Pixel Scroll 5/2/16 Ancillary Mary Sue

(1) COSTUMES ON TRIAL. The Hollywood Reporter says “Supreme Court to Hear Fight Over Cheerleader Uniforms”, an issue that some argue can affect fans doing cosplay.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that is nominally about cheerleader uniforms, but could have some impact on Hollywood merchandising as well.

The eight black-robed justices will be reviewing an opinion handed down last August from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed Varsity Brand to pursue copyright claims over similar cheerleader uniforms made by Star Athletica. The ruling held that the stripes, chevrons and color blocks incorporated into these uniforms were purely aesthetic.

…An amicus brief from Public Knowledge in this cheerleader costume case also spoke of the many people who cosplay at comic conventions.

“The multitude of contradictory separability tests that currently stand means that a costume replica may be non-infringing at a San Diego convention but infringing in New York,” stated that brief. “The situation is absurd, abstruse, and – owing to the historical lack of copyright protection for any article of clothing – functionally obfuscated from the people whom it stands to impact most.”


  • MAY 2 — ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF HOGWARTS. With the help of the Harry Potter Wikia we salute the Unidentified fallen fifty:

They moved Voldemort’s body and laid it in a chamber off the Hall, away from the bodies of Fred, Tonks, Lupin, Colin Creevey, and fifty others who died fighting him.

—Description of the post-Battle

The unidentified fallen fifty of the Battle of Hogwarts (d. 2 May, 1998) were the unknown people who were killed fighting Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters in the final conflict of the Second Wizarding War. They did not die in vain as their cause had been won after their deaths. At the end of the battle, all of the bodies were placed together in the Great Hall.

(3) FROM PKD TO PHD. Be the Professor of Future Crimes! University College of London is hiring. I am not making this up.

The nature of the crime and security problems we face has transformed in recent years and continues to change rapidly. Most obviously, the digital revolution has created new challenges in the form of cybercrime and other cybersecurity threats, while developments such as the Dark Web and the Internet of Things are exposing new problems. But the issue is wider than digital technologies: developments, for example, in nanotechnology, robotics and cybernetics are creating new opportunities that can be exploited for criminal and terrorist purposes. And nor do the new threats solely involve technological developments: social changes associated with population growth, changing migration patterns, and climate change all have the potential to drive crime and insecurity in as yet largely unforeseen ways.

(4) AWESOME. Jim C. Hines launches a new series of posts with SF/F Being Awesome: Books for Kids.

For close to 20 years, Balticon and the Baltimore Science Fiction Society have been raising money to provide books to kids — particularly kids who might not otherwise be able to afford them — and to school libraries as well.

I spoke with Kelly Pierce, who’s been coordinating the Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon since about 2002. The auction raises the bulk of the money for Books for Kids each year….

Since it all began, Balticon and BSFS has probably raised around $50,000 to provide books to libraries and kids in need, with the bulk of that money comes from the annual auction….

For more information:

(5) DROPPING THE PILOT. io9’s new editor Rob Bricken previews the future in “io9’s Mission Isn’t Over”.

Hello, I’m Rob Bricken. Some of you may know me as the guy who writes the FAQs, or the guy who hates everything, or a deluded SJW, or perhaps the person who will shortly be turning io9 into a garbage fire. I would like to present myself as something else—the new editor of io9.

Yes, I have been given the monumental, terrifying task of taking over here, a job that I can promise you I did not have designs on. Like all of you, I would have been content with Charlie Jane Anders running io9 until the heat death of the universe. As I told her as she said goodbye, she is io9. Always was. Always will be.

But as Charlie Jane herself wrote, io9 has a mission

(6) FLASH FICTION. Cat Rambo answers the question “Why Write Flash Fiction?” on Medium. She defines flash fiction, then gives writers reasons to try it.

At any rate, writing flash fiction is both a useful and productive exercise for writers. Anything that makes us practice writing is surely a good thing, and sitting down to write a flash piece fulfills that. Beyond that, it’s very satisfying to rise from the desk knowing you’ve written something in its entirety, as opposed to the tiresome nature of a novel, which swallows hours and hours of writing while swelling as slowly as ice accreting on a glacier.

You can use flash to try out new techniques. One of the exercises I often use in class draws on a piece I heard Gra Linnaea read at World Fantasy Con, written all in future tense, which I read to the class before challenging them to write their own pieces in future tense. Another draws on Randy Henderson’s most excellent THE MOST EPICLY AWESOMEST STORY! EVER!!, which I use to challenge the class to think about bad writing vs. good.

Many new writers are hungry for publications, and writing flash is a good strategy for garnering some. Flash markets, by their nature, consume a lot of pieces, and where a market that publishes one story each month is buying only that one story, a flash market is buying a much larger number. One of my favorites is Daily Science Fiction, which mails me a story every weekday. Every Day Fiction, as another example, runs a flash piece each day. The shorter a piece is, the easier it is on an editor’s budget.

