Pixel Scroll 9/2 Split-Level Headcheese

(1) Pat Cadigan is still making cancer her bitch.

I didn’t plan to travel as much as I did this year, it just happened that way. And I’m not done yet. I have at least one trip, possibly two left before I put the suitcase away till next year.

It’s been very good for me, physically as well as mentally. In May, I visited Copenhagen for the first time. In June, I took a road-trip from Virginia to a college reunion in Massachusetts. In July, I spent most of a week at a festival in Spain. And in mid-August, I went to Spokane, WA for Sasquan, the world sf convention. The difference in my physical condition now compared to the same time last year is virtually miraculous. I could walk reasonable distances without collapsing. On Saturday night, I went to the Hugo Losers Party––the one given by original co-founder George RR Martin––and didn’t go to bed till four a.m. Then I was up at 9-ish to meet a friend for breakfast.

Last year at this time, I was pretty feeble. This year, I’m hopping around like an ingenue. I appear to be well, so much so that you’d never guess I had terminal cancer. A lot of people didn’t know––they thought I was in remission. It was no fun to correct them. I hated making them feel bad. Seriously; I remember what it was like to be in their shoes. I have a lot more experience being them than being terminal.

I’ve been saying that more often in the last few weeks: terminal cancer; I’m terminal; treatment is palliative. There’s about a year and four months left of my oncologist’s original two-year estimate. Where did the time go?

(2) Little White Lies “Video Artifacts No. 4 – Andrew Ainsworth”

You may not know the name, but Andrew Ainsworth is the creator of one of the most iconic images of the 20th century – the original Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet. Working out of his shop situated on the quaint, leafy Twickenham Green, Ainsworth began his career in the ’70s as a prop maker for films and has since become one of the leading exponents of products made via plastic moulding techniques.


(3) Here’s a headline I missed: James Potter — Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley’s son — started Hogwarts on September 1.

(4) Tremendous examples of trompe l’oeil posted by George R.R. Martin – all the work of John Pugh, “master of the art style called ‘narrative illusionism.’”

(5) Summer’s almost over, which means it’s time for Doctor Who fans to start counting down until “The Doctor and River Song Reunite For A Spectacular Christmas”

Alex Kingston returns to Cardiff to reclaim her role as Professor River Song for the highly anticipated 2015 Doctor Who Christmas special, part of BBC One’s essential seasonal viewing.

It’s Christmas Day in the future and the TARDIS is parked on a snowy village street, covered in icicles, awaiting its next adventure. Time traveller River Song meets her husband’s new incarnation, in the form of Peter Capaldi, for the first time this Christmas.

Day one of filming the eleventh Doctor Who Christmas special starts this week and is written by Lead Writer and Executive Producer, Steven Moffat, produced by Nikki Wilson and directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Doctor Who, Sherlock).

River Song made her first Doctor Who appearance in 2008 in ‘Silence in the Library’ and ‘Forest of the Dead’ and has appeared in 15 episodes to date.

Award winning Alex Kingston comments on her reappearance, “To be honest, I did not know whether River would ever return to the show, but here she is, back with the Doctor for the Christmas special. Steven Moffat is on glittering form, giving us an episode filled with humour and surprise guest castings. I met Peter for the first time at Monday’s read through, we had a laugh, and I am now excited and ready to start filming with him and the Doctor Who team. Christmas in September? Why not!”

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, adds, “Another Christmas, another special for Doctor Who – and what could be more special than the return of Alex Kingston as Professor River Song? The last time the Doctor saw her she was a ghost. The first time he met her, she died. So how can he be seeing her again? As ever, with the most complicated relationship in the universe, it’s a matter of time…”

(6) Ken Marable drops his name in the hat as another fan who would like to host the go-to Hugo recommendation site. Details are at 2016 Hugo Recommendation Season.

I am trying to encourage the community to take part in a “Hugo Recommendation Season” from November to February. Basically to both create as much conversation as possible about the works themselves, and to give each category its fair spotlight, I’m hoping to have a Focus Week on each category. During each week, fans would post their recommendations (on their blogs, Facebook, whatever) saying what works they love, and most importantly, why. (There are a lot of recommendation *lists*, I want more – I want to know *why* it is recommended.)

