Pixel Scroll 5/18/16 Griefer Madness

(1) GENRE RECAPITULATES ONTOLOGY. Damien Walter divides the audience into “The 8 Tribes of Sci-Fi”.

Calling sci-fi a genre in 2016 is about as accurate as calling the United States one nation. In principle it’s true, but in practice things don’t work that way. While crime, romance and thrillers all remain as coherent genres of fiction, it’s been decades since sci-fi could be comfortably understood by any shared generic criteria. What do Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Seas trilogy, the fiction of Silva Moreno Garcia and the erotic sci-fi of Chuck Tingle actually have in common, beyond being nominated for major sci-fi book awards this year?

The answer is they all belong to one of the eight tribes of sci-fi…..

The Weirds Most writers at some point play around with the effects that can be induced by engineering stories with internal inconsistencies, mashing together disparate metaphors, or simply being weird for weirds sake. The weirds take this as an end in itself. With China Mieville as their reigning king they were riding high for a while. However, with newer voices like Molly Tanzer’s Vermillion coming through, the American ‘bizarro fiction’ movement, and with authors including Joe Hill and Josh Mallerman rejuvenating the traditional horror genre, the Weirds are still among the most creatively interesting of the eight tribes.

(2) SILENT THING. According to Digiday, “85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound”.

Facebook might be hosting upwards of 8 billion views per day on its platform, but a wide majority of that viewership is happening in silence.

As much as 85 percent of video views happen with the sound off, according to multiple publishers. Take, for instance, feel-good site LittleThings, which is averaging 150 million monthly views on Facebook so far this year. Eighty-five percent of its viewership is occurring without users turning the sound on. Similarly, millennial news site Mic, which is also averaging 150 million monthly Facebook views, said 85 percent of its 30-second views are without sound. PopSugar said its silent video views range between 50 and 80 percent.

(3) YAKKITY CAT. Steve Davidson says an interview with Timothy the Talking Cat will appear on Amazing Stories this Thursday. I’m running neck and neck with Steve in pursuit of interviews with the hottest new talents in the field — he won this round!

(4) JENCEVICE OBIT. SF Site News carries word that Chicago conrunner and club fan Mike Jencevice died May 16.

Chicago fan Mike Jencevice (b.1955) died on May 16. Jencevice entered fandom in 1978, publishing the fanzine Trilevel and serving as the long-time president of Queen to Queen’s Three, a media fan club. He ran the dealers room at Windycon for more than 30 years and served on the ISFiC Board for much of that time. He was one of two associate chairs for Chicon 2000.

(5) VR. BBC News explores “How will virtual reality change our lives?”

Four experts, including Mark Bolas – former tutor of Palmer Luckey, who recently hand-delivered the first VR handset made by his company Oculus Rift – talked to the BBC World Service Inquiry programme about the future of VR.

Mark Bolas: Out of the lab

Mark Bolas is a professor at USC School of Cinematic Arts and a researcher at the Institute for Creative Technologies. He has been working in virtual reality since 1988.

VR hits on so many levels. It’s a real out-of-body experience, and yet completely grounded in your body. …

To find a way to make it low cost and still retain that field of view, we harnessed the power of mobile phones – the screens, tracking and processing – and we figured out a lens design that was extremely inexpensive.

It’s been really fun playing all these years, but there’s something more important now, which is making it a space that allows us to harness our emotions, our desire to connect with people.

I’m worried by our current computer interfaces. I watch people walking around like zombies with cell phones in their hands, and I have to manoeuvre a mouse to fill out little boxes on web forms in a horribly frustrating way. I think VR will allow us to transcend this.

I don’t worry so much about where VR is going, I worry about where we currently are.

