls are a fannish wrapup of the day. Please register this as one enthusiastic, jumping up and down waving my hand in the air, vote for keeping it all together.

  24. I adore the huge sprawling conversations in the Pixel Scroll comments. To me, this is a feature, not a bug. Mind you, it’s also why I have them sent directly to my in-box so they’re easier to follow.

  25. *raises hand in favor of keeping one scroll also*

    We are a talky bunch around here…and so many times our conversations take less-traveled paths that aren’t even mentioned in the scrolled items. Witness our recent discussions about left-handedness, uterine replicators, and various recipes and foodie talks. (Not to mention the outbursts of filking, which are always fun.) To me, that’s part of the draw of the community, seeing where the commentariat goes, and I would hate to see the conversations (pardon the pun) sliced and diced.

  26. @Cassy B. & @Bonnie McDaniel & @Others: Yes! Not that it matters what I think, but I also love the Pixel Scroll. IMHO this community would suffer with several Scrolls a day.

    I don’t care how many comments per page, but I prefer no more than 100.

    I only subscribe to comments once the volume drops off a little. Sometimes I guess wrong, then hoo-boy, my Inbox explodes. 😉

  27. I think we must have a lot of people who visit friends and start mentally rearranging their furniture for them.
    You know, things here are nice enough, but here’s how I would do things.
    Me, I’m with Bonnie and Dawn on this one, sprawl away.

    (ETA: Of course, I personally have alternate floor plans for all my friends.)

  28. I love the Pixel Scrolls as they are; the subjects intertwine and go off in interesting directions. That synergy wouldn’t occur if each item was its own post.

    This isn’t an online newspaper, where every article has its own page. It’s a community, and each Pixel Scroll is the day’s gathering place where Filers hang out, discuss the news of the day, chat with each other, and talk about books and stories.

    I’d be fine with 100 comments a page. Any more than that, I think, would be pretty unworkable for people who use mobile devices to interact here.

  29. There can be only one!

    (Well, you know, unless Mike wants to change it 🙂 I’m siding with cross pollination and community as reasons not to change though)

  30. I had actually begun to think that sometimes we could even afford to have a Pixel Scroll every two days. But I had no plans to suggest anything of the sort to Mike, and I am happy as things are … on the days I can keep up, anyhow.

  31. Of course, Mike posts some things as separate entries that could be part of a Pixel Scroll, and vice versa. There’s a method to his madness, but there are definitely occasional other posts where comments run long. 😉

    Come scroll away, come scroll away, come scroll away with me, lad!
    I thought that they were Filers, but to my surprise
    We climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies!

    /Apologies to Styx


  32. Pingback: Top 10 Posts For April 2016 | File 770

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