Pixel Scroll 8/9 A Dribble of Links

Birthdays, baseball and Bill Murray cannot disguise the fact that it’s all Lou Antonelli all the time in today’s Scroll.

(1) August 9 is a big day on the science fiction birthday calendar.

  • Frank M. Robinson (1926-2014)
  • Daniel Keyes (1927-2014)
  • Marvin Minsky (1927)
  • L. Q. Jones (1927)
  • Mike Hinge (1931-2003)
  • John Varley (1947)
Cheerleaders reenact “Red's wedding” during the Staten Island Direwolves game August 8. (Photo by Bill Lyons.)

Cheerleaders reenact “Red’s wedding” during the Staten Island Direwolves game August 8. (Photo by Bill Lyons.)

(2) George R. R. Martin was in the stands for the Staten Island Direwolves v. House Lannister minor league baseball game Saturday. The ‘Wolves won.

The Staten Island Direwolves successfully defended Richmond County Bank Ballpark against an invasion from the omnipotent House Lannister (Hudson Valley Renegades).

Ned Stark maintained that you could hold Winterfell with just 100 men, but the Direwolves needed just 30.

Be it an act of blood magic or sorcery, but RCBC was transformed into a fantastical realm in front of a record crowd of 7,529, celebrating Game of Thrones night and mastermind George R.R. Martin’s appearance.

Martin, a lifelong Mets supporter, had just one stipulation if he was to be in attendance; the Staten Island squad had to abandon the “Yankees” name for the game and adopt “Direwolves” instead.

Promotional activities overshadowed the game, as often happens in the minors, all advancing the Game of Thrones theme.

An opportunity to meet George R.R. Martin and receive an autograph highlighted a list of special events which included: an appearance by a live arctic wolf, jousting competition, trial by combat against Scooter, a reenactment of the red wedding featuring mascot Red and swearing in of honorary Night’s Watch induction.

(3) Deadline says Bill Murray will be in the next Ghostbusters after all.

Bill Murray, scared off the Ghostbusters train after his disappointment with 1989’s Ghostbusters 2, will appear in Paul Feig’s 2016 franchise reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth.

(4) Yesterday, Lou Antonelli reported Carrie Cuinn at Lakeside Circus had revoked a signed contract for one of his stories in reaction to the news about his contacting Spokane PD to warn against David Gerrold.

Cuinn soon thereafter sent this tweet —

https://twitter.com/CarrieCuinn/status/630254247200862209

Now Lou Antonelli has called on those involved to stop.

Ok, if anyone I know out there is contacting Carrie Cuinn and castigating her for the decision not to publish my story, knock it off. She and Lakeside Circus have their right to free expression, also. Lambasting her is certainly not helping things.

Insofar as the story is now available, and to make the best of a bad situation (since it probably will never be published anywhere anyhow – or anything I write in the future, for that matter), I will drop it in here now, so maybe some people can enjoy it.

Ladies and gents, I present “Message Found Written on an End Roll of Newsprint”:

The text of the story follows.

(5) Pat Cadigan gave her take on Lou Antonelli’s letter to the cops on Facebook –

In my opinion, the line crossed here can’t be un-crossed, certainly not with an apology.

Denouncing someone to the authorities for disagreeing, about science fiction or fantasy fiction or any other kind of fiction, is completely unacceptable. In my opinion.

1945 called; it wants its Iron Curtain and the Secret Police back.

David Gerrold responded:

Pat, I love you and will hug you ferociously every time I see you —

That said, I have to say this as well.

I am dismayed by where some of the comment threads are going — not just here, but everywhere.

So I’m asking people to please be compassionate. There is far more to this situation than has been reported, and I’m not going to violate anyone else’s confidentiality. I’m just going to say, please, let’s all take forty or fifty deep breaths, have some chocolate, or coffee, or a beer, or whatever — and recognize that we’re all just human, the missing link between apes and civilized beings.

