Pixel Scroll 7/8/18 My Friend, Can Your Heart Stand The Shocking Facts Of Pixel Scrollers From Outer Space?

(1) CASH THEFT AT MONTREAL COMIC CON. Peter Chiykowski, creator of Rock, Paper, Cynic, told fans that thieves took over $1,000 from his booth at Montreal Comic Con on July 7. He has written a long post on Facebook about the theft, its toxic emotional impact on him, plus a full description of the three perpetrators, who have hit other vendors, too.

Peter Chiykowski and Husein Panju at Montreal Comic Con booth.

Yesterday an organized group of thieves stole about $1,000 cash from my booth at comic con. (Fellow vendors: details at the bottom about how to recognize them and fight back.)

I’m feeling a lot of things right now. Angry. Hurt. Defeated. Spiteful. Grateful to all the people who helped me in the aftermath, including friends and fellow vendors and comic con staff.

…They stole $1,000 in 30 seconds.

I was one of about 4 booths they hit in an hour. I seem to have been hit the hardest. Apparently this is the 3rd con they’ve done this at.

This year has been personally terrible for me. There’s been a lot going in my personal and professional life that I haven’t discussed and that has made this by far the low point and most difficult and financially strained year of my career. On the way to this show I was very seriously questioning if I want to keep doing this.

I can’t help feel like yesterday was a sign. A big fuck you, because no matter how hard I work, there will always be shitty people who can take it away.

I am going to move on from this, because I have to move on from this, and in the grand scheme of my life, $1,000 is far from the biggest thing I’ve lost….

Rodney Valerio has set up a fundraiser with the goal of replacing the thousand dollars that was taken: “Peter’s Rock, Paper, Cyncic Dream”.

(2) SMOFCON SCHOLARSHIPS OFFERED. CanSMOF Inc. is taking applications for three scholarships for convention runners to be used towards the cost of attending SMOFcon 36, to be held in Santa Rosa, CA, November 30-December 2, 2018. SMOFCon is the annual convention about organizing Science Fiction conventions.

  • The first Scholarship of up to 500 CAD is open to a Canadian citizen or resident involved in running conventions with a preference for those who have not previously attended a SMOFCon.
  • The second scholarship of up to 1000 CAD is open to anyone not residing in North America, involved in running conventions with a preference for those who have not previously attended a SMOFCon.
  • The third scholarship of up to 500 CAD is open to anyone involved in running conventions, regardless of their place of residence with a preference for those who have not previously attended a SMOFCon.

Preference will be given to fans who have not previously attended a SMOFCon, but this is not necessary to be an applicant. The submission deadline is September 9.

To apply for a scholarship, follow this link: https://goo.gl/forms/4rNPJbZ7f2Vx1NMJ2

(3) KEPLER NEARS RETIREMENT. On July 6, NASA announced that they have put the Kepler space observatory in a “no-fuel-use safe mode” in preparation for downloading data from what may have been the final Kepler observational campaign. Kepler has been very successful at finding exoplanets (both confirmed and candidates) since commissioning in 2009. After 2 of the 4 reaction wheels failed (the second in 2013), the mission was replanned to use thrusters as well as the remaining reaction wheels to point the telescope. Now, however, thruster fuel is critically low. NASA currently “expects it to run out of fuel in the next few months.”

NASA plans to take Kepler out of safe mode on August 2. It will then be commanded to reorient and point its high-gain antenna at Earth so data currently stored onboard can be downloaded. This reorientation maneuver uses significantly more fuel than observation mode and NASA notes that, “Returning the data back to Earth is the highest priority for the remaining fuel.” If the download is successful, NASA will command one more observation campaign (the 19th), to begin 6 August.

(4) WONDER WOMAN DROPS BY. Syfy Wire, in “’Wonder’-ful surprise: Gal Gadot visited a children’s hospital in her full Wonder Woman costume”, reports Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot made a surprise appearance at Inova Children’s Hospital in Annandale VA on Friday 6 July… in her full battle armor costume.

Surgeon Dr. Lucas Collazo posted a photo to his Twitter account of Gadot posing with nearly a score of staff members and thanking her for brightening the day of many of the children (and staff).