(6) SHEER WEIR. By the Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach: “Andy Weir, author of ‘The Martian,’ aims his pen at the moon”

Lots of people who are interested in going to Mars have been gathering this week at George Washington University for the annual Humans to Mars Summit, and the star attraction this morning was Andy Weir. He’s the author of the novel “The Martian,” which has sold 3 million copies, been translated into something like 45 languages and served as the basis of the blockbuster movie by the same name, directed by the legendary Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. So, yes, that book did well — remarkably so given that he originally published it in chapters on his website and later as an electronic book that could be downloaded for free.

Weir, whom I interviewed on stage in the summit’s opening session (you can probably find the video here), was scheduled to pop by The Post for today’s “Transformers” event and then visit Capitol Hill to testify before the House subcommittee on space. Busy day! He said he was going to talk about how an interplanetary spacecraft, such as one going from Earth to Mars, can be designed to spin to create artificial gravity. That’s a potential way to moderate the severe physical effects of weightlessness on the human body. Without artificial gravity, the first astronauts on Mars would likely spend many days just trying to recover from all those months in zero-g conditions.

But he’s also working on another novel, this one about a city on the Earth’s moon that features a female protagonist who is something of a criminal but still lovable, according to Weir.


  • Born May 18, 1931 — Mad magazine cartoonist Don Martin
  • Born May 18, 1930 — Fred Saberhagen

(8) THE REAL-LIFE GRINGOTT’S. The BBC tells where the gold is kept.

The largest by far lies in the Bank of England. It holds three-quarters of the gold in London, or 5,134 tonnes. Most of the gold is stored as standard bars weighing 400 troy ounces (12.4 kg or 438.9 ounces) – there are about 500,000 of them, each worth in the region of £350,000.

But the official reserves of the UK Treasury account for less than a tenth of this.

“Just 310 tonnes of the gold in the Bank of England is from the UK Treasury, the rest is mostly commercial,” says Adrian Ash of BullionVault.com.

The gold is held in a system of eight vaults over two floors under Threadneedle Street in the City. This is to spread the weight and prevent the vaults from sinking into the London clay beneath the bank.

“So no maze of caves bored into rock,” says Chip Hitchcock, sounding a little disappointed.

(9) MARCON HARASSMENT, PART ONE. Steven Saus relays “Reports of Harassment at MarCon 2016, including ‘The Chainmail Guy’ who harassed people at CONTEXT” at Ideatrash. (To refresh your memory, see File 770’s post about Context.)

Sadly, I’m hearing from friends who attended MarCon this year that the stance about Chainmail Guy’s harassment – the one that some members of the board decided to destroy the con over rather than censure a buddy who was harassing people – was completely justified.

According to multiple accounts, he was very visible in the main corridor, apparently with a table displaying some chain mail. (Which is exactly the setup that spawned problems at Context.) Sure, he wasn’t a volunteer, but had a very prominent bit of real estate. And, much like the complaints at Context, kept inserting himself into private conversations, just as he did before.

Unlike Context, he was in the main hall – and therefore much harder to avoid.

As one person put it, “if you heard about the stuff about Context, you’d get the very clear opinion that MarCon was okay with all that.”

Sadly, this might just be the case.

There were reports (and these were forwarded to the con chair) of another guy suggesting he should “frisk” a young woman after earlier reaching out to touch her without consent.

A corset vendor walked the line between creepy and harassment by insisting their corset fit perfectly, and any impression otherwise was due to the person’s “body issues”. He told another person that “he needed to see me try on one of the corsets and not in a friendly way…in front of my kids.”

And this is just what’s managed to cross my awareness.

(10) MARCON HARASSMENT, PART TWO. Saus also published “A (Good) Response From One of the Security Team From MarCon about Harassment”. It is signed by JP Withers.

As a fan I really hate it when our community is damaged by harassing behavior. Inclusion is kind of the point of our thing to me.

Our security and operations folks need help making our space better for everyone, and that help is reporting stuff when it happens. I know there can be a lot of reasons someone might not report behavior, but if one of those reasons is a feeling we won’t take it seriously I can tell you that isn’t the case for anyone on my team….