It’s time to say, “This isn’t working. Let’s try something else.” It’s time for all of us to decide if we want our conventions to be war zones or places of celebration. If we want celebration, then we have to remember that despite our disagreements, no matter how ferocious they might seem, we’re all here because we love the sense of wonder that we find in science fiction and fantasy.

We have to stop beating each other up. Especially in comment threads, where it feels safe to say terrible things about people we’ve never met in person — because those ripples spread outward and generate more negativity and more and more.

The solution? It starts with one person saying, “if we’re the good guys, let’s act like it.” And then another and another. And send those ripples outward instead.

So please, it’s fair to report what happened — but let’s also be responsible enough to say that we can use this as an opportunity to look in the mirror and decide if we want to continue being angry every day or choose to be some other kind of person.

Thanks for listening.

(6) Adam-Troy Castro drew our attention to his sarcastic reply to Steve Tinel’s post about David Gerrold, linked in yesterday’s Scroll:

Question to blogger Steve Tinel: why would you even want to write a blog dedicated to science fiction when you have such bottomless loathing for science fiction?

What’s that? You don’t loathe science fiction?

How can you say that when David Gerrold’s criticism of one (1) Catholic Cardinal led you to accuse him of “vile anti-Christian bigotry?”

You attacked one science fiction writer! Clearly, you hate science fiction!

What’s that?

You weren’t attacking all of science fiction? You were just expressing your anger against one guy?

You mean you can do that, show outrage at one member of a group without being accused of venomous hatred for every single member of the group?

Oh.

That changes things.

Doesn’t it.

(7) Vox Day sure gets a lot of attention in Newsweek’s story about what it calls “the Nazi romance novel For Such a Time”.

Now, after being nominated for two major prizes at the Romance Writers of America’s annual conference in late July, the book’s Holocaust-set themes of Christian salvation are tearing the romance world apart…

“Obviously a lot of people liked the book, because they nominated it,” Day adds. “What they’re trying to do is disqualify all those people’s opinions because they disagree with them. It’s something that the SJWs are getting more and more blatant about, and I think people are getting more and more tired of their attempts to impose political correctness and impose thought-policing on everyone else. Donald Trump’s not having any of it, and I’m certainly not either.”

Donald Trump isn’t a political figure I’d expect to see Vox link himself to, even if it’s only to bait Newsweek readers.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver, Michael J. Walsh, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

238 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/9 A Dribble of Links

  1. Regarding the cuckold-conservatives, I do wish them luck. I am certain it will be a winning electoral strategy for Republicans to narrowly target only a certain type of sexually anxious white male obsessed with pointless displays of “dominance.”

    You can certainly win a presidential election with those kinds of numbers. Just look at how effective they were with regard to the Hugos.

  2. There’s a fledgling blue-gray gnatcatcher crashing around in the bean vines outside my kitchen window. It is tiny and fluffy and exceedingly grumpy and it isn’t very good at flying yet, so it flaps wildly when it’s trying to land, and sometimes for awhile after it’s landed.

    I figure this is at least as relevant as some of the posts in this thread, and mine is cute.

  3. Brian – you have signally failed to
    – propose actions that would deal with existing problems (details, not just “talk to them!”)
    – start carrying out those actions yourself

    At the moments, all your comments are disappearing into a blurry mess of FUD. The same old bullshit in new threads

  4. Voting behavior has changed since 1984. Look at realistic data with a fragmented market and short fiction nominations that cluster around the interests of various online communities and interest groups.

    Indeed, there’s many more sci-fi books being released these days than in 1984, splitting the fanbase into ever more niches. This is even more of a reason why EPH is great, as it prevents the largest niche from dominating the entire ballot.

  5. You know what, everyone. Brian has convinced me.

    To heck with trying to change the Hugos to prevent slating. Just nominate and vote under the current system, and let the Puppies do what they will on their side. If they dominate the ballot with slates and get all the nominations, that’s just the natural course of events. Any change we make can be potentially gamed, so why try to change anything. Right, Brian?

    ¯\_(?)_/¯

    Or, we can take an earlier suggestion of Brian’s…and I could around to the Puppy blogs, get on bended knee and plead with them not to slate, and convince them that slating is wrong. Engage with them.

