Pixel Scroll 9/16/20 Let Us Pixelate It In Glorious Scrollovision

(1) THE EXPANSE REACHES ITS LIMIT. “Leviathan Falls Will Be The Final Installment of The Expanse” – Andrew Liptak has the story at Tor.com.

During a live stream today, Orbit Books officially announced the title and cover for the final installment of James S.A. Corey’s science fiction series, The ExpanseLeviathan Falls, which will hit stores sometime in 2021 .

…Orbit didn’t release any synopsis for the book, but Abraham and Franck did explain that the novel will provide a definitive ending for the series.

During the live stream, Abraham and Franck answered a handful of reader questions. In addition to Leviathan Falls, they plan to have another novella that’ll come out after that final book, which will provide a “nice grace note” to some hanging threads from the series. Abraham noted that he’s been waiting to write the story for “years.”

Franck explained that they don’t plan to write any novels in the world, but that Alcon could always put together another Expanse-related project for television.

(2) RSR UPDATE. Rocket Stack Rank’s Greg Hullender announced today in “Taking a Break” that he’ll be on hiatus as a short fiction reviewer —

After five years of writing reviews for Rocket Stack Rank, I’m going to take an indefinite break. This month marks five years since we started the site, and so it seemed like a good time to pause.

Eric Wong says he will continue to update RSR with monthly lists of stories that readers can flag and rate and find reviews for, as well as aggregate recommendations from various sources (currently 6 reviewers, 16 awards, 7 year’s best anthologies) for the Year-To-Date and Year’s Best lists. 

Hullender adds:

Five years ago, in September 2015, Eric and I started Rocket Stack Rank as a response to the Sad/Rabid Puppy episode that ruined the 2015 Hugo Awards. As we said at the time, we wanted “to create a website to encourage readers of science fiction and fantasy to read and nominate more short fiction.”

The response was very positive, and we’ve enjoyed steady support from readers. We quickly ramped up to a few thousand unique monthly users, with 20-30,000 monthly page views (we recently passed 1,000,000 total page views), and we’re currently the #1 Google result for “short science fiction story reviews.” Best of all, we were finalists for the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine three times (2017, 2018, 2019). Thank you for supporting us!

(3) ANOTHER VIEW OF ROWLING’S CONTROVERSIAL LATEST. Alison Flood, in “JK Rowling’s Troubled Blood: don’t judge a book by a single review” in The Guardian, says she’s read Rowling’s Troubled Blood and although there are parts she says are “tone-deaf” that she doesn’t consider the novel “transphobic” since the cross-dressing character is not the main villain and is not described as trans or even a transvestite.

…Perhaps some will still consider this depiction transphobic, given Rowling’s rightly widely criticised views on trans people. It is, at best, an utterly tone-deaf decision to include an evil man who cross-dresses after months of pain among trans people and their allies. But there is also reason to be wary of any moral outrage stoked by the Telegraph, a paper that generally doesn’t shy away from publishing jeering at the “woke crowd”, or claims that children are “put at risk by transgender books”, or attacks on “the trans lobby”. And we should also be wary of how one review has been reproduced without question by countless newspapers and websites, by journalists who have shown no indication of having read the book themselves.

(4) GREETINGS GATES. “‘Star Trek’ Alum Gates McFadden To Host Nacelle Company’s First Podcast” reports Yahoo! Entertainment. The title: Who Do You Think You Are?

…The McFadden-fronted podcast will be the first one from the Nacelle Company and serves as a stepping stone for its NacelleCast Studios, the company’s neighboring podcast studio in Burbank. The new podcast studio will serve as the main production space for all NacelleCast productions.

The Nacelle Company has created a number of pop history-focused titles including Netflix’s The Movies That Made UsThe Toys That Made Us and the CW’s Discontinued. Branching into the podcast space is a step in the company’s efforts to broaden its reach of pop history-focused content.

(5) STATUS QUO VADIS. Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron will probe “Is Science Fiction Really the Literature of Change?” in its September 19 program. Register at the link.

Anil Menon is joining Gadi as co-host for a one-hour discussion on science fiction and change, bringing along friends and colleagues Christopher Brown, Claude Lalumière, Geoff Ryman, Nisi Shawl, and Vandana Singh. This Saturday, 19 September.

