Pixel Scroll 6/25/18 Don’t Forget To Pick Seven Pixels To Put Under Your Pillow So You’ll Dream Of Your One True Scroll

(1) WEATHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET. “NASA reveals stunning images of Jupiter taken by the Juno spacecraft”Yahoo! has the story.

The breathtaking images show swirling cloud belts and tumultuous vortices within Jupiter’s northern hemisphere.

Scientists said the photos allowed them to see the planet’s weather system in greater detail.

According to the space station, the brighter colours in the images represent clouds made up of ammonia and water, while the darker blue-green spirals represent cloud material “deeper in Jupiter’s atmosphere.”

(2) HOW TO MAKE MAGIC. Fantasy-Faction’s Aaron Miles advises writers about “Creating A Magic System”.

The naming of a thing gives you power over it. Sorcery is the will and the word. Cast fireball now and you won’t be able to again until tomorrow and have finished your revision.

Magic systems exist in scores of fantasy novels. Diverse in their rules, varying in complexity, they instruct us in how the magic of the world of the story works and in any rules that govern it. Some authors disdain them, preferring to keep their magical arts shrouded in mystery, while others will provide exhaustive explanation and runic charts in the back of the book. I’ve always believed that a good magic system can only enhance a book, serving to develop the world, engage the reader and open up the scope for storytelling. Clever use of such a system can create new plot opportunities, allow an author to foreshadow and enact hidden twists, not to mention being interesting creations in their own right.

A common stop on the road to worldbuilding, many authors love to craft their own systems with various casting protocols, methodologies and effects. It can be great fun to develop your own magic system but if the groundwork is poor it will quickly become difficult to manage or hard to understand for the reader. This article will cover the various aspects involved in creating a magic system and how to make it interesting and effective….

(3) BET AWARDS. Black Panther and its king won hardware at last night’s BET Awards, but another of the movie’s stars was responsible for a highlight of the evening:

[Jamie] Foxx brought “Black Panther” star Michael B. Jordan to the stage and asked him to recite the powerful line from the film, “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, cause they knew death was better than bondage.”

Best Actor Award

  • Chadwick Boseman *WINNER

Best Movie Award

  • Black Panther *WINNER

(4) PUPPY ADJACENT. N.K. Jemisin’s Twitter thread on bigotry and artistic mediocrity begins here.

(5) NO LONGER THE WILDER AWARD. BBC reports “Laura Ingalls Wilder removed from book award over racist language”.

The US Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has removed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from one of its awards over racist views and language.

The association had received complaints for years over the Little House on the Prairie author’s “anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments in her work”.

The ALSC board voted unanimously on Saturday to remove Wilder’s name from the children’s literature award.

The medal will be renamed as the Children’s Literature Legacy award.

(6) FANTASTIC POSTER. Yet another brilliant poster heralds Portugal’s Forum Fantastico, to be held from October 12 to 14 in Lisbon.

(7) WHAT TO CHARGE? Peter Grant’s comment at Mad Genius Club sheds new light on indie authors’ book pricing strategies.

Kindle Unlimited changes this equation dramatically, depending on the length of a book. I’ll be writing at greater length about this in a couple of weeks, but here’s a potted summary.

KU pays out just over $0.0045 for a single page read by a subscriber. If your book is (say) 100,000 words, that translates (in KENP, or KU equivalent pages, according to Amazon’s calculations) to about 360 pages. That means a KU “borrow” of your book will earn you about $1.62. If you sell that same book for $2.99 via Amazon, with a 70% royalty rate, you’ll earn about $2.00 after Amazon’s charge to download the book to the purchaser. In other words, a $2.99 price point is barely better, from an earnings perspective, than a KU “borrow”. It’s probably not economical. You’ll make more money pricing it at $3.99 or $4.99.

However, that brings up the question of what readers will pay. For a relatively unknown author, $2.99 might be all that most buyers are prepared to pay. For someone better know, $4.99 might be feasible. I’ve been charging that for my books for some years, and I’m getting sales at that level; but there’s also growing resistance even to that price from some readers. I’ve actually had e-mails saying that I’m being greedy to charge that much, and that I should price it much cheaper, otherwise they won’t spend their money on me – or they’ll use KU instead of buying the book. Even Amazon’s beta price recommendation service from KDP recommended, for my latest trilogy, that I price it at $2.99 per volume, to maximize sales income. Of course, it didn’t factor KU into that pricing equation.

I now take KU into my pricing calculations. If I won’t make much more per sale than I know I’ll earn on a KU “borrow”, it’s frankly not worth my while to sell the book at all! Why not just make it available in the subscription library?

(8) WHAT’S BREWING AT CAPE CANAVERAL? Galactic Journey’s Traveler popped back to the present long enough to inform beer drinkers about the Mercury program: “[June 25, 1963] It’s showtime!  (A musical and educational performance on the Mercury 7)”.

We’ve a special treat for you, today!  As you know, the Journey frequently presents at conventions and venues across the country.  Our last event was at the science-themed pub, The Wavelength Brewing Co.

Not only was a fine selection of craft beers on tap, but also the Young Traveler, performing a suite of current musical hits.  I followed things up with a half-hour presentation on the recently concluded Mercury program, discussing all of the flights and the folks who flew them.

 

(9) TRIVIAL TRIVIA

Max Brooks wrote The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z.  His parents are Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 25, 1976 – The Omen premieres in North America.

(11) RINGO. As two departed Dragon Con staffers (Pixel Scroll 6/9/18 Item #3) anticipated, the con is inviting John Ringo as a guest. Ringo shared the news on Facebook along with a request:

My Letter of Agreement to Dragon Con has been sent in and the announcement will go out this week that I am, again, going to be a guest of the con.

Due to various ‘stuff’ the leadership of DCon already knows/suspects/has-been-informed there will be ‘push-back.’

I am hereby asking my fans to STAY OUT OF IT. Don’t respond on any page especially any DCon page. Let the (extremely professional) con management handle any response.

Rpt: STAY OUT.

DragonCon has handled far worse in their time and they’re not worried about this particular kerfuffle.

“Meddle not in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.”

(12) HOWEY SHORT FICTION. Jana Nyman reviews Hugh Howey’s collection for Fantasy Literature: “Machine Learning: Thoughtful and thought-provoking stories”.