    Maybe if I crawl on glass, Super Genius Theodore Beale will hear my words. Maybe if I publicly denounce everyone to the left of her as being a Marxist/Stalinist/Alinskyist, Sarah Hoyt will like me. Maybe if I offer myself up as Most Dangerous Game target practice, Larry and Lou will be happy.

    …enh, likely not.

  6. @Simon Bisson

    So I finished the Birmingham Dave books over the weekend. They were much fun, and intriguingly subversive

    There’s a lot of comparison between it and Correia’s MHI series on a thematic level, that Correia doesn’t not win. Birmingham is best know in the US for his SFF/Alt History stuff, but his best works are his ridiculously semi-fictional series on share-housing ‘He Died With A Fallefel In His Hand’ and ‘Tasmanian Babies Fiasco’ and his gonzo history of Sydney ‘Leviathan’. Highly, highly recommended.

  7. @Alain

    Welcome to Montreal Roosh V.

    He’s coming to Toronto next. I know that local activists have already submitted his pro-rape views to City Hall and to their local MPPs. He could find his ‘performance’ dubbed hate speech and face fines and/or incarceration if he goes ahead with it.

  8. @Dex I’ll admit that I am extremely ambivalent about Canada’s hate speech laws. As much as I find that individual despicable and abhorrent I don’t believe fines and incarceration is the answer. What is I don’t know but I hope he as successful in Toronto as he was in Montreal.

  9. That wasn’t what I got from felice’s finding.

    You’re the only one that get’s that from felice’s finding, including felice. Perhaps that is because you’ve been lying again.

    You keep saying the Pups will get tired of slating, because they are fans. But what makes you think they’ve been operating in good faith thus far? Correia has gone from “vote to get me a Hugo” to “this is a culture war against the evil SJWs”. Torgersen has spent this entire year foaming at the mouth about CHORFs, HSPPs, and SJWs (again) all bent on destroying true science fiction. Wright called people who didn’t like the Pups “Christ hating crusaders of Sodom”. Hoyt screams that everyone who isn’t a Pup is a closet Marxist. And that doesn’t even get to guys like Beale and the Marmot who have openly said that they just want to burn the Hugos down.

    Sure some authors will refuse to be on a slate in the future. But what in the world makes you think that the core members of the Puppies will stop? According to their own statements they are engaged in a culture war. They have enlisted others like Paulk to their cause. Reading their packet submissions, it is clear that their “fan writer” nominees were mostly invested in waging the culture war. and so on. Exactly why do you think that the idea they won’t be actually winning Hugos rather than just pissing in the punch bowl will matter at all to them?

  10. @RedWombat: There’s a fledgling blue-gray gnatcatcher crashing around in the bean vines outside my kitchen window. It is tiny and fluffy and exceedingly grumpy and it isn’t very good at flying yet, so it flaps wildly when it’s trying to land, and sometimes for awhile after it’s landed.

    Thank you so MUCH for this lovely image.

    One of the surprises that came with my move to NE Texas was finding that we had roadrunners (I’d always thought of them in more desert territory–NE Texas is agricultural, cotton and dairy, and very green during a good part of the year). And then to see them run–and how much the roadrunner from the cartoon caught that “feel” of the roadrunners: they’re large birds, quite long bodied and with a long tail, and when they stretch out to run they’re a blur, and even walking are so fast. Brown mottled. I have a picture of one of the locals sitting on my red pickup truck I’d love to share if I can figure out how to do it.

    We also have coyotes–we hear them at night while walking dogs–but I have not seen one chasing a roadrunner…..

  11. @Ray

    As to not having read enough novels this year … I don’t particularly mind if people judge longitudinally. Comparing the half-dozen new novels they have read with the final ballot of the past 5 or so years. If they stand up to that then nominate away. As long as there is an honest attempt at quality judgement I’m happy.

  12. I know the answer! What Sad Puppies 4 needs is some kind of voting process for the nomination to the next Sad Puppy slate.

