kevin_standlee: (Conrunner Kevin)
The trip down to the Bay Area was more than just mysterious clunking sounds and a loose steering stabilizer.

Snow Report from Donner )

It was below freezing, and the Boreal ski area was merrily making more snow. I'm happy to see natural snow on the ground accumulating up here, and I hope there's lots more to come — just not while I'm here.

After dealing with removing the steering stabilizer from the RV, I decided to risk heading up into the Oakland hills for the Locus party. Parking up there is dicey in a small car, let alone the 19-foot-long, 13-foot-high Rolling Stone. Somehow, I managed to find a spot into which I could squeeze, and for a wonder it was even roughly flat, which is a rarity in Them Thar Hills.

Smile for the Camera! )

I didn't stay too late at the party. Besides the stress of the RV work today, I have to be up at 5 AM as is my usual pattern when working down here. Lisa called while I was heading to my laying-up point. I'd forgotten to remind her this morning that I was going to the Locus party, and she'd forgotten I was going, and thus was very worried that she'd not heard from me. At the first opportunity, I called her, reassured her, and filled her in about the stabilizer. Despite my trying to break it to her gently ("I'm fine, nothing's wrong, we can fix everything!") she was horrified when I broke the news to her, but as I said in my previous LJ entry, this is not a critical failure, just an annoyance that can be fixed.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Trophy)
[Backdated entry because it was much too late when I got back and my computer was long out of power.]

When I got back to the hotel after Girl Genius Radio Theatre, Lisa asked if I would mind if she took the rest of the day off. I assured her that she was off the hook, we had no more stuff for her to do, and she should get some rest. I composed a wrap-up entry for the Newsletter, changed into my suit, packed up my computer again, and headed back to the ExCel.

Low on Power )

Over at the ExCel, I met up with Cheryl Morgan, who had just had her dinner, and after she changed into a very nice dress, we headed off to main hall, where there was no problem in going through a side door due to our semi-press-pass-like condition as the hosts of TheHugoAwards.org's live coverage of the ceremony.

On With the Show )

Within a minute of Ancillary Justice being announced for Best Novel, I had the award results posted as a new main page post on THA.org. (Yes, I did have an embargoed copy of the results given to me shortly before the ceremony. I'm glad it wasn't too far in advance. I don't want to let thing slip by mistake.) In a sense, I was a little too fast: the link to the detailed reports wasn't working right away, although it started working about fifteen minutes later as Loncon got the document uploaded to their web site. I wish I could have put a copy of the PDF on the Hugo site, because then I would have redone the link on THA.org to our local copy to spread the load between multiple servers, but there was something preventing me from doing the upload to THA.org. (I did do so later.)

We wound up the broadcast and before the tech crew could impress us into service helping to strike the set, we got out of the hall. Many of the nominees and winners were off to the by-invitation post-Hugo Party, but not all of them.

The Lovely Mary Robinette Kowal )

Doctors in the House )

A really good evening )

I was really happy with how this year's Hugo Awards Night went. The tech worked, everyone who wanted to see the ceremony could do so (the auditorium did not quite fill up), and it was just really what I think we'd been wanting to have happen for years: a good show and a lot of happy people afterwards.

Lock 'Er Up

Jun. 5th, 2014 06:29 pm
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
Having concluded that we would not be able to fit everything from the Yuba City storage locker into our garage and still be able to park at least one of our vehicles (the Small Orange Pickup) in it, we needed a storage locker. There was one place within easy walking distance (just beyond the post office), but all of their lockers were either too small or too big, and it cost more than the one we're clearing out in Yuba City. To our astonishment, the storage places on the outskirts of town along US-50A are even more expensive. There is one place not too far from us — we could walk if we had to do so — that had an 8 x 8 locker at a not-unreasonable price. This afternoon, after going over to the City Hall to vote early for the primary election, we went and had a look. Lisa had her tape measure and pronounced her satisfaction with the unit, so we put down the money and rented it today, even though it may be a few days before we can actually move anything.

Lisa plans to install some free-standing shelves that are currently in the garage in the locker. (You of course can't attach things to the walls in a storage locker.) This will allow her to upgrade the shelves in the garage to some heavier-duty shelving that she can attach to the walls, it being our own garage and all that (one of the nice things about owning instead of renting). We'll then be able to move as much of the boxes we want to store (mostly Cheryl's books, actually; it's cheaper for her to pay me to store her stuff than to ship it and find a place in the UK) into the locker, and that will free up enough room to get the last of the boxes from Yuba City and close out that locker.

