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Evan "Skwid" Langlinais
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Evan "Skwid" Langlinais

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Hear, hear. Much truth is spoken below!
(via +Jasper Janssen)
The Wheel of Time, as a whole, has been nominated for a Hugo Award for best novel. I am thrilled, honored, and excited—and when Harriet heard the news, she lit up as I’ve never seen her do before. Thank you.

Congratulations to all of the other nominees! I have a few things I’d like to say about this nomination. First, I’d like to speak to Wheel of Time fans themselves. Secondly, I’d like to speak to those who are criticizing the nomination.

To The Wheel of Time Fans

Thank you for your enthusiasm. I’m certain that Robert Jordan is smiling at you right now. However, I do want to reiterate what I said earlier when I got wind that the WoT fandom was considering a campaign to get the Wheel of Time nominated: be careful. Please don’t let the Hugo Awards become a shoving match between fandoms.

“But Brandon,” you might say, “everyone says the Hugo Awards are a popularity contest. Shouldn’t we prove how popular Robert Jordan is?”

Well, yes and no. The Hugo Awards are a popularity contest—but they should be a fiction popularity contest, not an author popularity contest. The Hugo Awards were founded in the 1950s by dedicated sf/f fans who saw mainstream literary awards ignoring science fiction and fantasy. This award was founded to combat that, to show off the brightest and best fiction the genres had to offer. It was done in an era long before the internet, and Worldcon attendees were chosen to be the voters because of their dedication to the genre as a whole.

When I first started voting for the Hugos many years ago, a long-time fan impressed upon me the importance of my responsibility. Each work must be judged independently of its author, and must be judged against the competition in its category. We, as fans, use this award to proclaim to the world the fiction we are proudest of.

I love the Hugo Awards. They tend to run a great balance, consistently recognizing fiction that is both popular and thought-provoking. They have a grand tradition, and are one of the things that make me proud to be a member of science fiction fandom.

We want you to vote. We want you to be part of the process. But let me speak frankly to you: if you don’t intend to read and investigate the other nominees and participate in a wide variety of categories, you are doing the awards a disservice. I would rather have the Wheel of Time not win than have it be given an award as part of a thoughtless shoving match.

In this, I wish to hold up George R. R. Martin as an exemplar. He wants dearly to someday win a Hugo for best novel, a distinction that has eluded him. I’ve heard him speak about it. The thing is, he could win the award in a heartbeat; he has by far the biggest fanbase in our community. If he asked them each to pay for a Worldcon supporting membership and vote only for him, he’d win by a landslide.

He’s never done that because he knows that this award has only as much integrity as we give it. So long as you are willing to vote superior works by other authors above works by your favorite authors, you are doing the award justice.

Now, I firmly believe that the Wheel of Time is worthy of a Hugo Award. Don’t let my strong words suggest otherwise to you. But I can’t say for certain what I will vote for until I read the other nominated works, consider the category with an open mind, and make my decision. I also intend to continue being part of these awards for many, many years, rather than joining only once to vote on a single contest.

I sincerely request you do the same. Join with us, participate, and investigate all of the nominees in all of the categories. Then vote for the works you think are the best of the nominations. It is only by holding ourselves accountable as honest and responsible voters that we will maintain the prestige of this award.

To Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom as a Whole

I have spent some time reading responses to the Hugo nominations, and wanted to reach out to you. I find it unfortunate that some of you, including prominent voices in fandom, are responding with anger or frustration about the Wheel of Time nomination. Some don’t like a series being nominated for the novel Hugo. Some don’t like WoT fandom reaching in and participating in the award. And others downright dislike the Wheel of Time as a work of art.

I would like to address some of these concerns that I see recurring in the discussions.

On the Wheel of Time Being Nominated as a Single Novel

On the first point, I wish to emphasize that the Hugo rules were intentionally designed to allow works like this to be nominated. Serials are such a part of our collective culture in sf fandom, and I promise you that the Wheel of Time is indeed a serial. It focuses on a single group of characters, a single plot and narrative, and the books each pick up exactly where the previous one left off. Yes, it took a long time to complete. Yes, it is large. However, Robert Jordan always considered—and spoke of—the Wheel of Time as a single story. The length of time it took to write that story is irrelevant as far as the Hugos are concerned.

