Pixel Scroll 5/5/16 The Barnacles of Narnia

(1) LOST SIGNAL. John DeNardo shocked fans and writers alike by revealing today that SF Signal is shutting down.

When we started SF Signal in 2003, it was because we loved speculative fiction. Having a blog allowed us to share that love with other fans. We never dreamed it would have grown like it has. In these past 12 years and 10 months, we’ve shared our love of genre, we’ve provided a forum for other fans to come on board as contributors to also share their genre love, we gave authors a place to tell us about the exciting new worlds they’re creating, and I like to think we’ve made a ton of new friends. We even picked up a few Hugo Awards along the way. It’s been quite a ride.

But all good things come to an end.

It was a very hard decision to make, but we have decided to close down SF Signal. The reason is boringly simple: time. As the blog has grown, so has its demands for our attention. That is time we would rather spend with our families. We considered scaling back posts, but it felt like SF Signal would only be a shadow of its former self. So yes, it feels sudden, but a “cold turkey” exit seems like the right thing to do.

(2) GAMES OF FAME. Six classic games are being inducted into video game hall of fame – CBS News has the story.

game hall of fame

A video game that had players zapping space aliens with lasers and another that put them in covered wagons in 1848 have been inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame, along with four other games recognized for their influence on gaming and pop culture.

“Space Invaders” and “The Oregon Trail,” along with “Grand Theft Auto III,” ”Sonic the Hedgehog,” ”The Legend of Zelda” and “The Sims,” make up the class of 2016 honored Thursday at the hall inside The Strong museum in Rochester.

The winners were chosen from among 15 finalists culled from thousands of nominations from around the world. Contenders that missed the final cut were: “John Madden Football,” ”Elite,” ”Final Fantasy,” ”Minecraft,” ”Nurburgring,” ”Pokemon Red and Green,” ”Sid Meier’s Civilization,” ”Street Fighter II” and “Tomb Raider.”

(3) IT’S IMPOSSIBLE. Abigail Nussbaum, in Captain America: Civil War, launches her review with this lede:

It’s a bit of a strange thing to say, but I might have liked Captain America: Civil War better if it were a less good movie.  When films like The Dark Knight Rises or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice deliver rancid political messages wrapped in equally rancid plots and characterization, the reviewer’s job is made easier.  We can point to how a failure to recognize the actual complexity of a situation, or to imbue characters with full humanity, both informs and reflects the simplistic, quasi-fascist message of the movie.  Civil War is a trickier customer.  It tries–and on some level, manages–to be more intelligent and more thoughtful than something like Batman v Superman.  Its characters take the film’s central conflict seriously, discussing it rationally and trying to find a way to resolve it without descending into fisticuffs.  But even as they do so, they reveal the inherent impossibility of their project, the way the core assumptions of this entire genre combine to form a black hole that it can never escape.  I’ve said it before, but the minute you start taking superheroes seriously, and debating the rights and wrongs of them, only one conclusion is possible: that superheroes are a really bad idea, and that any fictional world that houses more than a handful of them will inevitably devolve into a horrifying dystopia in which the rule of law and the authority of democratic government are meaningless.

(4) SINGING IN THE SHOWER. Space.com told readers “Meteor Shower Spawned by Halley’s Comet Peaks This Week”.

Dusty debris that Halley’s Comet has shed on its 75-year-long laps around the sun slams into Earth’s atmosphere during the first week of May every year, creating an annual meteor shower known as the Eta Aquarids. (Another Halley-spawned shower, the Orionids, occurs every October.)

(5) SWIRSKY INTERVIEWS KOWAL. At Rachel Swirsky’s blog: “Silly Interview with Mary Robinette Kowal, intermittently teal storyteller”.

RS: A lot of novelists let short stories lapse when they embark on their novelling careers. You keep publishing strong short fiction, like last year’s “Midnight Hour” in Uncanny Magazine. How do you make time for short stories, and what do you get from them that you don’t get from longer fiction?

MRK: Honestly, these days I start a lot of the short stories while I’m teaching my Short Story Intensive. Part of the process is that I write along with the students in order to demonstrate how to start from a story seed and then develop it into a story. I often have a market in mind when I’m doing these, so the demonstration does double duty. The thing that I love about short fiction as a writer is that I get to experiment with a lot of different styles and ideas without the huge time investment of a novel. Plus, as a reader, I find that a short story can often deliver more of a sucker punch to the emotions and I kinda like that.

(6) SMACK ATTACK. J. R. R. Tolkien is pitted against George R. R. Martin in the latest installment of Epic Rap Battles of History. Tolkien’s shots include: ”You’re a pirate, you even stole my RR!”


  • May 5, 1961 — Astronaut Alan Shepard became the United States’ first man in space in a brief sub-orbital flight from Cape Canaveral.
  • May 5, 2002 Spider-Man is the first movie to top $100 million on opening weekend. (Remember when $100 million was a lot of money?)

