Pixel Scroll 5/1/21 This Scroll Is Infested With Killer Pixels

(1) HUGO VOTING AND PACKET UPDATE. DisCon III addressed Facebook readers’ questions about when online Hugo voting will be available.

Some of you have been asking about the Hugo voting links so, here’s what’s happening: Hugo voting links won’t appear on your DC3 membership page until voting opens. We’ll let our members and the public know when that happens via email, social media, website, press releases, etc. We’re also working hard to get the Hugo packet of nominated works Worldcon members have come to expect out later this spring.

(2) BEYOND AFROFUTURISM. Clarion West and the Seattle Public Library have two more Beyond Afrofuturism virtual panels happening in May. Register here.

Come talk publishers on Sunday, May 16th, 1 p.m. Pacific with Bill Campbell (Rosarium), Milton Davis (MVmedia), Zelda Knight (AURELIA LEO), and Nicole Givens Kurtz (Mocha Memoirs) for Power in Publishing: Publishers Roundtable

With major publishers stuck in a cycle of selling the same mainstream stories or tightening their belts when it comes to the work of marginalized communities, how are Black publishers shaping opportunities for BIPOC writers to have their voices heard?

Featuring: Bill Campbell (Rosarium), Zelda Knight (AURELIA LEO), Milton Davis (MVmedia), and Nicole Givens Kurtz (Mocha Memoirs)

Moderated by Clinton R. Fluker, Ph.D. Curator of African American collections at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Library

The event is presented in partnership with the Seattle Public Library and is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

And on Monday, May 17th, 7 p.m. Pacific, join editors Eboni Dunbar and Brent Lambert of FIYAH Magazine, Craig Laurance Gidney of Baffling Magazine, Chinelo Onwualu of Omenana and Anathema, and LaShawn Wanak of Giganotosaurus for Zines and Magazines: Expanding Worlds in Speculative Fiction.

(3) U.S. BOOK SHOW. The U.S. Book Show is a new book fair created by Publishers Weekly. The three-day show debuts virtually May 25 – 27. Publishers Weekly says they are focusing “on crafting a meeting place for publishing professionals and book buyers, with an emphasis on serving the interests of librarians and booksellers.”It’s a successor to BookExpo America/

…While at its height ABA and BookExpo America attendance never reached the draw of European book shows such as the Frankfurt Book Fair (286,000 attendees in 2017, according to Wikipedia), BookExpo saw global acceptance from the publishing community. In its 2002 iteration at the Javits Center in New York, BEA saw more than 30,000 attendees, including approximately 7,000 booksellers and librarians. By 2018, BookExpo in the same venue saw 7,800 total attendees.

The demise of the show provided an opening for Publishers Weekly to step in. The U.S. Book Show will be held virtually in 2021 and assessed after the fact for future possibilities.

(4) WHO’S FIRST. Radio Times interviews actor “David Bradley on returning as First Doctor for Time Fracture”.

David Bradley has praised original Doctor Who star William Hartnell as he returns to the role of the First Doctor in much anticipated live event Time Fracture.

The renowned actor first played the role in 2013’s An Adventure in Space and Time, which explored the creation of the long-running series, in which he portrayed both Hartnell and the late actor’s incarnation of the Doctor.

Bradley made such a strong impression on fans that he was invited back by writer Steven Moffat to play the First Doctor in two episodes of Doctor Who, both of which aired as part of Peter Capaldi’s stint on the show.

As he prepares to return to the role once again for Time Fracture, Bradley has hailed Hartnell’s “total dedication” to Doctor Who in an interview on the show’s official YouTube channel.

“He laid the template,” Bradley said. “All of the other subsequent doctors, they all owe a lot to William Hartnell. As it was, it started this phenomenon.”

…Bradley will co-star opposite John Barrowman in upcoming live event Time Fracture, billed as an “immersive experience”, which he believes could convert even non-believers.

(5) CHALLENGING ASSUMPTIONS. Clarion West tells what they’re doing about an “Evolving Workshop Culture to Inspire Equity, Empowerment, and Innovation in Writing Workshops”.

…For over 35 years, Clarion West has held strictly to the Milford peer workshop model, assuming it to be the superior workshop method for all writers. 

