Pixel Scroll 4/4/17 I Used To Be A Filer Like You, But Then I Took A Pixel In The Knee

(1) CATAPOSTROPHE. New Mexico fan Jack Speer’s relentless habit of correcting others’ fanwriting earned him the nickname “Grammar West of the Pecos.” Sounds like they’ve found his soul-mate in England — “’Banksy of punctuation’ puts full stop to bad grammar in Bristol”.

BBC tracks down self-styled ‘grammar vigilante’ on mission to rid city of rogue apostrophes

…He told the BBC he was a family man who worked in engineering. “I’m a grammar vigilante,” he said. “I do think it’s a cause worth pursuing.”

The man said he began by scratching out an extraneous apostrophe on a sign but had since become more sophisticated and has built an “apostrophiser” – a long-handled piece of kit that allows him to reach up to shop signs to add in, or cover up, offending punctuation marks. “This is a device that enables you to plant an apostrophe quite high up and get over any obstacles,” he said.

(2) PACK YOUR BOOKS. For years there have been stories that TOR will move out of the Flatiron Building and a new report from a real estate blog makes it sound like it could happen. Really. Maybe.

Another one of the book business’s “Big 5” publishers is seeking a new chapter in Lower Manhattan. Macmillan Publishers, the sole office tenant at the landmarked Flatiron Building, is weighing a move to Silverstein Properties’Equitable Life Building at 120 Broadway, sources tell The Real Deal.

…If the deal goes through, it would be the first time the Flatiron Building, owned by Sorgente Group of America, would be completely empty since it was built more than 100 years ago. Part of the reason Macmillan is relocating is the fact that the Flatiron District, the area named for the 22-story building, has become the epicenter of the city’s technology industry, driving up rents.

Sorgente could either lease the building to higher-paying tenants, or follow through on a plan it previously considered to convert it into a hotel.

(3) BOOK RECS WANTED. James Davis Nicoll will soon be writing two milestone reviews and is looking for book recommendations.

I have two notable reviews coming up for my Because My Tears Are Delicious To You reviews: the 150th one and the third anniversary one. Tears reviews are of books I read and liked as a teenager (between 1974 and 1981). I welcome suggestions for candidate books.

(4) JACK WILLIAMSON LECTURESHIP. The 41st Annual Jack Williamson Lectureship will be given by Melinda Snodgrass on April 7 at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.

The 41st Annual Jack Williamson Lectureship, with events April 7, 2017, welcomes author and friend of the Lectureship, Melinda M. Snodgrass, with special guest author Michael Cassutt, and writers, friends and fans from across the region for this annual celebration of Jack Williamson and the genre to which he contributed so significantly.

This year’s theme is Wild Cards! – the shared universe anthologies by some of the best writers in science fiction, edited by George R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass. First released in 1987, the series published its 23rd volume in 2016. Adapted to role-playing games and comics, the Wild Cards series is now slated for television by Universal Cable Production (UCP), executive producer Melinda Snodgrass, with SyFy Films’ Gregory Noveck….

(5) PREHISTORIC COMIC CON. At Galactic Journey, The Traveler ingeniously makes his visit to last weekend’s Wondercon look like it happened in 1962.

(6) BLACK HOLE BIRTHDAY PARTY. “Massive explosion from unknown source billions of light years away baffles astronomers” starts out as a news item, then delves deep into black holes. As so much news does these days….

This enabled a distance to the burst to be measured: about 12 billion light years. The universe has expanded to four times the size it was then, 12 billion years ago, the time it took the light to reach Earth.

GRB170202 was so far away, even its host galaxy was not visible, just darkness. Because the GRB was a transient, never to be seen again, it is like turning on a light in a dark room (the host galaxy) and trying to record the detail in the room before the light goes out.

Mystery of gamma ray burst

The flash of gamma radiation and subsequent optical transient is the telltale signature of a black hole birth from the cataclysmic collapse of a star. Such events are rare and require some special circumstances, including a very massive star up to tens of solar masses (the mass of our Sun) rotating rapidly with a strong magnetic field….

