Pixel Scroll 6/27/18 What Has It Got In Its Retro Packet?

(1) ANAHEIM EVENT GOES DOWN THE TUBER. With dreams of rivaling VidCon, YouTuber Tana Mongeau tried to stage her own event in Anaheim. How did that go? New York Magazine titled its coverage “A Mouth to Hell Opened This Weekend at Tanacon, a Fyre Festival for the YouTube Set”.

Tana Mongeau wanted to throw an alt-VidCon. Instead, she threw a Fyre Festival redux.

Mongeau is a YouTuber. She has 3.5 million followers and her name might sound vaguely familiar if you’re at all versed in the surprisingly engaging world of vegan YouTube drama. VidCon is an annual YouTube-centric convention organized by brothers and YouTube royals Hank and John Green. Tanacon is the event that Mongeau organized — and named after herself — last week in California.

Tanacon was inspired by Mongeau’s self-professed dislike of VidCon. In a video you can watch if you have an hour and eighteen minutes to kill, Mongeau explained she would not be attending VidCon this year, citing drama over not being designated a featured creator at the event. And so, Tanacon was born. And, in a way, so Tanacon died. The event was barely six hours into its first day when it was shut down by officials for overcrowding, sending thousand of teens — many who had been waiting hours outside in the sun — into a tizzy. A dehydrated tizzy we can now recount for you to gleefully relive from the relative comfort of wherever you’re presently posted up. (We can only assume it’s not still the parking lot of the Anaheim Marriott Suites.)…

…The fan horde did not take well to the event cancellation. “After the lady said it was canceled, everyone started screaming, complaining, and cussing her out,” 13-year-old Alyssa, who bought a VIP ticket and waited six hours to be turned away empty-handed, said. “Everyone ran to the registration tent and threw the merch … pop sockets, Tanacon bags, stickers, Tanacon condoms, badges. This led to everyone destroying everything.”

Mongeau eventually came outside to calm the crowd. This, reader, will you believe … also did not end well, as evidenced by clips of screaming fans, phones raised above their heads with cameras at the ready, running through the parking lot to spy their queen….


(2) AND A BAD TRACK RECORD GETS WORSE. Louisville’s Fandomfest, which unaccountably did not go out of business last year after the loss of more than half its celebrity guests and a last-minute move to an old Macy’s store, (“Louisville’s Fandom Fest Shambles On”), has failed its attempt to relaunch in 2018. Co-promoter Myra Daniels announced on Facebook yesterday they’re “rescheduling” Fandomfest 2018 and plan to divide it into two more affordable events.

Hey Guys!!!

We are rescheduling Fandomfest 2018 this year.

A number of reasons why.

When we picked the date last year it was a different date range then we normally pick. It was the date closest to the previous few years of Fandomfest. The Omni is a great hotel and we wanted to have it there this year.

Unfortunately several things happened. The date we chose made it very difficult to get vendors and bigger named celebs for that date because there were 6 other big conventions on that date.

So many of our normal vendors had already paid and booked other shows for that date. That made it difficult to procure vendors which helps to pay for everything.

Another reason is the pre-sale tickets were at a lower rate then ever. The guests we have chosen to bring in to the event weren’t a big enough pre-ticket purchase draw for the fans.

Putting these shows on costs money. A lot of money. The idea is to have an idea of the excitement for your guest list and the pre-sales are a huge way for us to gauge that in our plan.

We worked with the great people at The Omni to try and find another date there at their beautiful facility but they are completely booked all the way into 2019.

So we are excited to announce that we are working to reschedule and instead of bringing one show in the summer we are going to bring 2 events to better serve you guys. We know we hear all the time how expensive the shows are getting with the autograph prices and the photo op prices as well as admission. We think the time is right to have shows that don’t cost the fans as much money.

All of us love meeting our favorites from our Superhero Movies or favorite TV Shows out there but lets face it, it can get expensive.

Daniels says they’ll “be refunding the few ticket purchases and vendor booths” starting on June 30.

(3) STILL EARTHBOUND. It was an open secret that the launch of James Webb Space Telescope would be delayed again; now it’s just plain open. The schedule now calls for a launch on March 30, 2021. Once launched, the JWST will be inserted into a solar orbit at the Earth-Sun L2 point.