….I am hoping to get as many fans as possible to participate including Sad Puppies, non-Puppies, new members, and long-time fans like you. In fact, my ideal would be to have some of the old guard introduce each category, possibly explaining why it came into existence, things to consider, etc. (e.g. suggestions on how fans can look for a Best Editor; just what is and why do we have a semiprozine; venerable past winners; surprising past winners, etc.). Sure it’s all a Google search away, but it would be nice to have a single, short reference to accompany the recommendations. However, I would be pleased if fans just participated in each Focus Week and talked about works and people they think are award worthy in each category.

(7) David Gerrold has something going too – see Facebook

Here’s a secret cabal for the rest of us. THE SECRET CABAL OF FANNISH FANS [SCOFF]. Anyone can join. Anyone can recommend. There are no slates, just people sharing the books they enjoyed.


(8) Edouard Briere Allard has posted “A Critical Review of Laura J. Mixon’s Essay”, which is as voluminous and heavily annotated as the work it attacks:

This is only my interpretation, but Mixon appears saddened that BS was not kicked out of SFF and that BS has instead decided to become a better person and keep writing in SFF (although to be clear, BS had already made that decision in 2013, possibly even some time in 2012). Mixon later tells us: “trust can’t precede the cessation of abuse. Forgiveness can’t come at the expense of basic fairness. Reconciliation can’t precede regret.” This idea that the WoC in front of her might not be guilty of all the crimes she is accused of is impossible for Mixon to believe; just as impossible as believing that she, herself, might be guilty of comparable crimes. This, I think, explains her desire to pursue the matter until she gets her way. It’s a very American way of seeing things.

In the same follow-up post, Mixon says:

Dividing people into camps, branding those who disagree with us (or whose religious beliefs (or lack thereof), skin color, gender, sexual orientation, etc. offend us in some way, for that matter) as The Enemy—as irredeemably evil—and appointing ourselves and our friends as the sole arbiters of Truth, is a destructive practice. No matter who does it. That was why I wrote my report.

Here, if nowhere else, this single paragraph illustrates perfectly why I loathed Mixon’s essay, and her apparent inability to empathise with others and to evaluate her own actions. Mixon, in an essay that begins with decrying the difficulty of getting rid of the “evil” that is BS, says: “branding those who disagree with us […] as The Enemy—as irredeemably evil—and appointing ourselves and our friends as the sole arbiters of Truth, is a destructive practice”. This branding, you’ll recall, the only branding RH as ever done that could conceivably fit into what Mixon is saying here, is calling things or people misogynist, racist, homophobic or colonialist. While there is always ample room to discuss strategy and tactics in the fight against misogyny, racism, homophobia or colonialism, I disagree with Mixon’s sweeping condemnation, and I find her framing deeply hypocritical.

(9) Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon – “2015 Hugo Analysis: Category Participation”

[Post includes an assortment of graphs covering several years of history in every category.]

Now 2015: that line is totally inconsistent with the previous 4 years. Previously ignored categories like Editor grabbed an increase of 30 points—there’s your visual representation of how the Puppy kerfuffle drove votes. Thousands of voters voted in categories they would have previously ignored. I imagine this increase is due to both sides of the controversy, as various voters are tying to make their point. Still, 80% participation in a category like Editor, Short or Long Form is highly unusual for the Hugos. Even the Best Novel had a staggering 95% participation rate, up from a prior 4 year average of 87.4%.


(10) Harry Connolly, taking off from a recent Eric Flint post, speculates that Hugo voters and readers have these differences — in “oh god am i really going to write about the hugos again”

But here’s my suggestion, tentatively offered: what if the Hugo voters/nominators aren’t the one’s who’ve changed these last few decades? I mean, sure, some folks age out, new folks come in, so they aren’t the same individuals. But what if they’re the same sort of novelty-seeking reader, preferring clever, flattering books to pretty much everything else?

Because that would mean that the bulk of the readership now are the sorts of readers who don’t care about fandom or voting for Awards. Who have maybe sampled a few award-winners and found them not to their taste. They’re the people who came into the genre through Sword of Shannara, because it was the first fantasy to hit the NYTimes list, through STAR WARS and dozens of other action/adventure-with-ray-guns movies that sold millions of tickets, through D&D novels like Dragonlance, or through shoot-em-up video games.

Maybe the award hasn’t changed very much, but the readership now suddenly includes huge masses of people who are looking for Hollywood-style entertainment, with exaggerated movie characterization and a huge third act full of Big Confrontation.

