Pixel Scroll 4/28/17 Never Mind the Scrollocks, Here’s the Sex Pixels

(1) FARGO/HUGO. On Fargo, the Hugo Award-look-alike turned out to be a “Golden Planet” won by Thaddeus Mobley. Observer’s episode roundup covers it at the end:

But Gloria is on to…something, definitely, something strange. At least as strange as the title Space Elephants Never Forget, one of many cheap pulp-fiction paperbacks written by a Thaddeus Mobley that Gloria found in a safe inside her murdered father-in-law’s house. Or were Thaddeus Mobley and Ennis Stussy one and the same? It appears so, just another way specters from the past–be it a former life as a famed sci-fi writer, or a murderous Cossack with the name Yuri Gulka–continue to materialize in, of all places, Minnesota. But I guess that makes Gloria Burgle uniquely qualified to take this case on; if you’re fighting the past, you may as well employ someone who is stuck there.

Mobley’s books were shown:

  • The Planet Wyh
  • The Dungeon Lurk
  • Space Elephants Never Forget
  • Toronto Cain Psychic Ranger
  • Organ Fish of Kleus-9
  • The Plague Monkeys
  • A Quantum Vark

(2) I WONDER. Syfy asks “Where is the Wonder Woman movie advertising?” — and starts me wondering is the movie is being “John Carter-ed”?

Wonder Woman finally gets her own movie and the movie marketing machines for DC and Warner Bros. haven’t seemed to have chugged to life.

We’re less than six weeks out. There’s been more advertising for Justice League than the movie that’s supposed to kick off the whole JLU film arc. On Warner Bros.’ YouTube Channel, Wonder Woman has only three trailers to Justice League‘s six. Where are the TV commercials and product tie-ins (yes, I know about Dr. Pepper, other ones please)? Batman and Supes both had their own breakfast cereal, so where’s my Wonder Woman cereal, General Mills? I’ve seen toys but no toy commercials.

It’s been pretty quiet out there, regardless of the fact that people have reacted positively to the little advertising that’s been released. The few trailers Wonder Woman has have garnered close to 60 million views. Imagine what would happen if the trailer were embedded on major entertainment sites and there were stories out there about the film?

(3) DOC OF THE BAY. Cat Rambo doubles back to cover a book in the series she missed — “Reading Doc Savage: Land of Always-Night”:

The man menacing poor Beery, who Beery calls Ool, is odd in many ways, including being skeleton thin and having enormous, pale eyes. He wants something back, something Beery has stolen to take to Doc Savage and is currently carrying on a money belt around his waist

Beery is standing in front of a candy store; when the inevitable happens, he reels back and smashes into the plate glass. After a struggle, he dies, “becoming as inert as the chocolate creams crushed beneath him.”

Ool takes his possession back from Beery, which turns out to be a peculiar pair of goggles with black glass lenses. He tastes one of the scattered chocolates, smacks his lips, and gathers as many chocolates as he can into his hat. As he departs, he eats the candy “avidly, as if it were some exquisite delicacy with which he had just become acquainted.”

(4) THE CULTURE ON RADIO. Available for the next 28 days: a BBC audio adaptation of Iain Banks’s story “State of the Art”, adapted by Paul Cornell.

The Culture ship Arbitrary arrives on Earth in 1977 and finds a planet obsessed with alien concepts like ‘property’ and ‘money’ and on the edge of self-destruction. When Agent Dervley Linter, decides to go native can Diziet Sma change his mind?

(5) GUARDIANS REVIEW. BBC reviewer Caryn James says too many explosions in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2. BEWARE SPOILERS.

…The film’s spindly plot is just an excuse, a peg on which to hang action scenes. When the team is hired to retrieve some valuable battery-sized energy sources, Rocket slips a few in his pocket. Soon the Guardians are being pursued all over the cartoonish universe.

Many antics ensue, but like so many other space movies this is essentially a father-son story. As the last film ended, Peter learned he was only half-human, on his mother’s side. The sequel adds a vivid new character, Peter’s long-lost father. He is played by Kurt Russell with a twinkle in his eye and a swagger that reveals where his son got that roguish attitude.

(6) SILVER CHAIR. ScienceFiction.com has a progress report on the next C.S. Lewis movie adaptation – “Joe Johnston To Helm ‘Chronicles Of Narnia: The Silver Chair’”.

Director Joe Johnston (‘Jurassic Park III’,’The Wolfman’) sure likes shields! Having worked with ‘Captain America: The First Avenger,’ he now has a more fantasy based movie to helm where characters will wield shields in in ‘Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair.’ Disney and Fox were only able to bring three of the novels to the big screen previously, and now we’re getting a fresh look into the iconic C.S. Lewis classics through Sony. Apparently, the studio wants to make sure someone with blockbuster experience to bring this film to life.

While Johnston hasn’t been too busy since working with Steve Rogers, the type of work he’s done in films ranging from this to ‘Jumanji’ to ‘The Rocketeer’ seem perfect for the action-adventure portion of this epic fantasy.

As ‘The Silver Chair’ doesn’t follow the original Pevensie children but their cousin Eustace Scrubb it is the perfect way for them to reboot the universe and not have to really dwell on the first movies and move forward at the same time.

(7) THE FEDERALIST POOPERS. Bill Nye was a big hit at the March for Science.  Not surprisingly, The Federalist came out with a dissenting view of Nye a few days later — “Bill Nye’s View Of Humanity Is Repulsive”.

