Pixel Scroll 8/25/18 The Quidditch Policeman’s Union

(1) BRING ME MY SPEAR OF BURNISHED BRONZE, BRING ME MY CHARIOT OF FILE. Prior to the pacemaker being put in the staff worked hard to convince me to stay in San Jose a week before attempting to drive home. One it was in, the cardiologist cleared me to drive home immediately. That was a surprising, though positive, development.

Not that I really felt ready to drive right away. I stayed in a motel overnight, then got on the road this morning.

Many thanks to David Bratman for his daily hospital visits, and Spike, Michael Ward, and Karen Schaffer for helping get me and my stuff to the Motel 6. Plus Michael and Karen for picking up a nice dinner of Chinese take-out.

Getting ready to leave the hospital — photo by Karen Schaffer.

With all the Bay Area conventions I’ve been to over the years, I’ve done the trip down I-5 many times. The closer I got to LA, the more familiar the roads looked, and the smoother the drive seemed to go. I reached home in about 6 hours.

John King Tarpinian asked me if I’ll have to make a lot of changes to accommodate my newly-implanted device. While there are warnings about various electronics, I’m okay to microwave as long as I’m not staring into the window while it’s nuking the food. Also can’t hover over a running car engine. (Not that I ever do.) Hovering over a blogging laptop — okay. Phone held on the right side is okay — which I already do (pacemaker is on left). Nothing I really have to change in respect to the tech I already use.

And I’m not only grateful for all the comments and good wishes, but for Filers working overtime to turn all this into publishable material. Waste not, want not is on my list of mottos….

Tom Becker wrote:

GlyerBot could have gone rogue after he hacked his pacemaker module, but then he realized he could post pixel scrolls on the entertainment feed of the company satellite.

Iphinome responded:

Part human part machine. If we could get a picture of a cat sleeping on you, you can be Iphinome’s murderbot of the month.

And in other themes…. Cathy said:

I join the others in welcoming our File 770 Cyborg Overlord.

And Ryan wrote:

Congrats Locutus of Mike

(2) DEEP DIVE. Juliette Wade’s new Dive into Worldbuilding features “Alex White and A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe”. Watch the video conversation and read the summary at the link –

…I asked Alex about his research sources, and much of the material comes from his life experiences and those of his friends. This includes attitudes toward autistic people that he’s seen growing up with his child. He says, “the cultural baggage we drag around we assume is the right way to be.” This gets translated into things like Loxley’s boss telling her how to live, saying “I know a spinster who will police you,” and robbing the vulnerable of their agency. Even looking people in the eye is cultural and not universal.

I asked him also about his research sources for A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe. He said the magic/tech blends were influenced by recent games, and that Cowboy Bebop had influenced some of the action sequence writing. He asked, “what is the worst goofy thing that can go wrong?” That’s the first question he asks, he says, when writing an action sequence. He told us about his podcast, The Gearheart, and said that this novel was a spiritual successor to the podcast, occurring 800 years later. Alex spent a lot of time running D&D there and getting to know the world….


(3) A GIFT TO THE WHOLE CULTURE. An editorial at The Guardian does more than simply praise N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo win: “The Guardian view on science fiction: The Broken Earth deserves its Hugo”

Ms Jemisin is the first black winner of a Hugo award for novels (the redoubtable Samuel Delany won twice for his short stories). Most of her characters are black, though this becomes only gradually apparent, and the system of slavery on her planet is not based on skin colour. Yet science fiction allows her to display some of the fundamental characteristics of any system of slavery, however much her account derives from the particular experience of African Americans. It may be the ultimate ambition of novelists to make characters who are entirely three-dimensional but in practice most of them produce bas-reliefs, where only aspects of their characters spring from the page and much of the background is undifferentiated.

(4) INSIDE THE NUMBERS. Nicholas Whyte’s analysis of the 2018 Hugo voting statistics is full of all kinds of interesting observations: “The 2018 Hugo Awards in detail”. For example:

Declined nomination:

  • Best Series – The Broken Earth (N.K. Jemisin);
  • Best Editor Long Form – Liz Gorinsky;
  • Best Professional Artist – Julie Dillon;
  • Best Fancast – Tea and Jeopardy
  • For Best Series, N.K. Jemisin declined for The Broken Earth;

the following were ruled ineligible, due to not having added enough to the series since last year:

  • The Expanse,
  • The Craft Sequence,
  • the October Daye books

And what Whyte said about the Best Fanzine stats I probably wouldn’t have noticed myself!