    To make sure it’s not overwhelmed by sock puppets, perhaps they could make sure that everyone is a supporting member of the Sad Puppy Foundation and charge a nominal Supporting Membership Fee.

    And then the Puppy Kickers could have their own nominating election for their own slate, and everyone would be a supporting member of the Evil Puppy Kicker SJW CHORF Foundation for a nominal fee.

    Come Hugo voting time, everyone could vote for the slate they prefer! Then everyone would be happy.

    Of course, what if some faction inside the SJWs or inside the Sad Puppies decides to create their own slate inside the slate-nominating process? Well, that would just never happen.

    Wait, where are you going?

  13. It’s impossible to read everything that came out in a year any more.

    Nominate what you DID read that you think is worthy of a Hugo. There is no expectation that each individual choose the best of the entire year, that’s impossible. Choose the best YOU read. Together the best of the year will rise to the top. That’s why we do this as a group!

  14. Brian Z,

    That’s not accurate in the case of EPH. 4/6 can be dominated by two minority slates. EPH cannot.

    That wasn’t what I got from felice’s finding. Voting behavior has changed since 1984. Look at realistic data with a fragmented market and short fiction nominations that cluster around the interests of various online communities and interest groups.

    Show me the “realistic” data and I will look at it. As far as I know, no actual data other than 1984 is available.

    If you have reason to believe that certain patterns better reflect recent voting patterns, please describe those patterns and the logic behind them in sufficient detail to create a sample set of ballots. If you do that, I’ll be happy to run my EPH implementation on that set.

    The data thus far indicate that EPH eliminates much of the disenfranchisement that occurs under the current rules in the presence of slates. If you disagree, you need to provide data to support your claims.

  15. @Kyra Lanark , for sure. And Poor Things is excellent as well.

    I just started Kirsty Logan’s The Gracekeepers, roughly a third of the way in. I’ve heard some criticism of the pacing, but so far, her prose is so gorgeous I’m not bothered that little has actually happened. I hope the rest is equally good, because it’s shaping up to be one of my favorite books this year.

  16. @Alain

    I’ll admit that I am extremely ambivalent about Canada’s hate speech laws. As much as I find that individual despicable and abhorrent I don’t believe fines and incarceration is the answer.

    I’ll have to disagree. Whether one agrees with it or not, Roosh is an American on Canadian soil who hasn’t seemed to bother educating himself on Canadian law. He seems to believe that his ability to peddle hate is protected in the same manner as the US. So I would not share a tear when he finds himself facing large fines and permanent deportation.

    I’ve worked as a writer and journalist in Canada for almost 20 years, and never in that time have I found my work, as contrary as it may be, constrained by our hate speech laws.

  17. @rrede – Roadrunners are fabulous! I ran into one in New Mexico that was tapping on the glass of a store (I was inside) as if demanding to come in.

    One of these days I’ll finish the book with the evil roadrunner spirit called Snake-Eater. Partly I just want to see if I can make people believe in evil roadrunners. (Which, when you live near them, are suddenly much more plausible. Those bills are wicked!)

  18. @Lord Melvin — is the area where you live so deprived that it has no public libraries? I borrowed all of the Best Novel nominees from mine and read them before the packet came out, so as to have more time to read/watch the rest of the field.

    I’m on a fixed income, so if an author isn’t on my automatic buy list, I always get books from the library first.

  19. As noted several times previously it’s almost impossible to read 1/10th of what comes out in the SF and F field in a year never mind the entire output. I do read a lot of short fiction so nominating works for the Hugo’s will be easy enough. I doubt that I’ll have read more than fifteen 2015 releases by the Hugo nomination deadline.So a small sample but I’ll only nominate something I think is worthwhile despite the small sample size.

  20. @ Dex I’ll probably cheer if he gets fined and deported for obvious reasons but that said I am a bit uneasy about the hate speech laws since stifling free speech has always been one of the ear marks of totalitarian regimes.