Odds are good that you’ve heard of Hugh Howey — whether you’ve read one of his novels or short stories, or even if you’re just aware of the runaway success of his SILO trilogy, which began with Wool. Machine Learning (2017) is the first collection of his short stories (and one novelette), most of which were published elsewhere in various times and places, and it’s an excellent display of his range, insight, and talent. Each story is followed up by a brief Afterword from Howey, giving him the opportunity to explain where the story came from and what his goals were in writing it. When necessary, I’ve marked stories that were previously reviewed at Fantasy Literature, so that you can compare/contrast my thoughts with those of our other reviewers.

“The Walk up Nameless Ridge,” previously reviewed by Kat Hooper. A mountain climber hopes to be the first to summit a frighteningly tall peak, thereby receiving the honor of having it named after him, which is something he cares about more than anything else in his life. Howey gets deep in this man’s head, examining what motivates him to keep going despite literal loss of limbs and the emotional and physical distance placed between him and his family….

(13) TAKEI V. TRUMP. George Takei compares his family’s internment during WWll to Trump’s family separation policy and says the situation on the Mexican border is much worse.  He shares a lot of background, offers a lot of insight, and sets the records straight on many counts. From CNN: “George Takei: Donald Trump’s immigration rhetoric is ‘grotesque'”

(14) REDEEMING MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA. Future War Stories analyzes a controversial game: “FWS Video Game Review: MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA”.

Among the icons of military science fiction are some legendary video game titles that have reinforced the fans and forged new ones. One of the most beloved was BioWare’s Mass Effect series that spanned across three primary games, a number of DLCs, books, and comics. It was a beloved universe for its fans that caused them to cosplay, wear N7 gear, and even tattoo themselves. When 3rd and final Mass Effect game was released in 2012, we fans wondered if this was indeed the end of the journey after the mishandling of the ending to the trilogy. Then came happy news of a new game that was a fresh start with new characters and a focus on exploration in a new setting. When 29th century centered game was released in March of 2017, there was understandable disappointment and many fans felt deeply betrayed by EA and BioWare. But it is worth the hate and loathing? I decided to embarked on the journey to the Andromeda galaxy to see if it was a betrayal of the heritage of the Mass Effect games or a merely misunderstood entry into the franchise.

The GOOD

There is much made about the broken nature of ME:A and its ugly or underwhelming graphics…but under all of the noise and press is a semi-solid game that does delivery a long, relatively enjoyable campaign that becoming more and more rare these days. Overall, the concept of the Andromeda Initiative expedition to the nearest galaxy is maybe something that has been seen in sci-fi, but it a great way to separate this new ME game from the previous titles…

(15) SOUNDTRACKS. Courtesy of Carl Slaughter:

  • Hobbit soundtrack

  • Lord of the Rings soundtrack

(16) NAZIS IN SPACE – NOT. Revell has taken off the shelves in Germany a model kit for the Haneubu II aircraft because it is convincing customers that the Nazis had camouflaged-covered flying saucers with zap guns. Gizmodo reports: “Flying Saucer Toy Recalled For Teaching Kids That Nazis Achieved Space Travel”. The model kit has been recalled because it promotes the idea that Nazis not only had the capability for space travel, but could use their saucer-type spacecraft to blast Allied aircraft. Quoting the article:

If you’ve ever watched the History Channel at 3AM, you know that the Nazis had a secret program during World War II to develop flying saucers. The Nazi’s UFO experiments never actually flew, but the model toy company Revell recently released a set in Germany that makes it look like one of the Nazi saucers actually worked. And historians are pissed….

The toy company has pulled the 69-part set, known as the Haunebu II, from store shelves. But you can still find plenty of the toys available for sale online. The Nazi UFO is even seen on the box blasting Allied planes out of the sky—a disgusting image to promote, to say the least….

“Unfortunately, our product description does not adequately express [that the Nazi saucer program was unsuccessful] and we apologize for it,” Revell said in a statement.

(17) WESTWORLD’S FALLOUT PROBLEM. BBC says “Westworld game hit by Bethesda legal claim”.

Game publisher Bethesda is suing Warner Brothers over a game based around the HBO series Westworld.

Bethesda alleges the Westworld game, released last week, is a “blatant rip-off” of its Fallout Shelter title.

Included in the legal challenge is Canadian developer Behaviour Interactive, which helped Bethesda develop Fallout Shelter in 2014….

The Westworld game gives players the job of managing the titular theme park and its robotic inhabitants.

The facility managed by the player can be expanded underground and includes many of the locations seen in the TV series.

Many reviews of the game mentioned its similarity to Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter, which gives players the job of managing and expanding an underground facility….

(18) TURING TESTER. The classic WWII device has a new home: “Codebreaking Bombe moves to computer museum”. (Chip Hitchcock suggests it’s another tourism opportunity for people willing to travel a distance before/after Dublin 2019.)

The UK’s National Museum of Computing has expanded its exhibits celebrating the UK’s wartime code-breakers and the machines used to crack German ciphers.

On Saturday it will open a gallery dedicated to the Bombe, which helped speed up the cracking of messages scrambled with the Enigma machine.

The Bombe was formerly on display at Bletchley Park next door to the museum.

A crowd-funding campaign raised £60,000 in four weeks to move the machine and create its new home.

… The initial design of the Bombe was drawn up by Alan Turing and later refined by Gordon Welchman. The gallery is being opened on the 106th anniversary of Turing’s birth.

(19) BIRD IS THE WORD. Scientists say “Bird family tree shaken by discovery of feathered fossil”.

The turacos, or banana-eaters, are today found only in Africa, living in forests and savannah.

A beautifully preserved fossil bird from 52 million years ago is shaking up the family tree of the exotic birds.

The fossil’s weird features suggests it is the earliest known living relative not just of the turacos, but of cuckoos and bustards (large long-legged birds).

And the fact the remains were unearthed in North America shows the distribution of different birds around the globe would have been very different in the past.

(20) GOOD TO THE LAST PROTON. Ars Technica says the retirement party will be happening soon: “Russia’s Proton rocket, which predates Apollo, will finally stop flying”. With over 400 launches under its figurative belt (and about an 89% success rate) the Proton rocket family is nearing retirement. Dating from tis first launch, the Proton will turn 56 in mid July. That means it predates the Saturn V used in the Apollo program by more than 2 years.