(Cat Rambo’s full-length short story “Left Behind” was published in the May issue of Clarkesworld, which you can read online, or you hear read to you by Kate Baker.)

(7) RHINO RUNNER. Jim Mowatt has written about his transcendent experience running the London Marathon run for Save The Rhino.

“That last mile is absolutely amazing” she said, “and when you turn to go down the Mall it’s the most incredible experience that you could imagine.” I did try to imagine it and reckoned it would be akin to some of the feelings that I have previously experienced when I have finished a particularly gruelling run. The actuality was was nothing like that. It was a massive emotional assault on a astounding scale.

I shuffled along the Embankment in a world of pain and then turned right at the Palace of Westminster. Then I ran along Birdcage Walk curving around toward the Mall and Buckingham Palace. All the while the noise grew louder and louder until it became completely unbearable. There was a kind of mass hysteria going on all around me. I’d got a shop to print Jim on the Save The Rhino tee shirt so people could shout out my name and, in a way, join in with my run. What felt like thousands of people were shouting my name. Faces were looming out of the crowd telling me that I was awesome or amazing or incredible. It was absolutely terrifying but quite exciting too. My mind couldn’t cope with this assault and tried to shut down to get me through. I went with it for a while but realised that this was a very special moment and I had to savour it. I forced myself to engage again. I could hear everyone shouting and screaming, all caught up in this amazing event. I zoned in and out as we progressed further down the Mall trying not to break down and cry with the massive waves of emotion rolling over and around me. At the final turn I saw the finish line and focussed in on that, lurching forward until I crossed the mat with arms held aloft….

(8) IT’S ALWAYS NEWS TO SOMEONE. I have not previously reported the announcement made last November by BSFS and WSFA that the 2018 World Fantasy  Convention will be held in Baltimore. Nor does Google show that it has been picked up anywhere else. Let this be a placeholder ‘til more information comes out.

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (bsfs.org) and Washington Science Fiction Association (wsfa.org) shall be hosting the 2018 World Fantasy Convention on November 1 – 4, 2018 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel (the location for next year’s 50th anniversary Balticon (balticon.org)). Many of us who were involved with the management of WFC 2014 are working on this exciting new project.

(9) AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CAT. Ursula K. Le Guin serves as amanuensis for “My Life So Far, by Pard” at Book View Café.

In the first place there were Mother and Sister and me with a mother and an aunty human who had a lot of kittens. Some tom humans came around now and then and either paid no attention to anybody but the queens, or were dangerous to kittens, pretty much like real toms. Mother and Sister and I kept out of their way and had no worries except sometimes the younger kitten humans, who will pull your tail as soon as their eyes are open. And some of the bigger ones played too rough, or tried to hug. Hugging, even when well meant, is horrible.

Life was often quite exciting in the first place, and we were happy together. I am hardly ever sad, but sometimes when I am going to sleep I hear purring around me that is not mine, and it seems that Mother and Sister and I are all curled up like one warm cat. And then I am happier than usual.

The kibbles there were all of one species, but there were plenty of them, except when there weren’t any of them. When the bowl had been empty for a while and then the kibbles were turned loose in it, Sister and I did a lot of growling and shoving to see who could get more first, but it wasn’t serious, it just made hunting and killing the kibbles more exciting….

(10) GRRM’S ANSWER. George R.R. Martin cleans off some of the mud that’s been hurled his way in “A Response To John C. Wright”.

…All that being said, I do not know why Wright seems to believe that by purchasing and publishing one of his stories seven years ago, I am therefore somehow required to like everything that he writes subsequently, to the extent that I would feel it Hugo worthy.

It should be pointed out that “Guyal the Curator” was not itself nominated for a Hugo (there being no Puppies around in 2009 to push it). None of the stories from SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH were Hugo finalists, truth be told. Do I think some were worthy of that honor? Sure I do. I cannot pretend to be objective, I’m proud of the anthologies I edit and the stories I publish. Do I think that all the stories in SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH (or ROGUES, or OLD MARS, or OLD VENUS, or LOWBALL, or any of my anthologies) are Hugo-worthy? Of course not. In a normal year, the Hugo finalists are supposed to represent the five best stories of the year in that word length. Was “Guyal the Curator” one of the five best short stories (actually, it might have been a novelette, after so long I do not recall the word length) of 2009? No. It was a good story, not a great story. The Hugo Awards demand greatness. It was an entertaining Vance tribute, but it was not a patch on real Vance, on “The Last Castle” or “The Dragon Masters” or “Guyal of Sfere.” And truth be told, it was not even one of the five best stories in SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH. A good story, yes, I’ll say that again. But there were better in the book. (And how not? We had an amazing lineup of contributors).

