ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
These greens are even tastier than they look. Garlic+chili oil #ftw.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
What would a modern attempt to emulate the Lensman series, this time with better prose, look like? Assume "it would have better prose" is covered.
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
Ducked out in their Easter and Marathon finery.

AO3 stat meme

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 13:27
runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Top 10 fics as of April 2014

—  1. The King of Atlantis (SGA, March 2009, 2672 hits)
↑6  2. Gun, with Occasional Kangaroo: A Love Story (Due South, Sept 2005, 2443 hits)
↑7  3. The Bottom Line (SGA, September 2007, 2254 hits)
↓3  4. Caught (SGA, May 2009, 2348 hits)
↓2  5. Two Bells (SGA, May 2011, 2178 hits)
↑10 6. The Milk and Cookies War (Smallville, January 2005, 2039 hits)
↓5  7. Interstitial (Smallville, Aug 2002, 2129 hits)
↓4  8. Home Economics (SGA, February 2011, 2044 hits)
↓8  9. Q.E.D. (Smallville, January 2007, 1937 hits)
↓9 10. Dr. Rodney's Science Corner (SGA, February 2009, 1752 hits)

The same ten stories as last year, just shuffled around in a new order. The arrows show movement from last year's list, up or down, and what spot it used to be in. Dashes mean it hasn't moved. The King of Atlantis continues to be my most popular story, and The Milk and Cookies War is apparently making a comeback.

The fun thing about this meme, for me, is it shows which of my stories have lasting appeal. I'm always pleased with the amount of attention my newly posted fics get on the archive, but those new stories can't compete with the ones that have been there all along, and so, these are the most popular of the bunch: An explicit spanking fic, a fic about baking cookies, one where Clark pretends to be gay, another fic about cookies where Clark tries to seduce Lex, Clark losing his powers, Rodney hanging upside down by his ankle, John in a blindfold, Ray and Fraser chasing a kangaroo around Chicago, and a gen story where Rodney and John host a kids' science show.

BSFA Award Winners

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 15:13
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
They are reported to be:

Novel:
Ann Leckie’s ANCILLARY JUSTICE
Gareth L. Powell’s ACK-ACK MACAQUE

Short Story:
Nina Allen, “Spin.”

Art:
Joey HiFi, with the art for DREAM LONDON.

Nonfiction:
Jeff Vandermeer, WONDERBOOK

I will tidy this up I get home.

on self and concepts -- and anger.

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 14:31
twistedchick: (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I am serving on a committee that is working on programming for a women's retreat/conference next year. During a recent committee meeting we were attempting to come up with themes and discussion queries - questions or sentences framed in an open manner to encourage thoughtful consideration - and we got stuck on how to talk about bodies. and that got me stuck as well. )

Half-Price Poetry Sale: Polychrome Heroics

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 13:33
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is the last day of the half-price sale in the series Polychrome Heroics.  Links have been added for recently posted poems.  I still have one more sponsored poem to post later today.  There are lots of poems left if you're still shopping.  Some are epics but there are plenty of shorter ones starting at $2.50.

Poem: "An Unexpected Connection"

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 13:00
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the April 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "hands" square on my 3-30-14 card for the [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )

The logical next step

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 14:07
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Scalzi tries to put as nice a face on the current situation, which I guess he has to because it was the normalization of blatant self-promotion that got us here and he played a significant role in making it acceptable.

Anyway, since we're stuck in a situation where organized slates enjoy an advantage (at least as far as nominations go), the next step would seem to be formal parties, each offering a different slate of candidates. How many of those do you think are viable in a system like the Hugos?

The Physics of Consciousness

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 12:38
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This article suggests that consciousness is a state of matter.  Well, yes.  It's kind of like how little whizzing bits of energy get together and pretend to be solid.  But consciousness is also a lot more fractal and holographic than most people realize.  It's not indivisible.  Parts of it can be lost and other parts still function, or conversely, parts can be lost but then regained from unexpected angles.

A note on "intent isn't magic"

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 17:34
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
Interestingly, this is one of the relatively few things my father got right in bringing us up - for values of "right" that do not include "actually expressing it well or compassionately", in that he tended to phrase it not as "intent isn't magic" but "intent doesn't matter".

