Pixel Scroll 7/25/16 The Ants Are My Friends, Scrolling In The Wind

(1) FIRST RULE OF GAME WRITING. Creators are interviewed in NPR’s feature “Amid Board Game Boom, Designers Roll The Dice On Odd Ideas – Even Exploding Cows”.

When you play a game, you have to learn some rules, right? Well, same goes for designing a game. And here’s one rule: No idea is too wacky.

Take a game called Unexploded Cow, for instance.

“That’s a game where you’ve discovered two problems with a common solution,” says the game’s co-creator, James Ernest. “There’s mad cows in England and unexploded bombs in the French countryside, and you’re going to bring them together and solve everybody’s problems by blowing up a bunch of cows. ”

Using cows with a debilitating brain disease to get rid of leftover bombs — for most people, that’s just an absurd joke. But Ernest designs board games for a living. He and a colleague took that weird idea and came up with a card game. Each player manages a herd of sick cows and tries to make money blowing them up.

That game, Unexploded Cow, is now one of the most popular he’s created….

Are these guys SFWAns in the making?

(2) GET IN THE GAME. Cat Rambo lists “What SFWA Offers Game Writers” at her blog.

In light of recent discussions, I wanted to jot down a few things that come to mind when what I think about SFWA has to offer game writers, because there’s actually quite a bit.

  • Access to SFWA promotional resources includes a number of venues quite suitable for publicizing games. Our curated Kickstarter page, the New Release Newsletter (which can easily be expanded to include games), the SFWA blog, SFWA’s presences on Facebook and Twitter. It’d be easy to make the Featured Book section a Featured Work section to go with Authors section on the SFWA website.
  • Even the book-specific promotional features, such as the NetGalley program, may be of use to game writers who are doing books or stories as well, as is often the case.
  • SFWA has been working at relationships with a number of companies that will be of interest to game writers. Our Outreach Committee has monthly checkins with representatives at Amazon, Audible, Draft to Digital, Kickstarter, Kobo, Patreon, and more….

(3) MORE SFWA ADVICE. Russell Galen offers his accumulated experience in “Ten Thoughts About The Business Side of Writing”.

  1. Get a written agreement for every transaction, even with people you love and trust. I am still trying to solve feuds stemming from oral agreements for tiny properties that wound up becoming movie/TV franchises.
  2. Don’t ever think, “I don’t want to bother my agent with this trivial matter.” It’s not just that it might be a bigger matter than you realize, but even if it stays small, it may still have to be cleaned up some day. Your agent would rather do the work now than have to deal with a bigger problem later.

(4) NOW ONLINE. Suvudu delivers “SDCC 2016: Chuck Wendig Talks ‘Life Debt’, Snap Wexley, and Writing in the Present”.

SUV: You favorite a third-person present tense which is quite different from the other books in the Star Wars fiction line. Why did you go with that? What are some of the advantages of using this?

CW: On a simple level, what’s great is that Young Adult books tend to take a present tense viewpoint to telling stories. Sometimes first-person, sometimes third-person, but a lot of young adult fiction is written in present tense. For me, a person who likes to write in that already, the great thing is that we’re speaking to young readers and to older readers who are willing to be drawn into the cinematic component. Star Wars begins as film and moves on to TV. To have the books feel exciting in that kind of action-adventure thing, present tense keeps you in the moment. I always say that past tense is like looking at a painting on a wall in a museum, but present tense is like watching the painter paint it. It’s like watching Bob Ross: You see him painting on his half-hour show. You really don’t know what’s going to happen. I love that feeling: What’s he going to paint here? Is that an ocean? Is that a rock? There’s also a component where you think he’s going to mess the painting up completely but by the end he pools it all out. To me, present tense is like watching the painter paint. When you look at the Star Wars crawls, they’re written in third-person, present tense. I want to capture that: I do think that it’s very cinematic, and that’s why we went with it.

(5) SUPERHEROES TO WHO? “Optimism vs Cynicism in Superhero Narratives by Paige Orwin” at SFFWorld.