(11) MARCON HARASSMENT, PART THREE. Ferrett Steinmetz, immediately after Marcon, published these generalized comments calling into question how some apply the principle that “A Person Is Innocent Until Proven Guilty By Law”.

…And all the complexity comes to a boil when we’re discussing how to handle missing stairs in a community – potentially dangerous people who have gossip swirling about them, but no definitive proof. (Because most consent violators are smart enough not to do terrible stuff in public with witnesses.) And what do you do to keep your parties free of dangerous players when the only proof you have is the equivalent of “She said Phil didn’t pay her back”? Do you ban people on someone’s word?

Maybe you think the court’s standards are worthy for any institution, which is a noble goal. There is a strong case to be made for “I will hold the people who would spread rumors to the highest of standards,” because yeah, the ugly truth is that there are corrupt cops and there are people who’ll trash folks they don’t like. Having standards for evidence is good, and though there’s no single True goal, having high standards when the penalty is “Banning someone from a party” is not necessarily a bad thing.

But stop extending that to the idiotic argument of “If something someone says has not been proven in a court of law, it is automatically untrue.” No. If that happens, you are adopting the court’s standard of, “We would rather have someone guilty attending our parties than risk ejecting an innocent person.”…

(12) MARCON HARASSMENT, PART FOUR. Reddit ran its own recap of the latest episode, the essence of which is —

But now a different Ohio convention, MarCon, has had a problem with a harasser… and it’s the SAME GUY:

It’s the same stuff different day syndrome at its worst. There is no way for cons in general to keep these people out since conventions don’t have any kind of shared governance… so even when “missing stairs” are dealt with at one con, they aren’t at another. 🙁

(13) UNPAID MINIONS. The Seattlish has screencaps of the legal papers — “Someone Is Suing Emerald City Comicon for Not paying Volunteers”.

A class action lawsuit has been filed by a former Emerald City Comicon volunteer—the organization calls them “minions”—alleging that the convention violates labor laws by treating their volunteers like employees, but failing to pay them.

The suit, filed in King County Superior Court on May 16 by plaintiff Jerry Brooks and naming ECCC and three members of the Demonakos family as defendants, alleges that as many as 250 people may be among the class.

According to the suit, the volunteers are expected to work essentially as paid workers would—performing functions necessary to the operation of the convention—but aren’t required to be paid for their labor or their overtime due to their volunteer status.

This suit could be hard to prove; the volunteers not only willingly enter into an agreement stating that they’ll work for free, but the culture of the convention fosters a competitiveness for the volunteer positions. A lot of people really like volunteering. In a blog post from 2013, a minion wrote that it “isn’t the  kind of thing you do for money.”

(14) STORYBUNDLE. The Story Collection StoryBundle is available for another 15 days. Readers can choose to donate part of each purchase to SFWA. Curator Lisa Mason tells how the bundle was assembled here.

As always at StoryBundle, you the reader name your price—whatever you feel the books are worth. You may designate a portion of the proceeds to go to a charity. For the Story Collection StoryBundle, that’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (“SFWA”). SFWA champions writers’ rights, sponsors the Nebula Award for excellence in science fiction, and promotes numerous literacy groups.

The initial titles in the Story Collection StoryBundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

  • The Green Leopard Plague by Walter Jon Williams. Two stories in this collection won the Nebula Award.
  • Collected Stories by Lewis Shiner. This extensive and multi-genre collection was prepared as an ebook for StoryBundle.
  • Errantry: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand.

Those who pay more than the bonus price of $12 get all three regular titles, plus five more:

  • Women Up to No Good by Pat Murphy. Two stories in the collection were nominated for the Nebula Award.
  • Strange Ladies: 7 Stories by Lisa Mason Six Stories by Kathe Koja. The collection was created by the author for StoryBundle.
  • What I Didn’t See: Stories by Karen Fowler. The collection won the World Fantasy Award and the title story won the Nebula.
  • Wild Things by C.C. Finlay. The collection was prepared as an ebook for StoryBundle and has a brand-new Afterword. Finlay is the editor of F&SF.