I think this plays into some of what I've been working through. To use the treading-on-toes example, how badly something affects me has two components: the direct physical effect ("someone trod on my toe") and my emotional response ("and I'd repeatedly told this specific person that it's currently broken, and trusted them to be careful of that" has very different impact to "and they're a stranger on the tube").

Intent can't fix the direct damage (it isn't magic), but can be taken into account in modulating the emotional response of the person suffering it (intent can matter). However, whether it matters and how much it matters is entirely up to the person damaged: it does not automatically absolve the person who caused the damage.

It's about agency and respect and all that good stuff.

Two questions

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 12:13
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

What none of that clade has ever answered is the question of why nearly all separatist utopian fantasies — e.g. those of Charnas, Tepper, LeGuin etc — begin built upon mountains of corpses. Nearly all of the systems that they have extolled (many of them vastly harsher to males than anything in Glory Season) seem to have derived from apocalyptic downfalls of a previous (presumably unjust and oppressive) civilization.


A: Which LeGuin is Brin referring to here?

B: Aren't piles of polished skulls somewhere in the background a common feature in utopias of all kinds? I can think of examples where utopianification was a gradual process - I believe that's how it worked in Looking Backward: 2000 - 1887 by Edward Bellamy - but clearing off the Old Order with some kind of grand calamity is a great time saver.
sporky_rat: XKCD's Internet Map showing Dreamwidth, with a Dreamwidth D Spiral. Text:  'This is my home'. (dreamwidth)
[personal profile] sporky_rat

I had a cup of coffee today. First one since Ash Wednesday and strangely enough, there was an Easter Miracle. My half&half hadn't gone bad. I was very grateful, because I'd been jonesing for a cup for weeks now and you know what?

It's not as good as I remember.

A lot of things are like that. You give them up, hoping to make room for something else in your life and when you can get back to them? Not as awesome as you remember.

(Of course, some of the coffee problem could be that there were little floating bits of half&half in the coffee, but that's ruining my metaphor.)

I made room for something else this Lent and I'm not sure if I want to edge it over for something else that I'd left behind.

Resurrexit vere! Воистину воскрес!

sporky_rat: Vert, an owl displayed Argent and in chief three bezants. (groza novgorodskaia)
[personal profile] sporky_rat

I got my list tree shield done! Not that I expect Brent to fight for me any time soon, but it's also lovely to hang outside my Soulpad. Pictures under here! )

Vert, an owl displayed argent and in chief three bezants. Groza Novgorodskaia is in the Middle-Ages equivalent of the hizzouze. How is hizzouse spelled, anyway? Did I really use used hizzouse? Someone take away the keyboard, please.

And again, another picture. one of these days I'll figure out how to do markdown properly with heights and widths. One day, Gadget! )

Now nobody can deny that I am here. Now to put my badge on EVERYTHING I OWN. Like my heraldry books, which I've already put my badge on. YES I DID. I put in a lozenge because it fit better than in a square. And I like lozenges and for some reason I think it looks better and I'm a girl, so isn't supposed to be in a lozenge anyway or is that wrong?

Here, have an image. see? Lozenge. And printing. )

AND MY BOOKS MY BELOVED BOOKS. I love books. Books are for Winners!
BOOKS FOR THE WINNERS OF ALL. We're in a library! Books are all the weapons you could ever need! )

One of these days I'll have more, but I've got to save money right now.

(Also, how the hell do you put pictures up with imgur and markdown?! I've edited this damn thing SIX TIMES NOW. HTML TO THE RESCUE.)

The Problem With The Hugo Awards….

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 10:08
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

….is the same problem that every other awards program faces.  Namely, that there’s no good way to run an awards system.

Is there some sort of criteria for entry, a barrier to pass before you can vote on the award?  Well, your awards will become inbred and cliquish, representing a skewed version of fandom.

Is there no criteria for entry, and anyone can vote?  Well, then you’ll have awards that invariably reward the most popular books anyway, never providing surprising choices because the best-known books will get the most votes.

Is there some sort of criteria for entry?  Well, the people on the inside will generally come to know each other, being a small group, and logrolling galore will happen, where people get votes by promising theirs.  Small movements can create disproportionate reactions, generating ballots with weird choices that no sane person would have chosen.