(5) THANKS TO ALL FILERS. Here’s a link to the Hugo ceremony video. Jo Van Ekeren’s File 770 acceptance speech begins at 48:34.

(6) THE FANNISH TITHE. Kevin Standlee says one in ten Worldcon 76 attenders volunteered – “Worldcon 76 Day 5+1: That’s a Wrap”.

(7) HECK OBIT. German TV personality and actor Dieter Thomas Heck died yesterday, reports Cora Buhlert.

He was mainly known for hosting music and game shows, but he was also an actor and had a memorable SF role as the game show host in “Das Millionenspiel”, a 1970 adaptation of a Robert Sheckley story. And since I couldn’t find an English language obituary for him anywhere, I wrote one myself.



(10) AFTER ACTION REPORT. Joe Sherry tells how he appreciates the value of a fanzine’s community, like the one they have at Nerds of a Feather: “Thoughts on the 2018 Hugo Awards”.

Being a finalist for the Hugo Award means that Nerds of a Feather is a part of the history of science fiction and fantasy fandom. I treasure that. I’m fairly sure I also speak for both Vance and The G when I say that. It is an amazing feeling to receive that notification and we’re grateful for it.

I said this privately to our writers, but I would like to say it publicly as well. The reason we even had an opportunity for a Hugo is not because of the work Vance, G, and I are doing behind the scenes. It’s because of the high quality of the work our writers are putting out every day. It’s the cumulative power of the book reviews and essays and special projects and interviews and none of that happens without these fantastic writers. We may not have won the Hugo Award, but we are absolutely confident that we deserved to be at that table, that the work our writers are doing is as good as anything on that ballot for Fanzine. The name on the ballot might say “The G, Vance Kotrla, Joe Sherry”, but it is that full list of contributors, past and present that have built the reputation we have and the every day excellence they deliver that allowed us to even have a chance. They’re the best.

(11) SPACE CATS. Steve Davidson announced in comments there is a call out to help many, many SJW credentials living at the Arecibo radio telescope site in Puerto Rico – “Arecibo Observatory’s Space Cats Need Your Help!”

When Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico last September, destroying tens of thousands of homes and damaging the observatory, staff and other members of the local community sought shelter and supplies at the observatory’s visitor center. And the local cats did the same. [The Arecibo Observatory: Puerto Rico’s Giant Radio Telescope in Photos]

The Arecibo Observatory has long been known for its felines, and it has become an increasingly popular cat hangout ever since the hurricane hit last year, Flaviane Venditti, a researcher at the observatory, told Space.com. “After the hurricane, many people left the island and, in the process, left their animals behind,” Venditti said. “We can see that based on how people-friendly some of the cats are. They might have come to the observatory to shelter during the storm.”

(12) THEY’RE QUACKERS. [Item by Mike Kennedy]. What do you get when both The Joker and Daffy Duck show up in the same continuum? SYFY Wire says “Comics and cartoons collide in sneak peek at DC’s The Joker/Daffy Duck crossover”. The fertile (or fevered) minds at DC are cooking up not just The Joker/Daffy Duck one-shot, but also Catwoman/Sylvester and TweetyHarley Quinn/Gossamer, and Lex Luthor/Porky Pig. These follow-up previous Warner Bros. or Hanna-Barbera crossovers with DC superheroes titles like Black Lightning/Hong Kong PhooeyBatman/Elmer Fudd, The Flash/Speed Buggy, Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian, Aquaman/Jabber Jaw, and Jonah Hex/Yosemite Sam.

The  SYFY Wire article has a 6-page preview of The Joker/Daffy Duck Special #1, “which finds Daffy visiting Gotham City to tour the ACME headquarters, only to discover that the building has been abandoned and taken over by the infamous Clown Prince of Crime.”

(13) IRON FIST. Trailer for Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 2

It’s not a weapon to be held. It’s a weapon to be used. Season 2 of Marvel’s Iron Fist debuts exclusively on Netflix September 7, 2018.