Although many thousands of incredibly smart and talented people engage in real scientific inquiry and discovery, “science” is often used as a cudgel to browbeat people into accepting progressive policies. Just look at the coverage of the March for Science last week. The biggest clue that it was nothing more than another political event is that Nye was a keynote speaker.

“We are marching today to remind people everywhere, our lawmakers especially,” he told the crowd, “of the significance of science for our health and prosperity.” Fortunately, our health and prosperity has blossomed, despite the work of Nye and his ideological ancestors

(8) ACTRESS PRAISED. A Yahoo! Movies critic recognizes “Alexis Bledel As Ofglen in The Handmaid’s Tale Is the Role She Was Born to Play”.

In the Handmaid’s pilot, Bledel’s character, Ofglen, makes a 180 in the eyes of Elisabeth Moss’s Offred. The two characters, who shop together but are the de facto property of two different men, suspect each other of being enthusiastic participants in Gilead’s totalitarian state. “I sincerely believe that Ofglen is a pious little shit with a broomstick up her ass,” Offred says in voice-over as she approaches her companion with a smile. “She’s my spy and I’m hers.” With Bledel as Ofglen, you instinctively believe Offred’s assessment. Hasn’t she always seemed too perfect? Too brittle? Too willing to be a snitch? (Or was that Rory Gilmore?)

(9) MORE OF OFFRED’S VOICE. Refinery interviews Elizabeth Moss about Handmaid’s Tale, feminism, and the Trump election — “Elisabeth Moss Talks The Handmaid’s Tale — & How It’s Definitely A Feminist Show”.

“I welcome any time feminism enters a conversation. I would firstly say, obviously, it is a feminist work. This is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve been filming it for six months, I’ve been involved with it for a year, I’ve read the book nine million times. It is a feminist show, it is a feminist book, and as a card-carrying feminist, I am proud of that. [Regarding the controversy at the TriBeca Film Festival panel], I think there is a very important word, which is ‘also.’ I think that it is a feminist work, and it is also a humanist work, which is what I believe Margaret says as well, so I’ll defer to the author of the book on that one.  Women’s rights are human rights, hence how it becomes a humanist work.”

(10) THE FUTURE IN A BAG. The Verge reports: “An artificial womb successfully grew baby sheep — and humans could be next”. There are lots of “don’t celebrate yet” caveats, but many fans say it sounds like an important first step towards the “uterine replicators” in Bujold’s Vorkosigan series.

Inside what look like oversized ziplock bags strewn with tubes of blood and fluid, eight fetal lambs continued to develop — much like they would have inside their mothers. Over four weeks, their lungs and brains grew, they sprouted wool, opened their eyes, wriggled around, and learned to swallow, according to a new study that takes the first step toward an artificial womb. One day, this device could help to bring premature human babies to term outside the uterus — but right now, it has only been tested on sheep.

It’s appealing to imagine a world where artificial wombs grow babies, eliminating the health risk of pregnancy. But it’s important not to get ahead of the data, says Alan Flake, fetal surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author of today’s study. “It’s complete science fiction to think that you can take an embryo and get it through the early developmental process and put it on our machine without the mother being the critical element there,” he says.

(11) STAR POWER. An interview with the Astronomer Royal tests his ability to envision the limits of the universe: “Astronomer Royal Martin Rees on aliens, parallel universes and the biggest threats to mankind”.

Q: How big is the universe … and is it the only one?

Our cosmic horizons have grown enormously over the last century, but there is a definite limit to the size of the observable universe. It contains all the things from which light has been able to reach us since the Big Bang, about 14 billion years ago. But the new realisation is that the observable universe may not be all of reality. There may be more beyond the horizon, just as there’s more beyond the horizon when you’re observing the ocean from a boat.

What’s more, the galaxies are likely to go on and on beyond this horizon, but more interestingly, there is a possibility that our Big Bang was not the only one. There may have been others, spawning other universes, disconnected from ours and therefore not observable, and possibly even governed by different physical laws. Physical reality on this vast scale could therefore be much more varied and interesting than what we can observe.

(12) BAXENDALE OBIT. Passing of a famed comic-strip maker: “Leo Baxendale: Bash Street Kids and Minnie the Minx comic legend dies”

He was regarded by aficionados as one of Britain’s greatest and most influential cartoonists.

His creations also included The Three Bears, Little Plum and the comic Wham!.

Baxendale’s son Martin, also a cartoonist, said his father died at the age of 86 after a long fight with cancer.

(13) SUSAN WOOD REMEMBERED. Carleton University is still awarding the Susan Joan Wood Memorial Scholarship.

Awarded annually on the recommendation of the Department of English Language and Literature. Preference will be given to a student proceeding from the Third to Fourth year of an Honours program in English with an emphasis on Canadian literature. Donor: Friends and colleagues of Susan Joan Wood. Endowed 1982.

Andrew Porter recalls, “It was folded into Carleton’s general scholarship funds, after an initial funding period during which I and many other individuals and conventions provided funds.”


  • April 28, 1930 — Best known as Morticia Addams, Carolyn Jones is born in Texas.