NASA says

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) is an orbiting infrared observatory that will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, with longer wavelength coverage and greatly improved sensitivity. The longer wavelengths enable Webb to look much closer to the beginning of time and to hunt for the unobserved formation of the first galaxies, as well as to look inside dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today.

Quoting The Verge’s article “NASA’s next flagship space telescope is delayed again”:

NASA has again delayed the launch of its next-generation space observatory, known as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the space agency announced today. The telescope now has a new launch date of March 30th, 2021. It’s the second delay to the program’s timeline this year, and the third in the last nine months.

“We’re all disappointed that the culmination of Webb and its launch is taking longer than expected, but we’re creating something new here. We’re dealing with cutting-edge technology to perform an unprecedented mission, and I know that our teams are working hard and will successfully overcome the challenges,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a video statement. “In space we always have to look at the long term, and sometimes the complexities of our missions don’t come together as soon as we wish. But we learn, we move ahead, and ultimately we succeed.”

(4) TAKE NOTE. The Guardian answers the question:  “Who is Segun Akinola? The composer reinventing the Doctor Who theme”.

Segun Akinola has been announced as the sci-fi show’s new composer, and he’s in for a challenge almost as significant as hers: reinventing one of TV’s best-known theme tunes. The British-Nigerian musician’s unveiling continues the trend for bringing in fresh blood all around for the show’s new era. Composer Murray Gold worked on all 10 series of the revived show, winning acclaim for his blockbustery orchestral scores – despite many fans complaining they became invasive and overbearing.

Akinola, an alumnus of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and part of 2017’s Bafta Breakthrough Brit programme, could prove an altogether different prospect for a remodelled show. Could fans look forward to hearing something a little more pared down, modern and minimalist?

…Yet his latest challenge sets the bar high. Composing soundtracks for all 10 episodes of Whittaker’s debut series might provide the lion’s share of his workload – but he is also tasked with providing a ‘fresh take’ on the show’s theme music. That’s one of the most iconic elements of Doctor Who – just like the show itself, it’s always changing while remaining, broadly, the same.

Composed by Ron Grainer, the eerie, warping titles first emerged in 1963 in an arrangement now synonymous with Doctor Who’s renegade spirit….

(5) TRAVEL BAN CONSEQUENCES URGED. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision upholding Trump’s travel ban, several leading sff figures voiced a new resolve to deprive the United States of future Worldcons. Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s Twitter thread starts here. Adam Roberts carried on the theme in his Twitter thread, and Paul Cornell ratified it.

(6) CHRISTOPHER STASHEFF REMEMBERED. The daughter of the late Christopher Stasheff gave an interview about the author to the Champaign, IL News-Gazette.

A daughter of the prolific author who brought literary depth to the science fiction and fantasy genres with books like “The Warlock in Spite of Himself” said he used the people of Champaign as his muse.

“He gained inspiration from the people around him,” said Eleanore Stasheff, whose father, Christopher Stasheff, died June 10 at age 74.

“He always believed home is where the heart is, which is Champaign,” she said. “He found beauty anywhere we were at, but to him, people were more important than nature.”

(7) HEART OBIT. Frank Heart (1929-2018), a U.S. engineer who led the team that built the Interface Message Processor, heart of internet precursor ARPAnet, died on June 24 aged 89. The New York Times recalls his achievements: “Frank Heart, Who Linked Computers Before the Internet, Dies at 89”.

Data networking was so new that Mr. Heart and his team had no choice but to invent technology as they went. For example, the Arpanet sent data over ordinary phone lines. Human ears tolerate low levels of extraneous noise on a phone line, but computers can get tripped up by the smallest hiss or pop, producing transmission errors. Mr. Heart and his team devised a way for the I.M.P.s (pronounced imps) to detect and correct errors as they occurred.


  • Born June 27 – Tobey Maguire, 43. Spider-Man films of course.
  • Born June 27 — J.J. Abrams, 52. Executive Producer of Alias, Lost: Missing Pieces, Star Trek, Lost, Fringe, Star Trek Into Darkness, Almost Human… Well you get the idea.
  • Born June 27 – Samuel George Claflin, 32. Performer, the Hunger Games film series, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Snow White and the Huntsman


  • John King Tarpinian spotted a Return of the Jedi joke in Brewster Rockit.

(10) KING KONG V GODZILLA. At Galactic Journey, The Young Traveler gives a blow-by-blow account of monstrous showdown: “[June 26, 1963] Double or Nothing (King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962))”.