This belief was shaken a year ago, when we had to postpone the Summer Workshop for the first time in our history. In discussions with our instructors, we heard something new. A quiet criticism of the unchanging. A gentle push to consider that not every writer has been involved in the conversations around — and represented in — the design of our workshops. 

Over the course of the last year, Clarion West has begun the process of exploring where our assumptions about key components of the workshop, including critiquing methods and social interactions, have limited the experiences of writers from a broad range of underrepresented communities. Communities whose voices are still emerging in prominent speculative fiction outlets. 

And as we started looking for answers, we have found that a serious examination of traditional peer critique methods has been happening in the broader writing and workshopping field. See below for a recommended reading list. 

As a result of this self reflection, Clarion West recognizes that changes need to be made within the workshop model. Our staff, alumni, faculty, and participants will help evolve our workshop culture and create protocols towards equity, empowerment, and innovation. 

Clarion West seeks to make the structural changes needed to ensure that our workshops and classes are places where all participants will feel welcome and safe…. 

(6) HARRYHAUSEN EXHIBITION. The Ray Harryhausen, Titan of Cinema Exhibition just opened at National Galleries Scotland in Edinburgh and continues through February 2022. Quite a bit of material at the link — video, images, articles.

An online counterpart is also available:  Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema Virtual Exhibition Experience, “a carefully curated package which includes a series of films, never-seen-before interviews, exhibition footage, film clips and specially created animation sequences which demonstrate Harryhausen’s innovative processes. Book now.

Film special effects superstar Ray Harryhausen helped elevate stop motion animation to an art. His innovative and inspiring films, from the 1950s onwards, changed the face of modern movie making forever.?This is the largest and widest-ranging exhibition of Ray Harryhausen’s work ever seen, with newly restored and previously unseen material from his incredible archive.

Ray Harryhausen’s work included the films Jason and the Argonauts, the Sinbad films of the 1950s and 1970s, One Million Years B.C. and Mighty Joe Young.  He inspired a generation of filmmakers such as Peter Jackson, Aardman Animations, Tim Burton, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg, and his influence on blockbuster cinema can be felt to this day.

Titan of Cinema traces Harryhausen’s career as a special effects guru, whose only limits was his boundless imagination. Titan of Cinema shows his creative processes: from embryonic preparatory sketches, through to model making and bringing characters to life who went onto terrorise and delight audiences in equal measure on the cinema screen.

(7) ALIENS AND EXPLOSIONS. This might look familiar. FirstShowing introduces a “Fresh US Trailer for Australian Sci-Fi Spectacle ‘Occupation: Rainfall’”.

Two years after aliens land on Earth, survivors from Sydney, Aus., fight in a desperate war as the number of casualties continue to grow. It’s described as “Avatar meets Star Wars meets Independence Day,”

(8) DUKAKIS OBIT. Actress Olympia Dukakis died May 1 reports NPR. She was 89. An Oscar-winner, she was famous for non-genre roles in Moonstruck and Steel Magnolias. Her claims to genre fame are a role in the TV movie The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines and, if movies with talking dogs count as genre, Look Who’s Talking and its sequels Look Who’s Talking Too and Look Who’s Talking Now.