(7) ON TRACK. Yahoo!’s story “Cyborgs at work: employees getting implanted with microchips” comes from Stockholm.

The syringe slides in between the thumb and index finger. Then, with a click, a microchip is injected in the employee’s hand. Another “cyborg” is created.

What could pass for a dystopian vision of the workplace is almost routine at the Swedish startup hub Epicenter. The company offers to implant its workers and startup members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.

The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.

(8) COMPETING NARRATIVES. David Gerrold ended his overview of the 2017 Hugo finalists with these comments:

My seat-of-the-pants analysis (I could be wrong) is that the Hugos are in the process of recovering from the 2015 assault, precisely because the Worldcon attendees and supporters see themselves as a community.

There’s a thought buried in that above paragraph — that communities unite to protect themselves when they perceive they are under attack. This works well when the attack is real, such as Pearl Harbor. But it can also have negative effects when hate-mongers such as Bryan Fischer and Pat Robertson (both of whom were in fine form this week) invent a scapegoat (LGBT people) for unwarranted attacks in an attempt to unite the community around their own agendas.

So while those who have a long history of participation in Worldcons will see this unity as a good thing — those who identify themselves as the aggrieved outsiders will see it as more evidence that the establishment is shutting them out.

Myself, I see it as a collision of two narratives — one that is based on 75 years of mostly healthy traditions, and one that is based on a fascist perception of how the world works.

Most important, however, is that most of this year’s ballot suggests that we are seeing a return to the previous traditions of nominations based on excellence. Most of the nominations are well-deserved, and my congratulations to the finalists.

(9) GLEE. The Book Smugglers were pleased with their Best Semiprozine nomination and that’s not all —

Now, the best thing about this year’s Hugos? Is that it feels GREAT to be a part of it again – it’s super easy to get excited and happy about the ballot with so many great people and works on it and with what seems to be like an almost canine-free ballot. We can’t wait to spend the next few months squeeing and discussing and agonising over who to vote for. Seriously, check out that Best Novel list – some of our favourites of 2016 are there!!

(10) NO WEISSKOPF. A lot of Finns are happy with the Hugo ballot. Not this one. Declan Finn covered the announcement: “Newsflash: Hugo Awards Swamped by Crap”.

Six nominees for best editor. See anything missing?

I’ll give you a hint: we were all told that This Person would have almost certainly have won the Hugo award for best editor, but she lost because she was a Puppy Pick.

If you said, “Who is Toni Weisskopf, Alex?” you’d be right.

But strangely enough, Toni isn’t here. But she’s not a Puppy Pick this year. We were all told that she would have won if she weren’t a Puppy Pick.

Guess what: she wouldn’t have even been NOMINATED if she weren’t a Puppy Pick.

They lied. Shocking, isn’t it?

He also did not approve of the Best Series finalists. Or anything else, really, except for Jeffro Johnson and the Castalia House blog.

(11) SCHADENFREUDE. Jon del Arroz is thrilled by the substantial dropoff in nominating ballots since a year ago.

Of course, in recent years, they’ve been telling anyone who’s a conservative or Christian that they’re not real fans, and not welcome at their conventions, certainly never allowed to speak.  And so the Sad Puppies were born, and had a good run for a few years before once again, just like their projecting meme, the establishment behind the Hugos said “these are not real fans” and changed the rules to make it impossible for anyone but their chosen to get noticed.

The Puppies pulled out. I promised you numbers, and here’s what we have.

Best Novel: 2,078 ballots in 2017 vs. 3,695 ballots in 2016, a 44% drop.

Best Novella:  1,410 ballots in 2017 vs. 2,416 ballots in 2016, a 42% drop.

Best Novelette: 1,097 ballots in 2017 vs. 1,975 ballots in 2016, a 45% drop.

Best Short Story: 1,275 ballots in 2017 vs. 2,451 ballots in 2016, a 52% drop.

I can keep going on with the numbers here, but that kind of pull out of an audience is staggering. If this were a TV show or a comic, it would be instantly cancelled. The execs would be using this as a case study as to what went wrong and why so that they could never do it again. Kinda like is beginning to happen in comics right now (but they’re still in the denial stage of grief).