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

53 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/25/18 The Quidditch Policeman’s Union

  1. First?

    Glad to see the file settling back to what passes for normal. I must say, I was delighted to be able to contribute my small mite to support the emergency relief award-acceptor for File 770. You never know what may come from making contact with random convention roommates. And that unexpectedness is one of the reasons I like making those connections.

  2. Thats not todays date, is it? Or is the shoggoth playing with the time machine again?

  3. Mike, glad to hear you had a quick recovery.

    Pixels of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.

  4. Hampus Eckerman: I lost some days in there, but not that many. Thanks for catching the error. Appertain yourself your favorite beverage!

  5. 5th.
    Glad to hear that all went well and you don’t have to chance your life drasticly.

  6. Didn’t Jo do a fantastic job during the Hugo Ceremony? I was gratified and impressed (but also concerned about the revelation of OGH’s hospital stay). Perhaps, if she wishes, she might post about the rest of that story, as it IMO qualifies as grace under pressure.

  7. 5) Whut, I’m mentioned in a Hugo Awards acceptance speech! o.O This is acually one of the greatest moments in my life I think and I almost missed it, because I hadn’t access to internet during the actual ceremony.

    Thanks Jo, thanks Mike. I shall now appertain myself with a sherry to celebrate.

  8. It all started when I made the mistake of whingeing to Mike Glyer about never getting to go to GRRM’s awesome Hugo Losers Parties.

    “Well, you did a big favour for my blog,” he said. “If you want, you can be my +1 and go to the parties, as my way of saying ‘thanks'”.

    “What a great idea!” I said. “What could possibly go wrong?” I said.

    And we made arrangements to meet on Sunday evening outside the location for the Hugo Finalist pre-party.

    So on Sunday morning at the WSFS Business Meeting, I got a phone call saying that Mike had been taken from his hotel to the medical centre and could I go see him. “Sure!” I said. “I’m sure that he’ll be up on his feet shortly, and everything will be just fine!” I said.

    So I got to the hospital, where a little creative editorialising led the staff to believe that I might possibly be one of Mike’s errant blood relations who just happened to live on the other side of the world, and was delighted when I got to his room and discovered that he seemed to be back to his usual jovial self.

    “I’m so relieved to see that you’re doing well!” I said. “It’s a good thing that you’ll still be able to go to the Hugos tonight!” I said.

    “Yeah, uh… about that…” he said.

    I gave him The Look.

    “They want to keep me in the hospital overnight, just to be sure that I’m okay,” he said. “So I’m going to need you to stand in for me at the Hugos tonight,” he said.

    < deep breath >

    “Okay,” I said. “I can do that, but I’m going to need you to e-mail me a copy of your speech in case you win,” I said.

    “Yeah, uh… about that…” he said.

    I gave him The Look again.

    “I haven’t exactly written my speech yet,” he admitted.

    < another deep breath >

    “Okay,” I said. “Tell me what you need me to say if you win.” And he proceeded to toss out his thoughts for an acceptance speech, which I avidly typed into my cell phone’s memo app.

    I wanted to stick around until they got him taken from the evaluation area to an actual room. So we got a “here’s what’s going on” post put up on File 770, and I spent a few hours reading Filers’ responses to that to Mike, and relating the content of various tweets, Facebook posts, and the Business Meeting summaries to him. I’d missed the ceremony rehearsal which was early in the afternoon, but I talked to the Hugo staff on the phone, and they promised to give me a quick run-through whenever I got there.

    FINALLY they got Mike moved to a room. At that point, it was getting very late in the afternoon, and I really needed to get home and take a shower and get ready for the ceremony. So I called an Uber, and walked out of the ER exit toward the pickup point. The Uber driver arrived, and seemed to have some sort of selective visual impairment, because they were looking at every one of the 16 compass points except at me. I put my arm up and waved it, while walking toward them. They still didn’t see me. So I kept waving and walking.

    I never saw the curb that jumped up and hit me. (In my defence, there was construction going on, and the wide sidewalk area there had two sloping areas ramping down flush with the pavement. In between them was a curbed area which was not flush with the pavement.)