(11) Robert B. Marks in Escapist Magazine – “The Night Science Fiction’s Biggest Awards Burned”

When you take a step back, it’s easy to see the Sad Puppies as the only sympathetic clique of the lot. They bought their memberships and voted for the stories they thought were worthy of recognition, as was their right as members – they’re also the only group who didn’t advocate a response of “if we can’t have it, nobody can!” Of everybody involved in the voting, the Sad Puppies did nothing wrong. In fact, they may be the only clique in this mess who actually honoured the fan-driven spirit of the Hugo Awards. It speaks volumes that when George R.R. Martin asked if he could nominate authors for consideration in next year’s Sad Puppies effort, the answer came back as an unconditional “yes.”

(12) Charles E. Gannon on Whatever in a comment on “Wrapping Up 2015: A Hugo Awards Open Thread”

This is a proven recipe for quickening passionate partisans into aggressive zealots. When advocates forsake their initial behavioral limits, they have started down a path in which their ends have begun to justify means they would not have countenanced earlier. And so they are on their way to becoming radicalized extremists.

We are familiar enough with the early warning signs of this dynamic at work, and which, cast in the taxonomies of our genre, equate to:

increasing numbers of SF & F readers becoming infected with the same virus of polarization now endemic in so many other parts of our culturescape;

name-calling, mockery, and personal invective that becomes so ubiquitous that it no longer stands out as arresting or unusual;

increasingly strident and absolutist rhetoric, often accompanied by a reflex to screen for “correct think vs. wrong think” semantics.

I don’t propose to have any sweeping answer for how to reverse this trend. (That would make me yet another strident advocate, wouldn’t it?). Rather, I perceive the answer to be ultimately personal: a conscience-informed attempt to balance what one intended to convey with how it was received. In short, to temper oneself without muzzling oneself.

My own answer is to keep talking amiably with people from all over the spectrum, regardless of however different (or not) our opinions may be. Consequently, lots of the folks I’ve spoken with over the last six months will not find the content of this post surprising and have expressed sympathy for larger or smaller parts of it. The list includes people such as Larry Correia, David Gerrold, Brad Torgerson, John Scalzi, Rachel Swirsky, and Eric Flint, just to name a few. And if anything strikes me as even more prevalent than the differences of opinion and perception among the dozens of people with whom I’ve chatted, it is the degree to which the “sides” do not understand each other. Which, given America’s contemporary culturescape, is not really surprising.

(14) Solarbird on crime and the foreces of evil – ”on the business meeting, part 2: e pluribus hugo”

E Pluribus Hugo doesn’t know about intentional slates. It doesn’t need to be told, “this is a slate.” Nobody has to make that call, because it doesn’t matter. It’s kind of like a normalisation function applied to nominations. There are no arguments over whether a pattern or voting is intentional or a plot or intent or political – a lot of identical ballots will be normalised to a first-order approximation of their actual popular support, regardless.

That’s why it’s so elegant, and that’s why it’s so genius. It doesn’t lock anybody out; it just stops campaigns from locking everyone else out, dramatically reducing their value vs. their labour and monetary cost, and eliminating the incentive for opposition parties.

For me, that is fair. For me, that is enough.

I hope that, for the honest flank of the Sad Puppies, it will also be enough. One self-identified Sad came up and voiced active support for E Pluribus Hugo during the business meeting. Those who actually believe in the mythical SJW VOTER CABAL – which was emphatically demonstrated not to exist by the events of this year, but stick with me – will know that E Pluribus Hugo would normalise this supposed SJW CABAL slate just as effectively.

Is it sad that we’ve reached a point where this sort of engineering is necessary? Eh, maybe. Probably, even. But it has driven fandom to create what even some opponents at the business meeting called a more perfect nominating system.

Yes, it’s tedious as all hell to do by hand, but it can be done. Yes, it’s more complicated – but not much. It’s only a little different than what we do for final voting and for site selection already.

(15) Allum Bokhari on Breitbart – “The online culture wars have moved out of comments sections and into Amazon’s Kindle Store”.

Online progressives were not so supportive. Alexandra Erin, a sci-fi writer who described Day’s book as “rehashing old slights”, wrote a short parody of the book for Kindle. Entitled “John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity Levels,” the book makes fun of Day’s alleged fixation with the progressive sci-fi author John Scalzi.