(8) RARE ENDORSEMENT. John Picacio gave a strong boost to nominee Larry Elmore in an April 27 post “The 2016 Best Professional Artist Hugo Award”.

Larry Elmore is a legendary and deeply influential fantasy illustration icon, who has had a huge impact on generations of Dungeons & Dragons fans — game players, writers, artists, editors, publishers, designers, filmmakers, convention organizers — and beyond. More to the point, he has a major body of published eligible work in 2015 and that work doesn’t take extensive sleuthing to discern whether it’s eligible. His book The Complete Elmore Volume II contains over 700 drawings from a career dating back to 1981, and was produced and first published in the fall of 2015.

Was Larry Elmore amongst my nomination selections? No. He wasn’t.

Do I believe that ‘No Award’ is an option this year? It’s the Hugos. It’s always an option.

No disrespect to the other finalists, but Larry Elmore winning a Hugo would not be a lifetime achievement award but it would recognize a lifetime of professional art achievement by someone who is legitimately eligible this year.

The history of that winners list would be shinier with his name on it.

Larry Elmore responded in the comments –

thank you for all your nice words, I am honored to be nominated. I never, in my wildest dreams, ever thought of being nominated. I came from the gaming industry (my first big breaks) and it seems like that type of art has been ignored for many years, but I agree that game art has had a large influence on a couple of generations…and still does. Because I take the award seriously, I feel more than honored to be nominated. I have had a career that has spanned over 40 years, I have loved it. I am 67 and I paint or draw every day…I am obsessed I guess…..but I love it, I keep trying to get one good painting!!!!

(9) DIVE! DIVE! If you’re having this problem, Fred Kiesche offers a technological solution.

(10) DAMAGED. Kukuruyo, the artist behind Hugo nominee #GamerGater Life, is under attack. Like some of last year’s slated nominees he’s unwillingly become a ball in the game —

Since i publicy became a gamergate supporter, the ammount of reports i’ve gotten on art sites have increased, many times in very underserved cases (i got a drawing pulled because the characters had sweat. Yes, sweat…) as well as the amount of people lying about me on blogs and such. And i don’t mean making critiques of me, i mean outright lies (one guy even wrote about how i voted for some candidate in the past US elections, which is interesting considering i’m a spaniard living in Spain). Not only that, but my website began to have attemps to break in. At some point i was receiving more than 50 attempts to break in each day, until i upgraded my security.

But this broke into a new level when i was announced as a finalist for best Fan artist at the Hugo awards. Then people in the social justice circles discovered that i support gamergate, and since then, interesting things have been happening one after the other (aside from the wave of verbal attacks, of course).

First one of my gamergate related works got reported and banned from deviantart. Then someone picked a cheap fanart that i was commissioned to do, about a half nude Ms.marvel, and tried to frame me as a pedophile, because aparently the character has 16 in the original canon (something i even didn’t know), ignoring the fact that the character body was adult. This story was writen about in (as far as i know) a blog and then in a comic news article, expanding the idea that i’m a pedophile for an anime style fanart thats no different than the millions upon millions of anime character fanarts out there, and that i was somehow a terrible threat for teenagers out there who have their heroes destroyed by evil me. I was reported in devianart for “pedophilia” and the drawing was taken down. I got reported on twitter. The attemps to break into my website have come arround again. Then they contacted my advertising affiliates, telling them i was hosting child pornography, so they would cease to advertise with me. They acepted a middle ground solution at first, but then they changed their policies, and now i can no longer receive their service. Yes, and advertising website changed their policies just because of me… and just yesteday some guys where trying to get MARVEL to SUE ME because of a fanart!

But hey, i’m sure all of this is just a coincidence! this has nothing to do with the Hugo awards or gamergate. I’m sure it’s just that a whole lot of people randomly decided the same week to try to fuck me up in every way they could, right? this can’t possibly be related with people from a particular ideology, pissed off because someone with the wrong opinions got a Hugo nomination.

(11) TINGLE IS HARD TO TROLL. The Daily Dot compiled the nominee’s tweets to show how “Chuck Tingle counter-trolls the Gamergaters who nominated his erotica for a Hugo Award”.

As hilarious and thorough as these VOXMAN owns are, mere Twitter owns aren’t enough to defeat a campaign whose main goal seems to be attention for Day. He’s expressed, in so many words, that hate can only make him stronger.

That’s where the third prong of Tingle’s trolling makes a difference. As the Daily Dot’s April Siese discussed in her recent profile of Tingle, the hard and sexy author’s true identity remains a mystery. He cannot very well reveal himself by showing up to an award ceremony. So, in his place, he has invited perhaps the one person internet alt-rightists and Gamergate-adjacent agitators hate most.

Zoe Quinn, game developer and anti-harassment activist, was the original target of Gamergate after an ex-boyfriend revealed alleged details of her sex life online. She’s the boogeyman (boogeywoman?) Gamergate frothingly rose up to “defeat,” their imaginary platonic ideal of a “Social Justice Warrior.”