You’re seeing about a thousand less votes across the board per category. That means a thousand less people with memberships than last year. Wow. Note to “real science fiction fandom”: you told about half your audience you hate them and you want them to go away. They did. This spells big trouble for you in the future.

(12) FROM A RETIREE. The world is filled with people who are pleased to pass along any piece of news they know will annoy the recipient. Larry Correia has a friend like that, and the upshot was “Don’t Forget to Nominate for the Dragon Awards”.

The reason for this post was that a friend of mine sent me a PM this morning, that they had announced the Hugo nominations, and gave me a link. Being retired from trying to cure Puppy Related Sadness, I only gave the list a brief cursory glance, saw the names of many proper goodthinkers, and counted like a dozen(+) nominations for Tor, so it appears that balance has been restored to their sainted halls of Trufans enjoying themselves in the proper approved manner. I’m sure many wooden buttholes will be sacrificed upon the altar of Social Justice.

(13) EYES RIGHT. The Castalia House blog had not posted an acknowledgement of its Best Fanzine nomination when I looked. They were just doing business as usual, showing how they earned that nomination with their two latest posts, “The Most Overrated Novel of the 20th Century by Alex Stump” (about Frank Herbert’s Dune) and “How Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Frank Miller Ruined Comics by Jon Del Arroz”.

(14) ON TOUR IN CLEVELAND. John Scalzi tweeted about the ballot several times. He may have been overlooked for awards, but there was good news about his latest novel.

And as Jerry Pournelle often says, “Money will get you through times of no Hugos better than Hugos will get you through times of no money.”

(15) STILL FLYING. Harrison Ford keeps license, escapes fine for piloting error after an FAA investigation into his taxiway landing:

After actor Harrison Ford landed his small plane on a taxiway, rather than a runway, at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., in February, the Federal Aviation Administration began looking into the incident….

The Federal Aviation Administration determined at the conclusion of its inquiry that “no administrative or enforcement action was warranted,” Ford’s lawyer, Stephen Hofer said in a statement. “Mr. Ford retains his pilot’s certificate without restriction.”

The actor, who played swashbuckling space smuggler and Millennium Falcon pilot Han Solo in the “Star Wars” film franchise, also was cited by the agency for his “long history of compliance” with FAA regulations and “his cooperative attitude during the investigation,” Hofer said.

Although Ford incurred no penalty, he agreed to undergo voluntary “airman counseling” before the FAA closed the matter, his lawyer said.

(The BBC used a more colorful metaphor: No fines for Ford for being a ‘schmuck’)

(16) WHAT IF THEY CHEAT BETTER? Web inventor slams US, UK attacks on net privacy.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee was speaking to the BBC following the news that he has been given the Turing Award.

It is sometimes known as the Nobel Prize of computing.

Sir Tim said moves to undermine encryption would be a “bad idea” and represent a massive security breach.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said there should be no safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online. But Sir Tim said giving the authorities a key to unlock coded messages would have serious consequences.

“Now I know that if you’re trying to catch terrorists it’s really tempting to demand to be able to break all that encryption but if you break that encryption then guess what – so could other people and guess what – they may end up getting better at it than you are,” he said.

(17) WHAT IF THEY CHEAT A LOT BETTER? It depends on how much those cheaters have prospered. These guys made a lot: “Overwatch ‘cheat maker’ told to pay $8.6m to Blizzard”.

“The Bossland hacks destroy the integrity of the Blizzard games, thereby alienating and frustrating legitimate players and diverting revenue from Blizzard to defendants,” the US games developer had argued.

The tools included the ability to see other players’ positions, health scores and other information from a distance within games.

The Zwickau-based firm’s managing director said it did not accept the US court had jurisdiction over it, and that the judgement did not take into account that many of the licences it had sold had been “trials” at a fraction of the normal cost.

“We are discussing with our lawyers how to continue – if an appeal to the declined motion to dismiss is worth trying,” Zwetan Letschew told the BBC.