Though the epic monster fight was the main spectacle of the movie, it also managed to have a plot too. Well, sort of. The movie follows a dying Pharmaceuticals company whose executive is trying to get business by gaining traction on TV. Obviously the best way to get TV viewership is to send two of your employees to a small exotic island in search of giant monsters you can exploit. So that’s just what they do, discovering King Kong in the process. An awesome fight breaks out between King Kong and a giant octopus, for some reason, and after a much too long “exotic” dance sequence from the island’s “natives” King Kong drinks some special juice and falls asleep.

(11) READY FOR ITS CLOSE-UP. BBC reports “Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft reaches cosmic ‘diamond'”.

A Japanese spacecraft has arrived at its target – an asteroid shaped like a diamond or, according to some, a spinning top.

Hayabusa 2 has been travelling toward the space rock Ryugu since launching from the Tanegashima spaceport in 2014.

It is on a quest to study the object close-up and deliver rocks and soil from Ryugu to Earth.

It will use explosives to propel a projectile into Ryugu, digging out a fresh sample from beneath the surface.

(12) HISTORY ONLINE. Did you know the BBC once sold a home computer? “BBC releases computer history archive”.

A slice of computing history has been made public, giving people the opportunity to delve into an archive that inspired a generation of coders.

The Computer Literacy Project led to the introduction of the BBC Micro alongside programmes which introduced viewers to the principles of computing.

It included interviews with innovators such as Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak.

The BBC hopes the 1980s archive will encourage today’s youngsters to become involved in computing.

With the release of the archive, viewers can now search and browse all of the programmes from the project.

They will be able to:

  • watch any of the 267 programmes
  • explore clips by topic or text search
  • run 166 BBC Micro programmes that were used on-screen
  • find out the history of the Computer Literacy Project

(13)  DRAGON CON LOSES POC PARTICIPANT. Gerald L. Coleman, who withdrew as a ConCarolinas guest, has decided Dragon Con isn’t suitable either.

Here’s a little thread I just sent. I still haven’t heard back from Cisca Small after emailing her twice this month about whether #DragonCon intends to invite John Ringo. According to Ringo he’s been invited. If that’s true I’ll be withdrawing my participation as an Attending Professional. I don’t have the luxury of pacifying, appeasing, or normalizing these decisions with my presence. I’m sure a number of authors who aren’t people of color or women will find all kinds of justifications for why it’s ok to attend but still call themselves “allies”. Just know I don’t buy it. I understand though, selling a few copies of your books is more important than letting a Con know that who they invite says everything about who they are.

Coleman also wrote a Twitter thread, which starts here.

(14) MANIFESTUNG. The Daily Dot’s Michelle Jaworski shows that “‘The Last Jedi’ backlash ‘campaign’ demands to be taken seriously “.

More than six months after the theatrical release of The Last Jedi, just about every aspect of the backlash against it has already been argued and debated to death. But that hasn’t stopped old arguments appearing in new formats.

Last week, we saw an almost certainly fake campaign “raise” millions of dollars to remake a film that earned more than $1.3 billion at the box office. This week, we’re seeing a “manifesto” written by “We the fans of Star Wars” go viral several weeks after it was originally posted. The emergence of the post, which didn’t get that much traction when it was first posted, is almost solely so people can mock it.

The creators of the manifesto believe that “those in charge of a Franchise derives its power as a creative force from the consent of the fandom of that Franchise.” The creators take umbrage with the direction that Lucasfilm has gone since being purchased by Disney and the perceived “misguided political agenda” that it’s pursuing with the new films. It includes grievances against The Last Jedi and the newer films as a whole, characterizing the films as desecrating the legacies of characters we’ve known for decades. And they certainly have an issue with people assuming that they’re racist, sexist, or part of the alt-right for disliking a movie.

“To these ends, we pledge our merchandise, our honor, and our wallets,” the manifesto stated in its final line.

These Star Wars fans, you see, demand to be taken seriously.

For the historians among us, this June 3 Twitter thread contains both the manifesto and a flag (complete with explanation of all its symbolism).

(15) A FORK IN THE ROAD. NPR’s Jason Sheehan reviews Laura Anne Gilman’s novel: “‘Red Waters Rising’ Leads Old Friends Into New Trouble”.