(12) WHAT YOU KNOW V. WHAT YOU CAN PROVE. Andrew Liptak finds a great deal of hearsay to repeat in “Gaming the System: The 1987 Hugo Awards” at Kirkus Reviews. On the other hand, it’s hearsay that a lot of people haven’t read before.

During the lead-up to this convention, Hubbard’s interests seemed to have helped beyond mere sponsorship of convention booklets and workshops. Fans have alleged that Hubbard’s followers worked as a block and voted in such numbers that Black Genesis, the second of the Mission Earth series, found itself a Hugo finalist for Best Novel.  Ian Watson, writing in Conspiracy Theories, noted that the presence of the book as a finalist, was suspect.

“Did all those who nominated [Black Genesis] in the first place merely have supporting memberships — suggesting that the only reason for buying the membership was to nominate BG? Furthermore, how many of the people who nominated BG only nominated BG and nothing else? If we could discover this information from Paul Kincaid [Award Administrator] then we might have an indicator of whether BG was in fact “bought” on to the ballot.”

(13) CURING AWARD FATIGUE. Joe Sherry at Nerds of a Feather, in “Other Genre Awards: Or, So You’re Tired of the Hugo Awards”, suggests awards alternatives to revitalize your jaded taste buds.

So, you’re tired of reading about the Hugo Awards, are you? All the fighting and arguing and gnashing of teeth got you down? Do you still like Awards and the recognition of good things? We have some awards for you! If you’re newer to this whole genre awards scene, the first place I would recommend you start (besides this article) is the Science Fiction Awards Database. There’s quite a bit to peruse and a full directory of all the genre awards.While it is certainly possible that they are missing something, it does seem pretty darn exhaustive. Since there are a horde of genre awards out there, the real question, then, is “What are you looking for from a literary award?”

(14) RULES IDEA. Kevin Standlee’s next proposal – “Plus 2”.

Here’s yet another proposal to try and counteract bad actors (I call them “Griefers”) trying to disrupt the Hugo Awards by deliberately nominating works that they expect will be disliked by the majority of the membership as a whole, taking advantage of the “first-five-past-the-post” nature of the nominating round. The other proposals I’ve written up depend on the entire membership participating in a second round of voting, either with 3-Stage Voting (members vote down potential finalists) or Double Nominations (members select finalists from a list of top 15 semi-finalists).

This proposal invokes the subjective judgment call of the Worldcon Committee (in practice, of the Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee), hereafter just “the Committee” or “the Administrators,” to add works to the final ballot. This proposal would authorize the Committee to add up to two additional works to the final ballot. The Committee’s selection would be limited to adding not more than two works from among those works that were among the top 15 nominees or that appeared on at least 5% of the nominating ballots cast in that category.

(15) THE VIEW FROM SP4. Kate Paulk catches up on her Hugo commentary in “Not An Action Report”.

Let’s just say I do not have much patience or goodwill for those who seem to think that I wasn’t sincere in congratulating the Hugo finalists last week. Sweetheart, just because you can’t lie straight in bed doesn’t mean that other people aren’t capable of honesty.

As for the charming specimen who wants to chase up the ballots of all puppy-aligned voters and throw them out (presumably without refunding memberships – even though every one of those ballots was cast by someone who paid for the privilege, no mention of this little issue was made that I saw (although I freely admit that I could have missed it even if it was in huge flashing neon letters)), mine bears very little resemblance to anyone’s lists, including the Sad Puppies 4 list.

Why? Because SP4 collated a whole lot of people’s preferences. My preferences don’t look like anyone else’s. There might be some overlap here and there, but I’m weird even by geek standards.

The second paragraph doubtless is a response to ideas discussed in Facebook’s Journeymen of Fandom group thread, as quoted by Vox Day this week.

(16) DESIGNATED DRIVER. How did this sober advice get on the internet?

(17) INSEUSSANCE. RedWombat made a metrical prediction in a comment.

“Pooh-pooh to the fans!” he was grinchily humming.
“They’re finding out now that No Award is coming!

They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
Their blogs will be blogged and their cries will be cried
My Xanatos Gambit will not be denied!

That’s a noise,” grinned the Grinch, “that I simply must hear!”
He paused, and the Grinch put a hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising out of a tweet
It started in sour but then it went sweet!

And this tweet wasn’t sad!
Why this tweet sounded glad!

Every fan down in Fanville, (well, not quite all)
(Getting fans to agree is an order quite tall)
Was laughing at Tingle’s great big brass…fortitude.

He hadn’t stopped fans from enjoying the Hugo, just the same!
He tried to stop fandom, but fandom still came!
(Though not quite like in books with Chuck Tingle’s name.)

And what happened next? Well, on Twitter they say
The Grinch’s gall bladder grew three sizes that day.

And so the Grinch stands, while elk snivel and whine
Claiming “Don’t you all get it?! Victory’s mine!

Stop thinking it’s funny! Stop having fun!
Why won’t you acknowledge that I’ve really won?!”

But in Fanville it’s Christmas, and fans know it is true–
That this time the Grinch lost to…Literally Who.