Arguably, science fiction has had a focus on working out the consequences of a change (what-if scenarios) rather than how a certain change comes to be. This seems to be especially true in the case of social or political change. The distinguished panelists will discuss the possibilities and limitations of (science) fiction for representing a changing world.

(6) GENUINE PIXEL NEWS. Plans for a Japanese adaptation of The Door Into Summer were unveiled on Twitter. Thread starts here.

(7) UNDERTALE CONCERT. Beginning at the 45-minute mark in this YouTube video, you can listen to the full orchestral concert that was staged for the 5th anniversary of the video game Undertale.

Polygon’s Patricia Hernandez tells why “Undertale’s surprise concert got the internet in its feelings”

This is probably why many folks who watched the concert last night absolutely got in their feelings about the game. The top comment on the YouTube video says, “I cried like twice through the whole thing.” I saw the same sentiment unfold across my Twitter timeline, where folks reminisced on the game’s highlights and what it meant to them when they played it. It was a total mood shift from the general depressing and terrifying tenor of the year. Undertale is, at its heart, an optimistic game about friendship and love. 

(8) LOOKING FOR SIGNS. In a Washington Post opinion piece, “Venus may hold the answers about life we’ve been looking for”, Cornell University astronomer Jonathan Lunine says that the discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus might mean that Venus had, and possibly has, life.

…How would we know such organisms might exist? Many chemical compounds that simple microbes produce are also made by non-biological processes. But one, phosphine or PH3, is difficult to produce on Earth abiotically (without life) and, as argued by Seager and her colleagues in another paper, could be a good “biosignature” or sign of life on planets around other stars. This isn’t always the case: The compound is found in the dense hydrogen-rich atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, where it is understood to be an abiotic product of simple chemistry, and will likely be found on gas giants around other stars using the James Webb Space Telescope, planned for launch next year. But Venus — which has an atmosphere in which hydrogen is extremely scarce — is a place where phosphine is a plausible biosignature.

The detection of sufficient quantities of phosphine in Venus’s atmosphere would be an intriguing pointer to the possibility of life in the sulfuric-acid clouds of our sister planet, but many questions would remain. Is it possible that planetary chemists have overlooked ways to produce phosphine on Venus in the absence of life? And if phosphine is produced by biology, where did that life originate? It is one thing to imagine life adapting to and hanging out opportunistically in the clouds of Venus. It is quite another to imagine that life could have originated there, sandwiched between the hell of the surface and the frozen realms of the thin upper atmosphere….


  • September 1995 — Twenty five years ago this month at Intersection, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Mirror Dance won the Hugo for Best Novel. Other finalists were John Barnes’ Mother of Storms, Nancy Kress‘s Beggars and Choosers, Michael Bishop‘s Brittle Innings and James Morrow’s Towing Jehovah.  It would be the third Hugo winner of the Vorkosigan saga, and Bujold’s third Hugo award-winning novel in a row. It’s  the direct sequel to Brothers in Arms. The Vorkosigan saga would win the Best Series Hugo at Worldcon 75. (CE)