In the Devil’s West trilogy, Laura Anne Gilman has given us an imagined history of the United States — one that feels nearly as true as facts, both crazier and more reasoned than our Old West reality. Silver On The Road defined that world. One where the Devil — the actual Devil, smelling warmly of whiskey and tobacco, dressed in a prim cardsharp’s suit — holds dominion over everything in the United States west of the Mississippi, and defends it and its people from the predation and influence of Washington, Spain, the French and all of the East. From a town called Flood, he makes his deals and sends his chosen out into the world — one of them being Isobel, a teenaged girl, raised at the Devil’s knee and then sent forth (along with her mentor, Gabriel) into the Territory as his Left Hand. She is the Devil’s cold eye, final word and, when necessary, his justice.

(16) LUKE CAGE. The Orlando Sentinel interviews “’Luke Cage’ showrunner on its controversial killing”.

Before Cheo Hodari Coker began plotting Season 2 of Netflix‘s “Luke Cage,” he had to address the elephant in the room.

Actually, it was more like a snake in the room. A Cottonmouth to be specific.

Coker, a director, writer and producer who can frequently be found on social media answering both positive and negative questions and comments from viewers of his works, had frequently seen comments online saying that the killing of Season 1 villain Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali) was a huge mistake.

There was a method to Coker’s perceived madness. One reason he gleefully accepted working on “Luke Cage” in the first place was his love of superhero comics. Coker still remembers vividly how he felt the moment he read the 12th issue of “Alpha Flight” (published by Marvel Comics in 1983), when legendary comics scribe and artist John Byrne killed the character Guardian.

“When (Bryne) killed Guardian I was verklempt,” Coker told The Washington Post. “I wanted to bring that kind of thing to Marvel television. I wanted to kind of do what Hitchcock did with ‘Psycho,’ because it was a big deal to kill Janet Leigh. And so, that was the thing. Cottomouth in that structure was always going to die. Even though people liked him a lot.”

(17) NIGHTFLYERS. Syfy Wire was terrified: “Nightflyers: George R.R. Martin goes ‘Psycho’ in new teaser”.

In the latest intense and unnerving teaser for George R.R. Martin’s upcoming sci-fi/horror series, Nightflyers, a young girl seems to recite some sort of incantation while we’re treated (if that’s the right word) to brief flashes of the rest of the cast in tight, dark spaces looking concerned, being set on fire, being dragged across the floor by some unseen force, and running for their lives. It’s all pretty terrifying, to tell the truth.


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

119 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/27/18 What Has It Got In Its Retro Packet?

  1. Clip Hitchcock:

    “8Hampus conveniently ignores years for which there are no US bid…”

    No, I do not. I’m only reacting to the word duty. There is a very large difference between saying that there will not be a Worldcon outside US one year unless someone organizes it and saying that everyone who wants to have a Worldcon outside US have a duty to organize it.

    Those two are not the same.

  2. I believe Kate Secor floated the “Minimum Viable Worldcon” bid idea. We were talking about it in Helsinki last year…

  3. I’ve triggered a failed site selection. Westercon, not Worldcon, and the failure mode is not the same, but…

    If you want a DC in 2021 non-US alternative, build your competing 2021 non-US bid committee now. Win the election (which should be feasible at a European convention like Dublin).

    Don’t run a none-of-the-above campaign (I’m pretty sure my “Olive Country” Westercon bid “won” and caused the failure because it short-circuited a NOTA campaign). Don’t throw it to the business meeting.

    I’ve been through a SMOFpocalypse. It’s a losing proposition even for the winners.

  4. (5) I’m certainly happy to support any non-US bids. There is a zero probability of my traveling to anything in the USA until Trump is gone, and Pence too should he take over.

  5. RIP, Harlan. I’m glad you liked my dog when you met her at Minicon 41. She liked you too, so say hi to her at the pearly gates for me.

  6. Harlan Ellison! Damn, but this one hurts! I started reading genre because a friend of mine put one of his collections in my hands more than 40 years ago and said, “Read this!”.

    I was happily burrowing through all the “classics” and would probably be an academic right now, doing “publish or perish” papers on the use of semicolons in Chaucer (either that or law) if it weren’t for that book. Instead, I found SF, from Ellison to Le Guin to Sturgeon and all the rest. I didn’t even read The Hobbit until a couple of years later.

