Pixel Scroll 5/15/18 Pixel sCrola. It’s The Refreshing Cola With The Scrolling Taste You Love!

(1) ENCHANTED PORCH. Comics writer Gail Simone found something unexpected with the rest of the deliveries on her porch. Hilarious thread – starts here.

(2) HIDING INSIDE CHUCK TINGLE? The actor, appearing in disguise on a South Korean TV show, let people discover “Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds is a surprisingly great singer”.

Deadpool is a natural performer, the superhero that’s as good at wisecracking as he is at battling villains. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds can not only act, he can sing like a rock star.

While promoting Deadpool 2 in Asia, Reynolds entered a singing competition on Korean TV while dressed liked a unicorn.


(3) DOESN’T GET BETTER THAN THIS. Ansible Links pointed to the amazing cover design for Oregan Publishing’s Kindle edition of Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth, released May 7.

(4) UNSUBTLE. NPR’s Glen Weldon on new releases: “‘Solo’ Makes The Jump To Light-Speed … Eventually”.

…You get the picture: Should you harbor burning questions about infinitesimal details of Han Solo’s backstory that are entirely and hilariously immaterial to the Star Wars saga’s broader tale, or if you’re prepping for a Han Solo-themed pub quiz, know that fan service doesn’t get more serviceable than Solo: A Star Wars Story.

For everyone else: Donald Glover’s Lando is really, really smooth and funny!

Inasmuch as Solo is, expressly and unambiguously, an origin story, it contains numerous winks to the more well-versed members of the audience (as when a character demands of Han, “Do you know what it’s like to have a price on your head?” har har har). Actually, wink implies subtlety — which is not, for director Ron Howard and screenwriters Jonathan and Larry Kasdan, a going concern….

(5) IN HOT TRIVIAL PURSUIT. NPR’s Glen Weldon has also taken in the weekend’s other blockbuster release: “Grim ‘N’ Gritty Is Out, Glib ‘N’ Smarmy Is In: ‘Deadpool 2′”.

…There are, it is only fair to note, actual jokes in Deadpool 2 — sincere, crafted, legitimately funny gags that are clearly the product of human thought and loving effort. There’s … not a lot of those, but they’re there if you look, and should you happen across one, it will very likely delight you.

Because what’s taking up most of the room that would otherwise be occupied by jokes in Deadpool 2‘s screenplay are those many, many, many references.

It’s Family Guy: The Movie.

Or, technically I suppose, it’s Family Guy 2: Here Are Some More Mentions Of Other, Tangentially Related Things You Recognize And Like.

… And it’s gonna make a kabillion dollars….

(6) BBC DEADPOOL ROUNDUP. The BBC also finds a mixed bag: “Deadpool 2: What the critics thought”.

Many have welcomed the return of Reynolds’ wise-cracking vigilante and his X-Force team, but it wasn’t all five-star reviews.

Some felt that while the sequel stayed true to its predecessor’s style of quickfire edgy jokes and send-ups of the superhero genre, it was starting to feel a bit cynical….

(7) VORKOSIVERSE. The cover was just revealed at Lois McMaster Bujold’s Facebook page.

(8) EARTHSEA. The Verge’s Andrew Liptak, in his art-filled post “This illustrated collection of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea books finally does the series justice”, says The Books of Earthsea will be in stores October 23.

Saga Press’ editorial director Joe Monti tells The Verge that the project was something he wanted to do from “day one,” when he joined Simon & Schuster’s Saga Press in 2013. Last November the imprint released several collected editions of the late author’s work under his supervision. (Library of America likewise released an omnibus edition of some of her work with The Hainish Novels & Stories, Volume One and Volume 2 last year, as well.) While they had long wanted to tackle a comprehensive volume of Le Guin’s Earthsea stories, something in the vein of the many omnibus editions of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Monti says that “Ursula was reticent” to the idea, having “been burned over the last several of decades” by creative partners that never listened or accepted her creative vision.


  • May 15, 1968 Witchfinder General with Vincent Price is released.


  • Mark Hepworth spotted this horrific vision:

(11) CORREIA. Larry Correia expanded on yesterday’s Facebook statement in today’s blog post at Monster Hunter Nation: “Statement Concerning My Being Disinvited as the Guest of Honor for Origins Game Fair” [Internet Archive}. This included a fresh spin about Sad Puppies:

…Up next, there was much outrage about how I was a Sad Puppy. Correction, I was the original Sad Puppy, and I’m proud of that. Now, the way these people portray it, this was my evil scheme to rig the sainted Hugo awards, to get myself an award, and to also simultaneously keep women and minorities out of publishing.  Which is ironic, since by “rig” they meant I got more fans to participate in the voting, I turned down my nomination, and since the other people I got nominated included a bunch of women and minorities (as well as authors of various sexual orientations and belief systems) I must really suck at this bigotry thing. But keep in mind, the people slandering me over Sad Puppies are the same folks who the year before hailed 14 white liberals and 1 Asian liberal winning as a huge victory for diversity.