Now, there are deconstructions of the genre that take a more cynical view, of course, and it’s possible to tell dark superhero tales where those with power lose their way and take advantage of those around them. Marvel’s superheroes are perhaps more prone to making mistakes, while DC’s might be more prone to growing remote from the concerns of the people they protect, but the end result tends to be similar: things get worse, innocents get hurt, much anguish is had, humanity seeks desperately for someone else to take on the new menace and it’s all terribly bleak…

…but, eventually, things pretty much always get better. It helps that evil is fundamentally punchable, once you figure out who/what needs punching and where the head is. It helps that violence is so often the best answer.

(6) COMIC RELIEF. This photo appears in the middle of a huge gallery of cosplayers from San Diego Comic-Con.

gender at comic con

(7) OUTFITS FOR YOUR SJW CREDENTIAL. However, Chip Hitchcock is skeptical about the cosplaying cats featured in an NPR story — “For These Cosplayers, Geek Costumes Are The Cat’s Pajamas”

Nak, 13, and Fawkes, 6, have been cosplaying for a little more than a year. They’ve been ambitious. Their social media pages show off more than 50 geeky costumes: Alien, Star Trek, Fallout and Game of Thrones each make an appearance. During the year they’ve been active, they’ve gained a sizable following with nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter and 18,500 on Instagram.

Oh, and just one little thing: Nak and Fawkes are, well, cats.

Chip says, “Nobody discusses what this does to the cats’ psyches. I’m just amazed the cats put up with it; if I tried that with my part-Coon foundling (14+ pounds) I’d draw back a bloody stump.”

(8) EATING THE FANTASTIC. In Episode 14 of Scott Edelman’s podcast he is joined by Fran Wilde, the Nebula Award-winning and Compton Crook Award-winning author of Updraft, plus the host of the Cooking the Books podcast, which has a writers + food focus just like his.

Fran Wilde

Fran Wilde

(9) FROM THE EARTH TO…? Ken Murphy at The Space Review lists dozens of “Stories of cislunar suspense: Literary adventures on the near frontier (part 2)”.

Part 1, last week, examined literature from the 1950s through the 1980s.


The movement of the Baby Boomer generation into positions of power that began in the 1980s took full flower in the 1990s. This marked a significant shift (but not a real change) in the status quo, and there began the generation of much more ‘product for the marketplace’. Lots of Shuttle stories as we worked through the trauma of Challenger, but also solar power satellite and space station stories. Gen X coded the World Wide Web, while their bosses day-traded their way to enormous prosperity (oh…wait…), and the Millennials were digging Bill Nye the Science Guy. The Soviet Union didn’t so much collapse as dissolve into a new form of corruption and warlord-led tribalism, and this left writers looking for new enemies, from corporate baddies to Asians with cryptic agendas. The Space Shuttle was ramping up its tempo of flights, boldly going where it had gone so many times before, along with operations of Mir and the genesis of ISS.

Fallen Angels, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle & Michael Flynn (1991): in a future where technology is blamed for the world’s ecological ills, those trapped in orbit in the post-space age must struggle to survive. When a scoop ship is shot down, the race is on by the Fen to rescue the crew and return them to orbit. Don’t know Fen? Then this book is probably not for you. But if you’re a devotee of the science fiction writers cons then this book is entirely for you. [GoodReads: 3.49/1,937] …

(10) FIFTH ITERATION. David C. Handley tells why “Pokémon GO Signals New Social Media Paradigm” at SciFi4Me.

There’s just one issue with the current model for social media: it’s purely virtual. The social component has been lost. That means that apart from location data and images and people becoming connected (“friended” or “followed”) or disconnected (“unfriended” or “kicked to the curb”), there’s no way of determining interactions in the real world. The difficulty has always been to integrate physical reality and virtual reality.

Enter augmented reality. Although not a new concept (it’s been used for heads-up displays (HUD) for fighter jets since the 1970s), the smartphone has given it new applications. In Korea a few years back, for example, people could hold a phone camera up and landmarks would be marked on the screen.