(15) NEBULA CONFERENCE. SFWA President Cat Rambo has vivid memories of “Nebula Conference 2016, Chicago”.

For me, so much of the weekend was a reaffirmation of joy in our genre and the worlds that we love, worlds created by some of the best and brightest. Opportunity to talk with so many talented, kind, and outstanding members of the industry. A chance to stand by one of my heroes, someone whose work I’ve read most of my life and who has been one of my role models, and see her body of work recognized. A chance to be in a place where people treated each other with respect as peers and took pride in each other’s accomplishments, where there weren’t the sort of pettinesses that belong on the playground rather than among fellow professionals. A chance to tell people some of what SFWA’s been working hard at in the past year, and some of what’s coming down the pike.

And Liz Argall is still buzzing about Henry Lien’s Radio SFWA.

(16) CONVERT MADE. Say what you like about Seveneves, Bill Gates wrote on his website that it’s got him back reading sf.

“What Bill Gates says: “I hadn’t read any science fiction for a decade when a friend recommended this novel. I’m glad she did. The plot gets going in the first sentence, when the moon blows up. People figure out that in two years a cataclysmic meteor shower will wipe out all life on Earth, so the world unites on a plan to keep humanity going by launching as many spacecraft as possible into orbit.

“You might lose patience with all the information you’ll get about space flight—Stephenson, who lives in Seattle, has clearly done his research—but I loved the technical details. Seveneves inspired me to rekindle my sci-fi habit.””

(17) STAY INVESTED IN THE FUTURE. Helen Sharman speaks out — “First UK Astronaut calls for more Brits in space”.

Britain’s first astronaut has said the UK risks becoming a “backward nation” if the government does not pay to send more people into space.

Helen Sharman believes the country would lose many of the benefits of Tim Peake’s mission if a commitment to more flights is not made very soon.

Ms Sharman said that this was the UK’s “last chance” to be involved “in the future of the human race”.

She spoke to BBC News on the eve of the 25th anniversary of her spaceflight.

The government has effectively paid for one spaceflight, Tim Peake’s, according to Ms Sharman. After he returns to Earth in June, it is unlikely there will be more UK astronauts in space unless the nation makes a further commitment of funds at a ministerial meeting of European Space Agency (Esa) member states later this year.

(18) MR. ROBOT SEASON 2 TRAILER. The Hollywood Reporter summarized the preview video.

“This is what revolution looks like,” the text of the trailer reads. “Control is an illusion.”

Although they were successful in their hack, fsociety will face more obstacles in season two. “They need to know we haven’t given up,” Darlene (Carly Chaiken) says. “That we meant what we said about changing the world.”

However, the most worrisome image in the clip is Mr. Robot himself (Slater) as he puts a gun to Elliot’s head. “Our revolution needs a leader,” he tells Elliot.


(19) NEWS FOR HITCHHIKERS. “Towel Day” is coming on May 25, and Nerdist reports a candy store is readying its supply of babelfish.

The fandom of Douglas Adams and his writing is intense, to say the least, and has even resulted in a holiday to honor the late author. Every May 25th, fans around the world celebrate “Towel Day” which itself is a reference to what Adams thought to be the most important item you could have with you through your galactic travels.

As a way of showing their love of everything Hitchhiker’s, a candy shop in Florida that specializes in nerdy confections decided to celebrate by creating some Babel fish of their very own. Using an antique 19th-century drop candy roller, the folks at Public Displays Of Confection rolled out a serendipitous 42 bags of these fish shaped candies just in time for Towel Day, and we can only assume that they went with piña colada flavor because it’s just too hard to perfect the essence of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

[Thanks to Hampus Eckerman, Cat Rambo, Chip Hitchcock, Steve Davidson, Tracy Benton, Darren Garrison, Steven Saus, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

219 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/18/16 Griefer Madness

  1. By the way:

    Sexual harassment has to be predicated on whether consent is given or not.