In reality, it was my attempt to demonstrate that the Hugo awards were not in fact an award to represent all of fandom, but were actually extremely politically biased, and dominated by a few small insular cliques. They went out of their way to prove I was right….

(12) INDUSTRY INSIDERS. Posted on Reddit, this is reportedly the text of a message sent by John Ward, Executive Director of Origins Game Fair, to the Game Manufacturers Association:

(13) A PIUS FINN. Declan Finn recommended some ideas for harassing Ward in “Correia was Ringoed”.

…Though to be honest, I was sort of surprised this even worked once, on Ringo. He’s a bestselling author. He doesn’t need the PR by going to cons. He goes to have fun and hang out. Larry too is also at the level where con appearances can only help the con, not himself.

But hey, it makes the SJWs feel good. It makes them think that they’re getting something done. I suppose that pointing out to people that this will only force Larry to have more free time is a waste of time.

Now, I’m not going to suggest sending an email to GoDaddy about how the originsgamefair.com site is being used by John Ward to defame Larry Correia.

….Though you can email at abuse@godaddy.com, and send something like, oh, I don’t know….

(14) CRITICAL CORRESPONDENCE. Jason Cordova’s post “Origins” quoted the entirety of his letter to John Ward, which says in part:

…Mr. Correia had always shown grace, been polite, and worked with the concom of every convention he has attended. Those who seek to discredit and destroy him are abusing the rules of your convention in a manner which they were not meant for and raising enough of an outcry that your convention, undoubtedly, feels compelled to respond to. Unfortunately, instead of speaking with Mr. Correia, it appears that you have reacted in a manner which can only be described as “knee-jerk”. You have allowed concern trolls to dictate your guest list while alienating you from a fan base which both pays to see their favorite author and supports other commercial endeavors at conventions as well.

Conventions such as Origins are supposed to be for all fans. However, with outward appearance of appeasement to the vocal minority who seek to undermine all of Mr. Correia’s hard work as well as alienate his fan base from any future conventions you might host, it behooves me to suggest that you are hurting nobody but yourselves with this move….

(15) VOICE OF VOX. Vox Day’s reaction “Larry Correia banned from Origins” [Internet Archive] largely consists of quotes:

This is almost unbelievable. SJWs are running completely amok.

[Screencap of John Ward’s FB announcement]

It just goes to show that they will come for you eventually, no matter how minor your offenses against the Narrative may be.

[Text of Larry Correia’s original response (without expanded text linked above)]

One gets the impression that Larry is simply too worn out with the Culture War to feel like fighting the SJWs anymore. And, let’s face it, like John Ringo, he is too independently successful for their antics to do him any real harm. For now, anyhow.

(16) INTERNET TOXICITY. James Patrick Kelly made these posts at the end of February. I spotted them while doing some Google searches today.

It was possible at the time to read this as a tongue-in-cheek PR stunt that failed, since despite Correia’s lobbying, Monster Hunter Legion did not make the Hugo ballot. However, the next year he returned with reinforcements, birthing the insurgency known as the Sad Puppies. (The self-deprecating name refers to this ASPCA commercial www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO9d2PpP7tQ. It’s meant to compare pulp writers who provide entertainment to the masses, but get no recognition, to abused pets.) Not only did Correia have a new novel to flog, but he also posted a slate www.monsterhunternation.com/2014/03/25/my-hugo-slate of twelve works of fiction and non-fiction that he urged his Puppy minions to nominate. As an act of provocation, he included a novelette by one Vox Day, a pseudonym for a notorious internet troll www.time.com/4457110/internet-trolls named Theodore Beale. As Correia blogged, “. . . one of my stated goals was to demonstrate that SJWs would have a massive freak out if somebody with the wrong politics got on. So on the slate it went. I nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period.” What’s a SJW, you ask. Wikipedia explains http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice_warrior: “‘Social justice warrior” is a pejorative term for an individual promoting  socially progressive views, including feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, and identity politics.”

A follow-up installment, “Troll Bridge”, takes a broad look at internet culture:

In 2018, the challenge of internet governance looms large. Last year the Pew Research Center www.pewinternet.org issued a report called The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online www.pewinternet.org/2017/03/29/the-future-of-free-speech-trolls-anonymity-and-fake-news-online. The researchers asked 1,537 technology experts, scholars, corporate practitioners, and government leaders, “In the next decade, will public discourse online become more or less shaped by bad actors, harassment, trolls, and an overall tone of griping, distrust, and disgust?” Forty-two percent of the respondents said they expected no major change for better or worse in our current troubling online culture, while 39 percent thought that the next decade would see even more negative activity. Just 19 percent were hopeful that online interactions would be “less shaped” by harassment, trolling, and distrust.

These experts were invited to expand on their replies by considering how social media might evolve. Are there technologies on the horizon that might discourage trolling and encourage inclusive behaviors? How might these solutions impact free speech?