Then camePokémon GO.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know by know that Pokémon GO has become … um … big. Really big. No, I mean huge! And it knows no limits. Players of all ages are collecting ’em all. And they’re changing the face of social media by combining the social with the media.

There are two ways that the game has, well, changed the game. The first is the reintroduction of social interaction. Not only do the catching and training of Pokémon cause interaction between players, but the competition and even the very act of searching for the virtual creatures has created peaceful gatherings that have had the feel of makeshift parties. People are meeting new people and making friends, something that was generally absent from the old flash mobs.

(11) NOMINATED NOVEL. Lisa Goldstein began her review of Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass  with seven things she disliked.

1. Butcher seems to go his own carefree way with many words, heedless of any actual dictionary definitions.  So, for example, the characters in this world live in huge circular towers far above the ground, which he calls “spires” — but spires are tapered or pointed, not cylindrical.  One of the types of airships that sail between the towers is called a “windlass,” which is actually a “device for raising or hauling objects.”  (Yeah, I had to look that one up.)  There are neighborhoods in the spires called spirals, which — as you’ve probably guessed by now — consist of streets in perfectly straight lines.

2. Both female leads are forthright, plucky, and kick-ass, to the point where I started confusing one with the other.  One is rich and small and the other one isn’t and isn’t, and that’s about the only difference I could find between them….

But all is not lost….

(12) GETTING READY TO VOTE. Lis Carey continues her progression through the Hugo-nominated short fiction at Lis Carey’s Library.

(13) MORE THAN YOU CAN SHAKE A STICK AT. JJ posted a bumper crop of short reviews in comments today.

2016 Novel Reading

  • Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold (2016) (Novella)
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong? by Taylor, Jodi (2016)
  • Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (2016)
  • Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer (2016)
  • Arkwright by Allen Steele (2016)

Leftover Novel Reading

  • Coming Home by Jack McDevitt (2014)
  • Dark Intelligence by Neal Asher (2015)
  • Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald (2015)

(14) BUT WHO GETS TO SIT IN THE CHAIR? Five captains all in one place.

(15) BLACK PANTHER. The Guardian reports “’Bad feminist’ Roxane Gay to write new Marvel Black Panther series”.

“It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done, and I mean that in the best possible way,” Gay told the New York Times. But “the opportunity to write black women and queer black women into the Marvel universe – there’s no saying no to that.”

Her story, she promised, would be “pretty intimate. There’s going to be all kinds of action, but I’m also really excited to show Ayo and Aneka’s relationship, build on that love story, and also introduce some other members of the Dora Milaje … I love being able to focus on women who are fierce enough to fight but still tender enough to love.”

The recruitment of Gay is part of Marvel’s drive to diversify its offering, both in terms of creators and characters. “So. I am writing a comic book series for Marvel,” Gay tweeted, announcing the news. “Black women are also doing the covers and art … And no. It doesn’t make sense that I am the first, in 2016. But I won’t be the last.” She also tweeted that it was likely to come out in November.

(16) MAN WITH A PLAN. At writing.ie,  “Outline Planning Permission: Part 1” by our own Nigel Quinlan.

This summer will be the summer of me learning to PLAN.

No plan survives first contact with your neurons.

Planing is defined in the dictionary as… I dunno, I haven’t a dictionary handy.

Already we’re off to a disastrous start, highlighting my failings as a planner. Had I planned ahead properly then the dictionary would be in reach. I would have overcome my laziness and inertia and fetched a dictionary from a nearby shelf. I would not have forgotten that I am typing this on a computer connected to the internet which has dictionaries in it. I’m a complete mess.

The ultimate aim of this exercise will be to have two proposals to slide onto the desk of my publisher and turn their eyes to pound signs. One will be for a big scary fantasy MG novel, the other will be for a series of MG books utilising ideas I cut from Cloak. Neither of these may be viable or publishable, but I am going to learn how to plan them and present them.

Nigel adds, “Part 2 should be up next week. I wrote it a few weeks ago and I look back now at few-weeks-ago-me and think, you poor sweet summer child.”