  • May 1, 1981 –On this day in 1981 in Canada, Outland premiered. Directed by Peter Hyams and produced by Richard A. Roth and Stanley O’Toole, it starred Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, Frances Sternhagen, James B. Sikking and Kika Markham. It made the final list of nominees for a Hugo at Chicon IV the next year. Most critics liked its high noon in space plot but the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes gave it a mediocre fifty percent rating. The box office barely beat out the cost of making the film. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born May 1, 1905 – E. Mayne Hull.  One novel, a dozen shorter stories.  Some when re-issued also bore the name of her husband A.E. Van Vogt; for attempts to give credit where due, see here.  (Died 1975) [JH]
  • Born May 1, 1924 Terry Southern. Screenwriter and author of greatest interest for the screenplay from Peter George’s original novel, Two Hours to Doom (as by Peter Bryant) of Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb directed (and in part written) by Stanley Kubrick. He was also involved in scripting Barbarella. Though uncredited, he did work on the script of Casino Royale as well. (Died 1995.) (CE) 
  • Born May 1, 1937 – Suzanne Vick.  Two fanzines credited to both her and her husband Shelby Vick, one of our greats; much activity names him, careful fanhistory may discover her part more explicitly.  Three daughters, of whom I have learned little.  (Died 2002) [JH]
  • Born May 1, 1946 Joanna Lumley, 75. No, she was no Emma Peel, but she was definitely more than a bit appealing (pun fully intended) in the New Avengers as Purdey. All twenty-six episodes are out on DVD. Her next genre outing was In Sapphire & Steel which starred David McCallum as Steel and her as Sapphire. If you skip forward nearly near twenty years, you’ll find her playing The Thirteenth Doctor in The Curse of Fatal Death in a Comic Relief special. Yes, she played the first version of a female Thirteenth Doctor. 
  • Born May 1, 1952 Andy Sawyer, 69. Member of fandom who managed the Science Fiction Foundation library in Liverpool for 25 years up to last year. For his work and commitment to the SF community, the Science Fiction Research Association awarded him their Thomas D. Clareson Award for Distinguished Service. The  paper he wrote that I want to get and read is “The Shadows out of Time: H. P. Lovecraftian Echoes in Babylon 5” as I’ve always thought The Shadows were Lovecraftian!  And his fanpublication list is impressive, editing some or all issues of &Another Earth Matrix, Paperback Inferno and  Acnestis. (CE)
  • Born May 1, 1954 – Joel Rosenberg.  A score of novels, as many shorter stories.  Correspondent of Asimov’s, the Patchin ReviewSF ChronicleSF Review.  Interviewed in Thrust.  Early author of gamers-transported-into-the-gameworld-which-may-not-be-what-they-thought fiction.  (Died 2011) [JH]
  • Born May 1, 1956 – Phil Foglio, age 65.  Colorful, comical graphic artist.  Illustrated R. Asprin’s MythAdventures, drew comic books from them, worked for DC, Marvel.  Magic: the Gathering cards.  Some of this, and more particularly Buck Godot and Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius, with wife Kaja Foglio (who coined gaslamp fantasy: “we have no punk, and we have more than just steam”).  Two Hugos for P as Best Fanartist; three for K & P with Girl Genius as Best Graphic Story.  Website. [JH]
  • Born May 1, 1955 J. R. Pournelle, 66. Some years ago, I got an email from a J. R. Pournelle about some SF novel they wanted Green Man to review. I of course thought it was that Pournelle. No, it was his daughter, Jennifer. And that’s how I came to find out there was a third Motie novel called Outies. It’s much better than The Gripping Hand. (CE)
  • Born May 1, 1957 Steve Meretzky, 64. He co-designed the early Eighties version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy video game with the full participation of Douglas Adams. ESF also says that he did also a space opera themed game, Planetfall and its sequel A Mind Forever Voyaging in the Eighties as well. He also did the definitely more erotic Leather Goddesses of Phobos as well. CE)
  • Born May 1, 1984 – Lindsay Smith, age 37. Six novels, a dozen shorter stories; also comics, serials.  She & Max Gladstone created, and she is showrunner & lead writer for, The Witch Who Came in From the Cold.  [JH]
  • Born May 1, 1985 – Catherine Cheek, age 36. Three novels, as many shorter stories. Interviewed in Fantasy.  Clarion San Diego graduate.  Brown belts in two martial arts.  Taught English two years in Japan.  Throws pots, binds books, plays with molten glass. Has read Moby-DickLolitaThe Grand SophyWatership Down.  [JH]

(11) NEW ZEALAND AWARD NEWS. Interested parties can get the Sir Julius Vogel Awards Voter Packet and vote on the Awards (through May 31) for a $10 NZD (~$7.15 USD) annual membership in SFFANZ. See “Voting is open for the SJV awards (plus Voters Pack)”. Click here for the list of Sir Julius Vogel award finalists.

(12) INGENUITY BACK IN THE AIR. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Ingenuity aces flight 4 after a day delay; gets overall program extended from 5 flights to 7. Yahoo! has the story: “Mars helicopter aces 4th flight, gets extra month of flying”.

…Officials announced the flight extension Friday, following three short flights in under two weeks for the $85 million tech demo. Soon afterward, there was more good news: Ingenuity — the first powered aircraft to soar at another planet — had aced its fourth flight at Mars.

