Pixel Scroll 8/22/18 If All The Pixels At File 770 Were Scrolled End To End, I Wouldn’t Be At All Surprised

(1) WORLDCON 76 ATTENDANCE. Kevin Standlee blogged this first-cut attendance figure on Monday:

A tentative membership count (subject to clean up after the convention) of warm bodies on site for Worldcon 76 is 5,440 individual human beings who attended the convention at some time during the five days of the event. There are a bunch of other numbers I have, but I’m waiting for the post-con clean up before reporting them to the WSFS Formulation of Long List Entries (FOLLE) committee.

(2) PLANE SPEAKING. How did Cat Rambo convince TSA to let her on the plane after she lost her wallet and ID’s? She showed them this – her Walter Day trading card.

(3) TOLKIEN MENTIONS AT W76. Kalimac reports on two Worldcon panels with Tolkien in them”:

The two best panels I attended at Worldcon 76 were both relatively sparsely attended, perhaps because they lacked famous names at the table. Instead, the panelists were young writers unfamiliar to me, representing a variety of ethnicities and gender/sexual identities. They were as articulate and interesting as any more famous names would have been, probably more so. The topics were intriguing, which is why I was there….

Details at the link.

(4) MOBIS AT CONVENTIONS. Seanan McGuire complimented Worldcon 76 on the number of mobis they arranged. She passionately argues for accepting them in convention space here.

(5) FIVE SEVEN FIVE. John Hertz shared his unpublished submission to the Worldcon daily newzine:

Science, fantasy
Joining, jostling, we’re here to
Commune if we can.

(6) BOBBLEHEAD. Major League baseball has Game of Thrones nights.  The Texas Rangers have capitalized on the name of their second baseman Rougned Odor with a new bobblehead that portrays him in a scene from the series: “The Rangers’ new Game of Thrones bobblehead for Rougned Odor will bring back painful memories”.

Martin Morse Wooster adds, “The Orioles’s Game of Thrones promotion was one with pitcher Kevin Gausman riding a dragon.  Mr. Gausman was unable to be present for his bobblehead, due to his employment by the Atlanta Braves…”

(7) AS OTHERS SEE THEM. At Poore House, Cormac’s “Hate Speech: Perceptions and Responses in the SCA” models the reasons for different levels of obliviousness, denial, engagement, and hate in connection with a Society of Creative Anachronism coronation where the king and queen wore swastika patterned garments.


Each of these three groups have connections to the others, and discussions quickly became heated. Team Trust felt attacked by Team Vigilance when the latter accused the organization of institutional racism, and they grew frustrated by Team Familiarity’s refusal to recognize the dangers of public perception. Team Familiarity felt that Team Trust’s outrage was driven by ignorance of historical design, and that Team Vigilance was fueling the controversy due to unfounded oversensitivity. And Team Vigilance saw Team Trust as complicit for turning a blind eye to the warning signs, and they hold Team Familiarity guilty of normalizing and defending the display of hate symbols.

Some in each group became so frustrated that they walked away from the discussion, and from the organization. Members of Team Trust felt disillusioned at what the Dream had become, and stopped showing up. Members of Team Familiarity retreated to their research, and looked for more historically accurate organizations with whom to spend their time. And members of Team Vigilance turned their energies to letting as many people as possible know that there were white supremacists in the SCA, including reporting us to the Southern Poverty Law Center….

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

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90 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/22/18 If All The Pixels At File 770 Were Scrolled End To End, I Wouldn’t Be At All Surprised

  1. (2) PLANE SPEAKING. Wut. LOL, but wut. Heh, don’t expect that to always work!

    First step of many in this comment thread!

  2. (6) I’m not exactly a baseball fan, but I have to admit that that thing is pretty cute. And if it’s putting more money in GRRM’s pocket, well, I can’t complain about that either. 🙂

    Still no stickiness from WordPress.

  3. (2) That seems way too flexible for prevailing YES standards. I hope they don’t get in trouble for flexibility and reasonableness.

  4. (2) We are mighty!

    (4) I would also like to abjure and condemn the Fairmont for not allowing any mobies — possibly not anything with wheels and a motor — onto the party floor. You had to leave them in the lobby, which, hello? Kind of defeats the purpose.

    They also seemed to be under the impression parties involve people going into closed-door rooms and whispering while consuming nothing but tap water, instead of talking in a normal tone of voice, laughing, and eating/drinking things with flavor.

