Happy Eclipse Day!

Monday, August 21st, 2017 11:35 pm
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

We didn’t make it down to see totality, but my part of Michigan got about 80% eclipse coverage today, which was still pretty sweet. My son and I went to a library presentation this morning, where I was reminded about pinhole viewing, which led to this:

Pinhole Eclipse Projection

I’d ordered a solar filter for the 100-400mm lens on the camera. We also had some eclipse glasses from Amazon from a few weeks back.

I took a little over a hundred pictures, and was able to stitch some of the best into an animation.

Solar Eclipse Animation

Those black spots are sunspots. All in all, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out!

I also stitched together a static time-lapse, and added back a bit of color the filter stripped out. (Click to enlarge this one for a much better view.)

Eclipse - Time Lapse

Didn’t get much else done today, but I’m okay with that. And maybe for the 2024, we’ll be able to make it down to see the total eclipse!

RelationShipping Pinch Hit

Monday, August 21st, 2017 10:24 am
[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by relshipmod

RelationShipping - an exchange for incest ships - is in need of a pinch-hitter!

The minimum for fic is 500 words; the minimum for art is a work at the 'nice sketch' stage. The deadline is Saturday 2 September at 23:59 UTC.

To claim, please comment to the dreamwidth post with your AO3 username. Comments are screened and you don't need a dreamwidth account.

( Pinch Hit #1: Bates Motel (2013), Bloodline (TV 2015), Better Call Saul (TV) )

RelationShipping Pinch Hit

Monday, August 21st, 2017 11:20 am
[personal profile] relationshipping_mod posting in [community profile] yuletide
RelationShipping - an exchange for incest ships - is in need of a pinch-hitter!

The minimum for fic is 500 words; the minimum for art is a work at the 'nice sketch' stage. The deadline is Saturday 2 September at 23:59 UTC.

To claim, please comment to the dreamwidth post with your AO3 username. Comments are screened and you don't need a dreamwidth account.

( Pinch Hit #1: Bates Motel (2013), Bloodline (TV 2015), Better Call Saul (TV) )

One Fic Corner Pinch Hit

Sunday, August 20th, 2017 10:18 pm
[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by hhertzof

Please claim via pm or email to fic.corner@gmail.com and include the ph number, recipient's AO3 user name and your AO3 user name. Please do not claim in the comments to preserve anonymity.

This pinch hit is due on 23 August at 11pm EDT. What time is that for me?



Pinch Hit #5
Request 1 by primeideal
Captain Underpants Series - Dav Pilkey
Any Character

Anything for this fandom! Some 21st-century hijinx with Mr. Krupp trying to engage with social media or George and Harold self-publishing their latest epic? Fourth-wall subversion as Super Diaper Baby gets banned for being tasteless? What really happens to all those cannon-fodder gym teachers?

General dnws: ambiguous endings, issue-fic, sexual content for these fandoms. (Potty humor is absolutely welcome and to be expected!)


Request 2 by primeideal
Wayside School - Louis Sachar
Allison (Wayside School), Miss Zarves (Wayside School), Dana (Wayside School), Mark Miller (Wayside School), Benjamin Nushmutt

For Allison, Miss Zarves, Benjamin, and/or Mark, I'm thinking maybe some follow-up or canon divergence from "Wayside School is Falling Down." Does Allison ever understand what she was on the cusp of figuring out at the end? Does Mark ever escape the nineteenth story, or does he want to? What about the rest of Miss Zarves' class? How does Benjamin deal with being transferred away to his new school after the cowing, and does the administration there recognize his name any better? Anything playing off of this subplot would be great.

For Dana, we know based on "Falling Down" that she "hates stories" because of the way they make her feel sad, but Mrs. Jewls tells her that means she really loves them. I'd love to see her a few years down the line as a fanfiction writer, discovering fix-it fic and putting her own twist on classic downers. Feel free to go as meta as you want. If this prompt doesn't appeal to you, I'd be happy to see anything else related to Dana and John or the others on the 30th floor. General dnws: ambiguous endings, issue-fic, sexual content for these fandoms. (General weirdness is fine.)


Request 3 by primeideal
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
Any Character

Anything for this fandom! I'd prefer something set in the Tollbooth world, or some other equally-fantastic setting of your imagination, but really anything goes. Nerdy worldbuilding? Platonic solid poetry? Musical digressions (a la the movie-verse, if you're familiar with that?) Short Shrift's struggles to impose justice? Making the impossible look easy?

General dnws: ambiguous endings, issue-fic, sexual content for these fandoms.

Rare Pair Fest Pinch Hits

Sunday, August 20th, 2017 09:52 pm
[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by rarepair_mod

Hello, we're in need of pinch hitters for the following requests. If anyone can pick one up, please let us know. Thanks!