For Friday’s trip, Ingenuity traveled 872 feet (266 meters) at a height of 16 feet (5 meters) for two minutes — considerably farther and longer than before. An attempt Thursday had failed because of a known software error.

On its fifth flight in another week or so, the 4-pound (1.8-kilogram) chopper will move to a new airfield on Mars, allowing the rover to finally start focusing on its own rock-sampling mission. The rover is seeking signs of ancient life at Jezero Crater, home to a lush lakebed and river delta billions of years ago….

(13) NORTHERN EXPOSURE. Barry Hertz, in “With new dystopian thriller Hummingbird Salamander, Jeff VanderMeer is set to become a household, or weird household, name” at The Globe and Mail, interviews VanderMeer about the Canadian edition of Hummingbird Salamander.

What are your thoughts about current art that directly addresses the pandemic? Is it too soon?

It’s a balancing act that has to do with the individual person’s talents. I happened to have this already in place, and have the right layering to find something useful. Other writers are different in finding their way in. I’m always trying to write something that hopefully applies to the current moment, but if you read it down the line, it has something that’s meaningful, too.

In the press notes, you said this novel was the result of realizing that “we were living in a dystopia for some time.” Are you a pessimist? Are we getting out of this dystopia any time soon?

The pessimism/optimism thing boils down to me being pessimistic when we’re not dealing with the full issue and full facts in front of us. When we try to deflect. In Florida, we have these solar farms coming in, but which are destroying natural habitats. Green tech is being delinked from environmental issues in distressing ways. That’s the kind of thing that worries me more than, say, a climate-change denier, who isn’t going to help in the first place.

(14) YOU DON’T SAY. Jason Sanford, in “Genre Grapevine for 4/30/2021” (a free Patreon article), starts his comments about a post here with these words:

He later continues, “The Worldcon code of conduct should not be used to shut down a legitimate critique of a genre issue,” leaving untouched the issue actually raised here of whether the Worldcon should adhere to its own Code of Conduct and not broadcast the insulting title. A title Sanford himself is strangely reluctant to repeat, changing the “u” in “Fuck” to an asterisk.

(15) VIVO. Netflix dropped a trailer for Vivo, an animated musical with Lin-Manuel Miranda.

An animated musical adventure that follows VIVO, a one-of-kind kinkajou (aka a rainforest “honey bear,” voiced by Miranda), who must find his way from Havana to Miami in order to deliver a song on behalf of his beloved owner and mentor Andres (Buena Vista Social Club’s Juan de Marcos Gonzáles). The film features original songs by Miranda, a score by Alex Lacamoire, and a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes and director Kirk DeMicco (The Croods)….

Voice talent includes three-time Grammy-winning Latin pop legend Gloria Estefan as Marta, the love of Andres’ life, newcomer Ynairaly Simo as Gabi, Andres’ grand-niece, Zoe Saldana as Rosa, Gabi’s mother, Michael Rooker as Lutador, a villainous Everglades python, Brian Tyree Henry and Nicole Byer as a pair of star-crossed spoonbills, Leslie David Baker as a Florida bus driver, and Katie Lowes, Olivia Trujillo, and Lidya Jewett as a trio of well-meaning but overzealous scout troopers. VIVO is an exhilarating story about gathering your courage, finding family in unlikely friends, and the belief that music can open you to new worlds.

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “The Bizarre World of Fan Edits and Restorations” on YouTube, the Royal Ocean Film Society begins with fan edits we’ve all heard about (the mostly Jar Jar Binks-free version of The Phantom Menace) goes on to very strange edits (Planet Of The Apes reduced to a Twilight Zone episode, or Star Wars turned into silent films) and the historically important, such as a fan edit that presents a version of Richard Williams’s unfinished masterpiece The Thief And The Cobbler. As a bonus, you can find out which fan edit of a Brian De Palma film was so good that De Palma turned it into the director’s cut!

 [Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, Cat Eldridge, John Hertz, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Paul Weimer.]

77 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/1/21 This Scroll Is Infested With Killer Pixels

  1. First!

    Ok I’m glad that DisCon III straightened that out. And I’m very much looking forward to seeing that packet of nominated materials.

  2. (7) ALIENS AND EXPLOSIONS. It’s described as “Avatar meets Star Wars meets Independence Day,”

    Looks more like “Mad Max with Aliens”. 😀

  3. (14) YOU DON’T SAY.