The Russian-manufactured Proton rocket has been flying into space since before humans landed on the Moon. First launched in 1965, the rocket was initially conceived of as a booster to fly two-person crews around the Moon, as the Soviet Union sought to beat NASA into deep space. Indeed, some of its earliest missions launched creatures, including two turtles, to the Moon and back.

But now, Russian officials confirm, the Proton rocket will finally reach its end. In an interview with a Russian publication, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said production of the Proton booster will cease as production shifts to the new Angara booster. (A translation of this article was provided to Ars by Robinson Mitchell, a former US Air Force Airborne Cryptologic Language Analyst). No new Proton contracts are likely to be signed.

…With a capacity of 22.8 tons to low-Earth orbit, it became a dominant player in the commercial market for heavier satellites.

It remained so during much of the 2000s, but as Ars has previously reported, the lack of technical oversight began manifesting itself in an increasing rate of failures. At the end of 2010, one Proton plunged into the ocean because too much propellant had been mistakenly loaded into its upper stage. In 2013, another vehicle performed a fiery dance seconds after liftoff because flight control sensors were hammered into the rocket’s compartment upside down.

…Whether the Angara booster can capture anything close to the Proton’s once highly profitable share of the global launch market remains highly uncertain.

(21) LIZARD WRASSLIN’. In this tweeted photo set, a T-Rex finds it’s no match for Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock (Dwayne Johnson)

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

236 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/25/18 Don’t Forget To Pick Seven Pixels To Put Under Your Pillow So You’ll Dream Of Your One True Scroll

  1. @Meredith

    I realized that being mid-series and/or concluding books was going to be an unattractive quality for you. It can be an unattractive quality for me as well if the author doesn’t do the heavy lifting of explaining (briefly) how the fictional world works so that latecomers can get quickly up to speed. It’s a difficult task given that the author has to balance bringing new readers up to speed against not boring those that have read the prior entries.

    IMHO, the books I named are on par with the current shortlist and perhaps superior to two of the entries on the shortlist. The respective authors do a credible job at explaining the world building and incorporating the significant events in the prior books into subsequent installments.

    Regards,
    Dann
    The words of a President have an enormous weight and ought not to be used indiscriminately. – Calvin Coolidge

  2. @Greg

    But we know how Brad put the majority of his slate together, he asked supporters for recs, rejected some he didn’t like, and jammed in some extras to suit himself. You don’t need to speculate.

    Really? I’ve heard (repeatedly) that he asked for recs but then didn’t use them. That the list appeared from nowhere.

    The trouble with asking supporters for recs, of course, is that you’d need to read all of those stories yourself and then pick the top five. If you can’t do that, you need thousands of people sending recommendations before you even begin to get statistically meaningful favorites, as we’ve seen with the Hugo Award nomination process. Or, better, look at what happened when SP4 tried to do it that way.

    That said, I’ll admit I saw a post somewhere a couple of years ago where someone said, “I’ll bet what happened is that Brad, Larry, and Vox Day put this list together at the last minute,” and I loved that idea so much that I’ve internalized it.

  3. @Greg

    Someone did a spreadsheet with a comparison of the one of his recs threads vs the final list, and found a lot of crossover. More could be found in another recs thread that the sheet missed. When I say “recs” I mean it just took a single mention to get in, including self-recs, and I highly doubt he read them. There are others that he obviously added himself for his own purposes or at the behest of his fellow pups, but quite a lot were just Brad asking his friends and fans.

  4. @Mark
    So do you think the SP3 short-fiction slate really does represent the sort of stories conservative/libertarian fans like? That’s something I really don’t want to believe, although I guess they do have a group that extols the value of pulp.

  5. @Hampus Eckerman

    The slate represented friends and family. Taste was not involved.

    Yup. Picked based on authors, not story content. Or (in the case of Vox’s contributions) based on publisher. As Mark said, Torgersen probably didn’t even read the stories himself before making the list.

    I was surprised to learn that the belief that who the author is should be an important factor in judging stories isn’t unique to the Puppies. I’ve seen authors tweet that it was shameful that Rocket Stack Rank published negative reviews for stories that were by authors who were “nice people.” The idea that the author’s identity really shouldn’t matter is a very difficult one for some people to get their heads around.

  6. @Greg

    As per Hampus, it represented the people they wanted to award. Be it friends, or professional connections*, or ideological supporters. You want to know why they believed with such fervour in a torspiracy and awards for SJWness? It’s because that’s what they would have done.

    *consider how the slate supported Analog, Brad’s main market for short stories, and Gray Rinehart, the Baen slush pile editor, among others.

  7. I’m going to have to dig up the original story later. My recollection was that the public comments were a very small proportion of the Puppy slate.

    @Dann

    It doesn’t make them unattractive as recs, and I’ve had some of them (well, the first volumes thereof) on my sales-lookout for awhile since you’ve been championing them quite strongly. It’s just that when I’m looking at reading to make Hugo nominations or ranking the finalists I’m looking for things with new ideas, and however good a mid-series book is at being a good book they’re not usually doing that, because they’ve done their Big Idea in the first novel.

    For example, I love Naomi Novik’s Temeraire books, but I think it worked out pretty well that they were a Novel finalist for the first volume and for Series. I love all the books (… except maybe the one in Australia) but the Big Idea was in the first novel and the subsequent ones were about exploring what that Big Idea meant rather than introducing new Big Ideas. I want new Big Ideas for Hugo Best Novel finalists. At the very least a Medium Sized Idea.

    Or, say, this year’s Lady Trent, where we got a glimpse at the Big Idea at the beginning, but we didn’t see the whole of what the Big Idea was until the final book. Perfect example of (one of) the thing(s) I want from a Best Series finalist.

    Tl;dr, my personal hopes for a Hugo finalist aren’t just whether something is good or bad, it’s whether it’s good and it brings something exciting to the table.

  8. Meredith, and dragons. You can’t tell me that you of all people ignore whether or not it brings dragons to the table… <grin>

  9. Most of the decent works on that year’s Puppy slate were withdrawn by the authors. Those seemed to be authors that Torgersen had worked with before and personally liked. He definitely was nominating based on people, not works, by his own words about how he put the slate together, and that he was asking authors what particular work he should nominate. He made it clear he was listing his friends regardless of the quality of the work he slated – don’t forget “Wisdom from My Internet,” which was thrown together last minute for the slate. The slate reads pretty clearly as a combination of friends/professional acquaintances and “works that will make SJWs’ heads explode.” Pretending quality had anything to do with it takes giving the benefit of the doubt to 90s-Mountain-Dew-commercial level extremes. There wasn’t an ounce of integrity to the entire process, even ignoring the slate aspect.