Their extended responses are well worth a look, although they fill some eighty pages in the PDF version, and, alas, reach no consensus. They fall into four broad themes.

(17) HOW’S YOUR SPANISH? Morgan Blackhand’s Spanish-language blog post “Polémica en la Origins Game Fair” is highly critical of Correia and complimentary towards Origins Game Fair’s decision to revoke his GoH invite.

(18) HOW’S YOUR ENGLISH? Meanwhile, Mad Genius Club’s Amanda S. Green defends and praises Larry Correia at length in “It is time to fight back”  [Internet Archive.]

…Now, how many problems can you see with this statement by John Ward? I see a number. First, it is all about him. He didn’t know. He wasn’t aware. He felt it necessary re “recend” Larry’s invitation. No mention that he discussed it with the rest of those folks involved with the running of the con. No mention that he did due diligence ahead of time to see who his guest of honor was or what he did. Note also there is no mention of the fact Larry is an avid gamer. Nope, Ward was told Larry was a bad man and knee-jerked his reaction. Now he is running and hiding and refusing to answer simple questions like “exactly how are Larry’s views specifically unaligned with the philosophy” of the con?

I find it amazing Ward could issue this statement within an hour or so of first announcing Larry would be GoH and then the revocation of his invite and yet he couldn’t be bothered to answer the many questions about why?

Oh, there’s more.

Even as the con removed the thread on their Facebook page about Larry, they left this thread up. [Now removed] For those not wanting to go there, here’s the image you need to be aware of.

Now, if you had seen this yesterday before Larry was uninvited, his name would have been included as one of the tagged authors. In fact, if you look at the book cover, you see him listed as the third author. So the con has no problem making money off of him. He’s just not good enough to attend their con. Needless to say, there are a number of folks asking how long before this image is changed as well, possibly with the con organizers blacking out Larry’s name or even asking for volunteers to help tear out the pages on which his story is printed. After all, we mustn’t risk letting his annoying and dangerous ideas out into the gaming public.

(19) MORE PRO-CORREIA RESPONSE. Victory Girls Blog begins “Origins Game Fair Caves to SJZ Brownshirts” like so:

The usual purple-haired, hairy armpitted, androgynous, “mayonnaise is a gender,” social justice landwhales swung into action, whining about how upset they were that Larry was invited as Guest of Honor. They maligned him as a racist (he’s actually a person of color), misogynist (despite the fact that Larry spent years teaching self defense to women), they claimed he was a terrible, awful person who made them feel unsafe (even though Larry has attended numerous conventions, and by every account was charming, bright, funny, friendly, and polite), and they demanded that Origins rescind the invitation, because SAD PUPPIES!

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Rev. Bob, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Camestros Felapton.]

212 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/15/18 Pixel sCrola. It’s The Refreshing Cola With The Scrolling Taste You Love!

  1. @Jack Link – Polish Zouaves of Death! Egad! They’re real!
    Oh, and that’s Peter Perfect.

  2. Others have pointed out MCFI/SCIFI/SFSFC (not NESFA/LASFS/BASFA), so I don’t need to do so.

    Even with the same corporate entity, with a group running a Worldcon not more often than about once a decade, it’s always going to be different. Well, okay, I was WSFS division manager back in 1993 as well as doing it this year, but that’s the exception, not the rule.

    Incidentally, while there is no WSFS Inc., there is a tiny permanent corporate entity: Worldcon Intellectual Property, a California non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation controlled by the WSFS Mark Protection Committee, holds title to the WSFS service marks in the EU because the EU Intellectual Property Organization doesn’t recognize an unincorporated society like WSFS as something that can hold title to intellectual property. So when we set out to register the marks in the EU, we had to set up a corporate entity to hold title. However, the directors of WIP are the members of the WSFS MPC, and WIP doesn’t run Worldcon; it just holds the service marks in trust for WSFS inasmuch as no individual Worldcon can (or should) own the service marks.

  3. I have never met a Portuguese person who considered themselves anything other than white

    I’m sure they exist – humans have a tendency to move around and interbreed more often than some would like to admit. I know a person whose grandparents immigrated from Portugal in the 1920s: one of them was born in a Portuguese African colony and had at least one African parent. But they lived in a Portuguese neighborhood and identified as Portuguese. (She, BTW, does not identify as African American because as her ancestors came voluntarily she believes not entitled to that designation, and she wasn’t raised in that community.) LC can identify himself however he wants, but he’ll always be a Canid-American to me.

    Can I be a Social Justice Zymurgist?

  4. People Men who engage in bad behavior have traditionally been given a consequence-free ticket to ride in the sf/f community. ”

    Fixed it for you.

  5. Ctein – Forgive me if this has been covered in another thread or is common knowledge (I saw some severe rhetorical questions – Full disclosure, no, I did not spend all day updating myself on all the comments or general knowledge of File770)

    Is Pax your real name?? I have personal reasons for asking. But I must know.