These are due on 8/25 at 7:59 pm EDT. (Countdown)

1 (Bloodborne (Video Game), Dark Souls III, Fullmetal Alchemist (Anime 2003), When Women Were Warriors) https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rare-pair-pinch-hits/QwYMyHvOT9A

35 (Football RPF, Sense8 (TV), xXx (Movies), World of Warcraft) https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rare-pair-pinch-hits/4mdmhMlbH8w

40 (Shades of Magic - V. E. Schwab, The Shadow Campaigns - Django Wexler, Wolf 359 (Radio), Murder Most Unladylike Series - Robin Stevens) https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rare-pair-pinch-hits/ANZC17nXI_g

Free Speech and Nazis

Friday, August 18th, 2017 12:42 am
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

Like many of us, I’ve been struggling to process what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend, and what’s been happening in this country for a while now. The racism and hatred and violence didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It’s been building up for a long time…in fact, much of it has always been there. It’s just boiling over into the open right now, making it harder (but obviously not impossible) to look away and pretend it’s not happening.

Part of the argument I’ve seen centers around free speech and the First Amendment. Free speech is a right, an important one, and rights apply to everyone. Even people you dislike and disagree with.

But freedom of speech in this country is not and has never been limitless. From the U.S. Federal Courts, here are a few examples of actions not legally protected by freedom of speech:

  • Students making an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
  • Making/distributing obscene materials.
  • Inciting actions that would harm others (e.g., Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.)

Now, here are some of the “alt-right” protesters who gathered in Charlottesville.

Nazi flag Nazi armband  Nazi salutes Hitler quote on shirt Nazi salute

These people here? The ones wearing swastikas, waving Nazi flags, marching in T-shirts with Adolf Hitler quotes, and throwing Nazi salutes?

This isn’t protest. This is a threat.

The message here is not, “I don’t want you to take down a statue.” It’s “I believe in ethnic cleansing, in the murder of millions of Jews, Romani, and other non-white people. I believe people with disabilities should be forcibly sterilized or put to death. I believe non-heterosexuals should be imprisoned and killed.”

These people are pledging allegiance to a movement of mass murder. We know what the Nazis stood for. We know what they did. When people stand up in 2017 and proclaim themselves Nazis, we know what they’re saying. We know what they’re promising.

I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t believe freedom of speech protects the incitement of violence. I don’t believe it protects threats of genocide.

Maybe you don’t personally feel threatened by this. In many ways, neither do I. I’m a straight white man, unlikely to be a primary target of these hateful people.

Now imagine you’re Jewish. Imagine you’re black. Imagine you’re gay. Imagine you’re Romani. Imagine your ancestors were among the millions of people murdered by Nazis. Now look at those photos and tell me you’re not looking at a very real threat.

“But not all of the ‘Unite the Right’ marchers were openly wearing Nazi symbols!”

You’re right, and if you’ll read a little more carefully, you’ll see I never claimed otherwise. But they marched alongside Nazis. They chanted “Jews will not replace us!” alongside Nazis. They stood side-by-side with Nazis.

“Isn’t it so convenient for you to exclude speech you don’t like from the free speech umbrella? Free speech is an absolute right, and the true test is whether we’ll stand up for speech we disagree with!”

As established earlier, legally speaking, free speech is not an absolute right. Ethically–well, do you believe people have the absolute right to harass others? To threaten? To leak private information? To incite violence and murder? I don’t. Which means ethically, free speech isn’t an absolute right either.

I struggled with this. But in the end, I look at the photos and videos from Charlottesville, and I see deliberate intimidation. I see the threat and promise of violence. I see people proclaiming their loyalty to an enemy our country went to war against.

I see no reason to tolerate or accept that enemy.

Nor do I have any respect for those who knowingly collaborate with them.

Even the Joker hates Nazis

Sunspots

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 09:05 pm
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

I was testing the solar filter for the camera, in preparation for Monday’s eclipse. We won’t be seeing the total eclipse, but I’m hoping to get some good shots of the partial.

As I was processing the results, I realized I’d captured sunspots!  (Those dark spots in the upper left.)

Sun with sunspots

Click to embiggen.

For those who wonder about such things, this was taken on the 100-400mm lens, fully zoomed to 400mm. ISO 640, f/10, with a 1/3200 shutter speed. I had to set everything manually, because the camera overexposed the shot if left to its own devices.

I think next time I’ll try to reduce the ISO down to about 100 and see if that gets rid of the minor graininess.

Processing involved cropping the shot, noise reduction, and an orange overlay.

Magic ex Libris: The Next Chapter

Monday, August 14th, 2017 01:30 pm
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

Some of you might remember me talking about a 15,000-word novelette I was working on between wrapping up Terminal Alliance and starting on Terminal Uprising.