Scalzi himself appeared to be delighted with the parody,  saying he “loved it already.” He used the book in a fundraising drive for a charity promoting diversity at sci-fi conventions, promising to release an audio recording of him reading the book if $2,500 was raised within three days. The target was successfully met, and Scalzi subsequently uploaded an audio recording.

Supporters of Vox Day responded by releasing their own parody book, entitled “John Scalzi Is A Rapist: Why SJWs Always Lie In Bed Waiting For His Gentle Touch; A Pretty, Pretty Girl Dreams of Her Beloved One While Pondering Gender Identity, Social Justice, and Body Dysmorphia.”

The counter-parody was removed by Amazon today following complaints from Scalzi. Prior to its removal, it was the top seller in the “parodies” section of the Kindle store, two places ahead of Erin’s book. Kindle top 100 rankings are calculated on an hourly basis, and surges in popularity for titles usually reflect a short, rapid increase in the number of purchases….

Both parody authors saw genuine returns for their products. The parody books were both under 30 pages long, and are unlikely to have taken much time to write. The fact that they became part of a buying war by two factions in the culture wars shows how animosity can be harnessed for profit.

(16) John Scalzi weighed in throughout the day.

(17) Ken White on Popehat “Satire vs. Potentially Defamatory Factual Statements: An Illustration”

So. If someone wrote an article saying “Ken White’s legal analysis should be disregarded because dresses up in a rubber suit on the weekend and hunts ponies with a handmade crossbow,” and says it on their trash-talking blog, to an audience that knows them and knows about my blogging here, it’s almost certainly parody, because the relevant audiences would be familiar with our in-joke about responding to spam emails with rants about ponies and would therefore not take it seriously.

The Facts Here

Here the factors point very strongly to the book being treated as parody, and protected by the First Amendment, rather than as a defamatory statement of fact. With all respect to Scalzi, his question is wrong: you can’t analyze the book title in isolation. You have to look at it in the context of the whole. In that context, the intended audience (both fans of Beale and fans of Scalzi) would recognize it as a reference to Beale’s tiresome meme. Plus, the Amazon description explicitly labels it as “a blazingly inventive parody,” and the descriptive text is mostly nonsensical and evocative of ridicule of “SJW” concerns, and references some of the topics that anger Beale’s coterie in connection with Scalzi like the Hugo Awards.

I think this one is protected parody, and I don’t think it’s a very close call.

(18) Vox Day on Vox Popoli – “Why Johnny can’t sue”

I suppose that leaves lobbying Amazon to ban books that make fun of John Scalzi, which I tend to doubt will be a successful strategy. UPDATE: Amazon just pulled down John Scalzi Is A Rapist: Why SJWs Always Lie In Bed Waiting For His Gentle Touch; A Pretty, Pretty Girl Dreams of Her Beloved One While Pondering Gender Identity, Social Justice, and Body Dysmorphia 

Fascinating, in light of how Is George Bush a War Criminal and Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Paula Deen is a Big Fat Idiot are still available for sale there. I wonder who will be the next target of these dread parodists?

(19) Brad R. Torgersen – “Tyranny of the Safe”

We must not allow ourselves to become a Tyranny of the Safe. You can have intellectual latitude, or you can have intellectual comfort. But you cannot have both. Larry Niven was 110% correct: there are minds which think as well as yours, just differently. Silence the other minds, and you will ultimately find you have silenced yourself. Because any rules you install today, are guaranteed to be abused by your opponents tomorrow. The mob you join in — to metaphorically encircle and burn the homes of the “wrong” people — will encircle and burn your home eventually. Commanded reverence — for an institution, an idea, or a demographic — begets simmering contempt. And the harder you push and punish, the more you use threats and pressure, the more obvious it is that your concepts cannot endure objective criticism.

(20) John C. Wright – “Dantooine is Too Remote”

Look — I hate to get emotional. It is bad for my Vulcan digestion. But the Hugos used to mean something, and now they don’t. A little bit of light and glory have departed the world.

Those who snuffed that light, hating a brightness they could not ignite themselves, must pay.

(21) David Wintheiser on Contrarian Bias “My Only Hugo Disappointment”

But the big problem with [Guardians of the Galaxy]as Hugo-winner came when I discovered what movie got left off the Hugo nominations list because of the three films from the Puppy slate that got on it: Big Hero 6.

