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Some of my non-fannish activities are becoming higher-profile, so I'm taking this journal to Friends Only. If I don't have you friended already, comment here. My Livejournal posts will continue to mirror my Dreamwidth account and will stay open for comments. If you want a Dreamwidth invite code, just say so and I'll set you up with one.

This entry was originally posted at http://mecurtin.dreamwidth.org/201963.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there for this post; you can reply there using your LJ, DW, or Open ID, or anonymously

At Obsidian Wings



Are you a fan of science fiction and fantasy novels, short stories, art, movies, TV shows, or meta? Have you heard of the Hugo Awards in the past as a good thing, and heard rumors of shenanigans this year? Do you have US$40 you could spend for the right to vote, and incidentally getting some good e-books out of it? You could be a Hugo voter!


How to become a Hugo voter

The Hugos are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Society, which has a convention in a different city every year. This year's Worldcon is Sasquan and is taking place in Spokane, Washington, from August 19th to 23rd, 2015. You can vote for the Hugos if you're going to attend the con, but you can also buy a supporting membership which allows you to vote this year, and to nominate for next year's awards.

This year's voting closes July 31. You'll get an e-packet of material to help you decide which of the nominees to vote for. This year, the packet includes complete e-copies of: all the nominated short fiction; the complete text of the novels The Goblin Emperor, The Three-Body Problem, and The Dark Between the Stars; complete copies of Sex Criminals, Saga Vol. 3, and Rat Queens; and a watermarked but complete copy of Ms Marvel Vol.1. For the movies ("Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form"), TV episodes ("Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form") and podcasts, you're on your own, though links are provided.

Time is short, and I know the volume of material to consider looks daunting. You don't have to vote in every category! Just pick ones that interest you and give it your best, most honest shot.

I'm particularly encouraging my friends in transformative works and Tumblr fandom to consider voting because you-all are younger than the average Hugo voter (Worldcon members tend to be aging baby boomers, like me), which is good for the future of the award and the fandom, and because many of you have a lot of insights and opinions about visual and audio media: comics, fancasts, TV shows, art.

The voting system

The Hugo Awards use Instant Runoff Voting. There are no more than five nominees in each category, and you rank them in order from first down. This system rewards candidates with broad appeal to all the Hugo voters.

No Award: If you feel, in a given category, that you like Alpha best, Bravo next, and Charlie after that, but you don't think either Delta or Echo deserves a Hugo, your ballot should read:

1. Alpha
2. Bravo
3. Charlie
4. No Award

If you personally would rather see No Award win, but wouldn't be upset if Delta won, then put Delta after No Award:

1. Alpha
2. Bravo
3. Charlie
4. No Award
5. Delta

If you think it would be a travesty for either Delta or Echo to win, leave them both off.

Should you go to Worldcon?

Last year's Worldcon was in London, the one before that was in San Antonio, Texas, next year's is in Kansas City. Because Worldcon moves around, because it's put together by volunteers, and because it has few or no actors attending, it never gets terribly large compared to Dragoncon, much less ComicCon. Currently, Sasquan has about 4000 attending members and 5000 supporting members, from five continents ... plus one in Earth orbit.

Compared to other cons you might have attended, Worldcon runs light on high-gloss movie, TV, and game presentations, but heavy on cosplay and music. Cosplay isn't just in the halls, there's also the Masquerade, a judged costume and stage show that always includes some staggeringly beautiful and complex presentations -- last year's Best in Show Winner, "Aratalindale", for instance, depicted the Valar from Tolkien's Simarillion. Worldcon music includes performances, filking, and many types of dancing. There's an Art show and Artist's Alley, of course. Alas, the deadline for the Writer's Workshop has passed, but there are lots of other opportunities to talk about writing and fanworks.

I'll make another post about this year's Hugo nominees, some historical background, and some possible guidelines about what to look for, but I want to keep it separate from this one. Reblog, tell your friends, think about getting more of us into the structures of SFF fandom. I believe we're the future of the future, and I encourage you to take up that shiny shiny mantle.

This entry was originally posted at http://mecurtin.dreamwidth.org/1156283.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there for this post; you can reply there using your LJ, DW, or Open ID, or anonymously

preferably Latina, to give a perspective on immigration issues that is sorely missed in the wider political conversation. John Cole is taking a break, and TBogg and Zaid Jilani will be entering the mix, but John says "my circle is so insular I do not know where to go or who to even ask. If you have any suggestions, let me know."

If you’ve got any ideas or if this is something you can do, head on over. If not, signal boost. I'm leaving this entry unlocked for easier reference.

This entry was originally posted at http://mecurtin.dreamwidth.org/1134300.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there for this post; you can reply there using your LJ, DW, or Open ID, or anonymously



Also, dear fontologists: what are the technical terms for the two different kinds of lowercase a, and the two kinds of lowercase g:



This entry was originally posted at http://mecurtin.dreamwidth.org/1083086.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there for this post; you can reply there using your LJ, DW, or Open ID, or anonymously

This is Sunshine:



Her current caretaker says:

This is Sunshine- she is a 11 month old spayed female, HIV/Leuk Neg, has all shots and in very good health.