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born September 16, 1898 Hans Augusto Rey. German-born American illustrator and author best remembered for the beloved  Curious George children’s book series that he and his wife Margret Rey created from 1939 to 1966. (An Eighties series of five-minute short cartoons starring him was produced by Alan Shalleck, along with Rey. Ken Sobol, scriptwriter of Fantastic Voyage, was the scriptwriter here.) His interest in astronomy led to him drawing star maps which are still use in such publications as Donald H. Menzel’s A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets. A simpler version for children called Find the Constellations, is still in print as well. (Died 1977.) (CE) 
  • Born September 16, 1917 – Art Widner.  Pioneer in earliest days, he left for a few decades to teach school, beget children, other mundane matters, then returned, resuming his fanzine YHOS (“Your Humble Obedient Servant”, pronounced ee-hoss though I said it should rhyme with dose), the Eo-Neo.  See here.  Here is his cover for the Mar 40 Spaceways.  On his board game Interplanetary see here.  DUFF (Down Under Fan Fund) delegate.  Big Heart (our highest service award).  First Fandom Hall of Fame.  YHOS first took my note on The Glass Bead Game.  As of his passing he may have been Oldest of All; rooming with him at a few cons, I promised not to call him “Woody” (see Mary Sperling in Methuselah’s Children).  Our Gracious Host’s appreciation here.  (Died 2015) [JH]
  • Born September 16, 1916 Mary, Lady Stewart (born Mary Florence Elinor Rainbow, lovely name that). Yes, you know her better as just Mary Stewart. Genre wise, she’s probably best known for her Merlin series which walks along the boundary between the historical novel and fantasy. Explicitly fantasy is her children’s novel A Walk in Wolf Wood: A Tale of Fantasy and Magic. (Died 2014.) (CE)
  • Born September 16, 1930 — Anne Francis. You’ll remember her best as Altaira “Alta” Morbius on Forbidden Planet. She also appeared twice in The Twilight Zone (“The After Hours” and “Jess-Belle”). She also appeared in multiple episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. She’d even appear twice in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and played several roles on Fantasy Island as well. (Died 2011.) (CE)
  • Born September 16, 1932 Peter Falk. His best remembered role genre is in The Princess Bride as the Grandfather who narrates the Story. The person who replaced him in the full cast reading of The Princess Bride for the Wisconsin Democratic Party fundraiser, Director Rob Reiner, wasn’t nearly as good as he was in that role. He also plays Ramos Clemente in “The Mirror”,  an episode of The Twilight Zone. And he’s Reverend Theo Kerr in the 2001 version of The Lost World. (Died 2011.) (CE) 
  • Born September 16, 1932 – Karen Anderson.  Fan and pro herself, wife of another, mother of a third, mother-in-law of a fourth.  While still Karen Kruse she was WSFA (Washington, DC, SF Ass’n) secretary and joined SAPS (Spectator Amateur Press Society) and The Cult.  Marrying Poul Anderson she moved to the San Francisco Bay area, bore Astrid, and thus was mother by marriage to Greg Bear.  Stellar quality also in filk, costuming, and our neighbor the Society for Creative Anachronism.  At an SF con party a few decades ago I arrived in English Regency clothes having just taught Regency dancing; she sang “How much is that Dukie in the window?”  See here; appreciation by OGH here.  (Died 2018) [JH]
  • Born September 16, 1938 – Owen Hannifen, 82.  How he found the LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Soc.; “LASFS” pronounced as if rhyming with a Spanish-English hybrid “mas fuss”, unless you were Len Moffatt, who rhymed it with “sass mass” and had earned the right to do it his way) minutes, then and now known as The Menace of the LASFS, I’ve never learned; with a good Secretary – Jack Harness, Mike Glyer, John DeChancie – they’ve been swell; anyway they lured OH to L.A. (from Vermont?), where he roomed with Harness and others in a series of apartments, the Labyrinth, Labyrinth 3, Labyrinth of Valeron, Labyrinth DuQuesne (see here).  He was in N’APAOMPA, SAPS, and The Cult.  Dungeons & Dragons was fire-new then; he and his wife Hilda (also “Eclaré”) did that.  They moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, Sampo Productions (named for the magic sampo in “Why the Sea Is Salt”), and incidentally the SCA.  [JH]
  • Born September 16, 1948 – Julia Donaldson, C.B.E., 72.  Author, playwright, performer; almost two hundred books.  Famous for The Gruffalo.  Half a dozen stories of Princess Mirror-Belle.  Busked in America, England, France, Italy.  Bristol Street Theatre, British Broadcasting Corp., Edinburgh Book Festival.  Honorary doctorates from Univ. Bristol, Univ. Glasgow.  Children’s Laureate of the United Kingdom 2011-2013.  Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  Website here.  [JH]
  • Born September 16, 1952 Lisa Tuttle, 68. Tuttle won the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, received a Nebula Award for Best Short Story for “The Bone Flute”, which she refused, and a BSFA Award for Short Fiction for “In Translation”. My favorite works by her include CatwitchThe Silver Bough and her Ghosts and Other Lovers collection. Her latest novel is The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross. (CE) 
  • Born September 16, 1960 – Kurt Busiek, 60. Writer for Dark Horse, DC, Dynamite, Eclipse, Harris, Image, Marvel, Topps.  Known particularly for Astro City, Marvels, the Thunderbolts.  Nine Eisners, six Harveys; two Comics Buyer’s Guide Awards for Favorite Writer.  Here he’s interviewed about Conan.  Alex Ross put KB and wife Ann into Marvels 3 reacting to the arrival of the Silver Surfer and Galactus.  I’ll leave out Page 33.  What jewels these Filers be.  [JH]
  • Born September 16, 1960 Mike Mignola, 60. The Hellboy stories, of course, are definitely worth reading, particularly the early ones. His Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is an amazing What-If story which isn’t at all the same as the animated film of that name which is superb on its own footing, and the B.P.R.D. stories  are quite excellent too.  I’m very fond of the first Hellboy film, not so much of the second, though the animated films are excellent. (CE) 
  • Born September 6, 1982 – María Zaragoza, 38.  Three short stories for us; novels, poetry, film scripts, graphic novels.  Post-human, anthology of Spanish SF authors.  Atheneum of Valladolid Award, Young Atheneum of Seville Novel Prize.  Part of Fernando Marías Amando’s storytelling collective “Children of Mary Shelley”; of “The Cabin” collective of mutant artists (painters, poets, writers, sculptors, photographers), Ciudad Real.  [JH]