The entire plot of Big Hero 6 revolves around the question of who decides how to make the best use of technology, and for what ends. The ‘superpowers’ exhibited in the film all make use of science presented in the film, and while not all the science is strictly ‘real-world’, it still follows the rules set up in the film itself — for example, the limitations of Hiro Hamada’s big invention become a significant plot point in the defeat of the true ‘villain’ of the piece. And, of course, it was a really good story, well-told. Had Big Hero 6 been in the nominations list, I’d have voted for it myself, and felt it was the most deserving potential winner, but because a bunch of butt-hurt white dudes felt like flooding the Hugo nominations market with their own wishlist, the movie I thought would have been the most deserving 2015 Hugo winner didn’t even get nominated.

That, to me, was the biggest and really only disappointment I had from taking part in the 2015 Hugo Award voting. It may well be something I decide to do more regularly in the future, if only to continue to represent a ‘new mainstream’ in SF where diversity in stories and subjects is celebrated, not lamented.

(22) A Stitch in Time – “The World is not Black and White: Hugo-related ramblings”

So. Knowing what I knew about the author’s campaign against the Hugo, and the Puppies slate, and the things said against him, or implied against him, or actually, mostly, the things he wrote that everyone from the Other Side (TM) thinks about him though they’re not actually true… I was really pleasantly surprised. (Now that I’m writing this, I think that I read most of the accusations allegedly done against Correia in his own writing, where he stated them and then vehemently said that he, of course, was none of that. In a way and tone that very much made me think that there was probably a bit of truth to them.)

I did enjoy the books, but knowing about all the personal and sorta-political background story, it felt a little weird to do so, as the Puppy Thing really irked me. I cannot completely part the writing from the author. That may be a good thing for a person: I’ve supported artists because I like the person for their personal qualities or their way of seeing and approaching life, though do not much care for their actual art, for example. But of course it can also mean that I won’t support someone because of their political or general stance on things, and, more importantly, because of the actions they take in this field.

Without the Hugo Kerfuffle, I would choose the Grimnoir books as an Xmas or birthday present for some friends of mine who I’m sure would enjoy them. But… the world is not black and white, and I will not buy these books on their own, because of the Hugo Kerfuffle and the actions the author has taken.

(23) L. E. Modesitt, Jr. – “The Hugos, or ‘You Just Don’t Understand’”

We have two groups with very different perspectives on what constitutes excellence. Each believes the other is wrong, misguided, or the like. Those on each side can argue quite logically their viewpoint. The problem is that, all too often, people with fixed mindsets believe absolutely and firmly that their understanding of a situation is the only way it can be accurately perceived. It has nothing to do with whether one is liberal or conservative, or any other social outlook. It has to do with a certain firmness of thought, described as “principled” by each of themselves, while describing their opponents as misguided or unprincipled.

In the case of the Hugos, as I see it, and I’ve certainly been criticized for the way I see it, there is some truth in both the cases of the “sad puppies” and the “new traditionalists.” [I have to say that I don’t see much truth or objectivity in the points of the “rabid puppies,” but perhaps my mindset just doesn’t accept what seems to be hateful provocation or use of hate to self-publicize.] And, as I’ve said before, not only do I think the field is big enough for both viewpoints, but the sales of a range of authors prove that rather demonstrably.

Yet each side is contending that the other did something hateful and discriminatory, largely because one side refused to abide by unspoken rules that they believed minimized their concerns. In the end, the other aspect of groups that this conflict illustrates, again, is why unspoken rules tend to be superseded by written procedures in larger groups.

[Thanks to Will R., Vox Day, Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these links. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cubist .]

385 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/2 Split-Level Headcheese

  1. Note that the supporting membership for the 2016 Worldcon is $50, not $40. But of course anyone who joined Spokane can nominate for 2016; they just can’t vote on the final ballot.

  2. Kevin Standlee, If I pay the site-nomination fee this year, can I vote in the Hugos? And, if so, what’s the site-nomination fee? (sorry; still working out how this works. I think I’m covered for 2017…)

  3. Cassy B.: If I pay the site-nomination fee this year, can I vote in the Hugos? And, if so, what’s the site-nomination fee? (sorry; still working out how this works. I think I’m covered for 2017…)

    In order to pay the 2016 Site Selection fee, you will first have to pay the fee to be a Supporting or Attending member of MidAmericon II (and this will give you the ability to vote in the Hugos for 2016). The 2016 Site Selection fee, once paid, means that you have paid to be a Supporting member of Worldcon 2018 (and that will give you the ability to vote in the Hugos for 2018).