    It’s sad that both Sanford and Liptak have chosen to mischaracterize the discussion. 😐

  4. 14) YOU DON’T SAY

    Calling what GRRM did at the Hugos a Mcing is being generous in the extreme. Whatever he did was far too chaotic to be considered a Master of Ceremonies. GRRM simply opened his mouth and spewed forth a torrent of ill-conceived thoughts for over three hours.

  5. Ah, Steve Meretsky – and Infocom’s text games. (I had trouble with some of them, but enjoyed others, even when not finishing.)

  6. Not saying a word about GRRM-related Hugo finalists.

    I loved Outland. It’s totally your choice, if you want to be wrong about its excellence.

    Reading novella Hugo finalists now.

    Still feeling some sense of empowerment, following my successful encounters with state bureaucracy this week.

  7. 6) OOOH nice

    14) Welp

    In re The Gripping Hand…it was a very mixed bag. About the only bit I really took with me was how I took a line from it in order to title my DUFF Report

  8. Lis Carey say Still feeling some sense of empowerment, following my successful encounters with state bureaucracy this week.

    Good for you. Feeling empowered is always a Good Thing.

    I’ve had nothing but excellent encounters with MaineCare who handles my medical and social care needs but universally I hear that no likes them. I think it has to your attitude going into an encounter with the staff there.

    Pricing shock of the week: I discover my Lidocaine ointment (35 gram tube) which I use for neurological pain costs three hundred dollars. A months supply is nineteen hundred dollars. The only med more costly is Januvia, my diabetic drug, which runs four thousand dollars a month.

  9. Oh and I got a title credit. Forgot that one was mine!

    Damnation Alley is a terrible movie. But still.

  10. (10) No mention of Joel Rosenberg’s bizarre gun fetish? As I recall, he claimed that he routinely carried a gun, a backup gun, a knife, a backup knife and another backup knife. As, you know, one does.

  11. Soon Lee days Yikes! Affordable or even free healthcare for all cannot come soon enough.

    Keep in mind that I don’t pay for those meds as MaineCare picks up the total tab. My medical and social care bills in a typical year run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Meds alone are easily fifty thousand a year. Last year when I had a staph infection that required a fifty day stay that ran up a bill of some three hundred thousand dollars.

    But I’m an unusual case because of the severe head trauma, the multiple severe fractures and two staphylococcus infections — all in the last four years. And the discovery that my immune system doesn’t fight of infections properly.

  12. @Cat Eldridge
    I get my meds from the pharmacy, and the paper that comes with tells me how much I saved from full-price brand-name. Those are hideous prices, even for stuff that should be cheap because it’s commonly used. (Medicare, while not perfect, covers a lot. Like most of my cancer treatment.)

  13. @Cat,

    I constantly see examples of why the American healthcare system is broken. New Zealand is a relative utopia in comparison (even though we have our own problems). Our taxes go toward funding a healthcare system; that is one of the reasons for paying taxes. Most hospital treatment is free. Some medications attract a nominal prescription charge but IIRC, the most I’ve ever had to pay to pick up a prescription was NZ$30 (~US$20) but mostly it’s free or on the occasions a prescription charge is applied, no more then NZ$10. Because of this you don’t need to have medical insurance. But if you do, it is optional, and it is NOT reliant of your employer.

  14. P J Evans says I get my meds from the pharmacy, and the paper that comes with tells me how much I saved from full-price brand-name. Those are hideous prices, even for stuff that should be cheap because it’s commonly used. (Medicare, while not perfect, covers a lot. Like most of my cancer treatment.)

    Prices are hideous. I picked up three meds on Thursday at Martins Points while getting osteopathic manipulation from Meaghan. (She got dark chocolate.) All told MaineCare picked up the tab of nearly twenty three hundred dollars. I would like to say it was the largest bill they’ve picked up but it wasn’t.

  15. I played nearly all of the Infocom games when I was a youngster, although I missed out on A Mind Forever Voyaging somehow. I do know enough about it to say that it was definitely not a sequel to Planetfall but a completely independent game. And calling Leather Goddesses of Phobos “more erotic” than his other games, while not outright wrong, is certainly misleading: the emphasis was on humorous pulpy adventure, not porn.