Which brings us back to Puppygate, and last year’s Hugo ballot.

I read every word in every story in the anthologies I edit, as I’ve said. I did not read every word in every story on last year’s Hugo ballot, no (or on any Hugo ballot, for that matter). I start every story and give them a few pages. If they grab me, I keep reading. If they bore me or offend me, or fail to interest me for whatever reason, I put them aside. Mr. Wright seems convinced that I did not read his stories on last year’s ballot. He’s half-right: I did not read all of them. But I started all of them (there were five), finished some, set others aside. The same as I do with any story I read; no special treatment.

I did not find any of them Hugo-worthy. Not one of them was as good as “Guyal the Curator,” in my opinion. No doubt others liked them better.

(11) THE POWER OF FIVE. Does the title of John Scalzi’s post show that he’s tuned to our wavelength? That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it — “Two New Books in 2016 That Have Me In Them. Well, Three. Actually, Five”.

So, to recap:

  • The Books That Changed My Life — already out.
  • Mash Up — out June 7.
  • Black Tide Rising — also out June 7.
  • The Dispatcher — scheduled for this year in audio.
  • Secret SubPress Project — also scheduled for this year (I think!).

And the mass market paperback of The End of All Things, out May 31st.

(12) MORE THOUGHTS. Mark Ciocco at Kaedrin comments: “The 2016 Hugo Awards: Initial Thoughts”.

Fortunately, at least part of the Puppy success this year was driven by the inclusion of works from mainstream authors on the lists. The Rabids had folks like Neal Stephenson , Neil Gaiman, Alastair Reynolds , and Lois McMaster Bujold on their slate, which, well, these are all people who don’t need any help getting nominated. In addition to those names, the Sads even included the likes of Ann Leckie, John Scalzi, Nnedi Okorafor, Naomi Novik, and Cat Valente, most of whom don’t seem to exactly fit the puppy mold if they aren’t actively hostile towards each other. I am, of course, not the first to mention this, but it does seem to have the effect of softening the impact such that the scortched-earth No Award response feels less likely this year. There are some who are calling these mainstream choices “shields” and coming up with elaborate conspiracy theories about their inclusion, but who knows? I mean, yeah, I could dig through the muck and try to figure out what the Rabid intentions really are, but jeeze, who wants to get into their head? I like a lot of these authors and hell, I even nominated some of them (completely independent of recommendation lists or slates, imagine that!). Of course, this has been my approach all along, but others, even strident opposition, seem to be getting on board that train.

(13) FLASH ROMANCE. The BBC reports there has been a preemptive protest about casting the movie version of The Flash — “Superhero fans rally to keep The Flash’s love interest black”.

The announcement that DC Comics and Warner Bros are to put comic book character The Flash on the big screen in two forthcoming movies was good news for many. There is already a successful TV series based on the character, and fans were expecting more of the same.

But some were alarmed by the suggestion that one of the supporting characters might undergo a transformation for the cinema version. Although full details of the film’s cast are yet to be announced, one blog reported “industry rumours” that the race of one of the characters may be changed.

The report suggests that a white actress, Imogen Poots, could be cast as Iris West Allen – a part played in the successful TV version by black actress Candice Patton.

Although the rumour remains unconfirmed, some fans began accusing Warner Bros of “whitewashing”, using the hashtag “Keep Iris Black”. The phrase has now appeared more than 7,000 times.

(14) HALLOWEEN AUCTION. Mark V. Ledenbach’s auction of vintage Halloween stuff runs through May 8. He is also blogging about some of the items, such as a tin noisemaker that went for $117.

This tin litho noisemaker, made by an unknown manufacturer during the 1930s, is very cleverly designed. I have my suspicions that it was made by Bugle Toy of Providence, Rhode Island, but they were disciplined about marking their tin litho items and this tin item has no mark. It has their characteristic clever design. Take a close look at it to see the almost Art Deco integration of four orange cat faces bordered by two bats and two owls.

Tin as a genre has been ice cold for years now. This was an aggressive ending price. Does this presage an upward movement for tin litho items?

(15) IN THEIR OWN WORDS. From the May issue of Smithsonian magazine, “An Oral History of ‘Star Trek’”.

The trail-blazing sci-fi series debuted 50 years ago and has taken countless fans where none had gone before…

In the teleplay for the first pilot, “The Cage,” starring Jeffrey Hunter as Capt. Christopher Pike, Roddenberry described the establishing shot in detail: “Obviously not a primitive ‘rocket ship’ but rather a true space vessel, suggesting unique arrangements and exciting capabilities. As CAMERA ZOOMS IN we first see tiny lettering ‘NCC 1701- U.S.S. ENTERPRISE.’”