    I suspect they wouldn’t GAF even if hit with an ADA lawsuit — because their usual clientele of rich assholes don’t — but will support anyone who takes them on. Nobody should ever, ever support them again in any way; to be fair, nobody at the con had any idea they were going to go after mobies, and they were allowed the first night. They didn’t let us use the elevators without someone swiping a key card, either. I hope Worldcon can get some money back from them, but I doubt it. Boycott the bastards now and forever, I say.

    I never had to wait very long for an elevator (and I need one for more than one flight of stairs downward on my best day, much less during Worldcon), so the people complaining are just assholes who I hope have to spend plenty of time using wheeled devices to get around in the future. I didn’t hear any of them even though I was passing as a non-disabled person; if I had, I mighta kneecapped them. OK not, but I would have at least told them to shut up and mocked them mercilessly.

    (7) I’m on Team Let’s Not Have Nazis, mmmkay? It’s historically accurate for the Middle Ages to have things what look like swastikas, but even more historically accurate to have water that would kill you, and I don’t see anyone in the SCA campaigning to return to the good old days of sewers discharging into water sources, painting your face with lead, cleaning fancy clothes with urine, child labor, or epidemics of smallpox and bubonic plague either. Some other design would have been just as historical.

    And as usual, someone’s whining about the tiniest thing ever — the costume trim — while ignoring the whole brand NEW “king is an outright racist in public”* elephant in the room, admittedly involving different people and kingdoms but the same idea. Only WORSE, as his stuff isn’t “oops I didn’t think through my historically accurate idea too well”, but “hey let’s post alt-right memes including racist, homo/transphobic stuff, MAGA!” and “let’s appoint an outright racist to a high position — but in secret instead of publicly like we’re supposed to.”

    From what I’ve seen, the BoD isn’t doing squat to keep out racists in high positions, let alone discouraging more racism. They’ve added language last month which emphasizes Western Europe over all other cultures of the time period. And they don’t care a bit about the openly racist king. Mostly they just wish everyone would tug their forelock and bow to their “betters”, be it kings or the Board. Which is fine if they want the SCA to be only full of neo-Nazis and such, but those people already have their own places to wear outfits that don’t demand such strict regulations and approve heartily of polyester.

    Mr. (Sir? Lord?) whoever this is, is doing good writing about it, at some personal cost to himself, of too fucking course. He has a para in the middle of this that is chilling (begins “Let’s leave aside…”).


    The SCA is way behind so, so many other organizations in taking a look at their structural failures of equality. FAIL.

    *a Florida Man, as if this story wasn’t odd enough

  5. I have mixed feelings about the Fairmont. I appreciate them letting me bring my SJW cred, but I’m also mad at them for giving a friend a hard time after they left something in my room — forbidding them from coming upstairs to retrieve it until morning. You’d think the “party hotel” would have fewer curfews.

    Oh well, it’s probably going to be my last Worldcon for a couple of years, so it’s all bittersweet.

    SCA … I was married to a SCAdian for a while. Not my cup of tea.

  6. @Lurkertype: Just three days ago, I collected yet another entry for my ‘Fairmont San Jose’s management being jerks’ story collection, from an S.F. Bay Area conrunner (an encounter from a couple of years ago, IIRC) in which massive overbilling, gratuitous rudeness, and refusal to honour their contract figured largely.

    My own first and last effort to do business with them was in 1999, when my employer (in San Francisco) was major sponsor of a new trade show at McEnery. A colleague and I drove down, worked a tiring day doing booth-equipment setup, and them walked to the Fairmont to check into our rooms that were being fully paid by our firm. The reception staff refused without our tendering personal credit cards and signing lodging contracts — not just signing for incidentals, which neither of us wanted — and even though they acknowledged our paperwork proving the company credit-account prepayment contract. We escalated to the duty manager, who reiterated the refusal and added some borderline personal abuse, to boot. So, we walked out, decided we’d prefer to commute daily from San Francisco than deal with those asshats under any circumstances, and sent pointed e-mails to our CEO advising he get a refund, in court if necessary.

    Being aware that it’s irrational to hold a grudge for 19 years given that even middle-manager asshats retire or, if you’re lucky, step into an open manhole and die, I check occasionally, viz. my recent chat with the conrunner. Based on anecdata, the running theme seems to be ‘you need us more than we need you, so you can take it or leave it.’

    That having been said, on Monday when Jo and I were dealing with the Fairmont front-desk staff concerning Mike Glyer’s logistical situation, they were very helpful and professional, so full marks for that and my keen appreciation to the staffer we dealt with.

    tl;dr: Life’s complicated. ;->

    ETA: The hotel industry developing a massive aversion to anything called a ‘party’ is a current trend, so expect to see it more. Thus workarounds like ‘we call them receptions, actually’.