(17) WORKING ON THE FIVE W’S. Now fans know where, but not when — “Mystery Science 3000 Revival to Premiere on Netflix”.

Revealed during a panel at SDCC 2016, as reported by THR, the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K) will be broadcast by streaming giant Netflix, with a tentative start date set for (in a reference to the series’ original theme song) “the not-too-distant future.”

(18) HAMIT WINS. “’Christopher Marlowe’ Script By Francis Hamit Wins Screenplay Category” at Annual Hollywood Book Festival.

Francis Hamit has won the Screenplay category at the 11th Annual Hollywood Book Festival for his soon-to-be-produced script “Christopher Marlowe”. The Elizabethan-era thriller about the poet, playwright and spy has been in development for over six years and is based upon Hamit’s stage play “MARLOWE: An Elizabethan Tragedy”, which was originally presented in Los Angeles in 1988.

It will be directed by Michael John Donahue, DGA, and produced by Gary Kurtz. Negotiations for cast and financing are ongoing.

(19) SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDERS. The Nate Sanders firm completed another auction on July 21.

”Peanuts” comic strip hand-drawn by its creator Charles Schulz, from 9 April 1958. The strip comments on a subject that we think is a modern phenomena, the fact that children can’t concentrate for a long period of time. Here, Schroeder reads that from a book, and Charlie Brown proves its point by watching TV, drawing, playing baseball and paddle ball in the course of four frames. Strip measures 28.75” x 7”. United Feature Syndicate label appears on third frame. Inscribed by Schulz to ”Elizabeth Vaughn and her sixth grade pupils – Charles M Schulz”. Some toning and a light paper backing affixed to verso, overall very good condition.

[Thanks to Nigel Quinlan, Martin Morse Wooster, Dawn Incognito, Cat Eldridge, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Robert Whitaker Sirignano.]

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73 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/25/16 The Ants Are My Friends, Scrolling In The Wind

  1. Rats. Not first then.

    (7) OUTFITS FOR YOUR SJW CREDENTIAL.- Hmmm. How does Timothy feel about cosplay I wonder….

    (14) BUT WHO GETS TO SIT IN THE CHAIR? – Sisko4EVAH! (Picard is a close second though). Whatever Bakula, Brooks, and Stewart are using to preserve themselves, they need to share it around.

  2. Fen? Hey, some of my best friends are fen!

    A favorite comic find, this “Spurs Jackson” story in Charlton’s Space Western title is all about the Fen.

    And one more panel with Fen in it. There are more (see the album, if flickr lets you).


    (I get a preview when I hover over links 1 and 3, but that might be an extension of mine just doing its job.) Anyway, back in a flash to tickybox dammit.

  3. Chair? Sisko don’t need no stinking chair!

    I loved Avery Brooks in The Captains. That man speaks in free jazz and it’s something to behold. Shatner seemed totally off-balance.

    (I apparently just missed a Dragonite in my region. I haz a sad.)

  4. (7) Used to be a kitteh in the Bay Area who attended cons in much-less-elaborate costumes.

    (14) Would still do 60% of them.
    (I note Ms. Mulgrew is managing to touch a couple of ’em. You go, girl.)

    I have finally put all my Hugo and Retro-Hugo rankings on a computer and sent them! Better late than never. In honor of the Pulp-O-Mizer mentioned earlier today, I made a thing referring to it.


    It is safe for work, home, children, the elderly, etc.

  5. snowcrash on July 25, 2016 at 9:26 pm said:

    Rats. Not first then.

    (7) OUTFITS FOR YOUR SJW CREDENTIAL.- Hmmm. How does Timothy feel about cosplay I wonder….

    He only does that Tea-Party style cosplay where you dress up in a tricorn hat etc and complain about ‘socialised medicine’.
    “That’s so 2010” I say and he just glares at me.