    As someone who’s sat through a lot of Title IX and corporate harassment training courses, I can say with a degree of certainty that this is not the standard held by corporate America or academia. The standard is “someone was made uncomfortable in a situation where a reasonable person might be, regardless of public response”, and luck in guessing the internal state of others is explicitly part of whether harassment has taken place or not. If you think someone is a willing participant, and they think they’re politely waiting out an uncomfortable situation without making a scene, you’ve lost that bet. If you make an ethnic joke and everyone in earshot genuinely finds it funny, you’re fine, but if someone in earshot does not, you’re sitting in HR explaining yourself, whether or not everyone said, “Yeah, that’s pretty funny”. Someone getting explicit sexual comments from his or her boss or another co-worker may be laughing about it and saying it’s fine to their face day after day, but it’s still harassment if they take it to HR. In no place that I’ve worked has there ever been any responsibility for the person making the complaint to give an indication to the person in question before they go to HR, and that’s very carefully explained, because it’s apparently common for people to be told not to report because they didn’t confront someone first. HR is far more interested in the “secretly did not” than in the “consented to his face”, and there’s an expectation built into the policy that social pressure or trying to answer other behavior demands will cause precisely that to happen some amount of the time. People have different reasons why, but it’s not at all unusual for people who feel they’re being sexually harassed to give few outward signs of it, and even to give outwards signs that everything is fine and nothing is wrong, and that’s going to surprise some people who expected that there’d be more signs than that, and that’s also exploited by some people who know the average person tends to go quiet and go along with things rather than make a scene. (Mark Oshiro, I will point out, did precisely that when harassed because he was trying to be professional and keep the paying guests from being made uncomfortable. He got a little pushback when it came out for not confronting people from some people who felt that made it fake harassment, but what he said and did publicly, even if it reassured his harassers, didn’t negate the harassment.)

    So while the issue of what makes consent meaningful is important in the abstract, it’s sort of academic. Sexual harassment does not have to be predicated on whether consent is given or not, or whether the person smiles and says everything’s cool, and the corporate policies I’ve encountered all reflect that, so I can’t imagine it giving conventions too much trouble to define it similarly. It can legitimately be argued how desirable a corporate policy is for a convention, but that definition already exists and is common in the workplace. I can’t even imagine it’s that rare in convention codes of conduct.

  2. Crap, I missed the ceasefire. I apologize, Tasha. And I apologize, Aaron, for continuing a discussion you’d bowed out of.

  3. Thank you, Tasha. And thank you to those willing to engage on something I felt strongly about but couldn’t participate in.

  4. “Gibson’s position is fine and dandy – for an SF author who managed to gain the attention of the hoity-toity…”

    Beware, you are turning into a Torgersen.

  5. I’ve never heard of OSBP, but I recognize the concept. I have been to adult parties where armlets of different colours are used to signal how you may approach people. But the thing is: At these parties, everyone are there with full understanding of these rules. And it is not something just taped on, it is something that is part of the purpose of the party. And it is also among people who come from the same culture, where consent is discussed a lot and quite a few people know each other since before. And still there are problems with people new to the culture.

    I can’t in any way understand how anyone would think it to be a good idea to try with strangers in an area where people who weren’t part of the project also moved around. You do not push your kink into the face of others. Even at a party where most of the others share your kink. Also, my experience in actually having to handle the oversteps during parties makes me vary of things like this.

    And yes, the name of the project was sexist and objectifying as hell. Which is okay at a party where everyone has that as a kink. But again, stupid as hell otherwise. I mean, what the fuck is this comment from the original post??

