Pixel Scroll 6/19/18 I Get No Glyphs From Sham Flames

(1) MEXICANX. The final four of 50 Mexicanx Initiative recipients have been announced by John Piciacio.

(2) DEEP DISH READING SERIES. Chicago’s Deep Dish SF/F reading series will resume at Volumes Book Cafe beginning in September. Here is the schedule:

September 6, 2018
November 8, 2018
March 7, 2019
May 9, 2019

Join us from 7 – 8:30 p.m. for a rapid-fire reading from the best of Chicago’s SF/F scene!

If you’re interested in reading with us, drop the SLF’s director, Mary Anne Mohanraj, a note — [email protected], with the subject line READING SERIES. We welcome beginners, emerging, and established writers, though if you have a book coming out next year, do let us know, as we’ll try to schedule you for a featured slot.

Co-sponsored by the Speculative Literature Foundation (www.speclit.org), SFWA (www.sfwa.org), and the Chicago Nerds Social Club (www.chicagonerds.org).

(3) BUILDING THIS WORLD. Malka Older’s talk on “Speculative Resistance” at #PDF18 is available on YouTube. Think about worldbuilding as an activist tool and a planner tool.

(4) NEWS TO THEM. We should be celebrating when someone is one of today’s Lucky 10,000 — A. Merc Rustad encourages the idea in a Twitter thread that starts here.


(5) IT’S WAR. Manchester, UK theatergoers can enlist for War With The Newts, with the campaign to be staged October 2-6.

The creators of smash-hit “Bin Laden: The One Man Show” bring you Karel Capek’s apocalyptic science-fiction satire re-imagined for a Europe of tomorrow. Global risk and technological revolution come together in this immersive experience from Knaïve Theatre. Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Witness the rise and fall of a new(t) capitalism. Deep in the bowels of an oyster-dredging vessel, an ocean of opportunity arises as a new resource makes contact. With live surround sound installation by sonic artist Robert Bentall.

At the discretion of The Company life jackets may be provided.

(6) CHECK THE BACK OF YOUR CLOSET. Yahoo! Finance advises “Your old video games could be worth serious cash”.

That’s right, those vintage consoles and games your mom dumped in the basement years ago could be worth some serious cash to the right buyer. Got a copy of “Nintendo World Championships 1990?” Then you’re looking at $100,000. But it’s not all about the cash. Many collectors are more interested in rounding out their personal game libraries, reliving the games they loved as children or simply exploring the history of the gaming industry first-hand.

(7) TIME TUNNELS. The New York Transit Museum’s exhibition “Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics” runs from June 21 through January 6, 2019.

New York’s rich visual vernacular is a colorful setting for illustrated stories, so it comes as no surprise that our iconic transportation system plays a starring role in comics and graphic novels. Drawing on satirical cartoons, comic strips and comic books from the 19th through the 21st centuries, Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics is a raucous ride through New York’s transit system from a range of visual storytellers. The exhibit includes such luminaries as Winsor McCay, Will Eisner, Bill Griffith, Roz Chast, Ronald Wimberly and Julia Wertz whose work demonstrates the influence that mass transit has on the stories that are irrevocably woven into the cultural fabric of New York City.

The Big Apple is often as important as the people (and creatures) in comics narratives, and the creators of these fantastic stories draw inspiration from the world around them. The transit system serves as the scene for heroic rescues, as secret lairs for supervillains, and as the site for epic battles of wills. Subways, railroads, streetcars, and buses can whisk heroes to far-flung corners of the city, or serve as a rogue’s gallery of unusual characters.

(8) SPACE FORCE. More Star Wars? “Trump Calls For ‘Space Force’ To Defend U.S. Interests Among The Stars” – NPR has the story.

President Trump Monday announced his intention to create a “space force” that would oversee the military’s activities off-world.

“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space,” Trump said at a meeting of the National Space Council, which oversees the nation’s space policy. “We must have American dominance in space. So important.”

“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That’s a big statement,” the president continued.