  6. Tricorns, bah! A cat in a stylish bicorne declares himself to the world: either he’s a fore and aft tom or else an athwart-ships type. Tricorns are for indecisive canine fellow-travelers. You’d think Timothy would know that! 😛

  7. (11) I don’t agree with many of Goldstein’s problems with The Aeronauts windlass.
    1 seems pretty off-base, particularly when it’s a major plot point that the titular airship has been banged-up so much all it can do is float up and down ferrying cargo from the bottom of a giant floating tower (very big on the bottom, skinnier up top, kind of spire-like) like a windlass.
    2 One girl was shy, the other was a know it all entitled idiot, and I’d say they were pretty easily distinguished, what with the different names and descriptions and personalities but whatever.
    3 Women can’t be villains? Also I really don’t find 50ish, murderous and obsessed with manners sexy, but again, different strokes.
    4, 6 and 7 are pretty legit critiques, but I didn’t find the book too long at all. A bit of a slow start, but a lot of that was world-building, so I can stand a little “this is how the world works.”

    All in all, I’d recommend it. A light fun read, it’s not getting my Nomination for the Hugo, but it’s not going on the bottom of the list either.

  8. Stoic Cynic on July 25, 2016 at 11:29 pm said:
    Tricorns, bah! A cat in a stylish bicorne declares himself to the world:

    He wont wear them because he says they make him look “French”

  9. snowcrash: Hmmm. How does Timothy feel about cosplay I wonder…

    Camestros will be needing ballistic-weapons-grade arrrrmorrrr (with superfluous Commonwealth “R”s) if he’s going to try to find out. 🐱

  10. Brendan: 1 seems pretty off-base, particularly when it’s a major plot point that the titular airship has been banged-up so much all it can do is float up and down ferrying cargo from the bottom of a giant floating tower (very big on the bottom, skinnier up top, kind of spire-like) like a windlass.

    Yeah, that’s really not what a windlass is, or how it works. Google for a description and photos.

    And it’s nice to see that someone else apparently shared my irritation with the buildings continually being called “spires” — when they are, in fact, fat, stubby cylinders which are apparently the same diameter at the top as at the bottom.

    And the characters… the first word that came to my mind was “cardboard”. And I’ve since seen at least half a dozen other people who, independently of each other, all came up with the same descriptor.

    It’s fine for a beach read. I found it more enjoyable than last year’s Skin Game, and I had no problem reading the whole thing. But it’s definitely one of those books where you don’t scrutinize the plot, characters, or worldbuilding too hard, or it all falls apart.

  11. 14)
    Well, all of them except Sisko were either offered Admiralties, or were Admirals in one timeline or another, so they can alternate getting busted back to Captain so that they can sit in “The Chair”.

  12. Must admit that I read the sample of The Aeronaut’s Windlass in the voters’ packet, came to the end of that, and decided “I don’t want to pay ten quid for the rest of this”. Which, in itself, is a value judgement.

    The characters seemed utterly generic to me, and I lost all sympathy fairly early on. And the world-building bothered me quite a lot. If they have all this wood and copper for their steampunk knick-knacks, and they live in giant floaty things and never visit the ground, where does all the wood and metal come from? Last I heard, metal came out of mines, which are traditionally found in the ground. Maybe there’s an explanation in the bit I couldn’t bring myself to pay for.

    And, yeah, I know what a windlass is (I read Patrick O’Brian, I know a lot more obscure nautical words than that), and Butcher is using the word wrong.

    I very rarely give up on books, but I’ve given up on this one.

  13. I have no problems at all with the words “Spire” and “Windlass”. They seem to fit in very well in the storytelling. It is only logical that “Windlass” can be adapted to a type of ship and not all names are based on logic.

    But all the characters were made of cardboard. And yes, the two female characters were remarkably alike. One of them was supposed to be shy and that lasted for the whole introduction, then the author forgot about it.

  14. Well, I watched the new Ghostbusters last night. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Some nice callbacks to the old films and such. The cameos all seemed okay to me. The one at the end with Holtzmann and her mentor though, that was just brilliant.

    My only complaint: not enough Holtzmann!