Bossland’s website remains active and continues to advertise cheats for several Blizzard games, insisting “botting is not against any law”.

(18) A WIZ OF A WIZ HE IS. “Ian McKellen Explains Why He Refused to Play Dumbledore in Harry Potter” at io9.

Anyway, McKellen is in good spirits about the whole thing. When host Stephen Sackur asked, “You mean you could have been Dumbledore?” McKellen responded, “Well sometimes, sometimes when I see the posters of [Harris’ eventual replacement] Mike Gambon, the actor who gloriously plays Dumbledore, I think sometimes it is me.”

(19) INVENTORY READY TO GO. I foolishly wasted my time writing news posts when I could have been preparing to monetize my nomination!

And The Mary Sue is so excited they turned the Hugo Award announcement into a Chuck Tingle promo with three of his book covers for art.  Love of money is real!

[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, Mark-kitteh, JJ, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Greg Hullender.]

150 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/4/17 I Used To Be A Filer Like You, But Then I Took A Pixel In The Knee

  1. Rev. Bob: (11) Are we supposed to be sad that, by the look of it, an attacking group has taken its forces elsewhere? Because I’m not.

    I know, it’s like “buh-bye, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out”. 😀

    It’s pretty hilarious that del Arroz hasn’t bothered to educate himself on how Worldcon works, and doesn’t realize that there’s no direct correlation between nominating and voting numbers and actual memberships purchased.

  2. @Rev Bob:
    “Where are Honor Harrington and Black Ride Rising?” I like Honor just fine, but there hadn’t been a new volume in a while until November’s new release, and the consensus of the reviews I’ve seen for it amounts to “overlong, rehashed backstory with only a little new stuff.” (I’m still looking forward to it, though.)

    I read it. I don’t consider it a rehash. It told parts of the story that had already been told previously, but from different points of view, and we got some more details not mentioned earlier. I was bemused to see one major character taken off the board. I expected it to occur, but not at this point in the story. I’ll be curious to see how that affects future events.

  3. Rev. Bob on April 5, 2017 at 12:26 am said:

    Egads. I believe your concluding sentagraph* has twisted my brain into the form of a non-Euclidean pretzel.

    I can too rite bigly good

  4. (13) I didn’t know Alex Stump wrote Dune.

    I think “most overrated novel of the 20th Century” is one of those categories with a lot of books sharing first place. (My own pick would be The Sound and the Fury but ask me again tomorrow and it’ll probably be something else.) If we’re talking about SF novels then I might have picked Stranger in a Strange Land, unless we mean consistently overrated and not just overrated at the time. Maybe something that gets taught in schools? I’d like to say Brave New World but I’ve never actually read it or felt the urge to.

  5. (10) NO WEISSKOPF.

    From Finn regarding best series:

    “Everyone else … should I have heard of these people? I’m almost surprised that they’re just this obscure. Then again, I wouldn’t have heard of Jemisin without the whole Hugo mess, so I’m not surprised.”

    I don’t understand why puppies always want to parade their ignorance and lack of knowledge of the field. This is a continuing thing, always saying that because the do not know of anything, no one else does. It only makes them look isolated and lost.

  6. Get this.

    There’s this thing called the Internet which contains all sorts of interesting information. It also has these things called search engines, the most popular of which is called Google. These search engines allow you to look up information on all sorts of topics. Including writers you haven’t heard about.

    You should give them a go.

  7. 10) I’m mildly surprised not to see Weisskopf on the list, because it looked from last year’s stats as if she had a substantial fan base outside the Puppies. But I think there are several factors at work here:-

    1. Nobody’s automatically owed a Hugo nomination, damn it.

    2. Weisskopf and Baen generally are seen (rightly or wrongly) as being Puppy-adjacent, and there is too such a thing as bad publicity.

    3. A number of people (myself included, in my ramblings on Best Editor last year) are worried about the quality standards at Baen slipping. Yes, worried. I buy Baen books – I can see a bunch of them right now – but if they don’t pull their socks up, I might well stop. (No, it’s not “punishing them for failing to be PC” – it’s the free market in action; I’m not spending my money on poorly edited books on subjects that don’t interest me.)