Experts were quick to point out that President Trump cannot actually create a space force. A new branch of the military can only be established by an act of Congress — something that hasn’t happened since the Air Force was split from the Army in 1947.

The CBS News story “Trump directs Pentagon to create military Space Force” adds:

Mr. Trump provided no details and no timetable, but the establishment of a new branch of the military would be a major undertaking requiring extensive debate and congressional support.

The Pentagon’s chief spokesperson Dana W. White issued a statement suggesting the process will take some time.

“We understand the President’s guidance. Our Policy Board will begin working on this issue, which has implications for intelligence operations for the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. Working with Congress, this will be a deliberate process with a great deal of input from multiple stakeholders.”

In a letter to lawmakers last year, Defense Secretary James Mattis “strongly” urged Congress to reconsider a proposal to establish a separate “Space Corps,” saying it was “premature” to set up a new organization “at a time I am trying to reduce overhead.”

(9) SPEAK OF THE DEVIL. “Amazon Echo comes to Marriott hotels” reports the BBC. The fannish possibilities are endless…

Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa will be installed in some US Marriott-owned hotels, following a partnership between the two firms.

Its functions will include ordering room service, housekeeping and providing concierge advice, the firm said.

The Wynn Resorts chain in Las Vegas installed the Amazon Echo in around 5,000 hotel suites in 2016.

Marriott is reported to have considered both Alexa and Apple’s Siri.

(10) HOMEBUILT. “The $300 system in the fight against illegal images” is a story reminiscent of Gernbackian inventor SF — but for a cause that old SF probably couldn’t have discussed in print.

A security researcher has built a system for detecting illegal images that costs less than $300 (£227) and uses less power than a lightbulb.

Christian Haschek, who lives in Austria, came up with the solution after he discovered an image showing child sex abuse had been uploaded on his image hosting platform Pictshare.

He called the police, who told him to print it out and bring it to them.

However it is illegal to possess images of child abuse, digitally or in print.

“Erm… not what I planned to do,” Mr Haschek said.

Instead he put together a homegrown solution for identifying and removing explicit images.

Mr Haschek used three Raspberry PIs, powering two Intel Movidius sticks, which can be trained to classify images. He also used an open source algorithm for identifying explicit material called NSFW (Not Safe For Work), available free of charge from Yahoo.

(11) REVEALED. “And just look at that gorgeous cover by Reiko Murakami,” says JJ. Click through for a view — “A Smugglerific Cover: THE NINETY-NINTH BRIDE by Catherine Faris King”.

About the Novel

“Sister, would you please tell me a story?”

Dunya is fifteen when her father, the Grand Vizier, gives her over to the mad Sultan for his bride. Ninety-eight Sultanas before Dunya have been executed, slaughtered at the break of dawn following their first night with their new husband. But on her own wedding night, the ninety-ninth bride finds help from the mysterious and beautiful Zahra, who proposes to tell the Sultan a story…

The Ninety-Ninth Bride is a story of sisters and magic, and a kingdom on the brink of disaster.


  • June 19, 1964The Twilight Zone aired its series finale, “The Bewitchin’ Pool,” written by Earl Hamner.


  • Born June 19 – Zoe Saldana, 40. Both Guardians Of The Galaxy films, the entire Avatar film series, Star Trek series, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl to name but a few of her genre films.
  • Born June 19 – Aidan Turner, 35. The Hobbit film trilogy, the BBC Being Human series, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film.

(14) DAMMIT, JIM, I’M A DOCTOR NOT A TEAMSTER. Syfy Wire says these comics will take us where no truck has gone before: “A new IDW comic is mashing up Star Trek and Transformers in the most glorious way possible”.

DW Comics, which has taken the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise on adventures with everyone from Doctor Who to Dr. Zaius, will be releasing a crossover comic titled Star Trek vs. Transformers. The four-issue miniseries is due out in September and will be written by John Barber and Mike Johnson, both of whom have written numerous Star Trek and Transformers comic book storylines.

…Artist Philip Murphy and colorist Leonardo Ito will be providing its distinct look, which will blend the unique aesthetic of 1973’s Star Trek: The Animated Series with 1984’s classic Transformers cartoon.