Other pics were posted on Twitter (@WonderWomanHQ) and on Reddit (/u/oligarchyoligarchy). Gadot was apparently in the area while shooting Wonder Woman 1984, the upcoming sequel.

(5) PREMIERE. The Verge posted an excerpt of Rich Larson’s debut novel from Orbit: “A transgender girl rises up against alien invaders in Rich Larson’s novel Annex”. Previous work from Larson includes short genre fiction in Apex Magazine, in Clarkesworld Magazine, at Daily Science Fiction, on Tor.com, and in the anthology War Stories: New Military Science Fiction.

Later this month, Rich Larson will publish his debut novel, Annex, the start to his Violet Wars trilogy. The book is set in the aftermath of an alien invasion, and follows Violet, a transgender girl who has escaped capture and discovered that an alien parasite has given her strange powers. The aliens have tagged the adults of the world with a device that leaves them in a zombie-like state. She and a group of children called “Lost Boys” struggle to survive in order to take the fight back to the otherworldly invaders.

(6) SF V. LITERATURE. Gautham Shenoy interviews Adam Roberts in his 100th sff column for Factor Daily: “‘We’re Winning the War’: A Q&A with SF writer, critic and historian, Adam Roberts”.

Shenoy: I remember a few years ago, Kim Stanley Robinson angrily (I’d presume) calling the judges of the Man Booker Prize ignorant for ignoring science fiction, singling you out as the author who should’ve won that year, for your book, Yellow Blue Tibia. How did that make you feel? Which leads me to the second part of this question, where do you stand on this ‘literary apartheid’ if I can call it as such, where the ‘literary establishment’ tends to ignore if not sneer at ‘low brow’ science fiction, which in turn one could say has become ghettoised.

Roberts: Stan was being kind (really, incredibly kind and flattering) rather than wholly accurate when he said that. I’m never going to win the Man Booker, and I’m content with that. By the same token, I wonder if the ghetto doesn’t figure the opposite way to how it’s often invoked. It’s not that SFF is a ghetto inside the glorious city of ‘Literary Fiction’, but the reverse. “Literary” novels sell abominably badly, by and large; popular culture in the main belongs to SF and Fantasy, eighteen of the top twenty highest grossing movies of all time are SFF, everybody recognises SFF icons and memes, and not only popular bestsellers like Andy Weir’s The Martian but the best in contemporary experimental fiction is now SF. Nicola Barker’s Goldsmith’s Prize-winning H(a)ppy is SF; Kim Stanley Robinson’s own New York 2140 is as stylistically and formally innovative as Dos Passos, and so on. We’re winning the war.

(7) NEWS TO ME. Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research is “a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary academic journal published by the The Finnish Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research.”

Fafnir aims at serving as an international forum for scholarly exchange on science fiction and fantasy and for discussion on current issues on the field. Fafnir welcomes contributions from a wide range of perspectives.

(8) TRIBUTE TO DITKO. Sam Thielman, in “Steve Ditko’s Genius Made Him Something He Disdained–A Beloved Celebrity” in The Daily Beast, offers an appreciation of Ditko, and explains that many comics fans made the trip to 1650 Broadway, Suite 715 (an address that was in the phone book) only to find that Ditko refused to give interviews to anyone, including Neil Gaiman, who left Ditko’s office with a bag of comics and no interview.

For this beloved artist, the focus was entirely on his work, and he wanted other people’s focus there, too. “I never talk about myself,” he said when his own editors asked for a promotional interview after he’d created a new character, The Creeper, for DC Comics in 1974. “My work is me. I do my best, and if I like it, I hope somebody else likes it too.”

Pretty much everybody else did like it. There is a peculiar grammar to comics, a way that one panel suggests the next panel, that is ephemeral and hard to learn; some people intuitively understand it and reading their comics is like watching actual movement. Ditko is their patron saint.

(9) VANZINA OBIT. Carlo Vanzina (1951 – 2018): Italian screenwriter and director, died July 8, aged 67. Often collaborated with his brother Enrico. Genre work included Nothing Underneath (1985), A spasso nel tempo (1996), A spasso nel tempo – L’avventura continua (1997), 2061: Un anno eccezionale (2007).