  10. @Mark

    You want to know why they believed with such fervour in a torspiracy and awards for SJWness? It’s because that’s what they would have done.

    Yeah, I definitely agree that that’s the best explanation for why they so persistently falsely accuse others of the things that they themselves actually do. (Or would do.) This is a lesson that applies to all alt-right Americans, as far as I can tell. Not just the one who happen to be SF fans.

    However, just because someone is malicious doesn’t mean he/she can’t be incompetent. Fans benefited a lot from Puppy incompetence in 2016, for example, where Vox Day could have swept all but two or three categories if he actually had three brain cells to click together. It’s not hard for me to believe that they were lazy and sloppy in 2015 as well.

    Just to be sure we’re all on the same page here: I’m trying to respond to Dann’s argument that when we say the Puppies nominated garbage, we’re telling all right-wing SFF fans that we think they have no taste. My argument is that the slate contents don’t represent the actual tastes of anyone, and that even right-wing folks grudgingly admit that. I believe Brad initially meant to do a better job (i.e. make a slate of “good stories, well-told” written by conservative authors) but he ended up making a mess of it. Perhaps that’s giving him too much credit. Regardless, his actual intentions are irrelevant to my argument.

  11. I do not think Brad intended to do a better job. I don’t think he put much thought into intentions at all. Instead I believe he acted out of loyalty and friendship to Correia without really thinking about it.

  12. @Hampus
    The thing is, though, that by doing a bad job, he screwed Larry and all the Sad Puppies too. They defend SP3 because they think they have to, but he sure made that hard to do.

    Look at it a different way. Donald Trump has the support of about 40% of Americans. The Puppies ended up with about 10% of fandom. I think that’s partly because SP3 alienated lots of people whom they might have reached if SP3 really had consisted of “good stories, well-told.” Instead, they were left with only the hard-core alt-right, and those folks were much happier with Vox Day.

    I doubt Brad set out to hurt his own cause. (But I’m awfully glad he did.) 🙂

  13. The campaign was about friends and family. Friends and family got nominated. How was that a bad job? Sure, they could have nominated better works, but then it wouldn’t have been friends and family anymore and the purpose would have been lost.

  14. Hampus Eckerman: The campaign was about friends and family. Friends and family got nominated. How was that a bad job?

    It was a very bad job of demonstrating what Sad Puppies claimed to be about: showing that there were lots of worthy works liked by the Puppies which were not getting recognition.

    It was a great job of what BT wanted it to be, at least initially: sucking up to friends and people of influence in the publishing world.

    But I suspect that in hindsight, a lot of those people don’t appreciate the black mark it left against their name. Some of those people avoid promoting themselves as “Hugo-nominated” or “Campbell-nominated” authors — and every time I see one of the ones who do promote themselves that way, like CUL, I just laugh and laugh (and I suspect that they know people are laughing at them when they do it, but they’re so desperate for validation that they do it anyway).

  15. @JJ

    Some of those people avoid promoting themselves as “Hugo-nominated” or “Campbell-nominated” authors — and every time I see one of the ones who do promote themselves that way, like CUL, I just laugh and laugh (and I suspect that they know people are laughing at them when they do it, but they’re so desperate for validation that they do it anyway).

    Extra datapoint: Eric and I attended LibertyCon last week (well, 3 1/2 hours of it) while we were in Chattanooga (my home town) for my niece’s wedding. We saw lots of the key figures: Wright, Antonelli, Correa, Hoyt, Arroz, although we didn’t get a chance to chat much with any of them. (I can confirm one thing that others have said: Arroz is amazingly warm and friendly in person. It would be a much better world if people were the same online as they are in person, I think.)

    Panelists always mentioned their Hugo nominations, although John C. Wright sarcastically added something to the effect of “apparently I only got nominated because of some white-supremacist group.” That prompted Arlan Andrews to rant about how the only thing he couldn’t forgive was how badly Toni Weisskopf was treated. Toni is one person I’ve never heard mention her Hugo nominations, even though, by my calculations, she would have easily been a finalist for Best Editor (Long Form) in 2015 without the slate.

    As fate would have it, I had a long chat with her on the last morning of the con, when Eric and I (unable to attend any more sessions), joined their equivalent of WorldCon’s “Walk With the Stars.” She agreed with me that if Fandom is ever going to come back together, people are going to have to start forgiving each other, but she added that that’s easier to say than to do.

    It is hard to do, but maybe it’s time to start trying to build some bridges. What struck me most about LibertyCon was how much it was like any other con I’ve attended. The people look the same. They talk about the same things. The panels are on similar topics. The badges and ribbons look the same. All things considered, the differences are small. These people are Fans. We ought to be able to find a way to get along again.

    This is the first slate-free WorldCon since 2013, so maybe it’s too early to forgive anyone for what happened. But it’s not too early to start talking about what it’ll take to put this behind us. We did win, after all.

  16. Greg Hullender: maybe it’s time to start trying to build some bridges… We ought to be able to find a way to get along again… it’s not too early to start talking about what it’ll take to put this behind us.

    The only potential for bridges and “putting it behind us” is going to come when the Puppies stop posting lies and abuse about Worldcon members and the Hugo Awards. And I frankly don’t think that most of them are mature or decent enough to do that. Look at what they did to Camestros and the Meadows just a few months ago. Look at what they still regularly post on MGC. It’s a useful tool for them to whip up their supporters and sell their books. I don’t see them being willing to give that up.

     
    Greg Hullender: That prompted Arlan Andrews to rant about how the only thing he couldn’t forgive was how badly Toni Weisskopf was treated.

    And here’s a case in point. Andrews doesn’t give a shit about any of the other editors who got No Awarded, so his concern for Weisskopf really isn’t noble.

     
    Greg Hullender: We did win, after all.

    Please stop saying “we”. There are only two groups here: Puppies, and everybody else, and everybody else is not a “we”.

  17. I agree there wasn’t a “we” to start with, but after two years of lobbying for EPH (and anticipating a future need to protect it), there is definitely a “we” now. “We” is fans who believed in the Hugo Awards and stood firm in our opposition to slates. That’s a “we” I’m proud to belong to. You should be too. 🙂

  18. I’m not sure there’s much point in forgiving and forgetting when they’re still actively engaged in being awful to us; we’d end up having to forgive and forget on a weekly basis. At minimum they’d first have to have a decent track record for not repeating or coming up with accusations, insulting nicknames, etc.