  16. Some of my chemo drugs were 6 to 9 thousand per dose. Yeah, I had to pay some. I think I’ve paid about 14K just for that. It’s down to quarterly bloodwork and doctor visits. Plus one long-term prescription.

  17. (10) I used to be the assistant to the Art Show director for WindyCon for maybe 20 years. Phil had the habit of “obtaining” a dinner plate from the hotel restaurant and drawing a cartoon on it, then putting it in the art show with a minimum bid of $1, at any convention he attended and displayed art in the Art Show. The plates always drew well over $100 because they’d always go to auction. Sometimes he’d even auction it: he was on the auction staff (which was a separate department at WindyCon under Doctor Bob Passavoy) until he and the family moved to the West Coast.

  18. @Dennis Howard: Joel would prefer to be described as a strong 2nd Amendment activist. This provoked a lot of arguments between us, but this Quaker still regarded him as a friend and misses seeing him at cons and interacting with him online.

  19. To non-Americans who aren’t familiar with U.S. prescription medication pricing —

    While I have no doubt that Cat has a statement that says “Lidocaine — 35 gm — $300”, it is best to think of that price as being a made-up number with little or no relation to reality.

    I have a family member for whom I picked up a prescription for a common, off-patent generic medication. The “price” on the statement from my pharmacy for it was $107.43. But the amount paid for it was far less — I paid a 7.50 co-pay, and my insurance company paid $8.50, for a total of $16.00. That was all that the retail pharmacist received for the medicine.

    The only person who could conceivably be charged $107 is a person who pays cash and has no goverment or private insurance to reimburse him or the pharmacy, and that negotiates the fantasy number to a real price. But even then, the cash customer can go to the manufacturer’s web page and fill out a form for a card that will let them purchase that particular medicine for a $10 co-pay.

    These same fantasy numbers are found in services as well. I saw my physician for an annual check up a month ago. I was weighed, they took my blood pressure, the doc listened to my chest and talked to me for 10 or so minutes, and wrote orders for blood work to be done at a local lab. The “price” for the visit was $314. My insurance paid $134, and since everyone wants me to go to my regular checkups, I had no out-of-pocket co-pay. The “price” for my blood work was $319; actual total paid was $48.

    Occasionally the “invoice” price is the price paid, as P J Evans talks about. But usually the stated price on medical statements is a starting point that insurance and government negotiate down immediately, before any money changes hands.

  20. bill: The only person who could conceivably be charged $107 is a person who pays cash and has no goverment or private insurance to reimburse him or the pharmacy

    Yes, that would be at least 33 million Americans who would have to pay those “fantasy” prices. Unfortunately, most of them can’t afford the “fantasy” prices, and just have to go without – often resulting in extreme health hardship or death.

  21. 3) Intriguing. I am sad I never managed to get to BookExpo; I really wanted to. $35 is affordable enough that I’d totally just pay for it, but I’m already going to two virtual conferences in that timeframe and I doubt my library will approve a third.

    14) I am completely distracted from WorldCon drama by the other thing in there about the Last Dangerous Visions submission release. That is terrible and people shouldn’t sign it and it’s taking advantage of new authors and THIS ANTHOLOGY IS CURSED, I TELL YOU, CURSED!

  22. @Cat Eldridge–The people who provide my care are wonderful. And the individuals in the bureaucracy I’ve had to deal with range from good to wonderful. The challenge has literally been the bureaucratic aspects of the system, what you have to do in order to qualify for assistance that isn’t plain vanilla health care. The forms, the rules, the part where a lifetime of conditioning to Not Be A Problem makes it difficult for me to just explain the very real challenges I face, instead of explaining those away, emphasizing workarounds that make things kinda work but which are really just different ways of not really being able to do what I need to do. I get so worried about the importance Not Being A Problem and also But I Don’t Really Deserve This that it’s hard to do what I need to, to get the help I need.

    One of the hurdles I overcame this week was qualifying for DMH services, which means I get a case manager, who will help with that.

    @bill–Those forms you can fill out on the drug companies’ websites? The first hurdle there is knowing that drug companies do that. The next is reliable internet access so that you can do it. That’s a problem for a lot more people than seems likely to those of us who spend a lot of our social time online.