    Requiescat In Pace.

  7. I mostly remember Ellison for sexually harassing Connie Willis on stage at the Hugo awards ceremony.

  8. I remember he was an excellent writer, and a… problematic… human being. May be be remembered for the good he did.

  9. Yeah, Harlan died, but I must interrupt this to beg.

    One of my credentials had surgery this morning, and it’s going to cost $7,000.

    Seven. Thousand. Dollars.

    Which we don’t have — that’s over 2 months’ total living expenses — and we’re living off (premature, thus heavily taxed) IRA withdrawals. We get the credit to pay our Obamacare premiums, which… who knows if that will continue? Basically we are poor, and as you know, it’s not a swell time to be poor.

    So I am begging for money.

    You can send it to my PayPal account, which is under lurkertype (at) yahoo (dot) com.

    Any amount, no matter how small, will be deliriously accepted.

    I promise to send a photo of him on some SF. He is a handsome tuxedo beastie of 17 pounds. I don’t know if he’ll have a cone of shame or not.

    I know many of you don’t have any spare money, but I know how much File 770 loves cats, so any kind thoughts towards him or me, prayers to your favorite deity, or just grumpy thoughts towards the universe to shape up for once are also accepted.

  10. @Andrew Trembley: I too suffered through the SMOFpocalypse with you, in an extremely minor capacity. And the frenzied scrabbling when the NOTA bid didn’t win, the board of directors said “Hell no, we’re not deciding by fiat, the fen must decide democratically” and something Had To Be Done.*

    The Something was The Business Meeting From Hell. An entire afternoon of Robert’s Rules of Order, which even the majesty and might of Kevin Standlee is hard-pressed to preside over. Motion after motion, vote after vote, speech after speech, more votes… it was over 3 hours of parliamentary procedure during which we could have been going to panels, gaming, eating, sleeping, buying.

    And then Andy and Kevin had to whomp up a Westercon from scratch.
    That was the win condition.

    It turned out to be one of the BEST cons I’ve ever been to in my 3 decades of con-going, but that was due to ridiculously hard work by a lot of people who hadn’t planned to have that in their lives just then.

    The Worldcon failure mode is a bit less cumbersome, but involves many more people and a lot more money and oh sweet baby Jesus, don’t do it.

    Get your shit together WELL before the vote.

    *Andy is too kind and diplomatic to say it, but I will. That bid was less than half-assed, it was maybe 20%-assed, and the representatives were surly and arrogant. They didn’t bother to run a campaign at all, or announce their planning (if they had any) before the vote. Then they continued to be surly, arrogant, and entitled during the Business Meeting From Hell.

  11. Regarding non-US Worldcons: why hasn’t Vancouver ever had one? It’s a great city and I’d love to go back. Someone in Vancouver, please step up to the challenge. I will be there! I will bring money and be polite!

    A Vancouver Worldcon could show off a lot of Asian influence, which would be nice.

    Okay, back to waiting for further news on the cat. No complications on the surgery or anesthesia.

  12. Lurkertype on June 28, 2018 at 2:52 pm said:
    One of my credentials had surgery this morning, and it’s going to cost $7,000.
    Seven. Thousand. Dollars….
    So I am begging for money.

    The credential itself is free, of course, but after that…
    Oh heck, that is some horrific vet bill.
    He is truly a lovely lump of a cat, and it’s not his fault that his excretory system is beyond wonky.
    Yep, donation time.

    You can send it to my PayPal account, which is under lurkertype (at) yahoo (dot) com.
    Any amount, no matter how small, will be deliriously accepted.


  13. @lurkertype:

    The Westercon site selection failure mode followed its rules. But the rules only said “what,” and did not explain “how.” “How” had to be made up on the fly (by Kevin Standlee, Ben Yalow and Rick Kovalcik), because this hadn’t happened since before the current rules were established.

    The Worldcon site selection failure mode has a slightly (but significantly) different “what” (automatic disqualification of ineligible bids, and no failure trigger but “NOTA”) but no clearer a “how.” If we have to, we can use the “how” that hindsight shows would have been faster and more productive for a Worldcon site selection failure.

    And still, I don’t want to ever see another committee win through the alternative selection process, because the process is brutal and the convention-running workload is compressed for the winner.