    “Emboldened, we started asking other people. And lo, in the rarified atmosphere of the con, few were offended and many agreed. And they also felt that strange charge. We went around the con, asking those who we thought might be amenable – you didn’t just ask anyone, but rather the ones who’d dressed to impress – and generally, people responded. They understood how this worked instinctively, and it worked.”

    This is a harasser, do not ever tell me anything else. This is a harasser that thinks it is ok to harass and objectify others as long as only a few tell him to his face that they are offended by his behaviour. The whole project was a offshoot from an ongoing round of harassment during a convention.

  6. Sorry, didn’t see in time that the conversation had stopped. Was not my idea to restart it.

  7. I was enthusiastic about a couple of books I just read, and Mike was nice enough to post my review.

    I encourage any of you who read something, and really love it, to offer him a review on it. 🙂

  8. I really do appreciate people honoring ending the heated conversation per my request. There is plenty to be said about the incident, consent in general, and the problems with our society. Unfortunately having conversations in a way which is respectful of those abused and works towards decreasing harassment at cons too frequently go sideways losing sight of the objective.

  9. @Rail: I hadn’t, but having read it now, I can say that I feel like it’s the one that makes all the other ones possible. There’s no such thing as “transparent” language in a work of fiction, no matter how much some writers like to pretend otherwise. It’s all signifiers with no corresponding referent, right? So every choice of word, every adjustment of grammar, whether deliberately or not, shapes what we know about the characters, world, and story. Why use “automobile” when “car” will do? (Or vice-versa.) Either choice says something, if nothing else, about the assumptions behind the point of view the piece is being written from. And all of those things add up to help shape the reader’s impression of the story and characters, whether they are doing that work *explicitly* or not. (ie. a sentence doesn’t have to be specifically about a character or about world building to tell me something about the character or the world; and quite often those sentences will tell us more, because–especially in “transparent” prose–they will tell us about the author’s assumptions about those things)

    It’s all related. I don’t think you have story without character (I made a case a while back about the Martian was actually a book entirely driven by the desires of its characters), and if you try what you wind up with is just bad writing, not “story heavy” writing. I like character, I like story, I like world building; they’re all important to me. But not one of them functions at all without language, and that language is always going to be an artifice.

    But! This relates to point two:

    @alexvdl: All these things have to be appropriate choices for the book, right? I’m not going to ask Gail Carriger to write like Tony Burgess (either of them), but I sure as hell don’t want Tony Burgess to be giving me Gail Carriger prose. They are doing different things with their books, and I want to be able to have both those things.

    I think Burgess probably took thinks too far with A Clockwork Orange, although he’s doing with Russian exactly what Rail’s link says Firefly does with Chinese, to make roughly the same point. That book was definitely some work. Some books are. Not all books need to be, but sometimes they do. I don’t grow as a reader without being challenged. I’m not being challenged if I never have to go outside my comfort zone or if I stick only to those writers I find easy, or what have you. I haven’t read the Road, so I can’t comment on its use of language, but Burgess wasn’t doing that for beauty, he was making other points (similar points, I’d say, to Heinlein in Moon is A Harsh Mistress, whose writing was very nearly as frustrating, as much because of what he was doing conceptually as because he was bad at it). Sometimes I like a hard book, and I’m not a fan of dismissing those as worthwhile any more than I am of dismissing books with easier prose as not being worthwhile. This was a big part of why I kept using phrases like “willing to” instead of “prefers.” You aren’t going to like everything you try. You might not prefer what I prefer. But I’m willing to try what you like, and you’re willing to try what I like, and you’re not going to dismiss it out of hand because it doesn’t immediately look or smell like what you’re used to reading, and I’m not going to either. That, for me, is the overriding factor in my concept of the “sophisticated reader”. You won’t like everything you’re going to try, but you’re still willing to try.

  10. @JJ
    Saw that. Haven’t stopped by yet. Great to see you having a front page item. Will your cat be joining you soon as a co-reviewer in the future?