    Next is understanding the forms. Low education levels and/or poor English skills are likely contributors to many cases of needing that help.

    And finally, of course, actually meeting a given company’s requirements for subsidized access to their drugs. Which is not, as you seem to assume, a given, even if you genuinely need it and genuinely can’t afford to pay. Those “fantasy prices” are all too real for too many Americans, the ones least able to jump through lots of hoops and negotiate barriers designed with reasonably well-educated middle class people in mind.

  23. 14) Really dishonest of Sanford to himself change the title of the work while arguing that Worldcon shouldn’t be able to do the same.

  24. 14) an asterisk on the fuck both undermines Sanford’s point AND manages to miss the point with what is wrong with the title AS SOMETHING THAT A THIRD PARTY is citing.

    And, once again for the record, I’ve zero problems with Natalie Luhrs using that title or the contents of her post and I have huge problems with GRRMs behaviour last year and fully endorse people calling him out for it.

  25. @Hampus Eckerman – Sanford is arguing that Worldcon should not be required to change the title. That argument has no implication preventing Sanford from bowdlerizing it for any reason that he may please to do so.

  26. bill on May 1, 2021 at 10:29 pm said:

    To non-Americans who aren’t familiar with U.S. prescription medication pricing

    Occasionally the “invoice” price is the price paid, as P J Evans talks about. But usually, the stated price on medical statements is a starting point that insurance and government negotiate down immediately before any money changes hands.

    I get that you thought you were trying to make things sound less appalling to none Americans but honestly, making the price of medication sound like some mad airline pricing scheme where maybe the price might be less than listed really, really isn’t making US healthcare sound like less of a dystopian nightmare.

  27. +1 to Cam.

    @Rafe Richards

    He might well be arguing that, but using a comment thread as a jumping off point and without explaining that the points made by most people participating are different from the ones he’s set up in order to knock down is a bit tiresome, as rhetoric goes. YMMV.

  28. Rafe Richards on May 2, 2021 at 1:38 am said:

    @Hampus Eckerman – Sanford is arguing that Worldcon should not be required to change the title. That argument has no implication preventing Sanford from bowdlerizing it for any reason that he may please to do so.

    There is always a standing reason not to change the title of the piece an author has given it i.e. basic respect of the author’s intent (and probably moral rights on the work but I’m not an IP lawyer so I won’t swear on that). Changing the title is either for the purpose of humour or because the person quoting it has a problem with it. If there is a problem with the title, then what is that problem?

  29. I’m staring at the asterisk and thinking, wow, we found someone whose actual problem seems to be limited to the swearing, and they’re not even arguing for a title change.


    Does this mean we get to forward any swearing enquiries elsewhere? I got really bored of repeating that I don’t care about swearing. /hopeful

  30. OK, OK, I know everybody went around and around on this already but it is the year when titles matter in the Hugos for at least two works. We can accept two positions:
    1. titles are just a bunch of words and quoting a title is a neutral act of no significance. It is simply an act of mentioning a label attached to a thing and the content of the words has no significance when mentioned.
    2. titles can have real force, meaning and influence EVEN WHEN you are just using them to point at something somebody else wrote.

    Pick one! Did you pick option 1? Great! Then you should have zero problems with calling the thing something else so long as it is useful enough to identify the thing!

    Did you pick option 2? Great! That makes a lot of sense because the author put some thought into the title and did so in the hope that the title itself would be a powerful statement! Great! But now the title really does have weight, even if you just want to use it to point at a thing! Sorry! Maybe you yourself don’t want to express the sentiment expressed in the title? Then maybe you don’t want to do that and feel like you have to call the thing something else so long as it is useful enough to identify the thing!

    What you can’t do is a dance between 1 and 2 in mid-argument. Use the full title if you are comfortable with the sentiment expressed. And that’s where the issue for DisCon is.

  31. 6) Ah, I’d heard that was coming to Edinburgh. Seems to be running long enough that once I’ve had my second jag I’ll be on the train to see it.

    9) Some dodgy decompression science not withstanding I really like Outland.

  32. Hilarious to see so many people accusing Sandford of dishonesty and misrepresentation, considering how many took his accusations against Baen’s Bar completely at face value.
    Add to that the fact that his entire defense seems to revolve around the old “the rules shouldn’t apply to this thing because it’s ‘special'” argument. It’s a “legitimate critique” which apparently is defined as “a thing I agree with.”