(15) WOMEN WRITERS OF THE SEVENTIES. James Davis Nicoll’s Tor.com series continues with the letter P: “Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part VIII”.

Katherine Paterson’s list of awards includes the Newbery, the National Book Award, the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, among others. Her well-known novel Bridge to Terabithia, which helped inspire the Death by Newbery trope, is if not genre, then at least genre-adjacent. Bridge is strongly recommended to parents of children unduly burdened with excessive levels of joie de vivre.

(16) THE COMPETITION. Meg Elison reports Jason Sanford is kicking File 770’s ass. Well, it certainly makes more sense to send Sanford a buck for news that isn’t reported here than to reward Locus Online for posting news they found reading here.


(17) SPEAK, MEMORY. Wired says we have this to look forward to: “Now the Computer Can Argue With You”. The coming rise of our AI overlords now includes machine intelligence engaging in live formal debate with human debate champions… and maybe winning.

“Fighting technology means fighting human ingenuity,” an IBM software program admonished Israeli debating champion Dan Zafrir in San Francisco Monday. The program, dubbed Project Debater, and Zafrir, were debating the value of telemedicine, but the point could also apply to the future of the technology itself.

Software that processes speech and language has improved enough to do more than tell you the weather forecast. You may not be ready for machines capable of conversation or arguing, but tech companies are working to find uses for them. IBM’s demo of Project Debater comes a month after Google released audio of a bot called Duplex booking restaurants and haircuts over the phone.

IBM’s stunt Monday was a sequel of sorts to the triumph of its Watson computer over Jeopardy! champions in 2011. Project Debater, in the works for six years, took on two Israeli student debating champions, Zafrir and Noa Ovadia. In back-to-back bouts each lasting 20 minutes, the software first argued that governments should subsidize space exploration, then that telemedicine should be used more widely.

(18) QUICK SIPS. Charles Payseur gets to work on new releases in “Quick Sips – Uncanny #22 [June stuff]”.

Uncanny meets June with three stories and two poems and a decidedly dark tone. In these pieces people struggle with big issues. With systems and environments that are broken, that are hungry for blood. Where monsters and demons lurk. And they are settings where the characters are expected to accept their victimization, where if they struggle it will only hurt them more. Only, of course, these characters don’t accept that. Instead, they push back against these environments and when they meet someone who might have the power to change things, they seek to use that power. To convince it or take it in order to remake the world. Or to right a wrong situation. The stories are often violent, and uncomfortable, but they also shine with resilience and with care, and with the hope that things can get better. To the reviews!

(21) BOYCOTTING WENDIG. This protest has been just as effective as the Tor Boycott, wouldn’t you say? Chuck Wendig’s Twitter thread starts here.



(22) ENTRY LEVEL SUPERHERO. The Washington Post’s Sandie Angulo Chen interviews Huck Milner, who plays Dash Parr in The Incredibles 2: “‘Incredibles 2’ is a super first acting job for 10-year-old”.

Luckily for Huck, the filmmakers decided to replace the original voice actor, who is now in his 20s, with a more authentic-sounding 10-year-old’s voice. Back in fourth grade, Huck did the first audition, got a call for a meeting with the director, Brad Bird, and then received news so good, he thought it was a prank.

“I got the call that I had gotten the part, and I thought it was an April Fool’s joke, because my mom told me right around April Fool’s,” Huck recalled. “I really thought it was a joke.”

(23) EXPANDING UNIVERSE. Jennifer Maas, in “Alex Kurtzman Signs New Five-Year CBS-TV Overall Deal, WIll Expand Star Trek TV Universe” for The Wrap, says that Kurtzman has been named showrunner for Star Trek :Discovery and has his five-year pact to produce “new series, mini-series, and other content opportunities” related to Star Trek.

Under the agreement, CBS will have exclusive rights to produce all television content created and developed by Kurtzman’s new company, Secret Hideout, which is producing “Discovery.”