Of course, now that we've taken the plunge on a locker in Fernley, it's increasingly urgent to close out Yuba City so that we won't pay double rent. Unfortunately, a very busy travel season looms ahead in July-August, but we'll mange somehow.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Trophy)
[I've been listening to a lot of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar episodes while driving to and from the Bay Area, and the episode titles are all in the form of "The ___ Matter."]

Cheryl Morgan writes more eloquently than I can about the brief tenure of Jonathan Ross as Loncon 3's Hugo Awards host.

How the 2002 Worldcon Handled Selection of Headliners )

Having had to deal with horrible PR blunders with the 2002 Worldcon makes me sympathetic and less willing to criticize other Worldcons' mistakes. (And Twitter hadn't even been invented yet!) Go read Cheryl. I share her frustration, although I'm not yet so annoyed as to walk away from everything just yet.
kevin_standlee: (Applause)
The 2013 SF & F Translation Awards (for works published in 2012) were announced this weekend at Liburnicon 2013 in Opatija, Croatia.

The Long Form winner was Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City by Kai-cheung Dung, translated from the Chinese by Anders Hansson, Bonnie S. McDougall, and the author (Columbia University Press)

The Short Form winner was "Augusta Prima" by Karin Tidbeck translated from the Swedish by the author (Jagannath: Stories, Cheeky Frawg).

See the announcement on the SFFT Awards site for the honorable mentions and additional details. Cheryl announced the awards at the Croatian convention. Both the winners and the translators receive a plaque and a cash prize of $350 each.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
As announced on the Hugo Awards web site and the LoneStarCon 3 web site, the 2013 Hugo Awards Ceremony will be streamed live (and advertising-free) on Ustream, and TheHugoAwards.org will be doing live text-based coverage using CoverItLive as we have done the past several years.

LoneStarCon 3 has been working with Ustream to prevent a repetition of the unfortunate situation last year when one of Ustream's 'bots determined that the clips of Hugo Award nominated dramatic presentations were copyright violations and shut down the live feed. That was in no small part because we were using Ustream's free and ad-supported services, which are more prone to such takedowns. Ustream and LSC3 are working together to make sure that doesn't happen this year.

The Ustream and CIL feeds are not synched in any way. CoverItLive is relatively low bandwidth. If your connection isn't fast enough to handle the streaming video, you can watch us describing the action as it happens in San Antonio. Based on our past experience, the CIL feed can get several minutes ahead of the video, similar to how the radio and television coverage of the same sporting event are rarely in synch with each other. Indeed, the CIL coverage is analogous to the radio coverage of a sporting event, while Ustream is the television coverage.

I've had people say, "if you have live video, then why bother with the CIL stuff?" Well, returning to the sports analogy, the fact that it's possible to watch a baseball game on television didn't kill the need for radio broadcasts of the same event. Also, because Ustream is high-bandwidth and is a resource hog, lots of people just can't use it. Also, the CIL coverage allows moderated discussion of the events as they come in.

Speaking of moderators, while Mur Lafferty and I will be "calling the action" from the auditorium in San Antonio, our Studio Coordinator and the third member of our coverage team is Cheryl Morgan, who will be up in the wee hours of the morning in Wiltshire moderating the coverage and contributing her own thoughts to the event as it happens. Cheryl is the person who effectively created the CIL-casts in the first place, when she recruited Mur and me to cover the 2010 Hugo Awards for SF AwardsWatch.

I hope that if you can't make it to San Antonio to see the Hugo Awards ceremony that you'll watch it live on video or join Cheryl, Mur, and me for the call of the action from the Grand Ballroom as WSFS presents its highest honors.
kevin_standlee: (Cheryl 2)
I am quite relieved to hear that Cheryl Morgan has made it to Toronto safely, not having been denied boarding to her Heathrow-Toronto flight nor refused entry to Canada for a business trip. At least for now, the fact that a foolish confusion between two US agencies (neither of which will acknowledge the error or make the slightest move toward correcting it) resulted in Cheryl being denied entry to the USA has not also led to her being banned from Canada.