  4. 3) Where do the kids of common wizards go, since I’m assuming Hogwart’s is like other British schools for toffs, and too expensive for most wizarding families? There must be schools where the students are warehoused until they’re old enough to graduate with mediocre marks, and find work operating a chimny flu teleporter somewhere, or get a union job watching freight unload itself for somewhat higher wages, or a government job issuing papers to permit all that. We don’t hear about the Labour Party or the Guardian in the Wizarding world much, but I’m sure they have their place.

  5. We don’t hear about the Labour Party or the Guardian in the Wizarding world much, but I’m sure they have their place.

    Because the wizards are about 200 years behind the rest of the UK politically. They still keep slaves….

  6. Speaking of recs lists and similar, I need some help.

    I’m putting together a Cool Webpage and Graphic to convey the wonder of Fantasy Brackets 2015. I’ve put the list of works up on Google Drive. I’d really appreciate it if someone(s) would look up the goodreads URLs for the nominees and paste them into the spreadsheet. I’ve filled in “The Game of Thrones” as an example.

  7. Athena Andreadis said:

    I find the inclusion of Pat Cadigan’s graceful entry in the same linkspam as the appropriately acronymed VD and BS (and their various sycophants and acolytes) a serious lapse in sensitivity and taste.

    Errr, “linkspam”? The very purpose of this website is to collect links to interesting and/or influential blog and social media content concerning science fiction.

    Second: The world contains the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think readers can take it in their stride if one day’s link collection also does.

  8. To Ann Somerville: I went over to Amazon and took a look at the covers for your books. IMO they varied considerably in quality. Some were great and made me click in order to read reviews. Others not so much. This cover seemed the weakest of the lot. I know that RH would mock anything you write so I don’t want to pile on but I did want to offer neutral feedback.

    And BTW, I admire anyone who is willing to put their work out there knowing that some will criticize their labor of love. I wish you the best in your endeavors. P.S. I liked your take on Sam Vimes.

  9. Teemu Leisti: Errr, “linkspam”? The very purpose of this website is to collect links to interesting and/or influential blog and social media content concerning science fiction.

    Yeah, I’m not sure why anyone who considers a fanzine, which presents SFF-related news and opinions from around the Internet, to be “linkspam” would even bother reading File770.

    I read it because I appreciate Mike’s thoughtful distillations of a large amount of reading material, and I am quite sure that many other people here feel similarly.

  10. The term “linkspam” is descriptive, not pejorative. It refers to the literary form in which Mike engages here. See also: roundup.

  11. In order to pay the 2016 Site Selection fee, you will first have to pay the fee to be a Supporting or Attending member of MidAmericon II (and this will give you the ability to vote in the Hugos for 2016). The 2016 Site Selection fee, once paid, means that you have paid to be a Supporting member of Worldcon 2018 (and that will give you the ability to vote in the Hugos for 2018).

    Um… ok, I’m confused (again). Sorry. I thought the whole point of sending in my $40 for the site selection thing was NOT to have to also buy supporting memberships? (Basically, I doubt I’ll get to any Worldcon any time soon; I just want to nominate and vote for Hugos.) I had a supporting membership for Sasquan. I did the site selection thing, which I *think* gives me a supporting membership for 2017, right? So do I buy a supporting membership this year, or do I need to do the site selection thing?

    Basically, do I send in my $50 *and* the site selection cash (whatever that is) this year? Double-billed twice in a row, then just site selection from here on out? Or am I completely off base?

    I know this was explained to me before; I’m sorry; it apparently didn’t quite click. <rueful>

  12. Amoxtli:

    The term “linkspam” is descriptive, not pejorative. It refers to the literary form in which Mike engages here. See also: roundup.

    That’s good to hear. I was just going to let it roll off my back, but if it’s not a loaded term to begin with all the better.

  13. Cassy B.: Basically, do I send in my $50 *and* the site selection cash (whatever that is) this year? Double-billed twice in a row, then just site selection from here on out?