  7. 2)
    Cat had told me she had lost her wallet…but she didn’t tell me THAT. Hunh. Clever.

  8. Reading update: Finished Fonda Lee’s Jade City, which was excellent, and am now midway through R. F. Kuang’s The Poppy War, which, ditto.

  9. Now that the Scroll is up and running (and I’m not quite as involved in the Red Queen’s Race), as promised a quick re-announcement that the new Commonweal book is out. it might have gotten missed in all the news about some convention.
    At Google Play.
    At Kobo.

  10. To stay with Camestros’s theme, a non-obligatory reference to Flanders & Swann’s (1) song Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud. (F&S are also, and perhaps best, known for their song “I’m A Gnu” (here, from The Muppet Show) although classical music lovers hopefully also known their “Ill Wind” … and physics fans, their “First And Second Law” (thermodynamics, not robotics, in case you thought otherwise).

    (1) There is even a more direct sfnal connection – Donald Swann recorded an album of poems/songs from Tolkein, back in 1967, THE ROAD GOES EVER ON (which I might even still have).
    According to Swann’s site

    A cycle of seven songs selected from THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, with Elvish calligraphy by Tolkien himself, written during the last two years of the AT THE DROP OF ANOTHER HAT tour. Donald often used ‘I Sit beside the Fire’ in the show and it can be heard on the Broadway video. The original cycle can be heard on commercial cassette with Donald accompanying Covent Garden baritone William Elvin. To the second edition Donald added ‘Bilbo’s Last Song’.

    An eighth Tolkein setting, ‘Lúthien Tinúviel’, can be found in THE SONGS OF DONALD SWANN: VOLUME 1 and was added to the third edition published by Harper Collins in 2002, which includes a free CD of the Elvin recording as well as bonus tracks of ‘Bilbo’s Last Song’ and ‘Lúthien Tinúviel’

  11. @Daniel Dern — I … never connected the Donald Swann from the Tolkien songs with Flanders & Swann …

    (When I was young, I had a copy of The Road Goes Ever On and used to sit at the family piano and plunk out songs from it (badly). I have to admit they never quite sounded like I had been imagining them in my head — a little too jolly turn-of-the-century English or something — but I did like the setting for Errantry in particular.)

  12. Back in the early 80s when I was in high school, I got a copy of a record with Tolkien songs on it (from the local small town library (Tolkien fan on the staff?)), but it must have been a different one than “The Road Goes Ever On” (the one I listened to had Tolkien himself singing “Troll sat alone”). I’ve googled a bit but haven’t yet found out what that record was called.

  13. Andrew — I’m not sure what the record would’ve been back in the 1980s, but these days it’s part of the J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection:


    (Which also has extensive selections of JRRT reading from LotR; and also has an entire disc of Christopher Tolkien reading from The Silmarillion, although at points he edges dangerously close to the Very Serious Clergyman from The Princess Bride.)

  14. @Joe H.

    Reading update: Finished Fonda Lee’s Jade City, which was excellent, and am now midway through R. F. Kuang’s The Poppy War, which, ditto.

    I really liked Jade City. I haven’t tried The Poppy War yet but I’m increasingly convinced that I need to. I hear that it gets unexpectedly grim at some point?

  15. @Mark — Yes, it does, right at the half-way mark (which is around where I got to last night); although I had heard from a lot of folks that it was awfully grim, so I was more surprised by the relatively less-grim first half (which reminded me in an odd way of the early parts of Elizabeth Moon’s Deed of Paksennarion). Still very much recommend it, though.

  16. Donald Swann also wrote the music for an operetta version of Perelandra. He was a student at Oxford while both Tolkien and Lewis were there, albeit at a different College to either and read Languages rather than English.

  17. a quick re-announcement that the new Commonweal book is out

    And no-one told me until yesterday. Two whole days after publication….

  18. @4: I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that some people were being nasty about mobies, but I’m certainly disappointed. I wonder whether anyone else abled ever spoke back to the sneerers; it’s not something I’d recommend generally — it can escalate too easily — but some people have a talent for simultaneously correcting and defusing.

    @7: I have read elsewhere that the fylfot was explicitly banned as decoration early in the existence of the SCA, because its associations had been so perverted by (relatively) recent events; the writer doesn’t mention this, and I don’t remember previously hearing it in my long-but-weaker connection to the SCA, so I don’t know whether Team Familiarity has an excuse or not. He seems (inference from a negative) to think some of Team Vigilance were at coronation, which makes me wonder why there was no word of comment during the event. I’ve seen the photos, and I’m not sure his divisions are accurate; the resolution of the weaving was low enough(*) that the patterns may not have been particularly obvious in real time.
    (*) even compared to contemporary newsreels, of which I saw a clip last night — ironically accompanied by the overture to Threepenny Opera, during a discussion of the composer’s leaving Germany the day after Hitler’s accession.