  15. Hampus Eckerman on July 26, 2016 at 3:28 am said:

    I have no problems at all with the words “Spire” and “Windlass”. They seem to fit in very well in the storytelling. It is only logical that “Windlass” can be adapted to a type of ship and not all names are based on logic.

    A computer is a person who calculates things, a printer is a person who works with a printing press, a monitor is a person who keeps an eye on things, a keyboard is part of a piano and a mouse is a small rodent. I can cope with a windlass being a flying boat with a limited axis of travel at some future point.

    But yeah, a bit cardboardy characters – or I felt like video game characters, enough to distinguish one from the other but each different classes. But then a Butcher length series can probably take its time fleshing out characters.

  16. (1) I remember getting “Unexploded Cow” as part of my Cheapass Games subscription way back in the 1990s, when its central joke was a bit more timely. I remember it being a lot of fun to play, but I’m surprised it’s had this kind of staying power.

    I love how the boardgame boom has resulted in a lot of fun games that are easier to set up and quicker to play than, say, Arkham Horror. If anyone here is looking for light, accessible board games, I’d suggest you check out the Defective Yeti Good Game Guide. Matthew’s been putting out his yearly recommendation guide for almost 10 years now, and his picks are superb.

  17. @Nigel: some excellent stuff there. Good memory: Brust’s “How to Write for Adults” panel at the 1993 World Fantasy Convention inverting and sending up all the cliches of bad writing-YA panels. (Especially effective/amusing as it was the last panel of the day.) Bad memory: the 1997 WFC cramming Aiken (GoH) and every other female author they could find onto the writing-YA panel, as if that were the only thing female authors could do. (8 people on a 1-hour panel really doesn’t work.)

  18. As I understood it, ‘windlass’ did indeed mean a device for hoisting objects (with ropes); but when it was suggested the captain should use his ship for up-and-down trading trips, he complained they were treating his ship as a windlass.

    I agree that ‘spire’ is odd, and given that the height is given in feet and the width in miles, I did wonder if he realised that they were about the same. But lots of things are called by names that don’t make sense in real life (e.g. the Greenwich Dome), so if the people of this world want to call them spires, I can’t say they’re wrong.

    It’s explicit that wood is hard to get, and so expensive. People do go to the surface – silk comes from there, for instance, and the soil in the monastery garden – but it’s dangerous, so not something people do all the time.

  19. Wood is expensive, but (if my memory is correct) metal seems to be taken for granted. And metal should be a LOT harder to get than wood: wood is just lying around on the surface, as it were, possible to grab onto and go, but metal you have to mine for. Any metal, all metal, should be considered damned near irreplaceable. Especially when you consider that to work it you need the kind of heat that comes from burning charcoal made from vast amounts of that oh-so-expensive wood.

  20. Well, we know that all the iron in the spire is rusting away, so clearly he has thought about the status of metal, even if we haven’t had a clear answer yet. Do we know that any new metal is being imported? Perhaps it is all recycled.

  21. In The Aeronaut’s Windlass, iron oxidizes away to nothing in a matter of hours, while copper… doesn’t. You copper-clad iron to preserve it. Iron barrels of guns fail as soon as the copper-plate wears through. Which leads me to ask… why aren’t gun-barrels made from bronze? Why is ANYTHING made from iron? (And HOW is anything made from iron? As soon as it’s refined from ore it rapidly degrades…)

    And how the heck does chemistry work on this world?

    Wood is incredibly expensive. One counter-top made from wood is several month’s pay. But there’s a whole level of the Spire that is subdivided by wood, with every home and building being made from it, not to mention the floor/roof of the division, AND the stairs between. Which is, to my mind, rather like saying “In this town, the streets are paved with gold”. Why the heck have other levels or Spires not raided this town for their wooden wealth? (And why can’t wood be grown in vats, since that’s how they get their food and, presumably, most of their fibers for textiles (with the exception of ethersilk).

    Steampunk is (in my opinion) supposed to be SF with a quasi-Victorian sensibility and rather more handwaving than usual… but this book still broke my suspension of disbelief. It’s going below No Award with Seveneves. And this despite the fact I quite enjoy the “Dresden” books. I’ll give you this; it’s a fun fast beach read. But it doesn’t bear close examination and, in my opinion, it’s not a Hugo quality book.