  21. So I was mostly offline over the weekend so I missed the latest iteration of Puppy drama. Nothing to add except that Antonelli was already on my list of people to avoid at cons, and he has only solidified his position. It also reminded me that if you scratch a lot of these right wing guys, there are a lot of authoritarians under a thin sheen of libertarianism. Absolute freedom for me, not so much for thee…

  22. Ray on August 10, 2015 at 7:48 am said:

    I don’t usually nominate for the Hugos. I would love to be in the position, when nominations come around, of feeling that I had read a decent spread of the year’s eligible novels. Most likely, if I make a particular effort for next year, I will have read about a dozen. Maybe not even enough to fill out my ballot.

    Now many works do you think you need to have read to be worthy enough to nominate?

    By self-disqualifying yourself this way, you yield the field to others who don’t think they need to have read so much. Including me, by the way.

    Personally, I think people should nominate what they personally liked, not find excuses for saying, “I’m not worthy.”

  23. well the main thing stopping me from nominating up to now was that it cost money 🙂 The Hugos seemed to be getting along fine without my input, so no need to splash the cash!
    the point of my post, though, was that its funny that the short-fiction categories have fewer nominators and voters when so much eligible short fiction is free and you can read so much more of it before the nominations deadline

  24. I mean, that’s the thing, though. The fact that you CAN read so much more of it before the deadline means it’s harder to keep track.

  25. An author that managed to write only Hugo worthy stories would be a demi-god.

    I don’t know about the Hugos but Raphael Carter stories to Tiptree Award ratio is pretty impressive.

    (Didn’t PJ Plauger have a high award/published works ratio before they were consumed by the unsavoury world of Unix?)

  26. @andyl

    I don’t particularly mind if people judge longitudinally. Comparing the half-dozen new novels they have read with the final ballot of the past 5 or so years. If they stand up to that then nominate away.

    and

    @Kevin Standlee

    Personally, I think people should nominate what they personally liked, not find excuses for saying, “I’m not worthy.”

    That’s good to hear. I’ve also worried I don’t read enough new material to be qualified to nominate.

  27. to be clear, I will nominate next year. I might have only read one novel I considered worthy by then – if so, I’ll nominate that. I’m already keeping a list of possibles in the short fiction, drama, and fan writer categories

  28. James Davis Nicoll. Ted Chiang has 13 published stories (according to ISFDB) of which 9 have been Hugo nominees, and 4 have won.

    Does that make him a hemi-demi-god?

  29. Kathodus:

    That’s good to hear. I’ve also worried I don’t read enough new material to be qualified to nominate.

    The whole point of having a nominating phase is that no one can read/view/listen to the entire field. Worry instead that someone else is missing out if you don’t nominate that one awesome book that you’ve read and they haven’t.

  30. Red Wombat wrote:

    There’s a fledgling blue-gray gnatcatcher crashing around in the bean vines outside my kitchen window. It is tiny and fluffy and exceedingly grumpy and it isn’t very good at flying yet, so it flaps wildly when it’s trying to land, and sometimes for awhile after it’s landed.

    I figure this is at least as relevant as some of the posts in this thread, and mine is cute.

    Thanks for this, it made me LOL. As did the Patch Notes for the Matrix from John Seavey.

  31. I’ve been keeping track of what 2015-published works I’ve read since I know there’s no way I’ll remember them if I rely on memory. The strategy I’m using for now is to track everything I read on a list, roughly ordered by how much I liked it or how strong I thought it was. Come nomination time, I figure I’ll look at the top five on each list and, if they’re all at or above the “ooh, that was a good one!” level, I’ll nominate them.

    Still haven’t figured out a really good way of keeping track of what 2015 works I haven’t read yet but want to. I wish it were possible to sort the things on my Kindle by publication date…

  32. I have been one of the probable many that vote but do not nominate, mainly for the previously mentioned reasons.

    Thankfully, the 2016 nominee wiki has helped with potential works. Blessed with a very good library system, I’ve knocked out 6 books from my short list already.

  33. Way late to this particular party, but I finished Feed by Mira Grant over the weekend. Can’t wait to read the rest of the trilogy!