Walter M. “Matt” Jefferies (production designer, “Star Trek”) I had collected a huge amount of design material from NASA and the defense industry which was used as an example of designs to avoid. We pinned all that material up on the wall and said, “That we will not do.” And also everything we could find on “Buck Rogers” and “Flash Gordon” and said, “That we will not do.” Through a process of elimination, we came to the final design of the Enterprise.

Gene Roddenberry I’d been an Army bomber pilot and fascinated by the Navy and particularly the story of the Enterprise, which at Midway really turned the tide in the whole war in our favor. I’d always been proud of that ship and wanted to use the name.

Roddenberry’s attention to detail even extended to the ship’s computer at a time when computers were punch card–operated behemoths that filled entire rooms. In a memo on July 24, 1964, to production designer Pato Guzman, Roddenberry suggested, “More and more I see the need for some sort of interesting electronic computing machine designed into the USS Enterprise, perhaps on the bridge itself. It will be an information device out of which the crew can quickly extract information on the registry of other space vessels, spaceflight plans for other ships, information on individuals and planets and civilizations.”

Gene Roddenberry The ship’s transporters—which let the crew “beam” from place to place—really came out of a production need. I realized with this huge spaceship, I would blow the whole budget of the show just in landing the thing on a planet. And secondly, it would take a long time to get into our stories, so the transporter idea was conceived so we could get our people down to the planet fast and easy, and get our story going by Page 2.

Howard A. Anderson (visual effects artist, “Star Trek”) For the transporter effect, we added another element: a glitter effect in the dematerialization and rematerialization. We used aluminum dust falling through a beam of high-intensity light.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Will R., and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

215 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/2/16 Ancillary Mary Sue

  1. The more I hear about Tingle the more humorous he sounds but I can enjoy him showing the Puppies for fools without planning to give him a Hugo for it. A work or a performance can be humorous, even very humorous, without being award worthy.

    And of course, Tingle entry makes it absolutely clear that the Puppies either hate the Swirsky story without even having read it, or their reading comprehension is so poor they can’t even tell what a story is about. Or they are liars–a prospect I raise solely for completeness.

    In neither case are they well equipped to find good stories for other people.

  2. No way is Chuck Tingle a VD or Rabid creation. He’s too funny. Those guys …a huge part of their problem is that they ARE so freaking serious. Neither VD nor JCW appears to have a scintilla of sense of humor about them.

    I firmly believe Tingle was doing his/her/their own thing for the lulz and the cash and not giving a hoot about the awards, and will go right on doing so. His nomination was engineered as an attempted insult to the Hugos and a furtherance of the absurd jihad against the Swirsky story.

    I should also mention that despite my enjoyment of Tingle I also have no intention of voting for him above the No Award line. However, if Space Dinosaur Butt Resemption is as awesome a mets commentary on the current controversy as the description suggests, I will happily nominate it as a related work next year.

    I’m just happy that someone (or someones) are out there making money while obviously amusing themselves so thoroughly. Props to Tingle.

  3. @Steve Wright

    Here’s why the Teddy Beale as performance artist thing never flew with me, and I think is likely to be total bull crap: the laws he puts himself under in the process of avoiding American tax law. Europe, especially continental Europe, has some tighter restrictions than the US when it comes to advocating certain things, like, say, the inherent degeneracy of an entire group of people and how people should really do something violent about it. (For the obvious reasons)

    The only real performance here, I think, is in Beale’s “4GW” concept, where he tones down any overt calls for violence to avoid legal issues. And presumably so his Screaming Keyboards -types can feel all big and manly with their twitter harassment and swatting.

  4. Vivien

    I have no doubt that VD thought he was going to have a laugh at the expense of fandom; he miscalculated, and now the joke is very definitely on him. Whoever Chuck Tingle may be, they are having a lot of fun at VD’s expense, and there is absolutely nothing VD can do about it.

    He’s really not good at grasping the fact that actions have consequences, and he’s even worse at thinking through what those consequences may be; he’s a rabid homophobe who’s stupidly offered himself on a plate to people who have a very good idea of just how dangerous rabid homophobes can be.

    Last year VD gamed multiple Hugo nominations for a guy who is convinced that straight guys’ instinctive reaction to gay guys is to reach for a tyre iron. This year he’s got Chuck Tingle who, unlike JCW, are not convinced that they are amongst the finest writers in the world, but do recognise an opportunity when they see one, and making full use of it.

    I really wish my nominations had made it as finalists, but, since they didn’t, I regard this as a considerable improvement over the 2015 JCW fest…

  5. Have we had Manic Pixel Dream Scroll? Have I just made that up brilliantly or am I pathetically remembering it from before?

  6. First time poster here. I think. Hi anyway.

    Here’s my stance on the Hugos and the voting mindset I’d like to see people employ when they go to vote for winners on the final ballot.

