Monday News: puppies, books, and other stuff
SASQUAN, EXIT STAGE LEFT – You may have been following the situation with Lou Antonelli, who had written a letter to the Spokane, Washington police about David Gerrold, who was being honored at the upcoming Worldcon. Antonelli indicated that he thought Gerrold was dangerous and other inflammatory things, an action that, not surprisingly, had some ripple effect. Among those was Lakeside Circus’s refusal to publish Antonelli’s story they had previously planned to include in an upcoming issue. Which, in turn, led to attacks on Carrie Cuinn, who had sent Antonelli the letter on behalf of Lakeside Circus after Antonelli posted it on his Facebook fan page. If that were not bad enough, Events Deputy Division Head and Co-Director of the Hugo Ceremony, Meg Frank, recently resigned her position, alleging both harassment from Antonelli and a failure of Worlcon organizers to respond appropriately.
Things did not improve when I got to the convention. I met with Pierre, one of the other vice chairs, who told me that because no evidence had been found online, it had been decided that I hadn’t been harassed. He told me that if I wanted to appeal this decision, I needed to speak to the Chair, Sally Woehrle. When I tracked Sally down, she gave me a number of excuses including “the convention could be sued,” “Antonelli would then become a martyr,” and “harassment is a legal term.” When I pointed out that intimidation (which is directly mentioned in the code of conduct) could easily be exchanged for the term harassment, she told me that I was bordering on irrational.–Previously Unexplored
“John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular,” the Audiobook, Read by Me, John Scalzi – I’m not the biggest Scalzi fan, but I think the way he’s handled the continuous and bizarre attacks by Vox Day is a great example for other authors. He has literally taken that negative and made it a positive, which in this case is an audiobook – narrated by Scalzi himself — of a parody written of Day’s screed SJW’s Always Lie. You can listen to the book at the link provided.
Quick recap: John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular is a parody of an ebook by an obnoxious bigot who is obsessed with me, and I said (full details here) that if people raised $2,500 for Con or Bust, which funds science fiction convention memberships for people of color, I’d create an audiobook version of it. That happened. Then I said if we hit a stretch goal of $10,000, I’d also commission a song about me not being very popular. And that just happened! Whoo-hoo! –Whatever
Stephen King: Can a Novelist Be Too Productive? -Stephen King, one of America’s most prolific authors, has written an interesting piece on the perception that more books = lesser quality. As King points out, the equation can be true, but not always. And there are other benefits that prolific authors can bring to readers, like memorable characters. For the author, such a writing pace may be necessary (as King argues it is for him). For others, it may be undesirable (like Donna Tartt). Definitely relevant for genre fiction.
Yet some prolific writers have made a deep impression on the public consciousness. Consider Agatha Christie, arguably the most popular writer of the 20th century, whose entire oeuvre remains in print. She wrote 91 novels, 82 under her own name and nine under a nom de plume — Mary Westmacott — or her married name, Agatha Christie Mallowan. . . .
My thesis here is a modest one: that prolificacy is sometimes inevitable, and has its place. The accepted definition — “producing much fruit, or foliage, or many offspring” — has an optimistic ring, at least to my ear.–New York Times
Oliver Sacks’ Last Tweet Shows Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” Movingly Flashmobbed in Spain – Open Culture’s lovely tribute to Oliver Sacks, who died this weekend.
“A beautiful way to perform one of the world’s great musical treasures.” The video above, and the accompanying 58-character sentence, make up the last tweet from Oliver Sacks, the influential neurologist who passed away earlier today. The clip (originally highlighted on our site back in 2012) features 100 musicians and singers from the Orchestra Simfonica del Valles, Amics de l’Opera de Sabadell, Coral Belles Arts, and Cor Lieder Camera performing what’s now the anthem of the European Union — Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his Symphony No. 9. It’s a pretty stirring performance, and certainly a worthwhile way to punctuate a Twitter stream.–Open Culture