(15) STREAKING ACROSS THE STORIED SKY: Webwatcher Jason of Featured Futures reports on the brightest lights seen this month with the “Summation of Online Fiction: April 2017”:

I thought ralan.com might have been hasty in declaring Terraform dead but I’m calling it, too. Leaving aside comic strips, after four stories in January, there’ve only been two in each of February and March and none in April. The remaining dozen prozines brought us forty-two stories of 199K words.

In one of Dozois’ Annuals (I forget which) he says something about the industry going in streaks with some years producing no anthologies about wombats and others producing ten of them. The same is true of webzines on a monthly basis. As March was Horror and Tor/Nightmare Month, so April was Fantasy, BCS/Lightspeed, and Novella Month….

(16) LONG HIDDEN CONTRIBUTOR’S FIRST NOVEL. Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey was a 2016 release from Thomas Dunne.

In her extraordinary debut, Spells of Blood and Kin, Claire Humphrey deftly weaves her paranormal world with vivid emotional depth and gritty violence. Bringing together themes of death, addiction, and grief, Claire takes readers on a human journey that goes beyond fantasy.

When her beloved grandmother dies suddenly, 22-year-old Lissa Nevsky is left with no choice but to take over her grandmother’s magical position in their small folk community. That includes honoring a debt owed to the dangerous stranger who appears at Lissa’s door.

Maksim Volkov needs magic to keep his brutal nature leashed, but he’s already lost control once: his blood-borne lust for violence infects Nick Kaisaris, a charming slacker out celebrating the end of finals. Now Nick is somewhere else in Toronto, going slowly mad, and Maksim must find him before he hurts more people.

Lissa must uncover forbidden secrets and mend family rifts in order to prevent Maksim from hurting more people, including himself. If she fails, Maksim will have no choice but to destroy both himself and Nick.

  • Bio: Claire Humphrey’s short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, Crossed Genres, Fantasy Magazine, and Podcastle. Her short story ”Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All-Female Production of Waiting for Godot” appeared in the Lambda Award-nominated collection Beyond Binary, and her short story “The Witch Of Tarup” was published in the critically acclaimed anthology Long Hidden. Spells of Blood and Kin is her first novel.

(17) DON’T BLAME DIVERSITY. Martin Wisse responds pungently to the question: “Is diversity killing Marvel sales?”

Short answer: no. Long answer:


Good gods do I hate most of what Marvel has been doing in the 21st century, from the debased widescreen storytelling to the shitting on everything its characters stand for, but what it has done right is providing space for more diverse superhero comics, both character and creator-wise. I stopped being a regular comics buyer, let alone a superhero floppies buyer since, well, the start of this century and getting a view of what the industry is like a decade and a half later I’m glad I did. Everything this dude listed as being more of a problem than Marvel pushing diversity is shit I’ve already seen in the nineties, then secondhand in the naughties, just more chaotically and more intensive. Pushing more titles, an obsession with events, an overwhelmingly short term focus at the cost of a long term vision: we’ve seen that all before. It’s just the speed that’s different….

(18) DIAGNOSIS MARVEL. ComicsBeat has a few ideas to add: “Tilting at Windmills #259: What the hell is wrong with Marvel Comics anyway?!?!”

The harder you make it to collect “Marvel comics”, the fewer people will do so. And that audience fracturing has finally come home to roost.

One personal stat that I always try to get across is that at my main store, most mainstream superhero style books, because of mismanagement of the brands by the publishers, have dropped down to “preorders plus 1-2 rack copies”. Generally speaking, this yields sell-ins that are sub-20 copies for most titles, and a truly depressing number of books are sub-5.

Sell-through is, thus, what matters for retailers as a class, and it is virtually impossible to sell comics profitably if your initial orders are so low. Even a book like “Amazing Spider-Man”, we now are down to a bare eleven preorders, and we’re selling just three or four more additional rack copies of current issues. There’s no room to “go long” here – I really only have a two copy tolerance for unsold goods before what should be a flagship book of the line becomes an issue-by-issue break-even proposition, at best. It’s just math.

(19) MORE RESOURCES. Here are some of the news reports that set the Marvel discussion in motion.

“What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity.”

“I don’t see much evidence of a sales slump at all,” Millers says. “In fact, the comics industry has seen its best stretch it’s seen in many decades over these last five years — we’ve seen five consecutive years of growth in the comics shop market.”

(20) DOWN FOR THE COUNT. Drunk gets into fight with a Knightscope robot on the copany’s premises: “Silicon Valley security robot attacked by drunk man – police”.

One local man told ABC News it was not a fair fight.

“I think this is a pretty pathetic incident because it shows how spineless the drunk guys in Silicon Valley really are because they attack a victim who doesn’t even have any arms.”

(21) ONLINE INTERNATIONAL. Around the world, lots of connectivity used for play: “Unlocking the potential of technology”. A captioned photo gallery at the link.

[Thanks to rcade, Cat Rambo, amk, Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, Bruce D. Arthurs, Hampus Eckerman, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Clack and Bonnie McDaniel, and alternate universe contributing editor Kip. W because he actually said it a month earlier.]