 [Thanks to Doctor Science, JJ, Mark-kitteh, Hampus Eckerman, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

194 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/5/16 The Barnacles of Narnia

  1. @Dann

    You know what else is considered unacceptable in the civilized world? Drawing sexualized pictures of minors and arranging greater publicity of them. Your selective outrage, and what you choose to care about as examples of evil leftism, are, as always, quite the thing to behold.

    Also Dann, if you are such a libertarian, why this hostility to private property? This is Marvel’s intellectual property this jerk is infringing on – why no defense of Marvel’s property rights? Or is your libertarianism as selective as your outrage?

  2. @TYP

    Curiously, I’ve not commented on his (assuming here) artwork at all. Nor have I commented on the issue of fan art vs. copyright infringement.


  3. (e.g. you have penned some really distasteful art, or you have infringed on copyright)

    Or you have penned some really distasteful stuff that infringes on copyright.

    If I were Marvel, I would not be pleased with sexually explicit fan “art” of a teenage character.

  4. @Dann

    Then what topic are you commenting on? Because right now it seems to be you arguing against a position of “leftists can’t be bullies” without any sign of anyone else having actually taken that position.

  5. Speaking of barnacles, Lackington’s has published possibly the oddest story of the year so far; when Sara Saab sets out to write of the loves of sessile crustaceans

    I haven’t read the story, but it probably isn’t odd enough.

    On an utterly unrelated note, tiny visitors from space agree that Ben Carson is an idiot.

  6. At some point, whether a tactic is right or wrong has more to do with which side you are on than the tactic itself.

    As for Project Wonderful, I avidly consume a very small portion of their work–the Menage A 3 cluster of strips–and have no problem with them disassociating completely from someone they think is going to screw up their ability to continue publishing. Right now, every time they show a female nipple in Ma3, they lose ad revenue for that page, because a large subset of advertisers won’t advertise on a page with a female nipple showing. That is, of course, absolutely absurd on so many levels that it is Schrodinger-level funny|not funny. Given that absurdity stuck between their ribs, being outraged over this is even more absurd. Which takes some doing.

  7. What other reason could there be for selecting those two specific targets at those specific times than politically inspired vandalism?

    I had no idea that “correlation does not equal causation” was such a liberal notion. If I go hard right, does that mean that when I water the garden, it WILL cause rain?

    Hmm…abandon my principles, but become a rain god! Tough call.

    (Of course, massively increased traffic bringing one to attention, attempts to hastily add new servers to handle new traffic and adding new vulnerabilities…so many variables…)

  8. @Darren

    Having just read your article, and then the story, I can confirm it is precisely odd enough.
    (And I now know much more about barnacles than I ever needed to)

  9. I don’t think Kukuroyo is much of an artist. I also have little sympathy for someone who wants the benefits of greater exposure of their art without understanding that this means a lot of these new people may not like your art.

    Advertisers have to be careful as many activists boycott advertisers who support things they disapprove of. If Project Wonderful did not change their policy, their entire business might be threatened as this story gains greater traction.

    I have no doubt that Kukuroyo’s website is under attack now. He’s gone from a small pond to a shark-filled lagoon. I’m sure that those participating in DNOS attacks have many different politics though. And some are just doing it for the lulz. A side effect of going from being a small fish in a small pond to being a tiny fish in the greater ocean of fandom.

  10. Has anybody thought of the idea of asking the Rabid Puppies what they are trying to accomplish. It is possible to identify the slate voters. Send them a questionnaire. Ask their opinions on proposed rule changes to prevent their sort of activity. I some of them had to think about what they are doing, they might stop doing it.

  11. @Dann

    Yet that was the item you selected to start warning of evil leftist bullying – the anger at kukuruyo, his works, and the exposure he had received from the Rabid Puppies. He draws child porn, he is publicized by the Puppies, he draws flak for it – and your suddenly talking about leftist bullying.

    Playing hide the ball may save you from stating your opinions openly, but we just have to work with what you imply, and what things activate your outrage about the evil leftists. In this case, it was the point in the scroll about kukuruyo – it’s all on you if people drew the rational inference from that.

  12. @Milt Stevens: If a questionnaire were sent to the voters whose ballots were based entirely or mostly on the Rabid Puppy slate, it wouldn’t surprise me if Vox Day were to post a slate of responses to be given to that questionnaire.

  13. Soooooo

    Last year, when their works were exposed to readers outside their usual circles, it was a bunch of people (Freer, Marmot, et al) being shocked at the lack of universal adoration and promptly getting all angry that this resulted in them getting bad reviews.

    This year, it’s someone discovering that when your sexualised images of a minor, and of a character belonging to one of the most litigious entities in the world goes out to a wider circle, advertisers and other businesses would back away from you at lightspeed.

    How did we ever get such a perfect collision of the “Consequences are for other people” and “Criticism is censorship” trains of thought?