    Quite simply put, ignore the involvement of the Puppies for a second. What I would do is apply what I call the “Guardians of the Galaxy” principle. Absent any Rabid Puppy slate voting, I would say that people should vote for the works that you feel at the very least reasonably confident would have had a good chance making it onto the ballot regardless of any Puppy involvement, while also voting any works that you do find legitimately great above No Award. Obviously put the trash (Y Hallo Thar “SJWs Always Lie” and pretty much anything else from Castalia House) below No Award of course.

    Yes, this is something that Day could construe as a “victory”, but then this is the same guy who thought that nearly all the stuff the Puppies thought was awesome getting humiliated and placing below No Award was a “victory” as well. Day may feel all happy that his Dread Milk can claim that the actual good stuff is there only because of the Puppies, but somehow I really don’t think he’ll be happy if, say, Chuck Tingle and File 770 come out with awards on the night, do you?

    The man is an actual idiot, the kind of guy and his followers who can read “A Fan Letter To Certain Conservative Politicians” and a) not recognise the obvious satire, and b) actually treat it as a real confession and use it as an actual basis for a big load of conspiracy theory allegations against a group of authors (Safe Space As Rape Room). That and he uses ironically created terms (“SJWs”, “Cucks”) in un-ironic ways and says just plain stupid crap about how apparently the only time men take orders from women is at work, in the priesthood, or in the army (ignoring of course all those female teachers, doctors, judges, firefighters, or other professions).

    At the end of the day, this kind of idiot may claim a victory if actual quality that he nominated but doesn’t actually like end up winning on the night, but it would be an incredibly hollow victory, and one that actually probably really wouldn’t give him that much satisfaction.

  7. There is no way Chuck Tingle is a creation of anyone from the sooper genius clown car. There is humor and parody, not something available to the clown car, and some deeply bent inclusiveness that is anathema. Plus, word usage and sentence structure show some real skill (you have to know how to do it well before you successfully break most of the rules).

    Like most performance art, it will have fans and detractors and I’m firmly in the former camp. Plus, Dr. Tingle is doing a terrific job of skewering VD, which I deeply appreciate.

    I hope they don’t break character anytime soon, but I’m really curious about who is behind the persona. I think it started as prank and then became an unexpectedly successful meta joke that now fits beautifully into the kerfuffle.

    (10) I can’t even with JCW. There is something not right there that sets off my spidey sense. Having his wife say we should assume he’s being dryly humorous has made that feeling infinitely worse.

  8. I thought that people might be interested in my blog today. I toss a little numbers-geekery at the question of what it means for a book to have only really really good reviews on Amazon. (Spoiler: it means your book isn’t getting out enough.)


    You know who has spent a very long time in the top 10 books sold in Historical Fantasy? Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Do you know how many one-star reviews Outlander has on Amazon? 749. Seven hundred and forty-fucking-nine one-star reviews (4% of the total). No book is universally beloved.

  9. Re: Things brought by Amazon — Someone here (can’t remember who it was, sorry) noted that Frances Hardinge’s Cuckoo Song was available for $5.66 from Amazon Kindle, and I picked it up. Not finished yet, but so far it is terrific. Thank you to whoever it was!

  10. @Eric Franklin: The Flash in the 5 season Justice League cartoon was Wally, rather than Barry (although if I’m recalling correctly, there had been no Barry predecessor in that universe, so a bit of a different character still).

    Please note that I never wrote anything about having a problem with Iris being played as black; in fact, I specifically wrote that based on both the comics and tv versions of the character, there was nothing stopping her as being cast as *any* ethnicity (in other words, if anything, other than appearance, Iris [and Joe] might as well be white on the tv show. As far as I recall, the show’s not even touched on any culture aspects of white Barry growing up from age 10 or so in a black household). In general, I’ve stated a number of times here and elsewhere that unless there is a strong reason based on the character for casting as a certain race/ethnicity, I don’t care what they’re cast as.

    On the other hand, I consider crying “whitewashing” when a character whose decades long original source material had them as white and only one shortish representation has them as black to be ridiculous. If they recast Nick Fury as, oh, George Clooney once Jackson retires or dies, it wouldn’t bother me. Nor would it if he were recast as, say, Jet Li. Or Edward James Olmos (Actually, I’d kinda like to see what Olmos would do with the character).

  11. Guess the Hunger Games movies made almost 3 billion dollars because people felt sorry for Hollywood and decided to donate to their cause.

    One also has to wonder if Hoyt has actually read any late-period Heinlein.

  12. In one twitter image, Chuck not only put some inimitably Tingly language into Vox’s mouth, but also mislabelled him as the creator of the Matrix, that beloved-by-“red pill”-MRA-types masculine fantasy whose real creators, though it wasn’t publicly known at the time, are of course two brilliant and talented trans women. To me there is more evidence for super genius in that moment alone than the combined oeuvres of every yapping space dog who has barked at this kerfuffle so far…

    That said I will happily put him in the “funny but ultimately a bit of a prat” category (and below no award on my ballot) unless he either withdraws or finds a damn good way to use his platform for more than “equal opportunities offending”.