    @Lurkertype: the writer is not ignoring the supremacist; he starts with a specific issue, then goes to a larger issue rather than treating Trimaris as isolated. And as the letter from the BoD member points out, your comment about western Europe is … debatable. I’ve been on the fringes of a BoD tangle (the we-never-talk-about-it issue of The Compleat Anachronist); while I have been known to quote “The Board is like a flagon of kumiss” in jest, I do not see them in reality demanding submissive behavior as you say.

    @Rick Moen: had your company signed a contract to be responsible for all expenses? ISTM that the Fairmont manager could have been less hostile (although I say this without having seen the interaction), but without such guarantee and no card on hand the Fairmont could have been stuck if you had drunk the refrigerator-of-hooch dry (regardless of your declared lack of interest), or smoked in the room, or otherwise trashed it. (Do you know whether an incidentals-only contract exists? I’ve never seen one.) I have run into similar when I’ve prepaid a room; the hotel still, reasonably, wants a guarantee against additional expenses. wrt your conclusion: ISTM that middle management gets transferred often, on the grounds that they should know about different parts of the country in case they get promoted. I don’t know whether this is still and/or generally true, but it was a matter of some surprise to hotel-experienced people in Boston that the Sheraton’s marketing manager stayed in place for 27 years — a surprise emphasized by a call a couple of years after N2, from our hotel rep, who despite various disorder at N2 (including being personally screamed at by Harlan) wanted to know if anyone in ~central Florida wanted to put on an SF convention. (This was after the Suncon mess, but well before Oasis got started.)

    @Daniel Dern: I would have said F&S were best known for “Have Some Madeira, M’Dear” — but they had such a range that each listener will have personal pointers. (I’ve been told a TV character was known for reproducing “A Transport of Delight”.) Did you notice when WHRB did a Swann orgy some years ago (possibly the year of his death)?

  19. Meredith Moment:

    Logan’s Run by Nolan and Johnson is on sale through the 25th for $2.99 at The Usual Suspects.

    4) Good. Maybe Seanan McGuire has a high enough profile to get people talking and thinking about this.

  20. @ Chip: My partner and I, in addition to being dealers in our own right, also run tables for Pegasus Publishing at a number of cons. Our room for such events is paid for by Pegasus, and we have never been required to supply a personal credit card or sign a contract ourselves. Something was seriously wrong with the Fairmont.

    Yes, hotel managers (and other salaried staff) do get swapped around a fair amount, but there also seems to be a tendency for a hotel chain’s overall attitude toward cons and parties to come down from the corporate level.

    OTOH, individual attitudes can also make a difference. For example, GAFilk got its current venue by virtue of the person in charge of group bookings changing hotels and actively recruiting the con — and offering a better deal in a nicer facility than the one they’d been in.

  21. Anthony on August 23, 2018 at 7:45 am said:

    Donald Swann also wrote the music for an operetta version of Perelandra.

    Makes more sense than doing one of Lewis’ “Out of the Silent Planet” 🙂

  22. Regarding the Hugo Awards ceremony, Dave O’Neill said this in a post on Adam-Troy Castro’s Facebook wall: “As I said elsewhere, Silverberg was on stage after John Picacio actually held a political protest which caused an albeit minor walk out in front of me.”

    Does anyone know to what this refers? I don’t recall Picacio doing anything that could be described as a political protest. He did a hand sign before and after the awards, but I don’t know what it meant.

  23. Good news, Malazan fans! According to an article on upcoming books from Tor.com, says that The God Is Not Willing, the first book in the Karsa Orlong trilogy, will be out in the summer of 2019.

  24. Regarding Robert Silverberg calling N.K. Jemisin’s speech “vulgar,” somebody on Twitter reminded me of his 2016 introduction to the Hugo Awards best novel announcement. It was bawdy, hilarious and makes his comment about Jemisin wildly hypocritical.

  25. I’ve started on Robert Jackson Bennett’s Foundryside.

    I don’t know what I was expecting, but this is not it.

    That is not a complaint, by the way. I very much like his worldbuilding and storytelling abilities – too many authors are good at one and not the other.

  26. “A Transport of Delight”

    The reason that many of us “know” that the classic Routemaster bus is 30ft long (RML) by 10ft (actually 8ft) wide with a 97 horsepower (early RM) engine.

    (It’s also around 15 ft tall and if you filled one with concrete it would mass about 100 proper or metric but not colonial short measure tons should you be in need of a handy units comparison)

  27. @Chip Hitchcock: After so many years, I cannot possibly say, except I’ll say that my company CEO was surprised and put out by our treatment, and said that it should not defitely have happened, that the firm was to have paid for our stay, categorically, and we should not have been required to provide personal credit cards let alone been required to sign lodging contracts. How the fallout was then settled between the firm and the hotel, I have no idea. (But I was hoping it involved siege engines.)

  28. @rcade: Excellent point.

    I enjoyed very much being at the Kansas City ceremony (as with the recent one), where I thought Pat Cadigan did an exemplary job as host (and separately as Toastmaster), and thank you for the opportunity to re-experience that clip.

  29. File, File, glorious File
    Nothing quite like it for riling the vile

    Scroll very tight please (ting ting)

    I bought the three CD boxed set of Flanders and Swann years ago and was annoyed of the way they break up the tracks. I had the three albums and don’t remember them tacking the introduction for a song on the end of the previous song. Maybe this was an early version.

  30. @ Andrew: OMG. Has anyone actually written that? If not, I can’t imagine why — it’s a natural!

    @ Jack: I have an album by Carla Ulbrich that’s tracked the same way. Someone told me that it’s a radio thing, so that the beginning of the song is actually at the start of the track. Fortunately, I also have a tape-to-mp3 conversion gizmo that worked just as well for re-tracking the CD.

  31. “The SCA is way behind so, so many other organizations in taking a look at their structural failures of equality.”

    It’s like they’re stuck in the Middle Ages or something.

  32. 5) I muist apologize to Mr. Hertz, for I never saw that cross the desk in Newsletter. Had I seen it, I would have fitted it into an issue.

  33. @Lee
    What kind of tape to MP3 conversion gizmo? (I have some tapes I want to convert (to CD as well).)

  34. Chip Hitchcock on August 23, 2018 at 8:16 am said:

    @7: I have read elsewhere that the fylfot was explicitly banned as decoration early in the existence of the SCA, because its associations had been so perverted by (relatively) recent events;

    It was banned from use in Heraldry from the beginning of registering heraldry. Along with several other offensive symbols.

  35. Hotel issues may, unfortunately, be due to some of the recent cancellations and collapse of a series of various gate shows…that started a couple of years ago with ill-fated Chicago event I can’t even remember the name of (the one where the con reneged on paying the cancellation fees and then went on the press and accused the hotel of prejudice against fans…?)

    I’ve read numerous times this year about media cons leaving guest stranded with hotel bills to pay, bills that presumably were originally underwritten by a convention entity.

    If your corporate culture really doesn’t want to deal with fan events, but do so out of economic imperative, I can easily see them learning of these incidents and wanting to hedge against them.

    Not right, but I think there’s a good chance this is why things like this are beginning to happen.

  36. Regarding handing credit cards over to hotels on checking in, I’ve had to do this pretty much every time in the last ten years when I’ve stayed in a hotel where my company has paid in advance. It doesn’t seem like a sinister recent development, unwelcome though it may be.

  37. A start:

    And here’s to you, Harper Robinton,
    Threadfall’s coming real soon, don’t you know?
    oh no no
    Sing for us please Harper Robinton,
    Benden holds a place for those who play.
    Hey, hey, hey.

    We’d like to know a little bit about you, for our fliers,
    We’d like to help you learn to help our Holds.

  38. @Various: I went to the same hotel for years for a conference, always paid for by work. (Well, okay, a few years in another hotel next to it.) The company paying didn’t matter; if they didn’t fill out the paperwork saying to ALSO use the company card for incidentals, and if the hotel didn’t lose it or misdirect it, and if the stars didn’t align – we still had to provide our own card. In the early years, this process didn’t work out right many times, but got over over the years.

    Saying the company was covering the room isn’t enough (at least, wasn’t at these places); saying it’s for “everything” wasn’t enough; there was a special form or checkbox or section to fill out to specify it’s also for incidentals.

    Gah it was frustrating, since half the time it seemed like the problem was confusion or losing paperwork at their end. Ah the good ol’ days. The fun times were a couple of times (checking in over the weekend, when we can’t reach anyone at our home base) when they completely lost the FAX or whatever (the good ol’ days, I said) and we had to use our card temporarily anyway until we could get something FAX’d again. 😉

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