    11) This is just regression toward the mean in action, isn’t it? Big surge one year, means a trend downwards thereafter until things stabilize at more or less their usual level, until or unless something else happens.

    13) I like Dune, myself. Yes, it has its flaws, but what doesn’t? – I thought, though, that a big driver for the plot was Paul’s desire to prevent a jihad, or at least to divert it and change it into something less mindlessly destructive. As for the other thing, I’m looking forward to the companion item How Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Max Planck Ruined Physics….

  8. “Everyone else … should I have heard of these people? I’m almost surprised that they’re just this obscure. Then again, I wouldn’t have heard of Jemisin without the whole Hugo mess, so I’m not surprised.”

    I wouldnt have heard of Finn, Paulk or Hoyt without the Hugo mess, so there you go.
    Of course that means, that I would most likely never touch books written by these authors, because, you know, what they write in their blogs is not exactly advertisment for their work.

    (I would also argue that learning about authors I didnt know before, is one of the reasons, Im interested to read abot SF-price-nominees)

  9. So what do you guys think of the best series picks?

    I was a little surprised by the list overall. These are all popular series, but no epic fantasy? No grimdark? Two alt-history series? Its just not the result I would have expected.
    Also, all these are fairly long series. All the discussion about trilogies being eligible was pointless.

  10. bookworm1398: all these are fairly long series. All the discussion about trilogies being eligible was pointless.

    Not really. This is just the first year of the category. I suspect after 5-10 years, many of the long-running, heavily-popular series will have all been awarded, and at that point, we would start seeing more shorter, newer series.

  11. 11: what they don’t get is that fandom is shutting out assholes, which is perfectly reasonable for any community.

    I actually prefer a smaller fandom with a low A% than a larger fandom with a greater A%.

    This is how you beat Sturgeon’s dictum…winnow through the crap and keep the good stuff.

  12. bookworm1398: no epic fantasy? No grimdark?

    I’m curious; which hugely popular series of those types which is eligible this year would you have expected to see? I ask because I’m kind of drawing a blank with regard to this year. I probably wouldn’t consider a series eligible in my eyes if it doesn’t have at least a novella or novel published in the eligibility year. In other words, if GoT was eligible based on a short story, I wouldn’t be willing to nominate it. So Cosmere/Mistborn maybe?

    I think that a lot of people, like me, are not particularly fond of grimdark.

  13. Steve Wright: A number of people (myself included, in my ramblings on Best Editor last year) are worried about the quality standards at Baen slipping.

    I’d say you’re just about 10 years and 10 months too late on that one. 😐

  14. > “… no epic fantasy? No grimdark?”

    Several of the most popular series in these categories were not eligible this year.

  15. When I first became aware of Baen they published Bujold and the fairly compact 1632 line and had an extensive Free Library which lead to me David Weber. For some years I checked the site regularly to see what was coming out next.
    And after a while I realised that what was coming out was pile upon pile of tosh, and haven’t looked in years.

  16. I’m frankly befuddled by the attitude “I’ve never heard of it so it can’t be any good.” People here are constantly pointing me to works and authors that I’ve never heard of… and I’ve found some wonderful authors thereby. Becky Chambers! Graydon Saunders! K.B. Wagers! I can pretty much guarantee that I’d never have encountered any of them (until and unless they showed up on a Hugo ballot) if I hadn’t read their names, with enthusiastic recommendations, here… and I’ve put all three of them on my Hugo and/or Campbell ballots in the last few years. And I’m quite, quite sure that there are plenty of others who simply aren’t popping instantly into my head, but I’ll think of as soon as I hit “post.”

    So, THANK you, Filers. Keep those unknown-to-me author rec’s coming! How else will I find out about BATTLE SHEEP? (And if I’m buried under a Mount TBR avalanche, well, at least it’s a good way to die….)