(10b) BELATED BIRTHDAY. Worldcon 76 chair Kevin Roche turned 60 on September 15 — we wish him a cake-full of candles for the occasion!


  • Thatababy calls it a “new Mary Worth” storyline. Daniel Dern says, “I had to convince myself I hadn’t dreamed it.”
  • Lio discovers what happens when horror movies take over your yard. 
  • Argyle Sweater carves a Pinocchio joke.

(12) CLAREMONT ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL. Marvel Comics will honor the extraordinary career of writer Chris Claremont in December with the Chris Claremont Anniversary Special.

For the past 50 years, Claremont has graced the Marvel Universe with his brilliant storytelling—creating and defining some of its most iconic heroes and building the framework for one of its most treasured franchises.

In the Chris Claremont Anniversary Special, the acclaimed writer returns to the world of the X-Men with a brand-new story. Dani Moonstar is drafted for a mission across time and space for an incredible psychic showdown against the Shadow King—joining forces with other characters created and defined by the pen of Chris Claremont! In this extra-sized milestone issue, Claremont will team up with a host of iconic artists including Brett Booth and reunite with his classic New Mutants collaborator, Bill Sienkiewicz.

…Chris Claremont’s influential run on X-Men changed the comic book landscape forever. As the architect behind the epic tapestry that makes up the world of mutants, Claremont’s contributions went far beyond the creation of characters but to the very themes, concepts, and allegories that are ingrained in the X-Men today. Claremont’s work catapulted the X-Men into unprecedented success with now classic stories such as Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past as well as series like New Mutants and Wolverine’s first solo series. In addition to his groundbreaking work on X-Men titles, Claremont also had memorable runs on books such as Ms. Marvel and Fantastic Four.

(13) SFF IN TIMES TO COME. In “Noah Hawley on ‘Fargo’ Season 4, His ‘Star Trek’ Film and ‘Lucy in the Sky’” at Variety, Hawley says that his Star Trek film would be a new cast, and “we’re not doing Kirk and we’re not doing Picard” but there would be some sort of connection to the original Star Trek series.  He also says that Lucy In The Sky was his “magical-realist astronaut movie.”

Just before “Fargo” returned to production in August, Noah Hawley — the writer who somehow adapted an eccentric and beloved Coen brothers film into one of the most decorated television series of the past decade — sent a letter to the show’s cast and crew. He wrote about the importance of safety. He wrote about mutual responsibility. He wrote about Tom Cruise.

“Someday in the not too distant future Tom Cruise will go to space,” the message began. “He will bring a film crew with him. He will bring a director and actors. They will shoot a film. Now space, as we know, is an airless vacuum where nothing can live. A hostile void where a suit breach or airlock malfunction can kill, where even the simplest tasks must be done methodically, deliberately. Astronauts train for years to prepare. They drill protocols and procedures into their heads. They know that surviving in space will require their full concentration. Now imagine doing all that AND making a movie.”