  14. Regarding non-US WorldCons, 2018 is happening in two months, 2019 and 2020 are outside the US anyway. It’s probably too late to get together a viable bid for 2021 (plus, the DC bid sounded pretty well thought out at the Fannish Inquisition), but organising something for 2022 should be possible. Would be great if European or maybe Asian fandom could get together and organise something. Or maybe Canada? For 2023, there already is a non-US bid for Nice in France. I didn’t find them overly convincing at the Fannish Inquisition in Helsinki, compared to the competing New Orleans bid, but they’ve got plenty of time.

    Of course, if Trump loses in 2020 and someone saner takes over, this may all be a moot point anyway. But I’m not holding my breath for that to happen. Not to mention that lifting travel restrictions is often not high on the agenda of an incoming president, since it doesn’t affect US voters directly. Obama never rolled back the tightened security measures introduced under G.W. Bush either.

    Wow, that’s a huge vet bill, probably the highest I’ve ever heard of. Just sent something over. I hope your credential feels better soon.

  15. Those people who don’t think there should be any US Worldcons have a duty to organize non-US Worldcon bids. Nobody is going to do it for them.

    I have never organized a Worldcon, not a single time, and it continues to happen. Other people did do this for me.

  16. Lurkertype, I’m a dinosaur who does not have a paypal account. However, reviewing the online instructions, it seems I can pay you via credit card IF you send me a payment request. I can’t afford a lot, but I’ll gladly pony up $50 toward your vet bills; email the payment request for $50 to (rot13) pnffl@obbxjlezr.pbz

  17. YOU GUYS!!!

    I love you!

    There is over $450!

    All pittances eagerly accepted — even $5 will buy some post-op pills.

    Filers really are the best people.

    @CassyB: understood. I opened the PayPal account about 5 min. before posting here, about 2 hours ago. Will email you.

  18. Ooh, we’re over $550!

    Cassy, it worked perfectly. We have learned good.

  19. And of course, the follow-up visits are not included in this bill… sigh.

    If only Bo Obama (also a tuxedo) had established some sort of universal pet insurance (pet insurance has a higher interest rate than my credit card does, and anyway this is a pre-existing condition).

  20. @lurkertype
    I don’t post very often and haven’t even been lurking that much lately (new job), but that vet bill is atrocious. We had gotten a new kitten almost exactly one year ago who ended up having emergency surgery after 2-months and eventually passed away. That was traumatic and hard. Glad to hear that your buddy is doing OK. Sent you something.

  21. Thanks to all, again. So far File 770 has paid nearly 10% of the bill. Mr. lurker’s FB friends have contributed nada, zero, zip, zilch.

    @k_choll: Oh, how heartbreaking. Spending all that and not coming out with a kitty at the end… oof.

    I don’t want to call attention to who’s donated (that is SUPER-uncool), but just know that every little bit is appreciated. Even the smallest donation raises my spirits and gives me warm fuzzies, which are always useful after yesterday’s stress.

    Also, I can’t thank a few of you b/c I don’t know who you are unless your wallet name is close to your 770 name, or you tell me. 🙂 But anonymous giving is the bestest anyway, right? Also also, I have learned about today’s conversion rates from European currencies.

  22. @Lurkertype–Dora tells me that Bo Obama did try, but discovered that many of the hooman politicians who seemed so friendly didn’t take his lobbying seriously. Even the President said that it was hard enough to get hooman insurance reform passed, and he shouldn’t expect miracles!

    Dora was shocked.

    If this weren’t now a preexisting condition, I could give you some good suggestions for pet insurance. There are good companies and good policies out there.

    Best to start when the credentials and alternative credentials are young and healthy, though.

    For a long time, there weren’t any worthwhile pet insurance companies, and the improvement hasn’t been around long enough to have really penetrated into popular knowledge. And if your pets are already old, or already sick…

    A few years ago, the dog in my profile pic was attacked and badly mauled by a dog that shouldn’t have been out of its yard. The fact that I knew people who had connected me to the early wave of good policies saved her life that time, because the cost of the surgery would have been completely beyond my ability to raise. A couple of years after that, it made a more painful decision a little easier, because money wasn’t a factor.

    All of which is just saying, if you have young, healthy credentials, look into insurance for them now. If you can find a policy that works for you, it can make a huge difference.