Kurtzman’s new deal comes after he split with his longtime producing partner Roberto Orci and their K/O Paper Products banner. Heather Kadin, formerly of K/O, will join Secret Hideout as president of television. Kadin previously worked at Warner Bros. and ABC, where she was instrumental in the development and production of such hit series as “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Alias.”

(24) CAPTAIN SIR PAT. Rumors say that Star Trek, under Kurtzman, might venture someplace man has gone before:

The Hollywood Reporter claimed on Tuesday (June 19) that Sir Patrick Stewart is attached to a brand new Star Trek series in development at CBS that will see him reprise his Next Generation role as Picard.

The project is reportedly one of several Star Trek series and miniseries that are being developed by Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman as part of his newly-signed multi-year production pact with CBS.

THR notes that the Picard series is in very early development, and might not happen at all, so it’s probably best that fans of The Next Generation don’t get their hopes up for a return of the Holodeck quite yet.

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

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70 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/19/18 I Get No Glyphs From Sham Flames

    Born June 19 – Zoe Saldana, 40. Both Guardians Of The Galaxy films, the entire Avatar film series, Star Trehk series -> Trek

    Or have we moved to an alternative universe of Ghuardians of the Galhaxy, Avathar, & Star Trehk?

    I’ll appertain myself out…

  2. It’s a world of fiction, a world of smiles,
    It’s a world of pixels in daily files,
    It’s a world of cats on To Be Read piles
    It’s a scroll, scroll world!

    It’s a scroll world after all,
    It’s a scroll world after all,
    It’s a scroll world after all,
    It’s a scroll, scroll world!

  3. (9) Network connected eavesdropping devices in unattended areas sounds like a wonderful ideas and certainly won’t cause any problems!

  4. Ok, so from now on, the sequence will be check into hotel, bring in suitcases, find and unplug Alexa, unpack….

    Here in 3727 we know better than to leave AIs listening to us all the time.

    (Accidental fifth!)

  5. Today would have been my and my late husband’s 24th anniversary. I still love you, John Peterson.

  6. (8) This is one of the great all-time bureaucratic burns:

    “We understand the President’s guidance. Our Policy Board will begin working on this issue, which has implications for intelligence operations for the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. Working with Congress, this will be a deliberate process with a great deal of input from multiple stakeholders.”

    I.e., this will remain in committee until the sun expands to swallow the earth.

  7. Cassy B says Here in 3727 we know better than to leave AIs listening to us all the time.

    Sigh, the agents aren’t AIs by any stretch of the imagination. They’re ‘ask, search database and respond’ systems that are remarkedly bad, all three of the major ones, at times when asked to do something such as tell me when the local baseball team’s playing. And they’re easily confused, i.e. adding please to a question can make a Google query get ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that yet’ as a response.

  8. 9) Fortunately, we don’t generally stay at Marriott properties.

    11) I am SO buying that!

  9. @Cat Eldridge: I think most people’s complaints about having an always-on listening device in their room is to do with the fact that they’re always-on listening devices. I don’t really want my hotel or Amazon listening in to private and possibly confidential calls, even if they only get my side of it.

  10. Oneiros says to me: I think most people’s complaints about having an always-on listening device in their room is to do with the fact that they’re always-on listening devices. I don’t really want my hotel or Amazon listening in to private and possibly confidential calls, even if they only get my side of it.

    No disagreement from me and I share that complaint. The Google Home device only is activated when you give a wake-up command and can be programmed not to store search history if you want though that keeps it from refining its responses.

  11. (9) “Alexa, unlock the bathroom door, please.”

    I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.

  12. The appeal of these Alexa devices escapes me, but then I live in a creaky old house where everything is manually operated, and I type much faster than I talk. I note that the Baycon Marriott couldn’t even manage an adequate breakfast buffet this year because they were busy remodeling, so I’ll reserve judgment on this alleged voice-activated waffle ordering system until I see it in operation.

  13. (4) I recommend the new “Odyssey” translation by Emily Wilson. First one I could ever get even a bit into, and I zipped through it in 3 days. So THAT’s what all the centuries of fuss have been about! (Skip the intro, though… zzzz)

    (8) “You bet, we’ll get right on that.”