    I am not surprised, at all, that the trolls are still straw manning their terrible choices/actions as “they hate me because I’m conservative!” All our choices have consequences. Sad Puppies was a thing. No one forgot.

  6. 7. Alison Aliceson – for dressing as ‘Frankenstein Jesus’ and turning over the dealer’s tables as part of her interactive one-person re-enactment of the Gospel of Mark from the perspective of Frankenstein’s monster
    This one made the whole scroll worthwhile.

    I think I’d prefer Social Justice Zoidberg but have a soft spot for Social Justice Zardoz. But the idea of a flash mob at Dragon Con (or where-ever) filled with SJ Zombies has it’s points. the visuals alone! The competition for most creative look!

  7. Camestros Felapton: J.J. – for saying that one time “Hey, there’s this really fun con called ‘Ninja-dragon-cult, we aren’t going to brainwash you – honest!’, we should all go! It would be really fun and we definitely all won’t get brainwashed and turned into deep-cover assassins.” Yeah, thanks JJ.

    Speaking of which, we’re having our monthly reindoctrination  social get-together this Friday. Come out and I’ll shout you a drink, and we can chat about culting and assassining  dragons and ninjas!

  8. “People who engage in bad behavior have traditionally been given a consequence-free ticket to ride in the sf/f community.”

    Don’t mend what isn’t broken. This version is more accurate, unless you are a fan of Requires Hate.

  9. Dear Ann,

    Predominantly men, to be sure, but people is unfortunately correct. I have direct knowledge of several very bad actors who were women, whose behavior would not be tolerated today. I am not going to name names, although some would be familiar to some people here.

    Although there is no Inter-fan Death Penalty, there is a kind of informal watchlist that circulates among concoms securities, people who have been known to have been bad actors in the past and are NOT being prevented from attending the convention, but security pays a little more attention to them. It is mostly men. It is not all men.

    While it’s happening more to the people on the far-right, I know of folks who have been banned from conventions for harassing people from the position of the far-left.

    Sadly, right wing men do not have an exclusive monopoly on being jerks.


    Dear Kelli,

    Oh no, “pax” is not my name, it’s a sign off, like “sincerely yours.” It’s Latin.

    My full, sole, and legal name is Ctein (and, anticipating the next likely question — pronounced “kuh-TINE”).

    It is an entirely fair question to ask and no I don’t mind being asked. While this information is common knowledge (for a modest value of common) over 200,000 people read me. Most of them wouldn’t know.

    I will say, in all honesty, that I do hate the ones who are ultraconservative/alt-right for just that reason. But I wouldn’t keep them out of the convention for it, nor would I snub them in a social situation where they were being civilized.

    What fandom and I are happy to damn them for is when they try to use “conservative” as an all-purpose get-out-of-jail free card, to justify whatever egregious behavior they engage in. Nuh uh, doesn’t fly, any more than “self-defense” does.

    – pax \ whodatguy
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 

  10. @Ultragotha:

    I’m pretty sure that it’s the implication that bisexuality and monogamy are mutually exclusive that’s the sticking point there.

    One’s orientation has little if anything to do with the number of partners one has at a time. Bisexuals can have none, one, or more partners of any gender before, during or after a marriage, and still be bisexual.

    Oddly enough, a story I’m editing shows a bi couple discussing an aspect of that issue. They’ve been married for a relatively short time (a couple of years, maybe), and the husband admits feelings of guilt after seeing his wife express attraction to another woman. He fears that in asking her to marry him, he selfishly pushed her to deny part of who she is. She reminds him of a couple of the men he dated, turning his question around on him: did he shut down part of who he was when he proposed, and was she selfish in accepting? I particularly like their closing exchange, with her speaking first:

    “That’s not the point. Do you miss being able to pick up a guy if you feel like it?”

    It took him a minute to answer. “Okay, dammit. Yes. Sometimes I do. But I love you, and that’s what matters, and… I’m being stupid, aren’t I?”

    I kissed his cheek. “Only a little, but I love you anyway. I didn’t ‘give up women’ – I committed to the person I love. What’s between your legs didn’t matter.”

  11. The whole “give up women” or “give up men” thing is kind of silly to me. What monogamous people do is give up (romantically speaking) everyone other than the one person they have committed to. They don’t give up being attracted to people of any gender. They give up acting on that attraction. But they’re not giving up one gender any more than another.

  12. Anna Feruglio Dal Dan: I also liked Ninefox — possibly because I treated much of the talk about calendars as almost-handwaving rather than trying to parse it, while focusing on people trying to sort out their goals. I grabbed the 2nd as soon as it came out.

    @Ctein (wrt which groups can do continuity): Chicago threw 4 Worldcons in 30 years, a shorter interval than either SCIFI-etc. (34 years) or MCFI-etc. (33 years) — but I couldn’t tell you how much personnel overlap there was.

    @Vicki Rosenzweig: Bujold may have been less woke when she wrote that line — but I can certainly see Cordelia using it as the quickest way to stifle a jackass.