This is her story- I found Sunshine in the dumpster near my art studio. She was searching for food and was pregnant.

Over the weekend she gave birth in a trash compactor. Someone opened the trash compactor to find her with her hours old kittens. She bolted, and the person left the box her kittens were in on the loading dock hoping she would come back for them….and she did. She lived under a building, flea infested, garbage, dark…but at least warm and dry. And raised her 2 babies.

I fed her everyday under the loading dock and 8 weeks after she gave birth she brought the kittens up to feed. Thats when I trapped her and her family. The kittens have a great home now, but poor Sunshine is still living in 1 room of our home.

I have 3 cats and a dog- she doesnt seem to be fond of dogs but may be ok with another cat. The best home for her would be a quiet home, with someone home a lot.

She suffered living on the streets, and from the way she behaves I believe she was someones cat. She uses the litter box loyally, LOVES TO BE PETTED AND BRUSHED. But needs special attention as she gets spooked easily. She is extremely loving…
Go to Balloon Juice and contact Anne Laurie if you may be able to help. Sunshine is currently living in New York City, but transport may be arranged if you're not too far away.

Pass it on.

This entry was originally posted at http://mecurtin.dreamwidth.org/1062373.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there for this post; you can reply there using your LJ, DW, or Open ID, or anonymously

At Obsidian Wings.



liberal japonicus got there first, but I'll just add something about what I think are the political calculations involved in Obama's "coming out" in favor of marriage equality. In particular, I suspect it's a tactic designed to appeal to a subset of big donors, especially in the financial industry.

In the first place, no way were Biden's remarks a "gaffe", that was a trial balloon -- which is part of Biden's job, of course. I'm betting Obama's announcement and its timing have been planned for weeks if not months.

The-balloon-Prendergast
The Balloon, by Maurice Prendergast. The setting is said to be Central Park in New York City.

cut for length, imagesCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://mecurtin.dreamwidth.org/1047917.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there for this post; you can reply there using your LJ, DW, or Open ID, or anonymously

The non-fandom blogosphere is having Round #34890104789237557 of Why and How There's Bad Behavior on the Internets. As usual, all of the Thinkers stress the importance of (a) Real Names as a check on bad behavior, or at least (b) Consistent Pseuds. "It's the anonymity that brings out the Evil!" they all agree.

It occurs to me that at present fandom is running some extensive experiments with ongoing anonymous communities. I find them confusing (I only go when I'm linked), but I'd like to hear from those of you with experience in anon memes of various sorts. What, in your opinion, makes an anon comm successful or not? Do they need to be tightly controlled by mods? Do the mods track IPs as a rule? What happens when trolls start infesting e.g. a kinkmeme, say by making insulting replies to every.single.comment?

Does this taxonomy strike you as adequate? If I wanted to point ObiWi readers to an anonymous community so they can see how it works, which one should I choose?

SCIENCE WANTS TO KNOW.

ETA: If anyone knows of a good place to link this, let me know. metafandom appears to be defunct, or to at least have taken the summer off.

This entry was originally posted at http://mecurtin.dreamwidth.org/1015523.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there for this post; you can reply there using your LJ, DW, or Open ID, or anonymously

I am organizing a fan-fest and bake sale to raise money for dental surgery for thdancingferret's cat, Dante, who has basically been starving because he can't eat. The Fest posts on DW and on LJ are flocked, so comment here if you're not already on my list and want to be added.



UPDATE: In less than 24 hours, we've raised enough for the downpayment on Dante's surgery ($225)!! We'll continue with the fundraiser for a while, to try to cover the second half of the cost, and for prescriptions, food, etc.

This entry was originally posted at http://mecurtin.dreamwidth.org/1002296.html. There are comments there for this post; you can reply there using your LJ, DW, or Open ID, or anonymously

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In case you haven't heard, LJ has now made geolocation via IP address much, much easier. I would even call it "intrusive", because if I turn on IP logging (to have available as insurance, basically) then it tells me, legibly, where the person is writing from whether I want (need) to know that info at the moment or not. And frankly, they're using a better-than-default geolocation program -- not all the tools easily found online are as accurate at pinning down where I am as LJ seems to be.

So, I've turned off IP logging on LJ except for anons -- and most of my entries are flocked anyway. I imported all my back LJ entries & comments to DW earlier this week.

I have a dozen DW invite codes. I'm keeping two and I've put the rest on [site community profile] dw_codesharing.

Even if you feel great loyalty to the LJ community, I encourage you to get a DW account for backup, because Shit Happens.

This entry was originally posted at http://mecurtin.dreamwidth.org/1001975.html. There are comments there for this post; you can reply there using your LJ, DW, or Open ID, or anonymously

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The LJ situation is, of course, very worrying.

If you have DW invite codes to offer, I suggest putting them up at -- very rapid service.

And in the immortal words of [personal profile] killabeez, "If you love us, archive your fic".

This entry was originally posted at http://mecurtin.dreamwidth.org/235698.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there for this post; you can reply there using your LJ, DW, or Open ID, or anonymously

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