Is there no criteria for entry?  Well, then ballot-stuffing will occur, and accusations of fakery will emerge, and the awards will be tainted as people feel the system can be gamed.

Is there some sort of criteria for entry?  Well, the jurors of the award may be skewed, narrow-minded old men, and you can have lily-white male ballots consisting entirely of unconscious prejudice.

Is there no criteria for entry?  Well, given years of White Dude being the default perceived mode of author, the massive numbers of voters won’t be aware of other, less-popular writers, and you can have lily-white male ballots consisting entirely of institutionalized prejudice.

Look, folks: the problem with setting up any award system, no matter what, is that the system can be gamed.  Because it is a system.  And there’s plenty of incentive for people to find edge cases in the rules and exploit them.  You can complain about the Hugos, or the Nebulas, but do yourself a favor and Google the Oscars, or the Emmys, or the Tonys, or the Grammys, or anything else and you’ll find thousands of people griping about how the awards are botched and unfair and here’s how to fix them….

…and they’ll never get fixed.

Even if by some wonderment we somehow managed to create a perfect balloting system (hint: we won’t), even then “What we like today” is a far shot from “What classic literature is.” It takes time for us to see what sticks, to separate today’s pleasure from tomorrow’s magnificence.  Look over the classic lists in any category from thirty years ago and you’ll find #1 smash hits that nobody remembers, and widely-acknowledged masterpieces that went overlooked.

An awards showcase does not actually represent the best books/movies/songs/shows of any given year.  What it represents is a cultivated taste: When I watch an Oscar-winning “Best Picture” movie, I know I’m not going to be seeing a whacky comedy or an edgy horror movie.  The Oscars represent a certain style of moviemaking, one that says, “If you make a movie sorta like this, and it’s good, we’ll nominate it.”  It’s not “ZOMG THIS IS THE BEST EVER,” but rather “ZOMG THIS IS WHAT WE REALLY LIKE,” and that’s a subtle but serious distinction.

The Oscars, and the Hugos, and the Nebulas, all pretend to be The Arbiter Of Absolute Quality because hey, that’s what gets people interested.  But like every awards showcase, they’re actually The Arbiter Of What These Folks Like.

And that’s fine.  In many case, those folks have fine taste.  They’re almost always good books of a sort.

And let us be honest: part of the reason awards are so hooky is because they’re unpredictable.  If you didn’t have the inevitable breakouts of GOD HOW DID THIS CRAP GET NOMINATED and JESUS THIS FINE THING GOT ROBBED and WHOAH WHO EXPECTED THAT TO WIN, then I suspect awards would be of far less interest to people.  It’s a horse race, where anyone can break a leg just before the finish line, and that provides that gambling-like happiness to our monkey brain center.  We keep tuning in because it’s unpredictably predictable.

To sum up: The Hugos are broken.  They have always been broken.  They will always be broken.  Just like every other award.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

David Gemmel Legend Award Nominees

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 09:28
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Legend Award
(Best novel)

The Daylight War by Peter V Brett (Harper Collins UK)
Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Harper Collins UK)
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (Gollancz)
A Memory of Light by Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan (Tor/Forge)
War Master's Gate by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor UK)


Morningstar Award
(Best debut novel)

The Garden of Stones by Mark T Barnes (47 North)
Headtaker by David Guymer (Black Library)
Promise of Blood by Brian McLellan (Orbit)
The Path of Anger by Antoine Rouaud (Gollancz)
The Grim Company by Luke Scull (Head of Zeus)


Ravenheart Award
(Best cover art)

Benjamin Carre for the cover of The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch(Gollancz)
Jason Chan for the cover of Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Harper Collins UK)
Cheol Joo Lee for the cover of Skarsnik by Guy Haley (Black Library)
Gene Mollica and Michael Frost for the cover of Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan (Orbit)
Rhett Podersoo for the cover of She Who Waits by Daniel
Polansky (Hodder)




Award                 T    F    M    F/T
Legend Award          5         5     0
Morningstar Award     5         5     0
Ravenheart Award      5         5     0
Total                15        15     0


Which by British standards is very inclusive.

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