    @Lin McAllister: Can I be a Social Justice Zymurgist? I’ll drink to that.

  13. Thank you, Ctein! I have a minion I dubbed Pax (from Pax Romana) and I don’t often see the name, so I was curious 🙂

    And yes, Conservatives should be annoyed that that label is being used as a get-out-of-jail-free card for a-hat behavior – Like when a friend acts like a total B and says “Sorry, I’m a Virgo” I wonder…Why are there so many Virgos that don’t act like b****es? A ridiculous comparison, but same idea. Your actions are your actions. Cry conservative all you want, but you know that’s not why you were banned. Stopped being a child.

  14. I can’t believe that I haven’t seen anyone claim to be a Social Justice Zardoz yet. Surely I just missed it somewhere?

    @Maximillian —

    What did everyone think of The Red Queen?

    No, no, a thousand times no. I refuse to allow it into my head canon. For two very specific reasons involving egregious retconning:

    1. Va Erq Dhrra, vg vf pynvzrq gung Neny fgnegrq na nssnve jvgu Wbyr **jvgubhg Pbeqryvn’f xabjyrqtr**. Guvf vf pbzcyrgr ubefr fuvg. V unir ab ceboyrz jvgu Neny’f ovfrkhnyvgl naq jbhyq unir ab ceboyrz jvgu n gevnq eryngvbafuvc, ohg gurer vf ab jnl va uryy gung V jvyy npprcg Neny qbvat nalguvat qvfubarfg be haqreunaqrq ol ivbyngvat uvf zneevntr ibjf jvgubhg Pbeqryvn’f cevbe pbafrag. Whfg Ab.

    2. Nyfb va Erq Dhrra, vg vf pynvzrq gung nsgre Neny’f qrngu Pbeqryvn qebccrq nyy pbzzhavpngvbaf jvgu Wbyr. Guvf vf nyfb ubefr fuvg. Gurer vf ab jnl va uryy gung Pbeqryvn jbhyq sbefnxr nalbar vagvzngryl pybfr gb ure qhevat fhpu n gelvat gvzr. Fur jbhyq xabj cresrpgyl jryy ubj zhpu Wbyr jbhyq nyfb or fhssrevat, naq fur jbhyq nofbyhgryl abg nonaqba gurz nf fur fhccbfrqyl qvq. V ershfr gb oryvrir vg. Gung vf abg gur Pbeqryvn V xabj sebz nyy gur bgure obbxf.

    Not letting that nonsense into **my** Vorkosigan universe, nosirree bob!

  15. I also liked Ninefox and Raven, but I mostly just treated the calendrical stuff as, well, magic that I didn’t try to actually parse.

  16. Speaking of Bujold —

    I’ve been binge-rereading the Chalion/Five Gods books. While I love the first two, and some of the Penric stories, very much, I’ve been thinking about why I don’t feel really comfortable with voting for them as a series. And this is a little hard for me, since (as many here already know) I’m a fairly rabid LMB fan.

    In no particular order:

    First, we have one obviously weak book — The Hallowed Hunt. There’s only three novels in the series, so the presence of a semi-dud (it’s not awful, but it’s also not nearly as good as the others) seriously weighs down the whole. Also, a couple of the Penric stories are not particularly good/interesting.

    Second, It’s not a series with continuing characters or a continuing storyline. And it doesn’t have a series arc. It’s just a bunch of stories in the same universe. And yes, I know the Hugo series rules allow for series like that, but that’s not what I think of first when I think of a “best” series.

    Third, the Penric stories are told in a very different narrative voice than the novels. I want to see a coherent style throughout, and we really don’t get that here. Not to mention the sudden switch from novels to vellas.

    OTOH, I do see at least a bit more of the consistency in the thematic material throughout — there is an ongoing theme of the importance of faith, in the difficulty of trusting and serving the gods while you don’t understand what their plans are, and in the possibility of maximizing your own personal potential through doing so. So that’s something that’s carried throughout.

    Those are my thoughts at the moment. Anyone else having thoughts about Five Gods?

  17. @Contrarius: “First, we have one obviously weak book — The Hallowed Hunt.”

    I hold what I think is the less common view that Paladin of Souls is the weak book. I loved The Hallowed Hunt. The concept of what a leader owes his or her followers is seldom dealt with, as far as I’ve seen. And that made it stand out for me.

    A set of stories in the same universe is all I usually need to consider something a series. But then I may be coming at it from more of a TV/film series/universe perspective.

    The carry-through of the five Gods and how the characters interact with them, as well as the examination of belief in relation to action/behavior, is why I love the series. It’s also why I like Paladin of Souls the least because it didn’t seem to be as consistent in handing that aspect. But, I know I’m out of step with the rest of the world on that book. It’s usually everyone’s favorite.

    I still have some reading in this category to go, but so far this series is the one to beat for me.

    By the way, any news yet on the Hugo packet?