    The next thing I knew, I was on the ground wondering where the truck that hit me had gone, and two people were urging me to go back into the ER and get my injuries checked. I looked at my watch. It was 5:10pm. The pre-party was supposed to start at 6:00pm. “I can’t,” I said. “I have a ceremony I have to be at in an hour.” So they helped me up, and I hobbled over to my Uber which was 3 fricking metres away — and my Uber driver had missed the entire thing, which had happened right in front of their car. “When did this happen?” they asked. “Just now?” they asked.

    I didn’t bother giving them The Look.

    Setting aside my perhaps well-founded concerns about their ability to observe possible obstructions and impending collisions in traffic, I had the driver take me back to my hotel. On the way, I called Helen Montgomery, told her what had happened, and said that I was probably going to need some wrangling from the staff at the ceremony. I hobbled up to my room, in a massive amount of pain, wondering how in hell I was going to make it to the ceremony. So I cracked open a cold Mike’s Hard Lemonade, took a few big swigs, and got in the shower. As I was washing my hair, I heard my roommate come in. “Heather?” I said. “What are you doing for the next hour?” I asked her.

    “Nothing, as far as I know,” she said.

    “Yeah, uh… about that…” I said. “How would you like to be a Hugo Finalist Wrangler?” I asked her. “Because I’ve sprained my ankle and I think I may have broken my arm, and I’m supposed to be down at the pre-Hugo party in half an hour. Would you be willing to help me get ready?” And she graciously agreed.

    Heather Rose Jones, folks, is probably the only reason I wasn’t curled up on the bed crying from pain and exhaustion instead of going to the Hugo ceremony Sunday night. She kept talking to me and kept me going while I was getting ready, and helped with all of the things I couldn’t do by myself with a useless hand and arm. The hair and the makeup ended up being, shall we say, close enough only for Government Work. (But at least I had a tiara.)

    I got to the pre-party late at about 6:45pm, which at least provided the benefit of allowing me to duck out of being brigaded into the posed finalist photos. I scavenged some food from the buffet, joked with Ursula Vernon about getting into a scuffle with her over something which involved her lying on the floor weeping and covered in quacamole, and sat down to write a speech — alternating between typing on my phone with one finger and shoving cheese and red wine into my mouth.

    When the time came, the Hugo Ceremony staff ushered me out to the Grand Ballroom, where they had reserved for me a seat up front right by the stairs to the stage. They made sure that I had an arm and a good hand when I needed one, to carry a heavy rocket and avoid falling. Which was a good thing, because being given less than 12 hours of warning to make a speech under blinding lights in front of 3,500 people, which is being livecast to hundreds of fans all around the world, is pretty terrifying.

    All I can say is that GRRM’s Hugo Loser’s Party is every bit as awesome as the rumours say — and that copious amounts of Blood Orange Cider apparently make a passable substitution for legal pharmaceutical analgesics, since I managed to stay to the end. And I have to thank Mike for giving me the opportunity to have what will be one of the most special experiences of my life. I am just sorry that he missed the opportunity to pick up his very last Hugo himself.

    I figure that I must have some sort of Hugo record for “Trophy Accepter With Untreated Broken Bones”. Perhaps Kevin Standlee will give me a footnote in the official records.

  9. I’m impressed how quickly you’re back in the saddle, and honored that you mentioned me in your thanks. (I did not watch the ceremony; I try not to do computers that late, in order to get enough sleep.)

    @5: not sure why Whyte duplicates the note of Jemisin’s declining for Best Series, but the stats are interesting — surprising in some cases (I like “Incryptids” but it’s been mostly lightweight), but if everyone agreed we wouldn’t have to have a ballot (and the Puppy yelps about conspiracies and groupthink would get even louder…).

  10. Besides trying to keep our hero’s spirits up with fannish conversation, I count my best service as enabling his communication, fetching his laptop from storage – without which there would have been no posts during a much longer interval – and getting his mobile phone fixed.

    This was odd. It had run down and then would not take a charge, and nobody knew why. I took it to a Verizon store. The employee opened up the back, removed the battery, blew on the connectors, put the battery back in, and plugged it to a charger. It started right up. High tech, gotta love it.

  11. That’s a whale of a story (and another on my list of why not to Uber/Lyft). One hopes that your record for most-damaged acceptor will never be challenged.