That novelette is called “Imprinted,” and it’s the next Magic ex Libris story.

It’s about Jeneta Aboderin, and it’s set roughly eight months after the events of Revisionary.

I haven’t set a publication date yet. There’s a bit of work left to get everything ready, and with Terminal Alliance coming out in November, I’m guessing it will be available in January or February.

I also haven’t set a price. $2.99 would be ideal, because that’s where ebook royalty rates jump from 35% to 70%. What do you think? Does $2.99 seem fair for a 15,000-word story, or should I bump it down to $1.99 and take the royalties hit?

Finally, as long as you’re here, what do you think of the not-quite-finalized cover?

Imprinted Cover: Draft

Lingering Pinch Hits For GenEx

Sunday, August 13th, 2017 10:55 pm
genexmod: (Default)
[personal profile] genexmod posting in [community profile] yuletide

There are two lingering pinch hits for GenEx:

Pinch Hit 1 - Alias (TV), Jason Bourne (2016), Dark Angel, The Vampire Diaries (TV), Wolverine (Movies)
Letter URL: http://slippery-fish.dreamwidth.org/2269981.html

Pinch Hit 4 - Law & Order: SVU, Homicide: Life on the Streets, Crossover Fandom, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order, Chicago Justice (TV)
Letter URL: http://sidewinder.dreamwidth.org/1642094.html

If you are willing to claim either of these pinch hits, please either comment on this Dreamwidth post or email me at genexmoderator@gmail.com with your AO3 name and the number of the pinch hit you wish to claim. Pinch hits are due on the 5th of September.

Even if you can’t claim a pinch hit, I’d be much obliged if you could reblog this Tumblr post to spread the word about the lingering pinch hits.

AO3 Collection | Tag Set
Tumblr | LiveJournal RSS Feed
Requests summary | Signup summary | Letters post
Schedule | Rules and FAQ
 

Dragon Awards Refuse to Let Authors Withdraw

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 02:56 pm
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

ETA: Dragon Con has reconsidered.

“[O]ver the last couple of days, we got an earful from our fans and others. The issue also caused a second author to ask us to remove her book from the ballot as well. We’ve reconsidered and changed our mind.”

ETA2: John Scalzi has also reconsidered, and will now remain on the ballot.

###

The Dragon Awards were created last year to recognize the best SF/F books, comics, games, TV, and films of the year. Nomination and voting are open to anyone and everyone, and the awards are presented at Dragon Con.

The ballot this year appears to be a mix of genuinely popular work and works where individual authors or groups campaigned hard to get nominated. File 770 published an analysis looking at Goodreads, Library Thing, and Amazon review numbers of the different nominees. I trust folks can draw their own conclusions.

On August 4, finalist Alison Littlewood posted that she was withdrawing her book from consideration. She notes:

“While this would normally be a great pleasure, it has also been brought to my notice that my book has been selected by a voting bloc who are attempting, for reasons of their own, to influence the awards outcome. Essentially, the same group who set out to fix the Hugo Awards are now encouraging their supporters to follow their voting choices in the Dragon Awards.”

Two days ago, finalist John Scalzi also withdrew his book from the award, saying in part:

“The reason is simple: Some other finalists are trying to use the book and me as a prop, to advance a manufactured ‘us vs. them’ vote-pumping narrative based on ideology or whatever. And I just… can’t. I don’t have the interest and I’m on a deadline, and this bullshit is even more stale and stupid now than it was the several other times it was attempted recently, with regard to genre awards.”

Rather, Littlewood and Scalzi tried to withdraw from the award. But according to a follow-up post from Littlewood, Pat Henry of the Dragon Awards is “declining” these requests. Both Scalzi and Littlewood’s books still appear on the ballot.

Henry’s statement, as posted on Littlewood’s blog, claims:

“We are aware of the rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting and we go through a number of steps to avoid ballot stuffing or other vote rigging behaviors.  While we didn’t start the Dragon Awards to foil these two groups, we believe that as we add voters, they will become irrelevant in the our awards.”

Note the false equivalence of rabid puppies, a self-proclaimed group created by Theodore Beale, with “justice warriors,” generally used as an insult against people speaking up for greater representation and inclusion. The rabid puppy slate was posted on Beale’s blog back in June. I’m curious where the equivalent “justice warrior” slate supposedly appeared…

Henry might be right that, when and if the awards add enough voters, slates might become irrelevant. Or they might not. But in either case, that hypothetical future doesn’t change the fact that right now, the awards are a mess, some of the campaigning is ugly, nasty, and hateful, and some authors don’t want to be dragged into that cesspool.

I hope Pat Henry and Dragon Con will reconsider their decision.

 

August 2017

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