  18. @Lorien —

    I hold what I think is the less common view that Paladin of Souls is the weak book. I loved The Hallowed Hunt. The concept of what a leader owes his or her followers is seldom dealt with, as far as I’ve seen. And that made it stand out for me.

    I didn’t have any serious problem with the plot itself — but there is just way, WAY too much telling instead of showing. Waaaaaaaay too much time spent in filling in the background. I found it incredibly irritating.

  19. I think it’s interesting, btw, that–according to the con chair’s public statement–sponsors and exhibitors were concerned/negative about Correia as GoH.

    Sponsors and exhibitors. People for whom the con is business. They said, this guy is a problem.

  20. @Laura:

    Yup, you know a guest is bad mojo for your event when the vendors and backers complain about being associated with them.

  21. @Contrarius – Yes, both troubling. I guess in my excitement over the rest of it, I was willing to partly ignore those bits.

  22. @Maximillian —

    @Contrarius – Yes, both troubling. I guess in my excitement over the rest of it, I was willing to partly ignore those bits.

    Both are complete betrayals of the characters, and I ain’t having none of it. So There.

  23. (8) EARTHSEA. I love these books and love Charles Vess’s art, so this is oh so tempting! 😀 I am a little concerned about 1008 pages, though; I hope this is a very rock-solid piece that I can actually read without fear of breaking it. That’s chunky, even for a hardback.

    I know Folio editions are supposed to be so great, but I don’t care for the art they used in their edition of A Wizard of Earthsea at all.

    (various numbered items) Correia wasn’t banned from anywhere. His invitation to be one of their Guests of Honor was rescinded. To paraphrase “King of the Hill,” it was a tough call to make, but it was theirs to make.

  24. @Kip W: LOL at that shotgun comic you linked to, thanks. I loved “Battle of the Planets” as a kid.

    @Cassy B: We’re of an age, methinks, in D&D’ing, and I grin at your description of how we used to roll 1-10 or 1-100. Kids these days ::shakes fist:: don’t know how good they have it, on my lawn they should get offa. 😉 As with you, a D20 marked as 1-20 was a revelation to me. But a D10 to this day looks weird to me. I mean, I get what the point is, but it just looks weird. I use it, but that’s not a normal die shape! Now, let me show you my nearly-spherical literal-D100 – it’s a beaut (but also, I suspect, unnatural).

    When I was a kid, we just inked one “side” of the D20, BTW, so we didn’t call it – the inked side was the 10s and the uninked was the 1s. It takes all kinds! 😉

    @Camestros Felaptop: “as part of the agenda of “them” ( giant ants?)”

    Bonus points for that reference. ::bowing::

    @Joe H.: “magic that I didn’t try to actually parse.”

    I need to keep reminding myself it’s science fantasy, not science fiction. A SF-fantasy mash-up. I still would love a detailed synopsis of the first book, as I go through the second. Also, a pony, please!

  25. @ Contrarius & Lorien Grey
    I agree with Lorien. I have trouble with Paladin, despite my interest in the characters, because, from one point of view, it’s “merely” an extremely difficult and eventful girl-meets-boy story. But I always like it better than I think I do when I reread it. I think I like Hallowed Hunt better, because the issue of service and social bonds fascinates me. And I adore the characters, but Bujold’s always great with them.
    I agree with Contrarius, that the Five Gods works seem more like a collection that a series.

  26. Count me as another one who thinks The Hallowed Hunt is generally underrated. It might actually be my favorite of the series*, though that’s a tough call to make. But one of my biggest complaints about the series in general (which is not a big complaint, I hasten to add–merely the largest one I have) is that it often feels like a very vanilla medieval-European-fantasy setting. The interesting parts are all the parts where she breaks that mold, and she doesn’t break it anywhere near as often as I’d like. Except in Hunt. Which is just packed full of the tasty “otherness” I crave in my fiction.

    Of course, I tend to prefer SF over fantasy in general for exactly the same reason. SF–good SF–is more likely to revel in otherness. The best fantasy can and does do the same, but it seems to be more rare.

    Bottom line, Hunt is the only novel in the series that didn’t seem to me to drag in places.

    * or collection, or whatever.

  27. Ann Somerville on May 16, 2018 at 6:14 pm said:
    “People Men who engage in bad behavior have traditionally been given a consequence-free ticket to ride in the sf/f community. ”

    Fixed it for you.

    Really? MZB? Requires Hate? Several other bad actors I won’t name but I vividly remember? Let’s not go there.

  28. 1. Va Erq Dhrra, vg vf pynvzrq gung Neny fgnegrq na nssnve jvgu Wbyr **jvgubhg Pbeqryvn’f xabjyrqtr**. Guvf vf pbzcyrgr ubefr fuvg. V unir ab ceboyrz jvgu Neny’f ovfrkhnyvgl naq jbhyq unir ab ceboyrz jvgu n gevnq eryngvbafuvc, ohg gurer vf ab jnl va uryy gung V jvyy npprcg Neny qbvat nalguvat qvfubarfg be haqreunaqrq ol ivbyngvat uvf zneevntr ibjf jvgubhg Pbeqryvn’f cevbe pbafrag. Whfg Ab.