  17. I suspect there are a number of reasons why nominations were down from Spokane, including, as in my own case, that my time to read decreased when I got a job and my mental capacity decreased because of politics of 2016. I found that when I did have reading time, I gravitated to old, familiar comfort reads instead of many new works.

    But nominating was a lot of fun when I did it, and I’m looking forward to reading the shortlist and voting this year. I’m genuinely excited over the finalists, and that’s such a good feeling.

  18. I’ve read Hoyt, although before the Puppy business. The two books of hers I’ve read were actually pretty good. Never visited her site, but the excerpts that are sometimes linked here are . . . entertaining in a very different way.

  19. How long has Tor been in the Flatiron Building? I used to work in that building from about 1994 to 96, never knew who was on the other floors.

  20. Ghostbird on April 5, 2017 at 1:14 am said:
    (13) I didn’t know Alex Stump wrote Dune.

    And you have to feel sorry for Jon Del Arroz, having his comics ruined by that group of heavyweights after he’d worked so hard on them.

  21. Since I absolutely love the Gladstone and Aaronovitch series as well as the Expanse, I am amused by Finn’s ignorance. His loss, I suppose.

  22. I would just like to add a counter-narrative to the pups.
    My wife and I are both Christians and big fans of genre, if hostility to religion is ever encountered we deal with it the same as any place where humans are, education.
    My wife in her youth frequented a comic book shop that was sooo hostile to her Christianity that the manager’s indie press even bought two of her graphic stories and want more (gasp).
    We are both 27 and first time nominators so I guess that counters a few perceptions as well.
    I am an avid reader of history and genre (having read all the finalists in the best novel category since the awards inception, working on this year) so would love to educate in genre history with the pups.
    But wait there’s more, I’m also a preacher at a small rural conservative church so I’d love to go head to head on any theology the pups think “sides” with them. Bible has lots to say about whining.
    P.S. Our SJW credential is named Severus
    Love the File770 community 🙂

  23. @RevBob–Black Tide Rising – I’ve read and said my piece on the novels elsewhere. I read all four, but wasn’t the least bit interested in the 2016 anthology.
    I found that, on the whole, I enjoyed the anthology the most. A couple of stories are on my “don’t ever bother re-reading this” list, but I always like to see how different authors take on an established fiction.
    The novels were OK but I kept thinking I’d accidentally skipped parts.

  24. Stuckinhistory, I find it wryly amusing that the Pups don’t think that actual conservative Christians should be warriors for social justice. Heck, wasn’t Jesus a warrior for social justice?

    I know plenty of Christians, both conservative and liberal, who are SF fans. And they don’t all like MilSF, which seems to be what the Puppies expect them to like. (Hammer your sword into plowshares….) Some of them do, of course, but it seems not to be because of any religious belief, or, for that matter, lack of one. It’s just because they like that sort of thing. <shrug>

  25. I have for a while wondered who the likes of JCW cope when the reading gets onto “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice”.

  26. (11) “Hmph! Ever since they hired that bouncer to kick out the rowdy drunks who start fights and break furniture, attendance at that bar has dropped by half! They’ll be out of business soon at that rate.”

    Bonus Pixel Scroll title suggestion: “It’s fifteen hundred miles to Helsinki, we’ve got a full tank of pixels, half a pack of scrolls, it’s dark, and we’re wearing peril-sensitive sunglasses. Hit it.”

  27. Ballot counts are down because (1) Last year, everyone was eligible to nominate who got a supporting membership to Sasquan the year before to vote against the Puppies, and (2) this year, fewer people go to worldcons outside of North America. Sheesh.

  28. @Dan B.
    (2) this year, fewer people go to worldcons outside of North America.

    Bear in mind there is no requirement to attend the Worldcon in question. A Supporting membership gets you the right to nominate and vote.

    I don’t offhand know the breakdown between Supporting and Attending members in recent Hugo voting, but I suspect Supporting predominated, and being able to nominate and vote for Hugos was a primary motive in becoming a Supporting member.

  29. @John Seavey:

    Well done! That’d make an excellent title to run right before Worldcon begins.