In case you hadn't heard, the USA strong-arms our neighbors and trading partners in a way that we wouldn't take ourselves )

I used to consider the USA the "good guys." Not any more. My own country disappoints me in its ongoing insistence — regardless of who is the elected leader — that there is one set of rules for the USA and another for everyone else. And they wonder why we're hated and distrusted by so many people?
kevin_standlee: (Beware of Trains)
If it hadn't been for Cheryl tipping me off to it, I would not have known about today's Google Doodle (link will only show the doodle in question today; otherwise it will be the main page) [Permalink added] on google.co.uk celebrating Frank Hornby's 150th birthday.
kevin_standlee: (Cheryl 2)
Cheryl Morgan is in Finland right now, and is offering to search out answers to any questions you might have about the place in regarding their Worldcon bid. As the ballot for the 2015 Worldcon (including the Helsinki bid) was recently released, now is a good time for sending Cheryl questions before you make up your mind for whom to cast your Worldcon site selection ballot this year.
kevin_standlee: (Cheryl 2)
Last weekend, I was emergency holographic back-up sound tech for the Small Blue Planet podcast hosted by Cheryl Morgan. Cheryl's guests were Mélanie Fazi and Lionel Davoust discussing French science fiction and fantasy and many other interesting related topics. Cheryl has her description of the show on her site as well.

I didn't actually participate, as my job was to record the Skype conference call by which the four of us were able to "meet" for the interview. I did chat a little bit with them after the show, including telling them the story that [livejournal.com profile] debgeisler told me about a Boston Worldcon flyer translated into French by one of her Parisian colleagues and the reaction from Canada's Boréal Francophone SF convention, which amused them. (I'll leave to Deb to decide if she wants to retell it in public.)

It's an interesting hour-plus interview, and I hope folks will head over to the Locus Roundtable site and download and listen to the show.
kevin_standlee: (Cheryl)
Either someone reading Cheryl's website had an utter sense of humor failure and is unaware of something called "parody" (which seems plausible given how humorless so many SF fans are), or else Mike Resnick is trolling us with a completely deadpan serious reaction, in which case we've fallen for it completely.

Note: If you go read that link, read the linked articles and the past week or so of other posts on the site and the links from that to get something known as "context."
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
Something that happened this past week with little fanfare (and that was intentional) was that The Hugo Awards web site migrated from our old hosting service (which was being phased out) to a new one, and once we were sure that was working, Cheryl also took the opportunity to upgrade the site to the newer version of WordPress and update the site theme. This is something that we've been meaning to do for some time (and we had a hard deadline of the end of the year from the old host), but there were countless delays behind the scenes into which I see no reason to digress. But thank goodness WSFS reversed the decision of the WSFS Mark Protection Committee, allowing Cheryl to be reappointed to the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee earlier this year, and further thanks to Cheryl for being willing to come back after the way she was treated by a past administration. Also thanks to [livejournal.com profile] debgeisler, who manages the domain registrations on behalf of WSFS for that site, for taking time out during one of the hectic times in the academic calendar to help us out.

In any event, this part of the year is probably the best time to do migrations and changes to the Hugo Awards site, as the traffic on the site is quite low (except for spambots). In a few weeks, when this 2013 Hugo Awards ballot is released, I expect traffic will heat up again, and I'm glad we have the new version of the site in place before then.
kevin_standlee: (Cheryl 2)
Turning to one of my other corporate hats, this year's Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards were announced earlier today at Finncon in Tampere, Finland. Cheryl Morgan (one of the Awards' board members, as I am) was there along with Awards jury member Irma Hirsjärvi. (Neither Cheryl nor I are involved in the actual selection of the award winners; we deal with the administration stuff that keeps the awards running. I, for instance, am the secretary/treasurer of the Awards' non-profit corporation. That means that in a few days I'll be cutting checks to the winners as part of the awards.)

Because of her involvement with Finncon, where she is very busy, Cheryl wasn't able to sit in on the conference call for SFSFC's board of directors today. Nobody faults her for that. Indeed, many of us wish we were there with her, as Finncon sounds like tremendously good fun, although there is at least one SFSFC board member (who shall remain unnamed) who was unaware of just how huge Finncon is. Ah, if we could only somehow secure that kind of state funding for a Worldcon!
kevin_standlee: (Kreegah Bundalo)
I had intended to get a lot more done today than I actually accomplished. I did get a couple of boxes of old clothes — serviceable, but I'm gained too much weight to fit into the two old suits, for instance — down to Goodwill, and for the first time I'm properly tracking such donations. (Donations of goods have to be tracked differently than cash donations. I got a receipt and recorded the donations using It's Deductible. I might possibly be able to use the tax deductions next year, I can't wear them anymore, and it's that much less stuff I have to move when the lease here ends. Some of the shirts I donated were convention T-shirts. I wonder what Goodwill will make of them.