    @Cassy B

    I, er, didn’t actually deliberately pick two series about dragons for my examples, but, um, I guess that ended up a bit revealing.

  19. I consider Filerdom to be a “we” of sorts, although a “we” that agrees on roughly nothing, ever.

  20. @Greg: “Extra datapoint: Eric and I attended LibertyCon last week”

    Wish I’d known you were in town; I would’ve tried to arrange a meetup!

    I can attest that Correia is nice (I won’t go so far as charming) in person, as are most of the Puppies (both authors and supporters) I’ve met. I’ve had long talks with some, and I’ve entertained their children. Trouble is, after seeing what they stand for and cheerfully defend, I have to wonder how much of that public warmth is either a complete act or the extension of in-group friendliness to people perceived to be of their own tribe. I know as well as anyone that sometimes one needs to slap on a plastic smile and be friendly to someone you dislike, but being good at that makes the facade no less false. Step outside the lines, and the knives do come out.

    But then, some of them would probably say the same of me. That tends to happen when political extremism reaches a certain point – you see someone defend something you consider indefensible and repugnant, and you begin to question whether they were ever the person you thought they were. I got that feeling several times while reading “Uncle Timmy’s” fanzine and seeing not just what he would publish there, but that the offensive content was sent in by so many different people. The same people I’d had fun with and thought were fellow travelers were simultaneously embracing some of the nastiest and looniest ideas I’ve seen put to paper.

    People are complex.

    The same person can hold vehemently vile opinions while being affable and warm, and neither negates the other. To touch back briefly on a past topic, it’s easy to characterize Nazis and members of other villain groups as purely evil, but life isn’t that simple and people shouldn’t be that lazy, either in life or as authors. The same SS officer or Nazi party member who backed (or even participated in) unspeakable horrors “on the job” had friends and a family and spent time laughing at corny jokes, drinking beer at the bar, and having fun with those friends on the weekends. Recognizing that isn’t a way to pardon his crimes or approve of his views, but to acknowledge him as a fully-formed human being instead of a cardboard cut-out. Recall how often someone gets arrested for vile crimes, only for his baffled neighbors to say what a nice guy he was and how much trouble they have reconciling the man they know with the new revelations.

    Now consider that there’s an excellent chance that you might be one of those baffled neighbors, but the misdeeds have yet to come to light. Sobering thought, isn’t it? From that perspective, it’s pretty easy to understand the instinctive denials – why, Jimmy couldn’t have done those awful things! We were just over at his house last weekend for a cookout!

    BTW, to be clear and explicit: I am not saying that the Puppies are Nazis. (I know that if I don’t make that plain, someone will inevitably claim otherwise.) Similarly, this is not an invitation to discuss any perceived ideological similarities between the two groups. Don’t go there, guys. My focus is on the complicated human mind, not on the specific examples used to illustrate it.

  21. She agreed with me that if Fandom is ever going to come back together, people are going to have to start forgiving each other, but she added that that’s easier to say than to do.

    Why? what’s in it for us? I have a perfectly good time going to normal conventions and reading normal fiction and see no reason to expand my reading and social life to encompass the likes of David Weber and John Ringo, whose attitude to military sf bores me to tears when it doesn’t disgust me.

  22. @Mark

    We could probably manage a tentative consensus that books are quite good. Maybe. So long as no-one brought up complicating factors like paper vs e or production quality or writing style or genre or whether the editor should be listed prominently or cover art or copy editing or tried to get people to agree on a specific book.

  23. Greg Hullender: “…if Fandom is ever going to come back together…”

    I’ll skip for the moment the long history of politically-motivated schisms in fandom and ask you a simpler question: What did you think was happening in fandom, say five or ten years ago, that indicated a state of being together?

  24. John Scalzi from back in 2014:

    I think it’s easy to overstate both the existence and desirability of “one fandom.” I think it’s perfectly fine to consider fandom to be an archipelago of confederated groups, in which people often share more than one citizenship.

    In a way, the whole Puppy thing comes from a misunderstanding that fandom is one thing; a sense of entitlement that it should be the One True Fandom, their idea of fandom, that they wanted it to be; and an attempt to impose cultural norms* from one (Puppy-affiliated) fandom on another (Worldcon-affiliated) fandom. Through that lens all the “wrongfans having wrongfun” stuff makes more sense; YKINMKBYKIO** has no place in a worldview that demands that everyone dance to your tune. It feels like a rejection instead.

    *By this I do not particularly mean political views; more the very career-focused pro-professionals attitude. There’s a certain disdain for purely fannish non-commercial creative activity (like the Hugo Awards) that comes through even in Weisskopf’s Heinlein essay, let alone all the sneering about fans during the Puppy campaign (or the convoluted attempts to make Cam into someone who wasn’t “just” a fan but was someone with CredentialsTM, to justify their reactions to him).

    **Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is Okay. An acronym often used in transformative works fandom (which is itself an umbrella term for many, many different fandoms that happen to share the same approach to fanac) which is used not only to refer to actual kinks, but as a more general “different people like different things and that’s fine”.

  25. I have trouble with the idea of building bridges to someone who happily took support from Vox Day and is now joking about how he “got nominated by some white supremacist group” — as if that’s either an obvious falsehood, or an amusing triviality.

  26. @Mike Glyer

    What did you think was happening in fandom, say five or ten years ago, that indicated a state of being together?

    Everybody loved everybody and sat around singing kumbaya, of course.

    (Obviously I’m a fantasy fan.)

    And if we could just improve our social-media software so everyone could see everyone else’s feelings, it could be like that again.

    (And I love science-fiction too.) 🙂

    Seriously, I know that conflicts happen. There have been some really ugly conflicts in the past. But eventually those passed. This one will pass too. Through exhaustion if nothing else.

    @Rev. Bob is right too; it’s easy to meet people in person and be overwhelmed by the fact that “hey, these guys are people just like me” to the point of thinking “they can’t really be that bad.” Even if, in fact, they really are that bad. Still, as you say, they’re not Nazis. (BTW, we didn’t try to set up a meeting because my niece kept us really busy almost the entire time, and we were pretty tired the rest of the time. It was probably the only time we’d ever be able to see what LibertyCon was like, so we prioritized that. But we should definitely try to meet some Thanksgiving or Christmas.)