  13. Well, I’m sorry, but I’m holding out for the photo of Day and Tingle in bed together. If not the full-on sex tape (provisionally titled “One Day in Tingle”), which I fully anticipate will be worthy of nomination for next year’s Dramatic Presentation (Long Form).

  14. I do quite like the idea of Chuck Tingle as a Related Work nomination next year.

  15. Hi Jon9 and welcome!

    “Here’s my stance on the Hugos and the voting mindset I’d like to see people employ when they go to vote for winners on the final ballot.”

    I, personally, think people should vote according to their own conscience. For me, it will be No Awarding all Castalia nominees and give the rest a fair chance. Others might event want to extend reading to Castalia nominees. And that is ok.

    There is not one way to vote and if I want diversity regarding Hugo nominees, I also want it in how people decide to vote.

  16. Stevie:

    “This year he’s got Chuck Tingle who, unlike JCW, are not convinced that they are amongst the finest writers in the world…”

    Well, I just saw him tweeting this:

    “Feels weird to be best author in the world everyones trying to get you to hum their buckaroo tune. no way buddy im humming my own song”

  17. And I think I will hand out a Beale Butt Award to Tingle. He deserves it.

  18. Heather Rose Jones on May 3, 2016 at 10:06 am said:

    I thought that people might be interested in my blog today. I toss a little numbers-geekery at the question of what it means for a book to have only really really good reviews on Amazon.

    That was very interesting. Your observation that “And up to a certain point (I’ll talk about that point later) the more reviews you get, the lower your average rating is” is a good point.

  19. @Steve Wright

    Well, I’m sorry, but I’m holding out for the photo of Day and Tingle in bed together. If not the full-on sex tape (provisionally titled “One Day in Tingle”)

    If Chuck Tingle has anything to do with it, it’ll be titled “Slammed in the Butt with Vox Day.”

    … and I’m nauseated at the thought.

    I really hope 4/6 and EPH make a difference next year. Because this is a mess. I feel bad for the Hugo administrative team for having to oversee this mess, too. Oversee and not take sides. I don’t think I could do that.

    Would you want to be a Hugo Admin who had to announce “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” as a finalist for the award?

  20. “Would you want to be a Hugo Admin who had to announce “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” as a finalist for the award?”

    And the embarrassment to fans and to the awards themselves is the point, regardless of how clever or witty “Chuck Tingle” may be on some level.

  21. @tofu on May 3, 2016 at 9:04 am said:

    SHoyt – In fact I don’t know ANYONE who is interested in their entertainment being a bunch of whining and critiquing the flaws of society.

    Guess the Hunger Games movies made almost 3 billion dollars because people felt sorry for Hollywood and decided to donate to their cause.

    The movies where people in flyover country finally rendered a commupance to those nosy, nanny-state ninnies in the capital?? They warmed the cockles of my meager libertarian heart.


    One also has to wonder if Hoyt has actually read any late-period Heinlein.

    Or some of his early stuff as well. He dropped a little bon mot in an early short about businesses being under the misimpression that they were guaranteed a profit unhindered by the developments of upstart competitors.


  22. (6) FLASH FICTION: Although not exactly SFF unless you squint real hard, I may as well mention that I have a short cartoon story in this really interesting experimental anthology, and it’s a companion to a (prose) flash piece by Myla Goldberg, which is an honor— not to mention many other talented people who are in it.

  23. The movies where people in flyover country finally rendered a commupance to those nosy, nanny-state ninnies in the capital

    Your flyover country people versus the nanny state is somebody else’s oppressed workers versus the 1%. It’s almost as if we’re divided more by language than ideology!

  24. Hearing that Tingle is in league with the Elk reminds me of some conservatives thinking Stephen Colbert was actually sympathetic to the right wing. Right wing US humor doesn’t work like that. Here’s an example of right-wing humor: “Abortion is murder. We’re in the midst of society-approved mass murder next to which the Holocaust pales in comparison. Doctors who perform abortions should be given the death penalty. Speaking of doctors who perform abortions, here’s the address of one.” That doesn’t sound like a joke, but when a doctor is then assassinated, the same right-wing *ahem* “humorist” will then say “Hey, I’m an entertainer. I make jokes. Nobody takes what I say seriously.”

    tl;dr I would be astounded if Tingle was in league with any Puppies.

  25. @Lorcan Nagle

    Rumour has it that when Marvel approached him about using his likeness for Ultimate Fury, his only condition was that he be allowed play the part in any movie based on the character.

    I heard it the other way. Jackson is a huge comic fan and when Millar mentioned that the Ultimate Fury as a black man, he came up at SDCC and asked why don’t they draw Fury like him. They were already getting Ultimates put together and decided on it. There may have been some kind of agreement later, between his agent and Marvel, but as I’ve been told, the genesis was him bugging Millar until he said yes.