    La-dee-da rules for thee, but not for me.

  33. No, bill, those are the prices paid by MaineCare for those products. They are not the prices subject to a discount later. My medical costs are way, way too expensive and indicative of a medical care industry out of control.

    (If I didn’t have MaineCare, that is how much I would pay for them. Fortunately MaineCare picks up the full amount.)

  34. 14) I feel really bad about my part in the File 770 discussion and want to apologise to Filers.

  35. 9) Outland was another one of those movies that I couldn’t see in the theater (on account of being too young), so had to content myself with repeatedly checking the Alan Dean Foster novelization out from the public library while waiting for the invention of the VHS rental market.

  36. Joe H. says Outland was another one of those movies that I couldn’t see in the theater (on account of being too young), so had to content myself with repeatedly checking the Alan Dean Foster novelization out from the public library while waiting for the invention of the VHS rental market.

    Outland was utterly magnificent at the cinema. Certainly one of the those SF films that should be seen on the large screen to fully appreciate it.

    Is Outland one of those novelisations that Disney was refusing to pay Foster for?

  37. I’m guessing not, simply because it doesn’t appear that the Outland novelization is actually in print at the moment? (Although interestingly, the Amazon US Kindle store does have a listing for a German translation of the ADF novelization.)

    Alien (which is another novelization for which ADF wasn’t getting paid, as it happens) is another film to which I had the same relationship — too young for the theatrical release, so had to just read the paperback.

  38. I too played many of the Infocom games.

    Zork II taught me the word “Gazebo”
    HHGTG taught me “Analgesic”
    I agree with David above about Leather Goddesses of Phobos: That was definitely more b-pulp than anything else, and it was a lot of fun. The first time I drove through Sandusky Ohio, it was a “Hey!” Moment.

    And I think I mentioned a fan comment of mine wound up in the box for Zork III before.

  39. Joe H. says I’m guessing not, simply because it doesn’t appear that the Outland novelization is actually in print at the moment? (Although interestingly, the Amazon US Kindle store does have a listing for a German translation of the ADF novelization.)

    Actually that doesn’t matter as the Disney residuals culminated over decades old and have nothing to do with if the book is available now. If Disney is the legal owner of property, it owes him for all copies sold no matter when they were sold.

  40. I saw the criticism b/c I put an asterisk in the GRRM essay title in my Genre Grapevine. People were correct — that was hypocritical of me. I sometimes do that without even thinking b/c of my upbringing in the rural American South. It was really beat into me not to use curse words.

    Anyway, I removed the asterisk from my Patreon post.

    But there is a big difference between one person putting an asterisk in a single word in the essay’s title and Worldcon as an organization using its code of conduct to do the same. When people see me doing that they say, “Gee, Jason must have some weird issues with curse words.” Worldcon using its code of conduct to do the same means one of the genre’s most important conventions is making an official editorial decision that there is something wrong with one of the finalists for an award that same convention gives out.

    To me, there’s a big difference between those two actions.

  41. @ Cat Eldridge

    Presumably all the royalties were not piling up and waiting for Disney to buy the properties. As a functional matter, I’d assume anything that was out of print before the Disney acquisition has nothing owning, as those accounts should have been settled long ago.

  42. Per ISFDB, at least, the last dated edition of Outland was a German release in 1989 that, interestingly, paired it with a translation of Heinlein’s Time for the Stars; but I’m not sure how good ISFDB is about documenting eBook rereleases of older titles.

    And this is also making me think that I should probably dig out the Outland Blu-ray this evening.

  43. Joe H. says Per ISFDB, at least, the last dated edition of Outland was a German release in 1989 that, interestingly, paired it with a translation of Heinlein’s Time for the Stars; but I’m not sure how good ISFDB is about documenting eBook rereleases of older titles.

    Actually you can purchase a German Kindle edition off Amazon that was released three years ago. There’s a French ebook edition done twenty years ago. The only U.S. ebook edition was released when the film came out and it’s still available. Not sure I believe in forty year old ebooks.

  44. I take back what I just said. Though I specified Kindle editions in my Amazon search, it defaulted to paperback editions. My bad for not noticing.

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