  30. @ Steve W: I have quite a few Baen books myself. But the buzz I’ve been hearing for the past few years is that they’re taking the company in the direction of publishing more books that would appeal to me less — I can’t say that I dislike space opera and MilSF, but I can say that I’m picky about it — and that means I’ll probably be buying fewer of their books in the future.

    @ JJ: Also, after 5-10 years, a lot of the newer series are going to have more books in them! 🙂

    @ Steve D: So you’re saying the Puppies are the slush-pile of fandom? I like that.

    @ JJ: I think perhaps grimdark is one of those things that people either really like or really dislike, with not much of a middle ground.

  31. My taste for grimdark is erratic — it depends on the flavor of grim (noir and dark fantasy are ok, horror is iffy, nihilism is right out) and how stressful real life has been lately. Sometimes I really need a reread of Goblin Emperor, sometimes I want something with a really cathartic body-count.

    As far as MILSF goes, I may be the wrong generation for the current stuff. Can someone recommend something recent in the general mode of Hammer’s Slammers or the Black Company? Malazan probably fits in there somewhere…
    (I’ve been a Slammers fan since the first one showed up in a magazine.)

    Note: I tried reading The Gemini Cell a while back — cared about the characters enough to skip to the end to find out what happened to them, but I won’t be reading more of that series. Way too much focus on the wrong levels of details for my taste.

  32. Shows what I know–my first thought was Black Tide Rising? Wasn’t that that trilogy by C.S. Friedman with the evil sorcerer and the earthquake magic? That’s been out a decade or more!

    (Google tells me this is not the same book.)

  33. @emgrasso

    For Mil Fantasy (you mentioned Black Company so I assume it counts) I nominated the Shadow Campaigns series by Django Wexler, which is (ahem) strongly inspired by the Napoleonic era. I’m slightly biased as I like the era, but I really like the series. (Hat tip to Kyra for originally reccing it)

  34. @stuckinhistory: I’m a Christian myself (Church of England), and I’d be very surprised if I was the only one around here, too. (Of course, the C of E has notoriously low standards, they’ll take anyone, even me.)

    @Lee: yes, I know where you’re coming from, with Baen. There’s still a lot of good reprinted stuff coming out of that house, but the original material is getting increasingly same-y and sloppy. And, yes, that does worry me, more than anything. It’s healthier for the field to have more SFF publishers, not fewer. I’m all in favour of diversity, and that includes having good milSF books about, as well as everything else. I like a bit of milSF now and again, and anyway a well-written book is a well-written book, regardless of subject matter. It just bothers me that there’s less well-written stuff coming from that particular direction.

  35. My roommate and I managed to nominate this year, but only in a few categories. Last year was pretty terrible, and I read very little new works compared to prior years, mostly going for comfort reads during my limited reading time. But when I looked back, I had read more new novels than I had realized and, while my short fiction count was down, I did have many favorites so I nominated them. I didn’t watch any new genre TV or make it to the movies. For TV, I also chose for comfort, and we didn’t make it to the movies at all. I was also surprised at the number of series that I read.

    I agree with all the comments about Weisskopf. I don’t nominate in the editor categories. I couldn’t vote for Weisskopf when she was a finalist because I had no idea what she did. I figured that she must not have cared whether or not she won, as she didn’t even try to share this information with us. She must have had other things on her mind at the time. I doubt that not winning the Hugo preys upon her mind.

    I am also a devout Christian, serving as a lay minister. When I face hostility here or elsewhere, I recognize this as coming from people whose exposure to Christianity was only from people like JCW or Pat Robertson. If everyone that I knew as Christian were smug, hypocritical elitists who think God wants us to spend our time judging and hurting others, I would hate them too, and would want no part of anything to do with them.

    Red Wombat, I thought the same thing about Black Tide Rising.

    Greg Hullender, love the scroll title.

  36. @stuckinhistory,

    @World Weary,
    In my experience, it’s hostility toward a particular person & their odious bigotry rather than their faith. I (and I’m sure many others) certainly appreciate that Christianity is not monolithic.