  26. My favorite version of Iris is grandmother Iris West Allen who returns from the future (along with grandkid Bart Allen) in the Wally West era. Unfortunately this can’t happen in the movie since they’ve decided to go with the Barry Allen flash.

    I just hope they don’t do a love triangle (had enough of that in the TV show).

  27. There’s also the story that George Clooney was involved with a Nick Fury film until somebody gave him a copy of the just-published Garth Ennis Fury Max mini-series which was …not respectful, and rather full of Ennis’s worse juvenile excesses as well as copious swearing, and legend has it turned Clooney off the project and caused the whole thing to be scrapped. (Ennis went back to the character later and produced a violent elegaic epic of Cold War espionage that has no reference to superheroes or SHIELD at all – My War Gone By.)

  28. I mean, OK, there are differences in content and style – but any self-respecting “performance artist” can create those, and I’m not sure they’re enough to convince me. Has anyone seen both of them in the same place, at the same time?

    The answer can be found easily – invite Tingle (or his/her/their nominee) to give a reading at the Worldcon. Bonus if you can persuade them to write a piece especially for the event along the lines of “Pounded in the Butt By An Obnoxious White Supremacist Troll”.

  29. @Lisa Goldstein – Thank you! I swear I’ve had that book on my ereaderiq watchlist for months now, but it didn’t come up.

  30. GSLamb on May 3, 2016 at 3:55 am said: (13) No, it’s not “white washing”. There is a world of difference between what is being done here (historically white character being played by a white actress) and The Last Airbender casting.

    Thank God somebody gets that. It’s a fricking comic book story, not a political stump speech.

    I must quibble however, it wasn’t the actors (or their race) that sank Last Airbender, it was the director. Loved the cartoons, the movie was as flat as a scone.

    That being said, the part does not need to match the source material (ccoughAncientOnecough).

    Agreed, and in fairness Iris West does not -need- to be white, she can be whatever because the story does not hinge in any part upon her ethnicity, similarly to The Ancient One. I remain hopeful that Dr. Strange will be good.

    However I will add that sometimes it does matter, and changing things for the sake of changing them leads to disaster. Please see Fantastic Four reboot, crashed on takeoff and now available in the delete bin for five bucks.

    As to this Flash movie specifically, if the writers are sticking to original cannon that is a positive sign. It is an indicator that they don’t think themselves smarter than the original comic writers, whose creation lasted all these years.

    You don’t add bling and spinning rims to a classic 1964 Buick Riviera and expect it to look -better- than the original.

  31. I think we need to thank The Phantom for demonstrating with their usual decisiveness that the humor, the satire, the awareness of how human beings work and interact that is present in Tingle’s performance is utter alien to the Puppies.

  32. @ Tom Galloway: On the other hand, I consider crying “whitewashing” when a character whose decades long original source material had them as white and only one shortish representation has them as black to be ridiculous.

    Best in mind that it’s likely that far more people now know of Iris as a black woman. At this point, the memories of people who know the comics are probably a tiny minority.

    So for the majority of the audience who would be seeing the Flash movie, it would be a case of a black character turned white.

    Or as I said about Green Lantern on looking at the movie: “Who the hell is this Hal Jordan poser? Bring back the original Green Lantern, John Stewart!”

  33. There is in my opinion a subtle way of casting your final-ballot vote for candidates like Tingle, based on what a bunch of the recent comments are saying:

    Vote Tingle (and any other candidate who gets a similar reaction out of you) below No Award, but leave off your ballot any candidate you don’t think even deserved to be on the ballot at all, for whatever reason.

    Because of the No Award Showdown rule, your vote will always count against any candidate ranked below NA or left off your ballot entirely; however, your sub-NA votes can influence which of the finalists gets to the No Award Showdown.

    Another way of looking at this is to look at the finalists and say, “Are there candidates that I don’t want to win, but if one must win, I’d pick that one” and vote for those candidates below NA, again leaving off those candidates you don’t think should have been on the ballot at all.

    The lowest possible vote you can give any candidate is Null — leaving it off your ballot entirely. You vote against a candidate by ranking it below No Award or leaving it off your ballot.

    Incidentally, the only way to abstain on any given candidate is to leave it off your ballot and not rank No Award.

  34. Hi Jon9, welcome to the party.

    I think your theories on voting are far closer to the old stagers than you think.

  35. @Kevin Standlee – Thanks for that. I still get confused about the system. I like the idea of voting Tingle below No Award, rather than leaving him entirely off the ballot.

  36. Rose Embolism on May 3, 2016 at 12:05 pm said:

    Or as I said about Green Lantern on looking at the movie: “Who the hell is this Hal Jordan poser? Bring back the original Green Lantern, John Stewart!”