    @Meredith is also right; there’s no way to make peace with someone who’s still fighting with you–particularly when they were the aggressor in the first place. MGC has toned it down a lot over the past few months, though, and in the 3 1/2 hours Eric and I were at LibertyCon, the comment from Arlan Andrews was pretty much the only time anyone brought the issue up at all. For the most part (with one or two admittedly glaring exceptions), I think they’re ready to drop it too. We should try to encourage them in that. (But maybe I’m getting back to science-fiction again . . .)

    As to why do it, you never want to have an enemy who hates you passionately if you can help it. EPH isn’t bullet-proof, and there are other things a determined group could do that could mess up a convention. Sitting out in the cold can’t be much fun either. Peace is in everyone’s interest.

    Like I said, maybe it’s still too early. Feelings are still too raw. But what is the alternative?

  27. @Vicki Rosenzweig on July 7, 2018 at 12:18 pm said:

    I have trouble with the idea of building bridges to someone who happily took support from Vox Day and is now joking about how he “got nominated by some white supremacist group” — as if that’s either an obvious falsehood, or an amusing triviality.

    I have trouble building bridges to someone who said he felt the urge to kill gay people with a tire iron. The idea is to build bridges to the people who’re reachable. Some people cannot be reached. Not from our side, anyway. That doesn’t mean no one is reachable. On the other hand, I would certainly talk to anyone who reached out to me–even if we didn’t end up changing each other’s minds. That “humanizing” thing Rev. Bob talked about goes two ways.

  28. Greg Hullender: Everybody loved everybody and sat around singing kumbaya, of course.

    That’s what I thought, you caught the lecturing virus at LibertyCon. Everybody’s just supposed to listen to you raptly while you hog the microphone. I hope you get over it soon.

  29. @Meredith

    Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is Okay. An acronym often used in transformative works fandom (which is itself an umbrella term for many, many different fandoms that happen to share the same approach to fanac) which is used not only to refer to actual kinks, but as a more general “different people like different things and that’s fine”.

    I love that slogan, although it’s probably not ideal for this audience. 🙂 I’d go so far as to say something like it has to be the basis of any kind of reconciliation.

    I had a chat with a random fan who came up to me after I’d chatted with Toni, and a point I made to him was “you guys ought to change your tune on EPH. It makes it much harder for the awards to be dominated by a single flavor.” I don’t know if I changed his mind, but he definitely hadn’t thought of it that way before. He certainly didn’t push back on it, although he did change the subject. (It turns out we share an interest in interstellar propulsion systems.)

    Everyone I’ve spoken to has agreed when I’ve said, “it’s not reasonable to expect that all the nominees will be things you like; it should be enough if one or two are things you can get excited about.” One can debate whether they really believe that, of course, but they sound sincere, and the fact they feel compelled to say it suggests there’s at least some basis for an eventual rapprochement. Or at least detente.

  30. @Greg

    I’m not sure why any particular action is needed.

    Their rhetoric notwithstanding, their ability to go where they want, write what they want, read what they want is just the same today as it was 3, 5, 10 years ago.

  31. @Greg Hullender

    I’m a squatter on a few different islands of fandom, and I guess I don’t really see why we couldn’t all just ignore each other like other only loosely connected fandoms do as a way of ending up with peace. Worldcon fandom doesn’t have all that much to do with transformative works fandom or gaming fandom, except insofar as shared citizenship goes, but it isn’t attacking or being attacked by either of them, and no-one’s being left out in the cold.

    I can’t really see a way of bridging the gap between those affiliated with the Rabid Puppies and Worldcon fandom, nor do I want to see that happen. I like my bits of fandom to be free of RSHDs. Sad Puppies – well, maybe, if they tucked their tails between their legs and reformed. Fandom can be forgiving even when perhaps it shouldn’t be. But that depends on the Sad Puppies and their actions and whether they even want to attain Worldcon fandom citizenship, not on anyone here.

  32. The real problem is that there’s no “us and them”. There’s just them, and a bunch of random people who they decided were all united in an evil conspiracy. Since I never signed up for any conspiracy, I can’t see any way for me to do any reconciliation. As long as they believe that my tastes are not my tastes, but are dictated by some evil overlords whose whims I mindlessly follow, I’m caught in a catch 22. The only way I can stop being part of the imaginary conspiracy they seem to believe in appears to be to join their not-so-imaginary conspiracy to fight people who like the wrong things. And since I like the things they think are bad, that’s not exactly a step I’m willing to take.

    They separated themselves from the broader, not-at-all united group we loosely call fandom. The only ways to fix that are for all of fandom to join them (not likely to happen) or for them to stop insisting on separation. If there’s some third option, I’m not seeing it.

  33. But what is the alternative?

    Read stuff you like. Vote for stuff you like. Ignore the people who lie about why you like what you like and insist that there was a cabal that picked winners because of the color of their skin or their sexual plumbing, unless they try to blow things up again, at which point it’s time to prevent that.

    But building new bridges at a time when the people who set fire to the old ones are still burning the stubs seems like a foolish thing to do. When they want to cross the divide they created, they can build the bridges. Until they do they’ll just keep burning them.

    Heck, when they want to cross the divide they created, they won’t need a bridge; the divide is a metaphor, after all. They’re free to walk across it whenever they want.

    As for the people the pups chose to insult, accuse and vilify for reading stuff they enjoyed and voting for stuff they enjoyed — there’s nothing stopping those folks from reading the work of Brad Torgersen or John C. Wright if they feel like it. The problem is that Torgersen and Wright did a really effective job of making people not want to.

    But the divide is a metaphor — anyone can walk back across. If they want to appeal to the readers they lied about and insulted, they can stop doing that and concentrate on writing good stuff. It may take a while, but that’s what happens when you spend a lot of time lying about people to make yourself look good to a crowd that likes having enemies to resent.

    If they don’t want to do that, that’s their choice. It’s their burnt bridge and their divide. If they stop dancing around the flames with torches, and start talking about books they like, people who are heartily sick of them right now might talk back.

    Writing good stuff, reading good stuff and talking about good stuff is the metaphorical ground on which all of this fandom stuff is built. Do those things, and divides won’t matter so much, even if my “good stuff” is numinous fantasy with rich characters and your good stuff is action-packed MilSF.