    (9) First thing to do when entering a Marriott hotel room: unplug Alexa and stuff into closet.

    (14) I’m interested.

    (16) Uh… okay? But File 770 features filks, credentials, delightful chats, and a time machine included, all for free!

    (21) Poor Chuck, he’ll never be able to afford a new writing shed (unless some other people boycott him).

    (23) Meh.

    (24) Maybe.

    @Charon: but then we wouldn’t have discovered the delights of that Indian restaurant you picked! Damn, that was good, wish there was one closer to me.

    @Kip W: Damn yooooooooooou.


    than to reward Locus Online for posting news they found reading here.

    Reader, I LOLed.

    (Because it’s true way too often!)

  15. @Lurkertype At the moment, I’m fixating on Mountain Mike’s pizza, but there are also some very decent Indian places around Worldcon.

    I wonder if the Marriott bot would backfire once people figure out they can order takeout just as easily as room service.

  16. To some extent, I can understand voice commands, there’s some hilarity in sitting around with friends, appertaining oneself with beverage, then suddenly say “voice tool attention phrase skip to next song” or “… play unintelligible“, but I fear it would probably wear out quickly.

    And I live in fear of the credentials figuring out how to make the Talking Thing order food for them.

  17. 3) Malka IS scary smart and knowledgeable. I need to get onto my ARC of State Tectonics and push it up Mount TBR…(currently reading an arc of TRAIL OF LIGHTNING by Rebecca Roanhorse)

    6) I do not have any old Atari 2600 cartridges anymore. Alas. Not even E.T….

    12) Wait, that one was the series finale? I never knew that. And that one really was a gut punch to end the series on.

    16) Saw that. But a newsletter is a different beast than a blog and comment site…

  18. I sort of understand the appeal, in a stfnal way, but it’s not what the devices (mostly) provide. When I’m sick in bed, or my joints are particularly stiff, it would be nice to be able to ask the air/apartment something like “Alexa, make me a cup of tea” and have a cup of hot Assam tea, with milk and sugar, brought to where I am sitting or lying. Or “Alexa, give the cats a fresh bowl of water” (which sometimes means replacing the container, and sometimes just adding more tap water).

    What it can actually do is put in an order for tea leaves or tea bags, another bag of cat food, or a replacement water bowl, for delivery sometime between hours or days in the future. I won’t call that useless, but I can already pick up the phone, or use the keyboard, to order those things.

  19. Regarding Amazon’s Alexa and Marriott … in case any one missed it, Marriott recently purchased Starwood (Sheraton and many more brands) giving it 6500 hotel room worldwide.

    Then there’s this report by Reuters with this: “The company said the partnership will start this summer at Marriott’s select properties and the service will be available by invitation to other hotel chains. ” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-marriott-intnl/amazons-alexa-will-now-butler-at-marriott-hotels-idUSKBN1JF16P

    If Alexa can be unplugged perhaps stashing it in the safe found in many hotel rooms. Or your suitcase, just remember to put it back when you leave.

    “I wonder if the Marriott bot would backfire once people figure out they can order takeout just as easily as room service.” I can do that with my cell phone. Or one could use the phone in the room.

  20. 16: “Big name author says something objectionable!”. pay me a dollar to find out who!!!
    “Genre publication does something objectionable!” pay me a dollar to find out which!!!
    Or pay me $1000 per month not to publish gossip and rumor that might include your name because one can ALWAYS find a way to turn unsubstantiated rumor, speculation, slant and something less than the whole story into a provocative headline, especially if we aren’t bound by journalistic integrity.

    But thanks Jason, you just identified a new revenue stream for Amazing Stories. I think we’re going to call it Extortionist Stories…daily gossip that may or may not have a shred of truth, tied directly to the big names in the field, the big companies in the field. Support it in Patreon, pay one low fee for the story, or a much higher fee to kill the story.

    Wait…aren’t supermarkets just flooded with that kind of trash?