    Except those were different characters… yes, Stewart might have been the GL you grew up with (note to non-comic Filers, this isn’t sadly-missed host of the DAILY SHOW). (For non-DC/non-comic Filers, DC’s Silver Age Green Lanterns were part of a Green Lantern core, nominally about 3,600 (I’ll let Tom Galloway feel free to explain some of the variances in this #, during various comic continuity events). Hal Jordan was Earth’s first, ahem, Ring bearer. Then came Guy Gardner. Then John Stewart. Then Kyle “Crab Face Guy” (because of his mask) Rayner. Plus the non-Earth lanterns. Not to mention the non-Green Lanterns. Etc. The Green Lantern movie, while dreadful in its way plotwise, did a good job of showing the corps, some of the training, etc. Dang, did I have a train of thought there?
    Re movie casting for THE FLASH, I’d be fine with the Wests (Joe, Iris, Wally) from the TV series. So far they’ve done fine, IMHO. (And the SUPERGIRL/FLASH crossover episode was great.)

  37. Kevin

    Thank you! That is very helpful, and it’s good to know that there are sensible ways of responding to the situation…

  38. @Nigel

    Your flyover country people versus the nanny state is somebody else’s oppressed workers versus the 1%. It’s almost as if we’re divided more by language than ideology!

    I think we are divided by changes in our language imposed by socialist ideology! Where I look at Orwell’s “1984” as a cautionary tale, it appears that others view it as more of an instruction manual.


  39. @Nigel

    I remember that. God, that Max series was a disaster, although I admit I laughed out loud in the first issue when Fury meets the ex-Hydra. He makes the wanking motion while reciting the Hydra chant as the other guy covers his fan and says ‘I know! I know!’

    I heard one of the problems was that they couldn’t get a director that Marvel would work with. There was something about Guy Richie wanting to do it as a hyper-violent 60s based anti-Bond movie or Kerry Conran being possibly involved up until the point ‘Skycaptain’ flopped.

  40. Kevin:

    Vote Tingle (and any other candidate who gets a similar reaction out of you) below No Award, but leave off your ballot any candidate you don’t think even deserved to be on the ballot at all, for whatever reason.

    You get the same result, I think, by writing first the worthy candidates, then No Award, then Chuck Tingle, and below that all the rest (that is, unworthy candidates in your preferred order). That way, you can place the thing you absolutely hate the most last.

    On a Kevin-related note, I blogged yesterday about what Midamericon II could do to fight Rabid trolls (in case somebody is interested in that sort of thing): On Fighting Trolls and Going to Have to Ask Kevin Standlee.

    I came up with only two things:
    -not include certain works in the voter packet
    -note the offensiveness of offensive works in the voting form

  41. @Dann – I think we’re divided by changes in our language imposed by corporate PR created by people who view 1984 as a guide to managerial strategy and human resource management.

  42. Considering the brief bit we saw of The Flash in the BvS movie, I’m not all that sure he’s going to be anything like Barry Allen. Plus, the planned director just left the movie over creative differences, so who knows what will happen. And if Iris appears in the Justice League movie, Zack Snyder might decide it would be “fun” to kill off someone’s love interest like he does with an established character in BvS. In the New 52, Barry’s love interest was Patty Spivot, who I would expect to return to the TV show at some point. The recent comics have Barry and Iris coming closer and that is likely to continue with Rebirth.

    The other cameos seemed much closer to the current characters, although Jason Mamoa is definitely not the blond Aquaman that’s been pretty consistent throughout DC’s history.

  43. @Jon9: he uses ironically created terms (“SJWs”, “Cucks”) in un-ironic ways

    Um… I hate that I am even aware of this, but “cuck” (as a relatively recent shortening of “cuckold”) is not an ironically created term. It was originally used and popularized (by 4chan, and Gamergaters, and online white supremacists) in pretty much the same sense that people like Beale use it now: a way to insult men whom they consider to be weak or overly considerate of others’ feelings (especially if the others are female or non-white), implying that this means they would not enforce their girlfriend’s fidelity like a Real Man would. I am 99.999% sure that no one who’s not a vile bully has ever used the word (unless of course they’re writing imaginary dialogue that a vile bully might say).

    That’s unlike “SJW”, which did indeed originate ironically in more or less the same sense as “keyboard commando”, i.e. “that person takes themselves so seriously that they think their Internet comments literally constitute warfare in a noble cause.”

  44. @Lee, hasn’t Iris West been killed off at least once already in the comics? I was never a big DC reader but I remember being pretty traumatized by that as a kid when I picked up The Flash for a while, especially since they kind of did it twice (first it seemed she’d been subjected to a psychic fear overdose by the super-creepy one-off villain Clive Yorkin; then it turned out it was really Professor Zoom poking his hand through her head, so we got to think about how gross that would be).

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