  • Why are UFO sightings down? Mike Kennedy learned the answer in Brewster Rockit.

(11) SHE LIGHTS UP THEIR LIVES. Mark Jenkins in the Washington Post reports on a forthcoming concert by Hatsume Miku, who is a hologram (her name means “first sound of the future” whose manga-loving fans have composed 100,000 songs in at least five languages for her, some of which have gotten 25 million hits on YouTube. “This singer is part hologram, part avatar, and might be the pop star of the future”.

When Japanese pop idol Hatsune Miku makes her Washington debut at the Anthem on Thursday, fans will be asked to use the official glow sticks for sale at the show instead of the regular brighter ones. The thing is, if too much light shines from the audience, Miku might simply disappear.

That’s because Miku is a hologram — at least when she performs in concert, backed by a quartet of flesh-and-blood musicians. She’s also an anime character, a video-game avatar, a bundle of sophisticated “vocaloid” code and a fascinating experiment in crowd-sourced pop art.

(12) AN INCREDIBLE NUMBER. ComicBook.com has pointed out that Incredibles 2 is about to set a record—the highest domestic gross for an animated film. According to BoxOfficeMojo’s Domestic Gross table, as of 5 July 2018, I2 was sitting at $475,361,414 (and #13 overall for all films), just behind Finding Dory at $486,295,561.

On the other hand, I2 would have a long way to go to gain the same distinction internationally. On BoxOfficeMojo’s Worldwide Gross chart, Frozen is the highest ranked animated film (#12 overall; $1,276.5 million) while I2 is way down the rank (#109 overall; $693.4 million). Animated films between them include Up (#96), Monsters University (#94), Madagascar 3 (#91), Shrek Forever After (#89), Maleficent (#85), Shrek the Third (#74), Coco (#73), Inside Out (#63), The Secret Life of Pets (#57), Ice Age: Continental Drift (#56),  Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (#52),  Shrek 2 (#49), Finding Nemo (#45), The Lion King (#38), Despicable Me 2 (#37), Zootopia (#32), Finding Dory (#29), Despicable Me 3 (#27), Toy Story 3 (#23), and Minions (#16).

Of course, when adjusting Domestic Gross for inflation, no animated film can beat out Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (#10 overall) or even 101 Dalmatians (#12 overall). And those two films together don’t add up to the inflation adjusted Domestic Gross for #1 Gone with the Wind. [Item penned by  Mike Kennedy.]

(13) SDCC PROGRAM. Comic-Con has released its program. They’ve finally found something for all the Hollywood lawyers to do.

(14) ELLISON TRIBUTE AT SDCC. San Diego’s Comic-Con International also will host a panel discussion about the late Harlan Ellison on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Room 6DE.

Josh Olson, Bill Sienkiewicz, William Stout, Erik Nelson, Steve Barnes, Nat Segaloff, Jude Meyers, Scott Tipton, J. K. Woodward, Christine Valada, Jason Davis will honor the memory of Harlan Ellison and the lasting effects of his work.

(15) PIERS ANTHONY ON ELLISON. Piers Anthony devotes a long section of his latest Newsletter to reminiscing about Ellison.

Yet there are limits. When Harlan made comments that could be dangerous to my career, I wrote to him privately saying in essence that I did not want trouble with him, as we were on the same side in so many cases, but if he repeated some of the things in print I would have to take legal action to protect my reputation. He was dismayed, listing three things that I should have said and had not. I replied by quoting all three things from the first page of my letter. Again he had accused me without cause. It was apparent that he was incorrigible, simply not capable of getting such things straight; he was a loose cannon, possibly more dangerous to friends than to enemies. Strike Three. I decided to disengage. “Fare well, Harlan,” I wrote, and cut him off.

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

103 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/8/18 My Friend, Can Your Heart Stand The Shocking Facts Of Pixel Scrollers From Outer Space?

  1. 15) Not too sure what Piers Anthony”s problem is. That story he penned for DANGEROU VISIONS is probably his best piece of writing. He offers no solid information about the conflict.

    And he frequently has said he never wrote for fanzines (not true).