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140 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/28/17 Never Mind the Scrollocks, Here’s the Sex Pixels

  1. @Stoic Cynic: I’m just an ex-chemist with a few years’ experience in biomedical research, but my first technical reaction to your capsule from Heorot (which I’m unlikely to even think of reading) was to suspect that the resulting infants would be short on immunities and likelier to have allergies. (This based partly on hints that increases in allergies are coming from lack of exposure in infancy.) How that affected their emotional health would depend on how well they react to being ill a lot. My first reaction overall was that Niven has previously exposed his basic ignorance of psychology/biology/… interactions, e.g. by proposing that Kzinti females were non-sentient (imagine a non-sentient and a rage monster trying to raise a child), which makes me suspect there’s no backing for the idea (although I note you didn’t make cleare whether they thought artificial-womb children would be saner, or more stable — whatever those terms mean).

  2. @Camestros: “No way does C# smell like fish and chips.”

    Of course not. C# smells like granola bars and strong coffee.

    @Chip Hitchcock: “has anyone seen Daniel Redcliffe in any adult role?”

    I’ll agree with Joe H. on Horns; he was good in that. Tom “Draco Malfoy” Felton has also been doing good work on The Flash this season, and Emma “Hermione” Watson has had some good film roles. So I’d say the kids are doing okay.

    @rcade: “It’s sad that every time climate change comes up for discussion anywhere, it’s necessary to debunk a bunch of denialist-inspired bullshit.”

    They’re sticky memes, though, for several reasons. “Everybody knows” that famous people are either rich or leveraging their fame for money, just like “everyone knows” that rich people live large and anyone sufficiently well-known for taking a strong moral/ethical stance will inevitably be found in violation of it. “Bill Nye has three palatial estates” weaves all of those threads together so well that most people won’t bother checking it – because it feels so obviously true. Doubly so if they disapprove of or disagree with him.

    @airboy: “If you think most conservatives are against contraception, then you are ignorant of what conservatives believe.”

    It is considerably more useful to watch what conservatives (and liberals, and…) do than to listen to what they say, in terms of discerning their values. Conservatives invest a whole lot of effort and political capital in denouncing and restricting access to contraception, from allowing employers to remove it from health insurance coverage to shutting down sex ed and any program they find that makes condoms more readily available to hormonal young people. Thus I conclude that conservatives are anti-contraception: it’s one of their tentpole stances.

    Notice that I did not, at any point, reference abortion in that paragraph. I would find it baffling that anti-abortion people are also anti-contraception, except that the two stances dovetail neatly as a general anti-sex position. Sex is dirty and wicked and horrible and you should only do it to someone you love, provided said person was born with (and still has) genitalia which do not match your own.

    Also @airboy: “Funny, that is one of the lefty snowflake means of demeaning people they disagree with.”

    Just as calling people “lefty snowflakes” is for conservatives? Rarely have I seen a sentence so perfectly defeat itself.

    @Paul Weimer: (Open Road sales)

    I’ve been gradually acquiring the Lankhmar books that way, and I’ve got a wishlist explicitly for keeping track of such “catch them on sale” series. In fact, I get enough OR-published books that I built a tweak into my copy of calibre for them – it assigns their particular shade of red as the cover background color, so any of their books that use those bars at the top and bottom will look like the cover is set in a frame when seen on my e-reader. 🙂

  3. I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Edmund Morris’ COLONEL ROOSEVELT, the final volume in his biography of Teddy Roosevelt. As is my wont with audiobooks, I’ve been casting the movie/mini-series version of the trilogy that runs concurrently in my head.

    And somehow, I keep seeing Daniel Radcliffe being cast as Teddy. I’m not sure where this came from, but there it is. Radcliffe as TR would be quite a stretch; he’s generally played soft-spoken and reserved characters, so portraying one of the brashest and extroverted of Americans would be wildly against type. Otoh, some actors would love taking on the challenge. (There’d also be considerable makeup and prosthetics involved as TR evolves from the thin young man to the, umm, rotund gentleman of his later years.)

  4. @airboy: Very best wishes to your wife and you. In my experience, having done both, it’s often actually more emotionally grueling to care about someone who’s very sick than to be the sick one yourself, because imagination conjures up lots of things that might be happening in addition to whatever experience the sick person’s actually having. Which makes it extra important to do something a friend of mine phrases this way:

    Be as kind to yourself about your limitations and failings as you would be to anyone you love or really like who’s in the middle of a tough time.

    That helps a lot in staying with it all and being in position to do the best you can.

  5. @Chip Hitchcock

    It’s been years since I read the trilogy. I think the artificial womb thread was more in Beowulf’s Children, the second book. (The first book spent more time palming a card by using the idea suspended animation causes brain damage to explain stupid behavior by a ‘best and brightest’ crew). My recollection is the ‘ bottle babies’ had lower emotional affect and an increased need for, and more intense, bonding. Which didn’t necessarily seem to follow. The idea that a more stable embryonic condition might lead to differences though did seem like an interesting idea.

  6. Teal is the sound of a television set tuned to the shopping channel and then switched off and unplugged just to be on the safe side.

    OTOH, puce is the smell of a television set that has been nuked from orbit.

  7. @Dawn Incognito: I am so thrilled you enjoyed it! Looking back–yes, I looked back to see the thank you I missed–I note that I forgot to mention the fantastic lettering.