The “Fargo” crew is rather more earthbound, but Hawley likened its experience to that of Cruise, who is indeed planning a trip to the International Space Station to shoot an action movie. (It was reported in May that he will do this with the help, of course, of Elon Musk.) But before Tom Cruise ascends into space, the cast and crew of “Fargo” are gathering in Chicago to film the final two episodes of the show’s fourth season in a 13-day stretch — five months after being forced to break camp by the coronavirus pandemic.

(14) FIRE BELLS. LAist points out a local science landmark in jeopardy: “What We’ll Lose If The Mt. Wilson Observatory Burns”.

You may not have realized it, but sitting atop one of the highest points in the San Gabriel mountains, looming 5,700 feet over L.A., is arguably one of the world’s most important spots for scientific discovery: the Mount Wilson Observatory.

The 114-year-old site is covered in equipment that not only helped mankind discover the universe and cement Southern California as an astronomy hub, but still connects normal people to wonders beyond our own world.

Worryingly, the Bobcat Fire is charging right for it. Only 500 feet away as of Tuesday afternoon.

(15) GREAT PUMPKINS. Los Angeles County’s Descanso Gardens plans a “Pumpkin-Filled Halloween Event”We Like LA has the story.

Descanso Gardens has announced a month-long fall exhibit for those of you who get really into decorative gourd season. “Halloween at Descanso” is a socially distant, “pumpkin-filled extravaganza” that takes place October 1-31. 

The exhibit is suitable for all ages, so don’t worry about this Halloween event being too scary. Instead, expect a winding hay maze, a house built entirely out of pumpkins, a pumpkin arch that leads to a forest filled with pumpkin-headed scarecrows, and colorful pumpkin mandalas. The pathways that lead to the Hilltop Gardens, the Japanese Garden, and the main promenade will feature hand-carved jack-o-lantern boxes. 

(16) JEOPARDY! Andrew Porter says tonight’s Jeopardy! contestants struck out on this one.

Category: Summarizing the novel.

Answer: Utopia (not); I ain’t goin’ nowhere; the butler did it (in 1872).

No one got: What is Erewhon.

(17) PRESAGED BY ASIMOV. In the Washington Post article “School, but an ‘undead version’: Students, parents and teachers in Northern Virginia adjust to online learning”, Hannah Natanson interviewed middle school math teacher Jay Bradley, who thinks virtual teaching reminds him of the Asimov story “The Fun They Had.”

Margie went into the schoolroom…and the mechanical teacher was on and waiting for her,’ the passage (from Asimov) read,  ‘The screen was lit up, and it said, ‘Today’s arithmetic lesson is on the addition of proper fractions.  Please insert yesterday’s homework in the proper slot.’  Margie did so with a sigh.”

These days, Bradley–who teaches middle school in Fairfax County Public Schools–feels a lot like the ‘mechanical teacher.’  He spends ever morning huddled ina spare room in his Northern Virginia home staring at his computer screen. The monitor is filled with small rectangles:  Each one depicts an anonymous, identical silhouette.

(19) BORDER, BREED, NOR BIRTH. “Star children: can humans be fruitful and multiply off-planet?”The Space Review weeks the answer.

From his home in Cape Canaveral, Air Force pilot Alex Layendecker explained how he had been drawn to the study of sex and reproduction in space. “I had been immersed in the space environment in the Air Force, assigned to launch duty, and was simultaneously pursuing an M.A. in public health, and then at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, and I was looking for a dissertation topic,” he recalled. “I decided that sex and reproduction in space had not received the attention they deserved—if we’re serious about discussions of colonization, having babies in microgravity—on Mars or other outposts of the Earth, then more needs to be learned.” His general recommendation was that because of the squeamishness of NASA to study sex in space, a private nonprofit organization, or Astrosexological Research Institute, should be founded for this research critical to human settlement of outer space.

What were the prospects for space-based sex lives? Layendecker’s study of the literature yielded both good and bad news. Sex should be possible, even lively, but reproduction, critical for space colonization, could entail severe health consequences… 

(20) BE SEATED. In Two Chairs Talking Episode 36 – “Marrying the genre next door” — Perry Middlemiss and David Grigg talk about novels which blur the boundaries between genres: literary novels with strong elements of fantasy or science fiction. Call them “genre adjacent” fiction. And David interviews Matthew Hughes, author of the historical fiction novel “What the Wind Brings.”