  14. What other reason would there be for such a dedicated effort to hack his server?

    The same reason that anyone tries to hack servers. People routinely try to hack into servers all the time. Servers that get more traffic get more attempts. Becoming more well known makes one a more attractive target, for reasons that have nothing to do with ideology. The best selling books have the most one-star reviews. The most watched videos on YouTube have the most dislikes. Being noticed makes you a target, simply because you are noticed.

  15. Also, becoming high profile in a Gamergate-related issue – which the Rabid Puppies undoubtedly are – is bound to attract a whole ton of 4chan assholery. It’s basically a playpen for trolls who will target indiscriminately as long as it generates attention amongst their peers.

  16. @ Paul Weimer

    I will miss working for SF Signal. Judging from the reactions on the internet, it seems that most people know me, if they know me, are for the SF Signal Mind Melds–even if I was just one of several people doing it.

    I know you (that is, I’m familiar with you — wouldn’t want to make a stronger claim) from podcasts. I spend a lot of commute time listening to SFF podcasts but I despair at my difficulties in finding time for online SFF magazines.

  17. MC DuQuesne – I was being a little hyperbolic last night. She’s not the lowest of the low for supporting a series of essays that mock and make light of horrific child abuse solely to smear someone she doesn’t like, but she’s close.

    Dann665 – Remember, this guy is a gator. There’s a good chance that, if these attacks are actually happening (haven’t seen any evidence they are, but I haven’t looked), they are being perpetrated by his fellow griefers. Remember the 10 bomb threats called in at a GG event?

  18. Dann665:

    “For those looking for examples of leftist bullying there other day, here is the next in a long string of examples. Vandalism and other criminal activity is not/are not acceptable “consequences” in a civilized world.”

    So thats the next example. Then please answer me this. How do you know who is behind these attacks and because of this, their political ideology? Could you please tell is who they are? And have you gone to the police with this?

  19. How do you know who is behind these attacks and because of this, their political ideology?

    Predicted responses, in order of likelihood:
    1) “Who else would it be? Who else could it be? NOBODY. It’s INCONCEIVABLE”
    2) Goalpost moving and subject changing
    3) Silence
    4) Unsubstantiated claims that “numerous SJW extremists” have “pretty much admitted it”

  20. Who could forget the well known leftist group that used vandalism, such as burning crosses on lawns, to enforce their worldview?

  21. Milt Stevens: It is possibleHas anybody thought of the idea of asking the Rabid Puppies what they are trying to accomplish. It is possible to identify the slate voters. Send them a questionnaire.

    To maintain voter anonymity, it would have to be the Hugh admins who sent out such a questionnaire, and I don’t think they have the time. Or the spoons. (I certainly wouldn’t, if I were trying to run the Hugos this year–or any year, for that matter.) If you’re talking about identifying slate voters from their public postings–well, I’m not going to volunteer to troll around in the muck at Beale’s blog to try to contact specific people privately. If nothing else, I suspect I’d get accused of trying/planning to dox someone. And various filers who have posted there or elsewhere in an attempt to communicate publicly do not seem to have had a pleasant (or useful) experience.

    Besides, I think that most of the RP seem to believe they have stated their reasons for doing what they are doing; the problem is, the rest of the world just isn’t listening!

  22. @Jared Dashoff,
    Thanks for the info on Hugo Committee awards.

    Also: Congratulations! You got there before Kevin Standlee!

  23. Purely in the tradition of sharing information about book sales, I’ll note that my publisher Bella Books is having a massive inventory-reduction sale this weekend with 600 paperback titles available for $2.99 (presumably plus shipping). Only Daughter of Mystery is covered by the sale, but it’s a great opportunity to check out the series, especially if you prefer paper to electrons.

    (The link is–very selfishly–only to my title, but the home page for the site has the link to the sale as a whole. Bella does distribution for Bold Strokes and a number of other small presses, and their books are included in the sale as well.)

  24. Y’know, last night I had the notion of checking kukuroyo’s page to check for more obviously underaged character “fanart”. Then I realized that I had more productive and enjoyable ways to spend my time. Like flossing my teeth. Or bathing the cat.

    Griefers gonna grief. Hackers gonna hack. Especially such a suddenly high-profile target.

    In other news, apparently the costumes have been revealed for the Power Rangers reboot. The internet appears to hate them. I’m shocked, shocked I say. But at least I haven’t seen anyone claim that they’re raping their childhood. (Yet.)

  25. Thanks for the tip, Heather. Most of those 600 books I don’t have the faintest idea about, but Parties in Congress by Colette Moody is a nice romance of a political candidate and a staffer for her opponent. The decency of people in this story might make a good antidote to election stress.

  26. Project Wonderful did advertising for an awful lot of strips that appeared to involve nudity and young women. […] Project Wonderful is being just a bit hypocritical, IMHO.

    Not really. From the Bleeding Cool page above:

    we’re not not going to accept publishers that include content involving nude images of third-party characters.

    Nude images of your own characters, such as Menage a 3 mentioned above, is just fine. Nude images of somebody else’s characters is where they’ve decided to draw the line.