    2. Nyfb va Erq Dhrra, vg vf pynvzrq gung nsgre Neny’f qrngu Pbeqryvn qebccrq nyy pbzzhavpngvbaf jvgu Wbyr. Guvf vf nyfb ubefr fuvg. Gurer vf ab jnl va uryy gung Pbeqryvn jbhyq sbefnxr nalbar vagvzngryl pybfr gb ure qhevat fhpu n gelvat gvzr. Fur jbhyq xabj cresrpgyl jryy ubj zhpu Wbyr jbhyq nyfb or fhssrevat, naq fur jbhyq nofbyhgryl abg nonaqba gurz nf fur fhccbfrqyl qvq. V ershfr gb oryvrir vg. Gung vf abg gur Pbeqryvn V xabj sebz nyy gur bgure obbxf.

    Hell yeah.

    I had a problem with the very first book of the Five Gods, The Curse of Chalion. Read, it was ok, didn’t blow my socks off… until I realised that the real world correlates of the characters are Isabel of Castille and then it all fell down for me. It started reading as revisionist. With the Vorkosigan universe we are, now and then, afforded a glimpse of other narratives where the Barrayarans are the villains. But CoC felt too much like a whitewash to me.

  29. Foilio books are always beautiful, but not necessarily in the sense that the art they include is beautiful.

    They are beautiful objects as books.

  30. 18) As for Green’s call to ‘fight back’, I feel that they are going to quickly learn what a small voice they have. There is a similar situation going on right now in comics, where a sad VD cosplayer had his publishing deal yanked because the publisher took a look on his public statement and decided publishing a book by a guy who accused many women editors and writers of sucking their way to jobs, tossed out homophobic slurs at a fast rate, and justified his absolutely repulsive comments by claiming the were humourously meant and supposed to be private, so it was unfair to hold him accountable for it. In the wake of this, numerous comic shops flatly said they would not carry the comic and would not order it on request. This is not actually an uncommon policy (some shops won’t touch anything pornographic, even by request. Anime used to fall into this because it was an expensive and time consuming process for certain titles, etc). In response, he published a list of the contact information he could find of the shops that had said publicly they weren’t going to stock his book to his fans (imagine an even sadder version of the Dread Ilk, if that’s possible) who promptly proceeded to send harassing emails, abuse phone calls, and a couple of highly disturbing on-site incidents that the police are being called in for.

    Green’s puppies have the same issue. The response to Ward was to send him dozens of emails that reinforce the logic of disinviting Correia and validating the concerns of the vendors. When someone’s fanbase comes with people who will send death threats and threats of physical or sexual violence at any perceived disrespect of their favoured creators, that makes the case for them. Ringo calling in GamerGate openly is underlining that these people, whether or not they are directly responsible, come with a subset of fans who are willing to threaten violence at any perceived slight. All fighting harder is going to do is add to the proof that concern is warranted, because rather than call out and disassociate from the most toxic parts of their fanbase, they’ve doubled down on defending them and their actions.

  31. @Anna: I agree, Requires Hate got a free pass from too many, for too long.

    As far as I know, MZB got a “free pass” because the worst of what she did wasn’t known to most people until after she died. I knew that her husband had been a child molester—but predators are often married to people who don’t know what they’re like, or how bad they are. (I think that, combined with “realized afterward that something was more than just a bit off,” is significantly more common than “she knew and cooperated” or “she knew but saw nothing wrong with it.”)

  32. To steal phrasing from Bomber Harris:

    The Puppies entered this kerfuffle under the rather childish delusion that they were going to troll everybody else, and there would be no repercussions. At London, Spokane, Kansas City, and half a hundred websites, they put that rather naïve theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now, they are going to reap the whirlwind.

  33. @Kendall: But a D10 to this day looks weird to me. And to me — as a geometer more than a gamer, because the original set were the Pythagorean solids (which suggests that the D10 might not roll as randomly). I D&D during a spell of unemployment in the mid-1970’s, ran out of time when I got another job, and never really missed it — which may have reflected as much on the mechanics I gamed with (imagine someone asking a Dilbian whether they had special powers!) as on the game.

    I’m a strong fan of Paladin — partly because it’s about people fixing their own mistakes, and partly because I have some fondness for tricksters. Possibly I should reread Hunt, but right now my favorite line from it is the Son’s description of how he knows the Bastard has been by.

  34. @ Chip Hitchcock:

    On the whole, the D10 has sufficient symmetries that (to my eyes) it should be equally random as “last digit of a D20”.

    My first icosahedral die had the numbers 0-9 on it, twice, but exactly one of each pair had a small “+” in front of it, so it was usable both as a D10 and a D20 without much problems (and by rolling twice, as a D100, because anything derived from BRP needs a D100).

