Hey, This Can of Worms is Strangely Unopened!

The folks at Science Fiction Awards Watch are soon (Friday) to be posting a poll about pro SF/F folks nominated in fan categories, and have posted a prefatory entry explaining why, which says, among other things: “Please note that this is not intended to be simply about John Scalzi.” Which is to say it’s not about me, but it is largely my fault this discussion is taking place, because I was nominated for the Best Fan Writer Hugo last year, and some folks crapped bricks over it. If it happens again this year (or if another pro is nominated in a fan category) we’ll likely have enough fans crapping bricks to build us a shithouse at Denvention.

Personally, I doubt I’ll be a nominee in that particular category this year; if nothing else, my lurking presence should be enough to motivate fans to nominate others whom they see as more fannish than I. If the result of my appearance on last year’s slate is renewed interest by fans in the category, and a wider range of nominees than usual, this is not a bad thing. Go ahead, fans! Exclude me! Make my day. (Just, you know, consider considering me in other categories.)

To be very clear on this, again, I’m not going to vote for myself in the Fan Writing category, and I think folks who are considering nominating me look at other folks in the SF community who are writing smartly about topics of interest to fans. Some examples, completely off the top of my head: Nicholas Whyte, James Nicoll, Marissa Lingen, Kate Nepveu, Chad Orzell, Kevin Standlee, Cheryl Morgan, Deb Geisler, Chris Garica, Steven Silver, John Hertz, Rick Kleffel and Ernest Lilley — Not to mention Toby Buckell, Tempest Bradford, Elizabeth Bear, Nick Mamatas, Patrick and/or Teresa Nielsen Hayden, David Louis Edelman, Wil Wheaton, John Joseph Adams, Sarah Monette, Chris Roberson, Jay Lake, Lou Anders, and, oh, Dave Langford. Because, yes, I do think having pros on the slate is perfectly fine. Hopefully not in every slot. But these folks are doing fan writing. They are fan writers. That’s what counts. Anyway, go look at all these folks (for a start) before nominating me again.

In any event, check out the entry at SFAW, and add your thoughts, comments and suggestions there.


For Your LOLCatting Pleasure

I present you with the following raw material:

She was about 25 feet up at the time, incidentally. Why? Why not? Who knows why cats do any of the damn fool things they do. She came down eventually, when she realized it was either she come down on her own power, or let the rising wind knock her out of the tree. Anyway, enjoy putting funny misspelled captions on this. Here’s a LOLCat builder, if you need it.

Update, 8pm: Athena has contributed her own LOLCat.


Why It Won’t Work

Sony BMG spokesperson: We’re pleased to announce we are the final major music corporation to release electronic tracks without that pesky DRM! All you have to do is leave your house, go to a selected retail outlet, buy a special card there, go back to your house, scratch off the back of the card to find a code, go to our special MusicPass Web site, enter said code, and download one of the 37 titles we have available, from Celine Dion to the Backstreet Boys!

Kid #1: Or, in the time it takes me to jump through all those hoops, I could just download all 37 of those albums off of Pirate Bay.

Kid #2: Or, I could just scratch off the back at the store, record the pin number, go home and download the album through a Tor connection, so you can’t trace my IP number.

Kid #1: Also, what’s with this first slate of artists? Celine Dion? Backstreet Boys? Kenny Chesney? Barry Manilow? Are you high?

Sony BMG dude: They appeal to the sort of mainstream consumer who will see the convenience of our revolutionary music cards!

Kid #2: Like my mom? Dude, she’s not going to buy a card. She’s going to buy a CD. Because she’s at the CD store. Where she can buy CDs.

Sony BMG dude: They also make lovely gifts!

Kid #1: If she gets one as a gift, all she’s going to do is ask me how the heck she’s supposed to use it. And then she’s going ask me to get the download for her. Like I’m not busy. And you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to return the card for cash, and then I’m going to download the album off of Pirate Bay, because you’ve confused and upset my mom. And annoyed me.

Sony BMG dude: Uh.

Kid #2: So to recap, what you’ve got here is a system that makes people leave their house in order to download music at their house, and makes them go to a store to get music that they could get at the store, somewhere else.

Sony BMG dude: Er.

Kid #1: Why don’t you just sell non-DRM’d MP3s off Amazon, like every other major music corporation?

Sony BMG dude: Well.

Kid #2: You don’t actually want to sell unprotected MP3s, do you? You want to be able to say you’re doing it, but really, you want to make it so ridiculously inconvenient that people keep just keep buying CDs and DRM’d tracks off iTunes. Just admit it, bro.

Sony BMG dude (pointing): Look! It’s Celine Dion! And Barry Manilow! (runs away as kids avert their eyes in terror)

Poor, stupid deluded Sony BMG.

This MusicPass thing: six months at the outside.

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