  11. @Dawn Incognito – thank you for your kind words, if you need some aloe vera I got plenty! (i tried to put a heart symbol here and failed twice lol)

    And thanks to Tasha for the kind reminder, and to Hampus Eckerman and anyone I missed who took a stab at explaining these very complicated issues, you definitely also have my gratitude.

  12. Re: OSBP:

    Someone in those comments on the original LJ post asked why there weren’t buttons that indicated people looking for other people to touch (the green ones, IIRC). Ferret’s response was — paraphrasing — “That would make me look pathetic and desperate.”

    Yeah, all about demystifying sexuality, sure it was.

  13. @August:

    There’s no such thing as “transparent” language in a work of fiction, no matter how much some writers like to pretend otherwise.



    (You knew that was coming, right?)

    There are times when lyrical-to-ornate language is appropriate. There are times when it definitely isn’t. And there are times when it just goes on and on and on for too damned long.

    Give me a character with nothing distracting going on, and I’m fine with a page or so of scenery setting in language appropriate to the POV character, especially if it’s a new environment to the character.

    Give me a wounded character who is right that moment fighting his way out of a violent encounter, and if you stop for a few pages of scenery description, the book will make a most satisfying thump on the wall across the room.

    Give me characters traveling through a landscape and spend thirteen pages describing the thick jungle surrounding the river they’re poling down, and I’m going to start flipping pages looking for the next time something happens. Do that again, and it becomes a DNF.

    I strongly suspect that you and I process reading differently. I don’t consciously notice the language unless it starts waving pompoms in my face or makes horrid clunking sounds. I’m a natural speed reader who slurps up multi-word chunks and builds mental movies out of them. Lengthy digressions break the spell.

    BTW, horrid clunking sounds include writing a character in an inappropriate voice. My subconscious expects a swordsman to use language differently from a queen, and either one sounding off will bounce me out. Either one not knowing something that should be appropriate for them to know will bounce me out. That happened recently with the Butcher that got slated onto the ballot. I’m still waffling over whether it was a deliberate signal that this character thinks she knows more than she actually does or if it’s an authorial problem.

  14. @August,

    I think you’re going sorta far a field here.

    You get to choose what you think of Burgess’s work. Our society as a whole gets to decide if A Clockwork Orange is a classic, seminal piece of literature. Those are outside of my realm. I get to choose what I do or don’t like to read. If YOU don’t grow as a reader without reading books that handle language ina way that’s difficult for you, then by all means, seek them out. Grow.

    But I think that a larger point is that not everyone has your tastes, desires, or opinions on the purpose of reading or what stretches the mind.

    To say that someone is stunting themselves as a reader because they don’t want to read A Clockwork Orange, the road, Moon as a Harsh Mistress, MIsts of Avalon, War and Peace, Moby DIck, etc. is a silly idea.

    I don’t really understand or have a desire to be your concept of the “sophisticated reader”. I read because that’s what I love doing. I love IMMERSING myself in stories. I want to be a part of the narrative.

    And I can’t do that when the writing and grammar bring me OUT of that into the real world. That’s not why I read, and if a book can’t pull me in, I move onto the next book.

  15. Speaking of immersive, I just started Cuckoo Song last night. This is my first favorite book I’ve read this year, so far.

  16. @Kathodus,

    I’ve had some books I’ve enjoyed the snot out of this year (9s out of 10) but I really hope that I get something this year that takes me the way The Traitor Baru Cormorant did last year.

  17. lurkertype: Still wanting a video of “Radio SFWA” with good audio. Also an ID of all the dancers.

    The best I can offer on the first is that if you start the video in one window and mute it, then at the 10sec mark, start the audio version in another window, they sync pretty well.

    According to Steven Silver, Henry Lien performed as Emperor Stardust and the Eunuchs of the Forbidden City (backup dancers included Liz Argall, Tina Connolly, Alyx Dellamonica, Fonda Lee, Reggie Lutz, and Kelly Robson).

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