  21. @steve davidson

    Wait, are you suggesting that because Sanford takes a dollar from his patreon supporters that somehow translates into a willingness to extort people? I don’t think that’s a sensible thing to suggest.

  22. Just finished Space Opera. That’s a hell of a ride. May be too Adams-y (Adamic?) for me, not Pratchettian enough. Everything is so over-the-top nothing really stands out. (also, I was expecting Zven gb unir n fbyb va gur svanyr.)

    I am BOGGLED at the idea of there being a movie. I just don’t believe it can be done, at least not with present technology.

  23. 16) I support Jason on @Patreon and find it well worth the money in terms of new markets he mentions. The model you are positing, Steve, is not what he is doing at all.

  24. steve davidson: <angry rant>

    Instead of posting what is clearly a rant with a self-interested agenda, perhaps you should remain calm and just explain why there’s an apparent delay in Amazing Stories submission responses? You’re not covering yourself in glory here. 😐

  25. perhaps someone of jason of your stature should have brought the issue to my attention before turning it into a thing.

    could care less about “glory”. care far more about fairness, openness and asking before making pseudo accusations and using them as the lead to garner funancial support.

  26. Steve, Jason reports on issues which are of interest or importance to SFF writers and aspiring writers. You claiming that he’s doing that out of malice or greed does not speak well of you.

    People know that you’ve got a lot on your plate right now, and that what you’re trying to do is a difficult, time- and energy-consuming undertaking. They want to give you the benefit of the doubt. Responding calmly with an open explanation gives them a reason to do so. Responding with an angry, irrational rant just makes things worse.

    Step back, take some deep breaths. Go for a walk. Take some time to gather yourself and your thoughts. Talk to a trusted friend or colleague about it. Come back calm and prepared to talk openly and honestly with people. That will do a great deal to defuse the current situation.

  27. @steve davidson

    Ok, now I see that Sanford included something negative about Amazing in his column – I don’t know the details as I don’t take his column. I can understand why you’d feel aggrieved by that, and it would be reasonable for you to address the claim. However, what you actually did was to make an obviously unwarranted accusation that didn’t actually make clear what you were really upset about.

    Drop the “extortion” accusation, and address whatever has actually been said about Amazing. (Or even better, take a breath and decide if this is really the way you want to respond)

    ETA: welp, JJ has ninja’d me thoroughly and in detail 🙂

  28. @steve davidson:

    Didn’t Monty Python do a blackmail game show skit around that concept?

  29. Meredith Moment:

    Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor is on sale at Amazon US for $1.99 as a KDD.

    The Great Wheel by Ian R. MacLeod is $1.99 at Amazon US.

    The Book of the Beast by Tanith Lee is $1.99 at Amazon US.

    @Lenore Jones: May things be well with you and yours today. All best to you.

    Here in 6813, our feline overlords have opposable thumbs but keep us around anyway, for some reason.

  30. Consider Phlebas for just 87p!!

    I already have a paper copy, and I’m sure most people here have read it over the past 30 years, but for 87p…


    (Looking at the exchange rate, is that €1??

    Nobody tell Mr. Rees-Mogg!)

  31. @Niall McAuley: my partner’s immediate response was “Alexa, please fill the bathtub with lime jello.”

    @Charon D: Alexa won’t blind the door dragons that block outside food at some hotels.

    @Michael J. Walsh: giving it 6500 hotel room worldwide There’s either an extra word or a few missing zeroes in that phrase (as in, the new conglomerate has way over 4000 rooms just in inner Boston+). Which? The conglomerate is also making things difficult for conrunners (of all sorts) wanting to choose a location instead of being told “here’s where we’re putting you”; I do not think this merge would be allowed by the FTC under any other administration.

    @Doctor Science: Space Opera wasn’t Adamsesque; it was an imitation done by somebody who didn’t know when to stop throwing in everything an overheated imagination came up with. (I’ve read Adams saying that his good funny ideas took a long time to come up with; if Valente had needed a tenth as long per craziness this book would have come out in the 22nd century — but it might have been more readable.) I know a lot of people like Valente’s work; quite possibly she’d be interesting to meet, but after several tries I’ve concluded I just can’t wrap my mind around her fiction.