And speaking of charities, I got by the bank and deposited a donation to the SF & F Translation Awards that came by way of the Bank of Morgan-Standlee rather than through PayPal. That, as well as a tiny bit of grocery shopping and getting the van refueled, was the extent of my day. I got very sleepy about 4 PM, fell into bed, and slept for five hours. I expect to fall back into bed pretty soon now, too.
kevin_standlee: (Cheryl 2)
I'm not "going dark" today to protest the "Break the Internet" SOPA/PIPA bils in Congress. However, rather than writing about it myself, I'm going to refer you to what Cheryl Morgan wrote about it, because, as usual, she said it better than I could.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Trophy)
To our bemusement, several people approached us after we announced that we were seeking someone to take over SF AwardsWatch with the assumption that we were trying to sell it and that they were apparently trying to determine what our revenue stream was and how much traffic we were getting. I say bemusement because SFAW was never set up to make money, doesn't earn anything, doesn't get a huge amount of traffic (except around the time of certain major award announcements), and has been basically a labor of love funded by Cheryl and supported mostly by her work with assistance from me and Petrea Michell. We aren't selling the site; we are trying to give it away to anyone who will maintain it and keep it going. Cheryl has updated the announcement post to reflect this.

We have received a number of proposals, some of which are quite good, and we're working on something that we hope will keep SFAW going, as we think it's a valuable service to the community but not one that we can afford to keep running ourselves.
kevin_standlee: (ConOps)
As some of you may have noticed, SF AwardsWatch is looking for a new owner. This is an offer for someone to take charge of the web site, lock, stock, and barrel. The site makes no money, so you'd be doing it as a hobby expense (domain and hosting costs, plus your time to keep it updated).

I'm willing to stick around doing what I consider the janitorial work (clearing comments and tossing spam) if a new owner wants me to do so. That assumes any new owner keeps it on the WordPress platform it's currently using.

The costs of owning SFAW aren't very high, and I hope someone does come forward willing to take it off of Cheryl's hands, as I'll be sorry to see it go offline. I think it provided a valuable service by trying to accumulate information about SF/F genre awards and report on as many things as we could. We did, for instance, provide live text-based coverage of the Hugo Awards a couple of years ago, breaking ground for coverage that I suspect will be consider Standard Operating Procedure by next year.

Sad

Sep. 1st, 2011 08:50 am
kevin_standlee: (Default)
Cheryl's withdrawal from many of her current projects saddens me, although it doesn't surprise me.

If there is anyone out there who wants to continue to insinuate that the Hugo Awards are somehow "corrupt," and who has any better evidence than "I didn't win" or "The things I wanted to win didn't," I want them to actually come forward and produce it.

I've said this before and I'll keep saying it: The failure of works/people to win the Hugo Award that you want to win is not a failure of process. Why is it so difficult for people to get it through their heads that not everyone thinks exactly the same way they do? Is it so important to you to consider yourself The Standard Person?
kevin_standlee: (Cheryl 2)
People periodically ask me what they can do to help Cheryl out of her situation with the bureaucratic finger-pointing of the US government* so that she might actually be allowed to visit the USA again someday. I say that it appears the best thing y'all can do is help make sure her SF/F-related business venture succeeds. (This is so that she can apply for a US visa in the way that the bureaucracy actually understands.) Of course, I think the venture is worthy in its own right, but I would, wouldn't I?

She's written today about some of the economics of the situation, including a query about how many people might be willing to sign up for an automatic subscription payment to Salon Futura. If slightly under $3/month or thereabouts sounds reasonable, I suggest you go comment and encourage this, and be prepared to sign up for such a subscription.


*Yes, the situation sounds absurd, particularly to Americans who have never been caught in the wheels of the hostile US system. But it's very real, no matter how ridiculous it seems when you lay out the facts about two US government agencies each claiming that it's the other agency's fault and that they can't do anything about it. She's been assured by independent legal advice that, as things currently stand, it would be absurdly expensive in legal fees to even try sorting things out right now, with no assurance at all of success. And given that the US Congress is highly unlikely to make the Byzantine US immigration system less hostile anytime soon, I wouldn't count on things getting better. Some of the worst elements are invisible to white, English-speaking, native-born Americans, that's all. And Americans should not be so surprised that even our country's theoretical friends think we're a bunch of nativist lunatics.
kevin_standlee: (Cheryl)
I am still too wrung out from trying to recover from food poisoning at OryCon to write that much, but briefly let me refer you over to Cheryl's web site where she talks about Dark Spires, the first book for sale from Wizards Tower Press.

Besides the fact that it should be an enjoyable read, people who wondered what they might be able to do for Cheryl after hearing the screwed-up way the US government treated her when she tried to visit the USA should know that buying stuff from WTP (including Salon Futura) is right now one of the best things you can do for her.

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