  2. Yep, and when Roberts talks about literary fiction he means the high-brow stuff. Yes the cream sells well, although not as well as it did, but there is a lot which does not sell very much at all.

    This is true that individual books don’t really sell much at all in the litfic/general fiction category (they are apparently part of the same category for Nielsen/Booknet/whoever). However, the size of those categories is enormous.

    The most recent data I can find for the US market that’s not behind a paywall is this chart for 2014 traditional publisher print sales broken down by genre, and it’s basically just a better visualization of PW’s reporting on US Bookscan numbers for 2014. This is, of course, incomplete, and there are other sources to consider, but it’s a halfway decent baseline for traditional print publishing. Note that it separates out suspense/thrillers (your Tom Clancy and your Dan Brown) from “general” fiction, which is where you find both your litfic and your, say, Sophie Kinsella or whoever. So a given SF book may outsell a given litfic/general book (which is not super shocking), but the category *as a whole* outsells SF by about 8 to 1, and outsells Fantasy by about 4 to 1. It even outsells mystery by about 2 to 1.

    Again, this isn’t the whole picture, but it does give a pretty good sense of the size of a given readership.

    Numbers for different countries will be different. In April, the Guardian reported that Bookscan now has mystery outselling general for the first time ever in the UK.

    Again, it’s important to note that Bookscan/Booknet/etc. don’t capture everything, and the numbers I pulled are both old and for print sales only, but there is literally no complete picture available. There have definitely been shifts over the last four years, but a lot of it relates to format (ebook and audiobook, for instance, spaces where I’d be completely unsurprised if you told me that SFF is hugely successful); the shift in readings habits vis a vis subject would need to be absolutely seismic for SFF to be dominant sellers by genre overall.

  3. Her plot invulnerability was imposed from without, not chosen for her by the author.

    That’s an odd way to put it. The author still wrote it, and I don’t think anyone was literally holding a gun to his head.

  4. James Davis Nicoll: No discussion of CanLit is complete without a reference to Marion Engel’s Governor General Award Winner, Bear.

    I am shocked, shocked! I say, to find that the completists at the ISFDB have somehow failed to include this quite clearly fantasy work in their database. 😀

  5. @ Kyra: If he wanted to get paid, he wrote it that way. Coercion doesn’t have to be physical, y’know.

  6. I’m in a discussion of Xenogenesis, and question came up of whether a fan actually threw a cup of warm vomit at Alan Dean Foster. Does anyone know what, if anything, happened?

    While we’re at it, does anyone have details about Harlan Ellison, the comptroller, and the cigarette ads? It’s plausible that he didn’t mail a dead gopher, but did he mail bricks postage due?

    As for Seanan McGuire, I rather like the October Daye books, but mostly for the way she sometimes writes emotionally effective fantasy elements. I’m quite fond of the sea witch. I was getting tired of of Daye saying everything but getting no credit because of being a changeling, but McGuire eventually dropped that.

    I also like the InCryptid series, mostly for the inventiveness of the various species. I thought the humor in the Verity books was tiresome, since it seemed to mostly consist of Verity thinking “you wouldn’t think a person like me would….”.

  7. > “… question came up of whether a fan actually threw a cup of warm vomit at Alan Dean Foster. Does anyone know what, if anything, happened?”

    I remember Harlan Ellison reporting this in a very … odd essay about abuse of SFF authors by SFF readers, which somehow managed to conflate serious incidents like the one you mention with people being critical of Harlan Ellison or his work in any way whatsoever. I’m pretty sure it appeared in an issue of Asimov’s, decades ago.

  8. @Kyra – yes, that article is the “Xenogenesis” that Nancy is referring to. It was published in Asimovs in the August 1990 issue.

  9. I mentioned elsewhere to Nancy that I am not as believer in the dead gopher story. Maybe he did mail it out, but a package that smells bad and dribbles is set aside in an effort to send it back to the sender. Mailing bricks: that was a used to be item. But if a person or company begins to get them frequently, they can refuse the postage due items. Around 1973, the USPS started a new policy : if a package has no postage and no return address, it is sent to the dead letter office. There are reasons to believe HE did some of these things, but he fantasies an entirely different ending.