    @6: A writeup very much in line with what I’ve dealt with the day after the convention — although at least he didn’t report the wild ride I had the last time it was in the McEnery Center. Some forklift driver had decided to make one big pile out of two little piles, causing the Boston shipment to wind up on the truck hired to take pass-on materiel directly to Toronto; fortunately, a decorator chief got me to the truck just in time to stop them. Do you have any idea how fast those people drive their carts when no attendees are in the halls?

  12. I received an RPG-related book in the mail that may be of interest: Chaosium’s Glorantha Sourcebook provides an overview of the venerable gaming world behind RuneQuest (and other systems as well). If you’ve ever wanted an entry point into the Glorantha backstory, this is it. Here is a link to the PDF:


  13. @Hampus Eckerman: I stayed with Jo (and at times with Mike) pretty much all of Monday in order to make sure, first and foremost (among other tasks) that she got initial treatment at the aforementioned medical centre. My wife Deirdre and I also made sure she got dinner. Fortunately, Jo has excellent taste in taco joints.

  14. @Jo Wow.

    @RoB Got that, too. I think it might be the best “intro to Glorantha” volume out there now

  15. (4). I am surprised at the disqualification of The Expanse as a finalist for the Best Series Hugo as there was both a novel (Persepolis Rising) and a novella (“Strange Dogs”) published in 2017. This was not enough?

  16. Persepolis Rising is 178,930 words, according to ReadingLength.com. Assuming Strange Dogs is no bigger than the WSFS definition of a novella (40,000 words), that’s no more than 218,930 words published in 2017.

    Best Series does not allow a series to return to the ballot in that category until another 250,000 words have been published, per the WSFS constitution.

  17. @Rob Thornton: Thanks for the Glorantha link. That’s a gaming world I’ve never gotten around to exploring, despite playing RPGs since the early 1980s.

  18. If this would be a tabloid buzzfeed, the headline would be“The Hugo curse: Why Science Fictions biggest award may be hazardous to your health“, followed by accounts of Mike and Jo. All the best you two!

  19. @Andrew
    IIRC, “Hearing Aid” only promised that no one else would hear whatever people said. It was something like a help line, allowing people to blow off steam through talking. It did have live people answering.

  20. @P J Evan: That’s right – the response from Hearing Aid was “Only I heard that, I hope it helped.” Not quite the same as Brizzly, then.

  21. Jo: “Okay,” I said. “I can do that, but I’m going to need you to e-mail me a copy of your speech in case you win,” I said.
    “Yeah, uh… about that…” he said.

    Yes, I think that’s an exact quote of what I said. And in a tone reflecting that two days earlier I had brought up the possibility of you substituting as my accepter in an emergency, should I win, promising to write out and text you a copy of my acceptance remarks, but never did it. *blush*

    Thanks for your heroic efforts (which continued in providing other help after Hugo night, and despite all these wounds and pain). I’m glad you decided to write this narrative so Filers will know what you did.

  22. @Jo Van Ekern
    That’s quite a story. But I’m glad that you’re okay and that you even managed to enjoy the Hugo Losers Party.

    Thanks for linking to my Dieter Thomas Heck obituary and to the Tim Burton profiles I found while checking Deutsche Welle for an English language Heck obituary.

  23. @1: Phone held on the right side is okay. I wonder what they do for natural left-handers? I can just see myself trying to break ~60 years of habit. And I never thought about car engines, but I suppose the spark plugs throw off a lot of RF noise.


    Ms Jemisin is the first black winner of a Hugo award for novels (the redoubtable Samuel Delany won twice for his short stories).

    This was the only part that bugged me about an otherwise laudable article. True? Technically, yes, entirely. But it makes it sound like Jemisin and Delaney are the only two. Enough so that I actually wonder if the Guardian writer might have had that mistaken impression.

    Granted that the number is, sadly, very small, but that’s even more reason not to diminish or overlook the others. Although I suppose the writer might not want to include the complete list, short as it is. But, at the very least, simply saying that Delaney was the first to win a Hugo, rather than accidentally implying he was the only other, would have been better, IMO.

    This is a very minor complaint, though. Overall, it was an excellent article, and I certainly hope it bring Ms Jemisin more readers.