    That’s it exactly. Once you’ve got a 2016 Supporting membership, and you’ve paid in 2016 the Site Selection fee which gets you a 2018 Supporting membership, since you’ve already got a 2017 Supporting membership, all you have to do starting in 2017 is keep paying the Site Selection membership, and you’re golden. 🙂

  14. Cassy B: yep, two years of paying for supporting membership and Site Selection, then just site selections from then on.

  15. Cassy–

    Having paid the site selection fee makes you a supporting member of the 2017 Worldcon, in Helsinki.

    As a member of that Worldcon, you can pay a site selection fee and become a supporting member of the 2019 Worldcon.

    If you want a supporting membership for the 2016 Worldcon, you’ll have to buy it separately.

    I’s a two-year cycle, so paying the site selection fee ito an odd-numbered-year Worldcon makes you a supporting member of the next odd-numbered-year Worldcon; ditto for even-numbered years.

    Does that help any, or am I just lengthening the confusion?

  16. Cassie B:
    If you were a member of Sasquan, that gives you the right to nominate for the Hugos next year (2016). If you voted in this year’s site selection, that makes you a Supporting Member of Worldcon 75, the 2017 Worldcon in Helsinki, which will give you the right to both nominate and vote for the Hugos in 2017 (awards for work done in 2016). If you want to VOTE for the Hugos next year, you must be a member of MidAmeriCon II, the 2016 Worldcon in Kansas City, and if you didn’t vote in site selection last year, that means that you must pay for a membership in next year’s Worldcon.. In any year, in order to vote for site selection, to choose the location of the Worldcon two years later, you must be a member of the current year’s Worldcon, and also pay your voting fee, which makes you a member of the Worldcon that gets chosen that year.

    It sounds confusing, but once you get past the first couple of years, it’s just a matter of paying your voting fee and voting in site selection every year, which automatically makes you a supporting member of the two-years-later convention. If you know that you want to continue being a member of WSFS, then it’s a good idea to vote in site selection every year, even if you vote “No Preference”, because that’s typically the best way to guarantee the least expensive supporting membership fee, and because once you get into the habit, it means that you don’t need to try to remember whether you’ve joined the convention for that year.

  17. Ok… I purchased a supporting membership to Sasquan. After talking with a friend, I went ahead and bought a site selection token for 2017 so I could vote. Then I bought a supporting membership to MidAmeriCon II. Do I have to send more money to MACII right now to buy a site selection token for 2018, or are they even selling those yet?

    My understanding is that I currently have supporting memberships in both MACII and Worldcon 75.

    Also, while I’m on the topic, was I supposed to get a digital program from Sasquan? I don’t recall ever getting anything like that, and I’m not sure if I was supposed to.

  18. Tegan:

    MAC II will probably not have Site Selection voting ready to go until a few months before the con.

    Also, you should be receiving the nice Sasquan programme book in the mail, unless you told them you don’t want a paper programme book.

  19. Also, you should be receiving the nice Sasquan programme book in the mail, unless you told them you don’t want a paper programme book.

    I probably said I didn’t want a paper version… but I figured I would get access to a digital copy. Perhaps I misunderstood?

    I think I understand the supporting membership, though. If I want a membership in 2018, I would simply buy the voting token for site selection, like I did on the Sasquan site. This way I’m paid up for supporting memberships two years in advance, as long as I always get the site selection membership/token each year.

  20. The word “spam” only has negative connotations for me (except in its original meaning — I’ve never tasted it, so have no opinion), so it was news to me that “linkspam” is not considered pejorative. My mistake, then.

  21. Tegan: I probably said I didn’t want a paper version… but I figured I would get access to a digital copy. Perhaps I misunderstood?

    It’s my understanding that if you tick “electronic publications” on your membership registration, all the Progress Reports will come to you as e-mailed PDFs, but you will still get a hardcopy of the programme mailed to you after the con (unless the con is Loncon 3).

    The programme book is really nice and full of goodness, such as short fiction and GoH bios and other stuff, wrapped in a lovely full-color cover done by the Artist GoH.

  22. Was this the face that launched a thousand ships, and burn’t the topless towers of Ilium?

    I live near Troy, NY. I wonder why no classicist ever opened a chain of strip joints there…

  23. If it wasn’t done by the usual suspects, it might actually be someone new- maybe as an initiation thing. To be a Hell’s Angel one had to be beaten up and wear a urine soaked jacket; maybe to join BS’s gang one has to prove their loyalty by writing a diatribe claiming BS is innocent, and condemning her critics.