  10. @Kyra & Andrew – I remember being disconcerted and offended by that article at the time, which seemed to argue that because a handful of people who happened to be SF fans had done some awful things, all fans were deserving of contempt. It kick-started a slow reappraisal of HE’s character (about which, as a right-Pondian, I had hitherto known little *), and may even have contributed to my ceasing to regularly buy IASFM not long after, although other Real Life changes also played a part.

    (* I was aware of one incident where HE had promised some UK friends a signed copy of something in exchange for a particular film advertising poster, and when they duly obtained and presented it to him he quibbled and renaged.)

    I’ve just dug out my copy of the issue (thanks for the citation, Andrew), and will steel myself to re-read it.

  11. I stopped following Harlan’s antics a long time ago, partly because he was one of those guys who refurbishes old jokes as personal anecdotes starring himself. The one that clued me in is the joke whose punchline is “Oh no, I’ve seen penises, and that’s a wee-wee.”

    (I think Phil Klass did this sort of thing, too, but I always found Phil loveable in a Catskills-tummler kinda way. He often greeted me with “I don’t care what they say, I like you.”)

  12. Russell Letson: …he was one of those guys who refurbishes old jokes as personal anecdotes starring himself.

    My Uncle Frank did a version of that after he got to be a certain age. He would hear a commercial on radio, and rework it into an anecdote as if he’d experienced it.

  13. Robert Whitaker Sirignano: I mentioned elsewhere to Nancy that I am not as believer in the dead gopher story.

    I don’t know if I believed it or not, and never got as far as deciding because the story resonated too much with the story about the venomous snake left in the mailbox of the Synanon founder. If he did it, I didn’t think it was funny, and it reflected badly on him.

  14. The main effect of Harlan’s antics in my circle, is that after hearing about Connie Willis, my partner delayed going to her first SFF convention by about seven years.

  15. @Kyra – yes, that article is the “Xenogenesis” that Nancy is referring to. It was published in Asimovs in the August 1990 issue.

    Ah, sorry. When I see “Xenogenesis”, I only think of Octavia Butler’s trilogy.

    I think I’ll continue to do so, frankly.

  16. Alan Dean Foster’s letter in Xenogenesis can be read at:


    He mentions being guest of Honor at Okon, which would appear to be 1980:


    By 1980 he appears to have written equal numbers of his own novels and media tieins/novelisations so I can’t help wondering if a disgruntled Star Trek or Star Wars fan was the perpetrator, setting a precedent for the entitled abusive behaviour of online fans over the last few years.

  17. Dunno if it means anything, but Segaloff’s book treats the “pile of bricks” and “dead gopher” stories as true (pp. 201-202, if you’re interested.)

    (Wow. I get to throw my two cents’ worth into this conversation, and it only cost me $35.00 plus tax and international shipping….)

  18. @JJ: I made it to the end, and… um… if you still have more Hugo reading to do, feel free to bail now. Or just read the Shallan chapters. What a slog. (Also, I did smile at that Twitter link. Possibly snicker.)

    “InCryptid” isn’t doing it for me, either, at least in books — I liked the shorter works, and the ones set in the past. I do like the mice, but other than that, meh. Even with plot armor, I still like Toby and co. better. Maybe someone will come out with a fan edit of “InCryptid: Just the Mouse Scenes”.

    I’m thinking the “dead gopher” story has a basis in truth, which Harlan then embellished into an extended (and really amusing) party piece. At the very least, he did shoot gophers in his yard back then, and he did mail something to that publisher which conveyed his then-current displeasure and aided in getting out of that contract. Maybe the bricks were it — that was a thing back then.

    Print the legend, I sez; if it isn’t true, it should have been.

  19. @Matthew Davis:
    Thanks for posting that link. An interesting bit of history there.

  20. No discussion of CanLit is complete without a reference to Marion Engel’s Governor General Award Winner, Bear.

    Wow, that cover and blurb are really something else.

    If this book were published now, most online stores wouldn’t sell it. And if you’re a self-publisher, they might well shut down your account, too.