  34. So based on the view of nominations as a “not everyone can read everything” solution, the wikia is kind of like a proto-nomination stage?

  35. @Alain

    I’ll probably cheer if he gets fined and deported for obvious reasons but that said I am a bit uneasy about the hate speech laws since stifling free speech has always been one of the ear marks of totalitarian regimes.

    The Hate Speech laws are specifically focused on advocating genocide and inciting hatred against an identifiable group. So being a racist or proposing racist views is not covered under these laws, but suggesting that a race should rightfully be the target of violence is. Roosh’s ‘tour’ specifically advocates the means and belief that sexual violence towards women is a proper, laudable thing. His belief in that isn’t the problem. It’s his advocacy for it in the public discourse that runs him into their scope.

  36. Zil: So based on the view of nominations as a “not everyone can read everything” solution, the wikia is kind of like a proto-nomination stage?

    The Wikia is a way of:

    1) Storing the works you deem worthy, for referencing at nomination time;

    2) Suggesting works you deem worthy to others;

    3) Finding out what works others deem worthy, so you can read those if you wish.

  37. Fugue said

    I would like you to note how long it took them to reach the point where they could say “1+1=2?;* and then I would like you to never again use the phrase “blindingly obvious” ever again.

    I just wanted to set this here, and admire it, for its brilliance.

  38. @RedWombat: The other day, knowing that we were going to have some rain, I put some seed into the feeder. Within a few minutes I had not only the usual sparrows, wrens, chickadees, and cardinals, but also a grumpy Hairy Woodpecker (larger than the Downy, which is more common at my feeder). S/he was chased off by a Yellow-Shafted Flicker, which is even more rare in my views. I love bird-watching.

  39. I had to check “is Odessa American a parody”.

    Texas. Permian Basin area. Conservative.

  40. China Mieville’s new short story collection is excellent and if you like anything of his there’s almost certainly something in there you’d enjoy.

  41. Kyra on August 10, 2015 at 7:18 am said:
    In other news, we have an annual International Book Festival coming to where I am next week. Over 800 authors coming. Glancing over the list, ones I’ve read include Ben Aaronovitch, M. R. Carey, Michel Faber, Michael Frayn, Sarah Hall, David Levithan, David Mitchell, Patrick Ness, Jane Smiley, Alexander McCall Smith, Ali Smith, Sarah Waters, and Irvine Welsh. Ones I’ve been planning on reading include Alisdair Gray and Kirsty Logan (and this might be a good place to pick up that copy of “The Gracekeepers” I’ve been meaning to get …)

    I miss living within walking distance of that festival.

  42. John Seavey:

    I am sending “Patch Notes on the Matrix” to a whole bunch of my friends, because I almost busted a gut laughing. Thank you very much!

    What I’d like to see addressed is a question first raised by my Elder Sprog: why make a *real-world* virtual reality? Why isn’t the Matrix reality an open-world game with magic and dragons and spaceships and all? The kind of thing that people are provably more interested in playing than they are in waking up?

  43. @Nat
    There’s a review in The Guardian by Ursula Le Guin, she was quite ecstatic about it.
    It’s on my wish list, I recently finished The City & The City, and loved it.

  44. andyl on August 10, 2015 at 6:12 am said:
    Loncon had over 11,000 members in the end. Sasquan hasn’t quite reached that yet but I am sure it will be around the same number by the start of the con. Where are your many more people with nomination rights going to come from?

    Yes, you are quite correct. I was simply wrong.

  45. “Cuckservative” makes *me* think they’re talking about any conservative with a penis. But then, these are the guys who think that the only way to prove you have a dick is to act like one …

  46. John Seavey on August 10, 2015 at 10:07 am said:

    I think everyone needs something extraordinarily silly after all this, so here’s something silly I wrote elsewhere:

    Patch Notes for the Matrix

    One quibble – Australia is clearly a default setting for the Matrix which they then tried to make look less Australian. People from Sydney are not recommended viewing partners for watching the movie as they tend to spoil the effect by pointing out locations. 🙂

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