    And I have blathered on. I hope my blathering isn’t offensive or hurtful. Lurkertype’s crisis just pushed my PET HEALTH INSURANCE NOW button. 🙁

  23. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 6/28/18 Stay Scrolled, Pixelboy… Stay Scrolled… | File 770

  24. Lurkertype, I sent you a little something also. Good luck – that’s a hard place to be.

  25. “No Worldcons should be scheduled in the USA until this ban is lifted. Simple.”
    Sad to see politics imported into every matter, even hobbies and celebrations. Simple minded.

  26. @Lis: Send me the info anyway. The credentials are 12 and 17, both with pre-existing conditions, but someday I’ll have new shiny ones. The BFFs just got kittens today so I can pass the info along.

  27. @Lis: If you could send me the info too, that would be really useful.
    Eyes her four credentials just ticking away…
    (I’m lauowolf at gmail)

  28. @Gregory Benford: It won’t do anything to end the travel ban, and it will punish all the Americans who didn’t vote for this. Which is a majority of them, particularly in SF fandom. There’s no way I’ve ever been able to afford to fly to an overseas Worldcon even when extremely gainfully employed (low 6 figures), which is true of most fen around the world. (PNH gets to go on Tor’s dime, so of course it’s fine and dandy for him; the rest of us have no multinational conglomerate paying us big bucks and an expense account)

    It’d certainly drastically reduce the size of the cons as well, and lose a generation of attendees/future con runners, plus much of the accumulated knowledge base. Kinda cutting off their nose to spite their face.

    Noble, but definitely counter-productive.

    Non-Americans are free to come or not to the US, as they wish, and organize as many bids/cons as they want, but banning Worldcon entirely from the US might very well kill it.

    I do want a con in Vancouver, darn it! You guys bid, pleeeeease! Everybody likes Canada!

  29. @Andrew: I suspect there are lots of such series; the Dickson started around the same time, so what’s left of my mind fetched it easily.

    @Chris S.: The current lunacy may wane after Trump’s second term ends. Emphasis on “may”; with him stacking the Supreme Court, I don’t expect the lunacy to end in my lifetime.

    @Gregory Benford: the politics is imposed, not imported; SCOTUS has just made keeping the “world” in Worldcon even more difficult — not so much by the current move as by asserting that POTUS can bar anyone, alleging “security”.

  30. Gregory Benford on June 28, 2018 at 7:39 pm said:
    “No Worldcons should be scheduled in the USA until this ban is lifted. Simple.”
    Sad to see politics imported into every matter, even hobbies and celebrations. Simple minded.

    I will tell you what I find simple minded: the idea that there is such a thing as “politics” separated from what “normal” people do in their everyday life, that can be safely ignored while such “normal” people go about their innocent hobbies and divertissments. I also find the idea that fandom is a “hobby”, like stamp collecting or crochet, and worldcon a “celebration”, pretty ludicrous.

    Of course if you are not targeted by the obscene cruelty of this administration: if you are not poor, a woman, gay, trans, black, an immigrant, a refugee, then you can placidly keep “politics” in its well-walled in garden, behind the nice picket fence, like a game played in summer whites between affluent gentlemen who have been to the right schools.

    And then, yes, why not, you can consider SFF a “hobby”, totally separated from your sense of passion, of justice, of considering your place in the machine of the world and the people it chews up.

  31. Personally, I am glad that WorldCon is often outside the US these days; I have been to every European WorldCon since 1987 and I am sure there will be more. And I am one of the people who has no intention of visiting the USA, which I deeply love and holds some of my favourite people, because it scares me shitless. But I don’t see how non-US fandom can organise a WorldCon every year or even most years. Basically the whole of UK fandom is burned out for years after a WorldCon, and we’re talking one of the most active and numerous fandom outside the US.

    What is going on in the US is incredibly depressing but mandating the WorldCon to be elsewhere is not possible and frankly not the main issue here.

  32. And the person calling for this year’s Worldcon to be immediately relocated to Vancouver, BC was just being silly, or otherwise has absolutely no idea how Worldcons are run

    Or how hotel/convention center contracts work, or how many attendees (not to mention the guests) make plans – including travel reservations – in advance, or for that matter what Canada’s tourist policies are like.

    Having more of the convention available to supporting members remotely – especially the business meetings – sounds good to me.

    And then Andy and Kevin had to whomp up a Westercon from scratch.
    That was the win condition.