(21) SHARP, POINTY. The final trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Antlers has dropped.

A small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, become entwined with a young student harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences.

[Thanks to Darrah Chavey, Daniel Dern, N.,  John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John Hertz, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Michael Toman, Gadi Evron, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ingvar.]

88 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/16/20 Let Us Pixelate It In Glorious Scrollovision

  1. Meredith Moments:

    Monster She Wrote by Lisa Kroger is on sale for $2.99 at Amazon.

    The Amberlough Dossier by Lara Elena Donnelly is priced at $2.99 at Amazon.

  2. If they still did midnight pre-releases a la Harry Potter, I would be right there for Leviathan Wakes. The only series I’m more eager to see finished is the Kingkiller Chronicles.

  3. (10) I think my preference would be for an award to be referred to by the name it had when it was presented in a given case. My reasoning here is practical: all the contemporaneous reports of someone winning the award would use the “old” name, and it’s probably less confusing for people if all the discussion of “Author X won Award Y for Book/Story Z” uses the same value for Y.

  4. I use Campbell Award for every winner up to 2019, because that’s what it was called then, and Astounding Award for any winner from 2020 on. This year, I still wrote “formerly Campbell Award” in brackets behind Astounding Award. I probably won’t do that next year, since the name change is established by now.

  5. We let the winners of the Tiptree Award use either Tiptree or Otherwise, whichever their preference is. If I have to refer to someone having won the award, I’ll say either “Otherwise (formerly Tiptree)” or “Tiptree (now Otherwise),” depending.

  6. I’m using Astounding Award to describe every winner of that award back to its inception. That’s eventually going to happen anyway as the years when it was named for Campbell recede into the past. When something is renamed it grows cumbersome to continue to use two names to describe it.

    There’s also the issue of perpetuating the problem a name change was undertaken to address. It would be a shame if Washington’s NFL team continued to be referred to by its deeply offensive former mascot in historical references after it picks a new name. If the franchise becomes the Redtails, it’s fine to say the Washington Redtails won Super Bowls XVII, XXII and XXVI. The Chicago Bears call themselves the 1921 NFL champions even though they were the Chicago Staleys at the time and the league was the American Professional Football Conference.

    Every time it’s called the Campbell, the award’s less of an honor for the people who will be winning it. Better to move forward and fully embrace it as the Astounding.

  7. But we must always use the tone of voice that implies italics, as the Astounding award, to avoid confusion with just any old award that astounds.

  8. Lela,

    Sorry, I’m just not seeing it. Rowling is making a distinction between cissexual and transexual. That’s clearly an already recognized difference because there are appropriate terms for each, and I just don’t see how it’s considered transphobic. All I see in her writings on the subject is very sensitive and positive support.

    This is the last I’m going to say on the matter, because I’ve already made my position clear on author bullying by the cancel culture.

  9. Just as a single example from the evidence, saying flatly that ALL those who menstruate are women basically brushes aside the wishes of trans men to subordinate them to her preferred definition. How is that in any way sensitive, positive, or NOT transphobic?

    And…I’m sorry for taking your bait. I’ll shut up now. Please feel free to continue your outward flounce uninterrupted.

  10. Lela E. Buis: This is the last I’m going to say on the matter, because I’ve already made my position clear on author bullying by the cancel culture.

    There never been a cancel culture. At certain times various groups, left and right, have objected to aspects of our culture they don’t like. Book censorship is far more an action of the right than of the left. So don’t try the left is into cancel culture argument as it’s simply not true.

  11. Lela E Buis: Sorry, I’m just not seeing it… This is the last I’m going to say on the matter, because I’ve already made my position clear on author bullying by the cancel culture.

    The fact that you don’t see a problem with Rowling’s rampantly transphobic statements says a great deal about you, and none of it is good.

    There’s no such thing as “cancel culture”. That’s just the new replacement for the bogus term “political correctness”, which is used by people to excuse their bad behavior and complain about being held accountable for it.

    Rowling is a billionaire with tens of millions of fans. No one has cancelled her, and she’s the one doing the bullying of trans people.