    It’s a big place. Plenty of room for all sorts, as long as the torches and war hammers stay in the stories, where they belong.

  34. Greg Hullender: But what is the alternative?

    They keep reading whatever they like and doing whatever fannish things they feel like, and everybody else does the same. I don’t know why you seem to think everyone needs to be one big happy family. Fandom has never been that, and it’s never going to be that. I’m never going to think that Ringo and Correia and Weber are world-class authors, and I’m not interested in pretending they are.

    As Xtifr says:
    They separated themselves from the broader, not-at-all united group we loosely call fandom. The only ways to fix that are for all of fandom to join them (not likely to happen) or for them to stop insisting on separation. If there’s some third option, I’m not seeing it.

    The only possible option for “detente” is for the Puppies to stop fighting their war against an imaginary enemy, and just get back to being fans. I don’t see most of them as being capable of doing that, but I’m willing to be surprised.

    In the meantime, I’m going to ignore them as much as possible, mock and ridicule them when they make it impossible to ignore their stupidity (as in the “Fieldsy” debacle), and keep doing my own version of fandom

  35. @Greg Hullender,

    There is a term for someone who is nice to you in person, whilst at the same time unpleasant elsewhere. JDA’s online actions are unpleasant enough that it would take more than being nice to me in person.

    As for building bridges, I remember the early days of Puppy. I remember George R.R. Martin trying to engage, and getting insults in response. While things have died down, I don’t see any of the Puppy leaders acknowledging any wrongdoing on their part, and there are still sporadic digs at the rest of fandom. I have moved on and am ignoring the Puppies. So long as they don’t try to slate the Hugo Awards again, I am happy to keep ignoring them.

  36. Soon Lee: There is a term for someone who is nice to you in person, whilst at the same time unpleasant elsewhere. JDA’s online actions are unpleasant enough that it would take more than being nice to me in person.

    Yep. Someone who is “basically a nice person” doesn’t do all the harassment and abuse which JDA has done via social media and e-mail. The fact that he is able to masquerade as a decent person when face-to-face with people doesn’t make him a good person, it just makes him a good actor.

  37. I read Binti: Home. It’s half a story, the second half of which I assume turns up in Binti: The Night Masquerade. At least it doesn’t rush hastily through the ending like the first Binti did, and I thought the style was a little smoother, though I’d like a little more something-something from the world building. But it isn’t a self-contained work.

    River of Teeth also ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but I think it has enough of a conclusion and a change in feel/subgenre between it and Taste of Marrow to feel more like it’s two distinct stories.

  38. @Meredith: “River of Teeth” is only a cliffhanger, if that, IMHO because they effectively put the first part of the sequel at the end of book 1. Presumably this was done to get people to buy book 2, but the book should’ve ended just a little earlier, sans teaser for book 2 masquerading as the ending of book 1. I haven’t read the sequel, but “River of Teeth” felt like a complete story to me (if I ignore the beginning of the next story they tacked onto the end).

    It’s not quite as bad as the mid-scene ending of a couple of other books I’ve read, though! 😉 One had a literal cliffhanger where someone was going over an actual (science fictional) cliff, and then! The! Book! Just! Stopped! Gak. It was like 1000 pages long; I guess they couldn’t squeeze another couple of pages in. 😛

  39. I’m not into forgiving and I’m not into building bridges. I am a believer in separate spaces to reduce friction and to stop constantly reiterating and reinforcing old hurts and vendettas. Sometimes it is enough for sone kind of “come together” and sometimes not.

    It doesn’t particularly matter much to me which. Right now I’m happy the puppies are somewhere else.

    What I do know is that I will never ever be happy to see John C Wright, Theodore Beale, JDA, Michael Z Williams and Sarah Hoyt. And I will loudly protest every attempt att bridgebuilding towards them.

  40. @Kendall: One had a literal cliffhanger where someone was going over an actual (science fictional) cliff, and then! The! Book! Just! Stopped!

    Pandora’s Star, perchance?

  41. @Jim Parish: Heh, yes, the one and only. IIRC the next book didn’t even pick up where it left off; that ending soured me on it anyway and I believe I just skimmed a bit of the beginning of the next book in the store or something and I’m not sure I ever bought it. It was just arbitrarily split at a random point; it wasn’t like a planned ending. The thing was mammoth and should’ve #1 been in 3 books and #2 been split up much more carefully into actual novels.

    /whine 😉

  42. I don’t particularly feel like building bridges either.

    I don’t have a problem with puppies and fellow travellers reading, writing and discussing the books they like. I simply don’t want to read those books and I certainly don’t want them forcibly rammed down my throat, because they’ve been pushed onto the Hugo shortlist. Now I don’t particularly want to read New York 2140 or that endless Sanderson series of epic doorstoppers either, but at least they got on the ballot honestly.

    I don’t have a problem with Baen, though I don’t care for most of their offerings these days. I also don’t have a problem with the authors who were pushed onto the Hugo shortlist by the puppies, but didn’t behave like raging arseholes.

    However, I don’t want anything to do with the hardcore puppies who manipulated the Hugos and who personally attacked me and others and I can’t see that changing anytime soon, especially since some puppies continue to take pot shots at anybody they consider the enemy.

  43. @robinareid:

    I saw a rather lengthy comment from you in my email, but I do not see it here on the web. Not sure why that is, but…

    If you have questions about the nature and validity of LibertyCon’s attendees as fans, I should remind you that you have a primary information source at hand: me. Not only did I attend for several years, but I was a department head, went to the monthly planning meetings, and in short was involved at various levels. I also know many of the people (aside from those who coalesced over the past couple of years) personally. I’ve bought art from Toni, played Spades with Timmy, voted on guests… hell, I even modified their logo and designed the insulated mug they gave out at their 2007 20th anniversary convention.

    All of which is to say that, up to a point, it is not necessary to guess about how they operate. All you have to do is ask.

  44. @Meredith

    Tl;dr, my personal hopes for a Hugo finalist aren’t just whether something is good or bad, it’s whether it’s good and it brings something exciting to the table.

    I have a love/hate relationship with series based fiction for the same reasons. IMHO, Pete and Sebastien have done a credible job of minimizing that issue.

    There are definitely series where the entire series might be great, as a series, but the individual installments might be a little lacking.

    @Greg

    I appreciate where you are coming from. It is unfortunate that the odds of meeting up with you for a brew (or two) are pretty slim.