  24. Loncon 3 to mail out remaining programme books thanks to grant from LoneStarCon 3

    I have been informed that programme books are shortly to be forthcoming for those of us who were Supporting Members for Loncon 3, thanks to the generosity of LoneStarCon 3.

    Yay, and thanks to both organizations for getting that done. 🙂

  25. Thanks to all. I’m pretty sure I get it now. Double pay two years in a row (supporting and site selection) to cover even-numbered AND odd-numbered Worldcon years; then supporting is taken care of as long as I keep site-selecting. So one fee only (site selection) after this year.

    I think it was the even-numbered/odd-numbered years thing that got me confused.

    Appreciate all the explanations (and I really do mean that; having different people explain the same thing differently to me helps my comprehension “click” with me.)

  26. Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag on September 3, 2015 at 9:17 pm said:

    I think I understand the supporting membership, though. If I want a membership in 2018, I would simply buy the voting token for site selection, like I did on the Sasquan site. This way I’m paid up for supporting memberships two years in advance, as long as I always get the site selection membership/token each year.

    Exactly! Lots of people (including me) who are already in the system are always buying our memberships two years in advance, and always at the lowest possible cost, and thus only paying once a year, with the current year having been purchased two years ago.

    The hassle of this, as Cassy B notes above, is the initial start-up, where you have to buy two memberships in order to “get up on the horse.” Thereafter, you just keep riding. Vote every year in Site Selection (paying the ASM/Voting Fee) and you’re always a member. If Worldcon is somewhere you can attend, upgrade to Attending.

    My model is that the actual membership in WSFS is the Supporting Membership. The difference between that and Attending is the “convention supplement,” as many membership organizations impose for their members who want to attend their organization’s annual convention.

  27. @Doctor Science: Appreciate your analysis of the contemporaneous reactions to Ivanhoe. When I read Foz Meadows’s piece, I thought ‘Well, gee, certainly Sir Walter Scott was a hack, but it’s a real stretch to think he made Rebecca of York likeable, competent, of stellar character, and one of the great leading characters of Victorian literature accidentally.’

    So, no, Foz, give Walter Scott credit for just that one bit of subtlety in his long life of writing potboilers, please. Of course she was the (intentional) real heroine.

    @Ginger: I certainly hope Pat Cadigan prevails (if only by doing well for a very long time), but the thing about this ubiquitous metaphor of ‘fighting cancer’ is that it entirely misses the target: You are far, far less a combatant than you are the battlefield. You endure (and you might be made whole again, or not), but you don’t contend.

    @Jon F. Zeigler:

    What’s starting to get me regarding the stated approach for Sad Puppies 4 is: why are they bothering?

    Because they said they would, and because it’s nearly impossible to not try to do something with all that crazed energy.

    It’s the “we’re going to rank each category in order of popularity, and you may want to consider voting for the top few candidates” thing that strikes me as odd.

    Got it in one.

  28. @Rick Moen: I’m a veterinarian. I’m well aware of how cancer and chemo ravage the body of the patient.

  29. @Tegan et al, thanks for this line of discussion. Been at Supporting for the last couple of years, so I guess next step for MAC2 & Helsinki is to go for Site Selection as well, so that I get to do it on an ongoing basis.

    Just need to keep an eye on the exchange rates, and get into MAC2 when it’s more favourable. Well, less frickin’ terrible anyway.

  30. @Ginger

    For some reason I read that as “vegetarian” and spent awhile wondering what special insights vegetarians might have until I realised what you’d actually said.

  31. Late in the weekend, but I just wanted to come back and thank y’all for the recommendation of Madeleine–thanks to that rec, and my having opened it up in a new tab for later enjoyment, I had the vast pleasure of reading it during the drive home, and it lit me up with delight. Even in the places where it wasn’t exactly joyful, the way it resonated with me, or I with it, was a joy. Like the protagonist’s reactions to some of the psychologist’s questions, or the descriptions of grief and mourning–every other paragraph there was something in there making me go, “Yes! That’s it exactly!”

    But I already knew to expect nothing but wonderfulness from El-Mohtar, so, there you go.

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