    Also regarding the Bleeding Cool page: hunh, I obviously hadn’t been paying enough attention, because I had either forgotten or never learned that Project Wonderful was run by Ryan North.

  27. On early books about chucking space rocks:

    My first thought was that there must be instances of this obvious idea in very early science fiction stories. But my second thought was that we haven’t actually understood the physics of hypervelocity impacts that long. Case in point is Meteor Crater in Arizona, the freshest largish astrobleme on Earth. In 1902 a geologist named Daniel Barringer became convinced that Meteor Crater was, indeed, meteoritic in origin and not volcanic. But he also thought that there was a gigantic lump of iron roughly the diameter of the crater buried at the bottom. He started a mining company and spent more than 20 years (and more than 600,000 early-20th century dollars) attempting to drill down to the mountain of iron. Eventually, Barringer asked for the advice of an astronomer named Forest Moulton in 1929. Moulton thought about the concept, did the math, and realized that an object traveling at extremely high speeds would make a crater much larger than itself—and be shattered/vaporized in the process. (Another scientist came to the same conclusion independently in 1924. For details on this, look at chapter 5– Explosive Impact–in Meteorite Craters by Kathleen Mark.)

    So before the mid- to late-1920s, anyone writing about using a space rock to kill a city would have to use a space rock the same size as the city. And forget about the idea of causing mass extinctions with a rock 10 or 20 miles across.

    (For pure entertainment value, check this supposedly non-fiction book from 1980 by a guy convinced that aliens are and have been deliberately bombing earth with comets and asteroids for millions of years.)

    ETA a nice photo of the results of a hypervelocity impact experiment here.

  28. For the record, so many bots tried to spoof logins at the teeny little garden blog I used to run that I had to turn off 99% of notifications, and that’s just the run-of-the-mill casual crap, nevermind the occasional serious assault on the server. And my credit cards have been stolen numerous times, my email used on spam, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

    And yet, I somehow did not blame right-wing extremists or even gators or political enemies, I just said “Internet’s gonna Internet.” Because I, y’know, understand the vast impersonal forces at work there. It’s just not all about me.

  29. Doug Piero Carey on May 6, 2016 at 7:56 am said:

    The committee probably doesn’t wish to involve itself in this way though. I understand if this is so. But I want to see the guy who put a lot of fun back into a rather gloomy balloting get some recognition for his contribution.

    Do it yourself! I’ve handed out awards to people doing good work that just come from me. It’s fun!

  30. @Mark

    Then what topic are you commenting on? Because right now it seems to be you arguing against a position of “leftists can’t be bullies” without any sign of anyone else having actually taken that position.

    A couple days ago, it was suggested that conservatives are the only bullies worth worrying about. I disagreed and was promptly hit with predictable requests for citations.

    Later on Camestros did acknowledge that obnoxious behavior can be found anywhere, but suggested that such behavior isn’t simply coincident with alt-right ideology but is instead informed by that ideology. I didn’t respond any further, but I’ll add now that obnoxious behavior is equally informed by extreme leftism…at the very least.

    This item popped up today and several commenters blithely (IMHO) excused the attempted vandalism/theft of computer services.

    I thought it a reasonable opportunity to point out the problem with dismissing criminal behavior and to point out that such behavior exists well into the left as well as other corners of the political pool.


    Thanks for providing the context. I’ve little interest for whatever the heck kukuroyo is calling art.

    Relative to other questions/responses, I absolutely have not seen proof of leftist involvement. However, I look across our culture where such behavior by left is quite provable and IMO it isn’t a major stretch to suggest that this current event is politically inspired as well. At the very least, I would move slowly to discount the political angle instead of quickly dismissing it out of hand.

    Or more bluntly, sure I have no proof that is was leftists. Nor have you any proof that it wasn’t. Proving a negative is frequently the more difficult task.


  31. I disagreed and was promptly hit with predictable requests for citations.

    That you don’t seem to have answered with anything but hand-waving.

  32. @Alexvdl

    Who could forget the well known leftist group that used vandalism, such as burning crosses on lawns, to enforce their worldview?

    Well, as we all know, the Democratic Party instituted all sorts of racist policies in the South, and so leftists are the real racists.

    @RedWombat – I haven’t done this in a while, but I used to check the spam statistics on our mail servers. From what I remember, about 90% of all connections were refused, or the message wasn’t ultimately accepted. Another 5-8% of incoming messages were marked by our filters as spam. Ultimately, somewhere between 2-5% of all incoming email was non-malicious.

    As far as web traffic goes, all sites are under constant attack – attempts to brute force FTP/SSH logins, attempts to brute force WordPress logins, attempts to exploit bugs in various PHP-based software, etc., etc..

    Though DDoS attacks – those are more rare. Usually they involve younger folk who are involved in some pissing contest, or governments doing the same (that’s a lot more rare).

  33. From the “Voxman doesn’t do irony” department, he’s got a bit of a screed up blaming “SJW hackers” for attacking Kukuruyo (and also quoting a bunch of people from this thread – everyone wave to the Voxman!) and generally moaning about vile “SJW mobbing”…immediately followed by an article calling for his minions to band together and dox someone for daring to leave him a bad Amazon review.