  25. There’s another footnote to Jo’s Hugo Night Tale. Having heard the whole adventure, I suspect that if you listen to Jo’s acceptance speech you’ll have no problems understanding the line about “I nearly killed myself but Heather kept me together” as being dramatic hyperbole. Not knowing the adventure…well, I fielded a couple of anxious texts and emails from people worried about Jo’s mental health and whether I was ok and how harrowing it must have been and… I think I managed to do rumor control emphatically enough. But it felt a bit like a live game of “telephone”.

    Given that the adventure occurred, I was happy to have contributed my part to it. But I’d really rather than my friends didn’t enliven their Worldcons with hospitals and broken bones.

  26. Jo, thanks for expanding on the story, and so entertaingly, despite the continuing pain. I hope healing will ease that very soon.

    Heather, thanks for helping her and doing rumor control.

    Jo et al, thank you for helping Mike!

    I hope all the walking wounded will be feeling better soon.

  27. @Chip Hitchcock: I wonder what they do for natural left-handers?

    Maybe run them through the Rhennius machine from Zelazny’s Doorways in the Sand (after double-checking for situs inversus).

    I suspect OGH is very slightly overinterpreting doctors’ precautions, since (unless I am missing something important, here) a mobile held up to the left ear isn’t significantly closer to an installed pacemaker than one held up to the right ear.

    Also, speaking for the naturally sinister, I’ll gently remind the assembled that you cannot assume left-handed people will necessarily use that hand for what tasks you folks of the dexter persuasion do over on the right side. One reason is that left-handers’ hand dominance is typically much less than that of the right-handed majority, and the other is that per-task choice of hand is just idiosyncratic. E.g., I pretty much always hold glasses or mugs in my right hand, but OTOH hold my knife in my left hand if using knife and fork. (But I don’t do that continual swapping of knife and fork Americans do for reasons that passeth understanding, because, seriously, who has time for that?)

  28. Rick Moen: I suspect OGH is very slightly overinterpreting doctors’ precautions,

    Not actually. That’s literally what they told me. Besides, when I hold the phone to my right ear, my thick head is between it and the pacemaker, which doubtless helps.

  29. @ Chip: I’m right-handed, and that’s why I hold the phone with my left hand — so that if I need to make notes, I don’t have to put the phone down while doing so! Even thinking about trying to use my right hand and ear for the purpose seems like complete alien weirdness. I guess I’ll just hope that I never need a pacemaker. 🙁

  30. Lee: They can put one in on either side, they told me. And they also said sometimes they can’t choose the preferred side, for reasons, so I should be forewarned. Fortunately, it worked out as desired.

  31. @Rick Moen:

    Maybe run them through the Rhennius machine from Zelazny’s Doorways in the Sand (after double-checking for situs inversus).

    That was a fun book.

  32. I am very glad that both Mike and Jo got the treatment they needed, and that Jo, at least, was able to enjoy the Hugo party. And that the blood orange cider was a useful substitute for official analgesics.

    I am personally glad to have been nowhere near, not even on the same side of the continent, as that dastardly construction, curb, and their Evil Scheme.

    Feel better, both of you.

  33. @Andrew: That was a fun book.

    Wasn’t it just? Whenever indulging my habit of hiking up to the top of every single hill in any given city (just doing San Francisco took quite a while, as did Valparaiso, Chile), I keep handy protagonist Fred Cassidy’s excuse of acute acrophilia, just in case of query. (OTOH, I didn’t go to the same lengths to avoid graduation as did Cassidy.)

    ETA: I realised immediately after posting my jest about the Rhennius machine that it didn’t really even in theory help, because Cassidy ended up suddenly a leftie.)

  34. Having been a designated acceptor this year as well, but without any of the medical issues (on either finalist or acceptor sides), lack of prepared comments, or need to get up on stage I must say that I don’t envy either Mike or Jo their experiences.

    (And yes, GRRM’s Hugo Losers Party was worth the risk of having to go on stage followed by a round of boos from the party attendees, not that I suffered either.)

  35. I’d just like to point out the blood orange cider is readily available in the Mac’s brewbar on Wellington waterfront, 120 metres from Te Papa Museum (of colossal squid fame)

  36. @Mike Glyer: As it turns out, I actually was missing something important — the fact that a pacemaker includes a sub-unit called a pulse generator that lives on one side or the other, specifically in a location I belatedly and to my surprise read is near the collarbone, and must (obviously) be protected against RF interference. So, basically I really had approximately no clue, but at least had the inbred caution to suspect personal ignorance. (Yay for Janteloven, which sometimes have advantages, even if they are sometimes late in arriving.)