    But as always, your histrionics are eyerollingly entertaining.

  12. @bill: It’s fine to use the old name for historical recipients, since that’s what the award was called at the time, but it’s also fine to use the new name, since that is the name of the award. What’s not fine is insisting that others comply with your preferred nomenclature. I ain’t the boss of you, and you ain’t the boss of me.

    Andre Norton is sometimes referred to as a winner of the SFWA Grand Master Award, which is true, because that’s what the award was called when she won it, and sometimes as a winner of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award, because that’s what the award is called now. She appears on lists of winners of the DKMGMA, because the award didn’t change; just the name.

    As for the “erasure” nonsense: after the US Revolutionary War, statues of George III were torn down. But guess what!? His name can still be found in history books. Not worshiping someone is not the same as “erasing” them. Campbell’s spot in the history books is still assured.

  13. @Xtifr

    What’s not fine is insisting that others comply with your preferred nomenclature.

    Are you suggesting that this is what I’m doing?

    As for the “erasure” nonsense: . . . . Campbell’s spot in the history books is still assured.

    To the extent that the birthday listings here are a part of recorded history, Campell is being erased. The erasure is not all-encompassing, but it is real.

  14. bill on September 17, 2020 at 11:16 pm said:

    Are you suggesting that this is what I’m doing?

    If you’re trying to insist that Tuttle’s award must be called the Campbell, then yes. Otherwise, no. (I wasn’t entirely clear.)

    To the extent that the birthday listings here are a part of recorded history, Campell is being erased.

    How can he be “erased” from something he had nothing to do with? Campbell died in 1971. Lisa Tuttle was given the Best New Writer Award in 1974. Campbell didn’t found the award, and Tuttle didn’t win it because of Campbell. She won the award because the members of WSFS decided she was the best new writer that year.

    Yes, it was called the John W. Campbell Award at the time, which is why there’s nothing wrong with calling it that. But it’s been renamed, which is why there’s nothing wrong with calling it the Astounding Award. Honestly, it has nothing to do with Campbell or Astounding. It’s the Best New Writer Award, and that’s really all that matters. Calling it the Campbell or the Astounding or whatever merely helps distinguish it from other Best New Writer awards. A rose by any other name… 🙂

  15. @bill,

    Campbell has written things, done things for which he should and will be remembered. Those are not being erased. They are being more closely examined and put into context and evaluated with a critical eye – as they should be.

    “Having your name on an award” is not a main reason that anyone will be remembered (unless that person’s actual legacy has been forgotten).

    “Author X won the Astounding Award for Book Y” is the appropriate phrasing at tis time (until the award’s name changes again, if it does). A list of the winners would be a “List of Astounding Award winners”.

    For anyone wanting to do archaeology, they can look at the history of the Astounding Award, see that it has been given under a different name in the past, and search for all of the award’s past names. This is not the first award that has changed names!

  16. To the extent that the birthday listings here are a part of recorded history, Campell is being erased.

    “Hi, I’m Lisa Tuttle and I won the Astounding Award.”

    “No, you didn’t. It was called the Campbell Award when you won it.”

    “It’s the same award, isn’t it?”


    “So I won the Astounding Award.”

    “Hi, I’m S.P. Somtow and I won the Astounding Award.”

    “No, you didn’t. You were going by your birth name Somtow Sucharitkul when you won it before you began writing under your current name.”

    “I’m the same person, aren’t I?”


    “So S.P. Somtow won the Astounding Award.”

    Isn’t it easier to adjust to name changes than to insist that outdated names continue to be used?

  17. @ rcade

    Isn’t it easier to adjust to name changes than to insist that outdated names continue to be used?

    Additionally, I think there’s enough room in the sfnal discourse for trial and error until an accepted approach is found. After reading Jeff Smith’s post, I still prefer using the new name but now I think that the only usage that doesn’t work in practice is “old usage only.”

  18. Trans rights activists hate JKR for saying that sex is a reality.
    But they really really hate her for the fact that she is an independently wealthy woman they can’t harass into recanting.
    Or control.
    They have no leverage over her.
    How dare she–a mere WOMAN–not go along.
    Makes them crazy so they resort to incredibly misogynistic and vulgar responses and lies.
    But, yeah, she’s the problem.