  34. Dann: Or more bluntly, sure I have no proof that is was leftists. Nor have you any proof that it wasn’t. Proving a negative is frequently the more difficult task.

    Yes, and quoting Criswell in Plan 9 From Outer Space doesn’t help your argument.

  35. If I may indulge in a brief accidentally-sf related ramble, earlier today, something (and I can’t remember what) made me think of a character from a soap opera (I grew up with a mother and grandmother obsessed with them, so of course I was highly exposed to them every day, too) named Mikkos Cassadine (a name that is pretty hard to forget.) This was a “big bad” who had invented a device he named the Ice Princess, capable of freezing a whole city, (which is pretty science fictional in itself.)

    So I do a bit of nostalgia googling, and find a clip on Youtube of his climatic death scene (which I still remembered, but hadn’t seen since 1981) and–wait a minute! Isn’t that Baltar from the original BSG? Check Wikipedia, and yep, not only Baltar, but the very first Klingon to appear on Star Trek (reprising the role on DSN) and the voice of Apocalypse in an X-men animated series. Impressive SF cred that I never realized until now. (At least I remembered Q from back when he was Eugine Bradford.)

    So enjoy a cheesy early 80’s moment from a SF legend.

  36. @Dann

    This item popped up today and several commenters blithely (IMHO) excused the attempted vandalism/theft of computer services.

    I’ve just run down the first page and can’t find a single reaction of that type about the alleged hacking. I see people saying it’s bad, and people saying the consequences from his ads and hosting were, well, consequences, but not one person excusing the alleged hacking.

    Other than that, I don’t see what Camestros said as excluding other groups from bad behaviour but I haven’t followed the whole conversation. Your need to carry it into a new thread two days later and address it to the whole thread rather than just continuing the conversation in place rather bemuses me though.

    @Darren Garrison, thank you for the Brief History of Space Rocks, that was interesting.

  37. From my local news crimewatch:
    “UCPD arrested Antonio Magalhaes, 52, at Durant and Bowditch on suspicion of bike theft, carrying a concealed dagger, possession of heroine…”
    Typical bad guy stuff.

  38. @dann665:

    FWIW, I knew people 40+ years ago who would do things which would make a DDoS look like a Boy Scout’s good deed for the day-and they did them for no other reason than they were bored.

    Their political views were from across the spectrum and also totally irrelevant to their reasons for causing mischief with bank computers and the like. It’s a whole lot easier to do that kind of thing now, at least from the standpoint of the available technology.

    Could it be leftists? Yes, it could. Could it be some bored group of teenagers in Moscow? Yes, it could. Could it be someone looking for a ripe target for mayhem? Yes, it could. Could it be VFMs, stirring the pot? Yes, it could.

    The problem with the internets isn’t the global village. It’s the global village idiots.

  39. I will note, too, that there’s not really a contradiction between a site choosing not to allow the nude representation of a character who is a minor and a site being willing to host images of nude ADULT characters.

    While I have run into erotic archives which wink at people who put forth the thinnest veneer of deniability about the ages of their characters (in art or writing, nb, NOT in pictures of real people), others tend to be among the harshest guardians against anything with a whiff of child porn, because it makes their legal activities more difficult and increases the chances they will be shut down.

    All that PLUS he added infringement issues …

    (All this as I edit a scene in which the exact age of a character has just become an issue for another character…)

  40. @glenn — Yes, exactly. I may not like the DMCA, but it’s what we have as law. I meant illicit stuff. What Kukuruyu describes as, ‘my website began to have attempts to break in.’

    @dann — I don’t agree this is an example of leftist bullying, necessarily, but certainly, leftist bullying is a problem, when it happens. Really, political bullying of any kind, when it happens, is a problem. From any of its various angles.

    What other reason would there be for such a dedicated effort to hack his server?

    Surely you admit the existence of, in older parlance, script kiddies, who go after, among other things, people suddenly in the public eye? If not, I’m a little baffled.

    Later, … IMO it is not unreasonable to suggest…

    Well, I don’t agree with your particular choice in defining the narrative. But I appreciate the thought. It’s nice technique, if a little too overt in some of its language. (I feel like I’m talking about a vintage of wine, here.)

  41. @Dann

    I absolutely have not seen proof of leftist involvement

    I stand corrected. My predictions of various bad faith responses were wrong. My apologies. Your simple admission that you’ve got no real evidence is refreshingly candid.

    I look across our culture where such behavior by left is quite provable and IMO it isn’t a major stretch to suggest that this current event is politically inspired as well. At the very least, I would move slowly to discount the political angle instead of quickly dismissing it out of hand.

    Followed by a revision of the original accusation which, while still largely wrong in my opinion, is not entirely unreasonable. Very promising.

    Or more bluntly, sure I have no proof that is was leftists. Nor have you any proof that it wasn’t.