A Game of Thrones season could be nominated collectively as a single entry into the dramatic presentation category. Connie Willis’s Blackout/All Clear could be nominated as a single work, though broken into two volumes. Indeed, this is similar to how Dragonflight and Ender’s Game could both garner short fiction nominations for their original forms, then be nominated for best novel in a later year once the story was expanded.

The Wheel of Time is eligible. These are your awards, however, and if this aspect of them is bothersome to you it’s quite possible to get this changed by participating in Worldcon and the Hugo Awards as a whole, making your voice known and advocating a revision. Your passion, therefore, should be directed at making that happen, rather than against the work that was nominated.

Attend Worldcon. Go to the WSFS Business Meeting. Blog about it. Bring your friends. We need people involved at this level of fandom.

On Wheel of Time Fandom

This brings us to the second two points, which I feel are the more important ones in most of these discussions. In regard to Wheel of Time fans participating, I want to tell wider fandom that I vouch for these fans. I offered words of caution to them above because I think they need reminders as they are new to core sf/f fandom, but I feel that you need to know that Wheel of Time fans are our people.

They have organized much as the fans back in the 1930s did, holding conventions and starting fanzines/websites. They attend Worldcons and their local literary conventions, though many of them have only started doing so in the last four or five years as they’ve realized the richness and scope of established fandom.

I charge you: do not reject their enthusiasm. I spoke honestly with them, and I wish to speak honestly with you. I have yet to attend a Worldcon where someone—either on panels or at the parties—didn’t ask what could be done to bring new blood into our fannish community. For years, we have worried about what to do. Now, as fandoms like that dedicated to the Wheel of Time have begun to discover both Worldcon and the Hugos, I feel we stand at an important confluence.

Welcome the Wheel of Time fans into our community. Welcome the next group of fans in too. Give whatever it is they’re passionate about a try. You might like it, and if not, you’ll still probably like them.

On the Wheel of Time as Literature

I understand that you may not personally enjoy the Wheel of Time. There is nothing wrong with that—it is the nature of art that some will disdain what others love. However, as I’ve read bloggers and fannish personalities speaking of a Wheel of Time nomination, some have unfortunately called it “shameful” or “embarrassing.” Worse, some of them have attacked the fanbase, calling into question its intelligence for daring to nominate the Wheel of Time—in essence, for daring to have different taste from the blogger posting.

You can’t beg people to come and participate in fandom, then tell them not to vote on your awards because you don’t like their preference in books. Indeed, attacking the fans of a work rather than criticizing the work itself is crossing a very big, and important, line.

For many years, we in fandom have had to suffer these kinds of dismissive, hurtful, and destructive attitudes from those who attack us because we like science fiction. Do not side with the bullies. Do not hold your own opinion in such high regard that you dismiss all others.

It is not shameful to like the Wheel of Time. No more than it should be shameful to be the kid who read Dune in middle school while others snickered. We should never have to feel embarrassed for honestly expressing our taste in fiction. No more than we should have to feel embarrassed to be the one at work who attends an sf con, much to the amusement of your co-workers.

If you have said these kinds of things about the Wheel of Time or its fandom in the past few days, I challenge you to take a long, hard look at your tone and what you’re implying. Ask yourself if you really want to belong to a world where only one kind of opinion is valid, where only your taste is acceptable.

Because in my experience, these are the sorts of attitudes that science fiction and fantasy fiction have spent their history combatting. So if you don’t think The Wheel of Time should win, vote for something else. But while you’re doing it, be kind. Treat these fans the way you want to be treated as a fan—and as a human being.

Brandon Sanderson
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OMG! I love this! I don't know if I $23 for a single silly gag love it, but I love it a lot all the same!
1-sided dice.
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Chuck Norris has a 1-sided die and he always rolls a natural 20.
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Evan "Skwid" Langlinais

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This is where we are, y'all.
An iPhone photo of tonight's sunset of Mount Hood, Oregon
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+Kyro Conner 0!
I'm as shocked as you, believe me...
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Tune into Late Night With Seth Meyers tonight for another Kongos show!