    Lrnu, gur Pnaql Urnegf ner abg tbvat gb npprcg Ghecf rira orvat nebhaq yvxr gurl jrer noyr gb gnxr va Qnzba sbe n juvyr. Qnzba orpnzr Ubarl’f ohqql naq cynlrq va gur onaq. Ghecf vf pbzcrgvgvba sbe Ubarl’f gvzr naq nggragvba, naq gurer’f nyjnlf gur Fbqn Fjrrg qronpyr gb ybbx onpx ba. V qba’g frr gur onaq oernxvat hc, ohg V guvax lbh’er evtug gung obgu Pbpb naq Pureel ner tbvat gb unir ceboyrzf jvgu vg. (Mreb whfg yvxrf gb cynl gur qehzf.) Ohg V pbhyq frr n uvnghf. Ubarl naq Ghecf qbvat fbzr qhb fubjf, naq gur Pnaql Urnegf univat zvfnqiragherf jvgu bgure yrnq fvatref gvyy gurl tb gb bar bs gur qhb fubjf naq frr ubj jrveqyl cresrpgyl tbbq gurl ner gbtrgure. Znlor Ubarl fnlvat “Guvf vf bar V arire tbg gb qb jvgu gur Pnaql Urnegf” naq fvtuvat naq gur fbat vf terng naq nyy orpbzrf jryy. Fbzrguvat yvxr gung. Vg’f n unccl fgevc, naq V ybir gung.

  8. airboy, I’m sorry things are so dreadful for Mrs. airboy. It’s thoughtful of you to send her dog pictures; small gestures like that really do help. I know from personal experience.

    Lis Carey, I have my fingers crossed that things indeed are looking up for you. Which makes it hard to type… < grin>

  9. “When Airboy is proven wrong, he just doesn’t acknowledge it.”

    Funny, just yesterday I apologized for getting a name wrong. Perhaps you wish to rethink? I’ve acknowledged errors before. Perhaps you could start now?

    I’ll amend it to: “When Airboy is wrong about political stuff, his usual approach is not to acknowledge corrections.”

    “His view of the world comes from believing what he’s told and then insisting on it, rather than thinking about it or examining any evidence.”

    Funny, that is one of the lefty snowflake means of demeaning people they disagree with.

    “Living in a bubble” is a common charge on both sides. In this case, the specific application of it to you arises from observation of your behavior here.

    Since I’m a scientist, publish a lot, and am on 6 editorial review boards,

    More claims of authority from the guy with the pseudonym. How’s Nelson Aviation doing these days?

    But you could take the high road in the future.

    I’ll take the road that seems appropriate. Usually, I ignore you, but when you start making flatly incorrect assertions to support your ignorant positions and/or demonize those with whom you disagree, I will occasionally find it worthwhile to point out that you are generally silent about corrections, when you’re not argumentative about them.

    I’m glad I actually prodded you into an admission this time. Perhaps your recommendation of the high road will someday result in your taking it, rather than your usual approach of claiming victimhood, asserting unverified achievements and accusing liberals as a group of your own observable faults.

  10. Being wrong is not a liar.

    You weren’t merely “wrong”. I was at a library sale today and overheard a guy telling people that asimov had invented the term “robot”. That’s “being wrong”. You passed along two attacks on Nye without doing even the barest minimum amount of inquiry as to whether they were actually true. You have done this sort of thing so often that multiple posters noted your propensity for doing so. The kind interpretation of your behaviour that some posters have made is that you are too dim-witted and sheeplike to know any better. I disagree with them, I think that you don’t care that you routinely make dishonest claims. That makes you a liar.

    Since I’m a scientist, publish a lot, and am on 6 editorial review boards

    Here’s the thing: I don’t believe you. I see no reason to believe anything you claim about yourself, or about anything else, since you have such a long track record of dishonesty. I don’t believe you are a scientist. I don’t believe you publish anything, and I don’t believe you are on any review boards. I suspect that I am not the only one who does not believe your claims on this. What we know of you is that you have a demonstrated propensity for making dishonest claims, and zero reason to believe you on any subject.

  11. I don’t believe you are a scientist. I don’t believe you publish anything, and I don’t believe you are on any review boards.

    For my part, I don’t care whether he’s a scientist, since it doesn’t magically make his dishonest (or merely regularly-mistaken-in-the-same-way) statements any less untrue. But he claims a lot of things about himself that he seems to think should make others more deferential to his bloviations, and yet he keeps missing out on a basic element of logic you’d think a scientist on review boards (or someone who testifies as an expert in court proceedings, another claim I think I recall he’s made a time or two*) would know:

    If you don’t establish your bona fides, you have no credibility as an expert.

    There’s nothing particularly wrong with using a pseudonym on the internet. There are reasons people choose to do it, and those reasons often have solid arguments behind them. But if you do that, you can no longer use your resume to backstop your arguments, because you have deliberately divorced your online self from your personal achievements. If you want to call yourself “Skywolf” on the internet, feel free. If you then want people to believe you clerked for a Supreme Court justice, worked the control room during the Apollo 13 mission and have gone hang-gliding with Sarah Palin, you need more than assertion to back it up, because there’s no record of anyone named “Skywolf” doing that.

    You want to claim experience, you need a way to verify it.


    *then again, it could have been someone else. Airboy’s not the first to make this kind of assertion as if he expects people to be impressed by it.

  12. Aaron notes
    I cannot think of a major anti-abortion group in the United States that is not also anti-contraception. They are just different degrees of opposed to contraception.

    Our local group is headed jointly by a women who claims she’s had ten abortions before seeing the light, and a feral Anglican who saw the light too, but it also including of capitalism and socialism.