    Followed by the resounding thud as the burden of proof (now weighed down by an added Argumentum ad Ignorantiam) is dropped on the wrong side of the table

    Ah well, two out of three ain’t bad, I guess

  42. Dann665:

    “This item popped up today and several commenters blithely (IMHO) excused the attempted vandalism/theft of computer services.”

    Which commenters?

    “However, I look across our culture where such behavior by left is quite provable and IMO it isn’t a major stretch to suggest that this current event is politically inspired as well.”

    Is it a major stretch to believe that the attacks are made by conservatives? It is my belief that they are more puritan than people on the left. And the attacks Hugos has been against all fans over the political spectra.

    For me, this is a typical example of us having no bloody idea who is behind the attacks of if there even has been attacks. To then, as you did, say that this was an example of leftist bullying was baseless and extremely unnecessary.

  43. Meh, I work online, and as such hear about/experience DDoS attacks more than once every month. I have some sympathy for Kukuruyo because DDoS and other attacks are fucking horrible to go through and cut deep into revenue streams if they’re done right. But at the same time his art is a) not good, b) infringing on copyright, c) pornographic…

    So my sympathy for him is rather limited.

  44. Personal responsibility and knowledge about their industry continues to be lacking among those happy to be on the RP slate. Reading and understanding TOS and contracts is also sadly lacking. The world needs to step up in how we educate our kids and possibly start required reeducation for reading comprehension of adults if they can’t pass certain basic tests.

    As to hackers: hackers gonna hack. They don’t need a political reason to target someone. If one becomes high profile or is having their 15 minutes of fame in the area a hacker follows their gonna hack just because they can.

  45. Recent reads — on my blog today I review T. Kingfisher’s The Raven and the Reindeer.

    Pull-quote: This isn’t really a review. I don’t have enough emotional detachment to write a review. I love this book with the blazing passion of a thousand suns. I’m sitting here almost crying at the thought that I had to wait until I was fifty-seven (almost fifty-eight!) years old before having a chance to read this book.

  46. Purely in the tradition of sharing information about book sales, I’ll note that my publisher Bella Books is having a massive inventory-reduction sale this weekend with 600 paperback titles available for $2.99 (presumably plus shipping). Only Daughter of Mystery is covered by the sale, but it’s a great opportunity to check out the series, especially if you prefer paper to electrons.

    Which, in a moment of typical good timing on my part, I bought yesterday. Oh, well.

  47. IMO it is not unreasonable to suggest that the folks that have channeled it into vandalism probably have a leftist perspective on the world.

    I hear what you’re saying, Dann, and the attacks are wrong, and occam’s razor would suggest that the likelihood at least of the perpetrator being of an opposing worldview to Vox and Co is high, but I can’t help think you’re overstating this type of activity as a tool of the left rather than of outliers and fringe extremists, particularly in the context of online culture wars. It’s not the sff lefty SJWs who joined forces in a big online movement dedicated to bullying, harassment and raising online attacks into a repulsive art form that makes the efforts of one guy trying to hack a site look tame, such that their very name is a byword for that sort of thing. It’s the other crowd.

  48. > “… the home page for the site has the link to the sale as a whole.”

    I’ve read … (quick count) … only 11 of those 600 books. So much still to read in the world, yay! Of those I have read, here are the ones I would particularly recommend:

    Daughter of Mystery, by Heather Rose Jones. Obviously. In case anyone here still doesn’t know, it’s an excellent fantasy novel of intrigue, manners, and magic, in which an unexpected inheritance leads a young women to fall afoul of a tangle of politics. If you haven’t bought Daughter of Mystery, go buy Daughter of Mystery. Seriously. It’s fantastic. Then go get the sequel.

    Broken Wings by L-J Baker. This book is great! Also highly, highly recommended. A very well-written fantasy novel. It’s a secondary world fairy fantasy, but has the “feel” of good urban fantasy. Excellent characters, an interesting world, and strong themes about the effects of religious prejudice and the aftereffects of traumatic experiences.

    The Empress and the Acolyte by Jane Fletcher. This is a really good book from Jane Fletcher’s most consistently good series, about a world where some children are randomly born with magic powers so strong that ordinary humans are basically helpless against them. It’s also the third book in the series, and the first two do not appear to be on sale. I’d very much recommend the series as a whole, but will note that the first book starts a bit slow — the series really kicks off in the second book and never looks back. (A couple of other books by Jane Fletcher are also on sale — Wolfsbane Winter, which is a stand-alone, and Rangers at Roadsend, which is a relatively stand-alone part of a different, looser series. I enjoyed both all right, but I’m not entirely sure either is the best place to start on Fletcher.)

    Nightshade by Shea Godfrey. A fantasy novel of political intrigue. A princess is sent to enemy kingdom for an arranged political marriage, and finds herself falling in love with the wrong royal. Plots and counterplots ensue. It’s pretty good, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s the first book of a series, and the sequel, Blackstone, is out now (although not part of the sale.) Blackstone wasn’t quite as good as the first, but still good enough that I’m going to keep reading the series.

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