  37. If the deal goes through, it would be the first time the Flatiron Building, owned by Sorgente Group of America, would be completely empty since it was built more than 100 years ago. Part of the reason Macmillan is relocating is the fact that the Flatiron District, the area named for the 22-story building, has become the epicenter of the city’s technology industry, driving up rents.

    This is the old joke isn’t it? “No one goes there any more–it’s too popular.”

  38. I’ve actually thought it a bit ironic how many puppy-leaning folks have expressed their great admiration for Dune. When it came out, it was actually fairly controversial, and got a lot of complaints from the conservative-leaning. All that focus on ecology, which was a term even more associated with dirty-stinking hippie liberal commie scum back then than it is today. Not to mention the Islamic influences.

    There were a lot of people who thought it was, if not actually part of the “evil” New Wave which was ruining SF forever, at least, unduly influenced by the evil NWwwrSFf.

    (Some of us stinking hippie liberal commie scum who were fans of the New Wave at the time had similar thoughts, for that matter.) 🙂

  39. @Stuckinhistory: See, you’re doing Christianity right! Leading the people by example, actually understanding what Jesus was getting at in the preaching and parables, not being all money-grubbing and full of hate.

    Jesus was a radical, saying you should be generous to people even if they aren’t in your tribe, that you should abhor violence, have compassion for the poor and ill, and speaking against the hide-bound corrupt authorities. Heck, is there a better demonstration of separation of church and state than driving the money-changers out of the temple? Dude was the original SJW. (And skritches to Severus)

    @John Seavey: Seconding the vote to use that as the title the day before Worldcon! It’s absolutely perfect.

    @Lee: Exactly. It’s really easy to do bad/sloppy/dull/trite MilSF and space opera, particularly when it’s being churned out by the ton. Throw in non-existent proofreading and all I care about from Baen is LMB (would that she were with a better publisher) and Liaden (who I’ve bought from 3 publishers now). And those are atypical, because they have lots of girl cooties and are full of feels and extended smoochy families. Some of the books in each series are basically romance novels and comedies of manners with occasional ‘splosions.

  40. stuckinhistory, Welcome! My credentials say never mind you, and send their best to Severus. 😉

    I hope you’ll continue commenting and adding recommendations for Mount Tsundoku (mine is over 1,300 books at this point).

  41. (7) I keep seeing ads for some new horror movie where employees in an office building are forced to kill each other or their tormenters will kill a greater number. They had all been injected with microchips for corporate tracking or some such reason and of course now the microchips can be triggered to explode. So I hope Epicenter doesn’t go through any downsizing in the future.

    You’re face to face with the Pixel who Scrolled the World

  42. @stuckinhistory – ETA http://lithub.com/on-the-philosophical-implications-of-shelving-books/ This may be of interest to Filers. On shelving books

    Once upon a time, my books were alphabetized within categories. Then I moved and that state of reader nirvana became a distant memory. I also worked as a bookseller, where the governing principle was where and how to shelve so as to sell the most books. So, in edge cases, we would put one title in multiple locations. We also had a section near the best chair called belles lettres. Lots of lovely things showed up there, as all of us used it to highlight beloved books.

  43. @Cheryl S
    I think Chapters (Canadian bookstore chain) thinks that it has its history section sorted for best selling but I can’t stand it. There are really thin topic sections but in those its alphabetical by author which means you can have histories of say Ireland is five different places but also three different places for the same author.

  44. stuckinhistory: I have started looking at my mountain and asking if you die tomorrow which to read today?

    I decided a few years ago that I have to severely limit the amount of re-reading I allow myself. It used to be that when a new book in a series came out, I would usually do a re-read of the previous books before reading the new one. I rarely permit myself to do that anymore, because I’m convinced that unless I magically become independently wealthy and can retire early, I will die with far too many wonderful books still left unread. 🙂

    I’ve also gotten a lot better about giving myself permission to just stop reading a book if it’s not working for me, instead of feeling compelled to finish it as I used to do, so that I can spend that precious reading time on something I actually enjoy. (But unless I’m really hating it, I do try to give a book at least 20-25% before making the decision to abandon it.)

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