    I’d guess there’s no more than paternity of them as I see them outside the local Planned Parenthood every Friday.

  13. On a somewhat tangential topic: someone just went through Gaiman’s American Gods and published a list of every song mentioned in the book on tor.com. Why? I’m not entirely sure, but it would probably make an interesting soundtrack to…something. 🙂

  14. I’m not quite going to call this a Meredith Moment, but in case anyone’s interested…

    An apparently-YAish trilogy called “The Rho Agenda” by Richard Phillips is currently on sale at Amazon for $2 per book, with a 10% discount if you buy all three at once. The setup involves an Evil Secret Agency studying alien tech salvaged from the Roswell crash, as affected by three teens who discover the other ship and begin to unlock its secrets. The blurbs for the later books mention a buildup to a global catastrophe, which naturally can only be averted with help from the ESA…

    Anyway, I haven’t bought/read them myself as yet, but I thought I’d share.

  15. Camestros Felapton on April 29, 2017 at 10:26 am said:
    airboy on April 29, 2017 at 9:01 am said:

    Is Guardians of the Galaxy released abroad already? One person said they had seen it and enjoyed it? Industry insider or outside the USA?

    It came out earlier this week In Australia.

    Released Thursday in New Zealand. We saw it yesterday (our Saturday). Not only are we (one of the) first to see the new day, but New Zealand seems to have become a test bed for early releases. Sometimes, it’s good, e.g. movies, sometimes, not so great: Facebook has taken to testing out new “improvements” on New Zealand users first. We’re a relatively developed country, tend to be early adopters & are small enough that if it’s a disaster, it’s only affected a relatively small number of people.

  16. Question : Is anyone else having trouble with the Uncanny magazine site? I wanted to send a friend a link to Pinsker’s “And Then There Were (N-1)” and all the links from the magazine’s frontpage failed with this kind of message “Not Found. The requested URL /article/and-then-there-were-n-one/ was not found on this server. Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.”

  17. @Xtifr: That list was originally made when the blog authors were doing a detailed re-read of the novel. The idea made sense to me: if a writer goes out of his way to mention songs that often throughout a book, he’s practically inviting you to think of it as a soundtrack.

  18. @Andrew

    Looks like a site thing. Anything other than the main page appears to be erroring as you described.

  19. @ airboy
    You say:

    ” If you are religious, you believe that we are all sinners. I admit in public every Mass . . . .”

    Remember that there are very many people who consider themselves ‘religious’, who are neither Roman Catholics, Christians, nor even ‘People of the Book.’

    The religion I myself attempt to follow does not contain the concept of ‘sin’: nor, I understand, do some other major as well as minor world religions.

    It is reasonable that a believer in a particular worldview (whatever it is) should interpret the world through the filter of that worldview. It is not reasonable, though the mistake is psychologically easy to make (and most of us make it most of the time), to unconsciously assume that those who do not entertain that worldview nevertheless interpret the world by it.

    One circumstance it’s particularly inadvisable not to have checked one’s unconscious assumptions is when debating in an international forum for enthusuasts of speculative, diverse, and unconventional literature. I myself am ‘guilty of this sin’ from time to time, and a proper chump I make myself look.

    On completely different notes:

    (a) I’m very sorry to hear that your wife’s situation continues to be so difficult.

    (b) It’s evident from your accumulating testimony that your tastes in SF and fantasy are very close to mine. If and when we ever meet (are you going to Helsinki this year?), let’s make sure to keep the conversation skiffy.

  20. @ Peer

    Oh, I love the smell of teal in the morning!
    Its a scent, full of pixels, against a backdrop of scroll, with just a hint of Gods, stalked. A scent of wonder, of pride, of things archieved. A scent like Military SF from Mievielle, like Fantasy from Heinlein, like new weird by Adams. A scent that can wake you up, punch you in the face and then makes sweet love to you and helps you with your homework. Everything can be archieved with the right scent of teal! With teal like these, who needs enemies?

    This sounds like an ad for my ideal underarm deodorant. “Teal – 8 out of 10 SJWs use it.”

  21. Indeed, none of the religions that I’ve founded require you to believe that we’re all sinners. Though I admit that my religions are not necessarily for everyone. Those who don’t like coffee, for example, should probably not join the Javacrucians. 🙂
    While I do love Gaiman, I think the soundtrack I really want is the one for Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks.

  22. Looks like a site thing. Anything other than the main page appears to be erroring as you described.

    Thanks Stoic. Someone just tweeted to @uncannymagazine about this issue, and they replied that it’s being looked into.

    “Filers in the night, exchanging Pixels”

  23. My own Church of the Flames (still working on the name) holds that the Supreme Being cares little for such insignificant things as living organisms. To the extent that such a Being can be known by Its works, the universe attests quite persuasively to a preference for really large fires that burn for quite a long time.

    Of course, there’s no reason for such a Being to be singular. There could just as easily be numerous pyrodeities, using their creations as exhibits in a gargantuan art show. Why should such entities care one whit what happens on the skin of a speck of dust circling one of billions of tiny flames in a galactic-scale installation?

  24. Dear Aaron the bully and his sidekick Kurt Busiek:

    I’m Dr. Avery M. Abernethy. I’m a full professor at a major research university (Auburn). I made Full Professor in the minimum normal time at Auburn (minimum years of rank as Associate Professor). I’ve got scores of refereed publications. I’m on many editorial review boards. Everything I’ve said about myself is true. Greg knew who I was, but unlike you Aaron & Kurt, Greg is not an ass. The guy who runs the chaos horizon website also knows who I am.

    And Aaron – I believe that you are bully. I really, really wish that I could face you in court. I’ve embarrassed several arrogant attorneys on the stand. I would love to add you to the list. Given how nasty you are personally, you are the type of attorney who I drill in court.

    And Aaron & Kurt – If you had done a “Mr. Google” on wargame and Airboy you would find that I write a lot under my “name.” I mention wargames regularly. But that defeats the purpose of “investigating” does it? Not exactly a “secret” if you “do any investigating.” I just did it, and came up with 3 hits in the top 10 with my full name and airboy on wargame reviews. I was not exactly “hiding.”

    So screw you Aaron. I have no track record of dishonesty. But you have one hell of a record of being an asshole bully. Do you feel better about yourself now? Done anything in your life except being an attorney and a bully? Perhaps you should share your accomplishments – other than being an attorney and a bully?

    And screw you Kurt.

    Perhaps both of you can apologize for being total assholes, but I doubt you will. Bully’s frequently make unfounded claims about others because they enjoy it. Nasty people think the worst of others because they believe others are like themselves.

    And Aaron & Kurt – if you disagree with any of my published academic work you can write a rejoinder. But rejoinders have to go through the editorial review process and double-blind review just like the original articles. You cannot just spew unfounded screeds in scholarly journals. I’ve responded to people about my published opinions in my field both in presentations, correspondence and in press in Journals.

    So when I talk about statistics, business, marketing, research methodology, etc…. I know what I’m talking about. Like anyone, I can make mistakes in my field. But I’ve never had to retract anything published in my field. And some of my work has been replicated (exact and systematic replication).

    And Aaron & Kurt – you can easily look up my work email and I’ll tell you again what useless bullies you are via that address. So you can “confirm” that I’m real and that I think you are bullies.

    And gosh Aaron. I really appreciate the nonexistent sympathy you have for my wife’s end of life decisions for her parents. I noted “all of the concern” you gave over the last couple of weeks (i.e. none). Bullies seldom have empathy for other people. Since you think I’m a liar, do you want me to give a link to my Mother-in-Laws obituary when she passes? She has weeks to months if the doctors are right. I’m glad to do so to prove that I’m not “lying about everything” to an asshole bully.

    And the rest of the 770 people – amazing how you tolerate such nasty, nasty bullies on a day-to-day basis. Really “friendly” of you. I guess that if you disagree with literature tastes or leftward politics it is fine to encourage bullies. But being “inclusive” and “diverse” seldom applies to anyone who does not share all your opinions – does it?

    And a prediction – perhaps Aaron & Kurt will go through everything I’ve ever written to try to nick pick something. Bullies often do this to prove their virtue. Somebody made a mistake so the “bully” is a wonderful person for being a bully.

    And Aaron & Kurt – If you are going to Origins, Southern Fried Game Expo or Liberty Con introduce yourself. I’ll tell you that you are a nasty bully to your face. I’m not a coward and your behavior is not acceptable.

    [JJ – my language is due to someone calling me a deceptive liar. I’ve gotten on you about cursing before. But this is not a literary disagreement. I tend to get pretty angry when someone calls me a liar. Calling people liars is an actual tort and not something generally accepted in the US (ask Aaron the bully attorney). And I appreciate your not piling on today].

  25. airboy, not to worry, I’m quite used to seeing hypocrisy — whether it’s about cursing, or controlling womens’ bodies — from you.

    Also, it’s interesting to see someone with a marketing degree who touts themselves as an “economist”.

  26. This whole line of comments is getting disgusting. I’m putting an end to it. Find something else to talk about.

  27. Bully’s frequently make unfounded claims about others because they enjoy it.

    Since you’ve gotten called out on a fair number of unfounded claims, I suppose this may be a confession of sorts.

    And Aaron & Kurt – if you disagree with any of my published academic work you can write a rejoinder.

    As noted before, I don’t particularly care about your published academic work any more than you care about my published writing. I just thought it was stupid to keep insisting you have impressive credentials when you use a pseudonym.

    But it’s nice to have specifics, so when you claim to be a scientist, which is a pretty vague term, we can actually know you claim expertise in such sciences as Marketing strategy, Personal Selling, Real Estate Marketing and the Yellow pages.

    Those are legitimate fields of expertise, but not usually the stuff you’re making claims about.

    You cannot just spew unfounded screeds in scholarly journals.

    You should stop doing it here, too.

    I guess that if you disagree with literature tastes or leftward politics it is fine to encourage bullies. But being “inclusive” and “diverse” seldom applies to anyone who does not share all your opinions – does it?

    You don’t get the reactions you do because you’re a conservative, but because you post dopey and insulting stuff, and then cry victim when you get called on it. Don’t take drive-by shots at so many people and you won’t get pushback. But it’s not like you were minding your own business and people started criticizing you out of nowhere, by chance. It’s because you go out of your way to attack people (some here, some elsewhere), and people respond to those attacks.

    It’s not your politics, it’s your passive-aggressive behavior.

    And a prediction – perhaps Aaron & Kurt will go through everything I’ve ever written to try to nick pick something.

    Okay, there’s your prediction. Let’s see if that happens, hm?

  28. @Heather: Thanks for confirming my “teal smells like duck” thought. And now I remember wearing a teal bridesmaid dress for a wedding, and glad I didn’t think of the duck idea then. Because while weddings are joyous occasions, the bridesmaids shouldn’t be quacking at each other. And we would have.

    I went nuts on that Open Road free sale too. Luckily virtual Mt. Tsundoku cannot topple over and injure me, because the books were piling up. I didn’t get “Bride of the Rat God”; not sure if I missed it or if it wasn’t in the sale. Still my favorite Hambly. @RevBob, how do you keep track of sales? I just hope to stumble upon them, and sometimes I do.

    Reading Camestros’ notes on TLTL just shows I don’t have the spoons to tackle it. I read a chapter or so last year and found it very easy to put down. Still, I like that a big thinky book is thinked so well of.

    I’ve testified as an expert in court proceedings! It was traffic court, though. For parking violations. I had Polaroids, which shows how long ago it was.

    @Cat Eldridge: “no more than paternity”? Auto-correct made a funny!

  29. “Of course not. C# smells like granola bars and strong coffee.”

    I think you’re mixing C# the chord and C# the language.

  30. I just thought it was stupid to keep insisting you have impressive credentials when you use a pseudonym.

    Speaking generally, I disagree with your premise that someone using a pseudonym should never claim expertise because no one will accept such a claim.

    I’ve been on message boards where somebody under a pseudonym proved that on a subject of claimed expertise they knew what they’re talking about.

    Here, if you were posting under a pen name your comments on the comics industry would demonstrate your deep personal knowledge. You wouldn’t be as credible an expert without people knowing who you are, but the content of your comments makes it pretty obvious anyway.

  31. Speaking generally, I disagree with your premise that someone using a pseudonym should never claim expertise because no one will accept such a claim.

    Not quite what I said (I hope).

    Here, if you were posting under a pen name your comments on the comics industry would demonstrate your deep personal knowledge.

    Hopefully. But it would be the knowledge that was convincing. I couldn’t convince people by appealing to my credits, since I wouldn’t be acknowledging them. I’d convince people — if I did — by being convincing, by demonstrating expertise.

    Were I posting under a pseudonym, it wouldn’t do any good to claim that I’m a NYT bestselling writer or that I’ve won this or that award, or that I attended various Marvel creative conferences or whatever. The content of my posts would have to stand on their own, for good or ill.

    Anyway, I hope that’s dry enough and removed enough from the discussion Mike asked us to end, but perhaps we shouldn’t take it much farther just in case.

  32. Xtifr: While I do love Gaiman, I think the soundtrack I really want is the one for Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks. This. I’ve heard the version of “Newry Highwayman” referenced in the final confrontation and it’s dynamite; I know a few of the others and would love to hear the rest of them, although I’m sometimes puzzled over the shortage of 60’s references as Bull is enough older than Gaiman for her to think of them. wrt the Tor post, I’m amused that they picked up my pointer — I got behind and added it several months after they were past that chapter. (Coincidentally, Bull recorded “Nottamun Town” with Cats Laughing — a very different version from the solo I learned in grade school.)
    Another reason for listing the songs is that IIRC Gaiman’s early blog entries had several discussions of what he was going through to get licensing for the songs he wanted to outright quote (not just reference); it was a pain and half in both the brain and the wallet.

  33. (Mike, I am not trying to fan any flames here, and am trying to write a thoughtful response to airboy. My apologies if it’s out of place, feel free to delete.)

    @airboy, you addressed something to everyone here that I would like to respond to:

    And the rest of the 770 people – amazing how you tolerate such nasty, nasty bullies on a day-to-day basis. Really “friendly” of you. I guess that if you disagree with literature tastes or leftward politics it is fine to encourage bullies. But being “inclusive” and “diverse” seldom applies to anyone who does not share all your opinions – does it?

    Several times, I have seen you paint the entire commentariat here with a very wide brush. You make sweeping generalizations about the thoughts and opinions of “the 770”, and it puts my back up every time. There are a lot of different people commenting here, of various backgrounds, holding various beliefs. And believe me, I’ve seen some terribly acrimonious disagreements. Many of those were during the Puppy Wars, but sometimes it’s between people who otherwise seem to hold similar worldviews.

    I think you might not be aware that you insult a lot of us with your “SJW” or “snowflake” comments. But you do; and to be frank a lot of people who use those terms are intending for them to be insulting.

    I don’t like it when arguments get personal, and do my best to stay out of them. I’m trying hard to stick to talking about media, so if I give in to the urge to snark I’m not snarking at a real person. Sometimes I fail, as we all fail sometimes. I hope that if and when I’m called out on it, I will apologize instead of getting defensive.

    I try hard to have compassion and empathy for people. That can be especially hard on the internet, because it’s hard to remember that there are people behind the usernames and avatars. And it’s a lot easier to hurt them, because you can’t see their faces. But even if it can’t be seen, the hurt is real.

    I’m truly sorry that you and your family are going through this terrible time. I don’t agree with you most of the time, but you are a person too. I believe that you’re hurting right now, and stressed, and really wanting to help your wife and maybe don’t know how to do that. That sucks a lot and I feel for you. Not one of the 770, but myself as an individual.

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