  32. Sorry.

    I resented having to pay even a dollar to read the BS – a matter that should have been brought directly to our attention rather than used as shill material for an author’s gossip column.

    I’m not going to go into detail – my apologies for suggesting that something that resembled extortionist publishing practices I’ve run into elsewhere are in fact extortionist practices.

    I paid my dollar, read the piece and am still pissed off: I’ve NEVER published a “hit piece” without inquiring about reality from the target.

    No, it’s not extortion. It’s just plain old not thinking about what you are writing.

    I’m awaiting responses from the management team prior to issuing a formal statement.

  33. The Little Green Man was very sad, one pixel was all he had,
    so in his saucer off he rolls, ’cause with with one pixel you get no scrolls.

  34. Apparently I was being obtuse; I’d like to thank all the well meaning correctors as I envision the following scenario:

    Marriott: “We have a fancy new Alexa! It helps you order room service! Yay, Marriott will sell more room service omelets and make tons of money, plus we can downsize a few phone operators!”

    Guest: “Hey Alexa, get me an omelet.”

    Alexa: “There are five restaurants within a three block radius that deliver omelets … or did you want room service?”

    Marriott: “Crap. We’re not selling as many $30 omelets as we’d like. IT person, can you make it so omelets can only be ordered from room service?”

    Marriott IT person: “Only if you want to disable the conciergebot’s restaurant recommending feature.”

    Marriott: “Double crap.”

    I can’t say I’ve ever used my cell phone to order room service; usually there’s a button on the room phone for that. I haven’t seen delivery-blocking dragons but here in San Francisco we have food delivery robots, and people keep kicking and otherwise mistreating them. Maybe if they had dragons painted on the side they would look more majestic, like Trogdor, and people would respect them.

    I have learned there is a place called Da Kine Island Grill near Worldcon, and they have kalua pork and haupia and stuff, which might be even more tempting than chicken tikka masala …

  35. Flying Saucer file & scroll
    Flying Saucer file & scroll
    Couldn’t understand a thing he said
    But the crazy pixels just knocked me dead!

  36. Official Statement from The Experimenter Publishing Company for File 770 readers, regarding Jason Sanford’s Gossip Column:

    1. I apologize for going overboard both to File 770 readers and to Jason Sanford. No excuses. Explanations can be had for the asking.

    2. Our submission system DOES send out notifications of rejection. These are automated “status” reports generated by the system. This has been checked and re-checked on the back-end. The suggested reason for why authors may not have seen these notices is owing to their email server’s treatment of the message. This is similar to the issue we had with signups – notifications were sent and rejected by the user’s email program, something that we have absolutely no control over.

    3. Our editor has sent out a few personal rejection notices, but the vast majority of rejections have only received the automated “status” update. We are discussing, internally, the “rules” that will govern a rejection receiving an editorial note versus a status update.

    4. One of the “explanations” I would offer regarding my reaction to the gossip is that I get upset when incorrect information regarding Amazing Stories is bruited about when the means to obtain factual information is readily to hand.
    We have maintained, from the beginning, a very, very open access to everyone working on the magazine. Emails for direct contact are provided on the site; I and Kermit are fairly active on Facebook. I am here on File 770 daily. My phone number is on the website. We take responsibility for the things we do right or wrong and we have expressed a desire to hear directly from anyone having issues with our site or anything else we’re doing.

    5. We are accessible: We want to hear from you and will treat your questions and issues and complaints seriously. You have access to the source, PLEASE use it.

    6. Here is a FB discussion on this matter that took place yesterday between several submitters and our webmaster who designed the submission engine

    7. Our platforms run on WordPress…a program that is probably running at least one third of the web. We instituted the anonymizing software because many people requested it and suggested it. It may add a later of complexity for the author (having to prepare a different ms version), but other than that, it remains much simpler than submittable or moksha – programs we studied closely before developing our own.

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