  21. @ Nancy: Harlan Ellison reported the incident in an essay that appeared in one of hie “Glass Teat” collections. I have no idea how I know this, but I remember seeing it somewhere many years ago.

  22. @Kyra: (re: Honor Harrington’s plot armor and external causes) “That’s an odd way to put it. The author still wrote it, and I don’t think anyone was literally holding a gun to his head.”

    If the publisher and fan base says “don’t kill the character or we’ll quit publishing/buying the series,” that’s an external imposition. Saying that “the author still wrote it” implies a free choice that, from my understanding of the situation, did not exist.

    Consider a parallel case. An author writes a book and submits it to a publisher, who responds with an offer contingent on “a small change” – they want a gay character either dropped or flipped to straight. (Yes, this happens. Shouldn’t, but does.) Would you have any qualms about calling that an externally-imposed change?

    Weber wanted to kill Honor Harrington off. He was prevented from doing so. That wasn’t a free choice.

  23. Rev. Bob:

    This is one of those “two minds” things for me. On the one hand, deciding to comply with hte externally-imposed requirement is a choice. It’s not entirely free (and the amount of freeness really depends on a whole slew of things).

    But I would’ve thought that the power balance between Baen and Weber is sufficiently further towards Weber than “random new author” and “established publisher” that it would be easier for Weber to say “cool, I’ll just write no more of them, then”. But, then, that’s probably a fair chunk of money to just throw away, so definitely not an unconstrained choice.

  24. If this book were published now, most online stores wouldn’t sell it. And if you’re a self-publisher, they might well shut down your account, too.

    And yet again, here in Canada, there was that story about the owl (NSFW and, frankly, disgusting, not at all in the same spirit as Bear) published in the Walrus, which is sort of the Canadian version of the Atlantic.

  25. @Ingvar: I’m picky enough about language that my first reaction to Rev. Bob matched yours. However, I’ve never been in a “geek or lose your job” situation — and Weber may have felt (plausibly ISTM) that his work was non-portable, unlike (e.g.) John Norman telling Ballantine the Gor manuscripts were not to be edited and moving to a struggling new publisher (DAW) who needed established work for an income stream. In theory Weber could have come up with something else — but then he’d have to find a buyer, which is non-trivial.

    @Russell Letson: Klass once claimed to me to have been present for the “buzz off” incident; I was later told he was … inventive.

  26. Rev. Bob: the particularly interesting thing about your example here (writer being asked to make gay character straight) is… everyone I’ve heard of that happening to has refused the deal, including writers without any particular clout to fight back.

    Weber, arguably in a much better position to stand firm on his own vision, accepted.

    Maybe there are a bunch of people who dared to write a gay character who rewrote them as straight to that kind of pressure, but if so, those writers are keeping really quiet. I wish them the strength to come out and make that accusation, though, if this happened.

  27. @Lenora Rose: “the particularly interesting thing about your example here (writer being asked to make gay character straight) is… everyone I’ve heard of that happening to has refused the deal, including writers without any particular clout to fight back.”

    While that is true as written, I feel obliged to point out that those who take the deal are rather unlikely to mention it. (“Yay, I compromised my artistic vision to get published!” Who says that?) Be wary of selection bias.

  28. @Lenora:

    I read your third paragraph as a hypothetical: “Maybe it happens, but if so…”

    My rebuttal, to cite a parallel situation, is six characters: #metoo

    To expand on that: there’s no way 100% of writers are rejecting that demand. Some – maybe even most – writers who get such a request are saying “fine, if that’s what it takes to get the contract, I’ll do it.” That they would keep quiet is wholly unsurprising. That does not make those cases imaginary, and I think treating them as such is a disservice to the authors affected by it.

    We know that publishers routinely make such change requests, because if they didn’t, we’d never hear about the authors who said no, because there would be nothing for them to say no to. Those requests wouldn’t happen if they never worked, or even if they only worked in a relatively few cases. Publishers have power and are able to exert it over the relatively powerless writers – most of whom will choose signing the contract (and getting to pay the rent) over Making A Stand For Artistic Integrity (and gambling that they can raise enough of a fuss for some other publisher to offer a contract without that clause). Since when have you known a company with power to voluntarily give it up?

    Before #metoo, there were occasional courageous people who spoke up about sexual harassment… and hearing their stories allowed us to think that it was a small problem, because it was rarely reported and when it was, the story was that it was dealt with. Now we know better, that it was (and is) happening all the time… yet, when presented with a similar situation where many of the same factors apply, you went to the old answer. I’m looking at the parallels and saying “beware the blind spot” while you’ve said “I don’t hear about that, so I doubt that it happens.” Those are quite different responses to the same data.

  29. Rev. Bob – Before #metoo, there were occasional courageous people who spoke up about sexual harassment… and hearing their stories allowed us to think that it was a small problem, because it was rarely reported and when it was, the story was that it was dealt with.

    Say what? I struggle to think of a woman prior to #metoo who would have characterized sexual harassment as a small problem.

    You might want to produce a different argument.

  30. I suppose Weber might not have wanted to try looking for another publisher, despite having sold a bazillion books. Or maybe he was afraid a different publisher would, y’know, edit the damn things for a change instead of printing them as-is, with all the typos, info dumps, and soapboxing intact. So he kept to his safe space. Or perhaps he doth protest too much.

    Anyway, now that he’s gone full Puppy, I don’t care.

  31. @Cheryl S.: “Say what? I struggle to think of a woman prior to #metoo who would have characterized sexual harassment as a small problem.”

    Society as a whole behaved as if it was exactly that: a fairly small problem that was generally kept in check by HR policies that properly punished the bad guys. That societal misconception is precisely why the #metoo revelations have been so explosive, and that disconnect between widespread belief and underlying reality is exactly why I selected that parallel. In both cases, those on the receiving end recognized the scope of the problem while those on the outside largely underestimated it.

    The key difference is that literary whitewashing and straightwashing hasn’t had the cultural breakthrough moment that #metoo has had.

  32. Rev. Bob: So even though i said the exact same thing as you, but as a more hypothetical (because while I am fully aware the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, I still do not have the evidence) you feel like chastising me by telling me about how harassment works. (And metoo did not in fact change that situation as much as we would like, though it helped. I still see “but I never saw it happening, therefore…”.)

    All else I am going to say in response is that you seem to be reading your fellow filers lately, in the least charitable possible way of interpreting their words, then chiding them for it — in some cases where it was obvious they agreed with you on main points. EVERY discussion I have seen you in recently which has gotten heated (and more have than used to), and regardless of whether I was agreeing with you more or with your opposition more, I have thought this.

    I believe you also recently mentioned being under more stress, physical and mental, outside File 770.

    I ask you to consider these things before responding further.

  33. @Lenora: “So even though i said the exact same thing as you, but as a more hypothetical (because while I am fully aware the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, I still do not have the evidence)”

    I didn’t want to say this, but you leave me no choice.

    I do not suffer from a lack of evidence on this issue.

    I have seen accounts from people who chose the “edit” option. I know that they exist. They are not hypothetical, but their specific stories are not mine to tell. Thus, I tried to give you enough hints that You Are Missing Something without stepping over that line. To be blunt about it, I am walking the same tightrope that confidants of people who have been harassed have walked: “how much can I say without violating confidence, and why is this person so invested in maintaining their disbelief?”

    As for “telling you how harassment works” – by your behavior, it certainly looks like you could use a refresher course. You’re doing the whole “I haven’t seen it, so I’ll express doubt when told about it” gaslighting game that has protected sexual predators for decades. Even when I called your attention to it, you doubled down as quoted above.

    And then, to top it all off, you have the nerve to resort to tone policing. How very condescending and dismissive of you! How completely unlike how people treat, say, victims of harassment!

    Perhaps you might consider taking a moment to consider why I am feeling a bit stressed lately. Reading this, especially the first footnote, might clue you in.

    If you can’t be bothered to click the link, I am sick and fucking tired of being lied about, tone policed, and gaslit, and I refuse to just “lie back and enjoy it” – phrase very definitely selected on purpose. Is that clear enough? That’s not coming from outside – that’s right here on 770.

    When multiple people decide to repeatedly poke the same bear, they lose their right to be shocked when he lashes out. Quit. Poking. The bear.

  34. Bob? You’re not helping your case (or making Lenore’s look worse) any with that last comment.

    I think everyone should take a step back and get off this silly internet thing (I hate it when Mom and Dad fight!).

    Although it does show File 770 is no hive-mind, at least… but we damn well shouldn’t get angry at each other over what stupid outsiders may or may not think.

    FDSN. It’s all moot here in 2778. Or possibly moo.

  35. @Lurkertype:

    Please refrain from climbing into the cage with the angry bear. It is unlikely to go well.

    I have been lied about… here. I have had words put in my mouth… here. I have been insulted and condescended to… here. “Everybody calm down” does not address any of that in a positive way.

    You know what might? Acknowledgement and recognition, especially from the guilty parties.

  36. All right, gang, I’m a third of the way through The Way of Kings (in other words, I’ve read an entire regular novel’s worth, about 335 pages). And what I want to know is, supposedly book 2, Words of Radiance, is the Shallan book, and can anyone who’s read it tell me whether I will get to see a lot more of her in that book? Because the only time Kaladin is really interesting is when he’s doctoring, and Dalinar is pretty much a non-event.

  37. @JJ

    Well, I’ve noped out a bit from book 2 after dragging my feet and sulking because (SPOILER) nyy bs Funyyna’f fhccbegvat pnfg xvpxrq gur ohpxrg, but she does seem to be in it a lot more, yes.

    (Kaladin and Dalinar both get somewhat more interesting by the end of book 1, but don’t get too excited because book 2 (spoilers but not specific) oevatf n fcnaare, naq V’z rlrvat gung fcnaare fhfcvpvbhfyl. V yvxrq gur rdhvyvoevhz gurl’q tbg gb naq V qb abg nccerpvngr gur fcnaare. V jnagrq gb frr jurer gurl jrer tbvat jvgu vg svefg.)

  38. I’ve not read book two but I suspect Meredith has the right of it.

    I needed multiple breaks for other books during Way of Kings. If you persist with book 1 you’ll get an uptick in action with Kaladin, and some illuminating politics & backstory with Dalinar, but frankly it sounds like it’s not going to be your thing.


    Did you get that last bit? Did you even notice that nothing I said actually disagrees with you? I agreed such people exist. It does not invalidate that Weber has had a lot more power than the people who turned down the editorial demands (who also exist) and in the case of #GayYA, made several editors and copyeditors who made that request PUBLIC. I know about Sherwood Smith, Rachel Manija Brown, Jessica Verday, and even Martha Wells — and I know that victims who succumbed are also a part of that pressure. It doesn’t change that the four people I listed above have more guts than Weber, who had more power than them, and believing they had guts and he didn’t — doesn’t make me unsympathetic to people who did get pressured, especially new and raw in their careers, or even to Weber himself. I can have sympathy for how hard the choice is. I can have sympathy with those who fear editorial power over their careers — and it is not invalidated by noting the existence of others, with more to lose, who have chosen the other option — and that they are contained within the example you gave.

    And waving at another argument with ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE as your excuse for frothing at me … especially when to me that argument is not the *start* of your recent change from curmudgeonly elder of the site to battle-prone bitter elder, but merely another example…

    I am not gaslighting you. I have never claimed you did not say something above.

    I am not tone policing. I am not saying your points are less valid than they would otherwise be because you are angry. (Though I might be saying it is putting a filter on how you perceive any disagreement with you, so that reading generously and assuming the best of people is more difficult than before.)

    I am saying you have been picking a lot of fights here, a lot more than in the past, and reacting out of character, and it started long before your argument elsewhere with Robinareid. I was expressing that maybe you should take a breath or two, back away from people being wrong on the internet, take a walk, and reassess why you are so determined to make every difference in phrasing between you and someone else into a massive battle.

    I am saying that every time someone seems to have gotten more contentious and vicious like this, in a relatively short time frame, they have almost always proven to have health or personal problems outside the site, and to have realized it was having an impact only after they retreated long enough to look at how they reacted to things from a longer perspective. Which means that even as I get angry, I also get worried, because dammit, I don’t want people I’ve previously had friendly arguments with to be hurting.

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