  22. I am certain that this most excellent Tor news is secretly and really in keeping with Mr. Beale’s master plan to dominate publishing and destroy the evil Tor.

  23. … And Justice For Scroll

    Anyway I’m looking forward to finding out how the Tor news fits into Teddy’s diabolical scheme.

  24. Making Devi Pillai a member of Tor now almost makes sense of the past puppy rants about how Tor books is horrible because of how it publishes people like N.K. Jemisin…
    Weren’t we just talking about people needing to explain linear time to VD?

    (Hello again.)

  25. Beale has Tor right were he wants them. (subject to goalposts moving rapidly in all directions). The boycott obviously worked, then. And it’s amazing Tor can continue to expand when no-one reads the books they publish and that they would be DESTROYED!!11!!! by paying Scalzi.

  26. @Oneiros

    … And Justice For Scroll

    Nice, wish I’d thought of that.


    Master of Pixels
    Scroll the Lightning

  27. Robert Whitaker Sirignano –

    Isn’t the idea of the puppy slate, its directions, aims, considerations and putting it into writing….isn’t this SJW?

    It’s one of those terms that doesn’t make much sense and the definition is sometimes depends on the person using it or even the hour they’re choosing to use it. Typically however it’s a pejorative used not towards anyone attempting promoting their own view of social justice, but in particular those who are considered socially progressive as a way of dismissing their concerns. So even if someone is decrying about social justice but does so from a socially conservative standpoint they don’t see themselves as ‘SJWs’ because they don’t doubt the authenticity anyone espousing those values.

    It’s pretty much the same way for ‘virtue signaling’. Both terms are used as a means of casting doubt on the person making a statement and their motives instead of arguing the statement because either the person making the accusation knows they’d lose that argument or just not bright enough to make counter the statement with anything and so attacks the source instead.

    Oneiros –

    Well, I watched the new Ghostbusters last night. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Some nice callbacks to the old films and such. The cameos all seemed okay to me. The one at the end with Holtzmann and her mentor though, that was just brilliant.

    My only complaint: not enough Holtzmann!

    I dug it as well, it was fun. Ditto the Holtzmann complaint, now there’s a scientist I’d believe would mess with proton energy and potential city destroying properties just for the fun of seeing what might happen. I thought the trailers looked really slapsticky and had doubts but I enjoyed it. Never got to see the originals in the theater so I was happy to get a chance to watch a fun Ghostbusters film on the big screen in the opening week.

    (11) – I had a lot of questions and problems with the worldbuilding with the Aeronaut’s Windlass, among those why they’d think design for sea ships would be great as air ships, to many of the things mentioned in that blog. The ship to ship battles were cool but everything else felt like a mishmash of various steampunk tropes that felt like puzzle pieces from different puzzles shoved together regardless if they fit well or not. But I’m not a fan of the Steampunk genre anyway so I figured it had more to do with that. Might’ve been noteworthy in a slow year but last year was a great year for SFF works and I don’t know if I’d have ranked it in the top twenty of SFF books I read.

  28. @Robert Whitaker Siriano: Teddy’s not willing to set foot in the US, even though he’s the only Real ‘Murican left. He and the IRS have a difference of opinion, shall we say. So he won’t ever be on any American con panels, and he’s too bizarro right-wing for most European cons (Europe has plenty of right-wingers, but they’re not Christian Dominionists, nor do they chant U!S!A! and worship drumpf).

    We’ll just have to suffer under the COMPLETE FAILURE of Tor Books. Oh, how we all wish we could fail that badly.

    @Cassy B: Shhh. He don’t need no chemistry, physics, biology, or economics. He has swashing, buckling, and cats. Would have been better off going completely fantasy, where the sciences don’t have to make sense because a wizard did it.

  29. @Nigel: to be followed by “Black Scrolls in Pixelsea”>? (Probably way too twisted/obscure….)

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