In the process of building a unique late night identity, NBC's new "Late Night with Seth Meyers" is reportedly limiting the number of musical acts it featu
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you had me at seth meyers
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Uh... AMOLED display is clearly a superior tech that is mostly manufactured by Samsung. I've been supporting OLED screens on my devices since 2006. #crossesarms #oledhipster #mygalaxyactiveisawesome

HTC leeches off of Samsung's awesome and buys screens from them.
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Have him in circles
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Evan "Skwid" Langlinais

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I understandably wanted to make sure this product is real (it looks weird!) and I could not find anything saying it wasn’t. The customer reviews seemed to also be legit. I guess it makes sense, though. I know a lot of dudes with goatees and I know the…
I understandably wanted to make sure this product is real (it looks weird!) and I could not find anything saying it wasn't. The customer reviews seemed to also be legit. I guess it makes sense, tho...
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I've thought about how to do this for a while for various beard levels, but the concept is just not interesting enough to mean I stop wondering after I'm done shaving.
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Now, the recording part is disabled (probably for legal reasons), but this still seems like a good thing to spread far and wide.

Here's the Play link:

And here's the iTunes link:

(via +Kate Savage)
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Evan "Skwid" Langlinais

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None of the want...

I do not like this particular thing.
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Well they shouldn't offer us suggestions for more to add to circles until they let us have more than 5k in our circles. Mine are full already!
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Dawww! Cute little guy!
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Just looking at all that pollen makes me want to sneeze.  
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Computer Geek
The Humblest Mollusk on the Net
I often post to content-driven circles, so let me know if you want to be added to any of the following:
  • Fandom (Genre fiction in all forms and the people who love it)
  • Grue-Food (Video Games)
  • Dungeoneering (Tabletop Gaming)
  • iPhoneys (iPhone and iOS-related news)
  • Electric Sheeple (Android OS and phones)
  • Burners (Burn events and Burner culture)
Feel free to introduce yourself, and let me know how you came to add me!
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Vaguely knowledgeable on enough topics to be referred to as "Skwidipedia."
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Evan "Skwid" Langlinais's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.

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We stopped in on a windy winter day and had some top-quality split-pea soup and clam chowder, then moved on to delicious fish tacos and a giant halibut sandwich. Really a great meal, with a lovely view.
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
Went for the lunch buffet and we were the first ones there on a Thursday. The Veggie options were really excellent, so if you're looking for a vegetarian lunch option this is probably a great choice. Some of the meats options were either dry and tough or just stale, and the curries were a bit runnier than most I've had previously, but everything was well spiced. I suspect if I came in for dinner and ordered a la carte everything would be fresh and delicious. Checking out was a bit confusing, as the register is not visible from the buffet seating area, but that's the only issue I had with the restaraunt service/decor wise. Really a nice dining area with pleasant unobtrusive decorations. Traditional Indian music played softly in the background; no modern Bollywood hits, here.
• • •
Food: Very goodDecor: ExcellentService: Very good
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago
Best Jamaican food I've had off the island itself, without question. The jerk chicken was perfectly prepared, with just the right balance of heat and flavor. The patties (meat pies) were really tasty as well (try adding some Scotch Bonnet hot sauce!). Drink specials are very tasty and really bring that island vibe home; we particularly enjoyed the rum punch! Service is...relaxed, but it's all Irie.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
6 reviews
We were stymied by a particularly busy morning in the Quarter frustrating some of our plans, so we stepped into the Erin Rose to meet a friend and had a lovely time. The bartenders were friendly and poured some really good drinks for us all, and as soon as the Po-Boys were available from the back room (they don't open until noon) we had the most amazing sandwiches! The lime shrimp was excellent, but the pork belly was really the one to remember! My only complaint was the lack of any kind of lock on the men's room door, but no harm done! Highly recommended!
• • •
Atmosphere: ExcellentDecor: Very goodService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Probably my favorite place away from home to relax and have a beer and/or some food, with or without friends. Friendly and knowledgeable waitstaff and reliably tasty food, not to mention one of the widest beer selections available in the DFW metroplex, with frequent and excellent pint specials. Cheers!
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very goodService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago