Pixel Scroll 8/4 The Dead Wallaby of Clown Town

Money, money, money – we cover the spectrum from scarcity to infinite wealth in today’s Scroll.

(1) David Pascoe (“Trekking With The Green-Eyed Monster” on According To Hoyt) knows something that nobody else knows. ‘Cause he made it up:

It occurs, what with the Hugo voting just finished, and the results to be announced in a couple of week, that most of the Puppy Kickers are suffering from an excess of envy. I mean, think about it: the prospect of Jim Butcher (or Kevin Anderson, etc.) receiving a shiny, rocket-shaped object is so painful to them that they’re willing to ruin the award’s (remaining shreds of) credibility to prevent it. It’s accepted wisdom at this point that a move to limit voting to attending memberships will be advanced at the WSFS business meeting at Sasquan. While there’s a good deal of speculation over whether such a motion will even get approved (what then, would supporting members get for their hard earned filthy lucre? How could WorldCon possibly garner any kind of diverse, international support by shutting out anybody who can’t afford to fly across an ocean to come to the majority of conventions?), that it’s not reduced to backroom rumor mills is a sign of how strong the desire is to keep out the undesirable types.

Use this link to keep track of new business actually submitted to Sasquan.

(2) Bob Eggleton has some more anecdotes and critiques about Worldcon art shows, and in the last paragraph alludes to professional shows that are competing effectively for artists’ attention, which may be the most important influence on the fate of the Worldcon art show.

Illuxcon had risen in 2008 and, it started being for many pro artists the model for such a quality artshow. Security, professional hangings, a sense of overall quality to the show and one where artists, art fans and art collectors could come and be treated all well. No politics or stupidity or getting caught in some “fan” feud or political battle. Everyone gets on. Everyone does fairly well. Spectrum Live also fills a similar need. So maybe there is hope, but it requires a new and consistent sustainable model for such shows.

(3) Ahrvid Engholm’s post about Girl With The Dragon Tattoo author Stieg Larsson at Europa SF reminds readers about Larsson’s beginnings as a fanzine fan, and draws attention to a successor’s work on a new Millennium series novel that is coming out late this month.

An avid science fiction reader from an early age, he became active in Swedish science fiction fandom around 1971; co-edited, together with Rune Forsgren his first fanzine, Sfären, in 1972; and attended his first science fiction convention, SF•72, in Stockholm. Through the 1970s, Larsson published around 30 additional fanzine issues; after his move to Stockholm in 1977, he became active in the Scandinavian SF Society where he was a board member in 1978 and 1979, and chairman in 1980. In his first fanzines, 1972–74, he published a handful of early short stories, while submitting others to other semi-professional or amateur magazines. He was co-editor or editor of several science fiction fanzines, including Sfären and FIJAGH!; in 1978–79, he was president of the largest Swedish science-fiction fan club, Skandinavisk Förening för Science Fiction (SFSF).

The Swedish morning paper Dagens Nyheter August the 2nd published an “exclusive diary” by David Lagercrantz, covering his work with writing the new Millennium novel.

(4) Responding to a report that “Most of the [Hugo] votes were cast in the final week before the deadline, over 3,000,” Vox Day suggests —

Something to consider: on July 24th, I posted my complete Hugo recommendations. I am NOT saying those are all Puppy votes, only that there may be a connection.

(5) J. A. Micheline explains “Why I’m Boycotting Marvel Comics” at Comics Alliance.

First, came your quiet decision to hand the new Blade book over to two white creators. To be clear, I have no reason to think either creator will do a bad job on this book, but I was disappointed that one of Marvel’s most prominent black heroes would be handed to white people yet again.

I feel like I have to say this five or six times. Whenever this comes up, I get a tsunami of white people wondering what my problem is and suggesting I’m racist for saying white people can’t write about people of color. It’s not that white people can’t; it’s not even that they shouldn’t (except in some circumstances that I have written about almost ad nauseam recently) — it’s that white people are the ones who, historically and systemically, are consistently offered the opportunity. And in 2015, perhaps the right thing to do is to let people of color have a turn.

But that wasn’t the dealbreaker for Micheline, it was the string of gaffes that followed, beginning with —

The moment you and I really started having a problem, Marvel, was when your editor-in-chief all but laughed off the numerous critiques of the variants. Axel Alonso’s interview with CBR was unspeakably condescending and horrendously dismissive. From using scare quotes to frame the discussion to referring, to outcry from David Brothers and other readers/critics as a “small but very loud contingent,” to — and this is the part that I pretty much can’t forgive — indicating that we had suddenly learned the phrase ‘cultural appropriation’ and were eager to use it in an essay.

(6) Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam will appear at Live Talks Los Angeles on October 19, 2015 at the Alex Theatre. It’s the launch event for Gilliam’s memoir.

Gilliamesque-hc-s-227x300In Gilliamesque, his “pre-posthumous memoir,” he offers an intimate glimpse into his world in this fascinating book illustrated with hand-drawn sketches, notes, and memorabilia from his personal archive.

From his no-frills childhood in the icy wastes of Minnesota, to some of the hottest water Hollywood had to offer, via the cutting edge of 1960s and ’70s counter-culture in New York, L.A. and London, Terry Gilliam’s life has been as vivid, entertaining and unorthodox as one of his films.

(7) Larry Correia is selling a second series of challenge coins. Jack Wylder gives the details at the link.

2) Instead we’re doing it through the MHI Swag page: https://mhiswag.myshopify.com/ Important: Do NOT order yet! Wait until all 12 designs are finalized and up there so you only have to order once. Even if you’re planning on buying a complete set, hold off- we have a few other items we’ll be introducing along the way that might interest you. In fact, I’m not even going to put them on the site until all has been revealed…

This is the first of the series —


(8) At Bloomberg, Noah Smith writes about “Star Trek Economics: Life After the Dismal Science”.

I grew up watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (easily the best of the Star Trek shows). There’s one big, obvious thing missing from the future society depicted in the program. No one is doing business. There is almost no one buying and selling, except for a few species for whom commerce is a form of traditional religion. Food and luxuries are free, provided by “replicators” — machines capable of creating essentially anything from pure energy. Recreation, provided by virtual reality, is infinite in scope. Scarcity — the central defining concept of economics — seems to have been eliminated.

Is this really the future? Is it possible? Is it something we want?

Wait ‘til Smith discovers the Culture novels of Iain M. Banks…

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]

363 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/4 The Dead Wallaby of Clown Town

  1. @al I once ran a RPG game (Amber Diceless) where the Player Characters were dumped into the Commonwealth. They met some of the old characters from Silverlock, but I also threw in others. Like, for example, Indiana Jones.

  2. Michael J. Walsh, yes, my sister signed your book… <smile> Fandom is a small world, isn’t it?

  3. In all fairness, John Wright and Michael Williamson are both common enough names that using the middle initial is understandable in those cases, particularly if you are concerned about differentiating yourself in Google search results…

    Thanks for the rec of the Kowal story. I really liked it! Very suspenseful and emotionally gripping — I got to like and care very much for the King and queen even in such a brief story. It’s been added to my potential 2016 nominee list.

  4. My favourite conversation with Bassior is the one that ended with him typing loudly that he thought a particular young girl was twelve, not five (The context was Piers Anthony’s Firefly).

  5. Pingback: Looking forward to WSFS meetings ← Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery

  6. @James Davis Nicoll
    My favourite conversation with Bassior is the one that ended with him typing loudly that he thought a particular young girl was twelve, not five (The context was Piers Anthony’s Firefly).

    “Honest, officer, I’d have sworn the girl was at least six!”

  7. kathodus: I was looking into Kate Paulk and saw that VD calls her “Kate the Impaler”, presumably a reference to her alternate history book about Vlad the Impaler. The only thing I recall from her during Puppygate was angrily denouncing being called a neo-nazi. That seems pretty neutral to me

    Oh, Paulk’s a Puppy through-and-through. I’m not optimistic about SP 4 being an improvement.

    Kate Paulk, March 26, 2015:

    …Even the Evil Legion of Evil has standards, you know. We’re completely against letting Sad Puppies stay sad. We want them to be happy.

    There won’t be much action from Sad Puppies 4 for quite some time, but rest assured I will be lurking in the shadows looking for worthy candidates for the campaign to End Puppy-Related Sadness. When the time is right, announcements will be made and campaigning will begin in earnest. In the meantime, I shall rub my hands together and practice my evil cackle.

    sabrinachase: hehehehee. Oh, they are never going to know what hit them…

    Kate Paulk: Not until after they pick what’s left of themselves up from the steamrollered ground, no.

  8. sabrinachase: hehehehee. Oh, they are never going to know what hit them…

    I never can figure out how these people don’t realize all their scheming, wheedling, and whining is laying out there on the Interwebz for all to see (and point at and laugh).

    Oh well. “No Award” will be available next year, and after that, if E Pluribus Hugo passes, all their whining and hand-rubbing will come to a screeching halt.

  9. JDN : My favourite conversation with Bassior is the one that ended with him typing loudly that he thought a particular young girl was twelve, not five (The context was Piers Anthony’s Firefly).

    Ah, that makes it totally different then.

    Like the old joke – Two stuffy British majors in a club are discussing the latest scandal:
    “Heard the latest about Carruthers?”
    “No, what’s he done?”
    “Been drummed out of the army.”
    “Good God, what for?”
    “Caught in the act with a horse.”
    “Ghastly! Mare or stallion?”
    “Oh, mare, of course – nothing queer about old Carruthers!”

  10. Although I don’t like Tolkien much (which is clearly not genetic: my son had read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings each at least twice before leaving middle school), I will acknowledge that he’s indirectly responsible for getting me into fandom. In my sophomore year of high school, I went to the inaugural meeting of the local branch of the Tolkien Society that someone was trying to start (mostly because I was interested in meeting other people who were interested in fantasy, not necessarily Tolkien). At that meeting were three people, one of whom was the organizer, and the main reason for calling that meeting was to tell people about a meeting of the Tolkien Society of America that was to take place at Boskone that weekend. The other person at the meeting was there because he had heard the organizer mentioning Boskone, during homeroom that morning; he (the other person, not the organizer) became my closest friend for many years; we were apartment- and house-mates in a couple of fannish group residences, and he was the best man at my wedding.

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