    It turned out to be one of the BEST cons I’ve ever been to in my 3 decades of con-going, but that was due to ridiculously hard work by a lot of people who hadn’t planned to have that in their lives just then.

    That was the last Sacramento Westercon, right? That was a really good convention.

  33. Pet insurance info sent.

    It’s not possible to have the Worldcon outside the US every year, but I’m totally on board with favoring any viable non-US bid over a US bid until this madness passes.

  34. @ lurkertype – Cheshire and Schroedinger have sent a little something your way for their fellow Credential.

    Re: putting the world in worldcon – Regardless of our current political atrocities, I’ve made it my policy to support every viable non-US Worldcon bid. It’s pragmatic, really. Given the ordinary dynamics of these things, the US is still going to get more than its share of Worldcons, but I’d like to help share the opportunity around. For as long as I have my current job, I can continue to attend pretty much anywhere. In another half dozen years when I hope to retire, I’ll have to re-evaluate that position depending on finances. But it isn’t just about me.

  35. I worked at that Westercon- it redeemed my faith in general SFF cons, that had previously been lost due to my experience with the senescent Bay Area cons. Andy and Kevin did an incredible job, which is why I have a lot of confidence in WorldCon.

    It’s a weird thing, but sometime, somehow I got the notion that WorldCon did alternate US/International conventions. I probably confused it with the Olympics.

  36. @ Gregory: This isn’t a political issue; it’s a MORAL issue. Dismissing it as “politics” is something that can only be done from a position of privilege, and indicates your willingness to throw a significant chunk of fandom under the bus for the sake of not making waves.

  37. As not living in US, it is kind of easy. I will always try to vote for other alternatives, because I prefer to not risk going to US during the current administration. A large reason is because I do not trust them not to change the rules for entry the week before I go. As they have already done once. Even if I might not be affected, a travel partner might. Or a friend.

    But still, it is a SFF convention. It is not a matter of if people will live and die. If there are no alternatives, then I’m okay with a convention in US. As long as it is not in a Trump-state.

  38. Lee: This isn’t a political issue; it’s a MORAL issue.

    They aren’t mutually exclusive choices here. Worldcons are awarded by a vote, so politics is certainly part of it.

  39. Lis Carey on June 28, 2018 at 9:06 pm said:
    …It’s not possible to have the Worldcon outside the US every year, but I’m totally on board with favoring any viable non-US bid over a US bid until this madness passes.

    I agree with this, and have been voting this way even pre-Trump. That also leaves a few US worldcons for people who can’t safely leave the U.S., and for newbies here, and for people here who have less money and can’t travel (like me, these days), while providing the same benefit most years, I hope, for people in corresponding situations elsewhere.

    ULTRAGOTHA’s ideas about additional streaming would help no matter where the worldcon is.

  40. (7) Frank Heart is dead. He was my boss’s boss at BBN Labs, a nice enough guy (I associate “hearty” with my memory of him, probably just because of his name.) One of the justifications of the multiprocessor project I was working on was faster packet-routing, and voice stream capability. I was briefly given a 16-68000 box for testing in my office — the building heat shut off at 5, so it served as an excellent space heater even when Fresh Pond was frozen over.

    It was also the era (1984?) when we had meetings about the insecure, slapped-together nature of TCP/IP, and worked on better standards. One camp said TCP/IP was already embedded and no new standard would dislodge it. They were right — it was worked around and new parallel protocols were added. Crufty and available beats thoughtful and farseeing. Like usual.

    Also hit by Harlan Ellison’s passing, but I didn’t *know* him. Odd

  41. Those people who don’t think there should be any US Worldcons have a duty to organize non-US Worldcon bids.

    No, they don’t.

    Having an opinion does not confer a duty. I think they should remake BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE with a plot I dictate, but I’m not going to seek out the rights. I think Marvel Comics and DC Comics should get their entire back catalogs digitized and offer a service whereby fans can order customized TPBs with whatever contents they choose — including cross-company collections so I can have a TPB of all the Rutland Halloween Parade stories — but I’m not going to spend any time on it.

    We can all think things should happen; we don’t therefore have to try to make them happen. It is not a duty to make our opinions reality.

    Those who are actually motivated to do that sort of thing, though, more power to them. But there’s still no duty attached to thinking that there should or shouldn’t be any old thing.

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