  19. @Harold Osler: You’re right that JK Rowling isn’t the problem, because no one person is the problem. But she is a very high-profile supporter of the position you refer to; when you say the same things, few people hear it, or care.

    Nobody is denying that sex is a reality. What you and JKR are asserting is that gender is the same as biological sex, and that biological sex is simple enough that a doctor or midwife glancing at a newborn child can correctly identify that child’s gender 100% of the time.

    I’ve seen claims that “science tells us” that gender=external genitalia, and that gender=chromosomes. People making those claims don’t address the fact that they give different results. There are people who were assigned female at birth based on external genitalia, and who have a Y chromosome. There are people who have two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome. (And other examples, but I think that will do for now.)

  20. There is no subtlety in social media. A few weeks ago Steve Barnes made a statement that I thought was absurd. So I took the old familiar approach of throwing shade on it by making a parallel statement that was much more absurd.

    Did people say to themselves — “Aha! Now that Mike has furnished an exaggerated illustration, I see the defective reasoning in Steve’s statement.” They did not.

    Guess which one of us looked like the dumbass?

    That’s my point.

  21. N says So are all the cis women speaking out against JKR suddenly not women either.

    Don’t be an idiot. Of course they are. The reality that Rowling and you are unwilling to accept is that gender is a spectrum unfixed by the biology one is born with. Trans is as natural a state of being as being cis.

    Now playing: Tim Curry’s “Sweet Transvestite” because it’s appropriate.

  22. @Cat
    I read that one as snark – or taking Osler’s argument to absurdity.
    Either way, it doesn’t add anything.

  23. P J Evans I read that one as snark – or taking Osler’s argument to absurdity.
    Either way, it doesn’t add anything.

    I didn’t read it as snark and I’ve seen the argument made by those on the Right that recognising the existence of trans women (in particular though I expect their logic would extend to men as well) diminishes cis women.

  24. FWIW, up until the last day or two, I’ve been largely ignorant on the subject of trans men and trans women. My attitude has been the same towards them as it is for any “out group”-live and let live. I leave people to run their own lives.

    But this discussion has gotten me curious and I started reading up on transgender medically and legally and watching videos on FB posted by trans people talking about their lives.

    Rowling is wrong in her comments, at least from what I’ve come across. Transgenders are, by and large, the gender they identify themselves with and to see them as otherwise is a pointless exercise at best.

    As an old, tired and rapidly breaking down gimp, I sympathized with them. Now I empathize with them. Posters here sent me in a search for information and I thank you for my betterment on this subject.

    Here in 6474, our feline overlords are still trying to housebreak us.

    I’ll go back to the corner now.

  25. Robert Reynolds says Here in 6474, our feline overlords are still trying to housebreak us.

    Would you tell your feline overlords that I look at the felines for adoption page of our local shelter regularly? I’ll be adopting as soon as I get past having knee surgeries which unfortunately isn’t going to be for awhile. I don’t want to go through being absent from the apartment for a long stretch of time when a new companion is here even though I trust the caregivers that’ll be there for that feline.

  26. @Mike: My comment was unneeded and I apologize for it. I still think Oster’s comment is extremely absurd but maybe that absurdity stands on its own. Personally that just seems less of the case these days.

    @Cat: I do take offense at this. I’m bummed that what I said was taken at face value.

  27. @Cat Elridge:

    Your message has been relayed and they say you’ll get ear scratches and treats for being a good human.

    My best wishes for your full recovery.

    Here in 7341, we’re most of us housebroken and The Great Flying Car Debacle Of 6942 is almost forgotten.

  28. @Robert Reynolds: Given what I’ve been dealing with elsewhere in the last couple of days, your post is a breath of fresh air: you recognized your ignorance on this subject, and did the work to learn more. I’m not surprised you did this–wondering about something and going to learn more is both good and frequent–but a fresh example was just what I needed right now.

  29. @ Lis

    And here in 831 C.E., we’ve just discovered that THE TIME MACHINE HAS BEEN REPAIRED!!!!

    Huzzah! ChronoCon is/was/has been/will be on now. (Environment AdjustProtect Generators required.)

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