    Regards,
    Dann
    The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. – Dorothy Parker

  45. @Rev. Bob: My comment had a number of links so I suspect it’s waiting in moderation to be freed (forget the exact number since it was before I went off for my dental appointment, but at least six).

    It was a reply to Greg’s “fans must unite because we’re alike” which I disagree with, no surprise there. You were mentioned in passing as a primary source for somebody whose stories I have read and remembered which means wild elephants could not drag me to LC. If I wanted more info I’d ask you. I don’t.

    You might want to read that email more carefully (I was rushing, and neglected to save the edited version which I usually do): if that’s not clear, I apologize, but I don’t need to hear anymore from you about the con to know I’ll never attend. I don’t attend fan cons anymore anyway (which I explained in the comment) because I have to attend academic cons (though I’ll make an exception for The Tolkien Society’s 2019 con in Birmingham, UK!).

    I was editing the comment when the time ran out, so it could be messed up in some way, sigh. Jetlagged still I am.

  46. I buy a lot of Baen books, and I have nominated non-Bujold Baen books for the Hugo. My problem with voting for Toni Weisskopf, or other Baen editors for the long form is two-fold. I’ve heard than Baen “team edits” most books, so I think it makes it hard to justify giving one of them an individual effort award. Second, I generally have no idea what books any of the long form editors have edited unless they tell me, and most of the Baen editors have not bothered to list the books they want us to use in consideration for the award. And if it’s “all of them” for Toni Weiskopf, and “all of them” for Jim Minz, which one gets my first vote vs second? There is at least one editor who I believe won a Hugo more as a lifetime achievement award than for the specific year’s works, and if at some point, Toni still hasn’t won a Hugo, and it looks like she’s up for one that’s really a lifetime achievement award, I’d probably rank her at the top, despite their “team editing”.

  47. Yeah, Best Editor is just an iffy category to start with. Before the puppy kerfluffle, I don’t believe I had ever voted in the category (let alone nominated). If I did, it was long ago, when “SF editor” was more-or-less a synonym for “magazine editor”, and my vote would have gone to whatever magazine I thought did the best job that year.

    And barring another puppy-like event in the future, I plan to return to ignoring the category. (Which is better than automatically no-awarding it in protest, as I hear some people do.)

    I definitely don’t like the idea of abusing a best-of-the-year award to give lifetime achievement. I know it happens, but I’m not going to aid-and-abet. In any category.

  48. @robinareid: “You were mentioned in passing as a primary source for somebody whose stories I have read and remembered which means wild elephants could not drag me to LC.”

    Perhaps that is in the edited version of your comment, but I did not (and do not) see that in the version I received by email. What I see there is a whole lot of “let’s use their web presences to compare LibertyCon to WisCon,” relying on general mission statements to deduce how they probably operate and what the people there are probably like.

    That’s two unnecessary “probablys,” as I can directly testify to how LC operates and what most of their people are actually like. When I say it is not necessary to guess, but simply to ask, that is exactly what I mean. My information is a couple of years out of date, true enough, but the same crew is running the show and thus I have no reason to assume that their membership or methodology has changed appreciably.

    For instance, you make a lot of assumptions about the programming tracks and how the panels come to be. Meanwhile, I can testify that they dedicate one track to science programming (including the one annual panel I really miss, the Mad Scientists Panel, which I’ll get to in a minute), but the rest are typically determined by who the available pros are and what subjects are of interest. For example, when Steve Jackson and David Weber were there in the same year, I knew that both shared an interest in the Bolo stories (SJ has acknowledged them as an inspiration for his Ogre game and its associated fiction, and DW has written in the Bolo universe) and suggested that they might be interested in doing a “Tanks in SF” panel. They were, and I understand it went over well. I appeared on an e-publishing panel with Janet and Chris Morris, as well as a couple of small publishers; I represented the nuts-and-bolts tech angle. The aforementioned Mad Scientists Panel is traditionally helmed by a NASA project manager, taking place late Saturday night. It started happening before my time, as a formalization of discussions that tended to break out when several scientists and other bright folks got some beers and gathered around the pool. Les typically plans about half a dozen minitopics that are designed to get people thinking, usually around a certain theme – one year’s theme was “unexplained mysteries” and included the curious data point that one of our outbound space probes was going faster than the models said it should be, so what could explain that? (This got answered in the next year or two: it was oriented in a way that caught more solar wind than anticipated, which acted as added propulsion.) The subject of education and innovation came up in a different year, and a couple of audience members were teachers who answered specific issues from their own experience. Academic, no… but not exactly dumb, either.

    It’s true that LC isn’t an academic conference, but neither is its programming tailored to what a graybeard staff decides the topics will be. Yes, there are some perennial features – the Baen art show and new release panels, a similar “new and upcoming” presentation from Steve Jackson when he shows up (which he does at any con he attends), the relatively new “Iron Artist” live collaboration, the kids’ minitrack, and others – because they’re well attended and people don’t want them to go away. Just as WisCon tailors its programming to the wants of its audience, LC aims for what its audience wants to see. If someone comes up with a good idea, and there are panelists available for it, it goes onto the schedule. Sure, I imagine that’s a more laid-back approach than WisCon uses, but they’re different cons in different places with different core audiences. Of course they’ll differ, as well they should. Nothing wrong with that – and as someone who’s attended several LibertyCons, I wish I had the resources to check out a WisCon. I doubt I’m the only one, although I fully expect that we’d be in the minority among LC’s population. Like I said, that does tend to trend conservative.

    As for being white male dominated… well, “Uncle Timmy” helped start one local convention (Chattacon) and started LibertyCon after parting ways with them. Yup, he’s a white male. So am I, come to that. Fandom around here – this is a pretty red part of the South – trends pretty white and conservative, and as LC’s staff is all-volunteer, it reflects the con’s demographics in that respect. Not exclusively, and my space was deliberately more liberal and open to diversity than some of the others may have been. I couldn’t exactly go out and drag women and PoC into the gaming area, but I sure as hell welcomed them and encouraged them to join in the fun when they did show up.

    No, I’m not likely to go back to LibertyCon anytime soon. I don’t have the money, and I’d rather my ticket go to someone who’s more excited about the con anyway. Yes, I’ve felt uncomfortable there, as a liberal in a mainly conservative space during a time of increased polarization. I still have friends who attend, though, and they’re just as much part of “fandom” as anyone commenting here.

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