  37. Welcome back, Mike! I am amazed at how they let people out of the hospital so fast nowadays. “Yeah, we made your heart semi-bionic, you can leave now.”

    (2) I am not getting the notifications for these and it’s super-annoying. Back to checking my settings.

    (4) Huh. Graphic Work got everything correct (i.e. in the order I ranked them).

    (6) Bears is always helpful. I saw him very briefly the first day. Or was it the N-1 day? Anyway, he’s got plenty of years in fandom.

    (11) Space Cats! I was wearing my Space Cats shirt Sunday and thus this is relevant to my interests.

    I, too, have to thank Heather, because I thought we might have to have some sort of File 770 order of succession where it would devolve unto me to accept Mike’s award. Jo’s wrist was a scary thing to look at the pre-festivities, lemme tell you. But her hair was awesome and she had the Obligatory 2018 Hugo Tiara (TM) on.

    And yes, GRRM’s party is as amazing as reputed, and that blood orange cider is making me unhappy I only have two other flavors of cider in my fridge (regular and cinnamon). What was it called? I must buy more.

    I had one Uber and one Lyft driver that night, and the Uber one was exactly as clueless (We’re standing in front of the hotel! No, we are NOT walking across the street in our party outfits!), but the Lyft driver was swell, able to spot us, had a nice car and no problems. So there’s a tiny bit of data for you.

    @Christopher Davis: I was glad not to break anything, to have an emailed and printed speech in advance, and not to have to use it. So I got to go to the party as my +1 is not a loud party type. Although he was still awake reading when I staggered back into the room at 2:30, half-deaf, half-drunk, and wondering if I’d gotten all the bobby pins out of my hair with the Obligatory Tiara (TM).

    Really, if you get a chance to go to that party, leap upon it and go even if you have broken bones. It’s that good.

  38. Add me to the list of Doorways in the Sand fans — it was one of the random Zelazny books on the public library shelves back in the day, and for whatever reason, it just stuck with me.

    (And if I had a rich, dead uncle whose will had included a similar bequest, I probably would’ve gone to similar lengths to avoid graduation.)

  39. I got introduced to Doorways in the Sand via Terry Pratchett’s Moving Pictures. There are a lot of references to older SFF in early Discworld that went completely over my head the first time I read them.

    @Jo: That’s a hell of a story. Glad everything ultimately worked out!

  40. ” Besides, when I hold the phone to my right ear, my thick head is between it and the pacemaker, which doubtless helps.”

    It is the beard. Everyone knows that beards protect against mobile death rays.

  41. @Hampus: “Everyone knows that beards protect against mobile death rays.”

    And now you know why Santa is a key part of our anti-Martian defense strategy.

  42. I, too, have to thank Heather, because I thought we might have to have some sort of File 770 order of succession where it would devolve unto me to accept Mike’s award.

    Bringing us squarely into the realm of the constitutional thriller…

    Working title

    Bad Drives and Con Sense

    When Jo Van Ekeren awoke in her apartment at the Fairmont Hotel at 7:31 in the morning she had the feeling it would be a bad day. The impression was confirmed as soon as she got out of bed and brought up the blog File 770…

    Alternate titles:

    Seven Scrolls in May

    The Pixellist’s Scroll is Missing

    Glad everyone made it out OK!

  43. I’m also a fan of Doorways in the Sand; sometimes I think it’s his last good novel, even if it isn’t as heavy with ideas as his earlier work. I think I remember hearing him read a piece of it at Discon II (he wasn’t as vivid a reader as Harlan, who read “…Langerhans…”) although I read it more because I read almost everything those days (when a typical month’s entry to the MITSFS catalog was ~30 titles); it’s one of the few books I’ve ordered from an old-book service instead of going “meh” when I found 3 decades later that my copy had disappeared (or maybe never existed…). These days anyone can outdo Cassidy; AFAIK the Sydney Opera House roof is off limits, but you can walk over the arch of the harbor bridge, which seemed significantly higher.

  44. Stoic Cynic: The impression was confirmed as soon as she got out of bed and brought up the blog File 770…

    Must have been a day of the week ending in “y”!

    (Very funny bit.)

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