  35. @Dex: “As for Green’s call to ‘fight back’, I feel that they are going to quickly learn what a small voice they have. […] All fighting harder is going to do is add to the proof that concern is warranted, because rather than call out and disassociate from the most toxic parts of their fanbase, they’ve doubled down on defending them and their actions.”

    You’re correct, of course, except that they won’t see it that way. They’ll see those results as yet more evidence for the Vast SJW Conspiracy to Oppress Them, thus feeding their persecution complex. They’ve bought into that narrative so completely that I suspect there is now nothing that could disabuse them of it.

  36. @Ingvar: I still have a pair of D30 dice like that; they have -0 to -9, 0 to 9, and +0 to +9. They came with a book of tables where you could use D30 – tacit acknowledgement that it was a gimmick. 😉 One blue and one white, though, so they work fine as D100 as well as D30 or D10. Or D15, I suppose, etc.

  37. @Rev. Bob

    They’ve bought into that narrative so completely that I suspect there is now nothing that could disabuse them of it.

    And that leads to the worrying part, in that you have a small, insular group constantly reinforcing their persecution complex, finding themselves increasingly alienated from any mainstream, moderating influences.

  38. Chip Hitchcock on May 17, 2018 at 8:56 am said:

    the original set were the Pythagorean solids (which suggests that the D10 might not roll as randomly).

    Lots of things which are not platonic solids still offer equal randomness. Obvious example: a fair coin. 🙂

    The D10, in fact, is just a generalization of the fair coin: each side has been replaced with an n-pyramid. So you have a 50-50 chance of getting each side, and within each side, you have an equal chance of getting any face. This trick can be used to make a fair die for any even number.

    You can even make fair dice with odd numbers of sides, using the dreidel (or barrel) model. Basically, a n-agonal rod with rounded or pointy ends. This is a slightly different generalization of the fair-coin model.

    Beyond that, there are all sorts of strange options which are provably fair (although you may have a hard time convincing anyone to trust them).

    Consider a rod with a triangular cross section. (Think Toblerone.) If it’s long enough, it will almost always land on one of the three long sides. But if you make it short enough, so it looks like a triangular coin, it will almost always land on one of the two “ends”. Therefore, there is clearly a length somewhere between those two extremes where all five sides have an equal chance of coming up. Finding this exact length is a non-trivial exercise, and getting anyone to trust such a die is probably an exercise in futility, but it would still be a fair D5, whether or not people believed it. 🙂

  39. Xtfr: Interesting. When I have a moment, I’ll try to figure out the right dimensions for a D5.

    In high school, we used pencils as a convenient D6, for playing Wizard/Melee in the cafeteria at lunchtime.

  40. @Kelli Stasi said :“Like when a friend acts like a total B and says “Sorry, I’m a Virgo” I wonder. . .”
    That’s because your friend is doing Virgo wrong.
    Virgos aren’t bitches.
    What we are, is always right.
    The Virgo motto: I’ll just do it myself, it’s easier.

  41. A fair die is also non-manipulable; I would expect the Toblerone die to have different odds depending on whether it’s thrown (for example) with the rod parallel or perpendicular to the ground.

  42. RedWombat on May 17, 2018 at 11:11 am said:

    Camestros, let me come in late to madly applaud your list.

    Thank you. We need to take a strong line on all of them.

  43. @Xtifr, Andrew: (fair five-sided dice)

    I’m sure you’ll both be pleased to know that Gamescience already makes them, as does a company called Impact that I’m less familiar with. They both use essentially the same design, where the two large faces and the three corners are numbered. (It’s a matter of personal preference whether one likes corner-numbered d4s where you read the apex or midline-numbered ones where you read the base. These d5s follow the apex style.) Although both links go to the same retailer, I should point out that I have no affiliation with them; they were just the first place I found with Google that carried d5s.

    I’ve seen a lot of N-sided dice where N does not equal 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 30, or 100. The first d3 I recall was a wooden cube that came with a helicopter combat board game, also notable for its two-level board. (The “ground” was a regular game board, and the “air” was clear plastic that was perched about a foot above it.) The retailer linked above also carries d14s, I’ve seen d26s a few times, and searching for “koplow d7” also pulls up a set of oddballs: one each of (d3, d5, d7, d16, d24, d30) in your choice of color. (They call it the “Who Knew?” set, but that phrase doesn’t work as a query on that site.) It looks like their d7 is a double-numbered d14 built along the lines of a standard d10, though; Gamescience uses a true d7 that’s more like their d5 design. Impact’s version gives me a headache; it looks like a non-Euclidean d6 to me…

    If you like odd dice, that site’s worth a look. I’m not familiar with them as a vendor, but they have clear photos and a wide selection.

  44. Dammit, I found this link just a little too late to include it above. Same retailer, but this is their “specialist dice” index page. There’s a dropdown menu on the left that lets you jump right to a desired type, but the photos are fun browsing.

    This is the first time I’ve even heard of a d13!

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